Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 13 “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”

We discuss the penultimate of Survivor: Game Changers and kill our idols. Fun!


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episode 13 “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Was Cirie just beaten by a buncha rules or does she only have herself to blame?
  • Was it the right move to flip on Andrea?
  • Can Cirie lose in front of the jury?
  • How much credit does Sarah deserve for Cirie’s blunder and the vote out of Michaela?
  • Why Michaela?
  • Why aren’t we more excited to see someone play a game as awesome as Sarah is playing?
  • Why will Aubry never go with Tai’s plans?
  • Is Aubry’s lack of screen time a grand injustice or a fair indictment of her game and contributions to this season?
  • Can you believe the balls on Tai?
  • Laughing at Troy.
  • Andrea and Michaela’s defining Survivor moments.
  • Predictions: sixth place through to the winner.

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

  • Mike Hirsch

    Before we even start, I just needed to say, I love that Andrea gif.

  • Violina23

    I know a post will be coming, but I recommend watching Michaela’s Ponderosa & listening to her RHAP exit interview. She’s delightful.

    • Seconded on the Ponderosa thing (I actually mention it in this podcast). I haven’t listened to her RHAP yet.

  • Vagabond

    Is it just me or did this episode seem to heavily foreshadow that Cirie might lose to Sarah at the jury? That sound bite of her talking about wanting to go up against Sarah at the end seemed really ominous…

    • We discuss that possibility. Because you can’t rule it out.

      • Vagabond

        Where’d you come down on it? After that episode I’m saying > 50% likelihood. For all Cirie’s awesome social intuition I feel like there are quite a few people there who might be pretty salty at her. And while she took her loss pretty gracefully, I think Andrea’s blindside could definitely leave her a wee bit upset.

        • I think people will want to play it safe and keep Cirie out of final tribal council. Although a lot of these players don’t know her rep, so that’s why I’d say I can’t rule it out.

          If she actually did make it, I’d say she had a shot at the votes of Zeke, Andrea, Michaela, and Aubry- they aren’t a lock, but they’d be in play based on who she was up against. And the fact that she’s got four people that would consider voting for her is probably too risky to take to FTC.

          • Vagabond

            Yeah, I can’t disagree with your analysis really, but this is another of those situations where I feel like the edit is heavily hinting at something that my brain is telling me shouldn’t be likely.

          • There are a lot of hard truths discussed in this podcast. This season has broken me.

          • Vagabond

            Too true. After loosing so many fun players early I hope this season goes down in history as Survivor: Heartbreakers

          • prettyboyprobst

            Now that CBS releases these “Juror thoughts” videos, we get some good insight into what to expect at FTC (should the options discussed make it there). Debbie for example proclaimed to my surprise that Cirie has her vote secured now after surviving the last TC (no doubt helped by her gripe against Sarah, but despite her usual fawning over Brad), and she wasn’t the only one who came out impressed with Cirie from the Michaela TC. Maybe that situation played a little different in the room than on camera?
            Cirie was already held in high esteem before the latest happenings, though.
            Zeke otoh seems to be firmly in Sarah’s camp now.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Going from the extra videos it seems like people on the jury are more salty about Sarah and her ruthless and deceptive style, but respect her for all the moving and shaking she does at the same time.
          Cirie’s game is (was?) not perceived as flashy as Sarah’s, but she garners a lot of jury points for her making it that far while being Cirie and known as a threat, and for her social game, too.

          Before that botched vote steal I would have thought that, depending on the composition of the jury, that should be enough to beat a less subtle, more active player in Sarah, who people are generally not in love with (doubly so if Cirie had pulled that move off), but now it seems much closer with advantage Sarah. As of right now Cirie would probably need both Tai and Aubry on the jury, in addition to 3 out of Ozzy, Andrea, Hali and Debbie.

          • purplerockandy

            It’s actually kind’ve fun that they had the jury videos after each vote. You can see the shift happen watching one set after the other.

    • Mike Hirsch

      You know, just in general, I’m not entirely sure Cirie has the greatest reads on who she should want to be seated next to at final Tribal.

  • Blurry Denzel

    Aubry Talk Canada Edition: Her reaction to winning immunity was the cutest. Other than that, I have nothing to add.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Uh, you will after listening to the podcast.

      • Blurry Denzel

        Perhaps, I won’t be listening until Monday at the earliest.

        • Diego Armando

          You will have thought.

    • gouis

      Did you see her tweet about Cochran and his reply?

      • Blurry Denzel

        Yeah

    • How was the BBCan finale?

      • Blurry Denzel

        Amazing. I will give more details next week.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Huh, I actually completely agree with you guys about Cirie. It’s such a strange feeling not being trolled by the podcast this time…..unless that makes me one of the trolls?? 😛

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Fun topic for potential list making:
    Who are the players that have been voted out as a direct result of a close ally making a stupid mistake? I can think of two in this season alone: Michaela and Malcolm.

    • Vagabond

      RIP Malcolm. You were too beautiful for this world

    • jersey_luck

      Edgardo from Fiji

    • Maritimer

      Lindsey in Africa maybe? The Boran’s overheard a conversation about her having votes, but I can’t remember if it was her that said it or somebody else

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Pretty much everybody in Gabon.

    • purplerockandy

      Boston Rob.

      • gouis

        Never change

        • sharculese

          He’s not wrong.

          • purplerockandy

            I rarely am.

    • Varner in AO
      Wes in SJDS
      Joel in Borneo (which is questionable, but close)

      • BadPlayer91

        Could we also say Jenna in Borneo? She largely went home because Sean didn’t think the Tagi alliance would be ‘dishonorable’ enough to use his alphabetical voting strategy to their advantage…

        • purplerockandy

          He wasn’t an ally.

          • sharculese

            Production even built them that weird sex tent Jenna still wasn’t into it.

          • And even change the ambassadors to ensure that they would get some sexy times and it just didn’t happen.

          • BadPlayer91

            Oh, right. I mean, i would argue he also wasn’t really an enemy, since he says he doesn’t want her to go home as he votes for her. He’s more like, an idiot sunbathing in the middle of a battlefield. A battlefield where one side has rifles and the other has sticks…

    • Purple Rock Emma

      Malcolm in Caramoan, in a way. It took a while, but Corinne fucking up really tanked his game.

      • purplerockandy

        Any ally of Corinne is a good way of including people easily.

    • sharculese

      For weird values of ally – Jeff Kent.

    • tocantins

      How could people forget the greatest example of this? Gervase’s niece in BvW!

  • tocantins

    I think that the reason why Cirie took away Sarah’s vote was that Sarah wanted to blindside Aubry (in her mind, together with Cirie and Michaela), who was part of their alliance. So Aubry would be furious that she got Sarah’s vote, and she might flip. (I’m not saying it was a good choice, but there was some logic behind her choice of stealing Sarah’s vote.)

    • Max_Jets

      I also thought taking Sarah’s vote was the best way to make Tai feel more secure and ensure he doesn’t play his idol. (Maybe this was directly said in the episode, I don’t even remember.)

  • Vagabond

    Underrated comedic scene of episode: Michaela deadpan telling Brad he should REALLY go fishing and Brad struggling mightily and failing to contain his outrage and disdain. “Bro you should really go fishing. No seriously, fishing bro. No BRO…”. *epic brad eye rolls abound* I could watch michaela and Brad interact with each other all day.

    • I’m sure Taako will post Michaela’s secret scene on Monday, because it’s got more of the Brad-Michaela fallout.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Can confirm, it will be there.

        • It would be a dereliction of duty if it weren’t.

      • prettyboyprobst

        It also shows more of her entertaining side (which continues at Ponderosa, but this is proof that even hungry Michaela can be fun to be around) and is a rare display of a light-hearted camp moment in this season of doom.

        Maybe Taako wants to give people a sneak peak and post that scene already? Her last line cracked me up.

