‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Episode 1 Recap – Behind-the-Scenes Edition!

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. 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 Cambodia.

Alright, enough of that business…let’s get started.

We meet up with our brave Second Chancers as they are taken by truck thought the Cambodian wilderness.

Kelly Wiglesworth tells us that it’s been tough living with the knowledge that she was a single vote away from a million dollars. Look out, Sue. The rat is back!

Next up, Andrew Savage says the only bad thing in his life is that he didn’t win Pearl Islands. The only bad thing?! Pooooooor, Savage.

As the truck drives through a village and then through epic Cambodia temples, Spencer tells us that his XFINITY Power Rankings experience has him ready to win. OK, he said his maturity and his ability to not treat people like chess pieces, but I’m pretty sure he meant his XFINITY Power Rankings experience.

Kimmi thinks the Angkor Wat temples are a perfect metaphor for having been through damage while remaining standing. Hands up if you thought Kimmi would say the first profound thing this season. Hey, you in the back with your hand up…you’re lying.

The players are now walking through the majestic temple. Kelley believes she should have voted out her dad in San Juan del Sur and this is her second chance. Admirably, Kelley manages to watch her language during this entire confessional.

Ciera wants to be fearless like she was at the end of “Blood vs. Water” when she voted out her mom. I considered starting a drinking game for every time Ciera voting out Laura is mentioned, but I love all my readers and don’t want any of them dead.

Tasha says the members of her church thought she didn’t lie and backstab enough the last time she played. Well, she is from St. Louis.

Next up, Varner assures us that he isn’t quitting a challenge for peanut butter ever again. Thankfully, Jenna Morasca never made the same promise.

As the contestants pile into four boats, Joe says he’s bummed out that his father didn’t get to come out for the “Worlds Apart” loved-ones visit. Meanwhile, every woman in America is psyched he doesn’t have a wife or girlfriend that would’ve filled that role.

Kass confesses that she was a little bit of a troublemaker during her season as the boats make their way through a Cambodian village. Kass calling herself a little bit of a troublemaker is like Probst saying he occasionally wears blue.

Abi admits that throwing coconuts at Mike Skupin’s head was a mistake. I disagree. It’s safe too assume Mike was going to get some kind of head injury eventually.

Finally, Jeremy says that Val’s elimination distracted him during his game. Too bad she didn’t leave behind her forty immunity idols.

The boats finally make their way into the ocean where they’re greeted by your friend and mine, Mr. Jeff Probst.

Probst points out that they’ve all never won. He’s nice enough not to call them failures.

Joe is psyched to be playing with Terry who is someone he’s patterned his game after. Joe dreamed of a ride in the Waaaaahmbulance?

Kelly is introduced and everyone claps. She says she’s been thinking of that final Tribal every day. Maybe if she had a TV she’d have other final Tribals to think about.

Behind the Scenes Tidbit: Probst threw the buffs at the cast and some of them landed in the water.

Probst tells them that they will raid his boat for supplies, then use a raft to try to retrieve a bag of rice that is 100 yards away. The catch is there’s only one bag of rice, first tribe there gets it.

He gives them the high sign and they all jump into action.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Shirin was the last one out of her boat.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Spencer nearly squished a chicken when he fell onto the raft.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Deitz left the big boat to go back for his sandals. I thought he was crazy.

When both tribes started rowing toward the rice, Wiglesworth was like, “Screw this” and started swimming ahead. Woo joined her.

Joe saw the two of them in action and jumped into the water to give chase. He managed to pass Kelly, but not Woo. Woo snags the rice for Ta Keo.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Woo got some serious cuts on his feet during all the excitement.

