2020-02-19
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Survivor 40: Episode one recap

Last night, season 40 of Survivor finally began and the episode was explosive.

Twenty past winners were brought back for the epic 20 year anniversary of the reality game and they brought the heat. This is the first time the show has done this, so naturally, viewers were glued to their TVs for the two-hour season premiere.

The contestants shared a champagne toast with host, Jeff Probst, who has been hosting the show since it premiered on May 31, 2000. Afterwards, the 20 castaways were divided into two tribes: Dakal and Sele.

After the tribes were selected, they were thrown into a challenge which involved fighting for a life preserver in the water and dragging it towards their teams pole, while fighting off the other pair from the opposing team. 

Dakal took the first round, then the second. Sele came back in the third round. But they ultimately lost to a spectacular performance from Sarah of Dakal, sending Sele to tribal council the next day. Dakal was given flint so they could start a fire, a reward for winning the first immunity challenge. Both teams were dispatched to their new homes.


Each player was given in-game currency known as “fire tokens.” These tokens can be used to purchase certain commodities, like pillows and blankets, food, or an advantage in the game. 

After building shelters and getting settled, the Sele tribe began what every tribe does in the first episode: find an easy vote. However, this isn’t just any season. With 20 winners, everyone has a target on their back.

“Boston” Rob Mariano showed off his skills in prying information from his adversaries. He made Ben spill the beans on what he knew about his name being thrown out during the first vote. He also confronted people face-to-face that he believed were gunning for him. He also partnered up with former rival, Parvati Shallow, which made fans scream with glee.

But each of the winners all had a similar idea: destroy past alliances. Jeremy and Natalie – from season 29 – were key allies for most of the game. Still, Natalie was voted out.

But season 40 brought back a twist from a former season: The Edge of Extinction. This twist involved players who have been voted out enjoying a chance to get back in the game . While on the Edge, they can earn fire tokens which may help them in the future.

After a tough first few days, the tribes faced their second immunity challenge. This time, it was an obstacle course in the water which led to a ring-tossing segment.

Dakal took an early lead once again. But with help from the sheer power of Boston Rob, Sele managed to catch up by the end of the challenge. Ben and Jeremy did well on the ring toss and helped Sele secure their first win, sending Dakal to tribal.

Dakal featured a lot of powerful players, but none of them compare to the queen herself, Sandra Diaz-Twine, the only two-time Survivor winner. She managed to throw everyone else under the bus and somehow lived through the first vote.

This is noteworthy because Survivor tells a story with every season, and it looks like Sandra is narrating it. Ultimately, it was Amber Mariano’s marriage to Boston Rob – the biggest threat on the opposing tribe – that sent her packing to the Edge. After a player is voted out, they must give away their remaining tokens to a player still in the game, which she gave to her husband, Rob.

So, how was the episode? It was as spectacular as it was hyped up to be. Nobody is safe. Everyone is a threat. Everyone wants to be crowned the king or queen of this season. And this was just the first episode.

Mark Roberge
Written by
Mark Roberge

Mark Roberge is journalism student that loves video games, cooking and psychology. Also, in 2016 Mark placed ninth place in the Pokémon VGC regionals in Toronto.

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