Posted by The Lam | Sep 28, 2008
Survivor: Gabon - Week 1

The 17th season of Survivor started this past Thursday. I'm quite a bit of a Survivor fanatic which I think stems from my love of prowrestling. Like wrestling, in Survivor there are always great babyfaces, devious heels, comedy, swerves, heel turns, basically all the good stuff that keeps you on the edge of your seat (Note: I wonder if it's any coincidence that two seasons ago, one of the Survivors was a former WWE diva). This season seems to be no different after only one episode in... well technically one, but it was a 2-hour special with two tribal councils, so its almost like 2 episodes.

This season takes place in some part of Africa called Gabon. Much like the past few seasons, Exile Island is back... although as they were showing footage of it, it did not seem like an island at all... more like a remote part of the area that they are staying at, but I could be wrong. The two tribes this time around are Kota and Fang. Host Jeff Probst had the two eldest players draw for teams, schoolyard style. After it was all said and done, you could see a huge difference between the 2 teams.

Kota is the quintessential/picture-perfect team; a team full of alpha males and females. Their ages are clearly skewed younger than the other team, they are all good looking, athletic, and I may be wrong, but I think with the exception of one player, their team are all caucasians. This made their team seem very bland. Their team had no characters or really distinguishing features. Everyone was like everyone (okay, except for the old dude, who is quite awesome). After watching the first episode, I couldn't tell you the name ofany of their tribe members. However, just like an alpha team, Kota won all 3 of the challenges so far.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have team Fang. If I could pick one word to describe this tribe, it would be the word 'clusterfuck'. The team seemed to have trouble getting along, compounded with the fact that they had members that were irritating. Fang was skewed a bit older than the opposing tribe, and during the challenges, you could clearly see that there was a physical limitation on their side. That said, this team was very diverse, both in their ethnic make up as well as in personalities and characters. Much like on every season, I cheer on for the underdog team, and Fang fits the bill perfectly. They may not be picture perfect like Kota, but they are fun to watch, and it'll feel so good when they finally win a challenge.

After watching the first episode, I think I have a good feel for who my favourites are, and who I would want to win the whole shebang (not necessarily meaning they're the best fit to win). The following are my favourite 3 players, oddly enough, all of them are from team Fang:

Ken Loang (left) is outright my favourite player this season (potentially of all seasons). This is because he's a player that I can relate to. Why you ask? HE'S A GEEK!!! AWESOME! Everything about this guy fits in with the stereotype of a geek. According to his profile, he's the international champion in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. He doesn't deny that he lives in his parents basement playing video games and claims upfront that he's socially awkward. Upon the tribe's inception, he already had a crush on one of his tribemates (unfortunately for him, she was voted out first). I can only hope that the strategies he utilizes in the gaming world will transfer through into the Survivor world.

The next fav' would have to be GC (right), the only african male player this season. During the episode, he was voted to be a leader amongst his tribemates, but stepped down after one day. Perhaps not the smartest move on his part. He had a "lets deal with this shit" type of attitude that I think will go far. At least so far, he does not seem like the conniving type (which I guess is why I like the guy), but that sort of inexperience may be what takes him out of the game later on.

Last but not least is Crystal (left). The way they cut the episode did not actually show her as an outstanding player or anything, but what I admired was a move she made early in the game. When introducing herself to all her fellow survivors, she announced that she was a mother and had some sort of job (I forget). That may seem very normal, but what made it cheeky was the fact that she didn't tell everyone that she was US Olympic Gold Medalist in the 2004 games for relay racing. I think her athletic prowess can get her far in terms of the reward and immunity challenges, and just enduring the day to day struggles. Right now she seems to be playing the "stay under the radar" card, which has proved to be successful in the past. Here's hoping she does well.

That's it for now folks, I hope you'll join me this season for Survivor! Later geeks!

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2 comments so far.

  1. Mike September 28, 2008 at 1:40 PM
    Sounds like another good season!
    Though the first few will always be my faves.

  2. Late Night Laundry September 30, 2008 at 5:19 PM
    Y'know, I actually stopped watching after Australia, so I'm not quite in touch. Still, sounds promising.

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