Friday, September 20, 2013

Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 1: Guilty by Association

When Jeff Probst and CBS unveiled the new twist and cast list for Survivor Blood vs Water, I had a lot of doubts. Too many twists that are too ambitious. That's what first came into my mind. But until the premiere episode aired, I did not realize it would be as emotionally-ridden as they tried to hype it up. See, Survivor is already a complicated game by design. You have to cheat, lie, and backstab at some point! But when family members and real relationships are at stake, I feared that the concept might not be strewn well enough into what Survivor is really about.

Day Zero

I thought that this Day Zero thing was a lousy entrance to the game. They could've done without it, really. They could have simply greeted the castaways on the beach and sent them off with the shock that they won't be playing together. No more charades, just get down to the business. I get that they wanted the castaways and their loved ones to immerse themselves in the experience of spending 39 days on an island by each other's side, but then again weren't they already assuming that mindset few days heading into the game?

But here's the harder part.... just when we witness the dismay in Colton's face in realizing that he won't be spending time with his fiance, Jeff drew another dagger. Each tribe will have to vote off one tribe member right off the bat. Uh-oh. This looked like a flashback into Survivor: Palau wherein Wanda and Jonathan were sent home after only spending 24 hours in the game. That would be ridiculous, right? The Loved Ones tribe (aka Tadhana) unanimously voted off Laura, Rupert's wife. Rupert looked pissed as Laura tried to hold back her tears. As she approached the mat beside Jeff, she quipped "Got get 'em honey" to Rupert.

Then, Candice suffered the same fate, although it was not as unanimous a vote, she still got the majority. Ouch! That was more shocking than the Laura vote on the other side because Candice is actually a pretty strong competitor. But the majority vote sticks and she looked dismayed as John looked on helplessly.

As Jeff revealed the return of the Redemption Island twist, things got even crazier only within less than 30 minutes into the episode. When offered the opportunity to replace their loved ones' spot in Redemption Island, Rupert made what appeared to be a sweet and heroic gesture in one regard, but a stupid move that cost his tribe. We hear Tina pleading from behind for him not to do it. But Rupert's mind was already made up the moment he stepped off that mat, I believe. This particular move, on the surface, might seem like such a heroic thing to do, such a gentlemanly act that showed how far he'd go for and what sacrifices he'll make for his wife. But he put himself in a vulnerable position - he now has to fight to stay alive in the game! What a huge shift after just one episode! Meanwhile, Laura is thrust into a tribe that she feels alienated and intimidated by. These are all Survivor vets who knew each other in and out of the game. Laura struggled to fit in right off the bat. If there is any strategy at all, it was clearly not implemented here because now both of them have no or slim chance to potentially win the game.

As for Candice, John was put in the hot seat. Most people probably expected John to make the same sacrifice for his wife, too. But then again, we all knew it would be a dumb move. So I heaved a sigh of relief when he opted to let Candice stay in Redemption Island. She is a strong woman who can survive on her own, whereas I would picture Laura to lie in fetal position waiting for Rupert to come and save her.

When all the chaos is over and done with, Jeff sent each tribe off to their respective beaches to start a 39-day adventure on the Philippine islands.

Tribes Settling In

The Galang or Returning Castaways tribe made use of their experience to build fire within an hour or so since arriving at their beach. They also quickly put together their shelter but some of the castaways can't stop pointing out how big of a difference Rupert's sacrifice made in terms of putting the camp together. The apologetic Laura felt all the more alienated by it.

Then, we saw a different side to Colton professing his insecurities as one of the main reasons why he was mean the last time he played. But Monica is on the fence about Colton - has he changed or is he still the same? Are those crocodile tears? For now, the two former rivals made their pact.

Meanwhile, an alpha male alliance is brewing over at Tadhana's camp. Brad Culpepper, Monica's husband, spearheaded the alliance of the muscles. Most are quick to jump onboard at the idea even shaking on it. But Caleb was quick to catch up (smart cookie). Thankfully, he was smart enough to go along with the plan for now noting that he will agree to anything that is thrown at him at this point.

