Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, episode 2 (or: "One Voice... as long as it is a man's")

Here's our live chat recap of last week's Survivor.

(In which, once again, it becomes a discussion of the institutionalized sexism of Survivor at the end. This is not a rare discussion. It is more observational than militant rant-y, though.)

me: hola
Shanna: hola
me: yes!
Shanna: ok! ready when you are

[previously: Jeff describes the “Heroes” and “Villains”]
me: Honor and Integrity my ass, Jeff. [re: Heroes, of course]
There was ruthless cunning and backstabbing on both sides, dude. You can't win without it.
The villains were just more obnoxious, generally.
Shanna: Yeah, as shown three seconds later when JT is making multiple alliances.
Which, you know, is part of the game.
me: right. and that was how JT won the first time around!!
Shanna: Yeah!
me: Jeff always rewrites the story during the recaps.
Shanna: And Coach made "gallant" advances towards Jerri? That's what that was?
me: Likeability has nothing to do with backstabbing, really.
"Gallant" .... yeah. "dorky" maybe
Shanna: I thought they were dorky, totally
me: and you know what? the tribe voted out Sugar not because she was solely responsible for teh challenge loss but because she was annoying!

[back at Camp Villain]
me: Jerry and "Coach" bonding
he totally seems more "normal" right now
when he's not posing and crap
Shanna: It's pretty bad if people who have been there before and know how bad it can get are complaining a lot by day 4
me: well, because "villains" are apparently lazy and do no cooperate
Shanna: Why are they creating and recreating and recreating the shelter?
me: because they are stupid
ooh, foreshadowing [about Boston Rob working so hard he will drop dead or something]
Shanna: Hmm, foreshadowing, Courtney?
me: LOL
I love their bickering
triumphant heroes!! [the music reminds us how heroic it is at the Heroes camp]
Shanna: (I am trying to write more complete sentences, for the GOOD OF THE INTERNET!)
me: ha! don't worry about that.
Shanna: Yeah, triumphant heroes who had to go to tribal first!
me: the internet can suck it
Shanna: not exactly that triumphant
me: for serious
ooh, Rupert is conniving against Steph!
according to Jeff.
who makes up the survivor narrative after the fact
lol. I love how Steph just looked crazy batting bugs away for second.
I'm kind of glad Steph is calling it out that Rupert is playing up the good guy bit
Shanna: Yeah, it is going to be easy for the villains to live up to their stereotype... the heroes, not so much. unless they all wind up going home before the merge! i mean, to be a winner in survivor, you have to do SOME of the villain things
me: right
Shanna: otherwise you most likely won't make it

[Villain Camp, Boston Rob is trying to get his tribe to work together]
me: boston Rob, you know there are no diplomats allowed on the VILLAINS tribe!!
dun dun dunnnn
dramatic camera trickery! [as Rob collapses, which we don’t really see, there is a fakey “Rob’s POV” shot]
Shanna: so, he just collapsed in the jungle?
me: so they would make it seem....
Shanna: oh man, you know it is bad if the person says "get help"
me: this is ridiculous
Shanna: i mean, they never want help
me: no kidding.
but WTH? Jerri is all "please open your eyes!"
Shanna: wtf!
me: hmmm
Shanna: man, what could have happened to him
me: Jeff looked like he was going to cry! [as they preview what is to come after the commercial]
me: Jeff does not want to see Rob suffer!
Shanna: wait, no commercial?
me: no, it was a commercial, but before that they showed a little preview with Jeff and the medics... did you see that part? [there were some technical difficulties with our recordings]
Shanna: all i saw was them flashing the light in his eyes, jeff saying "can you hear me" and then it went to a "up next" thing and rob couldn't drink properly and he said "i think.... it's getting the best of me"
me: ok. yeah. that part.
Shanna: did Jeff say "i don't want to see you suffer"?
i don't think i saw that
me: no. I made that part up.
Shanna: ahhhhh
confusion on MY part
me: because jeff looked so upset!
me: so, he's not dying, like the dudes from last season? that's good.
but I don't think being unconscious is a good sign
aww, he's apologizing to Jeff. He's not being a good villain.
Shanna: What??
He's like, I love and respect it too much!
me: lol
ha. he came to the conclusion I did. he's got to just own being on the villain tribe. I still don't think he's as much a villain as some of those other dickheads
He and Jeff should hug it out.
aww, the other dudes ARE hugging him. there is a lot of villain love.
maybe they will appreciate him more now.
Shanna: yeah, he was just kind of cocky, not really villainous
me: and, you know, considering how useful and strategic he is, he's one of the few who at least sort of deserves to be a little cocky

[Challenge time!]
Shanna: yeah
i remember this challenge [moving giant blocks on a course and then assembling them in a puzzle/staircase]
me: yeah, me too.
Shanna: so, no reward challenge
oh, ok
this IS reward
and immunity
me: hmmm
Courtney's all "woo hoo, I'm sitting out!"
Shanna: pause!
ok. paused
Shanna: ok, where are you, what just happened?
john is switching to another recording
because this one is terrible
me: Rupert was whining about sitting out because of his broken toe and they are about to start the challenge.
Shanna: i heard rupert say "i don't think i can run as fast" and then it jumped ahead a bunch.
me: ok.
Shanna: so that's basically where you are
me: like right there is where I am, yeah
me: ooh, I like when we hear them strategize about the challenge
Shanna: go heroes go!
me: is "strategize" a word? it keeps looking wrong and gets the spell check squiggle
Shanna: i feel like i have to root for heroes, even though i like a few of the "villians" too
me: yeah.
me too
I think currently my favorites are villains, though, but I still want to root for the heroes
Shanna: strategize... yeah, i get the squiggle too, but says it is a word
me: heh. ok.
I like how coach and jerri were totally paired up, too. like this is a thing.
oh shit. Parv got nailed in the face
Shanna: ow, that box SLAMMED parvati in the face
she recovered quickly though
me: I bet she doesn't whine about her busted face like rupert and his toe
Shanna: might bruise though!
me: heh. I love how they all are ripping on Rupert and his toe, too
Shanna: amanda, smashed between the boxes!
they are getting beat up!
me: no kidding
don't drop the boxes on people!
Shanna: man, they suck at this
me: Jeff is so disappointed with the heroes
Shanna: ow!
dang, so much pain
me: go Rob. [hoisting a giant block up on his back basically by himself]
Shanna: this doesn't seem like it should be so hard to figure out. i mean, lifting, yes, that is hard
but dudes
me: I Love this [the Heroes are bickering]
Shanna: why can't you figure out the word "HEROES"
me: we never get to see the fighting [during challenges, to this degree anyway]
you know it has to happen more, but we never see it.
Shanna: yeah
[Heroes lose, James is all pissed off about how they didn’t all just silently follow JT, who they had sort of appointed leader for the challenge since he’d done it before]
me: James likes to be a follower. sometimes that's good. someone has to follow. but come on.
Shanna: true
how is Steph the problem if she was the only one who Survived her tribe?
[back at Heroes Camp, James is plotting against Steph, justifying it by the fact that on her first season she was the only one left on her Tribe]
Shanna: um, james, most of the time they don't let it go that far. they did it that one season, but they don't usually let it get down to one - they shake it up somehow
and yeah, i agree, she is not the problem if she survived
me: he just is threatened by strong women
Shanna: yeah
i wish they would lose rupert too
he is annoying
they keep saying he is a fan favorite, but i don't believe it!
me: no kidding.
Shanna: he is whiny and not cute and cheerful like he was at the beginning of his season
me: they said that before and bah whatever. srsly
me: I mean, sometimes they should butt out of the puzzle solving and follow someone. but sometimes others have another perspective that is better than the "leader" during a challenge. you can't ignore that.
Shanna: man, james is having a FIT [now he’s literally yelling at Steph at camp for their challenge loss]
me: um, James? you've only lost twice. that's not a lot so far. [He says he’s never lost so much in his life]
that was an anti-pep talk
Shanna: yeah, he is not exactly losing constantly. and i imagine they must have lose SOME challenges in his season
me: look at how they all have to hold their tongues so they don’t come across as non-heroic meanies.

[Villain Camp]
ooh, villain chickens
Shanna: oooh, Russell is threatened by Boston Rob
me: why is he chasing it with a spear
well, he got it. ? [there are “wild” chickens, and Russell literally chases them with a spear, and he comes back with a chicken, but we don’t actually see him capture/kill the chicken…]
Shanna: yeah. but, fish ARE "real food" [and he was saying how before they only had fish which wasn’t “real” food]
i mean, chicken is good
me: yeah
Shanna: but fish is too

[Heroes Camp]
ugh, James, get off this "steph is terrible" thing
it is not her fault
me: James is totally going after Steph. wtf. like it is her fault. also, she did a second Surivvor and did better, right?
Shanna: damn, shut up about it
yeah, she did
me: he needs to stfu
Shanna: oooh, JT is sad to lose his two-timing alliances!
it is not your fault for not pushing harder to be in the challenge. well, you didn't push, for one,and also IT DIDN'T MATTER
[Amanda is suggested as someone to boot]
Shanna: so, wait, why does amanda have to go? just because she's the least "strong" person on the other alliance who they think they can't convert?
i mean, not that she has to go, just that that is who tom said should go instead of steph
me: I think because she has a lot of alliance buddies and stuff? I didn't really get that either.
I think she should go because I never really liked her. heh.
Shanna: yeah, i guess there is probably more reason that they are just not showing us because it's not that important
i don't mind her
i mean, at this point i am more annoyed with rupert or james
me: and even though Steph got cocky her second season, I don’t think she deserves to be targeted right now so they should vote out someone else! and Amanda is boring to me.
Shanna: but they would never get rid of james
yeah. steph has really not done anything yet to deserve this
me: I'd rather it be stupid James or Rupert to go, both of whom I've never understood the total love for them
Shanna: james just has a thing against her
Shanna: i remember james getting super annoying the first time around too
me: right. like at first, I liked James. and the world fell in love with him, too. but then everyone else ignored how annoying and sexist he was!
Shanna: yeah, exactly
me: Candace is on the bottom of either alliance because she is kind of a nobody in this season
Shanna: i love how there are clear, fairly even sides already
i mean, it's like a week in
not even
me: yeah
it is hard to root for anyone in particular on this tribe... I usually root for the thinkers, and they are all doing a pretty good job of not being idiots about all this
Shanna: yeah
me: ooh, suspense!
Shanna: i like cirie's practicality [teaming up with Candace, who assumed Cirie was tight with former tribemates James and Amanda, but Cirie points out that Amanda had to betray her in the end…]
me: no kidding. that is part of what makes her awesome
Shanna: "as long as it's not one of us", i basically don't give a fuck

