‘Survivor: Winners at War’: Here’s What Really Went Down During the First Two Tribal Councils

The return of former champions for the first-ever all-winners season is finally here, and it’s everything everyone asked for, minus the Edge of Extinction.

In the two-hour season premiere, the tribes competed in two immunity challenges, and two fan-favorites have already been sent to the Edge. Due to time constraints, several things were cut out of the premiere, including multiple conversations that took place during both Tribal Councils.

Jeff Probst tribal council
Jeff Probst | CBS

EW writer Dalton Ross was on location for the first episode and reported everything Survivor didn’t have the time to include.

The Sele Tribal Council was more ‘live’ than shown

Sele’s Tribal Council lasted nearly an hour and a half, and no one would say any names. According to Dalton Ross, fan-favorite Boston Rob Mariano called it, “the best two-day poker game I’ve ever played in.”

Even though the competitors didn’t name anyone in the open, they had no problem whispering it amongst themselves. During the episode, Jeremy Collins asked Ben Driebergen if he thought Rob and Parvati Shallow “set something up.”

However, Ross reported that more whispering went on than the premiere showed; in fact, he called it “chaos.” After the initial whispering, Natalie Anderson and Michele Fitzgerald talked amongst each other before including Rob and Jeremy in the conversation.

Then, Rob got out of his seat and spoke to Ethan Zohn, followed by Michele, who also got up to confer with Parvati. Afterward, the Second Chances winner talked to Ethan, Adam Klein, and Denise Stapley before the Africa champ turned around and whispered to Parvati.

Then, Ben spoke to Ethan, who then talked to Rob again. Finally, the two walked over to Adam and whispered to him before Rob and Parvati exchanged the last words.

During the commotion, Dalton Ross noted Adam was the only one who never left his seat. After everything died down, Natalie openly asked Adam about his plan, but the Millennials vs. Gen X winner responded that he would inform her “in secret.”

Sensing trouble, Natalie told everyone, “All I can say is this: I’ll say it out loud. I hope the people who talked to each other stick to the plan. I’m sticking to the plan, and I hope everyone else does too.”

Executive producer and showrunner Jeff Probst asked if anyone else and had anything to say, and she reiterated, “Guys, we do not want to come back here, so let’s stick to the plan.”

Adam, Denise, Ethan, Parvati, Ben, Danni, and Rob all voted for Natalie, sending the Season 29 winner to the Edge of Extinction first. Even though it wasn’t shown during the episode, Jeff Probst still shared his final words of wisdom.

After Natalie’s departure, he said, “Well, we’re only two days in, and the battle is clearly on.”

The Dakal Tribal Council revolved around Tony Vlachos and the Edge of Extinction

Even though Dakal’s Tribal Council was not nearly as live as Sele’s, both lasted for almost the same amount of time. The Dakal tribe members spoke more about Tony Vlachos than what the episode showed.

For example, Wendell Holland pointed out that the Cagayan champ “went into speed mode” by the third day, and Amber Mariano agreed. According to Dalton Ross, she told Tony, “You were creating a target on yourself by the way you were acting.”

Then, Sarah Lacina explained that “today was a wake-up call” for those who play at slower paces. Tony reportedly became upset with Amber’s comment about him, and Sandra Diaz-Twine stood up for the police officer, telling the All-Star winner that she can’t “keep up with Tony.”

Amber answered, “the way he operates just makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.” Of course, the now-infamous Poker Alliance conversation came up, and Kim Spradlin called her involvement with the tournament “the biggest mistake of my life.”

The tribe also talked about their feelings regarding the return of Edge of Extinction. Yul described Chris Underwood’s victory as “very controversial and polarizing,” and Sandra explained she thought a competitor should not have the chance to return to the game.

Additionally, Sandra doesn’t like that the twist forces her to have to be nice to people. Jeff Probst then asked if anyone liked the Edge as another opportunity to compete, and only Sarah, Amber, and Nick Wilson raised their hands.

Their final words of wisdom: “The last time Amber was voted out was 20 years ago, and in those 20 years, the pace of the game has clearly changed.” Watch Survivor: Winners at War Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.