Season 33: Episode 1 - May the Best Generation Win
Posted on Sep 21, 2016 10:00pm


Jeff Probst, the host, identifies the location of the new SURVIVOR season as Fiji. Not only is it stunning, but it is also filled with diverse and dangerous wildlife. Twenty Americans in two boats are speeding towards the beach to join Jeff and have their SURVIVOR adventures begin. Although they don’t know it yet, they are going to be divided into two tribes based on their age. The first group is the Millennials ranging in age from eighteen to thirty-one. Taylor Lee Stocker is a 24 -year old snowboard instructor from Postfalls, ID and is part of the Millennial tribe. He admits, “My generation is all about doing what you want to do.” The second group belongs to GenX ranging in age from thirty-three to fifty-two. Chris Hammons, a 38-year old trial lawyer from Moore, OK comments, “The older generation they take and they actually listen and they use those life experiences.” The twenty contestants arrive at the beach where Jeff welcomes them to the 33rd season of Survivor. Jeff passes out buffs wrapped up with their names on them to each of the contestants. They each anxiously open their buffs to see which color (purple or orange) they have and which tribe they will be on. Jeff reveals to them that they are broken into tribes based on age resulting in the Millennial and GenX tribes. Will Wahl is an 18 year-old high school student from Long Valley, NJ. He comments, “This is definitely a war between generations.” Jeff points out that the two groups have two very different approaches to life and it will be interesting to see which one is better suited to the game of Survivor. Will is the youngest, while Paul Wachter, a 52-year old Boat Mechanic from Sugarloaf Key, FL is the oldest. CeCe Taylor, the 39-year old insurance adjuster from Granada Hills, CA is part of the GenX tribe. She comments on the Millennials saying, “They don’t work for anything. Everything is handed to them.” Adam Klein, a 25-year old homeless shelter manager from San Francisco, CA responds, “I think when we win the first immunity challenge, we’ll see who has to work to win.”

Jeff then informs them of their first challenge. Scattered in the jungle behind them are items that can help them in the next 39 days. Some items will offer short-term value, while others will offer long-term value. In addition, each tribe has two stations where they must choose between two items and leave the other one behind. This is their chance to make the first big decisions in the game. As Jeff gives the go ahead, both tribes race into the jungle to gather as many items as they can in just two minutes and get them back to their mats. Some people grab fruits and vegetables, while other grab wood and bamboo. The GenX tribe chooses pots and utensils over a hammer at their first station. The Millennial tribe makes the same choice, although it takes them a lot longer. Jessica Lewis, a 37-year old assistant district attorney from Voorheesville, NY is delighted to find a sealed envelope near some fruits and vegetables. She quickly hides it in her pants. Jessica reveals, “My heart was pounding, because I was like that’s obviously something good.” At the second station, GenX takes the fishing gear and not the live chickens. The Millennials decide to take the chickens instead. Jeff sees that GenX is looking long term, while the Millennials are looking short term. When the challenge is over, Jeff gives them each a map to their beaches. He warns them that they are in the cyclone season in Fiji and another storm is expected to hit soon. Jeff recommends that they work on their shelters right away when they arrive at their camps.


The Millennial tribe arrives on their beach. The ten Millennial tribe members are:

Adam Klein, a 25-year old Homeless Shelter Manager from San Francisco, CA
Hannah Shapiro, a 24-year old Barista from West Hollywood, CA
Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa, a 23-year old Bartender from Nashville, TN
Justin “Jay” Starrett, a 27-year old Real Estate Agent from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mari Takahashi, a 31-year old Gamer from Los Angeles, CA
Michaela Bradshaw, a 25-year old Vacation Club Sales from Forth Worth, TX
Michelle Schubert, a 28-year old Missionary Recruiter from Yakima, WA
Taylor Lee Stocker, a 24 -year old Snowboard Instructor from Postfalls, ID
Will Wahl, an 18-year old High School Student from Long Valley, NJ
Zeke Smith, a 28-year old Asset Manager from Brooklyn, NY

They introduce themselves to each other. Mari comments, “I absolutely think that our tribe and our generation sees things in a completely different way and as Millennials that’s our huge advantage.” They quickly get to work gathering materials to build their shelter. As they work together, Taylor makes fast friends with Jay, Figgy and Michelle. He admits, “I’m a sucker for pretty girls.” Zeke identifies as a young man with an old soul, so he does not feel comfortable with his tribe mates. He comments, “You know what none of these kids have ever had in their entire lives? A real job.” The Millennials take a break from building their shelter to raise their water bottles and toast to YOUTH.


