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Laura becomes the first ever contestant in a season with Redemption Island to return to the game from Redemption Island and survive more than one Tribal Council. Matt from the first Redemption Island season was voted back on immediately after returning to the game, while Ozzy in South Pacific survived one Tribal Council after returning to the game the first of two times before he was voted back on.
Candace joins Rupert as the only contestants ever to be eliminated from a season without either attending a Tribal Council, quitting the game, or being removed for medical reasons.
With Candace's elimination, Blood vs. Water becomes the first season ever in which three players are eliminated without ever attending a Tribal Council.
The Galang tribe is the first tribe in Survivor history to lose its first two members by means other than Tribal Council Vote.
Colton is the first contestant ever to play Survivor multiple seasons and be eliminated from each season by reasons other than Tribal Council vote. He joins Francesca Hogi and Russell Swan as the only contestants to play more than once and be eliminated pre-merge or pre-jury each time.
Rupert is the first contestant ever to be eliminated from a season without attending a Tribal Council, quitting the game or being removed from the game for medical reasons.
First-time contestants from One World (Colton, Monica, and Kat) are returning to play this season, making Guatemala and Caramoan the only Survivor seasons in which a first time contestant has yet to return for another season.
Monica and Colton are the third and fourth contestants to play a second time (joining Russell Swan and Francesca Hogi) despite being eliminated pre-jury in their first seasons.
Rupert is competing for the fourth time, joining Rob Mariano as the only contestants to do so.
Prior to this season, there was only one other instance where a blood relative of a previous contestant had competed on "Survivor". Brandon Hantz competed on South Pacific and Caramoan after his uncle Russell appeared on Samoa, Heroes vs. Villains, and Redemption Island.
Cochran, Dawn, and Brenda were the only returnees this season to improve upon a previous season's finish. Brenda improved from 10th in Nicaragua to sixth, Dawn from 10th in South Pacific to second, and Cochran from 8th in South Pacific to winner.
Cochran is the third unanimous winner in series history, joining Earl Cole from Fiji and J. T. Thomas from Toncantins. He is the second besides J.T. to play a "perfect" game, getting all the winning votes at Final Tribal Council and never having been voted against once during the season.
This is the third time in Survivor history that more than two contestants (Reynold, Malcolm, and Eddie) are immune from Tribal Council vote in a post-merge Tribal Council. The last time was in Heroes vs. Villains in the episode where J.T. was voted out (Danielle had immunity, and Sandra and Jerri both played hidden immunity idols).
This episode is the first ever Survivor appearance of Tata the Bushman, whom Jeff Probst has stated he would like to appear again in the future.
Francesca is the third contestant ever to compete a second time despite not making the jury in his/her previous season for reasons other than medevac. Shii Ann Huang and Rob Mariano in All-Stars did it before.
Four similarities between this season and the first Fans vs Favorites: (1) a tribe of first-time players competes against a tribe of returning players, (2) all returnees are competing for the second time, (3) out of all the returnees, only one made it to a final in his/her previous season (Amanda in Micronesia, Philip in this season), and (4) one contestant is returning immediately after competing in the previous season (Amanda in Micronesia, Malcolm in this season).
With her elimination, Francesca now holds the record for fewest days (9) playing Survivor by a contestant who competed more than once, breaking the previous record set by Russell Swan last season.
By tying for second place in the "Philippines",Michael Skupin significantly improved on his previous season (day 17 in "The Australian Outback").
With Michael Skupin in the final three, every season of "Survivor" with returning contestants has had at least one of those returning contestants make it to the final.
In a "Survivor" first, Denise is the first contestant who has been to every Tribal Council during one season and survived each one. She broke Stephenie LaGrossa's, from the Palau season, record of fifteen by attending all sixteen Tribal Councils in a season.
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