Australian Survivor finale week. The slow march to oblivion.

I don’t even know what I want out of this season anymore, guys. What satisfying conclusions are left here?

This dog knows what she wants. Wine.
This dog knows what she wants. Wine.

“Episode 24”

Omigod, I just can’t even. Flick, you were the last member of this cast I could muster a rooting interest in, but now, I just don’t know.

So, after the Sam vote off the battle lines are drawn (I’m yadda, yadda-ing the recap montage.) Matt knows he’s on the bottom and has to make something happen. Flick and El check in and talk about the possibility of a final two. El hedges because El is bad at Survivor. Then, El and Lee go off to remind everyone they’re a solid two, giving Matt time alone to sway Flick and Kristie. Matt gloats. Kristie gloats. Flick is cautiously optimistic.

So it’s on to immunity, the thing where you balance balls on a paddle. I made the mistake of not fast-forwarding through this because I thought there might be temptations. It comes down to Matt and Lee, and Lee wins, meaning it’s El tonight.

Except, and, Flick, here is the part where you lose me, Flick decides she owes it to El to tell her she’s getting voted off. Flick why did you think this was a good idea? You’ve seen how petulantly indignant Lee and El get if you dare mention they’re in a good spot, why did you think the reaction would be anything other than the big baby tantrum El threw? She yells and wags her finger and accuses Flick of lying for the whole game, which is weird because Flick didn’t have to play Survivor for three straight weeks, a thing El knows because El was there.

So El storms back to camp and makes Lee give Flick a good scolding. Also, it’s now pouring, so everyone is stuck in the shelter looking sullen and sniping at each other. El is trying hard to push the vote on Flick, because hurt feelings. The rain lets up a little and Flick tries to pull Kristie away. Lee gets all huffy about how they need to leave the poor girl alone. He literally says “leave the poor girl alone.” It’s like Redemption Island Boston Rob if Boston Rob was a pretentious moron who believed his own bullshit but also could grow facial hair.

From there on out it’s just people getting jabs in at each other. If there was any content here I totally missed it.

At tribal council, everything is out on the table. Jonathan asks El how she plays the game, and she says she tries to do it with emotions off. This is a missed opportunity for Flick, who needs to work the jury and probably could have done something for her shaky reputation by interjecting with an impression of El’s self-righteous hissy fit. Kristie is asked about her emotions and does her best impression of hyoo-mahn speech rhythms. El says she respect’s Flick’s move (which is really obviously a lie) but she’s never betrayed anyone. And now it gets fun, because Matt, of all people, manages to step in and absolutely clown her with a recital of his slow journey out of the Saanapu alliance. It’s really too bad it’s not going to help him.

So we get a vote and it’s 1 Matt, 1 El, 1 Flick, then 2 Matts in a row. Matt does an adorable thing where he asks Jonathan to wait two seconds before snuffing his torch so he can take things in. Farewell Matt, you never really seemed to know what what going on, but at least you actually wanted to play the game.

“Episode 25”

Oh fuck this what is wrong you people? This one is gonna be short because what is there even to say?

We come back from tribal and everything is exactly what you would expect. Flick knows she’s on the bottom. Everyone is directed to tree mail, where they’re told to look for a feast basket, because screw it, we’re throwing everything at the wall, so why not have a three days from the end feast. We’ve got too much time to fill, anyway.

So there’s shots of them boiling a chicken intercut with talk about the game that seems like it happened days before. The situation is clear – Flick wins, or she goes home.

Immunity challenge. It’s kind of a second chances challenge, except none of these things are things that any of these people were bad at, and, in fact, the first part is something Lee destroyed at. Lee gets out to an early lead on the obstacle course, but Flick and El catch up to him on jailbreak, and El is first to solve the puzzle, winning individual immunity.

Back at camp, Flick knows she’s probably the target. I think she tries to rally people for a minute, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Let’s cut to tribal.

Immediately Flick is all over what’s going on. She calls out El, who straight up admits that she wants to take Lee to the end. Lee hedges, because he’s a dishonest moron, but a little prodding gets him to admit he feels the same way. Flick lays out the stakes. Kristie can go with her, vote for Lee and let fire decide, or she can try to beat Lee and El in the final immunity. Kristie suggests she’s thinking about the latter option, and Assistant Dragon Slayer has helpfully posted the jury’s reaction that idea in the comments.

