Episode 7: Tears Of A Clown

Blog disclaimer: This episode of Survivor may bring up strong feelings and opinions of viewers. As always with our WORTH PLAYING FOR take on Survivor we aim to be light hearted. Please be aware that our response to tribal council will not be a comedic one.

NUKU

Sandra’s gone. Tai goes to his usual pre-recorded script of why he lost his mind at tribal. His efforts at explaining his brain fade over throwing Ozzy’s name up doesn’t seem to wash. However, like most returning player seasons it seems being open and honest about votes is okay! Debbie is smug due to the fact that no one knows she spoke with Cochran on Exile Island and that she has an extra vote up her lobster breeding sleeve.

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Nuku unwrapping their new player only to discover it’s Debbie!

For those playing at the home here is the lay of the idol/advantage land…

Tai – 2 x Hidden Immunity Idol

Troyzan – 1 x Hidden Immunity Idol

Debbie – 1 x Extra Vote Advantage

Sierra – 1 x Legacy Advantage & 2 x Eyebrow Advantage

With the moon glistening Zeke reassures Varner that there is still hope. Varner likes the sound of this. There seems to be a mini bond and respect between these two.

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Keeping options open

REWARD

Reward is for Pizza. With some fragile minds at current and hunger at major highs this will be an important one. Long story short… Nuku wins the carbo loading and bloated stomachs.

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Hand over the Pizza Probst!

MANA

Emotions are flowing at Mana with everyone commenting on how the game takes its toll on you. What strikes me as another tell-tale sign that Culpepper either wins or comes runner up in that the edit shows him crying! Antiques, WWMD and now CRYING! Hmmm… what other polarising male contestants have we seen cry and win before? Tyson, Tony, Mike, Adam and Jeremy spring to mind! Foreshadowing?

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IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Water obstacles plus a puzzle… will the over consumption of pizza come back to haunt Nuku? Yes it does! Mana successfully spell METAMORPHSISISISISISISIIISSISIS on the buoy ball spelling bee and Nuku are headed to tribal… PS. Cirie dodges yet another Tribal! I look forward to more CHANGING themed challenges such as tribes building a cocoon and then lighting a fire underneath it to release the immunity butterfly!

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Immunity up for grabs

PRE TRIBAL

Varner sets his sights on ousting Ozzy. Not a bad idea as the trend of the season has been big threats going first. The snag in the plan is that Zeke, getting the honesty guilts, informs him that as much as he will do everything to save him, it’s not looking great. Varner being the cunning player that he is finds an opening. He scurries off to turn the tide against Zeke, spilling to Sarah and Andrea that they told Zeke they were going to lie to Varner. Varner’s selection of words and information leaking was well placed. Sarah doing her best dumb criminal buys it hook line and sinker! Either way Varner is throwing enough shade to raise genuine concerns about Captain Jack Sparrow and Zeke’s strategic relationship.

TRIBAL * A reminder that this will not be a comedic recount of events

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Tribal kicks off with Varner declaring he is certain that he is the next to go and then proceeds to throw all of his thoughts out on the table. Varner is making a great case until he asks Zeke why he hasn’t informed everyone that he is transgender. Zeke is silent. Probst is stunned. The onlooking Nuku throw out a number of different emotions; anger, disbelief and disgust. Probst does his best to unpack things and the majority try to unpack that Varner is misplaced and wrong in his outing of Zeke.

Varner apologises and states he only said it because he believed Zeke was out and proud. Zeke handles the situation with class and understanding. He doesn’t ask for sympathy and his demeanour and response to a challenging situation is admirable. Survivor once again does not discriminate, it encourages social discussion and understanding.

There is no need for a vote. Varner is clearly upset and realises the error of his words. Varner and Zeke hug on his exit.

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I hope this episode is remembered for the right reasons, one of them being that Zeke is a role model for all on how to handle oneself with dignity despite conflict and that all youth, regardless of their gender, sexuality or identity can look to others for guidance and strength in being comfortable in their own skin.

Craig Confession

Have a listen to Craig’s insight on the entire episode and the impact the game can take on your mind, body and soul.

Phoebe Confession

Having tuned into Craig’s podcast with Ryan, I feel compelled to echo his sentiments re the aftermath of a Survivor experience. The game significantly impacts every player for a long time after it ends. It stays with you, most certainly.  Earlier in this episode, we hear Aubry recollect her post-game experience following the first time she played and it really stood out to me. There is notable relevancy in that scene. It tells us, the audience, that this game really does impact the player’s realities after all is said and done. It really does take you places, especially emotionally (even if you’re trying to devoid yourself of all emotions for games sake). I know this to be true for myself and for many of my close friends that have played. This scene very powerfully foreshadows tribal council in that we are reminded by the players themselves how tough this game is, how deeply it affects us as people. It reinforces that we’re more than just a bunch of players in an incredible, yet crazy game.
I have never been moved to tears whilst watching Survivor before this episode. How utterly devastating for everyone involved. I cannot imagine the difficulties faced by both parties in the 9-10 months since the incident and the continued way in which this will affect their lives moving forward. Before going on Survivor, I can say that I personally  underestimated the extent to which I would be making myself subject to public perception. I was so excited to play the game that I have loved for so long that I didn’t even really consider that I’d be inviting social opinion into my life. I consider myself to be extremely resilient but there were days where it really struck me. People really do say unkind things in public forums. I think they forget they’re not talking about a character and that there’s a real person on the other end of it. I say this not to turn attention to my experience but rather to demonstrate deep empathy and I implore everyone in the community to adopt empathy too. Empathy for everyone involved. I can say without a doubt the toll of an experience such as this would be more taxing than any of us could imagine. So it’s important for all of us to extend love and support to everyone involved. No judgment, just forgiveness and love.

 VARNER DAY AFTER

ZEKE MESSAGE

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/survivor-zeke-smith-outed-as-transgender-guest-column-991514

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