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

I am a fountain of embarrassment. One time in high school I drunkenly tried to impress a girl at a party by showing her my super-awesome-trampoline-flip. Instead I showed her my super-awesome-face-plant-into-painful-unpadded-coil-springs. (The fact that I thought jumping around on a trampoline in high school was cool is embarrassment enough.) Another time, while at a country music awards show, I asked some guy I did not know named Keith Urban if country music singers really drank as much as they sang about drinking, or if it was all just a lot of embellishment to make them seem more badass. Turns out Urban had just gotten out of rehab. Whoops! (In my defense, Kenny Chesney had forced me to consume moonshine mere moments earlier, so I wasn’t exactly in my right mind.) And then there was the time I got so sunburned on national television that I had to walk around with a purple shawl over my head. (No, hold on, that was Cochran. Sorry, I get my skinny dorks confused sometimes.)

The point is, I’ve had my fair share of humiliation. But I’m not sure anything I have done can match up to what transpired last night. You go on Survivor and get voted out first? That’s bad. You go on Survivor TWICE and get voted off first both times? Well, I honestly don’t think there is a word for that. Oh, wait, yes there is — FRANCESCA!

When it comes to Survivor sad sacks, a lot of people put Matt Elrod at the top of the list. Matt got blindsided by Boston Rob, worked his way back from Redemption Island…and then got immediately blindsided again. But don’t forget about Wanda and Jonathan from Palau. They never even made it onto a tribe, as neither was selected in an episode 1 schoolyard pick’em. (Some said that was unfair because they never got a chance to play. I say it was completely fair because you start playing the game the second you lay eyes on the other contestants. Plus, they had 24 hours on the beach to make buddies before the pick went down. So tough noogies for them.)

But what happened to Francesca is far, far worse. Because her reign of error extends over multiple seasons in multiple years. Her badness knows no boundaries! The oddest part about all of this is that I have always named Francesca as my favorite first boot ever. I love the gal! I consider her both smart and funny. I was ecstatic that they brought her back. It really was a no-lose proposition as far as I was concerned: Either she does much better and rescues her reputation, or she gets voted out first again, which would be hilarious. And I’m okay with calling out someone’s misery as hilarious for two reasons. 1). It was hilarious. And 2.) I know Francesca well enough to be confident that even she can’t help but find some humor in the situation. I mean, what else can you do in that situation except laugh? And maybe eat rocks. (Hey, she promised!)

I actually think from here on out they should bring Francesca back for every season, and have her voted out first every time. It would be like the Survivor version of “They killed Kenny!” Well, on the positive side, at least Phillip got her name right this time. And now she is part of Survivor history, even if it is for all of the wrong reasons. But while it may have been the end of Francesca (again), it is the start of another Survivor season premiere recap (again). So let’s get to how it all went down.

The show starts off with people we don’t know (Fans, they’re called) talking about how cool it is to get a chance to play, which is followed by the biggest Survivor blooper reel you have ever seen in your life. One by one, we are reminded of all the boneheaded blunders the returning players made their first time out — moves so shocking that we are once again treated to the shot of Eliza Orlins opening her mouth so wide you could fit all of Shamar through it. Seriously, that shot has been used so often throughout the years that at this point Eliza should be paid royalties on it.

NEXT: Malcolm performs a pants-off dance-off

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