Friday, February 20, 2009

Termites and Snakes in the Grass

Termites. Jalapao's first protein in this competition came from a giant termite mound where they found giant worms and other bugs inside. I always think it's funny when they start eating weird shit right away. How long has it been since they've eaten though? A couple of days. I would have been hungry after just a few hours probably, so I guess I can't blame them. At their camp, everything seemed to be going well. Not much drama and everyone getting along. At this point, now that Carolina is gone, looks like Sandy is still the one on the chopping block.

Timbera is another story. Drama abounds. Candace certainly has let her personality come out this week. She's rude to the women, flirtatious with the men, but she's definitely wanting it to be her way. Coach is also hard to handle. Meanwhile, Sierra went looking for the hidden immunity idol with Brant and while they were digging on the beach, and someone found them. Sierra quickly covered by saying they were building a massive fire pit. I can't believe someone actually fell for that.

Back to Jalapao, Taj let slip the truth about her husband. His name is Eddie George, former Heisman Trophy winner and very famous football player. It seemed like most of the tribe was looking at her like a celebrity, but some of them were sitting back thinking, "This chick's got money. She doesn't need the million dollars." Her simply telling the truth about that was her downfall, I guarantee it. No one will vote for her to win now. Period.

Challenge: Rainy Days

As the rain started to pour, Jeff greeted the tribes for their very first reward challenge, but when he announced that it was also immunity, I was confused. There is usually a reward first, then a second challenge in the episode for immunity. Not this time. The teams were playing for fishing gear.

Three members of each tribe run to the water, get a ball and try to score by getting it through a basketball hoop while the other team tries to block. First team to three points wins both immunity and reward.

Taj, Stephen, Sidney against TImbera tribe. Immediately things got brutal. Sierra, Tyson and Candace were for Timbera and damn, Candace is competitive. She was seriously throwing Sidney into the water. She was also the first one to score a point for her team. Timbera 1.

2nd round. JT fighting with Tyson, things are really getting brutal. Sandy was cracking me up because she was just holding onto Erin's top and wouldn't let her go. Tyson scored for Timbera. 2-0.

3rd round. All women. Taj was proving that she was tough by grabbing it from everyone, but after three tries, Taj could not get it into the basket. Sidney redeemed her, though, by scoring Jalapao's first basket. 2-1.

4th round. Let me just say that for someone named "coach" he was sucking balls in this challenge. JT on the other hand tied it up for Jalapao. 2-2.

5th and final round. You can tell everyone is getting tired. Everyone had several chances to get it into the basket, but people were missing like crazy. Stephen got the ball and pulled through, giving his team, Jalapao a comeback victory 3-2.

Exile Island: Brendan sent

"Choose one member of the winning tribe to join you at exile island."

That is the twist Jeff announced, and Brendan chose Taj to go with him. On exile is a hidden immunity idol, so this could really be Taj's chance.

It was surprising to see that once they got there, they actually were given water and rice. That's a twist. Then, once they made it to their primary location, they each had to choose an urn. Taj's had nothing inside, but Brendan had one that said, "Open in private." Obviously, his had the clue and it said it was up to him whether he wanted to share with anyone else.

Another twist for him is that at the end of exile, he has a choice to switch tribes, but he said right away that there was no way he was changing tribes.

Taj proved to be quite the pushy one. She basically talked him into showing her the clue, but there wasn't much in there except it saying that the idol is in their "tribal homelands" which means back at camp. SO, exile is pretty pointless.

Fishing: Jalapao

JT emerged as the tribe leader. The good ol' southern boy is proving his worth through his easy going attitude and his knowledge of the outdoors. There seems to be bonding going on between Stephen, the big city jew, and the southern boy, which is a bit unexpected, but refreshing at the same time.

Timbira: Who do we send home?

Right away, Candace calls Coach out to the others, saying that he didn't work hard at the challenge. Behind her back, some of the others went straight to Coach to tell him. Coach's response? Candace is a cancer that will ruin the tribe.

When Brendan made it back to camp, he lied and told everyone that Taj got the clue, not him, but meanwhile, he's looking around for the clue right under their noses.

Candace and Erin plotting, but so is everyone back at camp. Giving them almost 2 days to decide who is going home is a bit unnerving. Coach said that they should follow their "original" plan and vote for Sierra, but to the camera he was saying Candace. He seems pretty confident that he's in control of his tribe. At this point, it'll either be Sierra or Candace going home. Everyone was forming little groups behind everyone else's backs, proving that this season of Survivor is bound to be riddled with blindsides and surprise votes.

Tribal Council

At tribal, trust already has come to the forefront of the game. Candace seems to trust that the tribe likes her. Coach seems to think he can trust that Brendan was telling the truth about not getting the clue. Erin's advice? You have to be careful, we don't know these people. I agree with her for sure.

Time to vote. As everyone was voting, you could tell Sierra was nervous, but Candace seemed to be happy and smiling. THe votes surprised her a bit. Her eyes got so wide and she was just shaking her head, but most of the votes were for Candace, proving that attitude and talking crap right off the bat are the worst things you can do at the beginning of this game. SHe doesn't have any friends or people she can trust, yet she was willing to talk plenty of trash. In my opinion, she deserved to go home simply for not having a clue how to play the social game of survivor. As Sierra said when she cast her vote, "You played a good physical game, but no one likes a snake in the grass."

Two down. Who will be the next to go?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Survivor: Tocantins Begins!

