For the first two weeks of Survivor, Season 34, Game Changers, nobody was doing much “game changing”, but in week three, it all changed. First, CBS changed the game by splitting and re-arranging teams in week 2, something never done before, and then last week, the two losing tribes in the Immunity Challenge both had to go to tribal council and were unable to coordinate with each other until, of course, J.T. changed the game by running over to Football Player Guy (aka Culpepper) and whispered something to him, and then all hell broke loose. #whisper

Before I get to all that game changing and madness, and my strong opinions on the matter, and my emotional week dealing with the fact J.T. totally screwed over Malcolm,  first I really need your help from, and the help of all my family, friends, and grief counselors because I need the strength to keep watching this season without him.

I have a dream. I have a dream that someday, the women won’t rule this show and vote off all the strongest players and the men will actually band together and vote out all the women and then settle the game …like men. This makes me sound incredibly chauvanistic, of course, and I realize that, and after 34 seasons I should realize it’s not about who can make fire, catch fish, win physical challenges, and actually “survive”, and there’s a show truly about that. Yes. I should realize the game is “outthink” as much as it is “out-muscle”, but I’m angry about all the amazing players that won’t win, can’t win, and haven’t won just because they’re a physical threat. Every season has 1 or 2 “physical threats” and all the weaklings vote them out because they’re scared. And here we have a season with Ozzy (the greatest player, ever, in my mind), Malcom, J.T., Culpepper, Michaela, Caleb, and (to a lesser degree) Troyzan. This is their chance. Never has a season had this much brawn and they could do something unique, but I guess it goes to show you, meat heads simply butt heads.

Because the Alpha Males can’t unite (and, yes, I think there’s a way they could do it even while not being on the same tribe), it’s giving Sandra and Cirie more chances to manipulate and do their mind control.

The three amazing things from last week are as follows:

  1. Culpepper’s arm strength (are the scouts at the N.F.L. combine watching)
  2. Sandra is a Jedi
  3. WhisperGate – Malcolm is gone because of an insane Tribal Council

Oh, and if I were to list a fourth, the other incredible thing is Tai finding the Hidden Immunity Idol. Quick question for every other player – do you think you’re on vacation? There’s Hidden Immunity Idols everywhere, and you all know it. Go find it. Say you’re finding it “for the tribe”, but make the effort. And are you all sleeping and sunning all day? How did Tai have all that “alone time” and was able to (a) climb trees and find a clue about a clue and (b) dig a giant hole in the middle of a wide open clearing? And nobody noticed?  Hmmmm. I guess I should’ve made this a bullet point.

Culpepper’s Arm Strength

All to often, people come on Surivor with a skill from the real world and say bodacious things like, “because I’m this” or “because I do that for a living, I’ll have an advantage”, and it never pans out. Cops don’t have some magical power to detect truth and know justice. Teachers and moms on the show aren’t all nurturing and able to use trustworthiness to their advantage. Old people are rarely wise and patient. Even some ex-athletes turn out to be well past their prime. But in the Reward Challenge, when the team was behind and the final part of the challenge was throwing bean bags at sticks, Culpepper had his chance to show why N.F.L. quarterbacks are born, not made. It’s something genetic when a bunch of kids all start throwing footballs and one of the kids seems to always throw the ball farther, harder, and more accurately than the rest of them. Sure, that kids dad usually pushes him too hard, takes the fun out of the game, and turns his kid into a jackass, but you can’t deny when a kid has God-given talent. Culpepper is what that looks like, even when that kid is 50-years-old. That kid can still throw a beautiful pass and was coached to throw even better than he naturally could and he came from way behind and looked like he had a bionic arm compared to everyone else.

I like Culpepper much better without his wife on the show.

Sandra’s Jedi Powers

Twice she won Survivor and twice I shook my head (SMH, as the Snapchatting kids say) wondering how the hell she did it. She’s brash, cocky, doesn’t make friends easily, her tribes always pick her to sit out challenges (because she never wins a physical challenge because she’s not athletic and not strong), and she says things that would get other people voted off. Yet, here she is, again, and nobody’s voting for her. She won twice!!! She should be everyone’s target simply out of spite. The story line should be, “well, Sandra won twice so she’s dangerous and shouldn’t be able to win again.” It’s early. There are lots of good players and Sanda will not win again, but somehow when two tribes voted, she didn’t get any votes – even when an entire tribe came into Tribal Council saying, “let’s vote for Sandra”, she didn’t get any votes. The only explanation is that Sandra is a Jedi, or at least has some sorta mind powers, and this needs to be investigated by the C.I.A., F.B.I., and K.G.B. (now that we’re chummy with Russia, again). She scares me. She should scare you.

WhisperGate

I’m breaking my won rule and adding “Gate” to indicate a scandal like so many idiots that think the “gate” part of “Watergate” was a clever part of speech and not the name of the actual hotel. Think about if Nixon’s men had broken into a room at the Holiday Inn Express or the Courtyard by Marriot. What would we call every scandal since? However, I’m not here to rename all political scandals, but I am here to say what happened at Tribal Council was unprecedented. I always assumed there was an unwritten rule that people at Tribal Council could speak when Jeff Probst spoke to them, but not much more than that. Certainly there have been times when people turn to each other and speak openly, or mouth things to each other like “stick to the plan” or “go with option B”, but when J.T. got outta his seat, walked over to Culpepper and told him how to vote, and then everyone  started whispering and talking to each other and then they all traded secrets and sat down, and then started it all again – for 5 or 10 minutes – it might’ve ruined the show. If this starts happening at every Tribal Council (and it very well could now that we know there isn’t a rule against it), suddenly we’re going to be more in the dark and won’t have the fun of figuring out what’s going on before Tribal Council. We’ll never hear and know what they’re whispering.

I don’t like it and hope it stops, but it was “game changing.”

And, like I said, it took the J.T.-Malcom alliance and threw it out, the plan changed, and Malcom got blindsided and now he’s gone. I loved him. He’s like Ozzy …he’s incredible and deserves better. But he’s gone. And never coming back, and I still can’t talk about it.

Thanks for reading and I’m really looking forward to tonight and hope the footage of Debbie going insane is real. She’s always been on the brink of madness, and I’m ready to see it.

Tune in afterward for another recap and strong opinions.

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