‘Survivor 40’: Why Did the Castaways Name Their Merged Tribe Koru?

In Survivor 40: Winners at War, the former champs named their merged tribe, “Koru.” Because the episode included a battle-back challenge, an immunity challenge, and strategic gameplay before Tribal Council, there wasn’t enough time to show the contestants coming up with their new name. Adam Klein revealed why he suggested Koru in a Reddit Ask Me Anything.

Survivor merge Koru
Ben Driebergen, Tyson Apostol, Michele Fitzgerald, Denise Stapley, Sophie Clarke, Nick Wilson, Tony Vlachos Kim Spradlin, Adam Klein, Jeremy Collins, Wendell Holland and Sarah Lacina | Robert Voets

History of the merged tribes

Around the halfway point, the remaining castaways from two or three separate tribes merge into one and live at the same camp for the rest of the game.

Every season, excluding Palau, has included a merge, previously called a merger, and they are usually given a feast, new buffs, and a banner as well as paint to name their new tribe.

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The merge signifies the halfway point. It also marks the beginning of an individual game as immunity is only awarded to a person, or one male and one female contestant.

Usually, the first person eliminated after the merge becomes the initial member of the jury, who collectively votes for the winner out of the three, sometimes two, final castaways.

Who made the merge in ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’

In Survivor 40: Winners at War, Jeremy Collins, Denise Stapley, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, and Tony Vlachos from Dakal made the merge, alongside former Sele tribemates Nick Wilson, Wendell Holland, and Michele Fitzgerald.

Additionally, expansion tribe Yara, consisting of Sarah Lacina, Sophie Clarke, Adam Klein, and Ben Driebergen, went on an immunity run after eliminating Rob Mariano and skated to the merge.

While the former Dakal tribemates gave off the impression they were staying strong, Tony was playing double agent and more closely aligned with his Cops-R-Us partner Sarah and her new Yara allies.

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Additionally, Tyson Apostol won his way back into the game and joined everyone for their merge feast. When it came time to figure out who to eliminate, Sophie targeted Wendell to weaken Jeremy.

She perceived the recent winner as Jeremy’s “man,” and thought the Cambodia champ held a lot of power in the camp. Her allies went along with her plan, and Wendell went to the Edge of Extinction.

Because of the twist this season, every eliminated person became a member of the jury, excluding Sandra Diaz-Twine, who quit.

Adam Klein reveals the meaning behind Koru

In many seasons, the castaways are shown painting their new banner and figuring out a name for their tribe. However, most likely due to the amount of content they had to jam into the episode, viewers didn’t get to see the Winners at War contestants naming their tribe.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Adam Klein revealed he came up with Koru, making him “two out two” on picking names for merge tribes. According to the Millennials vs. Gen X champ, he learned from Jeremy that his necklace, which consists of a Māori art spiral shape called a koru, symbolized “new beginnings, growth, and strength.”

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The message spoke to Adam because of his experience moving on and “continuing to grow” after his mother passed away in 2016, only two hours after he returned home from filming Season 33.

Therefore, he proposed the name for everyone else, hoping it “would bring me closer with Jeremy.” Even though it did not help build an alliance with his former Sele tribemate, the other castaways enjoyed the name and went with it.