Survivor: Game Changers Episode 2 Preview: Survivor Jackpot

Survivor: Game Changers is off to a promising start after last week’s dramatic, explosive, and entertaining two-hour premiere. Survivor – the longest-running Reality Competition Show on television – celebrated its 500th total episode, which happened to be the first episode of its 34th season. We of course were treated to normal “premiere” stuff, like getting caught back up with all of the returning players, watching initial alliances take shape and getting a feel for the new tribes. But do not get too comfortable, because the show is about to switch things up already.

In case you missed the premiere, here is the Episode 1 Recap as well as the Exit Interviews with the two contestants that went home last week.



First off, I wanted to thank everybody who listened to the re-launch of the FilmSurvivor Podcast last week! It had way more downloads than I was expecting so I feel happy with the start! The Podcast will be available right here at RealityTea all season, and I’ll be bringing you the full audio from my exit interviews each week. The first episode has my interview with Ciera Eastin and Tony Vlachos, voted out last episode.

This week, there is a BONUS episode of the Podcast that is available now, featuring an in-depth talk with Survivor guru, Gordon Holmes of Gordon was actually out on the island for the first few days of taping this season, and has a ton of inside knowledge about his time spent that close to the game. Please check it out.

And while the Survivor community celebrated the huge “500th Episode” milestone last Wednesday, the general population was apparently underwhelmed. Although the premiere of “Survivor: Game Changers” was the number-one and most-watched show in its time-slot last week, it was also the lowest-rated Survivor premiere ever, pulling in a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic with an average of 7.61 million viewers. That’s pretty alarming, since Survivor has always held firmly at least around 11-12 million viewers over the past several years (although since 2000, the number of viewers has steadily declined before plateauing around this number in 2005 or so). But as long as it is winning its time-slot, I’m sure there’s nothing to fear.

Survivor Jackpot

Tonight’s new episode is called “Survivor Jackpot” and here is how CBS describes it:

“Survivors drop their buffs for a tribe swap, and the game starts from scratch for one set of castaways. Also, one castaway leaves his tribemates stranded in the ocean so he can search their camp for the immunity idol.”

Yes, the big story of tonight’s episode will be that the game will be throwing the players an early curve ball by switching up the tribes. This of course is pretty common, but never this early in the season…they’ve only been out there for 6 days so far!

In recent seasons, the producers have tried introducing several obstacles to try to prevent the “Day One” alliances from ruling the game, as the longer the contestants have to “gel” out there, the more likely they’ll stick together long-term. So especially with a group of returning “game changers,” I do like the idea that they would switch things up a bit earlier than normal just to keep people on their toes. And with a clean 18 left in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the game switch to three tribes instead of just two, as three smaller tribes of six would create even more drama and would be even harder for alliances to stay intact, than if there were two larger tribes of nine.

As we know from the Video Preview, JT seems to make a desperate play to search for a hidden Immunity Idol, rowing out his tribe on a raft and then leaving them out there so he can return to shore and search for an Idol. This seems like a bit of “preview drama” and I have a feeling that his move isn’t as diabolical as it seems in the preview…I could be wrong. Also from the video preview, Malcolm is seen snatching a goat, and all I can think about is Ewan McGregor‘s favorite Scottish quote that he shared with us last week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “If you’re going to steal a goat, you might as well **** it.” His words not mine!

So who is at risk to go home tonight? It’s impossible to predict knowing that there will be a tribe switch-up tonight. But I invite you to check back in tonight or tomorrow for a full recap/reaction article, followed by my exclusive exit interview with the person voted out tonight.

I encourage everybody to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – and on Facebook, for all of my Survivor coverage and movie reviews. And again, I encourage  you to check out the FilmSurvivor Podcast including my Gordon Holmes interview…the link is earlier in this article.


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira