“It will require you to be daring” Survivor: Game Changers March 15, 2017 recap

23 Mar

The episode begins with an unusual kind of tribe swap, changing from two tribes to three! Among the new combinations, we see Tai reunited with his old Kaoh Rong tribemate Caleb. Tai says he is “still looking for that kiss.” Meanwhile, the third tribe, wearing green buffs, has to start a new camp and build a new shelter.

On the blue tribe, J.T. looks to be in trouble as the other five people are all from a different original tribe. He has an idea: he suggests that everyone go snorkeling, half a mile out at sea at that. Then when Malcolm breaks a spear, J.T. says he can swim back to get a pair of pliers. He does, and starts looking for the idol. The only problem is, he spends way too much time doing so, and the other players figure out that something’s up. By the way, J.T. is way more “country” than I remembered — to the point that he’s sometimes a bit hard to understand.

On the orange tribe, we get the revelation that Brad Culpepper, former NFL defensive lineman, loves … antiquing and decorating? I wasn’t expecting that. On the chopping block are Hali and Caleb. Tai wants Caleb to stick around but the others are wary of having the two of them plus Kaoh Rong castmate Debbie all together as a potential strong trio.

On the new green tribe, Troyzan is in much the same situation as J.T. as an obvious first boot. It’s him against the world, which is more or less the way it was on his prior season too! So Troy goes looking for a hidden immunity idol, and at least finds a clue. It says “it will require you to be daring,” and that’s because the idol can only be picked up during the next challenge! There’s a diagram of exactly where it will be.

Back at the blue tribe, J.T. says he could catch a goat, and he does, bare-handed. Malcolm grabs one too. But they realize it’s a mother and her kid, and debate whether they should kill them. Sandra is all for doing so, leading Malcolm to note “She was a villain [on Heroes vs. Villains] for a reason.” The group ultimately lets the goats go.

It’s time for the challenge. By the way, the team immunity idol is in the shape of an old diving helmet. Troyzan realizes he will have no chance to grab the hidden idol until the challenge is over, since his task is to untie knots at the same table where it’s hidden, during which time all eyes will be on him.

As with the only previous idol ever hidden at a challenge (and successfully grabbed by  Kelley Wentworth in Survivor: Second Chance) it’s incredibly dramatic. Troyzan is understandably extremely anxious, as are we viewers along with him. The challenge comes down to the next step after the knot-untying part, and whichever team comes in third has to go to Tribal Council. Green narrowly avoids third place, and a “relieved” Troyzan pretends to collapse across the table. He feels around in the approximate spot but can’t get his hands on the idol! But then he drops to his knees “with exhaustion,” spots the idol and quickly stuffs it down his pants before standing up.

The orange team came in last, so will Hali or Caleb be voted out? Tai and Brad have a talk once Tai has covered himself with sand (I don’t recall anyone ever doing this on Survivor before). It’s unclear how the conversation turns out. By the way, the three Kaoh Rong alums aren’t the only former castmates on the tribe, but Sierra avows that she and Hali didn’t have any relationship on Worlds Apart, and everyone seems to accept that.

All in all this is a pretty boring episode, and it ends with Caleb being voted out. Like his prior season with the medical evacuation, this one ends on Day 9.

 

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