  • jersey_luck

    Thoughts on podcast:

    I think that the advantage of Cirie move would be that all the idols could be out of the game. (Tai leaving the game with both of his and Troy would have played his to be safe) You right that it was wrong for Cirie to target Andrea.

    How dare you compare Sarah towards Coach.

    I think you forget that Jason was probably a bigger threat at the time because he was more likely to win challenges to get the end and was a decent jury threat. (friends with many on the jury, had a story with his daughter) Where with she just had to beat Michele at the final challenges. She could not but she thought she had decent chance.

    It is hard time that Aubry has been low this season. She keeps being blindsided with things with very little highs.

    Questions: What are the odds that we end a tribal with a contestant going home by default? (Every other contestant has immunity though idols and challenges) It could happen with the people immune. I think that this might be the way we lose Cirie.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      For that to happen, Tai would have to play one of his idols on someone else and he doesn’t have any reason to do that as far as I can see.

      • Mike Hirsch

        This, although for this season, “he/she doesn’t have any reason to do that as far as I can see” seems to be the real overarching theme, so, maybe?

      • tocantins

        Didn’t the scenes from next episode blatantly say that he is giving someone (actually Brad) his idol?

        • purplerockandy

          No, they vaguely hinted at him suggesting something to that effect.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Tai doesn’t react well when you pressure him for an idol.

      • jersey_luck

        To be fair I am only saying this because Survivor is saying there is a historic tribal council in which a player leaves.

        • purplerockandy

          The first tribal council ever for that to happen!

        • Doesn’t that basically mean what I think that means?

        • Diego Armando

          Prediction for what happens

          I will guess Aubry wins Immunity, Troy uses his idol on himself, Tai uses one Idol on himself and one on Brad as a way of attempting to build a resume, and Sarah has the Legacy Advantage. Poor Cirie.

          • Alycia Swift

            I had that idea too.

      • Roswulf

        Couldn’t it happen without Tai screwing up at final five if Tai wins immunity at six and holds both to play at five?

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Theoretically that’s possible, but it would require Troyzan to not be spooked into playing his idol when Sarah plays the legacy advantage, and for Tai to be indifferent about who goes home between Troyzan, Brad, Aubry, and Cirie.

          Damn, until I typed that just now I didn’t contemplate the possibility of Tai playing an idol for Troyzan.

    • purplerockandy

      I’m not forgetting anything. I thought it was ludicrous at the time for Aubry to think Jason was a bigger threat than Michele and have the podcast to prove it. And the results to back me up.

      • jersey_luck

        Before the end the season she needed to get both Jason and Michele out of there because in the end I think they both win over her. She chose Jason over Michele and lost to Michele but the opposite could easily have happened.

        • purplerockandy

          I’m not sure “Aubry had no chance to beat Michele OR Jason” is a very convincing argument in favour of “Aubry is good at Survivor”. (Which might not be what you’re trying to say. Maybe you’re highlighting that she isn’t).

          • I am starting to wonder if Aubry’s strength as a Survivor player is in the early merge where there are numbers for her to get a big group of people together to do her magic. In the early days, she is struggling to adapt to island life and at the end, she has lost all sight of who makes up up the jury.

          • purplerockandy

            If only the Great Aubry had the social game to allow her to beat the guy who was actively making camp life difficult for everyone on the jury. THEN we’d feel more confident in her chances against Jason.

            (PS- I think she beast Jason easily and people who say otherwise are trying to justify her mistake while casually admitting that she was always destined to lose).

          • I just think that Jason has at least 4 votes there with Julia/Michele (I think they would vote as a block)/Debbie/Scot.

          • purplerockandy

            I think you’re wrong about Debbie.

          • I think Debbie was always going to be an anti Aubry vote. She gave a fairly pro-Aubry speech but then voted for Michele and was actively campaigning against her at Ponderosa.

          • purplerockandy

            She might’ve voted Tai. But she was VERY anti-Jason after he started sabotaging camp.

          • jersey_luck

            I find it funny that you thought the most conversational thing you would say was that Aubry is worse player than Tai but more effort was spend arguing how big an endgame threat Jason was.

          • I forgot about that.

          • purplerockandy
          • sharculese

            That first sentence skates the bounds of being in English.

          • sharculese

            Michele never had an real ties to Kyle, so this presumes she basically has no agency and would have voted however Julia told her to. Which may actually be unfair to Michele.

          • That may actually be fair.

          • purplerockandy

            We also may be overvaluing how pro-Scot and Jason Julia was. She voted for Michele not because of Scot and Jason, but because Michele was her best friend and ally.

          • I guess I thought she was so pro-Scot and Jason because of how similar her reasoning to vote for Michele sounded to Scot and Jason’s.

          • sharculese

            In basically any scenario where Michele is in the final 3 I think Julia votes for her, but if Michele isn’t there and Kyle is I’m confident he gets her vote.

          • purplerockandy

            I think she votes him too. In part because she was anti-Aubry and anti-Tai.

          • jersey_luck

            I think Jason also manages to pick up Nick’s vote too.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Why?

          • jersey_luck

            Nick is a wildcard who in the final tribal cared most about the game being played. He also worked with Jason during the merge before he was blindsided. I can easily see Nick voting for the his ally, Jason, the huge underdog with the game he played.

          • jersey_luck

            Jason has Scot, Julia, and Debbie has jury votes if he makes to the end with Aubry and Tai. He only needs pick Nick (who would be a wildcard in this case) or Michele.
            (Debbie votes Jason because she won over by her daughter struggles).

          • Alycia Swift

            Debbie did not like Jason. Thought he was lazy and rude before the crap he and Scot pulled and did not like how he acted. She’s not voting for Jason. She wanted a woman to win but she may have thrown her vote to Tai – assuming Tai is the third – just not to vote for Aubry. Michele was the most offended by Jason’s actions and probably would not have voted for him and Julia may have followed Michele. Nick was a gamer and would have and did respect Aubry’s gameplay. Cydney – who knows? Jason’s guaranteed vote was Scot. Aubry’s were Joe and Neal. It might have been a close vote but I think Aubry wins.

          • Max_Jets

            I’ll justify her mistake in different way by pointing out a different flaw in Aubry’s game.

            Aubry didn’t vote out Michele because she couldn’t convince her allies to and she didn’t want to go against them (even if she had the votes) so she instead took the opportunity to make Tai look bad in front of the jury, which worked with a lot of assistance from Michele. I don’t think she made a huge error from the information she had, but we do know in hindsight that it’s when she lost the game.

          • jersey_luck

            Not saying she not at good Survivor I am just saying that there is another step and she needed both of gone in order to win. Maybe I trying to say that is Jason i an endgame threat and his challenge strengths are more to win out in those last few physically demanding challenges over Michelle whom chocked several challenges of those nature in the beginning of the game.

        • Also remember that she thought she had another IC to do it. #ThanksJoe #ThanksMeat

          • purplerockandy

            An IC she would’ve lost to Michele.

          • We don’t know because I think the RC that she won in the finale was going to be the F5 IC since that was a similar one to a F5 challenge in Worlds Apart (yes, I know that was a reward as well, but if KR had a maze built, they would do a maze).

          • purplerockandy

            I think the “vote out a juror” challenge was the missing IC. The one Michele won.

            Note: I don’t know for sure. It’s just my assumption.

          • I was wondering if we ever know because the “vote out a juror” challenge just seems like a natural FIC because it was the left over stuff from the first challenge, which meant that there was already three made of whichever component they used.

          • Diego Armando

            Aubry won what was obviously the Immunity Challenge that was going to be in the Final 5.

    • sharculese

      Kyle only won one individual challenge, and it was an endurance challenge, which can be an outlier. Kaoh Rong was very puzzle heavy and it’s not clear he was good at puzzles.

    • UseYourCommonSense

      It is VERY likely that someone is going home by default. The “historic” tribal that the show keeps teasing is obviously one in which everyone will play their advantages/idols. Tai will probably give one to Brad. Aubry is the likely victim, it would explain her Purple Edit.

      • I wouldn’t say very likely- it hinges on three immunity idols being played one vote before they actually expire. It’s just that it’s a possibility.

        I still maintain that Tai isn’t giving up his idol to save Brad at F6 when keeping the idol guarantees Tai F4.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I think Brad pitches a F3 alliance (along with Troyzan) to Tai in exchange for one of his idols. Exchanging a guaranteed path to F4 for a semi-risky path to F3 (one of the three of them would have to win final immunity, and if they don’t Brad is likely the one to go anyway).

        • Alycia Swift

          Let’s hope u r right.

  • Diego Armando

    My predictions for the finale:

    6. Cirie – I think she gets punished for her error.
    5. Aubry – Let’s finish her off
    4. Sarah – This is tough. I think she played the best game of the remaining players, but I think she is sent home here (partly because her winning would be the best plausible remaining option, and this season will not provide that)
    3. Troy
    2. Tai
    1. Brad

    • indescribable hat

      Would not shock me.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Seconded.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      God, if we have a final three of all men after the merge had eight women and five men… I just… man.

      • purplerockandy

        No one to blame but themselves.

      • Diego Armando

        I don’t want it, but I can see it happening.

        It is the Anti-San Juan del Sur.

      • DrewS96

        It won’t happen. Sarah is a more obvious winner than Mike. Although I think she will be the only female in F3.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I won’t lay out my entire scenario until the predictions post goes up, but if Aubry gets idol/advantaged-out at F6, Sarah (or theoretically Cirie, but cmon) is going to have to win immunity at BOTH F5 and F4 to prevent an all-male F3.

    • tocantins

      I’ll be a Sarah denier until the end! (Or at least until next Wednesday.) My predictions are:

      6. Aubry (I go with Andy (or John, whatever) that this tribal will be a huge mess)
      5. Cirie
      4. Tai
      3. Troy
      2. Sarah (4 votes)
      1. Brad (6 votes)

      • DrewS96

        I can’t believe people think Sarah isn’t winning. Even casuals are saying it’s obvious Sarah is the winner. Edgically she has been a lock for a while. Brad has no chance in the jury speaks videos the jurors basically say he is a goat.

        • sharculese

          seriously, you’re the only edgicer I’ve ever seen who seems to do it for any reason other than a need to be smarter than everyone else, like you seem to genuninely like it for reasons that aren’t douchey so, actual question: what is the point of doing this? Like I get that there are all types of different Survivor viewers, there are even sickos who watch it for the challenges, but like, how does this not suck all the fun out of things?

        • UseYourCommonSense

          Yep it is very obvious at this point. If people watched the bonus jury videos they would realize that Brad isn’t respected and has no chance to beat Sarah in the end.

          • tocantins

            I actively decided not to watch the bonus jury videos, exactly because of that. (And I believe that they were a huge mistake by CBS.)

    • Maritimer

      6. Aubry – freak show tribal with advantages flying and she’s the victim
      5. Tai
      4. Brad
      3. Troy
      2. Sarah
      1. Cirie – Damn it I’m picking Cirie until she’s gone. That episode sold me on both Cirie and Sarah being in the F3, the question is how it goes.

      • Alycia Swift

        I think Cirie is the victim bc she can’t win challenges. Aubry wins immunity. Tai uses an idol on himself and on on Brad. Sarah uses the legacy advantage. Troy uses his idol.

    • Super duper fan

      6. Aubry
      5. Troy
      4. Brad
      3. Tai
      2. Sarah
      1. Cirie

      I will give my reasoning on predictions day, and the only places which I could swap between now and then are Cirie and Sarah.

      • Roswulf

        I want to go to there.

      • pufflehuff

        I second this. It’s about 98% wishful thinking, but I can’t back away from predicting a Cirie win at this point. At least I’ll be loyal and wrong!

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        As much as I would love for this to happen, I can’t decide which is the bigger piece of fan fiction: Troy getting voted out or both Sarah and Cirie getting past F4.

        • Super duper fan

          I think it’s entirely possible that Troy gets voted out. If Aubry really goes out due to all the advantages, including Troy’s, and if Brad wins immunity at Final 5, the others could see him as a threat cause of his underdog status (which probably, is not true, but I could see them thinking that, the same goes for Final 4. And I was wrong most of the season, so I don’t have any obligement to be right.

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

    • Roswulf

      I’ll go for

      6. Aubry
      5. Cirie
      4. Tai
      3. Troy
      2. Brad
      1. Sarah

      Brad’s edit is explained by trying to create FTC tension. But Sarah takes it…because she played a really goddamned solid season of Survivor.

      • pufflehuff

        Brad’s edit is reminding me of Ken’s a lot – very positive pre-merge to make tension for the finale.

        • Alycia Swift

          Yes I’ve thought this for a while except Ken never refused a chance to fish.:)

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Did Ken throw sand? Also, his daughter isn’t neat.

      • Alycia Swift

        Switch Aubry and Cirie and that’s my guess.

    • UseYourCommonSense

      My predictions:

      6. Aubry
      5. Tai or Cirie
      4. Tai or Cirie
      3. Troy
      2. Brad
      1. Sarah

      • Diego Armando

        Seems possible.

    • hardcöre umlaut

      If those three men are able to skate by and one of them wins over the six (SIX!) women they went into F9 with I will be very sad 🙁

  • Fun story time: the patron who watches Survivor came into the library today. I asked her who she thought would win and she said (and I swear I cannot make this up) “Audrey”.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Are you a librarian?? <3

      • Technically my job title is “library assistant”, but I do a little bit of everything since I work as a smaller branch. So, yes?
        I also still teach, so wow I am so millennial that I have two jobs.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          My first job out of college was library assistant, then I got my MLIS, but now my career has gone in a different direction. I’d love to get back into library work someday *sigh*

          • It’s fun. I have been doing it since late September and it’s a good “real world” job.

        • gouis

          That’s cool. My wife is a librarian

    • Roswulf

      Hey, I think Audrey II has a better chance of taking this season than Aubry.

      And he’s a fictional puppet plant with no record of challenge performance.

      • BadPlayer91

        dat reference. lol

      • Although he may not do well with the lack of food.

        • Roswulf

          One human every three days or so? He’ll be fine.

          • But look at how much weight they lost. I think he would be like “Pass”.

          • Alycia Swift

            They lost weight but still have the sticky licky sweets he craves.

        • Hornacek

          Jeff: Wanna know what you’re playing for?
          Audrey II: FEED ME!

      • Hornacek

        He’s a mean green mother from outer space!

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I was sooo looking forward to saying that when I volunteered to write her eulogy for Blurry Denzel if she got voted out this week!

    • Hornacek

      I suspect she would describe Sandra Bullock as “the girl from the bus”.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Is Audrey like CGI Brett? Will she just come out of nowhere and become the biggest threat in the game in the final episode?

      • Maybe. Maybe Audrey was in the shelter with Sarah discussing bible verses this whole time.

  • gouis

    Andy is right. We all know people have to make BMs, we just don’t want to hear about their BMs

    • purplerockandy

      Keep your BMs out of our faces, is all.

    • indescribable hat

      And yet everyone loves Michaela’s Ponderosa video…

    • He is. Going back to the Cameron Johnson article that Em posted with her article about The Incident, she discusses that this season seems to be a reaction against “Big Movez TM” with The Incident being the symbol of the downfall that comes with making big moves. To this point, the big targets in the post merge have been people who are open about discussing the big moves that they have been doing or want to do (Sierra, Andrea, Zeke) while people who have been doing the big moves (Cirie, Sarah) have not been targeted until this episode.

    • sharculese

      Joe del Campo would have been in the finale of Kaoh Rong if he had just been better at making BMs.

      • purplerockandy

        It’s why Jeff can’t stop talking about BMs.

