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'Survivor: Game Changers' recap: Three-tribe swap results in new tribe voting off Caleb Reynolds


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/16/2017 

Survivor: Game Changers featured a tribal swap and then the new Mana tribe voted off Caleb Reynolds at Tribal Council during Wednesday night's second episode on CBS.

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After losing Season 34's third Immunity Challenge in which the castaways had to complete a difficult obstacle course and puzzle, the "Mana" tribe voted off Caleb, a 28-year-old from Hopkinsville, KY, at the third Tribal Council session via a 5-1 vote on Night 9 of the game.

Caleb -- who previously played on Season 32, Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, but was medically evacuated before the merge -- voted for Hali Ford, a 26-year-old from San Francisco, CA, to go.

"The last time I played this game, I went out on Day 9, and this time, daggonit I'm going out again. But last time, I left on my back in a helicopter, and this time, I'm walking out on my feet, so I'm much happier about that," Caleb said in his final words.

Due to Caleb's pre-existing friendship with Tai Trang, the new Mana tribe viewed them as a power couple, and it didn't help Debbie Wanner had also competed on the Kaoh Rong edition with the two guys. Caleb therefore became the target since he'd be a huge threat come the merge, and Tai -- thanks to Brad Culpepper's manipulation -- decided to play with his head, not his heart, and betray his best buddy.

"My relationship with [Tai Trang] is obviously going to remain," Caleb continued after his ouster. "I still love him to death and I wish him the best of luck in this game going forward."

On Day 7 of the game, Survivor host Jeff Probst instructed the two original tribes to choose a buff at random for a tribal swap. The castaways were divided into three tribes.

Wearing Blue, Nuku was comprised of Michaela Bradshaw, James "J.T." Thomas, Jeff Varner, Malcolm Freberg, Sandra Diaz-Twine, and Aubry Bracco. J.T. was the only person from his former tribe and felt the "Survivor gods" had really let him down.

J.T. considered himself a sitting duck, so he desperately searched for an idol once the tribe returned to camp and his tribemates deemed him "dangerous."

The tribe in red, Mana, consisted of Hali, Sierra Dawn Thomas, Debbie, Tai, Caleb and Brad. It quickly became clear that either Caleb or Hali was going to be the next target since the other castaways had been on the opposing tribe when the game started. Tai attempted to save Caleb, but Brad pulled the strings to ensure his vote-off.

And on a brand new tribe called Tavua, wearing green buffs were Troyzan Robertson, Sarah Lacina, Zeke Smith, Ozzy Lusth, Andrea Boehlke, and Cirie Fields. On this new tribe, Troyzan was on the outs since he was the only person on Vanua from his former tribe. This tribe had to start over from scratch and build a new shelter at a new camp.

Once Vanua returned to camp on Day 7, Ozzy and Sandra determined Troyzan was the easy target. Troyzan knew he was in trouble, so when looking for a hidden Immunity Idol, he found a clue. Troyzan eventually snagged the idol at the very end of the Immunity Challenge since it was tucked away under the puzzle table, and no one saw him do it.

During that Immunity Challenge, Nuku finished in first place and also won Reward in the form of comfort, such as pillows. Tavua, who claimed second place, walked away with spices, including hot sauce.

On Day 9, Hali noted it would be "a miracle" if she survived another day because the numbers were clearly 2-4, and she acknowledged Caleb was a "powerhouse in challenges" and so the tribe would keep him if they wanted to remain physically strong.

In a preview for next week's Survivor: Game Changers episode, both of the losing tribes in the Immunity Challenge must go to Tribal Council.


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