'Survivor''s Racially Diverse Cast United By Uniformity Of Their Black-And-White Headshots

You've now had some time to digest the fact that CBS has actually gone there, and decided the best way to spice up their castaway game show is by courting contestants from the many shades of the diversity rainbow (wisely omitting the Arab-American Tribe—too terroristy), then running the lucky chosen few under a race-reading UPC bar-code scanner and sorting them accordingly. Highly entertaining is the absurd lengths host Jeff Probst, as demonstrated in this interview with The Slug blog, will shoot for in order to justify this as something other than what it is: a cynical ploy calculated to get people talking and tuning in. RealityBlurred.com also points out that Survivor: Cook Island's far flung cross section of technicolor America may have more in common than their wildly varying skin tones first suggest:

Of the 20 players, 13 are from California, and nine of those are from Los Angeles. A few are listed by other cities to help disguise this fact, but Venice and Marina Del Rey are both basically part of Los Angeles.

Even more incredibly, many of them are actors, two of whom have together had parts on all three CSIs. Sundra Oakley was on CSI Miami, while Jonathan Penner was on CSI New York and the original version. While Sundra is listed in her CBS bio as an actress, Jonathan is listed as a writer/producer, as he wrote and produced the TV movie version of The Lone Ranger.

Of course, dividing the contestants into "sporadically employed LA-based actors looking for a career boost through appearing on reality show no one really cares about anymore" and "other" tribes just wouldn't have given the series that buzzed-about, out-of-the-nonracist-box vision Les Moonves was shooting for when he boldly gave his go-ahead orders of, "Yes, I want you to do it. If you do it, I want you to do it right. Don't back off of it. Just do it." But knowing these contestants have experience taking instructions from a director through an earpiece certainly can't hurt, especially when said director helpfully inquires if a player can, "I don't know, trip a Chinaman or something?" during an especially tepid stretch of the firemaking challenge.