The Survivor: One World premiere came in with multiple bangs, but ended with barely a whimper.
For starters, the concept of having both tribes live together in "one world" is fantastic. In the first 60 mintes of the show ,we've already been treated to several fun moments that would not exist if the tribes were separate.
The other twist that goes with the one world idea and makes it better is having an all-male tribe compete against an all-female tribe. That led to tonight's fire interaction, which is sure to be the first of many gender-fueled incidents that will continue to entertain us.
Two changes from recent seasons that I believe will improve the show is the removal of Redemption Island and not having former players return to the game. e can all agree that we loved Boston Rob vs. Russell, but Coach vs. Ozzy was stretching the concept a bit. Those four overshadowed the remaining contestants and the season became entirely about them.
Without previous players dominating, we've already had some great personalities emerge. Love her or hate her, Alicia is sure to play a factor this season. Same with Colton, who's already been given an immunity idol (fun twist there, with finding the opposing tribes' idol). Personally I'm excited for Jonas the sushi chef and Chelsea who both seem interesting, but in different ways.
Eliminating Redemption Island will not have as big of an impact as not bringing back returning players, but I like the return to Survivor's roots. Simply, I'm glad that when you're voted out, you're done. Brings the sense of urgency back to what it was meant to be.
From a viewing perspective, I never found Redemption Island all that interesting. Two players went two-for-two in terms of dominating the challenges and getting back in to the game, removing any intrigue. Not that there was much intrigue to begin with because none of those up for being redeemed realistically had a shot at winning anyway.
Back to this week's episode: I loved everything about the first 30-plus minutes, before the immunity challenge. The opening scene was phenomenal, with Jeff revealing the all-male, all-female tribes and having them scramble and ultimately steal from each other without knowing they'd be living on the same beach. Their looks of surprise and concern upon realizing what "one world" really meant was great.
Unfortunately, the immunity challenge was lame and had an even more pathetic ending. After Jeff described the challenge, did anyone else ask "wait, that's the entire challenge?" I was very surprised at the simplicity and shortness of it. I'm officially concerned that the early challenges are going to be lame in an attempt to neutralize the physical advantages the men possess.
Things got worse when Kourtney (and many of the women) couldn't listen to instructions about how to execute the jump and broke her wrist. Annoyingly, but not surprisingly, the men declined the option to continue the challenge despite the advantage given to the women without Kourtney present. They probably would have won anyway, but I don't blame them based on the corollary that the women would have done the same thing.
When Kourtney did not return to the game before tribal council it became obvious that she wasn't coming back and no one would be voted off. Thus, any manufactured animosity between Alicia and Christina wasn't going to amount to anything this week.
Overall impressions of the start of Survivor: One World are very positive. The two new twists are sure to make the season more interesting that what we've seen the past two seasons. I'm excited for next week!
More from this episode:
- Really, Kat didn't know what animosity was? Wow.
- Colton did not even make an effort to bond with the men. How did he think he was going to do in the game even if it wasn't men vs. women?
- Chelsea's profile says she hates slow drives and people who stand too close to her in the check out line. Hey, me too!
- Totally fair for the women to keep both chickens. Chelsea caught both, afterall, but more than anything the men played dirty to start the game and the women returned the favor. Fair is fair!
- The biggest mystery so far? What happened to Nina's face.