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Tribe merge forces castaways to rely on no one- it is every man for themselves now

The castaways of Survivor-Bloomsburg after the final tribe merge. All players will now be fighting individually to stay in the game, and for their chance to win $1,000.

Week five of Survivor-Bloomsburg was full of new challenges and another change to the tribes. In week 4, the four original tribes of the competition were combined into two, Shenango and Kinzua. Then, during week five’s competition, Shenango and Kinzua were combined into one tribe, composed of the remaining 15 castaways. This competition also brought the elimination of castaways Mark Wullert and Lauren Masser from the competition.

Updates to the game and how it’s played

After the first challenge of the night, the castaways were told to ‘drop their buffs’ because the two remaining tribes were going to be merging. Instead of having a Shenango tribe and a Kinzua tribe, all castaways would be on the same ‘tribe’ for the rest of the competition, competing in more individual challenges. This tribe merge transformed the competition from a team vs. team game to an individual, ‘every man for themselves’ game.

Additionally, George Kinzel, the director of Survivor-Bloomsburg, reported that “the castaways were treated to a surprise announcement when they were informed that the new prize for the Sole Survivor Bloomsburg at the Finale will now be $1,000! Second place would still earn $250 and third place would receive $100!” This is double the original $500 the castaways were told they were getting upon entering this competition. Another announcement made to the remaining 14 castaways, after the two eliminations of the night, was that every player eliminated from this point forward would definitely become a member of the game’s jury. The jury is the group of people who, once there are only three castaways remaining, decide who should win the title of Sole Survivor and the prize money of $1,000.


This tribe merge occurred in the middle of the night, not at the beginning, so the first challenge of the night was still a tribe vs. tribe battle. This first challenge was entitled “Hocus Pocus, It’s Life Size Blokus.” Kinzua won this challenge, meaning the Shenango were sent to Tribal Council to eliminate one of their castaways. They decided to eliminate Mark Wullert. After this, the Kinzua and Shenango tribes were dissolved and everyone was put on the purple team to begin the individual challenges of the game.

The second challenge of the night, and the first challenge where castaways don’t have other tribemates to rely on, was called “Billiards Battle,” and this challenge was won by Anthony Witczak. (Check out a recent interview with Anthony here!). After this challenge, Lauren Masser was voted out of the competition by her fellow castaways in Tribal Council.

The next episode will be held at the Nelson Field House on Upper Campus, and the challenges will be utilizing the swimming pool they have there. The event will occur at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5th. Be sure to show up and cheer on the remaining 14 castaways!

An Interview with a Castaway: Hailey Carter

Hailey Carter is a sophomore psychology major and she is one of the remaining 14 castaways in Survivor-Bloomsburg. Carter was originally on the Shenango tribe and is now fighting individually for the title of Sole Survivor.

So far, Carter is enjoying her time on Suvivor-Bloomsburg, stating, “My overall experience has been honestly pretty great. When I was Shenango, the red tribe, we were just all girls, so I got really close with all the girls. So it’s honestly been a great experience getting to like get to know them on like a deeper level.”

Hailey Carter, a castaway in Survivor-Bloomsburg. She is one of the 14 remaining Castaways currently fighting for the title of Sole Survivor. Photo submitted by Hailey Carter.

Carter shared that her favorite part of the competition so far is how different and unexpected it is each week. She states, “Some [challenges] are very mental, others are very physical, it is really something different and it is like a surprise each time, like, ‘What are we doing today.’ Or when they merge us, it’s like, ‘Oh, what’s going to happen today.'”

In Survivor-Bloomsburg, there is “a lot of backstabbing.”

When asked about her favorite challenge she has participated in so far, Carter said that she enjoyed the challenges that took place at the student rec center during week four. She states, “I had to memorize six different cards, which were different colors, different numbers. And then the second challenge, I had to throw footballs into the giant tire so I had a little bit of mental and physical so I think that was probably my favorite challenge.”

However, the game is not all fun and games for Carter. She states, “I think the most stressful part of the challenge is, even though you are close to someone, they can still stab you in the back.”  Carter says she hasn’t felt super worried about being voted out so far in the competition, but she knows that feeling won’t last forever. She knows that in this competition, there is “a lot of backstabbing.” Carter admits that she is not innocent to doing this, stating, “There have been times where I was like, ‘Oh, no, I’ll vote for this person, you know, but then I double-cross them and vote for them.'”

Some Castaways were not happy with the week-five tribe merge

Upon the mention of the tribe merge that occurred during the most recent competition, Carter expressed, “No, I am not a fan. A lot of us are not a fan.” She continues by saying that she didn’t think it needed to happen this early in the game, stating, “I think they should have like split us up again into like two different tribes or split us up into like three different tribes. I don’t think the merge needed to happen that quickly.”

When asked about her feelings on the merge that happened in week four, where the four original tribes were condensed into only two tribes, Carter expressed that she really liked it because “I was back with some of the girls that were on my original tribe, Shenango, so we all got together again and then I still had two people from the orange tribe I was on…I just had like a nice cluster of people I knew.” She also said that the tribe she was placed on in week four was really strong in the competition, so she felt if they had not been merged into one tribe, they “would have just dominated more.”

Now that the tribe merge has occurred, and each castaway is on their own, Carter believes the game will be a lot harder because “you have like a bigger group to decide who goes home, you know, so even though I might have my alliances with people, we might vote for someone, that doesn’t mean they are going to get out now.” Carter also shared that each week it is revealed who each castaway voted for in Tribal Council. This is a problem because if she votes for someone and they don’t end up getting out, she will have a target on her back and she can risk getting out. Carter doesn’t love that they find out who everyone voted for, stating, “It just makes things awkward when you voted for someone and they don’t get out.”

“This is a game where, like, it’s everyone for themselves.” 

Talking about her Tribal Council experience, Carter said her first time in Tribal Council was with her original Shenango team and she was nervous about it because her tribe didn’t discuss ahead of time who they wanted to vote off. She states, “There was no talk at all so we just go in there and we just kind of hope like one of us didn’t get voted off.”

Talking about strengths and weaknesses, Carter believes that she believes her strengths depend on the challenge she is given. She feels there are certain mental and physical challenges that she feels confident in her ability to complete, but that there are also both mental and physical challenges that she knows she would not be able to complete. She goes on to say that she feels her biggest weakness is, “I am almost too friendly, like I don’t want to hurt anyone. And like this is a game where like it’s everyone for themselves and I just can’t do that.”

Carter expressed that she isn’t “grossed out by foods or anything so like if they would give me a plate of bugs, like I would eat the bugs.” She feels like a bug-eating challenge would be one that she could really excel at above her fellow castaways. She goes on to state,”if I have to slurp a worm, I will slurp a worm. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.”

“Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.”

After some contemplation, Carter shared that her strategy for staying in the game is “sticking to the people I know who like wouldn’t cross me.” She feels she has two fellow castaways, in particular, that she knows to have her back and she has theirs, so she is staying close to them in hopes of all 3 of them making it to the end. She also stated that part of her strategy is to “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer because there are some people that I want to just be voted off, but… it’s better if I just stay close to them for now and boot them later.”

Offering some advice to future students who might want to participate in the challenge, she encourages, “For anyone who is thinking about doing it, do it.” She expressed that she has really enjoyed being a part of it, and “Honestly, it is a very good, fun experience. I mean what else would you want to do on your Tuesday night?”

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Maddie Bolger, Multimedia Journalist

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