We Review The ‘Survivor: Game Changers’ SN34 EP05 – ‘Dirty Deed’

After last week’s Tribal Council Shenanigans resulted in the Blindside of one Malcolm Freberg (still Salty). We stayed with New Nuku in the opening to this episode as Survivor Tocantins Winner and holder of the ‘Worst Move in Survivor History’ (which I don’t think he’ll be giving up anytime soon) JT Thomas tried convincing his far-than-impressed Tribe that he didn’t screw them over at Tribal prior. Not only did this set up the episode for JT to find an idol and give his remaining fans hope of a comeback but it also gave Sandra Diaz-Twine a chance to show us why the ‘Queen Stays Queen’ around here.

For all intents and purposes, this was a New Nuku episode. Sure we got shots of Ozzy Lusth telling us that he ‘Loves to fish’ (good stuff) and Debbie Wanner going cray-cray over on New Mana. But my player of the season so far demonstrated that if you leave Sandra in the game long enough, you might find it hard to get her out further down the road.

[Image Credit: CBS]

With tension between JT and Millennials Vs Gen-X stand-out Michaela Bradshaw bubbling under the surface. Our only two-time winner decided to hurry things along by eating the rest of the Tribe reserves of sugar knowing that JT would blame his surprise new nemesis this season. An undeniable page out of Survivor Villain Russell Hantz’ playbook (I’ll leave you to ponder that ‘Darkest Timeline’ where Sandra is taking advice from Russell *shudders*), that while it did work into lulling JT into a false sense of security. It does also give an intriguing insight into Sandra’s gameplay this season.

As a player, Sandra has always found herself drawn to similar players with snarky personalities, not unlike herself. In her debut season, she formed a strong alliance with Christa Hastie while her second time around saw her pair-up with arguably the greatest soundbite machine the game has ever seen, Courtney Yates. Interestingly not only were these two players obviously women, but they were also the submissive side in the marriage of convenience that Sandra formed. We saw in Pearl Islands that Sandra was happy to let the Tribe believe that it was Christa that threw-out the fish after Rupert’s blindside that season, which resulted in the former’s speedy exit from the show. While Courtney during Heroes Vs Villains was considered the more threatening out of her and Sandra, given her links to players over on the Heroes Tribe.

Sure Sandra was down in the numbers during Heroes Vs. Villains but the ‘Bad Guys’ Tribe would soon rue the day they underestimated The Queen’s social game.

[Image Credit: CBS]

Not unlike the ‘Meat Shield’ strategy perfected by Jeremy Collins in his winning season, Sandra has a knack of placing people in front of her to take the fall when things go wrong.

In the episodes prior it has been noted by Sandra that Michaela’s fiery temper is a problem. But rather than simply vote her out, Sandra brings her into the fold alongside Jeff Varner knowing that Michaela’s surly attitude will get her booted out long before Sandra becomes a target after that Merge. And it’s a method that seemingly is working so far providing Michaela doesn’t see what Sandra is doing and Varner keeps that itchy trigger finger at bay. After all the trio fooled both JT and Aubrey Bracco (who has been way too purple this season) into thinking that Michaela was going home, so-much-so that JT didn’t even bring his Hidden Immunity Idol to Tribal Council!

Guess that ‘Worst Move’ Trophy isn’t going anywhere just yet.

“Bye Felicia” [Image Credit: CBS]

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