“Survivor: Philippines” opened more with a whimper than a bang, compared to previous seasons, but there were certainly some interesting characters around. And there are sure to be fireworks as one tribe (Kalabaw) is already uniting against its returning player. In contrast, another tribe (Tandang) formed an instant alliance but there are signs of that breaking down already. The third tribe (Matsing) is most notable for the alliance forming between a sex therapist and a bartender. Another great thing about this three tribe set up is that it should put a stop to mega alliances sewing up the season.
Jedff Probst arrived on a boat to meet the 15 contestants for “Survivor: Philippines.” And there was a surprise: three players who were medically evacuated from previous seasons were also brought in. I know who I was hoping for, but I didn’t get him. Instead, we get to see Michael Skupin, Jonathan Penner, and Russell Swan again.
So who do we have in this new season?
Jeff Kent used to be a big baseball star, he says. Lisa Whelchel used to be a big sitcom star, apparently. I woke up when Zane seemingly launched into a speech on the merits of strangling young girls. I know. Seriously. Jeff and Lisa look good now.
Russell Swan warned us:
“Last time, ‘Survivor’ smacked me in the chops. And this time, I’m smacking back.”
That’s fighting talk, that is! I couldn’t wait for the newbies to meet up with our familiar faces.
Everybody got thrown into the water with 60 seconds to grab whatever they could. Penner of course wanted to know what happened next. What’s wrong? Scared? Well, there was a shark circling, but I very much doubt it was anywhere near the contestants.
At the beach, Russell predicted that there is always “some idiot” that tries to immediately take charge and be a leader. That person is a “dummy,” according to Russell. Interesting, because Russell then immediately tried to take charge, be a leader and refuse to listen to anyone else. But really, what Russell was telling them was right. He has, after all, set up camp before.
So with Russell and Malcolm, they had a fire pretty early on, thus ensuring they could be fed and hydrated for the challenge.
Zane made short work of forming alliances with Denise, Roxanne, Angie, Russell, Malcolm, Barry and Tootie. But boy does he complain. He doesn’t like sprinklers, apparently. No, I don’t know why that’s relevant either. He promised to never turn on these people in his alliance, though – which of course if he goes the distance in this show he’ll have to do.
Malcolm and Denise hugged to form their own alliance. It was awkward, but then he did have his shirt off.
Jeff Kent hurt his knee getting out of the boat but he showed the competitive edge that helped him on the baseball diamond, telling his fellow tribesmates:
“If anybody’s gonna win this game it ought to be one of us.”
Dana seemed particularly impressed with that. But Dawson knows a lot about baseball from her ex-boyfriend apparently, so she’s less impressed but keeps this knowledge to herself in case it’s useful later. Penner was already worried, searching for the Immunity Idol.
RC and Abi-Maria formed an alliance because back in the real world they both do the same job. But since it’s a job that’s totally useless on the island, perhaps they should be looking to enlarge their little gang. RC will probably be best remembered for that astonishingly awful laugh, although I hope not as I quite like her and she looks like a player to me. The girls were super excited to be besties, so you just know this alliance is doomed. But, showing some sense, they bring in Mike and Jacob. I liked Mike too, and I liked looking at Jacob.
Not doing so well was Lisa Whelchel, who already seemed to have pissed off her tribe. But I’m still supporting her because Jeff Probst was, in my opinion, totally out of order to say Lisa may have a problem with her age. She’s younger than both Mike Skupin and Penner and did he mention age in relation to them? No he did not! The younger women on “Survivor” clearly have no idea who she is. Mike Skupin, does though and he attempted to get her on-side. He might need her to nurse him, giving how many injuries he sustained in the season premiere.
The immunity idol seemed safe in the top of the rice container, as although most people except Mike have a clue to its whereabouts it remained unseen.
The immunity challenge was pretty tough, made especially tough by Russell selecting a beauty queen who admitted she sucks at puzzles to actually solve a puzzle. Not content with that, he selected a guy who quit smoking just two days before to do the running part. So, not surprisingly through Russell’s poor choices, they lost. He was ripe for picking off, so why did Zane pretty much volunteer,
“Three days in, brother, and I ain’t built for it. I deserve to go.”
Idiot!…Even more idiotic as he then says his apparently volunteering to leave is just a test to see if he’s running the tribe like he thinks he is.
“I’m playing chess the best way I know how,” he says.
Seriously – find another game.
At Tribal Council it was a surprise to no one that Zane was eliminated. Oh wait – it was a surprise to one person. Zane.
“I honestly thought I had this whole game figured out,” he said.