Survivor season 32, filmed in Cambodia on the island of Koh Rong, premiered Wednesday, February 17. Three tribes of 6 had been prefabricated based on the qualities cast members most rely on in their daily lives: brains, brawn, or beauty.
The season kicked off right away. As each tribe began making shelter, alliances were quickly formed. The brain tribe was clearly influenced by the age factor. Trying to have the advantage in challenges, the four younger tribe members, made up of Aubry Bracco, Liz Markham, Neal Gottlieb, and Dr. Peter Baggenstos, pushed out their two oldest tribe members.
Neal and Liz, the creators of the alliance, were also influenced to leave out Debbie Wanner, an older tribe member, because she rubbed them the wrong way (as soon as they got on the island, she did not stop talking). Debbie continually bragged about her special skills. She said on the island, “I have military training in summer and winter survival, shelter building, fire making, food procurement, torture training and a superior will to survive.” However, when the tribe needed her to simply make a fire, she was unable to do so.
The Brawn tribe rapidly began making a well-built shelter after arriving to their camp spot. While his fellow tribe members were building shelter, Kyle Jason began to circulate through camp making alliances with the entire Brawn tribe.
“The truth is I want as many alliances as possible. In my eyes they are only truthful when I need them,” said Jason. Jason’s strategy is apparent and one that has been tried many times on Survivor — his strategy will either take him far in the competition or blow up in his face.
When the Beauty tribe landed on the island, they didn’t get off to the best start. The chickens, a vital part of survival on the island, had escaped from their cages. The three men on the Beauty tribe ran around to catch them. During that time, the women came together and made an alliance. They discussed adding one of the men, desiring a 4-2 alliance in a tribal vote situation. The new alliance settled on Tai Premier.
Tai is definitely one of the most interesting cast members this season, and maybe in the entirety of Survivor. Tai is from Vietnam, and survived through the war. In 1979, he left Vietnam in a 26 meter boat with 262 other people. For 11 days he floated with no food and only a little bit of water and landed in a refugee camp close to Koh Rong. Tai stayed there for a year, until finally moving to America. “Through a lot of my life, that is a lot of things I’ve survived through and I think I have an advantage because adventure just excites me,” said Tai.
Sadly for Tai, he lost his advantage when he was caught searching for a hidden immunity idol. While his fellow tribe mates were building the camp, he wandered off to go search for the idol. Caught in the act, the alliance no longer trusted him and rejected him as a candidate to join them. And now he may be the first to go, if the Beauty tribe is sent to tribal council.
A tradition for any die-hard Survivor fan is to try to figure out which cast member got the “winner’s edit” in the season premiere. Fans of the show believe the eventual winner of the competition can be identified in the first episode — the eventual winner will have an in depth background on their personal lives and will provide commentary on the strategy of the game.
The leader of the Brawn tribe and an argument for the winner’s edit is definitely Kyle Jason. As shown in the premiere, Jason’s strategy to make as many alliances as possible resembled Tony Vlachos, the winner of the first Brains vs Brawns vs Beauty season, Survivor: Cagayan. Jason’s edit proposes that he will do anything to win, which resembles the mentality of many past winners.
Despite who wins, Season 32 seems to be one that will develop nicely over the next couple months. As Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor, puts it, the cast members are about to experience the most grueling 39 days in Survivor history.