Each week- except last week, when circumstances necessitated a need to eloquently tell Will to go fuck himself– I’ve been breaking down the various ways in which Max and Shirin have been living up to my preseason hype for them.
Now that their time in the game has ended, you may have rightfully assumed that this would be a post to mourn Shirin’s exit. And yes, it will be that. But if you’ve read my previous Max and Shirin fight for my love posts you know that I have relentlessly clung to hope for them, and that won’t change this week. In fact, at the very end of this post I’ll take a break from my irrational hope-mongering to lay out some very specific and rational reasons to have hope for our heroes.
On the episode:
The “Dan goes home” episode is off to a great start, with Dan talking about how he has plans for his game and how it’s ridiculous to think that he’s on the bottom of his alliance. Then he sidles up alongside our heroine and suddenly class is back in session at Dan’s School of Apology. If you have an upcoming exam at Dan’s School of Apology, I’ll provide you this helpful cheat sheet to a proper apology, as delivered by Dan:
Step 1. Approach target of your apology, who is anxious to receive your conversation.
Step 2. Apologize in vague terms, and in a way that’s dripping with mock sincerity.
The key moment in this conversation:
“For what it’s worth, I’m really sorry.”
“For which part?”
“For whatever made you cry.”
On the surface, that almost sounds sincere. Until you realize it’s basically just saying, “Fuck, I wasn’t paying attention. But I do remember water falling out of your tear ducts, so something must have happened.”
Step 3. Completely recant your apology.
Mission accomplished, Dan.
The means by which Dan goes home in the “Dan goes home” episode becomes much clearer when we reach the immunity challenge. For you see, there will not just be one immunity necklace granted. There will be two.
That’s right. One immunity necklace will be for the men, who in strict statistical terms will each have a 20% chance at victory. The other immunity necklace will be for the women, who in those same statistical terms will have a one-in-three shot at victory.
All Shirin needs to do to win immunity is almost literally carry her own weight. Sure, Shirin may not have been what one might consider a challenge beast up until this point. In fact, she has often had as much of a chance at winning as QWOP, the world’s least coordinated Olympian. But I’ve made it to the finish line with QWOP before, so anything is possible. (With QWOP, you just have to make him do a split and then awkwardly pelvic thrust your way to the finish line. Coincidentally, “do a split and then awkwardly pelvic thrust your way to the finish line” is also how I’d describe my sexual modus operandi.)
But alas, Shirin- like our Ultimate Survivor Bracket winner– is destined to never win an immunity challenge. She’ll once again go to tribal council with a neck free of elaborate jewelry.
At tribal council, Shirin discusses Will flipping his shit on her last week. She says she’ll be sharing her Survivor experience with her boyfriend and best friends, and that’s fundamentally different from what everybody else there has. But hold on a minute, Dan would like to say something:
You see, Dan was adopted. When he goes home, the only people he can share this experience with are his parents- who loved him enough to take him as their non-biological child and raise him as their own son- and siblings, and his wife. So he knows a little something about not having people around that love him.
Not even Jeff Probst was willing to let that shit slide. The same Jeff Probst, mind you, who once followed up Rocky telling Anthony to take his skirt off with “I think Rocky is trying to help you.” The same Jeff Probst that allowed Coach to craft a tale about being abducted by a Pygmy tribe. Not even Jeff Probst was going to let Dan get away with his bullshit.
But despite some clever tricks by Mike that may have instilled hope in some viewers, Shirin got her torch snuffed. And there’s no reason to be mad at Mike for not saving Shirin. Even I, as driver of the Shirin bandwagon, said it would be stupid to do so. Shirin said the exact same thing on her walk to Ponderosa.
Still, this hurts. There is no more hope. The Axis of Evil (née Wet Blanket Alliance) has prevailed. Four people who were awful to Shirin- Carolyn, Will, Dan, and Rodney- will either not receive their comeuppance or not receive it from Shirin. We’ve been robbed of seeing those gratifying moments. The only time we’ll see her from now on is when she’s drinking her ass off at Ponderosa or making Eliza-level faces on the jury.
Still, she went far in the game. Farther than you would have expected when every other confessional from the awful people she played against was about how annoying she is. And perhaps most importantly, we got a whole lot of Shirin in those episodes: nudity, monkey sex, hating on the wet blankets, challenge fails, and this:
So farewell, sweet Shirin. And better luck next time. (More on that later.)
This week on Twitter:
After last week’s episode, there was an outpouring of sympathy for Shirin. And she used the moment to highlight the issue of domestic violence.
Although I worry she’s going to blow all the prize money she won from this season fulfilling that promise, it’s a noble cause. If you’d like to join her- even at a lesser dollar amount- you can do so here.
But enough seriousness. Twitter isn’t for useful or practical things, it’s for wasting time with silliness and stupidity. Let’s get back to that!
