It’s season 33 of the original reality competition show and CBS means business with their generational theme. Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X is bound to be a season full of stereotyping and hopefully, the realization that most people aren’t completely defined by the year in which they were born. But before we get to it, I have a confession to make: I, indeed, am a Millennial. I’ll try not to let it get in the way of an honest recap, and I definitely won’t let it (or anything!) get in the way of my pure love for Survivor. At least one thing is for sure and that is I’ll be getting a participation trophy at the end of the season no matter who wins! Let’s see how these 20 new castaways fare in “May the Best Generation Win.”
Jeff welcomes the 20 newbies to Fiji for Season 33. Once they see the how the tribes are divided, it’s pretty clear that there are young people on one mat and older people on the other. Jeff tells them that this season of Survivor just isn’t about age though. It’s about a battle between two generations with strong philosophical differences.
Cue the Gen-X’ers running their mouths about how those damn Millennials had everything in their lives handed to them. It doesn’t take five minutes before Paul mentions how he never received the “participation trophy” just for showing up.
They don’t have a lot of time for trash talk because Jeff tells them they have two minutes to gather supplies scattered on the beach. In some instances they’ll have to make a choice for one item and leave the other. The Millennials take the chickens when Gen-X takes fishing gear. Jeff says that it’s about short term versus long term plans, but don’t chickens lay eggs, Jeff? That can be a long term plan too (I still would have gone with the fishing gear).
In the scuffle to get items, Gen-X Jessica finds an envelope which she thinks could be a clue to a hidden immunity idol. She scoops it up and hides it to look at when she gets back at camp.
Before Jeff sends the two tribes on their merry way he tells them that it’s cyclone season here in Fiji and the forecast is calling for misery. So it’s crucial for everyone to get going on their shelters.
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Meet the Millennial Tribe
Zeke isn’t exactly happy to see that he’s on a tribe with a bunch of kids. Even though he’s just 28, he considers himself more of an old soul who would fit in more at a singles mixer in Miami with seniors. He never even thought of himself as a Millennial and resents his reliance on technology.
Figgy, Taylor and Jay have an instant connection though. They seem to think their alliance of three is real strong, bro. Maybe they were too busy on Twitter to learn math and realize that an alliance of three isn’t going to do much in a tribe of ten, but I suppose it is a good place to start.
They do figure on pulling in missionary worker Michelle. In her confessional, Michelle says that she thinks people are drawn to her because of her faith and they think they can trust her. She says that’s a very beneficial thing to have in this game. (Something about Michelle is giving me goosebumps. She’s all friendly and smiles to everyone at camp, but seems very cold and calculated in her confessional. This is one to look out for.)
Hannah, a barista (who is very reminiscent of Survivor: Kaoh Rong finalist Aubry) is a little nervous because she thinks her tribe is like “Kappa Kappa Survivor” with all its beautiful faces and vocal fry. She doesn’t want to be the obvious first out but it’s hard because she already feels like she doesn’t fit in.
The Millennials start off working well together on their shelter, but they get distracted and want to go for a swim. Adam and Mari, who seem to be like the parents of the group, are worried that they won’t get their shelter done in time. And they’re right.
When the storm starts to roll in, they come in from their swim and rush to get their shelter done. But it’s too little too late. They have nothing done and they’re completely wet and cold all night with no one getting a wink of sleep.
Hannah says they could see the storm getting closer to them like a monster in the distance coming to punish them for not finishing their shelter. The night is clearly the worst night of a lot of these peoples’ lives and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.
In fact, they get a present from Jeff in tree mail the next day. It’s a tarp. Michaela says you know it’s bad when Jeff sends you a tarp because he’s never done that in the history of the show before.
As they’re trying to build a new shelter, Jeff comes to their island by boat, which is never good news. He informs them that the storm has been upgraded to a cyclone and they need to evacuate the island. Adam says it’s unprecedented because this has never happened in the history of Survivor.
When they get back the next day, the sun is shining and it’s time to start over new. Zeke takes over as a much-needed leader. He says before this, the extent of his outdoor skills was riding the subway in Brooklyn. But he manages the shelter-building and even starts a fire without flint. He already is proud of himself and sees this as a positive personal experience for him. Way to go Zeke!
Meanwhile, Hannah and Mari notice the “popular kids” separating themselves. They know it’s a pretty dumb move considering the “misfits” have the majority numbers. Mari’s going around to the rest of the “geeks” in the tribe to tell them that they need to split them up.
Meet the Gen-X Tribe
Paul, the oldest member of this tribe, is happy to be among his people. He knows that they’ll all have strong opinions and values. Ken, a model, tells them that they were raised to work with their hands, and their opponents were raised to work with their minds so they shouldn’t underestimate them.
Jessica sneaks off to look at the envelope she found earlier. It’s a Legacy Advantage which says that if she’s in the game on Day 36, she gets an advantage. If she gets voted out before that, she has to hand it to someone else. Cool, that’s something new and interesting!
Working on the shelter, some of the tribe members notice that Rachel is a little over-eager. Sunday, a mom of four, thinks that it can bring a lot of negativity to the camp.
David is a writer who doesn’t like bugs, being outside, the ocean or the sun. What he does like is the game play and that’s why he’s here. The problem is that he’s playing too hard, too fast, which turns off the other members of his tribe. He’s paranoid that he sees Ken looking for an idol, but then he goes off to look for an idol himself. He’s not sneaky about it either.
The Gen-X tribe has a rough night in their shelters too. And like the Millennials, they’re evacuated from their camps.
When they get back the next day, a tree has fallen in the middle of their camp. CeCe realizes how real this game is and it’s a little intimidating. But it’s time to get back to work on a new shelter.
Immunity Challenge Choices
For the first immunity challenge, the two tribes have to run an obstacle course and then do a puzzle. The twist is that they can choose short-cuts through the obstacles, but if they do so, it adds more pieces to the puzzle at the end.
The Gen-X tribe takes both short-cuts so they have a 70 piece puzzle. The Millennials only take one short-cut so they have a 60 piece puzzle. Rachel and David are the puzzle solvers and neither of them do much solving, so the Millennials come in and finish their puzzle first to win it.
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Who’s Going Home First?
The Gen-X’ers are shocked that they lost to a bunch of kids. Bret is especially mad at Rachel for volunteering to do the puzzle and then blowing it. Jessica thinks they were on the same level as the Millennials physically so at least that’s encouraging.
So the majority alliance, which consists of Bret, Paul, Chris, Jessica, Sunday and Lucy, has decided it’s between David and Rachel to go home tonight. The only problem is they’re worried that David might have found an idol. Luckily for them, they have enough people to split the votes between the two.
David realizes he’s on the chopping block so he pleads his case. He tells Jessica that yes, he went looking for an idol, but no, he did not find one. He says that if they keep him around tonight, they’ll have his unwavering loyalty.
They’re still not sure about David, but his pitch is better than Rachel’s. That’s because she doesn’t even realize she’s on the outs so she doesn’t make one. As paranoid and high-strung as David is, at least he has an awareness of the situation going on around him. Rachel doesn’t even realize that it’s a bad thing that no one is talking to her.
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Jeff acknowledges that these guys have had it probably the roughest of any of the Survivors that have come before them. Bret says that it was even worse than a Nor’easter back in Boston. And poor Jessica’s eyes are red because sand blew in them while they were evacuating and now she has a bacterial infection. That sounds miserable.
David’s first reaction when Jeff addresses him is, “oh crap,” which his tribe finds amusing because they know he’s scared of everything. He says over the course of his life, his world has grown to be small and very safe and he feels exposed out here in the elements. He knows that he could be going home tonight, although he doesn’t want to. He says he’s his own worst enemy in this game.
When Jeff asks the tribe who feels like they could be home, every last person raises their hands. Rachel says she feels like she’s in trouble because everyone has been unresponsive to her at camp. She makes a blanket apology for offending anyone in any way.
Jessica tells Jeff that she thinks there are idols and there were definitely opportunities for people to look for idols, mainly David. He says he respects that response but he wants to prove tonight that he can be trusted.
To the Vote!
The majority alliance (plus David) does end up splitting their votes. Not between David and Rachel, but between Rachel and CeCe. Rachel gets the most votes and is sent home. Something tells me CeCe is not going to pleased about the amount of votes she got.
Next episode: Showmance alert between Taylor and Figgy! And one Survivor suffers a medical emergency. What is this?! Koah Rong?
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Like more news? Like BuddyTV’s Surivor Facebook Page!
(Image courtesy of CBS)