HOLLYWOOD—After the phenomenal season audiences were treated to last season with the sensational “Survivor: David Vs. Goliath,” this latest entry into the franchise, ‘Edge of Extinction’ has large shoes to fill. I mean I’d rank ‘David vs. Goliath’ as one of my top three seasons of recent with ‘Cagayan’ and ‘Cambodia’ taking first and second place.
This latest entry is all about this new game-changing twist that allows contestants who have been voted out the opportunity to return to the game. Um, this sounds like ‘Redemption Island’ and not many fans were entertained with that season.
I guess if there is any icing on the cake it’s the notion that we have the return of fan favorites in Kelley Wentworth, Joe Anglim and Aubry Bracco, who have now played the game a total of 3 times, in addition to David Wright who is getting his second chance to compete for the $1 million prize after falling short in ‘Millennials vs. Gen X.’ Let’s just say after one episode of the newest season, the verdict is still out. Nothing wowed me in particular, and the fact that the audience still doesn’t fully know how this twist works is annoying. More on that later.
We have two tribes, the Manu tribe which consisted of vets David and Kelley and Kama which consisted of Joe and Aubry. Not sure how those pairings were made, but they were indeed interesting. Per usual, there is always a secret advantage on the boat, and this one was found by Ron. However, this wasn’t any old advantage; it was the ‘Advantage Menu.’ It allows Ron to decide from 3 options: 1) steal a reward from the other tribe 2) an extra vote or 3) a hidden immunity idol.
This shouldn’t be rocket science, the idol is the best advantage, but this advantage is only good until the third Tribal Council. It seemed each of our four vets is attempting to learn from previous mistakes. Joe doesn’t want to shine, even though he made fire and showed his prowess. Kelley was working on her social game and bonded with Lauren. Aubry learned that playing slow is better and strike when the time is right, just as David found himself not wanting to be quiet. Rather those adjustments work is still to be seen.
If I’m talking about actual standouts, most of them came directly from the Manu tribe. I love Wendy. She is quirky, not afraid to speak her mind and her story about coping with Tourette’s syndrome was inspirational. Reem is one who refuses to shares her thoughts rather you like them or not, and then you have Keith who doesn’t know how to swim. I like these three together, but it feels like they are immediate targets just because Wendy and Reem were teaching Keith how to swim.
On Kama, it looks like Eric and Gavin are tight allies who immediately want to target Joe and Aubry, with Eric really wanting to get Aubry out. Hmm, this seems like a bit of foreshadowing, and I feel like Eric might be booted sooner than he thinks. The first immunity challenge was an intricate obstacle course that concluded with a massive sliding puzzle. Kama had the advantage in the beginning of the challenge, and never let it go claiming their first victory of the season sending Manu to Tribal Council.
It was apparent that everyone wanted Reem out, but Wendy was a fierce ally for her pal, which made her a threat to Wardog and David. Keith smartly pivoted when he realized that conversation at the water well wasn’t what he expected. As a result, Keith revealed to Kelley and Lauren that they were targets. This immediately shifted the target to Reem, who was livid to hear her name posed as a threat.
There were fireworks at the first Tribal Council of the season and it was clearly the Reem show. She went at it with almost everyone except Wendy. I felt it was SO OBVIOUS that Reem was being voted out because why in the hell would anyone want to keep her considering her antics. Something told me this could be a misdirect and a blindside could be in the works against Wendy. It was a close vote, but with 4 votes Reem was sent packing.
Now here is my frustration, Reem is voted out and I’m thinking we’re getting our first look at how this twist works, but not so. Reem decides to take the boat and the torch to get a chance to get back in the game. We find her on a dilapidated island, with nothing in sight. So am I to assume that the longer you stay on the island you get to get back into the game. What about shelter, what about food, what about if the weather gets too bad? The problem with the ‘Edge of Extinction’ is we have a twist, but the audience still has no idea how this twist works. I don’t like that because anything could transpire, and the question rather it’s fair will easily have ramifications in the game.
If a twist is part of the game, the audience/viewer should at least be aware what that twist might be and how it works. The first episode did not impress, so “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” you have two more chances to catch my attention, otherwise I’ll be checking out. “Survivor” airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBS.