Survivor came to play, and sets up well for a new season

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Survivor is back! I’ve consumed approximately two hundred podcasts, articles, videos, etc on the new season, so I feel kinda over-prepared. I will still need some time to “get” these contestants. I always appreciate when the show doesn’t give us obvious foreshadowing, and I also appreciate when the teams aren’t super uneven.

So starting off, it seemed like the Hustler tribe was behind, losing out on the first advantage. Yet they came in second against the beloved Heroes tribe in an immunity challenge that was extremely close. That’s more fun that a blowout in my mind.

Each tribe has a few standouts so far — but some negatively. On Hustlers, Ryan is the new “narrator” guy, with a sense of humor about himself, some decent physical skill (note when Jeff was “surprised” at Ryan’s strength in the challenge), and luck. He found that interesting new advantage, which I believe was 100% wasted. Sure, Ryan picked Chrissy probably because she puked, but Chrissy didn’t want to show her hand, I suppose. We can’t be sure until some of those behind the scene videos come out later.

Jeff Probst has a lot of great energy, like a new man excited unlike I’ve seen in awhile. He leapt onto the boat and leapt again onto the beach. I dig it. Some unusual aggression came from both Joe and Alan in an interesting mirror. On Healers, Joe the probation officer saw the nerdy, awkward urologist Mike and lunged in what I can only assume is his impression of Tony. But Joe’s approach ain’t that great.

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Mike may be suspiciously searching for an idol, but Joe seemed like a crazy paranoid jerk. Speaking of which, Alan on Heroes similarly got paranoid about potential power couple Ashley and JP and instead of subtly undermining them, he literally acted like an insane person and got JP to take off his pants. That’s just bizarre.

But I did love the creepy horror movie violin music playing while Alan watched Ashley and JP mildly flirt near the nighttime fire. It’s one of the ways the show set us up for his later explosion of crazy. I’m curious about what comes next, because the show junked a lot at us at once.

Ryan seems the most mentally and strategically balanced so far, and his little alliance with Devon was a nice little setup. Roark has little personality shown yet, Cole is handsome, Jessica is pretty, Desi is also pretty, Simone did not speak, and Mike was out of his element.

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Ben is a former Marine who is playing for his family, Ashley has little personality yet, JP was too quick to get naked, Alan is playing too hard, and Katrina lost. Why did she lose? Because she was the easy target and she didn’t seem to try and build any alliances. It was clear though, that Chrissy would have played her idol if she herself had been targeted.

Hard to blame her for that. This was a bit too jumbled for an easy “Oh, it was this one move” – first boots are always a bit chaotic and out of the ordinary, or very predictable. This time, Katrina lost simply because she was the easy target.

Meet The Castaways

CBS

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