Survivor Game Changers premiere thoughts

No recap from me as I leave it to the experts like Dalton Ross at EW (ew recap here) and Rob Cesternino on his podcast (if you’re a Survivor fan and not listening to RHAP, you’re mad).
If you missed the two-hour premiere on Go tonight, they put it up early on 9 Now.
– Caleb (the one who almost died and had to be medevaced from Kaoh Rong the first time he played) should not have bothered swimming after Ozzy at the start. No-one is beating Ozzy in a swimming and diving race. Note none of the others bothered to try.
– OMG – I loved it when they got to camp and started talking about building the shelter and Tony just yelled “I’m looking for the idol – yippee!” and ran into the jungle. Hilarious.
– It makes me happy to see Zeke so excited about being in the presence of Survivor royalty. I really hope he gets to stick around and is not the first voteout because, as an unknown, they could be worried he is a Russell Hantz-style player (Russell, the biggest villain in Survivor history, also played his second season before his first season had aired on TV, so no-one knew what a conniving bastard he was – albeit a great character to watch.) If Zeke is lucky they’ll think he just got cast on the strength of his floral shirts and mo.
– It seems Ciera didn’t learn much from Secon CHances, when she played too hard – and overtly so – and it bit her on the bum.
– Michaela is lucky that she didn’t go instead of Ciera – she needs to control her face.
– I loved that Tony and Sandra started off in an alliance – with a good strategy of an all-winners final three – but it quickly turned to war. There were some terrific to-camera pieces from both of them.
– Why in the drag-the-snake challenge was Varner sent out to do the physical stuff instead of Michaela? Surely he would have been better at untying the snake. He is very lucky Tony and Sandra were at war, because he is obviously the most physically weak player on that team.
– I hope Aubry can forge a new alliance next week and is not tainted by the Tony vote out. So sad to see Tony go before his spy dugout was even finished.
– Good to see Caleb getting some air time that’s actually strategic talk. I felt sorry for him when he had to dig in the sand for the bags – he must have been flashing back to his scary medevac. Or perhaps it was scarier to watch as a viewer.
Next week: It looks like there’s a tribe swap already. A good thing, as it looked like JT and Ozzy’s tribe was going to keep whipping Sandra’s tribe. Maybe now we’ll get to see people like Andrea have some confessionals. Or that famous game changer, cowgirl Sierra Dawn Thomas …



  1. Thanks Juz. Yeah I was disappointed we won’t get to see Tony using his spy shack. He got sprung a couple of times trying to dig it. So funny he gets up in the middle of the night & 2 other people go for a walk in the middle of the night too.
    That snake looked like it was so heavy.
    I wonder if Tai will manage to stop them killing the chickens like last time.

  2. I had to put IAC on hold to watch Survivor first tonightl
    My favs, Aubrey, Ozzie, Malcom, Caleb and Mikaela. My least favourite is Cops R Us Tony and then possibly Zeke. I didn’t watch Survivor for 2 seasons after Cops R Us won, but at least these guys all know that if his lips are moving, he’s lying.

    I don’t like Ciera and Ciri is a lump. Sarah says she can read people because she is a police officer. Ha, she couldn’t read Tony. He totally fooled her last time they were in together.

    • Yeah I did the same. I taped I’m a celebrity so I could watch Survivor. Glad there’s only a few episodes to go.

  3. I’m shattered, I wanted to see the underground bunker in operation. It was just mean to put Tony and Sandra in the same tribe. They are both devious as hell and we were always going to lose one of them early. Sandra may come to regret telling everyone she is the Queen quite so often.

    Losing Ciera doesn’t sadden me nearly as much. She has always been better at talking the game than actually playing it. And she wasn’t digging a bunker.

    I think the people making decisions at the Tony/Sandra tribe are actually Malcolm and Caleb. They voted with Sandra’s bloc after giving Tony the impression they would vote with him. And Varner is not far behind Malcolm and Caleb in the deviousness stakes.

    I think it’s going to be fun with 2 strong pairs emerging in each tribe, JT+Ozzy versus Malcolm + Caleb. That makes the tribe swap next week really promising if one or both of those pairs gets broken up. Malcolm and JT both have a history of going far as part of a pair and both sank like stones without a strong pair in their second season.

    And I am profoundly disappointed in Probst. The snake challenge gave so many chances for double meanings and he hardly used any of them.

    • I think if Tony had been on Cirie’s team she would have teamed up with him but possibly been more “patient” with his craziness. We never got to hear the phrase “bag of tricks”, dammit.

  4. What a fantastic start to the season that was. Tai is getting on my nerves. Why doesn’t he just go be a chicken farmer if his priority is Survivor Chicken. And he gave Ciri the idea that Ozzie was holding a grudge, when Ozzie didn’t say that at all.
    I am thrilled that Tony and Ciera are out. I always love the hero types like Ozzie and Malcom. I don’t recall Sandra from previous years but I liked her gutsiness tonight. I didn’t know she was such a punk.
    My adrenaline is still pumping after that double elimination. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

  5. My favourite player of all time is JT (I ignore his second season as a consequence of the folly of youth). But I agree with you Daisy I like the hero types too, but only if they are genuine. I don’t know Caleb

    Tai bothers me because he’s nuts. Tony digging a spy hole was just creepy
    I was so sad Aubrey didn’t win in her season because that girl worked HARD plus she was good in the challenges as well. .

    • There are enough great ones and not-so to have us excited at tribals. I liked Mik last time she was on, but she needs to think not just react.
      Love Aubrey too. I don’t know a couple of them. I liked the guy in the tie who was saying, “This is great watching Sandra and Tony gunning for each other”. Was that JT?
      On his last season, Caleb was a “hero”; nice guy, good at challenges and strong. I think Survivors should be able to survive, or be really smart at puzzles and strategy, like Aubrey. Uuuugh, get rid of Ciri. Why is she there? She looks like she belongs on her lounge chair, eating chips and watching gogglebox.

      • Daisy, the tie guy is Jeff Varner. He played way back in season 2, filmed in Australia. He was highly entertaining in Second Chances – great commentary and funny – but hurt his foot and was voted out mainly because of that.
        Cirie is a master of the social game and she’s good at puzzles. In her first season she was afraid of dirt and leaves but quickly mastered the strategy side of the game. She is greatly feared by the others for her smarts.

        • So her lazy couch potato is just a ruse, Juz. I seem to recall her as a do nothing lump, riding on coat tails, but my memory of her is hazy.

          • Cirie said she’s been getting into shape. She’s actually been quite good at challenges in previous seasons, especially the combat challenges. And she is devastating at the social game. It was Cirie who once persuaded Erik to give up immunity and then voted him out.

    • I agree about JT. Caleb could be another we really did not see much of him in his previous season. Am I the only one who found Tai’s approach to Caleb fairly creepy in that season?

      • If I think back, Alan, I might agree with you. Tai was just going too far with the chicken love last night. He wants to decide for the whole group that there will be no roast chook. Last time, I think his group didn’t want to admit that they wanted to eat the chooks, so he hot his way. He needs to think about where he is and go work for PETA if he can’t handle Survivor.
        Or perhaps there could be another rtv show called, “Chicken Run”, or “Saving Itchy and Scratchy”.

        • Frankly the Save the Chickens campaign was funny the first time and now it’s just eccentric. I’ve always suspected Itchy and Scratchy were pirated from Good King Leonardo.

          • I think Tai had to be the Chicken Guy because Sia gave him a big pile of cash. So no matter how hungry he gets it would look pretty bad if he sent them to the pot! Who was it trying to catch the goat in the preview for next week? Ozzy?

          • How can you put Itchy and Scratchy into the cooking pot???😭😭😭

          • With a little corn and some coconut water and some herbs and spices if you’ve won them in a reward challenge.

  6. Oh yeah, Juz. I forgot about Sia giving him money. He might be hoping for another donation. Either way, he can’t eat chook now, or can he. He should at least let the other decide for themselves and not carry on like pork chop….a vegetarian reconsituted soya bean pork chop.
    He’s a character, I will give him that, but he is acting silly. It’s not IAC Get me outa here. He’s playing with the big kids now. I hope he can lift his game or people will carry him just for final three canon fodder.

  7. Didn’t think i would like this series, as not a fan at all of returning players, but yep its got me hook, line and sinker!
    My all time fave Aubry is back as are Varner, JT, Malcom and heh i know he wasnt liked but Culpepper is a fave too.
    Loving hearing from crazy Deb too, that woman is pure tv gold!
    How many times has Ozzy been on this show now? The plaits are def not becoming.
    Have not come across Zeke pr Michaela so they will be interesting to,watch…hopefully they double episodes every week!

  8. Littlepetal, Itchy ans Scratchy look well fed and well groomed and would have too much chooky sense to go on Survivor.

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