So the votes come in and it’s all in on Flick, with her voting for Lee. Kristie says not to worry, and Kristie, because she’s gonna win final immunity, and Kristie, Flick isn’t worried, she didn’t care about your game, she did this to help herself. Nobody is as impressed with you as you think they are.

I guess we’re limping towards the end. I have one more episode to watch that will hopefully happen tomorrow, but I’m just gonna go ahead and unembargo the finale. No spoiler tags needed, everyone just discuss what happened.”

Sharculese

Sharculese

Sharculese first saw Survivor when his roommate wanted to watch Cagayan. He has now seen every season because he has a skewed sense of priorities.
Sharculese
  • sharculese

    I’ve burned through all the dog pictures on my phone, so this week’s dog is my ex’s dog Coco. She’s not actually begging for wine, she’s begging for a bite of the eggplant ‘meat’ball grinders I made.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I hope I don’t offend you and/or your housemates, but I literally wouldn’t serve Sutter Home to a dog.

      • sharculese

        Like I said, that’s my ex’s dog. You can offend her all you want.

      • sharculese

        Fyi, I just started listening to Dom and Colin and literally the first thing Colin wanted to talk about was a certain person’s winner’s edit. Dom kind of reigned him in last week, but I think they’ve reached the point where they can’t help themselves. So yeah, I’m done.

  • sharculese

    Three programming notes:

    -If I can find a feed for it, I have permission to write up Australian Survivor All-Star Family Feud. So, if anyone wants to help me find that, please do.

    -I don’t actually know what countries have Family Feud. Is there anyone who’s gonna need the rules explained to them? Because, for a show that’s mostly built on dick jokes, there’s a lot of rules.

    -Prettyboyprobst asked me if there’s gonna be coverage of the just confirmed season 4 of Australian Survivor, and the current answer is, probably, but the exact nature is in the air. This episode made me really question whether I want to go through this again. I’m gonna wait and see how I feel about the finale, then think on it for a minute. Either way, Kemper Boyd and I have already talked about splitting the season between us next time, so it’ll either be that or, if he feels up to it, handing the reigns over to him.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I wish you wouldn’t make your decision dependent on the finale week…
      Better wait till next year and see how you feel about it, say when the cast is announced. I’m sure they’ll learn from their mistakes, as far as casting goes. As for the format, it could well be another 55 day season, but it’s possible they’ll wise up in time.

      I watched our version of Family Feud as a kid, so no need for an explanation here. I don’t remember all of the rules, but I’m sure I could follow along. Not sure if we had many dick jokes that I forgot about or didn’t get, but I don’t think so. It was mostly harmless, other than the slimy old guy host, who was always hitting on the women.

      • sharculese

        Like I said, I’m not making any immediate decisions, I’ll sit and think on it for a few months.

        American Family Feud has this whole routine where if you think there’s a PG-13 answer, there probably is one, and the host does this whole routine of being shocked and disgusted before turning to the board and revealing that was totally one of the answers.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Good. I believe production is aware of how they screwed up, so I’m optimistic they’ll do better in the casting and twist department next time.

          Thanks for the explanation, that sounds actually quite humurous.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I actually really like the way the current incarnation of Australian Survivor is committed to replicating the feel of US Survivor but also to experimenting with the game mechanics. It’s inevitable that some of the experiments will fail, it’s just really unfortunate that one of those misfires destroyed the post-merge.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I didn’t mean they should stop experimenting with new twists, just that they should think them through more thoroughly.

            I even said before that I actually like a lot about that specific twist, if only they would have made the advantage less powerful by making changes to the draft process or by following it up with another shake-up.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I’m up for a three way (snicker) coverage model where we all just yell at each other for our dumb opinions. @prettyboyprobst:disqus hates El so much (I’m finally on board with it BTW) that it’s been fun arguing with him.

      • prettyboyprobst

        You mean episode by episode, or like a staff chat format? Because the latter format sounds like fun for everyone involved and has the advantage, that I wouldn’t need an editor to transform my writings into proper English. You two could yell them into shape instantly. Otoh, it’s probably even more time consuming, which I assume is a big factor for all of us. Maybe not as much for me, but it’s also possible that I won’t have any time to do write-ups next year – I just don’t know at the moment.

        • sharculese

          Yeah, the whole point of bringing on Kemper is that having to do this 3 times a week was more of a commitment than I realized.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Almost forgot:

        1) Welcome aboard the hate-train! Glad to have you.
        2) Someone has to clue me in how to refer to people on disqus like that.
        3) Best sit down: Here comes some serious B.A.-like gossip: Australia’s next Bachelor is going to be…wait for it…wait for it… 😀 😀 😀 … your big crush of the season,
        Sammy 😮 :O 😮 :O
        A
        M
        !!!!
        No joke! I thought you would want to know as early as possible, so you can check the programming schedule and make sure you find ways to watch in time. You don’t wanna miss an episode!
        Myself, I’m not one to watch any version of The Bachelor and I never quite warmed up to Sam, so I’m going to pass. But you do you!

        • Kemper Boyd

          2) If they have commented on the post you just type @ and do it like twitter (there will be a drop down) but only if they’ve already commented.
          1) I do hate all of them so it’s not special, I think her nice person but forceful thing works with this crowd of idiot non-players.
          3) He is an attractive man who runs a charity, I still think he’s a hypocrite but I get why they’d do him as the Bachelor.

          • prettyboyprobst

            2) Thanks! So it wouldn’t have worked here anyway. Also, that seems to be the reason why I had to ask in the first place, because I tried it exactly like that before, but it didn’t work. Probably because they had not participated yet, but shouldn’t be that the best usage for this feature, to drag people into conversations they’re not yet part of? (Oh, now that I write it like that, it’s probably a good thing that it doesn’t work like that on other, more hostile disqus boards.
            1+3) Well, that’s disappointing.

  • turgid_legume

    These people are just THE WORST. The worst! I think we have conclusive evidence now that the 55 day thing was a dismal failure, because apparently going into starvation mode for that long caused permanent brain rot. Because that was simply painful to watch. None of these people deserve to win. It’s sickening.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      It’s not the length of the season or anything intrinsic to Australian culture. What sent the season toward disaster was the have-and-have-nots tribe shuffle. The tribe of challenge beasts and mates picked people like themselves, putting the nerds and strategists on the doomed tribe. The post-merge is entirely different if a couple people out of Rohan, Craig, Andrew, and Phoebs had made it.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Fuck Rohan, honestly he was a dumb as a Sam but yeah Criag, Andrew, Phoebs and we have a proper season.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I got to the point after Flick decided to tell El it was her that I don’t want anyone to win. I was holding on to Flick as someone who actually played the game but alas I was wrong.

      • prettyboyprobst

        As catastrophic as this decision turned out to be and as risky as it was going in, I think the move to tell El is under these circumstances somewhat defendable. Not saying it was a good move, but also not enough to denounce Flick over it entirely. (although that and the fact that she seemed to be back on board of the Love Boat at the start, until El corrected her about being in a final 3 and not a final 2 with Flick, combined with the desaster that later talk on the beach turned out to be, plus her failing to say the right things to make El shut up on multiple occasions, probably is enough).
        Back to Flick and Kristie telling El, that she’s gone: I think it’s defendable, not so much for the effort to secure jury votes, but as means to make Kristie commit to the decision and get over her emotions and bad conscience right there and then, and not have them pop up again in the lead-up to tribal.
        It seemed like a pretty creative idea to work around that emotional wild card that is Kristie, and to be honest, it should have worked. Even if she didn’t expect El to blow up like that, it just makes absolutely no sense for Kristie to run back to them. That girl is such a waste of everyone’s time.

        • Kemper Boyd

          they are all a waste of our time. ALL OF THEM.

  • prettyboyprobst
  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    “What satisfying conclusions are left here?”

    A Christie win would be semi-satisfying for the sheer WTF-ness of it, much like Bob Crowley.

    El hinted at this in one of her confessionals, but if she and Lee were able to the end by repeatedly Jedi mind tricking the majority into not voting them out, I have to admit that would quite an accomplishment.

    • sharculese

      Agreed. If the final 2 somehow comes down to Kristie and one of Lee or El, I kind of want all the jury responses to be “Kristie, you were weird and offputting and let yourself be a pawn, but at least you had heart, which makes you better than the asshole you’re sitting next to.”

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        And there it is…

    • prettyboyprobst

      I’m sure I’ll know better in about 2 hours after watching the penultimate episode, but I hink it’s a little bit odd that the edit didn’t play that Aganoa-angle more, if one of them were to win.

      I think we discussed before that we can’t take too much away from the edit, for not knowing how they’ll cater to the Australian audience and because the post-production is on a very tight schedule, but shouldn’t the story of an underdog tribe (first at tribal, first to be dissolved, always in the minority, but slowly chipping away until only Aganoas were left in the final 3) be the obvious choice for how to tell the story of the season and its winner?
      We could have had some Aitu-4 level of excitement, if that was the case, instead we rarely heard about good old Aganoa at all.
      Unfortunately, Flick also had a very weird edit and this whole mean girl thing sticking to her, so I didn’t even manage to convince myself writing this. But it should be Flick who’s winning, because an Aganoan takeover should feel way more satisfying than it does so far.

    • Figaro

      If there’s a tie at final four it goes to fire-making, right? So potentially if Kristie votes with Flick (her biggest hangup this episode seemed to be not having a guaranteed final two with anyone, so by voting Matt out she makes herself Flick’s only real option) and it goes to fire and Flick wins that would at least make the final a bit more interesting.

  • Kemper Boyd

    “Farewell Matt, you never really seemed to know what what going on, but at least you actually wanted to play the game.”

    Yet never actually did.

    • Master Prudent

      He worked pretty hard at it in the last two tribals.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Too little too late. He didn’t have any success so I can’t class him as having played the game. You can’t expect to just put out a logical argument at final 6 and have it succeed without any basis of trust from before.

        • prettyboyprobst

          That’s harsh. Please feel scolded on behalf of Stephen Fishbach for this results-based evaluation of Matt’s game!
          And why not expect that, at least in this case? I don’t know where I heard this line of argument, but I totally agree: Trust should play no role at all in Kristie’s decision here in a scenario like that (other than the sky-high level of trust between Lee and El), we’re way to close to the finsh line.
          At least Matt never voted for Kristie. As for other interactions, we never saw El hang around with Kristie, she was always with Brooke and Flick. And Lee only spoke to her to tell her he’s sorry about voting for her(!) and to make sure she knows everyone else is a snake. What gives?

          • Kemper Boyd

            I DON’T KNOW. But when it comes to coming 5th and not actually succeeding once in a move then I can say you didn’t play well.

          • prettyboyprobst

            NOBODY KNOWS, NOT EVEN KRISTIE!

            As for Matt: You can say what you want, but you can also read the assortment of examples for moves he succesfully did that I wrote earlier in direct reponse to you, before you say that. But if I can’t convince you, maybe headlines will?

            Matt Was Probably the Most Underrated Castaway on Survivor

            …or the exit-interview the headline is from?
            http://www.popsugar.com.au/celebrity/Matt-Tarrant-Interview-Australian-Survivor-2016-42604987#photo-42604991
            (If you’re short on time, it’s interesting, but nothing earth-shattering in there.)

          • Kemper Boyd

            I couldn’t find the newer episode yesterday so I didn’t bother, I might just watch the last one. That’s how I’ve burnt out on this season.

          • prettyboyprobst

            It was mind-numbing. Basically just more of waht we got in E24. But you should watch the TC, that was great.
            Flick, JLP, the jury, they all had a pretty good night.

  • Kemper Boyd

    I am burned out on this season, the pre merge and post fake merge were fun then after Phoebe was ousted it was a dumpster fire of a post-merge game.
    I feel inclined to believe my edit read from early after the merge was correct and Lee is winning because they showed him so much when he wasn’t winning immunities.
    I know hate everyone left, Flick held on as my hope for a strategic player winning then killed that hope by making bad decision the last two weeks. I hope the next challenge is a puzzle as Kristie could win and then she really would have to decide if she really wants Lee and El with her at 3 so she can come 3rd.

    • turgid_legume

      I truly hope Kristy decides to take El and Lee with her, and she immediately gets dumped at 3, because it would be the final exclamation point to the shit sandwich that is her game. No one would ever be able to claim with a straight face that she was anything but a flighty, clueless goat, and no amount of confessionals where she smugly tries to claim that it’s been strategy this whole time would ever be able to erase the stank of rotting garbage.

      • Kemper Boyd

        FULLY AGREE

  • Master Prudent

    Spoilers for ep 25 I knew Kristie wasn’t all that smart about her strategy and so on but she literally had everything laid out in front of her at tribal, was presented with a decision that had only a possible upside for her and had THAT explained to her and she still screwed herself over. I. Just. Can’t. Even.

