"You and Me Against the World"
Season Survivor: Couples Showdown
Author IAmNothing712
Episode Number 1/15
Episode Chronology
Previous "I Don't Forgive, I Get Even" (previous season)
Next "Temptation Island"

This is the debut episode of Survivor: Couples Showdown.


Reward Challenge: Stuck With Each Other
Tethered with their partners, each pair will traverse an obstacle course (a net crawl, a steep hill, a balance beam and a web of ropes) where they will retrieve 5 sets of 4 keys. Once all are retrieved, all 10 tribe members must use the keys to release themselves from the harness and must traverse the course one more time and must reach the finish line, where they must use their keys again to unfurl a tribe flag. First tribe to raise their flag wins reward.
Reward: An extra sack of rice and a piece of flint.
Winner: Tala

Immunity Challenge: Get Your Hands Dirty
Tribes must carry a 300 kg monolith to a muddy obstacle. They must place the monolith to a certain platform to release a hanging tangled ball of rope. Each tribe member must then release a ring inside the rope and must use it to grapple ten keys to a drawbridge, which will lead them to the final part of the challenge, an intricate puzzle of their tribe symbols (both tribes will have a guide buried in sand, but it is up to them if they would want to retrieve it or not). First tribe to finish their puzzle wins immunity.
Additional Stipulation: If Bulan wins, they will win flint as well.
Winner: Bulan


Day 1

I'm below the pristine waters of the Philippines. Just below me are two jeepneys, a common means of transportation in the Philippines. Each jeepney holds ten Americans from different walks of life. But in a Survivor first, the castaways are divided into two tribes with five couples each. Each pair have a pre-existing relationship. Though they have a partner to rely on, they are not obliged to align with them, and cut them loose if they seem fit, because in the end, only one will remain to claim the million dollar prize. 39 days, twenty people, 1 SURVIVOR!

–Jeff Probst

Passing through the streets of a remote village in the Philippines, two jeepneys, each carrying five pairs of castaways were transported to an uninhabited beach to meet Jeff Probst. In a Survivor first, the castaways have a pre-existing relationship with another castaway. They may use their relationship to further themselves in the game, or cut them loose if they seem fit, because there can only be one to claim the million dollar prize. Upon reaching the designated location, Jeff welcomed them and tossed out their buffs. The blue tribe, Bulan was named after the goddess of the moon. The yellow tribe, Tala was named after the goddess of the stars. After suiting up, the tribes were immediately subjected to their first Reward Challenge.

Bulan gained an early lead, as Andy and Devon and Martin and Leo traversed the course with relative ease, until the fourth pair, Burgundy and Declan struggled because Burgundy was unable to make it through the balance beam, pulling Declan with her. Tala used this as an opportunity to catch up, with the second to last pair, Simone and Ebony got past the still struggling Burgundy and Declan. Tala's lead was halted when Talia also struggled at the balance beam, giving time for Burgundy and Declan to get past them, allowing the next pair Salina and Jacki to make up for the lost time. After Talia and Ricky returned to the starting point, all ten members having keys, the Tala tribe removed their harnesses and went through the course one more time to the finish line, where they had difficulty which key goes to where—to a point where Bulan was able to catch up after a terrible start. Despite Bulan's efforts, Tala raised their flag first, winning themselves reward.

This game is about first impressions, and by the looks of it, Burgundy already introduced herself out there. Poor girl, she was broken in half at that balance beam; and she was crying -- at the first friggin' challenge! If she blows the Immunity Challenge for us, sorry, but buh-bye.

–Andy (on Burgundy)

In a celebratory mood, the Tala tribe reached their beach and immediately went to work on fire and shelter while introducing themselves. After making their shelter, the group decided to go to the beach and further bond. Once there, Kevin and Camille revealed that they were married, but in the brink of filing for divorce, stating that this game would be the deciding factor if they should continue their marriage or not.

Kevin and I had a rough relationship the past few years. He was a drunkard, a gambler and a womanizer. But I kept quiet for the sake of our children. When I finally blew up, I was almost decided to divorce him while he was on rehab, but when he found the error of his ways, I decided to give him one more shot, and that shot is Survivor. Regardless if we win or not, we have to test if we are truly compatible with each other, or else...well, at least we tried.


