Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 9 “It’s Psychological Warfare”

We try to figure out a logical way to discuss the crazy ninth episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong. We probably fail to do so.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Kaoh Rong episode 9 “It’s Psychological Warfare”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • The genius of pissing off jury members by sabotaging their lives.
  • The genius of openly showing your alliance that you’re willing to flip on them for rewards.
  • The genius of turning to the dark side.
  • The genius of casting aside your newly formed alliance rather than voting out the people sabotaging your lives.
  • The genius of trusting the person you were going to vote off because you couldn’t trust them.
  • The genius of trolling people with your idols at Tribal Council.
  • The biggest genius of the week.
  • The genius of our medevac scenarios.
  • The genius of early casting rumours for season 34.

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.

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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90 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Kaoh Rong Episode 9 “It’s Psychological Warfare”

  1. Hey, that reminds me: Are you guys going to continue with the Black Garnet podcast? I’m watching each episode of Season One as the GeniusCast guys post episodes of their spoiler-free recap, and they’re not holding up their end of the deal. Four episodes in five months.

    1. Unfortunately, probably not in the foreseeable future. I love podcasting with Shirin, but I really don’t have time to take on additional podcasting right now.

      I’m glad you’re liking the show, though. How far in are you?

      1. Just the first four episodes of Season One. It’s kind of exhausting to watch, actually. I feel my brain bumping up against its upper limit the same way I do when I read about theoretical physics. It’s definitely not binge-able the way Survivor is. I don’t know anything about Korean pop culture, but I lived in Japan for many years so some things are oddly familiar (the aesthetic, with chyrons and subtitles everywhere; the whole sempai/kohai thing etc.). Plus I read a decent chunk of the Liar Game manga, so the basic game mechanics are familiar (not the whole manga, of course; I think it’s up to around 200 volumes by now).

        1. I had the exact same issue when I read about quantum entanglement (and really just quantum mechanics in general). It made me feel very dumb.

          I definitely agree that the show isn’t as easily binge-able as Survivor, because it requires your full attention. You could plow through eight episodes of Survivor on autopilot, but you actually have to pay attention to both the subtitles and the game rules in The Genius. And season one probably has some of the least complicated games, too.

          1. If you actually want to know more about quantum entanglement, Entanglement: The Greatest Mystery in Physics by Amir Aczel was a pretty decent read.

            Just don’t listen to anything Tarzan says. Tarzan is an idiot who doesn’t understand half the words he uses.

            *Edit: although granted, it’s about 15 years old at this point.

      2. I absolutely love the flash-forwards. I don’t know if Survivor is ever going to really going to mess with its formula 32 seasons in, but I would love to see them steal that idea.

  2. Andy, I’m not an Aubry fanboi by any means, but I think you’re overlooking a couple things. First, in Aubry’s mind, Debbie was no longer a useful ally. Sometime’s it’s better to go to war with a solid four than a shaky five. Second, trusting somebody to do X is not the same as trusting them to do Y. Asking Julia to vote Debbie allows her to continue playing both sides (although I wonder how much hot water she’s now in with Jason and Scot; they don’t react well to “betrayal”). Asking her to vote Jason or Scot is asking her to burn the bridge she just built.

    1. But what has she accomplished by taking out Debbie, other than surviving to play another day. If you’re accepting that Julia is not in your “solid four” (a four that includes Joe, who she’s left out in the cold at Tribal Council twice now and Michele, who might be tighter with Julia than she is with you), then Aubry’s big victory was entering an episode with a 6-3 advantage and leaving it tied 4-4. Maybe that’s the best that could’ve been done. I don’t see why we need praise someone for a loss.

      But moreover, what did they head into tribal council planning to do that they had to change back to “original plan” once those idols came out? Clearly Debbie and Joe thought it was the 3-3-3. If they were wrong, then all that whispering and commotion was a bunch of noise signifying nothing. But if they were indeed switching from a plan (which stating “original plan” seems to suggest rather than “stick to the plan”), isn’t the best bet that they headed in there to do the 3-3-3? Which means that heading into tribal, they had already decided to trust Julia to vote with them for not-Debbie. And then they panicked to vote FOR Debbie.

