Review

Rumble In The Jungle

Examining the Odds and Oddities Among the Final Contenders on 'Survivor: The Amazon'

It started off as a battle of the sexes, but as we close in on the Survivor: The Amazon finale on May 11 (CBS at 8 p.m.), it's become more about the battle for a cool million bucks. With critics (okay, maybe just me) calling it the most exciting installment ever, we decided to ignore reports of inside betting by CBS staffers and look at how the final six (at press time) are faring and their chances for victory. -- Dalton Ross

CHRISTY PROS Seemingly has been on the outs of every alliance the entire game...until now, and that means she hasn't had to turn on anyone, leaving her no major enemies either in the game or on the jury. The sentimental choice in an overwhelmingly unsentimental game. CONS Might be too passive to make a strategic move into the final two. Plus, the last thing any sane tribemate (Matthew, this excludes you) wants is to ask a jury for its vote on the attractive, friendly deaf girl. Odds If she can make it to the final two, the game is hers, but will anyone be stupid enough to let that happen? 5-2

BUTCH PROS While bringing a huge banner that reads ''Believe in Yourself!'' as a luxury item certainly invited mockery (at least in these pages), we can't figure out what else could've possibly gotten the mellow fellow this far. Looks all wise and dignified with a beard. CONS You know you have a tendency to get a little out of the loop when you end up relying on crazy Matthew (Matthew!) as your pipeline for information. Odds Can nice guys finish first? In this case, only if they're not facing a nice gal in the finals. 3-1

MATTHEW PROS He's handsome, happy, hardworking, and lots of other great things that start with the letter h. Plus, not only is he the only strong athlete left, but like Mikey the Life cereal boy, he'll eat anything. CONS Oh, did we mention he's also on the verge of LOSING HIS MIND?!? He'd stand a lot better chance of winning if he didn't freak everyone out by walking around with a machete mumbling to himself. Odds Don't track us down and kill us for saying this, Matthew, but we'd like your chances more if you weren't so blindly trusting -- especially of (not-so-slim) shady Rob. 6-1

ROB PROS Has been super-scheming from day one and may have a few tricks left up his sleeve. Also doesn't let himself get hamstrung by ridiculous little concepts like loyalty. (Hiya, Deena and Alex!) CONS Obsessed with Heidi's cleavage, the pervert within may start thinking with his little head instead of his big one. Plus, switching sides so frequently usually comes back to haunt players at some point. (Hiya again, Deena!) Odds At this point, is there anyone on the jury who would vote for him? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? 8-1

JENNA PROS Loves using sex as a weapon (at least according to the other tribemates). Also has started crying a lot recently, which is always a good sympathy ploy. CONS This ''swimsuit model'' has a tendency to resent anyone she perceives as being jealous of her hotness, which could cloud her judgment. Odds If she'll strip naked for a glob of peanut butter, just imagine the lengths to which she'd go to win a million dollars. (Rob already has.) Sadly, at this point her chances seem as skimpy as her wardrobe. 15-1

HEIDI PROS Well, let her tell you: ''My strongest assets to this group are my athletic ability and intelligence.'' Okay, maybe not, but she does have really, really enormous breasts, and if you don't think that can be an advantage, then you haven't met Rob. CONS May physically evaporate -- breasts notwithstanding -- by the time day 39 rolls around. Also would have to face the wrath of ousted contestants who didn't appreciate having their names so heinously misspelled at Tribal Council. And then there are all those pesky mental challenges. Odds Outplay? Perhaps. Outlast? Possible. Outwit? C'mon. 20-1

Originally posted May 09, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints