Blood vs. Water, also known as the couples format, is a twist where the castaways compete against a loved one such as a relative or a significant other.
In a Blood vs. Water format, the cast is comprised of pairs of castaways, but instead of competing alongside each other, the pairs are separated and assigned to different tribes. Despite the format, the players remain competing as individuals and may vote out their partner if they so choose.
- Main article: Blood vs. Water (twist)/International
In 2011, before the conception of the "Blood vs. Water" moniker, the fourth season of the Philippine version introduced the couples format where pairs of celebrities, each with a pre-existing relationship. However, unlike the U.S. adaptation of the format, the Philippine version had pairs of local celebrities and the tribes had 5 pairs each.
In its titular first season, 10 former contestants entered the game with a loved one, with the veterans players on one tribe and their loved ones on the other. As an added layer to the game, Redemption Island was in play, with the loved one still in the game may switch places with their loved one to compete in the duel.
In its second iteration, all pairs were comprised of new contestants. Originally, the season was going to be played by 10 pairs similar to its predecessor, but one of the pairs, So and Doo Kim, had to back out due to the latter's sudden health problem, hence the season beginning with only 9 pairs with 10 men and only 8 women. Also similar to its predecessor, the pairs were still separated on different tribes. Although was originally planned to have Redemption Island in play again, this was scrapped in favor of Hero Duel Reward Challenges prior to the merge. A pair of loved ones would compete against each other, with the loser being sent to Exile Island; the winner would then choose which member of their tribe would be exiled along with their loved one.
Blood vs. Water
|Vytas and Aras Baskauskas
|Candice and John Cody
|Colton Cumbie and Caleb Bankston
|Gervase and Marissa Peterson
|Kat Edorsson and Hayden Moss|
|Laura Morett and Ciera Eastin
|Monica and Brad Culpepper
|Laura and Rupert Boneham
|Katie Collins and Tina Wesson
|Tyson Apostol and Rachel|
San Juan del Sur
|Baylor Wilson and Missy Payne
|Dale and Kelley Wentworth
|Drew and Alec Christy|
|Jaclyn and Jon
|John Rocker and Julie McGee
|Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly|
|Nadiya and Natalie Anderson
|Val and Jeremy Collins
|Wes and Keith Nale|
The following pairs have played on the same tribe/Redemption Island with each other. This list excludes Day Zero.
- Survivor: Winners at War is the first season to have castaways in a familial relationship compete against each other without Blood vs. Water being an official theme of the season. Married couple Amber Mariano and Rob Mariano competed on the season, starting on separate tribes. They never played on the same tribe together, due to Amber being voted out before the Tribe Switch and Rob before the merge, but spent 22 days on the Edge of Extinction together. This is the third-longest time played together of any pair of loved ones, not counting their 36 days spent together on Survivor: All-Stars before their marriage.
- In both Blood vs. Water seasons, the winner's loved one finished in 18th place: Rachel Foulger (to Tyson Apostol) and Nadiya Anderson (to Natalie Anderson).
- Both seasons contained a quitter: Colton Cumbie quit Blood vs. Water, and Julie McGee quit San Juan del Sur.
- Both seasons featured castaways who had previously competed on other CBS reality shows.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water
- According to RC Saint-Amour and Colton Cumbie, the twist was originally going to pit blood relatives (blood) against couples of significant others (water), but the last minute substitution of Candice and John Cody for RC and her father threw off the balance, forcing the loved ones to compete against each other on opposing tribes. However, this has not been confirmed by production.
- Rupert Boneham is the only castaway to accept the offer to switch with their loved one.
- Of the ten pairs, only three had both castaways reach the merge: Aras/Vytas, Tina/Katie, and Laura M./Ciera.
- Coincidentally, both the first person and the last person eliminated pre-merge was a Boneham.
- Laura M. and Ciera have the most combined votes received out of any pair, with 33.
- Colton and Caleb have the fewest combined votes received out of any pair, with 4.
- Ciera is the only person to ever cast a vote against her loved one, in this case, her mother Laura M. She cast her vote against her mother at the last Tribal Council where at least one full pair were present and in the game.
- Tina and Katie have spent the most days together in the game, playing on the same tribe from Day 14 - Day 24 when Tina is voted out, and playing together on Day 32, when Katie is eliminated.
Survivor: San Juan del Sur
- Jeremy and Val Collins are the only pair in the season to have a unique relationship.
- Of the nine pairs, only four had both castaways reach the merge: Reed & Josh, Missy & Baylor, Jon & Jaclyn, and Keith & Wes.
- Jon & Jaclyn are the first, and so far only, male/female pair to make the merge in a Blood vs. Water season.
- Jon & Jaclyn and Reed & Josh would be the first "water" pairs to play together.
- Only one pair was eliminated pre-merge, which was Dale & Kelley.
- Dale & Kelley are the only parent-child pair to not make the merge in a Blood vs. Water season.
- Twin sisters Nadiya and Natalie ironically came last and first in terms of placing, respectively.
- Baylor and Jon were the first jury members in a Blood vs. Water season to cast a vote for their loved ones at the Final Tribal Council.
- Bierly, Mandi (June 4, 2014). "'Survivor': Redemption Island axed for new twist". Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/article/2014/06/04/survivor-redemption-island-axed-for-new-twist-exclusive/. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Kwiatkowski, Elizabeth (June 4, 2014). "'Survivor' host Jeff Probst: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' will replace Redemption Island with a new twist". Reality TV World. https://www.realitytvworld.com/news/survivor-host-jeff-probst-survivor-san-juan-del-sur----blood-vs-water-will-replace-redemption-island-with-new-twist-16388.php. Retrieved May 8, 2020.