Survivor: The Amazon Ė Playas, or Playa Hatahs?by Ken Kellam III -- 03/07/2003
While managing the miserable expansion New York Mets, the legendary Casey Stengel once asked in rhetorical exasperation, "Can't anybody here play this game?" Would he ask the same thing if he were watching the women of Survivor: The Amazon?
First, let's look at JoAnna. I'm not going to pretend I like the way she played the game. Her various mistakes have been well-documented on this site and in a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment, and I've been as vocal as anyone about her behavior in the game. To be honest, I thought I would welcome her ouster the way I did Jerri's. Say what you will about her going on about the idol, her rudeness to Christy, and just plain ignorance on how the game is played (and I have), but from a strategic standpoint, was her ouster really such a great move for the women?
Let's face it: No disrespect to the ladies, but they need all the strength they can get. And yes, at some point you do vote off the strong. But this early? I thought Deena was playing the game well until she said she needed to get JoAnna off early on. Deena, if this is the kind of rationale you're using as tribal leader, I can see why the women seem to be in such disarray. I'm curious as to who will take up the slack now that JoAnna has been told, "Depart from me," by the tribe. Christy, Jeanne, and you of course are all hard workers, but will you be able to take on JoAnna's workload? No, she didn't play the game very well, but neither are those who voted her off.
Now, what about Shawna? Her physical problems brought back memories of Lindsey, and then we find out that it was due to dehydration, just like Lindsey. But Shawna, while Lindsey finally got back on her feet, you continue to extend your whining into the next episode. You talked about how some of the others were driving you up the wall. Did it ever occur to you that your whining is doing the same thing to the TV audience and you fellow tribe members? You WERE the most likeable of the three "hot young chicks," (at this point, that's a little like being the thinnest member of the Fat Boys), but your constant "I'm in pain" rhetoric is about as obnoxious as your two cohorts' constant "Admire me I'm beautiful" talk. Deanna said it best: SHUT UP!
And while we're at it, wasn't it you who said that even if you and your alliance members disliked each other, you'd still stay aligned for game purposes? That didn't even last an entire episode now, did it? You mentioned how you were out of the decision-making process now, and cast a vote for Christy. Yeah, the "hot chicks" alliance really stayed together like superglue.
Now, let's go on to Heidi. Being a 38-year-old single, straight male, I always watch for the "hotties" in each season. And yes, Heidi was one of my favorites. To be honest, last week her talk of older women having an issue with her because she's cute didn't bother me that much. But this week, I'm convinced she should be seen and not heard. First, let's discuss her strategy. She commented that she's letting some of the others do the work, and she'll probably end up ahead of them in the game. Well, she's half right, because JoAnna is out. But could she be any more full of herself?
Most telling is her comment that the older women don't like her because she's cuter. She reminds me of the rich kid in school who laments people don't like him because he's rich, but he keeps talking about his Mercedes that Daddy bought him, as well as flashing his Rolex in everyone's face, not to mention talking about his big fat Greek vacation he received as a birthday present at age 16. And her comment about the older women having more body fat to live off came across as just boorish. Yes, she keeps her comments to the camera as far as we can tell, but still continues to make herself look like a walking blonde joke on national television. Somehow, this joke isn't funny as much as it is flabbergasting.
What about her partner in slime, Jenna? My "correspondent" Toni, who referred to her as "Skeleton with an attitude," this week commented, "Could those skeletons be more conceited?" Jenna's comment, "Don't be mad because we have good bodies. It's not our fault . Get over it," may go down as one of the most obnoxious quotes in the show's history. I'm still waiting for her and Heidi to say, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." No, you've given us plenty of other reasons Jenna. You get the feeling that if she worked in an office, she'd have scantily clad pictures of herself all over her work area.
What about Christy? Although I don't blame her for voting for JoAnna, and I'm thrilled she will at least go farther in the game than her nemesis, I wonder if she'll come to regret it later on, due to JoAnna's strength. At least she seems to be communicating with the tribe better. But then, they needed her vote.
Jeanne is probably playing the game as well as anyone, but sadly, she'll probably be the target if they go to tribal council. Her decision to vote off Shawna was a good one strategically, and the rest of the tribe may be soon wishing they had done the same, as judging from the previews, Shawna looks more and more like dead weight.
In conclusion, this tribe is reminding me more and more of younger Samburu and the Maraamu alliance, with JoAnna as the "Hunter" voted out early for her strength. No, she wasn't nearly as personable as he was, but at this point in the game, it would have done her tribe good to keep her around a little longer, similar to how Boran kept Clarence around because the knew they needed him, despite his love of beans and cherries.
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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