Survivor: San Juan del Sur
|Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39.5|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Location||San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||September 24 –|
December 17, 2014
|Filming dates||June 2, 2014– July 10, 2014|
Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water is the twenty-ninth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor, which premiered on September 24, 2014. Similar to Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the season features pairs of loved ones competing against each other but, unlike Blood vs. Water, all the players are new. The season was filmed in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, the same location as Survivor: Nicaragua and Survivor: Redemption Island. The two-hour finale and one-hour reunion show aired on December 17, 2014, where Natalie Anderson was named the winner over Jaclyn Schultz and Missy Payne.
This season saw the return of Exile Island, which was last used in Survivor: Tocantins. In lieu of a reward challenge, a castaway and their loved one would square off in a duel. The loser is sent to Exile Island, while the winner earns reward for his or her tribe and must send one of their tribemates to Exile Island as well. The two castaways who are sent to Exile Island then have to choose one of two vases, where in only one has a clue to a hidden immunity idol located at their tribe's camp. Exile Island continued after the merge with one castaway exiled by the reward winners, where there would be a single urn with a clue to an idol hidden somewhere on Exile.
The complete season was released on DVD on October 19, 2018.
Development and casting
The season was originally set to have 20 castaways, sisters So Kim and Doo Kim were originally cast but they dropped out before the game began due to a medical emergency. So eventually competed on the following season, Survivor: Worlds Apart. The season would continue with nine pairs, but with the first gender imbalance since Survivor: Fiji. While this season initially included Redemption Island, production decided to ultimately not use it for the season, and instead replaced it with the return of Exile Island.
Adam Klein and his mother auditioned for this season, but could not participate once Klein's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Klein was eventually cast on the show's 33rd season, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, which he won.
On August 12, 2014, six weeks before the scheduled premiere, the post-production crew for the season went on strike, consequently endangering the premiere date. The approximately 20-person post-production team, who have been working on the show since its inception in 2000, demanded a better health insurance and pension fund. The strike ended a day later, leaving the premiere's intended airdate intact.
The cast is composed of nine pairs of loved ones, with relationships including parent-child, siblings, and partners (both married and dating). Notable contestants include former professional baseball player John Rocker, and two-time The Amazing Race contestants Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, who competed together on seasons 21 and 24.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
28, Edgewater, New Jersey
Natalie's twin sister
|Coyopa||1st voted out|
35, Foxborough, Massachusetts
|Coyopa||2nd voted out|
39, Atlanta, Georgia
|Coyopa||3rd voted out|
25, Winter Park, Florida
|Hunahpu||4th voted out|
28, Seattle, Washington
|Hunahpu||Coyopa||5th voted out|
55, Ephrata, Washington
|Coyopa||Coyopa||6th voted out|
34, Atlanta, Georgia
32, New York City, New York
|Coyopa||Hunahpu||7th voted out|
1st jury member
36, Foxborough, Massachusetts
|Hunahpu||Hunahpu||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
23, Shreveport, Louisiana
|Coyopa||Hunahpu||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
31, New York City, New York
|Hunahpu||Hunahpu||10th voted out|
4th jury member
22, Winter Park, Florida
|Coyopa||Hunahpu||11th voted out|
5th jury member
26, Waterford, Michigan
|Hunahpu||Coyopa||12th voted out|
6th jury member
20, Nashville, Tennessee
|Coyopa||Coyopa||13th voted out|
7th jury member
53, Shreveport, Louisiana
|Hunahpu||Coyopa||14th voted out|
8th jury member
47, Dallas, Texas
25, Las Vegas, Nevada
28, Edgewater, New Jersey
Nadiya's twin sister
Keith Nale, Jeremy Collins, and Kelley Wentworth returned for Survivor: Cambodia. Natalie Anderson was originally selected for Survivor: Game Changers but had to back out due to medical reasons. Wentworth returned again for Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
The nine pairs of loved ones were separated onto two tribes: Coyopa and Hunahpu. Coyopa lost nearly every challenge; the tribe was initially dominated by a men’s alliance led by John, but Josh was torn between allegiances to the men and perpetual target Baylor. On Hunahpu, Jeremy and Natalie aligned after their loved ones were voted out, and argued with John at challenges over their loved ones' eliminations. Due to John's volatility, Josh orchestrated his ouster and took over the alliance. After a tribe swap, Missy—Baylor’s mother—came into power on Coyopa, while Josh and Jeremy vied for control on Hunahpu. While both men targeted each other, their conflict was never resolved as their tribe won every challenge.
At the merge, two factions emerged: Jeremy’s alliance with Natalie, Julie, Missy and Baylor, and Josh’s alliance with his boyfriend Reed, Wes and his father Keith, and Alec, with dating couple Jon and Jaclyn in the middle. While they prepared to side with Josh’s alliance for the first post-merge Tribal Council, it was cancelled after Julie quit the game, giving Jon and Jaclyn time to change their minds and side with Jeremy’s alliance to eliminate Josh. Jeremy’s fortune was not to last, and he was blindsided by his alliance sans Natalie. While Natalie rejoined her old alliance to pick off the remnants of Josh's alliance, Keith was spared as Natalie enacted her revenge, voting out Jon and Baylor and leaving no intact pairs of loved ones remaining. Keith then lost the final immunity challenge and was the last player voted out of the game.
Missy, Jaclyn, and Natalie were the final three. At the final Tribal Council, Reed eviscerated Missy’s character, comparing her to a “wicked stepmother” and chastising her for a lack of strategy, while Jaclyn was questioned for having only made moves with others, primarily Jon. Natalie was praised for making bold moves without a loved one's support, and was ultimately awarded the title of Sole Survivor with five votes to win, compared to Jaclyn’s two and Missy’s one.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Exiled||Eliminated||Finish|
|"Suck It Up and Survive"||September 24, 2014||Jeremy[a]||Hunahpu||Keith||Nadiya||1st voted out|
|"Method To This Madness"||October 1, 2014||Julie[a]||Hunahpu||Jeremy||Val||2nd voted out|
|"Actions vs. Accusations"||October 8, 2014||Wes[a]||Hunahpu||Josh||John||3rd voted out|
|"We're a Hot Mess"||October 15, 2014||Jon[a]||Coyopa||Drew||Drew||4th voted out|
|"Blood is Blood"||October 22, 2014||None[c]||Hunahpu||None[c]||Kelley||5th voted out|
|"Make Some Magic Happen"||October 29, 2014||Reed[a]||Hunahpu||Baylor[b]||Dale||6th voted out|
|"Million Dollar Decision"||November 5, 2014||None[d]||Keith||None[d]||Julie||Quit|
|"Wrinkle In the Plan"||November 12, 2014||Jeremy,
|Jeremy||Jon||Josh||7th voted out|
1st jury member
|"Gettin' to Crunch Time"||November 19, 2014||Alec,
|Baylor||Jeremy||Jeremy||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
|"This Is Where We Build Trust"||November 26, 2014||Alec,
|Reed||Wes||Wes||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
|"Kind Of Like Cream Cheese"||December 3, 2014||Missy[g]
|Keith||Jon||Reed||10th voted out|
4th jury member
|"Still Holdin' On"||Natalie
|Jon||Alec||Alec||11th voted out|
5th jury member
|"Let's Make a Move"||December 10, 2014||
|Natalie||Natalie||Jon||12th voted out|
6th jury member
|"This Is My Time"||December 17, 2014||Keith||Keith||Jaclyn||Baylor||13th voted out|
7th jury member
|None||Jaclyn||None||Keith||14th voted out|
8th jury member
In the case of multiple castaways who win reward, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in square brackets.
- This castaway won the hero duel, earning reward for their entire tribe and sending one person from their tribe to join the loser of the duel on Exile Island.
- This castaway lost the hero duel and was sent to Exile Island as a result.
- There was no reward challenge and no one sent to Exile Island due to the tribe swap.
- There was no reward challenge and no one sent to Exile Island due to the merge.
- Jeremy and Natalie were on the winning team but chose to give up their reward to Jaclyn and Jon, respectively.
- Reed was on the winning team but chose to give up his reward to Missy.
- Baylor, Jaclyn, Jon, and Natalie conceded the challenge to Missy after Alec, Keith, and Reed were eliminated.
- Jon was on the winning team but chose to give up his reward to Baylor.
|Title||CBS recap||Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||US viewers|
|426||1||"Suck It Up and Survive"||Recap||2.7/9||September 24, 2014||9.75||20|
The nine pairs of loved ones were marooned separately in Nicaragua, and given only flint to survive the night. The next morning, the castaways gathered at Hero Arena, where they were split up into two tribes: Coyopa and Hunahpu. The tribes were immediately given their first reward challenge, to be completed by one representative per tribe. After winning rock-paper-scissors, Hunahpu earned the right to choose their rep, and Jeremy volunteered. Host Jeff Probst revealed that Jeremy would be competing against his loved one, his wife Val.
Jeremy won the duel and, as a result, Val was sent to Exile Island. Jeremy also had to choose someone from his tribe to join Val; he chose Keith. Upon arriving at the Hunahpu camp, Jeremy quickly made alliances with Missy, Kelley, and Natalie. At Coyopa, Dale, the oldest member of his tribe, struggled to fit in and, during a trip to the well, found and pocketed a mysterious wooden fragment, unsure of whether or not it was a hidden idol. Dale later won favor with his tribe after successfully making fire with his glasses. On Exile Island, Val and Keith chose urns to see who would get a clue to a hidden immunity idol; Val picked the urn containing the clue, and lied to Keith about what the note actually was. Back at Coyopa, Wes correctly identified his tribemate John as John Rocker, former relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves baseball team. While Wes hoped that this would forge an alliance between the two, John became wary of Wes's newfound knowledge, and considered voting him out. At the immunity challenge, Keith and Val rejoined their tribes from Exile Island.
