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!