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Merge
Merge tocantinsThe newly merged Forza tribe feast upon the news that the game has changed.
Survivor Gameplay
Description The coming together of two rival tribes
Appearance(s) Every season (sans Palau)

A Merge is the coming together of the two competing tribes. This means that the tribes will now live as one in one camp until the end of the game (Day 39 in most seasons and Day 42 in The Australian Outback). This also signals the game's halfway point and typically begins the Jury phase.

Merged tribes comprise of 8 to 12 members. Since Survivor: Philippines, the merge occurs when there are 11 contestants left in the game.

The merge serves as a halfway point of the game, where at least eight people (this varies) from the two tribes will live as one new tribe until the final day of the competition. Once merged, they will receive a blank tribe banner (with a new color), new buffs and poster paint (as they will be painting their banner). They would also have to christen a name for the new tribe. From this point forward, the game shifts from a team-effort competition into a individual game, although some challenges would still be team challenges. The final two or three would then face the Jury on the last day of the competition at the Final Tribal Council, where the Jury decides who will be the Sole Survivor.

Determining the CampEdit

Determining the merged tribe campsite varies almost each season. While the tribes convene for the merge, the migrating tribe will immediately relocate to the chosen tribe's camp, while their personal items, such as rewards, luxury items and remaining supplies are moved to the new camp. This happens when the tribes compete in a challenge, where the production crew ships the items of the tribe who will move to the new camp. Sometimes, it appeared that the camp of the starting tribe that was more dominant in challenges became the merged tribe camp.

In most seasons, the tribes pick which camp they would like to live in. This decision mostly depends on tribes' living conditions (e.g. having more food sources, more livable shelter etc.). For example, during Survivor: Thailand, the Sook Jai tribe, who created their own shelter, moved to the Chuay Gahn campsite, because they have a cave as their natural shelter.

In other cases, the producers determines the campsite, either from one of the two existing camps, usually the tribe with more members at the time of the merge (as seen in Survivor: Gabon, where the host told the new tribe to move to the old Fang camp) without any input from the contestants, or a totally new one (as seen in Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: The Amazon and Survivor: Redemption Island, where the new tribe moved to an untouched beach).

In Survivor: All-Stars, the Chapera and Mogo Mogo tribes merged at the old Saboga camp (which was dismantled long before the merger). The items they have left at the old Chapera and Mogo Mogo camp are not moved to the new camp. This style occurred in Survivor: Philippines, the Kalabaw and Tandang tribes merged and moved to the dismantled Matsing camp.

ChallengesEdit

Due to the nature of the merge, the game shifts from a team effort to an individual affair.

ImmunityEdit

See Individual Immunity

RewardEdit

See Individual Reward

Do-It-Yourself chalengeEdit

See Do-It-Yourself Challenge

Loved Ones ChallengeEdit

See Loved Ones Challenge

StrategyEdit

Ways of MergingEdit

Over the years, there have been several ways of merging the two tribes:
"Summits:" In Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: Marquesas, one member from both tribes will convene for a "summit," where they enjoy a feast, while discussing the pros and cons of both tribe camps, under the premise that they will decide which of the two camps will they reside for the rest of the game. The two would also receive a new tribe banner, some poster paint and new buffs. After deciding the tribe camp they felt was the more livable one, the two representatives will then proceed to the tribe whose camp was not chosen, where they will fetch the contestants who live there, after which, they will proceed to the other tribe's camp.
Night-Out: In Survivor: The Australian Outback, the remaining players were segregated by gender, with the males staying at the Kucha camp, while the females spent a day at the Ogakor camp. The two groups then convene at a new camp, where their new supplies await.
Before A Challenge: The host signals a merge right before the contestants were subjected to their first post-merger challenge.
Immediate Migration: In a more straightforward way of merging, one tribe will receive a Tree Mail that instructs them to move to the other tribe's camp. In Survivor: Guatemala, after a Yaxhá Tribal Council they were instructed to go to Nakúm for the remainder of the game. In Survivor: One World, they had both tribes go to Tribal Council where both tribes merged at the end of the Tribal Council, and were instructed go to the original One World beach for the remainder of the game.
After a Redemption Island Duel: This type of merge happens immediately after a Redemption Island duel. The person voted off who wins that duel when the merge is announced gets to go back in the game. This has happened in every season containing the Redemption Island twist, Survivor: Redemption IslandSurvivor: South Pacific, and Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

Fake MergeEdit

See Fake Merge.

No MergeEdit

There was one instance where a tribe severely lacked Immunity Challenge wins, and was reduced to its last member in the process. This situation has only occurred once; in Survivor: Palau. In this season, Koror completely dominated and never lost an Immunity Challenge, devastating the Ulong tribe until one sole member remained on that tribe. That player would be absorbed by Koror, after which the individual portion of the game commenced. Therefore, no merge occurred at all this season. A theory is that in order to prevent such incident in the future, the early merge format was devised.

Early MergeEdit

In recent season, starting with Survivor: Samoa, the merge occurs when twelve contestants are left in the game. At first it appeared that the reason for this was because in Samoa, the final twelve castaways comprised of eight former Galu and four former Foa Foa members with Galu at a supermajority. But when the early merge occured in Survivor: Nicaragua, the two tribes merged with six players each, but eight of the original La Flor members remained as opposed to the four original Espada members that remained at the time.

The early merge would occur again in Survivor: Redemption Island, but with Ometepe and Zapatera merged with seven and five members respectively, the theory that supermajorities influenced early merges would then be discarded. In Survivor: South Pacific, Savaii and Upolu were merged with six former members in each tribe.

At this point, it was assumed that the early merge twist was created to even the number of pre-merge and post-merge episodes in a 20-contestants (or 18 plus 2 returnees) format, as opposed to Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Fiji, Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, in which there were more pre-merge episodes.

However in Survivor: One World, the men and the women (which were the original Manono and Salani) merged at 12 contestants. This discarded the former theory, and the exact reasons for the early merge are currently unknown.

In Survivor: Philippines, it was originally slated to have an early merge, but due to Dana Lambert pulling herself from the game shortly before the merge, the season merged with 11 contestants instead of 12.

Merged TribesEdit

TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

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