Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: "Ozzy And Coach Kick Off A New Season"

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.”
Christine the Teacher – Seemingly mixed up the Dragon Slayer and the Karate Kid as she threatened Coach with a Daniel LaRusso-esque Crane Kick upon seeing him at the beginning. Blatantly looked for the Idol at camp, which would obviously rub her tribemates the wrong way.

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.
Keith the Water Treatment Tech – Hasn’t really said anything yet, so I don’t have an opinion just yet. How many times this season can we expect to see him telling everyone, “Boil the water!”

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.
Semhar the Spoken Word Artist – Translation: Jobless. To confirm this, check out her CBS bio under Hobbies, where she lists “writing/performing poetry, dancing, and watching Oprah.” Seems pretty obvious that Semhar has a LOT of free time. She told us that she recited that poem on the spot for her tribemates because "I’m not going to say I’m a poet and then not have anything to show for it." Well...who lies about being a spoken word artist? Did you think anyone on that Tribe was going to think you were a liar? Wants her tribemates to brush their teeth with ashes.

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?
- Jeff showed up on the beach to welcome the new castaways wearing a teal shirt, but don’t be alarmed…teal is still a shade of blue (sort of), so he hasn’t strayed too far off the beaten path yet.

- 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.
- The Hero challenge was an interesting puzzle where the reward was a basket of taro and a flint. Ozzy smoked Coach with a lot of help from his tribe, even though it wasn’t as difficult as you would be led to believe. Anyone who understands the concept of Free Cell Solitaire could have figured it out. Somewhere at home, Survivor Redemption Island’s David Murphy was yelling at his television “Why didn’t we have that damn puzzle in MY season????” Sorry, Puzzle Master Dave.

- 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!
In the challenge itself, Rick the Rancher dumped Edna over the wall like a sack of potatoes (or coconuts) before quickly chopping his way through five ropes with a machete. A lot of strength shown by Rick in this challenge. Upolu won immunity narrowly, by…you guessed it…just one coconut. And Semhar felt “sorta bad”, which rubbed Jim the wrong way.

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)
Survivor Fans, please feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

I was cooking and had Survivor on in the background so was only half paying attention. Maybe it's just me, but it sounded like Coach's Upolu tribe was chanting "Oompa Loompa" when they won the challenge.
~ SpoilerGirl ~

Sean said...

It wasn't just you. I heard it too, and had put it in my notes, but decided not to use it due to my repeated "Dan is an Oompa Loompa" joke from 2 seasons ago!

Choirchick22 said...

Great first episode and hilarious re-cap! :) I am glad they got rid of Semhar instead of Cochran. Did you hear her Rachel-like line when she got to redemption island? People are so cold-hearted indeed. (P.s. Rachel I hear won BB, no surprise) My favorites so far are Hantz jr. or Papa Bear. Just because I'm interested in seeing just how long Hantz can hide his tattoos and Papa Bear because he's a bear! What's not to love?! :p I'm not sure I agree with your pick to win, but I do like the kid. I'd keep him around for a while. Just for his charm.

Choirchick22 said...

P.S. The Dave=Puzzle Master joke was amazing. :)

Anonymous said...

Cochran reminds me of Woody Allen going off to camp.

Brackens said...

What no comment on Cochran's shirt at tribal. Amazing how a few days turned his pressed and ironed Pink shirt and tan pants and red shoes (isn't that the same outfit that Long Duck Dong wore in "Pretty in Pink")... how that preppy outfit turned into an ill fitting, collared up -kinda - mess.
He looked disheveled. Liked the previews of Cochran next week -- no collar! bad ass Cochran.

Surprised how none of the guys thought to wear swimsuits instead of underwear,, Didn't anyone see Phillips outfit last year. At least there we only ill fitting boxers, no pink underoos.

Did anyone else notice how big the crying teacher's eyes are? Does Survivor's casting department - have a mold for short haired, big eyed "mom's" that freak out on day one -- only thing missing was the teacher- burying someone's shoes.

Sean, one good thing about this season so far -- no spiders~~!

RonS said...

Brackens, for the record, it was "Sixteen Candles," but I think everybody knows what you meant.
My impression of the first show (and I dont normally consider myself a pessimist), was that it was boring. I have anticipated this night since early summer so maybe that had something to do with it.
My prediction..just go ahead and give the money to Ozzy. Although I would love to see Coach win.

Judy L. from Raleigh NC said...

My POV .... still pissed at Mark Burnett for the Boston Robathon so I watched this intro with a cynical eye. I had feared that by picking on Cochran to go, Ozzy was setting himself up to court all the ladies just like Rob. In that case I was not going to watch further. In addition, my 41-yo nephew who watched with me admitted he could not take his eyes off Semhar's cleavage. Therefore, I'm doubly glad Ozzy's team lost the immunity challenge and voted Semhar out. Imho, the most reliable predictor of the "vote" remains poor challenge performance.

I think Coach has already redeemed himself. He may have turned the nasty "temporary" schoolteacher around and his team won immunity. I think he's leadership material.

Brandon's ogling of Mikayla gives me the creeps. I'm sure there's a clinical name for his repeated blaming HER for his shortcomings. Sociopath possibly. (And did you hear him call Uncle Russell a "bully"?)