      My guess (and all I have is a guess), is that they came to some sort of agreement with Julia to do the 3 for Scot, 3 for Tai plan. When it was clear that Tai had an idol and they couldn’t guarantee the other idol would be for Scot or Jason, they panicked and switched back to the Debbie plan. But, what they should’ve done is just switch it to 3 Scot, 3 Jason.

      Could Julia have flipped? Yes. But she also could’ve flipped on them anyway! They had already accepted the risk of Julia flipping when they went to tribal council that night. But instead of assuming that risk in an attempt to take control of the game, they did it to weaken their position.

      1. Yes, Julia could have flipped anyways, but by switching to 3 and 3 Julia is much more likely to flip since Jason, Scot and Tai are the people she wants to work with. They at least still control the vote with this plan, when the target would have been one of them (I’m guessing Aubry and Cydney both thought they were likely targets). Surviving to play another day is a completely valid move.

        1. But if the plan when they headed in to tribal council was to vote Debbie, then why did they react to the men’s antics at all? The actions of the guys meant nothing in that scenario.

          1. Two idols were revealed, which is always worth reacting to. They had heard about a super idol, so they could have been speculating on what them having two idols would mean. They went into tribal council having a plan based on limited information. Now they have more information, so they need to make sure their plan is still the right one. Survivor also likes to edit things for maximum dramatic effect, where they take facial expressions out of context.

            “Original plan” also means different things to different people, so it could be to have Debbie and Joe vote the way they were going to also.

          2. The guys could have had five idols. It doesn’t mean shit for you in that moment if your plan is to vote out Debbie.

          3. It seems the super idol requires a sacrifice eventually. If they are speculating about the super idol, it still makes sense to switch this vote FROM Debbie.

            Either way, here are the people we saw whispering to each other:
            Cydney to Debbie (stick with the plan to vote Scot)
            Debbie to Joe (stick with the plan to vote Scot)
            Aubry to Julia (vote with us because they have two idols you didn’t know about and you can trust us more)

            Yes, I agree that if they trust Julia enough to do the 3 and 3 plan then they should do it. I don’t want to analyze a plan that may or may not exist though.

      2. Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but here’s my counter: If they went in planning on doing the 3-3-3, and switched and tribal, the episode would have set that up. There’s no benefit to the episode in not showing that they went away from the Debbie plan. All of drama in tribal was set up over whether a) idols were going to be played, b) whether Julia was going to vote for Cydney or Debbie.

        If they went back to the 3-3-3, the episode could have shown that, and then the whole idol shenanigans would have added an extra layer on whether they were going to stick with the 3-3-3 plan or whether the idols have scared them enough to sideswipe Debbie, plus you still have a Julia wildcard thrown in. It would have made things even more tense.

        1. I took up Aubry’s cause, and I actually chose a different avenue to defend her decision-making. But as Assistant Dragon Slayer pointed out, most of her available options weren’t ideal.

          1. I don’t disagree that her options were less than ideal. Part of what set me off is people acting like she came out of this episode with a big win, rather than, at best, the avoidance of a big loss.

            Another thing that set me off is that I’m prone to it.

          2. As someone who thinks Aubry made the right move, or at least one out of two possible good moves when there were a lot of very bad moves available to her, I think the focus should be less on whether Aubry did well this week and more on what she did wrong to get herself into this mess in the first place.

            (This applies even more to Cydney by the way, who chose this horrible situation for herself even more than Aubry did, because she knew there was at least one idol there.)

            It’s like Jason and Scot, they did a good job not playing idols at tribal council, but it’s not like you can call this whole thing great for them because moves they made before that put them in a horrible non-winning situation.

          3. The good news about no one covering themselves in glory this episode is that it’ll have to work out for somebody!

            Sadly, it might be the person who did the least that ends up benefiting.

          4. Sometimes no move is the right move and we shouldn’t crucify players for that. Cydney should have went with the “no move” option last week.

            (I see you floating around not anywhere close to being voted out, Michele)

          5. That’s not the first time this has happened in Survivor. Pretty much any of the winners that we consider, as hardcore fans, as the bottom five or six, are usually the ones who ended up doing the least (from what we saw).

          6. I just don’t think it was that much of a mess ex ante. She was on the right side of a soft 6/3 split, and a solid 5/3/1 split.

            Yes, the other side had idols. This sucks, and could have gotten Aubry booted tonight. But that’s not Aubry’s fault. What is Aubry’s fault is maneuvering from there to an 4/4 tie where the other side STILL has idols.

            I do think the critique of Cydney is valid however. She chose the Brains over the Brawn, and that’s not going well.

          7. She really should have done better post swap. She could have had a hint of an alliance going with the Scot, Julia and Tai going into the merge if she had just played better, and that could have carried her into a situation where she wasn’t an immediate target looking for a life device last week. Instead, all those people are on the other side potentially targeting her and it didn’t need to be like that.

          8. Cydney may have been fooled by the fact that Debbie and Joe were called “Brains”. And also simply tired of dealing with Scot and Jason. Which is understandable, if not the best move toward ensuring success in the game.

      3. I actually think it’s potentially feasible that “original plan” in this case was just a confirmation to stay the course, rather than switching back to that plan. It might not be, but I think it’s a possibility.

      4. Other Scott exhaustively ran through the options, but “surviving to play another day” is not a bad option when all your options are bad. And as I said, a solid four may be better than a chaotic five.

    2. Debbie was surely not a useful ally in Aubrey’s mind, WAS she a useful ally for Aubry in fact. That’s exactly what Aubry can be faulted for- deciding that Debbie was shaky when Debbie was not coming after Aubry any time soon.

      Aubry’s in a terrible spot heading into next episode, and I’m not sure there’s any boot other than Aubry herself that would have placed her in a worse spot. Booting Debbie alienates Joe, she has no positive relationship we’ve seen with Julia/Michele or the three assholes (YEAH I SAID THREE…COME AT ME!). Her only consistent ally left is Cydney, who will happily betray her to save her own skin. And no idols have been flushed. And the thing is, this is with her boot plan WORKING.

      1. It’s not that Debbie was going to go after Aubry, it’s that she was too disruptive, between digging in her heels about voting Scot and blabbing to Julia.

        My gut tells me that Aubry will eventually paint herself into a corner, but I think her thinking is that she’s solid with Cydney and solid with Michele (who has Joe in tow). But you’re right that the question is whether there’s a difference between what Aubry thinks and what’s actually going on.

        1. But if that’s true about Debbie, is it not also true of Joe (other than the blabbing to Julia part)?

          I guess a potential good outcome is after all her dithering, she’s decided to throw in her lot with Cydney, Julia, and Michele. That’s her squad, all the Julia anger from before is past, and they’ll try to take down the guys together (with Joe as a number until he can be tossed aside). This is possible.

          The problem, of course, is that one of those four will now need to be sacrificed to get rid of the super idol, unless they can win over Tai (or they get really lucky with the next medevac). Soo… back to trusting good ol’ Joe again!

          1. True, but Debbie was doing the unexpected in insisting on Scot and not listening to any other arguments, whereas say what you will about Joe, if he says he’s voting Scot and that’s that, then that’s that. Aubry is prone to panic attacks (going all the way back to the first episode) and probably more than most ringleaders she wants as few moving parts as possible (setting aside the question of whether she’s the actual ringleader).

            Incidentally, I think Aubry’s strong four is herself, Cyd, Michele, and Joe (even if she’s burned Joe twice, where is he going to go, and how likely is he to get any funny ideas?). The task now is to reel back Julia and flip Tai.

          2. Joe has definitely proven that he’s not going to switch sides. But he’s also proven that he’s not going to vote for anyone but the person he wants to vote for.

            I guess the good news is that we’ve now probably run out of people Joe won’t vote for.

          3. I just don’t see Joe voting with the guys because of them being a bit horrible. Joe is a man of honour, he wouldn’t vote with anyone who sabotages camp life.

          4. But the issue is less about Joe flipping and more about his unwillingness to do certain things. So say it gets to the final six or so and Jason is left. Aubry wants to keep Jason around because her ideal final three is Jason and Joe. So she makes a move on Cydney, but Joe won’t do it. Because he’s decided that it has to be Jason.

            That’s a possible scenario. I don’t know what this means for my argument anymore though. I’ve lost track.

          5. That wouldn’t be too hard for Aubry to swing because Jason would happily vote for Cydney. Any how I just mean that Joe will come back to Aubry here at this point because I mean what else is Joe going to do?

    3. I should say that after I finished recording I messaged John to say that maybe I’m wrong about Aubry. So it’s possible. But then I thought about it some more and decided I’m not. Which is pretty convenient for me.

      1. Funny how that works. Also, you’re surely not wrong that it’s a crazy Rube Goldberg situation that gets you from targeting Julia for being untrustworthy to putting complete trust in her at tribal council.

  3. Delightful podcast, it’s almost as if something was missing though. I can’t put my finger on what it might have been, but I feel like it was something uninteresting and yet somehow inevitable…

    And then I was in complete agreement with Andy’s primary rant against the amorphous internet.

    It’s all very unsettiling.

      1. Maybe we could’ve talked more about Debbie, but she was oddly insignificant on her own boot episode. The insistence on Julia’s innocence wasn’t ideal, but other than that, she was a passive actor in her own loss.

      2. Well, you did neglect Mark. I think there a chance that Mark witnessed the ugliness of Tai’s turn to the dark side this episode and is going to have a serious crisis of conscience next week.

    1. Glad all 9 players’ names were mentioned in today’s podcast, since they are all so pivotal and relevant. Yes, Cydney, Aubrey, Joe, Debbie, Scot, Jason, Tai, and Julia. All mentioned. All nine.

  4. One thing I had meant to bring up but forgot: how great was Probst calling the audible to let them split into groups for the challenge? It set the whole driving action of the episode (and maybe the season, we’ll see) into motion. This is why it’s good that not all actions are set in stone on the show.

    1. I mean, you know I can’t say no to production calling an audible if it’s going to produce good drama.

  5. This episode was a bit unsatisfying due to the ending but the more I think about it the more I love it. It might be one of my favorite episodes of the entire show. When has there been this much debate about what move the players should have made? It’s such an unusually complex episode in a show that is already pretty complex.

    1. This is typically my favorite part of the season: the consensus merge boot is gone, but the battle lines haven’t been drawn for the endgame yet.

      1. I think the best thing for me about this episode was that the battle lines were drawn, but the result was still in doubt. That’s the best part of some of my favourite seasons like Heroes vs Villains and Samoa, and even the The Amazon.

  6. Since she didn’t rate a mention, OWM quite clearly called all the shots she needed to unless she didn’t in which case those shots didn’t matter and she is still obviously winning. But is she still obviously Michele? That’s the question that will eat away at me at night.

  7. There’s been a rumor where Cydney &Julia get into an argument does this spell one of them going home next week

  8. Here’s a fun exercise: let’s remove the people from this scenario, since much of our analysis could be clouded from an unwillingness to give those assholes any credit for succeeding (whereas mine is driven by my naked, desperate need to be the smartest guy in the room).

    So let’s say this is a season where a minority group of three is up against a group of six. Within that episode, we see cracks in the majority alliance with them prepared to vote out one of their members, before eventually voting out another of their members (a decision that was not unanimous among the remaining 5, btw). The minority lives through the vote unified while possessing two immunity idols.

    Who would you say that was a good episode for? Doesn’t this seem like a Samoa/Tocantins type situation? The three people moved on unscathed while the majority is falling apart. The big difference is that 3 people this season aren’t plucky underdogs.

    1. I haven’t bothered to read all the comments/discussion, but are there really that many people saying this was good for Aubrey et al? At best it was a lateral move where they didn’t leave but they also didn’t take out their opponents. At worst they’re toast.

      1. How dare you Gouis? How dare you suggest that I’ve conflated the expressed opinions of one or two influencers and conflated them with a strong plurality of fans? That is DEFINITELY not a rhetorical crutch of mine.

          1. Between this and your war on edgic, I feel a battle brewing.

            Personally I think he should stick to making headshot collages on twitter.

          2. Wait, they picked Aubry as Player of the Week? I can envision a scenario where in retrospect (if, for example, she manages to bring Tai over to her side next episode), this week looks great for Aubry. But as it stands now? I’d have to pick Julia.

          3. Aubry’s sweater looks like it could be on the cover of Dazzle Ships, so she’s at least got that going for her.

    2. That’s a good point, but you’re dropping the needle in a convenient spot–assholery is mostly why they’re a minority of three in the first place: it should still be the Brawnty coalition Pagonging the Brains.

      1. I want to make this clear: I am in no way advocating that Jason and Scot are the smart players in this scenario. Doesn’t mean that Aubry and Cydney are either.

        Also, the more people on the jury Aubry, Cydney, and Michele stab in the back (the score: 1 Aubry, 2 Cydney and Michele), the more they might want to keep Scot and Jason around as goats. They really might have blown their shot this week.

        (Or not. I really don’t know).

  9. It kind of pains me to say it, but did anyone else finding themselves weirdly enjoying Jason and Scott this episode? There was something quite delightfully manic and demented to their “strategic” efforts to make camp life miserable for everyone. I kind of feel like they are trying to see just how close to the edge of the crazy/hateful line they can dance without falling over it, and I loved every minute of it. It’s all so wonderfully juvenile, misguided and obnoxious without going full Will “you have no soul” Sims.

    1. As I said on the podcast, I at least enjoyed their tribal council hijinks. And they’re definitely not Will-level awful.

  10. Question: If you could have any concept for a newbies season of Surivor what would it be?
    I’d love secret BvW where no one knows who is who’s loved one on the other side and keeping those secrets or revealing becomes an extra layer of strategy.
    That or Identical Twin BvW.

  11. First off: I realize that I need to let this go. But, discussing stuff with you guys is fun for me and also, I’m clearly not good at letting stuff go.

    With that out of the way, I just remembered another argument I meant to make but forgot (I should probably write this stuff down before I podcast):

    Remember that fairly sensible plan Aubry (and Cydney, but I believe it was introduced in the episode by Aubry) had to just vote out Julia that was thwarted at the immunity challenge thereby backing them into a corner that they could only escape by sacrificing one of their own?


    Debbie wasn’t going to vote for Julia. This we know. It’s hard to say if Joe would have, but at best we can say that was a 50/50 (in his bonus scenes, he seems pretty set on voting out Scot, but that was given post-immunity). We never got any indication what Michele thought of the whole matter because she only gets to talk in confessionals where she describes basic plot mechanics or simple platitudes of how she’s playing, but one would have to imagine that her voting Julia was no lock. Her bonus scene this week has her saying that she wanted Julia to win immunity if she couldn’t, because she didn’t want to vote her out. This suggests to me that maybe she would’ve gone along with the group if the votes were there, but she wouldn’t have been the deciding vote (but again, who knows?) Obviously, Julia wasn’t going to vote Julia. The only people we saw this episode down for voting out Julia were Cydney and Aubry.

    So… what was the fucking plan here? For a simple vote out, they’d need 5 votes to beat the three guys plus Julia. They didn’t have five votes. Another possibility is to hope 4 votes does it if Julia votes a different way than the three guys (with Debbie voting with Julia against the guys?). Which is a little shaky, particularly since we have no indication that they HAD four votes (is Joe siding with Aubry/Cydney or is he siding with Debbie? All we know is that he DID side with Debbie in the end for a different vote). A third way is to put 3 votes on Scot (two of those being Debbie and Julia’s, the third being Joe or Michele’s), with 3 votes on Julia. But I don’t think they’d have a third vote in that scenario. Because they’d have to achieve it by keeping the other three people out of the loop in the process (all while hoping Julia doesn’t flip and just vote out Cydney, which, of course, is the whole reason they didn’t just do the 3-3-3 they should’ve done in the first place).

    So let’s summarize Aubry’s episode:
    -Did not get voted out
    -Her preferred alliance partner Cydney did not get voted out
    -She got to vote out the person she chose to vote out

    -Incorrectly diagnosed that Scot was the culprit of the overnight fire dousing, ergo he must be trying to get votes put on him, ergo he must have an idol.
    -Came up with a plan to vote out Julia that she didn’t have the support to execute
    -Could not get Joe to vote with her (again)
    -Voted out someone who was loyal to her that she could beat in front of a jury
    -Did not vote out anyone from the side that’s actively trying to vote out her and her alliance partner that are also actively making her camp life shitty.
    -Left Joe hanging at Tribal Council (again)
    -Still has to beat two immunity idols that can be combined to be used after votes are read
    -No longer has the ability to beat those idols with a vote split among her current allies
    -Lost two challenges (for whatever that’s worth)

    To be determined:
    -May have lost Julia’s support for the rest of the game
    -Needs Tai to flip to her side to eliminate the threat of the Super Idol and to vote split between Scot and Jason to beat the other idol
    -Has never once shown any rapport with Tai or an inclination to work with him (and in fact, wanted to vote him out over Anna, a fact Scot might know).
    -May have lost Debbie’s jury vote

    M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!

