Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 10 “A Line Drawn in Concrete”

Andy and John discuss a crowd-pleasing episode of  Survivor: Game Changers that will surely put the season on the right course, right? RIGHT?

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episodes 10 “A Line Drawn in Concret”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Happy times are back for this season as the good guys win an episode.
  • But should Sarah have flipped? How does this benefit her?
  • What made Sarah flip? Was it a careful calculation of all the avenues this opens up, or was she just mad at Debbie because of things Aubry told her?
  • Can Sarah win this season?
  • Is Debbie a terrible alliance partner?
  • What is Debbie’s highlight from her time in Survivor?
  • Michaela has no chill.
  • Neither does Andrea.
  • Will this save the season?
  • Was Cirie’s inspirational moment really a thing?

If you have questions or comments, @ us on Twitter, or send us an email (purplerockpodcast at gmail).

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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143 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 10 “A Line Drawn in Concrete”

  1. I’m throwing this up for everyone who listened to this week’s TAZ.

    Two Survivor references! Plural!

    I want to know what the point is to rushing through these cycles. I feel like there are entire arc’s worth of material being compressing compressed into half an hour. We’re supposed to be gaining backstory and getting to know these characters more, but that’s just not happening. It all feels very rote and very much trying to force this new mechanic to work. Both the narrative and the improv seem sacrificed to the mechanic and the episode pace, which is ironic considering why they left the D&D system. I mean, Merle was literally the Messiah to his church, and that story was reduced to almost nothing. There was no emotional weight to the end of that cycle (btw, I’m 50/50 on calling the raining down of inky columns The Hunger Strikes). We never actually heard a conversation with anyone from the fungus world, and even though we’re fast forwarding on this timeline, like nothing at all? And the world of TAZ: Nights (which I haven’t listened to yet and which Clint almost spoiled for me) is something they could have explored and made such a great story from. If I have to find a silver lining to this pre-finale arc (which I think is doing the narrative a disservice), it would have to be that the McElroys are working out kinks in systems they’ll possibly use when they set aside D&D mechanics. But considering that we’re not even a quarter of the way into this Stolen Century, I’m hoping we quickly get back to the exciting, goof-filled TAZ beats we’ve gotten previously.

    TLDNR: I understand why this mechanic is necessary for this arc, but is this arc necessary for the narrative?

    Also, does Grif’s Lip voice sound like Lydia all of a sudden? It sounded much more like Taako last episode.

    Also also, possibly two Right Thursdays in a row?


    1. I know there were two Survivor references but the only one that stuck in my head was Justin talking about making a fake HII. What was the other one.

      I guess I’m on the other side of the fence from you, because I’m loving this arc. We have to get snapshots of this adventure, because otherwise it will take forever, and I think Griffin (naively) underestimated just how long doing one cycle would take. I think he thought they’d bang out four or five per episode, not two. I don’t think we’re losing the improv, I think we’re seeing the result of Griffin not realizing how much improv the boys would do if he gave them free reign. Griffin seemed genuinely surprised and delighted when Clint said Merle was staying on the mushroom planet and I think what we heard was less him yada-yadaing that and more him figuring out how to respond to something cool that had just happened.

      But like, I don’t think the worlds we’re visiting are the point. This is about exploring the bonds between the crew and it’s leading up to something we already knows happens. At this point it seems pretty clear my guess was wrong and the relics are made from the Light of Creation.

      I wonder if your reaction is different than mine because I’ve spent the last month listening to a podcast where Griffin doesn’t ever have to play the straight man role, he gets to always be the goofball who Rachel has to react to.

      As to the TAZ Nights thing: they didn’t really spoil anything about TAZ: Nights. The earpiece and eyepiece thing was a callback, and a lot of what they said assumed a basic knowledge of the plot of TAZ: Nights that they probably shouldn’t have, but they didn’t reveal anything.

      My bigger takeaway from that cycle was that Griffin just finished playing Neir: Automata and really wanted to make a world where the people were gone and robots were roleplaying as humans. That’s what it felt like until he mentions TAZ: Nights.

      My bigger problem with the second cycle was that they actually did start to lose the improv feel on the end and it went back to the on-rails-y feel of stuff like Neverwinter Limited. Griffin clearly had a situation he wanted to set up, presumably to help move forward the plotline of what happened to Lup, and he basically forced the boys down it, even after they took their turns. And I think we have to expect a certain amount of that, because he has a lot of stuff to unpack in these episodes, but that part felt very forced, even as they did it well.

      1. I forgot the context, but Griffin was saying something was like a Survivor challenge “where you have to hold a paint can above your head.”

        I agree that the point of this arc is about exploring the bonds between the crew, but that’s not happening because we almost never hear them talk. It’s always “Capenport does this” or “I take Barry with me to do X and Y.” There’s no substantial interaction that we witness. So if these cool worlds were being sacrificed for substantial character development, I’d be cool with it, but it feels like we’re not getting either.

