It’s the 30th Season of Survivor, if you can believe it. There’s been 29 winners, $29 million in grand prizes and countless immunity challenges and tribal councils. Each season has managed to have its own unique spin, mostly because of the combinations of the people who play one of reality TV’s original games.

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For the 30th season, we’re going to experience things a little differently with Survivor: Worlds Apart. The tribes will be divided into people from white collar, blue collar and no collar backgrounds to see how placing people from similar walks of life with similar work ethic will affect the game we all know and love.

When they get to the beach, Jeff tells the three tribes how and why they’re placed in the tribes they’re in. Lindsey, a hairdresser from the blue collar tribe is convinced that the winner will be from her tribe. The no collar tribe is predictably all smiles and free spirits. The people on the white collar tribe already seem nervous that everyone is going to try to be a leader.

Jeff tells each tribe to select a leader. Max from the white collar tribe knows it’s a mistake to put yourself in a leadership position this early in the game. So Joaquin volunteers. Dan the mail man volunteers for the blue collar tribe and Will the YouTube sensation volunteers for the no collars.

Then Jeff tells each of the leaders to select one other member of the tribe to help them make a decision when they get back to camp.

No Collar (Nagarote)

While they’re making their introductions, Nina explains to her new tribe mates that she’s completely deaf. She wears a cochlear implant but it doesn’t seem to phase anyone.

Before Will and Jenn go off to make their decision, they try to sort out the tribe’s priorities just in case they can take any of it into consideration. When they go off to the side, they’re confronted with a decision of “deceive” or “honest.” If they want to deceive their tribe mates, they would take a smaller bag of beans and get a clue to the hidden immunity idol. If they want to be honest, they just get a bigger bag of beans for their tribe.

Will and Jenn decide that they need to be honest and do what’s right for their tribe. A bigger bag of beans will benefit everyone, including them, in the long run.

Jenn, a sailing instructor, and Vince, a coconut vendor, have an instant connection. At least that’s what Vince thinks. Vince knows one of his weaknesses is his intense attraction to women and Jenn knows she needs to make allies to get further in the game, so she’s willing to play along with him even though she thinks he’s intense. For now at least.

There’s a little bit of drama when building the shelter between Joe and Vince, which just proves that even though they’re free spirits, they’re still vying for alpha male position in their tribe. Some things are the same in any station of life.

The next day, Vince gets jealous of Joe when Joe manages to start a fire. Not only that, but he sees Jenn being flirty with Joe. He pulls Jenn aside and asks her if she finds Joe attractive like a jealous boyfriend. Jenn gets a creep vibe from him, but tries to tell him what he wants to hear. He feels like she’s being fake (because she is) and insists the only way he’ll feel better is if she gives him a hug. He holds her in a super long and awkward embrace that makes Jenn feel uncomfortable. Jenn says in her confessional that Vince is too paranoid but she wants to keep him around for now.

Blue Collar (Escameca)

Dan and Mike come to the same conclusion when it comes to their big decision. Dan thinks it’s too early in the game to make himself a villain and he needs to focus on building relationships.

But when they come back to their tribe and tell them that they chose honesty, Sierra the barrel racer doesn’t believe them. She convinces Lindsey that what they had was a smaller bag of beans and they shouldn’t be trusted.

Rodney the general contractor with a thick Boston accent tries to bond with Lindsey the hairdresser over their tattoos. He shows her a tattoo dedicated to his sister who passed away. He hopes to use the story to get the ladies on the tribe to trust him so he can take the lead in a ladies’ alliance. Okay, son you are not Russell Hantz. Good luck with that.

Mike, an oil rigger, makes the poor decision to eat a scorpion on day one. And then he pukes it up. Reality TV at its finest, everyone.

Dan gets into a skirmish with the younger members of his tribe when building the shelter. He speaks to the young ladies in a condescending tone that’s just unbearable. He’s already getting under everyone’s skin. Mike tries to reassure him that he has his back, but Dan already knows he’s in a bad spot in the tribe.

