Survivor: Gabon. In HD. It's fantastic.
The Survivors were dropped with nothing but their street clothes. Most of the Survivors have decent enough street clothes to be useful and practical. Except Paloma and Crystal. Immediately, some of my first impressions are confirmed. I do not like Corrine at all, judging from her first confessional, all about how she plans on just being a flaming bitch. Nice strategy.
Starting it off, Gillian and Bob are the tribal elders, and this just means that they get to pick the first people on the tribes. They can choose either man or woman, based on what the people said about themselves. For instance, Crystal did not divulge her Olympic Medal winning past, just said that she is a mom. So, they have to go on what the people revealed about themselves. It's a typical school-yard pick.
Bob got first pick (granted by a rousing Rock, Paper, Scissors win), and chose Ace as his first pick (or, Baldie, if you prefer). Gillian chose Crystal. Ace then chose Sugar, stating that every photographer needs a model. Right. Good thinking, there, Ace. Crystal's choice was Susie, which seemed an odd choice, because Susie doesn't exactly strike me as a strong player. Crystal explained her decision by saying that moms need to stick together. Sugar then chose Marcus, and Susie chose Matty. Marcus' choice was Charlie, followed by Matty choosing Randy. Charlie chose Paloma, and Randy chose Dan. Paloma chose Kelly, and Dan chose GC. Kelly chose "the other blonde" based soley hair color. That would be Jacquie. GC's choice is Ken. Jacquie chose Corrine, leaving Michelle as the last one picked. She is bitter and angry about being the last one picked, but doesn't quite throw a tantrum. She looks like she wants to, though.
The Red Tribe is Fang (pronounced Fong), and the Yellow Tribe is Kota. Again, the breakdown goes like this:
Gillian, Crystal, Susie, Matty, Randy, Dan, GC, Ken, Michelle.
Bob, Ace, Sugar, Marcus, Charlie, Paloma, Kelly, Jacquie, Corrine.
Directly after the buffs are donned, it's challenge time with two individual immunities up for grabs. The first person from each tribe to the top of a big hill (after running a grueling course) gets immunity at the first tribal council. Also at the top are necessities to get camp made, and in addition, the first entire tribe to the top gets a couple bags of food - corn and beans.
Matty and Dan turned back to help out some of the lagging tribe members, as GC and Marcus took off for individual immunity. Marcus won the Idol from Kota, and GC got it from Fang. Michelle (last picked) got up to the top of the hill third. Kota won the extra food, and Matty took up the rear, literally, pushing Gillian's rear up the hill. Crystal and her ill-chosen dress had a hard time getting up the hill, too. Fang was very far behind. Not boding well.
Each tribe got a map to their camp and started off in search of their new homes.
African Jungle = instantly more interesting than African desert. Just saying.
Kota got to their camp first, and they have a lake, a couple huts (which need roof help.) Bob instantly hopped up on the roof to fix the huts up. Everyone else cheered for Bob and fell for him instantly. He made a bench out of twigs and sticks and vine. Go Bob (aka Yau v 2.0)
Also, I may be crazy, but Bob looks like an older version of Bill Nye the Science Guy...
In any case, Bob is all kinds of awesome right off the bat. His reason for being so gung ho? "I'm from Maine, we just do things like this. If I don't know how to do something, I grab a book and figure it out." I instantly adore him.
Over to Fang finding their camp, and Gillian gives them all a pep talk, and ends it with a war cry of Bukali! (apparently a word in some African language meaning "Fierce"). She also wasted no time in telling others that elephant dung burns well, and gathered some happily. Everyone else is totally not into the poop. She tells the tribe that you can eat seeds in elephant dung, and also you can squeeze water out of it. No one is that desperate yet. Ken then went out and found some termites and offered one up to Michelle to eat as the first one, in an odd mating ritual. It was, according to him, a Queen Termite, and she happily popped it in her mouth, and I admire her spunk.
Kota has issues figuring out how where and how to dig their latrine. Ace pompously explains how the Roman Legions dug their latrines, and then spent some confessional time congratulating himself on being super awesome. Charlie and Marcus get into an alliance pretty quickly, deciding that they can let Ace take the lead for a while, but they are onto the fact that it's his game plan. Charlie has a mad crush on Marcus, and Marcus says (in confessional) "I can appreciate that Charlie is an attractive guy, and smart, and I think he is attracted to me, but that's not how I roll. This may be Eden, but there aren't two Adams here." I am liking Marcus.
Fang hears things that go bump in the night. Like elephants. Randy went to go look, and got himself whacked in the head with a sharp stick on the hut. It was bleeding pretty badly, but they didn't have fire, and couldn't see how bad it was. Gillian (a nurse) was asked to take a look, but she couldn't see anything, so they called medical. That has to be some sort of record. The Medical team hops right in and he requires some stitches and a big funky bandage on his head.
The next morning, the breakfast is grasshoppers and crickets. Michelle of 0% body fat is freezing because they have no fire yet. This is why they should at least recruit people with some padding for the show. She laments that she feels like she is stuck on the tribe with "dorks", and the other tribe is full of "smart beautiful people."
Time for Tree Mail. The Challenge is a combined Immunity/Reward Challenge, for fire. Pre-challenge, Ace led the Kota tribe in some group yoga. Most of the group was into it, but Bob and Paloma sat out. Paloma declared that doing yoga in the jungle would just make her laugh out loud. Hmm.
Challenge: 6 tribe members are belted together to go through an obstacle course to go dig up some puzzle pieces, which they then have to run to the remaining three people who have to solve the puzzle. Winner gets to skip Tribal and gets fire making supplies. Loser, well... Tribal.
For Kota, Paloma, Sugar and Bob are the puzzle solvers. For Fang, it's Gillian, Susie, and Bandaged Head Randy.
Probst reassures them all that the first leg is through a "leech filled swamp." They don't seem to notice or care, and I didn't see any leeches. The race is neck and neck. When they get to digging, some people start tossing dirt at the other tribe's pit for good measure. Kota finds all of their bags before Fang can get their first bag out. Bob was excited to do a puzzle, because he said it was like being in the classroom. Gillian cheered wildly for her team, and Randy picked on her accent (which is a lovely South African accent, so he needs to shut it), and Fang finally got their bag out, but only just as Kota finished solving their puzzle. Not. Even. Close.
Back at camp, Fang tried to keep their spirits up. They decided that they were failing because they didn't have a leader. No one stepped up as leader, though. There was talk of booting Michelle because she has a bad attitude. Randy wants to get rid of Gillian, calling her worthless. Ken and Michelle also think that getting rid of Gillian would be good, but Ken tells Michelle that he thinks that she is in danger, and she says that would only confirm her idea that the tribe is full of morons. She says she has a really hard time pretending to like people when she doesn't. We'll see how this plays out.
It's Tribal time (In HD, baby. It is so beautiful).
Probst asked Dan how he thought they did at the challenge, and when Dan says "We did ok," Probst says they are in denial. Michelle makes no friends by calling people out for taking breaks and not digging with all their hearts. Other people got pissed at her, but she is kind of right (though she could have come off a little less confrontational). Probst asked someone to step up as a leader, and GC said that they need to decide on someone, and then is not happy when they all decide that he then should be the leader. A reluctant leader is chosen. Michelle defends her abilities at being strong in challenges, bringing up her great show in the first challenge. Gillian hopes that people saw past her horrible performance on the first challenge and keep her.
Someone spelled Michelle as Mishell. That's different. However you spell it, Michelle is out. I am sad, because I think she had potential. If she had been picked on the other tribe, it might have gone better. If she had checked the attitude, it might also have gone better.
The remainder of the tribe gets to keep their fire and gets flint. The question remains - will GC be a good leader, or sacrificial lamb? Back at camp, the new leader is called upon to start a fire with their new flint, and he does a good job. As far as I could tell, he didn't use elephant dung as kindling.
The next morning, Kota gets their fire going. Charlie ponders why Marcus is not more popular with the ladies, (because he'd totally tap that) and then goes off in a boat and further declares his love for Marcus. I mean, of course, his alliance with Marcus. Marcus wants to bring Jacquie into the fold. Charlie wants Corrine. I wish they wouldn't bring in Corrine because I don't like her. They decide to get to know Corrine before making any decisions. Marcus dubs this the Onion Alliance. Because it has layers. Like an onion.
