Today marked the beginning of the fall 2011 television season. While other shows may have started already, one of the biggest shows on CBS started this evening, officially marking the beginning of the season in my mind. This was Survivor: South Pacific, the second iteration of the Redemption Island series of Survivor.
The episode began very much like others have...with the two tribe rowing in, Sir Jeff Probst already on the beach, and our "secret players" coming in my helicopter. I have to admit, I really miss the epic entrances and exits at the beginning and end of this show...but this helped to whet my appetite. I also found it interesting that on both tribes, the players were wearing similar colors to their team flag. The blue team, Upolu, had a team of people who arrived wearing fairly cool colors...blues, purples, etc; whereas the red team Savaii had players in warm colors...reds and yellows. Don't know if this was mere accident or planned by the producers..but it would certainly be interesting to find out.
Next, Ozzy and Coach had to be put into their tribes. I really loved the way this was done this year, that is, giving them eggs that they had to break. I liked this because it was very difficult for Coach or Ozzy to pick a tribe on purpose, whereas when players had to choose a buff, there was more room for error. I also think it will be interesting to see how things play out on Coach's tribe, since their is obviously one person (Christine) who really has no use for the former players...but at the same time Coach has already begun to cultivate a bond with the other members of his tribe.
The first challenge was our first "duel" of the season of sorts...Coach and Ozzy were pitted against one another to get reward for their tribes. I loved how both the tribes pitched in during the pyramid puzzle (called a Towers of Hanoi challenge by my husband the engineer), and this one on one challenge ultimately turned into a team challenge. While I love the competition once it gets to an individual game, I always love how the teams come together early on. Ultimately, Ozzy won the challenge for his team.
Here would probably be a good place to mention the other members of each tribe
Coach, Albert, Brandon, Christine, Edna, Mikayla, Rick, Sophie, and Stacey
Brandon is Russell's nephew (just in case you didn't hear it the 50 times it was stated on the show today)...it will be interesting to see how long he can keep that information under wraps. Although...I do prefer the younger Hantz to the elder thus far.
Ozzy, Dawn, Elyse, Jim, John (Cochran), Keith, Mark, Semhar, and Whitney
After the reward challenge, the Survivors went to their respective beaches and started to get to know one another...the only really important thing that occurred during this time was that Christine decided to start searching for the immunity idol early on..it will definitely be interesting to see how that play affects the rest of her game.
Fast forwarding past the typical first episode stuff, we come to the immunity challenge. This is an actual team challenge, with several of our favorite obstacles to over come. My personal favorite part of this whole episode was when they showed the teams strategizing..I am not convinced they have ever shown that before!
My second favorite part was, after showing the strategizing and Semhar boldly stating that she would be fine to throw coconuts, her fairly foreshadowed breakdown when it actually came time to do so. In a rare Survivor moment, you weren't allowed to switch out your members, so she was stuck trying to make coconut baskets despite her pleading. An important Survivor lesson can be learned here...keep your mouth shut especially if there are others on your team who can perform the tasks as well as you can!
At Tribal, it came down to between Semhar and Cochran. Thankfully (just because I love Cochran so far...), Semhar was sent to Redemption Island.
My early favorites to win are:
Cochran-He IS the new Cesternino. He, like me, has obviously studied the show for academic reasons, and personal reasons too. If he can get past his feelings of weakness and show that growth to the tribe, I think he could be a serious sleeper, especially if he lays off on the "I know everything Survivor" talk.
Ozzy-I just love Ozzy. I have since he stepped on the beach in the Cook Islands.
Coach-I think Coach was much more polarizing in Tocantins, and therefore that led to people not taking him as seriously (or being annoyed with him) and kicking him out. I think he definitely feels like he was mis-labeled in Heroes vs Villains, so he probably wants redemption for that if nothing else.
Sophie (I definitely think, if nothing else, she will help keep Coach under control!)-She's smart. She told people she majored in Russian Economics, and she is listed as a medical student. Plus she was able to converse in Russian at the drop of a hat. Keep an eye on this one!
Edna-She's an anesthesiologist, which has to mean something. At least one anesthesiologist has done well in the past on Survivor (Mick from Samoa), and I just have a feeling about her...
Thanks for reading!