February 18 2005

Survivor Palau Episode 1

Yes, I am a reality tv junkie. I admit it, get over it.

So last night we were treated to the start of the 10th edition of Survivor, Survivor:Palau. It amazes me that Mark Burnett can still find new ways to twist this game. Sure, we have had the “only the clothes on your back” start before in Survivor:Pearl Islands, but it is still fun to see how that throws the contestants.

The addition of the “Immunity for the first man and woman to get to shore” though was an excellent twist. When do you jump out of the boat? Do you show how anxious you are? Do you want to piss off your fellow players this early in the game? Within seconds of these people meeting each other, already they are in the game and making decesions that will possibly effect them for the full 39 days. Fantastic.

The second twist though didn’t play itself out until day 2. Why were there 20 Survivors as opposed to the old set ups of 16 or 18? (it had always been 16 up until Survivor:All Stars). Can’t you just picture the production meeting “We will make it like picking teams in grade school, except the last two left don’t get picked, they go home!” The Survivor production crew are some nasty, nasty people sometimes. Adios Wanda and Jonathan And by the way, the man/woman immunities from the beach ONLY guaranteed them staying through tribe pick. Ouch.

So, teams are picked, and they are informed they shall all live on one beach as opposed to the usual 2. Nice…let them play off each other psychologically. Nice and nasty. Off to reward/immunity challange all in one boat. “Hey, we are about to compete against each other, but we need to work together to get there.” Again, nice little mental twist.

During the combined challenge they were to grab items such as flint, food, water and tarps. Only the items they took with them could they win, and each item was weighted down. So the question came to be, do you slow yourself down with more items, or take less so you can move faster? Nice! Make them think strategically while panicked. Koror tribe took only flint for fire while Ulong tried to take everything except for the flint. Kinda easy to figure out who won this one.

Here was the interesting thing though, notice Koror took flint, Ulong took everything but the flint. If you think about it for half a second, they were expecting to share everything! They all were living on the same beach, one had taken fire, why did they both need to take it then. Silly, silly Survivors. They of course learned AFTER the challenge they were now living on different beaches. Since Koror had won they got to choose if they would go back to the old beach, with the pre-built shelter, or go to a new beach where they would have to build. They chose the new beach and were told to set off in their own outrigger boat. Ulong would return to the old beach in their own boat and head to tribal council that night.

Now comes two classic Survivor moments. Koror has their flint, they are heading to their new home all excited…good time to capsize your boat and lose your flint you worked so hard for. Oops. They can’t find it (although somehow the camera man did) so they now have no fire, no shelter and night is coming. Guess they aren’t as bright as they thought.

And over at Ulong it is time for the traditional “Pick who gets booted first” panic. Everyone thinks the easy target is Angie, because they say they need a strong tribe. As far as I could see, the only thing Angie was guilty of was having a lot of tattos. So Jolanda gathers the votes against Angie and sets about trying to set the rules of the tribe on work ethic and such.

Jolanda, Jolanda, Jolanda. Have you never watched Survivor before? Do you not know that setting yourself up as the vote gatherer and boss this early on is like writing your own ticket home? You silly, silly woman. In a total non-suprise, Jolanda is evicted by a vote of 5 to 3, we didn’t see vote #9.

Folks, if you are going to go on Survivor, do yourself a favor….learn from others mistakes.

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