  2. I had this idea while listening to the podcast that Cirie is like Bodhi in Point Break, and it’s her job to lead Johnny Utah (Sarah, convincingly played by Keanu Reeves) to enlightenment. But in order to do so, Sarah will have to eventually turn on Cirie’s crew, with some assistance from her partner Gary Busey (Zeke). Michaela will get taken out by an idol played by Troy (in the role of that one off-duty cop in the bank that gets held up), and Cirie, enraged, will lead a charge that wipes out most of the rest of the Brad/Sierra alliance (um…I guess they would all also be playing that one off-duty cop in the bank that gets held up). Zeke and Sarah take out that one guy in Bodhi’s gang who’s barely in the movie (Aubry), and Andrea (Roach) manages to take out Zeke. Cirie, exhausted of trying to fight this battle, instead decides to go surfing in the 50-Year Storm. Tai rounds out the cast as Lori Petty.

    1. Now that I’ve laid all this out, if this were to happen, I would be completely satisfied with this season.

          1. Nick Frost is on Into the Badlands now – as a guy who is a powerful martial arts master.

  3. A+ trolling on the Zeke vs. Sarah thing. I actually came here while still listening to the podcast to comment that the major difference for me between Zeke’s move and Sarah’s move is that Sarah’s move worked! But then you said it in the podcast so my idea doesn’t seem quite so original XP

      1. I think I accidentally hit the downvote button with my fat numb pregnant fingers. Sorry!!! I upvoted to even it out, and because I always upvote people who agree with me 😀

    1. It’s funny because my first thought after this was that Zeke’s best chance to get to the end and actually get credit for “moves” would be to shift back and forth between alliances (as teased in the preview), but now basically everybody is applying that same analysis to Sarah.

      Basically, it sounds like Sarah and Zeke are, in the most generalized way possible, doing the same basic thing. But it’s working for Sarah and not Zeke.

  4. Episode 6 of Kaoh Rong was highlight of Debbie’s career. It had both Michele killing herself joke, the reveal that she modeled, and her weird crush on Nick.

    1. Kaoh Rong tribe swap was peak Debbie. She was also great when she introduced herself to Cydney, between her “DING KACHING KACHING” confessional and swinging from her “pull up bar” while looking at Cydney in admiration.

  5. I’m looking forward to listening later tonight!
    In the meantime: I haven’t had the time to look at the comments and discussions on this episode, so maybe I just missed it, but does anyone else think that maybe Probst turned Cirie finishing the challenge into such a big thing because it would increase the chance of someone spotting the advantage? It must have been frustrating to see it go to waste, so this could have been a spur of the moment idea? That’s what went through my head when watching it, but maybe I’m overthinking it.

    1. This is a solid theory. Most likely, it’s just because he had a hard on for the redemption story, but I like your angle.

  6. The first Amazon product I see on this site is a book called “A Line Drawn”. The cover shows a woman wearing only white panties laying face down on a couch while a man with an unbuttoned shirt is standing behind her holding a rod. Only the finest of literature makes it onto your ads.

    1. I just bought a wireless mouse, so now I’m getting ads for OTHER wireless mouses, plus various dell PCs. At least that is somewhat targeted?


    1. I’m with ADAM on this. He’s not an example of Big Moves (TM) being bad strategy; he’s the best possible advertisement for not playing it safe. He went big, failed repeatedly, and STILL won.

      1. Honestly was kind of a much weaker version of Sandra in HvV. They both found themselves on the outside of alliances, tried to stir things up, failed (Sandra by the stupidity of the Heroes. ADAM by Hannah and some bumblingly bad decisions by himself), and won by virtue of showing a willingness to wrk with others.

  8. Now I remember what was I going to say. It a shame that for story of season we did not see Andrea and Zeke relationship before there huge break up. For something that is so huge in season now we did not initial relationship. Hell those two were together the entire game and we see nothing between them.

    1. If we’re reading edits, this is of course a VERY BAD sign for one or both of Andrea and Zeke.

        1. It’s also what happens when 4 of the 6 people this season was using as the big marketing hook are among the first 6 boots. Not that I’m complaining for the ridiculous big edits of Tony, Sandra etc.

          1. This will come off as me once again whining about the Survivor good old days (which it indeed is), but is it just my bad memory or in the old times the edit used to be much better spread across everyone than nowadays? I feel that nowadays from episode number one we are hammered in the head, “These are the players you should care about; just forget the rest is even playing the game.”

          2. Easier to do when there were four fewer people and strategy was often “we are voting for this person because they are not in our alliance”.

          3. My argument would be that the early part of season spent some time on Ozzy vs Cirie (what a weird waste of time) that probably should have shown Zeke and Andrea bond instead

          4. Cirie and Parvati flipping on the Favorites alliance to blindside Ozzy is one of the biggest moments in the show’s history. Zeke and Andrea playing fake Survivor in a park together is not. There’s a reason the show gave one of those relationships more attention than the other.

            Remember, this show is not made for us. It is made for people who don’t know Zeke and Andrea live in the same city and would ask you to stop if you tried to explain what “Survivor: Brooklyn,” is. But a lot of those people still remember Micronesia and want to know what the state of that relationship is.

          5. I don’t want to go down a weird edgic hole, but I remember seeing the preseason promos for Game Changers while other roommate was watching The Price Is Right, and the person most inexplicably featured in the cast was… Troyzan.

  9. Today was my last day student teaching, and I am ready to kick back, relax, and listen to the podcast. It’s been a long day, but, hey, at least Debbie’s out!

    Also, I just have to brag about this gift from one of my Survivor-watching students. She couldn’t get a mug sent from Amazon in time, so she made this for me. It says “Out Smart, Out Laugh, Out Fun.”
    The marker is already starting to smudge off, so I’m baking in my oven right now to set it, so I can have it on my desk forever.

      1. I don’t think I can do it tonight. I am completely knocked out from being up all night yesterday.

        1. Do elementary school kids have Milestone tests? I’m not sure how that system works since it didn’t exist yet when I was in school.

          1. Yeah. My kids took Milestones last week. We took different tests (CRCT and a couple others that I can’t remember) when I was in school, but Milestones is still a Big Deal. Luckily, 4th grade is only Language Arts and Math, so there was no pressure on me as the Social Studies teacher this semester, which was a relief.

          2. At least in Northern Virginia (which I know is not where PurpleTally lives), in the later elementary years the kids start switching between teachers who teach language arts/social studies and teachers who teach math/science. The idea being “you’ll switch in middle school, so let’s start getting you used to doing that”.

          3. Whoa, maybe I’m out if it but I didn’t realize that was happening. I taught 7th grade English for 12 years in inner city LA so maybe we were just old school. 6th grade split kids that way (with other teachers for PE and electives), but I hadn’t heard about splitting before that.

          4. It depends on the school. The school where I was teaching has done it for a couple of years, but they’re switching back to team teaching (math & science and language arts & social studies) for next year, which is what we did for 4th and 5th when I was growing up. It’s a little unbalanced, though, because they really should be having more time in math and ELA.

    1. My Mom, Dad, and sister-in-law are teachers. Those little things are so special. I wish you the best in your career.

    2. Student teaching was a blast. Teaching teaching is too, but sometimes it’s a depressing/frustrating blast. Here’s to you starting your career!

    3. That’s awesome. If I had the right temperament, I seriously always considered being a teacher. You sound like you really connected with your students 🙂

    4. That is fantastic! Making those connections was the best part of teaching for me. I’m excited for your future students that they’ll have someone as delightful as you to teach them.

  10. Regarding Andrea – this may just be me wildly applying the benefit of the doubt to someone I like, but I also wonder if the difference between her reaction here vs. how she reacted to her ouster in Caramoan is that in Caramoan she basically had no idea it was coming, so she got blindsided and was out of the game all in a few seconds. This time she was aware of the attempt, knew who was spearheading it and watched it fail. This left her still in the game but down in the numbers, trying to regain her footing and recover from a major setback. I could see how watching your game slip through your fingers in slow motion, with the feeling that a specific person (who you thought was your ally) was to blame could put a person in a bad mood. Also, it’s entirely possible that she is taking her impending loss harder this time because (like Malcolm) she assumes that this is her last shot at Survivor.

    To go completely off on a tangent based on my last sentence: who does everyone think will be next player(s) to join the 4 timers club? And will there ever be a 5 timer?

    1. Ciera, probably. For reasons only known to Probst. Maybe Sandra in an All Winners? And Malcolm will be back.

      I still don’t know if we’ve seen the last of Ozzy or Rupert, so yes.

      1. Think they’d include Rupert in an all-winners season, since he did win a million dollars as “fan favorite”?

        Which is total bullshit; that should have gone to Boston Rob.

    2. From non-winners 3 timers Malcolm is the safest bet to come back. There are also some recent 2 timers that I can see them going fourth by season 45 like Joe, Spencer, Wentworth.

      I think most of the 3 timers that have also won will only come back for the long awaited all-winners season that is definately happening any minute now.

    3. Malcolm is safe a safe bet. Ciera likely too. Sandra and Parvati are welcome if they ever to return. Boston Rob likely has a dump truck full of money waiting outside his house.

      1. I don’t know, I feel like if they bring back again a MvsGX player, they will bring Jay, David, Adam, Jessica, and probably even Michaela before him. Or maybe it’s just a wishful thinking on my part.

        1. Wishful thinking. The guy who brought the show more mainstream attention than anyone in years who has become a steadfast ambassador of the show in the process? Yeah, he gets to come back if he wants to.

          1. Yeah, I didn’t think of that. And I don’t want to sound like I COMPLETELY don’t want to see Zeke again, just that I would like to see some people from his season more, and even from older seasons (but I would actually like to see a version of Zeke who saw himself on TV, and knows what mistakes he made).

    4. It seems to me that what exasperated her the most about this was that she thought it was a horrible move. (And it was, of course.) As people have discussed before, it is more or less okay to be outplayed in Survivor, but it must be extremely frustrating to have your entire game ruined by someone screwing up. (Like Malcolm certainly felt.)

  11. In re where Aubry’s jury vote might go, I’m gonna highlight this from David talking on RHAP about MvGX. This is a paraphrase, but it’s close enough that I think he would agree I captured the sentiment of his comment.

    I voted for Adam because he played the game in the way that was closest to my game. So voting for him to win felt like validating my own approach to the game.

    Not saying that’s definitely a calculation Aubry will make as a juror, but it seems like a very Aubry thing to do.

    1. Hey, Sharc, is there a place in the Menu for the Underground thread? Or does that require “work” from John? I can’t seem to find my way back.

  12. I’m happy that having to discuss Debbie’s best moments made you get over your stubborn prejudices and finally discover that you love Debbie like the rest of us.

    But I agree that Cirie’s moment was very weird. The confessionals (especially the secret scenes) show that the moment was very emotional and powerful to the people there (especially Cirie), and it does seem like they say so genuinely. But for us it just felt awkward and forced. And I have to place the blame for this one on Jeff. He should have made it seem more like Cirie’s wish to not go back without beating the challenge, and not like he was saying, “Hey, I know that you are tired and all, but cross this beam over there so I can get some higher ratings for my show.” (In her confessionals, it does seem like she was grateful to get the opportunity to beat the challenge; they just didn’t manage to display that well through the edit.)

    1. I’ll have to watch the secret scenes then, to get a little more context for the moment. I think you’re right that Jeff pretty much ruined it by insisting on telling us why it was so moving and basically coming off as making her finish the challenge. I do think that Cirie has been a lot more emotional this time around, and she has been describing every situation by how it relates to her kids which always seems to bring the tears. Maybe she’s just really missing her family? Or maybe she decided to fully dedicate this game to her sons and she’s feeling the pressure? (That last one feels really Boston-Rob-in-RI to me btw)

  13. Okay, time for another iteration of tocantins’ power rankings. Since I skipped the last two weeks for personal problems and bad episodes, I won’t put the ranking changes. (As they would mean very little.)

    – Brad: Brad hasn’t had a great last couple of episodes, but there was no way he could continue his edit streak without Survivor having to come out and directly admit that he is winning the season. For me that is a red-herring: like in a whodunit where they first expose the culprit as a suspect, and then focus on other suspects hoping that you forget that the first one is still the most likely candidate. (Besides the edit, his game position is superb: everyone loves him, and even though we hear a lot of people saying he is a big threat, no one at all actually targets him.)
    – Sarah: she was never completely absent from the edit, even though her tribe was always winning. And now she has had an awesome sequence of episodes, which puts her definitely as a probable winner, along with Brad. Her position in the game right now is a bit dangerous, being in the middle of two alliances, but it has tons of winner potential.

    – Sierra: her position is a bit dangerous, as she is being constantly targeted for running the game. But that means that if she gets to FTC, she has a good pitch to win it. Her edit is not the best, but win-able.
    – Cirie: her edit is good, and thoroughly positive. And she is playing a great game. Unfortunately, her position in the game doesn’t seem very solid. She is the last one that I consider likely to win this game.

    – Troy: Troy is doing alright in the majority alliance, with an idol and with no heat on his back. And he can win immunities. In fact, if you look only at game state, his position is as good or even better than Brad’s. But his edit is simply much worse. Still winnable, though.
    – Tai: Tai is sitting well with two idols and plenty of allies; his edit is alright. I just can’t see Tai as a winner. (As in I can’t see the jury seeing Tai as a winner.) He is the last one that I wouldn’t be Michelle-level surprised if he were to win the game.
    – Andrea: Andrea has been a target for the last couple of weeks, and it seems that trend will continue. It is very hard for someone to resist this pressure for long, especially when they have as many enemies as allies.

    – Zeke: I have a really hard time imagining how Zeke could win this game. He has one ally left after his move last week: Sarah. Who is a powerful ally, but one that he will certainly lose to in the end, and that if he ever becomes dangerous, will easily get rid of him.
    – Michaela: Michaela has absolutely no allies. (Maybe Cirie, but she seems to be more like a number to Cirie than a legitimate ally.) And most of the tribe (and future jury) really dislikes her. She is not winning this.
    – Aubry: she is another one that is low on the ally count. But much more damning to her is the edit. Even this week, where she arguably the best play of the episode (it could easily have been edited as her move), she barely appeared.

    1. Brad is close to going down the road of being the “Ken” of this season. Huge pre merge followed by a huge fall off post. Obviously not as extreme but it does make me wonder if there’s an intentional similarity.

    2. I think Brad is still winning. I think his lack of screen time this week actually benefits him, since all of the “Bow before the six, Mortals” stuff went to Sierra and Debbie. I think Sarah will be the final juror.

      You are valuing Troy way too highly. He has gotten so little screen time and what they have shown is mostly about how he is part of Brad and Sarah’s game.

      1. And remember when we said last season that lack of screentime for Ken at the mege may be good for him? I still stick to that comparison. But I do think the only possible people who I think can have a winner edit are Brad, Sarah and Cirie (she has a good post-merge edit, and a lot of women have a weak pre-merge edit, and she has a reason for it cause she didn’t go to any TC pre-merge). Zeke, Michaela, Sierra and Tai as highly unlikely dark horses, and Troy, Andrea and Aubry as “nopes”.

      2. Well, it is not so much as I value Troy highly, but that I value the others too lowly. I mean, maybe most of you would place Tai above him (and I already admitted before that I’m personally biased against Tai), but I really can’t see placing Andrea, Zeke, Michaela, or Aubry above Troy.

    1. I got Coach.

      No–I got Cirie the first time, then Sandra when I chose the second-best answers.

    2. I got Zeke which doesn’t surprise me at all…other than I would be completely faking my self-confidence.

      1. I believe getting Zeke means you are a mastermind; this may or may not be my self-serving assumption.

    3. I got Sandra. BOW DOWN BEFORE MY GREATNESS (actual text was “Bow. Down. Bitches. You’re smart as a fox, athletic as a drunk panda, and very manipulative. You are the queen everyone loves and loves to hate.”)

  14. I gots to post Taako’s Totally Subjective RPDR Power Rankings for the last Drag Race I can watch live in a while, this week based on Snatch Game impressions, Madonna runways, and previous weeks’ rankings.

    1. Shea Coulee (-)
    2. Alexis Michelle (+3)
    2. Sasha Velour (+2)
    2. Valentina (-)
    5. Nina Bonina Brown (-3)
    6. Peppermint (-2)
    7. Trinity Taylor (-)
    8. Aja (+2)
    8. Farrah Moan (-1)
    10. Cynthia Lee Fontaine (-1)
    11. Eureka (-)
    12. Charlie Hides (-)
    13. Kimora Blac (-)
    14. Jaymes Mansfield (-)

    With the Snatch Game and this runway theme, this should have been a fantastic episode, but I wasn’t feeling it. Alexis clearly won the Snatch Game, even though I don’t think she would come close to a win in some other past seasons. Everyone else was either fair or terrible. And for the runways, I was impressed by Alexis and Sasha (maybe Valentina and Farrah) but I wasn’t gagged by anyone. It felt very “eh.”

    And Aja was wrong. Valentina walked out in next to a diaper, and she was only safe.

    I think at this point, Farrah, Peppermint, and Aja are drawing dead. Trinity is on the border, though I think there’s at least a way for her to make F4 or F3.

    1. I was pretty impressed by Valentina’s Erotica idea and execution, but yeah, the whole episode was meh. I like the Untucked eps way more than the show this season. Sigh.

      1. This week’s Untucked was great. Farrah, Aja, and Pepper, plus “2 inches shorter? I thought it should have been 5 inches longer.”

    2. I agree, this was surprisingly meh for a Snatch game episode. Character choices weren’t great and no one was really that funny IMO. Alexis did a great Liza impression but it didn’t actually make me laugh very hard. I liked Sasha’s runway outfit and thought her Snatch Game performance was fairly funny so I would have been okay with her winning, but whatev. I think there are just a lot of queens this season who just aren’t naturally funny and/or can’t improv.
      I think right now I’m rooting most of all for Valentina, though I would be up for a redemption storyline for Nina.

      1. I think Alexis deserved the win, but Sasha was a close second. Shea deserved third instead of Nina. But Shea is my #1 rooting interest, with Valentina second, so maybe I’m biased. I’d be down for more Nina if she embraced her drag and knew it was fierce like Chi Chi, but if its more like Trinity K Bonet where she just kinda mopes around, that’d be such a bummer.

  15. I’m glad you guys weren’t convinced Sarah’s move was good. I agree with everything Andy said – I definitely don’t think it was the best move for her going forward. I think John’s hypothesis that Sarah could regroup with Brad and Sierra or even band with Andrea/Cirie and still do really well is still very possible, but there is much greater risk involved now.

    Now she could be seen as a flip flopper and someone that is dishonest, and she’s made herself a much bigger target, especially if she’s going to be the swing vote again next week as the preview sort of implied she might swap back to Brad and Sierra. People now have a legitimate reason to band against her. All eyes will be on her – not a great position to be in. I’m not saying she can’t get to the final three still, I just think she made it much more difficult for herself. I had a lot of points but as I listened Andy covered literally everything I was thinking. She had a viable path to the FTC and now it’s much more complex.

    Although one positive for her if she gets to the FTC is that she’ll have this on her resume and she can say she made a big strategic move. Obviously she won’t have Debbie vote but that’s probably not a big deal.

    Also thank you for calling out all the people saying it was the best move for Sarah because Debbie is unreliable. Once Debbie has people she feels comfortable with she is generally incredibly loyal to them. Even after she exploded at Brad she still ran back to him pretty quickly. She has a lot of flaws, but Debbie always just wants to vote with whatever alliance she’s with for as long as possible. Also Sarah swapped over to a side with Cirie and Andrea (even if it’s momentarily) and I feel like they’d be MUCH more unreliable allies in the sense that they’d both throw you under the bus in a second to get further.

    Also like you guys said – Debbie is bad at most aspects of the game and she won’t get any votes at a FTC. For so many reasons Debbie was not the optimal choice for Sarah this episode.

    A lot of people have very fair points in defence of Sarah’s move but I definitely think some people’s overwhelming hatred of Debbie lead them to be pretty biased/inflexible with their opinions.

    1. I’ve been going back and forth on her move since it happened. Obviously, I liked it in the sense it helped Team Fun, which is the alliance I’m rooting for. And I think the perception it was a good move for Sarah is based on quasi-results based thinking, in the fact that many of us are sold on her winner’s edit so we perceive this as a good move if it helps her win.

      On the other hand, I think being in Team Fun may be more beneficial for her in the sense that, as you said, Cirie and Andrea are more willing to throw people under the bus to get further. Do you really see Cirie, Andrea, and Aubry (and Zeke for that matter) letting all of them being the F3 or F4? They are going to move against each other, and Sarah will be in the middle again. Whereas I think Team Boring was a bit more collectively loyal and Sarah was on the outside of that, barring Sierra’s offer being sincere (I have no idea if it was or not). I also can’t credit Sarah’s thinking being on these lines.

      As to Debbie’s loyalty, there may be something to that, but I’m not sure her loyalty was to Sarah, which was a problem for her. I still think she’s a bit of a loose cannon, but in the accidental loose cannon sense – like she would do something stupid or arrogant, not disloyal – that would hurt an alliance.

      Ultimately, I think this will be one of the moves debated forever because we won’t get a proper answer on whether it was good or not because the deck gets reshuffled next week, probably on Zeke v Andrea lines.

      1. I enjoy Debbie but I’m definitely OK with it too because, like you, I want Team Fun to do well and it should shake up the next few episodes.

        Hmm that’s a good point relating her winner’s edit to this move. Comparing Brad and her in the last few episodes I think she’s definitely going to win as well, and so chances are this move WILL work out for her, but I think basing an opinion on a perceived winner’s edit is a bit lazy. I agree that we’ll probably never know, because of those reasons you listed, and also because we’ll never get to see if a Sierra/Debbie/Sarah could have actually worked out.

        Hmm, true, Andrea/Cirie/Andrea wouldn’t all want to be in the F3 together, and Sarah could be in the middle, but she could be voted out because she’s the ideal person everyone wants to take (Cirie’s done that before) or because she’s the swing vote – like in Cagayan.

        I agree the other side is seemingly more collectively loyal, but as soon as its final six she’s the valued swing vote on that side too and everyone will want to work with her (or vote her out because she is the swing – same argument as above). And if Sierra was sincere they’d ideally only have to rope in one more person and they’d have a solid three person voting bloc. Also even if Debbie wasn’t loyal to Sarah, I think she’d still honour final 6, and I think Sarah would have a lot of wiggle room at that point.

        I suppose, realistically a final six with Team Fun could easily work for her, or a final six with Team Boring could work for her. I think both sides have good points. I’ll stop arguing and I’ll wait and see how it pans out.

          1. Ahh, man! That’s an edit. Two invincible Andreas would explain why she’s such a challenge beast.

      2. I agree with your loose cannon comments. I had a similar feeling but was struggling with a way of phrasing it, but I think you’re spot on. Debbie won’t necessarily go against her alliance, but she may make a well intended blunder that hurts a relationship with a potential ally (like her aggressive courting of Tai in Kaoh Rong).

    2. You make some fair points here, and after listening to PRP and KIA and thinking about it some more, I am a little lower on Sarah’s move that I was initially. However, I’d say a couple points in her favor are that she pulled the move off successfully and it was just about as close to a precision strike as you can get on Survivor. From what we saw, she named one target and helped rally the numbers to execute a successful blindside on that person with minimal collateral damage. Also, even though Debbie might not have been the most strategically effective target, who (besides Debbie) is going to stay mad at you for voting her out? I’d compare it to the 3 Amigos going after Phillip in Caramoan – it’s a flashy move and everyone left in the game can sort of shrug and move on.
      You mentioned that it’s a resume move for Sarah, and I think that if she can stay in with the numbers and potentially make it to the end this will be something she relies on heavily at FTC (and I could actually see it convincing some people).
      So, I don’t think it was a strategically ~game changing~ move necessarily, but I do think it showed a moderate level of skill for Sarah and as long as she can get a little scrappy she’ll be fine in the long run, and maybe even better off because of it.

      1. I 100% think Sarah can rely heavily on it at FTC if she makes it that far, and it could hypothetically help her win the game, but she has to get there first and this move could make it more difficult (in my opinion at least). But given her amazing edit so far I think she probably will be there, so yeah it’s most likely going to help her out.

        I think people will shrug it off a bit in the sense that they’ll be spending so much time focusing on their next moves, but I definitely don’t think Sierra, in particular, is going to just forgive and forget. So yeah I sort of agree that it might not have a huge impact given how fast the game moves, but I think it’s definitely going to strain a few of her relationships a bit. Although they’ll probably still work with her because they’ll need her.

        Even if it does work out really well for her, I still don’t know if Sarah is the one that deserves all the praise, personally. She was the deciding vote, but as Andy and John mentioned in the podcast, Sarah made this move based on what Aubry told her and sort of went with it because she was sick of being excluded by Debbie, or for whatever reason. Sarah is getting all the praise because it wouldn’t have worked without her but it wasn’t her decision to vote Debbie out in the first place. It didn’t take much convincing though so part of me feels like she just chose to take Aubry for her word because she was just really sick of Debbie and didn’t want to deal with her anymore. I know it’s bold to step away from your alliance, but when it comes to the actual move, it was basically just her choosing between two different options that had been presented to her.

          1. Ahaha no, actually. One time I got two episodes in, the other time I got three or four episodes in I think. Some seasons I’ve tried to get into a few times but I just can’t persevere through them. The amount of times I’ve tried to finish Nicaragua..

          2. Don’t worry about it. I’m actually surprised that you at least didn’t finish pre-merge, when it’s actually pretty good in my opinion (and I probably like WA more than most. It doesn’t crack my top 20, but I don’t didlike it). I actually have a similar problem. It’s not that I don’t want to with finish some some season of Survivor, Big Brother or The Amazing Race, a lot of times it’s a season that I really like, but just i’m getting too lazy to finish it if I do even 1 day off (too lazy to watch TV amrite). It mostly occures for me when I begin some new season that I didn’t watch.

            And I probably exaggerate the Sierra stuff, but with them puting her on the season, they just ask for it.

            Ashley Underwood, we’re forever grateful for what you’ve brought to the game. We are not worthy of the joy you bring us.

          3. There were just so many creepy characters in there and i was not having a good time. I just didn’t find anyone particularly likeable/interesting aside from Jenn but she wasn’t enough to keep me watching. Also I think if you know going into the season that it’s not particularly great then that’ll put you off a bit too. Although sometimes it’s the complete opposite. But yeah, could not get into it. After all that mediocre praise maybe I’ll have to give it a third shot.

            Aha I totally understand where you’re coming from with that, if you miss it for a day then it stops becoming a routine thing. Definitely makes sense. I suppose it’s good in the sense that it means you’re watching less TV, and TV is evil apparently.

            Aha fair enough, without having watched WA her inclusion in this season is just as baffling to me. Make fun of Sierra all you want, I approve.

          4. I wouldn’t still say that I recommend it. There are bunch of better seasons than

            it. But if you want for the completionist sake, you can do it. For me, even if there is some seasons that I don’t particulary like (*cough*Thailand and Redemption Island *cough*), I still completed it cause I want to spiritually show my love for this great show, and probably I’ll do it the same with BB and TAR, who I really like from the seasons that I saw.

          5. Even if you’d watched all of WA, Sierra’s inclusion in this season would be baffling to you. In fact, it would be more baffling.

        1. I should mention that I’m really susceptible to being manipulated by the edit, so if they’re putting Sarah up front and center I’m liable to just go with it 🙂
          But I do agree that this was a team effort that relied heavily on other players like Cirie and Aubry, and on Zeke and Andrea being able to suck it up and vote together.

      2. Right. It may not always be a good idea to target a person who you’re mad at, but when that person is Debbie, it is reason enough, and no one will likely hold that against you.

  16. Also, seperate point.

    I mentioned after the episode that I thought the Debbie vote out was going to be a fake out so I didn’t see it coming. I thought she was going to be around for ages because she was getting so much more exposure over people like Andrea/Aubry/Michaela etc. who are fan favourites.

    I won’t count her boot episode, but before that episode she had six more confessionals than the person in second place, that’s a pretty big gap. Yet, she’s out 11th, so it’s sort of strange that she got this much exposure. I’m sure CBS have done their research, Debbie is not popular at all, so adding those two things together, why did she get so much screen time?

    Of course the Cochran visit and her angry explosion are water cooler moments so they warrant a lot of focus, but apart from that, I find it really strange that she was consistently getting a lot of confessionals outside of those moments considering the fact that she is out of the game this early. Michaela has also had a few big moments, but then after them she just sinks back into invisibility.

    I suppose it comes down to Debbie being a very unique character who fills a certain role they need. Sort of a hybrid villain/clown/walking disaster who works well against all the more serious competitors? Why not just include more Michaela then? Or is it just because every single Debbie confessional becomes a talking point? Or was she just their default go to when they needed a confessional from someone in the Brad/Sierra alliance because she was the most entertaining/insightful? Were they consistently building her character up for so long so that her blindside would be all the more satisfying? If so, I don’t think it was necessary.

    I understand that every season needs a villain and I suppose she was the closest they had to fill that role, but I still think Debbie was used excessively considering she was only in 10 episodes. It’s probably a combination of a lot of the things I mentioned above, but what do other people thing? Why did Debbie have so much screen time?

    1. I think she got so much screentime simply cause her mere presence screams “character”. She’s not a regular casting choice, exactly like others already said comparing her to Coach and Phillip. They won’t get another version of Debbie every season, and it’s exactly the reason why they brought back Phillip, and Coach so soon after their seasons; even though they’re so controversial amongst the whole fanbase, they bring enough drama, and are talked enough by other contestants to do it (they may not bring them back the 3rd time if they’re not interested, but they’re always locks for 2nd appearance). It was exactly the case with Phillip in Caramoan, where he was a screentime hog, even though he was voted out 10th. And she wasn’t “only” in ten episodes. There are pretty much always 14 episodes, so by being simply a huge presense in the pre-merge and the early merge is what led to her huge screentime.

      Ashley Underwood, we’re forever grateful for what you’ve brought to the game. We are not worthy of the joy you bring us.

      1. I always forget that episode 10 is actually two thirds of the way through a season because more than half of the cast is usually still there at that point.

        Good points – she’s truly unique like Coach and Phillip. They create chaos/drama/entertainment by themselves and so the editing team doesn’t exactly have to manufacture any storylines for them. They have to milk the most out of these one off personalities. It just felt a bit odd that we were getting so much normal strategy talk from her outside of her quirky/kooky one liners/angry rants etc.

        Also I think they have to be careful with these characters sometimes though. Too much Coach in Tocantins in a good thing, too much Phillip in any season is a bad thing. I guess they have to risk it though, and regardless of if it works/doesn’t work it’ll still get people talking.

