Last night saw the premiere of a new season of Survivor with a 90 minute episode. We were treated to the return of 3 former players who were medivacced during their respective seasons. Automatically, the question is, how will these returning players fare this season amidst the fresh new players. Will star factor come into play, or will their star be a liability?
My personal brief assessment of each of the returnees is that of the 3, I am definitely impressed with returning player Michael Skupin. Michael, not only has the "star factor" in his favor, but he has a very keen sense of the ins and outs of the game. He made an astute decision in waiting to see how the game is laying itself out. Either way, from the looks of his reception,
I don't see him as having too much trouble early. He already is part of an alliance with Abi, RC and Pete. The main thing I am concerned for though is that during the episode, he kept getting minor injury after minor injury. Fingers crossed he stays injury free.
I am happy to see the return of Penner as I liked him also in his previous seasons. I do have some concerns though for him based on what I saw in this past episode. I didn't see him do much interaction with his tribe, instead it was pretty obvious that he was looking for an HII. Which can only serve to alienate him from his tribe. In my opinion, with the returnee status being an already uphill battle to climb, the better option would be to try and forge some bonds and keep the clue search on the dl. Penner is a charasmatic. smart and funny guy, so it is my hope he is able to get everything in gear and the early decisions he is making will not cost him his 3rd shot.
It was also awesome to again see Russ Swan back again, another charming, charasmatic guy returning for his second season. However, he cameeversoclose to blowing his second shot. Namely, he started taking the leadership thing to the hilt after initially stating his desire not to be a leader. That right there would make anyone leery, let alone the way he barked orders during the pre-challenge huddle. Plus Zane saw Russ placing the clue back in his pants, which could have spelled doom as well. Things in the end worked out for Russ and what ended up saving Russ is that Zane way over-played his hand and made people leery. Plus I think Russ's enthusiasm helped him as well. I like Russ a lot and hope he has learned from this close call.
Lisa Whelchel, former "Facts Of Life" star is also one of the star factors on this season, and so far it appears it's just Scoop who recognizes her. I have to agree with Scoop that it may not hurt her shot to just go ahead and state who she is. The feel I am getting in just what little I have seen of her on, is that she is giving out a "vibe" that she is hiding something which will make her tribemates leery of her. From what little that was shown of her, she doesn't appear to be bonding with anyone and instead appears to be on the periphery. Next week we see in the teaser that she breaks down. Honestly, that doesn't bode altogether badly for her, as we have seen previous breaks from Holly Hoffman and Dawn Meehan. Both were able to come back from their tougher moments on the show and Lisa reminds me of both ladies. I have always felt Lisa has a resiliency so I am rooting her on and hope she is able to rebound and kick her game into earnest.
Of the newbies that are on this season, a few are early favorites. Strategical wise, I am liking Malcolm and Denise. Malcolm impressed me right off the bat as he seems charming, smart and astute. I have a good vibe on him and think he has a great shot as he seems a triple threat with strategical, social and physical. I also like Denise as she appears to be a cool and collected player. The way she is able to assess people and her answers at Tribal show she can be a contender. I am glad they paired up as I think, together, they can only bolster what strengths they bring to the game this season.
I also like Dana. Maybe it's the Southern drawl or her uniqueness but there's something that stands out to me as I watch her. I like her and hope she does well.
Zane-y but Memorable Player
Right off the bat, Zane definitely stood out and will probably go down as one of the most memorable players to go in a first episode. Zane was undeniably fun to watch and would have made for a chuckle or two had he not have over played his hand. When Zane started going to each and every player making alliances, I sat there and said "big mistake bro". The island is very small and people talk. Then when he "tossed himself under the bus" in this very elaborate scheme to blindside Russ, to me it was obvious that he was way over tipping his hand. I liked him and feel that he will be remembered alongside the likes of Chicken, Wanda and others who were ousted first but just have that fun and endearing streak in them. Who knows, we may not have seen the last of Zane.
So what are your thoughts peeps? Who stood out to you this past episode? What are your thoughts on each returning player?