“In complete control of this game.” Survivor: Game Changers April 26 2017 recap

27 Apr
Debbie says her group is “in complete control of this game,” meaning herself, Sierra, Brad, Tai, Troyzan, and now Sarah. Zeke and Andrea squabble, and Zeke wants to align with the majority as protection from Andrea.
The camera shows us a series of reward-challenge platforms out in the ocean, and a close-up shows us that a secret advantage (clearly labeled as such) is there to be found in the challenge. There is a schoolyard pick to determine two teams of five, with one person not picked and thus ineligible for the reward. That person is the very athletic Michaela! So obviously the choices were made on the basis of alliances. Probst asks Michaela how she’s feeling and she says “Like they some bitches.” (I think.) And while Michaela complains, we see that the advantage is actually not in the challenge area proper, but attached to the leg of the very bench Michaela is sitting on.
In the challenge, Cirie is unable to climb out of the water onto a platform, and finally Sarah swims back out and pushes her up, while the other team led by Brad wins easily. The challenge is over, but Jeff Probst urges Cirie to still try and cross the floating balance beam that she failed to cross in the challenge. In tears, and with everyone urging her on, she does, and to make sure nobody misses it, Probst mentions a couple of times what a heartwarming moment this is. Hold on a second! I seem to remember that in many other seasons Probst has told other players to quit since the challenge was over, and I think openly scoffed at some for still trying!
The reward-winning tribe swims to the seaplane that is to whisk them off, but of course since Cirie can barely swim now, that’s not an option for the other tribe, and Probst summons a boat for the group and one to pick up Michaela from her nearby platform. That’s when Sarah spots the secret advantage. She swims the short distance between platforms and as Michaela is getting on the boat, Sarah pulls the advantage loose and sticks it in her shoe, very nonchalantly and in no particular rush.
So at this point I had best recap all of the advantages that we viewers know about (not counting the ones that have already been used):
Sarah now has a Secret Advantage, powers to be determined.
Sierra still has the Legacy Advantage she found in the very first episode, but the only remaining juncture when it can still be used is when 6 people are left in the game (we currently have 11).
 – Troyzan still has the immunity idol he picked up during a challenge early on.
– And Tai has two immunity idols!
Sarah soon reads the note with her advantage and finds out that it can be used to steal someone else’s vote and make it a second vote of your own. It can be used anytime but no later than when five people are left in the game (which if I’m not mistaken, is also the last time hidden immunity idols can be used). We have seen the vote stealer once before, in Survivor Cambodia aka Second Chance, when it was completely misplayed. Sarah vows, “I will be the first one to play this vote correctly.”
Sierra, like Debbie earlier, tells us their group is firmly in control. Cirie tries to tell Sarah that she doesn’t want to be on the bottom of Brad’s alliance.
The challenge is a fixture of recent seasons: pile blocks on a wobbly table attached to a long rope. Troyzan wins immunity, and Sierra immediately tells us viewers that Andrea must go.
Back at camp, everyone is annoyed at Michaela and some want her to be the next votes out, but Brad rules that it should be Andrea. Sarah tells us, “The plan was made without asking me, and I realize at that point I’m not high in the pecking order in that sixsome.” She starts making plans to join up with the five outcasts (Andrea, Zeke, Michaela, Cirie, and Aubry) to vote out one of the sixsome. It would require Andrea and Zeke working together, but Andrea is ready to grasp at any straw.
But then Sierra has some alone time with Sarah, and tells her: the group I want to go to the final three with is me, you, and Debbie. Well, of course Sierra would want that. Absolutely no one is going to vote for Debbie, and Sierra could just say that Sarah only rode her coattails. But the way Sarah sees this is: wow, someone wants to take me to final three! Maybe that would be a better plan than doing this big insurrection.
Debbie has a very condescending talk with her old Kaoh Rong castmate Aubry. To go against the strong six would be dumb, and you’re a smart person, she says. As soon as Debbie turns away, Aubry rolls her eyes at the camera. Aubry then tells us that she’s reminded of their earlier season together: “Debbie starts to get cocky and then make mistakes.” When Sarah hears about the conversation, she is turned off by the idea of going to the final three with Debbie. Or is she? She says her final decision will be made at Tribal Council.
At Tribal, I’m struck by two things. One is that any one of eight people has a serious chance to win this game, and I wouldn’t be shocked if any of them did! I’m referring to everyone besides Debbie, Tai, and Michaela. The other thing that strikes me is that Debbie, a goofy and somewhat likable character on her first season, has turned into an out-and-out villain. She tells Probst five different ways that the alliance of six has an unbreakable stranglehold on the game.
As for Michaela, she tells the others “You can either do something while you have numbers or you can sit here looking like boo-boo fool.” Troyzan has a confused facial expression at that comment, as do I.
When it’s time to vote, we see Andrea vote for Debbie (not Sierra or Brad?) and simulate a “goodbye kiss.” Probst reads five votes each for Andrea and Debbie and then reveals the deciding sixth vote: Debbie.
contenders: 1. Brad, 2. Cirie, 3. Sierra, 4. Aubry, 5. Troyzan, 6. Andrea,  7. Sarah, 8. Zeke
no chance: Tai, Michaela
jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Hali (no idea), Ozzy (Zeke), Debbie (Sierra)

3 Responses to ““In complete control of this game.” Survivor: Game Changers April 26 2017 recap”


  1. “You’re my ‘it girl’ out there.” Survivor Game Changers May 10 2017 recap | Barry's Reality Blog - May 13, 2017

    […] Sierra … or so it seems at least. Wow, Sarah is so impressive here. Combined with her recent hiding the idol in the shoe maneuver, she has made two of the slickest moves this season. A note on Sarah: I was going to say earlier […]

  2. “Are You Blackmailing Me?” Survivor: Game Changers May 17, 2017 Recap | Barry's Reality Blog - May 21, 2017

    […] it would have been enough to send either of them home. So now let’s revisit Sarah’s vow that  she would be the first player ever to use the vote-steal advantage correctly. Sorry Sarah. Your own vote already made it three against Michaela, which by itself would have been […]

  3. Idoling up: Survivor: Ghost Island April 4, 2018 recap | Barry's Reality Blog - April 5, 2018

    […] to win rather than just 1 in 2.  She gives it a try and wins an advantage, namely the one Sarah snatched up oh so memorably in Survivor: Game Changers. While that was a vote stealer, now the power is that of an extra […]

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