Ain't It Cool News (

Fiji Groovy!!
Herc’s Seen The First New
SURVIVOR Since Dec. 6!!

I am – Hercules!!
SURVIVOR 14.1 FAQ What’s it called? The first episode of “Survivor Fiji” is titled “Something Cruel Is About To Happen … Real Soon.” And where is Fiji again? Right next door to Vanuatu, a little north of the sea between Australia and New Zealand. What does TV Guide say? “The 14th edition of the reality series strands 19 castaways on the Fiji Islands to vie for the $1 million first-place prize. Initially, everyone lives together at a camp with plenty of supplies, but on the third day the group is split into two tribes. The team that loses the first immunity challenge must relocate to a different island with little resources. Also, the players learn that a hidden immunity idol is located at each tribal camp. Jeff Probst is the host.” Is the odd number of contestants and the lack of gender balance explained? Jeff Probst lays it out in his seaplane soaring high above the action: “Just below are 19 strangers that represent an extreme cross-section of America – from a former homeless street performer to a Harvard-educated lawyer! They are given absolutely no information! The fear of the unknown is so strong that one survivor quit just moments before being set adrift miles from shore! Is it true there’s only one hot-girl contestant this season? Howbutwhat? The producers are clearly using ethnic diversity as an excuse to cast a greater-than-ever number of comely females. (Who’s supposed to be the “only” hot one? Stacy? Rita? Michelle? Jessica? Learn what they all look like here.) Wait a minute. Everyone gets to know each other before they’re split into tribes?? Is true. Moreover, when the contestants arrive on shore they find themselves wondering what they’re supposed to be doing. As Anthony, an expert witness locator, puts it, “Everybody’s looking around for Jeff Probst!” (One wonders if the last-minute defection didn't throw the production into some initial disarray.) At the end of act one, a package from Jeff finally parachutes down instructing the contestants on how to build the dream beach compound only some of them will get to live in. What else is TV Guide not telling us? Only one player learns this week about the immunity idols being hidden at the camps. Last season the contestants’ racial make-up was pretty much identical to that of this season’s contestants. If everyone gets divided into two tribes, how can there be four ethnically pure tribes? There are no ethnically pure tribes this time around. Producers have cast another four-sided ethno-mix, but ethnicity plays no formal role, at least in the first episode. How, then, are the two tribes divided? In a way I don’t recall the show employing before. One contestant, essentially chosen by the producers, is charged with single-handedly dividing everyone up into two tribes of nine. Then the dividing contestant is sent to Exile Island, where he or she is immune from the first elimination and given a clue regarding immunity idol's locale. Does the chooser employ any strategy in choosing? The chooser seems to try to divide the teams up evenly, since the chooser does not know which team he or she will be joining. How does Herc appraise the tribal names this season? They are short. “Moto” and “Ravu.” No contest as to which is the cooler, right? Since one of the contestants bailed “just moments before being set adrift,” is there an elimination this week? There is; methinks it would be a crazy bad decision for “Survivor” to launch a season without an elimination. Any idea who’s first to get the boot? The first immunity challenge is very taxing, and the editing suggests whomever gets eliminated will be eliminated due to physical performance rather than personality. (Though, of course, you can’t always trust those “Survivor” editors to leave all the important stuff in.) What’s involved in the first elimination challenge? A punishing human-powered “chariot race,” three puzzles per team and a big knife. The first immunity challenge decides who gets the immunity idol AND who gets to live at Fancy Beach. How fancy is Fancy Beach? It houses bags of rice, cutlery, goblets, flint, a kitchen, a bush shower, a toilet, hammocks and a big overstuffed couch! Those stranded on Not-Fancy Beach get only a machete and a pot. The Fancy Beach element already stands as one of the new season’s most compelling elements. Any contestants likely to precipitate water-cooler discussions Friday morning? “Survivor” remains nothing if not well-cast. Stand-outs in the early going : * A bartender named James who gets nicknamed “Rocky” (likely not for the first time) because he resembles a young Sylvester Stallone. * The formerly homeless guy, who is also a super-extraverted cheerleading coach who refers to himself as “Dreamz.” With a “z.” His stated strategy is to make certain everyone notices his (less-than-endearing) presence. Brilliant. * Sylvia, the cheerful architect, who finds her expertise unusually valuable when the contestants are charged with building their deluxe shelter. * Yau-Man, a bespectacled, middle-aged computer engineer, who is as likeable as Cao-Boi, last season’s old Asian guy, was annoying. Yau-Man is from Borneo originally, which give him a real edge in the wilds of Fiji. “You’re the professor on Gilligan Island!” a fellow contestant informs him. How does it end, spoiler boy? As is CBS’ custom, the press screener ends just as Probst is about to tally the votes. But as consolation, here’s how Probst begins the episode! “We are flying over the stunning water of the Fiji Islands, a place once known for its cannibalism, uncharted reefs and formidable warriors. These islands are home to spectacular sea-life and lush, jagged terrain.” 39 days. 19 people. One survivor. 8 p.m. Thursday. CBS.

