By Mickie McLeod
What’d you think of this week’s episode of Survivor Game Changers? This week had consisted of an early tribe swap, idol searches, and even goat chasing… yes, actual goats.
In the beginning of the episode, Host, Jeff Probst, says the famous Survivor phrase, “drop your buffs” and declares an early tribe swap. Because of how early on the tribes are switching, I have a feeling there will be quite a few more swaps within the season!
This season started off with two tribes, but after the swap this week, the castaways are now divided into three tribes — I’ll organize these (likely temporary) tribes among their colors of Orange, Blue, and the new tribe of Green.
Green Tribe (New Camp)
This new Green Tribe was brought to a new camp, which meant they had to start over with building shelter and their new home. Along with building a new home, was building new alliances in the game. The Green Tribe was made up of Andrea, Cirie, Ozzy, Zeke, Sarah, and Troyzan. Within the Green Tribe, the highlight in this episode was particularly Troyzan, who was the odd man out.
Troyzan (Survivor One World) is the oldest castaway on this season, and he felt like he was on the bottom of his new tribe because he hadn’t built an alliance quite yet within his game. Because of these feelings, Troyzan decided to immediately hunt for the Immunity Idol hidden on their new camp.
In this episode, Troyzan instead finds a clue for the Hidden Immunity Idol. The clue states that the actual Hidden Immunity Idol will be placed within the Immunity Challenge. Having the Hidden Immunity Idol within an Immunity Challenge was introduced to Survivor just within the past few seasons, and it is an exciting change! This means that if Troyzan wants the idol, he must follow the clue while being sneaky and grab the Hidden Immunity Idol when no one is watching during the next Immunity Challenge.
During this episode of Survivor Game Changers, the Blue Tribe (the new NUKU) was made up of more high-spirited personalities. The Blue Tribe includes Michaela, Malcolm, J.T, Varner, Aubrey, and lastly, Sandra.
At the Blue Tribe, J.T makes a bold move right away as he leaves his tribe out in the ocean as they are fishing. During the episode, J.T leaves his tribe on the fishing raft in order to “grab the fishing pliers” because he “forgot them.” In reality, J.T is actually taking his time searching for the Hidden Immunity Idol back on land. Although J.T wasn’t successful at finding the Idol, this humorous move may have left a target on his back for later on.
The highlight of the Blue Tribe this episode was the hunt for food — in this case, the roaming goats. At the NUKU camp, there were chickens and goats wandering through their camp. Sandra, probably the most strong personality of the season (remember, she’s also a two-time winner of Survivor) decided that dinner should be one of the random, wandering goats. The adrenaline was within the castaways as they’re literally chasing the goat around their camp — finding that their catch is a mother goat, along with her baby.
Malcolm, J.T, and the majority of the tribe felt guilty catching the mother goat with her baby. (Almost) the entire tribe felt they should NOT eat, nor capture this poor mother goat and her baby, and set it free. The only person who felt that the goat should’ve been dinner is the one and only, Sandra.
(MY PERSONAL THOUGHT): This scene made me think — and kudos to the editors if this is what they implied… Did anyone else notice the symbolism in the goat chase? I’ve watched every season of Survivor and there are a lot of animal metaphors in the game. With that being said, there are two interpretations we can look at with the goat — either a “scapegoat” or the acronym of “GOAT – Greatest Of All Time.” This is just my personal view, but do you think the goat represented Sandra in this situation? She is “the queen” and one of (or the) “greatest of all time” playing Survivor, as she’s the only castaway who’s ever won two seasons. In this episode, Sandra was the only one that wanted to eat the goat. In the end, the tribe set the goat free, instead of eating it. What does this mean for Sandra’s game? Or am I just looking too much into this because I’m a Survivor nerd?
Red Tribe (MANA)
The new MANA Tribe seemed to be getting along well. Castaways on this new tribe include Culpepper, Debbie, Sierra, Hali, and Tai and Caleb, who were reunited since Survivor Kaoh Rong, (Tai had a crush on Caleb).
The alliance between Tai and Caleb was still strong from their last season. Because of this, it seemed to be alarming towards other tribe members. What is also noticed in this episode within the MANA Tribe is that Tai is very gossipy between all the castaways. I wonder if that will backfire later on in his game.
Since there are now three tribes, that means that the first two tribes that finish the course of obstacles and puzzle wins Immunity and are safe from Tribal Council. Along with the Immunity was a reward of comfort — either in the form of comfort for the body, (sleeping pillows, blankets) or comfort for the taste buds, (ingredients, spices, and cooking supplies).
The obstacle course was intense, as it always is. The main focus on the Immunity Challenge was Troyzan finding his personal Hidden Immunity Idol which kept us viewers at home at the edge of our seats! In the end, it was both the Blue Tribe (NUKU) and the new Green Tribe (that Troyzan is on) that won the Immunity for their tribes. At the very end, Troyzan is so smooth and reaches for his Idol when his whole tribe is celebrating their victory. No one notices his move, and now Troyzan is one of the first players in this season with a Hidden Immunity Idol.
Because of the success of NUKU and the Green Tribe, this meant the Red Tribe (MANA) would be facing Tribal Council. One person from MANA would be the next to be voted off of Survivor Game Changers.
At Tribal, it was down to the bottom two castaways of Hali and Caleb. These two castaways seemed to be on the bottom since the remaining of the tribe had been together the first seven days.
It was down to Tai’s decision overall. Would Tai continue to play with his heart like his last season, or finally play with his head? His heart was for Caleb and he was known to have a special alliance with him since their last game, but this is Survivor Game Changers. Tai decided to play with his head, and change his game. Tai, along with the rest of the tribe, voted Caleb, (a strong threat in the game) out of the new MANA Tribe.
That concludes my recap of this week’s episode of Survivor Game Changers! What are your thoughts? I’m still a believer of Survivor metaphors, but maybe I’m over analyzing. Who do you see going far in this season? I’m still waiting for the Survivor veteran, Ozzy, to come out and show his game!
I want to know what you think! Tweet me @mick_cloudy with your thoughts and don’t miss my recaps of Survivor Game Changers every Thursday morning on CBSDetroit.com.
You can watch this season of Survivor, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.