Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers episode 9 “Fear of the Unknown”

Andy and John finally get around to yelling about the ninth episode of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.

Best player on this season

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 9 “Fear of the Unknown”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • If there any way to make sense of Mike’s move.
  • They did it again. These dumb asses did it AGAIN.
  • If Cole was the right target.
  • If Mike was the right secondary target.
  • How Ben is most definitely NOT steam rolling people.
  • The latest display of Ryan’s superior social game.
  • Our current opinion of this game and these players.
  • Could… Devon be actually winning this thing?
  • Could Lauren?
  • Did Joe’s strategy actually kinda work?
  • Heroic, Healing, Hustle yada yadas.

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

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    Cool. Now I have something to look forward to when I get off work.

    • Roswulf

      The combination of this post and the earlier tweet that this would be going up on Monday made me briefly panic about whether I was wrong about the day of the week and really supposed to be at work.

    • I have something to listen to while I grade/put away dishes.

    • Hornacek

      A bellhop’s work is never done.

  • To start the thread of players who mentioned that they had a good social game, why not start with the winner of Game Changers? Sarah’s first confessional is “I played Survivor: Cagayan, and I have a phenomenal social game. I’m a police officer, so I can read people, and with a season called Game Changers, I feel like somebody will get anxious and feel as though they need to make a move, which will put a target on their back, and then I’m going to be the silent assassin. (laughs)”. I remember us rolling our eyes at that, but she did have a good social game for that season.

    • Off-topic, but Ciera’s first confessional mentions how she played with winners before and mentions all of the winners she played with except for Jeremy.

    • purplerockandy

      Yeah, it could just be a more modern thing in that people just didn’t call it the “social game” before.

      • Right.

        Also, there is a way to show social game and it is having confessionals of other people talking about their relationship with the person with the good social game. They did it with Jeremy and Sarah and they sorta did it with Adam.

        • Or the better way is showing a scene of everyday of players hanging around just tallking to each other.

          • Yeah, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

          • I know but it should. Remember the scene earlier in the season where the Hustler tribe were they trying on Simone’s clothes. Wasn’t that a fun scene that actually showed why those people liked Ryan and didn’t like Simone.(Top 3 scene of the season thus far)

          • It goes
            1) Hamfisted Foo Fighters references
            2) Hamfisted Outback Steakhouse references
            3) Ryan stealing Simone’s clothes
            Right?

          • That seems right

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Dividing up the 42 minutes of each episode is a zero-sum game, and in the current era of three tribes and more twists and whatnot than ever before there just isn’t time to allocate to people just hanging around. Australian Survivor proves you can have even more players and even more advantages than US Survivor and have plenty of time (too much TBH) for character moments, you just need 26 episodes that run an average of 60 minutes.

          • Other Scott

            All I can remember about that scene is they had like Zeke on the Wiggle Room afterwards and I think it was him who said “that kind of thing happens after pretty much every tribal, so the only reason they showed it was because they really had light material for those 3 days”

        • purplerockandy

          I feel like they’ve done it at least once with Ryan. With Ali, maybe?

          • The only thing I remember is Ryan saying that Ali didn’t have a good social game.

      • In the old days of Survivor, they showed the social game as peoople talking to each other and hanging out as the social game. Now-a-days they show the peson talking about it instead. That one of things about old days I miss.

        • Hell, Gervase has a confessional in Borneo where he talks about his social game and why he brought a deck of cards as a luxury item. But, during that confessional, we got evidence as to why people liked Gervase.

    • Hornacek

      Some other guy that does Survivor podcasts has said more than once that if a player says “I am great at ______” and they are the only one saying this, it’s likely not true.

  • sharculese

    Uh, excuse me, John, Abi found an idol. She just chose to keep it in her secret fort in the woods so she could go off and play with it instead of waving it around and saying “try to vote me out, motherfuckers,” like you would expect her to.

    But it was totally a real idol.

    Edit: wait, fuck, I forgot about the actual idol she did have.

    • Abi was very fortunate to get that advantage which both helped her in the challenge *and* told her where to find another idol. But it definitely happened and why are you asking to read the note about the advantage shut up you’re dead to me.

  • patti renshaw

    I just think it’s not in mikes nature to make confrontational approach he should have done that back at camp way before tribal if that’s what he was trying to do NOT at tribal its not in his wheelhouse

    • He was pretty clearly out of his comfort zone. He’s not a great actor.

  • purplerockandy
    • But Joe, the problem is that the show hasn’t thrown the fools under the bus (to make the show funny) like they have in other seasons.

      • Which makes me think that one of those fools is the winner.

        • To be fair, there’s hardly anyone left that hasn’t been shown as a fool, so your claim is almost guaranteed to be accurate.

          Except, of course, if Devon the God of Brilliant and Beautiful Light is the winner.

          • Alycia Swift

            Maybe that pose of him on the ground an episode or two ago is the equivalent to Earl (I think) on the mountain.

          • Hornacek

            Or Aras meditating (in Panama, not BvW).

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Hell, even Bob Crowley got a helicopter shot IIRC.

          • Hornacek

            Future players: if you’re on the island and there’s a helicopter following you, that’s a good sign.

    • Kemper Boyd

      The very fact that a contestant would listen to this podcast makes me think that contestant is a bit of an idiot. Who cares what you fools (or us fools in the comments) think?

      • purplerockandy

        There have been many fools throughout the years.

    • mcquack

      At least Joe correctly includes himself among the 18 fools.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I came here from Twitter specifically to say this. Typing cat gif

    • gouis

      He really is trying to be shitty Tony.

      • Not gonna lie, this did make me like him more. But I’m a sucker for people make fun of me.

