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Sep 20, 2007

Survivor: China - Episode 1 Recap

Well, I'm going to try to add another (short-lived) feature here, one that I will no doubt be unable to keep up with, especially as it seems that the bulk of the "features" here are back-loaded towards the end of the week, and I only have so much time in the days. That said, the recaps probably won't be terribly long, but I'm a big fan of the show, so here goes. I won't give you a guide to the people or major bios or anything, as I figure you either watch the show or you don't - if not, enjoy the random words and pretty pictures and spend your time awaiting the next non-Survivor post.


The theme for this season of Survivor? Stupidity, apparently.

As we meet up with our castaways, they are being taken on a journey from Shanghai to a remote Buddhist temple. They receive a warrior's welcome, and are then asked to partake in a "welcome ceremony" (Jeff Probst's words) inside a temple. It doesn't take long for two of the "castaways" to alienate their hosts (and most likely, a number of viewers) as a young waitress from NYC thinks it's all just so dumb and a Christian radio show host feels as though the ceremony is infringing upon her personal relationship with the Jesus and must leave the temple.

Shortly after the ceremony, Jeff tells the group to ditch their suitcases, grab their buffs and head towards their respective islands. Oops - a number of morons are wearing not-so-jungle attire, including WWE wrestler Ashley (pictured at right) wearing knee-high boots and fishnet stockings, and another woman wearing heels. Additionally, a perky blonde states "I'm like totally not wearing a bra, Jeff" (I'm paraphrasing), to which Jeff responds "Tough sh*t." What a magical season we're in for.

Fast forward to the tribes' arrival at their camps, where we find the usual confusion/slackery behavior. Meanwhile, the unironically named "Chicken" (he's a chicken farmer - get it?) manages to first turn bossy ("You're doing it all wrong"), then ornery ("Do what you want"), and then just clams up. Way to ingratiate your backwoods charms upon your tribe mates, Chicken.

Up until the immunity challenge is filled with the seasonal getting-to-know-you stuff, with professional poker player Jean-Robert (pictured, not French despite the name) making friends with a gay Mormon flight attendant, telling him "I can tell you're clever. I like you, Billy." Whatever. Also, "I'm a surfer, but also a leader" guy just comes off as generally annoying.

Nothing spectacular happens at the challenge, with the Crouching Tiger team beating the Hidden Dragon team (or vice versa - who knows or cares at this point). Upon arrival at their camp, young PG immediately bursts into tears as she realizes how lame her team is. This rubs the team the wrong way, as she is next seen bossing them around. I feel for her, as she is right to worry, but maybe not the best of strategies there, PG.

At Tribal Council, everyone busts on wrassler Ashley as the big, tough girl managed to get "violently ill" immediately after arriving and coincidentally didn't do much of any work. Actually sick or brilliant ploy? You be the judge. However, her breasts (and the attached head) are saved from the chopping block as Chicken managed to piss off enough people to get axed. Dumb again, losers. Chick may have been unwise to become prickly, but he was strong, smart (in the survival sense, at least) and was a hard worker. Instead, the dance team will go on to lose next week for sure.

More sad news: it looks like my favorite competitor (so far), the quiet gravedigger James, has decided to hook up with DJ Jesus. Please see the light, James - you help so many other people to do just that.

Next week: Dave (occupation: "Former model") takes on the wrassler. Awesome. Kick ass, Dave.


10 people have chosen wisely: on "Survivor: China - Episode 1 Recap"

Matt said...

One of the women I work with went to high school with "DJ Jesus." Apparently she lived quite the wild life in her younger days before reforming into a holy woman that nobody likes.

MandyPoo said...

Hey - just to let you know, I'm new to your site...traveled here from Intermission at Work's site.

Anyway, I used to LOVE Survivor. In fact, my whole family would gather at my parents house just to watch...but now it conflicts with Grey's Anatomy (I know, totally a chick show), so I can't watch it...I'm relying on you for the scoop each week!

http://www.mrs-mandypoo.blogspot.com

Fletch said...

How absolutely shocking that a somewhat crazed religious person was a drug addict/alcoholic in their "former" life. I'm in dismay. ;)

Thanks for stopping by, mandypoo. I'll do my best to keep this up. Grey's Anatomy - pshaw!

Livingsword said...

Interesting blog…

I thought it was a very fascinating start for the new season of Survivor.

I thought the waitress from New York was very disrespectful towards the Buddhists and towards Leslie (the Christian). I thought Leslie was quite dignified in the way she calmly withdrew from the temple. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in.

Do you believe in freedom of speech but not in freedom of religion?

I was sad to see Chicken go and will not be sad when lackluster, and boring Ashley is gone.

I look forward to your future Survivor articles and invite you to check out mine at Life on the Blade (get it thru my profile).

By the way I believe that your use of the Survivor logo is an infringement of copywrite law. Since I am also blogging on Survivor also I checked it out.

Very cool how a relationship with Jesus transformed Leslie into such a strong woman.

Have a nice day.

NFL Adam said...

Thank you for this, young Fletcherson. I'm in this year, though I'll be watching from work.

Fletch said...

Thanks to all for your comments.

Livingsword, I'm not quite sure how Leslie's freedom of religion is being infringed upon. She can think she was being respectful in leaving quietly, however, I think she was being disrespectful (and ridiculous) by leaving in the first place.

As for the logo, I'm sure you're right. If CBS wants me to stop using it, I will. But I doubt they care, and if they do, they have real problems (and will lose out on the free publicity).

Livingsword said...

Hi Fletch;

If a person felt as Leslie clearly did while attending my Church I would have no problem at all with them leaving the building in the way she did, as shown on survivor. These kinds of things are very personal.

I find it interesting that the vast majority of blogs are hammering on Leslie but are saying almost nothing about Courtney the NY waitress that was disrespectful of the Buddhists and of Leslie.

As far as CBS and Survivor I just thought I would mention it, I appreciate your honest response. What do you think it says about your views of intellectual property? Obviously you are interested in creativity and the media…

I’m not trying to give you a hard time, just wondering.

Fletch said...

I appreciate your points on Leslie. They are valid and true. I guess the intensity of her response (near tears) came across as melodramatic (if not attention-whoring). Then again, I'm awfully partisan on the issue (as are you).

I can't speak for the blogging community, but I don't think I was any harsher on Leslie than I was on anyone else. Heck, I called the running theme for the show stupidity, and called out at least 5 contestants. I think that's more than fair, but even if it weren't - tough.

My respect for intellectual property is intact. I am not profiting off the use of the Survivor logo, or for any of the various movie posters or photographs I post on this site. I don't manipulate anything, either. What I do is provide free PR (in a manner of speaking) to a number of outlets.

Fletch said...

Furthermore, here is some information I found regarding the use of images or other copyrighted material (Fair Use):

http://www.chillingeffects.org/fairuse/faq.cgi#QID834

http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/21/know-your-rights-how-does-fair-use-work/

Obviously, there are probably 1000 opinions on the subject, but I feel secure that my usage of the logo and/or posters falls firmly in the realm of Fair Use.

Livingsword said...

Hi Fletch;

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and measured responses to my comments.

By the way I had never heard of Leslie before Survivor, I don’t even know if she is a real Jesus follower.

If you don’t mind I will be back.