Jeff Pitman's SurvivorSA: Immunity Island rewatch recaps
Jeff Pitman's SA: Immunity Island recaps
SurvivorSA: Immunity Island Recaps/ analysis

Old school beats new school

Episode 16: Old school beats new school

Published: September 20, 2021

Just as Survivor SA: Immunity Island ended with a classic Survivor run of idol- and twist-free votes and the ultimate classic final challenge, its winner also successfully executed a very old-school strategy: loyalty and lack of scheming. A look at this win, and does the final two provide more paths to victory for women than the final three?

The reward table runneth over

Episode 15: The reward table runneth over

Published: September 13, 2021

With just the Survivor SA: Immunity Island finale to go, Chappies continues to dominate the competition in challenges. So in addition to the amazing breakfast-with-a-juror reward, did production really need to throw in an overpowered advantage that had not been announced beforehand? (Hint: No.)

Slow-walking the inevitable

Episode 14: Slow-walking the inevitable

Published: September 6, 2021

As Survivor SA: Immunity Island ventured into what is uncharted territory in the US version (a final five with no idols or advantages), there were some great moments, but also an overwhelming sense of dread, as either Chappies or one of Tyson/Kiran was almost certainly out. That's indeed what happened. At least there was time for a proper sendoff?

Going out in a blaze

Episode 13: Going out in a blaze

Published: August 29, 2021

It was a big week in Survivor SA: Immunity Island, with a big reward (loved ones!), multiple idols played (for the last time!), and the exit of one of the biggest characters of the season, the flame-haired, tie-dyed, double agent fan favorite. And what a gloriously chaotic exit it was.

Destiny achieved

Episode 12: Destiny achieved

Published: August 22, 2021

If you love idols and advantages, good news: They were combined in a satisfying way for a convoluted big move this week, and more were added. If you hate them, also good news: Their end is nigh, and Survivor SA: Immunity Island will have a clean, trinket-free endgame. All this season does is win.

A shocking loss

Episode 11: A shocking loss

Published: August 15, 2021

The Vunas finally started aiming their fire at each other this week, and somehow, the side that had all the hardware ended up losing. It's a stunning setback that also surprised the audience, because it took out one of the most consistently positively-edited narrators. A Stark setback, you might say. But still, a tangible reminder that everyone is playing hard (and well) this season.

Two if by waterpark

Episode 10: Two if by waterpark

Published: August 7, 2021

The big news in this week's episode of Survivor SA: Immunity Island, as is evident in the title, is the twist, "Tied Destinies." It was certainly a big swing by production, but did it connect? Oh, heavens no. Well, not in any way we'd want to see repeated, anyway. But at least it's now gone, so here's a post-mortem of what went wrong.

The calm before the storm?

Episode 9: The calm before the storm?

Published: August 3, 2021

As the dust settles from the Survivor SA: Immunity Island merge vote, several players are taking stock and reassessing their position within their alliances. While this episode's boot went off without a hitch, the tension is definitely building for another explosive power shift, probably sooner rather than later.

Vuna rises to the top

Episode 8: Vuna rises to the top

Published: July 27, 2021

As hoped, the Survivor SA: Immunity Island merge delivered a tense, idol- and advantage-filled conflagration at Tribal Council, and a genuinely exciting outcome, as the ragtag Vuna alliance deployed a series of moves to seize the numbers advantage from the uncrackable Zambas.

Pre-merge closeout sale

Episode 7: Pre-merge closeout sale

Published: July 19, 2021

While the final pre-merge episode of SurvivorSA: Immunity Island didn't end in a particularly surprising vote, the show still managed to pack in some compelling, deeper insights into the people competing and their relationships with each other, while arming them all for what appears to be a much bigger battle ahead, as they join together.

Loyalty vs. grudges

Episode 6: Loyalty vs. grudges

Published: July 14, 2021

In an episode jam-packed with action, SurvivorSA: Immunity Island sheds another superfan, but also manages to cram in some in-challenge lifesaving heroics, a surprise mid-episode swap, an idol find, an idol play, and lots of people starting to make moves in retaliation for past moves. Let's hope the post-merge can maintain this pace.

Diverging paths from the bottom

Episode 5: Diverging paths from the bottom

Published: July 5, 2021

After two straight episodes set almost entirely in Zamba, we finally explore post-swap Vuna in Episode 5 of SurvivorSA: Immunity Island, and well ... they're a mess. With both tribes forced to vote this time, the four people on the bottom take wildly differing approaches to saving themselves, all because there are no useful cracks to be found in the ex-Zamba majority. Some efforts prove more fruitful than others.

Lies and no consequences

Episode 4: Lies and no consequences

Published: June 28, 2021

There's a lot of lying going on in Episode 4 of SurvivorSA: Immunity Island. Surprisingly, however, it turns out that accurate information is not, in fact, gold. The guy who literally has the receipt ends up on the wrong end of the numbers anyway, and voting together proves to be more important than accurately describing game events. That, and appreciations of playing from the middle and a misfit quasi-villain.

Smashing through the cracks

Episode 3: Smashing through the cracks

Published: June 23, 2021

Episode 3 of SurvivorSA: Immunity Island threw everyone's plans into disarray with a surprisingly early and effective tribe swap. Underdogs gathered together to strike back at prior power-holders, idols were whispered about and found, and in the penultimate act, a looming camp raid was triggered. Lots of movement, lots of action, and a contestant-powered power shift added up to a satisfying whole.

Powering up the underdogs

Episode 2: Powering up the underdogs

Published: June 11, 2021

It's still early days for SurvivorSA: Immunity Island's titular twist, but the results so far have breathed new life into the prospects of two players who otherwise might have had their torches snuffed. Through two episodes, being a "weak player" has paradoxically provided strength, while being comfortably in power and trying to direct the vote has been deadly. This may all change, but so far, it's been a fun reversal of Survivor fortunes.

First to the starting line

Episode 1: First to the starting line

Published: June 5, 2021

Survivor South Africa deserves a medal simply for getting a season filmed, edited, and on the air during COVID. Thankfully, that's not the only plus: SurvivorSA: Immunity Island — at least the premiere episode — is also really good. A strong, dynamic, game-aware cast being put to the test with multiple in-game dilemmas, challenges, and opportunities for strategy. Survivor is back, and it's definitely been worth the wait.

Jeff Pitman's recapsJeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes