“Survivor: Edge of Extinction” Premiere Episode Recap: Edge-ucation Expert

“Survivor: Edge of Extinction” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Gabby Pascuzzi, occasional interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Alright, let’s do this…

We kick things off with a boat off of the Fijian coast filled to the brim with produce and fourteens Americans.

First up, we meet “Wardog” who immediately fills our quota for people who are pretending like they aren’t law students. He also fills our quota for awesome nicknames.

We then get to meet Wendy and her blue hair. She can’t wait to experience the unpredictability of the game.

CUT TO: An unpredictable speed boat carrying four former “Survivor” faves; Kelley Wentworth, David Wright, former XFINITY Power Rankings superstar Aubry Bracco, and Joseph “Amazing” Anglim.

Joe tells us that he’s going to try his best not to shine brighter than everyone else. I struggle with that myself. Ahem…

Finally, JPro says something awesome about…

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Jeff welcomes all of the newbs and immediately starts being a Debbie Downer by pointing out that someone is going to be voted out in 72 hours. Also, the polar ice caps are a mess.

This is all a segue way to introducing four great players who didn’t win the game. Our four returnees make their entrance as Lauren admits to us that she has a crush on Joe. I know a certain seven-foot barrel racer who isn’t going to be psyched to hear that.

Probst hands over their buffs and sets them loose to loot the boat. There isn’t anything particularly dramatic that happens during the marooning except for Ron finding a secret advantage and Keith having some trouble swimming.

Now that that’s all set, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Manu Tribe (wearing blue)
Chris, 25 – District Sales Manager
David, 44 – Television Writer, also appeared on “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”
Keith, 19 – Pre-Med Student
Kelley, 31 – Marketing Manager, also appeared on “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” and “Survivor: Second Chance”
Lauren, 21 – Student
Reem, 46 – Sales
Rick, 33 – Morning News Anchor
Wardog, 38 – Law Student
Wendy, 25 – Small Business Owner

The Kama Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aubry, 32 – Marketing Director, also appeared on “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” and “Survivor: Game Changers”
Aurora, 32 – Divorce Lawyer
Eric, 34 – Firefighter
Gavin, 23 – YMCA Program Director
Joe, 29 – Multimedia Artist, also appeared on “Survivor: Worlds Apart” and “Survivor: Second Chance”
Julia, 24 – Medical Assistant
Julie, 46 – Toymaker
Ron, 46 – Teacher
Victoria, 23 – Waitress

At Manu Beach

Rick downplays his role as a morning news anchor by saying that he’s in the 115th biggest market out of 130 markets. I’m sure the folks back home will love to hear that.

Kelley seems to bond with Lauren almost immediately. This does not go unnoticed by Reem.

David is a little uncomfortable with others seeing him as a wilderness expert, but he’s willing to do anything to get on people’s good sides. Smart.

Wendy shares that she has mild Tourette syndrome. It manifests in vocal and motor tics and tends to come out when she gets excited. She appreciates that this might make her come off as awkward. But I think she’s friggin adorable.

Reem is immediately rubbing people the wrong way by putting their personal belongings on the beach to dry. And when her and Wendy take Keith out into the water to teach him to swim, it gives the other six members of the tribe a chance to plot against them. Doh…

At Kama Beach

The spotlight is immediately put on Joe. But seriously, what can he do? I’d lean into it and try to be as humble and likable as possible. That should at least get you to the merge.

Julie is having trouble fitting in due to her complete lack of wilderness prowess. Hey, that’s David’s gimmick.

Ron eventually sneaks out to look at his advantage. It directs him to dig up an “Advantage Menu.” He has the choice between stealing a reward, an extra vote, or an individual immunity idol. However, the advantage is only good through the first three Tribal Councils. So wait, he found an advantage and didn’t immediately tell all of the beautiful women? Strategy has advanced since last season.

Gavin and Eric seem to be an early pair, and they’re very interested in keeping the returnees from winning…Aubry in particular.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will run through a rope barrier, then up a platform and across a balance beam. One member will climb a tower to release a slide. The team will slide down and then complete a giant slide puzzle. The first tribe to finish the puzzle will win immunity and flint.

Result: Manu had some serious trouble with the balance beam, allowing Kama to win both immunity and reward. Kelley took a nasty bump off of the beam and now has a pretty significant mark on her forehead.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Keith was originally interested in working with Wendy and Reem, but Reem’s aggressiveness turned him off. So, he jumps to the other side.

Wardog tries to see if Wendy will work with them, but she refuses to turn on Reem. This puts the idea in his head that maybe Wendy should go first.

Tribal Time

JPro immediately points out that Reem is not in the best of moods. She admits that she’s pissed off because her name was thrown out.

Things get heated between Reem and Kelley and Wardog, but I don’t believe for a second that anyone other than Reem is in any trouble.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Reem, one vote for Kelley, one vote for Wendy, one vote for Lauren, one vote for Reem, one vote for Wendy, one vote for Reem, one vote for Wendy, and the first person voted out of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” is…Reem.

But wait…as Reem is leaving the Tribal Council area, she’s met with a choice; go home or get on a boat for a chance to return to the game. She, of course, chooses to get on the boat.

She’s taken to a deserted island and then…the credits roll. That’s it.

Good cliffhanger.

Verdict: I like the returnees, I’m liking the newbs…I’m willing to give the Isle of Extinction a shot. It’ll be weird to have Thursday mornings that are free of exit interviews, but we’ll see how it goes.

Winner Pick: I’m going with Joey Amazing. If he gets to the end, he can win it. And the Isle of Extinction gives him a second chance to get there.

  • Ron – You swiped an advantage and kept it to yourself? Color me impressed.
  • Joe – What can Joe do other than be Joe? It’s the worst position to be in, but he’s got the skills to go the distance.
  • Aubry and David – You guys are in a tough spot as returnees who aren’t challenge beasts. But you smiled and made friends and are laying low.
  • Lauren – I like the idea of buddying up with a returnee. If your alliance turns on you, they’ll probably take Kelley out first.
  • Kelley – You got some heat on you with the Reem thing, but you’ve got the majority and fodder. You’ll be fine.
  • Keith – Good on Keith for sensing which way the wind was blowing and immediately making the right move for his game.
  • Wardog – I think you were smart and genuine at Tribal, but you need to be a little more careful about being drawn into Tribal confrontations.
  • Julie – It can’t be a good thing that you got the “I’m bad around camp” edit.
  • Wendy – Loyalty is admirable, but you tied yourself to a sinking ship.
  • Chris, Victoria, Julia, Rick, Aurora, Eric, Gavin – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes