Guess who’s back, back again. Yep that’s right, your neighborhood Survivor recapper, who dilligently stuck through Vanuatu with you, is back for the new and exciting season of Palau! Now I’ll be honest, I was not too excited for this season. In December, when it was revealed that 20 Survivors would be playing and how the game would change in the first 10 minutes, I thought to myself “If Survivor pulls one of those eliminate someone right off the bat and waste a cast member or two, I’m going to freak.” And what happens? After the cast release in January, we are let known that 3 people won’t make it through the first episode.
So needless to say, I approached this premiere with skepticism and cynicism. We start off the premiere seeing Jeffy Pop Probst schooning in his schooner. (Awwww, Jeff likes to schoon. What a cutie. You have to wonder if Julie was somewhere in the cabin of the boat.) While Jeff is powering his way through the water and giving his normal Survivor schtick introduction, we see the Survivors rowing. Just like Jeff to put the Survivors to work while he rests. Anyway, Jeff pulls up to the Survivors and acts like he was steering the boat himself and turns it off or whatever. (In reality, there’s a little midget out of camera range that’s operating the boat.) Jeff reveals the twist. The Survivors have to go to the flag waiting on the island. There’s two machetes and a map to water. Oh, and two immunity necklaces for the first male and female to get to shore. Coby perks up and gets up, but realizes nobody else is, and sits back down sheepishly. The group decides to row in and then make a mad dash at the end.
James gets the first confessional of the new series, and man do I love James. Did you think you could get away from the redneck accent? Hellllll no. James is hysterical, saying that they were expecting breakfast food from Probst, but was he giving it to them? No. Okay, that wasn’t really hilarious, but it was funny when he said it. People are rearranging themselves in the back of the boat, to maybe get a better angle on the necklaces. And then Wanda gets up and starts singing an inane song. It was funny for oh…about a second. Willard delivers a great line, saying “some lunatic jumps up and starts singing a song” and “I wanted to knock her out of the boat with my oar.” Wanda, in a confessional, says that she wants Survivor to be “one big party” while she’s there. I can only groan in agony. Jonathan and Stephenie get the bright idea to jump into the water, since they think they can probably swim faster than the boat. Um, honeys, no. The boat cruises by them, and the competition is down to eight.
The boat gets near the island, and the Survivors go psycho. Everyone dives in and makes a mad dash for the necklaces. Ian is the first one on the beach, and easily takes the male necklace. Nobody even close to him. Jolanda and Jennifer make it to solid ground at the same time, and in a sprint, Jolanda nearly knocks Jennifer and the flag over to grab the necklace.
Caryn takes charge of the twenty people and starts splitting them up into different jobs. Tom makes the comment that people were walking around every which way, and when somebody approached him to start the fire, he refused because “fire was a loser job.” Yes! Somebody’s that actually SEEN THE SHOW. Angie is one of the ones who finds the water, and there are also tennis shoes for everyone. “No more stilettos!” is her war cry. Coby and Angie bond instantly since they are both the outsiders. We then are treated to Janu the showgirl being the monkey and climbing up a tree to help put together the shelter. And the guys just stare in wonder. Tom, Stephenie, and Ian all get together and say they should stick together, since nobody knows what’s going on. Everyone thinks there’s going to be a huge tribal council. Coby is going around whispering in everyone’s ear about hey, maybe Jonathan should be voted out. Why? We don’t know. But Coby does that.
The next day the Probstmeister shows up. Everyone gathers together, and Jeff singles out Ian and Jolanda. We then know what’s going on, Ian and Jolanda are going to start a chain pick ‘em and two people are being eliminated RIGHT THERE ON THE BEACH. *gaspys!*
*sploosh-flush* Here that? That’s Mark Burnett wasting two contestants.
Ian picks Katie who picks Tom who picks Janu who picks Gregg who picks Jenn who picks Coby who picks Caryn. On the other side, Jolanda picks Bobby Jon who picks Stephenie who picks Jeff who picks Kim who picks James who picks Ashlee who picks Ibrehem. We are now left with two people of each gender. Willard vs. Jonathan, and Wanda vs. Angie. Caryn is the first to choose, and she picks…….Willard. Looks like Coby got to people, and Jonathan is left in the dust. As for Ibrehehehehehehem, he chooses Angie over Wacky Wanda. Wanda and Jonathan are shipped out, with the Survivors crying and Wacky Wanda singing. I can’t tell if they’re crying ’cause they’ll miss Wanda and Jon, or because they’re empathizing with Jonathan being stuck alone with Wanda on a boat ride. Jolanda’s tribe is blue and Ulong. Ian’s tribe is brown and Koror. You can tell that those Survivors looked at the brown buff and thought “Brown? What the hell?”
Angie is sad and hurt that she was picked last, especially when she was expecting Coby to pick her. She feels like she should be on the other tribe. Ian is happy because he’s on an older, wiser tribe, and he thinks that will be better, while Ibrehehehehehehem thinks that athletics on his tribe will prove more valuable.
(Anyone having flashbacks to the Thailand tribe set-up?)
It’s time for the immunity challenge. It’s the basic starting-off obstacle course with a reward. There’s a rope maze, some tires and some bars, and a big wall, a canoe trip to get a flag, and oh. Sticking with the military theme, the tribes each have four crates that are weighted down. One crate has flint, one crate has rice, one crate has something else I’m not remembering, and there are two extra jugs of water for helping to carry water. They have to untie whatever they want, but they don’t have to take anything. And they only get what they take if they win. A unique twist to the reward, I think.
So the challenge starts, and Tom from Koror kicks total ass for the entire challenge. It was impress to see him hurl himself through the rope maze and then over a wall, and you see him fall nearly flat on his face, then get up and jump over the next wall. Tom kicks butt. Anyway, the tribes are really neck and neck until the untying part. Koror has a plan, and only wants the fire/flint, and they get that and are gone gone gone. Meanwhile, Jolanda insists on untying stuff for the reward, while Jeff and Stephenie are insisting they get going to keep up with the tribe. Finally Jolanda gives up and Ulong takes off with the jugs of water and the food ( I think.). But Koror has a lengthy lead, already in the canoe. Ulong tries to canoe, but they end up floundering around and not really going anywhere. Koror kicks butt, and ends up winning the challenge. Ulong is unhappy. Jeff then gives Koror a proposal. They can stay and live at the old beach, or go to a new beach and see what’s up there. The tribe decides out with the old and in with the new.
Katie has a confessional that winning was huge for the tribe, but on the way to their new home, a huge wave tips over the canoe, and the crate with the lead weights sinks to the bottom of the ocean. No more fire. Tom says that it crushed the tribe, because they’d lost everything they’d won. (Uh, hello, immunity didn’t sink to the bottom.)
On Ulong, Angie is complaining. She says that Koror was smart and her tribe wasn’t. She’s the weakest link and she’s afraid she’s going home. Jolanda talks with Bobby Jon and Ibrehehehehehehehem and says that Angie has to be voted out to keep the tribe strong, and they agree. Stephenie, however, doesn’t agree, and proposes to Bobby Jon voting out Jolanda because she was the one that messed them up in the challenge. Bobby Jon won’t hear of it though, and Steph looks exasperated. Ashlee, Kim, Jeff, James, and Angie go on a walk though, and they decide that Jolanda isn’t a team player. Angie is happy, but doesn’t trust anyone on the tribe because she remembers the order she was picked.
It’s TC time and Jeff’s (the Probstmeister, not the Survivor) doing the interview. Stephenie says that the hardest thing was that they made bonds with people on the other tribe and then were separated, and also they didn’t have fire. James says that they are a “damn fine tribe, and we’re tough and young.” Jeff (the Survivor, not the Probstmeister) says that they have the endurance, but they messed up at key times. James says the tribe was a “dumbass.” Ashlee says they haven’t come together as a group, and Angie says it’s hard being picked last. Hey Angie, stop whining. Be happy you got picked. You’re getting to play, unlike Wanda and Jonathan.
It’s time for the tribe members to vote. Jolanda votes for Angie (“I’m not happy with losses.”) and Angie votes for Jolanda (“Nothing personal, either you or I, and I don’t want it to be me.”)
The votes are tallied, and in a 6-3 vote, Jolanda takes the walk of shame. After Jolanda exits, Jeff turns to the tribe and gets very snippety, saying they need to stop making excuses and come together if they don’t want to be back here again. (Probst is really pissed off already? Not a good sign. Maybe he’s having Vanuatu flashbacks when Brook the strength was voted out.)
Jolanda’s Final Words: She says she played the game, the tribe was a lot more happy-go-lucky than she was, and it’s an experience everyone should try.
Next Time: Rats! EEEEK RATS! Koror is unhappy on the new beach, Jeff and Kim get cozy on Ulong, and Koror is out looking for their sunken flint.
Well I think the premeire delivered, mostly. I can’t say I’m happy with what I know about the Survivors. If people complained that Vanuatu had a bad premiere because you didn’t get to know anyone, then they should complain about this one too. I hardly know anyone. Everyone I’ve talked to loves James, Coby, Angie, and Tom. Why? They were the only ones to get air time, DUH! But add Ian to those four and you have my favorites. Could this season be interesting? Yes. Will it be? It depends. I’m just hoping that the fact that my favorites got a lot of air time doesn’t mean they’ll be hitting the road soon and making a boring season later. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, otherwise see you next week!