April 14th, 2017 | 6 Comments | Posted in Survivor 34 - Game Changers

Night 16 and Nuku stumbles back into camp. Debbie wants to drop a little small talk on everyone, but they’re more interested in finding out about Exile. Debbie decides to keep everything that happened there a secret, including the food, the booze, Cochran, and the advantage she now holds. And…won’t that reveal her as a liar when the next person goes to Exile? Whatever, she’s Debbie, and she knows how to play this game…

Varner also knows how to play (for real) and shares a deep conversation with Zeke about what happened at the last vote, how he’s okay with it, and what he’d like to do moving forward. And it looks like these two might like to do each other moving forward, which I’m totally fine with…if it’s not during a challenge, or at Tribal, or during a confessional. However, it would be Must See TV if they decided to have a shag out in the ocean, while everyone is staring at them from shore. BTW, where’s Richard Hatch’s pixilated penis right now, and when is Survivor: Fire Island shooting…?

The next day, it’s Challenge time and it’s revealed to Mana that Sandra went home for the first time ever. Probst tells Mana that Debbie has now joined Nuku and the sound of Fijian crickets fills the soundtrack. No one cares, because there’s no comparison between Sandra and Debbie. The challenge will involve unspooling a tangled rope, releasing keys, building a ladder, unlocking a bag of balls, squeezing through a net sling, and finally launching 5 balls into nets using a catapult. Winners will receive a Survivor pizza party, which looks to be the greatest reward ever offered, based on how everyone is foaming at the mouth. Seriously, everyone has lost their mind, and it’s over pizza…

And as I take another bite of my deep-dish slice from The Pizza Cookery, I suddenly realize how important this challenge is for these players. Damn, that s**t is good!

Tribes are even so everyone’s playing. Let’s get it on! Not you, Varner and Zeke, pull your pants up, guys!

Nuku takes the early lead because they realize everyone should be contributing, not one person trying to untangle the rope by themselves like Mana is doing. Nuku keeps their lead all the way to collecting their balls and begin launching, Ozzy taking the honors. He’s able to land 3 into their nets before Mana can even begin launching their first ball, handled by Sierra. With a miss, Brad takes over catapulting duties, and lands his first attempt! Ozzy then hits #4 and it’s looking like a blowout.

After a few fails by both men, Ozzy finally shows why he could be the best player to ever play Survivor and hits #5. Nuku is going to Chuck E. Cheese, and Mana is left questioning what went wrong. And as both tribes head back to camp, Cirie confesses how desperate the Mana tribe is becoming, and dropping hints that someone’s about to lose it back at camp. And is anyone else noticing how much weight Cirie has lost? She’s looking thinner than I’ve ever seen her… Me likey.

When Mana returns to camp, we get to watch one of those scenes that you think would happen almost every day, but we rarely witness. Sierra and Cirie start talking about how difficult it was to not win those pizzas, and then Aubry mentions how this game affects people, both here and back at home, and how no one understands that. Brad then opens up about how much more respect he has for his wife, considering she made it all the way to Day 39. Soon, everyone is crying, except for a few heartless b**ches… No names mentioned.

Brad decides he’s cried enough, and heads off to the beach to do some laundry. He’s soon joined by Aubry, and later Cirie, who both extend olive branches in the hope of working with him moving forward, because they’re digging this new emotional Brad vibe. Perhaps we’re seeing the next stage in Operation: Hero Edit Culpepper. And when the rest of the tribe joins them at the beach, he confesses how good he’s feeling about the Power 5 Alliance he now has with Sierra, Troyzan, Aubry and Cirie. And Michaela and Hali can go screw themselves, I guess.

Over at Nuku, the pizza party is about to begin, but where’s the clown to make balloon animals? What the hell kind of pizza party is this? Oh, I get it, they saw the new “It” trailer and now everyone’s “s**t ton” scared of clowns (borrowing Sierra’s phrase). Okay, fine, eat your pies… Varner and Zeke dig in and start making balloon animals out of the Survivor condoms production gave them…

But Varner can’t even enjoy it because he knows he’s on the bottom. Between bites, he keeps looking at camera and saying, “I need to…get rid…(chew, chew)…of Ozzy…(gulp)…because he’s a…(chew, swallow)…huge…(gulp)…threat.” Oh man, I thought he was going to say Ozzy has a huge something else, so I’m glad he kept it clean. Nevertheless, Varner confesses he wants to start targeting Ozzy, because “that boy can go on a run and win every challenge.”

