Survivor: Winners at War goes old school with the latest challenge in an effort to create more memorable moments, and it may have succeeded.
Winners at War is back at it with an Immunity Challenge that might have the oldest roots so far. The concept behind episode 12’s challenge dates all the way back to the third season of Survivor and it had its fair share of memorable moments along the way. Surprisingly, Kim is the only one out of the Final Eight to participate in this challenge before. Her result: she stepped off to share cupcakes and milk! I guess old habits die hard.
Each player has their arm strapped to a bucket of water while standing on a narrow beam. If a castaway lowers their arm, their bucket will tip eliminating them from the contest. In this iteration, the participants are not allowed to support their arm or touch any part of the structure, which would also result in elimination. The last man and last woman standing win Individual Immunity and two Fire Tokens.
Five minutes into the challenge, Ben was already was begging for food, specifically peanut butter and cookies. Jeremy dropped moments later. Ben then lost his balance and Jeff called him out after touching the structure. He had a frustrated look, but when Jeff asked him squarely if he touched it, he somberly admitted he did and stepped off. Shortly after, Sarah became the first female to drop her bucket.
Staying true to the tradition of this challenge, Nick attempted to convince Tony to step off in exchange for a Fire Token, but Tony denied the offer. At the fifteen-minute mark, Jeff presented the five remaining participants with peanut butter, chocolate, cookies, and milk. Kim was the first to cave in, just as she did in One World. Michele joined Kim, giving Denise immunity and two more tokens to add to her growing collection.
Moments later, as the food offer was expiring, Nick asked Tony if he would give him a Fire Token for stepping down, and Tony agreed. That gave Tony a critical Immunity Necklace that set the stage for a masterful Tribal Council. Plus, with two more Fire Tokens incoming, he was easily able to pay off his deal with Nick.
It has been a long time since dropping out of a challenge for food has been this impactful. If Kim and Nick pulled through it, this episode might have had a completely different result. Tony’s drive to win is so strong that it’s going to be hard to beat him in any endurance challenges. Although Tony’s stash of tokens is constantly being depleted, having that regular income from challenges is giving him the ammo to keep Nick, Ben, and Jeremy close to him.
Denise is another person who has been amassing Fire Tokens, only she has been actually holding onto hers, making her the richest castaway still in the game. That gives her the flexibility to possibly barter in challenges, bribe “alliance” members and easily purchase advantages that could be sent to her. Her performance in challenges this season have been impressive, but it is interesting to note that all three of her career immunity wins have come in challenges where two people can win, not just one.
With next week being a two-hour episode, Tony and Jeremy’s challenge performances, in particular, will be pivotal to the outcome of this season. It will be exciting to watch!
Entertainment value: 3/5