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'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Stay Everyone, Trust No One' Recap (Season Premiere)

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Feb 12th 2010 12:32AM
The castaways of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
(S20E01) We've already had epic hype for an epic season of 'Survivor.' More intense than a typical 'All-Stars' version, this season pits the (supposedly) best of good and evil in a battle to be the sole survivor. It's kind of like the Stephen King novel, 'The Stand.' Forces for good and evil, perhaps with a few shades of gray in-between, ready to duke it out for the win. Well, I could see Evil Russell being Randall Flagg, can't you? The casting is right for both sides. I would have liked to see Richard Hatch and Yau-Man Chan in there, but it wasn't my decision to make. I'm just a witness to the chaos.

Due to the 20th season hoopla, as well as the casting, they changed up the format for the premiere a bit. Usually, in a two-hour premiere, we'd see two people voted out. This time, just the basic intro for the cast took up fifteen minutes. Mind you, I'm not complaining. It was interesting to revisit the castaways and get their take on being on the show once again. Russell was star-struck. Most of the female villains think they're heroes. I agree with them. With the exception of Jerri Manthey, most of the women are just strong competitors and good strategists more than they are actual villainous evil people.

Judging by the reward and immunity challenge tonight, it looks like we're in for recycled, yet made a bit tougher, challenges for the season. Okay, I'm game with that. Just make 'em tough on them! Um, well ... perhaps it's not a great idea to literally kill the castaways off in the first reward challenge, though. Sheesh, Stephenie's dislocated shoulder made me feel the pain. I can't believe she didn't shed a tear! And, Rupert's broken toe is going to haunt him for the rest of the time he's there.

Overall, down and dirty and physical right off the bat in the first challenge. The high point for me was Sugar racing to the finish, scoring, and shooting the bird all while topless. The low point was my man Colby being trounced by Coach. Yeah, Coach, of all people! I'm no Tyson fan, but he called it right -- "Owned by Coach, he may as well be a woman." (Nothing against women, of course. I'm a woman. Meow.)

Although the ginormous amount of time spent in the camps dragged a bit at times, I can understand why they did it. After all, they have the 20 greatest players of all time (according to them), and to throw one out to sea really soon would be such a shame. It's too bad they don't use this format during regular seasons where we barely get to know the first one out. Each tribe had their high moment -- Rob made fire to the awe of all who are in awe of him; the heroes managed to work together to net three hens and a rooster roaming about their camp.

And then there was the showmance angle. Coach and Jerri? Say it ain't so! He's a loon! While she's an evil so-and-so, I never thought she'd fall for his delusional ways. It's definitely unrequited love for Sugar and Colby. I don't know what was up with that. He was giving all kinds of go-away hints, and she wasn't taking them. Not a showmance per se, but the alliance building between Boston Rob and Sandra is one to be watched.

So many of them told us they were changing up their games, and I don't see them doing much different than they did before. Russell is still way too full of himself and going into final two deals with many people. Coach is still delusional and thinks he's out there slaying dragons while he's better at tilting at windmills. Rupert is still a furry man-child caveman. Tyson is still mean, as is Randy. Most of the guys on the villains tribe tend to be more character and buffoonery than strategy. On the heroes side, Tom is already delving into strategic moves. JT is switching up a bit and won't be the nicey-nice boy this season. We'll see him do some backstabbing.

You notice I'm not saying much bad about the women on either side. With the exception of Sugar, both tribes have the best women strategic players and the toughest physical competitors, too. If a good amount of women remain after the merge, they can rule the roost. Actually, after the merge, this show might get more intriguing than it is already. If memory serves, Sandra and Rupert were tight -- she threw out the fish he caught when his tribe voted him out. Jeff made it out to be evil, but it was because Rupert was her ally.

Dreams crashed and universes collided when the heroes lost the immunity challenge after starting off so great. I'm really not sure why they put Rupert on a puzzle, but his fellow puzzle people weren't anything to write home about either. I tell you, it's that Sandra and Rob combination working the puzzle for the villains that made for the win. They need to be watched. I might just have to get on the Boston Rob train this season.

My heart skipped a few beats when the heroes went from talking about taking Sugar out to taking a stronger player out. Yes, they have a point -- keeping a stronger player in makes it hard to get rid of said stronger player down the road. But, dang it, they're ALL strong players except for Sugar! While I really enjoyed Sugar at times in her season, she's not in the same league and needs to get out of the ball park! What Tom said about getting Cirie out, what Cirie said about getting Stephenie out ... that could be said for each and every one of them ... except Sugar. The first person out isn't the time to start getting rid of the best players.

I'm glad they came about to my way of thinking. Sugar, the tribe has spoken, don't let the palm frondle you on the way out. The vote was unanimous for a Sugar ouster with the exception of Sugar's vote for Amanda. Do you think they made the right decision, to get rid of the weaker rather than the stronger at this time?

Which alliance will be the most successful?
Rob and Sandra231 (38.3%)
Tom and Stephenie106 (17.6%)
Coach and Jerri13 (2.2%)
Russell and anyone he can con161 (26.7%)
Cirie and Amanda71 (11.8%)
Other -- you tell me!21 (3.5%)

[Watch episodes and clips of 'Survivor' over at SlashControl.]

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I think it is going to be a good season, but it will be interesting to see how long they keep Russell, Randy, Tyson, Coach, etc., around. One of the women commented they they knew he was going around making final two deals with everyone, so that tells me she knows something about him. I love Rupert....he is just a genuinely nice person, and I hope he is able to stick around for a while. I suspect he won't let a broken toe hold him back. I am glad to see James back. Hopefully he'll play a smarter game this time. And I like JT and am anxious to see how he changes his game. Russell, Coach, Boston Rob, Tyson, Randy...can't stand any of them. I DO hope someone wins who hasn't won before. Rob certainly doesn't need the money after he and Amber have won 2 shows and she finished 2nd in another.

February 15 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the show being 2 hours, wish they'd do that more often. Me, I could watch the show all year long, though.
I can't stand Boston Rob (and his accent) but there's no denying he's a great player & good TV.
Coach is still as annoying as ever. Some things never change.
Rupert's a good guy, has a good foundation is his real life. Not the greatest player of the game ever, but I like him way better than a lot of the others that are back (Tyson? What a jerk.) Should be a great season!

February 13 2010 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Nikos

I wish they had voted off Cirie... She's the definition of riding coattails and then being the "nice one" (or the least "unnice" one) I guess that wins the game... Please say this won't happen again...

February 12 2010 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to O Nikos's comment

Riding coattales is a legit way to win the game.

February 14 2010 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved knowing all the characters ( and disliking several, too). The physical combat session was a little too combative and the show risks losing some good people to stupid injuries. Sugar brought the least to the team and was way too clingy and needy.
Chasing Colby around? Really?
Rob and Sandra are dangerous and Tyson and Randy are mean-spirited jerks. Hope they get their just do's.

February 12 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Loved last night's show. It's so great to know all the faces from the get-go for a change.

Hope Boston Rob is okay next week. I'm so not ready for him to leave yet. Rupert just makes me smile.

If only Hatch had been allowed to return.......

February 12 2010 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate Boston Rob and crybaby Stephanie who thought it was her right to be kept on her Survivor despite her tribe losing every challenge. I can't believe Coach actually won anything.
I like Cirie and Russell.

February 12 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know why people like Rupert. It's not like he couldn't make fire and was mellow about it. Once again we see his a very insecure nutball...

I really like Randy (I was born able to like him), but I loved seeing Boston Rob make the fire in spite of him.

Bill Nye the Science guy, aka Bob, should've been back over Sugar from her season. Wouldn't you love to see someone who can craft amazing fake idols in a game with Russell? Would be mind boggling potential.

I'm glad to see Jerri back. Sure, she's the black widow, but I do think she's been badly pegged by her caricature on the show. With that said, I'm glad to see that she now accepts her role as the original villainess. I like her. I think she'd be fun. She certainly didn't deserve what the fans reaction to her was at the last all-stars reunion... so I'm happy she's back and seems okay with how she's portrayed.

Russell is right...He's in a different league. I just was hoping to see him burn all their stuff again!

However, where he's wrong is that there's no Hatch... and without Hatch, what sort of Villains team do you have? It's like minions fighting, but no Sauron...

February 12 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't recall them ever doing a 2 hour premiere. I think it's a no-brainer since there's so much going on in the first few hours of the game. Great for character development. I really hope they keep it.

The other thing I'd love to see added is a lay-of-the-land segment. It wouldn't need to be more than a couple of minutes but it would be great to see where the camps were in relation to each other, where the challenges might be and how long the hike to tribal is.

February 12 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd forgotten how much I adore Stephanie. I hope she can make a long run.

February 12 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You have to remember that the Villians weren't able to see Russell's game-play (they shot the season BEFORE any of season 19 even aired), therefore they don't know about his immunity-idol finding streak, unless of course he tells them about it.

And I'm also pulling for Boston Rob to be able to continue after next week's promo. He was one I was really excited to see back, to see if he could work his magic on this group of all-stars.

I was surprised with Tom's aggressive strategizing, maybe I don't remember him being that way previously. But he seems to really have a plan, which I like, but I'm afraid for him to be 'outted' because of it.

I'm glad Sugar was the first to go, she was the one I felt was completely out of her league this season. But I totally give her props for the topless flipping of the bird, it will be one of my favorite moments of the season for sure!


February 12 2010 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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