      • BadPlayer91

        I just realized we didn’t get any “starved survivors eat too much meat and fart a lot” scenes this season. #notagreatseason

    • gouis

      I knew the dads would appreciate good poop jokes.

  • I have not finished the podcast (I only have a 45 minute lunch break), but I will say that Tai has almost all of the right elements to be a good to great Survivor player. He knows when he should turn on his allies, he can find idols, he can form the relationships that he needs to, he can win immunities, and most importantly, he can read the social dynamics of the group. The problem is that his flaws just render to be an okay Survivor player.

    • BadPlayer91

      I agree. I think Tai’s biggest problem is and will always be perception. I believe he plays into a perceived “Tai” character, and while that helps him play a very good game, it also undermines his ability to win at the end. It’s very much the same issue with Debbie ‘pretending’ to be wacky and crazy, eventually you can’t overcome the perception no matter how hard you try. I think Tai’s track record shows that, he really has a lot of upsides as a player. Hell, it could very likely be two FTC’s in two seasons. But as Barbara says, his downsides are so big they really hold him back from claiming the victory, or in many ways, wowing us as an audience.

      Also, if Tai makes it to FTC, could he be the first player with two FTC appearances and not votes? I honestly don’t know, as i’m not a completist yet…

      • To answer your question, first: Yes. Amanda, Sandra, Parv, and B. Rob got votes both times while Russell only got votes in Samoa.

        I also think a big downside is the simple fact that he is a non-native English speaker. His FTC wasn’t bad, but it was simply flawed because he could not explain himself well enough for the jury,

        Speaking of that, he often hangs his hat on one move. In KR, it was turning down Scot’s offer. I can see his “one move” being saving Sierra during the double tribal council, which was a good move but it was not solely him.

      • jersey_luck

        No because Debbie and maybe Aubry vote him. (Debbie because she is never voting Sarah, and Aubry knew Tai over two seasons which might toss him a pity vote)

        • BadPlayer91

          I agree that Debbie won’t vote Sarah, but i’m not convinced she won’t throw it to Troy instead. But then again, i have no idea, it’s Debbie. Didn’t she say she wouldn’t vote for someone who didn’t make big moves? All her talk seemed to be that she would vote for Sarah, but obviously given her past we can assume she won’t. I could see her choosing Tai as well, because he did ‘flip’ but just not on her. I guess all i’m saying is, i’m not convinced that she WILL vote for Tai.

          Also, I don’t think Aubry will. She could pull a Wigglesworth and decide to do onto others as was done onto her, but I think she will just vote for whoever she believes should win, and that will likely be Sarah.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Everything you wrote also applies to Russell.

      Mind. Blown.

      • I think there is a big difference because Russell’s optics make him more insincere while Tai always seems so sincere. I don’t know which one is worse.

      • Streets_Ahead

        Except Russell relishes rubbing things in peoples faces and Tai feels bad about things but does it anyway. Both bad for winning the game, but worse for Russell.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I thought Aubry was much better in KR, and Tai is much better in this season. So even as a huge Aubry fan, I don’t think Andy and John’s ‘hot take’ is all that hot. It seems like a normal take.

      • It seems like Tai actually learned from KR. He’s still not perfect, but he’s evolving.

  • BadPlayer91

    I will second (or third or whatever) that everyone must watch Michaela’s Ponderosa.

    I thought I would be pretty inconsolable after Michaela’s boot, and at first I was very sad indeed. But then my boyfriend insisted we watch the Ponderosa videos (He got spoiled by YouTube, so this was maybe the only thing he was excited for?) and it turned my whole day around. Sure, I’m still bummed to see Michaela go, but when Michaela herself is happier to be at Ponderosa than I think anyone else ever has been, how can I not be happy too? In her own words, she made it to the merge, she got on the jury, she significantly improved on her first season (something not many of this cast can actually say), she had a great time, and she’s gonna continue having a great time. And she even hinted that she’s willing to play a third time. What a joy. Michaela remains and is forever BAE.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Why won’t anybody tell me what BAE means?!?

  • sharculese

    WTF is the NBA?

    • gouis

      It’s like the NRA for woke people.

  • Mike Hirsch

    I mentioned this in the Fantasy post, but I’m predicting that Aubry’s vote out will be cut for time.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      After the “previously on Survivor” segment, they will open at sunrise on day 37, with a caption on the screen reading “Aubry was voted out on day 36” before commencing with the episode.

    • purplerockandy

      Probst will mentioning it live from L.A. coming back from commercial. While asking Cochran about it.

      • Mike Hirsch

        “This is a bowl of rice! Now here’s Rudy for some reason!”

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Obviously they’ll want to bring in Rudy for his thoughts on the Varner/Zeke situation.

    • Hornacek
  • Roswulf

    Wasn’t the point of stealing Sarah’s vote ensuring Tai doesn’t play an idol? If you steal a vote from one of his allies to make a move, he might get spooked. But if you steal from Sarah, after telling Tai that you are on his side and planning that steal as a big move with him? No way he plays an idol!

    This is absolutely an overcomplicated plan hinging on predicting everything right (including that Tai has an idol), and on Sarah being a sap, and the end result is of real but not overwhelming value. It’s not, you know, a good idea. But it is an overcomplicated plan that specifically depends on APPEARING to backstab Sarah.

    • Super duper fan

      I didn’t listen to the podcast yet, so I don’t know what they said there, but I thought everyone knew that that what she was trying to do, or at least I thought that was what she was trying to do.

    • Max_Jets

      I really need to stop commenting before I’ve read every comment.

      I think the reason I kind of like the plan is because of how beautiful the pieces of it are, even if it doesn’t actually help her that much. That said, I do think it’s about as good of a plan to take out an idol holder as you can get. Tai won’t be spooked because of both the vote steal AND because only 3 people are in the loop and no one else can give anything away. Actually, maybe I do fully approve of this ridiculous plan.

      • Roswulf

        There was a short period where I thought all the pieces would fall perfectly…except Cirie hasn’t considered that Tai has two idols not one. So even with her subterfuge, he’s jumpy enough to play an idol anyway.

        That would have been beautiful. Cirie’s plan was bad, but it could have been really entertaining in either success or failure.

        *Stares wistfully into the distance*

    • tocantins

      Maybe I’m wrong, but as I wrote below, the impression I got from Cirie’s confessionals was that she wanted to steal Sarah’s vote, because Sarah was voting for Aubry, and Aubry getting a vote would reveal that their plan (before Cirie’s “flip”) was to vote her out.

  • BadPlayer91

    More edit talk: At first, when Michaela went home, I just didn’t get it. It seemed out of nowhere. All this shit with Tai and Sarah and Cirie and the advantage and when everything clears, Michaela goes home. I think there are a lot of reasons things could have fallen this way. But the problem is that the edit doesn’t TELL us why it was Michaela.

    My first gut reaction is probably what a lot of casual viewers will have, ‘why Michaela?’ And it’s another example where I don’t think the edit accomplishes what it needs to. They don’t tell the story of why Michaela lost, instead they tell the story of how Sarah prevailed, to the point that it isn’t important who Sarah voted out, just that she was the one to do it.

    It seems like the Michaela-Brad scene is supposed to lay the seed of ‘maybe Brad and Michaela don’t get along’ so we will understand why he might target her. But we are missing all the rest of this story. So Michaela’s boot comes out of nowhere. And I don’t think it’s the good ‘oh wow they really stumped me’ nowhere, it’s the ‘did I miss something in this episode’ nowhere.

    • tocantins

      A tangential point to that is the mess at tribal. I understand that they perhaps couldn’t notice that at the spot, but going forward I hope that producers forbid players talking privately at tribal. I don’t even want to enter the discussion on whether that should allowed as a part of the game of Survivor. (I think it goes against what tribal council was supposed to be, and I’m sure that season 1-10 Jeff would never allow it, and probably season 11-20 also wouldn’t.)

