Survivor: Gamechangers
March 9, 2017 10:39 PM - Season 34 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A diverse cast of previous survivors who could be considered "game changers" rendezvous in Fiji to duke it out.

This season introduces several alterations to the game format:

Idols this season are to be hidden by a variety of methods, and the process for resolving a tied vote is changed for this season, removing the second ballot where only non-tied castaways were allowed to vote between the tied castaways and proceeding directly to the procedure to resolve a deadlocked tie: an open deliberation between non-tied voters.
posted by smoke (111 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Given the low but steady interest, I thought a whole-season post we can check in and out of might be better.

My own thoughts on ep 1:

Challenges are looking even better than before, I love that they're back in the water; "Game changer" is even more tenuous than the usual gimmicks; I was happy to see Ciera go (never really rated her play), and sad to see Tony go (he's so crazy, but he loves the game and plays big, I love that); Malcolm remains an absolute beast in challenges, whilst Michaela seems to have learnt little from her first go.

Who's your ep 1 pick to win? I'm going to go with Zeke, he was magnificent last season.

PS I have no memory whatsoever of the other Sierra... Who is she??
posted by smoke at 10:43 PM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love the all-star seasons. I'm looking forward this season, but it would been even better if Tony had stuck around a little longer. I would love to see Sandra win a third time but think it's doubtful. It would have been smarter of her to keep Tony in the game a little longer, but he is unpredictable. I was never a big fan of Ciera either and thought she was a good first boot choice. The other Sierra was in Worlds Apart in the Blue Collar Tribe with Mike Holloway. She came in like 5th or something. I actually liked her her in that season and think she could do well this season because there are so many big threats people might overlook her. JT is still a fav of mine from Tocantins, so I would love to see him win and in the pre-season interviews it seems like people underestimate him as a threat.
posted by cfoxhi at 1:04 AM on March 10, 2017

I feel so bad for Cirie, her jedi mind trick doesn't work when everyone's scared of it. I thought the only thing that could save her was a tribe switch and it does seem one is coming next week so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Sandra is another favourite but I'm worried she's playing too hard too early. Obviously the game's only double winner can't expect to go under the radar AGAIN but she is bringing it. I didn't understand her vote for Aubry though, any clue folks? It seemed to be insurance to keep herself in Tony's good graces if something went wrong but to my view it's going to affect Aubry if Tony goes, and if the group pulls something she's not aware of it will show them that she's a wildcard for not going with the planned vote OR the blindside.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:22 AM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

It was in case Tony had an immunity idol and voted for her. Solid play.
posted by smoke at 1:07 PM on March 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

just turned this on
haven't read the thread yet
have successfully avoided all cast spoilers
let me just say real quick

posted by phunniemee at 5:10 PM on March 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Ouch. Has Sandra always been so mean to the people who were voted out?
posted by mochapickle at 4:24 PM on March 11, 2017

Yes, that's just Sandra. Two time winner Sandra. She's aggressive, combative, often openly hostile, a terrible liar, and everyone always ends up loving her.

She's my hero.
posted by phunniemee at 5:08 PM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

I haven't watched enough seasons to make a real educated guess, but so far I like Malcolm and I can't help rooting for Aubrey, Caleb, and Mikaela again, although I'm not sure I'd bet on any of those three to last until the end.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:25 PM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's not that Michaela hasn't "learned" - - she knows she doesn't have a poker face, says she's going to try hard to mask her emotional responses and fails at doing so. I can relate!

I love her. Team Michaela. She doesn't have a chance.
posted by palegirl at 10:21 AM on March 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

I liked the opener, looks like everyone is playing hard, including the producers by making it clear that they do not want ties. So we know there will be a tie at some point, since they mentioned.

As to Sandra winning two times, remember we're getting a fabricated version of what happenings, one that isn't design to show the truth, but entertaining.

I have no favorites at the moment, just don't want Sandra to win, heh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 AM on March 15, 2017

I would be ok with Sandra winning every season of Survivor, even the ones she's not on. That's how much I love Sandra.

What I'd really love is for Sandra and Michaela to become a power couple with Varner just always kind of nearby to do one of these things every time a shouting match breaks out.
posted by phunniemee at 9:42 AM on March 15, 2017

Am I the only person who doesn't remember everyone that's on this time around or what season they were on? It's like "You like familiar and maybe I liked your gameplay if you're who I'm thinking of, but can't swear it's actually you".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 AM on March 15, 2017

Oh for sure. We're a good five seasons past the last time I had any chance of telling the manbuns apart.
posted by phunniemee at 7:23 PM on March 15, 2017

Haha, I have no idea who most of these people are! Like, I do remember Sandra from waaaaay back in Cook Islands, I think? And Cirie, and I remember really enjoying watching her. And Malcolm and Varner and JT are vaguely familiar, but I don't know why or where they played before or how long ago that would have been.
posted by mochapickle at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2017

I think Tai made a mistake tonight. In addition to Caleb's physical prowess, he would have been a delightful meat cushion in a vote against Tai - everyone would have gone for Caleb first.
posted by smoke at 3:14 AM on March 16, 2017

Plus Kari was mentally stronger, not someone you want to keep in the game. Vote the lawyers off as quickly as possible!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 AM on March 16, 2017

I know most of these folks, but really only because I've watched many seasons of Survivor at least twice.

But there are some people, like Malcolm and like Andrea (??) who are still new enough that they're filling the "hot blonde" and "hot manbun" requisite Survivor archetypes, and I can't differentiate them in my memory from all of the other hot blonde/hot manbun people from the last several seasons. No idea whatsoever.

Troyzan I remember cause his name is dumb. Caleb only because his bromance with Tai and he almost died. Sierra because when her real eyebrows grew out over her tattooed ones it almost distracted me from what a misogynist pos her teammate Dan was. Nearly everyone else either has a more unique look or is a relatively oldschool player.
posted by phunniemee at 7:39 AM on March 16, 2017

I don't remember Caleb nearly dying and now that it's been mention, have only the faintest wisp of a half remembered memory about it. Deeply sorry I missed the real eyebrows growing out over fake ones.

Was worried that Sandra was gonna go a rampage about not killing the goat. Were it further in the season, she probably would have, just from hunger. Be really interesting to see how far she gets this season, but they haven't considered her as first out, not really, so she's got a sweet chance. The jury just might vote for her, just because.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on March 16, 2017

That baby goat was frigging adorable, and I'm kind of glad they didn't kill either of them. TBH it seemed kind of baffling when they had chickens there...
posted by smoke at 2:53 PM on March 16, 2017

Ty gives idol to Cerra and they all vote...Malcolm? WTF just happened?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 PM on March 22, 2017

Boooo, poor malcolm once again robbed of another chance through no fault of his own. That council was cray cray -
I would have stood up and said I'm voting for Sandra and let the others join in, they would have had a critical mass.

Bummer, so many others could have gone who would have added less to the game long run. I did like Varner's comment though.
posted by smoke at 3:05 AM on March 23, 2017

Oh man, when Varner missed the maze thing and the blue team lost, I almost died. Everyone I love the most in this game is on that blue team: Sandra, Varner, Michaela, Aubry. I love those four. Malcolm? I don't remember what season he was on to begin with and anyway the ubermensch super winner boys always bore me. I'm fine with this vote, plus tribal was totally nuts and that's always a delight.

Tai has 1000000% earned his spot on gamechangers, btw. He made huge moves in his first season, he's making huge moves again. I don't know that I like him all that much (certainly not on a season with Jeff HEARTEYESEMOJI Varner), but he absolutely deserves to be here and it's great to watch.
posted by phunniemee at 5:08 PM on March 23, 2017

Why didn't they eliminate Sandra? Who do you all think made the call for it to be Malcolm? Hali?
posted by likeatoaster at 6:24 AM on March 24, 2017

I think they just wanted to take out a strong, well liked competitor when they had the chance to do so. Malcolm(b) is a powerhouse; not having him in challenges is going to cripple the team.

No one ever eliminates Sandra because Sandra is the best and I love her.
posted by phunniemee at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2017

That was fantastic! I like Malcolm (did anyone spell his name right?) but I get it... take out the physical threat. He's so entertaining in challenges that it's kind of a bummer, tho.

Announcing Sandra would have backfired had she had an idol.
posted by mochapickle at 3:26 PM on March 24, 2017

It looks like shit's gonna hit the fan in the next episode.

I just saw this tweet video from Jeff hearteyesemoji Varner. (Who I am very happy to learn loves Sandra as much as I do. I knew I liked him.) Anyway, with the teaser at the end of this episode, I bet that's coming up real soon.
posted by phunniemee at 1:08 PM on March 25, 2017

oh man, I get it, Sandra is goood
posted by likeatoaster at 6:04 PM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is she good or surrounded by fucking idiots? She admits to dumping the sugar, meaning she probably can't do it again and no one seems to be targeting her over dumping the sugar. It's completely nuts from the perspective of the other players.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:15 PM on March 29, 2017

I want Sandra, Varner, and Michaela to have their own spinoff show where they are wildly successful international jewel thieves.
posted by mochapickle at 1:04 AM on March 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's unbelievable how well she gets in there. That JT had it coming for his breathtaking idiocy last episode - I bet Malcolm has words for him at Ponderosa! It still defies belief JT ever won; he's a terrible player on multiple levels, though he seems like a nice enough guy.
posted by smoke at 3:08 AM on March 30, 2017

If it weren't for Stephen, JT would have had three seasons of breathtaking idiocy and zero wins instead of two seasons of breathtaking idiocy and a million dollars.

I ship this Sandra-Varner-Michaela triad so hard.

Also I can't wait to see Cirie in action. We've gotten so little of her so far this season and she's an absolute master at the social game.
posted by phunniemee at 5:20 PM on March 30, 2017

After November 8, 2016, I thought I had experienced the maximum amount of upset it was possible to feel over the results of a vote. I was wrong.

Once and always the πŸ‘ΈπŸ½.
posted by The Gooch at 9:03 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh man. That felt quick!

I really liked the Exile twist. I'm not a fan of Debbie at all, but I teared up when I saw how relieved she felt. I wonder how long the future exiles will be able to keep it a secret.
posted by mochapickle at 10:16 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sandra lands on a tribe of 7 people where 4 of them haven't played with her this season and haven't even had to vote yet. They're all itching to make a big move and she has to start from scratch building trust with them. I almost thought she could pull it off, but I can't blame them for being more worried about Sandra than a Tai / Audrey / Debbie alliance.
posted by Gary at 12:59 AM on April 6, 2017

Mad props Sandra, you nearly did it. Still delivering a masterclass.

Tai - such an idiot. On the bright side, no one will think he has an idol now, let alone two.
posted by smoke at 3:36 AM on April 6, 2017

Anyone heard from phunniemee? She might be having a rough time of it right now.

In the end, I like how Sandra made her exit and did her interview. It was always going to be tough road for her, but she keep it as a game, didn't make it too personal and she's still the queen.

Also loved how they brought a former player back, that was great. Having Cocran there to give advice and help a player along, but not directly playing the game was great. Plus, it was for someone who went to exile island, so it was an extra boost.

I wonder if Exile Island is still gonna be used for this season or was it a one off due to numbers?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:44 AM on April 6, 2017

I feel like we should take up a collection and buy phunniemee flowers or something. Send her a casserole.
posted by mochapickle at 7:59 AM on April 6, 2017

Anyone heard from phunniemee? She might be having a rough time of it right now.
I feel like we should take up a collection and buy phunniemee flowers or something. Send her a casserole.

I came home from work last night to an hours-long power outage and missed watching this as it aired; just now caught up...

Thank you for your kind words. At least Varner is still there. If he goes before the merge and misses the jury I will need that casserole.

Sandra will always be my fave and she'll always be queen. She was dealt a shit hand with the last team shakeup and was still an absolute pleasure to watch.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows in a mason jar full of sugar.
posted by phunniemee at 6:44 PM on April 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

p.s. I think I might hate the new exile.
posted by phunniemee at 6:44 PM on April 6, 2017

You're just saying that because you're blinded by grief. The new exile is awesome.
posted by mochapickle at 11:33 PM on April 6, 2017

Listen to the pickle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 AM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sandra really is just perfect isn't she? She got screwed by the shuffle, came so close to pulling it out anyway, and left without a touch of resentment or ill will. The Queen stays Queen.

I enjoyed the new exile, hoping we see a parade of power players giving advice and not just Cochrane, but we'll see how it shapes up. I'm really enjoying this one, hard to believe we're only five episodes in.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:38 AM on April 7, 2017

If anything, Sandra further cemented her status as the greatest to ever play the game despite this being the one season she was voted out. With the massive target on her back as the game's only two-time winner, it makes absolutely no sense at all that she wasn't the first person voted out. The fact that she went to so many tribal councils during this run and somehow avoided elimination until almost halfway through the game is a testament to her greatness.
posted by The Gooch at 9:47 AM on April 7, 2017

I enjoyed the new exile, hoping we see a parade of power players giving advice and not just Cochrane

I like this exile, but don't think it should always be a straight up reward. You have to keep people on their toes.

- Advice time with Kass. It's similar to this one, but Spencer sits beside her rolling his eyes the whole time.

- Chicken wing eating contest with Wes. There's a big advantage in the game, but only if you can eat those wings.

- Stuck on a rowboat with Rodney. It's his birthday again, and he's sad no one decorated the rowboat.
posted by Gary at 11:19 AM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

If I were sent to exile and had to listen to Kass, I'd jump off the boat.

I actually dreamed about exile last night, where they came up with a new twist. If you were selected, you picked stones, and one color sent you to the lovely boat, and the other sent you to some forsaken rocky reef.
posted by mochapickle at 11:23 AM on April 7, 2017

Is there any chance that the producers saw Debbie was losing her shit and magicked something to make a relaxing exile happen?
posted by phunniemee at 12:29 PM on April 7, 2017

It's possible, but if the producers were going to engineer anything it would be something to make Debbie go even nuttier, 'cause that would be "great tv".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:23 PM on April 7, 2017

I feel like people don't tune in to see the Debbies of the world explode and make everyone else miserable; people tune in to watch Debbie brag and lie about her expertise. And with that flashback we had last episode, the story editors are already way on board with that. Doubleplus confidence Debbie could indeed make great tv.
posted by phunniemee at 2:12 PM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nah, a major point of reality tv is to see the Debbies of the world explode. It's the side story so many love.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:09 AM on April 8, 2017

Wow wtf that was insane
posted by likeatoaster at 5:56 PM on April 12, 2017

Ohhhhh helllllll.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:17 PM on April 12, 2017

oh no varner
posted by phunniemee at 6:59 PM on April 12, 2017

He had a good case for getting rid of Ozzie. Then he did that thing and wouldn't shut up about it. Quickiest self destruction ever.

He should not be invited back, ever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:27 PM on April 12, 2017

Oh no. No, he won't be back. Probst basically gave him his walking papers and sent him out the door. I think this is the nearest it's ever come to the show basically kicking someone off. I don't think Varner will ever come back to the show either (I did some googling after I finished the episode and it looks like he was suicidal for a while after filming) even if the show did stupidly invite him back. It's done.

That was terrible.

I do think that the show dealt with it pretty well, all things considered. Probst didn't let him off the hook, everyone got to share their feelings, it seemed like Zeke was given at least some space before being asked to respond. And to Varner's credit, it does seem that he understands the magnitude of what he did. But wow that was terrible and what the fuck man. Inexcusable.

Zeke has handled this with so much grace and good humor.
posted by phunniemee at 7:35 PM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think this is the nearest it's ever come to the show basically kicking someone off.

Brandon Hantz is the only other time I remember someone being sent home on a voice vote.

Good on the rest of the tribe for having the appropriate shocked and angry response.
posted by Gary at 9:24 PM on April 12, 2017

Of course, Zeke handled this better than anyone should be expected to. He's now going to be held up as an example or role-model when he just wanted to play Survivor.
posted by Gary at 9:27 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Zeke tweeted a link to his Hollywood Reporter guest column about this experience (just published) and it's well worth the read.
posted by mochapickle at 11:39 PM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

That's a great piece, mochapickle - shows the maturity, intelligence, and love of Survivor Zeke has.

What a despicable, despicable act by Varner. I loved that every single member of the tribe called him on it, but I felt his remorse was self-directed as he realised he hadn't just outed Zeke - he'd outed himself as someone willing to peddle bigotry. Disgusting.

FYI the producers asked Zeke's permission to share the story, and worked with GLAAD in the shaping of the episode, I read on a Survivor group.
posted by smoke at 4:00 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

FYI the producers asked Zeke's permission to share the story, and worked with GLAAD in the shaping of the episode, I read on a Survivor group.

Oh good! I thought Jeff's digging into was a bit skeevy, glad to know the producers asked permission to use the incident and then transformed it into a teaching moment.

Can't recall the last time I saw such a scratched record moment on tv, it was just so incredibly out of the the blue and 100%, flat out wrong. Was really odd to see Zeke comforting Varner after the latter was voted off, 'cause Varner was the one doing the harm.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:42 AM on April 13, 2017

Good whole attitude then and now on Twitter really pisses me off. You don't get to be upset, Varner. Crucfying yourself just reorientates this story around your emotions and state of mind. No. A simple apology and then shut up and get out of the way.
posted by smoke at 6:15 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

The next test will be if CBS can avoid a fake "everyone's friends now" moment at the reunion. Either don't invite Varner or put him in the back and forget to ask him questions like they do to other non-jurors.
posted by Gary at 10:29 AM on April 13, 2017

Pretty sure they're going to have him back, we're going to have to listen to Varner make this all about him and then Zeke will comfort him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:26 AM on April 13, 2017

Zeke is extremely bright and well spoken, has already sat through a live Survivor reunion show since this tribal council, and I trust that he'll be able to navigate any kind of reunion show situation in the way he decides is best for him.
posted by phunniemee at 11:39 AM on April 13, 2017

I just watched Jeff Varner's day-after-tribal video, and it is useful for at least explaining what the hell he thought he was doing. Still completely inexcusable to out Zeke at any time, obviously, but now there's a little bit of context. Relevant bit starts around the 4:30 mark, if you're interested.
posted by phunniemee at 4:43 PM on April 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Varner's context is awful, still digging in: 1) Transgender = shifty/hiding something 2) I assumed everyone knew!

Re: 1) horrible, awful bigotry, enough said. 'I saw Russell Hantz'. Get real. 'There's something about him no one else knew. ' - whatever.

2) If everyone knew, Jeff, why the hell would your bomb have any impact? You dickhead.

Ugh he's just so craven and self-justifying. 'ultimately it will be a very good thing for Zeke and I.' Again, piss off, you don't get to rewrite this mate.
posted by smoke at 7:02 PM on April 13, 2017

Yeah, I dunno, guys. I really do hope that they don't invite Varner to the reunion, but if they do, that Varner has the good sense and graciousness to skip it.

I have no doubt Zeke would handle it beautifully either way.
posted by mochapickle at 1:21 AM on April 14, 2017

There's no way that Varner won't be at the reunion, that Probst won't address the issue again and that Varner won't make it all about him. Just prepare yourselves.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on April 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Why did Zeke vote Aubry? Did he think he had the others with him, or was he making some other kind of point?
posted by likeatoaster at 7:06 PM on April 20, 2017

idk but I just want to say: terrible move, you suck at this game, hope to see you never.

So glad that the returning "game changers" are still able to find room in their hearts for some of that old school pettiness. ❀
posted by phunniemee at 4:56 AM on April 21, 2017

Zeke made a truly terrible move. Didn't learn anything from round one, shattered his alliance for no good reason and left them wide open to be picked off by culpepper and Co. I'm all for big moves but the timing on this was awful. Arrogance or insecurity? It bodes poorly for all of that group now as they'll never get the numbers back.
posted by smoke at 5:47 AM on April 21, 2017

Go Zeke!!!!!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 AM on April 22, 2017

Never seen a player go from hero to zero so quickly (although after 34 seasons and 17 years I'm probably just forgetting). Zeke seems to have learned nothing from one season to the other. Overplaying his hand too early dooomed him in Millenials vs. Gen X, looks like it will doom him here too.
posted by The Gooch at 7:56 AM on April 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Caught this on Michaela's twitter: This appears to be the first time in Survivor history with two black women in the game post-merge
posted by The Gooch at 9:11 AM on April 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh god I was so scared for Cirie with that gratuitous reward challenge edit. So glad she wasn't a target. Also: HA HA BYEEEE DEBBIE.

In other news, Michaela gets my vote for most gif-able player of the season.
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 PM on April 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

I haven't watched the past several seasons, but I don't recall Probst insisting on dedicating so much time on learning/personal growth like this in previous seasons. The part where poor Cirie climbs out of the water and Probst declares it "a powerful moment on Survivor" in real time had me shaking my head.

Is this sort of learning/growing angle new for this season or is this a trend?

Also, what was Michaela saying at the end? Boo Boo food?
posted by mochapickle at 11:32 PM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is this sort of learning/growing angle new for this season or is this a trend?

This sort of thing occasionally pops up throughout the series. It's more than just a game, swear ta god!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 AM on April 27, 2017

Michaela knows what she needs to do but seems incapable of doing it - her self-confidence probably serves her well in real life but appears to make her quite intolerable on survivor!
posted by smoke at 4:00 AM on April 27, 2017

More people should bring snacks to tribal council.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:44 AM on April 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Michaela's behavior at Tribal council was fantastic. I was honestly worried she was going to go rogue or wasn't aware of the plan. I'm not sure if it's acting or just being angry at your tribe but doing that and still voting the right way makes you an ideal alliance member. I'm not sure she has the social game to win it all but those are great qualities to have as Cirie's runner-up.

My favorite survivor edits are the overconfident evictees (blindsides are always fun and exciting) so the last two weeks have been great.
posted by Gary at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I still can't believe players get super confident about their place in the game. I'd be paranoid as hell, chatting with everyone, always bringing my bag to TC. It's almost a cliche at this point, to see people talking smack and then getting blindsided.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm also enjoying this season's theme of "player gets blindsided and isn't even mad". They know the deal.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:08 AM on April 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's a nice maturation of the players, yeah. Realizing it's a game has freed up people to be less long alliance, which is great. Much more fun to watch constantly shifting alliances.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2017

Yeah, I'm glad to see people breaking it up and fending for themselves. And taking blindsiding as a vote of respect. Even Ozzy was much more chill this time around (although he shot daggers when he arrived for TC).

