Survivor Recap: Girls Versus Boys, Grade School Style

Last night’s season premiere of Survivor: One World definitely brought the twists. This go-round, the castaways are back in the South Pacific. However, it’s boys versus girls with both tribes sharing the same beach. It should be very interesting! (After watching and blogging, I have to say I am super excited about this season. They are mixing up the game, and I love it. Mee. Yow.)

The group meets Jeff Probst, and he immediately asks Kourtney, a woman wearing a jaunty Shamu-inspired knitted skull cap, where she fits in with her fellow Survivors. Her answer? Nowhere. Looks like someone isn’t forming alliances right off the bat! A guy wearing a sweater that Brad Goreski has seemingly tossed casually around his fashionable shoulders–he later calls himself the girl in the guys’ tribe–finds the group to be good looking, although not as handsome as himself. Another man named Greg who has dubbed himself Tarzan is ready to throw down island style.


Jeff breaks up the teams so they resemble the gym floor at a sixth grade dance. The women are introducing themselves to each other while the men look like they were just put in a cage. The men’s tribe will be the orange team and are given the name Manano. The ladies are blue (glad to see we aren’t sticking to regular gender-role colors here…that would be too 1950s), and they are hailed the Salami Salani.

Their first challenge is to strip whatever rations they can off a truck that has definitely seen better days…in sixty seconds. Assessing their spoils the women realize that the men have stolen their axe. Jeff relays that there is no Redemption Island this season (thank goodness – that was over-played, over-witted, and over-lasted). He hands both tribes a map to their new home and he and his pearly whites head back to his luxury hut with its infinity pool. The men are struggling to carry their plethora of rations to their camp. The strongest team player so far seems to be Leif, a little person with big muscles. With the women, Orca can’t carry all her supplies. She’s worried about the potential cattiness of an all-girls group. Duh, we all went to middle school. Watching her tribe members stumble through the jungle, outspoken Alicia is already figuring out her alliance.

The women, of course, are first to arrive at camp. They are both excited and bewildered to see the Manano flag just yards from their own. The men arrive, and sushi chef Jonas doesn’t know what to think. The production team has let loose some chickens on the beach and the tribes attempt to work together to catch the foul fowl. I love a homonym! Chelsea, who must be a farmer in her non-Survivor life, catches both chickens. She made a deal with a very douchey attorney (thanks, Matt, for yet another reason people hate lawyers) to split the chicken catch. However, after she was the hen hero–and learned the guys stole from their truck rations–she keeps both chickens as a bartering tool. They may need some help building shelter. Payment, one chicken. Matt doesn’t care how hot she is, he is mad. Litigious mad. I think we’ll be seeing Matt on an upcoming Bachelorette season. Anyone want to put some money on that?

Colton, aka the guy with the sweater shawl, is quickly becoming biffles with Salani. Attorney Matt knew right off the bat that Colton is gay. He hopes Colton will be able to adapt to working with all the manly men. I hope that Matt will be able to adapt without hair gel and microfiber tees for twenty-four hours. Colton is quick to try to make friends with the ladies, hinting he may need an idol stat. Matt, who is so masculine and so outdoorsy, aligns himself with like-minded macho studs that wear designer jeans on a deserted island and wax every last hair off of their bodies. Like all manly men do. Greg Tarzan, the Texas plastic surgeon, seems to be the only dude sporting any kind of chest hair, and God love him for that. I also must point out the irony of it.

I hear a voiceover that reminds me of Brandon Hantz. Thankfully, it’s not. I thought this for two reasons: 1) said voice seems to be down on the hot ladies (we all know how BHCP felt about the flesh), and 2) if not for the twang, it would be the same cadence, tone, and pitch of Russell’s nephew. Imagine my shock (and initial disappointment) when the voice is connected to the hot (and of course hairless) model Jay. After a quick internet search, I find out this “model” lives 45 minutes up the interstate from me in a town known for its outlet mall and giant peach-shaped (read: orange butt if you’re a middle schooler) water tower. #Gaffney

The men are quick to start a fire, and the women hope to trade a chicken in exchange for an ember. Another dude, Troy, who has aptly taken on the nickname Troyzan, points out that it’s day-one–the men aren’t hungry yet–and they certainly aren’t charming. They have no need for a chicken. No fire for you, ladies! The swimsuit photographer (also sans chest hair – is this season sponsored by Body Rogaine?) also cops to being fifty, so he’s not quick to fall for feminine wiles. And by feminine wiles, I mean he could not care less about the ladies’ “tater sets” even if they are willing to pole dance naked on a piece of bamboo. Is it just me, or does Troyzan resemble Coach?

