Everyone on the island as well as everyone around the country was still reeling after last week’s shocking historic episode, in which contestant Jeff Varner outed fellow player Zeke Smith during Tribal Council (and moments before Varner was eliminated from the game). And everyone was wondering both how Zeke and his teammates would continue the game after the upsetting drama.
The two-hour, two-elimination double episode started with words from Zeke himself, which was definitely the way to handle the situation — it’s a super-important topic, and it was on everyone’s mind. Just as he was in Tribal Council, Zeke was amazingly cool about the whole incident, while still voicing that he was shocked and hurt by what went down.
Zeke was grateful, in the end, that everyone put aside the particulars of the game to show and voice their support for him: “When something bad does happen to you,” he said, “People who are out to get you [in the game] do stand in your defense.”
— Gordon Holmes (@gordonholmes) April 20, 2017
He was also ready to put his gender identity and past back into the background and get back to the game — and it seemed like both the show’s producers and the players themselves were happy to honor his request. In fact, the cast was so ready to treat Zeke “normally” that he was in the hot seat before the double episode wrapped.
It seemed like no one was more ready to get back into the drama of game play more than Zeke — and in fact, he might have been too enthusiastic. Despite having a nicely formed alliance going into the merge, Zeke decided to throw longtime friend and alliance member Andrea under the bus to Debbie — a move that not only lost her trust, but also the trust of others who had been on his side, including Sierra, who seems to be quickly gaining power with each passing day.
— Abby (@hi_i_read) April 20, 2017
Everything came to a head in the second Tribal Council session (Hali, predictably, was voted out in the first session). Zeke received four votes, while Ozzy, who was targeted as the biggest threat to win, was voted off the island. Perhaps most strangely, Zeke was the lone vote for Aubry in Tribal Council, flagging that perhaps he was misled by other tribe members or at the very least left out of the other conversations leading up to the vote.
Even the teaser for next week does not look good for Zeke. It seems like his failed power play has made him some long-term enemies and badly hurt his trustworthiness. Many fans were commenting that much like his first season, Zeke is playing too aggressively too early to find long-term success.
Zeke claims his move in 33 at final 11 was too early. So naturally he wants to makes a move a final 12 in 34 #Survivor
— Nick Taddeo (@Tad_Taddeo) April 20, 2017
No Zeke! No! The lesson of your season was to pick your moment! #Survivor
— Taran Armstrong (@ArmstrongTaran) April 20, 2017
Zeke drama wasn’t the only drama in the double episode. Here are a few other things we want to chat about.
Ozzy got the boot
Ozzy, one of the best players in the history of the game, was voted out at Tribal Council. He lost a very close Immunity Challenge to Tai when he couldn’t cling to a pole for quite as long (though he has won the same challenge twice in the past). We’re all going to miss the guy, and everyone in the tribe is going to miss the fish he regularly brought to the table. On the other hand, we understand why he was voted off. You don’t want that guy hanging around too long after the merge.
#Survivor By passing Day 20 this season, nobody can top Ozzy in career days played, at least until the next returnee season.
— Jeff Pitman (@truedorktimes) April 20, 2017
Tai continues his strong game
Tai now has two hidden Immunity Idols, plus he kicked everyone’s butt to get individual immunity last night. He’s also part of a strong post-merge alliance. And yet people don’t seem to be discussing him as a threat — which is in and of itself another advantage.
Deb is no doubt a game-changer
Deb is also flying under the radar in a strange way. She basically tooled the downfall of Ozzy and without making much of a deal out of it. On the other hand, she played her extra vote at a time when it wasn’t needed and at a time when her own neck wasn’t on the line, which may have been a huge mistake. Whether you see her as a crazy woman (very possible) or a weird mastermind (could also be true), it’s certain that she is making waves and making the cut every week.
Hahaha Debbie had the look of making a power move and she just did. Ok crazy lady! #survivor
— Gervase Peterson (@SayGerv) April 20, 2017