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

But Probst now says ANOTHER big decision needs to be made. The three “weak” contestants now get to travel in advance back to the camp where they will have to make a big choice right off the bat. I love this stuff. I always like it when the show forces players to make tough calls — calls that dramatically impact their standing in the game. How do they react? What is the fallout? Good stuff. In this case that big decision back at the camp is whether the three weak players should help themselves with a clue to the whereabouts of the hidden immunity idol, or help the tribe with an extra bag of rice.

Garrett immediately takes the clue and looks for the idol, which apparently is guarded by some sort of army of killer snakes because I swear every other shot is of something slithering over or under a rock. Luckily for Garrett he does not have an Indiana Jones fear of serpents and locates the idol by a waterfall. Trish hems and haws but then decides to go for the extra rice. As for Boobs McGee, she makes every producer’s fantasy come true by stripping down to her underwear to take to the water in search of her clue. She doesn’t find it, but does something smarter than anyone on the Brains tribe will do all night long by telling the others when they arrive that the big decision was whether to pick food, shelter, and fishing stuff over comfort. The other thing of note that happens here on the Beauty beach is that Boobs McGee and Alexis both make like my girl Sally Schumann and rock the knee socks look, and it is a look I very much support.

Speaking of Survivor: Panama callbacks, is anyone else getting a Courtney Marit vibe from dreadlock sporting Lindsey? For that matter, does anyone else even remember Courtney Marit? Anyhoo, the action on the Brawn tribe mostly consists of Sarah accusing Tony of being a cop and Tony denying it. There is nothing I love more than people lying about their profession for no reason whatsoever. Seriously, who cares if you are a cop? That could even help you here. You and Sarah could have an instant cop alliance. But noooooooo, instead Tony has to needlessly fib because he’s worried if people find out he is a police officer from New Jersey they will think he is too “strategical.” As someone who lives in New Jersey I can assure him that would not be the case.

The Brains tribe beach arrival footage basically consists of J’Tia bossing everyone around on how to make a shelter and said shelter eventually collapsing, which is the perfect metaphor for these entire two hours when it comes to the Brains tribe.

Speaking of collapsing under pressure, let’s head to the evening’s first immunity challenge, in which the teams need to move a cart through an obstacle course, retrieve keys, unlock chests, put chests on a cart, dissemble the cart, go through…you know what? There are way too many directions to this challenge. They basically just have to race around and then do a puzzle, okay? First two teams get immunity and help making fire. “Disaster for the Brains tribe!” yells out Probst after they fall way behind, and it pretty much only gets worse from there. Which leads to this proclamation from the host with the most: “One of the worst performances out of the gate in the history of Survivor.” Wow, that’s saying something because there have been some absolute doozies. Beauty wins, and on a puzzle, no less. Take that, stereotypes!

NEXT: And the first loser of the season is…

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