The Survivor Auction is an event that occasionally appears in Survivor.

About

The Survivor Auction is a special Reward Challenge where the players are temporarily relieved from competing in strenuous challenges. Instead, they will be given a specific sum of money where they must outbid the other contestants for certain items, mostly food, with instances where a temporary use of amenities or a visit from loved ones are also offered. There are also instances where there are game-changing powers that contestants can outbid on, such as the power to send another player to Exile Island, an advantage at the next Immunity Challenge, or a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol. The host would pound a gavel on the auction table, denoting that the item has already been sold.

At pre-determined points, the host will offer covered items which will remain covered until there is a winning bidder. In connection to covered items, there are also "trap items," which reveal an undesirable prize, such as exotic food items or boiled water from their camp. Also, the host will sometimes tempt the contestant to trade his/her chosen item for another sealed item, which sometimes reveal a "better" item(s), or sometimes a more undesirable one(s).

In recent seasons, players are to outbid on items that would benefit the entire tribe, such as all-tribe food items to be eaten in a certain amount of time, or extra food supply. This could serve as doing a favor for the tribe, in order to establish a better position in the game, perhaps expecting their tribe to return the favor.

Rules

Prior to the auction starting, the host announces the guidelines of the auction. In order for a contestant to bid, they must adhere to the following rules:

  • Castaways are given a predetermined amount of money (which may vary from local currency to USD) and can choose to bid as many times as they wish using however much money they have.
  • The host would open the bidding with a flat rate that follows the prescribed increment (if bidding is at $20 increments, the host may open the bidding at $40). This rule has been abandoned in recent seasons.
  • Bids will be in increments at the host's discretion. Castaways can, however, immediately bid a large amount, or all of the money in their possession, in an attempt to instantly win a desired item.
  • "Pooling" (sharing money along with the item up for auction with other players) is permitted, as long as they share the item and/or vice versa. This option has been voided since Cook Islands.
  • Food which is bought must be eaten before leaving the auction area.
  • The auction will usually end without notice.
  • Sealed/covered items will remain covered until the item is sold.
  • Host Jeff Probst has revealed that after the auction, the contestants may keep their unspent money. Jeff even claimed that some contestants do not bid at all so that they can keep the money.[1]
  • If two or more people who have all their money want to bid all of it on the same item, they will draw rocks to decide who wins. This rule was implemented starting with Cagayan.[2]

Impact

The auction is well received by fans, primarily with seeing the contestants enjoying food and sharing it with their tribemates or keeping it for themselves. It also provides insight as to whether or not a castaway will risk what they have bought in order for a concealed item, which is typically exotic local cuisine or an improvement on what has been won. Also, hogging too many items from the auction may receive the ire of his or her tribemates.

Host Jeff Probst himself acknowledged that the Survivor Auction lost its appeal due to the increasingly cutthroat nature of the game, as contestants no longer competed for food and instead held on to their money until game advantages were up for bid. This was apparent in the most recent instances of the Survivor Auction, Cagayan and Worlds Apart.[3]

Occurrences

Episode
The Australian Outback
"Let's Make a Deal"
Africa
"We Are Family"
Thailand
"The Ocean's Surprise"
The Amazon
"Q and A"
Palau
"I'll Show You How Threatening I Am"
Guatemala
"Price for Immunity"
Cook Islands
"You're a Rat..."
Micronesia
"I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face"
Gabon
"Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars"
Tocantins
"The Ultimate Sacrifice"
Samoa
"Off with Their Heads!"
One World
"I'm No Dummy"
Philippines
"Hell Hath Frozen Over"
Caramoan
"Come Over to the Dark Side"
Cagayan
"Chaos Is My Friend"
Worlds Apart
"Bring the Popcorn"

Most Common Items

Item Winners
Letters from home S6 christy t.pngS6 jenna t.pngS10 caryn t.png
S10 gregg t.pngS10 katie t.pngS10 stephenie t.pngS10 tom t.png
S24 alicia t.pngS24 tarzan t.pngS26 andrea t.pngS26 brenda t.png
S26 cochran t.pngS26 eddie t.pngS26 erik t.pngS26 reynold t.png
S30 carolyn t.pngS30 dan t.pngS30 jenn t.pngS30 mike t.png
S30 rodney t.pngS30 shirin t.pngS30 sierra t.pngS30 tyler t.png
Advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge S11 danni t.pngS17 corinne t.pngS19 jaison t.png
S24 troyzan t.pngS25 abimaria t.pngS26 cochran t.png
Clue to the location of a Hidden Immunity Idol S19 john t.pngS26 malcolm t.pngS28 tony t.png
Power to send someone to Exile Island
and to take all of said person's auction money
S13 becky t.pngS16 natalie t.pngS17 ken t.png

Gallery

Trivia

References

Recurring Challenges

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