NEW COLUMN – Primetime Update

Keep up to date on your favorite reality shows

Week of September 19, 2003

Missed your favorite shows? No problem. Primetime updated gives you the rundown on what happened on TV this week, including the much anticipated Survivor: Pearl Islands premiere.

Survivor: Pearl Islands SEASON PREMIERE

Thursday night brought us the 7th rendition of this castaway adventure in a new setting, with new competitors, and new twists. This season’s theme of pirating became quite evident through the names of the two tribes, Morgan and Drake.

It started with 16 castaways on their way to a small village, expecting to be well kept for a few days before starting the adventure. All were decked out in their finest dresses and suits (Shawn Cohen, the single, 29 year old advertising salesman from New York, wore Armani), not to mention high-heeled shoes. To their surprise, host Jeff Probst divided the 16 into two tribes of 8 and instructed them overboard with no luggage or luxuries except the clothing upon them. Sympathy was provided by the tossing of a pair of tennis shoes for each castaway as well as a small amount of Panamanian money which they could use in the village beyond. The two teams would need to hire a boat and be at their respective locations by sundown.

Upon reaching the shore, the Morgan tribe made the mistake of leaving their belongings unattended. In the pirating spirit, Rupert Beneham, the 39 year old troubled teens mentor from Indianapolis who has also worked as gravedigger, stole all their shoes and bartered them to the locals. Now, if you’ve never watched Survivor before, just one sight of this guy will make you start. He weighs about 250 lbs, and has a big scruffy head of brown hair and a beard/mustache combo to match. He arrived wearing a tie-died muscle shirt and a heavy pair of jeans that made his legs noodle-like on the swim to shore. His pirating came at no surprise; he looks kind of like the ghost of Blackbeard! At this point it seemed that the Drake tribe had a hand up, since Sandra Diaz-Twine, the 29 year old office assistant from Washington, took advantage of her Spanish tongue to ensure better bargains with merchants.

On the Morgan side of things, 27 year old Osten, an equity trade manager from Boston, traded all his clothes except his boxers, in an effort to help his tribe. He also suggested that the girls should bare their breasts for money which gave him an instant chauvinist air. At the end of the “shopping spree,” both tribes had to give up and head for home.

Tribe unity came together on Morgan’s beach, as the scout leader, 51 year old Lillian Morris from Cincinnati, Ohio, built a fire, and half naked Osten began a lean-to shelter against a shale wall. When night came, Morgan soon realized that their rock wall was raining down on them, plus they were swarmed by hermit crabs. And of course, comedian Osten mistook a vine for a snake.

The first night at Drake could have been quite pleasant, had the tribe not attained a large amount of cheap Panamanian wine in the village. Jon Dalton, the 29 year old art consultant from Danville Virginia thought he could crack everyone up, however he chose to do this through sexist remarks to the ladies, talking crap, and cursing; turning some of the tribe members away.

In the morning, Drake members cut and tore their clothing into pieces that would be more functional. Shawn, the Armani guy, cut his pants at the knees, making them shorts and Christa Hastie, a 24 year old computer programmer from LA, cut her long skirt in half and shared it with Rupert, who was more than enthusiastic about wearing a dress.

As the producers of the show didn’t provide anything beyond the small change spent at the market and a map to camp and the water hole, tribes had to find their own food. Morgan was out of luck here, as they had no means of attaining anything. Drake, on the other hand, had purchased a spear. The alpha males, Burton Roberts, the 31 year old marketing executive from San Francisco, and Rupert became the care-takers.

But what would Survivor be without challenges, immunity, and tribal council? Back to the Pirate theme, Jeff Probst explained the tribes’ first challenge, for immunity. Just as the old groups of pirates had to transport their artillery from place to place, so too would the new. Both tribes had to move a heavy canon through an obstacle course (at one point they had to take it apart and carry its pieces). The first team to cross the finish line would grasp immunity.

At first, the Drake tribe took the lead, but was closely followed by Morgan. Halfway through, three guys from Morgan (as initiated by Osten) dropped their drawers to free themselves from the restraints of clothing. On the final sprint, Drake’s canon got stuck in the sand and tribe Morgan gained a hefty lead. Drake’s willpower overcame the sand barrier, and just as they came back into motion, Morgan’s canon got stuck only feet from the finish line. Drake passed, and won immunity (which was represented by a long staff with a decorative skull and axe fixed to the top) sending Morgan to tribal council that evening. Immediately, tribe Drake took on an overconfident air, laughing and making fun of the naked men who’d eaten their dust. If it’s Morgan’s turn to win next week, it would be glorious to rub it back in Drake’s faces.

Back at Morgan, the reality of the evening’s quest began to sink in. Five members of the tribe, Andrew Savage, the 40 year old attorney from Chicago (who’d earlier been nominated by his teammates as the leader), Darrah Johnson, the 22 year old mortician from Liberty Mississippi, our pal Osten, Ryan Opray, the 31 year old single electrician from Los Gatos, California, and the stunt cheerleader, 27 year old Tijuana Bradley from Lt. Louis, easily became an alliance and were aiming their votes at the smaller friendship of Lilly, the scout master, Ryan Shoulders, the 23 year old single produce clerk from Clarksville, TN, and Nicole Delma, the 24 year old massage therapist from Hermosa Beach, California. Nicole had felt a character conflict between herself and Tijuana and went to Lilly and Ryan S. in an attempt to advocate some votes in that direction. Can you believe this girl actually opened her big mouth about something so trivial? Does she not know anything about Survivor? It’s only wise to open your mouth when you know for sure that a majority will agree. Hello?!? What were you thinking chick?

On a more positive note, Lilly, being the honest, loving, caring, and non-judgmental mother figure, felt that Nicole’s request was unfounded, and took her concerns to the larger group. When Tijuana heard about Nicole’s request, she calmly approached Nicole and asked if it was true. When Nicole didn’t answer, the major alliance voted her out for being dishonest. And so, for lack of common sense about what happens on Survivor, Nicole Delma was the first castaway voted off of Survivor: Pearl Islands.

Highlights from next week include a reward challenge where a winning member may steal one item from the losing tribe’s island, one castaway’s confession of wanting to leave, Rupert’s explosion over a lost item, and of course a desperate battle for immunity.

Survivor airs at 9:00pm Alberta time on Global (channel 7 in Calgary)

Friends: Last Season’s Finale

For those who missed it, or just forget what happened, the group went to Barbados for Ross’s Paleontology seminar where Monica’s hair exploded 3 times its size from the humidity. Dr. David planned to propose to Phoebe, who, although still in love with another man, planned to accept. However, in the midst of his babbling, Phoebe’s ex Mike (who Phoebe left because he didn’t want to get married) shows up and gets the job done first. Phoebe declines, saying that she’d never wanted a proposal, just the reassurance that the relationship was going somewhere. Joey’s there with Charlie (the paleontology girl Ross introduced him to), Ross is alone, and so is Rachel. After spending time apart from each other (Charlie and Ross did the Paleontology thing, and Joey and Rachel hung out trying to have fun) Joey and Charlie break up. Looking for comfort, Joey goes to Rachel, who confesses she’s been having feelings for him. But, because of the complicated history between Ross (who if you don’t know, is Joey’s friend and Rachel’s ex-husband and father of her child) and Rachel, they decide not to pursue. However, down in the lobby, Ross and Charlie are “getting together” and Joey happens to catch a glance. Joey goes back up to Rachel’s room, and that’s where we left off.

Canadian Idol Finale

Simple finale. No statistics or anything. Ryan Malcolm won. Enough said.

Cupid Finale

Not many watched this show, but if you did, America chose Hank. The officiator was there and Lisa’s dad gave her away. But they didn’t say “I do.” They claimed they owed it to their loved ones to have a big formal wedding, not in front of a nationwide audience.

For Love Or Money 2 Finale

It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, but for those who missed it, Erin chose Chad. Chad chose love. And all ended happily ever after. It’ll be interesting to see an update this time next year though.

If there are any other shows you want updates on, or any comments in response to my comments, please email me at and I’ll see what if I’m interested or if I can clarify my opinions!