Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 16 contestants of Survivor's 12th season are immediately divided into four tribes -- La Mina, Casaya, Viveros, Bayoneta -- the moment they set foot in Panama. In fact, they are given no time to become acquainted with one another before host Jeff Probst sends them out on their first Reward Challenge, in which one person from each tribe is required to race into the forbidding Exile Island jungle to locate a hidden amulet in a pile of skulls. Before long, the Bayoneta tribe (the "young women" of the bunch) have banished Misty Giles to Exile Island, where she is given the opportunity of finding the coveted Immunity Idol; alas, all she finds are worms -- edible worms. Also, the four tribes encounter major problems building their individual camps; reclusive ex-astronaut Dan Barry finds a kindred spirit in airline pilot Terry Deitz; and "lumberjill" Tina Scheer tearfully recalls a tragedy in her past. In keeping with tradition, this season opener concludes with one of the players being voted off the island -- in this case a member of the all-female Casaya tribe.