Survivor: Game Changers Recap
Episode 1, Part 1 -
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
March 8, 2017
Sandra missed her calling in life as a political operative, because she has that rare ability to convince people to vote against their own interests, like when she seduced Parvati into keeping her around despite the fact that Sandra was the only real threat. Before a single second of this season plays out, Sandra is the best player. As the only two-time champion in the history of the show, however, she has a turkey’s chance during Thanksgiving week of surviving multiple votes.
Next up is Cirie, not to be confused with Ciera. Cirie famously didn’t like to touch bugs, dirt or the like, yet became a dangerous player over three seasons. In fact, her sterling reputation is why she was voted off early during Heroes vs. Villains. Cirie has game.
The circus comes to town for a moment as Debbie speaks. As is our practice, we fast-forward through her segment. Don’t worry, the closed captioning still shows. She makes some sort of Triple Crown comment, which makes us wonder if she’s now pretending to be a horse. At some point, Survivor decided to cast Jerry Springer outcasts as contestants. That’s around the time we turned on this show.
Now is the time when Probst makes a speech about the type of play he prefers. Here’s what we have to say on the subject. In the early years, we didn’t really like Probst, feeling he was a bit too vanilla. Then, we gradually warmed to him as he made more of an imprint on the show. Now, we’re back to our original opinion. We’re tired of him putting his thumbs on the scale, propping along terrible players like Tony, Cochran and Tyson so that they can somehow win what somehow feels like a fixed season. When he offers his thoughts, we have a thought. It’s that if people were more interested in Jeff Probst’s thoughts, the Jeff Probst Show wouldn’t have been cancelled after a year of horrific ratings.
Rather than doing a drawing as a way to introduce people, Probst simply announces teams. The Mana tribe consists Aubry, Michaela, Sandra, Ciera, Hali, Malcolm, Caleb, Troyzan, Jeff Varner and Tony. The Nuku tribe features Debbie, JT, Tai, Sierra (??), Zeke, Ozzy, Sarhah (??), Brad Culpepper, Andrea and Cirie. Anybody you don’t know by first name at this point is that way for a reason. They just weren’t memorable enough and their inclusion here is iffy. What we liked about the Heroes vs. Villains season is that most of the cast had established identities. That’s just not true of this all-star season. What we’ll also note is that Ozzy and Malcolm are “coincidentally” on different teams.
We immediately start with a challenge involving water and muscular jostling. Only one person per team will untie their underwater knots, releasing a massive tool kit, while the rest of the team gets as many other supplies they can into the raft. JT says what everyone on his tribe is thinking. “Ozzy, you gotta go.”
Someone forgot to tell Malcolm what was going to happen this season. When his tribe frustratingly notes that no one from their group is going for the tool kit, Malcolm simply states, “Ozzy’s here. No one else can get the tool kit.” This immediately becomes the worst feud since the 2016 presidential election.