In her short time in the big leagues, Francesca Hogi was able to set several Survivor records sure to last far longer than she could. The first player in history to be invited back after a first boot performance. The first player to repeat said first boot performance. The first player to promise to swallow a rock. It’s not a million dollars, Francesca, but you can take those records and your Sacko trophy back home to show your grandkids. This game just isn’t for you.
Unfortunately, that means that my first boot pick, the pilous Matt Bischoff, has escaped the first boot slot I’d been preparing for him. I had surrounded his seat with things that would make him comfortable—beard creams, bicycle inner tubes, tattoo magazines and beige cargo shorts. Francesca’s final indignity will be the fact that forevermore she’ll have to occupy this throne. I took the liberty of sending her a box of chocolates to express my condolences. Full disclosure, I ate all the chocolates and replaced them with stones. Happy Valentine’s Day, girl.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to me came only moments into the premiere, when an elated Brandon Hantz leapt into Malcolm’s arms like he was one of the Navy boys coming back from World War II. Anybody who foolishly believed Malcolm would struggle to make connections in this tribe of Favorites was dead wrong, and that includes me. Malcolm has evidently not gotten over his tendency to choke under pressure in challenges, but his social graces seem to be shielding him so far. Malcolm is safer than I thought he would be. I forgot to account for the wild card that is Brandon Hantz.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to discuss that Cochran is really coming out of the gates strong this season. He’s sprawled out on the beach like a sunburned king, while his minions compete for his favor. It’s bizarre to watch, but he’s in a rock-solid position strategically, and he seems to be playing a sexier, more dangerous game. He’s hitting on Allie, he’s letting Corinne bathe him, and he’s making confessionals jokes about New Dawn? Really courting the female vote, there, Cochran. It’s like watching Austin Powers get his mojo back. After his shower scene, I’m sure Herbal Essences is going to ask him to star in their next commercial. Mild-mannered Peter Parker is gone. This is black-suit John M. Cochran.
Well, not really. Phillip seems to think that he’s Boston Rob, and unfortunately he just isn’t. For one thing, Boston Rob would know that Machiavelli never burned down any villages. I don’t know, Phillip, maybe you’re thinking of Sun Tzu or Ghengis Khan or some kind of asteroid. I’m not a mind-reader. I didn’t even know that Survivor was like Iwo Jima! And here I thought that comparison would be absurd and offensive. Phillip, you just take the reins on this one, pal. I’ll follow your lead.
Speaking of bulls, we have GOT to talk about the ornery antics of Shamar Thomas. He hit the first challenge like a wrecking ball, proving how physically formidable he is when he throws his weight around. But far from being a big friendly giant, back at camp he showed himself to be short-tempered, pouty, lazy, verbally aggressive, and SUPER sweaty. The fact that he was able to make a fire may have bought him a tiny bit of leniency from the rest of his tribe, but that’s not going to last.