‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ premiere: Is Season 29 a masterpiece or disaster?

Now that Jeff Probst has snuffed the first torch of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur,” we want to know YOUR thoughts on the season so far.

Do you think Season 29 is going to be as amazing as the past two highly-addictive cycles — “Blood vs. Water 1” and “Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty” — or will “San Juan del Sur” be a step down for the aging franchise? Vote in our poll below.

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In the 90-minute premiere, Probst introduced the nine new pairs of loved ones to their new home in Nicaragua, including a racist baseball player and his girlfriend (John Rocker and Julie McGee), two former “Amazing Race” twins (Nadiya Anderson and Natalie Anderson) and a pair of gay New York actors (Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly).

Police officer/firefighter duo Val Collins and Jeremy Collins were the first couple to fight it out in a mano-a-mano-style reward challenge duel, and since Jeremy won for the Hunahpu tribe, that meant Val went to Exile Island for the Coyopa tribe. Jeremy also got to choose a player from his own tribe to join her, and he went with soon-to-retire firefighter Keith Nale. It’s not all bad news on Exile though, as Val found a clue to the Immunity idol that’s hidden back on her tribe’s beach. Keith’s clue paper, unfortunately, was blank.

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At the Immunity challenge, Coyopa took the early lead thanks to the physical aspects, but it was Hunahpu that ultimately prevailed as the tribe came together to solve a difficult symmetrical puzzle. Back at the winning tribe, Keith struggled to get to know the names of his tribe members but did manage to find a bond with fellow firefighter Jeremy.

At the losing Hunahpu tribe, two competing alliances were immediately formed: an alliance of the five guys and a girls alliance with the four women. Josh quickly realized that he was the swing vote, since both alliances wanted him to be on their side. After the votes were read, one half of the “Amazing Race” twinnies was eliminated: Nadiya.

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Be sure to cast your votes for who’ll win this season by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. You can also predict who will be voted out next, which tribe will win Immunity, and so much more by logging into your predictions and clicking on the “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” button.

Whoever scores the most game points at the end of the season will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. For prediction tips and advice, be sure to join the “Survivor” discussion in our Gold Derby reality TV forum.

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