Hot Girl with a Grudge (Part 1) is the premiere episode of Survivor: Cagayan. This article contains the content from the beginning through the first Tribal Council of the two-hour long premiere episode.
Once again, Survivor has taken television's social experiment in a new direction. These eighteen Americans have been divided into three groups that represent the qualities they most rely on in their daily lives. The "Brain" tribe, with an average IQ of 130. This group utilizes their intellect to accomplish their goals.
I've been a police officer up in Jersey City for thirteen years. I'm always jumping over cars, climbing over fences, jumping from roof to roof, chasing people. So this game to me should be easy. Knock on wood.
The tribes entered Cagayan by three different modes of transportation: Aparri, the Brawn tribe, entered along a rough road in the back of a truck. Solana, the Beauty, then entered by boat along the river, with Lindsey Ogle snickering at the girls lounging in the front. Finally, Luzon, the Brains tribe, entered by helicopter, with Jefra Bland noting that they looked like "the Cochrans" of the group.
I am so excited to start Survivor, I can't even stand it. I'm such a competitive person that I would literally do anything to get to the finish line, to beat you, if I have to. I mean, it's just who I am. (laughs)
Jeff Probst welcomed the three tribes to Survivor: Cagayan; the three tribes cheered and clapped in excitement. Jeff Probst explained that the twist of the season was Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty and asked each tribe to guess which attribute they belong to. Morgan McLeod said, "I don't mean to sound conceited, but I think we're Beauty." Spencer Bledsoe then noted that he thought his tribe were the "Nerds," adding that the other remaining tribe looked "really physical." Tony Vlachos then said he would "gladly accept" being on the Brawn tribe, and was eager to "stomp on beauty and stomp on smarts."
Jeff noted that each trait was important in the game of Survivor, before asking each tribe to immediately select a Tribe Leader. Starting with Solana, Brice Johnston nominated LJ McKanas to be the leader. When asked what he thought about being the leader of "the hot group," LJ answered that he must be "the inner beauty" and that if he was the one to stick out, he had to roll with it. Aparri then chose their leader, looking for "a talker." Sarah Lacina said that she was a talker, and the tribe elected her as the leader. Trish Hegarty said they chose Sarah because she looked "confident" and would "get the job done." Luzon then chose their leader, with Spencer asking who looked the smartest. Kass McQuillen and Tasha Fox pointed to David Samson because of his blazer, and he took on the role. Kass said that she didn't usually "trust a man in a suit," but liked David.
The leaders were then instructed to choose who they thought was the weakest person on the tribe. LJ chose Morgan, rationalizing that she looked the least physical. She said that this didn't often happen to her, and that there was "a first time for everything." Sarah said she had a good vibe from everyone and didn't want to make the call, reluctantly choosing Trish. Trish said that, despite her support of Sarah as the leader, she understood her call. Before making his pick, David clarified that "the jacket doesn't match the pants, so it's not a suit." He added that he made decisions like this frequently, and slapped Garrett Adelstein on the shoulder. David said that he'd made his decision based on "the last two thirds of the game." Garrett joined Morgan and Trish, and Jeff revealed that they were still in the game, but would be flown straight to camp - avoiding the hike with their tribe - where they would make a decision on behalf of the tribe who had just ostracized them. The three departed in the helicopter, and Jeff gave Aparri, Luzon, and Solana maps to their beach.
In my perspective of beauty, there is hot and there's cute. Morgan, she's hot, whereas the other girls are, like, cute. And me personally, I trust cute more then I trust (chuckles) hot.
Garrett was dropped off at the Luzon beach to find the decision awaiting him: choose an extra bag of rice for the tribe, or take a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol for himself. He chose to take the clue, and followed the map to a waterfall near camp. Meanwhile, Trish arrived at the Aparri beach and was torn on what decision to make. Despite being tempted to take the clue, she remained a team player, choosing the extra bag of rice for her tribe. Morgan, on the other hand, with a growing grudge against LJ, chose the clue to the Idol.
To be isolated from the group right away, it really sucks. Like, at least both of the other two leaders pretended like they were so sad they had to pick the person, but David doesn't hesitate! He immediately pats me on the back and says, "Garrett! He is the weakest." Which is BS. I'm stronger than any of them.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm already on the outs with my tribe, so this is a complete no-brainer. Obviously, I'm going to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol. When people see my body, often they're like, "He's just a dumb jock." But I was valedictorian of my high school class, 99 percentile SATs and for a living am a high-stakes professional poker player. So anything I do in my life, I go all in. Without question, David making the asinine decision he did, works to my advantage, but he's a threat and I want him out of the game.
When Sarah had to pick the weakest of the tribe, when I looked around, I was clearly the oldest, I was clearly the thinnest. So I wasn't surprised it was me. When I saw that note, I was like, "Oh jeez!" I gotta to make a decision whether it's for me or for the team. Initially, I could hear myself saying, "Don't be an idiot! Go and get the Idol for yourself and protect yourself." I have been divorced for fifteen years, supporting and raising my children emotionally and financially and it's been really hard. Yet, at the same time, I've always been a team player. It's just who I am. I just went with my gut and said, you know what, I'm just gonna go with the team. I hope I don't kick myself for the rest of the game on that one, but there's nothing I can do now, so I just hope I don't regret it.
I'm surprised I was voted off first. I feel like I have more physical strength than the other two ladies. Then, I kinda thought I had the guys under my thumb. But maybe LJ was tempted by my looks and he didn't really want me around to mess with his head. That's what I'm good at, so maybe he can sense that. But I hold grudges big time. I will never forgive him for this. This is a game where you have to save yourself, so of course I'm going to look for the Idol. I guess I'm a selfish person, but if I can find it, it's gonna be a huge game-changer, for sure.
Back at Luzon, Garrett found the waterfall, stripped down to his underwear, and began searching the pool for the Idol. After a duration of frustration in which he made no headway, Garrett finally found the Idol in a bag at the bottom of the pool. Over at Solana, Morgan was also searching for the Idol out by a rock shelf in the ocean. As she searched, the rest of the tribe arrived at camp, prompting them to be suspicious of her whereabouts and concerned Morgan that she had blown her opportunity.
The clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol said it's right by the waterfall. Unfortunately, these hide-and-go-seek type activities – it's just not my area of expertise. I've been in situations at the poker table, playing for huge amounts of money, and I didn't get stressed out about it. So this should be child's play. But I'm embarrassing myself by not being able to find this stupid Idol right now.
Finally, I was able to find the Hidden Immunity Idol. I'm definitely going to keep it to myself. But what an amazing start to the game. Me having the Idol puts me in a really strong position. I don't know what the hell David was thinking, but I promise you, I'm going to do everything in my power to get rid of him.
The clue said that the Hidden Immunity Idol would be somewhere near rocks, so immediately I thought of the huge rock shelf to the right of our camp. There's so many little crevasses and nooks and crannies that a Hidden Immunity Idol could be hidden, but I don't know when they're going to be here. I don't know how much time I have. I just know that I have to find it.
I was climbing on the rocks, then I saw my other tribemates come strolling up on the beach and my heart just jumped in my throat. I had been outed trying to find the Idol and I was like if I don't come up with something, I'm going home for sure.
As Solana dropped their stuff by the flag, Morgan came running up out of the ocean. On the spur of the moment, she came up with a cover plan, telling her tribe that she'd picked rice, shelter materials, and fishing supplies for them, and told them she was out in the ocean exploring the tidepools and looking for crabs. LJ, however, was suspicious of her cool demeanor, and guessed that she either had a clue or the Idol itself. However, he apologized to her, and she told him she'd just have to prove him wrong. Brice, on the other hand, took the opportunity to pull the ostracized Morgan into an alliance, telling her that he wouldn't have voted her out, and pointed out that LJ and Jeremiah Wood, and Alexis Maxwell and Jefra were already pairing up, adding that he had her back. Meanwhile, the tribe worked hard to prepare camp, with Jeremiah and LJ even making fire for the tribe with only bamboo.
My other tribemates come strolling up on the beach. It was pretty obvious what I was doing. I had already been outed as the weakest person and now I'm going behind their back and trying to find the Idols and I was like, "I'm done." Then I realize, y'know, I could just totally lie and say that, "Oh yeah, I picked the shelter materials and the fishing stuff over comfort."
Morgan's already in her underwear, just like a mermaid that just walked out of the ocean, which had me a little nervous because she's way too calm and collected for someone just voted out. She either already has an Immunity Idol or she has a clue, so I gotta be on my best behavior because she could be the hot girl with a grudge.
Morgan was able to provide for us, you know, some good things. I kinda felt like that kinda boosted her confidence a little bit, but I'm no dummy. I know a scorned woman when I see her. So she was the perfect opportunity for me to use my purple pants and, kinda like, my personality to kinda get in with her.
