Welcome to Nicaragua! It’s majestic, full of wildlife, and most importantly: RUSSELL FREE. Well, for one season, anyway.
But I’ll have plenty of time to complain about the unfortunate turn of events that will be Survivor: Russell versus Rob later. For now, there are twenty new people wandering aimlessly through the jungle, and I’m not watching Big Brother, so: DOUBLE RAINBOW!
Have I mentioned that there’s no Russell? Because: there’s no Russell. Huzzah!
So yeah, twenty people, forced to adapt and so on. You know how it goes. This woman will have some trouble adapting to life after 1985, which (based on her clothes) is the year from which she has apparently time traveled:
You KNOW she had that shit specially made for this.
New Credits! Apparently, someone is named “Benry”. There’s also a “Sash”. Oh,and a black person named “Tyrone”, which just seems racist in 2010.
Probst gathers the twenty new contestants on a beach, probably so that he can size them up, pick the one with the largest muscles, and buy that person flowers. They’ve been randomly sorted into groups that they think are their tribes, but the old/young thing has been spoiled for weeks now, so it’s barely worth mentioning. A brunette chick tells us that she’s going to try and keep secret the fact that she has one leg. How, praytell, are you planning on doing that when it’s so, so obvious? Is there an elaborate system of mirrors?
I’ll brainwash them all!
Probst pretends that he doesn’t know their names (even though he’s heavily involved in casting), asking the “girl in the dress” what she thinks of some of the others. This goes on for a bit, revealing lots of great time filling information like “I’m already judging people based on how they’re walking,” and “I’m already picking out some favorites.” For many of us, this is the twenty-first time we’re watching this go down. We know people are judging already, show. Get on with it.
So Probst drops the first twist of the season on the contestants: hidden somewhere in the lagoon nearby is a “Medallion of Power”, which is the worst name for anything, ever, unless that thing is an eighties hair metal parody band. The person who finds it will claim it for their tribe. Several people dive directly into the lake. You guys? Uh, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be in there.
This is why there are always Easter Eggs in plain sight.
A pretty Asian girl spies it up in a tree and retreives it, because Asians are better than us at everything. The people she’s grouped with high-five her. Not so fast, everyone over forty! You’ll be separated into your own tribe, to go and die under the porch like real old people.
“Damn, we wanted Jimmy Johnson!” some of the younger guys joke. “I’m young at heart!” Jimmy shouts, laughing at himself, making me the winner of the “Who will make the first terrible joke about being young at heart” pool at my office.
The older tribe will be “Espada”, and they’ll wear blue. The younger tribe will be “La Flor”, and they’ll wear yellow.
“Don’t worry, I’ll have Terry Bradshaw wash this for me later.”
Probst presents Brenda with an option: she can trade the MEDALLION OF POWER and use it later in the game, or trade it now for some flint and a very generous treasure chest full of fishing gear. They now have to decide whether to use the power. The catch is that whatever they don’t take, the other tribe gets. After a commecial break, they wisely decide to take the fishing gear and give the older tribe the MEDALLION OF POWER, since they have no idea what it even does. Also: there is seriously a thing on this show called the Medallion of Power.
After another commercial we’re on the geezers’ beach, where everyone’s introducing themselves to Jimmy. He’s getting a lot of airtime because he’s famous, and also because he’s probably getting voted out next week. Crazy fringe jacket lady’s name is Wendy Jo, and she’s already talking with this English teacher looking woman named Holly. They’re all “I trust you!” “I know, I trust you too!” ”Let us form an alliance!” It’s kind of cute that these older ladies think that they actually have a shot.
Wendy and her weird fairy voice tell us that she wasn’t wasn’t expecting an alliance so soon. “My husband thinks that I’m going to be the first person voted off,” she says. Wow, supportive husband, am I right? That sounds like a happy marriage. I bet there’s a line item in their Quicken budget for leather fringe.
I mean: the jacket. It deserves a second look.
Another middle aged blonde woman, Jane, is totally awesome; she grabs someone’s glasses and a little coconut husk and freaking starts a fire immediately. ‘Nuff said
HATERS GONNA HATE
Over at the younger camp, Benry introduces himself to people via high fives, as anyone named “Benry” would. Surfer dude Jud (with one “d”) immediately gets a large shard of wood lodged in his foot. A large man named Shannon (pest control company owner, Mr. Dangerous lust object) calls him a “dumb blonde” as we watch various mishaps befall him. What’s the over/under on Jud getting eaten by an alligator before the end of the season? All they’ll find are a couple of bones and some Pantene where he used to be.
They all decide to start calling him “Fabio”, which: duh.
Later, Shannon and Chase have a boxer-brief wearing summit in which they discuss how women are weak and should be eliminated, especially since they’ve been winning this show the last few seasons. This all happens with their crotches blurred out. It’s going to be a thing this year, so get used to it. ”We already get owned in marriage,” Shannon says, “Pretty soon there’s going to be a woman presedent. A guy needs to sack up and win this thing.” Classy!
We’ve all already seen your sack, buddy.
The girl with the bad leg finally decides to give it up, calling a tribe meeting so that she can take her pants off. Hey, I’ve seen movies like this! Someone asks her what happened and she tells them that she had a birth defect. Fabio is in awe of the leg. “How do you get it to move?” he asks like a dumbass while everyone laughs at how ridiculous he is. Shannon is the first one to state the obvious, which is that if she gets to the end she’ll win on sympathy. I’m not sure “sympathy” is the right word, because I think people would be more impressed than feel sorry for her, but the conclusion is the same: she must be eliminated.