[Tribal Council]
me: oh, JT, you know they are not holding you responsible for this. [he pretends that, as the pseudo leader, he is accountable for the loss]
Shanna: blah blah blah "one voice"
oh james
me: one voice = apple this time
Shanna: damn, he is an ASS
me: James is an idiot
Shanna: "it's not about you, no matter how much you want it to be" [James to Steph when she tries to defend herself against him]
me: does he believe she is jinxed or something? [then he blames it all on her, bringing up being last on her tribe her first season, and basically saying it IS all about her]
this is exactly how he did it last time, too.
Shanna: ok, dude, YOU are the one who made it about her
me: attacking and then denying
Shanna: thank you, Colby [he stands up for Steph!]
me: NICE
I love this.
Shanna: this is awesome
me: THANK YOU, TOM, FOR CALLING HIM OUT [Tom defends her, too]
He [James] is a bully.
Shanna: dang
it would be the best thing ever to lose james tonight
i mean, for awesomeness
me: no kidding
Shanna: not for physical challenges,
but who cares!
me: but they didn't even mention him, and so it is not happening
Shanna: they are fine with the initial physical stuff so far
they die on puzzles
which don't require MUSCLES
[the threats of previous affiliations/alliances are discussed]
me: this is the thing, too... even those who played together have had to betray each other, even though they worked well together.
Shanna: yeah
me: there is only one winner each season... so....
Shanna: they are not all besties just because they had a season together
me: I was just about to say that exactly!
it bothers me that they are targeting amanda as an alternative, though, instead of one of these loser dudes, like James (who is a bully) and Rupert (who is useless and whiny)
Shanna: haha
me: it is this institutionalized sexism again
Shanna: yeah
i hate that rupert didn't even come up
me: why are the options always women at the beginning? unless there is something egregious
Shanna: yeah
me: god I can't even stand to look at James
Shanna: yeah, he is only going to get worse
me: it is totally unfair he gets away with being that way and it is down to Steph and Amanda for no good reasons!!
Shanna: i hope it's amanda just so he doesn't get his way
Booo [but it is Steph voted out]
me: blerg
I wished it was Amanda just so James doesn't win this one, too.
Shanna: oh my f-ing god
James [Steph addresses the Tribe, and James attacks her again!]
me: I wish Steph was all "FUCK YOU"
Shanna: is
me: I guess at least this time around you could argue that Steph and Amanda are targeted because they both made it far TWICE, so they are threats. unlike other season where it feels like women are the default early boots
but, yeah,
like, I'm glad Colby and Tom stuck up for Steph, but also, I hate that they had to.
and I know it isn't exactly this, but the caretaker men had to defend her, and that is so uncool that that was necessary
it would have been cooler if a woman stood up for her, too
you know?
Shanna: yeah, totally - it does suck that no women stood up for her. although i guess they all voted against her
me: even so, it was mostly strategic, and not personal... if I were one of them, I'd hope I'd have said something, because him attacking her had nothing to really do with the vote [I’m hoping maybe they did, but it wasn’t shown]
Shanna: yeah
me: if I were on Survivor, I wonder if I'd be able to not get myself in trouble calling that shit out. I would not be long for the game, I think (well, for that and a thousand other reasons)
but I totally would probably come across as the crazy feminist lady
Shanna: yeah, but you know there'd be a big contingent of women watching that would be rooting for that!
me: I kind of wonder why we don't see more of that
you see hints of it every once in a while, I think more so in earlier seasons.... but it never really comes out
I'm just remembering how angry James made us in the past, too. how he totally spoke to women in ways he would not speak to men.
I bet we could go back and read the chats from his earlier seasons and see that
and I bet in real life, he's one of those guys who comes across as polite to women, because he's raised to treat them a certain way generically, like holding doors and saying "ma'am" and stuff, but in situations where they challenge him, he is condescending and rude, and then you reinterpret his previous politeness as patronizing
Shanna: totally
i'd say that sums up his whole relationship with women
me: I am afraid for next episode, where they show everyone kind of ganging up against him for being so out of control and "brutish" I think was the word used.
not only does it seem like he's going to be even more of an asshole, I'm afraid of the possible racist readings of it, even if it is totally based on his behavior.
Shanna: yeah
me: I don't think it will go unnoticed how this season does not represent minorities well. even the selections from the "race wars" [Cook Islands, when they started out divided by race] (heh) season are white!
Shanna: heh
me: according to wikipedia, they did ask Yau-Man back but he declined. also, evil Corrine from the Gabon season had to turn down the offer because of work, and crazy Shane was replaced by stupid Russell from last season!
Shanna: ahh
nice to know that russell wasn't in their original plan
well, i guess, how could he be
but still
me: well, I guess they left the option to swap out someone from Samoa at the time

Thus, we end our discussion of episode 2 of Heroes vs. Villains! (Pretty anti-climactic, huh?)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yes. I am one of the 16 people who still watch Survivor.

I have been watching Survivor for the past 10 years.

When it first came on, I was a little put off by it. I thought it was gimmicky and stupid, but since it first aired in the summer, when there was relatively little of interest new on TV, I watched it casually and I had to admit it was a little bit interesting. When the second season came on (Australia), I was back at college and my roommates wanted to watch, so it became part of our weekly Thursday night TV ritual.