White Collar (Masaya)

When faced with the decision to be deceptive or to be honest, Joaquin thinks it’s a no-brainer to lie. So doesn’t disagree, she’s just a little put-off by being forced to be in an alliance with Joaquin, the most shifty guy out there, right away. The two go with the lie and take the hidden immunity idol clue.

When they get back to camp, So tells them there was a choice between “deceive,” “honest,” and “neutral” and the chose the last option. Absolutely no one buys it. Max thinks they’re terrible liars and their lie draws Shirin, Max and Carolyn together.

While everyone else is working on the the shelter, Joaquin and So sneak off to look for the idol. Since Carolyn doesn’t trust them, she keeps her eye on them and does some looking of her own. Being a big fan of the show, she knows what kind of landmarks she needs to look for to find the idol. She does some digging in a weird looking tree and finds the idol on day two. She’s so excited to have it (obviously) but says the best part is that everyone else will think So or Joaquin will have it.

Immunity Challenge

For the first immunity challenge, the survivors have to open a crate using locks or knots to release a ladder. Then they have to use the ladder to get up and over a platform and then use it to release a bag of puzzle pieces. There’s a catch though. They have to choose one of three bags. The bags have five, 10 and 50 pieces and decrease in difficulty with piece number. The two tribes that finish their puzzles first win immunity. The first tribe to win gets a fire making kit and the second tribe to finish gets a flint.

Lindsey on the blue collar team takes a hard fall right off the bat and slams her head. Once they get to the ladder case, all three tribes try to unlock the locks but none of them are having any luck. So is the first to switch to the knots and the other two tribes follow suit. She rips through the knots while Mike from blue collar has a harder time.

The white collar tribe then chooses the easiest puzzle with 50 pieces. But Shirin isn’t having much luck with it. Meanwhile, Joe from no collar is working on the 10-piece intermediate puzzle. It’s clear that he gets the hang of it pretty quickly and he solves it to win immunity for the no collars.

The blue collar tribe finally makes up lost time and they also choose the 10-piece puzzle. Shirin is still working on the easy puzzle when Mike rips through their puzzle for the blue collars for the come from behind win.

The white collar tribe is headed to Tribal Council.

Loser Camp

Shirin knows she’s in trouble after blowing the puzzle. But So thinks that Carolyn should go home for “playing it safe” and not stepping up during the challenge. Okay?

Carolyn knows her head is on the chopping block so she flat out asks Joaquin and So who they’re voting for. So tells her she has nothing to worry about because they’re voting Shirin.

Tyler approaches Carolyn to tell her that her name has come up. This makes Carolyn mad at So and Joaquin for outright lying to her. She tells Tyler that she has an idol and she’s bringing it to Tribal and voting for So. She says she may be the oldest player there, but she can be trusted, unlike So.

Max and Tyler go over their options. They rationalize the decision in true white collar fashion. Tyler says they need numbers and they need people who are going to work hard and be loyal. They don’t know if they can trust So after her stunt with the beans, but they know Carolyn is honest after she told them she had an idol.

Tribal Council

Jeff asks Joaquin about his opening dilemma and he sticks with their lie about the neutral box. Shirin says she’s a big fan of the show and there are huge holes in his story. Max says he’s not mad that So and Joaquin did what they did, he would have made the same choice, but he would have done a lot better job lying about it.

So says that doesn’t matter because the “four” are strong. Carolyn is interested to know who she thinks her four strong are and So says it’s her, Tyler, Max and Joaquin and they’re voting Carolyn out. Carolyn confronts her for lying to her about voting for her and So says she was just doing what she had to.

So says she’s confident tonight because she’s an asset in challenges. Carolyn points out that all she did was untie some knots. Carolyn says she works her butt off in camp and she’s just as athletic as anyone else.

When it comes time to vote, Carolyn doesn’t play her idol. Joaquin and So vote for Carolyn and everyone else votes for So. So long, So.

What did you think of the premiere? And what about the new twist? Sound off in the comments and we’ll see you next week!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV