Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 3 “Survivor Jackpot”

John and Andy discuss goats and the GOAT and the third episodes Survivor: Game Changers.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episode 3 “Survivor Jackpot”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • First impressions of the three new tribes.
  • Is Nu-Nuku the best tribe top-to-bottom of all-time?
  • Who would kill goat Bambi or her mother.
  • Sandra is calling the shots. SANDRA IS CALLING THE SHOTS. What does this mean?
  • Should we be concerned when J.T. is forced to make big moves?
  • Troy found an idol to remind us that 2017 sucks.
  • Fuck Yeah Brad Culpepper?
  • Has the bloom come off the Tai rose?
  • Was voting off Caleb the right move?
  • What was Caleb’s biggest highlight in his short-lived Survivor career?
  • Hali did some stuff. Kinda. Should we be excited?
  • Predictions for two boots.

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

315 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 3 “Survivor Jackpot”

  1. I haven’t listened yet, but thanks for putting up that Hali gif, I thought it would eventually show up somewhere.

      1. It’s like she knows we are talking about her and knows exactly what we’ve been saying and knows we would use it…

    1. I think most of the great things about Hali don’t really register on your initial watch of the show, but afterwards you’re like…wait, what? Like the reaction in this gif, or comparing flipping to the constitution. Or her corporations rap.

      1. I haven’t rewatched any seasons yet, but I agree. I’m probably her no.1 fan out here (maybe only behind @alkanarra) cause I think she’s so interesting and has some quirks which I really like. Most of them aren’t really that focused due to the story they try to tell, but for example the situation in that gif I noticed immediately and I thought was really fun.
        I hope she can set her foot there and begin really play, cause I think she’s really smart, and could be really good.

        1. Despite my enjoyment of her, I fully accept that Hali is a terrible TV character.

          She’s too laidback for television. Her voice – whether you like it or not (Mike) – has too much of that casual Southern drawl to be an effective narrator, and she is very, very low energy. She doesn’t ever show excitement over anything, and that’s frankly just awful for a TV show.

          Her quirkiness, however, is wonderful, though it’s more evident off-show since from a TV perspective they will always want to focus on the high-energy players. Aside from using that quirkiness to pop out some fun gifs (see above), she’s simply not a great character. She seems like an awesome person and maybe that is enough for people to stay invested in her (like me), but I’ll never argue with someone for not liking Hali on this show.

          Not liking Jenn, however, is a fucking crime.

          1. My complaint is less “Southern” than “her type of Southern”. Nashville, I think. She’s a lot like Dara from PI where there’s no emphasis in her voice, so everything sounds bland and boring.

            The one exception is when she’s talking about America and the US and boring law stuff and you actually hear and see the excitement. There’s a reason that’s the only thing people remember about her because it’s the only time she’s ever perked up and given a damn.

            Girl has to remember she’s on a TV show. Gotta sell it more for the cameras.

          2. I think there is a big reason why she didn’t gel with the rest of the Dirty 30 after Worlds Apart ended: most of them seemed extremely thirsty for an extension on their fifteen minutes of fame and she didn’t. She just left social media and continued on with her life. Before this season, she may have been the most well-known social media hermit from the post HvV era.

          3. Yep. Just another reason I like her. She wanted to be on the show because she loves the show. She has a job, she has a passion, she doesn’t need this to be her world. She just really, really wants to play, and that’s admirable.

          4. I agree she really wants to prove herself, but I kinda think she’s the type of player that can only really play well when she’s in a position where she has the numbers. Like, I can picture her organising a good blindside or two if she was in a power position, but when she’s on the bottom (as she is currently, and was in World’s Apart) she doesn’t have the skills to turn things around and so just becomes a bit useless to put it bluntly. I do like her though and really hope we see something exciting from her at some stage this season.

          5. My larger concern with Hali is that her gameplay seems to make for bad television. It’s a very classic under the radar game. And I get why that’s her strategy! I think she’s playing well! I want her to be the sole refugee of her terrible, boring tribe!

            But having mildly charismatic people go far by keeping their heads down is bad for the TV show. I *like* Hali much more than I *like* Brad. But Brad adds to the game’s strategic and social complexity, while Hali subtracts from it.

          6. Thanks for the shout-out! I at least had somewhat of a mild interest in Hali and Sierra, separated from the awfulness of World’s Apart. I’d be totally fine with Jenn coming back too, but I’m not sure Jenn would be ok with coming back?

          7. Jenn is on the record as wanting to come back, but Probst considers her a quitter. Unless CBS changes his mind, she’s effectively blacklisted.

          8. I guess, i’m not faulting her for disliking the terrible people around her, that is why i do like her. And she is so vocal about how terrible they are, I really like her personality and would probably get along with her. But if I’m looking at her ONLY as a player, its hard to get behind the “done trying” mindset.

          9. Nah, Probst isn’t the only one that makes that call. And I haven’t seen him call her a quitter that he wouldn’t want back.

            I’d also be cool with Jenn back.

          10. I’ve been trying to find it without luck. I swear I saw something where he – while still talking up all the elements of Jenn that he likes – admitted that he considers what she did to be quitting. Whether he cares enough to not want her back is, admittedly, only something I’ve read from Jenn, so naturally not a super reliable source. I was perhaps a bit too overzealous there, but only because Jenn Brown is the best and someone has to be blamed for preventing her from returning.

            Probably who ever is responsible for censoring swear words. She made that person work.

          11. Is this it:

            I don’t know that I really fully understand who Jenn is, so I’m just guessing with this answer, but I think Jenn may see herself not so much as a quitter—but more of a “giver upper.” As in, “This is frustrating to me, I give up.” And if that’s the case, then I still put that in the quit category, but that’s only based on how I see the world. I love Jenn on the show. She embodies my version of the “No Collar.” She’s a fighter with principles and she’ll make your life hell to prove her point. But if she has your back, she’ll kill for you. I dig it.

            He goest on to entertain the possibility of her coming back, though,.



          12. I thought it was more explicit, but that’s still basically the gist. Perhaps my Jenn-addled mind has incorrectly painted Probst into some kind of unfeeling villain. Which is, I’m sure, the first and only time Jeff Probst has ever experienced that sort of nonsensical personal backlash for the uncontrollable decisions of a giant network.

            Good sleuthing.

          13. I didn’t have to sleuth for it. I was pretty sure I knew what you were talking about (and also remembered it being more negative than it is), so I just checked the EW Probst interview for Jenn’s boot episode.

          14. I think calling Jenn a quitter is simply wrong, but I do think she’s enough of a quit risk that I can totally understand not wanting to risk it.

            On the other hand, I love Jenn and she should be on every season. Maybe she could be Jeff Probst’s snarky sidekick, explaining who sucks.

          15. Jenn was very entertaining, which is why I think it bugs people that she basically said she was done playing. It would be fun to see her play again with a better cast, see how that changes things, but I also understand the hesitation. I mean, Joe put it best in his World’s Apart boot tribal. There are players like him who want to play their hardest and try their best even if it isn’t a great season, and she by comparison appears to just give up cause she isn’t having fun. A bit of a bummer, but not as severe as something like the Colton fiasco.

        2. Oh I’m a Hali fan as well. I never for a second questioned her addition to this cast, as Hali was definitely the person I wanted back from Worlds Apart the most.

  2. My family has a farm, and I’ve seen my grandpa killing a lamb. It is not simple, and it is very messy. You stain the whole place with a lot of blood. It certainly is not as simple as killing a chicken. And then you have to skin the lamb, which is also definitely not for the faint of heart. I found the entire scene very funny, and I empathize with Sandra: there should be no difference between killing the goat to eat and buying meat at a supermarket, except of course that you do it yourself. (Also ironic, by the way, if people complain about the young goat, but eat veal at supermarkets.) But I see no chance whatsoever that someone will ever kill one in Survivor, it is just too much trouble and too much blood.

  3. To me Caleb’s highlight was being the unimportant part of that great alliance that lasted about five minutes.

    1. I am struggling to think of a highlight for Caleb because of my innate Big Brother-bred dislike for him. I think he handled the whole “You were on Big Brother” thing in Kaoh Rong really well, but that’s not a highlight.

      1. I never got over my Big Brother dislike either. It would have taken a lot and there was not enough time spent with him to do it, plus the shots at Hali hurt it

  4. Yes, Hali is playing such a great game that everyone that has been voted out thus far are most annoyed with Hali. And as a reminder they also spend (and lived with) time with Troyzan.

      1. Pregame Ciera did say a lot of “why is she here?” stuff about Hali so there’s a decent chance there was some first-boot bitterness there.

        1. I agree with you. I do think the idea of first-boot bitterness is silly though. Like, if you are a first boot in a returny season, it carries with it some amount of praise. Like, for Ciera, she was often described as the least-threatening big threat.

  5. Personally, i would call this episode good, and fun, but not thrilling. I agree with John in that the best part of this episodes was basically seeing all our favorites safe. Once we knew who was going to tribal, I sat back and took a deep breath. Nothing to be terribly concerned about.

    I am concerned that the Goat-fiasco was as much ‘fun story’ as it was setup for a narrative next week. With two teams voting someone out, it seems likely they will go to tribal. And given the quality of players and personalities on Nuku, Production may have determined they needed the extra time to prepare for the drama of losing one of them (Or there just wasn’t anything else terribly excited worth showing). My guess is that Nuku goes to tribal, and the narrative once again is ‘previous winner vs. previous winner,’ this time Sandra vs. J.T. How that will play out will certainly be interesting, particularly if people think J.T. has an idol, or if J.T. is able to convince people of the danger of Sandra. And this could be the first fun we get with vote-split-mayhem.

    1. Do you think we’re guaranteed to get a vote split scenario situation this season? I really hope so because it’ll be fun to watch, but it’s not an ideal situation as a player and these contestants should all be savvy enough that they’d try to avoid it unless there was no other way. On the other hand, I guess that the editors could have simply not included Jeff telling the contestants about it if it was something that never came into play.

      1. Well, in past seasons there have been twists with little affect. Even if the ‘no revote’ rule didn’t affect much this season, i don’t think they would completely edit it out. Particularly if they intend to use it in future seasons.

        That being said, I think it is almost certain to have an impact at some point this season. It is to big a change in tribal council logic to not be considered and discussed as part of strategy. I’m not 100% convinced we will go to rocks, because as you said, a group of returnees players would probably be smart enough to try and avoid that. But, it is certain to cause some drama. I’d guess we will get some big alliance shifts caused by the ‘no revote’ twist and individuals being more willing to change their position in the game than go to rocks. Such as someone on the bottom of one alliance switching rather than drawing rocks for their own.

        My hope though, is that someone finds a way to weaponize it. Like, what if a player works with a minority alliance to balance the votes and force rocks against their own majority alliance. This would be really tricky to do, cause you’d have to convince people on one side to go to rocks, and be sure both sides won’t just decide to unanimously vote you out rather than going to rocks, but if you could balance all these interests, the no-revote twist could become the most complicated form of blindside, lol.

  6. Caleb’s highlight is probably his friendship with Tai. They made a cute pair and it showed that he was not as hateful as we imagined him to be.

    1. I would legit watch a show that was just about their friendship. Like, each goes and visits the other for a week and we just get to watch them exist as a weird pair….

    2. I genuinely appreciated the chillness with which Caleb responds to Tai’s schtick, which verges on creepy old lech territory. Caleb seems basically decent, and I bear him no ill will as I celebrate the fact that I will never think about him again.

      1. “Just a little kiss on the cheek, that’s just a little something for daddy.”

  7. Contender for most interesting tribe ever, top to bottom: the Favourites tribe in Micronesia. It’s least interesting member was either Ami or Eliza. That’s pretty strong.

    1. When I looked at that tribe some time ago, Ithought to myself “wow, it’s a really strong tribe”. Probably I would consider Villains as a better tribe even with Danielle, but it doesn’t detract at all from Malakal.

      1. Danielle and Randy keep that tribe safely below Nu-Nuku for me. But the high end of Rob, Sandra, Russell, Parvati, Coach, Courtney, Tyson might lift it higher overall.

        1. I thought we were comparing top six, at least that’s what you said on the pod. So I think the top 6 of the villains wins

          1. I think I just said tribes, but if we’re going top six to make it fair, then I agree (although maybe it’s not fair that one tribe gets to lop off their four worst members).

    2. If we (mostly) eschew returnees, maybe Tandang from Philippines? Redacted, Lisa Whelchel, Abi-Maria, RC, and Pete are all interesting characters for (mostly) first timers. Artis is well… there.

      1. I even think Artis would have been interesting on any other tribe, he just got drowned out with that spectacular group

      2. My favorite non-returnee tribes are probably Fei Long, Tandang, and pre-swap Vanua/Millennials (although I haven’t seen Panama, so I can’t comment on Cassaya). Tocantins and Cagayan obviously have amazing casts, but I don’t think any of the tribes in those seasons are particularly noteworthy

          1. Maybe Luzon. Spencer and Kass are great, but I’m not a huge Tasha fan. I love Cagayan enough that post-swap Solana and Aparri are both among my favorites, but not top three.

          1. China is one of the seasons where I really enjoyed both tribes and their dynamics (Australia being another example, though with more filler.)

            And agree about the Millennials tribe – wish we saw that tribe for a few more episodes.

        1. If we’re talking newbie tribes, I feel like somebody should put in a good word for pre-mutiny Aitu: Yul, Ozzy 1.0, Becky, Sundra, Penner 1.0, and Candice 1.0. Becky and Sundra are remembered as inert pawns, but it was the Tyler Perry idol that made them so. As Barbara recently reminded us, they were relatively lively and strategic in the early going.

          1. I would also support post merge Aitu. Yeah, Sundra and Becky weren’t really playing a strategic game, but in terms of sheer enjoyment to watch, I loved the narrative of four random people who came together to beat the odds. In a season which started about race, it was really rewarding to watch. I’d say, one of the few tribes that was fun to watch from a narrative perspective more than a strategic/game play perspective.


          3. I am a HUGE Becky fan. She got the worst sidekick edit possible but Yul will tell you she was an equal partner in the game they played together.

          4. Wasn’t hating on Becky, I really liked her. And I haven’t read any interviews or gossip from outside the game, so my knowledge is based entirely on the season itself. That being said, the edit lofts her up as a sidekick but not a partner. There is one episode in particular where Yul is talking about who to vote out and who will be on the jury and he calls it “his” jury a couple of times and discusses how people on the jury won’t be mad at him, thus he can win. To me, this was a huge ‘make or break’ moment for Becky. It was her chance to realize that she probably couldn’t win with Yul at final tribal. I thought for sure the narrative would spin to Becky attempting to take Yul out.

            But, again, that is based completely on the edit. And as i’ve discussed probably too much with this season, edits can be as honest or deceptive as they like. Maybe Becky also talked about outfitting ‘her’ jury and the discussion was two sided with regards to boot decisions, but Production only gave us half the story because it seemed less likely Becky would win.

          5. I really think Yul winning and Ozzy being Ozzy left no room for a good edit for Becky. But she is one of the smartest women we’ve seen on the show. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s a nice person. The way that season went with the Aitu 4 vs the evil whites left no space for her to make any moves.

          6. Definitely agree. If Production was to take all our wonderful ideas, she would be a PRIME candidate for a season of players who made it to Final Tribal but didn’t take home the money.

            Though, that season would probably have to wait a little bit based upon the outcome of GC, cause I don’t think you can do a season themed to FTC losers without Aubry and Ozzy. Also, if one of them was to win…

          7. But is there enough good choices among the finalists group, that that season would be worth the effort? I was always more behind the winners’, last jurors’ and pre-mergers’ season than the FTC losers (and I exclude Parvati and Boston Rob cause they stick out as a sore thumb here, an they fit more in a Winners’ season).

          8. She ain’t coming back. She founded a domestic violence charity, which she founded with her 3rd place money. She’s got a mission, maybe she’d come back if there was a promise of airtime for her mission but she’s a very successful person so I doubt it.

          9. I was mild on him till then. After i was mildly against him. After that i forgot about him. end.

          10. I didn’t remember that. That’s awful. I did like Nate at times and thought about him coming back.

      3. Philippines has a similar issue to Game Changers in that they have two tribes that you don’t want to see people go home from and the one tribe that you do. Fortunately, the tribes that are red shirts are the red tribes. Unfortunately, Kalabaw only made it to the Tribal after Matsing was decimated.

        1. Is this really the consensus? I desperately wanted Tandang to go to tribal- it’s characters were dynamic, but not likable at all (with an exception for Lisa…and Lisa’s schtick gets wearying). Conversely, I was happy to see Kalabaw avoid tribal, because I wanted Penner to stay safe.

          The magic of Nuku is that its players are as active and as Tandang, but also enormously charming.

          Actually if we are willing to stretch to mid-season tribes, Matsing immediately before the swap is a contender. When Denise is your filler…

          1. Watch your mouth about Denise Mothereffing Stapley.

            Tandang is a wonderful trash fire that I wanted to see continue.
            Penner had the idol on Kalabaw, so he could have idoled out someone like a Katie or a Dawson and continued on his way.

          2. I believe Roswulf was referring to when Matsing was just Malcolm and Denise, before they got split up.

          3. The whole point of a trashfire is to watch it BURN! Not to watch it act smugly superior!

            I stand by the idea that, as a TV figure, Denise is the filler in a tribe consisting entirely of her Malcolm (and that such a tribe is, by average contestant quality, the best tribe ever). They are both charismatic and skilled players, but Malcolm is also a pantheon level narrator.

          4. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but i won’t agree with you on anything that even remotely suggests a slandering of Denise. She is my Philippines BAE

      4. I think Tadhana is pretty great, with Ciera, Brad, Vytas, Hayden, Marissa and Caleb. Brad’s reign and downfall is very entertaining. It has no real duds and one of the greatest pre-merge tribal councils. Maybe not quite the best, but it deserves a shout out.

        1. Well, there’s Rachel, which aside of being a main inspiration for Tyson she didn’t do anything (but I do agree that it’s a great tribe, even I would call it better than returnee tribe that season).

          1. Yeah, the returnee tribe has 4 to 5 filler spots (depending on your view of Dr. Woodcock Cody).
            The only “dud” loves ones are Rachel and Laura Boneham (and Laura wasn’t even on the loved ones tribe).

          2. I was pretty ‘meh’ on her previous two times, but I admit that I really enjoyed her in BvW, probably enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing her 4th time (plus it doesn’t get talked very much how SCREWED she was, due to that twist and her being last minute replacement)

        2. Mario Lanza just put up a tribute funny 115 regarding Brad’s reign from the point that Brad actually did not do anything wrong. Its not “funny” per se but it is an interesting (and long) read.

          1. It’s kind of what I’ve been saying about Brad all along which is why I was kind of excited to have him back as well.

            And “not do anything wrong” means from like a villainous perspective. Brad did many many things wrong from a gameplay perspective.

          2. Yes, I meant from a villianous perspective. It was more of why he did not deserve the hate. It also says that he did not do “many many things wrong from a gameplay perspective.” Some, but not many, many.

            I don’t know if I agree. I’d have to go back and watch. But it was interesting.

          1. Aras is a solid straight-man for the crazies to bounce off of, but still, easily more dull than anyone on Nu-Nuku.

          2. I think if anyone other than Cirie from Casaya were on Nuku they would be my least favorite from the tribe. Casaya is better for how they interact than as individuals.

          3. Yeah, Casaya is a strong whole, but fairly weak individually (Cirie excluded) as we have seen with Danielle being the filler on the Villains and Aras being one of the fillers in the BvW Returnees.

          4. Stop picking on Aras! He’s really hot in Panama…I mean he has a great social game.

            I do think Casaya are up there as the top non-returnee tribe – yes, a lot of it is the dynamics, but such characters (Shane! Bruce! Courtney!) and the rise of Cirie and I actually did enjoy watching Aras’ game and the way he held that tribe together.

    3. I never thought I’d be pushing back on you praising Micronesia, but I think Nuku is better. I agree that Aubry is the least interesting person on that tribe, and my Disqus account is named after Aubry. The 6 most interesting in Malakal (to me, Cirie, Penner, Parvati, James, Yau-Man, and Fairplay) might be better than Nuku, but on average, I’d probably take Nuku.
      The Villains, on the other hand, are still probably my favorite tribe. Danielle and Randy are probably the two least interesting of any of Nuku, Malakal, or the Villains, but the rest of that tribe is so incredible.

      1. FTR, I think I still land on Nu-Nuku over Malakal.

        Malcolm, Sandra, Varner, Michaela or more interesting than Cirie, Parvati, Penner, James.

    4. Nu-Nuku probably takes it for me, because I have a hard time remembering some of the previous tribe makeups.

    5. Returnee seasons: Nu-Nuku wins for sure. I’ve rarely (if ever) seen a tribe where I literally want none of their members to go home. Villains is up there too. I don’t know if Angkor from Cambodia is high up on the list, but I think they’re pretty interesting (Peih-Gee, Varner, Savage, Abi, Woo, Tasha).
      Non-returnees: Drake, Casaya, Fei Long, Hunahpu (it’s really only for “We’re a Hot Mess”, but still), Luzon, Maraamu (maybe because I liked their Marquesas morning radio show), Koror (and probably Ulong too).
      Some of the ones already mentioned will probably be above these ones, but I just wanted to throw some tribes out there that hadn’t been mentioned.

    6. I would say their least interesting member was Amanda, personally, but that’s because I like Vanuatu a lot more than you do.

      But that’s actually my pick for best tribe ever, I think it gets a boost over Nu Nuku for have 10 players and having a lot of great ones and no duds, compared to just 6 for Nuku.

      1. Plus we know how the story of the Favorites turns out. You would never have guessed after episode 1 that Ami would be a dud. I try not to over interpret the edit, but maybe Aubry is the new Ami.

          1. This isn’t new gossip. A very close friend of hers committed suicide right before she started shooting, so she was naturally distraught and played completely differently. We also have to remember that this was only the third time they were bringing back returnees, so she probably thought that was her only chance to come back (aka the Fairplay reasoning).

          2. I think I heard that somewhere. Poor Ami, I really liked her in Vanuatu, and it’s a shame she probably won’t come back.

          3. Well, she is living in New Zealand, so she won’t come back. But, she’s married and is still close to half of the Vanuatu women, so that’s cool. She’s also close to Benry, so YMMV there.

          4. Benry’s brother lives in Australia right? Cos he’s dating a Survivor AU player from last season.

          5. I don’t think it’s that complicated: the showmance alliance+Cirie simply had the numbers to get rid of everybody else. Plus Ami was injured. Do you know anything we don’t? And shouldn’t you be avoiding Micronesia spoilers?

        1. I have heard opposing thoughts on Micronesia Ami. I’ll have to see for myself when I start the watch this weekend (?)

  8. Of everyone on the green tribe, I’m hoping that Troy idols out Ozzy or Sarah if it’s gonna happen before another shake-up. Anyone else and I’ll be doubly sad that they’re out and that they were idoled out by Troy.

    1. That’s my rooting interest as well. Ozzy being idoled out by Troy would make me cackle with glee. Ozzy is there to swim, and to suffer.

      And Sarah has no purpose with Tony gone.

      1. I don’t want to focus too much on the edit, but it’s a little odd that Actual Fan Favorite Ozzy has been featured so little in the first three hours. I know he hasn’t been to tribal yet, but something tells me he’s not making it very far

        1. Vytas has suggested that this time Ozzy really wasnt playing the game and just went for the free jungle vacation.

          1. Ozzy is just trying to find a way to live on the island forever. He’s giving off some real “Jack in LOST” vibes.

      2. I would think it would be either Ozzy or Andrea that he idols out. Both to prove a point. Sarah to me would be the safest one because she did ok her first season.

    2. The way that happens is Cirie/Andrea finds out he has the idol for sure and then they only tell the other. They 3-2-1 out Ozzy or Sarah.

  9. Many of you might say it is way too early for something like this, and you will be completely correct. But I’m bored at work, so here are my second week power rankings (in order):

    S tier (if I were to choose a winner, I would certainly choose one of these. These are the stars so far of the season):
    – Sandra: she is everywhere on the edit, and she seems to be the queen of her tribe. That might point to her leaving soon (I hope not!), but otherwise she is going far.
    – Brad: he is the undisputed leader of his tribe, and I can’t see him at all being voted out before a merge. His edit is also very good, especially given he is not one of the most popular players.
    – Malcolm: his position is good, and he appears great on camera.

    A tier (these people are not stars, but they are ahead of the pack in edit and game position):
    – Troy: I didn’t put him in S tier because I couldn’t force myself to do that, and because at the end of the day he still is 5×1, but he is safe in the short term with the idol, and he has been looking much better this season than in One World. (Not that hard, I know.)
    – Cirie: she didn’t appear as much this episode as last one, but her position seems much better now with the swap, which incidentally makes her early visibility more significant.

    B tier (these people are in the back of the pack, but not completely gone from the edit):
    – Jeff: his position is stable, his confessionals happen. He is the middle of pack.
    – Ozzy: his position is good, and he has been shown somewhat. Given that he is (I am not sure why) a fan-favorite, one could argue that he should have been shown more, however.
    – Michaela: she didn’t appear very well in the first hour, but that was arguably mostly to create suspense, since then she has been doing okay.
    – Andrea: She hasn’t been shown much.
    – Sierra: She hasn’t been shown much; even though I believe I saw more Sierra so far this season than her entire first one. (Not difficult.)
    – JT: JT has been showing up a lot, but I fear it is more because he is going out soon than anything else. I just can’t see how he can survive the 5×1 swap draw.
    – Debbie: her position in the game seems solid enough, and she did give a lot of very memorable confessionals; but she is Debbie.
    – Zeke: the only thing I remember from him this episode is recognizing the swap.

    C tier (these people don’t seem to be going anyhere):
    – Sarah: almost sent this post without her anywhere on the list.
    – Hali: she survived this week, but the show didn’t bother to make a huge deal out of it. (And she herself didn’t seem to care for it that much.)
    – Aubry: I saw someone saying she had no confessionals so far, and although I doubt that it is true, the fact that I’m not sure whether it is speaks for itself.
    – Tai: he appears to (and is shown as) be unable to correct the mistakes he made first time, and it is not being shown in a very good light. (At least as a player.)

      1. I remember one from the premiere where she had a scarf wrapped around her head in a weird way but I can’t remember a single thing she talked about… Not looking good for Aubry, edit-wise.

        1. She had one in the first hour talking about how michaela’s temper could burn down the entire camp. I think her second confessional, the one with the headscarf, was talking about Tony, but I don’t remember.

        2. It honestly looks bland for her. Like, few confessionals means you are probably safe for a bit, but it also means you aren’t doing great in the long-run. I’d guess her lack of confessionals puts her somewhere early post-merge.

    1. I think I largely agree.

      I would make the case that you are underrating Ozzy’s chances though. He has done literally nothing, and has still been placed at the center of stories. While other people have received more attention that’s only been when they are either DOING something or being ridiculously entertaining. And while Ozzy is a star, he doesn’t actually say entertaining things.

      Ozzy has been used pretty heavily as time-wasting filler, and I think that’s a real positive for him.

      1. I agree; the question is whether this is because he is going far, or because he is one of the biggest fan-favorites of Survivor. (I would put Cirie in the same basket as well, especially given that their whole “Cirie-Ozzy feud” thing doesn’t seem to be going nowhere, and apparently went in just to give them both more air time.)

    2. I think Sarah should be up a tier. She had a very good premiere and just wasn’t very relevant this week except for her reaction when Tony got voted out. This isn’t Aubry levels of bad edit yet.

      1. I see your argument, but I just can’t rank higher someone that I constantly keep forgetting is even on the season at all.

          1. SEMI-tangent going off this. Whenever i’m thinking about KR, my memory of Michele is that she disappeared and then came out of nowhere at the very end. Like, for some reason, i’m always thinking that she was off at exile island or something, because for the votes to 6, 5, even 4 she is barely around in the edit. Then suddenly she is back when Joe gets medevac-ed, as if she was returned to the game. If not for her having won, i think we would probably have the same “oh, right, she was on that season too” reaction to Michele.

          2. Well, she was a target in Jason boot, and had that “malarkey” comment in TC there (which, even though I admit that I’m indifferent towards her, I thought was pretty awesome).

          3. Michelle will always be a good counter-example to most Survivor theories (edit analyses, “big moves” theories, who are the goats, etc.); simply because Michelle should never have happened.

          4. I wouldn’t say that. I think in any given Final 5 there will be an “undeserving” player who will none-the-less get the jury votes if they were to win out and get to the end just from being likable and in that underdog position. Think Keith Nale both of his seasons. It’s just fairly rare they actually win both those immunities they need near the end. Michele got a freebie because of the Joe medevac.

        1. But wasn’t Aubry pretty under the radar also in the pre-mege of Kaoh Rong (besides her day one breakdown and crossing out Julia’s name)? It’s probably worse this season than it was then, but she wasn’t a min focus until the Neal medevac.

    3. I would generally agree with these rankings, especially the bottom tier.

      Sandra is a tricky one though because we’ve only ever seen her in seasons she’s won before this, so there is no gauge for what a Sandra non-winner edit would look like. Maybe she’s winning Game Changers too! Or maybe the editors love her so much that they only have one speed: all Sandra, all the time! Or maybe she’s in the Jeff Varner 2nd Chances role and she’s about to take the early pre-merge by storm only to be taken out within the next vote or two. Right now I tend to think it’s option 3, but Sandra has surprised us before 🙂

    4. I would personally put Hali in B tier, simply cause of TC (which has to be taken into an account i terms of reading edit), which gave her some positive SPV. Probably still below JT, but that’s just my opinion.

      1. If you don’t take reading edit into account, though, it just becomes a way of making a vote that everyone there knew was locked up look like it was up in the air.

        1. Oh, I know that it was decided, it’s impossible to change the mind of all 4 people at TC unless they discuss it then. And Hali isn’t the top contender to win right now, but I see a room for that to change.

    5. I personally would swap Michaela and Troyzan around. Troyzan did not get a super positive for a moment where should be a likeable underdog. This mainly because they left in that bitchy aside toward Andrea when he found the clue. I think that they had to show Troyzan in that position because he being down in numbers and the Cirie vs Ozzy feud are the stories they wanted us to know. (That is also why I am higher on Sarah because they have given her a story as a backstabber who will do anything to win last episode.)

      On the other hand Michaela I would be moved up because we keep seeing her. There is a reason we keep seeing and I feel she stronger position they what we have seen thus far.

  10. I can’t believe I had never noticed until now the tag that says “Troy is garbage”.

  11. Making goat cheese would probably be a difficult task, but definitely my favorite goat-related product. Job well done, goats!

  12. I’m with Andy. Not only is Tai TERRIBLE at Survivor, I’m completely over him. He’s like a worse Rupert.

        1. Yeah, I’m not sure Tai can get himself to the point where other people see him as playing a good game.

          1. Especially considering he’s stalled out well short of step one, which is: actually play a good game

        2. I don’t think so. Just off of the top of my head, Wanda, Billy from Cook islands, Drew Christie, Abi Maria, Rocky, Lisi, Cao Boi, Dan Foley, Morgan, J’Tia are ten who are clearly worse.

          Point is, there are enough people who just actively draw dislike or constantly do stupid things that someone who is at worst the poor man’s Keith Nale isn’t going to crack the top ten.

          But he’s not good at Survivor. Not at all

          1. Yes, speaking of worst players of all time is always difficult, because the bottom of the barrel is really really deep. You even forgot people like Hantz, Lil, NaOnka, Shamar, Phillip…

          2. Which leads to the corrolary that even the worst players can win. It’s not hard at all to imagine a scenario where Lil is a Survivor winner, and Sad Lil is Happy Lil.

          3. Going off this, i feel like Tai could have done really well in some of the earliest seasons. Like, i think Borneo FTC would have loved Tai. But a large part of that was that strategy was so less important early on, versus now it is everything, and the part of Survivor that Tai does the worst at is strategy.

          4. Challenge performance is something too, especially at the end. But I don’t really separate social and strategy, actually voting is a very small part of the game.

            Most strategy involves aligning with the right people and getting the right reads at the right time, which is just as much a social skill as a pure strategy one.

          5. I agree, all these three (and callenges as you said) are all interwined. I wouldn’t call them the same thing, cause for example Keith is really good socially but doesn’t have any idea about strategy.

          6. I think that a basic understanding of strategy is important (as opposed to Keith, as you said). Anything beyond that is potentially useful, but not at all required. This game I would say is at least 40% luck and 40% social game; those are the things that decide the winner most of the times. The rest 20% sometimes can make a difference, but it is certainly possible to win without.

          7. I think you’re onto something, but on the other hand Sophie, for example, didn’t have either much luck or much social game. I think it’s safe to say that as human beings (who want to impose a narrative on almost any series of events) watching a TV show (constructed to show a narrative), we discount simple luck (seriously guys, identical twins finished first and last in the same season), and as the type of people who hang out in the comments section of a Survivor fan site, we in particular probably overrate strategy.

          8. I definitely think that a lot of the different “elements” of the game are intertwined, particularly strategy. Maybe its the difference between a “strategic” game which is social, versus as social person. Like, a player could decide, as a strategy, to try to be likable and get along with everyone, even if that isn’t who they normally are. Then on the other hand, you could be someone who is naturally likable and easy to get along with, but your strategy is, say, to crush challenges. Tai is more of the second, a likable guy, but he doesn’t use it as a weapon so much as ride on it while trying to do other things. Today, this kind of player is rarely rewarded (notice i said rarely), but having recently watched Borneo, that FTC was looking for a nice person to give money to, and weren’t happy with either Kelly or Richard. If they could have chosen a Tai, i feel like Pagong would have given him all their votes, and we wouldn’t have any of that Greg pick-a-number bullshit.

          9. Keith Nale is unintentionally good at Survivor. Which is just a different way to play that lives outside of these percentages.

          10. Keith is unintentionally good at going deep in the game, but that SJdS jury was uniquely constituted to give him the win and probably the only shot he had.

          11. He would have had a very good shot in Cambodia against a few different pairings of options.

          12. Ok. Shamar was pretty much useless. He was a big complainer. He did nothing at camp and lay around like Morgan in Caguyan. He was annoying like Philip but it was not for the purpose of the game. Sherri, who actually was pretty good early on, called him her Philip. Her mistake was trying to keep him too long. He ended up going out because he got a piece of sand in his eye and instead of trying to flush it out, quit the game. I may be wrong but I don’t think he had to go out. Medical did not say he had to go.

          13. No, I’m pretty sure they pulled him out (the “quit-medevacs” were Papa Smurf and Dana).

          14. They did pull him.

            Also, the Dana quitavac has always bothered because she was dryheaving and basically breaking down, but the medical team was like “You know, let’s just see how this plays out” instead of just like “Let’s pull her and get an IV in her stat”.

          15. The thing with Dana is that it was a stomach ailment, which can hurt a ton and be extremely disruptive but aren’t usually an indication of anything life threatening.

            Basically medical said, if she wants to keep playing, sure she can lie here for a few days and see if she gets better and nothing bad will happen. It was just a matter of how much pain she was willing to go through to try and stay in and yeah, I don’t fault her at all for leaving.

          16. Plus it killed the woman’s alliance that the tribe had going, which is too bad because I think I could have gotten used to Dawson and Dana being big characters in the season

          17. I don’t either. Things could go from non-life threatening to just that in an instant. Better safe than sorry.

          18. I will always stand up for the treatment of Dana. If medical says you can theoretically pull through this without leaving the beach, you should be given the opportunity to say you want to stay. In Dana case, I feel like 999 out of 1000 people would have said “pull me,” and no fault to them, but that 1000th person deserves the chance to tough it out.

            Dana wasn’t treated like a quitter. Probst had the whole tribe gather around her and talk about how strong she was and how she would be missed. She was treated like an evacuee. I suspect there may have been a little strong-arming from Penner involved, but still, they treated her like she deserved.

          19. Singing the Beatles wasn’t about making medical come in, there was no way they weren’t already coming. The deal was that, in the interim, the camera crew was getting, as Penner saw it, too invasive with the footage they were trying to capture. Singing Beatles songs would have made all that footage legally unusable, so it was a choice between doing what he said and going back to production camp with no record of what happened.

          20. You may be right. I may not remember that correctly. But they did not pull others that had far worse injuries or infections.

          21. Like I said above, I’m pretty sure there was pressure on medical to invent a reason for Shamar to be gone.

          22. Alycia actually undersells how awful he was. Sherri made him the lynchpin in her plan to topple the Cool Kids Alliance, at which point he realized he had her over a barrel and could just lay around all day expecting to be fed so long as they needed his vote.

            And he actually was medevaced, although it’s pretty fishy. The medical team says the sand in his eye could lead to permanent corneal damage and needs to be removed, but it feels like Probst is begging them to give a reason to pull Shamar from the game.

          23. Isn’t that something that is a really quick procedure that they can do and get him back in without needing to officially pull him? Like with giving Missy a cast for her leg?

          24. Probably. If you rewatch that scene it’s really obvious Probst is hoping they can come up with something to evacuate him for. He was already television poison, and this comes on day 10, which is the same time Brandon is really starting to show signs of cracking up.

          25. Yeah, Survivor is complicated that way because you can have no shot to win and still get to or close to the end, whether because you’re a tempting goat (Abi-Maria, Philip, Will Sims), playing a losing finalist game (NaOnka, Russell, Dan), or are a basically harmless non-threat (Lil, Nat Ten, Tai, Keith).

            I’d say that getting to or close to the end by definition rules you out of the bottom tier conversation. You have to be the kind of player that is likely to blow up on the launch pad in any random season of Survivor. It’s quite a trick to be a guaranteed early boot but still memorable, but as a non-exhaustive list I’d say Wanda, Billy, Papa Smurf, Sylvia the architect, Lisi (man, pre-merge Fiji…), Chet, Gillian, Ben Browning, Wendy Jo, Shannon Elkins, Semhar, Matt Quinlan, Rocker, Vince Sly, Paul, and Lucy. I’ll throw in Colton as a special case because I think he quits any season he plays, probably before the merge.

          26. I would have completely put Brad Culpepper on this list before yesterday.

            Though I think it’s unfair to Rocker and maybe Paul to have them here.

          27. If I hadn’t done the Culpepper write-up I would have thought so too, but on a rewatch, the twists of Blood vs. Water were uniquely suited to making the Brad Culpepper type look terrible.

            Fair about Rocker and Paul. Under different circumstances I can see Rocker being tolerated as muscle until the merge (and he really shouldn’t have been cast in the first place), and I can see another tribe (maybe even the Millennials) putting up with Paul to the point that he calms down and gets his footing.

          28. Full credit to Mario Lanza, someone I’m not prone to giving credit to – his writeup on Brad was perfectly timed and really put into perspective how ridiculous his villain edit, and then you get the crystallizing moment where you realize we were taking the word of Candace, somebody we knew full well by this point to be an emotionally stunted child.

          29. I *just* finished reading it and it was pretty damn convincing. I kind of assumed he was being sarcastic back then, but this season really put into perspective that he’s probably not some frothing-at-the-mouth jerk after all.

          30. I remember once getting a down vote for suggesting that Candace was thin skinned and bad at Survivor. That always baffled me.

          31. His write-up on Brad has been one of the better write-ups in this version of the list, although it was less funny than it was just spot-on. I’d venture to call it thought-provking, in that it provoked me to consider my opinion of Brad.

          32. At singing Hot for Teacher? Probably.
            At not falling out of a boat after 10 Landshark Lagers? I don’t doubt it.
            At treating a hurricane evacuation order as a suggestion? You bet.
            At Survivor? No.

          33. Seriously though, Paul was a focal point of his tribe and by all accounts well liked. He made the mistake of saying one dumb thing to the wrong person, which happens to a lot of people early game. I’m not sure how that makes him a bottom tier player. I could list worse players who went out just in the same spot for the same reason.

          34. Yeah my theory that the truly bottom tier players invariably fail to make the merge runs into problems because of the randomness of the early boots and the show’s lack of interest in portraying them fairly.

          35. When I did I get mad at you, dude? I find your open fondness for a certain type of affable athletic dude endearing.

          36. Sylvia wasn’t that bad! 🙁 People were bitter at her because she was telling them how to build a shelter because, you know, she IS an architect, she was just trying to help her tribe! What was she meant to do in that situation? Also Rocky is a terrible person. And then she pretty much spent all of the first few days on Exile Island thanks to that stupid leader twist and was late to the party in trying to form relationships. Then when she came back everyone was pretty rude to her. She couldn’t relate yo anyone bar Yau-Man because they were basically all much younger than her and a lot of them were pretty unintelligent/immature and only seemed to want to hang around other young people. They were also mad because she had water from Exile and they had nothing to drink because they had no fire. Definitely her fault. So petty. She never really had a chance with that tribe and those twists. Not to mention her time on exile also meant the people that didn’t hate her wanted her out in case she had the clue. People that she could have allied with (Earl, Yau-Man), if there wasn’t that twist. I think she had one of the roughest starts on the game ever. Poor Sylvia. Tragic!

            I’d say she’d hardly ever make the merge, but I’d say that’s more down to her lack of athletism/age. I don’t really think she blew up her game. I actually felt really sorry for her during those first three episodes. I also feel like the edit did everything they could to make her seem annoying as well. Also weren’t we taking Rocky’s word for a lot of it? I don’t remember! She’d possibly do alright on a tribe of only older/more mature players I think. And no Exile Island.

            Ugh also how did Lisi almost make the merge and make the jury and how did Rocky make the merge. They were both vile. A lot of pretty terrible people on that cast.

            Also unrelated to Fiji but shoutout to one of the worst players EVER that almost won the game, Susie “Oh, I was going to write your name down” Smith.

          37. You’re absolutely right. She made a couple of rookie mistakes, but being isolated on Exile Island wasn’t her fault, nor was being stuck with such awful tribemates. Women of color over 40 have it tough enough on Survivor without me repeating myths.

          38. Ahah sorry, I sort of vaguely tacked on Susie at the end there without really relating it to anything you said. I forgot, but I was going to say she’s an example of the harmless non-threat/goat to take to the end that you mentioned but it’s amazing that she actually almost won. So I guess I was sort of semi-countering your first point, not the second. I guess it was circumstantial though given who she was up against. Seasons like Gabon and Nicaragua make it difficult to make general statements about the game. Generally speaking I agree with your statement 100% and why am I even still going on about this? Aha.

            BUT now that I am back to ranting, in regard to your second point, I wouldn’t put Lucy in that group either – she was the leader of the majority in her tribe and her allies stayed loyal to her. She aggravated the minority and she sort of blew up her game a bit in that regard… but she was only booted pre-merge because she was idoled out by the minority. I feel like the major reason she’s regarded as being a terrible player is because she went from invisible to over the top dramatic/negative in the span of 3 episodes so we already knew she was never going to go very far. Her alliance was clearly willing to put up with her and she got a bit unlucky in my opinion.

            I am banned from ranting for now! These are like the most pointless things to complain about ahah. Apologies!

          39. No, you’re helping me refine my theory on the fly (although it is a bit weird that we’re expending so much mental energy on early boots from 20 seasons ago). The way I’d put it now is this: The perverse incentives of the post-merge game are such that the worse a player is, the better their chances are of making it to the endgame. So while there are many memorable very bad players (memorable in part because they hung around for most of the season), the very worst players are the ones that had no chance of sniffing the merge. However, we then run into another problem: we can only go by the information the show gives us, but these are the very players the show has no interest in portraying properly.

          40. Ahaha, you know you’re way too into survivor when you expend this much mental energy discussing early boots from 20 season ago. Also, I guess we’re both pretty bored right now. And sorry, I see what you were saying about Susie being the prime example of a bad player that is pretty bad but not the worst, due to the fact that she made the merge. I agree with that. I completely avoided that point in my reply – I am jumping all over the place, I’m a bit messy/incoherent today!

            Hmm yeah, I definitely agree with that statement about the bad players doing well post merge. It’s often the opposite situation post vs pre merge. Someone can generally always use them to their advantage and in most cases the bad player never has a shot at winning.

            I know what you’re saying about the very worst players are the ones that have no shot of making the merge, and generally speaking I’m 100% with you on that. And I agree that we have to go by what we see on TV so our opinions aren’t necessarily accurate in that sense. Early boots are often edited super negatively/comically based on like 30 seconds of what could be a 30 minute confessional. It’s not really fair but we have to go on that. And yeah, people like Ben Browning/Chet are great examples – people that were essentially cast to be early boots. Completely irredeemable in some way. They’d NEVER make the merge, ever, and their edits seem pretty realistic as other plays can corroborate. Straight up terrible players who you know would be the same every time.

            I guess I was just arguing because of some of the examples you gave of bottom tier players… some people that have zero chance of getting to the merge on one season probably could have a decent shot on other seasons with completely different people or even the same season done over again without twists/idols etc. Sometimes it’s out of a players control, to some extent. Things they can’t really play around. Soo I guess that’s why I was making those points about Lucy and Sylvia. I don’t think they’re the same tier as Chet/Ben Browning who would never make the merge in any situation, ever.

          41. OK, Susie should have won Gabon. Of that FTC she easily played the nest game but that jury would never accept her or Sugar got one over on them and that that was impressive.

          42. Corrine and Randy weren’t going to vote for Susie in a million years, but do you think she could have flipped Marcus and/or Charlie?

            Susie would have been an awful winner but at least it would have given Gabon a coherent narrative (the story of how everybody who hated the eventual winner self-destructed).

          43. I do not think Gabon could have delivered a “good” winner. But of the terrible final 3, Sugar and Susie were more “deserving” based on gameplay.

          44. No, my real name is Sylvia and I also happen to be a highly reputable architect, much like the iconic survivor player, Sylvia Kwan.

            But yes, I wanted to comment here and take part in the pick-4 so I decided to name my username after one of the greatest Survivor players the world has ever seen. If someone bags Sylvia, that just won’t fly with me so I would advise against it.

          45. You are selling Russell wayyy short by putting him among Naonka, Phillip, Abbi and other random crazy and/or worthless players. Russell was the ringleader of a minority alliance that he turned into majority in both of his first two seasons, people were out to get him for the entirety of Samoa and at least until the Danielle-boot in HvV. Yes, he’s not the all-time great he thinks he is but c’mon, he’s nowhere close to Abbi or Secret Agent.

          46. Yes and no. To win Survivor you have to 1) get to the F2/3, and 2) get a plurality of the jury votes. Russell is incredibly skilled at the first part, no doubt, but he’s just as bad as everybody else I mentioned at the second part.

          47. I generally agree but bulldozing your way to the end while being a target has to count for more than just sitting around being so worthless, no one bothers to vote you out. Both lose at the end, but one of them actually played survivor along the way.

          48. Giorgios does bring up an often overlooked part of Russells game. In his first season I remember that they were gunning for him for a large part of the season, but he out-idoled everyone else and won the final immunity challenge, without which he wouldnt have been in the FTC.

          49. I’m sure they would still vote out Brett. He was a big jury threat to which even Natalie woudn’t have won.

          50. I’m going to say something very controversial on this site. Russel’s first game wasn’t great, but it wasn’t that bad. There were people he could’ve taken to the end that he could’ve beaten. He got two votes and Mick got none. In the right configuration he could’ve won. His problem was that he never understood the social aspect, and thought Natalie was a goat. If he could’ve learned from that mistake, I wouldn’t say he was a 0% player. The reason I think he is a 0% player is that he is so determined to never learn from his mistakes. It’s basically the same reason I think Trump will always be a piece of shit.

          51. It sounds like a lot of the jury was looking to see where their anti-Russell votes would go that night and Mick blew it. Although that could just be one juror’s perspective.

          52. I’m just saying that there may have been possibilities. He chose the easiest protest vote to take as his ‘goat’. He did the same thing a season later, so he clearly doesn’t get it. But I don’t know what would’ve happened if he had managed to get Shambo or Jaison to the end. I feel like Jaison was smart enough to give the jury what they needed. Then again, maybe not. And I think Russell certainly could’ve beaten Shambo and Mick. I just think his failure in his first time out wasn’t that bad. The amazingly terrible thing about Russell is his steadfast confidence that his way is THE ONLY WAY, no matter how badly he fails! If he had even a slight ability to learn from his mistakes, he might be a decent player.