  • HBO CEO of Tits

    If anyone has watched survivor Maryland outback, this end game seems to be playing out similarly, and equally frustratingly. It’s making me think that getting rid of the alogical floater may be a crucial strategy if you are a player that likes to use reason instead of constant hypocrisy, which lee and el seem to have chosen, and wisely so it appears.

    • Kemper Boyd

      This season shows that the set developed strategy of getting rid of physically capable men in the first couple of episodes post-merge is completely correct. Lee had to be taken out before the other immunity threats left, but then he went on the run that was obviously going to happen.
      And yes take out the floater unless you are 100% sure they can be taken under your control at some point (and Lee and El were right to want Kristie kept for this reason).
      This season might as well be called Australian Survivor: Constant Hypocrisy.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        AND why you break up the showmance. AND why you get rid of the erratic floater.

        Wait a second….

        Challenge beast = World’s Apart
        Showmance = All-Stars
        Erratic floater = Gabon

        Guys, Australian Survivor’s endgame is a combination of three of US Survivor’s worst endgames.

        • HBO CEO of Tits

          I’d argue Fabio and Michele also challenge breasted to the end.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I really wanted to say Fabio, because Nicaragua, All-Stars, and Gabon are my bottom three, but it wasn’t obvious he was going to go on an immunity run.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Holy Shit, you’ve nailed it.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer
  • prettyboyprobst

    General thoughts:
    – I’ve questioned it before, but now that dwindling
    numbers forced the editors to show us a little bit more of her, it’s
    worth revisiting: How in the world did El land on this show? Who let her
    on? Is he/she fired yet, or at least demoted?
    Her case is a
    formidable cautionary tale for why you can’t cast for cannon fodder.
    Every castmember has to bring something in the personality department,
    or you’re screwed if they make it deep.
    – I can see why they didn’t
    plan a reunion now. It seemed odd, given how production and editors
    contorted themselves to prolong this show by any means possible and at
    every other opportunity. At first I thought they could do something
    similiar with the jury and the F2 before the votes are read, so that it
    would be redundant to have a reunion as well.
    Bur now I assume it’s
    just to spare these people (and the casting department by proxy) the
    embarrassment of poking around in the mess of their decisions. That
    could leave an even worse taste than having to see win, whoever will be
    announced as winner tomorrow. This way they can at least end on an
    emotional high.
    – No matter who makes F2, I hope everyone gets it
    good from the jury. Last tribal they didn’t seem like they would
    appreciate moral gameplay too much or that they were many people in
    their ranks rooting for the “good guys” to win.

    Ep24 remnants:
    – Really good job on the recap rant! Hit on the most important points.
    – I found this on the internets: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ed438349a0e6acc109fc382667a2dc0021cfc3a37e507f8b685a78c44162ab4.jpg …still relevant.

    Ep25: *crickets*
    – Tribal council was fun, though.
    – Why did they boil the chicken? Wasn’t the point of the coal and instructions in the treemail to cook it buried under coal?
    – at least they made it a “short” episode. I don’t want to imagine what this would have looked like, if they had stuck to their schedule of alternating between short and long episodes…

  • prettyboyprobst

    Pretty good interview on the Survivor franchise and ratings from an Australian Survivor podcast:
    https://soundcloud.com/robey-wan-522248586/the-merge-podcast-ratings-and-production

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer
  • Kemper Boyd

    Guys, I couldn’t find episode 25 so I just didn’t bother looking hard. I’m going to read your spoiler tags and then watch the finale.

  • Master Prudent

    Finale Australian Survivor contestants have murdered the word surreal. RIP surreal.

    • Master Prudent

      That final challenge sure was something. Not a fan of Kristie begging but the location and the exertion were astonishing.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Say what you will about Christie floating for 54 days but she earned that final immunity. Although if I thought Lee had a strategic bone in his body I would suspect him of throwing it to get a vote for himself onto the jury.

        • HBO CEO of Tits

          For me, it just legitimized all the decisions I’ve been roasting her for like 3 episodes now. ” you should flip cause you have no chance against those 2 at ftc and the others will at least take you there.” I assume the jury thought the same way, saw themselves proven wrong, and voted accordingly. I assume without seeing final challenge footage, which made me cry. I also thought this seasons end game couldn’t redeem itself, but I was proven wrong just like the jury. Also, that was the most epic final challenge I’ve ever seen but to be fair I haven’t seen Palau. But for emotion and difficulty and epic dramatic waves it hasn’t been beaten in my mind.

          • Kemper Boyd

            She did really well in the FTC and turns out that Lee being a hypocrite had really pissed everyone off.
            Her gameplay worked which means it’s good because as the adage goes “whoever wins deserves it”. You don’t win Survivor undeservingly because only the jury gets to decide and only those at FTC qualify.
            But it was fucking boring to watch at the end.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I agree with @disqus_CdEstUanjb:disqus, the finale was surprisingly great, although it may be a matter of having rock-bottom expectations going in. Going back to the Borneo final immunity challenge, but with wind and waves pounding them, was really a stroke of genius. I thought it was a pointless waste of time to have the family visit on the last day, but damned if having them there to witness their loved ones damn near kill themselves didn’t ratchet up the drama like nothing else could have.

            Between the ominous music and the reaction shots of the jury, at first I thought Kristie was badly overplaying her hand, and that her “I was Keyser Soze all along!” opening statement was backfiring and pissing everybody off, but I guess it was supposed to convey that they were buying her nonsense.

            Here’s a half-baked hypothesis that I may reject after I think about it more: Kristie won by playing the game the way that the casuals accuse Sandra of playing.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I think your hypthesis works until about final five.
            Even casuals and Sandra -skeptics wouldn’t give Sandra so little credit and expect her to stay with the POWER couple. (I put it in capital letters for their challenge prowess in addition to being a tight voting bloc)

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I may be splitting hairs, but while I agree that 1) every winner is by definition a deserving winner, I don’t agree that 2) winning retroactively justifies the winner’s gameplay. Tony Vlachos, for example, won in spite of his recklessness, not because of it (OK, maybe a little bit because of it). And you can’t possibly say it was a good game move for him to lose the final immunity challenge, although of course it worked out for him.

          • sharculese

            It’s better than Palau. Palau’s has a great story, but at the end of the day it’s just shots of two dudes on buoys intercut with shots of Katie sleeping on the dock. It doesn’t have the epic look this did.

            At one point I turned to my roommate and said “I hope someone on American Survivor is watching this and thinking about how they can step up their helicopter game.”

        • Kemper Boyd

          I agree, I think it was either coincidence or editing that Lee fell after the begging.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Nope, I love the begging. At the final challenge, you should beg, you should offer deals and you should guilt. You should even try and distract, if it doesn’t work for her it’s El v Lee. If it doesn’t work you can just play the challenge through but if it does it can win you $500,000aus

        • prettyboyprobst

          I feel like El or Lee could have used the begging against her after the fact, but I agree that it was good to see Kristie try whatever it takes to get that win. I think she couldn’t have stayed on much longer and thought begging and deal-making was her only chance. In the end, Lee turned out to be just as exhausted or maybe her pleas even did their part in distracting him enough.

          But I did find her going on and on really hard to watch (as were El’s primal screams – I felt bad for all of them), and I thought that was what MP was referring to above. Powerful stuff, but it also made me cringe. (although not as much as they were after 6+ hours)

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I don’t think I’ve laughed harder at the reading of the FTC vote, not even in Nicaragua.

  • Max_Jets

    I just watched episode 24 and I don’t know if I can finish. This might be the worst end game in all of Survivor.

    • prettyboyprobst

      It’s a real shit show, but at least a memorable one, so I can’t complain too much. It’s actually more interesting than I feared the endgame would turn out to be two or three weeks ago, or even last week.

      It’s just like this election cycle in this regard: Not close to usual standards, in fact worse than anything we could have ever imagined, but if you want to be able tell your grandkids you were there in these craziest of times, you have to pay attention to the bitter end.

      • Max_Jets

        I would have preferred a less interesting endgame if it was also less stupid, but I understand preferring it this way. I did manage to finish!

        • prettyboyprobst

          Good on you for making it through. I’m sure it’ll prove worthwile every time bad winners and impactful final tribal performances are discussed.