Poor Sportsmanship

The first immunity challenge was another classic Survivor multi-leg challenge with the first half consisting of the physical aspect and the latter half involving puzzles. Thank you, Survivor challenge producers, for sparing us of those tossing challenges that plagued Caramoan. But before we were treated to a thrilling comeback of the mommy trio in Laura, Tina, and Monica, we saw a dismal showing on Gervase's part in the swimming leg. At one point, he was so winded that he took a sweet 10-15 seconds of his time in the final platform before launching himself in the water. I had to give props to Aras' patience waiting on him. If that would've been me in Aras' position, I would have seriously pushed his lazy ass off the platform.

Then, he asked Aras to help him out in the swim so they can get to the boat. Good thing, Tyson and the rest of the tribe quickly released their boat so they can paddle back and Gervase could get to the safety of the boat. The lapse-marred performance of Galang did not end there because they were paddling in the wrong direction as the Tadhana rowers did a flawless job. The Galang tribe looked like the rookies in this challenge - they looked jittery in every aspect of that obstacle run!

But the puzzle solvers for Galang made up for serious time! They eventually took home the immunity idol and Gervase was so pumped by the comeback win that he yelled at the losing tribe! Uh, weren't you just so close to drowning earlier that Aras had to come to your rescue? Wow! The audacity of some people. I guess Gervase played such a long time ago that he forgot how to play the game at all.

Fast forward to tribal council... the big question is this: Katie or Marissa? If you were watching the episode intently, the answer would've been a no-brainer. Katie stepped up to do the puzzle but fumbled all over. Marissa, on the other hand, looked strong and competent and seemed like a good asset to the tribe when it comes to challenges. But with only few days in, there are only as little reason to be basing your votes on. Sadly, the majority of the Tadhana tribe felt that Gervase' unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the immunity challenge merited a vote for Marissa. She looked pissed, stone-faced as Jeff snuffed her torch. For one last time, she gave the rest of her tribe a cold stare. Welcome to Survivor, Marissa!

Thankfully, the two people at Redemption Island welcomed her with open arms, which is quite ironic because these are the three that are going to fight each other to determine who gets to stay in the game!

Next week, we will finally have our first boot off this season.. any guesses? Be sure to vote on the poll so we can determine what everybody else thinks about Tadhana's vote at the first TC!


  1. Agree....Day Zero was a waste of time. The initial shocker of not playing together was good then the voting out of a player from each trouble was fun to watch but the most laughable moment is when Rupert thinks his wife is being voted because of him, this is someone who in three seasons has not reached a final tribal council or even wore the immunity necklace, so that made me laugh with that comment. Then without hesitation or future consequences he wants to swap with his wife, no thought went into this decision but I guess that' true love. I cannot seeing him winning, in fact it is highly possible he'll be leaving the game first and the first time Tanhana visit TC (or the second time) his wife will join him.

    Brad is a total Doucebag, his inability to count to nine was a highlight for me, I like Caleb, Vytas and Rachel from Galang from the returnees I have always liked Laura from Samoa, (wouldn't Russell be just pissed if she Tina I guess, trouble is I think the selection of returnees here is worse than the favourites they selected last season.

    The challenge was pretty awesome, typical Survivor opening challenge, Gervase bragging and rubbing their faces in it after he played NO PART in them winning immunity. If it was not for Aras, he'd be out floating face down in the water.

    I do feel for Marissa, but it was Douchebag's decision to suggest her only because of Gervase's comments and he hated it so much mainly because he's a loud mouthed ex-American NFL player who hates losing. I don't think Marissa will lose RI, in fact I can see her winning but if she does will she give the Immunity Idol clue to Gervase or not and another scenario will John replace his wife and compete in RI or not, maybe not but wouldn't that be full of drama with Candice returning to camp with five of the nine people who voted her out.

    Anyway great recap Bianca, good opening episode, see how it continues.

  2. wow you are a serious fan :) loving it!!


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