He shares a conversation with Sarah about working with her, and having them use him, because…he’s totally desperate and what else can he say? She plays along enough and asks if he has anyone “on the other side” come merge time, and all he can say is, “yup.”

Doesn’t seem a lot to go on, but this is Survivor, and when did words ever matter? Sarah is willing to work with him, but wants to know who Varner wants to go home (with).


And again, I’m starting to dislike Varner, even though I like Varner. He then comes up with a preposterous theory, “it’s the 7th vote, so we need to take out strong players,” and I’m wondering, what about all those other strong players that have been taken out 5 out of the first 6 weeks? Again, I know everyone thinks they know how to play this game, but when will the truth be reflected in their thought process?

It’s Day 18 and we got a floating Immunity Challenge! The best kind. Seriously, show me some swimming, or running, or puzzle making, and Fish is a happy man. Jeff takes the Immunity Idol back and Holy Crap! Look at Hali’s abs! Oh my, Fish needs a moment. Ah hell, I just remembered that link I posted on Twitter a few days ago with the Rachel Ako nudes. Now I need another minute…

Okay, I’m back. And I think I need to order a dozen roses for my wife, just to clear my conscience… Back to the game…

The challenge will require 4 members to dive into the water and board a raft. Then, they’ll pull themselves with a rope to three separate stations, where they’ll have to dive down and release some buoys. Those buoys are then brought to the final platform, where the other 3 players will have to spell a 13-letter word. In this challenge, it’s: METAMORPHOSIS.

And is anyone else thinking how much pizza Nuku still has in their bellies? Or has it all been “exorcised” by now…? Never mind, let’s get to it!

Nuku takes the early lead when Ozzy is able to retrieve the first set of buoys on his first dive. Brad has a bit of trouble, but gets them untied on his 2nd attempt. Meanwhile, Ozzy has successfully untied the 2nd set, and they’re moving on to Station #3. Brad taps out for Mana, and Aubry dives for set #2, and succeeds with relative ease. Ozzy gets #3 just as easily as the first two, and Nuku is heading for the platform.

While Varner, Cirie and Andrea begin to form words, Brad dives in for the third set for Mana, and releases them.

But a 13-letter word isn’t that easy to decipher, when there’s no chance of laying them out on the platform and try to form words. They have to hang, and look, and think, and rearrange, and try to figure out just what the hell the word – or words – may be. Something tells me Mana may still have a chance here…

Hali – bless her heart – suggests “M-E-T-A” and she could be leading Mana to the Promised Land (get it?). Or is she leading the Christians to the Colosseum? We’ll see, as buoys get rearranged, and yes, it’s another come from behind victory on Game Changers. Mana wins Immunity!

JP hands out the idol and everyone dives in for the long swim back to shore. And as Varner’s splash nearly tsunamis a local village, he confesses he needs to get everyone to vote for Ozzy, because UNC ain’t going home tonight!

When they return to camp, Varner immediately announces he knows he’s on the bottom, so he’s requesting one-on-one time with everyone. He claims to not have an idol, so he just wants to make his pitch, and then he’ll be “at peace.” Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone set up a speed dating session like this, because why would you allow it? If he’s on the bottom, make him stay on the bottom, uncomfortably…

He says he’s going to the well, so Ozzy offers to go with him, leaving the other 5 alone to discuss what THEY want to do.

Debbie wants to vote out Varner
Sarah suggests it’s time to take out Ozzy
Zeke says he really likes Varner, but would prefer to keep Ozzy with them
Andrea is conflicted
Tai, as always, has no valid opinion

Later, Varner sits down with Zeke and probes the little man… (oh behave!). What he can infer from the conversation, is that he’s got a 50% chance he’s going home, meaning that Zeke is working with Ozzy, which may be something the girls don’t know. Ah-hah! Varner sees a crack… And how many times has that phrase haunted Mr. Varner…?

Varner starts spinning his own web of deceit, and alerts Sarah, and then Andrea, about Zeke’s plans to work with Ozzy, and then he adds on some “And he’ll lie to you,” for good measure. Now, considering Varner is on the bottom of this tribe, you know (or they should know) he’s going to start spinning any lie he can to stay alive. So, when I see Sarah and Andrea acting incredulous about these revelations, it means nothing to me. I’m sure it’s all just “show drama” to create some misdirection before Tribal, but who knows how they’ll screw it up this week?

