Well that was a long off-season! USA off-season that is. Just because Australia’s version of Survivor has taken up everyone’s life here doesn’t mean we’ve all forgotten our roots. CBS Survivor is back in Fiji with Millenials v Gen X! 20 newbies will embark on an unforgettable adventure and we can’t wait to scrutinise their every move.

This week my mate James “Jimmy T” Tarantino from Survivor 21 Nicaragua will give us his thoughts on the 90-minute premiere episode, and we all know he has some strong opinions! But firstly, let’s recap the episode.

DAY 1

We see flashes of Fiji in the opening scene and automatically think ‘shit, I hope it’s better than Season 14!’ The cameras pan to our contestants, randomly split in two travelling in speed boats to their drop-off location. Zeke looks like he’s going to throw up! We hear from a couple of Millenials and Gen Xers telling us what it means to belong in both groups. Then we see Jeff in his traditional pose looking badass on the edge of a cliff. Oh how I’ve missed you.

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Spot Probst. [Image credit: CBS]

Probst greets the new contestants and gives everyone a small package with their name on it.  They went to a lot of effort to distribute buffs! Once split into tribe colours Probst lets them know they have been split into Millenials (Vanua) and Gen X (Takali) tribes and that the oldest person this season was born in 1963 and the youngest in 1997. Will “Barry White” Wahl pipes up quickly claiming he’s taken time off high school to be on Survivor; this is most definitely a Gen Y decision! Cece starts talking up how Gen Xers work for a living to get ahead in life and you see Millenial Michaela eye rolling her face off.

FIRST TASK. Both tribes head into an area where they are able to collect beneficial items to help them survive, including food, baskets, a choice of fishing gear and a hammer.As expected the Gen Xers choose the fishing gear, thinking ahead of the game, where Millenials choose the chickens. Already the different mindsets appear. I swear all we see of rocker Paul is him running around with random fish?!

Paul and his fish. [Image credit: CBS]

And Lawyer Lewis finds a parchment among the items Lucy leaves behind. Score!

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Probst gives both tribes a map to trek to their tribe beach.  He warns them that it is Cyclone season and it is imperative they work on a shelter for the weather to come… Unfortunately, the Millenials don’t take this news too seriously. We see Vanua (Millenials) head back to camp and immediately the hot cool kids connect between Reynold, Eddie, Allie and Hope. Sorry, I mean Taylor, Jay, Figgy and Michelle! Total early Caramoan vibes right?! While they are bonding, Zeke’s confessional on how he is NOT a Millenial is amazing and he mentions how these kids have never had a ‘real’ job. I love this guy!

Zeke doesn’t find these bros ‘sickie sickie, nar nar’. [Image credit: CBS]

The Takali tribe gets to work pretty quickly with handy Ken stepping up to help with everything shelter. Lawyer Lewis goes off to find more bamboo and reads her note she found. Turns out it’s a “Legacy Advantage”, which is if she is still in possession of after 36 days she will receive an advantage in the game. Shitsticks! That is a long time to hold on to a note. Girl, you better work your butt off. If she gets voted out she is required to hand the note to someone else. Interesting…

Back at Vanua, Figgy talks up manipulating men and conveniently for her she has the two homeboys Taylor and Jay on her tribe. Hannah catches on to the cool kids group and tries to bond with Michelle as well. I like Hannah so far. She has the quirky Aubry side with the wannabe funny side of Cochran shining through, which I personally find hilarious. Another person I like, Adam Klein, pipes up and you can tell this is his dream to be on Survivor. Though I can’t tell if he’s constantly yelling at the camera or if he’s just a very excited boy. But oh my, this Millenial tribe needs to get their shit together. Instead of building a shelter they all go for a swim in the ocean. Adam and Atari try to get their kids back to shore to prepare for the night’s impending storm. And of course, their shelter collapses. Sorry Probst, kids never listen.

“Gettin’ Figgy with it” | Papa Klein and Mama Atari tellin’ the kids off. [Image cred: CBS]

At Takali, Rachel is already driving people up the wall with her over-eagerness, while David is doing the same thing with his paranoia. It’s only been five minutes and he’s already spreading news that Ken and Paul have a hidden immunity idol. Maybe this guy is affected by sun-rays and his first time outside has caused him to go cray cray!

DAY 2

The tribes feel the aftermath of the previous night’s storm and you can see who’s shelter held up better between the two. Millenial fail. Because of the harsher conditions to come, both tribes are given a tarp. This cyclone business must be BAD! While Vanua are failing at putting their tarp  up, Probst pays them a visit. He warns them that a cyclone is most likely going to hit and for the first time in 33 seasons they need to evacuate everyone from the island. Adam Klein is excited! History made. At Takali, Lawyer Lewis asks if there’s time to bring their bags, because HELLA NO is she gonna lose that Legacy Advantage! Both tribes are whisked away, and I read that they were held in a plain room with no furniture for the night. Someone please confirm?

