Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Survivor Exile Island - Episode 1

Ah, how good it is to beback to Survivor. Survivor is my favorite reality show. For those that have beenin caves since 2000, Survivor is the reality game show that strands 16-18 people in a harsh remote environment, forcing them to work together to survive the elements, while on a more personal level trying to survive tribal politics to be the one survivor left at the end of the game. Usually one person gets voted out each week,

I think it was Jeff Probst who indicated after season two (or at least in the DVD audio commentary on season two), that only the first two seasons are pure, ever since then they have had to come up with a newer and grander gimmick or twist every season, and let me tell you this season is full of twists.

This season opens up with Jeff introducing us to the titular Exile Island. He indicates the twist is that from time to time, one of the survivors will be banshied away from everybody else, to live on Exile Island with very meager provisions. He then reveals the next twist when he brings in the FOUR tribes. Now Survivor is usually played with two tribes, and yes, All-Stars played with three tribess, but this time its four tribes.

And the four tribes have been carefully chosen, with a tribe of young females, a tribe of young males, a tribe of older females, and a tribe of older males. There are 16 contestants, which means each mini-tribe (Tribette?) only contains four people. Jeff greets them, welcomes them to Survivor, probes for initial reactions to the 4 tribe concept, and the groupings. Of course one of those on the Older Women tribe jokes (we think) that she should be on the Young Girls tribe.

Jeff then explains the whole Exile Island concept to the tribes,
I know he just let us in on it early, but we get to see the survivors reactions. We then learn a bit more about Exile Island, Yes, every so often one unfortunate survivor gets exiled to Exile Island, the island contains no creature comforts, and very meager supplies, but hey all is not bad as there is a personal immunity idol hidden somewhere on the island. Whats more, is that unlike last season, if you find the immunity idol, not only can you keep it a secret, you don't have to reveal it until after the other backstabbers on your tribe think they have voted you out.

Then, get this the sting is that after you reveal it upon losing the tribal vote, you instantly become immune, and the poor sucker in second place gets evicted instead. Jeff swears that this will turn tribal politics on its ear. The Exile Idol expires after the final four vote, and though not stated, I would think is a single use item. Jeff also points out that while you are exiled, your tribe is going with tribal life without you, and you are totally cut off from what may be happening with your tribe.

Okay, so the survivors have just been stunned to learn the Exile Island twist, Jeff zings them with the fact that the first reward challenge will occur immediately, before they even get settled into their camps, or get to meet their tribemates.

Reward Challenge One!
* Each tribe selects one tribemate to complete the challenge for them (so its a Roadblock, right :)) The selected player will have to run from the end of the island where they are gathered clear to the other end of the island. At the other end of the island is a pile of skulls. Each runner has to go to the skull pile, select a skull, take it over to their rock and smash the skull open, inside the skull is a tightly wrapped cloth, in the middle of the tightly wrapped cloth is eithr a worthless stone, or a valuable amulet. If you find the amulet you race back accross to the end of the island where you started, if you find a stone, its back to the skull pile to select another skull. The first three tribes will recieve their flint, the losing tribe recieves nothing, and has to immediately select one of its members to Exile.

Race results: Older Men, Younger Men, Older Women, Younger Women.

The three winners each recieve their flint and a map to their camp, and are sent back to their charter boats, and they are dropped off at their beaches.

Jeff repeats the rules about Exile Island to the losing tribe, then asks for their selection. Damielle gets the eating crow award for confessing before the challenge that she is all about athletic games, so she is now eating the crow of last place, after being the tribes runner. The tribe finally decided to resort to paper rock scissors and determines that Misty will be Exiled. Jeff send the other three off in the boat to their beach, and then gives Misty a tour of Exile Island.

Seems Misty gets a machette and a barrel of water, though Jeff says the barrel of water is probably useless as the water must be boiled and she will have to figure out fire for herself it she wants it. Jeff also tells her that she will have time to meditate, and then tells her that he has already given her a clue to the idols location. Must have been a vague hint in his little tour. Us viewers can probably count on the fact we will not be informd if the idol is found until it is used., in order to keep the suspense intact. Jeff then leaves Misty alone to suffer in exile. Hope she doesn't have a very vivid imagination.

We then find out that each tribe gets a tribal flag, machette, cooking pot, and a well full of water. Lets see, I think the Older Women's tribe is purple (the trbies have proper names, but Jeff is just using the descriptions, so will I). Their tribe is shown to quickly master the flint and have their fire going, their well located and progress started on their shelter. Good signs from this tribe, Oh and did I mention that one tribe member has never camped before,has not spent much time outside, and has phobia issues with moving anything scared of the bugs or snakes or whatever may be hidden beneath. Did her application for Big Brother get sent to Survivor by mistake?

Contrast to the green young men's tribe, Tribe Fraternity shall we call it. These guys are more interested in improvising a game of baseball, they claim they can't figure out how the flint is used, so their water, if they have found it, is still useless, and their half assed attempt at shelter is pathetic. It looks like it may have taken 6 minutes tops. They comment "Let's just hope it does't rain" I'm sure you can guess the evenings weather. Oh, and one of their tribe members is into meditation.

