I miss blogging about Survivor, my favorite reality TV show of all time, and so it was fitting to resurrect this hobby of mine with the show heading to my own country, the Philippines. I felt like the show going to our nation was a long time coming, but as they always say, “better late than never”. And I believe this was the perfect timing because the show has some excellent twists that would make for a great season – 25 seasons in!
The big twist for Survivor: Philippines is that there are going to be 3 competing tribes (last time it happened was way back in Survivor: All-Stars). Also, there will be three returning players this season featuring previous castaways that were medically evacuated from the game. Personally, I think this is the ultimate second chance and these players deserve another shot (well, except maybe Penner, but I’d rather have him than Colton). I got goosebumps seeing Michael Skupin being introduced to the new set of castaways – I mean, this is season 25 and he last played in Season 2, back in the day when people barely knew Survivor!
I witnessed this crazy moment of him falling into the fire and skin falling off his hands, so I can personally sense that nostalgia in the air, and I would probably have the same reaction as Dawson did if I were one of the 15 on the boat.
Again, not trying to be biased here but I would claim that was one of the best premiere episodes that Survivor had seen in a long while. One of my qualms with editing as of late is that we don’t get to see much of the camp life – much of the focus had been on strategizing and scheming. But, we got a fair amount of that on episode 1 of Survivor: Philippines, which is surprising given that there are 3 tribes. Almost everyone got a shot at having their confessional featured on the show, too.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite impressed when I saw some of the cast photos and bios that went out pre-show. Only a few stood out for me, of which I will be discussing more on in a separate blog post, but I was blown away. I appreciate the fact that this season consist of castaways that seem to have really studied the game. It should be exciting how things play up later on, especially with two “celebrity” castaways whose identities they are trying to keep under wraps.
The immunity challenge is another breath of fresh air. Any loyal and long-time Survivor fan knows that water challenges are what has drawn us to the game. And I appreciate the challenge production team, and a bit of push from Mark Burnett himself, that they are going back to doing some water challenges. Clearly, it resulted in some intense competition with three tribes competing for immunity, and one going to tribal council. The come-from-behind win by Kalabaw was impressive and the two guys who did the rowing and swimming leg (Carter and Jeff) helped to give their team a push. On the flip side, Russell has executed probably the worst strategy in a challenge I’ve seen in 12 or 13 years of the show. I could not even remotely imagine what his strategy was going in – he just cost his entire team the challenge! I’m interested to hear what fans thought about this strategy. (Make sure to comment below so we can discuss your thoughts).
Overall, I am very pleased with the first episode of Survivor Philippines. I do believe that Matsing will be able to get back into the game because they have a pretty solid team. Hopefully, Russell would not mess it up again with his poor decision making! Also, it’ll be interesting to see how Jonathan makes peace with his tribemates who are, obviously, not happy that he’s looking for the immunity idol way too early. It’s not helping that he’s got that shady rep to begin with. And watch out for next episode if Mike continues with his injury-prone ways.
What are your bold predictions for episode 2 of Survivor Philippines? Who will get the boot this time? I’m dying to hear your thoughts.