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Survivor South Africa

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All for one, one for all – Survivor SA 

10 June 2021
The game is on. But what about the individual one? 
Survivor SA One for All All for One

Images: Charlie Sperring and Peter Russell

By Jan-Hendrik Botha

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: After two years, the highly-anticipated eighth season finally premiered on M-Net channel 101, and the first episode of Survivor SA: Immunity Island did not disappoint!   

Unlike any other season of Survivor SA, the individual game started right from the get-go. From the moment our castaways stepped foot on the beach, it became very apparent that it would be a dog-eat-dog game. 

Episode one had us gasping at our screens, seeing strong alliances already being formed and castaways trying to perfect the art of the infamous blindside.  

The question we‘re all asking: Are the fates of our castaways sealed by the Survivor gods, or will they be able to determine their own fate utilising individual gameplay to distinguish themselves from the rest?  

Let’s have a quick look at mechanisms introduced in the first episode that might make individual gameplay more important this year:  

A random draw 
During the first episode of Survivor SA: Immunity Island, and for the first time since season four, tribes were determined by a random draw, reinforcing the fact that each castaway’s game is in their own hands. During previous seasons, tribes were determined as follows: 

Season 1: 
During Survivor SA: Panama, two predetermined tribes of seven set out to partake in the first-ever South African season of Survivor

Season 2: 
Two tribes of eight, based on a random draw, were established during marooning in Survivor SA: Malaysia

Season 3: 
During the first episode of Survivor SA: Santa Carolina, two tribes of nine were determined in a schoolyard pick by two exiled players. 

Season 4:  
Two tribes of nine were determined by two separate random draws between celebs and plebs during Survivor SA: Maldives. 

Season 5: 
During Survivor SA: Champions, two tribes consisting of ten each was selected, also in a schoolyard pick. This was done by two sporting champions, Corné Krige and Mark Fish, who acted as each tribe’s captain. 

Season 6: 
Two predetermined tribes of nine were selected during Survivor SA: Philippines, the first-ever Survivor to last 39 days. 

Season 7: 
Survivor Island of Secrets had three tribes of nine – these tribes too were predetermined.  

The individual immunity necklaces 
During ‘Snatch and Grab’, the first challenge of season eight, two individual immunity necklaces were up for grabs, reinforcing the idea of an individual game very early on. Dino, however, was the only castaway to find one. 

Immunity Island 
During the first episode, Nico introduced Immunity Island. Throughout season eight, one castaway will randomly be sent there after each Immunity Challenge to be faced with a dilemma: stay and play or give up and go. By staying and playing, they have the opportunity to win an advantage in the game for themselves. Should they give up and go, they return to camp immediately with an individual immunity necklace, which they can then bequeath to someone else. Therefore, the choice is ultimately theirs to either play an individual game or play with fellow castaways. 

It’s only week one, and already one castaway has lost an advantage while the other left Tribal Council after being epically blindsided. Right from the start, it’s clear that this season of Survivor SA will be innovative enough to force a far more pronounced individual game. One can only imagine what the Survivor gods have in store for us next.  

Watch Survivor SA: Immunity Island on M-Net (DStv channel 101), Thursdays at 19:30. Join the conversation on TwitterInstagram or the Survivor Facebook Page by using the hashtag #SurvivorSA.