Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Readers want Ramona gone from CBS 'Survivor' show

        Will Ramona survive as a Survivor? Enquirer readers don't think so.

        Asked to “vote” one of the 14 remaining inhabitants of CBS' hit Survivor show (8 p.m. today, Channels 12, 7) off the island, Enquirer readers picked Ramona, 28, the New Jersey biochemist.

        “She is always sick, so she can't do anything really to help out her team. The food makes her sick, but she has to eat, so it is basically a waste of food,” says Kari Sanders of Hebron, Ky.

        “Unfortunately, she is the only one left on her team who knows where the water is,” she says.

        For the show, CBS stranded 16 people on a remote South China Sea island this spring, promising $1 million to the last Survivor. They were marooned with a handful of supplies, and divided into two eight-members camps.

        Each episode concludes with a “tribal council” vote by the participants to expel a colleague, slowly whittling down the participants, one by one. (On the final show, a panel of expelled participants will vote to choose the $1 million winner.)

        A third person will be banished on today's episode of the summer sensation, which has soundly beaten ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire in the national ratings for two weeks. Cincinnati viewers like Survivor more than many cities, with the series winning the night with a 15.7 rating here, compared with an 11.7 national rating last week.

        So far, two of the older participants have been booted off: Bossy B.B., 64, the workaholic retired CEO, and Sonja, 62, a musician. And Rudy, 72, the former Navy SEAL, missed being sent packing by one vote.

        “I would keep Rudy and the female truck driver (Susan), and the doctor (Sean), and vote off Ramona,” says Rhonda Brown of Middletown. “She got sick on the boat, so she's weak, and she admittedly can't swim, so any competitions where swimming is a factor, she's going to cost points or time.”

Who will be next? Why? Watch tonight's episode ((8 p.m., Channels 12, 7) and send your prediction to Survivor, c/o John Kiesewetter, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. Fax: 768-8330. E-mail: Please include your name, address and daytime phone.

        Ms. Brown is impressed with the survivor skills of Rudy and the work ethic of Susan, 38, the Wisconsin truck driver.

        “And for medical purposes (snake and/or rat bites), rashes, sunburn, you have to keep the doctor,” she says. “Of course, if one of those rats crawled through MY hair, I'd vote myself off that island!”

        One e-mailer, who did not give a name, also would have voted for Ramona over B.B. “I think sending off B.B. is going to be the downfall for some people,” the e-mail said.

        Not everyone agrees.

        Patrick Wilson of Loveland would send Rudy packing. “He's old, he's grumpy, and he's the weakest link,” he says.

        Mr. Wilson's favorite character is Dirk, 23, the Wisconsin dairy farmer and substitute teacher who disappears from the camp each day to read the Bible.

        “Unlike everyone else, Dirk maintains spiritual balance while on this show. That's good. He should teach the others a thing or two,” says Mr. Wilson.

        Christopher Mason of Anderson Township predicts that Rudy or Ramona will get the boot, depending on which team loses the “immunity challenge” and must conduct a tribal council vote.

        Rudy, he says, “committed the unforgivable sin of raiding the canned food supplies. Good riddance to the ex-Navy SEAL who couldn't even start a fire, and has seemingly done nothing but be abrasive.”

        Don F. Goodcase of Anderson Township also says Rudy will be sent home next.

        “All the young people will vote all the older people off the island first,” he says. “Then it will really get snippy.”

John Kiesewetter is Enquirer TV/radio critic. Write him at 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, 45202.