Survivor Premiere SnapCap: “Papa Bear and Crooked Nips”

Tribe Palaii’s Ozzie, Papa Bear, Cochran and Jim

Survivor has returned, and I’m frustrated because – Boo! – the new cycle retains two terrible game
play tweaks introduced last season.
The first is having two past players return to
anchor the tribes. Now I love me a good All-Star season, but having just two
returnees dropped in amongst newbies means they will either be an immediate
target for elimination – or worse – they will completely dominate the game and
make winning seem like a foregone conclusion, just as Boston Rob did last season. Great, totally dominating player –
boring television.

This season’s returnees are Coach and Ozzie, and
it hardly seems like an evenly matched pair. Sure, Coach made for good TV in his
two past seasons, but his dragon-killing crazy talk and all of that “eye of the tiger”
bullsh*t made him more of a joke than a competitor.

Ozzie, on the other hand, totally physically dominated the
game. Not so much for brute strength, but for
his agility and insanely good hand eye coordination. I mean, the guy swings from trees like
a monkey! Ozzie is a likeable player for sure, but his social game was always his
weakness. Even so, he was far better at the social component than Coach
ever was.

The second tweak to the show’s formal is “Redemption Island” which seems like a
distraction from where the real action is: back at the two tribe camps. Maybe I’m
old fashioned, but I think when a player gets voted off they should be voted off. With Redemption Island they’re
left to painfully linger on for a few episodes.

But even with the two annoying formula tweaks, I am excited
about a new season of Survivor! And judging by some of the personalities
we saw in the first episode, this could be a really good cycle. Here’s how I’d rate last night’s premiere…


Survivor casting adheres to a certain aesthetic formula, and normally there are four or five hot guys
for eye candy. But I think we was robbed this season! Judging by the first
episode at least, only 26-year old water treatment tech Keith Tollefson really catches your eye. He’s like the tattooed
love child of Josh Brolin and Michael Ontkean! Unfortunately, Keith
didn’t have much to say in the first episode. He just wanders around a lot in
the background in his underwear. Which is fine by me.

Keith Tollefson

Judging from the CBS bio pics, there’s also baseball/dating
coach Albert, but we hardly saw him
at all in last night’s episode.

I used to think Ozzie was adorable, but I’m not digging the long locks and he seems to have
gotten stouter over the years. Also, last night for some reason I found his crooked nipples
distracting. And not in a good way. See evidence below.

Ozzie, then and now

Oh well, thank goodness for Survivor’s rice starvation diet. Crooked nipples or no, I’m
betting Ozzie will be a stunner again if he makes it to the end. (Which he very
likely will.)

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