“Survivor’s” back, gang! Woo hoo! And this time around, there are no familiar faces in the cast, which is refreshing. The show is definitely in need of some new blood.
Season 28 (seriously, can you believe this is the 28th season?) is bringing with it a fun twist: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. We especially like it that each tribe is diverse. The brainiacs aren’t a bunch of quote-unquote nerds who are going to get stomped in physical challenges and the beauty queens aren’t, well, an actual tribe made up of only pageant contestants.
It should be a fun twist to watch play out, hopefully the tribes aren’t dissolved too quickly. Either way, “Survivor: Cagayan” premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS with a two-hour episode, join us here for a live blog of all the fun.
All times Eastern
8:00 — Jeff Probst (missed you, fave TV host!) introduces us to the tribes, being flown to the starting beach in helicopters. The Brains Tribe has an average IQ of 130, which … actually, we would have guessed it would be higher.
8:02 — It’s going to be hard to take the Beauties seriously if they keep saying stuff like, “I don’t wanna sound, like, super-conceited, but from a guy I usually get what I want” and “I don’t see the guys going, ‘Oh, I wanna vote her off right away.’ They don’t wanna look at ugly girls all day.”
8:06 — The castaways didn’t know about their tribal divides before they got there, but it doesn’t take long for anybody to realize which tribe he or she is on. They have to elect a leader from each tribe. Beauty elects LJ, Brawn elects Sarah and Brains elects David.
8:09 — But like any good “Survivor” treat, there’s always a trick. The leaders now have to pick the weakest player to dump. LJ picks Morgan and his (private) thinking is that she’s hot while the other girls are just “cute” and he trusts cute more than hot. First off, that … is dumb, but we guess he’s not on the Brains tribe. Secondly, we would actually beg to differ on his opinion of the other two women on the tribe.
8:11 — Sarah chooses Trish from the Brawn tribe and David chooses Garrett. His reasoning is that at the end of the game, Garrett is a threat. Interesting. Garrett is the a hottie and he’s on the Brains tribe, so that’s some pretty clever thinking.
8:14 — Of course, in the double-secret probation twist, the “weakest” people get to ride a helicopter to the beach and then they have a decision to make. They can either take a second bag of rice for the tribe or a clue to the Hidden Idol themselves. Garrett and Morgan take the Idol, while Trish takes the rice. Interesting. I think this early, as a woman especially, I would take the rice too. It’s a way to get into the tribe’s good graces.
8:15 — Showing off his great listening skills, Garrett says that David made a mistake calling him the weakest. Um, did you not listen to a word he said? David eliminated you because you’re a threat, not because you’re weak. David made a long-term decision, doof.
8:18 — Garret immediately finds the Idol and then reiterates that he “doesn’t know what David was thinking.” Um, we just covered that, Garrett. You’re on the Brains tribe why? Also, he could not have known you’d get an Idol clue.
8:19 — Morgan, meanwhile, doesn’t find the Idol but very cleverly lies to her tribemates about how she “picked” shelter supplies and fishing equipment for them. Look at you, Morgan, figuring some things out.
8:23 — Trish tells the Brawny gang what she chose for them and they’re super pumped, it should prove to be a good move by her, I think. Meanwhile, everybody’s also excited about having Cliff Robinson on their team, but … have you watched “Survivor”? Being enormous is not always an advantage in challenges.
8:26 — Tony the cop lies to Sarah the cop about being a cop and she suspects he’s lying, so Sarah does not trust Tony. He also hilariously says in an interview that if he admits to being a cop, people will think he’s “strategical” and “sharp on his toes.” Hee! This is delightful.
8:28 — Over at the Brains tribe, J’Tia, who as a nuclear engineer may be the smartest one there, takes over as the shelter-building honcho. She’s very abrasive about it, though. She’s really ordering people around, which is NOT the way to start out this game.
8:29 — David, the president of the Miami Marlins, says that J’Tia is the kind of player who gets to the plate and doesn’t produce. And he would know, because the Marlins lost 100 games in 2013. HEY-O!
8:35 — It’s Immunity Challenge time already. It’s an obstacle course where they drag a cart, collect chests on the cart, disassemble the cart, then reassemble it to go through an obstacle, then unlock the chests and solve a puzzle. Yikes. That’s a hefty challenge.
8:40 — In no surprise, the Brawn tribe makes great time on the physical portion, but the Beauty tribe catches them on the puzzle and wins. The poor Brains would have had a chance on the puzzle except they got so far behind on the physical portion, they couldn’t make up the time. So, who do you think is going home? Based on the challenge, Garrett is probably not a smart person to get rid of at this point.
8:47 — David and Kass can’t agree on who should go. Kass says J’Tia, David says Garrett. It’s understandable why David is threatened by Garrett, but at this point, you gotta win challenges and Garrett is more valuable for that. Kass then makes a rookie mistake by telling J’Tia she’s leaning towards voting out J’Tia. Oof, lady. That’s not how you play “Survivor.”
8:51 — Predictably, J’Tia now gets with Tasha and Garrett and they start talking about voting out David. Oh, Kass. You screwed the pooch on that one, big time. However, Garrett can’t seem to get a solid fourth vote in Spencer because Spencer is worried David has the Idol. He doesn’t, obviously, but Garrett at least knows enough to know he can’t reveal that it’s actually himself who has it.
8:54 — Will Spencer go with Garrett and the girls? That seems likely, actually. Spencer knows you have to kind of go with which way the wind is blowing.
8:56 — Tribal Council isn’t particularly interesting. Somebody has to go and these people aren’t really ready to rumble yet. J’Tia does tip the hand that David is in danger, while David still clearly thinks it’s J’Tia going home. We shall see.
9:03 — The votes go J’Tia, David, J’Tia, David, David and David. Interesting. He really thought he was in charge here and he definitely was not.
9:06 — The next morning, Garrett starts whining about how he’s not having any fun. There’s manual labor and he’s starving, you guys. Starrrrrrrving. “I want to play ‘Survivor’ like to outwit and outplay people, I don’t want to play ‘Survivor’ to survive in the wilderness,” he whines. Ughhhh, Garrett is the WORST. Shut up, dude. How did this guy get on “Survivor” and not “Big Brother”?
9:10 — Over on Beauties, Brice is busy sizing up the other eye-catchers and he has concluded he is not dealing with the brightest crayons in the box. Heh. Definitely not. Brice is a lot of fun, he might be one to watch. Also, can someone please toss Morgan a real bra? That is … distracting is putting it nicely.
9:14 — Trish, who we like so far, is apparently rubbing Lindsey the wrong way by telling Lindsey to help gather wood. Lindsey then makes fun of Trish in a rather mean, junior high-y way, but that moment is totally trumped by Tony deciding it’s time to make a spy cubbyhole in the corner of the shelter. #SpyShack. Somewhere, Phillip Sheppard is smiling.
9:20 — Immunity Challenge time. It’s a swimming challenge, untying fish traps inside a cage. They each contain puzzle pieces and one person does the final puzzle.
9:22 — Brawn again leads during the physical part, while Brains still struggle. Hopefully that is not the same sentence we type every week for the first month because that will get real old, real fast.
9:24 — Just like that, the Brainiacs make some really good time on untying the traps and getting back and they’re in the lead going into the puzzle, followed by Brawn and then Beauty is just off in the water doing who knows what.
9:27 — Interestingly, J’Tia sucks so badly at the puzzle that she loses the lead and the Brawnies win, then LJ catches up and gets second for the Beauties. Wow, J’Tia. Wow. That is sad.
9:33 — What is with the inordinate number of snakes in this episode? Stop showing snakes, show!
9:35 — Back at Brawny camp, Tony finds the Hidden Idol clue in the fish basket reward. He’s sure he knows what it refers to, and lo and behold, he finds the Idol almost immediately.
9:37 — In Brainyville, David decides it’s time to have one of those idiotic “let’s decide as a group” conversations. Kass lays it right out there — J’Tia made no contribution to the challenge, she should go. Garrett and Spencer agree, but Tasha says she won’t just lay it out there. Garrett tellingly says there should be “no side conversations” and then says they should all just sit there until Tribal. Ugh, he is the worst. THE WORST.
9:38 — Now, Garrett might be right that J’Tia should go home, but he’s being such a d-bag right now. He’s worried about his precious Idol so he’s commanding that people stay at the shelter? How is anybody standing for this? But you know Spencer and Kass are too weak to stand up to him and Tasha and J’Tia have nothing if they only have two votes, so Garrett is probably sitting pretty. He sucks, you guys. Wasn’t he just whining about wanting to outwit and outplay people? Apparently in addition to the “survival” part of “Survival,” he also is not actually interested in the game play either.
9:43 — Thankfully, Tasha and J’Tia do not just roll over and die in the face of Garrett’s shenanigans but now Spencer and Garrett realize they have to babysit the girls since Garrett opened his big mouth. Spencer knows how to play “Survivor.” Garrett does not. Tasha approaches Kass about flipping the game with the three women voting out Garrett, which would be kind of incredible at this point even if it’s not the best idea in terms of winning challenges.
9:46 — Then something incredible happens. Garrett and Spencer run after Kass and Tasha and leave J’Tia alone at camp and she dumps ALL the rice on the fire! Garrett says he is now at “rock bottom” because it’s been so hard for him already. He is, again, THE WORST. He is giving Colton a run for his money, you guys. Unfortunately, J’Tia’s stunt just cost her a vote, since Kass says she was going to approach J’Tia about the women aligning but now she’s not. Whoops.
9:47 — Also, J’Tia is kind of a whack job. Do nuclear engineers have their fingers on any kind of important button? Because that is a terrifying thought.
9:50 — Probst lays it out for these dummies: There’s a reason blindsides work. Garrett tries to act like he didn’t mastermind anything, but he totally did. He completely dug his own grave and it’s maddening it now won’t come back to bite him. If J’Tia had kept a handle on her business, she would be sending Garrett home tonight.
9:52 — Garrett then really steps in it by saying that he’s aligned with Spencer and Kass. If Kass has a brain in her head right now, she cuts this guy loose and votes with the women. Garrett is terrible at this and the fact that he’s in the Brains tribe is making me cringe. He is not smart, you guys. Not at all.
9:54 — But then an AWESOME thing happens, you guys! Kass switches to the girls and votes Garrett out. WIth an Idol in his pocket! Bwahahahaha, amazing. This never happens to me! The awful person I can’t stand NEVER goes home when I want him to! Delightful.
9:58 — Garrett didn’t even BRING THE IDOL WITH HIM, Y’ALL. Haaaaaahahaha.