Survivor: Game Changers Episode 1 Recap: It’s Going Down

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Survivor: Game Changers

“The Stakes Have Been Raised” – Tony Vlachos, Hali Ford, Michaela Bradshaw, Tai Trang, Sierra Dawn-Thomas and James “J.T” Thomas on SURVIVOR: Game Changers. The Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 34th season with a special two-hour premiere, Wednesday, March 8 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Notably, the season premiere marks the 500th episode of the series. Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The players of Survivor: Game Changers didn’t take long at all to start targeting each other, but who went home in the premiere?

It’s time for some new Survivor. Jeff Probst stood on a shipwreck to make sure we know, once again, that there are 39 days, 20 people, but only one survivor. Let’s recap episode 1 (also, episode 500 overall!) of Survivor Game Changers: “The Stakes Have Been Raised.”

Probst started things off with a pep talk about changing the game. Notably, Ozzy, J.T., Cirie, and Zeke got the coveted questions from him about their thoughts.

Here’s our tribal breakdowns:

Mana (orange): Sandra, Caleb, Hali, Jeff (Varner), Aubry, Malcolm, Michaela, Troyzan, Ciera, and Tony
Nuku (blue): J.T., Cirie, Brad, Sarah, Ozzy, Debbie, Tai, Andrea, Zeke, and Sierra

The game then started with a marooning, with supplies littered all over the ship. Ozzy immediately got his shirt off and went swimming for Nuku to get a tool kit, which only could go to one tribe. Meanwhile, Sierra uncovered a Secret Advantage — and picked it up. Caleb jumped in the water and tried to catch up, and even made it to the knots, but Ozzy was just too quick.  Nuku claimed the tool kit advantage as well as some chickens. That raft was riding low in the water. Andrea also dropped the episode title in a confessional.

Idol Hunting (?) Begins in 3…2…1…

Our first look at camp life came from Mana. Naturally, things started off with some hugs.  And then Tony ran off to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol. As is her wont, Sandra said that they should just vote him off…and then followed him with Caleb.

Over on Nuku, hugs also kicked things off. In a confessional, Zeke said he wanted to “lather [himself] in the blood of [his] enemies,” which is a good way to start the game.

Sierra also found a moment to go and read her secret advantage. The Legacy Advantage is back, but with a twist: it’s Immunity at either the final 13 or the final 6, but only at those times. If she’s voted out, she’ll have to pass it along to someone else.

That done, she started talking to Brad and Ozzy to start assembling her numbers, with Ozzy not-so-casually talking about Cirie.

Did the Game Start? Is this  Survivor?

Day 2 dawned with Nuku hard at work and Cirie very aware that having Ozzy on her tribe might be a problem. She asked if he had any baggage, and he said no. Then he went off and kept talking about Cirie to J.T. and Tai. She got some additional information from Tai about Ozzy, much as he didn’t want to admit it.

Cirie: “Listen, the war’s going to start anyway.”

Back on Mana, Tony again headed off by himself, this time to get water. Of course, that really meat Spy Bunker construction time. Before he could finish, though, Troyzan caught him and then reported to Malcolm, who reported to Hali, who reported to pretty much everyone else. Ciera then started floating Caleb’s name, since he’d already formed a bond with Tony — but Malcolm pointed out in a confessional that that aggressiveness could make her an easy target.

Challenge Time? Challenge Time.

Probst then welcomed everyone to the Immunity Challenge. Seven players had to paddle out to a platform. One player then had to get keys, and then everyone had to do a water obstacle course. Back on the beach, they had to dig up two bags of puzzle pieces. The keys unlocked the third bag of a ship’s wheel puzzle. Finish the puzzle, and get Immunity. Additionally, Probst offered some flint … and the information about tiebreakers: there’s no revote. If there’s no unanimous decision, it goes right to rocks.

Back to the challenge. Probst?

“Survivors ready…Go!”

Ozzy got in the water for Nuku, with Hali doing the work for Mana. Unsurprisingly, Nuku opened up a pretty big lead getting to the beach portion. Brad and J.T. started digging for Nuku, with Sierra and Tai subbing in. Not long after, Malcolm, Aubry, Tony, and Caleb all dug for Mana.

Nuku got the pieces first, but Debbie struggled with the locks, opening a door for Varner to play some catch up and sass Probst in the process. Cirie and Zeke took the puzzle duties for Nuku. Ciera and Sandra did the same on Mana. However, Cirie and Zeke brought it home:  Nuku  won the first Immunity Challenge.

Start Scrambling

Mana headed back to Tribal Council furious. Tony, Varner, Caleb, Malcolm, and Aubry had a water well meeting, floating Ciera’s name because of her aggressiveness. Sandra then came in, and Ciera then approached to try and work her way into everybody’s good graces. They told Ciera Michaela’s name. Sandra, meanwhile, told Michaela, Troyzan, and Hali about Plan Ciera. However, Michaela then learned that she was the fake target. She didn’t react well — and everyone on the tribe, her included, knew it.

That night, Tribal Council took place. Probst reminded us about the torch symbolism, and then the talking began. Tony’s actions came up, and then things turned to the two unknowns: Caleb and Michaela. Sandra started laying her foundation for the end, noting that who’s going to give her another million, and titled the first three days at prompting from Probst as “The Unknown.”

Everyone trotted into the lighthouse to cast their votes.  Ciera became the first boot, at a (presumed) vote of 9-1, with Michaela snagging the lone vote. Mana took their flint and headed back, their first blindside under their belts.

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