survivor re-cap: “bye, felicia.”

S34 Logo Final

One episode into Survivor: Game Changers and I’m already loving it. Because this is mostly a “pleased to meet you” episode, I’ll spare you the boring rundown of the season premier.

By now, you already know the drill: 20 castaways on a boat with Jeff Probst, who promptly kicks them off his boat into the deep, blue waters somewhere near Fiji. But not before the castaways plunder as much as they can from Probst’s boat. You know the rest…build a camp, search for an idol, start forming alliances that’ll be broken five minutes later…blah, blah, blah.

I’ll break down this episode with a few random thoughts.

The Four-Timers Club
With this season of Game Changers, Ozzy and Cirie join Rob Mariano and Rupert Boneham as the only four-time Survivor competitors. Ozzy is a perennial favorite every season he plays, but usually gets hosed because he’s a physical threat. Cirie is the least likely four-timer out there. Both have gotten deep into this game (Ozzy made it to the Final Tribal in his first season, losing to Yul on the Cook Islands season). My hunch: Ozzy makes it deeper into the game than Cirie this season. Just a hunch.

Who the Hell Are You?
I’m talking about Sierra. I haven’t missed an episode of Survivor since the Season 1 finale and I have no recollection of her whatsoever. None.

Those Returning Champions
Sandra, J.T. and Tony. Already, I’m annoyed by two of them. Tony got a little too big for his britches and…well, it bit him in the ass. Although I have to say I’m already tired of Sandra and her “queen” nonsense. If her tribemates have any brains, they’ll get rid of her right away. Yeah, yeah. I know. There’s that “she’ll never win three times” thing. I wouldn’t bet on that. I’d get rid of her ASAP.

First Torch Snuffed: Bye, Felicia
It’s a dubious honor, no question. I was sad to see Ciera go already. I’ve always liked her game and wish she had a chance to play the game. I don’t disagree with the vote, necessarily, because she is a dangerous player. But I’ll miss her. **sniff**

What the Hell are YOU Doing Here?
Why in the hell did the Mana tribe let Varner take part in the most physical part of that 400-lbs. snake challenge? Because he’s a big dude and could handle carrying that snake? Well, I think he proved otherwise throughout the course of that grueling challenge.

Second Torch Snuffed: You Dug Your Own Grave, Tony
Oh, Tony. Big, stupid, troublemaking Tony. You overplayed your sneakiness and got yourself booted off the island. You should’ve kept your powder dry and not looked to get in everybody’s grill so early. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

My Dark Horse Player
I have a couple: Michaela and Caleb. Both are strong competitors and strategic players. We already know that about Michaela. Her strategery is what got her voted off the last time she played. I hope she sticks around longer this time.

Same goes for Caleb. I’m glad he got a second chance. I’m sure the producers figured they owed it to him, what with nearly killing him the last time he played. Caleb has to figure out how to keep people from targeting him for his athleticism. He appeared to have a good strategy at first, allying himself with Malcolm and Tony. Now? Hmm…

My Favorite Player
Aubry. She’s smart and competitive, but not a physical threat. That fits the profile of a winning strategy, if she plays her cards right. She’s able to work her way into almost any alliance. I hope she sticks around for awhile.

The Game Changer That Wasn’t
I just learned Survivor: San Juan del Sur winner Natalie Anderson was originally slated to be a part of this season, but backed out at the last minute. That’s really too bad. Even though she and that “twinnie” thing she had with he sister was obnoxious, she was a strong competitor and deserving champion. Natalie would’ve been a great member of this cast.

Speaking of Game Changers
I like the new rule about ties at Tribal Council. Smart players cracked the code on flushing out immunity idols to the point it got boring. Forcing them to go to rocks in the event of a tie is an awesome way to shake up the game.

Odds-on Favorite to Win
At this point, too soon to tell. Survivor: Game Changers is still in the “stewing” phase. Let’s wait a couple episodes to see how it’s setting up. I will say I don’t see a path to victory for Varner, Debbie or Tai right now. I’m not suggesting they’ll be voted off soon; just don’t see any of them winning.

Stay tuned.

The tribe has spoken…

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