Archive | September, 2013

“I’m gonna rub some more”: Survivor Blood vs. Water September 25 2013 recap

27 Sep

Remember Colton 2.0, the nice guy who realizes that his bitchy behavior on his previous season was because of insecurity and low self-esteem? Well, unfortunately he’s gone after just one episode, and the bitch is back. As Aras notes, “You can only fake it for so long.”

Incidentally it has only been seven years since Aras won Survivor: Panama, but Mr. Baskauskas seems to have aged 15 years. The young buck has somehow become a wise man despite only being in his early thirties.

Both tribes get to go to Redemption Island to see the three-way challenge between Rupert, Candice, and Gervase’s niece Marissa. She tells Uncle Gervase that the main reason she was voted out is because he rubbed salt in everyone’s wounds after winning the last immunity challenge. He says “I’m gonna rub some more, I promise you that.” It turns out that a player is allowed to switch places with his or her loved one at this juncture if he wants to, but Gervase declines. Let’s face it, the uncle/niece relationship is not exactly as tight a bond as two brothers or a husband and wife.

Rupert loses the challenge and he’s out, the first person to be out of the game this season. I can’t say I’m that sad — Rupert was fun for one season but he has probably been overexposed, and the more you see of him you realize he’s not quite the teddy bear he was made out to be.

Meanwhile, Candice comes in first and gets the clue to an immunity idol which she can give to anyone she wants on either tribe. She chooses her husband John. For a brief moment I wondered if that was the right move, but Candice is hanging by a thread anyway, and even if she makes it back to her tribe later, they are the ones who sent her away in the first place! So really she need not show loyalty to anyone else but her guy.

Back at camp, Colton gets up to his old tricks of trying to sow dissension. He addresses a tribe that includes Aras sitting on the ground and Tyson sitting on a log behind him, draping his arms around Aras the way a college kid might cuddle his girlfriend. What’s going on here? I’m sure Colton, who hates everyone, hates this too: “Hey, being gay is my shtick!” Anyway, Tyson’s girlfriend Rachel, who’s on this season, is quite cute, so I’m sure Aras is just Mr. Right Now.

I don’t think Colton will have anywhere near the impact he had in his first season. Mainly because he’s not on the most inept tribe of all time as he was on “One World,” but also because everyone else has seen what he has to offer, and his tribemates are veterans of the show. We soon see an alliance forming: Tyson, Aras, Gervase, Tina Wesson, and Monica Culpepper (i.e. everyone but Colton, airhead Kat who is the only person Colton can really influence, Laura from Samoa and Laura Boneham, Rupert’s wife). This alliance of five seems a really solid group that could make it really far if their family ties don’t break it up.

At the challenge, it comes down to Gervase competing in a ball-rolling phase against Hayden, Kat’s boyfriend and a former Big Brother winner. Whether by skill or luck, Gervase pulls it out.

Back at the loved ones’ camp, Vytas (Aras’ brother) has an idea: why not vote out Rachel in hopes that Tyson will want to swap places with her to save her? That would mean the Favorites would instantly lose their most athletic player. Brad Culpepper and Hayden love the idea, while Caleb (Colton’s boyfriend) is at the very least going with the flow. As for the other guy, John? Well, he’s far less enthusiastic, since that plan would put a top athlete in the Redemption Island arena with his gal Candice, greatly hurting her chances of sticking around.

Rachel is indeed voted out, though there are two votes for John (presumably from Ciera and Katie) and one for Ciera (I assume from Rachel?). Like future seasons that showed a Redemption Island, the show doesn’t close with goodbyes from the person voted out as the secret votes are shown in the background. Rather, they end with the evictee trooping over to Redemption Island, which is far less interesting.

I certainly have not fallen in love with this season yet. However I have to admit the additional complication of the loved ones lays the groundwork for some novel situations in future episodes.

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“You hurt me to death last time. A lot.” Survivor Blood vs. Water Season Premiere Recap

25 Sep

Returning players and lots of twists: what’s not to love? Well, we’ll get to that.

We begin by meeting some returning favorites (?) and their heretofore unseen loved ones. Some of the returnees are ones I was hoping never to see again, like dense and immature Kat from One World (who is joined by her boyfriend Hayden, a former Big Brother winner). Others I thought deserved another chance, like Monica from One World, who I thought would have become one of the better players that season if she hadn’t been voted out so early. Monica is joined by her “famous husband,” Brad Culpepper. If your definition of “famous” is “someone who obsessive football fans vaguely recall,” then I guess the onetime defensive lineman is famous.

Jeff Probst gathers everyone together and quickly announces a few twists:

– The returnees will not be teaming up with their loved ones but rather playing against them (thank goodness).

– Redemption Island is back (boo).

– Each tribe has to vote out one of its own members instantly (which provides instant drama).

The vote takes place, and the loved ones vote out Rupert’s wife Laura, while the returnees vote out Candice. Evidently the fact that Candice “mutinied” against her tribe way back in Cook Islands has stuck with her just as it stuck with her fellow mutineer Jonathan Penner (who I wish were on this season!). The other returnee who got votes was Laura, with players stating that they just don’t know her.  America was saying the same thing … was this lady seriously on Survivor: Samoa?

Probst offers the loved ones of the two people chosen to leave an opportunity: they can take their friend’s place, but then the friend takes their place. For example, Rupert can choose to go to Redemption Island in place of his wife Laura, but then Laura has to join his tribe, the returning players. Shockingly, Rupert does indeed choose this option! Much to the chagrin of the returning players, who find that all of a sudden one of their strongest people and best challenge competitors has been replaced by a rookie! Thanks for nothing Rupe.

The two tribes head for their camps, and Rupert and Candace go to Redemption Island. Rupert’s strategy is to avoid doing chores as much as possible to make sure he conserves energy for immunity… and he mentions the shocking statistic that he has never actually won an immunity challenge!

Gosh, I haven’t even mentioned Colton yet. Yes, believe it or not this season has three players from by far the worst season of this show, “Survivor: One World.” Monica was one of them and she is frank with Colton: “You hurt me to death last time. A lot.” But he’s supposedly a more mature guy now who blames his bad behavior in the other season on insecurity.

It’s time for the first immunity challenge, which begins with a swimming portion for which the veterans team chooses — among others — Gervase. The inability to swim was one of his trademarks, yet everyone seems to have forgotten this… including Gervase himself! Meanwhile, emcee Probst feels the need to shout some variation of “It’s returning players facing off against their loved ones!” approximately every five seconds throughout the challenge, as if to make sure anyone who’s quickly flipping channels will get the message no matter how briefly they leave the channel on CBS.

The veterans win and Gervase talks trash, much to the chagrin of his niece Marissa, who — possibly for this reason — becomes the person voted out and sent to Redemption Island.

I usually try to pick an early favorite to win after just one show, and I think I will cast my lot with Vytas, who is the brother of Aras who won Survivor Panama (aka Exile Island). He seems very intelligent, and smart enough to stay low-key so nobody is gunning for him. Also, unlike many names I’ve just mentioned, he’s an interesting character.