1. So excited. The season’s about to start. Gosh, I hope Stephen Bradbury wins. The jokes would write themselves.

  2. Opening thoughts …

    Jlap’s guns are looking as scrumptious as ever.

    Luke’s a snake in the grass, but not only is he a welcome breath of fresh air (everyone else is about as serious as a tombstone, while Luke’s giggling about a senior citizen’s alliance), I genuinely look forward to the havoc he’s likely to cause, now that he’s back on the beach. Every poker game needs a joker.

    Matt and Luke wrestling for that bag of sand was like watching porn.

    I was really impressed with Pia’s back-story. The girl can cry on command. That’s going to be useful.

    The woman who runs Boost Juice is here. Maybe the game will be like going to Boost … you know, she’ll hope to win the million bucks, but she’ll get only 10 percent of the prize, and the other 90 percent will be crushed ice.

    I hope they eliminate the guy with the mullet, because I really hate that mullet.

    • I was going to cut loose about the mullet myself. They don’t need to catch a fish when they’ve already got a mullet. So he wins the sandbag challenge……and the douchebag challenge.

      Is Janine living on Boost juice?

      • You couldn’t possibly live on Boost Juice … but I’m betting she saw this as an entire season of free advertising for her business.

    • Thank you Juz – unfortunately life intervened and I spent my birthday gathering witness statements and reporting an assault on my daughter at the police station. (Long story but during an AFL game of JUNIOR footy she got felled by a coward punch from behind, and the kicked as she lay on the ground after the punch – which is not only against every footy rule, but also the LAW. The girl who did it is a serial offender and known for this play, but this time she stupidly did it right in front of 20 witnesses, one of whom is a retired police prosecutor.)
      SO – just caught up with first episode last night – been dying to read comments but had to restrain myself!

      • Bloody hell. I hope some bush justice is delivered for that dog act, Brussellsprout. Best wishes.

        • I am not optimistic BDD.
          This is a 16 year old bully who is encouraged by her parents and her footy club. She is a menace so we are pursuing not just the AFL Tribunal action but the police also to TRY to send a message that violence has no place. Not on the footy field, not on the street.

          I have been feeling sick inside all week constantly replaying the sight of this junior thug coming up on my child from behind, putting her in a headlock and throwing a clenched fist punch at her head that made her instantly hit the deck. The kicks to her shins as she lay on the ground was just completely the last straw.

      • There are no words.
        This is just horrible but I hope you know we are thinking of you both. I wish that would help.
        Fingers crossed for justice.
        Any chance of going to the head body of AFL? A Current Affair? I don’t know how these things work.

        • Entire clubs have been banned in SA for onfield violence.

          Since it happened in front of a police prosecutor, that’s good but if you’re dealing with ferals and toxic families on ice, there’s always concern about more bullying and assaults. Confidentiality issues.

          You’d think with women’s AFL being promoted now, this is something they’d want to be aware of and stop. Call to AFL for investigation might be place to go , if you haven’t already, BSprout.

  3. Andy: “I’m a super-fan, and I’m not just going to win this season, but all of the seasons!”

    Three guesses who’s one of the first people to get thrown off the island.

      • Travel blogger is about the worst cover job to pick. Sooner or alert he will be asked what his blog is called. Anyway, the whole thing with cover jobs never works and only shows you’re a noob.

    • Andy is a tool. But he was a good shot at the throwing challenge. I wondered why the champions didn’t put in one or both of their AFL players – they are usually pretty good with hand-eye skills and usually have fairly good throwing.

  4. Okay, I take it back about Mullet. Like, okay, I still hate the mullet, but he was their strongest contender during the immunity challenge. They’d do well to keep him around.

    Same with Super Fan. Obnoxious, yeah, but his skills came in handy.

    Quick question. There’s an AFL player on both teams, right? Because there’s this very attractive dark-haired AFL player on the champions, and a very attractive dark-haired AFL player with the contenders, and for the last hour, I thought it was the same guy, ducking back and forth between both teams. Props to David the male model, as well.

    I know we joke about the goat, but did they actually kill an animal for that immunity idol? That thing is creepy as hell.

      • He was the one who joined the champions for some swimming in the black speedos. I’m not at all familiar with AFL, so, that’s how I’m likely to remember him.

      • There are two AFL players on the champions: Simon Black and Abbey Holmes (who also did some commentating).

        I agree that (unlike the usual US versions) it is hard to tell the difference between the tall dark men. Very few young blonde women this time.

  5. I’m not sure who should go. I don’t think Anastasia, nor Pia nor Suzi. Maybe Pia I guess. Suzi has already shown the world she is a tough c, I think Anastasia is too

    • I was thinking, it’d be cool to keep Anastasia around … but then she started being really verbal, at the Tribal Council. I think she just volunteered herself to be the first boot.

      And I’m finding that I really like Pia, and hope she sticks around.

      • Yep, the classic panic the first (and only) time they hear their name. It is the surest way to get people offside. Not sure if I am going to like Pia, but I admired her grasp of the gameplay, knowing that panic would send Anastasia home, and that her “poor little girl” ploy would work.

  6. I don’t like this champions vs contenders. I wish they were all contenders.
    Anastasia was string she should not be going home

  7. I’m a little biased, because I quite liked Pia and wanted her to stick around … but the second Anastacia started getting really mouthy, at Tribal? Long-term viewers will know that was her first and last mistake. Plus, the righteous indignation she showed, when her name started getting mentioned around camp? Nope, that is not someone who’s destined to be there a long time.

    Last year, the champions dominated right from the get-go, and the contenders never really had a chance. I just hope that doesn’t happen again. Like we always say, a predictable and boring season of Survivor is a bad one (with the odd, rare exception. Looking at you, Palau).

    But I liked the first episode. Tough challenges, plenty of personalities, people willing to play the game (look how easily Nova changed everybody’s mind. I think she’ll be one to watch), and some pretty attractive people onscreen at that, heh. And I’m looking forward to seeing Luke do his thing.

  8. It seems Bradbury and Nova are the only athletes strategising so ET can be their muscly “mateship” puppet. No idol chat yet. I don’t think Luke will last long, which is a shame. He did well to last as long as he did against the professional wrestler in the sandbag challenge. Glad they kept Pia because I love seeing a fan play and she will be good when they need someone little to crawl in a barrel or similar for a challenge. And she is fit

  9. Wow, that did drag a bit…never seen an opening segment that long!
    Lots of good personalities, happy Pia stayed as she really is huge fan.
    That David (model?) is very easy on the eye….
    I also noticed Sam on the contenders tribe, she was that girl (with Renee) who came 2nd in the Aus version of amazing race….i get bloody annoyed when prior reality players get a second shot, just like Luke i guess…much prefer your average Joe to play, but heh…will stick with it as I love the show!
    How’s that super fan who practices at home? Loved it and especially the slo-mo when he threw that winning hammer….
    I really like Mullet man too, helps that he’s from WA…i reckon he’ll be a great character…

    • I was just about to comment about two immediately unlikeable people – the conman who threw the hammer (full of himself) and the mullet man. Ironic. I also did not like the very blonde man (Matt?) he seemed quite arrogant in this ep. But editing is a fickle creature, so I will reserve further judgement until I see a bit more.

      The other one who stood out for the wrong reasons was Daisy, the curly haired contender – very outspoken and domineering.

      • I partially agree with both of you (Fijanne and Sioux Denim)!

        I thought mullet was painful, and pushing the “can’t let your mates down” shtick was sledgehammer level unsubtle, but I think he could be a great player. He looked super strong and I can see him doing well.

        Did not warm to Matt either – but I can’t help but be impressed by someone who takes the trouble to practice. You can bet your life he can make fire using nothing but a coconut and a stick. Superfans don’t seem to last long and anyone skiting about their strategy has historically always been an early boot.

        So I am impressed by them both without warming to either of them in the slightest.

  10. I was at a work conference (a long time ago) where Stephen Bradbury was was one of the keynote speakers. He was boring as bats**t ( and speech trained to within an inch if his life) but we left with a huge respect for him.
    His story is one of single minded dedication and sheer determination. There won’t be a thing he hasn’t researched or studied to give himself every advantage. I expect him to go a long way.
    I, too, like Pia. She said that in preparation she ate to put on weight and practised crying. Gotta love that.
    Apart from that, I’ll wait a week while they settle.

