Survivor’s Sexiest Challenge

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I was a little late watching Survivor. Three quick notes on Thursday’s episode:
* In case you haven’t been watching, there’s a tribe called Aitu. It’s pronounced like “iTunes,” without the “nes.” Every time Jeff Probst mentions the tribe, I think of my iPod and 99-cent songs. I can’t help but wonder if this represents the next phase of brand integration. If iTunes or iPod got naming rights for a Survivor tribe, people would shoot them down quicker than civil rights groups rejected racially segregated tribes. But if iTunes got sound-alike rights to the tribe, and viewers thought of their product every time the tribe got mentioned, that’d be worth a few million. I wonder.

* Aitu member Jonathan sounds exactly like Alan Alda. Close your eyes, and you swear Hawkeye Pierce is toiling away in the Cook Islands. Fittingly, his CBS.com bio says he’s an actor, having appeared on Seinfeld and The Nanny.

* Thursday’s reward challenge, which involved one person clinging to a pole while two from the other tribe yanked them off the pole and dragged them over a line, was the best reward challenge in Survivor history. The most violent, the most character-revealing, the sexiest.

By Michael Malone

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