        • purplerockandy

          Yeah, for the praise part of the tweet, John was all “whatevs”. Then he insulted us and John was all “that’s the stuff”.

        • the sky is falling

          I’m old enough to remember when that would’ve taken 2 tweets. “@PurpleRockPod could be the worst armchair podcast in survivor history” really packs more of a punch.

          • purplerockandy

            We’d try and pin it.

    • Everything’s coming up Purple Rock Pod!

    • UseYourCommonSense

      He’s a fan now according to his Twitter lol.

      • purplerockandy

        Made me lose some respect for him, tbh.

        • Alycia Swift

          You guys really crack me up.

        • Other Scott

          From Joe’s Twitter

          “they are a bit raw and unpolished but know their shit.”

          This should be your tagline.

          • purplerockandy

            Too late. New tagline is “could be the worst armchair podcast in survivor history”.

          • Hornacek

            I’ll have to buy a new shirt when you add that to your logo.

      • Yeah, I was back out on Joe once he said he liked us.

    • Hornacek

      My work firewall blocks Twitter so your comment just looks like a bunch of blank lines, which I thought was your actual comment, showing how you feel about this season.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Me when Andy gave me a shoutout:
    https://78.media.tumblr.com/d431d3869d63f3e8df1a1d43285da96d/tumblr_neh4wupCAv1qm7imdo1_400.gif

    I stand by my assessment that this is the less hateful Nicaragua. So Devon is winning. I would be cool with a Lauren win too. Just because it’s a different kind of person we haven’t seen before.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Guys, Lauren is 4 years older than me and I’m 99% sure younger than both of you. How is she an “older woman”? I cannot be 4 years from being an older woman.

    • gouis

      Age is a mindset. She acts like a grumpy grandma who is pissed they ran out of the blue plate special.

      • Kemper Boyd

        This is true but she’s still not old.

    • purplerockandy

      Proximity is an issue too. She is now old by Survivor’s new standards. You seem older when surrounded by the young than you do when surrounded by peers.

      • Kemper Boyd

        This is more the truth. The current climate of casting she is old.

    • purplerockandy

      Also: if I ever got on Survivor (even at this age) and won a challenge, you better damn well be praising me for overcoming my advanced age to do so.

      • Hornacek

        “Wow, look at that old guy win a challenge while at the same time telling every other player what a bad game they are playing!”

        • If Andy ever gives a confessional talking about his great social game, you know it’s because the show is clowning the fuck out of him for his boot episode.

          • Hornacek

            That’s why he’d have to say it during a challenge so they couldn’t edit it out.

    • Alycia Swift

      “Welcome to the club” says the really old lady on this site. By Survivor standards, I’m dead. (Really, the older woman is in the 30s now. When was the last time they actually cast an over 50 woman that was not a returning player? They still cast over 50 men occasionally.)

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        That’s an interesting enough question that I looked it up. Carolyn in SJDS. She’s one of three since HvV, the other two being Jane in Nicaragua (a young vs. old season) and Nina from One World. To their credit, two of the three went deep into the game, and not as goats.

        • Hornacek

          (whispers) Worlds Apart, not SJdS.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            D’oh! But speaking of WA, the other Nina was also just barely in her 50s. So four in the past 15 seasons.

        • Hornacek

          “You couldn’t let me win that for my kids, you son of a bitch!”

      • Have you seen next season’s cast?

      • Purple Rock Emma

        Cirie was on the “older woman” tribe on Panama at 32.

      • Kemper Boyd

        SCOUT. God Scout sucked though.

  • gouis

    Ahhhhh that’s the stuff.

  • mcquack

    Around the time of the merge I reassured myself by saying “At least this season is better than Game Changers” but is it? No one is close to playing at the level of Sarah, there’s no Michaela/Cirie, and not even a Brad/Troy/Sierra Dawn Thomas poopfecta to root against. Right now I’d say HHH is hovering just above GC but if nothing continues to happen that ranking will drop.

    • Kemper Boyd

      You are right.

    • GC had interesting personalities that got booted too early. This season has milquetoast personalities that are going to be with us for a long time.

      Game Changers had strong gameplay by a boring person. This season has bad gameplay by boring people.

      • Max_Jets

        “GC had interesting personalities that got booted too early.”
        I GUESS ALAN JUST NEVER EXISTED HUH

        • Alan would have been more interesting than the majority of the players left, yes.

          • Max_Jets

            I’ll take it.

    • UseYourCommonSense

      Game Changers was awful in a lot of ways but at least there plenty of things to talk about and Sarah was a good player. This season is vanilla as hell.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I’ll take vanilla as hell over half French Laundry, half broken glass.

      • Hornacek

        Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers

        The Julia Landauer of Survivor seasons

        • Max_Jets

          I was weirdly relieved when Julia had so much post show success, no longer cursed to be worst than vanilla (wonderful flavor, btw) Julia of Survivor.

    • Max_Jets

      There’s been no traumatic event or silly default boot or bizarre sequence of editing to make an admittedly ridiculous contestant look like she has no concept of reality (this…might be unconfirmed) or a twist that fully eliminates the basis of Survivor or the most quickly deflated excitement due to the writing of an advantage or (here’s hoping) a winner with painfully dull confessionals or eliminations based on a huge disparity of quality of the players’ previous outings so I’d still say it’s better but we shall see.

      • F***ing Stick

        Who is “bizarre sequence of editing to make an admittedly ridiculous contestant look like she has no concept of reality” referring to?

        • Super duper fan

          I’m guessing Debbie.

          • F***ing Stick

            Duh! I was trying to go through all the women on that season in my head and I apparently forgot she was even on the season. Oops!

            And thank you

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            You will never forget Debbie if you google her modeling pix. Roooaawr!

            …Seriously though, don’t google her modeling pix.

          • F***ing Stick

            Yeah that sounds like a terrifying thing that can never be unseen.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Luckily I’m not an auto enthusiast, or else I wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing that kind of car again as well. Fucking ruined the Whitesnake video for me.

          • I straight up thought it was Anna’s modeling pics for weeks.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Naw, the vaccination scar is retty prominent in Debbie’s pix.

          • I wasn’t looking that closely at it.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Any time I see a woman sprawled on the hood of a fancy sports car I start worrying about smallpox.

          • I guess that is just a job precaution with you, right?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            The oh so glamorous life of a veteran bellhop.

          • Hornacek

            Even though the original comment was about Game Changers, I was going to ask which of Debbie’s season you were talking about regarding her. But I then I realized, silly me, Debbie is like this in both of her seasons.

          • Max_Jets

            I didn’t have a problem with Debbie (well, I did, her meltdown was the worst she has been as a character that I otherwise enjoyed), but was going off Head Architect Sylvia’s theory that they used footage of Debbie melting down post immunity challenge and placed it so that she was doing it after the reward challenge which GREATLY altered the context and the way Debbie came off. She was over the top either way, but (if the theory is true) the placement of the scene made her come off much worse.

          • Hornacek

            Brad and Monica were on a RHAP podcast recently, and Rob asked about Debbie; Brad said something like “For most of her game, I didn’t know what she was doing.”

            Also, let’s not forget her heckling of her own tribe during a challenge.

          • Max_Jets

            The heckling was an important clue to the editing conspiracy! I don’t really remember the details. It’s completely plausible that it happened as aired too.

          • Hornacek

            Editing or no editing, the fact that she did it at all shows how crazy she was. Brad gained a lot of good will with the viewers by calmly saying “I don’t know what you’re mad about.”

          • Max_Jets

            It’s a mark against the season both ways, yes. I…can’t seem to find the thread – but in one way Debbie is having a ridiculous over the top meltdown based on real events (or at least a reading of real events) and in the other she is having it based on absolutely nothing. If the editing made it look like the latter when it was really the former, just because the show normally doesn’t show a tribe after they win an immunity challenge, then that would be a much bigger mark against the season. That’s all I’ll say though because I really don’t want to rewatch the episode to remember what I’m talking about.

          • Hornacek

            I don’t want to rewatch that season either (shudder), but even if scenes were shown out of order and Debbie was just acting, she was acting like a crazy person (and I don’t believe her when she says she was just acting). And if she thought that would be a good thing to do, that makes her even crazier.

          • Max_Jets

            But there is a HUGE difference! If you think once someone crosses a certain line there are no more lines to be crossed then fine, but at least she is reacting to real events in the proposed real timeline. Mixing up the sequence (if that’s what happened) makes her look completely untethered from reality. I am also ignoring her comments about acting.

          • Hornacek

            To me, it doesn’t matter if she freaked out at her camp (where she yelled at her tribe, did push-ups, etc) before or after the challenge. She came off to everyone (her tribe and viewers) as crazy and unstable.

          • Max_Jets

            I disagree, and I think the show really fucked up by not recognizing the difference if they moved the scene.

          • Hornacek

            Agree to disagree I guess. No matter what order it could have been placed, in my opinion Debbie comes off as crazy and irrational in those scenes at camp *and* during the challenge.

            Poor Brad – he’s doing his best to win that challenge for his tribe and Debbie is running alongside him saying “See how I did that, Brad? See? See?” She was like one of those tiny dogs that barks non-stop.

      • Mike Hirsch

        Right now, this season is aiming towards getting a big ol’ participation trophy.

    • Game Changers had A LOT of problems, but I don’t think of it as a bad season, as much as a below average season. If HHH continues down its current path, it’ll definitely be a bad season, but I still feel like something somewhat exciting has to happen once the majority alliance collapses.

    • Diego Armando

      And Game Changers gave us 6-7 episodes of Sandra.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        I feel like Sandra is over-rated. Fairplay should have won Pearl Islands and Russell should have won HvV. She just happened to luck into returnee Lil beating Jon and then sitting next to a giant asshole (Russell. I want to be clear that I am not calling our beloved Lil an asshole.) Sandra definitely had a good game, but it isn’t the great thing people hold it up to be. See also Spradlin, Kim.

        • purplerockandy

          What are you even doing here?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I like Survivor! The first three words of my post are ‘I feel like”! My opinion! Sandra was a better choice in each of her scenarios but ultimately she was the wrong goat to take to the end. Fairplay would have beaten her. Russell wouldn’t have beaten anyone. As far as Kim goes, I would love to see her facing off against a different group of people. I would respect her game (which was great) so much more if she faced a better group of competitors. My favorite player ever is Tyson, but he wouldn’t have won Tocantins or HvV. In BvW he hit his stride. Kim dominated One World, but man is that ever a bad season. I would gladly watch Sandra play again, but I don’t expect her to do much better than she did on Game Changers. And no way does anyone ever take her to the end again.

          • purplerockandy

            Oh, by “here”, I meant “right now”. You’re always welcome here. As they say in my country “the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum”.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            That actually means a lot to me right now.

            And it also reinforces why you’re my favorite of the two.

          • You only say that because he’s a fellow Canadian. You probably bonded over that stupid show with the dog that shoots people.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Straight up Texan here. I only know two people who have been shot by a dog. One of those was an accident.

          • Hornacek
          • Nice try, Hornacek.

          • Hornacek

            This must be how Stephen King felt when Richard Bachman was discovered to be made-up.

          • Hornacek

            @SNPalsy:disqus isn’t Canadian. He’s a bellhop. In Canada they’re not called “bellhops” – they’re called “chesterfields”.

        • Max_Jets

          Who do you consider to be the very best Survivor players?