Over at the GenX camp, all ten of them are standing by their flag getting to know each other. The ten GenX tribe members are:

Bret LaBelle, a 42-year old Police Sergeant from Dedham, MA
Chris Hammons, a 38-year old Trial Lawyer from Moore, OK
Ciandre “CeCe” Taylor, a 39-year old Insurance Adjuster from Granada Hills, CA
David Wright, a 42-year old Television Writer from Sherman Oaks, CA
Jessica Lewis, a 37-year old Assistant District Attorney from Voorheesville, NY
Ken McNickle, a 33-year old Model from Denver, CO
Lucy Huang, a 42-year old Dietician from Diamond Bar, CA
Paul Wachter, a 52-year old Boat Mechanic from Sugarloaf Key, FL
Sunday Burquest, a 45-year old Youth Pastor from Otsego, MN
Rachel Ako, a 37-year old Recruiting Director from Los Angeles, CA

Paul points out to his tribe that they have the advantage because they are thinkers and hard workers. Ken is quick to point out that they should not underestimate the younger tribe, whose members likely have sharp minds. Chris encourages his tribe to get to work on their shelter. Ken offers to take the lead on building the shelter, since he lived in the jungles of Hawaii for many years. Ken comments, “To me this is home and I want to help, kind of guide my team.” As her tribe starts working on their shelter, Jessica sneaks away from camp to open the envelope that she picked up during the scramble to get supplies. She opens the envelope and reads the note inside. Jessica explains, “This is the first time in Survivor there is the legacy advantage. So, if I’m still here on day 36, I will receive an advantage in the game.” She plans on staying in the game to use that advantage.


Back at the Millennial tribe, Figgy asks the others for help with the chickens. She admits, “I’m a flirty girl and I’m good at manipulating men.” The majority of the tribe heads back to the beach to bring more supplies to camp. This leaves Figgy, Jay and Taylor alone at camp to talk. The three of them confirm that they like each other and will work together in the game. Figgy encourages them to get Michelle to join their alliance. Jay admits, “Tails and Figgy, they’re my go tos and I really appreciate them and they’re like good people.” Jay invites Michelle to join their alliance. She agrees. Meanwhile, Hannah feels like the odd person out. She strikes up a conversation with Michelle as they are weaving palm fronds for the shelter. Michelle is happy that people are confiding in her. She comments, “In this game, having people trust you and maybe view you as someone who really does care for them, that’s very beneficial.”


Back at the GenX tribe, everyone is still working on getting the camp set up. Rachel is working with Paul to dig a hole. Rachel quickly gets frustrated with Paul when he doesn’t give her specifics on how deep the hole should be. She accuses him of not being a good worker, when he decides to leave the task and move onto something else. Paul does not appreciate this and the others at camp are watching the tension build between the two of them. Sunday comments, “Rachel is definitely over eager. She’s overly confrontive. When you’re in a group setting it can just really bring a lot of negativity to the group and people don’t like it.” Meanwhile, Chris and Brett decide to focus on building the frame for the shelter, while the others are talking. David offers to help them, but warns them that he knows nothing about building. David admits, “What I do love is the game play and that’s why I’m here.” Bret is amazed when David has to hold his ears because the noise is too loud for him chopping the bamboo with the machete. Bret comments, “Dave’s got to man up. There’s girls with more testosterone back at that camp than he’s got.” Next, Dave watches Ken and Paul gather wood in the nearby jungle. He thinks he sees Ken holding a hidden immunity idol in his hand and alerts Bret and Chris. Bret and Chris don’t see anything suspicious in Ken’s hand and feel that Dave is being too paranoid. Dave goes to investigate, but before he does he tells Chris and Brett that he trusts them and wants to work with them. Chris admits, “He’s scrambling around and talking strategy and I think it’s just too early to be pushing too hard.”


Even though their shelter has a long way to go to be completed, the Millennials decide to take a break and go for a swim in the ocean. The winds are kicking up and the clouds are rolling in as the sun is going down, but this doesn’t bother most of them. Adam warns them about the weather and recommends they don’t go swimming. He comments, “I think the difference between GenX and Millennials is that GenXers believe that you have to put in your time in order to get to where you want to be. Millennials don’t believe that.” Mari stays out of the water with Adam and watches the rest of her tribe swim and play in the ocean. Later after the sun is down and a storm approaches, the Millennials decide to come back to camp and put a roof on their shelter. When a few of them try to lie down in the shelter, it caves in. Will admits, “Our shelter was definitely one of the worst in the history of Survivor.” The storm arrives and they all huddle together under palm fronds trying to stay dry. As the rain and thunder gets worse, the Millennials sit in the rain and shiver hoping the storm will be over soon.


