September 15, 2010 by staff
Survivor Nicaragua, Nestled under the canopy of the forest in the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, a burly fisherman Massachusetts, a dog trainer and former South Yahoo! Executives gather around a campfire to discuss the PEP of their lives. In the center of the semicircle feel legendary former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson, whose famous hair styling – which he admits that “get in bad shape sooner rather than later” – has finally met his match in the heat of Central America and the moisture. It is the day before Survivor: a first immunity challenge for Nicaragua, and the coach is in his element, the presentation of his playbook to his imaginary tribe of misfits, ready for battle with its competitors in a much more young and you could say. Little do they know that this season of Survivor was designed especially with the elderly in mind below.
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“Searching for the ancient tribe is what kick-started this idea because they often get many good people this age,” says host Jeff Probst, who is entering his 21st season of snuff torches. “We actually have a tribe that is strong enough that it can compete and colorful enough for the public to root for them.”
The colors definitely shine in the old tribe Espada (Spanish for “sword”), aged 41-67. Wearing a cowboy hat and boots, Wendy Desmidt-Kohlhoff, a retired 48-year-old Army Fromberg, Montana, openly admits to have some unique dietary habits. “I like to eat roadkill!” He exclaims proudly. And Dan Lembo, a real estate executive 63 years of age, Watermill, New York, who goes by the nickname “Mr. Online,” looks like a displaced Sopranos additional errors infested beaches. “I’m smart, I’m an accomplice, and if I did not have an ego, I would not be here,” she admits in a strong Brooklyn accent. Survivor producers realized that the battle-of-the-rotation age to succeed, it was necessary to modify one of the fundamental aspects of the game: the challenges.
“It’s much less physical this season, so there will be wrestling on the beach,” says Probst. “Our department challenge has come with some ingenious ideas that are fair, still have the ability and still have a strategy. They will be the kind of things you think would be fun to do.” Adding to the challenges toned and is the new Medallion of Power, which will give the tribe an advantage in an immunity challenge. But once a tribe plays the medallion, the option to be given to the other tribe for use in the next competition.
Even with the attention to Espada, the youngest of the tribe of Flor (Spanish for “flower”) contains some formidable players dissolved in the usual batch of aspiring actors and models. Brenda Lowe, Paddleboard owns a courageous 27-year-old former cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins, wants to “get out and show people what a girl can do.” Shannon Elkins, an arrogant 30-year-old owner of the pest control company in Lafayette, La., believes that his good looks and charm to proudly represent the South. (Russell [Hantz] was king, but he was ugly! “) But the tribe making a controversial decision regarding the Medal of power in the first minutes of the game,” an early sign that the tribe is very arrogant young “Probst says. “In most cases on Survivor, I still say that the young man probably has an advantage, but with this group, I think that older people do.”
Back at the camp Espada, Johnson ends his strategy session as the castaways get their hands on top of each other in the middle of the pack and let out a cry of joy from the unit. Tomorrow, Johnson will move from the barrier in the middle of the field and try to lead his team to victory, apparently without concern for the generational gap is facing. “For someone my age, I’m in as good condition as you can get it. The only thing I’ve done for the adventure.”
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