You guys, Survivor’s back! And this time, all of your favorite and least favorite people are returning! Again! For the third time! We’ve got a two hour premiere to get to, so let’s get rolling, shall we?
Probst tells us that we’re in the “South Pacific”, which is code for “Samoa again”. A formation of helicopters journey toward the beach; it all looks very epic. In one helicopter, Parvati looks at Russell all “Wait, who is THIS guy?”
“Yeah, this guy’s not gonna be a problem.”
And then: Fucking Rupert. Of course, we start with him. For those of you that do not know, I absolutely detest Rupert. Luckily, the very first words out of his mouth sum up why I hate him pretty nicely. “In my world, I’ve always tried to show that good will win,” he says with grave importance, as if every word coming out of his mouth should be carved into granite and preserved for centuries. Bow before Rupert, the symbol of all that is right with the world! I can’t wait to tell my kids stories of his heroism, so that they can pass it on to future generations and his legend may live forever.
Conveniently, in Rupert’s “world” this means that Rupert himself, as a champion of all that is good and holy, gets to have whatever he wants all the time, and everyone else has to step aside. In Rupert’s brain, he’s what would happen if Jesus and that guy who landed a plane in the Hudson river had a large, hairy child.
Oh, Russell. Man, not enough time has passed since I last saw his midget ass. He tells us that “Villains are much smarter than Heroes, because they don’t mind stabbing someone in the back.” If you can tell me how those two things correlate, I will buy you a pony.
James tells us that says he’s back to “get to the end this time”. Yeah, that won’t happen. Just as he did in China, and then again in Micronesia, he’ll be too busy telling everyone they’re full of crap all the time to actually do anything of merit. Whether or not one is actually full of crap is not important: what matters is that you should know that James is ON TO YOU. He’s like a larger, less intimidating Judge Judy.
Now that we’ve checked in with all the people that I don’t like, let’s check in with the legitimately enjoyable people: Hey, Coach! And Tom! And BOSTON ROB! “If they’re smart, they’ll get rid of me…” Boston Rob says with a smile. “…but they never do,” he smirks. Oh, Boston Rob. I have missed you the most.
Cirie! She awesomely tells us that she’s “a gangsta in an Oprah suit”, and also that she’s planning on winning this time. Unfortunately, her ass is probably doomed, but I love her anyway.
The helicopters land on the beach in tandem, Heroes emerging first and the Villains shortly behind them. The Villains enjoy some hilariously over the top entrance music as they take their places on the mat. We should probably all prepare for a lot of that this year, I’d say.
Once everyone has arrived, Probst begins the interview portion, milking this moment for all it’s worth. Russell gets to go first, because beginning with Rupert would be too obvious, I guess. “How does it feel to be among the 10 most notorious Survivors ever?” he says. Yes, Russell, how does it feel to be placed next to such legendary baddies as Danielle, who strikes fear into the hearts of others with…her giant fake teeth? I guess?
Probst asks the same question to Rob, and he’s all “I’m a villain?” which is way funnier in delivery than on paper, I promise. Jeff then heaps praise on Tom: “The viewers were really happy that you won, which isn’t always the case with some of our winners.” At this last comment, the editors subtly insert a shot of Parvati. Hee!
Probst continues. “Colby, you were so popular that people were naming their kids after you!” In case you did not know, Colby is Jeff’s very first man crush. He’s like, the Typhoid Mary of Probst’s latent homosexuality. The thing is, in this case, the two of them are actually, legitimately friends, which is terrifying to think about for some reason. What do you think they do together? I bet they meet every Monday night to watch Two And A Half Men.
Jeff asks whether anyone feels that they’re on the wrong tribe, and most of the Villains raise their hands. “What did we do?” Courtney says. COURTNEY! I love her and I refuse to apologize for it. She is like my bitchy, food deprived soulmate. Call me!
Probst calls Parvati “one of the most notorious women ever”, even though the two people (Amanda and Cirie) that did exactly same thing she did are on the Heroes tribe. And hey, what does James think about Parvati? “Definitely a villain,” he says as everyone laughs, because James got beat by a girl. Probst does take the opportunity to point out that James got voted out with two immunity idols, so one point for Jeff there. I can’t believe James has been on TV for a whole ten minutes and he has yet to tell someone not to “eat the apple”.
“Don’t gimme that, Jeff. You’ll be eating the apple soon enough. Have I mentioned yet that you shouldn’t eat the apple? Because you SHOULDN’T.”