The next morning at the GenX tribe, the rain is still coming down and the wind is still blowing. Everyone is cold, wet and tired. Chris and Ken bring tree mail to camp. Ken reads the tree mail from Jeff, which informs them that this storm is due to last longer. Since, they did not have enough time to complete their shelter, Jeff enclosed a tarp for them to use until their shelter is done. The GenX tribe is so happy to have the tarp and immediately puts it above their shelter to protect them from the rain. Chris admits, “This is going to be a difficult Survivor season in my opinion. I think this weather is something that none of us were prepared for.”

Over at the Millennial tribe, they are also reading their tree mail from Jeff and are also relieved to have a tarp. Michaela comments, “You know it’s bad when Jeff gives you a tarp.” The Millennials decide to work hard to get their camp better suited for the storm. They put up support posts and install their tarp. Zeke admits, “Last night was one of the hardest nights of my life. So I don’t understand how it could get much worse than that.” Next thing they know, Jeff Probst arrives in a boat at their beach. He informs them that the storm has been upgraded to a cyclone, so they are being evacuated to a safer place. Adam comments, “We have never done this in the history of 33 seasons of Survivor.” Jeff asks them to collect their personal items and their chickens and follow him to the boat. Everyone scrambles to get their things.

Jeff then goes to the GenX camp and tells them to evacuate. Paul comments, “I knew something was wrong, since Jeff very rarely comes to camp unless it’s a safety situation.” The GenX tribe quickly leaves camp, just as the winds and rain intensifies.


The next day after the cyclone passes through their camp, the GenX tribe returns to find their shelter destroyed. A large tree had fallen right on the shelter and demolished it. CeCe comments, “It was good that we were evacuated. That was definitely our saving grace that Jeff made the decision to do that.” The GenX tribe immediately starts working to rebuild their shelter and put their camp back in order. David struggles as he tries to help carry palm fronds and break up the wood for fire. He knows he is one of the weakest people on the tribe and he worries that he will be voted out first because of that. David admits to CeCe and Lucy that he is out of his element and fears so many things including death. He chokes up as he says, “I’m going to turn this game around for myself.” David decides that he must find a hidden immunity idol to keep himself safe in the game. So, while the rest of his tribe is hard at work building the shelter, he is madly searching for the idol. Jennifer and Bret notice that David is searching and not helping and they pass this information onto Chris and Paul. They all are annoyed that David is being so paranoid. Jennifer admits, “If David has an idol it certainly would complicate things moving forward. So, if we lose, it’s going to be David.”


The Millennials also find their camp in ruins from the cyclone when they return. Zeke takes charge and proposes the game plan for the shelter. Even though he is from Brooklyn and knows nothing about building structures, he wanted to make sure the job got done this time. Zeke comments, “So, like against all odds, I’ve become the leader of the camp.” Next, Zeke works with Jay and Taylor to build fire by rubbing two pieces of bamboo together. The whole tribe congratulates Zeke as he gets the job done and starts a fire. He is so proud to accomplish the very difficult task of building a fire without flint.” Zeke admits, “I feel like a milestone has been reached in my life, that I’ve like become a new man.” Later, Taylor, Figgy and Jay confirm their friendship and alliance on the beach. Taylor labels them, “The Triforce.” Hannah feels like the tribe is dividing up into the cool kids versus the misfits. She feels like a misfit and is worried about her future. Hannah talks to Rachel about the danger of the cool kids. Rachel is happy to join Hannah as a misfit and tear apart the popular group. She reveals, “My goal is to play like I would play video games. So, at this point, I’m pulling together kind of like the misfits and kind of the outcasts.” Rachel talks to Adam and Michaela about breaking up the pretty group of Michelle, Figgy, Taylor and Jay. She hopes to get the numbers on her side to vote out one of the four at the next Tribal Council.


Jeff Probst welcomes the Millennial and GenX tribes to the first immunity challenge. He is pleased to see that both tribes have brought the tarps that he gave them before the cyclone back, which means they have successfully built shelters. Jeff uncovers the Immunity Idol that is the coveted prize for winning the challenge. It guarantees that they will be safe from going to Tribal Council and the possibility of being voted out. Jeff describes the challenge to them. They will have to make choices during the challenge that will help them either in the front end or back end of the challenge. They will begin by racing under an obstacle and retrieving a war club. They will them come to a rope tunnel which they can cross as is or use a short cut to make it much easier. Next, they will come to a balance beam, where they can run it as is or use a short cut that makes it much easier. They will then carry a crate to the finish and use the pieces inside to solve a puzzle. The dilemma is every time they use a short cut it adds 10 more pieces to their puzzle. So, if they think they are skilled at puzzles, then they may want to take the shortcuts to get to the end quickly and solve the puzzle with more pieces. If they are not confident with puzzles, then they may want to run the course as is and solve a puzzle with less pieces. The first to finish wins immunity and flint to help them start fire. The losing tribe will go to Tribal Council where one of them will be the first person voted out of SURVIVOR: MILLENIALS VS GENX.

