Survivor: Blood vs. Water Premiere

survivorI am very happy to have Survivor back on TV. But man, I did NOT need to see Rupert or Colton back on the screen, ever again. I don’t think Colton deserves the time of day, and Rupert will never grow on me. Every word out of his bearded face irritates me.

The twists for this season were good and bad – the teams are made up of returning players and their loved ones, respectively. I think that’s a fascinating twist and I can’t wait to see it play out. But, Redemption Island is back. Booo! I don’t know why the show’s producers are so obsessed with this concept. It sucks all the suspense out of the game. People who get voted out should be that – OUT. Gone. Dunzo.

Now, if you’ve seen Wednesday night’s premiere, click through for the rest of the recap.

My problem with this episode is, it was 90 minutes long and no one was eliminated. Three people were “voted out”, but there are still 20 players left in the game. That’s crap.

Popularity Contest

The players spent the night in the jungle in pairs, just to confuse them into thinking that’s how they’d play, I guess. We saw very little of it. When they broke up into official tribes, Probst announced that each tribe would vote someone out on the spot.

…really? I always hate this twist. You came all this way to play! Everyone deserves a fair shot, the chance to at least participate in a challenge. Who wants to be voted out just because they’re wearing the wrong football t-shirt?

rupert and lauraFor the purposes of making this blog easy to write, the tribes will be referred to as “Vets” and “Newbies”. The Newbies unanimously voted out Laura, Rupert’s husband. Interesting. I am not a Rupert fan, and I get the impression that Rupert is rather disliked in the Survivor community. He was handed a million dollar prize for nothing, has gotten a golden edit for years, and keeps getting asked back to play. Who wouldn’t hate him?

I was more interested, of course, in the Vets’ vote. I knew they wouldn’t vote out Rupert, because he fishes and builds shelters. But I thought awful, bigoted, destructive Colton would be a shoe-in. I was wrong – most of the votes went to Laura and Candice, and Candice was voted out. Why? She comes across as a little cold and stand-offish on Survivor, but she’s smart and strong. No one seemed to know her and cited that as a reason, but I can’t believe that anyone who does know Colton would want to keep him around.

Probst then gave the loved ones a choice – would Rupert switch places with Laura, or John with Candice? Rupert did, John did not. I understand why Rupert switched – he’s played this game like a million times, it’s his wife’s turn. John and Candice didn’t switch, likely for the same reason.

Camp Life

Back at camp, all the Vets were wishing Rupert was around to do all the work. He probably should have taught Laura a few skills before coming on this show. Luckily, Tyson trained with the best – Boston Rob – and got a fire going in under fifteen minutes.

Later, that fire was almost drowned out, by the crocodile tears of Colton. I have no time for Colton’s lame sob stories. None! I don’t believe he’s changed for a minute.

Over at the Newbies’ camp, they definitely didn’t have fire. They had a shelter, and a quirky ragtag crew of people with checkered pasts. Ciera and Vytas bonded by sharing their stories – Ciara was a teen mom, and Vytas was a teen heroin addict. Well. That makes 16 and Pregnant look like a dream.

Brad immediately jumped on the idea of an all-dude alliance. “We have four guys and a gay guy,” he said. So… you have five men. Later, Brad showed that he has impeccable counting skills. “Math with Brad” should be a YouTube series. I think Brad took Monica’s “hit the ground running” advice a little too seriously, and he came on too strong. He has the numbers for now, but it seems like the other, smarter guys don’t entirely trust him.

Checking in on Redemption Island

Candice complained that she was doing all the work around camp, while Rupert just lazed around. Yes… but why was Candice sharing anything with Rupert? Fire, sure. But I wouldn’t have given him any food or water. Rupert was being a jerk because he’s awful, but his strategy to conserve energy for the challenge wasn’t dumb.

Puzzled?

Kudos to the show New Girl, because I kept thinking of last night’s episode and Winston during the challenge. The Reward/Immunity challenge was an obstacle course, with some tribemates swimming and rowing, and three completing a puzzle.

The first two parts of the challenge were a joke. Everyone had to swim through an obstacle course, and Gervase couldn’t keep up at all. Thirteen years later, Gervase still hasn’t learned how to swim. Did he know he was coming on Survivor? You’d think he would have signed up for a class at the Y. Gervase was so exhausted from floundering in the water, he barely had enough strength to climb the small pile of banana crates they were calling a challenge. It was pitiful.

