I have covered Survivor for years. I’ve been to 18 finales. I’ve seen every episode several times. I’ve interviewed hundreds of castaways. But I’ve never covered a premiere quite like this.
Strategies be damned! Yes, there was certainly lots of stoked social media commentary about Survivor‘s epic return. Twenty former contestants are back on the beach for their second chance at the title and the $1 million prize. Some of those players have been waiting 15 years for a fresh shot.
Exciting stuff, right?
None of that seemed like a big deal, though, because there’s underwear involved. Throughout the 90-minute premiere, tweets kept piling in from men and women about their excited eyes being able to gaze at Joe and Vytas in their shorty-short undies yet again. Even a few former castaways joined in the conversation. For real.
In case you missed it, here are a few photos of what the chatter was all about. For those of you who enjoyed this aspect of the episode, you’re welcome.
Then, when Joe achieved a rare Survivor moment by making fire while rubbing pieces of wood together, the tweets got much more, um, interesting.
Those are a few of the clean tweets. I’m sure your imagination can take you to the Twitter territory I’m not willing to touch with a 10-foot pole.
Thankfully, there was much more to this premiere than underpants. Survivor tossed a twist at its contestants by hiding Immunity Idols within challenges. Kelley found the first clue at her camp that seemed more like a direct map to where the Idol was actually going to be located. At the challenge, she hesitated to snatch the Idol because eyes were watching. But when those eyes looked away, she grabbed it like a sneaky snake and secretly stuffed it away. It was an amazing move. Truly an awesome moment to watch.
We also got a taste of Abi-Maria’s predictable childish behavior when she noticed her bag was missing. But not just any bag. This bag had her special bracelet buried inside. As her search ensued, she ultimately found it stowed away in Peih-Gee’s bag. Although she acted as if it wasn’t a big deal, Abi-Maria couldn’t keep her mouth shut for a minute as she went and spilled the details to all her tribemates. It created an unnecessary stir that showed Abi-Maria hasn’t learned a single lesson about how social politics play into Survivor. D’oh!
When it came to Tribal Council, it really wasn’t clear who was going to be the first person voted off. Great editing here to point the possible torch snuff at several people like Vytas, Jeff and Abi-Maria. It was close, too, when Jeff Probst tallied the ballots. By just one vote, Vytas was sent packing. And, yes, he wasn’t wearing any pants as Probst put out his flame. The debut episode definitely went full circle as Vytas walked out of the game wearing only a T-shirt and his much-talked-about skintight skivvies.