By Mickie McLeod

It’s back. The greatest game of Social Politics. Now, reaching the 37th season, we’re in for a new powerful matchup: Survivor: David vs. Goliath.

The underdog vs. the favorite is one of the most enduring matchups ever known. You may even classify yourself as either a David or a Goliath. This season, Survivor is putting that to the test. The question is not who has the advantage; it’s what is the advantage? 20 Castaways. One Survivor. Who will Outwit, Outplay, Outlast, and get crowned the Sole Survivor?

(Credit: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment)

Reward Challenge

New season, new twist. The 20 Castaways rode on the classic ship while heading to their camps. Host, Jeff Probst, introduced to the two tribes: David and Goliath. On the Goliath tribe, there are ten similar Castaways who have impressive occupations, a considerable amount of attractiveness, and defined as people who I suppose, “win.” Yes. Win. Win at life. On the David tribe, Jeff showcases a few of the ten-tribe members, including one man, Christian, a Robotics Scientist, who defines himself as a nerd. It’s known that being a David, you have a lot to prove. You work hard, and you’re not handed your victory without the work.

The reward challenge was on the actual ship. How it worked was that the Goliath tribe had to pick what two people they thought were the weakest on the David tribe, and then select the two people they thought were the strongest on their tribe. After the selection, the David tribe would pick what order the two tribes would compete in the series of obstacles found in the challenge. The four would compete, two vs. two for the first reward. The matchup:

David Tribe: Christian, the Robotics Scientist, and Lyrsa, an airline agent.
Goliath Tribe: Alison, a Doctor, and John, a Pro Wrestler.

These two pairs represented a replica matchup of David vs. Goliath. Through the obstacles, it was entertaining to watch the two sets of entirely different people competing hard. In the end, it was quite impressive to see Christian solve a puzzle, and because he completed it within 5 seconds, the David team won their first Reward: shelter building supplies. Explained after, Christian said he used to write and solve algorithms for the same puzzles. Stereo-typically, it’s not surprising, yet, it’s still impressive.

The David Tribe (Credit: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment)

David Tribe

The David tribe gets their game on right away as they arrived at their camp. They built the shelter together as a team, very cohesive, using one other. You can tell that their upbringings of being a “David” make great teamwork.

Pat, a burly, tattooed’ out, hard-working construction worker, takes the leadership immediately on the tribe. He guides his tribe in building their shelter, but some people notice he’s a little loud for their liking. Christian, with his nerdy mannerisms, narrated these scenes with Pat’s leadership. Just Christian alone is worth the watch this season. You’ll love him.

Meanwhile, Lyrsa and Elizabeth team up and want to work together. Lyrsa is the airline agent, who’s also Puerto Rican, and defines herself as a “fun rocker lesbian.” Elizabeth is a Southern, Kentucky cowgirl who wears her hat on the island. You wouldn’t suspect these two working together, but that’s the point. That’s why Survivor is so exciting; you see the most interesting and different people becoming alliances and even lifelong friends after the show.

Another duo already is the two “nerds,” so they say. Christian, who was also called, “The Big Bang Theory” by the Goliath tribe earlier, and a girl named Gabby, a Technical Writer.

Another thing us viewers get to see about the David tribe is that they’re very compassionate and have gotten to know each other quickly. They’ve formed a closer bond rapidly, as they’ve cried and shared some dark and traumatic events in their life. Nick, a Kentucky native, and Lawyer, opens up after the things mentioned are said and done. He explains it’s hard for him to open up, but reveals that his mom passed away due to drug abuse. After being vulnerable, Nick says that sharing more in-depth information about him helped form a better bond with the rest of his tribe.

(Credit: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment )

Goliath Tribe

While the David tribe is getting compassionate and personal, the Goliath tribe, well — it’s every man for himself.

It seems that the Goliath tribe is struggling with their communication. Everyone has quite the strong personality, and there’s more than one leader. Such as Natalie, one of the oldest people on this season, 56, who is a Publishing CEO for a Black Magazine, and says she “literally knows people who would take a bullet for her.” As you can imagine, she has a fierce personality.

Others on the tribe aren’t warming up to her yet. She seems to be barking orders and complaining when building their shelter. Another person who may have a target on their back right away is a man named Mike. Mike is a television writer, who has also competed on CBS’s The Amazing Race and has written movies such as School of Rock. Immediately, Mike makes a rookie mistake and looks for a Hidden Immunity Idol while his tribe is working on their camp.

It doesn’t take long after realizing Mike was looking for an idol, that everyone began to search for one too. The Goliath tribe is hunting, seeking, and focusing solely on themselves. It was a man named Dan, a S.W.A.T Officer, who found the Hidden Immunity Idol though.

John Hennigan and Dan Rengering (Credit: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment)

Immunity Challenge

The first Immunity Challenge of this season again consisted of a series of running obstacles and a giant slide number puzzle. The first tribe that won would receive flint to build a fire, and of course, safe from Tribal Council.

It was an interesting dynamic watching the two tribes run through the same course. John, the Pro Wrestler, is even body slamming people through the sand. The David tribe was falling behind right away because of one of their castaways not making it through quickly. When they finally caught up, it was up to Christian on the David tribe and Alison on the Goliath tribe to be the designated callers during the puzzle. The two had to holler at and guide the rest of their tribe to complete and win the challenge. The two tribes take entirely different approaches. Christian for the David tribe explains the directions in a calm manner. Alison and the Goliath tribe, however, are yelling at each other and bossing one another around. Which approach worked best this time? Goliath’s.

Because of their aggressive approach, they won the first Immunity Challenge, which meant tribe David would head to Tribal Council.

Tribal Council

Cut to the salty, island ocean water of Fiji. Waves are rushing in, bouncing off the boat back to camp. The water is rough, due to the intense weather coming in. The camera cuts to Pat, the original leader of the tribe, on a stretcher. He’s getting pulled into shore and is placed down on the sand. Medical is surrounding him as he is yelling “my back.”

The rest of the David tribe is gathered back in their camp watching the scene from afar, panicked. Jeff Probst arrives and explains the incident. Supposedly, on their boat ride back from the Immunity Challenge, the tide bumped the boat so hard, that Pat hit his back. Now, unknown what it is, Survivor medical is pulling Pat from the game, so he can safely recover from his injuries.

Since Pat was pulled from the game, there was no Tribal Council. After the show, a message said that Pat healed and recovered safely.

WOW! What a season premiere. I’ve been watching Survivor since season one. I was just eight years old, and I’ve noticed through these years that every season keeps getting better. There’s more twist, drama, and turns to leave you on your toes until next episode. If you haven’t been watching Survivor, now is the time. There’s a reason why it’s been on for 37 seasons. Tweet me at @mick_cloudy to join in on the conversation.

Don’t miss Survivor: David vs. Goliath  Wednesday’s at 8/7c on CBS and don’t miss my recaps every week!


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