Hello, good people, and welcome to Episode 1 of Survivor: Cagayan - Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn! I'm Jim Van Nest and I'll be holding your hand as we wind our way through Survivor's 28th season. We have a two hour premiere, so let's get right to it!
Survivor: Cagayan Episode 1 - Part 1
Hot Girl With a Grudge
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
February 27, 2014
The show begins as Jeff introduces us to the tribes. First up is the Brains tribe. We meet Spencer, a chess champion, David, the president of the Miami Marlins and Kass, an attorney who claims to be more ruthless than 95% of the population. They're arriving by plane.
Next up is beauty. They're arriving by boat and we meet Morgan, who gets whatever she wants from boys, Jeremiah, who's a country boy model and Jefra, a pageant girl who claims to be much more.
Finally, it's brawn. We meet Cliff Robinson, an ex-NBAer who has to win to eat. We meet Sarah, a cop and MMA fighter who likes to punch people in the face for money, and Tony, another cop who has his sights set on the prize.
As the groups meet each other, they all notice the different methods of transportation. Already the brawn tribe is judging the beauties and the beauties are judging the brains (nerds). Jeff welcomes everyone and starts with Morgan. He asks her what tribe she thinks she is. Naturally, she says they're Beauty. He asks Spencer what tribe they are. He says "The Nerds,” but is correct, they're the Brains. Tony tells Jeff he'll gladly accept the role of Brawn.
Right off the bat, the tribes are asked to select a leader, with no knowledge of the people at all. Beauty chooses LJ to represent them. Brawn chooses Sarah, the cop, to represent them. The Brains choose David to represent them. Kass explains that she doesn't trust a man in a suit, but she likes David, so he'll do.
Jeff tells the leaders that they have to choose the weakest member of their tribe. LJ says he wants the stronger tribe and he thinks Morgan will be the weakest. He also tells us that he trusts the cute girls more than the hot one, so Morgan is the pick. Sarah hems and haws a bit and chooses Trish, the Pilates instructor. Now it’s David's turn to choose. David chooses Garrett, the biggest, strongest guy in the group. He says he chose him based on who should be around at the end. It might be a little early to start thinking of the end game. He tells us that someone that big who's also smart is a dangerous player.
Jeff says that the three people chosen are not out of the game. They are to get on the chopper and each will be dropped off at camp, where they'll need to make a decision that will affect the whole tribe. As the chosen three head out, Jeff hands out tribe names: Beauty is Salona, Brawn is Appari, and the Brain tribe is Luzon. They are given maps and told to head to camp to begin working on the shelter. They expect a lot of rain this season.
Garrett is bummed to have been chosen and he hates not having time with the tribe. He finds a note that says he can help himself or help the tribe. Help the tribe and he gets an extra bag of rice. Help himself and he gets a clue to the hidden idol. Still feeling hurt, he chooses the clue to the idol. Garrett tells us that David is now target #1.
Trish figures she was out because she's the oldest and thinnest. She reads her choice and has a much harder time making a decision than Garrett did. She tells us that she's out there for her kids, but she's also a team player. She decides to take the rice to help her tribe. She is worried that she'll regret it.
Morgan is amazed that someone as hot as her was chosen to be out first and stuff. I mean, look at her! She also quickly chooses the idol clue. So, off she goes to find the idol on day one.
Back at Luzon, Garrett is searching around the waterfall. He tells us that he's a pro poker player and he is always cool and calm. In this case, he's starting to feel embarrassed for not finding the idol. And just as he says that, he digs deep down into the water and there it is. The first hidden idol belongs to Garrett. And David - you're in trouble, brother.
Morgan is on the path of the idol as well. She searches all around the rocks by the water and as she searches, her tribe arrives at camp. They are instantly concerned that Morgan is nowhere to be found. They all wonder what she's up to. As she sees them coming, she heads back to camp and tries to figure a way out of this. By the way, she didn't find an idol. D’OH!
We come back from break and the Beauty tribe is wondering where Morgan is and what decision she had to make. Morgan, to her credit, comes up with a story where she tells her tribe that she chose the rice, shelter supplies and other stuff over comfort. LJ tells us that he's very concerned about Morgan and how calm she is when they get there. He's worried that she either has an idol or a clue. Brice actually buys Morgan's story, but he can tell she's a woman scorned, so he makes his move. He tells her that he wouldn't have voted for her and he'd like to work with her. She agrees and we have our first little mini-alliance. Alexis tells us that no one else is going to expect anything from them because they're the “beauties.” As she tells us this, the three guys start a fire and there is much rejoicing.
Over at the Brawn tribe, everyone is happy to be there. Trish tells the tribe what her choice was and what her decision was. The tribe is very excited. Tony is thrilled with her decision but tells us that if he had the choice, they'd only have one bag of rice and he'd have an idol in his pocket. Right off the bat, Woo recognizes Cliff Robinson while everyone else is just happy to have the "big guy" on their tribe. He's excited to be there and that it doesn't seem like his NBA-ness will be held against him.
Sarah tells us that as a cop, she's pretty sure that Tony is a cop... which he is. So she asks him and he tells her that he's in construction...but he knows a lot of cops. (Really?) She admits to him she's a cop and he keeps up the charade that he's not. Sarah doesn't believe him and has already made him the first target.