At Bulan, introductions already began while they were trekking in the jungle toward their beach. Upon arriving, a visibly-emotional Burgundy expressed her disgust at her challenge performance, stating that though she was not physically apt, she could do well in puzzle challenges. His boyfriend Declan, told the tribe his girlfriend can do much better if she was calm and comforted her. To compensate for her dismal performance, Burgundy worked intensely in helping create shelter along with Devon and Andy. Meanwhile, Martin and Leo, who entered the game as rivals, agreed to put their rivalry at the back burner and work with each other, stating that they can slit each other's throats off on a later time. Martin and Leo formed an alliance with Melissa and Paula and Andy and Devon.

I know Martin. He has this tendency to be gullible. I told him to put our rivalry aside and work together for now. But guess what, I'm playing him already. He will be caught off-guard after our first Tribal Council.


I have to trust Leo for now, but once we get to the merge, off with his head.


Back at Tala, the sisters, Simone and Ebony cracked jokes at their tribemates. But not backing down, the twins, "Team Double Deckers" (Josh and Tyler) made an impromptu "island Comedy Bar" which left the tribe in stitches.

It's good to make fun and joke around sometimes, especially in these harsh conditions.


We won the challenge, we're having fun. We're good to go. Hopefully this melodious mood keeps our tribe well.


Nighttime at Tala, the sibling teams decided to make an alliance. Ebony expressed her fear that the sibling teams will be targeted early because whoever wins, the partner also takes benefit. Meanwhile, Kasia and Toby formed an alliance with Kevin and Camille.

It's necessary to make these first day alliances. You have to show you can be trusted early on.


I felt that me and my sister as well as the twins are legitimate threats at this point. because they figured out that siblings are hard to break.


Camille and I agreed to to work like how typical alliances work on Survivor. We won't act like a married couple for the meantime. It's the time when we get to know each other once again.


Forming an alliance with Kevin and Camille is not just an alliance formed out of necessity. Me and Toby, as a dating couple, we need to make sure that if we get married, we do not separate. We don't only think of how will we play this game, we also think about how will we play life as a married couple.


Over at Bulan, the castaways revealed their steamiest bedroom stories to alleviate boredom, where Salina and Jacki revealed they are a lesbian couple. Meanwhile, Melissa was acting asleep because she felt she does not fit in with the group. Paula comes to her rescue, telling her the rough truth that she must start her social game or else she will be out.

This is something I have to overcome. Asperger's is an opponent in itself.


Day 2

Morning at Bulan, Melissa revealed her startling secret of having Asperger's Syndrome. She stated all her social struggles since childhood, and her partner Paula helped her all the way through it. This revelation received warmly by the tribe, even Jacki sobbed about her story. On the other hand, Salina was skeptical of Melissa.

Revealing that kind of secret takes a lot of courage, and I applaud her for sharing that.


I'm not sure how a socially awkward person fare in a social game. Sorry, but she's either a pawn, or an easy first boot.


At Tala, Simone and Tyler discussed strategy, where the latter targeted Talia for almost blowing yesterday's challenge. Long and behold, Talia, who happened to be collecting water from the water hole overheard the whole conversation. This started a verbal catfight between the two.

This Simone girl really doesn't know anything about gratitude.


Day 3

After receiving Tree Mail, the tribes convened for their first Immunity Challenge. Jeff reveals a statue of two Bul-ul.

At the beginning of the challenge, both tribes struggled to pull their monoliths through the muddy course, but Bulan got a slight lead over Tala after releasing their ring first. Burgundy struggled to get her key, allowing Tala to catch up. It was a close race to the drawbridge, but Bulan stayed leading, until the puzzle building part. Tala caught up, but struggled because Simone butted heads with Talia once again because of their conflicting puzzle strategies, putting off their tribemates. On the other hand, Half of Bulan backed off and strategically put only five people in building the puzzle. Their strategy paid off, as only few hands and mouths worked at the puzzle, allowing them to finish first and win the Immunity Challenge, sending Tala to their first Tribal Council.

Back at Tala camp, Simone blamed Talia for the loss, but Talia shouted back, telling her she was calm while doing the puzzle while Simone was yelling instead of letting her hands do the work. Meanwhile, the twins started to waver their pact with the sisters. Talia reported to her partner Ricky about the altercation, with the latter approaching Simone of her anger issues. Simone rebutted that Talia blew the challenge because she was slow-going. Talia noticed Simone's stark change of tone. In a confessional, Ebony vowed to stay loyal to her sister, even she knows she would be playing the game alone after the night.

