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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Confessions Of A Recovering Survivor Addict

I confess: After eight years of watching "Survivor" -- from the first one with Rudy and Richard Hatch -- I scratched it off my Must See TV list this year. Maybe it had something to do with Jonny Fairplay being back on this Fans vs. Favorites game this time.

I didn't go completely cold turkey (my wife continued to watch religiously), and I'm glad. I had seen enough to want to watch last night's episode -- which turned out to be perhaps the best in "Survivor" history. The four remaining women convinced idiot fan Erik Reichenbach (a 22-yr-old art student/ice cream shop employee from Michigan) to give up his immunity necklace.... and then they voted him out (4-1) while the jury howled. It was a classic Survivor moment!

I really don't care which woman wins the million in the two-hour finale Sunday (8-10 p.m., Ch 12, 7) from past players Cirie Fields, Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel or newcomer Natalie Bolton. But I’ll definitely watch the reunion show at 10 p.m. for the discussion on last night's stunning vote.

Are you still watching "Survivor?" Was this season better than most? Did you laugh out loud last night at Erik's stupidity?


at 5/09/2008 11:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been on the fence with Survivor the past couple of seasons, but continued to watch as my kids enjoy it. I am very glad I watched last night. It was actually painful to watch for the Eric kid, because you knew what was coming. The fact that everyone on the jury and the four women were laughing and snickering, while the clueless kid had his fingers crossed, made it worse for the kid. I agree with you, it was the most classic moment in Survivor history!

at 5/09/2008 11:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow John,
Another deep television topic.

It's amazing you get paid for this.

at 5/09/2008 11:24 AM Blogger MEA Media said...

My wife and I are convinced that we're one of the few that still watch Survivor. You’re correct John, last night's episode was one of the best ever. This season has been surprisingly entertaining, and the "idiot" factor has been off the charts. I think everyone who was watching last night was yelling at the TV saying, "Erik...NOOOO...don't give up the immunity necklace to Natalie!"

at 5/09/2008 11:36 AM Anonymous schaibs said...

I have watched Survivor religiously from the very first episode. Even in the seasons where it gets boring and predictable and I tell myself I won't watch anymore. I still watch. I was skeptical of Fans vs. Favorites b/c some of the "Favorites" weren't exactly my favorites or the best players. However, this season has been the absolute best for twists, blind sides, voting switches and back stabbing. You never know who is going to be voted off during tribal council and many of the jury memebers had NO IDEA they were going! I loved Amanda and the immunity idol last week. That was some great acting!

at 5/09/2008 12:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have continued to watch also even though the last few seasons were less exciting.

I was excited this season because my man Fairplay was back, and thought after he was voted out first, the season would suck.

But I have found this season to have been one, if not the most exciting ever. The blindsides have made the show gripping.

I also like to pay attention to the editing they do at tribal council to make it appear to nearly always be close.

Survivor is the only show I make a point to watch. I've lost interest in Lost, American Idol and 24.

at 5/09/2008 12:12 PM Blogger House of Cards said...

I'll admit it, I can't stay away from this one either. I had kinda put this show on my back burner for a bit a few seasons back, but James was sooooo fun to watch in China, and got me looking at a few more episodes than I had the previous season. This one has been one of the best ever, both for the brilliant mental game play, and also for the absolute brutality of the physical challenges. Richard Hatch would have been med-evac'd midway thru the first physical challenge on this year's show, IMO.

And good of you to check in Mr. Dot and Line narrator, err Anon 11:15AM!

at 5/09/2008 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I still watch Survivor regularly. Yes Eric was the most stupid survivor ever, gullible enough to give up his immunity necklace, because he feared nobody would vote for him as the millionaire if he made the final two. I didn't laugh. I just shook my head on how STUPID he was! I've never seen a Survivor before where not one but two people got blind-sided thinking they were SAFE at Tribal Council, both having the immunity idol, and then both voted out. (Ozzy and Jason). On an earlier Survivor, James, a current survivor, made the same mistake, and last night roared laughing saying "I'm no longer the stupidist Surivor of all Time". Actually James is on the jury. He had to drop out of the game due to a hand injury, but is allowed on the jury. Also this season having to drop out of the game was favorite James with a leg injury, but fan Kathleen just plain QUIT the game because she was homesick for her family. I've never seen that before. Three survivors leaving the game, without being voted off! So that's why I'm still a Survivor "Addict". I would never want to do it myself, but it's interesting enough that each season has a different storyline and outcome. It was neat seeing "Fans" learning to work and live with the "Favorites" they idolized. I'm glad it's on only twice a year. I'm looking forward to having my Thursday nights free for a few months, not watching that show. It's my only TV vice. When it comes back, I'll watch it in its entirety again!

at 5/09/2008 7:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have worked for Gannett too long.

at 5/09/2008 10:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The great thing about THIS year is EVERY "Survivor" episode can be found here:

Why is that so good? Well, if you forget to set the DVR or VCR, you can watch it here. And even better, the commercial segments are only a 15 seconds long.

Also, if haven't watched ANY of the season...or you missed a few episodes, you can go back and watch ALL 13 episodes and get fully up to speed before THIS SUNDAY'S FINALE (8 p.m.).

at 5/10/2008 10:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that was an incredibly stupid move. I have watched every season and every episode. I feel the same way you do that I don't care who wins at this point, and if Erik was that stupid he didn't deserve to win anyway. The main reason I will watch the final episode is to watch them all turn on each other. Any word if there are any more seasons in the works?

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