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Old 24-05-2017, 05:25 PM   #1
Braden
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Default Braden ranks Survivor: Game-Changers

Braden ranks Survivor Game-Changers contestants.


Okay, so I've wanted to do a rank-down thread like this for some while now. I tried but failed to do so with RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 2—life got in the way, but here lies the opportunity for another chance. It feels like the right time. I've only really gotten into Survivor quite recently, but I think the show itself is a good source for understanding what I like and dislike in a reality tv show contestant. The gameplay and mix of players tend to be hit/miss, but generally, I think there are more good seasons than bad and I genuinely enjoy watching the show.

So, Game-Changers:, as of this post, the finale is yet to air. However, I do believe that my general thoughts towards this season are: strong pre-merge, weak post-merge. I've always relished in All-Star seasons, only because I find it fun to watch the dynamic of someone I've already watched and gained an opinion on in a new circumstance. I know there's a wave that all-star seasons are generally ****, and I kind of agree, but pre-show hype makes it worth it...and I don't think Game-Changers was too bad. It's definitely a middle-of-the-pack type of season. Not because it's average, but because a strong pre-merge and crap post-merge balance each other out. The relentless twist and turns were also very hit/miss (a recurring theme for the season). For example, I loved the joint tribal council. However, I disliked the ridiculous number of idols and advantages that were embedded within the game. I know that it's 'Game-Changers' and producers were pulling out all the tricks to produce monumental/unforgettable moments, but it was too much at times. The show needs to go back to its organic roots just for one more season, or just stick to on idol that is replanted every time it's played (idea: tribes compete in a challenge where they will win the security of the idol being located on their island for the duration of the game?).

But yeah...feel free to discuss any of my opinions, whether you agree or disagree. I know many members of this forum think very differently in terms of reality tv, and it'd be nice to have a healthy debate...and hopefully, you'll be able to enjoy my writing, or give me tips if you don't. I understand some of my points will probably come across quite woolly, but I'm just excited to bring this together...even if it flops Thanks!

#20 will probably be posted late at night on Thursday, or Friday morning. I won't be able to watch the finale tonight or tomorrow since I'm busy in London for the whole day.

Ranking:

19) Caleb Reynolds
20) Zeke Smith

Last edited by Braden; 27-05-2017 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 24-05-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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Here for this Zeke is the correct last place.
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Old 24-05-2017, 05:31 PM   #3
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Old 24-05-2017, 05:31 PM   #4
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Avidly awaiting Zeke on Thursday evening
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Old 24-05-2017, 11:40 PM   #5
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I think I'd almost prefer Varner in last
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Old 24-05-2017, 11:45 PM   #6
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I started write-ups and ranking almost a few weeks ago so everything is cemented, except if anything drastic happens during the finale which I doubt.
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Old 24-05-2017, 11:50 PM   #7
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I would put Varner last personally speaking at least.
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Old 24-05-2017, 11:58 PM   #8
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I'd personally have Zeke in last but either Zeke or Varner in last is fine
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Old 25-05-2017, 12:07 AM   #9
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Zeke, Caleb and Troy are an acceptable bottom 3!
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Old 25-05-2017, 12:45 AM   #10
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No offence but Varner was excellent before his boot ep, so he shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom 3
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Old 25-05-2017, 12:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda. View Post
No offence but Varner was excellent before his boot ep, so he shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom 3
This tbh

Ready for most of my faves to get slayed early in this
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Old 25-05-2017, 12:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda. View Post
No offence but Varner was excellent before his boot ep, so he shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom 3
Very true!
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Old 26-05-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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Default #20 Zeke Smith

#20 Zeke Smith




11th voted out ~ 4th jury member


I understand that Zeke may be a better real-life person than what this placement exhibits, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed watching him the least this season. I want to begin by saying that I think it’s brilliant that there’s finally trans representation on Survivor–it only took 32 seasons, but it happened. If I were ranking solely on respect and admiration, Zeke would’ve been higher. However, his flaws as a character overshadow that particular aspect of his life, which was only brought to light due to a hideous outing and was kept quiet about after Zeke explained the situation to NuNuMana once the tribes merged.

I was open-minded about Zeke’s return, as I mildly liked him after Millennials vs. Gen-X despite the fact that Probst’s hype for him was far too much. Trust me, to any Zeke fans, I was one of those people who didn’t understand the obsessive hatred towards him (at the time). There were glimpses of entertainment to Zeke that made him interesting, aside from his super-fan and game-bot ways. His irrational outburst at Hannah, his hatred for Adam and David, his reaction to Bret coming out to him, etc. These were all moments that prevented a general dislike towards Zeke. Also, I thought it was cool that 3 gay men were competing on the same season together, and I’m glad the editors showed that when they all ended up on the same tribe after the second swap…even though the dynamic went terribly wrong in fruition.

Zeke started Game-Changers just fine, and my feelings towards him were completely the same. I still didn’t understand the vehement dislike, and he was pretty much a middle-of-the-pack/not really bothered about him one way or another, kind of person. On Tavua, he ended up near-invisible, so there’s not much to say there. On the contrary, his stint from NuNuNuku was where Zeke would become the person I rank last on this ranking. Low and behold, game-bot and boring strategy galore. I was not happy the Queen of Survivor seemed to be voted out at the hands of some pompous dork. I’m unsure as to whether Sandra’s demise was purely him, but my god, the edit definitely made it seem so. There’s such a smug condescension when Zeke talks in his confessionals, and ultimately, I began to find him obnoxious and unlikable.

The less said about his outing the better, but it’s too significant to ignore. What Varner did was wrong, plain and simple. However, I honestly found it hard to emphasise with Zeke because of the lack of human reaction to his outing. I couldn’t believe (well, idk, maybe I can) he took the opportunity to apply his outing to the game of Survivor. Even down to the detail where made use of the word ‘metamorphosis’, which was embedded within the puzzle-side of the immunity challenge. Idk, I’m very glad that his real-life doesn’t seem to have had a negative influence since the ordeal, but I would be lying if I said his reaction didn’t bother me. The support he’s received is immense, so I guess, who am I to judge?

Anyway, throughout the merge, Zeke ended up being exactly how he was during the episode of Sandra’s boot. It bothers me that Zeke clearly has such a high-opinion of himself and his game-play. It also got the point where it seemed like, in every other moment, Zeke was proposing some terrible idea that I would hate…but thankfully would never happen <3 He ended up having season-ruiner all over him. Especially with his ideal that a big move had to be executed for every. single. tribal. council. All because of the game-changers theme and “evolution of the game”. I don’t even mind ‘big moves’, as long as they’re entertaining and cause drama. Most big moves these days just mean switching the target from person to another for the sake of it.

Zeke ended up being pretty terrible. Even the little things started to get to me. He thought he was voted off being a thread, even though it was obvious that he was a big flip-flopper. He would consequently walk into tribal council with his shoulders hunched, his arms out, and a ‘don’t **** with me’ expression on his face…it was cringe-inducing.

So yeah, Zeke’s #20. There’s no doubt he’s the person I disliked the most, but like I said, I’m sure he’s pleasant outside of the game. I don’t actually think anyone on Game-Changers is a terrible. There were just so many negatives to Zeke and his contribution to the season that make this an easy decision.

edit: Having watched the reunion, I actually warmed to him a bit more. I really enjoyed what he had to say about what he's done for the trans community and the representation of trans people in the media...He's still the worst, as a character, though.

Best Moment: The age-gap references throughout MvG-X were ridiculous, but I couldn’t help but find it amusing when he said he should do a specific part of a challenge because “he played games on his smartphone.” Gotta love it when things come full-circle.

Worst Moment
: Every confessional I had to endure during Sandra’ boot episode.

Still in the running: Ciera Eastin, Tony Vlachos, Caleb Reynolds, Malcolm Freberg, James Thomas, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Jeff Varner, Hali Ford, Ozzy Lusth, Debbie Wanner, Sierra-Dawn Thomas, Andrea Boehlke, Michaela Bradshaw, Cirie Fields, Aubry Bracco, Tai Trang, Troyzan Robertson, Brad Culpepper & Sarah Lacina.
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Old 27-05-2017, 08:59 AM   #14
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ewww z*** good riddance
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Old 27-05-2017, 09:01 AM   #15
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Zeke, a very nice deserved last place i think
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Old 27-05-2017, 12:34 PM   #16
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Great write-up for Zeke! I'm not sure I'd be able to find half that many words in which to discuss him, so 'grats for making such a gamebot seem interesting. Then again, to be fair, I preferred him this season to MvGX, and not just for his handling of That Unfortunate Incident - I think his edit was a little more... in on the joke this time around, if that makes sense, and thanks to people like Andrea shooting him down at every possible opportunity, it was easier to take him less seriously. Still, he sucks as a Survivor player and I'd say #20's a fair placement.

Depending on your Varner stance, I reckon he'll either be next or we won't see him for a while. Otherwise, maybe Caleb?
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Old 27-05-2017, 12:50 PM   #17
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Speaking of MvGX, I haven't seen it, so someone pls tell me if it's worth watching
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Old 27-05-2017, 01:03 PM   #18
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I'd typed out a fairly long and balanced answer to that, but honestly? No, I wouldn't bother watching it
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Old 27-05-2017, 02:38 PM   #19
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Default #19 Caleb Reynolds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda. View Post
Speaking of MvGX, I haven't seen it, so someone pls tell me if it's worth watching
I think in terms of your taste, from what I know, you probably won't enjoy it. I actually thought it was okay though, it was hard to find people to support but I felt that the cast meshed well together and it was fairly consistent. It's at the bottom of my well-liked section of Survivor seasons.

*

#19 Caleb Reynolds



3rd voted out


In terms of generic qualities belonging to Survivor players that I’m fond of, Caleb was never going to connect with my values. He has follower-mentality, which is bothersome because of his natural gravitation towards alpha-males. He was partially the reason why BB16 was deeply unenjoyable, and after the season finished–I didn’t like him, and was content with forgetting he ever existed. Therefore, I wasn’t too happy to discover that he had been cast for the second edition of Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn.

So, Kaoh Rong airs, and turns out: Caleb isn’t too bad. Granted, this may be as a result of the ‘Beauty’ tribe dynamic. The alphas (Caleb and Nick (was Nick an alpha? idk) were outnumbered, and the edit gave indication that he was considering working with the females on his tribe–a pleasant contrast to BB16. Also, he had an endearing relationship with 50-something, gay Asian–Tai, who made it lustfully blatant that he wanted to **** Caleb. I was for here for it.

However, Caleb almost died for salt and pepper during the fourth episode–and so, he left in a heroic form, with producers making it clear that they were bringing him back for a future season (oh, okay :/). Cue: Game-Changers…

The reason this write-up focuses heavily on Caleb’s past appearances is because of how inconsequential he was to Game-Changers. He assumed the position as Tony’s lackey, and it felt very ‘BB16 Caleb’ as oppose to ‘Kaoh Rong Caleb’. He was booted third–the end, thus becoming the least successful player of Survivor sans Francesca.

To outlast, is to factor the conditions of which you’re living, as well as your health–Caleb didn’t do that in Kaoh Rong. To outwit, is to be smart in the circumstance where you’re in the minority after a tribe swap/expansion–he didn’t do that in Game-Changers. He’s not a good player, but he’s not a fun one either. It just doesn’t mesh well for me.

In conclusion, I think Caleb is a harmless, sweet guy, albeit problematic and offensively delusional. However, there isn’t much to say about his appearance on Game-Changers.

I’m glad Tai got that kiss though. Twice.

Best Moment: Well, Tai’s kiss is one, but I enjoyed it when he awkwardly slipped over on the rocks during the first/second episode.

Worst Moment: His pre-show thoughts, which stated that Sandra was not a Game-Changer & his post-show thoughts, which berated most other people’s games despite the fact they outlasted him–proving that Caleb has literally zero-awareness.

Still in the running: Ciera Eastin, Tony Vlachos, Malcolm Freberg, James Thomas, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Jeff Varner, Hali Ford, Ozzy Lusth, Debbie Wanner. Sierra-Dawn Thomas, Andrea Boehlke, Michaela Bradshaw, Cirie Fields, Aubry Bracco, Tai Trang, Troyzan Robertson, Brad Culpepper & Sarah Lacina.

Last edited by Braden; 27-05-2017 at 02:43 PM.
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