Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episode 5 “Dirty Deed”

Remember how sad we were last week? COMPLETELY OVER IT. All hail the queens.



Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episode 5 “Dirty Deed”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Gloating. Attacking straw men. Burning heretics at the stake.

    This is us. Basically.
  • Bow down to the greatness that is Sandra Diaz-Twine. The player and the character.
  • How this isn’t a new game for Sandra, just her old one gone electric.
  • The Sugar Incident
  • You can’t contain the greatness that is Michaela Bradshaw.
  • What it’s like to try and explain memes to non-internet people.
  • JT’s game and what it says about his legacy.
  • The highlight of JT’s Survivor career.
  • What it’s like to watch Debbie and why we don’t like doing it.
  • Do we care about the Sarah and Troy bit?
  • Who is coming back next week?

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

  • Roswulf

    I’m sure this will be a delightful podcast, but I would also be perfectly fine if y’all just read out your opening blurb and dropped the mic.

    All hail indeed.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    *makes a Mike Flynn/Immunity joke that is totally funny and not at all depressing*

  • Taako From Teevhii

    Can we talk about how the next three days are likely make-or-break for Sandra? If she survives those three days, she can swing one more vote or her tribe will win one more challenge, and she can make the merge and go full Sandra. If she gets swap-f*cked and her tribe loses immunity, she’s out the door, adios.

    • purplerockandy

      I feel like this is accurate. The good news? Sandra is one of the all-time best short-term players in Survivor history.

      • Other Scott

        Also one of the best long-term players in Survivor history

        • Roswulf

          Yeah, but her medium term game?

          Really, really good.

        • BadPlayer91

          Coincidentally, she is one of the best players period in Survivor history.

          • Roswulf

            I don’t know, sounds like you’re just saying that because she’s the best at things and wins all the time.

          • BadPlayer91

            You’re right, she probably isn’t good at anything at all and it was all really not her at all.

    • Alycia Swift

      What’s getting funny now is that we are all on the edge of our seat because the editing shows that it could be Sandra … and then it isn’t. Makes me wonder if they do nothing the week she actually goes.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        “The week she actually goes.” Good one, Alycia.

      • Diego Armando

        No she will be featured. When you have a player as vibrant and on screen as much as her, you will see the build up to their boot.

    • Crappy

      I don’t think Sandra will be able to hide after the merge this time. If she does make the merge, I won’t be surprised if she is the merge boot infact.

  • BadPlayer91

    CAN WE CALL IT SUGARGATE? PLEASE, Sugargate! Sugargate…

    • purplerockandy

      We’re pretty anti -gate suffixes here.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        The Sugarbowl: JT vs. Michaela

        Two players go to tribal, one player leaves

        • Alycia Swift

          And one drinks tea (well water) out of a coffee cup.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Would anybody get it if I made a Series of Unfortunate Events reference here or nah?

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Absolutely! Though I made a FFGCVFDT reference once and got nothing.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            The letters probably just blended together.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            If you’re not picking apart every minute detail, then you didn’t actually read ASOUE.

          • pufflehuff

            Well FFSDT is a master of Vapid Functional Description and Vacilating For Drama: I’m surprised she’s not on every season.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Her edit is a Veritable Fading Diegesis, which would point to Vanishing Future Developments regarding return seasons.

      • BadPlayer91

        Because?

        • Taako From Teevhii

          It’s over done

        • purplerockandy

          Watergate wasn’t about water.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            And Benghazi wasn’t about a guy named Ben

          • purplerockandy

            It was for me.

          • BadPlayer91

            So, just, general dislike for the way people apply that term? eh, fair enough

          • I think this is more my issue, as I’ve long been a hater of the gate suffix.

          • BadPlayer91

            Personally, i think the gate suffix is fascinating in the way four letters captures the whole concept of scandal and its impact, but eh, ain’t my website.

          • Initially, maybe. But after 40 years in existence, it’s been applied to some things that hardly even merit being called controversies, much less scandals.

          • BadPlayer91

            True. Though I’m not as bothered by that, as I find it interesting to see how a scandal that occurred in the 1970s is still a colloquialism today. Nonetheless, I will avoid gate-isms out of respect for the PRP

          • No need for respect; we allow people to annoy me around here. You do you.

          • sharculese

            It happened near water.

    • the sky is falling

      Whats the policy on -paloozas and -pocalypses?

      • purplerockandy

        Sugarpalooza has legs.

  • Diego Armando

    Sandra Diaz-Twine: “I don’t forgive and I don’t forget.”

  • I know that I am going to be repeating myself, but I believe that much of the Tocantins cast besides maybe JT were recruits. So that crew was not looking for advanced gameplay because they wouldn’t know what advanced gameplay is.

    • sharculese

      Tyson was an applicant, albeit if the “please can I have a free wilderness adventure” type.

      • I believe that Tyson has said that Production asked him to apply, but I could be wrong.

        • sharculese

          At the very least his application video exists and is amazing.

          • I will have to check it out.

          • PurpleTally

            You must. It is pretty incredible. And VERY Tyson.

      • Maritimer

        Which kind of makes sense, being arguably the only real threat JT had to his win post-merge

    • Purple Rock Emma

      I imagine Spencer was an applicant as well. At the very least, he was a fan.

      • For a second I thought you were talking about Spencer Bledsoe.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          I’m pretty sure he was a fan too. 😛

  • jersey_luck

    As a JT defender in this case: According to the last three weeks of exit interviews Michaela is annoying to everybody that has interacting with her. JT was thinking that Michaela was going home. And honestly I think that Varner really wanted to see both of them go home as he stated during his confessional before voting. Michaela is being entertaining to us, but is getting on everybody nerves out there.

    As a Debbie defender: Debbie is player who can not win Survivor. I would say that Debbie to me that she made this episode better. What would we have spend time in this episode that would be as entraining as Debbie this episode. If I had to guess Debbie would have been voted out this episode if Mana lost.

    My guess for other stuff is that Sarah and Troy scene was shown because sadly they are a power duo this season. My guess is that the person that is sent home next is Varner because this season wants to get rid of as many entertaining people as fast as possible. I am just going that it Boston Rob going back to the island.

    • Violina23

      Debbie did not make the episode better for me. It just made me uncomfortable. Not Brandon Hanz or Colton level uncomfortable, but uncomfortable.

      • I listened to the Canuce Type RHAP episode about Game Changers on Wednesday and Rob mentioned that she was going through some family stuff during KR, which is the first time I had heard of that. I wonder if Debbie’s issues are an open secret amongst the Survivor alumni, which is an issue when Production decides that she should be brought back.

      • jersey_luck

        And it is personal taste but I fine with what Debbie is bringing to the season. However, I agree that it is not for everybody.

  • Other Scott

    I’m already waiting for the takes that will start to come out six months from now that JT wasn’t that bad in this season and a whole bunch of other excuses made for him, similar to him and Tyson in Heroes vs Villains.

    (Mind you I think the “JT wasn’t that bad” in Heroes vs Villains comments were warranted, at least in a vacuum. Now I’m starting to believe that is less true. Has anyone ever screwed up idols so badly on two separate occasions?)

    • purplerockandy

      Honestly, if the idol thing was all he did in HvV, I might still be making defenses. But he was also a pretty big mess on the Heroes tribe even before that.

      • See his decision to openly discuss switching alliances, but only really switching once to get rid of Cirie.

      • Roswulf

        I don’t think he was a mess; I think he had a coherent plan of being a free agent, eliminating all the big strategic threats one by one and then leaving himself with a pack of dopes he could easily manipulate to do his bidding.

        Unfortunately, it turned out JT could really have used a Tom or a Cirie to tell him when his ideas were dumb.

        • Maritimer

          Right, his pre-merge strategy was fine and would/should have made him head of the alliance. The problem was he turned out to also be a dope. I don’t know if Cirie would have helped, since he didn’t listen to either Candice or Amanda (I can’t remember) when they told him it was a terrible idea. Cirie probably would have pushed harder, but I expect JT still would have ignored her

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Also in the 24 minutes of the RHAP recap I got through, Candice did not have great things to say about him (arrogant, only wanted to bro down, etc.) Granted this is pretty subjective and might even be some revisionist history, but it’s still surprising to hear after the love fest that he inspired his first time around.
        Does anyone happen to know if Erinn/Taj/Debbie have said anything disparaging about him since Tocantins?

        • sharculese

          I am totally unfamiliar with the idea of Candace being a chronic shit-talker who can’t let go of a grudge.

        • Keep in mind that JT was extremely fresh off his Tocantins win during HvV, so that is to be expected.

        • purplerockandy

          JT frequently had negative things to say about Candice throughout HvV, so I don’t think it’s revisionist (but may be biased).

          But… how many Survivor women HAS JT had a good relationship with? Taj for sure. Aubry a bit. But… anyone else? He didn’t like Sierra (like everyone else). I think I remember him more than happy to throw Erinn under the bus (like everyone else). Targeted Cirie. Clashed with Candice. Feared a women’s alliance. Targeted Sandra. Did not like Michaela. “Never trust a woman”.

          This: https://twitter.com/CourtneyHYates/status/847437862295314432

          • Maritimer

            I seem to recall her and JT being swing voters together/quasi-allies on the Heroes tribe. Am I misremembering? I know that you can be allies with someone you dislike to benefit your game and I would understand if it all broke down post idol shenanigans, but I’m curious about this

          • purplerockandy

            You’re just not remembering. They were both potential swing votes. He made sure to bump her out of that position by aggressively shit-talking her.

          • Maritimer

            I clearly need to rewatch HvV. I thought she voted with JT on the Cirie vote so I apparently have a big gap in my memory of their games. Its kind of coming back now

          • purplerockandy

            Nope, just Tom, Colby, and JT. Candice voted with the big group to split the vote between Tom and Colby to protect against an idol. But since JT flipped, it would up being 3-2 Cirie over Colby (with the 3 Tom votes cancelled out).

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Boy that list is not flattering for JT :/
            I’d say that the women he got along with – Aubry and Taj – seem like the types who have impeccable social skills that allow them to go above and beyond the call of duty to get along with everyone. Apparently any hint of an attitude is a deal breaker for JT (but only when it’s a woman apparently…)

          • Other Scott

            Not a woman, but he really dislike Spencer Duhm for not being masculine enough to pull his weight in that one challenge. It was where I became out on Tocantins JT.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            This is a really good point. I haven’t seen it in quite some time, but I remember being upset.

    • jersey_luck

      As a JT fan and defender even I will admit that this season was his worst.

    • PurpleTally

      I mean, Fishbach already did that a little bit, but you can’t forgive NOT BRINGING YOUR IDOL TO TRIBAL AFTER YOU F*CKED OVER YOUR TRIBE AT THE LAST TRIBAL. I mean, COME ON. JT really was that bad this season.
      I am willing to forgive his move in HvV. He had no idea who Russell was and if that had worked, it would have been brilliant. BUT, he then tried the SAME THING this season after the fail by playing the post-merge game with Brad at the 4th Tribal of the season.
      I don’t see how you can defend that.

