Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Finale

Time to wrap-up Heroes vs Villains with a discussion of the finale, the reunion, and the season as a whole. Do we still think it’s the best ever?

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Episodes 14-15

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

  • Russell Hantz the petulant child.
  • Why Colby should be remembered better than he is.
  • How Parvati made it to the final three.
  • Jerri’s chances to win the game at the final jury.
  • Jerri’s journey through 19 seasons of the show.
  • Favourite moments from the final tribal council (yes, favourite with a u).
  • How Parvati and Sandra are awesome.
  • The gaaaaaame is flaaaaawed (no it isn’t).
  • Did Russell know that he had lost Samoa while playing Heroes vs Villains?
  • The worst things to have come out of a reunion episode.
  • What was really the fifth dumbest move in Survivor history up to that point?


Question to you: how do you feel this little re-watch podcast experiment went? Worthwhile? Needs improvement? Something you’d like to again? Let us know in comments.

192 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Heroes vs Villains Watch-Along Finale

  1. I really enjoyed the weekly podcasts (and not just because I got mentioned frequently). It gives us a chance for some good Purple Rock Pod content during the off-season. I think an AO rewatch should be put on tap.

    1. I also greatly enjoyed the podcasts and the Watch Along idea. I enjoyed the discussions on Gabon and now HvV. It was perfect for the summer. I look forward to more of these, especially if Palau is in the cards.

      1. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Watch Alongs, particularly the idea of watching a “poison” season and then an “antidote” season. I think Matt has already committed to watching Nicaragua, and while I would totally be on board for a Palau rewatch, I think Panama might be a better companion season (men vs. women, multiple lunatics in the post-merge, a winner who’s mostly a bystander, an older woman who goes from first-boot candidate to the biggest threat in the end game, etc).

        1. (both seasons have men vs. women, multiple lunatics in the post-merge, a winner who’s mostly a bystander, an older woman who goes from first-boot candidate to the biggest threat in the end game, etc).

          1. Which season are you referring to when you say multiple lunatics in the post-merge? Panama – yes. But Palau?

          2. Nicaragua. I’m saying a Panama rewatch might be a good “antidote” to a Nicaragua rewatch.

          3. Aah. Got it. I was ok but did not love Panama over the years but came to appreciate it later.

            i hated Nicaragua and still do.

            But its a good pairing for your reasoning.

    2. The rewatches may need to be done, because rumor has it that the cast for S33 is officially getting released next week. You, as Khaleesi of the Survivor Fantasy League, may have interest in that information.

        1. I look forward to defending my title as “lanterne rouge” for finishing dead last in Fantasy Survivor. I’m winning my fantasy baseball league, can’t get greedy.

        2. I look forward to playing for the first time. Not saying I will figure it out, keep up, etc. since I still have not fixed the dead fish.

    3. I have too although I have not listened to this yet. It again appeared on the feed just as I pulled into the parking lot at work so it will have to wait until the trip home.

      Is there anything coming up between now and the start of the next series?

    4. The easiest solution for what would be a good summer rewatch would be to pick a previous season from the winner of S34. Unless it’s from a season we’ve already podcasted.

        1. I was going to make a joke about that, but 1.) my version involved spoiling which One Worlder was there and 2.) I can’t even joke about that.

          1. Agreed with that. I meant rewatching WA would be worst. I’m not too worried about the OW option actually happening. There would have to be 19 quits.

  2. I also believe that Russell thinks he won Samoa. I also found his comment that he only played one season to be interesting. I wondered briefly if he had been able to watch Samoa before going out for HvV, would he had changed anything in his game? I think the answer is no. I think he would’ve come to the same rationalization that the Samoa people are idiots and a group of all Stars would be able to appreciate how Russell “plays the game.” He is incapable of understanding that it matters how you get to the end. You can’t treat people like shit and then expect them to not be affected by that. People can come to terms with getting beat but no on should have to accept feeling less than human along the way. That is what Russell does and I believe he’s so deeply warped in his thinking, that he could play every season and never learn the lesson.

    On another note, after watching HvV, all I want is a show where Parvati, Sandra and Courtney travel the country. Other Survivors can occasionally make an appearance.

    1. I’m sure Russell thought he won Samoa when he was playing HvV; why else would they eagerly have him on back-to-back in an all-stars season? (said Russell to himself) The mind-blowing thing is that even after the HvV votes are read, and he knows he’s lost both seasons, and Probst is trying to explain to him why he lost, Russell is still having none of it. And it’s not even a matter of having to be a jury whisperer; Boston Rob, Tyson, and even Tony to a certain extent proved that, up to a point, you can be kind of a dick to the jury members as they get voted out and still win their votes.

      On the other hand, would a kinder, gentler Russell make it to the end in the first place? Could he run a majority alliance without using fear tactics, or would he inevitably just get clipped along the way? I dunno, but maybe in a sense it’s rational for him to think only about getting to the end, and in effect play for second or third place.

      1. I see aspects of Russell’s game that I find good to impressive. He’s always hustling, moving around, talking to others. He finds himself in the middle of the action. I think that could be a good thing when played correctly. He is strong, maybe not a good all around challenge competitor but he has a defined strength. That can be useful to a tribe. He can read situations very correctively and find an avenue to flip numbers on his side. He knows Shambo is on the outs, Tyson wants Parvati gone badly, Candice is most likely to change paths. That’s a good skill to have. So I guess it comes down to if you can wipe away the insecurity, the need to control with bullshit scare tactics, and the misogyny, and leave the good aspects can Russell be an actual winner? Or is it that all of his good aspects completely tied to the bad qualities he has and taking those qualities away makes Russell Hantz seize to exist as a player at all? For me, I think the answer is the latter.

        1. Well, you’re basically describing Tony, right? Although even he had plenty of assistance along the way from Trish and at the very end from Woo.

          1. I think the way Tony used Woo was the best part of his game. Woo was there for anyone else to take as an ally, but Tony formed the strongest alliance with him and got him to do what he wanted. Trish did do a lot of work for Tony though.

          2. i am messaging you here so others won’t find it, but you figured out the secret of the Outcast League this year. There are two leagues, one for Millenials, one for Gen Xers (as defined by Survivor). We are the Gen X league. keep it secret, keep it safe

          3. Definitely. There are similarities between the two but Tony knows where the line is in a game designed for manipulation. His deception overall in bounds. Russell revels in other people’s pain to bring himself up. There is no line in his world.

          4. Nah, Tony has all of the negative qualities BD listed about Russell. He just manages to be less of an abrasive dick about it.

          5. Tony also has the benefit of playing in the post-Russell era of Survivor, which normalized some of those actions.

          6. Good point, and in fact I think the experience of playing against Russell had a big influence on how Boston Rob and Coach approached Redemption Island and South Pacific, respectively (although neither would admit it in a million years).

          7. Agreed. And since he actually won, the show may have hid some of his abrasiveness.

            Tony also had more value in team challenges from what we saw.

          8. I read that. I couched it as may have since that’s what I do. But it should have been the show hid some of his abrasiveness” (a nicer word than sexism, etc.)

        2. But he does not always read situations correctly. He misread Sandra. He misread that he could not treat people badly and still win.

          I do not think he can win because he is so well known now. He was cut as a cancer while Boston Rob was celebrated on his third time playing. And he has no other specific value in challenges or in camp life. While a tribe may not throw a challenge to get rid of him again (but its not impossible), he might be gone the first time the tribe legitimately loses if he finds an idol. And Survivor seems to have reverted to actually hiding the idols fairly well again. And would anyone believe in a kindler, gentler Russell.

          1. He definitely doesn’t always get it right. For every time he gets it right, there is another time he gets it egregiously wrong. It’s not the best aspect of his game but he has his moments.

  3. My enjoyment of Parvati this season and the game she played had me thinking about who were my favorite runner up performances in Survivor.

    These are my 5 favorite 2nd place games.

    1. Parvati (Heroes vs Villains)
    2. Boston Rob (All-Stars)
    3. Stephen (Tocantins)
    4. Colby (Australian Outback)
    5. Aubry (Kaoh Rong)

    Also I enjoyed doing the season rankings a lot. The complete list can be found in the Season Rankings post. It was the most thought and effort I put into any of these lists, and was a lot of fun. As a result, I’m planning on making things more challenging for myself by ranking the best 33 episodes in Survivor history in the near future. So look for that to start maybe as soon as next month and bonus points for anyone who can guess my #1pick.

    1. Solid five. Not sure I can think of a replacement.

      Amanda in China and Spencer in Cambodia would be contenders for a longer list, but neither takes out anyone from that top five for me.

          1. Just don’t disrespect Courtney or Emma will come for you and I’ll be back up. But yeah Amanda played a really good game for 38 days, shame day 39 is her kryptonite.

          2. You were right to call me out, but in this case, I was being a poor reader, not misremembering Courtney’s rightful place in second.


          (Was that good for you?)

      1. Absolutely. I wonder if Corinne being on the jury would have given Dawn a couple of other votes (Malcolm and/or Andrea maybe?)

  4. Only 15 min or so in, but I love that the strawman that Andy decides to fight this time are people who hate All Stars. Gotta make it about BR somehow!

    1. (I actually do love it, it’s really fun. Much better than Rob C. spending time talking about ‘challenge hacks’ or whatever he’s doing this week. Fuck lifehacks.)

      1. For the record I hate that season because it’s the losers being a bunch of babies and complaining a lot, and watching them is miserable.

        1. I think there’s plenty of acceptable reasons for suggesting it’s not a good season. But I have no tolerance for any argument that boils down to “the people I was cheering for before the season started didn’t do well”. This applies to any season.

          1. I think that’s a completely logical reason for disliking a season. Would I have liked Cambodia more if Woo did better? Absolutely. Would John have liked Worlds Apart more if Shirin won?

            The key is admitting that’s what you dislike about it and not trying to pretend you are being objective.

          2. It makes sense and technically no one is wrong for disliking seasons for any reason, but I understand where Andy is coming from. I was bummed with the early portion of Cambodia with the Shirin/Peih Gee/Varner eliminations all happening one after the other, but there were still exciting things happening that made me enjoy the season a lot after that point and many other great cast members that I just didn’t love quite as much. People like to complain that arguably the 3 least relevant people from the previous seasons made the final 3 of All Stars. Who cares? I really only care that only one of them happens to be enjoyable television, but why aren’t we judging it for what the characters are bringing to the season rather than what we thought should have happened? That’s fine if people don’t, but I see why it’s annoying. I don’t even know what point I’m trying to make. Everyone is right. Great job, everyone.

          3. “People like to complain that arguably the 3 least relevant people from the previous seasons made the final 3 of All Stars.”

            No, only two of them did. I did the math.

            Rob went out to soon to be eligible, but he probably still would have been saved by his entertainment value.

          4. Yeah, if you are going by placement I believe the 3 least relevant were technically Boston Rob, Shii Ann, and Alicia. All 3 were pretty memorable though.

          5. I agree that it’s as fine a reason for not LIKING something as any. Make up your own reasons for liking or not liking something. It’s when people use it as a criticism for its quality that I call bullshit. And I say this as someone who did not like Rob Mariano in Marquesas.

          6. I should also say that criticizing something for what you wanted it to be instead of what it is is something that bothers me about everything, not just seasons of Survivor.

          7. Would John have liked Worlds Apart more if Shirin won? A) So much. B) There’s not much room in my rankings for me to like it less.

          8. If everything in the season remained the same through the Will blowup and she somehow went on to win it would be would be a crazy exciting road and an all time great season. It probably involves a 4-3-2 vote with Sierra flipping and a 4 4 rock chicken vote to follow and Shirin eventually cutting Jenn and Mike and man I’m getting excited just thinking about it

          9. I want to play this alternative Worlds Apart timeline out now. Sierra is upset at how Will treats Shirin and Shirin gets her to flip. The awesome alliance vote out Tyler, who apparently was on that season, while the Crappy Crew splits the vote between Jenn and Shirin. In the next vote, Dan doesn’t want to go to rocks and becomes the man he always hated, a flipper. As a result Rodney goes home. Carolyn plays her idol at 7 will Dan bungles his extra vote advantage and goes home. He should’ve used the advantage at the previous tribal but Dan is an idiot. Shirin then thinks Jenn is too big of a threat and leads a blindside at 6. Jenn is chill about it though. The alliance get rid of Carolyn at 5. Shirin shocks Mike in the next challenge with a puzzle at the end, redeeming herself from earlier in the season and capping off a major come from behind victory. Mike is unanimously eliminated and takes a spot in Second Chance. The jury forgets Sierra existed and crucifies Will for being a complete did in every facet of the game. Shirin is crowned Sole Survivor. This is what dreams are made of.

          10. I love this scenario but I still can see Sierra winning there but it might be close. The jury would not “forget” Sierra.

            Will still gets Rodney and probably Dan (neither of whom I can see voting for a woman (and Rodney and Will were best buds), plus Sierra flipped which Dan hates, unless its a final 2 with 2 women and they don’t have a choice (and in that case, Sierra. She’d get Will too)).

            Sierra gets Carolyn and Tyler. Mike (if he respects the gameplay and the treatment she had to put up with over being Blue Collar) would go for Shirin but he could go either way. So could Jenn, Joe and Hali if its Sierra.

            If Joe, Hali and Jenn go Shirin, then Mike’s the “decider” and gives Shirin the win or he unknowingly forces a tie as it would be 3-3-2. If the rules require Rodney and Dan to re-vote in case of a tie, its Sierra.

            I hope I did not forget a juror.

            I think she would have had a stronger shot against Carolyn even though she played a stronger game than Sierra. Rodney and Dan still go for Will. Sierra and Tyler go for Carolyn but in my opinion, its a much stronger chance that the the other four all vote for Shirin although it could play out similar as well.

          11. They wouldn’t actually forget Sierra. That was more of a joke about she was portrayed on the show. I agree that Rodney and Dan would definitely vote Will but that would be the only two he would get in this scenario. I agree that Sierra would get Carolyn and Tyler. I think Shirin would get the rest in this scenario but it’s up in the air. Either way it would be a fun fantasy.

          12. That sounds nice, but it really emphasizes that we were pretty much given the darkest timeline version of Worlds Apart (not that we didn’t already know that). For every other bad season (except maybe Nicaragua), there is a conceivable path in which it becomes worse, but I’m not sure if that’s true in Worlds Apart. Maybe Mike losing final four immunity and Rodney winning would’ve been worse, but that doesn’t really fix the fundamental problem with the season.

          13. I like Mike but his victory wasn’t satisfying to me as this light at the end of the dark tunnel of a season. Sophie beating Cult Leader Coach in South Pacific felt awesome as this shining moment amongst the shitty mess. I think the difference is the villains of WA never really had to answer for the way they went through the game. Mike just won every immunity when he was in danger and you kinda just had to pick that person to win. The WA people can leave that situation thinking they didn’t do anything wrong. Coach in SP got called out a bit for the shit he pulled. The WA people got a pass with the exception of Shirin’s speech to Will. I hope this makes sense, I’m having trouble putting together my feelings on the situation exactly how I want to.

          14. I agree. Mike was not very good at Survivor, and I only wanted him to win because he wasn’t a terrible person, unlike pretty much everyone else in Worlds Apart. Dan got a little of what he deserved at the reunion, but Will barely got any of the shit that should’ve gone his way, and Rodney got a birthday cake. I guess there might have been some good at the very end of Worlds Apart, but it would’ve been impossible for it to get too much worse than it was.

        2. I will defend the All Stars jury and their bitterness, even though they seem ridiculous in modern-day Survivor. This was the first time the show had brought back former players, and most of these people knew each other and were good friends. This goes against the entire concept of the game (“Sixteen strangers …”). None of them knew how they were supposed to act in the game when they were playing with (and against) friends. They were making it up as they went along, which in a weird way might make it the season most similar to Borneo.

          A neat “what if?” would be if they had brought back that entire cast years later (before any of them had played a third time) and play that season again – same starting tribes, same challenges, etc. Who would have learned their lesson and play like modern-day returning players do?

    2. Here’s another one: when Sandra was going on about how fiercely loyal she is to the people she’s with, my reaction was: “tell me again about how she would’ve totally flipped on Boston Rob?”

      1. She voted for Courtney, the rice to her beans, so tell me again why “I’m fiercely loyal” can’t be true until it needs not to be?

          1. I think like politics we both strongly believe in our own principles, understand the other truly holds their beliefs but both know the other one is completely wrong.

          2. I saw a headline today that said “Jeremy Corbyn tightening grip on Labour Party”, so I assume it’s been a rough week for you.

          3. Months bruv, it’s been a tough couple of months. The nut jobs have taken over and we will all get to enjoy a long time with an unchallengeable Conservative government. He’s turning a political party into a protest movement and those always work so so well.

      2. See the problem is I can’t really imagine a jury that would vote for someone who plays like Boston Rob over someone who plays like Sandra. So unless Rob went and backstabbed her (which he might), I’m still not sure he wins.

        1. The missing ingredient in this scenario is that the jury wouldn’t have had the pull of “Sandra tried to work with us to oust Russell but we wouldn’t let her”. Because they never would’ve really met the guy.

  5. I love how you qualified it with “perhaps” the greatest season. As if Andy pulls back and qualifies any of his opinions.

    1. It’s a teaser to not spoil the content inside the podcasts. “Do we still believe Heroes vs Villains is the best season? The answer may surprise you!”

  6. I got to the NCAA bit and Danielle got a scholarship to play D1 football (soccer for you heathens in North America) but suffered an injury and never played.

      1. She played three varsity sports at High School so maybe there?
        I’d like to point out that I too was a Captain of Sports, I captained my school’s girls’ football (soccer) and cricket teams. I basically captained any team my PE teacher decided she wanted to try and form.

          1. But only if playing with honestly, loyalty, integrity or whatever random word Coach deems important at the moment.

          2. I was very bad. School sport in the UK is not like it is in America and Canada. School teams do not play organised sport against each other. There are certain organisations who hold tournaments but schools just enter if they want to. My school’s girls’ football, cricket and netball teams were the same 7 girls.

          3. No.

            Source: Me, a fellow academic bowl captain. (I also did sports, but I was not the captain. Much like Kemper, I was an average athlete at best.)

          1. Not really exceptional as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Japan are places that are Soccer or a variation of.

        1. In the US we have three different regional terms for carbonated water with sweetened syrup in it. And that’s one country. The idea that drift in terminology wouldn’t occur between nations with a common language but separated by oceans is absurd, and most discussions of it descend into tedium before they begin.

          As long as we all know what everyone else is saying I don’t see the point in hashing it out any further.

          1. Only one, but that’s irrelevant. In a shared international language some most words will be the same and a few won’t. Soccer/football happens to be one of them. It doesn’t hurt anybody to for to be the case which makes complaining about pointless.

            Languages evolve and drift. It’s part of what makes them cool.

          2. I did not know that. I always considered that a brand name or a shortened name for cocaine. Thanks.

          3. Calling all soda “Coke” is one I feel like we should all agree is objectively agree is stupid. And yes, that is a hill I’m willing to die on.

          4. No, it would be like getting annoyed if people called all fruit juice “lemonade” when the word juice is RIGHT THERE.

          5. But that’s not really how it’s used. Like I said to Andy, if you’re talking about an individual product you call it by it’s name. You don’t just order Coke and expect a server to know what you mean. (Although if you do order Coke and they tell you they only have Pepsi you give them a funny look.)

            The only time everything is Coke is when you’re talking about carbonated beverages generically.

          6. Actually, what they usually say is, “Is Pepsi ok?” To which the only proper response is “It’s not called a rum and Pepsi!”

          7. “The only time everything is Coke is when you’re talking about carbonated beverages generically.”

            Yeah, then that’s still weird and I will forever maintain that the word soda (or pop, I guessssss) is right there.

            On the other hand, if it’s just used to refer to cola, then it’s not even really a thing at all and shouldn’t be answered as such in all the various dialect surveys that allow us to learn about such language quirks.

          8. To be clear, we don’t look at a bottle of Sprite and say “that’s Coke.” We’re not morons. (Well, some of us aren’t.)

            It’s more like if you were planning an event and were listing all the things you needed, you would say “Coke” as a catch-all for “we need carbonated beverages.”

          9. This is accurate. Also it sounds way less silly than “pop”.

            I have always called everything Coke, although whenever I drink “soda” I want a cola anyway so I feel like that’s fairly defensible.

          10. Yeah, you can get away with saying “soda” in the South. If you say “pop” you will get made fun of.

          11. I had never heard of pop until I went to Kentucky and started talking to people from Ohio. I still have not gotten over that one. I mean the farthest North I’ve ever lived is Virginia so I was definitely born and raised in the South.

          12. I heard of pop when I went to school in Indiana years ago but had never heard it before that in that context.

        2. Look, soccer is a good name. There isn’t another good name for football. Not much we can do about that.

          1. Literally never tried to make one. It barely involves your feet, football is a terrible name for it. Also it’s a game played in 1 and a half countries because CFL sucks!

          2. It is a terrible name for it, but it’s the only one we’ve got now. Australia plays something they call football too. And the CFL does, indeed, suck.

          3. Australia’s thing is called Australian Rules Football, it also involves quite a lot of feet. It’s still wrong.

  7. One note on why Russell may have voted Jerri out (while noting that trying to rationalize Russell’s motives is always a crapshoot). If he thinks he won Samoa, he’s giving the jury a choice between three winners, so nobody can give Jerri the money out of pity for her not having a million already.

    I believe someone’s jury question in Samoa pointed out that Russell and Mick wouldn’t need the money, so he may have been trying to take away the option of giving the money to someone that “needed it”.

    1. I think that it was Jaison saying that none of the finalists “needed” the money and that their financial situation shouldn’t be a deciding factor on who wins.

      1. Well shit. Although that may have been in response to a jury question (either shown or not shown) that had someone referencing the financial situations of the finalists.

    2. This absolutely could’ve been a justification in the rat’s nest of a mind of Russell Hantz. The issue, of course, is that no one should KNOW he’s a former winner unless he told them.

      Although, maybe then it’s a slightly adjusted thing: he wanted to the only person there that they THOUGHT hadn’t won before.

      1. Another wrinkle I hadn’t considered. Much like you in this podcast, I’m interested in hearing evidence that supports my wild theory. Less so in evidence that disproves it.

  8. Announcement: We’ll put up the discussion post for fantasy league rule changes on Monday (the 15th). I’m working on a means of quickly evaluating the scoring impact of potential rule changes. Hopefully it’ll be done by Monday.

    We’ll get fancy this time, with polls for suggested scoring changes and whatnot. But be sure to check in next week to give us input on the league. We want to make it as fun and as fair as possible.

    1. Did I just feature my own comment on Andy’s post- about my own upcoming content- as a not-so-subtle “fuck you” to him? Yes. Yes I did. I’m in mid-season form already.

      1. What’s that? You used the Feature Comment feature to bump a post that everyone would benefit from seeing?!? MONSTER.

        I don’t see why we need to treat the thing as some great honour to be doled out equally. But maybe that’s just because I’m not from the participation trophy generation.

          1. Oh yeah. While I reject the entire premise of the season, I will play my role. Damn millennials and their Pokemon Going.

  9. Regarding Canadian reality shows, we did have a 2-week version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (back when the U.S. prime-time version was still popular) hosted by a journalist who later became a Senator (the political kind, not the NHL Ottawa team). Later, an audit into her expense claims resulted in her being suspended without pay for two years for “alleged theft from the public purse”.

    A proud part of our Canadian heritage.

  10. Okay, now that I’ve finished 3 things:

    – You know who from Panama did play D1 sports in a competitive conference? Courtney Marit. (Go Casaya, Go Gym Dawgs.)

    – Andy and Emma are of course the worst combination possible for zeroing in on this, but in TEoS Josh Wigler pointed out that Russell is wasted at the HvV reunion, and on rewatch you can smell the whiskey through the screen. He’s still not as drunk as Boston Rob at the Marquesas reunion, so one more thing Rob beats Russell at.

    – I’m down for another vlog rewatch, but could you have John and Mark do it as a sop to your east coast audience?

    1. John is the reason we don’t do vlogs regularly. He simply doesn’t have the place in his house to record video. When we’ve done them in the past, he’s typically in a hotel on business.

      1. Is it the architecture of where he lives or is Florida still struggling with the concept of internet?

        1. Everyone in my house is usually sleeping when we do the podcasts, so it’s more about family considerations than architectural concerns. And I’ll soon have additional family considerations, so video will remain a rare thing for me.

          Depending on the start date of this season, we may be doing video for at least one podcast.

          1. I guess? Along with condolences for the suspension of our travel plans. (And I think England was one of our next destinations, too. I could’ve met Kemper!)

