With a Panamanian military escort, three motorboats shot across the sea, each holding a tribe of past Survivor contestants. The eighteen people were divided into three tribes named Saboga, Mogo Mogo and Chapera. The All-Stars were given nothing but their water canteens. They were not told the names of the other castaways or how many tribes there were. Armed with no information, no fire and no help, these eighteen All-Stars would be challenged once again to outwit, outlast and outplay one another.
The tribes are dying of thirst and when it rains, they drink and collect it like wild animals. A mysterious box with three locks shows up as tree mail. Saboga wins the reward challenge and allows all the tribes to get a flint and a pot with a clue to the first key for the box, which they now know is rice. Back at the camps, everyone can finally make fire. Next, at the Immunity Challenge, Saboga appears to win, but loses again. At tribal council, Rudy is all-star number two to go.
The reward challenge consists of which tribe can make the best shelter using various tools. Rupert and Jerri get into an argument about how the shelter should be made. After Chapera win wine as part of the reward challenge, Rob M. and Amber begin to flirt and create a romance. Richard is attacked by a shark after he went fishing for the tribe. He was able to catch the shark which was used as a food supply for the tribe. Meanwhile, Ethan continues to try and catch fish, with no luck. Also, Jenna M. can't stop thinking about her mom who has cancer. Before beginning the immunity challenge, Jenna tells Jeff she wants to leave the game so she is able to be at her mom's side.
After losing a reward challenge, the Saboga tribe is no more as the four members are split into the other two tribes leaving only Chapera and Mogo Mogo. With the three tribes merging into two, Ethan and Jerri join Mogo Mogo and Rupert and Jenna L. join Chapera.
With Richard gone, Lex now takes over as the provider of fish for the tribe. Meanwile, Shii Ann and Colby talk about personal game stragety even if Shii Ann doesn't agree and respect what Colby says. At Chapera, Rupert attempts to supply food as Rob M. conspires against him. Sue continues to be angry and despressed over an incident that occured with Richard at the previous challenge. At the Reward Challenge, Sue lets her anger out stating that she wants to quit the game. A boat comes to pick Sue up, making her the second contestant on All-Stars to leave the game by choice.
While the others are at Tribal Council, Kathy returns to camp all alone from her reward trip. Tree Mail tells the tribes that they must pick one ambassador to go to the other camp, once there, they learn they must pick three items to use a reward for an upcoming challenge. After Mogo Mogo loes the Immunity Challenge, Lex takes the lead to vote Ethan out. As a friend, Lex tells Ethan he is being voted out that night to avoid surprise.
As the All-Stars gather expecting a challenge, they are hit with another twist. All the members of Mogo Mogo became members of Chapera and all of the members of Chapera became members of Mogo Mogo, except for Amber. The old Mogo Mogo members would now live at the Chapera camp, and the old Chapera members, except for Amber, would now live at the Mogo Mogo camp. Mogo Mogo scored immunity which led Rob M. to lead an offer with Lex concerning Amber, and in the end, Jerri was voted out of the tribe.
The two tribes finally merge into one with more twists to follow.
The castaways watch clips of videos from home before doing the combined Reward/Immunity Challenege. After winning the challenge and immunity, Rob gives up seeing his brother's video to allow everyone else to get their letters from home.
During the Reward Challenge, it's revealed that the other tribemates view Alicia as the least deserving All-Star and that she thinks she's smart. This upsets Alicia which leads to an uncomfortable discussion among the tribe. Shii Ann feels vulnerable as the last remaining member of the original Mogo Mogo tribe. Therefore, she knows how important it is for her to win immunity. After she wins immunity, the strong members of Chapera that make up the merged tribe are forced to boot out Alicia after an overwhelming vote.
After a miserable night, morning comes upon the final five All-stars. As Jenna L. and Rupert collect coconuts and plot against Rob M., they're horrified to find Rob M. himself standing behind Rupert. Rob M. and Amber realize Jenna L. and Rupert have no intention of going to the final four with them. Rob M. wins the Reward Challenge, winning a car and movie night with Amber, who later leans that by virtue of Rob M.'s invitation, that SHE'S won a car as well! The next morning, Rob M. starts a fight between Big Tom and Rupert. After Immunity Challenge, the alliance of Big Tom, Rob M. and Amber decide on Jenna L., but it is Big Tom who gets voted out.
In this live special, "Survivor" television viewers spent six days voting for one of the All-Stars to win $1,000,000 and the results of that vote are announced. Plus, Jeff Probst talks with the All-Stars to see how their lives have changed since the All-Stars finale. Jeff also takes a look at the results of viewer polls about the all-time best "Survivor" moments and also announces the location of "Survivor IX."