“Survivor” David & Goliath Recapped

Episode 1

by Elena Hamlin, Reporter

“Survivor” season 37, David and Goliath, premiered on NBC on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The popular game show brings another 20 players competing for $1 million. To new viewers that want to avoid a world of confusion, here’s a brief description of how the game of Survivor works:

Graphic by Elena Hamlin

This season’s theme brought two very different teams of contestants. On Team David, there are 10 people who all share the commonality that they were born into lower class families and fought through hardships to get to where they are in life. The Goliath team is composed of 10 people on the opposite side of the spectrum. These people were born into wealth and luxury and achieved their high-paying jobs with ease. This mashup makes for an interesting game, as “Survivor” is a game of social politics, physical strength, strategy and wit. While Team Goliath may be the obvious winners at first, they may fall short because of their lack of experience with hardships. Team David lacks physical strength, but their life experience may serve them better than the Goliaths.

The first episode alone revealed so much about each team and the players within. While Team David formed real connections through working together and playing to each of their strengths, Team Goliath’s players have each gone off on their own and formed opinions of each other. Within the Goliath tribe, there are two targets already. Natalie Cole, a publishing CEO from LA, adopted the position of standing to the side and barking orders no matter what the objective is, causing multiple tribemates to speak out about her. Mike White, a “Survivor” fanatic and filmmaker from LA, left his team to look for idols while the rest of them worked to fashion a shelter, a bad move on many levels. When the team discovered his absence, they all dropped their positions and went out looking for idols as well. The effect of their decisions hit them when the rain came in that night and there was no shelter to protect them. Mike’s choice to leave his team for his personal gain put a huge target on his back although he had no malicious intent and was simply following what he thought was a good game strategy. Because Team Goliath won the immunity challenge, they did not attend tribal council and none of these targets were eliminated.

Several promising alliances have formed within Team David. Lyra Torres, an Airline Agent from Puerto Rico, teamed up with Elizabeth Olsen, country-girl cook, for an unlikely alliance. They both say that their differences will keep their collaboration undiscovered by their tribemates and keep targets off their backs. Two underdogs, Gabby Pascuzzi, the technical writer, and Christian Hubicki, the robotics scientists, formed an adorable alliance. These two self-proclaimed “nerds” really hit it off when gathering materials for their shelter. Could this be the showmance of Team David? While Christian emphasized the platonic nature of their alliance in an interview, “Survivor” has a way of surprising viewers and players alike.

Pat, a construction worker on Team David, was a major team player in cooperating with the tribe to build a shelter with the shelter building kit they won. Because of his experience, he directed the tribe while still doing his fair share of the work. Although appreciated by the tribe for his work in building the shelter, many found him too vulgar and off-putting because of his blunt, Southern way of speech. He had a target on his back until on the way back from the immunity challenge that they lost, he had an accident on the boat when it slammed down from a rough wave. Other contestants reported hearing a loud snap and then seeing Pat groaning off the floor. He was carried on the beach on a gurney and evaluated where he pleaded to Jeff to let him stay in the game, repeating over and over that “It can’t end like this.” It was a heart-wrenching moment for viewers and teammates alike and almost all of his tribemates were seen crying in the distance. In the end, the losing tribe did not go to Tribal Council because they lost one of their teammates to injury.

In the first episode alone, there’s drama, romance, heartbreak and more. At this rate, season 37 will be a wild ride.