Survivor Insights 53: Heroes vs Villains – The Pilot Episode

Wow, it’s quite unbelievable I am watching SURVIVOR for ten years now. That’s ten years of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting. It’s totally amazing that after ten years, this popular reality competition is still in the roll and not losing its luster.

Jam-packed! That’s the only word I can think of to describe the two-hour premiere of SURVIVOR HEROES VS VILLAINS.

I am satisfied with the editing. Every little thing is just going in the right direction. The first minute Jeff Probst started narrating, I knew that’s the start of a great pilot episode. Then the narration was immediately followed by a spectacular opening intro. See it to believe!

Now, let’s talk about the returning castaways. To me, each castaway has given the airtime they needed for this episode. The moment they step into the island (’till the Heroes team voted Sugar out), each of these castaways has something really juicy to say during their confessionals.

Team Heroes

Sugar (Final 3, Survivor Gabon)

Sugar was totally a stand-out during the first reward challenge. What she did ‘being topless’ was unbelievable and that was supposed to be a ‘plus’ factor in order not to vote her off. Yet, her chances to stay longer in the game went into ashes when she annoyed the ‘superior’ members of her group.

Stephenie (Jury, Survivor Palau: Runner-up, Survivor Guatemala)

It’s hard to believe she was the very first injured castaway of the season. Steph looks fit in her CBS profile and it’s a mystery why all of sudden, Parvati and Danielle outplayed her just like that. (see below)

Candice (Jury, Survivor Cook Islands)

This woman starts to grow in me. I kept noticing her insightful confessionals. There are a lot of past castaways that could have been in her position. Yet in my own opinion, Candice is an ‘unexpected’ wildcard and, if not injured or forced to quit, she might bring something so juicy for this season.

Amanda (Final 3, Survivor China: Runner-up, Survivor Micronesia)

The good thing with Amanda, she still looks an eyecandy in front of the camera. She did this reality competition for three times now and no one knows what she’ll bring on the table this season. Amanda’s ‘unforgettable break was probably when she told Jeff that those sole survivors (referring to Tom and JT) deserve to go first than her. That was smart!

Cirie (Final 4, Survivor Panama Exile Islands: Final 3, Survivor Micronesia)

It’s a scary moment after the Team Heroes loss in the Immunity Challenge, Tom wanted Cirie out. I know she’s a big threat and a good ally at the same time. But Cirie is just one of the reasons why this show is called SURVIVOR. Cirie can find a way to escape the cut, that’s for sure and she deserves to stay longer. If possible, I want her to be a part of the jury.

Colby (Runner-up, Survivor Australian Outback: Fifth Out, Survivor All-Stars)

There’s no need to doubt Colby is the MR. Popular of SURVIVOR. He’s fit, strong and could win individual challenges easily. But, what happened during the reward challenge? Coach clearly devoured him. During that clash, I expected Colby to dominate but he just couldn’t get out from Coach’s defense.

James (Jury, Survivor China: Jury, Survivor Micronesia)

No one can probably outplay James when it comes to strength and agility. He has a bodybuilder physique that is too powerful for Rob and Tyson during the reward challenge- the reason why Team Heroes won the very first reward challenge. (see below). I just don’t know how hungry James to win this competition.

Rupert (Jury, Survivor Pearl Islands: Final 4, Survivor All-Stars)

Team Heroes seems invincible with Rupert. Just like James, I am also not sure how Rupert performs for another comeback. He’s already broken his toe and he was not giving his best-foot-forward during the Immunity Challenge. Where’s the Rupert ‘the giant’ I’ve seen in season 7?

Tom (Winner, Survivor Palau)

It’s nice to see Tom once again with Stephenie. If this alliance flourish, it will probably work out fine. The main problem now is, Tom is more a fierce competitor now than before. It’s a great strategic move that he wanted Cirie out but do you think it would be better if Tom will cook the big fish first before eating it?

JT (Winner, Survivor Tocantins)

This season will surely be a rollercoaster ride for JT. He came from a season that’s filled with blindsides but watch out, this young man is absolutely ready for more. It’s also nice to see he’s starting to create alliances this early. This strategy could help him move farther. I just don’t know if who’ll stay on his side this time. Will it be James, Tom or no one?

Team Villains

Russel (Runner-Up Survivor Tocantins)

It’s a revealing moment when Russel said he was starstruck sitting in between with Boston Rob and Parvati (inside the helicopter). It’s hard to believe it but yeah, that’s understandable. Time is clicking so fast now as if every minute counts. That’s why; Russel must immediately work his way inside the circle. Hopefully, he remains to be a man of his word to stick with Danielle and Parvati.

Rob (Merge, Survivor Marquesas: Runner-up, Survivor All-Stars)

He emerged as the leader of Team Villains. Although he seemed beatable during his clash with James during the reward, Rob took the lead in making a fire and help his group win the Immunity Challenge. I am looking forward for the next episode and if he’ll be forced to depart, the entire season will be incomplete.

Tyson (Jury, Survivor Tocantins)

Just like in season 18, Tyson remained to be a sharp, aggressive and cut-throat competitor. He’s the one man who plays but not the one to rely on when it comes to alliances.

Coach (Jury, Survivor Tocantins)

Coach downs Colby BIG TIME! That was a great achievement and he is also making some grounds with Jerri. Coach was all around the place during this episode and certainly the one to watch as the series of events start to burst into flames.

Randy (Jury, Survivor Gabon)

Yeah, each castaway had given some memorable stuffs to remember but where’s Randy? He was below-the-radar and how long will this last? I expect a Randy who steps up and get things unruly. This was the ‘Randy’ I witnessed in season 17.

Parvati (Jury, Survivor Cook Islands: Winner, Survivor Micronesia)

She thrashed Stephenie. That moment happened so fast and while watching it on TV, she only proved to me that Parvati’s back on track once again. Not to forget, she made a straight-in-line agreement with Russel. If Russel will not turn his back on her, this deal can be successful. Yet, it’s still can’t be denied that I have string of doubts. It’s a different and much riskier game now. All of them are well-experienced. If her social game works, that’s a luck.

Danielle (Runner-up, Survivor Panama Exile Islands)

The moment she ran into the mat without an upper garment to cover her breast, the game was on fire for a better and tougher Danielle. You know, Danielle has a good chance of moving farther if she regularly plays the correct cards at the time with the right people.

Courtney (Final 3, Survivor China)

The most unforgettable Courtney’s moment in this episode was when she shouted to Parvati to break Steph’s shoulder. That was plainly evil! For this, Courtney had no regrets acting as a villain. She’s ready for another test and seems like, she’s ready for more.

Jerri (Jury, Survivor Australian Outback: Seventh Out, Survivor All-Stars)

Jerri was on board for the third time and honestly, I was not satisfied of the ‘Jerri” I saw in Survivor: All-Stars. I’m looking for more madness from her now. She was only starting with Coach and it would probably be a guarantee there’s more shocking outbursts along the way.

Sandra (Winner, Survivor Pearl Islands)

Not sure with why Sandra came back for another cut-throating game. Yes, she seems ready. She’s ready to connect with the superior names like Boston Rob just to move forward. Her game cards might work in the right order, if not injured, but for how long?

SURVIVOR HEROES VS VILLAINS: First Reward & Immunity Challenges

Did I mention the new Tribal Council was a work of genius? It’s a tree house forty-feet above the ground and without a roof. This must be ‘very’ painful for all the castaways, for the camera crews and for Jeff Probst himself.

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