Survivor: Cagayan (Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty)

Debuts Wed, Feb. 26th, CBS.

The first thing that strikes you in the cast photo is Cliff Robinson, former NBA player.

Even if you aren’t a constant Fantasy Basketballer like me, I think you’ll be able to pick him out. Watching the cast video, yeah, brains probably have brains (though intelligence and wisdom are still different stats), muskels got muskels, but beauty seems a…well…bit bereft of brains. We’ll see. Three tribes (duh!). Dunno if Redemption is back in play - hopefully not. Anyway, kind of early to post this, but ads are starting to come on for it, so what the heck…

Beauty. Well, you can tell what drives ratings to some extent. Brains vs brawn vs Underhanded Back-Stabbing Ruthless Cutthroats just doesn’t alliterate all that well, but might make for a better game. ;-)

Hmmmm, not a gray hair out there. Definitely a younger crew.

None of the preview stuff that I’ve seen has mentioned Redemption Island, so hopefully that means it’s out for this season.

No redemption this season. They only use that during seasons with returning players to give them more screen time if they are immediately booted.

I hope we get a good season, but I’m not feeling very enthusiastic about this gimmick, and the last 2 seasons with all-new players have been among the very worst the show has ever had. They rely too much on casting models rather than real people, which makes the show a lot less interesting than the “slice of life” original premise.

Just a reminder that the new season starts this Wednesday.

Whoooo! Thanks for the reminder!

I have been meaning to say, the gimmick is fundamentally stupid and flawed because they are splitting the groups up into separate teams of brawn, brains and beauty. It won’t actually be brawn vs brains vs beauty until the final merger, by which point it is far less likely to be a meaningful distinction.

They should call it Survivor: Cagayan - [(brawn vs brawn) vs (brains vs brains) vs (beauty vs beauty)]

But I guess that is a bit of a mouthful. Ah, what do I care, I’ve not bothered to watch the last few seasons anyway.

I skipped last season because I didn’t want to waste one second of the time remaining to me watching Colton again, but am willing to give this a shot.

It’s a terrible gimmick because brains, brawn, and beauty are not mutually exclusive. But I’m looking forward to it anyway. Hopefully it will be a good season.

Let’s face it - this show has run a hell of a lot longer than the concept probably deserves. So, gimmicks to try and give it some measure of freshness - though this one seems more like an early hook rather than any lasting meaningfulness. So, how will challenges be done? A brains component, sure, sure…a brawn component, standard issue…what does one do for a beauty portion? Hmmmm, well, we’ll see.

Oh, and food. If the brawn section gets the same meager portion of rice as everyone else, I expect a little cannibalism.

You are right. That puts you in the pendantic nerd camp of brains.

Three tribes split into Brains, Brawn and Beauty. Thus, in challenges, it will literally be Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty. Now, Beauty’s advantage I suppose is in social interaction, so that won’t really come into play as a strength until tribe swap/merge, but still, there it is: beauty battles brawn and brains from the word go.

They should call it Survivor: Cagayan - [(brawn vs brawn) vs (brains vs brains) vs (beauty vs beauty)]

Please leave the names to the Professional Game Designers™, who understand these things. You may injure yourself otherwise. ;-)

The quick, massive and humiliating flameout of Colton was most gratifying, though I understand not wanting to chance that that would happen.

The guy on the bottom left, green shorts is David Sampson. President of the Miami Marlins. His kids go to school with mine. I’ve spoken with him a few times, smart guy, kind of arrogant. Not well liked around here (most people hate the Marlins management). His father in law is the owner. I doubt anyone will know who he is.

In with the “brains”, but I suspect Backstabber-Narcissist would be more accurate. Samson has “Villain” written all over him.

Brawn vs Beauty vs Brain-Dead

Brains: You could see it from the word go. The first decision that they make is to trust the guy in the suit (yeah, yeah, but on a flipping tropical island wearing a coat is tantamount to wearing a formal tux). Marlin-Man-in-the-Suit (Dave Samson) first decision is to try and weaken the tribe short-term because he thinks it will be an advantage way down the line. Then big buff Garrett gets all girly (sorry, girls - that’s an unfair comparison to you) and whines that after 20 plus seasons of Survivor, he didn’t seem to understand there was going to be large doses of misery and suffering and surviving. The Nuclear Engineer can’t build a shack (the alternate title for this was “Genuinely, genuinely scary!”), can’t swim, can’t lift a finger, can’t do a simple puzzle, can’t stop running her mouth, and burned their entire food supply. Poker-Face doesn’t even bring his Immunity Idol to tribal and predictably gets blindsided in favor of Rice-Burner. It was a titanic train wreck coming out the gate. Garrett’s instincts were right in trying to keep everyone together so that scheming couldn’t take place, but you push too hard on something and then it can back-fire, and that’s exactly what happened. Schemers gonna scheme.

But…what do they do for an encore?

