Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers Finale “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Time to say goodbye to a season that started out so promising, and ended, well, like this.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers Finale “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Advantagegeddon: was it unfair or just unfortunate?
  • What can be done to prevent such a thing in the future, or should anything be done?
  • Cirie’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Why would Tai burn an idol on Aubry, only to vote her out the next day? Does this illustrate how frustrating it must be to play with Tai?
  • Aubry’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Brad blowing his entire game by trying to intimidate Tai. Was this an end game screw up, or simply a reveal of what had been missing in the edit?
  • Where does Brad’s FTC decision rank in the all-time blunders?
  • Tai’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Should Sarah have taken Tai up on his fire-challenge tie vote idea?
  • Thoughts on the new final tribal format.
  • Thoughts on this tribal specifically.
  • Troy’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Brad’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Rating Sarah’s win.
  • Sarah’s defining Survivor moment.
  • Final thoughts on the season. How does it rank?
  • Gratuitous shout outs. Lots of em.

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

 

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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  • Sad Lil

    I hope I get a shout out!

    • purplerockandy

      You are mentioned.

      • Sad Lil

        Hoo-boy!

        Now I just have to figure out how to downstream one of these podaroos

  • TheForRealDeal

    Thanks again for doing this every week fellas.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    How about a rewatch of One World?

    #SummerOfTroyzan

    • Diego Armando

      No.

  • Diego Armando

    Thank you for the great season of Survivor commentary.

  • Diego Armando

    I legitimately think that the idolacalypse was unfortunate for Cirie, but something the show kind of wanted to happen and should not be prevented.

  • indescribable hat

    I always sound like some big proponent of the Legacy Advantage, which I am not, but I don’t think it’s that bad. It doesn’t cost us that much time, it caused drama effectively in half the seasons it’s been in, and we’ve never yet seen a season where everyone knew it might exist. I know this is a bold statement, but I do not mind if it stays.

    (How fun were the first two idols ever, huh? Or any two random idols, even.)

  • Thanks for another great season! (Of podcasting, not necessarily of Survivor, although I think I’m going to have this season higher than most here) I haven’t been around the comments quite as much since I have had “college” and “responsibilities,” but listening to the podcast has still been a highlight of the parts of my week that I spend consuming Survivor-related content.

  • Vagabond

    I have to disagree with you guys about the “advantagegeddon” situation. The big problem with having enough idols for only one person not to be immune is that it changes the basic structure of the game, which is “everybody tries to use their social skills to get enough votes to vote someone else out, that person is permanently gone”. With only one person to vote for, all the strategizing, the lying, the manipulating, basically what we in this community call the “social game”, the part of the game that we all enjoy watching, is made totally pointless. It’s deflating, it makes bad television, THAT is why it needs to be fixed.

    I couldn’t care less if it’s fair or not, it needs to be fixed because we want to see the social game play, and we want that game play to matter. None of us care who wins the challenge right? We don’t care who’s the best at holding a pole, or doing a puzzle, or whatever; and we don’t care who’s the best at digging around tree roots and finding idols. We watch this show because we want to see who’s the best at manipulating people to vote a bunch of other people out, then vote for them to win a million dollars.

    I’m not saying that they need to get rid of idols. I love idols and I love the added drama that they bring to the game. What I would propose, is that they just change the rules such that you can only use the idols until the tribal council with “3 + Number of Idols in the Game” people left. That way there are always at least two people eligible to receive votes. Nice and easy, no need to change anything dramatic but prevents a shitty situation from being repeated; and make no mistake, it could be repeated. I agree with you that it’s unlikely, but remember that we are only three seasons removed from the Kimmy-Keith tribal, which was only one idol away from being this same situation. Contestants are getting better with idols and realizing that when someone else plays one that is probably the best time for you to play yours as well. So really, why take the risk when it’s such an easy fix? Brothers and Sisters, save the social game!

    • I agree that situations like this are damaging for the social game, but as Andy said on the podcast, I’d wait to make any drastic changes until this becomes a regular occurrence (if that ever happens). Playing and managing idols are parts of Survivor strategy, and idols have produced some of the show’s best moments – placing additional constraints could limit the potential for players to make certain decisions that they see as strategic. (Plus, I think a lot of people here, myself included, would feel very different about this tribal if someone other than Cirie had gone home.) This isn’t the first time we’ve had three idols in the game, but most of the time, at least one idol holder will feel the need to play an idol before final six. I think an issue could emerge out of the show’s tendency to rehide all idols until they’re no longer playable, since doing that increases the likelihood that a large percentage of players will have idols late in the game. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having three idols in the game that can be played until final 5, but if we consistently have 4 or 5 players immune at final 6, then changes might be necessary.

    • I agree that situations like this are damaging for the social game, but as Andy said on the podcast, I’d wait to make any drastic changes until this becomes a regular occurrence (if that ever happens). Playing and managing idols are parts of Survivor strategy, and idols have produced some of the show’s best moments – placing additional constraints could limit the potential for players to make certain decisions that they see as strategic. (Plus, I think a lot of people here, myself included, would feel very different about this tribal if someone other than Cirie had gone home.) This isn’t the first time we’ve had three idols in the game, but most of the time, at least one idol holder will feel the need to play an idol before final six. I think an issue could emerge out of the show’s tendency to rehide all idols until they’re no longer playable, since doing that increases the likelihood that a large percentage of players will have idols late in the game. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having three idols in the game that can be played until final 5, but if we consistently have 4 or 5 players immune at final 6, then changes might be necessary

    • purplerockandy

      changes the basic structure of the game, which is “everybody tries to use their social skills to get enough votes to vote someone else out, that person is permanently gone”

      Your mistake is in defining the game as such. The social game is but an element of Survivor. It is not Survivor.

      None of us care who wins the challenge right? We don’t care who’s the best at holding a pole, or doing a puzzle, or whatever; and we don’t care who’s the best at digging around tree roots and finding idols.

      We are not the sole audience for this show, many of whom care FAR more about those things than the other things. Immunities matter. Idols matter. If they didn’t, then they would have no business being on the show.

      And frankly, this tribal didn’t make the social game irrelevant. Aubry’s social game helped her get Tai to play an idol for her. Sarah’s made her a threat to Tai, forcing him to play both his idols in an attempt to get her out. She didn’t go out because her superior social game granted her the Legacy Advantage.

      Hell, you can argue that Tai still had his idols because his social game told him not to play them until now. If you want to be REALLY charitable, you can say the same for Troy.

      • Vagabond

        The social game may not be “Survivor” in its totality, but it is certainly the most important part of the larger whole. When people like Ozzy talk about why they shouldn’t be voted out because they are providing fish, we all correctly roll our eyes right? When people like Shirin are too caught up in the strategy and neglect the relationship building we criticize them for that no? Because the game isn’t really about camping skills or strategy or challenges or any number of other things. Those are all a component of it, but relatively small ones. They’re an essential part of the final product, but they aren’t the defining attributes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you yourself have commenting before on players not understanding the basic nature of what they need to do to be successful by using the phrase, “The social game is the game”.

        I understand that we are not the only fans of this show, and in all likelihood make up a pretty negligible part of the whole audience. I would never argue that challenges or idols don’t matter or that they should be removed from the show. The diversity of viewers is one of the things that is necessary to keep this show we all love from going off the air. However, I do think there is something to be said for keeping those elements relatively peripheral so they don’t interfere too much with the most important part (and in my opinion the most enjoyable) which is the social game play.

        I probably overstated my argument when I said that “advantagegeddon” made the social game play totally pointless. You are absolutely correct that there was still plenty of social game play on display by people by a variety of people, most notably Aubry (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like Aubry but credit where credit is due). However, a lot more social game was taken away from us because of what happened. If there are still two people available for votes and a second round of voting needs to happen, just think of all the crazy whispering, the frantic strategizing, and the deal making that we would have been able to enjoy. Compare this tribal council to the Kimmy-Keith one, which did you enjoy watching more? Like I said before, I’m not suggesting some radical change to the game, I don’t want to abolish Idols or do away with challenges. I just think that a small adjustment to make sure that we get a more enjoyable viewing in the future isn’t that crazy of a suggestion.

        And I’m also aware this is all academic. Survivor does not care what I think and I’m not going to get them to change anything. But it’s fun to dream isn’t it?

        • purplerockandy

          I do think the social game is the most important part of the game. But the other parts matter too, even if it only comes up every once and awhile. For instance, we always thought Cirie had a long odds chance to win because there will always come a point in time in the game where her social game (which is unparalleled) will not be enough and she’ll need to win an immunity or fire-making challenge to advance. Because those things matter too.

          This season, that moment came two votes earlier than expected.

          • indescribable hat

            She doesn’t need to win anything to win Panama, she just needs Terry to lose at final 4. Fuckin’ Terry.

          • purplerockandy

            And he didn’t. Because sometimes immunities matter.

          • indescribable hat

            Oh for sure, she just gets damn close, not just in that she places highly, but in that small, plausible changes (other than her winning immunity, which I don’t actually think is impossible) would result in her win.

          • Max_Jets

            Actually, *obnoxiously pushes glasses up to Andy and @avclub-800d427f7b19cf6f05ec777b2beb9a25:disqus* Terry lost final 4 but could still use his idol, while Aras won immunity and Danielle was better than her at firemaking. It’s not dissimilar to this situation, in that her elimination has little to do with her social game (she was otherwise setting up her endgame perfectly). Soon after the rules were changed so that idols couldn’t be played past final 5, once again bringing the social aspect to the forefront of the game. Perhaps a similar lesson will be learned here?

          • purplerockandy

            A bigger reason for the pushback of idols to 5 was the change to the final three. Which had less to do with Cirie’s social game and more to do with losing Terry.

          • Max_Jets

            But that doesn’t support my point as well! (I do think hidden immunity idols until 4 with a final 2 would have been bad because of the likelihood of ties, but that is true.)

          • Diego Armando

            That was Panama’s biggest issue for me. Either Cirie or Terry would have been a much more interesting winner than Aras.

          • indescribable hat

            Ahh I am wrong, I am wrong! Actually that’s a little reassuring, because I had been thinking, man, I remember way too much about Panama, but apparently I don’t.

          • Diego Armando

            Crap, beat me to it.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Terry could have used his idol at final four back then. And it’s a god idol. What CIrie needed was to be better at Danielle at making fire.

            ETA: Should have kept reading. Max_Jets said it.

      • Max_Jets

        That was the structure of the game for 10 seasons though, with the exception being immunity wins. I argued similar points in Malcolm’s boot – We have the basis of Survivor in the earliest seasons, the evolution of that which uses the first 10 seasons as its foundation with idols and advantages thrown on top, and now in a couple places this season we have a near removal of the foundation for the game while pieces of the “evolution” determine the outcome. I love the newer elements of Survivor! Most of my favorite seasons have been since the introduction of the HII. I don’t want the foundation of the game to leave though, the social dynamics are what make it so fun. Yes there was still some of that at play in this vote and those were the most interesting aspects, but it was greatly reduced.

        I feel like we all want basically the same thing though. It seems like very few people thought this default boot was good television and I suspect it wouldn’t be that many more even if someone else got booted. We just have different ideas of how likely the scenario is to happen again. We wouldn’t get this if we had 3 idols (and no Legacy) in the game that couldn’t be played past final 6. We also wouldn’t get this situation with two idols that work as normal. Are either of those changes so drastic? Even having differently powered idols could work (say only 1 expires at final 6 – it’s still a very good idol).

        • Vagabond

          I like the idea of one idol that expires at 6. That’s even less intrusive then my suggestion. You could just randomize which beach gets that idol and who cares that some people get a better idol than others. Luck matters in survivor.

          • Max_Jets

            They could also have all the 3 tribe idols expire at 6, and if they are replaced at the merge beach (to get back up to 2 idols in the game) then the new ones would expire at 5.

        • purplerockandy

          I agree that the moment wasn’t good television. I just don’t think it represents a scourge that needs to be dealt with. It’s just a thing that happened. Sometimes things happen.

          • indescribable hat

            I tend to agree, but it would be really easy to prevent this exact thing from happening if they didn’t want it to. I don’t think they will, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they rejiggered​the number/expiration of idols, since this kind of felt like our favorite leaving because she didn’t know she was playing musical chairs.

          • Diego Armando

            I kind of think the Producers were fine with this happening (although not to Cirie) because it is something that has never happened and would generate a massive amount of buzz and discussion.

          • indescribable hat

            I agree, but maybe now that it’s not special anymore and that it was a bit of a dud when it happened they’ll be less enthusiastic.

          • the sky is falling

            I sort of think that there were at least two earlier tribal councils where it was madness for Tai to NOT play his idol.

