Yay! Survivor’s back!
And not a moment too soon. After suffering through one of the worst seasons of Big Brother ever, there’s something very comforting about Survivor and it’s workmanlike confidence. Survivor rarely gets the credit that it deserves for, after 35 seasons, remaining one of the most consistently entertaining of all the reality shows. Even the worst seasons of Survivor display a competence that, far too often, is missing from other reality shows.
This season is called Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers. I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of this season’s gimmick but then again, I rarely am. The majority of the healers are doctors and youth counselors and that certainly makes sense. And the heroes include a lifeguard, a cowboy, and a former pro athlete. I can buy that. But seriously — how do you define someone as being a hustler? At the start of tonight’s episode, Jeff Probst announced that hustlers “have a strong work ethic.” I have a strong work ethic, does that make me a hustler? Do the heroes not have a worth ethic? To be honest, it seems like they just had to come up with something to continue the H theme of the season’s title.
Well, no matter. One good thing about Survivor is that these gimmicks are usually only important for three episodes. Once they do the first tribal change-up, I imagine we won’t hear anything else about whether or not hustlers work together as well as heroes do.
First episodes of Survivor are always a little bit strange because it takes a while to get to know who everyone is. There’s always one or two survivors who make an impression while the rest remain in the background. To be honest, even after having watched the episode twice, I’m still struggling to keep everyone’s name straight. With that in mind, I do have a few initial impressions and here they are:
This is the hero tribe. They started out strong but narrowly lost the immunity challenge and ended up as the first tribe to go to tribal council. Interestingly enough, the heroes currently seem like the tribe most likely to implode as a result of paranoia and backstabbing. On the tribe, we have:
Alan — Alan is a former football player. He is coming on very strong and seems to be extremely paranoid. I’m actually surprised that he wasn’t voted out tonight but I guess he’s viewed as being a physical asset.
Ben — Ben is the cowboy. Ben got some attention at the start of this episode because he was wearing a cowboy hat. Time will only tell if Ben is another Cody Donaldson or if he’s just destined to just be another forgotten also-ran.
JP — JP appears to be this season’s forgettable but handsome guy.
Chrissy — Chrissy is one of the older members of the tribe. She threw up after the immunity challenge. I could have done without seeing that. She avoided getting voted out this time but I get the feeling that her time is limited.
Ashley — Ashley and JP appear to be a potential power couple. We’ll see how that works out for them.
Katrina — Katrina was the oldest member of the tribe and was the first person voted out. She was voted out largely because it was felt that she wouldn’t be an asset when it came to winning challenges and because she came on a little bit strong in trying to convince the rest of her tribe to vote out Ashley instead. I can understand the logic but, then again, Katrina wasn’t the one who collapsed after the immunity challenge. (Plus, you have to wonder if the tribe realized that, long before coming on Survivor, Katrina was an Olympic-class swimmer.)
This is the Hustler Tribe. We didn’t really get to spend too much time with the Yawa Tribe tonight so it’s difficult to get too much of a read on any of them. Here’s a few thoughts:
Patrick — If you noticed Patrick tonight, it was probably because of his red hair. I always wish my fellow redheads well so, hopefully, Patrick will make us proud.
Ali — Ali didn’t really make much of an impression.
Simone — Like Ali, Simone still hasn’t had a chance to make much of an impression. She has pretty hair.
Devon — Devon’s hot. Like I said, the Hustlers didn’t really get too much of a chance to make an impression.
Lauren — Lauren was giving a lot of orders while they were constructing their shelter. That always seems to be a sure sign that you’re going to end up getting on your tribemate’s nerves.
Ryan — If anyone on this tribe made an impression tonight, it was Ryan. Ryan is neurotic, nervous, and anxious. He did get an advantage when he found the Super Idol but he didn’t get a chance to use it because the Hustlers didn’t go to Tribal. Instead, he gave the super idol to Chrissy, who also decided not to use it. And now the Super Idol has expired.
This is the Healer Tribe. So far, they seem to be the tribe to beat. To be honest, I find almost all of them to be kind of annoying.
Jessica — Jessica didn’t get a chance to make much of an impression.
Roark — Much like Jessica, Roark didn’t make much of an impression tonight.
Cole — Cole is the big, handsome youth counselor. He seems like a good guy,
Joe — Joe is that bald guy who looks a lot like Tony Vlachos, the winner of Survivor Cagayan. Joe came across as being a bit of a bully and a jerk tonight, especially when he was demanding to know what Mike was looking for in the forest.
Desi — Sorry, Desi. You made no impression. That’s actually kind of a good thing, though. In the early episodes of a Survivor season, you usually only make an impression if you’re on the verge of being voted out.
Mike — Mike is a “sex doctor.” He got the most screen time of anyone in the Soko Tribe and I do think that it was cute that he looked for the idol specifically because his son advised him to do that before Mike left for the show. Hopefully, Mike will do well.
Again, the Levu Tribe went to the first tribal council and Katrina was the first person voted off the island, by a 5-1 vote. (Katrina voted for Ashley). We’ll see what happens next week!
What did everyone think of the premiere?