The reality TV show, Survivor, is wrapping up its twenty-first season this Sunday with the Survivor: Nicaragua finale. As I write this, Chase, Sash, Fabio, Dan and Holly are still in the running. One woman against four men. If only dating odds were so good. This got me thinking that if a show like Survivor can last a decade on national network television and not run out of steam, I should be able to endure a decade of dating in Los Angeles. Alas, I am growing weary, but people love schadenfreude, so why not document how desperate my dating life is? Oh, right, that’s what I’m doing with my blog. Maybe I could start a new reality show called Date Survivor: Los Angeles.
Dating in Los Angeles is a lot like competing on Survivor. Both the reality show and the dating world are divided into tribes and each tribe is given a number of tools for survival. On the CBS show, these tools often include a machete, a pot and water canteens. With the L.A. dating scene, the tribes – male and female – are armed with cell phones, internet access, designer clothing, and credit cards. Survivor contestants build shelters with palm fronds and twigs, while L.A. daters take shelter behind online profiles and forage for financial, spiritual and emotional sustenance. On the TV show, players compete in challenges consisting of endurance, strength, agility, problem solving, teamwork, dexterity, and willpower. In Los Angeles, every date is a challenge, requiring the very same skill set as on the TV show:
Endurance – actively marketing oneself online without losing hope.
Strength – weeding through endless profiles and rejecting the ill-suited suitors.
Agility – steering a date to the restaurant of your choice and avoiding inappropriate advances.
Problem Solving – trying to figure out how to end the date quickly with one’s dignity intact.
Teamwork – having a girlfriend text you with an emergency so you have an excuse to leave.
Dexterity – texting while peeing (TWP) and freshening makeup as you report back to your tribe.
Willpower – getting out of bed the next day to tackle the next dating challenge.
Each week on Survivor, the torch is snuffed out and someone is voted off the island. In dating life, the losing contestant’s profile is blocked, his phone number is flagged “do not answer” and he is forever banished from the island of love. If you are ever on a date with me, and I blow out the tea light candle, consider it "the torch" and take it as a sign that things aren't going well.
When Jeff Probst runs out of ways to make his show interesting I hope he considers my idea. The possibilities are endless with Date Survivor: Los Angeles, Date Survivor: New York, and even Date Survivor: Seattle. It worked for Desperate Housewives. First came Marc Cherry’s TV series with Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria (who has her own little real life ‘survivor’ episode going on with hubby Tony Parker), and then came Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives of New York City and so on. The big difference between Date Survivor: Los Angeles and Survivor is that only on the CBS show does one walk with a cash prize of $1,000,000 and a car, unless you have a real good divorce attorney – in which case you may also walk away with a house.