“Survivor: Game Changers” 2017 Premiere Recap

Truth rating: 10
Survivor Premiere Recap

By Shari Weiss |

Survivor Premiere Recap


“Survivor: Game Changers” premiered on Wednesday. Check out the full recap below!

The 34th season of the CBS survival competition, set in Mamanuca Islands, Fiji, filmed last summer. Twenty former contestants were invited back for another shot at winning the show’s $1 million prize. But in order to qualify, the competitors had to be someone producers, and presumably viewers, thought were strategic, skilled, game-changing players.

The returning participants were divided into two tribes. Mana features Aubry Braco, Michaela Bradshaw, two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, Ciera Eastin, Hail Ford, Malcolm Freberg, Caleb Reynolds, Troy “Troyzan” Robertson, Jeff Varner, and Tony Vlachos. Nuku includes Andrea Boehlke, Brad Culpepper, Cirie Fields, Sarah Lacina, Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth, Zeke Smith, Sierra Dawn Thomas, James “JT” Thomas Jr, Tai Trang, and Debbie Warner.

The premiere episode, which happens to be the series’ 500th and is called “The Stakes Have Been Raised,” kicked off with host Jeff Probst telling the contestants why they were chosen to come back and grouping them into their tribes. They were then tasked with compiling supplies from their arrival boat, and trying to obtain a massive tool kit from underwater, which Ozzy scored for Nuku. Upon arriving on shore, the teams set up camp and became acquainted with each other and the island.

Tony, who won in 2013, was most interested in finding the idol and needling his team mates, while Sierra found the legacy advantage, which gave her immunity to use when there are 13 or 6 players left. On day two, Cirie and Ozzy attempted to start over with a “clean slate,” with Tai caught in the middle. Tony built a “spy bunker,” raising suspicions.

For the first immunity challenge, the teams had to obtain keys in the water, do an obstacle course to get back on shore, and solve a puzzle. Nuku won, earning immunity and flint to make a fire. Mana now had to go to the season’s first tribal council, and Tony was ready to get rid of the “weakest threat.” Many agreed that was Ciera, but told her that they’d be voting for Michaela, much to Michaela’s chagrin.

At the elimination ceremony, suggestive comments were made all around before the votes were cast and tallied. With six votes, the majority, against Ciera, she was officially out. The next morning, on day four, Tony set about with Aubry on organizing an alliance to keep his “biggest threats” around him, including Sandra. That night, Tony resumed work on his bunker, and rightly suspected Sandra was crossing him.

On day five, Cirie tried forming an alliance with Sarah, Zeke, and Debbie, though all were skeptical, while Sandra created her own alliance behind Tony’s back. So, on day six, Tony teamed up with Malcolm and Caleb against her. That day also brought the second immunity challenge, which required the teams to do another water obstacle course, solve a combination lock, and toss rings to spell “immunity.” At stake: A fishing kit.

Nuku again won, scoring the fishing kit and immunity. And Mana again had to deal with tribal council, with Sandra ready to send Tony packing and vice versa. Both tried to secure enough votes and, at the ceremony, the team debated whether it’s better to have a strong team or a strategic one.

After the votes were cast, Jeff tallied them up and TONY was eliminated after five ballots named him. “That’s what you get for plotting against me, and the queen stays queen,” Sandra declared.

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