Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 11-13

After the explosive merge episode of Heroes vs Villains its time to track the inevitable march to the finale with three episodes that might not be as inevitable as they seem.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 11-13

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Google Play

Andy and Emma continue the rewatch of perhaps the greatest season in Survivor history. In this podcast, we talk about:

  • Candice messing the entire game up despite the fact that she more than anyone should know better.
  • Grudging praise for Russell for flipping Candice.
  • What Sandra’s “anyone but me” strategy really means.
  • Cat fights and Treasure Island.
  • Parvati’s complete lack of inroads with the potential jurors.
  • How Russell Hantz is like Drogon the Dragon.
  • How Russell Hantz is like Donald Trump.
  • How Russell Hantz is like Erik Reichenbach?!?
  • How Rupert of all people perfected the fake idol ploy.
  • Was Rupert the best game player of the Heroes who made the merge?
  • Russell’s unique ability to ensure jurors will extra-hate him right before he puts them on the jury.

And while we don’t talk about it, you all really need to watch this (again if you already have):

Thanks for watching along with us!

purplerockpodcast
Follow us:

purplerockpodcast

Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
purplerockpodcast
Follow us:
  • Black Dynamite

    I found Grumpy Colby to be fantastic. He was my favorite part of these episodes. Everything from his reaction to the idol clue fight to his lackluster effort in challenges was great. He’s so not with the game that I could believe the Villains actually forgot he was there. The one time he doesn’t seem totally checked out is when he’s yelling at poor Reed. Reed must’ve really was rethinking being the selected family visit. My favorite Colby moment though was during the Rupert boot Tribal Council. He sat in the same position with his chin buried in his hand and looking at the ground. Didn’t say one word or move an inch the entire time. I was impressed.

    It was also cool to see Laura there. She seemed really nice in BvW. Also pretty competent in challenges which led to my realization that Rupert is definitely the type to make his family run Survivor drills at home.

    • andythesaint

      Assignment: rank the most influential flips in Survivor history, since I couldn’t think of any last night.

      • Black Dynamite

        The most influential flips in Survivor history:

        1. The Survivor mutiny with Candice and Penner
        2. Chaos Kass merge flip
        3. The downfall of the Rotu 4
        4. Candice flipping on the Heroes
        5. Cochran flipping from the asshole tribe to a cult.

        Honorable mention: If Tyson would’ve drawn the wrong rock, Ciera’s flip could’ve been #1.

        Also congrats to Candice. Not a Hall of Fame player but a Hall of Fame flipper.

        • andythesaint

          This illustrates another reason why we don’t talk enough about Candice’s HvV flip: it’s not even HER most famous flip.

        • Purplerockmatt

          goddamn that is a perfect list

        • sharculese

          What about Ciera flipping and forcing the rock draw?

          • Black Dynamite

            Just missed the list but I made it the honorable mention pick.

          • sharculese

            Ah, I am just the worst at noticing things today. It’s the first week of heavy ramp up for fall exam dates and my brain is already fried.

          • I’m trying to hide this in older comments, so hopefully you get Disqus notifications:

            We’re trying to do something different with the fantasy league drafts. A) Do you have any interest in joining a draft-based league (in addition to the Pick-4 league? B) Are you over or under age 32? (For Millennial/Gen X determination purposes)

          • Black Dynamite

            Yes there is interest and I’m under 32(26).

          • Ok. We’re finalizing the invite list, but I’ll send you a notification in the near future with a link to the draft page.

          • Black Dynamite

            Awesome.

          • Purple Rock Emma
          • andythesaint

            You have to keep reading…

          • sharculese

            Like I said, my brain is mush right now. In the midst of adapting to 10 different kids at various levels who respond to different things.

          • Alycia Swift

            My brain is mush too bc I read that adopting my first time through.

          • Purplerockmatt
        • andythesaint

          Missing (although maybe not top five material): Penner flipping back to the Aitus.

        • Hornacek

          Susie flipping after the second swap in Gabon?

          • Black Dynamite

            I thought about that one, just didn’t make the top five. It is a big one that did change the outlook of Gabon. It is worth a mention.

          • andythesaint

            Rob C flipping on the Cool Kids in Amazon?

          • Black Dynamite

            Now I’m starting to think I shouldn’t have stopped at five. That is another memorable one that came to my mind.

          • Hornacek

            Top five, baby!

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      So perfect that Old Man Colby ruled the shuffleboard challenge.

    • I still love Colby. hibaby.

  • Black Dynamite

    A couple weeks ago I started ranking all the Survivor seasons I watched from worst to best. 30 of them not including Thailand or Nicaragua. So far I ranked 30-16.

    30. Worlds Apart
    29. Gabon
    28. Redemption Island
    27. South Pacific
    26. One World
    25. Africa
    24. Vanuatu
    23. All Stars
    22. San Juan del Sur
    21. Samoa
    20. Fiji
    19. Marquesas
    18. Caramoan
    17. Panama
    16. Borneo

    My Survivor Season Rankings Part 4

    15. Kaoh Rong
    The latest season of Survivor had a nice mix of pretty entertaining personalities. A surprisingly good cast. Seeing them interact was a strength of the season and everyone filled a role, whether it was the villain, oddball, the arrogant player, strategic threat, confessional great or the super lovable person. The season was a wild ride with intriguing strategy decisions. Not too many lulls or predictable moments. One knock against the season is I hated the way Alecia was treated by Jason and Scot. A sour note in an otherwise good Survivor season.
    Favorite episode: “I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends” (Scot boot)
    Favorite players: Cydney, Aubry, Tai

    14. Blood vs Water
    Loved ones playing together makes for a dramatic season of Survivor. Brother vs brother, daughter voting out mother, Rupert leaving quickly and all that good stuff. A fresh twist to the game of Survivor that made for entertaining television. It was cool to see how the newbies played against the returnees, especially in the post merge. Bonus points for having the most tolerable version of the Redemption Island concept (Fuck you, Brad Culpepper). Only knock is having Colton anywhere near the beach.
    Favorite episode: “Rustle Feathers” (Katie boot)
    Favorite players: Tyson, Ciera, Gervase

    13. The Australian Outback
    The second season of Survivor definitely lived up to the high expectations of following the original. An incredibly great cast delivers a fantastic season of Survivor. The strength of the season is the personalities they had. The 42 days was not good though and the conditions made for miserable contestants. The gameplay remained fun throughout until quite possibly the most boring finale ever, except for the part with Colby’s decision.
    Favorite episode: “The Merge” (Jeff boot)
    Favorite players: Tina, Jerri, Colby

    12. China
    A fabulous change of pace location for Survivor. A great cast for Survivor as well. Big personalities that gelled together really well. Not really too many weaknesses among the contestants. They all make for interesting television in one way or another. The gameplay was solid and twisty enough but the season shined because of the people. Laughs are plentiful here. A good partnership led to a mystery of who would win and one of the best and worst Final Tribal Councils performances ever.
    Favorite episode: “High School Friend Contest” (Jean-Robert boot)
    Favorite players: Peih-Gee, James, Courtney

    11. Guatemala
    Stephenie LaGrossa Superstar. A surprisingly influential season of Survivor that saw a couple of returnees playing with newbies for the first time. Coming off Palau, Stephenie was an incredibly popular player and it shows quickly. I found the arc of Steph going from a underdog hero to “evil” final boss one of the best Survivor has had. The rest of the cast is solid too. Really interesting mix of personalities that I wish didn’t get overlooked. it sucks that no one that started on this season ever returned. A interesting winner’s path makes for an exciting end. The birth of the hidden immunity idol and auction challenge advantage are good tools that helped this and future seasons.
    Favorite episode: “Price for Immunity” (Judd boot)
    Favorite players: Stephenie, Danni, Gary

    Later today 10-6 featuring the funniest season of Survivor I’ve ever watched.

    • Your timing is perfect. I just posted our updated season rankings.

      • Black Dynamite

        Damn, this post would’ve fit better there. It’s all good though.

        • Nah, your final rankings should go there. I like how you’re doing it this way. It’s a great read.

          • Black Dynamite

            Thanks. Good idea. I could finish off the list there.

  • It should be noted that while Parvati got three votes, two of them were strong for her. Jerri notes that she kept going back and forth between Parv and Sandra until she wrote down Parvati.

    Also, Parv’s line about keeping Russell the dragon as a pet is in her opening address to the jury, which causes a pretty funny reaction from Coach.

    Finally, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I made a really weird discovery: HvV Day 36 (aka Rupert’s boot and Sandra playing her idol) almost definitely happened the same day as the 2009 VMAs.

    • Black Dynamite

      Interesting coincidence. Sandra missed out on an opportunity to claim that she made Probst famous.

      • Yet a certain other finalist probably makes that claim a lot

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Julie Berry wasn’t a finalist.

  • After all the edgic talk of Kaoh Rong, how obvious was it that Sandra goes on to win considering that we got a great confessional about her uncle and her dead mother while Jerri (who wins this challenge)’s sister who comes in from Germany (knowing Jerri’s family history of being a military brat, one has to assume that her sister is also involved in the military) and gets zero confessionals about how good it was to see her sister.

  • To borrow Black Dynamite’s gimmick, here is my personal ranking of my favorite commenters on our site:

    1. Sad Lil
    2. Everyone else

    • Hornacek

      If you’re not first, you’re last.

    • Hornacek

      One upvote on that comment … I was hoping it would be Sad Lil.

      • You and me both.

    • Sad Lil

      Hooray!!!!

  • Side Character

    Random, superfluous thoughts:

    Okay, in regards to the Kanye pseudo-reference, I decided to go full-on nerd mode: Looking at the dates they filmed Heroes vs. Villains (August 9 – September 16), I’m pretty sure they happened on the same day. The VMAs in 2009 were on September 13, and since September 16 was Day 39, Day 36 would be September 13 as well. And since they were in Samoa, because of the time zones, Sandra technically said it first, even though we didn’t see it first.

    I’m just going to continue to reiterate the love for Sandra. I like Sandra’s confessional voting out Amanda (which wasn’t aired, because spoilers): “I wish you weren’t going home today, it was supposed to be Russell but you can thank Candice for screwing this up for us.”
    Also, when she votes out Rupert: “I’ll write your name again and if I’m up there sitting in the final 3, you’ll still give me the million dollar vote.” Iconic indeed.
    And of course, “It’s like every time I try to do something, somebody is in my face,” “I’m against you, Russell,” “Should I let you finish?”, and “I’d hate to go home with the idol in my bra.” Sandra is one of my favourite players of all time. Her quips are just one of many reasons for that.

    You’ve talked about it before, but there is no way you can turn it so Candice is a hero in Cook Islands, Survivor. She screwed over her tribe in her first season. You painted her as a villain in her season! And somehow she ended up on the Heroes tribe. And yet everyone forgets her (hence everyone forgets she was a villain). I believe Candice is the most forgettable 3-time player. It’s the only way a villain is on a hero tribe–no one remembered that she is a villain. I’m speaking in circles but it’s still baffling.

    I love Courtney’s reactions on the jury at Tribal Council. Examples: When Probst says, “I’ll go tally the votes,” she nods and replies, “You do that.” Also, when Russell is reducing Danielle to tears and says, “I don’t understand how she’s just puttin’ it all on me,” Courtney throws (her arms) up and silently implies, “What the fuck?!” Truly a stand-in for the audience. She’s so awesome.

    • Hornacek

      I haven’t seen Race Wars since it aired, but was Candice liked by her tribe when she mutineed? I thought the situation was that everyone on the tribe except her (and Penner?) were aligned so she knew she was the next to go, and she wasn’t aligned with anyone, so why not take a chance and join the other tribe? If so, shouldn’t we encourage her mutinee, like we did with Cochran on South Pacific? (although Cochran’s tribe treated him like crap, and I can’t remember if Candice’s tribe treated her as badly as Cochran’s tribe did to him)

      Or maybe Candice was liked by her entire tribe and she was part of the main alliance and I just don’t remember.

