IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE! Another All-Stars season is in our midst and we couldn’t be happier! This season we are back in Fiji and have some great heavyweights in the mix so it will be interesting to see how they fair with even bigger targets on their backs.
This week our honorary Aussie, Eliza Orlins, from Survivor S9 Vanuatu and S16 Micronesia will give us her thoughts on the 2-hour premiere episode, and we all know she has some strong opinions! But firstly, the recap.
Pirate ships and right off the bat, Tony gives us the first confessional, in English, not Llama. All the heavy hitters state their case and Sandra iterates that “the queen stays the queen”.
Cirie admits she’s an ex couch potato and they show a flashback of her tricking Erik in Micronesia. Ooh, I am so excited right now!
Trust me! I’m Cirie!
Probst introduces the 34th season on top of a mighty shipwreck.
He welcomes the 20 returnees and explains the theme “Game Changers” and makes up some bullshit about how everyone is there because they made some awesome moves.
The tribes are already split into the Mana and Nuku tribes and as Probst explains they are starting the same way they did in Season 1. It’s a free for all, grab what you can and get it on your raft. It’s a complete frenzy that Andrea misses the Legacy Advantage on the deck, nooo! Tai tries not to let his gaggle of chickens drown, while Sierra nabs the Legacy Advantage, and I’m thinking, out of all the people…
Mana Tribe. Michaela wants to buddy up with as many people as she can, and the tribe gets to work straightaway. All of a sudden, Tony starts babbling Llama (thank you Chaos Kass) and runs off into the jungle telling everyone he’s looking for an idol.
Malcolm thinks Tony is a lunatic! Tony is annoyed no one chased after him and honestly it looks like he just wants to have fun! He knows he has a reputation to uphold, but I think running off like a loony 2 seconds after arriving on the beach is a bit much! #TeamTV has totally taken over Tony’s brain.
Nuku Tribe. Zeke claims he’s here to slay and he couldn’t be happier to be on a tribe with Cirie, Ozzy and JT. Go Zeke!!
Sarah talks up her social game and how she will be the silent assassin… hmm. Probably true because she will most likely make it far in the game. The other silent girl, Sierra, opens up her Legacy Advantage; same rules as in Millennials v Gen X except it can be played at final 13 OR 6. I hope it’s used at 13 just so it’s something different!
Taking bets how long that blue nail polish lasts!
F U BRAD CULPEPPER is channeling his wife – WWMD. Boring.
Ozzy has already chummed up with Sierra and he wants Cirie GONE. And on the flip side, Cirie is just as annoyed that Ozzy is on her tribe and thinks he needs to get over her slaying in Micronesia. Luckily for Cirie, Tai doesn’t want her to go, but any alliances stop there. Cirie questions Tai on Ozzy’s feeling about her and he is such a bad liar.
Totally can see Tai being sucked into Cirie’s world, it’s Aubry all over again!
Mana. Tony runs off to ‘get some water’, while really, he’s off to build his spy bunker. Underground. Ridiculous, yet hilarious! Troyzan happens to walk in on him on the ground. I can’t contain my laughter at this point.
Word spreads about Tony digging in the sand to Malcolm, Hali and Ciera. Ciera is planning to get Tony out and Malcolm and Aubry don’t like the idea of their meat shield leaving early. And I totally agree! It’s too early to get rid of your most physical tribe member. While this is happening, Caleb is looking for another excuse for a medevac.
A whole lot of swimming, running in water and making a ships wheel puzzle. Immunity is an awesome diving helmet. Probst then advises the tribes there are NO revotes and it will go straight to a rock draw. Suddenly, Lawyer Lewis doesn’t feel so bad. Splitting the votes never looked so dangerous. Reward is flint. With an early lead and Cirie and Zeke on the puzzle, Nuku win!!
The GC Immunity Idol. Kinda cool, kinda ugly.
Mana Tribe. Varner says he’s used to losing the first challenge every time he’s played. Pretty sure Malcolm is pissed too! The tribe are talking about sending Ciera home as she’s the weakest strategic-threat. My heart is sad. I hate losing the big ‘players’ early. Ciera is worried her name is being thrown around, but the majority tell her to vote for Michaela.
Bored; Ciera waiting for someone to make a move with her.
Michaela questions Tony and Caleb on why HER name is the dummy vote. She is NOT happy!! And to be honest, I’d be furious too. Though Michaela really should have kept her cool, she’s right…you can’t contain greatness. Michaela thinks it needs to change to someone else. Brilliant!! Aubry is afraid they’ve ignited a fire within and even Tony is scared of her!
Aubry’s reaction seeing Michaela’s ta-ta’s.
Firstly, how is Sandra escaping this tribal unscathed?! Hali starts talking about loose lips and we all know it’s Ciera she’s talking about! The girl who voted out her mother is starting to freak out. She doesn’t want to be first boot in an All-Stars season, but alas there’s not much she can do about it. Her prior status in the game has done her a disservice. I also think it was way too soon to play Survivor again, she’s come off the back of Second Chances being the big move maker and needed time to shake that persona off before playing again. And in a unanimous vote, Ciera joins many other legendary First Boot players. Ciera-9, Michaela-1.
Mana Tribe. Tony is bored AF. He approaches Aubry to form a super alliance and also chooses other power players Malcolm, Sandra and Caleb. But hey, cant they just get rid of Caleb?! First “game changer” to never attend a tribal council in their previous season. Tony and Sandra agree to work together and I’m in Survivor heaven when they mention going to the end with JT. Three Survivor winners in the final 3, IF ONLY!!
Nuku Tribe. Bloody hell. It’s Tai and the chickens in Kaoh Rong all over again! I’m with JT, I wanna eat the f**kin chicken! But no, he names them all and wants them to be in his Tai-lliance. If he thinks Sia is going give him another cheque… he’s probably right! Can you imagine if Alicia Callaway was on this tribe?!
Mana. Bed time and Tony is being a total creeper. He runs off to continue making his spy bunker. This is hilarious! At the same time, he hears Troyzan and Sandra talking in the bushes and they mention Tony. The cop is paranoid as hell! He approaches the two and Sandra makes up some bullshit lie about some waves and crates, WTF?! Suddenly, the tide has turned and the two winners are out for each others blood.
Nuku. Whist Ozzy and JT are bro-ing, Cirie desperately tries to make bonds with Zeke, Sarah and even Debbie. Even so, Zeke thinks Cirie is the biggest threat out there. As for Debbie, she’s a complete nutter, who at the same time has her head screwed on. She’s got some game! She doesn’t trust SHERIE one bit. She starts talking about her career in military training and loses me again. Debbie tells SHERIE that they’re cool, but they’re really not. I’m worried for SHERIE.
Loving, Debbie’s jacket!
Mana. Sandra tells Hali that they are turning the tables on Tony, and Hali is all aboard the SDT-train. Sounds wrong, I know. This is probably the most aggressive we’ve seen Sandra play so early on, and she still says she doesn’t put much effort in to her game. Ha! Varner is EXCITED that the two winners are battling each other to stay in the game.
Side note, who else is loving Aubry’s fashion this season?!
The latest line from BRACCO.
SDT checking her own ta-tas.
Pretty much transfer a snake from the water to land and throw some some quoits on to paddles. Another slow start by Mana with Varner being pretty useless, but Malcolm catches up with the quoits. It’s Malcolm v JT, with a very frustrated Michaela on the sidelines. Luckily for Sherie, Nuku win reward/immunity, again!
Mana. Back at camp, Michaela is furious! Sandra wants to split the votes to get Tony out and works on getting Caleb and Malcolm on side. I love how they corner Caleb and he looks like a lost puppy. Tony rocks up and they tell him to put down Aubry’s name. The boys work on Michaela and Varner on side to vote out the Queen using the excuse that she’s the weakest link.
Tony opens the tribal by stating the need to keep the tribe strong and keeping the physical players around. Not that they’re winning with their strong boys anyway! Malcolm and Michaela both agree and this puts Sandra off! Troyzan makes it evident he is voting off Tony and his paranoia. Varner describes that this tribe is a round hole and they need to get rid of the square peg, Tony doesn’t get it at all. It seems Tony’s antics have caused too much of a stir within the camp, and along with Sandra’s epic social game, which is evident by the vote, Tony goes home in a 7-2 vote. I can only think Malcolm and Caleb had no other choice but to vote out Tony with majority. I just wonder how much this will hurt Sandra in coming episodes! Sad to see #TEAMTV go so early 😦 Tony-7, Aubry-2.
For the first time Tony has his torch snuffed…
S34 Premiere Q&A w/Eliza Orlins
Eliza Orlins, what’s not to love?! Strong-willed, opinionated and undoubtedly having the best facial reactions in the game, Eliza made a mark in Vanuatu and even more-so in Survivor history with her most famous scene with Jason Siska in Micronesia. This public defender never gave in and finished in a respected 4th and 10th place on her seasons.
LyndzO: Welcome to Reality Ramblings, Eliza! Thanks for joining me on this week’s premiere recap. Season 34 is here! Wow, can you believe we are in the 17th year of this show? What an epic achievement for Survivor!
ElizaO: I can’t believe it!! I’ve officially been watching this show for over half my life!! Unreal. I hope it goes another 17 years!!
LO: Let’s go into fan mode for a bit, but what have been your favourite moments you’ve watched on Survivor, and not counting any of your scenes, aka “it’s a fucking stick!”? Which seasons standout for you as being ‘the best’ and who have your favourite contestants been to watch?
EO: As I said in my #survivor500 video, my favorite moment had to be when Parvati pulled out the double idols on Heroes vs Villains thereby solidifying the villains as the majority for the remainder of the game!
LO: Upon the announcement of Game Changers, what were your initial thoughts on the overall cast and theme? Does the theme really matter in the long run?
EO: I wish they’d gone with their original theme. I heard through the rumor mill they were planning on Jury vs Pre Jury vs Winners and then due to a couple people dropping out they had to replace them and could no longer do that. I think “Game Changers” is something they had to shoehorn people to fit. How can you have a game changer season without Russell, Fairplay, Jeremy, Parvati, etc. Ultimately, hopefully the theme won’t matter but I can’t understand why they wouldn’t just call it All Stars or something. Overall there are some people on the cast who I am super excited to see play again and some who are huge question marks.
LO: I know you are friends with many of the “Game Changers” this season, which players do you feel best fit the mould of this theme?
EO: Cirie, Sandra, Tony…to name a few.
LO: And who do you NOT see as a “Game Changer”?
EO: Hali, Sierra, Caleb, & Sarah stand out to me as really not fitting the theme. In her pre-game interview with Dalton Ross, Hali even said “I don’t understand why I’m here.” Those 4 did nothing to change the game. Caleb didn’t even go to a single tribal!!!
Caleb doesn’t know why he’s here either…
LO: Okay, to the episode. The intro and Jeff on the shipwrecks, Ozzy is an absolute gun in the water and Tai just wants to save the chickens. Andrea just skims over the Legacy Advantage on the deck and Sierra-Dawn sweeps it up, what do you think about the advantage in play again and that it’s in Sierra’s hands?
EO: I have mixed feelings about the Legacy Advantage. I was screaming at Andrea to pick it up and was disappointed when she didn’t. I tend to trust the producers when it comes to twists (minus, say, the Medallion of Power) and when Ken played it last season, it didn’t have much of an impact on the game (negated one vote if I remember correctly). I think Sierra will be smart about it and, assuming she is still around, play it well.
LO: Over at Nuku, Cirie has a HUGE target on her back, more so than JT and Ozzy, and looks like she’s on the outs. Is Ozzy really still bitter about Cirie from Micronesia? Even Cirie said this was over 10 years ago… and what do you think about the tribe’s perceptions of Cirie and could the swap next week be in her favour?
EO: First of all, it’s not over 10 years ago, it aired Spring 2008. I sort of think even if Ozzy were over it, he’d be right to target Cirie (as much as I wish they’d work together). She is one of the most dangerous Survivor players that has ever existed. She laughed when saying everyone thinks she’s Jedi mind trick puppet master, but she IS!! She really is! I think the swap will help both of them which makes me happy. Hopefully other bigger targets will go instead of either of my Micronesia cast mates.
Would Ozzy throw a challenge to rid of Cirie?
LO: Over at Mana, it also seems like ‘power’ women are being targeted first with Ciera also having trouble fitting in. What do you think about her game and more could she do to stay in the majority alliance?
EO: I don’t know what she could’ve done. She got targeted for saying a name everyone else was ALREADY SAYING! She wasn’t the first to bring up Tony! I think on a season where everyone is trying to lay low, she could’ve kept quieter but it didn’t look that crazy to me. Playing 3 times in 4 years is too much though. I played twice in 4 years and it was grueling!
LO: We see an early alliance of five form in Tony, Sandra, Aubry, Malcolm and Caleb. Besides Caleb, this is a wonderful sight to see with all the big hitters aligning. How would you have felt about an all winners Final 3 in Tony, Sandra and JT, as brought up by Tony? And who would you have voted for?
EO: This would’ve been the best thing ever! I loved this heavy hitter alliance (minus Caleb). JT, Tony, & Sandra final 3! That’d be a tough choice. Might depend on how they answered my final tribal questions. But probably Sandra if I had to pick right now.
LO: Before tribal council, Michaela reacts badly to her name being the ‘dummy’ vote. Although, can you blame her? I’d be pissed! What do you think about Michaela going into this game as an unknown player and how should she move forward with this tribe?
EO: I don’t blame her at all, though she really needs to try to control herself (which she knows) so as not to put a target on herself. At final 8 in Vanuatu, Julie told me she was writing my name down, but it was a throwaway vote and I wasn’t going home, but she told me she had promised not to vote for Chad. I LOST MY MIND! It would’ve caused me to go home likely because Scout and Twila could’ve then switched their votes so I basically berated Julie to the point where she was like okay! Okay! I won’t write your name down.
Michaela, control yourself!
LO: Tribal council time. What was your reaction to Ciera going home, and do you think there was much more she could do to sway the vote away from her?
EO: As I said above, I think this wasn’t much she could’ve done differently. I was disappointed to lose her, but also wouldn’t have wanted to lose Michaela.
LO: The focus is on Tony early on, did you like his aggressive type of game play in Cagayan? And do you think it helps or hinders him to keep playing this way his second time round?
EO: Tony is a nut job and that’s why he makes such great TV!! On a returning season, though, you kind of need to cool your jets. It definitely hindered him this time around. But also his reputation didn’t help and then he lived up to it by coming off as sneaky to his tribe. That all meant bad news for our friend Tony.
LO: And let’s talk about Tony’s spy-bunker, legendary or ludicrous? As Stephen Fishbach said, “worst ever hole in Survivor since Rupert’s shelter in All Stars!”
EO: Absolutely absurd. Also the urgency with which he was trying to dig it made it seem like he was doing it for TV and not for strategic game purposes.
LO: Sandra and Troyzan also decide to have a chat during the night, and Tony catches them. Would you have told the rest of the tribe about this secret chat and do you think Tony should’ve heard Sandra out before throwing her under the bus?
EO: In retrospect, yes of course he should have. Sandra seemed to actually think she and Tony were good so he basically sabotaged himself for no reason.
LO: Speaking of Sandra, word is spreading (from Tony) that the Queen needs to go and it seems Aubry, Caleb and Malcolm are on board. What can you tell us about knowing Sandra personally and how she works this game? (All hail the queen!!)
EO: Sandra is amazing. I think even though she has won twice, once on a season with arguably some of the best players ever to be on Survivor, she’s underrated. I think this premiere episode really went a long way to show just what she’s capable of. I love her personally, as well. She cracks me up to no end. She has a huge personality and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I am hoping for a hat trick! Queen stays queen!
LO: On the flip side, Sandra now doesn’t trust Tony and starts working on Varner, Hali, Troyzan and Michaela to vote him out. Varner has a great confessional about how he is LOVING the two winners battle it out. Who do you think is the lesser of two evils (in the strategic threat sense)?
EO: They’re both huge threats. Sandra is clearly the better player though, which is exactly why Tony went home. I can’t imagine the thrill Varner must’ve gotten from being present for this, though. How fun!!
LO: Immunity challenge time. Mana are struggling to win right now, but are really not that close behind. Malcolm has a great comeback at the quoit throwing section of the challenge and it’s down to him vs JT. Do you think his decision to NOT let Michaela was because of his ego, or did he just not think Michaela was good enough to do the job?
EO: Well, I think what the audience forgets is Millennials vs Gen X hadn’t aired yet by the time they were filming so Malcolm had no idea what Michaela was capable of. But also maybe he’s just a misogynistic pig who thinks no way is a woman as good as he is at challenges. I think he did well, but we know she would’ve killed it, too.
LO: Nuku win again (lucky Cirie) and it’s either Sandra or Tony tonight. Both are gunning for each other. Do you think any of these two should go this early, or should someone else’s head be on the chopping block (*cough* Caleb)?
EO: Caleb. Hali. Who else is on that tribe?? Ugh. I loved watching the battle of the heavyweights, but was so sad to see either of them go this soon!
LO: Tribal council time. How good was this tribal?! There was a lot of talk about getting the weaker players out to win challenges and Sandra feels a little threatened. She then calls out Tony on his sporadic tendencies and paranoia. How on earth did Sandra get away unscathed and sway all the votes Tony’s way? [My theory is that she somehow worked her magic on her loose alliance of 5, Malcolm and Caleb knew there was no way to get anyone else over to their side, although I’m surprised Michaela didn’t flip, so they just voted with Sandra’s majority. And her vote for Aubry? Well, Tony could have played an idol so in case her threw a vote her way, it’s not just her head on the chopping block. And everyone else must have told Tony to vote for Aubry?! So bizarre.]
EO: I have no idea why or how the hell Sandra got no votes!! I think you must be right. Anyone who was thinking of voting that way knew they didn’t have the votes. If you shoot at the queen, you better not miss. So I think that’s how she got no votes.
LO: How far will Queen Sandra go?
EO: Hopefully all the way!! But I think she’s going to be seen as way too big of a threat and no one will let her make the merge.
LO: If you got the call for Game Changers, would you play? And how would you approach the game with this cast?
EO: Of course I would (though I don’t consider myself a “game changer” by any means – so when I criticize people in this cast for not being “Game Changers,” it’s not that I think I should be there in their place, I just think it’s absurd to consider someone who never made a move in the game (LET ALONE ATTENDED A SINGLE TRIBAL!) a game changer. If I had been on this cast, though, I probably would’ve tried to lay super low and let the big targets take each other out. Oh, and I’d try to perform well in challenges & try not to annoy people.
LO: Having played Survivor twice, what’s one piece of advice you would give to those returning for a second time?
EO: I would say, remember to breathe. Take the time to think about and assess what’s going on. Don’t rush into things or decisions. Evaluate everyone and remember, everyone there has the same experience you do so they’re not going to fall for stupid shit that first time players do (see, e.g., Erik Reichenbach).
LO: Are there any contestants who you think should have made the Game Changers list (other than yourself of course)?
EO: Haha. I don’t think I should’ve been cast! I’m not that arrogant! I think Parvati, Jeremy, Hatch, Russell, Fairplay, etc.
LO: We have a mix of big game/popular players, and some lesser known under-the-radar players (Sierra, Sarah & Hali), do you think it’s necessarily a shoe-in for these quieter players that they’ll make it to the end? (Note: Kelley Wentworth v Monica Padilla)
EO: Yes. It is. They’d have to massively fuck up not to make end game (top 7 or above). No one is going to be looking to eliminate them. There will always be “bigger fish to fry” and they aren’t challenge threats either.
LO: I know it’s really early, but based on what we’ve seen, which top 3 players do you think have the best chance of making it to the end?
EO: Sarah, Sierra, & Hali for the reasons stated above. The lame ducks always make it to the end on seasons with such big players.
LO: And finally, who do YOU want to win this game?
EO: I would LOVE to see Cirie, Ozzy, Aubry, Andrea, Sandra, or Zeke win!!
Eliza’s dream winners picks!
LO: Thanks for joining Reality Ramblings Eliza, any final words? 🙂
EO: Thanks for having me!! Follow me on Twitter (@eorlins or twitter.com/eorlins), Instagram and Snapchat (all eorlins) to follow my worldwide adventures!!!
ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT CBS. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.