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Survivor: San Juan del Sur
SJDSLogo
Season Information
Version: United States
Season No.: 29
Filming Location: San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua
Filming Dates: June 2, 2014 - July 10, 2014
Season Run: September 24, 2014 - December 17, 2014
No. of Episodes: 14
No. of Days: 39
No. of Survivors: 18
Winner: Natalie Anderson
Runner(s) Up: Jaclyn Schultz
Missy Payne
Tribes: Coyopa
Hunahpu
Huyopa
Cast
San Juan del Sur cast
Opening Sequence
Survivor 29 - San Juan del Sur Intro01:05

Survivor 29 - San Juan del Sur Intro

Season Chronology
Previous: Cagayan
Next: Worlds Apart

Survivor: San Juan del Sur, also known as Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water, is the 29th 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 three 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.

Development

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.[1] 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.[2][3]

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 (now known as So Kim and Doo Kim) 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, ostensibly having an uneven 10:8 ratio between males and females.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.

–Jeff Probst


In another interview, Probst added that former The Amazing Race contestant and avid Survivor fan Mike White heavily contributed to the shift from Redemption Island to Exile Island and the Redemption Island duels became the "Hero Duels."[8]

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.[9][10]

Twists/Changes

  • 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.[11]
  • 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.

Castaways

Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Against
Original Tribe Switched Tribe Merged Tribe
S29 nadiya t Nadiya Anderson
28, Edgewater, NJ
Natalie's twin sister
Coyopa 1st Voted Out
Day 3
5
S29 val t Val Collins
35, Foxboro, MA
Jeremy's wife
Coyopa 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
9
S29 john t John Rocker
39, Atlanta, GA
Julie's boyfriend
Coyopa 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
5
S29 drew t Drew Christy
25, Winter Park, FL
Alec's brother
Hunahpu 4th Voted Out
Day 10
5
S29 kelley t Kelley Wentworth
28, Seattle, WA
Dale's daughter
Hunahpu Coyopa 5th Voted Out
Day 13
4
S29 dale t Dale Wentworth
55, Ephrata, WA
Kelley's father
Coyopa Coyopa 6th Voted Out
Day 15
8
S29 julie t Julie McGee
34, Atlanta, GA
John's girlfriend
Hunahpu Hunahpu Huyopa Quit
Day 18
2
S29 josh t Josh Canfield
32, New York City, NY
Reed's boyfriend
Coyopa Hunahpu 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
6
S29 jeremy t Jeremy Collins
36, Foxboro, MA
Val's husband
Hunahpu Hunahpu 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
5
S29 wes t Wes Nale
23, Shreveport, LA
Keith's son
Coyopa Hunahpu 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 26
2
S29 reed t Reed Kelly
31, New York City, NY
Josh's boyfriend
Hunahpu Hunahpu 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 29
10
S29 alec t Alec Christy
22, Winter Park, FL
Drew's brother
Coyopa Hunahpu 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 32
4
S29 jon t Jon Misch
26, Waterford, MI
Jaclyn's boyfriend
Hunahpu Coyopa 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 35
8
S29 baylor t Baylor Wilson
20, Nashville, TN
Missy's daughter
Coyopa Coyopa 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 37
17
S29 keith t Keith Nale
53, Shreveport, LA
Wes's father
Hunahpu Coyopa 14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
16
S29 missy t Missy Payne
47, Dallas, TX
Baylor's mother
Hunahpu Coyopa Second
Runner-Up
3
S29 jaclyn t Jaclyn Schultz
25, Las Vegas, NV
Jon's girlfriend
Coyopa Coyopa Runner-Up 6
S29 natalie t Natalie Anderson
28, Edgewater, NJ
Nadiya's twin sister
Hunahpu Hunahpu Sole Survivor 0

Season Summary

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 and perpetual target Baylor Wilson. After John verbally tussled with members of the other tribe after a challenge, Josh orchestrated John's ouster and blindsided him with help from Wes Nale and Alec Christy.

On Hunahpu, Jeremy Collins and Natalie Anderson, having lost their loved ones first, aligned. After a tribe swap, Missy Payne (Baylor's mother) 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.

