'Survivor: Winners At War' recap: Tyson Apostol voted out again after a historic loved ones' visit
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/16/2020
Survivor: Winners At War featured Tyson Apostol getting voted out -- for the second time -- of his Koru tribe during a lively and shocking Tribal Council in which multiple advantages and one hidden Immunity Idol were played during Wednesday night's Season 40 episode on CBS.
Tyson, the winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water who also previously appeared on Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, was voted out of his Koru tribe on Night 25 of the game instead of Survivor: South Pacific winner Sophie Clarke and Survivor: Philippines winner Denise Stapley.
Based on the votesSurvivor host Jeff Probst read aloud at Tribal Council, Denise and Sophie each received two votes. Four votes were shown for Tyson, but it's assumed he also received the rest of the votes from his tribemates.
TheSurvivor broadcast began on Day 24 with the Koru tribe meeting Jeff for what they believed was going to be a Reward Challenge.
Much to the castaways' surprise, their loved ones' visit had arrived earlier than expected, and most of the players immediately broke down into tears.
Most of the players were reunited with several family members at once. Kim got to see her husband Bryan and three young children, Ben was reunited with his wife Kelly and two kids, Sophie cried upon seeing her beloved fiance Bob, and Sarah bawled when she got to hug her partner Wyatt and young son.
Denise ran into the arms of her husband Brad and 15-year-old daughter, Nick was reunited with his fiancee, and Tony's visit was from his wife Marissa and his two children. Tony fell to his knees and bawled at the sight of his family, which showed everyone a different side of the hard-shelled player.
"This is a dream come true, man. It's a fantasy come true," Tony cried to Jeff. "[Family] is what made us all be strong throughout this game."
Michele's sister paid her a visit, and then Tyson got to see Rachel and one of his children -- a beautiful daughter who was all dressed up for him.
"I've dreamed about this moment for a long, long time because I've never experienced a loved ones' visit in the four times I played," Tyson said. "One of my motivations for coming out here this time was to [show my daughter] this is what I do. I run around an island in my underwear. This is my work uniform."
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And finally, Jeremy had an emotional gathering with his wife Val Collins, two teenage daughters and two little boys.
"This is what I need. This is the reason why I almost didn't play, and this is the reason why I'm playing," Jeremy shared. "I feel like I'm missing so much, and I needed this."
Jeff then revealed to the group of families, "Let's get to the loved ones' challenge. For today's challenge, all of the adults and teenagers are going to swim out to the deepest part of the ocean, leaving all the kids behind to dig in the sand."
However, Jeff was just joking around and said -- for the first time ever, in a historic announcement -- there would be no loved ones' challenge. Instead, everyone would get to experience Survivor and create more memories together.
And in another shocking twist, the players on the Edge of Extinction also got to see their families. They couldn't believe it when their loved ones suddenly showed up on a boat.
Amber Mariano said the players on the Edge were able to "escape for a few moments" from their hunger and boredom and were "as happy as can be." Parvati Shallow got to hold her infant again, and Adam cried in his father's arms and received some closure from his mother's passing.
On Day 25, the Koru tribe met with Jeff again for the season's third Individual Immunity Challenge.
Each castaway was required to pull on a rope, balancing a wobbly table, while they attempted to stack letter blocks one at a time in order to spell "IMMUNITY" vertically. The first place to finish would win immunity and be safe from the next vote at Tribal Council in addition to two Fire Tokens.
The challenge came down to Tony vs. Ben and only one block between each man and victory, but then Ben's blocks fell and Tony won the challenge.
With 10 people left, Ben said it was a huge vote because the votes would determine who's in control of the tribe.
"It's like the fog is settling on the battlefield. There's going to be a lot of close fire zipping by our heads, and someone will get hit tonight. Tonight, there will be blood," Ben said in a confessional.
After the challenge, everyone congratulated Tony on his win. It was the first time in three seasons Tony won immunity, and he couldn't believe he won a game that required patience given he's typically "fast and sloppy."
Jeremy spoke to Tony at the water well about splitting votes between Sarah and Sophie, but Tony insisted Ben wouldn't be onboard with that.
Tony asked Jeremy to essentially keep an open mind, but Jeremy wanted to break up the girls since they were so close. Jeremy was frustrated Tony shut him down and he didn't seem to have a voice.
Meanwhile, Sarah talked to Tony about how they needed to target Kim and make her feel comfortable, but Tony said he'd rather see Tyson go. Sarah argued that Kim was more dangerous, but Tony clearly disagreed.
"Kim has everybody in her back pocket. She can win immunity," Sarah insisted.
Sarah and Tony butted heads over this vote, and Sarah said she felt like she was talking to a rock. Sarah wasn't sure she could work with Tony going forward because they couldn't even have an efficient or effective conversation.
Tony seemingly obliged to Sarah's wishes and said he'd try to get the guys in on the vote, but then Jeremy suddenly ran off with Kim to talk -- and so Tony quietly spoke to Nick and Ben about orchestrating a blindside and taking Jeremy out.
Nick and Ben liked the idea and said they were down, and Tony pointed out they'd have the numbers with Sarah and Sophie.
Tony thought Jeremy was "sneaky," and he said Jeremy went against the grain too often. Tony even thought Jeremy might go after Sarah at one point.
Meanwhile, Jeremy talked to Kim about sticking together and working with Tyson. The pair felt left out of conversations, and the trio believed they were on their own with no friends left in the game.
Tyson pitched the idea to Kim and Jeremy about teaming up with Denise and Michele to take a big threat out.
With that being said, Kim revealed she had a hidden Immunity Idol and wanted to vote out Sophie.
"She would never see it coming. This is the best I've felt yet," Kim gushed to her allies.
Tyson worried he might be going back to the Edge, but he knew if they played Kim's idol correctly, maybe he could be saved another Tribal Council. Kim also assured the guys she'd be willing to play her idol for someone else because she was convinced votes weren't coming her way.
Ben and Tony were then shown telling Sarah to vote for Jeremy because Jeremy had pitched splitting votes between Sarah and Sophie.
Jeremy then revealed to Tyson he had an advantage in which he could simply leave Tribal Council and save himself. Tyson, however, told Jeremy that he must stay and attend Tribal or else their side wouldn't have the numbers to send someone to the Edge.
Jeremy still considered using his "Safety Without Power" advantage, but he knew he'd let his alliance down if he selfishly chose to keep himself safe.
"If I did leave, I would be turning my back on my alliance. But I'm a firefighter and we take care of people," Jeremy told the cameras.
But Sarah also had the "Steal a Vote" advantage, and Sophie wanted her to play it to ensure their allies would be safe. Sophie wanted to avoid drawing rocks.
At Tribal Council that night, Nick said it finally felt like people were playing Survivor, and as he spoke, Kim whispered in Michele's ear. And then Sarah ran behind the group to talk to Ben, which resulted in a stream of whispers all around -- including Tyson talking to Kim.
"What do you want me to do?" Michele asked Kim.
Denise was shown telling Tyson, "No. no." And then Kim whispered in Tony's ear, followed by Sarah touching base again with Sophie.
No one, however, seemed to reach out to Jeremy, so he appeared confused and solemn. Ben and Tyson were even shown whispering to each other.
After a lively Tribal, votes were cast -- but first, both Sarah and Jeremy called out Jeff's name.
Neither person wanted to speak first as if they were playing chicken. When Sarah called out Jeff's name a second time, she backed out of playing her advantage. And then Jeremy decided to stand up and play his advantage.
"Tony feels good, and that's the only certainty in the game right now," Jeremy said, before handing over his "Safety Without Power" advantage to Jeff.
Jeff announced Jeremy would be able to leave Tribal Council immediately and no one would be able to vote him out. In exchange for leaving, Jeremy was unable to vote at the Tribal Council session.
Jeremy therefore grabbed his torch and headed out, and Ben said, "Wow," before whispers broke out again and castaways began scrambling.
Amongst all the confusion, Sophie just drew battle lines in the sand and asked her group of "five" to go talk. Her group was comprised of Tony, Nick, Sarah, and Ben.
That left Tyson, Denise, Kim and Michele on the outs, with Kim suggesting they come up with a new plan.
The jury pointed out Jeremy had "abandoned ship" and "left his squad," which resulted in Tyson, Denise, Kim and Michele being vulnerable.
It then became time to vote, but before votes were cast, Sarah decided to use her "Steal a Vote" advantage to take Denise's vote away from her. Kim and Denise looked very disappointed as Jeff revealed Sarah would be able to vote twice.
Before Jeff read the votes aloud, Kim grabbed her bag immediately and chose to play her hidden Immunity Idol, which made Tony and Nick look nervous.