Last week, our predictions favored Malcolm Freberg as the frontrunner to win “Survivor: Game Changers” just before he was unceremoniously eliminated in a shocking tribal council. Malcolm’s premature exit leaves the door open for Sarah Lacina who leads polling this week with 3/1 odds of winning. Behind her are Brad Culpepper, the reluctant leader of Mana, with 10/3 odds and Sandra Diaz-Twine, the queen of Nuku, with 9/2 odds. Can this week’s leaders avoid the same fate as Malcolm? Read my analysis of how these players at the top of the leaderboard are faring and then update your “Survivor 34” predictions in our weekly event.
Sarah’s game has been fairly muted since the season premiere, and even then her presence was barely felt. In that two-hour episode, Sarah stood out for announcing that unlike her first time playing she’s ready to break her word this season. So far Sarah’s tribe has avoided tribal council all four times, not only keeping her safe from the vote, but also allowing her to avoid testing out her new strategy.
If her current tribe, Tavua, loses immunity, Sarah’s strategy seems simple enough — she sits comfortably in a 5-1 majority along original Nuku tribal lines with Ozzy Lusth, Andrea Boehlke, Zeke Smith and Cirie Fields against Troyzan Robertson, originally of Mana. Because they have yet to prepare for a vote, we know next to nothing about how the alliances within that group break down, and ignorant of the threat of Troyzan’s hidden immunity idol they’re likely to stick together on their first vote. As a physical asset and not a strategic threat, Sarah should remain safe from Troyzan’s aim at the vote, putting her in position to coast into the middle of the game without any blood on her hands.
Both Brad and Sandra, on the other hand, are covered in the blood of their enemies, each having had to do a considerable amount of work so far in order to avoid their own eliminations. As a two-time winner, Sandra has been discussed by her cast mates as the biggest threat yet still hasn’t had a single vote cast against her. Instead she’s managed to have her enemies take the fall, either with direct (Tony Vlachos) or indirect (Malcolm) actions.
Brad’s biggest test came last week when his tribe of five was pitted against Sandra’s tribe of six at the show’s first ever two-tribe tribal council. To avoid the elimination of one of their own, Brad and his alliance had to correctly guess where votes were going to fall and negate them with Tai Trang‘s hidden idol. They guessed correctly thanks to J.T. Thomas spilling the beans, saving Sierra Thomas and taking out Malcolm in the process, despite Hali Ford‘s best efforts to have Sandra’s Nuku tribe vote for Brad.
Get a closer look at the Season 34 contestants by clicking through our cast photo gallery. In our “Survivor” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on CBS every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:
Who will win “Survivor”?
Who will be eliminated?
Who will win Reward?
Who will win Immunity?
Will a hidden idol be played?
Will anybody quit or be medevaced?
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Survivor” in our reality TV forum.