Probst then announces that they’re going to be having their first challenge, right here and right now. Oh, and they’ll be setting the tone for the entire season by throwing in the wrestling challenge right off the bat. In this version, there’ss a rectangular playing field set up, divided into rows. Probst will call out a row, and then one pair from each team will race out to dig up a bag in that row, which then must be brought back to the starting mat by any means necessary. The first team to three points wins the challenge. The reward is fire, but that is irrelevant, because the real reward is MAYHEM.
The first round is Stephenie and Cirie for the Heroes versus Parvati and Danielle for the Villains. Cirie manages to dig up the bag first, but Parvati manages to pin her somehow, which physics cannot explain. Also, Danielle’s box is already hanging out.
Oh, NOW I remember who she is!
Shit then gets REAL when Cirie gets free and just starts tackling bitches, taking people down left and right. Probst calls her “a linebacker”, which is a little touchy given that she’s playing against three tiny white girls, but I’m going to give it a pass because I’m in a good mood and this episode is awesome. Danielle manages to break free and get to the mat, giving the Villains the first point.
After the round is over, Stephenie screams in pain, complaining that her shoulder is hurt, It’s clearly out of the socket, which his gross. Obviously the producers were hoping for injuries, so this is actually gross in quite a few ways. Medical comes in and takes a look, and then they pop her shoulder back into place and there is a disgusting sound which I surely hope is inserted, because if it is not I’m going to pass out.
The challenge continues, with Amanda/JT going up against Randy/Jerri. If you think that sounds like a mismatch, you would not be mistaken, because JT and Amanda quickly dispatch Jerri and Randy and tie up the score.
Now Colby/Tom will be taking on Coach/Russell, in a matchup which is giving Probst a huge boner. Instead of digging, Coach decides to wait and play defense, watching and waiting to pounce. Russell gets the bag first and tries to take off, and Colby jumps into action, spearing him at full speed from behind. That tackle is AMAZING, I must have watched it four or five times. I could watch Russell get tackled all day. I been waiting for someone to do that to him for months.
Can someone GIF this, please?
I seriously cannot stop telling you how sweet that tackle is. Every single one of Russell’s stupid egoistic confessionals should conclude with Colby tackling him in mid-sentence, just shooting into the frame at full speed and knocking him on his ass. Man, that would rule.
There’s a very big and very gay pile up for awhile while Coach, Russell, Colby and Tom vie for the bag. Probst watches off-camera, thinking “Man, this is JUST like that fan fiction I wrote.”
Colby tries to crawl away with the bag towards his own mat, but Coach is on him, and Coach sort of drags the bag AND Colby right towards the Villains’ mat in an impressive display, winning another point for the villains. Tyson tries to make fun of Colby by calling him a woman for losing to Coach, but he’s pretty much saying that only a lady would lose to Coach, and I’m not sure that was his intention. Not a great start there, zinger wise, Tyson.
Sugar/Candace against Courtney/Sandra. Sugar eventually gets the bag, but Sandra wraps up from behind and takes Sugar’s top (which just is a bra) in her hand, undoing the clasp. The only way Sugar’s taking off with the bag is to do it topless, and Sandra’s essentially daring her to go for it. And, guess what? Because this scenario results in attention for Sugar, she goes for it, blurry boobs flapping in the breeze as she scores another point for the Heroes. Then, just to class it up a little bit, she flips Sandra the double bird. Refinement like that hasn’t been seen since that episode of Cheaters where a woman beat the shit out of her cheating husband with a bucket of fried chicken.
The next round is Rupert/James facing off against Tyson/Boston Rob. Tyson has leopard underwear on, by the way. Amazing.
I had no idea I was recapping Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Boston Rob also pulls the “sit back and wait” strategy, except this time James gets the bag, and he is so large that even Boston Rob cannot stop him, so the Heroes score the final point and win the reward.
Before the celebrating is even finished, Rupert is bitching that his toe is broken. He says that his toe “went like a J”, which I’m assuming means the letter J. Tangent: Do you guys remember those Letter People that your were used to teach the alphabet when we were little? For instance, to teach you the letter B, someone created this big, anthropomorphic letter sporting a bunch of buttons or balls or whatever alliteration will help you remember at five years old? I bet there’s a Wikipedia entry. Hey, there is!
I don’t know, maybe it was just me. I feel like The Letter People are maybe ubiquitous, like playing with them is a fundamental experience that we have all shared. I don’t know. Anyway, it has occurred to me that Rupert is a living, breathing letter person. Not even shitting you. He’s the letter H, and he is Hairy Hobbit.
