People’s Survivor Blog- Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers uninformed preview

We aren’t doing a preview podcast for this season, so welcome to your consolation prize: the least informative preview you could imagine.

John is a nerd on the internet who has never been on Survivor, but has been podcasting about Survivor since 2013. This season, in The People’s Survivor blog, he will blog about his experiences as a Survivor viewer. Follow John on Twitter @purplerockjohn.

“39 days, 18 people, hundreds of stupid Reddit comments, 1 Survivor.” – Jeff Probst

I’m not going to lie to you guys: I am woefully unprepared for this season. Normally at this point, I’ve devoured player bios, scoured pregame interviews, suffered through all the “meet the cast” videos, and occasionally hyped the Survivors I’m excited for. At the very least, I’ve got some kind of opinion on every player. Sometimes, those opinions are indisputably correct. Other times, well, we all make mistakes.

But this off-season, my crippling laziness has combined with a steady stream of hurricanes to prevent me from reaching my normal level of pre-game obsession. I have read nothing about any of the players. I’ve seen no videos. I don’t even know everyone’s name. And that, of course, gives me the exact qualifications necessary to provide you with the most uninformed season preview we’ve ever had.

Here’s how this is going to go: I’ve got a picture and a name for each player. That’s it. No age, no job, no idea which tribe a player is on. With only two data points, I’m going to make an assessment of each player. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s do this. (Note: I’ll be going by the order they’re listed on CBS’ Survivor cast page.)

Alan

Alan is definitely making the “I’m politely laughing at your joke even though it wasn’t really that funny” face in his bio pic. Trust me, I’ve seen that face a lot. He is also built like a fucking tank. I assume that means he’s on the Heroes tribe, because in Survivor parlance heroes are people who have a gym membership. They’re also generally people that aren’t very great at confessionals or gameplay. I’m not expecting a lot from Alan.

Patrick

I assume Survivor casting stumbled upon Patrick while he was at a local bar celebrating his new role as Generic Drunken Irishman in some movie. He’s somehow already managed to get sunburned for his official cast photo, but more importantly his sunburn looks like he was wearing a tank top for the 45 seconds it took for the sunlight to help him share a skin tone with a Red Delicious apple- the indisputable worst of all apples.

Patrick is the answer to the question, “What would Cochran look like if he’d become best bros with Eddie after Caramoan and spent all his time hitting the gym and growing mediocre facial hair?”

Ben

Did this motherfucker get lost on his way to Winterfell? I bet The North Remembers how Ben got a tattoo on his chest that looks like Bran Stark’s head on a fucking bird. Ben has a beard that looks like it would be more at home at a Brad Paisley concert than some hipster coffee shop, so I’m guessing he’s supposed to be one of the Real Americans that Survivor likes to cast.

The number of tattoos and the Real American vibe make me think that Ben is probably ex-military, so he’ll be contractually required to give a confessional suggesting that the conditions in Fiji aren’t actually that tough because he knows what tough living truly is. This confessional will take place while Survivor‘s editors subtly play patriotic music in the background.

Ali

Wow, that is a very seductive look for a cast picture. I think every other player’s picture is smiling, and Ali chose to give a look that says, “I’m going to take your man. Or your woman. Or you, if that’s what I decide I want.” Did Parvati’s pregame pics look like this when Probst called her a flirty sexy flirting sexpot? Because damn.

Also, I’m no expert, but I don’t think that hair is going to hold up in Fiji.

JP

“Hi, I’m JP. You may remember me from such previous roles as ‘Guy who played college sports and never misses an opportunity to remind you about it’, or ‘Guy in the locker room who hangs out in a towel talking on his phone instead of getting dressed.’ I’m very excited to be here on the Jon Misch Scholarship For Handsome Yet Uninteresting People. My strategy will be to convince everyone that we need to vote out the weakest people, until the weakest people realize that they can just band together and vote me out.”

Chrissy

Chrissy looks almost apologetic, like she’s sorry that she’s about to make you watch her play Survivor. She wants you to know that she’s going to try her best, though. And I would bet money that there’s something in her bio or pregame interviews that’s along the lines of, “I came out here to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.”

I’d also bet money that she’s an actual fan of the show. She’s the odds-on favorite to geek out over something Probst does when it hits her that she’s playing the game instead of watching it.

Jessica

Oh look, it’s Great Value Andrea Boehlke! Other than looking like a knock-off version of Andrea, there’s not much to come away with here. She looks vaguely muscular in this pic, so I’ll guess that she’s in the Heroes tribe because she has used a Smith machine before.

Roark

I assume that name is pronounced as if you added an R in front of the word orc, or like the sound a lion makes followed by a short cough at the end. Although it would be amazing if it was actually pronounced “row ark”, and her parents named her that because they were inspired by the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark and they hoped she’d grow up to love animals and possibly be vegan. But that’s probably too much to hope for.

Roark is probably a barista who intentionally spells your name wrong on your coffee cup to let you know how it feels to have people fuck up your name. That outfit gives off vague hippie vibes, though. Roark might also be someone who tells you about the healing power of crystals.

Cole

What’s up with Cole’s eye in that picture? Is it just me or does he have like a pinkeye thing going or something? I kinda hope it is pinkeye, because Cole is definitely the person that my wife will say, “I don’t think any of these guys are that attractive, but I guess I’d say Cole comes the closest” a few weeks before I see “Cole Survivor shirtless” popping up in our computer’s search history.

Cole looks like he might be like Jay from Millennials vs Gen X– someone that I dramatically underestimated before the season started, but grew on me very quickly. But now that I’ve set higher expectations for Cole, I can only assume he’ll completely fail to live up to those expectations.

Joe

Hey, it’s Great Value Tony Vlachos! Joe has a smile that lets you know he just did some massive damage in the office toilet and you don’t want to go in there for at least 10-15 more minutes. He also has a tan that makes it look like he regularly wears tank tops. I don’t know if those two things are related, but it feels like they might be.

At least the Fiji beach won’t ruin his hair.

Simone

This is the exact face Simone will make when she’s the second or third person voted out and she’s giving her post-boot confessional about how her tribe really underestimated her and they made the wrong decision. I hope she enjoys the pre-jury trip, at least.

Ashley

Oh hello, Google image search for “Midwestern college student”, I’m glad you get to play Survivor this season. (That necklace is the one thing that throws me off about Ashley’s picture, because it makes me worry think that she might be a Floridian instead of a Midwesterner.)

Ashley definitely thinks that she’s “fun” and “a little bit wild”, and that other people are going to love her for that, but she’s not and they won’t. Note that this entire theory goes out the window if she’s Floridian, because “a little bit wild” for a Floridian means that you have at least 3 criminal charges pending against you.

Devon

Devon is definitely on the Hustlers tribe, and it’s because Survivor is going to pretend it’s because he’s got street smarts and works hard. But he’s going to have some ridiculous job like “boogieboard instructor” or “Rollerblade figure skating trainer”, and we’ll all just shrug and go along with it.

Devon’s picture was taken right in the middle of laughing at a fart joke.

Katrina

Oh cool, someone that shares a name with a devastating hurricane! Katrina is a yoga instructor, right? I have a theory that when Survivor gets down to the last spot or two in casting and they just want to finish up, they go on Yelp and recruit yoga studio owners with 2-star ratings that leave passive-aggressive responses to people that left them bad ratings- stuff like, “I’m sorry my class was too difficult for your level of fitness. Perhaps the ball pit at Chuck E Cheese is more your speed.”

If Roark isn’t telling everyone about healing crystals, Katrina definitely will. She might even have one around her neck in that picture. I can’t tell what’s going on there.

Lauren

Whenever you look at a Survivor cast and can’t figure out exactly which slot/stereotype/one-dimensional category someone fits into, that person is the crazy or obnoxious one. About three or four episodes into this season, in Lauren’s boot episode, you’re going to get all kinds of footage showing how she’s driven everyone insane at camp for the past ten days. Maybe she suggested that they should distract the other teams in a challenge by running it naked, or that they could use coconut husks as chamber pots. Then Lauren will give a confessional saying she’s very confident heading into tribal council, and that it’s good that they lost the challenge.

Ryan

Wow. How long has this guy been a Republican? It looks like he came out of the womb with a life goal to take away your healthcare and cut taxes. He is someone that excitedly looks forward to sharing dank memes on Facebook about how socialism is destroying this country. He looks exactly what I imagine every Survivor redditor looks like. I bet they love him. And I bet Ryan thinks Zeke was too obsessed with big moves.

Desi

Oh. Oh, my. In addition to being Female Ken-levels of attractive, Desi looks like she’s done this exact pose for a valedictorian photo or something. She also looks like she’s in good shape (he said, in a Herculean effort of restraint), so maybe she sticks around for a few episodes?

Or maybe she’ll break her wrist in the first challenge and I’ll still talk about her five years later. (What up, Kourtney Moon!)

Mike

This picture is relatable, because Mike seems to be expressing my approximate level of confidence and comfort when someone tells me they want to take a picture of me with my shirt off. (Note: That last sentence only applies when I am sober.)

If Mike lasts until the merge, we’re going to get at least one scene along the way with inspiring music playing in the background as Mike tells us that he came out here and was out of his element and didn’t know if he’d fit in, but he’s really growing confident in himself through this experience.

Then he’ll get voted out.

John
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John

John is the co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. He can get loud too, what the fuck!

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia
John
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295 thoughts on “People’s Survivor Blog- Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers uninformed preview

    1. Andy totally forgot that was a thing that we did. So thank you for the reminder. But also fuck you for making me and the rest of the staff have to do work.

      1. It’s the least I could do. How else are we going to learn that either Lauren or Simone will be the Hustlers Tribes first boot?

  1. Lots of points for totally nailing JP, Simone, and Devon of solely off a picture. Reddit does indeed love Ryan. I think you’ll be proven right on Cole, Lauren, and Ben. (Cole may be the hottest Day 1 male contestant in a long time) There may also be something to your Patrick theory. That said, should have listened to your second thoughts on Ashley.

    1. Ehhh, I don’t think I agree about Ryan. He isn’t hated, but there were a bunch of people that said that they were hoping he will be voted out first basically because he is another Survivor nerd, which was REALLY evident when the preview for the season came out (but overall opinion of him did took a turn for the positive after the cast came out). Mostly Reddit’s favourites have been Chrissy, Simone and Roark.

      1. I saw that too. The traditional turning on the super fan started quite early this year (I still think there’s a large contingent of fans there though)

        1. It does, but a collaborative one. This list would work better with different opinions than just me doing it. People have different tastes.

          1. I get too hung up on Coach and don’t think of it, but yeah, that’s a pretty attractive cast, even if it loses a few pre-merge

          2. Not the highest bar to clear for Coach. Tocantins is somewhere up there but I’m not sure it makes “top five, baby” on the hot list

          3. After painstaking research, here is the list of hottest casts I have complied for ya’ll to criticize:

            1. One World
            2. Micronesia
            3. Triple H (depending on effects of island hot, this one could end up moving)
            4. MvGx
            5. Philippines
            6. Tocantins
            7. SJDS
            8. Cagayan
            9. Panama
            10. China
            Honourable Mention: Amazon

          4. From the ‘men’ perspective Micronesia is sorely lacking. Besides Ozzy and James, the rest aren’t too inspiring.

            With regards to men, there is usually at least 1 or 2 attractive men to be excited about in any season. So, it’s really the seasons with 3 or more that should be acknowledged. Off the top of my head, Cook Islands and Amazon come to mind.

          5. I know Micro may be a controversial ranking, but I find Jason, Mikey B, and Erik all fairly attractive and its women pull it WAY up the rankings.

            I probably did CI a disservice with this list, but its the inverse of most seasons, where the men are generally good looking (except Adam’s stupid face) but the women less so

          6. I’ll give you Jason, but I’m a meh on Mikey B and a nah on Erik. But i’ll give you that it has plenty of attractive women.

            I think between Candice, Sundra, Becky, and Parvati, there is a good enough argument to include CI.

          7. Erik looks better with a better haircut, which is why it’s a shame production made him go back to his Micronesia style for Caramoan. Also kinda a shame he was on Caramoan in the first place, but that’s a different story.

          8. Almost anyone with that shag would look better after a haircut, lol. I took a look and agree, but i’m not suddenly smitten.

          9. Least hot cast: Gabon
            Least hot cast, men: Vanuatu

            I feel a little creepy naming a least hot cast, women, but I definitely have one in mind.

          10. Oh all right: Fiji.

            Melissa McNulty (DNP), Jessica deBen (1st boot), and Michelle Yi (way on the left of the cute/hot spectrum), and that’s really it.

          11. Oh, yeah, that makes sense. My inability to remember most of the women on that cast made me not able to come up with it

          12. I agree but also I can really only contribute to the men side. Not that I can’t appreciate an attractive women, but my eyes are pretty dominantly directed toward the men, and thus I mostly just remember them.

            That all being said, Cook Islands had some very attractive men, so I’ll throw that into the ring.

          13. I think Cambodia is really good on the men’s side and has a little something for everyone. Even Varner had some appeal before the Game Changers incident. Woo and Joe aren’t my type, but Keith is the only real dud.

      1. With regard to men: At first glance I remember being like “Yum” but the more i’ve seen the less i’ve been impressed. Cole is pretty cute, JP is handsome but not really my type. Alan is very attractive, but again not my type. Patrick seems like he could be very attractive or not and I have no idea till the season starts. Some of their original ‘cast revealed’ headshots were more attractive then their beach promo, which is neither here nor there. So, yeah, I really have no idea. But i’m always intrigued to figure out who will develop some island hots.

        1. I always get confused when I see this, because I immediately think of the -zans. It does have a good looking group of women though.

  2. If I didn’t talk to you regularly, I’d be very suspicious of your claim to have not read any of the bios.

    1. I do remember that Alan is a former football player. And even though I wouldn’t have recognized him based on the picture, I do recall the name Alan Ball from college football. I think he played for MSU? I vaguely remember them having guys named Ball and Smoker, while Michigan had a player named Butt. (My memory is devoted to very juvenile things.)

    1. Hmm, I think I have to disagree. In preference, I’d so far go Joe 4>Joe DC (3)>Anglim(2)>Dowdle(1)
      So the opposite. But Joe 3 is a worse player than Joe 2 so that part is accurate.

    2. Pro: In his Josh interview, Joe said that the Kaoh-Rong jury was bitter and didn’t understand how they could vote for Michele.
      Con: He said that the jury should have voted for Tai, not Aubry.

  3. Ok, I did laugh at many of these, and it made me think you’d be good on Wanda Sykes new gameshow Face Value.

    Anyway, I think you’re going to be surprised by Ryan, Roark, Jessica, and Patrick. In other words, my whole team. *glare*

        1. Wait, what? What have I done? How did I miss this?

          This is what I get for not watching the full videos, isn’t it? I’m kinda sick to my stomach now.

          1. One of his pet peeves is “political correctness.” He gets less subtle in other interviews etc though.

          2. Egads! Having a Republican or *shudder* Trump supporter on my team is the last thing I want. Why did I think he was more of a Cochran?

          3. I havent watched his video. Seems like everyone doesnt care for him. Meh. I loved David. I always root for underdogs. Hope he’s not as bad as general opinion seems to be of him.

            Im afraid that John is probably right. He is probably an uncermonius pre merge boot.

          4. Ah, I’m pretty sure, if you watched the video, you’d understand what makes him so unlikeable. Hey, that, sadly, doesn’t mean he won’t go far…but I hope he goes early.

          5. He’s wearing a turtleneck on the island. I know that Production picks your clothes and sometimes assigns players to wear something they’ve never worn before (i.e. Cochran’s sweater-vest), but everything I’ve heard says that Ryan normally wears turtlenecks and it was his choice to wear it on the island.

            This could be the biggest fashion faux-pas with a fatal outcome since Ainsley wore a scarf in the kitchen (let’s see who gets that).

          6. I’ll go out and find you a bunch of English professors with self-published poetry collections, but, once I do, they’re your problem.

          7. And yet I, myself, a proud Democratic Socialist wore turtlenecks.

            You, sir, are not a man of your word. *glare*

          8. Sorry, but Jeff told me Worlds Apart was an amazing season before it started and I believed him without proof. Never again.

          9. I think Probst has said something about it being Ryan’s goal to be the first Survivor in a turtleneck

          10. I didn’t pick up on any Republicaness. This is what John guessed and Emma seems to have seen/read. I find it all a bit surprising.

          11. I didn’t either. But Itry to stay as apolitical about players as possible. We’ve had great and horrible players from both sides of the aisle.

      1. I’m trying to come up with a clever portmanteau that combines ‘radar’ with any word for Republicanism or conservatism or teabaggism, but I’m drawing a blank. Anyway, whatever it is, John has it. Unless he just saw some white dude, who looks like he’s still in high school, and decided to play the odds.

        (Edit: Does Tea-dar work? I don’t know. I’m on the fence.)

    1. In Roark’s bio, it just sounded like she hates everyone and everything… which actually kind of made me like her.

      1. She probably grew up with people saying “Hey, Mr. Roark!” and “Welcome to Fantasy Island!” to her. That would make me hate everyone.

          1. Sigh. Do I have to stop before I post every comment here and ask myself “Will this offend any of the young people on this site?

      2. My exact notes were “Living internet meme” and “Almost certainly the PRP Commenters favorite cast member”.

      3. She’s Corinne’s intern.

        That’s not a joke. She’s Corinne’s intern and Corinne helped her get on the show.

        1. Now I like her considerably less. Maybe she secretly hates Corinne, and just used her to get on Survivor. Then I could like her more again.

        2. Corinne says she helped Roark re-shoot her application video. She had already been accepted but Lynn told her that her video wasn’t very good and they needed something different. Corinne says she had already been accepted before she helped her, so Roark getting on the show had nothing to do with her.

          1. Roark wasn’t accepted yet. What Corinne said was that casting saw promise in her but her video wasn’t compelling enough to present to production. Corinne gave her something compelling enough. So she’s at least the proximate cause to Roark getting cast.

          2. Pretty sure that Corinne said “No, I didn’t get her accepted, I just helped her reshoot her video, she was already accepted.” Because Rob and Nicole both start saying “Oh, you got her on the show” and Corinne quickly shoots that down.

          3. That’s not how casting works. If you’re already cast, they wouldn’t need another video. She was probably already in talks with casting. They have a lot of rounds.

          4. Right, but Roark was already well into the casting process before she talked to Corinne. She didn’t get help from Corinne before approaching CBS.

    2. I originally read that as “Wanda Shirk’s new gameshow.”

      That would be a very different game show.

      1. Hahaha, I wonder what the rules of that one would be. Not getting there in time? Making sure other people do your job for you?

  4. Brilliant write up, and following my own analysis of the CBS bios I think this is quite possibly as good of a summary as you’d want. These may as well have been the bios, actually–we all know what an eye-opener the first ep inevitably is, right.

    In my case, for the first time ever I looked at tribe assignments and then tried to imagine where things might go from there. A swing for the fences, I figured, because huge points would result if I somehow guessed an alliance (goat and all) that persevered together long into the season.