Back at Espada, they congratulate Jane for the fire. Everyone except Jimmy, that is, who is already wheezing and horking stuff up on the afternoon of Day 1.
It’s cool, that’s how I feel when I watch the Cowboys offense, too.
The next morning, Jimmy is still feeling pretty badly. He starts complaining to the other tribe members about how terribly he feels, which always ends well for the person complaining. Back at La Flor, Brenda (the pretty Asian girl who found the MoP) talks to Chase; they agree that they like and trust each other. To prove this point, Chase reveals that some of the other guys (read: Shannon) want to get rid of all the girls. “I’m used to having guys do what I say, so I’m not surprised,” she says. You only get one of those before you start to suck, Brenda.
You’re on thin ice, Michelle Kwan.
One-legged Kelly and some chick named Alina (huh?) go to get the treemail, which also contains a clue to the hidden immunity idol. The new clues are in the form of a rebus or hyrogliphics or something; we don’t get a really close look at it, but this is the producers’ effort to make the idol easier to find. They hide the clue in a tree and agree not to tell anyone. The whole thing makes Alina pretty uncomfortable, since now she’s sort of stuck in alliance with Kelly by default.
The older tribe also gets the treemail (Marty presents the tribe with it, which probably means he got a clue as well). Jimmy decides that now is the time to motivate the team, and he gathers them around to Jimmy thinks he can motivate the team. He calls a “team huddle” and tells them there’s no way that he’s going to win, so his goal is to help one of them win. “I want to get psyched up and kick their asses!” he half-shouts. Wow, with “motivational” ”speeches” like that, it’s no wonder he’s a multi-millionaire!
Immunity Challenge. La Flor comes in with awkward choreography and chanting. Jeff watches, amused, and with impeccable comic timing, goes “Ooookay?”
That’s the face I’ll make when I’m forced to watch Russell again next season.
You know, sometimes Jeff’s not that bad.
Today’s challenge is pretty simple: one person will pour water from the top of a tower while other tribe members hold pieces of a gutter to guide it into a bucket. Once the bucket fills, a set of puzzle pieces will drop. The first tribe to solve the puzzle takes home immunity.
But wait! The Medallion of Power has a function, and it is this: it gives one tribe an advantage in the immunity challenge. In this case, if the older tribe uses it, they’ll get their bucket filled to 20% right off the bat. If they use it, it reverts to the other tribe, but they have the option of holding onto it as long as they like. Jimmy Johnson wants to “make a statement”, so they decide not to use the MEDALLION OF POWER.
Of course, you know how this is going to go: they then get roundly trounced. The younger team gets out to a nice lead and keeps it the whole time, meaning that the older tribe has to vote someone out first.
“Just wait until the challenge where we pour water on some Depends! We’ll get ‘em then!”
Back at camp, Jimmy T (fisherman, guy who is going to annoy me a bunch) is already shouting about how Jimmy J is trying to “hornswaggle” everyone. Yes, he used the word “hornswaggle”. He rants and raves for five solid minutes until someone finally interrupts him, and then he gets all uppity and queeny about being interrupted. “I’m gonna be heard!” he keeps shouting. Yeah, I’m not sure that’s going to keep you in the mix for long, there, Jimmy.
Meanwhile, Holly and Jimmy Johnson discuss the upcoming vote. Jimmy J knows that he’s in the weeds, telling Holly that it should be one of two people: Wendy or Jimmy himself. “Ask yourself: will the team be stronger without Wendy?” he says. It’ll be less festive, that’s for sure.
Wendy and her outfit from Juniper Creek whine about how no one is talking to her right now, which makes her nervous. “Holly won’t even look at me, and we made an alliance yesterday!” she whines. Over in the corner, Holly talks to Marty and Yve and some butchy red haired lady that we haven’t met. Because no one wants to actually present an opinion, they have a pointless, roundabout discussion regarding who to vote off that makes little to no sense. It’s pathetic, really. Essentially, none of these people really have a plan and just don’t want it to be them. Riveting!
“Time to go into battle. Gotta get my armor on!”
Tribal Council will be taking place in a Spanish Fortress this year. As usual, the set is very impressive.
Jeff asks the tribe about their first impressions. “People probably think I’m a southern hillbilly,” Jane laughs. Marty disagrees with her and tells Jeff about the fire she made. “Well, you said it yourself, Jeff: ‘I can’t believe anyone would come and play Survivor that didn’t know how to make a fire. I practiced for two months!” she laughs. Man, I like her.
Jeff asks Jimmy T if he buys the statement that Jimmy Johnson keeps making about how there’s no way he can win. “Not at all! If he gets to the end, he’ll win no matter what.” Maybe, maybe not. Also: it’s episode one, so maybe quit thinking about who you’re going to take to the end. Not that you’re going to get there.
At this point, Wendy starts whining about how no one’s spoken to her or, randomly, asked her how old she is. “Maybe I’ll start tooting my horn!” she mutters crazily like a crazy person. Everyone gets all offended, since they have absolutely no idea what she’s even talking about, let alone who she is. Jeff tries to interrupt her and get the vote started, but Wendy has about eight hundred thousand more words to say about how awesome and great she is and about how much she has to offer to the tribe. I don’t understand what she’s even saying with her creepy voice, but I feel sorry for the people who get voted out right after her and are stuck listening to her for the next 38 days. Wow, she probably convinced MORE people to vote for her, after that.
Time to vote. Hey, guess what? Every single person voted for Wendy! Get off my television, crazy person. See you on Hoarders in a few years.
“Does anyone want to borrow this jacket? It might get cold out there! Anyone? No one? Anyone?”