Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers preview

We’re back and ready to discuss Survivor: Game Changers, which, sure, we’ve been doing in textual form for a month now. But it’s different when Andy is talking at John. We promise.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Game Changers preview

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Our general level of enthusiasm heading into this season.
  • All the amazing players returning to play.
  • Also, the crappy players returning to play.
  • Also, Sierra Dawn Thomas.
  • Also also, Troy.
  • Ranking our five players whose win would make us most happy.
  • Predicting who that person will be.
  • Predicting the first boot of the season.

If you have questions or comments, @ us on Twitter, or send us an email.


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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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128 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Game Changers preview

  1. Ugh how am I supposed to listen to this when we’re busy over on the other thread talking about Ciera’s BMs?

      1. Damn y’all are demanding. I’m not going to go that all-in on the PRP until I get my “#1 PRP fan” t-shirt in the mail.

        1. Sorry, Tony grabbed our last “#1 PRP fan” shirt. We’ll have to wait for the re-up.

    1. If we get just ONE shot of Ciera squatting for a BM this season, it will all be worth it!

  2. Oh boy, I can’t wait to listen to this and hear your opinions about the new rule about no re-votes!

  3. I’m sorry for what is going to be the first of many posts in a spam campaign (spampaign?), but I’m looking for everyone in the PRP fantasy baseball league to PM me on Twitter here with your email so that I can get the league survey going. Once I get all the responses, you’ll get an invite to the league. I guess anyone else can PM me too, but if it’s not the “Jay has an idol” clip, I’m going to block you.

    Also, everyone confirm that this league isn’t for money. Which I think I assumed because we never mentioned it, but on the flip side, it was never said out loud.

    1. Only doing it for internet bragging rights, which is as good as money, or that’s what I have been told.

      1. Just wanted to be sure, since suddenly announcing there was a buy in would probably turn some people off.

      1. Yeah I noticed that. I’m trying to fix it. But I think it still gives you my @ handle, so I guess use that until I can get it working properly.

    2. I feel like we’re in the middle of an NPR pledge drive right now. Andy, John, you guys really understand branding.

      1. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The spampaign will continue until we’ve reached our goal (getting a response from everyone in this league)

        1. For a fantasy baseball league? I’d have to quit my job! I can only handle these because the work is all done before the season starts.

        2. Baseball? What’s that? I don’t think we have that sport here in Canada, only curling, hockey, and lacrosse.
          Although… Are the Bluejays baseball? I think that’s a thing… They can’t be basketball because the shirts arent the right kind for that… But then who does Drake go and support all the time with his lint rollers?
          Canada’s a wierd place now that Toronto is a semi-big deal.

          1. The Blue Jays are baseball, and Drake lint-rolls the Raptors (basketball). And you guys have football too, a whole league in fact.

          2. Oh yeah, I forgot about football! I actually lived right beside where the Alouettes played for 3 years. Clearly, I’m not a sports person!

  4. Semi-Tangent: Every part of the photo for this post is amazing. Zeke looks so sad, Sarah looks disgusted by whatever she just stepped in, Malcolm looks like he has one arm, Michaela looks worried, Aubry looks sassy and determined, Sierra looks like she’s desperately trying to stay in frame, something I’m sure she’s used to, Tai looks like someone off camera just called “Hey Tai!” If this season is like this photo, then it’s going to be entertaining as hell.

    1. I had to zoom in to confirm whether or not Debbie is flipping somebody off (sadly, she isn’t).

      1. GAWD, that photo is also so good as well. I think my favorite is Keith, who looks like a 3 year old kid being told to raise his hands in excitement by his parents who are just behind the camera.

    2. SDT is like a “Where’s Waldo” in there. You don’t even see her at first! It’s like looking at an old picture from the Overlook Hotel.

    3. I totally agree. Why are so many of them looking at the ground? My theory is that they were all ready to get the shot, but it was a particularly choppy day at sea and Andrea ended up puking all over the deck. At that point, the producers et al were like ”We’re losing the light! Just everyone act natural!” And this is the outcome.

  5. The 5 players I most want to see win

    1. Cirie (my all time favorite player)
    2. Sandra (three wins for the Queen)
    3. Aubry (My current Survivor love)
    4. Andrea (My actual Winner pick plus she is awesome)
    5. Malcolm (He’s super great)

    I thought about Tony and I would be ecstatic if he won. But I kinda want either someone new to win or the Queen to go three for three.

