By Mickie McLeod

“17 years later and Survivor is still the greatest thing on T.V,” Castaway, Malcolm, said it right!  How can you not love watching Survivor?!

The 34th season of Survivor Game Changers crowned the Sole Survivor last night! Did you miss it?  Well, that’s what I’m here for.

This season started off with 20 returning, legendary, game-changing players and it was down to the Final Six!

  • Cirie Fields- Panama, Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains · 4th, 3rd, 17th
  • Sarah Lacina- Cagayan · 11th
  • Troyzan Robertson- One World · 8th
  • Tai Trang- Kaoh Rong- 2nd Runner-Up
  • Brad Culpepper- Blood vs. Water · 15th
  • Aubry Bracco- Kaoh Rong · Runner-Up

So, who Outwit, Outplayed, and Outlasted?  Here’s my recap of how the Finale went!

To the Final Five

With last week’s elimination of Michaela, it was clear that Cirie and Sarah had some tension. Their alliance was broken and Cirie did not know who she could trust anymore.

Sarah was angry with Cirie, due to the fact that she almost used her advantage.  In defense, Cirie throws Tai under the bus and explains to her that it was actually him who wanted Sarah voted out at last Tribal Council.

Because of all the tension, it wasn’t a surprised that none of them won the next Individual Immunity.  It was Culpepper who won and guaranteed himself a spot into the Final 5.  Along with winning Immunity, was a parmesan chicken dinner.  Culpepper had the option to choose two people to share the dinner with, and he picked Troyzan and Sarah, strategically.

After dinner, Culpepper, Troyzan, and Sarah felt that they were in a safe and strong alliance together.  Tai, Aubry, and Cirie, however, felt that they were in danger.  Tai, who still had two Hidden Immunity Idols, was desperate to stay alive in the game.  He knew that Sarah wasn’t happy with him, and neither was Cirie.  Because of this, he decides to tell Culpepper about his two Idols, hoping to gain his trust and to not vote him out at next Tribal Council.

Culpepper then used this information to essentially, well, bully Tai.  He told Tai that in order for him to be in the Final Three, he must give one Idol to him.  Tai felt that Culpepper was treating him unfair, and was ultimately not allowing him to play his own game.  Tai decided not to listen to Culpepper.

At Tribal, there was a historic Survivor moment! Never has this happened in any season of Survivor; there was simply only one option to vote.

Before the votes were revealed, Tai used his Idol on himself, along with his other one on Aubry.  Because of this, Sarah was nervous and decided to use her Legacy Advantage, which allowed her to also be safe.  It was only Troyzan and Cirie who were left without security.  Lastly, Troyzan saw no other option but to use his one and only Hidden Immunity Idol on himself, leaving Cirie the only one left to be unsafe.  Culpepper had Immunity, Sarah had her Legacy Advantage, and Tai, Troyzan, and Aubry were all safe because of Hidden Immunity Idols.

Sadly, Cirie was the only option to be voted out and was sent to the Jury in a historical way.  She left with pride and respect from the Castaways, as they all had applauded for her on her way out.

To the Final Four

Troyzan, Culpepper, Sarah, Tai, and Aubry; it was anyone’s game now! No advantages and no Idols, it was only up to the Immunity Challenge to keep one of them safe and to be guaranteed a spot into the Final Four!

By a landslide, it was once again, Culpepper, who won himself another day of Survivor and had won Immunity. At Tribal, it seemed to be a clear vote, as Culpepper led where the vote was going.  It was Aubry who was voted out and was next onto the Jury.

To the Final Three

The Final Four were Sarah, Culpepper, Tai, and Troyzan. It was a waterslide and puzzle obstacle course in which determined who would assure themselves a spot into the Final Three!  It was down to either Tai or Culpepper who had the closest chance at winning, and once again, Culpepper came rising on top.

Culpepper had earned a spot into the Final Three, but who would he want to sit next to him? This final vote in Survivor could cost him a Million Dollars… so, did he make the right vote?

With his strong alliance with Troyzan, he was certain that he would take him along into the Final Three.  It was either Sarah or Tai who seemed to be on the chopping block.

Tai wanted to vote along with Sarah, hoping that their votes together against Culpepper and Troyzan’s, would result in a tie. In Survivor, a tie means that the two would have to battle it out and make fire.  The first person of the two who made fire would then be safe.

In the end, Tai’s plan didn’t follow through and Sarah voted with Troyzan and Culpepper.  Tai was voted out by the three and was sent to the Jury.  However, did Culpepper make a big mistake?

The Sole Survivor

The Final Three were Culpepper, Troyzan, and Sarah… so, who won the title?  In my opinion, it was foreshadowed this whole season!

It was clear that Troyzan had no shot at winning (most of the time I forgot he was even on this season).  Troyzan was the easy “goat” to sit next to, as there is always one person in the Final Three who’s basically just dragged there.

It was between Sarah and Culpepper who the Jury was deciding on.  It was the Jury’s time to vote.  The Jury asked questions to the Final Three (well, mostly just the two) to determine who they’d want to vote as the Sole Survivor.  Now it was time to reflect on each of their games.

Would it be Culpepper, who had seemed to be the ring-leader of the decisions, majority of the season?  Or would it be Sarah, the person who played the most deceiving, yet, the most strategic game of the season?

Was it just too obvious?  Survivor showcased her well, and yes, it was Sarah who had won the Jury’s vote and was this season’s Sole Survivor.

sarah cbs Survivor Game Changers: Finale Recap   The Sole Survivor

(credit: CBS)

I was so impressed with her game.  Sarah is a police officer back at home.  In the beginning of the season, she said that during her last season she was playing as an officer and that during this season, she had planned on playing like a criminal!  She had to lie, deceive, and pay attention to close detail in order to win.  If you watched this season, were you surprised with the results?  I sure wasn’t!  Sarah was clearly the most strategic player of this season of Survivor Game Changers. I loved watching her play.

Why didn’t Culpepper take out Sarah when he had the chance?  He obviously underestimated the Jury and how they would react to Sarah’s (awesome) way of playing.  I’m pleased with the results, but what did you think of the Finale?  You can always tweet me @mick_cloudy with your thoughts!

Once again, another season of Survivor is in the books!  This Fall will be the 35th Season; Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers! Don’t miss the new season, along with my weekly recaps, this September on CBS!


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