Did you miss last week’s battle for my love? Click here for round one of Max vs Shirin, and an explanation of what this column is about.
Since the focus was more on the other tribes, we didn’t see a lot of Max and Shirin this week. Actually, that’s not true. We saw a whole lot of Max and Shirin, at least in the time they were on screen. But before we get to the nudity, let’s start with this:
“Max is a student of the game and that makes me love him.” – Shirin
It’s happening, guys. It’s really happening. Max and Shirin are aligned and they’re going to become my favorite Survivor tandem since…I’m not sure who my other favorite tandem is. Courtney and Sandra in Heroes vs. Villains? Stephen and JT in Tocantins? Cirie and Shane in Panama? Yul and Penner in Cook Islands? (Note: Greatest Survivor tandems is definitely going to be a blog post at some point this season, either from me or someone else.)
Shirin and Max are aligned, so anything else I get this week is just going to be icing on the cake. But it turns out, there’s quite a lot of icing for this week’s cake. Or, as Jeff Probst himself put it:
Before we move on, I’ll state what should be obvious: There are going to be some images below featuring blurred nudity. So if you’re reading this at work- and let’s be honest, you are- here’s a quick tip for you: If you’re using Windows, pressing Alt+Tab will quickly switch you to another, more productive-looking screen if your coworkers or boss should approach. Who says this website never taught you anything?
We start with Max, who celebrates the white collar tribe’s successful attempt at making fire by going for a swim. In his confessional, he claims that he’s doing honor to the game by getting naked and taking a swim just like Richard Hatch, who did the same thing on Survivor’s first season 15 years ago. That’s probably just a convenient excuse for the fact that he wanted to get naked and play in the ocean, but there’s no judgment here; do your thing, Max.
But do you think Shirin is going to sit idly by while Max earns my love for his Hatch homage? Hell no! Shirin, show me what ya workin’ with!
I spent a lot of time last night pausing, rewinding, and playing in slow motion just to get you these screen caps of Survivor nudity. My wife and I were breaking it down frame-by-frame like the Zapruder film to pick the best shots. I’m sure you appreciate my efforts. Unlike Tyler.
I’m losing all respect for you here, Tyler. Or at least what little of it I still had after reading your Wikipedia page that you clearly edited yourself (even Wikipedia says “This sounds like self-promotion.”). Shirin, you’re making Tyler feel uncomfortable. What do you have to say for yourself?
See? It was practical nudity! (That’s the sexiest kind of nudity!) And Shirin’s sexist tribe mates were melodramatically doing the “I’m not looking!” routine? Jerks. I would have looked. Repeatedly. For equality’s sake.
But apart from the brief focus on the nudity at the white collar camp, we didn’t get much more from Max and Shirin on the show this week. Thankfully, it was because they were safe from tribal council after winning the immunity challenge. And because of the mutual nudity, we’ll consider them tied going into the next round.
This week on Twitter:
This is going to be a difficult week to score (phrasing!), because pretty much the entire cast of this season- the Dirty 30, if you will- met up in Los Angeles and shared pictures and tweets about their activities. Why is this a problem? Hypothetically, let’s say Max shares an amazing photo, but Shirin also appears in that photo. Does Max get the credit for sharing that photo? Does Shirin get credit for appearing in it? Does it really matter, since my scoring system could best be described as “arbitrary as fuck”?
(A quick aside: Last season, CBS instituted a social media ban on all the Survivor players, telling them not to discuss the show on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Regardless of the fact that we didn’t miss much by not hearing from last season’s cast, the idea of a social media ban is massively counter-productive. You know who follows Survivors on social media? Fans of Survivor! Do you want the players to not discuss the primary reason they’re being followed? You want to reduce discussion and excitement about your show? Like the Medallion of Power, this was a bad decision that should be abandoned immediately.)
So what went down when the Dirty 30 met up in LA for a weekend? Let’s get Shirin’s perspective first:
Solid work there, though I am slightly afraid that Shirin may have allowed Rawdney into her house. If so, maybe hire a rohypnol-sniffing dog to come over and do a quick sweep of your house after he leaves? You know, just in case.
Mocking Vince? Check. Jenn being Jenn? Check. Malcolm doppelganger? Check. Well done.
This is actually the reason I was terrified that Shirin might have gone home last week. Survivors have a long history of targeting the weak, the feminine, and/or the “different” with the first vote. In a time when people are looking for any excuse to vote someone out, any minor reason can be justified and endorsed by a group of players to make sure someone else is the target. Luckily for me (and for you, dammit, because you need more Shirin in your life), they targeted someone else with those characteristics in episode one. But that’s all for Shirin this week. Your move, Professor Dawson.
Max was much more active in providing pictures and commentary on the Dirty 30 reunion. He also seemingly allowed Vince to stay at his house for several days, so there’s a good chance large amounts of his valuables have been stolen and pawned to fund some improvements to the shanty Vince lives in at Burning Man.
First of all, I’m a sucker for a reference to one of the best Chappelle’s Show sketches. But watching Vince ball must be magical. Does he say “Go to your spiritual oasis, my spherical friend” every time he launches a shot? Does Vince call his own fouls, or does he view rules as a social construct that The Man is trying to impose on an otherwise beautiful game? Do people call him Birdman when he plays? So many questions.
This one is magical. Consider this a warning to you, Joe: keep yourself clean or you’ll end up looking like a fucking vagabond who sells meth at truck stops. Or maybe Malcolm is just growing tired of being a beautiful man. I understand, Malcolm; it’s exhausting.
Speaking of beautiful, check out the ladies in thi- wait, who is grabbing Corrine’s boob?! Dirty 30 indeed! Normally I’d just stop the scoring right here and award Max all the points, but this is actually just Max responding to Corrine’s tweet. Still, I somehow would have missed this without Max mentioning it, so I’m giving him credit.
And because Max knows that pandering to fans of various fantasy franchises is the real way to win the internet’s heart, he posted this picture of a young, hatless, concerned-looking Dumbledore giving a sneak-attack hug as some unimpressed member of House Hufflepuff looks on.
Max’s nudity in the previews for the episode also inspired some notable comments. Max hung dong in tribute to Survivor’s first million-dollar nudist, Richard Hatch, and Hatch approved.
Max’s mom, on the other hand, gave a slightly more guarded endorsement.
Still, Max inspired Hatch to make a rare Twitter appearance and earns points for mommy and daddy thinking his body looks amazing. Is Max’s mom on Twitter? If so, she should live tweet every episode. I would follow that shit.
Final verdict: Max wins this week in a landslide. Step your Twitter game up, Shirin!
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia