“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the returning players, who find that all of a sudden one of their strongest people and best challenge competitors has been replaced by a rookie!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.

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