Last season was one of the worst seasons of Survivor ever. It was almost painful to watch. For one thing, playing old vs young was a fairly ridiculous idea and really limited the types of challenges they could use. Not that no older people can compete physically, but as a whole…not so much. They learned their lesson on that one. This season the Survivor team has decided to try to shake things up a bit with two big surprises/changes:
- The first was redemption island. From now on, when a contestant gets voted out of the show, it does not mean they are gone. Instead, they are sent to an island where they must live alone and compete against another voted out contestant to remain. At some point in the game they will have the opportunity/possibility to reenter the game. To be honest this could work for or against a contestant. On the one hand, it would be impressive that they managed to live so long by themselves and come back (depending how long they are there). On the other, they also missed all the changes in alliance and dynamics and likely won’t have the connections the others have. Plus, the others won’t have ever been voted off, which seems to mean they played better.
- The other thing about this season is the return of Rob and Russell who are instantly separated. They obviously couldn’t be on the same team because that would be ridiculous, but at the same time, we don’t get to enjoy the rivalry without them interacting (I suppose that will come with the merge, assuming both remain). Being the only returners makes them both powerhouses and targets, both of which are interesting. Rob seems to have a solid hold on his team and basic determines every vote. Russell, meanwhile, is as polarizing as ever. People suspect him more than they want to work with him and this is the first time he’s ever playing with everyone truly knowing how he works.
Despite promises to make immunity idols harder to find, two have been discovered without clues. (One was even discovered by accident!) The shock, however, was the fact that Russell has neither of those idols. Better get looking Russ!
So far this season is miles ahead of last season. It may not be like Heroes vs Villains, but we have already seen one blindside (less surprising for the viewers but certainly surprising for the one voted out) and Russell has already been in an argument or two.