Let the games begin! Dalton Ross says the new ''Survivor'' is shaping up to be a promising round of dysfunctional dynamics, naked nincompoops, and just plain fun

By Dalton Ross
December 27, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST
Nicole Delma: Monty Brinton
  • TV Show

Let the games begin!

Ahoy, mateys! I’m sitting here struggling to figure out to how to begin my first column on the first episode of the latest edition of ”Survivor.” Do I start by discussing the three members of the Morgan tribe pulling a male version of Jenna and Heidi, i.e. getting naked for no good reason?

Do I kick it off by saying how down I am with new Immunity Idol, which looks like some sort of badass staff an Oakland Raiders fan would tote around with that spooky skull on it? Or should I wax poetic about the all-around genius of my new main man Rupert? I guess like the latest batch of castaways, I just should dive right in and see where the water takes me.

And that water takes me to? Osten! What the hell, dude? First you try to smuggle two HUMUNGOUS bottles of booze onto the island, and then you make every attempt possible to get naked? Notice how Osten had his shirt off before he even got off the boat? Then he waltzes into that fishing village and what’s the first thing he does but SELL HIS BELT!!!

It’s like he’s just BEGGING his pants to fall off, which they proceeded to do throughout the rest of the episode. Okay, the guy is pretty cut, I’ll give him that, but ENOUGH! Imagine what a field day that army of mosquitos must be having on his ass. That’s like breakfast, lunch, and dinner for those guys.

But there is someone I’m a little more worried for than Osten and that person is? Mark Burnett! Nicole was obviously the latest in his now long line of big-breasted blondes to serve as eye candy for male viewers, following in the glorious footsteps of Sara, Erin, and Heidi. Even Probst was hitting on her on that boat and telling the male members of the Morgan tribe how lucky they were to be on her team because she had no underwear on.

But instead of sticking around to flaunt her wares, homegirl became the latest proud recipient of the Sonja Christopher award, as she was the first one sent packing after starting a random feud with Tijuana. Not smart, Nicole.

Then again, I’m not sure smarts were her strong point, judging by the fact that she forgot to give up her personal items and walked to the wrong tribe when introduced by Jeff. Who knows, maybe if she had decided to ”show your boobs” to the old guys in the village, as Osten suggested, she’d still be around. Or at least Osten would’ve gotten a sneak peek.

Of course, we’re talking all about Morgan, but the Drake tribe is the one that seems to show more long-term promise. Rupert is, quite frankly, a freak of nature. And how can you not love him for that? The guy stole the other’s tribe’s insoles and traded them for pineapples, for crying out loud.

Keep an eye on Jon as well, and not just because he sports the most excellent last name of Dalton, but because when Jeff Probst stopped by the EW offices last week (oooh, let me pick up that name I just dropped), you could see his blood boil when this clown’s name was brought up. Probst HATES this guy, so that must mean he’s gonna do some stupid, obnoxious crap to no doubt amuse us endlessly.

All in all, I’d say a satisfying first installment. I like the twist of throwing the contestants into the water with literally just the clothes on their backs, and we’re already seeing some interesting dynamics take shape. Mark Burnett also promised me (again, allow me to pick that up real quickly) that there is a huge twist in the middle of the game, so we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out.

Truth be told, the success of most ”Survivor” installments really rests on the shoulders of the participants — how interesting they are and the choices they make along the way. We’ll see about all of that, but so far so good. Sooooooo good, in fact.

What do you think of the new ”Survivor” so far?