‘Survivor: Winners at War’: The Ponderosa Videos Are Better Than the Whole Season

After Survivor castaways are voted out, they don’t head home immediately. They go to a special jury holding area called Ponderosa. After the Survivor: Winners at War finale, CBS released a series of videos following the former Edge of Extinction inhabitants through their journey at Ponderosa. Many fans believe these Survivor Ponderosa videos are even better than the show itself.

'Survivor: Winners at War' Jury before heading to Ponderosa
‘Survivor: Winners at War’ Jury after getting cleaned up at Ponderosa | CBS Entertainment

What is ‘Survivor’ Ponderosa? 

“Those who get voted off too early in the game to join the jury all gather at Ponderosa before they are shipped away,” Hannah Shapiro — runner-up on Survivor Season 33: Millennials vs. Gen X — wrote on Mic. “Then, one by one, the jury heads to Ponderosa where they live, deliberate and drink. Each member of the jury gets a ‘Ponderosa video,’ a short clip about their first few days out of the game.” 

When they arrive at Ponderosa, the players are weighed so they can find out how much weight they lost while in the game. There is also a large mirror where they get the first look at themselves. Many castaways are shocked at how emaciated they are after their time on Survivor.

“There was one large dining bungalow, complete with a bar and a buffet area,” Shapiro continued.

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After the weight check, they can head to the buffet to enjoy their first meal. The castaways can head to their room to shower for the first time in weeks (or days, depending on how long they lasted in the game). 

Ponderosa is a resort, so there are beautiful pools, a basketball hoop, and other amenities. Players also receive their phones back at this time to call home and talk to family members.

‘Survivor: Winners at War’ Ponderosa Videos are more unique than any other season

Typically, Survivor castaways arrive at Ponderosa one at a time, as they are voted off. However, on Survivor: Winners at War, the Edge of Extinction inhabitants came as one large group on day 35. The videos produced at this time follow the castaways’ journey once they arrived at Ponderosa together. It is a very different feel, and many fans want to see hours more of the videos. 

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“I hope Survivor shows us more of this type of content going forward,” one fan wrote in a comment to the video. “I find it as interesting as the actual show.”

Many other fans agreed that the videos of the Survivor: Winners at War contestants are unique because of how much they all bonded on the Edge of Extinction.

“Can I just say that this is truly beautiful,” another fan added. “The casts don’t seem to ever respect each other as much as these people do, and it’s just amazing. And they seem like they’re having so much fun!”

Fans and a former ‘Survivor’ believe the Ponderosa Videos could be a second hour of the show

“These Ponderosa videos are almost better than the actual season 40 episodes,” one viewer commented.

Fans love the videos so much that they are begging for more.

“My personal belief is that there could be an entire second hour of the show that takes place at Ponderosa, so audiences can fully understand the game,” Shapiro wrote. “What we do have are small sneaks behind the curtain.”

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The videos currently can be found on YouTube and CBS’s website. However, many fans believe they should be on TV.

“These are so great,” another fan added. “I laughed so hard at this one. Rob and Ethan! I never would have believed after All-Stars that we would see these two be friends: Rob and Tyson! A legendary Survivor bromance. Tyson, Jeremy, and Wendell and the tiers of Survivor winners cracked me up!”