          “Russell should have won HvV”
          You’re sure about this particular take?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Like Tony. His game should have won, but everybody hated him. He should have won but there is no way that Russell would ever win. Put him in every hypothetical FTC–he loses. But his game (jury management excluded) should have won.

            Best Survivor players? I’ve never really thought that through. My real favorites? No. Coach is not a good Survivor player. Neither is Rodney. I’ll have to think about that. I will probably include Kim on that list, but I still find her win to be over-rated. I mean, if I play Clue with my niece and nephew, I’m gonna come out looking like Sherlock Fucking Holmes. I think her game is good but not proven. Tony? Jeremy? It shouldn’t be limited to winners. I’ll have to get back to you.

          • Max_Jets

            My surprise was more at the preference for Russell over Parvati. Russell’s non-jury management game impresses me less than say, Parvati and Aubry in their runner up games, because I think his goat status is a major reason he made it so far both times. Natalie and Parvati both attached themselves to Russell because they knew they wanted to sit next to him. He didn’t get “dragged” to the end because he put in a lot of work to get there, but I think he had an easier path because of his poor jury management. I get what you’re saying though, and I actually think that Sandra’s HvV win is one of the show’s least impressive even as I find her to be one of the greatest players. I wouldn’t say anyone that loses SHOULD win, but I do like to separate players’ paths to the end from their jury management because they are very different skills and I like to admire them both.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Do you think Michele should have beaten Aubry? I liked your thoughts on Russell. I wonder if he is just the GOAT goat. I wonder if he is just a super competent goat that has no better goat to take with him.

            I’ve finally seen all of the seasons, and now I’ve started over at Borneo. Maybe my rewatch of Pearl Islands will change my opinion. HvV and PI were two of the earliest ones I watched.

          • Max_Jets

            I don’t know if a rewatch of her Pearl Islands game will change your mind, but I do think of her and Fairplay as roughly equals in gameplay that season – it’s wonderful watching them alternate in outplaying each other.

            “Do you think Michele should have beaten Aubry?”
            Ugh, I don’t even know. Joe’s medevac really throws everything off. I wouldn’t say Aubry should have won, but I wouldn’t really want to say the opposite either. I think Kaoh Rong just made me not care as much about the winner – even as someone who likes Michele. The jury system works well because it prevents the detestable and the “dead fish” from winning, so we don’t have to ever end up with anything too unsatisfying. Even we don’t get to see the Aubrys and Dawns come out on top, we can still appreciate everything else they brought to their games.

          • Crappy

            It is unfair to lump Parvati with Natalie. I normally don’t dwell into the whole Natalie white debate but it is simply fan-fiction to give her so much credit for planning out the whole game as in Russell taking her to the end and being beatable.
            – It is has been proven that editing misplaced some post-merge confessionals to much earlier point in the season to give the impression that she had come up with the strategy to ride Russell to the end very early on.
            – She deserves credit for keeping Russell on her side and fighting her case with the jury but can’t get credit for Russell’s own strategic game which overturned a 8-4 deficit. As in, she had no way of knowing that Russell would pull out Foa Foa out of the deep hole they were in and in without his shenanigans, she most likely is another forgotten pagoned survivor.

            In essence I am questioning this survivor folklore of NW attaching herself to Russell because of some grand plan rather than it being yet another example of a weak survivor player being a strong players’ lackey. I have no doubt if Tenerelli beats Rob in RI, she would get the same arguments.

            On the flip side with Parvati
            – You have clear confessionals early on and late into the game about her intentions with relationship with Russell. You get a season, point blank tell him that she won’t ride anybody’s coattails.
            – You see her manipulate him to give her the idol and other information before merge
            – You see her make her own moves and eventually end up against Russell in a way.

            So you see her attach herself to Russell early on when she has no power in the game and he does save her. But you also see the transition to Paravti playing her own game.

            Now you can argue that some of the stuff she did ended up costing her the game, which is a fair argument. (My personal take is that her relationship with Heroes even before she met them was fractured so much that the whole merge episode pushed it beyond repair). You can also say Natalie white’s passive style won her the game over Paravti’s active one (again I won’t necessarily agree since IMO NW just happened to be more likeable to Galu jury, if Mick was that person he would have won regardless of any plan Natalie had to attach herself to Russell or not). But I don’t believe that’s the argument here so I digress..

            Coming to Russell part, I don’t like defending him but I don’t agree that Russell had an easier path to the end in Samoa and even in HvV- it wasn’t case of goat walking to FTC. In Samoa, he successfully wrestled control from Galu and controlled the game, deciding the boot order from there on in. That’s same as any other power player out there. In HvV, he was always in danger of being voted out since Heroes + Sandra would have jumped at the opportunity to vote him out at any stage if possible.

          • Max_Jets

            I was not saying that Russell only made it to the end because he was a goat, hence “He didn’t get “dragged” to the end because he put in a lot of work to get there”. He did have a very difficult path to the end in Samoa, and perhaps it was more difficult than Parvati’s and Aubry’s to some extent, but the point is that there were people that wanted to sit next to him so they could beat him – regardless of when Natalie decided this was the case. I know the heroes and Sandra wanted to vote him out, which is why I give him a lot of credit over other desirable FTC opponents. In Aubry’s case, the people she was playing with did not know she would be easy to beat at the end which is why I think she had it harder. I think the endgame in particular is where Russell has it easier – his allies want to stick with him BECAUSE they know he is a goat.

            I wasn’t trying to hype up Natalie in comparing her to Parvati, though since you mention it she does deserve credit for helping overturn the 8-4 deficit at the merge vote.

          • By The Numbers

            While I totally agree that Parvati and Natalie are not comparable, I will defend Natalie.