YES; this is serious guys! [Image credit: CBS]

DAY 3

Takali head back to their battered camp and the biggest tree on the island just happens to have squashed their shelter.  We then see sweet David talk about how much he sucks at being outdoors and building any type of shelter. He seems to be deeply afraid of dying and it’s a very odd conversation to have with strangers on day 3. I’m unsure yet if he is receiving a zero to hero edit, or if he’s just being set up to go home in the next few episodes. There are Cirie I-hate-leaves vibes peeking through, but heightened. I don’t recall Cirie being scared of everything!

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Dave pays homage to Fishbach. [Image credit: CBS]

Over at Vanua, Zeke becomes THAT guy who makes fire from scratch. Zeke is definitely going to be a fan favourite this season. Cue “The TRI-FORCE”. Taylor, Figgy and Jay form a ‘popular’ group without really even knowing. It seems like they are isolating themselves from everyone a tad too early, which actually makes them a minority. Hannah catches the Tri-Force in action and approaches Mari to form a “Freaks and Geeks” group. Isn’t Mari cool enough to be in both groups?! She could definitely be part of some crossover.

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Hannah starting the Freaks & Geeks movement. [Image credit: CBS]

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Tribes race through an obstacle course where choices can be made based on what strengths and weaknesses they’ve identified in their tribe, making certain obstacles easier. Obstacle 1: Race under a rope structure to untie a war club. Obstacle 2: Race through a rope tunnel, which you can cross as is, OR use a short cut; a wider opening to cross. Obstacle 3: Run a balance beam as is, OR use a short cut; expanding the width of the beam. Obstacle 4: Carry crate to finish and use pieces inside to solve a puzzle. TWIST: the more short cuts used, the more pieces you’re given to complete the puzzle.

It’s a pretty even race between the two tribes, but it was great to see Gen X arrive at the puzzle first. Millenials used one short cut (balance beam) so have 6o puzzle pieces. Gen X used two short cuts (balance beam and rope tunnel) so have 70 puzzle pieces. David and Rachel who put themselves forward for the Gen X puzzle have a total brain fart and they need to swap out with Lawyer Lewis and Sunday. Rachel tries to awkwardly help on the sidelines. Fortunately for Vanua, Figgy and Michelle absolutely smoke the puzzle and they win immunity. Huge ego boost for the millennials! Flint is also rewarded.

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Rachel and Dave struggle on the puzzle challenge. [Image credit: CBS]

At Takali beach the status quo is to vote out Rachel based on her puzzle performance at immunity. David feels like no one wants to include or talk to him and I just want to give him a hug. He tries to defend himself to the majority six that he doesn’t have an idol and will vote however they want him to vote; anyone but me! Rachel and Cece really have no clue what’s going on either, and to me it seems like no one is really talking in this tribe. It just doesn’t look good for Rachel right now.

Dave scrambles, while Rachel & Cece figure out their plan. [Image credit: CBS]

TRIBAL COUNCIL

Probst picks on Lawyer Lewis first and her Pink Eyes, which turns out to be a bacterial infection from the cyclonic storm. Rachel voices her concerns of going home tonight with people pairing off for discussions. More of David’s fears come to light when Probst calls out his name and his “oh crap!” spurs everyone to tell Probst that he’s a big scaredy-cat. It is incredible seeing someone like David who is so used to hiding in his shell at home stripped bare on the island. Is he the most fear-mongering, paranoid castaway in Survivor history? Or is the edit just showing all of his dismal moments? Prove yourself Dave; I can see him rising to the challenge in weeks to come!

Capt’n PinkEye | Dave scared to even answer Jeff’s question. [Image credit: CBS]

Voting time and I am astounded by the amount of votes Cece receives. It just seemed so random, yet made sense at the same time to just target one of Rachel’s mates. What also was interesting is that Cece and Rachel voted separately, Cece for David and Rachel for Sunday. Ken obviously caught wind of the majority voting and it looks like Cece will be going home if Takali lose next. Rachel-5, Cece-3, David-1, Sunday-1.

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Rachel is the first to castaway to have their torch snuffed. [Image credit: CBS]


S33 Episode 1 Q&A w/ JIMMY T

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LyndzO: Welcome to Reality Ramblings, Jimmy! Thank you so much for giving up some time to share your thoughts on our favourite TV show.

JimmyT: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with others who love the game, Lynda, it’s always fun to look at things through the eyes of someone who’s “been there, done that”.

LO: Let’s talk pre-season first, I know you looked up the cast bios, so what were your first impressions and who immediately stood out for you?

JT: Every Season I pick a “Jimmy T.’s Top 6” and ALMOST always the eventual winner is among them! This season’s Top 6 are David (I know!), Jessica Lewis, Taylor, Mari, Zeke and Adam.

LO: Initially there was a lot of backlash on the “Millenials v GenX” theme. What do you think of it now we’ve seen the first 90-minutes? Just like in Nicaragua, do age splits help or hinder in this game?

JT: I think a lot of the time Survivor casting picks the castaways first and then decides how they can divide them into tribes, and Nicaragua and this season are two of those. Doesn’t matter what the splits are, of course you’re going to bond with and develop alliances with some people on your original tribe.

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[Will one of Jimmy’s TOP 6 win this season??]

LO: Which tribe are you rooting for at the moment? And would you have picked the chickens or fishing gear?

JT: I never root for Tribes, just individual players I like (See “Jimmy T’s Top Six”). Seriously? Your asking a Gloucester Fisherman if he would take chickens over fishing gear? (LO: Oops!) Of course I’d take the fishing gear! Ten fish a day is better than two eggs.

LO: What did you think of the “Legacy Advantage” Jessica (pink eye Lewis) found?

JT: Can’t really give a full appraisal on it until you know what the actual advantage will be, but, I DEFINITELY wouldn’t share it with anyone! Talk about motivating your closest ally to stab you in the back! I DO think it’s going to be crazy fun to see it get handed down; there are bound to be disappointments.

LO: Are Taylor, Figgy and Jay (Justin) way in over their heads about their Tri-Force alliance?

JT: Editing may be playing up the Tri-Force Alliance bigger than it actually was, but they’re definitely foolish to think they have any power without the numbers. I’m guessing Jay will be the first to go from that group.

LO: Here comes the Cyclone and we almost see Rachel being blown away. These guys have made Survivor history staying a night off the island. What did you think of this twister of fate?

JT: Didn’t it seem like they almost waited too long to evacuate??!!! (LO: They probably wanted the drama of it all). That will certainly amp up the fear of the entire cast and take an emotional toll.

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[Fiji gone wild!]

LO: I know David is one of your favourites. He has been getting the loner-loser “scared of everything” edit so far. Do you think he can come out on top in weeks to come?

JT: I have no doubt that David showing his vulnerability will only protect him from being voted off pre-merge, as he is instantly not a threat to anyone and can now skate to the Merge. So long as he doesn’t overplay the “poor me” card and become a huge pain-in-the-ass. LOL.

LO: Challenge time! What did you think of the options tribes were able to make along the obstacle course? And should anyone put their hand up to do a puzzle even if they are super confident?

JT: If Survivor history teaches us anything for certain it’s: It never matters how big a lead you have going into the puzzle! Both tribes should have skipped both short cuts.

LO: At Tribal Council do you think the right person went home, and were you surprised by the votes? (Rachel-5, CeCe-3, David-1, Sunday-1)

JT: The edit always distracts us from the obvious. Even though David was a pain in the ass to the Power Group of the older Tribe, he was obviously one of them. Rachel and CeCe were clearly on the outs, CeCe should be the next to go home from the GenX gang. I would not be surprised to see her have a little melt down when they return to camp from Tribal.

LO: Who do you think will go home next from the Millenials?

JT: I’m guessing Jay will be the first to be booted from the Millennials to break up the Too Cool group, which will humble the other two, Michelle will bring Taylor into the other group, he’s likeable even if he is a little dopey and he’ll be a beast in challenges.

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[Jimmy thinks Jay is next to go. And rude, I have him in the Survivor Sweep!]

LO: Who do you think will be medevaced (if it happens) next week?

JT: Medevaced??? Does someone get medivaced???

LO: It’s a possibility going by the preview for next week!

LO: Who do you think will be in the final 3?

JT: Sticking with David, Jessica Lewis, and Taylor for the following reasons: When David overcomes the original rush of paranoia we all experience in the first week he’ll settle down into brilliant game play; Jessica Lewis will be a perfect mix of brains, brawn and social game; should Taylor make the Merge he may be unstoppable in Individual Challenges at some point.

LO: Any final words, Jimmy?

JT: Final thoughts –  Always remember! – – –  Your Life is just like playing Survivor, it goes by so fast. It doesn’t matter what place you finish, just make sure you enjoy every moment, make lifelong friends along the way… and you WIN!!!


ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT CBS. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.