The Vets had a chance to catch up when it came time to row the boat back to shore, but the Newbies still beat them. The boat was sideways, spinning, everything but going the right way. Colton screamed at Kat – yeah, he’s really changed.

Then the puzzle came, and suddenly the Vets made a comeback. It was moms vs. daughters, and the moms pulled off the win! Awesome! What wasn’t awesome was Gervase jumping up and down, celebrating and yelling “That’s how it’s done!” That’s graceless in and of itself, but particularly so for a man that performed as well as a newborn baby in the challenge.

Voting Time

Marissa was particularly annoyed at how her uncle behaved after the challenge, and let everyone at camp know that she didn’t respect it. I felt like that was a good decision, yet everyone looked to Marissa for elimination because of Gervase’s gloating. Huh? That made no sense to me at all.

Katie, Tina’s daughter, gave the worst challenge performance. She was no help on the puzzle, and she doesn’t appear to be very physically fit either. Why wouldn’t they vote her out? Marissa’s challenge performance was perfectly fine, and she was competing in the more physical tasks.

marissaIt seemed like the guys wanted to vote Marissa out to teach Gervase a lesson, but he’ll never get the message. It’s entirely pointless, and furthermore it’s treating Marissa as a tool and not as a real person, who could hinder or benefit their team. At Tribal Council, everyone voted for Marissa and she was sent to Redemption Island.

When things like this happen, I can’t help but wonder what racial prejudices are coming in to play. It can’t be easy to be the only black person on a tribe, and I wish Survivor would make more of an effort to cast a more diverse group.

Next week, someone will actually get eliminated. Redemption Island puts a real kink in my mom’s Survivor pool, because three people will end up getting someone who’s on Redemption Island right now. Hope I’m not one of them! Now, hit the comments and tell me what you thought of the episode.

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About Jill

Pop culture junkie. Food lover. Feminist. Content marketer. I'm here to win and I'm also here to make friends.
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9 Responses to Survivor: Blood vs. Water Premiere

  1. Aaron Sirois says:

    I love the casting here. And I love that Candace has a chance to be the first to go. Hated her in Cook Islands, and was beyond annoyed that she was labeled a “hero” the first time she came back. I knew Rupert had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, as he’s got the strategic brain power of a rock. Kind of bummed Colton can’t be the first person voted off. His idea of redeeming himself was to look as pitiful as possible instead of apologizing for his horribleness.

    The strategic level has definitely been raised. Voting someone out has never been this nuts. You may need to align with their loved one later on, or ask for both loved one’s votes at the end. Then there’s the chance they come back from Redemption Island. “Mommy, that guy was mean to me! Can we vote him out now?”

    I’m giving the benefit of the doubt and saying that they didn’t vote out Marissa due to her race. If race were the issue, I would think they would have gotten her out at the start as opposed to Laura.

    Speaking of which, the vets tribe is going to be in serious trouble when there isn’t a puzzle element to fall back on. They lost a strong young woman and a older but still pretty strong man and got a inexperienced older woman as a replacement. Meanwhile, the newbies lost an older woman. The odds are incredibly in their favor in a pure physical matchup. I don’t even see a particularly weak player on their side. Katie may have fumbled on the puzzle, but she looks pretty strong to me.

    Gah. I’m just so excited the show is back, and I love the concept for this season. Can’t wait to see how it plays out!

    • Jill says:

      I’m so with you on Colton. I hope he’s out quickly.

      I guess I don’t really think that Marissa was voted out *because* of her race, but I think it can be very isolating for people of minorities to be the only person of color. I think some subconscious prejudices come out to play. I think maybe she got voted out because she didn’t bond with people quickly, and I think that tends to happen when the tribes are so white-washed.

      So excited for this week’s episode!

  2. Davide Maistrello says:

    Hi there, Jill! Survivor is back, and I’m incredibly excited about it! It’s hard to believe that almost a year passed since I started watching! The twists galore has the potential to make this season incredibly unpredictable, and although I’ve something to complain about the casting (more on that later) this is real, new Survivor and that has to count for something.

    I don’t really like Rupert. He was perfect for a pirate-themed season like Pearl Islands, but his novelty started to wear thin after that. Only he would have traded place with his loved one after he/she was voted off – wonder if it was on purpose? However, I believe I know why Candice was sent packing right off the bat. I read in an interview that she was originally an alternate to RC Saint-Amour and her father Craig, who was cut for medical reasons, and she flew on location the day before the game started. Other couples were not happy to see her coming, and the fact that she’s notoriously not loyal to her tribe probably had a huge say in the decision to vote her out.

    The players I was happy to see return are Tyson (I actually knew him before I discovered Survivor, due to his pro cycling background), Aras and Gervase. I’m a huge fan of old school Survivor, and to see back a contestant from Season 1 (who hadn’t really the chance to play the game, as his tribe did everything they could to make Richard Hatch’s job easier) is great. However, while Gervase is a really funny guy, he’s not the most tasteful people in this cast. People still remember the moment where he famously compared women to cows, and just as he started gloating and mocking the newbies after winning, I knew that it would lead to some resentment. The way Gervase performed in the IC (hasn’t he learned how to swim in 13 years? I hope he had some other kind of problem, he looked devastated on that crate!) surely didn’t help.

    That said, I still stand by saying that it was a poor choice to cut Marissa. It seems like Brad Culpepper was the one who wanted her out the most, as if to make a point to Gervase, but it’s not how Survivor works. If Marissa manages to come back into the game, Tadhana is in for a world of hurt, I think. Katie at least expected to be booted. In my opinion, to blindside a tribemate for no reason at all other than teaching a lesson to an opponent is short-term strategy, and the newbies could have benefited more by keeping Marissa and booting weak Katie.

    Against all odds, I really like how this season is shaping and I think it has a lot of potential. Don’t really care for Colton, but I strongly believe that every person needs a shot of redemption (I’m starting to sound eerily like Probst here 🙂 ). Don’t really like Brad either, he’s thinking only short-term and this will be an issue as the game progresses. Good luck Jill for your office pool and best wishes of a wonderful Survivor season to everyone!

    • Jill says:

      Hi David! Nice to see you back! I think you are probably right about Candice, and I do wish RC had been able to play. She got the short end of the stick in her season.

  3. Alex says:

    Oh God, Brad’s counting moment was hilarious. I had to pause and watch it again! 😀 Hi Jill, good to be back for another season! 🙂

    I’d read about the cast a few months ago but kept hoping it was just a red herring sort of thing deliberately thrown out there by the producers. Kinda disappointed by most people (really, Candace AGAIN?), but I’m glad to see Aras back, I’ve always liked him. And Tina, that was another pleasant surprise.

    As far as the episode, disappointed by Redemption Island, not to mention we’ll have Truels right off the bat. Boo! I want Exile Island! Voting out Marissa was stupid. And while I can understand Colton’s POV, I also don’t believe for one second he’s changed.

    Pretty good episode, hoping Rupert gets voted out already next week… although he probably will just make it back into the game just to piss me off.

    • Jill says:

      I like Aras and Tina too, and I’m very intrigued by Aras’s brother Vytas. I think he could be great.

  4. Mum says:

    I also thought the counting scene with Culpepper was an absolute scream. He has the makings of a real annoying jerk. His ability to reduce everything to a football analogy is already grating on my last nerve.
    And then there’s Colton *sigh*. That was quite a campfire performance and anyone who fell for that, well…. Did we all witness the hissy fit in the boat between him and Kat? That relationship could prove to be very volatile.
    Also, I could do with a lot less uber closeups of Rupert’s scruffy face/beard ….just sayin’.

  5. colin.was.here says:

    Hey Jill.

    Really glad to have the show back; and I was a little worried about the “family edition”; but boy does that twist work! the dynamics are entirely different, and I’m already imagining what drama the merge will bring. Great idea, and it looks like its going to pay off.

    Also not happy about redemption island; its lame and it didn’t work the first time.

    Same here about Rupert and Colton. WHY? I feel like Rupert is so caught up in playing the hero, swapping with his wife was just another way to show what a man he really is…he didnt even really wait to hear if there would be consequences, or how his tribe felt about it!

    Almost….bought Colton’s cry baby act, but then remembered what a vile little turd he is (though his fiance seems like a decent bloke). cant wait for him to finally get booted. Hope its an epic blindside.

    It looked like the newbies didn’t like Marissa’s criticism of Gervasse, they seemed to think she was overcompensating, so it doesn’t seem to be a race thing….

    Hope Rupert goes next! Also, why is Kat back?

    • Jill says:

      I think the fiance seems OK too. I’m worried that being involved with Colton will reflect badly on him though, and he could get voted out for that.

      Oh Kat. She was so sweet, but so dumb in her season. If she was going to come back, I think they should have waited longer.

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