And here we are, the first analysis of the first episode of the 26th season.
Very interesting episode, which starts very fast on the Favorites side as expected (I don’t remember if it started as fast back in Micronesia). Also I was surprised that I found the Fans side of the story quite interesting too. There will be some interesting characters on that side too.
Let’s start right away with my usual player by player analysis. I’m starting with the Fans just in case you stop reading halfway through if I start with the Favorites. 😉
Gota Tribe – the Fans
– Allie Pohevitz: Mmm. So far I remember her for only two things: she hooked up with Reynold on the first night and is part of this “cool kids” alliance. Add to that the fact that she really bored me in her pregame interview, and you can guess that I’m not a big fan.
– Eddie Fox: Which brings us to Eddie, the biggest disappointment so far this season. Pregame, I thought the guy was going to the be new Erik: nice, fun, athletic, a bit starstruck but likable. Nope. So far, everything he said made him look like a big douche. That’s even him who made that “high school cool kids table” analogy, right? And indeed, just like in school, the cool kids are not always the smartest, as a four people alliance in a ten people tribe doesn’t really bode well for you. That reminded me right away to the Roosters Alliance in One World and I predict these cool kids to end up like the Roosters (most of them gone by the merge).
– Hope Driskill: See above.
– Julia Landauer: We didn’t really see anything of her today, except that she seems to have bonded with Laura and Sherri. Good for her, I was afraid she’d have trouble bonding with the other girls.
– Laura Alexander: Sorry Laura for having bundled you up with Allie pre-game. Laura actually seems smart and could be very interesting sooner or later.
– Matt Bischoff: So far, I like the guy way more than I thought I would. I mean, as a player. He seems to be here to play the game, not just to be on an adventure. It’s pretty surprising – but pleasant – to see him form an alliance with Michael, and they’ve become my instant favorites in this tribe. I think his argument with Shamar right off the bat was a bit unnecessary, but I have the feeling that Shamar is the one to blame.
– Michael Snow: I like him. So far he delivers and is like I hope he would: intelligent, strategic. I was a bit afraid of his social game, like he would be socially awkward or something, but so far I even have the feeling that everyone wants to align with him which is great. He could soon be running the show in his tribe and be a serious contender even against the Favorites.
– Reynold Toepfer: I was afraid he was gonna be a jerk, and I won’t be disappointed.
– Shamar Thomas: What’s up with him? I thought I was gonna like him, but right now, he seems like he’s a troll more than anything else. This bullshit about the fire was unnecessary really.
– Sherri Biethman: Not much about her. A little bit like Julia. I need to see more of her to get an opinion, but good she found friends.
Bikal Tribe – the Favorites
Of course they started very fast, and it seems that we’re going to have a lot of surprises along the way.
– Andrea Boehlke: Why is it that I really like Andrea online (in her interviews, blogs and such) but she annoys me on the show. I guess it’s her way to screw people over without even being the one to dare the make the move. It was Matt on Redemption Island, this time it’s Francesca. Also, today, she played too hard too early I feel. Maybe the scare that those four votes brought her will calm her down. We’ll see. I’m also disappointed in her in the fact that Francesca is (was) her friend in real life, and there was not real reason to go after her this way (kinda reminds me of Boston Rob’s betrayal of Lex and Kathy in All-Stars).
– Brandon Hantz: Not much about Brandon this week. Apparently this is about to change next week according to the preview.
– Brenda Lowe: I was afraid that Brenda was going to be a loner and here we are, she is a loner, her only two allies being Erik and Brandon and we can’t even talk of an alliance, they just ended up together this one time be default. I’m afraid she really won’t last long, also teams of returning players are infamous for being very unpredictable, she could easily become a swing vote real quick.
– Corinne Kaplan: She was pretty low-key this week. I don’t expect it to last. Apart from that, not much.
– Dawn Meehan: Should we be surprised that Dawn and Cochran are allied together? Of course not. The only concern was whether Dawn would resent Cochran for voting her out, but it makes sense that she doesn’t. After all, back in South Pacific, she was the only member of their tribe to be decent and nice with him. Even when he flipped, he told her beforehand and invited her to come with him. They were close then and they remained close. They were the deciding factor in this week’s vote and they could quickly become the most powerful duo out there. The others have to be aware of that and they should act upon it as soon as possible if they want a chance at controlling their destiny and not have Dawn and Cochran control it for them.
– Erik Reichenbach: Oh no poor Erik. Already in the minority, when I had high hopes for him. Everything is very far from being said and done, but that doesn’t look good. However, that’s partly his fault. While I would have reacted the same way to Phillip’s offer/threat deep inside, I wouldn’t have let it show, nor talked to anybody about it. I would just have accepted the offer and then decide how I actually align when moment comes (and he could even have been able to “spy” on Phillip. He is indeed to nice and too honest.
– Francesca Hogi voted out first! For the second time!: I don’t even know where to starts, except that I feel terrible for her. I had good hopes that she could do well this season, although to be honest, while she was a returning player, her experience of the game was close to zero. And I think this is what did her. She led the charge against Phillip too early and too vocally without being sure whether she had the votes or not. We sometimes see that mistake being made by beginners, except that when they play against other beginners they can recover from it. Making that mistake when you’re pretty much a beginner against seasoned players will prove fatal. So long Francesca. (on a side note: booh to the editors for making it obvious. I really had a bad feeling about the outcome of the episode since quite early on; Francesca had too many confessionals and she was talking too many time about being voted out first a second time)
– John Cochran: He was golden and hilarious as usual. Also, I don’t know if he realized it but he really took control of the game with Dawn, and with his loser/woodyallenesque attitude, he won’t even appear as a threat.
– Malcolm Freberg: I was surprised how little we saw of Malcolm this episode. My assumption is that he’s flying as low as possible, being afraid to be targeted for being the “unknown” factor. I’m also afraid he decided to follow Phillip’s lead. Well, I’m surprised that anyone agreed actually. Maybe everyone is thinking that they like everyone else in that alliance and if Phillip wants to pretend he’s some sort of great leading strategist let’s let him knock himself out unless it’s time for real business or something like that. I liked one thing though: his joke to Cochran during tribal. They may have bonded already. Together, they can be very dangerous too.
– Phillip Sheppard: I was a bit amused when Phillip decided to take the lead (Boston Rob’s style) but even more surprised when people started to follow him. But just like I said with Malcolm, I guess every one is happy to have the goat in front of them to take some bullets and they can prepare some serious stuff together in the meantime.
Wow, is Brandon losing it already? I guess so, he seemed almost sane that episode.
Next person voted out:
Brandon is already in the minority, if he starts having break downs, I guess he’s out soon.
If the fans go to tribal, I believe one of the “cool kids” will get the boot, unless Shamar trolls his tribe more.
Winner prediction: Still a very wild guess but right now, Cochran, Dawn and Michael are looking good.
(note: just like last season – and the one before – expect to see some links to some other cool blogs and sites, just not tonight, come back tomorrow I will most likely have edited the page)