Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' Premiere - 'Hot Girl With a Grudge'
Pre-credit sequence. The division of tribes has been made by the quality the players most rely upon in life, whatever that means. The Brains Tribe has an average IQ of 130 which is, honestly, not all that impressive. I mean, they're smart, but they're not GEENA DAVIS smart. Spencer tied for first in the World Open Chess Championship and says he's both diabolical and a genius. If you say so! David is the President of the Marlins, which means that if there's a challenge that requires salary dumping, he's going to be hard to top. Kass is a lawyer who boasts about being undefeated, which is the kind of thing John Grisham characters boast about, that and smart older secretaries who have forgotten more law than most of us will ever know. On to the Beauty Tribe, whose beauty can't be measured numerically. But Morgan was an NFL cheerleader and she's sure she can get what she wants from guys. Jeremiah has a thick accent. Jefra was second place in Miss Kentucky three years in a row, which suggests at least three people who should be on "Survivor" instead. The Brawn Tribe includes Cliff Robinson, who is one of the 50 leading scorers in NBA history. Also in Brawn are Tony and Sarah, both police officers, though only Sarah says she likes punching people in the face. Brainy Tasha declares herself "super-smart," which is something no super-smart person would ever say. And Alexis is pretty, but she's also a student. Why do I feel like she isn't pretty enough to be classified only for her beauty or smart enough to be classified only for her Brains?
Ugly folks have won "Survivor" too, Jeffy. Jeff Probst waits for the tribes. Trish says she'd do anything to get to the finishing line. She's in Brawn, apparently. Lindsey doesn't like the pretty girls. Jefra looks at the Brain Tribe and immediately suspects that they'll be "the Cochran type." Probst explains that they've been divided by "three of the qualities it takes to succeed in this game." Um. No. Beauty is not a requirement. On any level. Morgan correctly guesses that she's in Beauty. Spencer correctly guesses he's with the nerds. Tony's comfortable with being in Brawn and he's ready to stomp Beauty and stomp Brains. With no prep time, each tribe has to select a leader. LJ is quickly selected as the leader of Team Beauty. Team Brawn picks Sarah, because she's a talker. David is selected as the lead of Brains, because he has a natty blazer. And now each leader has to pick the weakest member of the group on the spot. LJ guesses that the game will include a lot of physical challenges and selects Morgan, who he calls "hot" rather than "cute." "Me personally, I trust cute more than I trust hot," LJ observes. And I completely agree! Sarah chooses stick-thing Trish as the weakest in Team Brawn. After making it clear to his tribe that because his blazer doesn't match his pants, he's not wearing a suit, David picks Garrett as Brain's weakest, saying that he's making the decision for the end of the game. Is anybody else surprised that the President of the Marlins' first instinct is to jettison the strongest person on his team? Not anybody who watches baseball! The three rejects are going off on a chopper and eventually they'll have to make a decision on behalf of their tribes. Oh. Way to be cryptic, Probst. Do you seriously expect me to call the tribes anything other than Brains, Beauty and Brawn? Why would I do that, Jeff?
For yourself or for the tribe? The rejects are flown off. Garrett is bitter that David chose him, completely not understanding David's strategy. It turns out that they've been flown to their respective camps. They can choose to help themselves or help their tribes. If they help themselves? They get an Immunity clue. If they help the tribe? They get a second bag of rice. Garrett doesn't hesitate and helps himself. Garrett has a six-pack and he's a poker player, so he's more than just brains and he's already targeting David. Trish isn't surprised she was chosen and she pauses a bit more than Garrett did. "I'm so not selfish, but maybe I need to be," the single mom says. Trish goes with her gut and decides to help the team. And Morgan can't read. Oh, I'm kidding! Morgan thinks that LJ was tempted by her beauty and vows to never forgive him. She helps herself and admits that she's a selfish person. Well those decisions weren't especially surprising, now were they? We return to Garrett whose intellect doesn't extend to hide-and-go-seek activities. Instead, he turns it into a "splashing around in the water with lizards" activity and finds the Idol! I'm not sure I like this as a game-starter. Will the curvy Morgan do as well as Garrett? "There are so many different crevasses and nooks and crannies," Morgan observes, as the camera takes in her landscape. Unlike Garrett, Morgan is still searching as her colleagues arrive. Will she find something or will she jiggle her way out of the game?
Beauty and the Bust. Team Beauty arrives at camp and Morgan has to think fast. She does OK. She points to the fishing stuff and rice and shelter materials and says that she picked those over comfort items. Everybody agrees that Morgan did the right thing. I'll give Morgan some credit. LJ is concerned about Morgan and her underwear, suspecting that she's got something Immunity-related and he doesn't want "a hot girl with a grudge." Brice also senses Morgan could be a woman scorned and quickly goes and tells her that he would have chosen somebody else. "He's old, so..." Morgan says of the guy who's two years younger than I am. Oy. Alexis thinks expectations are going to be low, but soon Team Beauty has fire and coconuts. "I'm lovin' our tribe," says Jefra.
You can't coach height. Trish greets her Brawn tribemates with hugs and enthusiasm. Trish tells them exactly the choice she made. "I knew you would," Sarah says, even though she has no clue what she's saying. They're all giddy at their extra rice, though Tony leaves no doubt he'd have made the other choice. Lindsey's stoked and ready for any physical challenge, particularly impressed with the ginormous Cliff. It's easy to not tell people that you're a football player or a baseball player if you're of slightly-above-average size. Cliff, however, is 6'10" and even though he was always a weakass rebounder for his height, he has to admit he played "a little basketball." Yung, who apparently we're calling "Woo," was a Trailblazers fan growing up, so he knows Cliff well. Cliff's proud nobody seems to care. Sarah thinks Tony looks like a cop and asks him if he's a cop, but he says he's in construction. It's a silly lie, but he sticks to it, even though Sarah immediately cops to being a cop. Sarah doesn't trust Tony. Nor should she.
David would have preferred to build their shelter using Miami tax revenues. Garrett and his six-pack greets everybody else from Brains, including Spencer, who thinks Dave made a dumb decision. Asked about the choice he had to make, Garrett proves a lot less adept than Morgan and just answers a different question. Previously silent J'Tia is a nuclear engineer so this makes her the woman with the shelter plan? She expects she's the smartest person there and looks forward to coaching everybody on how to make her shelter. The problem? J'Tia has a plan, but nobody with the physical skill to accomplish her orders, so Super-Smart Tasha is already complaining about bossiness. "I don't appreciate her attitude," Kass says and soon she's conspiring with David to trade J'Tia for a group of midlevel prospects. Wait. No. They're conspiring to get rid of her. It doesn't help that J'Tia's shelter is not well built.
My kingdom for Giancarlo Stanton. Our first challenge is like an elaborate game of Mousetrap. It starts with a cart that has to be maneuvered through an obstacle course. Advantage Team Brawn! Then, however, the cart has to be taken apart and a puzzle has to be solved. Advantage Team Brains! Then they have to flirt with Jeff Probst until he blushes and looks away. Advantage Team Beauty! They're playing for a busy Immunity Idol for two teams. And they're also playing for a fire-making kit for first place and flint for second. The teams are all neck-and-neck for a long while, but Brawn pulls ahead with Brains a little bit behind, exactly as you might expect if you were feeling stereotype-y. I hadn't noticed how tough the last part of the pre-puzzle segment is. The Brain tribe just falls apart and Brawn has a big lead. Jeff Probst is, as you would expect, contemptuous of the ungainly nerds. "One of the worst performances out of the gate in the history of 'Survivor,'" Probst taunts. Is there any chance of a Brains comeback? Please? "Pound it a little bit," is J'Tia's only advice. "Trade for a Single-A pitcher!" is David's only advice. Out of nowhere, Beauty pulls ahead and tames the Beast! Brawn finishes second. Brain Tribe sucks. Now, barring twist, they'll do what so many "Survivor" tribes have done to start seasons: Vote out the African-American woman.
David only knows how to get rid of his *best* players, not his *worst*.Team Brains returns to camp. They realize now that they can't be cocky. Tasha blames everyone. "We're book-smart, but when it comes to playing this game, we're dumb," Tasha says. David and Kass are, again, thick as thieves. David wants to get rid of Garrett again, especially because he doesn't know what Garrett is doing on the Brains Tribe. Kass, however, wants J'Tia out. With absolute candor, Kass tells J'Tia that she's deadweight and it's time to scramble. J'Tia thinks she was motivating and not lazy and she cries. Garrett, however, reassures J'Tia that she's fine and that they should all vote David out. Spencer is good to vote David off, but he worries that they haven't heard about an Idol, so he wants J'Tia out because it's simple. Garrett knows David doesn't have an Idol, but he isn't sure if he has to bluff and vote J'Tia out to protect his poker face or something.
Tribal Council No.1. In this game, fire represents life! Garrett hates spiders. J'Tia begins by saying she's in trouble and goes on the offensive immediately. She handles it well, apologizing for being bossy and making jokes about her shelter failures. "If I'm talking too much, tell me to shut up," J'Tia says, as rain begins to fall. David is put on the spot to defense picking Garrett, so David says something about not dithering. Garrett is confident and David agrees the confidence is well-placed. J'Tia says David should be the target if it's not her. David says, "Jose Fernandez won the Rookie of the Year last year!" Or not.
The Vote, No.1. "In the real world, I may hire you, but in this world, not tonight," David says, writing J'Tia's name and suggesting the Marlins might be in need of a nuclear engineer. Probst tallies: J'Tia. David. J'Tia. David. David. DAVID. "Unbelievable," he says. What? The President of the Marlins doesn't understand how prioritizing long-term hypothetical strategy in a win-now game could backfire? At least he'll have a Top 5 pick in the next "Survivor" draft. "The tribe just doesn't have it together or they have it together just against me," he says.