August 26, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
How do you take a reality TV series that has been around for twelve seasons and make it the center of media conversation again? Evidently one way is by dividing the contestants up into tribes based on their ethnic background for the thirteenth season. Survivor Cook Islands has become the most talked about Survivor since Survivor Borneo (the very first Survivor). For Survivor Cook Islands, the castaways will be divided into African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and White tribes.
Even though there is no telling how this “social experiment” will play out, many critics, politicians, and bloggers are already expressing their outrage. Some are even calling for CBS to cancel the show. Even though it’s easy to understand why the thought of segregation would be troubling to many, odds are the show will probably play out to be much less controversial than people are imagining.
Survivor producers had to realize what the repercussions could be if they handled this social experiment poorly, so viewers should probably expect for the actual division to be handled with a high level of sensitivity. If a lot of viewers tune in, then the show could actually have the positive outcome of encouraging more ethnic diversity in casting. Everyone is quick to bash the show, but no one seems to be praising the fact that this is the first major network reality show where minorities are actually the majority.
Several Summer reality series have wrapped up their seasons over the last couple of weeks, and this week, Treasure Hunters concluded with the largest prize in reality TV history. In a product placement filled finale, The Geniuses team took home a prize valued at three million dollars. While the Geniuses were raking in the money, two of America’s Choices on Big Brother lost their chance at the half million dollar prize. In a double eviction week, both Howie Gordon and James Rhine were sent packing.
Other reality TV eliminations included Somethin, Tiger, and Payshintz from Flavor Of Love, Jeff Fraza & Freddy Curiel from The Contender, Patrice Pike from Rock Star Supernova, Robert Best from Project Runway, and Major Victory from Who Wants To Be A Superhero.