      It simply leads to bad TV: there is no way the camera-men and producers can follow all the private conversations and edit them into a coherent whole. So we get something out of the blue, simply because it was decided out of the blue, and we didn’t get enough footage to establish a good discussion and reasoning.

      • Maritimer

        The problem with Survivor is that once they set a precedent, its really hard to break it, and at the stupid Malcolm tribal, they set a precedent

      • Neutral Username

        This view is correct and good. I don’t need a story about why it was Michaela, because there wasn’t a reason right up until the Fine Print Faux Pas. Then the fact that Brad didn’t like her was the entirety of the reason. But we aren’t allowed to know that was the reason because then the vote reveal wouldn’t be a surprise. Honestly, I dream of a vote where the editors aren’t trying to shock us with a reveal and we instead get terrifying inevitability or that moment when your game ends because people don’t like you and everyone’s plan A just went to pieces.

  • Diego Armando

    Potential Hot Take: If I am right and the men are the Final Three, I think Tai SHOULD win. I think he has played the abosolute best game he could have. He found Idols, saved allies, won Immunity, didn’t betray any of the jurors, and made strategic decisions. He will get screwed over by his inability to explain himself well (at least partially due to the fact that English is not his first language) and perceived shiftiness; and that is a shame. I legitimately think he played a stronger game than Brad.

    I honestly think Brad is the 5th worst option of winner (Aubry at least has the “Makeup Win” going for her), but underdogness will overwhelm that.

  • UseYourCommonSense

    Sarah will get the jury votes from:

    Hali
    Ozzy
    Michaela
    Andrea
    Cirie (won’t make it to F3)
    Aubry (will probably be the victim of Advantage Armageddon due to Purple Edit)

    That is enough to win and she could get more as well. Sarah is by far playing the best social and strategic game out there. Brad is not as respected as the edit is showing.

    • Diego Armando

      I believe that she can win and almost certainly deserves it, I just think she is likely to fall at 4th. I prefer her to Brad and hope I’m wrong, but this is pure gut instinct for me.

  • Max_Jets

    Discrediting Aubry’s hand in Tai’s flip is the biggest bullshit I’ve heard on the podcast (looking at you, John). I’ve seen it asked if LIL played the best game in Pearl Islands because she was on the right side of all the votes in the post merge and this reminds me of that. No, the other players played Lil to get her on their side. Now, Tai is a much better and more active player than Lil, but I think you only need to look at the way Aubry handles Tai at final 4 or final 5 to know how big of a hand Aubry had in the Tai flip.

    Aubry also did recognize Michele as the biggest jury threat at final 6, even if she didn’t take the shot.

  • Yo Ho

    When Sarah’s around drama dissipates into the ether. She’s a drama sink. A great skill for a cop; a terrible skill for a reality show contestant.

  • pufflehuff

    Oooops, posted this in the wrong blog. Defense of Cirie’s moves that is 80% allegiance to House Fields, 10% boredom & 10% trolling:

    Taking out Andrea isn’t that horrible – sure, Andrea’s not going for her right then but she definitely doesn’t have Cirie in her final 3 plans and more importantly for Cirie that point, Andrea was gunning for Sarah, who, hopefully not fatally so, is a big part of Cirie’s Final Plans. Chances are Andrea might swing for Sarah at the next vote and taking her out at this point cements Cirie’s bond with Sarah, neutralizes Aubry further. & gives Cirie a big threat that she took out for her resume. I think taking out Brad is still probably the better move, but I don’t think that taking out Andrea is horrible.

    More controversially, I think that stealing Sarah’s vote has merit. It’s hard to say but Tai was gunning for Sarah, so in Cirie’s version, Sarah would have received 3 votes & be saved by the advantage. Stealing Sarah’s vote is good as it makes Cirie look superior and she can make it up with Sarah afterwards, easier to do as everybody else has just voted for Sarah. Obviously, there’s no way that not reading the instructions isn’t a blunder and it didn’t come off well but I don’t hate the move in theory. It’s a bit complicated sure but if it worked it would have taken out Tai and his idols, proved her loyalty to Sarah and further neutralized Aubry (I know this seems funny as we know that Aubry has zero chance to win, but I think out there she’s a credible threat.) The part that I loved about the move was the ease with which Cirie lied to Tai about it.

    Meanwhile, agree that Michaela’s Ponderosa is a JOY. And it reminded me of a huge silver lining to this episode: Michaela is on the Jury! Hopefully with props! And shade for Sarah!

  • UseYourCommonSense

    Also I agree that Cirie overestimated her manipulative skills based on her past performances. Yes, she has manipulated people in the past but Erik and Jason Siska were naive young guys. Sarah is not. She has to realize that they are different people with different skillsets. I doubt Cirie will make it to the Final 3 but if it was a Sarah-Cirie-Troy F3 Sarah could end up winning. I bet some of those jurors (Hali, Sierra, Brad, Tai) don’t even remember her Panama/Micro performances. Sarah has played a better game this season and would deserve to win over Cirie.

  • pufflehuff

    Also, on the is Aubry’s edit a grand injustice or a fair reflection of her game….it can be two things?

    I agree that her role in the game makes her difficult to be a narrator and she hasn’t been central to a lot of the action. But this season is already spending a lot of time on short arcs that don’t make much sense (Michaela + Tai) so it’s not like including Aubry would destroy their coherent season-wide story.

    Where I think it really is a grand injustice is not including more of Aubry as a character – I’m in favour of more character scenes in general but it’s mad to me that Aubry was on a tribe which had several fun scenes (the goat hunt + Sandra’s Sugar Heist) and the show leant on Varner for the lively narration from a third party. Even without Varner’s tarnished reputation, these are moments to give Aubry – who makes the finale! – visibility over a pre-merge boot.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Agreed! She’s also been on lots of post-merge rewards, so it seems like there should have been plenty of opportunities to include her in the edit or at least give her a confessional here or there.

      • She got to remind you that she likes cole slaw.

      • Maritimer

        But you see, if you give her random meaningless confessionals, Edgic will take it as a sure sign that she wins then be deeply offended when she doesn’t because Survivor specifically set out to fool them

    • tocantins

      I agree completely. My counterargument to their Aubry edit’s discussion would be that between “central character” and “completely invisible” there is a huge spectrum, and I see no reason why they couldn’t have put Aubry’s edit (and honestly Troy’s as well, for that matter) somewhere within it.

      Someone said that Tony (2nd gone) had more confessionals than Troy (probable FT). I love Tony (and I don’t love Troy), but for me that is just wrong.

    • Violina23

      She’s been basically on the wrong side of almost every vote — and she almost appeared to have given up at the most recent tribal council. She didn’t even bother to talk to anyone and try to see what was going on (that we saw).

      I love Aubry, but she seemed kinda broken by the end of this experience. I hope we get to see her again and hopefully in a luckier scenario where she can really play.

      • pufflehuff

        Yes – it’s hard to watch a favorite be so side-lined and harder to watch/admit that it’s partially because her heart just doesn’t seem to be in it fully at this point.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    For all the RPDR peeps: I love Valentina but every moment she was onscreen tonight was a goddamn train wreck. I was watching both the pilot and the lip sync through my fingers. At F6, I don’t think there’ll be any returning queens. I know who’s winning AS3 though.

    • I’m so upset, but you CANNOT not lipsync and expect to stay. I’m just super pissed because so many people are spoiled, and you can’t avoid it, and I knew it was coming soon, and I was hoping against hope it was a mistake, because she’s incredible and it made no sense! But this would do it.

      And so many people on the internet just hate her. That’s how damn good she is. And you know Ru wanted to push her to the end given her parting comment. But then…you put Alexis in that LSFYL and send that dead weight home against either Nina or Tina. There was enough bullshit coming out of her mouth AS DAMN USUAL to go that route.

      • sharculese

        It had to be Nina and Valentina in the bottom two. Alexis was bad, but she at least did what she was told to. If you’re going to show up to a write-a-scene challenge and announce you’re going to ad lib it, you have to be phenomenal. And they weren’t even good.

        • It didn’t have to be anything, because RuPaul can do whatever she wants.

          • sharculese

            Sure. And punishing both of the people who didn’t try in the challenge is a perfectly sensible thing to want to do.

            Valentina is better than a lot of the queens this season, but she fucked up bad this week and paid for it. This isn’t Katya getting eliminated for bullshit reasons. This made sense.

          • Cf. exactly what I said in the first place, sharc.

          • sharculese

            I wasn’t sure whether you were talking about Alexis or Ru when you said ‘bullshit coming out of her mouth,’ but now I get it.

          • I mean, yes I am trying to have it both ways, and I think RuPaul can (and has) set up bullshit bottom 2s before to save someone. Is your entire scenario the most fair? Absolutely. But it wouldn’t have been unprecedented, because the whole show is judged on the whims of a giant man in a dress. Which, as you might expect, aren’t always logical or fair.

            But once this LSFYL started…yes, there was nothing anyone could do about that.

          • sharculese

            Speaking of unprecedented and the whims of a giant man in a dress, was it just me or did Ru switch up her silhouette tonight for the first time in ever? When she was presenting the runway her boobs looked smaller and her ass looked bigger.

          • So have you heard all the T about Mathieu Anderson dropping her like a rock early in the season, allegedly due to a salary dispute? I think she has a new team of people making her up and dressing her (rumor is Raven was doing her face for a while), and there have been a few wobbles and issues with focus in determining her look.

          • sharculese

            Honestly I just watch the show week to week, so I don’t know these things, but that explains a lot. I was looking at her on the runway tonight and something just felt off.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I thought her padding looked way off tonight too :/

        • Taako From Teevhii

          I call shade. If the basis for saving someone is “she follows instructions,” that’s bullshit. Alexis didn’t pop in the challenge, threw her teammates under the bus, and wasn’t looking great on the runway. There was nothing from her this episode. Valentina at least had a personality in the shoot (Michelle gave the that much) and her look wasn’t club kid but at least it was a look.

          • I also think Valentina had a big problem in that her look, while typically fabulous, did not fit the brief at all. And, also, she wore a very similar look for her “hometown look” in Episode 1.

            She just…had a rough go this week.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Like I said my og comment, every moment was a train wreck.

          • Yes, you did. It’s just that sometimes one shitty week isn’t enough. This was not one of those times.

            I’m over-spoiler tagging, but, whatever, it’s fun.

          • sharculese

            It’s a game show. You have to play the game. Like I said below, if they had come out, announced they were ad libbing, and nailed it, I would be applauding. They didn’t. Their show didn’t even make fucking sense. Nobody said this on the episode, but if they got into drag in prison, why are they already in drag at the start of the skit? They were bullshitting, they created something that wasn’t funny, and they suffered for it.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            This is fair. I just need a moment because I’m so fucking tired of Alexis and wasn’t ready for Valentina to go. I’ll be celebrating Shea’s coronation in a hot second.

          • Same. So much same.

          • sharculese

            I acceded to Shea’s coronation two weeks ago.

            I get it. I’m one of the people who thinks Pearl should have been in the bottom when Katya went home, so I know the frustration.

            I just think this is a different case. Their bit to me felt very much like the conversation went:

            “You know what’s hot right now? Orange is the New Black.”

            “Oh, that’s good. Do we need to develop that further?”

            “Nah.”

            In the s7 debacle I felt like Kennedy, Katya, and Pearl all at least tried things that they failed at in different ways. I didn’t feel any effort here, and that’s why I’m comfortable with the result.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Oh yeah, I was rooting for Tina (We were all rooting for her! How dare she!) But she absolutely deserved to go not knowing the words. I got spoiled, and from the team-picking to the filming to the critiques, I was hoping the spoiler was false. Technically there’s more to the spoiler, but I think the other half won’t be fulfilled.

        And I call producer shenanigans in making Alexis safe. In what fucking world? I guess they need drama and they’ll take it where they can get it.

        • As I’m saying to sharc below, there is an absolute pathway to setting up a Nina/Alexis bottom 2 there. It would take some finessing, but her verbal diarrhea and narcissism on the runway could have been massaged into a pattern of lack of teamwork and shady doings. And the edit is already telling us she’s a filler queen, so that could have been used. But for whatever reason, Ru picked Tina and Nina, and, objectively, sure, they were probably the bottom 2 this week. But that’s my point, is that objectivity and the rubric of “only this challenge matters” has been thrown aside so many times before. Because once the LSYFL starts, like, Ru already knows that ONE OF THEM HAS TO GO.

          I think maybe this was to get rid of the increasingly over-it Nina (who I also love, even still), and it backfired.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Absolutely, sometimes queens get saved/shafted for the sole reason of “Alaska needs to win AS2.” She’s definitely done it before and could have done it here. But I’d also argue that Alexis is very close to/objectively in the bottom 2 without arbitrary finagling.

            Though if she wanted to boot Nina, Ru could have saved Aja.

          • Gurl, please. No ma’am.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m saying she could’ve, not necessarily that she should’ve

          • Aja kind of tickles me in a clueless-toddler kind of way, but that alternate timeline doesn’t even need to be thrust into the ether, lest we get another goddamn Pearl.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I definitely thought Nina was going home this week. Basically when Nina and Valentina decided to ad lib their pilot I knew they were in trouble, and I thought this might finally be the week where Ru’s affection for Nina wore off. I’m sad that either one of them had to go and would have MUCH preferred Alexis. However, I think that of the bottom two, Valentina had a much better shot at winning this season which makes the result extra tragic 🙁

        • Ms. Sweaterfan
    • sharculese

      When they were in the workroom and Nina was putting on skeleton makeup AGAIN I was ready for her to be over, but you can’t argue with the fact that Valentina didn’t know the song.

      Also, are you dragging your feet on TAZ for some reason? This one actually moves the plot along, a lot. Should I post the TAZ thread and wait for you to listen?

      • Taako From Teevhii

        yeah, once Valentina was in the bottom, she was gone.

        And I listened to TAZ last night but didn’t get around to posting. You can start a thread and I’ll jump on. If last episode and this one are indicators of episodes to come, my opinion on the Stolen Century will probably turn around.

        • sharculese

          I’m making it now.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I was rooting for Valentina, but she was really awful in this episode. I actually felt pretty bad for her by the end, but there was no other choice for Ru to make. The pilot was terrible, her runway outfit didn’t really fit the theme and that may have been one of the worst lip syncs I’ve ever seen (and there are a few top contenders from this season alone).
      On a more positive note, I’ve been impressed by Sasha’s sense of humor two weeks in a row now! Ditto for Peppermint.
      Also, just for fun I went back and watched the Peppermint/Cynthia lip sync to see if it was as good as I remembered, AND IT WAS.

  • sharculese

    TAZ talk:

    So, um this is getting really good. I still like the goof off cycles more than certain other people here, and Magnus becoming the coach in a kids’ sports movie embodies why perfectly – we’re getting a chance for the boys to broaden their characters in a fun way.

    But also, we got actual plot movement this episode! I’m curious where this is going, in large part because I assumed there was a teleological relationship between the LoC and the The Hunger, and what we seem to be learning is that that’s not true. If I’m hearing the episode right, we learned The Hunger is following the LoC out of… I’m not sure instinct is the right word, but what John seemed to be suggesting is that he doesn’t get to use the thinking parts of his mind much anymore.

    • sharculese

      Second thought:

      I’m catching up on the Handmaid’s Tale and I’m seeing some parallels between John and Commander Waterford. They both seem like people who believe in the cause they’re fighting for but are also uncomfortable with how they’ve been caught up in a mob impulse.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        My friend is going to their podcast in Austin tomorrow. Also I really need to check this out.

        • Taako From Teevhii

          Palsy, you haven’t seen Handmaid’s Tale yet? (That’s a joke, I haven’t either).

