Season 34: Episode 9 - Reinventing How This Game Is Played
Posted on May 3, 2017 11:00pm

The Maku Maku tribe returns to camp from Tribal Council on night 26. Debbie was voted out much to the surprise of Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan. Brad admits, “I clearly was in a great position before tonight. Now, I went from being in pretty good shape with six to being in terrible shape with the four.” Sarah reveals to the people that got blindsided that she was the one who flipped and voted for Debbie versus Andrea. She comments, “Hopefully, if I make it to the end, the jury will reward the fact that I was a game changer enough to make this type of a move.” Michaela encourages Andrea, Zeke, Sarah and Cirie to stick together to vote out the other four. Cirie admits, “We took the control from Sierra and Brad tonight, but in SURVIVOR there’s never any rest at all.” She knows things could change quickly and she wants to be ready for it.
Jeff Probst, the host welcomes the Maku Maku tribe to the Reward Challenge. He then tells them the rules of the challenge. They will be divided into two teams of five. One person from each team will race through a series of obstacles to a chair, which they will sit it. The rest of their team will work together to use ropes to lift the chair, so the person in it can retrieve 10 numbered bags. Once that person has ten bags, the next person will go to collect the next ten. Once a team has collected all 30 bags, they will use the letters inside to solve a word puzzle. The first team to finish wins reward. The reward is a helicopter journey to a luxury resort where they will enjoy a feast and an overnight stay. A schoolyard pick is used to determine the two teams. The resulting blue team is made up of Brad, Zeke, Sarah, Aubry and Andrea. The orange team has Michaela, Troyzan, Cirie, Sierra and Tai.
The challenge begins. Brad goes up against Michaela as the first people to go through the obstacle course and into the chair. They are neck and neck going through the obstacle course. Now, they each have to retrieve the first ten numbered bags from their chairs, while being lifted by the rest of their teammates. Brad collects his 10 bags seconds before Michaela, which gives his blue team a slight lead. Now Andrea goes up against Troyzan to get the next 10 bags. Andrea finishes first, but Troyzan is close behind her. Sarah and Sierra now on are the course to retrieve the final 10 bags for their teams. Sarah keeps the slight lead for her blue team. Now, with all the bags retrieved, it’s time to solve the word puzzle. Zeke, Brad and Andrea are the puzzle solvers for the blue team. Sierra, Cirie and Michaela work to solve the puzzle for their orange team. The six-word puzzle proves to be difficult for both teams and takes them over 50 minutes to solve. Andrea finally comes up with the first word of REINVENTING, which is what the blue team needs to finish their puzzle to spell “REINVENTING HOW THIS GAME IS PLAYED” and win the reward. So, Brad, Zeke, Sarah, Aubry and Andrea head out to the helicopter, which will take them to their overnight luxury resort reward. Brad is so happy to be getting much needed food and rest. He comments, “More importantly, I’m with the people I need to be with from a strategic standpoint to change the game. It’s a win win.”
Brad, Zeke, Sarah, Aubry and Andrea fly in a helicopter to the Totoriki Island Resort where they are greeted with a tray of beverages. They immediately toast and celebrate their win. Next, they walk into the luxurious resort and run to a table filled with delicious food. Zeke admits, “I’ve never been to a resort as incredible as this place.” He is happy to enjoy the comfort and refuel his body with food. He comments, “Playing SURVIVOR is like climbing Everest. It gets harder and harder the further you go up.” Brad and Zeke spend a lot of time talking about their mutual love of football as they enjoy the food. This bothers Andrea, because she still does not trust Zeke, even though he voted with her at the last Tribal Council. She admits, “I am a little nervous that now he’s going to go try and do something with Brad.”
