Survivor opened its 32nd season on CBS five weeks ago, and it has been an exciting one already. The show moved to Koh Rong Island off the coast of Cambodia, one of the most beautiful places on earth, for this season’s show.
The premise behind this season’s series is that the groups are divided into three teams. Advertised as “Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty” the show pits a team of geniuses against a team of brawny men and women against a team of true beauties. Pitting those with superior intelligence, those with great athleticism, and those with great beauty against each other has already had some interesting results early on.
As we have seen for several seasons, this time of Survivor there are two hidden immunity idols that can be played by contestants after the votes to cast someone out have been made, but before the name is actually read. A new addition to this season is if one person has both immunity idols he or she can play them after the votes are cast to stay alive.
Dubbed as “I’m a Mental Giant,” the show began with the three tribes being able to ransack a boat that was filled with a number of supplies and load them into their rafts and head to their camps. The teams were given two minutes to perform this dash for the goods.
Right away the allegiances began to form, especially within the Brawn team. Jason formed several alliances right off, including one with Scot and Jennifer as well as with Cydney. Jason also determined that Alecia was weak, and that she would be one that he could easily manipulate.
One of the more bizarre instances for the brawn team was when a bug crawled into Jennifer’s ear and she was unable to get it out, despite trying several things. Eventually, Scot was able to her get it out.
In the Brains tribe, Debbie proved to be a formidable candidate when she was able to make a fire without using flint. Many doubted her claim of being able to do so, but her proof that she could left many believing she would be a someone that may have to go early. This inspired Aubry, Liz, Neal and Peter to form an alliance that specifically sought to exclude her, and Joe. The other four are younger than the other two, which may be playing a major role in the allegiances.
This tribe also had its own medical crisis, when Aubry had a panic attack. The other members of the tribe were able to calm her down, but there is concerns now that she may be a liability.
On the Beauty tribe, an alliance quickly bonded between Anna, Julia, and Michele. The three thought of adding Tai as a fourth member to their group, but abandoned this idea when they discovered him searching for a hidden immunity idol. This made them feel that they could not trust him.
In the immunity challenge in Episode 1, the tribes swam out to a boat where the members were to dive deep into the water one at a time to retrieve paddles. After retrieving the paddles they had to roe back to shore where they were to turn the boat into a form of a cart that they were to pull onto a track. From there they had two options. They could assemble a puzzle or they could attempt to stack balls while standing on an unstable platform. The first two tribes that were able to complete the task were granted immunity. The first tribe that completed the task was also given a fire-making kit and a tarp, while the other winning tribe won flint.
For the Brawn team it started out bad when Darnell lost the mask, making it much more difficult for his team to find the paddles. They were able to recover when it came to getting the cart onto the track, but when Alecia panicked during the puzzle assembly part of the challenge the team was doomed and lost.
When they returned to the camp, the team turned on Alecia and Darnell, who they held responsible for their failure to win. Alecia immediately began to rally the other members to not vote for her, despite the fact that Scot had already told her that Darnell was the one the team would vote against. Alecia’s campaigning for herself upset Cydney, and she got Jason to vote against Alecia. That evened the initial vote at three for each, but on the revote everyone voted against Darnell and he was out.
Named the “Kindergarten Camp,” intrigue began immediately when Kai found the hidden immunity idol buried beneath a tree. In the box that he discovered were instructions on how to find a key that was at the top of the tree. He searched but was unable to find it.
Back in the camp, Kai began to bond with Caleb despite the obvious differences in personality between the two.
In the Brains tribe, Debbie’s boasting began to take its toll on her fellow teammates. It was clear many were already getting sick of her, especially after she was able to prove that she could start the fire. Also, Joe and Liz found themselves battling one another over what their camp should be like.
The Brawns tribe continued to look at Alecia as an outsider, but she changed that when she was able to get a fire going for them. It took five hours before she finally had success.
The challenge was to race down the river where each team was to retrieve a 300-pound log that was to be carried back to the end of the course. Along the way were several obstacles that made the challenge more difficult. When they reached the end of the course, they were to remove balls that were attached to their team’s log and launch them with a slingshot. The winning tribe was the one that could hit two of their targets, and would win fishing gear as part of the immunity. The second place tribe also won immunity and a small amount of fishing gear.