            I chalk it up to bad luck and just a thing that happened when it came to the Cirie situation. My gut feeling is that having multiple idols and advantages floating around more often leads to something exciting happening than to a mess of the Cirie vote.

    • purplerockandy

      Okay, for some reason this reply by AubrysWinnersEdit won’t post, so I’m pasting it here until it does:

      “I agree that situations like this are damaging for the social game, but as Andy said on the podcast, I’d wait to make any drastic changes until this becomes a regular occurrence (if that ever happens). Playing and managing idols are parts of Survivor strategy, and idols have produced some of the show’s best moments – placing additional constraints could limit the potential for players to make certain decisions that they see as strategic. (Plus, I think a lot of people here, myself included, would feel very different about this tribal if someone other than Cirie had gone home.) This isn’t the first time we’ve had three idols in the game, but most of the time, at least one idol holder will feel the need to play an idol before final six. I think an issue could emerge out of the show’s tendency to rehide all idols until they’re no longer playable, since doing that increases the likelihood that a large percentage of players will have idols late in the game. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having three idols in the game that can be played until final 5, but if we consistently have 4 or 5 players immune at final 6, then changes might be necessary”

    • Max_Jets

      I think the Kimmi situation was even worse – she went home because Spencer won immunity so him and Jeremy had zero incentive to switch their votes from Keith. The tie breaker solution is pretty brilliant, but it no longer makes sense in this scenario. That said, there can be a way to fix that scenario without changing anything to avoid advantagegeddon.

      Josh Wigler made an interesting point on RHAP about how watching Cirie go out here might become a cautionary tale and cause people to hoard their idols more instead of playing them for other people, leading to more situations like this.

      • Vagabond

        Completely agree about the tie breaker.

      • indescribable hat

        I actually expected them to make fire at the Kimmi TC because it’s the same rationale at final four – only one person vulnerable to the rock​ draw, only one side has pressure to cave.

    • Denzel

      I agree they should always be left with two people, nullifying the chance to vote kind of made no sense to me. It was also really predictable when you tallied up all the idols and advantages that Cirie was toast… An amazing and “game changing” twist for me would’ve been if Cirie was then immune and got to chose, who was voted off, kind of like the kimmy keith thing, or if Cirie was then immune and it went to rocks. I think it could add another dimension to timing and idol play.

    • the sky is falling

      Instead of less idols, I still say more idols is the way to go.

      Give everyone an idol at the start and make it known to the players. It could make for a couple exciting tribals, as off the top of my head, I’m not sure how you even manage that, strategy-wise.

  • Mike Hirsch

    This season was a season where the whole was lesser than the sum of its parts. Because many episodes had at least one or two terrific moments, but usually those moments were surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. Any giddy optimism I had for the season took a hit when Tony got booted, and evaporated like the morning dew when Malcolm was sent packing. Zeke’s outing was horrifying. Sarah played a great game. Sandra was wonderful. Michaela has the best Ponderosa ever. It’s just none of that ever coalesced into any sort of coherent whole for the season. I’d put it lower third. I’ve watched seasons I’ve liked less; I’m not sure I’ve seen one that has disappointed me on as many levels as this one has.

    As always, though, your podcasts are great. Thanks for slogging through the less than great seasons with us lowly plebeian commenters and occasional contributors and one-off contributors, who are slightly higher up in pecking order than those who merely comment but not so much that anyone would really notice unless someone wanted to take the time to rank the importance of the various roles. Thanks also are due, of course, to those here who win fantasy leagues. To the rest who play but never win, keep striving for that dream! Seacrest out.

    • Diego Armando

      This one rivals Worlds Apart for most disappointing for me. I think Worlds Apart was worse.

    • tocantins

      I put this season dead last among those I watched. (But to be fair, of the 11 seasons I haven’t watched, most of them are probably bad.) I place it under One World, because although I’m willing to concede that both had amazing strategic winners, at least Kim was also a charming character.

      This season just feels especially disappointing. When following a reality show, it is impossible not to accept that there is a huge random component to it: from who is voted out, to medevacs, quitting; even casting is done with very incomplete information. So, when two people quit after the merge, I accept of course that this is bad for the season, but I don’t hold it against it: it is part of the medium. If you want to watch Survivor, you have to be prepared for that. But this season, the bad things about it just don’t seem random at all. No one quit; no one was medevac’d; they were all returnees, so there is no casting excuse. It feels like a Survivor fail more than any other season to me.

      • jersey_luck

        It is more that every time production tried to have a twist the season got worse because a) the twists were unnecessary and b) effected the wrong people. For example when they had the exile boat twist I think they were hoping an Aubry or Andrea got sent to the boat so they could have a huge strategy scene. Instead it was Debbie and they got different scene then what they wanted. And that was probably the best twist outcome of the season.

  • Ethan Kyle

    *Sits down on a lawn chair with a shotgun and a bunch of guiness* THIS BLOG HORRIFICALLY OVERRATES BOTH ONE WORLD AND KIM SPRADLIN

    • purplerockandy

      Blocked

      • Ethan Kyle

        *sits back and bathes in the hate*

      • Ethan Kyle

        also I may be a little bit bored and drunk

    • Max_Jets

      Kim Spradlin is underrated because a handful of people think she is overrated.

    • indescribable hat

      Could we overrate One World? My impression is we medium hate it. Kim is very plausible though.

      • Ethan Kyle

        Anything that has one world above anything but Game Changers i overrating

        • indescribable hat

          Huh. Bold stance. I remember almost nothing about One World because it was boring and I didn’t have internet friends to talk about it with, but there are some seasons that were like pulling fucking teeth for me, whereas One World was kind of a nothing.

          • Ethan Kyle

            thats exactly why I hate it, at least want something that leaves an impression on me, One World made me feel nothing, so I don’t care enough to put it any higher, Game Changers only beats it because Sarah fucking bugs me for some reason

          • indescribable hat

            I might feel this way if I weren’t such a rage-filled person. Sure One World is boring, but Thailand made me gnash my teeth and stuff.

            (Not the Sarah stuff. I would never feel that way about her! Sarah kind of charms me for some reason.)

          • Diego Armando

            Binging Thailand is a soul sucking experience. I have never been as frustrated, depressed and tv screaming as I was watching that season.

            For bonus depression points, try watching it on a laptop, in your car, parked in a strip mall parking lot after dark because you needed to be somewhere at 8 and you forgot your headphones, but you are not getting a late fee at the library for FRIGGIN SURVIVOR THAILAND.

          • indescribable hat

            Miserable! I also dragged myself through it quickly because I was trying to get the most out of my free trial of CBS All Access, but at least I wasn’t in a car.

          • Diego Armando

            If I had remembered my earphones, I probably would have watched it in a Culver’s or something. I would have gotten looks for yelling “SHUT YOU GODDAMNED FACE-HOLE” at Clay though.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Probably the nicest thing to say to that asshole.

          • Hornacek

            “No shit, Sherlock.”

          • Diego Armando

            I hated that bastard so much. If you were to preform an experiment to break Big Tom into two people made out of components of his personality, you would get Keith Nale and Clay. Keith is all of the fun stuff, while Clay is all of his negative aspects without the added bonus of charm.

          • Diego Armando

            To give you an idea how that season wore on me, when they first showed the Attack Zone confrontation between Clay and Robb my response was “Oh my God”. When they replayed it much later in the season, my thought was “You know, Robb may have been right; Clay was being a little bitch”. That season messes with your mind, in ways I am not comfortable with.

          • Prom King

            Ha! Clay was probably my favorite thing when I finally got around to re-watching it. Still at the bottom for me though, despite laughing at/with Clay, liking Jake, and the fascination of watching a psychopath at work.

          • PurpleTally

            Thailand COMPLETELY stalled my Survivor watch. For nearly a month, I didn’t watch any Survivor, because I just did not want to turn on Thailand.

          • Diego Armando

            That was kind of me with Nicaragua. I will acknowledge that it was objectively horrible, but it made no lasting impression on me whatsoever.

          • indescribable hat

            Me too! I actually have started watching it multiple times thinking I hadn’t seen it and then realized I had and tried to figure out how much of the season I’d seen and I think it’s all of it or very nearly all of it but I will never be sure.

        • DrVanNostrand

          Anything that has Nicaragua above anything is objectively wrong.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I have Nicaragua above Thailand. The gameplay is worst but the people aren’t as shitty, even with NaOnka involved.

      • Diego Armando

        Yes we do. Kim is great, but One World seems to get too much of a pass (in that we do not instantly lump it in with Nicaragua, Thailand, South Pacific and the equivalent Redemption Island).

        • tocantins

          Well, I never watched South Pacific (next on my list) nor RI (this one I’m not sure I ever plan to), but I surely rank One World below Nicaragua and much below Thailand.

        • indescribable hat

          I’m a South Pacific apologist, so I kind of get it. My love for Sophie raises the season to “tolerable.”

          • Diego Armando

            I can understand that. I like Sophie, but you have to suffer through Brandon Hantz, Ozzy and his tribe of douchebags, and Coach starting a cult to get her.

          • indescribable hat

            To me the season is about the majesty of Sophie triumphing over all the worst impulses of the show. It’s like a gritty war movie where your side wins but it’s not exactly “fun.”

          • PurpleTally

            Also you’ve got the eye candy that is John Cochran to keep you entertained for awhile.

          • You and Probst need to get a room together just so you can get your crush out.

          • PurpleTally

            The podcast with him talking about all of his various neuroses helped considerably. He seems even worse than my ex, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate him aesthetically.

          • purplerockandy

            He’s such a mess.

          • PurpleTally

            That’s an understatement.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Badass Sophie’s play raises that season for sure. She played such a subtle excellent game.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I dunno. I think the whole S21-24 stretch is considered the Dark Ages, so if anything One World does get lumped in with the South Pacific and Redemption Island (Nicaragua is a notch lower, and deservedly so, because it doesn’t even have a coherent winner’s story).

    • UseYourCommonSense

      I mean she definitely had shitty competition.

    • Kemper Boyd

      One World is trash,

      Kim Spradlin is a fucking superstar.

  • Blurry Denzel

    So last month when I went to the reality meet up, there was few people I wanted to talk to but there was one particular player I was dying to meet.

    Cirie Fields is my all time favorite player. I first fell in love while binging Panama where every confessional she had was the most delightful. She is so rootable as the “couch potato” type that went so far out of her comfort zone and excelled. She was having so much fun and the energy she has is so infectious. Plus, this woman is a goddamn genius. Her 3,2,1 plan is legit gamechanging and not just because the show tells us that. She is an innovator of strategy in Survivor. She comes back in Micronesia and still just as delightful as before, no diminishing returns. She is just as great of a thinker and sets up my all time favorite Survivor moment when she beautifully thinks up a plan to get Erik to give up immunity (I got to tell her that and I almost broke out in tears, which surprised me).

    My friends and I arrive at the bar about 30 minutes after the event started. Survivor and Big Brother players are spread out casually mingling with fans. Cirie was set up at a different part of the bar, by herself, with a line formed for the chance to meet this queen. We join the line and when we get to the front, she gives up the most heartwarming smile and greets us with the best hug. She seems just as excited to meet these random fanatics as we are to meet her. She is fucking perfect.

    Usually when I meet players, the conversation follows the same format. I mention that I’m a fan, probably mention a moment that I appreciated and ask a question. The player is in the role of reacting and the talk builds from there. Cirie, on the other hand, drives the conversation. She asked us questions and led us to interesting topics. Not what I’m used to but so enlightening to who Cirie is as a person, which is amazing. Meeting her was even better than I ever dreamt and I was so happy to even get the chance.

    After this season, Cirie has proven to still be a delightful prescene and wonderful thinker. No one player has made a bigger impact in my fandom of this show than Cirie. She is one of the greatest ever at this game and there will never be another Cirie.

    Here’s a picture that probably won’t post the way I want it to.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e847e48c54b9a2f93a978cb97a815bd7a538fd147415848b57fde6255aaa302d.jpg

    • indescribable hat

      So great! Meeting Survivor players seems like a horrifying social situation to me mostly and I’m glad you do it and report back, but I would make an exception for Cirie Fields.

      • Blurry Denzel

        It can be horrifying. I get anxious a lot before the moment. Part of why I love Aubry so much was how much she alleviated my fears of meeting people I idolized. Credit to a lot of the people I’ve met over these months. They have mostly been so friendly and engaging.

        • indescribable hat

          I think in addition to just being bad and twitchy socially I have a problem ceding the upper hand, so I’m afraid I would be like, yeah, whatever, I’m not impressed with you, and then go home and mope about how I was unconscionably rude. This would not be a problem with Cirie.

        • Diego Armando

          I imagine it gets easier with each meeting. I know when I met the guy who does YuGiOh Abridged at an Anime Convention (Almacon) I made a fool of myself trying to get him to like me. I’ve seen him at subsequent events and have been much saner.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Easier in the sense that I’m less nervous, especially since they do tend to recognize me and I don’t have to go through meeting them again. Sometimes it is tougher because I don’t always have things I want to say the second, third, or fourth time around.

          • Diego Armando

            Yeah that’s the problem. At that point, my only idea is “Thank you for coming”.

          • Mike Hirsch

            I can imagine it could get to the point where it’s like, “Hey! So…I still think you’re great.”

    • purplerockandy

      Holy shit! Cirie met Denzel Washington!

    • Figaro

      That is so cool! Cirie is probably the player I would most like to meet, but I feel like if I ever did I’d just end up just staring at her in awe, speechless from her sheer awesomeness.

  • Blurry Denzel

    Aubry Talk Finale Edition: Her exit is pretty underwhelming just like her edit was this season. I’ve talked a lot about her lack of screentime already so instead I will say her Ponderosa video was great. She seems so relieved and shows the most joy I’ve seen from her all season. She continues to explain her experience in such a compelling way. I can feel the emotion she is going through. Aubry remains great.

    I hope she plays again in a few seasons from now. I think she can still bring a lot to the table.

    • pufflehuff

      I thought Aubry’s exit interview with Wigler in Parade was delightful – she hasn’t lost her touch for vivid metaphors (I loved the Indiana Jones reference.)

      Aubry’s ability to narrate her game so well makes me really sad that they didn’t show more of it this season. I do agree that it’s tough to have her as a main narrator as she was so often out of the loop, but so too is the typical underdog narrator (Spencer in Cagayan, Wentworth in Cambodia) and it would have been great to see her talk about her hustle/frustrations here.

      Even more than the dud casting, I think the abysmal storytelling has been the major flaw of this season. I’ve tried to keep it positive here as I had to believe in some way that Cirie could win to keep watching, but the lack of care in Aubry’s story is glaring. And I think Sarah’s winning story was really hampered by the fact that as she put it, she was in the middle of two blocs, but only one of those blocs (for some reason the brad/sierra one) had much development. If the show had managed to sell the Andrea/Cirie/Zeke alliance as a credible threat rather than obstacle then Sarah’s story could have been more interesting & her win would have been less telegraphed.

      • That’s why everyone knew that the Debbie boot was the last hurrah for that particular group-because no one was really well developed on that side.

        • pufflehuff

          yeah, they developed Debbie’s position fairly well and even with the thinly drawn dynamics (it was unclear how much FFSDT or Brad were leading things) that alliance was still drawn more sharply than the other one, which is mad when there was a temporarily successful alliance that contained Cirie, Andrea, Aubry, Michaela + Zeke and then they all started to turn on each other.

          I’m really with you on the bad storytelling this season – partly, I think the amount of advantages + twists in the game have something to do with it, as it takes time to cover the dual tribal council or exile island thing (both of which were underwhelming).

          But now that the story is complete, some of the choices and omissions made are even more baffling than in Cambodia. They could have established Andrea and Zeke’s connection/alliance on the Tavau tribe instead of the Ozzy fishing segment or the Sarah/Troy scene (there’s plenty of material to showcase Sarah’s game later and that scene felt very shoe-horned): the drama of Zeke and Andrea targeting each other or Cirie gunning for Andrea didn’t really land and it’s confusing because that alliance was actually more dominant post-merge so the focus on Brad/Debbie/Sierra didn’t go anywhere satisfying.

          And having one of your major narrators be a winner who a) is a boring narrator and b) keeps flipping between sides, makes for a choppy and uninteresting story. I guess it’s frustrating as there are parts of this season that are just disappointing to awful (from the final 3 to the outing) but what production did with the story probably made the season worse than it had to be.

          • Sarah had the most confessionals this season with 44, which means that she is the second female winner after Kim to get the most confessionals in a season. She also broke the record previously held by Penner and Tyson of the smallest number of the most confessionals (both of them had 49).

          • pufflehuff

            I am glad she got to narrate her own game, especially as Probst seemed to devote more time to how/why Brad lost at the reunion than how Sarah won.

            I’m not sure that amount of confessionals matters all that much as it can be so variable (as some confessionals are such fluff/filler). It is sadly telling that most of the other female winners have been eclipsed by other characters, mostly men I’d imagine, in the storytelling.

            That said, I wouldn’t have minded if some of Sarah’s repetitive ‘which way do I go?’ confessionals went to Aubry or Michaela. Sarah’s strengths were not in narrating her game, so I think once you show the moves she’s making with some articulation, there’s not a need to make her the biggest confessional voice of a season, especially one where narration giants Cirie & Aubry make the finale.

          • I would really love to see how the Brad Culpepper segment was going to e originally because Brad overtook Probst at that point. I believe Probst was going to reveal that Sierra was the third Brad vote and then go into the tied FTC vote.

          • purplerockandy

            Yeah, if Brad got more time it wasn’t because the show was giving him more time.

          • I highly urged you all to go back and watch that segment because you can see Probst getting progressively more pissed (even if he ended it with essentially “See brad, you could have won….but Sarah, you’re good too, I guess).

  • Blurry Denzel

    My vote for rewatch is Palau and not just because I want Barbara Anderson to watch (but mostly that). I find the story of the season to be very fascinating. I think the cast and winner are excellent and there are tons of great moments sprinkled throughout including one scene that I once said was the greatest individual scene Survivor has ever done. Also, Palau is surprisingly polarizing around here. I’ve mentioned Palau a lot and I’ve gotten tons of love about the season but also people who don’t like it. I think part of it is that this season more than others might suffer from knowing what happens beforehand but I’m interested in the discussion around it. Past rewatches have been seasons that are mostly loved or hated while Palau may average out near the middle. The tough part of Palau may be it’s availability. Last I checked, Palau is not streaming on Amazon Prime or Hulu like other seasons are. Not everyone has CBS All Access and I’m paranoid about how many people I can give my password to before CBS sends the NCIS crew to investigate. I think Palau is worth trying to find some means of watching it.

    If we don’t do Palau, here are other seasons I think would be cool to rewatch. I put this in order of preference. I’m not a fan of every season I list but I think all of them could lead to really good discussion. Note: I would’ve included Micronesia but that was recently done in the comments during this season on Tuesday posts, led wonderfully by Barbara Anderson and Purple Tally.

    1. Phillipines
    2. Amazing Race 7
    3. Pearl Islands
    4. China
    5. Panama
    6. Fiji
    7. Guatemala

    • purplerockandy

      Here’s a teaser:

      The next rewatch is mentioned in your comment.

      • indescribable hat

        Fingers crossed it’s not China or Micronesia, which I rewatched too recently by myself. Although I might get on board anyway because I love them too much.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Anything but Fiji and we good (even though it features the one and only Sylvia). I wouldn’t be able to sit through another full sitting of Lisi and Rocky.

        • Super duper fan

          Even though I dislike Fiji, and is definetely in my bottom 10, I can argue that it is still a very important season for Survivor’s evolution, where many of the current strategies were revolutionised there, it has Earl, Yau-Man and Michelle who I all love, possibly the best episode of all time in “It’s a Turtle?!”, and the car deal that is absolutely fascinating to watch. The problem is we have to get through the worst pre-merge of all time, and many either boring or unlikable people. Definetely an important season, but still not a fan.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            That’s true! It had a few really fun and entertaining moments and important strategy. I remember a scene with Michelle and Rita and lip gloss which I thought was absolutely hilarious when I first watched it. Like you say, the main problem is the horrible cast. A lot of bullying. Also made worse seeing some of the likeable ones – Sylvia, and Michelle in particular, getting screwed over by twists.

            Thank god Yau-Man made it to F4 because otherwise I’m not sure if I would have gotten through it. Everyone raves about Earl – he’s very likeable and he’s a great strategist and a good winner but I can’t remember him being that charismatic on screen. Not sure if I’d call it the best episode of all time, but I agree that is a really good episode. Definitely one of the best tribals of all time because of those reaction shots alone. My heart also wouldn’t be able to deal with watching Yau-Man getting swindled and then voted out at F4 again though. Good discussion point though, yeah.

          • Super duper fan

            While yeah, maybe not THE best episode of all time, it’s at least in the top 10 at least. But from the ‘bad’ seasons, Fiji is at the very least a good discussion material, while the only really discussion worthy topics in for example OW and Ri are winers’ winning games, while in Fiji there is much more to talk about.

          • Prom King

            I think you should look at it as Yau-Man trying to swindle Dreamz, and failing. He pretty much said as much after the show (maybe even during the reunion). Poor Dreamz!

          • Prom King

            Definitely true that the pre-merge can be excruciating. The twist is doltish. The bullying is very hard to watch, particularly since Anthony reminds me of a sibling. But I still loved it overall and think it’s a very underrated season. For me at least, a bunch of memorable characters who are underdogs and get to defeat the assholes trumps having assholes in the cast in the first place. And especially with some all-time favorites like Yau-Man, Earl, and Dreamz, as long as any of them are featured in an episode, they save that episode. Plus Horsemen Apocalypse is my favorite fall of a villainous alliance (narrowly beating fall of the Rotu 4 and fall of the Onion Alliance).

          • Super duper fan

            I can understand why someone can like it, and when I’m gonna rewatch previous seasons, this will be the one where I’m gonna keep an open mind. But for now, the cons heavily outweight pros from what I remember.

          • Prom King

            It’s a dark season for sure and so hard to recommend. But I also may be biased because I first watched it at a formative age and having an all-black final three really made it amazing for me on a personal level. And Yau-Man remains in my top 5 characters of all time as well.

          • Super duper fan

            Yau-Man actually may also be in my top 5, alongside probably Courtney, Cirie, Rob C. and Sandra. But unfortunately, despite how fantastic he is, it’s tough for him to single-handedly hold this season for me.

          • Prom King

            You have excellent taste! Sandra and Cirie are also in mine.

      • DrVanNostrand

        I, for one, look forward to the damn Guatemala rewatch, man!

      • Mike Hirsch

        Amazing Race 7, as previously indicated elsewhere, would be an excellent one.
        (True story: I almost typed “amazing” and had to stammer with my fingers for a bit and typed “an an an” until I though of “excellent.”)

    • Super duper fan

      I really liked Palau! And one more that I really liked about it, is that it is probably the best ‘challenge’ season, there were so many good ones, and I don’t necessarily watch for them. But, I probably won’t be rewatching with you all, cause I watched all the seasons just a year ago, and I still am watching for the first time all the TAR and BB seasons, but I will try to participate in the conversation.

    • indescribable hat

      Palau! Palau was my first season, so I’ll always love it a little, but I’ve never rewatched it so it’s also the season I haven’t seen in the longest time. I would be super on board for a Palau rewatch, and I have to justify my birthday-present CBS All Access now that the Survivor season is over and The Good Fight turned out to last TEN episodes. So far I am trying to watch Big Brother.

    • Diego Armando

      Palau is the season I most want to rewatch.

      • indescribable hat

        If the PRP staff aren’t into it, we could probably get together a little team to do it in comments at some point.

        • purplerockandy

          I’ll say that I’m in favour of a Palau rewatch. It just becomes a matter of what makes most sense theme-wise or what works out among the staff.

          • indescribable hat

            I’m very happy to wait and see if it seems like a plausible candidate for a future official rewatch, but if the logistics or personal preferences make that unlikely I would be all in on a commentariat rewatch sometime.

        • Blurry Denzel

          I’ll be fine with that too. I think the Micronesia rewatch in the comments was great and I think Palau would be the same. I’ll even volunteer to come up with discussion questions to get the ball rolling.

          • BadPlayer91

            If any rewatches like Micronesia occur please count me in!! Though it will be a regular watch for me most likely, I’m just beyond a third of the way through the seasons…

    • Kemper Boyd

      SJDS!

      • Super duper fan

        This isn’t a bad choice actually.

        • Kemper Boyd

          This is the only choice, it’s great season.

          • Super duper fan

            I agree.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Sometimes I binge watch just the last 6 episodes. It’s one of the all time great endings.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I’ll always support Natalie Anderson slaying the competition. She is so amazing.

          • Kemper Boyd

            You know how Andy says he wants his winners to be entertaining? That’s Natalie Anderson hands down.

