Wednesday’s two-hour episode of “Survivor: Game Changers,” titled “There’s a New Sheriff in Town,” seemed to put forth the likely Final 6 castaways of this 34th season: Brad Culpepper, Sierra Thomas, Troyzan Robertson, Debbie Wanner, Tai Trang and Sarah Lacina. This sextet was formed after two back-to-back eliminations following the merge, and with only 11 people left in the game now, six is the magic number to hold the power going forward. Read our Season 34, Episodes 8 & 9 recap below and then update your “Survivor” predictions in our weekly event.
In the first hour, Zeke Smith reflected on last week’s controversy in which Jeff Varner outed him as being transgender. In a confessional, Zeke said, “One of the reasons I didn’t tell was I wanted people to see me as myself.” Later at the merge, host Jeff Probst announced that one of the six Nuku tribe members and one of the seven Mana players would have to volunteer to sit out of the ritual merge feast. Nuku’s Tai and Mana’s Brad both volunteered, and while the other castaways all enjoyed the camaraderie and food, Tai and Brad created a strong bond that looks like it’ll last far into the game.
The immunity challenge featured all 13 players balancing a block of wood on top of their heads, and while few lasted longer than several minutes, Andrea Boehlke ended up prevailing in the season’s first individual challenge. At that point everyone seemed to be on board with voting out Michaela Bradshaw, but Cirie Fields felt a special bond with the young castaway, so she enacted a plan to oust Hali Ford instead. The plan worked, as Cirie managed to flip the script from Michaela to Hali, and Hali was eliminated in eighth place, thereby becoming the first member of the jury.
In the second hour Zeke started questioning whether Andrea and Cirie were to be trusted, so he began whispering to other castaways that he wanted to get them out. At the reward challenge, Debbie, Zeke, Troyzan, Tai, Andrea and Ozzy Lusth won the Marshall’s spa and food getaway. That’s where Zeke told Debbie of his plan, which wound up biting him in the butt as Debbie later informed Sierra of Zeke’s potential game move.
Tai and Ozzy battled mano a mano at the immunity challenge — a holding-onto-a-pole event that Ozzy had won in two previous seasons. Amazingly, Ozzy lost to Tai and soon Debbie was throwing Ozzy’s name out there. Sierra seemed to be on board with voting Ozzy out, but she wasn’t sure they had enough numbers. Meanwhile, Cirie and Andrea felt betrayed that Zeke wanted to get them out, so they started a campaign to eliminate him.
After the 12 people voted at tribal council, Debbie stood up and announced that she wanted to use her special two-vote advantage that she was awarded on Exile Island. In a shocker, Ozzy — the record-holder for most days playing “Survivor” — ended up being eliminated thanks in part to Debbie’s two votes.
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.