Survivor recap Episode 1: Bugs in an ear, Obama and goggles?

Survivor recap of first episode in Season 32 Barb Oates
Team Brawn

Recap of Survivor: Kao Rong: Brains Vs. Brawn Vs. Beauty, “I’m A Mental Giant,” Season 32, Episode 1 (original airdate Feb. 17, 2016): Southeast Asia is home to the newest group of Survivors who for the next 39 days (well, for some) they’ll need to endure scorching temperatures and horrible humidity in what’s being described as the most grueling season ever. Here we break down the 90-minute episode into some highlights.

The best of pre-game smacktalk …

Survivor recap
Meet Team Beauty

“Being an ER doctor, it’s going to be difficult for me to not show how smart I am,” Peter, from the Brains tribe shares. “To express humility. But I can’t deal with ignorant people because they think they know what they are talking about.”

“I was the guy that did all the things that nobody else wanted to do. I’d go knock people on the ground. I’d push people out of the way … you show weakness, bye-bye,” tells Scot Pollard, a former NBA player on the Brawn tribe.

“I don’t care, I just need to get my paycheck – and you’re my paycheck,” from the heavily inked Kyle the Bounty Hunter, another Brawn member.

“I do try to use my looks to my advantage in poker,” admits Anna Khait, a professional poker player on the Beauty tribe.

“My life has definitely been easier because I’m better looking than most people, and that sounds terrible. It sounds awful, but it’s the truth. My looks will definitely help me for 39 days and a million dollars in my pocket at the end,” says Nick Maiorano, from Team Beauty.


Busted … We know who you are:
As the Brains gathered, it took them two seconds to realize that Peter looked a heck of lot like President Obama. Apparently, he gets that a lot. But damn, if ER life doesn’t work out for him maybe SNL?
College student Julia Sokolowski (Team Beauty) knew immediately that her teammate Caleb Reynolds was on Big Brother. She immediately recognized that Beast Mode Cowboy.
Scot Pollard (Team Brawn) told the rest of his tribe that he was a former NBA champion — not sure anyone knew him, nor that he was a bball baddie.

Already loving … Tai Tran, a 52-year-old San Francisco gardener who can shimmy up a coconut tree faster than Ozzie. His zen like attitude and respect for all things living is simply amazing. Tran’s a Vietnamese refugee who survived 11 days with no food and crunched in a fetal position on a boat to come to America. Referenced by some of his teammates as Mr. Miyagi (for his glasses), Tai Tran appears to be a man of great wisdom and respect, with an incredibly positive disposition.

Already annoyed by … The 49-year-old Debbie Wanner, a chemist (occasional Red Lobster or something like that waitress – what the heck was that?) who claims she knows all these survival skills, including starting a fire, but failed to prove it. She talks way too much.

This would be Team Brains

Medical Meltdowns …
Aubry, on Team Brains, got the first dose of heat exhaustion/dehydration crazies. She babbled to her fellow teammates trying to analyze what was happening to her, but was able to pull through that anxiety breakdown. (No clue where the heck Doctor Obama was during that ordeal.)

Ewwww. This one was so gross and sounded so horribly painful. A bug crawled in Jennifer’s ear, she’s the construction worker on Team Brawn. “I can’t sleep, I can’t get comfortable. It’s just disgusting hearing these little legs crawl around in your head,” she explained. Emotionally it took a toll on her. Her ear eventually started to bleed, but the bug crawled out offering immediate release. Total respect for that woman.

Survivor recap of first episode in Season 32
Team Brawn

Immunity & Reward Challenge It was both an immunity and a reward challenge wrapped in one. For the challenge, tribes had to swim out to a boat, dive to retrieve four paddles and then race back to shore. Once at shore they had to convert their boat to a cart and push it to a designated spot. The final part of the challenge they got to determine: either a dexterity challenge where they had to stack balls while balancing on a wobbly beam or complete a puzzle. They all picked the puzzle. The winner would be safe from Tribal Council and would get a massive fire starting kit (even charcoal).
Beauty is first to get everyone in their boat, but last to tug their boat in to shore.
Darnell (from Brawn) dives in the water and loses his mask, he freaks out and jumps back into the boat. Jennifer blindly dives in and drives to recover.
The Brains take first.
It comes down to one puzzle piece between Beauty and Brawn. Beauty wins and is safe from immunity and gets some flint.
Brawn loses and has to go to Tribal.

Tribal Council The vote was split between Darnell (brown trout – insider reference if you watched the episode) and “Blondie” (Kyle’s nickname for Alecia). Darnell owned his mistake. He knew he told the tribe he was a lifeguard and he should be the one diving for the paddles. He also knew he should have held on to that stinking mask when he dove in. Mistakes happen, but this group isn’t the forgiving type. Darnell made a pretty convincing plea (I actually thought he would be the one staying), but it was a tie vote: 3 for Darnell, 3 for Alecia. A second vote was taken: Darnell 4, Alecia 2. Darnell was voted off.

Who was the first person voted off Survivor tonight? Darnell Hamilton from the Brawn tribe


The Brains Tribe: “Chan Loh”
Peter Baggenstos (34), ER doctor from Minneapolis
Aubry Bracco (29), social media marketer from Cambridge, Mass.
Joseph Del Campo (72), former FBI agent from Vero Beach, Fla.
Neal Gottlieb (37), ice cream entrepreneur from Sausalito, Calif.
Elisabeth Markham (27), qualitative strategist from Brooklyn
Debbie Wanner (49), chemist from Reading, Pa.

The Brawn Tribe: “To Tang”
Cydney Gillon (23), body builder from Douglasville, Ga.
Darnell Hamilton (27), postal worker from Chicago 1st person voted off
Alecia Holden (24), real estate agent from Dallas
Kyle Jason (31), bounty hunter from Detroit
Jennifer Lanzetti (38), contractor from Salt Lake City
Scot Pollard (40), NBA champion from Carmel, Ind.

The Beauty Tribe: “Gondol”
Michele Fitzgerald (24), bartender from Freehold, New Jersey
Anna Khait (26), pro poker player from Brooklyn
Nick Maiorano (30), personal trainer from Redondo Beach, Calif.
Caleb Reynolds (28), Army veteran from Hopkinsville, Ky. and former Big Brother contestant “Beast Mode Cowboy”
Julia Sokolowski (19), college student from Boston
Tai Trang (51), gardener from San Francisco


1 Comment

  1. Great recap Barb! Apparently Caleb didn’t pay too much attention to the Karate Kid movies, Mr Miagi (or however you spell it) didn’t even wear glasses!! I LOVE Tai so far too, reminds me of Yau Mann from the Fiji season, that’s pretty much the only thing I liked about that season, Yau and the winner Earl was good too. Til next week!

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