Survivor Panama: Premiere
No long death hike this time -- we begin with a challenge to get fire. The first challenge is to smash skulls and find an amulet. The first three tribes get a flint, the last tribe gets to send someone to Exile Island. Austin, Terry, Ruth Marie and Danielle get chosen. Terry is the first one back, bringing the amulet to the older guys, Austin is second for the young guys, and Ruth Marie is third bringing it up for the older women. Danielle volunteers to stay on Exile Island since she lost the challenge but the other young women decide that it is fair to play paper, rock, scissors. Misty ends up on Exile Island. Jeff reveals there is also an immunity idol on Exile Island and that the holder of the idol can wait until after a vote in which they have gotten exiled to use the idol. And with that the Survivors are sent off to make camp.
The older women do a good job of making a fire and getting themselves prepared except for Cirie who doesn't like the
outdoors. The young men are well-prepared and the older men get right to work building a fire, boiling water and making
shelter. From the guys there's lots of grunting and chest-swelling about their accomplishments. Dan chooses Terry to
bond with and they make a pact not to lie to each other. Dan confesses he was an astronaut on the space shuttle and
Terry says that he used to be in the military. Meanwhile, Shane, the youngest of the older, is a bit cranky about the
work load and lack of cigarettes (if you knew you were going on Survivor, why not quite beforehand?). The young women
can't seem to decide where to build a shelter. They found a dead tortoise on their land which causes Courtney, the fire
dancer, to create a little shrine to the turtle. Meanwhile, it sucks to be Misty over on Exile Island in the rain. She
eats worms and plans her strategy, which mainly consists of bluffing that she found the idol.
Challenge time: the tribes have to climb, swim, row and then solve a puzzle. Younger women take an early lead to solve a brainteaser and free the metal ring. The younger women win immunity, followed by older men and then younger guys. The older women are going to tribal council. (side note: should we even bother to refer to the tribes by name when Jeff and the screen titles refer to them by age and gender?).
It should be an easy decision. Send Cirie home. But why is Tina off by herself? Turns out she's mourning the death of her young son which gives Cirie the chance to lobby hard for survival and send Tina home. Just then Tina brings home a fish. Cirie scales the fish to try and prove that the tribe can survive without the "lumberjack lady" (nice try). At tribal, Jeff the Omniscient picks up on the fact that Tina is leading and quizzes Cirie on it who shrugs off Tina's survival skills, saying that anyone can do this. Tina does say the others aren't working as hard which makes Melinda angry. The girls don't like being bossed around and Tina gets the boot. Dumb move, ladies, you just voted out your strongest member. Jeff looks as annoyed by them as I am.