I have a pretty strong feeling that I am going to be pretty enthusiastic about the new season of Survivor. Can you believe this is the 15th season? They filmed this season in China, on the Lake of A Thousand Islands. Tonight was the premiere, and here are my thoughts.
Location - Beautiful, and of personal interest as I am going to China sometime in the next couple of years.
The People - Holy Cow what a diverse and stereotypically scripted group. I will have to go back and revise my pick for the MVP on the fantasy league. For the past few seasons Amy and I have competed with her college friends and associates in Fantasy Survivor (www.fantasysurvivor.net) where you form a tribe and earn points based on correctly guessing who will win reward, immunity, be safe, be voted off, and answer a mystery question.
As Amy and I watched, we discussed the players and how awful we thought some of them are. There are always a handful of oddballs and regular people mixed in with the bulk of the players who are models, bartenders, and waitpersons. This season is no exception with the beautiful people.
Leslie - Leslie is the token Christian. They usually have one or two people who are outspoken about their faith, and they ALWAYS get kicked out early in the game. Leslie is a Christian Radio Talk Show host! In the first episode they went to a Buddhist temple for a welcome ceremony and she walked out during the ceremony saying, "I only bow to Jesus."
Chicken - The token old guy, token southern guy. He almost needed subtitles but it won't matter because he got voted off. He tried to make a suggestion about building shelter and they ignored him, so he pretty much refused to speak the rest of the three days. He did speak at tribal when he got voted off, yelling "Damn!"
Frosti - this guy is kinda cool. He's half Russian and half Japanese (I think). He's an athlete of sorts, specializing in the art of vaulting obstacles. If you saw the opening of the new Casino Royale, he does a lot of running and jumping.
Peih-Gee - the token Asian - she's already jumping into the role of the pushy/bossy/hated Asian female that we saw in previous episodes. I picked her because of her background, including being born in Hong Kong and having a good deal of outdoors experience, but her personality means I have to switch MVPs.
Sherea - the token black female out of her element - some of these characters do better than others. I don't expect much from this one. She's a school teacher from Atlanta. She started the game in her healed shoes and competed in the immunity challenge with only her bra on, and it was not a bra built for speed or agility if you know what I mean.
Denise - the older white woman - When I first saw her picture on the CBS website, my first thought was nice mullet, another lesbian who looks more manly than a lot of men. Well, I'm wrong. I'm not wrong about the mullet, it is as fine as Billy Ray Cyrus ever grew, but she's a mother of three and a school lunch lady. She will not win.
Ashley - a professional wrestler. This is outside the Survivor stereotypes, but she has reality competition experience as she won a WWE Diva Search and got a contract in the process. I was reading a wrestling news site today and found out (unintentionally) how long she will be in the game. Let me say this. She will be home in time to be ready to compete at Survivor Series in November.
Jean-Robert - a professional poker player. I have not seen him play cards, but his bio says he's won $700,000 in his career so I hope it's more from being able to read people than it's from being lucky. One thing, from early in this episode, DUDE PULL UP YOUR PANTS! We do not need to see the crease of your groin in the frontal shots, especially while you are hanging out with the gay guy. Save it for the Minneapolis airport bathroom.
Speaking of airport bathroom gayness...
Todd - the token outspoken gay - his bio lists him as a gay, Mormon, flight attendant. Does it matter that his family is Mormon? Do the Mormons condone homosexuality? Will he use his time on the show to be as queer as possible?
Courtney - the fake - Amy and I might consider turning off the TV whenever she gets camera time. She's the most annoying Gwen Stefani wannabee we have ever seen. Her initial camera time was spent arguing over knowing how to bow at the temple and telling everyone in America that she's not wearing a bra. Dingbat. The sooner she's out, the better.
James - the token black guy - he's gonna be interesting to watch. He's very quiet as he apparently works alone, as a gravedigger. He's big and strong, and Leslie reached out to him early to help him with socialization. I think he'll do well and I'd like to see him go far.
Aaron - a surf instructor? He was my first choice for MVp and I think he'll do well. He did step up and accept a nomination to lead his tribe, which will probably hurt him unless they do well, and they already are.
Amanda - eye candy, but outdoorsy eye-candy. She's a professional hiking guide and I think they said she's a Miss Montana or something.
Dave - one of the older guys, but he IS a former model (at age 37). He also volunteered to lead a tribe, the one that is not doing well. At the same time he volunteered, phee-gie did, so there could be some conflict here.
Erik - girl's eye candy - he went to Furman (which is cool) and now lives in Nashville working a s amusician. He reminds me a bit too much of Adrian Grenier (Vincent from Entourage).
finally there's Jamie
Jamie - more eye candy - she's a die-hard Univ. of South Carolina fan, that should be reason enough to count her out, but I did enjoy watching the Gamecocks beat the Georgia Bulldogs the other week. It aooears that she is smart and athletic, and her work as a waitress should help her with dealing with people.
It's gonna be a fun season!