“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Premiere Recap: Rain-Soaked Episode Has a Scary Ending

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Getting to Know You…

First we meet up with the David tribe as they jet along the Fijian coast in a boat…not a jet. Probst lets us know that Davids are always the underdog.

Fun Fact: Alternate titles included; “Survivor: Rocky vs. Apollo,” “Survivor: LaRusso vs. Lawrence,” “Survivor: Little Giants vs. Pee-Wee Cowboys.”

Anywho, here’s what we learn about these folks…

  • Christian thinks people might view him as a nerd, but he totally understands why they would do that. Agreed.
  • Elizabeth could throw a bale of hay higher than anyone when she was twelve. But what about now? Who has eclipsed her?!
  • Pat never judges a book by its cover. He doesn’t clarify how he judges books.

Next up, we meet the Goliaths who have spent their lives capitalizing on their advantages to succeed.

  • Natalie says that everything she touches turns to gold and she’s a natural leader and people will “literally” take bullets for her. Literally?
  • Angelina breaks down her impressive collegiate resume and claims to have led a fairy tale life. You probably shouldn’t lead with that at Tribal.

The two boats arrive at JPro’s mega boat where he says something along the lines of…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at these tribes as they currently stand…

The David Tribe (wearing orange)
Bi, 28 – MMA Fighter
Carl, 41 – Truck Driver
Christian, 32 – Robotics Scientist
Davie, 30 – Social Media Manager
Elizabeth, 31 – Kitchen Staff
Gabby, 25 – Technical Writer
Jessica, 19 – Waitress
Lyrsa, 35 – Flight Attendant
Nick, 27 – Public Defender
Pat, 40 – Maintenance Manager

The Goliath Tribe (wearing purple)
Alec, 24 – Bartender
Alison, 28 – Physician
Angelina, 28 – Financial Consultant
Dan, 27 – S.W.A.T. Officer
Jeremy, 40 – Attorney
John, 38 – Pro Wrestler
Kara, 30 – Realtor
Mike, 47 – Filmmaker
Natalia, 25 – Industrial Engineer
Natalie, 56 – Publishing CEO

Aboard the Mega Boat

Jeff immediately lays out the season’s theme, even unveiling a banner that reads “David vs. Goliath” in George Bush “Mission Accomplished” style.

Quick Aside: I wonder if it’s “David vs. Goliath” because there’s no such thing as an “overdog.”

Other things…

  • David grew up in a trailer and is the first person in his family to go to college. He also makes the point that David became the King.
  • John agrees that he’s always been a Goliath. He also busts out a few of his wrestling nicknames including “The Mayor of Slamtown” and the “Friday Night Delight.” C’mon dude, don’t leave out “Shaman of Sexy!”
  • Dan thinks Goliaths set a high bar of excellence and go after it.
  • Alison admits that she comes from a family that is very supportive, but she’s worked for everything she’s received.

From there, Jeff runs a very…weird…experiment where he asks Alison and Pat to compare their upbringings. Alison describes a upper-middle class life where her father is a physician, while Pat tells us about how his family lived paycheck-to-paycheck and his mother being paralyzed.

So…are we talking privileged vs. non-privileged? Cause that doesn’t quite roll off of the tongue.

Reward Challenge

The Goliath tribe is asked to identify the two weakest members of the David tribe. They go with Christian and Lyrsa. Mike hilariously describes Christian as “Big Bang Theory.” I’m sure the higher ups at CBS were high-fiving over that bit of corporate synergy.

Then the Goliaths must choose the two strongest members of their own tribe. They decide on John and Alison.

The challenge will involve both tribes racing through an obstacle course with multiple paths and then completing a puzzle. The first tribe to reach the end will win a shelter-building kit.

However, the Davids will get to choose which path and puzzle the Goliaths must complete. The Davids smartly pick the most difficult path and puzzle for the Goliaths.

WHAT IS THE LESSON? That weak Davids can beat strong Goliaths if the Goliaths are forced to make bad decisions?

Result: The Davids win because Christian is good at slide puzzles.

With that, Jeff gives them their maps and sends them on their merry way.

