Survivor Winners at War episode 9: Immunity and Reward Challenges

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

In addition to a battle for Individual Immunity, viewers saw the first separate Reward Challenge of the season in episode 9 of Survivor: Winners at War.

Although there has been at least one Reward Challenge in Survivor: Winners at War that hasn’t been televised, this week’s action marks the first one that actually made the edit. In an effort to capture the most important content from each episode, the editors have done a great job by not including scenes and challenge segments that aren’t pivotal to understanding the game. That said, I think we all understand why episode 9’s Reward Challenge made it on our TV screens.

Reward Challenge Overview

The eleven castaways were split into two groups by a schoolyard pick. Jeremy was captain for the red team, selecting Tyson, Adam, Nick and Tony. Wearing blue, Kim chose Ben, Sophie, Michele and Sarah. That left Denise without a team and zero shot at winning Chinese takeout.

Three members from each team had to swim out to a net containing fish-shaped puzzle pieces and bring it back to shore. Once the tribe reaches the beach, those same three castaways have to hang up their fish on a bar, and then carry that bar to the final puzzle stage where the other two players have to assemble it. The blue team led by Kim, Sarah and Ben got off to a strong start, making it to the final puzzle stage with a sizable lead.

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However, when Jeremy and Nick got to the puzzle stage, they looked unstoppable. Upon putting their final pieces together, they figured out that something wasn’t quite right. Sophie and Michele from the blue team continue to show off their skills at puzzles, as they were able to understand the pattern before the other tribe picked up on it.

Sophie jammed in the final puzzle piece, sending Michele, Kim, Ben and Sarah to enjoy a yummy Chinese takeout reward… or so we thought. When Jeff was announcing the Reward to the tribes, Sarah asked Jeff if she could give her spot up for Nick as a birthday present. Nick gladly accepted as everyone else inwardly shook their heads at Sarah’s decision. All of the confusion before Tribal Council definitely helped soften Sarah’s target, but a move like that rarely gives off good vibes to the rest of the cast, even if it was done with genuine intentions.

Reward Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 2/5

Difficulty: 1/5

Entertainment Value: 2/5

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Immunity Challenge Overview:

Staying true to form, this Winners at War episode continued with the theme of bringing back challenge ideas from previous seasons. We’ve seen this episode’s Reward Challenge twice before, but the concept behind the Immunity Challenge is even more vintage with the basic idea dating back to season 4: Marquesas.

The eleven winners are tasked with balancing on a narrow triangular frame that is bobbing up and down from the waves. The last player standing wins Individual Immunity and one Fire Token. It only took a few moments for the current to knock over Michele and Denise in the first round, while Jeremy narrowly survived despite being in visible discomfort.

After five minutes, the castaways were temporarily safe as they switched to a more narrow foothold. Tyson fell off almost immediately, and Jeremy couldn’t hold it any longer either, making a dramatic exit. Tony followed suit leaving three men and three women to battle it out on the highest step of the triangular frame.

Adam wasn’t even able to stand on the platform before the round began. Sophie, Nick and Sarah dropped soon after, creating a showdown between Ben and Kim. Eventually, Kim outlasted him, setting an all-time female record for Individual Immunity wins! That will inevitably heighten her threat level, but having a Hidden Immunity Idol and two Fire Tokens in her back pocket offers short-term protection.

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Immunity Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 2/5

Difficulty: 1/5

Entertainment Value: 2/5