    Except there are some bios/photos that really turned me off or seemed hopeless, and then I actually began skewing my analysis with the logic of, “I am usually wrong and so if I think this player will do badly, that’s actually a Positive” and in the end my group, despite being one of the earliest assembled in the draft, doesn’t really feel like it’s mine, they aren’t the ones I would really bet on. And so I’ve got a strange sort of optimism going on, here…

  5. Thanks for this – I haven’t been following any of the preseason stuff so I’m glad to have judgmental first impressions as the hype. I am really hoping that one of the imagined crystal goddesses are on the Healers tribe and provide some ‘I’m sure this stone will heal that suppurating wound’ goodies.

    I had no idea who to pick for a pick-4 team, so I’ve selected the 4 least popular players based on your stats as a) everybody loves an underdog b) if any of them do actually do well there;ll be less competition for gloating and c) I don’t have the check the spreadsheet this way.

    So go Ashley, Lauren, Katrina and Simone: prove the internet wrong!

    1. Psst, I don’t actually think there are any crystal loving types, but I could be wrong. I also really liked Katrina’s real bio. So, who knows?

      1. I am mostly just hoping for whatever contrived Healer confessionals there are and like the idea of the Healers being called in to some Medivac type situation and being all, er this isn’t actually our job…

    2. I love the idea of choosing the 4 least popular players for the pick 4, and may have to steal it next season if my actual picks go the way they usually do for me, haha

  6. In the vein of consuming the bare minimum of preseason coverage, this just got posted.

    https://youtu.be/h0PFKHKE3vY

    It’s a “cast talks first impressions of each other” thing that I think Wigler’s been doing (or maybe one of the Holmeses, who the hell knows), but I just want to talk about the title. When is fucking President actively modeling and encouraging divisive, bigoted shithead-ery, the phrase “speaking out” makes me think this is going to be a much different video than what it actually was.

      1. That one and Cole+Mike surprised me. If the four of them gelled as an alliance, that’d make the Healers my favorite yellow tribe in all of Survivor.

        Also, those are some rankings that are begging to be made, right? Best tribes by color?

        1. Mike might be my least favorite tbh, but I still like him. Healers are already the standouts so I hope they’re the Tandang of the season (who have to be fairly high on this yellow tribes ranking, right?)

          1. I’m not super excited by Mike, but I definitely like him more than Ryan or Joe or Simone. Outside of that, he’s just sort of there.

            I’d enjoy the Healers having Tandang-like success but not turning out like Tandang. Because by the end of it, you’re only rooting for Lisa. Also, I’m rating these tribes by how much I like them if that wasn’t clear. So Tandang is actually quite low. And now that I’ve taken two minutes to actually look into this, I can say definitively, without watching a minute of them as a tribe, the Healers are my favorite yellow tribe.

          2. True, Tandang sucks in that sense as much as I may like Pete and Abi Maria off the show. I guess that also puts Healers over Zhan Hu and Yasur, two of my favorite tribes from the show.

            Why are you so low on Joe? It seems to be a common sentiment, especially on r/survivor, but he’s one of my favorites going in. Admittedly, attraction plays a large part in that…

          3. Maximillius Jetterson, in this season of all seasons, JOE is the one you’re attracted to? And NOT Jay Byars? There is absolutely positively no accounting for taste.

            I watched Joe’s intro video, and he seemed like an asshat. But I’d definitely be welcome to my mind being changed on that.

          4. It’s his vibe, not just his looks! But his looks aren’t bad either. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YA

            Aras, Jeremy, Tom Westman (just rattling off names to try to redeem myself…)

    1. Ugh, wish I hadnt watched. This cast seems super-annoying. Maybe it was just the ridiculous music in the video. Was this season cast by Big Brother? Hopefully everyone speaking in that video is out early.

    2. If the people who were featured prominently in that video are the stars of the season, I will be pretty happy, and not just because Cole was one of those people

  7. Has anyone else got the impression based on the previews that CBS is not high on this season? If you haven’t seen them, most (if not all) of the previews are Probst-heavy in a way that I have not seen. Most have a few castaways talking about why they will win with a bit Probst scattered in.

    1. Hype/season quality “spoilers” based on Probst talk: He says the last third of the season is really great and that the season builds as it goes. I’m hoping they’ll do a lot of work building up the characters and narratives to make up for a possible lack of excitement in the early going, and we’ll end up seeing a season that is better on TV than it felt for Jeff on the island.

        1. MvGX did have some tribal council excitement in the pre-merge, but there were other things that kept it down like theme pushing, a dull Gen X tribe, and an impossible to ignore pattern in the boot. I’m thinking like Panama with a more satisfying conclusion? Or a San Juan Del Sur where we have more hope throughout the season?

      1. Jeff Probst is usually a terrible judge of the season’s quality. I never trust his assessment of anything Survivor related.

      2. Remember how Jeff Probst said that Game Changers started with the big guns circling each other like sharks looking for blood, but once they started to strike it got really exciting?

        And then how that was literally the opposite of what happened?

