Survivor Game Changers “Reinventing How This Game is Played” Episode Recap, Edgic and Analysis

I have often been hard on Survivor Game Changers, but I thought this episode was absolutely on fire and was possibly the best we have seen since the premiere. The Zeke vs. Sierra debate was highly enthralling and the result ended up being pretty surprising.  So let’s get right into this episode titled “Reinventing How This Game Is Played”

Sarah Admits To Flipping 

Image result for survivor game changers sarah lacina

After the elimination of Debbie Wanner from the game, the group of six immediately began to wonder who on earth flipped the vote. And it wasn’t long before Sarah admitted to being the one to do so. No one seemed terribly heartbroken by it but Brad did speak to the cameras about how he felt that he had gone from the top all the way to the bottom. Meanwhile, the majority alliance who had just worked together to blindside Debbie started to feel incredibly comfortable with their position in the game, each laying out a plan for where the game was to go next.

There was however one majority alliance player who was particularly cautious and that was Cirie. Cirie knows that things can change in this game on the drop of a dime and was already beginning to question Zeke’s loyalty. So she wasn’t willing to just get caught up in the numbers. Instead, she was afraid that Zeke was preparing an alliance of his own, which actually turned out to be true.

Zeke Makes Himself A Target

At the reward, Zeke’s ability to bond with Brad Culpepper over football only made himself a bigger target. Everyone immediately took notice and concern and out of fear that he and Brad would start to work together, Andrea, Aubry and Cirie combined together to ensure he was the next target.

Andrea was absolutely in love with the idea. And with good reason. Zeke tried to come after her and completely failed in the second vote following the merge and ever since then she’s wanted him gone. But now, in her mind, was the perfect time to do it with her group still being able to supposedly have a 5-4 numbers advantage after it was all over.

Cirie was also very vocal about the strategic benefit to taking out Zeke, calling him a massive threat in the game. The former Panama, Micronesia and Heroes vs. Villains contestant even claimed “I’ve played this game four times and Zeke knows it better than I do”. So it was looking very likely that Zeke was becoming the obvious person to go home. However, the New York native and as Cirie called her “Officer Sarah” had plans of their own and they were really quite clever.

Sarah and Zeke Have Clever Plans Of Their Own

When approached by Cirie about the possibility of taking out Zeke, Sarah was not at all on board. She knew getting rid of Zeke was necessary at some point but claimed “I know how I can handle him” and “I want to work with him for a couple more votes”. As a weird way of trying to persuade Cirie into her way of thinking, Officer Sarah then shared the fact that she has an advantage in the game with her. Normally, using information is a great way to build trust, but this was completely unnecessary from Sarah at this point and unfortunately accomplished absolutely nothing for her.

Meanwhile, Zeke was ready to make a final five deal with Brad and Troyzan. He and Sarah even laid out the next few votes, declaring that they wanted to take out Sierra, then Andrea, then Tai. By that point they would have a final five deal with Brad, Troyzan, and Michaela.

Since the merge hit, the Brooklyn born player had completely lost trust with Andrea and Cirie, with even Aubry getting tangled up in that as well. Zeke was excellent in this instance in giving Brad and Troyzan some hope and letting them know that they were in his thoughts despite the vote not going their way. His thinking was likely that once Sierra was gone, Brad and Troyzan were pawns that he could pick up for his game and I think he did an excellent job in actually winning them over. The only thing that went wrong was that he didn’t tell Brad, Troyzan and Tai to vote for Sierra. Indications suggest that if he had, Brad might have actually done it and Sierra might have gone home. The former football player said “It will bother me if I have to vote for Sierra or Tai. But make no mistake, I am here to win this game”. So in Zeke not letting them in on the current plan, Sierra, Troyzan and Brad put their votes on Tai, which turned out meaningless. Instead, if he had actually gotten them to vote for Sierra, and Sarah had been on board as well, he would have had the numbers to turn the direction in his favour.

Sierra or Zeke? 

Image result for survivor game changers sierra dawn thomas

After Andrea won immunity it all came down to Sierra vs. Zeke. Andrea and Cirie tried to appeal to Sierra and ask her what she was thinking, but that conversation was ultimately rendered pointless when Sierra ended up voting for Tai in the end.

What was particularly interesting about the pre-tribal scrambling was how adament that Michaela was that Zeke should stay. She hasn’t come across as particularly opinionated on who should go home in any instance this season, but for some reason the thought of eliminating Zeke was really pulling on her heartstrings. It seems as though the Millennials vs. Gen X star wanted to keep Zeke around not just because of that connection from their season but also because of the fact that it made since logistically. Michaela declared something along the lines of “If we go back down to 5-4, it only takes one person to flip”. Michaela was absolutely right and judging by the previews for next week, that person to flip could even be her.

