Sunday, April 01, 2001

'Survivor' reality check

        By John Kiesewetter
       The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here's a brief synopsis of Survivor: The Australian Outback, which airs its 10th episode Thursday (8 p.m., Channels 12, 7) with Rodger Bingham of Crittenden.

        Body count: Nine gone, six to go, after Jerri Manthey, 30, a Los Angeles bartender, was voted out of the $1 million game Thursday. Former Ogakor tribe members hold a crucial 4-3 advantage over Mr. Bingham's former Kucha tribe.

        Local ratings: A two-week absence in competition hurt Survivor here, which slipped from a record 30.5 rating and 44 percent audience share on March 14 to a 27.5 rating and 39 percent share Thursday.

        Best news for us: Rodger, 53, the oldest Survivor by 13 years, remains in the game as the CBS series enters its fourth month. The Grant County High School industrial arts teacher still has a shot — a long shot, but a shot — at the million bucks.

        Highlights:Former Ogakor members surprise viewers by eliminating annoying Jerri, instead of someone from the rival tribe. “Checkmate, you got me,” she said after the vote.

        Lowlights: Jerri calls her day with Colby Donaldson at the Great Barrier Reef “basically the perfect honeymoon — without the sex.”

        Best quote: “You and Rodger have more of that heart and soul that we want,” Tina Wesson of Ogakor told Elisabeth Filarski of Kucha before Tina voted against Jerri.

        Big question: Without Jerri, who will be portrayed as the next villain: Her pal Amber Brkich? Chef Keith Famie? Texan Colby?

        Our guess: One of the former Ogakor trio controlling the game — Tina, Keith or Colby — will win the $1 million prize on May 3.


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