John Cochran won Survivor with 100 percent of the jury’s vote, only the third time that has happened in the show’s history. So what happens to the second-place $100,000 prize? Do both Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman get it, or will they split it?
Actually, Dawn and Sherri will split the combined total of the second ($100,000) and third ($85,000) place prizes.
Dawn told EW’s Dalton Ross, “What they do is take second and third and then divide us.” He asked if they each received $92,500, and she confirmed that, meaning the third-place prize 185is $85,000.
Interestingly, in 2007, Survivor Fiji also ended with a zero-vote tie for second place, and while fourth-place Yau-Man initially said that Dreamz and Cassandra each received $100,000, but may have backtracked on that, saying they split second and third-place prizes, just like this season.
It’s no longer a secret that cities and/or states pay to host a season of Top Chef. The show is headed to New Orleans for its 11th season, which has been known for about a month now, but was only confirmed by Bravo on Friday.
Today, there’s news of how much money this cost: $375,000, less than the $600,000 Texas paid and $300,000 the show reportedly wanted from Seattle.
The Times-Picayune reports that the show will receive “$200,000 from the Louisiana Office of Tourism, [and] $175,000 from the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.” The money the state is contributing “will come from a recovery fund established by BP after the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” the paper reports, citing a staff member in the governor’s office.
The president of New Orleans tourism office, Mark Romig, told the paper that Top Chef is “going to embrace New Orleans and the region in a very holistic way” and added, “I think New Orleans at the end of the day will be very proud about how they represent the city and the region.”
Survivor has cast a former Big Brother winner who will appear on Survivor Blood vs. Water, the new season that features returning cast members playing with loved ones. While Amazing Race and Big Brother have long shared cast members, including with Survivor, it has not yet drawn a cast member from CBS’ other shows.
Hayden Moss, who won season 12, is dating Kat Edorsson, who appeared on Survivor One World. Another notable pairing: Monica Culpepper partner will compete with her husband, Brad Culpepper, a former NFL player.
The returning cast members I’ve been able to confirm, via someone with knowledge of the cast, are as follows, though it’s possible one or more of these are either alternates (or decoys?) The cast is sequestered in L.A. and are leaving for the Philippines soon, and include the following returnees paired with someone they know:
- Tyson Apostol, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains
- Aras Baskauskas, Panama
- Rupert Boneham, Pearl Islands, All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains
- Monica Culpepper, One World
- Colton Cumbie, One World
- Kat Edorsson, One World
- Laura Morett, Samoa
- Gervase Peterson, Borneo
- RC Saint-Amour, Philippines
- Tina Wesson, Australia, All-Stars
While there are some bright spots—the return of Gervase is especially interesting—this cast seems like a phenomenal joke: Two winners, three if you count Hayden? One person, Rupert, playing for a fourth time—fourth! Three of the cast from Survivor One World, which Jeff Probst called “a letdown”?
Hopefully the twist can save it: I am intrigued about how Amazing Race-izing the show will affect the game, but this all seems so desperate.
Survivor Caramoan was a shit sundae: Several scoops of feces covered with enough whipped pleasantness to make us forget what we were eating, topped with a maraschino cherry of a reunion that didn’t even resemble the real thing. Yes, the last few weeks were very entertaining, but that doesn’t forgive what came first.
The season began with a weak cast being overshadowed by wildlife (the tarsier!). Then came the supreme ugliness and its aftermath. Then the season treaded water with boring repetition and an unfair twist .Thankfully, it ended with Malcolm’s amazing moves, which gave us this masterpiece. Cochran’s well-deserved win followed some shocking cruelty.
Despite the really awesome moments and highlights, I stand by my assessment that Jeff Probst inflicted the death blow to the series this season, though he’s been wounding it in recent years. It may take a few more seasons or years to bleed out, but considering the twist, name, and casting for season 27, it’s dying fast. That makes me very, very sad.
Thoughts about last night’s three-hour finale and reunion:
- Cochran was a good but unsurprising winner. He’s a deserving winner, and he’s had a nice arc over his two seasons as a player; plus, it’s always great to see a true fan win, because there’s a special kind of appreciativeness there. Although he initially didn’t think he could do more than “satisfy a third of those requirements” as specified on the Survivor logo (outwit, outplay, outlast) he absolutely did all three.
Still, his win seemed to be a foregone conclusion most of the episode and was not surprising, even with his challenge dominance. He won four individual challenges, three of which were immunity challenges—though, let’s be honest, the stacking challenge was also an immunity challenge, it just was turned into a reward challenge once Erik was removed from the game by medics, although not before Probst had a conversation with Cochran about strategy over Erik’s lifeless body.
- Eddie and the medics. As much as I want to see a reality series about Eddie opening his dog bar thing (wtf), he needs to return to Survivor as a medic, because despite being a self-professed “idiot,” his discussion with Probst about Erik’s condition was remarkably more articulate, coherent, and intelligent than the medics’ conversation. I now think the medics might be Dream Teamers in disguise just having fun, because they say hilariously obvious things. Referring to Erik’s dizziness, the medic said that “makes me think there’s not enough blood going to his head.”
- Brenda and Dawn. A very pregnant Brenda, appearing via satellite, said, “I feel like I lost a friend and then gained one,” so perhaps the ugliness is behind them, but there was a lot of ugliness last night. Brenda was obviously hurt by Dawn voting her out, and that’s fair and understandable. What was unacceptable, and made me lose all respect for Brenda, was her horrifying, unconscionable request at final Tribal Council for Dawn to take out her teeth just to be humiliated.
Had she brought up that incident and asked Dawn to tell everyone about it (assuming they didn’t already know), that would have been okay, but what she did seemed out of anger and bitterness and a desire for revenge. While I don’t think Dawn has anything to hide, and was facing a jury deciding whether or not to give her $1 million, I wish she’d told Brenda to fuck off instead of actually taking out her teeth and smiling for the cameras.
- Sherri smacks down Erik. Speaking of telling people to fuck off, Sherri showed up for 30 seconds to deliver the most amazing verbal beatdown to Erik, who decided to show up for 30 seconds and go after Sherri, of all people. Yes, Sherri had zero chance of winning and wasn’t quite clear on that, but why pick on her? It felt like the runt of a litter of puppies started batting around a stuffed animal just because that’s the only thing over which it has any power.
- Jury management for a bitter jury. Dawn’s speech describing her game and comparing it to football was very smart, but it was not enough to overwhelm their anger and emotion over her betrayal of Brenda. She also had no real chance against Cochran, whose game was much more flawless. Cochran did very well with the jury (obviously), but was just upfront and honest: “I’ve lied along the way, I’ve deceived along the way, I own it.” He owned up to a “sociopathic ability to separate game and emotion” and basically dared them to attack him—“you can tear me apart”—and they didn’t.
Most of the jury was bitter and/or just annoying. Reynold, that twit, tried to tell Dawn she was “a complete fraud” and “character you created.” Phillip, of all people, had the nerve to tell Dawn that she “made camp life for most of us very disruptive.” I don’t doubt her crying was annoying, but I’d rather be stranded with someone who’s emotional rather than someone who’s creating a miserable fantasy world.
- During the lame reunion, pre-jury cast members were ignored. We knew this hours before the finale, when the pre-jury cast found out and were pissed that they’d been relegated to the audience, probably just to conceal Brandon Hantz’s absence. I didn’t even see them in the audience, though I may have just been looking down at my new tarsier.
- Rudy and Rich and Boston Rob. The reunion was almost as much of a waste of time as a typical American Idol results show, and Jeff Probst was really out of control with his lack of control. There was apparently no time to talk to the pre-jury or even many of the jury members, but we did get to see 85-year-old (!!) Rudy Boesch say “queer” multiple times, along with a stupid bit with naked Richard Hatch. And then there was time for Boston Rob to pimp his self-published Boston Rob’s Rulebook, which is a real thing.
- Next season’s twist. Probst teased season 27’s twist by showing a few seconds of blood swirling in water. He encouraged people to tweet their guesses. Anyone who read what I first reported, that the season will be returnees playing with family members, probably saw the blood/water connection, but the tweets Probst read—never mind all the other ones featured during the episode—were so insipid and dumb that I can’t believe they are Survivor fans. I did, however, appreciate the one that suggested this season would be about shark attacks. Sounds fun.
- Malcolm wins. Malcolm won the fan favorite prize, a nice reward for the entertainment he gave us. He barely beat Brenda, though; the difference was a single percentage point. It was well-deserved, though, as he played hard, stayed nice, and almost single-handedly prevented this season from dropping to the bottom of the heap. That’s worth at least $100,000, if not the $1 million he’ll get on his third, fourth, or fifth time returning to the show in the future.
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The 27th season of Survivor was teased at the end of the ridiculous Survivor Caramoan reunion, and all we got was its name: Survivor: Blood vs. Water. That is apparently its actual name, since it appeared as part of the show’s logo.
That confirms the twist first reported here: the season will feature returning cast members playing with and against their loved ones.
The cast is already in L.A. and were sequestered as of Saturday, and will be heading to the Philippines soon. Crew members headed there late last week.
