All I have to say is WOW! What a great start to the season. This episode was intense and my heart was pounding leading up to and during tribal council. Okay, maybe I get a little too into this game, but whatever.
As the episode kicks off, the teams get dropped off by a helicopter on the Nicaragua beach, where Jeff Probst tells them they are waiting for two more players… Another helicopter arrives and Boston Rob and Russell Hantz come out. Everyone is shocked (and star struck I’m sure). Rob has played three times already and Russell has played twice. Combined, they bring 156 days of Survivor experience. “They’re sizing us up like we’re prey,” says Francesca. Um, sweetie, you don’t wanna say anything bad about these guys as soon as they arrive. Don’t you agree?
Jeff then does a random draw for buffs. Ometepi gets Boston Rob while Zapatera gets Russell. He then announces the big twist this season. When you get voted out, you go to redemption island, where you have to do everything yourself (keep the fire going, get food, etc.) When the next person gets voted off, the two will compete against each other in a challenge…winner stays, loser goes home. At a certain point in the game, the last man or woman standing on redemption island will reenter the game. This idea is absolutely brilliant. Teams now get their maps and head to their respective camps to get set up.
At Zapatera (purple), Russell gives them a pep talk about how he’s changed and that he’s on their side. We then start getting our first look at the tribe. The hottest guy is Mike, who is an Iraq War Vet. Although not my type, the old guy old Steve has quite the ripped body! The Craftsman tool boxes show up and they get to work on their shelter.
Russell and Stephanie go for a walk and form an alliance, drawing parallals to Russell doing the same with Natalie and Parvarti in previous seasons. They think they’re being sneaky, but the rest of the tribe picks up on the fact that they went for a walk together and consider that Russell may have to be the first to go.
As we get our first look at this tribe, I notice that Matt looks a lot like last season’s winner, Fabio. Good looking guy, but his hair is too long. Natalie is happy that Rob is on their team instead of Russell. That being said, most are not happy about Phillip, who is rubbing people the wrong way. A former federal agent, he is full of himself and super bossy. Kristina, a smart player, stars looking for the hidden idol. Rob takes notice and says he’ll watch out for her. Now Kristina is worried that he’ll see her as a threat. She has reason to be concerned. Rob then tells Phillip that the guys need to watch out for the girls, considering the male to female ration. And then in true Survivor fashion, Mike then tells Kristina about what Rob said.
Kristina doesn’t want Rob on the tribe for too long and has her eye on the prize. She decides to go hunting for the hidden idol, shovel in hand. I’m liking this chick. I’m only hoping that this isn’t foreshadowing to her leaving. Then, she finds the freaking idol! Amazing! She buries it in another location. “Robs good. I’m good too.” She then heads back to camp, where Rob is away with the four girls and Phillip (wearing slutty red underwear) and Francesca are by the shelter. They strategize getting Rob off, but Phillip overanalyzes the motives and rubs the girls the wrong way. Francesca says it best when referring to Phillip: “He’s a pain in my ass. Did I mention he’s in my alliance?”
For the challenge, each tribe must push four heavy blocks along a track, building the base of temple. Then one person use axe to release a ladder to more blocks where they’ll race to assemble the block puzzle first. The winning tribe gets flint for fire and doesn’t have to go to tribal council. Zapatera gets an early lead, while Ometepi struggles to keep up. Eventually, Ometepi makes up ground with Rob the ultimate puzzle maker on their side. It ends up being too little too late Ometepi and Zapatera wins immunity.
SCRAMBLING & SCHEMING
Ometepi heads back to camp feeling down about their loss. Kristina (pictured in centre below) tells Francesca (pictured far left below) that she has idol and that she thinks that she should get the girls to vote for her, and her and that she her and Phillip (pictured far right below) vote for Robe. Francesca tries to talk some sense into her, being that they could use his strength on the tribe.
She really wants to vote Rob out though. On the other side of things, Rob happens to want Kristina off because she is dangerous and tells the rest of the tribe (Matt and all the girls) that he thinks they have the idol already. In an effort to convince Phillip voting Rob off is possible, Kristina shows Phillip the idol. They shake and hug on it. He’s on board with the bold move. Now here’s where my heart starts beating.
After a bit of small talk, all hell breaks loose in one of the most intense tribal councils ever – especially for a first episode of the season! Francesca says that Rob isn’t going home, which prompts Philip to call her out. What!? Are you an idiot!? Phillip proceeds to declare that Kristina and Francesca approached him to vote Rob off. Then, he reveals that Kristina has an idol! This guy is such a loser and needs to go ASAP! Boston Rob doesn’t take this news very well. He demands that Kristina prove that she has the idol, and when she does, he says “Give me the immunity idol and you’ll stay.” She declines his offer. Now Rob will stop at nothing to get her out in the future. Here’s how it all played out, in a very close call.
“Bye guys! Don’t trust Phillip, Francesca says as she walks away.” OMG I forgot that she heads to redemption island now! Amazing! I love the girl, but unfortunately she doesn’t seem the type that will be able to survive on her own for God knows how long and I feel that her departure from the game will be inevitable.
What did you guys think of the first episode!?