Game Changers, finale update

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Players Weekly Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Survivors Weekly Points

Ahoy, Pool Players! After thirty nine days, twelve weeks, and one Troyzan, it’s finally time to say goodbye to this season of Survivor. Remember when Ciera was on this show? Remember JT? Remember the sugar incident? Remember the goats?!? It’s all in the past now! After an eventful two hours Survivor: Game Changers ended with a banger as Sarah won the million dollar prize, besting Brad and Troyzan. Congratulations, Sarah! Your victory was so obvious it could have been seen from outer space, but it’s still refreshing that this season had a deserved winner. As for runners-up Cirie, Aubry and Tai, you each will always have a special place in my Survivor heart. Everyone’s a winner, except for Brad and Troyzan, who most definitely lost. It’s bad news for dudes! Speaking of deserved winners, our own congratulations are in order for… drumroll please..

JULIE is our big champion, coming in first on the final Leaderboards with 18,527 points. Julie had solid positioning all year and a very strong final week, promoting her to first place. Congratulations, Julie!

TYLER takes second place with 18,311 points. The Master of the Going Out order, Tyler was just 216 points behind first. Congratulations, Tyler.

ELHANNA takes third place. After being near the middle and top all season some solid last-week picks helped Elhanna take third place. Congratulations, Elhanna!

The super secret non-monetary prize goes to Dave. What can it be? It’s a mystery!

The “Thanks for Playing” prize goes to Bailey, who ended up in the middle of the pack at 18th place.

The Quick Pick Player of the Year is Peggy, who came in 6th place. Yay, Peggy!

Thanks to everyone for playing! Keeping track of the pool and watching with all of you really makes this silly show special. We couldn’t have the Pool Kingdom without the Pool Players! We hope to see you (and your friends!) next season. Speaking of which, next time on Survivor: It’s a whole new season! There’s a bellhop! It’s Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. It’s too bad they rejected my original idea of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Big Money Rustlas. What kind of hustlers will be involved? Is this like the pool kind or the kind that hang out by the hotel pool late at night, if you know what I mean. What if I know a guy who’s really good at The Hustle? Does that count? Hopefully we’ll get answers to all these questions as well as ones we haven’t even asked yet come September when the new season starts. September! Keep your TV tuned to CBS and we will see you there. See you at the luncheon! Good night!

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Game changers, episode 11 recap

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Ahoy, Pool Players! It’s a warm Wednesday night and time again for Survivor! Previously on Survivor, Sarah won the game. Congratulations, Sarah! Well, not actually, but with the amount of screen time she’s been given they might as well hand her the check right now. It would be too bad for fans of exclusives on CBS This Morning! Last week, Sarah was able to use the power of the Legacy Advantage against Sierra, even though Sierra thought they were close. Sarah aligned with the majority and voted out Sierra, and even acted shocked when the vote was read. Shocked! Her eyes were like dinner plates! Is that still a thing people say? I don’t know! Sarah now has the Legacy Advantage and the Vote Steal. Remember the Vote Steal? Trust me, you will! Back at camp, Aubry, Cirie, and Andrea bond over the weirdest Tribal Council ever. I mean, nobody removed their fake teeth, but it was pretty weird. Andrea is concerned that Sarah acted too shocked when Sierra was voted out, especially since she knew Sierra was going home. Cirie says that Sarah has been putting in the work, but that she might be easy to beat if they’re in the finals together. Don’t count your police officers before they hatch! Sarah reminds us of her dual advantages and says that she’s “shooting for the stars.” While I’m pretty sure such behavior will get you kicked out of the police force it sure makes for entertaining Survivor!

Hang onto your hats, folks, because it’s already Immunity Challenge time! Yes, this is a twofer of Survivor, with two Immunity Challenges and two Tribal Councils for the price of one! Nobody got lifted out of an helicopter so they’ve gotta do something to move this season along! “Parting is such sweet sorrow!” Brad laments as his previous immunity is removed. Did Monica bring him a book of bad poetry? In this challenge the Survivors need to both build and balance a house of cards so it reaches to the top. The last time a house of cards was used in an immunity challenge it was when I challenged myself to watch the Netflix original series House of Cards but I fell asleep on the couch instead. Also, while everyone says “cards” these are really just colorful tiles. They’re not recommended for competitive pinochle! Aubry and Andrea are both quick to build, while others struggle. As more and more Survivors drop their cards, Jeff says “this challenge is fast to change hands!” which I think might be a playing card pun but also maybe not? Aubry is the only one who doesn’t fumble, yet she’s in a bad place when she runs out of cards without reaching the top. She needs to readjust, which leaves the door open for someone else. Nobody can keep it together, though, and Aubry rearranges her stack and wins immunity. She is now the time record holder in this challenge, besting Cochran by a whopping eleven minutes. Congratulations, Aubry. Maybe someday you too will be asked to spend a night with Debbie alone on a boat int he middle of now– Aubry? Hey, Aubry, come back! Aubry! We need that immunity necklace for the next challenge!

Back at camp, Aubry thinks it’s time to vote out Brad or Troyzan, and she decides Brad is the best option. Michaela says she’ll distract Brad by telling him that he needs to fish for the tribe. She quite literally wants home to “go fish.” Playing card humor! Michaela finds Brad in the woods and tells him exactly this, complete with a #GOFISH. It is very silly. Andrea, meanwhile, is still nervous about keeping Sarah around. Andrea once again brings up that look! Andrea’s waffling riles up Cirie, who thinks now might be the time to finally turn on her ally and vote Andrea out. Cirie says she needs to decide between Andrea or Brad, and that timing is key. Turns out life is made up of two keys: timing and reading the fine print. Don’t worry – we’ll get there. At Tribal Council the royal “we” is invoked yet again, with the talk being about voting with the group or turning on your allies. Everyone seems to be concerned that it was oh so quiet back at camp, with nary a scramble in sight! Aubry says that getting voted out is inherently emotional, since Survivor is an emotional game. You can tell this from the way that Micheala cried when Zeke was voted out, or the way that Michaela kicked the puzzle when she lost the challenge, or the way that Micheala told Brad to #GOFISH. Sarah thinks that the jury will reward gameplay over emotions. Game changers, etc etc. Brad says that if they stick with their alliance, at five, somebody is going to “get got” or wish they had “got” somebody else. Brad using slang street language is about as natural as you may expect. He sounds like he’s reading a bad translation of a Jay-Z song. It’s time to vote and Andrea is given the boot, much to the surprise of her ally Aubry. Andrea says “Yoooouuu!” to Cirie when she is voted out, and is generally pleasant about the whole thing. Goodbye, Andrea. Turns out you may have been better at this game than you thought.