At Aparri, Trish greeted her tribe with open arms and assured Sarah that she was not offended by being picked as the weakest. She told the tribe that she'd been given the opportunity to look for an Idol, but had instead chosen extra rice for the tribe, prompting surprise and celebration from Sarah and the rest of Aparri. The tribe then split up to begin assembling the shelter. As they worked, Cliff Robinson drew some attention for his height. He told Tony and Woo Hwang that he worked in sports marketing, but had played some basketball at which point Woo revealed that he had some of Cliff's basketball cards. Cliff then shared his history as an NBA-player with the rest of his tribe who were impressed, but didn't seem to let his past influence their opinion of him.
Because I was already seen as being the weakest, I felt like that's what they were going to come to camp thinking. That this older, skinny woman that would be eliminated is weak. So, I had to get myself right back on equal terms with all of them.
Soon as we arrive to camp, Trish came with open arms. She says, "I had the choice of looking for the Idol for myself or helping my tribe out in getting a second bag of rice." And we were, like, so excited. We were like, "Yes, you did the right thing." But if I was in Trish's shoes, it would have been one bag of rice... and one Idol in my pocket.
Looking through all of my team members, I could tell that any challenge that will have physical strength in it, we're definitely gonna dominate. I mean, we have, like, the biggest man out here. He's like eight feet tall.
Me being a basketball enthusiast, I immediately knew who that was: Cliff Robinson. Portland Trail Blazers. One of my favorite players growing up and everyone seems stoked to have him on their tribe. But I don't think anyone's making a really big deal about it.
The fact that I'm a former basketball player could hurt me, but to tell you the truth, it doesn't seem like they really have any interest in basketball. So for me, that's just fine. I can play this game. Not worry about my tribemates judging me for what I did and they're just looking at me like as Cliff Robinson – one of the tribe members of Survivor.
Sarah, meanwhile, suspected that Tony was a police officer. She approached him alone and asked him, but he denied it, point blank. She asked him again, but he continued to deny it, telling her that he worked in construction and pointed to his tattoo as evidence (citing that police officers were not allowed to have tattoos). Sarah then told him she was a cop. Tony then joked with her, pretending to confess, puzzling her, and making her suspicious.
I've been a cop for quite a while and there is a look that cops have – and Tony's got it. If I'm wrong, he should go be a cop because he looks just like one.
I thought for a split second, "Should I tell her I'm a cop?" But then I said, you know what? If I tell them I'm a police officer, the first thing they're gonna be thinking is, like, this guy's strategical, he's tactical, he's probably sharp on his toes, he's very observant. And they're gonna be right. So obviously I'm a threat to them, so they're gonna probably want to try and blindside me right away.
Luzon arrived at their beach, greeting Garrett. Spencer was frustrated by David's decision, but Garrett put on a good face, telling his tribe he'd found the water, as well as a waterfall. The tribe then began focusing on shelter, at which point J'Tia Taylor told the group she was a nuclear engineer, and had orchestrated a plan for the shelter. She then began doling out orders to her tribe, instructing them on how to do everything, from cutting the bamboo to constructing the base for the shelter, without putting in any physical effort herself. However, her abrasive approach rubbed Tasha Fox, Spencer, Kass, and David the wrong way, and despite several objections to the practicality of her plan, J'Tia insisted she had the right plan. Kass talked to David about her attitude, but he suggested they just "let her do what she does." When Tasha sat down on the shelter to test the balance, it collapsed under her, prompting Kass to mutter, "We're not very smart for the Brain tribe."
When David came out and said that he was going to pick Garrett, I thought, "You're an idiot!" You're picking the one guy who can help us in challenges and you're ostracizing him already. It's a terrible move.
I have my PhD in nuclear engineering. I think I'm the smartest person here. Hands down! Ima build that shelter. I'm not gonna cut the bamboo, but I'm gonna tell 'em how to build it. And it's gonna be an awesome shelter.
Right now, we have an – (air quotes) – "engingeer," J'Tia, who says that she can build a shelter. She has the decisiveness of a leader, she has the bossiness for sure, but she doesn't exactly have it all... (points to head) ...here.
J'Tia's taking charge of doing stuff, but she doesn't do anything. She just sort of barks orders to us. In my career, I have enough experience with people who look like they can get things done, but you put 'em at the plate and put a bat in their hand and all of a sudden, they look like Bugs Bunny. And that's J'Tia. J'Tia's just too much. She's too much.
Jeff welcomed the tribes in for their first challenge: Draggin' the Dragon. Each tribe would manoeuvre a cart through an obstacle course, stopping along the way to retrieve a key suspended high in the air. They would then use the key to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces, load it onto the cart and continue along the course. Once all three chests were obtained, the cart was to be disassembled and slotted through a barricade before being reassembled on the other side. The tribe would then complete the obstacle course, at which point, two members of the tribe would use the puzzle pieces to solve a giant circular puzzle. Jeff then revealed the two-part Immunity Idol. In addition, the tribes were competing for reward in the form of fire, with the first tribe to finish getting a fire-making kit and second place receiving flint.
