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Surviving the Pearl Islands, Episode 1: Rubbed the Wrong Wayby David Bloomberg -- 09/19/2003
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We’ve been reading about it for weeks now, trying to predict the outcome, sometimes looking at the spoilers, hearing about the big twist, the big lie that one contestant tells, another big twist, etc. OK, enough already – it’s time for the 90-minute premiere of Survivor: Pearl Islands!
However, the contestants don’t know it yet. As a boat with all 16 players sails from Panama City, Panama, host Jeff Probst tells us that they don’t know their adventure has already begun. They just arrived on the plane and thought they would be relaxing for several days before starting the game. They think this boat is heading out to take publicity photos. Heh. The suitcases they carefully packed with essentials? Worthless. They will be taking only what they are currently wearing. Uh oh. Welcome to the Pearl Islands, where there is a history of looting and piracy. The jungles are rugged, weather temperamental. The water is magnificent but filled with dangerous marine life. There are sharks, stingrays, eels, whales, and more. This is where they will spend the next 39 days (well, a few of them will spend that long). Of course, in the end, only one will remain. Yes, it’s finally time once again for Survivor!
The boat drops anchor off the coast of some islands. The contestants are welcomed and Probst says the game is on, starting now. Oh, sure, they have lots of luggage downstairs, and in the past, he says, it has been true that Survivors could pick stuff from their luggage to take with them. “You guys won’t have that luxury.” They are told that they are going in with just the clothes on their back, just like if they were really shipwrecked. Sandra sums it up nicely, saying, “Oh sh**.” They’ve got expensive suits (particularly Andrew), a cute strapless dress with nothing under it (Nicole), a Boy Scouts uniform (Lill), etc. Probst says he did get tennis shoes from their luggage so at least they have a chance for challenges.
They do also have an opportunity to leave behind watches, wallets, passports, money, and jewelry they don’t want to use. Osten had bottles of wine with him that he has to leave on the boat. Heh. The tribes are, of course, Drake and Morgan, named after pirates. The contestants are split up one by one as pirate-type music plays in the background. In case you didn’t already know, the tribes are:
As they are called, there are a few comments from the peanut gallery. Rupert has a very nice tie-dye. Christa thinks he looks stgrong as an ox, and like a big ol’ hippie. She probably figures she can ask him where to get drugs. (Okay, that was a cheap shot. But come on, you knew it was coming.) Tijuana is in heels. Osten says she’s a Nubian princess. Jon says he goes by moniker of Jonny Fairplay, but he says he doesn’t play fair. Oh please. He’s said about one thing and I hate him already.
Probst tells them some more. When they arrive, there will be nothing waiting for them. No food. No tools. No flint and steel. However, he offers them 100 balboas each (Panamanian money). They are being dropped near a small fishing village and it’s market day. There’s not a lot there, but he says if they are smart and have a plan, they can get what they need. Remember those words – ‘cus one tribe sure didn’t. He encourages them to explore the village, and even to barter with what they have – they are not coming back again. Also, they have to save enough money to hire a boat and driver to get to their camps. And they need to be there by sundown. Once again they are encouraged to work together. Ryan S. says this is way beyond what he bargained for.
So it’s time to get in the water. Probst encourages them to get moving by throwing in their shoes. In they go! Osten says he is not a big water fan, not a strong swimmer. Rupert says swimming with clothes on is hard – he’s in denim jeans. He was spent and it hadn’t even started yet! Didn’t these kids ever take lessons in water safety? When I was in high school, it was a requirement. We had to jump in the pool fully dressed and convert our jeans into a flotation device (take ‘em off, tie the legs off, and blow water into the waist from under water). But enough about that.
When they arrive on shore, it’s a wet t-shirt contest! Well, not really. I wonder if that’s why producers made sure the women were more dressed up – there was less of a likelihood that any of them would be wearing a white t-shirt.
Anyway, Ryan S., one of tonight’s main narrators, says the Morgan tribe didn’t come to shore together at all – no plans or goals. Apparently, they didn’t listen to Probst’s 27 warnings that they should work together. Some of the girls take off immediately. Ryan O. does as well, like he’s not part of tribe – he doesn’t consult anybody. He says he wanted to check out the village and find where stuff is and where a boat is. But when he gets there, he realizes he has no money or map. He tries to ask them how much it would be to go almost anywhere. They’re looking at him like he’s an idiot. And, well, it would be tough to argue against that.1 2 3 4 5 Next-->
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