Game Changers, episode 8 recap

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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.

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