Spoiler alert, no you’re not Alecia.

For a premiere episode of Survivor, it wasn’t anything special. Sure we got some bugs, some breakdown, and some poop, but it wasn’t off the charts. It also feels like this theme of Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty isn’t as cemented as it was the first time around. These tribes feel more loosely put together. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I actually like that it feels like a theme fit over a cast instead of a cast fit into a theme. It just makes your first boots stick out like sore thumbs. Let’s get into it…

First off, I LOVE the marooning. It’s great to see random strangers tear apart a boat of supplies for people they just met. We also get the fun moments like Caleb jumping off of Liz’s head. Or Cydney pushing someone out of the way to secure food. Or Aubry squealing with delight as she hurdles toward her doomed Brain tribe. It’s a fun way to kick off the show.

"I'm a Mental Giant" --Aubry Bracco during the new season of SURVIVOR KAOH: RONG -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. The show premieres with a special 90-minute episode, Wednesday, February 17 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton /CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights. Reserved.

As far as the tribes go, they all seem equally stacked.

Obviously the Brawn tribe is full of work horses, but they have Jason wheeling and dealing to secure his spot. You see Cydney employing the ever-so-tactful, “As long as it ain’t me” strategy. They’re here to play the game as a brawn but use some brains to move ahead. Then you have Scot, who’s clearly focused on the physical game and that’s it. And you have Darnell, who is the obvious comedic relief of this tribe. But at least they’re putting in effort around camp, which is more than we can say about Alecia who is caught multiple times just drinking her water. She’s relaxing, saving her energy I’m sure. More on that later.

Most vomit worthy here is, of course, Jenny and her bug. Let it be known that my new worst fear is having a SINGLE TINY BUG CRAWLING INSIDE MY SKULL. That is absolutely terrifying. Her description of the legs digging deeper and deeper into her head and the sound of it crawling… yikes. But, hey, that bug got the fuck outta there and Jenny was back to normal. All is right again. Oh and Darnell also listened to his gut. And pooped.

The Brain tribe is our island of misfit toys, as we’ve come to expect. But at least some of them are smart enough to see that numbers are important for their survival of the game. Liz, Neal, Peter, and Aubry decide to stick together as the young one against their older enemies, Joe and Debbie. I think it’s important to note that Debbie was shown talking about her alliance with Joe, while the others joined together. Debbie isn’t going to win this game because she’s already made the fatal mistake of just having two people in a tribe of six. That’s not a majority, Debbie.

Also noteworthy was Aubry’s mental breakdown. ON DAY TWO might I add. Listen, I’ve never been to Cambodia. I don’t know how hot is gets. I live in air conditioning for crying out loud. I’m clearly in no place to judge her reaction to two days out there. BUT C’MON, AUBRY. Pull it together. At least fake like you’re doing okay so you don’t seem like the weak link of your tribe.

Our Beauties are actually in the best position of all the tribes, in my opinion. They have fire. They get along relatively well. There is something to be said of the tribe of beautiful people getting along the best. I really think beautiful people are trusted more easily. So naturally all of them trust each other. Except poor Tai, who is clearly an outsider.But really dude, you cannot get caught idol hunting. You also cannot ADMIT to said idol hunting and ask for five more minutes to continue looking. You are a shady motherfucker.

Quite honestly, nothing was really worth mentioning here. The less airtime, the better for these folks though.

The challenge was a Survivor classic with a modern twist. Dive down, retrieve oars, paddle to shore, form your wagon, roll to the mat, etc etc. BUT THEN there is the choice between Puzzle and Dexterity. Brilliant. If only it had worked out that way (I’m sure Jeff was peeved about it). Of course all the tribes chose the puzzle, that’s likely what they had been practicing before getting to the islands.

Flubs of the Challenge: Darnell loses the mask diving into the water immediately. The entire Beauty tribe loses their huge lead because the boat is too heavy and a wheel was not properly secured. And then Alecia just decides to stand around once it comes time to do the puzzle. I mean, she literally was playing with her hair until Jenny screamed at her to get moving. Get your head in the game, Alecia!

The Brains end up winning immunity (and a nice fire reward with charcoal… have they ever used charcoal before?!) which to me is pretty astounding. The tribe of misfits with the breakdown girl ended up winning. It’s a good underdog arch for the first episode. And then apparently Brawn and Beauty are neck and neck in the puzzle (but really Brawn looked FAR behind in the pan out shots… I think some editing magic was worked here) with Beauty barely edging out Brawn for the win. Oh and some flint.

So, a Brawn leaves us tonight (which I was stoked about since Alecia was my first boot pick AND she has been of no help to this tribe). We get back to camp and Darnell takes the blame, a very good play in my book. You apologize and then immediately get to work saving your ass, right? Not Darnell. He apologizes and then just goes along with the Blondie plan. This is my issue, if you KNOW you fucked up and you KNOW your getting some heat and you KNOW your on the chopping block, maybe you don’t believe the first thing that’s said to you. That’s laying down to die.

Meanwhile Alecia is scrambling. The big guys assure her she’s safe, but she’s is still worried. I would be too if the big guys were bullying me to stop gaming. But Alecia makes a critical mistake when asked if she has the idol. “Never said I did, never said I didn’t.” That’s probably the worst response to give. Why? BECAUSE YOU LOOK SHADY AS SHIT, THAT’S WHY. Just say you didn’t find it, move off the topic, don’t give them reason to doubt your loyalty by giving a skirted answer. Huge mistake.

"I'm a Mental Giant" --Alecia Holden and Darnell Hamilton during the new season of SURVIVOR KAOH: RONG -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty.  The show premieres with a special 90-minute episode, Wednesday, February 17 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights. Reserved.

We get to tribal (where apparently Cydney was going to be aggressive in getting the votes on Alecia, but definitely was tame according to my standards) and it comes down to a tie, Alecia and Darnell. To have your first vote be a tie for no apparent reason other than not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings is a lousy play, but rumor has it the vote split was in case an idol came out which is fine by me. And then the Brawn tribe made their first collective mistake. They voted out Darnell.The Brawn tribe, who prides themselves on being strong, getting stuff down around camp, and pushing hard in the challenges, voted out the guy who was stronger, did more around camp, and pushed himself in the challenge.

Sure, Darnell made a mistake by selecting the leader position in the challenge and not being able to follow through, I get that. It furthers my belief that you should NEVER select the leader option unless you know you have a 0% chance of failure (and even then, don’t pick it). But you just saved the girl who was STANDING IDLY BY WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUTTING TOGETHER A PUZZLE AND HELPING THE TRIBE WIN. I think Jason and Scot are playing the end game way too early here and it’s going to bite them in the ass. Hard.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Debbie obviously needs to be more self-aware. She’s too much brain and not enough social skill.
  • That bug will haunt my dreams until I die.
  • But also did the camera people just sit there filming this bug crawl in and out of Jenny’s ear for a while? Why didn’t they step in?
  • I really want to see more of the Julia and Anna BFF saga. I have high hopes for them.
  • Alecia was SO CLOSE to being off first and I was SO CLOSE to pinpointing her placement. Damn.
  • But also Alecia writing with the pen cap on… LOL.

That’s all for me, now it’s your turn! Did Brawn make a crucial mistake? Are the Beauties in a good position? Will Brains be able to continue into a winning streak? And will Tai get to kiss BeastModeCowboy?! Let me know below!

-g

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