February 15, 2012 08:05 PM by Ryan Haidet
I know my excitement for a Survivor premiere sometimes makes the first episode seem more exciting than it actually is, but tonight’s debut of Survivor: One World is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Truly. If it was drama you were seeking, this episode delivered everything you could imagine. There was thievery, fighting, arrogance, Idol hunting and physical pain. The first Immunity challenge was so brutal that an injury brought the entire battle to an abrupt halt with medical stepping in to evaluate one castaway. If you missed the premiere, you missed a great one… but I’ve got you covered. Read on for all the juicy details about the Survivor: One World premiere!
Call me a nerd, but the episode did begin with a slight level of disappointment. I always look forward to the official opening with the full theme song and cast credits. It just gets the Survivor nerd blood flowing. But that didn’t happen tonight because the full intro was missing. Now don’t start yelling at your computer and calling me a moron because I realize the full theme has been cut many times — especially in recent seasons — but never in the first episode like that.
But that is honestly my only complaint about how this season premiere went down.
Men Vs. Women
When the 18 all-new castaways landed at the beach, host Jeff Probst divided them into two tribes divided along gender lines. Colton was clearly not happy with the way the game was starting. “Look at my tribe and look at me. I’m the girl within the guy tribe.”
Next, Probst gave both tribes 60 seconds to strip everything they could off of the truck they rode in on. While the women were busy trying to collect as much as they could, they didn’t notice one of the guys, Michael, was swiping their stuff. Right under their noses, Michael made more than one trip into their territory and took most of the stuff the women had already gathered. When the time was up, the ladies were shocked to see the ax they had grabbed, among other things, was missing.
Probst then told the group that hidden Immunity Idols are in play once again this season, but Redemption Island is out. After tossing each tribe their maps to camp, he sent them on their way. But neither group realized they would be living at the same beach.
While hiking to camp, two things were made clear. 1. Jonas was impressed with Leif’s strength as he carried some of the largest items. “He’s a buff, little dude.” 2. The women weren’t messing around and an alliance was formed with Alicia, Kat, Sabrina, Chelsea and Kim.
Salani, the women’s tribe, arrived at camp first and saw both team flags on the same beach. “What is going on?” Sabrina asked. “Are those suckers living with us?” Moments later, the guys arrived with shocked looks on their faces when they saw the women at their camp.
This is where the twist really got interesting. Within a few moments, the group spotted a few chickens running around camp. Matt made a hurried agreement with the women that they would all share the chickens, but it just so happened that the guys couldn’t catch any of ‘em. Instead, Chelsea made it look easy and snatched up two of the chickens all by herself. When the hunt was finished, the guys asked for the women to hand one of the chickens over — but the women didn’t do it. They were upset about having their supplies stolen and felt like they didn’t need to give their food away.
Matt was instantly pissed. “I don’t care about those girls,” he said in confessional. “You give us that chicken as an apology and then we’ll think about talking.” His arrogance was thick right off the bat and I think Matt may actually be surprised by the response he will get from fans. If his attitude stays the way it is, his all-American, boy-next-door good looks won’t be enough to gather him any female fans.
After that issue settled, Matt noticed Colton was spending a lot of time with the women’s tribe. After saying it didn’t matter that Colton was gay, Matt added that Colton will be “going home quick” if he doesn’t try to start working with the guys. To secure his spot, Matt then made an alliance with Michael, Jay and Bill. “We’re the young, fit guys,” he said. “It’s the dominant alliance, clearly. So I’m sitting pretty as far as I’m concerned.”
Meanwhile, Colton made a ballsy move as he spent more time bonding with the women. After winning all of them over with his humor, Colton asked Christina, Monica and Sabrina to help him find a hidden Immunity Idol so he could be secure from the manly vote.
Without any apparent struggle, the men started a fire at their camp by rubbing sticks together. I don’t know if they gathered any special material off the truck to help them spark the blaze, but it ignited awfully easy. Almost too easy. The women took notice and offered to give the men one of their chickens in exchange for an ember. The guys struck the deal down by saying they had already lost their chance by not giving up a chicken like they had agreed to in the first place.
But the women weren’t going to take no for an answer. When the guys fell asleep, Monica and Christina snuck over and stole an ember from their fire. Slick move. But they totally fouled up that slick move by letting the fire go out by morning, which brought them back to trying to cut a deal with the guys. Desperate to have a secure flame, Christina agreed to have the women weave 20 fronds in exchange for fire. Makes sense, right? Not in Alicia’s world. She was extremely angry that Christina would make those kinds of agreements with the guys.
The first Immunity challenge of the season was essentially a big obstacle course, which started with a 25-foot jump into a net. When Kourtney took her turn, she landed weird and hurt her wrist. As both tribes reached the second stage of the challenge, Probst noticed Kourtney sitting down and asked her if she was OK. “I don’t think I can do it,” Kourtney said, which sparked Probst to stop the challenge immediately. The medical team was brought in to evaluate Kourtney, but they said an X-ray would be needed to see how bad the injury was and to determine her status in the game.
Since the challenge rules stated it was necessary for nine people to reach the finish line to be victorious, the men won by default. But Probst offered up a gesture of good will to the guys. Instead of taking their victory by sacrifice, they could agree to continue the challenge. “The only thing I’m reminding you guys of is that it is the single biggest mistake made in this game is doing decisions early on that nobody will forgive you for in the end. But it is your call.” After a short discussion, the men decided to take the win and end the challenge. The women couldn’t believe the men took the easy way out. They actually even argued with Troyzan about their decision.
Arrogance & An Idol
When both tribes returned to camp, Matt’s arrogance continued. He said the men didn’t really need to let the challenge continue because they believed they would have won anyway. I will say I don’t completely disagree with the men’s decision to take the victory that was handed to them. It is a game. But I don’t agree with making excuses for your choice by saying it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. If that was the case, then play it out.
Meanwhile, Sabrina stumbled upon a hidden Immunity Idol when walking around camp. But her excitement was quickly subdued when the note inside revealed the Idol was actually intended for a member of the Manono tribe. The instructions also revealed that she had to give the Idol away to one of the guys before the next Tribal Council. Just like that, Colton’s wish came true. Sabrina surprised him with the Idol and gave it away while suggesting he use it to knock out one of the powerful Manono men. That wasn’t a problem for Colton because Matt is his early target. “We’ll cut his throat faster than Taylor Swift will write a song about an ex-boyfriend.”
The First Casualty
The first Tribal Council started with Kourtney’s presence, which Probst promised he would discuss soon enough. Without much time passing by, a fight sparked between Christina and Alicia regarding the deal for fire. As Christina explained what happened, Alicia wouldn’t let the story fly. But Christina wasn’t backing down either. She actually snapped at Alicia and told her to shut up. Probst shook his head in amazement.
Then came the news about Kourtney. Although she was doing fine, Probst said her wrist was broken in several spots and would require surgery. With that, Kourtney became the first official elimination. For that reason, no vote was held and the women returned to camp with a few parting words from Probst. “There are 36 days left in this game and if you don’t get it together, none of you will make to the end. That’s what I send you home with tonight.”
I must admit, Kourtney was an early favorite for me and I’m very sad to see her go. In fact, a lot of fans are bummed she’s been booted as some are posting online that this is the “worst first elimination ever.”
What did you think of the first episode? Who is your favorite? Do you think the women should have shared a chicken? Do you think the men should have shared their fire? Were you surprised the men didn’t agree to complete the Immunity challenge? Sound off and leave a comment below!
Images courtesy of CBS.