And considering Probst’s tweet that I accidentally saw, I’m hoping the s**t doesn’t hit the fan at Tribal. But it looks like it will, and who knows where that’ll leave Nuku. As Sarah and Andrea discuss what Jeff told them, it appears Sarah is seriously pissed off at Zeke, but does anyone really believe her? She keeps mentioning how Zeke “threw the two of them under the bus,” but what bus is she talking about? She got her information from Jeff Varner – not exactly a credible source at this point – and now she’s considering flipping against Ozzy.

And I hope that whatever police force Sarah works for is taking notes on this episode, because if this is how one of their officers collects information and reacts to it, then I think every “hoodie wearing guy with his hands in his pockets” better be prepared to be hauled in, because Sarah Lacina thinks you “did it.” Whatever “it” is…

And I just looked at my DVR and there’s still 20 minutes left in the show, so there’s a long-ass Tribal coming up. I wonder what’s afoot?

6 thoughts on “SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS – 4/14/17

  1. Pingback: Update on Where Episode #7 is Filming, “Survivor” Recap, & More of Rachel’s Guys – Reality Steve

  2. Hey. This is RSANON. They screwed up my account and I could not access it last week, so I had to form a new one. Excellent review as always. I really like how you review the show as it is on so that you make your jokes and predictions and then, WHAM, get smacked along side the head like the rest of us.

    1) I am enjoying the physical challenges this season because they are involving so much – physical, brains, mazes, balancing, swimming, etc. It may seem like too much for some, but this is a big reason why I watch the show.

    2) I am sooooooo sick and tired of the weak players banning together to get out the strong players. What has become of this show? The strong SHOULD survive. And I do mean physically strong and those that can manipulate and be mentally strong. But not those that band together because they are the weakest players and then high-five themselves when they make it to the end. If Ozzy does not finally win, I am going to be pissed. I wanted to see an Ozzy, Malcolm, possibly Culpepper or Sierra final. I know Michaela is annoying and her mouth would never let her win, but she is strong and plays hard. Let’s get the people who really win your challenges for you, get you your food, play the damn game into the finals and stop with these whiny-a@@ed people ruining it for all of us fans.

    3) Varner – what a total a@@hole! He outs Zeke, says that this PROVES he is deceitful, and then tries to tell us that he thought everyone knew. WHAT?!? Call him on that BS. He even tweeted that now that the episode aired. If everyone knew, why would you think he was being deceitful? I agree with you though. I immediately thought – why would they show us that. I certainly hope that they got Zeke’s OK for that to make it on-air. Although the way you talk, I kind of question that. I also thought at the time – Varner will NEVER be asked to come back again. And I do not think he should be. I cannot believe how low some people will go for a game. But look where being a nice guy got Ken last season, I guess.

    Thanks for continuing to do this for us – your fans! I am sure it is a lot of work, but please know we appreciate it.

  3. Not much for small talk this week ( congrats on your Garcia bet ) . I have only been watching Survivor for the last 7 years or so ( I have DVD s of older seasons though) . I have always put Survivor on a pedestal as being the most real of the reality shows . I don’t believe that anymore . I don’t know if its a quest for ratings due to horrible casting or just a money grab but I smell a rat . I find it hard to believe METAMORPHOSIS was just magically the word puzzle for this episode . Every other word puzzle or phrase has been Survivor related . Except this time . Why even air any tribal if it was so shocking . Suddenly Trans Gender laws and issues populate the news and Survivor coincidentally has a Trans Gender contestant ? I am not buying it for a second . Zeke was one of my favorites from last season and from this season but honestly I lost some respect for him . Not because of his gender preference because frankly its none of my business and I don’t care if he was born a man , a woman or a mermaid . If he feels comfortable as a man well by all means let him live as such . Do what makes ya happy Zeke . I believe he let himself become a pawn in a Survivor ratings ploy and political statement . Note to Hollywood !!! I don’t give a damn about your political thoughts and I assume you don’t care about mine . Don’t force your opinions down my throat because you think being on TV , a movie screen or a stage singing makes yours more important than anyone elses . Survivor you decided that making a political statement was more important than the show you have gotten rich off of for 34 seasons . I will be forever pissed about it and very well might never watch any seasons after this .

  4. Well i have been burnt out on Survivor for a bit, and not following too closely. Now I will even less. I thought I read on Zeke’s first season that there were rumors he was trans.

