Sixteen or more castaways are split between two or more "Tribes", are taken to a remote isolated location and are forced to live off the land with meager supplies for roughly 39 days. Frequent physical challenges are used to pit the tribes against each other for Rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for "Immunity", forcing the other tribe to attend "Tribal Council", where they must vote off one of their players. Once about half the players are remaining, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and competitions are on an individual basis; winning Immunity prevents that player from being voted out, while several that are voted out at this stage form the game's "Jury". Once down to two or three people, a Final Tribal Council is held where the remaining players plead their case to the jury members. The jury then votes for which player should be considered the "Sole Survivor" and win the $1 million prize. Survivor has introduced numerous modifications, or "twists", on the core rules in order to keep the players on their toes and to prevent players from relying on strategies that succeeded in prior seasons. These changes have included tribal switches, seasons starting with more than two tribes, the ability to exile a player from a tribe for a short time, Hidden Immunity Idols that players can use to save themselves at Tribal Council and a chance to return to regular gameplay after elimination through "Redemption Island".
For the first time in Survivor history, a tribe of idolizing ultra-Fans is surprised when they come face-to-face with a tribe of Favorites from Survivor's past.
The sounds of two castaways smooching through the night keeps one tribe awake. Meanwhile, at the other camp, one thoughtless castaway kicks three of its members out of the shelter, forcing them to fend for themselves.
The Fans finally get the matchup they've been waiting for when they learn they must compete head-to-head in a full contact battle with the Favorites. Meanwhile, one castaway is torn between two alliances and makes demands in order to get what she wants.
One castaway carves a fake Immunity Idol out of a piece of wood in order to replace the real Idol they found on Exile Island. Will the fake Idol be good enough to fool the other castaways? Meanwhile, another mastermind emerges ... pitting two power players against each other.
After battling each other as Fans vs. Favorites, the tribes finally switch. After an intense Reward Challenge, several castmates return to camp with injuries, and one proves serious enough to threaten the fate of the castaway's future in the game.
One castaway's medical emergency changes the course of the game for the remaining castaways. Meanwhile, on Exile Island, the fake Immunity Idol finds its way into the hands of Ozzy's arch-rival.
After the Reward Challenge, one castaway is torn between staying true to their tribe or going home to their loved ones. Meanwhile, one of the Survivor Favorites takes an eager Fan under his wing, causing others to worry about this new bond.
Girl Power transpires when a few of the women from one tribe devise a plan to target the strong men. Alone and isolated, one castaway takes desperate measures to stay in the game.
After the tribes merge, the Fans are outnumbered by the Favorites. Meanwhile, one castaway's hope for survival in the game dramatically weakens after receiving the fake Immunity Idol, a carved stick wrapped in a napkin.
Desperate for friends and allies, one castaway sacrifices Immunity in order to stay in the game. Meanwhile, another castaway has made promises to too many friends, forcing an alliance betrayal at Tribal Council.
A Fan emerges as a real game player after devising a plan that threatens to sacrifice one of their own. Flirtation between two castaways devolves into bitter tension after one loses trust in the other.
One castaway goes from being a power player to the most desperate of all before making a huge discovery that could change the course of the game. Meanwhile, Alexis and James both suffer injuries that could potentially threaten their fate.
The women on the tribe use their powers of seduction to test the only man remaining in the game. Will he fight temptation or will it cost him the game?
What started as an epic battle between Fans versus Favorites comes to a dramatic end. Find out which castaway reaches their breaking point, and which one is left bursting with emotions at the Final Tribal Council.