Survivor season premiere recap: Brain Drain

The Brains tribe makes one stupid move after another, displaying a complete lack of Survivor smarts.
Ep. 01 | Aired Feb 26, 2014

SITTING DOWN ON THE JOB J'Tia didn't exactly make a great first impression

Monty Brinton/CBS

It’s a battle of the braggarts! The season begins with shots of the contestants converging on a field insterspliced with footage of the players telling us how awesome they are. Spencer boasts about how genius and diabolical he is, and uses his tying for first place in a big chess tournament as evidence. Kass tells us her track record as an attorney is undefeated. Morgan informs us that “from a guy, I usually get what I want,” while Jefra talks about getting second place at the Miss Kentucky pageant three years in a row…which actually sounds more sad than impressive. I mean, three years in a row? It’s like, take the hint, woman!

But wait, here are some more people that want to brag! “I’m super smart” says Tasha. “They don’t want to look at ugly girls all day,” explains Alexis as to why she won’t get voted off. “I will go down as one of the best players to play,” claims Spencer. Hold on, Spencer again?!? Get out of here, buddy. You already had your turn. Just for once I’d love for the show to can these Big Brother-type pre-game boasts and just have someone come out and be all like, “Yeah, I could do okay. Really depends mostly on luck. We’ll see.”

While all this is happening, Jeff Probst has somehow managed to get himself stuck up on a treacherous island mountain peak. No idea how he is planning to get down from there. Yet somehow — after delivering his famous “One Survivor!” line — he does and now he is on that field waiting for the contestants to show up. It’s the Survivor version of planes, trains, and automobiles as the players arrive by truck (the Brawn tribe), a boat (the Beauty tribe), and by helicopter (the Brains tribe, who win a point for coolest mode of transportation. It is the only point they will win all night.).

Probst lets the players figure out whether they are Beauty, Brawn, or Brains, and that takes all of three seconds. But then: TWIST TIME! The host forces each tribe to pick a leader. Well, that seems a bit random, but okay. Ah-ha, but with great power comes great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes the opportunity to screw yourself over in a big way. That’s because the newly appointed tribe leaders now need to pick out the person they deem the least valuable in their group. Beauty leader LJ picks Boobs McGee (a.k.a. Morgan) because he trusts cute more than hot and Boobs McGee is hot. At least that’s his logic. Brawn leader Sarah picks Trish, I guess because she’s older and skinnier.

Then Brains leader David — who goes to great pains to make sure we all know he is not wearing a suit because the jacket and pants do not match — picks out Garrett with nary a pause nor a trace of emotion, explaining that he is “focusing on the last two-thirds of the game.” Dude, at least fake it like you have a heart. People don’t want to align with a robot (unless it is a breakdancing robot, because breakdancing robots are awesome). By announcing you are already focusing on the last two-thirds of the game, all you are doing is making people want to get rid of you before then — in the first third of the game. Ugh.

NEXT: Gimme shelter…no seriously, can someone please make us a shelter?

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