Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Survivor: China"--Season Premiere, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007

Thirty-nine days, 16 people … 1 survivor (said in my best Jeff Probst imitation). Yes, it’s another season of "Survivor." This time, they’re in the beautiful setting of China.

Among the contestants, the ones that might be the most interesting this season are: Denise, a middle school lunch lady; Todd, a gay Mormon flight attendant; a chicken farmer, aptly named Chicken; Jean-Robert, a professional poker player, Ashley, a WW Diva; James, a gravedigger, and Frosti (not the snowman), a 20-year-old student-athlete, the youngest Survivor ever. There’s also Leslie, a Christian radio host, who walks out of the Buddhist welcoming ceremony for them, saying it felt like worship, even though Jeff Probst (who’s returned to host yet another season) told her it wasn’t a religious ceremony.

All the Survivors’ careful packing goes out the window when they learn they have to leave their suitcases behind. They are given new bags, and each team is given a map that can help them with strategy, and a map to their new digs.

Already I don’t like Courtney. A New York waitress, she says doesn’t like people with the attitude of "everything’s always great. Isn’t it amazing? Like, you’re doing a really good job with that."

Sherea, an elementary school teacher on the Zhan Hu tribe, comes to the camp in heels. Who wears heels to "Survivor"??? I guess she left the tiara at home, unless she had it packed in her suitcase.

We already see a difference in the tribes. Fei Long tribe is more work-oriented, while the Zhan Hu is standing around talking. Standing around talking won’t get you very far when it starts to rain and you have poor shelter, as they find out.

Our resident WW Diva, Ashley, falls sick. That didn’t take long, and it might note bode well for her if her tribe loses the immunity challenge. Aaron is chosen to lead the Fei Long tribe. No leader yet for the Zhan Hu tribe. (No sense rushing these things. Look how long the 2000 Presidential elections took).

At the Immunity challenge, the immunity idol looks very cool. I love Oriental statues like that. Each tribe will be tethered to and carrying a ceremonial mascot that Jeff says is awkward and heavy. (Everybody sing, he’s not heavy, he’s my mascot). They have to maneuver through a series of obstacles. When they get to a locked gate, one tribe member will race ahead, and scale two walls, releasing a drawbridge at each wall. They’ll then retrieve a key, race back, unlock the gate, bring the rest of the tribe. They have to make their way through a swamp to the finish platform where they have to solve a puzzle by placing their pole of the ceremonial mascot in the correct spot. Got that? I hope so … there will be a test at the end of this blog. (Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t, he wrote with an evil laugh going through his head).

The winning tribe will win immunity and fire in the form of flint. The survivors were also given their running shoes for this challenge. They can take them back with them.

Fei Long wins immunity and fire.

There’s sound coming out of non-commital Chicken’s mouth, but I don’t see his mouth moving

At Tribal Council, Dave and Peih-Gee volunteer to be leader of the Zhan Hu tribe. As Frosti goes to cast his vote, all I can hear in my head is thumpity-thump-thump, thumpity-thump-thump, look at Frosti go. When the votes are tallied, it’s four votes for Chicken, 2 votes for Ashley, and one vote for Peih-Gee.

Jeff says, "Chicken, the tribe has spoken." He replies, "I heard ‘em"

The tribe goes back to camp with their torches and flint.

And, you've lucked out--it's the end of this blog entry and there is no test!

Courier News Staff Writer Brad Wadlow blogs about television. In addition to replying to this post, you can also e-mail your comments, or suggestions for future "Totally TV" topics, to: Please put "Totally TV" in the subject field. You can also write to him: Brad Wadlow, Courier News, 1201 Route 22 West, PO Box 6600, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Be sure to put: "Totally TV" on the envelope, too. You can also fax him at (908) 707-3252, or call him at (908) 707-3131.

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