Survivor Season 44 Premiere Recap and Live Blog

Survivor 44
Pictured (L-R): Jeff Probst and Tribes Ratu, Soka, and Tika. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022

The season premiere of Survivor 44 airs tonight on CBS. Read a live recap here.

We hear some confessionals from the new castaways. Carson is a super fan who has been studying the game. Claire is used to granting money in her job; now she needs people to approve her for the $1 million. Jaime believes in manifestation. Yam Yam is excited to play the game. Frannie calls Survivor the ultimate test.

The three tribes are already divided when they meet Jeff. Carson, Bruce, Carolyn, Helen, Sarah, and Yam Yam are on the Tika Tribe. Brandon, Jaime, Kane, Lauren, Maddy, and Matthew are on the Ratu tribe. Claire, Danny, Frannie, Heidi, Josh, and Matt are on the Soka tribe. They will compete in their first Reward Challenge. Team members must collect puzzle pieces, solve a puzzle, and then collect rings from a pole. The winning tribe will win camp supplies. In addition, the teams that don’t win must complete a task to get their own supplies.

The challenge begins. Early in the challenge, Bruce hit his head while going under an obstacle. He’s bleeding a lot. Jeff tells him to let him know if he needs medical aid, but Bruce says he’s fine. However, there is a lot of blood running down his face. After Bruce falls to his knees, Jeff finally calls for medical. The medics tend to Bruce and the challenge stops. After Bruce is deemed okay, the challenge begins again. Tika takes the early lead, but Carolyn struggles to retrieve a ring from the pole. She is unable to get one ring, allowing the other two tribes to pass her. The Soka tribe is the first to complete the challenge. Soka wins reward! Ratu gets second place, and Tika gets third place.

We see the Soka tribe arrive at camp. Matt has been dreaming about playing Survivor for a long time, but now he’s terrified. Josh hopes the Soka tribe can continue this momentum. Danny thinks everyone on his tribe is very friendly. He says it will make it tough to decide who should be voted out first. Later, Josh, Claire, and Frannie stumble upon a birdcage with a bag hanging inside. They tell the rest of the tribe about it.

The Ratu tribe arrives at their camp. They must choose between Sweat or Savvy. The former is a physical task while the latter is a brainteaser. If they fail the Savvy task, then they have to wait three days for their supplies. The Ratu tribe chooses to do the Sweat task. Two tribe members must do the task, and Brandon and Matthew step up for the tribe. They must drag coconuts with a net, which is estimated to take four hours.

Meanwhile on the Tika tribe, they learn they must do the Savvy task. Helen and Carson are the ones who do the task for the tribe. They must count the total number of rings inside the two spheres before them. While they get started, the rest of the tribe walks around camp. They stumble upon the same cage as the Soka tribe. Yam Yam is eager to find the key to unlock it. Meanwhile, Helen and Carson answer 18, and they are correct. They earn their own camp supplies.

Back at the Ratu tribe, Brandon and Matthew admit that they underestimated how taxing the Sweat task would be. While they are still working, their tribe members find the cage too. Brandon and Matthew finally complete the Sweat task close to sunset. They didn’t talk any strategy, but they promise each other they will have each other’s backs in the game.

Yam Yam builds fire for his Tika tribe members. He says he’s used to the humidity and being outdoors. Heidi manages to build fire for her tribe members on the Soka tribe. She’s used to being underestimated, but she’s determined to prove herself. Meanwhile, Matt and Frannie are bonding. They enjoy each other’s company, and they agree to form an alliance.

Later in the evening, Bruce is feeling worse from his head injury. A medic comes to camp to take Bruce’s blood pressure. Jeff later joins them. Bruce’s condition is bad enough to pull him from the game. Bruce is in tears. He wanted to play the game so badly, but he doesn’t have a choice. His tribe members are sad to see him go, but they promise to win the game for him.

Matthew builds fire for the Ratu tribe. He’s taken a leadership role in the tribe. He is in his 40s now, and he wanted an adventure. He climbs up a rock, and he takes a bad fall. He cuts up his hands and feet, and he dislocated his shoulder too. He says his shoulder went back in place, but he still has to see a medic. He must wear a sling and take it easy. He’s scared this could get him eliminated from the game.

Helen, Sarah, and Carson form an alliance on the Tika tribe. Carolyn feels like no one is talking to her. She can’t keep waiting for people to talk to her, but she doesn’t want to be aggressive either. Later, a boat makes its way to camp. One person must go on the boat. They will return to camp in the afternoon. A same boat arrives at the other tribes. Soka and Tika draw straws while Ratu draw rocks to decide who goes. Sarah goes for Tika, Matt goes for Soka, and Lauren goes for Ratu.

