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‘Survivor’: Game Changers Episode 2 Fantasy Recap

After a scintillating first 6 days on the island, our remaining 18 veteran castaways settle in for the grueling battle ahead of them.  As we open the show, the tribes are converging under the watchful eye of Jeff Probst.  It is odd for an episode to start this way, so either Jeff is throwing his weight around by forcing them to gather on an unspecified beach or something is up .  The members of Nuku all exchange the contractually obligated, “oh my God, Tony’s gone!” looks when they get their first look at the newly depleted Mana tribe.

Jeff asks the group what they think is going on, and super fan Zeke says they are going to switch up.  He is correct.  They drop their buffs and draw new ones.  In a pretty interesting spin on things, it turns out there are now 3 tribes instead of 2.  The newly formed tribes are as follows:

Nuku: Sandra, JT, Aubry, Jeff Varner, Michaela, and Malcolm

Mana: Caleb, Hali, Tai, Brad, Sierra, Debbie (this tribe seems absolutely terrible)

Tavua: Troyzan, Cirie, Zeke, Ozzy, Andrea, Sarah

The new tribe (Tavua) will be starting anew at a fresh campsite with a little rice and some basic supplies.

Nuku: Day 7

Back at Nuku, JT (who is the only guy from his former tribe in this group) is sweating because of his lack of allies.  The new members of this tribe (everyone other than JT) now have all the old Nuku equipment—chickens, a shelter, tools; they’ve hit the jackpot.  Malcolm is thrilled with this turn of events.  JT, in a move more reminiscent of the JT who won it all than the drooling idiot who sent Russell Hantz an immunity idol in a letter, plots to drag all of them way out in the ocean snorkeling, leave them there, and get back to camp and look for an idol.

JT drags them all out in a raft like half a mile into the ocean.  The opportunity to ditch them arises when Malcolm bends the spear and JT offers to head back and fetch a new one.  He goes back to camp and looks like crazy for an idol.  On the raft, people start wondering what he is doing because he’s been gone a long time.  Eventually, they all realize what’s up and kind of laugh about it.  Jeff Varner says it doesn’t matter and that JT is screwed.

Mana: Day 7

The new Mana tribe is settling in and amid the chaos of the day Brad casually mentions that he really loves to go antiquing.  Wait, what?  Suddenly, Brad is gathering stuff that is strewn about the island and using it to spruce up the camp.  He brings in what looks like a couple of giant glass orbs and an oversized toilet seat and puts them in prominent spots in camp.  Then he stands back, admires his handiwork, congratulates himself on keeping the fact that he is secretly gay from his wife for this long, and allows the game to continue.

Hali and Caleb are at the bottom of this group, although Tai has a serious man crush on Caleb from their brief time together the last time they were on.  He immediately advocates to Brad that they keep CalebTai is a nice guy, but subtlety has never been his strong suit; he loves to show everyone his cards.

Tavua: Day 7

The new beach is barren basically.  There’s fishing gear, a pot and a machete and a little rice.  Cirie is still stuck with Ozzy and she knows things are still not ideal between them, but an uneasy alliance between the two of them seems to be forming at least for now.

Troyzan asks Andrea if he has the plague (which seems totally plausible to me) I guess because no one is talking to him as the odd man out on this new tribe. She doesn’t really answer, which leaves the possibility open that maybe he does have some sort of terrible disease from Medieval Times.  Troyzan informs us his intuition is good, which is not something that has ever occurred to me before.  He tells the group he’s looking for water and goes and starts the idol search.  He finds a bottle on the beach with a clue in it (+1) earning him the first fantasy point of the episode.  The clue says at the next immunity challenge there is a hidden idol he can snag if he’s daring and there’s a diagram and everything that shows him where it is.

Nuku: Day 8

JT spots the wild goats running around and suggests he could catch one if he had to.  Sandra especially seems very interested in consuming a goat and encourages him to do so.  JT runs the goats down and catches a baby one.  Malcolm then catches the momma goat and suddenly the tribe is 2 goats richer than they were a few minutes ago.

At this point, they are (almost) all conflicted about what to do, because eating a mother and baby goat would make them horrible monsters in most people’s eyes.  It’s not even like they’ve even been on the island that long, so eating a goat family seems like a really extreme thing to do.  In stark contrast to the rest of the tribe, Sandra is willing—eager even—to kill and eat these goats.  Eventually, the tribe conducts a vote and the other 5 people vote not to murder the goats.  They make a tentative plan to find a loner male goat with no kids to support and murder him instead, which seems to placate Sandra for now.  While she does go along with it, you can tell if she happened to run into the goats at a later time in the woods when no one else was around, she’d certainly kill and eat them all with her bare hands.  They decide to eat Tai’s chickens instead to satisfy Sandra’s bloodlust because I guess chickens are ugly and deserve to die and then they let the far cuter goats go.

Immunity Challenge

The tribes come in and the camera gives us a quick look at the hiding place of the hidden immunity idol that only Troyzan knows about.  It is under the puzzle table, which seems like a tough spot because everyone is watching it at the end of the challenge.  The winning tribe is also going to receive a tarp as well as a comfort option: pillows and a hammock or a bunch of spices and stuff for their rice.  Clearly, the stakes here are huge.

We get started and 3 people on each tribe are tied together and weave their way through some tough obstacles.  Caleb, Tai, and Debbie are struggling for the pathetic Mana tribe.  Meanwhile, Nuku busts through led by Michaela, Malcolm, and JT.  They get some water and go over a cargo net, trying not to spill any.  Tuvua is squarely in 2nd place led by Ozzy.  They need to fill a hanging bucket with enough water weight to bring it down in order to move on to the puzzle that will decide the challenge.  All 3 tribes fail on their first trip, but on their 2nd trip Nuku gets the bucket to drop; Tuvua and Mana are behind.

Now for the puzzle.  Jeff Varner and Sandra attack the puzzle for Nuku.  Troyzan takes forever untying some knots and Tuvua actually ends up starts the puzzle last.  It is close, but Sandra and Varner win it, getting immunity points for Nuku (+3 for each tribe member).  Zeke and Cirie think they have it but they don’t, which gives Mana some much needed time to finish theirs.  Sadly, Brad (who you can totally tell would rather be antiquing) and Hali are both morons and are too slow to do anything about it and they lose.  Zeke and Cirie finish 2nd,  getting immunity points for their tribe (+3 for each tribe member).  Meanwhile, during the celebration, Troyzan snags the hidden idol (+3).

As far as the choice of reward, Nuku gets the first choice since they won the challenge.  Nuku takes the pillows and shit, although you get the impression if there was an option that allowed them to devour something scared and adorable, Sandra would have lobbied hard for that one.  That leaves Tuvua with the spices and Mana with jack shit except a trip to tribal council.

Mana: Day 9

We get to see a lot of sharks swimming around suggesting something shark related—a feeding frenzy, someone being a shark—they really want us to think something is going down.  Mana comes back to camp dejected and defeated.  Hali and Caleb are the only people in the game so far who have always been to tribal council.

Tai tells Debbie and Sierra he’s friends with Caleb so Hali should go first.  This kind of raises some red flags, especially from Debbie because of the 4 years of intense training she spent in Past Relationships Camp when she was younger. Brad, clearly livid that his team did not win the pillows reward because they really would’ve brought the whole look of the campsite together, is also uneasy about the Tai/Caleb bro-mance.  Brad talks to Tai and suggests maybe his Caleb relationship is not going to work out for him.  Also as an aside, Tai is completely covered in sand for some reason but no one is acting like there’s anything weird about it.  Finally, they are off to tribal council.

Tribal Council

Jeff starts out talking to Debbie. She talks, but who can pay attention to what she’s saying when they are all so clearly distracted by her model good looks and her obvious years of training in the art of seduction.

He then asks a bunch of people about the 4-2 breakdown on the new tribe.  Sierra says Tai and Caleb have a past relationship and she is not blind to it, then makes a real point of saying that she has absolutely no relationship with Hali (I guess they were on together in the past).  She really wants to drive that home.  She and Hali are not friends; she wouldn’t be caught dead hanging around with Hali.

Caleb then says basically Hali would be the easier vote because he’s physical and a gamer and they need him.  Hali makes a counter argument accentuating all the same points but really stressing how much she sucks at everything and that is why they should keep her around. Tai seems distraught which makes me think he is voting for Caleb.

In the end, it is a pretty straight forward 5-1 vote to kick Caleb (-5)off, with Hali (-1) getting the lone dissenting vote.  Caleb kisses Tai on the head as he leaves, unable to blame his early exit on heat exhaustion this time around.

Fantasy Scoring Breakdown

Andrea: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Aubry: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Brad: 0 points (although I wish I could give him some for decorating the campsite)

Cirie: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Debbie: 0 points

Hali: -1 point (1 vote cast against her)

JT: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Jeff: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Malcolm: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Michaela: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Ozzy: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Sandra: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Sarah: 3 points (immunity challenge)

Sierra: 0 points

Tai: 0 points

Troyzan: 7 points (immunity challenge, idol clue, finding an idol)

Zeke: 3 points (immunity challenge)

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