jeudi 15 septembre 2011 | By: Patrick

Survivor: South Pacific "I Need Redemption" (Episode 1)

Episode 1: "I Need Redemption"
Original Airdate: September 14th, 2011
American Ratings: 10.74 million viewers

Day 1

I'm back because this is one more shot for me to prove to everybody that I can own this game, and that it can be done with honor and integrity.

The 90-minute format for the premiere made for a much better intro. It allowed viewers to get to know the castaways a little better. I also enjoyed how they tinkered with "Ancient Voices," the main musical theme for Survivor.

After paddling to shore, the two tribes finally meet inside Redemption Island arena. As they wait for the helicopter carrying the two returning players to land, Edna tells Brandon that she hopes it's not Russell again. That was funny and it took the young man off guard.

As Ozzy and Coach join them, Mikayla immediately says that she wants Ozzy on her team. When host Jeff Probst asks the newcomers how they feel about Coach and Ozzy's return, Christine claims that they're both temporary players.

Each returning player must break an egg filled with pain on their bodies to determine which tribe they will join. Splattered with blue paint, Coach joins the Upolu tribe. His shirt now smeared with red paint, Ozzy will join forces with the Savaii tribe.

The blue tribe doesn't appear to thrilled to have Coach become part of their team. On the other hand, Ozzy receives a warm welcome from his tribesmates.

Jeff Probst announces that the first reward challenge will take place right away, pitting Coach against Ozzy. They must first climb up a pole and retrieve a turtle. Then they must crawl under a log and complete a difficult pyramid puzzle. The reward is flint and a variety of local potatoes.

Overwhelmed by the puzzle, they both receive help from their tribe. The Savaii tribe has the edge and Ozzy takes the lead. There is a lot of confusion among the Upolu tribe, which allows Ozzy to come out on top and win the challenge.

As they all depart to search for their respective camps, only Edna remains behind to give Coach a hand with his belongings. He knows that he's already in the doghouse and the game has begun a scant few minutes before.

The Savaii tribe reaches their beach first. As was the case with Boston Rob and the Ometepe tribe last season, some of the players are looking up to Ozzy. The vibe among the castaways is quite positive. Since she possesses many of the qualities prized by the superficial man, Ozzy is soon smithen by Semhar's beauty. Poor fool. . . One would think that he'd know better, right? At Ozzy's suggestion, the tribe goes for a swim to bond and get to know one another. Skinny and dorky John Cochran isn't too thrilled by the idea.

This is like the 90210 tribe and I'm one of the zeroes.

Meanwhile, the Upolu tribe is definitely giving Coach the cold shoulder for losing the challenge. He asks the others not to see him as a threat. Trying to lead by example, he encourages everyone to chip in and start building the shelter.

Claiming that she'll go search for firewood, Christine immediately begins looking for the hidden immunity idol.

As they're getting to know each other, Mark reveals that he is gay. He wants the others to call him Papa Bear. While the others are taking it easy in the water, Dawn is upset. She was hoping that they'd be more organized and she'd love to get a shelter up.

Back at the Upolu camp, work on the shelter progresses. Though she's a lingerie football player, Mikayla doesn't mind working and getting her hands dirty. But Brandon doesn't trust the sexy model.

Later that night, a few of them sit by the boat and stare at the stars. Coach tries to bond with them and hopefully form an alliance.

Day 2

Although there is an easy-going vibe at the Savaii camp, Dawn feels that she's experiencing a little breakdown. Mark reminds her that they are the eldest in the tribe, so she must keep it together.

Crying is viewed as a weakness.

Ozzy attempts to reassure her. He feels that he is the anchor of the tribe at the moment and it's his job to do this.

Well, that's about it for their second day in Samoa, it seems. Could well be the most uneventful day in Survivor history!

Day 3

On the Savaii campsite, work on the shelter is finally underway. After three days! That's got to be some sort of record. . . Since few reward or immunity challenges are likely to take place in a Law School library and based on what the young man has accomplished thus far, Ozzy doubts that Mr. Cochran can be an asset to the tribe.

Back on the Upolu beach, Brandon goes snorkeling and catches the first fish of the season. How long he'll actually manage to conceal his tattoos remains to be seen. He says he'll never reveal that he's Russell's nephew. Be that as it may, his body might do him in. . .

Both tribes meet again for the immunity challenge. Both teams must go through a huge obstacle course. At the end of the course, three members from each tribe must shoot coconuts in a basket to raise their flag. In addition to immunity, the winning tribe will also get a clue to a hidden immunity idol.

The Upolu tribe reaches the wall first. Wimpy Cochran costs his tribe some precious time as he fails to scale the wall on more than one occasion. Fortunately for them, Ozzy makes up a lot of time when it's his time to shine. Though she specifically asked to be part of the shooting team, Semhar sucks at the coconuts. Meanwhile, Mikayla is a scoring machine. And though Savaii is one coconut away from victory, it's Upolu that wins immunity and fire in the form of flint. Jeff Probst reveals that a clue to the idol is hidden back at their camp.

Excited by their victory, the Upolu tribe starts their search for the clue. Stacey actually touches it without realizing it.

Semhar offers an apology to her tribesmates. She's irked by the fact that Jim made faces behind her back. Semhar is aware that being responsible for their defeat and her altercation with Jim put her in danger of being voted out tonight.

Mark tells Dawn that he won't write her name down. He feels that Semhar should go.

Ozzy, for his part, is gunning for the weakling Cochran, claiming that it's not fair to blame Semhar for their loss. Jim is concerned by the fact that Ozzy wants to keep Semhar around. He's afraid that Ozzy will make an alliance with the girls, which could end up costing him the million dollars.

Hence, Jim warns Cochran that Ozzy is trying to get him voted out. The Harvard Law student instantly gets paranoid. He doesn't like being called the weakest player in their tribe.

It started as a dream, but it's a nightmare now.

At tribal council, Semhar is in the hot seat for costing her tribe the win at the immunity challenge. And Cochran is forced to defend himself for being perceived as the weak link in the Savaii tribe.

Though it could have gone either way, Mr. Cochran only gets one vote cast against him, while the beautiful Semhar racks up the remaining eight votes and gets sent to Redemption Island.

I should have taught her how to make a fire.

Here's to hoping that Cochran gets the boot next week, and we can have a showdown between him and Semhar on Redemption Island. Getting your ass kicked by a girl on national TV can't be good. . .

Though there are a lot of disparate characters and personalities among the tribes, nothing much happened in this first episode. The 90-minute format permitted us to get to know the cast better, true. But nothing of note occurred; nothing to keep the casual viewers from giving The X Factor a shot next week. And with ratings of just 10.57 million viewers for the premiere last night, this doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. These are the lowest ratings a non-recap episode has ever garnered in the history of the show.

Time will tell. . .

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