- This is the 39th season for CBS’s reality show.
- ‘Survivor’ was one of the early pioneers of the reality TV genre.
- ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’ Episode 6 airs October 30 at 8:00 PM Eastern.
Episode 5 of Survivor: Island of the Idols was just the sort of train wreck that you’d expect from the dying reality TV format in the 21st Century post broadcast network hegemony world. My pre-season favorite–former New York Rangers defenseman Tom Laidlaw–got sent to the showers. As if that wasn’t a sufficently discouraging development the reward challenge prize was a feast…from APPLEBEE’S! That really tells you where reality TV sits in the television hierarchy circa 2019 and where it is going.
Now obviously I’m not the sort that eats at Applebee’s and I had no idea the bland ‘fast casual’ chain was still operating. Every time I’ve seen an Applebee’s in the past year it’s been vacant and abandoned. I saw several in Utah that closed up over the Summer including one near Fashion Place Mall that looked as if the management absconded during the middle of the night to avoid the landlord. It turns out that this is fairly common–most news stories about Applebee’s locations closing give a similar story using terms like ‘suddenly shuttered’ or ‘abruptly closed’. When I was researching this article I found what looked to be a ‘paid placement’ article at Business Insider suggesting that Applebee’s is ‘making a comeback’. The article claimed that their sales were up 5.5% in the first nine months of 2018. Of course they’d dropped around 8% the previous year meaning that they’d just swam to the top part of the cesspool.
My next thought concerned these poor souls that willingly eat at Applebee’s. I’d assumed that their clientele was the unfortunate denizens of ‘flyover country’ who have yet to realize that planes fly out of America’s Siberia every day. I couldn’t find much in the way of actual sales data–typical of a relic of a previous generation that is swirling down the toilet–but there were plenty of news stories about Applebee’s locations in ‘flyover country’ going out of business. So too did another location in Jacksonville, Florida and the accompanying news story informs us that it is ‘one of several of the chain’s restaurant’s to close in the Jacksonville area in recent years.’ The location on Surf Avenue in Coney Island also went under as did another location in Lebanon, Virgina.
I finally found some information on Applebee’s ‘comeback’. They followed the same formula as minor league hockey teams desperate for attendance: selling cheap booze. Unlike minor league hockey rinks where you can usually get nachos and hot dogs at Applebee’s they sell nasty sounding food like ‘riblets, pastas and fajitas’:
Applebee’s has returned to inexpensive and familiar food, recurring meal offers such as the popular 2 for $20 and an embracement of cheap drink deals that’s evolved from the $1 “Dollarita” margaritas to the aforementioned “Neighborhood Drink of the Month.” It also reintroduced popular items such as riblets, pastas and fajitas.
If the story has a silver lining this is it: Applebee’s was the only casual dining brand to see a sales increase in 2018 suggesting that the demise of this relic from the 1990’s will soon die a long overdue death. Here’s something interesting:
“Though it actually recovered slightly from 2017’s 3 percent drop, the casual dining subcategory of restaurants in the Franchise Times Top 200+ is still going in the wrong direction, save for Applebee’s, the only brand to see positive sales growth in 2018 with a 2.3 percent increase.”
It sounds as if Applebee’s pathbreaking ‘cheap booze’ gimmick is running out of steam. Earlier, we read that the chain’s sales increased 5.5% in the first 9 months of 2018. Yet for the year, they were up just 2.3%. Whomever does PR for the chain is earning their keep–Applebee’s boarded up 99 locations in 2018 but in the words of Applebee’s president, John Cywinski, they simply ‘optimized the Applebee’s portfolio.’ I’m going to save that line and use it in the future.
NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS AT APPLEBEE’S
Indeed, the website Restaurant Business informs us that Applebee’s has ‘hit a setback in it’s comeback effort’. Kind of like Sears and K-Mart have ‘hit setbacks in their comeback efforts’. The good news is that the chain is continuing to close locations meaning there should be nearly 50 fewer Applebee’s at the end of 2019 than there were at the start of the year. Not all of the news stories about Applebee’s focused on their flatlining sales. One story was about a ‘dead baby found in an Applebee’s trash can’ in Dallas. At least it gives us some idea about their customer profile:
“According to police, a woman gave birth to the child in the bathroom, then placed the child in the trash can and left the restaurant. Employees discovered the child about half an hour later.”
