What a crazy episode of Survivor Game Changers that was! Although the first half and the elimination of Andrea was rather straightforward, the second half with the shocking elimination of Michaela was something no one ever saw coming, even throughout the entirety of the hour. This episode was so crazy that even I don’t understand what just happened. Let’s get right into all that happened tonight in the second last episode of the season, first with all that went down in sending Andrea home.
ANDREA VS. SARAH
After the elimination of Sierra and the confused look that Sarah had on her face when it all went down, Andrea began to believe that the Cagayan contestant was beginning to pander to the jury. This led the three-timer to want to take Sarah out of the game, feeling like she was no longer trustworthy. Meanwhile, Sarah had the same ill-will towards Andrea, saying “I want Andrea gone. I cannot stand the girl, but it has to be the right time”. So Andrea wanted Sarah gone and Sarah wanted Andrea gone.
While this was all going on, there was still another massive target left in the game in the form of Brad Culpepper. According to both Cirie and Aubry, the two most logical players on that island, Brad was the most logical move. Taking out Brad would keep their alliance intact and dismantle the opposing side by taking out the nucleus of that three-person group and the only one of them without some kind of idol or advantage.
But Andrea was gung-ho on taking out Sarah and probably as a result, Sarah felt the same way in response. So together with the help of the people on the bottom, Michaela, Sarah and Cirie took Andrea out of the game.
The vibe that I got from Andrea since the merge was that she was playing a little too emotionally. Her need for vengeance against Zeke was a little overblown while her desire to take out Sarah rather than what was probably the wiser move in taking out Brad also seemed to be mostly down to emotion. Her emotions just seemed to get the best of her and it certainly contributed to her being voted out this week on day 33 by a vote of 6-2.
This was such an interesting first thirty minutes, I just wish we got to see more of it! We really had no idea which one of Brad, Sarah or Andrea was going to go home and I really would have liked to see more of why exactly Andrea was sent packing! I just think that in the end, Andrea put herself on that pedastool by being too firmly in control of the eliminations of Zeke and Sierra and as a result was always going to be the next big target.
AUBRY ON THE BOTTOM
After Andrea’s elimination from the game, Aubry was feeling rather out of sorts. So being the wonderful human being that he is, Tai Trang was quick to comfort her. But this ended up making Cirie feel like the two of them were some sort of tight duo, which actually wasn’t the case. Turns out, Aubry actually wanted Tai gone and she even voted for him this episode. But in Cirie’s mind, Aubry was the main target.
So although behind the scenes Brad was probably in grave danger, you just got the feeling that she needed to win immunity again to keep herself safe. And unfortunately for her, Brad was the one who ended up pulling it off. Now Brad had a bit of an overreaction to winning, saying “Damn right! Pick someone else to vote off instead!” but we can forgive him because he’s probably starving and was also on the verge of being voted out. But with the necklace around his neck, Brad was no longer up for elimination and someone else had to be taken out instead. Leading the charge to get…who even knows out of the game, was Cirie, who shockingly had a new target in mind.
CIRIE LEADING THE CHARGE
In perhaps the most confusing set of events ever in Survivor history, Michaela Bradshaw was eliminated from the game. But how we got there was so utterly kerfuffling. It all started when Sarah decided to give Cirie her advantage (a vote steal) for no reason. This was the first bit of confusing gameplay as it made zero strategic sense for Sarah to give Cirie her advantage and as she later pointed out, it wasn’t even transferable. To make things slightly less confusing for us Cirie disclosed “If you get it, you play it”, so at least we knew that the four-time contestant was going to at least attempt to play the advantage even though she wasn’t going to be able to.
Cirie initially had her mind set on taking Aubry out, but somewhere along the way the plan seemed to shift towards taking out Tai. But then, again for no logical reason, Cirie told Tai of the advantage, hoping that would ease him into not playing one of his two idols. It seemed to work but we still had no idea why she needed to do this, why she wanted to take out Tai and how exactly this would make him feel at ease. To make matters all the more perplexing, she then told Michaela that she had to take away Sarah’s vote with Sarah’s own advantage, which just makes zero strategic sense at all! If you take away Sarah’s vote, that just opens the door for Tai, Troyzan and Brad to combine together and get Sarah voted out!
I think I speak for the entire Survivor audience when I say that I had no idea where this vote was going to go and was just completely confused on the strategies of Cirie and Sarah in particular if not everyone else as well.
A CRAZY TRIBAL COUNCIL & A SHOCKING ELIMINATION
Out of nowhere, Michaela was voted out by a crazy vote of 4-2-1! No one ever saw this coming and she even went confessional-less throughout the hour tonight! This was one of the biggest audience blindsides of all time. Just check out Top 10 Audience Blindsides in Survivor History for reference on some of the other most shocking eliminations.
So here’s what happened. Somewhere in that scramble for votes at the tribal council when everyone was standing up, Cirie and Sarah were told to vote for Michaela. Cirie, not wanting to vote for Michaela, wrote down Aubry’s name down instead. Sarah, a bit confusingly, used her advantage to put two votes on someone who was a close ally for her in Michaela. Flat out, I think this is a terrible move. Why use the vote steal advantage to take out someone you are working with? Instead, Cirie and Sarah should have used their votes to take out Tai, Troyzan, even Aubry! Why else take away Tai’s vote if you aren’t going to vote him out? And for that matter if Tai is going to have his vote taken away, how on earth does he gamble and not use his idol? He has two of them and could easily just have become the second coming of James Clement! It was just crazy gameplay all-around from everyone involved tonight and although it was entertaining, I do have to say it was practically unwatchable in it’s level of complexity.
This week Cirie was the star of the show, leading the way with 6 confessionals. See the chart below to see where everybody ranks at this stage in the season.
|Player||# of Confessionals||Running Total|
|7th||Troy ‘Troyzan’ Robertson||1||
Cirie was all over this episode and was the primary narrator behind all the confusing strategy that went on. Sarah, Andrea, Aubry and Brad were all pretty prominent figures in the episode and each had 3 confessionals while Tai Trang picked up 2 confessionals towards the end of the episode.
Troyzan Robertson also finally had another confessional, bringing his tally up to 9 for the season. This run of confessional-less episodes for the former One World contestant will end up making him one of the most under-edited players to go far in Survivor history and his only confessional tonight was about how he might need to use the idol, something he didn’t ultimately end up doing.
Shockingly, in her boot episode Michaela Bradshaw went without a single confessional.
What is edgic? Check out our Episode 1 Recap for all the details.
How on earth do you even do edgic for this episode? It was just far too confusing! Nonetheless, The Mastermind has still made an attempt. See the chart below for all the details.
|Troy ‘Troyzan’ Robertson||UTR||2||–|
Starting from the top, Cirie and Sarah were both portrayed as Complex Players this episode and both were very visible. We got a lot of their incredibly complex game strategies this episode which were actually far too complex for anyone to even understand. The edit really did a terrible job of helping the audience understand what was going on tonight, it was almost as if they didn’t care that nobody was going to understand what on earth was happening and Sarah and Cirie constantly outlying their outlandish game strategies in their confessionals did not help one bit.
Tai Trang was also highly visible and also earns himself a CP5 score. His confessionals were a whole lot easier to understand. In one he talked about how he might need to use his idol and in the other he talked about how even he was confused about what Cirie was saying to him.
Aubry‘s visibility finally increased, which might be a tell-tale sign that she is going home before the final three, but was still nonetheless very nice to see. She was given the chance to talk about who she wanted to go home far more than most. She first wanted Brad gone despite others pitching for Sarah and then she wanted Tai out for some strange reason in the second half. It is totally unclear why she wanted Tai gone but she was still very CP nonetheless. Andrea was similar in this regard, talking a lot about her fear of Sarah and needing to get her out as soon as possible. It never came across as OTT even if it was a little bit overly emotional.
More on Brad‘s edit will be highlighted below but he was a bit MOR this week. He had three confessionals and the one that really sticks out is in talking about how bossy Michaela was and how he wasn’t just going to fish for him because she demanded he do so. If they wanted to give Brad an edit that was more CP this week they would have given us a second or two to at least show why he and his allies voted for Michaela and if the “go fishing” scene had anything to do with it.
