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Survivor Is Back, And Despite Our Jarring Lack Of Qualifications, We're Recapping It Again

The new season of Survivor premieres Wednesday, March 9, and even with our relentless confusion about the details and strategy of the competition, we plan to recap it once again on More Rim and AB.

Thankfully, season 42 filmed immediately after 41 finished, so the structure should be the same — warts and all. While the number of twists and advantages were overwhelming at times, this familiarity should make it easier for novice recappers such as ourselves to keep our grip on the season.

Returning twists that were introduced last season include: the Beware Advantage (which is a disadvantage, until it's not), the prisoner's dilemma-inspired Risk or Protect, and the mercifully underused Shot In The Dark, which each contestant can use once for a 17% chance at immunity during Tribal Council. The Risk or Protect advantage seems unlikely to continue in future seasons, as contestants will know about the "secret phrase" element before coming on the show.

The filming time remains shorted from 39 days to 26, which was presented as a permanent change to ratchet up chaos, but could be temporary if the real reason was pandemic-related. Here's a an official preview package featuring Sawyer from LOST if he got into mushrooms instead of conning in the thumbnail:

A thorough examination of the CBS cast Q&A's and bios left me with no useful knowledge that could inform my predictions, but keep in mind I don't really know what answers to look for in a potential winner. But a few fun facts stood out:

  • Lydia goes to movies alone (love it) and is terrified of vacuum cleaners, which could give her extra motivation to remain on the deserted island.

  • Rocksory is calm (“except when driving”) and listed one of his pet peeves as “drivers who do not use their turn signal.” I’ll set the over/under for times Rocksory leans on his car horn per trip at 3.5.

  • Omar’s pet peeves truly run the gamut.

  • It's probably safe to say Daniel is among the world's most prolific collectors of signed pocket U.S. Constitutions.

  • Drea was a high school All-American in track.

The @SurvivorCBS Instagram page also has intro videos for all 18 islanders.

With one season under our belts and some mentorship from listeners, I have picked up on a few basic tenets of Survivor game play, which may or may not be true in the macro:

  • Competitors who are useful for island-stuff are typically kept around pre-merge and then voted off post-merge, especially if they’re competition threats.

  • Likable people benefit from others wanting to be around them, but are undesirable opponents in the final two for that same reason.

  • Emotional backstories can sway juries, saving that information for the right time — and the right people — is crucial.

If you'd like to watch along with us this season, we're recapping each episode at the end of our weekly catch-all podcast More Rim and AB, available for $4 a month on Patreon. Subscribers can also listen on Apple, Google, Pocketcasts, OverCast, and more. Click below to check it out.