Survivor XII: Knoxville
Knoxville, TN/December 2001

The contestants

Bob Benz, victim of false class consciousness, purveyor of cheap cigars.

Glenn Franxman, wannabe BattleBot champion, Alpha Geek

Lara Edge, failed dancehall singer, prickly personality

Steve "Jordy" Jordan, escapee, Missoula School for Wayward Boys

Herb Himes, Wal-Mart Greeter, past decoration champion

Tony Edge, Tiger Woods impersonator, man about town

Johnny "Guitar" Baker, a 21st Century Fred Sanford

joanne rheinlander, guerrilla fighter against capital letters, Pennsylvania hick

Maria Cornelius, TV quizmaster, devout follower of the Rev. Pat Summitt

Tina Wesson, ringer

Cut to the chase: Show me the party invite!

Network TV sinks to new low
with 'Survivor XII: Knoxville'

By Ken Iption
Associated Press staff writer

George W. Bush, right, makes a cameo appearance on the debut episode of Survivor XII: Knoxville, airing at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 on CBS.

I've been writing television reviews for two decades.

I dozed through Geraldo's journey into Al Capone's vault and cheered when a slackjawed Klansman clunked him with a chair.

I bore witness to Tony Danza's numerous crimes against the craft of acting.

I slowed down to rubberneck as each of the "Seinfeld" co-stars crashed and burned in their own series.

A pair of misguided Montanans crash the Knoxville party, mumbling incoherently about freedom from Big Sky Tyranny and injustices that Shaggy committed against Scooby Doo.

But "Survivor XII: Knoxville" pushed me over the edge. I knew there was something horribly, horribly wrong a few minutes into the debut episode. CBS clearly miscalculated in this misguided effort to boost ratings and revive the Survivor franchise.

The premise was simple, or should have been. Toss a few dozen misguided misanthropes into a room with a Christmas tree and see who emerges the champion.

Past efforts resulted in cutthroat, entertaining television. But this time, we are assaulted by crazed Montanans, frightening Wal-Mart greeters, Alpha Geeks and an assortment of other freaks.

Don't believe me? Tune in for yourself and witness it yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you ...

Show me the party invite!


A Suffering the Benz production |