Thursday, September 27, 2007

Season Premiere Review: Survivor - China (Season 15)

Survivor: China [s15 ep01]: "A Chicken's a Little Bit Smarter"

*** Spoiler Warning ***

Key Plot Points of Season Premiere

  • This year takes place in China. Near the beginning of the episode, the sixteen players attended a Buddhist welcome ceremony. Leslie, a Christian radio talk show host, chose to leave the ceremony because it felt too religious to her. Afterwards, Jeff Probst told the contestants that, as a reflection of giving up personal possessions in Buddhism, they would have to leave behind all of their luggage and go to their respective camps with nothing but the clothes on their back.

  • The two tribes are: Zhan Hu, meaning Fighting Tiger, wearing yellow; and Fei Long, meaning Flying Dragon, wearing red.

  • Everyone was given a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War and was told that reading it would give them ideas how to survive the game.

  • For the challenge, the players were provided with their running shoes from their previously abandoned luggage, and they were allowed to wear their running shoes back to camp with them.

  • Fei Long won the elaborate reward/immunity challenge.

  • In the first Tribal Council, Zhan Hu sent home Chicken, the old farmer from Virginia.

  • Part of the reward challege Fei Long won was flint for fire. In a rare move for the series, Jeff allowed losing tribe Zhan Hu to take their Tribal Council torches back with them, so now both teams have fire. On top of that, he also gave them free flint.

Opinions and Observations

  • I don't like that the players have to wear the clothes on their back. When they did that in Pearl Islands (season seven), some people ended up wearing weird things or nothing at all. For instance, Rupert, one of the most popular players of Survivor history, had to wear a skirt made out of a dress that a female player donated to him. Sure enough, in the first episode of Survivor China, people are walking around in their underwear.

  • Courtney, the New York City waitress, is obnoxious, unpleasant, and self-centered.

  • Jean-Robert desperately needs a belt for his pants.

  • Ashley, a WWE female wrestler, has the most annoying lip piercings. They look like tusks.

  • Dave is proving to be underhanded already. He assured Ashley she shouldn't worry about being on the chopping block just because she was sick, then in an interview, he said she would be the first to go.

  • I like that Leslie approached James to try to get to know him. He's a professional grave digger and is so used to working alone that he came off as being very shy.

Hopes, Concerns, or Expectations for New Season

  • I've read that the new twist this season is that tribes get to kidnap or capture players from opposing teams as part of their reward for challenges. I look forward to seeing how that affects the game and hope it's more interesting than Exile Island was.

  • So far, several players are annoying. Granted, it's always tough to find likable players this early in the game, but I don't get a great impression of anyone. I'm a little worried that this will be a boring and/or frustrating season. But, we'll see...

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