‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ Episode 1 Recap: Singing the Blues


"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Another Quick Note: I was on hand for the filming of this first episode, so be on the lookout for special Behind-the-Scenes Tidbits from my time in the Nicaragua.

And…we’re off!

The season kicks off with a trio of brightly colored trucks making their way through the Nicaraguan wilderness. The first truck, which is yellow, features a sextet of White Collar workers.

First we meet So, who claims to be the devil. Oh my goodness, Jeff Probst was calling her “vampire” and “she-devil” in all of our pregame interviews. He tried to warn us!

Then, Max’s beard tells us that he has no problem stepping on people to get what he wants. Well, good luck stepping on people without feet, Max’s beard.

Next up, we meet the hardworking Blue Collar tribe. Mike, an oil worker, says that you can’t win unless you get your hands dirty. He proves his point by showing us his dirty hands. So basically he’s already half way there.

Lindsey then claims that there is nobody on this Earth who is as mentally strong as she is. There’s a strong head/face tattoo joke in there. I’ll figure it out and get back to you.

To round out the tribe, Dan claims that we will not forget him. Well, I remember Wanda from Palau too…

Driving in last, cause they can’t be bothered to like…care…man…is the No Collar tribe.

Jenn starts off by telling us that she flies by the seat of her pants…while she’s wearing shorts! The lying already starts!

Hali is a law student, but she’s not an evil lawyer. I always thought “evil lawyer” was redundant.

And Vince says some stuff that text couldn’t do justice to. You’ve got to feel it.

Finally, a handsome guy in an orange baseball cap says something about…

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

Let’s take a look at these tribes…

The Masaya Tribe (wearing yellow)
Carolyn – Corporate Executive, 52
Joaquin – Marketing Director, 27
Max – Media Consultant, 37
Shirin – Yahoo Executive, 31
So – Retail Buyer, 31
Tyler – Ex-Talent Agent Assistant, 33

The Escameca Tribe (wearing blue)
Dan – Postal Worker, 47
Kelly – State Trooper, 44
Lindsey – Hair Dresser, 24
Mike – Oil Driller, 38
Rodney – General Contractor, 24
Sierra – Barrel Racer, 27

The Nagarote Tribe (wearing red)
Hali – Law Student, 25
Jenn – Sailing Instructor, 22
Joe – Jewelry Designer, 25
Nina – Hearing Advocate, 51
Vince – Coconut Vendor, 32
Will – YouTube Sensation, 41

The three trucks eventually pull into a clearing and everyone piles out.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: It was pouring down rain until it was time to shoot this. Mark Burnett must have some kind of evil weather machine somewhere.

Probst greets the three tribes and tells them they’ve been divided by career and approach to life. I like to think at this moment Vince thought he was surrounded by coconut vendors.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: The White Collars were very reluctant to say what they did for a living.

Dan agrees with Jeff’s assessment, saying that this country was built by Blue Collar blood, sweat, and tears. Rodney thinks he’s in the right tribe because he moves the office furniture that the White Collars sit on all day.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Will had a great line saying he works with White Collars and Blue Collars all the time because he’s a bartender and they all like alcohol.

Carolyn thinks the other tribes are giving the White Collars a bad rap. She thinks they work just as hard. Joaquin makes a good point, saying his 9-to-5 doesn’t define him.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Max didn’t like that Probst seemed to be using “White Collar” as a derogatory term.

Next up, the tribes have to pick one person to represent them. Max has seen too much “Survivor” to step forward. Joaquin, who has watched  next to no “Survivor,” is chosen.

The Blues choose Dan, while the No Collars are taking their time making the call. Max puts down his caviar to joke that a White Collar would make that decision faster.

The No Collars finally decide on Will. Jenn says they chose him because he promised them sandwiches. Probst calls him on this claim, but Will insists that he has a way to make sandwiches.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Will’s assertion that he could make sandwiches went on for a long time. At one point he claimed that he could make flour from the ocean.

For the second half of the twist, each of the chosen three will have to pick a partner. Dan picks Mike, Joaquin picks So, and Will picks Jenn.

When the tribes get to camp, the chosen pairs will have to make a decision for their tribe.

At No Collar beach, Nina tells everyone about her Cochlear implants. Nobody seems that concerned about it.

Jenn and Will head off to make their pairs decision. It turns out that they have a choice between a small bag of beans and an idol clue (Deceive) or just a big bag of beans (Honest). They decide to be honest and take the big bag.

At Blue Collar bar and grill, Dan and Mike think it’s too early to be villains and they decide to be honest too. When they return with the big bag of beans, Sierra does not buy it. She thinks they took the small bag. Well, Sierra is like 6’1”, so all bags of beans look small to her.

At White Collar Inc., they decide to hold a board meeting before getting down to work.

When So and Joaquin go to make their decision, they decide to take the clue. So comes up with the idea of telling the tribe that there were three choices, “Deceive,” “Honest,” and “Neutral.” She claims they picked “Neutral” because it seemed like the safe choice.

Carolyn doesn’t buy it. She thinks they have the clue, but she’d do the same thing.

Shirin thinks they’re lying because there’s no way the producers would give a “Neutral”  choice. Smart.

Later, Shirin and Carolyn align over a hug. Adorable. It looks like Max is in too.

Over at Blue Collar, the hard-working, salt-of-the-Earth tribe is making fire. Lindsey is also showing off her many, many tattoos. Rodney likes that because it’s something they can bond over. Rodney tells Lindsey the story about his sister passing away to get her on his side. And it seems to work.

Meanwhile, Mike decides to eat a scorpion. Yup. This makes Mike really sick. Shocking, right?

At Casa de No Collar, Jenn tells Vince that she used to wear feathers in her hair. Apparently that’s enough for the two of them to form an alliance. He’s way into it, but she seems to be leading him on a bit.

Later, Joe and Vince butt heads over how to build the shelter. Guys, butting heads is such a Collar thing to do.

Apparently shelter building is today’s hot-button issue as the Blue Collars are arguing over it too. Dan’s not super subtle with his emotions as he tells the others their building ideas are “stupid.” However, he refuses to make a decision.

Rodney’s already sick of Dan, he tells Kelly, Lindsey, and Sierra that they need to get rid of “Harry Potter’s Grandfather.” Um…did Harry Potter have a grandfather? I’d bet Malcolm knows.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: When I visited the Blue Collar camp, Dan was singing, “All by Myself” in the shelter.

Back at the No Collar tribe, Joe makes fire without flint. Jenn is very impressed by that. Me too. However, Vince is not thrilled that his feather buddy is getting so close to Joe.

Vince takes Jenn aside and asks if she’s attracted to Joe. She claims she isn’t. But does she like him, like him? When it’s all over, Vince gives her a looooong hug to show that they’re still bros. A long, smelly hug.

At White Collar Headquarters, So puts together an action plan for fixing their terrible shelter. Meanwhile, Tyler and Joaquin are failing at making a fire. Joaquin wonders who knew it was so hard to make a fire. Well, people who watch the show, for starters…

Later on, So goes on a little idol-hunting trip. Carolyn catches her doing this and manages to find it herself. Go Carolyn. Yeah baby!

Immunity Challenge Time: All three tribes will start the challenge on a high platform. They’ll run down the platform  and into a pile of hay. From there they’ll high step through an obstacle. They’ll then have to choose between unlocking or untying a ladder. They’ll use the ladder to go up, across, and down a platform. They’ll then use the ladder to retrieve a 5-piece, 10-piece, or 50-piece puzzle. First tribe to complete their puzzle wins immunity and a fire-making kit. The second place tribe wins immunity and flint. Last place tribe has a date with Probst at Tribal.

The Survivors are ready, and they go. With three tribes, it’s hard to call the action, but know that Lindsey really smacked her head on the high-step obstacle. Both tribes try the locks, but So, Joe, and Mike eventually tag in and go for the knots.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbits: The Dream Team assured me that the locks were waaaay faster than the knots.

So blows through the knots, with Joe and the No Collars right behind them. Mike is way behind. (I feel you, Mike.)

The No Collars pass the White Collars during the table maze portion. No Collar goes for the 10-piece puzzle while the White Collars go for the 50-piece.

The Blues eventually catch up and go with the 10-piece puzzle.

Jenn starts the tree-shaped puzzle, but she eventually tags out to Joe who killllls it and wins immunity for the No Collars.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: This wasn’t an editing trick, Joe destroyed that puzzle.

Shirin is having serious trouble with the 50-piece puzzle, she swaps with Max. Sierra starts for Blue Collar, but Mike tags in and flies through the puzzle and wins it.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit:  Mike was totally copying off of the No Collar puzzle. In fact, when it was over he turned to the No Collars and said, “Thanks for the help.” The White Collars were not happy about this.

When it’s all said and done, Shirin thinks she’s in big trouble…and So agrees with her.

Back at White Collar International, the politicking seems to be Carolyn vs. Shirin. So thinks Shirin blew the challenge, but at least she tried while Carolyn didn’t.

Joaquin is cool with sending Carolyn home.

Later, So and Joaquin both tell Carolyn that her name hasn’t been brought up.

Tyler tells Carolyn that she’s in trouble. He then asks her what she knows about idols. She says she knows So and Joaquin don’t have it, because she does. She wants to target So.

She takes this plan to Max and Shirin and they’re on board. They approach Tyler, but he seems to be on the fence.

That night at Tribal Council, fire totally equals life.

Shirin wastes no time calling out Soquin for their “Neutral” lie.

Max isn’t angry at them for lying. He’s annoyed that they lied so poorly.

So thinks the four of them are really strong. Probst jumps right on that.

Joaquin claims it’s him, Tyler, Max, and So.

Carolyn knows she’s a target, but she knows Max and Shirin are with her.

So tells Carolyn that she’s the weakest link and they’re voting for her.

Carolyn doesn’t think she’s the weakest because So only opened a few knots.

Tyler is worried that they’ll be weak for the next challenge.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Nobody wanted to play the game too hard in front of Tyler. At one point Max even said, “Tyler is above the game.” It was almost like he was too innocent for the politics.

Another Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: So told everyone about Max’s “Survivor” course, but nobody seemed to care.

Max is psyched to be at a rainy, dramatic, first Tribal Council.

Voting Time: Carolyn votes for So, So votes for Carolyn, and the rest of the votes are secret.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Max voted like he was giving some kind of corporate downsizing announcement. It was funny, but long.

Probst tallies and returns. Carolyn does not play her idol. We’ve got one vote for Carolyn, one vote for So, one vote for “Cherilyn,” two votes for So, and the first person voted out of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” is…So.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Probst had to stop reading the votes to get confirmation from Joaquin that his “Cherilyn” vote was for Carolyn and not Shirin.

Verdict: Man, a lot of good Tribal stuff ended on the cutting-room floor. Shirin was on fire. Booo…release a director’s cut!

Anywho, I’ve been sitting waiting for chapter two of this story for months. I can’t wait for next week.

Who’s Going to Win?: I’m sticking with Lindsey. Looks like she has a solid Blue Collar group.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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