May 26th, 2017 | 4 Comments | Posted in Survivor 34 - Game Changers

Night 35 and the final six return to Maku Maku. Sarah wants to know who “the rat” is, and Cirie wants to know why Michaela was targeted. Sarah confesses she only wanted to take out Cirie’s “right-hand man” to punish her for trying to snatch the Steal-A-Vote Advantage, and considering she’s safe at the next vote, Sarah’s feeling mighty comfortable right now.

She confronts Cirie about it, but the FCP doesn’t have a good explanation, but the question of who “the rat” is still lingers. Cirie tells her it was Tai, so Sarah goes after him for voting for her. When he tries to explain why he did it, Sarah wants nothing to do with him. She tells Tai to stuff his explanation, and apologizes to Cirie for what she said earlier. I’m not sure Sarah is telling anyone the truth right now, she just wants to make a big show and draw any sympathy she can.

Meanwhile, Tai is now labeled “the liar,” which is enough for him to start worrying about his game and wondering how he can get someone on his side. Uh, Tai, you have 2 idols, you already have someone on your side. But let’s see how you screw this up…

The next morning (Day 36) he takes a walk with Brad and shows him his 2 idols – uh, Tai, those aren’t idols, those are your balls – but Brad’s been in enough locker rooms to know how to play it cool. Maybe that didn’t happen… Not sure why Tai feels the need to reveal all his cards, but that’s what he thought he needed to do, and from everything Brad is telling us, it seems like a dumb move by Tai. Brad is willing to throw Tai under the nearest bus, or tuk-tuk, or whatever method of public transportation they have in Fiji.

Later that day, we’re off to our first Immunity Challenge and from the overhead shot, you can see this is going to be a monster. A huge maze awaits the final six, and Jeff Probst is there with his blue shirt to describe today’s version of hell. Players will need to race through the course collecting three bags of puzzle pieces, and then assemble a compass rose puzzle at the end. And not only are they playing for Immunity, they’re playing for a massive feast Reward. Let’s get it on!

Players head out and the first ones to reach their bags are Troyzan and Brad. Then Probst has to add,

“Tai, right on his tail,” which makes me vomit the pizza I just ate into my son’s Pokemon hat. Gonna need to replace that…

“Tai, right behind him…”

Stop it, Jeff!

Aubry, Cirie, and Sarah get their first bags back too, while Troyzan maintains his lead. But suddenly, Aubry reaches her third bag first and heads back to begin solving. She’s followed by Brad, who can begin solving first because of a shorter route back to his table. Aubry is there moments later, and then Cirie drops her third bag. Soon, everyone is back and trying to figure out this 41-piece puzzle. It’s not easy… Just ask Tai.

Based on what Jeff tells us, it looks like it’s coming down to Brad vs. Sarah, and both would benefit immensely from a win today. Obviously, everyone would, but based on my prediction, I would like to see one of these two win this. Brad is close to finishing but realizes he doesn’t have all his pieces, and is embarrassed when he discovers he left a piece or two in his bags. Dumb jock! He grabs them and continues solving…

And within a few seconds, he places the last two pieces and WINS IMMUNITY!

“Pretty good for a dumb jock,” he snorts, and many of us are recalling the time he couldn’t count things on one hand…

Jeff places the necklace on him and instructs him to select one player to share the Reward.

“Troy,” he says without hesitating, “because he hasn’t won anything in a while.”

And when Jeff tells him he can select one more, the choice is a little more difficult. Yes, he could choose Tai for the new secret alliance he has, but if he does that, it may be revealed. And since Brad really doesn’t have anything with Cirie or Aubry, he chooses Sarah. She is ecstatic to get this treat, as it’ll give her a chance to find out who she can make it to the end with, but I think she’s just hungry…

I’m already a good ways into my bottle of Skyy and I’m wondering if that’s dangerous? We’re only 23 minutes into the episode and I’m already getting blurry… Hold it together, Fish, it’s a long night…

At the Reward meal, Brad, Troyzan and Sarah are stuffing their faces and drinking wine. Sounds like a perfect meal. Troyzan knows he’s safe tonight holding an idol, but there’s some work to do. Sarah is feeling a little disconnected from everyone, having been betrayed by both Cirie and Tai, so she thinks her best play is to link up with her boys here. She prods them for their next move, and after Brad tells her he wants to flush an idol from Tai, that settles it. These three will vote Aubry, have Tai play an idol, and then target Tai next. And rather than spending much more time stuffing their faces, Brad wants to get back to camp and make sure there’s no monkey business going on with Tai and his crotch rockets.

Brad tracks him down and bullies him into thinking the only way Tai has a chance to make it to the end is by playing one of his idols tonight, and giving the other one to Brad. The plan to vote out Aubry is revealed, but the way Brad is demanding allegiance is borderline scary. Tai is also feeling a bit wonky, and thinks he’s lost control of his destiny. Regardless of what Tai tells him, Brad is adamant Tai does what he says. It’s almost starting to feel a little like a misdirect, because no one should put up with being spoken to that way, and if Tai really wanted to show Brad his nuts, he’d say to Brad, “STFU, I have two idols and I’m keeping them both. You can kiss my Vietnamese ass, Col. Kurtz, Charlie don’t play that.”

So, Charlie heads off to find Aubry, to reveal Brad’s plan to take her out. And is about to propose giving her an idol when Cirie stumbles upon them. She knows that Sarah, Brad and Troyzan may be in cahoots now that they’ve got a Reward Challenge bond, and suggests to Tai they work with Aubry to take out of the Reward winners. However, she knows that all the crap Tai received at Tribal last time was due to her, so she doesn’t know how he’ll take this.

Tai listens to her, but he’s also interested in finishing his conversation with Aubry, and tells Cirie to “get the f**k outta here.” She slinks away…

Tai and Aubry try to figure out what to do, but Tai is back to being Tai, and crying over the fact no one likes him, they just like his idols. He’s perplexed, he’s emotional, and obviously not cut out for this game. So why did they bring him back? Is this REALLY the type of player/person who increases interest/ratings? I don’t think he is, and I still don’t think the show knows what it’s doing half the time in Casting. They just choose interesting personalities and give off the vibe they know what they’re doing.

Here’s a dose of reality, Lynne Spillman. You don’t. And everyone’s just too chickens**t to tell you otherwise. I’m not. So, as you drive your Mercedes over the hill back to Encino, realize you’re not fooling anyone…

And the only thing I’m hoping for is…

-Tai plays an idol
-Tai gives Aubry and idol
-Troyzan plays an idol
-Sarah is immune
-Brad is immune

…forcing Cirie out the door and back to the couch at Ponderosa. Let’s see what really happens…

Off to Tribal we go and everyone takes their seats. Jeff opens the dialogue…

-Aubry reveals Tai was a rat
-Tai says he’s lying and deceiving like everyone else
-Everyone says Tai is lying and deceiving more
-Sarah says it’s “everyone against Tai”
-Troyzan says Tai is “90% on the outs”
-Cirie doesn’t want to believe Tai is totally out
-Tai reveals he’s been threatened and had deals made to him
-Brad says “buyer beware” if you side with Tai
-Cirie is not very confident of her standing
-Aubry is “keeping the faith”

It’s time to vote. And with the possibility this vote could be one of the more epic ones in Survivor history, I’m on pins and needles. Jeff grabs the urn and asks for Hidden Immunity Idols. After a pause, Tai rises and walks over to Jeff. He plays his first idol for himself, and then he plays his second idol for Aubry, eliciting frowns from both Brad and Troyzan. Will this be enough to get Troyzan to finally play his idol?

“Hey Jeff,” calls out Sarah. She hands over her Legacy Advantage and is safe too.

Not to be upstaged, Troyzan also plays his idol, and guess what, folks? Fish knows a thing or two about Survivor!

Upon the realization that everyone is immune except Cirie – who did not receive a single vote Jeff tells us – Survivor history is made on various levels:

-The most Immunity Idols played
-The most players immune
-And the first person to be voted out without receiving a vote

Bye, Felicia! And with the grand farewell Jeff gives her, we can all agree Cirie is part of Survivor royalty, but that still doesn’t mean she’s a strong player. Yeah, she gets a ton of respect from everyone present, but she’ll always be that FCP who couldn’t climb out of the water. 4 times is enough… Boom goes the Jimmie Walker “Dyn-o-mite” as Cirie leaves the building for the last time hopefully…

We cut back to the live studio audience and Jeff calls out Cirie to take in the standing ovation she’s receiving from everyone. She’s in tears and the support she’s getting is very moving for her. Jeff admits he typically doesn’t get too personal about players while “in-game,” but he says he did with Cirie. They share a hug and she sprints over to the side of the stage to poop behind one of the fake trees the art department brought in… Old habits die slowly…

4 thoughts on “SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGES FINALE – 5/26/17

  1. Congrats to Sarah . I feel Brad should won . The knock being he didn’t play the social / strategic game . Well with the exception of Tai he didn’t make anybody mad .He was a total dick to Tai . Sarah lied and backstabbed everyone. Now I rant . Cirie yes you got off the couch . That’s it . You did nothing to make yourself a better competitor . How many times on Survivor and still cant swim . Ozzy don’t care to hear your political opinion . Now Jeff . I am calling you out . This season was fixed . The Zeke thing . Jeff how did you know Cirie got zero votes You said you don’t look at them . Its pretty strange Sarah could only use her advantage at 6 and by some miracle there were 3 idols still unplayed . Gee what a way to make Cirie elimination so dramatic . I am still debating if I will watch next season .

  2. I’m surprisingly okay with Sarah winning. Once it got down to the final 6, I was going to be hella pissed if she or Brad didn’t win. They are really the only 2 left at the end who remotely played the game. I think if Brad could have kept his social game going, he would have taken it. But he kind of imploded there at the end. If you had told me at the beginning that the final three would be Brad, Sarah, and Troyzan, I would have laughed and stopped watching. Way to vote out all the actual game changers early and be left with a bunch of weak players. I’m sure Tai is a lovely person in real life, but man, he sucks at Survivor. I agree with Rick that this season felt WAY more scripted and “fixed” than in the past. Why can’t they just drop a bunch of people on a beach and see what happens? I say I won’t watch next season, but I just can’t stay away.

  3. Great recap, as usual. I’m ok with Sarah winning. Brad is an a@@. His “I don’t need the money” comment. He did win a lot of challenges but it’s about more than that. And now I’ve realized I just didn’t like Brad, because I wanted Ozzy to win – lol.

    Thanks for a great season of recaps.

  4. Howdy, friends, and thank you for the final comments of the season. I also received some emails, so thank you to those readers as well. Let’s get right to it…

    Rick! While last year I thought Ken deserved to win because of his challenge prowess and lack of dick moves, this time I’m not sold on whether Brad should have won. Yes, he had challenge prowess, but his dick moves at the end cost him. Who knows what Tai told everyone when he got back to Ponderosa — his video didn’t reveal any of that — about how he was being treated by Brad. All-in-all, it just proves that you gotta be cool to the other players above anything else. I don’t think Sarah was totally innocent, but she did it all without being a bi*ch. I’m with you on Cirie, not with you on Ozzy, and am willing to consider the fix is in. I know they manufacture some things, but they do have certain guidelines they must follow being a gameshow. One thing I’ve read in the past, or heard somewhere, is that Jeff and the producers look at the all the votes and reorder them to build the most drama. That makes total sense as that’s the whole point of entertainment: create drama for the viewers. So in that regard, Jeff totally knew Cirie had zero votes. And while I don’t think the show is totally innocent, there was no way they’d know the Legacy Advantage would go the 6 vote ahead of time. I think some Tribals just materialize and the show takes what it’s given. Please come back next season, you’ll forget all about this b.s. come September. Have a great summer, Rick. Lots of BBQs!

    Jen! You and I feel exactly the same about the Brad or Sarah thing. It was really about which goat would join them. I’m surprised Brad took Sarah instead of Tai. What was he thinking? Perhaps the fatigue, and dehydration, and hunger got to his head because he just pulled a Woo and brought the wrong person to the end. I don’t even know if I would like Tai in real life. Guys like him — eternally positive and looking up — get on my nerves. I mean, at some point, you gotta talk crap about people and complain about shit… Maybe that’s just me… But I really hope the show does something about the way it navigates the story arcs. I think they try too hard, and it takes it toll on the overall experience for the viewers. Thanks for all your comments, Jen. Enjoy your summer!

    RSanon! (I only use this handle for you cuz that new one confuses the crap outta me). Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad something still works. With all the b.s. I’ve been dealing with, I’m relatively surprised I can still find something funny to say every few sentences (hopefully!). Yeah, that whole “I don’t need the money” should never be uttered by a contestant. The show should make that one of it’s bylaws. The whole premise of the show is to win the million, and it kinda cheapens the experience for us to see that some people don’t care. It’s like when people quit. That is such an affront to the viewers those people should instantly be removed from the finale, reunion, and anything show related. So many people want to play, and then to quit is such a p**sy move. And let’s hope they bring Ozzy back one more time for Survivor: Legends…whenever that is. Thank you for a great season of comments. Hope to see you in September. XO (no homo)

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, comment, email, or tweet anything about my recaps. I’m really touched you enjoy what I do. Love to you all!

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