Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 4 “The Tables Have Turned”

John and Andy discuss a dark, dark time in Survivor: Game Changers. WARNING: this podcast is not censored.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episode 4 “The Tables Have Turned”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Fuck this shit. Like, for real.
  • What happened?
  • Who is to blame for this?
  • How could this have been stopped?
  • How could this have happened?
  • How could Survivor do this to us?
  • Can you fucking believe JT did this? What does this say about his legacy?
  • Let us not mourn Malcolm, but celebrate his life instead.
  • But, seriously… this is fucked up. Did it fuck up the season?

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342 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 4 “The Tables Have Turned”

    1. But isn’t Malcolm the one that started it (“Hold up, bro” and playing both his idols)?

    2. I think we all know who is the real BM originator – he’s on Know it Alls, but Abi-Maria, like a true witch, knew the wizard’s true name…

  1. This Aubry gif might be the best part of the episode. Apparently Aubry and Malcolm were super close and playing out all the possible scenarios before tribal like the Survivor nerds they are. RIP dream duo.

    1. I am really sad that the Aubry and Malcolm alliance I dreamed of happened but then they didn’t really show any of it, grrrr.

  2. I have now processed my thoughts and can explain my feelings on this episode. While the tribal was cool and hectic, losing Malcolm was way too big of a loss this early for a season.

    I think the big problem is that this episode seems like a harbinger of my (and likely our) worst fears for what this season will become. Malcolm, Tony and Ciera are gone. Sandra and JT are in bad positions, although both have ways to recover. Cirie is still being targeted and she and Varner are likely not making it to the finale. I have gotten more screen time than Aubry. Troy has an idol.

    It seems likely at this point that this will turn into the most mediocre players taking control. Although I have nothing against the guy, I did not get hyped for the season of Brad Culpepper. He and his crew may play good to great games, but they just don’t have the entertainment or story value the bigger names have. I was hoping a player who came so close to winning (like Malcolm, Aubry or Cirie)would win or a previous winner would back up their legacy.

    I am not giving up hope for a fan favorite winning. Changa should never be underestimated, Cirie is heavily featured, and I am getting good vibes from Zeke. In regards to Brad, not everyone with a good early game edit is the winner (see Jenn Brown, HvV Rob, SJDS Josh and Jeremy, Beautiful Ken). And if Brad is the winner, maybe he will play a great game and be worthy. But this is not what I hoped would happen.

    1. Yeah, I think even with the less favorable contestants taking control we will still end up with a pretty good season. I don’t have any problems with seeing a returnee season dominated by Brad Culpepper if that is what is going to happen, but it just feels like a waste to bring back so many of these big names and put them in such a strange mix of a cast.

      1. Agree. While of course in his second season Boston Rob showed that he is a great player, because a lot of big names went early (Tina, Rob C, Jerri, Lex, Kathy, Richard) most of them became pretty forgotten, which some of them fixed in their 3rd shot. I think that there are a lot more bad things in AS besides bad boot order, I would lie if it wasn’t at least a partial reason for this season to becoming to so great.

        1. I think this invites the interesting thought, Was All-Stars necessary and sufficient for Boston Rob to become a legend? Will this season be the same for someone we’re all currently underrating? (If it is, I’m hoping it’ll be Zeke, maybe Andrea I guess)

          1. I made it perfectly clear that I’m rooting for Hali to be that person, but as backup I will be rooting for Brad cause he showed a lot of game in this stage. I’m not rooting for AS 2.0. to happen (as I said, bad boot order isn’t the only thing bad thing about that season), but since the pre-season I was rooting for some fan favourites (no, not Sierra) to make it to the end game, with a winner that exceeded expectations from before (Hali for me) so ala Micronesia. I think EVERYONE shouldn’t expect that the end game will consist of people they like, and that there may be some “him/her?” people there, and that the winner may be the same. Not that EVERY wtf casting makes the end, but have some middle ground.

          2. In terms of who will be elevated by this season, Brad is the run-away favorite right now.

            And in second place…dear god, it is Sierra Dawn Thomas.

        2. It’s not even just a big name thing. I am more than happy to see a Shii Ann (Michaela) or a Boston Rob (Michaela?) go far but that’s because those people are just as entertaining as the big names (or in All Stars’ case, the only good things about the post merge). I like Sierra, Brad, and Hali fine individually but I don’t like all 3 of them together and they are certainly not as good at giving confessionals as Parvati had already demonstrated the first time around.

          1. As I said below, the thing that I’m hoping for is that some lesser and some more known players to make the end, and if they all will play well I don’t care who makes the end. And I fully agree with you that Shii Ann and Boston Rob were easily the best thing and probably the only good thing about post-merge All-Stars. When I saw that Shii Ann was in the cast I was really excited (she was like along with Helen the only good things about Thailand).

      2. I agree with this sentiment, but I also felt that way at times in Cambodia and was ultimately very happy with the outcome there. I mean – Stephen, Spencer, Kass, Shirin, Peih Gee, the list goes on. Jeremy was not my fave going into that season, but he pulled off a masterful and entertaining win, so I was on board.
        Granted, I liked Jeremy going into Cambodia much more than I liked Brad going into this season, but I’m willing to give Brad a chance.

    2. I think Nuku needs to win every immunity if both Sandra and JT are to recover. If they go to tribal, the road to redemption for each runs directly through the other.

      Like I said in the other post, I’m becoming increasingly worried that Brad gets to the end with FFGCSDTOOTP18 and Tai and that he wins that way. (I’ll also be disappointed because half of my fantasy team will have made it to FTC and lost).

      But, we can take heart in that of JT, Michaela, Zeke, Varner, Andrea, Aubry, Cirie, and Sandra, at least four of them are guaranteed to make the merge. It could be five if the merge comes at 13, and more depending on how immunities and votes shake out.

      1. Yeah, for JT and Sandra it’s more of one of them recovers. Sandra does her thing and flows between alliances and allies. JT can find an idol and rid himself of a potentially hostile juror in the remaining Nukus and then get swapped into a Tribe with people like Brad and Ozzy.

    3. I would probably be more on board with the prospect of a Brad/Hali/FFSDT final 3 (sigh) if it were a second chances type season, where everyone playing was only on their second attempt. So, all other things being equal, if we just lift out the players who are on their 3rd or 4th attempt and replace them with more second timers of similar quality to those we have, then maybe these 3 are more rootable?
      Then again, it’s really the 3rd and 4th timers that make this season so exciting, so maybe that’s not such a good point.

      Also, your mention of Ken has got me thinking. We saw last season that the editors were willing to play with us a bit and take advantage of how we’ve maybe gotten complacent with thinking we know how a season long winner’s edit works. Tai’s edit in Kaoh Rong was also comparable in some ways – insanely positive edit in the first part of the season, only to crash and burn toward the end. This leaves me with ~some~ hope that we aren’t just about to get a full season of “Brad’s march to victory, and also two boring women are there too.”

    4. I refuse to jump on the Brad Culpepper bandwagon. No matter how much he talks about antiquing, saving kittens and shoving stories about Monica down our throats, I’m not falling for the PR campaign. He saved SDT and booted Malcolm. If he is the winner, I just can’t.

  3. I stand by my Russian Roullete assessment of Malcolm. He should have been the odds on favorite.

  4. Date of Program: 03/24/17
    Time of Program: 10:00 am
    Name of Program: Purple Rock Podcast
    Problem Description: I would like to see the FCC take at least some kind of action against this vulgar and disgusting podcast. I cannot believe this profanity is allowed to make it to air. I don’t have any children myself, but believe me, if I did and they had heard some of these words, I wouldn’t even know what to do. Survivor airs in the 7:00 block, and it most certainly family viewing. Some might find this related content, ignore the warning, and share it with young viewers! I expect this program to be banned from broadcast, but I already know that won’t happen because we live in such a PC nation.

        1. I was wondering what the deal was with your avatar the last few daysand now it all makes sense.

          1. I was trying to make the transition slow enough that it didn’t seem like I ghosted everyone. Especially because this avatar didn’t match my drawing style for the past two avatars.

            Btw, since I draw my own avatars largely based on an accumulation of the facts and everyone knows it, this is what I had planned for my avatar.


            But I knew that the way Disqus compresses avatar uploads would’ve fucked it up. I’m still kinda salty I can’t really use it.

          2. Haven’t watched Drag Race yet. Just got home from my mom’s birthday party, my roommate is sitting on the living room floor talking on the phone and I assume she wants to watch with me. Just wanted to say I’ve gotten to the third arc of Rose Buddies, the first season of Bachelorette they did. One of the contestants is named Robbie, and every time Griffin mentions him my brain goes DAMMIT, YOU KNOW HIS NAME IS PRINGLES!

        2. TAZ Talk:

          Um, so I guess shit is about to get real real. The fact that the whole ‘red robe’ story was bullshit feels like something that in retrospect I should have guessed, but oh well. Had Griffin told us before that the White Oak Staff was a Grand Relic? I don’t remember that, but he said it like it’s something that we were already supposed to know.

          I think you’re right that Barry and Lucretia working at opposite ends is a thing that doesn’t all the way make sense, but for now I’m going to be charitable and assume Barry’s brain is all donked up from all the dying and reanimating, and whatever the stolen century is will explain that.

          Anway, this looks like a pretty cool setup for an endgame, and I’m happy with that.

          Drag Race talk:

          This is where Drag Race talk will happen after the episode airs.

          1. I don’t remember Griffin saying anything important about the White Oak Staff, but two things I think can explain it:

            1) You might consider Griffin to be utilizing some narrative device of treating previously unknown facts as established canon. After drinking the baby voidfish’s icker (sp?), the entire history of the IPRE and of the 7’s mission came flooding back to Taako and Merle. If Griffin’s audience is Justin and Clint (instead of us, the listeners) for that monologue, then I think it tracks that he states it as known fact.

            If that doesn’t jibe with you, then 2) I’m pretty sure Griffin is tuned in to TAZ twitter and r/TheAdventureZone. The White Oak Staff being a relic was a popular theory I’ve seen on both.

            I am really excited for this end game, but I’m not sure where they go from here since they’re literally surrounded on all sides. My best guess: Lucretia makes the sanctuary she was talking about and the BoB + Barry just barely escape the Hunger’s clutches. Unsatisfied, THB argue that the humanity of their world was worth saving and the there’s one final arc of this massive party going to fight the Hunger.

            One last thing: I want to believe that Griffin’s description of Noelle’s fighting (and accuracy) is purposeful. Largely, it follows the logic established by Noelle’s history and Magnus being able to see the Hunger from the Ethereal Plane. But my hope is that it’s setting up Kravitz to come in and help/save the party as an unstoppable fighting force who can actually see his opponents. I don’t know what was consuming the Astral Plane, but I don’t think it matches Griffin’s description of the Hunger. Moreover, we knew the Astral Plane was being consumed during the end of the Wonderland Arc, but at the end of the Lunar Interlude some 24+ hours later, the Hunger was only approaching the Planar System. Was this an oversight by Griffin, or is it very intricate foreshadowing?

          2. It’s spelled “ichor.”

            Yeah, I’m not really worried about the WOS thing. It was more “huh, was that a thing I missed?”

            As for Noelle, I’m not sure? It could be alluding to something that’s coming, but it also could just be Griffin remembering, “right, ghosts can see the Hunger and I made, and then never used, a fucking rad ghost-robot. Guess that’s a thing I have to work in.”

          3. The Noelle thing is very likely exactly that: nothing much, really. But with Griffin’s world building, every detail deserves second and third looks.

            Especially the details that point to Lup possibly still being alive. I think she still might have a part to play, i.e. if all of the seven need to be present and wielding their relics to combat the Hunger.

          4. I almost want it to amount to nothing just because it means Griffin remembered he made a sick as fuck robot ghost and then literally wasted her by sending the boys on consecutive missions where she couldn’t help. I want an apology for the underuse of Noelle.

          5. Also, some pre-premiere RPDR talk: I hope this is a good batch of queens because I honestly can’t tell if it is or not. I’m excited for Shea and intrigued by Sasha. Alexis’s promo look was STUN. Legitimately flawless. The 70’s end table look at the premiere … it was undeniably original. Outside of those three, I really don’t have strong opinions one way or another. At the very least, I want a queen to root for.

          6. Post episode- I’m not excited by anyone yet. I’m cheering for Nina because she’s the Georgia girl, but I feel like we’re getting a repeat of Kim Chi where it’s “hey, there’s never gonna be a good reason to eliminate you but also you can’t win just for being real good at makeup.”

            Shea seems like she has a potential and is definitely being set up for a growth arc where she learns what craftsmanship is about. Aja (who I am calling Steely Dan for the rest of the season) intrigues me, but I feel like I’m being forced to be intrigued by her.

            The rest is a blur, except for Jaymes, who is clearly first off, and Charlie, who is definitely a serial killer.

          7. Kim would suck in the acting challenges, but it was always her runways that saved her. Nina seems like she’ll dominate the acting challenges, while her runways won’t sink her. If anything gets her, it’ll be a challenge where she has to make a garment. That looks like the only skill not in her repertoire.

            But alright, it’s for Taako’s Totally Subjective Power Rankings, this week measured by intro look, both runways, and personality.

            1. Sasha Velour
            2. Nina Bonina Brown
            3. Peppermint
            4. Eureka
            5. Kimora Blac
            6. Farrah Moan
            7. Charlie Hides
            8. Alexis Michelle
            9. Shea Coulee
            10. Valentina
            11. Trinity Taylor
            12. Aja
            13. Jaymes Mansfield

            This week doesn’t mean much because any given queen could be reasonably moved up or down four slots except for Jaymes, holy shit girl, get your shit right before you step up into that gig. I’d like to switch Shea with one of Eureka, Kimora, or Farrah, but none of their personalities were enough to carry/sink those looks. I especially wanted to drop Eureka (but I just couldn’t), and I hope she blows a tire before we get to Snatch Game. If she makes it to the acting stretch of the season, I’m afraid we’ll get her for the long haul, and I don’t want to put up with that for a whole season. I’m already tired of her after one episode.

            And now here’s the real T, gurl:
            1) Aja’s makeup sure as shit doesn’t look that bad in real life now. I don’t know what kind of Stevie Wonder with a can of spray paint mug that was, but it’s not how she paints after filming. I’m guessing the correction comes during the race and she’s the Naomi Smalls/Pearl of S9 (and that’s in no small part to how she was edited this first episode).
            2) This T is so old, it’s gone cold and evaporated, but I’ve heard that the reason Katya and Ginger both lost in S7 was because Ru didn’t want a comedy queen to win three seasons in a row. People are extrapolating that by saying that Shea can’t win now. While I’m not saying Shea’s locked for the Final 3, her drag is SO much better than Bob’s. I really don’t know how anyone can compare them. Like, Shea has a big personality? Yeah, she’s a fucking drag queen.
            3) And now the real T: the 14th queen is Cynthia Lee Fontaine. Write it, sign it, and pay your rent with it. Don’t listen to people saying it’ll be Coco or Jasmine or Shangela, they’re not your friends and never will be.

          8. Yeah, Nina definitely has more personality to her than Kim, but I’m struggling to see her as the total package (also, I love how she refers to herself as living it Atlanta but her chyron says Clayton.)

            My thoughts on Shea last night was because I was picturing her set up for an Adore-esque ‘learning to be polished’ arc, but you’re right, that storyline is probably actually going to Steely Dan and Shea is gonna get something more along the lines of the Chi Chi DeVayne “I look like garbage but you don’t care so long as my personality pops in every scene, also I’m coming in 4th” edit.

            Sasha I can’t even with. I hate being completely on the same page as Michelle, but that first look absolutely was just too much. I feel like she’s working to seem clever and I don’t like it. Also, I just don’t think she can win because there’s no way Ru is following up Bob with another arty, genderfuck New York queen as the winner.

            As for Eureka, I struggled for a second to remember who she was, which I think was a defense mechanism my brain created because dear god she is awful. I’m worried that she’s gonna go deep though, just because she’s just good enough at everything to stay out of bottom. I want one of her or Trinity gone quickly though, just so I don’t have to hear another word about Eureka’s dumb, one-sided feud.

            As to your points:

            1.) Pretty much already addressed that. Yeah, I think we’re getting a makeover arc for Steely Dan.

            2.) You didn’t have to have your ear to the ground to know that. I don’t follow any of the pre-season gossip, but I watched that parade of pretty boys walk in at the start of S7 and I thought “oh, Ru wants one of them to win.” So I settled in and rooted for Violet because, well, Georgia girl. Did I punch a wall when Katya went home for bullshit reasons? Yes. Did I even watch the finale? No. Am I okay with Violet as winner? Absolutely.

            3.) Dear god please be wrong. She’s a one joke queen and she wasn’t fun the first time. I’ll take Shangela over having to ever here about her fucking cucu ever again.

          9. I want one of Eureka or Trinity gone quickly. ¿Por qúe no tenemos las dos?

            I would put Sasha closer to Thorgy than to Bob, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Thorgy’s and I think I really like Sasha. And it doesn’t come across to me like she’s trying too hard to be clever. Maybe it’s that postmodern sensibility that people are conflate with “coastal elitism.”

            And you better buckle up then re: 3. I know I said Coco, Jasmine, or Shangie, but Coco and Shangela already got two shots, and Jasmine wouldn’t appear on a show that’s done fucked up drag. The Cucu Queen is coming to snatch that second-boot crown.

          10. I don’t really mind Trinity. If she sticks around for a while I’m fine with it, but as long as the two of them are there, Eureka is going to keep talking about a rivalry that doesn’t actually exist. And given that I think Eureka’s going deep, let’s lose Trinity earlier sooner than later.

            You’re right, Sasha is probably a closer match to Thorgy than she is to Bob, but Thorgy didn’t win and Bob did, and I think Sasha’s still too similar of a type to Bob for them to be consecutive winners. As for what turns me off, it’s not a postmodern sensibility, I’m fine with that, it’s that I feel like I see the gears moving in Sasha’s head with everything she does. It’s less like looking at art and more like reading a paper about art. It’s the same vibe I got from Max and I find it off-putting.

          11. I guess I don’t mind Trinity either, but if her whole schtick is body-ody-ody, well, Kimora and Farrah both have better bodies. So Trinity’s kinda just taking up space.

            I get what you’re saying about Sasha and Max, but I guess I just don’t agree. But it is only Episode 1, so there’s time for opinions to change.

            Btw, did you watch Untucked? I’m always said that I’m not a huge fan of Gaga’s music, but I like her as a person. This Untucked confirmed that for she. I think she does get a bad rep as “The Lorax For The Gays,” which is unfair to her (The real LFTG is Michelle, Jesus H.). But Untucked also is lowering my opinion of Valentina. She’s undeniably polished, astonishingly so for her age/experience; but she’s also very green, and that especially shows in her personality and in the things she says. I think there’s enough potential for her to be the Yara Sofia of this season, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy that.

          12. I did not watch Untucked, because I just kind of assumed the move to VH1 killed it and didn’t think to check. I’ll have to do that.

            I’m completely with you on Gaga. I like her music okay, but I’m a punk rock kid so I’m not ever like, “yep, gonna throw some Gaga on now,” but she seems fun to hang out with. I turned to my roommate halfway through the episode and said “I wish we got some more confessionals from ‘Ronnie.’ That was a fun little goof.”

            I’m not at all shocked about Valentina, because young, overconfident and caustic seemed to be what we were getting in her in episode confessionals. I don’t see her lasting long.

          13. Well technically the format change knocked it unconscious, but it’s still breathing on YouTube.

          14. So this is where we talk RPDR? But I was a day behind and y’all broke it down thoroughly. I’ll play more when there are like 9 queens (Snatch Game time) and I can keep everyone straight (I mean…gay).

          15. Also, when she came into the workroom I really wanted to like Farrah, but her first runway was just a dump and a half. She could have done Vegas showgirl without trying, which we know because that was he entrance look. coming out in that dress was an inexcusable mistake.

          16. I expect Farrah to consistently pull off her looks and then just up and disappear. She’ll be booted somewhere in the 9 to 6 range.

            The queen that I wanted to like coming into the workroom was Eureka bc I’ll always root for a big queen. But as soon as she started talking, yeesh. It’s like she’s PhiPhi and Ganja rolled into one. It doesn’t help that her confessional hair and outfit are almost exactly like Ganja’s and that her drag last name is O’Hara. I just know she’s gonna make me miss RuPaul’s Best Friend Race, and I hate her for it.

          17. Oh god, I noticed immediately that she had the fucking Lasagna hair roll thing.

            But also, I kind of just assumed she was going to be toxic because apparently that’s what a big girl has to be to get on this show now. It’s like they looked at S4, saw how Latrice was a compelling related character who the audience loved, and said “let’s never do that again.”

          18. That’s unfair, what did Madame LeQueer ever do to you?

            I don’t know why I thought Madame LaQueer was on after S4. Probably because she’s so forgettable.

          19. Yup, realized that after posting. Um, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, let’s go with her.

            Btw, “Um, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, let’s go with her.” is a direct quote from RPDR casting.

          20. I completely forgot about Jaidynn so let’s amend that: apparently, post-Latrice, big girls can either a.) be villains, b.) be completely unmemorable,or c.) be Darienne Lake and somehow both a and b at the same time.

          21. Here are the things I remember about Darienne:
            1. She wore that elephant dress
            2. She had a one-sided feud with Bendela
            3. She wasn’t Vivacious in the horror movie challenge
            Amazing that she made it to F4.

          22. Look at that boot list again. Darienne beat Magnolia and Vivacious and Gia and Milk and Lasagna and Joslyn (I keep it foxy, but still).

            Bianca del Rio is basically the Kim Spradlin of Drag Race: she’s probably the best winner of all time, but man did she win against the b-squad.

          23. It’s funny, I love the Top 3 + Milk, Bendela, and April so much, I forget how terrible the rest of the cast was. Yeah, outside of everything that happened in Untucked, the S6 was pretty middle of the road.

  5. Yes it sucks losing Malcolm this early (not least for my Pick-4 team), but this is completely normal for a all- or half-returnees season. I don’t think it necessarily means a post-merge of previously bad/meh players. Every returnees season but one has had big names and beloved characters flame out shockingly early: All-Stars (Tina, Rudy, Rob C), Micronesia (Fairplay, Yau-Man, Penner), HvV (Stephenie, Cirie, Tom), Cambodia (Shirin, Peih-Gee, Varner). The only season that broke this pattern was Caramoan, and that’s because it had hardly any big names or beloved characters in the first place!

      1. Are you forgetting Francesca? She got screwed the old-fashioned way, by an old, crazy man deciding everyone ought to agree to his demands and no one else wanting to rock the boat.

    1. For me, it’s not just that some bigger names have gone home early, it’s that the prevailing sentiment seems to be “let’s target the exceptional”. Which makes sense if you’re one of the unexceptional, but is not what I want in a season of television.

      Obviously, there’s always some of this in a season of Survivor, but we’ve really gotten the jump on it here. In fact, now that every has a taste for it, and counter-attacks must be made, it’s hard to see when they start to take out the fodder.

      1. I also blame casting for creating such a wide gulf between the best and worst casting choices this season. If everyone were exceptional, then it would be easier to take (I think).

        1. That was the case in Heroes vs. Villains. It was extremely difficult for the fodder to gang up on the greats because they were vastly outnumbered by the greats.

          1. This was actually the exact example I was thinking of 🙂
            The only fodder on HvV, in my opinion, was Sugar and maybe Danielle (I personally have a soft spot for Randy so I don’t count him).

          2. One of my favorite moments in Blood vs Water (that I may not be remembering entirely correctly) is Tina telling Candice, who played twice and made it reasonably far both times, that she (Tina) had no idea who she (Candice) was. Definitely shades of Ann there.

          3. That’s a little much, don’t you think? It’s as Ann as the nose on plain’s face why Survivor would want to cast a pretty, athletic, blonde med student/doctor. It’s just bad luck that she’s no damn good at Survivor.

          4. I should note that Sierra Dawn Thomas was a late replacement for this cast, with the prevailing rumor being that she took Natalie Anderson’s spot.

            Earl was also in the running for this season, so it’s possible he might’ve taken the place of some fodder.

          5. To clarify, Earl was in the running and then he pulled out (phrasing). They didn’t choose one of these also rans OVER him.

          6. I hadn’t heard that one. So does that mean they chose JT over Earl (I’m assuming that bringing back Tony was the entire rationale for the Game Changers theme)? Man I would love to see Earl play again, particularly since JT’s already played twice. Not to take anything away from his win, but I’ve always though that (like JT) Earl made the best of a very favorable situation.

          7. I don’t think it was ever clear how far along Earl made it in the process, but he was supposedly in the running (and made a not-very-vague tweet confirming it).

            It’s possible that they’d always planned to only have X number of winners, so maybe he replaces JT. Or maybe they didn’t have a cap, and instead of Earl we got Troy.

          8. C’mon, I’m really trying to steer the conversation away from darkest-timeline stuff.

            A cap at two I think, otherwise they wouldn’t have chosen between Natalie and Sophie.

          9. Right. It’s not like they replaced Natalie with a winner either.

            Apparently Sophie was unreachable at that point. It’s unclear how far Danni was in the running (or if at all. It was a rumour).

          10. If there was no cap and we got Troy instead of Earl, someone owes us all an explanation.

          11. Sophie would have been the Natalie replacement if she had not just changed her number. That way there still would have been two male and two female winners.
            But she could have just gathered all the fodder and dominated the season from there, so probably no big improvement at all.

      2. It’s certainly possible that there’s a critical mass of fodder, and they simply have the numbers to Pagong the exceptional and bore us to death in the endgame. But I just think there’s a third possibility you’re ignoring: some of the all-time great players were themselves fodder until they weren’t anymore. If you had said the Parvati we saw in Cook Islands was going to win Micronesia before the season started, you probably would have expected Micronesia to be a shitshow. After South Pacific, would you expect Cochran to play a “perfect game” the second time around? Everybody loved Wentworth in Cambodia precisely because she was such a “her?” at the start of the season.

        1. I will counter this slightly because Wentworth was out early in SJDS due to the fact that she was seen as “exceptional” by her cast. Who knows what she could have done if she had stayed in the game longer?

    2. I think the big problem is that there aren’t enough good to counterbalance how many we are losing
      Of the people left, there are seven I would want to win, 2 I could live with, and 7 I don’t want to. Normally, even in a returnee season, there are far fewer I would be unhappy with winning at this point (ie for Cambodia it would have been Savage, Abi, Joe, Woo – and I think I could have come around on two of those)
      Great: Sandra, Cirie, Aubry, JT, Andrea, Michaela, Varner
      Middle: Brad, Zeke,
      Fodder: Hali, SDT, Debbie, Tai, Troy, Ozzy, Sarah

      I understand there may be a few variations on this but the sentiment would be pretty similar

      1. And moreover, from that group of great, at least one if not both of JT and Sandra are imperil, while Cirie and Andrea could very easily fall victim to Troy’s idol (phrasing).

  6. I am still mourning Malcolm’s loss/this twist which I independently of its result really disliked, so looking forward to listening to this later. I was totally fooled by Malcolm’s Varner-in-Cambodia edit and the fact that so many people had him as a winner pick, so I wasn’t prepared for his early exit in the way I am for say Cirie or Aubry.

    After the episode, I definitely had a moment of ‘hmmm, I’d be fine if CBS substituted next week of Debbie yelling and theTriumph of the Duddiest Returnee Tribe Ever with footage of Malcolm playing with baby goats on Ponderosa’ but I am coming around. The truth is I spend a lot of time complaining about the world, so don’t want to complain about Survivor too much. So in that spirit, here are some things I really liked about the episode.

    Seven Things I liked about this episode
    1. Sandra calling ‘Sierra Dawn Thomas’ by her full name.

    2. Aubry when she’s getting all bzzzy on coffee.

    3. Aubry at Tribal Council – I feel like I showed up to the wrong wedding, sadly prophetic for this Red Wedding, sob.

    4. Cirie has the chance of a story. She can take down Troy, dammit!

    5. Michaela reading the room right – okay, not exactly needing a genius to see that an idol might be in play or that JT screwed them – but I liked that the edit showed Michaela figuring these things out as I need her to go far now.

    6. This is the first season in a long while where a person of color hasn’t been one of the first 4 boots (as Barbara Anderson pointed out). And especially after last season, that’s refreshing.

    7. Ozzy fishing shots – while unnecessary/hardly news – were quite beautifully shot and, I don’t know, better than watching that live tribal kinda cheap drama. Okay, maybe time to end the list here…

        1. I missed this moment somehow but between that + her ‘is that your real name?’ Michaela is on point with the shade this season.

    1. I decided to do some research about when the last season that a person of color wasn’t one of the first 4 boots. I will take you through my process as once the first POC boot was remembered, I moved on:
      MvGx: Rachel
      Kaoh Rong: Darnell
      Cambodia: Shirin
      Worlds Apart: So
      SJDS: Nadiya
      Cagayan: Brice
      BvW: Marissa
      Caramoan: Francesca
      Philippines: Roxy
      One World: Bill
      South Pacific: Semhar
      Redemption Island: Francesca

      Yes, Nicaragua was the most recent season that the first four boots were all white. Also, like Game Changers, Nicaragua had the first boot be a woman and the next three boots be men. Also, the fourth boot of Nicaragua was future Malcolm himself, Jimmy T….oh dear, I can already see how TEOS Volume 4 is going to shape up.

      1. I suspected you might know – I haven’t seen most of South Pacific or One World, so couldn’t remember those seasons, but I was pretty sure that it was way ago, which is pretty mad. I definitely was sad at losing Ciera and Tony in the first episode but that was somewhat tempered by the alternative boots being Michaela and Sandra, both for the trend that would have been part of + rooting interest reasons.

    2. #2 JT being low key jacked up from the coffee in a confessional was funny as well.

      #7 Not a fan of the twist or its outcome, but I liked the drama at TC, even though it totally was cheap drama and honestly had too much going on at once to follow everything – not good TV, in that sense.

      And I even pointed out some similiarities between Varner in Cambodia and Malcolm in how they were portrayed before, but it’s still hard to grasp he went out this early.

      1. Yeah, I do like a good dramatic Tribal Council but I usually prefer the beach-scramble before so I do think that this twist would have been better if they’d had a couple of hours on a beach together as at least then the show can sculpt a more coherent narrative.

        I think Sophie on Know It Alls described the huddles as Second Grade Strategy or something like that, which I thought was on point – I prefer a dramatic tribal council where I can be impressed by the play. Here, while Mana obviously did well, it wasn’t too impressive as they were told who the target was in a very unsubtle way, so it’s hard to really say that anybody played that moment brilliantly.

        1. I guess a counter argument is: would there have been much beach scrambling here? Mana just votes out Hali. Maybe on Nuku, according to Malcolm, where it might’ve been Varner for blowing the challenge, or Aubry vs Sandra.

          1. I meant that if they *had* to do this twist, they should have put the tribes together on a beach for a few hours (maybe even with a only to be used once idol in play) – even if it had essentially been an elongated version of what happened at Tribal, I think it might have been clearer.

            Agree that if both tribes had just gone to Tribal the votes might have been obvious, though honestly I would have preferred that to this episode.

          2. I think you are probably right that the total level of scrambling would have been roughly the same- but I think puffle is right that a beach scramble would have made a much more coherent story. The show knows how to intertwine a beach scramble with confessionals to make a narrative pop. People huddling at tribal counsel doesn’t break the game, but it seemed to break the TV show. I’m a fairly attentive viewer, and I came out of this episode not understanding what JT did.

            Now the counterargument is that this is a good thing- after so many years, how exciting to see a new kind of utter chaos! And that’s a valid point, to which my only response is “but I didn’t like watching it.”

          3. Counterpoint to your counterpoint: I loooooooooooooved it. I fucking died. I was literally rolling around screaming ‘what is this? what is haaaaaappppening, this is the beeeest.”

            So maybe it wasn’t for everyone, but it was for some of us.

          4. 100% agree.

            All thing considered, it’s probably a non-terrible idea to pull this kind of random shit once in the pre-merge per season. It creates a kind of episode that really speaks to lovers of chaos, and the editing of a single pre-merge episode isn’t that important to season-long narratives.

            But I’m going to fucking hate that episode every season, like the petulant child I am!

        2. I thought the twist was reminiscent of The Genius. Two arbitrarily split groups. Individuals with pre-existing loyalties on both sides. I enjoyed it. I can see why it might rub people the wrong way (because it removes a fundamental part of Survivor: the living together), but I enjoyed it a lot. I’m sad Nu-Nuku played it so poorly, but really there were a lot of potential outs here.

    3. 8. Troy(zan) single-handedly loses the reward challenge for his tribe, and then at the immunity challenge his tribe benches him.

    1. On the RHAP Voicemail episode one of the callers presented the theory that on all-star seasons, the 4th boot is the best player.
      All-Stars: Rob C
      HvV: Cirie
      Cambodia: Varner
      GC: Malcolm

      Not sure about “best” but “most entertaining”, sure.

  7. I would argue that the idol still might have been played for Sierra anyway because Tai big alliances are with Sierra and Brad. JT just confirmed it was going towards Sierra.

    However you are probably right to worry about where the season might go wrong. The stories the season has been setting up this far are Circe vs Ozzy, Troy having an idol, Sandra being queen, and Brad is good at these game (as seen by the fact that he, Sierra, and Tai are in control of these tribe right on).

  8. I will make one last case against this twist by comparing it to tribe swaps.

    Tribe swaps are obviously unfair, but they do leave a lot of room for most people that end up in the minority. How many people have been swap screwed since SJDS? By my count, there have only been 2: Anna Khait and Caleb. Anna had the Julia replacement factor on top of that which I think is what really screwed her. Maybe Caleb was in an impossible situation, but we see people get out of these things all of the time because they have a couple days to improve their situation.

    Beyond all that though, tribe swaps have a huge positive impact on the rest of the game by shaking up alliances for when the merge hits. The unfairness of the swaps can be worth it because while we may lose a decent player here and there, the entire rest of the season plays out in a more interesting way. This isn’t the case here. Not only does this twist not make the rest of the season interesting but instead of someone POSSIBLY getting screwed over as in a tribe swap, this almost guarantees for someone to be screwed over. In this case, Malcolm and SDT have no control over the other tribe’s target.

    I think the idol is complicating people’s perception of the twist. Without the minority tribe having an idol, there is no point to the twist. Because there is an idol we see that Malcolm could have been saved if Nuku targeted someone that didn’t have an idol played for them. That still removes the majority of Survivor gameplay which is building social bonds to help move you further in the game. There is nothing here from the first 11 seasons of the show. All of the opportunity for strategizing at this tribal is from “new school” Survivor while everything from old school Survivor goes out the window. Is it entertaining? Yes. I actually think it played out as well as it could have. But what do we get from it? Nothing more than a moment. This has no positive impact on the rest of the season, which would still be the case if Malcolm didn’t go home.

    1. My point that I don’t know if I made well enough on the podcasts is that this was a tough situation that still had a number of outs, which is why I can’t say it completely screwed someone. Idol play was an out for SDT (and could have been for Malcolm had his tribe found one). Flipping JT or Hali was another. Voting for someone unlikely to have the idol was another.

      This isn’t the case where the vote is OBVIOUSLY one player or one type of player, and that person has little to nothing that can be done about it. Malcolm obviously didn’t have ALL the advantages to get the target off of him, but he had some. In fact, weird things had to break for it to be him (specifically).

      1. A window for an out, sure, but there is no real incentive for a full flip from JT or Hali. All it would do is put them in a worse situation (unless for some reason Brad’s alliance did vote out Sandra, which would be a bizarre call). I really don’t think the twist works without the group of 5 having an idol.

        1. I should also say that I’m not sure the twist “worked”. I’m just saying that it was more structurally unfair than other unfair things that happen in Survivor.

          1. I’m more responding to your last comment here, but I absolutely think there is little to nothing that Malcolm could have done to avoid being their target. He has not been on a tribe with 4 of the 5 people on the other tribe. What could he have done? Pledged him their loyalty? They have no reason to work with him because they have no relationship with him. I’m reminded of Shirin trying to get Woo to work with her in Cambodia and Woo says something like “you haven’t talked to me this entire time.” You can’t get people to work with you when there is nothing there. The best option I can think of is to get the other tribe worried about a Nuku idol, which is the type of thing Malcolm WOULD pull out of his ass quickly but I just thought of it two days later and haven’t seen anyone else say it so how can we expect it from anyone in this situation?

          2. I’m not saying he could’ve avoided being the target, I’m saying that A) the other side could’ve chosen a different target for a different reason (like, say, idol fear. Or Brad wanting to keep alphas), and B) Mana’s target shouldn’t have been the most likely person to go home.

          3. I actually think the move that could have saved Malcolm was if JT had told Brad that they were working together. If JT says something like “I’m working with Malcolm. We need to take out Sandra” to Brad right at the beginning, that might have actually swayed the vote. So really Malcolm did everything he could, but JT wasn’t pulling his weight strategically.

          4. The reason this works for JT is that JT has a relationship with Brad. But Brad’s tribe has a golden opportunity to weaken the other tribe here. I just can’t imagine why Sierra, Hali, Debbie or even Brad would take out Sandra. If Malcolm’s best chance to get the target off of him to convince people he has no relationship with of going for a completely illogical move in the span of a few minutes, then I think it’s a game breaking twist.

          5. Ultimately, targeting the very biggest threat is the right call, but people thinking that going after Sandra is completely illogical is how she keeps winning. The right time to get rid of Sandra is always ASAFP.

          6. I’ve seen people say that to an even more extreme degree (that it’s crazy they DIDN’T vote out Sandra) and I think it’s ludicrous. You have to analyze all the factors at play. I mean, imagine they vote out Sandra here and then go on a losing streak and end up with only Tai making the merge. Great work getting out a threat I guess. I know you are saying they made the right call, but there was a way too confident thread on reddit about it and I had to rant. I’m kind of hoping Sandra gets 4th place and someone accidentally brings the bigger threat to tribal instead and loses when they would have otherwise won.

          7. I’ve read some speculation that what appears to be Sandra’s overconfidence and blunders (“Girl, they don’t have an idol”, “I know I’m not going home”) is in fact her attempting to get Mana worried about a Nuku idol. It seems too clever by half but I would love it if it were true.

          8. I said it on the podcast, but I think it’s extremely likely that her claim that they didn’t have an idol was really just her convincing her tribe that they’d made the correct decision on who to vote for and to not question that decision.

          9. It’s Sandra herself that first says that Hali is signaling that they should vote Brad. But the whole situation is so chaotic that it’s possible Sandra both started the chatter then decided to shut it down.

          10. I still have that thread (or a similiar one) open in aother tab and the OP has good points. I’m inclined to believe she knew why she voiced her disbelief that anyone on Mana has an idol at least. That gives her tribe confidence, but it also let’s the other tribe know that there is nothing stopping them from voting for Brad, making it hard for them to not play the idol for him should they have it.

    2. While as I said in a libeblog, that I’m not as down on this twist as most are, I think it should stay as a one-of thing, and just be left as a thing that led to a crazy TC and be left intact.

