Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 11 “It’s a ‘Me’ Game, Not a ‘We’ Game”

The eleventh episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong has us wondering about the inevitable march to victory of a certain player.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Kaoh Rong episode 11 “It’s a ‘Me’ Game, Not a ‘we’ Game”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • Michele, because we have to. What did this week’s game say about her game and her edit?
  • Should Cydney have made her move on Tai? Or should she have made on someone else?
  • Did Jason have the best night of anyone? Could he have done more?
  • Is Tai as big a jury threat as he’s being presented as?
  • Our reaction to Tai not playing his idol and when we think he should.
  • Should Aubry have flushed his idol?
  • A final assessment of Julia
  • What each of the six remaining players need to do to win the game.

Of course, we always welcome your comments. You can leave a comment here, tweet us (@purplerockpod, @purplerockjohn, @purplerockandy), or email us at purplerockpodcast on gmail. Thanks for listening and/or watching!

Note on our Explicit rating: This is not a particularly explicit podcast, but we do have some in our archives that qualify and we are sometimes more lax in our editing. So to comply with iTunes, we’ve erred on the side of caution and put in that rating. However, we will always warn listeners if a particular podcast is actually explicit before it begins.

98 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 11 “It’s a ‘Me’ Game, Not a ‘We’ Game”

  1. I’ll cosign on Purple Cowboy Joe getting the evac next week. We know it’s coming and it really can’t be anyone else. The only thing is, that’s going to be a terrible episode of television to watch. They’re already behind in numbers from where they should be, so it will have to be a no-vote episode. Now maybe that just means we get an extended look at camp life which can sometimes be good, but without a vote it’s all meaningless because whatever plans were formed tend to just evaporate as everyone gets another few days to stew. So yeah, prepare for a real stinker.

    Also I’m starting to believe that it’s possible that Jason has a chance if it’s a Jason-Michele final two. Five jury votes are all you need. Jason can probably count on votes from Scot and Nick. He might have a chance with Julia if he reminds her that Michele betrayed her. So then he’d only need to convince two others. He’s definitely not getting Joe’s vote, and probably not Aubry or Cydney, although I think Cydney could be convinced if he has a really good run that involves strong challenge wins and big moves. But Neal is really a complete blank slate and after talking to the other jury members at least he would know that Jason is playing and trying to make moves, and maybe his story of his daughter sells him to Neal. Debbie too might be flexible since the girls betrayed her. So it doesn’t seem completely out of the question, especially if Michele clams up during the final speeches.

    1. I’m thinking a Joe medevac is the time to go full on experimental- show the entire episode from Mark’s perspective, with flashes of humans as he wanders back and forth searching for food.

      That, or just air a title card- “Joe got medevaced. He’s fine though. We value your time, so we’re not going to waste it with an entirely pointless episode. Please watch next week, when we promise something interesting will happen.”

      1. And the rest of the time slot is taken up by a live cosplay of Oregon Trail featuring past Survivor contestants. They all die of dysentery.

        Except Aras.

        He dies of dissing Terry.

        You’re welcome.

      2. After the three second title card announcing Joe’s evac, they let Warner Herzog guest direct an episode. He befriends a local Cambodian boy who tells stories of working in a shoe factory and searching for his birth mother. The boy has no feet and cannot wear shoes himself, so as he’s making the shoes he can only but imagine what it’s like to wear them.

  2. Glad Andy mentioned Cydney hypothetically not even considering blindsiding Tai, thus forcing the show to use Michele for the necessary “which way will I go” setup they love so much. I mean, seriously: there’s no reason Michele wouldn’t save Julia if this were actually her choice. Cydney’s only “maybe I’ll do this” postulating was spoken aloud to the person she was lying to; the moment they got her in confessionals she said “nah, that’s dumb” to the whole Tai thing, forcing the editors to use the person who gave them the confessionals they wanted and therefore the content. The terrible, bland content.

    1. That’s the thing about the Michele Truther claims- for nearly every piece of “evidence” presented, there’s a reasonable explanation that does not involve building Michele’s story as the winner of this season.

      And yet, we’re all still afraid that this might be Michele’s story as the winner of this season. Because it’s not impossible.

    2. I never thought for a second Cydney was actually considering Jason’s plan. But she said she would, calmly and rationally, exactly like she should have 🙂

  3. Wow, that scenario of Michele winning while literally doing nothing (not even as much as Jenna) is terrifyingly plausible.

      1. Alternative scenario: Jason is voted out at 6 (causing Andy to gloat prematurely), Cydney at 5, and Tai at 4. The first hour of the finale is the clip/secret scenes episode, causing the Survivor Twitter-verse to explode in confusion and dread. In the second hour, Joe beats Aubry and Michele in a shoulder-the-load immunity challenge and votes out Aubry. The next morning every muscle in Joe’s body cramps simultaneously and he is medevaced. No FTC, Michele wins by default.

      2. If she does get to the Final 2 with Jason, I am rooting for Jason. She would be the worst winner of all time.

        1. That’s a very high bar to clear. Michele hasn’t been actively terrible to anyone or begged to be voted out of the game on Day 36.

    1. this is the problem, that scenario is plausible and boring so why are so many people rooting for it?!?

      1. THAT’S NOT FAIR! She has a pretty good memory and a vaguely irritating accent! And…uh…she’s 24?

        Anyways, she has layers. Like, one and a half or so.*

        *Only discussing her as a Survivor figure. I’m sure the human Michele is a complicated and worthwhile person.

        1. Sometimes lively personalities can be duds on camera. Apparently our favorite Saucelover Carter was a real live wire during his audition, but when he got in front of the cameras, he just froze. Add to that his hangriness and you have a memorable unmemorable character.

        2. Layers… like an onion? Or a parfait? Both of which interest me more than Michele at this point

  4. I would like to play Devil’s Advocate here real quick for the Michele truthers…What do we really know about Aubry? I think she mentioned that she lived in Massachusetts during the premiere episode, but that’s about it. So, why does Aubry get a pass and Michele doesn’t. To put it simply, Aubry can deliver on camera memorable lines while Michele just can’t. It also helps that Aubry may be an expy for a lot of us nerdy female Survivor fans who were looking for someone who could be a nerdy white girl and be okay with that while also being pretty great at challenges (although she has not won 1 yet…but it took Jeremy a long time to win a group reward challenge in the individual stage last season). Michele has given one pretty great line but that’s it.

    This conversation was spurned by a conversation I had on the Facebook page of another Survivor podcast which was discussing if Michele was flawed or flawless (my words for this post). I then realized how stacked this season has been not only with stories (which Andy mentioned in the podcast) but also with narrators. Good grief, this season is the Murderer’s Row of narrators-Aubry, Cydney, Jason, Julia, Tai, Scot, Anna, Peter, Nick (for two episodes). That list is just impressive for an all newbie season. I mean Cagayan obviously had Tony, Kass, and Spencer, but that was really it. So, my question to you all is what all returnee season has produced the best narrators?


      1. Yeah, Anna was the stretch in this list but I think she was a decent narrator for the Beauty Tribe. She definitely has Big Brother Diary Room Syndrome, where they all do is yell.

      2. Now that we’ve seen Michele in action, all those early-game Anna confessionals make a lot more sense when you consider what else they had to work with. They’ll take the screamer any day.

      3. This had bothered me too. Michele’s recent uptick in screen time and confessionals makes sense from the perspective: maybe Anna’s shouting directly in her ears whenever they were presumably strategizing caused her to go temporarily deaf, so most of the footage left on the cutting room floor is just Michele yelling “WHAT?” to every question production asked, followed by her apologizing and re-explaining that she had temporarily gone deaf due to Anna’s shouting.

    2. China. The answer is always China.

      But seriously, Todd, Amanda, and Peih-Gee for analysis, and then Courtney and James for color commentary. That’s a murderer’s row of talent.

        1. Yet another reason Tony was a great winner–He did it all as a narrator: analysis, color, and idiocy.

      1. It’s amazing that Amanda Kimmel’s FTC collapses have wiped the memories of how good a player she was in China and Micronesia.

  5. Not related to this podcast – on RHAP Tyson laid out the same idea I did for how to game that immunity challenge. This is the proudest moment of my life.

      1. I can’t take credit for that. I just said, go out, bolt back, bolt out again, hope you’re better than everyone else at word scrambles. Trying a random key was Andy’s suggestion.

  6. After sitting on everything for a couple of days (“phrasing”), two things terrify me:

    1. When Michele gave her “I remembered all of them, Jeff” quote, they immediately cut to Aubry looking goggle-eyed in amazement, neatly preparing a full scene for a finale montage.
    2. Quoth the episode summary on my DVR: “One castaway holds the key to individual immunity and guarantees themselves a shot at the final six.” Michele got a PUN SHOUTOUT.

    OWM, QED.

  7. I am having a Twitter conversation with a non-Survivor fandom friend currently watching Survivor about Gabon (the season she is currently watching) and she said this, “They are the worst. Except for Bob and his amazing bowties and handmade idols. Everything’s too emotional”.
    Have fun this offseason, John!

    Don’t worry, I will watch Gabon with you.

    1. I’m re-watching along with the Survivor Historians, so I get to watch China right now! Their pace is slow, which is good for a re-watch. There’s a good chance Mario will run out of steam entirely before Gabon, but if they actually do that podcast, I’ll have a tough decision. I really don’t want to watch Gabon again.

      1. I have a feeling that Mario will get recharged with China and (possibly) Micronesia to get him through Gabon and to Tocantins/Samoa/HvV (since he loves Coach and loves to mock Russell).

        1. I don’t think Mario is very into returnee seasons. I also have a feeling he’s one of those people that hates the Fans v. Favorites twist in general (I want to say he’s complained about it on the podcast, but I can’t come up with a quote or anything), so he might not be as energized by Micronesia as you’d think. Anyway, I’m sure they’ll talk about it at the end of the China podcasts.

          1. Yeah, I know he’s not into returnee seasons, however he is more game for Micronesia than Jay is. Jay mentioned in All Stars how he hates FvF seasons. In fact, I think he decided halfway through Cambodia to not include Cambodia at all in the Funny 115, which is a shame because the Keith entry needs a few of the Cambodia moments to really shine….sorry for the slight tangent.

          2. The last I heard was that he was on either Philippines or Caramoan. He had a hard time going through the RI through One World phase, which I fear may have sapped his enthusiasm for the project.

          3. He was getting recommendations for BvW two weeks ago over at Reddit. He’s also cutting Cambodia from v.3 because he didn’t find much of it amusing and it would free up more space for other seasons.

          4. I guess I completely missed that announcement. I know the one moment that I have been begging him on is the immunity challenge from the Stick to the Plan episode of SJDS (I know this is not the title, but it should have been). Almost everybody gets a moment (except for Jaclyn, unless you count stepping down for food a moment)

          5. I can imagine. Jesus, that is not the best. Although Leif and the slide was good, Leif and the box too.

      2. I’m re-watching China right now too! (I’m also listening to the Historians but it was semi-coincidental that my re-watch cycle synced up with theirs).
        As a complete aside, I just watched the James blindside episode yesterday and spent quite a good chunk of time afterward running scenarios in my mind of whether/how James could have won that season. Conventional wisdom of the players at that point was that if he got to FTC he was a lock to win, but was he though? I find him a bit grating and negative on the re-watch, and I’m wondering how well he would have done in a FTC situation? I just don’t think he would have played nice with the jury. I struggle to come up with viable final 3s where he would get a majority of the votes at the end (my scenarios pretty much all started with the real final 7 and then worked forward from there).

        1. Was he really considered a lock to win? I thought it was more that it was the last chance to get rid of him, since his two idols and an immunity challenge win would put him in the final 3 for sure.

          1. Yeah fair – I guess I just assumed they were in a hurry to get rid of him because they thought he was an endgame threat. I believe at least someone in his boot episode mentioned that he would be a jury threat (maybe Amanda? So……)

        2. I don’t think he was a lock. He was the hardest worker, and well liked by most people. That said, Jamie, Peih Gee, and maybe even Erik might not be thrilled about him after the events of the swap. Amanda and Todd would surely rather bring Courtney to the end than James, and knowing what we know now about his individual immunity challenge skills, their fears about him winning out were unfounded.

    2. Don’t worry John. While you are watching my least favorite Gabon I will watch your most favorite Heroes vs. Villains. We will even out the energy in the Survivor universe.

          1. Binge watch season
            Study for twenty minutes
            Binge watch season
            Study for twenty minutes
            Get a spicy beef wrap from the library restaurant
            Binge watch season
            Study for twenty minutes

            Lather, rinse, and repeat. What could go wrong?

          2. First of all, our library only has a Starbucks-like thing and we don’t have delicious beef wraps. Secondly, I don’t actually have like study-type finals, which is nice.

          3. Oh no (a double chocolaty chip frap is my jam)-I am complaining that they don’t serve enough meals for picky eaters like myself. Those beef wraps do sound great though, if it was just the beef and maybe some cheese.

          4. Oh man, if we ever do some public Purple Rock get-together, you and Emma can hang out and eat very few things together. Because she’d order the beef wraps without the beef.

        1. I actually need to rewatch HvV. It’s not very high on my list (I mean it’s #7 for me I think but for HvV that’s very low) and I need to figure out what my issue with that season is.

          1. I’m up to rewatch both, so as to balance one of my favourites HvV with one of my least.

  8. Guys, I met the kind of person who is unironically into Kyle and Scott’s sabotage. Like a literal dead end Russell Hantz fan.

    1. I also only found this out because I was making my standard joke about how if Cydney’s pet peeve is bigots, why does she live in Douglasville, because he lives in Douglasville.

      He still laughed, but wanted to know which contestant was from Douglasville.

      1. You have to practice those bodybuilding skills by decking some suburbanites! (Though seriously, there are worse towns to live in.)

      1. I didn’t get any other favorites, but he also said one of his favorite show moments was Corrinne going off on Sugar at the Gabon FTC, so extrapolate from that.

    2. I’ve only encountered such creatures on the internet. It must be a trip to meet one in real life!

  9. First I want to think you. Though I’m really enjoying that season and like the cast a lot I haven’t had a particularly had anyone I was rooting for but at this point I’m rooting for Michele to win largely because it will be hilarious especially on the podcast (that and I really like being right I know you can relate). I also think it’s worth flagging up the before the season sources in production describe the season as being like Gabon (per Redmond) and how did that season turn out exactly? Also, Probst saying that Michele is like Parvati in the preseason (which is about the highest level of praise from Probst for any female contestant). Just keep these things in mind.

    I do think Michele has a couple of kind of subtle narratives and the first is about her social skills and playing a social game (likely because her winning is based on social stuff rather than ‘big moves’). The next is being strong and not needing men (likely because she beats a man at the end). Finally, she has several times mentioned wanting to beat Jason (and Scot after the reward challenge) and how it would be smart to go to the end with him (in the preview for the next episode for example) most likely because she sits at the end next to him and beats him. Even before I started looking at Michele as the winner Jason has felt like a losing finalist (interestingly I could be wrong but I think plenty of players have said negative things about Jason and how he can’t win but I believe Michele is the only one to indicate going to the end with him would be a good idea). I don’t think this is any major evidence of anything but it’s interesting to me that Michele has twice (that I remember) been shown talking about a final two and it’s extremely likely this season has a final two as the season has been long on pace with the episode number/number of players left as Cagayan.

    I don’t disagree that Michele hasn’t been especially interesting or that she hasn’t done much interesting game wise. But I think you’re being overly harsh that this is a bad thing. Often the best option for players, especially female players is to not actively do anything until they need to. Many female winners don’t have a “big move” in fact most don’t. For some examples look at Sophie, who stayed the course with people she thought she could beat and she did. Sandra? Her big moves were voting out Burton and flipping things on Coach otherwise she mostly just stayed the course. Jenna? Her biggest move was going back with Rob to vote out Christy (which was Rob’s worst move of that season) then winning immunities. Parvati’s big move in Micronesia was bringing Natalie and Alexis into her alliance with Cirie and Amanda. Other than that all the moves were Cirie’s (unless you believe the ‘previously on survivor’ segment). Michele has been boring but she also really has done anything wrong. The closest you could say is she wasn’t trusted enough to not tell Julia about the plan to vote out Scot, but she turned that back around at the next opportunity. Julia going home might not be optimal for her, but it earned her more trust with other people and it’s likely the trying to stop it would have just made things worse for her. So far Michele hasn’t been in any danger of getting voted out she and Joe are the only to people to have no votes against them so far. Also, I think you’re selling her jury chances short. I think she beats Cydney if it comes to that. Who is voting for for Cydney? Scot and Jason aren’t voting for Cydney. My guess would be that Nick and Julia are more likely to vote Michele than Cydney. That’s 3 or 4 votes for Michele already. My point is no she hasn’t done anything exciting or overtly impressive especially from a TV perspective, but I don’t think she has really done anything wrong either and I don’t think she has really hurt her chances of winning.

    Anyway, back to the episode I’m not so sure Tai keeping the idol was the best move for Aubry. It’s not the kind of thing that will definitely be a problem for her, but it’s risky. I say this because yes it makes Tai a bigger target but it also means people might be inclined to vote for her since he has an idol. Or something like if it gets to final 5 the last time he can play the idol so he uses it and someone else wins immunity then she’s one of only three people that could get votes which isn’t a great spot to be in especially if she’s seen as a possible threat to win. Also though he seems closely allied to Aubry now Tai has flipped several times this game already. It also could be why Tai might be in danger this week as you discussed. He’s such a big target having an idol and an advantage plus a perceived jury threat. If this is getting Cydney to push Aubry to vote out Tai. Aubry might very well go along with it because she wouldn’t want to go to rocks. Tai’s advantage could break the tie, but it seems that he’s told no one what his advantage does so no one else would know that is a viable option. So Aubry my think she has no option but to vote him out, and I think this will ultimately torpedo Aubry’s game. If Tai goes at final 5 it is in Michele, Cydney, and Jason’s best interest to vote out one of Aubry or Joe. Joe is unwavering loyal to Abury and is basically a free vote for her. It would make no sense to go to final 4 with the two of them together as Aubry has all the power then. Either go to rocks or vote the way she wants. So Aubry will be in massive danger at final 5, and if she wins immunity it (should) ensure that Joe is voted out (and this is the scenario where it makes sense for Joe to be voted out).

    Anyway, I agree with the prediction that you disavowed. Tai is gone this week after all it seems like every episode he says that he isn’t going to go home with an idol in his pocket which means he is probably going home with an idol in his pocket it. This will essentially set Aubry on the path to losing the game. Michele will go on to win a final two against Jason.

    1. You are speaking my language when talking about how a lot of female winners have to play low key games. To me society and thus the game doesn’t reward strength and big moves from women, when you look at women who were powerful in Survivor you have a lot who were cut down early and framed as cocky and arrogant, Ami Cusack and Laura Morrett come to mind.
      The vast majority of women who have won the game have been forced into social, reactive, under the radar games. Personally it’s something I can enjoy. Sophie’s is one I think is immensely under-rated. She was on top of the power alliance from the beginning, with two men she knew she could out think, out reason and out perform all whilst being looked at as a smaller target than them. She was in control of the game from very early with Coach as a figurehead.

      I’ll disagree with you partially on Parvati because I truly think the Black Widow Alliance is one of the only ones in the history of the game that made decisions as an alliance and all took part in their execution. But you are right her big move in the game was social and it was bringing along Natalie Bolton and Alexis, without that the alliance would likely have failed.

      I’m not sure I see your reasoning on Cydney v Michele either, I think Jason when out of the game will be much more reasonable about good play from Cydney than you expect him to be, Nick too. I think it would go Cydney: Aubry, Joe, Neal, Debbie, Jason Michele: Julia, with Nick, Tai and Scot up in the air. That still is probably a win for Cydney as Scot may be talked round by Jason.

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