HOLLYWOOD—Let’s just say it, “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” was a massive bust. To be honest, it may be one of the worst entries in the franchise that I can recall in a very, very long time. So the “Survivor” Gods are well aware they needed something big to lure the audience back in. So what do we have?

We have ‘Island of Idols,’ where “Survivor” legends Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine are mentors/coaches in the game. Yeah, it feels similar to “Big Brother 14” which had the coaches twist, that allowed the coaches at some point to enter the game, that is not happening here. They will give advice and help give advantages to players in the game to help them win. We have two tribes: Lairo and Vokai. The energy on Vokai seems much more positive, but with Lairo you can already see the scheming with seven taking on the majority, and three being left on the outs.

Jason, really, the theme is not literal, but he really thought idols were going to be scattered throughout the island. Tommy is bonding well with members of Vokai, while Jason is on the outs, but Nora warned him that he might be a target at the first Tribal Council. Back at Lairo, I was enjoying Elaine, as well as Missy, who was attempting to manifest a female alliance. That is something I’ve not seen lately on “Survivor” so this is an interesting development.

Friction was building between members of Vokai and Dan; looks like he is a bit touchy feely and that has made a lot of the women uncomfortable. Kellee addressed the issue head-on with Dan. Back at Lairo, Ronnie was uncomfortable with Elaine because he noticed her likeability amongst tribemates. At last, we finally get to the first immunity challenge of the game. Lairo was lagging behind, but found a way to catch up to start on their puzzle before Vokai, but Vokai soon caught up. The final task was puzzle that involved building a village.

Vokai dominated in the puzzle making earning victory, sending Lairo to Tribal Council. So is it safe to say that the losing tribe gets to go to the Island of Idols each week? I love the randomness of the first person’s name drawn to going to the Island of the Idols. Little does Elizabeth know it’s NOT an idol, it’s a conversation with Rob and Sandra. She was speechless when she came face-to-face with Rob and Sandra and learned that this isn’t idol city, but information city.

Elizabeth learned how to make fire, then there was a test, she had to make fire. If she was victorious she would get an idol, if she can’t make fire, then she loses her vote. I love the risks that this twist is delivering to the contestants. It seems everyone wants to go after Elaine, but Vince and Karishma had other plans. Vince spilled that tea to Elaine who was worried.

So what is Elizabeth going to do? It’s a battle to make fire, but Rob teased other offers could have been on the table, but Elaine jumped at the first offer given to her. Hmm, I wonder what else he was planning to offer, too bad for Elizabeth, she lost the fire battle. In another twist, Elizabeth got the opportunity to choose the person from Vokai who will be next to visit Rob and Sandra, here’s the twist: Elizabeth has no idea who that person is.

Elaine confronted Ronnie and Aaron about her being a target, ballsy move to say the least America. Now it seems Vince might be a target over Elaine, but Elizabeth was concerned about what to say and what not to say. She decided to lie about what is actually on the island. She came up with a lie that was not too convincing if you ask me, a good “Survivor” should have immediately picked up on that. Making this first Tribal Council interesting was the fact that Rob and Sandra got to witness the Tribal Council from a secret hut, without the others knowing it.

Elaine is a very likable character; she has ton of heart, but her comedic timing is powerful. Hands down she was the star of the episode, and is one of the contestants that I’m rooting for more than anyone else. This is an emotional tribe to say the least. Lots of tears, lots of confessionals. I honestly thought, it was going to be Vince or Elaine going home, but this was a blindside, because Ronnie was booted and I don’t think he even say it coming. Ok, I was slightly on the fence about this new season, but if we keep seeing surprises like this, I’m all in. “Survivor: Island of the Idols” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.