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Survivors to keep an eye on

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This idea to divide old versus young came straight from casting. Once we had [two-time Super Bowl-winning coach] Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy T., Marty, and Jane, we knew we had the beginnings of a great older tribe. So we just went with it, and from that point forward we knew we had to create two tribes that were as equal as they could be given the age difference. The season is still getting started, but here are the contestants who popped out to me right away:

Younger Tribe
Kelly B. is obviously an inspiration, but that won’t be enough to get her through 39 days. Her tribe is already targeting her…not because they think she can win challenges or will be great at the social game. They’re voting her out because she has an artificial leg and it makes them uncomfortable because they think she’ll garner too much sympathy.

Naonka will become more polarizing the longer she lasts in the game. You will either respect her honesty or absolutely despise her. One thing is certain, people will have an opinion.

Jud A.K.A. Fabio is perhaps my favorite. I am a huge fan of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Fabio is Survivor‘s version of Jeff Spicoli. Whether it’s the splinter he got moments into the show or the pincher on the finger, he’s funny. Best of all, he seems to have a really good sense of humor about himself.

Older Tribe
Jimmy T. ”I just gotta say this… I’m not gonna be not be heard here, I’m not gonna be not be heard.” I love this guy. He won a Sears casting contest to get on the show and has already delivered as much of a wallop as a box full of their Craftsman tools. He is going to have to cool it, though, if he wants to last long. Jimmy, sometimes you are going to have to ”not be not be heard.” In your case, it might be a good thing if they don’t always hear you.

Jane You gotta love a woman who can start fire! Jane is tailor-made for this show. She is no-nonsense, has a great work ethic, and she personifies the idea of ”where there is a will, there is a way.”

Marty is a villain. He won’t see it that way and he’s probably already mad at me for saying this, but right out of the gate, he is a villain. Thankfully…Survivor loves villains!

Host Jeff Probst blogs about Survivor (Wednesdays, 8 p.m., on CBS) every week for EW.COM


EW POLL: Who is the best TV president ever?
As Commander-in-Chief on The Event, Blair Underwood may be in the middle of a political maelstrom, but he’s also got some big wingtips to fill in the pantheon of TV presidents.

Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), 241%
Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin), 24 2%
Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis), Commander in Chief 3%
Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), Battlestar Galactica 11%
David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), 24 28%
Josiah ”Jed” Bartlet (Martin Sheen), The West Wing 55%

Jennifer Grey’s surprise DWTS cheerleader
Jennifer Grey has an unexpected supporter in her corner as she waltzes her way through ABC’s Dancing With the Stars: Lisa Niemi, the widow of her Dirty Dancing costar Patrick Swayze. Niemi told EW exclusively that she was ”caught off guard” by the outpouring of emotion Grey displayed during the Sept. 20 DWTS premiere but thinks Grey, 50, can take home the mirror-ball trophy. ”Of course, Jennifer is hugely associated with Dirty Dancing, and if you think about it — her dancing ballroom again — how could it not remind her of a moment in time that was very important?” says Niemi. ”Jennifer is a very talented and very sensitive individual. It didn’t surprise me that she got so emotional.” Niemi says she sent along her good wishes via e-mail to Grey before she began Dancing With the Stars. She and Swayze often ran into the actress over the years and always had ”warm feelings” for her. Says Niemi, ”Jennifer is a very unique individual and she looks like dynamite. I’m sure some people thought Jennifer had all this dance training, which she hasn’t, but she has a lot of natural abilities. Coupled with her acting abilities, she’s a unique personality. She has a lot to bring to the show.” — Lynette Rice

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