‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 1 Recap: Now Featuring Topless Wrestling

Return, Revenge, Redemption…RECAP!

Before we get into this, I’d like to present a special poem that the Dragon Slayer himself shared with me a few weeks ago. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Benjamin “Coach” Wade.

“’Survivor.’ Going on a second time is like having sex for the first time. It’s always sweet, it’s always deep, it’s always beautiful, you always leave so rich and full. But, the second time things are old hat, you step up to the plate and hit it out of the park with a bat. The Dragon Slayer is back with a force, he may be more kingly but I guarantee you this, things are not always what they seem.”

Sorry, I’m only going to give you a second or two to wipe the tears from your eyes cause it’s time for…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes…

The Hero Tribe (wearing blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
James Clement – 32
Colby Donaldson – 35
Cirie Fields – 39
Amanda Kimmel – 24
Jessica “Sugar” Kiper – 29
Stephenie LaGrossa – 29
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Tom Westman – 45
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
Randy Bailey – 50
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

Quick Note: I loved “Survivor: All Stars” so I’m super psyched for this. And I’ve missed all of you, so consider me extra psyched.

We’re back on the beautiful isle of Samoa as we meet up with Jeff “J-Pro” Probst and his super sweet emerald green “Survivor” hat. In the distance, four choppers approach, and they’re jam-packed with both heroes and villains.

Rupert tells us that he tries to show that good people can win. Which is odd considering he’s never won.

Jerri lets us know that Man Eater Manthey is her favorite nickname. Ooh…looks like the Dragon Slayer may have some nickname competition this year. No word on if he has any poetry competition…besides me.

Russell is worried about being too star struck as he’s in there with a lot of big names (and Danielle and Candice). An important thing to remember is that this was filmed before “Survivor: Samoa” aired, so the other players have no idea how Russell plays the game. Maybe he can start pulling immunity idols out of thin air again.

The Hero choppers land first and all of the Heroes congregate on their blue mats. They exchange hugs like good Heroes should.

The Villain choppers land next and kick up sand on our virtuous Heroes.  Jerky Villains…

Jeff starts chatting it up with the players. Tom has an interesting observation as he expects both the Heroes and the Villains to do a 180 and play against type.

Jeff also brings up how popular Colby was back in the day. Apparently he was so famous that people were naming their children after him. My sister Vanna and I think that’s pretty stupid.

JT manages to offend his entire tribe by pointing out that he was in high school while everyone else was on “Survivor.”

Reward Challenge: The teams will split into pairs. One pair from each team will run to a section of the playing field. They’ll have to dig in the sand to uncover a bag.  The first team to get the bag back to their mat wins a point. First team to three points wins. There’s only one bag in the each section, so wrestling is going to happen. And seeing as they’re all wearing bathing suits, strategic blurring is going to happen too.

The winning tribe will receive flint and early bragging rights.

Round One: Stephenie and Cirie vs. Parvati and Danielle – The two teams sprint out to uncover the bag. Cirie finds the bag first and makes a break back to the mat. A huge four-way pile up ensues. At one point Courtney channels her inner Cobra Kai sensei and yells, “Break her shoulder!” And, I think Parvati may have obliged.  Stephenie’s arm is not looking good. Eventually Danielle (complete with strategic blurring) manages to wrestle away the bag and score for the Villains.

Uh oh…looks like Stephenie may have dislocated her shoulder. Medical is brought in to pop it back into place. And thank you to the “Survivor” editing team for adding a crunching sound.

Anywho, Stephenie toughs it out and stays in the game. She even uses her buff as a sling. Now that’s a hero. Philly girls represent!

Round Two: JT and Amanda vs. Randy and Jerri – Jerri manages to uncover the bag first which starts off another awesome wrestling match. For a second I thought JT was going to put Randy in a Boston Crab. JT eventually manages to snatch the bag and score for the Heroes.

Round Three: Colby and Tom vs. Coach and Russell – Coach and Russell?! It’s my dream team! Coach smartly hangs back while they’re digging for the bags. If someone finds it he’s gonna smother them with Coach power. Russell finds the bag and tries to toss it to Coach, but Colby manages to bat it away. Colby eventually gets a hold of the bag and starts to drag Coach toward the mat. However, Coach switches the momentum and drags Colby to the Villains mat for the score. Villains are up two to one.

Tyson lets us know that Colby might as well be a woman because of the way he was owned by Coach. Welcome back, Tyson.

Round Four: Sugar and Candice vs. Sandra and Courtney – Courtney’s bathing suit is designed to look like men’s underwear briefs. Awesome. Courtney and her five-star shorts manage to find the bag first. Sandra is a monster, tossing people left and right. Another part of her strategy is untying Sugar’s top. This doesn’t phase Sugar as she shrugs it off, grabs the bag, and wins the point topless. That sound you just heard in the background is the CBS executives high-fiving.

Round Five: James and Rupert vs. Tyson and Boston Rob – Tyson finds the bag first but is quickly swarmed by the Heroes. James eventually breaks free and Boston Rob isn’t able to stop him. It was literally like what would happen if Alf tried to stop He-Man. Heroes win the reward.

Oof…and Rupert has a broken toe. Best challenge ever.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell laughs that the bugs are swarming to Coach because, “They like that dragon blood.” Dragon slayers don’t have dragon blood, Russell.

But that’s OK cause Russell picks up right where he left off last season. He takes Danielle aside (wait, who’s Danielle?) and lets her know that he wants to go to the final two with her. He then has a similar conversation with Parvati.

The Dumb A— Girl Alliance Part Deux!

Meanwhile, the Heroes are building an orphanage. OK, maybe not, they’re swimming.

Sugar states that the oldest males should be making decisions. That sound you hear in the background is women around the world smacking their foreheads.

Amanda tells us that she feels lucky to be on the Heroes side. I think she’s lucky to be there too because I don’t remember her ever doing anything heroic. Maybe they had to put her there because there wasn’t a “People Who Are Good at the Game But Bad at Tribal Council Speeches” tribe.

During the shelter building process, four foolish chickens wander into the Heroes camp. I’m going to assume they are the ones that escaped from Shambo’s pen. The Heroes manage to catch all four of them in a net. Man, the Hero tribe is on fire.

That night the Villains are basking in the memories of the Heroes tribe’s many horrific injuries. If only they all had mustaches to twirl. Coach is also basking in the glow of having taken out Colby.

Jerri lets us know that she seems to be drawn to Coach. Coach seems to be drawn to her too. Must be the nicknames.

Back at the Heroes tribe, James and JT seem to be forming a bit of an alliance although JT knows he can’t beat James in a final vote.

Meanwhile, Colby and Candice (wait, who?) are worried that everyone else started alliances before the game started.

Stephenie and Tom sneak out and confirm that a Palau alliance is in effect. Tom smartly says that he needs another winner to go to the finals with and chooses JT to be that player. JT claims that he doesn’t care about being a hero, he just wants to win.

We meet back up with the Villains and Boston Rob is annoyed that everyone is slacking off. They all claim that the lack of water is hurting them. Rob then takes it upon himself to become one of the rare Survivors to build a fire without flint.

Meanwhile, Rupert is taking it upon himself to become one of the rare Survivors who can’t build a fire with flint. Fortunately, Colby and JT step in and get the job done. Rupert is displeased and is uncharacteristically depressed.

That night Sugar tells us that she needs a sexy, young male to be her protector. Unfortunately for her, Colby is not interested. Sugar’s just racking up the feminism points tonight, isn’t she?

Immunity Challenge: Six members from each tribe will race across sand dunes. Once they reach the shore they’ll have to assemble a boat. They’ll then paddle out to get a torch. When they return to the beach they disassemble the boat and run the planks over to a puzzle. From there, the other four members will put together the puzzle. Once that puzzle is completed, they can use the planks to create a ladder. The first tribe to reach the top of their platform wins immunity.

The challenge starts off very evenly, but the Heroes are able to get their boat together first. The Heroes build a huge lead and are able to retrieve their torch just as the Villains get their boat assembled. The Heroes hold on to their large lead as they disassemble their boat and run the planks toward the puzzle. However, once the Villains get to the puzzle portion Sandra and Boston Rob are able to tear through it. The Villains build their ladder and win the challenge as the Heroes continue to fumble with their puzzle.

And sure enough, Sugar starts crying. Good to see some things never change.

Colby doesn’t think Sugar adds anything to the team and doesn’t think she’ll be missed.

Back at the Villains tribe, Sandra thinks Cirie and Amanda must have an alliance. Parvati (who probably has an alliance with both of them) tries to downplay that possibility.

Politicking around the Heroes tribe seems to focus on Amanda vs. Sugar. They show a montage of everyone around camp agreeing that Sugar should go home. Oh, it can’t be that easy, can it?

Tom however has other plans, he thinks Sugar is a follower and Cirie is a threat.

Meanwhile, Amanda, Candice, and Cirie are discussing breaking up Stephenie and Tom’s Palau alliance.

That night we learn that tribal council is a huge Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouse! Jeff says something about fire representing life but I was too busy staring at the set to pay attention.

Jeff asks Tom if previous alliances matter, but Tom tries to downplay that notion. Sugar isn’t buying it.

Jeff also brings up that previous success could be a reason to get rid of someone. Amanda agrees that the previous winners do have targets on their backs.

Cirie and Sugar both think people shouldn’t be voted out for screwing up a challenge. I’d say the same thing if I was one of the people that coughed up that huge lead.

Voting Time: And…none of the votes are shown? Well alright. Jeff tallies the votes; four votes for Sugar, one vote for Amanda, one vote for Sugar, and the first person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” is…Sugar.

Verdict: Wow, I love me some all star “Survivor.” Strong start, can’t wait till next week.

Who’s Going to Win?: I honestly have no idea. It’s like a huge game of Jenga and you’re not sure which piece is going to set off the chain reaction. So…to start with…I’ll pick…uh…Candice.

Power Rankings Update: Be sure to check back next Tuesday for the return of the “Survivor” Power Rankings Challenge. Seeing as this is an all star season, it seems only right that I face an all star team of former players.  So, I sent out a challenge to all “Survivor” alumni. Who was the first to accept? None other than the winner of “Survivor: The Australian Outback” Tina Wesson!

What Do You Think? Do you like all star seasons? Should stripping your opponent be grounds for disqualification? What former players would you like to see compete in the Power Rankings challenge?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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