Episode One: Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er!
The hit series returns for a fourth season where it all began, Camp Wawanakwa, with 13 all new contestants battling it out for the million dollar grand prize!
Our beloved host Chris McClean welcomes us back to Camp Wawanakwa, which was abandoned the past couple seasons and became a toxic waste dump. We then meet the 13 new hopefuls who will compete for one million dollars. The contestants are Jo, Scott, Zoe, Mike, Lightning, Brick, B, Dawn, Dakota, Anne Maria, Staci, Cameron, and Sam. Seven guys and six girls. The original theme song remains intact with a new opening featuring the new cast members.
Chris blows up the ship that the contestants rode in on forcing them to swim to shore. Swimming to shore is a breeze for some but a struggle for many. Cameron, the sheltered kid, has some adjusting to do. Lightning, the funny athlete, rescues Cameron from the water hilariously calling him a “little girl.” Staci, who annoyingly lies that someone in her family invented anything she encounters, is definitely a nuisance. Mike, the kid with dissociative identity disorder (or more commonly known as multiple personality disorder), is one of the more interesting characters. He’s an early fave of mine. There is romantic tension between he and Zoe, the girl who just wants to make friends. I want to like Zoe because she vaguely reminds me of Gwen, my favorite character from season one. Dawn is a cool character, very hippie-like and in touch with her spiritual self. Dakota is a total diva and wants nothing more than fame; she even tipped off the paparazzi that she’s on the island. Brick is a cadet who will likely complete physical tasks with ease, similar to Jo, the tough tomboyish chick. Sam is a video game nerd who is totally out of his element but just may go far in this competition. Anne Maria carries a spray-tan-in-a-can everywhere she goes…easily one of my least faves. Scott and B are more mysterious in first introductions; B eventually becomes another of my faves by his performance later in the episode.
The first challenge of the game sees the teens racing through the forest to a finish line to determine how the teams will be divided. Jo and Lightning cross the finish line first. Chris places Lightning on Team A and Jo on Team B. As the others cross the finish line, they are placed on one of the teams. Team A (The Toxic Rats) consists of Lightning, Scott, B, Dakota, Dawn, Staci, and Sam. Team B (The Mutant Maggots) consists of Jo, Brick, Zoe, Cameron, Mike, and Anne Maria. The Toxic Rats have the advantage of seven players which probably means they will lose the first challenge to even the score. Chris announces that this season someone will go home in every episode. I love this change because many episodes in the earlier seasons were simply filler. He also introduces the “Genuine McClain Brand Chris Head”, a hidden immunity idol, to the game which will make things a lot more interesting.
The island’s wildlife has been drastically affected by the toxic waste and the animals have mutated. This makes the animals a lot more dangerous and creepy. They encounter a squirrel whose eyes blink vertically, roars as loud as a lion and shoots lightning from its eyes. There is no telling what other types of mutated animals the castmates will run into.
The first team challenge of the season has the contestants cut their team totem pole down from a tree and ride them across the river to camp. The winner of this challenge gets first pick of the cabins, which includes a new luxurious cabin. Simple enough, right? The totem poles have a bomb tied to them that will go off in seven minutes if they aren’t planted in from of the cabin. I doubt these kids will ever catch a break this season; Chris McClean is diabolical but I love it! Since Jo crossed the finish line first earlier, her team was given a trampoline. Lightning, second place in the race, was rewarded with a hacksaw.
The teams race to be the first to complete the task. There are many hilarious failed attempts from both teams. The Toxic Rats are saved by the silent ingenuity of B. He thinks to use a seesaw to catapult his team stacked on top of one another to reach the rope and cut their totem pole. The Mutant Maggots get lucky when a mutant squirrel accidentally lightning-strikes their pole to the ground. Mike’s first alternate personality appears in this episode in the form of Chester, an old man. This was one of the funniest moments of the episode.
The Toxic Rats arrive first at camp and put their totem pole in place. This would normally mean a win but on this show anything can happen. The Mutant Maggots arrive moments later and their totem pole crashes into the luxurious cabin of the Toxic Rats, exploding and destroying it. Therefore, since the Mutant Maggots are the only team with a cabin standing, they win the challenge by default. The Toxic Rats receive a new cabin, identical to the one the Mutant Maggots have.
The Toxic Rats are the first team to head to the Campfire for an elimination. The Toxic Rats are my favorite team so this kind of sucks but there is a silver lining. This season introduces a new toxic marshmallow. The recipient will be eliminated. Dakota and Staci are in danger of elimination. The marshmallow of “toxic loserdom” goes to……Staci! She is sent away on the Hurl of Shame, another addition to this season. She is catapulted into the night. Good riddance Staci, the aforementioned silver lining! I was not too fond of her. 1 down, 12 to go!
Following each episode, I will be giving power rankings of where I feel each contestant stands and who are my favorites to win in the end. After week one’s first impressions, here are my rankings (with 1 being my most favorite and 12 being my least favorite to win):
1. B – the smartest player in the game. He hasn’t uttered a single word which will be his demise in the end. Social strategy is very important. But he is my favorite right now.
2. Mike – simply interesting and hilarious. I want him to stick around to see more of his personalities. He and Zoe will have a strong alliance as Gwen and Trent did first season, but will they actually succeed?
3. Dawn – she’s the weird girl but I love her. As long as she doesn’t get to Izzy’s level of crazy, she’ll be fine.
4. Lightning – almost as loveable as DJ, he will go far.
5. Zoe – very likeable girl. Mike will either be her greatest ally or her biggest downfall.
6. Scott – haven’t seen much from him but it seems that he will cause a lot of trouble before his demise.
7. Cameron – He won’t last long at all.
8. Brick – he is in the same boat as Jo but a lot more likeable.
9. Sam – Hard to read how far he’ll go. He doesn’t care about the competition as much which could take him far or send him home early.
10. Jo – she’s too competitive. Those types never win. Much like Eva.
11. Dakota – she will not win the show. I don’t see it happening. She’s too fame obsessed.
12. Anne Maria – too vain for my liking, I’m hoping she’ll be the next to go.
Tune in Tuesday, June 12th at 7:30pm Eastern on Cartoon Network for a brand new episode!