Over on Fang, GC tries his hand at leading and delegating. He gets a lot of blank stares and unhappy looking people, but they went to work. Randy gets upset when GC wants to use clean water versus lake water to make rice, because you'd have to boil it twice. I would also use the clean water. In confessional, Randy says his plan is to let other people mess up and crash and burn.
Kota's Onion alliance is beginning to form, and Corrine says she is tight with Jacquie. They want a peripheral extra person, and Corinne wants Bob. They kind of want to keep Bob in the outside of the alliance, so we'll see how that works. Would that make him onion skin?
GC began washing clothes before dawn and gradually everyone woke up, and Gillian complained that people got up too early. GC said he was awoken by the monstrous snoring from others in the tribe, and got defensive and didn't want to be a leader any more. He renounced his leadership. Dan declines leadership because he doesn't think his management style is good (but confesses that he would like the be a silent leader.) Nothing is decided.
There is another challenge coming up, and looks like it's for fishing equipment and immunity. Fang painted their faces with charcoal and looked pretty fierce. Or stupid. Your decision.
Challenge Time Again: They have to push large boulders through gates, retrieving keys along the way, to unlock chains barring the final gate, and they have to get their boulder settled into it's ending spot. The winning tribe gets to send one person from the other team to Exile. As an extra person, Paloma sits the challenge out.
Kota got their first keys with Bob balancing up on top of the boulder, and Ken did the balancing act to get the first key for Fang. It was even at the second keys, and Bob got the knot undone first. The final gate was covered with locked chains, and Kota got the locks undone first, but was followed shortly by Fang. It was a tight race, but Kota won it.
Jeff gives Fang props for putting up a good fight, but handed the spoils of the win to Kota, who chose Dan to go to Exile. He'll be back in time for Tribal.
Happy Kota returns to camp with their fishing gear, and do a little dance. They waste no time in catching some fish for dinner.
Dan took the trek to Exile Island, and got a choice between a clue and comfort. Wisely, he chose the clue. The clue is "Across the lake you see so well, there lies a sandy crater. The object hidden in it's floor will surely help you later." He spent some time looking in the lake, and digging in the dirt, but couldn't find the crater. It was shown to us by the camera crew so of course it looked easy enough, but I'm sure it was much harder than it looked. He was locked out of the hut and spent the night defeated by a clue.
Fang is now looking to get rid of Gillian. Crystal says that she is not even going to walk up to vote, but is just going to declare her vote out loud. Susie and Gillian want to get rid of Ken. Though I want to love her (and her accent!), Gillian is a total weak link.
In an impressive move, Randy caniballized his glasses and made a fishing hook, and GC donated his shoe laces to make a fishing line. The ladies went out to find worms, and Ken and GC went off fishing. Ken caught the first one, and it was happiness. They caught a few fish (though smaller than Kota's take), it was enough to make them happy.
Dan returned from Exile, and GC thought that he was acting weirdly enough to maybe have found the idol. I think it was Dan's plan to act strangely (that, or Exile really got to him). Randy thinks he just had an odd night. The target has migrated a bit to Dan. How will this one play out?
Back to Tribal.
Probst is surprised to see GC's rejection of leadership. Randy said that the problem is that they are a group of 8 individuals, and they are not cohesive. Crystal says that they don't really need a leader for everyday camp life, it's the challenges that they need the strategy for. I would tend to agree. Probst is impressed with their ingenuity at MacGyvering a fish hook. I am too. That was a good show. I didn't expect it from Randy.
Gillian is the second person out, with a vote thrown in for Ken, from Gillian, and I think that was the best move for the tribe. She was an interesting character, but just not strong enough.
Happiness is a new season of Survivor. I am not hating the "villians" Corrine and Randy yet as much as I expect to, but I think they are just quiet because there is so much going on and they have so many people to show, there isn't much for them to bitch about yet. We'll see how that goes. Charlie is like a much more flamboyant Todd. Looking forward to seeing how that goes.