Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Survivor One World Recap: “It Doesn’t Look Like One World To Me, Bro”

Survivor One World is off and running with a new season featuring a battle of the sexes, two tribes living together on one beach, and some colourful characters, to say the least. Who’s stealing what? Why is medical being called in already? And who is the only castaway who can catch a chicken with their bare hands?

Welcome back to all of the returning readers, 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 60 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.

I would like to point out that in my first post on Survivor South Pacific, I picked Cochran to win it all, called Mikayla a potential dark horse winner, said Brandon was “a good kid”, and pointed out that I had no opinion whatsoever on Sophie, who ended up winning… so what the hell do I know?

My First Impressions:

Alicia the Special Ed Teacher –As we saw in the advance previews, claims that if she finds out that any of the guys like her, “ they’re gonna get played.” Picked her chosen alliance of five before even reaching camp. Clearly a new record. Heavy on the attitude, but sometimes attitude gets you far in Survivor (not often, though).
Bill the Comedian –Didn’t get to learn much about him, except that he needs to tie his shoes before challenges.

Chelsea the Medical Sales Rep – Able to catch chickens with her bare hands, and may be a shrewd strategist. Says that the women could be “one huge ball of bad-assedness”, but also seems to realize that they are playing as individuals and not a team. Seems pretty sharp.

Christina the Negotiator – Able to calmly work a deal with the men to get fire when the others were unable to. The early Survivor One World Eye Roll Champion.
Colton the Gay Student –Flaunted his way through the opening introduction, talking about cute guys and coconuts, but then was shocked to find out that it was Men vs Women. Looks like Cochran 2.0.

Greg the Guy Who Wants To Be Called Tarzan –I was going to call him Greg the Plastic Surgeon, but if you’re going to insist that you be called Tarzan, then I have to go with that. Seems a bit over-dramatic, declaring that the walk to camp was “hundreds of miles away” and that each man “lost ten pounds of water weight.”
Let me ask you this, if you’re going in for plastic surgery, do you want a surgeon who exaggerates like that? How do you feel watching this show, if he just told you what he’s going to make you look like…and now you’re not so sure?

Jay the Model – Made fire in about 15 seconds. Thinks any deal with the women at this point is ludicrous. (I say he’s right, and give him major credit for either a) knowing how to start fire so quickly, or b) learning in advance of coming on the show.)

Jonas the Sushi Chef – I’ll use his words: “how bad ass could a sushi chef be?”

Kat the Blonde – Wanted to give the men a chicken, but only if they helped with the women’s shelter. Why not just say “We need you?” Doesn’t know what “ambiance” means.
Kim the Bridal Shop Owner –Wants to sweet talk the men to sit by the fire, like it’s not odd to just want to hang out with the people who just stole from you and refused a trade…and in your bikinis. Told us that all men are chivalrous in Texas.

Kourtney the Tattooed Bike Mechanic –A likable outcast, but a bad fate.

Leif the Midget –I’m sorry, I know the correct term is “little person” or “dwarf”, but until I learn what a phlebotomist is, I’m respectfully going with “Leif the Midget.” Seems like a hard worker who is both strong and likable.
Matt the Lawyer –This season’s misogynist. Demands chicken as an apology from the women. Said that he “knew Colton was gay,” which I’m quite sure even the bats in the forest knew. Likes to give nicknames to his teammates like Big Mike and Jaybird, like he’s a typical Frat Boy Meathead.

Michael the Banker – The Thief. What do you think the bank he works for thought of the footage of him stealing from the other tribe? And the fact that he was so proud of it? Audit, perhaps?

Monica the Ex-NFL Wife –Didn’t learn much yet about Mrs. Brad Culpepper, but I will point out that “Ex-NFL Wife” means that her husband is an Ex-NFL player, not that she is his “Ex-Wife.”

Nina The Retired Cop –Also didn’t learn much yet, except that she did a faceplant in the Immunity Challenge that made her face look like she went 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao.

Sabrina the Teacher –I like her, she seems funny, and should give us good soundbites.
Troy the Swimsuit Photographer – How many of you heard him call himself Troyzan and thought “this guy is the new Coach?" Be aware that Troyzan has three…count ‘em…THREE Facebook Fan Pages.

My Random Thoughts:

- I have to give Jeff Probst some props for the “no hands” helicopter shot off the top of the show. I have to think (and sure as hell hope) that he was strapped in there somehow, but it was still an impressive image.