At Goliath Beach

  • People recognize Mike as a Hollywood writer and a former contestant on “The Amazing Race.” However, this does not save him from scrutiny when he’s caught hunting for idols. Also, as a famous writer who goes on to play “Survivor,” he’s officially Reverse Cochran.
  • Dan and Kara immediately discuss starting a showmance. On day one, guys? Is this “Big Brother”?
  • Natalie isn’t doing much around camp, but is still barking out orders. Keep that up and people will “literally” vote you out.
  • John unveils some more of his wrestling nicknames, finally calling himself the “Shaman of Sexy.” He reveals a new one that I’ve never heard before, “The George Bushy of Tushy.” That’s gonna be my new fave.
  • Alison and Angelina want to find an idol because men have traditionally found more idols. That’s true.

At David Beach

  • Pat takes control of building the shelter, and true to “Survivor” form, immediately starts bossing people around and rubbing them the wrong way. His jokes about “Sweating like a pregnant nun in confession,” aren’t doing him any favors either.
  • Jessica is 19 years old, but she’s telling everyone that she’s 22. It seems like she’s bonding with Bi, Carl, and Elizabeth.
  • Other pairs seem to be Carl and Davie, Christian and Libby, and Lyrsa and Elizabeth.
  • Nick is actively avoiding work and playing too fast. It is not going unnoticed.

Idol Threat

The Goliath camp comes down with idol fever. Apparently everyone is hunting for it at the same time.

And the lucky winner is…Dan. He discovers a rock with a string tied around it and IMMEDIATELY tells Kara and Natalia about it. C’mon, dude. Do you watch this show?

Oh wait, he tells us that he’s stoked to have found the idol with the two most beautiful girls on the show. Well, at least your priorities are terrible.

Lawyer Changes Tactics

Nick picks up on the fact that he’s really taking the wrong tone with the crowd. Later that night, he decides to open up to everyone and tell them an emotional story about losing his mother to drugs.

Immunity Challenge Time

The two tribes will run through an obstacle course. Then one person from each tribe will dig under a log. The first person through will chop a rope to release their ladder. The other tribe will be penalized and will need to untie knots to release their ladder. From there, the teams will pole vault across a chasm and then complete a numbered puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win immunity and flint.

Result: Alec smoked Carl in the digging portion and the Goliaths were able to maintain that lead and pick up the win.

A Freak Accident

Quick Aside: They sometimes make it seem like the contestants have to hike or row to the challenges and Tribal. In reality, the camps are so far away that it would take days for them to get there. So, they’re actually transported on motorboats.

When we come back from commercial, you can see the medical team carrying Pat from the boat to the beach on a stretcher.

This must be really bad.

Apparently, the boat hit a big wave on the rough sea and it may have caused some serious damage to his back.

Probst shows up to assess the situation and Pat says, “I’m scared.” Oh man…this is terrible.

The medical team is worried that the impact could have caused a fracture and insists on pulling Pat from the game.

Pat begs to stay, but there’s just no way. Pat’s doesn’t want to quit, but Probst assures him that he’s a strong guy and nobody will ever accuse him of quitting.

A helicopter is brought in and Pat is taken away.

Later, Jeff addresses the Davids and lets them know that they won’t be attending Tribal that night.

Verdict: Oof…what a terrible way to start a season. The theme doesn’t work for me, we lost an interesting player for a crappy reason, and with no Tribal, we didn’t get to see any lasting strategy.

Here’s hoping things pick up next week.

Winner’s Pick: This episode didn’t reveal much. We don’t even really know who’s really working together. But, and this is a hunch, I’m going to go with Elizabeth. That bale of hay thing is just really impressive.

  • Natalia – Natalia seemed to be in the middle of all the action at the Goliath camp. She’s one to watch.
  • Jessica – The first few days are for making friends, not waves. She’s going to go a long way.
  • Christian – Who doesn’t love this guy? He should write an idol-finding algorithm.
  • Carl – He didn’t look good in the immunity challenge, but he’s making some good connections.
  • Elizabeth – She seems like a vital component to her tribe. I don’t have a lot to base that on, but she seems well liked.
  • Lyrsa – It looks like she’s in on whatever is going on with the Davids.
  • Nick – You stumbled coming out of the blocks, but you were able to course correct.
  • Dan – Hooray! You have an idol. Boo! Everyone is going to know about it in short order.
  • Mike – Don’t feel too bad, Cochran made a lot of mistakes his first go-around too.
  • Kara – When showmances are split up, the women tend to go first. Tread lightly.
  • Natalie – Not working + telling people what to do = pre-jury trip.
  • John, Alec, Jeremy, Davie, Alison, Angelina, Bi, Gabby – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

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

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