Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episodes 1 & 2 “The Stakes Have Been Raised”

John and Andy couldn’t let the premiere go unremarked on, so you get two podcasts this week to match the two episodes delivered by Survivor: Game Changers.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episodes 1 & 2 “The Stakes Have Been Raised”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • How it feels to watch your favourite players lose.
  • What went wrong for Ciera and if there was anything she could have done differently.
  • What was Ciera’s biggest highlight in her entire time on Survivor?
  • Was Cirie doomed on Nuku?
  • The whirlwind of emotions that was Sandra vs Tony.
  • The whats and possible whys of Sandra’s new style of gameplay.
  • One last discussion of Tony Vlachos. Would toning it down have helped him? Can a toned down Tony still win Survivor?
  • What was Tony’s biggest highlight in his entire time on Survivor?
  • Sierra Dawn Thomas getting the most passive advantage in Survivor.
  • Is Michaela’s lack of chill a problem?
  • Speed round discussions of everyone else.
  • Predictions for next week based on mostly nothing.

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

145 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episodes 1 & 2 “The Stakes Have Been Raised”

  1. Prediction for this week: we saw someone get a clue to an immunity idol hidden under a table at the challenge. I predict that it’s accident-prone Caleb who finds it (he’s accident-prone due to the one shot of him falling last week on the rocks), and when trying to wrench the idol free during the challenge, he wrenches the table down with it onto his head. Tai cradles him while once again the paramedics spring into action. Caleb is medevac’d from the game for the second time for almost dying. He returns in two seasons to almost kill himself even earlier in the game.

      1. Yeah, I don’t want him to actually get hurt, but I can’t help but love the idea that Caleb is cursed at Survivor.

        1. The second I saw him start digging in the first challenge, i was like “No, Caleb, sand digging is your kryptonite, don’t do it!”

          1. I was expecting him to freak out with PTSD. But good for him for confronting his fear.

          2. Now that he has overcome this great strife, surely the sky is the limit for future sole survivor Caleb.

            At least, that’s what Hollywood has prepared me to believe…

  2. Fun thought: what if Sandra ends up playing a Russell Hantz-ish game and gets to the end as a presumed goat and then pulls off the win again?! XD

        1. I’d screenshot every tweet, arrange them into a pattern, send them to a print shop, and have them make me a customized quilt out of the printed tweets so Russell’s bitterness could warm me every night.

    1. Hmm, her queen-confessionals ARE very Hantzian. Plot twist: Sandra is Russell Hantz in disguise and will unmask himself at the live finale!

      But also, I am afraid that Sierra is the the Natalie White in this Sandra as Hantz scenario.

  3. Further proof that Ciera was working from behind when the game started: when it was revealed to the other tribe that she was eliminated, the reaction was, basically “I knew it”. Those people weren’t around to see her huge mistake of suggesting they should vote out Caleb. Getting rid of Ciera early was in the air.

    1. Don’t listen to @gouis:disqus you are dead right, Ciera had a huge reputation and she’s a terrible challenge competitor. Sandra can at least do puzzles for you, she picked up huge amounts of time in both challenge puzzles.

          1. You’re such a Brit! (in the best way possible, which is still not very good – – – I’m kidding, GB is alright, long live the Queen.)

          2. I am a Republican (not the US kind the kind who believes in the abolition of the monarchy).

          3. The Windsors are not a deal-breaker, so that’s fine with me. Get rid of the majority voting system, too, while you’re at it.
            As long as you’re not caught plotting against Queen Saaandra, we won’t have a problem.

        1. “Pretty excellent” might be a stretch. I’d put it at “can do them”. Which is higher than more people than you’d think.

          1. Ciera’s mom is “pretty excellent” at puzzles. Ciera is at, like you said, “can do them.”

    2. To be fair, it was Ozzy that said “I knew it,” so it’s just as likely he thought she was physically weakest.

      1. That is perfectly fair, because that is how Ozzy thinks. Not physically strong=untrustworthy and so far in Ozzy’s history (with Cirie and Cochran), that checks out.

        1. Well, I don’t know about untrustworthy, but people often have a negative view of the strategy of voting out weaker players in the beginning; yet it is a perfectly valid and reasonable strategy: a very large part of the game of Survivor (and very often underestimated) is reaching the merge with the majority, and that is what having a strong tribe gets you. (More so in the past, when you didn’t have so many swaps and tribe changes that now you can barely say you have tribes at all.)

          1. I just wanted to stress that this is Ozzy’s viewpoint as expressed in the Billy boot. JP and him don’t like Billy because he doesn’t work that much and to them, that means that Billy is untrustworthy.

      2. Vytas also said Brad told him the general reaction to seeing her gone was one of relief. They did not want her there.

  4. The Legacy Advantage sucks, it sucked last season. It will suck this season. It hasn’t worked, Medallion of Power this and get rid of it.

    1. The best case scenario for the Legacy Advantage is that the person who has it perfectly times their time of vulnerability. Which is a pretty long-odds scenario.

      Also, wouldn’t it be better if it grants you immunity at the swap? That seems to be when a lot of players are most vulnerable for no reason of their own.

      1. Yes, if the person can use it on himself or herself, at 6, this is a great time to use it. But if he or she can use it on someone else, saving someone else, then it looks like a great move.

          1. You can hand it to someone at any time, so even if you can’t play it for so. else, you could alway just give it away so people can play it for themselves. I can’t come up with a reason why that wouldn’t work even at tribal after the votes are cast.

      2. I just think it doesn’t work. I’d rather see the Legacy Advantage not being found at the marooning but take a bit of skill to find during the game.

      3. Last season Survivor fans were almost unanimous in thinking that, much more than with a regular idol, you would have to be crazy to tell anyone about it, yet Jessica was able to use it as a tool to repair and deepen her relationship with Ken.

        With the now two possible dates to use it, I wonder if there are now even more advantages to deal with it in a non secretive way.
        What if FFSDT just announces to everyone she has this thing and that she’s going to use it at the merge vote (F13). People don’t like uncertainty (was it Hali who said about Tony “even if he finds it, that way we at least know where it is) and this way they at least know about this thing and can plan around it. Then she’s close to 100% safe at the at the merge TC, doesn’t have to play it and while people might be miffed momentarily, in the long run a move like this could help her standing with the other “Game Changers” in case she makes it to the end, where she probably would be at a (reputation-)disadvantage if held right now (and for good reason).

        Then, after tempers have calmed down (and I imagine the players wil have enough on their plate creating and maneuvering the power structures on the newly merged tribe), the same thinking still applies. Rather than risking their respective targets having immunity at F6 by way of this advantage, I imagine they would much rather just know that Sierra is safe at F6 and work around it.
        Also, knowing this would make Sierra a formidable ally until the endgame, not just because there is a chance she could give you immunity at f13 or f6 if you need it more than her, but the (probably collective) thinking that there is little sense in voting her off until the endgame just makes it more beneficial to work with her, so everyone should naturally flock to her.
        Of course there could better ways to deal with the LA. Maybe it works better to only reveal it to a handful of allies, so you don’t lose the element of surprise, but I’d be afraid that he blowback of lying to your allies exclusively is much bigger than that after lying to everyone. Alliances can change over times anyway and information leaks, so right now I think she should go big and tell everyone. Maybe wait a few votes if she’s safe either way, but do it before the first possible date of use.

        And even though I clearly think there are strategically interesting possible applications for the LA, I’m still not sure that I like it all that much. But that may be just due to it being a lot of power in the hands of every fan’s favorite if it works out like that, while I’m rooting for underdogs like Sandra, Malcolm, Varner and Cirie.

      4. You know, if it could be used at the swap and the merge, that might actually have been a good idea. Keeps the element of choice, playable when it is most likely to form a storyline, easy to remember.

        1. They could do it without giving away the dates of those events either, just write “the first tribal council with a new tribe”. Throw in “or the final five” if they must.

          1. Or they could write down the numbers, and see if a player knowing the merge timing does anything interesting. That’s an extra 10% chance something interesting comes from the twist, though it might discourage them from audibling in the case of excessive injuries/quits.

    2. They should get rid of it mid-season like they did with the Medallion. “Hey, Sierra, we know you have this advantage, but it sucks, so here’s a replacement advantage: you can steal a reward, but it *only* can be used for the loved one’s visit.”

