Survivor Season-Premiere Recap: Come On In!

the simplest thing I heard all day was the sweet voice of Jeff Probst saying, “Come on in!” (He’s dropped the word, “guys.” More thereon later.)

Photo: CBS/Robert Voets

Suddenly, i do know the sensation of serotonin coursing through my body because Survivor is back. The show during which a bunch of individuals voluntarily subject themselves to paranoia and bugs for $1 million last aired in May of 2020. It’s been an extended 16 months without it.

In true reality-TV fashion, Survivor got some work wiped out the off-season. Season 41 is that the first under CBS’s new diversity goal, requiring the cast to contains a minimum of 50 percent people of color. They’ve also shortened time on the island from the quality 39 days of competition right down to 26.

This comes because the show is experiencing a renaissance because of binge-viewing within the pandemic. There are endless Survivor podcasts, and celebrities like actress Rachel Brosnahan have begin as superfans of the show. Plus, Season 37 David vs. Goliath contestant Mike White is that the current darling of prestige TV, having created HBO’s hit series The lotus .

All of this to mention , tons is riding on this return. Thankfully, it mostly delivered.

We start with Probst on a forest path in Fiji. (It’s so good to ascertain him in his standard Survivor-branded dad cap and cargo shirt again!) Giving off Vogue “73 Questions” walking-and-talking energy, he thanks us for our continued viewership for the past 20 years (You’re welcome, Jeffrey!) and tells us he just wants to possess fun. His version of fun seems to mean new twists and advantages. (That isn't my version of Survivor fun.) the primary two changes mentioned are some kind of “Be Aware” advantage for players and a Game Within the sport for fans to play reception .

But enough about Probst, though it’s exciting to ascertain him so excited to be back. Let’s meet the new players.

I had chills seeing the contestants. For over a year, many folks have spent quarantine watching an equivalent few star players repeatedly return for varied seasons. It’s a delight to satisfy a fresh group of faces and not one returning player.

There are some initial standouts among our usual cohort of lovely people, former athletes, and college students. On the Ua tribe, we meet JD, a university student from Oklahoma. He’s talkative, charming, and grew up watching Survivor. Ricard, a steward in Washington state, quickly detects this also means he’s an early threat.

At Luvu, we've Naseer, a sales manager in California, who claims Survivor helped him learn English. Briefly meet Sydney, a student in ny , and Heather, a stay-at-home mom in South Carolina, who says she’s watched the show for years.

The final tribe is Yase, where David, a neurosurgeon in Chicago, shows us he can do percentages better than Probst. There’s also Liana, a university student in Washington, D.C. And shoutout to Evvie, a Ph.D. student in Massachusetts, who said in her CBS Q&A that her complaint is “men.”

We meet the contestants on a barge at their varsity challenge. they need to gather six hidden colored paddles, swim to a rowboat, paddle around a buoy, and race to retrieve flint. Ua wins during a blowout because Luvu never unclipped their rowboat, and Yase couldn’t find all six paddles. Look, we’re all battling the fundamentals after a year within the pandemic. I even have a touch sympathy for the losing teams.

Arriving at the campsites, Ua starts fixing , and that we meet Brad, a rancher from Wyoming who looks and seems like Ted Danson. There’s also Genie, a grocery clerk in l. a. , who tells a heartwarming story of her mother coming to simply accept her as gay.

Meanwhile, the opposite two tribes quickly tackle their losers’ challenge for tribe supplies. they need to make a decision between a savvy or sweat task: Guess just one occasion what percentage triangles are during a drawing or have two tribemates fill two large barrels with seawater. Both teams chose to sweat and complete their task within the allotted four hours.

There’s also some commotion round the two tribemates sectioned off while the remainder of the team heads to their base site. Little of it registers as important. Alliances on Survivor change constantly, and this early within the game, it’s not worth getting too trapped within the minutiae of tribe bonds.

Suddenly, a ship arrives with a note for the tribes. Each must send a player on an undisclosed trip. all of them approach who they ought to send differently. Xander, an app developer in Chicago, is that the puppy-dog of Yase, in order that they unilaterally select him due to his perceived trustworthiness. Ua draws rocks, and JD is that the odd man out. Finally, Danny, an ex-NFL player in Texas, goes for Luvu because nobody else wants to.

They all meet on a replacement island and must continue a trek together. It’s giving mandatory camp bonding time. After arriving at the highest of the mountain, they need to individually choose from protecting or risking their vote. Each decision comes with benefits and disadvantages that are hard to recollect . this is often beginning to desire one too many twists for one episode, and that we haven’t even gotten to the immunity challenge yet.

You know what? Let’s just head straight there. It’s another standard obstacle course of climbing up wooden (and net) structures, crawling under wooden logs, and completing wooden puzzles. In a powerful feat, Luvu surged from last place to win because of the puzzle-solving skills of Deshawn, a medico in Florida, and Erika, a communications manager from Ontario.

What’s more interesting is Ricard speaks up and vocalizes to Probst before the challenge that he wasn’t comfortable with the word “guys” in Probst’s catchphrase, “Come on in, guys!” On the barge, Probst had previously asked for group feedback on updating his phrase, but the castaways expressed no concern at the time. I’m pleased with Ricard for saying something, then is Probst. He admits he wanted to get rid of the word and can now simply say, “Come on in.”

Probst seems more energized than he has during a few years. It’s encouraging to ascertain the show (which features a sizable queer following) answer the climate during which it’s is airing. This comes after Probst acknowledged his own gender biases last season, also as a controversial handling of a Me Too moment in 2019. Survivor has been on for 20 years, and good for them for shedding a number of the show’s more antiquated leanings.

The rest of the episode is essentially standard. The losing two tribes head to tribal council. On the Yase tribe, Abraham, a cyber security analyst in Texas, guns for Tiffany, an educator from Queens. So, naturally, Tiffany guns for Abraham. Tiffany wins the duel, and Abraham is that the first of the season to travel home.

Ua, however, offers the primary live tribal of the season sparked by Sara, a healthcare consultant in Massachusetts. She feels she’s going home for a poor performance within the puzzle. But wait! The target might’ve moved to JD … or is it Ricard … and now maybe Brad? seems Sara’s instinct was right, and she’s voted out. albeit the show is trying to modernize, it’s clear some players are still prioritizing the old-school concept of maintaining the tribe’s “physical strength.”

Whew! What a premiere. I’m a touch worried. albeit this is often supposedly a replacement era of Survivor, the show seems to possess accelerated the fast-paced, advantage-heavy gameplay. From meeting the players to keeping track of latest advantages to watching the double tribal council, the episode felt a touch too jam-packed.

Survivor lives or dies by the castaways. It’s them, not the twist and turns, that make the episodes fun and dramatic. Thankfully, there seem to be quite a couple of promising plays this season, including Shan, a pastor from Washington, D.C., who calls herself the “Mafia Pastor.” an honest season lets the castaways create the drama themselves, not in response to wonky rules.

Still, it felt good to ascertain Survivor on the screen again. Probst is true . the sport is on, and that i couldn’t be happier

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