Known for its very colorful characters, Drake flourished early, buying a considerable amount of supplies on Day 1 in large part to one member being able to speak the local language. With tribe morale high quickly, it reflected in challenges, winning the first seven challenges. However, a critical decision of throwing an Immunity Challenge sent the tribe to a downward spiral, losing the remaining Immunity Challenges, entering the merge with the rival Morgan tribe with five members each. Their tribe color is blue.
Upon learning that they will be starting the game with only the clothes on their back (with Shawn wearing an expensive suit), the tribe was formed with the following castaways (in the order they were called upon by Jeff Probst): Shawn, Christa, Rupert, Trish, Burton, Michelle, Jon, and Sandra. They and their rival tribe Morgan were given 100 Balboas (Panamanian money; roughly $100), and were sent into a local Panamanian fishing village to buy supplies they would need for the next thirty-nine days in the wilderness. While Morgan's transactions with locals seemed to be futile due to the language barrier, Sandra made the job easier with her Spanish-speaking ability. Rupert, on the other hand, noticed that Morgan foolishly left their raft filled with footwear unattended, and decided to steal (calling it "pirate booty") and sell them to villagers for more Balboas. To Drake's surprise, Jon and Sandra went searching through the village and was given a tray of chicken, foil, cutlery, wine, etc., to Morgan's disgust. As they headed to their separate island camps, Drake made full use of the money, having a full stock of supplies, while Morgan left the village with almost nothing.
At camp, Burton and Shawn thrived for the leadership role and managed to alienate some members of the tribe (Rupert especially) with their comments and neglect towards some members. They continued to order their tribe mates around and criticized everything that did not match their desire. Later, the tribe would go out to find water (as they unlike the other tribe realized the path could be found by reading the map) and were devoured by the bugs they found in the process, with Job being barely touched by them while there. Despite this, unlike the poorly-built shelter for the Morgan tribe, built on a cliffside home to a family of hermit crabs, the Drake tribe built a well-made shelter away from any danger. At night, Jon cracked more jokes and cursed excessively while doing so and while he said in a confessional it was an asset for him, he received mostly mixed to negative reactions from his tribemates with Rupert saying he was popping off stupid stuff, Christa saying he was a little obnoxious and Sandra saying she flat out couldn't stand him and that his jokes really weren't funny and got old fast.
On the morning of Day 2, many tribe members complained about the clothes situation they were having as they were beginning to be uncomfortable wearing only the clothes they had on their backs before the unexpected start. The tribe realized they could take advantage of the situation and change their clothing features to be more comfortable to stay in. Sandra used pong fronds around her foot as a replacement to her soaking wet shoes. Christa had the idea of cutting parts of her dress off and making them into skirts for Michelle and Rupert (who reluctantly agreed due to the heat of wearing his thick denim jeans). Michelle helped cut off Shawn's expensive suit to make them shorts. Now that the issue was resolved, Shawn and Burton went out to fish due to not wanting to be unproductive around camp and came back with a fish. Rupert wanted to help out as well and went out and caught one. He went back for more trying to catch a fish for every member of the tribe and while he failed to accomplish that goal he showed the tribe how valuable he was needed as the Drake tribe seemed to have almost lived in comparative luxury, as compared to Morgan's dire condition, with the addition of his skills.
The following day at the Immunity Challenge, the Drake tribe was more than ready to battle the Morgan tribe for the first Immunity Challenge, which was called Cannon Carry. Christa held the held the Drake flag and Sandra held the Drake torch when the challenge began. The Drake tribe took off with Rupert in the back end of the canon pushing. The Drake tribe dominated the first three obstacle courses, which consisted of getting the cannon parts through two fences, clearing a path of rocks to get it through and dragging it through thick mud. The Drake tribe had a lead running to the finish line, but their cannon got stuck in the sand allowing Morgan to catch up. Fortunately, the Morgan tribe got stuck as well just feet away from the finish line and the Drake managed to pull off a victory and were very cocky about it. Coming back from the Immunity Challenge, the Drake tribe was very happy to have pulled off their first win as a tribe. The tribe joked about the shocking event during the challenge when the Morgan males stripped down due to Osten's shorts continuously coming off, with Rupert calling them idiots and Sandra making it clear that she was not satisfied with the occurrence.
For this season, winning Reward Challenges gave the winning tribe the right to steal one item from the opposing tribe's camp and a clue to the whereabouts of a treasure chest buried somewhere on their island camps. After winning three consecutive Reward Challenges, Drake had pillaged Morgan's tarp (Day 5), their cooking pot (Day 8), and their lantern (Day 11).
Drake's dominance reached its peak by successfully finding their buried treasure. Though excited at first upon finding their treasure, they felt disappointed when they saw most of the chest's contents (mostly sleeping essentials like blankets and mosquito nets) were molded and foul-smelling. Despite this, they enjoyed of what was left consumable in the chest, such as candies and chocolate.
Despite their dominance, social conflicts in Drake started to pile up:
- Shawn lost the fishing spear's prongs, in which an angry Rupert eventually found.
- Jon and Sandra squabbled over work ethic.
- Shawn and Jon clashed over work ethic.
- Jon and Sandra were annoyed about Shawn's constant complaining.
Despite conquering the game for the first twelve days, the tribe already felt the need of eliminating a tribemate. With this, Burton decided to throw the Day 12 Immunity Challenge to eliminate the deemed weaker players, Christa and Trish. Though the idea was given lukewarm responses from the others, they went through the plan (with Burton and Rupert sitting out for the challenge), thus giving Morgan their first victory. But in a twist, Jeff Probst revealed that Morgan won a right to "kidnap" one Drake member through the next Reward Challenge, and Morgan quickly selected Rupert, allowing him to skip Tribal Council and share Immunity with Morgan. With so many alliances in place over at the Drake camp, Jon found himself in the pole position as a possible swing vote. As tribemates individually asked Jon for support, he got drunk with power as well as with the whiskey (his loopy state carried on to Tribal Council, which visibly upset Jeff). In the end, Burton was blindsided by a secret alliance that included his closest ally, Shawn. Burton received five out of seven votes at Tribal Council (he and Michelle voted for Christa), making him the first Drake member to be voted out of the game.
The loss of Burton marked the Drakes' subsequent downfall, when they lost the proceeding two challenges (though won another challenge on Day 17), where Michelle and Trish paid the price of these defeats.
Despite the losing streak and the chaos around camp, Rupert found consolation in a form of a small snake he named "Balboa." He found the snake while trekking one day. Despite trying to nurse the baby reptile, Balboa died overnight, much to Rupert's dismay.
When the contestants arrived at what they thought of was a Reward Challenge, they were shocked to see the castaways they had previously voted off return as a "Ghost Tribe", The Outcasts — Nicole Delma, Ryan Shoulders, Lillian Morris, Burton, Michelle, and Trish. After a closely-contested challenge between Drake and The Outcasts, the purple tribe had won, thus sending both Morgan and Drake to Tribal Council. After the loss, Jon and Shawn were both on the chopping block. The tribe decided to let the two make their case as to why they should stay. Shawn spoke of trust, while Jon spoke of work ethic. In the end, work ethic proved to be more important as Shawn was voted out, 4-1.
After The Outcasts' Tribal Council, in which Burton was one of the two returning players, Drake welcomed him with open arms and both parties apologized for their past conflicts. On Day 21, Drake tribe finally merged with Morgan, and decided to live at the old Drake camp for the rest of the competition.
- Drake is the first starting blue tribe to produce the winner of the season.
- Drake is the first starting tribe that was neither green, yellow, nor orange to produce the winner of the season.
- Drake is the fourth tribe to have its lowest placing and highest placing members be women, following Kucha of Survivor: The Australian Outback, Jaburu of Survivor: The Amazon, and their rivals, Morgan.
- Drake is the first starting blue tribe to produce a female winner.
- The last member sorted into the tribe, Sandra Diaz-Twine, eventually went on to win the season.
- Drake threw the Immunity Challenge before the fourth Tribal Council.