With all there is to worry about in the world today—Iraq, global warming, gas prices, getting Windows to work reliably—now I’ve got to spend an anxious 24 hours worrying about who is going to win “Survivor.” OK, I realize that many people don’t even watch “Survivor,” much less agonize over the outcome, but this is a pretty big deal for Laurel and me.
Thursday night is sacred to us. We sit down together in front of the TV after the week’s episode has taped (or, rather, PVR’d) and hugely enjoy immersing ourselves in the reality soap opera that is Survivor All-Stars. For the uninitiated, this current Survivor series brought together 16 winners and notable contestants from previous series, the best of the best, the crème de la crème. Now it is down to Rob, Amber, Jenna, and Rupert—listed in descending order of my desire to see win.
If Rob wins Sunday night in the final two-hour episdode, I will spend next week in a deep depression. This will be a sign that something is seriously wrong with the world, a much more eventful sign than the Iraqi prisoner abuse, increasing desertification, ravaging of the rain forest, or Bush’s ability to remain tied with Kerry in the polls after all of his lies and screw ups. I can handle these little things, but Rob winning over Rupert would rock to the core my faith in cosmic justice.
For several weeks now Rob has connived and lied his way along, stabbing people in the back whom he had made alliances with and vowed to support. Now, this happens all the time in “Survivor,” but Rob’s mildly annoying Boston accent and his more seriously annoying romantic relationship with Amber would make him the most unappealing Survivor winner in history for us. Richard Hatch, the first winner, had a certain brazen “Who gives a f---k?” attitude that was honest and endearing. Rob has a similar modus operandi, but it rubs the wrong way.
We love “Survivor” because the dynamics between the contestants mirror so well what goes on in everyday life, on whatever level you choose. Looking nationally, Rob represents George Bush to me: cocky, manipulative, overly confident, shallow. Yet also finely attuned to people, athletic, charismatic, a leader. Rupert is much like Howard Dean (remember him?): straightforward, loud, honest, a hard worker, rough around the edges. I like Rupert a lot more than Rob, but, as so often happens, Rob is the sort of guy who seems to end up on top more often than not.
Last week he won a challenge that earned him a new car. And when Rob chose Amber (big surprise) to go with him on a movie “date” in the car, she ended up getting a new car too. I wanted to puke. Later in the episode, when Rob won the immunity challenge also, I wanted to double-puke. And at the end of the show, when Rob voted off good-natured Tom, who had a firm trust that Rob would stand by his alliance with him, I wanted to triple-puke. Not a good Thursday for me.
I can only hope that tomorrow night is easier on my stomach. But I’ll have my barf bag ready in case Jeff Probst somehow ends up saying, “And the winner of Survivor All-Stars is…Boston Rob!” It’s a quadruple-puke just thinking about it.