Thursday, February 09, 2006

Survivor: Panama First Episode Thoughts

The first episode of Survivor: Panama kept up its bargain for entertainment value, and twists throwing people off of their game plan.  Our first bootee was not Shane as I predicted, but instead was Tina, who I initially said this about:

    Jeff Probst called her a likeable Sue Hawk. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not. Her story is one that's sure to get a lot of play once the game is over, and apparently does come up during the series. However, I don't think that's going to be enough to keep her around for any length of time.

Well, they did cover her story in the first episode.  But it was rather brief, and was never explained to her tribemates.  Even if it had been, I don't think it would have made a difference.  Tina made a crucial error by attempting to be the leader of her tribe, and then compounded it by complaining about the rest of her tribe's work ethic.

So what about the rest of the players?  Here's some players whose stock has increased or decreased in value (in my eyes) based on the first show:

  • Shane - Increase in Value. 
    • Obviously wasn't the first bootee, so by default he is doing better than I expected.  But he also has a sneakiness to him that could carry him farther than I thought.  His quitting smoking cold turkey storyline will probably carry on for another couple of episodes at the very least.  He is somebody to keep your eye on - he could go all the way into the final four, or he could quickly turn into being that tribal council's target.
  • Dan - HUGE Decrease in Value. 
    • He is nowhere near as athletic as I thought.  No matter how likeable he is, if his tribe loses in the early going, he will be a possible boot because he is a liability in physical challenges.  If he makes it to the jury, I would be surprised.
  • Terry - HUGE Increase in Value.
    • This year's Tom (the firefighter, not the farmer).  He is now my number 2 choice to win the whole thing, and if Misty has another episode like this first one, he will be the hands on favorite.
  • Bobby - Decrease in Value.
    • He's not going to be in the final four with the attitude that he has.  He will make the jury based on his physical skills, but will be an early post-merge boot for fear of his immunity challenge threat.
  • Melinda - Decrease in Value.
    • She could be gone as soon as this week.  If she's not on the same side as Terry, she's going to be the target due to her lack of physical prowess.
  • Sally - Increase in Value.
    • She knows the game, which will probably help her in the early going.  Probably not an early boot, but not a final four threat.
  • Misty - Decrease in Value
    • I still think she's going to win the whole thing, but getting put on Exile Island wasn't a good start to her game.  Her "I've got the immunity idol" ploy was actually very smart, but could come back to haunt her if (a) somebody actually finds the idol or (b) somebody finds out she doesn't have the idol.  Lying on the second day probably isn't the smartest of moves if you get caught before you can form any serious alliances.

So who's my boot pick for this week?  Dan or Melinda.  Both are too much of a physical liability to be kept around.

Next week I'll begin with the lists, which should be good for a laugh at the end of the season.


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