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Survivor: Game Changers Episode 5 Fantasy Recap

Wednesday has come once again, and all of a sudden your life has meaning again—because Survivor is on.  The show has kept the contestants (and us) off balance all season, and after last week’s carnage, Sandra is the only past winner remaining.  Can this string of great episodes possibly continue?  Hey, when a formula works it just works.  So my money’s on “yes”.  With that all said, get ready for our Survivor: Game Changers Episode 5 Fantasy Recap.

As an aside, I will be including running totals for the Survivor fantasy scoring at the end of the write-up in addition to the individual episode scoring breakdown to make it easier to keep track of your players.  If you are not doing a Survivor fantasy league this season, you’ve got to get in next season.  It is a ton of fun.  

If you’re behind on what’s been going on, check out my first four recaps to stay up to speed!

Episode 1  

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Nuku – Night 13

We kick things off as Aubry (who was caught on the wrong side of Sandra’s last master stroke that sent JT packing) is now doing that thing where you go really over the top congratulating people on their amazing blindside to try to curry favor with them.  She asks them why they elected to keep her and not JTSandra says it was revenge for what JT did to MalcolmAubry recognizes (correctly) that Sandra is the queen of this game and is essentially calling all the shots right now.

Surprise, surprise, Aubry had no idea what was going on.

Mana – Night 13

Tai is still holding an idol clue and begins his search under cover of night.  He digs under a board that reveals the tribe symbol when you get it wet and fairly quickly finds another idol (+3)—his second find of the season.

Reward Challenge

Jeff Probst reclaims the immunity idols and breaks some serious news to the group.  He orders them to drop their buffs (again).

The new tribes are now as follows:

The New Mana: Troyzan, Michaela, Aubry, Cirie, Brad, Hali, and Sierra

The New Nuku: Sandra, Sarah, Andrea, Ozzy, Zeke, Tai, and Varner

Quick thoughts on these new groups:  Mana is now extremely female heavy.  Nuku is now extremely gay man heavy, and also Sandra has lost her position of control and is automatically at the bottom of this new tribe.

But wait!  Someone’s missing!  Psycho Debbie draws nothing and takes a spot alone in the middle.  It turns out she’ll be heading to Exile Island, which (if it is the isolated, barren wasteland it has been in past seasons) I’m sure will be great for her recent outbreak of insanity.  Jeff asks her what is going through her head.  Debbie says as a youth she went off alone with a pony a lot, which is exactly what a crazy person would say.  Obviously, her training has prepared her for this moment.

Mana – Day 14

Brad doesn’t know too many people here and despite the fact that he would probably love to be in an all female tribe for antiquing or interior design purposes, he is feeling the squeeze.  He mentions Troyzan is maybe friends with his wife from their season and he’s the only other man (and what a man) in the tribe.  He approaches Troyzan (who is secretly the holder of an idol, remember) and attempts to make an alliance with him and Sierra.  We’ll see how that shakes out.

Nuku – Day 14

The new Nuku Tribe has undergone a serious transformation since the reshuffling.  Everyone is working out obsessively, drinking fruity drinks, and blaring Lady Gaga nonstop.  In all seriousness though, even though Jeff Varner is part of the substantial gay male demographic in this group, he and Sandra are decidedly on the outside looking in.  Sandra says she will remain calm and collected and the queen will stay queen.

Zeke tells Ozzy immediately he wants Sandra out of here.  He says (astutely) that everyone always says they can get Sandra out whenever but they never do so they need to get on it.  They want to make Sandra and Jeff Varner feel safe and then get rid of them.  Andrea is in on it too; she decides to make it look like Tai is the target.  However, they don’t want Tai to know his name is being used as a decoy because he’s already a famously paranoid potential flipper.

Say what you will about Tai—the guy is an idol hunting machine.  He goes to look for another idol because he’s at a new camp.  He searches in the same spot he found one in at his old camp and before you know it he is the proud owner of a second idol—the third one he’s found this season (+3).

Cray-Cray Exile Island

Debbie is allegedly on her way to Exile Island, so she will be alone with nothing but her extensive training and deranged thoughts to keep her company for a while.  Also, she will have no chance to form relationships—which is too bad because I’m sure she would’ve charmed everyone the way the crazy guy on the subway spouting off about aliens and the government usually leaves that ride with friends for life.

Oh good, sending me to a deserted island will be a good way for me to clear my head.

But surprise, surprise—instead of sending her to an island with a bag of rice, the good folks at Survivor send Debbie to a cruise yacht stocked with all the food, drink, and alcohol she wants where she can get the help she needs.  There’s even a sweet hammock for her to relax in.  This is good for what ails any lunatic, and a welcome experience for Crazy Debbie.

After a long time in the hammock, a speed boat approaches the yacht.  Just for a second I thought there was a small chance it could be pirates—and not fun Pirates of the Caribbean pirates—the kind of pirates in that Tom Hanks movie where the guy was like, “I am the Captain!”  But instead of pirates, on that boat is… former Survivor winner Cochran.  What??

To say Cochran’s presence here is unexpected would be a huge understatement.  Debbie says she has met Presidents and Prime Ministers and she is rarely awestruck… but she is with Cochran.

OK, I’m just going to come out and say it because I know it’s what all of you are thinking:  Really, DebbieReally?  Have you really met multiple Presidents and multiple Prime Ministers?

Unless she was a patient in a state Lunatic Asylum they were visiting, I find that hard to believe.  I want to see pictures of these alleged meetings.  And once the pictures are out there, I want to know if policy was discussed–and if so, what?  Are there laws on the books that Debbie suggested to a head of state?  This is something that I (and the general public) absolutely deserve to know.

Anyway, back to the unexpected arrival of Cochran, who Debbie is more impressed to meet than any of the slew of world leaders she has rubbed elbows with.  He is there to provide guidance (do a low-pro psychological evaluation for the producers), but he thinks it will be tough because Debbie already thinks she is an expert in everything.  She says she has no reservations about anything when he asks her.  Cochran says she has a real problem with overconfidence (to the camera, because if you say something like that directly to a nut like Debbie when trapped on a boat with her, there’s like a 60% chance she’d try to bite your face off).  She does eventually admit she “had a problem” with Brad and that she “blew up at him”.   Cochran tells her she should swallow her pride because that could win her the game.  She says she’ll listen—we’ll see.

Finally, Cochran provides her with an advantage option.  Debbie cries and gives him an uncomfortably long hug.  The options are: 1) a fake hidden immunity idol kit (how awesome is that?) 2) an extra vote or 3) an advantage for your tribe in an immunity challenge.  These are all cool options, but Debbie takes the extra vote.

Nuku Tribe – Day 15

Zeke and Jeff Varner are bonding at camp, but Zeke needs to keep him off the scent of the Sandra vote.  He is trying to convince Varner that they are getting rid of TaiVarner believes him but he is surprised it was so easy.  Sandra then asks Varner what they talked about and he tells her.  He says they’re OK.  Sandra doesn’t believe it, you can tell—but I am not sure she can do anything about it.  They all know she is a massive threat and she is on the wrong side of the numbers.  Even the queen would have a hard time getting out from under that

Immunity Challenge

For this challenge, they are going to dive in the water, race across some monkey bars while walking on a tight rope, lift some heavy puzzle pieces into a sled, drag the sled to the shore and up a hill on the beach, then three tribe members will work together to solve a barrel puzzle.  The losing tribe will not only have to vote someone out, they will also receive Debbie as a replacement.  This is like if your brother died and he was replaced by an escaped mental patient in your home that very night.

Once the challenge starts, the tribes get out to the monkey bars and start to work their way across.  Mana holds a slight lead.  Sandra takes kind of a long time for Nuku and Mana opens up a lead.  Tai and Zeke make up quite a bit of time for Nuku, however, and it is still competitive.

Now, they start to lift puzzle pieces.  Mana starts pulling them back to the shore.  Nuku is cutting into the lead slowly, though.  Mana gets to shore and needs to use logs under the sled to be able to move it across the beach.  Mana is struggling to get the sled up the beach, it’s clearly really heavy.  Nuku starts catching up but eventually Mana gets up the hill and opens up a little lead again.  Nuku is not far back but Mana starts on the puzzle first.

Sierra, Cirie and Aubry start the puzzle for Mana.  Nuku is now on the puzzle, too but Mana just appears to solve it instantaneously—Jeff Probst says it is one of the fastest puzzle solvings in the history of the show, which I believe is true.  Mana wins immunity (+3 for each member).  This seems like the deathblow for Sandra.

Nuku – Day 16

The dejected Nuku tribe mopes around.  Jeff Varner totally buys in to the whole “Tai is going home” thing.  Sandra doesn’t buy it at all.  She advocates for Aubry or Tai to go when talking to others.  It doesn’t seem to be getting her anywhere to me.  She seems like her arguments are falling on deaf ears.  Sarah says she feels like Sandra is grooming them—which I love, because she is a cop.  Ozzy says she’s so good he almost considered going along with her.  Even though I am a huge Sandra fan, I admit they’d be crazy not to get rid of her.

