It’s here, “Survivor” fans. The “Blood vs. Water” premiere is upon us and we are very excited. Not only does the loved ones twist add an interesting facet to the game — the promos have already demonstrated how some loved ones would never vote against each other and others would totally do it — but there are some awesome returning players.
Will the tribe of returning players have an uber-advantage over the newbies? We hope the disparity isn’t too great, that won’t be very fun to watch. But we definitely have high hopes about this season.
Join us here at Zap2it starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT for our live blog of all the festivities during the 90-minute premiere on CBS. All times Eastern.
7:48 — We just learned from Jeff Probst via Twitter that this is “Survivor’s” 400th episode. So, that’s 400 episodes of “Survivor,” 500 episodes of “Big Brother” … carry the one … 54,000 minutes, or 37.5 days, give or take an episode here or there that I missed. Goodness.
8:02 — Rupert is kind of insane for coming back for a fourth go-round. And hopefully Colton has learned how to not be a jerk.
8:06 — It’s hard to reconcile Hayden, a “Big Brother” player we met and liked very much, dating Kat, a “Survivor” player we were not crazy about.
8:10 — It’s awesome that some of the returning players thought they were playing with their loved ones. Don’t beat yourself up for wishing for good things for your wife, Brad. We thought that was nice.
8:12 — Probst informs the tribes, named Galang for the returnees and Tadhana for the newbies, they have to vote someone out right now. The newbies vote out Laura, Rupert’s wife, and Rupert is disappointed, and feels bad.
8:14 — The returning players vote out Candice. Luckily, this just means that Laura and Candice are headed to Redemption Island. But twist! The loved ones can switch places with their better half on Redemption Island. Rupert leaps away from his tribe before Probst is even done talking. It makes me tear up, what is WRONG with me? Hahaha.
8:17 — Interestingly, this puts Laura on the tribe of returning players, which is a twist we were not expecting. And Tina is mad that Rupert weakened their tribe right off the bat. Oh, put a sock in it, Tina. You of all people should know that an older woman doesn’t necessarily weaken the tribe. Maybe Laura is awesome. She’s married to Rupert, after all.
8:17b — Also, Probst says he did not expect this at all. Oh, really, Probst? It’s Rupert.
8:18 — John, Candice’s husband, chooses not to switch places with his wife (but it’s partly her decision too). Later, John cries about how he “literally” felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest. OK, you’re a doctor. That means you have some brains, in order to take the MCATs and get through medical school and whatnot. STOP USING LITERALLY WRONG, you’ve done it TWICE. Stop it.
8:25 — Gervase is mad he doesn’t get to play with Rupert and Laura talking-heads about how she’s very intimidated by playing with all the returning players. No kidding. That would kind of suck.
8:26 — In quick succession, we see two great examples of how to play and how not to play “Survivor.” Tyson makes fire with bamboo = thumbs up. Colton saws bamboo towards his own crotch = thumbs down, and asking for a self-sterilization.
8:29 — Meanwhile, over at Tadhana, the newbies aren’t doing too badly with their shelter, but they definitely aren’t giving fire much thought. Also, Brad is backpedaling quite a bit for admitting he would want good things for his wife. C’mon, people, you know what he meant. He’s not going to throw a challenge to his wife. Oh, and also? Tadhana has a gorgeous waterfall that’s like a shower at their camp, it’s awesome.
8:31 — Brad then loses any good will we had for him when he refers to his five-guy alliance as “four guys and a gay guy.” Gay men are still dudes, dude. Don’t be a jerk. Also, all the guys are rightly kind of suspicious of Brad. Hayden will probably be the easiest sell, since he won a million dollars with a four-man alliance. But the other guys — John, Caleb and Vytas — are not so sure about this idea.
8:39 — The newbies share their tales of woe. Laura’s daughter Ciera was a teen mom and Vytas was a junkie who spent a year in prison. It’s all kind of blowing Brad’s mind. But Vytas is right, honesty is good. You’ve gotten yourself clean, that’s awesome.
8:43 — Over on Galang, Colton talks and cries about how hard it is to be gay and how members of his own family don’t accept him. We will say this about Colton — he seems to have changed significantly from when we’ve seen him before on the show.
8:45 — We check in with Redemption Island. Candice is annoyed with Rupert being lazy and sleeping all the time, while Rupert has another strategy this time around — conserve energy so he can beat her. Well, it’s annoying to be the worker bee while the grasshopper fiddles all summer long, but on the other hand, Rupert’s got a point. He has to beat Candice in a challenge. If we were Candice, we just wouldn’t share the spoils of our labor with the grasshopper.
8:53 — Good lord, we’re almost an hour in and it’s finally challenge time. Hilariously, it looks like we are setting up some mother/daughter showdowns for the puzzle portion of the challenge.
8:55 — The challenge is swimming, paddling and then a puzzle that raises a flag. They win Immunity and also flint, which the newbies need because they don’t have fire yet.
8:58 — Tadhana is working together incredibly well, with John, Brad and Hayden seemingly taking monster control of helping the weaker members. It’s a great strategy and they get a nice lead. Also, Gervase is struggling in the water, which we seem to remember was a problem he had in Season 1 too. You’d think if you were going to do “Survivor” again after 13 years that you’d take some swim lessons. They haven’t set the show in a non-water locale since Season 3.
9:00 — The returning players catch up briefly, but only because they could untie knots while Gervase struggled to swim. If they had had to wait until he got to the boat, they would be sunk. But they’re kind of sunk anyways because they can’t straighten out their boat. Meanwhile, Tadhana is on the puzzle.
9:02 — Unfortunately, Tadhana squanders their lead on the puzzle and the returning moms kick butt. It’s a shame, we were hoping Tadhana would take that, but Galang wins.
9:05 — Brad takes issue with Gervase celebrating so hard since his loved one might go home. Well, Gervase is out there with his niece. That’s not the same as being out their with your wife/husband/partner.
9:10 — Awesomely, Gervase’s niece is the first one to call him out for being such a jerk after his terrible swimming performance. Ha! That just got her major points with us. Meanwhile, the guys’ alliance seems to be ready to rock ‘n roll, so it looks like whoever they want gone is the one going.
9:13 — Will it be Katie or Marissa? It sounds like it’s kind of a toss-up at this point. Frankly, based on the challenge, we’d boot Katie.
9:20 — At Tribal Council, Probst asks about why John wouldn’t take Candice’s spot. He say she feels very guilty and then he gets choked up and says that Candice thinks he “let her go.” Oh, sweetie. She doesn’t think that.
9:23 — Marissa makes a very calm, rational plea that they should not judge her based on how Gervase acted and to judge her on her own merits, while Katie admits that she might be gone because of the challenge. Probst wonders if it’s not fair to judge on one challenge, but at this point, what else do you judge on? Marissa did her thing in the challenge and she had the physical part (as a woman, who is smaller and not as strong upper-body-wise as the men).
9:25 — During the vote, we see Katie and Marissa vote for each other and that’s it. Th
en the votes go Katie, Marissa, Marissa, Marissa, Marissa and Marissa. Wow. That sucks.
9:28 — Next week the “old Colton” is back and we have the first dual at Redemption Island.