'Survivor: South Pacific' recap: 'I Need Redemption'

Well, a new season of "Survivor" has started, and yet again, it’s going to be the most. exciting. ever.  It would be nice, just once, to see a promo that said “it’s pretty good - maybe not as good as the All-Stars season, but it’s decent.”  That, I’d make sure to watch.

We start with paddling, as we have for pretty much all the Survivor seasons.  Do they get to choose what they wear, or do the producers choose for them? Because I’m thinking the lady in the suit (Edna?) chose poorly.  Also the girl with the short shorts.  People made fun of Richard Hatch for the utilikilt, but at least it was practical.

The players from the prior seasons, which we all know about because they included it in all the promos, are Coach and Ozzy.  The other players are enthused to see Ozzy, who is great at challenges and knows how to fish, and less so to see Coach, who himself admits that he needs to work on his self-righteousness and judgment, but promises to play with honor and integrity.  They pick paint-filled eggs (what?) and Coach gets blue, for Upolu, and Ozzy gets red, for Savaii

I thought that the first challenge, between Ozzy and Coach, was unfairly biased towards Ozzy, who we see in the opening climbing banana trees like a monkey, but Coach held his own surprisingly well.  Both require help from their teams to get through the puzzle at the end,  Savaii being a lot more helpful, and Ozzy wins taro and flint for Savaii.

Savaii bond first by going for a swim and then realize that maybe they should be thinking about building a fire and where they’re going to sleep tonight. Upolu is more practical, getting their shelter built, and agreeing, for now, to take Coach’s direction, as it is his third go-round.  Bonding happens afterwards, once the shelter is built.  I know I’m more relaxed and happy when I know I’m not going to be sleeping on the ground with no cover.

Immunity Challenge time comes, and Upolu has a way better strategy than Savaii, and they pull out the win.  The planning on how they got people over the wall is what made the difference.  Things don’t look good for Semhar, who insisted on throwing the coconuts for her team, and then sucked at it.  This early in the game, that’s all it takes to single out someone and make them the easy pick to vote off.  

Back at the Upolu camp, Stacey walks right by the Immunity Idol while talking about how the Immunity Idol is probably right under her nose.  Any future "Survivor" contestants, take note:  if, while you are talking about the Immunity Idol, your cameraman turns away to take a close up shot of something close by, GO SEE WHAT HE’S LOOKING AT.

Semhar doesn’t help herself any by being annoying and combative when they get back to the Savaii camp.  The other option to vote out at tribal council is John, whoops, Cochrane, (all the good players go by their last names, don’t ya know) who has distinguished himself thus far by being insecure about being half-naked and not being very strong physically. They take turns throwing each other under the bus trying to persuade their teammates to keep them, but ultimately, Semhar is voted out.  

First impressions?  I still don’t know the names of half the people on this show yet. Coach is holding back the crazy pretty well at this point. Ozzy seems to be the most relaxed, easy-going person on the face on the planet.  (I didn’t watch any of the seasons they were on, so they have a blank slate from me at this point.)

People I liked: I’m surprisingly impressed by Mikayla and her capabilities - I wasn’t giving someone who lists her profession as “Lingerie Football Player” much credit, but she was useful and drama-free.  Mark is lovable and my early favorite, as long as he doesn’t take the Papa Bear thing too far. Jim is a lying liar who lies. And sells pot legally. We’ll see how far that gets him in the game (the lying, not the pot-selling thing; it’s not like he brought any with him).  He was going to go on my list of people I’m not hot on, but he grew on me as the episode went on, and especially when he called out Semhar.  

People I’m not so hot on (it’s way too early for hate or even strong dislike at this point):  Pretty much just Brandon at this point.  Brandon is Russell Hantz’s nephew (he may have mentioned it once or twice…) and seems to have some issues with women, particularly hot ones.  

Closing credits: Semhar doesn’t get that it’s a game, and we learn that everybody else in her tribe voted for her.

Next week: Cochrane is not good at physical tasks…some more, and Brandon talks about being Russell’s nephew…some more.


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