Now that we know the tribe divisions for Survivor Season 34 – the controversially titled Survivor: Game Changers – it is time to take a deeper look at the cast and their previous relationships with one another. Cast connections always come into play on returnee seasons and that trend is sure to continue on next year’s Survivor: Game Changers.
It was outside-the-game connections that permeated the Survivor: All-Stars season back in 2004. The real life friendship and pre-game alliance between Boston Rob Mariano and Lex van den Berghe caused not only a dramatic Survivor moment but did irreparable damage to the pair’s relationship beyond the game. In Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, the potential reformation of Micronesia‘s Black Widow Brigade turned suspicious eyes onto Amanda Kimmell, Cirie Fields and Parvati Shallow. And just last year, the Brains alliance of Spencer Bledsoe and Tasha Fox allowed the two former Cagayan tribe-mates to navigate their way to the end of Survivor: Cambodia.
Will we see the cast connections help or hinder the castaways on Survivor: Game Changers? In this new multi-part feature we will take a look at all the Survivor: Game Changers connections.
Andrea and Malcolm
“Me, Myself and Idols”
Then: Andrea Boehlke and Malcolm Freberg previously played together on Survivor: Caramoan, starting the game on the Favorites tribe. Andrea came into this season playing a lot more aggressively, making up for her rather passive game in Survivor: Redemption Island. She quickly joined Phillip Sheppard, her fellow Redemption Island cast-mate, and formed the Stealth R Us (Part 2) alliance, blindsiding another of her former cast-mates, and real life friend, Francesca Hogi. Andrea is proof that cast connections have pros and cons – for her and Phillip, it worked out swimmingly for the early portion of the game, for Francesca, not so much.
Malcolm didn’t have any cast connections going into Caramoan. In fact, he was a complete unknown; Survivor: Philippines having only just finished filming a couple of weeks prior. Despite his wildcard nature, Andrea and Phillip scooped him up to be part of their Stealth R Us alliance, along with Corinne Kaplan, Dawn Meehan, and John Cochran. After they had swapped to the new Gota tribe, Malcolm and Andrea remained in a Favorite majority along with Brenda Lowe and Erik Reichenbach. During his time on new Gota, Malcolm started to bond with Eddie Fox and Reynold Toepfer, realizing that the three of them would become targets at the merge.
Even though Andrea and Malcolm were in the same alliance, they didn’t have a particularly close relationship. Malcolm had formed a tight bond with Corinne, who Andrea was suspicious of from very early in the game and had even planned to blindside. Due to other events, such as the Brandon Hantz meltdown and the subsequent tribe swap, Andrea was unable to execute her Corinne blindside pre-merge.
When the tribes merged, Andrea and Malcolm remained in the majority with all the Favorites, however, Andrea had formed a sub-alliance with Cochran, Dawn, and Phillip. After learning about Malcolm and Corinne’s plan to blindside Phillip at the Final 11, Andrea convinced Brenda and Erik to join her and her sub-alliance in blindsiding Corinne. Corinne’s exit left Malcolm on the outs, effectively ending any allegiance he had to Andrea, and forced him into working with the Fans. The relationship between Andrea and Malcolm became very tetchy, with her even following him around at one point to prevent him from finding an idol.
While Malcolm was able to throw a wrench into the Stealth R Us plans, using two idols to save the Three Amigos and blindside Phillip, it was a short-lived victory. He was soon voted out unanimously by Andrea and her alliance.
Now: Andrea and Malcolm are beginning Survivor: Game Changers on opposing tribes, which is probably a good thing for the both of them. Given their reputations, it’s feasible that both could be voted out early and therefore never cross paths in the game. However, if they survive long enough to meet up, their previous connection is very likely to come into play.
The way they played and interacted in Caramoan is unlikely to inspire trust in one another. Even if the two do decide to put the past behind them for the greater good, you have to imagine they’ll always be wary in the back of their minds. Andrea has proven that she will turn on allies if she thinks it will benefit her long-term game and Malcolm has witnessed that first hand. Meanwhile, Malcolm has shown to be shifty with idols and is capable of rallying troops. Andrea and Malcolm are sure to see each other as threats even if they put on happy faces in public.
The two are also very similar outside the game. Both are very social, and both host entertainment shows – Andrea for People magazine and Malcolm for CBS (covering Survivor content). They have great people skills that make them dangerous in a game like Survivor. Andrea is a big part of the Survivor community and interacts with many players outside of the show, and of course, Malcolm has interviewed many past players for CBS. These connections are going to make the two of them significant threats to the other 18 players, but perhaps most of all to each other.
Prediction: It’s certainly possible that the two will attempt to bury the hatchet, but inevitably they will be at odds. Past bad blood and a knowledge of how each other plays is going to cause them to be Survivor enemies once again.
Let us know how you think Andrea and Malcolm will get along on Survivor: Game Changers?