February 26, 2014 08:43 PM by Ryan Haidet
Wow! What a start! Although it’s been a tad more than two months since the Survivor: Blood Vs. Water finale, it seems like it took forever for Survivor: Cagayan to debut. Like reuniting with a long-lost friend, I’m thrilled to welcome Survivor back into my living room! For the first time, I ripped off @JeffProbst and live tweeted the entire show. Check me out @RyanSurvivor to see my live breakdown of the epic two-hour premiere (plus, I’m new to Twitter and need some followers). I promise, I have some fun stuff to tweet — and will do so throughout this season and live from the finale in May… OK, self promotion done. Let’s get to the goods. How awesome was that debut? I loved every second of it! Two blindsides?!?!?!
Leader Vs. Weakest
Right off the bat, the game got interesting as Jeff Probst forced each of the three tribes to select a leader. That leader then had to individually name their weakest member. LJ (leader) picked Morgan as the weakest in the Beauty tribe; David (leader) picked muscle man Garrett as the weakest of the Brains tribe; Sarah (leader) picked Trish as the weakest in the Brawn tribe. The three weakest were then given a helicopter ride back to camp where they were each greeted with a dilemma: Get a clue to a hidden Immunity Idol or get a second bag of rice for their tribe. For me, there wouldn’t be any decision. I’m there to play Survivor. I would take any and every clue to benefit my success in the game. Duh. Especially if my tribemates never knew I had the option. Garrett and Morgan did just that and picked the clue — and amazingly, Garrett found the Idol before his tribe ever arrived. Morgan, however, wasn’t so lucky. Over at the Brawn tribe, Trish proudly took the extra rice, which she gushed about when her tribe arrived. Trish is clearly thinking about survival, but not so much strategy.
After an epic loss at the first combined Reward/Immunity challenge of the season, the Brains tribe — aka Luzon — found themselves heading to Tribal Council. For me, as a viewer, it was clear we were being set up by the edit for a blindside. It seemed J’Tia was the first target because of her bossy attitude around camp, which rubbed her tribe the wrong way. Hell, Kass told her they were voting against her. But paranoia about the hidden Immunity Idol resulted in the first blindside of the season as Luzon sent David packing. He was clearly shocked by the move — and so was Kass as she was the only other person to vote against J’Tia.
Tony is an interesting castaway for me. I thought his “spy shack” was ridiculous and his ability to lie was terrible when Sarah Lacina asked if he was a cop. He also rubs me the wrong way in acting like he’s the smartest player there. But I have to give the guy some credit. When his tribe came back to camp after winning the second challenge, he sneakily snatched the clue to a hidden Idol that was placed in their Reward. I arrogantly said to myself, “There’s no way he’s gonna find it.” And I was quickly proved wrong as he jumped right into the water and easily found the Idol. If he and Sarah align, which it seems is a strong possibility based on his admission to her next week that he IS actually a cop, he could go far.
The Mental Patient
Meanwhile, back at the Brains camp, shit was going down — big time. Garrett, a professional poker player, strong armed the rest of his tribe by telling everybody they weren’t allowed to separate and strategize. Since they had concluded J’Tia was going to be voted out next, they should just sit there in the shelter until it was time to leave for Tribal Council. This really pissed everybody off, but Tasha and J’Tia were the only ones who really spoke up about it. And his power play backfired. As J’Tia was left behind at the camp, she took her tribe’s supply of rice and poured the stash into their fire. Wow! I never saw that coming. This was proof that she should have been the first person booted instead of David. Big mistake. J’Tia even admitted in confessional that her tribemates never should have left her alone because she was like a crazy “mental patient.”
For me, there would be no discussion any longer. If somebody dumped out my tribe’s entire food supply that early in the game because she’s a vengeful biatch (yes, biatch), I would bounce them IMMEDIATELY! No questions asked! If they can’t keep their cool, they gotta go. Done. Period. End of story.
But not with this Brains tribe.
Instead of cutting the crazy, J’Tia was spared as Garrett was blindsided at their second Tribal Council. Hilariously, Garrett admitted in his final confessional that he didn’t even bring the hidden Idol to Tribal Council and left it back at camp. I hope somebody finds it! Fingers crossed! Spencer, now the only remaining male on Luzon, was shocked. ”Who wants to welcome me to the bottom?” Spencer asked. “It’s not so bad,” Kass replied. Probst also looked shocked by the entire situation. How could he not be? Wow!
My favorite moment of the entire episode? Kass questioning to see the data that categorizes her tribe as the Brains. I appreciate her honesty, but as a strategic standpoint, I think Kass could find herself in hot water for being too open with her fellow castaways. I hope I’m wrong.
This, in my opinion, was one of the strongest debuts we’ve seen for a season of Survivor in years! I love the personalities and all the rain. There is nothing better than an open-air Tribal Council that leaves the castaways shivering and wet. It makes me happy, just like Pharrell’s song in a room without a roof. Sorry, I know that was really corny. Plus, I dig that Redemption Island is gone for the season and that we have 18 all-new castaways with NO returning players for once. Don’t you agree?
You’ve read my thoughts, now it’s your turn! What did you think of the premiere? Who is your favorite castaway so far? Would you have voted J’Tia out after she dumped the rice? Sound of and leave a comment in the section below! And please, follow me on Twitter @RyanSurvivor and @realitytvmag to join in the discussion every week with Survivor updates. It will be fun!