After a long summer, Survivor is finally back, and back with it are Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach to break down all the action from the first episode of Blood vs Water on the season premiere of Survivor Know-It-Alls!
New Players Vote Out Marissa
Stephen says voting out Marissa is something of a contentious move – a lot of people on social media are accusing the Tadhana tribe of racism. Stephen didn’t hate the move, but doesn’t deny that racism might have played a part in it. He points out that in recent Survivor history, black women have gone home fairly early. Rob disagrees that there were any racist motives, but still doesn’t think the players thought through the move very well. Because every person voted out might now return to the game on the other tribe, the Survivors need to make sure they’re always taking this into consideration when they vote. Rob believes that had they voted out Katie, she probably wouldn’t return to the game with as much of a vendetta as Marissa. Though Stephen doesn’t really buy into the idea that any of the castaways will turn on their loved one, Rob thinks Marissa is most likely to do it out of anyone. Marissa is a good athlete, but with the Tadhana having a lot of strong men on the tribe, Rob and Stephen think this might be why she wasn’t seen as an asset by her tribemates. The Know-it-Alls also think she hurt herself by immediately butting heads with Brad Culpepper – as much as Brad put his foot in his mouth by talking about throwing challenges to help Monica, Rob and Stephen think Marissa should have also just kept her mouth shut.
Day One Vote Off Reactions
Stephen hates Redemption Island as a concept because it sucks all the energy from the end of the episode, but he liked the way it was executed in last night’s premiere. Rob always feels bad for people voted out immediately because he can put himself in their shoes, though he does admit it makes for exciting television. Stephen thinks Laura Boneham was a fairly obvious choice – on a tribe of nine fairly strong capable people, Laura is a “dumpy, older woman” (Stephen’s words). He did not understand though why this was interpreted as a reflection on Rupert, and both Rob and Stephen find it slightly puzzling that Rupert considers himself to be such a big threat. Rob thought it was interesting that both tribes seemed to vote as a majority without getting any time to talk to each other. Stephen thinks one reason for this might be that Candice entering the game as a last minute replacement made her an easy target for the Galang tribe, leaving aside her reputation as a flip-flopper in both of her previous seasons. Rob thinks Tyson voting for Laura could be indicative of a contentious relationship between them this season.
Rob also noticed that Aras had something crossed out on his parchment and wonders if he changed his vote to Gervase after the votes were starting to be revealed. Rob thinks throwing a vote his way might have been a strategic play not to get blood on his hands, but Stephen wonders why he wouldn’t just change to Candice to vote with the majority. Stephen also didn’t like the way Jeff set up the idea for switching on Redemption Island, since he basically told Rupert that if he didn’t switch with Laura, he didn’t love her. Similarly, Rob is confused by the show setting up a rivalry between the returnees and the loved ones, and Stephen felt the confessionals on the subject felt very forced. Rob says that if he and Nicole went on Survivor, it would never divide the family, and Stephen reiterates that he feels it is unlikely any of the players will turn on their loved one.
First Impressions – New Players
Most of the airtime on the new tribe went to Brad Culpepper and Vytas. Brad looks like he’s in a good position, even though no one really trusts him and his allies feel somewhat forced to go along with his plan. Rob asks if it’s a good sign that he’s earned last name status, and Stephen says yes, neither of the Know-it-Alls surprised that Jeff loves “Culpepper”. Rob points out that no one besides Brad seems all that into the five guys alliance, as Vytas seemed to spend a lot of time talking with the girls on the tribe in last night’s episode, and John really just seems happy to go along with what someone else wants to do. Caleb impressed both Rob and Stephen, but Rob is a little annoyed that Caleb is stealing his clothes. It was a quiet night for Hayden Moss, which Rob and Stephen agree is probably a good move for him. Stephen was both disappointed and confused that we didn’t see much of Rachel in the premiere, with Rob mentioning that we didn’t see much of any of the women on Tadhana in last night’s episode.
First Impressions – Returning Players
Rob announces he would like to introduce “The Cesty,” a companion award for The Fishy that Rob will give each week to the player who sucks the most. Rob gives the first ever Cesty to Gervase for a terrible performance all around last night. He and Stephen think it was pretty ridiculous for Gervase to be throwing the Galang win in the faces of the loved ones considering how much he almost cost them the challenge. This outburst also probably didn’t help Marissa’s game. The Know-it-Alls noticed that Tyson could be seen trying to restrain Gervase somewhat, and on an entertainment level, it was a quiet night for Tyson. Stephen notes that he made fire, but Rob says making fire is extremely overrated and doesn’t understand why people use this as an indication of how well a player will do.
It was not a terrible night for Colton, though Rob wonders how much of him confiding in his tribe was strategy. Stephen sees it as more of a mission for redemption in the eyes of the viewing audience than anyone actually playing the game with him. The moms on the Galang tribe got a lot of attention for pulling out a comeback win in the immunity challenge, and Rob asks if “Puzzle Moms” will become a powerful alliance – Stephen is skeptical. Stephen does think, though, that Laura Boneham coming on the returnee tribe is the best thing that could have happened to Tina, since both are similar player archetypes and will likely be targeted early. Nicole mentioned to Rob that Tina likes to align with an alpha male and if she makes Aras her new Colby Donaldson, she could be a contender.
Whose head is on the chopping block next week? Was it cool for Jeff to out Hayden as a former Big Brother player? Who will be the first person completely out of the game next week? And will appendicitis return for Colton this season? Find out the answers to these questions and more in the premiere of Survivor Know-It-Alls!