Aww. That may meet the silliness requirement, but it’s not doing much to lighten the mood after discussing Shirin’s boot episode. Still, there may be hope for Max checking that box on his bucket list (again, more on that later).
Now that’s more like it! Remember Vince? Crazy guy with the feathers and the tea and the coconuts and the hair-smelling? I miss Vince. Particularly because I’d take hair-smelling over any of the shit I’ve seen from Rodney, Will, or Dan the past two weeks. Shit, I would watch Vince smell Shirin’s hair on a seven-hour loop rather than watch Dan “apologize” to her. But in regards to the tweet, I’m about 30% sure Max is joking. Eh, maybe 25%. I’ve seen the tea Vince makes.
My confidence level on this one, however, is much higher. I’m going with about 75-80%. And Vince’s excuse will be that he wanted to take the cats on a spirit journey that would allow them to seek truth. And also that he wanted to distract them while he ate the vegan cat food that Max probably buys for them.
Personally, I think I finally got over caring whether someone has their cock out after the first few months of changing in the gym’s locker room. What I have yet to get over is the propensity for older gentlemen, who have long since stopped giving a fuck about who sees their junk, to strike up conversations with you in that locker room. Congratulations on what loosening skin and a lifetime of gravity have done to that dong, old man, but I’m just here to get changed. But hey, speaking of dong:
I feel absolutely no need to give that comment any context at all. I kinda wish that statement had been in her official CBS bio, although that would probably have turned a Max vs. Shirin contest into a futile uphill battle for Max.
Although if Max did have an uphill battle, stuff like this would certainly help. Sure, some may doubt the authenticity of Max’s text conversation with Jenn where she professes a love for sniffing her own farts. But I choose to believe it’s more of a dramatic re-creation of a conversation that probably did happen at some point.
And hey, while we’re on the subject of Jenn, let’s let this image of Jenn summarize how I’ll be spending the rest of the season now that we’ve lost our two greatest heroes:
(Note: Before you read on past the image of Jenn, I’m giving you a heads up that I’m going to be discussing a rumor about an upcoming season. If that’s something you’re not interested in, you can either skip ahead to the comments for emotional support from other #TeamShirin members or bail on this post now.)
Episode 31: A New Hope
Some of you may have heard (and we discussed it here) that Survivor casting spoiler extraordinaire Redmond (@RedmondSurvivor on Twitter) has leaked that the next season to air will be a returning player season. It’ll be called Second Chances, it will take place in Cambodia, and it will be a cast made up of people who have only played the game once.
“But wait,” you’re saying, “I can think of two people that fit that description: a tall bearded man and a short Persian woman! Do you think they’ll be eligible?” Well let’s get that information straight from the source:
A total of five nominees from this season?! I like those odds! Now let’s break it down a little further:
Of the season 30 male players being considered, one of them is a pre-merge boot. That narrows our list down to three candidates: Vince, Max, and Joaquin. Exactly zero people not named Rodney or Joaquin are clamoring for a Joaquin return, so we can probably rule him out.
I can see Survivor wanting to bring back Vince. He was casting gold, and someone that they clearly hoped would have made it farther so we could get more bizarre jealousy and rants about truth-seeking and coconuts.
But as you can see from Max’s tweets that make it into this column, Vince has been
inexplicably completely predictably living on Max’s couch for like a month. Plus, the next season of Survivor will probably be filming during Burning Man, which frankly is the only possible scheduling conflict Vince could ever have. So I’ve decided Vince is out. And that leaves Max. BOOM. Or, as Shirin would say:
Now let’s examine Shirin’s chances. There are just two slots for a season 30 woman. Here are the contenders for those slots and my one-word assessment of their chances:
1. So- Who?
2. Nina- Nope.
3. Lindsey- Tattoos.
4. Kelly- Silence.
5. Hali- Tupac.
6. Jenn- Whiskey.
7. Shirin- BOOM.
8. Sierra- Scenery.
9. Carolyn- NotOnYourFuckingLifeYouWetBlanketAssHater (I may have stretched the definition of “one word” there a bit.)
So our reasonable contenders are Lindsey, Hali, Jenn, and Shirin. Jenn is amazing, and I would love to see her again. But Probst will renounce his secret marriage with Boston Rob before he lets someone he considers a quitter get a second chance. Lindsey actually showed promise, but she was a pre-merge boot and Redmond hasn’t mentioned that a pre-merge woman was eligible.
That leaves us with two options: Shirin and Hali. Two spots, two awesome women.
Do you realize what this means? Shirin and Max: Redux.
All it will take is our votes to make it happen, at least if you believe that CBS/Survivor will actually take into account voting results instead of just taking a few people we vote for and picking others they like.
And word on the street- at least the street Redmond lives on- is that the voting be announced during next week’s episode. So we’ve got one week to strategize on how we’re going to make this happen. Leave your ideas in the comments or send them to me on Twitter. I’ll be over here, cranking up the hype machine again.
Final verdict: We all lose this week. But next week we rise again.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia