Tina vs. Richard -- we rate the ''Survivor'' winners
The new victor reflects the Bush years, just as the old was pure Clinton, says Ken Tucker
Tina vs. Richard — we rate the ”Survivor” winners
The first time, it was a shock; the second time, it was an inevitability.
Richard Hatch, the self improvement enthusiast and all around loudmouth who spoke ceaselessly about ”alliances” and ”strategy,” set the tone for this series just as surely as ”Survivor”’s creator – producer, Mark Burnett, did. When Hatch won last year, you could practically hear gasps across America; when Tina Wesson won, you could practically hear America shrugging. Who else COULD it have been? Colby — winner of no fewer than five immunity challenges — set himself up to lose.
That villians are always more fun to watch was proven not merely by the brazenly devious Hatch, but also by Jerri. Here is the actress who should be playing the Sharon Stone role if they ever get that ”Basic Instinct” sequel off the ground: The woman whom David Letterman’s ”Late Show” dubbed a ”psycho bitch” fully lived up to her rep last night, eliciting undisguised contempt from Army intelligence officer Kel.
What became clear last night is the way the show — even when it’s set in a different continent — reflects the culture of the moment. Richard Hatch was a Bill Clinton style winner — loquaciously blabby, blubbery in every sense, a schemer who succeeded in convincing the people around him that he was a schemer who deserved to get ahead.
Tina Wesson, on the other hand, is pure (Australian) Bush Administration: laid back and parsimonious with words (did you notice that the winner of the whole shebang last night seemed to have the least to say to Bryant Gumbel in the postgame analysis?), smiley but cagey: a lean winner for these newly lean times.
She may come from Tennessee, Al Gore’s home state, but remember: Bush won Tennessee.
By this morning, you could tune in to CBS’ ”Early Show” and watch the two ”Survivor” winners interact: Hatch was there, as shameless as ever, giving Wesson career and financial advice. Tina smiled and nodded amiably. But you knew she was thinking, ”Yeah, right — like I’m going to take advice from this guy.” This guy, who just last night played himself as a national joke on Letterman’s show, in a sketch suggesting that his present job was as a lowly CBS page.
Bet the ranch: You ain’t gonna see Tina hogging the spotlight; like George W., she’s going to claim her fragile victory and keep as low a profile as possible. That’s the way they do winning this season.
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