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Survivor: Game Changers Episode 6 Fantasy Recap

You’ve all heard me say it time and time again. Survivor just keeps delivering must-see TV.  We’re now six episodes in and there don’t seem to be any signs of things changing in that respect.  Sometimes someone dominates physically in a challenge.  Sometimes someone orchestrates an amazing blindside coup and gets a rival voted off.  Sometimes five different people cry in one episode (that actually happened this week).  And sometimes… somebody just does something no one was expecting (that happened too) and leaves everyone shaking their heads.  I hope you enjoy this Survivor: Game Changers Episode 6 Fantasy Recap.

If you’ve missed out on any of my past recaps, you can check them out here to get up to speed:

Episode 1  

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Nuku – Day 16

We kick off yet another riveting episode of Survivor: Game Changers as Nuku returns to their camp after the tribal council that finally sent the Queen home.  Remember, Debbie has joined Nuku and although potentially the biggest threat (Sandra) is now gone, they can’t be overly thrilled about spending the next however many days with Debbie.  Tai speaks a little on how he kind of went crazy at tribal and was naming Ozzy and whispering with Sandra and stuff.  He is nervous (as he should be) but has 2 idols, which he says he’s prepared to play.

Jeff Varner is pissed as hell but he doesn’t want them to know it.  He tells Zeke he would’ve voted for Sandra if they’d just let him know what was going on so they didn’t have to do all the theatrics both before and during tribal.  Zeke tells Varner he is sincere about working with him at the end of the game—as in he wants to take him to the final 3.  Varner thinks Zeke feels bad and he is planning to use that to his advantage moving forward.  There’s a storm a-comin’.

Reward Challenge

In this challenge, players will have to unwind ropes, use a key to unlock a ball sack, and launch the balls with a thing you jump on to hit 5 targets.  They’re playing for… ten pizzas and soft drinks.  They all start asking for samples but Jeff Probst says hell to the no.

They start out and there are 3 people for each tribe trying to unwind the rope.  Ozzy, Sarah and Andrea communicate with each other brilliantly and take a big lead for Nuku right away.  Tai is untying knots to get the keys for Nuku before Mana is even done with the unwinding part of the challenge.  Finally, Mana unwinds and starts untying too.

Nuku starts trying to build a ladder.  Debbie successfully utilizes her ladder climbing training and gets up there and fetches the keys for Nuku.  Mana is like an entire obstacle behind.  Ozzy starts launching balls for Nuku.  He gets 1, then 2, then 3.  Brad eventually starts for Mana but only gets 1 before Ozzy gets the 4th and 5th, winning the reward for Nuku (+1 for each member).  Overall, it is a fairly uninspiring challenge.

Mana – Day 17

Back at the pathetic Mana camp, Sierra is lamenting the lost pizza.  She is talking about how hard it is out here.  Aubry talks about how your mind in Survivor goes to places you don’t want it to (see: Wanner, Debbie).  Suddenly Brad starts spilling his guts about how hard it is and before you know it he and Aubry are both crying like they have real problems and aren’t on a reality TV show with a chance to win fabulous prizes (-1 for each of them).  Michaela is unmoved; you can tell she thinks they are weak bitches.

This leads to Aubry finding Brad and them having a moment–I guess because they are both huge wusses.  Aubry is now all in on Brad the Antiquer; she says he is so genuine.  Cirie then also approaches him and says she appreciates how he opened up, too.  Although Brad’s crying cost his owners a fantasy point, it looks like it may have gained him valuable allies.

Nuku – Day 17

They are mad beasting on their pizza over there at Nuku.  Varner is in full plotting mode however;  he thinks he needs to start to cast negative attention on OzzySarah talks with Varner and he tells her he wants to vote Ozzy out.  She is scared but also seems intrigued by the idea.

Immunity Challenge

4 members swim out to a raft and untie buoys and put ‘em in a bag.  They bring ‘em back and unscramble the buoys (which have letters on them) to spell a 13 letter phrase.  This is fairly straightforward and (in my opinion) the second mediocre challenge of the episode on a season where they have consistently brought the heat.  Oh well, perhaps tribal council will be interesting (foreshadowing).

Nuku’s swimmers are Tai, Sarah, Zeke, and Ozzy.  Mana’s are Brad, Troyzan, Aubry, and Hali.  Nuku has a slight lead as they get to the buoys.  Ozzy dives for Nuku and Brad dives for Mana. Brad is no Ozzy in the water and Nuku expands their lead.  Aubry replaces Brad in the 2nd round of diving—probably so no one will be able to see her tears underwater (I just assume she is crying all the time now).  Meanwhile, Ozzy has gathered all 3 stations’ worth of buoys for Nuku and they’re heading for the puzzle.

Varner, Debbie, and Andrea get to work solving the puzzle.  You’d assume with the eight years Debbie spent in Puzzle School along with the fact that Nuku already has a huge lead would mean they’d be fine.  It’s taking them forever, though.  Mana catches up and eventually it starts looking like they know it.  Mana finally wins immunity as they solve the puzzle, which reads “metamorphosis”.  Mana gets +3 fantasy points for each tribe member.

Nuku – Day 18

Varner talks to the group.  He tells them he has no idol and asks if he can talk to them all 1 on 1 to make his pitch for why he should stay.  Interesting approach—this guy’s a straight shooter; got to like VarnerDebbie talks to the group like she’s running shit now and says she’d vote for VarnerSarah says she might vote Ozzy (he is obviously not in this conversation).

Zeke is conflicted.  He really seems to like Varner but does not want to lose Ozzy because his strategy (which I admit seems very sound) is to keep bigger threats than himself around.

Varner asks Zeke what the probability is that he is going home.  Zeke says 50-50, but “the girls will lie to him and make him feel safe”, which I admit was a chicken shit thing for Zeke to say about two women he is allied with.  Varner says it was very telling that Zeke did not want to get rid of Ozzy and he decides he is going to create dissension in the ranks.

Varner runs and tells  Sarah that Zeke is working with Ozzy more than her.  Then he tells Andrea the same thing—he tells them how Zeke told him they’d lie to him to make him feel safe.  Varner is now totally blowing up Zeke.  This was possibly a major misstep by Zeke to be as cozy and trusting with Varner as he was.

Sarah and Andrea are pissed now—especially Sarah.  The fact that Zeke would throw them under the bus to save a little face with Varner pisses them off like crazy, which I totally get.  Sarah seems like she is maybe starting to lean towards getting rid of Ozzy.  This leads us into one of the most startling tribal councils in the history of Survivor—which is really saying something.

Tribal Council

Jeff Probst kicks things off by asking Varner what’s up.  Varner says he knows he is going home tonight.  But then he starts planting seeds like crazy.  He says they are not six strong because half of them would vote Ozzy out if the opportunity was right.  OK, nothing too remarkable yet.

Then Varner comes right out and says there is a secret alliance between Zeke and Ozzy (which I am pretty sure is not true).  All right, now things are starting to get juicy!  He comes right out and proposes tonight that they vote for OzzyVarner says there is “deception on levels they don’t even understand”.  OK… maybe he’s overselling things a little, but I appreciate the dramatic undertone he’s bringing to tribal as he attempts to sell this alleged deception between Zeke and Ozzy like they are James Bond super villains.  Jeff Probst encourages him to keep going, and let’s face it—we’re all enjoying this rant from Varner at this point.

As it turns out, Varner is just getting warmed up, and not in a good way.  In what will maybe go down as the biggest, “wait, what?” moment ever on Survivor, Varner demands to know why Zeke hasn’t told anyone HE IS TRANSGENDERED???!!!  Oh.  Meh.  Gawd.

I’ll let that sink in for a second or two.  Now, this may be shocking to you because you just found out Zeke was born a woman.  That’s fair.  This also may shock you because YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HE JUST THREW THAT OUT THERE TO PROVE TO THE GROUP THAT ZEKE IS DECEPTIVE!!!!

What Varner Thought Would Happen

This will prove to be a cunning, well thought out move.  Maybe this will even end up being the thing that catapults Varner onto the Survivor Mount Rushmore of heroes and he’ll ride this momentum and win the whole thing.  It is highly likely he will be carried out of tribal council on their shoulders–celebrated as a conquering hero.

“Hey,” people might say as they look back at amazing strategic moves in the history of the game.  “Remember when Jeff Varner bravely exposed that fraud Zeke for how he was deceiving everyone by keeping his gender identity private?”  Maybe this will end up being the smartest thing Varner has ever done in his life.  A national holiday celebrating his bravery is not out of the question.

Am I hero? I don’t know. That’s for the general public to decide.

Then again there is a chance—a much bigger chance—that it will be the sleaziest, stupidest, and most reprehensible thing we’ve ever witnessed at Tribal Council.  There’s a chance… right?

What Actually Happened

Andrea and Tai just start going nuts on Varner for outing Zeke like that.  Initially, Varner doubles down and says he argues for transgendered rights every day in North Carolina—as if that would somehow excuse this choice he just made.  “Hey, I went to a Black Lives Matter march, so it’s OK that I follow black people around in my store so they won’t shoplift.”  Tai goes off again and then even Crazy Debbie gets in on it.

Wow, Varner is just making himself look terrible.  You can tell at this point he has realized he grossly miscalculated the reaction this revelation was going to get.  He kind of starts trying to walk it back a little, but Jeff Probst isn’t letting him off the hook and tells him he can’t un-ring the bell (which is 100% true).  Ozzy tells him he should be ashamed of himself (which is also 100% true).  Varner is now apologizing but what the hell was he doingZeke is just sitting there looking shocked.

Varner is now totally backtracking.  He says he thought Zeke was out about it, but that’s clearly a huge lie because he was trying to blow him up for not telling anyone about it.  Andrea didn’t know and can’t believe he was outed like that—she is now crying (-1).  Varner (-1) then cries also.  He says he assumed everyone knew but (again) that’s a lie.

Come on Varner, even I think what you did is crazy.

Zeke says once you tell someone that your transgendered it’s all they think about you (which I think is probably true) and he wanted to be Zeke the Survivor player not “the Transgendered Survivor player”.  Again, WHAT AN ASSHOLE MOVE BY JEFF VARNERZeke now gives an inspirational speech and eventually says it’s fine.  Varner says he’s his biggest cheerleader (yeah… OK, because cheerleaders at sporting events are constantly trying to ruin the lives of the players while they’re on TV) and Zeke says he doesn’t need a cheerleader, but manages to do it in a non-assholish way.

Sarah cries now (-1) because she says she is from the Midwest and is not exposed to this stuff as much as the rest of them so the fact that she doesn’t feel any different about Zeke now means she has grown as a person.  At this point, if there were any justice in the world, everything would have stopped for like an hour so they could hold an impromptu parade for Sarah because of what a truly wonderful person she is for not wanting to ostracize Zeke for being transgendered.  Seriously, everyone stand up and give Sarah a few claps for what a tolerant person she is.  Maybe just give her the million dollars right now since she didn’t scream “Pervert!” and start throwing rocks at Zeke.  Bravo, Sarah.  Bra-vo.

Jeff Varner says there was no malice behind what he said and they shouldn’t paint him as something he’s not, but honestly he should just shut up and take whatever is coming his way.  Probst says that’s an ironic statement, and Varner loses a fantasy point for getting ridiculed by the host.  Probst asks the group if there any doubt about who’s going home.  Everyone says Varner, so no vote is needed (-5).  Varner hugs Zeke (who has remained super classy through all this) on the way out.

If you had to predict at the beginning of the show who was likely to go home, the smart money would’ve been on Varner.  And that’s what happened—which usually leads to a pretty forgettable episode.  But for better or for worse, I doubt anyone will be forgetting that episode any time soon—and at the end of the day, I guess that makes it good TV.  See you next week.

Fantasy Scoring Breakdown (Episode 6)

Andrea: 0 points (team reward, crying)

Aubry: 2 points (team immunity, crying)

Brad: 2 points (team immunity, crying)

Cirie: 3 points (team immunity)

Debbie: 1 point (team reward)

Hali: 3 points (team immunity)

Jeff Varner: -7 points (team reward, crying, ridiculed by Probst, voted out)

Michaela: 3 points (team immunity)

Ozzy: 1 point (team reward)

Sarah: 0 points (team reward, crying)

Sierra: 3 points (team immunity)

Tai: 1 point (team reward)

Troyzan: 3 points (team immunity)

Zeke: 1 point (team reward)

Fantasy Scoring Breakdown (Season to Date)

Andrea: 16 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 5, crying)

Aubry: 8 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 3, 2 votes cast against, crying)

Brad: 15 points (team reward, team immunity x 5, crying)

Caleb: -5 points (voted off)

Ciera: -5 points (voted off)

Cirie: 22 points (team reward, team immunity x 7)

Debbie: 11 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 3)

Hali: 9 points (team reward, team immunity x 3, 1 vote cast against)

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

Jeff Varner: -6 points (team reward x 3, team immunity, ridiculed by Jeff x 3, crying, voted off)

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

Michaela: 8 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 3, 3 votes cast against)

Ozzy: 19 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 5, caught a fish)

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

Sarah: 16 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 5, crying)

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

Tai: 23 points (team reward x 2, 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: 20 points (team reward, team immunity x 5, idol clue, found idol)

Zeke: 17 points (team reward x 2, team immunity x 5)

Check back next week for our Survivor: Game Changers Episode 7 Fantasy Recap.


  1. Becca Reilly

    April 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Cirie totally cried during that scene, too. She didn’t talk but there was a shot of a tear rolling down her face and her wiping it off.

    • The Truth

      April 20, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Haha! I thought so too, but I wasn’t sure. I went to another person and asked if they thought I could prove it conclusively and they said no, so I didn’t count it! 🙂

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