So here we are again. It’s opening night of the Survivor season and thank god. It couldn’t have come sooner as the options for quality TV have been bare around here lately. I mean, my lord, last night I thought I had a 105.4? fever watching Ross from Friends playing Robert Kardashian uttering lines like: “Wait, he will always be the Juice” in the O.J Simpson mini-series as he guns for a primetime Emmy Award. Needless to say, we need Survivor back in all of our lives.
Tonight I worked late and forgot to tape Survivor, so now I’m watching the stream from CBS and don’t have commercials so I won’t have my normal commercial breaks that I know we all look forward to…I promise not to let this happen again. Hopefully after some time, the country will forgive me for this mistake. Plus, I’ve been seeing somebody since last season so I can’t rant about online dating anymore, which was at least 40% of my Survivor Blog. Anyways, I humbly ask for your apology. With that said, let’s get into tonight’s episode.
We start this season with the trademark Probst voiceover as he dramatically talks about the struggles, mental and physical aspects of Survivor.
Everybody already is split up in tribes. We get quick quips from some of the players, most notably Scot Pollard who talks and more closely laughs exactly like .
Scot should have shown up in an Andre the Giant one piece unitard to throw everybody off.
Nick shares that he is better looking than most….and look I’m not saying he is ugly, but I would say his niche is more mid-90’s soft core porn star than a George Clooney type.
Can I also say that I always hate the first five minutes of any opening to the Survivor season? It’s always everybody staged in a certain position being forced to look like they’re pondering the meaning of life and looking really stoic…I hate it.
The three different teams get the opportunity to rip apart a boat of supplies to take back to camp.
Caleb takes the opportunity to unnecessarily jump off the boat to chase a chicken. “All in a day’s work, ma’am (as he tips his cowboy hat).”
Tai, whom I picked to win or picked to be a favorite, tells us that he doesn’t want the chicken because he “loves everything”. Tai, come on, buddy. It’s cool to have that lifestyle, but don’t pull a Kimmi and make it a “thing”.
We join the Brawn Tribe first as they all get in a circle and start introducing themselves.
Jason Kyle…yes, someone in this world is named Jason Kyle. Sounds like an alliance for a hitman in a sci-fi movie that takes place in 2042, where the government frames him for a murder he didn’t commit. Then Jason Kyle goes on a mission to clear his name, only the president of the United States, who will be played by Paul Giamatti, is behind the evil plot. In our bloggers’ fantasy Survivor pool, I actually ended up with Jason so I hope he does well.
Alecia tells us how other people see her as a “Malibu Barbie,” but in reality, she’s bungee jumped and swam with sharks… so, therefore, I guess she is serving notice that everybody better watch out?
Scot shares that he did play in the NBA, which I guess if you’re 6’10” and 300 pounds, everybody would have assumed he was that or a horse jockey.
Scot then appears to take the lead on the shelter building, an exercise that usually leads to one person not carrying their weight or complaining a little too much and immediately being ostracized from the group. Let’s see if this plays out this season.
We join the Brains next and everybody is commenting that Peter looks like President Obama. Peter is already annoyed and doesn’t appear to be handling this development well.
For some ungodly reason, Debbie the chemist starts bragging about her fire-making prowess to the rest of the group, because you know she came into the game with the strategy in her head of “They can’t vote you out, Debbie if you tell them how good you are at things. Make sure to tell them over and over again how good you are”. Debbie also shares that she’s a server at Red Lobster on the side. I’m not sure what joke to insert here.
Neal, the ice cream maker, who also looks like Austin Power’s older brother without glasses gets a one-on-one fire-making lesson from Debbie, but unfortunately the fire isn’t getting started. Debbie takes over and still no fire…ah oh.
We join the Beauty Tribe next as Tai immediately shows some Ozzy-ness as he climbs a tree in 0.7 seconds and finds friendship coconuts for everybody. Not a bad little icebreaker.
Michele talks about how her bartender job will prepare her well for this game, but in my mind, bartenders never do well on Survivor, because they’re used to having power and being in control of the room, so to speak, and used to everybody kissing up to them for drinks. Bartenders always seem to struggle to get along with people. I could be wrong, but just my impulsive thoughts I’m sharing.
Caleb who won the Creepy Stalker Award in 2014 for his performance in Big Brother immediately displays some questionable (at best) racial stereotypes of Tai and how he ended up on the Beauty Tribe.
Then to make matters worse, after Tai tells him that he loves trees, Caleb laughs and tells him that he’s going to “brutalize this tree”. Big Brother is played with more young people in their 20’s. Survivor is a bit of a different game, Caleb. Smarten up.
With that said, calm down, Tai. This is Survivor…
We join the Brawns as they are building their shelter and it looks like Alecia is going to be the token “doesn’t pull her weight at camp” player this season, as Jason is already resentful towards her. Jason and Scot form an alliance with Jennifer and Cydney. Alecia should tell them how she bungee jumps and swims with sharks before it’s too late for her.
Darnell and Cydney form a side alliance and both of them are anti-Alecia too. It seems pretty fast for everybody to already agree to turn on somebody.
The Beauty Tribe somehow let their chickens get loose and comedy ensues as everybody is left to chase them. Tai comes up with a new plan, to tie rope to the chickens and Anna is loving Tai. Nick looks on skeptical that the girls are pro-Tai. Nick does seem a little borderline personality-ish.
Anna and Julia decide to align and want to include Caleb. Caleb shows us a better side than he did before, talking about his military experiences and having a little more substance maybe then he sometimes shows.
Joe, the retired FBI officer, and Debbie appear to bond about being the senior citizens in the game. Debbie, though, seems a little too passionate and overzealous about her early bond with Joe, while Joe has a look of “ Sh*t. I’m getting stuck having to align with the craziest, most annoying member of our team, but I don’t have anybody else at the moment so I’m going to pretend to be okay with it, even though I will jump ship the first opportunity I get”.
Next, we get Elisabeth and Neal plotting against the old people saying they are aligning with Aubry and Peter to 86 the Joe and Debbie. This alliance doesn’t feel like it’s build for the long haul.
Back with the Beauties and we join Tai trying to find an idol clue, which usually means that that person is about to find that clue. Caleb and a couple of the girls though realize that Tai is up to something and go looking for him…Oh no, Tai could be in trouble. Looking for an idol and getting caught looking for idol can equal disaster.
Anna and Michele both tell us that they are “out” on Tai…I suck at picking players that I think are going to go far in this game.
Back with the Brains, Aubry tells us how hot it is there. Aubry starts falling apart, emotionally and physically. It’s like day 1 or 2 there, right? Maybe Aubry is not made for this game?
Next, we go to Jennifer who thinks a bug flew into her head. Did they give everybody acid off-camera this season or what? …because, right now, Survivor has turned into the acid trip scene in Easy Rider.
The next morning, everybody tries to tell Jennifer that there is nothing there. Jennifer, of course, was who I picked to win it all…oh no.
The rest of the Brains are more concerned with being a man down in the challenge, but just then, Jennifer lies down and we see the bug in the ear. Scot races over to terminate the thing. Surgery was a success and it looks like Jennifer will be able to continue.
We go to the Immunity Challenge. It’s time to get down to business. It was an interesting challenge tonight where the teams get to choose between a puzzle or something that takes a little more physical coordination.
The challenge starts and Darnell (one of the divers) loses the goggles, not exactly the best way to win favor with the team.
All three teams are close here at the halfway point. Brains take a lead and decide to go with the puzzle, no surprise there. Brawns next decide to go with the puzzle, a little surprising.
The Beauties go with the puzzle to make it 3 for 3.
Brains come in 1st.
Beauty comes in 2nd
And the Brawns will be heading to Tribal tonight. Jeff sends us off as he tosses the second place flint to Tai who awkwardly celebrates after catching the pass from Probst.
We join a dejected Brawn team back at camp. Darnell thinks he could be the one to go tonight because he dropped the goggles, but he is reassured by Jason that he is safe. Scot shares that Darnell really needs to be worried.
Alecia is told by Scot and Jason that she will be fine if she stops scheming, then Alecia decides to hint that she has an idol…for what reason I’m not quite sure. I’ve never seen such bad instincts in a first episode before.
We go to Tribal and it looks like Darnell is going to be the one to go unless they are faking us out and it will be Alecia.
Jason immediately decides to throw Darnell and Alecia under the bus with complete malice.
Alecia literally states: “I’m a mental giant”…Everybody at tribal looks on horrified and confused by that declaration.
Darnell makes his case, gets a little emotional and it appears to affect Jennifer who tells Jason that she doesn’t want to vote out Darnell. It’s tough to tell if it had any effect…
We go to the vote:
We have a tie…Well then, who the hell knows what is going to happen now?
Tough to tell if anybody switched, so here we go again.
The first person voted out…..Darnell L.
That Tribal actually left me feeling pretty sad for Darnell, because he came off as likable and Alecia came off looking almost like a monster. I think they made the wrong decision. I mean, you have one person crying, begging for another chance and a girl that has a bizarre, manic look on her face as everybody is talking and voting and they decide to go with her. It feels like bad karma will linger with the Brawns and they might be in trouble moving forward.
I said in my roundtable blogger article that I feel like they cast this season to get a female winner. I really do believe that based on the teams and the personalities and all that stuff. I honestly don’t see a male winning this season and I want to put that opinion out there on my first blog of the season. I picked Jennifer to win the whole thing and early on it wasn’t looking good, but it seems like maybe she has the toolkit to navigate the game. We will see, though, as it’s impossible to tell in the first episode who is a real player and who is a fraud.
Again, I apologize for not having my usual robust blog, but it will be back next week. Let me know who your top 3 are right now. Thanks for reading and see you next week.