Survivor: Game Changers Recap

“Survivor Jackpot”

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

March 22, 2017

At least he has that awesome American flag tank top.

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Previously on Survivor, Tony went up against Sandra and the results were predictable. For his next trick, he’ll challenge Michael Jordan to a slam-dunk competition. Seriously, Tony was a garbage player. We won’t miss him at all.

The most impressive moment last week was one Jeff Varner chronicled. Realizing that someone had actually targeted her, Sandra tried to negotiate an alliance. Within 15 minutes, she had five people, which is more than enough to make a deep run in the game. People can spend weeks on Survivor without making a single lasting alliance. Sandra can get a plurality during a coffee break. We suspect that players like Varner will remember that when her name finally does come up for discussion.

We start the episode with a Probst sighting, and when he asks the players what they think this might mean, they instantly know they’ll be dropping their buffs and forming new tribes. Since this season is called Game Changers, we’re expecting a historic amount of producer meddling.

This time, they’re split into three groups, including one brand new tribe. Mana puts Hali and Caleb on the wrong side of the numbers, as they’re grouped with Sierra, Debbie, Tai and Brad Culpepper. Nuku features JT alone on a tribe with a bunch of Mana people. He’s playing alongside Michaela, Malcolm, Sandra, Aubry and Varner. Then, our new tribe is Tavua. In this group, Troyzan is odd man out. He’s stuck with Cirie, Ozzy, Andrea, Sarah and Zeke.


Tavua has a brand new campsite, which will have fishing gear and need a new shelter. At this point, Probst reminds the gang that “anything is possible.” It’s not, of course. A giant yellow yeti isn’t going to surf onto the set. The most extreme legitimate possibility right now is that Tony comes storming onto the set, demanding that everyone vote again. And he’d still lose.

The next segment of the episode isn’t for fans of classic Disney animation…or basically anyone with a heart and/or conscience. The story at its core is, “Sandra is hungry, and JT is desperate.” JT considers himself at a 5-1 disadvantage after the swap. His first strategy is – and we’re not joking here – to pilot his teammates into the middle of the river, strand them at sea, and then head back to the island to look for an immunity idol.

In a shocking turn of events, the other players see through this strategy, presumably because they have nothing else to think about while abandoned in the deep water. When that plan fails, he moves onto to Secret Option B, which is to do anything Sandra says, no matter how deplorable the action is. We call it The Bannon Maneuver.

Did we mention that Sandra is hungry? She doesn’t want just any meal, though. McNuggets aren’t for her, which is regrettable given that her tribe has live chickens. No, Sandra’s hankering for goat. JT points out that a few of these sweet-looking creatures are within stalking distance, about 50 feet away. He offers to hunt one down and serve it to her, presumably on a silver platter as she shouts expletives at him for being unworthy of her notice. Basically, we see the duo as Burns and Smithers during the See My Vest routine, and JT is NOT Burns.

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