      1. And yet nobody on post-swap Espada thought to complain when they were supposed to get the MOP next. It’s almost as if everybody in Survivor Nicaragua was terrible at Survivor.

    3. I’ll put up with the legacy advantage, I just don’t ever want to see a Tyler Perry idol again. Waaaay too much power.

  5. Sandra adopting an aggressive game is more than Lebron taking his inside game to the 3-point line because she needs to do it perfectly or it just won’t work. It’s Lebron suddenly developing Steph’s shooting ability. It’s Zeke Elliott with the hands of Odell. It’s Patrick Kane with Patrice Bergeron’s defense. It’s Mike Trout with … well, nothing else, Mike Trout’s already perfect.

          1. hey who is his home town team which just 5 years ago had the highest payroll in baseball? It ain’t the yankees

  6. I rewatched the premiere yesterday, and had a few new takeaways:
    -Seems like they’re being extra careful so far to earmark a few non-physical roles in each challenge…to protect beloved challenge albatrosses perhaps? I could not for the life of me figure out what Sandra’s role in the second immunity challenge was supposed to be (third backup for the combination lock portion?)
    -Tony’s shenanigans looked extra ridiculous on the second viewing (possibly because I knew that he was going to get voted out?) I kind of felt like he wasn’t really playing to win this time, but in a more pessimistic sense, I think it’s also possible that he didn’t really understand why he won the first time and was trying (and failing) to recreate his first game.
    -Michaela seemed to have a lot of insight into what she needed to change about her game to be more successful the second time around, but she failed to pull a single element of it off in the moment.
    -Man FFSDT got a lot of screen time :/
    -Why is everyone wearing blue? One tribe has red buffs and one tribe has blue buffs, but like 90% of players are wearing primarily blue outfits, with a few people (Sandra, Hali, JT, Sarah…) in red, and Debbie randomly in yellow. Were they trying to throw people off the scent of the tribe divisions prior to the marooning?

    1. Sandra was part of the knot-untying unit that got the number plates for the combination lock out of the snake (damn, we’re all so crazy to be unironically talking about stuff like that).

      I know that because she described her part in that challenge in her extra-scene and patted her back for probably doing the best out of her whole tribe at that challenge. Love you, Sandra!
      You’re the real SDT!

      1. Aha! Thanks – there was a lot going on in that challenge!
        I would love to be the person on the challenge design team saying “Yes lifting the giant snake will be grueling and visually compelling, but how will the out of shape schlubs contribute? Can you throw in some knots to untie somewhere?”

      2. Okay I obsessively looked up what everyone was wearing, and it shook out to:
        40% blue
        30% red
        20% multicolor (combo of red and blue)
        10% other (Debbie in yellow and Ozzy in camo)

        1. I checked the Survivor Wiki gallery on Debbie and it looks like Debbie is going hard for the leopard print theme, so that maybe they think that leopard print is Debbie’s signature outfit especially after the whole tiger swimsuit thing.

        2. Thank you, a little longer and I would have probably done it myself, hehe.

          Ozzy wears blue jeans though, so he counts more as blue-ish, right?

        3. I’m more surprised no one has commented on the ‘only underwear at challenges’ aspect. All the dudes were wearing boxer briefs or compression shorts, girls were all in bras and underwear. Caleb was wearing jeans for a swim and Cirie was wearing a shirt.

          It seemed like they were told ‘no clothing designed for swimming, only underwear.’ Or like, their collective swimwear suitcase didn’t show up in time for filming….

          1. Maybe it’s because they’re hiding HIIs at challenges this season, and they want to level the playing field, so to speak.

          2. First of all, hey BadPlayer! Secondly, I think it just comes down to the fact that the swimsuits haven’t been distributed yet (which is odd because they are normally given out by the second IC, especially if it is a water challenge).

          3. HEYA! I didn’t know if that was actually a thing. But i was like, wow, all this bulge and boob in ultra-high deaf. Too bad we don’t have a bit more man-candy! At least they made Malcolm do the ring toss…

          4. It’s definitely a thing.

            Too bad I have to watch on grainy streams, far from super high def. 🙁

          5. You just reminded me of the bestest and most awesomest (nsfw-)URL that has ever been. I would link it or spell it out at least, but I don’t want to be banned and it probably wouldn’t jibe well with your (/the site’s/mine) feminist traits anyway.

