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Making His Mark
Travis Eberle

Not like the guy needs the attention, but I'm going to spend this episode of OTB by laying out my thoughts on the two shows Mark Burnett has on the air right now. And if you don't know what they are, you really have no business being here, do you?

Last time out, I was carrying on about how the S.S. Apprentice had sailed. The show is uninteresting, and even the boardroom bits have gotten lame.

Oh, how wrong I was.

It's probably not enough to save the show in my book (I hear Donald spends 20 to 30 hours a week on the show, and even though it's making him some coin, he's got other fish in the deep fryer.)

First off, we strap on the reorg boots as the teams shuffle off their three most likely to end up in the Fired Cab. I don't like the whole trading of partners thing, but this group sucks like a Hoover, so it don't matter a whole lot.

In case you forgot, Excel did anything but, as they caused a net loss of 37% to the sports section at Dick's Sporting Goods. Even Richard Simmons couldn't suck that badly. (Please don't write...) So something had to be done. I didn't think it was going to be that drastic. The look on those clowns' faces when Mr. Trump intoned, "You're all fired. Go home," was fantastic. They've probably used up all of the planned double elimination episodes for the whole season, but that's OK. It was very worth it. The shoving of all four of the losers into the Fired Cab was a great moment as well.

Even if the show is doomed, we got one last gasp of excitement and water cooler conversation out of it.

So, that's one down, and it leaves us with Survivor.

There must be an idea factory somewhere that has Mark Burnett paying a bunch of starving waiters $5 an hour to come up with twists and tweaks. All this while Mark stands over the group barking orders and cracking a whip. That's the only way it could be. From the piracy theme of Pearl Islands, to the swim for immunity in the first episode of single person can have that many good ideas go perfectly every time.

This year is no exception. I wonder if the "expect the unexpected" bit should be stenciled on the Survivor buffs from now on. This year kicked off with that hellacious (T-Note: I do not believe that my spellchecker let 'hellacious' go...) 11-mile long hike to claim the Mayan ruins as a camp, and it got more fun than that. More fun! Can you believe it! Uncle Mark gives us a return trip to the Double Elimination thing a couple of weeks ago, and then the hidden immunity idol that made the Guatemalan jungle look like an episode of "Finders Keepers" (Second T-Note: Catch that while you can, Nick GAS goes away soon). If THAT weren't enough, we get a great twist, the players must choose between the immunity challenge, or the merge feast. A truly delicious dilemma. Even if Jeff isn't around to read the votes and do that weird thing with his hands to start the challenges, someone will be there to lay out the twists and turns, and I'll be there to watch. Surely Mark Burnett has more up his sleeve. If he does, he would be well-advised to use them on Survivor, and let the Apprentice ride off into the sunset.

Travis Eberle would like to see Colby Donaldson don the Survivor chapeau. VOTE NOW! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! at

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