Survivor: Blood vs. Water Premiere Episode Review

survivorI am very happy to have Survivor back on TV. But man, I did NOT need to see Rupert or Colton back on the screen, ever again. I don’t think Colton deserves the time of day, and Rupert will never grow on me. Every word out of his bearded face irritates me.

The twists for this season were good and bad – the teams are made up of returning players and their loved ones, respectively. I think that’s a fascinating twist and I can’t wait to see it play out. But, Redemption Island is back. Booo! I don’t know why the show’s producers are so obsessed with this concept. It sucks all the suspense out of the game. People who get voted out should be that – OUT. Gone. Dunzo.

Now, if you’ve seen Wednesday night’s premiere, click through for the rest of the recap.

My problem with this episode is, it was 90 minutes long and no one was eliminated. Three people were “voted out”, but there are still 20 players left in the game. That’s crap.

Popularity Contest

The players spent the night in the jungle in pairs, just to confuse them into thinking that’s how they’d play, I guess. We saw very little of it. When they broke up into official tribes, Probst announced that each tribe would vote someone out on the spot.

…really? I always hate this twist. You came all this way to play! Everyone deserves a fair shot, the chance to at least participate in a challenge. Who wants to be voted out just because they’re wearing the wrong football t-shirt?

rupert and lauraFor the purposes of making this blog easy to write, the tribes will be referred to as “Vets” and “Newbies”. The Newbies unanimously voted out Laura, Rupert’s husband. Interesting. I am not a Rupert fan, and I get the impression that Rupert is rather disliked in the Survivor community. He was handed a million dollar prize for nothing, has gotten a golden edit for years, and keeps getting asked back to play. Who wouldn’t hate him?

I was more interested, of course, in the Vets’ vote. I knew they wouldn’t vote out Rupert, because he fishes and builds shelters. But I thought awful, bigoted, destructive Colton would be a shoe-in. I was wrong – most of the votes went to Laura and Candice, and Candice was voted out. Why? She comes across as a little cold and stand-offish on Survivor, but she’s smart and strong. No one seemed to know her and cited that as a reason, but I can’t believe that anyone who does know Colton would want to keep him around.

Probst then gave the loved ones a choice – would Rupert switch places with Laura, or John with Candice? Rupert did, John did not. I understand why Rupert switched – he’s played this game like a million times, it’s his wife’s turn. John and Candice didn’t switch, likely for the same reason.

Camp Life

Back at camp, all the Vets were wishing Rupert was around to do all the work. He probably should have taught Laura a few skills before coming on this show. Luckily, Tyson trained with the best – Boston Rob – and got a fire going in under fifteen minutes.

Later, that fire was almost drowned out, by the crocodile tears of Colton. I have no time for Colton’s lame sob stories. None! I don’t believe he’s changed for a minute.

Over at the Newbies’ camp, they definitely didn’t have fire. They had a shelter, and a quirky ragtag crew of people with checkered pasts. Ciera and Vytas bonded by sharing their stories – Ciara was a teen mom, and Vytas was a teen heroin addict. Well. That makes 16 and Pregnant look like a dream.

Brad immediately jumped on the idea of an all-dude alliance. “We have four guys and a gay guy,” he said. So… you have five men. Later, Brad showed that he has impeccable counting skills. “Math with Brad” should be a YouTube series. I think Brad took Monica’s “hit the ground running” advice a little too seriously, and he came on too strong. He has the numbers for now, but it seems like the other, smarter guys don’t entirely trust him.

Checking in on Redemption Island

Candice complained that she was doing all the work around camp, while Rupert just lazed around. Yes… but why was Candice sharing anything with Rupert? Fire, sure. But I wouldn’t have given him any food or water. Rupert was being a jerk because he’s awful, but his strategy to conserve energy for the challenge wasn’t dumb.

Puzzled?

Kudos to the show New Girl, because I kept thinking of last night’s episode and Winston during the challenge. The Reward/Immunity challenge was an obstacle course, with some tribemates swimming and rowing, and three completing a puzzle.

The first two parts of the challenge were a joke. Everyone had to swim through an obstacle course, and Gervase couldn’t keep up at all. Thirteen years later, Gervase still hasn’t learned how to swim. Did he know he was coming on Survivor? You’d think he would have signed up for a class at the Y. Gervase was so exhausted from floundering in the water, he barely had enough strength to climb the small pile of banana crates they were calling a challenge. It was pitiful.

The Vets had a chance to catch up when it came time to row the boat back to shore, but the Newbies still beat them. The boat was sideways, spinning, everything but going the right way. Colton screamed at Kat – yeah, he’s really changed.

Then the puzzle came, and suddenly the Vets made a comeback. It was moms vs. daughters, and the moms pulled off the win! Awesome! What wasn’t awesome was Gervase jumping up and down, celebrating and yelling “That’s how it’s done!” That’s graceless in and of itself, but particularly so for a man that performed as well as a newborn baby in the challenge.

Voting Time

Marissa was particularly annoyed at how her uncle behaved after the challenge, and let everyone at camp know that she didn’t respect it. I felt like that was a good decision, yet everyone looked to Marissa for elimination because of Gervase’s gloating. Huh? That made no sense to me at all.

Katie, Tina’s daughter, gave the worst challenge performance. She was no help on the puzzle, and she doesn’t appear to be very physically fit either. Why wouldn’t they vote her out? Marissa’s challenge performance was perfectly fine, and she was competing in the more physical tasks.

marissaIt seemed like the guys wanted to vote Marissa out to teach Gervase a lesson, but he’ll never get the message. It’s entirely pointless, and furthermore it’s treating Marissa as a tool and not as a real person, who could hinder or benefit their team. At Tribal Council, everyone voted for Marissa and she was sent to Redemption Island.

When things like this happen, I can’t help but wonder what racial prejudices are coming in to play. It can’t be easy to be the only black person on a tribe, and I wish Survivor would make more of an effort to cast a more diverse group.

Next week, someone will actually get eliminated. Redemption Island puts a real kink in my mom’s Survivor pool, because three people will end up getting someone who’s on Redemption Island right now. Hope I’m not one of them! Now, hit the comments and tell me what you thought of the episode.

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