After Lauren leaves, the other Ratu tribe members search for the key to the cage. Brandon ends up finding it. He contemplates keeping it a secret, but Maddy saw him. Brandon reveals to Maddy that he found the key. Maddy suggests keeping it a secret, but Brandon ends up telling everybody in the tribe. He unlocks the cage and opens the package. He now has a hidden immunity idol and a fake idol he can use however he wants. Brandon now regrets not keeping it a secret. He says he now has a target on his back.

Sarah, Matt, and Lauren meet and climb up a hill. After they have some time to get to know each other, they must take separate paths and make individual decisions. They must draw from one out of three bags. Two bags has parchments letting them know they lost their vote. One bag has an advantage. They have the option to draw twice if they want to. Sarah loses her vote on her first draw, but she gets the Inheritance Advantage with her second draw. Sarah can secretly inherit all advantages played at a tribal council. Matt loses his vote with both his draws. He cannot vote at his next two tribal councils. Lauren gets the Bank Your Vote advantage on her first draw. She can secretly not vote at a tribal council and then vote twice at a later tribal council.

Sarah, Matt, and Lauren return to their tribes. None of them tell their tribe members the complete truth. Matt admits to losing his vote, but he doesn’t share that he lost his vote for two tribal councils. Sarah says she doesn’t know if she has a vote or not. Lauren tells them about the possibility of winning the Bank Your Vote advantage, but she lies and says she lost her vote.

It’s time for the Immunity Challenge. The castaways must paddle around a buoy and then bring a heavy chest to shore. Lastly, they must solve a slide puzzle. The first two tribes to solve the puzzle will win immunity. The challenge begins, and Soka gets the early lead. They have already brought their chest to shore and are the first to begin working on the puzzle. It’s even between Ratu and Tika. Eventually, all three tribes are working on the slide puzzle. Each piece is large and heavy. The pieces must be pushed by more than one tribe member as they try solving the puzzle. Meanwhile at the sit-out bench, Claire asks Matthew if Lauren showed them anything when she returned from the journey. Matthew says she just said that she lost her vote, but Claire tells him that Matt actually brought a piece of parchment as proof. Matthew is appreciative of this info. The challenge continues, and Brandon feels bad and must be seen by medics. The doctor says he’s very dehydrated, but he will be okay. The challenge will continue without him as he rests. Soka solves the puzzle first. Soka wins immunity! Tika solves the puzzle second. Tika wins immunity! Ratu will go to tribal council tonight.

Ratu returns to camp. Brandon apologizes, but his tribe members tell him not to feel guilty. Matthew also shares with Brandon what Claire revealed to him. Matthew wants Lauren to be voted out, and Brandon said he’ll be on board with this plan. However, Maddy wants Brandon to be voted out first. He has a hidden immunity idol, and she says this will be the best opportunity to blindside him. The two plans go around camp. It seems like the men want to vote out Lauren, but the women want to vote out Brandon. Matthew and Brandon see the scrambling going around camp, and they are worried about how Jaime and Maddy will vote. The women eventually approach Kane about voting out Brandon. He’s hesitant about this plan since he doesn’t want to vote for Brandon just for him to play the idol. Eventually Matthew is torn how to vote. Brandon is his closest ally, but he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of the vote.

It’s time for tribal council. Jeff asks about the vibe of the tribe. Jaime says it’s tense right now. She says the game moves so fast and they have to keep up to stay in it. Matthew says he doubts anyone is feeling comfortable since numerous names were brought up. Brandon says they don’t know what are lies and what are truths. Lauren admits to having alliances, but she still feels uncertain. Jaime tells Jeff about how Brandon found the key to the cage and is in possession of the hidden immunity idol. Brandon was trying to build trust with his tribe members. He didn’t know there was an idol inside the cage. Kane says the only way he can know who to trust is by seeing how the votes play out. Brandon doesn’t think there are weak links in the tribe, but he thinks there are weaker links. Before the vote, Jaime publicly says that she is going to play her Shot In The Dark tonight.

Before Jeff reads the votes, he asks if anyone wants to play an advantage. Jaime brings her Shot in the Dark scroll to Jeff. Matthew also decided to play his Shot in the Dark. He brings his scroll to Jeff too. Jeff reads the scrolls. Matthew is not safe; Jaime is safe. Brandon also decides to play his hidden immunity idol.

The first vote is for…




Maddy is the first person voted out of Survivor 44. Lauren chose to activate her Bank Your Vote advantage tonight, and Jaime and Matthew were both unable to vote since they played their Shot in the Dark. Brandon’s idol negated Maddy and Kane’s votes. Therefore, Brandon’s sole vote for Maddy was enough to vote her out of the game.

And that wraps up the season premiere of Survivor 44. Thanks for reading, and come back next week for another live recap.

About Steven Curtis 561 Articles
Steven is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a bachelor's degree in communication arts. He enjoys watching reality competition shows, such as American Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race.