We are now only one day away from the season premiere of Survivor: Nicaragua. The show begins Wednesday, September 15 at 8pm on CBS and it couldn’t come at a better time. To help us manage our excitement for a new season I have put together a list of five reasons why you should watch the first episode of Survivor: Nicaragua. Don’t worry about spoilers, I won’t include anything that will take the fun away from the premiere; hopefully this will just whet your appetite till tomorrow night’s tribal.
Wisdom vs. Enthusiasm (Probst’s Words, Not Mine)
We know by now that Survivor is all about the gimmicks and this season is no exception. The castaways are shocked to learn that the tribes are divided into tribes of 10 older players and 10 younger players. When Probst announces this twist all the young contestants cheer and the older contestants seem like they had the rug pulled out from under them. I think that this division will make for a very interesting season of Survivor.
Instead of the usual onslaught of vapid young people, we get a mix of experienced more mature players and silly, naive players. The funny thing is both tribes have both types of players. From the moment Probst announces the divisions you could tell that the younger tribe, La Flor, already thinks the game is in the bag. However, if the older tribe, Espada, can band together and outnumber the kids by the merge we could have a real interesting game here.
This season producers have introduced the “Medallion of Power.” Right off the bat Jeff tells the tribes that hidden somewhere on the beach is a medallion. The castaway who finds the medallion first claims it for their tribe. All we know about the “MOP” is that the tribe who uses it gains a huge advantage in an immunity challenge. This is a great change of pace from the hidden immunity idol that dominated the past two seasons. The hidden immunity idol is still in the game but the “MOP” is there for the good of the tribe rather than the individual.
Three-Time Emmy Winner Jeff Probst
Some reality show hosts are there to fill space but Jeff Probst is as much a part of the game of Survivor as the contestants. There is a reason this guy has won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program Host three years running. Probst is a consummate pro who has this gig down to a science. The guy knows exactly how to pace a tribal council by always stirring the pot and asking just the right questions.
Also, Probst is genuinely funny. Just wait for the first immunity challenge when the La Flor tribe enters the beach doing a lame chant/dance routine. Probst just looks at the tribe, takes a beat and then simply says “K.” Classic Probst!
The New Time Slot
TV fanatics know that Thursday night is the busiest night for quality programming. We often have to choose between some of our favorite shows because we only have one pair of eyeballs. Well, this season our Thursday nights will be a little more manageable.
For the past 19 seasons Survivor has aired on Thursday nights; however, with Survivor: Nicaragua the show returns to Wednesdays, the time period where the series first aired in the magical summer of 2000. This change to Wednesdays is a good move for the show. Thursday nights are the most competitive night on television and Survivor‘s move to Wednesdays positions itself as the clear winner of the night.
A New Batch of Potential All-Stars
After a season of All-Stars it is nice to get a new bumper crop of castaways to cleanse our palate of the Russells and Robs of the world. This season definitely has its share of characters. Without giving too much away here is a quick look into a few new castaways.
On La Flor, look out for Jud, aka Fabio, who may be the ditziest character the show has ever seen and Kelly B. who reveals a personal secret that could affect the tribe.
On Espada it is a battle between two Jimmy’s: Jimmy Johnson and Jimmy Tarintino. Jimmy J. is a well known former NFL coach as well as the second oldest contestant ever to play the game. Jimmy T. is a fisherman with a serious attitude who won an online contest in order to be on the show. Jimmy J. is instantly likable, even if you are not a Cowboys fan (like me). Jimmy T. comes off as, well, off.
Watch on Wednesday and tell me what you think.
(Image courtesy of CBS)