September 20, 2012

Survivor: Philippines, "Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops"


There’s something refreshing about the premiere of each Survivor season. There’s a new group of castaways with players who may become household names. Everyone is excited to jump into the game and hasn’t been worn down by lack of food and sleep. For its 25th season, the show moves to a brand new location in The Philippines. The grand helicopter shots of the introduction reveal gorgeous scenery for the next 39 days. Jeff gives a brief overview and reveals the twist that’s obvious to everyone but the contestants. Three returnees who were medically evacuated from the game are back for another shot. They’ll join 15 newbies to vie for the million dollar prize. This merry crowd includes a professional baseball player, a former TV star, and several pageant queens. It’s a familiar group, but the surprising part is that most are genuinely likable people. This 90-minute premiere provides a chance to really get to know most players due to the extra running time. It’s an impressive start for a show that could easily be operating on cruise control by this point. Check out my full review at Sound on Sight of this entertaining season opener.

Here are some other interesting points that I didn't address in my review:

  • It's always entertaining to watch everyone scramble when Jeff Probst gives them a minute to grab supplies. This year was even more chaotic than usual since they had to set up the raft and leave the boat. I'm not sure what Jeff would have done if they didn't leave in time; it's probably better not to know. 
  • Another hilarious sequence was seeing Mike Skupin repeatedly injure himself through carelessness. He cuts his head, slices open his finger with a machete, and cuts his toe on the ground. It's this type of moment that gets removed without the extra 30 minutes, and it's pure comedy gold. 
  • Zane's plan to make alliances with everyone and then tell them he's doing it just doesn't make sense. Even Russell Hantz knew to avoid making promises to everyone on his tribe, and he was no strategic genius. The downside of his quick exit is the future entertainment value from the likable dummy. 
  • Penner's struggles to find his way in the new tribe were a surprise and make me wonder about his future in the game. He's definitely cursed because I predicted that he'd win the entire contest.  
  • From what the editors presented, the big-time players to watch are Malcolm, RC, and Denise. It's possible we didn't really hear from the eventual winner, but they all looked very strong in the premiere. 

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