“Survivor” Season 39: A New and Impactful Twist

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji – The 39th installment of “Survivor” titled “Island of the Idols” premiered on September 25, 2019. This unique and unfamiliar theme introduces a new level to the reality television show as the game continues to become more intricate and demanding.  

“Survivor” places a group of strangers in an isolated location where they must provide food, fire and shelter for themselves as they compete to win $1 million.

The castaways are split into different tribes to compete in a series of challenges for rewards and immunity from elimination. If a tribe loses a challenge, they are sent to Tribal Council where they must vote off one of their tribemates.

Usually around the halfway point of the game, the tribes merge into one large tribe. Any person eliminated after the merge and before the finale becomes part of the jury.

The contestants play “Survivor” for 39 days, and when three individuals remain, each person explains to the jury why they should be given the prize money.

At the final Tribal Council, the power rests in the hands of the jury members who cast a vote for the contestant they believe deserves the money and the title of “Sole Survivor.”

Since its original broadcast in 2000, “Survivor” has dramatically evolved. The game has introduced immunity idols which are pocket-sized necklaces that protect a contestant from being voted out at Tribal Council.

The reality show has also introduced a series of different themes each season.

“Island of the Idols” features two past legendary winners who return to the game as mentors living on a separate island from the rest of the cast. The two returnees are Sandra Diaz-Twine, winner of the seventh and 20th seasons of “Survivor,” and “Boston Rob” Mariano, winner of the 22nd season.  

Throughout this season, one or two castaways are sent to the “Island of the Idols” every week where Diaz-Twine and Mariano offer the contestants a chance to win an immunity idol in the game as they teach the competitors a specific lesson that can improve their gameplay.  

If the castaway succeeds, they are given an immunity idol which can prevent them from being eliminated. However, if the competitor fails, they would lose their vote at their next Tribal Council. 

This new twist adds another level of complexity to the game as the 20 contestants are not aware that Diaz-Twine and Mariano are living on a separate island in Fiji.

Watching the contestants’ reactions who visit the “Island of the Idols” is truly priceless as they are completely shocked to see the two mentors on the island. The pure excitement and whirlwind of emotions experienced by the contestants allow the viewers to form a connection with each player.

The different lessons that are presented to the contestants every week also allow the audience to learn about the complicated realm of social skills that are vital to success in “Survivor.” Viewers are drawn to the various layers of strategy, and the audience can gain knowledge of the elaborate gameplay that encompasses “Survivor.”  

The “Island of the Idols” theme allows for a break in regular gameplay as the viewers witness what unfolds on this separate island. It’s almost like two games are occurring simultaneously. 

This energetic and upbeat season has featured secrets, backstabbing, blindsides, tribe swaps and an abundant amount of drama.

Tune into “Island of the Idols” every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on CBS until the live season finale of “Survivor” on December 18, 2019 to see who will outwit, outplay, and outlast their fellow castaways.

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