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'Survivor' host Jeff Probst: 'Survivor: Game Changers' lives up to its name in the finale


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/24/2017 

Survivor: Game Changers host Jeff Probst is preparing fans for a riveting and unpredictable finale.

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With the two-hour finale of Survivor: Game Changers set to air May 24 at 8PM ET/PT, followed by the live reunion special, Probst has teased what viewers can expect to see unfold on television.

"Hmm... let's see... how many times have I said, 'This season is called Game Changers and it lives up to the name!' Well, I'm gonna say it one more time. I promise. More game-changing moments still to come," Probst teased to Entertainment Weekly.

The castaways still in the running for $1 million and the title of "Sole Survivor" are Aubry Bracco, Tai Trang, Brad Culpepper, Sarah Lacina, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson and Cirie Fields.

Probst has given credit where credit is due for each of the finale contenders. While some luck is definitely involved, it inarguably takes some level of skill and determination to make it to the Final 6 in any season.

Probst called Bracco "one of the smartest" players of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter, adding that she has "once again put herself within striking distance of the end, much like the first time she played Survivor." 

"Aubry has had to work hard every step of the way," Probst said. "[She] must continue to play the way she has for the past 35 days: moment by moment, and look for an opening."

Going into the Survivor: Game Changers finale, Trang has two hidden Immunity Idols in his possession; however, he doesn't have a clear alliance.

"Still a very popular player amongst fans, Tai has once again struggled this season with his emotions," Probst explained.

"If you play Survivor with any degree of a conscience, it will be brutalized. Tai is at a crossroads and needs to get it together. With two idols, he has the most power in the game and he has shown in the past that he is willing to be risky in how he plays them. Now it comes down to what decision he makes, and does he time it right."

The castaways seem to have mixed feelings on Culpepper in the game, but he's been a clear target in the last several episodes.

"Culpepper came out very strong, but seems to be waning a bit in these last days," Probst told The Reporter.

"I think he is seen as a threat and people want him out. Plus, his relationship with Troyzan is no secret, and that's another strike against him as having two votes with only six people left is a giant advantage. The pressure is on him to find a way to stay in the game."

Lacina has been playing a pretty cutthroat game so far, as she's not afraid to blindside, lie and betray allies, following in the footsteps of her buddy and fellow police officer Tony Vlachos.

"Sarah has played an aggressive game from start to finish," Probst said.

"The last Tribal Council has left things very up in the air regarding who Sarah can trust and who trusts Sarah. Her relationship with Cirie is in question as is her relationship with Tai. She has the Legacy Advantage, which guarantees her safety at the next Tribal Council, but after that? It's going to get bloody."

Fields attempted to play a steal-the-vote advantage she was holding for Lacina in the penultimate episode, but it backfired because the rules didn't allow her to actually play it.

Fields therefore divulged her plan to take away Lacina's vote without knowing she was powerless to actually make that move. Fields' motive was to keep Lacina safe, but the police officer saw it as a betrayal since no explanation had been provided prior to that moment.

However, Fields is a very likeable player with a fantastic social game.

"It has been another amazing season of nuanced game play by Cirie. There's a reason she is a fan favorite," Probst noted.

"She attempted a very big move last Tribal, and it backfired. Now [her sidekick Michaela Bradshaw] is gone, and she has some explaining to do to Sarah. Cirie's strength is her ability to maneuver within alliances; her weakness is she does not do well in challenges, so she rarely controls her own fate. And the biggest obstacle Cirie faces is nobody wants to go up against her in the end."

And then there is Robertson, who has an idol in his pocket but has played a more quiet, under-the-radar game than his opponents.

"Nobody wanted a second shot at playing Survivor more than Troyzan," Probst told The Reporter.

"He waited a long time for this shot and he has put himself in a very good position. He has what appears to be a tight partnership with Culpepper, and he has held onto his idol for nearly the entire game. Two keys. Of anyone left, he has the best odds of getting to the end."


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