Purple Rock Podcast’s Survivor Gabon Watch-Along: Episodes 4-6

It’s time for Survivor Watch-Along, in which we watch a previous season of the show and invite you all to watch along with us. As promised on the podcast, we’re starting with Survivor: Gabon.

Gabon- Susie tells Corinne she will vote her out

For this Watch-Along, the three of us that haven’t seen Gabon– John, Mark, and Matt- will be watching the season and discussing three episodes here each week. Advance warning: Even though we haven’t seen the season yet, we are aware who wins and we may accidentally spoil that at some point (and commenters may as well). With that out of the way, rejoin us on our descent into Survivor madness.

John: For episode 4, let’s start with something Mark will enjoy: we got an extended scene of a bunch of people staring at an elephant.

Matt:  That was one of the few times I actually felt like Survivor was in a foreign country instead of a random beach somewhere.

Mark:  This was my favorite scene from the episode. I love when the cast interacts with the environment. And it wasn’t an Africa situation where it stormed into camp.

They were kinda stupid for getting on the boat and gawking though.

Gabon- Matty and Ace on a boat watching elephant
We came this close to a medevac by tusking.

John:  Are they not aware that elephants can swim?

Matt:  It’s not so much swim as wade out ankle deep.

Mark:  Especially in a season as boring and drab and plain, it was good to get a pop of why production liked this location.

Matt:  Also were they looking at a baby, and was there likely a larger mother nearby?

John:  What am I, a zoologist?

Matt:  I thought you were a zoologist accountant?

John:  I only minored in zoology.

Mark:  I think it was a baby/teen.

John:  The Gabonian equivalent of a Millennial.

Mark:  So it wins season 33 right?

Survivor: People who watched "Friends" vs. Younger people who watched "Friends"
Survivor: People who watched “Friends” on NBC vs. People who watched “Friends” on Netflix

John:  I’m already so disgusted with the season 33 theme. And we’re 4 months away.

Matt:  Let us never discuss it again

John:  Okay, let’s talk about Fruit Ninja! Or, as episode 4 called it, the reward challenge. I like how even in a reward challenge that they seem to be dominating, Fang cannot win.

Mark:  Hey now, Ace was doing a really good job until they hacked the challenge. No pun intended.

Gabon- fruit ninja challenge
“Hey, for the next challenge, let’s make the starving people destroy food.”

John:  And Sugar gets sent to the Sugar Shack (this episode is the first time we hear that name for it) for- as Dan puts it- “No strategy, purely comedy”.

Matt:  I like how robot lawyer tries to make it into a joke, but doesn’t understand cadence and so everyone thought he was serious. I swear half the people out there thought “okay, so yeah they are doing this because they think it is funny. And he actually did have a good clarifying strategic reason why to send Sugar.

John:  Yes. But also, it’s kinda funny.

Matt:  This is how you know Dan is a lawyer by the way, when he tells the truth no one believes him.

And I agree sending Sugar there repeatedly is kinda funny, and it is funny that she is eating better there than the rest of her tribe is back at camp.

Mark:  But if they keep doing this, but never trying to flush her idol…what’s the point?

Matt:  For the other tribe?  The point is that they are keeping the idol in the hands of the weakest challenge person on the other tribe. It means that tribe has to keep her around giving them a huge edge every time they go to a challenge. It is actually really good strategy.

John:  Kota just wants to manage risk. It’s one of the few smart things the players this season have done.

Mark:  Ah, okay, never thought of it like that.

Matt:  Yeah, plus this way they don’t have to guess where the idol is. If anyone has it, Sugar has it.

John:  Exactly. It works on several levels.

Matt:  As John said, it is the most strategic decision anyone has made all season.

John:  Dan, by the way, was really pushing hard for that “us seven to the end!” alliance.

Matt:  Dan’s desperation is obvious. I think I was saying “if Kota goes to tribal, he is so obviously first out”.

John:  It’s like Charlie’s thirst for Marcus. He’s just putting it all out there.

Marcus and Charlie
Judging by websites I’ve seen, Charlie wasn’t the only one shipping Marcus and Charlie.

Mark:  I doubt that group can hold.

John:  Meanwhile, over at Loser Tribe, GC is unraveling. More so than he already had.

Matt:  I like that he just wandered away. Like good god, what would they have done if he didn’t come back in time?

Mark:  Did they ever actually show him being found? I feel like they just cut away while a producer yelled at him to show up.

Matt:  Yeah, I imagine the same. A producer basically forced him to go back.

Mark:  So…did the edit play into stereotypes or did he?

Matt:  Ugh both? But probably the latter.

I think probably the most accurate thing is that casting played into stereotypes. Casting is the one seeking a certain type of Black Male to fill a spot and often resorts to a GC sort of person to fit a role in their cast. Then when everyone around them is pretty damn different they have a harder time relating to anyone.

John:  Even Crystal has turned on him at this point, though. EAT YO RICE!

Eat. Yo. Rice.
Eat. Yo. Rice.

Matt:  True, so there is an aspect there that is just GC being terrible. But I think casting was seeking a certain type of person and GC fit that type pretty well.

John:  I did enjoy that when they told GC he was going to miss the immunity challenge, he said “Would’ve been cool with me.”

At that point, the writing on the wall could not be clearer.

Mark:  Can we talk about how Crystal and Kenny found Sugar’s idol and she doesn’t seem to care?

Matt:  I bet that was some switched footage. Like I think that happened earlier.

John:  But it allowed them to do the perfect transition from the scene of Sugar saying it’s in her bag and adding “they aren’t looking in my bag” to watching Crystal looking through her bag.

Matt:  Also let’s be honest, they needed some drama in the vote even though this was an obvious vote out GC moment.

John:  Well what the episode lacked in drama it made up for in comedy.

The immunity challenge was Human Plinko, which looked incredibly fun. And somehow, Ace got fooled by Randy yelling out commands to him. Did he really think Randy was Sugar?

Gabon- immunity challenge plinko Dan Ace Randy
“Sugar? Is that you? Why do you sound like you hate everything?

Matt:  They sound so damn similar!

I thought that immunity challenge was fun, but (and this is weird to say) it seemed more like a reward challenge.

Mark:  With the scoring aspect? They did that a lot more back then. If nothing else, I’m enjoying this season like a strategic sitcom.

Matt:  More like the complete lack of involvement of most of the tribe.

John:  But it also seemed really cool, both to play and to watch.

Mark:  There’s only so much you can do in that environment.

Matt:  Also as to the sitcom point: this season has the same rhythms as Silicon Valley. Moment of success devastatingly snatched away.

John:  Who is the Bachman?

Matt:  Randy.

John:  Agreed.

Matt:  And I guess Bob is the Big Head.

John:  And Marcus is Richard. But Handsome Richard.

Matt:  Sure. Speaking of Marcus: dude really is the golden boy. He games the reward challenge; he has his tribe on lockdown; he really can’t do any wrong. I am interested to see how he blows it, but I think it will simply be that everyone sees the obvious.

Gabon- Marcus
Fine. Here. Enjoy it.

John:  Right. So far, he seems to be one of the few that grasps how to play the game. Which is amazing, because this is season 17.

Mark:  Which makes this fun to watch. I’m bored, but I’m entertained, so at worst it’s just a season of reality TV.

Also, side note: Jeff is editorializing a LOT on the Previously segments. He basically said one tribe was stupid.

Matt:  I noticed that too, he ran down Fang so hard in that.

John:  Jeff is treating them with outright disdain.

Matt:  It was glorious.

John:  And has been since episode 2 I think.

Matt:  They had that one episode of unexpected success, but otherwise this tribe is like a Palau-level loser

John:  But speaking of not knowing how to play the game, this group gets a perfect opportunity to blindside Sugar and take out the idol here. And instead, they vote out GC. Though in their defense, I can see the logic behind voting out GC anyway. Because if he was miserable already, imagine how he’ll be after you forced him to stay for three more days.

Mark:  Yeah, as frustrated as I was during the vote, you can’t really help if he wants to go. Better than him quitting after the vote.

John:  One notable thing about that tribal council: Probst saying to Sugar, “Right on cue, Sugar, you’re crying.” Sugar cries a lot, you guys.

Matt:  I think she has a pair of tweezers in her pocket

John:  Episode five features a moment that kinda summarizes the Survivor skill levels of this cast: Ace tells Sugar that everyone knows she has the idol. Her response? “Oh, okay, should I give it to you?”

Gabon- Ace and Sugar
“They know I have it, but if you had it, that changes everything!”

Matt:  Yeah, I failed to see any logic in her giving the idol to Ace.

John:  That was so maddening. How does the power of the idol change at all based on Ace holding on to it?

Mark:  As decent as she’s played elsewhere given her circumstances, this baffled me. They could do a Scot/Jason thing and use it on each other.

John:  But using it on each other does not require Sugar giving the idol to Ace right now.

Matt:  They still have enough to split the vote at this point right? Because in episode 5 there are 6 people left. So go 2-2-2 and idol is useless.

John:  Matt. Come on.

Matt:  Right right right. Of course these dummies wouldn’t know that. Literally no one on this cast has ever seen Survivor before. Splitting the vote?  What is that?

Mark:  And would Matty have even done that to Ace given their alliance?

John:  No! This is what I’m saying: Sugar giving Ace the idol offers absolutely no benefit to anyone but Ace.

Also, based on previous confessionals, I’m pretty sure that Crystal doesn’t really know how an idol works anyway.

Matt:  Crystal definitely doesn’t know how an idol works.

Mark:  She must think it’s a gold medal.

John:  Well, it is, in that it’s being taken away from someone. Something that Crystal has experience with.

Anyway, we get to the reward challenge, and Randy sees that GC is now gone. Randy’s reaction? A Tiger Woods-esque fist pump. And after Fang loses the challenge because Fang gonna Fang, Crystal breaks down and cries. Randy’s reaction? “Wah wah wah.” Randy is dialing up the troll game.

Gabon- Randy says wah wah about Crystal
“You think you have it rough? This pastry is undercooked!”

Mark:  Again, Randy is the season MVP. I think he gave a thumbs up to the GC vote, too. Randy’s best quote: “More than winning, I enjoy watching them lose.” So yes, his troll game is A+.

John:  Is anyone else in the running right now?

Mark:  Based on that reward challenge, no one in Fang is in the running.

John:  But the trolling doesn’t stop there! Back at camp, everyone is pissed at Dan for being such a food hog. And Randy, who once served as the Food Hitler of the Fang tribe, starts encouraging Dan to eat more of the reward.

Mark:  Does he think he signed up for Real Housedads of Africa?

Matt:  Randy is so good. Also clueless lawyer Dan is so damn clueless.

John:  So clueless. Has that guy interacted with humans before?

Matt:  I loved Marcus’ reaction to him. Marcus is like “sigh ok we are doing this? ok we are doing this”

Mark:  Matt, please give your pro lawyer opinion of the guy.

Matt:  Dan is obviously a transactional or tax lawyer. Also, of the lawyers I know he is still probably not in the bottom 25% in terms of social skills.

Gabon- Dan vaguely confused
Hey guys, do you like…stuff?

John:  If he were on the Purple Rock staff, he’d probably still be right around the median in terms of social skills. But we would never have him on the staff. He’s too needy. We don’t like people with emotions around here.

Matt:  Someone wasn’t loved as a child.

Mark:  That’s why we have Emma.

Matt:  Emma wasn’t loved as a child?

John:   Emma doesn’t have emotions?

Mark:  Only Andy’s kids-related ones.

John:  On the topic of emotions, though: Crystal’s explanations for her crying were top notch.

“We all get depressed. It’s just that mine come out through my eyes.”

Gabon- Crystal crying
Crystal’s depression responds to an order to evacuate via her tear ducts.

Unlike Dan, I think Crystal could fit in on the Purple Rock staff. She’s so confused by having displayed emotion that she has to rationalize it to everyone else. And collectively, we have as many gold medals as she does. So we have something in common.

Mark:  I have Reddit Gold. Does that count?

Matt:  And then she argues a separate point from the one someone was making by setting up a strawman to knock down. So yeah ,she could definitely fit in with certain people here. (I learned subtweeting at the Lebron school).

John:  I don’t think we need another one of those here.

Mark:  Plus, Crystal used to be good at running but sucks now, so she can also fit in with a third person here.

John:  Burnt.

Anyway, Crystal wasn’t the only one getting all weepy and explaining it. Sugar’s default is weepy, so of course we saw her crying again. And her explanation is that she felt guilty that her tribe was starving and she was relaxing in a hammock and eating well.

Mark:  Even Probst is tiring of it.

Matt:  I imagine a lot more of it is happening than we are seeing

John:  Continuing the theme of evaluating Purple Rock staff-worthiness: Sugar is a “HELL NO”.

Gabon- Sugar apologizing
She looks heartbroken that we passed on her.

Mark:  Agreed. I wouldn’t move to Wisconsin for her.

Matt:  Definitely not

John:  But for a tribe that’s not eating, Fang actually does remarkably well at the immunity challenge, which involves a whole lot of running, climbing, and crawling.

Matt:  Well isn’t most of that Kenny and Matty. They made up a ton of time.

Mark:  I was very impressed by their performance. And by “their” I mean Kenny and Matty. They almost won until Ace fucked it up.

John:  Yes, but there are brief glimpses of competence at Fang here! I mean, they still lose. Because they’re still Fang.

Gabon- flag building challenge
Pictured: Winners.

Matt:  Crystal made a good point “why are we keeping Ace around by saying he is good at challenges when we haven’t won since he got here”.

John:  That wasn’t even her only good point! She also recognized that Matty was so willingly giving up information and power to Ace, but getting nothing in return. Then Kenny finds out Sugar gave her idol to Ace, and Kenny’s response is essentially, “Are you an idiot?” It’s like they’re learning!

Matt:  The start of Kenny’s sales pitch to get Sugar to side with him.

Maybe it is like the pick-up artist? By negging Sugar at the beginning his later praise opened her up to his strategic praise.

Mark:  Who knew Kenny would float from girl to to girl with his charms?

John:  I’m pretty sure Kenny floats from girl to girl out of rejection from the previous girl. But sure.

Mark:  He and Michelle were friends! Kelly got voted out!

Gabon- Kelly voted out
Oh right, Kelly got voted out. r.obbed g.oddess.

More like rejection from the other guys. So I can sympathize.

Matt:  And yet… I think Kenny is the power player on that tribe. Again though… lack of competition

John:  Yeah, power player on that tribe is not exactly a high bar.

Mark:  He is one of my Ep 6 MVPs.

John:  Well episode 6 starts with Crystal spilling rice. EAT YO DIRTY RICE!

Mark:  Is that a New Orleans joke?

John:  No. But because that tribe is terrible at everything, including rationing, they basically have no food left.

Matt:  That seems a holdover from the Dan days

John:  Oh, that’s a good point! Dan was there for a week. He probably ate three weeks’ worth of rice in that time.

Mark:  They have food left! …For a week.

Matt:  I think Dan is the walking disaster going tribe to tribe eating everyone out of rice and home.

Also GC. When Randy brought up the rationing in like Episode 2 or 3 GC and Dan were just like… you crazy dude.

John:  Right. Randy the Food Hitler! Anyway, the starving Fang once again loses a reward challenge. I feel like this should just be auto-text at this point that I insert into every episode discussion.

Matt:  It should! When you consider the total number of reward challenges and immunity challenges they are one of the incompetent tribes ever

Mark:  That reward was a pretty cool locale, though.

John:  This time, the challenge was keep-away. A) That’s not a very creative challenge, and B) Sugar, the most well-fed of the Fang tribe, just doesn’t even try.

Mark:  The sad thing is, I think she IS trying.

John:  Well you know what her trying got her? Yet another trip to Exile Island. At this point, is she even really playing Survivor? It’s more that she’s Survivor-adjacent.

Gabon- Sugar at exile Sugar shack
People are playing Survivor about a mile away from here.

Mark:  Are they going to do Exile after the merge or just say “screw it”? Because it really is just a mini-Ponderosa at this point.

John:  I hadn’t even thought of that. It would be pretty funny if even post-merge they just kept sending her there and everyone kinda forgets she’s still in the game.

Matt:  Do they have idols that aren’t on Exile in this era of Survivor?

John:  It seems like they don’t have idols at the camps. So maybe Exile’s is the only one?

Mark:  I think Exile is the only one. I remember this era doing it like that.

Matt:  I think so, so I think they will continue sending people there. Which means they will continue sending Sugar there. Unless Sugar gets the choice somehow.

Mark:  Which is why I hope it ends soon.

John:  But that Kota tribe is really interested in keeping both Sugar and her theoretical immunity idol in the game. Because when Marcus wins immunity and Probst lets him give a freebie immunity to someone on the other tribe, he picks Sugar.

Matt:  It does make a certain amount of sense. Keep it to the one person who would have found it and make sure they are still in the game. And then you know where it is for sure, especially if you are taking Dim Dan out.

John:  Well, remember earlier when I said I’m pretty sure Crystal doesn’t understand how immunity idols work? She gives a confessional about how Sugar is the most powerful person in this game after getting the immunity necklace from Marcus.

Which, sure. For one vote.

Matt:  Yeah Crystal definitely doesn’t understand how any of this works. The Immunity necklace is like a gold medal.

John:  In that it’s taken from you so easily.

Matt:  It can be taken away from you at a moments notice.

John:  Nailed it.

Mark:  I was going to say “good in theory but useless a few years later” but.

John:  Another fun Crystal moment: After spilling the rice at the start of the episode, she refused her portion so the others could eat, even as they encouraged her to just go ahead and eat.

Matt:  Right and she got mad at them for encouraging her to eat.

John:  So naturally at tribal council she points out that they didn’t save her any rice.

Matt:  That moment made me do the unthinkable and sympathize with Ace.

John:  Well, in her words, “If you cared enough you would have saved me rice anyway”. You know, after I explicitly refused it multiple times.

Mark:  Because that is how empathy works!

(Says a group of staffers without emotions.)

Matt:  If you cared enough, you would have held me down and forced rice into my mouth even though I was trying to spit it out the whole time.

John:  Even though such an act is prohibited by the Geneva convention!

Matt:  Yeah, Rice Boarding was explicitly labeled torture.

John:  But the fun part of all this is that we got two immunity necklaces because both of these tribes are going to tribal council. I can only assume they did this because otherwise Kota was just never going to have to vote anyone out.

Matt:  And of course Marcus won.

Mark:  Yeah, why did they set this up? And the three people at the end strategy?

Matt:  I liked that Bob was apparently a championship log roller in college.

John:  Look at that, insight into what Bob is like as a human!

Gabon- log roll challenge
Not pictured: Bob. Just like in most of the season so far!

Matt:  Championship Log Roller Bob!

John:  Except that Bob loses in round 2. To Sugar.

Mark:  This was not a great episode for Bob. His only confessional is crying at letters, and failing at a thing he was a champion at.

Matt:  That Bob moment made me think of Coach. That was almost an “I have” moment.

John:  Eh. Bob probably actually did do log rolling at some point, though.

Matt:  John, are you saying Coach lied!?

Why I never!

John:  So let’s talk Fang’s tribal council first: Sugar is immune, and she decides to blindside the one person on her tribe that she’s been legitimately aligned with since the beginning.

Mark:  Let’s not forget it was Kenny’s idea. But he made Sugar think it was her’s.

Finally! Someone is playing this game.

John:  And credit to Kenny, because he actually sold it well.

Matt:  I mean when you have that chance to vote out your one ally you have to take it.

Kenny did sell it well, though. But Ace knew he had to be going home when Sugar wouldn’t give him the idol despite having immunity.

Mark:  Sugar wasn’t too bad, but really waffled in her conversation with Ace. Still, she leaned into that Tai edit and blindsided Ace.

So if you’re anticipating a merge: good move or no?

John:  A good move for Sugar?

Matt:  I think taking out your closest ally when you don’t have to this early is always a bad move.

John:  Especially because the merge is coming! Wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one person you’d worked with?

Mark:  She does admit to having had used him, though.

Matt:  So… keep using him. After the merge will people target Ace or Sugar? They’ll target Ace who is a challenge threat

John:  Exactly. Ace is a shield for her. And Kenny’s shown a willingness to work with her. She could still work with him if she’d voted out Crystal.

Matt:  I think those four will actually largely stick together though. But I’ll save the big prediction for after discussion of the Kota tribal.

John:  Well let’s move on to the Kota tribe, then.

Matt:  So again people do the right thing. There is a possibility of idol, so they split the vote.

John:  A vote split to protect against an idol! I was blindsided!

Matt:  But I think this is going to backfire horribly

John:  Oh, it will absolutely backfire.

Matt:  I think Susie will jump ship after seeing her place and Bob may follow since Randy has obviously usurped his position.

Mark:  They already set up her vs Corinne.

John:  Susie set herself up vs. Corinne!

Matt:  Oh lets talk about that. Because that was hilarious

John:  Susie told Corinne she was going to vote her out!

survivor-gabon-susie-tells-corinne-she-was-going-to-vote-her-out

Matt:  That was beautiful.

Mark:  A+ strategy.

John:  Then she laughs it off. Like, “Oh, isn’t that hilarious?”

Matt:  And Corinne freaks out. Acts like it is the worst thing she has ever heard.
corinne-gabon-really

John:  I don’t know where Susie thought her votes were going to come from, either.

Matt:  Susie is playing some Borneo-level strategy.

Mark:  You assume that anyone is thinking beyond dinner.

John:  This is the tribe that’s eating! They get rewards every 3 days because Fang fucking sucks!

Matt:  Plus they are fishing well.

John:  Corinne freaks out because even though Susie couldn’t do it now, Susie potentially could come for her after a merge (which has to be coming soon).

Matt:  But also Susie is so inept that would you be scared?

John:  Inept doesn’t matter so much here, because all she has to do is find a receptive audience. And I imagine most of Fang would be pretty receptive.

Matt:  That was a Rupert-level overreaction in my mind.

survivor-gabon-corinne-hates-susie

John:  It was an overreaction for this vote, yes. But I get being worried about keeping Susie out of fear of what she’ll do in the future.

Matt:  So should they have taken out Susie then? Is Dan more likely to have stuck with them?

John:  I actually think Dan would stay loyal to them because he was trying so hard to win their approval and friendship.

Matt:  Also how much does it matter that Dan is probably super annoying and needy? Also, I think there is some thinking from that group that people will gravitate to them naturally because they are the popular people (and Randy), so that is what they are used to.

John:  Well, if you were worried that Susie was going to flip, splitting a vote to get Dan is probably not the way to encourage her to stay loyal.

Matt:  Right and I think that will really cost them. I think Susie is flipping.

John:  And she should.

Matt:  And I think Marcus (the golden boy) is going home very soon.

Mark:  Just because of nerd’s revenge?

John:  Because her alliance just clearly signaled that she’s on the bottom.

Matt:  Very clearly.

John:  It’s different to split the vote when it’s two people that are against your alliance anyway.

Mark:  I see the Fang Four sticking together. If Suzie jumps, does she bring Bob and have a 6-5 advantage?

Matt:  It would be 6-4 no?

John:  Kota has Randy, Corinne, Marcus, Charlie, and Bob.

The Onion Alliance! (Plus Randy)

Matt:  Or now (plus Bob)

Gabon- Onion Alliance Corinne Marcus Charlie plus Randy
The Onion Alliance (plus Randy)

Mark:  I almost forgot about the Onion Alliance.

Matt:  I am not sure Bob stays with them though.

So here is my prediction: basically, I think that vote split leads to Susie defecting and maybe Bob too. They vote out Charlie, Marcus, Randy, and Corinne. Throw in Matty, who is the only remaining challenge threat left; then with Kenny, Bob, Sugar, Susie and Crystal left, they turn on Kenny for being sneaky (i.e. ,strategizing) and yeah, that is how Bob and Sugar get into a final 3.

I just want you guys to take a second to imagine that final five.

John:  Kenny, Bob, Sugar, Susie, and Crystal? What a nightmare.

Mark:  Revenge of the Nerds and Some Other People.

Matt:  Revenge of the Nerd and a Physics Prof who is also there.

Mark:  Bill Nye is a nerd, bro.

Matt:  But he isn’t revenging anything.

Mark:  His barrel loss!

Matt:  I think Marcus has to go soon

John:  Marcus is the first target.

Matt:  Otherwise ,he would Westman the season.

Well maybe not quite that.

John:  Settle down. Marcus wouldn’t Westman it.

Matt:  But, like, Marcus is the one-eyed man in the sea of blind men.

John:  Right. You take out one of the few competent players. Then, it’s a level playing field.

Mark:  Anyone else find the preview for Ep 7 weird if it is indeed a merge?

Matt:  No, I thought that was classic merge.

John:  Drunk Randy?

Gabon- Randy is the king of Gabon with wine glass
I’m really looking forward to this.

Mark:  “Here’s some goofy shit Randy does”.

Matt:  Could Randy be next?

John:  Hell no.

Matt:  Is this Andy’s Randy episode?

John:  Well, I can’t say hell no, because look at how these people play.

Matt:  No, maybe they get the numbers because people hate Randy.

Mark:  Maybe people hate Randy but he wins immunity! That would be hilarious.

Matt:  Oh god I would love Randy to win immunity

John:  I’m just excited for Drunk Randy. Even if it is his boot episode.

Matt:  Truth

Mark:  So, any eulogies for Derpy Dan or Ace-hole? (Loved Sugar’s vote.)

Matt:  Nope!

John:  I did dig the Ace-hole vote.

Okay, last thing: Let’s get your current favorites.

Matt:  Still enjoying Randy.

Mark:  Still Kenny (as the only player so far), Sugar (as a wild card), and Randy (as the entertainment). Even at this late date, no one else really stands out. Crystal only gets airtime when she complains. (Which is often, but still.)

John:  Troll Game Randy is still my clubhouse leader.

Matt:  I still like Marcus, but his game is kinda boring and he will lose.

Mark:  Who? I only remembered who he was when he got immunity!

John:  Kenny is okay. Crystal kinda entertains me. And I’m with you, Marcus is good, but he’s doomed.

Matt:  Yeah, this is all spot on. Except for Mark’s continuing like of Sugar. That is baffling.

John:  Mark always has weird taste in women.

John
Follow me:

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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  • Black Dynamite

    I wonder how Marcus would’ve performed in a different season. He’s incredibly smart and likable but stands out too much as a target with the dumpster fire that is some of this cast. I think in a different season he could blend in, be a valuable asset for challenges but not be the main alpha that would get targeted around merge time.

    • Purplerockmatt

      He reminds me in some ways of Jeremy. In SJDS Jeremy’s knowledge of survivor, his brains, and his strength all stood out as giant giant threats to everyone else. In Cambodia he was able to blend in and use his strengths without seeming like the only competent person

    • Figaro

      Yeah, I’d definitely have liked to have seen how Marcus would have done in a different season. He seems to be really level-headed. Also, the way he reassured Dan after his ‘I don’t feel part of the group’ freakout by asking if he “felt better” after talking about it, made me think he potentially has some pretty good Kim-like people management skills.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I wonder but I fear not that well, I think he has the kind of confidence that doesn’t go well for men who look like him on Survivor. Unless it’s a returnee season like Jeremy, he’d always be an obvious leader you need to clip.
      I know it’s because this is Gabon but he seems to believe everyone outside his alliance is dumb.

  • Hey, I’m a millennial who watched Friends on NBC. Be careful there!

    • Alkanarra

      I watched Friends on NBC and then again on Netflix. Normally I’d make a joke about having too much free time, but you all clearly know that already since I’m willingly rewatching Survivor: Gabon.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        I mostly watched Friends in syndication on the local Fox affiliate, but some of it on NBC, and then recently did a rewatch on Netflix.

    • Black Dynamite

      Maybe a more accurate example would be Survivor: People who saw Hulk Hogan as the biggest star in WWE vs people who saw John Cena as the biggest star in WWE. Though I’m not sure how many people are on board with the wrestling references.

      • That works! I mean, I know Hulk Hogan but I loved John Cena (my old college roommate had to watch WWE Raw every Monday back in the day so I know a bit about the popular wrestlers from 2009-2012. Random Randy Orton reference).

      • Sylvisual

        Hulk Hogan is the guy with the VH1 show and John Cena is an actor, right?

        • Black Dynamite

          Don’t forget Hogan is also the racist that just got a lot of money from Gawker. What a weird world we live in.

        • I thought Hulk Hogan was the guy who yelled at Gremlins.

        • Hornacek

          Hulk Hogan is the guy who starred in that movie where an extra threw a dog into a lake and they left it in the movie.

          • sharculese

            They made such a big deal about that in the episode, and I just thought “clearly none of you are regular dog owners.”

            Sometimes you have a dog who likes to swim but is nervous about getting in the water. So you pick it up and throw it in the law. Totally normal behavior. They acted like they didn’t know dogs could swim.

          • Hornacek

            They knew that dogs can swim, but the extra in this clip is tossing the dog like you would toss a garbage bag. I have never owned a dog, but if I did I would never throw one like that into the water, or anywhere. I don’t care how much dogs enjoy being in the water, tossing them like that is wrong.

            If a dog is nervous about getting in the water, then let them get into the water on their own, or not at all. Don’t pick them up and throw them in.

          • sharculese

            Any dog is over 30 pounds is a muscly animal that doesn’t like being picked up all that much and will try to wriggle out of your grasp (my roommate will pick up her dog and try to hold her like a baby, and every time I think “you know she’s too big for that, right?”). What that dude is doing is basically the only way to throw a dog.

            On the other hand, they’re idiots. As soon as they hit the water they think, “oh right, I like this,” and will gleefully paddle around without a second thought as to how they got there. And then your problem is you have to deal with a wet dog.

