Survivor: Game Changers

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Hubris

Each week, Scott Gallagher breaks down the show minute by minute in Survivor Pop Culture Recap. It’s live blogging complete with commercial breaks.

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Hubris

Welcome back. It’s time for another week of Survivor after we lost Cray Cray Debbie last week, in dramatic fashion I might add. Debbie paid the price from the Survivor gods and they responded by forging a force with the hair of Ozzy dipped into the magical waters to get Debbie’s fate turned towards her Survivor death. The aftermath of this event is that we are now on a more level playing field numbers-wise with the game. The game is wide open, yet it’s starting to settle a little bit, maybe a little more after tonight. In all-star seasons, it’s all about surviving and advancing to the next day, without the security of having any of the trust that you may have in a normal season. Everything can change so quickly in seasons like this, where all it takes is someone throwing out your name and seeing if anyone calls the bluff or just rolls with that.

With all that said, let’s see where everybody stands heading into tonight.

Pre-Show Status:

Aubry: Aubry, once again, is looking like she is in a pretty good spot heading into tonight. It seems like she wouldn’t be someone who gets targeted this week, as people see there are “bigger” fish to fry. Unlike other players who just can’t help themselves from trying to force a power play, Aubry appears more willing to stay in the shadows and let other people self-destruct. That strategy, to me, seems to be the most effective, especially when nobody appears to be targeting you. We will see if this holds true tonight.

Last Week: I don’t think much has changed than what I thought last week about Aubry. Aubry may not be charismatic, very vocal or someone who Survivor historians will write novels about in the future, but in this season, Aubry is a threat as of now because she is not someone who is being targeted. Aubry has the ability to adapt and flip sides without it being too transparent. I look for more of the same from Aubry this week.

Caleb: R.I.P.

Malcolm: R.I.P.

Ciera: R.I.P.

Hali: R.I.P.

Michaela: Michaela last week seemed very withdrawn from the game. She wasn’t chosen for the Reward Challenge and sulked over that. Maybe if she was more focused she would have noticed the hidden advantage under her seat– maybe not– but she was clearly rattled from that. Tough to see a scenario where Michaela wins this game because socially she doesn’t have any capital. Nobody is going to follow a Michaela plan. Michaela’s role this season maybe is to help push Cirie further in the game?

Last Week: Michaela survived the last episode by the skin of her teeth, thanks mostly to Cirie. Even with Cirie looking after her and trying to remind her to use her anger management skills and form a poker face, it doesn’t matter as Michaela is incapable of not making s*it weird if she feels like her name is being bandied about. I mean, I get it. It would be stressful knowing that your name is being thrown out there, but she takes that to the next level with how she acts. I think Michaela is on very shaky ground heading into tonight…We will see how much power Cirie has to protect her because I think Michaela could be gone tonight.

Jeff: R.I.P.

Sandra: R.I.P.

Troyzan: I don’t see anybody targeting him this week, I mean, he’s like Vern in Stand By Me standing guard at the campfire, waving the gun in all directions whenever there is any kind of noise. (Wish I had a clip of that)…Point being , Troyzan is always on high alert. He just tends to defer to anyone who wants to tell him that he is safe. Maybe he is getting a bad edit, but it just seems like that to me. He has an idol, so I would like to see how he would use his idol. Make a move, Troyzan, when the time is right and prove me wrong about you being a soft player.

Last Week: Troyzan has an idol and Troyzan comes off like such a weak player. He makes it very hard (that’s what she said) to root for him. He walks around camp all day like a prisoner who thinks he is going to be killed at any moment by the guards, so he actually seems like he has Stockholm syndrome. With all that said, Troyzan isn’t in an awful position by any stretch. He doesn’t appear to be anybody’s target and he doesn’t ruffle feathers per se, so maybe he can rise to the occasion.  I mean, not that I would bet anything on that, but he seems stable right now.

Tony: R.I.P.

Andrea: Andrea survived last week after her name was being tossed around peacefully like she was the ball being thrown with serenity by Kevin Costner and his dad at the end of Field of Dreams and everybody could agree that Andrea is acting really annoying, so let’s throw her off the show.

I think Andrea is at the point of no return as far as managing her behaviors. I think she will be a target moving forward and there’s nothing she can do to win the game in my opinion. I think she is cooked.

Last week: I think Andrea is literally doing exactly what I said she would, which is to have a false sense of her standing in the game parlayed with an itch to make a move that will only backfire on her and lead to her demise. Does anybody disagree with that? No way is she winning this game– not happening. Her downfall is coming. The thing is, her instincts on reading things are pretty good. Her instincts on moves to make, though, are pretty bad. I think she could be a prime candidate to go tonight.

Brad: So it seems like some people think Brad has a legitimate chance to win this game? I am not in that camp, as I just don’t think the other players will let him get there. What I mean is that some players can hide in the background and not cause any alarm bells to go off. Brad isn’t one of those players. People know he’s around and they know they don’t want him to get there. Brad needs to keep Tai very close and pray that Tai sticks with him and maybe helps him out with one of those idols he has. I believe that is what it’s going to take for Brad to have a chance in this game.

Last Week: Okay, so Brad appears to be seen as one of the top leaders in the game by the other players. That usually means he will be targeted if not now, then very soon. It’s just too easy for the other players to justify going for him. Brad gets props for holding it together for as long as he has. He’s been way more likable this time around. I just don’t know if the people close to him (Sierra, Tai) will stay close to him at the first sign of trouble.

Cirie: So I could have done without the Lifetime movie of pushing through life’s obstacles starring Cirie getting through the reward challenge last week. With that said, I still think Cirie is who I’m rooting for most in the game. Whether she can get people to play ball with her, or whether everyone is hung up on making their own moves is the question. Cirie could be a target tonight if things are calm at camp, but I doubt that will be the case. I look for Cirie to advance past tonight.

Last Week:  I ended my last blog saying that Cirie is the person I find myself rooting for now. It just kind of happened last episode, and for whatever reason, she seems to be portrayed as someone who might find herself winning this game…not that I’m trying to jinx her. For Cirie, it comes down to whether the other players let her continue to fly under the radar, or if she is truly seen as a threat. Tonight is huge. She has to make a move that weakens the other side–somehow, someway get things a little more balanced or tilted her side’s way.

Debbie: R.I.P…Right? She’s not coming back, right? Like Brad isn’t going to come back to camp and see the back of Sierra fixing some coffee and

that happens right?

JT: R.I.P.

Ozzy: R.I.P.

Sarah: Big week for Sarah last episode. She found an advantage and she decided not to stay with the status quo. She put her vote towards Debbie and now Sarah is looking stronger than ever before. Was this an aberration, or should Sarah be taken as a serious threat in this game? I think the jury is still out. Tonight we will see how much swag Sarah has, as maybe she will take some heat for not sticking to the original plan, but we will see.

Last Week: Not a lot changing for me here. Sarah appears to be smack in the middle of both sides of things. I don’t see her being able to get to the top of anybody’s food chain here, but maybe that is exactly what is needed this season, as each side guns for the other side’s strongest player. Maybe Sarah can find herself in a pretty good spot. I think Sarah is also itching to do something stupid. This season is leading the way for people who are in good positions itching to do really stupid things.

Sierra: A dose of reality hit Sierra last week, when the vote didn’t go the way she thought it would. Her name has definitely been out there as someone the other players feel is controlling this game. Will that be all she wrote for Sierra or can she adapt her game and roll with this punch? Her instincts have been god awful, so let’s see if she can find the right people to play with. Or will she walk herself right into a trap?

Last Week: Sierra, I feel, took a big step back last episode. Her instincts are bad….really bad…..Topped with the fact that she was acting wayyyyyyyyyyyy too cocky. The Survivor gods hate that. Normally, they will send a Survivor angel of death to take the soul of cocky Survivor players to Hades….not to be overdramatic or anything. Sierra has a target on her back. Watch out tonight. It could be her time.

Tai: It’s been a quiet couple of weeks for Tai. Tai hasn’t set off any social grenades lately, so maybe we are due for one tonight? What Tai is going to do with his idols is the key to his chances of winning this game, not to state the obvious, but it’s true. Will Tai pick the right moments to drop them– maybe use them and take out a major player in this game? That’s what I would like to see from Tai.

Last Week: I still feel like Tai has no chance to win this game. It just feels that, at any time, Tai can completely swing the game by revealing something accidentally that he’s not supposed to share which will then alter the destiny of the season. I don’t want Tai in control of altering the Survivor destiny..Don’t do that, Tai. It will be funny if Tai starts playing idols left and right. It should be annoying to everybody else. Tai, maybe actually now that I think of it, could at least get himself to the final four on idols alone….Hmmmmmmm.

