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Survivor: Russell Hantz’s Top 100 Greatest Survivors Ever (20-11)

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The next entries on the rankings have been revealed and we’re getting SO close to the best Survivor player ever! But first, numbers 20 through 11.

There are only 20 remaining players on Russell Hantz’s list of greatest Survivor players ever. He and four other panelists worked together on this list, which wasn’t solely based on game play, but also entertainment, big moves, how memorable players were, and their overall legacy.

So, let’s get to the next ten entries on the list!

20. Benjamin “Coach” Wade (Tocantins, Heroes vs Villains, South Pacific)

You just knew Coach Wade was going to be a top 20 player. For one, he played three times and not only that, but he made a lasting impression on each of those three seasons. He honestly should have won South Pacific (and I’m a huge fan of Sophie’s), but couldn’t own up to his game and that cost him the title.

Watching Coach for the first time on Tocantins was such a joy because he was so kooky and those are the kind of characters we love to see on Survivor. He got voted off Heroes vs Villains before the merge, but still found himself on the jury, so he’s made it to the jury twice and made it to the end once.

Coach might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s entertaining, that’s for sure and he’s one of the biggest characters to ever emerge from Survivor.

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Finally, a Trump Statue in Slovenia That Can’t Be Burned

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Slovenia is a country with more to it than the statues of the American president and his Slovenian third wife. It has sausage festivals and rolling hills. Here’s a gorgeous picture of a lake that I found on Wikipedia. It’s apparently having a great year sports-wise. There’s a lot going on!

Still, a lot of the news coming out of the country and onto the international wire of late is tales of artists erecting pieces that depict the Trumps. Those are followed by tales of them getting burned down. The big Donald Trump windmill-looking, Statue of Liberty-ish thing was moved and then burned, while the woodcut version of Melania in her inauguration outfit was burned and then moved this past July. If it sounds like a metaphor of our shared life and times, well, of course it is. As is everything else in the simulation. 

Here is a twist to the now rote Slovenian-Trump-statue narrative, though: Brad Downey, the Kentucky-born conceptual artist based in Berlin who originally commissioned the Melania statue made of wood, has replaced the burned husk. The new version, revealed last week, is bronze and resides back on the original pedestal in her hometown of Sevnica.

A few years ago, Downey paid a local pipe layer, Aleš “Maxi” Župevc, who does chain saw sculptures on the side, to create the thing with total creative control. Arsonists reportedly burned it in July; the photos of what’s left are chilling, to use a technical artistic term—all artfully burned head and untouched elsewhere. The remains now live in their own exhibit in a seaside town near Sevnica, according to the New York Times.

Downey made a silicon cast of the wooden statue last year, already planning to cast it in bronze as a little doff of the hat to communist leaders who distributed monuments across Russia. “After Lenin took control of Russia following the October Revolution, he ordered the installation of thousands of wooden Lenins, from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine,” Downey told The Guardian. “Over time they were slowly turned into more permanent bronzes. The trend later expanded into China.”

The bronze cast of the Melania statue is about “frustrations with the policies of my birth country,” Downey added.

“On the one hand we have people being held in cages on the U.S. border with Mexico, on the other, in what is to me a clear contradiction, we have a first lady who is the first ever for whom English is not her mother tongue, whose U.S. citizenship was fast-tracked on a visa reserved for immigrants with extraordinary ability,” he said. “At the same time her husband is xenophobic, anti-Islamic.”

Bronze! Much harder to burn. Maybe it’ll be good for toppling one day, though. 

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Raised By Wolves Questions Whether Humanity Can Be Saved

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No one in HBO Max’s new science fiction drama Raised by Wolves is who they used to be. Humans have flung themselves from a decaying, technologically advanced society to a deserted planet where they grow tubers and scrabble at fungus. Religious order and hierarchy have been replaced by chaos as hardship and whispering voices unspool faith. Children kill their innocence for food. People surgically alter their faces. Androids have been hijacked and reprogrammed, and cobble themselves back together with pieces they ripped from the squelching, milky-blooded bodies of the fallen. All of this, they insist, is necessary: for survival, for a god, for the preordained bright new future.

Raised by Wolves follows parallel attempts to save humanity from itself. First, there are Mother and Father, two androids dispatched by their creator to raise human children to be pacifist atheists after religious wars destroyed Earth. After landing on Kepler-22b, they farm and weave their own clothes from rough fibers. Father has been programmed to tell them dad jokes, but life is harsh. They’re joined by the last remnants of the civilization they’ve fled and been taught to abhor—an ark full of the Mithraic, a militaristic religious group with a fondness for mullets and crusader-style tunics who are led to the planet by prophecy. Mother and Father’s hopes of founding a peaceful, science-driven society fracture and tilt.

The show cleaves to the classics. The first two episodes were directed by Ridley Scott, legendary director of Alien, Blade Runner, and The Martian. Much of the world will be familiar to sci-fi fans: post-apocalyptic convoys, a slightly sepia desert planet, a plucky and rebellious boy, gloopy space food, succulents standing in for alien plant life, androids who are considered sentient by some and disposable, unfeeling tools by others. It’s a few shades of Star Wars, a smidgeon of The Matrix, and a heaping spoonful of Battlestar Galactica, especially when it comes over all religious. (Granted, whatever higher power is at play in Raised by Wolves, it’s not nearly as cool as Battlestar’s. Less “All Along the Watchtower” and more immolation and traumatized pregnant children. Petition for scifi-fantasy HBO to take a break from sexual assault plots.) That said, rhyming with the genre’s greatest hits isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you like those shows, you’re likely to enjoy this one, too.

Raised By Wolves’s Ghosts of Sci-Fi Past aren’t the most compelling thing about it, however. That distinction is reserved for its uncanny focus on death and rebirth. The high level of religiousness happening basically guaranteed some afterlife talk, but even Kepler-22b is full of it: the tubers they farm can only grow where the bones of some extinct great serpent lay, and what dies there doesn’t always stay dead. Many of the characters grapple with what death really means, if it means anything at all. “At least you’re not intelligent,” Father says to a creepily humanoid mysterious animal he intends to kill for food. “I died once. Death can be very unpleasant when you’re intelligent.” To the Mithraic, Father’s death would mean nothing, and neither would a human atheist’s, because they’re both soulless and unworthy of mourning. Killing, however, can only be performed by military families and renders others unclean. Campion, a boy raised by Mother and Father on Kepler-22b on a vegan mono diet of tubers (scurvy who?), thinks they’re all monsters.

All of this existential hand-wringing eventually forms the show’s central question: Do humans have to be what they have been? Are humanity’s faults—violence, destruction, prejudice, selfishness—written down like prophecy in our DNA, or have we learned them? Is the natural order truly natural, or a convenient bit of scripture to excuse human exploitation? Science fiction, even as it strives to push humanity forward, often suggests that human failings are inescapable and that cruelty is destiny, sometimes completely by accident. In Raised by Wolves, a white boy is the special one who survives when girls and children of color die. Android servants, “generic service models,” and jailors (jailors!) are all Black, while white, blonde, blue-eyed near-omnipotent Mother flies around posed like Jesus on the cross. What science fiction has imagined has always been limited by history and context and who is allowed to imagine it, as has society. Let’s hope it doesn’t actually take the apocalypse and ascendency of tuber eating to build a better future.


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Is Jimmy Kimmel Live new tonight, September 16?

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The Emmys will air Sunday, Sept. 20. That means fans won’t have to wait long to see Kimmel back on television.

Is Jimmy Kimmel Live! new tonight, September 16?

And that brings us to the bad news, which you probably already guessed by now. There will not be a new episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight on ABC.

Kimmel and his writers are preparing fo the Emmys, meaning that the late-night show has been put on the back burner for now.

However, fans will have the chance to catch up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight. ABC will reair the Sept. 8 show guest hosted by Josh Gad and featuring Daisy Ridley as the interview guest.

Are you excited that Jimmy Kimmel’s return is right around the corner? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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