What do you do when you’re too lazy to cast new players but you want a new twist? You cast ten previous players and ten of their loved ones of course! But to make this work, you need a few more twists thrown in, like putting them on separate teams and having a first impression vote to Redemption Island. It’s not that I don’t like the Blood vs Water idea, the strategic opportunities to affect the other team are great, but I like getting some newbies to love (or hate).
This season does provide some opportunities for love and hate though. To get more viewers, the producers brought on a Big Brother winner, Hayden as Kat’s boyfriend. Are they really dating? She didn’t seem to care much about him during their intros. Monica and her NFL husband Brad Culpepper are on the show, as is the winner of the Australian Outback season, Tina. Bitchy Colton has come back with fiancé Caleb, claiming to be a changed man. I highly doubt that he’s changed, but that’s just me. Lastly, my favourite returning player of the season is Rupert Boneham! TyeDye Rupert is back, and this time he’s brought his wife Laura with him.
After being dropped off as couples and left to fend for themselves until the morning, they all meet up with Jeff Probst expecting to put onto teams together. How did any of them think they’d be playing with their loved ones? I just don’t understand how it’s surprising that there’s a split. As the Galang and Tadhana buffs are being handed out, Jeff announces the second twist of the season. Each team will immediately vote one person out of their tribe. Jeff’s a tricky one, but the wording is always a give away on shows like this. Rupert’s wife Laura is voted out of Tadhana immediately as Candice gets chucked from Galang. The twist I did like was sending Laura and Candice to this season’s Redemption Island. Well, I would have liked it if Rupert wasn’t given the option to swap places with his wife.
When they first get to their beaches, the two tribes have very different initial goals. The returning members of Galang know they need water, so Tyson makes in about 15 minutes. I don’t know why Monica considers trusting Colton after he stabbed her in the back last season, but at least this time she’s taking him with a grain of salt. Over at Tadhana, the loved ones start on shelter but they take ages just to set that up and they never get their fire. Dumb Brad goes off to a waterfall with some of the guys to create an all male alliance and then he makes an unintelligible remark about fives, fours, nines, and being voted out. It was all very complicated when you watched him. Ciera opened up about being a teen mom and Vytas revealed that he was a heroin junkie until he ended up in prison. Some interesting information to learn right away, but no one seems to judge them for any of that which is good. That evening, Colton opens up with the same sob story as last season that ends in him crying a lot. It isn’t that he’s not honestly upset…but he’s pulling out that story to gain sympathy.
After bringing back tree mail, we’re onto the first challenge of the season. Six members from each tribe swim through a water obstacle course to a boat they must row back to shore for their other tribe members to complete a three-part puzzle. Tadhana is full of teamwork immediately pushing them into the lead during the water portion. Galang‘s Gervase is hopeless in the water and can barely swim which slows his tribe down until the puzzle portion when the Galang women beat their daughters for the Immunity challenge win.
When Tadhana gets back to camp, Dumb Brad wants to have Marissa go home to shove it in the face of Gervase who was overly cocky during their win. Although he’s chosen a silly past player to manipulate, I’m happy they’ve figured out the strategic aspect of the loved ones tribe immediately. After an uneventful Tribal Council but great stink eye from Marissa, Tadhana will face their family with one less player.
On the next episode, Bitchy Colton is back and the first Redemption Island duel will occur. Who will win? Stay tuned to find out!
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