“Survivor” goes to China


“Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.” Sounds like a lesbian dating guide, but no, it’s the motto of the CBS reality show Survivor. The 15th installment of the show is being filmed in China and is the first American television show that has been allowed to do so. CBS is thrilled! But no word yet from the Chinese on their feelings about hosting selfish, lying, backstabbing Americans who eat disgusting things and generally smell bad for a month … all for the chance to win a million dollars.

The 16 new contestants are evenly divided between men and women. I predict the women will not form a lasting girl-power alliance, because women just don’t seem to do that on this show.

Unfortunately, there are no out lesbian or bisexual women among this new batch of female contestants, but if you look hard enough through the pictures and the full bios, your gaydar might give you a false positive reading on a couple of the women. I know mine sure did. Alphabetically:

Amanda, 23, lives in Los Angeles now but hails from Montana, where she was crowned Miss Montana.

She works as a hiking guide. She has camped every weekend in Montana since she was three years old. How can this be true if she was entering and winning beauty pageants and contests? Those are usually on the weekends, right? Has Amanda already started practicing the art of lying?

Ashley, 28, is a professional WWE wrestler with lip piercings. (I do hope she removes those when she goes to work.)

She too won beauty pageants, and I see a trend here that is simply horrifying. Outwit. Outplay. Outlast and outpose and out-fake-smile the chick next to you? Yikes! Ashley has been on the cover of Playboy, and I do not believe it was a WWE Smackdown photo.

Next is Courtney, 26.

The first thing I looked for, of course, was how many beauty pageants she has entered and won. Courtney must be some type of rebel, because beauty pageantry is not listed in her bio. Gosh, I hope she doesn’t feel inferior to the other girls. Courtney is described as “honest (sometimes interpreted as cruel), sarcastic (often interpreted as bitchy).” Hmm, I’m not sure Courtney knows what Ashley does for a living, so we will see how far Courtney’s brand of honesty and sarcasm gets her.

Denise has the best job title I have ever read. She’s a school lunch lady.

And she has the perfect haircut for a hairnet, I must add. Denise is 40, rides a scooter to work, and previously spent time fixing phones and video games and jukeboxes. To top it all off, Denise is a black belt in American Kenpo karate and has opened her own karate school. She has neat hobbies like ax and knife throwing and collecting Budweiser memorabilia. I looked for her beauty pageant experience, but I think Denise has been way too busy on her weekends to fool around with that beauty pageant nonsense.

Jaime is a 22-year-old college student and describes herself as friendly and energetic.

Her favorite sport is football; she prefers to cheer for her own University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the Buffalo Bills. Uh-oh: I think I just described the first woman that the guys will like and not feel threatened by, and maybe the first woman the other women won’t like. This is purely speculation. I’m basing this on the cute-blonde-girl-who-turns-into-the-guys’-little-sister-mascot stereotype that sometimes emerges under these types of living conditions.

Next up is Leslie, the 38-year-old Christian radio talk show host.

Yay! Another profession new to Survivor! There have been other religious contestants on the show, but so far none who actually made a living by talking about religious beliefs on the radio. Leslie has a speaking ministry and describes herself as “energetic, passionate and overwhelming.” Does anyone else see potential problems with that type of job and self-description? Oh, and for good measure, Leslie has some beauty pageantry in her background as well, having won Mrs. North Carolina.

Peih-Gee is 29 and a jeweler.

That’s sort of cool, no? Peih-Gee was a real smarty coming out of high school but somehow managed to flunk out of UCLA. How can someone so smart be so dumb? Don’t answer that. She was reinstated later after making up some classes. Whew. Someone who scores a nearly perfect verbal score on the SAT but doesn’t finish college because she partied too much would be shameful. Peih-Gee was born in Hong Kong. I hope I do not have to witness another contestant asking Peih-Gee rapid-fire questions about China as though her ethnicity will make her an expert. I cringe just thinking about it.

Sherea is 26 and an elementary school teacher — and she’s a twin!

I hope she wins the challenge late in the season that will allow her twin to visit her in China. Maybe they can do a switcheroo! While all the other contestants are emaciated from the lack of food, Sherea’s twin can start kicking butt in all the challenges. Oh, right: Cameras are everywhere, making the switcheroo pretty impossible to pull off.

So that’s the rundown of the women. Among the 8 men is a gay man, Todd Herzog. Maybe having both a gay man and a lesbian would have been too much for the show. I wonder if Todd has ever competed in beauty pageants? The men also include a gentleman named Chicken and a gravedigger. This looks like a really eclectic group of people to send to a communist country to connive their way to a million bucks. Yay for capitalism! I can’t wait!

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