Survivor: Game Changers Final Thoughts

27 May

If someone had told me before the season that the final three would be a former 8th-place finisher (Troy), a former 15th place finisher (Brad), and an 11th-place finisher who I didn’t even remember (Sarah) I would have assumed this season turned out to be a bit of a dud. Luckily nothing could be further from the truth! In fact in my season rankings this one almost makes the top ten.

Good things about this season:

  • A deserving winner in Sarah. Her epic Legacy Advantage theft is one of the great moves of all time, but she was also very consistent, and one of the deciding factors in almost every vote. And she had another advantage that only she spotted at Michaela’s feet that led to a very exciting Tribal Council as Cirie, who was “holding it for her,” tried to use it!
  • New rules and twists: The Survivor producers threw in everything but the kitchen sink. There was a new final tribal council format, Debbie’s “advantage option,” a former player being brought in as an advisor to Debbie, two tribes going to tribal council together to vote out one person, and a new tiebreak format. Some hit, some flopped (like the time one person from each tribe had to volunteer to go without food to enable everyone else to eat the merge feast), but these returning players were always kept on their toes.
  • Then there were twists that didn’t come from the producers, but the players! Sarah’s two advantage thefts, Cirie’s attempted advantage theft, and the tribal council where 5 of 6 players were immune come to mind.

Bad things about this season:

  • Too many hidden immunity idols, or perhaps what I really mean is, immunity idols that were too easy to find. Troyzan had to work really hard for his; Tai didn’t.
  • The most entertaining characters exited early. Not that things didn’t turn out OK, but we’ll always be left to wonder what might have been if Tony or Malcolm had stuck around longer.
  • And I can’t fail to mention the awful “transgender” comment by Jeff Varner, which had a negative impact on Zeke that transcended the game.

Feel free to follow this link to see if Sarah cracked my best players of all time list. As a returning-player season, nobody was eligible for my best alliances of all time list. And much as I was tempted to add J.T. to my list of the the worst of all time, he did have another season in which he won the game, so I guess that gives him a permanent waiver.

You can check out my full rankings of the seasons here.


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