    1. Co-sign, except I could easily be talked into Michaela rather than Malcolm. I’d also be amused by, say, FFSDT, Caleb, or Hali winning and causing the fan community to burn to the ground (so long as they actively won, as opposed to being the least-objectionable finalist).

      1. I felt bad leaving Michaela out of my top 5. And yes, I’m at least partially rooting for her to win because she gave an interview before MvGX noting how financially responsible she is.

  6. As you asked in a podcast the 5 people I want to win the most are

    1. Ciera
    2. Aubry
    3. Michaela
    4. Malcolm
    5. Andrea

    I excluded Tony, Sandra and Cirie, cause I thought that would be unfair for other people and they are basically far and away top 3 and they are interchangable. And I would probably put Hali in that top 5, but first I’m gonna wait and se if she will be major player on that season to see if she bumps off someone there (I WILL be rooting for her but she still is that “huh?” casting choice)

    And regarding a little bit the end of a podcast, I’m really happy I decided to come out of the shadows and finally join the comments. I still feel a bit overwhelmed by how wonderful this community is, that I probably don’t contribute as much as I could, but I think I will eventually get into it. And I want to thank the whole staff of PRP and all the regulars here for making the existence of this community possible and I hope that I’ll someday be officially crowned as a “regular” out here also.

  7. Top 5 for who I want to see win (not counting Sandra, Cirie (who are above and beyond the two I want the most to win), and Tony):


  8. Sandra, Cirie, and Tony make an un-rankable cluster for the first three slots, and Varner and Malcolm round out 4 and 5.

    Also, is the awesome thing in the first week an interview? Is it with Shirin? Somebody else?

      1. Ok, so I’m assuming it’s in celebration of 500 episodes. And I’m going to guess that there will be a special guest. Due to John’s new-found calling as the driver of the Jeff Probst bandwagon, I’m going to guess it’s Probst. Which is crazy! But damn would that be entertaining!

          1. And absolutely correct at most. I was trying to figure out what y’all would be celebrating, and 500 episodes fits that perfectly.

            It’s a good thing I revisited this thread for reasons.

  9. ‘Someone has to win.’

    Thats not true. Did you guys miss Kaoh Rong, the season where mysteriously nobody won?

      1. My worry is that the influx of new people will mean everyone just starts assuming it’s a weird backlash thing instead of something that started in episode 3.

          1. For people who weren’t around: ‘Nobody won Kaoh Rong’ isn’t a backlash against the Michele win. For like the first third of Kaoh Rong I had no idea who Michele was beyond that there was a brunette on Beauty who wasn’t Anna. “Which one is Michele, I don’t know who that is,” became a running joke for me long before the Obvious Winner Michele stuff started.

  10. Top 5:
    1) Sandra
    2) Aubry
    3) Andrea
    4) Varner
    5) Michaela

    I think maybe Malcolm in 6th, and then JT, Tony, Cirie and Zeke are all in the mix for “in no way objectionable at all.”

  11. My top 5:

    1. Sandra: Count ’em
    2. Cirie: Deserves it
    3. Malcolm: Will be fun
    4. Varner: I love him
    5. Aubry: Was robbed.

        1. After I posted, I had second thoughts, like, “hmm…maybe not *everything* is a Simpsons reference.” Silly me!

          1. You really think this is funny? Very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very mature.

  12. Top 5:
    (JT is a very close 6th but three crowns for the Queen is just too awesome)

  13. 1a. Cirie
    1b. Malcolm (both got oh so close before and fell just short. things have to break just right for them, but either would be so amazingly satisfying.)
    3. Sandra (3 times would be so amazing)
    4. Tony (Tony joining Sandra as a two time winner? AMAZING)
    5. Andrea (so pretty)

    Honorable mentions: JT, Varner

  14. 1. Sandra (3 for 3 would be fantastic)
    2. Aubry (Revenge for Kaoh Rong)
    3. Tony (We need his second win)
    4. Cirie (It’s just time for her to finally shine as a winner)
    5. Varner (For all of the reasons said in the podcast)
    Honorable mentions: JT and Malcolm

  15. 1. Ciera – not in my top 5 favorites for the cast, but the person who I think would have the most fascinating win. Lie away, Ciera
    2. Aubry – I love her confessionals so having her for the whole season again would be great. She would also probably be teaming up with some giants for a large portion of the game if she wants to get to the end, and has good taste in people.
    3. Cirie – always a favorite and I’d like to see her finally take it.
    4. Malcolm – but only if he pulls as much crazy shit as he did in Caramoan
    5. Michaela – We need more Michaela!

    1. Ciera was probably sixth on my list. Especially because I could claim victory in a battle that’s lasted the entire history of the podcast.

      1. So, suddenly I just started singing “Because you’re sixth, you’re sixth upon my list” to the tune of “Kiss On My List” by Hall & Oates.
        Such is my life.

      1. Call me a stupid ass, but I prioritized non-winners. She is somewhere right after this list, with Varner and Tony.

        1. I shall from now on call you stupid ass.
          Nah it’s cool, I just really love Sandra and her no fucks to give attitude. Reading her pre-game stuff it’s clear how deeply she thinks about the game and how much of it is also instinctual for her. I think she might be the most instinctual player that has ever played, she just knows how it works and she’s bitchy as hell too.

          1. Part of me wants to know what Sandra the juror is like but more of me wants her to win three times.

        2. Even so, your stupid ass still did it wrong. Excluding winners, the list clearly goes
          1- Cirie
          2- Varner
          3- Michaela
          4- Malcolm
          5- Hali

          No explanation needed.

    2. The reasons why you put Ciera at number 1 is probably why I’m really rooting for her this year. Just the thought of a universe where Ciera is a Survivor winner just makes me unexplainingly giddy. It’s not that probable, but hey, a man can dream.

  16. On the Joe/Malcolm discussion, I want to reinforce the idea that Joe and Malcolm are just very different players with very different strengths. Because of my viewing order, I went into watching Philippines with the idea that Malcolm was going to be “Joe, but better.” And through that lens, he failed to live up. The lack of challenge ridiculousness of course, but Malcolm also has an intensity and a snark that contrasts with Joe’s much more laid-back brand of arrogance. Put Joe on the bottom, and his plan is basically to immunity his way through (and the TV show suddenly has a B-plot- “uh…can Joe actually pull that off?”). Put Malcolm on the bottom, and he will do A-plot things.



    1. Sandra: Because the best world is one in which she never loses.
    2. Cirie: Because the worst world is one in which she never wins.
    3. Tony: Because holy shit what kind of insane game would enable Tony to win?
    4. Zeke: Because Zeke is good television, and a win will likely involve him playing a really interesting game.
    5. Varner: Because Zeke is good television, and a win will likely involve him playing a really interesting game.

  17. Top 5 most want to win:
    2. Sandra (3-0, rolling in dough)
    3. Aubry (SECONDARY BAE!)
    4. Cirie (Secondary Queen)
    —The above is my Pick 4 team (woops)—
    5. Tony (First King, but Queen still rules)

    Ultimately, I would rather Sandra gets 3 then Tony gets 2 (the feminist in me), but i wouldn’t be sad about getting another multi-time winner. Like Andy & John said, if Tony wins, then this season will probably go down as one of the best in Survivor history, but I have faith the same can be said if Sandra wins. Sure, she could win a boring season, but I think it’s more likely that if either win, we will all be greatly entertained.

  18. How has no one admitted that they actually want Troyzan to win? Watching this site set itself on fire over Michelle was the best part of that season. Just imagine how much better it would be with a slow, week-by-week march to a Troyzan victory.

    So here we go:
    1) Troyzan
    2) Sandra (because I’m not totally a monster)

    Everything else will just disappoint me now that I’ve built up the Troyzan narrative.

    Also, what should my new disqus handle be after John bans me?

    1. I don’t hate Troyzan. I felt kind of sorry for him during his first season. It’s been a while since I saw it, but I feel like a lot of his actions were dictated by panic, like a rat in a corner. But him winning? It would be sort of fun to watch this particular community reacting, but I really can’t think of a way that he wins that is satisfying.

    2. Ughhhhhhh! If this comes true I will cry, blame you, never watch this season again. and then ruin kittens on the internet for you. You have been warned lol!

  19. I love that “Troy is garbage” is in the Posted Under section.

    Anyway, time for my top five baby!

    Tier 1
    1. Tony
    2. JT

    The winners from my top two favorite seasons. Would love to see either of them double up.

    Tier 2
    3. Aubry – The ending *we* deserved in Kaoh Rong
    4. Malcolm – Think Malcolm was born for Survivor and hope the breaks work out in his favor
    5. Cirie – Would love to see her finally get a win

  20. Please surprise to find this on my feed during daily work commute. Agreed with a lot and disagreed with a lot too –

    – Bang on Zeke. Hate for him make little sense. John’s point about him being too hammy is correct but Zeke as a player is still a plus for any season.

    – Same for Malcolm. One of my all time favs as well. Perfect time for him to come back as well.

    – Believe it or not, there are some fans who love Troy and consider him one of the favs to win this season. My mind boggles too and I made a sharp exit when I heard them espousing such blasphemy.

    – Disagree that Cirie is a “day 38” player. Or at least she was not. Her first time, she lost due to Aras beating Terry in that immunity. If Terry wins as usual, Aras is the boot and then Danielle would have picked Cirie after he F2 win. Similar in Micronesia, she did actually make it to F3 using her strategy. But going forward, I agree, little to zero chance of her ever being taken to F3. You will need someone like Tai to be attached with hip with her for it to happen.

    – Disagree that Cirie and Sandra are similar players. Bar being bad in physical part, I don’t think they are similar at all. Even their social games have different facets. Strategically, Sandra is capable of impulsively make moves to further her game whereas Cirie is genuinely up there with any of the best strategic players to ever play.

    – Disagree on Andy’s take on Aubry’s prospects. I think she is in a great spot to start with. Being on a tribe with Tony and Sandra is god send for her. As hot as she was, coming into this season, she pales in comparison against the threat level of those 2. Same goes for Malcolm IMO. Good spot for him too.

    – I also think you guys are underestimating the chances of the big names in the cast going first. I really dread an All stars type boot order for this season.

  21. [Ctrl-Fs “caleb,” to minimal results]

    Hrrmph. Still not enough gays on this site. I’ll continue to pick up the slack through being extra-gay. Take that, Pence!

  22. Late to the party, but here is my top 5.

    1. Tony – My favorite Survivor player ever, by far, so yeah, go Tony!
    2. Malcolm – He is the best part of both of his seasons.
    3. Sandra – Going 3 for 3 would be ridiculous.
    4. Varner – If Varner wins, we will be entertained.
    5. Zeke – If Zeke wins, we should be in for some good strategic gameplay.

    1. I agree with two of these. I feel like Micheala is only revered because she was on a fairly weak cast. Jay is superior.

      1. I don’t think the cast was weak last season.

        But Jay is not on the cast list so he was not an option.

        1. Meh, I’m just not on the Micheala train, overrated imo. Gimme Cydney any day over her 🙂

        2. And ok, weak is the wrong way to describe last years cast. Just quite a few bland characters in the pre-merge. If they hadnt pushed the stupid theme so much it might have been a better season.
          There are at least 2 others from MvGenX we will see again.

          1. I expect we will see David, Jay and Jessica for sure. (There are not as many good females to choose from and she fits many types – looks good in a bathing suit, smart, some challenge ability, some social skills, some strategic skills and she left in an interesting way. She’s actually pretty similar to Sarah Lacina. She’s also involved in the fan community). We may see Hannah and Ken, the latter if there is a fan vote for a second chances type season. Chris, Bret and Will are long-shots (Will, when he’s a lot older). Michele, maybe for the same reasons – females slots are harder to fill.

          2. I don’t necessarily disagree with your assessment of Jessica, but with rockdraws probably/possibly/maybe becoming a more regular occurrence, I really hope that takes the allure off bringing Jessica back. She’s such a nothing-burger in every which way, but thinks so very highly of herself – exactly the type of player that I don’t want to see ever again. The only thing good about her is the way her facial expressions give away everything she thinks, but unlike Michaela she wasn’t even aware of that fact for her first time around.

            While it’s generally harder to cast women, there are plenty of canndidates from the last two seasons alone: I’d be excited to watch Michele and/or Hannah play again, but I’d also take Mari, Lucy, Sunday and even Figgy and Cece over her.

            S32 has two returning female castmembers already, but I also need to see Cydney again at some point and one could say Julia also earned a return. Then there is Michele…
            If they’re looking for more drama or plain stupid in a season, I’m fine with Jennifer L. or Alecia coming back. WA also has Jenn and Lindsey to offer in the drama category, but also has that bossy, strong female type to offer in Carolyn, that producers otherwise might have to go back to Cagayan to find, which they should do anyway.

            This is of course just my opinion in a matter of taste, but there really are enough other options that have so much more upside from a TV production POV, so please no more of that bland Jessica.

            (Sorry, this went longer than it should have.)

          3. And I’m the opposite. Figgy, a supposed fan of the game, did not know enough not to get into a showmance. She brought a target on herself.
            She was annoying and unlikable. To me, Mari, Rachel, Lucy and Cece brought nothing. Mari would be back because she has a large following.

            I personally found Jessica interesting and would be ok with Hannah and Michele Shubert. Sunday, fine. I found her to be bland in the game.

            I do agree with Cydney but she would have to finish her bodybuilding career or at least be willing to hurt it. I don’t need to see Julia, Jennifer L (and she just adopted a child apparently). Alecia, ok.

            Carolyn has been in the mix more than once.

          4. To be clear, I’m not clamouring for many of the players I listed to come back (Figgy chief amongst them, but she at least got the drama and the stupid by way of hubris on lock, aaand she’s beautiful), but I’d take any of them back over Jessica.

            I really only want to see Cydney, Hannah and Michelle again, with Lucy being a darkhorse. And I’m also worried that Cydney is unlikely to come back for a while because playing Survivor is so incompatable to her bodybuilding-career.

      2. This might be a controversial opinion/extreme recency bias, but I think the Millennials vs. Gen X cast was as entertaining and likable as the cast of Tocantins, if not China. David had a great underdog story, Adam had a great emotional story, Zeke was a fantastic narrator, Hannah was incredibly relatable (at least to me, another anxious Jewish millennial), Michaela was Michaela, and Jay and Bret seemed like really nice, fun people. (Although clearly, the gender balance wasn’t great.) There wasn’t anyone as amazing as Courtney or as obnoxiously entertaining as Coach 1.0, but I’ll take a season with an all-around likable cast over one that mines drama out of a bunch of people being awful to each other.

        1. I agree, I think also that Michelle was great in the short time that we had her, and Jessica was likable and strategic female. And Figgy, Taylor, and Ken while I didn’t like them that much (especially the last two), they did bring something to the table. The only 20 person cast that I liked as much as this one was the Palau one (excluding returnees of course).I just really loved that season and if it’s not in my top 10, it definetely is really near it.

  23. I’m enjoying the optimism here regarding Tony and Sandra, but seriously cant imagine a scenario where either of them win this season. 90% of the cast is targeting them, it’s just not gonna happen unless there are multiple rock draws in their favor. Tony is my fave player of all time, but its just stacked against him this time.
    Not telling y’all how to live your life, but I am preparing myself for an “unsatisfying winner™” from an epic cast.

    1. I think it would incredibly difficult for either of them to win. I just also think that the idea that they will both be targeted as a first boot is probably a little overblown.

  24. 1. Sandra – Nothing could beat a third Sandra win.
    2. Tony – Any season in which Tony goes deep is bound to be fantastic, and if he can pull off his game against returnees (which I highly doubt he can), that would be incredible.
    3. Cirie – After Panama and Micronesia, even the Heroes were smart enough to figure out to get rid of Cirie. She’s probably going home early, but I would love to see her manipulate her way to a win.
    4. Malcolm – Malcolm is great, and I want him to win so that people stop comparing Joe to him. Joe is not Malcolm. Joe will never be Malcolm. Few people will ever be Malcolm. (Plus, he’s my winner pick.)
    5. Aubry – Aubry can be a master manipulator, and for her to get to the end right after everyone saw what happened in Kaoh Rong would take a lot of skill. I also want to see Aubry’s Winner’s Edit.

  25. 1. Sandra – Nothing could beat a third Sandra win.
    2. Tony – Any season in which Tony goes deep is bound to be fantastic, and if he can pull off his game against returnees (which I highly doubt he can), that would be incredible.
    3. Cirie – After Panama and Micronesia, even the Heroes were smart enough to figure out to get rid of Cirie. She’s probably going home early, but I would love to see her manipulate her way to a win.
    4. Malcolm – Malcolm is great, and I want him to win so that people stop comparing Joe to him. Joe is not Malcolm. Joe will never be Malcolm. Few people will ever be Malcolm. (Plus, he’s my winner pick.)
    5. Aubry – Aubry can be a master manipulator, and for her to get to the end right after everyone saw what happened in Kaoh Rong would take a lot of skill. I also want to see an actual Aubry’s Winner’s Edit.

  26. Too late for it to matter, but the following winners would make me jubilant:
    Sandra, Tony, Cirie, Aubry, Michaela

    I think for any of them to win would be miraculous and thus, the best season ever!

  27. Super late to this, but 5 players I most want to see win, aside from Sandra listed 5 times:

    1. Sandra
    2. Cirie
    3. Aubry
    4. Andrea
    5. Tony

    It was a close one between Tony, Malcolm, and Michaela for that last spot.

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