First episode of Survivor? How about some Wes thoughts about it!

It’s time for a Wes Survivor blog! Why the hell not. It’s been WAY too long since my last post, but the first episode of Survivor always brings out so many thoughts and emotions. Thoughts race through my head recounting similar events or happenings from every first episode in previous seasons. With the start of every new season, the love I have for this game and show returns. As opposed to a recap, analysis on strategy or “power rankings”, I’m just going to run with my stream of thoughts here. Consider this a “ramblings” type post. Enough with the intro, onto the show!

(I got a little carried away writing this blog, so I’m splitting this into two. One about the first episode and one about Survivor and where the show stands coming soon. Also, I’m really going to try to get these out on Monday from now on. Thursday and Friday are filled with other blogs. A little separation is nice.)

Also, don’t expect a lot of strategy talk here. I’ve expressed in the past how I think strategy in the game is a little overhyped. Lots of idiots play, there’s a lot of luck, and it’s been shown so many times in the past a lot of times the winner is just a friend of the jury or an “anybody but the other person” type winner. Second Chance is an exception season because there are a lot of good players out there but the other reason why I don’t want to delve into strategy talk is because we hardly see any of the game play out there. We get maybe 25 minutes of strategy talk and camp happenings and discussion at tribal council. I’m not going to talk out of my ass and try to decipher what’s going on.

Ok on to the first episode!

There is no hiding my goosebumps when the show begins. We always open with the stunningly beautiful topography of the new location of the show and finish with Jeff Probst’s opening proclamation of, “39 days, 20 people, One Survivor!” This season was no different, if anything I thought the opening may have been one of the best of all time. I’m going to take Survivor for what it is, and just assume what we saw as the opening was the actual opening, and not something they filmed earlier. Jeff gets a lot of credit, and has won an Emmy before in the past, but the guy needs to be congratulated on such a smooth and fluid opening. Right from sending the castaways on their way to introducing the season. Nobody does it better.

Survivor Opening

Huge fan of Cambodia as the location. The beaches and jungle look to be quintessential Survivor. We are going to have water challenges which is always a plus, and it’s a new location. Gone is Samoa, the Philippines and the dreadful Nicaragua.  From what I’ve read, the conditions were brutal. Perfect! I like my Suvivor to be filled with people suffering and trying to endure the elements.

Survivor1

I am so jacked up for this season! Why? Two of my favorite seasons are Heroes vs Villains and All Stars. In these two, you had about 16+ players each season that really wanted to win and would do anything not to get voted out. Compare that with the last two seasons that had maybe 8-10 players who really gave a shit and you can see why I’m excited for this one. EVERYBODY wants to win and is a player in this season. I could go on for 2000 words about returnees but I’ll save that for maybe another day. Let’s just sum up my thoughts by saying that I enjoy returnee seasons, as long as we have some distance in between them. A healthy medium of 4-6 regular seasons and then a returnee type season is probably the best way to do it.

There were about 500-700 articles and blogs before the start of this season. I read only about 10 for fear that I might get burnt out before the season started. The Survivor internet corner is very crowded nowadays. I’ll talk about this more in the other blog that I promised.

Seeing A LOT of pudge with some of the contestants. Were some of them trying to gain a lot of weight before the season started to have weight to lose, or did a lot not train that hard beforehand? Will be interesting to see some of the Survivor Diet weight loss totals.

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One of the problems that can occur when you play Survivor a second time, is the negativity or backlash that you may face or that could ruin your reputation. So many times in the past people have looked worse or changed the way people viewed them their 2nd or 3rd time.  Rupert, Stephenie, James, Colby, Lex and Ozzy to name a few. Seems to be primarily a male thing where they can be viewed as an asshole or less of a “hero” their 2nd or 3rd time around. Now, who the fuck knows what Terry said or what was going on. It is a little difficult to understand Abi sometimes, and in seeing the letter that she read aloud, I think anyone would have a hard time reading it. Probably better to be a little more gentle in a situation like that though.

There was a lot of trash talk about Kelly Wiglesworth before the season started. Fans and other potential contestants were wondering where her heart was and if she really wanted to play again. I choose to not judge and just assumed that she had other priorities in her life (like a young child). I was excited to see her back. One of the elite contestants from the first season coming back to play. I was hopeful she would return and play well. Then the very first quasi challenge happened. All I could think about in the beginning when she jumped off the raft to swim for the rice, was the beginning of Palau. The similarities were shockingly similar, except this season she was going for a group reward instead of an individual immunity which Stephenie and Jonathan were going for. Not sure if she had planned to swim for it with her tribe, or she went for it and possibly was just looking for the individual glory. All I know is this, early on in the game, you want to keep your head as low as possible. If you get to the rice first you look like a challenge threat (especially with someone who won so many individual immunities her first season) and some people also may be jealous of the accolades you would get. Also, if you lose you have to deal with letting your tribe down. A no win situation if you ask me.The same thing could be said about her trying to win the jailbreak portion of the immunity challenge. Did she think she had a better shot at the challenge because she has long skinny arms? If I was on that tribe, it would seem to me that Kelly is already playing somewhat of an individual game.

First 25 seconds of the video is similar to what Kelly did.

 

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Pretty clever, not sure how she could have ever gotten away with using any of these tools. Crew members would have instantly realized what she did. Ballsy move though that you have to respect. Brings back memories of Richard Hatch trying to sneak in matches up his butt.

Halftime!
Have to decide whether or not to see these guys down in Portland soon. Missed them in Seattle when they played two years ago. Huge regret.

Didn’t see a lot from the Bayon tribe. It would appear that Stephen and Kass have some work cut out for them. Would much rather see them play the game deeper than someone like Andrew Savage or Tasha. I wouldn’t count Stephen out just yet. He proved his first go around to be very crafty and strategic. I’m sure he has some tricks up his sleeve.

Hiding the idol at the immunity challenge is the best twist to happen to the game since I don’t even know. Been so long since there was a really great twist. I loved the drama associated with it, and loved how Kelley pulled it out. Would be cool to see them place one in the ocean on a raft a distance from the challenge later on before the merge. Could create a ton of controversy if a tribe member choose to go for that instead of helping his/her tribe.The hidden idol also saved a slightly boring mundane challenge. They used this challenge to honor the very first Survivor challenge ever played back in Borneo. I’m sure moving on, the challenges are going to be a little more intense and longer. (This challenge was also used to start All Stars as well.)
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Lot of people always complained about men finding the idol and always wondered if Survivor planted it for them. We can put that conspiracy theory to bed now.

Another twist or call back to a previous seasons that’s needed? Need them to hide a treasure chest filled with rum like back in Pearl Islands. Drunk Jonny Fairplay at tribal challenge is sneaky one of the best moments in Survivor history.

Let’s not all feel bad for Vytas. Sure, wondering if you would ever get a second chance for about two years, going through the voting process, preparing to play and spending all the days leading up to the game in seclusion must have been a huge let down to go out first. But, the guy beat out others to get voted on, was able to play the game so many thousands of people want to do a second time and was able to showcase what he does for a living. Think about this though, isnt Vytas one of the most well known Yoga teachers now? I’m not saying that he was going on Survivor to promote himself, but that is basically what happened, right? If I was in LA, I would absolutely go to a Vytas class. Parvati said it herself, that there are basically lines down the street of his studio. Someone has to go out first, and you might as well make the most of it and showcase your talents. For what it’s worth, it didn’t seem like Vytas was being that much of a creep from what we saw. Having a yoga teacher in your alliance for the whole game to me would be a huge benefit.

Vytas wanted to play old school so therefore I’m thankful he’s gone. Old school = instantly getting a five person alliance then waiting around till the merge. Once you hit the merge you hope you can convince someone from the other tribe to jump or you win some sort of tiebreaker vote. No thanks! I’ll take the new school strategies that people employ.

Everyone always talked about how great Vytas was and how he was such a threat…Umm, he was 2nd out after a merge in his first season and then the first out on an All Stars season. Can we put, “Vytas is such a strong player” to rest now?!

Last bitching thing I’ll say. I hate everything about people talking about “their edit” or people speculating about edits or narratives. Watch the fucking show and enjoy it. There’s a long term plan for everyone. Not everyone can get a hero or redemption edit. Sometimes you are going to look like a doofus or a weirdo. You were granted an opportunity to take part in an amazing adventure, get to be on TV and possibly win a million dollars. Suck it up.

Winner pick

I said it when I first gave my prediction for the winner of San Juan Del Sur, but I think Kelley Wentworth is winning this season. I was wrong that season, but I think what I saw back then might come to fruition this time. Why Kelley? She’s a real person as compared to some of the cartoon characters that get cast. She smart, likable and has just the amount of bitchiness to vote anyone out. Kelley is my pick!

No question, it was probably my favorite first episode watch party I’ve ever been to!

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A couple links:

Update on Survivor music and what happened to it’s composer, Russ Landau.

Nice piece by the NY Times on Survivor‘s Longevity

Wes Dorne

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