Survivor: Game Changers Bonus Content Roundup – Week 8

Taako From Teevhii shares the best bonus scenes from the previous episode of Survivor: Game Changers.

This Week In Secret Scenes

“We’ve Been Through A Lot”

International Linque

Zeke and Andrea are the Sam and Diane of this season, or the Ross and Rachel if you prefer. But like, strategic, not romantic or sexual. In this week’s episode, we saw Andrea call Zeke out in front of the entire tribe. The morning after, she seems to try to make up with him, but in the moment, it comes across as very angry and salty. Zeke doesn’t seem be helping mend this fence (though if someone came at me with that passive-aggressive, shading on aggressive-aggressive approach, I’d probably have the same demeanor). But the next day, Zeke is talking to Cirie about working with Andrea, and Andrea tells Sarah that all she wants is to be able to work with her and Zeke. It’s mixed signals all around. As the course for the rest of the season may or may not be determined by Zeke and Andrea’s ability to work together, that’s not a comforting thought. Just give me a Survivor: Brooklyn reference and I’ll be fine.

This Week In Confessionals

“I Couldn’t Give Up”

International Linque

Watch this clip; watch all of it. Honestly, I thought the Cirie sequence at the challenge was overdone after I first watched it. I know others felt the same way, and some were worried that Probst was making her finish the course like a bullying gym teacher. I don’t know if I got that impression, but I know that feeling. To the gym teacher who wouldn’t let me bunt because “this is a boy’s gym class,” I say, “Coach Powers, your gender paradigm is fucked up, and bunting is actually a very good strategy when the defense is out of position.” Anyway, it doesn’t sound like the perception that Probst was forcing Cirie to finish is correct (then again, maybe not. Sorry non-Americans, no International Linque available). Nevertheless, the edit didn’t do a great job of driving home its point. This clip does that, and I think the editors messed up here by not including more from this confessional.

“I Wanna Always Be On This Island Starving”

International Linque

Everyone’s hungry, and food is fuel, yeah, yeah, skip to about the two-minute mark. What Culpepper says is not a groundbreaking revelation, and if a player is willing to trade their spot in the game for a burger, I don’t want to watch them play Survivor. But the way that Culpepper expresses that thought in this confessional; it’s not inspiring or endearing or particularly likable, but I feel like I understand when players say they’re drawn to Brad. Am I crazy in thinking that? If he won by being a strong social presence and a decent strategic player, I guess I wouldn’t be mad. Then again…

“Monica Would Be Very Happy”

International Linque

First, “I guess I didn’t get a hand in Sandra;” phrasing! Outside of that, we get Classic Culpepper as he counts on his fingers and mixes up five and six. But he also brags about things he probably shouldn’t be bragging about. He didn’t have a hand in voting out J.T., and even from his vantage point, not knowing about The Sugarbowl (two players enter; one player leaves), how can he possibly think he can take credit for booting J.T.? And talking to your five other alliance members every day? Don’t strain yourself too hard, Bradley.

Should I mention that the good Survivor players talk to everyone and make sure everyone is at ease?

“You Better Kiss Our Butts”

International Linque

Talk about making sure everyone is at ease. Debbie sure seems like a delight, doesn’t she? She comes across as genuinely incapable of taking on another person’s perspective. The unbridled arrogance she displays is something else, and it’s no wonder Aubry has the reaction she does when Debbie carries this same tone into their conversation. I only wish this had been included in the episode so that we could’ve watched Debra’s comeuppance (even though that would’ve spoiled the ending).

“What Is An Investigation?”

International Linque

My god, this metaphor is forced, and as a result, this confessional is either entirely laughable or mildly disturbing. This is the horse y’all wanna back for a Winner Pick? (Insert “John joking that Troy is the only horse on that island” here) If the last vote hadn’t occurred, I would’ve been entirely convinced that Sarah could’ve only gotten to Final Tribal by everyone else not bothering to vote her out. My read of her does not scream “Genius Strategist.”

“Debbie Is A Mastermind”

International Linque

For all you young Survivor fans out there trying to figure out why Debbie was the target instead of Sierra or Brad, you might find your answer here. Yes, Debbie was an agitator, and yes, Sarah may have been hoping to work with Sierra or Brad again. But as we say around these parts, it can be two three things.

Do I think Debbie was the mastermind up to that point? Maybe for the Ozzy vote, but I doubt for anything else. Do I think she’s a Keyser Söze-level manipulator and Grade-A bullshit salesman? Eh. She’s maybe more delusional than deceptive. However, it would be dumb for a viewer like me to say that my perceptions are more accurate than those of a person who was actually in Fiji playing the game. At the very least, as Cirie said last week, perception is reality, and if even a few people share Aubry’s perception of Debbie, her sendoff makes a lot more sense.

This Week In Ponderosa

“She’s A Little Off Her Rocker But In A Great Way”

International Linque

As Debbie heads off to Ponderosa, she says, “I get along well with everybody, so it’s gonna work out well for me.” Show me the receipts. She says later that “In Pennsylvania, all the state police have this model [of helicopter].” Show me. The. Receipts. After Dr. Joe treats her foot and tells her she’s gotten an infection like she did in Kaoh Rong, Debbie happily claims that she’d get a third infection for the sheer excitement of it all. There’s really nothing more to say about Debbie that hasn’t already been said, and this Ponderosa doesn’t give us a new perspective on our favorite water felon. If there’s something to be excited about, Debbie’s comments at the end make it sound like she won’t be returning for a third season. I at least hope production has the sense not to ask her a third time.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that Debbie is dead set on not giving the flipper her vote at Final tribal but also does not seem to know who in her alliance flipped. As a result, she has determined not to vote for anyone in her alliance as she simply will not tolerate the idea of rewarding the person who betrayed her. Like I said, same old Deb. I am curious though if she’ll figure out that Sarah flipped, whether at future tribals or just by remembering that she had major trust issues with her a few days before.

It’s also worth sharing the Olympian Training Regimen with y’all.
25 pull ups
100 sit ups
50 push ups
50 squats with little weights
Some yoga
Jogging

Receipts. Please.

This Week In Gifable Moments

When someone insists that Survivor is scripted

When someone still wants to argue that Sandra is overrated

When Jeff says Cirie on the balance beam was the most powerful moment this season

Taako From Teevhii

Taako From Teevhii

Taako first learned of Survivor when his buddy Merle said he’d vote their friend Ango off the island. After a google search and one episode, he became a fan and never looked back.

Favorite Seasons: China, Heroes vs Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Cambodia

Favorite Players: Kelley Wentworth, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Kim Spradlin, Denise Stapley, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, Yul Kwon
Taako From Teevhii
  • Blurry Denzel

    Aubry gifs give me life in a dark world.

    Aubry Talk: Aubry getting Debbie (The worst) out again makes me happy. Aubry being barely in an episode where she was shown to be a focal point in the boot does not. Aubry is not winning Survivor, I realize that. Even if she doesn’t figure prominently in the endgame, not having her give her thoughts on the show, even when it isn’t about her, is a missed opportunity by Survivor. She is too good to not be narrating what’s going on or what she perceives to be going on. The double fingers, coleslaw and her throwing Debbie under the bus will very likely be the highlight of her season. I guess I can hope she gets more shine a third time around.

    I saw Aubry again the Saturday I went to the meetup. No picture this time because I feel weird asking for one a third time around. Unsurprisingly, she was again very charming during our brief interaction.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I had been holding out hope for a late-season takeover a la Natalie Anderson. But if they can’t bother to show more of her driving this vote…. not happening. With five idols/advantages in the game (unless I’ve lost count) and five votes left to play them, I think Aubry gets decoy voted or rocked out.

      • pufflehuff

        While I’m skeptical about the idea of a rock edit after Malcolm’s story this season, it does seem sadly inevitable that either Aubry or Andrea is getting idoled, advantaged, or rocked out. I think I remember Andrea having big reaction to the no revote twist in the premiere, so that could possibly foreshadow her fate.

        And yeah Aubry’s dismal edit this season really makes me wish they didn’t cast 20 players. I know they have extra people in case of injuries etc but I’d still rather watch the Micronesia favorites than have a bunch of fodder – sure, having 16 people may mean there are some non-elimination episodes, but if that means we get more time with Aubry and the cast has decent characters, I think that’s preferable to the invisible edits that are more or less inevitable with a 20 person cast.

        • Max_Jets

          I think they got worried after Kaoh Rong had 3 medevacs. I think this is the wrong call though, because I would much rather get the full investment in the cast/story/dynamics (which also makes the strategy clearer) like in Kaoh Rong/Cagayan even if we end up losing some momentum to quits/medevacs.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I agree, and it also seems like they are combatting the Kaoh Rong disasater by looking after contestants’ health and well being very well this season – the seemingly unlimited fresh water, the fact that none of the eliminated players so far have lost much weight, bringing the boat in after the challenge last episode, etc.
            I’ve never thought it was that entertaining to watch the contestants waste away from hunger or dehydration, so I’m not complaining that the physical survival aspect is a little gentler this season. I would much rather get to know 16-18 castaways and watch them get -voted- out one by one.

          • PurpleTally

            They learned a lesson all the way back in Africa that misery =/= entertainment. Those people were surviving surviving, and it was hard to watch. The next few seasons didn’t focus as heavily on the “look how miserable everyone is.”
            You can definitely see KR being a bit of a wake up call like that. But there’s also the fact that they tend to be nicer to returning players. Just look at the differences between the fans and favorites beaches in Micronesia.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I totally agree. Season 3 is about the worst it’s ever gotten and it definitely taints that season for me. I know that part of the show is surviving the elements, but there’s a delicate balance to achieving entertainment while not putting the contestants in real physical danger. I think the show has gradually gotten better about that balance, though there are always flukes or back sliding here or there – I think about the monsoon seasons (Philippines, Samoa, etc.) and how miserable everyone seems, but at least in those they aren’t often at risk of permanent harm. I do appreciate seeing production look out for the contestants, though I’m not sure how that opinion differs between super fans and casuals? Some things I could handle never seeing on the show again are: heat stroke/severe dehydration, infections, starvation to the point of hair falling out or needing IV nutrition.

          • PurpleTally

            Totally agree. There’s also the issue of the show wanting to show that this is all “real.” And it is–as real as a game show with people surrounded by cameras 24/7 gets. But I feel like Sk*pin falling in the fire all the way back in season 2 proved that pretty well, so there’s really no need to focus on how hard it is and show people utterly miserable all the time. Or you, know, surround them by wild animals and give them no fresh water and make them survive on gruel.

          • pufflehuff

            Yeah, I didn’t watch all of Kaoh Rong but it did feel like people had more rounded-stories and while obviously medi-vac episodes suck for lots of reasons, it also sucks to have filler characters who don’t have any screen time!

          • purplerockandy

            I’d argue that the winner of that season was a filler character who didn’t have much screen time.

        • Mike Hirsch

          I prefer when they go fewer than 20. It’s easier to get invested.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          “While I’m skeptical about the idea of a rock edit after Malcolm’s story this season…”

          What do you mean by that?

          “I think I remember Andrea having big reaction to the no revote twist in the premiere, so that could possibly foreshadow her fate.”

          Not to mention that she was conspicuously shown not finding the legacy advantage.

          I agree about a 20 person cast rendering some people invisible, but that’s really more of a pre-merge problem for the likes of Lucy and CeCe. With 11 left there’s really no reason for anybody to be invisible anymore, even if they were underserved earlier in the season.

          By “non-elimination episode”, do you mean ending an episode on a medevac or quit, or an actual non-elimination episode, as in The Amazing Race? They tried that on Australian Survivor, and I really hated it. It felt like an even worse violation of Survivor’s basic premise than Redemption Island (I don’t even like it on Amazing Race, TBH).

