'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' Premiere Recap: What's Love Got to Do With It?
This is the 27th season of "Survivor." Let's repeat that: the 27th season. Crazy! Yet, the reality show is still every bit as compelling as it was when it debuted in 2000.
A lot of that credit goes to the different twists that the game introduces over time. This season, for the first time, returning players will play with (and against) their loved ones — wives, brothers, nieces, boyfriends, and children.
And judging by the premiere episode, the concept should make for a dramatic, fascinating season.
Love Is in the Air
The 10 returning players and their loved ones arrive, two by two, to different spots on the island. Each pair will spend the night together before starting the game. The next morning, they meet host Jeff Probst and find out that instead of playing together, they'll be playing against each other.
Oh, but Jeff has an even bigger twist: Each tribe will vote someone out right there, right then! Yikes.
The loved ones overwhelmingly pick on Laura, Rupert's wife, which he correctly interprets as "a smack against me."
Meanwhile, the returning players split between Candice ("Cook Islands" and "Heroes vs. Villains") and Laura M. ("Samoa"), with the former getting the most votes.
As the first two eliminated people stand by Jeff, he drops another big revelation: Redemption Island is in play this season. And Candice and Laura are going there — unless their loved ones want to take their places.
Rupert immediately steps forward, but Jeff warns him that if he does, Laura will take his spot on his tribe. Tina tries to convince Rupert not to do it, but the guy dotes on his wife. No way is he letting her go to Redemption Island.
As for Candice, she and her husband, John, decide that she should go up against Rupert, so he remains with his tribe.
She and Rupert head off to Redemption Island, and everyone else marches off to their camps.
Building Shelter (and Alliances)
Over at Galang's (the returning players) camp, everyone gets to work — they make fire right away and start on their shelter. Gervase is pleased with his tribe, but he wanted to play with Rupert and not Laura. So, at the first opportunity, she's probably going to go.
At Tadhana, the newbies are also working hard, but to less effect. They don't make fire immediately, and after a long night, are feeling the effects. But Brad (husband of Monica from "One World") is less concerned with their creature comforts and more with forming an alliance. Monica was a smart cookie on her season, and apparently she advised her hubby to start talking to people right away.
Brad scuttles around to align with the other four guys in the tribe. They seem amenable, though Caleb and Vytas are already wise to the fact that Brad just means to use them until he can re-team with Monica.
As Galang sits around their fire, Colton is actually trying to make friends. Last time around, on "One World," he made a lot of enemies with his snarky and rude comments. So, this time, he wants to form stronger connections, and opens up about his sexual orientation. As he starts to bawl, Monica and the other ladies comfort him.
"We haven't walked a mile in his shoes," Monica says. "If he's changed, wouldn't that be a beautiful story? But then again, it's Colton Cumbie."