    2. “I’m down for another vlog rewatch, but could you have John and Mark do it as a sop to your east coast audience?”

      Ouch, what did Matt ever do to you?

        1. He’s from Philly. That’s why he subs if Andy’s out and I sub if John’s out. Time zone convenience.

          1. Andy’s from MST, but yeah we have a disproportionate amount of EST on staff. Someone make Mark move.

  11. Just got to the end of the podcast. I don’t know if you were referring specifically to me, but:

    I will ALWAYS try to make a Nicaragua rewatch happen!!!

  12. A move I think is one of the worst in Survivor history that never gets mentioned is Rafe voting out Lydia instead of Danni in Final 4 of Guatamala. It completely cost Rafe the game and was preventable, Rafe just overthought it.

    I get that Danni was sick, and I get that Lydia would have won as well, but what immunity challenge is Lydia winning? Like you have to realize a sick Danni has a higher shot of winning final immunity than a healthy Lydia.

    1. I think Survivor Historians theorize that Rafe thought it would be an endurance comp ala Hand on a Hard Idol that would benefit a smaller framed person. What he ended up getting was an endurance comp that benefited a taller person like Danni.

  13. Here are my thoughts on the Aubry/Russell comparison (because I really don’t want to be a Russel Hantz fan):

    1. Russell objectively sucks. Aubry objectively does not.
    2. I haven’t watched Samoa recently so I can’t comment on that, but HvV does a much better job of showing why Sandra wins and Russell loses than Kaoh Rong does of showing why Michele wins and Aubry loses. Sandra is clearly shown building bonds with the heroes and positioning herself as the anti-Russell, while Michele barely does anything before final four. Similarly, Russell is (correctly) shown as a terrible social player, while Aubry’s poor jury management is much more subtle.
    3. I, along with most other Aubry fans, will not argue that Aubry was 100% robbed of winning. (My username is much more of a mockery of edgic.) While I do think she played a much better game than Michele, and there were probably quite a few jurors who were unnecessarily bitter, I accept that Michele probably built better social bonds than Aubry. Aubry certainly wasn’t perfect in her social game – crossing out Julia’s name, effectively vilifying her for the rest of the game, was a bad decision.

    At the same time, I still hate Jason and Scot and will continue to blame them for being obnoxious idiots.

    1. The Aubry-Parvati comparison is a far, far better one than the Aubry-Russell won for the reasons you stated.

      While I don’t believe the reasons Aubry lost are completely fair, I still accept that she lost and that shouldn’t be taken away from the winner. I pretty much think the same thing with Parvati.

      1. Sure, but you do know that it was a lot of Russell fans that pushed the “Parvati should’ve won” narrative, right?

        1. I think there’s two groups of fans:
          1. People who think the winner always should have won
          2. People who think there are undeserving winners

          Group 2 is made up of a high percentage of Russell fans, but they weren’t created by Russell, they existed previous to that. And let’s not forget, a lot of people have turned on Russell since but still claim Parvati should have won. And its group 2, Russell fans or not, who push the Parvati/ Aubry should have won.

          1. I think sometimes the best doesn’t win. Upsets do happen. I’m a New York Giants fan. The 2007 team beating the previously undefeated New England Patriots is one of the happiest moments in my life. I don’t believe that Giants team was better than New England. The Giants did have a devastating defensive line that neutralize the Pats greatest strength in Tom Brady. They had that one quality they needed to win. I also believe Parvati was better overall than Sandra but Sandra’s opposition of Russell is a quality she had to get the win. To me, the Giants used that strength and played a fair game against the Pats and should be the champs and just like Sandra should be the winner of HvV. So I would say I’m group 1 while acknowledging the best player may not win.

  14. I’m binging on your rankings since last winter and I’ve finally gotten to your number one pick.
    And yet again I am woefully underwhelmed by the winner. I will never accept that someone as useless and uninteresting to watch as Sandra is deserving of the title Sole Survivor. I love this game too much to allow anyone to tell me that she earned either of her wins. Instead of basing their votes on a meritocracy, yet again a jury robs Russell of the title by casting bitter and petty votes. Imagine if both of his seasons had a jury like Tony had in Cagayan. There was a jury who awarded the true champion his prize.

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