The next morning at the Maku Maku camp, Michaela, Troyzan, Cirie, Sierra and Tai are feeling pretty tired and hungry. Sierra admits, “I got no sleep. I’m exhausted and I’m still trying to figure out what the heck happened the other night at Tribal.” She knows that she is in the minority with Brad, Tai and Troyzan and hopes that she can find a way to not be voted out next. Troyzan encourages Tai to feel good that they are still in the game. They promise to let each other know if they hear that either one of them is being targeted. Tai admits, “This is the first time ever playing two seasons that I feel that I’m really at the bottom.” He hasn’t told anyone yet that he has two hidden immunity idols. Tai wants to keep them as long as he can, but he will play one. if he is in trouble. Brad, Zeke, Aubry, Andrea and Sarah walk back into camp. Aubry feels so fortunate to have gone on the reward. She, like Andrea is also concerned about the amount of time that Zeke and Brad spent together at the reward. Aubry comments, “I think we need to kind of think very carefully about who we want to take out in the next vote.” Andrea talks to Cirie and recommends that they vote out Zeke next. She feels he is the biggest threat and will not expect to be targeted at this point in the game. Cirie agrees with Andrea. She comments, “Zeke is way more threatening to me than Sierra. He knows this game better than any of us out here.” Cirie is concerned that Sarah may not want to vote out Zeke though. So, she has a talk with her about it. As Cirie expected, Sarah is not ready to get rid of Zeke yet. She tells Cirie that she plans on using her “backup” in the future to handle Zeke. Sarah trusts Zeke and therefore wants to keep him around. She can see that she needs to explain to Cirie what her “backup” is. Sarah admits, “Typically in SURVIVOR you don’t want to show your cards, but sometimes it’s necessary to lock people in.” So, she tells Cirie that she has the advantage, which will allow her to steal a vote at Tribal Council. Sarah assures Cirie that she will only let Zeke get to the final 6 and then she will use her advantage, if needed to get him out then. Sarah hopes that Cirie will believe her and stop targeting Zeke. If not, Sarah has no problems working with Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan instead. She comments, “I’m going to let the plans develop and then I’m going to pick a side.”
The next morning at the Maku Maku camp, Zeke is nervous by how calm everyone is. This makes him feel uneasy about who is really working with whom. Zeke comments, “I’m finally getting to use my SURVIVOR skill set, which is the running around and the scheming and the plotting and then voting people out.” He meets with Sarah at the water well to discuss strategy. Sarah recommends that they get rid of Sierra, then Andrea and then Tai. Zeke agrees. Sarah admits, “I feel good with Zeke. We’ve been together since day one. “ She trusts Zeke more than Andrea, Aubry and Cirie. Zeke tells Sarah that she would like to make a final five deal with the two of them and Brad, Troyzan and Michaela. Sarah agrees. So, Zeke meets with Brad and Troyzan next. He tells them that he would like to work with them. Brad and Troyzan are thrilled to hear this, since they are now in the minority. Zeke explains that he cannot tell them who will go home next, but assure them that they are safe. Brad comments, “So in 24 hours I worked my way up very quickly, not without effort, into a good position.” He would like to keep Tai and Sierra around, but his primary goal is to win the game.
Jeff Probst welcomes the Maku Maku tribe to the Immunity Challenge. He explains the rules of the challenge. They will each stack a series of blocks on a beam, while attempting to avoid a trip obstacle. If they hit the obstacle, their blocks will fall and they will have to restack them. The goal is to stack the blocks so they fall like dominos, which will ultimately hit a gong at the end of the stack. The first person to finish wins immunity and is safe from the vote. One of the losers will be the eleventh person voted out at Tribal Council and become the fourth member of the jury.
The challenge begins and everyone carefully starts stacking their blocks, while trying not to hit the trip obstacle. Cirie, Andrea, Sarah, Michaela and Sierra are all close together and leading the others. Everyone else is taking a slow and steady approach to avoid hitting the trip obstacle. After completing half of his stack, Brad hits the obstacle, which makes his beam move and his blocks fall. He has to start back from the beginning setting up his stack. Andrea, Michaela and Sarah are now in the lead side by side. Sierra, Troyzan and Aubry are not too far behind. Andrea is now down to her last block, but she spaced the others too closely, so her last block will not reach the gong at the end. She is now forced to respace the blocks that she has already set on her beam. Meanwhile, Sarah, Michaela and Sierra are right behind her and may be able to take the lead. As Michaela works on her last block, Andrea has finished respacing her blocks and lets the first one hit all the others to the end and hits her gong. So, Andrea wins individual immunity and is safe from the vote tonight. Sierra feels vulnerable and wishes she had won immunity. She comments, “I’m hoping I can get back to camp make a big move and they keep me here just another day longer.”
The Maku Maku tribe returns to camp after the Immunity Challenge. Andrea comments, “I’m for sure safe tonight, so why not go for someone that’s been coming for me and that would be Zeke.” The original plan was for Andrea and her alliance to vote out Sierra tonight to reduce the numbers in the minority alliance. That’s why Andrea sees this as a perfect time to vote out Zeke, because he will not expect it. Andrea reveals her plan to Cirie. Cirie would like to get Zeke out too, but she is worried that Sarah will not go along with it, since Sarah is close to Zeke. So, Cirie suggests that they get Sierra to vote with them instead. Just then, Sierra walks up to Cirie and Andrea to plead her case for staying in the game. Andrea asks if she would be willing to vote with them. Sierra assures them she will vote for anyone they want her to. She admits, “Tonight, I’m going to turn my back on my initial alliance and I’m willing at any moment to throw any one of them under the bus.” Next, they talk to Sarah about voting Zeke out tonight. Sarah comments, “I’m definitely not down for it. I need Zeke for a few more votes, but I really need to keep my mouth shut. Because, if I start scrambling around to try to save Zeke, I’m going to get in hot water.” So, Sarah tells Andrea and Cirie that she will vote for Zeke tonight. Andrea then reveals the plan to Aubry and Michaela. Aubry feels it is a good idea to get rid of Zeke, since she sees him as one of the smartest people in the game. Michaela agrees to go along, but she is worried about reducing the numbers in their majority alliance from six to five. She explains, “They don’t seem to see if you leave only four people on the bottom, they only need one more person to be in the majority for the rest of the game.” Michaela trusts Zeke and has a history with him, since they were both in MILLENIALS VS. GEN-X together. So, she would actually prefer not to vote him out. Michaela expresses her concerns to Sarah, who also feels uncomfortable about voting for Zeke. Sarah reveals, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I have a feeling the deciding vote is going to come down to Michaela and me.”
Jeff Probst welcomes the Maku Maku tribe and the jury members Debbie, Hali and Ozzy to Tribal Council. Jeff asks Sarah what happened after the last Tribal Council when they got back to camp. She tells him that everyone was quiet, so she revealed to them that she was the one that flipped. Brad points out that he, Troyzan, Tai and Sierra went from being in a power position with Debbie to all of a sudden being at the bottom when Sarah flipped. Tai admits that tonight is the first time after two seasons that he feels he could be voted out, since no one has talked to him about this vote. Sierra also admits to feeling vulnerable. Zeke points out that the best way to protect a vote is to not share it with the enemy. Andrea feels this season is different, because you cannot assume that your alliance will stick together for any vote. Michaela feels her alliance of six will stay together tonight to get further in the game. Zeke agrees that now is not the right time to stray from an alliance of six when the other alliance is so close in numbers with four. Cirie admits that her mind is constantly running the numbers of who is best to align with and who is best to vote out. Sierra reveals that she wants to stay in the game and she told the majority alliance that she would vote with them to stay in the game. Michaela feels it is important to turn down your emotions when you are trying to figure out who’s best to vote out. Andrea points out that you do have to have genuine relationships and friendships though to get further in the game too. Jeff then calls for the Maku Maku tribe to vote. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. None are played. He then reveals all 10 votes. Sierra gets 2 votes. Tai gets 3 votes and Zeke gets 5 votes. So, Zeke Smith from SURVIVOR: MILLENNIALS VS. GEN-X is the eleventh person to leave SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS and the fourth member of the jury.