Survivor: Game Changers Recap
Vote Early, Vote Often
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 6, 2017
For only the second time in the history of the show, it’s time to play It’s Anybody but Sandra. During Heroes vs. Villains, she seduced Parvati into turning on Evil Loser Russell. We don’t expect her to be as successful this time.
For all of our joking about Sandra being the first person voted out, we understand why players waited until later in the game. There was basically no chance that anybody was going to let her stick around until the end as happened with Heroes vs. Villains (and her first winning season, too). Everyone’s been waiting for a moment like this when they have clear cut numbers and an obvious choice for elimination.
Alas, Sandra’s mojo is so strong that she almost pulls off a miracle. She gets help from an unexpected source. The plan everyone that knows except for Varner and Sandra is to vote out Sandra. To avoid any last minute conflicts, the members of Nuku 3: The Last Crusade promise the two members who aren’t in their alliance that they’re voting out Tai. Humorously, the reason they give is their fear that he’ll find an idol. If only they know…
The problem with the strategy is that Tai is paranoid and genuinely awful at Survivor. He sees people talking in a big group. Then, they scatter when he arrives. It’s a coincidence, but Tai worries that his name is on the chopping block. He pins down Ozzy and Varner to have a discussion. Tai spells out the plan again, saying that it has to be Sandra since she’s so dangerous.
Ozzy’s face is priceless as Varner processes this new information. He now knows that everyone has lied to him. To say that Ozzy is livid is underselling it. In his monologue, he repeatedly describes Tai’s behavior as stupid and pointless. Meanwhile, Varner’s body language indicates that he knows he’s on the losing end once again.
During the chaos, Sandra pulls together her Nuku teammates. She calmly tells them why she’s valuable to them. Using a soothing, almost maternal voice, Sandra points out all the ways that she can helps her tribemates. Ozzy humorously says afterward that even as he knew every word she said was manipulative, he still found himself nodding his head repeatedly. Sandra’s just that good at telling people what they want to hear.
Despite all her attempts, the choice is still clear when Tribal Council begins. Then, Tai starts talking again. Tai is 100% certain that something is up. If a surprise is in the offing, he doesn’t want his name to be the one written down. So, he tells others that there’s an obvious choice. Oddly, Tai doesn’t like the reception to his speech and panics.
For no particular reason, The Man with Two Idols changes his mind. He tries to convince everyone of a new target: Ozzy. Varner is 100% down for this, but he tells Tai that they need another person. Realizing that his whisper campaign isn’t good enough, Tai speaks to the entire tribe (including Debbie, who has returned from Exile Island). He begs them to vote out the purest physical threat since he believes that the tribe is only one or two votes away from the merger.