The Survivor Game Changers Recap: A Clash of Civilizations

Survivor castaways

After two titans clashed and brought one down, two civilizations come in contact with each other and are amazed with the wonders that each has to offer the other.

Good Cop Beats Bad Cop

There is no day after scene.  The exit of Tony is so cataclysmic that showing the remnants of his tribe would be so disturbing to the viewer.  Thus, the producers cut straight to the next challenge.  Nuku enters.  Mana enters.  Jeff announces that Tony has been voted out.  Nuku is in a state of shock.  Sarah cannot believe her eyes.

Out with the Old, In with the New

But that is history.  And Jeff is interested in the future.  He asks the castaways what they think will happen and the all-seeing Zeke chimes in with, "We're about to swap."  Jeff asks them to drop their buffs.  Sandra offers a confessional about leading sheep to their slaughter but now her plans have to change.  Maybe goats are more to her liking?  The tribals pick their new buffs and identify their new tribes.

The new orange Mana tribe consists of Debbie, Sierra, Hali, Tai, Brad, and Caleb.  Caleb and Tai flirt with each other.  The new blue Nuku tribe consists of Michaela, Malcolm, JT, Sandra, Aubry, and Jeff.  Finally, the new green tribe of Tavua consists of Troyzan, Cirie, Andrea, Sarah, Zeke, and Ozzy.  They will have to start all over and build a new shelter along with everything else.  The tribes are sent back to their camps.

A Life of Luxury

Malcolm is impressed with the advanced civilization that is the Nuku camp.  He hears tales of a highly evolved human being by the name of Brad who helped decorate the trees with balls.  Jeff is elated.  He shouts, "The trees have balls!"

JT, however, is worried about the fact that he is outnumbered by former Mana tribals by five to one.  He hatches a plan to send them out to sea so he can swim back to camp and finally search for a much needed idol.  The longer he looks, the more he needs it as his new friends start to get suspicious of his absence.  Unfortunately for them, they have never made contact with the highly evolved Brad so the idea of rowing back to camp never crosses their primitive minds.

The Primitive Tribe

The highly evolved Brad has been sent to the primitive Mana tribe where he gets to introduce them to the latest innovations of the civilized world: balls hanging from trees and benches.  Hali and Caleb are wowed by the technological advancements of the highly evolved Brad, Tai, Sierra, and Debbie.  Contact with a more advanced civilization also introduces the duo to arithmetic and they quickly realize that they are outnumbered.

Tai and Brad discuss which of the primitives they will take along for the ride.  Tai really wants Caleb to stick around but Brad sees things differently.  As Brad is the one who has hung the decorative balls on the trees, his word is mightier than Tai's.

A New Civilization Emerges

Five former Nuku tribals and one former Mana tribal head to a new land.  A land that needs shelter, food, and of course diplomacy and intrigue.  The Nukus were not getting along before, but now realize that their differences are not as significant as their differences with the primitive Mana tribal named Troyzan who shouts out loud that islands belong to him.  How boorish.

So the Nukus overlook their differences and plot to work against Troyzan.  However, contact with an advanced civilization has Troyzan's wheels spinning.  So he goes to look for other wild wonders of the world.  And sure enough he discovers a bottle sent down from the gods in which a clue to a special power exists.  He merely has to obtain the idol with the powers at an upcoming challenge.  Troyzan is elated.

Leading Goats to Their Slaughter

JT is outnumbered by the primitives of the former Mana tribe so he partakes in the primitive activity of hunting wild beasts.  However, JT comes from a civilized world where mother goats cannot be separated from their kids.  Sandra, the queen of the primitives, refuses to accept these values.  The remainder of her former tribe however, mesmerized by the hanging balls, comes around to the world view of JT.  The goats are spared and the two civilizations agree that eating the chickens that feed them with eggs on a daily basis are the beasts they will bite into.

Reward/Immunity Challenge

The castaways enter a clearing in a field where Jeff guides them through the intricate rules of the upcoming challenge.  They are to send off three members of each tribe to make their way "through a series of obstacles,"™ grab a bucket and fill it with water, pass over a giant seesaw, and empty the water into a larger bucket that opens a gate when it is full.  The three remaining tribe members will work together to solve a puzzle.  First two teams get immunity.  The first team also gets a tarp and their choice of comfort for the body or comfort for their taste buds (pillows or spices).

Nuku sends out Malcolm, Michaela, and JT to run the obstacles; Mana sends Caleb, Tai, and Debbie; and Tavua sends Andrea, Sarah, and Ozzy.  Mana falls behind early while Nuku is the first to pass on the challenge to Aubry who unties the puzzle pieces.  Tavua follows and hands over the reins to Troyzan.  Mana finally does the same with Sierra who surpasses Troyzan who is focused on obtaining the idol to save himself from the trickery of the advanced civilization.

Jeff and Sandra solve the puzzle for Nuku, Hali and Brad solve for Mana, and Zeke and Cirie do the same for Tavua.  The advanced civilization, Nuku, wins again.  Tavua comes in second.  And the primitive Mana comes in last, as is usually the case with these things.

Troyzan pretends to celebrate while he obtains the idol to save himself, Nuku chooses the pillows over the spices, and Mana heads to tribal council which is like a second home for them.


Tai reaches out to his fellow advanced tribals to save Caleb because he says his tribe needs Caleb's strength.  However, the highly evolved Brad worries that keeping Caleb gives Tai the upper hand and uses the psychological tricks available to a highly evolved person such as himself to trick Tai into voting out his closest friend.

Tribal Council

The tribe heads to the tribal council where they meet the supreme being, Jeff Probst.  He guides them through their decision making process as they all offer their opinions on what makes a civilization great.  Some argue strength, others argue against allegiances to other tribes.  Caleb points out his patriotism to his tribe while Hali uses the tools of the advanced civilization to spin Caleb's argument against him.  The highly evolved Brad sees through this and dismisses it.

The castaways vote.  Jeff tallies the votes.  No one uses an idol.  Jeff reads the votes: Caleb, Hali, Caleb, Caleb, and Caleb.  Caleb is voted out.  Caleb voted for Hali and everyone else voted for Caleb.


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