The Australian Outback Episode 2: Suspicion

Airdate: February 1, 2001
Kel Gleason
“Mike thanked God for making him the leader of the tribe. I don’t know when he was anointed. Apparently my back was turned at that moment.” – Kimmi Kappenberg
Rating: 10 + Tier B (4) = 14

Launching a sequel to a phenomenon is a high-stakes effort, and Survivor: The Australian Outback faced the ultimate test. Was the success of Survivor the previous summer an ingenious fluke, or did the show have legs? The premiere was destined to be a big deal due to the hype and a post-Super Bowl slot. The second episode was perhaps the more pressing guinea pig. How would the show fare in its new, competitive time slot against Friends?

On Thursday, February 1, 2001, about 22 million people tuned in to see what Ross and Rachel and the gang were up to, while a whopping 29 million watched a nearly flawless episode of Survivor.

The first two seasons of Survivor can often coast on a wave of nostalgia, as the show was fresher and more in the spotlight than it would ever be again. Many old-school fans, myself included, can be seen as too forgiving of slow pacing and politically incorrect behavior that hasn’t exactly aged well.

Survivor 41 cast, I want to be of the moment. Should I stop saying ‘fat naked fag’?”

But nostalgia be damned, the second episode of Outback boasts Continue reading “The Australian Outback Episode 2: Suspicion”

The Australian Outback Episode 14: The Final Four


Airdate: April 26, 2001
Elisabeth Filarski
“We’ve lost a third-grader.” – Elisabeth Filarski, on the final four’s combined 85-pound weight loss
Rating: 3 + Tier B (4) = 7

It’s the summer of 2000, and Mark Burnett and CBS have got a hit on their hands. In planning the obligatory Survivor sequel, they understandably adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, only making one key adjustment: stretching the sophomore season by an additional three days. Whether this was because Continue reading “The Australian Outback Episode 14: The Final Four”