Hi, everybody! Wow, that may have sounded a bit Dr. Nick Riviera of me, but I’m just so gosh darn excited to be back. Another season of Survivor is upon us. Season 30! Jeff Probst and I used to joke that we would still be talking about this show when we were both in the old age home, and every passing year that joke seems less and less funny. How has Survivor lasted this long and managed to stay fresh 30 installments in? By rebooting each and every season with a new cast and new twists. This anniversary campaign brings us the intriguing and slightly confusing White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar vs. Ring Around the Collar. (Hey, Tide sponsorship, what are you going to do? It was either that or a tribe called Sprint 4G.)
All this collar business got me wondering: What collar am I? Am I White Collar because I work in an office in New York City? Am I Blue Collar because I… okay, there is no chance I am Blue Collar. Or am I No Collar because I very rarely wear a shirt with any collar at all? Plus, I like to put feathers in my hair and creep out on any woman who even talks to another dude. Oh, wait—sorry, that’s Vince. (For the record, Jeff Probst told me I was a White Collar, which supremely bummed me out.)
Whatever. They’re just labels, people! I mean, Garrett was on the Brains tribe for crissakes. But Probst has been very high on this cast, so I was excited to see what we had in store. I was supposed to go on location for this season but had to back out at the last minute due to some other work commitments. DAMN YOU, WORK! So without further ado, let’s recap this son of a bitch!
The start of a new Survivor season is always tremendous because it affords contestants a chance to brag about how badass they are for no reason. I never really understand why they do this other than a desperate attempt to be seen as a “character,” but I always find it hilarious. Not as hilarious, however, as on Big Brother where they always manage to work their occupation into their smack-talk (sample: “My name is Kent. I’m an 8th grade math teacher, and I’m ready to take the competition to school!”) Sure enough, our very first comment of the season comes from So, who brags about “making everyone under me cry at some point” and then claims she is the devil. (Is that a good thing now?) Max follows that up by proudly informing us that, “I step on people whose assistance I need to get to that next plateau.” (That seems rude.) And then there is Dan, who proclaims, “I plan on being remembered. One way or another, you will not forget me.” Is that a threat? Because it kind of sounds like a threat. And does that threat involve unfortunate underwear choices?
After Joaquin secures the female fan favorite vote by talking about his love of “loose women,” and Rodney compares himself to filet mignon and the rest of the cast to Steak-umms, we can finally dispense with the pointless and nonsensical boasting and get to the stuff that actually matters… like Jeff Probst being almost completely swallowed by the surf. While the host usually likes to go high on a mountain peak or dangling out of a helicopter for his signature “one Survivor” line, I like him going all Poseidon-mode down in the water. Call it our season’s first twist!
So all the contestants finally arrive via trucks onto a beach where Probst explains the whole collar conceit. And then… another twist! Each tribe has to pick someone to represent them, and then a second person to join the person they already picked, because why not make this even more confusing? And those pairs are Joaquin and So from WC, Dan and Mike from BC, and ocean sandwich-making Will and Jenn from NC. What will they do? That twist is waiting for them back at their camps, so the three tribes then all dramatically walk in different directions (before being pulled back by production so they can be driven to their respective beaches… which would have looked considerably less dramatic).
NEXT: Food or clue?