Good news and bad news about Survivor: One World. The reality granddaddy’s latest season — which pits a team of nine women (Salani) against nine men (Manono), and has ’em all camping on the same beach — is filled with toned, arrogant himbos and admittedly ridiculous, non-strategic women. Which means there will probably be scads of intrigue as the season progresses, but possibly no one worth rooting for.
The awfulness kicked off in the game’s opening seconds: Probst gave the contestants 60 seconds to strip supplies off of a truck, and Michael (of the GI Joe Doll torso and meticulously groomed brows) stole liberally and unapologetically from the women’s pile. I realize the ladies probably should’ve stood guard over their loot, but when did it become okay — or even allowed — to get one’s thief on? I mean, would it be okay for the women to, say, steal back their axe in Episode 2 and then use it to destroy the men’s shelter?
Amazingly enough, though, it was the guys — and in particular Matt (of the Ken Doll torso and obnoxious attitude) — who got indignant when the women broke a handshake agreement to work together to catch a pair of chickens. Chelsea (one of the few people I like thus far) snagged both birds, and I can’t say that I blame her for going back on her word — especially when the men hadn’t even extended an olive branch, or a stolen supply or two, to smooth things over. “Give us that chicken as an apology,” insisted Matt, as the flustered Salani tribe ran around like, well, chickens with their heads cut off. (Clearly, the women need to study Jack Donaghy’s theories of negotiation.)
Soon after, the women were individually offering goods (the aforementioned bird), services (frond-weaving), and “services” (pole dancing) to try to get help with their shelter and their fire. So much for girl power (something for which Kim never really cared anyway). And so much for presenting Salani as a tough, competitive force in the competition.
The immunity challenge, alas, was over before it had a chance to get exciting, with Kourtney breaking her wrist in the opening leg after failing to heed Probst’s warning to put her hands at her sides and land on her back while taking a 25-foot drop into a net. The men chose to take the victory rather than play it out from the point Kourtney collapsed, and the women seemed shocked by the fact that a giant cash prize took precedence over chivalry. “This is a no mercy game,” noted Chelsea, while Kim lamented that none of the Manono members were behaving like them thar men in the Westerns she grew up a-watchin’.
With Kourtney’s automatic elimination rendering Tribal Council a toothless exercise in Alicia-Vs.-Christina griping, the only intrigue of the episode came when Sabrina found the Manono hidden immunity idol, bequeathed it to (on-the-)out(s) gay Colton, and plotted with him to pull a coup on Matt (who’d lined up fellow brothers in masculinity Mike, Bill, and Jay, and declared himself and Matt “sittin’ pretty”). Ugh. “We’re gonna cut his throat faster than Taylor Swift will write a song about her next boyfriend,” said Colton, who’s a little annoying but definitely gives good sound bite. I’ll applaud when/if the blood is finally spilled.
Oh, and final word: Probst hanging out the side of a moving helicopter is totally badass — no matter how many unseen safety precautions it took to set up that shot.
What did you think of the Survivor: One World premiere? And which tribe did you find more annoying as a whole? Take our poll below, then hit the comments to expand on your thoughts!