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 Coyopa Pairs Alliance alliance, and with Natalie's help (turning the alliance into "Fab Five"), they resumed picking off the remnants of Josh's alliance, with Keith Nale as the last outsider remaining. However, 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.

Episode Guide

Episode Air date Challenges Exiled Eliminated Vote Finish Viewers
(in millions)
Ratings/Share
(18-49)
Reward Immunity
1 "Suck It Up and Survive" September 24, 2014 Hunahpu Hunahpu Val Nadiya 5-3-1 1st Voted Out
Day 3
9.75[12] 2.7/9
Keith
2 "Method to This Madness" October 1, 2014 Hunahpu Hunahpu John Val 4-4;
5-1
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
9.49[13] 2.4/9
Jeremy
3 "Actions vs. Accusations" October 8, 2014 Coyopa Hunahpu Keith John 5-2 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
9.59[14] 2.5/8
Josh
4 "We're a Hot Mess" October 15, 2014 Hunahpu Coyopa Jaclyn Drew 5-2-1-1 4th Voted Out
Day 10
9.33[15] 2.3/8
Drew
5 "Blood Is Blood" October 22, 2014 None Hunahpu None Kelley 3-2-2 5th Voted Out
Day 13
9.22[16] 2.2/7
6 "Make Some Magic Happen" October 29, 2014 Hunahpu Hunahpu Baylor Dale 3-2-1 6th Voted Out
Day 15
9.07[17] 2.2/7
Natalie
7 "Million Dollar Decision" November 5, 2014 None Keith None Julie No vote Quit
Day 18
9.31[18] 2.3/7
8 "Wrinkle in the Plan" November 12, 2014 Jeremy, Keith,
Natalie,
Reed, Wes
Jeremy Jon Josh 6-5 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
9.51[19] 2.3/7
9 "Gettin' to Crunch Time" November 19, 2014 Alec, Baylor,
Jeremy,
Natalie, Reed
(Jaclyn, Jon)
Baylor Jeremy Jeremy 5-3-2 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
9.85[20] 2.4/8
10 "This Is Where We Build Trust" November 26, 2014 Alec, Jaclyn,
Jon, Reed
(Missy)
Reed Wes Wes 2-0-01 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 26
8.93[21] 2.1/7
11 "Kind of Like Cream Cheese" December 3, 2014 Missy2
[Baylor,
Natalie]
Keith Jon Reed 7-1 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 29
8.71[22] 2.1/7
12 "Still Holdin' On" Natalie
[Jaclyn,
Jon]
Jon Alec Alec 4-3 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 32
13 "Let's Make a Move" December 10, 2014 Jon, Keith,
Missy
(Baylor)
Natalie Natalie Jon 2-2-2;
2-1-0
12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 35
9.47[23] 2.4/8
14 "This Is My Time" December 17, 2014 Keith Keith Jaclyn Baylor 2-03 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 37
9.79[24] 2.4/8
None Jaclyn None Keith 3-1 14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
Reunion Show Jury Vote Missy 5-2-1 Second Runner-Up 7.31[25] 1.8/8
Jaclyn Runner-Up
Natalie Sole Survivor

Notes:

^1 Jon and Keith used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 4 and 3 votes against them, respectively.
^2 The remaining five in the challenge, Baylor, Jaclyn, Jon, Missy and Natalie decided to forfeit the challenge and give the win to Missy.
^3 Natalie used her Hidden Immunity Idol on Jaclyn, negating 3 votes against her.


Voting History

Survivor: San Juan del Sur Voting History
Original Tribes Switched Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Voted out: S29 nadiya t
Nadiya
Tie S29 val t
Val
S29 john t
John
S29 drew t
Drew
S29 kelley t
Kelley
S29 dale t
Dale
S29 julie t
Julie
S29 josh t
Josh
S29 jeremy t
Jeremy
S29 wes t
Wes
S29 reed t
Reed
S29 alec t
Alec
Tie S29 jon t
Jon
S29 baylor t
Baylor
S29 keith t
Keith
S29 missy t
Missy
S29 jaclyn t
Jaclyn
S29 natalie t
Natalie
Vote: 5-3-1 4-41 5-1 5-2 5-2-1-1 3-2-2 3-2-1 No vote2 6-5 5-3-2 2-0-03 7-1 4-3 2-2-21 2-1-0 2-03 3-1 5-2-1
Natalie Drew Josh Keith Keith Reed Alec Jon Jon Baylor Keith Jury Vote
Jaclyn Dale Baylor Baylor John Kelley Dale Josh Jeremy Wes Reed Keith Keith None Baylor Keith
Missy Drew Kelley Keith Josh Jeremy Keith Reed Alec Jaclyn Jaclyn Jaclyn Keith
Keith Julie Dale Dale Baylor Reed Jon Reed Alec Jon None Jaclyn Missy Natalie
Baylor Nadiya Val None John Kelley Keith Josh Jeremy Keith Reed Alec Jaclyn Jon Jaclyn Missy
Jon Keith Dale Dale Josh Jeremy Wes Reed Keith Keith None Jaclyn
Alec Nadiya Baylor Val John Baylor Reed Jon Reed Keith A6a6a6 Natalie
Reed Julie Baylor Jeremy Jon Missy Jaclyn
Wes Nadiya Val Val John Baylor Reed Jon Natalie
Jeremy Drew Josh Keith Natalie
Josh Baylor Val Val John Baylor Natalie
Julie Drew Quit
Dale Nadiya Val Val Baylor Baylor Missy
Kelley Drew Baylor
Drew Kelley
John Nadiya Baylor Val Baylor
Val Dale Baylor None
Nadiya Dale A6a6a6

Notes:

^1 Tribal Council resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote 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.
^2 Julie quit the game, therefore voting for that episode was cancelled.
^3 A Hidden Immunity Idol was used, therefore all votes against the user were negated.

Reception

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Trivia

  • 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).[26]
  • The font use for this season's buff is called Voodoohouse.[27]
  • The removal of two castaways for medical reasons 48 hours before the start of the game resulted in an unbalanced cast, with ten males and eight females. 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 consecutive 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.

References

  1. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/21/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-blood-vs-water-jeff-probst
  2. http://www.hitfix.com/the-fien-print/interview-jeff-probst-discusses-the-survivor-cagayan-season
  3. http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2014/05/survivor-30-probst-cast-new-players/
  4. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/02/survivor-nicaragua-two-contestants-leave
  5. http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/melissa-mcnulty-explains-how-she-became-fiji-lost-survivor-4672.php
  6. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-734178
  7. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/04/survivor-redemption-island-axed-for-new-twist-exclusive
  8. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/11/13/survivor-jeff-probst-mike-white/
  9. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/13/survivor-strike/
  10. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/14/survivor-strike-over/
  11. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/27/survivor-san-juan-del-sur-cast-twists-revealed/
  12. 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/
  13. 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/
  14. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/09/wednesday-final-ratings-modern-family-the-middle-the-goldbergs-black-ish-adjusted-up/312464/
  15. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/16/wednesday-final-ratings-the-mysteries-of-laura-modern-family-red-band-society-adjusted-up/315681/
  16. 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/
  17. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/30/wednesday-final-ratings-the-goldbergs-modern-family-the-100-nashville-adjusted-down/321842/
  18. http://www.tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/06/wednesday-final-ratings-arrow-the-100-adjusted-down/324561/
  19. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/13/wednesday-final-ratings-modern-family-adjusted-up-the-100-adjusted-down/327297/
  20. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/20/wednesday-final-ratings-stalker-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-red-band-society-or-nashville/329835
  21. 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/
  22. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/04/wednesday-final-ratings-no-adjustment-for-arrow-modern-family-or-the-100/335389/
  23. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/11/wednesday-final-ratings-arrow-hells-kitchen-chicago-p-d-adjusted-up/338283/
  24. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/18/wednesday-final-ratings-survivor-reunion-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-or-the-sing-off/340878/
  25. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/18/wednesday-final-ratings-survivor-reunion-adjusted-down-no-adjustment-for-the-100-or-the-sing-off/340878/
  26. http://ecuip.lib.uchicago.edu/diglib/science/cultural_astronomy/cultures_aztec_images-2.html
  27. http://www.whatfontis.com/Voodoohouse.font?text=COYPA

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