It was revealed halfway through the two-hour episode that going forward, viewers will no longer hear Probst usher in the tribes for challenges with the phrase “come on in, guys.” Instead, he’ll opt for just “come on in.”
Probst initially offered the new cast the option of whether he should continue with the phrase at the beginning of the episode, asking for the castaways’ opinion. The consensus then was that the word “guys” was okay — but once the first challenge commenced, contestant Ricard spoke up.
“So, when we saw you on Day 1, you asked us a question. You asked us how we felt about ‘Come on in, guys.’ And the reality is there was so much going on, there’s so much commotion, cameras, my hair is messed up, I’m half crying, I don’t have the capacity to do what I’m really supposed to do, which I regret,” he shared. “I don’t agree that we should use the word ‘guys.'”
“I fully agree that we should change it, whether it just be dropping the ‘guys,’ changing it to something else. I just don’t really agree with it. The reality is “Survivor” has changed over the last 21 years, and those changes have allowed all of us, all of these Brown people, Black people, Asian people, so many queer people to be here simultaneously,” Ricard continued.
“Yeah. It’s a great point, and I got to say, I love that you thought about it more. I love that you had the courage inside a million-dollar game in which standing up anytime is risky to bring it up again, because I’m with you. I want to change it. I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it,” he replied, before joking, “and [I’m] realizing in this moment somebody right now is on social media saying, ‘Oh, he caved.’ It’s @jeffprobst on Twitter. I’ll probably never read it anyway.”
“All right. I love that. We just made a change!” he said. “From now on, it is ‘come on in.'”
The jettison of a staple Probst line wasn’t the only change introduced during Wednesday’s premiere. As he promised, the faster game came with small tribes, no rice, penalties for losing and new twists — like the Shot in the Dark die.
“If you go to Tribal Council and you fear you are in danger but you don’t have an advantage, you don’t have an idol, this is the Shot in the Dark die,” Probst explained to the tribes at the immunity challenge. “Here’s how the Shot in the Dark works. This die gives you the power to decide not to vote but instead reach into a bag and draw for a one-in-six shot at safety that night at Tribal Council. Low odds. It’s like 17 per cent. But if you need a Hail Mary, this will give it to you. Comes with a big invoice — you can’t vote — but if you think you’re in trouble, what does your vote matter anyway? And this decision will happen in private, in the voting booth, so nobody will know what you’ve done until just before I read the votes.”
The two losing tribes from the immunity challenge headed to Tribal Council on the premiere, and had to forfeit their flint with a chance to earn it back at the next immunity challenge. Luvu was safe, while Ua and Yase were forced to send one of their six teammates home.
Abraham was eliminated from Yase, and seemed to maintain a positive attitude despite the “blindside.”
“Oh, I was blindsided,” he told the camera after his torch was snuffed. “Didn’t see that coming at all. This is a great group of people. I wish them all the best of luck. This is a great game, and I had a great opportunity in playing it.”
The Ua Tribal Council was a little more dramatic, as paranoia and distrust caused the castaways to get up and strategize mid-Tribal. Ultimately Sara’s fears came true, and she was eliminated.
“I feel really disappointed right now,” she shared. “I think my one regret would be not using the Shot in the Dark.”
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