Survivor: Game Changers

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Let’s All Pretend to Be Drunk

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: Let’s All Pretend to Be Drunk

Welcome back. It’s time for another week of Survivor and after last week’s most uncomfortable, unfathomable decision by Jeff, which temporarily made his exit the most hated anybody has been since Sarah Michele Gellar at the end of Cruel Intentions.

We wash our hands of that ugly moment and hopefully slide right back into Survivor the game without it getting too ugly. I guess the plan is for the merge to happen tonight, which officially kicks off the second half of this game. With everybody together, we get to see what the plans are and who is going to step forward and try to take control of the game. Timing is everything in Survivor, so many times, we see people who think they are in charge of the game and therefore try to demonstrate their survivoring is so much more survivorish than anybody else’s, and they usually implode and are the next to go. The merge is happening and this game is wide open. Don’t know who people think is the favorite heading into tonight. Maybe going through each player right now like we always do heading into tonight will help?

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


Pre-Show Status:

Aubry: My theory of somebody random this season appears to be a pretty damn good theory if I do say so myself. Aubry, as I have said, fits that criteria I believe. Aubry now can settle into the game. Knowing the merge happens, we will see tonight where she falls on the food chain. I think the more visible targets are going to go first and I don’t see Aubry as one of those people. I think Aubry is poised to make a good run here moving forward.

Caleb: R.I.P.

Malcolm: R.I.P.

Ciera: R.I.P.

Hali: Hali, in my opinion, is in one of the better spots heading into tonight than anybody. She is not a target, and more importantly, she will probably get courted by the two sides (assuming that we will get a split of sides). Hali will get to determine who goes probably. How long will she get to play the swing person is the question, and more importantly, can Hali be patient to sit on the sidelines as the bigger targets pick each other off? I think Hali is safe tonight, obviously, but can she play smart Survivor to set up her future. I say no….

Michaela: The Survivor god of competitions and anger management issues heads into the merge in not an awful place, but you’ve got to think she is someone who looks like a pretty good target to everybody else and it’s only a matter of time before she is the target to go. I think before she does, she and Ozzy need to have a head-to-head battle with each other like they are in 300, equipped with some dark, one-on-one talk with one another.

Jeff: R.I.P.

Sandra: R.I.P.

Troyzan: Okay, if you are a Troyzan fan (the one or two of you out there reading this), now is the time to make people like me shut up. Will Troyzan try to take a leading role here down the backstretch or will he follow a female and do her bidding like before? Troyzan has an idol and with that comes an nice insurance policy for him. I don’t get the sense that he will be one of the first ones targeted here post-merge. I just think he plays Survivor with so much fear of getting voted out that he never leads or gets a chance to show the real Troyzan. We will see if that changes, but I doubt it.

Tony: R.I.P.

Andrea: Andrea, like Hali, strikes me as someone not in a bad spot, but Andrea has just god-awful Survivor instincts and will try to force a move that isn’t there, and in doing so, will be responsible for her own Survivor death…like a suicide by cop plan. Andrea just can’t help herself. She just has to try and control things and fails to see the big picture. I haven’t seen anything this season that would make me change my mind about that. Andrea will go in the next three episodes is my prediction.

Brad: Brad has played a way better season than his first time around, where he basically played like a bull in the china shop. This time around he has played way more poised and even dealt with psycho Debbie’s mid-psychotic meltdown and stayed calm. He deserves a medal for that alone. Now I feel like Brad is about to meet his fate. I think he will either lose his poise now, or he will be targeted anyways by people, and that will be curtains for him. He has played well, but I don’t think he has the goods to carry this all the way.

Cirie: They have let Cirie hang around a long time in this game. She escaped peril early in the season and now the question around Cirie is whether they will let her fly under the radar or will she be done. She is like the “spy” in Stratego, where if she attacks anybody on the board they die, but if anybody attacks her she dies. It’s hard to imagine that Ozzy will just let Cirie go around unscathed. You’ve got to think eventually he is going to try to set the target on her, but Cirie likewise will probably be trying to do the same thing to him, so that should be an interesting dynamic to look for.

