Survivor: The Amazon - First Impressionsby Ken Kellam III -- 02/18/2003
Although it's early in the game, some first impressions have definitely been made among the cast members of Survivor: The Amazon. Who's naughty? Who's nice? Who's nice? Who's bossy? Let's take a look at the 16 cast members and see what we can look forward to in future episodes, although that obviously doesn't apply in Ryan's case.
Jeanne - Since I picked her to win, I'm rather partial to her. So far, the Dairy Board marketing director hasn't milked her camera time ( and you were afraid of a rash of "rocket scientist" jokes). This is a good thing for now. Now some have criticized her statement that she wants to show that a married, 40-something mother of three who works full-time can be the ultimate Survivor, because that sounds just like Tina. But hey, Tina only had TWO kids, so there! Now, if only she can get one of the guys to fall into the fire.
Christy - Originally I picked her to make the final four, but now, it's looking like it'll take nothing short of a miracle for her to even make merge. It's really not her fault, because she's trying as hard as she can to fit in and bond with the other women. And it's not like the others are intentionally trying to leave her out, but her inability to read their lips in the dark around the fire left her obviously frustrated. I don't think her teammates will necessarily WANT to get rid of her, but it may be one of those "has to be someone" votes.
Deena - The D.A.'s tribemates, at least some of them, have found her guilty of being too loud and bossy. But is it too late? Probably not. Others in the tribe may be seen as expendable. Nevertheless, it may be in her best interest to tone it down.
Heidi - if you told me beforehand one of the castaways was a swimsuit model, I'd have guessed Heidi before Jenna. But not just another pretty face, Heidi proved her mettle during the first immunity challenge. Add in the fact that some of the guys commented on her looks, and she may just be around awhile. But will she recoil in horror when she realizes most of the kids she teaches gym to have probably seen her half-naked? Years ago, there was a P.E. teacher who was a former beauty pageant contestant, if not winner. When she came out in her shorts and t-shirt, one of the males said, "What I'd give for a bucket of water right now." I suspect many of Heidi's students will echo similar sentiments once she goes back to teaching.
Shawna - She's hot. I like her a lot. So what if she can't untie a knot? She gives it all she's got. Her retail skills won't be going to pot... Just as long as her blood doesn't clot.
Jenna - Like Ryan, her obvious strategy was blown out of the water when the tribes were divided by gender. Indeed, could she look any less like a swimsuit model with that towel (or whatever it is) on her head? To the contrary, in the words of Toni, a regular RNO reader, "She looks like a skeleton with an attitude." It will be interesting to see how she fares with a bunch of people who couldn't care less how shapely she is. BTW, suppose she were in a tribe with Jeanne, Janet, JoAnna, and Dr. Sean from Palua Tiga. If he reverted to his alphabet voting strategy, would she be in trouble if Jeanne won immunity? The "strategy" already helped out one person named Jenna. Of course, in this game, if Jenna can't adjust, she may be out faster than you can say "abc."
Janet - Projected my many to be the first woman out, she didn't help her cause by becoming ill. She seemed to handle it well, however, and while she may not make merge, chances are she won't be the first one ousted from her tribe either.
JoAnna - Seems nice, but singing gospel music loud and clear may not be the best strategy. Please don't take this an anti-Christian sentiment. In fact, I lead singing in a small church. But if someone in the tribe is Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, or whatever, the tunes could strike a nasty chord with someone. Just because such loud proclamations worked for Vee doesn't mean it will happen here as well. Hopefully, what will stand out to people is her positive spirit.
Butch - Seems to be this season's Jake, taking charge without being obnoxious about it. At first, he reminded me more of B.B., but caught himself taking over and smartly toned it down. In fact, Rob commented on how much he liked Butch. Hopefully, the middle school principal won't start talking to his tribemates like they're his students, lest he be sent to permanent detention. His banner, by the way, was a great move, not so much for psychological reasons, but for those of shelter, as we could see by the second episode previews.
Ryan - Obviously Ryan's hope was to get in a tribe made up of both men and women, like those in the past. It would have at least been interesting to see how he'd end up on a tribe with Jenna to see which one could manipulate the other more. But instead, how prophetic was he when he talked about how his previous strategy, whatever it was, was now null and void. He ended up with an all-male tribe he described as a "sausage-fest," and was soon chopped up like sausage. He's the one who said if they lost to the women it would be rough, although he didn't just HOW rough it would be at tribal council. Roger said that Ryan and Daniel were digging their own graves by not contributing, and he was at least half right. Rob, meanwhile, called him loud, abrasive, and self-centered, three terms that seemed to apply to previous Robs in Survivor. But to Ryan's credit, he showed a lot of maturity in his closing comments. I honestly expected him to go off about how undeserved his ousting was, but it didn't happen.
Daniel - How bad, and how silly, was his claim that there was no way the women were beating the men at anything, physical, mental, or whatever? Well, the first challenge must've not fallen under any of those three categories, because not only did they lose, but Daniel was a primary cause of it. Despite a stint as a pro wrestler trainee, and being an amateur bodybuilder, it isn't always strength that's need to win challenges. Sometimes, balance helps as well, and that was something he and Ryan seemed to lack. He's already got one vote. Are more on the way?
Dave - At first, I thought his speech chewing out his tribemates wasn't exactly a smart move. Even if everything he said was right (and it was), putting yourself out there like that can often be fatal. But, to his credit, received not a single vote in tribal council, so obviously he made the right decision. Now, while his desire to play the game with integrity is laudable, it might also backfire, as people like Rob use that to their own advantage.
Roger - Roger, I've seen Rodger Bingham, and you are no Rodger Bingham. In fact I remember him saying that if he felt some in his tribe weren't pulling their weight, he would forego screaming at them, instead opting to put their name up for the camera. But watching Amazon Roger was enough to make you wonder if he'd ever watched the show. The ex-Marine at times sounded like a drill sergeant barking orders, and it got him three votes. Somehow, I don't think he'll be barking them much longer.
Rob - He's already shown that he's as vocal as his two namesakes from previous editions of the show. The difference is that he may be smarter about it, albeit in a sneaky way. He helped oust Ryan, whom he called abrasive, loud, and self-centered. But he needs to tone down the "Magic 8-Ball" talk. When he started laying down rules for it, I wanted to say, "It's a toy, and one you're taking way too seriously. " On the other hand, Rob does seem to have watched past editions of the show, and seems to know what he's doing. Most telling was his "yes Roger, no Roger" comment regarding the ex-Marine's bossiness. I think he may be around awhile, if for no other reason than smarts.
Matthew - My pick to be the mens' final two representative, so far he's kept under the radar, at least as far as we've seen. Didn't hear to much from or about him. Hopefully he'll keep it that way for awhile.
Alex - One writer claimed that early on he was giving orders and taking charge, but if that was true, it must've been edited out. Not only did he not seem to give any orders, no one seemed to be accusing him of giving them either. Count on him staying around awhile.
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent Survivor articles at the Survivor: The Amazon page and take a look at our sections on Joe Millionaire and The Osbournes. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!