Original Air Date: September 20, 2007
Josh - TwoCents Staff Writer
Survivor kicked off its 15th season, Survivor China, with a brief introduction of the cast on a train en-route to Shanghai, China. This seasons cast includes Amanda, the former Miss Montana, Todd, the former Mormon now gay flight attendant, James the grave digger, Ashley the WWE Wrestler, Denise the lunch lady, and the Chicken farmer referred to only as 'Chicken', are some of the more…colorful cast of characters.
The Survivors are brought to a Buddhist ceremony in HuangPu Mountain's Mi Tuo Temple, and it takes exactly two minutes into the show for survivor Peih-Gee to start crying at the thought of her grandfather. This is followed up shortly by Leslie running out of the temple crying because it goes against her love for God to bow before a statue of Buddha. Keep in mind this is despite Jeff saying the ceremony is not religious, but a welcoming ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony, the casts are separated into two tribes, the red Fei Long tribe (Flying Dragon) and the yellow Zhan-Hu (Fighting Tiger). The two tribes then embark down the Zehlin Lake to their two respective islands. The Fei Long tribe set to work right away building a shelter and there's a brief creepy, awkward exchange between Todd and the professional poker player, Jean-Robert out in the jungle. Jean-Robert tells Todd that he knows he is sharp and that he can read people. Todd asks that Jean-Robert not tell the other tribe members of his observation. Back at camp, NYC resident and upscale waitress, Courtney, rolls her eyes at her tribe bonding around her and makes fun of them saying that people in NYC don't act like that. Oh really Courtney? So there are no Christians or Gay Flight Attendants or lunch ladies or poker players in NYC? Later at the camp Todd urges surfer Aaron to take the role of leader and he begrudgingly accepts. Todd later pats himself on the back as it being a 'power play'.
Meanwhile the Zhan-Hu tribe is having a much more difficult time getting organized. Basically they're just standing around asking each other what they should do to build a shelter. Chicken frequently complains that no one is doing anything, while he stands around and…does nothing except reflect any opinion or decision away from himself.
The immunity challenge pits Zhan-Hu against Fei Long as they make they're way through a maze while carrying a decorative parade dragon. Once they reach a certain spot, one member from each tribe is then sent through an obstacle course involving the dropping of drawbridges and grabbing a flag. It's a close race, with the athletic Frosti up against the gentle giant, James. Ultimately James wins, winning immunity for Fei Long and a flint for fire.
At Zhan-Hu there is still no shelter and the tribe mistakes Peih-Gee's assertiveness as being bossy, while again Chicken complains about no one helping out while he stands by and does nothing. Ashley's dry heaving in the jungle to the tribe and WWE fans dismay alike and former male model, Dave, steps into the role of the closest thing resembling a leader. We know from the tribe mates that Ashley's at risk for her weakness, Chicken for being chicken, and Peih-Gee for being bossy.
At Tribal Council, survivors reveal their vote is based on who didn't help out around camp and Ashley, realizing that she's on the hot seat, defends herself. Which apparently works as Jeff reveals that Chicken is the first to be voted out. Chicken screams out in frustration startling his tribe mates, and like a scolding parent telling him to go to his room, Jeff gives a stern "That's enough, bring me your torch." In retrospect, I think Chicken should be grateful he's a chicken farmer and not a pig farmer, because I can't think anything more demeaning then being voted out first then having to hear Jeff say "Pig, you are the first person voted out of Survivor China."