Survivor: Game Changers Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 3, 2017
Previously on Survivor, JT blundered the worst anyone has ever done since... JT wrote a letter during Heroes vs. Villains. He told an opponent his voting strategy in anticipation of that man, Brad Culpepper, bro-ing it down. Instead, Culpepper remained true to his current alliance, suggested that Tai hand his hidden immunity idol to Sierra, saving her. The outcome of this chaotic situation was that Malcolm – poor, innocent Malcolm – wound up eliminated. His look afterward spoke volumes. JT and Malcolm won’t be texting each other friendly emojis any time soon.
In the wake of the engrossing Tribal Council, Nuku’s remaining players are mystified. They had the numbers but failed to anticipate a Mana player’s possession of the immunity idol. JT defensively explains himself, even though nobody had asked him. We’re one minute into the episode and already playing It’s Anybody but JT.
Right on cue, JT says that he’s ready to win a million dollars. Take all the money in your pockets and bet against JT right now. Oh wait, it gets worse. Sandra thinks that JT betrayed their alliance rather than ineptly gave away secrets to the enemy. When Sandra wants someone gone, nobody ever finds the body. And we’re not speaking figuratively.
Understanding his plight, JT starts looking for a hidden immunity idol, Hey, if Tai can find one, literally anyone can. He does find a clue, which does lead to an idol. He is smart enough to smooth over the dirt that would notify others of his discovery. Even allowing for this turn of events, we still think he’s gone in two episodes or less.
Survivor’s not messing around with the pacing this season. After the first commercial break, we skip straight to the reward challenge. There, Tavua quickly recognizes that Malcolm is gone, which means that Ozzy has already emerged victorious in their alpha male battle even though he’s barely lifted a finger. The true source of their confusion is that by their recollection, Mana should have voted someone out instead of Nuku. They saw none of the machinations leading to two tribes appearing at the same Tribal Council. In fact, some of them might have realized what happened until watching the episode last week.
The reward challenge this week is worth winning. The first place finishers earn peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, and milk. The second place team still gets the sandwiches, which means that two tribes will enjoy a lot of protein. This is an important one to win heading into the all-important immunity challenge. We’ll be surprised if the winner there isn’t one of the two teams that gets to eat right now. Then again, we had no reason to believe Malcolm was in trouble last week, so…
The challenge has three elements. The first section requires a player to throw a hook attached to a rope. If the player does it right, they’ll grab a bow with a slot on top of it. A second player will retrieve a ball hidden in the sand. That ball balances in the slot of the bow as long as the player walks smoothly. Otherwise, the ball slides out and the person must go back to the start and try walking while balancing once again.