Hey, it’s Cho and I’m finally back to write recaps for Survivor 40: Winners At War! I missed you all immensely over the last few months and hope 2020 is off to a great start for everyone. There’s really no way possible that this season isn’t epic. It’s literally the super bowl of Survivor. I’m already late getting this to my aunt TT, so before I ramble too long, let’s get into this delicious 2-hour premiere!
A Toast to Winners At War
I have goosebumps, and Jeff opens up the game with a champagne toast for everyone. I don’t know who else can relate here, but I have been watching this show for 20 years of my 30 year life, starting with season two, Australia. My eyes are actually welling up due to the emotion of seeing this cast. Jeff introduces the “Fire Tokens” twist: each person receives a fire token to start off. Once they are voted off, they give that token to someone else before heading off to the Edge of Extinction. Yes, it’s back. That season was so unpopular due to its twist that they didn’t invite Chris back yet they brought the twist back. Make it make sense, CBS!
We waste no time getting into the first challenge which is a CLASSIC water brawl challenge. They essentially have to fight each other over a buoy and tag their tribe’s post. What an appropriate 1st challenge for Winners At War.
There’s literally hair pulling and screaming! The red “Dakal” tribe wins the first immunity! Dekal gets back to camp and realizes that they can use their tokens to buy items in the game, comfort in the form of pillows for example. Nick says that the person who wins this game will be able to effectively use this twist to their advantage. This is amazing watching all the flashbacks and witnessing each Survivor’s evolution in the game!
New Kids vs Old Kids or Outsiders vs Well-Connected?
The blue “Sele” tribe has to vote someone out the very next day, so cue MASS hysteria. Rob feels very targeted from being on the previous season. This is a generally “older” cast, so it’s refreshing to see people bonding over more mature topics. Children are a big topic as well as Ethan from Season 3 Africa who fought through cancer. Denise & Adam make the rookie mistake of walking off alone, so they’re easy targets.
Danni strategizes with Ben about taking out someone that’s more well-connected like Rob. Not seconds later, Ben throws Danni under the bus but he does a bad job at communicating to the point where Rob doesn’t trust him. Rob confronts Danni, and she tells him the truth which actually builds trust. Rob suggests to both Danni and Parvati that the old-school survivors stick together. Ben has the loosest lips ever so far and tells Adam that he and Denise are now being targeted. More mass hysteria. Natalie and Jeremy are then targeted. I have no clue who’s leaving.
The First Tribal Council
Sele arrives at tribal council and the discussion turns to how fast-paced the game has become. Denise admits that she made a rookie mistake by walking off for too long with Adam. Adam is very agitated over this and defends himself by putting the spotlight on those with stronger outside relationships such as Jeremy/Natalie and Rob/Amber. Natalie says she’s not afraid, because there’s Edge of Extinction waiting for her if she needs to rely on it. Everyone is being extremely coy as Parvati says everyone has a revolver behind her back. Everyone starts to panic and unravel at tribal council, and it’s time to vote. The voting booth set looks amazing! Jeff reads the votes: Denise, Adam, Denise, Natalie, Natalie, Natalie, Natalie and Natalie is voted off first.
The Edge of Extinction
It’s weird seeing Natalie walk onto the Edge of Extinction: remember that she has never been voted out of the game before and a lot of others here haven’t had this experience either. Apparently, you can accumulate tokens while on the Edge of Extinction by following clues. She embraces the fact that she needs to sharpen her mental skills instead of relying on her physicality all the time. She finds an immunity idol that she can sell to someone on the losing tribe for one token.
Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em?!
On Dakal, Yul is aligning the unconnected players to mount an attack against a pre-game alliance involving Tyson, Rob, Kim and Amber. He’s discovered that Sandra is using her emotions instead of her head: she’s upset that Rob didn’t let her know that he was coming to play the game. This grudge makes no sense to me.
Despite Sele struggling throughout the entire challenge, Jeremy pulls through and wins for them at the very end. Rob is relieved to have won but is instantly worried about Amber being a threat because of him.
Everyone begins to scramble immediately. Sandra, Nick and Tony appear as targets from one side while Tyson and Amber are targets for the other side. The target is definitely switching back and forth. Sandra says she’s gonna spread truth, lies and confusion, because she’s been offered immunity by Natalie. Yul admits to Tyson that he’s possibly a target which makes him throw Kim & Amber under the bus. Kim, who utterly dominated her season socially is feeling especially outcast and doesn’t know how to handle being in this position.
All In On The Poker Alliance
We get to the tribal council, and it’s apparent that the poker alliance of Tyson, Amber and Kim is about to be split up. Amber is annoyed by how quick paced the game has become. She specifically calls Tony out for running around and being nerve wrecking. Sandra defends him by saying that Amber hasn’t been around for a long time and that she needs to keep up with the pace of the game.
Kim gets riled up about the target being on her back because of a 3-hour poker game. Everyone admits that with the prize being 2 million dollars, everyone’s willing to slit each other’s throat, friend or not! Jeff reads the votes: Nick, Kim, Kim, Kim, Amber, Amber, Amber, Amber, and Amber is voted out. Wow, Rob is gonna be PISSED when he finds out his wife has been voted off.
What did you all think of the jam packed premiere episode? As a super fan, I’m overwhelmed with emotions! If you’re still reading, thank you for your dedication as I tried my best to keep it short and sweet! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you like what I do here on the site, be sure to support me in my other ventures elsewhere on the internet!