          6. The only things that would ever get you banned around here are:
            1. Doubting Shirin’s greatness.
            2. Harassment of any other commenters (any commenters, but *especially* my favorite ones)
            3. Spamming repeatedly

            If you’re going to share NSFW stuff, just give fair warning.

          7. LET THE JIGGLES FLY (but appropriately mark them)

            Even Feminists need to enjoy jiggles from time to time.

          8. You’ll have no problem finding the URL I was talking about, if you look for
            boobs that jiggle a bit, only they don’t call them boobs. More like tatas, but different.

          9. Yeah, those aren’t the jiggles I’m looking for…

            We were talking about Malcolm after all…

          10. True, my bad. Then I got nothing. But there was this SNL sketch about a (real) show you might like in the latest episode. Not sure what it was called, it looked a little like Jersey Shore, but everyone is gay.

          11. I have to admit I was overstating my concerns a bit, but thanks for the reassurance*!
            Everytime I read or hear someone say “jiggle”, that site name comes to mind and I guess I wanted to share that happy feeling, but not be the guy that links without provocation to a place entirely devoted to gifs of the jiggling and bouncing of nude and clothed female body parts. But good to know that at worst I’d be shunned.

            *and the reminder to doubt Shirin’s greatness strictly in private

          12. I’m not THAT into Malcolm per se, but he was looking great in those tiny undies at the ring toss 😮
            Also Caleb is pretty cute, but he’s way too young and dumb for me (and he always looks like he’s wearing women’s clothing).

          13. Yeah, I assume they’ll turn up next episode with the swap or something. Because it was weird, unless they wanted a water challenge without swimsuits

          14. I’d momentarily forgotten they didn’t have their swimsuits yet and thought Caleb was such a beast he could wear jeans in the ocean.

            I could hear Rupert yelling all the way from the Pearl Islands.

      1. Fascinating! So, the obvious outfit/tribe mismatches for me are: Sandra and Hali in red and Cirie and FFSDT in blue. Hm…

      2. I also just noticed that the tribe where most people are in blue has the red buffs and the tribe where most people are in red has the blue buffs. So we are apparently just in bizarro world here.

          1. You got it, but look at some of those color combos there. Why is Tai in orange?

            Some of this is probably Production being like “You need to be in the colors you were wearing your first season” which may be why Malcolm is wearing Matsing blue while Ciera and Varner are wearing purple-ish blues.

          2. Yeah, I like your points about signature outfits and FFSDT possibly throwing things out of whack, but I still like to think there is also some deliberate misdirection of the players (at pregame location) by the production thrown in.

            And holy smokes, from this picture it really looks like there is more blue than red on Mana, and blue indeed seems to be the dominating color on a first glance.

          3. But go back to HvV, when the villains were wearing red and black while the heroes were wearing blue and green. The only two who fall out of that (with exceptions of signature outifts) is Parvati who wears blue and yellow and Candice, who does have blue stuff because of her Raro days, but she also has pink shorts.

          4. You mean production didn’t bother misdirecting players in the pre-game back then? But they could have learned from their faults.

            As for Candice and Parvati, I believe there was some late shuffling going on because they didn’t like the idea of all these Micronesia players starting on the Heroes tribe together? But you probably know that much better than I do. Whom was Candice replacing again?

            Am I mixing stuff up and she was only an alternative in S27?

          5. Well, I don’t know much but according to Courtney’s Inside Survivor interivew about Sandra, Sandra apparently asked Courtney during pre-game Ponderosa if she was wearing red. So, I guess they all knew that one tribe was red and one tribe was blue.

            I believe Candice and Parvati were replacing each other on the tribes, which makes no sense because Parvati is not a hero at all.. The late-game FFSDT was Double D, who was replacing Corrine due to work obligations.

          6. Yeah, looking at all of them together it seems like production just wanted them in their signature looks from past seasons.

            I thought it was weird that they distributed the buffs off-screen, especially since Probst ended up saying who is on which tribe anyway. It doesn’t help the show or the game to let them pre-game, even if its just looking around and nodding and winking.

