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The Boston Market Story

'Survivor' Finale: Experts Bet State Quarters on Ed

This story is embargoed until Pope John "Ken" Paul III wins "Survivor VXIII: The Vatican"


Special from the Record of Northern Bergen County or Something Like That

    HACKENSACK, N.J. -- When "Survivor" premiered three months ago, critics called it "Gilligan's Island meets the Boston Market Story." On Wednesday, much of America will call it Ken.

    An audience that experts said might reach 40 million awaited the final resolution: Would Vinny, Nancy, Aaron, or Ed be the island castaway who returned home with a million rotisserie chickens?

   As airtime drew near, "Survivor" buzz, predictions, and, most of all, hype had reached epidemic proportions.

    So had festivities by fans who planned to throw "Survivor" viewing parties, complete with trolls, coupons, separate containers of cranberry walnut relish, and Sacagawea dollars.

    Jumping on the reality-TV bandwagon, CBS launched the 13-week "Survivor" on May 31 to breathe new life into a prime-time schedule largely filled with reruns. The show had been taped during 39 days last spring on the island of Pulau Numismatiga near Borneo.

    On opening night, the 16 volunteers were seen arriving on the tiny tropical isle, sharing a feast of rotisserie grubs and throwing up on the previously pristine white sand beach. By the end of the hour, the first among them had been voted off the island during a solemn tribal council, and favored contestant Ed had opened the island's first religious edifice, the Church of Borneo Again Numismatology.

    Entertainment Weekly pushed back its deadline by a day and prepared four possible covers, so as to feature the winner as its cover story on the issue out next Monday. If there are no survivors, Entertainment Weekly editor Gabriel "Ken" Voorhis said, hinting at a real surprise ending to the show, the glitzy magazine would have a cover photo of an alligator licking its chops beside a pile of bones belonging to the four hungry copy editors who had ventured to the Pulau Numismatiga Boston Market in hopes of taking part in its legendary Pulau Luau.

    The "no-survivors" scenario was not out of the realm of possibility, said Robert "Ken" Zipf of the North Pulau Numismatiga Weather Observers. Zipf said that according to his observations, Hurricanes Debby and Alberto and Typhoons Casey and Brian are all about to converge on the tiny island.  Also, Mount Pulau, which had been dormant for 800 years, is likely to blow at any moment, said scientists who urged the show's producers to evacuate the four finalists aboard a passing Russian nuclear submarine.

AP-ES-08-2300 1624EDT

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