''Survivor''

Battle of the Sexists

Men vs. women -- We love it! The gender division in ''The Amazon'' has done the series a world of good, says Dalton Ross

Ryan Aiken, Survivor: The Amazon | SAUSAGE PARTY POOPED Ryan, we hardly knew ya -- but your tribemates knew enough to vote you off
Image credit: Ryan Aiken: Monty Brinton
SAUSAGE PARTY POOPED Ryan, we hardly knew ya -- but your tribemates knew enough to vote you off

Men vs. women -- We love it!

You could say staging a ''battle of the sexes'' edition of ''Survivor'' is cheesy. You could say it is contrived. But also, in a more accurate sense, you could say that it is FREAKIN' GENIUS!!! Everyone who read my ''Survivor: Thailand'' weekly updates (and when I say ''everyone'' I basically mean just my mother and -- maybe on a good week -- fellow EW writer Bruce Fretts) knows how much I ripped into the last edition of Mark Burnett's reality adventure. But I'm here to tell you, the magic is back, people!

The guys -- I love 'em. They're almost all completely self-absorbed, smack-talking knuckleheads! Okay, there's no way in hell I can get away with calling a rocket scientist (Dave) or computer programmer (Rob) a knucklehead, but they seemed like maybe the only half sane two in the bunch. Chief smack-talker Daniel started the gender warfare by boldly proclaiming, ''There is no way women are gonna beat us at anything -- physical, mentally, or whatever. We're never gonna go to tribal council.'' (Okay, so Nostradamus he ain't.)

I didn't really understand his intimidation tactic of lying about catching all that fish. But Daniel and his gravity defying hair weren't the only ones mocking the ladies before the immunity challenge. Ryan (don't get too comfortable, my man) also said women weren't useful, and even Rob got into the act, commenting that the helpless chicks were probably on their cell phones calling their boyfriends to come build them a shelter.

So even though a group of people lying under a banner that reads ''Believe in Yourself!'' really are in no position to talk trash about others, you had to love every juicy second of it. You also had to love the fact that it took Ryan only eight minutes to bust out the term ''sausage party.'' (Yes, I timed it.)

But the immunity challenge wasn't the only thing the girls beat the guys at. They also provided the best moment of the show, and maybe the best moment of any ''Survivor'' show ever. I'm speaking, of course, about Jenna's explanation on why cleaning clothes was her No. 1 concern. ''Underwear needs to be clean,'' the swimsuit model opined. ''I think it's a priority, because things can live on you. Especially in that area, because it's dark.'' I'm just gonna sit back for a minute and let that soak in...

Okay, now that we're all on the same page, I think we can agree there's no way the men can compete with that. Then again, the dudes didn't do much competing at all in this episode. Yet even at tribal council, there they were breaking out all the bad sports analogies to explain why they're still gonna kick ass. Dave even informed us, ''The quarterback doesn't screw the cheerleaders at halftime.'' (What does that mean? Did I actually call this guy half sane a few paragraphs back?)

Jeff Probst (apparently still riding high after administering verbal beat downs to Clay in Thailand) couldn't resist taking a few shots at the fellas, taking exception when one of them claimed they were only beaten in the physical part of the challenge. ''No, they beat you all the way around.'' You go, Jeff!

Tribal council also saw the departure of Ryan (sorry, no more sausage party, dude), which is sort of a bummer, because he seemed sure to spark some further controversies had he stayed, but still -- so far so good, I mean, how can you not love a show which gives its contestants machetes?!?

Originally posted Feb 14, 2003
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