Survivor: China

A Chicken's a Little Bit Smarter

By Jim Van Nest

September 25, 2007

See, he's named Chicken. Because he's a chicken farmer.

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Jeff then explains to everyone that a big theme in Buddhism means the leaving behind of your worldly possessions and that means they'll be going into the game with the clothes on their back. Frankly, I'd be thinking he could have mentioned that before I lugged all that crap up 97,000 stairs. They scan to some of the players, like the rassler. She's wearing fishnet stockings and HUGE boots, that she says weigh like 20 pounds each. The honor student mentions that she's not wearing a bra. "Well, that's gonna make you either very popular, or a big liability." And that's why he's the best reality show host in the business folks. Each person grabs themselves a bag which contains their buffs. The yellow tribe is called Zhan Hu, which means fighting tiger. Frosti, Dave, Jamie, Eric, Peih Gee, Sharea, Ashley and Chicken make up the Zhan Hu tribe. The red tribe is Fei Long, which means flying dragon. They are Jean-Robert, Leslie, Amanda, Courtney, Denise, James, Todd and Aaron. Amanda is pumped about having James and Aaron on her tribe.

Jeff goes on to let them know that by reading The Art of War, the tribes could learn important information that will help them progress in this game. He gives each tribe a copy of Art of War and a map. The Fei Long tribe is having trouble rowing. Aaron seems to be the only one who knows what's going on. He does not really want to be a leader, but he seems to take that role anyway. As they land, they find a big bucket of rice and shortly thereafter, the rains came. Leslie tells them that the Big Guy upstairs is providing from them. Then we really get to meet Courtney. As everyone is introducing themselves, she's completely annoyed by the fact that people are actually speaking to each other and enjoying themselves. I'm sure her growth in the game will be fun to watch...supposing she makes it past the first vote.

The first really interesting exchange comes between Brad and Jean-Robert, our professional poker player. JR (which is what I'll call him from now on, questions Brad on the whole flight attendant thing. He tells Brad that he seems devious and that he knows he's sharp and that he's not gonna pull anything over on him. Brad refuses to say whether or not JR is right, but he asks him to not spread the word. Brad tells us that JR is absolutely right. I've often wondered what it would be like to have someone like a professional poker player on the show. Someone who can see through the BS and call it like he sees it. Apparently, it's gonna make him an in your face type that seems to think he's smarter than everyone else. I'm gonna have to see more of JR to decide if I like him or not. Brad...I like him right off. He is very smart and very knowledgeable about this game. He could go far, if JR doesn't make him a target too early.


When we come back from break the Zhan Hu tribe finally lands at their campsite. The first person we meet is Sherea and she laments the wearing of high heels in the muddy campsite. She's the typical city girl, out of her element African-American that they have every season. You'd think they would change that up...just for one season, wouldn't you? Ashley and Frosti begin pulling out wood to build a shelter. Chicken tells them to stop as they don't have enough wood for everyone. He says they should build a shelter. This whole thing sets up a bunch of "do it my way - no do it my way" talk and Chicken gets his feelings hurt and decides he just won't offer any more help to anyone. Way to be a team player there, big guy. We next focus on Ashley. She's the WWE Diva. Dyed hair, lip rings and big fake boobs are pretty much the first thing you notice. She tells us that she feels like she's tough enough to handle this and that she has a lot of fans that she doesn't want to let down. Peih Gee (who I'll abbreviate PG, cause that's how her name is pronounced) tells us she thinks she's on the lazy tribe. She tells us she's normally a social person, but she feels like she has to be so serious. We get back to talking about shelter, and Chicken continues to not offer any opinion whatsoever. As the rain comes down, the Zhan Hu tribe is no closer to a shelter than the moment they landed.

Back at the Fei Long tribe, their shelter is coming along nicely. James, who has to be the biggest muscle guy in the history of the show, is basically pushing down trees to use to build their shelter. As he's being compared to Superman, James is shown to be quite the loner. He says that he doesn't really have the social skills for something like this, but he's gonna try. Leslie is offering him tips to handling the social aspect of the game. James tells us that he's gonna try extra hard in camp and at the challenges to hopefully make up for his lack of a social game.

Night and the rain falls and we get a couple shots of folks in complete misery...really not much different than any other season, except it rained real badly. At Zhan Hu, their camp and shelter is a mess. Chicken seems to have woken up with a new found spirit and is working his butt off. The exact opposite has happened to Ashley. Looks like she's the token "sick one." She has real bad chills and is dry heaving. Naturally she's getting a lot of negative attention with this sickness. Dave tells her that this will not put her on the block, after which he tells us that if her condition stays the same, she'll be the first to go. So, I think we can put Dave in the "will say anything to stay in the game" category.

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