- These may be the silliest Tribe names I’ve ever heard on Survivor, but probably only because Salani reminds me of this, and Manano reminds me of this.

- I liked two of the elements from the first portion of the show: the stripping down of the truck (albeit only 60 seconds), and Jeff giving them two separate maps to the same beach.
- Once Chelsea caught both chickens, she backed out of the deal with the men to share them, and then the bargaining started: they wanted to trade a chicken for fire, then for an axe. No deal was reached, but Greg made it clear that “you have nine guys here that are looking for a chicken”, which seems like it should have been a euphemism for something, but I don’t think it was. Who knows? Maybe I’m just not up on my plastic surgeon slang.

- Since there was no deal for the women to get fire, Alicia then just tried to steal it right in front of the men. When that didn’t work, she offered for Monica to take her pants off for the men. Not Alicia, mind you…Monica. Why would you offer your own pants when you can offer someone else’s?

Monica decided to simply keep her pants on and just steal the fire when the men were sleeping. But if you steal fire and can’t keep it lit, isn’t that like robbing a bank and not being able to spend the money?

I have to say, I’m not big on all of this stealing being acceptable in Survivor, but if you allow theft at the onset (at the stripping of the truck), then this has to be allowed too. But where do you draw the line? Can you steal someone’s Immunity Idol? What about their clothes? It’s a dangerous precedent.

- The bargaining continued as Christina worked a deal for fire, agreeing with Jonas and Bill that the women would weave palm fronds for them in exchange for the fire. Initially, Jonas requested 40, but she got him down to 20, which Bill said made sense because “each person does two.” Wait a second, Bill…last time I checked, 9 times 2 is 18. Is there another woman out there we’re missing? Or was he counting Colton, who called himself “one of the girls?”
And if you’re the women, why wouldn’t you do a horrible job weaving the palm fronds so that they leak?

- I noticed a lot of bats in the HD nature shots. Could it be because this season ends right around the time that The Dark Knight Rises is released in theatres? Probably not…

- When Sabrina stumbled upon the Immunity Idol in giant empty trunk, I made a new vow to no longer refer to them as “Hidden” Immunity Idols. When someone finds one in what they describe as “literally the second place I looked,” it’s just unacceptable.

But I did like that it was a Manono idol, that must be given to someone on Manono before the next Tribal Council. Obviously, Sabrina’s BFF Country Club Colton was the obvious candidate, and he was thrilled to receive it.

- The Immunity challenge was simple: an obstacle course that would need to be completed by each tribe member individually. At the end, it would be the old standard raising of the Tribe Flag. No tiles. No freakin’ coconuts. Hallelujah.
Bill lost his shoe, Colton scurried down the net, and before we could see how it all played out, the challenge was stopped because Kourtney had sustained an injury, what was clearly a broken wrist.

The men now had a choice: to either take the win and send the women to Tribal Council, or finish out the challenge. I paused it and did a quick survey of my girlfriend, my niece, and I to see what we would have done. They both said they would continue the challenge, and I said it was a no-brainer: take the win.

First of all, if you’re competing for fun, or just for competition, then yes, I would do the sporting thing and continue. But within the parameters of the game of Survivor, winning is everything, so you do anything that keeps you from Tribal Council.

Second, looking at Kourtney’s injury, both teams had to suspect that Kourtney was being eliminated from the game after her X-Ray, so why on Earth would the men risk losing one of their own at this point? Lots of risk, no reward.

And I hated Mr. Blue Shirt’s guilt-ridden reminder to the men: “the single biggest mistake made in this game is doing decisions early on that nobody will forgive you for in the end. But it is your call.”
The women were pissed, but Troy said it best, claiming that he doubts they would have done differently had the roles been reversed. It’s just like on The Amazing Race when someone gets upset after being U-Turned…it’s part of the game, deal with it.

- I can’t decide what was the better line in this episode: Kat (making fire), “I can’t do it that fast by myself” or Colton (talking about Matt), “we’re gonna cut his throat faster that Taylor Swift will write a song about an ex-boyfriend.” I’m probably going to have to go with Colton on this one.

- At Tribal Council: Alicia wants to target Christina, interrupting her, but then when Christina talks, holding a hand up in her face and saying “talking!” Heavy attitude on this one, who then told her “girl, if we were in Chicago, I’m about to punch you in your face.”

