6 Sep 1998: Head coach Jimmy Johnson of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Dolphins defeated the Colts 24-15. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport
Old people never win most reality shows. This is because they get voted off quickly by younger contestants because they’re old, and unpleasant to look at, and smell alarming. But don’t tell that to “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett, for that canny little maestro has decided that this coming season of the venerable reality show will split the cast between people under 30 and people over 40. That’s right: KIDS VS. GEEZERS. No word on if some contestants will be allowed to use their Rascals during the immunity challenges. From Ain’t It Cool News:
The big news out of CBS’ TCA event today is the next edition of “Survivor” will be literally swimming with oldsters.
Ten of the contestants will be under 30 (per “Survivor” tradition) and form one tribe. The other 10 contestants will be over 40 and form the other tribe.
This is almost certainly the first time a single season of “Survivor” has had so many over-40 contestants, but the old vs. young conceit is a bit of recycle. I seem to recall a few seasons ago the contestants being divided up into four tribes: younger men, younger women, older men and older women.
That may be, but did THAT edition of “Survivor” have Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson among its elderly contestants? I THINK NOT.
I watch a lot of reality shows, especially “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” and they always throw in a couple of token oldie contestants who are then given the boot within the first five weeks. And yeah, most of them deserved to go home. But it can get disheartening to see that “Survivor” is about the only reality show where older people are given a real chance to win (the oldest winner of the show was Bob Crowley, at 59 years old). Now the show is recruiting even more old folks to join the cast, while other reality shows continue to ignore this fairly enormous portion of the population. “American Idol” allows no contestants over the age of 28. 28! That’s craziness!
So perhaps, this fall, another old person will take home the “Survivor” million, and maybe more reality show producers will feel compelled to cast more than one Baby Boomer in a show that doesn’t have the word “cougar” in the title. It could happen. But probably not.