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".
Twenty castaways are left to fend for themselves among Samoa's white sand beaches, lush green valleys and towering waterfalls.
Immunity is up for grabs and already one member down, Foa Foa needs it desperately. However, they are hit with an unexpected situation and the tension grows in the tribe.
A clever lie turns a tribe against one of its most harmless members. Meanwhile, at the Reward Challenge, the chief of one tribe makes a controversial decision that lands him in the crossfire back at camp.
The game of one determined castaway may be changed when a tribe member makes a stunning revelation. Meanwhile, Russell continues his game of chess when he considers ousting one of his allies.
Russell desperately scrambles to regain control of the tribe when a new power player emerges at Foa Foa.
Both tribes get battered by a relentless storm and for the first time in history the Reward Challenge is brought to an early halt when one castaway reaches the breaking point.
Still reeling from the loss of their leader, Galu struggles to elect a new chief. During a visit to the opposing tribe, one castaway strikes a secret deal and manages to make some new friends.
In anticipation of the merge, outnumbered Foa Foa devises a strategy that will allow them to make quick alliances with some of Galu's strongest players. However, after the long-awaited merge feast, an unexpected master manipulator emerges.
Motivated by extreme hunger, an unexpected castaway kills a rat in an effort to provide for her tribe.
A clever castaway jeopardizes the success of a scheme to ensure their own safety in the game.
In never before seen footage, one castaway reveals a guarded secret and the whole tribe suffers at the hands of Russell in the aftermath of the merge.
At the Survivor auction, one high bidder decides to go hungry in exchange for a potentially valuable advantage in the game. The Foa Foa consider a risky move in the hours before Tribal that may result in the betrayal of one of their own.
The castaways are shocked to discover a twist that will ultimately send two of them home. Fearing that he is next on the chopping block, one castaway gives a shocking performance at Tribal Council.
A shocking betrayal leaves one nervous castaway on the chopping block and brings everyone's strategy into question.
A shocking new deal is struck even as the remaining castaways face the last two Immunity Challenges in the game.