'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' castaway Nadiya Anderson gets voted out of her Coyopa tribe
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/25/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water eliminated Nadiya Anderson during Wednesday night's premiere of the CBS reality competition's 29th season.
Nadiya, a 28-year-old project coordinator and crossfit coach from Edgewater, NJ, was voted out of her Coyopa tribe on Day 3 at the season's first Tribal Council session. Her history on The Amazing Race had her tribe worried she could backstab them without difficulty.
"This is the second time I'm out first. It sucks. I don't know if it's because of The Amazing Race and I had a target on my back. Anything is a possibility. You can have regrets in this game but it is what it is. So, I'm not surprised but I'm definitely disappointed. I hope [my sister Natalie Anderson] wins it all. It's going to be hard without a loved one there with her, but I'm going to be rooting for her all the way," Nadiya said following her ouster.
Survivor's debut episode began with introductions to nine pairs of loved ones competing for the $1 million grand prize and title of "Sole Survivor." They included twin-sibling rivalry and a father and daughter pair trying to strengthen their rocky relationship.
Each couple was given flint and practiced starting a fire before meeting host Jeff Probst for the official start of their 39-day game. The castaways then learned they'd be competing against their loved ones on different tribes. The orange tribe was called Coyopa, while the castaways with blue buffs were dubbed Hunahpu.
Coyopa was comprised of Nadiya; Wes Nale, a 23-year-old firefighter from Shreveport, LA; Baylor Wilson, a 20-year-old student from Nashville, TN; Dale Wentworth, a 55-year-old farmer from Ephrata, WA; John Rocker, a 39-year-old former MLB player from Atlanta, GA; Jaclyn Schultz, a 25-year-old media buyer from Las Vegas, NV; Josh Canfield, a 32-year-old actor and writer from New York, NY; Val Collins, a 35-year-old police officer from Foxboro, MA; and Alec Christy, a 22-year-old student from Winter Park, FL.
Hunahpu featured Drew Christy, a 25-year-old traveling sales representative from Winter Park, FL; Jeremy Collins, a 36-year-old firefighter from Foxboro, MA; Reed Kelly, a 31-year-old Broadway performer, model and aerialist from New York, NY; Jon Misch, a 26-year-old financial assistant from Waterford, MI; Julie McGee, a 34-year-old model and owner of a spray-tan business from Atlanta, GA; Natalie, a 28-year-old student and crossfit coach from Edgewater, NJ; Keith Nale, a 53-year-old fire captain from Shreveport, LA; Missy Payne, a 47-year-old owner of a competitive cheerleading gym from Dallas, TX; and Kelley Wentworth, a 28-year-old marketing manager from Seattle, WA.
Jeff then explained the rules to what would be their first Reward Challenge.
One person from each tribe had to race through a wooden cube, untangling rope. Attached to the rope were two rings. The first ring would be used to retrieve a platform and drag it back. The castaways must then head back into the cube, untangle the rest of the rope, and then use the second ring to retrieve and drag another platform. The first person to gather both platforms and get them across the finish line would win Reward in the form of flint and a bag of beans.
Each tribe had to nominate one castaway to participate in the challenge. Hunahpu first nominated Jeremy. In a twist, Jeff revealed Jeremy would be competing against his wife Val and he didn't have a choice. The couple originally had a competitive spirit about them, talking trash to one another, until they heard of the additional twist.
The loser of the challenge would be sent to Exile Island, where he or she must live with no shelter and very little food. That person would miss out on forming alliances at camp but would return to the game at the next Immunity Challenge.
Jeremy ended up winning the challenge and clearly struggled with the idea of sending his wife away to an isolated island. He felt guilty. Jeff then made Jeremy choose one person on his own tribe to join Val on Exile Island. He immediately, and without hesitation, selected Keith because he appeared to be an outdoorsman. Jeremy hoped Keith could take care of his wife.
Keith got very emotional, both because he felt sorry for the married couple and didn't want to leave his tribe so early on. However, Keith maintained a positive attitude and didn't have any hard feelings toward Jeremy.
The tribes were then given a map to the location of their camp. Jeremy wished he could be taking care of his wife, but he instead began strategizing with the women in his tribe. Jeremy aligned with Kelley, Natalie and Missy. All three girls thought he was a nice guy and believed they could trust him. Jeremy felt like the most popular guy in his tribe since he won flint and beans for the group.
Meanwhile, Coyopa member Dale acknowledged the fact he's more than 25 years older than everyone else at camp. He was worried about the social aspect of the game and getting the boot early because of his physicality. Because of his concerns, he sparked the first fire for his tribe. Dale then found a tiny necklace on the well, not knowing what it was. He didn't think it was a hidden Immunity Idol.
Over at Exile Island, Val feared she'd return to her tribe and then get voted out first. Both Val and Keith were then given the opportunity to each pick an urn. Keith's was empty, however, Val discovered a clue to a hidden immunity idol back at her camp. She didn't share that information with Keith.
With it still being Day 1, the Coyopa tribe members were recognizing who John Rocker was, especially Wes. John asked him to keep the secret safe.
On Day 3, Josh's eyes were burning, flared up and red. He tried to "suck it up" and his tribemates assumed they had been building their shelter with some poisonous sap.
Afterward, both tribes met Jeff again for the season's first Immunity Challenge. At this point, Val and Keith rejoined their original tribe. They had been gone for two days.
For the challenge, each tribe was instructed to race to the top of a giant tower, crawl under an obstacle and then work together to retrieve three bags containing pieces they'd need to get to the top of the tower. To climb the first wall, they'd use rope. The second wall required using pegs. And finally, the players would only have each other to climb the third wall.
Once at the top of the tower, four people from each tribe had to solve a puzzle. The first tribe to finish would win immunity, while the losing tribe would be forced to vote out one of its members at the first Tribal Council.
Hunahpu ended up winning immunity.
At Hunahpu's camp, amidst the celebration, Jeremy promised Keith he'd "get him in good" with the tribe again as a favor for taking care of his wife on Exile Island. Both men were firefighters, so Keith felt a bond with him because of that.
Over at Coyopa, Val frantically looked for the hidden Immunity Idol. Dale also struck up a conversation with the guys about how Nadiya had competed on The Amazing Race and never hesitated to U-Turn a team. Dale expressed how Nadiya could be dangerous to them because she wouldn't be a great person to trust.
Nadiya and Baylor aligned with Josh, who didn't really have loyalties to anyone. Josh found himself in the middle of a guys' alliance and the group of females, who had discussed working with each other to oust the men. Because he got along with both sides so well, he realized he'd be the swing vote at Tribal Council.
The girls decided they wanted to target Dale because of his age. They didn't think he aided them in Immunity Challenges.
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water's first Tribal Council session then commenced for the Coyopa tribe. Josh was declared the most well-liked guy in the tribe and Dale admitted he felt like an easy target.
After the castaways each cast their vote for whom they'd like to eliminate, Jeff revealed Nadiya had received five votes, Dale earned three votes, and Baylor received one.
Jeff gave the tribe flint on their way out of Tribal.
The episode's closing credits revealed only seven of the nine votes cast. Dale and Val's votes were not shown. However, it became clear Dale had voted for Nadiya as well as Wes, John, Alec, and Baylor -- who flipped on the women. Jaclyn and Nadiya were shown voting for Dale, so it would only make sense that Val did as well. Josh, strangely enough, voted to oust Baylor.