Survivor: Game Changers
There's a New Sheriff In Town - Part 1
By Jim Van Nest, BOP Game Changer
April 24, 2017
OH MY GOD - IS THAT JIM VAN NEST'S MUSIC??? THE ULTIMATE BOP GAME CHANGER HIMSELF???
Yes, yes it is. Hello good people, this IS Jim Van Nest and I'm thrilled to be tagging in for my partners in Survivor crime, Kim and David. I'll be with you for the next 4 episodes - the double episode this week and the next 2 weeks as well. And that is simply fantastic as I have so many thoughts on this season and absolutely nowhere to go with them. With that in mind, if you will indulge me, I want to get caught up.
Ciera - meh. Tony, #TeamTV - NOOOOOOOOO!! Caleb - meh. Malcolm - seriously, I teared up. JT - in contention for one of the worst winners ever. Two absolute boneheaded moves in back to back seasons, the luster has worn off the Tocantins cowboy. I've heard that the jury from that season tried to switch all their votes to Stephen Fishbach, but it was disallowed. Sandra - once again, NOOOOOOOOOO!! I'm pretty well breezing through all of this and I'll get back to that speed after I eulogize Sandra real quick. First off, how in the blue hell did she make it through the first double episode? How in the blue hell did she go to Tribal Council 5 out of 6 times and only then, did people get wise to getting her out? How in the blue hell does the best player ever get any kind of foothold in this game, much less actually take the reins and run the game through 6 hours of television? What Sandra did on this season is more impressive than anything she did on either of the 2 seasons she won. And even though I started to get tired of hearing it, it's true - the Queen does stay Queen! Varner - enough ink has been spilled on this topic, suffice it to say, I agree with most of what everyone has said. Whew - that should have us caught up to tonight's episode. Before I get started, I want to say that while the pre-merge has been pretty enjoyable and definitely unpredictable, the fact that Tony, Sandra, Malcolm, JT and Ciera are gone may have an adverse effect on the rest of the season.
We're left with several people who were questionable additions to a season called Game Changers, Ozzy and Cirie. I'm sure some people will say, "Well, the fact that they're still in the game means that they deserve to be there." Um, no. Just no. Now, one of these people will win this season and I'm sure when all is said and done, they'll deserve the win. But, we can't be result oriented here and call them Game Changers based on what they haven't done yet. Especially when people like Natalie Anderson, Earl Cole, Mike Holloway and even 'Mama C' Carolyn Rivera were on the short list for coming back. But enough about that, people have been whining and complaining about it all season - let's get ready for the merge episode of Survivor: Game Changers!
I'm sure we'll open with some Zeke/Varner fallout. And again, I don't want to rehash what Jeff did, but I will say that Zeke has been an oak through it all. He handled this thing with more class and more poise than I could have mustered. The fallout is pretty small actually; Sarah is still pissed off about it. Zeke tells us that it was tough and he's ready to fight through this. At this point, the game is still afoot and he's ready to put this issue behind him and get back to playing the game of Survivor. You'd think something like this will really galvanize this group heading into the merge. But, this is Game Changers, so who knows what the hell will happen when these groups get together. And with that, it's time for a...
Probst Sighting!! Cirie narrates the walk into the challenge/merge. They arrive to a huge feast laid out before them indicating a merge. She's thrilled to see it, but Jeff is standing off to the side next to a covered table, which means something is getting ready to change and it's not going to be predictable. Jeff explains to them that they have 1 last decision to make as tribes before they merge. One person from each tribe must volunteer to forego the merge feast or no one will get it. Like seriously? I'd be jumping out of my skin to skip the feast. There's no way that this volunteering won't come with an advantage, right? You give up the food and get something for it...every time. We head to break as the tribes squirm and deliberate. Let's see who's thinking like me.
We come back from break and Jeff tells us that if we don't get the volunteers that they will lose the feast and celebrate the merge with a cracker and a swig of ice tea. Zeke lays out why he doesn't want to do it. And right after, Brad volunteers right away. "That's what Monica would do." Zeke doesn't 100% buy the gesture as completely good hearted. He thinks it's Brad trying to make up for his game last time. I think Brad knows that he'll get something better on the other side of this. Will anyone else step up? It won't be Ozzy - shocker. It won't be Debbie and it won't be Zeke. But last second, Tai steps up and volunteers. Now, Tai - he'll do it for the betterment of his tribe. He's not good enough at the game to think he'll get rewarded for this.
Jeff sends Brad and Tai off down the beach to a log with their new buffs on it and everyone else screams and starts digging in. Sierra feels like she really needed this meal to get her head straight to make some moves. Cirie tells us that this is when the game takes off. Sure, they're all buddy-buddy now, but this is where the game gets stepped up. They all acknowledge Brad and Tai, so now we get to check in with them. And, maybe I'm not the Game Changer I thought I was. Brad and Tai got nothing for their generosity. All they got was a chance to talk, undisturbed for the length of the meal. They had hooked up early in the game and they are both excited to start working together again. Brad lays it out that Hali and Michaela are on the outs and will likely be the next to go.