I graduated college and decided that without my roommies watching with me, I would give up on Survivor, so I did not watch for a couple of seasons. But, eventually, something brought me back to it. Then, my friend Shanna became a regular watcher, and we decided to watch and discuss it together. Over the years, I moved away, then moved back to town, and she moved away, but we kept up our tradition of watching Survivor "together" via the wonders of the internet. We watch together every week (sometimes when it is first broadcast, sometimes time-shifted due to scheduling), and chat online with our comments and observations. A couple of years ago, we started sharing these chats with members of another, private online community, for our amusement (let's face it, random, stream-of-consciousness observations about episodes of Survivor are not everyone's cup o' tea).

Today, I am starting an experiment: Sharing our chats with you, the rest of the internet.

Behold our random, poorly typed/edited SURVIVOR CHAT for Survivor 20, Heroes vs. Villains, Episode 1!

me:doo doooooo
Shanna:the world's most BEAUTIFUL OCEAN
me:previously.... all these people were on survivor before. heh.
dun dun dunnnn
ominous helicopters
Shanna:hidden faces!
not hidden!
me:heh . as if anyone did not go online and see who was on this season.
me:I wish snarky Courtney was not a villain. although I think she'd rather be one than a hero.
Shanna:heh, "google it" [Russell says villains are smart, and then tells us to use google that fact]
I know. already russell is an ass.
Shanna:google "villians always win"
aww, james
me:and obsessed with apples
Shanna:awww, tom
me:lol. Boston Rob.
I kind of want to hug all of them.
I don't remember Sandra being that mean.
Shanna:man, can you imagine coming back after 10 years? [re: Colby commenting on it being almost 10 years since his first Survivor appearance]
cirie: nice ganster
me:Gangsta in an Oprah suit?
me:Colby is an actor now. He's gone far since his Survivor debut 10 years ago!

Shanna:lo lay lo lay lo lay la la
really, this season cannot suck as much as last season, no matter what

me:I would not want to sit in one of those scary copters.
Shanna:no! too open!
me:Oh, "Coach". posing already. douche.
Shanna:lol, russel is starstruck over boston rob
me:all the other Survivors are like "Who is this Russell a-hole?"
me:meh. Amanda. no, I don't know about the knot in your stomach before you bungee jump. thanks.
me:I know!!
Shanna:random OTHER helicopters
me:heroes! villains!!
Shanna:heh, pummeled with sand [the villain copters descend to the beach, where the heroes already have arrived, and get pelted with the stirred-up sand]
I love the villains making their entrances to the heroes.
Shanna:ah, i didn't realize there were 4 total helicopters
I kind of love the villains. I hate them, but I still want to hug them all.
me:I hope they all give Jeff shit.
Shanna:so, the villians all kind of wore red
but the heroes seem to have no theme
recent seasons they've tried to color code them, so I don't know what is up with that
Shanna:yeah, i've noticed that.... just find it weird they heroes are not all blue or something
me:Man. I am not on the Rupert train.
Shanna:i guess they kind of are
me:yeah. I was surprised they didn't make them all wear blue.
it is less obvious.