I'm starting to doubt Simone. I know that outburst is Day 39 scapegoat worthy, but early on in the game? Not really.


We're set to vote Simone out. But how about Ebony? She's a nice girl to hang around with, it's just her sister is one angry lady. I feel bad for Ebony...NOT!


Simone seems to talk down to people she knew she can manipulate, but when Ricky came down to my rescue, Simone acted like a saint, because she knew Ricky's gonna strangle her if she raises her voice at him.


I know my sister's going home, and there's nothing I can do about it. But I will vote with my sister, until she goes. But after that, it's payback time! It's you and me against the world.


Fifteen minutes before Tribal Council, Kevin was trying to look after a potential Hidden Immunity Idol. He searched in tree barks, at the water hole, but to no avail. He told his wife that he would try to find it, but Camille decided to ward off people that might go near places where Kevin was scouring. After ten minutes, Kevin found the Hidden Immunity Idol peacefully nestled in a rock on top of a tree.

This is my million dollars right here, and hopefully, my fixed marriage!


At Tribal Council, Toby called Simone's brashness at the Immunity Challenge and at camp, but Simone felt she was misunderstood. Talia stated that she forgave her already, but it was too late for an apology because everyone's almost decided to vote her out. Becoming emotional, Simone begged one last time to spare her, because she stressed that the tribe needed her for strength in challenges, and she would try to change her blunt ways. The votes came in, and Simone did not get her wish of staying after receiving eight votes. Before leaving, she kissed and hugged her sister Ebony, the only person who did vote against her, telling her to win this game for the both of them.

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 1:
Simone (8 votes)
Camille, Josh, Kasia, Kevin, Ricky, Talia, Toby, & Tyler
Talia (2 votes)
Ebony & Simone
Simone Howard

Voting Confessionals

You called me out, I'll vote you out.


You're such a fake bitch. You treated my friend like a pest because you know you're stronger than her, but when it came down to me, you acted like a saint. I could have punched you for doing that to her.


Sorry girl, tribe first.


That rant was exaggerated, it's not even funny.


Like they always say, a true character is measured if you're around with people who can't serve you anything.


You may be athletic, but having those outbursts in challenge makes you more of a liability than an asset.


Sorry girl, this game might not just be cut out for you. Hope to get to know you more in life. Peace.


You talked yourself home basically.


I will own up to my outbursts because I know it is for the good of the tribe. Go home.


My sister's so dead tonight, but I'm not writing her name down.


Final Words

Wow, I thought they made a mistake voting me out first. Like, I have a sinking feeling Tala will pay rent at Tribal Council in the coming days. It's just my way of asserting myself because I felt I wasn't heard by the tribe. But hey, if my sister wins, I win too, literally and figuratively. I wish her all the best, and have fun without me!

–Simone Howard

Next Time on Survivor

With her partner gone, Ebony is on the hot seat, while "temptation" calls the survivors...

Your tribe just won reward, but I will give you a chance to change your fate in this game. To get this, you must ______________________.

–Jeff Probst

Author's Notes

  • The Immunity Idol was patterned from from a "Bul-ul," the pre-Hispanic version of the scarecrow. The creation of the Bul-ul requires a ritual to "give powers" to the statue for it to become effective in scaring pests away and also for the people to have a plentiful rice harvest.
  • Jeepneys (portmanteau of "jeep" and "jitneys") are the most common means of transportation in the Philippines because they are one of the cheapest (with fares ranging from P7-8.50, with discounts for senior citizens, students and the disabled). Unlike, taxis, jeepneys have a specific route to follow. These vehicles are descendants of the leftover US troops' military jeeps after World War II. Only a handful of them are air-conditioned, and even fewer are powered by electricity (dubbed as "E-jeepneys").
Survivor: Couples Showdown episodes

"You and Me Against the World" · "Temptation Island" · "We're Not Cavemen!" · "Rolling with the Punches" · "Burn the Witch!" · "You Can't Undo Brothers" · "Reverse One World" · "My New Partner" · "Time to Raise Hell" · "Couple's Retreat" · "Eighty Six" · "Chew the Fat" · "Fool's Gold" · "Go for Broke (Part 1)" · "Go for Broke (Part 2)"