        1. My favorite thing about that is that, the day Probst made that analogy to the plot of the movie Jaws, Dalton Ross wrote an article where he explained that based on Probst’s description, the plot he was actually describing was Jaws 2

          As someone who actually sat through Jaws 2, I enjoyed that reference.

          1. But the second of those was less “sharks circling each other” and more “two sharks see each other and simultaneously think ‘shit, is that thing a shark, too? Imma see was happens when I fucking bite it.'”

          2. For Deep Blue Sea to match with Game Changers it would have had to end with Michael Rappaport being the only survivor instead of LL Cool J.

          1. I didn’t put it together in time to do a preseason draft, but I came up with a fallback plan that I’m gonna lay out in the liveblog comments tonight. Which I’m actually kind of happy about because part of me wanted people to draft after having actually seen the cast’s behavior. I know that’s how a lot of Bachelor league’s do their draft.

          2. Oh, yay! I was wondering about this too. Just a reminder that I’m on the West Coast so I’m wayyyyy late to discussions on show night to avoid spoilers.

          3. Yeah, DR immediately had an article where he described the plots of Jaws 1 and 2 and showed how Jeff was describing Jaws 2

    2. This kind of shocks me. Because of … something… I’m pretty sure is going to happen from reading possibly way too much into pre-game press, which I would think would make Probst over the moon about a season, but I agree with you, he’s no hyping this season up. But he also loved WA so who the hell knows

      (I know other people have come to the same conclusion as me but I don’t want to say it here, it feels too spoilery)

      1. I’m really curious about this – can you give me a hint or point me in the direction of more info on this? I’m not worried about general spoilers as long as they don’t spoil the entire boot order or the winner/runners up.

        1. I may be completely wrong about this, and I also don’t want to unintentionally spoil about something that may very well be overreaction, but if I had to bet, it was somethong which was talked about during the GC finale. I’m not spoiled so it very well may not happen, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

        2. Below is me making guesses on what would be a pretty big deal process wise for the season based on pre-game stuff, if that’s something people don’t want to see:

          I’m combining the fact that Jeff has talked about how exciting the end game/finale is with the fact that they revealed the FTC tie-break process at the end of Game Changers and thinking we are going to get the long-awaited tie at FTC

    3. I’m worried about this season. Hype seems really low among fans, podcasters and even the network. I would say maybe we’re just burned out from the hype machine of last spring, and the subsequent middling season that resulted, but I can’t shake the feeling that this cast seems kind of boring. No one really pops, plus the theme and twists aren’t really doing much for me :/
      At this point I’m hoping that my low expectations will mean that anything above a bottom 3rd season will render me pleasantly surprised, but……..we’ll see.

      1. The show starts tomorrow and I have seen *one* TV commercial in the past few weeks for Survivor. And it only showed Jeff, not the cast. In just the last 2 seasons, the weeks before the season started, I saw many commercials with player soundbites, hype about the theme, etc.

        Has anyone else seen any TV commercials for this season?

          1. You mean you weren’t frantically DVR’ing the premiers of Big Bang Theory 2: Portrait of the Zodiac Killer as a Young Man or House, But if House Had Autism?

        1. Yeah, sorry I cant remember time of day–prolly during Price is Right–but I am seeing ads daily the past few days, including footage of the game starting, players scrambling.

        2. I got you all covered because my mom DVRs her soaps, Big Brother, and the Big Bang Theory. I have seen 1 preview multiple times which Probst explaining the concept over the content that @iand1:disqus described. No real dialogue from the castaways was present.

          1. I saw another commercial last night (but it was stuff I had recorded from last Thursday). It started with the same Jeff-wrapped-in-vines (who approved that image?) but then included shots/sound bites of some players and theme description. Glad that less-than one week before the premiere, they’re finally advertising in prime time.

          2. You should get the Global TV feed. Everything’s better in Canada!

            In fact, I was surprised to hear in the Corinne podcast that she said she had to watch the bios from Global instead of CBS.

        1. It’s really weird to see the ennui on here. Those of us who are watching Australian Survivor are running around like Kimmy Schmidt on a Pixy Stix bender.

          1. The easiest way is probably Dailymotion. Lots of users have uploaded episodes, but the following user has them all pretty well organized (note the spaces):

            Survivor New Zealand ( 2017 )

            Warning: the season is long: 26 episodes (episode 21 is the most recent one) and each episode averages 60 minutes. Here’s a link to part 1 of episode 1. Watch the marooning and I guarantee you you’ll be hooked, and I promise you it only gets better from there.

            http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vc6p6

          2. I think I’m going to hold onto this one until the winter off-season. Everything I hear about this season of Australian Survivor makes it sound like the best season of any version in years, but knowing that it’ll take 60 collective hours (is that even close?) to watch is really damping my motivation to watch it all.

          3. Not sure how you got up to 60 hours – average 60 minute episodes with 26 all up, so it’s only about 26 hours, more or less. Still seems like a lot of time to put in, but there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy every single episode so I’d say it’s worth it for sure. None of the episodes have really felt like slow/filler eps to me. I’d say you should at least give it a shot and if you don’t like it after a few episodes you can just stop. I’m definitely on the bandwagon that thinks it’s one of the best seasons in years!

          4. I don’t recall volunteering to do it. I remember saying you should just get someone to do it for you. Which you did. So you’re welcome.

          5. And my name’s four letters! You guys don’t have any other notable characteristics, right?

            (And yeah, yeah, Taako has five letters, yada yada yada)

          6. 60 hours was a joke, though clearly a poorly-worded one.

            I’m almost positive I’d burn right through it if its as good as people say.

          7. Ahh dang, now I look like the fool. I even sassed you. I can see it now.

            Yeah, you definitely would. I imagine it makes for a good binge.

  8. GODDAMMIT, John showing the guest posters of this summer how its done. I want a rewrite of my post. Many bows for this. (Can I get a few free fantasy points for brownnosing?)

    “What would Cochran look like if he’d become best bros with Eddie after Caramoan and spent all his time hitting the gym and growing mediocre facial hair?”
    Did this motherfucker get lost on his way to Winterfell?
    Roark is probably a barista who intentionally spells your name wrong on your coffee cup to let you know how it feels to have people fuck up your name.
    It looks like he came out of the womb with a life goal to take away your healthcare and cut taxes.”

    So much win!

    Also: TWO DAYS, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!

          1. As a Chicagoan, the joke that our City is an oasis of civilization surrounded by corn, prairie, and milking cows has never felt more real. After all, the only reason Illinois stayed blue is because it contains the third largest metro region.

          2. I just drove through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and part of Wisconsin over the past week or so. So much corn and cows.

          3. After college I drove to Las Vegas and back with my best friends. The worst leg was Chicago to Colorado. Everything is flat and boring and Nebraska is the worst. Just endless flat fields. Sorry Nebraska, but no thank you.

            ironically, I fly there next week for work…

          4. Have you been to Nebraska? There are great parts of Arizona (Sedona, Tucson, Grand Canyon) and Texas (Austin, San Antonio). Florida I won’t see until next year…and yet, I am still more interested than the deadly boring neverending plains of Nebraska.

          5. We’re coming in Nov. next yr for my guy’s 50th and going to the Kennedy Space Center. You know, if it’s still there.

            I was already scared of Florida, but now I’m terrified. The tourist board should hire you. *wink*

          6. Keep in mind that November isn’t fall here. It’ll likely be 85-90 degrees, and the air is so humid you can practically drink it. Then it’ll cool down to a brisk 83 degrees at night.

            Pack shorts and flip flops.

          1. This is unrelated, but I just changed my Pick 4 Team. I followed your instructions and used the same name and now both of my teams are on the sheet with the name Diego Armando highlighted in red. Is this normal?

  9. It could only last 1 episode, but the thing I am most excited to see play out is the pre-existing relationship between Ali and Patrick. Does it affect either of their strategies? Does Patrick even remember her? (she remembers him, but he doesn’t mention it at all in his interviews) Or is it a complete non-factor?

    Outside of returning players seasons, this has never happened before. There was one season (Amazon?) where two players realized they had a friend in common, but never any new players who had met before.

    1. It was Gabon. Crystal’s cousin was a friend of Marcus, and because of that Marcus wanted to work with her, but Crystal didn’t.

      1. Yes, that’s it. I knew it was a season I had rewatched recently, and thanks to this site, I suffered through rewatched that season recently.

      1. Hmm, I don’t remember this at all. That sounds like the sort of thing that would be in their Survivor wiki pages, but I don’t see it.

        You’re right – she mentions it in a Survivor Sucks interview. She says “One thing that nobody knew …”, not sure if she’s talking about just the other players or the viewers. Was this mentioned on the show?

        1. Not mentioned on the show. You’re right about Amazon too, Rob C has talked about two of the men realizing they had a mutual friend, but that’s not mentioned on the show either. I kind of suspect this one won’t be mentioned on the show unless they have to.

          1. Considering how Ali talks about it in Josh’s interview, and the fact that they’ll be on the same tribe, I’d find it odd if the show didn’t include it.

          2. Yeah. I’ve gotten the feeling that if their tribe loses first immunity, it could be a significant factor going into tribal. I imagine it will only come up if it leads to one of them getting the boot.

          3. She says in her interview that it will affect whether she aligns with him or not, and she would even tell other people “Hey, I know this guy from before the game, would it help us out if I align with him so we could use his vote?”

            Plus this could just be a one-sided remembrance. Patrick gave no indication in his interviews with Josh that he recognized Ali.

          4. Yeah. Though personally I think it would be better if she gets rid of him for that reason. If she starts telling people she knew him from before the game, that will put a target on both of their backs, just like with the KR4 in Game Changers. Particularly because the angle of “You don’t remember me but we went to school together” isn’t a very inspiring start to building an alliance.

