Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 8-10

It’s time to say goodbye to the tribal phase of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains and say hello to the merge. It’s also time to ask a lot of “was this the most [stupid/awesome/funny] thing ever questions.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 8-10

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

  • Sandra’s big move to put Coach on the chopping block.
  • The beginning of the Sandra winner’s edit.
  • The assumption of a women’s alliance.
  • Did JT make the dumbest move ever or is it defensible?
  • Did Parvati make a mistake letting Courtney get voted out?
  • Emma’s love of Courtney.
  • Parvati keeping Russell on a need to know basis.
  • The late merge.
  • Rupert listening to Sandra.
  • Great move at Tribal Council or GREATEST move at Tribal Council?
  • The source of all of JT’s mistakes.
  • The beginnings of Parvati’s loss.

Thanks for watching along with us!

187 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 8-10

  1. A few things:
    1) Just in case you don’t follow me on Twitter, Coach reveals a key piece in the Stephen/Courtney timeline because he mentions going back to “The Wizard” when he tries to vote out Courtney the second time.
    2) For those who are following along with PRP watching HvV, watch out for scenes that include Parvati by herself talking to a Hero. I do not think they exist and the ones that include Parvati with another Villain and a Hero are few and far between (Russell and Candice in the next episode and Jerri and Colby in the finale are the only ones that I can think of). I think that is a subtle hint that Parvati was going to lose the votes of the Heroes at the end. Of course, Parv also mentions towards the end that they end to get rid of Sandra because she is guaranteed Courtney, Amanda, and Candice (which is odd that she mentioned her two previous allies in that vote count).
    3). For the next three episodes being lull-y, there are still good fun things to talk about. Amanda during the RC, Jerri winning her first immunity, Russell winning Immunity and doing the most reckless thing he can do, Russell and Rupert being mad that Jerri doesn’t pick them for the Family Visit….that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    1. 2) Doesn’t Parvati say in the merge episode that none of the heroes will talk to her and they are all avoiding her? At least that’s what the wiki says. Also I think there are a few scenes where we see Parvati talking to Amanda. a Hero.

        1. I thought there was some confusion, since so much of the merge episode is about Parvati and Amanda’s interactions.

          1. I did too but I was thinking of those reading these comments that can’t read no good like us can.

  2. During the Amanda and Parvati conversation, I found myself wishing that they would decide to work together again. It was interesting to hear the desperation in Amanda’s voice as she tells Parvati to play the idol. She is clearly uncomfortable lying to her friend. She doesn’t want to betray her alliance or see Parvati leave. Maybe it’s my probably too intense dislike for Rupert but I wish she took that different path. Parvati seemed genuinely interested in playing with Amanda again and not just using her for information. She looked really hurt during the conversation. I understand it. Amanda and her were so close and strong allies that domimated and made it all the way in Micronesia. It would be confusing why all of a sudden Amanda would want to sabotage that. Candice burned bridges with Aitu to work with Parvati again (Adam too). Now no interaction. These were connection s and friendships built within the game of Survivor and now seemingly gone. I feel like I would’ve reacted like Parvati too and be like the hell with all of you, I’m going to destroy you now.

    1. I don’t know if I agree with you. I’m sure BJ can elaborate as our resident gossip but I believe there was a mysterious falling out between Micronesia and here.

      1. I didn’t know that. That really does change the way I view that scene. I really need to get up on the gossip. It would be easier if Amazon Prime featured that along with the episodes.

        1. We should have a page devoted to all the Survivor gossip Barbara has compiled for each season. Or at the very least, for returnee seasons.

          1. Also came to Survivor fandom late. My issue is I know very little outside of the episodes. I’m slowly discovering these tidbits. Basically just assume I don’t know anything.

          2. I did not come into fandom late. I’ve followed since season 2. I’ve never seen 1 but someone did give me the DVDs.

            But I did come to this website late and to a lot of stuff late so I don’t know (or in some cases don’t remember. I am getting old) a lot of the stuff.

          3. After watching the first season as it happened, I took a 27 season hiatus until I finally returned with Cagayan. I’ve been hooked since.

          4. My history has been more off and on, but I have been fully back since SJDS (although I did watch the Lindsey quit/Alexis boot live where I correctly called Tony as the winner).

          5. All I knew was that I heard JT and Sugar we’re dating at some point. I also figured out that the Russell, Parvati, Danielle group would end badly, since 2of the pre show CBS bio questions were the Survivors you most and least respect. Danielle answered Parvati and Russell respectively.

          6. The best part about it is that I wouldn’t have to write it!

            Actually, I got pitched another offseason post on Twitter, and I think I’m going to end up doing it.

          7. I thought that was a joke and can no longer remember what it was for. I could probably do some off season stuff, political work dries up in August, I’ve got free time at the office.

          8. if I’m not actually working I should be spending my time planning every stage of my house move and refurbishment project which is coming soon. But somewhere on my computer I think I still have the beginnings of worst reunion outfits ranking.

      2. My sources confirm that they did have a falling out in between Micro and HvV but no one knows why. Some theorize it was the Ozzy factor while others say that Amanda was jealous of Parvati winning Micro. My hunch is that they just grew apart.

        1. The interaction makes so much more sense seeing them as former allies who aren’t really close anymore. There is still a connection there with the history but a lot more fragile.

          1. I think this group of episodes is the first time it was mentioned by Probst that Parvati and Candice played together. For someone who made a huge impact in her season and later in this one, Candice is such a forgotten player.

          2. I think a big factor in that is that they want Parvati to be remembered for Micronesia, not for Cook Islands. As much as they want to forgot that CI exists, it produced some incredibly popular contestants…and Candice.

        2. In the RHAP Unsolved Mysteries episode, co-host Gordon Holmes says he broached the subject in an interview with Amanda after HvV, and she said that they just didn’t trust each other, particularly after that season.

          (I recommend that episode for discussing lots of mysteries and gossip, and also for all the times Rob slips in the Unsolved Mysteries theme music)

          1. I spent way too much time there. Very addictive. God, that’s a lot of conspiracy theories. I think I’m safer in my bubble rather than knowing things.

          2. Some of them I didn’t even know about, but it is a good way to find out the conspiracy theories/rumors (although it doesn’t have my two favorite ones, both of which have to do with Stephenie).

          3. They sorta mention the biggie (Janu was pushed into quitting for Steph) but they skip over two alleged goodies.
            1) The fire making challenge between Steph and Bobby Jon that aired (and was a part of the PRP Greatest Tribal Councils Bracket) was actually the second go-around. Bobby Jon won, but Steph complained about it being unfair, so they swapped and she won.
            2) The Guatemala tribes were set up in a way to protect the returnees, but especially Steph, from being early boots. Sure, Bobby Jon had Jim and Judd on his original tribe, but Steph had Lydia, Morgan, and Briana as well as people like Brian Corridan that screams early boots.

          4. I’ve heard the Janu one and surprisingly the fire making one. Back to my bubble I go. Thanks for the info though.

        1. So are you the BJ they always refer to on the Tribe? I don’t go to their Facebook page.

          1. First of all, you pick one overall player when you sign up. If your player goes home, you can pick another player but you wont earn as many points. After that, you have 20 points to spread on who you think is going home every week. There is also some bonus questions that you can answer to earn points (like what gender is the person going home or which tribe will win immunity).

          2. It’s not that bad. It just sounds way more complicated. What’s especially nice is that the website they use sends emails to remind you to make picks, so you don’t forget. But, if you do forget, they have a default system set up so you could earn points that way.

    2. What Kemper said, but also, Amanda just really sucks at seeming genuine in these kinds of moments. Go back and watch the scene in China when they’re planning to vote off James and Amanda is tasked with letting Peih-Gee know she’s not going home that night without completely spilling the beans. It almost seems like she wants the plan to fail.

      In China and Micronesia she had people to do that work for her. Here she doesn’t, and the results are bad.

