Tonight’s episode of Survivor has the classic Survivor Auction challenge that has appeared in 13 of the 26 prior seasons. The Survivor Auction is a special type of reward challenge that allows individuals or teams to outbid others for items such as food, home comforts, or advantages. As a break from the physical activities and with immediate rewards, it has been a fan and player favourite since its inception in Survivor: The Australian Outback in season two. So because of this wonderful recurring challenge, here are my favourite Survivor Auctions!
1. Survivor: The Australian Outback
You can’t have a favourite auctions post without including the original auction! Watching the auctions challenge clip brought me back to the way Survivor started out. We saw tree mail and one of my favourite contestants, Colby. Watching the price climb to almost $300 for four squares of chocolate and a big chunk of peanut butter was amazing. These challenges always make me realize just how strapped for food they were at the beginning seasons. The big ticket items start coming up after they’ve begun to exhaust their money. Mashed potatoes, bread, turkey, and some vegetables, a full meal. Jeff started the bidding at $180 AUD and it ended up going to Elizabeth and Tina for $340. After that, a mystery plate showed up that Amber bought for $200 only to discover Herbert river water. These people literally ate rice and maybe a coconut here and there if they could find one, so this challenge although great to begin with really hurt them after. All but Colby and Amber were sick after because their bodies couldn’t handle all the nutrients in the food they’d just consumed, which you don’t see as much anymore. Watch the video here.
2. Survivor: Africa
They were each given 20,000 Kenyan shillings, with 100 shillings worth $1 USD. Early items included beer, a chocolate sunday, and cheese and crackers. Kim was pushed to go up to 12,500 Kenyan shillings for the chocolate sunday which ate up a lot of her cash. A mystery item went to Kim for 11,000 shillings, and turned out to be a meal of fried chicken and vegetables. After everyone saw her meal they started bidding to get half, which was sold for 10,500 to Lex giving her almost all her money back from the original transaction. The second mystery item of pancakes went to Big Tom for 9,000. This auction showed the fun of sharing food which always created bidding wars. Although they no longer allow sharing of food or money, it was definitely something I enjoyed in the earlier seasons. Watch the video here.
The excitement in all their faces as they get to this challenge and find out they’re buying food is great. The second item was also covered, and goes for $260 split between Karen and Steph. When they get up front to get their purchase, Jeff pulls out another covered platter. Which do they want? After smelling the covers of both they choose the larger, new platter and win a cheeseburger instead of cheese and crackers. The next covered item comes out and Ian goes for it. He gets it at $320 when Jeff pulls out another option. He chooses to stick with what he originally bought, which is good asr the second option was a bottle full of crabs. What he did buy? Spaghetti with garlic bread. This season they included letters from home in the auctioned prizes. This was something Tom was willing to bid for, and it goes high. Tom pays $220 for his letter from home and immediately starts the waterworks as he opens it. After Tom gets his, Jeff offers everyone their letters for the same price which most people jumped at. Watch the video here.
4. Survivor: Samoa
Everyone is given $500 USD but this time there’s a twist. You can’t share money or food. The first item is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and although bidding could have started at $20 Natalie begins with an outrageous $200 immediately winning it for herself. For $240 Shambo bought the first mystery item, Survivor Spaghetti (also known as slug guts). Ew. Although the next item is also covered it doesn’t deter anyone and goes for $340 and turns out to be a whole roasted chicken. This season’s auction brought out advantages in the next immunity challenge, which went for $500 to Jason to help out his dwindling tribemates. After discovering that if someone gets to $500 then they immediately win the item without further debate (as no one has more than that), when a cheeseburger arrives (clearly a staple in the Survivor Auction) Mick immediately goes all out. Honestly, would you want to eat more than a big burger, fries, salad, and beer? Clues to the hidden immunity idol come up and then warm apple pie. When John gets his slice of pie for $300 he gets the option to keep his slice or divvy up a whole pie to three other people as well. It was stupid not to share, but that’s John’s silly mistake.Watch the video here.
5. Survivor: Tocantins
This was a Coach season which makes it great anyway, and when Debbie can’t figure out the 20 dollar increments it’s immediately a fun one. The civilized eating of chicken parmigiana and red wine pushed Coach up to $320 but he’s a happy man with his food. JT pays $160 for the covered item of nachos. The next covered item pushed Steven up to $100 for a Brazilian delicacy of chicken hearts. Don’t they look wonderful! This is one of my favourites because Jeff pulls out a phone for one person to buy a video message from their family. Only one is allowed to win and watch their message, but they can pool money against someone else who bids. Immediately, before bidding has even started, everyone starts handing over the rest of their money to Taj. I just think it’s so amazing that these people who haven’t seen loved ones in ages are immediately handing over money so Taj can see her family. But wait, there’s more. In a twist, at the end of the video her loved one says “I’ll see you back at camp!” which finally dawns on her. Jeff reveals that only her loved one, Eddie, will be waiting back at camp unless she sends herself to Exile Island where Eddie will join her as everyone else gets their loved ones at camp. Without question Taj immediately agrees so everyone gets family time and it was an amazing way to include the family visits into the season as well. Watch the video here.
I’m curious to see if Jeff will include any twists in the Survivor: Caramoan food auction on tonights episode! Check back in the coming days for my review! Which have been your favourite auction episodes?