Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here We Go!

The twenty-third season of the Emmy Award-winning reality series Survivor premiered tonight. Longtime host Jeff Probst welcomed sixteen new castaways along with two returning veteran players to embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they are abandoned in the South Pacific. The tribes are named Savaii and Upolu. I’m not quite sure who comes up with these names. As usual, the curtain raiser was basically a getting to know the characters episode. And what a bunch of characters we have this season.

Here are the names that made my note pad tonight:

Semhar. She immediately became the center of attention. She mostly rubbed people the wrong way. Except for Ozzy. I think he was hankering to rub her the right way. She said her main problem is “I’m extremely honest.” Translation: Loose cannon.

Christine. Came across as a tough New York broad. She knows how to play the game and she has Coach in her sights. And he is fully aware of it. There could be some monumental confrontations.

Mark. He quickly informed the Savaii tribe that he was an ex NYPD detective and was gay. He then told them he preferred to be called “Poppa Bear”. He is quick to tell people how they should have handled the situations they were in.

Brandon. He is the nephew of Hall-of-Famer Russell Hantz. He doesn’t want the others to know this. Trouble is, he has Hantz tattooed on his body in two different places. Plus he is fighting a “growing” affection for Mikayla.

Mikayla. She is not only easy on the eyeballs, but is also physically strong. She is going to excel in the challenges and will be a force to be reckoned with. I can’t blame Brandon for being smitten by her.

Dawn. She is the ubiquitous matronly female contestant. Usually they are strong willed and a bit motherly. Dawn is just neurotic and cries a lot. She’s not long for the South Pacific.

John. He immediately made it known that he is a Survivor savant. He even went as far as requesting that Probst calls him “Cochran” because everyone knows all the favorites are addressed by their last name. The guy is a total geek. He will be interesting if he is able to stick around.

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As promised, here is Mary Beth’s 2Cents:

Okay, I'm calling this episode of Survivor the Two Nuts episode. Why? Well, let's see…

Two returning players: Coach and Ozzy – 2 nuts! The polar differences in how each tribe greeted these two was amazing! Ozzy was taken in like a prodigal son and Coach was just about shunned with the proverbial cold shoulder!

I found that really funny because, as I recall, Ozzy, while being an athletic player, was not always the most honest person on the tribe, and Coach, while being a complete nutcase, never really screwed anyone over. Yet, the tribes don't seem to think that way!

Semhar's passionate plea about what she “knew” her abilities were: Throwing coconuts into a basket. In this case, she threw exactly TWO nuts, declared she was tired (poor dear) and asked for a replacement! Loved her tribe’s response to her saying she was “sort of sad” about losing. I was “sort of” amazed more people weren't upset with her!

Tribal Council: Semhar and Cochran go head to head, mano y mano, TWO NUTS!! Trying to explain who was the most ineffectual, useless, unnecessary, dead weight in the tribe.

Her plea that she was a provider because she made sure they all had toothbrushes was a classic! Cochran's response, “You found a couple of sticks!” was priceless too. I live for those moments! I'm glad she's gone. He has some time to grow up now and, hopefully, he will because I genuinely like the guy and think he could be a good player.

Oh, one more nut – Dawn, the older blonde who had the breakdown on DAY FREAKIN' TWO!! I mean, c'mon, who breaks down on the second day? You're not even starving yet. It hasn't even rained! You haven't gotten any serious bug bites or parasites! MAN UP ALREADY! This is Survivor, toots! Get on the boat and paddle!

The same thing goes for Brandon Hantz! How dare he besmirch the name of Hantz! And yes, I did just use the word besmirch! That's my 2Cents!

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Now for Jamie’s Prognosis:

 I am not going to lie… I love Coach.  I realize that the dragon slayer has had MAJOR problems in the past with his social game, but I think he got off to a great start tonight.  He may have lost the first challenge with Ozzy, but he was really kind of… cool.  I will pray that when his potassium level drops because of starvation he doesn’t go off the deep end again.

Other thoughts for Episode 1:

Brandon isn’t narcissistic creepy like his Uncle Russell.  Instead he is stalker creepy and like Paul Vagnoni, already in love with lingerie football player Mikayla.  Who, by the way, could go a long way because she was great in the challenge.  She is attractive as well as intimidating, God bless her!!