    • I can see that. I keep telling people that even though he was the butt of the jokes about ‘accidentally’ winning gold it was the result of a sound strategy that said keep to your feet, push the others to go fast and hope they trip up – speed skating is all about speed and dodging. (Says international speed skating expert BS – I am also available to commentate diving based on watching Olympic diving every four years.) And yes – he WAS in an Olympic final in an event hotly contested by a lot of countries with expertise in this field, so it was hardly an accident.
      I really like Pia. I loved ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ so much that she has buckets of residual goodwill from me and I really liked the way she positioned herself.
      Anasatacia did the classic “I’m a gun and you need me, you’d be idiots to take me out” tribal council argument which has never ever been effective in any survivor TC anywhere!
      Watching her interact with Nova was not pretty – I think Nova will be a tough cookie and she has already proved that she doesn’t like to be questioned.

      • I watch the diving but I’m not sure I could really commentate the event because I get distracted from the actual diving for some reason.

  11. This is why I wish Survivor would do endurance or more mental challenges in the early days, so the perceived “weak” players get a fair crack

    • And, Benji’s nachos aside, what ever happened to the eating challenges?

      Edit — “challenges”. I originally typed “challengers”, which would lend itself to an entirely different kind of program.

    • They need to mix strength and mental skills in the same challenge ie there should be a puzzle or a rope untying as well as strength, so everyone has a chance to contribute to the win (or loss).

  12. The contenders “shelter” was funny, seeing them scramble off in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t have been getting under it again. Did none of them go into the game with skill to at least attempt to make a fire without flint? Jonathan said at the start that having fire meant having water, and yet they were able to soak the beans overnight, so that statement was just rhetoric.

    I think it was just because it was the first ep, but there was way too much slow-motion and nature shots. It felt very drawn out. I know they try not to ape the US version too much, but I really prefer the scramble challenge to get as much resources as possible.

  13. I tell you what, the Boost Juice ads, in every ad break, are starting to get pretty obnoxious.

    Gosh, I’m so glad that we got the opening credits, tonight. We finally have names for everybody. Half of the contenders, I swear, I’d never seen them before.

    • That sort of blatant exploitation turns me away from a brand. Pity – I quite liked their Mango Tangos.

    • I skipped through most of the ads, but I wish they wouldn’t advertise Bachelor during this show. Or at least make the ads appropriate for kids. I know the time slot is meant to be free-for-all, but Survivor is generally an older-kid-friendly show, whereas the Bachie ads definitely were not.

  14. And we have an Ice-Cream maker!! Did he fill out the wrong reality show application form? Sorry mate Masterchef is done and dusted.

    • I was laughing, with him. Yet another player who’s happy to tell the audience what a clever, scheming badass he is, and how he’ll be running this game in a jiffy.

      Anyone who’s familiar with this franchise knows not to trust those kinds of people. The people who end up running these games are the ones who don’t interview loudly about how clever and awesome they are.

      Look at Nova, last night. The vote was decided — it was Pia — when Nova has a quiet word to ET, late in the evening. “It should be Anastacia.” What happened next? Like, those are the people, who quietly work in the background and end up getting exactly what they want, those are the people we should keep an eye on.

      • I’ve only watched a couple of seasons – but even I know that the empty vessels make the most noise.

    • Survivor US has had one ice cream maker and one ice cream scooper before. Both made it past merge. Whereas poker players go early

      • Largely through the grace of Ma$terchef and MAFS, it is difficult to perceive an ice cream maker as a threat. I’d expect an ice cream maker to fly under the radar at the speed of sound. Find an ice cream maker threatening , what would Ronald McDonald do to you?

  15. I’ve just started working as a relief teacher – my biggest challenge is coping with the behaviour management part of the job. Might take some hints from Jlap. That tone of voice when he threatens contestants with “seeing me in tribal council” is just the ticket for “seeing me in detention”

    • Full credit to you, Julie – teaching is a tough gig these days. I get exhausted just helping on school excursions.
      Ok, Windsong, now we are seeing more of the tribes, who’s your eye candy pick this season? I’m thinking model David

      • I love that I’ve posted here long enough, that you know how I operate 😀 .

        I’m actually not that keen on supermodel David. Yeah, he’s handsome, but supermodels tend to have quite angular, striking faces. It feels almost contrived, like, he lacks that regular guy-next-door vibe to him. I feel like he’d be sexy in a fashion magazine, or in a photoshoot in a Paris or New York studio (where those cheekbones would shine) but not so much living on scraps on a beach in Fiji.

        I’m loving both the AFL players (I know nothing about AFL, but yeah, they’re both easy on the eye). Matt (the peroxide-blond contender) is good-looking, but *way* too intense. I’m kinda hoping we get some context for him, next week. Also, the surprise-packet for attractiveness is Dave, the mullet guy. Sure, from the neck up, mullet. But from the neck down, he’s strong and fit. And black speedos seem to be a popular fashion choice, this year, so, yeah.

        Alas, there’s no Robbie, this year, but we’ll make do.

      • They did a slowmo catch up this morning (on Channel 10?).
        I couldn’t distinguish anyone because they were all covered in mud but I have taped the segment and I am playing it over and over again. For research purpose only, you understand.

  16. The contenders have lost 3 out of 4 challenges, so far. It’s a worrying start to the season.

    I think their best decision would be to ditch Braden, because he was hopelessly useless, today, but I can see them going after one of the girls, which is a shame.

  17. Not a fan of earbud Matt- stupidly arrogant with that agro baiting of the other team as soon as he wins his heat even though his team loses.
    There are equally physically weak players as Barden in the challenger team but agro Matt is, as predictable, picking on him.
    It’s the strategy that let them down – weak mental strength and Matt was first to get frustrated in the mud challenge

    • I want to like Matt, but part of me really hopes he tones it down a bit, in coming episodes, and maybe learns some humility, because I feel like his hyper-aggressive confidence is going to get annoying, sooner rather than later.

    • I felt sorry that they were making rude remarks about it like a year 9 gang. it was a bit too personal, I thought. And it is obvious that none of them have slept with someone with sleep apneoa – Ross was quiet as a baby in comparison.

  18. I think it was a mistake to take out Laura. I think it was a combination of personalities clashing, plus, an assumption that being short made her less physically-capable … which is stupid, so I hope it was the first thing. Me, I would’ve gone after Baden. Yeah, I should feel some solidarity with the skinny nerd, but’s contributed very little, so far. Obviously he’s smart, so I imagine they’re hoping he can be their puzzle-solving champion … but if he screws up a puzzle challenge, he’s gone.

    Watching the super-fan Andy at the triban council was just bizarre. He should be on “Bold”, his over-acting was that stellar. He’s trained for this, so hopefully his skills come in handy, because my initial assessment was that he’s going to become quite annoying, and I stand by that.

    • It was interesting watching the tribal council. Baden was obviously upset when his name got thrown in there, whilst Laura just smiled and exited. I think she had more to give.
      Baden will probably be next to go.

    • So far I had admired Andy’s tactics, but I think he talks too much, both at tribal and on the beach. He needs a little reticence. It was funny when he was staring at Laura, and JLP asked why the long look. I had been thinking that he was wondering how someone could be so clueless about how to play.

  19. Why all the shots of Harry with that stick in his mouth and the smugg ass look on his face? He actually voted for Braden so wondering how he is feeling that no-one listened to him!
    Did Andy also vote to Braden? He’s way to intense for me … but total props for building a mino survivor course in his back yard!
    Couldnt agree more on the boost ads, reckon thats her fee paid for coming on the show?
    Spewing Survivor is gonna clash with Ninja finales on sun and mon, think I’ll tape Survivor….

    • Yes, this ep seemed to want to set up Harry as unlikeable. It kinda worked for me, but that might have been because I have a chewing aversion – can’t stand chewing gum, and little sticks are almost as bad.

  20. Anybody else hear “I am sixteen, going on seventeen…” playing whenever peroxide Matt appears. Did he play Rolf in the movie?

    The peroxide gives him an unfortunate Aryan stereotypical look.

    Not really a fan of miner John. He seems to want to aggravate the other team. Maybe he should look ahead to tribe swaps or merge. At that point it is better to have earned the respect of the other tribe at challenges, to get a headstart in building new alliances.

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