          And I see your point, part of me was also always rooting for players to make better decisions (and not just because it would have meant El going at least two times and regardless of my high rising blood pressure everytime @Kemper Boyd brings her up), but I got also more and more resigned to the fact that the season wouldn’t have a great outcome*, so at some point around the Brooke-ouster I began to appreciate the season for the WTFness of it all. And it sure continued to deliver in that department. I think in the long run, I can take more from that than I could have from a mediocre endgame that has Lee, Matt or even Brooke coming out victorious.

          *I’m not sure if you and how many here are aware of this, but there was a betting odds spoiler for the winner of the season out there pretty much from the start, which I unfortunately came across when episodes were still in the single digits. That’s why I could be sure that Kristie would make it to the end and about 90% certain that she would win.

          Naturally I then looked more for signs of good gameplay from her or for her to at least gain footing after the merge, but even though the edit gave signs and made some efforts to sell her to the audience, there just wasn’t a whole lot there. As it became more and more apparent that the season wouldn’t have a good winner in her, of course the question arose how she could win anyway. – And I didn’t expect anything of that! It always seemed most likely that she would continue to be a useful number for somebody and stay in the game that way, then brought to FTC as a goat, only for a bitter jury to then deny the strategist in that combo (one of Flick, Brooke, Matt, at times even Lee) a well-deserved victory.

          Instead we got a headscratcher of an endgame with many memorable moments that climaxed in an amazing immunity challenge (which was almost too hard imo), a surprising performance, a final 2 that was in stark contrast to each other and a jury vote that actually made some sense.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I skipped 25 and half watched the finale, like watched bits of the challenge and then FTC.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        You missed absolutely nothing by skipping 25. I yada-yada’d fallen comrades and the first part of the family visit, which I was dumbstruck by since they were all going to get reunited the next day anyway, but which really paid off during the final challenge.

        • prettyboyprobst

          I said it before, but the ep25 tribal is an absolute must watch!

  • sharculese

    Apologies for the lateness of the last two recaps. My roommate got mad at me for watch 23 and 24 without her, and I promised I would wait for her on the last two. She was supposed to be home at 3, dunno where she is.

    • prettyboyprobst

      It’s fine. We need her to stay supportive of your Survivor watching.
      Big picture thinking.

      • sharculese

        Working on the ep 25 recap right now. Other roommate was like “can we watch something that isn’t Survivor,” just as we started the finale and it’s his house, so…

        • prettyboyprobst

          Uh-oh, you’re about to get beaten to your finale recap by the KIAs+Nick.
          Starts in approx. 30 minutes.

    • MonsieurT

      Hey you! Never even heard of this website and stumbled across it when I was looking for interviews of the winner. Very pleasant surprise to see your name. How are ya?
      Sorry you didn’t seem to enjoy it. The middle segment of this game was boring as all hell, but unlike what seems to be pretty much all your readers, I actually greatly appreciated the end game even if it was (mostly) predictable. I think Kristie should get a bit more credit than it seems like viewers have been giving her, though probably less credit than she gave herself during the jury questions. Lee and El didn’t bother me much either though I was actively behind Kristie starting at around the time Sue got the ax. I’ve got oh-so-many thoughts on the subject, but I don’t want to hijack your thread. 🙂
      Hope you’re well. Still in Atlanta with the new fling? Haven’t chatted in awhile as AV Club has been overrun with a lot of stupid people and I don’t post there much anymore. Tried posting a few times recently as American Horror Story is — gasp — actually really good this season, but the snarky and sharp regulars seem to have all bailed the site.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Don’t hold back! (your thoughts)

        • sharculese

          MT is one of the smartest commenters the AV Club had, although he’s only intermittently into Survivor. If we can pull him over here it’s a big get.

      • sharculese

        Oh hey man, glad you stumbled onto this place. If you have an itch to watch and talk about Survivor, this is where you should be. It’s the Survivor fan community where we’re all progressive and the rule is everyone has to be chill to each other even during disagreements.

        I thought large parts of this season were a slog but I loved the finale. I mean, I kind of have to, I said at the beginning of the week that this exact thing was my ideal outcome, but still. The only reason I haven’t written the final recap yet is I’m still processing how the fuck it happened.

        I’m still in Atlanta but that girl and I broke up a while ago. I’m going to a Halloween party at her house tomorrow and there’s a non-zero chance I make bad decisions while I’m there.

        How are you doing? You’re in New York, right? How’s that working out?

  • Kemper Boyd

    FINALE FUCK LEE. Kristie you floated like a motherfucker and you got yourself in front of a jury who had been fucked off by the guy you were sitting next to you. It’s a terrible outcome for gameplay, but I think Lee winning would have been worse.
    Oh well, let’s hope they cast better next time.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I would have preferred if there were more jurors showing as much blank despair as Nick did when casting their votes.
      But Kristie had a pretty good final tribal council (although I hope that people were not buying into her story as much as they made it appear) and Lee doubled down on the BS, that people didn’t want to hear. At this stage, it’s an acceptable outcome, I guess.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I thought Brooke and Flick were appropriately filled with self-loathing as well.

        • prettyboyprobst

          I don’t remember Flick, but you’re definitely right about Brooke. I think I’ll have to watch FTC again.
          Still, I think Nick nailed it during the vote-cast more than anyone else. His contributions to FTC were also the best, but I was pleasantly surprised by the jury as a whole.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I just rewatched the voting booth confessionals and I was wrong. Flick was fine and Brooke was more generous than I remembered, just a little incredulous about who she was voting for. Only Sam seemed anywhere near as disgusted as Nick.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Haha, I still haven’t, but so much for “definitely”. Maybe I just read too much into her facial expressions.

            Regarding Sam: Do you think he wanted to steer Lee in the right direction with his question about manipulating her? Because I do. But after Lee answered in the worst way possible, I guess he decided to follow his buddy Matt’s line of thinking and voted Kristie.

      • Kemper Boyd

        This shows that although jurors always seem to say that they have their minds made up pre-FTC that a good performance or a bad one can make or break you. Lee doubled down on his bullshit completely and Kristie talked about her floaty nonsense as if it was legit gameplay (which it is, just crazy boring) and the jurors liked it more.
        I wonder about El at FTC, I know you hate her but seeing the guilt trip she put on Kristie infront of Flick before they voted out Matt I feel like she would have been more articulate and able to explain why her schtick was gameplay and good gameplay at that than idiot moral Lee.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          That and she probably would have had the votes of Brooke, Flick, and of course Lee, and a better chance at getting Sam’s vote than Lee did.

        • prettyboyprobst

          I don’t think we can extrapolate from this season too much, because these were two unusually bad choices for the jurors. I believe most of them were truly undecided, with Lee and Kristie having one safe vote each. Lee had probably more votes leaning his way going in and lost them, because he wasn’t ready to admit that he was willing to get his hands dirty to get to the end. That Kristie was able to present her “game” in a positive light must have helped to make their decision easier to stomach, but I don’t think it would have mattered that much if Lee had given them anything to work with, especially since Kristie overstating her impact on the game was quite off-putting in itself.

          In my opinion the floating strategy is only viable under the right circumstances (which I think she had) if skillfully applied (which she did not) and usually can only work for so long, before you have to flip a switch and gain control (which she also did not – think Cambodia Wentworth for how it can be done). Short of that, your only hope is to be taken to the end by someone that is disliked enough to lose in spite of a better strategic game. More often than not, players like Kristie get eliminated just before or lose at FTC, no matter how much sunshine they’re pumping.

          Which brings me to El: I can see her trying to do strategic argument moreso than Lee (just as or even more likely is an even worse performance than Lee had) and thus doing better than Lee, but I seriously doubt that she would have been convincing enough to clear the very, very low hurdle that was Kristie. I mean, did you see her in the tribal she got eliminated at? Or at any other point during her combined 10 minutes of airtime in 26 episodes? What makes you think she would have been able to articulate anything, much less make a coherent argument? Again, Kristie’s game was so bad (which is also why arguments based on influencing her don’t hold that much weight imo), that it shouldn’t have taken much for El to stammer and stumble the jury onto her side, but I could also see her totally crash and burn at FTC.
          The fact that El is so bad at talking and that Flick is such an enigma (both her gameplay and her perception by the jury) is the only reason why I couldn’t write “She would have lost if it was anyone but Lee sitting next to her at Final Tribal.” in the first paragraph.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Fwiw, a certain jury member that I paraphrased several times before says El was the jury favorite out of the final three by a long shot, but they also didn’t even really account for the possibility that Kristie could make it to F2, so I have to think her surprise performance there could still have worked wonders.
          To my relief, the entire adoring audience he was talking to was just as dumbfounded by statements like that as I am. They just never showed anything that would explain that, except for telling us once that everybody likes her and someone saying that she played a good game.