Here’s what I don’t get though, why was Christina’s fire-for-weaving deal “shady”, but stealing fire wasn’t?
- To the surprise of nobody, Kourtney’s wrist was indeeed broken, and she was out of the game, saving the women from a Tribal Council vote. An unfortunate end to someone I would have liked to see more of this season.

Next Week: The Women Fall Apart and Colton becomes Cochran.

After watching this first episode, I’m finding it hard to pick someone to win, but I’m going to stick with my tradition of a prediction after the first episode. I’m torn between two players (one man and one woman), so I’m going to say that either Chelsea or Jay will win…and if pressured to only pick one, I’ll go with Chelsea (but only on a 51%-49% split). Make your predictions in the Comments section.
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Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

I really like the cast this season. A little bit of everything.

James said...

My predictions are identical to yours: first pick is Chelsea, with Jay right behind her.

Anonymous said...

Good job, Sean, of posting with comments of all these contestants... Chelsea pulled a "Tom moment" early on with the one-hand grab of the chicken. No predictions on winner but I think it is a "girls" season... WINNER: editor/assistant producer for offering enough storyline texture to remember these strangers next week... LOSER: John Kirhoffer... Finally, no Redemption Island so the first time in YEARS someone gets voted off the 1st episode and this IDIOT ruins it!! The Mark Burnett who USED to care would have chewed him out ruining all suspense. The Mark Burnett of Survivor Season 1 would have STRANGLED him!! Kirhoffer's ONLY job is not to invent a challenge that someone is permanantly injured - SO THERE IS A VOTE!!! The women arguing stuff was "The Bachelorette" or Flava Flav or that Housewive's thing with Kelsey Grammar's ex or the basketball players wives. ^_^

Alisha said...

What irritated me the most is that Jeff TOLD everyone how to fall and I didn't see ONE person who listened. He said to cross your arms over your chest and land on your back; then he reiterated, "it's quite a fall", or something of the like. Drove me NUTS.

I do like the cast this season; Troy kind of reminded me of Shane from Exile Island- just less angry.

I think you're spot on about Chelsea. I think she may win.

A phlebotomist is someone who draws blood (like in a lab).

I think Matt is a big turd sandwich. As far as the stealing goes, I think they were just being smart (the guys). As I was watching it with my husband, I told him, "if any of those girls are smart, they'd go over there while the men are sleeping and steal their stuff back!" So they steal fire and can't keep it going? Come ON! That's just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Great recap Sean. I totally dislike the rude tall frat boy. I sure hope he goes soon because of the idol. My pick for the winner is the hot chick Kim. I hope she makes the merge with some good numbers. I also really disliked the large bottomed puerto rican chick who picked a fight with the asian girl for no reason and was super rude during the tribal council. It will be fun to watch her crash and burn.

Beth said...

My mom and I didn't agree with Jeff's handling of the interrupted challenge. Any other time one team has more players than the other, they sit someone out. So they could've just sat out one of the men who hadn't yet crossed the beam & rope and continued the challenge. The men still probably would've won, since they were ahead, but this way it would've felt like more of a "fair and square" win.

Oh, and I agree that stealing fire but not keeping it burning is pretty lame. I also agree with Alisha that they all should've listened to Jeff's instructions on the proper way to fall.

Kurt Sahr said...

As soon as Jeff gave the safety instructions, I turned to my fiancee and said "We never hear Jeff say the safety instructions before a challenge, even though I'm sure he always does. That means someone is going to get hurt." Sure enough.

Also, we had the same conversation about going on with the challenge or not. I'm with Sean, she thought they should go on with the challenge. What I wouldn't have done was be the one to tell them what they were doing; let someone else put their foot in their mouth.

Alisha said...

Oh yeah, as far as the challenge, the men totally should have taken the win. Like my husband and I were saying, you go on Survivor to win. You get handed a 100% chance on winning on one hand, and a 99.9% on the other- you take the win!

I know there is social game to think of, but at some point, at least a few of the women will HAVE to form an alliance with some of the men- and right now, they *all* "look bad" to the women (who were acting really immature IMO), so they are still on even keel.

Anonymous said...

So glad Redemption Island has gone it killed any finality of an episode . Lets hope the challenges are not to lame Men vs Women makes it hard not to be bias .

H said...

