Survivor's 20th season, Heroes vs. Villains, kicked off on Thursday night with a bang. As I did with last season's Amazing Race, I will be doing a weekly recap after each episode. Here are my random thoughts after watching the season premiere...in no particular order.
From the second I saw Coach on the helicopter on the way in, I was excited. Yes, he was, and is sure to be again, a total jackass. But you have to admit, he is good TV. The show would be much worse without him.
What was with the helicopters dropping the contestants off? What happened to the days that they made them paddle their own boat, or better yet, just threw them off the side of a ship? How is Coach supposed to communicate to the rest of the tribe 'with just his eyes' with all that noise and wind?
Stephenie is tough. I mean hard as nails, man. I've seen someone have to pop their shoulder in after having it dislocated. That is a LOT of pain. And Rupert breaking his toe? Two big injuries in the first challenge of the first episode? Wow.
That first challenge was awesome. Topless Sugar turning around and giving Sandra the double barrelled finger was fantastic! And did you see Coach riding on top of Colby. There was one moment just before he climbed on to Colby's back where he actually reached under and grabbed a handful of Colby's crotch. I'm not joking! If you PVR'ed it, go back and look. (insert Dragon Slaying joke here)
At the end of the challenge, why did Jeff toss the flint to Stephenie, who just had her shoulder popped back in the socket? You couldn't give it to any of the other nine players? Did they edit out when Jeff also went over and stepped on Rupert's toe?
Let's talk about bathing suits for a minute, shall we? Now, In the Fans vs. Favorites season when Parvati wore her little black bathing all season, let's just say I was a fan. But now the new yellow one is quite nice, and I have to say that Amanda's green bathing suit and Courtney's 'Neopolitan Ice Cream'-themed suit are both quite nice as well. One that was NOT pleasant at all, was Tyson's jungle themed nut-hugger. What the hell was that?
I thought it was a bit convenient that a rooster and 3 egg-laying hens just 'happened' to wander in to the Heroes' camp. I'm not suggesting that they were planted there (or maybe I am), but did you notice the camera knowingly zoom in on the first one that appeared. Something is fishy. Although it was quite impressive to watch them work together to catch them.
Coach and Jerri? Really? Their kids would have the pointiest noses in history, and be the biggest jerks in school. And remember in Survivor: Australia, when Jerri was actually attractive. Now she looks like an old handbag. And what's with dressing in long sleeves and cargo pants? Yeah, keep talking about how you'll use your feminine wiles, Jerri. Kind of tough when you look like Sarge from the Beetle Bailey cartoons.
Tom and J.T. talking about how they need each other was a very smart move for each of them. They're right, no one would vote for a previous winner at the end.
I had to laugh at Cirie criticizing Rupert's attempts at making a fire. Admittedly, he was doing a pretty crappy job, but let's remember that Cirie was eliminated from Survivor: Panama in the final 4 when she lost a fire-making challenge! Irony, anyone?
Russell is still awesome. Period.
I like how they seem to be recycling challenges from past seasons. Should make for some fun viewing with certain contestants having done a challenge before.
Is there no Hidden Immunity Idol this season? Are they waiting until later to introduce it, or did they decide that since Russell just finds them all without any clues anyways, to not even bother?
I love Sugar, but the crying in her Gabon season was WAY over the top, and it started early in this one. Unfortunately (or thankfully), we won't have to see her cry any more.
Did you notice that Jeff Probst is very blunt with this cast already? I guess after you've been through a season (or two) with all of these contestants, you don't pussyfoot around things as you're getting to know them. Sugar is crying "right on cue", Probst told her. And he told Coach he was leading his team 'based on his extensive kayaking experience', referring to Coach's mumbo-jumbo Amazon tales.
Next week's episode looks bad for Boston Rob. Hope it's just a tease. I can't think if it was as bad as it looked, that they would spoil it a week early.
Now, I don't normally do this on the blog, but I'm going to give my pick(s) for this season. I think that the 'less prominent' players this season have a distinct advantage, since they'll be less of a target. For that reason, I think that Danielle and Candice are the front runners, with an outside shot to Stephenie. Candice and Stephenie are solo players on their respective tribes, which makes them valuable to existing alliances...the floater strategy. I think if they make it to the merge, they could band together and join with an existing alliance. If pressed to pick only one, I would go with Candice, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them both in the final two. We'll see at the end of the season if I was right.