March 25, 2009 08:28 PM by Ryan Haidet
It didn’t take long — just five episodes and CBS has decided to dish out a special recap of the first 15 days on Survivor: Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands. As previous moments from the game were hardly highlighted, most things featured were completely new. Finally, a recap episode worth watching. (Look inside the article for a special video slideshow)
In the first few minutes — before the opening title sequence — most of the challenges and all five of the eliminations were showcased. Then host Jeff Probst chimed in and said that this look back at the early days of the competition will feature deeper insight into the remaining castaways.
Impressions Of Coach
From Day 1, many interviews were showcased with the contestants on their first impressions of their fellow competitors. Sierra said that she didn’t care what people thought of her since she was very ill with strep throat. Coach also stood out in a confessional where he talked about wanting to be a leader. “I planned on Day 1 to take the leadership role. Now is that going to be a shared role? It depends. The characteristics and the qualities that I have as an individual has been forged like an iron thrown into the fire and coming out unshakable, unbreakable, invincible like a sword.” In a confessional, Tyson labeled Coach as the love child of Steven Segal and The Last of the Mohicans.
The tribes hiked to camp on their four-hour journey and Jalapao‘s struggle reading the map was shown. Taj revealed in an early confession that her strategy is to kill her competition with kindness. She said that they may also be underestimating her because of her weight.
WATCH a video slideshow containing images of what’s happened so far. (Courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS).
On Day 2, Timbira was searching for other sources of food. Tyson was using a burlap bag to try and catch some fish and he soon caught a small minnow. The tiny fish was then hand-fed by Coach to Debbie. “It actually did taste a little like sushi,” she said. “I can’t believe I just chewed up a live fish in my teeth.”
Sydney Sparks Fire
On Day 7 at Jalapao, the tribe was having a tough time getting their fire restarted. Stephen was using the flint and steel working to spark a flame as the others looked on. Although he hacked away for a long time, he couldn’t get the fire going. “On the scale of 1 to 100, my wilderness skills are at about a 1,” he said. “I cannot make fire and that is embarrassing.” He handed the tools over to JT who then turned them over to Joe. Nobody could get the fire going. But after Sydney took a crack at it, she finally got the fire restarted for her tribe.
Over at Timbira, Tyson’s sense of humor shined through. He danced around camp like a tribal warrior. He was completely naked as he pounded a torch on the ground. His antics had Debbie and Candace cracking up. “I think Tyson has the real potential to win this game,” Debbie said in a confessional.
Coach seemed to really like Tyson because of his great sense of humor.
Bench-Making Competition & Ugly Bug Bites
Brendan and Coach worked to see who could make the better bench at camp. Erinn felt it was just a way for the guys to see who is the alpha male. After that contest, they had two new swinging benches to plop down on.
At Jalapao, Taj was having a rough time dealing with all the bug bites she had on her body. “I just feel so ugly,” she told Sandy and Stephen as they sat in the river. She got very emotional and started crying after seeing the toll her body has taken. “I never felt so ugly before in my life.” Stephen gave her a big hug and tried to comfort her.
Snakes & A Symphony
One night at Timbira, Coach yelled out that he had seen a snake. The next day, Debbie found snake skin laying right in front of their shelter. “This place is infested with snakes — nasty, poisonous snakes,” Debbie said.
One day, Coach decided to try and brigthen the mood around camp by conducting an imaginary symphony. He hummed a song and closed his eyes as he waved his hands around conducting. “Who is this jackass?” Erinn asked in a confessional. “Coach is just the biggest joke on the planet.” Erinn also said she is looking forward to the merge because she is not enjoying her tribe too much.
Tyson & Coach, JT & Stephen
Coach and Tyson walked alongside the shore and held a “power meeting.” Coach gave Tyson his word that he would never cast a vote against him. Tyson said he is the same way with the deal. But moments later in a confessional, Tyson said, “Right now I’m mostly agreeing with what he says. But in this game, I don’t perceive him as being near the player that I am.”
At Jalapao, JT and Stephen were off on their Tom-and-Huck-like journeys as they fished together and chatted like best buds. JT said that he will be friends with Stephen for life. The two had made a solid alliance to make it to the final two together.
But somebody else had plans for Stephen.
At Exile Island, Brendan worked to gain Stephen’s trust to build a four-way, cross tribal alliance. After sparking a fire, Mother Nature let loose and poured down on the two exiled guys. That night, Stephen and Brendan spooned to keep warm and it was absolutely hysterical to see. “I have never been so close to another man,” Stephen said. “He and I spooned for all we were worth. Oh my God, it was raining, it was cold. Nothing could prepare me for lying huddled against a hunk of man.” The next morning, Brendan referred to their long night as a bonding experience. When the sun rose, the two soaked it all up.
Here’s the problem — there was really no need for a recap just yet. Most Survivor fans hate these recap episodes — especially so early on in the season. Do we really care to see moments including the early castoffs that weren’t good enough to be aired the first time around? Not really. Of course there are solid moments from early on that might be interesting, but save the recap until later in the season — if done at all. But I must say, this was the first recap ever that didn’t regurgitate too much of the same stuff we had already seen.
An all-new episode of Survivor: Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands hits the airwaves next Thursday (April 2). 11 contestants remain. Our interviews with the latest person voted off will return on Friday, April 3.
Images courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.
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