Dammit, they sucked me back in, at least for a little while. Spoilers for last night's "Survivor: Micronesia" premiere coming up just as soon as I find ancillary uses for my glasses...
Thank God! I don't know how much was editing and how much was seemingly intelligent players like Jonathan and Yau-Man and Ami briefly having a brain fart, but when it looked like Fairplay might actually survive the first Tribal Coucil, I wanted to throttle the lot of them. Simply put, when you have two groups of four and two wild cards, you do not go and invest the power in the biggest sleazebag -- not to mention one of the two or three best manipulators -- in the history of the game. You don't even entertain the possibility. You grab Cirie (who can be sneaky herself, but not on the level of a Fairplay), you target Jonnny and, at worst, deal with the Purple Rock of Death. But you get that little %&^*^(! off the island as fast as you possibly can and deal with the young lovers later. Johnny might have stirred up some drama had he stuck around longer -- and provoked more bitchy exchanges between him and Probst -- but it would have made everyone else look like morons.
As a Cirie fan, I was disappointed she barely spoke in this one, but now she's the swing vote, and I imagine she'll be swinging over to the older group. And since I'm a fan of Jonathan and Yau-Man as well, that works just fine for me.
While we all know that "Survivor: All-Stars" was a disaster and the Stephenie/Bobby Jon experiment from Guatemala wasn't much better (and prevented the producers from using Stephenie here as the Palau representative, while we have two people from Vanuatu), I can see this one working. By making half the players newbies, it takes away the country club aspect of the original all-star season, where half the players weren't trying and the rest took things way too personally when they got outplayed.
The episode spent more time with the losing team, as always, and while I'm more invested in the fates of the returning players, I'd like to get to know the fan team beyond the fact that Kathy seems like one of the more socially inept players in a long time. I don't know that Yau-Men intended to give the immunity idol to the other team's weakest link (he was pretty tired from bashing Fairplay's skull in -- which was an awesome moment -- and may have given it to whoever got close to him first), but it's definitely an advantage for the favorites team, because the fans won't be able to have an easy vote-off whenever they first go to tribal.
What did everybody else think?