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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As foes become friends, Troyzan gets the vibe that he’s not part of the In Crowd. Zeke confirms this in a monologue, telling the camera that his older counterpart has no friends. While Zeke sits around and talks about how secure his situation is, Troyzan gets proactive. He goes in search of an immunity idol.

While he doesn’t earn the outcome he wants, Troyzan does unearth an immunity idol clue. If he can pick his spot during the immunity challenge, he can sneak out with an idol. We like that this has become a game within a game at the challenges, but we also wonder why players aren’t looking out for it by now. Survivor’s done this enough times that people should have learned by now. We’re obviously saying this because Troyzan does sneak away with an idol during the challenge. He finds an opportune moment at the end of the competition and grabs the idol, hiding it in his trousers. No, Troyzan isn’t happy to see you. He’s just got an idol in his pocket.

Hey, Zeke: you don’t win Survivor by sitting on your hands, talking about how other players are in trouble.

Probst sighting! The immunity challenge this week is a three-way affair (don’t make it dirty). The good news for the participants is that only one team will go to Tribal Council this week, a trend we don’t expect to last. For now, second place is NOT first loser for a change.

This week’s challenge is an obstacle course, the kind that you’d need to complete to become a Navy SEAL. Groups of three are tethered together by a rope, so one person can screw up everyone. Nuku starts with a super-team of Malcolm, JT, and Michaela, all of whom are athletic, even if JT did pick up the Freshman 15 at some point. Meanwhile, Caleb and Tai’s bromance carries over onto the battlefield, with Debbie as the all-too-appropriate third wheel.


Ozzy joins Sarah and Andrea, and what we learn from this is that while Ozzy > Malcolm, JT + Malcolm > Ozzy. While a puzzle element is technically the second half of the challenge, their lead is large enough that Nuku wins handily. A bit later, Tavua completes it as well, leaving Mana as the losing team headed to Tribal Council.

Earlier, Probst pointed out the disadvantage that Hali and Caleb faced after the tribe reset. The only two-time members of Mana are now joined by a tight group of former Nuku allies. Hali and Caleb are friends, but they have no choice but to wage war against one another. One of them obviously won’t survive the night’s vote.

Hali stresses for a couple of reasons. She worries that her tribemates won’t want to get rid of Caleb, a strong challenge performer. She also knows that Tai looooooves Caleb and will do everything in his power to keep his friend/object of affection. Debbie somehow makes the whole thing about herself, indicating that she can pull together an alliance based on Tai and Caleb’s relationship. Debbie, did you not realize you were the third wheel? They don’t need you.

Alas, Survivor’s producers don’t bother with the intrigue here. Only two players have a legitimate chance of going home. The only question is whether Mana wants Caleb’s strength or wants to get rid of a possible threat down the road. They choose the latter, dumping him in a unanimous vote. Yes, even Tai doesn’t stick up for his beloved. Poor Caleb’s been on Survivor twice, and he still hasn’t really had a chance to get untracked.

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