Survivor season premiere recap: Twistapalooza

Rupert makes a controversial decision as Survivor: Blood vs. Water kicks off with more twists than a Chubby Checker song
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 18, 2013

A WATERED DOWN RUPERT? The big fella made a big strategic blunder when he traded places with his wife at Redemption Island, possibly dooming them both.

Monty Brinton/CBS

Previously on…Survivor. Some random little girl told Malcolm he was dreamy. Brenda showed off her baby bump. Boston Rob shamelessly promoted his book. Erik was not happy about not talking. And anyone who did not make it to either the jury or the stage looked like they were having about as much fun as Colton at an NAACP rally.

Oh, but that is soooooooo last season. It’s time for 20 new suckers…er, contestants to freeze, starve, and suffer for our enjoyment. And it’s time for them to suffer alongside their loved ones, because it’s time for Survivor: Blood vs. Water! And I have a special treat for you. Joining me on recap duties this week will be none other than self-proclaimed OG Gervase Peterson! Gervase and I hit it off when I followed him and his niece Marissa around on Day Zero, so he kindly agreed to join me here. Gervase will pop in with the occasional commentary as he sees fit. So anyway, let’s get started, everyone!

I’ve been calling this the most twist-heavy season in Survivor history, and it begins with one right off the bat: Day Zero. As Probst told me, Day Zero was an idea instituted by Mark Burnett because Probst wanted to vote people off their tribe at the very start and Burnett thought it was too mean so came up with the plan to at least allow them to spend a night together with a loved one — alone. Each of the pairs is dropped off…. Hold on a second. I think Gervase is falling behind. You okay, man? Yeah, so it looks like we just need to hang out here for a bit to let Gervase catch up…He’ll only be a minute. We can just talk amongst ourselves while we wait.…………. Soooooooo, Syria. Bummer, right? Totally.………Okay, here he comes. Let’s get back to it.

So as I was saying, each of the pairs has to rough it for an evening with no supplies. Producers basically condense all this footage into five minutes to open the show because nothing really exciting happens when you have two people who get along quite swimmingly sitting there doing nothing in the dark. Over all this footage, Probst gives us voice over narration about the contestants — contestants like Kat, about whom Probst says “Now with Big Brother winner and boyfriend Hayden, they hope to go all the way.” Ummm, Jeff, not to issue a spoiler alert or anything, but I’m pretty sure Kat and Hayden have already gone all the way, if you know what I’m talking about. And I think you know what I’m talking about. (Note: I am talking about sex. They’ve had sex. That’s the message I am trying to convey.)

After more quotes are dragged out of players about how much they want to beat their loved one, we are finally off to the real start of the game as the players all congregate around Jeff Probst and a spectacular sunset. It’s no accident that Rupert and Laura are the first to… Dammit. It looks like Gervase has fallen behind again. I’m sorry about this. He promised me he had trained this time and that his endurance would not be an issue. Let’s just let him catch his breath here. You good, Gerv? No, no, it’s cool. Take your time, man. We’ll wait.…… Let's just chat for a bit to give my mind some time. Sooooooo, Sleepy Hollow. You watch? Weird, right? How does the guy see if he has no eyes? CRAZY!…… Hold on, I have an idea. Yo, Aras! Can you get back there and push Gervase? Thanks, bro. And sorry for calling you bro.

NEXT: Welcome to your new tribe. Now get lost!

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