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Survivor 27: Blood vs. Water – Ep 1 – Don’t Let That Fool You!

I was impressed that Tyson seems to be rather different this time around. He did not dominate the show with boasts or smack talk the way he did previously. What he did was name drop Boston Rob and then manage to make fire without the use of flint – with a bamboo method the master taught him. He also has a girlfriend with unbelievably gorgeous eyes. Way to go Tyson!
Much of the attention of the episode went to Brad Culpepper – Monica’s husband. He has taken on the leadership of the family team and is obviously the focal point of (at least) the early episodes. The screen time this newbie got in an episode featuring 10 returning players indicated that he was either getting voted out, or he is going to be a factor in the narrative. He instantly made an error by saying it would be hard to go all out against Monica. He awkwardly tried to cover that up by explaining to the tribe, and then went out and built himself the latest in the Dude Alliance. I loved John’s comment, “Shocker, the NFL guy wants to keep his locker room together.” Wait, am I liking Mr. Candice? That was unexpected. This latest Dude Alliance consists of the five guys, er, sorry, four guys and the gay guy. Nice, Brad. And now you all know why it is such a big deal should an active NFL player come out as gay – attitudes like Brad.

Also, Probst is now calling him Culpepper. Of course, that’s why I call him Probst, for his masochistic manner in which he singles out an alpha male guy and calls him by their last name. Except Cochran, who asked for the last name treatment. Probst glommed onto the athlete and has brought him up to Penner, Skupin, Savage, etc. status. I will not do that for this meathead who just showed up on the show for goodness sake – Penner needed three tries to get last name status – can’t count properly (best scene of the episode, it was George Bush saying Fool Me Once ), has Caleb in a different class of guy and voted out someone for the dumbest reason ever. Personally, I hope the inevitable tribal shuffle or some internal newbie tribe politics takes him out early and we just have to endure a handful of episodes of his antics.

Oh, and why does HE get Culpepper, and Monica, who has been on the show before, did not? Same last name. I wonder. I will not call him Culpepper. Nor Culp, because that reminds me of Bill Maxwell, FBI . He is Culpy. Sounds like the name of a pet fish.

At the challenge, we have a group run in the ocean to overcome a series of obstacles before they all dive down to get puzzle pieces, pile into a rowboat and paddle to shore. Then three people on each side try to solve the puzzle. CHALLENGE GOAT #1 – Gervase. Yes, it’s been 13 years, but he couldn’t swim well then either. Why didn’t he take that season as a good reason to go to the Y and learn how to swim?!? Especially after being cast this season! And if he knew he was woefully out of shape, why did he not just say, ok, I will be a puzzle man. Regardless, he went out there and dragged them down. Aras had to go back and essentially rescue him and drag him to the boat. CHALLENGE GOAT #2 – Colton. After the Faves who weren’t Gervase and Aras did an incredible job diving, they managed to catch up to the other tribe. But then the Faves seemed to collectively forget how to paddle, with the top culprit being Colton. After Kitten (remember, Kat’s nickname!) got in his face, the “new and improved” Colton screamed back for her to shut up or he would hit her with the paddle. So glad he’s back. Thanks Show. CHALLENGE GOAT #3 – Katie. Katie and Ciera each boasted back in camp that they were great at puzzles, like their moms. You know that had to mean something, right? So, Katie and Ciera, joined by Caleb, take on Tina and Laura M, joined by Monica, to do the ship’s steering wheel puzzle. The family tribe had a gigantic lead and lost it. The moms smoked the daughters and crushed the challenge to win immunity. CHALLENGE GOAT #4 – Gervase again. After he was horrible in the water, Gervase took the lead role in the trash talking gloating for the Faves. Shouting, “Don’t let that fool you!!!” over and over again, presumably referring to his piss poor performance, he made a foot of himself instead. Don’t forget, these aren’t regular newbies. These are family. Including one of yours.

Marissa saw the writing on the wall instantly and took to bashing her uncle to the tribe. Don’t blame her for his antics. No kidding! Seriously, guys, she didn’t do anything wrong! She has a moron for an uncle. We ALL have at least one moron uncle, don’t we? You just lost a challenge because of three terrible puzzle makers, none of which were her, so what’s your reason? Oh yes, Marissa mouthed off to Culpy at the beginning when he fumbled the question about competing against his wife. So what did the group do? They voted out Marissa. Sometimes this game can be unbelievably stupid. And when I mean game, I mean people. And when I mean people, I mean Culpy.

So, next week will kick off with the duel, as RI makes its, ahem, triumphant return. Candice, Rupert and Marissa will battle, with two of them sticking around. There will be tears shed according to the previews, and there are a ton of reasons why. But one thing is for sure – the next twist will have something to do with it. The duelists could be saved by their family member. So, will Rupert’s wife return the favor, and thus, tears. Will John pass by another chance to save Candice? Will Marissa let it rip on Gervase as to why she is there? And if so, will he make amends by taking her place? How’s that for a teaser?

Treemail Top 10
1 – Marissa was nine years old when Gervase ate rats, and failed to grasp the concept of the alliance in Season 1. Nine.
2 – Do you buy Colton’s teary demeanor? Do you buy that he learned his lesson with his behavior the last time, or is he doing this new Colton 2.0 for appearance sake? I sense the true Colton is the one we saw last time. That time bomb is ticking loudly. And I wonder if the Monica/Colton burying of the hatchet was foreshadowing of a Cochran/Dawn kind of deep alliance, or showing that Colton will once again screw her over.
3 – I thought we were going to get both Lauras out in the first RI votes so that I wouldn’t have to do M and B, or come up with nicknames. Alas. It was close though.
4 – Loved Aras voting for Gervase because of Gervase’s Philly Eagles t-shirt. Aras roots for Washington.
5 – Tina was right – Rupert leaving was not only dumb for him, but it was also horrible for the tribe. Rupert, for all of his faults, is a stellar camp guy and provider. Laura…is not. At least not yet.
6 – I am pulling for a Ciera/Vytas pairing to start the awesome Damaged Past Alliance. We have the teen mom and the former heroin addict! That’s an indie romance waiting to be written.
7 – Colton seems to have attended the Carrie Matheson School Of Ugly Crying.
8 – Nice line Monica, to Colton during said ugly cry – “Your guy is here, under the same stars as you are.” Awww.
9 – Did Samoa Laura have that same weird Muppet voice on helium back in Season 19? Did I just ignore it then?
10 – Tribal – Boring. We touch on the lack of fire, the bad puzzle making, John’s guilt and Gervase boasting. It’s all for show anyway, as the tribe overwhelmingly sends Marissa to RI.

Voting – Marissa 9 (Everyone but Marissa), Katie 1 (Marissa)

Next week – More Colton 1.0, and the aforementioned RI group crying.

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