Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Survivor mania hits sports land

December 14, 2005

After making it to the final two contestants on "Survivor: Guatemala," Tonganoxie resident Danni Boatwright was ready for her time in South America to be done once she made it to the final two Survivors in Guatemala. After she and Stephenie LaGrossa answered questions from a jury of their peers -- Survivor contestants who already had been voted off the show -- they were finished with their time in Guatemala.

For some 40 days, including all of July, Boatwright competed on the reality show. Most of the show was taped in July and has been shown during the last 14 weeks on Thursdays on CBS.

On Sunday, the finale ended with a live segment in which the jury votes were revealed and Boatwright eventually was named the Sole Survivor.

Boatwright said Monday that she couldn't wait to finish fielding questions from the jury on that hot summer day in Guatemala -- because that meant the game was finished and she could start eating normal food again.

I've been ready for the game to finish up -- on television -- myself, but obviously not because I was deprived of food. In fact, I could stand to lose some weight and just eat corn on several occasions as Boatwright and other Survivor contestants did.

No, I was ready for the show to end because I no longer could take the suspense.

When I first started covering Boatwright's progress on Survivor some 15 weeks ago, I admittedly was a novice Survivor viewer. I watched some of the first season, but haven't kept up much since then.

The longer I covered this season's episodes, the more I became hooked.

And to have a Tonganoxie person competing, well that just makes it even more addictive.

While watching the last few episodes, I became more and more fidgety. I would start chewing on a fingernail, or I'd feel my stomach tighten as I watched Boatwright competing in an immunity challenge.

And then I suddenly thought I was an expert, analyzing who would be voted off and why. Most of the time I really had no clue, but it was a lot of fun regardless.

On Sunday, when CBS was moments away from revealing who would become Sole Survivor and win $1 million, my stomach tightened and my hands became clammy. I tried to remain somewhat calm, but this was becoming unbearable.

Finally, Boatwright was named the winner and pandemonium at Bichelmeyer's Steakhouse, site of a Survivor watch party, reached a new level.

What an amazing experience to have something like that hit so close to home.

I've tried to avoid reality television as much as possible, but I must confess that I tune into most of MTV's reality shows.

I know, they're probably some of the least intelligent reality shows out there, but they're my guilty pleasure.

And now, thanks to Boatwright, Survivor might join that club in coming seasons.

Tonganoxie athletics director Brandon Parker earlier this week jokingly said he gladly would take donations from Boatwright to THS for new field turf at Beatty Field. He mentioned that the stadium could be

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