Michaela and Troyzan were both very under-the-radar this episode. Troyzan had just 1 confessional which was about possibly using his idol while Michaela had 0 and was eliminated from the game in very bizarre circumstances.
Now it is time to analyze the winner’s edit for the very last time this season! See below!
THE WINNER’S EDIT
Brad Culpepper, for what seems like the hundredth week in a row, still has the winner’s edit. There have just been bigger fish to fry all along and Brad has managed to slip through the cracks completely unnoticed! With the eliminations of Michaela and Andrea this week, his route to the end of the game is a whole lot clearer than it was last week too and I still see no way anyone else is the winner of this season other than Brad. His edit goes beyond just being a good guy who was wrongly portrayed in his first season and is now redeeming himself. His edit clearly revolves around the fact that he is going to be not just a winner, but a good winner as well. Okay so the “Damn right! Pick someone else people!” stuff wasn’t a great look, but it’s fine, he’s a big guy not getting enough food, what can you do?
The former NFLer has been unable to fight his way to the top of the game after being on the bottom for a pretty long time, but he has remained very in tune with everything that is going on and remains a massive piece to the puzzle of who goes home, as evidenced by both eliminations tonight.
The segment at the first tribal council of the evening about how the jury would vote was the biggest tell of all. Every time it was said that the jury was or was not going to vote for the person that played the best game, it zoomed in on Sarah, and every time something was said about likability and emotional bonds between the jury and the players in the game, the cameras focused in on Brad. When they zoomed in on Sarah, it was usually something negative about for example how the jury won’t vote for the player who played the best game. When they zoomed in on Brad, it was always someone saying something pretty positive. So this on top of everything else we have seen in previous weeks continues to point to Brad being the winner of Survivor Game Changers as the season comes to a close next Wednesday night.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
This week the quote of the week comes from the one and only Jeff Probst! No it’s not what you think it is, his hilarious mocking of Michaela after she thought she won the challenge, it’s actually what he said to close the first tribal council of the night.
“Even when all hope seems lost, keep talking because someone might be listening”
This is a great quote from Jeff and one that perfectly sums up Brad’s game-play in the second half-hour of the night.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This week, the player of the week is Brad Culpepper! Cirie and Sarah played well in the first episode but they lost a close ally in the second half by losing Michaela and they both made a real mess of the vote-steal advantage. So because he came up clutch in winning immunity when he desperately needed to most, Brad has to be this week’s Player of the Week. He stayed in the game in a crucial stage and now looks set to take the win!
NEXT TIME ON SURVIVOR
Next time on Survivor “It’s the final six and with it comes the biggest move of the season”. We are then shown Brad declaring “I have no problem getting him out with his own idol”.
I think Tai might give away his idol to Brad, especially since he does have two after all and Brad would certainly be vulnerable without immunity. But it appears as though Brad would still be willing to take Tai out even though it wouldn’t be a good move for him at all. But whatever happens, it is going to be so entertaining and it really is just so unclear who is making that Final Tribal Council as we head into the final episode of Survivor Game Changers.
Next week is finale week! An end-game goat in Michaela has been taken out, a rather wise move from Brad and his allies. But an intelligent move for Brad and his allies was a rather unwise move for those that were close to her in Sarah and Cirie, who also lost Andrea tonight as well. Brad looks set up in the best position to win now and I can’t wait to see him pull it off. However, how on earth Sarah is going to lose is still the most intriguing thing to me about the remainder of the season. If she’s a losing finalist like the edit kind of hinted at in the first half, then I think I’ll be really sad with that result given how good of a game she has played. So I hope for her sake, assuming she is losing, that she goes out fourth or fifth instead of almost unjustly losing in the finale.
Finally, assuming Brad does make the Final Tribal Council, we really do have no idea who is getting there with him, especially now that the clear and succinct goat of the season in Michaela has been taken out. Could Brad make it to the end with his two remaining allies Tai and Troyzan? Or will he have to get there with powerhouses in Cirie and Sarah? Or will Aubry somehow end up being a losing finalist again? This finale is going to be crazy and I cannot wait to see what happens. Thanks for reading and I will see you next week after the winner of Survivor Game Changers is crowned!