Coyopa used John's height and strength to take an early lead, however they struggled at the puzzle and lost the challenge. At Hunahpu, Jeremy apologized for sending Keith to Exile Island, and promised to make it up to him. At Coyopa, Dale became wary of Nadiya for her backstabbing gameplay on The Amazing Race. The tribe was divided by gender lines, with Josh, perceived by Nadiya as "one of the girls" for being gay, caught in the middle. He was approached by Baylor, who decided to stick with him and not necessarily the other women. The women decided to target Dale due to his age, and the men targeted Nadiya. At Tribal Council, Josh voted for Baylor while Baylor flipped on the girls, joining the other four men to form a majority of five to send Nadiya out of the game.
|427||2||"Method To This Madness"||Recap||2.4/9||October 1, 2014||9.49||24|
As the Coyopa tribe returned to camp after voting out Nadiya, Josh explained to Baylor that he voted for her to remove suspicion that the two were working together, although Baylor still felt scared by Josh's move. The next morning, at Hunahpu, the tribe realized that they had lost their flint, with Jon owning up to the misplacement. Before the reward challenge, John beat Reed in rock-paper-scissors, giving Coyopa the right to pick the representatives for the duel; John volunteered for Coyopa, setting a matchup between himself and his girlfriend, Julie.
Julie won in a blowout victory, and chose Jeremy to join John on Exile Island. Before the tribes left, Hunahpu attempted to bargain with Jeff for a new flint, offering their remaining supply of beans for trade. Jeff vocalized that the trade was poorly planned and unbalanced, in turn putting Hunahpu's newly-won fishing gear on the line, which the tribe reluctantly accepted as trade. At Coyopa, with John exiled, the tribe discussed his past as a baseball player, and Dale brought up the controversial statements he made about minority groups. At Exile Island, Jeremy picked the urn with the clue, but shared it with John under the proviso that they protect each other's loved ones upon returning to camp.
With a score of 5–4, Coyopa lost their fourth consecutive challenge. Upon returning to camp, John attempted to secure an alliance with Val, however she lied to him, claiming that she had two hidden idols that would keep herself and Jaclyn safe that night. John decided to look for the hidden immunity idol using Jeremy's information, which he found. John, still believing in Val's idols, organized a split vote between Val and Baylor with three men joining Jaclyn and Val in voting for Baylor, deemed untrustworthy after voting out Nadiya, and two men joining an unsuspecting Baylor in voting for Val to flush one of Val's idols. At Tribal Council, Val and Jaclyn attempted to rally support against Baylor, publicly accusing her of playing both sides, while Val was called out for claiming to have two idols in hopes she would play one. The split vote plan went awry after Josh switched his vote to Val, resulting in a tie between her and Baylor. Since Val had no idols to play, she was left vulnerable during the re-vote, and was voted out for her duplicity.
|428||3||"Actions vs. Accusations"||Recap||2.5/8||October 8, 2014||9.65||20|
Upon returning to camp, Josh revealed to John that he had switched his vote to Val at Tribal Council, explaining that if he had voted against Baylor, Val would have been safe without needing to play an idol. The next morning, at Hunahpu, Drew attempted to lead an effort to improve their shelter roof, but quickly gave up and took a nap, much to the ire of his tribe. At Hero Arena, upon seeing that his wife had been voted out, Jeremy called out the men's alliance on Coyopa; John publicly apologized to Jeremy for being unable to save Val as he had promised him on Exile Island, making Josh suspicious of John's loyalty.
Coyopa won rock-paper-scissors to choose their duelist; Wes volunteered to compete, thinking he could beat his father, Keith. Wes' assumption was correct, winning the challenge and sending Josh to Exile Island with Keith; Coyopa, with their first challenge victory under their belt, chose the fishing gear over comfort. Back at Hunahpu, a scorned Jeremy outed John's past baseball career and derogatory remarks against minority groups, alienating John's girlfriend Julie from the tribe. At Exile Island, Keith shared the idol clue with Josh, and the two bonded despite their vastly different ways of life. At Coyopa, John effectively used the fishing gear to provide for his tribe, but Baylor still attempted to convince the majority alliance to turn against him.
With the score tied 2-2, Jon and Natalie edged out Wes and Alec to win Hunahpu's third consecutive immunity challenge. When Natalie began trash-talking Coyopa after her tribe's victory, John Rocker reacted by mocking her in front of everyone. Natalie called Coyopa to rally against Rocker, calling him a racist and a bigot, and he responded by telling her, "if you were a man, I'd knock your teeth out." Back at camp, John attempted to throw Baylor and Jaclyn off his scent by claiming he was going to blindside Dale while, in actuality, he and the other men would send Baylor home. After John revealed his idol to Josh, Josh decided that John had to go for his volatility, and attempted to convince Alec and Wes to blindside John. Ultimately, despite some accidental tip-offs at Tribal Council, John decided not to play his idol and was voted out with it in his pocket.
|429||4||"We're a Hot Mess"||Recap||2.3/8||October 15, 2014||9.33||24|
With the Coyopa tribe in good spirits after voting out John, Dale felt he was now on the outs after being the only one not to vote against John. At Hunahpu, Natalie found the flint that they had earlier lost. At Hero Arena, some Hunahpu members reacted with cheers and applause after noticing that John had been voted out. Drew attempted to trade the old flint with Jeff to get the fishing gear back while the rest of his tribe appeared embarrassed and took no part in the negotiation, but Jeff quickly shut it down.
Jon volunteered for Hunahpu after they won rock-paper-scissors to choose their duelist, pitting him against his girlfriend, Jaclyn. Jon narrowly won the challenge, and Drew volunteered to go to Exile Island with Jaclyn; Hunahpu chose the comfort items over the feast. At Exile Island, Drew revealed to Jaclyn that he planned to throw the next immunity challenge to get rid of untrustworthy players on Hunahpu. At Hunahpu, Keith went searching for the hidden immunity idol; as he was unsuccessful, he assumed that Jeremy—the only other person from his tribe to have been to Exile Island—had found it, and voiced his suspicions to his tribemates. Reed ratted Keith out to Jeremy, while Keith eventually found the idol.
While the tribes were neck-and-neck, Drew intentionally botched the ring tossing to give Coyopa their first immunity challenge win. Back at camp, Jon proposed getting rid of the players without loved ones, for fear that they would outnumber the couples at the merge, with Julie as his first target. Drew vehemently proposed getting rid of Kelley, whom he perceived as the strongest manipulator of a potential women's alliance, while Jeremy tried to get support to vote Keith out. Despite being outnumbered by the men, the four women banded together to take advantage of the men's disorganization, and targeted Drew. At Tribal Council, Jeremy called out Keith for going straight to the other tribemates regarding Jeremy's potential idol, and not discussing it with him directly. Kelley, Keith, Drew, and Julie all received votes, but Drew was sent out of the game after receiving votes from the women and Jeremy.
|430||5||"Blood is Blood"||Recap||2.2/7||October 22, 2014||9.22||<25|
After returning from Hunahpu's first Tribal Council, Jon, having lost his closest tribal ally in Drew, attempted to reintegrate within the tribe. At Hero Arena, instead of a duel taking place, Jeff announced a tribe swap. On the new Coyopa tribe were pairs Kelley and Dale, Missy and Baylor, and Jon and Jaclyn, with Keith as the only single castaway; Hunahpu's only pair was Josh and Reed, joined by singles Natalie, Jeremy, Wes, Alec, and Julie. The new Hunahpu tribe lamented their nearly-depleted supply of rice, while Natalie and Jeremy were afraid that they would be in the minority against the three former Coyopa members—Alec, Josh, and Wes—and Reed, Josh's boyfriend, so they attempted to sway Alec to form an alliance of those whose loved ones had already been voted out. At Coyopa, Missy and Dale quickly butted heads over rice portioning, and Missy thought about targeting Dale after hearing that he had tried to vote out her daughter, Baylor. Before the immunity challenge, a starving Hunahpu once again considered bartering with Jeff, this time for more rice.
Hunahpu held onto their early lead to land ten sandbags on the platform before Coyopa even threw one. After their victory, Hunahpu attempted to make a deal with Jeff for more rice, and Jeff promised to visit their camp the next morning to resolve the situation. Back at Coyopa, Dale and Missy targeted each other; Jon and Jaclyn, knowing that they held the power, pledged loyalty to both Missy and Baylor, and Dale and Kelley. While Jaclyn voiced concern with trusting Baylor, having already been betrayed by her once, she also conceded to Dale's sneakiness. At Tribal Council, Kelley and Dale voted against Baylor, but the other five aligned against them; with three of their votes, Kelley was voted out.
|431||6||"Make Some Magic Happen"||Recap||2.2/7||October 29, 2014||9.07||24|
After his daughter's elimination, Dale again found himself on the bottom of his tribe. He showed Jon the wooden fragment he had found early on, claiming it was an immunity idol and he would not be the next one voted out. At Hunahpu, the starving tribe was visited by Jeff, who reprimanded the tribe for being incredibly mismanaged and demanded all of their reward comfort items, hatchet, hammer, a pot, and their extra flint in exchange for a new bag of rice; Hunahpu conceded to the trade. At the reward duel, since there were no intact pairs on opposite tribes who had yet to duel, the tribes were tasked to send their strongest competitor; Hunahpu sent Reed, while Coyopa chose Baylor.
