CBS has released a batch of photos from the “Survivor” season 41 premiere, which show off the first challenge — and it looks like a real doozy. But we would expect nothing less from the new season, which host Jeff Probst has teased is going to be “more dangerous” than ever before.
The First Challenge
In the photos, it looks like the castaways will have to climb and then descend a mountain made of netting, dig through the sand under three long logs, then haul very heavy bags down a row of wooden tracks. There is a set of bags midway down the track that look like they must be carried individually to the end, then the cart full of another set of bags can be pushed down the track.
We’re assuming that in one or more of the bags there are some puzzle pieces — a puzzle is a natural end to a challenge like this.
It is unclear if this is the first immunity challenge or the first reward challenge — or if it’s both. We imagine they are combining those a lot this season due to the shortened filming schedule — down to 26 days from 39 days to account for the two-week mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Fiji. Plus, Probst has said that the castaways will have to earn everything this year — rice, flint, food, etc. And if they lose, those things can be taken away. It definitely sounds like the shortened filming schedule has caused the show to make things extra hard on the castaways.
The photos also show the castaways starting things off on a giant pirate ship-type vessel. They probably have a two-minute scramble for supplies and then it looks like they must row ashore in flat-bottomed wooden boats.
CBS’ description for the season as a whole reads:
After 20 years, “Survivor” launches a new chapter when the Emmy Award-winning series returns on Wednesdays. Stranded in the beautiful islands of Fiji, these 18 determined new castaways will be divided into three tribes of six and will face one of the most dangerous seasons in the history of the show. The series evolves even further when this season introduces fresh elements to the competition that intensifies the battle and tests even the strongest superfan. The mental and physical challenges force players to choose between personal risk and reward, while still navigating the complex social game and attempting to forge alliances to last another day. The individuals competing are from diverse backgrounds with the same ultimate goal: to outwit, outplay and outlast and ultimately be crowned Sole Survivor.
And the description for the season premiere teases, “The description for the premiere, which is titled “A New Era,” teases, “Eighteen new castaways begin their battle for $1 million and title of Sole Survivor, on the special two-hour season premiere of ‘Survivor 41,’ Wednesday, Sept. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. In the premiere episode, three tribes fight for their life in the first immunity challenge to guarantee safety at tribal council.”
“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!