February 13, 2013 07:51 PM by Ryan Haidet
It all started with 10 new castaways being brought in by boat and 10 returning players were brought in by a pair of helicopters. That’s right! Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites is finally here! In one of the most amazing opening shots ever, host Jeff Probst stood on the tiny top of a ridiculously steep cliff jutting hundreds of feet in the Philippine sky. “39 days… 20 people… 1 Survivor!” Probst exclaimed from his perilous perch. After the “fans” were dropped off on shore, Probst summoned the arrival of both helicopters carrying the favorites. As each of the veteran castaways were individually introduced, I really believe many of the newbies were clueless about who some of the favorites are. They definitely recognized Brandon. One fan even exclaimed “Oh my God, that’s Russell’s nephew!” Shamar didn’t seem impressed with the batch whatsoever as he declared, “This is lunchmeat right here. It’s about to be chow time.” And with that, the game was on! This special 90-minute premiere (cut down from its initial two hours) was entertaining from start to finish as the first Tribal Council churned out a history-making moment.
Right off the bat, the tribes were thrown into an intense, physical water challenge for Reward in the form of flint and 20 pounds of beans. It was also the first opportunity for Phillip to show off his lovely, pink granny panties. Oh, how we’ve all missed that saggy nastiness. Anyway, squaring off two on two, the task was to take a single ring from the ocean and be the first to get it to a pole at the other side of the course. The fans easily scored first as Shamar made it look like child’s play against Erik. But that was all the success the newbies would experience. As Malcolm struggled to score the winning point for the favorites, his shorts were falling off his bum to which Erik yelled from the sidelines: “Go naked!” Ultimately, Malcolm prevailed and helped his team win the first challenge of the season.
Early Fights & Fast Fire
The drama didn’t take long to spark at Gota (fans) as Shamar made himself look like a complete jackass. As Matt worked to build the shelter, Shamar suggested they should start working on the fire instead, arguing that it’s more important. The two had a ridiculous squabble that definitely put Shamar in a terrible light. In confessional, he even said he was going to be the Marine who “came in the end and just smashed ‘em” because he won’t work so hard he gets dehydrated. When he finally got his ass motivated to prove he’s a worthy teammate, Shamar paired up with Michael to spark a blaze by essentially rubbing two pieces of wood together. They actually almost made it look too damn easy. It was very impressive. Later in the episode we were forced to watch Shamar stretch on shore. Not impressive.
Fans Become Friends — Some Very Friendly
After forming some sort of fast alliance with Eddie, Reynold went on to create a bond with Allie — and for very specific reasons. He said that she’s not the cutest and flies under the radar, which makes her the perfect ally. Meanwhile, Eddie connected with Hope in a flirtatious way claiming that they are the two best-looking people there. He said he found his Southern Belle, which made him very excited.
As Gota grabbed some ZZZZZssss that first night, Reynold got a bit cozy with Allie by cuddling extra closely and playing a game of grab-ass — and it didn’t go unnoticed because several people on the tribe saw it go down. For being a fan of the show, you would think Reynold would be smarter than that to make such a bold, affectionate play on the FIRST NIGHT! Dope.
Fransesqua Francesca Faces Phillip
At Bikal (favorites), Malcolm was hoping to make a great first impression on the other nine returning players since none of them know anything about him. In case you aren’t aware, Malcolm’s first season (Survivor: Philippines) didn’t air until after this one was totally wrapped and everybody came back home. He actually only had two weeks out of the game before he was back playing again.
Francesca said that she definitely is on solid footing right off the bat since nobody will view her as a threat having been the first person voted off the previous season she played. “If I am voted off first a second time, I will eat this rock,” she said in confessional. “It’s not gonna happen.” Never say never, Frannie.
After the strange relationship she had with Phillip the first time around, Francesca finally had the chance to hash things out with him. In a one-on-one chat, she told him that the first time they played together she was never gunning for him. But he wasn’t having any of it. “I just think that she annoys me greatly,” Phillip said in confessional.
Phillip’s New Strategies
Duplicating his nicknaming process from the first time he played, Phillip offered special monikers to the tribe members he liked most. He called Corinne the Dominatrix an Andrea the Dominator after making an alliance with them. He also revealed in confessional his “Boston Rob” rules. 1) Be in an alliance; 2) Be in an alliance within an alliance; 3) Get rid of your alliance before they get rid of you. In true Boston Rob style, Phillip turned to Erik suggesting that he is either all-in with him or he’s out entirely. Erik hated his method of approach calling Phillip a “combative, idiot loser who makes everybody crazy.”
Cochran’s Burned Body
Cochran wasn’t adapting well to the sun-soaked elements, which is far from a surprise. His entire pale body was turning tomato red — even his toes. “If we had a challenge now, I’d actually die,” he jokingly told Corinne.
When he arrived at the first Immunity challenge, Probst pointed out that Cochran had a horrific sunburn — one of the worst he’d ever seen on the show. When Cochran said his burn happened instantly, his playful banter made everybody laugh.
As the challenge was underway, the Bikal (favorites) tribe had a massive lead until the final portion when Reynold made a massive comeback for Gota (fans). His success led Gota to victory and gave them possession of the awesome-looking Immunity Idol.
History Repeats Itself
Francesca made a big play when Bikal returned to camp by suggesting to the bulk of the tribe that they vote against Phillip at the first Tribal Council. Andrea, who was acting like she was on Francesca’s side, didn’t dig the idea and warned Phillip about the proposed plan. For that reason, Phillip was entirely enthralled with the concept of booting Francesca first again.
As Tribal Council loomed, strategies got more intense with Francesca’s alliance becoming leery of Andrea, concerned she was playing both sides. When they arrived at Tribal Council, it started up with Phillip repeatedly proving he could pronounced Francesca’s name correctly before claiming he actually was purposely messing up her name the first time around in that now-infamous Redemption Island moment. When the votes were tallied, Francesca fell first for the second time in a row with six ballots against her (the other four against Andrea). When her torch was ceremoniously snuffed out, Francesca not only set a record as the first person to be voted out of the game twice, she’s also the only two-time castaway to last just six days total. Sad.
Overall, I totally dug this debut.
What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Do you think it’s funny or sad that Francesca became the only castaway in history to be the first person voted out of the game? Sound off and leave a comment below!
Want more? Follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook!. Click here for more information about Survivor. For other great reality TV news, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: Survivor Caramoan.
Photo Credit: CBS