The tribes were even out of the gate, with Spencer retrieving the key for Luzon, Brice for Solana and Cliff for Aparri. Aparri and Solana easily got their chests onto their cart, but Luzon got their chest tangled up in the chains, dropping them into last place. Aparri pulled into first place as Cliff easily retrieved the second key, with Brice and Solana close behind. Spencer made up some ground for Luzon, but J'Tia got stuck unlocking the chest and once again, the tribe tangled the chest in the chains. Meanwhile, Aparri extended their lead, obtaining their third key and chest and beginning to disassemble their cart. As Aparri began slotting their cart through the wall, Solana retrieved their third key and began pulling apart their cart as Luzon also began disassembling the cart. Aparri continued to maintain a lead, with Solana narrowing the gap by slotting most of their cart through the barricade in one swift go. As Aparri began to reassemble their cart and Solana got their last chest through the wall, Luzon was falling further behind, even dropping their chests to have puzzle pieces fall out all over the place. Aparri easily traversed the last obstacle – a series of ruts obstructed by rocks and logs – as Luzon continued to fall apart, dropping another crate.
Sarah and Lindsey began work on the puzzle for Aparri, solving it on the ground before slotting it into the wheel. Solana made up some ground, and Alexis and LJ began work on the puzzle soon after. Meanwhile, Luzon was still assembling their cart. Aparri finished the first section of their puzzle, with Solana moments behind. Luzon's cart began to fall apart on the last obstacle as Aparri and Solana maintained their lead on the puzzle portion. As Aparri finished their second section of the puzzle, Luzon finally caught up and Kass and Tasha began work on their puzzle. Solana finished their second chest of puzzle pieces, with Aparri neck-and-neck going into the final section of the puzzle. Luzon completed their first section of the puzzle and raced to catch up, but the other two tribes were significantly further ahead, with Solana down to their last four pieces and Aparri down to their last six. Solana finished their puzzle first, claiming victory, Immunity and a fire-making kit. Aparri finished moments later, also winning Immunity and flint. Meanwhile, Luzon were only halfway through their second puzzle portion and only won a trip to Tribal Council.
Back at camp, the Luzon tribe dissected their abysmal performance, pointing out that they couldn't underestimate the other tribes. David and Kass discussed the poor effort and debated who to target at the vote – J'Tia or Garrett. Kass accusing J'Tia of taking over her role in the challenge (unlocking the chests) and then getting the chains tangled up. David, however, pushed to vote out Garrett, claiming he had been of little physical help in the challenge, but also thought of him as a bigger threat down the line. Kass, however, insisted that J'Tia was the only sound option for "tribe harmony."
At the challenge, we sucked. I can't really blame any particular person. I think it's everyone and it's like we're book-smart, but when it comes to playing this game, we're dumb.
Personally, I'd like to get rid of Garrett because I view him as a bigger threat to me than J'Tia. I'm thinking about Day 39 and my biggest concern is that I'm not exactly sure what put him on the Brains tribe. He hasn't told us. And that scares me – really to my core.
David, he wants Garrett to go first, but that's ridiculous. He's our strongest guy. Plus, he's a work horse. But J'Tia, she has not been pulling her weight. She's been doing a lot of direction and no production. And everyone sees it. She's dead weight. So let's just send her home.
Later, J'Tia asked Kass who she wanted to vote out, and Kass bluntly told her she was leaning to get rid of her because of her poor work ethic. J'Tia objected, saying she'd pulled her weight in the challenge, but Kass countered that she'd been resting for three days. Kass warned her that it was "probably time to scramble." Later, Tasha approached a tearful J'Tia, who asked Tasha her opinion of her work ethic. Tasha agreed that she may have rubbed some people the wrong way. Garrett joined the two of them and assured J'Tia that she was safe, proposing that they oust a strategic threat in David. He told the women that he could pull in Spencer and, four-strong, they could vote out David. However, when he approached Spencer, the latter was concerned about the Idol and feared David may have it. Garrett lied that he hadn't heard anything about Idol clues, but Spencer pointed out that David and Kass often went off alone together. As the rain and wind swept in, Luzon departed for Tribal Council.
I went up to Kass and she was very honest. She said that she doesn't think that I work around camp and that I'm going home. Kass kinda hurt my feelings a little bit. 'Cause I'm not lazy. We needed a shelter and I felt like if I hadn't built a fire under the tribe's butt, we wouldn't have got it done. So I felt like I was being motivating. Clearly it doesn't come off that way, but I just hope that I have not ruined my chances. I might have.
J'Tia is definitely pretty paranoid right now. And for what it's worth, she has pretty good reason. She's bossy. Y'know, she doesn't get along with anyone. I personally care less about that than others because as far as I'm concerned, the biggest threat is David. He's very intelligent. I do think he's a schemer and he's already made it clear that he wants to get rid of me. So David's going home tonight.
I'm really concerned about voting out David. I know that in the past, there have been clues and Idols around camp and I keep seeing David and Kass walk off and just wander around. So I'm a bit worried that he could have found it. So I'm thinking, since J'Tia's a pain in the ass, let's vote her out. Just to be safe.
Spencer's paranoid about David having the Idol which is ridiculous because I have the Idol. Of course, I'm not going to tell him that but now I feel nervous about voting for David because it looks like I don't have four solid votes for tonight. Without question, David is just a huge threat and if people don't see that, they're idiots. I don't know. I hope that Spencer and I stay strong together, but we'll see what happens.
At Tribal Council, the Luzon tribe lit their torches. Before the council began, Garrett leapt out of his seat as he noticed a spider crawling on him. Jeff gave an open statement to talk about the first three days, at which point J'Tia smiled and noted, "I knew you were gonna want to talk to me a lot, Jeff" because she knew she was on the chopping block. She added that Kass had told her that she was a target because of her work ethic and bossiness, pointing out that she had been unaware that she'd been coming off so negatively, but owned her mistakes, laughing at the complete failure of her shelter plan. David added that J'Tia had come out very strong at the beginning, citing her credentials as "a nuclear physicist or a nuclear... bomb builder or something," which had made him feel like she knew what she was doing. J'Tia corrected him that she was a nuclear engineer, and argued that she hadn't said she knew what she was doing, but had just been excited about a plan. She reiterated that she'd made an error, and urged her tribe to tell her if they had problems with her actions or personality.
As thunder cracked and the rain started to pour, Jeff asked David about his decision to point to Garrett as the weakest. He answered that it wasn't a perfect position, but he hadn't wanted to "dither around" because it was a game. Garrett countered that it had sucked to be "cast as the outsider." He added that he didn't think he was an immediate target because of David's call, and trusted his team. David agreed that Garrett was correct in his confidence because he wasn't going anywhere, at least "not tonight."
Asked how it would feel to be the first out, J'Tia said that she would be disappointed because she'd come to play, and that for the tribe to succeed, they couldn't be "thinking about the last two-thirds; you've got to be thinking about the first third and getting there." The reference to David's comment about why he'd picked Garrett on Day 1 led to her saying that Luzon were "her people" and while she understood that someone had to go, she didn't want it to be her, and pointed directly at David. David said that such accusations were common strategy when you were about to be voted out.
As Spencer was asked about the "big vote," the thunder roared, and he answered that they had to make the vote based on keeping the tribe unified and trustworthy.
Jeff then initiated the vote. Kass voted first, followed by David, who cast his vote for "Je Tia." Tasha followed and J'Tia then returned the favor with a vote for David. Garrett and Spencer concluded the proceedings and Jeff tallied the votes.
When Jeff asked if anybody wished to play a Hidden Immunity Idol, Garrett coughed pointedly but did not play the Idol. The first vote was for J'Tia, followed by one for David. Each received another vote, tying the score at 2-2. However, the last two votes came up for David. He took his torch to Jeff, muttering "Unbelievable." With that, David Samson became the first contestant eliminated from Survivor: Cagayan. Jeff urged the tribe to get it together quickly, before sending them back to camp with flint.
Challenge:Draggin' the Dragon
The tribes have to pull a cart across man-made and natural obstacles. They are carrying boxes of puzzle pieces in the form of a dragon. At three different spots, one player climbs up a ladder, using a bamboo pole, to reach out and release a key. The players must take that key, unlock a chest and put it in the cart. Once they have all the chests together, they must dismantle their cart and take all the chests out to stuff them through a barricade in the course. They must then climb up over the wall, reassemble the cart on the other side, and then make it through a bunch of natural obstacles to make it to the end. Using the pieces of the boxes, they must then solve a puzzle. The first two tribes to finish their puzzles win immunity. Reward: Fire-making kit for the first-place tribe and a flint for the second tribe. Winners (in order of finish): Solana and
I have no regrets. I played the way I thought I needed to play to get forward in the game and the tribe just doesn't have it together or they have it together just against me. But no hard feelings to any of them. I consider myself pretty much the luckiest person in the world.