We join the Brain tribe as they arrive at camp. Spencer tells us that he thinks David was crazy for choosing the biggest, strongest person to almost vote out. They will need this guy if they want to win challenges. Right away they ask him what decision he had to make. He tells his tribe he found the water source and the waterfall. J'Tia in her “I heart Nerds” shirt tells them she knows how to make a shelter. She has a plan and she intends to tell everyone what to do to build it. She also tells us she's probably the smartest one there. Tasha finds J'Tia to be quite bossy and is not appreciative of how she's going about business. Spencer tells us that she has the decisiveness and bossiness of a leader, but not the brains of a leader. Kass also doesn't like J'Tia's attitude. She talks to David about it and he tells us that he's annoyed with her as well. He says he's fine to just let her dig her own grave.
No one seems to think her shelter is very good, so to test it out Tasha sits down and the whole thing falls apart. "Not so smart for the brains tribe." Thanks, Kass. You said it for me.
We come back from break to a... wait for it... Probst Sighting!!! Our first challenge! Woo hoo! And it's for immunity. Each tribe will be maneuvering a cart through an obstacle course collecting chests full of puzzle pieces. Once they have all their chests, they'll disassemble the cart and pass it through another obstacle. Then they will open the chests and put the puzzle together. The first tribe finished wins immunity and a fire making kit. Second tribe to finish wins immunity and flint to try to start their own fire. Survivors ready?
The tribes begin and are all pretty well neck and neck for the first two chests, but this is where the Brawn tribe takes over and gets the third chest well ahead of the other tribes. Beauty is next to the cart obstacle followed by brains. Brawn is well ahead, getting their cart and chests through the obstacle. The Brains are having issues with getting through this obstacle. As the Brawn tribe gets to the puzzle, the Brains are dumping open their chests, leaving pieces strewn all over the ground. Beauty is steady and is now also working on their puzzle. Soon, beauty is catching up with Brawn, but the Brains still haven't gotten to the puzzle. Lindsay and Sarah are doing the puzzle for Brawn, while LJ and Alexis are doing the Beauty puzzle. Kass and Tasha have finally gotten to the puzzle and are starting to catch up for the Brains. Beauty and Brawn are almost done; it could be a photo finish. And Beauty wins it! Brawn is right behind in second place. Brains got about halfway through the puzzle and will be the first tribe to go to Tribal.
We come back from break to see who is going home from the Brains. They're sitting around in the water discussing how they need to stop underestimating the other tribes. Kass tells David that their challenge performance mirrors the way they have behaved since they got there. David tells Kass that it's between J'Tia and Garrett as who to vote for. Kass refuses to think about Garrett. She wants J'Tia gone for harmony reasons and because Garrett is a work horse. David is thinking about Day 39 WAAAAYYY too early. J'Tia asks Kass what she's thinking. Kass tells her that she's thinking about her as she hasn't done anything around camp. Kass basically tells her it’s time to scramble. J'Tia is very upset to hear that her neck is on the line. She asks Tasha what she thinks. Tasha tells her that she's coming across as bossy and it probably rubbed people the wrong way. Garrett tells J'Tia that he isn't voting against her and suggests that David should be the one to go. Garrett confirms the David vote with J'Tia and Tasha. He goes to gather Spencer's vote. Spencer asks Garrett is he knows anything about an idol or clue. He's worried that David might have an idol as they haven't heard anything about one so far. Garrett plays it pretty well by not admitting that he has an idol. Spencer figures they should just go with J'Tia to be safe. Garrett worries that he only has three votes, so he's not sure what the plan will be at Tribal.
Welcome to Tribal Council. Dip your torch in and get fire. This is part of the ritual of Tribal Council. Fire represents your life in this game; once your fire is gone, so are you. I’m SO glad to hear those words. As they sit down, Garrett jumps up because of a big spider. Jeff pokes a little fun and we get to business. J'Tia jumps right out to tell Jeff that they're considering her for the vote. She tells him what Kass told her. She admits to being bossy and that her shelter sucked. David tells Jeff that he was expecting more from her, but it didn't go how he expected. Jeff asks David about choosing Garrett as the "weakest" person. He never really does answer the question. Garrett didn't like being cast as the outsider. David tells Jeff that Garrett is safe and not going anywhere. J'Tia would hate to be the first one voted out. She feels that David is playing the end game too soon. Since she doesn't want to be voted out, she says David should be voted out. Spencer says that they have to vote to keep the tribe strongest and vote with who you trust.
We see David's vote for J'Tia saying he might hire her in the real world, but not in the Survivor world. We see no other votes. And for the first time this season, Jeff is tallying the votes. First vote, J'Tia. Second vote, David. Third, J'Tia. Fourth, David. Fifth vote, David. And the first person voted out of Survivor Cagayan, David. Much like his Marlins, David finishes up in last place. The tribe is given flint, so they'll have fire when they get back to camp.
Since this two-hour episode is actually broken down into two episodes, this is a good place to break this into two articles. The title of this episode, which is "Hot Girl with a Grudge," tells me we might be spending some time with the Beauty Tribe in the second half of this episode. Keep your eyes out for that recap on Friday. Until then, thanks for reading and take care!