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May 12, 2003

SURVIVOR TIDBITS....Last night, at the very end of the season finale of Survivor, Jeff Probst turned to Heidi, the cute, blonde, gym teacher and said (approximately) this:

What's surprising [insert tone of disbelief] is that I was going through my notes for the show, and your IQ score was the highest in the group! But that really didn't come through....

Do the Survivor producers really give all the contestants an IQ test? Why?

Posted by Kevin Drum at May 12, 2003 10:44 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Well, it's not because they are worried about their viewers passing one...

Posted by: Tom Maguire at May 12, 2003 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

[Note: This is totally unreliable, and fit only for water coolers, where other urban myths are blithely traded.]

I have it on very thin word (from a friend's friend, who says he knows someone from the show) that they're given a battery of psych and intelligence tests. The psych tests are given for obvious reasons. The IQ tests are apparently given to weed out the intelligent--because after all the show wants to appeal to the Average American. According to the source, IQs need to be no higher than average.

Posted by: Emma at May 12, 2003 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the psych tests sound reasonable. People who become serial murderers under conditions of stress probably aren't good candidates for the show.

I have to admit that last season's show was so highly populated by obvious dolts that I had the strong suspicion that it was deliberate. On the other hand, this season had a school principal, an attorney, and a rocket scientist, among others, so they can't be too allergic to bright people....

Posted by: Kevin Drum at May 12, 2003 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I think the psyche tests are for screening, but the IQ test are primarily for AFTER the show, to offer a good spin--the headline: "The Dumb Triumph" or something like that.

The more they know about the contestants, the more fun/interesting ways there are to spin the results.

Posted by: Realish at May 12, 2003 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I know someone who got close to being on a similar show, and they are looking for nice little sound bites to use on the show.

'Genius who met Elvis' plays better than 'Graduated in the 50th percentile and plays online games'.

Posted by: Tripp at May 12, 2003 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Emma said it. That and this is one of the few places in the U.S. that diversity is genuinely desirable. Oh, it's not in the U.S. you say? Excuse me.

Posted by: Sasha at May 12, 2003 05:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hey...maybe this is another example of "dumb but good" people? ...or maybe just "dumb"

Posted by: Blake at May 12, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, the psych tests sound reasonable. People who become serial murderers under conditions of stress probably aren't good candidates for the show."

Actually it has probably more to do with the fact that one of the first Swedish participants comitted suicide after the show. He was the first to get voted out, and after it was shown on TV, it killed himself.

Posted by: Kristjan Wager at May 13, 2003 01:49 AM | PERMALINK

"On the other hand, this season had a school principal, an attorney, and a rocket scientist, among others, so they can't be too allergic to bright people...."

Talk about your non sequiturs . . .

Posted by: rea at May 13, 2003 06:43 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, the producers want to have a good mix of personality types in each "tribe." They wantto make sure that there are going to be conflicts and alliances and schemers and dupes. With so much riding on each season, the producers can't just rely on the luck of the draw to some up with that sort of mix, so they plant the seeds of this sort of action when they "cast" the show.

Yeah, previous seasons haven't always been as successful, but this go round was pretty good, I thought (though my wife still thinks the Kenya season was better).

There. I've outed myself.

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