Survivor: San Juan del Sur, also known as Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water, is the twenty-ninth season of Survivor. This season revived the format of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, in which pairs of loved ones were split to create the initial tribes. However, San Juan del Sur departed from the precedent set by Blood vs. Water in one respect, as it featured only new contestants. The season saw one quit and has to date produced four returning players for subsequent seasons.
Early drama revolved around inflammatory former baseball player John Rocker and his girlfriend Julie McGee. After the former was blindsided and the latter quit the game, strategic threats Josh Canfield and Jeremy Collins were eliminated. The game then developed into a rather shapeless affair in which no one player was understood to exercise clear control. However, The Amazing Race 21 alumnus Natalie Anderson distinguished herself with her subtle strategy, manifested in such moves as her nearly unilateral elimination of Alec Christy, her long-premeditated vengeance on Jon Misch and her use of a Hidden Immunity Idol on Jaclyn Schultz to consolidate late-game control. She would go on to win the title of Sole Survivor in a 5-2-1 jury vote over Jaclyn and Missy Payne.
The theme and name of the season were announced at the Reunion Show of Survivor: Cagayan. The production flew back to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, the same location where Survivor: Nicaragua and Survivor: Redemption Island were filmed. Filming began June 2, 2014, and was completed on July 10. After filming wrapped, it was confirmed that the two upcoming seasons will have an all-new cast.
Originally, the season was set to have a 20-player cast. However, 48 hours prior to the start of filming, a member of a pair of sisters failed one of the final medical examination. Unable to find a replacement pair of the same gender composition in time, production was forced to start the game with the remaining nine pairs, despite this leaving an uneven 10:8 ratio in favor of the men. The healthier of the sisters, So Kim, was brought back for the next season. A similar case occurred back in Survivor: Fiji, where Mellisa McNulty was pulled from the game due to last-minute panic attacks. Former contestant and Survivor After Show host Parvati Shallow went to the production site as part of the press who conducted interviews to the contestants and wrote an online journal about her experience.
In an interview with Dalton Ross from Entertainment Weekly after the Cagayan finale, Jeff Probst initially stated that Redemption Island was slated to be in play. However, after the interview, last minute changes were discussed by Jeff and the production crew to further innovate the upcoming season. In a more recent interview with Ross for EW Morning Live, which was held live on set, Probst revealed that they decided to shelve Redemption Island, which potentially misled the contestants, who were yet to be flown on location and listened to the prior interview. The set that was supposed to be the Redemption Island Arena would be rehashed for Exile Island, a twist long-unused since Survivor: Tocantins. Jeff teased:
|“||We all started looking at it, and it started feeling like—I don't know. I don't know if Redemption Island is the right thing. And it would be the safe thing to do because we knew it worked. I got the cards out and started looking at all the players in my living room and just started imagining: What else could you do with people who love each other that would really make it difficult? And we came up with an idea, and everybody puts their two cents in, and we formed a new idea. Instead of Redemption Island, we decided: We have this arena being built. What if instead of that, we use it for something else, something that will make Blood vs. Water a little more interesting. A little more bloody.||”|
In another interview, Probst added that former The Amazing Race contestant and avid Survivor fan Mike White (who would later become a future contestant himself) heavily contributed to the shift from Redemption Island to Exile Island and the Redemption Island duels became the "Hero Duels".
On August 13, 2014, editors temporarily halted the post-production process of the season and went on strike due to CBS preventing them to unionize which would give them pension plans and health benefits similar to other to the workers in Mark Burnett's other shows. The next day, an agreement was settled, and the editors concerned were allowed to unionize and went back to work, thus keeping the premiere to air on schedule.
- Blood vs. Water: Nine pairs of castaways, each with a pre-existing relationship, will compete against each other for the million dollar prize. The pairs will be separated, assigning each member to opposite tribes. Unlike the first "Blood vs. Water" season, this season will have an all-new cast, and Redemption Island will not be in play.
