Season 34 of the hit CBS show Survivor: Game Changers has been all about the game changing on a dime, with one blindside after another, leaving even the most savvy fans guessing from week to week. Even so, spoilers and leaks are happening within the audience this season as often as they occur at Survivor Tribal Council from one week to the next. Savvy social media users within the audience who are connected to well-placed sources have already leaked who they believe will be the next to go on Season 34 of Survivor: Game Changers.
But in a game where anything can happen at any time, the question of “who will be voted off tonight” even has long-time players guessing. As People Magazine reported after the latest blindside on Survivor: Game Changers, the “Survivor gods giveth, and the Survivor gods taketh away.” Last week, the Survivor gods “taketh away” from Debbie Wanner, who went home from Tribal Council after having used a secret advantage unnecessarily the week prior.
The castaways during last week’s episode warned the audience in their confessionals that the chop was coming ahead of time, by hinting that “getting too cocky” would be dangerous game play for any Survivor. But Debbie Wanner thought she had her ducks lined up in ally Sarah Lacina, who is a police officer in her life away from Survivor.
Debbie Wanner appeared to have still been a little bit bitter with Sarah after her blindside, telling People Magazine that Sarah swore on her son’s life to protect her.
“Sarah swore on her son’s life – on a little boy’s life – over and over again: ‘I’d kill my son before I would back stab you.'”
But fans that watched the episode will recall that law enforcement officer 32-year-old Sarah Lacina from Marion, Iowa, told her own secret alliance, right before last week’s Tribal Council, that Debbie Wanner was a chronic liar. Even so, 51-year-old Debbie Wanner from Reading, Pennsylvania, told People that in a game of deception, she didn’t put too much stock in the “vow” that Sarah would kill her own son before backstabbing Debbie.
Debbie said she found that alleged “vow” a “little over the top.” But that was how much of her comments were viewed by her fellow castaways as well.
Wanner’s over the top statements ultimately led to her demise when she constantly reminded allies she was a Captain in the Air Force, had flown on more planes than them, and was telling them how to vote her way as opposed to hearing all sides of the coin in last week’s episode.
Next week, more game changing moves are expected to occur that will delight Survivor fans by keeping them on the edge of their seat. The next episode of Survivor: Game Changers is titled “Reinventing How This Game Is Played.” That’s exciting news for Survivor fans who love to see this game changing from week to week, a trait that is marking this season of Survivor as the best yet for fans that have been with the show for the 34 seasons run.
In a recent press release on next week’s episode, CBS isn’t giving away too many clues as to what will happen next week on Survivor: Game Changers, beyond that the game will be reinvented. In last week’s Tribal Council we saw Zeke talking about a hope that the “deck would be reshuffled” when it comes to mixing up alliances. Sarah Lacina called that wishful thinking, but the deck was indeed reshuffled when Debbie Wanner was sent packing.
Next week, CBS notes that one castaway’s alliance will react after the flipped vote, while another will consider leaking their secret advantage to a trusted ally. In the six person alliance that was leading the numbers going into last week’s Tribal Council, there is only one person that would have flipped the vote, and that would have been Sarah Lacina.
So when she was telling Zeke a reshuffling was “wishful thinking,” she clearly knew his wishes were very aligned with reality.
But in a game where perception is reality, and “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” is the tag line, Sarah Lacina outplayed the perception of her cast mates well, using her experience in law enforcement to lead the castaways into a vote where she outlasted Debbie Wanner. She could have some explaining to do for that in next week’s episode, and this may be exactly what CBS is hinting to in their press release for the next episode of Survivor: Game Changers.
Also ahead next week, a second castaway with a “secret advantage” in Survivor: Game Changers will consider telling an ally about it. We know that there are only two castaways that are holding a secret advantage, and that is Sarah Lacina and 29-year-old Sierra Dawn-Thomas of Roy, Utah.
Sierra is currently holding a legacy advantage which, if used correctly, could take her right to the final six. A legacy advantage is an advantage that gives the holder immunity from being eliminated at the Tribal Council upon which the legacy advantage is used. It can not be used at any other time. Once the advantage is read, it is used immediately.
But, if a player is voted off before using their legacy advantage, they can “will” the advantage to another castaway in their final confessional. When the legacy advantage is willed away, production staff for CBS will hide the legacy advantage in a player’s belongings, in a way that is out of sight of other castaways.
The legacy advantage was first seen in Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X when it was won by Jessica Lewis, and ultimately willed to Ken McNickle.
