Survivor Insights 156: Blood vs Water – My First Impression Bets

SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 (September 19th in the Philippines) – Survivor will start a new season with more unexpected twists and turns.

For the first time since 2000, ten returnees will play a cut-throat social game against their loved ones. Yes, you heard it right – their loved ones. That someone close to their hearts, either their husband, wife, niece, daughter, brother or lifetime partner.

Thank God, CBS gave us a room to breath by not including Russel Hantz and his nephew in the cast, lol. In fact, this is totally a unique cast. One, two of the ten returnees didn’t made the merge before and two, I don’t understand why three of the ten were invited to return. It’s EITHER CBS couldn’t think of better characters (which is impossible), OR probably, they were the official replacements for RC (Philippines) and Rob Cesternino (Amazon).

survivor blood vs water cast photo

Who’ll play a ruthless game for the money? Will they betray, backstab and blindside their loved one for a million dollars?

Those are the things I really look forward to see. You see, from seasons 1 to 26, Survivor was an individual social game. The main strategy was to create smooth relationships with strangers until Day 39. Now that involves loved ones and they’ll play against them, it seems like it’s a whole new game – a game filled with roller coaster of raw emotions.

Not only that, redemption Island returns too – but it’s with crazier twists that I never ever expected. These ideas seem too much – these are like ideas that are overcook and it simply goes everywhere. The twists might work, who knows, but frankly it breaks the show’s ratings if it won’t. History says without redemption island, seasons 22 & 23 could have been better.

I have, however, no right to judge or complain. I’m only a fan for twelve years and it’s best for me to simply wait, watch, enjoy as the drama unfolds. (NO Spoilers please!)

Returning players – Who I am rooting for?

aras returns in blood vs water

Aras Baskauskas – Aras was 24 years old when he won the game in 2006. Back then, the original format was already sprinkled with new storylines. It started as four tribes divided into young men, young women, older men and older women. Even with twists like tribe reshuffle and trips to exile island, Aras made the final four to represent the young men tribe. The season ended in a final two and Aras won by 5 votes  against 2 for Danielle.

Now in its 27th season, Aras returned in a seemingly similar game but various things changed. Aras needs to play with other nine returnees and I don’t have one good idea how will he do it.  Will his I’m-second-best-in-everything-until-I-reach-the-top strategy still work? If not, will he be flexible enough to change his board game?

I know it’s too early to tell but will history allow Aras to become the first male returnee to win twice?

candice returns on blood vs water

Candice Cody – It’s her third time and seriously, Candice looks hotter and smarter in her CBS photo. It’s close to perfection and to some extent, it also tells me she came back with a serious purpose – that she prepared herself for more betrayal and more lies.

This time around, though, Candice is married and it’s clear she loves him. It confuses me though why Candice said, “I can’t think of anybody I would trust more to be on my side as a teammate,” when they will compete against each other. What went wrong?

tyson returns on blood vs water

Tyson Apostol – Of the five returning men this season, I expect Tyson (the one from Tocantins) to at least make the merge.

The Tyson in Tocantins was pretty memorable as a bully. I neither like nor dislike his game that time. In Heroes vs. Villains, he faded. He was completely devoured by nine other strong personalities in his tribe. In fact, should he wasn’t eliminated in one of the most memorable Tribal Councils in history, I wouldn’t remember him.

Loved Ones – Who I am rooting for?

vytas on survivor blood vs water

Vytas Baskauskas – Vytas can play this game in two ways.  He might either play a similar game like his younger brother or surpass him in various levels.

Considering he claims to have the wit and intellect of Jonathan Penner + likeability of Aras, Vytas may meet no problems reaching the top. Though he still needs to be extra careful. Being smart and cunning aren’t everything. For no matter how good a people-person he is, things go unruly should he gets hungry and bored.

rachel on survivor blood vs water

Rachel Foulger – Tyson’s girlfriend caught my attention after I read her CBS profile. At 33, Rachel seems to be a matured person with lots of social and business experiences. She completely knew she’ll play Survivor not to make friends but to win – to win challenges and to win the money. To achieve this goal isn’t, however, easy. Rachel knew she needs to magnet people to her side without them knowing it.

Photos courtesy of: CBS & Survivor Seasons