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Twenty players -- 10 young, 10 old -- venture to Nicaragua to outwit, outplay, and outlast in the classic game of survival for a million dollars.
Twenty castaways, 39 days... only ONE Survivor!

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Jeff Probst
Creator Charlie Parsons
EP Mark Burnett
Charlie Parsons
David Burris
Jeff Probst
Packager Mark Burnett Productions
Survivor Productions
Castaway TV Productions
Origins San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Web cbs.com/survivor
Airs 8p Wed, CBS

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Young At Heart (Espada)
September 15



The 21st edition of the show that made reality shows big takes place in Nicaragua. Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, amid rainforests and young and active volcanoes, twenty Americans from all walks of life are currently on their way to the adventure of a lifetime and, with any luck, a million dollars. Oh and, by the way, we have a very special guest this time around: a certain resident of Islamorada, FL who has mostly been seen recently on another network only on Sunday afternoons. That's right; one-time NCAA Championship-winning and two-time Super Bowl-winning football coach Jimmy Johnson (who also won an NCAA Title as a player in '64) is among the rabble for this rendition.

The twenty castaways have already been divided into two groups of ten and are merging on a lagoon where our dear old uncle Jeff Probst awaits us. We talk immediately to him about first impressions that the groups came up with en route. Yve mentions the way people walk (and Kelly B. gets paranoid that maybe they know about her prosthetic leg). Marty seems happy with his group (though he wants nothing to do with Jimmy J).

Well, Uncle Jeff sends us on our first "challenge". See, somewhere in the lagoon area is a Medallion of Power. Own the Medallion and you'll have SOME sort of advantage for the tribe at SOME time during the 39 days. After making absolutely sure to everyone that this is NOT an individual reward, Jeff sends us on our way. After several minutes of frantic searching, Brenda finds it and we all return to Jeff. Marty thinks that, whatever power is involved in the Medallion, it'll do their tribe well.

That it would, mentions Jeff,...IF these were in fact the tribes. See, they may have traveled as groups of ten...but those groups are NOT the tribes.

Jeff divides the tribes into those 30 and younger (La Flur, Chico's tribe, wearing yellow) and 40 and older (Espada, my tribe, wearing blue). Yeah! I got Jimmy J! HE'S not too happy, though. Aside from Jimmy J, my tribe also has:

Jill Behm, 43, ER doctor from Erie, PA
Jane Bright, 56, dog trainer from Jackson Springs, NC
Tyrone Davis, 42, fire captain from Inglewood, CA
Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff, 48, goat rancher from Fromberg, MT
Holly Hoffman, 44, swim coach from Eureka, SD
Dan Lembo, 63, real estate exec from Water Mill, NY
Marty Piombo, 48, tech exec from Mill Valley, CA
Yve Rojas, 41, homemaker from Kansas City
James "Jimmy T." Tarantino, 48, commercial fisherman from Gloucester, MA

La Flor now has a choice: keep the Medallion of Power or trade it for flint and fishing gear. After a brief get-together, they decide to trade. The Medallion goes to us and we head our separate ways.


Welcome to Camp Espada. Lovely beach, some drinking water close by (provided you boil it), lots of indigeonous wildlife. Oh, but you'll have to forage your own food and build your own shelter, though. So...after hugs around, get to work. Jimmy J is happy to play the role of "celebrity" but knows others may resent that. Wendy and Holly strike up an immediate alliance based on first-impression trust. Wendy is hiding the fact that she's a blabber, hoping not to be first out like her husband believes she will be.

Apparantly, Jane has watched several editions of "Survivor" and knows you don't need flint or sticks to make fire; all you need is a pair of glasses. In this case, she borrows Jill's to focus sunlight into the hairs in a coconut husk. She could use the million to pay off her farm, which has struggled since her husband died last year. And, huzzah, we have fire! Marty feels reassured that they produced fire quickly in the game.


Either Jimmy J (or "Coach", as the others have called him) has been taking acting lessons from Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw...or he pushed his 66-year-old body a BIT too hard today. He's wretchiing, he's tired...and he's not impressing Jimmy T. at all. Tack on a cold, restless night and being bitten by ants and mosquitos and Coach feels absolutely whooped. Who knew that LIVING "Survivor" was so much different than WATCHING it?


Tree-Mail! Or, to be accurate, BARREL-Mail.

Change the course of waterfalls,
Or you may just lose your flame.
Keep your mind in the gutter,
Or be the first to leave the game.

Time for a motivational huddle-up by Jimmy J. He says there's no chance in heaven, hell or purgatory a Jury's gonna give HIM the million. He's here for the adventure and wants to help someone on his TRIBE win the million. He'll do what can to look at the other team and "kick their ass" along with the elders.


In we come to Challenge Beach...and in comes the young whippersnappers, doing some sorta "haka" or spaz attack or something. We are not amused. Uncle Jeff just says, "Kay..." Furthermore, Jud is now "Fabio" and the two Brendas are distinguished by color of bikini. Grow up, juniors. Tyrone doesn't care about Kelly B.'s bum leg; they ain't gonna take it easy.

OK, onto the challenge. One tribe member goes to the top of a tower and pours colored water into a gutter trough held by five other memebrs...which will hopefully lead the water to a big barrel at the bottom. Once the barrel is full, puzzle pieces will be released and the other four members must put it together. First to do that wins a golden conquistador statuette...which will keep you away from Tribal Council tonight.

Oh, right...the Medallion of Power. Well, guess what? Giving the Medallion to the other tribe gives an advantage in challenges like this one. In this case, we can surrender the Medallion to La Flor and start with a full bucket of water in our barrel...which is about 1/5 of the barrel. Of course, giving it up means that La Flor can use it at the NEXT challenge. After some discussion, we decide to hang on to the Medallion for now. The tribes get set for the challenge. For us, the men will have their minds in the gutters (stereotyping, I know), Holly will pour and the other girls will puzzle through.

Survivors ready...GO!!

The younger tribe seem to have a knack for keeping the gutters stable. Holly's just having trouble not pouring water on the guys instead of into the gutters. Soon, however, she gets the idea. However, it is the "Younger Tribe" (as Jeff calls La Flor) who has their pieces drop first. Espada ("Older Tribe")'s pieces fall a minute later and Jill, Jane, Yve and Wendy get to work. La Flor gets their name right...but it's the outside pieces that give them an issue. Just when Espada feels they can catch up...the pieces fall in place...and La Flor wins immunity!

But is Jimmy J nervous? Not really. He had to lose a Super Bowl before he could win two. They just need to ditch the weakest player and trudge on.


Jimmy T. is traumatized...and he STILL doesn't believe "Coach" is cut out for this game. The other men seem to agree with him. Holly and Jimmy J. walk along the beach and "Coach" believes the weakest players are himself and Wendy...and Holly starts to re-think her Day 1 alliance with Wendy. Wendy thinks she's weak as well because of her tight-lipped strategy. Holly pulls the other girls and Marty into a game of "Would You Rather..." with the only question ending "...keep Jimmy or Wendy?" But nobody answers...not out loud. Guess it'll have to all come to fruition at...


Oh, THIS is nice. Councils are being made in a ruined missionary building...or the Church of Doom, I guess. AND it has a GRAVEYARD! How appropriate.

Uncle Jeff gets us to light our torches and then sits us down for a chat. Jane has proven she's not a "southern hillbilly" by making fire...thanks to her reading one of Uncle Jeff's blog articles. Jimmy T. considers himself a leader...until he was teamed with Jimmy J. "Coach" says he's no leader here but will hang around as long as he's a benefit to the tribe. Jimmy T. doesn't buy it; the Jury WILL give him the money if he plays well enough. Marty says there are different ways to lead and those who lead wrongly will not last long in the tribe.

"Who thinks they're in trouble tonight," asks Uncle Jeff. Over half the tribe raise their hands. Holly talks about her alliance and her possible change-of-heart. Wendy says didn't connect with others because she was quiet...and then proceeds to show a mouth like an outboard motor. No one asked her age, she says. She'll start "tooting her horn", she says. She's known as "Chatterbox", she says. Even after Uncle Jeff calls for a vote, she begs for her spot on the tribe for a good minute or so.

Finally, it IS time to vote. One by one, Espada tribe - Jane, Marty, Jill, Dan, Yve, Jimmy J, Tyrone, Jimmy T, Wendy and Holly - write down their votes on the parchment and place it in the golden coffer. All we know for sure is Tyrone's vote: "Wendy Jo gotta go!" Uncle Jeff tallies the votes, brings them to the chamber and reads them aloud:

Wendy Jo (Tyrone's vote)...

"Eve" (uh,...that's Yve, whoever wrote that...)


Wendy Jo...




What do ya know? Wendy's hubby was right all along. By sticking her foot in her wide-open mouth, she's out by unanimous vote. Her torch is snuffed and she heads through the graveyard and back to her goats.

Uncle Jeff (correctly) assumes the vote tonight was to improve chemistry among the tribe. And, since we made fire WITHOUT flint, we get rewarded WITH flint so we don't need to use eyeglasses anymore. We head back to camp one member shorter...but are hearts just a little bit lighter.

To view this episode in its entirety, along with extras and blogs, as well as information on how to become a contestant, go to cbs.com/survivor.