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".
Prior to the tribes embarking on a grueling first Challenge where they have the opportunity to impress their tribemates, the castaways are faced with a surprise vote based solely on first impressions.
An Exile Island twist opens the door for the castaways to play the game like never before, meanwhile the quest for a Hidden Immunity Idol goes terribly wrong leaving two castaways in a tight spot.
One tribe struggles with a tough decision when they discover a weakness in their ranks.
An all-time Survivor strength record is threatened in a grueling endurance competition.
An overzealous castaway risks it all in the Immunity Challenge and pays with a tooth, while another castaway finds himself in hot water for not performing during the challenge.
This Special Edition in a special time period for this week only, provides an intimate look behind-the-scenes at camp life including alliances that have formed, Taj revealing her emotional struggle with being away from her family and Tyson's playful side around the ladies in camp.
Empty stomachs and one castaway's arrogance begin to eat away at the Timbira tribe and a fake Immunity Idol is introduced into the game.
A power player decides to come into the merge fighting, but his plan may be thwarted before it can be carried out. Meanwhile, an exiled pair makes a shocking discovery.
An unlikely trio find themselves enjoying an epic Reward together. Meanwhile, allies are left behind and become concerned that the Reward will result in unplanned bonding with a common enemy.
One castaway attempts to pull off a last minute upset with a devious strategic move, while another becomes an outcast and is forced to beg for a second chance.
With her heart on her sleeve, one castaway takes an honest approach to the game but lands herself in hot water with everyone.
A tough decision gives one castaway the chance to sacrifice personal comfort to benefit the rest of the tribe, and a tricky Immunity Challenge puts brains and brawn to the test as the weary castaways fight for a guaranteed spot in the Final Five.
In the aftermath of Tribal Council, a shocking betrayal is revealed, leaving one castaway reeling. Meanwhile, another castaway takes a bizarre approach to Exile Island, which has a polarizing effect on the rest of the tribe.
After one shocking vote, a seed of doubt is planted by a carefully constructed lie that, after the second vote, leaves the Final Two turning on each other at the Final Tribal Council.