Well, this was a long time coming, but now that we’ve reached the all-important game-changing merge and oxygen-sucking loudmouths Shamar and Brandon are gone, it seems like a good time – perhaps the only time – to deliver our Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit celebrity look-alikes and player odds (for those Survivors still in the game). Let’s do this a little differently this time around and look at the Favorites then the Fans. We’d tell you to buckle up, but that seems really unnecessary considering you’re probably just sitting on a couch or at a desk or maybe on the subway, and even then it’s the movement of the train and not the content of this article that is most likely to create some turbulence.
Andrea: If we want to talk about people who really learned from Boston Rob (as opposed to Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip), then Andrea might be the one in that discussion. Her acuity for the game is what hurt her last time – and her infatuation with Matt – as Boston Rob respected her ability and intelligence but more importantly recognized her as a threat. There’s no one as cunning as Boston Rob on Caramoan, so Andrea has a shot to put it all together this time, especially now that she’s made the merge with the new powerhouse Goya tribe. However, there’s something in those smokey eyes that tells us that she’s going to play the game a little too hard and a little too paranoid, and that will be her downfall (much like Tara Reid experienced a similar fall. But that was due to the shots of Patrón and required several stitches). 11:1
Aaaaaaaanaaaaaaand we’re back! For Survivor’s 26th season they’ve returned to the Philippines and revisited a familiar format with Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit to Quit. Except, this time around, the “Favorites” aren’t necessarily favorites, or heroes, or even skilled players. They are, for the most part, memorable personalities, some remembered for as much bad as good. Whether that was a wise casting decision will be borne out over the next few months. However, before we dive into the new season, let’s take a brief look back, way back, to Survivor: Palau.
Why return to the 10th season of this long-running series, which premiered in early 2005? Because, after recently completing our second viewing of the season, we feel confident in asserting that Palau is the strongest and most entertaining entry in the Survivor pantheon. And why do we say that? Well, let us tell you, in list format:
Read on: Five Keys to Palau and Phillip Puts the Team Together
Over the last couple years we’ve become ardent devotees to the concept of “Occam’s Razor,” the tenet that the “simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.” There’s a similar paradigm that works itself into any season of Survivor, but focuses less on the simplest explanation and more on the theory that players will make their moves based on the belief that the other competitors will make the correct, smartest decisions. Unfortunately, as the show as often proved, playing that way does not always lead to the best results. And we saw an example of this again last night.
But more on that later. First, (as teased last week) Matt arrives on Redemption Island and Francesca is shocked (shocked!) it wasn’t Phillip who was voted out by the Ometepe tribe earlier in the night. He had no allies, posed no threat, and basically begged for mercy, so why would Ometepe (and its leader, Boston Rob) want to keep him around? Oh, yeah, for those very reasons. Phillip may be a loose cannon, intolerable, and borderline bipolar, but right now, as Rob says, he’s a loyal solider. Plus, he’s endlessly entertaining. Back at Ometepe camp Rob breaks down the alliance, explicitly telling Phil that he’s the fifth person on a five-person alliance and Phil is basically responds “Cool! Just happy to be here! Thanks, Rob!” And then they seal Phil’s blind allegiance with a first bump, which in the three federal agencies that Phil used to serve in is tantamount to swearing on one’s parents’ graves.
More: Our first Inferno-The Furnace-The Gauntlet-The Meatgrinder Duel. Followed by puss-filled rashes, water torture, dumb strategy and dumb luck. The Probst man cometh, does the bell finally ring for Russell?
We started this week’s episode of Survivor: Redemption Island with our first glimpse of, well, Redemption Island. After being voted at the first Tribal Council, Francesca arrived at her new home and quickly found a signpost describing life on the island, “Welcome to Redemption Island: No Smoking, No Yelling, No Swearing; Daily Menu: Breakfast – Rice; Lunch – Rice, Dinner – Rice.” Francesca can’t find a flint, so she’s worried about freezing during night, but really she’s just happy to be away from Former Federal Agent (?) Phillip.
Read on: Phillip remains an emotional, delusion wreck, but we get a glimpse of his primal side. Plus: Ralph defines dumb luck, carnival games return, and Boston Rob contemplates the chess board. Also, crabs!
This season we’ll be taking our ‘Survivor’ recapping talents to Gawker TV. However, we’re going to also offer expanded, “Director’s Cut” recaps on this blog. So here we go. Day One.
The challenge for Survivor: Redemption Island is going to be keeping us interested in anyone not named Boston Rob or Russell Hantz. Our fear going into the premiere was that the presence of these veterans would overshadow the new Survivors. However, for one episode at least, we got just enough Boston Rob and Russell while also introducing some intriguing new cast members. We’re not entirely convinced that there are any personalities that can match up to the two masterminds, but judging from an explosive, unbelievable, train wreck of a first Tribal Council, we’re in for a season of crackpots and fireworks.
But, before we get there: helicopters! And Probst just enjoying the feel of the cool Nicaragua air hitting his face.
Read on: Phillip announces he’s former federal agent (?), Kristina makes a move too early, Russell and Rob play it cool, and the most insane first Tribal Council ever. Plus, our first A-B-C phrase of the season…