Wow, that joke was elaborate.
Anyway, so Rupert is limping around, but no one gives a shit because Stephenie just dislocated her shoulder, which is a real injury and not something that happens to those of us with no balance on a daily basis. And Stephenie went right back into the competition after having what amounts to outpatient surgery, so maybe man up, Gimpy the Egotistical Troll.
How in the hell do you show up looking this unkempt? If he sticks around, he’s going to be Cousin It in no time.
Probst distributes the maps to camp and sends them off. Of course, we have to hear what Russell thinks about losing, because if a douchebag fails in the jungle and you don’t hear about it, was he really that strategic in the first place? “You think losing bothers me?” he says, “I’m used to losing, working with a bunch a dummies. ” Yeah, except for that part at the finale last season where you CRIED when you LOST. Dolt.
You know what the really wonderful part is? This season was filmed immedately after the last one, like a week later, so Russell’s pretty much saying all this stuff with complete confidence that he’s won his previous season. He has no idea yet that acting like a dick will completely backfire on him, which makes all of this even tastier to hear, and will make this season when he does the exact same thing even tastier to watch. Mmm, schadenfreude. Tastes like caramel!
The Villains arrive at their camp. Hey, you know what would be cool? If we heard from Russell again! God. Damnit. “If I can do the same thing here and take it all the way, does that mean that I’m the best ever?” he says. No, it does not. Because what you did got you second place, and doing it all the same way will probably get you second place again. That does not make you the best, that makes you Amanda.
“I’m gonna play the exact same game,” he says, and we see him taking Danielle aside and giving her the same lines he gave to Natalie, getting all overeager about going to the final two with her on DAY ONE and telling her she’s the only one for him and he’s sorry he gave her a black eye and he loves her and never wants to hurt her and he’ll never push her down a staircase again.
Oh, and then? He goes to freaking Parvati and tells her the exact same thing. It’s one thing to do this to someone like Natalie or Danielle and expect them to buy it, but when your ego is so large that you think you can take this BS to someone who eats people like you for breakfast? You deserve what you get. I cannot WAIT for the moment when she slices him open like a Ton-Ton and sleeps inside him to protect herself from the harsh winds of Planet Hoth.
Does this look like the face of someone who buys your shit?
Of course Parvati is onto him the moment he starts in: “I’m completely aware that he’s running around telling everyone the same thing,” she says. “I know he’s sneaky, but it’s much easier to control him if we’re aligned.” She does have a point. Option number two: VOTE HIM OFF.
Then there’s more boring shit where Russell acts like he’s the greatest thing ever, calling himself the Michael Jordan of Survivor, but I’m bored with him. I’ve already spent entirely too much time recapping Russell talking about himself, so we’re instituting a new policy this year: Every time Russell talks about how awesome he is, I’m instead going to insert a random Simpsons quote. It’s just better for everyone this way.
Time to visit the Heroes tribe. OH MY GOD, WHAT IS SUGAR WEARING?
That is the exact opposite of hot.
It’s raining at the Heroes’ Camp, probably because Jesus is sad that he has to sit through another season of Rupert. On the plus side: There are no tribe names this season, so I won’t have to type some awkward Samoan noun a million times until I want to smash my keyboard with a mallet.
The Heroes try to decide where to set up camp. Sugar wants to ask “the two oldest men” what they think, which should tell you some sad, sad stuff about Sugar’s worldview, and also her daddy issues.
Shelter building montage! While the Heroes prepare their camp, a random flock of chickens wander right into frame. Tom Westman is literally in mid-sentence when he notices them, and his head snaps over immediately like he’s one of those dogs from Up.
They use a net to catch the chickens and make a makeshift cage for them, which is pretty much just a hole in the ground. Those chickens are already plotting a Shawshank style escape attempt, I am telling you.
Meanwhile, it’s night one at the Villains camp. They chat about the challenge, and Tyson admits that he’s half glad that Rupert broke his toe. Randy inserts a pretty great mocking impression of the Rupert Growl here, which makes me chuckle. Coach has probably been talking for the last eight hours about how awesome it was to take down Colby. Yeah, I bet that’s not getting old for everyone else.
The next morning, Jerri and Coach flirt with each other, and it is either revolting or destiny. While Russell and Parvati pick on Coach about his new crush, Courtney and Sandra joke with Jerri about hooking up with the Dragon Slayer. Jerri can’t even keep a straight face when she talks about him, which either means that she legitimately likes him, or that she can’t wait to see how ridiculous this looks on TV. Given that it’s Jerri, I’m not sure it matters.
