Season 34: Episode 3 - The Tables Have Turned
Posted on Mar 22, 2017 10:00pm

It’s night 9 and the Mana tribe is now back at camp after voting out Caleb at Tribal Council. Sierra thanks Tai for being loyal to their alliance by doing the difficult task of voting out his friend Caleb. Tai admits, “I’m very close to Caleb. So, this vote was very hard for me.” Brad appreciates what Tai did and points out that actions speak louder than words. Tai is happy that his tribe now trusts him. He reveals, “I’m not playing with my heart this time. I’m playing with my head.”
The next morning at the Mana tribe, Debbie and Hali are refilling water bottles at the well. Debbie tells Hali that she is glad that Hali is still here. Hali comments, “Caleb going home last night instead of me was a break in this game.” Hali tells Debbie that Tai should be the next one to go. Knowing that Debbie and Tai have a complicated relationship, Hali hopes to gain Debbie’s support by wanting to get rid of Tai. Debbie lies and tells Hali that she agrees with her. Debbie reveals, “The philosophy for this Mana tribe is to keep old Nuku tribe.” Later, Debbie, Tai, Brad and Sierra confirm with one another that if they lose the next Immunity Challenge, Hali will be the next to go.
Jeff Probst, the host welcomes the Mana, Nuku and Tavua tribes to the Reward Challenge. He explains the rules of the challenge. Only two members of each tribe will run this challenge. The first player will race through a series of obstacles while balancing a ball on the end of a pole. At the end of each obstacle, they will add another pole, which makes it more difficult. Once they the first person gets through all the obstacles, the next player will use the ball to release a key. That key will open a box with sandbags inside. Those sandbags will be used to knockdown nine bamboo targets. The first two tribes to finish win a coffee reward. The first tribe to win gets everything they need to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, including chocolate cookies. The second tribe to finish wins just a jug of iced coffee. The last tribe to finish gets nothing. Each tribe then chooses the two members that will compete for them.
Nuku chooses JT to carry the ball and Malcolm to throw sandbags. Tavua has Ozzy carrying the ball and Troyzan throwing sandbags. Tai is carrying the ball and Culpepper throwing sandbags for Mana. As the challenge begins JT, Ozzy and Tai carefully approach the first obstacle which is a series of bars that they must go over and under while carrying the pole with the ball on top. JT and Tai drop their balls, so they have to start over. Ozzy gets through with no drops, so he put his Tavua tribe in the lead. He now adds a section to his pole to make it longer and therefore harder to carry. Ozzy now heads out on the second obstacle while balancing the ball, which is a balance beam. Tai is the next one done with the first obstacle. JT is right behind him. Ozzy is now on the third and final obstacle after adding another extension to his pole. This last obstacle is a more difficult balance beam with curves in it. JT gets across the second obstacle quickly, which puts his Nuku tribe in second place. Ozzy drops the ball in the third obstacle, which forces him to go back. JT has now caught up with Ozzy as they both start across the crooked balance beam. Tai is not far behind them. Ozzy and JT get over the third obstacle. Troyzan now gets the key from Ozzy and uses it to get the sandbags for Tavua. Malcolm gets the sandbags for Nuku. Troyzan knocks down two targets, before Malcolm knocks down his first. Tai is still trying to get over the final obstacle with his pole and ball. Malcolm quickly catches up to Troyzan in the number of bamboo targets knocked down. Troyzan and Malcolm are now tied with 6 down and only 3 to go. Tai finally gets across the crooked balance beam, so Brad can start throwing sandbags for Mana. Malcolm gets the job done first and wins the big coffee reward for his Nuku tribe. Brad is trying to catch up to Troyzan, who now only has two sandbags left. Brad fires those sandbags quickly and accurately. Troyzan seems to have lost his touch, because he can’t hit those last two bags. Brad amazes his tribe by tying and then beating Troyzan. So, Mana wins the second place reward of iced coffee. Tavua goes home with nothing. Cirie is disappointed by Troyzan’s performance in the challenge. She comments, “Troyzan’s life is hanging on by a string.”
The Tavua tribe returns to camp without any reward. Troyzan feels like his let his tribe down, because he couldn’t knock down those last two sandbags. Ozzy admits, “Losing the Reward Challenge was great for me, because without rewards they need me to survive in this game.” He heads out with his spear into the ocean to catch some fish for his tribe. Ozzy comments, “If I didn’t bring food in, my name would come up a lot more than it does.” In addition, Ozzy also finds his time in the water to be relaxing and a good place to think about strategy. He brings back a big stingray to his Tavua tribe. Troyzan and Andrea run to the beach and complement Ozzy for a job well done. Andrea admits, “As a fan of the show, just seeing him in action is amazing.” She is so happy that her tribe will have a good meal and be stronger for the next challenge. Ozzy heads back into the water to get more.
