Hollywood -- Desparate for ratings, Survivor producer Mark Burnett and host Jeff Probst today announced that 16 "hopelessly inept" contestants were selected for Survivor Guatemala. According to an inside source at CBS, not one of the contestants can make fire, paddle a canoe in a straight line, or identify edible plants. Worse yet, none of the contestants showed sufficient foresight to acquire these skills before being trundled off to Guatemala.
"The on-screen death or dismemberment of one of the contestants is what [producer] Burnett is praying for," said one television analyst. "Nothing else could possibly save the show's flagging ratings, except a magical reappearance of one of the three "R's" - Rudy, Rupert or Richard. "At least Burnett is smart enough to realize that what makes good television isn't the same as what makes a good Boy Scout troop."
Survivor bloggers say "Look for an incident with a former NFL quarterback who thinks he's going to have alligator steaks for dinner." Hints one, "AFLAC didn't become an official sponsor for nothing."
Contestants selected for Survivor Guatemala include magician's assistant Morgan McDevitt, 21. Unable to pull a rabbit out of a hat by herself, Morgan is likely to go hungry early in the show.
A couple of Ivy League frat boys, Rafe and Brian, will find their cellphones and parents' credit cards useless for scoring a meal in the jungles of Guatemala, and be rendered "virtually unconscious" by the local ganja.
For redneck comedy value, a farmer/rancher from Kansas was included. While Brandon Bellinger may be physically strong, previous pig and sheep ranchers have never made the final four.
A zookeeper from Florida, Cindy Hall, may be the best "equipped" of the female contestants, able to select local flora and fauna suitable for consumption.
A water-ski instructor from Hollywood California will have to make some amazing moves to avoid the pihrana and infesting Guatemalan lakes. Bloggers already refer to her as "fish food."
A former NFL quarterback accustomed to consuming over 5000 calories per day at the training table will wither away rather quickly on rice and insects, Survivor bloggers predict -- unless he somehow manages to tackle the alligator.
With a propensity for being bossy, a police seargent probably won't last past the first two episodes, bloggers predict. "Cops tend to see things in black and white, and think everybody should obey them without questioning....I predict she'll immediately start telling everyone how to construct shelter and get booted off first."
This leaves, for the final four, a Family Practitioner, a Sports Radio talk show host, a hotel doorman, and a fishmonger.
In other news, Outdoor Live Network has syndicated earlier episodes of Survivor, which, with their tropical beach locations and revealing swimwear, are likely to be a lot more interesting, even as re-runs, than Survivor Guatemala.