Debbie: And once again:

Debbie is five types of crazy, and so trying to predict what her future will hold in this game is damn near impossible. I mean, what do you do with Debbie if you’re a player in the game? Do you try to manage her crazy to your advantage? That can easily backfire and have her plotting your death. I don’t think anybody is going to allow Debbie to be a leader here, so then it becomes which group of people Debbie decides to roll with. Lord knows who that will be.

JT: R.I.P.

Ozzy: Ozzy heads into tonight as someone who is a posterchild for a Survivor target. Tonight would be a great time for Ozzy to start a string of winning Immunity Challenges, because if not, it’s going to be hard for his name not to be brought up at Tribal. Ozzy needs to take charge of things and act aggressively with trying to be the alpha in the game, because no matter what, he is a target. He might as well try his best to control things for as long as he can. Maybe he can swing some numbers his way? We will see, but I think Ozzy is in one of the toughest positions in the game.

Sarah: Sarah plays the game with so much stress that I feel like she is at risk to have a stroke at any moment. The residue of imploding her first go-around playing Survivor is that she has tried so hard all season to avoid that fate, but as the game gets tighter, the stress levels will go up. Can Sarah hold it together? She doesn’t appear to be a first-target of anybody in the game, so it’s tough to imagine she would go tonight. We will see if Sarah can stay patient and stay under the radar, because if she can, maybe she can make it deep during this backstretch of the game.

Sierra: I thought Sierra would be gone by now, but she was the benefactor of the JT implosion a few weeks ago. Now here we are and Sierra’s survivor life appears to be stable right now– no clear or present dangers. Sierra is a good player– better than I had remembered her being. Sierra has a good well-rounded Survivor game. She is threat to be there at the end.

Tai: Tai and his seventeen different Immunity Idols appears to be safe. It must be nice to just be able to find an idol thirty seconds later whenever you need or want one. Tai is just too unpredictable and respectfully f**king sucks at the social game…I mean, how many times do we have to watch Tai blow up a plan five minutes before Tribal? Love Tai as a person, but my lord, keep your mouth shut about the plan, Tai. Tai will be a target– I just don’t think Tai will be a target tonight.

Zeke: Pre Varner’s “move” last tribal, Zeke was getting some heat his way. It’s tough to predict how what happened at last tribal will, if at all, affect anything for Zeke. Last time around Zeke got way too cocky and it cost him his Survivor life, so I don’t see that happening this time around. It just comes down to whether Zeke looks to make a move to put himself in top position, or does Zeke lay low and fly under the radar for as long as possible? Zeke is at the fork in the Survivor road. We will see which way he chooses.

Okay, so that leads us into tonight. The merge sets us with all the pieces on the Survivor board in one place at one time. Who can stand out and get their agenda followed by a majority? Who can lead without having a target on their back? Can this happen or will it just be one attack after the other without a normal alliance taking over– just one voting bloc of people after the other week to week? I guess we will find out tonight, or at least maybe get an idea of where we are headed tonight.


Let’s get into the action.

It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time.

8 pm

Previously on Survivor:

Okay, we relive last week….Jeff recaps that Varner made a “desperate” move…That’s one way to put it….


We start tonight with the Nukus, as Sarah is aggressively pissed that people decided at the last tribal to forgive Varner. Tai starts crying. Sarah is on a mission here.

Zeke is trying to move on from the moment last week. The producers are hammering home the support Zeke is getting right now, which is understandable obviously.


Now we join everybody at the beach as there is food and apparently the time to merge is upon us.

Jeff has something covered up under a cloth.

Jeff shares that one person from each team must volunteer to not take part in having a copious amount of food…which just seems f**king evil….