Zeke: Zeke is a lot like Andrea, where the question for him is whether he can try not to force something that isn’t there and if it’s too late for him, since he kind of tried to take control of this game and missed. Zeke is smart socially and seems to have decent instincts reading people, so can he use those specific skills to buy himself more time in this game? Sometimes you make a move, miss and if they don’t get you out right away, you are sort of left for dead, forgotten about. Can Zeke play possum for the next couple of weeks? I say yes.

Last Week: So I guess history repeats itself, doesn’t it? Zeke, you just couldn’t help yourself…Things were looking good for you dude, but you had to try and force a move that wasn’t there. Zeke is in trouble. Nobody is really going to trust him now as that little stunt he pulled last week is going to come back to bite him on the ass. If you are a returning player, you’ve got to learn from the mistakes that you made the first time around.

This is how I see everybody heading into tonight. Honestly, who the hell knows what will happen tonight. Nobody you like is safe, life is cold, harsh, and people die. That is the reality of the situation, so don’t get attached to anybody. I wouldn’t bet money on anybody and neither should you.


It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time. Let’s start the show.

Previously on Survivor:

We relive Zeke and Andrea “facing off”? Wasn’t that like twelve seconds at the start of the last episode? Wouldn’t really call that recap worthy.


Post-vote, we join everybody at camp, feigning praise for the move that got made tonight.

Brad is rattled, not knowing where he lies in this game.

Sarah owns to everybody that she flipped. Brad and Sierra look at her like Hilary Clinton looked at Trump at his inauguration.


Michaela is talking to Zeke and Andrea, telling them that they have to stick together. Both Zeke and Andrea are trying to pretend that they’re feeling her, but it’s clear they’re both like: “Why is she telling us this? We are like five moves ahead of her.”

Commercial Break

I’m really excited for this.

The Dark Tower books I read about two years ago…Got to be honest… I’m a little concerned about McConaughey playing the part of the devil in any way that would be true to the book….Kinda afraid of things like this happening:

Great for Wolf of Wall Street–not great for the Dark Tower series. Plus, it looks like he dyed his hair with soy sauce. Anyway, if you haven’t read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, it’s seven or eight books (ranging from captivating to “It’s 1987 and I’m Stephen King and I’m really coked out writing this book”) and it went off the rails at times, but then it got back on track.


Back from break, it’s time for the Reward Challenge.

They’re split up into two teams playing for a night away somewhere else with food, a bed, and all the fixings.

Michaela is stretching for this comp, looking like a bull about to be released into the open.

Pretty close here so far. The team of Sara, Zeke, Aubry, Brad and Andrea is ahead of the team of Sierra, Cirie, Tai, Michaela and Troyzan.

It comes down to spelling a specific phrase with a series of letters. Both teams are stuck so far and even.

Finally, the phrase comes to the team of Sara, Zeke, Brad, Aubry and Andrea who are the winners and will reap the benefits of this reward.

Commercial Break

Actually, let’s once again stick with this Stephen King thing.

The best five Stephen King movies of all time:

  1.  Shawshank
  2. Stand By Me
  3. Dead Zone
  4. Running Man

“Here’s Sub-Zero….Now plain zero”…..I won’t debate this. This is the list.

  1. Misery

Carrie just feels way too dated now. Pet Cemetery feels like it was a made-for-TV movie now. The Shining just missed my top five, mostly because I hate the wife in that movie so much, that I was actively hoping that Jack would succeed in his mission to stick an ax in her….Sorry not sorry.


Back from break, we join the reward winners as they get flown in a helicopter to their night getaway at a resort.

Everybody eats themselves into a coma. Zeke and Brad start bonding over football, but Andrea is not liking this. She is getting hostile about how Zeke “betrayed her”…The most liberal use of the term “betrayed” in the history of the spoken word.


Back with the losing team at camp. Sierra is now realizing that she is near the bottom of the food chain.

Tai and Troyzan start talking, both hiding that each has an idol. Both are ready to use their idols if necessary.


Aubry points out that Brad and Zeke have gotten close…so apparently this football talk between them has really thrown everybody into a tizzy.


Andrea plots with Cirie to get Zeke out of this game. Cirie seems to be on board right now with this plan…They want to approach Sarah, but think she is protective of Zeke.


Cirie approaches Sarah about Zeke, but Sarah is not feeling it. She makes an argument to keep him safe. Sarah shares with Cirie that she has an advantage to steal a vote. It seems like a dangerous move, trusting someone who will cut you. Out loud, they say Sierra is still the plan.

Commercial Break

Please tell me that everybody is watching Fargo: Season Three with Ewan McGregor playing brothers. His performance definitely puts him up there in the all-time “actor playing a pair of siblings” category with Jean Claude Van Damme when he played Alex and Chad Wagner in Double Impact.

Can I just say I love that Jean Claude Van Damme played a character whose name is “Chad Wagner”….I also loved how they separated the two characters by hairstyle. The “good” twin has the nice, fluffed hair and the more “wildcard” of the two brothers has permanently slicked-back hair. It’s just really sad that there is a generation of young people out there who missed  theVan Damme era….Anyhoo, watch Fargo.


Back from break, we don’t go straight to the immunity challenge like we normally do post the third commercial break.

Zeke shares that he doesn’t know where everybody’s head is at. He feels like it’s time for him to make another “move”. Oh boy. Here we go again, Zeke.

Sarah and Zeke talk about the plan being to get Sierra out first, then Andrea, and then Tai.

They want to bring Brad and Tai into the fold.


Zeke approaches Troyzan and Brad to join him. They both, so far, are on board. Brad shares with us that he will cut Sierra or Tai– that it doesn’t matter to him….


Time for the Immunity Challenge.

The comp this week is stacking a row of blocks like dominoes. I’m putting my money on Michaela.


We got Andrea in first and Michaela in second. Everybody else is in a clump behind.


Andrea wins immunity. So Andrea is safe. So far the episode has made it look like Sierra and Zeke are the two names being tossed out there.

Commercial Break

Sometimes you go on a diet and it makes you homicidal. I’m currently in one of the phases where I think about food, almost like a heroin addict thinks about heroin. I don’t care what anybody says–eating healthy sucks. It’s supposed to be hard, and yeah, I want a double double with animal-style fries, please.


Okay, we’re back for the backstretch of this episode.

Since Andrea won the comp, she is really feeling herself and now she wants to make a “big move”…She wants Zeke’s blood. Andrea calls her plan “brilliant”…Please Survivor gods, on pure principle, don’t let this happen.

Andrea approaches Cirie about getting Zeke out. Sierra approaches them really groveling to be a part of any plan that doesn’t involve her.


Next, they know they need to get Sarah on board and here comes Sarah. They pitch her Zeke, and she holds a poker face, but tells us that she is not on board….

Andrea approaches Michaela and Aubry. Aubry is on board, but Michaela is not.

Sarah and Michaela talk. They don’t like the plan, but can they stop this train?


We head to tribal. We see the jury. The jury looks hostile.

Sarah owns up to flipping on Debbie. This leads to Debbie having an absolutely crazy face as she flips off Sarah….Here we go.

So far nobody is revealing their hands. Tough to get a read on things, but it does seem pretty idiotic to vote out Zeke as far as numbers go.


Everybody gets sent off to vote and I have no freaking clue where the votes are headed.


Nobody plays an idol. We go to the votes:










11th person voted out and fourth member of our jury: Zeke. Zeke is gone. Michaela is crying. Andrea made her move and it worked for now.



Andrea got her wish and now the numbers are back to being pretty even. Her hubris, though, I’m predicting will lead to her downfall very soon. They have Sierra down and instead of finishing her off, they let her survive for another day and that could come back to haunt them. We shall see. Sarah, once again, is looking stronger and stronger as far as her place in the game. Will the fact that she shared with Cirie that she has an advantage come back to haunt her? This season is like a close fight with ebbs and flows. One person in one episode is on top, and then the next episode that person is on the bottom.

If I had to handicap who I think the winner will be I would go:

  1. Sierra
  2. Cirie
  3. Sarah

That is my top three right now, but really you could probably make an argument to me about anybody in the game being in the best spot and it would be hard to argue against that…except for Michaela…I don’t think Michaela can win….Everybody else seems to have some hope.

Who is everyone else’s top three??????

Thanks for reading. See you next week.


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