          • Hornacek

            Maybe this is something that a non-dog person just can’t understand, but if I saw someone throwing a dog into a lake, no matter how big or small the dog it, I’m calling the SPCA.

    • forever1267

      The roommates and I had 2 TVs at the time, the big one and the little one. So every Thursday, we had the weekly Friends vs. Survivor fight as to which TV shows which show. Ah, those were the days!

      • Didn’t Friends try to do the super-sized episodes to compete with Survivor?

        • forever1267

          …and that did not help the situation AT ALL!!!!!

        • sharculese

          Nah, that was an all purpose bad idea from Jeff Zucker’s time overseeing the network. I don’t think any particular show lead to it, he was just bad at running a network.

        • Hornacek

          Jean-Claude Van Damme! Julia Roberts! The monkey from Outbreak! All your favorites!

    • sharculese

      I watched Friends on NBC in the sense of ‘sometimes the tv was on before Seinfeld started.’

    • Hornacek

      I watched Friends on Global here in Canada. It might have been named MITV back then.

  • Mike Hirsch

    My favorite moments from this batch of episodes:
    • The reward challenge where Jeff announces that they’re playing for herbs and spices, and everyone looks relatively unenthused, except for Bob, who is super stoked and gives a mighty pelvic thrust.
    • Ace confessional where he says “I’ve got Sugar in my pocket.” — THAT’S HOW YOU GET ANTS.
    • Ace confessional where he watches an elephant in the river behind him, says something about “that’s how the elephant got to the other side,” and looks past the camera at the camera person and gives a little grin and for a moment it is as if Michael Scott was playing Survivor and oh my god I would pay to see that.

    • You had me at “That’s how you get ants!”

    • Other Scott

      Did anyone nearly die playing for those herbs and spices?

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    If I had watched Gabon in real time I’m sure i would have been throwing things at my TV in disgust, but if you know going in that it’s basically the Plan Nine from Outer Space of Survivor, it’s really quite entertaining.

    “Probst Doesn’t Give Two Fs This Season” Watch: “No Crystal, she didn’t call you weak, she called you unstable.”

    I wonder what casting is doing differently these days (since One World, maybe). The occasional Will Sims aside, it’s really rare nowadays for someone to be the trifecta of terrible Survivor player (bad at challenges, bad at the social game, bad/boring in confessionals), and certainly there are never so many duds that they surround and drown the good players.

    (mild spoiler alert) I’m listening to the TEOS chapter on Gabon as we go along, and they point to the voting out of Dan instead of Susie as the moment that changed the entire course of the season.

    • Purplerockmatt

      those of us writing have watched ahead and written as far as next week’s post, so yeah this was the huge pivotal moment, because I agree with John that Dan probably falls in line

      • Don’t let them behind the curtain!

        (We watched ahead so I could go on vacation and still stick to our posting schedule for these. That’s how committed we are to you guys, in case watching a shitty season of Survivor wasn’t enough proof of our commitment.)

        • Kemper Boyd

          Vacation? How dare you?… Going anywhere nice?

          • sharculese

            John lives in Florida, so, as long as he doesn’t go to Texas, everything seems nice by comparison.

          • Purplerockmatt

            He is going to see Mark (this is only partly true)

          • That was going to be almost my exact answer. I was going to say, “Yes, I’m going to Not Florida.”

          • sharculese

            I feel like a hypocrite because my family vacations in Florida, but the panhandle is only 6 hours away and we go to St. George, which is basically fine. But you cross the bridge back to the mainland and holy shit…

          • North Florida (and even central Florida) are vastly different than south Florida. In Florida, the further north you drive, the further into The South you get.

          • Black Dynamite

            I stayed away from the north part of Florida when I lived there. My family’s rule on road trips was to never stop until we crossed state lines.

          • sharculese

            I’ll concede that as long as you avoid the tourist towns and any place to rural north Florida can be pleasant.

            But I’m Jewish, so I’ve had to go on plenty of family trips to central Florida. It’s certainly different from south Florida, but I will dispute the idea that it’s pleasant.

          • If you’re Jewish, isn’t south Florida one of the most hospitable places for you to travel? Also, I never claimed any of Florida is pleasant, just that south Florida is less Southern than north Florida.

            And as Matt mentioned, I’m going to see Mark (but only because I’ll be flying back home via ATL). I went to the mountains, because the concept of the ground changing heights is fascinating to a Floridian.

          • sharculese

            It’s hospitable. That doesn’t mean it’s not terrible.

            If you’re used to Florida then I can assume Atlanta seems wobbly by comparison (although I don’t actually know where Mark lives). By mountains what do you mean, though? WV or NC or something bigger and farther off?

          • Blue Ridge. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t fly through ATL.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            San Antonio is a lovely city. How dare you, Sharculese.

    • That TEOS chapter is fantastic because of how much Josh enjoys it versus how much Rob hates it.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Did you catch where they were going through the list of Dans in Survivor history and realizing they were all absolutely terrible, then Josh says something like “there’s a Dan next season, maybe he’ll beat the curse” referring to Dan Foley? Oh those innocent days of late 2014.

        • That is one of my favorite parts. It is fascinating to listen to those chapters and remember when they were recorded (right after Cagayan, SJDS, or after Worlds Apart). I know the early chapters were rampant with “Top 5, Baby”.

        • andythesaint

          Ranking the Survivor Dans (note, Danielle/Dana/Danni’s don’t count):
          1. Barry (Astronaut, Panama)
          2. Kay (Gabon)
          3. Lembo (Nicaragua)
          4. Foley (World’s Apart)

          Ugh.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Lue

          • andythesaint

            Oh, right. Put him at 3.

          • It’s weird seeing something not related to Nicaragua at the bottom of one of your lists.

          • sharculese

            Somehow I feel like “Dan Foley is the worst” is not going to be a controversial position.

          • Excellent point. I just assumed that Lembo and Foley could be the shared bottom of the list.

  • sharculese

    iirc there was a time where seriously nobody knew where GC was and they were gaming out what would happen if they had to load up the vans for tribal council before they found him.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Do you mean that they don’t really walk to tribal council? Or to the challenges?

    • Alkanarra

      I would have loved to see the I’m-done-with-this-show era’s Jeff Probst deal with that. Just imagine his reaction to the incredulity of a player blatantly not showing up combined with production straight up losing him. That would have been some great TV.

  • Alkanarra

    My big problem strategically with Gabon after rewatching these six episodes is that every single player has been fine with an “anyone but me” approach. I’d argue it wasn’t that people weren’t playing, it’s that once the tribe settled on someone other than them, they were content to vote as a unit and survive three more days.

    On the other hand, in evidence of them being terrible players, everyone on Fang broke off into twosomes and therefore never had the numbers to control anything even if they wanted. Kenny was a pro at the “all I need is one ally and I’m golden” strategy. Also the Dan over Suzie vote shows that even Kota was full of idiots. If only Corrine had mustered up a better argument then “I want to stab her in the eye” they might have removed the obvious flipper instead of someone whose primary flaw was that his loyalty was too annoying.

    • The biggest fault in the Dan vote was splitting the votes and ensuring Susie knew she was at the bottom. They were (as far as we saw) still trying to keep her in their alliance! Did they expect to play off the 3 votes she got against her as no big deal?!

      Honestly, in a season that’s already featured fantastically poor play, that might be the worst thing I’ve witnessed.

      • Alkanarra

        Every time someone argues that different tribal alignments would have made the season better, just point to that vote and explain that even the “good” tribal made perhaps the dumbest vote of the season.

        • Black Dynamite

          Maybe if they had different tribal alignments and then cut at least 10 members of the cast and replace them with other people. For as many bad players are left, it’s not like there were potential diamonds eliminated early.

      • Figaro

        I don’t know if it mattered really though, did it? (I have seen this season before, but have forgotten nearly everything that happened, so I’m rewatching more-or-less blind). Best case scenario, they convince Susie that Dan, Randy and Bob voted for her, but they (Marcus, Charlie & Corrine) saved her because she is their number four (despite the fact that Randy really is), and worst case scenario she flips at the merge, but I don’t think Bob would flip with her (I genuinely can’t remember what happens as a result of this vote) and so even if she flipped Fang wouldn’t have the numbers. I think it was probably better to split the votes to protect themselves from a potential idol than to worry about upsetting Susie.

        • Alkanarra

          Setting aside that voting out Dan was kinda dumb to begin with even if you are worried about the idol (he was loyal, you fools, worry about the flipper and use his vote to your advantage), your points about how to manage Susie are perfectly valid and you’ve demonstrated enough critical thinking to have easily won Survivor: Gabon had you been a contestant. (A low hurdle, I know.)

          Unfortunately — and spoilers, I guess — they committed the one thing that separates great players from mediocre ones: they couldn’t manage people not in their primary alliance. (Or, rather, they deliberately mocked and berated people not in their alliance.) Yes, their plan likely would have been fine if it were a regular merge next week and not, well, I won’t ruin the surprise, but something even stupider. Still, even with their bad luck I don’t care that things went against Kota because being deliberately cruel to another player is a situation that might not hurt you (see: Alecia), but it will almost never help you.

          In conclusion, while Randy may be amusing and have reasonable insight, he is an extremely flawed player. (And Corinne, as Kemper mentioned, is just straight up awful.)

          • Alycia Swift

            Agree with what you say. But also, if they had to split the votes, they should have put it on someone else – one of their inner group so as not to tip their hand.

          • sharculese

            We can talk about this next week but I think that the something stupider was absolutely a necessary twist.

          • Alkanarra

            Most of the things I want to discuss are more late game anyway, so yes, there’s plenty still left on the table. But we’ll definitely hit this up next week.

          • Figaro

            Ah, I didn’t realise that this was something other than a merge coming up. It’s weird how much of this season has been erased from my memory – I look forward to seeing how they managed to shoot themselves in the foot. But, yeah I 100% agree with you about the importance of being civil to people who aren’t aligned with you – it can really make or break a player’s game.

      • sharculese

        I don’t think this counts as a spoiler, since you know how the season ends, but-

        In TEOS Rob and Josh pointed to voting off Dan over Susie as the point where the onion alliance loses control of the game.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Dan must have pooped in their corn flakes or something, because I think they just started to hate Dan that much.

      The everyone is playing the anyone but strategy is very accurate. I have been having trouble putting my finger on why people are smart enough to not get voted out right away, but not smart enough to do anything once that happens and yeah everybody is only thinking one vote at a time and are happy as long as it isnt them

      • Kemper Boyd

        I think Dan may just be the most annoying insecure player and they just had to get rid of him to put a stop to it. That or Marcus just wanted the one other guy who looked like he could be Alpha gone.

  • Hornacek

    Episode 4:

    Finally! The Gabon episode where Bob does the pelvic thrust to show his excitement at winning herbs! http://funny115.com/v2/50_5.gif

    I love Randy faking out Ace in the immunity challenge. Such a Randy thing to do.

    “My vote is for Kelly, because I had to vote for somebody.” Ugh, G.C. What a waste.

    Episode 5:

    The tribes are going through their food too quickly, so Randy tries to goad Dan into eating the reward food.

    Sugar gives Ace the idol because … I still don’t know why. This is when I really started to turn on Sugar.

    Love the fist-pump and thumbs-up Randy gives the other tribe when he sees that G.C. is gone.

    Crystal cries after losing the reward challenge. Randy says “Wah wah wah”. How was Randy brought back on the Villains tribe? He’s the hero of this season!

    When Sugar told Kenny that she had given her idol to Ace, had she already told him she had the idol? She acted like she had, but Kenny acted like this was the first time she mentioned the idol to him.

    Episode 6:

    Listening to the recap … wait, Kelly was Ace’s biggest enemy?

    Bob cries when he gets his letters. Randy looks disgusted by Bob.

    Who takes log-rolling in college?

    It’s weird that they separated each tribes’ pre-TC and TC instead of having one TC right after the other. Now the edit is going back in time.

    Corine + Randy = a cornucopia of grumpiness.

  • Hornacek

    John: Who is the Bachman?
    Matt: Randy.

    Well, he is taking care of business. I’ll see myself out now.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I really expected better from you.

      • Purplerockmatt

        Did you? Really?

      • Hornacek

        I didn’t.

  • Black Dynamite

    One thing I’ve never gotten is the concept on swearing on loved ones in Survivor. If I was on the show I wouldn’t give a shit if Ace sweared on him mom and Matty did the same with his girlfriend. This act wouldn’t make me trust them anymore than I did before. If they pushed me to do the same, I would comply. If turning on them was best for me after that, I would do it in a heartbeat and no feel extra bad because I swore on my goldfish. Maybe I’m just an asshole. I prefer the way Sandra and Fairplay did it in Pearl Islands.

    • Kemper Boyd

      *swore.
      Now I’ve got the pedantry out of the way I agree with you for the most part but I don’t like what Sandra did just because she crossed her fingers, I like it when people just lie about it like Tony did swearing on his wife and baby. Maybe it’s just because I don’t take any of that shit seriously, I would swear on my mother’s life about not eating the last biscuit (cookie) at work and have eaten it.

    • Mike Hirsch

      It seems like people who get on the show do continue to take that swearing business seriously. Which surprises me a little, but while I don’t think I’d trust anyone more if they swore on someone, I feel like they’d definitely trust me more if I did. So, benefit. (Until I’m voted out on day 6.)

    • sharculese

      I would. Not because I care about oaths or anything, Survivor isn’t a wizard. But because anyone who that quickly swore on something would make me think “holy shit, this person is trying way to hard to get me to trust them. Keep that in mind.”

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    I’m kinda sad that Ace is gone. Randy is a great villain, but I kind of like him. Ace is a great villain that I hate, and I really enjoyed him up until his boot episode. The whole stopping everyone from working on the puzzle was just crap. And he stopped his tethered mate from working on the knots (if I’m not mistaken). I love watching clueless villains but don’t be so bad that you’re causing your team to lose.

  • Kemper Boyd

    I wrote notes which are not with me now so I can’t remember my take aways from this episode but I think it was that Dan is so dumb, Ace’s accent slips whenever he has emotions and that Corinne is one of my least favourite players. There are so many blah players in Survivor history, early boots who do nothing, goats who are dragged to the end but what I like least is someone like Corinne who seems to genuinely think she is better than everyone else but reacts so badly to any adversity. For me she is the antithesis of Randy who is a villain you can root for, he’s mean and rude and funny where as Corinne is mean and rude and no fun at all.

    • Alycia Swift

      I’ve upvoted you for the Corinne comments but really never felt I could root for Randy back then. I’m reading comments but have not had time to do any rewatching yet. I really wanted to but … work.

      • Alkanarra

        Yeah, the Randy love is weird to me too. I suppose because the people he’s mocking are legitimately pretty bad at the game it makes him more palatable and he does show some cognizance about how to play, but I didn’t like Randy either time around myself.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I realize it’s easy to say when your not starving and having to deal with total strangers 24/7, but it just blows my mind that anyone would go on Survivor and be shitty to other people. Forget the fact that everything you say and do is being recorded for broadcast–nobody has ever won the game by being cruel. Ruthless maybe (Hatch, Tom), snarky maybe (Sandra, Natalie Anderson) but not cruel. Even Boston Rob and Tyson couldn’t win until they learned to rein themselves in.

          • Purplerockmatt

            you can’t change who you are. tyson and rob didnt just learn to rein themselves in, they got older and more mature and their personalities probably were already naturally reining themselves in. but survivor is going to reveal your worst qualities and more importantly it will reveal what you are actually like. Randy though never tried to hide his misanthropic qualities

          • sharculese

            Tyson is definitely still Tyson. There was an episode of the Spyson Hour where they spent five minutes making fun of Rob because he says “drawer” with a Long Island accent.

            But I agree that the biggest shift between Tocantins and BvW is that he matured. You could never have convinced Tocantins Tyson that there was something wrong with the way he treated Sierra, whereas BvW Tyson understood precisely why he had to apologize to Katie.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Making fun of someone you already have rapport with isn’t really what I’m talking about, but point taken about Tyson naturally maturing between Tocantins and BvW. And I also have no problem with being mean in confessionals. If anything that probably helps you blow off steam without harming your game. I have to say that through six episodes at least, Corinne has not lived up to her reputation at all, except in confessionals. And as long as I’m saying things that will probably seem foolish very soon, I have to say that Sugar has been kind of a delight so far, like a not-mean Abi-Maria.

          • Purplerockmatt

            oh corinne just sucks. it seems weird that I like Randy and hate Corinne but Randy knows exactly who he is and has proven to actually be good at things at times. Randy feels superior because he is better at some things than other people. Corinne is just delusional and mean and feels superior for no discernible reason

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I’ve seen her second season and heard her on RHAP (until I started automatically deleting her appearances), so it’s probably just a matter of her exceeding extremely low expectations.

          • sharculese

            Corinne is the prototype for Abi-Maria. The difference is that Corinne is doing it intentional, whereas Abi is just being Abi. And I say this as someone who likes Corinne.

          • Alycia Swift

            Being mean in confessionals – Rob C was a master of that.

          • andythesaint

            Corinne is a homeless man’s Jerri who is desperately trying to be Jerri.

          • Black Dynamite

            Damn!! Could win a fire making tiebreaker off the strength of that burn. I agree with that comparison.

          • Alycia Swift

            Though I don’t listen to that one, making fun of Rob that way is silly fun, because its silly and because he can take it and is likely in on the joke. But he was cruel to Sierra.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I actually wasn’t a fan of Tyson, still don’t fully get him.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Tyson is my favorite player ever. Coach is my second favorite. After finishing Gabon and watching HvV with a little more info on him, I’ll be interested to see what my final take on Randy will be.

          • sharculese

            Mostly agreed, although Natalie A is maybe not the best example because she picked two prominent fights for strategic reasons (with John Rocker in ep 3 and with Jaclyn after she voted Jon off.)

            Since I just watched China, though, I’ll say that Todd is a really good example of what you’re talking about. In confessionals he’s absolute ruthless, but when he’s in camp he’s everyone’s best friend.

          • Alycia Swift

            Exactly.

      • Black Dynamite

        Watching both times I can’t find myself rooting for Randy. The best I can say for him is that his brand of awfulness is more entertaining and less smug than Corinne. I just can’t go for someone who’s so openly shitty to the other players just for the hell of it.

        • Purplerockmatt

          your edit is why i am enjoying the Randy experience. He is a troll, but not a monster. There are plenty of monsters over the years on this show.

          • Kemper Boyd

            If it’s Dan Foley v Randy you’d pick Randy every times. I know you won’t like this but to me it’s a bit like why I really don’t like Savage there is too much sanctimony in his nobleness. I feel like Corinne is far too sanctimonious in her criticism and meanness. It’s classic mean girl behaviour.

          • Diego Armando

            She just hates how her uncultured teammates don’t know everything about French cheeses.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I don’t think you are rooting for Randy to win but to stick around and be fun.

        • Alycia Swift

          I never thought Randy was fun back then. I was not rooting for him to stick around either. Just like I did not root for Rodney, Dan or Will, or Russell, or Jason and Scot, or Corinne, or at times Spencer or Tyson 1.0. I’m ok with Randy and Tyson now.

    • sharculese

      SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE IT’S THE REUNION AND WHO CARES: In the reunion, Probst gets Ace to speak with an “American accent” and it’s somehow worse.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Corinne is absolutely near the top of the list (bottom of the list?) for my all-time least favorite players. She is so completely tone-deaf to the sound of her own bs. There have been several of the “Why No Everyone Hand Me Million Dollars?”-type players who, when faced with the sudden realization that other people are also trying to win the game and that the other people’s plans don’t revolve around said player, go into crazy vindictive meltdown mode, and I always wind up hating them and wanting them off my screen.

      • Kemper Boyd

        She’s worse in Caramoan, I really grew to hate her a lot watching that. Her thing with “the gays” is obnioxious, literally the only thing she does I like is her mean run down of each cast’s players she does on Rhap. That’s all the Corinne I want in my life.

        • Alycia Swift

          I don’t mind that as well on RHAP and I don’t know why. I hated her on Gabon and was only barely ok with her on Caramoan because of hearing her on RHAP and the fact that she was anti-Phillip who I also disliked.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I think her schtick is fine when it’s “haha it’s funny I’m making assumptions about people I don’t know but I’ll change my mind when I know them better” than her on Survivor which is “I’m better than everyone fuck them all”.

          • I also wonder if Rob and Nicole “temper” Corinne down a bit. Now, I’m not saying that she goes soft around them, but there is something about the dynamic between the three of them that I like a lot.

          • Kemper Boyd

            That’s a good theory. I have never attempted ATF because the idea of her and Max and then when Kyle was on loads of them, that combination sounds like hell to me.

          • Diego Armando

            That podcast sounds insufferable.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I don’t get anyone being a fan of Max. I understand what people like about Corinne because part of her snarky stuff is funny but Max I just can’t see what fans of Max like about him.

          • Hornacek

            I’ve only heard a few of the Rob/Nicole/Corinne episodes, and while all three of them have a great rapport with each other, to me it comes across like Corinne and Nicole are friends, and Rob only knows her through Nicole. She seems much more at ease with Nicole, but I guess that’s part of Rob’s role to keep the episode running on schedule, otherwise Corinne and Nicole would just be downing wine and talking for an hour about the male players.

          • That’s a great theory. It would be interesting to see Corinne and Nicole off mic.

          • I try to separate Corinne the person from Corinne the Survivor player. Against my better judgement, I listened to a couple episodes of Survivor ATF recently. Corinne is really entertaining when she’s talking about her life (she has a lot of fucked up stories), but I can’t stand her talking about Survivor. Her obsession with Jason and Scot, in which she refuses to acknowledge that either of them played anything but a perfect game, is painful to hear about. Max, on the other hand, I can’t really stand regardless of what he’s talking about, which is a shame because I did like him in Worlds Apart.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I’ll take this as you confirming what I thought about ATF when I heard about it.

          • I have a feeling I’ll keep listening to ATF during the offseason and stop once they start talking about Survivor again.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Let me know when they do, I might try it out then.

          • sharculese

            Nothing can get weirder than Corinne admitting she was writing letters to a prisoner because she saw pictures of him and thought he was hot.

          • Diego Armando

            I realized watching that season, that if you were to recap the Corinne/Phillip storyline to someone who doesn’t watch the show, Phillip would sound like the good guy in the situation. That does not speak well for her game.

        • Mike Hirsch

          Oh god, yes. Her “As you know, I love the gays!” was insulting on several levels.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Apparently all gays and it’s ok because her gays don’t mind her saying it! Eurgh.

    • andythesaint

      I’ve always hated Corinne. She’s nowhere near as funny, interesting, smart, or even as attractive as she thinks she is.

      Which is why I push back against the modern rethinking of Gabon about how Sugar was the awful one and Corinne and company were burned by the edit. That’s bullshit driven by the fact that Corinne interacts with the community (and now Randy does too), so we give her all the benefit of the doubt.

      The truth is probably more simple: yes, Sugar was more awful than the edit let on. This does not change the fact that Corinne and Randy were ALSO awful. There is no good side of this debate. Everyone sucked. Like Gabon itself.

      • Kemper Boyd

        You know Corinne wasn’t burned by the edit because almost every awful thing she say is straight to camera, she says them all and there is no piecing of her sentences together to make it seem worse. Sugar was annoying but people are pissed she managed to get far when they thought she was stupid and weak, viewers included. It’s the same theory under which certain groups hate on Sandra, they feel she isn’t good enough to be there so are angry she managed to win twice.

        • ExtraLargePelican

          That is a perfect encapsulation of my feelings about Sandra.

          As Alkanarra said elsewhere in this thread, this season illustrates why “anyone but me” is rarely a successful strategy. It doesn’t work if you’re anyone.

          • Kemper Boyd

            You have to be better than just “anyone but me”, you need to be likable, smart, physical or just have something about you to win playing “anyone but me” or you are Sherri.

        • sharculese

          Corinne wasn’t burned by the edit. She complained that edit didn’t make her as awful as she hoped it would.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Wow, then that confirms that I don’t like her.

    • Diego Armando

      I got serial killer vibes from Corinne. She is easily in my bottom 10 players (from how much I like them). SPOILER: she will make you hate her more as the season goes on.

      I kind of liked Randy and found him entertaining.

  • sharculese

    OT: did anyone else listen to the special episode on edgic that Rob did? I went into it with trepidation, but it was fairly reasonable. I mean the parts where the dude he brought on was explaining acronyms was boring, but among the better points he acknowledged that edgic is more educating guessing than an actual science and that the constant refrain of “why are you talking about this? Michele is the winner.” made the season less fun for a lot of people and was probably a dick move.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Yeah, as is so often the case, the person at the center of the controversy is nothing like the wizard his supporters see, nor the monster his detractors see. I thought that interview paired up really well with the one with the editor. She made a comparison so perfect and obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Editing the winner’s narrative is like writing a mystery novel (subject to the constraints of the footage they have to work with)–if you know who the killer is immediately the writer has failed, but if the killer is a total surprise the writer has also failed.

      • sharculese

        And the edgic dude expanded on that by saying that he could see how to non-edgicers, they were the guy in the seat next to you who spends the movie saying “see how nobody talks to Bruce Willis? He’s been dead the whole time.” And he was emphatic that everyone should be able to watch the show their own way.

        I thought it got a little bit “edgic works except when it doesn’t,” but Rob had some good pushback on some of the claims and overall it was a fun dicussion.

    • Hornacek

      I started listening to it a week ago, and unlike most RHAP episodes, I keep coming up with excuses not to finish it (or listen to other podcasts instead). From what I’ve heard it may be my least enjoyable RHAP episode ever. Nothing against the quality of the episode or the guest (Rob is his usual funny self), but it just depresses me the more of it I listen to.

      It seems to explain it as “Let’s take a show that you enjoy watching, and drain all of the fun out of it and make it all about math and charts and confusing acronyms so we can determine who the winner is after the 4th episode and not have to care after that because nothing else we see that season matters.”

      It’s like an elementary school where kids play soccer in gym class, and everyone is enjoying themselves because they’re all playing for fun. But then a new teacher comes in and decides to institute assigned teams and keeping track of who scored more goals, and which players are the worst, and the kids are stressing out about the pressure to always win and being told that if they lose they’ll never be good at anything. So now a fun activity has been become something none of the kids look forward to.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I missed it but did you listen to the one with the reality editor? that was really fun.

      • Hornacek

        I enjoyed that editor episode, much more than the edgic one.

        And I recognize that that probably makes me a huge hypocrite, based on what I already said about the edgic podcast – edgicers are just interpreting the episode as it’s aired, while editors are manipulating footage to change what they show to us. In theory I should be madder at editors, but listening to the editor episode I found myself nodding and agreeing with almost everything she said, while the edgic episode (which I still haven’t gone back and finished) just made me sigh and ask “Why do some people have to ruin everything?”

        • Kemper Boyd

          The editor who is a crazy huge Survivor fan doesn’t follow edgic because it ruins her enjoyment. I think that says a lot about edgic. I’ve not bothered with the edgic episode. I just wish edgicers could just keep it to themselves.

    • Other Scott

      Rob was my hero on that episode. A lot of his points where he pushed back where very reasonable.

      There’s still part of me that thinks edgic had a heavy dose of lucking out on this one, because I still think it’s unreasonable to expect the edit to give a much better edit to the FTC loser than the winner, but I’m pretty biased.

      It’s hard to get an edgic disciple after this season and not have them come off as smarmy and superior, but I think this guy did as reasonable as could be expected.

  • sharculese

    I know you guys have already watched it, but I’m still eager to see your reaction to how Marcus goes down.

    • Purplerockmatt

      We talk at length about it, some of us are not happy at all (guess who?)

    • Hornacek

      Are we not doing “phrasing” anymore?

      • sharculese

        I said their reaction, not Charlie’s reaction.

        • Hornacek

          Charlie would have fainted, screaming “IT’S HAPPENING!”

  • Streets_Ahead

    I’m loving this re-watch. So far Gabon is much more entertaining than I remembered. Maybe my hate of Ace and Sugar clouded my judgment. Knowing what happens though I’m really enjoying this. Episode 4 in particular was great.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I think seasons where you really hate people are better on rewatch when you aren’t living in fear they might win.

      • Hornacek

        So you’re saying that Worlds Apart would be the best season to rewatch?

        • Kemper Boyd

          Eurgh, probably not because everyone is an arsehole you fear could win but also it was obvious from early Mike was winning so it wasn’t ruined. But SJDS better because you aren’t afraid an idiot who doesn’t deserve it will win.

        • Diego Armando

          Worlds Apart sucked because on paper it should have been an all time classic. The cast had so many interesting players (Jenn, Joe, Mike, Shirin, Hailey, Rodney who was a love-to-hate villain) and should have been entertaining. I’m honestly stunned that it was as predictable and unpleasant as it was.

          • I have an unending hatred for Worlds Apart, but I think it could have approached half-decent had Will not been around. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what casting saw in him.

  • Diego Armando

    Sorry I am late, forgot to check in on the site for a couple of weeks.

    I will admit to having a soft spot for this season, but I will admit that it has a cornucopia of flaws. I think my affection stands from the fact that this was trying first season I started commenting on. IGN use to run Survivor reviews and the reviews of Gabon and Tocantins were great.

  • Jim

    I think you guys perception of Gabon is spoiled, because you are around many people who think Gabon is a bottom 5 season. If you go in thinking something is bad, it is much harder for you to come out of it thinking of it positively. Personally, Gabon is a top half season.

    • I said this in last week’s review, but I’m very conscious of the fact that others here dislike the season and I’m going in with an open mind. So far, I’ve found the gameplay pretty horrendous but the season hasn’t been bad.