This season of Survivor is supposed to be about game changers, and it is certainly living up to its name. After Sarah took the reigns last week by breaking up her own majority alliance and blindsiding Debbie, Andrea stepped up to the plate last night to show everyone her muscle and reshuffle the deck again; this time, it was in her favor. She booted Zeke (mostly out of revenge) and realigned the alliances yet again, changing the entire landscape of the game.
There hasn’t been a snoozer episode of Survivor yet this season, and watching has been nothing less than a roller coaster of emotions. More important, it is virtually impossible at this point to guess who is in the best position and who could be booted next week.
— Katie Strupp (@katiestrupp) May 4, 2017
Let’s take a look at Andrea’s impressive moves and see how she got it done.
Reinventing how the game is played
Our first taste of Andrea’s ass kicking came during the reward challenge, when two teams of five were given what might be the hardest word puzzle yet on 34 seasons of the show. Both teams, undernourished and exhausted, tried to unscramble a 30-letter phrase, “Reinventing how the game is played.” Things were looking pretty hopeless and Jeff Probst was looking pretty bored. After almost an hour, Probst started dropping hints, and Andrea was the only one picking them up. She clearly won the reward for her team and set up her success for the rest of the episode.
An immunity necklace for her troubles
Andrea wasn’t done kicking butt at challenges. After collecting her reward with the rest of her team (which consisted of eating chicken and cheesecake and sleeping in real beds), she went on to deftly win the immunity challenge, which mixed a lot of balance and care with a dominos game. The Immunity Necklace secured around her neck, she was ready to start making waves back at camp. She knew this was a great time to stick her neck out and throw out names, and she had one name that she was very, very eager to suggest: Zeke.
— Big Brother Always #BBUK (@BigBroAlways) May 4, 2017
Major game-changing action
There was no huge reason for Andrea to make a huge game-changing move. She was securely in a majority alliance and flying under the radar. But she saw trouble on the horizon. She didn’t fully trust Zeke, who had been untrustworthy in the past. She knew that when they got further down the line, she wouldn’t be part of the group dashing toward the finish line. She took her momentum and wove it into a totally new alliance poised to blindside Zeke: Andrea, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela.
Sarah and Michaela weren’t thrilled to vote for Zeke, but they also both saw a lot of sense in the tale that Andrea and Cirie were spinning about the long game. Sarah decided that speaking up against a Zeke vote was too dangerous for her long-term plan, and Michaela, who has a history of emotional tribal councils, cried as the votes were read and her friend’s torch was extinguished.
Imagine you're frustrated, lonely, misunderstood, & only have 2 friends in life. Then you stab 1 in the back. That's why I cried. #Survivor
— Michaela Bradshaw (@TheMichaelaB) May 4, 2017
Brad, Sierra and Troyzan all voted for Tai.
Tai and Zeke both voted for Sierra.
The men on Survivor: "We need to take control of the game."
— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) May 4, 2017
We now definitely have a situation in which no alliance has lasted more than a week and where teammates have been blindsided one week after another after another. What will happen next? Will Andrea be able to hold onto her power, or did she stick her neck out too early trying to get revenge on someone who threw her under the bus earlier in the season? Is Sarah going to try to take back control? Is Brad starting to realize that he really, really needs an actual game plan? Is Tai ever going to play one of his two Immunity Idols?
We’ll have to see next time. Until then, let’s celebrate Andrea’s badassery.