It's all part of Survivor Learning and GrowingTM.
posted by mochapickle at 2:37 PM on April 27, 2017

Plus it's amazing to see alliances with the numbers that forget to include the lowest person in the alliance, 'causing them to flip. Just talk to them!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 AM on April 28, 2017

What? Nothing on this season of Survivor: Game Changers could possibly foil our insurmountable 6-5 lead! Not even a Hubris Edit!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Every time Sierra has one of her cocky I run this game interviews I just want to be like uhhhh who are you again? I remain amazed that Cirie is still in this, she is not safe by a long shot but at least she's not a challenge threat so may be able to remain under the radar until her numbers solidify. Fingers crossed, my heart broke for her both times she just missed final tribal (only due to an unexpected final 2 the second time!).
posted by yellowbinder at 12:05 PM on April 28, 2017

Ah, the nice thing about having just one season-long thread: Easy to gloat when your prediction comes true
posted by The Gooch at 9:36 PM on May 3, 2017

Wait, I think I missed something... Why was Michaela crying after she voted Zeke herself?
posted by mochapickle at 10:41 PM on May 3, 2017

I was also very confused about how the vote went down when Michaela burst into tears. I guess that's what she meant by turning down her heart or not playing from her heart (I forget the exact wording). The problem being that didn't really show her hanging out with Zeke or indicate that they were that close. From what they've shown us I thought she was basically a lone wolf except for Cirie helping her along. Her social game is probably a lot better than what the show gives her credit for.
posted by Gary at 11:21 PM on May 3, 2017

she was crying because she forgot to bring snacks this time :(
posted by phunniemee at 6:21 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Why Michaela cried
posted by The Gooch at 6:58 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

she was crying because she forgot to bring snacks this time :(

In hindsight it's such an obvious tell. If it ever comes down to Cirie and Culpepper, is Michaela very involved in tribal council and giving heartfelt answers? Or is she off to the side being snarky with product placement Doritos and Mountain Dew?
posted by Gary at 10:20 AM on May 4, 2017

Does anyone else here always weep like a tired, hungry baby during the loved ones episode? Just me?
posted by mochapickle at 6:52 PM on May 11, 2017

I don't weep during those episodes and always find them a tad too long with the "reunions". Like yeah good to see you, but damnit, I'm trying to win a million bucks from this mofos who are trying to make sure I don't. If you're a loved one, help me focus!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:29 AM on May 12, 2017

This season is feeling a bit flat for me, and I'm pre-emptively concerned about the edit Sarah is getting!

I guess losing Tony, Sandra, Malcolm etc so early is exacting a toll now. I'm finding it hard to root for the likely winners now, and I feel much of the play has been uninspired.
posted by smoke at 8:22 PM on May 12, 2017

Daaaaamit, I loved Michaela. Question: why does Troyzan's name never, ever come up? Even this week, with Brad having immunity, no one mentioned sending him home.
posted by donnagirl at 7:35 AM on May 18, 2017

Perfect goat to bring to the end, no chance of winning?
posted by The Gooch at 8:19 AM on May 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, strong enough to survive at the beginning when it's a team game. But still not an individual challenge threat so you think you can get rid of him at any time after the merge.

If it were a final two I think he'd be a lock as the person everyone wants to be sitting beside. But with 6 people left this looks like a final three and should still be interesting.

I can't complain if we are left with six players and I wouldn't be mad if any of them won. Even Troyzan is mostly just boring (because he's only had a couple of confessionals all season) and is playing a solid game.
posted by Gary at 9:12 AM on May 18, 2017

I didn't see Troyzan's original season, so I may be missing something, but he seems like someone you wouldn't want to sit by in the final. Affable, decent player, didn't screw anyone over perceptibly. Maybe that's just not enough to be rewarded in a "game changers" season, but given some of the real animosity built up between other players, I'd think he has a decent shot.

At this point I would be overjoyed to see Cirie take it. OK with Sarah, Tai, Troyzan, or Culpepper. Would be confused by but not mad at an Aubry win. Solid no on Andrea.
posted by donnagirl at 9:19 AM on May 18, 2017

I don't see how Cirie has a chance at this point after having made such a spectacular blunder directly in front of the jury. She'd really have to pull off a miracle at this point. Even if she did make it to the end, how does she explain how that was a good move?
posted by The Gooch at 6:34 AM on May 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh man. Cirie is smart -- why didn't she read the fine print?

Silver lining: Michaela's Ponderosa video is genuinely adorable and one of the best Ponderosa videos ever.
posted by mochapickle at 11:06 AM on May 19, 2017

I thought that was part of her plan, to get the secret exposed, while not looking too guilty to whoever was voted out for the jury?

'Cause if not, that was a huge blunder, yeah.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:32 PM on May 19, 2017

Silver lining: Michaela's Ponderosa video is genuinely adorable and one of the best Ponderosa videos ever.

Easily the most shit-talking, literally, I can recall in a Ponderosa video
posted by The Gooch at 6:05 PM on May 19, 2017

Goddamn I hate how CBS blocks literally everything for OS viewers. I couldn' even watch the star trek preview FFS.
posted by smoke at 6:46 PM on May 19, 2017

Gooch, did you see Debbie's? Because really.
posted by mochapickle at 8:32 AM on May 20, 2017

Friendly note that if any of you, like me, won't be able to watch tomorrow night's finale/reunion episodes until later, you may want to remove this thread from your recent activity so you don't inadvertently scroll across a spoiler.

I hope Sandra wins!
posted by phunniemee at 7:23 PM on May 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Culpepper is scary all cleaned up.
posted by donnagirl at 7:14 PM on May 24, 2017

What a strange game. For the last several weeks I've been rabidly rooting for a woman who proudly displays a photo of Trump holding her baby on her twitter page to win this game. Well deserved win by Sarah. Culpepper looks like "DFENS" from Falling Down at the reunion show.

Loved, loved, loved, the new final Tribal Council format. Hated the ridiculous amount of idols/advantages in the game which caused Cirie to be eliminated in such a ridiculous fashion.
posted by The Gooch at 10:29 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

A meh end to a sadly meh season for me.

Sarah's win was patently obvious from the edit by about halfway through - the reliance on challenges ending with a puzzle robbed the second half of the season of any sense of momentum. Troyzan's continued presence was endlessly frustrating and the switchbacks and alliances seemed like less skilled gameplay than ad hoc scrambling to me - the season really suffered from lacking an arc, any ambiguity, and like I think Sarah played the best game, but I don't think she played an amazing game.

When I think about "duel" between David and Zeke last season - and how dynamic that excitement was - and how first timers were on the whole more dynamic and interesting I was a little blah about this one. The fact engaging players got booted so early compounded things - Tai, Debbie, Troyzan etc, these are not players you need to bring back. Jeremy Collins' second season was so exciting because nearly everyone wanted to be there, and nearly everyone was playing really hard - there was too much dead wood this season and it floated to the top.

Brad's behaviour, after flirting with redemption, went back downhill again.

I hope producers in future

1) Genuinely mix up the challenges, no more puzzles in every challenge! Memory games, throwing, eating stuff, different physical challenges is how to do it.

2) Cast for players - big personalities only allowed if you have the game to back it up. I'm sick of seeing dopey loudmouths cast and going far.

3) Try editing a few different thread/stories. It was so obvious Sarah was being set up as winner, as the edit gave us no one else to root for, or even believe had a chance (Aside from Jeff's obvious and annoying boner for Culpepper, yuck)

4) While we're on the edit, let's focus on more of a narrative, so many decisions this season seemed to come out of nowhere or were just plain confusing cause we obviously were missing crucial parts of the story.
posted by smoke at 9:09 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sorry to see Varner at the reunion, even sorrier that they gave him space to pimp his new employer and his book project. So slimy. At least Brandon Blatcher warned us how it would go.
posted by donnagirl at 5:24 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Loved, loved, loved, the new final Tribal Council format.

Seconded. I'm tired of each juror trying to have their Sue Hawk moment. Now you are either contributing to the conversation or you're not. Plus, like tribal councils, this format lends itself to going long and editing down to the most interesting parts.
posted by Gary at 1:20 AM on May 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

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