Survivor
Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise

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Credits. The best part of the credits is the completely gratuitous ass shot of one of the girls. "Meet her ass, meet her ass, please don't say that we are crass!" Good gravy, people, how did you get that shot without snagging the Steadicam on her waistband? There isn't a Speedo-driven dick shot of one of the guys, so why do we have to open on such a sour note?

Ruins. The survivors enter over a little rise and walk down a path. They arrange themselves on two mats, already divided into what will apparently be their tribes. Jeff looks at them knowingly, based on his past experience at never having done what they're doing ever, at all. When they're all arranged, he says, "Welcome to Survivor Guatemala." This is where I expect someone to jump up and say, "Hey, I didn't think you looked like Donald Trump! Where the hell am I?" Jeff tells them that they are standing in the ruins of the Maya civilization, and that, for thirty-nine days, they'll be in amongst the ruins, trying not to break stuff. He gives one flag to the Nakum tribe, and then he gives one to the Yaxha tribe. I am foregoing the accents on those, in case you can't tell. Because...come on. The season is really long. At any rate, Probst tells the contestants that when they get to their respective camps, they'll find "a few items used by the Maya" that will allow them to survive. Judging from the little shots that are inserted here, there are pots and then there are a lot of rocks for pounding and cutting. Kind of a stone-based society, it would seem. Too bad it's not one based on Rice Krispies. That would avoid a lot of unnecessary hunger, it seems to me.

And then, Jeff adds, each tribe will get "one other tool." He turns up toward a high tower of ruins and says, "Come on out." The survivors -- several of whom are clearly surprised to see anyone other than themselves referred to as "tools" -- look up expectantly. From above, two figures emerge. Green shirt, melon shirt. The survivors peer up. And then...the figures salute. Wearing the green shirt is one Bobby Jon, bug-eyed crazy boy. Wearing the melon shirt is Stephenie, the toughest competitor to never win a damn thing, bless her heart. The new survivors applaud and smile and laugh in recognition. Jeff reminds them who these people are -- they're from Palau, of course -- and then the two climb down and make their way toward the group. Jeff calls them "proven Survivor players," leaving open what it is they proved, exactly, other than that they can get on television twice. He calls Steph "arguably the strongest woman ever to play this game," and calls Bobby Jon "a strong competitor at challenges and in day-to-day camp living, arguably the hardest-working survivor ever." That's a lot of uses of "arguably" in a short period of time, I have to say. Jeff is arguably the most hyperbole-prone host on television. Bobby Jon and Stephenie receive a round of applause from the rest of the group, which I think is highly weird, and then Jeff throws Steph a blue buff, telling her she's a member of Yaxha. Bobby Jon is a member of Nakum. The women of Yaxha are particularly squealy, since there are clearly some big Steph fans among them. Also excited is Brian, the "Ivy League Student," who interviews that he's "in love with Stephenie," so he was excited to have her on the team.

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Survivor

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