  9. Very appropriate ending!

    I’m certainly not thrilled about Malcolm going early, but it is too early for me to call the season a lost cause as a result of it. I can’t rule out that possibility though. It would help greatly if a few of the third-tier contestants got booted in quick succession.

    In the long run, when it comes time to praise Sierra’s best Survivor moment, it may wind up being the moment in this episode when she shut Debbie up in order to allow Tai to say he had an idol. The reason is because two positive outcomes came out of that for Sierra as a result: learning Tai had an idol and not having to listen to Debbie for five seconds.

    1. The fact that either that or targeting Malcolm are already her career highlights is pretty sad for her. I would say her previous career highlights were either thinking that Dan and Mike lied about the neutral box choice or being scared by Mike while strategizing with Carolyn.

      1. That, finding the legacy advantage, floating Malcolm’s name, handing Probst the idol.

        Fuck, that’s half a winner’s montage already.

        1. Ugh, I’d rather not add that W to The Acronym. If the other half is from the finale exclusively, though, and she goes completely off the radar in the meantime, we still could have a good season overall.
          They could call it the Winning-Survivor-In-3-Easy-Steps montage. Game Changer.

    2. I really liked that Sierra shutting down Debbie moment too. My FFSDT highlight so far is her choice of nail varnish.

      1. Another true fan favorite moment would be the time she and Lindsey couldn’t keep a straight face during Dan’s “I’m a fat guy. Bamboo is hollow” speech and laughed in his face for being the buffoon he is.

        Just thinking of this makes me feel a little better about the latest episode.

      1. That’s probably a better individual moment than a few of these other contestants will have.

  10. Tony and Malcolm gone in episodes 2 and 3? F U 2016, just seriously F U. Haven’t we suffered enough?

  11. I’m never watching Survivor again* after losing Malcolm.

    *Until next Wednesday because I’m hopelessly addicted.

  12. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum and all that, but I have to say that the way Malcolm is bad-mouthing Michaela in exit interviews is making me feel less sorry for him.

        1. That’s all we’ve gotten. My guess is it’s because she’s an emotional player and those frighten him post-Abi.

          1. He also spoke of “having to babysit her strategically”, but I think he also related that to her reacting emotionally in the moment.

        2. Oh yeah, I remember that now…I can sorta see it, but Michaela seems to be a bit more rational than Abi-Maria. Also, Michaela can use her age as a bit of excuse more so than Abi-maria.

          1. Speaking of strong willed young women, Cydney was younger than Micheala, but rarely flew off the handle. I hate the age excuse, Julia also never let her temper show

        3. I don’t think the comparison with Abi is ENTIRELY off base. They are both very strong-willed young women who are very certain about how the world should be.

          The difference is that Abi is awful and Michaela is magnificent.

          But other than that…

          1. Another difference between them is that if you’re on a tribe with Michaela, you want her to participate in the challenge, no matter what it is.

      1. All I know is that he said he didn’t like her at all, which is fine with me. My favorites can dislike my other favorites and who knows what it’s like to live with her on island? That said, I was also disappointed.

      1. Whoa. You’re not one of those A Fish Called Wanda types, are you?

        Ad hominem! Carpe diem! Et cetera!

  13. Who is to blame for this?


    But if not Malcolm, it probably would have been Sandra, so JT telling the Culpepper tribe about where Nuku’s votes would go (and, according to Malcom’s exit press, not telling his own tribe about this mistake after he recognized Mana wouldn’t vote for Sandra) is where everything fell apart for the good guys.

    So now JT is legitimately pissed at Brad, Hali seemed to be very much on board with losing him this week and in the preview we got to see the latest case of someone screaming at Brad Culpepper. Taking into account who does the yelling without yet knowing anything else about the situation, it seems very possible that he’ll be the victim of yet another tirade that’s more an overreaction than truly justified (Having recently read the Funny115 Culpepper entry, I can’t wait for the update. This is so perfect.), and it looks like he is taking it like a Champ’ again (in one interview Malcolm also mentioned that Brad was quite nice to him on his way out).

    But it makes you wonder, if all these reports (can’t say yet where this podcast falls on that, but I start listening soon) of Brad’s vastly improved gameplay are a little premature. It’s still early in the game and he’s again, plain for all to see, the leader of an alliance and has more and more people in- and outside of his tribe openly hating on him. And this time he’s not doing it for Monica…

    * [This is going to be really immature and silly. Don’t judge me!] As long as we haven’t seen and heard more about next week’s happenings at Mana Beach, we can dream that there were crucial parts left out of that preview to make it more family friendly. There was some good speculation about that preview scene in the liveblog thread already, but why not take it to a new thread? I made a few screen grabs, so knock yourself out with the captioning! I’ll go first:

    You told me we had a special bond. We held hands that first night on the beach together. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb95e95b3d6106e75d857a88a5f4768b1c600020e2a69f5f2e65942a2f26b96a.jpg


    Now Tai told to me you said the same thing to him…
    …and I saw how you even caressed his head in the shelter the other day.

    I wanted to fuck you, Brad Culpepper!


    [Debbie won’t storm off, awkward silence ensues]

  14. After the opener I was really holding out hope that this would be the season where all the big threats got on board with using each other as shields. Everyone awesome voted out the trash and the endgame was an amazing bloodbath of backstabbing and maneuvering. They could have set up that playbook as the new template for the next couple seasons. But instead this is what we get…

  15. Oh and thanks for including a shot of Aubry, since the show seems mostly hellbent against doing so.

    1. Hey, Jeff asked her a question at tribal, didn’t he? WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT?

  16. Not only did we get an entertaining episode from such a terrible result, it also created the best PRP of the season. Y’all being pissed off was gold.

      1. Outcasts twist sucks, but it plays out perfectly. It’s also more satisfying because they show Savage being the worst afterwards and complaining TO Lill about the twist and her being there. Amazing.

        1. It was structurally unfair then Savage in his doucheyness played it as badly as he could have.

          1. But asking Savage not to be a douche is also unfair. That’s basically asking him to cease existing.

      2. I’ve always wanted to say something about the Outcasts twist, because this always bugs me.
        Everyone seems to forget that the Outcasts were at a disadvantage at that challenge. Drake and Morgan both had 5 members and the Outcasts had 6, and everyone competed in that challenge (You had to unlock everyone from cages and get everyone through all the gates–mo’ bodies, mo’ problems, in theory). And if both tribes beat the Outcasts, nothing would change and the final 10 would be the same pre-twist. So really, this twist shouldn’t have mattered.
        Yes, it doesn’t change the fact that the twist in and of itself shouldn’t have happened in the first place, I get that–I’m not saying it should have happened. But the way they set the challenge up, Drake and Morgan were at an advantage, so it shouldn’t have really made a difference. (As a side note: if the Drake and Morgan had beaten the Outcasts, how much of this would they have shown?)

          1. But … but Jeff said the Outcasts were living just like the players still in the game! With the same amount of food!

      1. When do the t-shirts go on sale?


        1. Dan we have some gender equality?

          ….I’d like my t-shirt to read “Our listeners are Fatherfuckers”

          1. No, i want to make you commit to using the term Fatherfuckers.

            Also, have you ever considered that Motherfucker seems less serious than “MomFucker” even though Mom is the less formal word. Same for Fatherfucker vs. DadFucker.

            You’re Welcome Everyone!

          2. As a father myself, of course I support the cause of fatherfucking. Dads have needs, y’all.

            But my point was more that I’m not going to judge your choices on who you fuck; as long as he/she/they (and if it’s “they”, congrats) are consenting, get some.

  17. I’d like to propose that you guys do next weeks podcast wearing black paper goatees. If we’re all living in the darkest timeline, isn’t it time to stop fighting and embrace it?

  18. Another thing I forgot to pile on JT about on the podcast: his cocksure arrogant assumption that his old tribe was voting for Sandra. Which was based on… what, exactly?

    No one knows how to read the plans of another tribe quite like JT Thomas.

    1. You really think he would have learned his lesson on making assumptions on stuff he has zero intel on.

  19. Finally made it to the end (work involved actual work today…) and I only have one thing to say:

  20. For secondary blame, I’d say Malcolm deserves as much blame as Sandra. After all, JT was talking with Malcolm about his machinations- Malcolm was in the best position to realize JT was blowing everything up in a way that argued for switching the vote.

    I’m such a shameless Sandra apologist.

  21. Great grieving podcast! I watched the KIA one yesterday and was kinda mad at Stephen who I like as a player but usually disagree with whenever I listen to it (bad sign when Bret is the one on your side) and even Sophie, who I thought was on excellent form, rated Brad too highly for me. I agree that Brad didn’t play that Tribal the most smoothly, particularly how he interacted with Hali. I will begrudgingly give him credit for his vast improvement this season but, gorgeous baubles aside (ahem) I still don’t particularly like him yet.

    That said, I’m watching Palau at the moment (which I’d seen bits of live but wow, what a treasure of a season) and his play tonight really reminds me of how Tom strong-armed Katie and hey, that worked out okay for Tom!

    Also, I am really hoping that next week’s challenge is either a Sass-Off or eating baby goat food challenge, because something has to keep Nuku alive.

      1. I am really high on it – I really remember Stephanie and Ian (who was an early Survivor crush) but not much else so I found the pre-merge really entertaining and interesting. So many characters who I’d be happy to see again (Greg, Carolyn, Katie, Coby) and I really liked some of the Ulong short arcs, especially Angie and Ibrehem, who, sure wasn’t the most dynamic character, but I liked his friendship with Bobbie-John and seeing a religion other than Christianity on the show. James’ ‘my god wins’ quote is pretty cringe, but otherwise I thought it was a decent-ish quiet portrayal of Islam on the show.

        And the Ulong story is just so compelling as they’re always so close so even though I knew how it would all break down I was stupidly suspenseful during some of the challenges. Haven’t finished yet (though I remember seeing part of the finale, or at least the log showdown live) but it might end up being one of my fav seasons.

        1. Co sign on basically everything you said. Palau is my second favorite season (after HvV) for a lot of those reasons. Also I think the Tom/Ian/Katie storyline is one of the best Survivor has ever had.

          1. Yeah, their dynamic is really interesting because of how aware Katie is – I sort of remembered her as a goat, but she is trying to work the angles she has and that’s interesting to watch. Equally, Caryn is a lot sharper and more aware of her position than I remember.

            It reminds me of China in some ways: a lot of likable, well-rounded people where you have at least a sense of what their game is and a good overall story to the season.

          2. The Palau cast is underrated. There were a lot of good people​ that knew how Survivor worked.

        2. One of the things that I remember liking about the season- I LOVED the challenges there. They never are the things that I particulary focus (besides who wins them), but they had a lot of great and really fun watch challenges, for example the one where they have to breathe under the crate (where Ian won that season, Jason in Micronesia and Brenda in Caramoan). It is in the top 3 seasons that I enjoyed watching them (the other are Pearl Islands and China due to thei themes). It’s not the only good thing about Palau, but I just wanted to give a shoutout for them.

          1. yes, I just saw the episode with the crates & it’s a terrifying but compelling one – also really liked how Janu turned around her time on Exile and became *slightly* more well-rounded because of it.

            And I really liked the ‘build a help’ sign and ridiculous product-placementy ‘build a bathroom’ one too.

          2. I don’t think it’s the first season where they used the ‘build the sign’ chalenge (I think it was actually first in Borneo), but it’s also a fun one.

      1. This preview is prepping me for my Pick 4 team to be booted in consecutive order. Caleb, Malcolm, JT, Sarah. Sure is something.

    1. Well I glad that a funny moment might be coming up from Debbie because honestly she been boring this season. I know people like Debbie but I have been waiting for this hypocritical moment coming from her since this season started. Afterwards she can go at anytime.

  22. Finally finished what may have been the best podcast yet. I’m still bummed that Malcolm is gone. He was so delightful everytiime he’s on screen. I guess I’ll just look forward to “Redemption Island 2: Malcolm vs Joe.”

    To try to cheer everyone up, I’ll share another pic from KIA. This is Andrea and Zeke with their fireball shot bottles that I hope don’t get taken anytime soon.



        1. Or Americans need everything dumbed down. Of course gimmick has a K. Do you spell pack pac? Or Wrack wrac? No of course not

          1. *whispers* Americans spell gimmick with a k, I have no idea what Sharc is talking about.

  23. Just got to the end of the podcast, and just wanna throw out that what you actually should have ended with is the intro to Ether only with a recording of John saying “JT” awkward dropped over where Nas says “Jay Z.”

    1. I always sided with Young Hova in that beef, though. Partly because I rarely like the beats on Nas tracks. Jay got beats from Timbaland, Swiss, Rick, and Kanye- the man understands the value of good production.

      1. I like David Hasselhoff. He is tight with freedom and has beef with bros and hoes who are not tight with freedom. And I’m not talking that new age Republican Religious Freedom crap, I mean good old fashioned dancing-on-the-Berlin-Wall freedom.

        But did you check the reddit links, namely the first one? Leave it to CBS to have Gordon Holmes and Malcolm for twenty minutes on a video-podcast together and not have them directly interact, smh.
        I mean, fortunately the guests broke the format at times and with Jenn Brown filling out a killer line-up it was still worth the watch, but you can’t help but think “this could be so much better” the whole way through.

          1. 8-year old me was the last version of myself who could have mentioned that completely unironically (Knight Rider had a talking car! Also a cool leather jacket, but it really was all about the witty Trans Am).
            But I like playing into stupid stereo types and in this case there is a kernel of truth, as I’m way to lame to know about any of these guys (with 2-3 exceptions) or their bizniz with each other.
            Wanting to seamlessly break into your discussion of male musicians, which I had to achieve so I could alert you of the Malcolm-GH appearance on BtBuffs, as is my duty, this felt like my best shot at doing that.

  24. You know how we always say that you shouldn’t play a post-merge game during the pre-merge? Survivor forced the tribes to do exactly that.

    1. Are you implying that Brad or Sierra actually…breathed ‘Malcolm’ in JT’s ears, or is this about not speaking up after he pieced together what was probably about to happen?

      1. Not really implying anything, this just caught my eye on a rewatch. I think JT may have simply stopped thinking things through once he realized they weren’t going to switch to Sandra.

        BTW, on rewatch I was also floored by the match cut of the squid to the Survivor logo on the tribe flag.

        1. I would really like to know if the name “Malcolm” came up from either side (as in “Me and Malcolm are with you Brad, vote Sandra” or in “We’re voting Malcolm, you on board? And is it really Sierra?“.
          That would tell us if it was more of a betrayal by Brad after JT overshared, or if it was just completely half-baked stupidity on JT’s part.

          I assume that’s a positive on both counts, although it would make even less sense to keep that info from Brad for JT, than the other way around. From JT’s further behaviour it’s very possible that Brad didn’t explicitly state who they were going to vote for.
          BUt I’m more in line with Malcolm’s exit press and think that JT more or less knew what the outcome would be (either he was told, or he would know that Malcolm is a strong possibility, but hoped they would target a lesser target to avoid an idol play by nuNuku, like they planned themselves), but was afraid to speak up and admit to his mistake of leaking Sierra as their target. (Today) I think he was keeping quiet hoping that nuMana didn’t have an idol or was going for someone else.

          JT did lobby to change the target, he just wouldn’t admit that he knew how important it was to do so.

          (dammit, missed the match cut both times. I also enjoy stuff like that.)

          1. I think neither. If JT offers to be the sixth vote for Sandra, there’s no need to involve Malcolm. And once Brad decided to stick with the vote out Malcolm plan, it would be foolish to tell JT (although it’s clear he signaled that they wouldn’t be voting Sandra). I guess we won’t know for sure until JT’s exit interviews next week.

            The squid’s color change is so spectacular that the match cut is easy to miss. It’s when they come back from commercial after the IC.

          2. Nicely done. Even the lighter parts of the seaground roughly match up with the sky behinf the flag and trees.

          3. Haha, yeah, can’t wait for JT’s exits, especially the written ones and transcripts. I’m thinking JT brought up Malcolm to Brad not for another Sandra-vote (although that also would have made sense, if he was worried about Hali, which he probably must have, given her activity and relation to Sandra. She’s no safe vote against Sandra, even though he knew nuNuku didn’t even tell her whom to vote for instead), but because there was a camp scene where Malcolm and JT agree that Mana wouldn’t vote for Malcolm, if they knew he was working with JT and would probably vote for Sandra then.
            My guess that Brad could have told JT that Malcolm is their target is entirely based on JT knowing that it’s not Sandra ahead of the vote, and that he could need JT’s vote should they misplay their idol. I freely admit that the second line of reasoning on this side doesn’t jibe well with my first assumption ( JT telling the Culpable that Malc is his bro).

  25. Some podcast reactions:
    Probst – Not only was he very laissez-faire during the whole pre-voting portion of the TC, he also seriously closed it with something like “And with that, as discussions still are going on, it is time to vote”. I mean, wtf?! At the very least shut it down when you’re sending people off to the voting booth.
    But I think he was overwhelmed by the chaos, too, and wouldn’t let that slide again. I like easygoing Probst for a change, but I hope he goes back to his usual hardassery soon.

    Not a reaction, but this has me wondering since
    the episode aired: Hali’s “Oohhh” before looking at Probst while
    standing there and talking to Sierra – What did she react to, what was
    Sierra telling her in that instance?
    – about the idol? (Sierra:
    I really need to know if they are voting for me, because the
    Tai could protect me with his idol and you wouldn’t have to change
    Hali: Ohhhh. So you’re safe already. Gonna
    stop hustling then. On second thought, maybe I’ll remind my old pals
    just one more time that they really should vote Brad.

    did she only learn then that the target is Malcolm and not Sandra?
    (FFSDT: You have to vote Malcolm with us or I’m
    Hali: Don’t worry, I’m trying to change
    everyth…wait, did you say Malcolm? Ohhhh. That’s actually fine wih
    – something about JT?
    In addition to that, Hali’s
    role and motives at the two-tribe-TC merits further discussion imo. I
    don’t necessarily disagree with you guys’ (and Alkanarra’s?) take, that
    she could only lose by attracting attention and getting into the middle
    of this, if we’re talking only about surviving this TC (provided she
    still manages to seem approachable enough to her old tribe, to not
    become their target in an idol-avoiding voting decision).
    But there
    is something to be said for her spunky behaviour, and not just from the
    standpoint that it always helps to be perceived by your peers as your
    own agent, as opposed to somebody’s (Brad’s) pawn. Malcolm touched in
    his exits on the unease with which people on nuNUku noticed that the
    game seemed to evolve along the original tribal lines, as only Manas had
    left up to this point. If Hali felt the same at nuMana, that alone
    would be reason enough to work on an ideal outcome (after the odds for
    that had just gone way down for old Mana after JT came over to snitch).
    Short term it would probably help Hali to lose Brad over anyone else.
    Especially if she was on good terms with Sierra by then, that could
    bring her into a power position that allows her to survive subsequent
    And if that perception Malcolm spoke about is accurate, it’s
    also paramount to get the numbers back in/ towards old Mana’s favour for
    her long term chances of success.
    Of course it’s also possible that
    her relation to Brad was more accurately portrayed in the Caleb-boot TC
    (lawyer connection) and that the best path moving forward for her is
    with Sierra and Brad and against Debbie and Tai, although the current
    events make that seem unlikely.

    Extreme original tribe
    loyalty: seems like a (not so) random occurence tied in with the strange
    results and timing of the expansion-swap (4-2, 5-1, 5-1; people on Nuku
    didn’t have to vote at all and Mana votes as a group as opposed to
    alliances because everyone wanted to keep their options open). Still
    weird, but it’s also still early. And for the most part you got around
    to that on the podcast.
    I wonder if that TC twist (combined with the
    fact, that with Caleb and Malcolm gone, both tribes are more likely to
    lose another member than Tavua) laid the groundwork for cooperation
    between these two tribes after another swap or even after the merge.
    Maybe even the original Nukus look at their former tribemates on the
    green tribe with a healthy amount of distrust, if Tavua proves to be the
    pre-merge powerhouse that it shapes up to be.

    1. rE: probst ending Tc early, those things go on a long time. I wish they would release full TC as online content, I would eat that up.

      1. What I meant was that Probst acknowledged in his closing comments that people were still talking, which should be an absolute no-no and usually is for good reason. He sent Hali to off to vote, while mentioning that people were still chatting in the same breath.
        That’s in no way fair to the people that have to vote first first and it can be a big advantage to last-minute coordinate, when certain people are not there to listen, or have voted already.

        1. I think it was alright for Probst to push for a conclusion to the chaos. Its gotta end sometime.

          In any case, Hali, strong woman that she is, asserted her rights and Probst would have been happy to let it continue, but Sandra shut that down.

          1. I agree with all of that, but you guys are still missing my point. Here is what I’m talking about:

            – Everyone but Hali agree that they are ready to vote when asked by Jeff.
            – Jeff [sitting]: “And with that, as conversations continue [Malc&JT still are putting their heads together], it is time to vote. [standing] Hali, you’re up!”
            – Hali: doesn’t consent, Jeff is amused and sits down again
            – Sandra & Co.: “It’s ok, Hali, we can vote.”
            – Hali: “All right, you might regret it, but I’ll go.” [goes to the voting booth]
            – Jeff: [flabbergasted and amused about his lack of control, stands up and even looks directly into the camera for a split second]: “All right. It’s time to vote. Hali is up.” [points after Hali, who is long gone]
            – Sandra and Michaela then have some chit chat about Hali and idols, while voting is already going on (who knows who else was still talking after the gong)


            Just saying, I also wouldn’t want to go vote, when there are still discussions going on. And if they don’t want to groom conspiracy theories centered around the voting order, Jeff should nib this shit in the bud.

            I’m not maddened by that and thought this whole situation was quite funny (I added the stage directions/descriptions to convey that part of the story better), but this is the kind of stuff that would lead to widespread outrage if it had a more direct (and visible) effect on the vote, and I would imagine is also against their (gameshow-) rules.

  26. Ahh man, I wasn’t even that upset when Malcolm got the boot but after listening to that I’m about 100x sadder. I am sorry for your loss. Playing Hearthstone (I am a child) and tuning in was a wonderful use of my Saturday morning, mainly just because I didn’t have to leave the house though.

  27. Honestly it’s good that Malcolm is gone. What is your problem ? You sound like you would rather have Sandra gone that the mustach bro. Sandra is a lot more entertaining

    1. Because if Malcolm survives, there’s a decent chance he goes on to win. I’m not convinced the same is true of Sandra.

  28. Can we talk about how this was possibly the least strategically interesting pairing of tribes for this twist to play out? It should have been a simple matter of NuNuku voting out a MehMana tribe member and Mana trying to guess which one that would be. I have to imagine the social cost for JT and Hali in betraying the majority would mean a boot at their next tribal. That it ended it the way it did is a little shocking. (Thanks a lot, JT).

    But imagine what this would have been like if Nuku had won: Troy and Hali on the bottom of each of their tribes would seem to be the easy targets, but would Mana really surrender Hali and probably guarantee that they would be forced to turn on each other before the merge? What would be the benefit to Troy in voting along with Ikabula (That was a cool name, I’m sticking with it)? Best case, he can knock out 1 of the majority with this vote and another with the idol in the next round, almost enough to get him to the merge, but only if he knows where the other tribe’s votes are going.

    And if Mana won? A six v six battle where if both tribes stay strong we go to rocks. Immediately*. That’s basically survivor chicken, but with someone in each tribe who knows they are on the bottom. Would Troy have held onto the idol? Would JT have spoken to Ozzie the way he did to Brad? How would Sherie weave her magic?

    What I’m saying is this twist is interesting and even in the worst timeline it was fun to watch.’

    * Not actually immediately.

    1. I realized yesterday that there’s an alternate timeline where Michaela or Varner finished the puzzle maze and win immunity, then Tavua convinced Troy that they’re voting for Hali, only to vote him with Culpepper & company, sending him home with an idol in his bag.

      1. Talking about alternate timelines, I feel like the point that JT decided to play it extra risky in an exceptionally comfortbale position has not been made thoroughly enough.

        Mana would have been down to four, which means our favorite tribe could have fielded a juggernaut team in every IC (not even taking into account that he didn’t seem to be the next to go in a normal TC, if Malcolm is speaking the truth in his exits).

        The best tribe ever seriously would have been on track to survive the three-tribe phase unscathed. Instead, JT is back on the hot seat and after that, nuNuku can do nothing but pray for the swap. And I don’t enjoy writing this and sort of get what he was going for, but dammit, JT!

        That’s all, just felt that amidst all the despair over Malcolm, this still has been underreported (and thus underlamented).

      2. Yip. There are a lot of ways this could have gone, without even getting into how the swop last week could have thrown up more evenly distributed tribes. A 4v2 and 3v3 tribe would have been madness.

  29. – So, I don’t want to give Hali too much credit here, but if you take her “We should vote out physical threats” speech to mean Malcolm, then she actually had a quite clever strategy. If she is in the huge minority in her tribe, the only way she can survive short-term is to not lose challenges, and by removing Malcolm, that suddenly becomes way more likely. (On the other hand, the same reasoning means that her move to try to get Brad out is really stupid. But perhaps she thinks that she has enough ties with Debbie and Sierra that without Brad there, she can turn the tribe on Tai.) In any case, I completely agree that the “partial flip” was really bad.

    – I only noticed it more on a rewatch, but Sierra had a great episode; she even had a bad-ass moment there in the middle. It is easy not to notice, but when Tai found the idol, he didn’t come back to the tribe and just told them about it. He was indeed very wishy washy about it. He just said literally: “I am thinking…,” and Debbie started speaking over him. But from that tiny bit, Sierra immediately (I have no idea how) could tell something was up, and she basically told Debbie to STFU and asked Tai what was the deal. And then Tai admitted he had found the idol. And to cement the moment, they jump immediately to a quite good confessional by her. (Another interesting thing that happens in that scene that is also easy to miss is that Brad explicitly says, “if they target one of us four, we need to play this idol.”)

    – And this points, I think, to the biggest problem of Tai in gaining respect of other players (and why I can’t see how he can ever win a season of Survivor). He does things, yes, but never decisively. That is what gives others the idea that the move is not his, that he was convinced to do it. Like above, he didn’t arrive at the camp and said: “Guys, I’ve found an idol, we are safe!” In fact, the edit above gives the impression that if Sierra hadn’t noticed his implicit meaning, he might have given up telling them about it altogether. (Which might even have been a better move overall, but that is not the point.)

    Again in the TC, Tai was undecided about playing the idol. He could have just gotten up like the savior of his tribe, but instead he had to wait until Brad pushed him to play it (raising the question of whether he would even play it at all if Brad hadn’t said anything), and then still undecided about who to play for. In the end, the move seemed much more like a Brad move than a Tai move.

    1. “(Another interesting thing that happens in that scene that is also easy to miss is that Brad explicitly says, “if they target one of us four, we need to play this idol.”)”

      I’m sure they deliberately excluded Hali (who was probably out looking for the idol) from the strategy talk.

      1. Not only that, but he very clearly implies that they were not at all willing to spend the HII on Hali.

    2. I do agree that there is a lot of nuanced moments in this episode, which I love. It gives Survivor more re-watch-ability, which the format of the show seems to negate for most people.

  30. So, since I’ve started this last week, I feel compelled to update it:

    S tier:
    – Brad: a mostly Brad episode, for the second week in a row. He is now my undisputed favorite. (+1)
    – Sandra: Sandra keep getting tons of airtime; it seems to me that from now on the only way she is moving down from S tier is being voted out. (-1)

    A tier:
    – Cirie: still there. (+2)
    – Troy: looked quite silly in that reward challenge (+0)

    B tier:
    – Ozzy: got a whole section devoted purely for him. I know he is a fan-favorite, etc., but it was definitely something. (+2)
    – Sierra: Sierra had a good episode. She had confessionals, a good moment, dictated the tribe strategy. She even traded an idol for a kiss. (That is a good bargain.) (+4)
    – Andrea: Andrea looked well on the challenge. She didn’t appear much outside of that, it wasn’t her tribe’s episode. (+2)
    – Michaela: she barely appeared on the show this week. (And her tribe was on the center of the action.) (+0)
    – Jeff: Jeff looked quite bad at the challenge (for us and for his tribe), but at least we got the scene of him crying over it, to make us empathize with him. Still, all in all a bad episode for him. (-5)
    – Debbie: she had a decent week; luckily for us, her good times seem to be ending very soon. (+2)
    – Zeke: don’t remember seeing him at all this week. (+2)
    – Hali: she had a very good week: tons of confessionals and screen time. And another week that she survived her underdog spot. All in all, that gets her out of C tier. (+3)

    C tier:

    – Tai: Tai supposedly had a perfect week: he found an idol, played it successfully and saved a core ally. Still, it never seems like he is taking credit for all that, in the edit as well as on the island. (+4)
    – JT: JT, man… (-3)

    – Sarah: forgot again that she is on this game. (At least, this week there is the excuse that the action was completely elsewhere.) (-1)
    – Aubry: people comment here about a scene of her at tribal; I didn’t notice it. (Or any other Aubry scene.) (+0)

    Voted out:
    – Malcolm. (-13) 🙁

      1. The point system is based on his/her placements of probability to win. For example: last week he/she put Sandra in the first place, but this week he moved her down to 2nd, so it’s -1, etc, etc.

      2. Like Super duper fan said, the “points” are the comparison of this week’s ranking with last week’s. (I’m pretty sure at some of them I must have screwed up the counting, though.)

    1. I pretty much agree with all of the rankings. But I have a little speculation to make: What if the reason why Aubry had this little screen time is cause her closest ally Malcolm got voted out? Maybe they don’t want to give her a storyline where nothing goes her way, and now she’ll get something, or at least I hope so (and didn’t Aubry also wasn’t pretty UTR in the pre-merge of Kaoh Rong? She probably had more than now, but wasn’t focused on so much till the Peter boot).

      1. Well, I hope so too; because so far she has got absolutely nothing. What I think is more likely, however, is that her “story-line” didn’t start yet. My bet is that when we start seeing her more often (which, again, I hope it *will* happen at some point, and she is not one of those people that editors just forget exists), it means she will be gone in a couple of episodes.

      2. I have to agree, but it also is a bit worrying, right? I mean, it makes sense they would avoid the “Aubry + Malcolm = Best Friends Forever” storyline cause why focus on a story that doesn’t go anywhere. But, that also would mean they weren’t interested in telling the story of “Aubry – Malcolm = Determination to overcome obstacles and win the game” so that doesn’t bode well for her long term success. BUT, it also makes me still confident she will make it past the merge and into the 8-6 range, because IF she was next to do based upon her relationship with Malcolm, they would have had to show it in the first place.

        *It should be noted that thus far edgic this season hasn’t been amazing*

        1. Yeah, this season there isn’t anyone that I would say is completely out of contention. The only one where I’m 80-90% sure won’t win is Tai, even though he’ll probably get far (JT could get a redemption arc, and Sarah and Aubry can get some screen-time soon).

        2. This is just more edit speculation but I’m spoiler tagging it anyways I also doubt Aubry will make the endgame and am hoping for an 11-6 range boot that gets a lot of screentime in her later episodes. I’m thinking Cambodia Ciera edit, but a little less repetitive. Her edit was similarly quiet in the early going.

          1. Yeah, that would make sense. It’s just interesting to consider that their relationship was edited out, almost as a non-factor. Particularly as KR’s edit painted Aubry as ultra capable to adapting when her closest allies got voted out.

            Maybe Sandra will ultimately set her sights on Aubry, given that Malcolm said they were ‘feuding’ and the edit has lofted Aubry up as a pair with Tony more than a pair with Malcolm.

  31. Guys that was a fantastic podcast and the reason you are number 1 for me in Survivor podcasting.

    It’s strategic analysis but it doesn’t lose the emotion of being a viewer like RHAP sometimes does, and you just shoot straight about the real conversations that are going on in the Survivor community and you go through it in a logical and well thought through manner. I really enjoy listening to it and there’s a reason you guys have been expanding like you have.


    1. What Scott said. I’ve basically weaned off all of the other Survivor podcasts because I don’t care that much about hearing two people whinge about moves and I know all the good information will get filtered down.

      You guys have fun. It’s what I’ve said before. What I love about the Purp is that it’s two fun people shooting the shit about Survivor. Please never change.

  32. Someone needs to add the Arrested Development caption: “I think I’ve made a huge mistake.” to that JT photo.

    1. I remember there used to be a blog that added Arrested Development quotes to GoT screenshots. An Arrested Development/Survivor one would be fun – I wonder if there would be a big audience. Aha. Tempted to start one just for fun now.

  33. Next week on Survivor – we’ve secretly replaced Debbie’s regular coffee with Folger’s Crystals. Let’s watch.

  34. So, I took awhile to think about all of this episode, largely needed a break after my boyfriend made me watch the last 20mins like 10 times. In general, the majority of my thoughts have been discussed somewhere below.

    The only thing I would bring up is, this episode makes me think I really don’t have a handle on edgic for this season. Maybe the edgic will start to make more sense the closer we get to the merge, but thus far, its been hard to sort out big edits in support of a long-term narrative vs. big edits to utilize a beloved player before the get a boot. Based on the first two episodes, i was like “god, is Malcolm gonna run away with this?” cause his edit was so golden. But now, it’s obvious that it was they were using him while they could. Which, doesn’t speak well to how our favorites are going to fare. I said earlier, Sandra’s edit is so big, it has to be either crown 3 or we are going to lose her pre-merge, and i’m starting to lean toward the second. Someone joked that maybe they finally realized how we read the edgic and are trying to throw us off, and it kinda seems like that.

    ANOTHER thing, I know we are all worried about the potential that this season will become Dud Island, and while i’m still hopeful that won’t happen, it is also a bit reassuring as to how legit Survivor is. It’s hard to claim that Production is rigging the game if they let all their big hitters go out pre-merge and then try to tell us the story of Brad, Debbie, and Sierra’s ascension to a higher plane. Even 34 seasons in, Production is still dedicated enough to the game to let it run its course, even in the worst situations, for the authenticity of the game.

    1. The edgic could be difficult because of the big headliners who went out early. They’re gonna want to use as much of Tony and Malcolm as they can, even if there’s no long term story.

      Or… Brad Culpepper wins this season.

      1. I agree, but i feel like the edit for Tony and Malcolm seemed dramatically different. Tony had this sort of doomed feel, like surely he was a major target and could he go toe to toe with Sandra. Malcolm’s, by comparison, seemed so shining, an edit that, accept for the fact he got the boot, seemed like a winner’s edit. If you had told me, after I watched the first two episodes, that Malcolm had won, i’d be like “makes sense.”

        Perhaps Production knew what a shock this would be, so making Malcolm seem so safe was a great way to get a gut punch to viewers. And in that way, they definitely succeeded. But if you ask me if they “tell the story” of Malcolm’s early exit, not really.

        1. Maybe this is entirely accurate to the early exit of Malcolm tho. A guy in a great spot who was taken out suddenly by an unprecedented twist. I don’t know how else you’d build an arc to that moment.

          1. Hmmm, I guess you’re right, not much way to spin it. And maybe that is why the edgic is seeming hard to judge, because some of the defining moments are the results of unexpected twists. Maybe we will look back in a few months and this season will be defined more by who could dodge the unseen bullets than really build a strong, strategic game. My main point would stay, the edit seems less straight forward than in some past seasons.

          2. there have been a number of recent seasons where the winner has had a quiet pre-merge first few episodes and only gotten a lot more focus after the merge. there was even one season where the focus on everybody else in the game pointed the way for edgic to identify the winner because she was present in every episode but completely uninteresting.

    2. I’m not a hardcore edgicer, but it definetely seems they try to at least somewhat give off a sense that everyone can be a contender. And about Malcolm, I don’t think it’s unprecedented that an early boot gets a good edit, recent examples are Mari and Anna which were pretty big contenders based on edgic, and they didn’t receive any bad content till their boot episode. A lot of times it’s just a question of “who’s good edit doesn’t run out before the finale”.

      I really like that the editors try to fool fans who think that they know their every little trick since the last season. While it’s only my second live season I watch (three including Australian Survivor), it did feel for me a little predictable last couple of seasons on who the winner is (Caramoan, Blood vs. Water, Worlds Apart, Cambodia and (unfortunately for this site) Kaoh Rong), so it’s a good feeling knowing that not only “perfect” edits can win. For example with Adam last season, I don’t think it’s crazy to imagine a universe where we would call him “obvious winner edit” couple of seasons ago with their older style of editing. While it could end up with that, that some winners may not get shown in their best moments and not get credit for some of their most pivotal moves (which I could argue was the case for last season’s winner), I’m happy that the show tries to evolve in their format and not stay in square one.

      1. I 100% agree. And i know i get very caught up in edgic. I think its because i love games about solving mysteries and riddles. But when i read what you said i’m like “yeah, no one WANTS to know what happens.” We just want to guess right as if we did, lol.

        Maybe it’s seasons that were SO obvious that have resulted in a greater exploration of edgic, but now we can’t apply it as much anymore. And this episode is a great example of edgic which tells a narrative that is enjoyable and emotional and surprising, which is what most of us truly want right? After the Caleb boot, we were all kinda shrugging, we wanted more drama, now we got it, and it’s devastating…

        1. I personally use edgic only in small doses, cause I’m just interested what storylines they try to set up rather than predict the winner (fun fact: I predicted the winner of Australian Survivor and last season based on first episode, so it means that I have an 100% success rate in that, cause I only watched them for now live, so yay me). I’m not personally against trying to guess the outcome, cause it was a nature of this show since the very beginning, but I don’t want people telling others that “oh, don’t bother, he/she will win, it’s SO obvious”.

          1. I think my goal is more to explore what the edgic reveals about something. Like, the fact that Aubry and Malcom’s closeness was completely edited out is fascinating in and of itself. Given the hundreds of hours of footage that editors are given, how they piece that together is fascinating in terms of storytelling, very much in the same way we dissect the editing and technical aspects of filmmaking.

            I hope i don’t come across as too harsh about it, though. I wouldn’t want to talk someone down. And with Aubry, who knows. If we thought Malcolm would win it and he got a boot, we could think Aubry isn’t likely and watch her take it home. It’s all a guessing game till it’s said and done.

            *I will say, watching some other shows since diving into the fun of edgic can be interesting. For example, Project Runway is a cookie cutter for edgic, enough that there is rarely a surprise in that show. Then again, if you are watching Project Runaway for the thrill of who wins, you probably aren’t their target demographic…

    1. I think Kemper was the first to point it out to us. But it was funny that he named a bunch of actual Survivor media, then a long-time friend of RHAP, then us. Good company.

  35. Anyone else catch the purple rock shoutout on the wiggle room? I thunk you guyshave finally made it.

  36. OK, last joke about the JT photo. If Debbie saw the look on his face at tribal, she’ll probably tell her tribe when they get back, “He might drown himself in the ocean. Somebody on Nuku better keep an eye on him.”

    Culpepper responds, “Daaaaaammmmnnn, Debbie!”

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