Despite the “huge shift in how this game is played,” as Jeff Probst called Survivor Panama‘s new twist, the new rules really didn’t come into play during the first episode, which was Survivor as usual.
The castaways were introduced to each other and Jeff on Exile Island, where they competed in their first reward challenge. Of the four tribes, the older men came in first, while the younger women lost. They had to leave someone behind on Exile Island, and made that important decision by playing rock-paper-scissors. Misty stayed behind, and when she rejoined her tribe for the immunity challenge, suggested she’d found the immunity idol.
But it didn’t matter, as they won the immunity challenge, while the older women lost it. At tribal council, the older women admitted that the game was a lot more difficult than it seemed. Cirie told Jeff, “For the people at home that are like me on the couch: Stay on the couch.” Another woman said, “I completely agree.”
The women then voted off Tina, the woman who was cast for Survivor Guatemala but dropped out after her only child, a 16-year-old son, was killed in a car accident. Her tribemates acknowledged that she’d done a lot of work and apparently viewed her as a threat. That sent Jeff into full-on lecture mode right away. Daddy Probst said, “Well, you’re only three days in to what all of you have agreed is already the toughest thing you’ve ever done, and yet you vote out the one person who could make your life a little easier. Be interesting to see how it plays out.” He did not add, “Morons.”