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TV Review : Survivor 20: Heroes Vs. Villains – “Slay Everyone, Trust No One”

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If the first episode of the twentieth season of reality TV powerhouse Survivor is any indication, viewers of the perennial ratings juggernaut are in for a hell of a ride this go-round.

The new season pits both fan-favorites and despicable evil-doers from past seasons against each other in a "heroes vs. villains" format worthy of the sort of "babyfaces" and "heels" you see on pro-wrestling shows like WWE Raw. Just to make sure there is no mistaking whose side is who, Jerri "The Black Widow" Manthey even wore her Wicked-Witch-of-the-West black hat, which country boy Colby matched with his own Sunday-best, crown of virtuous cowboy white.

Thursday night's show kicked off in high style with a two-hour episode where sex and violence were front and center. Less than thirty minutes in, and you already had multiple injuries, and a topless damsel-in-distress nonetheless racing to victory, and defiantly flipping off her opponents with a double-fingered salute to boot!

Meanwhile, as "Sugar" (now there's a stripper name if ever I've heard one) scrambled to find the bikini-top she lost courtesy of rival competitor Sandra, bearded pirate-guy Rupert was nursing a broken toe, while tough-gal Stephanie simply shrugged off her dislocated shoulder and had it popped back into place.

All of this came courtesy of the very first reward challenge. Yup. This one already looks like it's gonna' be good.

To the victors go the spoils — which in the case of the babyface "heroes" side meant fire. However leave it to the do-gooders to look a gift horse in the mouth as Rupert was still unable to make fire with his hard-won flints.

Meanwhile over on the evil side of the island, Boston Rob had no trouble whatsoever rubbing two sticks together to create a small inferno worthy of Dante himself. This was a feat which particularly impressed the dragon-slaying Coach, who immediately erased all the macho-cred he had previously earned by dragging Colby across enemy lines to defeat by cooing sweet nothings like "I hang on your every word" into Rob's ear.

Sensing a challenge to her own considerable man-slaying attributes, Black Widow Jerri immediately then set her kitty claws on Coach, who forgot Big Rob's fire-making prowess long enough to indicate a possible interest in creating some sparks of the romantic kind with Jerri. At this point, you'd be forgiven for mistaking Survivor for something more along the lines of Temptation Island.

Back on the babyface side, our favorite topless stripper Sugar set her own sights on Colby, who did his Brokeback Mountain best to resist her advances. Okay, in all fairness it was just because he wanted to sleep rather than listen to Sugar talk all night.

Either way, boy did Sugar pick herself the wrong cowboy to saddle up to. In the end, it certainly didn't help her at Tribal Council, where she was voted off the island for talking too much at night and crying too much after losing immunity challenges.

Tune in next week to find out what makes Boston Rob pass out in the jungle, and his eyes roll right back up into his head. Yup. Survivor's gonna' be a good one this season.

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About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.