Probst voiceovers a lesson for all of us about the Philippines, this season's location, as we get to see him piloting a motor boat through the water. There are beautiful and dangerous animals there! Also furious storms! That arrive without warning! That sounds like my toddlers. They are beautiful and dangerous with furious storms that arrive without warning. I do feel like I'm on Survivor most days.
Let's meet some contestants: Jeff Kent was a professional baseball player! That no one liked! I do remember listening to the Jim Rome show randomly on the day the story came out where he claimed he got hurt washing his car. Turned out he was riding a motorcycle or a dirtbike or something and he didn't want to admit it because he wasn't supposed to be engaging in such activities. I didn't make the connection until someone in the forums posted about it. Another contestant is named Zane, and he's a runty scabby-looking dude who points out that one of his many tattoos is Frankenstein. Well, it's actually Frankenstein's monster, to get all pedantic about it. Anyway, Zane claims that Frankenstein picked a flower for a little girl, but then he strangled her, and he can show either emotion, depending on how people treat him. Comforting.
Another new contestant: Lisa aka Lisa Whelchel aka Blair from The Facts of Life. For you youngsters, The Facts of Life was a spinoff from Diff'rent Strokes, where the housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett, went to be the headmistress at a girls' boarding school. And eventually, the show focused on four girls: Natalie (chubby one), Tootie (the African-American one), Jo (the lesbian, but back then she was known as the tomboy, but come on) and Blair (the rich snooty one). Anyway, it was a show I watched incessantly, although I always hated Blair. Lisa has gone on to write a book about child-rearing that advocated the practice of hot-saucing children's tongues, which is controversial to say the least. And yet, she's not going to tell anyone that she's sort of famous. If she really wanted to go undercover, she might have considered changing her hairstyle; it looks exactly like Blair's used to.
Probst reminds us that this is an exciting game, but also a dangerous one, and we get a montage of people puking, fainting, and getting otherwise injured. And what the new castaways don't know is that three former players who were medically evacuated are returning to play again. Those three are: Russell Swan, who fainted during a challenge and hit his chin on a wooden maze. And then his eyes rolled up in his head and he wasn't responding to questions. I recapped that episode, and I really thought he was dead. The next is Jonathan Penner, who got evacuated due to an infection during Fans Vs. Favorites. They don't mention that he played in a season prior to that and got voted out, so it's not like he never got a chance to finish the game. Anyway, I like Penner, so I'm not going to complain. And finally, probably the most famous and memorable medical evacuation was Michael Skupin in the second season, when he fell into the fire. They show the footage of Skupin in the water with skin falling from his hands and hey, look it's Elisabeth Hasselbeck, before we all hated her! Anyway, all three are returning and really want to win. Unlike the other contestants, who are just there for the LOLs, I guess.