BOSTON (CBS) – Watching the season finale of “Survivor” on WBZ, I was struck by the similarities with Tuesday night’s GOP presidential candidates’ debate: an odd assortment of people, pitted against each other for a prolonged period of time with the knowledge that only one will win the big prize.

If you like reality TV, then this campaign has been right up your alley, complete with a reality TV star leading the field.

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And in last night’s debate, you could see signs that we’re close to thinning out the tribe.

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One sign: Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Rand Paul all had less than ten minutes of airtime, well behind the frontrunners. All three will be lucky to survive the Iowa tribal council in February.

Jeb Bush showed a pulse with some zingers for Donald Trump, but it looked like a “Survivor” rookie going up against a veteran competitor when it came to the battle of made-for-TV grimacing.

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And it seems Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio don’t have the stomach to exploit Trump’s weaknesses, which begs a question: can anyone outwit, outplay and outlast the king of reality TV?

Jon Keller