          Me and @sharculese:disqus have been talking about a group relisten/binge, though it just occurred to me that putting it off until this campaign is over is a bit arbitrary (especially if the podcast doesn’t take a break in between campaigns).

          • sharculese

            The point of doing it when this campaign wraps up was so that those of us who have listened to it and pick apart all of the foreshadowing and, conversely, the narrative avenues Griffin ended up not going down.

            AV Club used to do a thing for Game of Thrones where there were two recaps for every episode – one for people who had read the books and one for people who hadn’t. I was thinking of a similar thing. Do a main post about the episodes up for discussion and then end it with a spoiler tagged section for people who know what’s coming.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            At some point, we’re going to have to figure out who’s down for this besides us and what this listening schedule will look like.

          • I mean I have some of the episodes downloaded.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            That’s awesome! I really hope we get more than just a handful of people onboard.

        • sharculese

          Live shows are kinda rocky, because it’s a format that doesn’t really lend itself to be wrapped up in a set time limit, but there’s some good stuff.

          Also, yes, you should.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      I think that John thinks fine, it’s just that he/others don’t communicate/interact when they’re part of The Hunger. I have a feeling that John is still in some way conscious outside of Parlay. That’s partially due to his goal in becoming The Hunger (why transcend the laws of nature if you don’t get to witness your accomplishment?) and to his questions of Merle (what good is information if you can’t process it and act on it?)

      • sharculese

        ‘Think’ maybe isn’t the right word, but I don’t think that when he’s inside The Hunger John really gets to engage with other sentient beings in the way he’s used to. It’s why he treasures his time with Merle so much. I think that, while he’s still at the center of The Hunger, it’s evolved past something he can control.

        And: “why transcend the laws of nature if you don’t get to witness your accomplishment?”

        Maybe because there were consequences he didn’t anticipate? He broke space and time to become the center of an interdimensional hive mind. It’s totally rational that that had results he didn’t anticipate. Also, we don’t know yet whether he created The Hunger voluntarily.

        Honestly, part of why I’m going down this road is that it’s just a better story if John is a semi-tragic figure trapped in his own creation, but I also think it’s fully plausible that that’s where we’re going based on what we know so far.

  • Streets_Ahead

    For me at least Adam and Michele are more interesting and enjoyable than Sarah even if Sarah is playing a better game. I would rather watch them or their seasons again if she wins or not (she probably wins).

    • Maritimer

      I’m with you on Adam at least, I found him quite interesting. He had several good storylines – the mistakes, his mother, his relationships with Jay and Hannah, which to me made him a much better character than Sarah

      • Super duper fan

        Even as a Sarah supporter, Adam will always be the better and more interesting character to me, even if Sarah plays arguably a better game. Plus Adam is bae, so you know.

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

        • indescribable hat

          Will I understand this if I make myself finish Redemption Island?

          • Max_Jets

            No.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Not really.

          • Super duper fan

            They’re lying to you, of course you will!

        • Maritimer

          Not sure there’s much to argue about who played the better game, but definitely would take Adam back over Sarah any time

          • I think both are locks to return, but Adam will return before Sarah, especially if they get in another HvV season.

          • Maritimer

            I think they will be keen to get Adam back for sure. I’m less sure about Sarah. I feel its possible she could vanish into the forgotten winners pool, but it might be hard just to forget the person who won a season you called Game Changers

          • I think she is a young enough woman that they will be desperate to get her back. My only concern will be if she decides to have more children.

          • Super duper fan

            Plus, if she does win, production would probably want that rivalry between her and Tony in the legendary winners’ season (which was probably the main reason why they casted her here in the first place).

          • Oh yeah, especially since she was so mad at him in the Cagayan reunion.

          • Super duper fan

            Yeah, even though it looks like from the pre-game press for this season that there isn’t much bad blood left between them (especially Sarah was really complemantary towards him, even in the secret scene after his boot). But despite that, I still think that it would be great to see them both together again.

    • As characters in the show, I find all of them fairly uninteresting. Maybe they’re interesting people in real life, but the show doesn’t present them in a way that engages me.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Michele on podcasts and on social media makes me fully understand why they cast her. She seems like a laugh.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      It’s going to be really interesting to compare and contrast these three winners upon the rewatch (obviously assuming Sarah wins – at this point I definitely feel like she’s the front runner for the home stretch of this season).
      I’ll probably end up rewatching these 3 seasons over the summer and my inkling is that I’ll end up ranking Sarah as #1 in terms of skill. Her story all season has been one of a very precise, measured game where just about everything she attempts ends up succeeding and working out positively for her. Contrast that with (my memory of) Adam, who tried lots of stuff that blew up in his face half the time, and Michele who kind of just coasted and hid in the background while remaining likable.
      In terms of likability and entertainment value, I have no idea how I will end up ranking these three, but a lot of the time I feel like those are the factors that tend to shape our reception of a winner more as viewers.

    • hardcöre umlaut

      I am deluding myself into thinking that Cirie makes it to F4 with Tai and Troy, convinces them that Sarah is a lock to win, makes FTC against those two and wins it all.

      If only.

    • I think Adam was a complex and interesting guy. He has a dying mom at home, so that is constantly weighing on his mind, but he is still willing to make mistakes.

    • DrVanNostrand

      How is Michele more interesting than anyone? I don’t get this argument. She’s a human rice cake.

      • purplerockandy

        If Michele were a career, she’d be a travel agent in the year 2017.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    Sometimes when I listen to the podcast I like to imagine that I’m hearing Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau talk about Survivor.

    • Streets_Ahead

      They talk about things from the internet but I get where you’re coming from and I like it.

    • Hornacek

      Does this make @purplerockemma:disqus Ann Margaret or Sophia Loren?

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        Good question! I was thinking Shirley MacLaine but that makes Andy Fred MacMurray and that just doesn’t jibe well with me.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        lol I wish.

  • Kemper Boyd

    My issue is always TIMING. That was Zeke’s flaw, it’s Cirie’s issue here with both votes.
    I said Zeke needed to consider Andrea at 8/7 because she was easy to get people to turn on. But 8/7 was about having the numbers, they didn’t have enough numbers for Cirie to go after Andrea sensibly at 8.

    • Crappy

      Aye, John said as much about Cirie’s move too. It was funny because every argument he made against this move were even more applicable for Zeke’s IMO.

      I don’t really bother about this anymore since Andy is never going to back down. He is pretty much ranting at reddit folks who hate Zeke for valuing strategy so much, I get that, they do deserve scorn but he keeps clubbing all those who criticized that move in the same bracket.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    So here is what I want for my birthday this year. For those of you that A) have a Twitter account, B) aren’t blocked by Troy, and C) aren’t obviously associated with the Purple Rock Podcast could you please tweet a positive/inspirational message to @troy_zan using the #SummerOfTroyzan hashtag between now and Tuesday. I want to see if we can get him to use it. I know it’s dumb, but it would make me happy.

  • Yoshi Kirby And Toad

    Are we allowed to talk about the 35 cast here, or does that count as spoilers?

    • Taako From Teevhii

      I think if you spoiler tag it and keep it to cast only, S35 might be safe.

      • Yes, do that for now.

    • Max_Jets

      I’m so excited! I listened to a little bit of patron Roark from Survivor ATF today to get a feel for her, and she has a wonderful laugh so I am fully on board.

      • Kemper Boyd

        she’s an ATF patron? then how can I like her? enabling Corinne…

        • Max_Jets

          Sophie guested on the podcast and got along really well with Corinne, so I won’t let this impact my opinion.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I imagine Corinne is someone you’d probablyb have a laugh with n in real life of you don’t v spent too much time with her.

    • Yoshi Kirby And Toad

      I think heroes vs healers vs hustlers is the worst theme ever

      • Max_Jets

        It’s so stupid that I almost come back around to liking it.

        • Yoshi Kirby And Toad

          Ikr

      • I just vomited.

      • corndogshuffle

        Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers has to be the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t even want to watch, it’s so stupid sounding.

        • Taako From Teevhii

          Well we thought Game Changers would be terrific and it was terrible, so if we think HHH will be terrible, it’ll probably be a top 10 season.

          • corndogshuffle

            To be fair, I don’t think the absurdity of the theme itself guarantees anything. If the cast is great and they do awesome things, we’ll have a top tier season with a stupid name. I’ll end up watching, but I won’t forget how horrible the theme is. But it’s still possible for this to be the best season ever in my mind.

            I actually was terrified of Game Changers before it started… I saw so many cast fillers I thought this season could be like All-Stars where all the stars got killed early. I just hope Sarah or Cirie are able to win so I can at least be happy with the winner, even if I didn’t like the season.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Exactly. The theme is dumb, but no dumber than Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, which is in practically everybody’s top 5. If the cast is strong, the theme won’t really matter, and if the cast sucks, the theme also won’t really matter.

            Three tribes of 6 is a good sign. Hopefully that means the end game won’t feel rushed and overcrowded. I’m a bit concerned about how the cast members revealed so far skew fairly young.

          • Super duper fan

            And remember when we also said that ‘Millennials vs. Gen X’ is also a dumb theme? While it may not be in everyone’s top 10, most of us really liked it, despite that it had that theme.

          • Max_Jets

            Though it was the worst season for Probst hammering home the theme despite not understanding it, basically through Taylor’s boot. But yeah, I thought I wouldn’t get over its title but now hearing it just makes me think of the quality of the season, which is pretty good. The same will probably be true for the H season.

          • Super duper fan

            Right, and who knows, maybe it won’t be a great season, but almost surely it won’t be cause of the theme, cause it almost never happens because of it (besides maybe Fiji, but it wasn’t really a casting theme, rather a twist).

          • Maritimer

            They certainly seemed to use attractive as one of their criteria for the casting season, even more so than usual

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah… that did not escape my notice.

          • Cole has potential to join my Survivor crush list

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m seriously hoping he doesn’t turn out to be a giant douchenozzle. I liked Pete heading into Philippines, and that turned around quickly. Cole might turn out the same, and I’m bracing for impact.

          • Max_Jets

            Why? Actually don’t tell me*, because Patrick has potential to join MY crush list and I would love to be slowly disillusioned.

            *You can tell me though.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’ll tell you to check his instagram.

          • I am getting major Taylor vibes from Cole, except I wasn’t attracted to Taylor besides his eyes.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            That was the name I thought of, but Taylor had that doofus vibe

          • Doofus is a nicer word than what I was thinking of, but it will work.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Oh no. Cringe. I thought you were joking at first. “Healer” immediately makes me think of character classes in fantasy games. I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a professional Paladin/Druid/Shaman on the cast now. Fingers crossed.

      • Figaro

        I do hope that the Healers tribe potentially has some psychologists/psychotherapists etc. on it. It’s a career that should in theory do really well in Survivor (the social side/managing people aspect anyway) but hasn’t had many contestants with that occupation before. Denise being the only one I can think of off the top of my head

      • UseYourCommonSense

        Beyond stupid. RIP location based themes…

      • Alycia Swift

        Agreed. I also think at least some of the 3rd category is the same as the first.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      Now that I’ve seen the theme and some of the cast, I’m kinda mad I didn’t take my audition vid more seriously last fall.

      • I should have bothered to make one last fall.

    • Yoshi Kirby And Toad

      What I think the tribes will be:
      Hustlers: Devon Pinto, Patrick Bolton, Joe Mann, Ali Elliot, Simone Nguyen, ?
      Heroes: John Paul Hilsabeck, ?, ?, Ashley Nolan, , Lauren Rimmer, Roark Luskin
      Healers: Cole Medders, ?, ?, Desi Williams, Katrina Gerry, Jessica Johnston

  • Batleon

    Just listened and you guys had to hit me with the Chris Cornell at the end *cries*

    • We’ve been listening to so much Soundgarden and Audioslave. Just like we were listening to ATCQ on a loop after Phife died.

  • Crappy

    Coming to this late since I only listened to the podcast today. Just a couple of points
    – Agree that Cirie made mistakes in both TCs. She was better off keeping Andrea till F6 at least. If it came down to choosing between one of Andrea or Sarah then I could have understood her move here
    – Only thing I disagree that she has not blown her chances with the jury even after this blunder. Infact IMO she still beats Sarah in a F3. She has played well enough that those who are somewhat bitter at Sarah would be ok to give her the vote.

    Am afraid I completely disagree on the hot take of Tai possibly being a better player than Aubry. Seemed like an opinion in reaction to Aubry’s constant place at bottom this season, so much so that you guys indulged in quite a bit of revisionism when it came to Koh Rong

    – For starters, at the show pretty much portrayed Aubry as the one flipping Tai to her side. In a sense, it is always the flipper’s decision to flip but in almost all cases, others do get credit for facilitating that flip. In Aubry’s case, we actually got one of the best scenes between the two, showcasing how the flip came about. Also, was actually flipping away from the duo of Scot and Jason, even the best move for Tai at that stage? Not sure.

    – Next, only with hindsight can you say that it was a blunder for Aubry to not send Michele home when Jason was voted out. Yes, on face of it, Jason is absolutely a bigger immunity threat than Michele, IIRC both had won one IC each at that point. Aubry planned to get rid of both of them anyway. Combo of Michele winning immunity and F5 TC getting cancelled due to Joe medevac (To be fair Michele could have won that challenge as well) resulted in her not getting an opportunity to do so. Major blowback Aubry received from this decision was losing trust with Tai, something she established again in a couple of days.

    – Tai was definitely influenced by many folks throughout the season. Scott pushed him away from saving Anna, he somewhat got peer pressured into sabotaging camp, women bamboozled him into voting for Jason in Nick vote out, as listed above Aubry facilitated his flip away from guys and then to top it off, he pretty much cried and fell into Aubry’s arm during the end given his emotional state. Even his decision to stay with Aubry during that F4 was a very poor one. So much so that even Michele at that point returned to the camp and claimed that both had lost the million dollars and no one can make a case against Aubry to win .. Ha!

    Aubry played far from a perfect game but it was still the best one in that season easily for me. Only Cydney comes closes and perhaps she played a better strategic game but at the cost of burning too many social bonds. Aubry got blindsided by the fact that Michele was able to cultivate an underdog narrative for her or at least that is what the trio of Scott, Jason and Julia wove to justify their vote.

    • purplerockandy

      I said this elsewhere in the thread (although I don’t blame you for missing it), but for me, faulting Aubry for not voting out Michele instead of Jason isn’t revisionist. I thought it was a big mistake the night I saw it happen.

      Also, sometime judging an old thing differently when presented with new evidence isn’t revisionism. It’s taking the new evidence into consideration and seeing if it’s an indicator of past failings. We once again saw her disregard Tai’s advice for similar reasons, thereby casting doubt on a potential blind spot for her.

      • Crappy

        If you had that opinion even then, fair enough but I still disagree with it. I don’t see anything wrong with that move personally and only the fact Michele ended up beating Aubry, an event unforeseen by Michele herself at end of F4, influences folks to question that move. Aubry at that point was open to voting out Michele but had to choose between Tai and Cydney. She was always going to piss one off and Cydney was definitely more unlikely to make up with her than Tai. Worst case fall back for Aubry was that Michele would win 2 immunities and not be eligible for a vote out but even that really could not have seemed like a big thing at that stage. If Michele truly was a jury threat at that point, the show would have most definitely portrayed it as much. As it is they went through severe pain to give her any kind of credit they could.

        Also even if we accept it as a mistake, Tai’s own mistakes throughout that season are much more significant. His poor social game started from day one itself when he was openly looking for idols in front of his tribe. Even Tony in his first time had that toned down.