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Producer ex machina

Boy, I don’t know. On last night’s Sur­vivor, it looked a lot like Stephe­nie was going home. But at Trib­al Coun­cil, Jeff led them on a mer­ry ques­tion and answer chase that end­ed up with Janu lay­ing down her torch (quit­ting) and Stephe­nie liv­ing to see anoth­er day.

I don’t quib­ble with the result. Stephe­nie is far more enter­tain­ing than Janu. She’s plucky, which goes a long way towards win­ning over tele­vi­sion view­ers. She clear­ly deserves to be there, where­as Janu clear­ly does not, even with her “one with the beach bon­fire” solo adven­ture.

But Prob­st’s lead­ing ques­tions, end­ing with his men­tion to Janu that she could serve on the jury, even though she quit–where was such mag­na­nim­i­ty when Osten quit a cou­ple of sea­sons ago? Jeff just about kicked him in the butt on the way out, and igno­min­ious­ly tossed his torch down on the ground. Janu’s torch he did lay down, but not with the ven­om he reserved for Sur­vivor’s first quit­ter.

It leads you to believe that the pro­duc­ers had a hand in the deci­sion last night. I don’t think they would have gone as far as to man­date Janu quit (or rather, man­date that Stephe­nie not be vot­ed off), but Jeff eas­i­ly led Janu to that con­clu­sion.

If I were Greg (quot­ed last night and in the pre­views for next week as fear­ing Stephe­nie’s prowess) I would be roy­al­ly pissed at Prob­st.

Still, I think it has only put off the inevitable. Stephe­nie is much like Rupert: charm­ing, fierce com­peti­tor, fan-favorite, but dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to strat­e­gy. She can out­last any of them, pos­si­bly even uber-fire­man Tom giv­en the right chal­lenge, but she could­n’t out­wit her way out of a wet paper bag. The pre­views sug­gest­ed that she’ll try next week, cozy­ing up to the women to vote a man off, and it may work once or twice (Tom must loom as an awe­some threat to any­one with a brain), but I think it will ulti­mate­ly be in vain. The alpha-males see her as a threat, and the women can’t help but see her as a threat, too. Jen is jeal­ous of her, Katie is wor­ried she’s next to go, and Karen is a snake in the grass just wait­ing to strike.

Alas, poor Stephe­nie, we actu­al­ly knew ye pret­ty well. The pro­duc­ers are in a bind, because with her tribe star­ring in “Can’t Win Sur­vivor for Try­ing” she’s emerged as the star this sea­son. I guess I can’t blame them for doing what­ev­er they can to keep her around as long as pos­si­ble.

By Danny

My name is Danny, and I grew up living overseas, but have settled in Kansas, where it turns out some of my family started, back when. I am helping to raise my own family, and hoping to be proud of what I've done when it's all over.