The battle of the generations began on Wednesday’s premiere of CBS’ “Survivor.” The first Season 33 episode of “Millennials vs. Gen X” saw tribes Vanua (Millennial) and Takali (Gen X) begin going to head to head in a battle against nature and politics in the quest for $1 million (and possibly more).
Host Jeff Probst made it clear from the beginning, this season is not just about young vs. old, it’s about taking two groups from with different philosophical approaches to life and seeing who is the better survivor.
When the two tribes are revealed, tension immediately begins brewing after Paul, the oldest player in the game, comments he grew up in a society where not all kids were given a “trophy.” CeCe, a fellow Gen X, adds a similar sentiment, saying she’s not used to seeing Millennials actually work. Adam, a Millennial, disagrees, saying he’s sure his tribe will be the first to win the immunity challenge.
Before heading to their respective camps, Jeff allows both groups to grab as many supplies (pending a few rules) and food as they can. Gen X member Jessica finds an envelope during the rush, but hides it from the rest of the group.
When finished, Jeff advises the tribes to immediately being working on a shelter, saying a storm was brewing and they will definitely need protection.
While a majority of the Millennials immediately hit it off building shelter at camp, Zeke says he doesn’t feel comfortable. Zeke complains his tribe is incapable of doing anything and he doesn’t consider himself a Millennial, despite his age. He isn’t the only player feeling left out. When Jay, Figgy and Taylor form a bond, Hannah worries about being the “obvious first out.”
Over at Gen X, Paul immediately tells his tribe members he thinks their odds have been changed “dramatically” and that they’re on good footing because they’re a group of thinkers. Ken warns the others not to undermine their enemies, saying they were raised to work with their minds.
After things settle down, Jessica sneaks away to read the note she found, which reveals she’s discovered a Legacy Advantage. The note says if she’s in possession for the note on Day 36, she will receive an unspecified advantage in the game. However, if she is voted out, she must will it to another player.
While Michelle keeps her advantage a secret, David becomes paranoid. He accuses other players of hiding an Immunity Idol. Bret and Chris think David is simply trying too hard.
As the day turns into night, the Millennials have yet to build a roof for their shelter, but decide to go for a group swim anyway. In the dark, the group tries to rush to build their shelter but the floor quickly cracks under the weight. They’re optimistic they’ll survive the night but when the rain picks up, they realize they’re in danger.
Gen X didn’t get their shelter completely built in time ahead of the rough night either. With another full day of rain ahead of them, they get a helpful gift from Jeff of a tarp, which they are told they must return in once their shelter is complete. The Millennials are also given a tarp, but they are not left to face the elements alone for too long.
Shortly after receiving their package, Jeff arrives at camp via boat and informs the castaways they are being evacuated due to an incoming cyclone. The Millennials (and their chickens) are taken away to a safe spot to wait out the storm, and Gen X follows suit.
“You wanted adventure,” Jeff says. “You got it.”
Gen X is shocked by the disrepair of their camp when they return, especially when they realize a tree fell on their shelter. When it comes time to build their shelter for a second time, David says he recognizes he isn’t strong and knows the others probably won’t want to see him around for much longer.
“I don’t think there’s much hope for me in this game,” he confesses. David commits to turn his game around and begins looking for the Immunity Idol. Unfortunately for him, the other members of the tribe take notice of his poorly disguised search.
At the Millennial camp, Zeke reigns in the others to rebuild what little shelter they had and make a fire. Meanwhile, when Hannah notices Ziggy, Jay and Taylor’s friendship getting stronger, she lets the others in on their not-so secret bond. Mari agrees to help tear apart the trio and starts getting numbers on their side.
The first challenge for the Immunity Idol has the two tribes competing in an obstacle course with various shortcuts available. The tribes have to decide to use the shortcuts at the front of the obstacle, or forfeit the shortcuts in favor of an easier puzzle at the end of the challenge. Jeff says the tribe that wins will be the group that understands their own strengths and weaknesses the best.
Gen X chooses to take the first shortcut and they immediately take the lead. Both groups chose to use the second shortcut, but forfeiting the first advantage gives the Millennials a lead. When it comes time for the final section, a puzzle, Gen X begins working on their 70 piece puzzle, while the Millennials are gifted an easier, 60-piece puzzle. When Gen X struggles to make progress, the Millennials secure immunity first, sending Gen X to the first tribal council.
Back at camp, Gen X is shocked by the loss. Bret says Rachel told everyone she was good at puzzles, but that she was unable to fulfill her duties during the challenge. Jessica reveals most everyone is going to be voting for Rachel.
Meanwhile, David thinks he’s on the chopping block. David reaches out to Jessica and she makes him promise he doesn’t have an idol. When David hears the chatter he has an idol, he confronts several tribe members and says he doesn’t have one, but Bret does not believe him. David says if he doesn’t get sent home, they have his loyalty in the game.
When Jeff speaks to David, the tribe mates make it clear he’s someone who is afraid of his own shadow. David says he’s been grateful for the experience of “Survivor” thus far and Jeff comments he sounds like a man who is OK with being sent home. David confirms, however, that he does not want to leave.
“My biggest enemy in this game, honestly, is myself,” he says.
Meanwhile, Rachel says she wouldn’t be surprised if she went home and apologizes for possibly offended any of her teammates.
When it comes time for the vote reveal, David gets the first vote, but he’s far from the least safe player in the game. After being neck in neck, Rachel is voted off with five votes. (Cece also earns three votes while Sunday gets one.)
“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on CBS. Who do you think will be voted off next? Sound off in the comments section below!