          53. You guys are giving me chills bringing up all these terrible players. I’d blocked them out of my memory for a reason!

    1. I will defend Tai with saying that he is very good at making everything about him. I say that as a person who does likes seeing what he might do.

    2. I just think he came back too soon.

      I’d almost prefer All-Star seasons to give us people only from 5 seasons before minimum, just so we’ve had some distance and will appreciate seeing them again more, not to mention give them some time to reconsider and get perspective from their first game.

      The only problem is the availability to play your second time is probably easiest if it’s as close to your first time as possible.

    3. Yep. He seems like a really cool guy in real life, but his bad playing isn’t “adorable” anymore.

    4. Rupert is way worse than Tai. At least Tai doesn’t get on his high horse and flat out berate others like he’s some morally perfect saint. Tai doesn’t seem like someone who thinks he is above others.

    1. Wow. I don’t think there’s any competition. Not even a tribe that had Brandon, Corinne, and Phillite.

      1. I did think of Caramoan ‘Favourites’ as the only other real contender but then I was like Malcolm, Cochran, Francesca…no.

        But I guess a lot of that tribe were much more impressive in round 2, so there’s still hope.

    1. It’s one of the few places I’ve found fans of Troy in wild (though I can’t rule out the possibility that it’s Troy himself creating alt accounts), so I could easily find an argument every week.

        1. I wonder if Troy is just a nice guy IRL and it just doesn’t come across well at all on the show? He seems like a smarmy LA pseudo-hippie to me (and the profession of “swimsuit photographer” also doesn’t bode well), but what do I know.

          1. I think its possible. People from his season seem to like him, which really surprises me. Nina Acosta for example said in her AMA she did. But he seems smarmy to me as well

  13. This made me remember that “Redshirt” means different things to sports nerds and nerd nerds. Also, Andy said “proh-cess,” which is excessively Canadian and to which I personally take offence.

    1. I’m actually a big college football fan and not a Star Trek fan, but I know the expression at least (possibly from Futurama).

      1. If you’ve seen that Star Trek Futurama episode, it’s basically like you’ve seen a solid 60% of Star Trek episodes.

    2. Now I’m going to try extra hard to pronounce all the silent U’s that you heathens took out of words.

      Already sad to have missed the chance to call Caleb a LEFTenant.

    3. I am both a huge sports fan and huge sci-fi fan so that term in particular breaks my brain any time it is used in any context because I always conjure up the wrong meaning

    4. As a Canadian, I say both pro-cess and prahcess. I tend to use prahcess when it’s an adjective and pro-cess when it’s a noun.

  14. I watch the show a day late online because I’m a cord-cutting gen-xer. I pulled up twitter out of habit on Wednesday night and saw the PRP tweet that said “I’m devastated” and assumed we lost a top tier player. Watched the whole episode scared for Malcolm/Sandra/Cirie. Very happy it was just Troy’s idol find.

    1. We’re new cord-cutters too. We put an antenna in our attic and connected it to a Tablo in order to record broadcast basic. I refused to pay $5.99 a month for the only show I watch on CBS.

      98% of the time I don’t miss cable one bit.

      1. Same here. Antenna plus Channelmaster plus HDD I had lying around gathering dust anyway. Boom. All of the legacy networks and local independent stations, and more Chinese and Vietnamese variety shows than you could watch in a lifetime.

        1. I considered setting up a Plex server with a cable card on my old PC, but it’s kinda noisy and dying a slow death. The nice thing about the Tablo is it only needs one connection to the antenna, and the rest is wireless to the rokus we have on the other TV’S.

          We’ve been getting some occasional pixelation on CBS, of all stations, but the picture is so clear, you’d never guess it wasn’t cable. I’m very proud of ourselves if you can’t tell 😂😂

      2. Same. I miss live sports here and there and that’s about it. My wife and I are late converts to Survivor so we’ve spent the last 2 years or so watching old seasons on amazon when we have time to watch TV.

        1. Yeah, the only thing I might consider doing a month of CBS All access for is the older seasons of Survivor I haven’t seen that aren’t on Amazon, like Pearl Islands.

    2. My husband and I are millennial/gen x cusp cord cutters(ish) who then went out and subscribed to every streaming service under the sun…if that counts 😛
      We use one of those digital antenna thingies to watch the CBS broadcast live, but it’s nerve wracking sometimes when the reception cuts out – like if a bird flies by or something :/

    3. I’ve got a live stream link if you need so you can cord cut and watch it online live (not legally)

  15. I remember you guys mentioning it at the time, but I forgot about Russell trying to game the first March Madness tournament.

  16. My prediction is that Tai will go if his tribe loses.

    I think if Cirie team loses, Troy will Idol out either Ozzy or Cirie.

    Nuke will not lose because they are amazing, but I think the queen might be sitting uneasily.

    1. I’m with you on this. If Mana loses, Tai, I think Troy might wind up idoling out Ozzy if they lose, and I can’t fathom Nuku losing because that would just suck. Although in that case I think I’d actually pick JT to go home.

  17. Prediction for Jeff’s reaction at tribal: Michaela rips on one of our other faves. Sandra perhaps?

    1. My prediction: Brad tries to make a run for the tribal council hidden immunity idol and Tai throws a Michael Floyd-style block at him so Debbie can get it.

  18. Nu-Nuku is my favorite tribe ever easily. Even if Aubry has almost no screentime. I just wish previous winners would make up and make an alliance instead of gunning for each other. Everyone thought that the winners would be early targets but by other non-winners, not by each other.

    Also all this “best tribe evahh” talk made me think about best tribe from non-returnee season and my answer might be the Millenials tribe, recency bias and all. Jay, Michaela, Zeke, Adam, Hannah, Michelle, and even the glorious Faylor showmance. The only dud was Will Wahl and I guess Mari but she barely got a chance to play.

    1. It probably doesn’t matter who’s gunning for who since they’re unlikely to finish third in an immunity challenge.

      For best non-returnee season tribe I think you have to look at swap tribes, since the first few newbie boots are almost by definition duds.

    2. I love the millenial tribe. I seriously wouldn’t mind seeing all of them the second time (besides Taylor, he was my 2nd least liked player that season).

      1. But is there really any beginning newbie tribe that doesn’t have at least one dud (unless you remember any?). 9-1 I think is still really solid.

          1. Another really good tribe, but even this tribe has Nick, and I don’t remember anything about him. But beside him all the others are great.

      2. I think Will was pretty solid. Like they got the “Jay has an idol” scene, the “milk” scene, and a wonderful two episode downfall arc.

  19. I’m finally seeing this episode (thanks, KODI, for breaking down all week!), and I’m really annoyed at Tai. Caleb’s biggest personality tic on “Big Brother” was his loyalty, and it’s what cost him the game. Caleb would have been completely loyal to Tai to the end, based on their connection.

    You’re an idiot, Tai, is what I’m saying.

    And I’m not just saying that because Caleb is on my Fantasy team. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

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