Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 12 “It’s Not a High Without a Low”

Another episode of Survivor: Game Changers where the players we like are successful. So we’ve got to be happy, right?

Dem nails tho.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episodes 12 “It’s Not a High Without a Low”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Why are we so down on a season that SHOULD be making us happy?
  • Our issues with the season-long edit.
  • Sierra Dawn Thomas’ failure and why it was such a failure.
  • Was this the right move for Michaela and Tai?
  • Praise for Sarah. Lots of it.
  • Sierra Dawn Thomas’ signature Survivor moment.
  • Was this the most drawn out family visit ever?
  • The Great Culpepper reunion of 2017.
  • Brad vs Sarah, who you got?
  • Predictions, plural, for next week.

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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  • Vagabond

    So I have to admit that I never understood the Cirie hype until this season. I haven’t got around to watching Panama yet and I refuse to watch Micronesia, so my only exposure to her was HvV where she is marginalized and a pretty minor character.

    Watching her social play is really a thing of beauty, and if she somehow manages to win I think that’s the only thing that could really salvage this season for me.

    Cirie, thank you for being you, a gangster in an Oprah suit.

    • Micronesia is kind of the keystone of Cirie’s legacy but Panama is a good character season for her. At least check Panama out.

      • Vagabond

        Panama is definitely on my to do list. Right up there with Palau. I missed a couple of those middle seasons.

        • Cirie shines as a character in Panama (though the strategic chops are definitely there), and she kills it strategically in Micronesia (though the personality still shines).

      • hardcöre umlaut

        Panama is also a great Cirie social/strategic season. From her saving herself from being first boot to being the pioneer of the 3-2-1 strategy, and providing great character moments, I think Panama is my fave Cirie season.

        • Oh absolutely but Micronesia showed that her strategic chops weren’t a fluke.

          • Roswulf

            I feel like Cirie in Micronesia is a direct extension of Cirie in Panama. She’s the same kind of player and character, but with experience.

            In some sense, this leads to her being (correctly) undersold in the Micronesia edit. The editors don’t feel the need to convince you that Cirie in Micronesia is awesome- she’s Cirie doing Cirie things, and we had an entire season about how Cirie doing Cirie things is joy. By contrast the show had a lot of heavy lifting to do to sell Parvati as an A-list Survivor.

      • Alycia Swift

        Plus Panama in general is hilarious.

    • BadPlayer91

      As thrilled as I would be with a Cirie win, i’d also be very sad about it. The season Cirie wins should be filled with fireworks and drama and excitement and far more Cirie, and I think it would be too bad if her grand triumph as a player comes in a season where she is so marginalized.

    • gouis

      Why would you refuse to watch a good season?

      • Vagabond

        Knowing what I know about it I feel pretty confident I wouldn’t enjoy it. Watching the stupidity of the fans would be frustrating. I now really like Cirie, so watching her play the best game then lose at the last minute because survivor stupidly decided to go back to a final 2 would suck. I’ve watched Cook Islands and HvV and don’t particularly enjoy Parvati so watching her win would also leave a bad taste in the mouth.

        • gouis

          But that’s like saying “Boston Rob was just a loudmouth who didn’t do anything in S4 so I’m not going to watch any other season with him”

          There is a reason they keep casting attractive smart women who flamed out in their first time for returning seasons.

          • Vagabond

            I know there’s a reason they keep trying to find the next Parvati, lots of people liked watching her. I did not. I’m comfortable disagreeing with the opinions of a lot of people I normally agree with on this point.

          • gouis

            No one liked watching her on CI. Everyone liked her on the other seasons. You’re just being stubborn

          • Max_Jets

            TBF, even though I don’t really understand needing your favorite player to win to like a season, they did say they didn’t enjoy her in HvV which might be her most popular outing.

          • Alycia Swift

            Not everyone liked her on other seasons. I hated her on all seasons.

          • Streets_Ahead

            Not everyone liked her on her other season. She is nails on a chalkboard to me.

        • indescribable hat

          I recently rewatched it and I think the stupidity of the fans gets exaggerated a bit. Yeah, they get beat, and yeah, there are a couple standout moments of individuals looking really stupid, but I think there’s more Survivor ability there than they get credit for. I also have problems with Parvati (the mean girl thing really irks me), but Micronesia is my favorite season anyway. Make of that what you will.

    • Kemper Boyd

      It makes sense not to get the hype of a player if you’ve only seen the one season they fit early because of how good they were in the first two.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    RHAP this week: “I AM ADAM AND I AM HERE TO SHOUT”
    PRP, an intellectual podcast: *references to classical myth and extended metaphors about interacting with literature*
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3447326e12306b0c75432765f22e3d0adb9b4a8307f554afaae73429bdb4289.png

  • Mike Hirsch
    • sharculese

      Too soon.

      • Mike Hirsch

        That Edelman catch though.

    • Sylvisual

      Dude. This is like a double shot to the heart.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        We all know how much you love the sports.

    • PurpleTally

      Not cool, man.

  • Vagabond

    I feel like the failings of this and few other recent seasons have been expounded upon at length lately, so here’s a question. which is in more need of some changes, casting or production? And if you’re in charge, what do you change?

    • Casting. And if I’m in charge, I cast the four non-Andy PRP staff (because Andy is Canadian…and also because he’s Andy). Then either Andy gets the joy of mocking us for being the first four boots, or we get the joy of hearing Andy suffer through praising our greatness.

    • Alkanarra

      On one hand I blame casting for not simply waiting a season or two, gathering some alternate names to this cast (let Nat get over her injury, confirm Earl or Danni, etc), and trying again, but that’s not necessarily their call. So I blame whoever’s call it was.

      On the other, production really loves the “gotcha!” moments where you don’t see the outcome coming, and this season especially I’ve been more confused than surprised by the voting results. It’s like they’re writing a murder mystery, leaving out clues, and expecting the outcome to make sense.

      • Vagabond

        I agree that the obsession with making survivor a mystery really detracts from the enjoyment of the show. I don’t care about being surprised by who gets voted out, I care about watching someone persuade, trick, manipulate etc their way into winning a vote.

        • BadPlayer91

          I would actually say, my problem is that they are putting the mystery in the wrong place. The big week-to-week mystery is being ‘who will get voted out’ but not ‘who will win.’ As a result, we aren’t overly invested in finding out who does win, and that in turn makes the mystery of who gets the boot less exciting as well.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      This is tough. I agree with others that the failings of this season are a combination of production and casting mistakes. There should have been enough favorites in this cast to support a solid season if the editing were more even. But ultimately, if I were in charge (and/or had magic powers) I would go all in on improving casting, because if you don’t cast any duds, you can’t really make the wrong decision about hiding vs. showcasing someone in the edit.

    • Maritimer

      For this season? Both. But casting since Philippines has generally been good, excepting, arguably, World’s Apart. I wasn’t a big fan of KR’s cast but I know many were. Its really the editing that’s killing me. The gotcha moments mentioned below. The purpling of contestants. The lack of explanation of strategy. This weird need to shove the winner in our faces a couple times, like Mike. I think SJDS was maybe the best edited season because it never tried to paint a story that wasn’t there – when Nat was laying low, they weren’t pretending she was doing things she wasn’t. Same with Denise. Or even Cagayan kept the winner in suspense, since nobody thought Tony would pull that off. I guess my point is, tell the story that’s there, don’t create a winner’s edit that isn’t there, feature everyone, and don’t be so pushy to blindside the audience.
      So short answer: production

      • I think KR’s strength in the cast was the women. The men were either blah, awful, or Tai.

        • Blurry Denzel

          Maybe not the best Survivor player but I wouldn’t call Tai blah.

          • I maybe edited the comment after I realized that I forgot Tai. I definitely wasn’t pulling a Nadiya.

        • Super duper fan

          I think the Beauty men were probably the best men that season, maybe aside from Caleb, plus Darnell could be really good if he stayed longer and Peter was a good pre-merge villain.

          • I forgot about Darnell. I think he had potential.

          • sharculese

            Peter is great for what he is but you cant build a season around someone whose ceiling is ‘merge boot.’

          • Right. He was cast to be a combo of cannon fodder and Disc 1 final boss.

          • BadPlayer91

            This sentence, is fantastic. Such internet.

          • I love me some TV Tropes.

        • Maritimer

          I would agree with this. Aubry and Cydney were great. Julia was good. Jenny could have been good. Anna (ugh) would probably have been a fine Survivor player. Michele was fine. However, the general dislikability of the men that made the merge was a problem. Nick is a fine overconfident villain. Jason and Scot just suck.

          • I will go a bit further: Alecia is an interesting twist on the underdog (even though Production clearly wanted her that as cannon foder). Liz had some potential. Debbie, the firs time out, was intriguing because she actually showed some signs of strategic thinking that Coach or Phillip didn’t have in their first seasons.

          • Maritimer

            This is all true. I wonder what KR would have felt like if it were Amazon style men vs women and the women won out. That’s probably a better season than we got

          • Minus Tai and Joe, isn’t that what happened?

          • Maritimer

            Hmm…yeah you’re right. Plus Julia kind of.

          • Kind of, except she ultimately picked the men’s side, thus she must fall.

          • Alecia was garbage casting. She just plain sucked. I get why they cast Debbie, even though I don’t like her. Julia was fine for a teenager, but she only proved that it’s a waste to cast a teenager. And Michele was obviously pretty meh on the show.

            But aside from them, the women of that season were great.

          • I think everyone has said that Michele’s casting video really got their intention because of how much of a brash Jersey girl she was. I think Julia still has a lot of potential, but she was just a little too young. Alecia feels very typical reality tv casting.

          • Max_Jets

            I almost feel like people try to discredit Julia because she was a teenager. I don’t think the fact that Julia was outplayed shows that it was a waste to cast her. She had really smart game plans and was undone by some very perceptive and smart players (Cydney in particular might be one of the most perceptive players we have seen). The alternate season where her plans succeed and she takes the win is still an interesting season, and she was a pretty enjoyable TV presence.

            I thought Alecia could be pretty funny, but she was a bizarre casting choice.

          • Max_Jets

            Did people’s Jason/Scot opinions flip when they cast their jury votes? I thought the consensus was that they were great villains before that, but now I feel like I’m one of the few with that opinion.

          • Maritimer

            I was never a fan. I wasn’t really active then so I can’t comment on everyone else

          • I think I started to turn on them once they wanted to feed Alecia their scabs. It wasn’t so much that they voted for Michele, but it was their reasoning why.

          • Max_Jets

            Gotcha. To me there’s not much of a difference between the HvV jury and the Kaoh Rong jury (see Candice’s Ponderosa video to illustrate my point), so the ultimate ruling didn’t bother me as much as it did others.

          • Super duper fan

            I enjoyed the role they played on the season, and I could argue that they led to some of the best moments of the season thanks to that, but I don’t feel any need to see any of them again (ESPECIALLY Scot).

          • Max_Jets

            I thought both were great television (other than Scot’s dumb speech at the end), but I would agree with this. I think I would get along with Jason, but I don’t think I could deal with Scot.

          • Super duper fan

            Jason at least managed to be more likable and more entertaing than Scot, so that’s a plus.

          • Max_Jets

            He also seems much more empathetic, which you can see on his face when he is voting out Darnell. Also, him and Aubry are buds which of course affects my opinion on people.

          • Alkanarra

            I personally disliked them throughout, but I think you’re right that a lot of people’s opinions changed with their jury votes.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I disliked them throughout and if asked to explain why, the Michele vote probably wouldn’t be till late on the list or maybe not even brought up at all.

          • BadPlayer91

            Same as Maritimer, i was never a fan, nor was I around then. But, I would say they are great villains for that reason. I was THRILLED when they lost, just in that I was SOO happy the week after Debbie lost. And it their butt-sore FTC comments and votes didn’t make me like them any more…

          • I thought they were good villains. They were sufficiently petty and enjoyed lording their power over others when they had it.

          • Alycia Swift

            This. And seemed to have no regard for the fact that it was a final 3 and the jury would pick the person who did not lord anything over them.

    • smartsenior

      All newbies all the time. Period. All these retreads are boring plus they forget to have fun. They think they are reality “stars” and play to the camera, even Jeff once said they are hard to deal with. I’ve always wanted new casts because getting to know them is part of the show.

  • Alkanarra

    I’m with you guys; the show really seems to be hiding our favorites. There’s a lot of gold in the extended videos that aren’t being shown and it has to be deliberate. (The newest video of Andrea crying over her deceased sister and how she encouraged her to play Survivor would 100% make it into the show if she was the winner.)

    At first I thought it was ’cause our favorites would be booted, but now I think it’s even worse: now I’m assuming it’ll be something like a Cirie/Andrea/Sarah finale but Sarah wins, which is why the show has had such a tough time. They know the fans won’t be happy with the outcome, they’re doing what they can to sell her as a winner, but it’s impossible to put a good spin on a scenario where Cirie or Andrea or Aubry make it to FTC and lose.

    • purplerockandy

      This is horrifyingly possible.

    • Maritimer

      …and I thought this season couldn’t possibly get any worse

    • Roswulf

      No, I’m sorry, I may be down on this season, but I refuse to admit the possibility that Sarah beats Cirie, despite all editing evidence and reasonable arguments to the contrary. I REFUSE!

      But Sarah over, say, Michaela and Andrea (perhaps with Cirie as the fourth boot)? Yeah, I concede your point that that’s a reasonable possibility. Ugh

      • purplerockandy

        We’re starting to approach the part of the season where “how amazing is it that no one is talking about Cirie being a threat” could morph into “no one on the jury ever realized that Cirie was such a player”.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          FFSDT said as much in her RHAP exit interview.

          • purplerockandy

            It would be the final way the Alliance of Meh could ruin this season.

          • Alliance of Meh with no Sense of How Great Cirie Really Is.

            I have said it before and I will say it again: if the majority of this cast has seen any other season with Cirie in it besides HvV, I will be shocked.

        • UseYourCommonSense

          I think this is something people don’t really want to admit. But I doubt anyone will take her to the F3.

          • But instead of her being a threat for her strategy and social play, she is instead a liability because of her story.

          • Maritimer

            Its called denial and its a totally healthy coping mechanism

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Like alcohol.

    • tocantins

      I was going to mention the Andrea’s secret confessional as well. It was a really touching moment, and character-building. I can’t possibly understand how they didn’t edit this into the episode! That was what Jeff should be begging for in this season. And yet they edit it out, because maybe it would make us empathize too much with someone that is not winning? This is so ridiculous.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    From Philippines onward, casting has been pretty great, with the notable exception of World’s Apart. So it’s a real puzzle why there’s something not quite right about this cast. But I think I’ve figured it out. It’s because Cambodia removed a lot of top-tier second-timers from the pool of returnees. As a result, the pool of returnees for Game Changers consisted of third- and fourth-timers who weren’t eligible for Cambodia and long overdue, leftover second-timers from the Cambodia pool, and second-timers from KR and MvGX (and in most of those cases, it turns out both the player and the audience would have benefited from a longer absence). This is what’s making this season feel like stars vs. scrubs.

    It’s a little bit like how the decision to cast nobody in their 30s (the peak years for Survivor players) ruined Nicaragua. As much as we made fun of MvGX for having a 31yo Millennial and and 33yo GenXer, it fixed this problem.

    • purplerockandy

      Yep. They needed to cool their jets and wait a few more years for some stars to become available/be created. Worse, there’s a part of me that thinks that they rushed into this to get a season in before Varner or Troy aged out of contention.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Yes, this was an unintended consequence of Cambodia. On the one hand it was too soon for another All-Star season. On the other hand the third- and fourth-timers were way overdue for a return, and in some cases in danger of aging out.

        • indescribable hat

          On the third hand, if we’re trying to bring people back before they age out and we’re considering Cambodia rejects, WHERE is T-Bird? I’m still bitter.

          • I could see her having two issues about why she couldn’t return.

      • BadPlayer91

        It’s pretty awful to think that, in the attempt to give Varner another go and possibly his first seat on a jury, he instead will never play again and we will be dealing with the fallout of this season for years.

      • gouis

        Not sure Troy has more stamina than the Crypt Keeper even at this point.

      • DrVanNostrand

        Troy is just sluggish because his enormous member diverts too much blood flow from his vital organs.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      Throw on that we’re only three seasons removed from Cambodia. There’s a smaller pool of post-Cambodia returnees to draw from, making their return quicker and and lessens the available talent.

    • I think Worlds Apart cast had potential, but much like this season, the wet blankets got together way too early.

    • Super duper fan

      I would argue that Caramoan not only had not a good cast, but also that it was worse than Worlds Aparts’. From returnees I would argue that Erik, Brenda, Andrea and Malcolm were always the most logical choices from their respective seasons, but others were questionable at best (Francesca, Dawn and Cochran) to horrible at worst (Phillip, Brandon and Corrinne, even though she was fine this time), plus they didn’t cast anyone from Tocantins, who had some freat choices for this season, like Taj, Stephen and Erinn. And “fans” aside from Reynold, Eddie (and Laura who had potential), also wasn’t good at all.

      • Reportedly, Stephen was declined because they had Cochran. Taj doesn’t want to come back because she reportedly has skin issues to this day from the Brazilian sun. I don’t think Erinn is on their radar because Sierra is, and she doesn’t want to come back.

        • Alkanarra

          Cochran beat out Stephen? I don’t hate Cochran or anything but come on…

        • Super duper fan

          So they could swap out Cochran for Stephen, and that way we seperate a pre-game alliance of Dawn and Cochran. I like Cochran, don’t get me wrong, but I would always call Stephen more of a fan favourite than him before that season, I can understand the Taj one, but them not even considering Erinn is again their own fault.

          • Quick fun fact: Cochran was 2nd place in the Fan Favorite race for South Pacific. Stephen didn’t even crack the top three of the Fan Favorite for Tocantins.

          • Super duper fan

            I guess, but did they REALLY had to have THREE people from SP, and not even ONE from Tocantins (and this is coming from someone who LIKED South Pacific)?

          • We definitely didn’t need Brandon (also coming from someone who liked South Pacific).

          • DrVanNostrand

            People who like Jesus Island are THE WORST!

