September 15, 2010 06:46 PM by Ryan Haidet
After anxiously waiting for tonight’s big premiere, Survivor: Nicaragua proved to be worth the wait.Â Filled with an extremely likable cast of 20, the 21st season of my favorite reality show rushed into action from the start.Â The brand-new set of castaways arrived on the beach and met with host Jeff Probst right off the bat.Â “Welcome to Survivor: Nicaragua.”Â After a few questions with the contestants, Probst revealed a new twist to the game — the Medallion of Power.Â He said the tiny prize was hidden somewhere in the nearby lagoon, and the first person to find it would win the yet-to-be-described power for their entire tribe.Â With that, the contestants rushed into the lagoon.Â Let the game begin!
Old Vs. Young
As the search for the Medallion was underway, Brenda quickly noticed it up in a tree and climbed up with ease and grabbed it first.
When everybody returned to the beach, Probst revealed the next twist, which has been known to viewers since the first promo.Â The group was split into tribes based on age — LaFlor, the yellow tribe, made up of those 30 and under; Espada, the blue tribe, made up of those 40 and older.
To throw another wrench into the game still in its infancy, Probst offered Brenda, who is a member of the La Flor tribe, the opportunity to trade the Medallion for flint and a chest filled with fishing supplies.Â “What you don’t keep, the other tribe gets,” Probst said.Â The La Flor tribe seemed divided on what to do, but eventually decided to take the supplies and trade the Medallion.
Espada’s Celebrity & A Fast Alliance
When the tribes arrived at their respective camps, they all officially introduced themselves to one another.Â At Espada, the contestants instantly recognized coach Jimmy Johnson and expressed their astonishment that he would actually want to play Survivor considering he’s already worth a fortune.
Elsewhere, Wendy and Holly made a quick bond.Â “Most of the time I do read people very well,” Holly said in a confessional.Â Wendy was excited about the fast-formed alliance, but was also a bit nervous about it.Â She said her strategy is to take baby steps.Â She then admitted in confessional that her husband predicted she would be the first person voted out of the tribe, which is why she said it was a goal of hers to keep her mouth shut.
Back at the beach, Jane took a pair of somebody’s glasses and worked to start a fire.Â Within 30 minutes, Jane had sparked the first blaze of the season.Â I’m rooting for her early.Â Let’s hope she can play a good strategic game and stick around until the end.
“Fabio” Is Born
At La Flor, the youngsters high-fived each other as they started setting up camp.Â Within a few minutes of arriving at camp, Jud hurt himself when something jammed into the bottom of his bare foot.Â His klutzy behavior caught Shannon off guard.Â “Dude, he’s just retarded,” Shannon said before dubbing the surfer-looking youngster as “Fabio.”
Later on, Chase and Shannon walked around in the woods making a quick alliance of their own.Â Shannon wanted to make sure a male wins this season since the last few champs have been female.Â Although their discussion was far from interesting, the hilarious part of this entire segment involved CBS being extra cautious with their censorship.Â Giant blurs were placed on both guys’ crotches as they trudged around in nothing but their underwear.Â If they were trying to take attention away from that region, they failed miserably because the blurs were so obnoxiously apparent it was distractingly funny.
Kelly B. Tells Her Story
Still at La Flor, Kelly B. decided it was time to reveal her secret — that she has a fake leg.Â They all cheered her on as Jud asked the dumbest question I’ve ever heard.Â “How do you tell it to move?” he asked her.Â This marks the second time in Survivor history that a contestant has been placed in the game with a fake leg — remember Chad Crittenden from Survivor: Vanuatu?
Shannon was worried that Kelly B. is a huge threat to win the game because people may give her the sympathy vote.Â That’s why he believed she would be the best person to vote out first.Â NaOnka had similar feelings as she said in a confessional that it was game on no matter what. “If you feel like you can outrun me, girl let’s race.”
How ‘Bout Them Gag Reflexes?
As the sun set on the first night, the sounds of hurling echoed at Espada.Â Coach Jimmy was puking on the beach.Â “I think I did more than I needed to do,” Jimmy said.Â The next morning, Jimmy said to his tribe mates that he can’t remember a 24-hour period in his life that he felt that miserable.Â He said he never believed Survivor would be this difficult.
Back at La Flor, Alina and Kelly B. found a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol, which is buried somewhere at their own camp.Â Instead of sharing the clue with the rest of the tribe, the pair decided to hide it in the woods and kept the whole situation a big secret.
Before the first Immunity Challenge, Jimmy sat his entire tribe down and offered up a motivational speech.Â He told everybody that he knows a jury will never vote for him to win the $1 million, which is why he argued they should keep him around until the end of the game.Â He then said he would be thrilled if the winner of this season came from his own tribe.
Worried?Â Sure does sound like it, Jimmy.
As the tribes entered the first challenge, the youngsters did a goofy dance as the older tribe scoffed at them.Â The challenge was far from physical involving sectioned gutters the tribes had to use to make a path for water to flow into a bucket below a raised platform.Â The first tribe to fill that bucket would release a set of puzzle pieces.Â Probst said Immunity would be given to the first tribe to complete their puzzle.Â But first there was some Medallion madness to consider.Â Probst revealed the Medallion of Power offers one tribe a major advantage in challenges, but once it is used, it is given to the other tribe.Â The older tribe thought they could compete on an even level in the challenge and decided to keep it.
Although the challenge was a close battle, La Flor pulled ahead and claimed the Immunity Idol.Â “Younger tribe wins Immunity!” Probst shouted as they all erupted into cheers.
Back at camp, the Espada tribe started to talk about who to vote off first.Â Jimmy T. was very adamant about ousting coach Jimmy Johnson first.Â Meanwhile, as the coach walked the beach with Holly, he said the best strategy going into Tribal Council is keeping the team strong.Â He argued that Wendy should be the first person to go, which made Holly nervous since she had made an alliance with her already.
At Tribal Council, Jane told Probst she was able to build the fire at camp thanks to an article in which he said it was stupid to come on Survivor without learning how to spark a flame.Â Moments later, coach Jimmy started defending himself since he’s an obvious target.Â When Probst asked who is genuinely worried about being voted out first, more than half of the tribe raised their hands.Â Wendy said she truly has no bond with anybody.Â As Probst initiated the vote, Wendy interrupted and asked to make one more remark.Â She told her tribemates that she can be strong-willed, trustworthy and a good asset to the team.Â Plus, she doesn’t have any blisters on her feet, which is apparently something she believes is beneficial to the group?!?!?!Â Boy, I’m convinced she should stay.Â Psssssh.Â What a whacko!
Thankfully, when the ballots were made, Wendy was easily ousted first with every vote — except her own — falling against her.Â As her torch was snuffed, Wendy walked into the dark cemetery outside of Tribal Council without saying a word.Â The Espada tribe then trudged back to camp with torches in hand and flint that Probst offered up.
What an awesome start to the season.Â I was very worried that this was going to become the Jimmy Johnson show, but I think it was all properly edited without going overboard.Â There are already standout characters — Jud, Shannon, Marty, Brenda, Jane and Chase.Â Plus, Tribal Council may be one of the coolest we’ve seen in several years.
I can’t wait for next week!
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