We may only be one episode into the 33nd season of SURVIVOR, but we’re ready to proclaim mustachioed millennial Zeke Smith a winner. Because whether or not the guy walks away from the show as <i>the</i> winner, he’s proven to himself — and viewers at home — that what you see is most definitely not always what you get.
In the season premiere, Smith stood out from his teammates from the get-go. “I’m not dressed for the youth parade,” he said in comparing himself to his younger, hipper tribemates. “I’m dressed for the singles mixer at the Miami retirement center!”
Yet it was the Twitter-despising, fellow-millennials mocking asset manager who essentially provided his tribe with shelter and fire. “Against all odds,” said Smith, seeming as shocked as we frankly were, “I have become the leader of the camp.”
It was at this point we realized that Smith perfectly represents what SURVIVOR can be for participants. “I never think of myself as, like, the person who feels adept out here in the outdoors,” he admitted. “I’m not that kind of person. But I’m very intrigued by the idea of proving how tough I am. And so in a weird way, SURVIVOR is helping me rise to my potential. I never in a million years thought I was going to be the guy who makes fire without flint! I feel like a milestone has been reached in my life, that I’ve become a new man!”
The joy on his face, arising not so much from the acceptance he received for having proved his worth, but rather from what he was discovering within himself, was contagious. “I feel like I’m growing as a person out here,” he declared, “and I’m proud of myself!”
It’s impossible to say where the remaining 36 days will take Zeke, but in our books, he’s already proven himself to be not only awesome, but a winner.
This week on Below Deck, Trevor got wasted (again), Ben and Kate fought (again), and Kelly reminded us that it’s been 5 months since he’s had sex (again). Miss any of the high-seas fun? Then read on for our complete recap!
The Morning After
The action picked up as the crew of the Valor woke up and shared war stories about the previous nights battles with Trevor. They only stopped wagging their tongues when Trevor finally wandered into the galley, at which point the most awkward of awkward silences settled over the room. Emily compares Trevor to a cat on a hot tin roof, which has got to be the first time Tennessee Williams has ever been referenced on a reality show. Lauren continued bonding with Nico, insisting he was probably the kind to roll with the punches until it was time to flat-out punch. But methinks Lauren may be giving Nico way more credit in the macho department than he’s shown any signs of having earned.
Going To The Dogs
The second charter included two couples – one a same-sex pairing – and a puppy named Scupper, listed on his paperwork as being the “guest of Robert and Douglas.” The sheet also listed his favorite foods as chicken thighs, ground up red meet and lamb, and indicated he had no preferred liquor. Now, if I have learned one thing over the years, it’s that when someone says they have “no preference” where booze is concerned, it means they’ll drink anything. Then again, we’re talking about a dog, so maybe that rule really doesn’t apply. Anyhow…
Sierra continues to prove to be something of a disaster, burning a sheet because she forgot to turn the iron off. She utters a line that comes painfully close to one uttered, unironically, in my all-time favorite ad. In the ad for some birth control product or another, a woman looks at us, twists up her face and says, “It’s not that it’s difficult to remember… it’s just that it’s so easy to forget!” Which of course makes no sense whatsoever! And yet, I can totally see Sierra using it as her excuse.
At long last, Kelley pulls Trevor aside for a chat and a demotion. Trevor tells us that Kelley can demote him, but he can’t “deplete his knowledge of his position.” And that’s a pretty clear indicator that his alcohol intake has been depleting his knowledge of the English language.
Tears Of A Clown
Remember how last week, Kate said that Sierra has resting happy face? Well, it’s proven to be fact this week when Sierra opens up about the death of her father… smiling even as she tells us how grief tore her family apart. Up on the bridge, Captain Lee gives Kelley a compliment. No, really. Go back and read that again. Captain Lee says something nice to one of the crew, and he seems sincere! Apparently, the Grinch’s heart grew 10 sizes that day, even if only temporarily.
Having clearly watched past seasons, one of the guests insists that there should be “no stress” on Ben, while Kate is pretty bitter about the high-life being lived by Scupper, who has his tuxedo pressed and then pukes on the poop deck. Which is probably better than pooping on the puke deck. Kate’s day doesn’t improve when yet again, she and Ben butt heads over the fact that she didn’t call the guests’ 4:30 beachside clambake “an early dinner,” meaning they asked to be fed again later that night. Now, as cruisers, we’re clearly gonna side with Kate, who tells Ben, “I don’t think if I called it the last meal of your life, that would prevent them from becoming hungry later!” After all, we wanna eat when we wanna eat, which is pretty much every three or four hours!
Dinner And A Show
At this point, Kate and Ben do something we’d never allow: They fight within earshot of the guests. And once everybody’s back on board, the Bickersons keep pushing one another’s buttons, with Trevor and Kelley doing some headbutting as well. At this point, it becomes clear that these guests are the most laid back people on the planet, because when one of them asks for a gin and tonic, Sierra asks, “Did you want alcohol?” And God bless the guest, he simply replies, “That would be the gin part.” I can assure you that my response would have been more… pointed. Ben makes an incredible dinner, the highlight of which (for me) is the crabcake topped with turkey bacon.
The next day, while Scupper is taking a constitutional on the beach, Ben tries to call a ceasefire with Kate, admitting that she’s better at the whole fighting thing that he is. Why? “If I wind her up, she won’t show it,” he says, which only winds him up more! Speaking of wound up, Trevor decides that the best way for him to relax is to invite himself to do shots with the guests. “What’s one shot of liquor going to do?” he asks. And he’s right, one shot has no impact on him. The numerous drinks he slams later that night, however, most certainly do. Ben perhaps puts it best when he tells Trevor that when he drinks, he becomes “a total tosser.” And let’s face it: When even Ben, lover of underdogs, is fed up with you, chances are good there’s big trouble ahead…
Do you think Nico and Lauren will actually hook-up? Should Trevor be booted from the yacht? Sound off in the comments below!