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Season 21: Episode 1 - Young at Heart
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am


In the mysterious, rugged and stunning country of Nicaragua, twenty Americans begin their Survivor adventure.  After noticing the howler monkeys in the trees, Jud Birza, the 21 year-old student from Venice, California realizes he is truly in the wild "Everywhere you look there's monkeys hanging from things.  There's dangerous animals here.  It's like, it's real."  A long time fan of Survivor and now a Survivor himself, Jimmy Johnson, the former NFL coach from Islamorada, Florida, remarks, "I'm sixty-six years old and I've won two collegiate national championships.  I won two Super Bowls.   What could top it off better than to win Survivor."

The Survivors have already been separated into two groups of ten.  They think that they have already been divided into their tribes.   Even without speaking, first impressions are forming.   Jimmy Tarantino, the 48-year-old fisherman from Gloucester, Massachusetts comments on Dan Lembo, the 63 year-old real estate executive, from Watermill, N.Y.  "I noticed an older gentlemen looks like a mafia boss and he looks like he wants to boss people around.   And I'm not the kind of character that likes his buttons pushed."   At the same time, in the other group, Alina Wilson, the 23 year-old student from Downey, California has formed an opinion of Marty Piombo, the 48 year-old technology executive from Mill Valley, California.  Alina says "There is an old gray haired guy that's just pissing me off already.   He seems like the kind of guy who is going to step into the leadership position.   I hope he does because he will just get kicked off right away."   These twenty Survivors must overcome their differences and learn to work together in order to survive for thirty-nine days and have a chance at the million-dollar prize.


As both groups of Survivors exit the rain forest from different directions and arrive on a lush tropical beach, host Jeff Probst welcomes them.   Jeff asks if they have learned anything about each other so far.   Yve Rojas, the 41 year-old homemaker from Kansas City, Missouri quickly responds  "Yeah.  Absolutely.  You can tell a lot about a person not just by the way they're walking but by the way they are watching other people."  Kelly Bruno, the 26 year-old medical student from Durham, North Carolina is visibly uncomfortable with this discussion topic since she is hiding something.  At six months old, her right leg was amputated due to a birth defect.   Kelly B. reveals, "I think initially I'm keeping everything a secret.  I don't want people to make assumptions about my physical ability and that's what people do."    Meanwhile, in the other group, Marty is thinking about Jimmy Johnson being in his tribe.  He confides "As I'm looking around the group right now, I see Jimmy Johnson, an NFL coach.   I mean okay, I want nothing to do with Jimmy Johnson and this game.  And frankly I have no idea why he is even here.   And I'd rather have him on the other tribe frankly."


Jeff announces a new twist to the game.   It is the Medallion of Power.   He tells everyone that it is hidden somewhere near where they are standing.    Jeff explains that the Medallion of Power can give them a huge advantage in the game.   Jeff goes on to tell them that whoever returns with the Medallion of Power claims it for their tribe.

As soon as they are given the go ahead, all the Survivors make a mad dash for the lagoon.  People scatter in all directions searching for the Medallion of Power.    Brenda Lowe, the 27 year-old, paddleboard company owner from Miami, Florida, was the first to spot the medallion far up in a tree near the lagoon.    She immediately climbs up the tree with Jane Bright, the 56 year-old dog trainer from Jackson Springs, North Carolina and Jud following closely behind her.    Brenda gets to the Medallion first and proudly puts it around her neck exclaiming "Yes!"    She is then given high fives by her group.   Even Jimmy J. praises Brenda saying, "I don't even know your name, but you did a great job."   


As they gather back on the beach in their separate groups, Marty tells Jeff how he feels about Brenda having the Medallion of Power.  "I think it's really important to win anything that is thrown at us and to be the tribe to win the first thing bodes really well for us."  Jeff then drops the bomb that the current groups they're in are not their actual tribes.    All respond with shocked looks and nervous laughter.  Jeff then instructs all Survivors forty and older to get to one side and all those thirty and under to get to the other side.   Jimmy J. seems disappointed too now that he is on the older tribe.  He explains that he was hoping to have the younger players carry him in the game.   He pleads, "I'm young at heart."  Chase Rice, the 24 year-old, pro race car jackman from Fairview, North Carolina, was also disappointed not to be on the same team with Jimmy Johnson.   He explains,  "The antiques have the best coach you could ask for.   They got a Super Bowl winning coach on their team.  I mean he's a great leader that's what he's done his whole life."  

Jeff hands out the buffs.  The older tribe's name is Espada with blue buffs and consists of Jimmy J, Marty, Wendy, Yve, Holly, Jane, Tyrone, Dan, Jimmy T. and Jill.  The younger tribe's name is La Flor with yellow buffs and consists of Chase, Alina, Shannon, Brenda, Benry, Kelly B., Jud, NaOnka, Sash and Kelly S.


Jeff surprises the La Flor tribe by giving them a choice between keeping the Medallion of Power with its unknown powers or trading it for flint and a crate full of fishing gear.   In addition, Jeff informs them that whatever they don't keep, the other tribe gets.    NaOkna Mixon, the 27 year-old PE teacher from Los Angeles, California, agrees, "I really want to keep it.   I like the fact that it is power."   While La Flor is discussing their options, Espada is hoping that they kept the Medallion.   Jimmy J whispers to Marty "I hope they keep it.  Fire and fish.   Fire is going to be so important early."   After much discussion, La Flor decides to take the fishing gear.   Brenda then hands the Medallion over to Marty on the Espada tribe.   Jeff informs Espada that they will be able to use the Medallion of Power at some point later in the game.   Shannon from La Flor feels that they made the right decision giving up the Medallion to the older tribe "I figured that the older people need the Medallion of Power more than we do.   I mean I don't wanted to underestimate the old people, but I don't think they will be able to handle us in challenges.   There's no reason why we should lose to them."   Jeff instructs both tribes to head off to their camps.


Espada arrives at their camp full of excitement and begins introducing themselves to each other.    Jimmy J. realizes he is not in control of this game like he has been with his teams on the football field.   He knows that his tribe mates may either be in awe of him or resent him.   As Jimmy J is pondering this dilemma, Jill Behm, the 43 year-old, ER doctor from Erie, Pennsylvania, comes up to him and expresses her excitement at having him there.   At the same time, Marty and Dan are confirming with each other that he is the real Jimmy Johnson.  Dan tells Marty "Jimmy Johnson was the coach of the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys" Marty confirms, "That's him" Jimmy J realizes what his game plan here must be.   "I've got to work on each particular contestant to try to win them over.   Because if I don't, I'll be a target and they'll vote me out early."

Meanwhile, Holly Hoffman, the 44 year-old swim coach from Eureka, South Dakota, and Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff, the 48 year-old goat rancher from Fromberg, Montana, are busy gathering materials for building the shelter.    Holly whispers to Wendy that she wants to be in an alliance with her.  Holly explains, "The first time I saw Wendy, I trusted her.   And most of the time I do read people very well." Wendy is surprised by Holly asking her so soon, but agrees to be in an alliance with Holly.   Holly then cements the deal and gives Wendy her word.  Wendy reveals, "My strategy from the beginning of the game is to take baby steps.  First, not be the first person voted off.  My husband thinks I'm going to be the first person voted off because he thinks I talk a lot.  I think I'm going to bite my tongue and hide my true self from the tribe mates."   


Jane races past Jimmy J. with a coconut exclaiming "We'll have fire now."     She immediately gets to work setting up the coconut and her eyeglasses to start a fire with the help of the sun.   Jane reveals "Winning the million dollars is real important to me because it will help me pay off my farm.  And the fact that I lost my husband in 09, it means I wouldn't have to work as hard as I do.   But his spirit I know is still with me and that's what keeps me going."   The tribe bursts into applause as Jane starts a fire.   Marty is so impressed and comments "We've got just as much going for us as the young group does."


The La Flor tribe arrives at their beach and begins getting to know each other.   Sash Lenahan, the 30 year-old real estate broker, from New York, New York, concludes "This game, this old guys vs. young guys, where we know we're going to be able to dominate and we're excited."   The celebration is interrupted by a scream from Jud as he steps on a thorn with his bare feet.   Shannon concludes, "The guy with the long blond hair, you know he's a dumb blond.  You know, I've really never called a guy a dumb blond before, but he's a dumb blond."   Shannon then proceeds to nickname him Fabio.   Jud takes it all in stride as he is chopping down palm fronds.   He concludes "Dude, I don't care what they call me.  I'm going to win the million dollars.  So I guess my nickname's Fabio."

Shannon meets up with Chase.   They discuss the fact that they are the strong alpha males on the tribe and that puts a target on their back.   Shannon and Chase decide to stick together to the end and not let a girl win.   Shannon's goal is clear "It's important that we don't let these girls take over.   I mean we already get owned in marriage and pretty soon we'll have a woman president, but I mean a guy needs to sack up and we need to win this one."

Back at camp, Kelly B is feeling uncomfortable about not telling the tribe yet about her prosthetic leg.   She musters up the courage and calls a tribe meeting to reveal her handicap.    La Flor reacts with much positive support and a little concern.   Shannon is sensitive to her plight but he knows that she will likely get the sympathy vote if she makes it to the end, so he concludes "I just figure if we lose a challenge to the old folks, she's definitely got to be one of the first, first ones to go."    


As the Espada tribe is celebrating the fact that they have fire on their first night, Jimmy J. is in the corner throwing up.   He thinks he must have overdone it with building the shelter and setting up camp.   Jimmy T. remarks, "Coach needs to be careful.   He's getting his ass kicked out here now."   The next morning, Jimmy J. looks much better and shares "I've watched every second of Survivor.  I never imagined anywhere close, that it was this difficult.  The first time I've ever experienced anything like this and it's an eye opener I promise you."


At the La Flor camp, Brenda and Chase reveal that they like each other.  Chase opens up to Brenda and spills the beans on the guy's alliance.  She is delighted to get this valuable information.  Chase realizes right away that he has made a mistake.  He explains "I don't want to have this thing where I have two different alliances.  I'm not trying to come on here and lie to everybody. But my dumb ass has put my neck out on the line early and I was not planning on doing that."  Chase has to figure out if he is more loyal to Shannon or Brenda.   Brenda now knows that she has Chases' trust, but concludes, "He's clueless."


Alina and Kelly B find a clue to the hidden immunity idol at the water well.  They decide to keep it to themselves and not share it with the rest of the tribe.   The clue is too difficult to solve at first glance, so they hide it in the woods so they can study it later.   Alina reveals her true feelings about finding the clue with Kelly B.  "We found the hidden immunity idol clue together, which I wish we didn't find it together.  So now I'm kind of forced to be an alliance with her."


Jimmy J. and Wendy bring treemail to Espada on the morning of day three.  The tribe is nervous before their first immunity challenge not knowing how they will perform against the younger tribe.   Jimmy J. calls a "team huddle" to get the tribe ready for battle.   He reveals that he is in Survivor simply for the adventure, since it is unlikely that any jury will award him a million dollars.   He tells his tribe that he wants to help one of them win the million.   He says, "As long as we're psyched up for it and we know what we got to do.   We'll kick their ass."    Tyrone Davis, the 42 year-old fire captain from Inglewood, California, is elated to get a pep talk from Jimmy J.


The two tribes La Flor and Espada arrive at the challenge ready to battle.  La F