I have watched almost all seasons of Survivor, so when I heard there would be a Fans vs. Favorites episode, I could not wait to watch! I love to think that some of my Favorite castmates from past seasons have a second chance at the cash. I also was curious to see who would do better, the Fans or the Favorites?
The both had something going for them at the start. The Fans had the advantage of knowing all about the tricks and strategies of the Favorites since they had seen them in previous seasons. The Favorites knew nothing about the Fans and therefore can only guess what their strategies would be. On the other hand, the Favorites had the definite advantage of having been on the show before which the Fans could only imagine.
When the show kicked off, the 10 Fans came to the island with no idea who they would be competing against. The blanket for the other team remained blank until host, Jeff Probst, announced they would be playing against some of their favorite Survivors from past seasons. Out walked:
1. Amanda Kimmel – China
2. James Clement – China
3. Jon Dalton – Pearl Islands
4. Jonathan Penner – Cook Islands
5. Ozzy Lusth – Cook Isles
6. Parvati Shallow – Cook Islands
7. Ami Cusack – Vanuatu
8. Eliza Orlins – Vanuatu
9. Cirie Fields – Panama
10. Yau Man Chan – Fiji
Of those, I was most excited to see James, Ozzy and Yau Man. Those were three survivors who I thought truly deserved another chance! I was least excited to see Johnny Fairplay who really shouldn’t be listed as a Favorite since most viewers hated him.
The teams were sent off immediately to find the first twist of the game – 2 immunity idols which could only be used at the first tribal council. The players took off across the water over to the location where the idols were hidden. Johnny Fairplay was the first to realize what the idols were, but Yau Man tackled him for the idol! Good going Yau Man! He then showed one of the Fans where the other idol was which meant Kathleen from the Fans is now also immune.
Once the tribes split off to different camps, I thought things really got interesting. While the Fans made their hellos and intros, the Favorites quickly began working on their camp. They had food, water, fire and shelter set up within record time. I guess that’s the benefit of having been there before. Both tribes worked together well right off the bat with neither team picking a “leader” as has happened in the past. They just got right to it! What made this even more interesting was the fact that the Favorites instantly started talking alliances. They hadn’t even been to the first challenge yet and they were already discussing who they wanted to be with until the end. Two groups of 4 formed and Johnny Fairplay was playing both sides, as usual.
Then it was finally time for the first challenge. The Favorites were cocky as ever thinking they would win no sweat. However, the Fans started off working together great and managed to win before the Favorites even had a chance! This really shows how previous experience on the show means nothing. Sure the Favorites had some food and shelter, but they couldn’t even win the first challenge. I am routing for the fans all the way now to show those cocky Favorites that they aren’t the best.
Back at camp, the Favorites were plotting who they would vote off when suddenly Johnny Fairplay had a change of heart. He said HE wanted to go home and that since he is going to be a father now he is thinking differently. Was this for real? Or was it a trick? I guess it doesn’t really matter if he meant it or not because they ended up sending him home. He stated in his interview that was what he wanted, but who knows if that was actually the case. I tend to think he was planning to backstab someone and ended up getting voted out instead. We will never know!
This premiere was a really great way to start the excitement that is needed for this show. This should be one of the most watched seasons do to the added dynamics by having returning castmates vs Fans of the show. It will be interesting to see if alliances form across the line of Fan and Favorite, or if the Favorites will always want to get rid of the Fans and vice versa. The previews show there will be many new twists and turns, such as two people will go to Exile Island instead of just one.
If you missed the first episode, see if you can catch it on repeat somewhere! Otherwise, you didn’t miss a ton so you can still start watching. Catch the next episode coming next Thursday on CBS. Enjoy!!