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Friday February 8, 2008 5:04 pm

Survivor Micronesia: “You Guys Are Dumber Than You Look”

Survivor Micronesia

For the latest round of Survivor, CBS decided to spice things up a bit and incorporated a little old with the new.  In this installment, ten die-hard fans will be competing against ten former contestants.  Last night, we saw the debut of – otherwise known as ‘Fans vs. Favorites’.

The premiere episode kicked off with the newbies arriving by boat to a rain-soaked island.  After a quick welcome by , the unsuspecting participants learned the cold, hard truth:  they were going to compete against seasoned pros.

Probst introduced the cash-starved veterans to varying levels of applause.  (If I had been there, I wouldn’t have recognized half of them.)  Jonny ‘Fairplay’ Dalton, who strutted out with a ‘Will Lie 4 Food’ cap, easily drew the most attention.  Once the announcements were done, here is how the teams played out:

FAVORITES “Malakal”:

  • Amanda: China  (a.k.a. The One Who Just Lost Out)
  • Ami:  Vanuatu  (a.k.a. The One I Barely Remember)
  • Cirie: Panama/Exile Island  (a.k.a. The Couch Potato)
  • Elisa: Vanuatu  (a.k.a.  The One with the Funky Eyebrows)
  • James: China (a.k.a.  The Smiling Gravedigger)
  • Jonathan: Cook Islands  (a.k.a. The One Who Sounds Like Alan Alda)
  • Jonny Fairplay:  Pearl Islands  (a.k.a. The One with the No-So-Dead Grandma)
  • Ozzy: Cook Islands (a.k.a. The One Who Looks Like a Cuter ‘Boston’ Rob)
  • Parvati: Cook Islands  (a.k.a. The One Who Only Knows How to Flirt)
  • Yau-Man: Fiji  (a.k.a. The Old Guy Who Almost Won)

FANS “Airai”:

  • Alexis: Motivational speaker
  • Chet: Miss America beauty pageant coach.
  • Erik: Ice cream scooper (a.k.a. The One with Leif Garrett’s Hair)
  • Jason: Gymnastics Coach
  • Joel: Firefighter (a.k.a. The One Who Could Probably Crush You)
  • Kathy: Golf course vendor (The One with Carrot Top’s Hair)
  • Mary: Real estate company owner
  • Mikey B: Los Angeles-based writer/actor (a.k.a. The One Who Looks Like a Beefier Luke Wilson)
  • Natalie: Bartender/personal trainer
  • Tracy: Residential builder

To kick off the game, the contestants had to run through the water to another beach across the way.  There they would find boats, a map and two Immunity Idols (one for each tribe).  These special idols could only be used at their first Tribal Councils.  After landing on the second shore, there was a mad dash to find the elimination-saving trinkets.  Fairplay – of all people – was the first to locate one hanging from the edge of the boat.  Unfortunately for him, he grabbed Airai’s idol.  Realizing Jonny had made a mistake, Yau-Man ended up tackling him while reaching for the correct one.  Kathy was fortunate enough to benefit from the mistake and wound up with her team’s charm.

The players from Airai, now at their new home, felt excited and confident about their chances in the game.  Their opponents’ strategies had already been documented on TV.  They knew what they were up against.  Conversely, the veterans had no idea what the green challengers had in store.  Needless to say, the seasoned pros felt differently about their status.  They knew how to quickly build a shelter and find food; they also knew what to expect in the days ahead.

The first 24 hours proved to be quite revealing.  Kathy – who has only worked with heterosexuals since supposedly the ‘80s – quickly found herself labeled the ‘Crazy One’.  She didn’t feel uncomfortable at all asking Chet whether he preferred to be called ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’.  (I felt like we were watching Season One of ‘The Real World’ at this point.)  Unfortunately, since she had the first Idol, her shocked teammates knew they’d have to endure her naïve remarks a little longer.  Meanwhile, the tribe members at Camp Malakal were getting to know each other – almost too well.  Parvati started working her wiles early and quickly aligned herself with handsome James.  Elsehwere, Ozzy and Amanda were trading each other compliments.

Realizing the two new ‘couples’ could pose a threat to the remaining players, Eliza quickly worked to form a singles-only alliance; her group consisted of Ami, Yau-Man, Jonathan and herself.  Now there were two groups of four.  Believing they needed to add a fifth person to their pact, Eliza’s foursome decided they’d work on Jonny.  Of course, this was what the group of lovebirds decided they would try and do as well.  This started a confusing back and forth.  (Not surprising, given the player we are talking about.)  After Fairplay agreed to work with Parvati and Ozzy, he then quickly told the other team that Eliza was designated for the chopping block.

At the first Tribal Challenge, the Favorites were feeling pumped.  They already had full bellies and a comfortable night of sleep.  The Fans, bitter from their wet night in a pathetic shelter, didn’t know whether to believe the boasting coming from their opposing team.

For their first immunity and reward (flint), the groups had to work their way through several puzzles and a trying obstacle course.  After assembling four wheels, they had to race through the obstacle course with a cart.  They then had to dig up planks and construct a bridge for their cart to go over.  Once they had reached the final platform, they had to disassemble their wheels to form a turnstile.  This turnstile would eventually elevate a fire wok and light their way to victory.

Sadly, the competition was basically over from the get-go.  The newbies pieced together their wheels at lightning speed and created a lead the veterans were never able to overcome.  The cocky members of Malakal were just served their first dose of embarrassment.

Back at camp, Jonny had a supposedly vulnerable moment with Parvati.  As much as he wanted to raise money for his girlfriend and soon-to-be born daughter, he really wanted to go home.  Not only did Parvati encourage him to stay, she asked him to throw the other foursome off.  If Jonny could convince Eliza and her crew to send him home, Parvati and her gang (with Fairplay’s help) could vote Eliza off.

Later, Jonny did just what Parvati suggested.  He told everyone to send him home.  Understandably, no one was really sure whether they should believe him at this point.  Whose side was he really on?  Did he even really have a girlfriend?

As it turned out, it wasn’t his teammates who were being messed with – it was Fairplay.  In the end, both tribes voted to cast out the duplicitous snake.  LOSER: Fairplay.


(You can find next week’s episode here.)

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