It was another bad showing for the Brawn team, as the Beauty team finished in first. It looked like Alecia was going to get the axe this time, but Jennifer rallied the other two girls to vote off Jason. Back at tribal council Jennifer brought out that there had been many different plans of who would be outed, and she blamed Alecia for the idea of Jason being kicked off. This caused Alecia and Cydney to believe that they could not trust Jennifer, and they sided with the two guys to vote her off.
Titled “The Circle of Life,” the show began with the realization by Alecia that she was in a lot of trouble. It looked good for Alecia when she found one of the clues to where the hidden immunity idol was at, but she made the mistake of telling Cydney about it, who informed Jason and Scot as well. All four then raced to try to find the idol and have the immunity for themselves. Jason and Scot plotted together and were able to steal the key that would unlock the idol.
Tai soon found the key to the other immunity idol and three were able to get the two idols. They all soon discovered that if they had both idols they would have the Super Immunity.
In the Beauty tribe’s camp, Tai had to kill a chicken for food, which made him quite uncomfortable. His team seemed to have sympathy for him, except Nick, who acted like a jerk. This turned the girls against him. Anna asked Caleb to join with them and to vote Nick out if they were forced to vote anyone off.
Intrigue quickly formed in the Brains tribe, as Liz and Peter came to the conclusion that they could trust Debbie and Joe a lot more. They abandoned their alliance with Aubry and Neal, but the two older tribes people were not in favor of Liz and Peter, finding them both to be quite arrogant. As a result, they joined up with Neal and Aubry.
Starting on top of a platform, the three tribes jumped into the water and swam to a boat where they retrieved a bag of rice. They had to then force their bag of rice through a hole in a wooden gate, and then get back to the beach walking on a balance beam. Back at the beach they retrieved three balls from their bag of rice and used the balls to help them navigate through a vertical maze. The first place tribe won immunity and comfort items, which included either pillows and blankets or items from their home. The second place team won the other comfort item option.
Once again, the Beauty team won, but this time a member of the Brawn team was saved when they narrowly beat the Brains team in the challenge. Liz and Peter immediately plotted to get Neal kicked off, as they viewed him as the biggest threat. They tried to get Debbie and Joe to go along with them, but the two informed Neal and Aubry of the plan. On the first vote three members received two votes each, with Liz being voted off on the revote.
Titled “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered,” the show got off to an interesting start when Peter was so angry that Liz was voted off that he vowed to turn on his fellow tribes people when the teams were combined.
This was the first show of the season to offer a reward challenge. The three tribes were to dig themselves under a log in a race to the sandpit. There they found three balls that they were to roll up a ramp. The first tribe to reach the six slots won a kitchen set, with the second place team getting a smaller set.
It was an incredibly hot day, but the Brains pulled it out, winning the competition with the Beauty team finishing second. The heat took its toll, as Caleb, Cydney and Debbie were treated for heat stroke. Caleb was eventually evacuated from the island after his heart rate continued to drop.
In this challenge, two people from each tribe raced into the jungle, where they were to climb a ladder and retrieve two puzzle pieces. Meanwhile, the rest of the team swam out into the ocean and had to dive to retrieve the other pieces. The two teams that were able to solve the puzzle won immunity.
It was the Brawn team that lost again, and Alecia was not to be saved this time. She had continuously complained about her teammates being angry that she did not cheer during the Reward Challenge, and she was out.
Named “The Devils We Know,” Neal found the Brain’s hidden immunity idol to start off. Later that day 13 people were shuffled around to different teams, with two teams of six members being formed by lot. The one person leftover was to go to the team that lost the next immunity challenge.
This challenge began with two members from each team swimming out to grab a net that had fish puzzle pieces in it. Two other members then untied the different pieces and put them on hooks that were to be attached to a beam. The beam was then brought to the other two members, who had to use the pieces to solve the puzzle.
The Chan Loh Tribe won the immunity, so it was the Gondol Camp that would love a member. Aubry, Joe, and Peter conspired to kick off a Beauty. Since Julia, the member who would join the losing team, was from the Beauty tribe, they were concerned that if both Tai and Anna remained the Beauty group would have the edge. Tai considered with Sot and Anna to kick of Peter, informing them that he had the hidden idol. After a series of behind the scenes discussions, Tai and Scott joined with Joe and Peter to vote off Anna.