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We’re 3 Episodes into ‘Survivor’s’ 45th Season – Let’s Talk About it

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

“Survivor,” the long-running CBS reality show, started its 45th season on Sept. 27, at 8:00 p.m. After taking a break due to COVID-19 after its 40th season, “Survivor” has been back up and running since September of 2021. As many new twists and game tactics have been introduced, the show’s iconic host Jeff Probst has often referred to post-pandemic seasons as the “New Era of Survivor.” The preview of next week’s episode airing on Oct. 18 indicated an upcoming tribe swap, marking the end of the pre-swap stage of the game. This seems like a good time to discuss what’s happened so far this season, overall fan reception and my personal opinions as a longtime fan.

The most notable change in “Survivor 45” that sets it apart from previous seasons is the 90-minute episode format. “Survivor” has been a 60-minute program since it started airing in May of 2000. After a significant amount of fan requests over the years, CBS finally made the switch to 90-minutes, and the “Survivor” fandom (including me) could not be more excited! “Survivor” has been known to cut out important scenes and moments of gameplay in order to fit into the 60-minute time slot they previously had. With the switch to 90-minutes, fans are not only pleased to have a fuller view of gameplay this season, but to also get to know each individual player at an earlier point in the season. In the first two episodes, every single player got at least one confessional. Fans are also pleased to have the opening theme song and previous-episode recap back, which were both cut in recent seasons.

There’s a lot to be said about the new twists and advantages introduced this season, but I’m more interested in talking about some of the stand-out players. A decent amount of emphasis has been put on Bruce Perreault, a 47-year old insurance agent. Perreault was a contestant on the previous season “Survivor 44” before getting medically-evacuated on the first day due to an injury sustained during the opening challenge. Perreault is part of the blue “Belo” tribe and has been getting a bit of a mixed edit thus far. He is sometimes depicted as the lovable and funny “Uncle Bruce” that he is trying to portray himself as, but he is also shown receiving a decent amount of criticism for being too overbearing, specifically from tribemate Katurah Topps, a 35-year old civil rights attorney. My view on the situation is that Perreault needs to ease up on his controlling nature over the tribe. Otherwise, his time in the game could be limited.

The main focus of the season thus far has been on the yellow “Lulu” tribe, which has taken up the most confessionals (49% to be exact with Belo’s confessionals standing at 28% and Reba at 23% by the end of episode two) out of all three tribes so far. The Lulu tribe, often referring to themselves as the “Lulu Losers,” have gone to all three tribal councils so far this season. They’re a trainwreck of a tribe with several notable characters such as 33-year old therapist Hannah Rose who shocked fans by essentially quitting the game in the first episode. What shocked me the most about the whole ordeal was how Jeff Probst handled the situation. In the past, Probst has outright chastised quitters of the game (such as the quits that occurred in Seasons 21 and 27). This time around, however, the only sign of Probst’s dissatisfaction with Rose’s actions was the irritated look on his face.

29-year-old investment analyst Emily Flippen has been at the forefront of this season. As part of the Lulu tribe, Flippen immediately revealed her abrasive personality at the beginning of the season by calling out Perreault at the opening challenge, claiming that he had a significant advantage from having been on (albeit briefly) the show before. I was honestly appalled by this callout. It was completely unprovoked and Flippen voluntarily raised her hand to make the statement. There was no possible benefit to Flippen’s game that could come from that decision, so my opinion on her after the first episode was very low, especially after she displayed a callous personality with her tribemates back at camp as well.

However, after Flippen narrowly escaped being voted out at the first tribal council due to Rose quitting, she has made a conscious effort to better her place in the game and has, in my opinion, done a great job at doing so. She bonded with fellow 29-year old Kaleb Gebrewold, who has displayed an impressive game ability this season as well. She made it past Lulu’s second tribal council where 26-year old Brandon Donlon was voted out due to his poor challenge performances. In this week’s episode, Flippen and Gebrewold executed an impressive blindside against 28-year old Sabiyah Broderick, who went home with an immunity idol in her possession. This most recent episode was one of the most entertaining of all the New Era seasons so far, and I’m hyped to see how the duo of Flippen and Gebrewold work together moving forward.

With a tribe swap in store for next week’s episode, fans are excitedly waiting to find out what happens next, and I am too! I’m hoping we get to learn more about the players from the Belo and Reba tribes who haven’t gotten as much screen time thus far. See you in a few weeks for another “Survivor 45” update and review!

Courtney Glazer

Northeastern '26

Courtney Glazer is a second year student at Northeastern university with a combined major of Media and Screen Studies and English and a minor in Brand Management. She is passionate about writing honest, creative works for Her Campus.