          • Super duper fan
          • I find really interesting on a psychological standpoint.

          • Blurry Denzel

            To be fair, the competition for Tocantins is higher than South Pacific. Though, I think Badass Sophie is underappreciated.

          • Max_Jets

            I appreciate your insistence in always including Badass in her name.

          • It’s better than New Dragon Slayer.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Sophie should be the Dragon Slayer Slayer.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Always. The world needs to know.

          • I think Erinn came just a little too soon after Courtney Yates.

          • Super duper fan

            But the season where Courtney last played was six seasons before Caramoan, plus it is NEVER too soon for any snark.

          • I guess I meant that Erinn kinda gets erased in Survivor history to the point that some people think she is pointless despite the fact that she created the Tyson blindside.

          • purplerockandy

            Also, they had three Tocantins returnees on HvV.

          • Yeap and they were interested in Sierra and Taj as heroes

          • I think people overrate what a fan favorite Stephen was; RHAP really elevated his profile. I don’t know that Stephen was a hit with the casual fans.

          • indescribable hat

            I loved him enough in Tocantins to make up for several thousand unimpressed casuals.

          • And KIAs wasn’t around at that point as well. All he really had was the People blog.

          • Alycia Swift

            Didn’t Erin have a kid at some point?

          • Nope, her baby was born in 2015 and Caramoan was filmed in 2013.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      “and second-timers from KR and MvGX (and in most of those cases, it turns out both the player and the audience would have benefited from a longer absence).”

      *nods sadly*

      • Maritimer

        in at least one case, a forever absence

    • Other Scott

      I think World’s Apart cast was great, the premerge is legitimately one of my favourites.

      The boot order kind of screwed us.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        True

      • I thought Jenn, Vince, Shirin, and Max were going to be casting gold. I’m sure they were very disappointed they lost weirdo Vince so early. Max and Jenn both game me roughly what I was hoping for, but went home too soon.

        Lindsey was an unexpected surprise, but was also a premerge boot for questioning Mike’s love of Jesus.

        I actually thought Dan might be a fucking ridiculous Rupert clone, but his act was so forced and he sucked.

        Shirin was a goddamn treasure, which made the post-merge stuff basically ruin a season that was already in decline.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          I thought Rodney would be good in challenges.

          • Kingoftonga

            Rodney is the only part of that season I liked. He got this weird edit where he was portrayed as a clown, but as a clown who could have a shot at winning against people like Carolyn, Will, Dan, and Sierra.

            Someday I’ll get my wish of the combo comic relief winner’s edit (Fabio is probably the closest we’ve ever gotten to this).

  • Um, in the quiz, I really and truly got Andy.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      Part of me doesn’t understand why you’re going out of your way to advertise that you’re an Andy. But as a fellow Andy, I totally get the impulse to brag about literally anything.

      • purplerockandy

        Andys have more fun.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Emmas have more friends.

          • Blurry Denzel

            But Denzels get the most love.

          • purplerockandy

            Ugh. Friends.

            amiright Andys?

          • Fries before friends.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Two things.

      • I….well, I was going to explain it, but you’re generally right. [admires own typing] [waits for upvotes]

  • Taako From Teevhii

    I just remembered that since Ciera was voted out first and Sierra is voted out now, I don’t have a chance to use my favorite Sierra acronyms now. I’m throwing them here because fuck it.

    FFGCSDT
    FFGCSDTQI
    FFGCSDT:SVU
    HWS&C:WDTK?DTKT?LFOSDT
    FFGCALROYSDT
    FFUH8TRSDT
    FFOTUSSDT
    MODBOCQOTA&TFMSDT
    FFANTMSDT
    IGC88SDT
    FFGC137SDT
    GCOSXSierraDT
    FFGCBCSonAMCSDT
    GCDPRKSDT
    GCVFDT

  • UseYourCommonSense

    Ozzy also seemed to be quite depressed. He seemed checked out and dead behind the eyes.

    • We couldn’t even get douchey Ozzy. We got tranquilized Ozzy.

  • PurpleTally

    Passed at least one half of my certification exam, so I can listen guilt-free to the legacy of FFGCCTTSDT.

  • Blurry Denzel

    I will be in Toronto next week and probably not on this site so this may be the last Aubry Talk of the season

    Aubry Talk: She was fucking invisible, even in an episode where she won the loved ones challenge and I think it’s bullshit.

    • purplerockandy

      WTF…

      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .

      is a season doing burying Aubry?

      • Blurry Denzel

        That legit made me smile. So I guess thanks for that.

    • Super duper fan

      I think the only ones that I can say will 100% get to the finale are Brad, Sarah, Cirie and Michaela, and the others are fighting for the last two spots… besides Aubry who I really don’t think will get there (which sucks).

      • Blurry Denzel

        If I had to rank who are the best bets for making the finale I would go…

        1. Sarah & Brad
        3. Cirie
        4. Tai
        5. Troy
        6. Michaela
        7. Aubry
        8. Andrea

        • purplerockandy

          I’d swap 5&6. Otherwise, agreed.

        • Super duper fan

          Great! Maybe when I watch it I’ll see you there. But I have to REALLY hurry up to catch up before it (for now I only watched the premiere of season 4, but I hope to watch at least 1/3 of the season tomorrow).

        • forever1267

          I have Demetres and Kevin left in my PickPete Fantasy Team, but will not be unhappy if Ika takes it all. She probably deserves it most.

        • I was wondering if that timeframe was happenstance or not. Have fun!

          • Blurry Denzel

            Thanks. My friends and I are the type to plan a vacation around Big Brother Canada. I didn’t think we would actually get tickets to the finale though. That was a nice bonus.

          • I am sure that you will freak out if you meet Neda.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Absolutely

        • You know who else is going to the BB Can Finale? ADAM.

          • Super duper fan

            @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus You lucky son of a bitch.

          • Blurry Denzel

            So random and great. Hopefully I get a chance to meet him again while I’m there.

      • Streets_Ahead

        Even if Aubry makes the finale at this point what expectations would you have for her? Oh she might be the Kimmi? Yippie?

        • Super duper fan

          Actually it’s not a bad theory. I think next episode it will be between Troyzan, Tai and Aubry on who goes home (I actually do think that Andrea will make it there). It’s hard to believe that Tai will go home, but maybe we will see once again Cirie’s magic?

          • Streets_Ahead

            Tai has two idol I will be shocked if he goes home. Neither his edit, position in the game, or idols make me think he’s in danger next at least.

          • Super duper fan

            You’re probably right. But I can always daydream that something that crazy could hapen, right?

          • Streets_Ahead

            If your going to daydream something crazy I recommend the Cirie winning day dream it’s top notch even if the come down is hard as hell.

    • BadPlayer91

      preach.

    • gouis

      Sorry bro

  • PurpleTally

    They’re really not having fun because they are completely out of food. They’re living entirely on coconuts. Brad had a bonus scene talking about how he’s not fishing, because it takes up too many calories. They are all just utterly miserable right now.

    • purplerockandy

      This is a good call and completely underreported.

      And we all had a good laugh when Ozzy taunted them on his way out.

      • So, did Production not give them enough food or is it because we have a lot of people here who have never went as far in a season before so they don’t know how to ration?

        • purplerockandy

          Production did NOT give them enough food. There was all that perishable stuff to start with and a REALLY meager bag of rice for each tribe.

          They oughtta go kill more goats, tbh.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I say just stop eating and force Production’s hand. Maybe they can offer Troy as a sacrifice for more food.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Why not cannibalism? No one would miss Troy.

          • That’s insane.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Based on the early Ponderosa videos, my guess is the latter. Hali, Ozzy and maybe even Debbie didn’t lose much weight at all based on their post-elimination weigh ins. Zeke’s weight loss was a little higher if I recall, and I haven’t watched Sierra’s video yet, but my guess is that we are going to see the weight loss stats rise exponentially to correspond with how dire their food situation has gotten. Michaela in particular is skin and bones right now (and she is even worse off because she’s lost out on a lot of rewards).

          • purplerockandy

            Sierra lost 20 pounds. Which is a lot for a skinny person.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            She is tall though.

          • gouis

            Maybe she got shorter?

          • PurpleTally

            Can’t teach short.

          • PurpleTally

            Yeah, it seems like they ran out of food about a week or so after the merge.

          • purplerockandy

            It might also be a situation where the people who win rewards will continue to win do to having calories in their bodies.

          • Which is how Andrea, Aubry, and Brad have been able to keep going on rewards.

          • purplerockandy

            They ran out of food right around the time that they ran out of Ozzy.

      • PurpleTally

        90% of the bonus interviews have been about how they’re out of food and starving, and I’m the kind of nerd who has watched most of the interviews (pretty much all of the non-Troy ones). They’re just not talking about it on the show.
        Brad even talked about how when it was him and Ozzy both getting food, it was a lot easier, because there wasn’t as much pressure. Brad’s near the bottom, and he’s trying to stay out of the spotlight. He talked about in an interview how he didn’t want to celebrate winning immunity, because he didn’t want people to view him as a threat. And I have to imagine getting food for everyone will maybe make people like him more, but will also give him attention that he doesn’t want.

        • So, essentially the show has exorcised pretty crucial information in favor of confusing strategy talk and useless Sarah confessionals?

          Also, this is not a recent anomaly. IIRC Mike and Carolyn talk about how they ran out of food towards the end of Worlds Apart because I think they only got a fairly small bag of beans from “honest or decieve” options.

        • Streets_Ahead

          Who is Troy?

    • jersey_luck

      It is probably not helped by the fact that Andrea, Brad, and Aubry keep on winning rewards

      • PurpleTally

        Yeah, like Andy said below, the people who keep winning rewards are more likely to keep winning challenges. You can kind of see it in how early some people went out in the immunity challenge.

        • It must be a miracle that Michaela is doing as well as she is in the challenges considering that she has not been on any of the rewards.

    • BadPlayer91

      For me, it has seemed like a really weird combo of them not having enough food, but production not wanting to use that as a plot point like they have in the past. Like, we are seeing the affects of it, but we don’t get the ‘we have no food’ part included in the edit, so rather than looking like a bunch of starving people trying to stay alive on an island, it just seems more that they are all bored, lol

      • purplerockandy

        Which in some ways is doing the future of the show a disservice. I think people SHOULD learn that there is a real danger to voting out a provider too early. We had fun making fun of Ozzy for that, but I’m starting to think it was a real thing here.

        Which isn’t to say you should never vote out a provider, but there is a cost that people should be aware of. Because otherwise, the show has completely disincentivized ANYONE from providing for the tribe (particularly post-merge), which could do real harm to the show as a televised product.

        My guess is that they haven’t wanted to emphasize it because they fucked up. They should’ve given them more rice.

        • PurpleTally

          Typically, when they plow through the rice/beans/whatever they’re given, it’s shown. All the way back in AO, they had to trade their tarp(s) and Colby’s flag for more food. The show likes to humiliate players for not properly rationing. That’s another sign that the show dun goofed and didn’t give them enough food. If they ran threw it too quickly, they would have shown it as a “this is why you don’t eat all the rice too early” cautionary tale.

          Also, I hate the fact that we now have to admit Ozzy was right about something.

          • purplerockandy

            Also, I hate the fact that we now have to admit Ozzy was right about something.

            SAME. SAME SO HARD.

          • Just because it’s true doesn’t mean we have to take the heinous step of admitting it.

          • You really are an Andy.

          • BadPlayer91

            “dun goofed” *claps*

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            But wasn’t there a recent season (SJDS I want to say) where they didn’t ration at all in the early season on the assumption that production wouldn’t let them starve, and they were right? I think they were doing it passive-aggressively because Dale Wentworth was yelling at them to ration, but that could be fan fiction.

          • PurpleTally

            I think SJDS is correct, because that’s also the season where they lost the flint/found the flint and kept asking Probst for stuff in an overall hilarious manner. This time, though, I think it’s more “they didn’t have enough” than “they ran through it too quickly.” If they’d run through it too quickly we’d get a shot of someone talking about how they need to ration better.

          • SJDS is Survivor: Let’s Make a Deal.

