Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Cambodia Episode 5 “A Snake in the Grass”

We finally get some new stories in the fifth episode ofย Survivor: Cambodia and thus spend the podcast discussing the goings on in Bayon and the surprising prominence of two of its members.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Cambodia episode 5 “A Snake in the Grass”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • The pre-merge phase of the season so far and the key ingredients of a great one.
  • Where did Monica go wrong?
  • Did Kimmi do the right thing? Did Jeremy and Spencer?
  • Eat now or eat later, which is the right move?
  • Spencer’s continued growth in understanding the nuances of “people”.
  • Tendons = hearts.
  • Have we seen the final five of this season?
  • What have we learned this season about the effectiveness of pre-game alliances?

All that, plus we give the Zero Percent Club its own second chance. (Or fourth chance if you’re keeping score).

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!

  • Scarlett3639

    I don’t think a pre-merge needs to be flashy and dramatic. It should set up the stories for post-merge and make us care (be invested) in the players that are going the distance. I don’t think a good pre-merge makes a season but I do think a bad one can tank it.

    If Mike hadn’t won last season, if he had been voted off right after the auction, it would have been a terrible season because we would have been stuck with only awful people and boring wet blankets (assuming Shirin and Jen went right after Mike). We got a story of a likeable underdog triumphing over dreck.

    Same with San Juan del Sur. Interesting characters and players were voted out early and we were left with a bland season. Natalie’s win helps it, but if she had been taken out and John, Jaclyn or Missy had won it would have been snoresville.

    • Barbara Anderson

      We have talked on these discussion boards about how SJDS is like a subpar version of Fiji where everybody is fairly to completely awful to watch play this game except for the winner and the fourth place finisher (yes, I did say that…Keith is damn likable). I love Cambodia Jeremy versus SJDS Jeremy and Josh was better on the jury reacting than what he was playing the game. Everybody else is fairly blah.

    • Kemper Boyd

      SJDS is much better on rewatch because you are watching Jon think he’s in charge and then lose out. Had Natalie not won it would have been probably a worse season than Nicaragua for me.

      • Barbara Anderson

        Yeah, I remember loving Jon’s boot episode because he thought that he had it on lockdown when he didn’t. He was even really cocky at his boot Tribal.

      • Scarlett3639

        I can definitely see that it would be better a second time around. I would probably even enjoy World’s Apart a lot more the second time around, because I could fast forward through all the Dan stuff knowing it won’t matter.

        • purplerockpodcast

          But you’d be fast forwarding through the Dan stuff to get to Rodney stuff. Or Will stuff. Or Carolyn stuff. So…

          That reminds me, Andy and I have to update our rankings to throw Worlds Apart in there. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be low.

          • Scarlett3639

            I take your point, but I think the Rodney and Carolyn stuff would be more tolerable knowing they aren’t going to win. Watching it “live” there was this little terrifying thought that they might actually win.

            Also, when I said enjoy a lot more, I meant in the sense that getting a cavity filled is a lot more enjoyable with Novocaine than without.

  • Other Scott

    Thanks for the kind words to the commenters, guys. Even if you weren’t talking about me in particular. Even if you were talking about everyone else but me.

    I kind of agree with the sentiment too. The reason I like sticking around here so much isn’t because I think exactly the same way you guys do, I have a lot more love for the not as smart but caring characters like Jon Misch and Woo, but because I appreciate the type of discussion that goes on around here. It’s a great combination of strategy talk, pointing out funny moments, and blatent homerism for people’s favourite characters. I also like that I can come here rather than reddit and not feel like I’m an alien for thinking Nicaragua is a bad season.

    I’m going to take this time to ask a random question: Is there a point Panama becomes decent? I’m at the merge episode now, and other than a couple of things on Casaya during the tribal stage a lot of it has been very dull.

    • Purplerockmatt

      blatant homerism for favorite characters? I have no (SAVAGE!!!!!) idea what you are talking (SAVAGE!!!!) about

      • Other Scott

        Hey, I’m talking about myself too! I do a Woo watch every week in my comment, and the last couple of seasons you expressed amusement at my defense of Kelly Remington and annoyance at my defense of Jon Misch.

        • andythesaint

          Oh yeah, the Jon Misch stuff. THE WORST.

    • andythesaint

      Decent? Yes. Panama is basically replacement-level Survivor. Not bad, but not particularly good. The key to enjoying it (but possibly why it doesn’t mesh with you) is to behold the cast of crazies and how they orbit each other. It’s fascinating because it always feels like it should fail. Also, Cirie is amazing.

      • Other Scott

        Maybe, but the one who is most at odds with the rest of the group is also the one formed the alliance and the one who is the most insanely determined that the alliance stick together. So it’s not odd to me that it’s working to this point. I haven’t found that Cirie’s come into her own yet. Solid narrating though. We’ll see. I’ve had a few seasons build on me as they went.

        Part of the issue is I don’t watch Survivor for humour at all. To me, there are much, much funnier things on that I can watch. This is also probably the reason I really dislike Nicaragua, because humour (and a particular type of humour) is all that season has to offer.

        • andythesaint

          I hear you, it’s probably why some of Panama’s charms are lost on me too. But don’t worry, Cirie should win you over.

          • andythesaint

            Panama Cirie is probably my favourite Cirie (although she continued to be awesome throughout her time on Survivor).

        • Purplerockmatt

          Panama is a season that I think is more enjoyable when you know where it is going. That Casaya alliance not only hates each other, but chose each other in the schoolyard pick and also sticks together and is brutally effective. it’s weird and bizarre but it’s also completely straightforward

    • andythesaint

      It should also be added, as always, that Nicaragua truthers are flat out wrong and moreover, fucking insane.

      Every defense I’ve ever heard for Nicaragua always results in me thinking “you just described all the reasons why it sucks. Why are you pretending that they are good things?”

      • gouis

        Same is true of the SJDS people. It’s bizarre how much they’ve convinced themselves that it’s a great season. My theory is that for most of them it was either their first or second season watching live.

        • Kemper Boyd

          It isn’t great but in places it’s fun because it’s crazy. I rewatched it (don’t ask why I’m not sure) and it was fun, not good but a better watch than a few others I’ve rewatched.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          I don’t think it’s great, but I also don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Probably lower middle tier. I like it better than Worlds Apart.

          • gouis

            Probably more pleasant to watch, to be sure. But these people act like it’s a top 5 season.

          • purplerockpodcast

            There are some weird people on r/Survivor.

    • VoicOff

      Nicaragua was my entry point to survivor. So i like it. And even if that’s not one of the best i will keep on liking it wathever you guys say.

      • purplerockpodcast

        That’s fine. You’re entitled to your incorrect opinion.

        And really, if you started with Nicaragua, you had nowhere to go but up!

        • VoicOff

          The fact that the survivor mecanisms where totally new to me when i watched it to me can definitly be a factor. Ideally Survivors season should be watched chronologically. At the beginning you are not really attuned to the strategy aspect of the game. It took me a couple seasons to start watching it more analytically.

          But there is later seasons i would rank lower, because my thinking while watching them was: why i am inflicting that on myself? Such seasons include the first All Star ( everything that happened is overshadowed in my memory by the somewhat-sexual-assault : big nono) and probably the one Boston Rob won because i really don’t find him sympathetic at all and simply stopped watching it very fast.

          But also the production values where really high in Nicaragua: it’s a lot more pretty to look at than pre-HD seasons and it’s a big factor for me. I also really enjoyed Brenda for the time she played.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Cook Islands was my first season so it will always be a favourite for me.

          • VoicOff

            But here’s the thing: people actually like cook islands here !

            Parvati ! Penner ! Ozzy before people knew he was a gigantic douch ! One of the best winner !

          • Purple Rock Emma

            That’s because Cook Islands is great and this is a community of smart people who like watching smart people play Survivor. Yay!

          • VoicOff

            Cook i one of my fav, it’s just that Kemper Boyd was semingly making a comparaison between me starting with Nicaragua and him starting with Cook islands and i wanted him to understand that it was not comparable.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I wasn’t trying to contradict you or anything. Just wanted to reiterate.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Plus the Aitu 4. YES TO THE AITU 4.

    • sharculese

      Having someone who view Survivor from such a different perspective is awesome; just don’t get to Mario Lanza levels of giddy contrarianism.

      • Purplerockmatt

        for someone who is so funny, his opinions sure are terrible.

      • andythesaint

        We regularly complain about his old man crankism.

        • sharculese

          Even his opinions about the seasons he likes are kind of terrible. I stopped listening to Historians midway through Thailand because I realized it was more irritating that informative.

          • purplerockpodcast

            He likes Thailand?!

          • Purplerockmatt

            is it older than All-Stars? then he likes it

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I told you he thinks 1-7 is better than anything that came later!

          • sharculese

            He defends it pretty aggressively.

          • purplerockpodcast

            As aggressively as Robb chokes out Clay?

        • gouis

          Yeah it’s kind of true about all the ‘old school’ Survivor experts like that guy David Bloomberg that Rob has on his podcast.

      • Other Scott

        I love historians, just because I love the retrospective recaps and the fact they are putting in the feelings of the time it was airing into it. I don’t love Lanza at all.

        His valuing of the fans who have been there since the beginning as superior annoys me, understandably.

        • Barbara Anderson

          If you have issues with the Historians, I wouldn’t listen to its current recaps-it’s Cook Islands, which Mario calls his least favorite season.

          • andythesaint

            It’s possible that we may have had a 15 minute debate of how to response to snarky Lanza comment on Twitter about why Emma lists Cook Islands as one of her favourites.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yeah…I need to rewatch Cook Islands to have a dog in the fight but it is slightly shocking how much he doesn’t like Cook Islands.

          • Crappy

            Even RobC listed it as one of his least fav as did Wigler. I think all of them underrate how good it was to watch Aitu 4 go from 8 to 4 disadvantage to being the final 4. It was a great underdog story

          • Barbara Anderson

            Hmmm….

          • Kemper Boyd

            This is why I love it. There are a lot of negatives but fuck me watching Candace get her comeuppance after she flipped on them is magical. The Aitu 4’s winning streak is a truly great run. Also this is the least annoying Ozzy.

          • Other Scott

            I don’t particularly love Cook Islands either, so I’m sure I’ll be fine. It sounds like it’s interesting anyways.

            That 11-15 section of Survivor is a section I have much lower opinions on compared to most fans. The problem is there’s a lot of strategy focus that wasn’t there the first 10, except since the strategy is still pretty rudimentary it becomes fairly dull. They also seem to not be as good at storytelling, other than the obvious Aitu 4. I have no idea what story they were trying to get at the end of Guatamala, for instance.

          • Barbara Anderson

            That Stephenie is the worst? Yeah, the end of Guatemala is fairly terrible because Danni wasn’t giving them anything.

          • purplerockpodcast

            At least when we came through with out Nicaragua hate we came correct. And also kept it short, because that season doesn’t deserve our words.

          • Other Scott

            It’s more like if you guys decided to do a 6 hour podcast on Nicaragua and trashed it repeatedly with the exact same criticisms the entire time. Who wants to listen to that?

          • Other Scott

            Just listened to the Cook Islands historians, and while the other three were actually really good (Jay may have been a tad more disinterested than normal), Mario was downright insufferable on the podcast, especially the last hour.

            Every 20 seconds he interjects in the conversation with a point on how he has no notes and how boring Cook Islands is. It was pretty much all he said for the last bit, and he just kept piling on more and more. It was dreadful.

            There was a good podcast in there somewhere, they had a lot more fun with the season than they were expecting I think, but Mario, constantly repeating Cook Islands is boring is not funny, entertaining and destroys anything good your podcast could be doing with that season.

          • Barbara Anderson

            He says that he has insider information about the back half of Cook Islands from the production viewpoint. That could make the second podcast better…I hope.

          • Other Scott

            I’m pretty sure that “insider information” is going to be something along the lines of Cook Islands was rigged. I don’t think the second podcast is going to be better

          • Barbara Anderson

            I think he is hinting that is was rigged and then the season righting itself to the Aitu 4 winning…but I could be wrong.

    • purplerockpodcast

      Our commenters here really are awesome. I love talking about the show with you guys, even when you’re clearly wrong (which would be whenever you disagree with me). I had a certain group of regulars in my head when I complimented you guys on the podcast, and you were in that group. I’d name other names, but then I’ll start forgetting people and I’ll just feel like a jerk.

    • Ms_Woozah

      Group hug?

      • Other Scott

        Group hug.

  • sharculese

    Not being in on the plan has the potential to to be pretty good for Spencer’s position. If there’s one thing we know about Jeremy, it’s that he’s bitter about the lack of rational players on SJdS. If Spencer can come back from that vote and just be like “I get it, you had good reason not to tell me what what going on, no hard feelings,” he stands to solidify himself as someone Jeremy wants to work with.

    And I’m pretty sure Spencer has it in him to deliver exactly that reaction.

  • turgid_legume

    Damnit, I think I just got spoiled by watching a video on Survivor’s youtube channel. They just put up a 30 second promo for next week’s episode that reveals several facts, and the comments point out one other observation from the video that relates to who is affected by the evac/quit thing that was mentioned at the end of this last episode.

  • sharculese

    Oh, and on Kimmi, the impression I got from Australia was that her vegetarianism only extended to vertebrates, which is why she could eat the worm. So mollusks and crustaceans would be okay. Did we see her catch fish?

    • andythesaint

      Fish? I don’t think so.

      • andythesaint

        There’s a Stephen pun there that’s both too easy and stretch. Letting it sit.

  • sharculese

    Just bought something using your amazon link.

    • andythesaint

      Gracias.

    • purplerockpodcast

      Thanks!

  • Ine

    I just wanted to say that I love listening to your podcasts! I just got into survivor a few months ago and I’ve been busy catching up on older seasons, so this is the first time I’ve been able to join/listen to discussions about a season while it’s actually running.
    I used to watch the Belgian version while it was on, but that was a long time ago so it’s fun to see the differences between that one and the American show ๐Ÿ˜€
    So anyway, thanks for the content you’re putting up!

    • purplerockpodcast

      I’m glad you enjoy the show (both ours and Survivor itself). How many older seasons have you seen?

      • Ine

        About 15, I guess. I’ve mostly been using your rankings to decide what to watch next (very useful!), that’s how I found you!

  • Violina23

    I just want to add that the most satisfying part of the episode, for me, was that they actually used #blindside correctly. Monica had NO clue her name was even in contention. That’s why her facial expression was gold. Varner getting voted out in the last episode was not a #blindside because he had some idea that he was in contention, just didn’t think it was going that way.

    Great podcast as always — the laugh-aloud meter was at 3 times, mostly when I was listening in the car. I’d comment more but I have stuff to do Wednesday nights (besides watch Survivor, crazy I know!) and my capacity to turn thoughts into words diminishes dramatically after 11PM ๐Ÿ™‚