I agree with Anon.....Cochran is Woody Allen gone off to camp.

I do not understand why so many of the guys wore long pants and no bathing trunks under their pants...wth? And what exactly IS Sophie wearing? If I were going to spend 40 days in the jungle/beach, I sure wouldn't depend on spaghetti straps to keep me decent

marla said...

i almost spit out my diet coke when mousing over the pictures.

fav: i always snorkel with my shirt on.

ha ha ha. thanks for the laughs.

i love this season already. i think you are right about cochran. if i were him at tribal, i'd say 'you guys should keep me around, because i won't be a threat to you at the end and you can win all the challenges'. just be totally honest! of COURSE they would want to get rid of the amazon women. she was more competitive and in your face.

Anonymous said...

Sean, I like your recap. We laughed for five minutes when Cochran said "I went through that course like a hummingbird" - way to boast of your athletic ability dude!

Michou said...

I find that Brandon has the same tone and voice as Russel....

Just sayin

Kurt Sahr said...

I was impressed with Albert's physical ability, and was surprised you didn't mention anything. He may not have said anything around camp that we could see, but he didn't need anyone's help to get to the top of the wall, which was a leap to catch the top of the 10' wall, and pulled himself up to the top. He then started pulling people up the wall almost single-handedly. The fact he got no edit probably means he's voted out in week three, but I was impressed.

Choirchick22 said...

According to Jeff Probst on his twitter fest, they ask the contestants to dress like they do in everyday life. That way they look like a "cross-section of society" so that means some girls wear heels, some people wear business suits. Etc.

Sean said...

13 Comments before noon...I like it! Let's keep it up this season folks, conversation is good.

Choirchick22 - yes, I noticed the Rachel-esque quality of Semhar at Redemption Island. Made me cringe.

Brackens - Good point on the bathing suits. And spiders (yet!)

JudyL - I agree. It looked like Ozzy was going to try to get a Rob-like harem together, and I'm glad that's not how it went. Not sure why you're glad Ozzy lost because your 41-year old nephew was looking at cleavage, but still... :)

Marla and Anonymous - thank you both for the kind words.

Kurt - I noticed that too about Albert, but I didn't think that one athletic moment in one challenge warranted a section in my recap when I knew nothing else about him yet.

Also, if I were going on Survivor, I would wear as much clothing as possible, probably a suit, just for back-up clothes and warmth...and long pants to protect from the bugs.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Off to a good start. Wish the editing wasn't so blatant because you knew Semhar was going to mess up the shooting of coconuts/tiles once they focused on her saying she could do it.

Not a fan of people giving themselves nicknames. Call me...GOD.

Looking forward to the season and your recaps!

Anonymous said...

Elyse is not Native America. She is descended from Japanese Americans who were in internment camps in WWII.

Sean said...

Elyse is not Native American?

Taken from the first 5 minutes of the show, verbatim:

"I don't have a great background in outdoorsman activities, but I'm Native American, so I'm hoping that somewhere in my ancestral background, the great spirits of my past will impart on me some wisdom."

I'll take her word on it.

When you try to correct someone, try to make sure you're actually correct.

Perky said...

Anyone put stock in the order in which the cast is intro'd in the opening credits dictating anything?

Did they give away the winner last night? I believe they may have.

We'll see if Jim takes it all.

Choirchick22 said...

How did they give away the winner? Plus if the order of introduction meant anything, how do you figure Jim wins? (Not to mention votes aren't counted till the season ends)

Anonymous said...

Firstly, tnx 4 a great recap. secondly, your live feeds traffic is really cool to see the diversity (states) of ppl flocking together 4 ur random thoughts...
i did however miss ur final thoughts on bb13, i know you didn't agree w/ the direction where things were going. but for that reason alone i wudve loved reading your angry thoughts & mean wudve had us have the last laugh!!
but im glad ur back!!

Anonymous said...

Great commentary. You catch so many details that I overlook each week. Thanks


Vyrastas said...

Nice blog. I'm picking Jim to get to the final. I think Cochran is too smart for his own good, he'll analyze everything to death and eventually get cocky and screw up.

I still hate Redemption Island and hope it has the same end result as it did last season (being utterly pointless) so that they get rid of it.

@Anonymous... I keep thinking Woody Allen as well whenever I see Cochran.

Eudaemon said...

What I like about this season is that most of the Survivors are fans and actually auditioned for the show (some multiple times), rather than being cast, so hopefully will see more strategic play and no quitters this time. Jim and Mikayla are the standouts for me so far. Mikayla is the total package - beautiful, athletic, articulate and thinker. But not being in Coach's day 1 alliance of five could spell trouble for her in the long run. Oh and yeah I think Jeff exclaiming she is a 'scoring' machine wins my vote now that you pointed out how funny it was :)

HoH8 said...

Just wanted to say im rooting for and Loving my Hottie Cutie OZZY ♥
Go Team Red !!!!!

@Sean...i saw ur comment on the Bitchy Blog saying u wished ur Blog was as good as hers...well IT IS....its Way Better ☺

IaMmE said...

So happy I found this blog. I have been fiending since BB ended after spending the summer reading and commenting on OBB.
Brandon was very creepy when he was talking and checking out semhar!
I'm liking coach this season!