“Well, if midgets are trying to eat his asshole, he’s gotta be tasty, right?
Over at the Heroes camp, JT and James make an alliance, which is not a great move for JT. Part of the reason why JT was so successful was that Stephen made up for the strategy he might lack, so teaming up with one of the worst strategists in Survivor history might not be a wise decision. Also, James sucks.
Amanda and Cirie sneak off into the woods to chat. They make the observation that they can’t spend too much time together, because then people will get suspicious. In other ground breaking news: wear a jacket when it’s cold to prevent illness.
It seems that other previously existing relationships are rekindling as well: Tom and Stephanie meet and hug; it seems like they haven’t seen each other in quite awhile. Tom says that they worked so well together the last time they played (translation: he kicked her ass), that he’s looking forward to aligning with her. However, he wants to go to the end with another winner to give him a shot. He approaches JT, who quickly agrees to work with him. “I think people here are expecting me to be nice,” JT says. “I’m not here to do that this time.” You can tell he means business this time because of his plaid-on-plaid ensemble. He cares not for conventional fashion rules! He is a rulebreaker!
Over at the Villains Tribe, Boston Rob begins to complain about how no one wants to do anything because they’re all so dehydrated. Thus, they need to make fire, so that they can get water, which will solve this problem. Wait, people on this show are coming up with actual solutions to problems instead of just complaining about things? What the hell is happening?
Randy, ever the optimist, is bleak on the prospect of making fire without flint. “It’s not going to work, this fire making, so why even try?” Oh, Randy. Your level of pessimism is matched only by your level of racism.
But then Boston Rob is all, “Whatever, even though only two or three people on this show have ever made fire from two sticks, I am going to do it anyway because I am Boston Rob,” and then? He makes fire. With two sticks. Man, he is awesome. All of this happens solely because he is Boston Rob, and he dines on the flesh of haters for sustenance in these trying economic times. You know what the difference between Boston Rob and The Situation is? I’ll tell you: An Ed Hardy T-shirt. And yes, I mean that as a compliment.
Coach watches Boston Rob make fire, and you can literally see the little cartoon hearts floating out of Coach’s head. “I’m definitely bromancing a little bit,” Coach tells him. It’s okay, Coach. You are not the first. Today. During the writing of this recap.
Heroes Tribe. Rupert is fishing! I know you certainly haven’t seen quite enough of THAT before. “My toe is broken, so I’m gonna be a worker bee,” he says. The first stage of this plan is for him to make a fire. Keep in mind that he is going to accomplish this using the flint and steel the tribe won at the reward challenge. As he scrapes the flint to death, he begins talking to himself, offering encouraging words that he’s pretending are to motivate him, but are really for camera time. This is one of the things that irks me about Rupert the most. We all know you’re on camera, buddy; you don’t need to voice every single thought you have.
Cirie watches Rupert waste their flint: “You want to say something to him, but his ego is SO humungous that you just can’t!” she says, laughing at how ridiculous it is. I love Cirie for finally saying what many of us have been thinking for years. It is unfortunate that her doomed ass won’t be around for very long.
Rupert finally gives up and goes wandering around the forest like a crazy person while Danielle and Stephenie make the fire. I wish I were making this up.
Oh my god, RUN.
Back at the Villains camp, Rob finds a very tall coconut tree and is tempted to climb it. “I didn’t want to hurt myself,” Rob says with a smirk, “So why not get someone else to do it?” Jump-cut to Coach perched at the base of the tree, getting ready to shimmy up while Rob goads him. Hee! I could watch Boston Rob brainwash Coach into doing different things for hours a day.
Sandra sees the action and shimmies up next to Rob, laughing at Coach. They fist bump as they watch and giggle at Coach’s idiocy, making a bet with each other. Coach eventually wusses out and climbs down, and Sandra harasses Rob for the dollar she just won from him. Man, I want them to go to the final two so hard, you guys.
Make it happen, guys.
Night two at the Heroes tribe. Everyone’s trying to sleep but Sugar, who wastes absolutely no time in becoming an absolutely horrible human being: “I’m the kind of person that always needs a protector,” she says. This is a thing that an adult human being just said, everyone. Her biggest ambition is life is to form a parasitic relationship with someone larger than her, so she doesn’t have to actually do anything herself. I dare you not to find her objectionable.
Sugar starts yapping while everyone else is trying to sleep, and then latches onto Colby, like literally following him around camp and trying to remain in his orbit at all times. Remember when we watched this kind of gross shit for a whole season and everyone (including me, for a brief moment) thought she was some sort of strategic genius?
In the morning, the tribe decides that it’s time to kill one of the chickens. JT gets old school all over the chicken’s ass, picking it up and snapping its neck with his bare hands. I know at least one person who would find that hot, sadly.
James watches JT murder his breakfast. Apparently, this reminds James of the time he saw his grandma do the same thing. “It scarred me as a child, and I was screaming in terror but also it was pretty funny. It was a good time,” he tells us. This is how you become a grave digger, people.
“I told my grandma, DON’T EAT THE APPLE, and what does she do? She eats the apple. So I disown her. We haven’t talked in 20 years. Isn’t that hilarious? Now, where’s my viewer voted award?”
Immunity Challenge! The tribes will be racing against each other to put together a boat using planks, and then they’ll paddle the boat out to retrieve a torch, bring the torch back to the starting line, solve a puzzle, use the boat planks to make a ladder, climb the ladder, place the puzzle at the top of the platform and then light a wick using the torch. Got all that? Jesus.
The challenge begins; the Heroes get their boat together first, and they’re way ahead going into the second phase. Unfortunately, they’ve made the strategic decision to put Rupert on the puzzle, and he will be helping out by…staring off into the distance.
He must be studying the very complicated design of the puzzle, which is…a star. STRATEGY!
Meanwhile, Sandra and Rob arrive at the puzzle for the Villains and smoke the shit out of it, not only making up the time but surpassing the Heroes altogether. The two of them are pretty much solely responsible for the Villain win, as the team climbs the ladder and takes the first immunity challenge. Have I mentioned that I love them together? Because I do.
You will be shocked to hear that Sugar is crying after the Heroes lose, because God forbid we pay attention to anyone else for an effing second. Colby is like “I really want to get rid of Sugar, because she’s pretty much useless.” I’ve never been a huge fan of Colby, but his commentary about Sugar throughout the episode combined with the domination of Russell earlier have him climbing significantly in my mental rankings.
Back at the Heroes’ camp, Rupert is, get this, scolding everyone else for being too cocky. “We walked in like we had an S on all of our chests!” he says. Hey, Rupert? That was just you, man. I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s kind of how you walk everywhere.
Sugar thinks that Amanda should go, and then she starts crying, because that is what amounts to strategy for her. Hey, it worked last time, so why shouldn’t it work this time, right?
There are around seventeen things wrong with this picture. See if you can identify them all!
JT goes to Colby to tell him about the Amanda idea, but Colby is pretty adamant about wanting to get rid of Sugar. JT agrees quickly, and Colby tells everyone else on the tribe. They all seem game, except for Tom, who wants to get rid of Cirie since Sugar poses no threat.
Meanwhile, Amanda and Cirie are working on avoiding notice by spending all their time together. Ingenious! Cirie wants to take out Tom or Stephenie, but we don’t really see her trying anything besides talking to Amanda about it, so this one looks like a giant red herring
Tribal Council! The setup is amazing; it’s this big, awesome looking elevated treehouse structure. Probst welcome them to Tribal Council, noting that they’re forty feet in the air. He immediately addresses the elephant in the room, asking Tom about the prior relationships that everyone’s formed. Not surprisingly, Tom wants to ignore them entirely, since that means ignoring him and Stephenie. “But what about past success?” Probst continues. “Amanda, you made it to the end both times, what do you think?” Oh, Probst. Your not-so-subtle assholishness is delightful.
“I got to the end both times by making loyal alliances, so you’d think that would be a positive,” Amanda says. “Also, it’s clear that I suck at Tribal Council, so…” she laughs. Wow, she answered that perfectly, actually. Someone’s been practicing!
“Also, Russell’s going to get second this time, so I’m probably good, right?”
Probst’s point, essentially, is that there’s a reason to get rid of pretty much everyone, so the playing field is actually pretty even. And with that, it’s time for the first vote! We don’t see anyone’s actual vote, but we do see Sugar struggle to figure out the pen.
When the votes are read, they’re ALL for Sugar, except for one vote for Amanda that Sugar cast. And guess what? She’s crying as Jeff snuffs her torch. Ugh. Get. OUT.
Man, that episode was awesome. Good start to the season! Now, if everyone could continue voting people out based on my level of dislike for them, that would be great. Rupert next! Or Russell! I’m giving you OPTIONS, guys.
And the preview for next week looks scary. It appears that Boston Rob’s eyes are rolling into the back of his head, and that he fell from a great height. Yeesh.