Except for Jerri, most of the remaining contenders are too bland, says Ken Tucker

By Ken Tucker
March 21, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Survivor II: Monty Brinton/CBS
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”Survivor”’s running out of loudmouths to loathe

No matter what you thought of the chatty arrogance of Richard Hatch or the grandiloquent speechifying of Susan Hawk during the climax of the first ”Survivor,” you must admit they made for dramatic presences that galvanized an already spectacularly popular show. But with the current Outback version of ”Survivor,” I’m getting a funny feeling of dread.

I’m thinking that we may be in for a showdown between the wallflowers and the dullards. The way the current voting is going, all the outsize personalities, from ”Mad Dog” Maralyn to finger wagging Alicia, have been dispatched offscreen — voted off and into a waiting vat of Mountain Dew.

The intertribal rumblings are that the show’s most entertaining loudmouth, Jerri, will be the next person wasting away in Doritoville. The voting pattern shows that the physically weakest and verbally meekest hang on. Who are we going to have left?

My nightmare scenario is a staring contest between Nick, the Ivy League student who must be composing a doctoral thesis in his head because he sure ain’t talkin’ too much, and Rodger, who’s so durn easygoing, he encourages people to call him by a wrong name, Kentucky Joe.

The first time around, we didn’t have the chilling example of ”Big Brother” to demonstrate what happens when only the bores survive. Now, I think, the best we can hope for is a Battle of the Bods, as cagey cowboy Colby faces off against ”so cute she gives buttons a bad name” Elisabeth. And hey, if they’re going to turn ”Survivor” into a million dollar beauty contest, producer Mark Burnett should at least get rid of Jeff Probst and summon up the ghost of Bert Parks to emcee the darn thing.

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