Also present were the seeds of discontent, masked with hugs and unveiled with a few well timed digs in the name of competition. Its not that all the 'Big Breakers' dislike each other, its merely that some of them have a history. Add the pressure of competition and redemption - of the current contestants, Bri Vega (Big Break VI) is the only champion from a previous season - and something has to give.
In the premiere episode no contestants were eliminated as three challenges determined players seed for coming episodes.
That didn't mean, though, that there wasn't competition and tension. Before the team of Don Donatello (Big Break II) /Ashley Gomes (Big Break VI) edged out the Mike Foster (Big Break II) / Kim Lewellen (Big Break V) duo by one point to win the top seed an a $5,000 bonus, the contestants found out who they would be competing against to earn an exemption to play in either the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour, the 2008 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach on the Champions Tour or the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika on the LPGA Tour.
One by one, as the eight females and eight males opened the door to a house at Ginn Reunion Resort, the host site for the series, they had no idea what would be waiting in the living room. Sometimes it was a grin and a genuine hug from a friend and others were greeted with faint smiles and insincere handshakes.
Bri Vega could only muster an are-you-kidding-me laugh when Kelly Murray walked into the room. She wasnt smiling in The Big Break VI when she wanted to trade partners with anyone to get away from Murray in the team portion of the series. While the two were forced to remain partners, the tension remained.
I had no idea he would be here, said Vega. Then I thought maybe they might bring him back for some Bri and Kelly drama.
When Don Donatello walked into the room Eddie Gardino was silent. The two disagreed on a ruling in The Big Break IV that rattled Gardino and led to his eventual elimination. Making the episode more absurd was Double D, as Donatello was known in The Big Break II, was only making a guest appearance on the show.
Tension like that just doesnt go away, Big Break IV contestant Tommy Gainey said of the relationship.
Neither does attraction.
Gardino was taken in by the fetching actress from Big Break V Nikki DiSanto and Gainey seemingly developed a crush on Vega.
Making the dynamics of the series more intriguing, the 16 contestants were broken into eight two-person teams. In Big Break VII style, each individual went to the confessional room, a place in which a contestant is alone and can say anything to an camera, with a sealed enveloped that contained the name of their partner. In episodes to come, the confessional will become one of the most interesting portions of the series.
When disappointed with the draw, most played nice like when receiving a tie for Christmas and trying to muster a thank you. Gardino, however, was honest and expressed he preferred Nikki over his partner Valeria Ochoa, who also confessed she wasnt happy with the draw. By the end of the day the two barely spoke despite Gardino saving the team in the first challenge when he broke the famed pane of glass with their last shot to win their match against the team of David Gunas (Big Break II) /Pam Garrity (Big Break III).
In the same challenge, where two teams predict how many shots it will take to break the glass and the team with the lowest bid has to do it or lose, Murray once again pulled his infamous driver off the deck shot to successfully shatter the glass a mere 20 yards away.
Throughout the episode comments were constant from the contestant gallery demonstrating the difference between The Big Break VII and the previous six seasons. In earlier seasons the first show was like a quiet freshman homeroom in high school where a feeling out process was underway, while this series has the rowdy seniors.
Of course, that should be expected when its the last shot for these 16 contestants to be the big shots on The Big Break campus.