Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 1: Immunity Challenge review

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Survivor: Edge of Extinction bumps its way through the first Immunity Challenge, giving viewers a unique and competitive battle between the two tribes.

With only one hour to cover the start of a new season, production went all in for the first Immunity/Reward Challenge of the year. Although it’s hard to compete with the brilliance of last season, the first episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction offered up a fun challenge with original elements to it.

It’s really one massive obstacle course ending with a unique take on a slide puzzle. First, the castaways have to maneuver through ropes. Once they’re through, one tribe member climbs up a rope to ring a bell, allowing their tribe to move on to a thin balance beam and a rope crawl.

After all the tribe members are through, they can begin solving their jumbo slide puzzle. The typical pieces are replaced by massive boxes that demand several castaways to push and pull. The first tribe to finish their puzzle by sliding their large, marked piece out of the puzzle area wins immunity. The winning tribe also receives flint. You can rewatch this challenge below.

Immunity Challenge Takeaways:

It was surprising to see how both tribes were pretty even for almost the entire challenge. Joe definitely proved he can still own challenges, but Chris fought toe to toe with Joey amazing climbing up the rope at the same exact speed! Eric also emerged as a legitimate physical threat as he aced the balance beam and whipped through the rope crawl.

Eric, Joe and Aubry’s balancing skills helped the Kama tribe (yellow) build up a lead heading into the puzzle stage. Wentworth’s painful fall and the poor efforts from the rest of the newbies on the Manu tribe (blue) dragged them down.

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Although slide puzzles aren’t anything new, the sheer size of these blocks added an interesting element. Joe appeared to be directing the puzzle makers for Kama, until they got a little lost and needed to step back. It’s hard to tell who got the gears rolling once they slowed down, but it looked like Eric once again was instrumental to their success.

For the Manu tribe, David came out right away calling the shots, he knew immediately the best way to solve this puzzle. However, his tribe was so far behind that they needed a miracle to catch Kama. It also felt like it was so much harder for them to push the blocks compared to Joe’s tribe.

It’s a little unfair to judge after one episode, especially since it was a relatively close battle, but the blue tribe led by Wentworth and David looks significantly weaker. Not only does the blue tribe have Joe and Eric, two of the most athletic men on the island, but they also have great puzzle makers including Ron and Aubry. We will find out soon enough if David and Kelley can carry Manu to a victory.

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Immunity Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 3/5

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Entertainment Value: 3/5