Survivor season premiere recap: Reign of Error

Survivor history is made, but for one player, it is the worst kind of history
Ep. 01 | Aired Feb 13, 2013

SMILES, EVERYONE, SMILES! It's not a fantasy -- they are back on the island.

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Oh, Favorites, I didn’t forget about you. The Favorites tribe — or Bikal, if you want to get technical — is all strategy talk all the time. There are so many alliances formed featuring so many combinations of people that I can’t keep it all straight. We do get to see the first real interaction between Phillip and Francesca since their Redemption Island feud and it is as awkward and delicious as one would hope, with Francesca extending the lamest olive branch imaginable, and Phillip basically shoving it back in her face by saying pretty much nothing.

That does not mean Phillip has nothing to say. Phillip has plenty to say, because that’s one of his B.R. Rules: Keep talking even when nobody is listening.  The B.R. Rules, it turns out, are a bunch of rules inspired by Boston Rob. Phillip only mentions the first three on air, but in an exclusive, I have obtained the full list of rules which I present now for your edification.


Rule #1: Get in an alliance.

Rule #2: Get in an alliance within an alliance.

Rule #3: Get rid of your alliance before it gets rid of you.

Rule #4: Marshmallows.

Rule #5: Promote own line of saggy pink undies for sale. Code Name: Sheppard’s Pie.

Rule #6: Find heaviest, nosiest blue shoes on planet Earth.

Rule #7: Keep talking even when nobody is listening

Rule #8: Make love to Boston Rob.

Rule #9:  Take anti-dry mouth medicine.

Rule #10: Convince Probst to model/promote Sheppard’s Pie undies at next Tribal Council.

Rule #11 — Amendment: Change the name of The B.R. Rules to eliminate confusion with the tribe’s other B.R. Rules, which refer to the Bathroom Rules of performing as many “aqua dumps” as possible.

Phillip goes on his own alliance-making spree and — he being The Specialist — even comes up with fancy nicknames for everyone. Corinne becomes “The Dominatrix” (which feels a bit on the nose if you ask me) while Andrea is hereby dubbed “The Eliminator.” No word on if Cochran is allowed to have another nickname after Coach already dubbed him “Zeus” his last time out. How many nicknames can one man have? Phillip ends things with a bizarre conversation with Erik in which he threatens the former ice cream scooper to join him or get voted out, yet ends with the claim that, “By the way, I’m just a messenger. I was sent. I’m an errand boy.” Way to pull the wool over his eyes, Specialist! Erik does not react well to the threat: “He’s a combative idiot loser who makes everybody crazy.”


Rule #12 — Amendment: Immediately rescind Erik’s bestowed nickname of Sir Scoop-a-Lot.

Hold on a second. Have you noticed that something has been seriously off with this episode of Survivor? It’s not just me, right? Something just feels missing. Oh, I know what it is! A John Cochran confessional! We’re about 45 minutes into the premiere and the man who loves nothing more than to boast about his record-setting confessional count in Survivor: South Pacific has not spoken a single word directly to camera! I can just picture the law student sitting at home pacing in front of the television and yelling at Arlene: “Mom, my confessional count for the season is shot to hell! I knew I shouldn’t have played on a season with Phillip Sheppard! This is a travesty!” Alas, we finally do hear from Cochran in perhaps the most Cochran-like confessional of all time as the man Probst dubbed “Survivor nerd” complains of a massive sunburn. On his feet, arms, head, everywhere. “I feel like crying, kinda,” he tells us, but doesn’t because he wants to seem tough. At least as tough as a guy who was not allowed to guard another guy in a reward challenge can be.

NEXT: Birds of a feather flock together — especially when that feather is giving up immunity

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