Survivor: Fiji Recap
Episode One - Something Cruel is About to Happen
By Jim Van Nest
February 10, 2007
As night falls and the storm begins, the shelter is far from done and has no roof. So everyone gets a little wet and I think the feeling is that the shelter will be finished tomorrow without a doubt. Yao Man has fashioned some coconut shell cups and a funnel for the water. Earl comments that he's the Professor on this Gilligan's Island. So it's safe to say that the older guy is making his mark. As the shelter is coming together, the folks are becoming even more nervous about what's coming. This is by far the nicest shelter in the history of the game and no one seems to be convinced that they're just going to be given it. As everyone celebrates a bit, we get to know more about Dreamz. He's our former street performer. He tells us a bit about how he used to live in the back of a soup kitchen and used to dig up the food out of the dumpster. As night falls, we get to learn even more about Dreamz. As in, he's obnoxious as hell. He tells us he's hoping to be the playful jokester of the crowd and that's super duper. We need one of those. What we don't need is someone who does it when everyone else is trying to sleep and when he's asked to simmer down, only gets worse. The person that gets the most irritated is Rocky. And he takes him out of the shelter and basically tells him he needs to shut the hell up and calm down. The rest of the folks pretty much roll their eyes at this exchange and it ends with Rocky heading away from the shelter and Dreamz finally shutting up. See? Rocky is definitely setting up to be the focal point. Sadly for his chances in the game, the focal point never wins.
I can't believe we're three days into the game before I can say "Probst sighting!!!" Jeff welcomes everyone and then asks about the first couple days. He asks if anyone emerged as a driving force for the tribe. Alex points out Sylvia and everyone agrees that she stepped up to be the leader. So he calls her over. Sylvia now has the chore of dividing the other 18 folks into two tribes. She sends Cassandra, Liliana, Stacy, Lisi, Dreamz, Boo, Gary, Alex (the sexy guy) and Edgardo to the green Moto Tribe. Which leaves Erica, Michelle, Rita, Jessica, Rocky, Earl, Yao Man, Anthony and Mookie as the orange Ravu tribe. That also leaves Sylvia as a person without a tribe. She gets to go to Exile Island. And she'll share it with thousands of sea snakes. She'll get a clue to the whereabouts of a hidden idol, she'll be immune from Tribal Council tonight and she'll return to the game to the tribe that has to vote someone out. Not bad, I guess. Although, I don't think she was in any danger of going home. However, the clue to the hidden idol could prove important somewhere down the road I suppose.
Let's get to the challenge. It's a chariot race. Seven people will pull two on their chariot. As they go, the two on the chariot will be in charge of collecting three bags of puzzle pieces. Once they get back to the start, they'll solve the three puzzles. The answers will be numbers that will be used to turn a home made combination lock. Once the code is entered, they'll open a bag that should have a knife in it. Cut the rope, drop a tribe flag and your tribe will win. Real quick, I want to point out that I'm not liking this challenge. Last season, almost every challenge was an incredible physical test followed by a puzzle. It was neat at first last season, but it became old very quickly. And now the very first challenge is the same exact format? I have an idea, instead of throwing so many "twists" into the game, why not shoot for some originality on the challenges? But I digress. Wanna know what they're playing for?
The prize is the most important thing on the show, immunity. Also, the winning tribe will get to go back to the beach with the nice shelter. They'll have a care package awaiting them - some cutlery, cups, a shower and a couch. The losers will go to a new beach where they'll find one pot and one machete. Plus they'll have to go to tribal and vote someone out. I wonder if anyone else recognized how screwed Sylvia just got. I mean, she's doomed to the crap tribe no matter which one wins. What kind of crap is that? At least she's on her way to Exile Island right now. And if it's as bad as Jeff says, even the crap beach will seem good to her.
Stacy and Lisi man the chariot for Moto while Michelle and Jessica ride for Ravu. Jessica has some trouble with the knots, causing Ravu to fall quite a bit behind. Once they get the first bag, Michelle takes on the knots the rest of the way. As they continue on the quarter mile course, Ravu slowly begins to make up time. Once both teams have all three bags and are heading back, Moto stumbles, allowing Ravu to take the lead. Both teams begin working their puzzles and this is where Moto pulls away again - this time for good. While Ravu is still struggling with the third puzzle, Alex pulls out the knife, cuts the rope and a new band of underdogs is crowned, the Ravu tribe. I had no real stake in this, but I have to say, the idea of Rocky on the crap tribe might just make for some really fun TV.
We get back from break and join the victorious Moto tribe. All of the nice items are there - the couch, the hammocks, the silverware, the cups and everything. Never has a tribe lived like this on Survivor. I can't help but think we're on the verge of seeing the laziest tribe with the largest sense of entitlement in the history of the show. And if the Moto tribe survives til the end of the game, I'll be incredibly surprised. Lisi talks about their kick-ass tribe and then mentions how bad she feels for Sylvia sleeping with the snakes, which is a nice segue into...