Welcome back to Survivor. The newest 18 tribe members are trapped on a schooner with Jeff Probst and some sailors who are using safety harnesses when climbing up the masts.
Unfortunately, they do not have to stay on the boat for the whole season, which would have been AWESOME! Jeff divides the 18 into three tribes of six, based on “the positive attributes other people say they have”. WTF? I thought we wouldn’t be this desperate for random categories of people until Season 50. Here we go:
Across the back we have Ben (Ex-Marine – they hate it when you call them that – family man), Alan (Ex-NFL player and the trope-y “crazy black man”), and JP (requisite firefighter … JT stand-in). Across the front we have Chrissy (financial analyst), Ashley (lifeguard), and Katrina (1988 U.S. Olympics swimmer). Here are each tribe members’ assumed parents:
Edgar Ramirez + Zach Galifinakis = Ben
Jafar + Aldis Hodge = Alan
Sam Worthington + Spencer Pratt = JP
Paul Newman + Carol Burnett = Chrissy
Gabrielle Reece + Peter Billingsley = Ashley
Skeletor + Leslie Mann = Katrina
How the hell is a financial analyst a hero? Even Chrissy doesn’t know, but thinks that being a working mom makes her one.
They took CPR once
Across the back are: Cole (homeless Outward Bound counselor), Jessica (super dumb nurse practitioner – just happy to be here), and Roark (arrogantly nerdy social worker – either a VERY dark horse or a forgettable early out). Across the front are: Joe (probation officer for some scary people and Officer Tony stand-in), Mike (neurotic urologist … “art house” movie potential?) and Desi (out of her league physical therapist).
Random Abercrombie & Fitch model + Chris Hemsworth = Cole
Ryan Philippe + Anna Faris = Jessica
Rhonda Rousey + Sheldon Cooper = Roark
Fat Joe + Jennifer Lopez = Joe
Woody Allen + Pizza Rat = Mike
Simone Biles + Holly Robinson Peete = Desi
Back row: Devon (surf instructor and CERTAINLY no Ozzy), Patrick (ginger pube head with the Bachelorette-esque “small business owner” title), and Ali (celebrity assistant who may turn out to have Parvati moves). Front row: Lauren (butch single mom commercial fisherman who will probably be sacrificed right before/after the merge), Ryan (bellhop and Cochran wannabe) and Simone (diversity advocate who only got on the show because she replaced the one with a fungal infection from her tongue ring).
Michael Ealy + Amanda Peet = Devon
Zack Ward + Lindsey Lohan = Patrick
Lisa Bonet + Cree Summer = Ali
Chaz Bono + Lisa Rinna = Lauren
Elijah Wood + DJ Qualls = Ryan
Olivia Munn + Block of expired cheese = Simone
Like past seasons, the three tribes have to throw supplies overboard toward their color-coded boats and get the supplies on their boats to claim them. Someone shouts out, “Who can swim? Who can swim?” and someone else answers, “I can! I can!” and surprisingly it’s not racist, since it’s a conversation between white people. People start throwing food overboard into the water, with no one in the vicinity of the now super salty, moist food. Cochran 0.5 finds a square package marked “Secret Advantage” and hides it in his pants. Probst rings some bell which signifies that the food throwers have to join the throwees in the water and swim to their color-coded rowboats to get to shore. Probst delightedly pushes Firecrotch off the boat because he’s taking too long. Probst has some shit to work out.
Taking the passive out of passive-aggressive
The teams start to row to shore, while Probst jumps into his motorized speedboat and nervously bites his nails in anticipation of not winning the race against them to the beach. He’s an a-hole. The Hustlers just paddle cartoonishly in circles while the Healers and Heroes row toward the beach. The teams must then lift one of their team members up to a 15-foot-high basket of fire to light a torch.
A (very) Special Olympics opening ceremony
First team to do so wins a “massive” firemaking kit (and a fire already burning at their beach!) and the second team wins flint. Third team wins a shit sandwich. We can all guess who the “Losers” – Probst’s word – will be. Healers win, Heroes come in second.
Favorite part of the season! Transitional footage is not of sharks nor squid nor birds, it’s ….
Going to be a whale of a season!
Healers find their beach, and shit, Jeff wasn’t lying about the fire burning. Why is it a teepee?
Somebody call 911! Somebody call the ACLU!
Don’t worry, we’re just killing the smallpox.
We get to watch the Healers awkwardly chat. Jessica and Roark are in love with Cole. Joe has DJ Khaled’s kid’s face tattooed on his arm and is confident about their tribe’s ability to win everything. Joe also thinks he’s very good at strategery.
Over at Heroes, Ashley and JP have teamed up and believe Ben would be a good ally. Alan sees them and is worried about Ash & JP as a voting bloc, but talks to Ben about teaming up with those two because their tribe needs strength. Poor Chrissy and Katrina. Ageism is real, no matter how well you swim or how expensive your new teeth are. Also, we get our first taste of Alan’s crazy eyes planning.
Jafar got nothin’ on me.
Over at Hustlers … forgot about them already! Lauren’s taking charge of construction (of course she is) and Ali’s already making plans with Pubetrick to form an alliance. Ryan finally gets away to look at his Secret Advantage.
Prreeecious! IT’S MINES!
It’s a weird advantage … a Super Immunity Idol, which means it can be used to save Ryan or someone else AFTER the votes have been read at Tribal Council. Two caveats: 1. It can only be used at the first Tribal. 2. If the Hustlers win immunity, Ryan must anonymously give it to someone on the losing tribe headed to the first Tribal Council.
At the Healers camp on Day 2, Desi is whipping everybody into shape and is feeling very good about camp life.
Sun’s out, guns out!
Mike’s running around looking for the idol and Joe pulls him aside to call him on it. Joe demands that Mike empty his pockets and make some kind of dominant-submissive alliance with him. Joe thinks his name is Brad Culpepper. However, Mike is NOT Tai, so Joe is screwed if he thinks Mike will be bullied.
Showing a red ass only works for baboons, Joe.
At Hustlers, Ryan interviews that Devon is a dumb, strong ox and Ryan can ally with him. Ryan pulls Devon aside and tells him about the Secret Advantage. Ryan promises to save Devon with it if shit goes down at Tribal. Devon’s happy to be a smart guy’s wingman.
Back at Heroes, it’s night time on Day 2 and Alan lets his crazy flag fly – crazy like a fox. He loudly accuses JP of having an idol and brings Ashley in on the convo, ensuring that everyone else on the tribe gets the net that Ashley and JP are a tight unit and thus, worrisome. It’s a big risk to play the crazy card, though, and Alan has a target on his back, too.
Next day is Immunity Challenge #1. Everyone’s excited to climb a cargo net, pull a heavy wagon up a track to a ledge just to ride back down the track and slam into some dirt, then choose one of three ball/table puzzles to complete. The first team to the three puzzles gets to choose theirs first, the second has to choose from the two puzzles left over, and the LOSER team gets the remaining puzzle choice.
That’s a lot of dead trees. Why not just three puzzles?
Once the team has picked a puzzle, the team has to haul the table maze up another track and run three balls through the maze to win.
Heroes are first to the table mazes, so they choose #3 (the traditional maze). Hustlers are second and they choose #1 (the one with the diamonds). Healers are left with #2, the maze with the straight-line rail. Mike and Desi win handily for the Healers (with an admittedly important tip from Roark). The Hustlers come in second, with great maze handle skill from Devon and Ali (and hilarious supportive body and head bends from Pubetrick) and are safe as well. That means the Heroes are headed to Tribal. Chrissy, who was a handle holder with Ben, looks sick and soon pukes foam on the wooden platform after collapsing slowly. She waves off medical and says she’s fine.
I hope the stomach acid doesn’t damage my veneers.
I don’t know if she has heat exhaustion or was hoping for a pity party that would keep her safe from the inevitable Tribal vote, but either way, I don’t feel bad for Chrissy.
Later on, at the Heroes tribe, Alan and Ben ally with Ashley and JP against Katrina and Chrissy AND with Chrissy and Katrina against Ashley and JP. They’re feeling pretty good. Then Chrissy finds the SUPER IMMUNITY IDOL in her bag. Either the producers told Ryan to give it to her or her puke-on-command worked on Ryan’s sympathy. She only interviews that she’s definitely using it for herself, if need be, but doesn’t commit to saving anyone else.
TRIBAL! Everyone gets fire. The torches are pretty this year.
Mardi Gras fire hazard
Pretty much right away, Chrissy says the young four are gunning for her. Probst asks Katrina if she agrees, and she does, waving her walker around for emphasis. Alan goes crazy eyes again, because Ashley calls him out for accusing her and JP of having an idol or a clue.
They’re all really scared of Alan.
Probst loves that JP got naked to prove he didn’t have an idol and asks Chrissy about the JP/Ashley duo, which Ashley doesn’t pick up as a threat to her safety in the game. She and JP deny, deny, deny, which only helps Alan’s game. Ben is the designated “calm down, muthafishas, and stick to the plan (wink, wink)” of Tribal. This causes Alan to say blatantly that the original plan was to eliminate Katrina or Chrissy and he could have stuck with that. However, he wants everyone to know what’s going on with JP and Ashley. Alan must have his long game in mind, because this does not bode well for surviving the first Tribal. TIME TO VOTE! It’s one vote for Ashley and five for KATRINA! Not only did Chrissy vote for Katrina, she did NOT use the Super Idol to save her …. hmmm … interesting. All I can think is that the Super Idol requires a re-vote and Chrissy was worried about getting voted out herself. Even if Ashley, as the only other original vote-getter, would have been automatically kicked off, Chrissy might want loyalty points by crowing about how she didn’t use it when they get back to camp. The Super Idol was pretty anti-climatic, and I can’t even muster up a pathetic amount of sympathy for Katrina, whom we never knew but didn’t really care. I wonder if they made her swim home.