Next to be introduced are the Older Men (Orange) - contract to the younger guys, the older guys are gung ho with strong work ethic, and have a roaring fire, and are bonding, well, it seems one has a jet fighter background, and the other an astronaut that has been one of the lucky few to ride the Space Shuttle, (and live to tell about it) Of course it can't be all smiles, it seems Shane is all "All these guys want to do is work", and the other guys name who I didn't catch doesn't seem to be a team player. Overall the guys commented that this was all like reliving their boy scout days, and they seem to be in high spirits at this point.

Then we have the Young Women (Blue) - You could call this Camp Serority but they seem to be a bit for focused than the guys fraternity. Oh, and we have one that gets entirley too emotional about a dead turtle spotted on the beach,

We then go back to Exile Island. We see Misty searching for the Idol, eating bugs and basically getting by. We also learn her strategy will be to bluff that she found the idol. (I presume to make the other players scared to vote her, and risk loosing their pawn) Seems like a good strategty if she can play it right.

Speaking of immunity, we go to the immunity challenge. Jeff brings in the tribes, and Misty is reunited with her tribe. Misty immediately begins to go into drama mode and totally overplays the bluff. You will note she never says she found the idol, but she said she found Exile Island to be a positive experience which puzzled Jeff, so she says that Jeff gave her just the right amount of information. Cryptic - tit for tat, love it.

Jeff then shows us that the immunity idol comes apart into three pieces, which is usefull since it will be shared three ways.

Immunity Challenge One

Okay, here it goes
1) All 4 contestants start out on a floating dock out in the lake
2) Each tribe member must climb over a wall, and then dive down into the lake, ans swim over to a crate
3) After all 4 are at the crate, one must dive down and unclip the rope that is mooring their raft
4) after the raft is freed, they all get on the raft and paddle back to the beach
5) Once at the beach, the tribe maters can split up any wat they want between either working to solve a brain teaser, or digging in a designated area to find a scroll with the answer to the brain teaser. Digging for the scroll is optional.
6) Solving the brain teaser will get the tribe a ring on a rope
7) One tribe mate will toss the ring and try to get it to ring a grappling hook
8) ringing the grappling hook will allow the tribe to pull the hool towards them, which will pull on a rope, with will release a rolled up tribe flag.

The first three tribes to release their flag win a part of the immunity idol, with the first place finishers getting the largest piece. (Which may have more spiritual value according to Jeff) The last tribe to finish, well they get an all expenses paid trip to Tribal Council where one tribe mate will be voted out.

Camp Fraternity takes an amazingly long time to unhook the caribeaner that is mooring their raft. The older men get over the wall first, and get their raft free first, but poor paddling skills put them in second place.

The Older Men and Young Women tribes split the clue/puzzle effor half in half and finish with the young women first (thus the Exile Idol will have no play this episode), the Older Men finish second, making it a race betweeen Camp Fraternity and the Older Women, with Camp Fraternity catching up time in the paddling, and the brain teaser. (I think it was the Older Women that stood and waited for the puzzle answer before even attempting the puzzle) So the Young guys win third, sending the Older Women to Tribal Council,.

The next segment is the Older Women tribe plotting, which is edited to show Tina also score in providing the tribe with a huge fish. Sure it was a lucky right place/right time issue. But, face it Tina started the fire, found the well, and found the fish. Remember the afraid of the great outdoors woman, well I think she got scared seeing how useless she really was, so she went on a campaign to get rid of Tina. I can't wait to see Celia (or whatever her name is) in the disgusting eating challenge, or the mud pit challenge.

Tribal council comes, and Celia starts heavy on her campaign to oust Star Player Tina, and Jeff practically comes out and says "Are you NUTS!, She is the only one with an outdoor survivial background" Okay not really, but you could see it in his face, Unfortunately Tina may have that great outdoor survivial background, but her interpersonal politics need work, When asked if the other three women were pulling their weight, she answered "NO". Lady, in this game, forget honesty, even if you were a girl scout, forget truthfullness and honesty, LIE like a politiican! "Yes Jeff, everybody is getting along so well back at camp and taking care of whatever needs to be taken care of!"

I don't know if it was her moment of political suicide, or if the other tribemates minds were made up before council, but the voted All American Tina out of the tribe, Jeff just about blows a gasket. "You just voted out the one person that could have made your lives easier" ending with his infamous line "I can't wait to see how this plays out" or "Interesteing strategy, we'll see how it works out for you" Either of those could be interpreted as Jeff saying "I cant beleive you people just did that"

Oh,a nd on the previews for next week: More stormy weather ahead, I wonder if Camp Fraternity will think about beefing up that embrassment they call a shelter. Another twist is revealed at Exile Island, and it appears that one player (was it Shane, the Older Men (I mean Boy Scout Reunion Jamboree Tribe) outcase, you know mr "All those guys want to do is work!") wants to summon the Quit Boat. Celia is all too willing to encourage Shane to go ahead an quit.

Oh, and next week, I will be on the Florida State Fairgrounds on Thursday, so don't be expecting a timely episode review/commentary.


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12:05 PM  

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