- Day Zero: A day before the actual game starts, the pairs will be sent out at sunset to different locations to live by themselves for the night. They will then all meet up to be officially welcomed by host Jeff Probst and start the game the next morning.
- Exile Island: After an eleven-season hiatus of the twist, Exile Island returns replacing the initial Redemption Island twist. This season's version of the twist would have its tribal Reward Challenges only be one-on-one duels between castaways. Before the tribe switch, however, the twist is that the ones that would face-off should be between loved ones. The winner of each duel wins reward for his/her tribe while the losing castaway would be sent to Exile Island, along with one of the winner's tribe mates, where they will choose between two urns: one with a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol buried on his/her camp, and the other with nothing.
- Hidden Immunity Idol: During the pre-merge portion of the game, one idol would be hidden at each tribe's camp with clues found at Exile Island. Post-merge, an idol would be hidden somewhere on Exile Island.
- Tribe Switch: When there were 14 castaways left in the game, there was a tribe switch, putting four Hunahpu and three Coyopa castaways on each tribe.
- Early Merge: This season merged with twelve castaways in the game.
- Expanded Jury and Final Three: Instead of the conventional Final Two facing the jury of seven, the Day 39 Tribal Council was held with a Final Three facing an eight-person jury.
|Original Tribe||Switched Tribe||Merged Tribe|
28, Edgewater, NJ
Natalie's twin sister
|Coyopa|| 1st Voted Out|
35, Foxboro, MA
|Coyopa|| 2nd Voted Out|
39, Atlanta, GA
|Coyopa|| 3rd Voted Out|
25, Winter Park, FL
|Hunahpu|| 4th Voted Out|
27, Seattle, WA
|Hunahpu||Coyopa|| 5th Voted Out|
55, Ephrata, WA
|Coyopa||Coyopa|| 6th Voted Out|
34, Atlanta, GA
32, New York City, NY
|Coyopa||Hunahpu|| 7th Voted Out |
1st Jury Member
36, Foxboro, MA
|Hunahpu||Hunahpu|| 8th Voted Out |
2nd Jury Member
23, Shreveport, LA
|Coyopa||Hunahpu|| 9th Voted Out |
3rd Jury Member
31, New York City, NY
|Hunahpu||Hunahpu|| 10th Voted Out |
4th Jury Member
22, Winter Park, FL
|Coyopa||Hunahpu|| 11th Voted Out |
5th Jury Member
26, Waterford, MI
|Hunahpu||Coyopa|| 12th Voted Out |
6th Jury Member
20, Nashville, TN
|Coyopa||Coyopa|| 13th Voted Out |
7th Jury Member
53, Shreveport, LA
|Hunahpu||Coyopa|| 14th Voted Out |
8th Jury Member
46, Dallas, TX
25, Las Vegas, NV
28, Edgewater, NJ
Nadiya's twin sister
Upon entering the season, the nine pairs of loved ones were separated onto two tribes: Coyopa and Hunahpu. Coyopa had a very rough start, losing three consecutive Immunity Challenges. While the tribe was initially dominated by the Coyopa Guys Alliance led by John Rocker, Josh Canfield was torn between allegiances to the men. After John verbally tussled with members of the other tribe after a challenge, Josh orchestrated John's ouster and blindsided him.
On Hunahpu, Jeremy Collins and Natalie Anderson, having lost their loved ones first, aligned. After a tribe swap, Missy Payne came into power on Coyopa, while Josh and Jeremy vied for control on Hunahpu. While both men targeted each other, their conflict was never resolved after their tribe won all the challenges during the post swap phase.
At the merge, two factions emerged: The Hunahpu Alliance, led by Jeremy, and the Coyopa Guys Alliance, now headed by Josh, with the dating couple Jon Misch and Jaclyn Schultz in the middle. While they prepared to side with Josh's alliance for the first post-merge Tribal Council, it was cancelled after Julie McGee quit the game, giving Jon and Jaclyn time to change their minds and side with Jeremy's alliance to eliminate Josh.
Jeremy's fortune was not to last, and he was blindsided by Jon's own alliance, and with Natalie's help (turning the alliance into the "Fab Five"), they resumed picking off the remnants of Josh's alliance, with Keith Nale as the last outsider remaining. However, Natalie had been biding her time for the right moment to retaliate and avenge Jeremy's blindside at the hands of Jon. Keith was spared as Natalie spearheaded Jon's elimination, leaving with a Hidden Immunity Idol in his pocket. While Keith survived the next Tribal Council after winning immunity, he lost the Final Immunity Challenge and was the last player voted out of the game.
Ultimately, Missy, Jaclyn, and Natalie became the Final Three. At the Final Tribal Council, Reed Kelly eviscerated Missy's character, comparing her to a "wicked stepmother", while Jaclyn was questioned for having only made moves with others, primarily Jon. Natalie was praised for making bold moves without a loved one's support and was ultimately awarded the title of Sole Survivor with five votes to win, compared to Jaclyn's two and Missy's one.
|1||"Suck It Up and Survive"||September 24, 2014||Hunahpu||Hunahpu||Val|| Nadiya|
|1st Voted Out|
|2||"Method to This Madness"||October 1, 2014||Hunahpu||Hunahpu||John|| Val|
|2nd Voted Out|
|3||"Actions vs. Accusations"||October 8, 2014||Coyopa||Hunahpu||Keith|| John|
|3rd Voted Out|
|4||"We're a Hot Mess"||October 15, 2014||Hunahpu||Coyopa||Jaclyn|| Drew|
|4th Voted Out|
|5||"Blood Is Blood"||October 22, 2014||None||Hunahpu||None|| Kelley|
| 5th Voted Out|
|6||"Make Some Magic Happen"||October 29, 2014||Hunahpu||Hunahpu||Baylor|| Dale|
|6th Voted Out|
|7||"Million Dollar Decision"||November 5, 2014||None||Keith||None|| Julie|
|8||"Wrinkle in the Plan"||November 12, 2014|| Jeremy,|
| 7th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
|9||"Gettin' to Crunch Time"||November 19, 2014|| Alec, Baylor,|
| 8th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
|10||"This Is Where We Build Trust"||November 26, 2014|| Alec, Jaclyn,|
| 9th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
|11||"Kind of Like Cream Cheese"||December 3, 2014|| Missy3|
| 10th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
|12||"Still Holdin' On"|| Natalie|
| 11th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
|13||"Let's Make a Move"||December 10, 2014|| |
| 12th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
|14||"This Is My Time"||December 17, 2014||Keith||Keith||Jaclyn|| Baylor|
| 13th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
| 14th Voted Out|
8th Jury Member
|Jury Vote|| Missy|
|Survivor: San Juan del Sur Voting History|
|Original Tribes||Switched Tribes||Merged Tribe|
|Voted out:|| |
|►►||Natalie||—||—||—||Drew||—||—||—||Josh||Keith|| ||Reed||Alec||Jon||Jon||Baylor||Keith||Jury Vote|
|►►||Missy||—||—||—||Drew||Kelley||Keith||—||Josh||Jeremy|| ||Reed||Alec||Jaclyn||Jaclyn|| ||Keith|
|►►||Keith||—||—||—||Julie||Dale||Dale||—||Baylor||Reed|| ||Reed||Alec||Jon||None|| ||Missy||Natalie|
|►►||Baylor||Nadiya||Val||None||John||—||Kelley||Keith||—||Josh||Jeremy|| ||Reed||Alec||Jaclyn||Jon|| ||Missy|
^1 Tribal Council resulted in a tie. Per Survivor rules, a revote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those involved in the tie.
- Based on the logo and the names of the tribes, the theme of the season appears to be inspired by Mesoamerican culture (predominantly, Aztec and Mayan).
- The font use for this season's buff is called Voodoohouse.
- This is the first season since Survivor: Fiji to have an uneven number of male and female contestants.
- This is the first season to feature Exile Island since Survivor: Tocantins, after a hiatus of eleven seasons.
- Only 4 female castaways were voted out from this season, setting a record low.
- With the Day Zero twist, this season, along with Survivor: Blood vs. Water, are the second-longest seasons in terms of number of days, lasting 39.5 days, following Survivor: The Australian Outback, which was filmed in 42 days instead of the standard 39.
- This is the first season to have castaways with homophonic first names (names that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently), namely John Rocker and Jon Misch. Coincidentally, both players were also voted out while having an unused Hidden Immunity Idol.
- This is the first season to include a pair of twins.
- This is the first season with all new players to follow another season with all new players since Survivor: Samoa.
- ↑ Pitman, Jeff (May 3, 2019). "Survivor 29: San Juan del Sur calendar". True Dork Times. https://www.truedorktimes.com/s29/calendar.htm. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/21/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-blood-vs-water-jeff-probst
- ↑ http://www.hitfix.com/the-fien-print/interview-jeff-probst-discusses-the-survivor-cagayan-season
- ↑ http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2014/05/survivor-30-probst-cast-new-players/
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/02/survivor-nicaragua-two-contestants-leave
- ↑ http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/melissa-mcnulty-explains-how-she-became-fiji-lost-survivor-4672.php
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-734178
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/11/13/survivor-jeff-probst-mike-white/
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/13/survivor-strike/
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/14/survivor-strike-over/
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/27/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-cast-twists-revealed/
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/09/25/wednesday-final-ratings-the-middle-the-goldbergs-modern-family-law-and-order-svu-red-band-society-adjusted-up/306937/
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 http://www.tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/02/wednesday-final-ratings-modern-family-the-middle-the-goldbergs-black-ish-the-mysteries-of-laura-chicago-p-d-adjusted-down/309952/
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/09/wednesday-final-ratings-modern-family-the-middle-the-goldbergs-black-ish-adjusted-up/312464/
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/16/wednesday-final-ratings-the-mysteries-of-laura-modern-family-red-band-society-adjusted-up/315681/
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/23/wednesday-final-ratings-the-middle-the-goldbergs-modern-family-black-ish-adjusted-down-final-world-series-numbers/318375/
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/30/wednesday-final-ratings-the-goldbergs-modern-family-the-100-nashville-adjusted-down/321842/
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 http://www.tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/06/wednesday-final-ratings-arrow-the-100-adjusted-down/324561/
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/13/wednesday-final-ratings-modern-family-adjusted-up-the-100-adjusted-down/327297/
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/20/wednesday-final-ratings-stalker-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-red-band-society-or-nashville/329835
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/27/tv-ratings-wednesday-criminal-minds-survivor-down-red-band-society-hits-low-stalker-steady-a-charlie-brown-thanksgiving-rises/333013/
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/04/wednesday-final-ratings-no-adjustment-for-arrow-modern-family-or-the-100/335389/
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/11/wednesday-final-ratings-arrow-hells-kitchen-chicago-p-d-adjusted-up/338283/
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/18/wednesday-final-ratings-survivor-reunion-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-or-the-sing-off/340878/
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/18/wednesday-final-ratings-survivor-reunion-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-or-the-sing-off/340878/
- ↑ http://ecuip.lib.uchicago.edu/diglib/science/cultural_astronomy/cultures_aztec_images-2.html
- ↑ http://www.whatfontis.com/Voodoohouse.font?text=COYPA
|Survivor (US) Seasons|
Borneo • The Australian Outback • Africa • Marquesas • Thailand • The Amazon • Pearl Islands • All-Stars • Vanuatu • Palau • Guatemala • Panama • Cook Islands • Fiji • China • Micronesia • Gabon • Tocantins • Samoa • Heroes vs. Villains • Nicaragua • Redemption Island • South Pacific • One World • Philippines • Caramoan • Blood vs. Water • Cagayan • San Juan del Sur • Worlds Apart • Cambodia • Kaôh Rōng • Millennials vs. Gen X • Game Changers • Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers • Ghost Island • David vs. Goliath • Edge of Extinction • Island of the Idols • Winners at War