      • purplerockandy

        Even the most generous reading of JT’s game this season still includes “failed to persuade Brad to vote for Sandra” and “was completely fooled by Sandra”.

        • prettyboyprobst

          When you add “(…to vote for Sandra) over Malcolm”, than that doesn’t sound so bad.

  • Violina23

    I will hopefully listen later, but that gif alone is giving me life.

  • sharculese

    Arguably Aras let himself be made to look foolish with the “gonna go off on a mountain by myself while Tyson and Gervase steal my alliance” stuff, but it’s nowhere near JT’s level.

    • purplerockandy

      I thought of Aras as well, but as you say, can’t really compete with JT. He’d be in the top 5 though.

    • purplerockandy

      Boxing out Black Dynamite here:

      Top 5 most embarrassing returns for a former winner (not limited to a single season):
      5. Tina or Tony
      4. Ethan (he was kinda whiney about being pwned by his ex-girlfriend)
      3. Aras
      2. Hatch
      1. JT (HvV and GC)

      • purplerockandy

        (To John’s point, there isn’t a lot of data here).

      • sharculese

        I’d put Tony over Tina. In All-Stars there’s really nothing she could do. In BvW she probably deserves part of the blame, although not as much as Aras. It’s a bad look for her after he gets voted out (one of my favorite observations of yours ever is that this is the first time we’ve seen Tina still in the game after she was on the wrong side of the vote), but she rebounds and is fun and scrappy for the rest of the her time, even if it’s ultimately fruitless.

        Tony had the chance to at least make it a little farther if he had taken it down to like 80%, but instead he was like “nope, gotta go roll around in my weird dirt pit.”

        • purplerockandy

          I think I’m with you here. I might’ve been trying to keep the list from being 100% male.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Do we give Jenna’s quit a pass because of the extenuating circumstances? Because if not, coming back and quitting in the 3rd ep is pretty bad.

          • purplerockandy

            Yes.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Fair

          • sharculese

            Yes we do, but also let’s be honest it’s not like Jenna had the highest expectations to live up to.

          • Alycia Swift

            Give it a pass.

          • Alycia Swift

            This is not the time to do that. 🙂

        • PurpleTally

          I was going to say the same thing, especially about All Stars. She never stood a chance, and she made it very far into the game in BvW even with her daughter there to look out for.

      • Mike Hirsch

        Ethan was super-whiney throughout All-Stars, in addition to being a total spaz at the challenges. Almost Rodney level of spaz.

      • Other Scott

        Okay let me see – returning winners
        Hatch
        Tina
        Ethan
        Jenna M
        Sandra
        Tom
        Aras
        Parvati
        JT
        Tony

        That’s a really tough list – most embarassing returnees:
        1. JT
        2. Tony (sorry John and Andy)
        3. Ethan (for the reasons Andy says)
        4. Tina
        5. Aras (I’m putting him lower because it’s not like people thought he was great going in)

        I’m giving Richard a pass because there was no way he was gonna be able to do anything and was clearly just trying to have fun. I think if he comes back again he’ll make the list.

        • purplerockandy

          I give fewer passes for sexually harassing fellow contestants.

          • Other Scott

            Ah I forgot about that. Fair. I was thinking more on the level of a strategist/ player.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            It wasn’t SORTA, Other Scott!!! 😛

          • sharculese

            This.

        • sharculese

          One more thing in defense of Tina: the way that tribe swap breaks down in BvW she really has one job – keep Vytas safe until the merge- and she does a good job of it.

          • And she also had everyone’s favorite (?) rock drawee, Katie Collins, to worry about.

          • sharculese

            John and apparently Mario Lanza’s favorite, at least.

          • That was shocking news. I have a weird feeling that 3.0 is going to be my least favorite 115 version because it is clear that the season Mario likes are the seasons that I don’t like (with very few exceptions).

          • sharculese

            His love for Worlds Apart is unfortunate but totally predictable. His opinions are still frequently terrible but he’s a funny dude, and at least talking about what he likes is forcing him to be less of a grouch.

          • I guess…

          • Diego Armando

            I completely understand his World’s Apart love because it had a bunch of weirdos saying bizarre stuff and acting like assholes.

          • Super duper fan

            At least he’s as anti-One World as most of us, even though I could see a universe where he says it’s one of the best seasons. And I actually really like Africa, I don’t know where I would put it in my rankings, but I do like that season.

          • Diego Armando

            I can understand that. Africa had significant issues (mostly stemming from the location), but I can see why some like it. I am all for One World bashing though.

          • Alycia Swift

            Sometimes I think his write-ups are actually funnier than what he is writing about. See his most recent Katie Collins entry. Never thought she was particularly funny but …

        • Maritimer

          So basically by measure of “didn’t embarrass themselves” the success rate for returning winners is 4/11 (not counting Jenna because extenuating circumstances and counting Sandra and JT twice each) – Sandra x2, Parvati, and Tom
          By measure of “moderately successful” – making the merge – 4/11, with Sandra 3.0 pending (I am counting Jenna here)
          I can kind of see why winners don’t want to risk their reputations by playing again

          • Other Scott

            Really I think the only winner that truly embarassed themselves is JT, and he did it twice. The rest I don’t think had their reputations tarnished in any way shape or form.

            (Once again, strategically. Richard Hatch definitely came away with a tarnished reputation).

      • Purplerockmatt

        wait which ex-girlfriend. remember this is Ethan we are talking about

        • purplerockandy

          I kept it vague to cover a lot of bases.

          • Purplerockmatt

            You know who else covered a lot of bases? Ethan

          • Take this upvote as a substitute for my high five.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I am very proud of that comment

      • gouis

        Aras is too high. It’s not like he impressed he first time so the second time it was like “yeah he’s not the best anyway”

      • Max_Jets

        Tony should be above Tina, Ethan and Aras. Ethan was pretty great on All Stars relative to everyone else, Tina was solid, and Aras wasn’t that bad on BvW (but I may be blinded by him being hot AF)

  • Black Dynamite

    I think JT is a player with clear strengths and weaknesses. Tocantins was a perfect showcase for his strengths. It is incredibly impressive to get people ready to work in your best interests instead of their own. Yeah, they were ready to pounce on each other but not just anyone can take advantage of that. I can’t pull off what JT does nor can a wide array of Survivor players. JT has an insane social game. His FTC performance against Stephen is amazing stuff. JT can talk, JT can make you feel like he is your best friend. You didn’t want to breakaway from JT. I think Tocantins is still a great showcase for him even after HvV and GC. He can be awful in those two instances (though I don’t think he was so bad in HvV) and still be a great winner in Tocantins. It can be two things.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I’m on the same page as you about JT. The other thing is that when JT has swung and missed, it’s been freelance moves that nobody else knew about (well, he co-wrote the letter to Russell with Colby, but that doesn’t disprove my point). I don’t remember the details of Tocantins well enough to say, but I wonder if it wasn’t a matter of Fishbach being the brains of the operation so much as someone to say “hold up, bro” when JT had a bad idea.

      • Black Dynamite

        I think in JT’s post Tocantins career mixed with Fishbach’s online presence there has been more of a push that Stephen was the brains while JT was the charmer. I think it’s a bit of discredit to both players. I think JT can help come up with sound strategic ideas and execute them and I also think Stephen has more of an ability to make those social connections than what he is remember for. I think both are more well rounded than what they are giving credit for and in Tocantins they worked great as a pair not because they had specific roles but more so how well they play off each other’s qualities.

      • sharculese

        Everyone on the Heroes was involved in the making the letter. The notebook and pen were Amanda’s luxury item and Rupert is responsible for the “prove you’re not a a real villain” line.

        They might not have told Candice, but it’s Candice so who cares.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Oh, that’s right. But still, who among that group is going to point out the potential downside? Too bad Cirie and Tom weren’t around.

        • Colby was also there.

          • sharculese

            Yeah, but ADS mentioned Colby. He just forgot about the others.

          • Sorry ADS. About Candice, I think they told her and she may have said okay because you know she’s the best when making quick emotional decisions on Survivor.

          • Alycia Swift

            And would they have listened if she disagreed or even had a point? Its Candice, so no.

          • Diego Armando

            She did not need help torpedoing her game for dumb reasons.

          • Black Dynamite

            But was he really? I’m just joking, he had a huge role with telling Russell to go to JT after the challenge.

          • I had forgotten about that.

    • Maritimer

      An underrated JT move I think is voting for Erinn on the Coach boot. He helped preserve his golden boy image for the season and kept the Timbira people happy, and made Stephen the villain. This is him again showing an understanding of the social game with a flash of strategy, possible his best flash

  • Mike Hirsch

    Thanks for the shout-out! This will of course mean that I’m wrong.
    If I ever wind up on Survivor, I would highly recommend that none of you choose me for your pick-4 teams.

    Sandra is one of the greatest–if not *the* greatest–opportunists in the history of Survivor. She recognizes opportunities and, even if she doesn’t fully see seven or eight moves ahead from that opportunity, is still able to see far enough ahead to say, “This could be to my advantage,” and then acts accordingly. Acting accordingly may mean eating a ton of sugar, or it may mean laying back and letting others call some shots. It doesn’t matter. She’s on point.
    I joined up on twitter last week finally, and Wednesday night tweeted at Sandra “Long live the Queen!” perhaps a bit transparently to get her to like my tweet. And then, five minutes later, I got the notification: “Sandra Diaz-Twine has liked your tweet.” Night. Made. Hell, life made.

    • StormofCuteness

      It’s always thrilling to have someone you admire like your tweet! So cool.

      • Mike Hirsch

        I’d put it up near the top of my celebrity encounter list, just below “exchanging pleasantries with Kristen Wiig” but definitely above “possibly walking past Bryan Ferry at Universal Citywalk.”

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Aw man, I was all set to come here and present the fair and balanced case for and against JT, but… typing cat gif.

    I will add one thing though–a lot of people are wondering why JT (whose strength is supposed to be the social game) would pick a fight with Michaela when he knows he’s on the outs and was only hours before desperately searching for an idol. It makes sense if you assume he was doing it deliberately and not out of irritation. In his mind, he was playing with house money. If it works, he redirects the heat away from him, and if it doesn’t, he just uses the idol (d’oh).

    • Roswulf

      As you say, nothing JT does in this episode is all that bad…if he plays the idol. But he’s so sure his plan will work that he doesn’t even give himself the option.

      It’s actually a lot like the Russel letter. The letter itself is defensible (if dumb), but what kills him dead is that from the moment he sends that letter he is LOCKED IN to the idea that the letter has worked. He doesn’t think about contingencies (the most obvious being…vote out Russell), he doesn’t consider whether Sandra might be telling the truth, he doesn’t worry about the red flag of Parvati’s survival. JT knows that his plan has worked, and anyone who says otherwise is a paranoid fool..

    • Alycia Swift

      I would point out he’s several years older than he was in Tocantins and due to whatever reason, he may not be as socially good as he was the first time at 24 years old. Who stays the same? I do note his targets usually are women and women are the ones that do not seem to adore him. This also might be a situation where Stephen did a bit more than socially, not just strategically, than we thought.

      I personally saw a nasty streak in him in Tocantins which I bet the editors covered more since he was the winner.

      I also think his Michaela comments sometimes crossed the line a bit as they seemed a bit racially motivated. At one point, he said something equivalent to that she was low class or uneducated or something like that.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        “I would point out he’s several years older than he was in Tocantins and due to whatever reason, he may not be as socially good as he was the first time at 24 years old. Who stays the same?”

        Um… Ozzy? 😉

        I agree with you. The most benevolent interpretation (and it’s really bending over backwards to cut JT slack) is that he’s just unaware of the optics. But in the specific case of Sugarghazi, I don’t think JT is so stupid that he turns on a dime from hunting for an idol because he’s on the outs to bickering with someone, unless it’s deliberate.

        • Alycia Swift

          I suppose if there was someone, it would be Ozzy but we haven’t actually seen enough of him to know what he is doing other than fishing. He has fished every season but he did do more socially and strategically on his second and third tries even if it did not work.

        • sharculese

          Ozzy hasn’t stayed the same. The Ozzy we’re seeing here is significantly more relaxed than Micronesia/South Pacific Ozzy. That dude seemed haunted by barely losing Cook Islands, this guy looks like he just wants to have a good time.

          • I guess getting voted out three times in one season will do that to you.

  • Black Dynamite

    Aubry Talk: Again in Survivor’s cruel test of making me decide which one of my favorites I love the most, I was the most worried about Aubry just being on the wrong side of the numbers than I was about anyone going home.

    I think the swap is the best thing that could happen for Aubry. She can get another chance​ to connect with people. She has shown in the past to be able to form bonds with people who weren’t originally in her tribe. She even is able to not burn bridges with players she doesn’t get along with. I thought her Tribal answer about Michaela and her reaction to the vote were really good. She can still manuever her way out of the bottom. As for her camera time, I’m more annoyed in the sense that I want more Aubry than I am worried about her game.

    • purplerockandy

      WTF is an Aubry?

    • Mike Hirsch

      The one thing about this season (so far, anyway) is that it could be helping kind of undersell Aubry a bit in the event that she should come back a third time. That’s the silver lining I’m going with so far.

      • Blood vs Water 3?

        • With her new husband, Blurry Denzel?

          • If that makes the opening credits, I will die a happy woman.

          • Alycia Swift

            I upvoted but I thought she was already married.

          • AFAIK, she is not. I feel like that would have been mentioned somewhere down the line.

          • Alycia Swift

            I remember reading it but that’s ok – maybe I misread it.

          • Black Dynamite

            You’re getting ahead of yourself. I haven’t even proposed yet.

          • Alycia Swift

            John’s the one that brought it up.

            I had actually thought she was married so you proposing was not an option. 🙂

          • Black Dynamite

            Well if that’s the case…
            1). Lucky spouse
            2). Our relationship will be one of me rooting for her to succeed in Survivor. Occasionally, we’ll meet at Survivor events where she comes off as the best while I’ll try not to make a fool of myself. Then we’ll take super cute, increasingly less blurry pictures. I’m fine with that.

      • Alycia Swift

        But will they offer it to her a third time if she’s not giving them much? The reason to do so: she’s an intelligent, unique individual (even in her archetype) with fantastic quotes and facial expressions, very good at most challenges and never the cause of losses and they often lack females that are worth returning.

        I am really curious about what she and Sandra are fighting about. If I recall correctly, she waned to work with Sandra before the game.

        • I think she is giving them plenty. The problem is she is being underedited. Like I have said and I have said again, I am sure that her confessionals are still her regular good to great confessionals. This is not a Wiglesworth situation.

          • Alycia Swift

            I did not say it was a Wiglesworth situation. What I meant by that is not much relevant to the story they are trying to tell. Why aren’t we seeing her fighting with Sandra? Do they get over it (which would be perfect if we had seen it?) She always does seem to be hanging around.

          • Once again, I apologize for being Internet snappy. Secondly, I am not a big edgicer but I believe Aubry may be in a Cambodia Keith situation where, sure they get confessionals, but they are always on the edge of the action. The problem is that Aubry has went to all but 1 TC this season, but we have maybe 4 confessionals from her. That’s an even more damning situation.

          • Alycia Swift

            And that’s why I’m wondering about a 3rd time.

          • I think if she goes fairly far this season, then I think she has warranted a third time. However, she now has to worry about Production wanting Sophie who is probably closest to her in recent Survivor, despite Sophie being younger than Aubry.

          • purplerockandy

            Hannah’s gonna snatch her spot, then Sophie will send Aubry a text with “how does it feel?”

          • Alycia Swift

            But it was SDT that stole Sophie’s spot. Sophie was called, but was changing phones or something, and never got the message, after Natalie A. dropped out due to a concussion. Before she got the message, SDT was cast and on her way.

            You would think production would plan better. What happened to flying out alternates?

          • Well, remember that Aubry got Sophie’s spot originally. If you go back around the time that of KR, Sophie has fairly salted subtweets about not wanting to watch the better version of her win and dying her hair blonde so she could look like a model.

          • Alycia Swift

            Never saw them. But the died blond hair – isn’t that referring to SDT?

            I love Sophie but she would not have looked like a model with died blond hair.

          • I always thought that the blonde hair tweet was about Production telling her that she wasn’t pretty enough, but I could be wrong.

          • Alycia Swift

            It actually sounds like an SDT reference because SDT claims to be a model. And while I did not see the original tweets since I’m not on Twitter, I think I read or she said something RHAP about that not that you are refreshing my memory.

          • That could be the case.

          • purplerockandy

            Yeah, this is my point. Sophie shouldn’t have been an alternate.

          • I am just shocked that she was in consideration.

          • Black Dynamite

            I want her to come back. I think she will be a good candidate for the second ever two time winner with her adaptability and game smarts. I think she can fly under the radar despite being a winner.

          • She’s also not just a challenge “beast”, but a multifaceted one.

          • I think Hannah and Aubry are the same type, but they are different versions of the same type. Hannah and Shirin are probably closer than Hannah and Shirin.

          • BadPlayer91

            ” Hannah and Shirin are probably closer than Hannah and Shirin.”???

          • Thank you. Let me fix that now.
            Hannah and Shirin are probably closer than Hannah and Aubry.

          • purplerockandy

            I’m not sure network TV is that refined in their archetyping.

          • What?!?!?

          • the sky is falling

            Is Hannah the one who had an anxiety attack sitting on a bench, or was that Aubry or Shirin?

          • Super duper fan

            Yes, it was Hannah.

          • the sky is falling

            Also, the problem with bringing back Hannah is that might take away a spot for, David Wright, Jay or Dragon lady

          • Super duper fan

            How exactly? Production doesn’t have any limitations of how many people they can bring back (excluding of course too many same-season people in a returnee season). Also a bit off topic: I would love to see Michelle back. She’s my Survivor crush, and was my 2nd most liked player for me only behind Adam.

          • the sky is falling

            Sort of what I was saying, much rather see David, Jay and Michelle back, and thats already 3 from MvGx.

          • Alycia Swift

            Not sure how it could take a spot from David or Jay since she’s female. Ok, she and David are both nerdy and anxious and it is possible the powers that be only want one nerdy anxious person. But Jay is not. I thought you meant someone other than Michelle at first but then saw the other post below. Hannah and Michele are not the same archetype. More likely someone like Figgy would take Michele’s spot or vice versa.

          • the sky is falling

            we need a season of nervous nerds versus meathead jocks

          • the sky is falling

            more referring to having too many returnees from a single season, I’m pretty sure they want Jay and David back more than Hannah anyway.

          • Super duper fan

            I think that Michelle is a PERFECT fit for a second chance-type season. She was a mastermind behind a Mari boot, and she says that her downfall was listening to Jay and not scrambling at the merge vote, so she won’t pull a Brenda, which I could see as something production being afraid.

          • purplerockandy

            Aubry was the one who had an anxiety attack at camp. Easy to get them all mixed up.

          • That’s Hannah.

          • Shirin is not really all that similar to Hannah.

          • I think when we think of their legacies, Aubry and Hannah do share the whole “neurotic brunette who have anxiety attacks and get to the FTC only be demolished” thing, but at least Aubry was slightly recognized after the fact as being a good player. Not that many people recognize that fact about Shirin and hardly anyone says that about Hannah.

          • I’m saying that Shirin isn’t anxious or lacking confidence like Hannah. Shirin has her own flaws, but they aren’t that similar to Hannah’s. The commonality is really just that they’re both big Survivor fans that didn’t get cast for being bikini models or challenge beasts.

          • That’s…actually a great counterpoint to my point. Good work!

          • Super duper fan

            I actually do think that there is some contention that Hannah is good, or at least a bit underrated player, mainly due to her end game in which she was calling shots (even though she mad arguably wrong moves). And I don’t think that almost anyone thinks that Shirin is a good player, especially after her Cambodia stint.

          • I think Hannah and Shirin share the same major issue: they have good strategic senses, but they have horrible execution of those senses. I think Aubry has a similar issue, but she is a much better social player than the other three. Aubry’s biggest problem was that she lost half of the jury based on the Julia…I mean Peter vote.

          • Super duper fan

            I agree, I was just saying more about the general perception of them as players by the community.

          • Oh yeah, in that case , they are the exact same.

          • Black Dynamite

            Why can’t we just have Aubry, Badass Sophie and Hannah on the same season? Then we’ll call it Survivor: Denzel’s Favorite Season.

        • Mike Hirsch

          I hope she comes back. She’s neato.

      • jersey_luck

        Real talk: Aubry is getting the edit of someone is either going to be idoled or rocked out. And that saddens me because look at the player who has the idol right now.

        • Diego Armando

          Or a double boot.

        • But, I just had a flash of inspiration: Who was shown getting close to getting an idol? Tai. Could Tai idol Aubry out?

          • StormofCuteness

            Possible Tai leaves that beach before he gets the idol?

          • That is another possibility.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Oh, also, I too think a favorable swap would be good for her, hopefully with (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Ozzy, who will value her challenge strength.

      • I would be worried that he sees her as Sophie 2.0.

      • Black Dynamite

        I’ll take it. I will be in favor of any alliance that is beneficial for Aubry. The dream though is her aligning with Cirie.

        • Oh my gosh, I didn’t know how much I wanted it until you said it.

    • Violina23

      I’m both worried and annoyed? Here’s hoping she starts working some magic and has a strong end-game, a la Natalie Anderson

    • gouis

      Who?

      • Black Dynamite

        How dare you? Such a betrayal from my future podcast partner on The Dynamic Gouis Hour.

        • gouis

          LOL.

          Real talk, I just don’t get why she’s on the outs with Varner/Sandra. Seems strange.

    • pufflehuff

      What’s odd about Aubry’s situation is that her story this season is somewhat similar to KR but it’s Sandra taking out her closest allies instead of infection/meat – but it’s obviously night and day if you consider the total lack of interest in her position after she lost Tony, Malcolm + now JT. I hope the swap gives her renewed life.

      I see people on this thread and in previous weeks suggesting that she’s getting an idoled out or rocked out edit which a) I hope not and b) I’m starting to question this concept after last week. If ever anybody got game-screwed it was Malcolm, and part of the reason it was so gut-punchy was that the edit didn’t hide him. I know there isn’t really any great comparison to Malcolm from other twist-screwed players but it does feel like some of the ‘purple rock’ edit (or I guess white rock edit) also overlaps with the ways in which Survivor underedits female characters. Obviously, Malcolm is a more dynamic character than Jessica say BUT Aubry doesn’t lack narrational skills or charm so it’s frustrating not to hear from her, whatever her ultimate fate will be. I get that there’s lots of stories to tell and hopefully she will get more of an arc later but it’s not like Aubry couldn’t have provided narration about the goat episode as well as Varner and Malcolm say, so the absence is telling.

      Anyway, let’s hope the swap and all that coffee gives her game + her story some life.

  • BadPlayer91

    My thoughts:

    ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

    Sandra just blew me away this week. It was so amazing. Not just a moment of great strategy, but a moment of inspiration. Last week, J.T. was SO adamant about getting Sandra out that he risked his whole game for it…and then, SUGARGATE! Sandra’s smokescreen is amazing, so much so that J.T. doesn’t even mention her as a possible vote, and is so cocky he doesn’t even bring his idol. This kind of move is the difference between good Survivor and great Survivor. Sandra is able to read the tribe, read the relationships, read the situation, and play J.T. like a fiddle. But like, a fiddle that is mechanic and plays itself.

    I know that part of this equation is J.T. and his less than stellar Survivor play, but I give most of the credit for this turn of events to Sandra. No matter his foolishness, Sandra new exactly how to play him, and play the rest of the tribe, except for Varner, who just kinda sat back like ‘Wow.’ Whoever can watch this unfold and tell me Sandra doesn’t deserve her two crowns must be watching a different show.

    Maybe they are watching the BATSHIT CRAZY Debbie Show. Watching Debbie seemingly decay was as mesmerizing as it was awful. My boyfriend showed me some posts of people saying that, in all seriousness, they thought some of her behavior could be diagnosable for mental illness. I won’t pretend to know much about that, but I will make two points:
    -Debbie seemed so unwilling to accept that she didn’t perform well at the first challenge, she was in denial about the true outcome. The way she described it later made it seem as if she almost switched herself and Hali in her mind, noting that Hali took too long on the balance beam while Debbie herself was quick across. This seems to be the major impasse on which the rest of her behavior is based.
    -The feminist in me feels I must give Debbie at least this much: She is not the first person to accuse Brad Culpepper of running the game, dictating to others, and calling the shots. This has been a significant theme in the past, thus it should not be swept aside as simply the tirades of a single woman. This seems to be a consistent theme with how people interact with Brad. Now, if Debbie wasn’t Debbie, I might say she could be bringing this up BECAUSE it was something that got him out of the game in the past, but I feel fairly certain Debbie hasn’t watched BvW. I’m not trying to excuse Debbie’s behavior, simply point out that at the foundation of her crazy, we have a recognizable critique of Brad.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I give JT (slightly) more credit here. I don’t think he was completely bamboozled by Sandra. I think JT was looking to take the heat off himself and put it on somebody else (not unlike what Sandra was doing). He knew there weren’t three votes against Sandra, so he deliberately set his target on Michaela. I think Sugarghazi was completely made up on his part, too. From that point, Sandra played him like a fiddle, making him think she and Varner would vote Michaela.

      • BadPlayer91

        I don’t disagree, but I think, had Sugarpocalypse not occured, he would have been way more alert to the situation. Sandra provided the perfect situation for J.T. to feel safe, playing up the idea that Michaela was on the outs and giving him a reason to feel everyone would vote her off. Because of that he leaves his idol. Without the incident, he probably would never have felt as safe, or at least not as confident, and would likely have played his idol.

        I did think through the J.T. plays his idol situation, and it certainly would have been interesting. Let’s say the sugar incident didn’t happen, and J.T. stays on the ‘must get Sandra’ path. I think that Sanda would have voted someone else as a fail safe for an idol, probably Aubry. Then you have 3-1-1, and it’s a tie between Sandra and maybe Aubry. Still a sticky situation. J.T. will stick with Sandra, of course, because he is immune, so if Varner and Michaela don’t agree to go with him, then only the two of them go to rocks. There is also the possibility that, J.T. could have shown Aubry his idol before tribal, bring her over for a 2-2-1 vote which would send Sandra out anyway. So, if any of this happened, Sandra would likely have gone home. Summary, big win for the queen.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          We’re mostly agreeing. I’m just saying that I don’t think JT was goaded into an irrational fight with Michaela, he was deliberately looking to stir things up, and either he leaned into what Sandra was doing or vice-versa (also, the seven drops of coffee thing was weird, too, and must be the tail end of a fight over what constitutes coffee with sugar and not just straight sugar).

          I doubt JT thought through all the tie votes and whatnot. He was just looking for the easiest three votes.

          • BadPlayer91

            Oh yeah, i don’t think anyone has thought through them, why bother with something that didn’t happen. But, between him finding the idol and the rest of the episode, our Thai food arrived, so i had time to think it all out under the circumstances. lol

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Aw man, now I’m going to have to make gai pad krapow for dinner (to be fair, it takes very little to get me to do this).

    • Purple Rock Emma

      To be fair to Brad, most of the people accusing him of running the show were not on his tribe.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Edit based prediction talk:
    Based on the scene we saw between Troyzan and Sarah, I have to predict that they are either swapped together in the next ep, or they both survive to the merge. Otherwise, WTH was the point of showing that conversation?

    • Black Dynamite

      I agree. I can see a scenario where Tavua is swapped with an a majority and instead of making the “easy play,” Sarah may want to change things up with Troy. If it succeeds is the question.

    • Mike Hirsch

      I can’t bring myself to like this prediction but I definitely agree with it.

    • sharculese

      To set up a situation where Sarah overplays because she has a poor read on the situation? It’s not like this would be the first time.

      • Maritimer

        This was also my read. It may be blind hope though

        • sharculese

          I don’t know if it’s blind hope or just that the idea of Sarah doing something right just feels totally implausible at this point.

    • PurpleTally

      If they both make it to the end, my fantasy team is set. But I will be sad for the sake of the game.

  • Scarlett3639

    If anyone ever asks me if they should listen to this podcast I am referring them to this episode. One of, if not the best, episode you have done so far.

    • The Pandering Committee has reviewed your submission and decided to award you the featured comment.

      • purplerockandy

        Seconded.

      • Scarlett3639

        Possibly the highest honor I have ever received.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Co-signed. I’ll co-sign anything that is basically dedicated to praising Sandra.

  • Cinnamon Owl

    If the most exciting thing that happens on your tribe all week is Troy and Sarah talking to each other, you are having a good week.

    • A safe week, at least.

      • Cinnamon Owl

        Usually the drama will come to you with a tribe swap or merge. Pre-merge is not the time to try to generate drama for your Legacy of Big Moves, if you can instead sit quietly and be immune.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    Y’all might not think much of Sarah, but you gotta love this shadiness:

    “We’re just extremely well rounded. I mean, we’ve got two people amazingly good at puzzles; we’ve got me, Andrea, and Ozzy who are good at challenges; and we’ve got Troyzan who’s really good at cheering us on.”

    • That’s fantastic….if only we had a good gif for it.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      And then this read of Debbie by Culpepper.

      • BadPlayer91

        Wow, thanks for sharing. This was very interesting. Hearing it from Brad’s perspective both clarifies a lot of what happened. And going back to what I said before, Debbie’s outburst seems to have stemmed from one point: her refusal to acknowledge that she couldn’t do what she insisted she could. She was certain she could balance better than anyone, they let her have it, then she fails and she seems unable to accept that.

        BUT, it is important to notice that Brad says “If there is a decision to be made, its either going to be a group or myself.” Brad does see himself as a leader and a decision maker. I’m not really saying this as a good or bad thing, and with the tribe he was dealt, it makes sense he would step into this role. BUT, this is something he insisted he wanted to avoid, and here he is with another person blowing up on him for ‘playing king.’ That person is crazy Debbie, but if Brad used similar language around Sandra, he would be in mighty trouble.

        • Black Dynamite

          That’s what I was worried about with Brad’s game. He has said the right things in preseason and has done well so far during the game but I think he gravitates​ towards that leadership role because that’s where he is comfortable, even if that’s not what he wants to do. This will make him a target but he can also come out with a great resume if he lasts in the game.

          • BadPlayer91

            Agreed. I mean, technically it’s already making him a target. My read on the whole situation in this episode is A) Debbie says she’s great at balancing B) Debbie fails at balancing C) Debbie loses it and D) Debbie, in her inability to acknowledge her own shortcomings, blames Brad. While she wasn’t nice, she never came at Hali, she focused all her anger at Brad, even when complaining about Hali’s “10 minutes” on the balance beam.

            I don’t think this will be a issues with Mana’s players, but there are a number of other players *cough Sandra/Cirie* who will make a quick target of Brad for similar reasons, without the crazy-agressive-explosion.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Cirie goes after him if she gets the chance. As i’m currently watching both Panama and Micronesia, i’ve realized that Cirie is always the first to identify and mobilize when people start talking about getting rid of “weak players” and Brad could definitely fit that bill.

          • Black Dynamite

            Cire is so amazing. She was both the first who wanted to keep the weak player as a shield and the first to get rid of one that was taking her spot. I’m glad she’s always been on a winning tribe so she can be safe but I also would want for her to get a chance to work her magic.

          • BadPlayer91

            I have a sneaky feeling that the impending tribe swap will bring that magic to the forefront. Cause, they took the time to set up her story a bit in the very first episodes, and we haven’t seen that play out either way. And yes, also It’s Cirie so of course they want to give her screen time cause she is made of beauty.

            What i love about Cirie is she just seems to be so excited to even be playing. Like, she can barely give a confessional without giggling about how excited she is to play with people. It’s a joy.

          • Roswulf

            I hope this season we get at least one scene of Varner and Cirie together, just really happy to be playing Survivor

          • the sky is falling

            You’re mistaking this season for one whose main goal is to bring us joy, rather than smash all of our dreams.

          • Just remember who else was happy to play Survivor again…Malcolm.

          • the sky is falling

            Tony

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            It’s possible, but importantly, he’s only saying this in confessionals. Plus, while it’s astute for him to not visibly claim the leader role, given the composition of his tribe he also can’t overplay the “nope, nuh-uh, I’m not the leader” stuff either.

            His read of Tai is very on point.

          • Roswulf

            I can’t fault Brad for taking leadership of that damp squib of a tribe. I’ll be interested to see how assertive Brad is when (well, if) he reunites with Ozzy and presumably tries to knit together a majority faction based on original tribe bonds.

          • Maritimer

            Same. I mean, I would probably have to lead that mess if I were there. I would not be surprised if new Brad yielded leadership to someone like Ozzy, Sandra, or Cirie on a new tribe

        • Other Scott

          You have to play who you are. You can win from many different positions in Survivor, including the leadership role, but you have to play the game that fits who you are and your playstyle. I think if Brad tried to play UTR or a second banana it would be a disaster for him.

      • sharculese

        This really underscores the theory that Debbie just isn’t worth it.

    • purplerockandy

      I honestly missed that.

    • Was that from a bonus scene? I don’t remember that on the show.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Bonus scene, full footage here:

  • Super duper fan

    So, I just wanted to ask everyone something:

    Of course we’re talking this week mainly about JT, Sandra, Michaela, Debbie, Brad and a little bit Troy and Sarah. But there is someone who doesn’t get as much conversation as he should, or at least doesn’t get enough-Varner.

    I’m sorry if it was already talked about in a podcast (I will be able to listen to it tomorrow), but do you think that sticking with Sandra and Michaela was a good move forhim? If he wanted, he easily could side with JT and Aubry. I lean towards that it was a good move, but what do you guys think?

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

    • Roswulf

      I definitely think Michaela and Sandra was the path forward for Varner.

      First, Sandra is the best possible shield and thus ally for Varner. In every way that Varner is scary, she’s scarier (and Sandra knows this, so she would not be waiting for the chance to flip on Varner). Plus, she’s one of the few people on the season who Varner has a reasonable shot at beating in a generic individual immunity challenge. Varner’s easiest path to the win is letting Sandra do the heavy lifting, get to the final four with Sandra+goats (and, alas, it seems like Michaela qualifies as a goat this round), and then boot Sandra and win. Plus, for all of her viciousness, Sandra does not have a record of backstabbing her allies outside of her own neck being threatened. Also you get to hang out with Sandra.

      Conversely, JT is the worst possible ally for Varner, largely because JT is the worst possible ally for anybody. He loves big dramatic moves, and he’s played two disastrous games without ever listening to anybody else. On top of that, Varner’s a kind of player JT would be wary of. He’s perceived as a strategic player, but doesn’t ruffle feathers like JT does. Taking Varner to the end is a bad move for JT. Now Audrey isn’t a bad ally for Varner (Audrey’s a good ally), but I don’t think this move burns his bridges with Audrey the way flipping on Sandra would torch his relationship with the Queen.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I especially like the point that Sandra doesn’t take betrayal lightly. If Varner went against Sandra to boot her ally in Michaela, Sandra’s crosshairs are zeroed in on Varner.

        • Roswulf

          “I’m against you Varner”

          *Varner turns completely white, and runs into the jungle, not to be seen until the season is over and he can be sure Sandra is on another continent*

      • the sky is falling

        I agree with this except that if Sandra makes it to the final four, that likely means she wins her third, just don’t see her getting that far.

        • Maritimer

          I am very worried about Sandra being the F4 boot. Why would you ever let her near a jury a 3rd time? She needs to make sure there is a big shiny target with her

          • the sky is falling

            i say if she gets anywhere near top 6, she wins it

          • If only. She’s extremely vulnerable at the end because she never wins challenges. Unless it was solely a puzzle challenge, the odds would be against her.

          • the sky is falling

            At that point Sandra would try to sell the case that no one would possibly give her a third million.

          • Could she be good at a challenge like the MvGX FIC?

          • I barely even remember what that was. The thing with moving the little stackable pieces through the maze with a stick?

          • Super duper fan

            Yes.

          • Yes, that is exactly what it is.

    • Taako From Teevhii

      I think in the aggregate, this was a good move for Varner. He gets to stick with the players he knows and is comfortable with (i.e. Sandra). He has a core group that he trusts and can work with. Plus, Sandra as a threat and Michaela as a challenge beast/camp nuisance are likely to be booted before him. So if you can buy six more days on the island, that’s a good move.

    • Cinnamon Owl

      I think there’s something to the idea that he is playing her old game–stays more to the background, very socially tuned in, a flip vote very good at not showing his cards. I don’t think Sandra is drastically different in her strategy, but that her “Queen stays queen” schtick is a marked ramping up that takes the target on her back and renders it in flashing neon–so people are reminded that they are totes taking her out in a few more votes, that’ll be easy because everyone sees the danger, so right now we move on (insert name).

      Or put another way, Varner’s edit might be like her edit in her first two rounds, as noted in the podcast–you’ve got big crazy characters, they get more time. But I don’t think anyone has put down Varner’s name…. he’s just passing in the background. But in a strategic way totally unlike how, say, Sarah is just passing in the background.

  • sharculese

    The discussion of memes made me think of this:

    • Taako From Teevhii

      I’m a simple man. I see Nick and Griffin, I upvote.

      • sharculese

        TTAZZ talk – not gonna do spoiler tags since there’s no plot content:

        A little bummed that we’re probably not getting another long arc, but I understand the decision.’

        My favorite revelation was that Clint has been intentionally playing Merle as aware that he’s a shitty cleric the entire time and even Griffin didn’t notice. Loved the discussion of fridging and the problems they accidentally created with the names Taako and Lup. All around a fun time that shed a lot of light on what’s been happening. Clint is such a buffoon in the game that it’s easy to forget he’s a really smart guy who’s accomplished a lot.

        • Taako From Teevhii

          I have a half hour left (stopping for Drag Race), but I think we’ll get the same amount of material as previous arcs. Just more content per episode.

          • sharculese

            At the end they talk about the future of the podcast and explicitly say they’re not doing another story the size of this one. It’s gonna be smaller campaigns and more switching out who’s DMing.

            On to drag race:

            So… that was a first challenge. I thought the idea had potential but, much like the queens this season, nothing about it popped. Which didn’t really matter because the narrative was so obviously Jaymes and Kimora in the bottom and Valentina as a surprise winner. I wasn’t particularly impressed with Valentina last week, but she came through here and I can’t call it undeserved.

            As for CLF, please, just no more. She’s already irritating. I get why they brought her back, but she would have been gone pre-Snatch Game anyway, and I fully expect that to happen again.

            I had trouble paying attention to LSFYL because the irony of this being the week of all weeks they do a song that includes the phrase “heading down the Atlanta highway.” Which again, did not matter because it could not be more obvious who was going home.

            The big surprise for me this week was Eureka, in that she was… tolerable? I didn’t hate her and even found her fun at points. I don’t know if it’s just that there’s too many people there for her to suck up all the oxygen, but this ep almost had me on her side.

            Oh and last note, I now love even more that they built a non-elimination episode around Gaga’s fun turn as a judge, because it put less heat on the fact that every guest this week was a fucking dud. I’m not sure what the deal was with Lisa Kudrow being there, unless it was to perk us up for the commercial announcing Logo has the rights to Romy and Michelle (I mean, I did pause to set the DVR to record it, so I guess they won that one). And the B-52s didn’t seem like they even know what show they were on.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Oh, I was talking about for the Lost Century arc. The next big campaign, yeah I never expected another 3-year epic saga. With that said, I guess the podcast is really driven by the extended improv and goofs, but I think I’ll miss the mystical/magical setting. I like Clint’s superheroes idea, and Trav’s spaghetti Western has potential. I couldn’t tell if Justin’s was a goof, but a whodunnit or noir story would be cool. Personally, I’d really like a international spy arc (MI meets Archer) or a casino heist.

          • sharculese

            I never expected the Stolen Century to be more than one episode. This is gonna be as much of an info dump for THB as it is for the audience, and that’s not sustainable for longer than an hour.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I don’t expect it to be Griffin narrating the IPRE’s history for an hour. It could be a flash-back arc where Trav, Justin, and Clint play THB in a previous timeline. It could a whole arc of end game with the Hunger where Griffin intermittently cuts in with a few minutes of exposition. But it’s been my impression that we’re going to get a handful of episodes before the finale. I think Griffin confirmed that in this TTAZZ.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Valentina is like a Latina Violet Chachki but less bitchy. And possibly more polished. Her promo stuff was kinda boring, and I wasn’t won over by her personality or her drag last week. But if she went far … wouldn’t be terrible.

            I’m not going to go as far as to say that I’m on Eureka’s side. I would explain her edit this episode as “too many plates are spinning.” Between setting up Jaymes’s performance, reintroducing Santy Ally, and showing the ever time-consuming group performance, I surprised Eureka got two lines in. Once the herd starts to thin, I think grating Eureka shines through.

          • sharculese

            I’m not ready to compare her to Violet yet. There’s an artiness to Violet (remember, they built a whole All-Stars 2 challenge around her first runway look) that Valentina hasn’t shown.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m going to disagree there. Violet’s look was more based on her waistline rather than on any sort of artful aesthetic. Her two-in-one look and her S8 reunion look were both iconic, but otherwise, it’s either kitschy burlesque or “hey look, I’m skinny.” With her age and her body contour, Valentina is currently Violet-adjacent. She might soar higher.

            Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but it’s been two episodes and I’m already tired of Farrah’s goddamn Vegas schtick. Ostrich showgirl headpieces on back to back runways?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93052cb769e281609a674ebe3cce08b2d2c7c414205b5555371ffd415eaaa63c.gif

          • sharculese

            I mean, I said last week that I kind of settled into being pro-Violet because she was the Atlanta girl given how little s7 had to offer (I mean, yes, I was all about Katya but that ended in heartbreak.)

            Sure the connecting thread between Violet’s looks was that waistline, but she was always more engaging to look at than the other two members of the pretty boy trio.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure that “Better Drag Than Pearl”=”Artiness.”

            But on a different subject, Reddit Nancy Drews are saying that Eureka may be sidelined with a knee injury. Apparently she had knee surgery sometime after filming. I will say that when she said the knee pop line, I thought, clearly it’s not that bad if you’re standing on your own two feet and continuing the routine. But maybe the editors included it for a reason…

          • sharculese

            That’s fair, but I also still haven’t seen anything that impressive from Valentina. She was good, this episode, but just good. Also, one of her friends needs to take that beret, burn it in front of her, and make her promise not to buy another one.

            I don’t wanna speculate, but oh man, this is painful for me right now. I broke my foot in mid February and only in the last week have I been able to walk on it. When Eureka said “I felt a pop,” I involuntarily winced.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            “She was good, … but just good.”

            *Leans into mic* WRONG

            But agreed on that beret. And as bad a choice as that is, it’s covering up a really good head of hair. A damn shame.

            And sorry to hear about your foot. If there’s a silver lining to having a broken foot, it’s that you get to join the likes of James Clement and Missy Payne.

          • indescribable hat

            Ugh I want to participate in this but they aren’t streaming the episodes this season apparently. I love Drag Race, but not enough to pay to watch this season, it seems.

          • StormofCuteness

            Watching it in HD on VH1 is a trip…close-ups not welcome! 🙄

        • Taako From Teevhii

          So I’ve always just mentioned r/TAZ theories in passing, but I really wanted to share this one in whole. Partially because this is the most well-thought out and well-evidenced theory I’ve seen on r/TAZ. It’s maybe kinda spoilery, but I think it would be a total sucker punch by Griffin if it ends up being true. I usually don’t like twists to come completely out of nowhere, so I’m glad I saw this.

          https://www.reddit.com/r/TheAdventureZone/comments/62recp/an_insanely_expanded_list_of_possible_evidence/

          • sharculese

            Everything about this makes sense and I love it and want it to be:

            My one concern at first was the part about how silver dragons have to be asked for help and don’t, meaning Griffin would have to prod THB into asking Angus, but apparently they’ll also fight anything sufficiently evil. So I could totally see this happening, and I’m already playing out in my mind how Griffin would end an episode with it:

            Angus: So you’re you’re telling these are some really bad guys you’re fighting?

            Magnus: Yeah, Angus, they’re pretty bad.

            Merle: These are some bad guys, kid, trust me.

            Taako: Yeah, they’re the fucking worst.

            Angus: Well… okay. I didn’t want to have to do this, but I guess I have to do my part. Just promise me guys, after what I’m about to do, that you won’t think any different of me.

            Merle: I promise, we couldn’t possibly think any worse of you.

            Angus: That’s not what I said, but, oh well. Here we go.

            Griffin: You see Angus start to grow and… elongate. As his fancy boy clothes turn to shreds you see the skin underneath-

            Travis: Do we see his dong?

            Griffin: NO TRAVIS THIS IS A LITTLE BOY YOU DON’T SEE HIS DONG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. Anyway, you see his skin start to turn… scaly… and metallic. And his back half is stretching out to form a tail, and two giant wings are sprouting from his back. And suddenly, standing in front of you is a gigantic. silver. dragon. And he says-

            Angus (still in Angus voice): Okay, sirs, what do you need me to do?

            Clint: HAHA

            Taako: Oooooooh, shit.

            Closing music.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I *LOVE* this, but it’s absolutely wrong because Trav wouldn’t ask if we see Ango’s donger, he would just immediately assume Grif was doing that and make a terrible goof out of it. jk

          • sharculese

            Thanks. Your’e right something like “and we can see his dong,” would have been more on brand for Travis, but I think either way Griffin leads him back into a reveal of that magnitude fairly quickly.

          • sharculese

            Also, I’m at the part of Rose Buddies where Griffin is in Huntington filming the show (theyr’e watching Canadian Bachelorette at this point because nothing else was on) he makes a comments in consecutive episodes about how awful the final day of filming (the Candlenights show) is gonna be, and all I could think was “aw buddy, you don’t even know about the part where you get electrocuted yet.”

          • Taako From Teevhii

            Ok, this is gonna sound terrible but *looks back and forth and whisper* I haven’t watched the MBMBAM series yet. I’ve only seen the Ranchos episode Seeso put online for free. Once this semester ends, I’m going to binge that and all of Bajillion. Maybe Debate Wars if I get to that. But I’m also a new MaxFun Donor, so I have all that good good bonus material to get though too.

          • sharculese

            PROTIP: Even if you’re not a dog person, listen to the first bonus episode for Can I Pet Your Dog. They did a fun thing where the three of them all talked to their parents about their childhood dogs, so you get Clint describing the fun saga of the behavior chart Travis had to complete before he could have a dog.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m a dog person, but somehow I never started CIPYD. Thanks for the heads up.

          • sharculese

            Oh man, CIPYD is an absolute joy. It’s just 2 people (3 when Travis was still on the show) getting excited about dogs for an hour. Like to the point where there’s a running joke that about a review they got on iTunes that only gave the show for stars because it’s “too happy.”

            Also, CIPYD was my first exposure to the McElroy media empire, so when I was going through the archives I thought, “man, pretty impressive they snagged Lin-Manuel Miranda for an early episode. Wonder what kind of connections they have.”

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m always amazed that they’re close enough that the brothers got an easter egg in Hamilton. Though can you imagine if Lin wasted that bullet on In The Heights?

        • Taako From Teevhii

          Heads up: Right Thursday is delayed until next week. Griffin and Henry were sick all week, and Griffin delayed to make sure the released episode was done right.

  • Bundi

    Haven’t listened yet so apologies if discussed on podcast.

    What do people think about Sandra immediately telling the group that she was behind the sugar incident? I personally like it given that Varner knew it was her; Michaela knows that she did not do it; and only Aubrey didn’t know. By just coming clean immediately, she made sure that Varner cannot hold it over her down the road.

    That said, I can see the flipside where she does give people some reason to distrust her. Michaela seems good but if it were me, I don’t know how I would feel. Also, the next time something goes wrong at camp, she has invited people to be suspicious of her. Not that this should be a huge shock to people given her previous two seasons…

    • Cinnamon Owl

      Anyone who is not constantly suspicious of Sandra is doing Survivor wrong.

      • Especially someone who was on the SAME SEASON as Sandra. While they were only on the same beach for three days max, he still watched that season, so he should have known better.

    • Violina23

      According to JT’s exit press (so take it with a grain of salt… pun intended), the sugar thing was somewhat overblown by the edit, probably because it was comedy gold and there wasn’t much else going on. JT contends that Michaela was annoying everyone in camp, so he might have chalked it up as another annoyance.

      Honestly, I think she just kinda looks like a prankster. I’m sure if something similar happens later, Michaela would immediately zero in. Hell, maybe she’d even co-conspire. God, I hope she does…

    • Kemper Boyd

      I don’t think it’ll be a bad thing, partially due to the fact Varner didn’t care and that Aubry in her extended confessional video said basically “all of us are dipping into that crack” so I don’t think she cares much.

    • BadPlayer91

      *bump* I agree with your assessment. I would add, she can now claim it as her own. This reminds me so much of Tony, he would get to tribal council and claim big moves right then and there, no problem. A big part of it was that he was almost always safe, but Tony also saw the value of tribal councils as opening acts to his FTC. Long before he even gets to the end of the game, people on the jury know the #BIGMOVES he made and the things he orchestrated. That way, when it comes down to it, he doesn’t have to claim a bunch of moves as his own and try to convince people, they already know.

      John and Andy mentioned in the podcast that it seems like Sandra is playing Tony’s game, and I think this is an example. Every tribal she plays herself up, and while part of that may be the “self-meat-shield” concept, another part is the performance. By claiming this move, if she gets to FTC she barely has to mention it, everyone will already know and remember how Sandra orchestrated the J.T. – Sugar Affair. And as noted below, anyone who isn’t aware how sneaky she is, or needs to be reminded what a threat she is, is probably playing the wrong game.

  • Alkanarra

    I recently found some new Sandra detractors in my life, albeit for a different reason, so this podcast was definitely apropos. My parents just got through catching up on some old episodes I sent them (“I just don’t know why that Ken fellow didn’t win”) and when I started talking to them about all of the returning players their reply was:

    “Oh, I never liked that Sandra woman; she was always so mean.”

    … maybe I just won’t send them this season.

    • Roswulf

      Well, it’s good to know now, while you still have time to find new parents.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    Your friendly neighborhood clip master, back again with another preview

    The interesting thing here is that in the previous swap to three tribes, there was a stratification of buffs such that the gender ratios stayed balanced across all three tribes. Now, that’s not exactly possible here since there are 9 ladies and 6 guys. But since they didn’t even attempt that, I wonder if this is an indicator of the tribes’ permanence (i.e. the merge is directly around the corner) or a byproduct of not making the default exiled player a lady.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      FFGCSDT looks like a goddamn giant next to Debbie.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        There was a shot in this week’s episode (before a challenge maybe?) where FFGCSDT was standing directly behind Tai and her entire face was visible.

      • Purplerockmatt

        according to Debbie anyone can tell that Debbie is taller.

    • Am I the only one who thinks that it is funny how Tavua basically forces Troy to stand at least three feet away from them?

    • Crappy

      Merge will happen at 13 since FFGCSDT has that advantage which provides immunity when 13 are left

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I would say “Signs point to 13.” I wouldn’t say that the Legacy Advantage is definitive proof.

        • Crappy

          Well, yes, only definitive proof will come when it actually happens, But I don’t see survivor wanting to waste the spectre of legacy advantage before the merge.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            You’re right that they likely wouldn’t time the Legacy Advantage before the merge. But (1) you used the word “will,” which sound definitive, and (2) I previously mentioned elsewhere that we might see an unprecedented merge at 15 or 14. We know now that it definitely won’t at 15 thanks to the challenge preview.

          • Crappy

            Merge at 15 sounds crazy, hope that never happens. I don’t like one at 13 either. If it was up to me, I would always merge them at 11.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    Also, I’m disappointed that this isn’t a NPH-hosted, juvenile-focused game show of deception, betrayal, and fake horse races.

    http://www.avclub.com/article/neil-patrick-harris-host-precocious-kids-game-show-253060

  • Important edit reading moment: during the first Probst monologue of the season, Probst talks about the different kinds of moves. When he discusses “stupid moves”, where does the camera go? To Ozzy, not JT. That’s why I think the show wants to protect JT as much as they can, even when he has now made two of the biggest blunders in the show’s history and one that can be debated.

    • His fuck ups give them good TV.

    • sharculese

      To be fair, what he says is something like ‘bold moves,’ and if there’s one thing to be said of Ozzy asking to be voted out in South Pacific, it was certainly bold. If it had worked we would be praising it.

  • gouis

    Aw I would root for you guys too if you were on the show.

    Except for Matt, because that would be against brand.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Mark?

  • prettyboyprobst

    Listening to (the latest case of) you guys appropriately giving Sandra all the credit she deserves gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
    Now, I missed the live airing and am almost a whole day behind in my Survivor media consumption, but I haven’t seen anyone touch on the great dab pose Sandra (accidentally?) stroke when she finished the puzzle, so I will – in form of a screen grab: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c77a6adf51a0a6035d1d118ade00373964ff9bdfdade83235715c61049bd4d7.jpg

    • prettyboyprobst

      And here’s another screen shot of Sandra in all her glory, but this time with the fitting caption:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/610102d03392df55539fa65a084eb6e989dc7497091c5346facca2087a9e4053.jpg

      • Figaro

        …and check out Debbie blitzing through that balance beam in the background!

    • It’s also photographic proof of Debbie on the balance beam.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Yep, that wasn’t lost on me. I had four different screen shots and Debbie in the background made them all better. In the one I captioned it also looks like she’s Sandra’s puppet (not a puppet!).

        • So, I went and looked at the press photos because Aubry is clearly wearing tennis shoes. I wonder if Debbie would have done better wearing tennis shoes.

          • Violina23

            You may be right… Didn’t she complain that it was slippery?

          • Kemper Boyd

            But Ozzy did it barefoot and was fine.

          • Yes, yes she did. Some thought it was the ball and pole that she was using, which could be the case, but she was the only to use it since Hali had the Bow Diddley portion of the course.

        • Prom King

          (not a puppet!)

          LOVE

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Yeah look at the wind in her hair – she was totally zooming through that challenge

      • DrVanNostrand

        I’m pretty sure that’s still Hali trying to work her way across.

    • the sky is falling

      *old man yells at cloud* dabbing is stupid

      • prettyboyprobst

        Not when Sandra does it, it’s not.

        Also, that’s why I brought up that this could very well be a case of accidental dabbing.

    • Streets_Ahead

      The best part was she walked away before Jeff checked it because she knew she had it.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I agree, I really enjoyed her turn and walk away.

  • Taako From Teevhii

    Also, I gotta put this Drag Race post somewhere before I forget:

    Here are Taako’s Totally Subjective RPDR Power Rankings, this week measured by the White Party runways and previous rankings

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

    It really bugged me that so many of these looks weren’t white party looks. The category wasn’t White Wardrobe, it was White Party. And so I was really torn on Valentina’s and Kimora’s looks. On the one hand, Valentina was absolutely, head-to-toe stunning. Fucking flawless. But that was not a white party look. Kimora’s look was closer to a white party look (well, a white and blue and red and gold and other accents party), but it was so messy. One of my drag pet peeves is super obvious breastplates, and while Kimora is probably right to show off some body, it wasn’t coordinated at all.

    Some Random Notes:

    What a waste of Lisa Kudrow.

    “I can’t fall and ruin my face.” Henny, I don’t know how you paint without a mirror, but that face is already busted.

    The B-52’s were decent guest judges, and I know you need to have the lip sync song come from their discography. But the B-52s don’t exactly make lip sync material. Despite that, I was kinda surprised this wasn’t a double boot because those performances … I literally yawned. Twice.

    • sharculese

      I feel like this is a repeat of the Night of 1,000 Kimonos, where the queens were all just so off-message that it became pointless to draw attention to it.

      As for my non-thoughts on LSFYL, see below.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Oh, it’s definitely not the first time the runways didn’t match the theme. But this one was such a lay-up theme. And it would have made for really good drag. (btw, I was never that mad about the Night of 1000 Kimonos because they were all trying to stand out. They all just had the same thought. No one was really thinking here save for about 5 queens)

    • StormofCuteness

      Valentina was my everything during an otherwise really off episode. I am not a purist re:theme. I just want The Drama. Also, she’s my fav because she’s so fresh, she’s from East LA, and she got no drag mama. Wtf with thinking praying to the Virgin of Guadalupe is weird? Clearly some queens need more latinas in their lifes!

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I’m not exactly a theme purist because sickning is sickning. Kinda like how Lil Poundcake Returns From The Morgue ain’t exactly a two-in-one look, but I was gagged anyway. So I give high marks to Valentina but there’s an asterisk next to that.

        Also, yeah, the main thing I got from that Virgin of Guadalupe segment was that the other queens are assholes. But Valentina will probably outlast them all and get the last laugh.

        • StormofCuteness

          I also adore Nina and Peppermint plus feel like some others just haven’t gotten to shine yet, like Alexis.

          But yes to getting the last laugh!

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I’m forced to watch RPDR a week+ behind this season because of the streaming service I use, so I haven’t seen episode 2 yet 🙁
      But just based on what I saw in ep1, I think your ranking makes sense (except that Peppermint must have really upper her game in week 2).

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Oh no! I’m lucky to have family with VH1 on their cable package. They let me borrow their info to live stream on VH1’s website. I will say that re: Peppermint’s spot in the rankings (SPOILER) it was more about maintaining a spot in the rankings and not dropping like some other top queens. And remember, that’s a totally subjective measure.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        Also, I realized that I spoiled the returning queen then. Sorry for doing that. I’m never going to reveal the booted queen in those rankings, but I guess it wasn’t entirely spoiler free.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          That’s totally okay – I actually looked up spoilers for who came back a couple days ago because I was too curious 🙂

  • PurpleTally

    The next time I work with my casual coworker who tells me every week “I can’t believe Sandra is still in the game,” I will find a way to position us in the back room for an hour and force him to listen to this episode.
    Edit: as soon as I posted this, I realized how creepy it sounded. I work at a book store. This guy works in the back in receiving, and I would not be locking him in a back room.

    • Something Quirky

      Hey, no judgement either way =P

      • PurpleTally

        This is a guy who kept telling me he wanted Hannah to win this season. It took me far too long to convince him he was thinking of Aubry.

  • tocantins

    I saw here someone posting Brad’s bonus confessional, and I went to take a look: most of them are really good, I definitely recommend it!

    The stars:
    – Varner saying that the Mana tribe looks all starving thin, and he is loving it.
    – Hali exposing her life philosophy. (It seems a kind of secular Buddhism.)
    – More Debbie being Debbie. (I am almost ashamed of how fun I think Debbie is. Which is weird, since I actually didn’t like her that much her first season.)
    – Michaela’s interview is called, “I can learn a lot from Sandra”. That tells a lot already. And she interestingly thinks that the reason that Sandra won twice is because she is “round”.
    – Everything Sandra, of course.

    – Aubry’s confessionals are a bit… weird. It seems to me that maybe she is trying a bit too hard to be funny.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I thought Hali like loved Jesus a lot?
      Michaela’s love for Sandra is awesome.

      • tocantins

        Is she hardcore Christian? I didn’t know; she certainly didn’t sound so in the confessional.

        • corndogshuffle

          I always got the impression that she worshiped the United States as opposed to and particular deity. I could be wrong.

          • Kemper Boyd
          • corndogshuffle

            So she’s a Jesus Christ *and* Ronald Reagan kind of girl. I buy that.

          • Kemper Boyd

            also appears to live in a trailer park. She’s kind of fascinating in a “i don’t actually want to spend time with her” kind of a way.

          • corndogshuffle

            I would be much more interested in seeing a TV show about her life than most Survivor contestants, but I would be much less interested in interacting with her than most Survivor contestants. Who knew Hali was so intriguing?

          • Super duper fan

            Hey! I knew that Hali was awesome even before the season started!

          • Kemper Boyd

            This is exactly how I feel.

          • Hali may be one of the most complex young women they have ever cast on the show. The problem is that she doesn’t exactly “pop” on camera.

          • Super duper fan

            I just saw one comparison of her, which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense: Is Hali the modern-day Colleen Haskell?

          • That’s not a terrible comparison, although I think Hali is a bit more interesting than Colleen.

          • Super duper fan

            I think that Colleen’s personality pops more on TV, while Hali is more overall intersting than her. But this comparison works as they are both young women, who are quirky, and are unique in a wider scale.

          • Good call on Colleen’s personality. She had that rare quality of hiding her snark underneath a sweet coat.

          • sharculese

            Slowly evaporating puddles are more interesting than Colleen.

          • I like Colleen.

    • jersey_luck

      No, I am also Debbie fan. Do not feel bad about thinking about how much fun Debbie is. You are not alone.

  • tocantins

    Okay, time for another of tocantins’s power rankings! This time someone from the bottom tier actually left, so I don’t have to feel ashamed again that my 3rd ranked player was voted out.

    Survivor goddess tier:
    – Sandra: this tier now is eternal. (+100)

    Star tier:
    – Brad: good episode; the show went to lengths to make sure he didn’t look like the villain in the conflict (this time), repeatedly showing him being nice and polite to Debbie. Maybe part of it is that the producers just feel guilty about his first season, but he is still my winner pick. (-1)

    Top tier:
    – Troy: Troy keeps getting the most part of green tribe’s screen time, and that certainly doesn’t bode well for the Troy-haters. (+1)
    – Ozzy: and the little that is left of their screen time goes to Ozzy. He also seems to be safe until the merge, since he is the only source of food in the island. (And the reason the green tribe never loses.) (+1)

    Middle-of-the-pack tier:
    – Cirie: did she appear at all this episode? She was doing very well the first couple of episodes, but it seems more and more likely that that was just fan-service. I mean, I know her tribe is never going to lose a challenge, but if they have time for Troy, how can they not have time for Cirie? (I still keep her relatively high, but she is effectively on notice. If things don’t change really soon, she is dropping fast.) (-2)
    – Sierra: average episode for her. (+0)
    – Michaela: great episode for her, but part of it must have been to create the drama about the tribal outcome. And we can’t ignore the fact that apart from Sandra (and even that is a maybe), apparently no one else in the show likes her. (+1)
    – Andrea: another episode where she was nowhere to be seen. (-1)
    – Jeff: Jeff had good moments and confessionals. But it was all about Sandra today, he is “only” her sidekick. (If only I could be her sidekick!) (+0)
    – Zeke: he did show up (relative to his tribe). And he kicked ass in the puzzle. (+1)
    – Hali: she is doing better by the day, and now with Debbie freaking out, she seems to be better positioned within her Mana tribe. I don’t think she is going anywhere in the short-term, and I can easily see her climbing these rankings like Rocky Balboa in the following weeks. (+1)
    – Sarah: Sarah finally had some confessionals and screen time, and that gets her out of the bottom tier. Still, I can’t help but feel that this is the preparation for her demise. I placed her in this tier as a trial period: if she survives this swap/merge, she is going up, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she is the one going home next week (or two). (+3)

    Bottom tier:
    – Tai: Tai had a decent week, but I can’t see him out of bottom tier just yet. (+1)
    – Aubry: poor Aubry, nothing seems to go right for her. Just go to the goddess and beg her forgiveness for whatever you did or said, and things will improve! (+2)
    – Debbie: let’s be honest, all of us always knew that Debbie was not going to win this. But we need to be fair in this power-ranking (it is a very serious thing!), so we agreed to pretend that she could. But after that flashback scene, there is simply no way she is going anywhere. That was a knock-out. Consider this position the 0%-club. (-5)

    Out:
    – JT: Oh, JT… 🙁 (-1)

    • Diego Armando

      Debbie should be minus infinity. That level of idiot edit is impossible to recover from.

      • Roswulf

        Since they’ve raised the possibility of a surprise returning contestant, there’s actually an argument that Debbie should be ranked below the likes of Ashlee from Palau.

    • I think you’ve got Tai way too low here. Why would you consider Tai to be in a bad position? Sierra owes him, he seems to have a good relationship with Brad, and with a swap he could end up with Aubry on his tribe.

      • tocantins

        One thing that troubles me about him is that he doesn’t seem to be really that close to anyone. Brad and Sierra seem much closer to each other. Hali even proposed to Debbie taking out Tai, which means she doesn’t like him that much, obviously, but also that she sees that Debbie and Tai don’t get along that well either. And no one in the tribe had the slightest issue with screwing Tai by getting rid of Caleb.

        But you are correct: for his current position alone, I put him too low. My problem with Tai is more long term; I just can’t see how he could win this game. Even last week, when he did some good moves, they never seemed his. They were more like Brad’s and Sierra’s. I could see him getting even to FTC, just to get third place (again).

        • That’s fair criticism. Game-wise, I think he’s doing well. But I think the show not seeming to give him much credit probably indicates that your ranking of him has some justification.

          • BadPlayer91

            I gotta agree that the show is not giving him a lot of credit. Cause in the extra footage from a Brad confessional that Taako posted, Brad was clearly very impressed and giving a lot of praise to Tai. Considering that footage was left on the cutting room floor says something.

  • Hornacek

    Ugh, Twitter has already spoiled who the returning player is. CBS told them that they could say it so it’s out there. Dalton Ross retweeted it, so if you want to remain unspoiled maybe don’t check out his tweets.

    But who are we kidding – since CBS told this person they could tell the public, so it’ll be in all the previews starting today. Good luck to anyone who wants to remain unspoiled.

    • corndogshuffle

      Somehow I’ve managed to avoid being spoiled… guess I’ll need to skip the Final Four games tonight if I want to avoid the previews spoiling me? That shouldn’t be a problem at least, I’m a Kentucky alum and my heart got ripped out and stomped on last weekend.

      • Note that it’s entirely possible this person is tweeting this as a joke. But since it’s one of the more obvious possibilities, it’s hard to tell if it’s a joke.

        I don’t know if they’ll spoil it in previews. Although they’ve been known to do such things.

    • Something Quirky

      I can’t decide if I only want to be spoiled if it’s good, or only want to be spoiled if it’s bad.

      • Kemper Boyd

        same

    • Went ahead and looked….that’s all I am going to say besides thanks, Hornacek!

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Hmm I don’t know, could be an April Fools’ joke.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I’m almost positive it’s an April Fools Joke.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          Quite a convincing tweet though, Chet really had me fooled for a second there.

      • Damn it…

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Hm, I hadn’t thought of that. Could be a double fake out, too…

      • Hornacek

        Hmm, I didn’t think about that.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Here’s my idea. Bring back Colton. Loser of the reward challenge has to live with him until the next Tribal Council.

      • Super duper fan

        That’s a reward, not a punishment!

        • StormofCuteness

          😱 Terrifying!

        • DrVanNostrand

          I hope this is an April Fool’s joke.

          • Super duper fan

            To make you feel better, yes I’m joking (or am I?).

  • Mike Hirsch
  • forever1267

    I approve your idea of bringing back Burton. Hottest Survivor Ever!!!

    Oh, and Lil too. Sure, whatever. Anyway…. sigh….

  • Crappy

    Fun podcast .. don’t agree with all of your taken on Sandra though.

    – First, it is a bit disingenuous to use Sandra’s current performance to retroactively justify any previous ones. It sounds counter intuitive but my argument is that if she had gone out first or second, you guys would have surely shut down any naysayers using that to proclaim that she was the bad player, they always said she was.. and rightly so.

    – Regardless of your straw men, there is still possible to have a more nuanced take on Sandra’s game other than “Best evah” or “Luckiest ever”.

    – People who go overboard and completely diss her game, are obviously wrong. Given they purely see Survivor as a strategic game, I see where they are coming from but they completely disregard her strength in forming social bonds, her almost always on point social reads and ability to execute quick strategic moves.

    – I really did not want to do this since it would open a pondera’s box but fuck it. If we are to talk about her previous wins. My only criticism to her PI win is limited to it being hugely dependent on Lil decision on who got to win the game. I think Lil was aware enough to recognise she was not going to win no matter what and chose to bring someone she thought deserved the money. Otherwise Sandra did all what she had to do, there were both negatives and positives in her game play, nothing that necessarily tops Vecepia’s game play from Marqueas.
    For HvV game, she did get lucky in the sense that a lot of factors from her first season remarkably mushroomed again in that season. Most importantly, she had a villain again to bounce against and another uber goat who took her to F3. She deserves credit to get through the pre-merge and then being perceptive enough to keep her bridge with Villains open even when she was trying to fuck them over. Lesser players would have (and had in the past) openly tried to join the other side at merge. But it simply can’t be washed over that she could not execute her main strategic goal that season for a long time. You guys rightly compared this to Adam’s recent win and comparisons absolutely are there IMO. I don’t buy the revisionist take of how Sandra realised at some point that Russell was her goat and kept him in the game. She would have happily voted him off even at F5 IMO. Ultimately she got the win because Parvati could not smooth over her relationships with Heroes, Sandra gave them what they wanted and fair enough, she won.

    – Which is basically the Sandra game IMO. It may not be anyone but me. But she does operate under some guise of just getting by from one round to another. That may involve UTR play or making a move to get someone out. Even this recent JT move is some absolute elite level play but I don’t think Sandra is the type of player to think about long term ramifications of the same. I absolutely believe that she simply got out JT because she wanted to avenge Malcolm and perhaps because she did not trust JT at all.

    • purplerockandy

      I absolutely agree that Sandra would’ve taken out Russell at any point that she could’ve, even final 5. However, I fail to see how that would have HURT her chances to win. If you credit her victory with that jury to her opposition to Russell, then how would being the person to eliminate him cost her jury votes? Also, if Russell goes out at 5, that means Colby is still there at 4. Unless he wins that immunity, Parvati and Jerri would have HAD to vote him out instead of Sandra. Then she gets to sit in front of jury claiming victory over Russell (which she did anyway, but this time she’d have the victory).

      I also agree that Sandra is more about short term strategy than long term. But that’s because A) her long term “strategy” is “form bonds with people that allows her to always work with them when necessary” and “make sure no one votes for me until the end”, and B) long term strategy is incredibly overrated in Survivor. Especially modern Survivor. Frankly, most winners who brag about the success of their long term strategy are really bragging about “things worked out for me in ways I would rather describe as strategy than admit were luck”.

      How do you have a long term strategy in a game where your situation can be dictated by what color buff you choose? Or how well you do at carnival games. With that in mind, the strategy of “position yourself to work with anybody at a moment’s notice” seems pretty effective.

      • Taako From Teevhii

        I definitely agree with your point that long-term strategy is overrated. Everyone’s long term strategy ought to be “don’t let your short game f*ck up your endgame.” Other than that, don’t focus or think about anything more than a week out.

        I also wanted to say to @disqus_cSxb4lJvAs:disqus that your criticism of Sandra’s PI win isn’t different from saying that “her PI win is limited to it being hugely dependent on seven jurors’ decision on who got to win the game.” Should Yul’s win be dinged for being by a one-vote margin and ostensibly being limited to a single person’s decision? More relevantly, If Lil ended up on the jury with Sandra and Fairplay in the finals, would Sandra’s win be lessened if it was only by one vote cast by Lil?

        • Crappy

          i don’t get your point or may be you mis read mine. I am not dissing her PI win, I am saying that is the only plausible criticism I have. To elaborate main reason is I am not sure how to qualify Lil’s move. With Woo, it almost certainly seems he drank the Tony cool-aid about his game being about Loyalty. With Colby the impact of public response to Richard winning that first season on S2 factored in. With Lil, I really don’t see any plausible reason for her choice than what she explicitly told us that she would rather a mom in Sandra won than the brat that was Fairplay.
          Other than that like I said I would rank Sandra’s win somewhere alongside Vecepia’s except that Sandra was 100 times more entertaining than the latter.

          • Taako From Teevhii

            I’m saying that particular criticism doesn’t stand up, ergo there isn’t really a sound criticism.

      • Crappy

        I find it interesting that you as a Boston Ron fan find long term strategy overrated. Not to say BR lays down every move he will make in advance but he definitely sets himself up for post merge game in pre merge itself. You can some-what see him telegraphing his moves well before they actually take place. For example – I don’t believe he decided to get rid of Grant just a day or two before when he did.

        Even in more recent examples, there are winners who have done extremely well with a long term plan. Jeremy made it deep into his season with his meat shield strategy. Natalie Anderson after Jeremy blindside in SJDS, put a plan in motion that spanned 5-6 episodes. Some would argue otherwise but I think if Tony post second tribal of the merge planned much of his game. He kept Tasha and Spencer longer into the game not due to impulsive reasons.

        if you bring luck into play then everything is overrated in survivor other than getting people to like you. Does even Sandra’s last week move matter if she can get swap screwed next week? If anything long term thinking is more beneficial in that spot since forging ties with JT, a nuku member, could open up the possibility of brining in more numbers at a swapped tribe or merge. (Assuming JT drops Sandra as her target).

        HvV scenario can be interpreted in many different ways. If Parvati visibly takes credit for Russell boot then I am not sure Heroes are as adverse to voting for her. It’s moot anyway since i brought it up mainly since I am annoyed by this narrative people have stitched about Sandra choosing to bring Russell in the end.

        The point about survivor being mainly about forming social bonds is but obvious. This has been apparent for ages and was punctuated even more so after Michele’s and Adam’s wins. 2 wins that are disparaged quite fiercely by many on here.

        • purplerockandy

          Michele and Adam’s wins have taught me that the game is far more random than I want it to be. Doesn’t mean I need to give them credit for things working out for them.

          As for Rob, you can argue that his adherence to long term strategy hurt him in Heroes vs Villains. If he’d been more flexible, he may have been able to get past the Tyson fuck-up. Of course, in All-Stars, he probably didn’t have enough of a long-term strategy.

          Jeremy gets to talk about his long-term strategy and how it paid off because he was fortunate enough to get two REALLY favourable swaps. And Natalie Anderson is an example of someone who pivoted really well when her long-term strategy completely fell apart. Whereas Jon Misch stuck to HIS long-term strategy of going to the end against Natalie and Missy with their loved ones on the jury, failing to see what she was doing to him.

          Finally, JT’s line about bringing Sandra and company into the Nuku group is bullshit. Ask Lex how well it works out when someone tells you they’ll protect you post-merge.

          • Crappy

            What you say about Michele’s and Adam’s wins is exactly what some people say about Sandra’s wins. It is everyone’s bias at play, including mine since I don’t rate Michele win at all either. On a macro level Adam’s win was pretty much a close cousin of Sandra’s in HvV where his close bonds with the jury in addition to trying to execute strategy that would please them helped him win. (On a minute level, Adam made more mistakes than Sandra did in HvV but they never actually affected his game.)

            Coming to Rob, I think it ridiculously harsh to penalize him for Tyson’s fuck up. I also don’t buy that he went out next only because he refused to work with Russell afterwards. Once Tyson went, Jerri got the opportunity to get him voted out and I believe she never would have passed that over. BRob mentioned this in RHAP that she made references to his All Star’s game during that time and that was her main motivation. Despite losing All Stars, I thought he performed great. People who were bitter with him were well within their rights to be so, thus I won’t say he was robbed or anything. But people forget that playing in the first all stars season was almost as much as an unknown as the first normal season ever. On a general note I agree with you that not being adaptable is a weakness in Rob’s game.

            All winners have had great luck. Even Spradlin, widely acknowledged as best winner ever, got tremendous luck in swapping with majority of her alliance to a new tribe. Sandra never even had a tribe swap before this season and in her first she landed in the only tribe with majority of her original tribe members. You can also list zillion more bad long term plans as can someone short term moves. I don’t see the point in that.

            If your argument is that long term strategic goals require more luck then that is perhaps true since more factors can affect the same over a longer period of time. My general take on that is that someone in control on average requires less luck or random events to help them advance. That does not discount the fact that you need to be ready to drop or switch up any plan you may have depending on what the game throws at you.

            All of this is very subjective anyway. Even Michele who got tons of luck, pretty much did what she had to. In the end you can’t fault her personally for only going to 6 TCs. She won immunities when she had, was nice to people in her jury, did not make moves that upset some of them and won. Any absence of key strategic moves should n’t really matter just like any absence of long term strategic plan.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    Excellent podcast as usual! (Shoutouts never hurt) Question: Brad Culpepper has been getting a lot of love this season despite his unsavory first appearance. What would Troyzan need to do for you gents to change your opinion of him?

    • purplerockandy

      For me? Play well in a way that the edit enjoys. I’m really easy that way.

    • I’d appreciate it if he started treating women as equals, for one.

    • Alycia Swift

      I’d have to agree with both John and purplerockandy.