Archive | September, 2017

“We’re gonna cause chaos together.” Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers September 27 2017 Season Premiere Recap

28 Sep

Season 35 begins on a boat — nothing new about that, but what is new is that Jeff Probst is heaping praise on the contestants before they have even started! He goes into great detail about the great qualities the Heroes have, and so on. Then he tells the three tribes they have to get as many supplies as they can into their tribes’ individual boats and get to shore where some burning urns are suspended 15 feet in the air. The first tribe to light its torch at one of the urns wins a firemaking kit.

Before the predictable chaos ensues, we are shown that a Secret Advantage, labeled as such, is hidden among the supplies. It is found by Ryan, a birdlike bellhop who tells us he is “125 pounds soaking wet.” He tucks it into the back of his trousers, unobserved. Amid the tribes hustling to their boats we see Probst jumping into his motorboat, commanding the driver “Let’s hit it, go!” And that’s not the only Probst action shot we see, curiously enough.

The Healers come in first, the Heroes second, and the Hustlers last by far. The tribes get maps to their beaches, and the Healers find theirs easily as a huge, impressive fire is burning.

Earlier we had met Cole of the Healers tribe, who apparently leads Outward Bound-type tours. Now Jessica, a nurse practitioner, tells us “Cole is Tarzan.” And no, she’s not talking about the buffoon from Survivor One World, thank goodness, but rather comparing Cole’s ripped physique to that of the fictional character by that name. Also on the Healers tribe is Joe, a probation officer who looks like a Tony Vlachos type, and who tells us the other players are “just all my victims at this point.”

On the Heroes tribe, we find out that Alan played in the NFL for 9 years (looking him up after the show, I see it’s the former Dallas Cowboys backup defensive back Alan Ball). And Alan immediately has his eye on a duo that seems to be hitting it off, namely Ashley and J.P. (no, not that Ashley and J.P., thank all that’s holy). Ashley is an outdoorsy-looking blonde and fireman J.P. is more a standard Survivor hunk type. An alliance of four between Alan, Ashley, J.P. and former Marine Ben is quickly formed. Left on the outs in that scenario are fortyish Chrissy, who tells us she’s a successful financial analyst as well as a mother, and Katrina, who seems to be the standard “clueless middle-aged woman” found in every Survivor cast.

On the Hustlers tribe there appears to be an early alliance between Ali,¬† a personal assistant to an unidentified celebrity who is on Youtube (huh?), and redheaded¬† Patrick, a small business owner. We also see Ryan get a look at his secret advantage, which is nothing less than a “super immunity idol” that can be played after the votes are read. Really? That seems too easy. Ah, but there’s a twist: this idol can only be played at this first tribal council of the season. If Ryan is not on the tribe that goes to tribal council, he has to anonymously send it to someone on the tribe that does go.

Back on the Healers tribe, Mike, a Woody Allen-esque urologist, goes to “check on the fire,” i.e. look for a hidden immunity idol. Joe is suspicious that Mike’s doing exactly that, and confronts him in the manner of a cop trying to interrogate him. It’s clear right away that Joe is no Tony after all, more like a villainous Tony wannabe.

But Joe isn’t the most idol-obsessed guy in this first episode. Oh, not by a long shot. That honor belongs to Alan, who has been brooding over the incipient J.P./Ashley showmance and also is convinced J.P. has an idol. J.P. swears he doesn’t, but Alan will not let it go, and insists that the two go for a swim to prove it. Ashley tries to cool Alan off and let him know he’s being completely insane, but Alan won’t, so finally J.P. just drops his pants to put an end to the speculation.

Meanwhile, Ryan has decided he needs an ally, and of all people, the nerdy fellow chooses Devon, a surfing instructor who is a cross between Keanu Reeves and Survivor Nicaragua winner Jud “Fabio” Birza. Ryan tells Devon everything about his idol! A huge mistake? Actually it seems not, as this odd couple seems to get along famously. “Our chemistry is perfect … we’re gonna cause chaos together,” Devon says.

At the first immunity challenge, Probst lets us know that the tiebreaking procedure at Tribal Council is back to the traditional way as opposed to the way it was done in the Game Changers season. The Healers, who won the torch race at the start, also win the challenge, and the Hustlers are second, meaning the Heroes have to go to Tribal Council.

Chrissy from the Heroes collapses to the ground, and Probst asks if she needs a medic, but it turns out she just needs to throw up. Ryan observes this, and it seems likely that he will send the idol to Chrissy who seems to be an underdog.

We see a wonderful shot of some whales for the second time this show, and then we go to the Heroes tribe. Guess what: Alan’s obsession with Ashley and J.P. has not dimmed. He tells us “whatever they’re tryin’ to do, I’m blowin’ it up.” Alan goes over to Chrissy and Katrina, whom the others have unkindly dubbed “the mom squad,”and proposes an alliance with them. The women could join with Ben and take out Ashley or J.P. Or of course Ben and Alan could stick with the original plan of voting out Chrissy or Katrina. Ben appears to be the swing vote here.

Just before Tribal Council, Chrissy does a double-take when she looks in her bag to find the super immunity idol in there.

At Tribal Council, there’s lots of frank talk with everyone telling about everything that has happened. Alan seems just as insane as he has all episode, and he seems like an early candidate for consideration for my Worst Players in Survivor History list.

The votes are read, and most of them are for Katrina. Chrissy does nothing, and Katrina is out of the game.

As the credits roll we find out two things: one is that Katrina was an Olympian, no less (a swimmer at the 1988 Olympics to be exact). The other is that Chrissy was one of the people who voted for Katrina.

I think not using the idol was the right move for Chrissy. She and Katrina were lumped together but didn’t seem to be tight, so it’s better for Chrissy to stay under the radar, especially with Alan likely about to self-destruct.

Early favorite: Ben.