LAST EDITED ON 02-25-11 AT 02:49 PM (EST)
After 2 episodes, Season 22 seems to have been casted at least in the mediocre range with a decent enough mix of the entertaining, the likable, the attractive, and the none of the above. The pleasure and pain of having Rob and Russell back has been about equally proportioned. So, all in all, a solid if unspectacular opening that has possibilities depending on the story that develops.
1. B-Rob - Yeah, bad move to boot Matt, but I'm not there to see the entire dynamic. He might have overreacted to the threat of Matt and Andrea being a couple. Sure, he and Amber won the game that way, but they did it by dominating in challenges and making alliances with every other person in the tribe, not exactly something Matt/Andrea were a threat to do. Regardless, it would take an even worse move to get Rob off the top of my list. This is the 4th time around for Rob, and only Hunter ever stopped this guy from running his tribe. Still had the line of the show with- "Government jobs- stressful." Rob signaling who to vote for by patting their back was his purest Godfather move yet. Classic.
2. Mike - An Iraq vet who hates Russell? Yeah, that is pretty much good for 2nd in my book at this early stage in the game. Confronted Russell about the HII clue without drawing any of the counter fire. Well played.
3. Natalie - Cute girl who has positioned herself as Rob's #1 girl. Comes off as smart so far, but she'll need to be to win from this position. She has promised us a willingness to make moves. We will see.
4. Ashley - Only behind Natalie because she didn't have a confessional in episode #2. On the other hand, she might be even better positioned with being solidly in Rob's alliance without being under his wing. The way it was edited, her, Rob and Grant made the ultimate decision to boot Matt. She has otherwise been quiet, but her almost blur worthy tiny apricot bikini always gets my attention. Looks better with her hair down, see TC.
5. Grant - Physical powerhouse in Rob's alliance who got a confessional and was in on the vote decision. Seems well positioned and likable.
6. Rooster - Second only to Russell in edit of Zapatera. The show's casting department appears to have pulled off the extraordinary feat of finding a guy who makes Big Tom look cultured in comparison. His discovery of the HII seemed oddly edited and convenient, but if that is where production wants the story to go, then I'm all for it. Nothing would burn Russell more than being beaten by this guy.
7. Secret Agent Man - "They've given you a number, and taken away your name." The edit loves this guy, but I'll take his schizoid theatrics over Nay's play-byotch-for-the-cameras routine any day. He wisely played good solider this time around, but he remains an obvious loose cannon, just what production was hoping for when they casted him.
8. Kristina - At least has been playing hard and has gotten her share of the edit. Will that change now that the HII is no longer in her possession? On the other hand, it comes back into play now, and she found it once already with no clue. In the 1st episode, she reminded me of an amateur sitting at a poker table with a well-known pro, too anxious to go all in just for the chance to take him out. She might have settled since then. It isn't like she had much choice.
9. Andrea - Cute girl who had the audacity to make friends with Matt, unfairly targeted. She tries hard and appears likable. If she was smart, she'd make friends with Rob while keeping her eyes open for an opportunity to oust him. Unfortunately, previews do not suggest she is that smart.
10. Sarita - Seems fine. Not much more of an edit so far than the following.
11. Steve - Who? Stand up and be recognized, brother.
12. Julie - Obligatory older lady. Archetypical early boot.
13. David - I am making a wild guess and saying obligatory homosexual. Zero play in episode #2. Sat out the challenge, and the show, apparently.
14. Krista - So-so blond with nice body. Picked the Ashley/Danielle position of the Russell alliance. History has shown that is not a good position to be in.
15. Stephanie- The infamous hot, smart chick who thinks she is even hotter and smarter than she really is and thus inevitably gets in over her head. Apparently she missed the two seasons of Survivor where the one seen as Russell's lackey was generally derided and didn't get the vote. Maybe she thinks she is Natalie, but if that is the case, she is seriously delusional. Natalie was actually LIKED. That's how she won. Just keep rolling your eyes, sweetie.
16. Russell - His schtick is old. His game is tired. Even his confessionals have given way to suck-fest rewinds of garbage we've already heard ad nauseum. Blah, blah, blah... Everyone gather round to see the amazing @ss-clown of Survivor.
RI - (not Rhode Island)
Francesca - Caught in the perfect crap storm of B-Rob, a glory-blinded Kristina, and Secret Agent Man.
Matt - Schiz-punked. Forgot to get permission from B-Rob before flirting with Andrea and shaking hands with Zapatera. Apparently forgot who he was playing with. I might be interested in seeing him come back.