In the first moments of the competition, contestants get physical as they scramble for supplies and jump off the boat
Survivor is back this week – and by all accounts, it’s one of the most difficult environments in the show’s 32-season history.
“The conditions are punishing,” host Jeff Probst tells PEOPLE. “There’s rain. There’s heat. It’s just miserable. The problem with the rough conditions is that even a minor cut or scrape can become really dangerous.”
If the show’s first five minutes are any indication of what’s in store for the 18 contestants, it looks brutal.
The show starts like many seasons have started, with contestants throwing supplies aboard while Probst, 54, walks around in his cargo shirt and yells his observations. (One of these seasons, someone’s going to toss him overboard.)
What stands apart is the contestants’ aggression, including adrenaline-fueled pushing and shoving as contestants fight over supplies. And in a tone-setting moment, NBA star Scot Pollard aggressively grabs a chicken out of another contestant’s hands. Also watch for the female bodybuilder to swipe a basket of fruit from the bow tie-wearing ice cream scooper.
Amid the chaos, a few contestants seem to know what’s up. In the background at the 2:49 mark, you can see one of the older female contestants shoving mangos into her bra, which seems like a really good idea if you’re going to be on national TV.
And then there’s 72-year-old Joe Del Campo, who wisely positions himself on the life raft, organizing and piling up supplies.
Possible villain alert? Nick, the 30-year-old personal trainer, who declares, “My life has definitely been easier because I’m better looking than most people. That sounds terrible; that sounds awful, but it’s the truth.”
As the contestants get on the rafts, one of the women shouts, “We’re having fun now, kids.” (We’re not seeing the fun, but we’ll take her word for it.)
Survivor: Kaoh Rong premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.