Wow. I would like to credit "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett for another five-star relaunch. But I can't.
All the credit belongs to these 18 fame-hungry reality television legends who, God bless them, are already letting their paranoia and greed destroy them after three scant days.
Burnett and Jeff Probst indicated in several pre-show interviews that they were worried the castaways were too media savvy and too friendly with each other for the show to have dramatic impact. Well, I hope they didn't lose a wink of sleep because the players are doing all their work for them.
I am a big believer in the theory that every premiere sets a theme for the season and is an indicator of what is to come. If that is true for "Survivor: All-Stars," Jenna M., Ethan and Richard better start packing their bags because this isn't a level playing field.
Why Tina is gone:
Saboga: When you only have six members, losing even one is a significant setback. They did the right thing by voting out Tina, who was obviously their weakest link, but they can't afford to have to make that decision again next episode. The factions here are pretty well defined. Jenna and Jerri have quickly bonded and appear to be tight knit. Rupert and Rudy represent a lot of physical strength and are as equally committed. If you look at it that way, Ethan is in a lot of trouble. Yet, next week's preview makes it seem that Rudy becomes a physical liability. If that is the case, Ethan needs to seize upon the opportunity and convince the others that they need his physical strength, especially if they are going down to four. Still, previews are notoriously deceiving.
Mogo Mogo: Note to Kathy: In the future, please look behind you when you are plotting and scheming. It's just good policy. If they had lost this week, Richard Hatch would almost definitely be gone. The immunity idol bought him some more time to implement his bizarre strategy of keeping people on edge and withholding fire. His goal should be to make Jenna M. the first target and then try and survive until a merge where he can hopefully find more allies. Right now, it appears that girls might be forming an alliance, but a little Colby charm could fix that. A past winner has to be the first to go from this group, but I don't see the "Survivor" gods letting Hatch go without a fight.
Chapera: You can't say that about Chapera because they don't have any past winners, which brings a completely different dynamic to their tribe. They might be the strongest in the game because they are the youngest and have the most to prove. I predicted Amber to win before all this started, and I see no reason to change that prognostication after seeing the first episode. Amber picked a good alliance mate in Rob M. who isn't as smart as he thinks he is and is already charmed by her beauty. I am sure Rob C. would follow her anywhere as well and Tom is just a big old teddy bear. Alicia has already shown her temper, but I see Sue's age and attitude leading to her early dismissal.
Prediction for Next Week:
If Saboga loses, Ethan or Rudy will be shown the door. When Mogo loses its mojo, I see Jenna M. getting booted. Susan Hawke is a good bet to go if Chapera doesn't win the next immunity.
Comments? Questions? Snide remarks? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
By GREG FELTES