Reed handily defeated Baylor to win the challenge for Hunahpu; while he initially chose to send Julie to Exile Island with Baylor, Natalie volunteered. Back at Coyopa, Jon told Missy and Baylor about Dale's idol, thrusting a backup target on Keith. At Exile Island, Baylor shared the idol clue with Natalie. At Hunahpu, despite enjoying the reward, the tribe was still upset with the rice trade, and were forced to brave out a storm that night without their tarp, with Julie in particular having a very hard time.
Although Coyopa entered the puzzle portion with a lead, Jon and Missy got caught up with one piece, allowing Hunahpu to pull from behind and win. Dale, knowing his poor standing in Coyopa, offered Jon his idol if he survived the night's vote, and asked him to vote against Missy. Baylor suggested to Missy, Jon, and Jaclyn that they split their votes between Keith and Dale out of fear of Dale's idol. While Dale reminded the others about Baylor's betrayal of the women at the first Tribal Council, the four followed through with their vote splitting plan, and Keith joined Jon and Jaclyn in voting against Dale, sending him out of the game.
|432||7||"Million Dollar Decision"||Recap||2.3/7||November 5, 2014||9.31||19|
The morning after Tribal Council, Missy confessed to Keith that she and Baylor voted against him solely as a precaution against Dale’s potential idol, which made an upset Keith question his place in their alliance despite their apology. At Hunahpu, two factions made themselves clear in preparation for the merge: Josh and Reed’s majority alliance with Alec and Wes, and the “singles” alliance of Jeremy, Natalie, and Julie. Later that day, the tribes merged and enjoyed a commemorative feast. In the ensuing strategic scramble, Jeremy reconnected with Missy, and added her, Baylor, Jon, and Jaclyn to his alliance, while Keith aligned with his son Wes and his alliance.
The next morning, Josh continued to consolidate his alliance and target Jeremy. Josh tried to realign with Baylor but, despite Josh’s earlier protection of her, Baylor found herself torn between her allegiances with Josh and her mother, Missy; while Baylor voiced her uneasiness in betraying Josh, Missy told Baylor to not let her emotions rule her. Josh, noting that Baylor would be impossible to control with Missy around, decided to cajole Jon and Jaclyn instead. The tribe noticed that some of the leftover trail mix from the merge feast was missing, and started searching everyone's bags for it. Jon found it in Julie's bag, and the tribe ate it out of anger for her selfishness; when Julie returned from a walk, the tribe gave her the cold shoulder.
Keith outlasted Wes to win the first individual immunity of the game. Upon returning to camp, Julie overheard Alec making fun of her for taking the trail mix, and later told Missy that she was considering quitting due to missing her eliminated boyfriend John and feeling alone; while Missy implored Julie to stay in the game for at least one more night, Julie perceived that Missy's support was only because she needed Julie to vote with their alliance that night, and felt further alienated. After weighing offers from both sides, Jon and Jaclyn decided to join Josh’s couple-heavy alliance and blindside Jeremy, however, Julie decided to officially quit the game after a quick talk with Jeff outside camp. Jeff informed the rest of the castaways of Julie's decision and cancelled that night's Tribal Council, leaving Josh and Jeremy's feud intact for at least three more days.
|433||8||"Wrinkle In the Plan"||Recap||2.3/7||November 12, 2014||9.51||24|
The remaining competitors were upset at Julie for quitting and postponing a Tribal Council, but Jon and Jaclyn reaffirmed their commitment to vote out Jeremy. At the reward challenge, the tribe was divided into two teams; Missy was not chosen and thus ineligible for the reward.
The team of Reed, Keith, Wes, Jeremy, and Natalie maintained their lead to win the challenge; they chose to exile Jon. At the taco bar, the winners enjoyed their reward, but the combination of players from the two different factions resulted in awkward exchanges, although Wes' overeating and subsequent sickness alleviated some tension. Back at camp, Josh again pleaded with Baylor for her vote but, even after reminders of his protection of her on the old Coyopa tribe, she refused to vote with Josh's alliance. On Exile Island, Jon found a new hidden immunity idol after receiving a clue. After the reward winners returned to camp, the rest of the tribe was turned off by Wes, Alec, and Keith's candid discussion of their bodily functions, and misogynistic behavior toward the women, which alienated Jaclyn and pushed her toward the women and Jeremy's alliance. While Keith thought they should talk strategy with Jaclyn, Alec convinced him not to, confident in Jon's loyalty.
The challenge came down to rivals Josh and Jeremy, with Jeremy coming out on top. Upon arriving to camp, Jon told Jaclyn about his idol, while Josh's alliance shifted their target to Baylor. Jaclyn persuaded Jon to betray Josh's alliance for their poor treatment of her in Jon's absence and for the men's potential as challenge threats. Keith told Missy that Baylor was his alliance's target, and the two parents squabbled over their on-island parenting methods. At Tribal Council, Jaclyn and Jon evaluated their swing vote status, and members of both sides publicly pleaded for their votes; Jaclyn announced her disappointment in Josh's alliance for disrespecting her when Jon wasn't around, and that led to them ultimately siding with Jeremy's alliance to send Josh to the jury.
|434||9||"Gettin' to Crunch Time"||Recap||2.4/8||November 19, 2014||9.85||21|
After his boyfriend Josh's elimination, a livid Reed vowed to rebound while the rest of his tribemates dealt with the repercussions of Jon and Jaclyn officially joining Jeremy's alliance.
After a 4-4 tie, Baylor defeated her mother Missy to win the challenge for her, Alec, Reed, Jeremy, and Natalie. Natalie and Jeremy decided to give up their spots on the reward to Jon and Jaclyn out of gratitude and to ensure their loyalty, while the reward-goers decided to exile Jeremy. On the yacht, Jon and Jaclyn were thankful for Jeremy and Natalie's sacrifice, but understood that it was still a game move. On Exile Island, after an unsuccessful idol hunt, Jeremy had to endure two restless, rainy nights, which left him drained of energy and suspicious that Jon had found the idol; back at camp, Jon was worried about Jeremy's return for that very reason.
After Reed and Keith faltered with their final blocks, Baylor was able to stay steady and win immunity. Nervous that he was going to follow his boyfriend out of the game, Reed decided to stir up trouble and searched through Keith's bag. He found the instructions for playing a hidden immunity idol, and showed it to Jaclyn, Missy and Baylor. Meanwhile, Jeremy attempted to catch Jon lying about the hidden idol, which led to a paranoid Jon telling Missy about his idol and trying to blindside Jeremy, forgoing the original plan of splitting the votes between Reed and Keith. At Tribal Council, Jaclyn announced her suspicion that one of Wes and Keith had an idol, which resulted in a shouting match of Keith and Wes against Jon and Jaclyn about the latter flipping to Jeremy's alliance, and Wes and Keith's treatment of the women of the tribe. Ultimately, Keith decided not to play his idol and received votes from Natalie and Jeremy, but Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, Baylor and Reed united to blindside Jeremy out of the game.
|435||10||"This Is Where We Build Trust"||Recap||2.1/7||November 26, 2014||8.90||18|
After Tribal Council, Reed tried to reconfirm the need for he, Keith, Wes, and Alec to stick together, while Jon told Natalie about his idol in order to retain her loyalty despite blindsiding Jeremy, her closest ally. Natalie agreed to remain in the alliance, but knew she would eventually have to betray Jon.
Alec, Jon, Jaclyn, and Reed won the challenge after Missy, Baylor, Natalie, and Wes struggled with unlocking the puzzle base. As Missy had never yet been on a reward trip, Reed volunteered to give up his spot to her; the reward-goers exiled Wes. Back at camp, Reed and Keith decided to target Jon at the next Tribal Council, while Natalie and Baylor searched for a hidden immunity idol with the clues they were given on Exile earlier in the game, leading to Natalie finding the idol.
While many of the castaways succumbed to food temptations, Reed outlasted Natalie after three hours to earn immunity. Back at camp, Reed played double agent and, along with Alec, convinced the rest of the tribe to split their votes between Keith and Wes, allowing Reed, Wes, Keith, and Alec to vote Jon out despite being at a numerical disadvantage. While Jon was skeptical of Reed's loyalty, Missy convinced Jon to trust him. At Tribal Council, Reed went along with pretending that he was voting against Keith and Wes, prompting Keith to tell Reed to "stick to the plan." This led to Missy and Jon's alliance whispering amongst each other wondering if Reed and Keith were working together, and if Reed was trustworthy. After the votes were cast, Natalie encouraged Jon to play his idol, which he did, and Keith played his. The four votes cast against Jon were negated, as were the three cast against Keith, sending Wes to the jury with only two votes.
|436||11||"Kind Of Like Cream Cheese"||Recap||2.1/7||December 3, 2014||8.71||TBA|
After returning to camp, Jaclyn thanked Natalie for telling Jon to play his idol; Jon privately berated Jaclyn for giving Natalie praise, thinking it would make him look bad if he reached the final Tribal Council.
After the minority alliance of Reed, Alec, and Keith were eliminated, the remaining five openly began consulting each other to determine the winner and who to exile. Jeff decided to stop the challenge, as the majority alliance decided to award Missy with the victory. Jon volunteered to be exiled, and Missy was given the choice to take two more castaways with her on the reward; she picked Baylor and Natalie, leaving Jaclyn alone at camp with the minority alliance. After a comment from Reed about how he still likes Jaclyn despite her siding with the other alliance, Baylor retorted, resulting in Reed calling Baylor a brat, angering Missy. At Exile Island, Jon found another idol, while Jaclyn, scorned after being left behind from the reward, again considered flipping alliances in Jon's absence as she feared Missy, Baylor, and Natalie would eventually vote out her and Jon.
Keith stayed steady to win immunity. Upon returning to camp after two days on Exile, Jon went for a chat with Jaclyn, but snapped at her after she started talking strategy. An angry Jaclyn stormed away and refused to talk to Jon, while both sides attempted to sway the pair to their side, noting the difficulty in making decisions with a pair that refuses to communicate with each other. At Tribal Council, Jon and Jaclyn decided to stay with their alliance, and Reed was eliminated in a unanimous vote.
|437||12||"Still Holdin' On"||Recap||2.1/7||December 3, 2014||8.71||TBA|
After Tribal Council, Jon and Jaclyn resolved their argument, while Alec, as one of the two remaining outsiders, lamented his poor standing in the game.
Natalie outlasted Jaclyn to win the challenge and, after exiling Alec, chose to share the reward with Jaclyn and Jon in order to keep their trust while she tried to blindside Jon for betraying Jeremy. The ploy seemed to be working when Jon told Natalie about his new hidden immunity idol; Natalie told Baylor about her plan to blindside Jon, who agreed to it despite Jon's closeness with Baylor's mother, Missy.
Jon narrowly defeated Keith to win immunity, throwing Natalie's plans into disarray. The majority alliance of five decided to split the vote between Keith and Alec just to be safe, with three votes on Keith to take out the proven challenge threat. Alec, to save himself, decided to open up emotionally to Baylor, talking about his loneliness after his brother Drew's early elimination. Natalie considered deviating from her alliance's plan and voting for Alec instead, which would spare Keith and ensure his loyalty during her impending coup. At Tribal Council, Natalie decided to follow through with her move, switching her vote to Alec and sending him out of the game, much to Missy, Jaclyn, and Jon's surprise.
|438||13||"Let's Make a Move"||Recap||2.4/8||December 10, 2014||9.47||TBA|
After voting Alec out, Natalie lied to Jon and Jaclyn, claiming to have misunderstood the instructions regarding the split vote plan, which they believed. Natalie then told Keith that she had spared him from elimination and wanted to blindside Jon.
Missy twisted her ankle on the teeter-totter, slowing her, Jon, and Keith down, but the trio worked quickly on the puzzle to win the challenge. Jon gave up his reward to Baylor, and both Jon and Natalie volunteered to be exiled, but ultimately Natalie was sent. Back at camp, Jaclyn told Jon she was suspicious of Natalie for voting against Alec, but Jon still believed it was a mistake. Before the immunity challenge, a medical team member looked at Missy's swollen ankle. She was cleared to remain in the game, but was unable to compete in the challenge.
After a gust of wind knocked over Jon's vase, Natalie won immunity. After the challenge, Natalie told Keith her plan to split the votes between Jaclyn and Jon to avoid Jon's idol, and coached Keith to remain calm at Tribal Council to avoid him getting scared and running his mouth as he had earlier in the game. Baylor and Natalie tried to convince Missy to join them, but Missy told them she couldn't do that, refusing to break her promise to Jon. At Tribal Council, Keith pretended that he was on his way out and Jaclyn and Jon admitted that they felt safe, with Jon discussing his plans for his speech at the final Tribal Council. Missy conceded that she was loyal to a fault, but decided to vote against Jaclyn, forcing a three-way tie in votes between the couple and Keith. Upon the revote, Jon was sent to the jury.
|439||14||"This Is My Time"||Recap||2.4/8||December 17, 2014||9.79||TBA|
After her boyfriend's elimination, Jaclyn expressed her anger when Missy, Baylor, and Natalie tried to rationalize their betrayal of Jon; Missy and Baylor later reinforced their desire to go to the end with Natalie.
Due to Missy's injury, she sat out of the challenge. Keith maintained his lead over Natalie to win the reward and exile Jaclyn. Back at camp, Keith used his advantage — access to a practice table for the upcoming challenge—and practiced as long as he could. Before the immunity challenge, Missy and Baylor further discussed sticking with Natalie, as she was likely to survive the next Tribal Council with her hidden immunity idol. Natalie, however, conspired with Keith and Jaclyn to break up the mother and daughter pair as the last remaining set of loved ones.
Having spent hours practicing, Keith was able to win the challenge before the others could even get a single ball across. Back at camp, Jaclyn informed Natalie of her plan to vote for either Missy or Baylor, and promised she would take Natalie to the end, while Baylor asked Natalie to play her idol on Missy to be safe. At Tribal Council, Natalie decided to play her idol on Jaclyn after confirming with her that Jaclyn had followed through with their plan. The three votes against Jaclyn were negated, and Baylor was sent to the jury, leaving no pairs remaining.
Having betrayed Missy and eliminated her daughter, Natalie made sure that Missy was not angry with her; Missy understood that it was just a game, and that Natalie did what she had to do to further herself. Natalie then confirmed with the other women that Keith was still the next to go.
With Missy sitting out of the challenge, Natalie and Jaclyn fought hard to prevent Keith from winning immunity. While Keith and Natalie were neck-and-neck in retrieving their puzzle pieces, an exhausted Jaclyn was able to pull from behind to finish the puzzle and open the lock to win immunity. While Keith targeted Missy, Natalie was afraid that — after making big moves at the last two Tribal Councils — she would be an easy target. Missy and Jaclyn indeed discussed eliminating Natalie, with Jaclyn conceding that that's what Jon would do if he were still in the game. At Tribal Council, while Natalie admitted that she had a chance to win, and thus was a threat to the others, the women stuck to their initial plan and Keith became the final member of the jury.
At the final Tribal Council, Missy stressed the importance of loyalty in her game despite turning on Jon, Jaclyn discussed her diagnosis of MRKH syndrome, which prohibits her from having children, and how she has been persevering despite it, while Natalie explained that she managed to persist and make big moves despite her twin sister being voted out first. Jaclyn was probed about making moves primarily with others, and Reed concluded the night by comparing Missy to a "wicked stepmother" for her perceived entitlement and for making the minority alliance members feel unnecessary and subpar.
|440||15||"Reunion"||Recap||1.8/8||December 17, 2014||7.31||TBA|
|Months after the final Tribal Council, at the live reunion, it was revealed that Natalie won the game with Josh, Jeremy, Wes, Alec, and Keith's votes, while Jaclyn received Jon and Reed's votes to place second, while Missy came in third after only receiving Baylor's vote to win.|
- The first Tribal Council 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.
- No vote; Julie chose to quit the game.
- Jon and Keith both played hidden immunity idols, therefore four votes against Jon and three votes against Keith were not counted.
- Natalie played a hidden immunity idol on Jaclyn, therefore three votes against Jaclyn were not counted.
- Jaclyn, Jon, and Keith were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.
- Baylor and Val were not eligible to vote in the second round of voting.
Entertainment Weekly's Survivor columnist Dalton Ross called the cast "boring, if not boorish," and said that there were no standout moments from the season. Ross added, "This is not a season that inspires anger or rage, just apathy, which is maybe the worst indictment of all." Despite adding that the final episodes of the season were an improvement, as well as praising Anderson's post-merge gameplay, Ross ultimately ranked it as the fifth-worst season of the series, only ahead of One World, Thailand, Fiji, and Nicaragua. The season was similarly ranked as the fifth-worst by Andrea Deiher of Zap2it in 2015, only ahead of Africa, Vanuatu, Thailand, and Redemption Island. Survivor: Tocantins runner-up and People’s Survivor columnist Stephen Fishbach called it a “humdrum” season, and although it had “a great winner,” he also called the Final Tribal Council “one of the worst in the show’s history.” Host Jeff Probst acknowledged the season as lackluster, especially in comparison to the previous four seasons. In response to whether or not he disliked most of the cast, he stated that “there was a lot of frustration this season,” but similarly to Ross, added that “it got a lot better as it went along.” In 2018, Survivor fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" ranked San Juan Del Sur 22nd out of the 36 seasons, stating that the season "gets more interesting after the merge and has an excellent winner, but it’s hard to get past how unappealing this cast is." In 2015, a poll on the website of former Survivor contestant and reality TV podcast host Rob Cesternino saw San Juan Del Sur rank 22nd out of 30. Rob himself ranked it in the top half of seasons at number 15. While Tom Santilli of Examiner.com reserved some praise for aspects such as the idol plays and the memorability of Keith Nale, he said that the season "mainly consisted of a cast full of people who could only be considered as 'non-gamers,'" and ultimately concluded that "something about this season didn't quite click, and I'm afraid that most of it will be forgotten over time." Gordon Holmes of Xfinity similarly summarized: "I don't get this season. There are big, interesting moves, but it doesn't feel right. It just doesn't pop."
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