"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" pits strategy against family

Jeff Probst addresses the two tribes before the immunity challenge during the premiere episode of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water." CBS

Is blood really thicker than water? It appears we'll find out on this new season of "Survivor."

The 27th season, "Survivor: Blood vs. Water," kicked off Wednesday with a twist-filled, 90-minute premiere that saw 10 returning players compete alongside their loved ones - spouses, children, a niece, a brother -- and one "Survivor" veteran making a major strategic blunder.

The competition begins right away with "Day Zero," where each of the 10 pairs is dropped off and learn they'll be spending the night alone with their loved ones.

When all the pairs gather the next day, host Jeff Probst tells them they're going to be split up -- the returning players are in the Galang tribe, while the newbies are Tadhana.

Then, another surprise: Probst tells them to vote someone out of their tribes immediately. The newbies unanimously vote out Rupert's wife, Laura. The returnees chose to oust Candice.

The tribes are then thrown the Redemption Island curveball -- it's back, and the spouses of the just-ousted players have the option to change places with them. It's here that Rupert decides to take his wife's place on Redemption Island, which means she joins the tribe of returning players and is the only newbie in their group. Huge mistake. Candice's husband, John, stayed put.

For the season's first immunity challenge, six people from each team had to race into the water past a series of obstacles to get to a boat. They then had to untie and paddle the boat back to shore, where the three remaining people on each team had to complete a puzzle.

The veteran players were hindered by Gervase, who is not a good swimmer, but they catch up when the newbies have trouble untying their boat. It comes down to the groups completing the puzzle, which Galang completes first.

Despite his trouble in the water during the challenge, Gervase unleashes some smack-talk to the other tribe after the victory, and it means consequences for his niece, Marissa, who is subsequently voted out of the newbie tribe. She'll have to compete on Redemption Island against Candice and Rupert in hopes of staying in the game.

Tell us: What did you think of the "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" premiere?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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