Season Sets Under $20!! Angel 2.x-5.x * Arrested Development 1.x-3.x * The Big Valley 1.x * The Bob Newhart Show 1.x-4.x * Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.x-7.x * Dark Angel 1.x * Dead Like Me 1.x-2.x * Dharma & Greg 1.x * Errol Morris’ First Person: The Complete Series * Fame 1.x * Green Acres 1.x-3.x * Harsh Realm: The Complete Series * Hill Street Blues 1.x-2.x * Jeremiah 1.x * The Lone Gunmen The Complete Series * The Magnificent Seven 1.x * Malcolm in the Middle 1.x * The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1.x-4.x * M*A*S*H 2.x-11.x * Millennium 1.x-3.x * NYPD Blue 1.x-4.x * Over There 1.x * The Pretender 1.x-4.x * Rat Patrol 1.x * Reba 1.x-4.x * Remington Steele 1.-5.x * Roswell 1.x-3.x * She Spies 1.x * That ‘70s Show 2.x * Tru Calling 2.x * The White Shadow 1.x-2.x * The Young Riders 1.x

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Feb. 8, 2007, 2:49 a.m. CST


    by Razorback

    How can it be? I have never been first. *looks around* Oh, I guess I am the only one awake.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST

    I wish they'd just do one extended season per year

    by Shermdawg

    Also, the new version of Road Rules is worse than the original.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Agree about that extension Shermdawg.

    by mrfan


  • Feb. 8, 2007, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Survivor MacGuyver

    by dj_bollocks

    What about that pitch.... Always compelling - always amusing - always entertaining... Always hot chicks in bikinis... wjo inevitably get voted out too early !

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 6:40 a.m. CST

    If CBS won't give me a decent ethic war, will FOX?

    by rivercb

    They already gifted us with midget dating. All they have to do is divy the little fuckers up, based on their ethnicity, and then make them solve puzzles. I'll watch that for an hour.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 6:43 a.m. CST

    AI is on, Survivor starts this week and TAR next

    by darquelyte

    Yummy non-scripted tv goodness for the next few months! Much more entertaining than many scripted series these days, especially most of those lame @$$ so called comedies. ~ÐL

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 7:55 a.m. CST

    I know this sounds like a Lost ripoff...

    by Maxamegalon2000

    But I had this idea long before Lost premered. I don't know how this would work, but you'd have the 16 or whatever castaways in two tribes, and they'd play the game like normal, and then when they're down to nine or so and merged, you reveal that there's a second set of 16 castaways that's been playing the same game, and now you're tribe of nine is against their tribe of nine. I don't know how this would work; they'd have to have double the production teams, and I guess they'd have to wait until they air the first set getting down to nine before they show the second set at all.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by mjbok1

    As much as most people's ideas really, really stink, that is a great idea. To add another point to it, I think this would be a great way to do the final survivor. You have to figure there aren't many more miles left in the show (though I still enjoy it), but it would be a great way for it to go out on a high. They could start the season like normal, then get down to nine (or another number) and when Jeff would normally say that the remaining members will be on the jury he tells them that there is another surprise instore. Then they go to the preview about the other tribe. It would have to be explained that the tribes started at the same time. It definately would throw a wrench into strategies that people had developed, as by the time you're down to nine you have your alliances setup, and all of a sudden your enemies have to become your friends just to survive. Great idea.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    No way would they do that, Maxamegalon2000

    by Acappellaman

    They wouldn't spend the money playing the game with a full second team and not show you anything from it. There would be no investment from the viewers for the second team. I could see them doing something like this, but televising both teams, though. It would water things down quite a bit, though, since there were so many people involved. I can't see them pulling that off.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    No way would they do that, Maxamegalon2000

    by Acappellaman

    They wouldn't spend the money playing the game with a full second team and not show you anything from it. There would be no investment from the viewers for the second team. I could see them doing something like this, but televising both teams, though. It would water things down quite a bit, though, since there were so many people involved. I can't see them pulling that off.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by Don Lockwood

    Is this show still on? Okay, seriously, I usually watch the first three or four episodes, get tired of it and then watch the finale.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    to quote the great Cleavon Litttle...

    by Hansorg

    Where the white women at?

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST



    ... EASTER ISLAND. It would be amazingly cool. It is afterall one of the most isolated civilizations on the planet with some amazing heritage. Best of all GIANT HEADZ!!! Damn, I hope Mark Burnett reads this.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Maxamegalon2000, interesting idea.

    by jim

    Survivor is best when they throw in those twists. Your idea was sort of already done. It was the season with Rupert & Johnny Fairplay. 6 or so contestants who had been voted off were formed into a third tribe that was brought in to compete during the immunity challenges. I believe they beat both tribes and two contestants who had been voted out were allowed to return to the game.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Probst gotta eat!!!

    by Fire4Effect

    Still waiting for the twist of Jeff Probst joining the cast one of these seasons...

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    They kinda did Maxamegalon2000's thing...

    by themikejonas "Treasure Hunters" last year, just for the first episode--two separate sets of competing teams battled it out in separate locations, and at the end of the episode the two sets were brought together (almost literally running into each other at a "checkpoint" in the game) for them to realize there were more people in the game than they initially thought.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    I want to see Survivor: Transylvania

    by Flim Springfield

    They could camp in a forest outside an old castle, have some fear-based challenges like getting locked in a coffin, and bring back voted-out players as some sort of "undead" twist.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Hot girl

    by borisF

    I am going to spank my monkey watching Michelle and Jessica.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    ZOMG Anna Nicole dead!

    by gboybama

    Pwned by drugs imo.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Or how about ...

    by Creamery Butter

    As soon as they're down to 8 contestants, bring in 16 totally new people and split into two tribes of 12 and keep going ... although that sort of sounds like Paradise Hotel or whatever the hell that show was called. But it'd be Survivor, therefore better!

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Screw it. Just give each contestant...

    by mrfan

    a sharp hatchet then let them loose among one another. Have the island be filled with booby traps, free food, and more hatchets.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Here's my idea for a Survivor twist

    by jim

    Let the members of the Jury compete in the individual immunity challenges. If none of the jury wins immunity, things are like normal - one person gets voted off and joins the jury. If one of the Jury wins immunity, they are back in the game, safe from the vote with immunity, and to balance things out, two people get voted out. And do it from the first Jury member to the final four. That'll put the kibosh on the alliances controlling the game!

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST


    by Hansorg

    they voted out the only hot chick on the whole damn island...

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Can't hot chicks be given 3-week immunity or something?

    by Flim Springfield

    Yeah, yeah, that wouldn't be fair, but DAMN!

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Ooh! A bush toilet!

    by Zarles

    To wash their bush! Handy.

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 3:07 a.m. CST

    wow! how many seasons?

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    now i feel out of the loop. the only season i ever watchd was season 2...dang

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Open request to Burnett...

    by biggles2_22

    ...please return to your roots! From someone who followed your career since the early stages, please please, listen up! Remember Eco-Challenge? Make it a true Survivor! No food, no shelter. Just a machete and maybe a pot for boiling water. Just put a bell on the beach for contestants who want out. This show is getting too MTV! Also, the Apprentice twist is just, well, kinda sad. Another idea: Change the venue. How about Survivor: Alaska?! Survivor: Death Valley?! Survivor: Siberia?! There are so many possiblities. The island thing is really really getting old.

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST


    by Zarles

    The island thing is pretty much a necessity. When they took it to the desert in Survivor: Outback, it was as dull as could be. They could never do it in the cold weather, either. Who the hell would watch a bunch of people in parkas and goggles sitting around a fire in an igloo? Survivor is a formula, yeah, but they're messing with the formula as much as they can to keep it interesting.

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I just came back from Fiji

    by Homer Sexual

    So I can tell you this group got lucky, because it's never too hot and never drops below 70, never. We got there like a week after Survivor finished filming, but of course I have no idea where in Fiji they were. This season is really coming too soon after Cook Islands. Hard to get interested in this group. Oh, while in Fiji I discovered that many Survivors have been filmed in this area (Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Palau, Borneo and now Fiji). Ps. I wonder if a lot of gays like Ugly Betty. I, for one, watched one episode, thought it was lame, obvious and heavy-handed. Aimed at a dumb audience, no offense to fans. The nephew kid is the only good thing about the show.

  • Feb. 9, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST


    by biggles2_22

    Outback boring? A brush fire, flood, and my neighbor burns the skin off his hands in a fire? Dude, we must have been watching different shows.

  • Feb. 10, 2007, 6:30 a.m. CST

    But getting back to the point...

    by dj_bollocks

    They did just vote off the only hot chick....

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST

    But was she really all that hot?

    by jim

    supposedly the contestant who dropped out was the hottest of all.