Meanwhile, the Nuku tribe is at their camp enjoying their coffee and cookies. Sandra is so happy with things at Nuku. Not only are they winning challenges, but also she feels confident in her relationships with others. Sandra boasts, “I’m the queen here, I know that much. I know I’m running the show and nobody really knows it.” JT takes a walk with Malcolm to discuss strategy. He recommends they get rid of Sandra at the next Tribal Council, because she is so dangerous. JT comments, “The longer Sandra is in this game, the more trouble we’re going to have getting rid of her.” Malcolm agrees with JT and swears that he wants to work with him in this game. JT is happy to have Malcolm on his side. He admits, “I can go ahead and make my move, like I need to do here and get rid of Sandra.”
The Nuku, Mana and Vanua tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge to them. One person from each tribe will be their caller. The rest of the tribe will blindfolded and tethered together in pairs. Using only verbal commands, the caller will guide their tribe through a series of obstacles to a tower. When they reach a tower, they will pull on a rope, which will release water and a bag. Once they have all three bags, they will use the balls inside to maneuver them through a table maze. The goal of each tribe is to get all three balls into their final resting spots. Nuku has one extra person, so they sit out Sandra. Tavua also has one extra, so they sit out Troyzan. Jeff then informs them that only the first tribe to finish will win immunity. Both of the losing tribes will go to Tribal Council.
The challenge begins. For Nuku, Varner is the caller and the blindfolded pairs are JT/Michaela and Malcolm/Aubry. For Tavua, Cirie directs the blindfolded pairs of Ozzy/Zeke and Andrea/Sarah. Brad is the caller for Mana leading the pairs of Tai/Debbie and Sierra/Hali. Ozzy and Zeke bring the first bag back for Tavua. JT and Michaela get the first bag for Nuku. Mana is having a hard time hearing Brad’s directions, so they are falling behind. Sierra and Sarah finally find a tower and get the first bag back for Mana. Nuku retrieves all three of their bags first, allowing JT to start on their table maze. Tavua gets their three bags next. Ozzy then starts on their table maze. Mana still trails the rest, but finally Sierra gets to start on their puzzle. JT now has the first ball in for Nuku. Michaela then steps up to be next on the table maze for them. For Mana, Sierra decides to turn the table maze over to Hali after not having much success. Ozzy lands the first ball one for Tavua. Malcolm has taken over the Nuku maze and lands the second ball keeping them in the lead. Varner steps up to land the third and final ball for Nuku. Mana still has not landed one, so Brad takes his turn at the maze. Sarah lands the second ball for Tavua. So, Andrea steps up to land the final ball for them. It is now a showdown between Varner and Andrea for the win. Bran finally lands the first ball for Mana, but they still have a ways to go to catch up to the other two tribes. Sierra takes over for Mana. Both Varner and Andrea are in the inner circle of the maze with just a couple moves to win immunity for their tribes. Varner makes a quick move causing his ball to drop out of the maze. He is devastated and has to start from the beginning again. In the end, Andrea lands the third ball for Tavua and wins them immunity. So, both Nuku and Mana will go to Tribal Council tonight. Jeff informs them that both tribes will go to Tribal Council as one group and only vote one person out. Aubry comments, “This twist is so dangerous to everyone, because any fracture in any relationship is a reason to send somebody home tonight.”
When Nuku returns to camp from the challenge, JT points out to his tribe mates that Nuku has a numbers advantage by having six members versus only five members in Mana. Since this type of Tribal Council is new to them all, Malcolm recommends they get together to discuss the vote. Malcolm admits, “I’m starting to think I just need to be ready for everything in SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS, because who knows what Probst is cooking up next.” Even though they have more people in their tribe than Mana does, Malcolm knows that nothing is that simple in SURVIVOR. In addition, Malcolm and JT originally wanted to vote out Sandra tonight, before they knew that they could pick someone on Mana instead. In their meeting, JT assures everyone that he will be loyal to Nuku and not vote with Mana. Sandra comments, “We have to vote six strong. If someone messes this up, they are getting an ass beating when they come back to this camp.” She recommends to her tribe that they vote out Sierra, because she is the strongest female. JT disagrees and suggests they go after Tai instead, because he is more dangerous. Varner admits, “We’re not on the same page. Everybody is on their own page. This is SURVIVOR.” Malcolm asks JT whom Brad will want to vote out on the Nuku tribe. JT feels confident that Brad will go after Sandra. Malcolm is happy to hear this, since he was worried that Brad would come after him. JT thinks about whether he wants to vote out Sandra with his old buddy Brad or stick with the majority on Nuku and vote out Sierra or Tai. He remarks, “If I wanted to I could definitely change the course of this game big time.”