      1. Amanda is an interesting case as a player. She seems to get along with a lot of people and has good ideas but there is something lacking in execution. I think she’s a good player with a glaring flaw that shows itself in situations like the one with Parvati and of course Tribal Councils.

      2. Hopefully you have Disqus notifications on so you’ll get this.

        A) Are you interested in participating in the Outcasts league? B) Are you over or under age 32 (the Survivor cut-off for Millennial vs. Gen X)?

        1. Yeah, I’ll do that again. It can’t possibly go worse than last time. And I am 30, but even if I was 3 years older, I have a tattoo of a little star, which is about s millennial as you can get.

  3. Thank God this is up, I have stupidly spent the last two days have futile “discussions” with members of the hard left about political campaigning and I can’t bare to actually look at my notifications. I need to chat about something more interesting with people who understand how to disagree civilly!

    1. If nothing else, it’s reassuring as an American to know that we’re not the only ones who seemingly lack the capacity to engage in reasonable political discourse.

      1. Everyone on the either side of extreme of politics in every country has the same things in common: a conviction that their beliefs are morally superior, a belief that anyone who disagrees is stupid and an inability to listen to any reason or accept facts.

        1. Hopefully you have Disqus notifications on so you’ll get this.

          A) Are you interested in participating in the Outcasts league for fantasy Survivor (I assume you know what that is)? B) Are you over or under age 32 (the Survivor cut-off for Millennial vs. Gen X)?

          1. Got the notification!

            A – I more or less know what the Outcast League is, but I’m not sure of the specifics. I’d love to compete though!

            B – I’m under the cut off age. I’m 26.

        1. We may not need them, but there’s a ~50% change we might be getting them.

          The good news is that we can stick all of them in Sasketchewan and Nunavut..

        2. I think we (the Canadians) will just build a wall and make them pay for it to prevent that massive influx.

          1. Hopefully you have Disqus notifications on so you’ll get this.

            A) Are you interested in participating in the Outcasts league? B) Are you over or under age 32 (the Survivor cut-off for Millennial vs. Gen X)?

      1. Mate I’m British, that’s a long arse flight. Also I can’t live somewhere on that latitude that isn’t sheltered by the Gulf Stream.

        1. I was just talking about the Americans. I’m assuming that all the Brits that left after the Brexit went to Belgium.

          1. fuck Belgium they can barely form a government! The Danes neither, Sweden has very high taxation on alcohol, Spain has too many Brits who unironically voted for Brexit, Italy is a joke, France is falling apart. Basically I’d say Germany but then I’d live in a country whose leader is from a party with the word Christian in the title and nope!

          2. Hard to imagine when Brits didn’t want to be with the rest of Europe with attitudes like that.

          3. Basically all countries have their own shit,so why leave the one you were born in, where all your family and friends live instead of knuckling down and working to create a better country where you are?

        1. Hopefully you have Disqus notifications on so you’ll get this.

          We’re trying to do something different with the fantasy league this season. A) Are you interested in participating in a draft-based league? B) Are you over or under age 32 (the Survivor cut-off for Millennial vs. Gen X)?

          1. I do get notifications.
            A) I’d love to participate in a draft league. I will almost certainly lose horribly. I might go with the Costanza doctrine this year.
            B) I’m 35, so I guess I’m Gen X according to Survivor. I’m glad someone finally cleared that up for me (not really, because I don’t care).

          2. Ok, I’ll send you a link (probably later today) to the draft page. And take solace in the fact that almost everyone loses horribly.

  4. Last post I started ranking the 30 seasons of Survivor I’ve watched from worst to first. Last week was 30-26 (WA, Gabon, RI, South Pacific and One World) Right now is 25-21 and at some point later today 20-16.

    My Survivor Season Rankings Part 2

    25. Africa
    The location really hurts this season. I’m not a fan of seeing extremely dehydrated people try to play a game while worrying about lions by their camp. It’s a little too harsh. The cast is okay, not a lot of standouts. I don’t really gravitate to them as much as I do other old season casts. Gameplay always seems to be on the verge of something fresh before settling into the predictable.
    Favorite episode: “Dinner, Movie and a Betrayal” (Brandon boot)
    Favorite players: T-Bird, Clarence and Ethan, who is a beautiful man.

