‘Survivor: One World’ premiere: playing with fire

We’re back!

Redemption Island, returning players, and mention of the Hantz family. These are the aspects of “Survivor” that were not a part of “One World” … and the world was a better place because of it.

Overall, we have to say that “One World” is easily the most-promising season premiere since “Nicaragua,” and since that one fizzled at fast we are really hoping for the next “Gabon” — a madcap season with twists, broken alliances, and a cast of characters who all received some time in the spotlight. (To this day we miss Kenny and Crystal.) We love that the majority of the cast had a confessional during the premiere, and we also love that we did not have to spend any time watching people bow down to someone who was playing this game for the third (or fourth!) time. This was “Survivor” as “Survivor” is meant to be played — or least ever since the addition of the hidden immunity idol.

Last season, we broke down the winners and losers of each episode based on some of their moves — and we are going to do so again this time. Before we start, though, we have to say that everyone (at least at home) seems to be a winner so far thanks to the twist. Having everyone live on one beach not only is bringing in some fun new social dynamics into the game (such as the great fire exchange) that would not have happened otherwise — but it’s just nice to see things more as a bit more interactive.

The winners

Tricky Colton…

Colton – Why is Colton at the top of the list here? There really isn’t any question — he got himself an immunity idol! Thanks to the show’s idol twist — which basically states that someone who finds the idol for the other tribe has to hand it to someone from the other tribe — Colton was the recipient of some good fortune from Sabrina, who obviously singled him out as the odd man out on the male tribe.

Was this a smart move? Who knows, but Colton’s now sitting pretty in this game. He could (and should) use this to establish a firm alliance for himself among the men — especially since people have grown too cowardly in this game to actually try and blindside someone with an idol. (We bet James is wishing he played now versus in “China.”)

Leif – Before this season started, we weren’t sure what to make of Leif. He was obviously a smart and strong guy, but being the show’s first-ever little person can lead to you having a target on your back right away as an easy sympathy vote at the end.

We actually really liked what Leif did during this premiere. Not only did he prove himself to be a strong contributor around camp for the male tribe, but he also was smart in acting friendly and playful to the ladies rather than just cruel — even though he wasn’t giving them what they wanted in precious fire. Nobody among the men expects anything, but we have a feeling the girls would keep Leif around in a heartbeat now over Michael or Matt.

Kim – We picked her to win before the game even started, and we’re definitely sticking with it now — Kim is not only smart, but she’s a good team player with a knowledge of what works. When she was offered an alliance with Alicia, Sabrina, Chelsea, and Kat, she jumped on board. Why say no to a strong alliance? If she needs to jump ship later, she can!

The other thing that is working for Kim is that for now, she is laying low. Why get involved in pettiness unless you have to? We don’t her endgame plan just yet, but we like her demeanor — and having a good attitude can go a long way.

Chelsea – Out of the rest of the women, Chelsea is the one who seemed to secure herself the best overall place in this game by catching both of the chickens at camp. She’s a hard worker! She’s a strong competitor! She’s already more interesting than Whitney from last season!

Contestants with southern roots (particularly women) tend to do pretty well on this show, and the good thing about Chelsea is she has an alliance and is likely not going to get herself into too much trouble.

The losers

Ugh.

Matt – Matt reminds us of one of the millionaires on “The Millionaire Matchmaker” who doesn’t listen to Patti’s advice, takes the girl out for a date somewhere creepy like to a hot tub party, and then blames everyone else when it doesn’t work for them — the guy is so egotistical and in his own head we have a hard time believing he will accept fault even if he makes mistakes.

This lawyer (who is far from the same sort of lawyer we saw out of law student Cochran) already has a badĀ reputationĀ in that he was dismissive with some of the women, and his “beefcake alliance” with Michael, Bill, and Jay has a problem in that there are only four members. This guy is getting set up for a hard fall — and if Colton has his way, he could be idoled right out of the game.

Troyzan and Tarzan – Just for their nicknames. Need we need to say more about men over 50 proclaiming they are jungle kings? Nicknames on “Survivor” must stop, mostly because it makes it too obvious that these are people wanting to be TV characters rather than people playing a game.

The rest of the male tribe – Overall, we just think that there was a ridiculous move made at the immunity challenge. The guys had the option to either play out the challenge following Kourtney’s wrist injury or stop since they had technically won … and they chose to stop, even with a massive lead.

There is something in this game called karma, and it can come back to bite you. Are these women really ever going to help the men now? In not playing out the challenge, the guys are now in some deep trouble with the ladies — and if the women enter the merge with numbers, we expect the men to go one by one.

Sabrina – Congratulations for finding an idol … but why give it to the man with no ties to his tribe in Colton? We admire her strategy on one level, since she was obviously trying to give it to someone who could feed her information and be an asset down the road — however, she didn’t really think it through since she barely even knew the guy.

She obviously had some time to think it over, so the best move here would have been to give it to someone who she knows has some allies already like a Jay or a Jonas (who at least seems to get along with everyone) — and then use that to form a cross-tribal alliance that could keep you safe in a variety of scenarios. In didn’t work out in “Tocantins” very well, but it was an admirable idea that gave JT, Stephen, and Taj more options. You are taking a gamble to begin with in giving someone an idol, but someone who is a bit of a loner on his tribe is a little bit of a gamble.

Alicia – We already are comparing her to NaOnka thanks to her outburst, and that is not a good thing. If you already knew that Kourtney was hurt and likely leaving, why even single Christina out right now? There was not anything good that came out of her attack at tribal council, and now she has at least one enemy and maybe more.

Note to all future castaways — don’t speak out unless you have to at tribal council. It never works out for you.

Kourtney – Finally, we close with a woman who we genuinely feel sorry for. Kourtney was quirky, ambitious, and really different than everyone we have seen on the show before. Why did she have to go before such boring plays as Michael and Kat? This is the earliest we can recall someone being forced out due to injury — and while we don’t think she was necessarily long for the game anyway, it seemed as though Christina would have been on the chopping block if her wrist was in one piece.

The good news for Kourtney? We’re going to be chatting with her tomorrow pending any last-minute changes — and if she removes her tattoos, she can go audition as a stand-in for Ginnifer Goodwin on “Once Upon a Time.”

What did you think of the premiere?

Photo: CBS

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