'Survivor' kicks into final four mode

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Only two nights and five finalists remain on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" (7 p.m., CBS). Five will become four tonight before Sunday's two-hour finale. One could go broke trying to predict the outcome of these contrived shenanigans, but it's a safe bet that Jon, the obnoxious art consultant, will not be eliminated tonight. Everybody wants him to face the jury of his ticked-off peers when it comes down to the big vote.

The atmosphere on "Survivor" has always reminded me an exaggerated version of very dysfunctional office politics -- particularly this season. Like any badly run business, we've seen the levelheaded (Andrew) and the hard-working (Rupert and Christa) eliminated as the clueless (Lil), the scheming (Jon) and the lazy (Burton) get promoted way beyond their abilities.

It might take more than a coconut blow to the head to wake Lil up to the nefarious nature of her male allies. I'd hate to see a Boy Scout jamboree run by this wing nut. I will go out on a snake-infested limb and predict that Burton gets the boot tonight. As for the final winner, it's anybody's guess, and here's mine: As much as I want the outspoken Sandra to take home the loot, I predict that the Darrah, the mumbling Mississippi mortician, will fly in under the radar.

Tonight's other highlights

Late night

Julia Roberts and Rod Stewart appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Keanu Reeves and Sting on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).