Boot Camp Copying Survivor

Friday, March 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The producers of Boot Camp say their show is different from Survivor. Judge for yourself:

Both have 16 contestants. The contestants are isolated. They're put through grueling challenges. They vote each other out. The last one left wins money.

Oh, wait, the contestant exempted from each week's vote on Boot Camp is said to have won "amnesty." On Survivor, it's called "immunity."

There's also not as much yelling on the CBS hit show, the one that every reality producer in the world is trying to copy – except the producers of Boot Camp, which premiered Wednesday night on Fox.

At first, Boot Camp comes across like a) a Saturday Night Live parody of Survivor, b) the latest sequel to Stripes or c) the latest brainstorm from the producers of The Mole.

The humorless drill instructors are so cartoonish, it's hard to believe they're real Marines. One of them shows his toughness by using his teeth to tear up a balloon sculpture made by one of the "recruits."

The contestants, however, are painfully real. Jane Katherine, a single mom from Woodland Hills, Calif., throws the game off right away by quitting, and five others shed tears before the first episode is over.

But there's no crying in Boot Camp!

There's also no drama, even as the women tell us they're plotting against the men, and the jerk (Mark Meyer, Seattle snowboarding instructor) tells us he's plotting against the strong guy (John Park, West Hollywood art teacher).

The preview for next week's episode hints that one of the contestants is gay. Haven't we seen that on another reality show?