Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Join Now
PetHero: Save 25% at the vet; get toys, treats, and a 24/7 lost pet conciergeLearn More


Survivor season premiere recap: Dim Pickin's

Tribes formed on the fly in the first few minutes of the new season emphasize the importance of team selection, as the hapless Fangs have a rough time

Posted on

Corinne Kaplan
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

What up, Survivor freaks? It’s been a few months. How was your summer? What’s that…? Me? I didn’t do much. Grew my hair out. Got made fun of for growing my hair out. Cut my hair. Oh, and that’s right, went to freakin’ Africa! Didn’t go for myself, mind you. Rather, I went for you, dear reader. Went to bring you deep inside the production we all know and love called Survivor. Ever wanted to roam around the art department, pay a visit to Survivor medical, hang out in Jeff Probst’s tent (no, not in that way…sickos!), and see where the contestants stay before the game starts? If the answer to any of those is yes, then you can click here to check out my often-embarrassing video blogging from Gabon. And my apologies in advance for that one shirtless shot of me in there. It’s far less riveting than the one of female contestants feeling each other’s boobs that I captured on my visit to the Kota camp. (No joke. See for yourself. They were also checking each other’s crotches for ticks, but even I couldn’t bring myself to film that. All I can say is: Best. Camp visit. Ever.) But we’re not done with just that. Before we get to last night’s episode, allow me to tease you that there are two special treats waiting for you at the end of this Survivor Watch. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you need to make it through my inane ramblings first. But much like Led Zeppelin, I’m ready to ramble on. So let’s do it!

In case you didn’t realize that Survivor was now being shot in HD, Mark Burnett and company made sure to milk every nature shot they could in glorious high definition. We saw hippos. We saw elephants. We saw chimps, buffalo, gorillas. Hell, I half expected a damn unicorn to fly across the screen leaving a magical rainbow trail behind it. But you know what? I don’t blame them. It looked dope. So after getting through the gratuitous nature porn, we finally started the game. I was at the marooning so I can offer a few tidbits as to what we didn’t see on TV. First off, when Bob and Gillian did rock, paper, scissors to see who picked first, it turned into a comedy of errors. Instead of showing her pick on 3, as instructed by Probst, Gillian kept going on 4, as in “rock, paper, scissors, go!” The whole thing seemed to go on forever. Something you did see on screen, however, was some seriously awful tribe selections. Picking Susie while Marcus, Charlie, Matty, Dan, and others were still available? When the schoolyard pick ’em was done, I sat there on the African savannah, looked at the two tribes, and one word went through my mind: bathroom. That’s because I needed to pee and there wasn’t exactly a bathroom handy. But another word went through my mind as well: Palau. It appeared we could be on the verge of another tribal annihilation like we saw back in season 10.

NEXT: Geekfest