First 5 minutes of Winners at War episode 1 caps off Survivor at 40 recap

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Right after celebrating 39 seasons of history, season 40’s Survivor: Winners at War episode 1 was given a five-minute teaser to cap off “Survivor at 40.”

Even though we have been re-watching old seasons of our favorite reality competition program in the lead-up to Winners at War, I personally could not handle my excitement to catch up on the highlights in a highlight reel-esque special like Survivor at 40: Greatest Moments and Players. Though it covered many of the oft-repeated historical grounds (poor Erik Reichenbach), it was great to get that shot to the arm ahead of a historic 20th-anniversary game.

Little could we expect to get as many morsels of information in this 40-season recap retrospective as we did, as the final five minutes of Survivor at 40 served as the first five minutes of Winners at War episode 1 as it will either air next Wednesday or will completely skip over to get as much action as possible. Let’s recap the teaserObvious spoilers ahead.

The beginning of Survivor: Winners at War starts with Jeff Probst’s opening speech from the Borneo days as it voices over flashes of the 20 winners to both compete in this season and follow in the footsteps of Richard Hatch. From there, we’re taken to a shot of the men’s boat as Tony provides the first confessional of the year, relating Winners at War to a Survivor Super Bowl 20 years in the making.

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Off in the distance, we cut to the women being boated in with many cuts highlighting the 10 selected to compete in this historic season. Parvati laments not being able to be as diabolical in the past few years due to her growing her family, while Ethan gets choked up about overcoming Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Amber looks forward to the opportunity to beat her husband again.

Following sizzle quotes from the players in a sizzle reel and Jeff Probst offering up the “39 days, 20 people, One Survivor” line, we then cut to the men jumping out of the boat as they arrive at the marooning for Winners at War. Ben Driebergen is the first to line up; could this be a precursor to a Big Brother-like twist where the first in the house is cursed not to win?

The women follow in their own boat, although many more are falling all over the place in the cresting water upon their marooning beach. While many get their pleasantries in (Adam Klein realizing it’s actually happening, Tyson glibly asking if the women hate the ocean), Sandra’s confessional shares that she had no idea Boston Rob was going to compete this season despite hanging out on Island of the Idols.

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The fact that she feels betrayed by Boston Rob might set up the first battle (if not war) at Survivor: Winners at War, but if that happens, it will take place in next week’s two-hour premiere. We’re in for quite the spicy opening salvo when episodes 1 and 2 air on Wednesday, February 12, at 8 p.m. ET.