Season 34: Episode 2 - Survivor Jackpot
Posted on Mar 15, 2017 10:00pm

On day 7, Jeff Probst, the host calls the Mana and Nuku tribes onto their mats. The Nuku members are shocked to hear that the Mana tribe voted Tony out at last night’s Tribal Council. Jeff says those infamous words of “Everybody drop your buffs.” Sandra comments, “Now that there’s a swap, I hope I’m on the right side with the strongest people.” Jeff has two trays that contain buffs covered in brown wrapping. No one knows which color buff they are choosing as Jeff brings the trays to them. Once everyone has a buff, Jeff tells everyone to open them up and reveal their new tribes. As the packages are opened, three colors of buffs are reveals. So, the two original tribes are now being separated into three tribes.
The new Mana tribe with orange buffs consists of: Debbie, Sierra, Hali, Tai, Caleb and Brad. Hali and Caleb are now in the minority as the only two original Mana members, while all the others are former Nuku members. The new Nuku tribe with blue buffs now includes: Michaela, Malcolm, Sandra, JT, Aubry and Varner. JT is the only original Nuku on the tribe. The members of the brand new Vanua tribe with green buffs are Troyzan, Cirie, Andrea, Sarah, Zeke and Ozzy. Troyzan is outnumbered 5 to 1 because he is the only person on the tribe from the original Mana tribe. The Tavua tribe is going back to a new camp with only basic fishing gear, a pot, a machete and a small amount of rice. Jeff reminds everyone that anything is still possible in SURVIVOR. Varner admits, “With Game Changers, the game changes fast, but whatever I’m dealt with, I’m going to make the best of it.”
The new Nuku tribe arrives at their camp. JT shows them around camp and introduces the chickens to Malcolm, Varner, Michaela, Sandra and Aubry. Malcolm and Varner are so happy to see how luxurious the Nuku camp is compared to their old Mana camp. It has a better shelter, abundant tools, chickens and food. Malcolm admits, “It’s the SURVIVOR jackpot. It’s like going to a resort.” Meanwhile, JT is not feeling so happy about his situation. He comments, “Five to one is about as bad as I could hope for. In all likelihood, I’m a sitting duck.” JT hopes to find a hidden immunity idol to keep him safe. JT takes his new tribe mates out on the raft, so they can go snorkeling and fishing. About a half mile away from the shore of the camp, Malcolm goes fishing and bends the spear. JT volunteers to swim back to camp and get the pliers to fix it, so the others can stay by the raft and enjoy the water. Truth be told, JT is happy to go back to camp by himself, so he can search for the hidden immunity idol. He not only searches for the idol, but also goes through everyone’s bags to make sure they don’t have one. Meanwhile, Malcolm, Varner, Michaela, Sandra and Aubry realize that JT is taking an awful long time to get that pliers and suspect that he is looking for an idol. JT admits, “It’s not over until it over and I’m not giving up.” He continues to search for an idol all around the camp, while the others wait for him on the boat to get back. Varner comments, “It just doesn’t matter. We have the majority five to one. So, JT is screwed.”
Over at the Mana tribe, Brad is decorating the camp with old glass buoys and a ship’s wheel that he found washed up on the beach. He wants to make this Mana camp look and feel like a home. Brad reveals, “I’m having a lot of fun, because it’s four to two and I’m thinking that I’m in good shape.” His plan is for the four prior Nuku members to stay together and take out either Hali or Caleb. Hali knows that she and Caleb are most vulnerable. She hopes that Caleb will be a bigger target than her, because he had a close relationship with Tai that might worry the others. Brad and Tai go for a walk to talk about their new tribe. Tai suggests to Brad that they keep Caleb, because his strength will help them with challenges. He is willing to keep Caleb and let Debbie go. Brad reminds Tai that Debbie is valuable to them, because she is loyal. Tai hopes that Hali will go home first then. Brad reveals, “I wouldn’t mind getting rid of Caleb first.” On the other hand, he doesn’t feel comfortable with the fact that Debbie, Tai and Caleb played together in their prior season. Brad explains, “I’m trying to bring in Tai and Debbie closer to me than everybody else.” Next, Tai meets with Caleb and tells him that he is encouraging his tribe to keep Caleb around. Caleb admits, “Tai and I are back together again. It’s a great feeling because we just had a really good close friendship.” Tai knows he is in a difficult position, because he will have to either betray Brad or Caleb. He comments, “Either way it’s going to hurt.”
The new Tavua tribe arrives at their barren camp. Zeke comments, “We get up to camp and there’s nothing but fishing gear and a meager amount of rice, pot and machete.” The original five Nuku members greet Troyzan, since he is the only original Mana member now in the Tavua tribe. As they refill their water bottles at the well, Ozzy encourages his tribe mates to embrace their new camp. He points out that this location has more coconuts and palm fronds than their old camp. Ozzy admits, “I’ve played this four times now and this is a chance to let my tribe know that I’ve still got the skills and that they can’t get rid of me yet.” As the Tavua tribe works together to gather supplies and build their shelter, Zeke and Cirie confirm with each other that they are still working together. Cirie comments, “I wasn’t on the right side of the numbers in the old Nuku tribe and I think Ozzy is still a little skittish of me.” She makes a point to check in with Ozzy to make sure everything is okay between them. Ozzy is willing to work with Cirie to keep the old Nuku five strong, so they can target Troyzan first. While they are gathering wood together, Troyzan asks Andrea if there is any chance that he will be safe in this new Tavua tribe. She assures him that there is. Andrea knows that the old Nuku tribe members plan on sticking together and getting out Troyzan first, but she doesn’t want to admit this to Troyzan. Troyzan senses that Andrea is not being honest with him. He admits, “If feel like I learned so much from ONE WORLD and I found an idol then when I had to find one and I won an immunity when I had to and I changed the game.” Troyzan knows he is in trouble and decides to search for a hidden immunity idol. Back at camp, Andrea warns the others to keep an eye on Troyzan. In his search, Troyzan comes upon a bottle sticking out of the sand by the beach. He is thrilled to find a clue to the hidden immunity idol in it. The clue tells him that the idol will be at the next immunity challenge, hidden in the side of the puzzle table. Troyzan has to be daring enough to grab that idol in front of everyone at the challenge. He comments, “If I can do it, it’s like a complete 180.”
The next morning at the Nuku camp, the new residents are surprised that goats roam freely in and around camp. Sandra hopes that they can catch one and eat it. JT admits, “If I can please Sandra and make her happy, then I think Sandra will probably love me to death and that would probably keep me safer in this game.” Sandra spots a goat, so JT goes chasing after it. JT catches a baby goat, while Malcolm corners an adult goat. Sandra holds the baby goat, while JT helps Malcolm catch the adult one. Malcolm reveals, “The only reason we caught it was because it was a mama goat and it didn’t want to run away from its baby.” He now does not want to kill the mama or it’s baby. As Michaela pets the baby goat, Sandra warns her not to get too attached. Michaela comments, “Sandra don’t care about killing these goats. In her mind, it’s just food. She was a villain for reason.” JT ties up the mama goat. Sandra is not against killing the goats to eat. She admits, “That’s what they’re here for human consumption.” Sandra realizes that not everyone agrees with her, so they have a tribe meeting to discuss it. JT does not want to kill the mama and baby goat. Varner is hungry, but he doesn’t want to kill them either. JT suggests they let these two goats go and try to catch a male goat instead. Michaela suggests they eat the four chickens, before they start eating goats. The tribe agrees to let the goats go and eat a chicken instead. Malcolm comments, “It made sense in our hearts to let it go and it’s going to be much better for this tribe moving forward.”
Jeff Probst welcomes the new Nuku, Mana and Vanua tribes to the immunity and reward challenge. He explains the rules of the challenge to them. Three members of each tribe will be tied together. They will work together to get through a series of obstacles. They will then grab a bucket and fill it with water and make their way over a giant teeter-totter. Next they will transfer the water into another bucket until they have enough to lower the gate. The three remaining tribe members will work together to solve a puzzle. The first two tribes to finish will win immunity and are safe from the vote. The loser will go to Tribal Council where somebody will be the third person voted out of this game. In addition, they are playing for reward. The first tribe to finish will get a tarp and get to choose between comfort for their body in the form of pillows, blankets and chairs or comfort for their taste buds in the form of spices and sauces. The second tribe to finish gets whichever comfort reward is left over.
Everyone gets set up in their positions before the challenge begins. Troyzan is one of the three at the end of the challenge for his Tavua tribe. He is waiting to untie the knots around the puzzle pieces. Troyzan nervously looks over at the puzzle table to try and locate the idol. He reveals, “I have to wait until after the challenge ends in order to nab it. The challenge begins. Caleb, Tai and Debbie are the three tied together to get through the obstacles for Mana. They decide to tackle the first obstacle, which is a series of wood stick barriers by going through the middle of them. Nuku and Tavua choose to go over the top of them instead. JT, Malcolm and Michaela are the three tied together for Nuku and they get through the first obstacle before the other two tribes. Now they attack the second obstacle, which is a series of hurdles that they have to go over and under. Andrea, Sarah and Ozzy of Tavua are the next tribe to get past the first obstacle. So, Mana is now in last place. Nuku maintains their lead as they start filling their bucket with water and getting it over the teeter-totter to fill up the second bucket that will drop the gate when full. Tavua is still in second place. Mana is finally through the first obstacle and trying to catch up to the others. Nuku is the first to get their gate open. So, Aubry unties their puzzle pieces and lets Sandra and Varner work on the puzzle. Mana makes up some time at the gate and gets theirs open just as Tavua opens their gate. Troyzan and Sierra work quickly to untie the puzzle pieces for their tribes. Sierra is faster than Troyzan, which puts Mana in second place as Brad and Hali start work on the puzzle. Zeke and Sierra are the puzzle solvers for Tavua. Now it is a race to see which tribe solves their puzzle first. Nuku finishes first and chooses the body comfort reward. Tavua finishes second and gets the spices and sauces. So, Mana finishes third and must go to Tribal Council without any reward. As the rest of the castaways are discussing the results of challenge, Troyzan successfully gets the hidden immunity idol and stuffs it in his pants. He reveals, “Finding this changes everything. It’s life for me.”
The Mana tribe arrives back at camp with a big decision to make as to whom they will vote out tonight at Tribal Council. Hali comments, “A miracle will happen if I’m to be here tomorrow.” She feels it is either Caleb or her going home tonight and she knows that Caleb’s advantage is his strength and size in challenges. Caleb is once again at risk of going home on day 9, like he did his first season. He explains, “I got life flighted out on a helicopter and almost lost my life. So, the only thing on my mind now is are they are going to go strong with this tribe and keep me and give me another life in this game?” Debbie and Sierra meet with Tai to discuss the vote. Tai recommends they vote out Hali and keep Caleb, because he can help more in physical challenges. Sierra is worried about Tai’s close friendship with Caleb and how that will influence his loyalties in the game. At the same time, Sierra wants to win challenges to avoid going to future Tribal Councils. Debbie played with both Tai and Caleb before in the KAOH RONG season. She knows how close a friendship that Tai and Caleb have. Debbie admits, “Past relationships absolutely matter and you’re a fool to discount them.” Brad is also worried about the fact that Tai, Caleb and Debbie have played together in the past. He doesn’t want to be perceived as the leader, so Brad wants Tai to make the decision as to whom they should send home. Brad meets with Tai to discuss the vote. Tai tells Brad that Hali is going home tonight because Caleb is more valuable in challenges. Brad agrees with Tai, but points out that keeping Caleb could hurt his game because of their friendship. Tai realizes that Brad is right. Tai admits, “Last time I played with my heart, but this is GAME CHANGERS and I have to think clearly.” He knows it will be hard for him to vote out his friend Caleb, but Tai wants to do what is best for his game.
Jeff Probst welcomes the new Mana tribe to Tribal Council and instructs those who have not been to Tribal Council before to light their torches. He tells them that this is part of the ritual of Tribal Council, because in this game fire represents their life. When their fire is gone, so are they. Debbie finds it uncomfortable that she, Tai and Caleb are now on the same tribe after playing together in SURVIVOR: KAOH RONG. She knows that everyone else is thinking that they are secretly bonded. Caleb points out that they started this season on different tribes, which resulted in different bonds being formed with others. Sierra does feel that it is significant that Tai and Caleb are friends outside the game. Caleb recommends that the tribe keep him over Hali because he will work hard in challenges and be loyal versus Hali who is easier to manipulate. Hali warns the others that Caleb is telling them that he is more stubborn and more difficult to beat at challenges. She wonders if this is what they want to keep around in a season of game changers. Brad complements Hali’s argument, since she is a lawyer like himself. Caleb warns the others that Hali has more relationships than he does with people on the other tribes. Hali disputes this and tell her tribe mates that she will continue to be genuine with them and hopefully the bonds they create will help them get further in the game. Jeff then calls for the Mana tribe to cast their votes. Before Jeff reveals the votes, he asks if anyone would like to play an immunity idol. No idol is played. Jeff reads the first five votes. Hali receives one vote. Caleb receives four votes, which is enough. So, Caleb Reynolds from SURVIVOR: KAOH RONG is the third person voted out of SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS. Caleb gives Tai a kiss on the head before getting his torch snuffed.