The women are still without fire as night falls. It’s hard to bond slumber party style when you can’t see one another. Two girls, Cat and Kimberly (I think…she looks eerily like Taylor Armstrong in the night vision camera) head to Manalo to flirt for fire. Hairless banker Michael seems to be falling for their girly tricks until Gaffney Jay and his twang interrupt the sorority party. THE GUYS DON’T HELP THE GIRLS! Down, but not out, the ladies wait until the gentlemen are snoozing before sneaking over to the other camp to swipe some hot embers. Can I get a “girl power!”?

The women and their dying fire are enjoying a pineapple breakfast. Dr. Oz would be proud. Christina realizes that the women need to put pride aside to get some flames from the male tribe. She isn’t looking for friends, she’s looking to play on the hormones of the Manano. She eloquently approaches the men who ask for forty woven palm fronds. Alicia is over Christina’s constant peace treaties. But the women are getting fire. Sabrina goes deep into the jungle to potty bathe and quickly finds a Manano immunity idol. Per the rules, she can’t keep it for herself. She must save someone from the men’s tribe at tribal council. Colton, party of one!

It’s immunity challenge time! Can I say again how thrilled I am that Redemption is a no-show this season? It’s clearly a circus challenge. The contestants must fall into a net, navigate a balance beam, and navigate a rope bridge. The first tribe to make it through the obstacle course and raise their flag will send the other tribe to council and win some fire-making flint. Each tribe cannot move on to the next obstacle until everyone on their tribe has finished the previous stunt. Orca hurts her wrist. The net drop is pretty severe, and the men have a substantial lead. Korcaney (that’s Kourtney and Orca, for those following along) feels like she’s about to pass out due to her injury.

The challenge is halted as medics are called in to assess the situation. It could be a broken wrist or a bad sprain. Basically, it appears to be a Survivor rain delay until x-rays can be taken. Jeff declares the men victorious, but he will allow them to keep playing as a gesture of goodwill to not be the hated ones. If they opt out of finishing, the women will receive the flint. The men choose immunity, and the women start the “bring it on” smack talking. No can do. The guys are finished and the girls will head to the first tribal council.

Nina is worried about Kourtney, but she’s disappointed that they didn’t finish the challenge. She’s also disappointed that she looks like she got punched in the face due to the net drop. Southern Kim isn’t used to dealing with men who don’t know the meaning of chivalry. Sabrina gives the idol to Colton in hopes of making a big move, with Colton knocking out Matt the first time the men face the torch snuff. He is beyond grateful. He hopes to slit Matt’s throat faster than Taylor Swift can write a song about an ex-boyfriend. The first part of his statement was a tad too Lord of the Flies for me, but the second part? Pure gold.

Sabrina tries to rally the women in voting off Kourtney. If her wrist is broken, or best case scenario badly sprained, what good is she to the Salani? Sabrina is sassy. I like her. Alicia has another person she wants on the chopping block. She has her sights set on Benedict Christina who keeps trying to get in good with the Manano. At tribal, Alicia admits that she is happy to be on a girls only tribe. Cat relays that everyone has an important role. Christina brags about bartering for fire, and Alicia is quick to call her out on her statement. It gets heated…and it’s not just the torches. Cat and the other women get very uncomfortable at the discord. Chelsea reveals that it’s pretty much every woman for herself when it come to strategy, chalking it up to the nature of women in general. Monica laughs, calling the ladies’ situation “total anarchy.” They have no clear leader.

Jeff updates the women on Kourtney’s situation. He has good news and bad news. Her wrist is broken in several places and will require surgery. From the feedback, I can’t tell if the women know what kind of news it is. Hint, it’s bad news. The good news is that no one from tribal will be going home…yet. Jeff pleads with the women to find some sort of structure before they are all sent packing.

Next week, the women continue to falter. Colton is playing on his own team, with the men thinking he’s total baggage. Even Sabrina, who gave him an immunity idol, calls him a “virus.” Yikes.