The months felt like years. The wait felt even longer. From May 24, 2017 until now, we were without any new Survivor to watch. While the show may not be exactly the same as it used to be, it still remains my favorite program currently on the air and going without any Survivor episodes can be pretty painful, especially when you try to fill the hole in your heart with Big Brother.

As of tonight, the wait will finally be over. Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers is set to premiere this evening and for the first time in a year, we will get to see an all-new cast try their hand at the show. Returning seasons may be good for hype but new player seasons is where the gold happens. There’s something special about watching people go through this experience for the first time. Everything seems more exciting and authentic.

For the last month, we’ve had so much wonderful pre-season coverage for Survivor 35. Josh Wigler has been the Kevin Durant’s mother of the pre-season with everything he’s put out. Pre-game interviews on the Hollywood Reporter? Check. An entire stylized podcast series about the season’s first boot? Check. Exclusive RHAP interviews? Check. Josh, the season is finally upon us which means your heavy workload is done. Take a nap, you’ve earned it.

Along with Josh’s extensive coverage, we got Mike Bloom’s great stuff at Parade, taking over at Josh’s old stomping grounds. There’s been about 1000 pre-season podcasts to come out of RHAP alone because I’m pretty sure Rob Cesternino is a vampire and doesn’t need to sleep. Dom and Colin have contributed to the pre-season. So too did Dalton Ross, Gordon Holmes and Redmond.

Not that I compare myself to any of these people above, but this has been the first time that I’ve covered a pre-season. Going through the bios, watching the cast videos and trying to get as much information possible from what was put out, it was fun. In case you missed anything and would like to catch-up on my musings before tonight’s finale, here are some easy links.

The individual and tribe assessments:

The Heroes

The Healers

The Hustlers

Stand-Alone Survivor 35 articles

Way Too Early Cast Assessment: The Men

Way Too Early Cast Assessment: The Women

The Case of the Changed Answer

Survivor 35: First Boot Scenarioes

All in all, it’s been a great pre-season to get to know these new castaways.

But now? It’s on. The real action can begin and that’s what we will see on the show. Throw away any predictions you may have made because tonight, we get to begin finding out how it really went down. The Survivor premiere is always one of the best episodes of the season, not always because of its content, but because of the pure excitement it can generate.

Think back to Survivor: All-Stars, a season many people would agree did not turn into what we were hoping to see. Try to forget about how the season played out and remember simply that premiere. Remember how insane it was to see all these people come back to the show? It made me hype before I even knew what hype was. To this day, any Survivor premiere can get me to pretty much that level of excitement.

Just that intro gets my blood pumping.

It isn’t just the fact that Survivor is back on the air. It’s the fantasies of what might happen on the season. What new and unexpected moves are we going to see from this cast? Who is going to breakthrough as the star of the show, that character we can all think of when we think of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers. Any new season might be the birth of a new legend to add into the Survivor pantheon.

For example, the best modern Survivor premiere remains Survivor: Cagayan. The brains tribe is one of the best clusterfuck tribes of all-time and their general incompetence makes the episode so wonderful to follow. What I remember most though is Tony Vlachos. He may not be taking up a lot of the airtime in that premiere but everything he does is absolute gold. Near the end of the episode when he finds his first immunity idol, I knew right then and there that Tony was going to end up being an A+ character. That he ended up winning was simply a happy surprise.

Not to put any pressure on these Survivor 35 castaways. Nobody can be Tony Vlachos but the thought of characters on his level is what always keeps my Survivor interest piqued. I know that when Jeff Probst does his usual “39 days, 18 people, one Survivor”, that I will get goosebumps. It’s lame but it’s the truth. After 17 years and 35 seasons, Survivor still reaches deep into my soul.

Let’s enjoy this excitement while we can. By the end of the premiere, there will already be posts and think pieces about how this season is going to suck for this reason or another. It’s inevitable. You can’t please everybody and in the internet age of fan bases, those who aren’t pleased will let everybody know about it. For those first few minutes, we get to all be on the same page. Let’s try to understand how cool that is.

Survivor fans young and old, I write this simply to wish you a happy Survivor day. You’ve been anticipating September 27, 2017 since the finale of Game Changers aired. Some of you were anticipating this a lot earlier considering how season 34 did play out. Regardless, it’s here and we’re ready for it. This is our day. Our day to enjoy the show we’ve been watching, some of us for almost two decades, and share our joy with each other.

Who knows how long they plan on keeping this going so while we have it, let’s make sure to enjoy these premiere days to the fullest. Make sure to stay tuned all season for my in-depth analysis on the episodes and a look into the characters of the season. There will be a bunch of other things we are going to incorporate throughout the week. I will also strive to put up several pieces every week that don’t pertain to the current season and is more in the style of what has already been written on this site.

Thanks for your continued support, now let’s watch some fresh Survivor.

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