‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X’: Winners and losers from episode 1

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We’ve been trying to come up with a way to extend our “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” coverage more into the weekend, and while we are going to continue to do tribe power rankings and all that, we figured a deeper analysis of previous episodes would be fun. Therefore, once a week we’re going to take a look around this time at some of the biggest winners and losers from the previous episode, at least based on what we saw. We’re perfectly aware of the fact that we don’t see everything, and that we could be terribly wrong with this and it’ll blow up in our face later to dog on someone’s game. Then again, isn’t that part of the fun?

First things first, let’s just praise Jeff Probst, the producers, and the casting for assembling what seems to be a fun group. While we still have our concerns that the Millennials could wipe the floor of Gen X during the early going this season, we’re only one episode in. Let’s not proclaim them dead just yet.

Episode 1 winners and losers

Winner (Millennial tribe) – Mari Takahashi. We were concerned coming into this game that she would be too eager and try to over-scheme in a sea of chill people, which is why we were so bold as to say she’d be gone pre-jury. Everything she did in the premiere makes us want to reverse that thinking. She was excellent at observing the field, and then realizing what she needed to do to preserve her position in the long-term. By recognizing Hannah’s position and looping her in, we see that she has that innate ability to make others feel good. She plays without making her moves obvious, which is something we can’t quite say about some other people on this season.

Losers (Millennial tribe) – The entire Triforce alliance. First of all, we’re still shocked that video-gamer Mari is not in an alliance named after an iconic “Legend of Zelda” symbol. Anyhow, there is some logic in having a three-person alliance that can be an alliance-within-an-alliance. Figgy, Jay, and Taylor seem to have that in a sense, given that Michelle is an apparent #4. The problem is that there are ten people on the tribe, and it feels as though several people are aware that these three are right! You don’t want to create the perception of closeness, since that way you can bring in other people who think they are your personal #2 or #3. This is what Boston Rob did so well on “Redemption Island.” Here, what we have for now is a disaster in the making.

Winner (Gen X tribe) – Jessica Lewis. Very solid start for someone we were a little worried about pre-game since we couldn’t get a good read on her. Her finding the Legacy Advantage without anyone seemingly noticing shows that she is perceptive and knows to play the game at all times. Meanwhile, we like how she spoke with other people at the camp; she was logical, but did not come across as a game-bot or someone out only for her own self-interest. She’s not in a leadership position, and won’t be an easy target. If she can continue to show this level of focus, she may be able to stick around long enough to where that advantage comes into play.

Loser (Gen X tribe) – David Wright. The good news for David is that he’s still in the game, and we love him from an entertainment perspective. Unfortunately, that’s the only good news for David. The one thing he was supposedly good at in puzzles he bombed at during the challenge, and he also has extremely paranoid energy around camp and spent a lot of time obviously hunting for an immunity idol. None of this is conducive to good gameplay 99% of the time. We do think the Gen X tribe made a mistake in keeping him, mostly because he’s smart enough that if he adapts to the conditions, he could be a very dangerous player down the road.

Want more “Survivor” goodness? Then head over here for our exit interview with Rachel Ako, or click here to get some other TV news on everything we cover via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

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