The Queen is gone, long live the Queen.
I have to be honest. I was almost convinced that Sandra would somehow manage to survive yet another tribal council. After the tribal shakeup at the start of tonight’s episode, she and Varner were definitely the odd people out on their new tribe. Sandra was the obvious target if they went to Tribal. And yet, I really did think that Sandra might pull it off and survive.
Sandra may not be the strongest physical player and she doesn’t really have the right personality to ever win based on her social game but Sandra is a master manipulator. From the minute that she ended up on her new tribe, she knew that she would be the target. Even after Zeke lied and said that Tai was the target, Sandra knew she was probably in trouble. Quite skillfully, she did manage to make some people paranoid about Tai and then, she managed to make Tai paranoid about his tribe. Tai nearly blew it at tribal council when he allowed his nervous nature to get the better of him and he announced that he had considered voting out Ozzy. How close did Tai come to getting voted out? We may never know. Everyone decided to stick to the original plan and voted for Sandra. But I’m sure that, both before and after the vote, there was a lot of doubt and double guessing.
But, in the end, the Queen was voted out. All things considered, she did surprisingly well. Given her track record, she should have been the first one voted out. But she managed to survive quite a few tribal councils. There’s a reason why, after 90+ days of playing Survivor, this was the first time that Sandra had ever been voted out. And give Sandra some credit — she handled it well. She walked into the jungle with a certain amount of dignity.
As for her new tribe, they got rid of the game’s biggest threat. But now they’re stuck with Debbie on their tribe. Poor things.
As for the rest of the show, it started out with yet another tribal reshuffle. Buffs were dropped and redrawn. We are now back to two tribes and here they are:
Sandra (First a member of Mana and then a member of Nuku, voted out at tribal council)
Andrea (First a member of Nuku and then a member of Tavua and now a member of Nuku)
Sarah (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)
Ozzy (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)
Zeke (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)
Tai (Nuku, Mana, Nuku)
Jeff Varner (Mana, Nuku, Nuku)
Debbie (Nuku, Mana, and then back to Nuku after Sandra was voted out)
Aubry (Mana, Nuku, Mana)
Michaela (Mana, Nuku, Mana)
Culpepper (Nuku, Mana, Mana)
Cirie (Nuku, Tavua, Mana)
Hali (Mana, Mana, Mana)
Troyzan (Mana, Tavua, Mana)
Sierra (Nuku, Mana, Mana)
Because there were 15 castaways and only 14 buffs, Debbie ended up buffless. She was sent to Exile, which turned out to be a luxury yacht where she was joined by John Cochran. Cochran seemed to be a little freaked out by Debbie but he still gave her some good advice, the majority of which was to stop acting like herself. I doubt Debbie was really listening to anything that Cochran had to say. Debbie was allowed to pick from three advantages. She picked the ability to cast an extra vote at Tribal Council. Since Nuku went to tribal, Debbie will replace Sandra on their tribe. This means that she’ll finally be away from Culpepper.
Tai managed to find an idol at his old camp and then, when he reached his new camp, he found a second idol! So, Tai now has two immunity idols! Tai’s a terrible player but he’s good at finding those idols.
Meanwhile, at the new Mana Tribe, Culpepper and Troyzan bonded over the fact that they’re the only two guys on their new tribe. So, I assume that they will now form a middle-aged Alpha Male alliance.
But for now, the important thing is that the Queen is gone. Who will step into her place?