The next day, Aubry says that Survivor is a game of really high highs and really low lows, sometimes in the same afternoon! Aubry is pretty wrecked about the vote and Tai consoles her. Cirie wonders if this is a strategic move, but it’s really just Tai being a nice dude. He did name a chicken after his life partner, after all. Strap down those seatbelt because it’s time for the second Immunity challenge. This time the Survivors need to stand on a perch, lower a bucket into the water, use that bucket to get a key, use that key to unlock some puzzle pieces and then solve a complicated compass puzzle. Ah, yes, the lesser known sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Bucket, the Key and the Puzzle. Everyone seems to be pretty good with the first part of the challenge, aside from Cirie, whose bucket is stuck. Stuck bucket, stuck stuck bucket! It comes down to the puzzle, which is a real humdinger. Jeff helpfully reminds us that it’s a hard puzzle, and it’s even harder after 35 days of Survivor. I can also imagine having a loud host yell about how hard the puzzle is doesn’t make it any easier. Michaela thinks she has the solution but she’s wrong, which causes her to kick her puzzle in frustration. “Michaela kicks her puzzle, which always helps!” says an equally helpful Jeff. Eventually Brad figures it out and wins individual immunity. Not pictured is the scene where Aubry yells “This guy! It should have been this guy!” while Brad collects yet another immunity win.

Troyzan is pretty happy that Brad won, and reminds us that he has an idol. Remember when Troyzan found that idol? Me neither! Tai and Aubry talk on the beach. Tai thinks he might need to start making big moves, starting with going after Sarah. Tai says that it’s “scary time big boy time.” You can tell Tai is nervous about making a big move since he calls it, “scary time big boy time.” There’s no scenario in which someone saying “scary time big boy time” leads to a positive outcome! Aubry tells Cirie about Tai’s plan, and Cirie promptly tells Sarah. Here, folks, is where things go south: Sarah doesn’t believe Cirie even though we know Cirie is telling the truth. Sarah still thinks that Tai is with her. To prove it, she decides to give Cirie her vote steal. Never one to turn down an advantage, Cirie decides that she’s definitely going to use the vote steal against Sarah to prove to her that Tai wanted to vote her out. This isn’t actually a bad plan, but it’s perhaps a hair too deceptive and strategic for what’s actually going on here: Tai wants to vote Sarah out and she doesn’t believe him. That’s it! There’s nothing scary time or big boy time about this! Paranoia is the theme of Tribal Council tonight, with everyone discussing how they’re basing their votes on lies and fear. (Feel free to insert your own political parallels here). It’s time to vote but before we can get to that, Cirie announces she wants to use to the vote steal against Sarah. Sarah reveals that it’s actually her advantage, not Cirie’s, and the advantage is -are you sitting down- non-transferable. Jeff has Cirie read the fine print out loud which confirms this fact. The last time there was this much drama involving the fine print, I found out I had a tub of yogurt that expired the next day. Cirie’s inability to read the fine print sets off a whirlwind of activity. Cirie desperately tries to explain to Sarah that she was only using the vote steal to prove her loyalty. Michaela can prove this since she knew about the plan. There’s a lot of hushed conversations and people getting up and moving around and finally Sarah is ready to vote. She decides to use the steal against Tai. The votes are read, and in a rug-pulled-out twist, Michaela is sent home. Why Michaela? Were they nervous about Cirie and Michaela’s bond? Were Troyzan and Brad just going to vote for Micheala anyway? Was that puzzle mad that Michaela kicked it? Michaela couldn’t have ever actually won, right? It’s a disappointing end to a real head-scratcher of a Tribal Council. It makes you long for simpler times, like when Andrea was voted out with a 6-2 majority. Ah, 8:30 PM. The good old days!

Speaking of the good old days, it’s time to click on over to the Leaderboards to see where you stand. The Pool Princess has announced she’s been appointed to be a special prosecutor in something called “mouse court” but she promises to stop investigating long enough to send out the final pool point opportunity. Yes, folks, this is it! After many weeks of Survivor and several changes in the weather, it’s finally time to see who wins. So, you know, congratulations Sarah! We’ll see you next week.

Game changers, episode 10 recap!

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes & Mini Team Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Survivors Weekly Points

 

Ahoy, Pool Players! It’s time to step away from the craziness that is the real world and tune into the craziness that is Survivor! Previously on Survivor, the former majority became the minority and was certain they’d be the next to go. Challenge winner Andrea had other plans, though, and elected to vote out recent returnee Zeke. Sierra, Troyzan, and Brad all voted for Tai, which probably doesn’t bode well for their minority friendship. Back at camp, Brad was blindsided by the vote, even though the majority seems pretty chill. Brad sure doesn’t seem to be on the right side of a lot of things. Michaela warns us that nothing is solid in a big group. I’m no scientist but I think that’s how atoms work? The majority meets briefly and decides it’s time to vote out a duo. They think now is the time to finally break up Brad and Sierra, by giving Brad the boot. Sierra knows she has to do damage control, and says that she wants to work with her “best friend” Sarah. Ah, yes, the storied Sarah/Sierra alliance. You know how we had Bennifer and Speidi and Brangelina? I think we should start referring to these two as “Sierahah.” Sierra tells Sarah that she has the Legacy Advantage, and that it can only be used when there are six Survivors left. Sierra promises she’ll will the advantage to Sarah. Have these people never seen a soap opera / legal drama / Adam Sandler comedy from the 90s? Never trust a will until the will is read! Sarah tells us that this makes her want to keep Sierra in the game, a statement that causes a set of fireworks to go off and the “FORESHADOWING” banner to drop down behind her.

Reward Challenge time! The Survivors need to complete an obstacle course and then toss some sandbags at some blocks to win a big steak dinner. But there’s more! “You are playing for your loved ones,” says Jeff, which is a sentence that could either be sentimental or menacing, depending on the intonation. Yes, those of you who miss The Jeff Probst Show will be pleased to know that this is the return of the loved ones Reward Challenge. This one has even more editorializing than usual from Jeff, presumably since this episode is a case study in the struggle to fill an hour of television. First up is Sarah’s husband, Wyatt. Sarah gives Wyatt credit for being “100% on his own” while raising their son. What is his usual percentage? You can’t beat 100%! Next is Andrea’s mother, who tearfully reflects on Andrea’s strength in the game. Next up is Aubry’s sister Carrie, which allows Jeff to launch into a monologue about the bond with siblings, provided those siblings aren’t Colby and his brother. Here’s Sierra’s Dad, Dan! Sierra gives Dan a big hug, which prompts Jeff to say that we haven’t seen this side of her, and I think the side he’s referring to is joy? The MVP of the afternoon is Micheala’s mother, Candy, who I desperately want to get cast on this show. Please start using my promotional hashtag “#SurvivorCandy” but do not bother looking at anything that may have previously been posted there! Next up is Troyzan’s brother, Toddzan. Turns out Troyzan has five siblings: Toddzan, Timothyzan, Theresazann, Trishzann, and Carol. Here’s Tai’s “love of his life,” Mark. Upon embracing Mark, Tai immediately asks how the cats are. It’s important to have priorities! Next up is Monica Culpepper PLEASE KEEP READING who is Brad’s wife and who you may remember from losing this show twice. “The fans know her!” says Jeff, perhaps leading many to question whether or not they are actual fans. Last but certainly not least is Cirie’s son Jerry, who just graduated from high school. He’s a regular Will Wahl! After about thirty minutes of expository sobbing, it’s finally time to get to the challenge. The Survivors are competing in teams of three, but this isn’t really much of a fight with Brad, Andrea, and Aubry easily taking the cake. The only other notable moment was when both Sierra and Tai got stuck underneath separate logs, causing the Foreshadowing Editor to throw a couple of unnecessary musical stingers their way. If you thought that three people winning was going to mean the end of all the drama this challenge usually provides well THINK AGAIN.  Brad, Andrea and Aubry get to choose not one but two fellow players and their loved ones to join in on the reward. After many pained faces and a lot of pleading, (plus Micheala deadpanning, wonderfully, “I’d like to go, too.”), they choose Cirie and Sarah to go along. Folks, you know I’m a sucker for an emotional reunion, but between Jeff’s unnecessary commentary and the lack of impact these nice people had on the actual game, this one was a bit of a snooze. Please wake me when someone, (anyone!), contributes something.

It’s reward time! Everyone is seated at one long table like it’s the Last Supper or they’re panelists on To Tell The Truth. It’s a weird set! Cirie tells us that Jerry is a city kid, who never thought he’d be out here in the jungle, despite the fact that his mother has spent about 25% of her life doing just that. Cirie hilariously tells Jerry that the lavatory is “wherever you find it” which is a mentality that will almost certainly get you kicked out of the county fair. Brad says that having Monica there helps since she is, “a former stud Survivor player.” Ah, yes, when I think of Monica Culpepper, (which is fairly often!), the first word that comes to mind is “stud.” Back at camp, Michaela says that she’s disappointed in not being chosen for the reward, and thinks she may be being taken advantage of by her alliance. She decides to align with Tai, who is in a similar position. Meanwhile, Sierra wants to pull Tai back into her alliance, despite the fact that she just coordinated an unsuccessful vote against him. This new grouping of Michaela, Tai, Sierra, Troyzan, and presumably Brad, want to vote out Andrea next. We all know what happens to people who want to vote out Andrea! Michaela sums up this interaction by speaking about herself in the third person, which is always a good metric for someone’s mental stability on this show. Hang in there Michaela! The strength of Candy compels you! (#SurvivorCandy #CandyonSurvivor #QueenCandy #QueenofFamilyVisits #BloodVersusWaterAllCandyEdition)

You know it’s a fast moving episode when it’s already time for the Immunity Challenge. The Survivors need to hold a buoy between two sticks while standing on a narrow beam. This is about as exciting as it sounds! This seems like the kind of challenge that a bunch of bored sailors came up with and, like most things, would probably be improved with a lot of rum. Aubry and Sierra drop out first, and then more follow, leading to a final three of Brad, Tai and Michaela. After Michaela drops, it’s down to Brad and Tai. Tai fumbles his buoy and Brad wins, giving him his first individual immunity victory. Jeff Probst practically treats this moment like a Super Bowl victory, despite the fact that Brad Culpepper left the game well before the merge the last time around, and only seems to be sticking around here based on sheer luck. Congratulations, Brad, I guess!

Back at the beach, the majority decides that with Brad winning they should vote out Sierra instead. Michaela and Tai meet in semi-private, and say they think it’s time to vote for Andrea. Sierra is of course on board with voting out Andrea, and tells this to Sarah. Unfortunately for Sierra, Sarah now wants that Legacy Advantage, and says that it’s not at all bad if Sierra is the one who goes home tonight. Remember that foreshadowing banner from earlier tonight? At this point it’s practically lit up in lights. Sarah says that she’s not here to make friends, she’s here to steal advantages! Playing like a criminal, not a cop! Flipping that siren on and pulling donuts in the park! Steamrolling her way to a predictable victory! Sarah tells Michaela to vote for Sierra instead. Michaela says that she’s nervous about all the changes, since you don’t want to end up on the jury “looking stupid.” I’m not sure that this jury looks stupid, but Hali does often seem to be confused about where she is and why there are so many cameras around. At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst brings up the loved ones challenge, and asks if making the difficult choices resulted in any consequences. It’s practically a plea for the pot to be stirred, somehow, anyhow! There’s yet more celebration of Brad’s “big win” even though Brad himself admits that he can’t revel in the glory since he’s pretty sure someone in his alliance is going home. Sierra and Andrea both talk about how they know they’re big threats. Aubry asks “what kind of threat is most threatening to me?”, which is really a question for the ages, right up there with “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” There’s a lot of talk about how being part of a “We” can be misleading, since the groups have a tendency to shift. Jeff Probst ends this by saying the the vote is going to be for We and not Me, doing a thing with his hand so he makes a W going up and an M going down. Did Jeff Probst just flash that lamest gang sign on national television? W’s up, M’s down! Not since “Peace up, A-Town down!” has there been a more accessible way to flash your colors! It’s time to vote and Sierra gets the majority, finally sending her home. On her way out, she wills her advantage to Sarah, unaware that Sarah orchestrated the vote against her. So long, Sierra. It’s back to the rodeo with you!

Speaking of rodeos, it’s time to click on over to see the roundup on the Leaderboards. The Pool Princess got her derby hat stuck in a doorway, but she promises to get herself out in time to send out the next pool points opportunity. Next time on Survivor: Cirie has a tough choice to make, hopefully not involving the lavatory. See you soon!

Game changers, episode 9 recap!

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

 

Ahoy, Pool Players! May the third be with you, it’s time again for Survivor! Previously on Survivor, the big alliance thought they had all the power until Officer Sarah threw a badge in their wheelbarrow. Debbie got sent packing instead, which put the former majority into the minority, or so we think. It’s 2017! Everything we thought we knew about majorities and minorities is all backwards! Anything can happen! Back at the beach, Brad was genuinely blindsided by the vote. You know you’ve done something right when you’ve gobsmacked Brad. There’s a lot of uncomfortable silence until Sarah owns up to being the flipper. Sticking true to the title of the show, there’s a lot of talk about how the move was game changing since they’re all game changers and this a season about -did you know- changing the game, etc etc. Michaela says that as long as their group of six sticks together, they’ll be solid. Oddly enough, this is exactly the same argument Michaela made last season immediately before she was voted out. Keep that in mind! Cirie says that they took control but all it takes is one wrong move and they’re on the jury, where they’ll have to listen to Debbie’s boring stories all over again.

Back from the break it’s already Reward Challenge time. Tai compliments the challenge design, and says that it’s beautiful. It’s a battleground, Tai! Summon your inner warrior. Forget about your inner gardener! He can have the day off! In this challenge two teams of five will race through some obstacles, get hoisted up on a chair, collect some tiles and then use those tiles to solve a lengthy word puzzle. The winners will be taken by chopper to an actual resort, where they’ll enjoy a fancy food spread and then get to sleep on an actual bed. I’m no aviation expert, but is there a difference between a chopper and a helicopter? Is a chopper just a helicopter who got in with the wrong crowd and now he’s smoking cigarettes behind the middle school? “This is not real life!” Sierra says when the reward is announced. No, Sierra, it’s reality television, which is usually close enough. These teams are actually fairly evenly divided, with both Michaela and Brad giving strong showings on their sides. At one point Sierra and Sarah are up against each other, which leads Jeff to say, “Sierra and Sarah are side by side,” which is sadly not followed by, “selling seashells by the seashore!” It comes down to the word puzzle, which is a doozy. The actual phrase is “Reinventing how this game is played” which may or may not be a sentence but let’s not pick hairs here. The real difficulty comes with “Reinventing” not being a word you hear in everyday conversation, unless you’re selling shampoo or laundry detergent to bored channel surfers during the middle of the afternoon. Everyone is stumped by this, which leads to a hilarious shot of Troyzan asking if “nutritional” is eleven letters. (It is!) After fifty minutes of bad Scrabble, Andrea happens upon “Reinventing” which sets Zeke in motion, putting the rest of the letters in place. The winners are Andrea, Zeke, Brad, Aubry, and Sarah. Jeff quickly whisks them away to the chopper. They’re not paying for it to stay on the ground!

Reward time! It’s too bad Debbie’s not here to bang on about another form of air transportation, but the chopper ride does give good shots of the Fiji islands. The resort is, like, an actual resort, with an infinity pool and a lazy susan (!) of sandwiches and a guy handing out drinks. Brad says that this is exactly the group he wanted to be on reward with, since he needs bonding time, and also, cheesecake. “Eggs!” Aubry says upon seeing some eggs. Between this and the coleslaw moment from last week, she’s really becoming the go-to for Survivor food reactions. Alas, the reward turns into the Brad and Zeke bonding session, as they geek out over college football and at one point Brad wears a robe, I don’t know. Their chattering upsets the rest of the group, including Andrea, who reminds us that she’s already on bad terms with Zeke. Have you ever been at a party where two people strike up a conversation about college football and you’re just, like, “I hope they’re not neglecting their studies!” and then you back away far enough that you fade into the wallpaper? That’s something that’s happened to everyone, right? The next morning at camp, Sierra is again complaining about hunger. Survivor is hard, y’all! Tai tells us that he’s worried about being on the bottom for the first time, which means I don’t think he’s seen his own season of Survivor. Back from the reward, everyone tells Brad that he looks like’s gained a few pounds. It’s time for the Debbie diet: first you yell it out and then you do ten angry pushups. The health benefits are minimal but the emotional release is fantastic! Aubry says that the reward was so lavish she felt like she was on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Even Robin Leach would be jealous! Andrea and Cirie get together and make a plan to vote out Zeke. Cirie knows it will only work if “Officer Sarah” is on board, so she makes the pitch. Sarah is close friends with Zeke and doesn’t want to vote him out. She wants to tell this to Cirie, so to gain Cirie’s trust she tells her about the vote steal. No, not the vote seal, the vote steal! You could say that Sarah gives Cirie the steal of approval. Sarah knows she needs to be careful with this plan, since revealing your advantage has never really worked out well in the past. At this rate Sarah will either seal the steal deal or she’ll crash and burn in spectacular fashion. There’s no in-between!