          • Alycia Swift

            Dale yelled at them in swap tribe. I believe the original tribe with Reed on it was the one that got additional food but either way dale was not on it.

        • BadPlayer91

          It also seems like an odd twist of fate. The show started out SO focused on the aspects of survival, and we all wanted more strategy. Now the show is giving us purified strategy and we want more of the survival aspects, lol

          • purplerockandy

            I think what might have happened is that because Ken stuck around all season last time, production over-estimated how plentiful and accessible the available food stuffs would be in the area.

          • Alycia Swift

            But is everyone actually trying to fish other than Ozzy, Tai and Brad? If not, why not? While Ken did most of the fishing, they did find or gather or were given other food. But several of last season’s cast said they caught fish. Just not to The extent Ken did nor were we shown anyone else fishing.

          • indescribable hat

            I think returnees do a lot less fishing (and other quality-of-camp-life stuff) because they’re more aware of the ways it can hurt their game. They’re more focused on always watching each other and never calling attention to themselves than new players.

          • Alycia Swift

            So then they should not complain about being out of food.

          • indescribable hat

            IDK, I think if I were in a situation where I was really hungry but it was advantageous to not do everything I could to get food I would still complain. Really hungry is tough!

    • gouis

      But it was harder “back in my day” when they had canned goods and slickers!

    • Taako From Teevhii

      Well it’s their own damn fault for not portioning their rice correctly. I’m sure production gave them enough to work with. What do they want, a handout?

    • susan appleby

      Ozzy was right!

  • UseYourCommonSense

    Sarah got that unnecessary scene in the pre-merge with Troyzan where she said she wanted to turn on her alliance. That was a Michele F. scene if I’ve ever seen one. Totally irrelevant yet they still included it. Also Zeke is the 4th juror who confirmed that Brad can’t win because he is rich, they should really start including scenes of Brad talking about his wealth so the audience can understand why people don’t want to vote for him.

    I also thought it was interesting that SDT said on RHAP that Cirie was riding Andrea’s coattails. Maybe she’s not as respected as a game player out there as the audience thinks? Has anyones seen those bonus clips of the jurors talking about their thoughts after Tribal? Only Ozzy mentioned Cirie as being one the best players currently…

  • Maritimer

    As you were talking about Andrea’s edit, I was thinking about Jay last season. Its probably true that, no matter the edit, we would be doubting Andrea’s winner chances as a massive immunity and social threat. But we went into last finale with a feeling that there was an outside shot for Jay, an immunity and social threat. Yet we don’t feel Andrea has a hope in Hell. I think that epitomizes the editing issues this season

    • purplerockandy

      Great example.

    • I think post-merge MvGX (minus Sunday) is a pretty well-edited span of Survivor to the point that you could see every member of the Final 6 having a decent (if illogical) argument to win.

      • Maritimer

        Exactly. And our arguments were based on game position (i.e. Jay is a massive threat and has no real allies) rather than edit

        • Right, even Brett (who most were correctly placing at 5th) was like “he won’t make it because of the fact that half of his alliance is on the jury”.

  • BadPlayer91

    I 100% agree with you guys about the edit. This season has been like going to a Broadway show to see Tony-winning actors, and then you find out all the lead roles will be played by understudies. Worse, the actors you want to see are ACTUALLY THERE, just sitting off stage, doing nothing, when they could be front and center.

    With different editing, we could be raving with excitement about what is SURELY the season where Cirie finally takes it home. We have all the components necessary to tell that story, and to this point Cirie has received ZERO votes at tribal.

    Maybe this is the Michelle affect? Production may not want another season marred by the idea (whether true or not) that the real winner didn’t win. So instead, they edit the season to ensure no one falls in love with those who don’t win.

    I was reminded of a quote, from the PRP Overall season rankings which was the first reason I came to this site. Regarding Samoa (Season 19) PRP said “It is impossible to think of this season without thinking of one specific player, and your feelings about that player will likely determine how you rate this season. It’s hard to properly judge the cast, because the vast majority of the screen time this season goes to one person.” I feel like, with a few tweaks, we will probably be able to apply that description to Game Changers. For a casual viewer (who doesn’t obsessively discuss survivor on forums, listen to podcasts and exit interviews, and watch extra footage and unused confessionals), this season is will end feeling very one note.

    • Maritimer

      You have to wonder if the Michele effect is the case. So many seasons end with “so-and-so was robbed” – Aubry was robbed, Wentworth was robbed, David was robbed, Ken was robbed (in some corners). And people get pissed. But getting pissed is part of the emotional investment in Survivor. They have to give you someone to cheer for, to get invested in their story, and as discussed, I don’t really feel invested in anyone’s story (my investment in Cirie even is about the past, not really this season). If I’m not emotionally invested, I just don’t care

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Just got to the discussion of the Brad/Monica reunion in the podcast. I was definitely super hyped for this moment, and also found it to be a huge let down. I honestly have no idea what I was expecting, since they’re both kind of lame. I enjoyed Monica in BvW but I guess it’s just because she’s a neat lady – not that she lights up the TV screen or anything.
    I guess the season long edit has been hyping the Brad/Monica connection, and I’m only kind of ashamed to admit that I’m very susceptible to being influenced by the edit. I also think that this moment has been fun to speculate and joke about, and there’s something inherently exciting about a call back to a former season (remember when Dale showed up in Cambodia? Just as lame but for some reason I was excited about that too!)

    • BadPlayer91

      Overall, the entire loved ones BBQ seemed botched. Like, we got a few shining moments of Cirie & Son, but we got none of Andrea and Aubry, but we also didn’t get a ton of Brad and Monica. It seemed cool that Brad and Monica were discretely swapping info right in front of everyone else, but without some cross-cuts to everyone else, it just seemed like a couple in the back yard, catching up about their day while making dinner for the kids. So, it feels like they sacrifice Andrea/Aubry and even a bit Cirie moments for the sake of the amazing Brad/Monica reunion, but not even that is very exciting, and so what we get is just all around lack-luster.

      Also, i’m gonna open a classy cocktail lounge that also sells cupcakes paired with your drink, and it will be called ‘Cirie & Sons’

    • Mike Hirsch

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure why everyone was super hyped about Monica either. But people were definitely super hyped.

