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wednesday, july 23rd
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The Real Gilligan's Island - Season Premiere
What happens when seven mismatched castaways are stranded on an island and have to rely on each other to get back to civilization? You remember the outcome--it became a hit television show! Now, TBS is shipwrecking a whole new group of people in The Real Gilligan's Island. So, just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

As the premiere episode begins, host Scott Lasky tells us that a group of real-life castaways will soon have to work as a team in a variety of challenges to get off the island. The real Mary Ann, Ginger, Professor, Skipper, Gilligan and Millionaire Couple were chosen from casting calls around the country. Thousands tried out, but only fourteen made the cut, including Skipper Jim who says, "The only thing I have in common with the Skipper is that I'm a real captain. He was a teddy bear and I'm a Grizzly Bear." Professor Eric echoes that he's very different from the original Professor, saying, "This group needs a gay Professor."

The castaways are assembled, but will the group be ready for 100-degree weather, large iguanas, poisonous tarantulas and snakes--as well as competing with the castaways' identical counterparts? You may have noticed that FOURTEEN cast members were chosen. This island will have two complete sets of castaways! As the first seven head to the island on the first S.S. Minnow, another Mary Ann, Movie Star Ginger, Skipper, Gilligan, Millionaire Couple and Professor set sail on another S.S. Minnow to meet them.

Once both boats reach the island, the first group is introduced to the second by host Scott. "A surprise occurred that just blew away all of us. Nobody had the slightest inkling at all when seven near-mirror images come walking into our camp," says Professor Pat. "When I saw the other Gilligan, it wasn't what I expected. It was kind of a relief because I thought I was the clumsiest person I knew," says Gilligan Chris upon seeing Gilligan Gooner. Skipper Jim wasn't as relieved saying, "When I looked over at Skipper Bob I thought there can only be one captain in charge and that has to be me."

The host tells the fourteen that they've already been broken into teams, Minnow One is the Gold Team and Minnow Two is the Green Team. The challenges will pit each castaway against his or her counterpart, for example, Mary Ann vs. Mary Ann, Skipper vs. Skipper. The winners have a chance at winning the prize and being rescued, the loser will be banished to another island with no shot at either reward. They also learn that the only amenities will be those they brought with them and anything left on the island from the former castaways. Soon, the castaways get to check out their new accommodations. The Millionaire Couples share one hut, the Gingers and Mary Anns all share another, the Professors bunk together and the Skippers and Gilligans are roommates.

The fourteen castaways quickly get acquainted with their surroundings (and with each other), then go in search of food. Once the reality sets in that they will have to be creative to avoid hunger and dehydration, the group gives up and gathers around the table to introduce themselves. Things heat up as Millionaires Glenn and Mindy share the story of their mixed family--Mindy is stepmother to the daughter Glenn had when he was fourteen--and Millionaire Donna counters, "We have two kids and their our kids. [Bill] and I are in our first marriage so we have a REAL family." Millionaire Mindy admits, "There are very few people who rub me the wrong way and Donna is just starting to rub the wrong way." This rings true for other castaways, as Millionaire Donna and Professor Eric soon get into a debate about socioeconomic differences, despite the fact that they've just met and are part of the same Green team.

After a rough night of wooden-plank beds and hammocks, the Green and Gold teams gather in the morning to listen to the camp radio and learn of their first competition. Host Scott meets the teams at the water's edge and instructs them that each group must swim to a platform--which holds a fire pit--and swim back to shore with the platform in tow. The teams must then carry the platform over to the camp to light their torch with the fire. The teams set off in pursuit of the fire pit, with the Gold team taking an early lead--until their Skipper collapses. The Green team forges ahead of them, while the Gold team abandons the competition to attend to their fallen member.

"When I saw my counterpart go down I felt bad for him but there was no thought in my mind to stop," admits Skipper Jim. "Every single member on team Gold was totally wrapped around Skipper Bob. All anyone cared about was our teammate," says Professor Pat. In the end, the Green team is victorious and Skipper Bob is whisked away to seek medical attention.

The Green team returns to their respective huts to see that they've won mattresses, blankets, towels, pillows and other comforts. Emotions high over the loss of Skipper Bob, the Gold team confronts their opponents about the decision to keep going for the win when they saw there was a man down. "For somebody to equate being a little bit tired with a medical emergency was absurd. I had to let them know they were trivializing a serious incident," says Professor Pat. Millionaire Donna from the winning Green team counters back saying, "There's not a thing we can do about it. You're jealous we won and you lost."

When the dust settles, Skipper Bob rejoins the entire group--but only long enough to say goodbye. "I realize my health is more important. The situation could be more serious than it is and it may be best if I check out," he says. Skipper Bob symbolically gives Skipper Jim his hat, making him the captain of both teams. Everyone says their goodbyes to Skipper Bob before receiving another message from the camp radio directing them to go to Voodoo Village. Here, the teams receive their next challenge, that will determine which castaway will be banished to the other side of the island. The thirteen remaining castaways head over to the Village, and are told by host Scott to sit next to their identical counterpart. They are informed that the contents in the box in front of them will determine who will compete in the head-to-head challenge that will bring their team closer to the prize or to be being banished. The Professors are the first to embark on the castaway challenge.

Bummed by the looming elimination, the women decide to lighten things up with a drag show featuring Professor Eric--and Millionaire Donna's feather boa. Fun turns to friction as Millionaire Donna takes back the boa then insists Professor Eric wear it once the other women berate her for being a difficult drama queen. "[Millionaire Donna] sits in front of the fire looking like the Wicked Witch of the West," says Ginger Rachel. Echoing Ginger Rachel's sentiment, Millionaires Mindy and Glenn realize it will not be possible to be friends with their bunkmates and counterparts, Millionaires Bill and Donna. "I would love to get to know and like them," admits Millionaire Glenn. "But it isn't going to happen." Meanwhile, Mary Ann Kate and Gilligan Chris seem to be developing a budding...friendship? "I think she really likes me," observes Gilligan Chris. "It seems like innocent flirting but I think there's something there, too."

Eventually, it's time for the two teams to meet to create a strategy for the Professors' competition. To the surprise of their opponents, the Green team alters their costumes to make movement easier--cheating ever so slightly. "If they tried to cheat and they still lose, it will be such a sweet victory," says Mary Ann Kate. Host Scott joins the teams on the beach to instruct them that their challenge will be to build a raft that can carry two people, who will row to the buoy, grab the flag and race back to shore. The Green group quickly assembles a decent raft, while team Gold can barely get their materials to stay together. Despite the struggle building the raft, the Gold team--led by Professor Pat and Gilligan Chris--sails along to win the challenge over the Green team, led by Millionaire Bill and Professor Eric. Professor Eric is the first castaway banished to the other side of the island, while team Gold is given fishing equipment and the opportunity to get some protein.

Once the Gold team enjoys their meal, Professor Pat and Skipper Jim go to Voodoo Island to see who is up next for competition. Apparently, it's time for the two Mary Anns to battle for a spot on The Real Gilligan's Island. Who wins and who will be banished? Stay tuned for the next episode!
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