    1. I only liked this for your first 2 sentences, ya smug d-bag. (I’m drunk and love talking about this)
      I would guess she would have tried to execute this plan and failed and backed off. Aubry does not seem to have enough social pull (ugh, how DARE she not be Kim Spradlin) to pull this move off. I definitely think Joe would have been willing to vote for Julia, but who fucking knows. Still wouldn’t leave them with enough votes though. Plausible that they could convince Michele that Julia has definitely flipped and they still need to vote for her, but that’s just speculation of course that is likely not correct.

      I did come up with a dream scenario for Aubry to execute though! She sticks with the 3 votes on Scot and 3 votes on Tai plan, at least to Debbie, Joe and Julia. We’ll say that Debbie, Joe and Aubry are to vote Scot, while Julia, Cydney and Michele are to vote Tai. Aubry tells Michele to pull a Natalie Anderson on her vote and “accidentally” vote for Scot. Julia (in this scenario) flips and votes for Cydney with the other 3, resulting in a 4-4-1 tie. They re-vote, and Scot is “eliminated” 4-3. Tai gives Scot the super idol and Cydney is voted out. The idols are gone from the other side, and Aubry is deadlocked 4-4 on the next vote. HOWEVER, I genuinely think that this would leave Aubry in a worse position than she is in now. Next week, she can convince Julia to stick to their alliance to get rid of the idols. Julia also voted with Aubry’s group this week, making her feel more comfortable in the alliance especially since she moved up a spot in the alliance through Debbie’s elimination. Julia also seems to be in the alliance through Michele who is in the alliance through Cydney who…might be holding the non-Brains half of the alliance together. So Cydney leaving would be bad on multiple levels.

      I don’t know. I don’t think Aubry is the ~*~STAR~*~ (except as a character, I am all about Aubry in that sense), but I think she is a solid player and I think almost everyone left are also solid players. After the episode ended, I WAS worried that Aubry’s move didn’t make sense. Not because of how much I love Aubry, but because I didn’t want the season to be nonsensical in the way that Nicaragua is. But the more I thought about it, the more I recognized the complexity of the move and really appreciated it. Maybe I am so defensive because I think your criticism is suggesting this is Nicaragua level of bad gameplay? I don’t know. Bottom line: I think Aubry is thinking of the right moves to make (except the good ol’ cross out vote), but doesn’t have enough social game to pull them off. I think that isn’t just a knock against Aubry, but speaks to the quality, autonomy and awareness of the rest of the players in the game as well.

      1. Honestly, part of my criticism of Aubry and Cydney stems from thinking they’re our best chance (along with Tai) for a satisfying winner, and I’m worried that they’re fucking it up.

        The Doomsday Scenario is upon us.

        1. I would probably be satisfied with a Michele or Julia win. Hell, if Scot or Jason managed to win I would be pretty impressed. Joe was my winner pick though… The only winner that has made me retroactively like a season less was Gabon’s, which made me wonder why I even bothered to watch. As long as we avoid something like that, it shouldn’t be too bad.

          1. I think the Doomsday Scenario is a final 2 of Scot and Jason, but yeah, I guess if one of them wins under any other scenario they would have to have done something mighty impressive. Even with the players “we like”, there are a huge number of “meh” scenarios (i.e., Julia, Michele, and Joe final 3, whoever wins the final immunity challenge takes Joe).

  12. I think this is the first time I’ve listened to the podcast and disagreed with you guys so much. I just don’t buy this idea that Aubry and Cydney either can trust Julia, in which case they can trust her to vote for the guys or Debbie, or can’t trust her, in which case they can’t trust her to do either. There’s no such thing as a Survivor ally you can trust to do whatever you tell them to, but you can trust a rational player to do what they think is in their best interest. I think Aubry and Cydney correctly read that Julia was ready to flip on their alliance as currently constituted, and when they couldn’t take her out they instead gave her a chance to improve her position in their alliance.

    I agree that Aubry might have been better off losing Cydney than Debbie, but asking her to gamble on Cydney being the target instead of her seems like a pretty high bar. I don’t think voting out Debbie was some masterstroke that put Aubry or Cydney in a really great position in the game, but it seemed like a pretty reasonable way to live to fight another day for both of them. I don’t think retaining a huge majority and taking out Jason, Scott, or Tai was an option.

      1. …I came here and posted it before I finished the podcast because Andy’s “they can either trust Julia or they can’t!” thing was driving me crazy. Sorry for lumping you in!

      2. I’m with you and Mr. Hat. It wasn’t a great move, but I don’t think she had any great moves available. I think Rob made the analogy in KIA that it was a punt, which is probably about right. Andy is right, though, that people who think it was a master stroke for Aubry are probably insane.

  13. Is it time to discuss the Doomsday Scenario yet? Basically the season hinges on whether Tai returns from the Dark Side. If he does, the super-idol is neutralized and the rest of the season plays out like a normal Survivor season. If he doesn’t, however, we spend the offseason debating whether Kaoh Rong is worse than Nicaragua, or only worse than Gabon, and bitching about how the super-idol ruined everything.

    The threat of the super-idol means that Jason, Scot, and Tai have a free pass to the final 4, leaving room for only one other player because arithmetic. The only way to prevent this is to undertake a suicide mission while they have a 5-3 majority to get rid of the super-idol and and then take out one of them with a 4-3 vote the following week. And that assumes they stay solid and nobody defects, which seems unlikely. For one thing, as the almost certain target, Cydney probably won’t cooperate, hoping instead to stay alive and beast-mode the immunity challenges.

    I think Cydney, Julia, and Aubry go in some order over the next three episodes, then Tai at 5 (because Jason and Scot are dicks, and because they tell Michele and Joe they’re safe if they vote Tai, ensuring that they also have blood on their hands). Then Mark the Chicken goes and there’s nobody left to root for. Michele can’t make fire, Joe loses the final challenge, Jason wins Survivor, and a mob of angry bloggers burns down the Castaway Productions office.

    1. Jason’s in my zero percent club, so he can’t win. Otherwise, I fear you might be on the right track.

  14. This is especially for sharc and Andy. I just listened to Rich on RHAP. You’d both appreciate his response for totally different reasons.

    First, when Rob asked about her, Rich was like, “Who?… Her?…”. Then he proceeded to talk about how cautious and under the radar she was and how she had a lot of potential. Talk about painting a vivid picture on the blankest canvas.

    1. It’s accurate. If you’re not tracking charts of meaningless confessionals, there’s nothing there. This season they were talking about voting out her main ally and the episode wasn’t even interested in her thoughts on the matter. Assuming she had any.

      Please god don’t let this be a season of meaningless confessionals.

    2. That was an incredible moment. Classic podcast overthinking.

      Also Richard is clearly delusional/unhinged. Thinking that holding the chicken hostage would be a good idea?

  15. The plan worked in the sense that it set of a series of events. Debbie got locked on Scot because she was so pissed off she wouldn’t compromise with Aubrey. So her rigid ways soured Aubrey. It was a Hail Mary pass to see if they could stir up something. But what will it get them long term? Nothing.

    Here’s the really irritating thing, even with the super idol, doesn’t the 3-3 split still work? (Assuming they wait and don’t play it as two regular idols on the two correct guys) . Each guy gets 3 votes, someone gets the super idol (or not if they can’t decide-in which case two are left with the idols), they revote and the other guy goes home.

    As much as we want to root for Tai and against the guys, you guys are right; no one on that side has been open to working with him. He was on the bottom of the beauties, it was the 3 Brains against them on the swap tribe. Scot was the only voting ally he ever really had from the first tribal where he told
    Tai not to play his idol onwards.

    Jason and Scot clearly trust him, he
    has some power and win equity with them.

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