|"The Tables Have Turned"|
|Episode Number:||3/13 (503)|
|Original Release:||March 22, 2017|
|Viewership (in millions):||8.10|
The Tables Have Turned is the third episode of Survivor: Game Changers.
The Mana tribe arrives back at camp, having just voted out Caleb Reynolds unanimously at the last Tribal Council. Sierra Dawn Thomas comforts Tai Trang, thanking him for going along with the decision to take out a person who was very close to him. Tai in turn thanks his tribemates for trusting him and letting him in on the plan, as he says he did what was best for his own game.
|“||I'm very close to Caleb, so this vote was really hard for me, but I want to earn my trust from the rest of my tribe. I'm not playing with my heart this time. I'm playing with my, uh-- my-my br-- my-my-my head.||”|
The next morning, Hali Ford talks with Debbie Wanner. Debbie thanks her for going along with them and tells her that she is glad that Hali is still in the game. Hali tells Debbie that if they lose another challenge, they should get rid of Tai because he is shifty.
|“||Caleb going home last night instead of me was a break in this game. I know that Debbie and Tai do have a complicated relationship, so I'm trying to show Debbie that I am your asset going forward, and Tai is a liability.||”|
Debbie continues to agree with Hali, saying that she knows that Tai is a threat to both of their games and that he should go home. However, she mostly does this in order to keep Hali on her side.
|“||This is my second time playing, not my first, so I tell Hali just what I think she wants to hear, but the philosophy for this Mana tribe is to keep old Nuku tribe.||”|
|“||It's too soon to make Tai a target, so Hali, you have no options. You have none.||”|
The Reward Challenge requires two members representing each tribe. One member must balance a ball on a post of increasing length, while the other would have to knock wooden sticks off of tables using sandbags. The first tribe to win would get a series of sweets, including cookies and coffee, while the second place tribe would get a thermos of iced coffee. Tai from Mana, J.T. Thomas from Nuku, and Ozzy Lusth from Tavua do the pole section, while Brad from Mana, Malcolm Freberg from Nuku, and Troyzan Robertson from Tavua throw the sandbags.
In the challenge, Tai quickly falls behind as J.T. and Ozzy are able to gain the early lead for their respective tribes. At the sandbag portion, Troyzan quickly enters with the lead, but is then overtaken by Malcolm. Malcolm is able to knock down the posts the fastest and wins reward for Nuku. While Troyzan has only two posts left, Tai manages to complete the balance portion and hands the challenge off to Brad. Brad quickly manages to catch up and pass Troyzan, winning reward for Mana in a come-from-behind victory.
|“||We thought we had it, but then Troyzan dropped the ball. He was terrible… (chuckles) He already was the odd man out, and now Troyzan's life is hanging on, like, by a string.||”|
At Tavua camp, the tribe is bummed that they lost the Reward Challenge. Troyzan feels particularly bad that he completely blew the challenge for his tribe.
|“||As a tribe, losing is always horrible. Like, we all want to win. But losing the Reward Challenge was great for me because without rewards, they need me to survive in this game. You know, I feel really confident I've been doing an awesome job being the rock of this tribe. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm able to catch fish and able to provide a constant supply of great protein. If I didn't bring food in, my name would come up a lot more than it does. But more than that, it's almost like a meditation. Fishing gives me a chance to think about the game and come back a little more grounded. It's just extraordinary.||”|
Ozzy heads out and catches some fish for his tribe, using it as an opportunity to relax and get away from the game. Ozzy brings back a large fish and his tribe admires it. Andrea Boehlke is surprised to see the large stingray that Ozzy has just caught.
|“||Ozzy's played four times. He's no joke. As a fan of the show, just seeing him in action is amazing. You know, he caught this stingray, so we're going to get a meal, and hopefully, that's going to give us more confidence to do well in the next challenge.||”|
Back at Nuku, the tribe thanks Malcolm for their victory and enjoy the coffee that they have just won. Sandra Diaz-Twine is very excited to be with her new, winning tribe as opposed to the old Mana.
|“||This tribe has got it going on, let me tell you. Best tribe evah! I'm ecstatic here at the Nuku tribe. I pretty much got everything in line. All my relationships with everyone are perfect. I'm the queen here; I know that much. I know I'm running the show, and nobody really knows it.||”|
J.T. and Malcolm head off and J.T. pitches to Malcolm that Sandra is running the show and should be taken out. Malcolm agrees, noting how strong of a player Sandra is and the damage she can do to both of them if she sticks around.
|“||The longer Sandra's in this game, the more trouble we're gonna have getting rid of her. She's a two-time winner for more than one reason. And you can tell by the attitude, the sass in Sandra's voice, she knows she's in charge. Malcolm and I definitely hit it off. We're both hard competitors, so Malcolm's excited. I can see it. Yeah, he wants to play with me. And I don't plan on losing, but if we lose an Immunity Challenge, bing bang boom, I can go ahead and make my move like I need to do here and get rid of Sandra.||”|
J.T. and Malcolm solidify a bond and agree to tell each other if their names are brought up.
At the Immunity Challenge, host Jeff Probst reveals that two tribes will be going to Tribal Council that night. The challenge requires that one caller send their blindfolded teammates out to water towers to collect a bag of balls. Once they get all three bags, they would come back and have three members each complete a table maze.
Mana's caller is Brad, Nuku's is Jeff Varner, and Tavua's is Cirie Fields. Jeff and Cirie both lead their tribes to an early lead over Mana, who struggle both in hearing Brad and following his instructions correctly. Nuku is able to complete the blindfolded section first, and J.T. is the first person on the table maze.
Tavua finishes the blindfolded section second, sending Ozzy to do the table maze, while Mana eventually catches up and sends Sierra to do the table maze. J.T. gets the first ball, handing the maze off to Michaela, while Sierra messes up the puzzle and hands it off to Hali. Ozzy then lands Tavua's first ball and hands it off to Sarah. Michaela and Hali both mess up, handing off to Malcolm and Brad respectively. Malcolm lands Nuku's second ball, being the first tribe to do so, and Sarah manages to land hers not too far behind. The challenge comes down to Jeff for Nuku and Andrea for Tavua, both inches away from completing their maze. Jeff is about to complete the challenge when he misses the final hole, dropping the ball, allowing Andrea to win the challenge for Tavua, and sending Mana and Nuku to Tribal Council.
After the challenge, Jeff reveals that not only will both tribes be going to Tribal Council, but they will both be going to one Joint Tribal Council and will vote someone out together. Everyone is shocked by this new information.
|“||This twist is so dangerous to everyone because any fracture in any relationship is a reason to send somebody home tonight. This Tribal is going to be insane.||”|
At Nuku camp, J.T. is excited to have a 6-5 majority over the Mana tribe. Everyone on the tribe is a bit shocked to have this twist, but they decide that they need to work together as a tribe to ensure that someone on Mana goes home.
|“||I'm starting to think I just need to be ready for everything in Survivor: Game Changers, 'cause who knows what Probst is cooking up next. Me and J.T. wanted to get rid of Sandra, but we do have a numbers advantage. We're up 6-5 on Mana. So if we stay together, it's very simple on paper, but on paper is the only place it's simple.||”|
The tribe discusses how Mana will try to get J.T. to vote with them, worrying his tribunates about their ability to have the numbers at this upcoming strange vote. Sandra is nervous about J.T. being on their side.
|“||It takes one person to flip to change everything, but we have to vote six strong. If someone messes this up, they're getting their ass beaten when they come back to this camp.||”|
Sandra pitches to the tribe that they should vote out Sierra because she is Mana's strongest female. Some people agree, but J.T. says that he would rather get rid of Tai for being sneaky and because he does not think that he has or would play a Hidden Immunity Idol. In the end, it seems to be Sandra rooting for Sierra to go, while J.T. roots for Tai to go.
|“||We're not on the same page. Everybody is on their own page. This is Survivor, and everybody plays as part of a tribe, but it's an individual game from the beginning, regardless of what anybody says.||”|
Malcolm asks J.T. who he thinks Brad would target, and J.T. tells him that Brad would target Sandra. As a result, both J.T. and Malcolm feel safe about Tribal Council even if an idol gets played.
|“||The most trustworthy relationship I have on the Mana tribe is Brad Culpepper. If I was a betting man, Brad is over there now saying, "All our votes are going to Sandra." I could be a swing vote and vote Sandra, but that's a big risk. I could just simply go with majority and vote Sierra or Tai-- Hmmm… But, you know, I'd much rather see Sandra go. If I wanted to, I could definitely change… change the course of this game big time.||”|
At Mana, Debbie pitches getting rid of Sandra because of her strong ability as a player. Despite this, the tribe is nervous about their position being down 6-5 and having Hali, who is outside of the majority in their tribe already.
|“||This Tribal is gonna be extremely complicated, 'cause now we're going with them having six against our five. I know that four of us are all gonna vote one way. We have one wild card, Hali, who used to be on death row. However, now the Survivor gods smiled on her and she's in a pretty enviable position.||”|
Brad asks Hali if they are together as a group. However, Hali is still torn about being together on Mana or having an opportunity to try to improve her position by flipping to her closer allies on Nuku.
|“||Oh, my gosh. All of a sudden, oh, look, how the tables have turned. I mean, I have options. I could go with this tribe, but I could also flip. There's so many different dynamics going on that you need to consider your short-term and long-term game at the same time in this vote.||”|
Mana also discusses getting rid of Malcolm, leaving their discussion between voting out a strong strategic threat in Sandra or a strong physical threat in Malcolm. In the end, they know that J.T. will be the swing vote between the tribes if everyone stays strong as they are expecting.
|“||It is very tricky tonight, because we still don't know whether J.T. is with us or with them. If they got the number, why wouldn't they stick together? So I need to look for a Hidden Immunity Idol.||”|
Knowing the severity of the situation, Tai begins frantically searching for an idol. He looks inside of logs, under trees, and eventually finds a clue to an idol nestled in a tree.
|“||My mind is like, "Idol, idol, idol. Where do I go?" If you have it, it's a lifeline. It's protection. I thought I had found the idol, but I found the clue. The clue tell me to come to a clearing near the tribe flag. There's the tree with two marker. Line up. Then another tree with three marker. Line up with the tribe flag, make a cross, that's where to dig. I need the idol and then I can change the game around. You never give up in Survivor until your torch is out.||”|
Tai's clue tells him to line himself up between the flag and several trees, where the idol is hidden where they all intersect. After some digging, Tai finds the idol.
|“||This idol gonna equal out the two tribe power. They have the number, we have the idol. (kisses idol) The best key to life. Key to a life.||”|
At camp, everyone discusses being scared. Tai decides to reveal to his tribe that he has the idol. Tai says that he is willing to play it if they find out that either Brad, Debbie, Sierra, or himself are going home.
|“||Right before Tribal, Tai has found an idol. I'm extremely excited, but I'm also completely terrified because we just don't know who to play it for. A lot can go wrong, but I'm just praying that we can make this happen 'cause it's going to be a huge move. Tonight's Tribal has never been done before. This is going to be crazy, because it can be anybody tonight.||”|
At Tribal Council, the discussion originally begins with any members flipping from their original tribe, centering around J.T. being the swing vote. Sandra confidently defends Nuku's togetherness and J.T. tells Nuku that he would not want to put himself at risk by flipping tribes. The talk of idols does come up, and everyone on the tribe is worried about someone from Nuku pulling out an idol. Hali is also pinpointed as a swing vote, knowing that she is on the outside of Mana. As the tribes begin to fight over their minority members, Hali and Malcolm, pandemonium begins to break out, during which Sandra realizes that Hali is trying to tell the tribe that Hali wants to get rid of Brad, while neither side decides to switch their votes from what they came into Tribal Council wanting to do.
Suddenly, J.T. stands up from his seat, and walks over to Brad to inform him that they are voting for Sierra. Hali suddenly stands up as well to tell Sandra that she wants to get rid of Brad. The tribes then form groups, standing in circles discussing that Hali wants to get rid of Brad, while J.T. has already informed Mana that Nuku is voting for Sierra. After a long-standing discussion, everyone sits back down, content with their original plans. Jeff decides to finally say that it is time to vote. However, Hali says that she is not ready to vote. Everyone tells her they can vote, to which Hali says that 'they may regret it.' As she is voting, Sandra reassures Michaela that nobody has the idol, and that their plan is still solid.
Before the votes are read, Tai stands up to play his idol, using the information that he got from J.T. to play it for Sierra. J.T. successfully ruins Nuku's plan, with their six votes for Sierra all being negated by Tai's idol. However, J.T. is shocked when his plan backfires and Malcolm is idoled out in a 5-0 vote.
As they leave Tribal Council, Michaela tells Jeff that she thinks J.T. set them up, and that he thwarted their plans.
Challenge: Ram-Ball On
Two castaways per tribe will compete in this challenge. The first must race to balance a ball on the top of a pole while maneuvering through a series of obstacles. Along the way, they would add another section of the pole, making it harder to balance the ball as they make their way through the course. After they got past the balance beam, they would have to untie knots to get to a table, where they would place the ball on it to retrieve a key. The second castaway will unlock a chest of sandbags and shoot the sandbags at a series of bamboo targets. The first two pairs of castaways to finish win reward for their tribes.
Reward: Coffee, iced tea, and chocolate cookies (first place); Thermos of iced coffee (second place).
Winners (in order of finish): Nuku and Mana
Each tribe will choose one person to be their caller. The rest of the tribe will be blindfolded. Using only verbal commands, the caller will instruct two pairs of blindfolded tribe members to collect three bags containing one ball each. Once they have all three bags, they will take off the blindfolds and, one at a time, work to put the three balls in the center of a table maze. Once a tribe member succeeded to put one ball at the center of the maze, they could not help their tribemates anymore for the remaining balls. The first tribe to finish wins immunity.
Additional Stipulation: The two tribes who will lose this challenge will both be sent to a Joint Tribal Council, where the two tribes will together vote one castaway out.
| Tribal Council 4:|
Mana & Nuku
(used Hidden Immunity Idol)
Aubry, J.T., Jeff, Malcolm, Michaela, Sandra
(votes not counted)
Malcolm (5 votes)
Brad, Debbie, Hali, Sierra, Tai
| VOTED OUT:|
Brad's and Jeff's votes were not shown during their confessionals.
|“||(voting against Malcolm) Best player here. Gotta send you home.||”|
|“||(voting against Sierra) If you pull out an idol, I will soil myself.||”|
|“||A little in shock at the moment. It's nice to go out in the most ridiculous Tribal Council in the history of Tribal Councils, but right now I'm pissed. J.T.'s not getting a Christmas card. Stupid kid couldn't keep his mouth shut. And to know one of the biggest experiences of your life just came to a-- what feels like an extremely premature end-- is hard to swallow.||”|
Still in the Running
- This is the first episode in which two tribes attended a Joint Tribal Council with the tribes convening to vote out only one contestant from either tribe.
- This is the first time where the Blind Leading the Blind challenge was used in an all-returnees season without being combined with the Cube Crisis puzzle.
- This is the first time since "Panicked, Desperate, Thirsty as Hell" where only one tribe is eligible to win a challenge during the three-tribe phase.
|Survivor: Game Changers Episodes|
"The Stakes Have Been Raised" · "Survivor Jackpot" · "The Tables Have Turned" · "Dirty Deed" · "Vote Early, Vote Often" · "What Happened on Exile, Stays on Exile" · "There's a New Sheriff in Town" · "A Line Drawn in Concrete" · "Reinventing How This Game Is Played" · "It Is Not a High Without a Low" · "Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow" · "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" · "Reunion"