How 'bout that Jimmy Johnson! Survivor returned for its 21st season last night, and this year's most buzzed about contestant, two-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson, was unsurprisingly front and center for the majority of the hour. The battle lines were drawn between ages, and we got a taste of this year's Medallion of Power, as well as a clue to this season's first hidden immunity idol.
Before the recap begins, a little disclaimer. I was on location for the three day filming of this first episode, so I'll try to include some personal anecdotes from my time with the contestants and Jeff Probst. The 20 new contestants gather on the beach in what they believe to be their tribes and immediately get their first challenge from Probst for the Medallion of Power, an unknown element that could bring an advantage to whichever tribe possesses it. A mad scramble down the river has the players looking in the water, underneath rocks and through bushes, but only Brenda looks up and sees the Medallion hanging from a tree. After hearty congratulations others in her presumed tribe, Probst drops the bombshell that the tribes would now be split by age: 30 and younger on the left, 40 and older on the right. Both tribes are confident that they have what it takes to win: the older claiming wisdom and the younger strength. Probst offers a deal to Brenda and the younger tribe: Keep the Medallion of Power without knowing what the power consists of, or trade it for fishing gear and fire. After deliberation, the tribe decides on taking the known reward and gives up the Medallion to the older group.
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