Shanna:yeah, rupert was nice in his season, but meh
me:he was kind of a whiny baby after a while.
dawww, JT
me:all the heroes are going to be all "ooh, perspective, noble blah blah bla" and the villains are so not going to be that way. :)
OMG that is awesome symbolism. Hee [Jerri is wearing a villainous black hat, Colby is wearing a heroic white one]
me:Blindsides does not equal being a villain!
Shanna:heh, courtney
Shanna:yeah, really!
me:Jeff, I am bored with this. move on. [he keeps talking to the Survivors about being back, blah blah blah fishcakes]
Shanna:yeah, time to move on
me:I think Boston Rob has a point. I'll give the villains the early advantage.
i think there are plenty of egos on the villians
me:but they will have other, crazier ego problems!!
me:ooh, challenge! [first challenge time!]
Shanna:they all know fire is important
Shanna:remember, jeff, they have PLAYED BEFORE
he will! at tribal!
we will get the speech!
bouncy cirie
me:yeah, I know, I know.
Parvati is badass
me:hee. boobs.
me:nice take down cirie!
Shanna:this is crazy
I love this.
I would love to watch this in a group, like at a bar
Shanna:aww, steph [in a lot of pain, having her shoulder dislocated already in the battle!]
me:injuries already!
Shanna:no wonder! that was rough!
eh, just pop it back in
me:no shit. they are trying to kill these people already!
Stephenie is one of the few wearing a sensible swimsuit top, too
Shanna: yeah, she knows the drill [the medics are putting her shoulder back in]
me:Jeff is helping
yuck. that was a nice sound effect. [horrible popping sound which may have been real, but I want to believe the editors embellished a bit]
Shanna:jeff is like, DAYUM
me:I think Jeff is a little turned on by that.
jerri also has a sensible suit
unlike amanda
randy and jt
Shanna:go jt go!
me:I am not surprised by that outcome.
ooh, new strategy. "Coach" playing defense
Shanna:he's [Jeff] like, i have to keep talking because it is taking them a long time to find it
me:oops. didn't work, though.
Shanna:pile of guys
lol, dragging coach
me:I think coach was just feeling Colby up a little
Shanna:play fair! [Jeff says… schoolmarmishly, but I don’t think very sincerely. He loves the rough play.]
me:awww, no way [Coach lets Colby drag him all the way and then scores the point!]
Shanna:oh tyson
me:oh, Tyson is still an ass
Shanna:i hate that guy as much now as i did before
me:Sugar vs Courtney!
these are all the tiny women.
Shanna:he just plays up his assholery
go ladies!
go sugar!
me:I don't think they can even lift the damn bag.
me:they are all scrappy little women
me:Sandra undid Sugar's top! hee
Shanna:undid her top?
go sugar!
Lol [Sugar does not let Sandra undoing her top stop her, and she decides to grab the bag, sprint topless to the mat for the point, and do a double-fisted flip-off in topless victory!]
me:she is a pinup model. she rules
that was awesome
Shanna:best fight ever
me:I want to rewatch that later
I think James should just hold down his two opponents at the same time.
he could do it.
Shanna:go james!
yay heroes! [They win reward!]
me: yay!!
me:aww, be sad Rupert [I did not know why he was sad]
me:oh, he's injured. my bad
Shanna:beat them up right away
me:I thought he was sad about something.
meh, just a toe.
me:relocated shoulder
me:I give that win to Sugar. Heh.