          7. We made close to the same exact comment almost simultaneously.
            Wouldn’t that warrant a typing cat gif?

          8. That dog is cute, there is a lot of action and I can’t stop looking at it, but it’s no typing cat.

            I mean, there is a cat sitting upright in front of a notebook and typing frantically – how did they even stage this?? I don’t understand!

          9. There are two people who are not in iconic clothing and that is Cirie and Ciera. Ciera typically wears really thin tank tops and shorts. Cirie is wearing a similar top to her HvV outfit, but the cardigan feels oddly formal for her. This is a woman who is well known for wearing bright light weight long sleeve tops and shirts with a picture of her family on it.

          10. Ciera said on her RHAP exit interview that she had gained weight after Cambodia, so I wonder if she asked production to let her wear something with a bit more coverage/stretch than her prior seasons?
            Also, Cirie look amazing but I agree that her outfit is a bit out of character for her. Maybe they’re trying to show maturity and growth by giving her a more mature look with the sweater? (Says the person who has been wearing cardigans regularly since high school…hence the username haha)

  7. My choice for Tony highlight is the final 9 episode of Cagayan. His elaborate plan of targeting LJ by framing him is gloriously bonkers and unlike any other play I can think of. It’s such a joy to watch.

    1. This is a super-boring choice, but in terms of win equity isn’t bamboozling Woo Tony’s most important move? Regardless of how intelligent Woo may or may not be, “win with honor” was the correct button to push, and only Tony would have kept pushing that button.

      1. His most unique move was the immunity clue plant on Jeremiah when he and Woo raided the opposing tribe. I think Jeremiah was nearly ousted that very episode.

          1. Someone should edit together every instance of Tony being onscreen from Cagayan and call the 12+ hours of it “Tony Highlights.”

      2. I think getting Woo to bring him to the final two was his best move. But not necessarily his biggest highlight. Which might not even be a move!

    2. All of these have been excellent, but I am going to give some love to the formation of Cops R US as both a great character and strategy moment. Does he have to lie to Sarah about Cliff and Lindsey? Probably not, but he upped it up by impersonating their voices to Sarah.

      Also, something that I found odd about Tony’s opening montage is that they emphasized the Trish boot, but they didn’t mention anything about the Sarah tribal, which is probably the more memorable moment for casuals.

      1. I’d give a nod to this or the Jeremiah fake idol clue. For me, this was one of the first instances I saw of true, bold face lies being done really well. I mean, the majority of our ‘great lies’ seem to be someone saying “Hey, you’re still with us” and the other player being like “Yup.” Tony’s lies weren’t just by omission or little ‘white’ lies, they were made up, out-of-nowhere, and required both imagination and the skill to convince someone of it.

  8. I would like to state that my relationship with Production is officially on ice after the stress they put me through with the “maybe Michaela” story line. Not cool. Also, i refuse to see the ‘hot headed Michaela’ editing as anything but prep to show her personal growth, maturation, and triumph as a player. Why, you ask? MICHAELA IS BAE!

    I have approximately 1000 thoughts about the premier, but i’ll focus them into 1 per each boot.
    -Ciera seemed a perfect storm of a first boot. Though she wasn’t necessarily the reason they lost, she failed to prove valuable in the challenge. Then, she confirmed suspicions about her game style for those who were most weary of her while also becoming easily identifiable as a ‘less dangerous’ threat. It seemed to be the wrong season, the wrong team, and the wrong opponents. I look forward to the potential of another, better suited season in maybe 2-3 years.

    -Watching Tony vs. Sandra was like the world’s most delicious lollipop but the center is concentrated chili powder from the world’s spiciest chili. It tastes so good to start, but then at the end your mouth is on fire and you’re in tears. It was so glorious to watch, and as a feminist, i just adored seeing Sandra go head to head with Tony and come out the other side with ZERO votes against her. I’m not going to pretend I know what Tony should have done, but I agree that he needed to do something else. It seemed to me like he played this season doubling down on the speed and aggression of Cagayan, but that wasn’t going to work a second time from the same player. He even seemed to realize that in the second TC, where he straight up said “I know i can’t play like i did last time.” But damage done. A sad loss for us, but for the players, a pretty big win.

  9. Because I haven’t been able to listen to the podcast and I’m crazy lazy, would someone let me know what the predictions were?
    Related: when does the predictions poll go up?

