When it comes down to it, Survivor is essentially the reality version of LOST -- or chronologically, I suppose, LOST is the non-reality version of Survivor. Take a look at this, and then at this: if no one had ever seen either show, they honestly might not be able to tell which promo picture was for which show.
The question I'd like to pose, though, is this: which brilliant creation -- LOST or Survivor -- is more influential for American culture? As a loyal viewer of both, it's hard for me judge objectively, so I'll just lay out the two sides to the argument and you can decide.
Variety just named Survivor the most influential show of the decade. It's true: Survivor created the reality-show-with-a-prize genre, which now dominates television. Think about it, Tila Tequila is famous because of Survivor. If that doesn't do it for you, here's another gem: Tina's rat/snake diatribe from the final tribal council on Season 1 was ranked among the Washington Post archive's "Top 10 Best Speeches," just below -- wait for it -- MLK Jr.'s "I have a dream." So... we currently have Survivor on the same playing field as the civil rights movement and Tila Tequila. Top that, LOST.
As we all know and are obsessing about, the final season of LOST premieres on February 2. President Obama usually gives a little-known speech called the State of the Union address in late January, but this year, he considered postponing until the beginning of February: February 2 to be exact. Well, the American public would have none of that. All it took was an uproar from a ridiculous amount of crazed LOST fans for the White House to back down. I think the White House Press Secretary summed it up pretty well: "I don't foresee a scenario in which the millions of people who hope to see a conclusion to 'Lost' are pre-empted by the president."
"True that," responded America.