Friday, August 20, 2010

Survivor Revisited: Kel and the Beef Jerky

It was one of the more absurd occurences in Survivor history and it had a huge effect on the victim regarding his place in the game. In the latest edition of Survivor Revisited, we take a look back to Survivor Australia when the infamous "beef jerky" incident took place. To those who werent fans at the time, here is a quick reviews:

It was only day 5 in the Outback when former Marine Kel Mitchell faced accusations from long time survivor villainess Jerri Manthey that he was off on his own chomping down on a stick of beef jerky. Manthey quickly ran back and reported this to the rest of the tribe who called him on the carpet and basically decided he was guilty while dismissing his explanations. The next day the Ogakor tribe lost the immunity challenge and as a result unanimously voted out arguably their strongest player based on these unfounded accusations.

All in all this was a very harsh thing to witness and you had to feel sorry for Kel here. The man was voted out strictly on the words of another tribe member who had no hard core evidence and they even went so far as to search his bag behind his back, finding nothing. To me it was one of the more shaameful and dissapointing acts that I witnessed on Survivor and it really should have never happened in the first place.

Now for starters let me put it out there that Kel DID NOT have beef jerky......a fact that was later confirmed by the producers of the show after the series ended. And what really made no sense in all of this was the fact that every tribe member has all of their personal items checked before they head out and especially when the show was new like it was in Australia, there was a strict list of items that they were allowed to bring. So there was no way Kel could have gotten into the Outback with any beef jerky. And what was really more aggravating in all of this is that we as fans were robbed of seeing a guy who looked like he could have been a real contender to win it all. A very fit, muscular guy with a military background would have been a top person to put your money on to take the prize money. Whats more, Kel seemed like a genuinely nice guy. I guarantee you both Kel and Mark Burnett would have thought you were crazy if you said beforehand he would have been the second person voted out of the game and the first person kicked off his tribe over the useless Maralyn Hershey. It was all so ridiculous and it almost rightfully cost the Ogakor tribe as they were horrendous in challenges after he was evicted. If it wasnt for a freak Michael Skupin accident, there is now way Colby or Tina finish in the top two.

So all in all, this was an absurd happening that will live on in Survivor infamy. What did you all think of this episode? Was it unfair that Kel was accused like this?


  1. Survivor Australia: “That show delivered every damn week. … I do think Kel had the beef jerky. Just a gut feeling on what I heard and saw. People try to smuggle things all the time, and if you’re really good, you can get away with stuff. … We’ve had people try to smuggle things up their ass! And I won’t say who, because we caught them and it never made the show, but yes, somebody tried to smuggle something up their anus.”

  2. On the dvd commentary Tina said Kel had beef jerky confiscated at some point & that military have been known to sew jerky into their clothing...

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