Survivor: Game Changers Bonus Content Roundup – Week 9

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

This Week In Secret Scenes

“It’s A Very Scary Spot”

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Officer Sarah wanted to not tell anyone about her advantage, keep Zeke in the game, and ride her new alliance to Final 6. We knew these to be her goals, and this Secret Scene reinforces those notions. Well, whoops, nope, ain’t gonna happen.

A very instinctual read of this scene would be that Sarah isn’t in control, as evidenced by the self-sabotage of her primary objectives in the episode. But Sarah is actively making these choices, and it looks more and more like neither alliance can move forward without bringing Sarah in as one of their numbers. It’s a scary spot but an enviable spot. Tonally, this scene sets up Sarah as an overcomer of obstacles. Textually, it centers on what it takes to be a Game Changer™. And if that wasn’t enough, we have Sarah emphatically stating at the end that she is a game changer. Altogether, this is a strong showing for Sarah, and it provides a positive outlook for her future prospects.

Also, Sarah knows that people would doubt she’d be a Game Changer.

This Week In Confessionals

“We Each Wanna Be The First To Take The Other Out”

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In order, Zeke wanted to boot Sierra, Andrea, and Tai. His reason for booting Sierra was to so that he could pick up Brad as an ally, which we saw plenty of evidence for in the episode. His reason for booting Andrea is their bad blood and his awareness that Andrea will be targeting him. His reason for booting Tai is Tai’s sneakiness and ability to find advantages.

Zeke’s plan is summarized as follows:

Now it comes down to a question of timing. I think the logical vote is Sierra first, though I could see voting Tai first. I’m actually fine either way. I think it makes more sense to take Sierra out just so I can get, ya know, Brad. And then I think with Andrea, you have to strike first. I don’t think Andrea will see it coming. But if she does see it coming, I don’t think it will matter because by 9, I will have the numbers. I will have five, and that’s all you need.

This clip looks like it takes place before the immunity challenge, though if it takes place after, it makes sense that Zeke knows he can’t target Andrea this tribal. But it’s fascinating that Zeke did not consider that Andrea would target him at this vote, especially considering that he says the two of them are in a race to eliminate the other. And with that same thought in mind, why wouldn’t Andrea see Zeke coming for her? This reads very much like Zeke thinking three steps ahead and missing the obvious move that Andrea would take this very turn.

“I’m The Only One Who Can Find The Cotton-Candy Coconuts”

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With Ozzy gone, Culpepper is the only one fishing/crabbing/snailing/coconutting. And he’s barely fishing. It’s been mentioned before that the tribe is out of rice and relying only on coconuts. This week in particular, a lot of players mention the effect of their starvation and how much they wanted to win the Reward Challenge. Brad won and described it as one of the best days of his life (assumedly among his wedding and the birth of his three children).

The food situation has Culpepper in a decent spot. Ozzy was a provider but also a challenge threat, and thus he was voted out shortly after the merge. Culpepper is the last provider the tribe has, does not seem to be a challenge threat, and states that as a multimillionaire, he’s not likely to get votes at Final Tribal. The Alliance of 6 may want to vote out some of the players in the minority, but it does not seem like they would be quick to vote out Culpepper. Especially Zeke, who is named a team captain at the Reward Challenge and immediately picks Culpepper.

“I’ve Been Waiting This Entire Game To Play”

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There was a lot of strategy that we seemed to miss this episode. We missed the New Black Widow Brigade (please last longer than this episode) plant the seeds of voting out Tai among Sierra, Culpepper, and Troy. We were shown Michaela and Sarah (but mostly Sarah) debating whether they should vote out Zeke or vote out Sierra. Yet we apparently missed that even Aubry was torn on voting out Zeke.

However, it seems that Aubry is inclined to vote Zeke as she wants to make a big move. Aubry says that Zeke always seems like he has something in the works and that he needs to go before he can build up his forces to make that big move. That’s a process that involves Zeke recruiting Culpepper, and as Aubry notes, there’s a reason Zeke chose Culpepper for the reward. A lot of people noticed Zeke picking Culpepper and how quickly he did it, which raises more red flags around Zeke. This, combined with Culpepper’s role as a provider, may shed some more light on why Zeke was targeted instead of Brad at this vote.

“There Goes That Plan”

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Up top, Cirie says that it’s scary when Andrea wins immunity. When Andrea wins immunity, the four in the minority can’t target her at tribal, and an idol is more likely to take out Cirie or Michaela or someone else. It’s certainly interesting that Cirie might see Andrea as less of an ally and more of a shield. This might be further reason to vote out Zeke at this Tribal. Cirie sees Zeke as untrustworthy, but moreover, voting for Culpepper (or any of the minority) would allow him and his allies to dictate the vote with a single idol. By process of elimination, Zeke is the only one Cirie can go after. If Andrea wasn’t immune, there’s a chance Cirie would have targeted Culpepper instead.

“We Could Have A Fun Little Blindside On Our Hands”

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Andrea seems emboldened by being safe, and this may be the factor that pushes her to target Zeke at this tribal. If Zeke catches wind of her plans, then at the very least, Andrea won’t be vulnerable to a counterattack with Immunity around her neck. Both Andrea and Cirie have their reasons for floating Zeke as a target, and Aubry, Sarah, and Michaela have their reasons to follow along.

Some interesting things said in passing by Andrea are that she and Cirie seem to always be on the same page and that Officer Sarah is always the last to get on board with any plan. Both could have consequences on if/how Andrea moves forward with either Cirie or Sarah in the future.

This Week In Bonus Bonus Content

I’m not going to embed these clips because there’s not a lot here, but it tickles me that this happened. Debbie was so confident that she was safe that she left her stuff at camp. Michaela recounts how gobsmacked Debbie was (YouTube and International), and while it’s been almost two weeks, it’s still satisfying to hear about the blindside of Debbie. And Michaela feels good about her spot in the game and other stuff.

And since she left her stuff at camp, Sierra took Debbie’s blue leopard swimsuit (YouTube and International). That was a choice. Sierra also talks about moving forward in the game, yada yada, whatever; more importantly, it took 28 days to get her first chipped nail. I cannot understand how.

This Week In Ponderosa

“The Super-Adventure Of A Lifetime”

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Straight up, I don’t know if this Ponderosa is worth watching unless you’re a huge fan of Zeke or unless you like watching Debbie try to liquor people up with Jack-spiked maple syrup. But I am compelled to include it here because, like, it’s Ponderosa.

This Week In Gifable Moments

When the reward challenge is marketing part of a balanced breakfast

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
  • Alkanarra

    Normally I’m a little hesitant about voting your own because you’re worried about the other side’s idol, but I totally get where Cirie is coming from. Your shield isn’t any good if it keeps winning immunity. She better get that bus ready for Aubry if Andrea ends up safe again.

  • Mike Hirsch

    I liked that even Aubry seemed to forget Troy was on this season for a moment.

  • BadPlayer91

    Zeke talking about getting Tai out: “It’s a matter of Tai-ming”

    ISEEWHATYOUDIDTHERE!!!!

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Great post this week! These clips (and Taako’s analysis) actually really added to my understanding of various strategies for this episode. I’m pretty sure that the edit is heading in this direction anyway, but seeing all of the factors that make it both attractive and non-threatening to keep Brad around really make me think he’s got a good shot at making the final 3. Depending on who he’s up against though, his odds of winning are pretty variable. There are certain people (Troy/Sierra/Tai) that he has a good shot of beating, while others (Cirie/Andrea/Sarah??) that I think will give him a run for his money.
    Based primarily on edit, I’m still calling the final 3 as Brad, Sierra and Sarah, but given all the idols and the pre-merge visibility, I wouldn’t totally rule out Troy or Tai either.

    • BadPlayer91

      Seconded. For an episode that seemed very cut and dry, it’s nice to see there was a bit more going on. Also, a bit confusing to know that production chose not to included some of these other going-ons which would definitely further supported the ‘reinventing the game’ narrative they were selling…

    • Diego Armando

      I think the Finale is Brad, Sierra, Tai. I think Sarah is either the last or second to last vote out. I think Troy and let’s say Aubry will also be there.

      • Super duper fan

        I feel like Michaela will probably be there. And while she may not win, I think that Cirie will also be there. I feel 80% sure that Brad, Sarah, Cirie and Michaela will alll be there, the question is who will take the last two spots. I’m guessing that these spots will take Tai and Troy.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Re: Sierra wearing Debbie’s blue leopard bathing suit
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38bc50c99379090e3e810ee11f5482d53eed6601b2799f139aca4d95e7a57229.gif

    Also OMG I hope she washed it well

  • purplerockandy

    I think the reason Zeke’s Ponderosa was dull was that they sent his dad (who had come to Fiji for the loved one’s visit) to spend a day with him at Ponderosa. Zeke mentioned this in his exit interview, but I’m guessing the series didn’t want to show it. So they had to cut around a lot of stuff, leaving them not much to work with.

    • I am just waiting for old Survivors to be like “our loved ones didn’t come to Ponderosa to see us after we were voted out”.

      • purplerockandy

        They’re all too vain to read his exit interview.

      • Hornacek

        I love Reynolds’ story on his recent RHAP appearance where he described how his father was on the island with the other loved ones and was told “Your son has been voted out” and his response was “Do I get to keep drinking?” (or something along those lines)

        The apple doesn’t fall far yadda yadda yadda.

        • Maritimer

          That’s how I would respond too – “I don’t care what happened so long as you keep giving me free booze”

  • BadPlayer91

    About the Michaela confessional which was WRONGFULLY not included (Michaela Bae): a lot of what she says sounds very Cirie-like and very Sandra-like. Michaela talks about keeping her head down, not bringing up names or being too loud, but rather letting other people throw out names or come up with plans and just encouraging and massaging other people’s plans the way she wants things to go. This immediately struck me as Cirie and Sandra rubbing off on Michaela. It seems like since the Michaela-Cirie beach conversation Micheala has at least been picking up on many of things that makes Cirie such as amazing, adaptive player. And early on, she had a similar vantage point with Sandra to learn a few things from the Queen.

    At this point, I think Michaela definitely seems to be talking the talk. Her confessionals are golden, combining sass, sharp wit, and smart strategy on par with some of our favorite players. But i’m not sure she walks the walk, and she seems to struggle with implementing.

    However, at the foundation Michaela isn’t a huge focus of the edit. She could be learning and improving her game, or she could be saying all the right things, and doing all the wrong. But at the end of the day, production isn’t weaving a narrative around her. Thus we don’t have the pieces to tell if these confessionals are just smoke and mirrors, or if playing with Cirie and Sandra is really helping to make Michaela an even better player. If Michaela can pull together Cirie/Sandra strategy with her challenge strength, a third outing Michaela could be pretty fantastic.

    Sorry for my extensive Michaela talk, but she is Bae.

    • Blurry Denzel

      I’m with you, Michaela could be a potentially great player to match the amazing character she is.

      • Alkanarra

        I’d think FvF myself. She’s good at staying loyal through a pagonging, which is what all those seasons are about, and if she gets swapped pre-merge to a fans majority she’ll be (a) too valuable in challenges and (b) not seen as a strategic threat, which should help make another favorite a target. Her worse case would be a fans post-merge majority where they want to knock off the challenge threat, but I think her not winning any individual immunities (ever) might help keep her profile lower.

        All this changes if she wins, of course, but right now a FvF return — whether it’s real favorites like Micro or fake ones like Cara — seems a good fit for her.

        Obligatory “bring back Jenn Brown” while I’m at it.

        • BadPlayer91

          I agree/echoed your thoughts in my too long post. In MvGX she was seen as a big threat, in GC she has thus far been ignored as ‘annoying’ and ‘unknown.’ She needs a middle ground where people understand and value her, without over-valuing her. I think she has all the skills to make that happen too.

          • Alkanarra

            Yeah, I agree with you too pretty much. 1-returnee season would be terrible for her. Usually your tribe expects you to be the leader, which is a role she just can’t (and due to her heavy emotional investment, shouldn’t) play.

          • BadPlayer91

            I feel like a Tocantins style Fishbach-J.T. game would benefit her, with Michaela playing the role of Golden Girl and Aubry playing the role of mastermind…except that Aubry doesn’t like Michaela and I don’t want to see Aubry lose in another FTC…

          • Blurry Denzel

            An Aubry/Michaela partnership would be too perfect to actually happen outside my dreams.

          • I can’t believe you all are overlooking the obvious answer here. Michaela/Cydney partnership. Cydney ran that alliance every bit as much as Aubry did.

          • Blurry Denzel

            That would also be amazing. Basically what I learned here is pretty much any scenario with Michaela sounds good. That’s how solid the casting of Michaela is.

            Cydney is also great and may actually be overlooked with the mass influx of good casting that has occurred lately. When she returns, she will be awesome for the show.

          • BadPlayer91

            I guess i’m still a little disappointed by her Michele vote, but with the exception of that single moment, Cydney is magic.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I was very disappointed by that too. Especially with me loving the Aubry/Cydney duo so much, one of my favorite duos ever. She is definitely magic though.

          • I got some good news for you: Cydney was asked to do Game Changers, but declined. That with Probst saying that they loved Cydney means that she will be in contention.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I’m aware of that and am super confident that she will be back.

          • BadPlayer91

            As a Survivor fan i’ve learned never to expect two strong powerful…….women, to even be on the same season, let alone work together.

            But in all honesty, that would be amazing. I’d be worried that they would have to pull off a secret alliance though, to not get targeted as two powerful black women who could swap challenge wins. It would be amazing though, to see them set up a secret alliance pre-merge and then throw fights and be competitive at the challenges just for show.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Yeah, unfortunately sometimes people see them as too similar and put them in the same archetype and cast one and not feel the need to cast the other, when in reality casting both would make the show better.

          • BadPlayer91

            I 100% agree. Remembering that this cast was probably pulled together over a year ago (maybe almost two by now?) makes me hopeful that maybe the political and social climate of the past few years will help push some more diversity. It seems so wrong to me that a show which has clearly demonstrated and told the narrative that not all minorities are the same, still avoids casting too many non-white ‘archetypes’

      • BadPlayer91

        This is such a good and hard question to answer. Here are probably too many of my thoughts about it:

        -First, obviously the best case would be a *true* all-star season, where she is seen as a lesser player brought back for her fun, lovable personality. I say this because, if we got a truly amazing, all around all-star cast, and Michaela was like, the ‘lesser’ level add-on, surely that would be a great season? Though, that is how some felt about this season, and that didn’t pan out…I also don’t think this would be the best case specifically for Michaela

        -Fans vs. Favorites might be good for Michaela. Being on a tribe of all favorites would help give her bonding opportunities to build a strong alliance. I think what Michaela really needs to shine is an early-on partner in crime. For example, think how great it would have been if Michaela and Aubry had teamed up? Their skills compliment each other so well. If she could find that on a tribe of favorites, it would help her to make it through the pre-merge and early merge.

        -However, Michaela seemed a bit more relaxed in MvGX than she does in GC. That’s probably because when she was relaxed, she got the boot, but also cause she’s weary of the other returnees. It could be that a tribe of favorites would be the same, and what I think Michaela really needs is a more ‘fun’ atmosphere that allows her to be her self and build some relationships.

        -A one returnee per tribe season would probably be the worst. While she may be more relaxed around non-returnees, she would be an immediate target in her tribe, and thus probably wouldn’t be relaxed. She’d have to pull her weight in challenges to make sure they don’t target her for an early boot, and that could put another target on her back.

        -I think her best bet is Fans vs. Favorites, or a true all-star, maybe even something like HvV2. She needs to be known enough that people want to work with her, not perceived as a major threat, and among a diverse cast with people her age/mindset.

        Remember when I said too much? lol

        • Blurry Denzel

          I was thinking a HvV type season as well to best utilize Michaela. I also agree that one returnee per tribe is worst case but her as a better version of Stephenie LaGrossa in Guatemala would be interesting.

          • BadPlayer91

            Maybe another idea would be her in a Blood vs. Water 3 season? Cause then she would get the bonus of a tribe of returnees, but also the comfort of having a built-in partner-in-crime, depending on who she brings.

            In this scenario, i’m assuming Michaela has an equally wonderful best-friend who is like a sister to her. Given their years of friendship, she is a wonderful compliment to Michaela, and knows how to calm her down and be direct with her in a constructive and winning manner.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Holy shit, that’s perfect. I now want that to happen.

          • Isn’t she really close to her mom?

          • BadPlayer91

            I did not base my scenario off of any facts. But that would also be wonderful.

          • Blurry Denzel

            She might be. Having someone that knows Michaela well and can play off her would be brilliant television.

          • BadPlayer91

            Exactly! Now the question becomes, what is the best path to victory for her?

            I’d say, her and her loved one both manage to navigate pre-merge and build some relationships, which they bring together post-merge. Michaela’s loved one is booted just a bit after the merge, fueling Michaela’s desire to win and transferring her loved one’s alliances to her. In a perfect scenario, Michaela and her loved one build relationship with those who have already had their loved ones kicked. As a result, they are able to avoid being targeted early as the remaining loved ones, and when they are, it’s actually to Michaela’s benefit.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I think in general for Michaela to win, you’re right about someone like an Aubry type. Someone who is more of a calming presence. A quieter thinker who can also sell her point of view in a respectful manner that doesn’t come off as blunt or condescending. She needs tribemates that gravitate to her style. Kind of like Sandra had a Courtney and later on Parvati in HvV. People that are shown outwardly as being friends with her. Michaela is smart, strong and charismatic. She can handle the rest. She just needs the support.

          • Just throwing this out there: Michaela sorta had this with Hannah. Sure, it wasn’t a true JT/Stephen bromance, but those two could have really used each other in the post-merge.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Absolutely. Hannah would’ve been an excellent ally for Michaela.

          • BadPlayer91

            I think Hannah was an excellent ally for Michaela, she is the only person who voted with her. But, Hannah didn’t or doesn’t have Aubry’s ability to smoke that kind of thing out. Or, reframed, Jay was very smart to disrupt what could have been an amazing alliance had they gotten some steam.

            I mean, the list of amazing alliances for Michaela is pretty big. I’d say almost any smart/strategic woman. If Sandra had stuck around longer, i think that would have solidified more, which would have been awesome. Also, i’d love to watch Kelly Wentworth and Michaela boss it up.

  • TheForRealDeal

    I love that little face Troy makes at the end of that GIF, like he just achieved enlightenment.

    And ‘nutritional’ is indeed eleven letters.

  • StormofCuteness

    Taako, I’m probably going to tell you how much I appreciate these posts every week because they fill in so much, and I’m too damn lazy to go looking for them.

    Also, I am always in favor of seeing more Cirie and Aubry!