Um, what the hell is this? A one-second-long opening credits? LAME. I look forward to the new credits every year! Then again, I also look forward to this show itself, and that's been a bit disappointing lately, too.
Despite the brevity of the opening, by the time it's over the contestants have reached shore and are de-boating and taking their place on their tribes' mats. Probst plasters a smile on his face and welcomes them to Survivor: Samoa and confirms that the people with the purple buffs and purple-ish clothing are one tribe (Galu) and the people in yellow are the other (Foa Foa). Really, Foa Foa? They couldn't just call it "Foa?" Also some people are wearing red or orange instead of yellow. It's not the same. Probst says that right off the bat, it's time to make a decision as a tribe and elect a leader, because leaders are really important in Samoan culture. Unlike other cultures, where leaders are thought to be the bottom of the barrel. Since the contestants aren't allowed to speak to each other yet (except for any speaking to each other I'm sure some of them did during the casting process or on the plane to Samoa), they must choose based on silent first impressions. That seems like a good idea, because it's not like things that aren't readily apparent, such as intelligence, are necessary for a good leader. Law student Monica on Galu says she felt like "a deer in headlights." As she writes down her vote, she voiceovers that being a leader on this show is a "death wish." So I guess she isn't voting for herself. Mick, the hunky doctor on the Foa Foa tribe, says that as a doctor, he has leadership qualities.
With that, the votes are in. Galu goes first. One woman whose name we will not find out this episode thanks to the fact that there were no names in the opening credits so I had to go to the show website and find out that it's Yasmin, votes for the hot young alpha male, Erik. Of course. John, on the other hand, voted for the Mullet. She introduces herself as "Shambo." Probst: "Shambo?" Shambo: "Yup." It turns out that her name is really Shannon, but her fellow Marines gave her the nickname "Shambo" because she has Rambo's hairstyle and of love of bandanas and Shannon + Rambo = Shambo. Just because someone gives you a nickname doesn't mean you have to use it, Shambo. Last season we had a contestant who went by a nickname, too. It went badly. Some girl with blonde hair votes for Russell even though he's black. I always think people will not want to write the minority down because they'll feel forced to have to write something like "the black guy" in lieu of a first name. But the blonde girl cleverly avoided this by calling him "black jacket and dreads." Brett also voted for Russell, who does not look pleased at how things are going. And then there are two women in the front row who look alike and don't talk much this episode anyway. One of them is Monica and the other is Laura. I have no idea which one is which. One votes for Russell ("handsome man in the suit") and the other votes for Shamwow, as does Russell. "Guy in the back" also votes for Russell and holy crap I totally think I know that guy. What's his name? They don't say. If it's Dave then I know him. Weird. Erik votes for "better looking Lennox Lewis." That could be Russell or Shempbo though. Probst assumes it's Russell, though, and thus he is voted to be Galu's leader. He doesn't look happy about it at all, but it's his own fault for wearing a suit jacket. Suit jacket = leadership potential.