Ultimately in the end, Sarah and Michaela who both seemed very against taking Zeke out of the game, both voted to send him home. So Zeke unfortunately and sadly was sent home by a vote of 5-3-2.

So that ends our episode recap portion of this blog, now let’s get into some of the more behind the scenes stuff, including Edgic, the Winner’s Edit and the latest Confessional Count.

Confessional Count

Andrea Boehlke is well and truly back on our television screens again while Sarah Lacina has made herself the show’s main protagonist two episodes in a row. Let’s discuss who is saying what and how many confessionals each character had.


Player # of Confessionals Running Total


Sarah Lacina 9 31


Brad Culpepper 4 22


Cirie Fields 3


4th Zeke Smith 3



Sierra Dawn-Thomas 3



Andrea Boehlke 3 14
7th Michaela Bradshaw 2


8th Aubry Bracco 2


9th Tai Trang 2


10th Troy ‘Troyzan’ Robertson 0


Sarah Lacina has become the show’s main character these past two weeks, completely dominating the confessional charts and propelling herself all the way up from 12 confessionals in the entire season before the episode where Debbie got eliminated, now all the way up to 31! Her airtime in front of the cameras tonight ranged from talking about how much she needed Zeke to talking about not wanting to lose trust with Andrea and Cirie to describing the food at the reward.

Brad Culpepper was highly apparent again and made a splash with several of his confessionals. We got quite a bit of intel tonight into the strategic mind of Brad while he was also given a chance to show a bit of his underdog side. Cirie meanwhile was a large part of Zeke’s elimination from the game and received 3 confessionals that all revolved around how they were to execute the plan. Similarly Andrea Boehlke also won three confessionals tonight to make herself a notable character in this season once and for all.

Sierra Dawn Thomas was given three confessionals as well. Each of these centered around her fear of being eliminated since the shake up in the game and also how she was going to do what she had to do to stay alive. Zeke also received three confessionals, some of them very long ones, as he had several interesting things to say about his game strategy, Survivor in general and the current game in general.

Michaela almost went the entire episode confessional-less again but then she popped up at the end to disclose that she wasn’t all that happy voting for Zeke. This is kind of interesting, given that she voted for him in two of the three tribal councils before tonight. Aubry Bracco meanwhile was given a little bit more airtime tonight but it just felt a little bit forced as if they were showing her for the sake of showing her. Finally, Troyzan went invisible for the fourth time this season and the second in three episodes since the merge.

So let’s now use this information to discuss Edgic!



Edgic Visibility Tone

Sarah Lacina

CP 5 Positive

Zeke Smith

CP 5

Andrea Boehlke CP 5

Brad Culpepper

CP 4 Positive

Cirie Fields

CP 4

Sierra Dawn-Thomas

Aubry Bracco MOR 2

Tai Trang UTR 2

Michaela Bradshaw CP 2

Troy ‘Troyzan’ Robertson INV 1

The edit did a very nice job tonight at presenting several characters as complex individuals. Most notably in that direction were Sarah, Zeke, Andrea and Brad. Sarah as mentioned above was given plenty of opportunities to disclose every single important aspect of her game, including a bit of insight into why she might have ultimately ended up voting for Zeke. She was also presented positively as someone who was trustworthy and essential for the vote to happen. Brad’s complexity was also highlighted frequently as both an underdog and a really likable guy that everyone could get along with. More about Brad’s edit in particular is highlighted in the section below.

Zeke meanwhile was also given plenty of opportunities to disclose his full thought process as he looked to build for next week’s vote, forgetting in a way how important this one could be. Andrea was similar in terms of complexity but most of her confessionals revolved around the notion of taking Zeke out of the game, which to her was essential for going the distance. Cirie was also similar to Andrea in this regard and was borderline Middle of the Road because a lot of what she talked about was how crucial securing Sarah’s vote was going to be in taking Zeke out.

Sierra Dawn Thomas in contrast to Cirie was borderline CP but the reason for her MOR score is that all her confessionals were always about hoping something breaks her way or trying to fit in, without actually disclosing to us how she was going to accomplish that. Aubry Bracco was also MOR as she was given two opportunities to act as a narrator for what was going on and why Zeke was the target.

Michaela was hardly visible the entire episode and then popped up late at the end to give two very complex confessionals about how she wanted to keep Zeke in the game and how it made no sense from a numbers perspective to eliminate him. Tai Trang meanwhile was the only under the radar character this week. He was only being given a chance to speak about how he had two idols and would use them if he felt in danger. By the way I was pretty surprised that Tai didn’t use either one of his idols given what was at stake and how he said it was the first time in two seasons he had actually felt in danger of going home.