          5. True, true. I think it would be funnier if he didn’t remember her but thought she looked familiar, so it was like a bomb counting down to zero, where Ali kept wondering “Is today the day he remembers who I am and blows up my game?” Plus, she may not be able to get the vote onto him without drawing suspicion.

            Ali: I think we should vote out Patrick.
            Other player: Why? He’s done nothing wrong and is good in challenges. Why would you want to get rid of him?
            Ali: Um … hey look over there! (drops smoke bomb, runs away)

        1. It was a joke about how Jon supposedly missed out on the Second Chances vote because he didn’t answer his phone.

          1. Plus they left him a voicemail to call them back but he didn’t check it for about a week and by then it was too late.

            I wonder if Jeremy would have pulled an RC and refused to be eligible for Second Chances if Jon was in the running too. There is precedent – the top 3 for seasons 28-29 Mr. Survivor were Tony, Spencer and Jeremy, with Jon Misch at #4. Tony was reluctant to participate, and Jeremy let it be known that if Tony declined and Jon took his place, Jeremy would have declined too because apparently he didn’t want to go through the completion with Jon.

          2. She said she was already in the process, which means casting was talking to her and maybe inviting her to LA. So it wasn’t like with Stephen and Liz where he told them about his friend who would be great for the show, but Corinne did assist in making her castable.

          3. I think you meant to post this in another thread.

            But I’m just telling you what Corinne says. When I finish that podcast (racing to finish all Survivor-related podcasts before tonight) I’ll skim through it to find where she talks about it, but Corinne specifically says that she didn’t help Roark get on the show, she had already been accepted when Corinne got involved.

          4. I listened to it to, and I stand by that Corinne said the thing I said she said, which is that Roark was in casting but not yet cast.

          5. Corinne: “I want it to be clear. Roark is an excellent character who got cast herself, right? But I helped her present herself in the best way.”

          6. Right, but she was already in the casting progress. Corinne didn’t make that happen. She helped her after she had already passed the first stage of casting.

  10. Can I just say this is the dumbest theme of all time. What ever happened to randomly choosing 2 tribes and just naming it Survivor: Location? These ridiculous themes are killing me.

    Ryan seems like a Todd Herzog-type character: mischievous but not conniving, and hopefully entertaining.
    I have high hopes for Patrick, cause he looks like a guy who was cast for his gameplay potential and just happened to be muscular, unlike the other guys who seem to be cast for physique.
    Roark is apparently a super fan who loves RHAP, so she’ll either be great or awful.
    Chrissy seems like a first boot to me, but Jeff seems to love her which makes me think she sticks around awhile.

    Everybody else seems totally meh. I’m hoping this season exceeds my expectations

    1. Well, they can’t do names with locations now when they are staying in Fiji for quite a while. And personally, themes are used in a narrative pretty much always till the swap, and whether season is good or bad comes down to the cast and not the theme (for example, Cook Islands had a terrible theme, but managed to surpass expectations). And themed seasons were used already back in season 6, and the only difference is that they are used in season names.

      1. The themes used to make sense though. Heroes, Healers, Hustlers is a stretch. Its basically Sporty, smart, and leftover. It would be nice to have a more vague theme like “pirates” where they can work the theme into everything but its not overdone

        1. Yep, there’s was nobody who obnoxiously overdid it on the ‘pirate’ themed season. And that person definitely didn’t go on to obnoxiously overdo it with the ‘heroes’ theme.

          1. I do appreciate the sentiment you’re trying to express, but, as dumb as I think HHH is as an idea, I have a hard time worrying too much about themes before the season even starts. If the cast is good, they’ll rise above a dumb idea, and, if the cast is bad, the theme won’t be the reason the season sucks.

          2. Maybe I just don’t like 3 tribes. One tribe always gets decimated. It was wildly entertaining in Philippines and Cagayan, but Koah Rong soured me to it cause watching Brawn all the time was a drag

          3. I’m pretty sure the three-tribe format was invented to counteract the Day 1 alliances that just plowed through Redemption Island, One World, and South Pacific. But in the current trust-cluster era of Survivor that may no longer be a problem. Nobody’s content to just be along for the ride as No. 6 or No. 7 in an alliance anymore. Three tribes weren’t needed in MvGX and they certainly weren’t needed in Game Changers.

        1. The themed seasons need a sub-title for after the swap when the theme is irrelevant.

          Like in the most recent season, Survivor: Mamanuca Islands.

  11. I’ll be trapped at LAX for a Red Eye to Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday night, so if no one could post spoilers until,possible, next Wednesday, that would be super great! Thanks!

      1. Really? I was jokingly serious. I had only sports to look at, and decided to cheat to see who got kicked off. #NotMyCastaway

        1. They had a game where they read 3 actual posts from the Survivor Facebook page and 1 fake one, and they to guess which was the fake one. One of them was basically “I’m travelling right now and won’t be back until the first week of October so please don’t post anything about the first episode until I’m back.”

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