    • Roswulf

      As someone who experiences the internet Survivor community, and who has seen a grand total of zero of the earlier Culpeper seasons, I’m honestly surprised to discover that the Brad/Monica “hype” was anything but mean sarcastic mocking them for being boring.

      I thought everyone was joking.

  • gouis

    Question, especially for @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus

    Were they having fun in Cambodia? There were lots of good idol plays and moves, but I do remember a lot of people crying. Only Wentworth and Keith come to mind in terms of joy.

    • Are you trying to troll me right now?

      Because I won’t fall for it. I think there are definite moments of joy, but you have to remember that Cambodia had horrible weather but pretty good sustenance available, which is the exact opposite of this season.

      • gouis

        No? I’m wondering if you thought there was a lack of joy in Cambodia and one of the reasons why you don’t like it. Continuing the thought of how fraught returning player seasons are

        • I really need to work on my why Cambodia isn’t that great, but remember that Cambodia was all second timers who had been voted in by the fans. That helped some of the gameplay.

          • Other Scott

            I think being called “Game Changers” makes this crew seem so much more entitled than in Cambodia, where everyone was just really happy to be there and wanted to do it for their fans.

          • I mean the most irritated I ever got with Cambodia people was when Tasha was saying that a F3 of Wentworth/Abi/Keith would be one that the fans would hate.

            This crew (for the most part) just seems content to pagong away.

    • Streets_Ahead

      I don’t know if they were having fun playing but I am leaning toward no. But I know for sure I didn’t have an especially fun time watch that season.

  • Mike Hirsch

    I just had an encouraging thought: Aubry’s inevitable Ponderosa video should be chock full of her tweaking out over the various foodstuffs there.

  • Diego Armando

    Thank you for finally nailing down the problem of the season. Everyone is so out of it on this season.

  • Max_Jets

    I still think everyone is sleeping on Cirie. She is absolutely getting a good enough edit for her to win. Sarah is the only person who has been more visible than her and Sarah has been at the forefront of the action the last few episodes.

    • My only hesitation is that I am getting whiffs of the “journey” narrative. If anyone is getting the David Wright (or the Cirie in Panama) edit, it’s Cirie.

      • Max_Jets

        Yeah, I see that. My logic is always “would it make sense for them to edit someone like this if they won?” and if the answer is yes then I don’t get hung up on past patterns in hopes that the editors don’t either.

        • My biggest takeaway is tht Cirie didn’t really have an established storyline of her own until the merge.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            The Anti-Denise. Though I don’t remember how Denise was edited, so I don’t know how this impacts this discussion.

          • Denise is a weird exception because she was a fairly substantial presence in the pre-merge, but in the early stages of the merge, she straight up disappears.

          • Max_Jets

            She did get a really big premiere episode and the editors usually tried to include something from her in most episodes even though she wasn’t going to tribal.

          • Well yeah, but most of her content pre-merge was about “Troy is on the outs”.

    • UseYourCommonSense

      If Cirie had won they would have given her the biggest coronation edit in the history of the show. I don’t think they would be this disrespectful to give her this kind of edit if she had won.

      • Look at the edit that they gave the Queen despite the fact that she went home early. This show is capable of showing a lot of love for Cirie, but this ain’t it.

      • Max_Jets

        It’s a great edit, I don’t think it’d be disrespectful at all.

    • Super duper fan

      I agree with you. While I undersand where everyone is coming from, saying that she would get a bigger edit, but I still think she’s getting a great edit. Plus, I think it’s a bit hypocritical to be angry that Cirie doesn’t get a MASSIVE air time if she wins, while everyone is pissed that they’re doing it for Sarah now, but that’s just me (but I understand that Cirie will be always more of a legend than Sarah).

      And Barbara argues that Sandra got a big edit, even though she went home early, and Cirie isn’t getting that, but I would argue that that was a case, due to not only her being a legend but also cause she was making a lot of moves, and cause she was the one controlling an alliance. While Cirie is in a power alliance, the one who is a figure-head of that alliance is Andrea, while she is playing more under the radar, which the show clearly shows, plus Sarah is the one making the “big movez”, with her cutting a lot of allies, so I don’t think that the show is unfair with showing what role they’re playing that season. Plus, I’d like to point out, that Sandra was given a pretty similar edit in HvV, where she was not much show in post-merge, but from top 12 onwards she became visible, while she wasn’t all over our screens, even though she became our first two-time winner, which IS a pretty big deal. If someone isn’t calling every shot, and isn’t making a lot of ballsy moves, show isn’t for the most part trying to paint them as someone who is.

      And one thing that gives me hope, that Cirie’s getting a winner’s edit, is that she has received by far the most “and now the next step for me is to win” type of confessionals. For example, last season my bae Adam, also was given the most of these confessionals, which a lot of people weren’t taking seriously cause “oh, of course they’re gonna show it, it relates to his personal story with his dying mum”, while now everyone is disputing Cirie’s cause “oh, she’s a legend of the game who never won, of course they’re gonna show it”.

      I’m not trying to say that she WILL win, and that she’s getting a winner’s edit, maybe if she won, she would get a bigger edit, but I do think everyone undermines her chances (plus, I think the “big coronation” moment this season for Cirie in the edit, may be the one not everyone was a fan of, aka that challenge with a balance beam, which production CLEARLY intented to be a great moment for her).

      P.S. I actually meant to write this comment a few hours ago, but I accidendaly deleted first three paragraph, and I said “fuck it, I’ll do it again later”. It was the worst.

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

      • You bring up some good points, but I still want to point out that her edit is just so similar to the Panama edit, it is scary.

        • Super duper fan

          If we think about it, I guess you’re right. I personally think that Sarah still wins, but Cirie’s a close second to me (I actually have Brad as a third most likely possibility cause a) I don’t think he received that great of an edit post-merge, and b) I really don’t want Brad to win (this one is my bias of course). I was just trying to say that her winning isn’t that not likely as everyone says it is (plus, Cirie actually has a winner’s story shown, while Jay, the person who everyone pegged as the third most likely person to win, and a person who people weren’t really discrediting his chances of pulling it of, didn’t really had that, besides that if he would made it he would beat everyone, excluding maybe David).

  • Taako From Teevhii

    I won’t be able to watch Drag Race until Monday and I’m super bummed about it. Especially if what I think will happen actually happens. For everyone else who watches, stay off of the internet if you can. The web is dark and full of spoilers.

    • Streets_Ahead

      What did you think happens?

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I have a feeling the wrong queen will leave. Not sure who the wrong queen is, but possibly Valentina. I’ll find out and maybe be disappointed tomorrow.

    • sharculese

      Is your worry that this will keep being a bad, awkward season?

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Not primarily, I kinda assumed that would just continue

        • sharculese

          It… does. Bjut in terms of spoilers, are we not just assuming Shea wins this season? I can’t imagine who else it would be at this point.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Why it gotta black tho?

            I’m assuming Shea wins but I think Trinity’s been getting a lot of buzz, which I’m not terribly excited about. She’s good, but if she’s a season winner then S9 will truly be a failure.

          • sharculese

            I can’t imagine Trinity winning. She’s had some good moments and I buy her as a Miss Congeniality/All Stars 3 competitor, but she’s too uneven.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I can’t either, but she has two wins and a couple tops to go with it. She lip-synced once, which could put her below other queens, but it wouldn’t be completely unfounded.

            I can’t see Peppermint making F5, but she has a good shot for Miss Congeniality.

  • DrVanNostrand

    Appropriately, I found the discussion of Sierra’s signature moment so boring that I zoned out, and now I honestly don’t even remember what you ended up choosing.

  • Purple Rock Emma

    Clearly Robot Andy cares more about me than any of my fellow Emmas. Smh.

    • I don’t know when your birthday is.

    • Yes, he was *definitely* the first one of us to tell you happy birthday…

      • Purple Rock Emma

        You’re not an Emma.

  • tocantins

    I still have gigantic doubts that Sierra got herself voted out by speaking about the LA. (As in that she wouldn’t have been voted out otherwise.) Michaela even has a secret confessional where she basically said that she was voting for Sierra, and she never even mentioned the LA as a reason. (Maybe the confessional is from before she found out, but then it shows instead that her mind was already set in voting Sierra out.)

    But I don’t want to argue this too strongly; in the end the point is moot. The edit showed it that way, and it made for more interesting TV. And it is not like the outcome not changing makes Sierra telling Sarah about the LA any less of a blunder.

  • turgid_legume

    Can somebody tell me why Sierra gets the middle name treatment? Why is she always Sierra Dawn Thomas and not just Sierra Thomas?

    • PurpleTally

      Because there’s Ciera Eastin and JT Thomas. She was just Sierra on her first season.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        I thought it was because she is a serial killer.

        • Taako From Teevhii

          Still waiting for the other shoe to drop re Neil Patrick Harris

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            IRL my middle name is Wayne. Serial killer middle name.

        • Hornacek

          Or a presidential assassin.

    • Because that is how she wants to be called and her diehard fans spread it through the Survivor fandom like a virus.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Because in addition to being a two time Survivor player she’s also a famous serial killer.

  • giorgos

    I agree that Sarah isn’t entertaining enough to really sell her Big Movez and become a “great” winner for the fans but I disagree that if she ends up winning she will be easily dismissed and forgotten. She might never become an audience favorite and maybe they ‘ll never ask her to return for a 3d time. But if she wins by continuing to play this kind of game she won’t be forgotten, at least amongst the internet fandom that likes to talk about past seasons. A woman winning Survivor by spending the entire game in a position of power, calling the shots, make BMs etc is really rare. There’s just Parvati and Kim that fit that description in 30+ seasons.

    • purplerockandy

      I don’t recall ever saying she’d be a forgotten winner.

  • DrewS96

    Brad vs. Sarah who you got? I didn’t know anyone was left on the Brad train after his edit tanked, and S34 became Survivor: The Sarah Show. In my Unspoiled Survivor group we are discussing how many votes she will win by and final juror. Edgicwise she is locked in. I know last season was a curve ball, but this one is a bit more straightforward.

    • Last season wasn’t a curve ball- edgic just isn’t science. Also, I suspect that unspoiled edgic types end up unintentionally absorbing some of the theories and claims of the spoiled. (Please note that I said unintentionally- I’m not saying people who do edgic go looking for information. I’m saying that with Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and exit interviews, people will come across information that they then use as part of their “analysis” of the edit. And that talk makes its​ way to the unspoiled.)

      However, I’d still say 65% chance for Sarah, 33% Brad, 2% for the field.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        Surely his junk isn’t as big as a field!

      • Max_Jets

        I think you mean the Fields?

    • Kemper Boyd

      Honestly that is just not a way I’d enjoy watching Survivor. It’s not a mystery show for me. Sure I see where the edit takes us but I don’t want to read it like it’s a plot thats been written in a writers’ room

  • indescribable hat

    Your discussion of the quiz did not help me understand why I got Mark all three times I took it.

  • Super duper fan

    I forgot to write this week ago but the winner of the CBS bracket is
    .
    .
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    .
    .
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    .
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    .
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    .
    ..
    .
    MALCOLM!!!!! He beat Boston Rob in the finals. What do you guys think of the results?

    • Max_Jets

      It makes sense, given that he has the perfect crossover appeal between the Survivor nerds and the Facebook moms. He’d probably be on the short list for my favorite players, so I’m satisfied.

  • BearMustaine

    Fricken yeah…what the hell is with the Monica obsession …she wasn’t that great..she was just some random plastic face that spoke in the third person…boring.

  • Batleon

    Oh man I just stumbled on this site recently though I’ve been a Survivor fan forever. You hit the nail on the head here about this being a book writing itself into a corner… I love Cirie, Aubry, Mikaela, even Tai and I am so underwhelmed, the edit is telling me NOT to get excited.

    That being said this move by Sarah to get the advantage from Sierra is one of the great Survivor moves IMO, really well played.

  • Batleon

    Also, the only other thing I can think of in regards to Brad’s edit is that for some reason they feel like they owe a good edit to him after Blood vs. Water, which would be the antithesis to the Dan Foley character execution during the WA finale… so the thought is a long shot, but a possibility nonetheless IMO