Last Thursday, TV's longest running reality competition show returned with a two-hour season premiere. The 17th installment, Survivor: Gabon, takes us to one of earth's last untouched regions. This African nation is commonly referred to as earth's last Eden for its pristine tropical landscapes. Jeff Probst, fresh off his Emmy win for reality host, welcomed 18 Americans to this mysterious land, and at the end of 39 days one will win $1 million and be crowned Ultimate Survivor.

In order to divide the castaways into two tribes, they did a schoolyard pick. The two eldest members, Bob, a physics teacher, and Gillian, a nurse, were selected as captains. After the selection was complete, it seemed that the Kota tribe had a strength advantage, which is huge in the early rounds of "Survivor." This proved to be the case as the Kota tribe destroyed the Fang tribe in the first challenge, winning Kota a large bag of corn and beans. Kota continued to show their prowess with another convincing victory in the first immunity challenge, sending Fang to tribal council.

At the first tribal council, Fang was clearly frustrated. The losing streak resulted in fighting and petty squabbles. Probst tried to get the tribe back on the right track by asking them to choose a leader, and when G.C., a maintenance supervisor from Oregon, was chosen, it seemed as though there may still be hope for Fang. Michelle, a music producer from California, had been projecting a very bad attitude and distancing herself from the group, and this behavior resulted in her being the first person voted out of "Survivor: Gabon."

Regrouped and in much higher spirits, the Fang tribe looked ready to take on Kota at the next challenge. Fang battled very closely, but in the end it was Kota that again would win reward and immunity. As a result, Dan, a lawyer from Boston, was sent to Exile Island. When a tribe member is sent to exile, they are cut off from the tribe, but on the island is a hidden immunity idol that a player could use to protect themselves from elimination. Dan was not able to figure out the clue that was given to him, and the idol wasn't found.

Later that night, Fang went to their second tribal council. With the Fang tribe now realizing that they needed to cut some dead weight if they were going to compete in the challenges, it was Gillian, a grandmother from California, which got the axe and became the second person voted out of Gabon.

From the onset it appeared that Kota had the advantage, and that resulted in their dominance through the first episode. The Fang tribe must regroup and try to act as a team, or they will be picked off one by one. Survivor is on every Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

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Story by Kevin Olsta
Starpulse contributing writer