Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. “Survivor” returned to CBS Wednesday for Season 29, "Blood vs. Water.” The new season took the show back to San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua, the third time “Survivor” has been set in the tropical locale.
As in the original “Blood vs. Water” season in 2013, the contestants came in pairs with existing relationships -- father and daughter, spouses, etc. The 2014 season will see the temporary end of “Redemption Island” after producers decided to change the format and bring back “Exile Island” -- something that has not been seen since “Survivor: Tocantins” in Season 18.
Check out what went down in episode 1 of “Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" -- "Blood vs. Water":
Welcome to San Juan Del Sur
The 18 contestants were dropped in San Juan Del Sur, separated at first with just flint to make fire for the first night. The next day they met "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, and the pairs were divided into two tribes:
Coyopa: Alec, Baylor, Dale, Jaclyn, John, Josh, Nadiya, Val, and Wes.
Hunahpu: Drew, Jeremy, Jon, Julie, Keith, Kelley, Missy, Natalie and Red.
The first surprise of the game came when the tribes were immediately thrown into a reward challenge.
The reward challenge pit one contestant from each tribe against each other -- the twist being that two loved ones would have to play with each other. The winner would take home flint and a bag of beans for their tribe, while the loser would go to Exile Island. Jeremy from the blue tribe took on his wife Val from the orange tribe. The challenge required them to navigate a rope maze to gain two rings to use and lasso two platforms. Jeremy took an early lead and never looked back, winning the reward for his tribe and sending his wife to Exile Island. The twists were not over, with Jeremy then having to pick someone from his tribe to join Val on Exile Island. In an emotional decision, Jeremy chose Keith.
New Alliances Forming
Jeremy was upset after sending his wife to Exile Island, but that didn’t stop him from using his newfound popularity to form an alliance with Natalie, Missy, and Kelley (Keith would later join after returning from Exile Island). Drew, on the other hand, rubbed the tribe the wrong way while aggressively taking charge of building the shelter. Meanwhile, at the Coyopa camp there was some friendly tension between the age groups as John and Dale seemed to stick out with their older age. However, Dale earned some favor when he snapped his glasses in half to use the lenses to start fire. Wes, on the other hand, became a target to John when Wes discovered his professional baseball past (John Rocker was a controversial pitcher for the Atlanta Braves).
Val and Keith arrived on Exile Island worried about missing out on the first interactions with their tribes. Both received notes, but while Val got a clue to an immunity idol, Dale’s was blank.
Keith and Val returned to their tribes for the immunity challenge. The challenge required the tribes to navigate three obstacles while climbing a tower and solving a puzzle at the top. After a neck-and-neck challenge came down to the puzzle, Hunahpu finished first to avoid the tribal council.
After losing the challenge, Coyoba went into panic mode trying to figure out whom to vote out. Val, nervous after only just joining the tribe, immediately began searching for the hidden immunity idol with her clue. The men of the tribe decided to target Nadiya based on her “Amazing Race” experience. However, Nadiya looked to be saved when Val began forming an all-girls alliance (plus Josh) and targeted Dale. When Tribal Council came it became clear that Josh was the swing vote. When the votes were cast, Nadiya became the first perso eliminated from “Survivor” Season 29.
The votes were recorded as follows:
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