Wednesday, September 22, 2004 · posted at 2:09 AM
Your sympathy will get you left behind.

Two summer reality show winners were crowned tonight.

First, the winner of Big Brother 5, in a live vote is... Drew. Drew - the pretty boy recent college grad from Ohio who could be doing laundry and still look hot. Drew, who did a lot of "yeah, yeah.. I'm with you" and turned around and just, well, turned his back. Runner-up? Michael, aka "Cowboy," the genuine, "aw shucks" security officer from Oklahoma who was also deemed unsexy by... pretty much the whole house (and audience).

Drew. Played the game, but mostly slid by with use-them-and-lose-them alliances and a healthy dose of shirtlessness.

Cowboy. Played the game honestly (though most thought this was because of an intellectual inability to lie). Was truly a man of his word and stuck with the initial pact from the very first day. Shirtlessness may have actually hurt his chances.

Cowboy's strategy was to be "The Nice Guy." With former houseguests making up the Jury who decides the $500,000 winner, it's not a bad way to go. And the dumb, stuttering exterior? Well it's worked for Southerners in the past...

Unfortunately Big Brother has been muddied into an "it's just a game" reality show. What starts off as "Real World that gets rid of its Pucks" turns into "Survivor on a cramped CBS backlot."

If the objective of the game is to ultimately choose the "Best" houseguest in which "Best" is defined by "most likely to pay rent on time and never borrow/lose/ruin your possessions," Cowboy would really win hands down.

Cowboy is the kind of friend you know you will have forever - you just hope you won't have to look at him forever.

Drew, on the other hand, would be more the "party motivator." Let's just say you wouldn't kick him out of your house... or bed.

There's talk that the Catholic vote will be the determining factor, but in tonight's 4-3 vote, it was Will, the gay nurse from Missouri, who cast the final vote turning Drew from handsome to rich and handsome.

Do I find it unjust that a manipulative manner and a pretty face are rewarded in this world? Yes.. but not in this case. Adria and Natalie (the "Evil Twins") really ought to count only as one vote, and Nakomis' vote for her half-brother is a gimme. Though Diane's vote for her cuddle buddy Drew is also a throwaway, really Drew would have won anyway. Plus, Drew's got those washboard abs...

On the Amazing Race season finale, three teams (volatile Colin and girlfriend Christie, dating models Brandon and Nicole, and married parents Chip and Kim), raced from Manilla to Calgary to the finish line in Dallas.

Luck and covertness led Chip and Kim to the winner's circle first and the eight eliminated teams genuinely cheered as the computer programmers from California claimed the $1 million prize. This genuine cheer was in part due to Chip and Kim's likeability and in part due to process of elimination. Colin and Christie you half-rooted for because you hate Colin, yet you fear him verbally abusing Christie for a loss. Brandon and Nicole were about as interesting to watch as Gigli, and incessantly followed others instead of blazing their own trail (oddly, they were also known as the "dating Christian models").

Chip and Kim, were the couple my roommates and I cheered for from the first episode because of their down-to-earth, jovial and kind demeanors (plus the fact that they spent 11 hours a day together without killing one another catapults them to Ripley's status). A better couple could not have taken home the prize.

So do nice guys finish last? No... just the not so attractive ones.

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