We Review The ‘Survivor: Game Changers’ SN34 EP03 – ‘Survivor Jackpot’

Not since the early days of Survivor have the viewers been given a morality debate surrounding the contestants actual surviving within the game. Besides the constant killing of Chickens year-on-year, of which no one seems to bat an eyelid at, we’ve had a Boar killing during the Australian Outback that cause quite a stir. So given that a mere discussion over killing a mother Goat this year has received similar treatment from the fan base is ludicrous.

Especially when nothing got killed!

I’m actually playing Devils Advocate here because to be honest seeing the new Nuku Tribe discuss the need to kill a Mother Goat and her kid was disturbing to say the least. That being said I can understand why the Producers included the scene in the broadcast as it gave a fascinating insight into the varying strategies that these players employ.

Of course everyone is familiar with Sandra Diaz TwinesAnybody but Me” tactic but it appears that the reigning ‘Queen of Survivor’ is playing Game Changers with agency that – until now – has been beyond her capability. In both her previous games I don’t think Sandra would ever deny that she lucked out in being taken to both her eventual wins. It has to be acknowledged however that both times resulted in a win because she positioned herself to go to the end with the biggest Goats of those seasons but this year she is forced to play a different game given her Queen status as the only two-time winner.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into the edit (but hey, it’s what I do) but seeing Sandra fighting her relatively passive Tribe on killing the Goats has me worried that she is not long for this game when we hit the Merge, which traditionally is a time where ‘weaker’ Immunity threats are able to slip under the radar. As the Mastermind of Tony’s boot last week and force of contempt within the seemingly harmonic Nuku Tribe, her edit while not over-the-top negative, she could find herself (ironically) as the Goat of the season. Lets just say that I see Sandra’s chances of making it to the end decreasing with every passing week.

Well … this is Game Changers after all.

Speaking of which, did the Troyzan character just become interesting? I guess so considering that even though this was the third time we’ve seen a Survivor grab a Hidden Immunity Idol during a Challenge, this was undoubtably the most stressful.

As a lonely defender of One World I can admit that the seasons is average at best. But when viewed alongside equally average seasons such as San Juan Del Sur, Worlds Apart and Guatemala (a criminally underrated season) there’s a growing trend with sub-par offerings that where the game lacks it more than makes up with compelling characters. Whereas I would never call Troyzan a Fan Favourite or even a Game Changer, his time during One World may divide the audience but it was indeed compelling.

As mentioned this was only the third time in Survivor History where a player had the opportunity to grab a Hidden Immunity Idol during a Challenge. A twist in the game that was introduced during Survivor Cambodia and was certain to return after both Kelley Wentworth and that years eventual winner Jeremy Collins both seized the chance for extra security in the game. So to call Troyzan’s turn stressful may seem hyperbolic but watching him grab the Idol right in front of his Tribe was nail-biting stuff. That and I was convinced that if anyone was going to get caught it would be Troyzan.

Because you know, its Troyzan. #ThisIsMyIsland

On to this weeks boot which was telegraphed the moment the two Tribes swapped into three and the relationship between Tai and Caleb became of particular interest. So much so that Jeff Probst felt the need to comment on it during ‘mat-talk-time’. A death knell if ever I heard one.

I feel bad for Caleb. For a character that I found to be inoffensive both times he played the game, its criminal that he was the least interesting aspect of his boot-episode given that this is perhaps the last time we will ever seen Beast Mode Cowboy again … right? Never-say-never but when your first outing is easily the most interesting because you nearly died, its hard to top that besides winning the whole game.

That being said this episode belongs to Brad Culpepper. A player with whom myself and many others have been giving a hard time for even being cast on this season, but if Sandra was given a negative edit this episode then Brads was positively glowing. From humanizing admissions about his love for interior decorating and antiquing to displays of gaming-chops when he calmly convinces Tai to vote out his best alley in the game. If this was the beginning of a winners edit for Brad then I couldn’t imagine it starting better than this.

Just remember Brad #WWMD


For all your #SurvivorGameChangers coverage, pull that pin and stick with @mitchrated.

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