Survivor Redemption Island premiered with a bang tonight, showing that this new cast (while not as stupid as last season's bunch of morons) still has a LOT to learn. Rob's statement in the Tribal Council voting confessional was too perfect not to be the title of this recap.
As I mentioned yesterday, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s cast, along with a few Random Thoughts at the end. To be fair, after only one episode, it’s hard to really tell anything about this cast…perhaps the person I think is going to be the NaOnka of the season, turns out to be the Purple Kelly of the season. And what did we learn about THAT last season? That you can be batshit insane, or not say a word for 2 months, and when you both quit at Tribal Council on the same night, SURVIVOR FANS HATE YOU EQUALLY.
My First Impressions:
(I’m obviously not giving my first impressions on Rob and Russell.)
Andrea - Pretty student who almost chopped her toes off, according to Phillip. Now, I can see how he was being a little too aggressive with his message, but he did have a fair point with her hacking away with a bare foot planted on the tree trunk. No opinion yet.
Ashley - The nurse who, after the tribe lost their immunity challenge, declared that they "let Rob down" and that you "want to please your leader." Starstruck perhaps?
David - Attorney with the suit and matching purple silk tie/handkerchief combo who tried to lead the puzzle portion of the challenge until Russell took over and they won. I can see the strategy in wearing a suit to the game, just to have it for warmth or material at some point, but why the tie and handkerchief? Could have a shot.
Francesca - Another attorney, very outspoken, who made the opposite strategic wardrobe choice that David made. Why on earth would you wear sandals/flip-flops to Survivor? Idiotic. And those Egyptian-style ones just piss me off, frankly.
Grant - Dreads and manpris (capris for men)...said nothing.
Kristina – Over-strategic from the get-go. At first I applauded her moxie in hunting for--and finding--the Idol (And SERIOUSLY, can we start hiding these things a little better, please?), but then she convoluted the whole matter by making everything as complicated as possible. More in the Random Thoughts below.
Matt - Bible-thumping pre-med student in pink boxer briefs. I challenge you to find that sentence EVER spoken or written anywhere before. Go ahead, I dare you. Aren't you just a different version of Fabio?
Mike - Former Iraq Vet. I thought he was great as Cyclops in the X-Men movies
Phillip - Jesus, where do I start? Supreme Alpha Male Former Special Agent (Did you catch that? Did you hear him mention that?) who is too pushy and aggressive to survive in this game. Won't make Day 10.
Ralph - Larry The Cable Guy meets George The Animal Steele. Anyone whose verbal contribution to the Season Premiere is "We done got a slope" won't see the jury. Sorry, Ralph.
Stephanie - Fiesty pipsqueak who decided immediately to align with Russell, immediately making the shortest alliance ever (height-wise). I like her, she's my pick to win. And she reminds me of Pamela Adlon from Californication.
Steve - Old guy who didn't say much. Not sure what to think.
Julie, Krista, Natalie, Sarita - I don't know which one of you is which yet, sorry.
My Random Thoughts
- Probst straddling the open helicopter as it veered off was pretty impressive. You have to admit that. How many of you were expecting a Blue Shirt Free Fall?
- I speculated last season that Mark Burnett found a volume discount on tiles since almost every challenge involved smashing some sort of tile. Based on the footage from the Intro, and the fact that this season was filmed in the same place as last season, and immediately after, makes me think we’re in for a LOT of tile-smashing again. Well, at least it has replaced the old standard "cut a rope and raise a flag" challenge ending.
- Francesca stepped on to the beach and, upon seeing the tribe mats, declared “Oh wow. This is really happening.” Really, Francesca? The helicopter ride and Probst's monologues to the camera didn't tell you it was happening, but those purple and orange mats did?
It reminded me of a radio interview I heard a couple of weeks ago (true story) about a 7-car pile-up on a highway near where I live, where one of the guys in the domino chain of cars told the interviewer "I just looked in my rear-view and saw him bearing down on me, so I just braced myself and said 'Here We Go.' "
NO CHANCE this guy said "Here We Go" when he saw that. More Like "HOLY F*$@ING SH*& I"M GONNA GET HIT!"
- Did Rob and Russell both gain weight? Looked like it. Maybe not a bad strategy. I loved how Russell said that he was “back to claim my title of Sole Survivor”...a title he never actually won.
- Since when do the tribes get a box of tools to build a shelter? Yeah, I get the product placement for Craftsman, but come on! Why not just give them a water cooler and a stocked refrigerator while you're at it?
- 2 Lawyers and a Law Student (who is older than both of the lawyers!)...did the recruiters just head to a Law School this time?
- I honestly believe that any television show can be made better by showing a lizard running on water. Enough snakes and spiders...more lizards, more water, more running.
- I had a really hard time looking at the TV when Phillip was there in his boxers. “How did I get stuck with the old annoying guy in the droopy fuchsia briefs?”, Francesca told us. My girlfriend was actually holding her hand up to block him from her line of sight. How can you take this guy seriously?
- Russell made me laugh after the Tetris/Jenga challenge, when he predicted that Rob's reaction would be “Oh Crap, I’m stuck with a bunch of weenies.” Not because he actually said that, but on Heroes vs. Villains, Rob made a classic line that was similar: "I'm stuck on the buffoon tribe...again."
- Does Kristina understand that the Idol doesn't translate to like, 5 votes? It just means you're safe. And how hard is it to say Francesca? Fran-chess-ka. See? very simple. But Phillip butchered it so many times at Tribal Council, I'm shocked Jeff kept a straight face. Then he said "Excuse Me" about a hundred times for no reason. Special Agent Drama Queen.
- I loved Rob's suggestion that Kristina give him the Idol to save herself, especially since when this was filmed, he wouldn't have seen Sash do it to Marty last season. Speaking of the Idol, folks, once again we see what I have been saying for the past 5 seasons...WHEN YOU GET THE IDOL, DON'T GO AROUND TELLING PEOPLE.
- With the amount of time we saw Francesca in this episode, it was fairly obvious that we were going to see her go. I hope the edits aren't that obvious all season or there will never be any tension. As she voted for Phillip, she said "I hope to never see you again." I think there's a pretty good chance she sees him next week at Redemption Island after he gets voted out.
- Speaking of Redemption Island, I have a question. Jeff talked about how you have to take care of fire, shelter and food all by yourself there, and then square off when someone else arrives. But when does that challenge happen? Is it immediately upon their arrival? Or do they work together for a time at camp? I would hope it's immediately, otherwise the "solitary confinement" aspect of Redemption Island is a moot point.
As I mentioned, after the first episode, my pick is Stephanie, with an outside shot to Grant.
Next week: Ralph vs. Russell, and Phillip vs A Crab.
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Survivor Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
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