    24. Vanuatu
    A wild ending but a long way of unsatisfactory Survivor to get there. The problem for me is I find half the cast (the men) to be mostly duds. I was bored or annoyed whenever time was spent with them in this battle of the sexes format. It was way more interesting to check in on the ladies tribe dynamic. The complete destruction of a dominant alliance is fascinating viewing but the winner is not.
    Favorite episode: “Surprise and… Surprise Again” (Leann boot)
    Favorite players: Ami, Eliza, Julie

    23. All Stars
    The worst season with at least 10 returnees. The egos, the hypocrisy, the anger and a love story. All Stars is a pretty good idea. Get favorites from the past seasons the play together. The execution was lacking. This is not a fun season and I found myself just as unpleasant watching it as the people playing it. It’s hard to mention the season without thinking of the horrific incident and the poor reaction to it. It overshadows the rest of the season and is incredibly hard to watch. The Rob & Amber story is intriguing as well as Rob mercilessly betraying supposed allies. The jury is not good but the origin story of Rob and Amber is
    Favorite episode: “Anger, Tears and Chaos” (Lex boot)
    Favorite players: Boston Rob, Amber, Shii Ann

    22. San Juan del Sur
    A boring pre-merge with one brilliant exception. Not a great cast with a few exceptions. Blood vs Water 2 does not live up to it’s predecessor. The cast benefits from not be actively horrible as some lower rated seasons but they are just incredibly bland. Not a lot of savvy players either. The action takes a long time to get going but it’s a great ending. I love Natalie Anderson and watching her play was so satisfying. She’s a fucking boss.
    Favorite episode: “We’re a Hot Mess” (Drew boot)
    Favorite players: Natalie, Keith, Alec’s facial expression.

    21. Samoa
    The Russell Hantz show for better or worse. Russell bulldozing his way through the game the way he does is something Survivor hasn’t seen before. I understand why that needs to be focused but I wish I got more from the people he was on the island with and how they react to Russell’s antics, especially from the person who actually wins the season. The leader concept is one I was never a fan of and it’s at the worst here. The challenges are really bad and often times too physical. I can’t get a good grasp on most of the cast due to lack of time. Russell’s downfall is a great storyline though. Also fuck Ben, he’s completely awful.
    Favorite episode: “All Hell Breaks Loose” (Erik boot)
    Favorite players: Jaison, Natalie, Dave

    Later today 20-16 including a disappointing season with one of the best three episodes stretches ever.

  5. It’s funny that Sandra told Russell that Coach was gunning for him, and yet Russell voted Courtney as a throwaway vote. It was Parvati and Danielle that voted out Coach with Sandra and Courtney.

    If they could’ve had more Courtney on the show, this season would’ve been greater than it already is. I would’ve loved to see more of her sassy attitude. Oh man, imagine that Villains tribe if it was Rob, Sandra, Courtney, Tyson, and Parvati. The Heroes tribe wouldn’t even exist on the show. Even if the Heroes went to Tribal Council, we’d be watching the Villains all the time.

    Some little things I like from these episodes:

    Colby and Jerri’s little reunion in the Chimney Sweep challenge (“Hey Colby.” “Hi Jerri.”). Man, I wish they showed more of them. You see on the Survivor Wiki that even in the voting confessionals they were way nicer to each other than they’d ever been. If they’d talked about how they became friends again, that would’ve been nice. Too bad the Russell show was on all the time.

    “You popped out some babies. This ain’t nothing.” “Two of ’em. Didn’t even get a ass-pirin.” Also, Sandra’s unrequited love of Outback Steakhouse. And, “One more minute!”

    The moment Parvati realizes everyone is right about her. “They said I’m the most dangerous player out here, so I dunno, I guess they’re right. I didn’t really think they were right until right now, now I really think they’re right.”

    1. I think the five Villains you mention is the best combination. As great as this season is, i wonder how it would’ve been if we got a merge of Rob, Parvati, Sandra, Tyson, Courtney, Tom, Stephenie, Cirie, James and JT. I think that would have been pure gold.

        1. Absolutely. They’re great players and the eye candy appeal of those two on the jury is top notch. Such a deep cast.

    2. That’s something we didn’t get to but had some thoughts on: why didn’t Russell vote for Coach?

      Now, it wasn’t because he didn’t want Coach gone. He was fully aware that Coach was going home, since if he wan’t, he would’ve thrown a FIT after that TC. So, was he trying to curry favor with Coach to get his jury vote, or was he trying to show Jerri that he was on her side to keep her in the fold?

      1. According to the wiki, when Russell votes for Courtney in that vote, he says “This is supposed to be a vote that I just throw off, I hope it works”. Weird thing to say – he seems to know Coach is going home, why not vote for him? Just to make Jerri feel better? She’s got no one else, what is she gonna do?

        1. Also, Russell signs his vote for Courtney, so that could be another method to show Jerri that he was on her side.

          Crazy thought: I wonder if he also got rid of Coach because he was scared of the dual effect of Coach AND Jerri.

    3. I can’t believe how good the pre-merge (especially the second half) of HvV is. The storytelling, especially with the Boston Rob/Russell rivalry and JT’s disastrous attempt to “save” Russell, is incredible. And of course Courtney, Sandra, Parvati, Tyson, Coach, and James (who’s really only a dick to Stephanie) are so good this season as characters. I just finished and I’ll give my thoughts on the post-merge later (which I was a little disappointed by), but I think this is one of the few seasons that’s top-tier because of it’s pre-merge.

  6. Andy, I’d go a step further on your discussion of Russell an unknown quantity. The one thing they do know about him is that this season was cast and ready to go, and they bumped someone because they absolutely had to have this guy on as a villain. More time should have been spent asking what he did to earn that.

    1. Counterpoint: Danielle, Courtney, Coach, Jerri, Tyson, and Sandra are villains. The main requirement of being a villain appeared to be “be a little snarky, a lot crazy, or be Danielle.”

      1. Sure, but they’re like that even at challenges, whereas Russell is fairly reserved.

        They had Shane Powers and they decided they had to boot him for this guy. Russell would have to be the largest character in Survivor history for that to make sense.

      2. Poor Danielle. I feel like if you did the early Gilligan’s Island theme with the Villains Tribe, Danielle would get the “and the rest” treatment.

        1. The problem with Danielle was that she was not actually a Villain (nor a hero). Candice was more of a Villain. Both should have been switched.

          1. It might’ve been slightly interesting to see her on the Heroes, because I suspect she would’ve bought in to the concept wholeheartedly.

          2. Maybe she would have liked Tom since he’s actually from Massachusetts and not just a guy with a “Boston” tattoo.

          3. That’s because you know more about these things than John.

            (He is from New York.)

          4. Considering how gung ho she is about challenges, she would be a perfect fit. The only problem is that her two slightly villainous actions in Panama happened against the two heroes of the season, one of whom happens to be on the Heroes tribe.

    2. Doesn’t Jeff tell everyone in the first 5 minutes of the premiere that Russell is one of the top-five (baby) villains in the history of the show? And that he’s on the Villains tribe for a reason?

      Yes, he was an unknown entity, but aside from the producers showing them the Samoa episodes (which were probably still being edited, I don’t know the exact schedule), they did everything they could to warn the Heroes that this guy is not to be trusted.

      1. My sources tell me that he was not allowed to tell anyone how he did in Samoa. That’s why his confessionals are overly glowing in his favor…except for a couple, but we haven’t reached that point yet

        1. I remember that Jeff didn’t tell any of the players how Russell did in Samoa (just like he didn’t tell anyone on FvF how Amanda did in China). But since none of them had ever seen Russell play, Jeff did tell everyone that Russell was not only a villain, but one of the biggest villains the show had ever seen.

          1. That is correct, however Amanda was able to figure out (either through James or through the process of elimination from the other Micronesia favorites) that she didn’t win. Russell “keeps hope alive” that he won Samoa.

          2. Wait, I’m confused. Do you mean that when Amanda was on Micronesia and the China finale had not aired yet, she was able to figure out if she had won China by talking to the Micronesia players that had also been on China? James is the only other person on Micronesia that was also on China. No one else on Micronesia would be able to give her any information.

          3. Right, but when she was on Micronesia who could she have found that out from? James maybe, but not any of the other favorites – they wouldn’t know.

          4. Hmm, that’s a bit of a reach, but I guess. Still, she would have gotten that information once she knew who the other favorites were, she wouldn’t have figured out that there were no winners on that season by talking to them once the game had started.

          5. No idea. I haven’t seen Micronesia since it aired so I have no idea if she seemed to recognize any of the other favorites when she met them.

          6. But Parv wouldn’t know who Amanda was, since China hadn’t aired. So why would be she be fangirling over Amanda?

          7. A few episodes of China had aired when Micro started filming. That leads to this infamous scene of James getting a vigorous round of applause while Amanda gets nothing.

          8. It really seems to come down to a day-37-or-so emotional breakdown. She gets some answers right at FTC, but her delivery is a disaster and she backs down too easily. I think the stresses of the game really get to her by the end and derail her decent plans in a way that’s probably tough to prepare for.

            We talk sometimes about players not knowing how the game will affect them emotionally until they’re out there. Amanda’s the rare one who keeps it together until it’s juuust about over and then cracks.

          9. I think what hurts Amanda in those spots is that she wins the last two ICs in both China and Micronesia, so she has some power or say in who goes home (especially with the Micronesia F3 situation). That much stress, especially as she becomes close to people like Peih-Gee, causes her to become emotionally weak.

            Thank you for making me think about why Amanda sucks at FTC besides the fact that she is not used to having answers thought up to questions beforehand #pageantgirljokes.

          10. But she’s in power before that! She’s plotting and backstabbing left and right along with Todd for most of the game and then… Ugh. I love Amanda and it makes me so sad that she can’t stick the landing through a combination of weird sudden guilt and poor public speaking.

          11. I don’t want to blow your mind, but jury members sometimes talk about who they are going to vote for. So James might’ve known something.

          12. Right, but @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus said that Amanda might have found out if she had won China from James or from talking to the other Micronesia players. James was the only other player from China that was also in Micronesia. He could have given her info about who voted for who in China, but who else in Micronesia would have that info?

          13. Not exactly. I mean that she was able to figure out that she didn’t win because there wasn’t a winner on her tribe, ergo they wouldn’t put just 1 winner out there, especially from a season that didn’t air.

          14. Ok, I thought you meant from talking to the other Micronesia favorites, that’s why I was confused. But your way would work too, although she wouldn’t really have confirmation that she didn’t win China, just a hunch.

      2. Jeff said that Russell was one of the biggest villains of all time… to a group of people who didn’t understand why they were villains. (I think Randy and Tyson understood. Tyson, at least.)

        1. When Jeff said that, Coach must have thought that meant that Russell was the most honorable person ever!

  7. Last week I started ranking the 30 seasons of Survivor I’ve watched from worst to best. So far I have completed the bottom 10 seasons.
    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
    Now for 20-16
    My Survivor Season Rankings Part 3

    20. Fiji
    A major mistake by Survivor having the Haves vs Have Nots gimmick. It led to the worst pre-merge where the incredibly predictable outcome of well fed, well rested people destroyed the miserable, starving tribe repeatedly. A disservice to what I believe was a pretty fine cast filled with heroic presences, villains to root against and off the wall characters. The post merge is great with a couple of entertaining storylines and Earl plays a near perfect game that has become underrated.
    Favorite episode: “It’s a Turtle?!” (Edgardo boot)
    Favorite players: Earl, Yau-Man, Michelle

    19. Marquesas
    A fascinating early season with some twists and turns. The cast is average at best but there are a couple of standouts including a wonderful debut for a young arrogant Boston Rob. Some strategic decisions led to unpredictability Survivor has not seen before. Despite the excitement at various times including the debut of the purple rock tiebreaker, the ending does not stick the landing. Overall though nothing I dislike, works out to an average season of Survivor
    Favorite episode: “Jury’s Out” (John boot)
    Favorite players: Sean, Kathy, Boston Rob

    18. Caramoan
    The inferior of the Fans vs Favorites concept. The favorites are weak but a few of them shine. Brandon Hantz should’ve never been brought back as I believe he cannot handle being on Survivor and is a destructive force that can cause damage to himself or others. The pre-merge is largely boring as the Fans cannot compete with the returnees. Then comes quite possibly the best three episode Survivor stretch I’ve seen. The post merge is full of excitement thanks to crazy plays and some innovative decisions. Also one of my favorite winners plays a perfect game.
    Favorite episode: “Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (Phillip boot)
    Favorite players: Cochran, Malcolm, Andrea

    17. Panama
    Sometimes dysfunctional dynamics are uncomfortable to watch, other times they are entertaining. Casaya lands in the latter. Not the best alliance but one of the most fun. Some crazy characters that hate each other yet succeed. It makes for some exciting Survivor. Also the debut of my all time favorite Cirie. A social and strategic force that owns on this season. She helped build the Survivor playbook with some of the brilliance she displays. Terry’s challenge prowess is good to see as well.
    Favorite episode: “Perilous Scramble” (Courtney boot)
    Favorite players: Cirie, Shane, Aras

    16. Borneo
    The hardest season to rank. The impact of this season in all of television is so great. I remember I was 10 when it first aired, watching it with pretty much the entire neighborhood as various houses. All of us so engrossed in what was going on. It was all anyone would talk about and I needed to be a part of it. I wondered if it would hold up when I rewatched it last fall and it was some still entertaining but such a different beast from other seasons. There are flashes if the Survivor I love now in it’s infancy stage that puts a smile on my face. I fully admit this ranking is more of a shrug and put right in the middle.
    Favorite episode: “The Final Four” (Richard win)
    Favorite players: Colleen, Gervase, Sue

    Next week 15-11 featuring another influential season…kinda and
    10-6 featuring my all time favorite alliance.

    1. After cherry-picking seasons that I know to be pretty well-reviewed (Borneo, Cook Islands, China, Micronesia, Tocantins, HvV), I’ve decided to watch Fiji next, for a couple reasons. Once I watch Fiji, I’ll have seen every season Cook Islands and beyond. I’m also curious as to how a season with quite a few great moments that I’ve heard about can still be so bad. I really liked the little of Yau-Man that is in Micronesia, and I’ve heard Earl is a really good winner who should be brought back. I hope I don’t regret this.

      1. I think it mostly boils down to having such a bad gimmick in the beginning. Getting past that point it’s smooth sailing. There are definitely a few really great moments that make up for the earlier mistake.

      2. The pre-merge is DIRE. But in a weird way, that dire-ness is what makes what comes after it so much better. So stick with it, even if it’s difficult to do so.

        1. IIRC, Fiji is towards the bottom of my non-Survivor fandom friend’s list along with Marquesas, Africa, Gabon, and All Stars.

          Note: She has not watched 21 and up or Thailand (she’s in the middle of that), Vanuatu, or Guatemala.

          1. So, a lot of the worst seasons then.

            Still, I won’t blame anyone who ranks Fiji poorly. That pre-merge is about as unpleasant as Survivor gets.

  8. I must request that you quote my all time favorite vote out speech next episode. Sandra voting for Candice (it was shown online, and I am likely misquoting it): “I tried to hep you, I wanted to go to your side, but you got scared… And you flipped… and now your stupid ass is going home.”

  9. I believe I was the guy they were referring to on wanting to give Sandra credit for voting out Coach, in that I defended that as a great moment on the one episode of the podcast I was on. No regrets.

  10. Great podcast. I am unsure if I would pick the double idol play as the greatest move of all time. It probably played a sizable role in causing Russell to go apeshit and destroy their three person alliance.

    I will admit to being as being as low on Parvati as Andy was going into the season, but after that move, my thought was “Okay, she deserved her victory”. I didn’t start rooting for her, since Sandra was still there and more Parvati meant more goddamn Russell, but she rose in my estimation.

    1. I think the Russell aftermath is the hindsight of the great play because Parvati greatly underestimates how he handles direct threats even though she has seen him work earlier in the season. I think the Danielle boot is extremely interesting because it is the first and only time that Russell has immunity outside of the F4.

      1. I was thinking this evening, that Parvati maybe should have considered booting Russell when he started trying to get her and Danielle to vote each other out and then realized that he had immunity that week. Horrible timing.

          1. Her other major problem was that Russell had likely always planned to take Sandra to the end with him. He had only watched Micronesia, and was convinced that Sandra was the most pathetic goat in the history of goats.

          2. Do we know if he watched Micro or Tocantins? Because all through Samoa (and some of HvV), he was convinced that it would be a Final 2 through his “you and me to the final 2” Day 1 salvo.

          3. I remember reading an interview with Sandra where she claimed he only saw Micronesia.

          4. One could argue that she rode Cirie’s coattail. One could more easily argue that Russell is an idiot with a poor opinion of women.

          5. I would say they were both leaders of that alliance in their own way. Both of their strengths complimented each other nicely.

          6. Fully co-sign on Russell being an idiot with a poor opinion of women. So much stupid shit he’s said about any woman who went against him and even the women on his own alliance.

          7. Yes, but Russell had derogatory comments in general about women, and in particular, pretty ones. Any that had an opinion, he got rid of the first two times. He relented a little on time #3 with Stephanie.

  11. The triple play of these episodes really reminds you of what Giants the players are that we are watching this season.

  12. I mostly agree with Andy’s take on Parvati’s loss in this season. Only thing I would say is that it may not be always possible for a player to build relationship with people on the other side. Heroes had vilified Parvati even before they spent any meaningful time with her and she commented in the tribal that she was being treated as a leper by them. So whilst, I agree that burden of building that bridge falls on Parvati if she wants their vote in the end, I don’t see any of the heroes left being too willing to give her a fair shot. Even her friendship with Amanda had apparently already soured before the season. Then Candice’s baffling comment in the FTC showed that some of the heroes were just too biased to vote for her. Rupert was always voting for Sandra too. From what I have read in post interviews and other stuff, it was only one of JT or Colby who entertained any thought of choosing between Sandra and Parvati.

    I think her loss is somewhat in same category as Aubry’s from the last season for me. Not much either could have done except play with a different set of people. Easy with hindsight to pin point the reason for a loss but in reality it is too harsh to fault any game play.

    1. The argument I’d have against that is that players like Jerri and Sandra early on seemed to have the same anti-Parvati bias. Then she turned on the charm with them and swung them to her.

      Maybe she never would’ve won over Rupert and had no time with JT. But I’m not sure Colby and Candice in particular were closed books.

    2. But ultimately, it could just be that she wasn’t going to get more votes than Sandra no matter what.

    3. The issue for Parvati wasn’t not getting on with the Villains enough in the end, she got 3/4 available votes. Her issue was entirely about the Heroes and that has to be on her. If she had managed to get rid of Russell somewhere at 4 or 5 (because I really don’t see Rupert or Colby winning those immunities) then I think she’d have won vs Sandra and Jerri because Sandra wouldn’t have been able to play the “I was trying to help you” card through FTC and get every Hero vote.

      1. There is no way to prove this either way so it is a moot point. But I don’t see Heroes voting for her over Sandra even if Russell was not part of FTC.

        1. It’s fanfiction for sure but it’s a different narrative if Parvati is the one to slay Russell.

  13. OK, I’m back from vacation and caught up through episode 10. Have the comparisons of the way Russell plays Survivor to the way Donald Trump runs for president been gone over completely, or is nobody willing to bring it up?

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