Survivor S41 – Episode 1 (9.22.2021)

Just noting some of my thoughts on the episode:

  • Sweat v. Savvy Challenge – I thought it was really shocking that none of the tribes chose to attempt the triangle challenge… was really hoping at least one would. David annoyed me right away because initially he shows he understands the game when explaining the concept of it not being a smart move (on day 1 especially) to separate yourself from the tribe, which the 2 players participating in the water challenge would be doing. But when the tribe seems to lean toward the strength option, he offers to help out + says to the cameras that’s because he doesn’t want to be/look like a “weenie” + say “I don’t want to do that.” This shows lack of understanding of the game to me because he had a few other options here – 
  1. He could have deflected the attention off of him, complimenting someone else on how strong they are or could’ve asked about people’s jobs to see if anyone’s work is manual labor, or at least more physically demanding than a medical profession. Be assertive. Not aggressive. Not passive. A-s-s-e-r-t-i-v-e. It’s all about the tone.
  2. WCWD (What Courtney Would Do) – He could have appealed to the team’s egos. I would have fluffed people up feeding them lines like ‘we’re smart, guys, we can figure out this triangle thing if we have all of our brains working on it, one of us is bound to come up with the right number.’ Make them feel smart + confident in their mental skill/ability. Maybe even talk down the other tribes a little bit – I would’ve pointed out that the Blue tribe didn’t even unclip their boat from an anchor before trying to row away in the episode’s kickoff challenge – ‘so we’re obviously smarter than them, right team??’ #outwit (*of course, this is still a risk b/c if you do end up failing the puzzle challenge, there’s a target on your back for advocating for it, but in this case his back was really up against the wall already anyway – plus, if you fail the water challenge it’s most likely you or your partner going home, at least with the triangles, you’d have a better shot at being able to spread the guilt since everyone participated.)

**note: i did attempt the triangle challenge afterwards + came up w/ 23… #fail (won’t spoil it + give the correct answer in case some people didn’t get to give it a try yet 😉 )

  • ‘Come on in, guys!’ – While I have to admit I am a little sad that Jeff won’t be saying this anymore, since it’s really become a tradition spanning 40 seasons/20 years, I get it. I do. I appreciate their efforts to be inclusive + w/ the times, etc. – it’s one of the best things about the show in my opinion – the way they handle social issues w/ class + grace. I read somewhere on Survivor Twitter (sorry, no idea who to credit, if it’s you, LMK! 😊 ), that someone said they wished Jeff didn’t make it such a big deal (which really, I personally don’t believe this was all Jeff’s idea, more-so CBS team working on the show, but I digress..), and I really liked that point because the phrase could have been phased out without smacking us in the face with it…not once, but twice (2 different scenes). I also would’ve preferred even just the second scene, since the first makes it appear that no change will be made, which is a little deceiving since everything flips returning from the commercial break.
  • Tribal Council/Vote – I don’t have a whole lot to say here honestly… I don’t have a terribly great feeling about Green team since they started their very first vote w/ one of the shady, messy, everyone-whispering-to-everyone tribals – obviously not very unified, but we’ll see where they go from here. Only other thing I wanted to say is that when I saw the singular vote for Ricard, I thought Genie was just left out of the loop entirely + threw a random name down, but then I saw another perspective I liked better on Survivor Twitter (again, if you’d like credit, please just LMK!) – that Genie may have been thinking that Sara was going to use her dice roll + wrote that down in case Sara was lucky enough to come out of it w/ individual immunity.
  • Risk/Protect Vote – I knew JD would pick risk + WCWD is the same, b/c… I had absolutely banked on Xander choosing “protect,” which it turns out was not the case at all lol. I wasn’t sure where Danny would land tbh. I had him really in the middle, leaning just ever so slightly over to the risk side. (chose protect) So… this is interesting, because I never would have thought of Xander’s approach….to choose “risk” + then straight up tell your tribe everything… they do seem to genuinely trust him but it’s hard for me to see that working out positively for him. We’ll just have to wait + see on that one….. JD! I knew he would be a terrible liar, so I actually hoped I’d be wrong + he’d play it safe w/ protect, but he was predictable both in his decision + in his storytelling… laughing while you say a lie is a pretty clear/obvious tell, buddy… yikes. (but hey! He did survive this vote, so just goes to show once again, you really never know what’s going to happen in this game!)
  • Critical Mistakes – (overall) 😬🥲
  1. At this point it hurts to watch people go look for an idol on the first day. In this case, they got lucky to have gotten away with it, but just…yikes.
  2. Never get too confident when you’re in the lead in a challenge…you can lose it all in an instant. (👀Green tribe on the puzzle…not opening all their pieces – but even more than that, it was the panic they allowed to set in at the first sign of a setback.)
  3. Yellow tribe voting out their ONLY strong player… yeah, yeah #oldschool opinion, strongly believe in strength focus/keeping tribe strong for at least the first few votes
  • Favorite Players – (***right now!) I really find myself rooting for the people who worked hard to get on the show + prepare themselves as well as they possibly could have. There obviously may be more, as we learn + hear more of the cast’s stories about their lives throughout the game, but so far I’m a big fan of JD + Naseer.
  1. JD because he practiced fire for a year until he could do it well, and having attempted several times myself/knowing how difficult it can be, I truly admire + appreciate his tenacity + passion for the game. And he proved his skills on day one, making fire for the tribe. 🔥We love to see it!!! LFG!!!! 
  2. Naseer said he learned English from watching Survivor…. I have a lot of admiration + huge amount of appreciation for him as well, especially having lived in a foreign country, plus my experience Teaching English a Foreign Language (TEFL), let me tell you… that is straight-up badass + respectable as hell!!! He should be very proud of himself – what an accomplishment!

These 2 players I can say without a doubt are extremely deserving of their well-earned reward….the chance to play the hardest + best game on this mf earth.

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