Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episodes 8 & 9 “There’s a New Sheriff in Town”

It’s merge time and Andy and John are here to discuss the eighth and ninth episodes of Survivor: Game Changers.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Episodes 8 & 9 “There’s a New Sheriff in Town”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • How great it is to see Cirie doing Cirie things.
  • Are we getting too excited over Cirie being about to get rid of Hali Ford?
  • And what was up with that Sierra vote?
  • Cirie and Michaela talking about Survivor, and also not talking about Survivor.
  • Why people are criticizing Zeke for the wrong thing and for the wrong reasons. But, you know, for Survivor-based reasons this time (the way he wants us to discuss him).
  • Why is it okay for Cirie to attempt a Big Move and for Debbie to execute a Big Move, but not for Zeke?
  • Assessing who gets credit for the Ozzy boot.
  • What Sierra Dawn Thomas’ newfound queenpin status says about her game.
  • Does it say anything about Brad’s supposed Winner’s Edit?
  • Should we be taking Tai more seriously?
  • WTF is an Aubry?
  • Hali Ford’s defining moment in her time on Survivor and whether or not she’s the most forgettable returnee ever.
  • Ozzy’s defining Survivor moment and whether or not he got a satisfying comeuppance.
  • New Balance shoes
h/t to turgid_legume

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

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308 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers episodes 8 & 9 “There’s a New Sheriff in Town”

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT: I went ahead and finalized the groups for the first iteration of Underground League.

    Assistant Dragon Slayer
    Barbara Anderson
    Diego Armando
    Kemper Boyd
    Saturday Night Palsy
    Something Quirky

    You are the Casaya League.

    Alycia Swift
    Blurry Denzel
    Ethan Kyle
    Mike Hirsh
    Prom King

    You are the Villains League

    super duper fan is currently outcast. They are not a member of either league, but may enter the game under circumstances that will be revealed to you when we do the draft.

    Last thing, I said there would be an inter-league component. Each week, you will be randomly matched up against a player from the other league. The person who gets the most points that week scores a point for their league.

    1. Oh, and one last thing, before someone says “hey idiot, what if next season is 3 tribes of 6,” know that I have a plan for if that happens where everyone still gets to draft.

      1. As I said in the fantasy league post, my plan was to randomize your names and then assign you to Casaya or the Villains based on that, because, if we’re doing a league about great characters, you have to pay tribute to the best. Odd numbers became Casayas; even numbers became Villains.

  2. I haven’t finished listening to the whole podcast yet, but I totally agree on the stupidity of trying to flush an idol by putting fewer votes on Hali. It reminds me of what I always thought was the dumbest move in Nicaragua: when they split the vote to flush Marty’s idol, he didn’t play it, and they voted out the other person anyway. Why did you even split the vote, then?? Now he knows you’re coming for him AND he still has his idol!
    I think that’s just what happens when people know the basic moves of Survivor but don’t understand the actual logic behind them.

      1. There were good strategic moves in Nicaragua: for instance, NaOnka quitting was a strategy that got NaOnka off tv.

    1. There is actually one pretty big difference between Nicaragua and this: In Nicaragua they absolutely, 100% knew Marty had an idol. Here they only suspected Hali might have an idol. Which is what a vote split was for, if you have the numbers to do it. And it sounds like they did.That’s logic. “We have the votes, we probably should.” The image looming in their head was probably of the majority declining to use that advantage and Wentworth cancelling nine votes.

      They also have a member of the alliance who should have a pretty good idea that Hali doesn’t have the idol, but if Tai isn’t revealing his idol finding prowess then good for him.

  3. I think Cirie made a mistake voting out Hali. The other side made it clear that they did not care that much about Hali, which makes her a person who could help your cause. It would be easy to vote out Sierra with her voting bloc like that. Cirie could suggest or have someone else suggest splitting the votes by gender so the 5 men vote one way and the six women vote another. That is an easy way to split votes and likely wouldn’t arose suspicions. Then after Sierra tells Hali and Michaela to vote Zeke, Cirie or one of her partners (Andrea, Zeke Ozzy or Sarah) could tell them to vote for SDT. At that point, just plus 1 man and 1 woman could take out SDT 5-4-4.

    1. Though this assumes that both Hali and Michaela would join a team of Cirie, Zeke, Andrea, and Ozzy. Is that in their best interests, or would they be better off joining Team Dodo? Michael might join Cirie, but if you can’t get Hali, you’re just drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.

      1. Well, Hali said in the edit that she was most closely allied with Michaela so it doesn’t seem a stretch to me.

    2. That’s a very interesting plan, and one I hadn’t considered. I think the problems with it are that 1) if anything doesn’t go according to plan, Michaela probably goes home; and 2) it has Cirie’s fingerprints all over it.

    3. I think the split vote was structured in a way that meant 5-4-4 was impossible. the 5 on the other side are locked. Cirie had to get Ozzy and aubry not to vote Hali and get all 4 who voted Michaela to vote FFATIPGCSDT. Realistically she could have had her 5 vote FFATIPGCSDT and Hali and Michaela for a 7-6 majority.

  4. I’m pausing in the middle to comment, so sorry if this is where the conversation is headed anyway, but–I think the alliances are still much more fluid than you seem to think, and you may be overinterpreting the significance of these two votes for the remainder of the game.

    In the first episode, Hali was the classic don’t-force-the-issue merge-episode punt. Not the ideal target strategically, but someone everyone can agree on without committing to a side. It was complicated by the fear of an idol (and how ironic that all Hali got for playing with more confidence this time was idol paranoia), so votes got put on Michaela, and good on Cirie for making sure the majority of votes stayed on Hali (which is how it’s supposed to work in the first place, so maybe the pawn army isn’t so good at this?).

    In the second episode, I think Ozzy was going home from the second his feet hit the sand. The edit would have you believe that the votes were everywhere, with Zeke stirring the pot, until someone (Sierra?) finally came up with the radically innovative idea of getting rid of Ozzie ASAP. I don’t think votes were live at all. In reality I think they sat on the bench watching Tai and Ozzy stay on the pole for an hour longer than any of them did, looked around at each other, and knew what had to happen without even talking about it. Which makes Zeke’s decision to go after Andrea now even more baffling. Note how absolutely nobody is buying what Zeke is selling. I think Cirie’s trust cluster voted Zeke only so they can approach, say, Sarah next time and tell her they have the numbers (and because Cirie can let a pissed-off Andrea be the face of the anti-Zeke forces). It’s not great for Cirie that Ozzy went home, since she could sure use a legend/fourth-timer/meat shield, but how much political capital is he worth? As I said in the liveblog comments, If the vast majority of the vote is headed to Ozzy in the second post-merge vote, I think you have to say “that’s a freebie” and let it happen.

    1. Cirie is just playing so well and I’m happy that we get to watch her and Sandra remind us of why they were both legends in the first place. I agree that she is not necessarily in a bad position going forward and her subtle play seems to be working really well. Even if her side doesn’t gain the numbers in the next vote, she somehow seems to have made herself the smallest target on her side (from the edit at least) despite being the biggest threat out there.

    2. I would actually argue the opposite: Zeke’s mistake seems to me to be exactly that he thought this was all about “trust-clusters”, while this season is about hardcore alliances. Some people seem to be a bit on the air (although I wonder how much of this is just the edit not being clear about their alliances), but all we’ve seen so far seems to indicate that Debbie-Sierra-Brad-Tai-Troy and probably Sarah is a rock-solid “old-school”-type alliance. And all we have seem edit-wise apparently points towards them pagonging the rest.

      1. That’s certainly where things look like they’re headed, but on the other hand an alliance can’t both be rock-solid and contain Debbie and Tai. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws.

  5. My wife and I were discussing why we weren’t enjoying this season. Losing everyone that we were rooting for early obviously hurt but I also think this season doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m not sure if its editing or the nature of the gameplay or too many switches and advantages etc. but there isn’t a real good narrative. People keep going home and I don’t have a real sense of why. Hali never really got a story line so we don’t know why she was a target. Ozzy goes home with no real reason (besides the vague ‘he’s a challenge threat’). Zeke seemingly turns on Andrea and Cirie for no reason (and we never really knew that he was in a group with Andrea and Cirie until he left it).

    This season doesn’t seem to have any sides, just a group around Brad/Sierra and some other people that might be with them or might be doing their own thing. it’s just kind of a muddled mess.

    (Apologizes if this was discussed, haven’t listened yet)

    1. Right now people are upset that almost all of the big names went out early and mostly embarrassingly, but I have faith that whoever makes it to the end will do cool and awesome things to get there, and become a big name in the process.

      Obviously last week’s episode cast a pall on the season and is almost certainly going to be what the season is remembered for, but if there’s a problem that we can attribute to production it’s that between the swaps, the idols, the advantages, and the USS Exile, this season has become Survivor Calvinball, as Denise Stapley put it. We thought “Game Changers” referred to the players, but it actually refers to production.

        1. Honestly, I think it’s still too soon to say. So far we’ve mostly seen players’ stock go down, but I think that from this point on we’re going to see some of their stocks go up. I acknowledge that I’m mostly being blindly optimistic about this, though.

          1. Well, that is what happens when you cast a lot of D-Tier players around a small core of elite players. Try as they might, the elite players are taken out. At this point, all we have from God/A Tier is Cirie.

          2. Yeah, and this isn’t just a problem that players that have been great are being taken out. No one is grouping Michaela in with the D-Tier players because she’s incredibly entertaining, even though she is one of the lowest placing cast members. They just didn’t cast very entertaining personalities for the other non legends. I don’t want Sarah’s stock to go up because she’s boring as hell. It’s also dull strategy to have prior reputations affect the current game like this. The only interesting strategy we’ve really seen was sugar Sandra and now post merge Cirie.

          3. This seems almost* inevitable, if the editors don’t drop the ball. They will continue to vote people off and whoever is left, and is shown to be involved in the decision making, will have done stuff and look all right us.

            * I added the “almost” only after I thought of the AU endgame. I guess it is very possible to make everyone look bad, if people keep shooting themselves in the foot.

          4. Whoa, I was thinking of the parallels between Game Changers and Survivor AU just now. 1) the most strategically adept players went before the merge; 2) too many twists turn Survivor into Calvinball; 3) I’m not saying this is the most likely scenario, but if Debbie wins, this is what Debbie’s winner’s edit looks like (and I most definitely think that if Debbie makes it to the end, she gives a version of Kristy’s “I was Keyzer Soze all along” speech; 4) at least we’ll get some great jury reactions.

          5. Now that you lay it out like that, GC really could further devolve into a dead ringer for Survivor AU (I wrote dead ringer because I feel like that is something Sue would say, but it’s actually just parallels).

            Brad would make for a great Lee and although he seems smarter like that, I could totally see him make an honor-centric (not his child) jury speech or at least drop some catchwords that jurors don’t want to hear.

          6. Whoa, I think we may have stumbled across something here.


          7. I absolutely co-sign El as FFSDT, but everything after that works on some level, but doesn’t on another.

            When I made my comment I was also thinking about their similiarities, but then I tried to decide who is JL* and it crushed my spirits, because nothing works quite right after that. So I gave up.

            *because I thought she would be easy: lots of potential, fan favorite, swap-fucked and never gained her footing again, but not voted out for a while – Michaela is not a bad fit, except for the swap-fucked part.

            Everyone else after the top three, I can see why you paired them up, but there are also reasons springing immediately to mind why they can’t be their respective counterparts.

          8. The matches aren’t perfect, but the fact that there’s no match that doesn’t work at all is amazing, as is the fact that the boot order it implies for GC is extremely plausible (I later switched to Kylie–Aubry and Flick–Sarah). It’s true that Sue didn’t have much of a strategic game, but in addition to age and wry sense of humor she was like Cirie in how she always had a good read of the game situation.

          9. Yeah, Sue was also really perceptive, so I take back my objection.
            It probably helped that you were going for a plausible boot list to decide on close calls. I just quit when it got complicated and I had nothing to go by.

            But even keeping the order in mind, I like your original pairing of Flick and Sarah better. Sarah is just itching to make a move, which is what Flick will probably be most remembered by. Kylie’s personality fits neither of them (or anyone left, really, other than maybe the sunshine-version of Andrea we had up until the second hour of the last episode. Tai brings the sunshine and erratic gameplay, though), so I get why you went with fire dpt./police.

          10. Flick and Sarah is the new pairing for the reason you state (I originally paired Kylie and Sarah because of occupation). The new pairing of Kylie and Aubry also works because Aubry is getting boxed out for no apparent reason.

          11. That’s actually a really good way to justify that pairing. And funny, ’cause it’s true. Poor Aubry/Kylie.

      1. I have faith “big names” will be created, but at least personally the discontent is less about losing and under-editing “big names” and more about doing the same to “people I like watching.” Losing Ozzy and JT wasn’t something that cut me deeply- rather I was interested in watching them fail.

        The show has already thrown a lot of effort into making me like Brad, Debbie, Troy, Sarah, and Tai (OK, with Tai it has worked a little), and for me, it ain’t working. And that’s why I’m not enjoying the season.*

        *Except for the moments I *am* enjoying, the stuff with Sandra, Michaela, and Cirie mostly. If Cirie lasts for another 5-6 episodes with high visibility, that will do a lot to raise my enjoyment of the season, even if she ultimately falls short.

        1. Maybe I’ve got the blinders on, but are they putting a lot of effort into making us like those people? They are getting more airtime, but its not like they are ever doing something to make us connect with them. I’ve enjoyed Brad this season. Anything positive with Debbie has been undercut by her past actions (this season and last). Troy has been mostly invisible, Sarah has been mostly invisible. Tai has been pleasant.

          I agree that by the end we will feel good about the rise of Brad or Sierra or someone, but right now it just feels like we are losing our preseason favorites without good reason.

          Maybe it’s just the unpleasantness of last episode followed by the chaos of a merge episode that is coloring my viewpoint right now and things will clear up.

        2. Troy doesn’t exist, Debbie can be entertaining, Brad is fine, cocky Sierra is fun, Tai is Tai, but Sarah in particular is just so hard to enjoy. She seems like a fine person (despite her bad taste in presidents), but she is such a fun vampire in her confessionals and unfortunately she seems like someone that will go deep and could win the whole thing. Give me Meeshfitz over Sarah 10 times out of 10. She was an entertaining mess in Cagayan, but she isn’t working in this context.

    2. I agree that the edit has been confusing this season and it’s hard to identify a thread to follow from episode to episode. I fear it’s because there actually is a thread but it’s leading us to a Brad/Sierra/Troyzan final three and just none of us want to grab it, haha

  6. The answer is that Hali’s most defending moment will be her entry on Funny 115 one day. (Mario loves some Hali) She is not most forgettable Survivor returnee because Monica exists. Hali is a person who got unlucky to be put on Mana a tribe were no one could win after they started loses. And Hali as a player still has some potential in her.

    Ozzy most memorial moment would be brief romantic relationship with Amanda. Ozzy has a lot remember able moments if you think about it.

    1. Hali’s first meal at Ponderosa this season was a salad with ice water. I think that captures her personality pretty well, and I don’t entirely mean it in a bad way. She’s just so strange in a way that is simultaneously boring and compelling.

      She also made an abstract found-art shadow box which… again, what an odd girl.

        1. If I had just been voted off Survivor, “water that is cold, like very very cold” is absolutely the first thing I would want. I would drink that shit in two seconds.

          1. I’m sure anything cold and refreshing would be top of mind upon leaving Survivor, I just think I would want a salad and ice water, and a pizza, and like 5 glasses of wine 🙂

      1. Further entries in the series I’m calling “why are all of the decisions Hali makes decisions I would make?”

          1. I mean, I’d ask for an ice cold soda immediately, but I get why some people would go for the water.

    2. Mario loves everyone that’s boring. I mean c’mon one of his favorite winners is freacking Vescepia!

      1. “How could people enjoy the constant game shifts and shocking votes of Cambodia? Now South Pacific, that was a memorably great season”. (I am not letting that go).

          1. I have a strange, deep well of fondness for SP that’s 60% Sophie and 40% spite of various kinds. Against many odds it was the season that brought me back into Survivor after the Russell era.

      2. I’m still amazed that he wrote a fan-fiction season of returnees where Vecepia was the winner and completely respected by all the players.

    3. I’ve mentioned it before but Hali is the most fascinating Survivor I would never want to meet. She’s a lawyer who surfs, espouses essentially Buddhist beliefs whilst being a redneck, gun shooting, trailer park living Christian. It’s so interesting. I just wouldn’t want to talk to her.

  7. Like the pawns taking over the board analogy. In chess, I’m always excited when this happens (or used to be, been a while since I’ve played) but it’s hard to get excited about FFSDT becoming Queen. That said, I was really impressed with the way Debbie played that conversation in the hammock, playing to Sierra’s ego and desire to make big moves. Sure, it’s not the hardest thing to get people to vote Ozzy at this stage, but still, impressive!

    I also loved everything about the Cirie/Michaela alliance + conversations. I remain confused about her vote for FFSDT (it reminded me of Ciera’s vote for Savage in Cambodia, and I’m getting a similar-ish vibe from Cirie’s edit here) but I want to agree with the first explanation: she knew Ozzy was going out (and they couldn’t show this to preserve suspense) but she wanted to spice things up/not alienate Zeke. I suspect we might here from her about this next ep, as she continues her path to winning this game (no wishful thinking here.)

    Meanwhile, do people think Andrea is playing a good game now that we’ve seen a bit more of her? Like Aubry, she’s definitely getting somewhat shafted by the edit, but it has to be said, that there’s also a reason that neither of them are being featured heavily – I’m sure they are strategizing and trying things that aren’t being shown, but none of them are doing much yet. Andrea is giving me a bit of an Amanda in HvV vibe, on a superficial level at least: solid players and challenge competitors who consistently make the merge but have a bit of an underwhelming 3rd try, where the show seems to have run out of story about them. I’d like to think that Andrea has more game in her, but I agree with Andy that she’s a likely next boot.

    1. I like the Andrea/Amanda comparison. And as much as I actually like them both as characters and as players, it makes me wonder why casting went back to the well a third time for each of them? Andrea was on the bubble for my winner pick this season, but looking back that was kind of silly and probably wishful thinking. She’s a strong challenge competitor and has good social game, but her strategy has mostly just fizzled out historically. I don’t see her being able to lead an entire alliance, and she’s too conspicuous to make her way to the end as a floater. Amanda had more success actually enacting her strategy in her first two seasons, but without a strong alliance in HvV she just couldn’t cobble anything together strategically and sort of ended up being a casting dud. I’m sure there were plenty of other one time players they could have brought back in place of Amanda or Andrea that would have made better use of the opportunity, both in terms of game play and in terms of TV. Then again maybe I’m writing of Andrea too early? (probably not)

      1. Yeah, I like Andrea and Amanda and was happy enough to see them both back for a 3rd time but I think the third time doesn’t exactly prove the charm for either of their stories. It’s hard to know as obviously second time players can also fizzle out, but it just feels like a shame to their stories as Amanda especially was so strong the first two times.

        That said, this game ain’t over yet and if Brenda in Caramoan can get a story then there’s a real chance that Andrea can pull some interesting moves this season.

    2. I’m not willing to condemn Andrea she’s an unassuming enough player with good enough tribe swap luck that unlike a Sandra she didn’t need to force things early, and her post-merge majority plan made sense.

      The test of Andrea’s game is next week. Her side lost- can she recover?

      I don’t think she can, but that’s mostly an edit-read.

      1. Yeah, it’s tough because there’s not much to analyze and I agree that in theory, holding back a bit made sense for Andrea this season – compare to Caramoan, where she was so eager to take out Corinne early on.

        I’m not sure that targeting Zeke was the right move here though and I fear that she won’t recover. Clearly, Brad and Sierra have been good at assembling numbers for their side, so Andrea hasn’t managed to assemble decent numbers this time, though of course it’s unlikely that things will remain static for the rest of the season. What we don’t have evidence of – again, because of the edit, but also I guess because whatever attempts she made have been unsuccessful? – is that she has multiple bonds in the game, unlike Brad.

    3. Also, follow up question: who are the players who were best (in terms of game play/entertainment value/all around benefit to the season) on their 3rd attempt?
      Right now I’m thinking Tyson and….that’s the whole list?

      1. Boston Rob. HvV rewrites BRob from “cocky young dude who will do anything to get ahead” to “mature leader who gives it all for his tribe.” Without the rewrite it’s arguable the excitement to bring him back for Redemption Island doesn’t exist.

          1. I will concede that it was her most entertaining season. I just still find it inexplicable that she was a 3 time player at all…

        1. I love, love, love Sandra this season. But in terms of all around benefit to the season…this is clearly her third best performance. There’s a long Sandra-less wasteland stretching before us.

      2. Not in terms of placement, obviously, but I think HvV was Parvati’s best game.

        Crying 17th place Russell is the best Russell.

        1. Russell crying on social media about not being back on the show is my favorite Russell.

        1. That’s because Philippines Penner is best Penner.

          But the three iterations of Penner aren’t really all that different, the true distinction is how much the edit allows Penner’s Penner-ness to shine. We get more fun Penner stuff in Philippines, but not because Penner was doing different stuff, we just got more of what we love.

        2. Also, there are few experiences I can imagine better than being in an argument with Penner, yelling at him “eat your soup!” and then winking to make it clear I was making the reference intentionally.

      3. Good follow-up which also leads to ‘is this the most dismal third times the charm attempt’ ever?

        If you look at the three-time Game Changers there is Ciera (remember?), Malcolm (sob), JT (ha!), Sandra (the best represented, but even with a great run + arc, being booted is obv a disappointment) and ugh, Varner. Maybe Andrea will do fantastically, but it’s not looking so likely, while the dominant alliance is entirely two-timers, most of whom were fodder for this cast.

        In answer to your question, I’d agree with Tyson, Candice + maybe Parvati.

        1. Wow this is both true and extremely depressing. Really the worst 3rd timers all around. Like, legacy ruining (for some) :/

  8. FFGCSDT winning this season is still my darkest timeline outcome, but I agree the arrogant New Sheriff in Town Sierra of these 2 episodes is the most memorable Sierra we ‘ve ever seen. Not a high bar, but still.

    1. Which is kind of funny, because even as arrogant New Sheriff in Town, Sierra still hasn’t actually done anything.

    2. I don’t see her winning (which with my luck means she will win), but she’s too arrogant when there are still 11 people left.

    3. If the power alliance holds without any blindsides the likely F6 will be –

      Sierra, Brad, Troy, Debbie, Tai, Sarah

      Revolting! If I had challenged anyone before the season to name the worst F6, I don’t think this would have been far off, save Hali in there instead of Tai.

      Only a Cirie run into the late game can somewhat redeem this season. But even then if she just fall shorts again then it would be too heartbreaking.

      In all likelihood, this is gonna be a bottom 10 season.

  9. Defining moment for Ozzy (?): that time when he invented the challenge move of throwing the thing in front of you in the water and then swimming up to it and throwing it again, instead of trying to swim and tote it along with you at the same time.

  10. My prediction for next week is that both alliances put their grievances aside and form a temporary alliance to put Aubry out of her misery.

    Also my pick for quintessential Ozzy moment would be every time he shouts “Cochran! Come on!” in South Pacific.

    1. Speaking of next week,

      I wanna know what happens during the challenge. It’s infuriatingly vague.

        1. It’s gotta be that Troy drops trou and everyone tears up at the sheer beauty of what happens next.

      1. The commercials are the worst part of the season, because they are still describing the cast as being made up of legendary players. I am grateful that Jeff has toned down the theme talk this season.

  11. Nobody is giving Brad enough credit.
    Except this podcast. Seriously though, listen to anyone else and brad gets absolutely nothing

      1. Oh, if he wins, I’ll give him credit – but I won’t like it.

        Still holding out hope for Cirie + Michaela wrecking ball

      1. I wish he was more interesting or playing a more dynamic game. His victory will be similar to Aras’s for me: Bland, competent, could have been a lot better, but was the correct decision for the jury.

        1. Huh. I see Aras as an appealing but low-skill winner, while Brad looks to be on track to be boring but play a decent game.

    1. It’s the same reason they were on to Tony before most other places. John and Andy are more interested in talking about what we’re actually seeing on TV than what we might like to be seeing.

    2. Weird. Brad is so obviously a front runner. The show has positioned him as a leader, he has gotten nothing, but positive praise and is in a great position.

      I suspect the reasons for that are a) he came across as so much of a buffoon in Blood vs. Wayer that some have a hard time taking him seriously b) They don’t like him and don’t want to give him credit c) They don’t want to believe that the most obvious winner is winning (see anyone who did not think Mike was winning Worlds Apart after the Shirin vote).

      I zero percented him in the preseason and will openly declare that he is winning.

      1. See I had him as my winner pick because I saw him like Rob in All Stars, a premerge boot who coming back was very controversel.

    3. That’s surprising. I wouldn’t expect that noticing Brad Culpepper’s glowing edit and success would be breaking new ground. It’s painfully obvious.

      1. I definitely feel like it’s Brad’s game to lose at this point. There are some other contenders still (Tai…maybe Michaela?), but Brad is absolutely my mid-season pick.

    4. Brad has some faults but at this moment in the game he playing one of better games out there. However, I can see the holes that might work against him later on.

  12. The problem I have with Zeke’s move even had it worked is that it’s a loser. If he gets Andrea out, he has a huge target painted on his back and I don’t see his path to victory with 11 people still left given his position in both alliances.

    My frustration is that he playing the same game that he played last season and potentially taking Cirie down with him.

    1. And compare Zeke’s methods to Cirie’s in these episodes – she is working so hard to camouflage her moves and come across as going with the flow while also trying to get things lined up for herself to be successful down the road. And then Zeke just comes in trying to make big moves for big moves’ sake and is most likely going to tank Cirie and Andrea’s games along with his own :/

      1. Exactly. That’s why it’s so frustrating. If you’re going to make a big move, especially in present day survivor, you have to make sure you can stay on top until FTC. I like Zeke but his addiction to big moves is maddening, especially when he was in a decent position! If he stays tight with Cirie and her alliance, they can pick off Brad or Sierra. There would have also still been more than enough time for him to get rid of Cirie or whoever.

        I mean Zeke voted for Aubry, which suggests to me he was completely in the dark and could be in big trouble. Brad & Co. don’t really need him. His only path forward is to mend the relationship with Andrea and realign. It may be tough, but Cirie’s alliance needs him as much as he needs them. They are still however outnumbered so I am hoping that “criminal” Sarah jumps over.

        1. And Zeke’s confessionals about it in the episode were maddening – first he said that he made his move too soon the first time, then he justified doing the same thing again by basically saying if he was going to get eliminated anyway he might as well take a big swing first. But I feel like it wasn’t necessarily making a Big Move™ that was the problem, it was the particular move he made. Why couldn’t he work within his existing alliance to try and swing over someone from Sierra’s side? That would have been an equally big move but it wouldn’t have been so damaging or alienated his tight alliance. There would have been more avenues for recovery if that move failed, or even if it succeeded but drew the ire of the opposition alliance. At least his previous alliance would still be tight and they might even have the numbers.

          1. Especially maddening because this is exactly how he torched his game in MvGX. He’s not wrong that it’s better to make a Big Move™ too soon than too late, but it’s still a mistake!

          2. I’m with John and Andy that I think of Zeke’s move less as a dramatic betrayal, and more as picking a side. Zeke didn’t really have a previous alliance; his only alliance that had been through the fires of a vote was split between the Brad-Sierra side and the potential opposition.

            Indeed I’d add that much the same happened in MvGX. Zeke wasn’t the one forcing the Chris-David conflict. They were going for eachother, and Zeke had to pick a side. Now you can argue he then flipped too fast on David- but then I don’t see thinks working out better for Zeke if he waits for David to make the first move.

          3. I did not find this to be a dramatic betrayal but more of a bad move jeopardizing the last player I am really rooting for.

            There are others I would be ok with winning but if brad and co. steamroll the others, this is hardly a “game changing” season although one could definitely argue that ship has sailed.

            If I sound down on this season, I am only a little. I thought this week’s episode was definitely one of the stronger episodes. The cirie and Michaela scene was one of my favorites by far and hope to see more!

          4. I fully endorse the thoughts of Roswulf.

            For those of you hammering the point that Zeke is making the same mistakes as last season: Bret told Zeke (truthfully) that David was coming after him. Which was information that we saw. Are you all advocating that he should’ve let it happen?

          5. I think Zeke shows us a pure strategist adopting the Tony game (get ’em before they get you), but without Tony’s meth-addict pursuit of idols. Unfortunately, that leaves him too vulnerable when people get sick of his “scheming.”

          6. My impression is that his moves were a combo of too big/too early. I don’t think a move, per se, was wrong either time but I think he put himself way out there in a way that was bound to mess up his game. I also may be irrationally bandwagoning here, especially since the first move failed and it seems likely the second one will not be good for him in the long run either. In particular this time around, I think that Zeke is undervaluing emotions in the game while other players (Andrea especially) are overvaluing them.
            But to be honest, I don’t feel super strongly about my take here. I also feel like I am possibly being manipulated by the edit?

          7. The David move wasn’t the issue. It was Chris the loyal ally one. That’s how I felt here. Zeke has a bad read on who is with him. Because Andrea and Cirie both talked about being with Zeke strongly and he picked the other side.
            One thing that needs to be remembered is not just big moves need to be made but they need to be made also the right time. Look at Natalie Anderson or Cochran they both stuck with dangerous players and then moved against them when the time was right.

          8. The thing with the Chris move was that the way the game was breaking, he HAD to betray an ally, because he had allies on both sides (due to his strong social game). So he chose the side where he had two (Hannah and David) over the one he had one (Chris).

            Which honestly, should have worked out fine. He managed to instantly smooth things over with Bret and Sunday (despite not having much of a relationship with them previous) and expected to still have his closest ally on his side in Hannah. That would’ve been enough. But Hannah had other plans.

          9. I think if Zeke didn’t come back immediately, he could have reflected on his mistakes and won. He’s decent at challenges and can connect w people immediately.

  13. To the strawmen who hate Zeke because he is arrogant: Every person on this season (with the possible exception of Tai) has a monstrous ego. Even people who should not have one do (Debbie, Troy, Sarah, Sierra).

    1. Aw, did Hali really have a monstrous ego?

      Not that Hali is particularly relevant at this point.

      1. I meant of people left. She honestly would have been on my exceptions list since I think she is aware of how unimpressive her first performance was.

    2. Yeah, I think the people who have their egos most in check are Tai, Aubry, and Andrea? The pre-mergers all had big egos too.

    3. For all we know, Sierra is really really good a riding horseys around an arena. I don’t plan on finding out.

    4. Lots of strawmen this week. I don’t mind Zeke’s arrogance and I like big moves. I just think he would’ve been better to be under the radar for a bit.

  14. A ranking of Ozzys:

    4.GC Ozzy: A complete dud. He wasn’t even that amazing in challenges and in all other aspects he was pretty much white noise. He outlived most of the big names of the season but he was more forgettable than all of them.
    3.South Pacific Ozzy: It’s pretty much unbearable asshole Ozzy but he was a big part of that season for better and mostly for worst. At least it was satisfying when he choked in the final challenge.
    2.Cook Islands Ozzy: For most people this is best Ozzy but I don’t know. Even if I was rooting for Aitu-4 I never really cared that much about him. In challenges he was a god, in everything else he had Yul telling him what to do and not much else.
    1.Micronesia Ozzy: It’s pretty much the best and most entertaining arc an Ozzy-like character could have. Great at challenges, the “kingpin” of the dominant alliance through pre-merge, gets blindsided the moment his arrogance reaches his peak. He had the showmance, he had Erik gushing about him all day, he made the worst/best fake idol ever and he was soooo bitter going out that made his already huge blindside much more delicious. Also that fisherman’s hat he had. ICONIC.

    1. And one of the most cringeworthy FTC “questions” of all time, non-Brenda division.

    2. I don’t disagree with anything you have written, but I have Cook Islands Ozzy first by a mile. “In challenges he was a god, in everything else he had Yul telling him what to do and not much else.” is exactly what I want from Ozzy.

      He’s a perfect knight in King Yul’s army in my favorite Survivor story. No amount of later nonsense will take that narrative arc from me, and I value it much more than some solid buffoonery leading to a great downfall in Micronesia.

  15. Fuck your New Balance. “Comfortable shoes” is an oxymoron on the level of “reasonable Republican”. Shoes are horrid foot-prisons. The best state is barefoot, after that comes flip flops, and after that comes Converse. Any amount of shoe beyond that is a punishment.

    I may be extra cranky right now because I just got cleared to take my broken foot out of the soft cast it was in, but now I have to wear hard-soled shoes until it stops hurting.

    1. Substitute Vans for Converse and I’m right there with you (and don’t cheap out, get the pro model Vans). My wife broke her ankle about 8 months ago–I recommend you wear sliders for a while. There are good orthopedic ones with thick insoles.

      1. Vans are big and thick, they are like the Super Max of shoes. What I like about Converse is that it’s the minimum amount of material that can encase your foot while still counting as a a shoe.

        Also, I broke my 5th metatarsal, so different healing issues.

    2. Barefoot is a no go for me. I need arch support for my flat feet.

      Which is tough, because in Canada, we don’t wear shoes in the house, because we aren’t fucking savages.

      1. I have to wear shoes in the house right now, because my stupid healing foot needs stupid support, and it is pure torture. And it’s not like when I was in the boot, because having a soft cast on one foot and being barefoot on the other looks fine, but if I walk around with one bare foot and one hiking boot everyone is going to assume I’m a serial killer.

        1. Why weren’t you given an orthopedic boot? Getting in and out of a hiking boot must be torture.

      2. Also, if you just walk around barefoot outdoors, which i do, you don’t get a benefit from being barefoot in the house.

      3. I’m flat footed as well and I’ve tried several kinds of (custom and non-custom) orthodics, and purchased expensive sneakers from running stores where they watch you on a treadmill, but I still get shin splints. It sucks. My current pair is New Balance, but they are PURPLE. Does that get me some “cool” points?

        (Yes, I’m also old, though…)

    3. I generally wear flip flops whenever possible. But that’s mostly because it is always fucking hot here, and you want as much skin exposed to potential breezes as possible.

      That’s also why I wear assless chaps.

    4. I love being barefoot but Converse gives you horrible blisters and flip flops are sleepery. I like running shoes over them.
      Here we have little shoes by Bensimon who are the next best thing to barefoot, but fragile.
      Birkenstock are better than flip flops. They are holding better to your feet.
      Il like sleep-on Vans, but it only takes weeks for my toe nail to make a hole in them .

      1. Ugh no, strappy sandals are worse than shoes. It’s like knowing that your feet are this close to be being free but are still chained.

          1. It’s better.
            The sole isn’t flat so it holds on to your feet better, and supports the foot’s arch.
            I feel like i have to to cling to flip-flops with my toes. But not with Birkenstock

  16. So I will have a big Survivor related Saturday. In the morning, I will be attending a yoga class being led by Parvati Shallow. Then that night, Andrea and Meg Maley from Big Brother are having a meet up with various Survivor/BB alumni. I just found out today that Cirie will be there. I’m not worthy to be in the same room with that amazing woman. On the same day I will be in the presence of my two all time favorite players. Needless to say, I’m very excited.

    1. Good on you, BD, but let me tell ‘ya, having Parvati see me do yoga is way up on there on the nope list.

        1. That’s awesome. I really recommend Vytas’s yoga videos. Very detailed, VERY challenging.

      1. This would interest you in particular. Along with Cirie, the person I’m most looking forward to meeting for the first time at the meet up is Courtney Yates.

        1. COURTNEY!!!! You can tell her verbatim that the weirdos you talk about Survivor with online worship her.

          1. Positively, but most of our conversation was about The West Wing, which she was very excited to talk about.

          1. I swear that being cruel wasn’t my intention. I’m still jealous you’ve met Goddess Kim.

  17. Jesus fuck, now other roommate is also catching up on The Great Indoors. What did I do to deserve this hell?

    1. You have disrespected CBS programming one too many times, so now you been cursed to endure merdicore sitcoms. Take five episodes of Great Indoors and a Madam Secreatary for forgiveness.

      1. It’s not mediocre. The Big Bang Theory is mediocre. The Great Indoors is actively terrible.

        1. Then were do you say Kevin Can Wait, The Odd Couple, and Man with a Plan rank on your scale.

          1. I haven’t had to endure any of those, so I don’t know. They all look pretty bad though.

          2. I… don’t understand what the goal is in this situation? Is it that if i force myself to watch CBS’s terrible “nobody respects middle-aged white men any more” sitcoms I will be less grossed out by it’s terrible “hurr durr Millennials are the worst, amirite?” sitcom? That doesn’t feel like success to me; that feels like a different flavor of failure.

          3. Well I am sorry that I have seen worse comedies. For example there is the Eric Schaffer comedy Gravity, a comedy about group of people who are forced into a group together after they fail to commit suicide. Hope that makes your situation better. I know that the only joy that one can about Gravity.

          4. Community Alumni Power Ranking:

            1. Donald Glover
            2. Gillian Jacobs
            3. Alison Brie
            4. Yvette Nicole Brown
            5. Ken Jeong
            6. Danny Pudi
            7. Jim Rash
            8. Joel McHale
            9. Chevy Chase

            If The Little Hours and/or GLOW are any good there will be a huge gap between the top 3 and the rest.

          5. No dude. Chevy Chase is number 1. Any other placing is ridiculous. Also Jim Rash has an Oscar and Powerless is a better show than Doctor Ken. So, no.

          6. Should have clarified–I meant post-Community activity. I did forget about Jim Rash’s Oscar, though.

          7. Did you also forget that Powerless is a better show than Doctor Ken?

            Also man, show some respect. The man made Caddyshack. And Weekend Update. and National Lampoon’s Vacation. And Fletch. I don’t care if he leaned too hard into the irascible dickhead part of his personality late in life. He was working for another irascible dickhead with a much less robust resume. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s Chevy Chase and you’re not.

          8. Yeah. I’m totally with you on Chevy Chase, he just hasn’t done anything since Community. And why should he?

            I actually flipped Jeong and Pudi at the last second second based on a lack of buzz for Powerless. If you say it’s good I’ll take your word for it.

          9. NBC has accepted that it’s not going to succeed putting out mainstream sitcoms and appears to be fulling leaning into a model of of “weird, fun shows that internet nerds rave about and everyone else ignores.” See e.g.: The Good Place, Powerless, and, the latest in the mold, Trial & Error. Powerless is easily the weakest, but it’s not actively bad like Doctor Ken.

          10. Did you watch The Good Place? It’s the most poignant, emotional sitcom since… honestly probably since Cheers.

          11. I just started Trial and Error, but I love it. I’ve loved it since this happened:

            “So, bail was set at $7 million, which considering we started at $93 million, I’m putting that in the win column.”


          12. Then put him in an “honorable mention: impossible to rank” tier. He was a god among mortals.

          13. Donald is the clear number one, but I’m conflicted because Gillian is good in Love, but Love is also a fucking garbage fire that I regret watching.

          14. Agreed, except I had the sense to stop watching after about three episodes. She gets extra credit for Girls and Don’t Think Twice.

            Love, Odd Couple, Dr. Ken, Great Indoors. “Garbage fire” is really the under-reported story here.

          15. Oh, good call on Don’t Think Twice. I watched the whole first season of Love, for some reason convinced it had to get better. The ending made me so, so angry.

    2. This is why I live alone. I’d love to share my cable bill…. but it’s not worth it.

  18. Ozzy’s defining moment: After the whole team threw the challenge to get rid of Billy Garcia, he also rubbed salt in the wound by shaking the rope thing and tossing him in the water, because he was a giant douche from day 1.

    1. That was while the challenge was still going and was part of his strategy to make sure they lost.

      If we’re going to define Ozzy with a moment that involves being a petulant douche about challenges it has to be him kicking with rage the edifice after they lost the final pre-merge challenge in South Pacific.

      1. Even if it wasn’t technically over, they were soooo far behind that it was completely unnecessary, and Ozzy was just being a dick because he’s Ozzy.

        1. Sure. At that point they were definitely already losing the challenge. But I’m not gonna attribute a sophisticated enough knowledge of physics to Ozzy to believe he’s capable of making Billy the one who falls off, I think it was just one more part of his “gotta make sure we vote off the nerd” plan.

          Are you really gonna doubt that a plan Ozzy comes up with has unnecessary redundancies built into it?

          1. I just think he saw an opportunity to humiliate an ‘inferior’ on the way out. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Billy is the most likely one to fall off.

  19. It’s that time. Gots to post Taako’s Totally Subjective RPDR Power Rankings, this week measured by challenge performance, Faux Fur Runways, previous rankings, and whether or not you can suck it up and play your damn part in a musical.

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

    Nina, bitter ain’t never a good look. Take a moment, but then turn that energy into the best goddamn Khloe Kardashian the world’s ever gonna see. ‘Cause bitchin’ and moanin’ bout it ain’t gonna make Shea just hand over the role of Blac Chyna.

    “Gurl, how the hell you Puerto Rican, and you can’t even do that?”

    The writing of that “musical”…

    You wanna talk about producers not doing right by the contestants just for drama, I have no clue how Eureka is still hanging around when she’s hobbling on crutches. She got lucky that she got a role where she just stands center stage. And the PA comes up right after the lip-sync to tell Ru that the doctor only just called? Bull shit. Though to be fair, I’m not sure that you can just boot someone without a lip sync. In the only other comparable instance, I think the same thing happened.

    This goddamn purple lighting is actively killing these runways.

    And if Shea don’t win this season, I call

    1. So I updated the app I watch RPDR on and now I don’t have to watch a week behind anymore!!! Shea absolutely dominated this episode! Valentina was great as usual (I think I’m rooting for her over all). I was a bit confused about Peppermint being at the top – I thought her performance was fine and her outfit was a little weak. Alexis did great as Kris and I though she looked gorgeous from roughly the shoulders up in the runway but the dress and boots were super basic (I should mention that I wear leggings and a fleece roughly 90% of the time these days so I have literally no room to judge).
      As for Nina – please please please get over your attitude attack and start slaying again. I really want Nina to be great but that ‘tude was not helping anything this week. Also that big mascara tear that ran down her face and then dried was so melodramatic I almost thought it had to be fake, but like why would you fake that?

      And finally – I call shenanigans on the Eureka elimination. The way she gasped as she was called forward? As if she saw an orthopedist in the untucked lounge and they didn’t get the results until right before Rupaul was about to decide the lip sync? I’d call this more of a medical quit if anything. But either way I’m fine with Eureka going. As someone with a degree in Ancient Greek, I did enjoy her little play on the meaning of “Eureka” at the end (although I doubt that hillbilly actually knows Greek…)

      Oh also Michele has absolutely been on fire this season. My fave thing so far was her calling Nina a street walking whore last week <3 That's the Nina I want back, lol

      1. Hooray for being caught up! SaShea + Valentina are probably my three rooting interests.

        I don’t know if you watched Untucked, but Eureka was literally rolling around in a wheelchair. Her leaving surprised no one. This week’s Untucked was fantastic all around, especially Shea’s speech to Nina, plus other highlights. But Alexis’s moment … I mean, gurl, you’ve been begging for critiques every time you were safe, so you can’t say you didn’t get what you asked for.

    2. Shea really has gone from 4th-5th place/potential Miss Congeniality to Threat for the Crown in 2 short episodes. Having said that, we also see why Nina wanted that China Black (phonetic) part so badly.

      Speaking of Nina, GeT iT ToGeTheRrRrR GURRRRLLLLL

      Also I can’t believe we have to endure Eureka for, likely, more than 13 episodes over 2017-2018. With this plus Trump, I’m just ready to be shot directly into the sun.

  20. A Debbie-Sierra-Troy final 3 is how I beat the witch in Champion’s League. So everyone should really be rooting for that outcome.

  21. I’m also just throwing this out there for TAZ fans:

    Your PRP VJ hopes this helps make Wrong Thursday a little less wrong.

    1. Man, the Cassidy stuff is emblematic of what’s frustrating to me about 11th Hour. Which, don’t get me wrong, is still my second favorite arc after Crystal Kingdom. I feel like Griffin over-corrected from the criticism that the early adventures were too on-rails, and while the result is cool, it also means he built a world where you know there are a ton of weird narrative threads we could have gone down but didn’t. What’s the deal with Cassidy? Why is she blowing up the mine entrance? There are hints in the show, and I bet that, if you asked, Griffin would tell you the answer, but, as soon as THB get the information they need from that narrative track they immediately pivot, which is probably good in terms of moving the story but feels incomplete.

    2. Youtube did recommend this that I haven’t seen before, which is one of my favorite moments of the show, in part because they promised to pay off on it in TTAZZ2:

      1. I remember them mentioning it, but I don’t remember this: Did they say they would pay off on it in the proper canon or during a live show?

        1. Live show. They’re gonna do a live show where Taako and Merle hunt down Governor Calen. But also, the live shows are canon. Even the dumb one where they fight the crab king.

    3. But I will say that second video ties in nicely with what we were talking about like two weeks ago in terms of shipping the characters. You can ship Merle and Taako with whomever you want. The boys are clearly fine with that. You can’t ship Magnus. He has one love, it’s Julia, and that’s final.

  22. Aubry Talk: The hope I was holding onto that the Aubry emergence could occur was severely damaged this week. Still not enough time with Aubry. I don’t have any sense of where her head is at in this game. Also, it never puts me at ease when your name is thrown out as the decoy. I think she can be a beneficiary of any shakeup within the Brad/Sierra alliance in terms of placement in the game but she has no story thus far to make me think she is a key player down the stretch. On the bright side, Aubry provided as with the best moment of the episodes and also the cutest.


    1. After the last 2 episodes it’s time to put Aubry out of her misery. I hope she’s just the next boot to get it over with. If the Aubry story of the season is that she never managed to get a single ally but she’s still around because there were always bigger fish to fry, I hope it’s ending as soon as possible. What’s the point of making it to final-6 or final-5 as a tag-along to the dominant alliance if we ‘re just gonna get a couple more of filler confessionals with 0 talk about her thoughts or her (lack of) game.

      And I like Aubry. You ‘ll never convince me that despite her many flaws she wasn’t by far the best choice in the KR final. And it kills me that her dissapointing second time will give more ammo to the Michelle truthers but there’s no way around it. She’s been one of the biggest duds this season right next to Ozzy and Troy. Even 2nd most forgettable 2-time player ever Hali Ford had more game and was more memorable than Aubry this season.

      1. I thought the worst thing that could happen was Aubry getting booted early but to be basically invisible is way worse. Even if she doesn’t win, I just want some shining moments from an awesome character and to not get it really sucks.

      2. Stupid druthers’. Not saying she played a great game, because there were mistakes, but at least she had a strategy. Not like Michelle whos strategy seemed to be” let’s vote out the people who I can beat easy so Sydney can win!”

    2. As much as I still want there to be an Aubry story here, it’s looking more and more like she’s going to be idoled out. Or rocked out.

      1. Maybe, but Malcolm’s edit this season is really making me question the ‘idol/rock’ edit arguments. Malcolm was screwed over by a production twist – and idled out! – as much as anybody, but clearly they didn’t invisibilize him so that people weren’t upset that he left. Sure, maybe it’s also because it was only 4 episodes, but I guess I think that a player’s character or game has more bearing on their edit than how they leave.

        Ciera was idoled out in Cambodia and sure she had a quiet pre-merge but they definitely made her a major character after the merge. Who knows how Aubry leaves but even if it’s by rocks I don’t think that’s fully why she’s getting this edit. Either way, it’s such a shame and I want to see more of her!

        1. Plus, Jessica last season wasn’t invincible. Yeah, she wasn’t the “biggest” presence there, but it wasn’t a “who?” edit at all. Her edit was much better than Aubry’s, hell even Andrea’s this season.

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

          1. Keep in mind that a lot of her edit was either “saved by an idol”, “omg, I have the legacy advantage” or Chris’s group saying how much they didn’t like her.

          2. I agree that her edit wasn’t some great one, and I can concede that due her being rocked out we didn’t see all of her most important relationships, cause they didn’t lead to anything (for example, supposedly with Adam). But the thing for me is that I don’t think her edit is much different from Sierra’s this season, she only came out in the edit last two seasons (most of her screentime before that was about legacy advantage and strategy during two tribes’ TC cause she was targeted). And if we have to compare Aubry’s edit to someone from last season, I would say Sunday, who was MUCH more invincible than Jessica, even though she wasn’t rocked out or idoled out.

          3. Yeah, what the fuck? If Probst liked her and she seemed entertaining (and game savvy), then why didn’t we see her? 20 person season problem I guess.

    3. This one goes out to all the Aubry fans

      At the very end, she says, “I’ve been playing to survive, and I want to start playing like Aubry.” It sounds hopeful at the very least.

  23. I knew Andy was gonna rant at Zeke move’s discussion. I actually agree that people making comparisons with his last season’s game and using that to diss it, are wrong. But I have other issues with the discussion.

    – First both of you sort of misrepresented what we saw on the show or just made assumptions which suited your argument.
    – For a start, we had a Aubry confessional where she literally said that she was “Team Cirie”. That combined with her vote with Cirie’s group in the end is as clear cut evidence you can get of her choosing a side. if we are going to argue about it someone’s stating their intent on being with someone’s team as not enough then pretty much all survivor commentary is useless since the you go down the rabbit hole of given the amount of unaired footage, it is impossible to tell an accurate all encompassing story in a 40 min episode.
    – Same is sort of true for your Ozzy argument. He want the one directly betrayed so he had no reason to vote Zeke. Using his first/second episode relationship with Cirie is weak since, in more recent episodes he has said that he is open to or is working with Cirie.
    – Then we actually saw how Zeke’s plan fell apart. There is no reason spin fan fiction of him catching wind of Ozzy’s vote out since he actually still ended up voting for Aubry.
    – Cirie named 7 people as part of he supposed numbers – Herself, Andrea, Zeke, Ozzy, Aubry, Michaela, Sarah. Out of these the only real question mark is Sarah. For rest we saw evidence one way or another in the episode, that they would have gone down with that plan. Sarah may still have chosen to join the other side – argument against would be her only making it a 6-6 tie, may be if Debbie shares her advantage, that swings her.

    Now let’s come to the merits of Zeke deciding to make a move now

    – I can’t speak for wider internet audience (the target of Andy’s ire) but this is not about the incessant criticism of any or every big move. I will concede some of the annoyance for the move (including mine) comes from it derailing the side most were rooting for.
    – The core issue here is if Zeke did or did not have the relationships in the game to make this big a swing where he was going to target one of his own closest allies.
    – Main evidence I have in front of me is a Zeke confessional himself where he explicitly states that he is not in the position he wants to be in, Andrea and Cirie are the ones with relationships and are feeding him info.
    -When you find yourself in that position, it is fundamentally a bad survivor move to just go for the hail mary and try to make your own move. The motivation at that point should be to first and foremost, ensure that you end up on the right side of numbers when such a pivotal move takes place. Then, you go about building your group slowly and perhaps then the straddlers on the other side have motivation to join you as well.
    (Side Note: This is what Tony did in Cagayan. He did not go to Spencer and Jeremiah at the merge before any division had taken place, he went when they had some motivation to work with him to take out LJ. It’s not that Tony had not recognised LJ as a big threat to his game before F9, it is that he waited for the right time to make his move. Tony first worked to establish the supremacy of his side before flipping on his own alliance members with others. Tony is the not only example, many other like Zeke himself in last season, Natalie Anderson in SJDS, Aubry in Koh Rong can be used as examples. )
    – This directly influences the argument whether this was the correct time for Zeke to make the move or not. You can’t just reduce every survivor player to a generic one. Everyone is in a different position in the game and hence everyone has a different criteria of the correct move for them. So it is not as simple to say that if this was right time for Cirie to make a move, it was for Zeke as well.
    – To be fair to Zeke, he clearly fears not ever being in a good position to make a big swing which he feels is paramount to winning a survivor season. But I think F12 is too early to self yourselves short on that front. Game dynamics will change with every swing. If this was even F8/9, I would not have termed making this kind of desperate play as a bad idea.

    1. So your evidence that Ozzy was going to vote for Sierra along with Cirie is that he DIDN’T vote for himself? idk man. I might need to check the rules on that one.

      From Ozzy’s exit interview:

      Seems like an odd thing for a guy who was supposedly 100% locked in on a can’t fail plan to vote out Sierra to say, non?

      I’ll concede that it’s highly likely that Aubry would’ve been amiable to vote with Cirie’s group had they presented her with a majority option to do so. But even in that confessional that you’re using as evidence, she literally says that she’s “in the middle” of a big fighting Italian family. Not “on one side of the battle”. THE MIDDLE. By definition, that would suggest that she’s at least maybe weighing her options, right?

      So for that, I’ll re-iterate: her voting for Zeke does not prove loyalty to Cirie’s group. She just as likely assumed that EVERYONE was voting Zeke (there’s a good chance that Cirie also assumed the same, btw). Debbie never told her to vote Ozzy.

      (For the record, I don’t think Zeke had any idea the vote out Ozzy plan was happening. That was John’s theory. I think he was pretty clearly out of BOTH loops on this vote).

      Also: I still think Zeke played this all wrong. My argument is that his flaw wasn’t in the attempt, it was in the execution. He should’ve just been trying to get INTO the Brad/Sierra alliance. Not run it. Which would not have been an impossible thing to do, no matter what you might think. Sarah was able to do it pretty easily.

      1. First on Aubry, she says she is in the middle but follows it up by saying she is fine being on Team Cirie. She was privy to the discussion to target Sierra and the fact that she was not the one who spilled it to the other side, it is safe to say she was indeed Team Cirie. Anything else is just pulling hair at this stage.

        Fair on Ozzy, may be he would have been a candidate to revolt against Cirie’s plan if he was presented with the option to vote out either of Brad or Sierra.

        In any case I stand by my point, Zeke simply was not in a good position to make this big a move. And that’s not just because we explicitly saw his attempt to do so fail on TV.

  24. I mean has anyone read the new rhap blog. Brad gets nothing. I don’t know why I get so ticked by this

  25. So, I have been thinking about this for a little bit and I know we have some hard-core Andrea fans in here: Is this the first time that Andrea knew her name was being floated around by her pre-game (yes, I am going to count Zeke as a pre-game ally) allies? She was blindsided in Red. I and when she got back in, I think she knew was toast. In Caramoan, it was floated primarily by Brandon Hantz, not Francesca and then she was blindsided because of how threatening she was and because of her idol. Am I wrong here because even in her Caramoan boot, she seems to be happy about that move. Why is she so pissed now with Zeke? Could it be a taste of her own medicine?

    1. I hadn’t thought of that. It’s startling to see her so bitter given how good sportsmanship she was in Caramoan. But isn’t it simply because she and Zeke are friends IRL?

      1. I would say this and the fact that she’s spent every day out there with Zeke, so she probably saw them being a tight two. That’s on top of what Barbara’s saying, so it’s a triple-decker of betrayal.

    2. I think part of the reason she was so pissed is that Zeke’s move didn’t make sense. If I were on survivor, I like to think I would be okay with getting betrayed when it’s good gameplay but I would be immensely frustrated if I lost/got betrayed by bad gameplay

      1. Andrea also might be pissed as a Survivor fan, because his move might be ruining this season. She’s just one of us!

  26. Thing that none of us thought of (including me): had Cirie’s plan worked and Zeke, Sarah, Ozzy, and Aubry voted with Cirie and Andrea, it STILL might have failed because of Debbie’s extra vote (and her obvious willingness to use it).

    Obviously, we can’t factor that into any judgement of anyone’s strategy (since it was unknown to all but Debbie), but wouldn’t that have been a kick in the ass for everyone in Cirie’s group to take the big leap to make a Big Move (that wasn’t a big move at all but rather the simple, easy play that SOMEONE couldn’t just let happen)… then go out due to a rock draw.

    Given how this season has gone, I think we can guarantee the rock draw would’ve taken out either Cirie, Michaela, Zeke, or Aubry (Ozzy would have been immune if we assume that side votes the same).

    (Better would have been for everyone to just unanimously agree to boot Troy).

  27. So I just read Mario’s last in the Funny 115, and after that I read the testimonials for v3, and (I apologise if everyone knew about it) there was a comment which Em made in her post few days ago, which said:

    “Mario Lanza isn’t a Survivor, but he’s a figure in the community.
    He tweeted nothing about Zeke.”

    Probably some reader send it to him, cause it involved him. I only wonder if he knew the WHOLE context behind that comment.

    1. Someone responded and tagged him when the post went up on twitter, and he responded. After he tweeted out the link to the new testimonial page (I think it was the next day maybe?), someone pointed out that he’d quoted me, and he said he was hoping people would notice it in there. He knows the context.

        1. If the explanation is plausibly that Mario Lanza is a self-involved douche, then that’s the explanation.

      1. Before even reading your comment I would’ve guaranteed that he knew the whole context, and that he was just being a dick.

  28. Survivor NZ cast promo shots are here if anyone else wants to take a look – http://imgur.com/a/gCjsS

    I hope Tony fits the “I’m not a regular dad, I’m a cool dad” archetype because it looks like he’s trying to channel Malcolm with that green flannel and necklace combo.

  29. Off-topic Monday discussion because I need to unpack this: in the song Bust-A-Move, my best friend’s brother is getting married, and he wants ME to be the best man? And that information is just glossed over like it’s nothing? If Harry was getting married, it’d make sense: he’s my best friend. But Larry? Why isn’t Harry his best man? What sort of bad blood is going on there? At the very least, wouldn’t Larry have a best friend of his own? Imagine: Larry doesn’t want his own brother to be his best man, and has zero friends of his own, and wants YOU to be his best man, because of the friendship you have with his brother that he clearly cherishes highly. That’s a little creepy, no? What kind of person would marry someone like that? Probably also a creep. Not to mention that he’s getting married in FIVE DAYS and this is the first I’m hearing about it? And my reaction: “Neato!” “Neato!”? I think not. I think not. Finally, he’s *hoping* I can be the best man? How is this not locked in yet?!?

    1. There are many possibilities here. On the surface, it does seem odd that Larry has chosen you over Harry. After all, you’re Harry’s best friend, not Larry’s. You would think that if Larry is close enough to you, he’d also have a pretty close relationship- without even mentioning his familial bond- with Harry.

      However, I think if you read between the lines you can figure out what happened here. Harry was all set to be the best man, because as the brother of the groom he was the natural choice. But that was until five days before the wedding, when Harry broke up with the head bridesmaid (whatever it’s called).

      Hoping to avoid a very awkward situation on his wedding day, Larry asked you to do him a solid and step into the best man role. You were always going to be in the groom team, but Larry is hoping to bump you up to first position after this whole Harry/Prime Bridesmaid situation.

      As for why you said “Neato”? You’re a fucking dork. It’s why you’ll probably blow it with the bridesmaid that winked at you.

      1. This makes a fair degree of sense, but if that is the case, then Young M.C. is leaving out some key pieces of information in his story.

        1. His central focus is to get you to stop standing there and instead devote your energy to busting moves. He’s more of a big picture guy than a details guy, so he took some shortcuts.

          1. Why am I checking my libido, though? It seems to me that a wedding would be a perfectly acceptable place for a libido. Especially if Bridesmaid Prime just broke up with my best friend Harry, who clearly was not a good fit for her, as Harry’s love of exclusively listening to mariachi music does grow a bit tiresome, as even Harry himself would admit.

          2. This is a good point, and this is where I differ with Young MC, as reasonable people are wont to do. There is no reason for a unattached single person such as yourself (or yourself in the context of this song, at least) to close yourself off from the possibility of either a relationship or an enjoyable hookup at a wedding.

            Indeed, part of the reason for getting all dressed up and having an open bar is to say to your invited guests, “Hey, unattached friends and relatives, have yourselves some fun in celebration of my nuptials.”

          3. And let’s not forget that the only reason the whole scenario works out for “you” here is that one of the bridesmaids thinks that you’re winking at her when in actuality, you’re blinking, presumably in a manner similar to Gilbert Gottfried. So the whole premise is predicated on the idea that the bridesmaid has poor eyesight, which, yes, probably explains a lot.

          4. One thing to note here is that Young MC has properly evaluated your lack of game. You’re basically stumbling into success despite yourself here.

          5. I always assumed that Larry’s fiance got went through a cold-feet phase and slept with/made out with/exchanged thirsty looks with Harry. Thus the awkward last-minute replacement and the warning to check your libido.

            Semi-related tangent: @purplerockjohn:disqus, dude, you should have stuck with The Leftovers.

          6. Honestly, even with the uptick in quality to The Leftovers (one of my favourite shows), it is not John’s type of show at all. And that’s okay.

          7. Well regardless, you should watch the first maybe 45 minutes of this week’s episode if you get a chance. Both for something you in particular will get a big kick out of and to watch Carrie Coon do the acting equivalent of hitting mammoth batting practice home runs.

          8. Also, maybe the reason I got asked to be the best man? Maybe it’s because I just bought a new tuxedo, and was dropping hints to Larry, like, “too bad I don’t have any weddings to go to in this brand new, sharp-looking tuxedo.”

  30. I’ve kinda been out of it all weekend…

    A Hali thought: I watched her Ponderosa and it was a joy. She was bubbly and quirky and just plain fun to watch. Even in Ozzy’s Ponderosa she seemed like a fun person to be around, and Ozzy seemed happy that Hali was the one he got to spend time with. I feel like i got a better sense of who Hali is in her 10min Ponderosa than the dozen actual episodes she was in.

    And I think this makes me sad about the Hali boot in a way I never would have expected. Pre-season, I was super meh about her, and definitely on the “Why’s she here?” side of things. But comparing her two games to her Ponderosa videos, it seems like the fun, laid back side of Hali gets lost in the game. I contribute this to the edit. Hali was an early post-merge boot in both her seasons, and falls into a sort of gap in editing. As she makes it past the merge, she can’t get a good pre-merge edit, even if she could compete with other bigger personalities for screen time. But, as she isn’t in the game very long post-merge, it doesn’t make sense to dedicate time to her (either pre or post). Hali could have been a pure joy on the beach, but her place in the boot order makes it logical to downplay her a bit and avoid her narrative. So i guess, I agree that Hali is one of the most forgettable two-time players, but I would blame this less on her ability to be interesting, more on her ability to play the game. Her skills average at an early post-merge boot, and that is not a great place to be.

    A Zeke thought: If i had to boil my thoughts on Zeke down to one thing, it would be that he actually did know better. I’m not bothered by him trying to make big moves, its good TV. I’m mad that he may have jeopardized the stance of Cirie and BAE BEFORE ALL OTHERS Michaela, but he isn’t the only one to do that.

    My main frustration is that, in his confessional he basically says “I know i shouldn’t, but I want to.” He seems fully aware that making a #BIGMOVE isn’t the best thing to do right now, but instead fully ignores his on-point survivor instincts. Personally, that’s frustrating. I’d probably be less bothered if he was totally convinced this was the time to do something, rather than know it wasn’t the time, and say ‘eh, fuck it’

    1. I absolutely adore Hali, and am overjoyed that I can watch her during ponderosa the whole season. I didn’t listened to the podcast yet, I’m focused on other things right now, but I do agree that in terms of returnees she is the 2nd most forgettable in terms of what she did in the game (only behind Monica Padilla). Even though I do think she has more upside to being a good player than most returnees, escpesially evident by how she managed herself in Tribal Councils, her door unfortunately closed once and for all.

      And to add more about her, I do think she could appear annoying to those who don’t have the need to understant her, cause she is really quirky. She is absolutely perfect for Ponderosa, cause that’s where people want to chill, and she will provide that atmosphere in spades, and she is probably really nice. It would be so interesting for meett her someday, she is absolutely fascinating and I love her.

  31. When you guys said “The hammock where it happens” I immediately started imagining a parody of “The Room Where it Happens” from Hamilton.

    Two Manas and a Nuku joined together on a tribe, diametrically opposed, foes…
    They emerge with a compromise, having opened doors that were previously closed, bros…

    But no one else was in the hammock where it happened… The hammock where it happened, the hammock where it happened…

    I totally have to finish this later….

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