Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
|Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of episodes||14|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Production location(s)||Mamanuca Islands, Fiji|
|Filming dates||April 3– May 11, 2017|
|Original release||September 27– December 20, 2017|
|Preceded by||Survivor: Game Changers|
|Followed by||Survivor: Ghost Island|
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers is the 35th season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. This season featured 18 new players divided into three tribes based on a dominant perceived trait: "Heroes" (courage), "Healers" (compassion), and "Hustlers" (tenacity). The season premiered on September 27, 2017, and ended on December 20, 2017, when Ben Driebergen was named the winner over Chrissy Hofbeck and Ryan Ulrich in a 5–2–1 vote.
This season featured several alterations to the rules. This season marked a return to the tiebreaker format used before the previous season, Survivor: Game Changers, where a tied vote at Tribal Council was followed by a second ballot before being declared "deadlocked". The format of the penultimate Tribal Council, with four players remaining, was changed; in lieu of a vote, the winner of the final immunity challenge was to assign additional immunity to another castaway, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist. This was the fourth season of the show filmed in Fiji, following Survivor: Fiji, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, and Survivor: Game Changers.
The cast is composed of 18 new players, initially split into three tribes containing six members each; Levu ("Heroes"), Soko ("Healers"), and Yawa ("Hustlers").
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
46, Excelsior, Minnesota
|Levu||1st voted out|
25, New York City, New York
|Yawa||2nd voted out|
24, Auburn, Alabama
|Yawa||3rd voted out|
32, Houston, Texas
|Levu||Levu||4th voted out|
27, Santa Monica, California
|Soko||Soko||5th voted out|
|Alexandrea "Ali" Elliott
24, Los Angeles, California
|Yawa||Soko||6th voted out|
29, Louisville, Kentucky
|Soko||Yawa||Solewa||7th voted out|
|Desiree "Desi" Williams
27, Newport News, Virginia
|Soko||Levu||8th voted out|
1st jury member
24, Little Rock, Arkansas
|Soko||Yawa||9th voted out|
2nd jury member
|John Paul "JP" Hilsabeck
28, Los Angeles, California
|Levu||Soko||10th voted out|
3rd jury member
34, Tolland, Connecticut
|Soko||Levu||11th voted out|
4th jury member
35, Beaufort, North Carolina
|Yawa||Yawa||12th voted out|
5th jury member
26, Satellite Beach, Florida
|Levu||Levu||13th voted out|
6th jury member
43, Parkland, Florida
|Soko||Yawa||14th voted out|
7th jury member
23, Solana Beach, California
8th jury member
23, North Arlington, New Jersey
46, Lebanon Township, New Jersey
34, Boise, Idaho
The 18 players were initially divided into three tribes: Levu (Heroes), Soko (Healers) and Yawa (Hustlers). During the marooning, Ryan from the Hustlers tribe found a Super Immunity Idol that was only valid at the first Tribal Council. As his tribe won immunity, he was able to send the Idol to a member of the losing Heroes tribe; he chose Chrissy. Ryan and Chrissy both became dominant players on their tribes, forming strong alliances with Devon and Ben, respectively. The Healers tribe went undefeated, while the Heroes lost one member and the Hustlers lost two.
When the tribes were switched, Ryan and Chrissy aligned on the new Soko tribe, working to eliminate Healers and their allies, including Ryan's former Hustlers tribemate Ali. At the merge, Ryan and Chrissy brought their former Heroes and Hustlers tribemates together against the Healers. Ryan and Chrissy's allies eventually turned on them, with Ben acting as a double agent to hinder their plans, but Ben's new alliance also betrayed him for being a threat to win the game. However, he managed to successfully play three consecutive hidden immunity idols to reach the final four along with Chrissy, Ryan and Devon.
When Chrissy won the final immunity challenge, she had to grant one castaway additional immunity, which would force the remaining two to compete against each other in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist. She chose to save Ryan. Ben defeated Devon in the firemaking challenge to join Chrissy and Ryan in the finals. At the Final Tribal Council, Ben was praised for finding multiple hidden immunity idols and making it to the end despite being a massive target while Chrissy was commended for dominating in immunity challenges, but both were criticized for their lack of social connections, while Ryan was criticized for his lack of strategic conversations and work ethic. Ultimately, Ben was awarded the title of Sole Survivor over Chrissy and Ryan in a 5–2–1 vote.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Eliminated||Finish|
|"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Confident"||September 27, 2017||Soko||Soko||Katrina||1st voted out|
|"I'm a Wild Banshee"||October 4, 2017||Soko||Simone||2nd voted out|
|"My Kisses Are Very Private"||October 11, 2017||Levu||Patrick||3rd voted out|
|"I Don't Like Having Snakes Around"||October 18, 2017||Yawa||Yawa||Alan||4th voted out|
|"The Past Will Eat You Alive"||October 25, 2017||Levu||Yawa||Roark||5th voted out|
|"This is Why You Play Survivor"||November 1, 2017||Soko||Yawa||Ali||6th voted out|
|"Get to Gettin'"||November 8, 2017||None[a]||Desi||Jessica||7th voted out|
|"Playing with the Devil"||November 15, 2017||Chrissy,
|Cole||Desi||8th voted out|
1st jury member
|"Fear of the Unknown"||November 22, 2017||Chrissy,
|Lauren||Cole||9th voted out|
2nd jury member
|"Buy One, Get One Free"||November 29, 2017||Lauren
|Ashley||JP||10th voted out|
3rd jury member
|Chrissy||Joe||11th voted out|
4th jury member
|"Not Going to Roll Over and Die"||December 6, 2017||Chrissy
|Ashley||Lauren||12th voted out|
5th jury member
|"The Survivor Devil"||December 13, 2017||Chrissy,
|Chrissy[b]||Ashley||13th voted out|
6th jury member
|"Million Dollar Night"||December 20, 2017||Chrissy
|Mike||14th voted out|
7th jury member
8th jury member
|"Reunion Special"||Jury vote|
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
- Ben played a hidden immunity idol before the votes were cast at Tribal Council, earning additional immunity from the vote.
- The winner of the challenge also received reward.
- For winning the final Immunity Challenge, Chrissy had to assign additional immunity to another castaway, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist; she gave additional immunity to Ryan, and Ben defeated Devon in the fire-making challenge.
|Original air date||US viewers|
|513||1||"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Confident"||Recap||1.8/7||September 27, 2017||8.33||23|
Jeff welcomed the 18 new castaways to the 35th season of Survivor. He explained to them that they have been divided into three tribes based on the positive traits most associated with them by others: Heroes, Healers, and Hustlers.
During the challenge, Ryan found a secret advantage. The Healers and Heroes came in first and second, respectively, while the Hustlers went completely off course. The Healers tribe had no problem creating fire with their kit, while Jessica developed an attraction towards Cole. The next day, Mike decided to look for a hidden immunity idol, but Joe became suspicious of Mike's absence and confronted him over what he had been doing. At the Heroes tribe, a majority formed between Alan, Ashley, Ben, and JP, but Alan became suspicious over Ashley and JP's bond. Still intimidated by their connection the following night, he pulled JP aside and asked him if he had a hidden immunity idol. Despite JP pulling out his pockets and stripping nude to prove he is not hiding anything on his body, Alan continued to harass JP over having an idol. This irked Ashley, who wondered whether aligning with Alan was a good idea. At the Hustlers tribe, Patrick and Ali aligned, while Ryan learned his "secret advantage," was a "super immunity idol" that can be played after the votes are read. This advantage can only be used at the first Tribal Council. If his tribe does not go to the first Tribal Council, he must send it to someone on the losing tribe, who will not be aware of who sent the advantage. Ryan informed Devon of this advantage, and offered to use it on him in the event they end up at Tribal Council, forming a final 2 deal.
After Ben and Chrissy's poor maneuvering of the maze, the Healers and Hustlers won immunity, sending the Heroes to Tribal Council and forcing Ryan to will his advantage. At the Heroes camp, the majority decided to send Katrina home over Chrissy, but the tension between Alan and Ashley still lingered. Alan later approached Chrissy and Katrina with a plan to vote out Ashley, and tried to convince Ben in joining them. Ben tried to assure Alan that Ashley and JP were loyal to them, but Alan was still paranoid over the potential couple. Before Tribal Council, Chrissy learned that she had been given the secret advantage.
At Tribal Council, Ashley called Alan out for his irrational behavior, while Alan openly stated that he did not trust Ashley or JP and warned his other tribemates about them becoming a power couple. He also divulged that the initial discussion was between voting out Chrissy and Katrina. Ultimately, the plan to vote out Katrina was followed and she became the first person voted out in a unanimous vote.
|514||2||"I'm a Wild Banshee"||Recap||1.6/6||October 4, 2017||8.15||20|
After returning from Tribal Council, Chrissy felt more secure about her spot in the game. At the Hustlers camp, Simone was pleased with her conquering of the outdoors, but her bragging and laziness set most of her tribemates off, while Ali approached Simone about working together. At the Healers camp, Cole and Jessica bonded over a fishing trip, while Joe began looking for a hidden immunity idol. After misinterpreting the clue as pointing towards the fishing raft, Joe had Cole help him find the idol. At the Heroes camp, JP established himself as the tribe’s provider to keep the target off his back, while Chrissy formed an alliance with Ben after weighing her options. Back at the Hustlers camp, Patrick tried to amuse his tribemates by acting boisterously around camp, but Lauren saw him as too unpredictable to keep around and voiced her concerns to Ali.
Despite the Hustlers starting the puzzle first, Simone’s inability to assist resulted in the Healers & Heroes placing first and second, respectively. Simone apologized to the tribe for costing them the victory and asked Lauren to join her in voting out Patrick. Patrick and Ryan agreed on voting out Simone, while Ali weighed her options with Ryan.
At Tribal Council, Patrick and Simone each pled their case, with Patrick stating tribe strength is important while Simone stated that trust is more important. In an accidental slip-up, Patrick said he could trust most of his tribemates, when he meant to say “all,” raising some concern amongst his tribemates. However, Patrick was spared, and Simone was unanimously voted out.
|515||3||"My Kisses Are Very Private"||Recap||1.7/7||October 11, 2017||8.02||19|
The morning after Simone’s elimination, Ryan and Patrick agreed on a guys’ alliance with Lauren as their first target, while Lauren still wanted Patrick gone, as Patrick’s social game was lacking. Patrick also openly searched for a hidden immunity idol, which caused his tribemates to distrust him. Ali tried convincing Patrick to calm down, and he appreciated that she was looking out for him. At the Heroes camp, Ben and Chrissy were torn between voting out JP or Alan. Ben was wary about JP and Ashley’s perceived status as a power couple, while Alan struggled with camp life. At the Healers camp, Cole and Jessica’s mutual romantic interest continued. Joe believed that Mike would be a unanimous target, but Cole told Jessica about Joe’s idol. After Joe complained about the way Roark prepared food and threw it away instead of offering it to his tribemates, Cole prematurely leaked the idol information to Roark and Desi, to Jessica’s shock and dismay.
The Heroes placed first, while the Healers placed second despite forgetting a block. Patrick’s refusal to swap out during the throwing segment led to another loss for the Hustlers, and he apologized for his actions in the challenge. Lauren was angry with Patrick, and the way he responded to her asking if she was the target due to his selfish competitiveness in the challenge set her off even more. Ali, Devon, and Ryan debated on whether to vote out Lauren or Patrick.
At Tribal Council, Lauren passionately campaigned for Patrick’s elimination. Patrick promised to integrate with his tribe better, but they never gave him the chance; after being voted out unanimously, Patrick had harsh words for his former tribemates as his torch was snuffed, and he became the third person eliminated from the game.
|516||4||"I Don't Like Having Snakes Around"||Recap||1.8/7||October 18, 2017||8.12||17|
On day 9, the castaways were surprised when Jeff announced a tribe swap. The new Levu tribe consisted of Heroes Alan & Ashley, Healers Desi & Joe, and lone Hustler Devon. The new Soko tribe consisted of Heroes Chrissy & JP, lone Healer Roark, and Hustlers Ali & Ryan. The new Yawa tribe consisted of lone Hero Ben, Healers Cole, Jessica & Mike, and lone Hustler Lauren. Jeff also announced a winner-take-all reward challenge to test how well the new tribes worked together.
By a narrow margin, Jessica and Mike solved their puzzle for Yawa first, winning reward for their tribe. As the new Yawa tribe members got to know each other better, Jessica discovered a secret advantage in her bag of chips that allowed her to block a person from voting to be used only at the next Tribal Council. She told Cole and Mike to build trust and keep the original Healers tribe intact, but Cole used the information to gain trust with Ben and Lauren, confusing the latter as to why he would tell her about it. She told Mike, who confronted Jessica and Cole over telling Lauren. After initial denials, Cole admitted only to telling Ben, which upset Jessica. At the new Soko tribe, Roark worried about her position within the tribe as the lone Healer, while Ryan and Chrissy aligned after he told her he was the one who gave her the super idol for the first Tribal Council. At the new Levu tribe, Ashley and Alan put aside their differences to target a Healer, while Joe told Devon the Heroes were targeting him so that he would side with the Healers, but Devon saw through the lie.
Yawa easily finished first, while Soko placed second. At the Levu camp, Devon was the swing vote; he asked Ashley if she was targeting him, which she denied. Desi overheard the conversation and relayed it to Joe, who presumed that Devon would side with the Heroes. In an effort to get the target on his back so he would play his immunity idol, Joe confronted his entire tribe, and a heated argument ensued between him and Alan. Desi tried to convince Joe to give her his idol to gain her trust, while Devon saw that he received Jessica’s advantage, not to be opened until voting takes place.
At Tribal Council, Joe targeted Ashley as the weakest link, while the old Heroes & Healers each campaigned for Devon’s vote. Devon opened his advantage and was shocked to learn his vote had been blocked. Before the votes were read, Joe stood up to play his idol. After some deliberation, he decided to play it for himself after catching Ashley’s facial expression, and the two votes against him were negated. The Healers’ votes went against Alan, and he was eliminated.
|517||5||"The Past Will Eat You Alive"||Recap||1.7/7||October 25, 2017||8.22||17|
At the Yawa camp, the loud crackling of bamboo in the fire reminded Ben of his difficult time in the United States Marine Corps. He removed himself from the camp to clear his head, while his tribemates showed concern for his well-being.
Levu easily cruised to first place, and Yawa placed second after Ryan struggled for Soko in the challenge. Devon still felt threatened by Joe and pledged his allegiance to Ashley, and they discussed bringing in Desi against Joe. At the Soko camp, Ryan apologized for losing the challenge for his tribe, but relied on his social game to further himself. Roark still felt uneasy about her position within the tribe and aligned with Ali, who suggested to Ryan that they target Chrissy. Ryan was reluctant to turn against Chrissy, but he kept his options open. At the Yawa camp, Cole annoyed his tribemates with his poor eating manners, while Mike and Jessica discovered a hidden immunity idol at the water well.
Yawa placed first and Levu placed second, sending Soko to their first Tribal Council of the season. Chrissy approached Roark about strategy for the first time, but Roark targeted Chrissy for her poor challenge performance; to save herself, Chrissy told JP that Roark proposed an all-girls’ alliance, and JP instantly agreed to vote out Roark. Ali again talked to Ryan about voting out Chrissy, and Ryan realized he was the swing vote. At Tribal Council, Roark and Chrissy each campaigned against the other, but ultimately, Ryan sided with Chrissy to eliminate Roark from the game.
|518||6||"This is Why You Play Survivor"||Recap||1.6/6||November 1, 2017||7.69||20|
After Tribal Council, Ali confronted Ryan over why he left her out of the vote against Roark, and a defensive Ryan replied that he was scared of Ali and Roark’s bond. Ali and Ryan subsequently got into an argument. At the Yawa camp, Mike caught a small fish and accidentally dropped it in the fire, but he recovered it and even shared the fish with his tribemates, while Cole ate a bigger fish for himself, annoying Ben. Cole continued to rub his tribemates the wrong way by arguing that he hasn’t been eating enough.
Soko placed first and Yawa placed second after Levu was unable to recover from their bad start. Ryan anticipated a merge and considered blindsiding JP for being a physical threat. At the Levu camp, Ashley tried to turn Desi against Joe, and Desi considered making that move. Meanwhile, Devon tried to keep an eye on Joe to make sure he wouldn’t scheme, but when he turned his back, Joe found a clue to a hidden immunity idol. That night, while everyone else was asleep, Joe followed the clue to the idol’s location. At the Yawa camp, Cole passed out from hunger, but after Mike and Jessica checked on him, he felt fine. Ben and Mike subsequently discussed getting rid of Cole due to his perceived weakness.
Each tribe lost their stack at least once, but Yawa and Levu won the challenge, sending Soko to Tribal Council once again. Ryan and Chrissy were torn between voting out JP or Ali; Chrissy did not trust Ali, but recognized JP as a physical threat. At Tribal Council, the tribe discussed the impending merge and how JP’s laidback approach to strategy made him tough to read. In the end, Ryan and Chrissy voted against Ali, sending her home.
|519||7||"Get to Gettin'"||Recap||1.6/6||November 8, 2017||7.82||21|
After returning from Tribal Council, Chrissy felt like she was in a power position due to both Ryan and JP wanting to work with her. At the Levu camp, the tribe's food supply was depleted. When the tribes arrived at what looked like a reward challenge, Jeff announced the merge, as well as a large steak feast. During the feast, Chrissy became irritated at Joe's mannerisms and tried to realign with Ben, who was worried that the others might hear their conversation.
At the new camp, Cole unsuccessfully attempted to find an advantage while building the new shelter. The Healers reunited with plans to bring in Ben and Lauren from the old Yawa tribe, while the Heroes & Hustlers aligned against the Healers. Devon approached Lauren about turning against the Healers, but she instantly told Mike. Devon also approached Chrissy and Ben about voting out either Joe or Cole; Ben still wanted Cole gone for personal reasons, while Jessica and Mike warned Cole that he was in danger.
Desi outlasted Ashley to win the challenge. Cole apologized to Ben, who pretended to forgive him but realized he may have to continue with Cole to benefit his own game. Mike suggested to the rest of the Healers that they target Chrissy due to her intelligence, while Lauren tried to convince Ben to stick with the Healers. Chrissy and her allies came up with a "Plan B" to vote against Jessica in case of an idol.
At Tribal Council, Joe went off on the tribe and openly wore his idol from the Levu camp. Before the votes were read, Joe played the idol for himself, but didn't receive any votes, while Ben and Lauren sided with the Heroes & Hustlers to blindside Jessica.
|520||8||"Playing with the Devil"||Recap||1.7/6||November 15, 2017||8.85||18|
After Jessica’s elimination, the Healers lamented being in the minority, while Lauren found the secret advantage Cole looked for after the merge. She learned that she could vote twice at a Tribal Council of her choice, provided she abstains from voting at the next Tribal Council.
Since Joe drew the white rock, he got to join the winning team of Chrissy, Cole, Devon, JP, and Ryan. Jeff revealed the feast would be served family-style, meaning players will eat one at a time and must leave enough food for the next person with Joe choosing the order. Joe ate last and suggested that Devon ate first, in an attempt to build trust with Devon. While eating, Cole found a clue to the location of a new hidden immunity idol under the plate, and he made sure to cover it up using a nearby cloth. However, Chrissy and Ryan both discovered the clue, and Ryan hid the plate in the bushes after he was finished eating. Back at camp, Ryan took advantage of Cole going off on his own and quickly found the idol before asking Chrissy to cover up his tracks. Cole dashed in to ambush Chrissy before most of the tribe joined them. Ben believed he saw Cole find it and began to target him again.
Cole outlasted JP to win the challenge, foiling the plans of the majority alliance. Ben suggested splitting the vote between Joe and Desi, who had proven to be a strong competitor. Joe tried to convince Ryan and Devon to blindside Ben, who Joe perceived as the leader of the alliance, but Ben overheard the conversation. Ben confronted Joe, who accused him of swearing on the Marines; this angered Ben, and the two got into a heated argument. Lauren told Ben of her advantage and how it would prevent them from splitting the votes at that night’s Tribal Council; Ben then asked Mike to join his alliance in voting out Joe in fear of the vote split causing a scenario where he would be voted out.
At Tribal Council, Joe reignited his argument with Ben, who subsequently opened up about his time after the Marines. During the vote, Lauren was able to play her advantage without being caught, Cole and Mike joined in the majority alliance's split-vote plan, and the votes were tied at 4 apiece between Joe and Desi while Ben and Lauren each received a stray vote. On the revote, Desi received 7 votes to Joe's 1 and became the first member of the jury.
|521||9||"Fear of the Unknown"||Recap||1.4/5||November 22, 2017||7.42||15|
The morning after Desi's elimination, Mike pitched an idea to the majority alliance to blindside Cole at the next Tribal Council. Meanwhile, Lauren told Ben about her successful advantage play, and Ryan told Devon about his immunity idol.
The team of Chrissy, Cole, Joe, JP, and Mike won the challenge. Joe hoped to use the reward to sway Chrissy and JP to his side, but his efforts were for naught. At camp, Joe capitalised on his tribemates' perception of him as obnoxious and abrasive and called Ashley a goat in order to make them believe he would never win a jury vote at Final Tribal and thus, not be voted out. Ryan told Ben about his idol, and while Ben was excited about his ally finding it instead of Cole, he also realized it would make Ryan a threat to him in the future. Ben told Devon, who started to lose trust in Ryan because he wasn't the only one who knew about Ryan's idol.
Lauren outlasted Cole to win immunity. Back at camp, Ben wanted to split the vote between Cole and Mike, but Chrissy and Ashley were fed up with Joe. Ben was very adamant about wanting to vote out either Cole or Mike, causing some discourse among the majority. After Chrissy was shut down by Ben about Joe's status as a threat despite being widely disliked, she discussed deviating from Ben's plan and voting out Joe with her allies and Mike.
Before Tribal Council started, Mike told Joe to follow his lead. Chrissy confronted Joe about insulting her and Ashley before Mike outlined the hypocrisy in her argument, stating that, by keeping Joe in the game, the rest of the castaways were not playing with moral character. Joe accused everyone else of not playing the game at all, and Mike brought up the fact that the majority had 4 Heroes and 3 Hustlers, meaning the Hustlers would be picked off one by one at that point after voting out the rest of the Healers. Ashley countered Mike's point by outlining that his comment was just as hypocritical as Chrissy's opening one, that nobody is just a number and that morals and relationships do serve a purpose in the game. Before the votes were read, Mike played his idol for himself, but received only 2 votes. Ultimately, Ben got his way, and everyone else voted Cole out.
|522||10||"Buy One, Get One Free"||Recap, part 1|
Recap, part 2
|1.8/7||November 29, 2017||8.27||18|
After the heated Tribal Council, Mike revealed his blowup was a calculated plan to ensure the vote went against him so he would play his idol.
Lauren won the challenge and chose to share the reward with Devon, Ben, and Ashley. At camp, Ryan and Chrissy discussed voting out Ben and Lauren after Joe and Mike. While on reward, Lauren revealed she chose Devon, Ben, and Ashley due to her plans for a 4-person alliance to shake up the game, and they were in agreement. The castaways on the reward trip received letters from home. The next morning at camp, while reading his letter, Ben stumbled upon a clue to the location of a new hidden immunity idol, which he eventually found.
Before the challenge started, Jeff tempted the castaways with food; Devon, Ben, and Lauren sat out, and Ashley won immunity. Back at camp, Lauren’s new alliance prepared their revolt, with Devon assigning Ben to be their “double agent”, voting against Mike, while Lauren and Ashley asked Joe and Mike to join them. At Tribal Council, Lauren’s alliance put their plan in motion, completely blindsiding JP and sending him to the jury.
After Tribal Council, a stunned Chrissy and Ryan confronted their former allies about leaving them out of the vote. Ryan tried to make amends with Devon, but he was unable to do so.
The team of Ashley, Ben, Devon, and Joe won the challenge. On the reward trip, Ashley considered turning against Ben. Back at camp, Ryan unsuccessfully tried to sway Mike to his side, and Chrissy also failed with Lauren.
Chrissy won the challenge. At camp, Lauren told her alliance about her second vote, and Devon told Mike and Joe that they would use it to split the votes between Ryan and Ben, when in reality, the alliance would stick together to blindside Joe. In private, Ashley told Lauren and Devon she was having second thoughts about staying loyal to Ben.
At Tribal Council, Ben continued his charade of being on the outside, but he warned Joe and Mike that they were on the bottom of the new alliance. Before the vote, Ryan played his idol but received only 2 votes. Ultimately, the alliance of 4 stuck together and sent Joe to the jury.
|523||11||"Not Going to Roll Over and Die"||Recap||1.8/7||December 6, 2017||8.96||11|
After Joe’s elimination, Chrissy angrily confronted Ben about his betrayal, and they got into an argument. When the castaways arrived at the reward challenge, they were reunited with their loved ones: Ashley’s father Jim, Ryan’s father Steve, Mike’s wife Bari, Lauren’s sister Sunny, Chrissy’s husband Keith, Devon’s mother Sonia, and Ben’s wife Kelly.
All except Ben and Chrissy failed to match on the first round. In the second round, Ben failed to match while Chrissy was able to. After winning reward, Chrissy chose Ryan, Mike, and Ashley, as well as their loved ones, to join her and her husband. Chrissy later revealed she chose Ashley because she felt that Ashley would be the easiest to turn against the majority. Ben made a fake idol in hopes that Chrissy would find it, while Lauren found half of a real idol, showing it to Ben and Devon, with the other half hidden at the immunity challenge.
Devon conceded immunity to Ashley for a massage, stating that they were a tight alliance. Lauren picked up the second half of the idol at the challenge, but was seen by Ben. Ashley continued to talk to Devon and Lauren about blindsiding Ben, but he overheard the conversation. After they agreed on voting out Chrissy, a paranoid Ben realized how much power Lauren had in the game, between her idol and the extra vote. He got Mike and Ryan on board with voting out Lauren and tried to convince Chrissy, but she was still angry with him. She told Mike she wanted Ben out, and Mike told Ashley and Devon that Ben told Chrissy about Lauren’s power. Devon warned Lauren that she was in danger, and Lauren gave the other half of the idol to Mike to show him she trusted him.
At Tribal Council, Devon said he stepped down at the immunity challenge to show his trust in his alliance, not including Ben. Ben subsequently confronted his tribemates about potentially voting him out, and he said flat-out that he would vote for Lauren. Lauren revealed she left her extra vote at camp, while Ben revealed his fake idol. Mike then tossed the half of Lauren’s idol that he had into the fire. While the tribe openly quarreled amongst each other, Ryan whispered to Mike that Lauren had to go, but Mike convinced him to vote for Ben. Devon then walked over to Mike and instructed him to vote out Ben, which made Chrissy walk over to Ryan to say she was on board with voting out Lauren. She refused when Mike and Ryan asked her to vote out Ben. In the end, everyone voted for Ben. However, unbeknownst to the others, Ben also had his real idol; he played it on himself, and for the first time in Survivor history, a unanimous vote was successfully negated. Ben’s sole vote sent Lauren out of the game, much to the shock of the other jury members, except Joe.
|524||12||"The Survivor Devil"||Recap||1.8/7||December 13, 2017||8.74||11|
After the hectic Tribal Council, the tribe dynamic was Ben vs. everyone else. Ben woke up early the next morning to search for a new hidden immunity idol, and nobody followed him, as they believed he wouldn't find it.
Devon and Chrissy won the challenge; Jeff instructed them to take one more person, and Chrissy suggested to Devon that they select Ryan. They did so, much to Ashley's shock and chagrin. Mike was also frustrated, as he saw himself as a swing vote. Ben tried to talk strategy with Mike and Ashley at camp, but neither of them wanted any part of it. On reward, Chrissy proposed a final 3 deal with Ryan and Devon. She also considered voting out Ashley before Ben, out of fear that she has built better relationships in the game.
Chrissy won immunity. Ben continued his search for an idol, while Ashley suggested splitting the vote between Ben and Mike. Chrissy began campaigning for Ashley's elimination, but Mike desperately wanted Ben out, while Devon was reluctant to turn against Ashley. Ben eventually found a clue saying the idol was hidden under the shelter.
At Tribal Council, final 3 discussions and potential plans were brought up. Devon continued campaigning against Ben, who subsequently revealed he did find the idol. He convinced Ashley to vote for Mike, and when Devon said he wouldn't believe Ben would play the idol, Ben presented the idol to Jeff to play on himself before the votes were to be cast. Ashley did vote for Mike, but everyone else, including Devon, blindsided Ashley, sending her to the jury.
|525||13||"Million Dollar Night"||Recap||1.9/8||December 20, 2017||8.70||8|
As the tribe returned from Tribal Council, Chrissy, Devon, Mike, and Ryan reinforced their desire to vote out Ben, who searched for a newly hidden idol all night. He found it early the next morning, marking his third consecutive idol discovery. Chrissy attempted to bury the hatchet with Ben in order to keep herself in the game in case Ben won immunity (not knowing he found another idol), but Ben still wanted to vote her out.
Chrissy won immunity and chose to share her reward with Mike and Devon. They searched for an idol clue on reward, but they were unable to find one. Chrissy told Mike and Devon about her super idol from the first Tribal Council, and she planned to trick Ben into thinking she found a new idol so that he wouldn't search for one himself. Ben let them think he believed them, but the joke was on them, as he had found the real one that morning. Devon felt uneasy about Ben's nonchalant attitude about getting voted out at the next Tribal Council, and he told Ryan he was considering voting against Mike, but Ryan tried to talk him out of it.
At Tribal Council, Chrissy pulled out her now-defunct super idol and continued her charade, while Ben continued acting as though he would get voted out that night. Before the votes were read, Chrissy offered her idol to her alliance; Mike was prepared to play it to continue the feign, but Ben pulled out his idol to play on himself, negating the three votes against him and shocking the other four players. Devon did vote against Mike, but Ben voted against Devon, creating a tie. Ben, Chrissy, and Ryan went to revote; Mike was eliminated after receiving two votes to Devon's one.
After Mike left Tribal Council, Jeff surprised the final 4 by revealing there was one more twist left in the game. Upon returning to camp, the castaways were on edge about what the twist might be.
Chrissy tied the record for most individual immunity wins by a woman, winning her fourth challenge after several drops by all castaways. Chrissy also received the twist, which was revealed to be a final game advantage. This gave her the power to choose one person to bring to the Final Three with her, with the other two castaways going to a fire-making challenge to determine who would get the last spot in the Final Three and who would be the last jury member. Chrissy felt like Devon would have a better chance to beat Ben than Ryan would; she told Devon and Ryan her plans with the advantage, and Devon broke the flint while practicing his fire-making skills.
At Tribal Council, Chrissy revealed her advantage to the jury and Ben. She voted to take Ryan to the end, and Ben won the ensuing firemaking challenge, making Devon the final member of the jury.
Chrissy, Ben, and Ryan enjoyed the traditional Day 39 breakfast. That night, the finalists and the jurors convened for the Final Tribal Council. Like he did in Game Changers, Jeff led a moderated discussion that focused on the three aspects of the game, "Outwit," "Outplay," and "Outlast." During the discussion, Ryan was chastised for his perceived laziness at camp and his increasingly weak strategic game, Chrissy was praised for her challenge prowess, and Ben was applauded for his strong strategic game; however, both Chrissy and Ben were castigated for their poor social games, with Ben taking most of the heat. Ben opened up to the jury about his post-traumatic stress disorder and how he has learned to live with it, stating that he hopes to help show fellow veterans that while life after the military is difficult, there is more to look forward to in the future.
|526||14||"Reunion Special"||N/A||1.2/5||December 20, 2017||5.97||17|
|Several months later, at the live reunion show, Ben was named the Sole Survivor in a 5–2–1 vote. Chrissy finished in second place with Ashley and Mike's votes, and Ryan came in third after receiving Devon's vote.|
|Original tribes||Switched tribes||Merged tribe|
- The vote resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- Joe played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore two votes against him were not counted.
- Mike played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore two votes against him were not counted.
- Ryan played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore two votes against him were not counted.
- Ben played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore six votes against him were not counted.
- Ben played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore three votes against him were not counted.
- For winning the final Immunity Challenge, Chrissy had to assign additional immunity to another castaway, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist; she gave additional immunity to Ryan, and Ben defeated Devon in the fire-making challenge.
- Devon was not eligible to vote in the Tribal Council vote, as Jessica secretly used her vote block power on him.
- Devon and Mike were not eligible to vote in the second round of voting.
- As her advantage required her to abstain from voting during the Day 21 Tribal Council in order to receive an additional vote at a future Tribal Council, Lauren chose not to vote; she was thus likewise ineligible to vote during the revote.
- Desi and Joe were not eligible to vote in the second round of voting.
Reception and ratings
The September 27 premiere episode, titled "I'm Not Crazy, I'm Confident" saw a significant boost in viewership over March's Survivor: Game Changers with 8.33 million people tuning in, compared to the show's all-time low of 7.64 earlier in the year. However, the premiere of the show's 35th season was unable to match Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X's premiere viewership from fall 2016. That said, the series once again ranked first in its time-slot (by a significant margin) and once again tied with ABC's The Goldbergs for the critical 18-49 demographic, with both placing behind Fox's Empire.
One element of the game that was panned by critics was the Final Four twist. After winning the final immunity challenge, Chrissy Hofbeck was awarded an "advantage" to be used at the following Tribal Council. She learned that in place of the conventional Day 38 final vote-off, she had to select one contestant to join her in the Final Tribal Council, while the remaining two contestants would be forced in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist. Due to the inclusion of this twist, contestant Ben Driebergen, who was virtually guaranteed to be voted out without immunity, was allowed one final chance of avoiding elimination. Subsequently, he went on to win the challenge and advance to the Final Tribal Council, where he then went on to win the season.
Alyssa Norwin of Hollywood Life said that the twist undermined the significance of winning the final immunity challenge. People Magazine blogger Stephen Fishbach, who played in Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Cambodia, tweeted that it removed fundamental social strategy from the game. Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X winner Adam Klein commented, "Super happy for the winner who played their heart out!! That being said, if that twist happened in my season, I would have come in 4th most likely. Players should be able to plan out their own endgame and know the basic format of the game they play."
Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst ultimately confirmed that, while the twist itself was not implemented in the game to specifically benefit Ben, its main goal was to prevent contestants like him from being eliminated one step away from the Final Tribal Council, simply for being a threat to win the game. The twist, Probst said, gives these types of players one last chance to survive instead of just being unanimously voted out by the others.
U.S. Nielsen ratings
|Episode||Air date||Time slot (EST)||Rating/share
|513||1||"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Confident"||September 27, 2017||Wednesdays
|514||2||"I'm a Wild Banshee"||October 4, 2017||1.6/6||8.15|
|515||3||"My Kisses are Very Private"||October 11, 2017||1.7/7||8.02|
|516||4||"I Don't Like Having Snakes Around"||October 18, 2017||1.8/7||8.12|
|517||5||"The Past Will Eat You Alive"||October 25, 2017||1.7/7||8.22|
|518||6||"This is Why You Play Survivor"||November 1, 2017||1.6/6||7.69|
|519||7||"Get to Gettin'"||November 8, 2017||1.6/6||7.82|
|520||8||"Playing with the Devil"||November 15, 2017||1.7/6||8.85|
|521||9||"Fear of the Unknown"||November 22, 2017||1.4/5||7.42|
|522||10||"Buy One, Get One Free"||November 29, 2017||1.8/7||8.27|
|523||11||"Not Going to Roll Over and Die"||December 6, 2017||1.8/7||8.96|
|524||12||"The Survivor Devil"||December 13, 2017||1.8/7||8.74|
|525||13||"Million Dollar Night"||December 20, 2017||1.9/8||8.70|
|526||14||"Reunion Special"||10:00 p.m.||1.2/5||5.97|
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- Porter, Rick (October 5, 2017). "'SEAL Team,' 'Law & Order: SVU' and everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
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- Porter, Rick (October 19, 2017). "'Survivor,' 'Goldbergs,' 'SEAL Team' adjust up, 'Criminal Minds' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (October 24, 2017). "'This Is Us' and NFL carry NBC to 18-49 victory in week 4 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (October 26, 2017). "'The Blacklist' and 'Designated Survivor' adjust down, final World Series numbers: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 2, 2017). "World Series ends big, 'Survivor,' 'Goldbergs,' 'Blacklist,' 'Speechless' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 7, 2017). "World Series, 'Big Bang Theory' lead week 6 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 9, 2017). "'Empire,' 'SVU,' CMAs and others unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 14, 2017). "NFL and 'This Is Us' carry NBC to victory in week 7 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 16, 2017). "'The Goldbergs' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 21, 2017). "NFL carries NBC to victory again: Week 8 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 27, 2017). "'The Wall' and 'SNL Thanksgiving' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (November 29, 2017). "NBC is thankful for football: Week 9 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 1, 2017). "'Empire' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 5, 2017). "Football reigns supreme in week 10 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 7, 2017). "'Survivor,' 'SVU' and everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 12, 2017). "'The Voice,' 'Will & Grace' and of course NFL carry NBC to the top: Week 11 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 14, 2017). "'Survivor' and 'Speechless' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 19, 2017). "Football powers NBC and CBS to the top in week 12 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 21, 2017). "'Survivor' reunion adjusts down, 'Pitch Perfect' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 27, 2017). "'The Voice' finale and football help NBC lead the week 13 broadcast Top 25 and network rankings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Ervolino, Bill (December 21, 2017). "Was the 'Survivor' finale rigged for Ben Driebergen? Fans are wondering and Twitter is aghast". The Record. Bergen County, NJ: North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- Ross, Dalton (December 20, 2017). "New 'Survivor' winner is crowned after controversial twist". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- Norwin, Alyssa (December 20, 2017). "'Survivor': Sorry, But I Really Hated That Final 4 Secret Advantage Twist". Hollywood Life. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- Fishbach, Stephen [@stephenfishbach] (December 20, 2017). "I really don't like this new #Survivor twist. I feel like it injures the core dynamic of the game, which is that eliminations are decided by a contestant vote. THAT SAID, there is a case to be made. (1/2)" (Tweet). Retrieved December 24, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Klein, Adam [@AdamScottKlein] (December 21, 2017). "Super happy for the winner who played their heart out!! That being said, if that twist happened in my season, I would have come in 4th most likely. Players should be able to plan out their own endgame and know the basic format of the game they play. #SurvivorFinale #Survivor" (Tweet). Retrieved December 24, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Ross, Dalton (December 21, 2017). "'Survivor finale': Survivor finale: Jeff Probst explains reason behind controversial twist". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2017.