    Yes Varner is a complete ass, but Survivor is worse.
    Just a stupid ratings ploy. If Zeke wanted to remain un-outed, then just do all the usual cuts and don’t show that part of tribal. If this is some sort of political statement, buy an ad.

  5. Thanks for your comments, folks, I’m sure there’s a lot more discussion that needs to take place — possibly in this week’s column — and I feel the last episode will go down as THE most flammable one in the entire history of Survivor. Anyone else think this may be the one that “jumped the shark” for our favorite show?

    RSANON! Sorry for the web headaches. I have nothing to do with the site in that regard, but I’m glad you found us again! Thank you for liking my process. Yes, I prefer to write as I go, because then I’m not thinking about the end as I write the beginning. True, I could do that, and then steer the column toward a certain outcome, thus making it seem I’m prescient or something, but it’s A FRIGGIN’ REALITY TV SHOW, who cares if we’re able to predict anything…right? Honestly, there have been times when I did watch before I began writing, but I really don’t like to do that. Now that I have DVR again, I’m doing it “old school.” 1. I totally agree with you about the challenges. THAT’s why I watch. I don’t care about the social part (so much), and I don’t care about the hunger, I wanna see people being competitive and adapting to each challenge. That’s why I always wanted Ozzy to win because he was so good at challenges, and that’s who I wanna see win. 2. Totally agree! (you get it…). 3. I’ve had some very dark feelings about Varner and this whole situation. As much as I hated what he did, I do blame CBS for airing it. I tweeted an interview that Jeff did with Katie Couric about it and he was so, “We all talked about it and Zeke was okay with it, so we aired it all.” What a load of crap! CBS uses this whole situation as a play for ratings and look what it got them – THE most talked about episode of Survivor ever! They can justify it all they want that “Zeke said it was okay,” and, “it’s a great opportunity to show how vulnerable trans people can be and how they can overcome,” and all that b.s., but IMHO, they should not have shown it. Just cut Tribal short and say that Varner was “eliminated due to a violation of game ethics” and move on. But no, they had to make it into the most political thing I’ve ever seen on Survivor. Force feeding us how we should think about the whole debate. And again, I don’t give a crap about how anyone wants to live their life, but don’t tell me how I should feel about it. Just play the friggin’ game… But thank you for all the nice things you’ve said, I hope we can all get back on track this week.

    Rick! Dude, you are passionate this week! I totally hear your inner voice yelling back at the TV. I’m pretty much on board with everything you said, specifically about using the word “metamorphosis.” That was too timely… And I’m not sure if I believe that Zeke just came up with his Tribal Council comment all on his own (but it’s possible). I mean, “Game Changers” could be construed as a metamorphosis, of sorts, but it was just too coincidental. And the fact the show has known the truth about Zeke since last season, during casting, just tells me they were planning on using this all along. Perhaps… So, Rick, I hear what you’re saying, but I think we all need to take a breath and see where things go. Most likely, the show will get back to what we fell in love with long ago. Everything on TV blows away, just waiting for the next windstorm to replace it… Thanks for your fire, though!

    doc! Reality Steve said the same thing to me about hearing about Zeke’s “secret” last season, but I never did. TBH, I wonder if I should feel bad about comparing his chest hair to a plescostomus — or Wilson from Castaway — but I still think that’s one of the funniest bits I ever wrote… 😉 And everything I’ve said in this comment agrees with yours. This was a big ratings play, and it worked. But they’ll never get how it alienates a significant part of their audience. But TV shows don’t care about that, because big ratings means big audiences, and they don’t really care about their “core fans,” they just want to sell ads… We’ll see how the show’s ratings go over the rest of the season. Perhaps the Finale/Reunion show will one of the highest rated episodes in recent years. And does anyone think that Zeke is not going to win it all now?
    Talk about a “story” that clinches it for someone. If I railed on the show last season for how unfair Adam’s story was, then this season’s champ has already been decided…
    Thanks for writin’ in, doc!

  6. Didn’t we see another player kicked out for violations in the first 5 seasons or thereabout? I’m with you, that would have been better and then Zeke could have spoken about it at the reunion, or not. However, to play Devil’s advocate, if Zeke plays on this, he will be unbeatable if he goes to F3. Everyone will be rooting for him. Does it make me evil to say that? Am I calculating? Have I morphed into the perfect, soulless survivor player???? Send help! And by help, I mean JP (I mean, yum) and some really good bourbon, please. I’ve jumped the shark with the show. Lets see if either of us recover!

    Love ya, Trish

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