'Survivor' Blends Four Racially Segregated Teams Into Two Delicious Cultural Smoothies

Just two weeks into the much-derided, color-coded current season of Survivor, producers have opted to do away with their four race-warring tribes by blending them into two diverse groups. No reason was offered—no seismic, segregationist-TV-history-altering moment, such as Sundra of the Manihiki tribe refusing to relinquish her seat at the back of a canoe; just host Jeff Probst, newly enlightened student of the Pan Asian experience, announcing, "You have been living together as tribes base upon ethnicity; it is now time to integrate." But, as Reality Blurred points out, alignments within last night's losing Aitutaki tribe seem to indicate the race vs. race fun is far from over:

At least one of the white people was able to talk about his new tribemates like they were actual human beings with names. Or not. Jonathan told his tribemate Jessica, "I think we can align with a couple of the Asians." [...]

Of course, that new alliance represents the Asian and white tribes; the other group was made up of members from the Latino and black tribes.

If that alliance stays intact for two more visits to Tribal Council, the new Aitutaki tribe will have only white and Asian people.

It's a fascinating development, and one that should give defensive producer Mark Burnett plenty of ammunition against critics who would argue the format was nothing but a cynical ratings ploy quickly abandoned when the melting pot water got a little too hot. Merged tribes or not, this cultural petrie dish experiment will likely continue to provide valuable insights into the genetic advantages of natural selection, until producers are likely left with no choice but to step in with affirmative action measures to ensure their quickly diminishing African American and Latino players are thrown a couple of extra immunity tokens throughout the season.