      • Black Dynamite

        She was part of the main alliance in Aitu. Both Yul and Becky liked her. Ozzy and Sundra would’ve been the next to go if they lost another challenge. Becky also didn’t trust Penner but Candice was fine. I would argue that she was in the best position in the game when she stepped off the mat since she also had the white person alliance in her back pocket along with the agreement with Yul and Becky. Maybe second best position because Yul had an idol.

      • andythesaint

        No, you’re just wrong. The main alliance on that tribe was Yul, Becky, Candice, Penner. They had gotten rid of Cao Boi and Ozzy was the next to go. Sundra was the floater.

        • Hornacek

          I’m not wrong, I just don’t remember, hence the request for clarification.

          • andythesaint

            You’re both.

          • Hornacek

            I can be two things!

        • Kemper Boyd

          I feel like Sundra would have jumped Penner, as Yul and Becky would have seen the worth in having a 3rd against a strong two, but she was enough of a challenge threat it’s not unreasonable to see her going far.

      • sharculese

        Candice really just wanted to be reunited with Adam and, to a lesser extent, Parvati.

        • Black Dynamite

          I would step off the mat in a heartbeat to play alongside Parvati.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            This is my first exposure to Parvati (haven’t seen CI or Micronesia) and I’m surprised how underwhelmed I am. IRL I’m quite vulnerable to her type in general, but for some reason I just don’t think she’s all that.

          • I can see that side to her ADS because she is definitely playing up the mean girl persona.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I heard the Nicaragua version of Brenda called “Parvati Lite” more than once, so maybe my expectations we’re unrealistic.

          • Although I have not seen either iteration of Brenda, I could see that comp. Stunningly attractive women who happen to be social threats.

      • Kemper Boyd

        She was probably top 5 in that equation. Yul, Becky, Sundra, Candice, Penner, is the order I think they’d have gone for but overall she was pretty well liked.

        • Hornacek

          Strange, my memory of it is that she was on the outs on her tribe, but that’s probably my memory trying to justify why someone would voluntarily leave their tribe for the other tribe.

          • Kemper Boyd

            That’s the funny thing with memory, because you yourself wouldn’t consider moving tribes if the going is good in one and you’ve got the possibility to reconnect with some on the other come merge time you think she must have been on the bottom but she really wasn’t. She made a terrible decision had she gone into the merge on Aitu she could have reconnected with her white friends and had a lot of ways to go deep in the game, maybe even win.

          • Hornacek

            Now I justify it by thinking it was her attempt to get away from Penner. That’s why she waited until the last second to step off the mat, hoping he wouldn’t have a chance to follow her. But she didn’t know how agile Penner was and he followed her before Jeff got to “zero”.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I think you are right that was part of the reason. Which is still soo dumb, she had someone who considered her his ride or die and she wanted rid of him. If someone thinks you and they are tight as fuck, you should be keeping them as you know they’ll protect you.

  • Hornacek

    I haven’t watched this yet, but I hope Andy and Emma spend half of the episode talking about how all 3 of these Survivor episodes had the word “ship” in their title. Unexpected theme, or uncreative writers?

    • Side Character

      It can be two things!

  • My reaction to the HvV post-merge is basically the same as Andy’s – yes, it’s a pagonging, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, it’s still really, really good. I’m used to evaluating seasons (especially post-merge) based on the frequency of unexpected moves and #blindsides, so I was expecting a lot of those based on HvV’s performance in most Survivor season rankings. Because of that, I will say I was disappointed in the post-merge, although I was more disappointed in the way the season played out than the quality of the episodes. There are so many great moments in the string of episodes between JT’s boot and the finale – Amanda and Danielle’s idol fight, Candace voting for Amanda for some inexplicable reason, Russell voting for Danielle for some inexplicable reason, and Sandra’s idol play. And while people tend to talk about HvV as the season of the Rob/Russell rivalry, the Sandra/Russell rivalry is really entertaining too. In some ways, HvV forced me to rethink the way I evaluate Survivor, since the storytelling is so good that it more than makes up for the lack of shocking moves post-merge. Right now, I have it third behind Cagayan and Micronesia in my personal rankings, although I was really going back-and-forth between this and Cagayan for #2.

