Survivor 45

Christine & Gia’s Island Round-Up – Episode 1

Christine and Gia break down Episode 1.

Photo: CBS

Each week, Christine Pallon and Gia Worthy will round up the previous week of Survivor 45 as they list their top moments in various important categories. This includes the most essential information, the stand-out castaways, and the key moments from the week.

Here, Christine and Gia break down all the action from the season premiere.


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Top 3 Moments

Bruce returns!

Gia: For the first time in the new era, we have a returning player amongst the cast! Bruce Perrault has returned after his medevac in the premiere of 44 (and was drafted by me again, in case anyone forgot). He got some pushback from Emily (then again, who didn’t?), but seeing as they’re not on the same tribe for the time being, I think he’ll be safe for a bit given the tribe he is placed on. Of course, he’s just as excited to be here as ever, even if Jeff had to remind him to keep his head down in the immunity challenge.

Photo: CBS

Savvy and Sweat

Christine: After last season, I feel like I saw a lot of Survivor fans share the same sentiment: enough with Savvy or Sweat! The Survivor gods seem to have misunderstood our pleas and, instead of getting rid of it, decided to make it much harder and turn it into a head-to-head challenge instead. I still think this whole idea is a bit of a time-sink for a premiere twist – just let me see the players interact and meet each other, damn it! But if we simply must have it (and it does seem like production is dead set on having it on every season in the new era), I’m glad they at least upped the stakes a little this time.

Despite their best efforts, Brando and Jake weren’t able to bring the supplies home for Belo, and Sabiya and Kaleb weren’t able to bring home a win for Lulu, either.

Photo: CBS

A Historic Quit

Gia: Survivor 45’s promotion has promised that this will be a season for the ages. In some ways, it has already made history, but probably not for any of the reasons they hoped for. Hannah was struggling from the very beginning of the game. After Lulu lost both the marooning challenge and Savvy and Sweat, it became clear that she was in way over her head, especially now that they were starting the game with no machete. Once they lost the immunity challenge, Hannah asked everyone to vote for her, as she didn’t want to stay over the players who wanted to be there. Despite the infighting that happened before and during the tribal council, the tribe eventually conceded to Hannah’s wishes. And with that, we have the first quit of the new school era.

Tribe Breakdown


Christine: So far, Belo has the most “game” potential out of our three starting tribes. This seems to be the physically strongest tribe, and we’ve already got a budding alliance between Kendra, Kellie, and Katurah. As for the men, Brando had a quieter episode outside of the Savvy and Sweat segment, but Jake seems poised to be a big character, and Bruce is…well, Bruce.

After getting called out at the marooning by Emily, Bruce tried to turn up the “crazy uncle” energy and downplay his fatherly vibes. Unfortunately, the fun uncle energy didn’t last long before he started advising his tribe on how to approach building their shelter. In a normal situation I would be worried for Bruce, but I don’t foresee Belo going to tribal anytime soon as long as Lulu is still a complete mess, and I wouldn’t put it past them to pull a Luvu and make it all the way to the merge together unless something drastically changes.


Gia: The Lulu Losers lived up to their self-appointed nickname in the premiere. It’s safe to say they were the stars of the premiere, but at what cost? They lost every challenge, lost a player, had another player looked at by medical, and the player they were going to vote out is still in the game and targeting the only two that were fit to try Sweat vs. Savvy. They’re a mess, an absolute hot mess. Safe to say, I love them.

Brandon and Hannah
Photo: CBS


Christine: Despite their iconic name, Reba didn’t give us much to write about this week. If Belo is the “strong” tribe and Lulu is the “Gabon-level chaos” tribe, then Reba is our “middle-of-the-road” tribe. While we got to see some of Sifu’s goofy character potential with his failed attempt to hide in the bushes like Tony Vlachos, everything else we saw on Reba this week was pretty standard player introductions and initial socializing.

As far as advantages go, however, Reba is the only tribe so far to have a player locate this season’s Beware Advantage. Austin won’t be able to vote until he completes a series of tasks, the first of which is to decipher a message on the tribe flag. The public nature of this task could make things interesting for Reba if Austin takes a shot at solving it in the next episode.

Top 3 Contestants


Gia: Kendra is obsessed with her tribe, and I’m obsessed with Kendra. That’s just the way things are going to work around here. While Lulu got the most camera time in the premiere, both Belo and Reba had their own stars of episode one as well. Sifu was that for Reba, and Kendra was that for Belo. She didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy, but she’s a breath of fresh air with an infectious personality that lights up the screen. Kendra was such a fun casting choice, and her desire to work with the women in her tribe made for a fabulous foursome. I can’t tell if she’ll be around long-term or not, but I know I’ll enjoy her for however long she’s in the game.


Christine: Brandon had a rough episode, but he was undeniably one of the biggest presences of the premiere. Brandon took us on a bit of a rollercoaster: we had his emotional mat talk with Jeff, his physical struggles in both challenges, bouts of acid reflux, and his strong (albeit short-lived) consideration towards playing his Shot in the Dark. And despite all of that, he’s still here! Even if Hannah hadn’t quit, her exit press tells us the boot would’ve been Emily, so he wasn’t saved by the quit, either.

Make no mistake: moving forward, Brandon has a tough road ahead of him. He’s on a mess of a tribe, to begin with, and his other struggles in the game aren’t making things any easier for him. But so far, he’s having no problems socially, which could be his saving grace, especially with Emily on the outs of Lulu. There’s still time for him to turn things around, but if he fails to find his footing again in the next episode, he could just as well end up being too much of a challenge liability for Lulu to keep around.

Brandon and Emily
Photo: CBS


Gia: Oh Emily, what a premiere you had. She knows who she is and what she’s here to do, but I don’t think her tribe is on the same page as her. She came in hot, immediately going against Bruce’s statement that they’re all on equal footing. Emily needs to be right, even at the expense of her social standing in the game. I don’t think she’s completely down and out, but she has a lot of recovery to do.

Fallen Comrades


Christine: Hannah made Survivor history with her premiere episode quit, and she’ll always be remembered for that. She’s been getting a lot of hate for her decision online, and although I’m never happy to see someone quit the game, I can’t fault her for making an authentic decision and choosing to give her tribemates a chance in a game they’re so eager to play. Even if it’s not exciting or compelling TV, Hannah’s quit was an incredibly human moment.

Sometimes, we think we want something, and then we realize that we aren’t cut out for it after all, and that’s okay. I, of course, hope that casting can reflect and see if there was something they missed in the process of choosing Hannah to prevent this from happening again, but I don’t think it’s quite the scandal that some viewers are making it out to be.

Photo: CBS

Gia: In some ways, I feel bad that Hannah quit the game, knowing the hate she was going to receive once the show aired. On the other hand, it’s better that she quit now than later because now we can focus on the contestants who do want to be here. It was a bit of a somber ending to a solid premiere episode, but I wish Hannah all the best on her post-Survivor journey.

Written by

Christine Pallon

Christine is a writer, musician, and lifelong Survivor nerd based out of Urbana, Illinois. When she’s not playing shows with her bands or working at her day job at a tech company, she spends her free time tweeting about bad horror movies, Kate Bush, and the filmography of Juliette Binoche. Christine writes Inside Survivor’s episode recaps for Survivor US.

Gia Worthy

Gia Worthy is a Massachusetts native and a lifelong fan of Survivor. When she's not helping to run the Survivor Diversity Campaign Twitter page, you can find her on her own Twitter, letting everyone know that Survivor: Marquesas and Fiji are criminally underrated.

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