‘Survivor’ pushes the line in a ‘race’ to the finish

Jessica Johnson

“Survivor” has always been a competition based on groups divided by gender and age while residing in the wild.

In “Survivor Cook Island,” the show’s 13th season, producers decided to take a slighlty different route. They assembled 20 contestants into four different ethnic groups: African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics and Asians.

“This is a hidden experiment to see if one race can survive over the other, and how each race goes about their techniques,” said fan of the show and junior health science major, Katryn Goldthwaite.

According to “Survivor” Executive Producer Mark Burnett, the decision to group the participants by their ethnicity is to establish more diversity on the show.

The decision, however, has produced much controversy with minority groups, including members of the New York City Councils of Black, Latino and Asian-Americans. Some think the taboo topic will turn viewers away.

“The sound of that does not sit well because it is focused on the person’s race, not the team,” said Daniela Muniz, an Occupational Therapy major. “Our society is full of separation of the races and we see it everyday.”

Others think that the division might draw viwers looking for drama.

“I would watch ‘Survivor’ just to see if it is different to have races play against each other,” said Junior Justine Ziomek.

Past seasons of “Survivor” included locations in Africa, South America and the South Pacific. For 39 days, groups must compete, live, eat and survive on their location, while individuals must win challenges to avoid being sent home. At the midpoint of the show, the divided groups unite abd in the end, one competitor wins a million-dollar prize.

The first episode of “Survivor Cook Island” will appear on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. on CBS.