In some ways, we consider Survivor: Game Changers episode 8 to be the calm before the storm. Earlier tonight, we saw a brilliant-but-subtle move by Cirie to get Michaela to stick around with her in the game. It’s something that she didn’t have to do, but she understands sometimes how small moves like this can be essential to your long-term survival.
In episode 9, Cirie made it clear almost right away that she was ready to strike tonight, making it very clear that she wanted to target either Brad or Sierra at this point. They’re both in control of the game right now, and at some point, you do need to take one of them out.
Here’s where things started to get interesting. Cirie and Andrea did a good job formulating much of their plan, mostly because they were surrounded by more beta players who need them to make moves like this. However, they misjudged Zeke as someone interested in going along with this. He was cognizant of just how good the two of them are at Survivor, and perceived them as the bigger threat than Brad or Sierra. This is something that he got a little more time to think about at the Marshall’s Spa reward, which was probably the weirdest product placement ever since Marshall’s isn’t a spa! It’s where you go to buy clothes! At least the Casa de Charmin in Survivor: Exile Island made a little more sense. (Hey, we’re not gonna complain since product placement keeps the show on the air.)
We don’t want to spend too much more time on the reward, though, since it’s the final half-hour that shined tonight. First, Tai defeated Ozzy in what was an epic showdown in a challenge that Ozzy had won two times already. We said in the first review tonight that Tai is the most resilient player in the show’s history, and we stand by it. We do think that iron sharpens iron in terms of life experience; this is a man who has been through so much in his real life that these sort of challenges don’t phase him at all. Also, he’s small, and that means less weight to have to keep up there.
Now, time to scramble
Back at camp, we knew that there were two teams: Sierra’s team and Cirie’s team. If we were out there, we would go with Sierra given that she had people like Brad and Troyzan, who aren’t perceived really as strategic masterminds. Stick with them for a vote or two, and then turn the table. Zeke’s sentiment was right.
Here’s where things went a little bit crazy — Zeke went and told Sierra the truth about wanting to get rid of Andrea. That led to Andrea and Cirie wanting to get rid of Zeke, given that Sierra went and spilled the beans. While Sierra didn’t trust Zeke because of his delivery, Debbie brought up the idea of blindsiding Ozzy … and everyone seemed cool with it. We do think that Zeke is a tremendous player, but for some reason, he’s not connecting with people in a way to keep himself from being targeted.
Ultimately, it seemed like it was really Sarah in the middle. However, Debbie opted to use her extra vote, which may have negated that. Ozzy was blindsided! Tonight, Debbie got her way, but we’ll see if it stays that way the rest of the season. Cirie and Andrea lost a number, but we’re not sure how big of a loss it will be for them in the end.
All in all, a hell of a Survivor episode. We wish we had more of these two-hour blocks. Grade: A-.
For some further news, including a preview of what is coming up on the show next, be sure to head over to the link here. (Photo: CBS.)