Meanwhile, in Pinellas Park, Florida the local Applebee’s was forced to shut down by state health inspectors:
“On July 11, the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar at 4000 Park Blvd had to stop serving food and shut down their kitchen around noon and into the next morning, after state inspectors found live roaches crawling on the walls, inside packaged croutons, by the dry storage shelves and reach-in freezer in the kitchen. Inspectors made the restaurant throw out four bags of those commercially packaged croutons, due to the live roaches crawling on them.”
In South Carolina, a customer noticed a baby opossum crawling all over the bar area. Baby opossum definitely deserve better. The restaurant management handled it well–they asked the customer to stop taking pictures of the critter. Being something of an expert on opossum I can guarantee that it was cleaner than all of Applebee’s customers and employees. It definitely has a better personality. At least investment analysts have figured it out saying that the Applebee’s chain has ‘no value’. Seriously–search ‘Applebee’s’ in Google News and you’ll get one of three things: 1) stories about something nasty happening at Applebee’s 2) stories about Applebee’s locations closing or 3) press release generated coverage about cheap booze prices.
Don’t eat at Applebee’s. Have some self respect. If you live in some sort of hellhole where Applebee’s is considered a viable dining option you really need to move.
Here is the rundown of the official SPORTSINSIDER.COM Survivor: Island of Idols betting odds for Episode 6:
‘SURVIVOR: ISLAND OF THE IDOLS’ BETTING ODDS
TO WIN ‘SURVIVOR: ISLAND OF THE IDOLS’
Kellee Kim +500
Tommy Sheehan +500
Elizabeth Beisel +650
Tra'Mese 'Missy' Byrd +750
Lauren-Ashley Beck +900
Jason Linden +900
Jack Nichting +1000
Dan Spilo +1250
Karishma Patel Sandesara +1250
Jamal Shipman +2500
Aaron Meredeth +2500
Elaine Stott +2500
Dean Kowalski +2500
Janet Carbin +2500
Noura Salman +2500
‘SURVIVOR: ISLAND OF THE IDOLS’ EPISODE 6 BETTING ODDS
TO BE ELIMINATED IN EPISODE 6
Dan Spilo +350
Aaron Meredeth +350
Elaine Stott +750
Karishma Patel Sandesara +750
Janet Carbin +1000
Noura Salman +1000
Jason Linden +1250
Kellee Kim +2500
Tommy Sheehan +2500
Jamal Shipman +2500
Lauren-Ashley Beck +2500
Tra'Mese 'Missy' Byrd +2500
Jack Nichting +3500
Dean Kowalski +3500
No Elimination in Episode 6 +5000
WILL A HIDDEN IDOL BE PLAYED IN EPISODE 6?
WILL ANY MAIN ISLAND CONTESTANT QUIT/BE REMOVED DUE TO INJURY IN EPISODE 6?
WILL ANY CONTESTANT CRY ON CAMERA DURING EPISODE 6?
WILL ANY CASTAWAY CATCH SEAFOOD IN EPISODE 6?
WILL A CONTESTANT BE ‘PIXELATED’ DUE TO NUDITY IN EPISODE 6?
GENDER IDENTITY OF NEXT CONTESTANT PIXELATED DUE TO NUDITY?
NEXT CONTESTANT TO BE PIXELATED DUE TO NUDITY?
Elizabeth Beisel +250
Dean Kowalski +350
Kellee Kim +500
Tra'Mese 'Missy' Byrd +700
Lauren-Ashley Beck +1000
Tommy Sheehan +1500
Jack Nichting +1500
Aaron Meredeth +1500
Noura Salman +2500
Jason Linden +2500
Dan Spilo +2500
Karishma Patel Sandesara +5000
Jamal Shipman +5000
Elaine Stott +5000
Janet Carbin +5000
In the previous three propositions pixelation must be due to accidental or intentional nudity and not due to obscene gestures or any other reason. If there is no pixelation due to nudity this season the previous two propositions will be graded ‘no action’.
EPISODE 6 KEY DEMO (18-49) RATINGS
1.2 or Over -150
Under 1.25 +130
EPISODE 6 KEY DEMO (18-49) SHARE
Over 5.5 -250
Under 5.5 +210
EPISODE 6 TOTAL VIEWERSHIP
Over 6.55 Million -150
Under 6.55 Million +130
The previous three TV ratings propositions will be graded using data reported at TV By The Numbers.