Ken McNickle used it on Day 36 of the 39 day game, and secured immunity to become among the final three of that season. This season, Sierra is holding the legacy advantage, but if sources are correct, she will ultimately end up willing that advantage away to another castaway.
Sources say the leak for next week’s vote on Survivor: Game Changers suggests that Sierra Dawn-Thomas will be the next castaway to become a member of the jury. One social media source on the Survivor Spoilers Reddit forum said the following.
“This week, however, SU has named Sierra for going home next week. At this point, SU has verified their connection to a legitimate source that knows at least 24 hours in advance the post-merge boot order, so it’s reasonable to assume this information is correct.”
Sierra and Debbie had been working together to make some big game changing moves. It was Sierra that stated two weeks ago that “There’s a new sheriff in town” when the alliance were shuffling. Survivor history shows that when a player gets too confident in their game play, it is easily picked up by other castaways and it’s often what leads to their demise.
In next week’s episode, fans will get to see what move Sierra makes next, and whether or not her legacy advantage will get used. In the game, and behind the scenes of the game, secrets are closely guarded for the show Survivor, and Sierra’s future is as uncertain as any castaway’s heading into next week’s game changing episode.
As closely guarded as those secrets may be, as we have seen with the leaks when predicting Ozzy Lusth’s demise weeks ago, some leaks do occur, even with production. One production member that worked on Survivor: Thailand has written a series of blogs for Lash World Tour on life behind the scenes of producing the hit CBS show.
While the castaways are starving, production is reportedly fed very fell. The production member also says it takes approximately one month to set up a location for one season of Survivor. The team essentially creates a small town or village for both castaways and crew during any given season of Survivor.
Members of production of any season of Survivor also range from journalists and former military, to award winning marine directors and biologists. Experts are selected by CBS based on the location needs, and any member of the production can “hob nob” with directors, producers, Emmy-winning cameramen, and even Emmy winner host Jeff Probst.
The former production member described a lavish food setup in the midst of a camp where just feet away, castaways are literally starving.
“I did get to regularly live it up, indulging in superbly mixed cocktails most evenings at the well-stocked crew bar. For the first time in my life I took to drinking Singapore Slings, Pina Coladas, B52s, and Black Russians. We also enjoyed lively beach parties and special events. We all dined morning, noon and night on generous buffet spreads of gourmet cuisine, desserts to die for, and tasty espresso coffees. Survivor fed us exceedingly well.”
But the same production member also describes grueling days that were 12 hours long, with only one day off a week during a short two to three-month stint of setup and filming. She said managers and directors worked longer, sometimes 18 hours a day, calling these hours “par-of-course” for film work.
Behind the scenes of any Survivor season reveals secrets about what the castaways actually go through. On the show, the perception that is reality to some viewers is that the castaways have free reign of any island they are on, in any given season. This is not the case, says The Richest website, who has chronicled some shocking behind the scenes information of how the show operates.
“All the time while watching the show you see one of the cast members taking off and supposedly roaming around. The reality of the situation is that this is not true. The players are on a pretty short leash and have to stay within designated areas.”
The same source says that the infamous walk to and from Tribal Council every episode is somewhat misleading. Castaways are reportedly taken to and from Tribal Council in Jeeps, and walk a short distance to get to the Tribal Council to make the experience appear more dramatic. This is to save on both time and money in film production.
Another secret of behind the scenes of the show Survivor is in how the votes are read at every Tribal Council. Every episode over the past 34 seasons has shown that the most dramatic vote of every episode is always kept to the last vote. This is completely planned by Jeff Probst and production according to this source.
After each vote, Jeff Probst reportedly discusses with production how and in what order the votes will be read, in order to increase the drama level for television. The deciding vote that kicks the player off that week is always read last. Additionally, the source says that Tribal Councils generally last about two hours, and not the 15 minutes as seen on television.
Jeff Varner of Survivor: Game Changers said as much after his exit, saying he was disappointed CBS did not show everything in that two hour Tribal Council where he reportedly outed Zeke as transgender. But as castaways say themselves, reality is perception on Survivor, whether you are a castaway, or a fan.
More behind the scenes information was revealed this week when Sierra Dawn-Thomas responded to bullies that were hating on her online. She discusses her height, her nails, and says “Survivor has made me who I am today” in this video she released herself, talking back to online bullies.
What will happen with Sierra in the next episode remains to be seen, but sources are saying she is the next one out of Survivor: Game Changers. Do you think she will leave the show without using her legacy advantage? Who do you think she would will it to?
[Feature Image by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images]