They say only the strong survive. Survive? Get it?

Ok, ok. Bad puns aside, CBS&s reality series &Survivor& continues to top the ratings charts well into it&s second season.

What exactly is it that makes this show so good? The show&s creator, mastermind Mark Burnett, has cooked up a second serving of his five-star recipe for success.

For your very own enjoyment, I&ve included Burnett&s simple formula.

Sixteen good-looking, buff contestants. Burnett was careful to select ample eye-candy for America&s viewing pleasure.

No doubt, good-looking Elisabeth will be the last Kucha tribe member to go if Keith and Colby have anything to say about it.

Season two is slightly lacking in tasty-looking males, but it&s possible that I am just convinced that no one will ever live up to Greg from the first season. In the absence of good-looking players, Richard, Kelly, Kimmi and Mitchell will have to do.

Add one has-been ex-&Rock and Roll Jeopardy& host Jeff Probst who divides his time pretty evenly between pissing off the contestants and pissing off the viewers. But he&s the kind of man you just love to hate.

Each week, I secretly hope he&ll have a relapse, and blurt out &you have to phrase that in the form of a question, Keith,& in place of his attempt to be stoic with &the tribe has spoken.&

At the very least, you can count on Probst to say something stupid if the castaways aren&t up to their usual tricks.

Mix one dash of catfights 8212; in the first season, we got many shots of Sue and Kelly with their claws out. The fact is people, myself included, eat this sort of thing up.

How else would MTV&s &The Real World& have made it into its 36th season? Certainly not by everyone getting along Brady Bunch-style.

This season, Kimmi and Alicia provided some good female fighting. And I wouldn&t rule out a brawl between Jerri and the other female castaways.

Sleep-deprived, hungry and stranded in the Outback, any one of the remaining ladies would jump at the chance to bludgeon Jerri with a

didgeridoo.

Two old men who go the distance 8212; No, not &the distance,& although a little jungle lovin& probably wouldn&t hurt the ratings any. I&m talking about our elderly favorites 8212; Rudy from season one and Rodger.

Nothing beats the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when these seasoned tough guys outwit, outlast, and outplay the young&uns.

Two rats, three chickens, one baby pig, and one vegetarian 8212;the original Survivor cast was all too eager to chow down on any sort of meat they could capture and kill.

If they only could have wrestled the knife away from him, Richard may well have been dinner.

But Burnett learned the second time around 8212; what fun is it to show the castaways hunting and killing if there&s not a vegetarian in the group? Hence, Kimmi. We all know it wasn&t her quick wit or outstanding hygiene that got her through the auditions.

Mix all of the above ingredients in some remote, tropical location and bake for 39 to 42 days. The result is a treat sweeter than anything they&ll ever whip up in Danforth.

Yes, Survivor is hokey, overly dramatic and, at times, downright stupid. And yes, I love it just the same.



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