Season 22 of Survivor starts tonight. I figured I'd launch this to go hand in hand with it.
I am a big fan of the show. I watched parts of the original season and after that I have watched random seasons randomly. I watched Australia, Africa, Marquesas and All-Stars. There was a fairly lengthy gap for me for one reason or another and I didn't jump back on board watching the show full time until Samoa. I do plan on watching the seasons I need to catch up on over the course of this year.
Enough about me though. Lets move forward to the season premier of Survivor: Redemption Island. I am really looking forward to this season. I like the Redemption Island twist. Unlike a lot of Survivor fans out there I also don't mind watching "Boston Rob" Mariano appear on the show for a 4th time. You knew this showdown versus Russell Hantz was going to happen sooner rather then later once Rob laid down the challenge during the reunion show for Heroes vs Villains.
By now you have probably heard that Russell Hantz has been accused of leaking Survivor spoilers. For what its worth he has denied any involvement in it. Do you believe him? I honestly don't. While it is true that spoilers have been a problem for the show in the past, they took a life of their own during Seasons 19 and 20. An egotistical person like him who loves to talk about himself like he does probably thought he had become bigger then the game. I should mention that I am not exactly the world's biggest Russell fan but something like this would not be out of character for him.
Entertainment Weekly took a look at each of the 16 newcomers. There is a video of an interview with each of the players on there. They also sat down with Boston Rob and Russel prior to the game. Interesting to note that Boston Rob was very toned down while Russel was....well Russel. Will really be interesting how they are in the game this time around. During the interview they teased a possible alliance (yeah right!). They also talked about how they would react if they were on the end and saw them enter the game. Heck, Dalton Ross even got Russell to admit "my personal game sucks." They finished it off with Rob warning Russell not to burn any of his stuff.
I saw a TV Guide preview show on YouTube and figured I'd post some early assessment for some of the cast myself based on the interviews that are available online.
- Ashley seems like she has the tools necessary to go a long way. She seems physically gifted for the challenges and has the looks and personality to pair with it. I have to agree with Jeff Probst that is a great combination to have in Survivor. She has played pro basketball overseas.
- Steve looks to be in great shape for a 51 year old man. He also played in the NFL for 13 years. He should benefit from not being as big a name as Jimmy Johnson
- Andrea grew up on a farm so you have to figure those would have to be great assets to have on Survivor and I agree with what she told TV Guide in that she will be underestimated.
- Matt looks a lot like Fabio from Nicaragua. The promos don't make him look like a goof ball in the same manner that they did with Fabio. I honestly don't know how someone like Boston Rob will react to him but can he slip in under the radar like Fabio did? Something tells me no. He seemed distracted by his female tribe members (go to the 2:20 mark of that video) from the start. So long Fabio Matt.
- Phillip has a military background. That usually doesn't bode well on Survivor because they usually seem to clash with everyone else. How quickly will Boston Rob grow tired of him trying to take over camp? How quickly will everyone else grow tired of him trying to install some structure? Probst says he supposedly attempts a bold move early, so maybe he'll be gone before he becomes a problem?
- Kristina is the second oldest woman out there and a self proclaimed villain. She does seem motivated though and seems to know the game and is playing to support her two young sons. She's smart enough to say that she doesn't plan on telling others that is a law student
- Natalie is the youngest one out there and seems to be counting on her looks and her "baby" factor. She's either out in a hurry or someone carries her along.
- Francesca's promos make her seem like the "angry black woman" that Survivor likes to cast. Hopefully the edit shows something different. She has a nickname for everyone and that is bound to get someone angry.
- Grant played 6 games in the NFL. His promos seemed dull to me but Probst was trying to hype him up as a yoga guy. The new Coach?
- Jeff Probst seems to think that Stephanie will be first one to be voted off of her tribe. She's on the same tribe as Russel so most likely she is the one that Russell tries to get on his side early? According to the TV Guide preview she is a Russel fan so her falling into the trap wouldn't be the least bit shocking.
- Krista looks a lot like Natalie from Samoa. It's almost like they go out and recruit people to fit a certain mold! Unfortunately for Krista I think Russell will target her just because she will give him Samoa flashbacks! Probst said that she was the first person Russell greeted. Giving her a false sense of security? Perhaps
- Julie is a 50 year old firefighter. She is the oldest woman out there. She says her experience with working in a predominantly male profession will help her with the men on Survivor but I just don't see how she will get along with Russel, especially since she is a self proclaimed loudmouth.
- Mike could be the "hero" of the season or could fall victim to the military curse. He is a Marine and should be a great physical threat. Probst seems to think he's a threat to go all the way and I have to say that the promos make him out to be a guy who will get along with others.
- David is a criminal defense attorney and supposedly had the highest IQ of any Survivor ever. He is a cocky guy though so I want to see how he deals with Russell. I don't think he's a threat to win.
- Ralph is a farmer from Virginia and I think he will be one of our favorites this season. His promos remind me a lot of Big Tom from Africa and All-Stars. No way anyone takes him to the end because he's going to be someone that everyone likes.
- Sarita seems to me a down to earth person. She doesn't look aggressive enough to want be a serious threat.
Here is a http://www.youtube.com/embed/WcqrJDH83ew%22%20frameborder=%220%22%20allowfullscreen%3E%3C/iframe%3E">preview of the challenge they will take part in tonight. Jeff Probst also gave his assessment of the cast.