SPOILER ALERT! The discussion below contains spoilers of season 33 episode 1.
Welcome to the 33rd seasons of Survivor US, also known simply as Survivor. We have two tribes Vanua (Millennials) and Takuli (Gen – X). Though I think production may be playing a little fast and loose with their tribe definitions (I’d love to know the age gap between the oldest millennial and the youngest gen -x’er (someone can google that for me)) they are certainly playing any perceived differences between these arbitrary definitions for all they can. Regardless of real, imagined, or manufactured differences between these tribes, so far it looks like we’ve got some cool characters this season and at least one interesting twist ahead.
THE LEGACY ADVANTAGE DA DA DUUUMMM!!
So the legacy advantage is an unknown advantage for the holder on day 31? Did I get that right? The finder of the legacy advantage must ‘will’ it to another player should they leave the game. I couldn’t begin to speculate on what that advantage may be, the possibilities are endless. And I would argue that the fun of this particular twist is not in the revealing of the advantage, but in following its travels from person to person and seeing how they use it. It looks like we may have already seen it trying to be leveraged by Jessica (good work spotting and hiding that by the way Jessica!). Did anyone else think that when David approached her and told her that he didn’t have a hidden immunity idol that she was going to suggest pooling of advantages? Is that where we were supposed to think she was going with that? Can’t wait to see how this advantage is going to be leveraged throughout the game and if people are going to try and find sneaky ways of getting their hands on it once they know about it. The other question we have is how does the ‘willing’ work? Is that done openly so everyone now knows about the advantage and who has it? Or is it done behind the scenes? The answer to that my friends, is blowing in the wind…
Biggest Twist(er) in Survivor History
So, unless there’s something I’ve completely missed this is the first time we’ve had the game put on hold and all participants evacuated due to safety concerns. I guess it was pretty serious. I personally would have loved to have seen just where they spent the night and how that could affect the game. I’m imagining there was much debate among production about whether or not they would show that as showing it could pull the viewer out of that Survivor experience. It’s just something that happens so rarely that I’d imagine all Survivor nerds would love to see that. I do wonder if it means that the game will be a day or so longer.
Short Cut Short Cut Short Cut
Tonight we heard the phrase ‘short cut’ used more times in the space of 5 minutes than it is used in a year at the military barber. Not that I’m saying I didn’t like this facet of the challenge. In fact I really dug it. Any time that they can give the players more choices in a challenge, it instantly makes it more interesting, unless everyone makes the same choices. Thankfully in this case the tribes chose slightly different strategies, and it just gave us one more thing to talk about around the water-cooler. I’m very happy with the first immunity challenge. Takali is sent to tribal and thus continues The David Show.
Power, Wisdom, Courage, and….. OK Scrap the Wisdom
Before we return to The David Show, here’s a message from Nintendo. Since when can you add a fourth to your Triforce and still have a Triforce? And just how useful is a Triforce of four in a tribe of 10? Especially when you have a couple of people as sharp as Hannah (this season’s Aubry?) and Mari who can instantly recognise when they’re being left out, and who also know that this is a numbers game. And though Figgy is in with the cool kids, from what we’ve seen so far, she seems to have the nous to know when to flip out. I can’t wait to see how this particular battle plays out. Regardless, unlike the current series of Australian Survivor that I feel like has been going on for a year, our US participants hit the ground running and start trying to form alliances and voting blocks early. Millennial particularly, who have grown up with the show.
Regular readers of my Australian Survivor analysis will know that this is where I like to talk through the moves that a number of players have made and what they can and should do to move ahead in the game and get to the end. As we’re only in episode one and haven’t really seen much of the tribe dynamics it’s too early to enter that discussion with any confidence. I can say, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me, that David is and will be (if he sticks around) fun to watch. I wasn’t sure what to make of his comments at tribal when he realised that people didn’t trust him and speculated on whether he had an idol, he said something like ‘this is a test’. I’m wondering if he was referring to anything specific that perhaps Bret, Jessica and Chris had said to him. I do wonder if one or more of them set some sort of trustworthiness test, and had him vote a particular way. As skittish as the guy is, he still seemed to me to be a likeable guy, and one that could be fun to have around camp, certainly more so than Rachel (crazy eyes personified). We did get a snippet of a discussion from, I think it was Bret, Chris and Ken(?), saying that they would not tell David, CeCe, or Rachel which way they were voting. Given how paranoid he is, and without any sort of security in knowledge of where the votes might land, I’ve no doubt that if David had an idol he would have played it. Perhaps this was the aforementioned test to which David referred. By not playing an idol, those guys know that he was telling the truth when he said he didn’t have an idol, and perhaps now feel that they can trust him. That logic is a little screwy, but maybe he will pay back their trust with some loyalty and they all can live happily ever after in their rebel alliance (I know that doesn’t really work but I was already committed to the Star Wars puns so it stays). As much as I and clearly the tribe found Rachel annoying, I’m not convinced that I would have voted her over David. If David is that skittish and flighty and volatile days 1-4, are you sure you’re going to be able to reign him in over the coming 35 days so that you can solidly depend on him? He also does not seem like he’s going to be an asset in the physical challenges that is for sure. I guess it’s a credit to his self-awareness to recognise that he was coming off as paranoid and unreliable, and then have the social chops to still be able to connect with those guys enough that they at least have some degree of faith in him.
I couldn’t end this post without mentioning Zeke. What a rad dude! It was such a great moment for him when he created fire. We don’t yet know what he is going to be like gameplay wise, but certainly as far as watchability, he’s going to be very entertaining. Until next week, I got nothing else fo you, head back to camp.