Commercial Break

We got the new trailer for the new Star Wars movie:

It is kind of weird to see Luke Skywalker again….It’s even better now in 2017 to just pretend that the prequels that George Lucas did just never happened. I have to believe that, for George Lucas, seeing these new Star Wars movies would be like watching a porno of your ex whom you were still in love with, only it’s a porn that is socially acceptable for whatever reason and a billion people have seen it and loved it. Not that you can really feel that sorry for him considering he sold his company for over a billion dollars.


Back from break, and let’s see who is going to get screwed.

Brad decides to volunteer not to eat. Zeke is not buying the “new” Brad here.

Tai, for the Nukus, decides to sit this one out.

And Jeff shares that we are now officially merged. It’s time to start this game. Basically, everybody thinks Brad is full of crap which is hilarious because he gave up this opportunity and it’s buying him zero capital in the game.


Cirie points out that the game is going now. Everybody is full of it. It’s time to play Survivor.


Brad shares that he has taking over the Caleb role for Tai now…bold claim. Brad also shares that Hali and Michaela are his targets right now. What’s the over/under for when Tai blurts that out to Hali and Michaela? Five minutes?


Debbie drinks four sips of alcohol and appears near a blackout….until she shares that she is pretending, that she didn’t even drink….Wow, the “fake drunk” angle? Debbie is always one step ahead of the game….

Commercial Break

Anytime I see a preview on CBS for their show Bull, I almost have a violent reaction. What is this show even about? I don’t know. I just know any CBS procedural that is named Bull is going to irritate me. Let’s take a look as to what this piece of trash is all about:

“The series follows the employees at Trial Analysis Corporation (TAC), a jury consulting firm headed by Dr. Jason Bull who is a psychologist and “trial science” expert. Bull uses his skills and those of his team to not only select the right jurors for his clients, but to help his clients’ lawyers decide which type of argument will win over jurors best.”

Let me guess, you can’t judge these potential jury members solely on their looks…I would guess that “Bull” sees things that nobody else sees that help his clients win their cases in the very last possible moment?….Yuck.


Okay, back from break, as everybody heads to camp.

Debbie takes it upon herself to try and bury the hatchet with Brad. She does this with an uncomfortably long hug that leaves Brad afraid to make any sudden moves.


Zeke recaps to everybody what happened at Tribal.

Aubry shares that she is ready to scope out the lay of the land, see who is with who…Watch out for Aubry…


Ozzy, Brad, and Troyzan talk about who to get out…Any bets that Troyzan leaves the guys to follow the girls??????


Word about Michaela being the target is spreading like wildfire through the camp.

As Sierra and Zeke are talking about why Michaela needs to go, Michaela joins the convo and she’s not great at having a poker face (understatement of the year).


Zeke breaks down the two groups: He says it’s Sarah, Andrea, Cirie, and himself against Brad and Sierra’s group. Thank you, Zeke.

Commercial Break

Doesn’t it feel bizarre that this generation of teenagers is growing up without music videos (for the most part)? Like I don’t know what my childhood would have been like without this piece of art in my life to help culture me:

Just for the record, was “MC Scat Cat” ever heard from or seen again? Or was this just a one time thing? Anyways, it’s a dark world that we are living in now that we don’t have mainstream music videos in our lives anymore.


Hali shares that she wants to try and help Michaela step up and get her fire burning. She tells Michaela that her name is being thrown out there.


Michaela goes to Cirie for guidance. Cirie smartly tells Michalea that she needs to chill out with her outbursts and being so easy to rattle.


Time for the Immunity Challenge, our first Individual Immunity Challenge for the year.

The challenge is standing on a board and balancing a block on your head. This feels like an Ozzy or Tai competition.

Here we go:

Hali drops.

Troyzan drops.

Zeke drops.

Cirie drops.

Debbie drops.

Michaela drops.

Ozzy drops.

Aubry drops.

Brad drops.

Sarah drops.

Sierra drops.

We’re down to Tai and Andrea.

Tai drops.

Andrea wins immunity. She’s the first women to ever win this challenge in Survivor history. Her head was perfectly rounded for this competition I guess.

Commercial Break

It’s a pretty big night of TV tonight– we’ve got Survivor and then Fargo: Season Three returns tonight. If you haven’t seen Fargo: Season Two, I strongly recommend that you do!

Also, we lost Billy O’Reilly today to a slew of sexual harassment charges one after the other, like he’s an executive at the Mad Men advertising firm in 1961. I guess we know who the frontrunner is for the 2020 presidency, though.


We’re back from break as we join the big scramble.

Sierra shares that it’s still Michaela and Hali targeted. Sierra’s “instincts” tell us that Hali has an idol….Her instincts are wrong….The split vote is on.


They decide that Zeke will be the decoy vote. Michaela, who joins the convo, joins the convo and decide to unveil her new poker face that she talked about with Cirie.


Not liking where this night is headed, Cirie talks with Zeke about trying to throw a wrench into things tonight. Cirie is trying to get Hali out instead of Michaela.


Zeke makes the pitch to Sierra, who doesn’t appear to be buying what he is selling. When he walks away Sierra tells us that “There is a new sheriff in town”….Talking like that is really frowned upon by the Survivor gods….We will see if they make her pay for that at some point.


Cirie tells Michaela that she is screwed and now I guess her plan is to try and take Zeke out??? Are other people voting Zeke? Did I miss something????


Tribal time. We all head to Tribal with it appearing to be Michaela, Hali, or Zeke going?????


Debbie shares that she won’t be shocked tonight, basically letting us know the votes are set. BTW did her faking drunk plan work? Was it just a short-term plan or is she doing a long con with that?


The talk of hidden idols gets bandied about. Hali volunteers to prove that she doesn’t have an idol. She is willing to do a United Airlines pat-down if needed to prove it.

Nobody takes her up on that and it’s voting time.


Time to read the votes…Nobody plays an idol….

The votes:












The 8th person voted out and first member of the jury…Hali…



Ok…wait…Oh crap there’s another hour???? Wow. Okay, I guess we will push through another hour….



So Cirie voted for Michaela, but only to look like she was with the other players? Brilliant move I guess.

Michaela shares that she owes her Survivor life to Cirie. Here comes Cirie as she is charging hard in this game right now. Michaela vows to follow Cirie’s guidance.


Cirie is now holding court with Zeke and Aubry…Cirie appears to be a leadership position. She shares that Brad or Sierra must go next.


Zeke and Andrea have a heart to heart. And here’s Andrea just like I predicted, telling us that she is slowly gathering numbers poised to take over this game…LOL! Andrea shares that she too wants to take out Brad or Sierra.

Zeke shares that he doesn’t like not being the leader of a side…So he is itching to insert himself into the fray here. He shares that Cirie and Andrea are much bigger threats than Brad or Sierra….

Commercial Break

Anybody else have a fear of raccoons? Did you know that raccoons make the most horrifying sounds known to man when they fight other raccoons? Seriously raccoons look and act scary with their hunched, gangster walk and their ability to open things with their hands…Raccoons are frightening.


Time for the reward challenge. They will be split up into two teams of six, where they will swim to grab to bags of fake fish that will later be used to complete a puzzle. The prize is a “day of luxury”– showers, lotions…

Brad looks like he thinks Jeff is joking because this prize sounds like a joke to him….


We are off and running here.


Both teams are basically tied here as both teams are about to start the puzzle.

Tai and Andrea forget one of the fish and it cost the blue team huge.


It’s Cirie and Sierra for the orange team vs Zeke and Debbie from the blue team on this puzzle.


Wow. Debbie and Zeke make up tons of time and come back and win it for the blue team. Ozzy, Troyzan, Zeke, Debbie, Andrea, and Tai are getting the reward.


Sarah sends us to commercial telling us that she is in the middle and she is going to go with whatever group will vote out the person she wants to vote out….Lots of people are trying to get their agendas passed tonight.

Commercial Break

Subway claiming they have an authentic Italian sandwich physically hurts every Sicilian part of me. Bless their hearts, though. I mean when your feel-good spokesmen for like fifteen years randomly gets busted for child porn and sent to jail for twenty years, it probably leaves the marketing department with not a lot of options.


Back from break, we join the losing team back at camp as Cirie and Sierra are emotional following their choke in that reward challenge.


Next we join the winners at the “Marshalls”(sponsor) lounge….Really, Survivor…Marshalls?

Tai starts streaking….Everybody is having a jolly old time.

Zeke talks with Debbie and Tai about going after Cirie and Andrea. Debbie is not buying what Zeke is saying here. Debbie shows some chops here with some good instincts. Didn’t think she had it in her.

Commercial Break

I got nothing…Cut me a break. It’s a two-hour episode!


Immunity Challenge time. This comp is pretty simple: It’s hanging on a pole. Last person standing wins.

Here we go:

Cirie drops.

Brad drops.

Aubry drops.

Debbie drops.

Zeke drops.

Sierra drops.

Troyzan drops.

Sarah drops.

Twenty minutes into the comp now:

Ozzy declares that he plans on breaking his record….Everybody nods in agreement…

Michaela drops.

Forty minutes into the comp:

We’re down to Ozzy, Tai,and Andrea.

Andrea drops like fifteen feet….Walks it off. Down to Tai and Ozzy.

One hour mark of the comp:


Wow. Tai dethrones Ozzy. Tai wins immunity.


We head to commercial break and I have no clue who the target is right now.

Commercial Break

Undercover boss is on CBS now? Wasn’t undercover boss on NBC? Are people really fooled with the “new guy”, in a completely obvious disguise, being followed around by cameras? Like, within two seconds, don’t you know it’s your boss? Is there any way this is not completely staged?


Back from break, Zeke tells us his grand plan is to get Andrea out. He goes to Sierra to tell her the plan…Once again Sierra is showing some horrific instincts as she is not believing him.

This leads Sierra to telling Cirie what Zeke said and Cirie then telling Andrea and Ozzy what Zeke said.

Now they want to get Zeke out.


Debbie and Sierra have a meeting of the minds and decide that maybe Ozzy should be the one to go. They are going to proceed with that plan.

Debbie goes to Troyzan who looks panicked with happiness, as she tells him that Ozzy is going home.

Debbie spreads the word to Sarah, who is deciding on going with that or voting out Zeke…


We head to tribal, and wow, it could be Ozzy…It could be Zeke…It feels like it’s going to be Ozzy.


So far Ozzy doesn’t know what’s coming.

Nobody is showing their hand, around and around we go, but nobody is letting on.


Time to vote. Poor Ozzy has no clue with what is about to happen….


Jeff goes to tally the votes, but Debbie stops Jeff to play her advantage of an extra vote. A crazy person with a special power is always exciting.


We now go to the votes…No idol is played.












9th person voted out and second member of the jury… Ozzy….



There’s not a third hour tonight, right? I can start and end this recap? Okay, cool. So yeah, Ozzy got absolutely blindsided in a completely traumatic Ozzy way. He had an idol too, right? No, yes? I forget.

I find myself, right now, pulling for Cirie over everybody else. Do other people feel this way at all or is it just me? I just feel like Sierra is way too cocky…..Andrea, like I said from the start, just has no perspective on where she stands like every other time she has played Survivor. Brad isn’t going to win, as the other players just won’t let that happen. So yeah, Cirie is the only player that I’m really feeling and it just started from tonight . I could see myself pulling for Tai, but only if he doesn’t do anything really stupid moving forward, which would you bet your life that he won’t???

I’m pulling for Cirie. Who is everybody else pulling for, or who do you think is going to win???

Thanks for reading. See you next week.


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