Finally, Troyzan Robertson sadly goes invisible once again. He was a part of that conversation with Brad and Zeke but he might as well have been a ghost in it as all he was given the chance to do was nod his head and smile. Everything we saw after that conversation was all from the perspective of Zeke and Brad; not from Troyzan.

So let’s now take this all and begin to analyze who has the winner’s edit!

The Winner’s Edit 

There is still no doubt in my mind that Brad Culpepper will be the winner of Survivor Game Changers. Apart from a minor Hali Ford hiccup, Brad has had the winner’s edit ever since Malcolm was eliminated from the game and this week that was amplified to another level.

This week Brad was at times almost being given an underdog edit. He was shown talking about how he was going to have to come from behind and how grateful he was that Zeke was giving him a ray of hope. Even at tribal council he was shown talking about how once upon a time he was on top in the game and now hard times had come and he had found himself back on the bottom. But he wasn’t going to stop fighting and the edit would do enough to suggest that even if he isn’t in the numbers right now, something is going to happen to change everything around in his favour again.

He’s just coming across incredibly likable; wearing furniture on his head, giving amazingly well thought-out confessionals and always being able to articulate his thoughts in the perfect manner for his game strategy. The edit is absolutely loving showing him in a positive light I am absolutely loving watching his journey and metamorphosis if you will on Survivor this season.

He also had several winner-type quotes tonight. The most obvious one has already been mentioned above and was: “It will bother me if I have to vote for Sierra or Tai. But make no mistake, I am here to win the game”. That’s been clear for quite some time and I think the former football player is certainly the likeliest contender to do so. The retired NFLer also had a quote early on in the episode about the reward challenge which I quite liked as well. He said “Winning this reward is perfect for me because I am with the people I need to be with from a strategic standpoint to change this game”. Immediately afterward, he was shown making amazing bonds with Zeke without ever being thought of by anyone nearby as a potential target. It seems as though everyone is just completely underestimating him yet the edit would still suggest that if he were to make it to the end that he would win comfortably.

As much as I am adamant that she will not win and is either a losing finalist or a fourth place “should-have-won” type of player, Sarah Lacina cannot be ruled out. She had another excellent episode, continuing to play the middle and constantly talking about her game and where she wanted to be in complex ways. My favourite Sarah quote tonight was pretty similar to what she has been saying all season long but I still loved it nonetheless. She said “I want to go with whatever side is going to get me furthest in this game”. Now that Sarah has stuck to her guns and gone with Andrea and Cirie for the second week in a row, it is pretty clear who she feels will get her furthest in the game. Now she just has to find a way to make it there and with the way she’s going at the moment, easily could find herself in that final three.

But still undoubtedly, Brad Culpepper continues to have the winner’s edit!

Quote of the Week 

“Playing Survivor is like climbing Everest. It only gets harder the higher you climb” – Zeke Smith

Player of the Week 

For his fantastic ability to lay in the ground work with Brad and Troyzan and try and get them on his side after Sierra was to go home, Zeke Smith was just whiskers away from winning Player of the Week. But then out of nowhere he was eliminated from the game. So that means this week’s Player of the Week has to be the player that sent him home, Andrea Boehlke. Andrea is quite clearly the architect of Zeke’s demise and this goes all the way back to when he first started to target her following the second vote after the merge. Andrea said her plan was “foolproof” and although that looked to be far from the truth, it actually turned true. She tried her best to pull in Sierra, but turns out she didn’t even need to as Sarah and Michaela practically blindly went along with the plan despite being strongly against it. For her ability to take out a player who was coming after her, Andrea Boehlke is this week’s Player of the Week!

Next Time On Survivor

Next time on Survivor it’s the loved one’s visit! But more importantly, Jeff says “A willingness to trust can form an unbreakable bond”. We then see Michaela high-fiving Sierra, Tai and Troyzan. It may be early to say this but judging by Jeff’s words and the aforementioned high-fives, Michaela could easily switch sides next week and give power back in the favour of Brad and Sierra. She was noticeably upset about not getting her way this week and Zeke being eliminated from the game, crying after his elimination, and could be set to change over to Brad’s alliance. If Sarah goes along with her, the deck could easily be reshuffled next episode. What will happen we shall wait and see but it is bound to be entertaining and I cannot wait!


Well what a fun episode of Survivor it was! The Zeke vs. Sierra debate was highly complex and very entertaining and the result of it all was even a little surprising. Zeke’s elimination from the game is pretty sad in the end, especially given how much he brought to this season as a player and as a character but I just get the feeling that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Zeke Smith.

Still though, this season is nowhere near being done and the numbers could fall in favour of anyone out on that island next week. It will certainly be entertaining to watch and The Mastermind cannot wait to cover it all for you again next week! See you then!

P.S. make sure to check out Why Zeke Smith Was Voted Out. See you soon! 


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