[back at camp after commercial]
me:I am glad the tribe names are not kooky native words
Shanna:heh, for once
me:I think I will like the villains teasing each other and being crazy
me:I am already sick of Russell.
Shanna:who the heck is danielle
me:she apparently was on Exile Island
me:I sort of remember her.
Who does Russell think he is? You know? blerg. [being all about being awesome and finally playing with people smart enough for him and how he’s the best and all that nonsense]
Shanna:lol, russell. gettin in with the ladies again
these ladies should be smarter
me:I don't know about this Danielle, but Parvati is smarter than Russell for sure.
Shanna:ok, thank you parvati
me:she knows how to play him.
triumphant hero music!
[at the heroes camp]
Shanna:collaborative decision making!
Shanna:very hero like
me:its all rainbows and unicorns at the hero tribe
and chickens!
Shanna:goofy music!
it will be fun to watch them with a chicken
me:how are there chickens there?
Shanna:people are not good at catching chickens
me:did Shambo leave them on the island??
or maybe they are island chickens
me:surround the chickens!!
Shanna:better than "chase them!"
me:lol. yay! they got the dumbass chickens!
me:I think the producers set them loose for the heroes

[Villain Camp]
me:oh, I'm sure you had forgotten your awesomeness, "Coach"
they needed to remind you [Coach says something about how he’d forgotten about how awesome he was pwning Colby at the challenge, but his tribe kept talking about it… yeah]
me:ewww. Jeri hearts Coach!
Shanna:they look like they should be together
me:ewww. and Coach hearts Jerri@!
Didn't Coach have a girlfriend?
Shanna:1st survivor romance of the season
me:the villains are going to be awesomely relentless with each other [They are already playfully teasing each other, since they are the meanie, taunting villains!]
Shanna:his girlfriend probably left him after he got a big survivor head
see, JT was also a big double dealer but that did not make him a villain
they all had to do that kind of thing and blindside people.
me:it is interesting how some of them have played together and how that works out
it is also very interesting how they are actually strategizing for real now, since they have learned
me:final tribal will be very interesting
Shanna:for sure
it will be interesting to see who makes it far
it has been SIX years since Boston Rob played??
holy shit
time flies!
me:Boston Rob has the work ethic [he complains everyone is just hanging around, posing, etc, and they need to try to make fire and not have a bad shelter]
uh. you CAN make fire without flint, dude. [Randy scoffs and whines at Rob suggesting they try to make fire without winning fire tools, etc]
Randy is such a whiny ass
Shanna:yeah, that guy is annoying
me:I would love to see Boston Rob triumph at this
Shanna:go boston rob
me:they are all watching like it is a miracle [Boston Rob successfully builds a fire-making doohickey and makes fire!!]
nice job
Shanna:it is kind of cute that he and amber are still married
not like, a quickie reality romance
it has to work out sometimes!
Coach is a Boston Rob fanboy
Russell is jealous!
I hope he gets voted out first.
Shanna:yeah, maybe russell was so pissed at tribal for last season because of how he performed this season
that's what i was thinking, too

[Back at camp Heroes]
me:I think it is hard to break a toe in multiple places. [Rupert goes on about how his toe is broken in 3 places or something, and then spends a zillion years wasting their magnesium and flint unsuccessfully making fire]
Oh, Rupert. don't waste the magnesium and flint!
he's got a martyr complex
Shanna:man, try to sound A LITTLE MORE EXCITED [Someone else makes fire, Rupert does not seem grateful]
me:he's Eeyore

[Camp Villains]
me:Boston Rob totally knows all their egos. heh.
Shanna:so funny
me:He will play them.
IRON SHARPENS IRON [Coach wants to be BFFs with Boston Rob]

Sugar is on the prowl
Shanna:awww, colby is like not interested
me:I think Colby gave the brushoff to Jerri during their first season, too, which sort of played into her villain-ness
me:are they going to waste a chicken this early?
ugh. JT killed that chicken with his bare hands!
sexy! ... not really

Shanna:oh, well, they got fire on their own
which makes them a little more awesome
damn, that was a snarky tree mail
I hope the villains lose and vote off Russell
srsly, I would rather any of the other villains stay longer

[Immunity Challenge!]
me:I want them to be all BOOYEAH WE HAVE FIRE TOO [Jeff is asking the questions, talking about how much awesomer the heroes must be right now since they already won fire, but the villains do not tip their hand that they are not doing too terribly]
but they didn't.
they are keeping expectations low
Shanna:yeah, i am surprised he didn't mention it
ahh, true
me:it is smart
part of this magical 20th season apparently involves Jeff reminding us which players have done these challenges before
he is like, look, we can't keep coming up with new challenges
me:and instead of just hoping we forget about some of the recycled challenges, now it is special since they are all allstars
me:I hope we get to hear lots of snarky asides and comments during the challenges
there needs to be a drinking game for this season. how many times Jeff calls it the 20th season and stuff
oh damn
me:oh, heroes. you are dumb. [they had a huge lead and then choked on the puzzle, giving the Villains the win]
well, I guess Russell won't be voted out
my guess is Sugar. she has annoyed everyone already and is crying.
Shanna:yeah :(
me:but they could be trying to make it too obvious to us.
Shanna:boo, i still like her
but someone needs to go
me:could be Rupert, too, I guess
ooh, snap, Colby.
Shanna:oh jeez, didn't you watch her season? she is not having an emotional breakdown, this is just how she is

[Villain camp]
me:thanks for explaining that, Sandra. yes, you don't want to lose immunity so someone has to go home
Shanna:yeah, that was ILLUMINATING
me:hah. they have a see saw at the villain camp [which Russell was playing on with Coach]

I want Rupert to go home.
Shanna:me too
ooh, why Amanda? [someone suggests her]
Shanna:yeah, that was random
me:because she's a threat and has a lot of potential alliances already?
ooh, good point Tom. [about Cirie being a threat]
But I don't want Cirie to go!
I love the real strategizing at this point.
Shanna:me either, but tom is TOTALLY right
me:and I love that Tom recognizes how awesome Cirie was
Shanna:for once!
Shanna:someone is smart!
at the beginning!
who cares if someone is weak and whiny? they will love you forever if you let them stay [re: Sugar, I think]
me:heh. yeah. that's what will make this season awesome. they've all learned from being on before, except Russell still thinks he is the best.
me:I love Cirie still.
they all know each others' strengths and weaknesses
Shanna:i love all these players!
i keep being like, NOOO
just lose rupert
me:I love how the America's Sweetheart and FavoriteSurvivor, Sugar and Rupert, are now the most hated/annoying ones
the narrative has already been completely flipped

[Tribal Council!!]
me:Is it because fire represents life? hmm?? yes!
he's like, i am contractually obligated to say that line
Shanna:lol, no roof on tribal?
me:Now when Jeff brings up these questions, it isn't like he's feeding ideas to the players like usual. they actually have thought about this stuff.
I hate how Jeff still seems shocked Cirie is a threat.
Shanna:yeah, really
me:Steph is still the hardcore strength/challenge voter. she's still got the athlete mentality.
me:No, you can't just pick one person to vote out if there were 4 people who sucked at the puzzle part. it wasn't one person's fault.
me:ooh, nice answer Candace. it is hard to do the puzzle! [she says you can’t blame them for losing because it is brave of them to try and then no one will volunteer to do puzzles if you blame them]
me:I think Tom as lying a little bit there. he's not about keeping the tribe strong. he wants to vote based on long term strategy! [threats like Cirie and aligning with another winner, JT, for a chance at the end]
I don't want any of them to leave. I like the dynamic we have!
Shanna:maybe by "keeping the tribe strong" he means weeding out strategizers who aren't on his side
me:I think he was doublespeaking there, yeah.
they should really be keeping in mind that she [Sugar] won the first challenge for them by taking off her top
boooooooo [and… Sugar is gone]
me:well, duh.
I agree. she was badass in that first challenge.
so sad
she should have been less annoying I guess.
me:at least she has that awesome moment from the first challenge. now we have sad sack Rupert to have hanging around for a while.

[on the next….]
next time.... someone Boston Rob collapses!!!
he looks dead!!!!
sugar is like, yeah, they probably did the right thing
and i want to get some clothes on!
I only got the first few seconds of her goodbye
we didn't get to hear anyone's voting comments this time around
too many comments, so little time
me:probably also because it was obvious
me:well, that was a fun first episode
looks like it will be a fun season

So... I think it will be a good one. As we've said before, it can't be any worse than last season, which was annoying and not exciting. And "knowing" these Survivors already, and them having a chance to change our minds about them for better and worse (as seems to always happen when there are repeaters) will be interesting!

Here is something that I pulled from the TWoP recap of last episode which sums up why I think I'll like watching the "Villains" tribe more than I would normally expect to like them based on their individual seasons: Night 1 at the Villains camp, the tribe makes fun of Rupert. Ha! Jerri says he merely "stubbed" his toe, while Randy does an impression of him. Douche reminisces about his stunning victory over Colby, although he claims in an interview that while he'd "forgotten" about his impressive display, his tribe couldn't stop thinking about it. Jerri, with her past with Colby, naturally gravitates towards Douche, her new hero. Say what? She interviews that she wants to get to know him better while snuggling up beside him to sleep. NOOO! Not Jerri! Also, what happened to Douche's ladyfriend from the finale? Douche interviews that he is also interested in Jerri, who is a "different kind of girl" to his "different kind of guy." Randy, meanwhile, laughs at them. The next morning, the camp is abuzz about Douche and Jerri's blossoming romance. Douche actually smiles goofily when Li'l Russell and Parvati tease him about it, which makes him -- as much as I hate to say it -- kind of endearing. Meanwhile, Sandra and Courtney tease Jerri about Douche. I think Courtney's just doing it because she likes calling Douche "the Dragonslayer" and then laughing.

The "villains" may be annoying on their individual seasons, but dump a bunch of them together, knowing each others' back stories and Survivor personalities? Golden, I say!