“Survivor” is back! The long-running CBS reality series returned Wednesday with the premiere of “Survivor: Cambodia -- Second Chance.” The remarkable 31st season brings 20 returnee, non-winning players to Cambodia, a new location for the series. Who will follow in Season 30 winner Mike Hollway's footsteps? Fans were re-introduced Wednesday to the 20 veteran castaways who will try.
Here’s how it all went down in the 90-minute “Survivor: Second Chance” premiere:
This is Survivor!
The show began with host Jeff Probst explaining how this season would work, diving the castaways into two tribes, listed below (along with their ages and original seasons):
- Joe Anglim (age 26) -- Season 30, Worlds Apart
- Jeremy Collins (37) -- Season 29, San Juan del Sur
- Ciera Eastin (26) -- Season 27, Blood vs Water
- Stephen Fishbach (36) -- Season 18, Tocantins
- Tasha Fox (38) -- Season 28, Cagayan
- Kimmi Kappenberg (42) -- Season 2, Australian Outback
- Kass McQuillen (42) -- Season 28, Cagayan
- Keith Nale (54) -- Season 29, San Juan del Sur
- Monica Padilla (31) -- Season 19, Samoa
- Andrew Savage (51) -- Season 7, Pearl Islands
- Vytas Baskauskas (35) -- Season 27, Blood vs Water
- Spencer Bledsoe (23) -- Season 28, Cagayan
- Terry Deitz (55) -- Season 12, Panama
- Abi-Maria Gomes (35) -- Season 25, Philippines
- Yung “Woo” Hwang (31) -- Season 28, Cagayan
- Peih-Gee Law (37) -- Season 15, China
- Shirin Oskooi (32) -- Season 30, Worlds Apart
- Jeff Varner (49) -- Season 2, Australian Outback
- Kelley Wentworth (28) -- Season 29, San Juan del Sur
- Kelly Wiglesworth (37) -- Season 1, Borneo
Then, Probst revealed that the first challenge was about to begin! The two tribes, who were already sitting in two rowboats, would have to get on another bigger boat full of food and supplies and gather as much as they could onto their tribe's designated raft. However, there was a twist. About 100 yards away from the supply boat was yet another boat with a giant bag of rice. Whichever tribe cut their raft free and got to the rice first would get to keep their loot, effectively winning the first reward challenge.
The tribes quickly got to work gathering supplies, but soon the game of chicken got the best of the players and both tribes cut their rafts loose. Soon, it became a swimming race with Kelly from Ta Keo jumping into the water. Joe from Bayon followed suit and caught up, but Woo took off as well and got to the rice to win for Ta Keo.
Meet And Greet
After winning the first challenge, Ta Keo headed out to build their camp and the game started as soon as they hit the beach. One group, led by Terry and Kelly, started making shelter. A divide soon emerged between the "new school" players from recent seasons, who began strategically plotting right away, and the "old school" players from earlier seasons who focused on survival before worrying about alliance. Terry, quickly identifying that he was going to be left out if he didn't start getting his "Survivor" networking game going, struck up a partnership with Spencer.
Meanwhile, Abi-Maria began rubbing people the wrong way almost immediately, obsessing over her missing bag and bracelet. The California native said it was her goal to keep her emotions in check this time around, but she was off to a bad start. When she found the bracelet in Peih-Gee's bag she claimed to be giving her the benefit of the doubt, but that did not stop her from spreading the rumor that Peih-Gee had stolen it. When Peih-Gee found about it she went to make peace with Abi-Maria, but it was clear things were going to be awkward between the two of them.
Over in Bayon, things were a little calmer. A large alliance soon developed, spearheaded by Jeremy, that included Andrew, Joe, and Tasha. Stephen, on the other hand, found himself feeling out of place on a tribe full of "manly men." When he had the chance, Stephen wandered away to blindly search for a hidden immunity idol, but was unsuccessful.
Back at Ta Keo, Vytas was up to his old tricks, cozying up to the women of the tribe and forcing yoga on them -- at Bayon Joe had no trouble getting his tribe to join him for some "Joega." Shirin recognized Vytas' gamesmanship and quickly set up an alliance with Jeff, Kelley, Spencer, and Peih-Gee. However, Jeff, who originally played in Season 2, was feeling caught between the alliance of "new school" players that had just extended him an invite and the alliance that seemed to be developing among the "old school" players -- Terry, Kelly, Vytas and Woo.
Elsewhere, Kelley went searching for the hidden immunity idol. She found what she thought was the idol hidden in a tree, but it turned out to be a clue to an immunity idol hidden in the next challenge!
The two tribes had to swim out and push a raft holding a fire and torches passed a series of lamps, lighting them all as they went. Then, one person from each tribe had tribes had to untie sticks to fashion a pole long enough to retrieve a set of keys to unlock a gate where one more lamp was waiting. The first tribe to light the last lamp won immunity and a fire-building kit.
Bayon got out to an early lead, but when Keith accidently doused the tribe's torch, they fell behind. However, Bayon caught up for the final portion of the challenge as Kelly struggled making a pole. Joe was able to outdo Kelly and get his tribe's keys to win the challenge for Bayon. Meanwhile, unknown to anyone else, Kelley had grabbed the hidden immunity idol while everyone else was busy watching Kelly.
The big twist, though, was that the losing tribe, Ta Keo, was headed to tribal council ... immediately! The castaways were shocked to find out they would have no time to strategize before voting someone out.
At tribal council, Probst pressed the tribe to see if they thought someone random would be voted out or if they had strategized enough before the challenge to know where they stood. Jeff Varner declared that there was indeed a divide in the tribe between old school players and new school. Abi-Maria became nervous that she was on the chopping block and began lashing out at Jeff and Vytas about a male alliance. However, when the votes were tallied, though Abi-Maria recevied four votes, Vytas Baskauskas became the first person voted out of "Survivor: Second Chance."
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