My money was on the tall guy with the eyebrows and the faux-hawk, but you’ll have to go to Entertainment Weekly to find out for yourself. Jeff Probst calls them an “unknowing villain” and if you watch their unembeddable video, you can piece it together. All I’ll reveal here is that it’s not the little person up front, though he will likely be the first phlebotomist on TV.
Longtime host Probst also explicates the changes for the upcoming season in the EW article, which finally ditches the “Redemption Island” aspect from the last two seasons and instead splits up the two tribes by sex and forces them to co-habitate on a single Samoan beach. I very much like the aspect of two competing tribes sharing the same living space, but I wasn’t a fan of the first two Battle of the Sexes seasons and naming the tribes Manono and Salani doesn’t help. Get it? “Manono” because it’s the Man tribe and “Salani” because the other is full of Sallys? Oh, Probst will tell you it’s because the words have some sort of Samoan significance, but we all know the “Survivor” producers’ sense of humor.
But sharing the beach, regardless of tribe make-up, should be entertaining even if that means we don’t get the excitement of the Merge Episode. Here’s how Mr. Blue-shirt/Shell-necklace describes it:
“We wondered what would happen if we forced them to live together with no rules. You can build one camp, two camps, not have any camps. Men can sleep over with the women, women can sleep over with the men, or you can never talk at all. You can do whatever you want. But when it comes to the challenges, it is men versus women. And that gave us tons of new stuff to play with.”
He also explained how the Hidden Immunity Idol will be used differently than in seasons past, giving the finder of each of the two Idols the opportunity to save a player on the opposing tribe rather than him/herself. That could end up being rather silly, but it’s better than a return to Exile Island. In other news: I’ve watched this show way too much.
The 24th — yes, twenty-flippin’-fourth — season of “Survivor” premieres February 15, 2012, and I’m only moderately ashamed to admit that I’m really looking forward to it. I mean, if there’s one reality show to obsess over week-to-week, you may as well geek out on the grand daddy of them all, right? Especially since the great great grandfather, “The Real World,” is still trying to dress up and act out like the overly tanned, underly educated kids these days. Like Donald Trump in skinny jeans, high on Four
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He’s really just glad there aren’t any returning cast (or family) members this time. He’s had just about enough of the Hantz clan, thankyouverymuch.