Survivor Winners at War episode 11: Immunity Challenge

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Episode 11’s battle for Individual Immunity had a compelling storyline behind the challenge that made this version of a Survivor classic a fun one to watch.

Last week’s Survivor: Winners at War action gave us a glimpse into how exciting a returning player season should be. Tony Vlachos stole the show in so many ways, and one of those had to do with the Immunity Challenge. After getting cursed with a ridiculous extortion advantage disadvantage, Tony was able to negate its effect by begging for three additional Fire Tokens. With the extortion money paid off, Tony was allowed to take part in the challenge as planned.

Immunity Challenge Overview

The nine castaways were tasked with using a ten-foot pole to stop a statue from falling over while standing on a narrow beam. The basic idea goes back all the way to Samoa, in that epic battle between Russell Hantz and Brett Clouser. However, this exact iteration of holding the pole horizontally instead of vertically is more of a recent idea that we’ve seen in Millennials vs. Gen X and Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.

Not too long into the challenge, Kim somehow dropped her statue with minimal movement. Everyone else was solid, which prompted Jeff to move the group back to a farther distance along the beam. With a rare live transition, Denise, Michele and Sarah weren’t able to survive it. A little while later, Nick and Sophie lost their statues, leaving Tony, Ben, and Jeremy to fight it out.

The three men battled for over 30 minutes, which is a challenge record according to Probst. All of a sudden, both Ben and Jeremy lost their balance dramatically. It almost looked like Jeremy got distracted by sneaking a peek at Ben’s elimination, only to drop his statue as well. That gave Tony his second straight victory and much-needed Fire Tokens to begin repaying his debts.

Challenge Takeaways:

You wouldn’t have guessed it from Cagayan, but Tony has been turning into an immunity beast, winning two fairly different types of challenges in a row. That doesn’t entirely help his cause moving forward, but given how big of a target Tony is, especially after pulling off this huge move, I don’t think a necklace makes that much of a difference for his threat level.

In all honesty though, it’s Jeremy who needs the necklace the most at the moment. He’s one of the largest targets still in the game, and he has the firepower to win immunity as we saw in this challenge. Ben also had a strong performance this week. If he can avoid being idoled out while the big names go at it, Ben might have an easy path to the end with little physical competition around him to halt another immunity run of his.

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Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 2/5

Difficulty: 3/5

Entertainment Value: 3/5