Survivor Blood Vs. Water Review “Blood is Thicker Than Anything”

Who would have ever thought Survivor would make it this far? CBS threw the show on television 13 years ago in the summer, not thinking it would do to well, and now look where we are! 27 seasons, 400 episodes, and more than 420 contestants, and that brings us to tonight’s 90 minute premiere “Blood is Thicker Than Anything”. So who’s returning to the game? How did the new twist work out? Is Colton still a dreadful human being? Keep reading to find out!

It’s always tough to sum up these premiere episodes, especially when they’re extra long, but the first thing we need to discuss are the few new twists we have in season 27. The first one is the returning contestants, which I realize is a very controversial decision among Survivor fans. Just about every comment on every post on the Survivor Facebook page are all fans saying how much they dislike seeing returning contestants. I, for one, don’t really mind it. I do feel like they should limit the seasons that feature returning contestants, as now it feels like every single season has a returning player or two.

Not only are some controversial returning players making it back to the game, but the equally controversial Redemption Island is also back! At least the two players immediately sent to Redemption are both returning players, as I would have felt really bad for a loved one to be sent right off the bat. I was a little annoyed that Jeff made Rupert out to be a big hero when he took his wife’s place at Redemption Island. Um, this is Rupert third time playing this game. If he didn’t switch with his wife, he would have looked like a selfish jerk.

I understand that Galang is disappointed to not be playing with Rupert, but I did think they were being a little too hard on Rupert’s poor wife Laura. First of all, it wasn’t her decision to have Rupert trade places with her. Second, it was total overkill for half of her tribe to just stand around her and watch her hack away at coconuts. Give the lady a chance!

I was genuinely surprised about Brad Culpepper’s response about not trying hard in the challenges just because his wife’s on the other side. While he did end up somewhat apologizing for it once he got back to the tribe, he then shot himself in the foot by becoming “Day one alliance guy”. How often do those loudmouth guys make it to the end? I literally laughed out loud when he started imparting Monica’s infinite Survivor wisdom about hitting the ground running and making connections quickly. You’re listening to Monica? The girl who’s played once before and came in 14th place? Good call…

And then there’s Colton. Sigh. I let out an audible groan when I found out that Colton was returning to the game a few weeks ago, and his attempted 180 turnaround tonight did not help me feel any better about him. You can go back to my reviews of Survivor: One World to hear me talk at length about how much I hated him, but tonight I just did not buy his apology. Here’s the thing: He’s using his difficult experience as a gay man as an excuse for how terrible of a person he is. I’m sure that growing up as a gay guy is very difficult, and even more so in the deep south, but that is not an excuse for the things he said on “One World”. There are a lot of people who have gone through what he’s gone through, and possibly gone through even worse, and they don’t turn out to be as terrible of a person as he is. He’s clearly just ignorant and completely self centered, and blaming that on his sexual orientation not only makes him look bad, but it totally belittles the achievements of the gay people who went through hell and weren’t turned in to monsters. I was glad to see his evil side come out a little bit during the challenge when he threatened to attack a 90 pound blond girl with a paddle. Keepin’ it classy, Colton. Oh, and he sounds like a chimpanzee when he’s crying. That is all.

Speaking of that challenge, it really was quite an impressive comeback by Galang, but their victory was totally ruined for me by Gervase’s boasting. His bragging was already way too much, but it was even more infuriating considering how terrible his performance was. I enjoyed Gervase back in season one, but I definitely lost a lot of respect for him tonight.

After only 90 minutes of this new season, I’m actually feeling very positive about it. I think it adds a lot of layers to an already very complex and strategic game. The idea of being guilty by association is very interesting, as we saw how Marissa’s tribe thought so poorly of her just because of Gervase’s bad sportsmanship. Conversely, it adds another layer of strategy to think of the fact that voting out one of your teammates might result in their loved one going after you once you merge.

Despite some questionable casting decisions, and some controversial twists for the season, I’m actually quite enjoying Survivor: Blood Vs. Water. What did you guys think? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

Survivor has always had incredible cinematography, and it’s absolutely beautiful in HD, and tonight’s episode was no different. The shot was of all of the couples emerging out of the forest to

– I can’t not sing the M.I.A. song “Galang Galang” every time I hear the returning player’s tribe name.

– Candace was totally pulling an Arya Stark with those coconuts! Just like Arya would list the names of King Joffrey, Cersei, and Illyn Payne, Candace also recited the names of her future victims.