Survivor: Winners at War Premiere
Premiere of what could become the greatest season of all time.
It's finally here. The 20 year anniversary/40th season of Survivor. The soon to be legendary, Survivor: Winners at War. And holy shit, what an opening. 20 legendary winners all coming in on boats, ready to play the greatest game in the world one more time. And to top it all off, to celebrate 20 years and 40 seasons, the winners and Jeff all have a toast to each other and Survivor, celebrating how far it's come. Then, the Edge of Extinction and Fire Tokens, introduced. But, that's not all...
To top this opening off, we go right to our first challenge. The classic battle to grab a ring and pull it to your pole. Here's the kicker, one ring, four people, 2 from each tribe and first to get to the pole scores with the goal points to win is 3. Winners, fire and IMMUNITY, right away. Losers, no fire, not even rice, barely got to know each other, but they go to Tribal on the second night. Anyway, we have the battle. And what a battle it is. It's a battle full of pulling each other, pushing people into the water, nearly drowning them, pulling hair and clothes, all for a ring to go to a pole. Ultimately, Dakal killed it and won the challenge, 3-1 against Sele, who lost and now, will suffer the wrath of having to go to Tribal Council first.
At Sele, bonds were being made right away. Wendell went back to his roots of building the shelter, Sandra worrying about being called "the queen", Tony being under "house arrest" for his past gameplay and so many connections. Sandra got Tony out in Game Changers and Tony played Cagayan with Sarah who got Sandra out, again in Game Changers. Meanwhile, the obvious connection of babies. Amber has 4 kids with Boston Rob and she is bonding with Tyson, Rob's bff, who he played HvV with and poker outside of the game along with Kim & Jeremy. Tyson left his kids for the first time, having not had them until after the last time he played, Danni with her kids, etc. So, in other words, lots of baby bonding. Overall, 3 different groups in Sele. There's Tony, Sandra & Sarah, who have connections with each other. There's Tyson, Amber & Kim. And this leaves Nick, Wendell, Sophie & Yul in the middle. Naturally, Yul & Sophie, arguably the two most booksmart of the tribe naturally aligned with Yul being Sophie's "nerd shield".
As for Dakal, the tribe had a bit more trouble getting along. But, they also bonded over babies. Parvati leaving her 10 month old for the first time while Jeremy has his kids and Rob with his 4. Having kids changes your life, that is definitely something that can be learned right away. 10 years ago was the last time Parvati played, she was the flirt. Now, she has a kid and is more of a mom, but also still smart. And due to baby bonding as well as a way to put the past behind them and bring together the two people with the biggest targets on their backs, Rob & Parvati aligned. A surprising alliance considering what happened in Heroes vs. Villains but, something that should be a rewarding alliance, possibly.
Speaking of bonds, there were more bonds at Sele, obviously since they have to, considering the fact that they have to vote someone out. Adam became Denise's new Malcolm, as they went out to find the water well. But, that screwed them over. They got lost and people thought they went out to go find an idol, so there's a target. Then, Danni puts a target on Rob's back, wanting him out first. Then, Rob was able to manipulate Ben into giving him said information and Rob confronted Danni. But, her honesty then created a new old school alliance of Rob, Ethan, Danni & Parvati. This brings the Old School vs. New School kind of thing.
And then, the chaos ensues. Jeremy & Natalie, they're together, friends who stuck together in San Juan del Sur. Good, until Rob notices it. Rob noticed it and realized that this could be an issue. Though, everyone was still thinking Adam or Denise. But, then a new plan was set into motion. Break up the pair of Natalie & Jeremy. Funny for Rob to say since his wife is in the game but still, that pair could be dangerous. So, a new plan emerged. And then, Tribal Council hit.
At Tribal Council, Ethan was so freaked out by how the game has changed, as is Rob. Then, we get into more detail about how the tribe is. Jeremy was a little worried about calling Adam or Denise out, so Denise called herself and Adam out, but explained the situation. Though, as more talk happened, more was out. There are bigger targets in the game, like Rob said everyone was a target. During this talk, Jeremy began to figure out that maybe something was up involving Rob & Parvati. And when the votes came out, it was. And Natalie Andersen, the winner who dominated Survivor: San Juan del Sur was the first person voted out of Survivor: Winners at War, blindsided and sent to the Edge of Extinction, leaving a fire token for Jeremy, shocked but waiting for her chance to return.
Back at Dakal, Sandra's emotions started to get to her. Rob told her when they were mentors in Island of the Idols that he would never play again. Yet, there he is, playing in this season. So, Sandra & Sarah spoke with Yul, who was already building his four person alliance of himself, Sophie, Nick & Wendell, who don't really have connections. So, now with Sandra & Sarah, they can control the game. As for Sele, Michele was shocked at what happened and she was upset at how she was left out of the vote. But, that gave Ben a realization that the old schoolers are running the game. That gave him the idea that maybe him, Michele, Jeremy & Adam should team up and try to take an old school player out next. Meanwhile, Jeremy got his fire token, making him technically technically the richest person in the game. And as for the Edge of Extinction, Natalie finally figured out how to get tokens for herself. She found an idol that's not good there (obviously) but available in the game. So, all she has to do is to give someone on the losing tribe the opportunity to buy the idol from her, giving her the token.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes continued to battle, having to paddle out to a bag, untie and retrieve said bag, paddle back, open the bag, find the right combination, release rings and toss them onto a paddle. The first tribe to get their rings onto each of the three paddles wins immunity. Though, Dakal had to sit someone out and naturally, Sandra gladly volunteered. At first, Dakal lead the challenge as Sele fell behind. But then, Dakal got stuck at the last part of the challenge, giving Sele time to come back and they did. Then Jeremy came in on that last part and quickly finished it before Dakal could. So, Sele won immunity, sending Dakal to their first tribal council. Though, as much as Rob is happy about it, he realized that he put a target on Amber's back just by playing and being married to her. So, this could be troubling.
And at Dakal, the trouble was real. Amber, Tyson & Kim were in trouble for that poker alliance. Everyone was talking. But, so were Nick & Sandra. Nick's the most recent of the winners in the season and Sandra won twice. Tyson even suggested Tony. Big mistake, Tyson. And Sandra was talking to everyone, truths and lies, hoping to keep herself in the game. But it seemed like luck was about to change. Seems like Natalie sent Sandra the idol that lasts for 3 tribal councils, hoping to sell it to her. Of course, being the Queen of Survivor, Sandra had to take it because she knew she could be in trouble. But then, the poker alliance began to realize how badly they were in trouble. Tyson had to surrender and go after Kim or Amber, Amber already knows she's a target due to Rob, no change there. But with Kim, nobody spoke with her. There was little talk, no strategy, awkward silence, overall pretty scary stuff for Kim.
At Tribal Council, the talk was about worrying about trust and relationships. This eventually lead to talking about the Poker Alliance. One game from a year ago scared everyone into being worried that Kim, Amber & Tyson are a big alliance. But, Kim fought hard to convince people that she belongs and the alliance is nonexistant and if it is, she's not apart of it. And for a while, it did seem like it could be her. Then, Amber's name comes up. And again, and again. And ultimately, Amber Brkich-Mariano was voted out and sent to the Edge of Extinction.
Overall, wow. This has been an amazing, unpredictable and unbelievable premiere to what I'm sure will be one of the best seasons that Survivor has ever had. Big moves, currency, blindsides, alliances, betrayals, wow. I can't wait to see what Winners at War has in store next week when Rob finds out about Sandra taking out his wife, Ben finding out about something that scares Adam and Tony climbing a ladder that is very dangerous. Just, oh my gosh. I love this season already.
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