So far the Survivor: Micronesia Fans vs. Favorites season has been less-than-gripping. After much hype, pretend-villain Johnny Fairplay offered himself up for sacrifice at the first tribal council. (This is no real surprise to the 14 of us who saw Fairplay drop most of his cheesy bad-boy act on last year's head-scratching (and bone-breaking) Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge series.)
Of the Favorites, I swear I don't remember half of them -- but I'm rooting for Yau-Man, of course. So far, the few Fans we've met seem a little … odd. There's the huge tree-like guy, Joel; Chet, who's a pageant coach (can't wait to see those skills transfer); and Kathleen, the gal with the Ellie Mae Clampett hairdo who somehow has lived to be 40-something without ever encountering a gay person or breast implants. According to the CBS web site, though, she does own a dog named Wilson Von Barkypants.
Episode two this week didn't reveal much more except:
* Some Fans have dreadful tattoos. What's with those little inked hands on Joel's chest? And Mikey B. looked like he'd lost a street-fight with a crew of jailhouse tattooists; he was rockin' that off-center ticket stub in the middle of his back.
* Never mind tattoo hands, some Favorites have got roaming hands. Kissy-face this early in the game seems like a poor strategy.
* Pageant-maven Chet is lacking in body, mind and heart according to his teammates, who died a million times during Chet's miserable challenge performance. They might be right, but I support the underdog, especially one as hangdog-looking as ol' Chet.
* Favorite Cirie still grumbles about having to do any physical activity. Please. The water around Exile Island looks fabulous.
* The producers may be running out of ways to mix up this show. Two people to Exile Island? Temporary immunity idols? Yawn. And when are they going to dream up some new competitions besides Swim-Grab-Untie-Solve Puzzle?
But the last five minutes was worth it. Nothing on Survivor ever beats a total blind-side. That chick is still wondering what happened.