Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 7 “It’s Merge Time”

As the title cleverly tells us, the seventh episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong features the merge. It’s a whole new game! Until the game abruptly stops.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Kaoh Rong episode 7 “It’s Merge Time”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • How do we properly calibrate our outrage against infections?
  • Could dealing with horribly injured contestants for weeks be why production was less than excited about this season?
  • Could Neal have won the season if he hadn’t been infected?
  • What does Neal’s refusal to give Aubry his idol say about Aubry?
  • What does the lack of Cydney in the show say about Cydney?
  • Is Nick actually good at some of this Survivor stuff and does it matter?
  • Michele and why winner’s edit discussions have become the least interesting discussions in Survivor fandom.
  • Scot’s willingness to give up all his information to a stranger.
  • The Debbie rollercoaster taking a plunge.

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.

30 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 7 “It’s Merge Time”

  1. I don’t get the Michele thing either. It’s almost like a tabula rosa kind of deal, where you can see whatever qualities you want to see in someone that was on an initial tribe that never had to go to tribal council or had any strife. She seems like a nice person with a decent social game and she’s not made any glaring mistakes, but nor has she really been tested — she has yet to cast a single vote in the entire season! (Nick’s in the same spot, but in that case we have a lot more to work with, personality wise.) She’s like a brand new piece of clay onto whom you can project anything you want.

  2. Interesting discussion about the winner’s edit. I’m starting to see the argument that Michele got way too much coverage for someone who has done but who knows man? I’m so bad at finding the winner’s edit.
    Does Michele not have a Natalie White rat killing moment? That was when I realised Natalie White was going to win.

    Is Michele interesting on Survivor? No. Like John I picked her preseason and all I’ve liked so far is “I don’t need to be carried, bro” (which is a great quote but her only quote). My only hope is to be proved right in my preseason prediction but probably disappointed in my enjoyment of the season.

  3. I would just like to point out that that is a fantastic screenshot and I want to have it adorn a notebook cover with little hearts drawn all around it.

    1. After the boat and parts of Tai are cropped out. But yes, it should adorn a notebook.

  4. I agree with you guys Michele is boring and hasn’t done anything exceptional however I think she is winning because its weird how they always shoehorn her confessionals into every episode. She’s so boring and honestly wasn’t relevant to strategy because she hasn’t been to tribal that if she didn’t win I think her edit would be as invisible as Julia’s. So there’s something about that aspect of her edit that makes me think she is winning, her as a character I don’t care much about.

    1. I think it has less to do with Michele’s personality and more to do with the way the show portrays women castaways. “Boring, but curiously visible” is just how the show treats a lot of it’s female characters who go deep post-merge. I remember really wanting to like Kim Spradlin and Denise Stapley, despite Survivor’s best efforts to make me not interested in their stories.

      The producers and editors are getting better at complex portrayals of women every season, and Kaoh Rong is no exception. But at the end of the day, if you don’t have a cartoonishly large personality or a Y chromosome, this is just how you will likely appear on the show. It’s a bummer.

        1. Not half as dull as ol’ Joe’s. I can’t even watch his. The first half of each of them is just him explaining basic Survivor rules to the camera. It’s insufferable.

          And I don’t want to come off as one of the Michele winner-pick fanatics. She’s in my pick-4 but I have no particular attachment to her. (Aubry on the other hand…) But I just don’t think hers are that boring. Her newest secret scene confessional is pretty level-headed post-merge analysis. Accurate, articulate, relatively concise. The kind of thing that would just scream “finalist edit” *were she a male castaway.*

          She’s giving them at least some tv-worthy material in her confessionals. She’s at least somewhat aware of the dynamics on each tribe she’s been on. I don’t see it. Maybe it’s me — I actually appreciated Julia from Caramoan … She was purple for like 6 episodes and fans hated her, but she was savvy and had a couple good confessionals … in her boot episode.

          1. Yeah, I don’t even bother watching Joe’s any more either. Neal’s were fairly yawn-inducing as well, particularly with the tone and meter of his voice.

      1. Even women with cartoonishly large personalities don’t happen very often on Survivor. They cast men like that but Debbie is the first woman like that in a really long time.

  5. I appreciate the thoughts about refocusing our collective attention away from “who will win?” and towards “who is playing Survivor well?”

    One idle musing- I wonder what a weekly poll asking “Who is playing the best game of Survivor?” rather than “Who Will Win the Season?” would do. In part I’m curious about the results (would we see the same kind of episode-to-episode swings? The same loyalty to blank slates?), but also in terms of reshaping the dialogue on this site.

    Oh, and Michele is boring and also my winner pick. Probably. Reluctantly. Are we SURE someone wins this season?

    1. I would love it if everyone was arguing Michele will win because “someone has to win” and then BOOM nope no one wins!

      1. This would be hilarious! Right now I feel like it’s even money between “nine votes of ABSTAIN” and “entire jury and final two/three get medevac’ed”

    2. I was gonna post the same poll suggestion, or maybe also who played the best each episode? It would be like a less prestigious Fishy.

      I agree that the winner’s edit discussion can be boring. Most of the winner’s edit discussion here seems to be a defense of voting for Michele in the polls anyways.

    3. andy just asked the staff to submit updated winner predictions and i asked “can i choose nobody?” so yeah i’m on board with it

  6. I’m glad to hear some Scot appreciation! Someone at the AV Club floated the supposedly nightmare final 3 of Scot, Jason and Nick. Compared to the much worse hypothetical Will, Dan and Rodney* Final 3 of Worlds Apart, that sounds pretty good to me. The Alecia stuff was very unpleasant, but I actually like the entire cast this season.

    *I don’t actually dislike Rodney

  7. Why are you guys spending so much time talking about a Michele when there’s nobody on this season with that name?

  8. In the Washington Post Saturday crossword today:
    “2005 Survivor setting” 5 letters

  9. I wonder if the winner is gonna pull a Natalie Anderson, and they won’t really rear their head until a few more episodes in, and the editors add in a little more of them in every episode to the end. Whether the winner is Tai, Michele, Aubry, Cydney, or whomever it is, maybe they’re holding back on us until we get to the last few episodes, where they pull out some great moves. It’s kinda nice that they’re keeping us guessing. Makes me want to keep watching.

  10. So while saying “I’ll cut your throat” was probably not the best way choice of words, I think Aubrey might have been trying to take preemptive action against people taking it personally when she eventually DOES vote against them down the line. Some people get blindsided and are all kinda like “Yeah, you got me, good move” and the others are like “HOW DARE YOU BETRAY ME IN A GAME OF BETRAYAL!” I wonder if she’s looking down the line at the jury and wants to be able to say “I promised I’d work with you, I never promised I’d take you to the end.”

    And I think it has equal parts to do with the personality of the person who gets blindsided (likeliness to take things personally), and the gameplay of the person who does the blindside. I think a great example was Dawn/Cochran in Caramoan. Cochran was as much a part of the bigger moves as Dawn was, but Dawn was the one who was more visible, more in the trenches for talking to people, and took the bigger hit to her social game.

    I still agree with you guys that a vague agreement of alliance would have been the better way to go, though… what’s the saying about catching flies? 😉

  11. I think people are cheering for Michele for two reasons:
    1. Pre-season pick *cough*flair choice*cough* that they’re sticking with as their favourite regardless of how interesting she is on the actual show. This is actually one of the things I dislike about all the pre-season press nowadays, pick your favourite based on what you see and who you want to cheer for, not some arbitrary choice you made beofre you knew anyone.

    2. Some modification of Andy’s “cheer for who’s good” front-running strategy which is basically “cheer for the winner”. Michele wins so they figure it’s a good bandwagon to be on.

  12. I fully endorse the choice to minimize ‘winner edit’ discussions in favor of evaluating players’ strategy week to week. I’m a serial re-watcher (I’ve seen every season at least 2 times, and many 3+ times) and I actually prefer the rewatch, since rooting/worrying about players is somewhat stressful to me (probably because I’m so terrible at making accurate predictions). I enjoy seeing how the editors craft the story of the season when I know what’s coming and who to watch for (and yet I hate spoilers…go figure).
    Also, Michele was my winner pick pre-season, but I am still very surprised that so many others are still betting on her. My rationale was that I thought she was going to get into a tight alliance with Anna and Julia and stay together to the end. I figured Anna would be the figurehead of the alliance, but she would make too many enemies and Michele would sweep up all the votes of the bitter jury members who were angry at Anna. I actually stopped voting for Michele in the weekly winner pick poll once Anna was voted out. Now I have no idea who is going to win, and I kind of like it.

  13. The reason people are rooting for Michele is they think she is going to win, and people like to root for a winner. I kind of agree if I’m just looking at it from an editing POV. She gets content that could go to anyone but it goes to her, seems like a woman is going to win, the focus on the girls alliance from the beauty tribe (Anna’s gone and Julia has been even less visible than Michele), and lack of other players that seem like they could win (also doesn’t hurt that Probst said something about her being the new Parvati in the preseason which could be Probst spoiling stuff just like with Mike). I would say Aubry and Cydney have a chance too but if I had to put my money on one person to be the winner it would probably be Michele. I’m not an expert by any means but that just seems like what’s going on. Also, though Michele hasn’t really been exciting and hasn’t done much yet keep in mind she hasn’t been to tribal council yet.

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