Survivor 25×01 “Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops” Recap/Review

Welcome to the twenty-fifth season of Survivor. This time, we find ourselves in the Philippines. These thousands of islands are home to some of the most beautiful and dangerous animals. Furious storms pound down on the shores at a moments notice.

This year, three former players who left due to injury are returning to the game. Russell left during a challenge, Jonathan had a life threatening blood infection, and Michael fell into a fire.

Contestants & Tribes:

The blue tribe, Mabuhay, has Russell. Jonathan goes onto the red tribe, Kalabaw, and Michael gets drafted onto the yellow tribe, Tandang.

Mabuhay (blue):

Zane is making alliances with every person on his tribe, and when talking with the men he tells them that he has done this. Why would you do that? It wouldn’t inspire confidence in anyone.  Russell starts out saying he doesn’t want to be leader and they all work really well but he is immediately taking charge. I’ve begun to expect that the guy saying they shouldn’t worry about leaders wants to be a leader. It’s kind of like an easier way to say it. Although he appears to fit the dumb surfer-boy mold, Malcolm seems to have smarts to him, and I have hopes that he’ll be a good under the radar manipulator.

Tandang (yellow):

Michael is already frustrating. I thought I would like him, but he is very accident-prone and uncaring about his injuries. Just as his teammate, Pete, said: “we’ll see when we get fire what happens” and unfortunately it’s true. I totally don’t want to see him fall into another fire, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did something stupid again. On his team, there is a former TV actress that hopes no one would recognize her. Michael immediately recognized her, and he doesn’t seem too smart in this game as he wanted her to reveal the information as he thought it would help her… If you could see me right now, I’m shaking my head.

Kalabaw (red):

Jonathan was the only veteran I thought would frustrate me, but then during the episode I decided that he’s probably the only one I’ll find interesting. He is smart (as shown in the challenge), partially crazed (when searching for the immunity idol), and sometimes very annoying. Jeff, a former MLB player, is on this tribe and decided not to tell anybody of his older profession but unfortunately one of the women recognized him. Ironically, in the first few minutes of the show, he injured his knee. I like him, so hopefully he sticks around, although we didn’t see much of this team.

Challenges:

The first challenge of the season will determine what teams already know each other and are able to work together. Everybody is decked out in war paint, where did they get it from? You used to only get a bag of rice and a machete. Each tribe is divided into pairs. First pair goes into an obstacle course to get two paddles, the second pair paddles out to get chest, and the third pair completes a puzzle. The first and second tribes win immunity. First tribe also gets a full fire-making kit, the second tribe gets flint, and the losing tribe gets nothing but tribal council.

Russell begins controlling everything on his team, leading them to failure. The first tribe out with their paddles is yellow, with blue right behind. Zane seems weak and he requires Russell to help him. Maybe quitting smoking cold turkey the day before starting Survivor was a dumb idea? Red is a ways behind. Yellow gets to their chest first, and red makes up ground, coming into second. Although yellow is ahead when red gets to the puzzle, they continue to push through with Jonathan doing really well. Red wins the challenge, yellow in second, and with blue going to tribal.

Strategy:

When Mubahey gets back from the challenge, Russell is trying to give a pep talk and Zane tries to throw himself under a bus saying that he was too weak and he weighed the tribe down. Immediately after saying this, other people start begging him to stay. Russell is angry because Zane ruined his pep talk, but he really saved Russell. Zane’s “strategy” was to make everyone realize they liked Zane more than Russell and to beg him and vote out Russell because it’s “all Russell’s fault.” I don’t understand how staying quiet wouldn’t have been a better strategy though.

Tribal Council:

In tribal, Russell makes a play for wanting to stay while Zane makes a play for why he should leave. Everybody seems to want to keep Zane because they dislike Russell, but understand that Zane is weaker so he should go. Zane’s strategy of blaming himself so that people will keep him seemed to be a good one while everybody begged him to stay, but the votes went 5-1 Zane. I wasn’t expecting Zane to get voted out because everybody seemed very keen on keeping him around, maybe Probst got them to think straight?

In Zane’s leaving comments he says he has the whole game figured out. How can you think you have the whole game figured out when you’re only three days in? Oh well, now that Zane is gone we won’t get anymore stupid comments from him, but perhaps Pete will show up a bit more to bring some silliness, as he seemed rather dumb.


More Thoughts:

My initial favourites are Malcolm. That’s really it, because everybody else was way too frustrating or silly or forgetful to say they’re a favourite. Hoping it gets better on that front!

I loved that they have Michael from the second season of this show (Australia) return. I don’t know or remember the other two veterans, but I remember Michael and I loved Michael. He was also on one of my favourite seasons. I loved the Australia season because it had the newness of the show, but they’ve made so many allowances for the contestants in the past few seasons.

How is Jeff Probst (host) able to do this as well as a talk-show? I just don’t understand, aren’t they ALWAYS filming some season of Survivor? Does he actually have a life outside of Survivor? I’m almost hurt that this is the case. Although the talk show WAS pretty amazing.

Next Episode:

It seems like next episode Jonathan goes a bit crazy looking for an idol while Lisa gets too emotional trying to play the game.

What did you think of the episode and will you keep watching?

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