          • pufflehuff

            I guess the way Malcolm was treated made me question the idea of a twist/idol edit a little bit, as he certainly wasn’t hidden and the show didn’t have a problem with a character that the audience spent a lot of time with being sorta screwed over by a twist. Similarly, Ciera in Cambodia was idoled out but she wasn’t really hidden from the edit. I feel that maybe a person’s personality or game has more to do with their edit then the way they leave the game – it’s sort of hard to prove either way.

            I think having too large of a cast does impact the post-merge section of the game because it means that some people don’t have time to have stories/be fleshed out much in the pre-merge, so it becomes sort of obvious that Andrea will probably leave in the next couple of episodes because she’s started to talk more now. This season I think the show actually did a pretty good job with the pre-merge boots in terms of giving them time (partly because most of them were favs.)

            I didn’t mean intentionally having non-elimination episodes, just that I’d rather watch a 16 person season with well-developed characters. One of the reasons I really like China is that most people get some edit-time and Cagayan was pretty good with this too – in a lot of the 20 people seasons, I get a bit frustrated that a few people are really ignored (not just about starting numbers, but I think it’s an important factor.)

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I am also rooting for a 3rd time for Aubry. Hopefully she’ll have enough effect on the remainder of the game (or the producers just like her enough) that they are willing to bring her back in a few years for another go.
      The edit has felt really unbalanced this season, and I can’t imagine that we’re completely out in left field on this site for wanting more Aubry and less Debbie/FFSDT/etc. With the benefit of some hindsight, I’m trying to look back over the prior portion of the season to think about what could have been changed to improve it. I would of course remove Varner for obvious legacy ruining reasons. I also might lift out Sandra. Not because I disliked her at all (because she was amazing and absolutely proved her queendom) but because she ate up so much screentime and was sadly gone too soon. If I had a magic wand I would use it to save Sandra’s epic 3rd time for the mythical all winners season.
      With those two gone, that would hopefully open up the field for more Cirie, Aubry and Andrea content throughout the pre-merge. I would also reduce the Debbie content about 10 fold – I have no idea why she got so much screentime only to be out in the 3rd jury spot.

      Anyway, it’s probably pointless to spend too much time on Survivor casting/edit related regrets, but this season had so much potential and ultimately it feels like a bit of a mess, with our worst pre-season fears of the finalists being among Brad/Troy/FFSDT/Sarah D:

  • Maritimer

    I forgot to say this last week, but I like this new feature. It saves me the effort of having to watch all the bonus content. Now I can just read Taako’s excellent summaries and then decide if any of it is worth watching after that. And I fully support anything that involves less time and effort for me.

    Also, I wish a cameraman had gotten/shared a full view of Andrea’s delighted face when Aubry was saying “Go fuck yourself”

    • Mike Hirsch

      I second this!

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Thanks for including the Cirie clip – I agree that it shows that finishing the challenge was powerful to her and not just Jeff salivating over a “very special episode” moment. I definitely wish they had put more of this confessional in the episode. Cirie’s family must really be on her mind this time around. She has mentioned her sons a lot, always in very emotional ways. I hope we get to see at least one of them at the family visit (they’ve got to be high school or college age at this point, right?).
    Also, Cirie’s comments about Sarah are very winnery (wonder what it means that they weren’t included in the actual episode?) Shades of Dawn and Brenda, though – hopefully it won’t lead to a “take your teeth out” moment 😮

    • Taako From Teevhii

      I hope Cirie makes it to the loved ones challenge too.

  • pufflehuff

    Thanks for this – I mostly don’t watch the Secret Scenes, so it’s interesting/amusing. I’m impressed with how on-brand Brad is with the Monica mentions – is she the most mentioned former Survivor in a season where she’s not competing? I can only think of a few:

    Other Nominees for Best Supporting Survivor in a Season They’re Not Actually On:
    JT, Untarnished Golden Boy 1.0 (Cambodia)
    Val, Inspiration + Motivation (Cambodia)
    Ciera’s Mom, Voted Out by Ciera (Cambodia)
    Amber, Inspiration + Teddy-Owner (Redemption Island)
    Boston Rob, Rulebook Author (Caramoan)

    Honorable Mentions:
    Ciera’s Mom, Voted out in a Game Changing Move (You’re Watching this Season, still, somehow)
    Boston Rob, Author, (That Season where he Took Up Half the Reunion Show)

    • Kingoftonga

      Russell Hantz (South Pacific) – Brandon spends half the season hiding his “Hantz” tattoo and worrying what people will do when they find out he’s Russell’s nephew (spoiler alert: nobody gave a shit)

      • Super duper fan

        Um, Coach did.

  • DrVanNostrand

    I refuse to watch any more clips of Debbie, but based on the gesture she was making, I assume she began the first clip by describing Troy’s dong.

    • So you’re assuming its majesty lies in its girth rather than its length?

      • DrVanNostrand

        It can be two things.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    I had totally forgotten that this was going to be a new feature, so this made my day! I usually only watch the Ponderosa videos and these secret scenes really bring a lot more to the experience.

    By the way, are there any other folks on here that don’t watch any other TV shows (other than netflix at least)?

    • Purple Rock Emma

      All I do is watch other TV shows.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        Do you obsess about any of them as much as you do about this one?

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Arguably more so, just in public instead of with a hidden secret identity.

    • I am currently watching primarily this one to the point that I am watching multiple seasons at a time. I occasionally watch SNL

    • PurpleTally

      The only other things I regularly watch are Last Week Tonight and The Big Bang Theory. (I know, I know! But at least it’s not Kevin Can Wait.)

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I watch a ton of shows, but I’m very disciplined about it. No channel surfing and no more than two hours/day (but unlimited baseball, basketball and American Ninja Warrior as long as I’m mostly reading, answering email, or otherwise multitasking). A whole bunch of my shows are in their new seasons so it’s a bit of a time crunch at the moment. When enough of my shows are on hiatus I’ll watch an old season of Survivor. The leash I give new shows is very short, maybe three episodes (Handmaid’s Tale yes, Legion no, American Gods we’ll see…). The Simpsons has a lifetime pass, but otherwise I’m not afraid to abandon a show (Homeland, Mr. Robot, Man in the High Castle, Last Man on Earth).

      In season: Survivor, Amazing Race, SNL, The Americans, Fargo, The Leftovers, Better Call Saul, Archer, Handmaid’s Tale, Simpsons

      On hiatus: Orphan Black, Master of None, Black Mirror, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Rick and Morty, Louie, Broad City, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Stranger Things, BoJack Horseman, Orange is the New Black,

      I will somehow find a way: GLOW (I’m not made of stone…)

      Will get to as soon as more shows are on hiatus: The Expanse, Rectify, Halt and Catch Fire, The Genius seasons 3-4, Parks and Rec seasons 4-8

    • Super duper fan

      From current seasons I watch only Survivor and The Amazing Race. From the older seasons I watch Big Brother Canada to catch up to the current season (I’m on 3rd season now), and I’m doinng a hiatus for now in watching for the first time older seasons of TAR, BB US, and The Genius.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Survivor is the only show that I actually watch live as it airs (meaning, I actually turn off my roku and switch to a digital tuner to watch live network TV). I do watch a few other shows via apps, but the only ones that I actually follow as they air (with a few days delay) are competition reality shows. The ones I still actively seek out are Amazing Race, Top Chef, Master Chef Jr. and Rupaul’s Drag Race.

  • PurpleTally

    I am all in on #TeamCulpepper. I think the fact that he’s couching all of his moves in “What Would Monica Do?” and giving her the credit would soften the blow a lot if he won what was “her thing.” I really hope he makes it to loved ones and we get to see them strategize together.