        1. I do think you touched on something, though- the rest of Debbie’s alliance is pretty boring. In particular, the leadership of that alliance is known for bland and repetitive confessionals. So if you can get Debbie to convey what’s going on with that side, at least some viewers might be entertained.

      2. Exactly! They always try to feature at least one clownish character per season. Sometimes more of a negative clown like Debbie or Shambo or Philip. Sometimes more positive and genuinely fun, like Keith. It’s part of the recipe that makes Survivor a success.

      3. Agreed completely. Except for the postscript. Though I don’t hold that part against you, because you are easily Ashley’s biggest fan.

        Others might hide their Ashley fandom, but you proudly and consistently proclaim it in a way that- to an uninformed observer- might seem as though you lost a bet. But if anyone ever tried to suggest that you were some kind of bandwagon Ashley fan, I’ll be sure to point out that you’ve *always* been a huge fan of her and her season.

        1. I just always feel a need to let everyone know what a legend Ashley is, and pay an omage to the most underrated season of all time. She is not brought up amongst the legendary final jurors like: Rob C., Wentworth, Cirie, Cydney, David, Kass, Fairplay, Rudy, Kathy, Ian, Yau-Man, Erinn, Ozzy, even though she ABSOLUTELY belongs in that group. And being considered a legend in that cast in which she was in is no easy task, there were SO many memorable players and charactrs there: Kristina, Krista, Sarita, Julie, Ralph, Mike, Julie, Steve, Grant, David, Natalie, PHILLIP, RUSSELL, SO MANY. The only duds were Andrea (who I don’t know why they brought her back, she is one of the least interesting females of all time), and Rob, whose win put a damper to an otherwise fantastic season (seriously, 4 times, worse winner than Bob). I don’t know why they didn’t brought back such an exciting, quirky, and memorable player, BUT I will be fighting for her to come back to the very last moment of this season of my life.

          P.S.A gif to remind everyone the greatness of Ashley Underwood.

          1. Oh great, JUST because I’m worshipping a player who isn’t a centre of conversation, that means that I lost a bet with someone? And you ALL know that The Ashley Underwood of Survivor: Redemption Island Fame is one of the best players that Survivor had an opportunity to cast. You all just cast her aside just because she isn’t in a popular season (which is a blasphemy, cause that season is great). You all just can’t appreciate good TV! You want fucking good TV?! Does evryone want good fucking TV?!! IS IT NOT WHAT YOU WANT?!?!?! I’ll show you fucking good TV, just wait.

          1. I have to endure a avalanche of people who don’t worship every step that she takes. So many just don’t talk about her like she’s some kind of forgettable character, which btw is a bunch of malarkey, BUT OK.

            But as a prophet preaching the message she brings by being a mere presense on the screen, I’m not gonna give up, and I’ll show everyone the truth, so that Ashley Underwood could smile upon us.


          2. This is commitment. I actually did find Ashley pretty easy to root for when she actually showed up for the last couple episodes. She was also likely an immunity challenge away from winning, so she has that going for her.

  17. If Andrea, Aubry, Cirie, Michaela, Sarah, and Zeke stay solid (which I really hope happens), I would love for Sierra to get voted out at 7. Then there’s only those six left and she would have to give the Legacy Advantage to someone she’s not aligned with. (She may still give it to Sarah because she likes her, but it’d be funny watching her struggle over giving the advantage to someone she doesn’t want to win)

    1. That’s about the only situation that could make the Legacy Advantage even remotely entertaining.

  18. Since this was mentioned on the pod, I do want to say that the reason I use Big Movez™ with the trademark is precisely the way Probst and some other players overhype it to the point of the phrase being some weird branding for “the way the game ought to be played.” On MvGX, Will, sort of out-of-the-blue, decided that he absolutely needed to make a big move and it needed to happen that very day or he wouldn’t win the game. That thought was objectively false (Will wasn’t winning, period), but it seems to be a manifestation of the Big Movez™ Culture. And if enough players think like that, we get people just shooting randomly from the hip trying to be the flashiest player at tribal instead of implementing a coherent and sensible strategy. I enjoy watching players make significant, season-pivoting moves, but the obsession with those gets to a certain saturation point where that is just begging to be teased.

          1. John would never come to Andy’s defense…and he hasn’t technically done that here. So, clearly you’re you.

          2. Sorry, I had a fever, I don’t know what got into me. Clearly that person is an impostor cause the real Andy would have 2 more grammar mistakes, and complain that we don’t agree with him when he’s wrong.

    1. Yep, I’ve been saying this season just looks like a food fight, not even close to strategy.

  19. Weekend Epiphany: Isn’t it funny how the one woman who wants to get to the F3 with all women was somebody who was like “Nope, not doing all women’s alliance”? It’s almost like those three women sees themselves as the same type (Debbie to an extreme).

  20. Cirie is such a GODDESS that Probst makes a big show of Cirie finishing that dumb reward challenge, and her entire team said they didn’t even care they lost because they were “so proud of her!” There is no one else who could have pulled on heartstrings in this situation as much as her. Everyone respects the wonderful-ness that is Cirie.

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