At camp, Zeke is nervous about the sudden calm. Nobody is talking so something is up! He decides to extend his bond with Brad to a bond with Brad and Troyzan. The boys are back in town! Zeke tells Brad and Troyzan that he can’t tell them who’s getting voted out next, but it isn’t one of them. I mean, that doesn’t leave open a huge door for guessing. All this drama takes us to the immunity challenge. First things first, it’s time for Troyzan to give back immunity. Jeff tells him to “spin and grin” which I think is the name of a website that’s not safe for work. In this immunity challenge the Survivors need to stack their dominos in such a way that they’ll fall and hit a gong. Tricky thing is the floor is connected to the contraption, so if you trip up, you’re out of luck. Everyone is pretty adept at this, and it’s only Brad who inadvertently sends his dominos tumbling. I know dominoes is like, an actual game, but it sure is more fun just to set them up and watch them fall. Andrea takes an early lead but she runs out of pins towards the end, causing some recalculations. Nobody can catch up to her, though, and she wins her second immunity. Time for the spin and grin!

Back at camp, Andrea tells Cirie that she definitely wants to vote for Zeke. They have this conversation at the waterhole, where they’re visited by both Sierra and Sarah. Sierra says she’ll do anything -anything!- to stay in the game. Anything? Anything! Sarah announces her arrival by mimicking a police siren, which is kind of amusing unless it’s what she does every time she enters a room. Is Sarah a real cop or does she just like the way sirens sound? Cirie tells the plan to Michaela, who isn’t entirely on-board. Michaela reminds us that if you start voting out your own alliance, it only takes one person to flip and then you’re back on the bottom again. Just as a reminder, this is the exact same situation that happened to Michaela when she was voted out, so she might know a thing or two about a thing or two. At Tribal Council, Sarah opens up about flipping to vote out Debbie, to which Debbie flips her the bird. Yes, Debbie is also an ornithologist, but only of the single-fingered variety. It seems like the vote should be an obvious six to four, but then there’s also some talk about setting aside your emotions when it’s time to send someone home. Michaela says you need to turn the heart down and turn the game up, unless you’re talking about the musical group Heart, in which case you should always keep them turned up, neighbors be darned! It’s time to vote and the heart loses this round, as Zeke is sent packing by his own alliance. Confusingly, even Tai got a couple of votes, which means that nobody on that side really knows what’s happening. Jeff Probst reminds us that Survivor is no longer a game about simple majorities. It’s also not a game about giving away cars or constructing bowling alleys in the sand, so I guess some things have changed!

Speaking of changing there were a lot of big leaps on the Leaderboards, so click on over to see where you stand. The Pool Princess fell asleep during the tornado warning and woke up telling us all about a crazy technicolor dream she had, but she’ll stop long enough to send out the next pool challenge. Next time on Survivor: it’s the loved ones challenge. I hope you’re all excited for the return of Monica Culpepper! You know she’ll be there! We will too, see you next week!

Game Changers, episode 8 recap

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Survivors Weekly Points

Mini Team Points

Ahoy, Pool Players! It’s another Wednesday and time for Survivor! Previously on Survivor, Zeke turned on Andrea, who got upset and turned right back on him. Sensing an opportunity, Debbie made her big move and voted out Ozzy. After Tribal Council, Debbie is thrilled that she got what she wanted. It’s a tribe of Debbie! Debbie tells us that the line is “drawn in concrete.” I don’t know how the laws apply, but I’m pretty sure that will get you kicked off the construction site. Andrea and Zeke have a mini-confrontation, where Andrea says that it’s shady that Zeke was voting for her. This isn’t much of a conversation, and Zeke eventually walks away from a heated Andrea. Sarah sees this as an opportunity to get in with Andrea and the other side. Sarah! You remember her! She’s the cop who plays like a criminal! Sarah tells us that there might be a line in the sand, but that the tide will rise to take it out. Wait, which one is it, sand or concrete? Don’t you need sand to make concrete? Don’t ask me, I’m not a geologist.

Don’t blink now because it’s Reward Challenge time! In this Reward Challenge the Survivors will be broken into two teams of five. They’ll need to individually complete a water obstacle course, dive down to get a water-logged grappling hook, and then try to hook some water rings. It’s all very wet. The winning team will get a seaplane ride to some picturesque island where they’ll enjoy an equally picturesque feast. The teams are divided by a schoolyard pick by your captains Brad and Cirie. Brad mostly picks his alliance with Sierra, Debbie, Aubry and Andrea. Cirie picks people she thinks can help her out with Troyzan, Zeke, Tai and Sarah. Those good with math will realize this leaves Michaela un-chosen. Michaela! What team wouldn’t want Michaela on it? Put her in the draft! Michaela gets to pout on a bench and watch. Little does she know that right beneath her is a piece of paper that says SECRET ADVANTAGE in enormous block letters. It looks obvious to us because the camera lingers on it for about thirty seconds, but I can imagine it would be difficult to see since it’s below you and you’re too busy wondering what life would be like if you were winning this challenge, which is kind of a mess. Tai takes too long on the balance beam, giving the blue team a bit of a lead. That lead is closed when Aubry fails to cross the beam in one go, and the two teams are close to tied. Whatever advantage orange may have had evaporates completely when we get the one-two punch of Zeke and Cirie attempt to finish this challenge. Let’s just say that it doesn’t involve a puzzle, so the two of them are swimming without a raft. First, Zeke takes several attempts that make it across the beam, then Cirie can’t event make her way onto the platform where the obstacle course is. Sarah eventually swims out to help her, even though this means Sarah will need to run the course again. The blue team easily wins, although they should have easily won to begin with, since they had actual human rodeo person Sierra Dawn Thomas handling the rope. The challenge ends with a whimper, not a bang, and Cirie is still trying to get on that platform. Jeff Probst gives her the opportunity to finish the challenge on her own terms, and it is a touching moment, even if all it amounts to is watching a woman struggle to run across a balance beam six or seven times. With the help of her tribe, Cirie finally makes it across the course. No, she does not get a seat on the seaplane. It’s plain to see that the seaplane is for WINNERS ONLY. “This is what happens when you believe in yourself, anything is possible!” exclaims Jeff Probst, with an emotional delivery somewhere between an Olympic coach and a motivational cat poster. Before everyone departs, Sarah notices the secret advantage that Michaela missed. She swims over to the bench, somehow avoiding detection, and snags the advantage for herself. If you’re keeping score, Sarah has an advantage, Sierra has the Legacy Advantage, Troyzan has one idol, Tai has two idols and Debbie already played her extra vote in an inconsequential way. Guess which one will matter tonight!

Back at the beach, Cirie apologizes to her tribe for losing the challenge. I mean, Zeke didn’t exactly help your cause, but thanks for taking the fall! Cirie says that even though they’re all in a game the people she’s playing with are good people. I’d say the jury is out on that! Speaking of juries, here’s Sarah reminding us she’s a cop. Hey, did you know Sarah is a cop? Because you’ve gotta tell me if you know. Sarah says that most people driving behind you won’t know if your registration is expired, but she will. Is that her superpower? Was she bitten by a radioactive license plate? Sarah reveals that the advantage is a vote steal, meaning she’ll get to remove one of the votes at Tribal and presumably use it for herself. The vote steal can’t be stolen by someone else, which I think is what lawyers call double indemnity. Sarah says she’ll be the first person to play the vote steal correctly, which, given that her closest competitor is Dan Foley, shouldn’t be too hard. That sound you hear is Debbie yelling about airplanes, which means it’s time to check in with how things are going on the seaplane. “Oh my God, I love airplanes!” yells Debbie, who reminds us she has experience from her time in the Air Force Auxiliary and also from whenever she eats peas and needs to “come in for a landing.” I have to be honest with you, the Reward island looks a whole lot like the other islands, which probably means they flew that plane around in a circle once or twice and then landed about five minutes from camp. There is an enormous food spread, complete with brownies, french fries and coleslaw. Folks, if I can offer you one piece of advice, it’s don’t take a chance on an unknown coleslaw. Potato salad is one thing, but once you start eyeing the ‘slaw in the back of the deli it may be time to consider your life and choices. Nonetheless, Aubry is enchanted by this ‘slaw, excitedly proclaiming “Coleslaw!” in the most screen time she’s gotten in weeks. At the Reward, Andrea dishes on Zeke. She’s still upset that he tied to flip on her, even if his move was all for not. Sierra tells us, “Life can’t get any better than it is today!” which is a flat-out lie. Sierra reminds us that her six is tight, and there’s no way they’re going to break. No way. None at all. This alliance is as solid as a Kit-Kat bar!

Immunity time! In this Immunity challenge, the Survivors need to balance a plank while spelling the word “Immunity” in block letters. Whoever spells the word the fastest wins. Can you use it in a sentence, Jeff? What is the origin? Are there any alternate pronunciations? As everyone races, Andrea takes an early lead, but she’s closely followed by Troyzan and Brad. Nobody else is very good at this, though there are a lot of satisfying shots of blocks tumbling over and the Survivors just looking upset. Andrea is incredibly close to victory when her letters tumble, opening the door for Troyzan. Debbie, amazingly enough, is actively cheering against Andrea during all this. Didn’t they just bond in that seaplane? Troyzan spells it first and wins his first Individual challenge. Congratulations, Troyzan. You can spell.

Back at the beach, Brad and Sierra confer about voting out Michaela, but agree that Andrea is the bigger threat. They bring this plan to Debbie, who argues hard for Michaela to go. Debbie tells us that Michaela is highly annoying, which is kind of like the pot calling the entire Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The six, (Brad, Sierra, Debbie, Tai, Troyzan, and Sarah), agree to vote out Andrea and tell everyone else they’re voting for Michaela. However, Sarah isn’t so sure this is the best move. Sarah’s already wary of her place in the alliance and then Debbie blabs to Aubry that she doesn’t trust Sarah as much as she trusts Aubry. Sarah decides it might be time to make a move, and goes to Zeke, who is always down for making a questionable big move. Meanwhile, Sierra takes Sarah aside, and says that she sees a potential final three with herself, Sarah and Debbie. That’s either a weird final three or a very weird remake of Charlie’s Angels. Sarah isn’t sure what she’ll do, and says she’ll decide a Tribal, where all the best decisions are made! At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst tells the tale of Cirie’s confidence before things actually get underway with the real talk. Andrea knows she could be voted out next, especially since everyone in the six reiterates that they’re not going to break. Michaela says that if someone was to flip, the person going out would be revealed as “Boo Boo the Fool,” which is not a character I remember from Yogi Bear. It’s time to vote, and it’s tied five-five between Andrea and Debbie. But then Sarah flips, because of course she does, and Debbie is sent away. Michaela snacks during the reading of the votes and then claps when Debbie’s name is read. I can understand how this kind of behavior would be annoying on the island, but it’s gosh darn awesome on television. Four for you, Michalea! You can’t possibly win this game so you might as well have fun with it. Debbie can now amend her resume to include “two-time Survivor loser,” which should fit in nicely with gymnast, scientist, former model, acrobat, current model, bellydancer, the ‘Air Force Auxiliary’ and a weekend stint inside one of the costumes at Chuck-e-Cheese even though she wasn’t actually employed there. Smell you later, Debbie!

It was a big week for points, so make sure to click on over to the Leaderboards to see where you stand. The Pool Princess tells me she’s a card carrying member of something called the “Bingo Auxillary,” -but I think that just means she plays bingo at the auxiliary hall- regardless, she’ll put down her stamper long enough to send out the next challenge. Next time on Survivor: Andrea and Sierra working together! Up is down! Cats are dogs! Dogs are cats! See you next week.

Game Changers: episode 7 recap

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Ahoy, Pool Players! It’s a hot Sunday and time again for Survivor. Previously on Survivor, Nuku went to Tribal Council and things got intense. Feeling pressured to make a big move, Jeff Varner outed Zeke as transgendered, a catastrophically terrible move. Varner was given the boot via popular vote, and everyone left shaken, rattled, and more than a little disturbed. Back at the beach, Sarah tells Tai that she did not and will not forgive Varner. Sarah says that even though she was raised conservatively, she’s only known Zeke as Zeke, and she’s still upset over what happened. Tai gets emotional and starts to cry, which isn’t all that out of the ordinary. In an interview, Zeke tells us that he just wants to be seen as himself in the game. This is unlike his tribe-mate Debbie, who just wants to be seen as, like, six or seven different people. Zeke says that he’s here to win, so let’s get back to it! It’s time for seven or eight more twists as the Survivors all converge on the beach where a merge feast awaits them. Everyone can participate in the feast but only if one volunteer from each tribe decides to step up and sit out. Those volunteers will get to dine on whatever is under the secret cloth, which turns out to be iced tea and cheese and crackers, which sounds like a pretty good afternoon to me. Who will abandon the food for their tribe? High suspense! Drama! Crackers!
Back from the break, Brad pretty much immediately decides to take one for his team. He said he does this because it’s what Monica would have done. What would Monica not do? (“Win Survivor” as it turns out).  On the Nuku tribe, Tai decides to sit out. Look at these two nice dudes doing nice things for their tribe! Tai and Brad go to sit down on the hungry bench of shame while everyone else runs to the merge feast like they’re grabbing the cheese wheel on Supermarket Sweep. The merge has Sierra feeling like a, “whole new woman” which is good since I wasn’t too familiar with the first incarnation. Hey, remember the Legacy Advantage? Sierra still has it and it can only be used at the next vote or when there are six Survivors left. So, keep that in mind, I guess! While everyone chows down, Brad and Tai get to have a nice guy chat. Brad confides in Tai, which, given Tai’s propensity for loose lips, probably isn’t the greatest move. “We have a lot of things in common!” exclaims Tai about Brad, not naming a single one. Over at the merge feast, Debbie has gotten drunk off of table wine and is, ahem, twerking for the merge. “I think the alcohol was just an excuse for Debbie to be Debbie,” says Sierra, as if Debbie has EVER needed an excuse to just be Debbie. Despite all of Debbie’s drunken antics, she says that it was all a goof, and that she didn’t have a sip of alcohol. “If I have to twerk to survive I will!” says Debbie, thus setting up the plot for the remake of The Running Man called The Twerking Debbie.
We are merged! First things first, Debbie apologizes to Brad for yelling at him, and everyone else, during her epic explosion a few weeks ago. “We kissed and made up!” says Debbie, who lives in a world where kisses are legally binding. Everyone sits around in a circle so that Zeke can tell “the Jeff story” on Zeke’s own terms. Zeke comes out to the group as transgendered, nobody has anything to say about it, and we’ve finally moved on. “I have more respect for Zeke than I do twenty of these jokers!” says Aubry. I just checked with the judges and we will accept “jokers,” but we would have preferred “yahoos,” “numbskulls,” or “buckaroos.” Meanwhile, Troyzan, Ozzy and Brad stand around looking like an aging boyband. They decide to work together because: men! Brad doesn’t trust Michaela, and wants to start a movement to vote her out. This word spreads around to everyone, in a classic game of Survivor telephone. Unfortunately for the line, Michaela has a habit of crashing other people’s conversations, and she creeps up on Zeke and Sierra on the beach like she’s the haunted entity from It Follows. Meanwhile, nobody is really talking to Hali, who realizes she’s on the bottom. Hali thinks she might be able to work with Michaela to vote out Cirie. This leads to Cirie and Michaela having a truly great conversation on the beach, where Cirie gives Michaela some advice like, “Don’t give people the stank face,” and “be as regular as you possibly can.” The two of them decide it would be great if two black women made it to the end together, and you know what, it would! Cirie says she’ll do what she can to protect Michael, but she can’t be too obvious about it since they’re both big targets.
It’s time for the first Individual Immunity Challenge! Say goodbye to the cheap-looking plastic helmet, and hello to a cheap-looking rope necklace! Seriously, wouldn’t that thing chafe? “It’s funky looking” says Troyzan, and if noted fashion icon Troyzan says something is funky, you should listen. This is the old block-on-a-head challenge, where the Survivors need to stand on their toes with, uh, a block on their head. “This is a challenge where you cannot drift!” says Jeff Probst, and I’m pretty sure you can’t Tokyo Drift, either. Hali, Troyzan and Zeke all fall quickly, and then Debbie drops out laughing. Still not drunk, guys! Still totally sober! It’s down to the unlikely threesome of Sarah, Andrea, and Tai. Of these three Andrea manages to last the longest, giving her the first Individual Immunity win. Jeff Probst notes that Andrea is the first woman to win this challenge. So many firsts this episode!
After the challenge we learn that Sierra is running the show. More like Brad Who-pepper? Sierra knows that Hali and Michaela are on the bottom, and she wants to split the votes in case Hali has an idol. Now, look, I know we are very observant Survivor viewers, but what makes Sierra think that Hali (of all people!) has an idol? Sierra lounges in the hammock of deception and tells Michaela that they’re voting for Zeke. Meanwhile, Cirie and Zeke want the vote to go entirely for Hali. Zeke confronts Sierra about this, who simply respond, “There’s a new sheriff in town” and then makes finger guns. There’s really nothing funnier than an adult making finger guns to prove a point. Cirie goes to Micheala and tells her she’ll be safe, but only if she votes for Zeke like she was told to do. Cahoots! At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst asks if tonight’s vote is like musical chairs. Debbie responds that it’s not, and she should know, as reigning Musical Chairs Champion (Women’s Division Age 50+). Hali complains about being in the dark, and says she knows that either her or Michaela is, “going to get shot.” I mean, with a finger gun, but still. Jeff Probst asks if idols are in play, and then if anyone is wiling to expose that they don’t have an idol by, uh, exposing themselves. Jeff Probst is really shooting for the moon in these Tribal Councils, huh. Hali takes the bait and say’s she’ll empty out her bag and reveal she doesn’t have an idol if someone asks her to. Hali says this with a hefty case of the crazy eye, so you know she’s serious. It’s time to vote and the flipping worked, as Hali doesn’t play an idol and promptly gets voted out. Adios, Hali. It’s been two seasons and we barely knew ye!
It’s bad news for fans of Criminal Minds since this episode of Survivor is TWO hours long. You’ve barely got time to grab some snacks before the second episode revs up. Back at the beach, Michaela and Cirie vow to work together. Cirie tells us that she has her own game that she wants to play and it’s time to “Let the dragon loose!” Now would be the time to do so, since there isn’t a Dragon Slayer in sight! Zeke says that it might be time to flip on the power alliance of Sierra and Brad. He explains this plan to Aubry, who tells us the she feels like she’s in the middle of, “a big Italian brawl, and Cirie is like a black Italian aunt.” I don’t remember the black Italian aunt character from The Godfather, but you know somewhere Tyler Perry just got a great idea. Still not satisfied with stirring the pot, Zeke says that Andrea and Cirie might be the bigger threats, and he’d be wiling to work with Sierra on voting them out. Make up your mind, Zeke! You can’t play every alliance against each other! That’s what gets you thrown off the board in Risk!
Reward Challenge time! In this challenge the Survivors will compete in two teams of six, just like, uh, regular tribes. They need to first swim out and untie a bunch of wooden fish. After they carry the fish to the finish, they’ll need to solve a fish puzzle. The winning team will receive a day of luxury at the “Marshall’s Lounge.” When I first heard Jeff Probst say this, I thought it was funny that a fancy resort would have the same name as a budget department store. Little did I know! they’ll have a shower with soaps and shampoos, towels, and designer robes. What makes a robe designer? Will they be monogrammed? To top it off, they’ll chow down on “spa burgers and apple pie.” This may seem like a light reward, but taking a shower and having a piece of pie sounds like a pretty great time to me. Turns out the wooden fish are actually pretty hard to wrangle and both teams have difficulty getting them all on the beach. It comes down to the puzzle and it’s a victory for Zeke, Debbie, Troyzan, Tai, Andrea and Ozzy. Spa buddies!
Back at the beach, the losers are all on the edge of breaking down. Cirie says that Survivor takes you to the deepest places, like not being able to provide for your family. I mean, it’s also a reality television game show, too. Why don’t we take a break from this bummer and check in with the challenge winners at the Marshall’s lounge. Hey, it turns out it IS like the store! This is a classic Survivor reward, where they dress up a cheap-looking set with a cheap-looking product-placement sign and call it a spa. Bless this silly show. Andrea is overwhelmed by all of the smells. Everyone takes a shower which prompts Tai to get naked and streak around since, “I heard about streaking in the 80s!” Also, “My ex-boyfriend always talked about streaking in Arkansas!” Little known fact: Streaking in Arkansas was the rejected title of Bill Clinton’s memoir. On the reward, Zeke wants to take control to vote out Andrea. He explains this plan to Debbie and Tai, which is a real meeting of the Survivor minds. Debbie doesn’t believe Zeke that Andrea is a threat, even though he’s telling the truth? Debbie’s concept of logic, much like her concepts of soberness and reality, seems to be a little out of whack.
Immunity time! It’s the old hanging on a pole challenge, which you may remember from Ozzy winning it twice. Ozzy is undefeated in this challenge since he spends most of his time on Survivor climbing up trees except now he’s being rewarded for it. Debbie is first out, which means we now know of at least one occupation that’s not on her resume. One by one they all drop out, leaving Tai and Ozzy as the last dudes standing. They’re up there for so long that Sierra actually FALLS ASLEEP on the bench. Tai and Ozzy last a whopping hour and thirty-five minutes before one of them finally drops out. Shock of shocks, it’s Ozzy who drops first, giving living legend Tai his first Immunity win.
Hey, did you know that Zeke wants to vote out Andrea? Well, he does, and he’ll tell you all about it! He explains this plan to a hammock-bound Sierra, who in turn tells Cirie, who in turn tells Andrea. Whoops. Andrea feels betrayed by her Brooklyn buddy, and vows to vote out Zeke. Back in the hammock, Debbie floats a new idea to Sierra that now might be the time to vote out Ozzy. He doesn’t have immunity, he’s a long-term threat and he’s, uh, never won this game. Debbie explains this plan as if it’s already happened, and then she goes to EVERYONE on the beach and simply tells them to vote for Ozzy. New plan, folks! At Tribal Council Ozzy says that there os, “espionage behind every coconut tree.” Oh no, did he discover the #SPYBUNKER? Sarah says that after the merge, they’re all like a bunch of single people waiting to hook up. No, Sarah, that’s a very different reality show. Zeke says that there are layers to the votes now, as you’re trying to figure out if the person you’re voting out knows that you know that they know that you can beat them. Before you start parsing through the logic of that, Debbie invokes her time in the Air Force Auxillary. Is that a real thing? I’m not looking it up. It’s time to vote but before the votes are read, Debbie uses her extra vote, saying it was the one bright spot form her hardship at Exile Island. The only thing true about that statement is the use of “ship.” It’s time to read the votes and Ozzy gets the majority. Turns out Debbie’s extra vote wasn’t needed, it was just insult to injury. Poor Ozzy has now played more Survivor than anyone else and he still hasn’t won the game. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be back another six or seven times. Also during this extra-long episode we learn that the new tribe name is “Maku Maku.” What does that mean? Did they misspell Waka Waka? Maku Maku, This Time for Africa? Maku Flocka Flame? Is this a Fozzie Bear reference? We’ll never know!
What we do know is what happened on the Leaderboards, so make sure to click on over to see where you stand. The Pool Princess is still tuckered out from her Earth Day celebrations, so make sure to send her your challenge picks soon. Next time on Survivor: Cirie releases the dragons! Fly, dragons, fly! We’ll see you next week.

Game Changers: episode 7 update

Leaderboards

Pool Players Total Points

Pool Tribes Points

Going Out Challenge (Ongoing)

Hello, Pool Players! It’s an eventful Wednesday with not one but TWO full hours of Survivor! Since there was so much action at the new ‘Maku Maku’ the big recap will be a little delayed. However, you can tide yourself over with all the complicated spreadsheets your clicking finger can handle up above. Make sure to check out the Leaderboards to see where you stand. We’ll send out an update when everything is all set. Until then, make sure to keep a tight grip on that pole since you never know when Debbie is angling to vote you out! See you soon!