Survivor 44 debuted on Wednesday night, giving fans of the show a two-hour installment to kick things off.
It was a really busy night, with four medical situations, two eliminations, and a new way to get an Immunity Idol.
There was also a lot of drama at the first Tribal Council of the season, possibly setting the stage for a really exciting season.
Eighteen new people make up the Survivor 44 cast, and Jeff Probst has returned as the host.
An interesting addition this year is that Jeff is hosting a post-show podcast where he provides behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the episodes.
But it’s time to dive into all of the main points of that first episode that fans will need to remember for Episode 2.
Survivor 44 season premiere recap
At the first Reward Challenge, Bruce Perreault hit his head and started bleeding a bit, but tried to push through things. A bit later, though, he got lightheaded and went down. Jeff called for the medical team, and they had to put an oxygen mask on Bruce to help him regain consciousness.
Bruce started feeling better, and he was allowed to return to the game. Later, though, back at camp, he started having headaches, and the medical team pulled him from the game. Suddenly, there were only 17 castaways left.
As for the challenge, the Soka Tribe won (Josh, Claire, Danny, Frannie, Heidi, and Matt), Ratu finished in second place (Jaime, Lauren, Matthew, Kane, Brandon, and Maddy), and Tika came in last place (Carolyn, Sarah, Helen, Carson, Yam Yam, and Bruce).
Soka won some camp essentials, leaving the other two tribes to complete tasks back at camp to get their own reward.
Ratu succeeded in the grueling task of dragging coconuts down the beach, and Tika succeeded in solving a puzzle.
The Bird Cage Twist
At each camp, a locked birdcage was placed with an Individual Immunity Idol inside. Brandon from Ratu found a key and got the Immunity Idol at his camp, but he also let everyone else in his tribe know that he had the power.
A journey for some advantages
Each of the tribes had to send one person to go on the “journey” walk. They were able to talk a bit until it came time to make a choice. Each person was sent to a station where they had to dig into a bag that contained three packages. Two packages would cost them their vote, but the third package would be a reward. They could also draw a second time with added risk.
Sarah lost her vote for her next Tribal Council and then drew the Inheritance Advantage. With this advantage, Sarah now has the ability to secretly inherit all advantages and idols that get played at one Tribal Council. That’s a huge deal.
Matt lost his vote for two Tribal Councils, and then Lauren got a Bank Your Vote Advantage. This gave Lauren the ability to secretly not vote at a Tribal Council and save that to become an extra vote at any successive Tribal Council.
An Immunity Challenge and a memorable Tribal Council
At the Immunity Challenge, two teams would gain safety, but the third team would lose its flint and be heading to Tribal Council.
Soka won the challenge, and Tika came in second place to also be safe. Ratu was destined for Tribal Council.
At Tribal Council, Lauren banked her vote. Then, Matthew and Jaime said they were playing their Shot in the Dark (this meant they also sacrificed their votes). Matt was deemed not safe, but Jaime gained safety.
After Jaime became safe, Brandon used his Immunity Idol to protect himself. The maneuvering meant that any votes cast against Jaime or Brandon would be voided.
Jeff began reading the votes, and they were for Brandon, Brandon, and Maddy. By a vote of 1-0, Maddy was eliminated.
Four medical emergencies
Bruce had to be evacuated from the game due to his health, but he wasn’t the only new castaway who had problems in the premiere.
Matthew fell while climbing on rocks, leading to a lot of lacerations and a dislocated shoulder. Then, at the Immunity Challenge, Brandon got lightheaded and couldn’t stand up. Both were examined and allowed to return to the game.
Survivor 44 had a really good opening episode, packed with a lot of drama and gameplay that foreshadows an exciting season.
Looking forward, a big Survivor 45 announcement was also made by CBS.
Survivor 44 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.