Colby was outwitted, outplayed


As a man who prides himself on good sportsmanship and fair play, I have but one thing to say to Colby Donaldson, the "Survivor II" contestant who practically gave away the $1 million prize to a woman.

Colby, you're an idiot.

I think I speak for men everywhere in this matter, you car-customizing, buff-bodied, soft-hearted-and-headed Texan. You let your gender down, big time.

I could only watch in amazement when - after winning the most important immunity challenge of your 42 days in the Australian outback - you chose to put Tina Wesson in the finals instead of alleged chef Keith Famie.

What were you thinking? As you may recall, the ultimate winner was going to be selected by the last seven ousted contestants. Good grief, Keith is about as popular with them as his mushy rice. He's personality-challenged. He couldn't have gotten his own vote.

Tina, on the other hand, is a veritable steel magnolia. Over the six weeks, the Knoxville nurse demonstrated she was caring, comforting, nurturing and totally ruthless. In the end, she was the sole survivor, winning, 4-3.

You had to know this would happen. I point to the original "Survivor," still the bible for reality-show scheming. When Kelly (aka The Rat) was put in the same position, she put Rich (aka The Snake) in the finals rather than risk bringing along the far more popular, albeit crusty and homophobic, ex-Marine Rudy.(Of course, her strategy was thwarted - chiefly by the exceedingly peculiar Greg, whose tie-breaking vote was cast by random choice - but it was still the correct move).

Bryant Gumbel, the host of the post-game wrap-up show, was smart enough to notice this and asked, "Why'd ya do it, Colby?" Your answer said it all: "She deserved it." .

She deserved it? Hel-lo? Who won practically every immunity challenge? That would be you, Great Barrier Reef-for-brains. Who romanced the evil Jerri Manthey, promised she'd make it to the end, and then dispatched her like Mike Skupin made dinner plans for the wild pig? Ditto, pal.

You demonstrated cunning, physical prowess, leadership skills, and, of course, the most important "Survivor" trait, no scruples whatsoever.

So don't tell us about deserving. Friday morning quarterbacks have suggested various explanations, including:

Magnanimity. On "Survivor"? We call that Magna-naivite.

Texas Chivalry. Yea, just like J.R. Ewing.

Friendship. Ooh, that would be a good, misplaced sensation. Remember how Tina acted all best-buds with Maralyn Hershey right before she saw to it that "Mad Dog" got the heave-ho?

Temporary insanity. A tempting theory since it would also help explain your declaration on an earlier episode that you awake each day grateful to two things: being alive and being from Texas.

No, I reject them all. The truth was revealed - as so many of life's seamier truths are made clear on this tacky, contrived, yet wierdly compelling show - by your actions.

I saw it the second your Mama showed up - a reward in one of the umpteen immunity challenges you won. You got all mushy. You confessed to her that you were tired and hungry and ready to come back home.

You are 27. Tina is 40. If you need a more explicit diagram, consult your local library for works by Freud, Sigmund.

So here's a big, mushy "Survivor II" salute to you, Colby, for once again proving that the best of men can usually be overcome by a clever woman. (While you're at the library, you might try consulting Genesis, Chapters 2 and 3 for some early observations on the subject.)

And to the producers of your show, I say this: "Survivor II" was about half as entertaining as the last one. Stop casting for looks. Get back to your roots. Find some good snakes and rats and no more Mama's boys, or I swear I'll stop watching. At least I hope I'll stop.

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