    1. Prediction post goes up tomorrow.

      On the podcast, John had Debbie, I had Troy. But I’m changing mine.

  10. Some quick things:

    -Like you said, I don’t think Ciera could’ve done something really different (even though she made some small mistakes). As a fan of Ciera I hope she comes back, and if she does, I hope with a better shuffle, and less arrogance she can get back that shine which she had before.

    -While probably it was due to me finding out that Tony got voted out before watching (I didn’t know about Ciera), I also think that the premiere was just “okay”. And it’s not like it’s a bad thing, because a lot of premieres are the weakest part of a season, but I hope it gets better.

    -I don’t have a clue who is going home next, but I hope at least it’s someone that I don’t have in any league that I’m taking part in.

    And since you said so: It’s good to have you guys back.

    1. As much as I love them both, I thought the premiere had too much Sandra and Tony. I fear that the early episodes of this season will just be one huge threat/legend taken out after the next. I could see Sandra, Cirie, JT, Malcolm, Ozzy, etc. falling like dominoes until we reach the merge. At that point, we’d better hope some of the smaller names step up to do something exciting.

      1. That’s my worry about how much screentime Malcolm and Cirie had relative to Sandra and Tony. I really, strenuously hope they aren’t next.

        1. I am less worried about Malcolm in that sense than the others. I feel he got exactly the kind of screentime he should get given his role in the decision making of that tribe

          1. I mean, call me crazy, but I thought Malcolm got an early winner’s edit. His confessionals focused on the kind of game he wants to play, his thoughts on other characters, but didn’t ever put him in jeopardy or paint him as in risk. Seemed like a foundation to tell a long term story. Compare that to Tony’s edit, and i think Malcolm is safe for awhile (he says, having just clearly cursed Malcolm to a next week exit…)

          2. While I am always a bit hesitant to call winners edits after episode 1 (especially given last season) I agree that the potential was there. He was visible without being too visible. That said, if you have cursed him, I may never forgive you haha

          3. It definetely is my own bias but I think Hali could be getting an early winner edit. While she only had a one confessional, she was in a backround a lot, and a erson a lot of people were coming to, and that confessional could be saying what her game will be like. I hope she will surprise us, cause I really like her.

          4. I also like Hali and was encouraged by her edit and think about ways of getting her on my pick 4, but the reason I’m considering dropping JT is also why I’m hesitant to get Hali on: that damn tribe swap, that only plays into the decision because we got a double episode and it comes so early. JT being on a tribe with 5 Manas (but not Hali) also means that the remaining 3 Manas are most likely badly outnumbered on their new tribes (unless we get a 3-3 and 6-0 split).
            I trust both of them (JT moreso than Hali) to get an In over time, as these smaller tribes seem more likely as starting points for some long-term alliances, but I’m worried about what happens if either of them lose the first IC.
            Although it is far from a given that these new tribes will vote along the old tribe lines in their first tribal, I do think that those outnumbered in their new tribes are at greater risk than those who aren’t, so it seems to be a bad gamble to get on board or hold on to either one of them.

          5. I’m not going call her Obvious Winner Hali just yet cause a) like you said, she may get voted out at a tribe swap and b) she isn’t the only one who has a good edit.

            And I wonder if she can manage to find a good spot in at a swap (the leaked tribes are supposedly not true, but I will use them for now), I think she can get in with Ozzy, Zeke wouldn’t mind working with her, the same with Sarah and she could give off Michele vibes to Debbie (and could throw Troy under the bus after which I’d build an altar for her). Plus, fan fact: After the three tribe-swap every person that went home was from a ‘majority’ (Peih-Gee, Varner, Monica, CeCe, Figgy and Michaela), so it could continue (unlikely, but hey weirder thing had happened).

          6. I have her as my winner pick in the tribe’s FL (that’s one where you can change your pick at any time and only small penalties apply) because I needed a placeholder and thought it was funny that I also started with her (and Sierra in the JSFL) in Worlds Apart. Now I think I’ll keep her for a little longer, because I see ways for her succeed in the short and long term. I just don’t like the odds of her short-term survival enough to get her on my pick-4.

            But if she gives you that reason to build the shrine, I’ll come to worship.

