‘Survivor: Winners At War’ recap: Tyson Apostol re-enters game, Wendell Holland voted out after the merge

Survivor: Winners At War featured Tyson Apostol winning the Edge of Extinction challenge and returning to the game, before the newly-merged Koru tribe voted out Wendell Holland during Wednesday night’s Season 40 episode on CBS.

After Tyson — the winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, who also previously appeared on Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains — re-entered the game, Survivor: Ghost Island winner Wendell was voted out of his Koru tribe on Night 21 of the game at Tribal Council instead of Survivor: Millennials vs. Generation X winner Adam Klein.

Based on the votes Survivor host Jeff Probst read aloud at Tribal Council, Adam earned himself only three votes.

“I’m captive right now, but I’m plotting a way to escape this wretched prison that they call the Edge of Extinction,” Wendell said following his ouster.

“Once I get out of here, I’m going to do what I need to do. The war is not over.”

At the start of the Survivor broadcast, the Sele tribe was comprised of Wendell; Survivor: David vs. Goliath winner Nick Wilson; and Survivor: Kaoh Rong winner Michele Fitzgerald.

The Dakal tribe featured Survivor: Philippines winner Denise Stapley, Survivor: Cambodia winner Jeremy Collins, who also appeared on Survivor: San Juan del Sur; Survivor: Cagayan winner Tony Vlachos, who also appeared on Survivor: Game Changers; and Survivor: One World winner Kim Spradlin.

And the Yara tribe was comprised of Adam; Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers winner Ben Driebergen; Survivor: South Pacific winner Sophie Clarke; and Survivor: Game Changers winner Sarah Lacina, who also previously appeared on Survivor: Cagayan.

Survivor: Winners at War, Episode 8
The Survivor broadcast began on Day 19 at the Edge of Extinction.

The players on the Edge knew it was the day they’d be battling back to enter the original competition, so everyone with Fire Tokens were making their preparations.

Natalie Anderson planned to use her four Fire Tokens toward one advantage in the comeback challenge and then the last three Tokens on a hidden Immunity Idol, and Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano intended to do the exact same thing after his wife Amber Mariano gave him one Fire Token.

“I believe if I can win this next challenge, I can win this game. I believe it,” Rob told the cameras.

The three tribes then gathered to meet Jeff, and Jeff announced they had reached the merge. In addition, Jeff revealed the 11 castaways were about to become 12.

With that being said, Jeff welcomed back the players on the Edge of Extinction — Natalie, Rob, Amber, Danni Boatwright, Ethan Zohn, Tyson, Parvati Shallow, and Yul Kwon.

Everyone, however, learned Sandra Diaz-Twine had raised the sail to bring her Survivor adventure to an end.

Natalie admitted being the first person to go to the Edge of Extinction was hitting “rock bottom,” and Tyson shared that he attempted to find humor on the Edge but it was nearly impossible at times.

Rob then opened up about how the Edge of Extinction was the worst place he had ever been to, and he hated the fact his wife had been sent there previously, potentially because of him.

Tyson edges out Boston Rob in the comeback challenge
It then became time for the comeback challenge, and Jeff explained each player must race through a series of obstacles and then, at the finish, maneuver a ball to the top of a long, windy track.

The first person to finish would get back in the game and resume competing for the title of “Sole Survivor” and the huge $2 million prize.

Natalie, Danni, Ethan, Tyson and Rob each earned one advantage in this challenge thanks to the Fire Tokens they had accumulated, so when it became time to dig up a bag in the sand, their bags would already be waiting for them above the sand.

The challenge was an incredibly close one between Tyson and Rob, and in the end, Tyson dropped his ball in the target apparently a mere second or two before Rob could get the job done.

Ben called the challenge “insane,” and Tony pointed out that he understood why Sandra quit early.

Tyson therefore won a spot back in the original game, and he cried tears of joy.

However, the players on the Edge could return to the Edge of Extinction and await another opportunity to rejoin the game. They’d also automatically become the first seven members of Survivor’s Season 40 jury.

The castaways begin merged tribe life
On Day 19, the merged tribe returned to camp, and everyone realized the price of luxury items, idols and advantages had gone up now that more Fire Tokens were in use in the game.

The tribe enjoyed a huge feast, but lines were very blurred and Sarah said she didn’t know where each relationship started or ended.

Denise shared her story of taking out Sandra “The Queen,” and everyone began viewing her as a huge threat to win the game.

“I’m honestly the only OG left on this beach. There are all new-school players here. I played three times before most of these people even put their Survivor diapers on. Are the kids that are coming up now changing the game so much that I can’t adapt? I don’t think so,” Tyson told the cameras.