            How has it been proven that Natalie’s confessional was placed earlier than it was? I’d never heard about that before and Natalie lost so much weight out there, so it’s pretty easy to judge what day it is based on how emaciated she looks.
            The Jury inSamoa is probably one of my favorite votes because while the almost unanimously came to the same conclusion, they all did it for different reasons
            – Laura Morett was never voting Russell, but was impressed by Natalie’s strategic arguments about Russell being a shield
            – Dave came into FTC voting Russell, but Probst said “it’s a social game”, and Dave realized no one played better socially than Natalie
            – Erik was voting for who strategically played the best and thought that was Natalie
            – Jaison is the most important jury vote. The only Foa Foa insight on the Jury, and he thought the world of Natalie. According to him, Natalie was instrumental in many of the decisions and Russell would’ve been up a creek without her personal relationships.

            Overall, the Jury loves Natalie, and not in a “she’s not Russell” way. At least Dave and Jaison are still close with her and think she’s the deserving winner. She deserves credit for forming those bonds while Russell constantly antagonized people like Laura and Monica.

          • Crappy

            The confessional Natalie gave about using Russell to go to the end had a merge flag in the background even though it was aired pre-merge.

            Also I am just gonna agree to disagree here, I have never bought this argument that Samoa jury actively voted for Natalie since they deemed her a better player. This is basically an argument that nothing can be said to change the other person’s mind so I consider it futile to argue.

        • By The Numbers

          Just out of curiosity, what makes you prefer Russell’s HvV game over Parvati’s?

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Okay first of all, even Russell names Parvati as the person who should have won HvV.

    • Roswulf

      THe only reason I could think of of giving Game Changers through the early post-merge a ranking below this is the Zeke/Varner thing.

      If that ruins the whole thing, I totally understand. But Game changers has 1) Better play; 2) Better players (SANDRA! And Ok, also Sarah and lots of other people); 3) More Interesting Terrible Play (JT!) and 4) More Interesting/Enteraining Players (MICHAELA! And also Sandra- Game Changers Sandra really may be my favorite player of all time)

      Now this season could pass Game Changers- Game Changers had a bleak and dispiriting endgame. But the status quo scenario here is far, FAR below Game Changers.

      Except….Varner. I’m not going to tell anyone how they should factor in Varner to the experience of watching Game Changers.

      • I will repeat myself here:
        The Sandra Era of Game Changers is A +
        The Post-Sandra Era of Game Changers is C to F territory, leaning more towards D-/F. Sarah is a good player, but awful television.

    • Crappy

      I think the problem with GC is the disparity between the pre-season expectations of your favs slaying it to the actual worst possible combination of F3 we got in combination with majority of big players going pre-merge. In that sense, even though it had exciting episodes, unpredictable boots and strategy was fluid throughout the game, it will always rank pretty low for me since I don’t expect to ever enjoy it on a re-watch. (It is lower than SJDS for example for the same reason).
      Having said that, this season is trending lower than GC, only a truly satisfying and exciting ending (tough to see at this point) could push it above GC.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I paused a couple times during the credits/vote reveal trying to parse WTF happened with the vote. Then I saw Ben wrote Cole as “COAL.” These people are just idiots. Is there anyway for this season to become interesting again? Maybe they can shoot the moon and go FULL IDIOT turning remainder of season into a comedy of errors? Conceptually the idea of an island filled w Drew Chistys seems like it’d be good for a cheap laugh.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Gabon isn’t technically an island, but it’s been done already.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Hey dude, long time no see. Coal probably won’t make a top ten list of misspelt Survivor votes but it’s pretty good.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Thanks! You can tell when I’m in law school finals because I’m on here rather than writing papers : P I know you and Barb have encyclopedic knowledge of survivor, of the the name misspellings which was the worst and NOT a joke? “Phile”?

        • Kemper Boyd

          Danellie instead of Danielle is up there. obviously every spelling on Hali as Haley was fair fucking game. Ralph misspelt basically every vote.

          • I would throw all votes cast during Cambodia up there because that cast knew each other.

        • All of Sue Hawk’s votes have to be up there.

      • the sky is falling

        I think Ralph misspelled every vote.

    • Remember that this season, their names are SOWN ON THEIR BAGS, so this crew either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care.

      Also, missed you!

  • Diego Armando

    I am legitimately curious as to what Mike will say following Tribal. Is he going to admit to screwing up or is he going to claim this all went according to plan?

  • By The Numbers

    “Survivor: You Tried” is the perfect theme for this season. The more I think about it the more I’m convinced Devon is the winner. Fabio 2.0, and he has been getting a good edit.

    I finally finished my first complete watch of Nicaragua, and wow that season is terrible.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I swear Na’onka farted in one of her confessionals.

  • wonderand

    I missed the actual episode/discussion on Wednesday while visiting family for US Thanksgiving, but here’s a belated thanks to the PRP crew & commenters for making the internet a better place. I would probably have dropped out of this season by now if not for (my absurd completionism and) the promise of discussing it with all of you. (That sounds WAY more backhanded than I intended, but oh well, it is what it is.)

  • Crappy

    I think you guys are too harsh on Ryan and Chrissy. Both are playing good games for first time survivor players even though I don’t like the former and am ambivalent towards the latter. I guess it may be due to them being involved in vote split fiasco over last 2 episodes but that stench is on that whole alliance so not sure why Lauren, Ashley, JP or Devon won’t get the same criticism.
    – With Ryan, he does have a good social game, simply for the fact pointed by Andy that a weak challenge performer like him, ought to have been at least in contention for a boot pre-merge but he never was. He is probably starting to overplay now and won’t win the game. But so far he has shown himself to be at least an above average survivor player.
    – Chrissy, while it can be argued that she owes her position in the game to super idol twist, is still making strong rational moves at each turn, with only concern about her social play with those not in her alliance.

    • The reason Lauren, Ashely, JP, and Devon get a pass is because we’ve been shown Ryan, Chrissy, and Ben as the shot-callers in that alliance.

      Ryan’s weak challenge performance should have been an issue at the very start of the game, but he just happened to be on a tribe that was comprised of multiple first-boot candidates. Had Ryan been on either of the other two tribes, he may have been the first one gone. You can give Ryan credit for forming an alliance with Chrissy over the first-vote idol, though. And I think him partnering with Devon was good evidence of strategy and social game.

      I actually think it short-changes Chrissy to say she owes her position in the game to the super idol, which she never played. She’s been mostly fine, but the past two votes have been a disaster.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I really hope next week isn’t a straight pagonging, because 35 seasons in, an alliance of seven simply dwindling down to the final seven without the people on the bottom doing something about it would just be idiotic. Although the ingredients are there: a) the pecking order isn’t 100% clear to everybody, 2) JP is an inanimate carbon rod, 3) Lauren’s advantage makes it possible, maybe even advantageous, to wait. The other reason I don’t want it to be a pagonging is that I want someone from the majority alliance on the exit interviews next week to explain the past two votes.

        How did you guys feel about SJDS in the early post-merge? That’s a really strong comparison.

        • Hornacek

          Now I really hope that for the episode where JP gets voted out (barring his appearing in the FTC), this is the display picture for the podcast: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/c/c8/FUEL_ROD.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20121216011741

        • You have to remember that early post-merge SJDS, we lost josh and Jeremy back to back in fairly interesting votes because we had Jonclyn running the show.

        • Taako From Teevhii

          Though Lauren’s advantage only gives you a clear advantage when there’s an even number of people voting (otherwise you result in a tie). So if she really wants to shake things up, she could boot Joe, then bring in Dr. Mike and two others to take the vote 5-4 at F8. But that’s not really a pagonging to 7 then.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            The longer she waits the more powerful her extra vote gets. She could still sit on it if it was absolutely clear they’re going to turn on, say, Ben first.

            Hey I just thought of something–if for some reason she does force a tie, would she have to draw two rocks?

          • Hornacek

            I laughed at a voicemail on this week’s RHAP that asked if Lauren made the jury without using her extra vote, could she use it to vote for the winner? “Hey, final three, I’ve got an extra vote, so you better suck up to *me* with every one of your answers!”

          • Maritimer

            Did they give her an expiry on the extra vote? Presumably F5?

          • F***ing Stick

            It’s F6 according to one of her bonus confessionals from last week.

          • Maritimer

            Maybe reading too much into it but since they didn’t tell us an expiry in show, that makes me think she either a) plays it before then or b) gets voted out before she can play it…so we’re talking either this week or next week

          • F***ing Stick

            I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s an interesting theory.

          • I like this theory, especially since it follows the logic that they had when they showed Sarah reading her secret advantage rules including the fact that it is non transferable.

          • Maritimer

            Pretty much my logic. If its going to be part of the in-show story they have to tell us the rule(s)

          • F***ing Stick

            You were right in this prediction!

        • Are you asking how we felt about SJDS in the early post-merge, when Josh and Jeremy had been the first two voted out? The same SJDS post-merge that left us with Alec, Wes, and Baylor as players and jurors? The SJDS post-merge with strategy being dictated by Jon, who had to be told by Natalie to use his idol to save himself against an alliance that included Keith, Wes, and Alec? That post-merge?

          NOT FUCKING GREAT, ADS. NOT. FUCKING. GREAT.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            So you’re telling me there’s a chance (of HHH being almost as good as SJDS if Lauren beast-modes). YEAAHHHH!!!

          • Hornacek

            You’re forgetting that after that tribal, Jon said that him playing his idol was his own idea, not Natalie.

            WHO’S THE BIG JON NOW?

      • Max_Jets

        I was actually thinking about what I would do if my alliance were fucking up a vote split, because I think my general strategy would involve playing dumb. It’s also possible that Devon is in the same boat and that if he does realize the mistake and is the one person to point it out, that would change the way the other players see him.

        • Maritimer

          There’s this. There’s also the other thing I was thinking about which is that if you’re not Chrissy or Lauren, I don’t know that Ben going home is such a bad outcome, so you don’t care if they’re fucking up the vote split because either outcome isn’t bad so why stick your neck out? (This may not apply to Ryan, since maybe he’s a potential target)

      • Crappy

        Chrissy owes her position in the game to super idol since that most likely swung Ryan to side with her over Ali (FWIW he admitted as much in his post merge interview with DR and said in absence of super idol connection, he would have stuck with Ali ).
        Also I don’t think Ryan has been shown as a shot caller post merge. Devon was more active than him during merge and past episode, Ashley pushed her view point much more.
        Anyway I think more will come out of these vote splits post game. The last one I am sure was a result of a rogue vote (if not then it was super dumb), the one before is indefensible since numbers werent there to begin with

    • By The Numbers

      I give the other alliance members a bit of a pass on the split vote debacle because what’s the worst that could happen to them? If the vote goes wrong, Chrissy Ryan or Ben would be the target. They’d still have numbers, and a renewed feeling of “us vs them”

      Ryan does seem to have strong social play, but very poor strategic play. His handling of Ali during the Roark vote was all wrong and he gave control of the game to Chrissy at that point. Telling Ben he had the idol was an unnecessary risk and I don’t fully understand the reasoning behind it.

      Chrissy is decent strategically, until you remember that she had masterminded two of the dumbest vote splits in Survivor. And her social game is lacking; the first person she sent to the Jury said Chrissy is “one of my least favorite people in the world”. Not a great sign.

      • Hornacek

        “she had masterminded two of the dumbest vote splits in Survivor.”

        If you meant last week and this week, the show gave the viewers the impression that Ben is driving the decisions of how those 2 votes went, not Chrissy.

        • By The Numbers

          I’ve been assuming Ben has no real sway (just based on how people react to him). He may have the “let’s split the vote” idea, but Chrissy has to agree and get the votes together. She should have realized how stupid a plan it was

          • Hornacek

            As we saw in this episode, Ben is directing the action of the majority alliance. If Chrissy was really masterminding the votes, then they would have voted for Joe instead of Cole/Dr. Mike.

          • By The Numbers

            Cole’s exit interviews make that a little more muddled. Apparently Mike put his idol around his neck, and had made a fake idol that he put around Joe’s neck. I’m not sure how the votes play out if Mike doesn’t do that.

          • Hornacek

            There were a few shots of the majority alliance looking surprisedly at each other. We thought they were in reaction to Dr. Mike’s rant, but maybe they were of Dr. Mike taking out his real and fake idols during tribal. I’m not sure if I heard it, but it seemed like the majority alliance were saying “Plan B” or “Backup plan” or something like that – again, I thought this was in response to Dr. Mike’s rant, but if he pulled out 2 idols and said they were for him and Joe, then those shocked looks maybe make more sense.

            Still don’t see anything to indicate Chrissy is making the decisions. I think she was at the merge boot, but the last 2 weeks have been Ben driving the bus steamroller.

          • By The Numbers

            The hilarious thing about Mike putting an idol around his neck is that it’s literally the one thing that could make his play even worse

          • Hornacek

            I’m not sure if this new information improves or worsens my opinion of Dr. Mike in this tribal.

          • By The Numbers

            Has anyone ever gotten the majority of votes after putting an idol around their neck? If he was doing that, he should’ve voted Ben and played the idol for Cole

          • F***ing Stick

            Not quite the same, but Shirin got voted out after Mike said he’d play his idol for her (and then didn’t). Also, Eddie tied for the most votes with an idol around his neck during the Three Amigos tribal.

          • By The Numbers

            The Eddie vote is interesting because everybody knew they were voting Phillip and Phillip didn’t care, so nobody was risking their life in the game. It also didn’t help that Cochran called their bluff

          • You got to remember that although it was seemingly Chrissy and Ryan’s decison to go after Jessica, Ben and Lauren were the swings needed to make the move. In other words, Ben has had all of the power since the merge and he knows this.

          • Hornacek

            Yeah, Chrissy seemed to be driving the bus during the Jessica vote, but she needed Ben and Lauren to make that vote happen. After that, in the last 2 episodes it’s like Ben has pushed Chrissy out of the driver’s seat and has taken control.

      • Crappy

        Ryan has never been a vote target till now, if anything Devon or JP are more likely to be voted out than him. I agree that he made a mistake in the Ali situation but then rectified it by removing her. I don’t think he is playing a great game by any means but I don’t it is a bad one either. If we forget the edit, he is in a good position right now even with Ben using that info against him.
        Unless I am missing some content, there is no evidence to suggest that Chrissy master minded these vote splits more than anyone else, the show itself points to Ben organising all these vote outs.

        • By The Numbers

          But Chrissy is very likely to go home if something goes wrong, so she needs it to go right.
          Ryan isn’t a likely target, but he could 1) lose a close ally or 2) be targeted as Chrissy’s likable ally

  • Mike Hirsch
    • Hornacek

      “Heh heh, kicked Probst right in the butt!”

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Did anyone else notice in Cole’s Ponderosa video he mentioned that he thought someone from the Round Table alliance flipped during the Desi vote? It seemed like that was his explanation for Lauren’s missing vote I guess? (Apologies if someone else has mentioned this already, but I’ve been focusing on eating Turkey and apple pie for 4 days straight and I’ve only just come up for air).

    • Remember that Probst has said that no one has talked about the missing vote.

      • Hornacek

        Desi said in her exit interview that she didn’t know about the missing vote until someone arrived at Ponderosa and told her.

        • I wonder if this is another strike against this crew or if they all know about Lauren’s advantage.

          • Hornacek

            In Cole’s RHAP exit interview, he said that after that tribal they tried to figure out who voted for who. Cole voted for Joe and told everyone this, but Lauren said that she voted for Joe (to cover up that she didn’t vote for anyone) so everyone thought that Cole was lying about who he voted for (I think they thought he had voted for Lauren – Desi was the one who did that, and she wasn’t around to confirm it). He said that figuring out who voted for who and that missing vote was the topic of conversation at camp for the next couple of days.

          • Then why is Probst lying in the exit press?

          • Hornacek

            Cole seemed pretty open about all his mistakes, no reason to think he’s lying about this. Curious and curiouser …

          • Right

          • danomite10

            Cole describes the conversation they had back at camp as not being framed around a missing vote. Instead the group thought that Cole’s vote was actually Lauren’s vote and that Cole’s vote wasn’t read because it didn’t matter. So Probst isn’t lying as much as he’s just being misleading.

          • Good clarification.

  • Maritimer

    “I don’t watch TV to see people be incompetent”. To be fair, that’s not why I watch Survivor. It must be why I watch the Walking Dead because I can’t think of another reason why I do

    • purplerockandy

      I stopped watching that show for the same reason.

      • Maritimer

        People ask why I still watch it and I don’t really have a good explanation. Its basically hate watching at this point

        • purplerockandy

          I did watch for some time after I knew I shouldn’t, so I still lost some.

          • I was so happy when I quit, which was like 2 or 3 seasons ago.

          • BadPlayer91

            That means you probably quit right around when you should have. After Season 5, things just get more and more frustrating and meaningless and overdone. My boyfriend and I dragged ourselves through Season 7 and after the finale I told him he would have to continue on his own. If I want to know what happens to those characters, I’ll read a synopsis that doesn’t waste 10+ hours of my time.

          • Maritimer

            That was the right time. Around when they get to Alexandria I’d say (or after the cannibals). I really nearly didn’t start this season but I was really bored and started and for some reason haven’t stopped. I’ve actually decided that the one and only mechanism to save the show is to kill Rick off which I seriously doubt will happen

          • BadPlayer91

            I’ve heard that idea a few places, and I agree. What they said at the Verge was the show got so far by being willing to take risks, and at this point Rick’s death would be the best risk to really shake things up and find some new ground. Otherwise, the show seems unable to build anything new and interesting, yet unwilling to double down on the foundation they have.

          • Maritimer

            Its not just about the risk (although it does double down on “it can be anybody at any time”) but the fact that Rick as a character and his moral dilemmas are totally played out. I want to see the other people try to lead the group and see what happens

          • The fact that at least 4 characters have death bubbles around them really downplays that fact.

          • Maritimer

            Yeah, they backed off that after season 3 which is part of the issue

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I gave up after Season 4. If any of you play video games at all, I highly recommend the Walking Dead video game, it’s possibly the best adventure game ever made. I know that sounds weird, but my non-gamer friends who liked the show loved the game. Much better than show now.

          • Are you talking about the Telltale game?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yup, and they actually made two of them. Titled “Season 1″ and Season 2.” Both are great.

          • Have you played The New Frontier yet?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I did, wow I totally forgot about that one. Also good! Not as good, but still enjoyable.

          • Yeah, I think it was a mistake to not focus on Clementine entirely.

          • Gee, I don’t know why they would back away from it at that point. It’s almost as if Kirkman and AMC really grabbed control of the show at that point…oh wait, they did.

          • BadPlayer91

            Yeah, I think for the past season or two, our characters have been locked in to specific roles and relationships, and we haven’t had any huge shakeups to change things. The result is that most of the character arcs and themes for their current position are played out, it’s like a constant rewind on ‘leader Rick’ and ‘moody Carl.’ And the few attempts at changes didn’t work. We have an entire season of the moral battle between Carol and Morgan, which wasn’t fun to begin with, but then the show seems to just give up on it. The fall of the prison was so well done because all the players were forced into new roles and relationships which were fascinating to explore, Beth being a wonderful example.

          • Maritimer

            Other than Maggie, that’s definitely true. Everyone stays in their roles. Which is why I like the idea of a Rick death. Besides shaking up leadership roles it could lead to interesting character development for Carl ( losing his last parent ) and Michonne (since Carl and Judith would be her responsibility) and maybe give more room to use characters like Tara and Rosita who I barely recognize when they appear on screen anymore. Also, Rick sucks. Exactly why the whole prison arc was so good they went from their pre-catastrophe roles to their survival role to their role in the prison, trying to adjust and make a new life, to their “life sucks, we have to deal with it” role which they’ve basically been in for 5 seasons

          • Violina23

            I liked the gritty post-apocalyptic survival story. It turned completely into a war movie. But a war movie with dumb people. They had *20 guns* pointed at the enemy leader, who was standing there monologuing, and they still didn’t shoot the crap out of him.

            The first half of last season, I was very curious to see the payoff of the whole Negan thing. Then the second half, I was kinda hate-watching, but after that stupid premiere, I gave up.

            P.S. I didn’t mind season 2, because I was binging it.

          • BadPlayer91

            Negan’s monologuing was also a big problem for me. It always seemed to drag on endlessly. I bet that if you removed all Negan’s monologues, you could probably knock an entire episode off the season. It isn’t that the acting is bad, but that character is not perfect enough to rest the entire weight of the season on his back, and that’s what they did.

          • Violina23

            Yep. Exactly. He’s a nastier version of the Governor, and it feels stale.

          • I don’t remember what season it was, but it was when Beth dies. The cast was the cast I wanted to stay alive

          • BadPlayer91

            Beth’s death was easily the most impactful for me, and really affected me in a way that I have to applaud the show. That season was maybe my favorite, because it did such an amazing job of capturing the small stories and frantic dynamics of people in the chaos of a disaster, while also showing off the amazing acting and unique characters the show had developed to that point. In the following seasons, they get so caught up with incorporating plot elements from the comic books that they forget their character foundation that got them that far in the first place. I really think their over-reliance on the source material has been their downfall, as the characters begin to feel like chess pieces in a game of dress up, rather than real people that we should and do care about. The big ole season 7 finale death was such as foregone conclusion, it felt ridiculous.

            Sorry, probably a little too deep given you stopped watching, lol. @disqus_sjBnbSyo83:disqus might have an opinion or too though?

          • Maritimer

            It is a good season, though I actually prefer Season 4 I think. Beth’s death was one of the few times the show actually made me cry. Often, people die and I just don’t really feel invested or care and I think that’s the big problem, I’m not invested in most of the characters . I don’t know the comics so they aren’t really colouring my view of the show but I do generally agree that the outcomes are pretty obvious these days.

          • I am one of those crazies who really likes Season 2.

          • Maritimer

            I mean, I don’t hate it as much as most other people but it really does drag at points

          • I watched it all at once, which really helps it.

          • I hated Beth so I was happy

        • Rusty Shackleford

          I gave up after Season 4. If any of you play video games at all, I highly recommend the Walking Dead video game, it’s possibly the best adventure game ever made. I know that sounds weird, but my non-gamer friends who liked the show loved the game.

  • Just catching up. One really great point here – eliminating the “no revote if there’s a tie” thing for this season was unfortunate because this could have been both interesting and hilarious the last two episodes.