    Additional thought I had while watching: Sandra’s win is usually credited to her social game, as she’s able to build bonds with the jury while Russell makes them all despise him, and Parvati is associated with Russell. Obviously this was important, but could her idol play have had anything to do with the jury vote? It was unnecessary, but she made a spectacle out of it, and it proved that Sandra was playing her own game and not riding coattails.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Rob and Josh on the HvV chapter of TEOS make the same point about Sandra’s TC performance.

    • andythesaint

      I’m sure her idol play and general sassiness at TC went a long way in engendering support from that jury as well.

    • I remember reading Stephen’s blogs during Cambodia about how Kelley Wentworth would play to the jury (the creepy finger biting comes to mind). I wonder if Parvati is the originator of that strategy, which ties in with Emma’s thoughts about her impression of Sandra.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I feel like Parvati plays to the jurors but plays it wrong. She didn’t realise that Heroes want the Villains to strive to be heroes not enjoy being villains and I think that’s what Parvati does.

  • Black Dynamite

    Earlier today I ranked my 15-11 Survivor seasons in an ongoing series where I rank all 30 season of Survivor I saw. Now I rank 10-6.

    My Survivor Season Rankings Part 5

    10. Amazon
    The first and the best of the Battle of the Sexes seasons. It was very intriguing to see the dynamics of two same sex tribes. Different roles that players took. The post merge is absolutely exciting as this season marks the first big time multiple blindside feeling that fans and Probst love so much. A breakout star in Rob Cesterino was born with a mind for the game that hasn’t quite been seem before. The winner is kinda meh and some of the cast is better off forgotten but that can’t bring down an exciting season too much.
    Favorite episode: “Sour Grapes” (Christy boot)
    Favorite players: Rob C, Deena, the creepiness of Matthew

    9. Cook Islands
    A horrible concept of a season that is saved by casting decisions, though I believe Survivor should just be casting like this all the time and not just for gimmicky seasons like this. Survivor: Race Wars was quickly abandoned for two really put together tribes. After a betrayal, The Aitu Four becomes the best underdog story Survivor has seen. Sports movie feel where a group comes together led by a great strategic mind and a dominant challenge performer overcomes a group of young arrogant villains on the path to victory.
    Favorite episode: “Mutiny” (Brad boot)
    Favorite players: Yul, Becky, Sundra, and for one time only Ozzy

    8. Tocantins
    Another wonderful location to go with a wonderful cast. Tocantins kind of has an old school feel with the smaller numbers and a renewed focus on camp life and relationships. The cast is so enjoyable. Coach is an enjoyable persona that is best when not taken seriously. There is another good underdog story of the small tribe taking out the bigger force. Also just a really damn funny season. One knock is that as much as I like Tyson, the way he, Coach and Debbie treated Sierra is the one fault of the season. Oh and the best loved one visit happened here with Assistant Coach.
    Favorite episode: “The Biggest Fraud in the Game” (Brendan boot)
    Favorite players: Stephen, Taj, JT

    7. Micronesia
    The funniest season and my all time favorite alliance led by my two favorite players make for wonderful television. Fans vs Favorites sounds like a good concept though the execution heavily favors the people with experience. A lot of early exits are a bummer due to the worst challenge Survivor ever had. Even with that the season is just so enjoyable thanks to the Black Widow Brigade. The way they dismantle the other players like Ozzy and Jason is a work of art with the Eric boot being a fucking masterpiece. The fucking stick is the most I’ve ever laughed watching Survivor. A few of the favorites really shine here.
    Favorite episode: “I Promise…” (Ozzy boot)
    Favorite players: Cirie, Parvati, Amanda, Nat B, Alexis (I felt bad leaving her out)

    6. Cambodia
    A great returnee season with a lot of players ready to embrace their second chance. The fan vote is one of the best casting decisions Survivor has made. An opportunity to see so many of our favorites and Monica play for a second time. A wild pre-merge and an even wilder post-merge made for a lot of fascinating episodes. Running through them all is like a high that doesn’t subside. It’s cool seeing a mix of old school players learning the modern Survivor alongside recent players. Interesting to compare how the players do compared to the first time though Survivor goes to that well a bit too much. Big Moves was also great though a bit overstated. A very great winner would plays a fantastic game.
    Favorite episode: “You Call, We’ll Haul” (Savage boot)
    Favorite players: Jeremy, Wentworth, Stephen

    Later today on the season rankings post, my top five seasons and a complete ranking of the 30 seasons I’ve seen from worst to first.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      “An opportunity to see so many of our favorites and Monica play for a second time.”
      I would praise this as savage if I didn’t think everyone would assume I was referring to Andrew.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Oof. If defending Amanda was the Chimney Sweep challenge, episode 11 is where Assistant Dragon Slayer jumps off, crumples to the ground, and clutches his lower back in agony. Amanda’s like a AAAA baseball player, more than ready for the major leagues in say 8 of the 10 necessary skills, but so hopeless in the other two that it doesn’t matter.

  • indescribable hat

    Y’all are really on my wavelength in this one. I’ve been doing the Trump/Russell thing for months (mostly swapping their mockable blowhard phrases around to see if anyone notices, e.g. Trump doesn’t even LIKE babies, Russell knows strategies, he has the best strategies, etc.), and Emma knows how I feel about Brett.

    Oh, Brett. So hot, yet so invisible. I dream of infiltrating Survivor production and editing a Brett like a Morgan.

  • Other Scott

    Why Kaoh Rong is a Great Season of Survivor

    I really only demand two things from Survivor: interesting storylines and interesting strategic wrinkles. And the seasons that have the most of those two things are going to be ranked the highest. In essence, I want to know why things happened how they happened, and I want those reasons to be interesting and make me think.

    Kaoh Rong doesn’t have much flashy, it doesn’t have clear strategic brilliance like the Parvati idol play or the Boston Rob buddy system. But what Kaoh Rong does have is strategic complexity in spades. And further, the strategic complexity is completely relatable and understandable to the viewer. For example, one of the best discussions of the season was the Debbie vote out. Almost all the variables were on the table for the viewer and they could weigh the decision, and it was a strategically interesting and complex decision. It’s the same with the Tai and the failed double vote, and a few of the pre-merge vote outs like Jenny over Alecia. Despite what some corners of the internet think, Survivor is a strategic game and seeing that strategy at work is part of the enjoyment, and strategy with pros and cons is far more interesting that clear strategically dominant moves.

    But really what separates Kaoh Rong is the way it is able to tell a coherent story for almost every character, and most of those stories are unique in Survivor lore. We’ve never seen someone with the character arc of Tai, or Aubry, or even Jason or Julia or Michele or Jenny or Peter. Every episode brought something new to the table for most characters. Further, the stories were very clear and elegantly stated. You had a good vs evil battle that gives the season structure with the Scot and Jason vs Aubry alliance, and you had a moral dilemma for the lynchpin in that, Tai. You had an underdog story in Michele of someone battling from the outskirts of an alliance to get herself the victory. And you have an ending in Aubry losing that completely changes your perception of the season to that point and forces you to ask difficult questions about the jury and how Survivor works.

    There’s nothing in the season that completely blows you away, and the Joe and Neal episodes are unfortunate, but there’s so much meat on this season in every part. There’s something to discuss with each player and they all feel like individual people, not pieces on a chess board, yet the moves made with them doesn’t lose that complexity. In a lot of ways Kaoh Rong is a near perfectly executed season, and should be the standard that modern Survivor strives to meet.

    • Other Scott

      Posted in wrong spot haha.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Ok, I’m late to the party here, but I’m guessing Coach wrote most of that song, right?