Survivor China: Episode 1 Live Thoughts
Woohoo!  A new season of Survivor kicks off tonight and I couldn't be more excited.  I'm a Survivor junkie and even though I was hoping for an All Stars season, China has intrigued me enough to keep me happy for another season.  The contestants will get to do all kinds of cool things like sleep on the Great Wall and visit the Shaolin Temple.  Plus, a change of scenery breaths new life into a show that's been around for 15 seasons.  I'm here for the next hour with live thoughts on premiere night of Survivor China.

Probst takes us through the introduction, mixed with footage of Chinese culture.  The contestants are shown riding to their destination and when they arrive, pile out with their luggage in tow.  You never know when the game will begin...

The contestants arrive at a temple and the site of it is pretty awesome.  Peih-Gee is especially touched, who is Chinese, and recently lost her grandfather.   The survivors enter a Buddhist temple to take part in a ceremony.  Courtney is totally unappreciative, saying she'd rather be sitting somewhere drinking lemonade.  Leslie, the Christian radio host, struggled with her beliefs and walked out of the ceremony.

Jeff tells them that they'll be leaving their worldly possessions behind and heading into the game with the clothes on their back.  There's the Survivor I know and love!  One girl has on heavy boots while another isn't even wearing a bra.  The contestants are split into tribes and are given the book, The Art of War, to help them in the game.

They head to their camps and some start strategizing right away.  Todd and Jean-Robert looked like they might team up when they went off together but ended up rubbing each other the wrong way.  Already?  On the Zhan Hu tribe, everyone stands around debating how to build a shelter and Chicken gets left in the dust.  Peih-Gee doesn't feel like she fits in on the tribe since everyone is so wacky and less than concerned with getting work done.  Too bad, because it just started to downpour and they're going to need shelter soon.

The Fei Long tribe seems to be more cohesive, if we discount Courtney.  James steps up as the workhouse, the Bobby Jon if you will.  The first night in China isn't pleasant, as everyone is caught in a rainstorm.  Back at Zhan Hu, Ashley, who had a rough night, isn't feeling too good.  She's huddled up on the ground in a little ball.  Surprising that the wrestling star is starting to fade already.

The survivors get interesting tree mail, a note attached to a dragon.  An immunity challenge is nearing.  Fei Long pressures Aaron to step up as their leader, thanks to Todd.  For their challenge, each team will be tethered to a mascot that is awkward and heavy.  They must maneuver that through obstacles and get keys to unlock gates to make it to a finish platform where they complete a puzzle.   Puzzles and unlocking things, in true Survivor fashion!

The tribes seem dead even for most of the challenge.  It'll probably come down to the puzzle as usual.  Fei Long wins, ensuring that everyone stays for at least 3 more days.  Bad times for Zhan Hu.  Peih-Gee takes the loss hard and breaks down.  She decides more needs to be done around camp and starts bossing everyone around.  Uh oh.  She may go down in a blaze of glory at tribal for that.  There's also Ashley to consider, who's been sick and weak.

Zhan Hu heads to tribal council where they light their torches.  Say it with me now: fire represents your life in the game.  Jeff looks for someone to step up as a leader.  Dave raises his hand and two seconds later, Peih-Gee throws her hand in the air.  The tribe has a bigger decision at hand, who they should get rid of first to make them stronger.  Chicken becomes the first person voted out and lets out a cry of frustration.  Too bad, he probably would've been interesting to have around for the season. 

On next week's Survivor, Jean-Robert is disliked by his tribe.  Ashley and Dave face off and her pro wrestling skills come in handy for their challenge.

Make sure to check back tomorrow as Chicken talks to BuddyTV about him time on Survivor China!

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)