Riding Coattails: Survivor's Greatest Hits, Part 1

First, I’d like to thank Mark the Shark and Murtz for sending me some excellent category suggestions. Writing about a show off-season is always a challenge and I am grateful for the fountain of ideas my readers provide. Keep them coming, please. If you fail to deliver, I really will write about my doily-making habit. This is a promise, not a threat.

But I digress. One of the great ironies of reality TV is that many of the people on it do not look real. Abs and cheekbones are chiseled to perfection. Big breasts give way to tiny waists. And anyone who was packing a few extra pounds at the beginning of the show quickly loses it and looks fab by the end of the game. These people can be placed out in the elements without Clearasil, hair conditioner, and shaving accoutrements and still look relatively attractive. I recall Tijuana’s comment in Pearl Islands that she felt “like the nastiest person on earth,” but her sparkling white teeth and glowing skin told a different story.

Of course, these laws of comeliness aren’t universal. It’s a good thing Richard Hatch and Rupert Boneham had mad fishing skills, because their looks certainly weren’t going to help them in the game. And Sue Hawk definitely benefited from that Extreme Makeover she got last year. But for the most part, the 130 people who have participated in the great game of Survivor have been fairly easy on the eyes. And with such a significant pool of physical specimens to choose from, I felt it would be appropriate to dole out a few awards with regard to their visages.

Most Rockin’ Hair

Female: Diane Ogden, Africa
She was the first to get the boot in Kenya, but Diane’s bristly blonde mop was wilder than any lion’s mane. And her visor perfectly complemented the shaved bits at the temples. I was shocked and dismayed to see her at the reunion show with a much shorter, tamer ‘do.

Male: Lex van den Berghe, All-Stars
He shaved himself a mohawk immediately after becoming the first member of the jury and arrived at the reunion show with blue spikes. How could anyone not love this man?

Most Overrated Physique

Female: Darrah Johnson, Pearl Islands
To me, a sexy female body is defined by curves, muscles, something a burny hot lovah could grab onto in the throes of passion. What was grabbable about Darrah? She was a stick! I clamped my hands over my mouth in horror as Lex sang Morticia’s praises on All-Stars and gasped once again when she was up for nomination in the hot chick category on America’s Choice. And all that business about her dream of being a model? Save it, honey. You’re better off with your new career path as a dental hygienist.

Male: Colby Donaldson, Outback and All-Stars
The fact that I can’t stand this pontificating rodeo clown probably influences how attractive I find him. But Shii Ann, another non-fan of the Colbster, pointed out in her live chat after All-Stars that he has yucky sloping shoulders. Plus, he walks along the beach like he has major hemorrhoids. Nein, danke.

Best in the Buff

Female: Julie Berry, Vanuatu
And I don’t mean in that headband/tube top thingy.

Male: Andrew Savage, Pearl Islands
Remember that first immunity challenge when Osten dropped his shorts? I was so happy to see Mr. Savage follow suit, so to speak, in a show of teammanship.

Killer Smile

Female: Colleen Haskell, Borneo
Cute as a button and sweet as pie. Cooleen, as Sean called her, was the last Pagong member standing in Survivor’s debut season. Did her angelic little grin have anything to do with that? Quite possibly.

Male: Silas Gaither, Africa
Too bad that million dollar grin couldn’t get him far enough to win the big bucks.

All-Around Hottie

Female: Jessie Camacho, Africa
Close Second: Dolly Neely, Vanuatu
Ay, Jessie! This woman makes me question my sexuality (and no doubt plants many straight guys and lesbians more firmly in their own orientations). The beauty mark, the exotic glance in the show’s opening credits, the sheer deputy-sheriffness of this woman is almost too much to take. And Jessie, we were all so sad to see you go so soon, but are grateful that you’ve kept up your appearances on the reality celebrity circuit.

Male: Jed Hildebrand, Thailand
Close Second: Gabriel Cade, Marquesas
Survivor has seen its share of cookie-cutter buff boys, but Dr. Jed just does it for me. Although his pecs are impressive, it’s actually his hair that makes him so sexy to me. Soft, blonde, and falling around his cute face…delicious. He’s actually from Texas but looks as though he were plucked off a killer wave in Malibu and plunked on national television for my viewing pleasure. And since he wasn’t such a great player, I hope Jed takes solace in the fact that he can coast on his looks for another seven years, easy. Plus, he’ll probably enjoy a long, successful career as a dentist.

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