Dawn crying on day 2 was pathetic.  You’re on SURVIVOR. You should at LEAST make it to day 4 or 5 without crying. However, she seemed kind of vulnerable and her teeth are really white. The effect was that the others seemed to want to protect her.  She wasn’t even on the table at tribal council, so that makes me wonder… is she an emotional over thinker OR a brilliant Survivor strategist?

Cochran… awesome move to go by the last name.  I think that charm and humor IS enough to keep someone around. So far I like him and his sweater vest.

Rick and Whitney seem like early strong contenders also.  Christine seems angry and a little too aggressive.

Semhar’s coconut situation really got in the way of her success this week, which I’m sure was a big surprise to her since clearly her coconuts have been working magic for her up until now.  A Spoken Word Artist?  Really?  As soon as she began to speak I wanted her to stop. 

Ozzy clearly wanted to make her his cuddle buddy, but that’s how bad of a player she is… even her boobs couldn’t save her from being the first one voted off.  Something is sure to eat her in the dark on Redemption Island.

Oh and speaking of Ozzy?  Love the Jesus/Fabio look and the guy is a HUGE threat in challenges, but he’s not the most brilliant social player either. I predict that he’s got trouble ahead.

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And finally, My Quick Wrap-up:

So what happened tonight? Upolu won an exceptionally close Immunity Challenge sending Savaii to the first Tribal Council of the new season. Probst didn’t have to stir the pot very long before a flamboyant Semhar and a nebbish Cochran were forced to try to convince the rest of their tribe why they shouldn’t be the one voted off.

In the end, a blubbering Semhar was overwhelmingly sent on her way to Redemption Island. Her departing performance was so heart wrenching that one of her ex-tribe mates said, “Should have taught her how to build a fire.”

Just in case anyone is questioning my Survivor expertise, scroll down to the blog titled, "Only Two Weeks To Go”. It is the last one on the page. In it, we gave 4-word evaluations of all 18 players. For Semhar I wrote: “The first one eliminated.” Just sayin’…

Until next time…from the booth.


Leplume said...

Okay, so you called Semhar as first to go but so did Jamie and me...sort of! LOL I was reading those predictions. I think I may have some of them wrong now! Ha! Like what I said about Dawn, for instance! This is going to be an interesting season I think. I don't have any clear favorites yet and I'm really not too keen on either of the "all stars" they brought back. So, here's to hoping someone steps up to become my fav!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Thanks for your contribution! It is fun to look at our predictions. It was fun.

Sue said...

A lot to take in first thing in the morning. I like the 'two nuts' for the tribes could be peanut and coconut ! So Paul is again 'lady' watching - the lingerie football player Mikayla. How can someone expect to survive when they cry on the 2nd day - off with her ! (Well to Redemption Island for now). Some of them sound as if 'they are so far up theirselves' it is untrue. We will see...

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Shhhhh, Sue! You weren't supposed to notice! By the way, there is a young dude, maybe Keith, who was sporting quite the "lunchbox". I think you would have appreciated him. :)

Sue said...

Now none of you mentioned him - thought it would be a full and frank summary of the episode !

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Oh, Sue - "full and frank". Are you trying to be punny???

Gregory (Greg) P Turco said...

I always have trouble getting started with the new seasons. There are too many characters to care about.

I can't stand Coach. He is always blabbering about something that should embarrass him if he were smart enough to realize how stupid it sounds.

He is a better player than he used to be, but that won't prove to be smart enough. He should shut up about being a dragon-slayer, and try to be normal. That would be his best strategy.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

If Christine has her way, Coach won't be around too long. It is way early, though.

Krorek said...

I missed the show last week and just got caught up on-line tonight. I didn't read your blog until now. Nice call, Paul! I'm glad Semhar is gone; Cochran looks to be way more interesting! I wish a pack of pigmys would once again come for Coach. But I thought he played it well for the first episode . . . time will tell. Like Greg I find there are too many characters in the beginning.

I'm now going into the living room to set the series manager on my DVR so that I don't miss the show again. It's a pain to watch it one line!!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Good move setting the DVR, Karen! I always look forward to your comments.