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Last Week: Sandra proved she’s the queen, Sierra found an advantage just by loo-king, and Tony and Ciera said “Good knight.”
39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…
Alright, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Mana Tribe (wearing orangey-red)
The Nuku Tribe (wearing blue)
We kick things off immediately with both tribes being invited to, “Come in, guys.” Sarah is shocked to see that her former Cops R Us buddy has been sent packing.
Probst asks the players if they know what’s going on, and they’re smart enough to know that it’s time for the ol’ buff exchange. Let’s look at these new tribes, shall we?
The Mana Tribe (wearing orangey-red)
The Nuku Tribe (wearing blue)
The Tavua Tribe (wearing green)
Tai is super psyched to be back on a tribe with his beauty buddy, Caleb. He is finally able to give Caleb the peck on the cheek he wanted to give him. Adorbs.
JT isn’t concerned that he’s alone on Nuku. Troyzan tries to play it off too, but he doesn’t do as good of a job. If only he had a “Boston” Rob capable of saying, “Take care of him.”
Oof…also Tavua will have to start from scratch. That seems extremely unfair considering how much food the tribes got during the marooning.
Over at New Nuku, the former Manaians are blown away that their new camp includes trained chickens and interior decorations. (Er…exterior decorations?) Wait, what? Who’s doing the interior decorating? Zeke? Andrea?
CUT TO: Brad Culpepper hanging up decorations at Mana Beach. Hilarious.
Back at Nuku, JT hatches a plan to take everyone out fishing and then strand them out there while he goes idol hunting. Malcolm gives JT the perfect opportunity to enact this plan when he bends the fishing spear. JT selflessly agrees to swim back to camp to get a pair pliers for a quick repair job. The problem with this plan is JT takes waaaaay too long to retrieve those pliers. Everyone knows what’s up. And what’s worse is that it’s all for naught as JT ends up empty handed.
Politicking starts up immediately at Mana beach with the former Nukians wanting to target Caleb or Hali. During a chat, Tai tells Brad that he’d rather keep Caleb over Debbie. Cool your jets, dude. We’re talking Hali vs. Caleb right now.
Brad lets us know that he’s very wary of a “Kaoh Rong” alliance and he’d like to see Caleb go home first. That’s also a good way to show that Brad isn’t interested in a bro-down.
From there, we finally get our first look at Tavua beach. I think I liked it better how they split the tribes into three during “Millennials vs. Gen-X” where at least the new tribe was given one more person.
With their reduced numbers, both Cirie and Ozzy realize that they need each other and that Troyzan is an easy first boot. Troyzan, appreciating that as well, goes on a mad idol hunt. He locates a message in a bottle (“Sending out an S…O…S”) that tells him that the idol will be hidden at the next challenge.
Later on, the Nuku tribe manages to chase down a mother goat and a baby goat. This sparks a huge philosophical debate. Sandra wants to cook them up and everyone else feels terrible about turning the cutest baby goat in the world into an orphan.
Personal Note: I have no problem eating meat. Chickens, cows, pigs, seafood; I eat these things all the time. And I wouldn’t have a problem assisting in their slaughter and preparation. But, to see that baby goat and its mother? I couldn’t do it. And the weird thing is; if you’d asked me a few hours ago, I probably would have said I’m OK with it. I guess you never know until you’re faced with it.
Another Personal Note: Take into account the fact that I’m not starving as I’m writing this.
The tribe votes and decides to free the goats and eat a chicken instead. If only those chickens had an idol.
Seriously, Nuku could gain a huge psychological edge over Tai by bringing a handful of feathers to the challenge.
Immunity Challenge Time: Three players from each tribe will be tethered together and run through an obstacle course. They’ll retrieve a bucket and use it to fill up a larger bucket. Once that bucket is heavy enough, it’ll raise a gate. Once the gate is raised, one member of each team will have to untie puzzle pieces. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win immunity, a tarp, and their choice of comfort goods or spices. The second place tribe will win immunity and the reward the first place tribe didn’t choose.
Michaela, Malcolm, and JT run for Nuku, Caleb, Tai, and Debbie will run for Mana, and Andrea, Ozzy, and Sarah will run for Tavua.
The Survivor are ready…and they totally go.
Nuku is the first tribe to get to the puzzle portion, but not before Michaela takes a nasty spill on the teeter-totter portion. Mana and Tavua aren’t far behind them.
Varner and Sandra manage to maintain that lead and win immunity for their tribe. Varner wins his first immunity since 2000!
It seems super close between Hali and Culpepper and Cirie and Zeke, with Cirie and Zeke taking home the win for Tavua.
During the celebration, Troyzan is able to nab the idol without anyone noticing. Well done.
Nuku chooses the comfort rewards.
Also, the secondary immunity idol is the weird stand that the original immunity idol sat on. Enjoy your immunity stump, Tavua.
At Mana Beach, Caleb is a little worried that he might be sent home on the ninth day again. Well, better to go out with a snuffed torch than a snuffed life, dude.
Hali doesn’t like her chances because Caleb is a challenge stallion.
Brad, on the other hand, doesn’t love the idea of being on a tribe that has a “Kaoh Rong” majority. But, he doesn’t want to be the one to push to send Caleb home.
He approaches Tai and tells him that it might look bad if he and Caleb get to the merge together.
Quick Aside: Tai is rubbing sand all over himself during this exchange, What’s the purpose of that? Skin exfoliation? Tai does have a wonderful glow.
That night at Tribal, Probst says something about fire and life. It was pretty deep.
Caleb doesn’t think that his friendship with Tai will come into play because Tai spent seven days away from him. He’s got a point. If my friends don’t like any of my tweets after seven days, I totally write them off.
Sierra is very worried about Caleb and Tai, but people shouldn’t be worried about her and Hali because she hates Hali’s dumb face.*
*I may have made up that last part.
Hali thinks the Kaoh Rong connection gives Caleb more angles to work.
Caleb follows up with this gem where he says he’s good in challenges and loyal while Hali is easier to manipulate and easier to take along.
Caleb…Caleb, Caleb, Caleb.
Hali jumps on this and points out that Caleb is going to be tougher to work with.
Brad gets the line of the night, saying that Hali is a “Budding attorney” and that she’s doing really well.
Another Quick Aside: Is it too late to jump on the Brad Culpepper bandwagon? Oh wait, it’s empty? I get to drive! Who’s riding shotgun with me?! Who’s going to help me host the CulPep Rallies?
Tai lets us know that he’s playing the long game. Or, he’s going to follow the last person who talked to him before Tribal.
Caleb points out that Hali has more connections at the merge.
Hali disagrees and says she wants to play with her current tribe.
Voting Time: Hali votes for Caleb, Caleb votes for Hali, and Tai takes a half an hour to vote. Maybe his Spidey senses were telling him that at that moment Nuku was killing one of his chickens.
Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Caleb, one vote for Hali, two votes for Caleb, and the third person voted out of “Survivor: Game Changers” is…Caleb.
Verdict: Super glad to see the return of the idol hidden in the challenge. And, it’s nice to see some non-strategy segments like Goat-gate. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to come to terms with my new feelings of admiration for Brad.
Power Rankings Results: Adam Klein had Caleb in spot eighteen while I had him in spot sixteen. So, the current score is Team Adam 18, Team Gordon 16.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes