Survivor Game Changers
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“What Happened on Exile, Stays on Exile”

The Queen has finally been knocked off of her throne. Last week, two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine was finally voted off, ending her (combined) 94-day run on Survivor. As the Nuku Tribe made their way to the reward challenge, both tribes expressed happiness with Sandra being out of the game. Nuku easily won the reward challenge to win pizza and soft drinks for the tribe. At Mana, the defeated tribe reached their breaking point. Many of them were in tears after expressing the difficulty of the game. Mana redeemed themselves with a come from behind win in the immunity challenge, sending Nuku to tribal council. Seeing that he was a clear target, Jeff Varner did everything he could to try and get everyone to vote out Ozzy, who is a huge physical threat. Many agreed that it would be a wise move to vote out Ozzy. However, things took an unexpected turn at tribal council. A desperate Varner immediately went on the offensive. After feeling betrayed because of what he felt was an alliance between Zeke and Ozzy, Varner exposed to the tribe that several of them are at the bottom. Things took a sudden turn when Varner brought up deception. He turned right to Zeke and blatantly asked him “Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender?” Varner was scolded by the entire tribe as well as Jeff Probst for outing Zeke in front of the whole tribe and the millions of people watching. After nearly 15 minutes of Varner trying to defend himself, it was clear that all prior plans were out the window and he was going home. After Jeff took an oral poll of the tribe, it was clear that they unanimously wanted Varner out. No formal vote was taken, and Varner had is torch snuffed out.
I wanted to be clear on something. Despite what many fans have said on social media, Jeff Varner is not an evil, mean-spirited person. Also, he did not instantly become a villain either after he outed Zeke as transgender. Now, there is no defending what Varner said. Without question, it was a low blow. Despite Varner’s defense of it showing that Zeke was capable of deception, this was flat out a personal attack that did not need to happen and was completely unnecessary. Not only did he shoot himself in the foot by saying that, he nearly blew his entire foot off. He knew as soon as he said it and got hammered for it that he has cost himself his spot in the game. Varner was extremely and legitimately genuine in his apology. Despite attacking Zeke like that, he is still a good person and again was genuinely remorseful in his apology. The damage had already been done, but there’s no need to go after Varner for that.

Let’s Break Things Down:

Strongest Survivor:

Mana: Hali
Although they lost the reward challenge, Mana made a great comeback in the immunity challenge. The last part of the challenge involved using buoys with letters on them to spell out a word. The comeback was complete after Hali figured out what the word was before anyone else did. Nuku was quick to spell out words, but none of the words was the right word. This may not seem like much, but if it wasn’t for Hali, then Mana heads to the tribal council instead of Nuku.
Nuku: Zeke
Zeke has always been a strong player and a threat going back to his time on the previous season of Survivor (Millenials vs Gen X). This season is no different. Ozzy could also be considered this week’s Strongest Survivor, but Zeke’s strategy was so simple but brilliant. Varner was upset with Zeke because he thought that Zeke was in a secret alliance with Ozzy. In reality, Zeke wasn’t so much in an alliance with Ozzy, he just didn’t want Ozzy to go home. The thing is, Zeke is well aware of the fact that he is a threat in this game. However, Ozzy is a bigger threat. Zeke smartly did what he could to keep Ozzy around to keep the target on someone else’s back, and not his. Again, simple but brilliant.

Soon To Be Snuffed:

Normally, a castaway from each tribe is selected for this section. However, it’s no secret that the eventual merging of the tribes is getting closer. With that in mind, Ozzy needs to always be watching his back. Similar to Joe Anglim in his two seasons, as long has he continues to win immunity, he will stay in the game. However, if he loses the challenge, the tribe may vote him out as soon as they get a chance. Next week, the two tribes become one, when the long-awaited merge takes place. All bets are off when it goes from a tribal game to an individual game.   Survivor: Game Changers airs Wednesdays at 8/7 c on CBS

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