Survivor Insights 89: Redemption Island – The Pilot

1) The Dramatic Entrance: Before all those talks and whisperings around the camp, I must first congratulate the production team and Jeff Probst for nailing an introduction while up in the air. Try to imagine the nerves Jeff and the camera men went through minutes before filming. Either it’s a take-one, a take-two or a three, words are not enough to describe what it felt like when you are sitting on the tip of a helicopter’s floor and release these words out of your mouth with full confidence – “Thirty nine days, eighteen people.. One Survivor!”

2) Welcome Back R&R: It reminded me of Heroes vs Villains the moment I saw Ometepe and Zapatera with Boston Rob and Evil Russel, respectively, at their mats. The only huge difference is: Boston Rob has transformed himself into a hero and he would lead a tribe consisting of only three people dislike him. Evil Russel, on Zapatera, wanted everyone to see him as god and it’s no question at all everyone felt threatened by him. They knew what he’s up to and just three days in the camp, he’s getting stronger by getting another sidekick (Stephanie).

3) David & Mike VS Mr. Hantz: Two heads are better than one. This is what many people say. Either it’s entirely true or not, I am not sure if this “motto” will work for Mike & David. Everyone wants to win SURVIVOR but not everyone has the power to oust an experienced castaway like Mr. Russel Hantz. Russel made it to the finale for two seasons in a row even he’s on the brink of elimination. It’s hard to explain it but luck always found a way to help him escape the boot.

I am expecting David & Mike to stay longer. I know they got the swag and the will to outwit, outplay, outlast but with the type of plan they have, one or both of them got a hazy 25% chance of reaching the merge. Unless they have a Plan B, C & D ???

4) The “Cal Lightman” in Phillip: Cal Lightman is a deception expert in the hit TV show Lie To Me. In SURVIVOR, they have their own version of Lightman. Who is he? His name is Phillip Sheppard. This man from Santa Monica claims he’s a federal agent and he can tell if a person is telling a lie or not.

I am quite curious about his strategy. If he’s gifted with the ability to read a person, he should keep this a secret. This special ability makes you even more vulnerable and it does not make you safe from vote.

5) Episode Rating: I am giving this episode an 8 of 10 stars primarily because of its consistency. The editing of the scenes satisfies me. The first immunity challenge was tough and it clearly tested the castaways’ fitness and stamina. Zapatera has not only used their brawn to win this challenge. They also managed to refocus while solving the block puzzle.

The Tribal Council also caught my attention. Francesca was voted out, that’s kinda expected, but the sole reason why it became even more controversial was because of Boston Rob. Phillip told his tribemates that Kristina was in possession of the hidden idol and Boston Rob immediately zoomed inside the picture by asking for the idol. Crazy moment, right? Boston Rob just did his boldest move in SURVIVOR History and for this, he made the possession of the idol looked “very” amateur.

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 88: Survivor Redemption Island – First Impression Favorites

A year after Heroes vs Villains, Boston Rob is back for the fourth time so is Evil Russel on his third. Some viewers dislike this comeback and there are many questions revolving around the web.

  • What are their chances against the sixteen new castaways?
  • Can they still have staying power to get far?
  • Will they be the first ones eliminated?

All these questions are answered starting Wednesday (Thursday here in the Philippines, 10 PM on Jack TV) as Survivor opens an all-new and controversial season: The Redemption Island!

It is also confirmed that these castaways are divided into two tribes – Ometepe and Zapatera. Each tribe will compose of eight new castaways and until now, I still do not know to which tribe Rob & Russel belong.

One thing is for sure though: I will not root for either one of them. I am pretty sure one or both of them will stay until the merge and snake their way to the top.

Who Am I Rooting For?

For Ometepe

Twenty-one-year-old Andrea Boehlke is a student from Random Lake Wisconsin. Her personal claim to fame is paying her own education in college while making the Dean’s List every semester. The one good reason why I pick her and will probably go deep in the competition is her response when asked: “Who SURVIVOR Contestants You Are Most LikeShe chooses to become the mixture of JT and Parvati.

As the youngest female player in competition, Natalie Tenerelli wishes to become the FIRST YOUNGEST FEMALE SOLE SURVIVOR. Jeff Probst also thinks she might be the wildcard of the competition and this seems possible only if she consistently plays the game with a balance mixture of spontaneity, positivity and making use of her charm to fool others.

