The Golden Ticket - Ben Martell's recaps

Jury jeopardy S34

Pre-Ep.14: Jury jeopardy S34

Published: May 23, 2017


The True Dork Times writers (Ben, Dan, Pat, Jeff) combine their prognosticatory powers to predict the outcome of the Game Changers jury vote. And beat RHAP, Inside Survivor, and Reality Blurred, of course.

Three stories broken

Ep.13: Three stories broken

Published: May 19, 2017


Heading into the finale, Ben reflects on the two bootees, evaluates Cirie's attempted move (and the heavy hand of the rules), and revisits the three key stories, at least two of which now seem broken.

Three stories

Ep.12: Three stories

Published: May 14, 2017


Marking his path to the end, Ben looks back briefly at Sierra, the Legacy advantage, and the five stories he sees as secondary, then dives deep into the three stories of potential winners.

A strategic caterpillar

Ep.11: A strategic caterpillar

Published: May 7, 2017


Ben reflects on the two-season evolution of Zeke's game, whether his boot was made by 'idiots,' the passive minority alliance voting, and the Game Changers season as a whole (thus far).

A question of timing

Eps. 8-10: A question of timing

Published: May 2, 2017


Ben catches up on the past three episodes, acknowledges the departed, then evaluates the remaining ten contestants' positions in depth, heading into the final four episodes of Game Changers.

Putting compassion first

Ep.7: Putting compassion first

Published: April 13, 2017


Ben responds with a message of compassion for the participants of the Tribal Council in Episode 7 of Survivor: Game Changers, "What Happens On Exile, Stays on Exile."

Effective grooming

Ep.6: Effective grooming

Published: April 11, 2017


Ben explores Sandra's alliance-grooming (and fall), Tai's underratedness, Brad's rising edit, Cochran's cameo, and the emerging post-merge battle lines, as seen in Episode 6, "Vote Early, Vote Often," of Game Changers.

Famous firsts

Ep.5: Famous firsts

Published: April 3, 2017


Ben explores JT's regression, Sandra's mastery, Debbie's meltdown, and Sarah's edit, as seen in Episode 5, "Dirty Deed," of Survivor: Game Changers. Plus a look at the state of the game, heading into another swap.

Firing blanks

Ep.4: Firing blanks

Published: March 25, 2017


Ben takes a deep dive into the intents, events, and discontents of the chaotic combined Mana-Nuku Tribal Council in Episode 4, "The Tables Have Turned," of Survivor: Game Changers.

Goat hunting

Ep.3: Goat hunting

Published: March 18, 2017


Ben examines the changed games evident in mellow Troyzan, social Brad, and various people searching for goats, in Episode 3 of Survivor: Game Changers.

Survivor Game No-Changers

Eps.1-2: Survivor Game No-Changers

Published: March 11, 2017


Ben sorts through the changes in the contestants' games (and lack thereof) in the two-hour premiere of Survivor: Game Changers. Plus a brief re-evaluation of everyone's current game position.

Baseless speculation

Cast: Baseless speculation

Published: February 8, 2017


Ben takes a deep dive into the respective prospective chances of the new Game Changers cast members' changing the game enough to win in Season 34. With bonus commentary from his mother!

The secret formula

Pre-S34: The secret formula

Published: January 23, 2017


Introducing The Golden Ticket, Ben Martell's new column at the True Dork Times. This week: An introduction of sorts, all leading to a secret formula for success in the current Survivor metagame.


Ben Martell - The Golden TicketBy day, Ben Martell is a public commercial lawyer from New Zealand.

By night, he moonlights as a self-described Survivor 'expert'.

By day or night, find him on twitter at: @golden8284

Other The Golden Ticket editions:

Survivor: Edge of Extinction | Survivor: David vs. Goliath | Survivor: Ghost Island | Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers | Survivor NZ: Nicaragua | Survivor: Game Changers


See also: The full True Dork Times index of past seasons.