First Impressions is a twist that originated in Survivor: Tocantins and has since reappeared in Blood vs. Water and Cagayan. The twist sees each tribe vote somebody out at the very start of the game; however, in most instances, the people voted out are not eliminated from the game and would receive a special condition in the game instead.
In Tocantins, after raiding the truck for supplies, Jalapao and Timbira were instructed to vote for one member of their tribe who would not make the trek to camp. Jalapao voted out Sandy Burgin, the tribe's oldest member, whilst Timbira voted out Sierra Reed, who was sick. However, the two contestants 'voted out' remained in the game and were given a helicopter ride to camp, saving them from a four-hour grueling hike. Upon arrival at camp, Sandy and Sierra were also given a clue to a buried Hidden Immunity Idol which could only be used at their first Tribal Council and a dilemma: to search for the idol or use the four hours to begin constructing a camp in order to overcome their bad first impression. Sierra chose to start building the shelter, while Sandy decided to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol.
In Blood vs. Water, Galang and Tadhana voted out one member each after being split from their loved ones into separate tribes. Unlike in Tocantins, this time the players voted out would actually leave their tribes. However, instead of being eliminated from the game, the two people voted out were instead sent to Redemption Island. Galang voted out Candice Cody based on the fact that they did not know or remember her too well, whilst Laura Boneham was voted out by Tadhana due to her relationship with Rupert Boneham. However, in a further twist, Rupert and John Cody were given the option to swap places with their wives. Rupert took his wife's place at Redemption Island, and she re-entered the game as a member of Galang. However, John chose not to take Candice's place at Redemption Island.
In Cagayan, right after the tribes arrive, they must choose a leader. For Solana, the leader was LJ McKanas, for Aparri, the leader was Sarah Lacina, and for Luzon, the leader was David Samson. The leaders must choose who they think is the weakest on their respective tribe, the three chosen players (one from each tribe) get to ride to camp in the helicopter and get there faster. The leaders chose Morgan McLeod, Trish Hegarty, and Garrett Adelstein, respectively. At camp, they had to choose between a clue for the Hidden Immunity Idol or an extra bag of rice for the tribe. Morgan and Garrett both chose the clue, while Trish took the extra bag of rice.
"Let's Get Rid of the Weak Players Before We Even Start"
|Blood vs. Water|
"Blood Is Thicker than Anything"
"Hot Girl with a Grudge"
- The twist somewhat resembles the Schoolyard Pick in Palau which saw two contestants - Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk - immediately eliminated from the game when they were not chosen for the tribes. Unlike First Impressions, however, they were not formally voted out by the whole tribe and they were eliminated from the game.
- A similar twist occurred in Samoa, but instead of being told they were voting somebody out, the tribes were instructed to vote for a Tribe Leader.
- Garrett Adelstein is the only male contestant to be voted out in the First Impressions twist.
- Tyson Apostol is the only person to compete in multiple seasons featuring this twist.
- Cagayan is the first and only season with this twist where a single tribe leader voted instead of the entire tribe.
- Cagayan is the only season that featured three people who were chosen, as it was a three tribe season.
- This twist was present in both seasons filmed on Palaui Island.
- With the exception of Cagayan, everyone who was "voted out" because of the twist, had 6 votes cast against them.