If there is one thing we can conclude from the Survivor 44 premiere, Jeff Probst was correct when he said that this season will be the strangest yet. The “greatest social experiment” on television is being spiced up by production as they experiment with fresh ideas.
We begin with a cold opening, which is novel. Also, we can hear a producer’s voice! Yeah, the fourth wall between the player and producer is ultimately breached in Season 44, comparable to The Office’s ninth season. One of the show’s more unusual new cast members, Carolyn, is given the order by the producer to introduce herself. She squeals with joy when she says this. This sound is not new (if you’ve listened to the Rob Has a Podcast tribe breakdowns).
Although the Survivor theme tune from the show’s earlier seasons still makes us nostalgic as we watch the opening titles, the contestants’ excitement for the game makes us feel just as giddy.
The First Reward Task: We Converse on the Mat Before the First Challenge
Jeff addresses the camera before introducing the 18 competitors, and we eventually get to some mat chat before the first challenge. The three tribes of six are revealed to be Ratu in orange, Soka in green, and Tika in purple, following a flashback on what an incredible social experiment Survivor is. With the first reward challenge, Jeff promises to “birth [them] into the game with the first reward challenge.” That’s a powerful picture, Mr. Probst.
Teams of two must crawl under obstacles as part of the task, and each participant must bring a puzzle piece back with them. After the team has all six components, two players are tasked with putting together a puzzle. The next step is for three additional players to launch rings off a high pole.
Bruce from the Tika tribe, who must crawl underneath a wooden post to complete the task, suffers a head injury just minutes into it. Despite his severe bleeding, he never gives up. While the three teams work on the puzzle, this slows Tika down, and Bruce sags.
Jeff halts the competition and summons the medical staff. Jeff raises Bruce’s bleeding, filthy head as the doctor administers oxygen. The medical staff recommends Bruce continue playing with adult supervision. Carson and Helen soon put the Tika tribe in the lead with the puzzle once Bruce restarts the task. Carolyn stands up to throw the opening ring. And she isn’t able to.
The green Soka tribe follows Tika’s example in solving the puzzle, but they accomplish the ring toss swiftly and take first place in the challenge. The three necessities—a saucepan, a machete, and flint—go to Soka. Ratu keeps up and gets to decide whether they “Sweat” or “Savvy” to get a chance at their necessities. But Carolyn’s team hugs her to make up for her coming up short figuratively while she is still at the ring throw.
Below, we address some related topics; if you want to learn more about the show’s prior seasons, check out the references we’ve provided in the articles linked below:
- Survivor Season 42: Everything We Know So Far
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Release Date And Gameplay
- Will The Challenge: USA Season 2 Return to MTV? How to Register?
What Happened After the Challenge?
Soka is overjoyed that they won when she returns to camp. Frannie, Claire, and Josh are exploring their new property when they come across what Frannie calls “this strange birdcage with this wrapped package and this rusty padlock.” It turns out that each of the three tribes has its version of this.
Next, we move on to Ratu, where they must choose between becoming “Sweat” or “Savvy.” Matthew and Brandon volunteer to participate in “Sweat,” which requires them to drag a bag of coconuts back and forth while adding additional coconuts one at a time over four hours based on their aptitude for solving puzzles. After Matthew utters Jeff’s catchphrase, “You gotta dig deep!” as the hours pass, they finish the challenge just in time.
They are excited to face “Savvy” at the Tika tribe camp. With Helen, a master of puzzles, and Carson, a NASA engineering student, they would have probably chosen this option. Students must determine how many rings are present in each of the two spheres. Yam Yam informs his clan, “I feel like a dinosaur is going to come out and eat us,” as they go. In fact, we adore Yam Yam. Carson and Helen quickly solve the puzzle, and the tribe begins to work.
In the tribes, ties of friendship and allegiance begin to develop. On Tika, Carolyn describes Carson as a “good-looking young man” and makes a comparison to Tom Holland. We don’t know what else to call it if that’s not a compliment!
At Soka, Frannie and recently single Matt clicked. Could this be the showmance Jeff hinted at earlier in the season based on her statement that they are “cut from the same cloth” and “having a lot of fun laughing together”? Maybe not Taylor and Figgy 2.0, but hello to Rob and Amber 2.0.
But, things start to go south when we travel to Tika at night. Bruce begins feeling dizzy and can’t open his eyes because his head hurts severely. Jeff shows up on a boat and has “hypertensive” blood pressure. Bruce is regrettably removed from the game and becomes its first victim. Oh no, Bruuuuuuuce!
The following day at Ratu, Matthew climbs some rocks, leaps, and injures his shoulder. The doctor advises keeping it in a sling and reducing load-bearing pressure, but he pops it back in. Matthew, stop hurting yourself already!
This Season’s Three-person Gathering is Called the “Jungle Jaunt”
The stroll, the ascent, or whatever you call it, is the second component of our “New Era” traditional twist. The three-person gathering this season will be known as the “jungle jaunt.” Each tribe decides on a “fair” method for selecting the adventurers. They choose Matt from Soku, Lauren from Ratu, and Sarah from Tika. While Sarah and Lauren are enthusiastic, Matt is worried that he may become a target, yet he chooses to take some chances.
Each has a bag with three modest packages once they’ve gotten to know one another. One of the three packages has an advantage, while the other two carry “lose your vote” clauses. The players must select one, and if they don’t get it right the first time, they can pick again (and maybe lose their vote at a subsequent tribal) or quit there. It’s a different approach to the Monty Hall problem because they have a 50% probability of winning after losing one vote.
The Inheritance Advantage, a new advantage that enables Sarah to play all benefits at that same tribal council, is acquired by Sarah even though she loses her vote for her next tribal council. Undoubtedly, the creators are going for an advantage-geddon with this.
At two tribal councils, Matt’s vote is rejected, while Lauren succeeds on her first attempt. She receives the advantage of “Bank Your Vote,” which enables her to voluntarily forfeit her vote at a tribal council to use that vote as an additional vote later in the game.
The Ratu tribe divides into smaller groups and searches for the cage’s key. When Brandon discovers it, he initially tries to keep it from his “buddy,” Maddy, but she quickly figures it out, so he has to tell her. She advises that they keep it private, but Brandon decides to tell everyone to gain the tribe’s trust. He unlocks the cage and retrieves an idol and a fake idol in the form of an orange medallion, but he no longer has faith in Maddy.
Survivor 44 Episode 1: The First Immunity Challenge
Then, we learn about how Bruce is doing. Jeff reveals, “Bruce is in great shape. No danger. No damage.” This makes the fact that he had to leave the game even more tragic. Teams must push a boat out to sea for this challenge, paddle around a buoy, then haul a bulky chest onto the shore. Then, after untying the chest and removing a small bag with a key, they must drag the chest along a zigzag track. The final step is to finish a big slide puzzle made of Weighty components.
For Ratu, Matthew sits out, and for Soka, Claire does the same. Unsurprisingly, Soka maintains its lead throughout the competition despite having one of the physically more substantial teams. The other four tribe members move the jigsaw pieces around the board, as Matt calls the puzzle. When Ratu and Tika finally start working on their puzzles, Jeff abruptly ends it due to another medical emergency.
After just one episode of Survivor 44, the medical team has been summoned numerous times. On Ratu, Brandon, a former NFL athlete, almost faints and is forced to sit out the rest of the challenge. Tika comes in second with the shield, while Soka takes first with their gorgeous sword immunity piece. Ratu comes in last and must appear before the tribal council.
Tribal Council: Maddy and Brandon Want to Be Voted Out of the House
As the players scramble to stay in the game, we follow Ratu back to the shore. When she is torn between two sides, Jaime becomes increasingly suspicious. Both Maddy and Brandon want to be voted out of the house.
When they reach tribal, Jeff gets Brandon to use the metaphor of a “snake,” while Jaime says she will use her shot-in-the-dark strategy for a one-in-six chance of survival. She claims that her vote won’t matter if everyone votes as promised.
Brandon makes the wise decision to play his idol amid this turmoil. On the other hand, given what we now know, the decisions made in the dark are challenging to understand. Although it doesn’t matter, Jaime becomes the first player to acquire a “safe” scroll from playing her shot-in-the-dark. Maddy and Kane vote for Brandon, but with his idol, Kane m”akes Maddy the first Survivor 44 contestant to be eliminated.
Tribal members have spoken. In reality, only one tribesman talked, but it was sufficient. Maddy arrived quickly and powerfully and reported having a terrific time playing. We anticipate Frannie and Matt making out at the Soka tribe based on the trailer for next week, which has dragons and Celtic braiding (Game of Thrones meets Survivor?).
New episodes of Survivor air every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.