Jeff then gives the tribes a minute to strategize for the challenge. The challenge begins and everyone races to the first obstacle to untie their clubs. Chris tries to block Jay and the other Millennials from getting their clubs. This allows his tribe to get all their clubs first and proceed to the next obstacle ahead of the Millennials. GenX decides to use their war club to choose the first short cut. Rachel swings the war club to activate the shortcut. It takes her some time to do this, which allows the Millennials to make up some time. The Millennials do not take the first short cut, but they do take the second one, which makes the balance beam easier. The GenX tribe takes both short cuts, so they get their crate of puzzle pieces to the finish much earlier. This gives Rachel and David a big head start in solving the puzzle, but they must put their puzzle together with 70 pieces. Since, the Millennials took only one short cut, they must put their puzzle together with only 60 pieces. When the Millennials finally get to the puzzle, Michelle and Figgy work to solve it. David and Rachel have trouble with the GenX puzzle, so Jessica and Sunday replace them. In the end, the Millennials solve their puzzle first and win immunity and flint for their tribe. The GenX tribe is disappointed that their big lead did not result in a win. Chris is not happy with David or Rachel’s performance in the challenge. He reveals, “Those two are on the hatchet.”


As the GenX tribe returns to camp, everyone feels the puzzle was the reason why they lost the challenge. Bret comments, “At the immunity challenge, Rachel tells everyone that she can do puzzles and puzzles are her thing and she screws it all up.” Sunday, Jessica and Bret go in the ocean to cool off and talk about the vote tonight at Tribal Council. They agree to vote for Rachel, since she let them down in the challenge. David notices that he is not being included in any of the conversations after getting back to camp. He admits, “I think I’m going home tonight.” David decides to talk to Jessica, Chris and Bret. He asks them not to vote him out in return for him voting with them tonight. Jessica asks David if he has a hidden immunity idol. David assures Jessica that he does not have one. He can tell that she doesn’t believe him, so he admits to looking for an idol because he felt left out and very paranoid. David pledges his loyalty to Jessica, Bret and Chris. Bret still feels that David has an idol. He wants David to feel safe though, so he tells David that he has nothing to worry about tonight. Bret reveals, “My decision is Rachel or David.” He is confident that he has six people voting with him, who are Chris, Paul, Sunday, Jessica and Lucy and himself. So, with six people they can split the vote between David and Rachel and protect themselves in case one of them has an idol. Rachel is worried, because she sees that the group of six is not talking to her. She and CeCe wonder whom the others are going to be voting for tonight. Rachel admits, “I never actually thought I’d feel like this so early in the game, where I feel like CeCe and me, we’re on the chopping block.” As he walks out of camp on the way to Tribal Council, David hopes that he is not the one being voted out tonight.


Jeff Probst welcomes the GenX tribe to Tribal Council and instructs them to light their torches. He tells them that this is part of the ritual of Tribal Council because in this game fire represents their life. When their fire is gone, so are they. Jessica explains that her eyes are all red and swollen, because she got sand in them when the winds were blowing so hard during the evacuation. Bret thinks the cyclone was ten times worse than Nor’easters that hit Boston. Jeff calls David’s name to ask him a question. David says, “Oh crap.” because he is scared of what Jeff might ask him. David admits that he himself is his biggest enemy in this game and he fears that he will go home tonight. CeCe understands David’s fears about being the first one voted out this season. In fact, the majority of the tribe admits that they too worry that they might be the ones voted out tonight. Rachel admits to feeling vulnerable when no one would talk strategy with her. She hopes that no ones feelings got hurt because she has been so honest and upfront with her tribe over the past four days. Jessica feels certain that idols exist in this game and admits that the tribe thought David might have an idol. David hopes to prove to his tribe that he can be trusted. Jeff then calls for the GenX tribe to cast their votes. Before Jeff reveals the votes, he asks if anyone would like to play an immunity idol. No idol is played. David and Sunday both receive one vote. CeCe receives three votes, but Rachel receives five votes. So, Rachel Ako, a 37-year old Recruiting Director from Los Angeles, CA is the first person voted out of SURVIVOR: MILLENIALS VS GENX. Jeff informs the remaining GenX tribe members that fire in the form of a flint is waiting for them back at camp.