Here’s the teaser that aired during the reunion:
The Survivor Caramoan cast members who did not make it to the jury won’t be sitting on stage during the live reunion, which they learned at the dress rehearsal. In addition, Brenda, who is on the jury, is too pregnant to fly to Los Angeles, but she’ll apparently appear via a satellite connection.
Those are more firsts for a reunion that’s already excluding one cast member.
Here are some pre-juror cast member reactions to the producers’ decision to relegate them to the audience. They are not happy:
The Celebrity Apprentice is not on NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule, but it is not officially cancelled, as NBC says it still needs time to decide whether or not to renew it. Along with Hannibal, the outstanding Thursday-night drama, the network said in a press release that its decision about renewing the show is “still to be made in the next few weeks.”
On its spring schedule, which normally includes Apprentice, NBC has scheduled two new dramas on Sunday nights. They will be preceded by a new reality series called American Dream Builders, the Nate Berkus-hosted show that sounds a lot like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
That’s not a good sign for Donald Trump, Mark Burnett, and company. The show is once again winning its timeslot, but started off with shitty ratings earlier this spring.
Worse, it’s creatively empty. The all-star concept did not work well for the celebrity edition, and Donald Trump’s increasingly nutty behavior hasn’t won him fans and has alienated some viewers.
As to NBC’s other reality TV, well, there’s not much: just The Voice, which will be on twice next year but have a slightly different schedule in the fall (8-10 Mondays, 9-10 Tuesdays) and spring (8-10 Mondays, 8-9 Tuesdays), and The Biggest Loser, which will only air in the fall on Tuesdays from 8 to 9, a new timeslot. The Sing-Off has been renewed but doesn’t yet have a timeslot (i.e. it’ll probably take a new and then cancelled show’s timeslot). Food Fighters, a competition between pro and amateur chefs, also doesn’t yet have a timeslot.
Update, 6:46 p.m. ET: Donald Trump just tweeted, in all caps,
“I AM PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT CELEBRITY APPRENTICE HAS BEEN RENEWED FOR ANOTHER SEASON BY NBC. SEE YOU AT THE NBC UPFRONTS TOMORROW.”
Gordon Ramsay has threatened to quit and walk away from Kitchen Nightmares so often that it no longer has any weight. So last night’s episode—which was surprisingly good for a series that has been predictably mediocre for so long—had to work overtime to convince us that he actually did walk away from Amy’s Baking Company and its extraordinarily delusional owners.
The hour ended with footage of crew members removing equipment, as if to say, Look! He’s really leaving! We’re not just over-exaggerating like usual! It’s real this time! Before the episode actually ended, Ramsay said, “Well, it’s finally happened. After almost 100 Kitchen Nightmares, I’ve met two owners who I could not help. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s because they are incapable of listening.”
This episode of Kitchen Nightmares was different from its opening scenes, when the normal b-roll footage (that gets reused and reused) of a pre-Ramsay service turned into a near-fight and a crew member had to step in between a crazed owner and a customer.
For once, it didn’t feel like anyone was playing to the cameras. And in fact, the customer who almost got into a fight with the owner was a fan of the show who, understandably, first thought the drama was fake until he realized these owners were for real with their craziness.
I have no doubt that the show features real restaurants with truly delusional owners, it’s just that the makeover process and the reality of their situation is obscured by the producers’ need to force more and more drama, either through what happens on location or through post production.
At long last, the show found two people whose delusion about their restaurant was up to the level of drama Fox wants. The owners’ behavior far predates production, which took place last December; here, for example, is the response Amy wrote to a negative Yelp review that Ramsay referenced.
Unsurprisingly, they don’t seem to have learned: Last night, the owners wrote on Facebook that they “do not feel the need to make any excuses for our behavior,” but then said they don’t steal tips but instead pay their servers higher hourly wages. Okay.
I wish every episode was like this, even though it wasn’t exactly similar to the incredible Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, on which Ramsay actually seemed engaged in the process and actually worked alongside chefs and owners to help improve their restaurants. Yes, he screamed and yelled sometimes, but he was clearly actually trying to help. (Watch old episodes because they’re entertaining, but also to see the contrast.)
In its Fox incarnation, the show has become an ineptly edited, awful shadow of its former self. All Ramsay seems to do is walk in and pour television gasoline all over hot spots that the producers have pointed out or set up. The editing is so manipulative that the credits include a disclaimer about how footage is presented out of order; for a show to confess relatively standard practice in its credits tells you how blatantly manipulative the editing must be.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some editing shenanigans here, and Ramsay was obviously briefed about everything he was encountering so his “discoveries” felt as inauthentic as always. But there was something great in this episode, and I hope the producers and network recognize it.