We see a shark in the water which is the universal sign for “there’s a shark in the water”.  Tai is getting nervous because he sees all these conversations going on that don’t involve him.  He tells Jeff Varner and Ozzy he’s freaking out and says they all need to vote for Sandra which is something he was not supposed to tell Jeff Varner.  The rest of them are upset (understandably) because he blew up the plan.  Varner tells Sandra.  She says she’s gonna blow up Tai at tribal council, but I think it won’t matter because they won’t flip on him to keep Sandra around and even if they do Tai has 2 idols.  A red herring I’m sure, but I appreciate the effort from the producers—unlike on the Bachelor where they would probably would’ve announced the result two weeks ago.

Tribal Council

Debbie comes in and observes the proceedings because she is joining the tribe after this.  They say it’s all about big threats when asked who they are getting rid of.  Sandra says she thinks she is going home because she entered the tribe at the bottom and no one has talked with her about strategy.

Tai says he is worried because he took out Malcolm and made a game changing move–he is completely paranoid and it really shows.  Sarah says she has heard names mentioned which seems to make Tai even more nervous because he thought Sandra was the only option.

Sandra says if Tai wants to vote someone other than her in her ear she’ll vote with him.  He actually does it!  Tai whispers to Sandra and then goes and whispers to “Ozzy” to Varner.  Tai then announces to everyone they should vote out OzzySandra tells Andrea she and Varner will vote with them.  Zeke then asks Tai who he trusts, which is a fair question.  This is crazy—it has to be all smoke and mirrors but it is still undeniable how good at this Sandra is.  I mean, Tai is just making himself look terrible, even if he ends up voting with his original group.

When it’s all said and done, Tai does not play the idol(s), which makes me wonder if this was all an elaborate (albeit unnecessary) ploy.  Tai gets the first two votes (-2) from Sandra and Varner but then Sandra gets the rest and is voted off (-5).

Jeff announces it is the first time in 94 days on the island that she has had her torch snuffed.  She is classy in defeat and in her closing comments casually announces that no one will ever win twice again.  Sandra has been an amazingly worthy queen.  Aside from her two outright wins, she made more huge moves in the first four episodes this season than anyone and essentially got screwed by a tribe reshuffling.  The lady is an unbelievable Survivor player.

The Queen is Dead. Long Live the Queen.

Fantasy Scoring Breakdown (Episode 5)

Andrea: 0 points

Aubry: 3 points (immunity)

Brad: 3 points (immunity)

Cirie: 3 points (immunity)

Debbie: 0 points (but next season I will work in points for getting an advantage)

Hali: 3 points (immunity)

Jeff Varner: 0 points

Michaela: 3 points (immunity)

Ozzy: 0 points

Sarah: 0 points (but I wish I could give her some for saying Sandra was grooming them)

Sierra: 3 points (immunity)

Tai: 4 points (idol found x 2, 2 votes cast against him)

Troyzan: 3 points (immunity)

Zeke: 0 points

Total Fantasy Scoring Breakdown (First 5 Episodes)

Andrea: 16 points (team reward, team immunity x 5)

Aubry: 6 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 2, 2 votes cast against)

Brad: 13 points (team reward, team immunity x 4)

Caleb: -5 points (voted off)

Ciera: -5 points (voted off)

Cirie: 19 points (team reward, team immunity x 6)

Debbie: 10 points (team reward, team immunity x 3)

Hali: 6 points (team reward, team immunity x 2, 1 vote cast against)

JT: 10 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 2, idol clue, found idol, voted off)

Jeff Varner: 1 point (team reward x 2, team immunity, ridiculed by Jeff x 2)

Malcolm: -2 points (team reward, team immunity, voted off, crying)

Michaela: 5 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 2, 3 votes cast against)

Ozzy: 18 points (team reward, team immunity x 5, caught a fish)

Sandra: 0 points (team reward x 2, team immunity, voted off)

Sarah: 16 points (team reward, team immunity x 5)

Sierra: 13 points (team reward, team immunity x 4)

Tai: 22 points (team reward, team immunity x 3, idol clue x 2, found idol x 3, played idol, 2 votes cast against him)

Tony: -5 points (voted off)

Troyzan: 17 points (team reward, team immunity x 4, idol clue, found idol)

Zeke: 16 points (team reward, team immunity x 5)

Check back next week for our Survivor: Game Changers Episode 6 Fantasy Recap.

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