Survivor South Pacific premiered with a bang tonight, and based on this first episode, I’m looking forward to a good season. Two entertaining returnees, a seemingly interesting cast, and a couple of good twists. I’m optimistic.
To the returning readers, Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again. And for those of you new to my blog and my Survivor Recaps, a hearty welcome as well, and a couple of things you should know: a) the recaps should be up within 30 minutes (often less) of when the show ends on the East Coast, b) the pictures will all have hidden captions underneath, so make sure to mouse over them if you want to see them, and c) I love Comments, so let’s all get involved in the Comments section for this season.
As I mentioned in my “preview” earlier this week, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s cast, along with a few Random Thoughts at the end. As always, after only one episode, it’s hard to really tell anything about this cast, so these impressions may be pretty funny to go back and re-read after the season.
For the record, in my first post on Survivor Redemption Island, I said that Phillip “won’t make Day 10”, Rob had no chance to win, and that Stephanie would win it all, so what the hell do I know?
My First Impressions:
(I’m not giving my first impressions on Coach and Ozzy)
Brandon the Villain’s Nephew – Let’s be honest, considering the amount of press we’ve been seeing of Brandon leading up to this season, I have to think he’s going to be around a while. Seems like a good kid, as opposed to an angry sock-burning Hobbit, like his uncle. Smart move to keep his name a secret by hiding his tattoos, but I wonder how long that can last. Had a great line explaining why he was hiding his name, “I don’t think Hitler’s nephew was running around saying ‘Hey, I’m Hitler’s nephew.”
Dawn the English Professor – Stressed about not having a shelter. Stressed about dumping water on the fire. Stressed about feeling old. Stressed about everything. Bad at swinging on vines.
Edna the Anesthesiologist – Please end up being an interesting contestant, because if you’re boring or devoid of personality, I just don’t think I’m strong enough to NOT make the obvious joke that ‘the anesthesiologist put me to sleep.”
Elyse the Dance Team Manager – Hoped that by being Native American, her ancestral background would help her around camp. Wow, that’s optimistic.
Jim the Medical Marijuana Dispenser – I imagine that the very first time “Medical Marijuana Dispenser” appeared on screen, Jim got an email from former contestant Erik Reichenbach, thanking him for bumping “Ice Cream Scooper” from the top of the list of Most Ridiculous Survivor Job Descriptions. His Bio on the CBS site states “I’ve worked on Wall Street, won over 40 poker tournaments, started several successful businesses and earned my MBA at a top five school from the University of Michigan.” Hey Jim, winning those little kitchen table games with your friends doesn’t really qualify you to bill yourself as having “won over 40 poker tournaments.” Likes to roll his eyes.
John the Harvard Law Student - This Clay Aiken look-alike prodded Jeff into calling him Cochran, and even got an on-screen graphic using only his last name. A superfan who has a Buff collection at home. I like him, he’s kind of funny and endearing, and should be socially strong. He asked “Is charm and humour really enough to keep someone around?” Interesting question, and the answer would depend on who you ask. Rob Cesternino would probably say no, but I imagine that Fabio would say yes.
Mikayla the Lingerie Football Player –Yes, in case you didn’t know, the Lingerie Football League is indeed real, which explains why Mikayla has over 3,000 “friends” on Facebook. She’s also been on the cover of Playboy. A hard worker around camp, and seemed good in challenges. A contender.
Mark the Gay Retired NYPD Detective – Not sure what to think of Papa Bear just yet, other than to note he has undying loyalty to older players on the Tribe, which is never a winning strategy.
Rick the Rancher – Wow, I never could have told from his physical appearance that he was a rancher. Makes fart noises to express his disapproval, and apparently knows what squirrels sound like when they make love.
Albert the Baseball Coach, Sophie the Medical Student, Stacey the Mortician, and Whitney the Country Singer – I didn’t see enough of you yet to form an opinion. Sorry.
My Random Thoughts:
- I loved Coach’s line at the beginning of the episode on his overall strategy for this season, “this time, I’m trying to control my sense of self-righteousness and judgement on the others.” How long do you think that will last?
- Meanwhile, Ozzy’s assessment on his third go-around was “I need Redemption.” Is that foreshadowing that Ozzy will get voted out soon and make a run at Redemption Island, or is it more blatant, saying that he (and Coach for that matter) NEED the Redermption Island twist to even have a shot at winning?
- I had to laugh at Ozzy needing 3 attempts to break his paint-filled egg on his chest, while Coach just calmy squeezed his in his hand. Coach 1, Ozzy 0. But then, Ozzy slapped his hand on Jeff’s chest, leaving a palm-print on that lovely teal shirt. Ozzy 1, Jeff 0.
- At Savaii camp, Ozzy got a schoolboy crush on Semhar in about a nanosecond, and then deferred building a shelter and instead suggested that the tribe “go for a swim.” I thought this was absolutely ridiculous until I saw what Whitney, Semhar, and Elyse decided to wear into the water. Instead, I think I join all red-blooded heterosexual males who were watching tonight when I say “Thank you, Ozzy.”
- Meanwhile, over at Upolu camp, Brandon waxed poetic about being married and a Christian and not being tempted by Mikayla, the lingerie football player and Playboy model, despite repeated shots of Mikayla bending over and footage of Brandon seemingly stalking her from the trees. That was a very odd segment.
- The Immunity challenge started with Jeff going back to a nice, rich Probsty blue shirt, before the tribes had to work their way through an obstacle course and ending up playing Coconut Basketball. Let me get this straight, there was a “web of coconuts”, and a “bin of coconuts”, and Jeff said the word “coconut” approximately 347 times…you know what that means? This season, LESS TILES, MORE COCONUTS!
But here’s the discussion point I want to pose after this challenge: What was the more entertaining unintentionally dirty phrase yelled by Jeff Probst in this challenge? Option A) “Mikayla is a scoring machine” or Option B) “Ozzy releases his coconuts.” Discuss in the Comments section.
- I liked the twist of not providing a clue to the Immunity Idol, but instead making the castaways search for the clue at camp before even trying to look for the Idol. How many times have you seen someone on this show come close to finding the Idol, only to wander hopelessly away while the camera zooms in on the Idol that they missed? Hey, morons! When you’re looking for the clue, or the Idol…WATCH THE CAMERAMAN!
- At Tribal Council, Dawn is still stressed, Cochran compared himself to a hummingbird and forgot Semhar’s name (how many of you were reminded of last season’s Season Premiere when Phillip couldn’t remember “Francesca”?), and the horrible spelling continues for another season, even without Ralph.
It came down to a choice between Cochran and Semhar, and in the end, Semhar was voted out and sulkily presented her torch to Jeff, which prompted my girlfriend to yell at the TV, “take your ill-fitting bra to Redemption Island!”
Next week: Cochran works at camp, and Brandon comes clean.
My pick to win based only on this first episode…and yes, you’re reading this correctly. I’m picking Cochran to win it all. (Dark Horse pick: Mikayla)
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