This gives Probst the chance to finally say something about…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

Let’s take a look at these tribes…

The Bayon Tribe (wearing pink)
Andrew – Pearl Islands
Ciera – Blood vs. Water
Jeremy – San Juan del Sur
Joe – Worlds Apart
Kass – Cagayan
Keith – San Juan del Sur
Kimmi – The Australian Outback
Monica – Samoa
Tasha – Cagayan
Stephen – Tocantins

The Ta Keo Tribe (wearing teal)
Abi – Philippines, 35
Jeff – The Australian Outback
Kelley W. – San Juan del Sur
Kelly W. – Borneo, 37
Peih-Gee – China
Shirin – Worlds Apart
Spencer – Cagayan
Terry – Panama
Vytas – Blood vs. Water
Woo – Cagayan

We meet up with Ta Keo as they’re paddling to their beach. Woo compares it to getting his first black belt. His first one? I’m going to start being careful with what I say about Woo.

They get to work on their MASSIVE hut. Well Terry, Kelly, Spencer, Woo, and Vytas do. Kelly hopes people notice that she’s a hard worker.

Terry lets us know that he’s going to step up his social game. If people walk off, he’s going to know something’s up. He takes Spencer aside and tells him this his kids told him to trust him. Spencer is very thankful that Terry’s kids didn’t see Spencer’s Cagayan pre-game video.

Later on, Abi is freaked out because she can’t find her bracelet.

Meanwhile at Bayon, Ciera thinks everyone is in good spirits. Even Tasha and Kass seem to be getting along.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Kass ate a really hot pepper and tried to get Tasha to eat one. I don’t know why I thought that was so funny.

Keith is surprised he made the cut, but he isn’t settling for fourth place this time. Yes, I’ll be shocked if he comes in fourth again, too.

Keith and Jeremy go for a walk and seem to bury the hatchet. Jeremy’s hoping to work with Tasha, Savage, Keith, and Joe.

In other news, Savage’s daughters love them some Joe. Well, they’re only human.

In a weird bit, Stephen looked very frustrated as Savage chopped down a tree. Poor Stephen feels very out of place. This is followed by a very embarrassing montage. Give him a break! He’s a know-it-all, not a build-a-shelter-it-all!

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: I overheard Ciera telling Stephen and Kass that she was close with Vytas, but Hayden Moss called her and warned her that he couldn’t be trusted.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Kass told Stephen and Ciera that she wants Spencer out first. Not surprising.

Back at Ta Keo, Vytas is making buddies with all of the ladies. He subtly tells Peih-Gee that she’s beautiful and he makes Blood vs. Water jokes with Kelley. Shirin doesn’t buy it, though. She blows up the Terry/Vytas connection in front of Jeff and Spencer. They want to get Kelley and Peih-Gee on their side.

Jeff is acting like things are moving too quickly. Really? This guy even offered me a final-four deal.

Bracelet-gate continues as Abi finds her missing jewelry in Peih-Gee’s bag. As you’d imagine, Abi isn’t happy about this. Peih-Gee tries to smooth things over, and it seems like they make peace.

Meanwhile at Bayon, Joey Amazing starts a fire because of course he does.

On the other end of the spectrum, Stephen is caught looking for an idol. Oh, Stephen.

Jeff is in bad shape the next morning. He asks Peih-Gee who the alliances are and she sees it as the shelter people vs. the beach people. The shelter people are the old schoolers and the beach people are the new schoolers. Jeff doesn’t want to turn against his people, but that seems like the way it’s going. They talk about first boots and apparently Shirin wants Vytas gone.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Peih-Gee tried to sneak a flint bracelet into the game.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Woo and Shirin had an adorable moment where they were taking selfies with a piece of wood.

Next up, we see Kelley doing some idol hunting of her own. Fortunately for her, she has more success than Stephen. Unfortunately for her it’s just a clue. She’ll have to get the idol at the next challenge.

Back at Bayon, Joe is leading his adoring followers in yoga. Oh great, now America is pregnant. Tasha gets in a good line where she calls it “Joe-ga.”

On the flip side at Ta Keo, Vytas is showing Shirin some very awkward-looking poses. Kelley’s not into it. She wants him gone too. Vytas asks Abi if she wants to try, but she shoots him down. This worries Vytas.

Immunity Challenge Time: It’s a return to Kelly Wiglesworth old stomping grounds as “Quest for Fire” makes a comeback. The two tribes will start on a platform. They’ll dive into the water and push a raft to shore. Along the way they’ll light torches. Once they’re on the beach they’ll carry the raft while continuing to light torches. They’ll place the raft into a special raft holder, then one member from each team will create a pole using pieces of wood. They’ll have to reach with the pole through a gate to retrieve a key. The first tribe to open their gate and start their tribe’s fire wins immunity and a fire-making kit.

Behind-the Scenes Tidbit: We knew Kelley had the clue and were watching her like a hawk.

Survivors are ready, and they go. Ta Keo jumps out to a lead when Keith has trouble lighting the torches.

Kelly goes to work on creating a pole. Bayon eventually catches up and Joe takes pole duty. He gets his pole together quickly, claims the key, and wins immunity for his tribe.

Kelley was able to retrieve the idol without anyone seeing.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: That’s not true, I totally saw Kelley snag it.

Quick Note: Anybody who follows my pre-game rankings knows that I suck at predicting things. But, I called this one. I said it doesn’t matter who gets to the gate first, Joey Amazing will blow through the gate and win it. The dude practiced it in his backyard before “Worlds Apart.”

Kelly feels terrible after the challenge. But everyone tries to reassure her that it’s OK.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Apparently Vytas nominated Kelly to build the pole.

With all the excitement over, Probst drops a bomb . He tells them they won’t go back to camp, they’re going right to Tribal.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: TV doesn’t do justice to how freaked out they were when they weren’t sent back to camp.

That night at Tribal, fire totally equals life, bro.

Woo thinks there’s an old school vs. new school division in the tribe. Terry agrees with him.

Peih-Gee doesn’t want to make the same mistakes she made last time.

Abi says she could’ve been a firecracker over braceletgate, but she counted to ten and didn’t murder anyone’s face.

Vytas wants to beat Deitz because his brother did in Panama.

Kelly says she doesn’t know what’s going on, but Varner disagrees. He thinks everyone knows what’s up.

Woo thinks the vote is critical and he doesn’t know who to vote for.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Woo really didn’t know. He was desperate.

Abi thinks there’s a male thing going on.

Kelly thinks she’s picking up on some cues and knows which way to vote.

Probst thinks there’s an elephant in the room, and Varner agrees. He doesn’t want to screw up the vote.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit: Varner gave Joey Amazing a new nickname, “One-man Show Joe.”

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbit:Varner also stopped Tribal to make sure Peih-Gee was voting the way she had told him in the ocean.

Voting Time: Woo votes for Abi, Abi votes for Vytas, Vytas votes for Abi, Kelley votes for Vytas, and the rest of the votes are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Vytas, one vote for Abi, one vote for Vytas, one vote for Abi, one vote for Vytas, one vote for Abi, one vote for Vytas, one vote for Abi, one vote for Vytas, and  the first person voted out of “Survivor: Second Chance” is…Vytas.

Behind-the-Scenes Vote Breakdown…

Abi voted for Vytas and said she had to stick to the plan. Woo voted for Abi because he was voting with the majority. Wentworth voted for Vytas because someone had to be first. Vytas voted for Abi and said he wanted to play with her. Wiglesworth voted for Abi and said Abi needed to work on her social skills. Spencer voted for Vytas and said that he learned that Varner is a crazy person. Shirin voted for Vytas and said she didn’t believe it when he said he was just playing for fun. Jeff voted for Vytas, but his comment was too quiet to hear. Peih-Gee voted for Vytas and said she tried to talk everyone out of it. And, Dietz voted for Abi but was worried because of the “Varner Bomb.”

Verdict: I just can’t get excited for a season when Stephen’s in major trouble. Seriously though, I love me my returnee seasons and can’t wait to see more of the tribe dynamics.

Who’s Going to Win? I’m not sure what Varner’s thinking here going against his pre-game buddies. But he’s my pick to win and I’m sticking with him.

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

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