By Mickie McLeod
CBS 62/CW50 Intern

The Survivor off-season is finally over. 39 days, 20 people, ONE Survivor. Who will outwit, outplay and outlast? This season, the cast is brought to one of the most beautiful places in the world, Fiji. These 20 Americans are surprisingly divided into two tribes, the Millennial tribe, Vanua (Orange) and the Gen. X tribe, Takali (Purple). The millennials range from ages 18 to 31 and the Gen. X range from ages 33 to 52.

Meet the Tribes – My First Impressions

After host, Jeff Probst, passes out and declares each tribe, we certainly notice some tension. Before heading to their separate camps, Jeff quickly asks the tribes how they are feeling. Competitive is a good adjective I’d like to describe it as.

From the Gen. X tribe, the oldest member states these wise words of wisdom: “In our generation, we didn’t always get a trophy. In our generation, only the winners got a trophy.”

Immediately after, he pretty much bashes the millennial tribe and goes on about how “they don’t work for anything.” My personal favorite quote from him was, “you actually had to walk to the store to get milk.” Because well, I guess walking to the store to get milk really defines how the Gen. X tribe will be better than the Millennials this season. As a millennial myself, I may have somewhat of a biased point of view. However, I will be the first to admit if this tribe makes my generation look like a bunch of clowns.

Which leads to the next task. Before heading to camp, the two tribes get a chance to scatter across the beach area to pick up some survival necessities. These objects range from short-term to a long-term use.

The major choices from each tribe: The Gen. X tribe grabs the long-term object, fishing gear. The Millennials on the other hand, well, they grab some chickens.

(Cue the circus music in my head).

The Arrival to Camps

Gen X and Millennials separately depart to their opposite sides of camp and settle in. We get a feel for what these two tribes may be like during this season ahead.

My opinion on Gen. X: vocal, motivated and definitely confident.

My opinion on the Millennials: I kind of feel like I’m watching a College Frat party.

The Gen X. tribe definitely shows confidence, besides this one guy, Dave. Dave is super paranoid about everything and even says at one point that he doesn’t want to come off as, “The Paranoid Guy.” He basically shows his fear and paranoia this entire episode.

Meanwhile, at the Millennials, there are a few loud “bros” as well as a 23-year-old bartender, “Figgy” who says she is a “flirty girl who is good at manipulating men.” The rest of the tribe seems pretty normal though.

At the Gen. X tribe is Jessica, who reveals to only the cameras that she has found an envelope during the short term/long term item hunt. In the envelope is Survivor’s first, “legacy advantage.” The legacy advantage indicates that if she is still in the game on day 36, she will receive an advantage during that time. She did not share this information with any of her tribe members.

Switch over to the Millennial tribe, and we watch the flirty girl ask if they should go skinny dipping. We also get to see the “shelter” the tribe had made. Though, this shelter was not much of a shelter. I consider this a fact due to it collapsing once they all had got on it. So basically, we as viewers see that the Millenial tribe just has… well, a bunch of wood.

The Cyclone / Evacuation

I have seen every season of Survivor and I have never seen an evacuation quite as powerful as this one. For the first time in Survivor History, the two tribes are not only given a tarp for protection but later on are actually evacuated from their camps and beaches until the cyclone passes. We even get to see a glimpse of how bad the storm was.

Host, Jeff Probst, live tweeted during the premiere about how they filmed the storm.

The story continued through several Tweets, “…. we couldn’t leave anybody on the beach to try and film the storm. So… I asked our point of view guy Andrew if there was any way he could put a go pro on one of the beaches — and just see if we might get lucky and catch a shot. He said yes but the battery would only last for a few hours… but he said if someone had an extended battery for a cell phone that he could hook it up to work with the camera, our location guy Michael Glaser just happened to be walking by and said “I have one, I’ll be right back!” They got it hooked up, raced to the beach, set it in the trees and angled it on one shot… hoping. When you see the shot now you’ll know that’s the only way we got it. Our crew is amazing.”

As seen, it was a very dangerous environment. Luckily, everyone was safely removed and had returned to camp after the cyclone had passed.

Immunity Challenge

Fast forward to the Immunity Challenge. In a typical episode, we would usually see a Reward Challenge along with an Immunity Challenge in one episode. Since it was the premiere and the cyclone evacuation was shown, we are only given the Immunity Challenge to watch during this episode.

Breaking down this Immunity Challenge, the tribes were given a series of physical tasks along with an ending puzzle, just like any typical tribe challenge. However, this challenge was bit different. The tribes had the option of taking “shortcuts” in which indicates that they can skip over some physical obstacles in the beginning of the challenge. If the tribe takes a shortcut, the tribe then is given extra pieces to solve a larger puzzle at the end.

The Gen. X Tribe decides to take two shortcuts and The Millennials only decide to take one. This meant that at the end of the challenge, The Gen. X puzzle had more pieces to solve than The Millennials’ puzzle, due to them taking an extra shortcut.

In the end, I guess the confident, Gen X. shouldn’t have been so confident as the Millennials swept up and won this first Immunity Challenge.

I definitely underestimated the clownish Millennials on this one. I guess what really matters at this point of the game is what tribe can “outplay” in the challenges. Since Gen. X lost this round, it means that they will be sent to Tribal Council, where one person will be voted off.

Tribal Council

As the sun goes down, Gen. X is headed to Tribal Council. As always, the set of Tribal Council is beautifully made. 33 seasons later and I’m still wondering how long they take each season to build the entire thing.

Each tribe member grabs their individual torch and dips them into the bonfire. “In this game, fire represents your life and when your fire is gone, so are you.”

As always, Jeff speaks to the tribe and asks how their past days have been with one another. At one point during the council, Mr. Paranoid, (David) shows his paranoia, as everyone even mentions that he is certainly “scared of everything.” The center of attention is clearly David, but gears can be switched so quickly at Tribal and that’s my most favorite part of this show.

More questions from Jeff are asked to some tribe members, but it was when Rachel began speaking where things may have been turning around for David. Rachel speaks about her own paranoia and even apologizes to the tribe if she made anyone feel a “certain way.”

Well, she definitely made enough tribe members feel a “certain way” as she had the most votes during this Tribal Council. The tribe has spoken and Rachel from the Gen. X tribe is the first one voted off this season.

That’s a wrap for this Survivor: Millenials vs. Gen X Premiere recap. I was very pleased as always, however, I am hoping the Millennials keep proving that they aren’t as clownish as they may seem.

You can watch this season of Survivor, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. I’ll be live tweeting about the show, follow me @mick_cloudy and look for my recaps every Thursday morning right here on

Mickie McLeod is a Livonia, MI native.  She’s majoring in Communication Studies at Wayne State University.  Mickie has been a Survivor fan since 2000.  Follow her @mick_cloudy for live tweeting about Survivor and look for her recaps every Thursday morning. 

  1. Great recap! You have a interesting way of expressing your point of view. good job. Can’t wait till next week.

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