Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Cambodia Episode 2 “Survivor MacGyver”

The second episode of Survivor Cambodia, “Survivor MacGyver”, finds one of our hosts in a deep, deep funk and the other trying not to kick a man when he’s down. The problem? People are SO much easier to kick when they’re already at your feet. Can he resist?

Shirin as Probst


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Cambodia episode 2 “Survivor MacGyver”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • What went wrong for Shirin?
  • Our completely unbiased assessments of Shirin as a player.
  • How do solve a problem like Abi-Maria?
  • The greatness of Jeff Varner.
  • Our take on Andrew Savage.
  • Are the show’s narratives invented or legitimate?
  • And debut our new segment: rising and falling.

Of course, we always welcome your comments. You can leave a comment here, tweet us @purplerockpod, or email us at purplerockpodcast on gmail. Thanks for listening and/or watching!

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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  • Scarlett3639

    Shirin’s biggest flaw as a player may be choosing the wrong allies. She needs to ally with people who’s skills complement hers, not duplicate them. She needs an ally who has a great social game and likes talking to people and forming bonds. She’s a Cochran looking for her Dawn.

    • purplerockpodcast

      Or a Stephen looking for her JT?

    • Barbara Anderson

      Really good point. After post-merge, her biggest ally was Mike, who didn’t exactly have the best social game.

      • Scarlett3639

        I don’t know. I think Mike had a decent social game until he blew it with the auction fiasco. People seemed to like him. World’s Apart is a difficult season to judge because I don’t know how anyone could have had a good social game with that post-merge group. Plus he was probably always going to have an uphill battle post-merge as a challenge threat.

        • Roswulf

          I’d argue that Sierra and Caroline had reasonably strong social games for that assemblage of awfulness. High tolerance for jackasses, no compulsion to stand up for justice, willingness to fade into the background when necessary.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I am so heavily biased against Sierra that I am no use there. However, Carolyn did have a good social game, but Shirin didn’t make her feel as a wanted companion in the pre-merge. Had that happened, who knows how the post-merge would have looked.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Mike would have been the next target anyway they just needed an excuse and that got the others Dan.

    • Violina23

      I think this is half of it, but she also has to not forget that the people who *aren’t* in her alliance need to still think they *ARE* in her alliance.

  • purplerockpodcast

    I may as well gloat about this here as well:

    Andy argues in the podcast that Shirin would’ve been the second boot from her tribe in Worlds Apart. This postgame interview with Joaquin- who I don’t need to remind you is hugely biased against Shirin- claims otherwise. In fact, he says the vote would’ve gone down exactly like a certain someone on the podcast said it would (Spoiler alert: That someone isn’t Andy).

    http://parade.com/386842/joshwigler/survivor-contestant-joaquin-souberbielle-the-bromance-is-real/

    • Purple Rock Emma

      It was pretty funny listening to the podcast having already seen this correction on Twitter.

  • VoicOff

    I hope Emma si gonna illustrate her post on goat management with plenty of exemples from former seasons. We need an historical perspective on the goat issue

    • Purple Rock Emma

      That’s the plan!

    • Sylvisual

      Well, one day, [God/evolution] decided to make a furry creature with horns that talked funny… Early native peoples decided they could produce milk and assist in acquiring one million dollars.

  • sharculese

    I don’t think Savage is a bully (that’s… not a thing supported by any evidence from anything ever) and I don’t care that he has a game plan that involves not Stephen (although the thing about reading Stephen’s survivor wiki page is still hilarious) but that whole series of exchanges was seven kinds of ludicrous and not in a way that endeared him to me.

  • tocantins

    Maybe it is just me sticking up for my people, but I think you guys (and, to be fair, everyone else) are too harsh on Abi. Her anger at Shirin is completely understandable. She doesn’t like Pee-gee and she knows Pee-gee doesn’t like her. To have people you don’t like speaking ill of you doesn’t hurt, having people you considered your friend making fun of you hurts.

    And did you see her extra confessional? She is actually quite cute. (As a side note, the confessionals make clear that she still struggles with English.)

    • sharculese

      The thing is, we know from past experience how low the bar is for Abi to decide she needs to drop everything and throw herself a pity party. To me, this isn’t some new development, it’s round 2 of “I’m not gonna help out at all but I expect you guys to feed me” from Philippines.

    • Violina23

      I am slightly repeating myself from the live-thread, but……

      While I agree that it was not smart for Shirin to fail to step in and make Abi feel good, the implication that it was ONLY Shirin’s responsibility to comfort and soothe and be a shoulder to cry on to Abi just irritates me. Being a victim of bullying doesn’t mean it becomes your sole job to make sure nobody else PERCEIVES that they are being bullied.

      • andythesaint

        I think people are focusing on Shirin because A) Abi did and B) Shirin paid the price for the error.

        • Violina23

          I’d be a bit more OK with that explanation if the show’s editors made ANY effort to counter that argument. They’d show Abi crying about how alone she is and how she’s such a victim and they’d juxtapose it with a shot of Shirin laughing, which, for all we know, was at a joke that had NOTHING to do with Abi.

          • purplerockpodcast

            That’s very true, and it was likely out of context. But even as an insanely biased Shirin fan, I can at least understand that decision; they have to craft some sort of coherent story about why Shirin would get voted out second.

            I’m actually confused as to why they didn’t go with the story Shirin told in her exit interviews, which is that she went to the other side to turn them on Varner since he was clearly playing both sides. Varner found out, then put the target on Shirin instead of Spencer. I think that would have been an interesting narrative, and it would’ve allowed them to show Varner running the show.

          • andythesaint

            Shirin has helped explain this as well: because she and Spencer were fighting for their lives at Tribal Council and being really conciliatory, none of that story came out there. ALL of Tribal Council was about Abi, so that was the story they had a conclusion to.

          • Violina23

            Yep. Survivor storyline editing aside, I think I just take the bullying stuff seriously, and it annoys me that people are seeing this edit and taking it as a way to completely negate last season. Like “Oh, see, Shirin’s a hypocrite, she probably brought it all on herself last season”.

            But in reality, most people who would say things like that probably were the ones who didn’t like Shirin in the first place, so I guess it doesn’t really matter much.

            Rock on, Shirin.

      • prettyboyprobst

        To add to the possible reasons Andy brought up, Shirin C) was closest to her in that alliance and D) right there when Peih-Gee(whom Abi didn’t like from the start, so not much emotional betrayal there) escalated things(Abi was from what we’ve seen really calm and constructive about it) after being busted talking shit about Abi to Shirin(who brought up that topic, although smartly in a hushed voice), but she chose to walk away from it.
        I imagine that still wouldn’t have moved the needle much, but when Peih-Gee walked back and started talking in a self-depricating manner about how she just got busted (I think that’s what it was and if so, that had SOMETHING to do with Abi), Shirin E) was laughing audibly, which left Abi to feel excluded.

        So while I can understand her actions on a human level, it also doesn’t reflect well on her as a victim of bullying. As an activist against bullying, it reflects even worse (although I understand that an isolated incident doesn’t equal bullying). But that’s all in-game stuff and I wouldn’t hold a grudge against someone over less than ideal behavior in a exceptional situation like that(as long as it doesn’t cross a line). The petty vindictiveness that shines through in her post-boot interviews and social media appearances are what turned me off for good on her.

        And yes, Shirin was one of my 2-3 favourites before and during WA and I despised many of the endgamers then and I don’t know how to feel about that anymore. While I don’t know how common this sentiment ist, I imagine I’m not alone (although I very well may be in these parts). I wish she could somehow disassociate from both of her seasons, never play again but still be that enjoyable public persona.
        When Andy prepended his arguments on the podcast with his worries to be lumped in with a crowd that he wants no part of, he echoed the reason why I was and am hesitant to write out my newfound disdain for her, but it has reached a level where I felt that shouldn’t hold me back any longer. I’m sorry if that upset you, John or other Shirinophils. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

        • purplerockpodcast

          To clarify, I don’t have a problem with people not liking Shirin. What does bother me is that some of them choose to express their dislike for her with such vitriol, and that they attack her as a representative of some other thing they hate.

          We had someone come here recently to post his anti-Shirin video, and it was making ridiculous claims about her with no valid evidence- I think it even made some allusion to her history with domestic violence not being real. That shit makes my skin crawl. I have no problems with somebody saying, “Shirin just grates my nerves, and I find her annoying.” (I might call you a wet blanket, but I at least respect that it’s a valid opinion to hold- even if it’s wrong.)

    • purplerockpodcast

      Believe me, Abi-Maria is not front-and-center in my mind when it comes to representatives of Brazilian-Americans, so you don’t have to defend your people. You do make a valid point about not being hurt by people who you don’t care about, though. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy being trolled; it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all.

      I didn’t see Abi’s extra confessional, but I don’t think we were ever arguing over whether Abi was attractive (unless you’re meaning “cute” in terms of personality).

      • prettyboyprobst

        I can see how people might not feel this way, but actually I do find a lot of cuteness in Abi’s personality. Of course there’s also emotional lability and her trademarked vindictiveness, but to me her cute nature factors into the reasons for enjoying her on Survivor.

        Btw, since you assured us it won’t hurt your feelings, I dare to ask: In light of the fallout from this episodes media cycle, who did win the battle for your love and who will get to bath in it on weekends only?

        • purplerockpodcast

          You mean who won the Max vs. Shirin battle for my love? Because this season’s battle for my love is really Varner vs. the field at this point.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Yes, that’s what I was going for, but I should have known that the purple greatness that is Varner has this effect on so. who goes by “Purple” on gmail and dwarfs the competition. Hell, I can’t resist it and [i]I don’t even like[/i] purple.

  • sharculese

    As someone who did vote for Abi, I’ll say I did it precisely for things like this. I wanted to see if anyone decided to find out if they could get away with touching the hot stove and what would happen if they did. There’s players I would rather have seen it happen to than Shirin, but I can’t say I’m unsatisfied with the result.

  • Vagabond

    I have a question for John and I’m by no means trying to troll you, this is something that I’m legitimately curious about. You keep saying that Shirin is good at the strategic parts of the game, but is there any evidence to support that idea? It reminds me of all the people during Cagayan who insisted that Spencer was a good strategic player even though he was constantly on the bottom and could never seem to get any of his plans to work. I think people are really eager to construct a narrative where the super-fans are great strategic players because they are the players we most easily identify with and we want to think that we would be great strategic players. Also, I would love to see a post or podcast discussion sometime about what Strategy means in the context of Survivor, because I think strategy has become something of a catch all term within the fan community at this point and there is often confusion about the difference between good strategy and good tactics (e.g. the bandy legged troll Russell Hantz).

    • purplerockpodcast

      That’s a fair question. Keep in mind, by the way, that I’ve never claimed to be anything but biased in favor of Shirin (and various other players from various seasons).

      My case for Shirin as strategist:

      1. She got So voted out first, even though Carolyn (or Shirin herself) were easier targets. From what I read, it sounds like she wanted Joaquin gone but couldn’t get the votes, so she got the others to agree on So. That was her lone vote in the majority.

      2. At the auction, she tried to keep the target off herself by not going for the advantage. By that point, the numbers were too stacked against her for an advantage to be of much help. She was probably trying to catch on as a swing vote once the Axis of Evil voted out Mike and had to attack each other (which, of course, didn’t happen). Personally, I would’ve gone for the advantage anyway, but I understand the strategy here and it’s not a bad one.

      3. This season, she chose Vytas as the first target, figuring he was the brains of the operation in the Terry/Kelly/Woo/Vytas alliance (not realizing that Varner was in that group as well). It would have been the correct call, assuming Varner was actually solid with her side- he just wasn’t.

      Spencer is a good comparison, because there are admittedly few things you can do when you’re on the wrong side of the numbers. Spencer made a legitimate misstep in Cagayan when he didn’t show Jefra the idol to get her to his side, one of his few chances to flip the game.

      I don’t know if we’re always pre-disposed to think of super-fans as great strategic players. Todd made several strategic mistakes in China, they just didn’t end up being fatal flaws to his game. And Colton is just about the least-relatable super fan ever, so I don’t think anyone was quick to label him a strategic mastermind.

  • Violina23

    FYI, Your name is not “Pod”, it’s “Purple”, according to Google when your respond to my e-mails 😉

    P.S. Bonus points for Kodos. Always vote for Kodos.

  • prettyboyprobst

    After reading the podcast-description on my device I thought about skipping this week, as pretty much all of Shirin’s postgame-stuff has me really soured on her, but having John’s unabashed but endearing fanboy juxtaposed with Andy’s matter-of-factly kid-gloves approach made listening, once again, a joooy.
    I wasn’t sure if that’s possible given my state of mind concerning Shirin these days, but you guys killed it!

    Actually it’s been a few days since I listened, so I can’t go much more in-depth right now, but I still wanted to make sure to get that compliment in before it’s Survivor-Wednesday again.

    • purplerockpodcast

      Thanks for the compliment! My personal favorite part was the fact that I was able to prove Andy wrong on his contention that Shirin would’ve been a second boot in Worlds Apart. I have to remember to bring that up in the next podcast.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Be nice to him, he was just going by what the edit suggested (I hope my memory serves me well here). It would have been a close call either way and even Joaquin implied in that interview that it was Shirin until his move of telling Carolyn who made her the (fake-)target had unintended (what-if-)consequences.
        Then, on No-Collar, it was another close call…