Young at Heart is the season premiere of Survivor: Nicaragua.


Day 1

Twenty new castaways strolled along the pristine, yet jagged Nicaraguan terrain to compete in Survivor's 21st season. Legendary NFL coach Jimmy Johnson said,

I'm sixty-six years old and I've won two collegiate national championships. I won two Super Bowls. What could top it off better than to win Survivor.

Jimmy Johnson

Randomly split in two groups of ten, first impressions started to form.

I noticed an older gentlemen looks like a mafia boss and he looks like he wants to boss people around. And I'm not the kind of character that likes his buttons pushed.

Jimmy Tarantino

There is an old gray haired guy that's just pissing me off already. He seems like the kind of guy who is going to step into the leadership position. I hope he does because he will just get kicked off right away.

Alina Wilson

After the long walk to their first order of business, the two groups met at a beach, together with host Jeff Probst.

After Jeff welcomed the castaways to the game, Jeff announced that a "Medallion of Power" is hidden around the beach. The person who gets the Medallion wins it for their tribe. As the twenty survivors (yet undivided into tribes) frantically scoured the beach to look after the Medallion, Brenda Lowe gets to the Medallion first and proudly wore it around her neck. Jimmy J. lauded Brenda, saying, "I don't even know your name, but you did a great job."

After Brenda found the Medallion, Jeff asked Marty how he felt about Brenda having the Medallion. "I think it's really important to win anything that is thrown at us and to be the tribe to win the first thing bodes really well for us," Marty answered. Jeff then shocked the castaways by telling them that the two groups formed will not be their tribes. He instructed the castaways aging from 30 and under to group together and told the others, aging from 40 and above to do the same - it's a battle of the ages! Observing his tribemates, Jimmy J. reacted, "I'm young at heart!" Jeff then handed the younger tribe yellow buffs, and named them as La Flor tribe (Spanish for "The Flower"), while the older tribe was given blue buffs and they will be called the Espada tribe (Spanish for "Sword"). With the Medallion holder Brenda on La Flor, Jeff tempted the yellow team to trade the Medallion in exchange for flint and fishing supplies (If they chose to keep the Medallion, Espada will take the fishing supplies with them). NaOnka stressed that they should keep the Medallion of Power, saying: "I really want to keep it. I like the fact that it is power." After much deliberation, La Flor decided to surrender the Medallion in exchange for the fishing gear, thus transferring the Medallion's unknown advantage to Espada. Shannon even bragged, "I figured that the older people need the Medallion of Power more than we do. I mean I don't wanted to underestimate the old people, but I don't think they will be able to handle us in challenges. There's no reason why we should lose to them." The tribes were then instructed to proceed to their respective camps.

Upon reaching camp, the older Espada tribe started to get to know each other. Despite being famous as a world-renowned coach, Jimmy Johnson realized his leadership skills will not be enough to propel his tribe to victory, knowing his fame would make his tribe mates either laud him or resent him. Starstruck by Jimmy J., Marty, and Dan gossiped about him. Holly on the other hand approached Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff for an alliance. Holly explained, "The first time I saw Wendy, I trusted her. And most of the time I do read people very well." Wendy said in a confessional, "My strategy from the beginning of the game is to take baby steps. First, not be the first person voted off. My husband thinks I'm going to be the first person voted off because he thinks I talk a lot. I think I'm going to bite my tongue and hide my true self from the tribe mates." At the beach Jane confidently told Jimmy J. that they will have fire. Jane explained, "Winning the million dollars is real important to me because it will help me pay off my farm. And the fact that I lost my husband in '09, it means I wouldn't have to work as hard as I do. But his spirit I know is still with me and that's what keeps me going." Using her eyeglasses and some coconut husks, Jane successfully did what most past Survivor tribes were unable do - creating fire without the use of flint.

Over at the younger La Flor tribe, the tribe bonded while creating shelter. Sash commented, "This game, this old guys vs. young guys, where we know we're going to be able to dominate and we're excited." Their celebration was put on hold when Jud Birza screamed after stepping into a stray thorn. Shannon irked, "The guy with the long blond hair, you know, he's a dumb blond. You know, I've really never called a guy a dumb blond before, but he's a dumb blond." Shannon decided to nickname the dud "Fabio." "Fabio" commented about his new name, "Dude, I don't care what they call me. I'm going to win the million dollars. So I guess my nickname's Fabio." Shannon came up to Chase, asking for an alliance. Shannon explained to Chase that they should not let the women conquer the game (stating that the past two seasons of Survivor, a woman had won). Shannon declared, "It's important that we don't let these girls take over. I mean we already get owned in marriage and pretty soon we'll have a woman president, but I mean a guy needs to sack up and we need to win this one." Meanwhile, Kelly B. (who wore her trousers all day) felt uncomfortable about revealing her well-kept secret, wearing a prosthetic leg (due to a birth defect). But after collecting the courage she needed, the medical student then revealed her prosthetic leg. Despite receiving some support from her tribe mates, Kelly B.'s condition concerned Shannon, because he feared that she might be a challenge liability or if lasted until Day 39, she might get enough "sympathy votes" to win. Shannon even declared "I just figure if we lose a challenge to the old folks, she's definitely got to be one of the first, first ones to go."

Back at Espada, the tribe mates saw Jimmy J. throwing up after overworking around camp. Jimmy T. remarked, "Coach [Jimmy J.] needs to be careful. He's getting his ass kicked out here now."

Day 2

Waking up after puking last night, a much livelier Jimmy J. realized the harsh realities of the game, saying, "I've watched every second of Survivor. I never imagined anywhere close, that it was this difficult. The first time I've ever experienced anything like this and it's an eye opener I promise you."

At La Flor, Chase bonded with Brenda and asked for an alliance. Chase then realized his predicament since he already had an promise to Shannon, he said, "I don't want to have this thing where I have two different alliances. I'm not trying to come on here and lie to everybody. But my dumb ass has put my neck out on the line early and I was not planning on doing that." Despite getting his trust, Brenda commented on Chase's situation, "He's clueless." At the water well, Alina and Kelly B. found another prize for giving up the Medallion of Power - a very difficult clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. Having difficulties on deciphering the clue, both girls decided to hide it instead of divulging it to their tribe. Knowing that Kelly B. also knew about the clue, Alina revealed her true feelings for her amputee tribemate, "We found the Hidden Immunity Idol clue together, which I wish we didn't find it together. So now I'm kind of forced to be an alliance with her."

Day 3

After receiving Tree Mail for their first Immunity Challenge, Jimmy J. called a meeting with his tribe mates, where he confessed that he did not apply for the show for the money and just longed for its adventure aspect. He also accepted the possibility that no one would vote for him should he be in the Final Tribal Council because he is already wealthy, but he will be very willing to help them to make sure that the Sole Survivor will come from Espada. The confession somewhat inspired the females, but the males remained skeptic about the coach's true intentions.

The tribes convened for their first Immunity Challenge, where an upbeat La Flor tribe entered the challenge area with a comedic tribe cheer, which was dismissed by the Espada tribe. Jeff asked the older tribe if they would go easy on Kelly B., who deliberately came in wearing shorts, revealing her artificial leg. Tyrone replied that they would not. After giving the instructions to their first challenge, Jeff revealed that the Medallion will grant its host tribe an advantage in challenges, to La Flor's dismay, Jeff further revealed that for this challenge, the Medallion's advantage would give Espada one bucket full of water to be dumped into their water barrel. With the barrel having a capacity of five full buckets, the advantage would give Espada a leg up. After much deliberation, the older tribe decided not to use the Mediallion, thus starting the challenge in equal footing with their younger counterparts.

While both tribes fared well in filling their barrels, the women of La Flor breezed through the puzzle, only to discover one part did not fit, giving Espada a chance to catch up. In the end, La Flor caught up by rearranging their misplaced piece, winning immunity.

Back at Espada camp, Marty and Jimmy T. thought of eliminating Jimmy J. out of jealousy, with Jimmy T. stating, "I got to say this and I'm not going to not be heard here. I know that sometimes stars blind people." Meanwhile, Jimmy J. stressed on Holly about eliminating their weakest player, pointing on Wendy, much to Holly's shock, for she aligned with her since Day 1. Holly confessed that she cannot betray her ally.

At Tribal Council, it was decided that Wendy was the weakest player of the Espada tribe, and was voted out in a 9-1 vote, with Holly ending up voting for her.


Challenge: Medallion of Power
The twenty castaways must find the "Medallion of Power" hidden along the beach area. The person who gets it wins it for his/her tribe.
Reward: The option to keep the Medallion of Power until further notice, thus holding its yet unknown "power", while the opposing tribe will get fire and fishing gear. If the winning tribe chose the fishing supplies, they have to surrender the Medallion to the other tribe.
Winner: La Flor (gave Medallion to Espada in exchange for fishing gear)

Challenge: Getting Tanked
One castaway would stand at the top of a tower and pour water down five gutters held by five castaways. The water would fill a barrel, which would release a net of puzzle pieces when full. The four remaining castaways would assemble the puzzle. The first tribe to assemble their puzzle would win.
Medallion Advantage: Starting the challenge with one bucket already in the barrel.
Winner: La Flor

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 1:
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Wendy (9 votes)
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Dan, Holly, Jane, Jill, Jimmy J., Jimmy T., Marty, Tyrone, Yve
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Yve (1 vote)
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Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff

Voting Confessionals

Complete confessionals retrieved from CBS' YouTube account. Dan did not say anything when he voted. [2]

(voting for Wendy) I know I got off to a bad start, I admit that, but I'm taking Jimmy's advice, and I'm keeping the team strong.

Holly Hoffman

(voting for Wendy) I'm a team player. I have to go with what I think's going to be best tonight for our team. I like you. You're a hell of a mat-weaver, and you were so much fun going out there and catching crabs. But I'm sorry, I have to go with the team tonight.

Jane Bright

(voting for Wendy) Someone has to go, and I feel like this is the right decision for a stronger tribe.

Jill Behm

(voting for Wendy) You're a hard-working, good person, but we've got to keep the stronger members.

Jimmy Johnson

(voting for Wendy) Sorry dear, you're a sweet girl, but probably a little too sweet for a hard game.

Jimmy Tarantino

(voting for Wendy) Wendy Jo, we hardly knew you. It would have been awesome if you'd played the game.

Marty Piombo

(voting for Wendy) Initially, the decision was tough, but after hearing you speak tonight with your pleas and excuses, it became easy. It appears your in-authenticity got the best of you. Might want to consider showing the world who you are. Be yourself. Tonight, Wendy Jo, you gotta go.

Tyrone Davis

(voting for Yve) Yve, you lied to me today when I asked you. You could have said my name was going on the vote. So, I'm sorry, had to pick somebody. I feel like you're a threat to me.

Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff

(voting for Wendy) You can't hesitate in life and you can't hesitate in this game. Like you said, you've got to stay true to who you are.

Yve Rojas

Final Words

I guess the whole game of Survivor everything's fair. And what I find interesting is this is probably the only time in my life I was a loser with strangers. I changed coming into the game. I know if I would have been myself it would have worked out better. I didn't hear that they wanted to get to know me better. I wish I could go back. Maybe they'll stick me on the young people's tribe.

Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff

Still in the Running

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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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 Jimmy J.
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 Jimmy T.
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 Kelly B.
La Flor
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 Kelly S.
La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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  • Jeff Probst mentioned in an interview that the production crew made fake camera setups around the beach during the Medallion of Power challenge in Day 1. Knowing that if the cameramen were all focused in one place, the Survivors might easily find the Medallion.[3]
  • Jeff also revealed that when the Dream Team made a test run of the Immunity Challenge, they did it by putting the gutters from left to right. He stated that the Survivors doing one long gutter was unexpected, but more efficient.[4]
  • The episode title was stated by Jimmy J. when he was telling Jeff Probst that he is young at heart even though he's the oldest castaway of the bunch.


Survivor: Nicaragua Episodes

"Young at Heart" · "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All" · "Glitter in Their Eyes" · "Pulling the Trigger" · "Turf Wars" · "Worst Case Scenario" · "What Goes Around, Comes Around" · "Company Will Be Arriving Soon" · "Running the Camp" · "Stuck in the Middle" · "We Did It Guys" · "You Started, You're Finishing" · "Not Sure Where I Stand" · "This Is Going to Hurt" · "What About Me?" · "Reunion"

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