'Survivor' contestants label Iowan as 'bossy'
IowaLife is following Rory Freeman of Des Moines and Twila Twanner, formerly of Osceola, as the two compete on the CBS reality TV show. Look for an update and reaction each week.
By ERIN CRAWFORD
REGISTER STAFF WRITER
September 23, 2004
Last week on the reality show "Survivor: Vanuatu," the contestants were divided by gender into two teams of nine each. After participating in a ceremony with natives that involved being threatened with spears and slaughtering a pig, the two teams were sent off in the driving rain to find their camps and bicker.
Along the way, Des Moines resident Rory Freeman made a name for himself, and that name was "bossy." On the other team, Iowa native Twila Tanner worked tirelessly on a shelter, irking her young mates who were busy modeling their bikinis.
After the men lost the challenge, they were sent to tribal council to vote one guy off the team. Rory received one vote, but Brook was the one ousted after the tribe's older members declared him too strong.
Tonight: One tribe member melts down after finding maggots in the food supply. A chicken has the misfortune of wandering into the Yasur tribal territory. At the tribal council, two castaways both think they'll determine the outcome.
To analyze the way things are going, we found four "Survivor" fans willing to size up this season's show.
Here are their thoughts on the first episode:
THE FAN: Michelle Schultz, 24, Fenton
OCCUPATION: Preschool director
"SURVIVOR" CRED: Schultz is a "Survivor" fan and active member of the Web site www. realiiity .com.
COMMENT: "I was surprised that Twila really grew on me. Her hardworking sense could work against her if she starts to nag on others who aren't working as much. If she does, the others will keep her around only long enough to get camp set up.
". . . I think the ritual was shown TOO much. We understand that their culture is different. I like documentaries, learning about different cultures, but that's not why I watch 'Survivor.' Again, had the show been longer, I could maybe justify that much footage. But at an hour, and with two more survivors than normal, we barely got to learn about the survivors and their life at the camp."
THE EXTREME GUY: Jason Plunkett, 32, West Des Moines
" SURVIVOR" CRED: Watched all previous eight "Survivor" seasons and participates in adventure racing and mountain biking
COMMENT: "I don't see a lot of promise in Des Moines' own Rory . . . for two reasons:
"One: age. 'Survivor' alliances often break down on age lines. Rory (age 35) will need to maintain strong ties to the other older players if he hopes to progress.
"Two: inability to blend in. He already seems to rub a lot of the men the wrong way, and having an argument on the first day is a sure way to guarantee a quick return home.
"Are we really supposed to believe that the men have now gone three days without water? OK, they may not be able to sterilize their water source, but they are surely capturing rainwater, otherwise we would have a lot of footage of unconscious men."
THE PROF: Gary Wade, 55, Ames
OCCUPATION: Associate professor of journalism at Drake University, specializing in electronic media
" SURVIVOR" CRED: Watched "Survivor" off and on, since it started
COMMENT: "They spent a lot of time showing Twila helping to build a protective shelter with another older contestant, while the young sorority babes were sun-bathing. In this show, their strong Iowa upbringing and work ethic will separate both Rory and Twila from their groups. They'll be gone before we get too far along. We've got to have bikini babes and hard-body young men to keep the demographic profiles tuned in."
THE DOC: Catherine Evans, 42, Urbandale
OCCUPATION: Clinical psychologist at Iowa Health Physicians
" SURVIVOR" CRED: Has watched seven seasons of the show
COMMENT: "This was not as engaging a first episode as some of the past premiere shows. The passive . . . start was really slow."