What's "Survivor"?


San Diego, California (June 2001) 

"Survivor" is a CBS television series that was first broadcast in the U.S. in 2000.  The show is the true story of 16 persons who competed to win $1 million by outwitting, outplaying and outlasting the others.  Each week, the group voted one of the members out of the tribe until only two were left.  At that point, the tribe members who had been cast out voted for the person they felt should win the money.



There have been two "Survivor" shows so far.  The location for "Survivor 1" was on an island near Borneo.  The show was broadcast during the summer of 2000 and was one of the highest rated series ever shown on American television.  The winner, and probably rightfully so considering the lame competition, was a guy named Richard Hatch.  Most people remember Rich as the gay guy who walked around naked. 


Actually, I was pulling for the sweetheart Colleen and then the crusty old Navy SEAL, Rudy.  Anybody but that idiot Sean, who had somehow mustered up the intelligence to get through Medical School.  What a dolt.


"Survivor 2" was broadcast in 2001 and was shot in the Australian Outback with a new and much cuter group of Americans.  I was pulling for the honest guy Kel, but after he got booted out fast, I started pulling for the sweetie Elisabeth and the affable old guy from Kentucky, Rodger.  Of course, nice guys rarely finish first, but I was glad to see my fellow Doritos-lover, Tina Wesson, beat that strange dude from Texas, Colby.  I'm still trying to figure out Colby's relationship with his mother.


When I get to Australia, I'm going to see about visiting the site where they filmed "Survivor 2."  By the way, I'll probably be doing a lot of primitive camping in a similar environment during my travels across Australia.  But, of course, I'll have Doritos.


    Contestants for 'Survivor: the Australian Outback': Front row, from left: Jeff Varner, Elisabeth Filarski, Debb Eaton, Alicia Calaway and Amber Brkich. Standing, from left: Kimmi Kappenberg, Rodger Bingham, Colby Donaldson, Kel Gleason, Mitchell Olson, Michael Skupin, Keith Famie, Maralyn Hershey, Jerri Manthey, Nick Brown and Tina Wesson.

Above left:  Rudy was my favorite dude from Survivor 1.  He and my dad were both in the U.S. Navy's "Scouts and Raiders" program in World War II, the forerunner of today's Navy SEALS.  He even (sort of) looks like my dad.

Above right:  Here's the whole crew from Survivor 2, in the Australian Outback, when they were young and naive.



Above left:  My favorite contestant from Survivor 2 was fellow Doritos fan, Tina Wesson...

Above right:  But who could forget Amber from Beaver, Pennsylvania?