Origins Story - Ordering! Give me a three tribe Filipino with a Tyler Perry twist. No, not Katy Perry, that would be a float. Hold the rye... err, RI... uhm, Redemption Island.
So it begins at the Alcohol Distillery, Vape Bar and Brothel that CBS built in my honor oh those many years ago. So the morning after the night before, the Brawn, the Brains and the Beauty tribes were born. I call them the "Prawns, Drains and Needy" but as long as it gets good ratings, who wants to split hairs?
We begin with the basics; Jiffy Pop perched on the highest mountain we can find while crew members look admiringly up his khaki shorts. The Brawn roll in on a repossessed Hertz jeep on four flat tires. The Beauties glide up in a boat, the wind whipping through their oiled breasts and with the women, their long flowing hair. And finally the Brains descend from the heavens in a machine that has the Brawnies pounding rocks together and grunting "Whirl-e-bird! Whirl-e-bird!"
Jiffy Probst's first order of business after having the new tribe members try to guess which tribe they're on, is to elect leaders. Then the leaders are immediately told to pick the weakest tribe mate and cast that person aside. See what I'm doing here? Create a caste system, power imbalances and distrust. Just like any third world dictator, but with a much bigger expense account and countless nubile PA's. So representatives LJ, Sarah and David pick Morgan, Trish and Garrett. But instead of being cast into a fiery pit, those three are chauffeured to the Beauty, Brawn and Brains camps and presented with a dilemma; either use a clue to find the HII or provide more rice for the tribe. Bazinga!
Garrett proves he belongs on the Brains tribe by finding his HII in pretty short order. As a Pilates Instructor, Trish knows the value of carbo-loading and opts for the extra rice. Beauty Morgan, on the other hand, passes on the rice and fails to find the HII. She tells her tribe that she was looking for the seafood bar, so she comes up selfish, but without the shellfish.
Morgan is also under the delusion that her devastating beauty will be all she needs to have men falling all over her. Even men who really have no interest in her. Her tribe votes her "most likely to require a Restraining Order" and she promptly forms an alliance with Brice who shows the potential to out fem the tag-team duo of Colton & Caleb.
Camp Life- Over at the Brawny/Aparri tribe, Cliff Robinson, the 8 foot tall athletic guy who keeps offering to run pick-and-roll drills with everyone he sees can't conceal the fact that he was an NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and NJ Nets. "So, basically you're sayin' that you couldn't get along wid anybody" says Tony, who is clearly not a fan. Seeing how Cliff is quickly becoming everyone's favorite, Tony vows to "stay sharp on my toes."
The Brainy/ Luzon tribe has their own troubles, in the form of J'Tia. The Nuclear Engineer is nuking her relationship with her tribe by bossing everybody around because she's visualized the perfect shelter and she wants her staff to assemble it before the judges from Better Huts & Gardens show up.
IC: Putting the Cart Before the Whores - The first Immunity Challenge is from the Ikea Collection. Teams need to roll the cart, knock keys off a pole, unlock chests, dismantle the cart, rebuild the cart and put together puzzle pieces. All without a single Danish Modern end table or a Swedish meatball to call their own. Surprisingly, the Beauties pull it together with the Brawnies in second place. This leaves Jiffy moaning that the Brainiacs are putting in one of the worst Survivor challenge performances ever. Even Brainy mascot Cochran is at home, looking at his 110" HD television and shouting, "less medulla oblongata and more mule!"
The Brains will head to the first TC of the season.
In the backstab dance prior to Tribal Council, David and Kass are allied against J'Tia for her poor work ethic around camp, but ultimately Garrett, J'Tia and Tasha manage to push Miami Marlins president David Samson into the locker room.
Know When To Hold 'Em, Fold 'Em or Flip 'Em- In a confessional, pro poker player Garrett is talking like he might take his cards and go home. He describes his life as playing poker and having people bring him chicken sandwiches at the table. He says, "I don't want to play Survivor to survive." Maybe he'll change his mind when he learns of some of the insects that can crawl up his hole card while he's sleeping.
Meanwhile over at Camp Brawny, besties Cliff and Woo have taken the boat out for a romantic getaway. Cliff opines that everyone needs a wingman. "Batman had Robin and Cliff has Woo." He gets so excited about having his new wingman inside his wingspan that Cliff manages to capsize the canoe.
Back on land, Tony is hinting to Trish about a secret project. Hey everybody, it's #Spyshack! He proudly explains that he'll be able to lean inside his banana leaf curtain and hear everything Cliff is saying. "Small talk and big talk!" gushes Tony as he rambles on about taking over the pride by killing Cliff the Lion and the cubs.
If Tony starts giving everyone Secret Agent names then Phillip has definitely got a viable copyright infringement suit ready to go.
IC2: Fish or Cut Bait - In this second Immunity Challenge, Cliff sits out because his 8-foot frame is not really built for squeezing into and out of an underwater bamboo cage. Brice sits out because he's pacing himself and waiting for the Joan Rivers Fashion Police challenge.
At any rate, the Brains tribe leads due to Garrett power while the Brawnies are in second place. Once up on the beach, J'Tia is in charge of the puzzle and should have a comfortable lead. But the Brawnies are right behind her, with Sarah placing five puzzle pieces while J'Tia stares at just one. Even the Beauties manage to climb back into it, leaving the early leader in last place and destined for Tribal again. The Nuclear Engineer can't seem to solve a puzzle that is usually in Aisle 3 of Toys-R-Us.
Not Duke, Not Prince, Not Earl - Pawing through the IC reward tackle box, Tony finds a clue to the HII which leads him to a secluded pond and the necklace. This quite naturally leads to some babbling about sneak attacks, a victorious/sexual moaning that I'm dubbing the "Hidden Idol-gasm" and a claim that Tony is the King Of The Jungle. Again, we hear the plaintive cries of Phillip Sheppard deep in the night... "bitch stole my look!!"
"We've been reviewing your file..." - In the wake of the Brainies loss, Garrett calls for an open group discussion. They go around the horn and bar-b-que J'Tia for her poor performance, her bossiness and her general laziness around camp. It's a bold, brilliant/stupid move that has J'Tia desperate and Tasha demanding a Survivor refund. "What do you mean we can't go running into corners of the jungle and scheme? I want to scheme and backstab! That's how you play Survivor" wails Tasha.
But Garrett forgets to close the door. They leave J'Tia alone for a few seconds and she has her Carrie moment. Her eyes roll toward the back of her head, and she dumps all of their rice into the fire. As J'Tia says so eloquently, "That's what happens when you leave crazy people alone."
This leads to the most poignant observation from Kass; "How are we the Brains? I'd like to see that data."
By the time Tribal Council rolls around, Garrett is starting to take on a haunted Criss Angel look. Jiffy pokes and prods and after Garrett gets hung up in an "Alliance, uhh I mean Tribe" verbal punji stick trap, he's the one who loses the pot and walks over to the Ponderosa to shuffle up and deal.
Executive Producer Mark "Philippines Man Of The Year" Burnett