For Zapatera

There is no need for anyone to doubt the oozing confidence in David Murphy.  He is a defense attorney from West Hollywood, he appears to be “very” smart and he knows that he should play SURVIVOR just like he is in a courtroom. When asked if why he thinks he survives the game, he will use a non-static strategy to win is his response. Easy to say, yes, but it is intriguing to see how he keeps his swagger on when he’s already up and against a conniving veteran in his tribe.

Mike Chiesl is clearly a threat should he fail to use his experiences in Marine. He claims to have this ability to analyze people’s behavior but his outspoken personality can either help him get far or be the first person on Redemption Island.

Novak Djokovic Wins Australian Open 2011: What A Happy Slam This Is!

“It’s not the will to win that makes a winner, it’s the will to prepare.”

What seems to be a frustrating  start during Day One & Two (where Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic lost their first round matches against Regina Kulikova and Ekaterina Makarova respectively ), all things have ended very well in the Australian Open Men’s Draw. Novak Djokovic has only dropped a set in seven matches to lift his second Grand Slam trophy right at the center of Rod Laver Arena.

Before reaching the quarterfinals, Djokovic was roughly tested by Ivan Dodig (Croatia) in the second round. Dodig downs Djokovic during the tiebreaker in the second set 7-6 (8). However, things change and the Serbian easily won the succeeding two sets.

His compatriot, Viktor Troicki, decided to retire during the third round and Nicolas Almagro (Spain) was bageled in the third set the following round. Even Tomas Berdych, the Wimbledon 2010 finalist, was shocked during the quarterfinals. In a match where there are long and well-angled rallies, Berdych could not take his game into another level and exited the Slam by just winning eighty total points over Djokovic’s 107.

At last, Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals after getting stuck in the last eight for two consecutive years (2009-2010). At the time of his defense, he lost to Andy Roddick (USA) . The following year with Sergio Tachinni as his new clothing sponsor, he was upset by Jo-Wilfredo Tsonga (France) in five sets. Yet, before reaching a Slam final for the fourth time, the Serbian needs to pass the Tennis Magician. ROGER FEDERER!

The Federer-Djokovic Rivalry is always a fun to watch. There are no secrets with each other’s all-court game. The one and only big difference is: Federer is more aggressive while Djokovic remains far from the baseline when he’s feeling very nervous. I was not sure what happened with Roger Federer during this match. After defeating the Serbian three in a row (Shanghai Masters, Basel, ATP World Tour) after their epic duel in USO 2010, Federer’s shot-making became off and he committed 44 unforced errors all throughout.

With Federer’s out in the loop, two great defensive baseliners remains on the draw (David Ferrer and Andy Murray). Murray showed some brilliant tennis against Ferrer after dropping the first set to advance into the finals.

Day 14:

I thought the Djokovic-Murray Finale was as good as the Djokovic-Nadal in USO three months ago. I was wrong! Djokovic was consistently dominating and Murray had no right answers in it. Djokovic could give Murray a breadstick in the second set but a bit of luck sided with Murray and he broke the Serbian’s serve during the seventh game. The third set ended exactly after an hour after Murray netted a ball in 30-40 and for that, NOVAK DJOKOVIC IS THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2011 CHAMPION in MEN’S SINGLES.

Just an observation: Why the Hopman Cup is always a good luck charm to Novak Djokovic? He always wins Australian Open every time he plays in Perth. Three years ago, Djokovic played with Jelena Jankovic and they also reached the finals (just like what happened last month alongside with Ana Ivanovic) and Nole ended up winning his first Slam.

Are we seeing Nole and Ana in Perth in 2012 to win the Mixed Doubles Finals? Shall I expect Nole and Ana win the Australian Open Men and Women Singles? I know this sounds too much but I want to see how a “miracle tennis player” like Djokovic defends a Slam title.

= = =

Before I forget, Kim Clijsters was the overall champion in Women’s Draw. After double-bageling the former world number one (Dinara Safina) in the first round, Kim needed to rally at her best after dropping the first set to Li Na during the finals (3-6, 6-3, 6-3).

Photos courtesy of: Australian Open