Wow, what number season of Survivor is this? 21? 22? And yet I still love watching it, and won't miss a single episode. This season of Survivor features 16 players in Tocantins Brazil. There is water, but other than that, it is basically a desert. Temperatures can top 115 degrees! I have a feeling these people are going to be pretty miserable. I am personally glad to see a slightly different setting this time. Tropical islands are beautiful, but they get old after a while. Africa was super, and I think they should continue to find interesting locations like Africa and Brazil. With that said, I am typing as I write and will just keep up with a basic recap of the first episode of the season.

The 16 survivors arrived in the desert in a truck loaded with supplies. Teams of 8, red and black, had to take whatever they could off the truck for their team and start the adventure. First impressions mean everything this season. Black team ended up with all of the water and bags of food. The red team.. ouch. Looks like they have bananas and some wood. Each team was given a map to their camp, a four hour hike.

But wait, there's a vote! Jeff says a vote will occur and one person "will not be making this journey." Right away, the red team voted off the older lady. Everyone on the black team voted for Sierra because she looked sick on the ride over. She has a fever and strep throat, and was so upset about her bad first impression. Jeff announced however, that those two would be helicoptered out to their camp, and immediately Sandy started celebrating. DOes she not realize that she was just the first person who would have been voted off? And now everyone that wanted her gone has to walk four hours bonding in the heat. She's toast.

As the two camps make their way, Sandy and Sierra were the first ones to arrive at their respective camps. At camp, they were left a note that told them they could either start setting up or they can search for an immunity idol. That's a really tough decision. Sandy didn't think twice about searching for the idol. Sierra saw it differently, and decided to spend her time setting up the camp.

When Jalapao arrived at their camp, Sandy quickly put her note in her bra and said "This might come in handy later, cause I haven't found the idol." Then what was the first thing her tribe said to her? They said, "Sandy! WHy isn't our house built? You didn't do anything?" I think she really made the wrong decision.

At Timbira, Sierra did a ton. She built the entire shelter for eight people, and everyone was grateful. Coach is pushing for the strong survivors to make it to the end, and he thinks Sierra should go soon anyway, but only time will tell. It's definitely honorable to want to compete against strong and worthy opponents, but Coach has to understand that just because you aren't strong physically does not mean you aren't a worthy opponent. If the only people who made it to the end were ever the strong, burly guys, this show wouldn't have made it to season 4.

Jalapao, Day 2. Everyone is working together to put their shelter together. J.T. seems to have taken a leadership role. Carolina, on the other hand, seems to already be annoying everyone. Sandy slyly announced that she was going to the bathroom and would be back later, then headed straight out to search for the idol. What I'm wondering is what the hell did she do for the four hours when her tribe was making their way there?? She is just now uncovering the first clue while everyone is sitting back at camp going, "where's Sandy?" Basically, she did nothing I guess.

Timbira, Day 2. The water they got yesterday is already gone, so several of them went out to get more water. Tyson got naked right away. He's definitely not shy! He has a great sense of humor, which could really carry him a long way. I loved it when he said that he'll wear a "Man Tiara" if he wins a million dollars.

Challenge #1 - Immunity and Flint
Six members race across sand hills, then out to a raft where they get puzzle planks and race them back to the starting line. The other two tribe members make a staircase out of the planks, then two members go up and solve a puzzle that will raise a flag.

Jalapao sat out Sandy and Taj. Erin and Sierra sat out for Timbira. Everyone else was in the race. JT was the first one out there by a LONG SHOT. This guy is tough, but he's also putting a huge target on his back. Carolina was holding her tribe back, having a very hard time getting to the beach. Tyson on Timbira gave Black a big advantage, putting black in the lead. Both tribes starting working on their staircases and Sandy definitely proved her worth by fixing the stairs quickly, but Sierra wasn't giving up. She never gave up and finally got their staircase finished.

At this point, it all came down to the puzzle maze. Timbira was making easy work of it, erasing the lead Jalapao had at the beginning. Timbira wins immunity! So, now we know that the first person to go will come from the Jalapao tribe.

Tribal Council

Everyone seemed to assume Sandy would be the one to go, but as is the case in Survivor, someone dug their own grave. Right when they got back from their hard loss, Carolina started bitching about their shelter and camp not being finished. Sandy's selling point was that she really did a great job at the challenge. Long time fan Spencer just didn't want to get rid of Sandy. SO who went on the chopping block? Joe was quick to bring up the fact that Carolina's bossy attitude is back for the tribe's morale.

I think Carolina is a sweet girl, but that just goes to show how one choice makes a huge difference in the way people see you. Believing she was gone, Sandy went looking for the idol, but we didn't get to see whether she found it or not.

At tribal, Jeff brought up the issue that everyone was expecting Sandy to have the camp set up. When she started making her case, Jeff asked her point blank... "Sandy, are you a little crazy?" Her response was "A LOT crazy. And I like that." Who knows? Her craziness might keep her around for a little while. In the end, it was almost a unanimous tribe decision to get rid of the bossy Carolina. It was obvious she had no clue she was going to be the first one to go. I would say that this first episode proves that the first rule of survivor is not to stand out for any reason right off the bat. Blend in. Help out but don't help too much. Talk nicely but don't give orders. BLEND in. Carolina broke that first rule and she was out first. Truthfully, she was also one of the weakest at the tribal challenge.

Two things are clear from the first tribal council. "1. You're willing to change your first impressions and 2. You are willing to blindside." Ah, the blindside. Hopefully there will be many more to come!