          • Blurry Denzel

            “Did you vote for who I told you to?” I almost bowed from my couch. Her late game play completely single handedly makes that season.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Oh the Alec Christie episode is one of the best pre-merge episodes there is. It’s Shakespearean in it’s perfection.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I’m assuming you mean Drew and I agree, one of the best episodes out there. Natalie played a big role in that one too.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Bum, yes the Drewchebag episode. Alec Christie is perfect in his dumb face.
            https://33.media.tumblr.com/c9c7e56c482c34c8ec2f3770d9e3c62c/tumblr_ngrjx3kSi21s8ypszo1_400.gif

          • Blurry Denzel

            Speaking of Alec, Natalie voting for him and then saying she got confused is also fantastic. You’ve convinced me, Kemper, let’s watch SJDS.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It’s a great move, I love Jon saying “I’m going to bring this up with the jury”. Like yeah dude and she’ll say, “I did that because Alec was Jon’s lacky and Keith was there for me to use”. Idiot. Jon is a bad player.

          • That’s the moment where I went from casual to superfan

          • purplerockandy

            No argument here.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It elevates a very mediocre season to something more.

          • purplerockandy

            Natalie Anderson rules.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Frankly I don’t want to meet anyone who thinks she doesn’t.

          • Max_Jets

            Yeah, I’ve rewatched most of those and I must say, Missy/Baylor/Jon/Jaclyn are all better than remembered. They’re not all time great characters by any means, but they’re all decent speakers and well developed on the show. Also, under reported story on Missy/Baylor: they were excellent sports. Baylor immediately praises Natalie’s move to get her out and Missy completely understands why her own daughter was voted out. That’s like unheard of lack of bitterness.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Missy played a very good game strategically. Her issue really ws that she is good at making people in her alliance feel good but not those on the outs. So no one wanted to vote for her, especially after Nat’s splashy play. Jaclyn is a better player than Jon, she has better instincts that he repeatitively ignores. Baylor is carried but you are right she’s a good sport about it all. And had it been Baylor and Missy been on the jury they’d have voted for Nat over Keith.

      • I am down.

    • Prom King

      Palau is fantastic. My third favorite season.

  • UseYourCommonSense

    So according to the bonus jury videos Hali, Michela, Cirie and Aubry would have voted for Tai over Brad and talked about how they really disliked Brad. Some of them also mentioned that they were cognizant of the language barrier. However Ozzy, Debbie, Sierra and Zeke would have voted for Brad. Andrea said she was up in the air and we don’t know how Sarah would vote. It seems that Brad would win in that scenario. He made a huge mistake taking Sarah.

    Speaking of Sarah, I agree that she played one of the best games ever.

    • If you believe a Brad-pressured Sarah, she would have voted for Tai because of his betrayal.

      • UseYourCommonSense

        Yeah it seems she would most likely lean that way.

  • pufflehuff

    That reunion show was awful. Somewhat prepared for it by EmandScout’s comments in the liveblog but watching it last night I was incredulous.

    Hey Jeff Probst, it’s gross to describe an outing as one of the most ‘game changing’ moves of a season.

    Hey Jeff Varner, fuck your ‘Surviving Shame’ book. How can you twist the very meaning of ‘pride’ like that?

    Jeff Varner, this is not your story. I hope that CBS doesn’t continue to give you a platform. And I hope that Survivor fans boycott your horribly misconceived book.

    Here’s another good story from Zeke if you haven’t seen it: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/survivor-zeke-smith-journey-being-outed-guest-column-999524

  • Diego Armando

    My highlights for the players:

    Cirie: Convincing Erik to give up his idol.

    Aubry: Convincing Tai to flip on Jasle and Scot.

    Tai: Defending Zeke during the incident.

    Troy: “This is my island” which is the only thing he ever did.

    Brad: Either taking out Tai over Sarah or creating enough of a bond that JT fed him info.

    Sarah: I will go with her turning Cirie’s attempt to use her vampire vote against her.

  • Diego Armando

    My guesses for the top ten moments are (in no order other than 1):

    • Idolacalypse
    • Michaela pouring the tea and The Sugar Incident
    • That dumb tribal where Malcolm was booted and everything sucked
    • Cirie’s failed Vampire Vote attempt
    • Sarah turning on the 6 to vote out Debbie
    • Sierra telling Sarah exactly what the Legacy Advantage does and getting voted out for it
    • Sandra vs. Tony
    • Michaela and Cirie talk
    • The revamped Final Tribal
    1. The Outing

    • tocantins

      The 5 moments (I would have a really hard time going to 10) that I’ll remember (fondly) about this season are:
      5. “YOU CRUSHED MY HEART!”
      4. The goat dilemma. (No, not you Troy.)
      3. The underground bunker fallout.
      2. “Brad, go fish. No, seriously, GO FISH.” (Here I’m cheating a bit, because I’m considering it with the secret scene.)
      1. The sugar incident, and the queen stays the queen.

    • jersey_luck

      You forgot about the goat scene in the premerge but that seems right

  • Blurry Denzel

    Another great time with the community this season. You guys make every season so much more enjoyable. I think my favorite thing that happened here though was seeing Super duper fan’s consistent love of Ashley Underwood. So many times we wrongfully forget players and to see that undying admiration for Ashley is so heartwarming. Now that the season is over, I wonder if we will still see Sdf tout Ashley’s accomplishments. It’s not mandatory but every once in awhile would bring a smile on my face.

    • Super duper fan

      If I won’t be touting The Best Player To Never Win then who will?

      • pufflehuff

        what I want to know is what bet you lost to make you Team Hali?

        • Blurry Denzel

          A bet against the heart.

        • Super duper fan

          A bet against her beautiful wavy hair, and an American constitution.

      • Blurry Denzel

        Glad to hear, keep up the good work. Also, congrats in winning our 1v1 fantasy league. If only we had put some kind of bet on it. Then again, it may be crazy talk to think we bet on something Survivor relates on this site.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Yeah, you make me feel bad for not sticking up for Brenda more during the Nicaragua rewatch.

      • purplerockandy

        You know, Super duper fan almost has me convinced that a Redemption Island rewatch is in order…

        • Super duper fan

          ALL the people should know the full greatness of The Ashley Underwood of the Survivor: Redemption Island fame.

        • Hornacek

          Blocked.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    What was the original rationale for having HIIs expire at F5? Wasn’t it to prevent an idol-palooza at F4? (person 1 wins the immunity challenge, persons 2 and 3 have idols, person 4 goes home automatically). This isn’t a rhetorical question–I genuinely don’t know. But if that’s the case, now that the three-tribe game seems to be permanent, shouldn’t the HIIs expire at F6? Of course, this wouldn’t have changed anything about this season, and I’m not saying the potential for idol-paloozas need to be stamped out at all costs, but this seems like an easy fix.

    • purplerockandy

      I’m guessing it was to avoid giving someone a free pass to the finals (a la Yul). Once we had a final 3, idols had to be pushed back to 5 (that didn’t happen in Cook Islands most likely because the idea to go to the final three came AFTER the idol was already in play)/

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Oh right, that makes perfect sense. Interesting if true that going to a final 3 in Cook Islands was done on the fly. I wonder if they saw where things were headed and were determined to have both Yul and Ozzy make it to the end.

        • purplerockandy

          It sounds like (from interviews of people who would know), that they were terrified of an all-white finals. Like “this could spell the end of the show” terrified. So they figured the F3 plus Yul’s idol would prevent that.

  • giorgos

    I think I boarded the Sarah train during the Sierra boot and was rooting pretty hard for her during the finale in part because of how this season went. The last 2 seasons could afford a winner that stumbled his/her way to the million but this one would probably go from mediocre to terrible with a Brad Culpepper win, at least for me. And I even found the way she got to the final3 more impressive than what I expected. I assumed that even with the legacy advantage she would have to win at least one of the last 2 immunities to stay in the game since she was finally being outed as a threat somewhere between final8 and final6. But she didn’t. She locked up her final3 with Brad and Troy and even if those two were underestimating her threat level, Tai and Aubry didn’t. They had a chance to go to Brad and target Sarah but they went to Sarah to break up the only remaining couple in Brad-Troy. Because anyone who wanted to do anything in this game since the merge just went to Sarah.

    Yeah she’s boring, the season is mediocre but the game she played is kind of unbelievable.

    • purplerockandy

      Yeah, I was amazed and dumbfounded that after everything, she was still the person chosen by Brad to go on the reward. And the person everyone tried to work with the survive and advance.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      On paper that would have been an option, and it would have been quite entertaining to see Tai and Aubry turn the tables on Brad and strong-arm him into voting the way they told him to, but I think by that point Brad was so furious at Tai that he wouldn’t have complied no matter how much sense it made as a game move. But maybe the situation was desperate enough that they should have tried. And of course it’s really saying something that nobody thought Troyzan was capable of even a Ken-level strategic move.

    • BadPlayer91

      I agree with you, Sarah was at the heart of every bit of gameplay in the post-merge. The Cirie advantage blunder tribal was a pretty great demonstration of Sarah’s place in the season. Amongst all the chaos, Sarah was the constant focus, but in a positive manner. Everyone wanted to work with her and be on her right side, even Cirie, but no one for a minute said “wait, Sarah has all the power, we should be taking her out.” And as discussed in the podcast, the tribal divisions from the immediate post-merge were so rigid that everyone was most focused on destroying the other side, they never considered taking out the one person floating between.

      • Prom King

        Well, to be fair, Andrea did say that – for at least a minute or so. But then goodbye Andrea!

  • indescribable hat

    I thought the open forum FTC was much livelier and I was mostly a fan, but I don’t like the idea of Jeff getting a last chance to put his grubby little thumb on the scale.

    • indescribable hat

      So basically I agree.

  • indescribable hat

    On the season ranking question, I wonder how much the Varner incident affects how we feel about the season as a whole. Sure it has other big problems, but the timing was such that he comes along and burns up all our joy and light-heartedness from the pre-merge and then we’re waiting for something really great to restore it. Like obviously it’s a more fun season without the horrible thing that happens in it, but it’s hard to gauge how much.

    • tocantins

      I think you are right, in that not only the thing itself is pretty bad, but the timing is also horrible. It happens just before the merge, arguably the most important part of the season, and the show never really recovers from it.

    • It helps that Sandra was gone at this point because you can say that before Sandra is gone, this season is a solid A, but after Sandra is gone, it is a solid D.

    • Prom King

      For me, that was the last really memorable episode of the season, with the exception of any scene that Cirie was in. But I’m one of the few who thought that the Varner episode was amazing, due to the supportive reactions, Zeke’s grace, and just the fact that two big issues (outing and what it is to be trans) were brought up in a reality competition show, and were dealt with sensitively and genuinely. Although I won’t rush to re-watch that episode, it is a big part (along with Sandra and Cirie) of what makes this season so memorable.

      In the end, I’d put this season goes in the bottom third (but at the top!) but only because of its somewhat boring post-merge.

  • indescribable hat

    So usually if I get all gushy it’s about what a great community this is, but today I remembered that this experience started when I clicked on a link in AVC comments and was like, “Man, what a perceptive and interesting Survivor podcast. I hope they don’t get bored.” And you haven’t! Still perceptive and interesting (which may mean validating the way I think about Survivor), still podcasting away. Thanks guys!

    • We figured we’d get bored before we finished our first season.

      • purplerockandy

        Really underestimated how much I’d enjoy having people listen to me talk.

      • Max_Jets

        It probably didn’t hurt that you started with 2 great seasons.

        • We really did. If we’d started on Redemption Island and South Pacific, we might’ve called it quits.

          • purplerockandy

            Especially since no one would be looking to expand coverage of those seasons by listening to a new podcast.

          • DrVanNostrand

            It would’ve been hilarious to hear Andy talk about RI.

          • purplerockandy

            Honestly, I would’ve spent the whole time denying the obvious edit that Rob was winning just out of fear of jinxing it. I didn’t let myself believe it until he won at final four.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    My mom sent me a picture of the front page of her local newspaper with an article about Sarah winning (my parents live in the next county over from where Sarah lives) and asked if I’d watched the season. I was like “mom, I watch every season” lol.
    Anyway, now I’m trying to get my mom hooked up with a CBS All Access free trial because she wants to try watching the season with the local winner. I look forward to answering many ridiculous questions, assuming she goes through with it 😛
    And if it goes well, I’ll have to steer her toward Philippines too, since Denise is from the same area as well 🙂

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Runner-up Susie Smith is also from that area, but I assume you love your mother and won’t make her watch Gabon.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Susie Smith deserved to win Gabon.

        • purplerockandy

          The “Susie Smith wuz robbed” corner is a really easy one to hold on to because no one cares enough to challenge it.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It’s because literally everyone is the fucking worst at Survivor that you can make as cogent case for Susie as you can for any of the final 3. She was at the bottom of her tribe and turned the table on them. But she’s like unlikeable so whatever.

          • purplerockandy

            Yeah, the obvious counter to “Susie deserved to win” is “no one deserved to win”.

          • DrVanNostrand

            I don’t know that she’s unlikable. The show just never gave us any reason to care about her.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I know we can’t trust them but Corinne and Randy hated her! But that’s probably because they felt she was surplus to requirement then she turned and destroyed them. A good number of the jury liked her though I guess.

          • Prom King

            Corinne and Randy, besides being unreliable jerks, also seem to be people who dislike anyone who doesn’t fall into their personal version of “intelligent”. I’m sure that not-very-articulate Susie was someone who they put into that category and then dismissed with a sneer.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I truly feel Corinne can’t give respect to anyone who bests her. Which Susie did.

          • Prom King

            I hate getting personal about Survivor players because editing, I like to see them as characters, who am I to judge, haven’t walked in her shoes, etc etc. But honestly I think she’s scum. Part of a pretty short list along with other dignitaries like Hantz.

            Although that’s pretty unfair to scum, since scum at least forms an important part of a pond’s ecosystem. I don’t see what value either of them bring to the human ecosystem.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I think we’ve seen adn heard enough about her on social media and podcasts to judge her as a person not as a character. Most of them you can only judge by who they are on the show, Brad Culpepper who has been very unlikeable on the show, seems like a thoroughly decent guy in real life. But Corinne, I’m over her.

          • DrVanNostrand

            I seriously almost said, “She at least deserved to win it as much as anyone else.”, but decided I didn’t care enough to comment.

      • Prom King

        Poor Gabon, so underrated! I thought it was entertaining from beginning to end as long as a viewer gets over the hump that there are very few likable players in this cast, with the exceptions of Bob, Matt, and Sugar. And despite their likability, there’s always Matt’s hyena laugh and Sugar’s whimsical spite to sour the sweet. So that leaves Bob, who is super lovable but it is hard to root for cluelessness even if it lovable.

        But I got over the hump quickly and loved it both times I’ve watched it, and even more the second time. It is like Villains vs. Villains, with one villain team being jerky go-getters and the other being evil, lazy underdogs. I’ve never seen that before. The fall of the Onion Alliance was awesome and inspiring! Marcus’ arrogance laid low was beautiful to watch and seeing Kenny go from cringing beta male to underdog champ to Marcus-level arrogance with a deserved fall was fascinating. The Kenny story is like Rob Cesternino’s except darker.

        It gets mocked for lacking strategy but I don’t get where that comes from because both Kenny and Crystal brought a lot of strategy to the table. I also thought they were two super fun characters, among many other memorable characters especially Randy. Even Susie had her oddly entertaining moment here and there, especially in her nonchalant face-off with Corinne.

        The only weak points for me was the discomfort I felt at Sugar’s spite towards Randy (although he rather deserved it) and most of Corinne, who is definitely Bottom Ten for me of all players ever played. Those weak points were pretty big minuses, but not enough to counter all of the pluses.

        In a way it is a cluster of a season, with a weird twist and a lot of passive-aggressive sneakiness and a randomness often caused by Sugar coming in and out of the game. Plus the constant villainy, of course. I’m not sure I would call it a high quality season but it’s at the very top of my guilty favorites.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I actually agree with you more than I disagree. Gabon to me is the Plan 9 from Outer Space of Survivor. If you check your expectations of “quality Survivor” in the regular sense at the door, it’s hugely entertaining in a so-bad-its-good way. I’d rewatch Gabon any day of the week before I rewatched a grim slog like the Fiji pre-merge, the Worlds Apart post-merge, or the vast majority of Nicaragua. Intentionally or unintentionally, it’s probably the funniest season of Survivor, or at least in the same conversation as Amazon, China, and Tocantins.

          • Prom King

            I like the way you think!

            When thinking about the seasons, I tend to semi-arbitrarily divide them into the

            – Quality seasons that balance rich character arcs with exciting strategy and that I could easily recommend to new watchers (Pearl Islands, HvV, Philippines, maybe MvG will go here after I rewatch)

            – Dark seasons that go to places that are really emotional and often uncomfortable or even disturbing (Palau being the best of these and Caramoan & Worlds Apart the worst)

            – Old School seasons that heavily focus on characters & narratives and don’t usually have a lot of overt strategy outside of creating and staying in an alliance (most of the early seasons but including Tocantins – one of the best examples of this group – and South Pacific as maybe the worst)

            – New School seasons that are mainly about watching multiple players or just one dominant player enact interesting strategies, but lack a wide variety of interesting character arcs despite potentially having many interesting characters (Micronesia and Cagayan at the top, RI and OW at the bottom)

            – Totally Fucking Random seasons that are all over the map because of strange twists and/or a berserk cast (Nicaragua at the bottom, Cook Islands in the middle, and the glorious Gabon at the top)

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, that’s why I have a hard time simply ranking the seasons 1-34. The top tier and the bottom tier are pretty easy, but the order of the middle 20 seasons or so really depends on what type of season you value. Ultimately I have to rank Gabon near the bottom, but it would be near the top if I ranked seasons purely by laughs per episode.

            Other possible distinctions include seasons dominated by one person vs. seasons that share the spotlight and seasons that are consistent quality-wise vs. highly unbalanced seasons (like Fiji and Caramoan) It’s pretty bold to put Gabon and Cook Islands in the same category, let alone to rank Gabon higher, but I see what you’re saying.

          • Prom King

            I loved Cook Islands when it first aired. Second time watching, it was still sometimes interesting and exciting (especially post-mutiny) but I mainly found it to be a bit boring, with the exception of Cao Boi and Flicka. I still admired Yul a lot but, much like Kim Spradlin, I found his game more fascinating than his character.

            I put it with the other Totally Fucking Random Seasons because the basic concept is such a problematic one on multiple levels. Yet also an inherently interesting one. A unique decision by the producers – and surprising that such an awkward and controversial team structure led to an often dull season. I think one thing that many people can agree on about Gabon is that it was rarely dull.

            Also, I am possibly the only regular on this website who dislikes Penner. This is his most tolerable season to me, but he is a big part of so many episodes, which is a big minus to me. As was Billy, who was hard for me to watch.

        • giorgos

          I don’t hate Gabon, I don’t exactly like it either, but pretty much all the moments that I like or remember are a by-product of Sugar and her random chaotic gameplay.

          • Prom King

            She’s the perfect representation of that season.

    • You may want to tell her to watch Denise’s season first if you want to get her hooked on the show.

      • DrVanNostrand

        Philippines is great, and Denise is one of my favorite players of all time.

        • Agreed on both accounts.

          • BadPlayer91

            Double agreed. Also, Philippines is my go-to “start with this one” season. For the people I know, it’s the perfect combination of things to get them hooked.

          • It’s fun with just a smidgen of darkness.

    • Alycia Swift

      You should get her to watch Caguyan first, then this one.

  • PurpleTally

    So, this is the first season I have watched live since finishing all of the other seasons. (I watched MvGx, but really couldn’t participate in any discussions, because spoilers.) I just want to thank y’all for welcoming me into the discussions. This season will probably rank higher on my list than it warrants because of that. Also, this place genuinely helped keep me sane during student teaching and my last bit of grad school, which I greatly appreciate.

    This season is low middle for me, but, again, ranked slightly higher than it should be, because it was the first season I’ve really gotten to experience since Australia. The thing that kills me about this season is the uneven editing. Over the last couple of months, Barbara and I have been watching seasons like Panama and Micronesia, where the editing is really great, and creates some really solid storylines. That’s not the case here at all. Sarah is a great winner, and I think once people can really take a step back and look at this season more objectively without the sting of losing their faves, she’ll get even more credit for how she played.

    [Also, HBOCEOof…family podcast. Fantastic.]

  • DrVanNostrand

    I basically agree about advantagegeddon, but I’d definitely get rid of the legacy advantage idol thing. This season was pretty much best case scenarios for it, and it was still meh, so I’d say it’s better to remove this pointless, random, floating idol.

  • Super duper fan

    So my last thoughts on this season:

    I mostly agree with you about the all the advantages. The only thing I think they could possibly do is only put up an idol on each tribe only once, and they could possibly only rehid them at the merge. Not necessary, but something they could do.

    Cirie is a superstar, and even if she had to play 10 times I wouldn’t complain, she’s THAT fantastic and great.

    It’s really unfortunate that Aubry received this kind of edit this season (and it wasn’t due to getting idoled out or rocked out as many here belived so, including me at the end). I hope they will give her a thrid shot, and show us why Aubry is so great.

    Tai is a great human being human being, and doesn’t receive a lot of credit as much as he should as a player. I don’t know if a third time is necessary, but I wouldn’t mind him on a HvV2.

    I don’t need to see Brad again. I still think he’s a good person, but he doesn’t bring anything new to the show.

    I think Sarah played a fantastic game, who may be not only a top 10 worthy, but also top 5 worthy. She basically played a Tony game in a returneeing season, and her Trish was herself. She may’ve not been always the one calling the shots, but she always knew how to play the middle. She isn’t the most exciting character, and isn’t the right one to showcase her gameplay in an evtertaing fashion, but I was fully satisfied with her winning. And it’s always good to have a female winner who didn’t just play nice, but also was a driving force behind the season. I wouldn’t mind her in a winners’ season, preferably with Tony (which was probably why they casted her here in a first place).

    I think the new format is fantastic. It a)shifts focus from jurors to finalists, b)gives them more opportunities to explain their gameplay, c)is more likely to change jurors mind, and d)is MUCH more entertianing to watch. The problem that it potentially has as many here said is that Jeff is more likely to butt in, and change conversation to the way how he wants it personally to go. It is still not perfect, but it still can receive some minor upgrades to make it even better.

    While I like this season more than many here, it still doesn’t crack my top 20, and is in the bottom third of my bottom 15 (to be fair, the only seasons that I dislike are Fiji, All-Stars, Nicaragua, One World, Thailand and Redemption Island). It had good pre-merge excluding the outing, and the post-merge had some good moments. The things that bring the season down are definetely the editing and the uneven cast (this year’s TAR and BBCAN are MUCH better than this season). I still like it, but there many better ones.

    And I just wanted once again thank all the stuff members, and all the commenters for having this wonderful community. Being here was amazing this whole season. I just can’t explain in words how grateful I am to be a part of this, and all of you having patiance to endure my awkward comments. I hope I will be taking part in various conversations even more. I once again thank you all, and hope it will grow even bigger and better than what it is now.

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

    • Super duper fan

      P.S. For all the Aubry lovers (*ekhm*@disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus l*ekhm*), here is the RHAP interview with her recapping both of her seasons.

      http://robhasawebsite.com/survivor-2017-aubrey-bracco-interview-game-changers-podcast-cast/

      • Blurry Denzel

        I’m so excited for this.

        • Batleon

          It was a really good listen. I was a bit down on Aubry this season but a lot of it wasn’t her fault it seems. Considering she went in thinking to ally with Tony it’s a wonder she even made it as far as she did this season. And it is true she was one of the few who saw Sarah for the threat that she was so points for her there too.

    • Blurry Denzel

      I have very much loved having you here. I looked forward to all you thoughts during posts.

      BTW, did you start Big Brother Canada 5 yet?

      • Super duper fan

        I finished it yesterday! It was great!

        • Blurry Denzel

          Seeing Kevin’s run was crazy, especially that last challenge live. Having Ika and Demetrius both survive so long as a duo was unbelievable. I still feel bad for Neda.

          • Super duper fan

            I loved Kevin, he was my main rooting interest after both Neda and Cassandra went home. While certainly a flawed winner, he still is a very good winner in my books, and it shows how important are challenges, and studying for them, which many of us often disregard. And it was great seeing him escaping triple eviction.

            Demetres and especially Ika were great this season, and were probably the best players. They played the middle at the beginning really well, and made a lot of connections helping them in the second half. The biggest problem for Ika was her poor jury management, due to which she may’ve only beaten Karen and Dillon at the end. But still great players.

            Yeah, Neda hate was a bit hyperbolic. She may’ve gotten power hungry, but she still was controlling the first half of the game. And she had every right to feel bitter in the finale after how they buried her in the recap at the end. She’s still a really smart player, and I hope she will be given a 3rd shot in possibly an all-star season.

            It was a great season. The vets and newbies were for the most part great, a lot of entertaing moments, and a really likable winner, who shows that a winner doesn’t have to be a mastermind to be satisfiying. If I had to rank the canada seasons, it would be:
            1.BBCAN2
            2.BBCAN5
            3.BBCAN1
            4.BBCAN3
            5.BBCAN4.

          • Max_Jets

            I was so sad when Ika was evicted and am still a bit bummed that she didn’t win. I never root for showmances and never even really get invested in couples (on television or in real life) but something about Demika made me love them.

            I’m glad you were a Cass fan. She’s probably still my favorite, even if she did flame out horribly. She even makes her eviction week fun to watch.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I died when she kept winking at Ika while Ika was explaining that she doesn’t have the votes to stay.

          • Max_Jets

            She’s so funny. Even hearing how delusional she was on the feeds (apparently she believed Neda was super jealous of Cass for being a new fan favorite or something, but was really just setting up a one sided rivalry in her head) didn’t bother me because I just love the way she talks and laughs.

          • Super duper fan

            BTW, did you listened to RHAP coverage of BBCAN5, and if so how was it, how Melissa was doing in her 1st season, and were some notable moments that you can remember from them, including some things from the feeds that weren’t shown? I didn’t listen to it, cause it wa half-returnee season, and I wanted to watch previous seasons first, but I loved their coverage of BB18 and BBOTT (and I heard that Jordan left, which breaks my heart 🙁 .

          • And it sounds like Jordan won’t be coming back at all.

          • Super duper fan

            Yeah. Even though he was great on podcasts, it is his decision, and I hope he can be happy in real life (he apparently quit cause of the bullying? If so, I feel so bad for him. The internet can be such a nasty place).

          • That was the take I got from his article about it. Apparently between the lackluster quality of the previous BB season, the lack of break between them, and the bullying, he reached a breaking point.

          • Max_Jets

            I did! I thought Melissa did a great job. I actually didn’t think she seemed like a great addition when she first joined at the end of BBOTT – it seemed like she was repeating points other people made without adding much. She really turned me around on her though, I think she just needed to get comfortable and build chemistry with the rest of them. Coverage was good, as always. Brent was completely on the Demika train, as you can imagine. Alex was always taking shit for having previously called Kevin the greatest BBCAN player. Everyone enjoyed the season, but was very critical of everyone’s games. Most agreed that Ika was the most impressive player of the season.

            As for moments that weren’t shown, Dallas staged a fake house meeting during his eviction week using an old production card to try to make Emily look bad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI9QUcjdztQ

            Early on when William was going to backdoor Bruno, Kevin has a confessional where he says something seems fishy about it. William had actually successfully convinced Kevin to use the veto, but Ika told his plan to the 6 which is why the veto wasn’t used.

            Those are the biggest ones that stand out, but I’m sure I’m forgetting some good stuff.

          • Super duper fan

            Great to hear about Melissa! I was actually rooting for her to get in from the 1st round. At first she seemed a little quiet after she won, but I did think that was cause it was her beginning, and I’m glad she did great. I understand them being critical of everyone’s games, but it didn’t detract from this season.

            I look forward to listening to their coverage for BB19, and it may be an unpopular opinion, but I think RHAP’S BB coverage is better than their Survivor coverage (I hope it won’t be half-returnee or all-star season, cause I would then have to once again give up to listening to them, unless it’s just 4 returnees).

            And just a personal question, who is your favourite LFC member? My answer would be Taran, but I like all of them, and I still have to listen more of Melissa’s to fully form an opinion,

          • Wasn’t it only 4 returnees on BB18?

          • Super duper fan

            Yes, that’s why I decided to watch it, and in that case listen to RHAP.

          • Gotcha. How many BB seasons have you watched.

          • Super duper fan

            I watched BB 2-5, BB 18, and all the canada ones, plus I listened about OTT, but I didn’ watch it, cause I’m not american.

          • I personally recommend BB17. The cast is great and they drop the failing twist fairly quickly.

          • Super duper fan

            Maybe I’ll watch it soon, in case there will be some returnees, and cause it was not that long ago. But thanks for the recommendation.

          • Blurry Denzel

            BB 17 is the best American season they’ve had in years. I especially enjoyed watching Vanessa play.

          • Just thinking back to the cast and when your only dud is maybe Clay, that’s a good cast. Everyone brought something.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Absolutely. Clay is an example of the bad habits I think that casting has. Surprisingly, they hit pretty much with everyone else. Casting is still my biggest issue with casting. It’s a shame because I think the Big Brother format is very good (without the crazy twists).

          • I guess it was shocking tht they found a duddier dud in Corey (the only things we know about him is he’s from Texas and he loves Christmas).

          • Super duper fan

            And has dreams about Harry Potter.

          • I forgot about that honestly. Man, BB18’s cast sucks.

          • Super duper fan

            It definetely wasn’t great. I did like Paul and Victor, Bronte left way too soon, and I have sweet spot for Bridgette and Michelle, and aside from not being interesting, I do think Nicole played a great game, but others ranged from avarage to unlikable.

          • I think Nicole’s game was okay but I think many believe that Production interfered with this season to prevent her from going home so early.

          • Super duper fan

            If you talk about the way in which she got HOH, then I guess it’s possible. But I don’t think that she was saved by any twist later, while Paul greatly benefited from Vivtor coming up two times. Plus I think for the most part the ‘production interference’ is ‘the person who’s doing well is a person that I doon’t like, and I blame production for rigging the game without evidence’. but that’s just me.

          • I get that. However the moment I was talking about was when Natalie and Michelle win the dual HOH and their targets. Everyone in the house is on the board with getting rid of Nicole or Corey, but then Natalie changes her mind after a DR session. Her explanation is something along the lines of they (being Production) don’t want those two to go home.

          • Super duper fan

            Intersesting. I still think that it wasn’t rigged, and Natalie could’ve just misinterpreted it, like Da’ when she said that they said that Tiffany was playing her , when she wasn’t, and they probably just asked “Do you think that Tiffany is playing you?”. I don’t know for sure, cause I wasn’t there, but that’s how I interpret it.

          • I think you are probably right, but I could also see Production being like “Natalie is really into playing for AFP, so let’s push this to her in an irrestible way”.

          • Super duper fan

            I’m definetely not saying it’s not possible.

          • It’s BB Production…anything is possible

          • Prom King

            I thought Paul and Victor were easily the most entertaining cast members. Bronte just made me cringe, and Bridgette too, to a lesser extent. Michelle was so unpleasant, except for the hilarious crying. Nicole: mixed feelings.

          • Prom King

            Agree, but that moment when he’s mumbling about Harry Potter was pretty funny and strange. He had a few of those kinds of really off moments, although they didn’t make up for what a dud he was the rest of the time.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Corey was one of the people I met at Andrea and Meg’s event and it was the most awkward encounter I’ve had with a player. I had nothing to say and he didn’t exactly bring anything to the table.

          • Was Nicole there too?

          • Blurry Denzel

            No, I would’ve been legit pumped to meet Nicole. The BB side of the event was lacking compared to Survivor.

          • That makes one of us. I’m just shocked that Corey was there without Nicole considering how much BB couples love to do events together for the first 8 months and then break up.

          • Super duper fan

            They broke up, if I’m not mistaken.

          • What a shock. I thought they would go all the way.

            Seriously though, I heard that he planned on breaking up with her after the season, but once she won, he delayed his plan. I guess he liked her little gingham onesie.

          • Super duper fan

            I think it was not that long ago. And they were so cute, and showed what true love meant, they could’ve had so many baby elves together.

          • Blurry Denzel

            At least with Nicole I think I could get a good conversation about her game in BB 18. The standout BB players that night were Meg, Becky (BB 17) and Eric (BB 8).

          • I’m glad that Eric has started coming out of the woodwork. I remember listening to a BB podcast a few years ago and them saying that it was rare for Eric to be at these events. Also, Eric and Jessica is like my big BB showmance.

          • Blurry Denzel

            He’s great. I’ve met him three times now and every interaction my friends and I have with him has been awesome. Very engaging with an interesting perspective on BB/Survivor. I don’t have the weird thing about seeing him multiple times that I have with some other players.

          • I want the Canuce Types for BB because it will be “Random Guy/Gal We Picked Up at a LA Bar” and that’s half the cast.

          • Blurry Denzel

            So hilariously true

          • Blurry Denzel

            I recommend BB 6. My all time favorite season (along with BB Can 2).

          • Super duper fan

            I plan on watching it really soon actually, but for now I’m catching up with the current TAR season, and I want to watch some older ones, cause I watched BB non-stop this past month.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Thoughts on the current TAR season? I was surprised with how much I enjoy the strangers twist.

          • Super duper fan

            I really like it! It is really entertaining, the dynamics of people who don’t know each other are great, tasks are pretty good, good route, and a great cast, plus I wouldn’t mind seeing anyone winning (I’m where there are 5 teams left).

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Same here, the strangers twist really works well in general and I’ll bet they had a deep bench of singletons. I’m through the first Vietnam leg (but unfortunately I know who is eliminated in the second leg). It probably doesn’t register if you’ve never been to Vietnam (or another country with bajillions of scooters), but making them walk the streets with 15-foot ladders was evil genius roadblock design. The first time I was there it took me a full day to figure out how to cross a four-lane street.

          • Ethan Kyle

            yeah and it still fucking sucked

          • Well, they pick some of the worst returnees ever. Sure, one of them won but Production stacked the deck for a returnee or a returnee-connected person to win.

          • Ethan Kyle

            Full disclosure I hate Nicole and her winning BB18 single handedly ruined the season for me…. then again I wanted James to win as a fuck you producers pick so … *shrug*

          • James Huling is the worst.

          • Ethan Kyle

            I generally like James outside the game but yeah BB18 James was terrible … I just so happens i hated the other two more than him

          • Max_Jets

            I agree that I prefer the BB coverage – the LFC are all so great. I think Brent is my favorite, which I learned in BBOTT and again in this last season. I love them all, but I always feel like something is missing when he’s not on. He can actually drag it down a bit sometimes if he is too unhappy with the outcome (this kind of happened with the finale), but I always appreciate his opinions and the energy he brings. I definitely have a crush on Taran though.

          • Super duper fan

            I agree with you on Brent. I feel every one of them has some ‘traits’ that can be annoying some times, but they are either too nit-picky or are canceled out bu others, but I still love them all. And these beautiful, dreamy Taran eyes.

            I hope we can somehow talk about the new season and/or podcast in the off-season together.

          • Max_Jets

            There will probably be some type of post that we can start a thread for most weeks, between International Survivor and rewatches.

          • Blurry Denzel

            I would be down to talk Big Brother as well.

          • Super duper fan

            Great!

          • Super duper fan

            Cassandra was great in season 4, which aside from her, Mitch, Tim and Nikki had mostly ‘meh’ people, of course in my opininon. Unfortunately, she played a 2nd half BBCAN4 game in a first half, which is a very dangerous thing to do. I also wouldn’t mind seeing her playing another time, but I don’t know if she has enough self-awareness to know what she did wrong in season 5. But still a great character and player.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Season 4 was a letdown casting wise compared to the all around great quality they get in other seasons.

          • Super duper fan

            Plus, half of the people that I mentioned, where in cause of a twist (which to be fair, props to production for giving a pretty good twist, which gave us them, but it negates itself cause another twist took out an entertaing, and possibly the best player in the house). But still, Cass and Mitch were great.

          • Blurry Denzel

            They destroyed Neda at the finale to very excessive proportions. We were seated three rows behind the jury and during a commercial, Neda turned to Sindy and broke out in tears. It was heartbreaking to see. The fans turning on Neda is the one negative point during what was an excellent season.

            Though, props to the fan that was sitting in front of us at the finale. He immediately offer words of encouragement to Neda and even made her laugh.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      You are so right that if they ever do another Heroes vs. Villains type season, Tai is a lock for the Heroes. Just such a sweet guy all around.

      Also, I hope Aubry takes some time off and comes back ready to play hard.

      • I am getting some major vibes that this is the last season for many of these players (especially Cirie).

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          I agree. I didn’t follow much of the post-elimination press, but I feel like almost everyone seemed really down on playing again. The only person who I think seemed interested who the producers would actually bring back was Malcolm.
          I think Sandra and Tony would probably come back for the mythical all winners season, if it ever happens (unlikely at this point). Other than that, I think anyone else who the producers/fans would want to see again seemed like they would need several years to pass before they’re even willing to consider another go (and even though it pains me to say it, we may not have several years of Survivor left…)

          • I could see Sandra being down for any returnee season. I think Tony is probably lukewarm about returning.

          • Super duper fan

            I think we still have plenty of Survivor left. It was the 19th most watched and 15th most rated show of 2016-17, and it won a lot of its time slots, plus it’s really cheap to make unlike some of the other shows CBS has. Unless Jeff quits, or something else happens, Survivor is still on its legs.

          • the sky is falling

            If you guys get desparate, you will still have Survivor Australia, I
            think there are 972 episodes per season, I don’t know, it’s a really
            long season.

            Also the University of Maryland has been producing its own Survivor episodes since 2013, full seasons. Those are on youtube, season 5 starts soon-ish I think.

        • Blurry Denzel

          I get the same vibes, I think Cirie is done. As badly as I wanted her to leave with a win, a sendoff as one of the greatest to ever played (top 5 for me) is nice. I think Andrea is done as well. I wouldn’t close the door on Aubry, Malcolm, Michaela or Zeke but that would probably be awhile from now if it happens. The show probably won’t rush to invite a lot of these other players back anytime soon. Sandra would return tomorrow.

          • I mean Michaela is the only endgamer who seemed willing and ready to come back whenever but she is young, single, and in a flexible enough career that she can do that. The other endgamers (besides Sierra and Zeke maybe) can’t do that.

          • the sky is falling

            As much as I’d like to see Tony again, I think the Survivor bench is deep enough that you should cap return visits at 2, and definitely no more than 3 for a single player. From the last 5 new player seasons alone you probably have enough talent for a full cast.

            There are plenty of pre-merge players who never got a chance to shine who deserve another shot over 3 time players is what I am sayin’

          • I agree with you, but we are not Production unfortunatley.

          • the sky is falling

            If they don’t do what I wish, I will just start my own island.

            Production… pffft, what do they know.

          • purplerockandy

            Gotta say, this is a bold take coming off a season that featured a lot of players who didn’t get a chance to shine their original season, only to prove why they didn’t once given a chance.

            I’m the opposite. No more deep pulls. Stars only. Bring em back ten times if you have to.

          • the sky is falling

            I think in my mind, I specifically want to make sure David Wright, Jay, Cydney, Dragon Michelle, Peter, and Ice Cream Pants Neal get a chance to come back before anyone gets a third try.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Dud returnees are a bummer, but some of the show’s big stars were themselves deep pulls the first time they returned (Boston Rob, Parvati, Cochran) and plenty of big stars flame out the second time simply because they have nowhere to go but down (Tom Westman, Tony).

            Ultimately I’m willing to give the show a mulligan on casting this season. First of all, as I said a while back, restricting the Cambodia cast to second-timers distorted the pool of potential returnees for Game Changers. We ended up with a bunch of 3rd and 4th timers who were overdue for a return, 2nd timers who were coming back too quickly, and leftover 2nd timers from Cambodia casting. Second, I think simply having Natalie Anderson or Sophie in the cast instead of FFSDT would have entirely changed the course of the season.

          • purplerockandy

            Truthfully, I think it’s fine to have a deep pull or two. But coming off this season, I’m more cautious than ever.

          • I don’t think Tom Westman “flamed out”. He simply got screwed by being automatically in the minority on a tribe with a massive pre-game alliance. He got to idol out Cirie though.

          • Prom King

            Michaela’s actually said that she doesn’t want to come back for a few years, maybe not until she’s “popped out a kid” (her words!)… I hope she was just saying that because I’d love her back sooner rather than later.

          • I forgot about that condition. However, if she does wait that long, then maybe she will be more like Cirie.

  • BadPlayer91

    Thanks to staff and all the commenters and everyone. As my first season here, it was a blast even despite a mixed-bag season. You never know how things will go joining an online community dedicated to reality tv, but this group has been amazingly welcoming and surprisingly kind. Also, seeing how staff and commenters handled Zeke’s outing has given me a great deal of respect for the community. So thank you all, and here’s to many more!

    Here were some of my thoughts while listening:

    I gotta say, I had a different response to Cirie’s boot then most. Given her win seemed so impossible, I thought it was fittingly badass that Cirie goes out with no votes cast against, the only loser in a tribal where she wasn’t even the target.

    I definitely agree, Cirie’s creativity is maybe her greatest asset. There are so many moments of Cirie saying “what if we…” or “well if I could just…” and then coming up with something that is new or different or amazing. I think Cirie is really good at visualizing the outcome she wants, and working backward to make it happen. That has very often worked amazing for her, and let her tackle things others wouldn’t even try. With the Sarah advantage blunder, it’s maybe a case of her not finding the right path or not seeing the path clearly from what she wants to happen to what did.

    I agree with most, Sarah played amazing, deserved the win, and the right person took home the million. At least we can leave the season with that much.

    • Diego Armando

      Thank you for commenting here. I am glad that you felt welcome. I personally try to be as open to new people as possible. I legitimately love our community and am proud that we have created such a friendly, snarky environment.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    I love Cirie and I think you guys were right about her two biggest moves. HOWEVER, there’s something I’ve always wondered about the 3-2-1- move. It’s been a while since I’ve rewatched Panama, but am I correct in remembering that at this point in the game they were working on blindsiding Aras? If she’d gone ahead with that move, that leaves her in the game with Terry, Courtney, Shane and Danielle. You’d better believe Terry is the biggest threat for each subsequent round, and no one in that group of 4 is going to miss an opportunity to take him out before the final 2 if they can. Without Aras or Terry in the game, Cirie becomes the favorite and she has her pick of the remaining goats (though she has no guarantee that anyone other than maybe Shane will take her to the final 2).
    Anyway, even though her 3-2-1 maneuvering was impressive, I’ve always thought the better move there was to take out the actual end game threat to give herself a better chance at the win and then work on getting to FTC as the next step. I get that they viewed Aras as their only hope to beat Terry in challenges, but why is “try to be the most appealing goat” a good strategy when Cirie does it but no one else? Was it really her best move to set herself up for an inevitable loss to either Terry or Aras at FTC when she could have iced one of them here and devoted all of her subsequent energy to taking out the other one while cementing relationships with her remaining alliance members? Also with the benefit of hindsight, we know Terry was never winning that final immunity challenge, plus the 3-2-1 plan didn’t even work because Cirie went home at 4.
    Phew, it feels good to get that out. It’s been on my mind for a long time now. Come at me with counter arguments please, because I really do love Cirie and think she’s one of the greatest players of all time.
    And John and Andy – if this feels like trolling, it’s because I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU 😛

    • Our argument is not that Cirie was setting herself up as the most appealing goat. The argument was that there are only two spots in the final two, and she knew it was extremely unlikely that she’d win the F3 immunity to choose who she wanted to sit next to.

      The ideal scenario for Cirie was this: Aras and Terry keep fighting each other for immunity, but never get to take each other out. Cirie goes to final three with Aras and Terry, one of those two guys wins immunity, then naturally votes out the other. Cirie then makes it to final tribal council. (Note: This is the exact scenario that would have happened if Cirie had made fire.)

      • Super duper fan

        Plus, if Danielle and Terry didn’t make a deal on exile after that, Terry possibly could choose Cirie to take to Final 3, over Danielle.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Do you think Cirie would have beaten Aras if she made it to the final 2? Some of my argument is based on the inevitability of Aras or Terry winning if they make it to finals, but I also know how lovable Cirie is so maybe she had a chance? I just can’t see Terry losing if he gets to FTC, but Aras vs. Cirie – maybe there’s some wiggle room?

        • It’s possible he beats her, but I think she had a shot against either of them. But with the way the challenges had been going, and with the knowledge of Terry’s idol, I think she was right to assume that she wouldn’t be able to call her own shots into FTC. So she had to get creative. And she did.

        • purplerockandy

          I think she beats him. Her underdog story would be too hard to resist and she had no enemies.

        • Prom King

          Why do you think that’s inevitable? Terry has only two votes secured (Austin, Sally) and maybe one more with Bruce, but that’s a big maybe. The rest of the jury had mixed relations with him or even disliked him. Cirie wins against Terry, no doubt.

          I think Aras has even less votes secured, going up against Cirie – the same people who like him also like her, and probably more so because she’s better at forming empathetic relationships. And there may be enough resentment at Aras running the show from Terry and his two that their votes could go to her as well.

    • purplerockandy

      Unbelievably, Aras wanted to go to the final two with Cirie. So she had to make sure a really appealing F2 option like Courtney wasn’t around to change his mind.

  • Batleon

    Another great podcast, wish I’d discovered this site sooner. My thoughts:

    – On unfair vs. unfortunate, my vote goes unfortunate. So, so unfortunate. But yes, kill the legacy advantage. I’m all set with that thing.

    – On the subject of suspect idols, I submit the idol Amanda found in Micronesia at Final 4 – the one they didn’t even show her finding

    – I too was thinking Tai was one of the people who was going to kill his Survivor legacy by coming back this season, but I agree he was pretty good this season (legacy killing was left to others this season)

    – I think the new FTC format made for a much more entertaining viewing experience, and helps with the storytelling. While I doubt that it made people change their vote THIS season I think it’s more likely that this format could shake a secret or a mistake loose, which means in the future there is more a of a possibility that FTC actually becomes a factor. A SMALL possibility for sure, but a better shot than if they stuck with the original format.

    – We didn’t get much from Hali but this format allowed for her to make a major burn on Brad (“You used intimidation as a strategy?”) that she wouldn’t have had the chance to make in the old format. The fact that HALI of all people got a burn in like that alone shows that this format is much more entertaining.

    – Agreed that Sarah played one of the great games this season, interesting or not. She was very good at playing with both sides, she played advantages in creative ways (she totally blew up Cirie’s game with one of those moves), and her play to get Sierra’s advantage is one of the great Survivor moves IMO. I’m actually glad she won because she DID play a great game and we were dangerously close to having an undeserving winner which would have done incredible damage to what was already a subpar season.

    – Of the seasons I’ve seen (20 out of 34) this is sadly kinda low as well, and certainly the lowest of the 4 All Stars Seasons (which is SHOCKING to me because I had some serious problems with the original All Stars season). I think it’s time to put returning contestants to bed for a few years and come up with some more original concepts

    • Super duper fan

      Do you mean the idol which Amanda found at Final 6, or the idol which Parvati found, but since she didn’t take it, it wasn’t featured in a storyline?

      • Batleon

        Ah I knew I was probably wrong on the timing in terms of Final 4 but you know the one I mean. Amanda played it and saved herself with it, but they never showed her finding it, just looking for it and HOPING that she’d find it.

        • Super duper fan

          Yeah, but at the very least they showed her finding the clue which said where the idol was, and her looking there, and it cut of there, to leave us in suspense whether she found it or not.

    • purplerockandy

      Good point on Amanda’s idol. To be clear: I don’t actually think ANY of them were the result of anything untoward, I just wanted to show how this season’s situation wasn’t anything out of the ordinary in terms of idol distribution. It wasn’t necessarily production that lead to this situation, it was the players.

      And I do think this format could lead to some changed votes, in the same way that live tribals do now. It could force someone into saying something they didn’t mean to say.

      • Batleon

        Agree. I don’t like that Cirie went out that way but this wasn’t unfair, it was just an unbelievable convergence of circumstances that nobody saw coming and that would be really hard to replicate.

        • Alycia Swift

          Agree. Many would be upset if it was Aubry but would anyone have been upset if it were one of the other four?

          • jersey_luck

            Yes, I would, but not because the thing was unfair but more because the whole thing would be stupid. Granted it would be a different type of stupid but it is still dumb.

          • Max_Jets

            Yeah, I hate these arguments. We have all this reasoning with facts to back it up, but I guess that was all irrelevant because we’re biased.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    This has been a great year to be part of this online community!! It’s been great talking with all of you, and I look forward to participating in whatever content is going on this summer while I’m on maternity leave 😀

    Thoughts on this season:
    -Sarah was a very skilled and deserving winner. I also happen to think she seems like a warm person with great social skills, however I have to stop short of evaluating her as a person because of what I know about her politics. The only thing I can say in her favor there is that hopefully her talk about reevaluating her beliefs on trans people after meeting Zeke is genuine, and that it will open her mind to questioning other regressive beliefs she may be holding onto just because she was raised that way.
    -My vote for Troy’s best moment (which is, admittedly, different than a defining moment) is his closing speech at FTC. As lame as he is as a player and a character, it’s undeniable that he’s a super fan and I actually thought his speech was kind of touching.
    -I went into the season pretty down on Brad, then my opinion of him improved for a while, but now looking back I think that it seems like the editors were working over time to rehab his reputation, which is strange given the fact that the “old Brad” we knew from BvW came out full force at the end. My best guess is that they needed some sort of viable competition for Sarah at FTC? All in all I’d say that Brad’s edit was just weird and unsatisfying, and symptomatic of the larger edit problems throughout this season.
    -I’m warming up to the new final tribal council format. I didn’t like it at first, but ultimately I think it came off as more organic and less rehearsed and forced than the old format had become. Yes it might cost us some classic moments (Trish’s speech comes to mind) but I actually think it will prevent more hokey moments (Reed’s speech, Ozzy’s declaration of love in Micronesia, etc.). I’ll say at this point I’m cautiously optimistic but reserving my full judgment until I can see it play out a couple more times. What I’d really like to see is how it looks when there is serious beef between a juror and a finalist. I’m trying to imagine Shirin vs. Will or even Jason/Scot vs. Tai in this format. On the one hand they’d have more opportunity to go after their hated finalist, but on the other hand there would potentially be 9(ish) other jurors to jump in and defend that person or just tell the angry juror to shut up and get over it.
    -Advantage-geddon was sort of meh to me. Definitely not as exciting as all votes being cancelled in the Cambodia finale. I loved the jury’s reactions (as seen in the gifs in Taako’s post) but it was too easy to predict the final result once everything started in motion, and I thought the way Jeff handled the elimination and smuffing sort of killed any energy that moment could have had. I agree that it was probably a one in a million type thing, though I wouldn’t actually be opposed to slight tweaks being put in place to prevent players from hoarding their advantages to the very end of the game. I also fear that now that we’ve seen this happen once, it will actually create more incentive for players to hoard their idols and advantages, out of fear that they will get to the final 5 or 6 and be in the Cirie spot of being the only one without something to keep them safe.
    -Final thoughts on the new rules in case of a tie: I hope that this remains in effect and that it has more impact in the next season. I don’t want rocks to become so common that we’re bored of ties, but I would at least enjoy it if this rule change factored into the strategy included in the edit a bit more.

    -Since I’ll be home pretty much 24/7 all summer, I plan on rewatching a few recent seasons of Survivor. I’m thinking of starting with Kaoh Rong and MvGx (the only past seasons I’ve only watched once) and I ~might~ rewatch Game Changers if the mood strikes, but to be honest there’s a lot about it that makes me dread watching it again. I think I need to let some time pass and see how my memories of the season evolve. The ugly moments overshadow any of the positives right now, but hopefully things will balance out over time. Ultimately though, I think this is a bottom half season for me and I don’t see it redeeming itself much in a rewatch.

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed commenting here with all of you this season!! Have a great summer and hopefully we can come back to an excellent season next fall!!!

    • Max_Jets

      I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on your rewatches. I’ve rewatched several Kaoh Rong episodes since it aired, and I think it’s a season that really excels with the minute to minute entertainment value.

    • I think Troy’s closing speech is his best moment on the show because it is the only time he showed awareness.

  • Roswulf

    I’d pick the Cirie disaster- specifically the moment when Sara pointed out the vote steal was non-transferable- as Sarah’s defining moment. The whole sequence was really good gameplay- figuring out a way to manipulate an all-time great with a back-up plan in place that utterly destroyed Cirie Goddamn Fields. It wasn’t flashy- the flash came from Cirie’s flailings- but it showed her ability to be creative and socially adroit while still playing things safe and simple. The heart of Sarah’s move is that she didn’t actually DO anything. And then after comprehensively humiliating Cirie…she didn’t even bother to bounce her, but whacked Michaela instead. The two most delightful people in the game, walloped my Sarah’s planning and power. It was great gameplay and soulsuckingly disappointing TV. And that’s Sarah to me.

    And now a random boring story from the life and times of Roswulf. So about a week ago the Lady Roswulf described a guy she had met at work, and my immediate response was “holy shit, this guy should be on Survivor. He is Jonathan Penner plus world-class athleticism!” So we’re at a party with him over the weekend, and the Lady Roswulf makes the pitch. And his immediate response is that he’s thought about it for years, but couldn’t deal with the bugs. It turns out he and his family had been Survivor obsessives since Cook Islands, because Penner was a close friend. Indeed Penner had been encouraging him to apply ever since. So I had his type right, but was roughly a decade behind actual Penner in figuring this out.

    And then we spent a solid hour talking about Survivor (though unfortunately not about the finale, as I had yet to watch it). Because everyone who watches Survivor is searching for people to talk about it with. We’ve all seen that look of skepticism in the eyes of people when Survivor is mentioned, that look that says “you really watch that trash?” And it’s such a relief to find other people who see what we see in this silly and fascinating game. It made me appreciate more than ever the fact that I have you folks for my Survivor rambling fix. Thanks to the staff for making this place, and thanks to all the commenters for being here.

    • Violina23

      We were just talking about this on Twitter.

      Whatever, I have fun, and finding you all has made it a lot MORE fun. And I find it hard to take someone seriously who would roll their eyes at me for watching Survivor, when they are GLUED to “The Bachelor” and “The Real Housewives of “. We all have our “things”.

  • Wu-Tang Clam

    Take so hot it can’t be posted anywhere else: whatever other entertainment benefits it may have over the previous format, I am 100 percent certain that the new Final Tribal Council format WILL lead to women getting even less speaking time and getting interrupted more often.

    There’s ample studies to show that women are more likely to get interrupted when speaking and
    that in mixed-gender groups, men dominate the talking time. Add that to the show’s existing bias toward giving blowhard, Probst-boner-inducing dudes a disproportionate amount of screen time; subtract the fact that the old format means that even the most reticent or intimidated of folks get an allotted time to speak… Yeah, I feel pretty comfortable making this prediction.

    And I actually think what we got this season was a best-case scenario! Not only were there numerically more women than men on this jury, I would also bet that the female jurors you get on an All-Stars season are going to be way more confident than their first-timer counterparts. Plus, this season had a female wacky screen-hogging blowhard in Debbie, where normally that role is filled by a man like Coach or Phillip.

    I can’t imagine anyone will care, given that it’s so late after the finale. But I want to post this here for posterity so one day, I can say I called it.

  • Batleon

    On the subject of “this season had too many twists” has anybody done a count? I am comparing this to Cambodia and here’s what I come up with:

    Cambodia
    Swaps: 2
    Advantages: 1 (Fishbach steal-a-vote)
    Hidden Immunity Idols: 4 (Jeremy’s 2 and Kelley’s 2)
    Other Twists: 0?
    Total: 7

    Game Changers
    Swaps: 2
    Advantages: 3 (Debbie and Sarah each had a steal-a-vote, plus the legacy advantage)
    Hidden Immunity Idols: 4 (Tai found 3, Troyzan 1)
    Other Twists: 1 (the “two tribes, one vote” tribal council)
    Total: 10

    Watching this I never thought it seemed like there were too many twists but in retrospect there was a lot this season. Is 3 more than Cambodia still “too many” though?

    I’m sure I am forgetting something… Anybody want to jump on this?

    • giorgos

      there was also the “no-revote and immediately go to rocks after a tie” twist but it wasn’t a factor at all.

      • Batleon

        Geez I forgot about that. Is that a twist or a rule change? I guess that’s semantics but I feel like there is a slight difference. Like the change in FTC format this season I didn’t see as a “twist” per se. I haven’t heard anything about whether or not the “go to rocks after a tie” thing is going to last beyond this season…

        • giorgos

          They are probably gonna keep it. Rocks was just a fear that some contestants were talking about from time to time for 20+ seasons. And then it happened twice in a very short time frame and resulted in 2 of the most memorable moments of the last 10 seasons. Production definately loved it, Probst and his BigMovez loved it even more so they are trying to make it easier to happen again. I hope it doesn’t result in having a rock draw every other season, it will get old fast.

          • Batleon

            I don’t know how much that rule is going to affect things. It will be interesting to see how it runs with a cast of newcomers who aren’t as familiar with/afraid of it. If anything it will heighten the threat when it’s a possibility, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more draws will happen because of it. We’ve seen in Palau the threat of a rock draw can actually be played strategically and actually make a tie less likely. The fact that the draw can happen faster now just makes that threat more powerful IMO.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I think both those things count as twists if you’re trying to make the case that production tinkered too much this season, and you should count Exile as four different twists (a ship instead of a beach, food and shelter instead of even more deprivation than usual, a menu of advantages rather than an idol clue, and coaching from a former player).

          • Batleon

            Oh right I forgot about that Exile (which is stupid because that’s where Debbie got the vote steal which I DID remember). That whole thing just felt like it was out of left field, totally out of place. That for sure was a bad production choice IMO.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I would only want it to be a one-time thing, but I think the fake idol kit has huge potential. Or even just a production-made powerless idol.

          • Batleon

            I like that thought. Fake idol plays are hard to make work because of the authenticity issue, having a “real” fake idol would be pretty fun and interesting to watch.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            It’s impossible to discuss without spoiling it, but there was the equivalent of a “real” fake idol in a non-Survivor reality competition show that has a small but passionate following here in PRP-land, and the results were absolutely glorious.

          • Twists are something that gets suddenly sprung on them so both FTC and the rock draw rules count as twists to me.

    • You’re forgetting the two people sit out at the merge twist for Game Changers and the tribe expansion for both seasons. I also want to ask for a ruling on the field: is the race to get something at the marooning a twist? If it is, then both Cambodia and Game Changers get one added to their column.

      • Super duper fan

        I don’t think so, I just think it is considered a part of a ‘challenge’.

        • Batleon

          Whether you count those or not it’s a wash anyway. That being said the “this season had too many twists” people seem to have more of a point than I thought. It never felt like a lot while I was watching it (at least until Advantagegeddon) but in retrospect this did have a significant enough increase compared to the last All Stars season to make the argument.

          • What doesn’t help is that the advantages added to Cambodia made sense. Doing an early swap can stop pre-game alliances. Returnees could do a lot with the vampire vote. This season felt like yeah, it’s Game Changers but it is also like they don’t have any faith in their cast. As a result, Survivor produced the most Big Brother version of Survivor ever.

          • Blurry Denzel

            Never go full Big Brother.

          • For example, please see Big Brother 18.

      • Batleon

        Forgot about those too. Wow that sit out at the merge feast thing was kind of pointless wasn’t it?

        • Yes it was, especially since Production had to know which two would do it.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      What about Cochran-boat as a twist? You could maybe argue it was more of a TV moment than a true twist, or that it was tied to Debbie’s steal-a-vote, but it did involve some strategy advice and the decision about whether to tell anyone that it wasn’t just a standard exile.

      • Someone down below mentioned that Exile Island was 4 twists in 1 with Cochran being one.

      • Batleon

        Yeah that was mentioned in another comment, forehead slap moment for me since I remembered Debbie’s advantage but forgot about where it came from. That whole thing was way to Production influenced, hope something like that never happens again…

  • Violina23

    I think the “advantage-geddon” was unfortunate, and could have gone MUCH differently had different people found them.

    HOWEVER:
    * The Legacy Advantage is still dumb. By limiting where it can be played, it basically acts as a “free immunity” which is WAY less interesting than a regular idol when you have to use your skills as a player to figure out whether or not to play it.
    * The Vote Steal is “Meh” It created drama this season, but not because of how it was used, but because of the “legality” of its use.

    THAT BEING SAID:
    * Either of those “twists” are way better than the Tyler Perry Idol. That is way too powerful and should NEVER be in this game again.

    I guess my problem is not with there being twists, but that there should always be RISK involved in these twists. Survivor is at its best when the players never know if something is a “sure thing” or not.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I completely agree that there should be risk involved in gaining or possessing an advantage. The Legacy Advantage is a dud partly because you can’t use it outside of certain votes, but also because nobody knows about it, and as we saw this season you have every reason not to tell anybody about it. The one twist from recent seasons that’s clearly a home run is hiding advantages and clues at challenges, and that’s precisely because of the risk.

      • the sky is falling

        So true. I really want them to keep hiding idols at challenges until someone gets caught trying to pick it up. Contrast the excitement of ‘idol at challenge’ with the Legacy advantage, which is found in episode 1 and not mentioned again for 5-6 weeks.

        I can’t remember if it’s been done more than once, but the thing where 2 people go off and have to decide between two rewards is pretty successful also.

    • The legacy advantage has a lot of negatives. I’m generally in favor of seeing how a new game element works out before condemning it, but this one just fails on lot of levels. I’m fine with scrapping it.

      The vampire vote/double vote I kinda like, and I think it has potential to be played well- Sarah used it effectively this season.

      The Tyler Perry idol should cause people to play more conservatively, since it’s such an enormous safety blanket. Luckily, the last time it existed it was in Tony’s hands- and that motherfucker doesn’t know how to play any other way other than full frontal assault.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I don’t mind the two idols combining to make a Yul idol (I’m boycotting calling it the T-P idol), because it would be rare for it to be used that way, and because I thought it was interesting in KR.

  • Guys, I am in dire straits because I am rereading the Cambodia liveblogs right now.

    • purplerockandy

      Help is on its way.

      • Yay!

        • Warning (or not, since you’re in dire straits): It’s a #longread.

          • Did you see my original article about Zeke?

          • I still have flashbacks.

          • I tried cutting it down…I really did. You are just lucky that you did not get my manifesto on Cambodia.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Pssxt… she just upvoted one of my comments on an MvGX liveblog. Time for an intervention?

          • Blurry Denzel

            Yes, unless she starts upvoting some of my old comments.

          • Guys, I am doing this behavior because it’s one of the few things I can read at work.