I didn't like the stealing on the first episode, but people seem to forget that Rupert did the same thing in his first appearance, 2003's Survivor: Pearl Islands. I think the difference is that when a player is likable like Rupert, their behavior is justified as being "part of the game." But when an unsavory player does the same thing, that person is seen as scum.

CockamAmy said...

after a quick start with theivery and surprises, i think this season for me will be known as "survivor: whirled one"

Anonymous said...

Usually they go over the challenge prior to the castaways actually doing it, so it's crazy that they did not follow Jeff's instructions for the challenge. Character development s lacking in a one hour premier, bring back the 2 hor premier. Agreed on your observations and choices of tribe members for sucess and failure. Hopefully next weeks episode will be more engaging .

R.P. McMurphy said...

Glad to have your commentary back, Sean. This episode took some getting used to without any tiles or an isthmus to visit. Also, I think there was only one Jesus reference. Praise the Lord! What a breath of fresh air.

I was more impressed with the women than the men as individuals but, sexist as it may be, I don't think they'll be able to hold up in the challenges. I liked Chelsea, Kim, and Nina (got a hunch about her).

I liked Jay the best on the men's side but didn't have a problem with cocky Matt. Did not like Michael or Troy. I agreed that Coach came immediately to mind when being introduced to Troy but that impression faded quickly.

From the editing, Chelsea and Jay came across as the sharpest phlebotomists. Whoops, I meant strategists.

I do not see Colton nor Alicia surviving long due to their tribe dynamics.

I'm not sure "respectfully" and "midget" go together. I'm not terribly PC myself but I didn't like that.

"Hidden Immunity Idols" shall now simply be called "Placed Immunity Idols."

Great to have another season underway and I always feel like Im watching the episodes with you.

Anonymous said...

Love reading your Survivor thoughts each week...nice job!

But, you wrote about Kat: "Doesn’t know what “ambiance” means"

The word is spelled "ambience." If you're going to mock a person about not knowing a word's definition, you can at least spell the word in question correctly. Right?

Anonymous said...

Let's just say "ambience" is the more common spelling, though sometimes "ambiance" is used as an alternative.

Steve said...

No one has mentioned Jonas, including the editors of this episode, yet I have a feeling he'll be sticking around for awhile. Don't know why.

Despite what the trolls on EW try to stir up, I enjoy your recaps, Sean.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you're obsessing over their careers. It is just a game! What they do in the game will not and should not affect their lives outside of it.

Anonymous said...

A phlebotomist is a nurse or other health worker trained in drawing blood for testing or donation.

Shellie said...

I agree that what you do in "real" life has nothing to do with the show but that one chick (can't remember her name) is a special education teacher, which I would think requires a lot of patience and understanding but saw none of that in her. If she taught my child, I would be appalled at her behavior.

Shellie said...

Oh and welcome back Sean, I love your recaps no matter what those haters on EW say!

Sean said...

Thanks for all of the comments on the premiere, but I feel the need to address a couple of things:

1) I know what a phlebotomist is. I Googled it after the episode, like 90% of the viewers did, but I left my sentence in there for the sake of my sense of humour. I don't need any more Comments or Emails or Posts on my Facebook wall telling me what a phlebotomist is. But thanks.

2) Nobody is "obsessed" with their profession...I use names like "Michael The Banker" in my First Impressions recap each season because nobody knows who the hell these people are, and that's how they are described on-screen.

3) To the Anonymous poster who attempted to criticize my "incorrect" use of "ambiance"...It's perfectly correct. Please keep in mind when you attempt to correct someone that it is pretty important to actually be "correct."

Anonymous said...

Colton looks like Stephen Harper.

Patra said...

Seriously, I could not get past the first 15 minutes. Maybe I am too sensitive but the woman swinging the chicken around while it squacked in terror just made me nauseated. I found that whole chicken chase and swinging portion too much. And yes, I am a huge animal lover. Plus, the douchebag lawyer guy left a bad taste in my mouth. I think I will skip this season of douches.

HoH8 said...

Oh Dear !!! Did I Miss Survivor??? I was one of 25 Million viewers watching American Idol !!! Oh NO !!!

LOL...just joking...

Go Women !!!...they will pick it up real soon, lets see when that Chicago gal punches that other gal in the face, lol....there were lots of Cutie Hottie guys out there with great abs... ☺...

Choirchick22 said...

I haaaate that girl with the big hair and the attitude. I know a girl who not only acts like her, but looks just like her in real life. I hope she goes soon.

I was sad to see Kourtney go. She was my favorite from the start. I don't understand why no one listened to Jeff's instructions!

I don't know about a prediction for winner yet, but I like Tarzan and Sabrina.

As for the stealing. I loved it when Rupert did it, and even though I hate the cocky men alliance, I think it's smart and fair for them too. Plus it's "no rules" at camp according to the opening.

Choirchick22 said...

P.s. I think it was a shady deal because they had to weave palm fronds for the men's shelter roof. heh. Shady..

Eudaemon said...

Looking forward to another season of recaps with you Sean. I have learnt from last season - no matter how smart the pretty girl is edited to appear on TV, Chelsea was still casted for her looks, and is no Survivor strategist who could go all the way. Alicia is the typical Survivor cast who thinks she's got the game figured out and tries too hard initially - she doesn't realise she's missing the social graces needed to win her any jury votes even if she makes it to the end. Jay was impressive with his fire-starting, but could be hurt being in the frat-boy alliance, which isn't as strong as Matt thinks - male strength is not such a precious commodity in an all-guy tribe. My pick is Jonas, the unassuming sushi chef. I am curious about future challenges - many should be skill or puzzle-based, or obstacle courses with mixed elements for speed/strength and balance like the first challenge. An early tribal shake-up may still be inevitable in this format, but it would also justify the One World concept too, to see who had built better bridges across the sexes.

The new HII concept is not clear at this point. There are supposed to be two HIIs, one for each tribe. So if you managed to find the one for your own tribe instead, it could be kept as normal right? Hence I am guessing perhaps the HII for each tribe is placed in the area on the other tribe's half of the beach (and intentionally made even easier to find) to showcase this new twist.

Anonymous said...

3) To the Anonymous poster who attempted to criticize my "incorrect" use of "ambiance"...It's perfectly correct. Please keep in mind when you attempt to correct someone that it is pretty important to actually be "correct."

Wow, aren't YOU touchy?!

I wouldn't have raised the question of your spelling "ambience" (the more commonly-used form) had you not called into question Kat not knowing its meaning. Geeeesh!

Sean said...

Let's be clear about a couple of things, Cranky Anonymous, since you seem to be the type of person who likes to point out problems, and not attach a name to it:

A) YOU were the one who was wrong, not me.

B) You're the one who appears to be "touchy" because I pointed out you were wrong.

C) I could honestly care less if you pull the "Wow, what an attitude. You lost a reader." Good Riddance.

I've dealt with people whose sole goal with these blogs is to post anonymously and try and poke holes in everything I say. No problem. I have, I will, and I will continue to make errors.

But, as I said, grow a pair and stop looking so hard for something to criticize that you actually make yourself look stupid.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Man, what a crybaby you are, Sean. Talk about thin skin. Anytime someone disagrees with you, you immediately go on the defensive. I've seen you do it in other weeks' recaps. Hey, it's your little blog world, so you can do whatever you want. As I said, I enjoy your reviews so I won't be as immature as you suggest and take my readership elsewhere. But you ARE being a big baby. Everyone reading the Comments section can see it. Signed, Mr. Anonymous

Sean said...

Dear "Mr. Anonymous",

Please keep your anger and vitriol contained to the EW comment board. This is not the place for the same sort of negativity that you and others spew there. For you to come here and make that comment, then go directly to the EW message board, search for a comment relating to me from TWO WEEKS ago, and post a nasty comment there 7 minutes later, shows that you are FAR too obsessed with me. I'd rather you find your Survivor fix elsewhere, as I'm sure would the other readers.

Furthermore, to post your juvenile EW rant verbatim: "(1) the dudes simply HAS to pimp his blog here every week, and (2) don't DARE disagree with him because he becomes totally defensive, sarcastic, caustic, etc. Guess that's why people around here have a bone to pick with him."

(1) I no longer "pimp the blog" on EW. I simply put my comment on the show. After the premiere episode, I don't mention my site, others do.
(2) You didn't "disagree" with me, you tried to tell me that I was using a word that wasn't a word...when you were the one that was wrong, and taking an arrogant, anonymous, stance on a topic you were wrong about.

Represent the facts correctly, keep your hate contained to the place where it is welcome, and grow a pair and stop hiding behind your cloak of anonymity and mis-representation.

Sean said...

"Mr Anonymous", if you'd like to have an adult conversation, I'd be happy to talk. My email address is