`Survivor' theories abound

Saturday, April 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ With ``Survivor'' down to its final four, the theories about the show's $1 million winner are as prevalent as kangaroos and thunderstorms at the outback setting.

A man who says he's a disgruntled television writer claims he has inside information on the order the four contestants will be knocked out, and the eventual winner.

That would be news for the folks at CBS, who say the votes cast during the final tribal council were sealed and locked away after the show was filmed in Australia last fall.

''(Executive producer) Mark Burnett doesn't know,'' said CBS spokesman Chris Ender. ''(Host) Jeff Probst doesn't know. I find it hard to believe anybody has inside information.''

The winning survivor will be revealed in a two-hour finale May 3.

CBS can't be too upset about all the speculation, since it only increases interest in what is already television's top-rated show. CBS wouldn't comment on theories during the first ``Survivor'' last summer, and Burnett never denied speculation that he was behind some planted hoaxes.

The latest potential spoiler identifies himself only as ``Jesus'' and is a regular caller to ``The Dan and Scott Show,'' a talk show on eyada.com. He said he's telling secrets about ``Survivor'' because he writes scripts for television shows and is upset about reality TV taking jobs away from writers.

He correctly predicted that Rodger Bingham would be knocked off Thursday and has given details over the past few weeks that only insiders would know, said Dan Schulz, co-host of the Internet talk show.

Schulz said he finds it implausible that people like Burnett or his crew members don't know the winner.

Skip this next paragraph if you don't want to read the theories of ``Jesus.''

He predicts Colby Donaldson is voted out next week and Elisabeth Filarski is the next to go. The final showdown is between Keith Famie and Tina Wesson, and ``Jesus'' says Wesson wins.

Some people who watch the show closely are skeptical.

``He could be legitimate,'' said Melissa Batson, a college student from Los Angeles who runs a Web site on ``Survivor'' speculation. ``But the thing is, you never really know. It could be someone playing a trick.''

One thing that makes Batson suspicious is that the predicted winner seems somewhat obvious to people who have been watching the show regularly.

Batson's Web site, elipsiiis.com, has been posting ``Survivor'' predictions the morning that each show airs for the past month. It has correctly identified in advance everyone to be ousted, but has gotten a few details, like winners of individual challenges, incorrect.

The choices are based on obsessive work by fans who study interviews and preview footage aired by CBS, she said.

Other supposed ``insiders'' have already been proven wrong. One Internet correspondent, saying his source was the friend of an uncle, predicted in February that Jerri Manthey and Amber Brkich would be the two finalists. Both are already off the show.

``I'm quite skeptical,'' said Paul Sims, who runs the Web site survivorsucks.com. ``The only real way to analyze the show is to pick it apart by old-fashioned detective work. You should be very wary of somebody who says he has inside information.''

CBS, as it has said repeatedly, ``will continue to allow the press to run inaccurate information,'' Ender said.

``It's always disappointing that there are individuals out there, whether they are right or wrong, who want to spoil something,'' he said.