Brawn: Bad Cop Guy has an opportunity to bond with a fellow cop (now there’s a closed and close-nit community if ever there was one) and blows it. Further, now she doesn’t (rightfully) trust him. I think he might do himself in simply by trying too hard. He bounced back by supporting (privately) Cranky Pilates Woman, and at least showed some initiative in making a listening blind. Dunno how well that will work out, but at least he is trying (see caveat about trying too hard immediately above). Cliff (Giant Man if you aren’t a follower of the NBA) is popular, but then, too popular makes you a target. We’ll see.

Beauty: I expected them to crash and burn because some of the early clips they seemed to be completely lacking in brains. But, some of them actually seem to be able to think (okay, between bouts of narcissism). Big Bouncy Boobs Girl (sorry, I forget her name, I know it’s sexist, but they really were worth looking at - they actually jiggled like real flesh rather than flaked and formed and injected for once!) did a nice cover for almost getting caught at looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol. Cool Leader Dude seems like he is a real one to watch. Nice comeback on the second challenge.

Wow, just wow. I would never have guessed that someone could openly destroy their tribe’s entire food supply and somehow survive the following tribal. Kudos to Tasha for fighting to save her ally and somehow pulling it off despite J’tia’s insanity.

Surprisingly, I’m really liking the Beauty tribe. I thought they were going to get roasted on the challenges, but they seem to work together pretty well as a team. I think that will benefit them in the long run, because…

The Brawn has a problem in the form of Tony. That tribe could easily sweep the challenges to the merge provided they remain united and strong. Tony’s going to overplay though and create disharmony. He’s also an idiot. Cliff Robinson is not a threat. There is no way a big man like Cliff is going to win the kinds of challenges that they generally have once the tribal merge happens. On the other hand, he’s an asset on team challenges. Even thinking about targeting him now is asinine.

It’s early in the season, but it looks like it’ll be fun. After the first episode, I like Sarah from the Brawn tribe to win it all.

Man, they made a way different set of casting decisions than I expected. I was half watching and was constantly assuming people were on the wrong team.

Did they bring in a bunch of American trial lawyers to work their magic and select the most ignorant (of Survivor) group of people possible? It seems like no one had any clue how to play the game. Cop lies to a fellow cop in private after being obviously pegged as a fellow cop instead of bonding? Lawyer lady flat out tells the other lady that she was planning on voting her out? Destroying their own food the first day? Not wearing a non-sports bra? (although that will probably make her a social media celebrity so she should probably be on team Brains). Maybe it is because there have been so many returning players lately, but so many people were making egregious early mistakes. Team Brains seems like a complete disaster narcissistic attractive/fitness people are so much more socially acceptable than narcissistic people who loudly claim their intelligence.

I definitely think the Brawn team has more smarts then the brain team does. The one smart move by the Brains was Garrett, and other members of the team, not trying to swim with the heavy fish traps but rather use them as weights and walk along the ocean floor. Good call!! Now if would most likely still be there if he could have just shut his mouth at tribal and let the group vote off J’Tia - who is completely lost and doesn’t belong there.

I think Lawyer Lady sensed she would be the junior partner with the two guys, and if it was convenient or strategic, they’d swap her out, not to mention Garrett is the suffocating, controlling type. Her plan all along was as the swing vote between the other two women and the two guys, pick what was best for her. It was kind of ruined by Rice-Nuker, but I think she simply figured she’d jettison J’Tia when the next opportunity presented itself and promote Spencer. After the Rice-Nuking, Tasha is probably on board with that.

So what I’m curious about is whether Garrett’s Hidden Immunity Idol (that is just too long to type all the time - HI-Idol?) is going to be collected along with whatever stuff he left at camp by the crew and thus gets put back into play, or if the Survivors are free to find it wherever it lies? Oh, and Bad Cop knew the game enough to search the basket of goodies for the clue to the HI-Idol, so this guy is a definite schemer.

Bad Cop blew a wonderful opportunity with Good Cop, but at the same time, he got the clue that anyone could have grabbed if they knew the game, then grabbed the HI-Idol. He made a blind for eves-dropping (hey, we once set up tape recorders in various rooms to eavesdrop in a Diplomacy game - I’ve been there!). He’s thinking, at least - perhaps over-thinking and not always using good judgment, though. Lawyer Lady was trying forthrightness in an attempt to sound out J’Tia. It’s a dangerous thing to do in the game, but it is not necessarily a mistake.

Sports-Bra: that entirely depends if she doesn’t want them “accidentily” popping out. Lots of women wear bikinis more appropriate for sitting at poolsides than vigorous water activities in Survivor. Well, hell, lots of people show up to Survivor just plain unprepared.

I do think you are spot-on that is more socially acceptable to be narcissistic about your appearance than it is about your brains. Pretty people tend to know it, and know you know it. Insecure or arrogant intelligent people want to let you know they are superior to you (or at least they think they are).