          7. Yeah, that’s why i gave you the option to call me crazy. It is SO early, but Survivor does tend to lay these crumbs. Confessionals are starting to tell us both the story of who will do well, and who will go home soon, so any screen time can be dangerous, but Malcolm’s (and Hali’s as @superduperfan:disqus noted) seemed pretty safe. The right amount and tone to prep us for some long term play.

          8. Yeah, absolutely, as someone going for Malcolm I was quite happy with his edit. Definitely seems a long term edit at least (same with Hali)

          9. I spent a long time thinking of swapping Cirie for Malcolm on my Pick 4. At the end of the day, i’m happy to go down with the S.S. Cirie, and since almost half the league has Malcolm, it will largely come down to who he is paired with anyway.

          10. Yeah, at this point you would probably not be able to get the rest of your team with Malcolm, given how many people have him, odds are the combination is gone

          11. It actually isn’t, which was why I was SOO tempted. I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on the Pick 4 teams cause i’m going to do another breakdown of stats for how people picked.

      2. So, i had this thought about the amount of Sandra and Tony in the premier(brace yourself, i’m bored at work…)

        I’m not sure i think Tony vs. Sandra was really a ‘true’ narrative. Sure, i think the two of them were fighting, but this ‘great battle’ with both of them pulling numbers seems a bit done up to me. Here is why:

        Tony says, immediately after the Ciera vote, that the next one is going to be 5-4. He is sure that the next vote will be split as people start to go after each other. And it seems to make sense. But then Tony’s boot is 7-2, essentially 8-1 if you consider Sandra said to the camera “This isn’t for you, Tony should be going home.” So, while the episode tried to sell us on it being 5 (Sandra, Varner, Hali, Troy, Michaela) vs. 4 (Tony, Aubry, Malcolm, Caleb) this wasn’t the case. People were clearly on board to get rid of Tony, even Aubry who was believed to be “Thick as Thieves” with him.

        And, if this was a ‘pulling numbers’ ultra battle, wouldn’t the narrative have played up Michaela as a swing vote? Since she was swayed by the ‘keep the tribe strong’ mentality?

        My bet, and it’s pretty pessimistic, is that the narrative of what happened was actually just less compelling. Tony and Sandra have a fight, and draw battle lines. They both talk big game about getting rid of each other, but by the time of TC, Sandra has already won. She convinces everyone that Tony is worth getting rid of, even Aubry. They go to tribal, the conflict between Sandra and Tony continues, but in the end, everyone sides with Sandra to get rid of Tony before he can find an idol and cause more trouble.

        Couldn’t you imagine that Malcolm’s edit about wanting to ‘keep the tribe strong’ actually ends with a caveat like ‘but right now, I think it’s better to just get rid of Tony.’ Chop that off the end, and you can start to weave a more dramatic narrative of Tony vs. Sandra where its really more Tribe vs. Tony with a Sandra figurehead.

        1. My read is that the 5-4 was real, and Tony v. Sandra was real, but the tension was fake. The primary piece of evidence is Varner’s comments about Sandra assembling the Anti-Tony alliance in 15 minutes.

          Sandra had Tony irrevocably beat before Tony even realized his five was broken.

          This worked for me dramatically. As final reveals go “Sandra is even better at Survivor than you thought” is basically just pandering directly to me, and may bode great things for the future.

          1. Oh yeah, i agree, it was amazing television and I loved every bit of the “don’t mess with the Queen” narrative. But yeah, building tension makes the reveal so much more worth it, as opposed to the idea that Sandra trounced him and walked away unscathed.

          2. Yeah, I didn’t get why some people (not nec.here) thought that vote came toatally out of the blue and that the show did a bad job of portraying what happened before tribal in the 2nd episode.
            It felt like they actually did a good job of relaying the changing tribe dynamics and Tony just being a little late, so that even the people who would have liked to side with Tony (some of them may have just made to appear to do so, as @badplayer91:disqus suggested with Malcolm) already knew the battle was lost when Tony approached them.
            This coming so early in the game and with swaps, expansions and who-knows-what coming up, those truly on his side wisely decided not to fight a losing battle and went for tribe unity instead. Ok, maybe I’m guilty of filling in the blanks on that part, but in terms of letting us know what happened while still keeping a little suspense for tribal council, it worked for me, too, is what I’m trying to say.

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