Over at the Mana camp, they are worried about the fact that the have one less person than the Nuku tribe. Brad admits, “I know that four of us are all going to vote one way. We have one wild card Hali.” He encourages Hali to vote with the rest of Mana and assures her that the bonds she has made with them are tighter than those of her former alliances. Hali is happy to actually have options. She comments, “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.” Brad thinks that JT will vote for Sandra. Sierra wishes that they could vote for Malcolm instead. All of them agree that they have to vote the same way JT does in order to have enough votes. Unfortunately, they can only guess how he might be voting. Tai doesn’t feel safe tonight, so he decides to search for a hidden immunity idol. Tai searches all around the island in various unique looking trees. Finally, he finds a clue in one of them. The clue provides a map to the location of the idol, which is a clearing near the tribe flag. It gives him four markers at that location that he needs to draw lines between and dig at their intersection. Tai finds the spot and starts digging. He is so happy when he uncovers the hidden immunity idol. Tai admits, “This idol’s going to equal out the two tribes’ power. They have the numbers. We have the idol.” We he gets back at camp; Tai sees that his tribe is really worried about their future. He breaks the news that he has an idol, which can help them tonight. Sierra is so happy and gives Tai a kiss. She admits, “A lot can go wrong, but I’m just praying that we can make this happen, because it’s going to be a huge move.”
Jeff Probst welcomes the Mana and Nuku tribes to Tribal Council and instructs JT to light his torch. He reminds him that this is part of the ritual of Tribal Council, because in this game fire represents his life. When his fire is gone, so is he. Malcolm says with all the experience of these returning players, none of them have been to a Tribal Council like this one, because both tribes are coming together to vote out just one person. He admits that it required him to consider all the numerous possibilities. Brad points out that it gets complicated, because not everyone on the same tribe is guaranteed to vote together. Sandra assures Brad that everyone on her Nuku tribe is united and voting together. Debbie reminds everyone that JT used to be on a tribe with them. Sandra responds, “She said the magic words ‘used to.’” JT feels that his old allies are expecting him to take a big chance with no guarantees. Brad points out that Nuku has more threats than Mana with people like Malcolm and Sandra. Sandra is positive that she is not going home tonight. Malcolm feels Brad is just talking big because he is desperate. Varner admits that Nuku ran through all the possibilities, including who could have an idol on Mana. Debbie wonders whether JT or Hali will flip tonight. Brad assures Hali that Mana will vote her out next, if she does not vote with them tonight. Hali doesn’t appreciate the threat and invites members of the Nuku tribe to share information, so there is no threat of drawing rocks tonight. Sandra assures her that they will not be forced to go to rocks tonight. Sierra encourages Hali to stick with Mana tonight. Michaela reminds Hali that Mana is not treating her right. JT admits that his mind is going crazy with all the different options he has tonight. Hali encourages everyone to concentrate on getting out physical threats. Sandra whispers to her tribe that Hali wants out Brad. JT tells Malcolm to stick with voting out Sandra. At that point, everyone talks amongst themselves. Sandra encourages her Nuku tribe to stick with plan. Tai tells his Mana tribe to stick with their plan. Sierra feels she is being targeted tonight. JT then gets up and whispers to Brad that Nuku is voting for Sierra. Hali then whispers to Sandra to vote out Brad. Brad quietly confirms with JT that Nuku is voting for Sierra. Tribal Council is now a bunch of people whispering to each other. Jeff admits that he has never seen anything like it. When it quiets down, Jeff calls for the two tribes to cast their votes. Before Jeff reveals the votes, he asks if anyone would like to play an immunity idol. Tai shocks the Nuku tribe when he plays his idol for Sierra. Jeff reads the first nine votes. Sierra receives six votes, which do not count. Malcolm receives three votes, which is enough. So, Malcolm Freberg from SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES is the fourth person voted out of SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS.