Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X episode 4 “Who’s the Sucker at the Table?”

Kill yr idols, because it’s time to talk about the fourth episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X and decide who made the stupidest move this week. Lots of contenders.

When Ken gives you that look.
When Ken gives you that look.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Millennials vs Gen X episode 4 “Who’s the Sucker at the Table?”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • What we think about David playing his idol. The answer may surprise you.
  • Why Lucy sucks.
  • If Jessica was the dumbest person on Gen X this week.
  • Ken and all his girly emotions.
  • How much better will this season will become once most of the Gen Xers are no longer on it.
  • Challenges. We actually discuss challenges.
  • What’s the better strategy when on the bottom: to use your time to socialize and reintegrate or to look for idols?
  • Has the structure of Survivor episodes gotten too stale and predictable?
  • Which types of strategic moves are our favorite from an entertainment perspective.
  • Buffs.

For this season, we hope to do a weekly mailbag segment, so if you have questions for next week, you can comment here, @ us on Twitter, or send us an email.

  • Other Scott

    Before listening to the podcast, I’m going to list my thoughts on each of the points:
    1. It was completely defensable, though I probably would not have done it.
    2. Because she has zero social skills in a social game.
    3. Nope, because you have to trust someone in the game, and your closest allies seem like a better option than a random desperate guy on the bottom of the tribe.
    4. Seriously, someone killed Kenny(‘s winner edit) this episode
    5. Most of them aren’t so much “bad” as they are boring fodder. The Gen Xers as a tribe were sort of fun this week though?
    6. Was the episode that boring? I thought it was solid, at least by this seasons standards.
    7. Depends on how far on the bottom your are and how strong the majority alliance is
    8. Hey, that’s my question!
    9. I like convincing people to vote against their best interests myself
    10. Signed?

    • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

      1′. The main criticism of the idol play is that it came right before a swap. Those usually happen around Day 12, but can occur as late as Day 15; but I’d really only expect a legitimate superfan to know that, and David doesn’t strike me as one of those.

      5′. I wouldn’t say that Gen X is even boring because most of them (not Sunday or Cece) seem like they came to play hard. It’s just that their idea of playing hard is making a majority alliance and pagonging to the merge.

      9′. Vote chaos is the best, and that usually stems from airing out secrets and playing idols.

  • sharculese

    Dear god, John, did Jeff Probst force you to write that intro at gunpoint?

    I haven’t even listened to the rest of the episode; I had to pause to make my thoughts on… that known.

    • I’m steering hard into the theme so my confessionals make the edit.

      • sharculese

        Serious question that is totally not related to anything I said above, if I were writing a character who was a crusty redneck from the Keys, what kind of beer would he drink?

        • Bone Island or Due South. For the taste and the names.

          • sharculese

            Oh dear god I’m going with Bone Island.

          • sharculese

            Wait, do they come in cans? It’s important for story reasons that they come in cans.

          • sharculese

            Nevermind, I thought of a workaround.

  • Mike Hirsch

    I don’t have a particular favorite week for Great British Bake Off, but I always love the Technical Challenge.
    Tamal and Nadiya were my favorites last season, and I love whenever they show the baker sitting next to their finished bake, and how concerned they always look.

    • Tamal and Nadiya are the best. Followed by Kimberly.

      This season’s cast is good, but I don’t think there are standouts for me like there were in some previous seasons.

    • indescribable hat

      I have such a crush on Tamal. Nadiya is also amazing.

  • I am really confused by the exit theme.

    • andythesaint

      Of course you are, millennial.

      • I know what it is. I just don’t know why you used it.

        • andythesaint

          For similar reasons of what we used as an exit theme last week.

          • Damnit, I only watched the YouTube version because I had a feeling that your son would make an appearance. To the archives!

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I basically only agree to do podcasts for the chance of a Christopher sighting.

          • He gets cuter every time I see him.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            When I met up with Andy, Christopher took me by the hand to show me Pokemon and it was more exciting than meeting Stephen.

          • That’s so precious that I can overlook the fact that you met Stephen.

          • sharculese

            Wait, did you get to go to Canada? I’m not jealous about the child-meeting part, but I’m always jealous about that.

          • andythesaint

            It was the opposite. America may have its issues, but it also has Disneyland.

          • sharculese

            Well, at least you made the right choice of not going to Florida.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I don’t even have a passport. John may travel to visit PRPers, but I always make them come to me.

          • Emma, remember how we are slowly finding out how similar we are? I also don’t have a passport…(I don’t have a driver’s license as well, so clearly my priorities are to stay as stationary as possible).

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I’ve had a driver’s license for ten years, so I’ve got ya there!

          • I figured as much since you are a Southern California resident.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            But I got my license when I was a Northern California resident.

          • Oh…that explains your love for the Giants because only Northern Californians are fans of the Giants.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            And a few old school New Yorkers!

          • Well yeah…that’s obvious.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            More obvious than me probably being from Northern California?

          • I could have sworn you were a SoCal girl, so yes.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Sometimes people move! Especially when they go to film school.

          • Wait, people move from their home areas? That’s a new concept for me.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            It’s seemingly new to the rest of the PRP crew too, although at least Matt left his for a while.

          • andythesaint
          • Purple Rock Emma

            My sweatshirt is tied around my waist like a true Gen Xer.

          • Does he have a binder of Pokemon cards like some poeple have of baseball cards?

          • Violina23

            I may or may not have had a binder with “New Kids on the Block” trading cards….

          • That’s pretty cool and so Gen X of you.

          • andythesaint

            Those are his older brother’s. And yes.

          • That’s really adorable.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            More adorable is the fact that Andy made Pokemon cards of the whole family, including the dog. He’s peak dad, y’all.

          • That is flipping adorable. I know he does superhero drawings, but this may top that.

          • Diego Armando

            I could have shown you Pokémon. I competed in the Videogame Nationals this year. I did horribly.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Yes but you are probably not adorable like Christopher because you are an adult, not a towheaded three year old.

          • Diego Armando

            I am a sad 28 year old and not an adorable moppet. You likely made the right decision. I do have a lot of Pokémon knowledge though.

          • Diego Armando

            Christopher is adorable.

          • Hornacek

            I read that as “… and it was more exciting than meeting Andy.”

          • Purple Rock Emma

            That is also true. Christopher > Stephen > Andy

          • Violina23

            I listened in the car earlier in the week, and then my husband had it up on the iPad a few days later, and I ran in to see the Christopher sighting. I’m a sucker for cute kids 😉

      • Kingoftonga

        If millennials ran the podcast, what would the exit theme be? Hey Ya? 99 Problems? One More Time? Lose Yourself?

        • andythesaint

          Interesting that you should ask…

        • I still think One More Time is a bit Gen X since I associate that with 90s.

    • gouis

      There’s an exit theme? I always cut it off before then to avoid the excessive plugging!

      • Well, you in particular might want to go back and listen if this is you being sincere.

        • I’d edit it out to punish him, but this is what we like about him.

          • gouis

            I COMPLETELY MISSED IT!!!!

            THANKS SO MUCH GUYS.

            I literally teared-up. This has been one of the hardest months of my life.

          • Aww, glad to hear it. You’re appreciated here, even if we love giving you shit.

            Sorry to hear about your moth, too.

          • gouis

            Spellcheck is a both a blessing and a curse.

      • Hornacek

        I hope you didn’t cut out before your birthday shout-out.

        • gouis

          I did because I’m an ingrate.

  • Also, I wonder if Jessica is an easy target because of her perceived intelligence. After all, she is an ADA while Lucy is a dietician (but is seen more as a bodybuilder/mom) and Sunday is a youth pastor. In other words, that intelligence makes her a bigger threat than what she is.

    I also wonder if Chris, being a trial attorney, is a little skittish around her.

    • andythesaint

      Jessica hasn’t told them she’s an attorney. They think she is a farm girl (which she also is, or was).

      • Oh…never mind.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        Photographer… and I guess former farm girl.

        • I hope that will be my profession if I ever go on there. BJ “former farm girl?”

      • Hornacek

        I am upset that Bret’s pre-game decision to tell everyone he was a mortician instead of a cop hasn’t come up. For some reason the idea the thought of Bret talking about embalming to the other players sounds funny.

  • Vagabond

    Regardless of where you land on the strategy side of David saving attorney lady with his idol. Can we all agree it sucks that we have to deal with at least three more days of her bland ass confessionals? There is NOTHING interesting about this woman, she is human rice cake, she is lady Tyler, she is the opposite of batman…

    • sharculese

      As opposed to all of the other dynamic personalities on that tribe, right?

      Good thing they sent home the weirdo redneck boat mechanic who did things like shadow box in camp; there was nothing interesting about that guy.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        I really hope you keep this up for the rest of the season.

        • sharculese

          This is going to make my insistence that Michele doesn’t exist look measured by comparison. I’m not saying I’m writing Paul fan fiction. But I’m not saying I’m not writing Paul fan fiction.

          Stay tuned for my Paul fan fiction. He has a broadsword in it.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Me: “Huh. I wonder if Survivor fan fiction is really a thing.”

            *checks Google*

            https://www.fanfiction.net/community/Survivor-Stories/76449/

            Me: “Once again, I’ve either underestimated or overestimated humanity and I can’t tell which.”

            Also, I’m at a loss for words:
            https://www.amazon.com/No-Turning-Back-American-Expedition-ebook/dp/B005JJW7S0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1476472598&sr=8-2&keywords=survivor+coach

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Didn’t Mario Lanza used to write Survivor fan fic?

          • Yes he did.

          • Purplerockmatt

            YUP! which basically explains why his opinions turned into complete garbage

          • It also explains why he is such an early season (to Pearl Islands) homer, those were the seasons that he wrote about in his all stars fan fictions.

            Although he does like China and Courtney, which is A-OK to me.

          • Purplerockmatt

            and why he hates All Star seasons because he has written fan fic all star seasons!

          • Does he hate HvV? I know he hates All Stars and he really hates Cambodia (which doesn’t even make sense to me, the Cambodia contrarian).

          • Diego Armando

            How the Hell could he hate Cambodia. It had so much interesting stuff happening in it? Then again, I hate China so what do I know.

          • Black Dynamite

            I’m curious what you hate about China. I think it’s pretty solid but not one of the all time great seasons.

          • Diego Armando

            I just didn’t like most of the cast. I really didn’t like James and John-Robert. I was not a fan of Todd although he had a fantastic final tribal. I thought the strategy was simple Pagonging and that it was a step down from the fantastic Cook Islands. I also liked Fiji more because I was invested in Earl and Yau-Man.

            I was never invested in China and until I found this community, I assumed most people thought it was below average.

          • I believe it is due to the fact that he sees a lot of the season (especially the post-merge) as strategy talked with a bunch of gamebots and very little characters moments (which I agree with somewhat). He even famously modified the Funny 115 to NOT include Cambodia because of how much he hates it and in somewhere (I can’t remember if it is his prologue to 3.0 or in his AMA) he said that he had nothing to write about in regards of Keith and the to-to. I’m sorry, but there’s pretty to talk about the moment when Survivor decided to let contestants play real life Grand Theft Auto.

          • Purplerockmatt

            HvV he seems to think is middle of the road. Like even he cannot maintain a strict this sucks policy in the face of that awesomeness, but neither can he acknowledge its greatness

          • Sometimes it’s hard to take him seriously.

          • Hornacek

            I loved Mario’s first F115 list, but the second one just seemed like an excuse for him to repeatedly say how stupid Russell Hantz is. We get it Mario, you don’t like Russell, but it felt like every Samoa and HvV post you wrote turned into “Why Russell Hantz Is The Stupidest Player To Ever Play The Game By Mario Lanza”. It’s like he forgot that he forgot that he was supposed to be writing funny posts instead of taking every opportunity to attack Russell, even when he was describing events from those seasons that had nothing to do with Russell.

          • I am still shocked that Russell’s downfall in HvV wasn’t number 1 in that version of the countdown.

          • sharculese

            He did, but it was just fake all-star seasons of Survivor. I’m pretty sure nobody kills an ogre with a broadsword in any of them.

          • Wait, that’s a thing.

          • sharculese

            Killing ogres with a broadsword or fake all-star seasons of Survivor?

            If it’s the former, no ogres aren’t real, if it’s the latter, yeah… click ADS’s above.

          • Sorry for not being clearer. I meant fan fiction with Survivor contestants killing ogres with a broadsword.

          • sharculese

            It’s not a thing yet. It’s gonna be at least a couple chapters before I make Paul fight an ogre. He has to be deep in the cave.

            World-building – it’s a craft.

          • Obviously and the ogre is just Dan Foley, right?

          • sharculese

            I… didn’t think of that, but now that it’s been pointed out to me there may be some similarities.

          • indescribable hat

            Was that a big thing to do or read at the time? I only got intense about Survivor (and watched the early seasons, for that matter) pretty recently and I was startled when I stumbled across those.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I only know about it because of the Funny 115. My Survivor fandom trajectory is basically – watched the show consistently since the beginning -> time shift it during college -> discover the community on the AV Club -> Purple Rock stuff.

          • Violina23

            Ha, pretty much the same timeline as me! I really do want to watch the earlier seasons I missed, but I’m not paying CBS for their all-access thingie.

          • Black Dynamite

            I have been paying CBS for All Access during the Best Survivor episodes ranking series I’m doing (delayed until Monday) and it is awful. The freezing, the crashing, the Kevin Can Wait promos, I don’t recommend it to anyone.

          • I wonder if anyone has tried the ad-free version.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            If you have Amazon Prime, Borneo, Africa, and all seasons from Panama through Cagayan can be streamed for free.

          • Violina23

            Yeah — unfortunately my big gap (college-induced) gap is basically Africa through All-Stars. So I haven’t seen Marquesas, Pearl Islands, etc…

          • Alycia Swift

            Yes, and Amazon Prime pays for itself when you buy stuff and don’t pay shipping for certain things.

          • According to his stories on Survivor Historians, yes they were partly because Sucks was so huge at the time.

          • Hornacek

            Mario’s fan fiction is the textbook definition of fan fiction because in one of his stories (Alaska?) he has Vecepia win an All-Stars season and I think it’s unanimously because she proves to everyone that she’s the best player of the season, which, I’m sorry, could only happen in someone’s fan fiction story.

          • Scarlett3639

            Has anyone read Coach’s book? I can’t even imagine.

          • Hornacek

            I bet it’s as good as The Costa Rica Job.

      • Vagabond

        Oh I would have preferred they kept Paul too compared to several of the alternatives. But she is an order of magnitude worse than the other Gen X’rs, and that is an impressive feat.

        Edit: at least Lucy’s obnoxious bossiness led to some fun ken reaction, you could replace Jessica with a tree stump and dramatically improve her social interactions.

    • andythesaint

      She looks like her favourite drink is milk.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        Skim milk specifically.

      • Diego Armando

        No, her favorite drink is water.

      • Hornacek

        And it gets hot on Fiji. Milk would be a bad choice.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I’ve been trying to give the Gen Xers nicknames to make them more interesting, and I’ve been calling her Zombie Eyes. I think I’m going to borrow/steal ‘Lady Tyler’ from now on.

      • Vagabond

        I’ll be waiting for my royalty check

    • Violina23

      I think she’s interesting, but not a particularly great player.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    As a huge fan of detective novels, I appreciated the analogy 😀

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Do you like the ones that the authors co-write with their cats? I can’t believe that at least two authors do this.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        I am, in fact, not a big fan of books written by cats. 😛

        • DrVanNostrand

          If my cat wrote a book, it would be about torturing chipmunks and licking where his balls used to be.

          • Write what you know.

      • Hornacek

        “How can a cat write mysteries?”
        “Well, he starts from the end and works his way backwards.”

  • indescribable hat

    My mom thinks the judges on The Great British Bake Off are really mean. Actually just Paul. She doesn’t watch a lot of reality television.

    • gouis

      Paul can be brutally honest sometimes.

      Mary likes it as long as it’s “crisp!”

      • Mary likes the sauce, too. I think she’s a bit of a booze hound.

      • indescribable hat

        I don’t understand their obsession with crispness. We Americans like chewy cookies! Then again, they do use baked goods as building materials an awful lot…

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Great show! I’ve really been enjoying the mailbag feature (and thanks for picking my question this week)

    • andythesaint

      I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for my Ulongian cohost’s boorish way of saying your name as “Miss”.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Haha thank you 🙂 (though it’s far from the worst thing to be said about women in the media over the past week…~politics~)

        • Don’t lump me into some kind of basket of deplorables!

          • Violina23

            Would you prefer a binder?

          • Actually, yes.

  • Quick One World update: My friend has finally caught up on Kim being Kim and is slowly realizing that she has heard of a “Kim S” before on Survivor Twitter. I am playing dumb, which is nice because I almost typed Kim’s last name earlier.

    • Hornacek

      Tell your friend that Kim S on Twitter is Kim Powers from Africa and she got married since that season, hence the different initial.

      • She has watched the finale and finally connected the dots. I straight up lied to her and said that I didn’t know Kim’s last name. I then explained myself to her and she understood because the only spoiler she doesn’t want to know is the winner. She’s okay with knowing themes and casts though, so she is a bit excited for Season 34 with the cast she knows so far (Sandra, Cirie, JT, and Ozzy-the people whose story are complete as of the final 5 of Philippines).

        By the way, holy shit, why I haven’t finished Philippines? This season is fantastic!

  • My friend’s updated season ranking:
    Heroes Vs Villains
    Micronesia
    Pearl Islands
    Cook Islands
    Tocantins
    Panama
    Australia
    China
    Borneo
    Amazon
    One World
    Palau
    All-Stars
    Samoa
    Vanuatu
    Fiji
    South Pacific
    Africa
    Gabon
    Redemption Island
    Nicaragua
    Marquesas
    Thailand (she didn’t finish and she probably never will)

    She is working on Guatemala now and we are starting Philippines.

    • Black Dynamite

      I’m also struggling to finish Thailand. When I eventually do finish that season it will be ranked last. The two things that jump out to me about your friend’s list is how high she is on Panama and having One World above Palau.

      • BD, she’s really big on strong, smart, and sassy women. So, One World’s endgame worked really well for her. I also think that she watched Palau and Amazon too late (for example, she knew Ulong was going to be decimated and she had already seen a lot of the strategy that had been influenced by Rob Cesternino). I personally wonder if it is due to the fact that Panama is one of the first seasons that she watched when she started on the Survivor fandom.

      • Diego Armando

        I watched Thailand last year. I heard it was awful and it more than lived up to that reputation. It was one of the most soul draining things I have ever watched.

        I remember yelling “SHUT YOUR GODDAMED FACE-HOLE” at the screen at least once. Near the end I felt like I was watching a. bootleg of a season that never aired. I am legitimately surprised that the show survived that season.

    • sharculese

      Why is China so low?

      • At one point, it was even lower. I think Micronesia overshadowed it in her mind. In fact, if Sandra had not won HvV, Micro would still be her favorite season.

      • Diego Armando

        Because it isn’t very good and the majority of the cast sucked.

  • DrVanNostrand

    You guys have made a pretty good case for why David’s move wasn’t so bad. I can’t wait for the merge though, because this Gen X tribe is killing me. Maybe they’ll be more interesting when they have to deal with the Millennials. The Millennials may be the worst, but at least they’re entertaining.

  • prettyboyprobst

    On Jessica’s reaction to Ken revealing to her that she was targeted by her former allies: Of course you can’t fault her for not fully buying into the conspiracy-plans Ken laid out for her (although he does), but she could have tried her luck with Sunday for starters, who may be more inclined to shoot straight with her, than the person she was told is out to get her. If not, she should have at least picked up some clues from talking to Sunday or from reading the camp atmosphere in general. Maybe she did all that without getting any wiser and we were not shown, but as Andy has said, you don’t have to make it so easy for Lucy to deny everything, if you choose to confront her about it! She really couldn’t have played that much worse.
    I can’t say that I have a great recollection of how things went down at tribal (speaking of, that look Ken gave her that is pictured and captioned above – did you guys notice that he held that look even longer than the edit chose to show the close-up? They went back to a wide shot, Jessica turned around and he still kept on staring guilt into the back of her head for a few extra seconds), but from the looks of her, I think she knew at some point after interacting with Ken and before voting that she dun goofed. But then she couldn’t reasonably expect that the plan to get out Lucy was still on the table, so she probably hoped for the best (e.g. that she is only second behind Cece on the boot list) and kept on voting the way she said she would. She probably should have made a big stand to try to get at least three votes on her side, but she didn’t look like she had that in her at that point and just seemed resigned to the fact that it’s her and too late to turn the boat around.

    On Lucy’s exit interviews: Couldn’t agree more. Seldomly there is a player so determined to paint him/herself and his/her game in the best possible light so far from achieving that. Really makes me wish we got more of her (ok, only in the episodes we had to spend at old people beach anyway), I’m sure they could have stretched that downfall arc over several episodes. I’m on the record saying she exceeded my expectations in the premier (as a player, by virtue of not appearing at all), but now I’m sure they just hid her well and she actually gave them plenty to work with. As low as my expectations were for from the preseason videos, I still overestimated her as a player. And I’m saying that just from her confessionals and the two exit interviews I listened to. – I realize, she did quite alright in the game itself, from the looks of it.

  • Kingoftonga

    I had also completely forgotten about the legacy advantage. Can we assume it’s not going to play any significant part in the season whatsoever? Usually when a character has an idol/advantage, they at least get one confessional per episode reminding the audience that they have it; Jessica’s had nothing since day 1.

    • andythesaint

      I’m not sure what to assume about it, because it’s really not anything Jessica can spend much time thinking about. If someone has an idol or an advantage, it can regularly be brought up because it theoretically could always come into play. For Jessica, it’s basically “here’s hoping I’m still here on Day 26 and this complete mystery to me is something good”.

      • DrVanNostrand

        I don’t know what they were thinking. For something that will be mostly forgotten for most of the game, they really have to thread the needle when it magically re-appears and gets used later.

        • indescribable hat

          Am I the only person who kind of likes the legacy advantage? Sure, it’s not adding a ton to the game right now, but does it have to? I think it has the potential to be interesting, and I’m not sure spending a segment on Jessica finding it during the premiere is such a big cost even if it doesn’t pay off later.

    • prettyboyprobst

      One reminder per episode is exaggerating it a little bit. She did have a confessional about it in episode 3 (or am I thinking of a secret scene?), so I think it’s definitely too early to write off the possibility, that it plays a big role. The way the advantage is designed (can’ get flushed out, will be played on day 36), it kind of hast to.

  • Violina23

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t think David’s move was that terrible. Like John said, it’s high risk-high reward. But he was at the bottom of both alliances and seen as a weaker player. He’s still got a solid relationship with Ken (I think) and now Jessica is probably somewhat indebted to him. Going into the swap, he has a few other people to work the social circles, not just himself. So if he gets to the merge, and Ken/Jessica/ (Cece?) are still around, he has more “ears” in the game that can give him a better idea of what’s going on, at the VERY least.

    The next few weeks could prove me VERY wrong, and I don’t really see him winning the game, but I at least this week, I don’t feel like it was such a bad move.

  • Black Dynamite

    33 Best Survivor Episodes Part 4 24-22

    24. Survivor: Caramoan episode 10 “Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
    Survivor can be super fun and exciting. A rush is the best way to describe this episode. After the events of “Hold Up, Bro” Malcolm, Eddie and Reynold are clearly the bottom three of a 10 person group. Stealth R Us don’t pretend to hide that fact as they rush off to talk after Tribal. They reaffirm their plans to knock off the Three Amigos. What they don’t know is that Malcolm is in possession of an idol. The viewers are aware of this and there is an anticipation if how this will play out that is starting to brew. Heading into the immunity challenge, the one goal Stealth has is to not let any of the Three Amigos win. This makes Phillip’s decision to sit out the challenge very curious in the moment. He later would explain that he had a traumatic experience as a child with nearly drowning. Reynold is able to win immunity and didn’t even need to throw anything to do it. Stealth doesn’t see this as too big of a deal. They will split the vote for Malcolm and Eddie with Malcolm being the target. There is an open idol search where Malcolm ends up finding the prize in front of Dawn and Andrea. Stealth is disappointed but they decide to just switch the target to Eddie and hope Malcolm plays the idol. At this point, the audience know Malcolm has two idols and Reynold has won immunity. The anticipation is starting to bubble over. At Tribal it explodes when Malcolm reveals that he has two idols and none of the Three Amigos are going home. What then follows is total pandemonium with Stealth having side conversations at Tribal. Brenda is saying Andrea as the vote right in front of Andrea. Andrea is too distracted by the chaos to even notice. Malcolm explains that the Three Amigos will all vote for Phillip, which Stealth including Phillip is fine to oblige to. Erik points out that the idols could be a bluff and Stealth should force them to play it. They do and Phillip goes home. The episode had me beyond edge of my seat. I was outright pacing because of the action. Not many episodes can cause that reaction.
    Episode MVP: Malcolm

    23. Survivor: South Pacific episode 8 “Double Agent”
    Ozzy is a shitty actor with a convoluted plan. After a kei immunity loss, Ozzy worried about the Ulopu tribe have the numbers at the merge. Ozzy, the hero in his own mind, decides to sacrifice himself and beat Christine at Redemption Island to keep the numbers even for a merge he thought was imminent. He does beat Christine and is right about the merge. The other part of the plan hinges on Cochran acting as a spy to get intel on the other tribe. The story that Ozzy tells badly is that Cochran is the bitter outcast who played an idol and sent the majestic Ozzy out. This is partially true. Cochran has been the outcast of the tribe. Every mistake he made is magnified and he is constantly talked down to by a bunch of assholes, who curiously never get rid of him. They just keep him around as their punching bag. Somehow Ozzy is only the 4th worse person on Savaii (Jim, Keith, Whitney). So it would be a natural conclusion that Cochran would want to jump, which make Ozzy’s selling act all the more baffling. It should’ve been easier to relay that the events happened the way he said it did. Ulopu sees right through the ruse though. Coach, in what was easily his finest moment in the three seasons he played, is able to call out Ozzy’s plan and show empathy to Cochran in a single conversation really effectively. In that one conversation Coach showed Cochran more respect than in the weeks that most of Savaii showed. Cochran is ready to flip for real and tells Dawn the plan. Dawn is on board until she changes her mind 5 seconds later. She doesn’t tell Savaii the plan Cochran has for some reason. Ozzy and Dawn win immunity, leaving Savaii more confident now that they have an advantage in a possible rock draw situation. Cochran claims that he doesn’t want to leave his game up to chance. He will flip. He tells Ulopu that Ozzy will play the hidden immunity for Whitney and in previous discussions with Coach and Brandon, Cochran points out Keith as the worse offender. At Tribal, Ozzy does play the idol for Whitney and in the revote, Cochran flips to Ulopu. Keith is sent home and Jim calls Cochran a coward. This time though Cochran has someone to protect him in the form of Brandon Hantz. A rare satisfying conclusion to a bad season. I know a season is bad when I’m openly rooting for the side that’s a fucking cult.
    Episode MVP: Cochran

    22. Survivor: Cambodia episode 1 “A Second Chance”
    The story of redemption is a reoccurring theme in Survivor. Opportunities for players to rectify the heartbreak they experienced and the mistakes they made. At times this comes off as a forced narrative, but here it works perfectly. Survivor comes up with a brilliant idea to have fans vote for past one time players who have never won and are now seeking their shot at redemption. The result is a great selection of returnees ready to play. An extra dose of excitement is in the air. The episode starts out with a beautiful montage highlighting the past failures of contestants. Everyone hits the island with a desire to fix flaws, adjust to the new way of Survivor and shed past reputations. This doesn’t always work. Abi-Maria realizes that in Philippines that she was overly rude and ill tempered and talks about changing her ways. She quickly loses that idea when her bracelet goes missing and is later found in Peih-Gee’s bag. She tells everyone what happens and claims that she is giving Peih-Gee the benefit of the doubt. Though her attitude contradicts that statement. On the other tribe, Stephen has the rep of a massive stratigest due to a great showing in Tocantins and a podcast he regularly does. He quickly isolates himself from the rest of the tribe by looking for an idol, labelling himself a untrustworthy schemer in the eyes of Andrew Savage. Other players start their own metamorphosis. Spencer aims to show more emotion, Kass wants to be less chaotic, Wentworth doesn’t want to play as “safe” as she did last time. Then there are players from older seasons like Wigglesworth, Kimmi and Terry that need to catch up to today’s game speed. No one recognizes this as well as Jeff Varner. It’s clear that Varner has had his past Survivor experience eating away somewhere in his mind for the past 14 years. He desperately needed a shot to make things right and he’s diving in, so when Shirin starts the anti Vytas rally, there is no hesitation on his part. Varner is ready to play. The immunity challenge is especially exciting with Wentworth getting the hidden immunity idol right in the open. Her tribe loses and Vytas is voted out instead of troublemaker Abi. All these potential storylines started in this episode (including ones I didn’t even get to) make for a sensational 90 minutes of Survivor.
    Episode MVP: Varner

    Friday (hopefully) 21-19 including self destruction and loneliness.

    • Holy crap, I was right about the Cambodia premiere making your list….which means that HvV or Pearl Islands is not making the cut and I am honestly shocked by that.

      Also, the premiere of Cambodia is just called “Second Chance”.

      • Black Dynamite

        There are still three premiere episodes left. I wouldn’t describe any of the ones coming up a surprise either.

        I will edit the title.

        • I thought there was only three more after Philippines. My bad.

          • Black Dynamite

            Yeah, Philippines was the first of five. The whole list would’ve been invalid if I forgot the two you just mentioned.

          • I would have revoked your arbitrary title, sir.

          • Also, I hope you have at least one more Philippines episode.

          • Black Dynamite

            I do but it’s going to be a bit of a wait to get there.

          • I’m okay with that, because I just watched it and it is easily in my top ten episodes if not Top 5 baby.

          • Black Dynamite

            Which episode did you just watch?

          • Admittedly, all of them besides the finale and the reunion.

          • Black Dynamite

            I’m curious which episode you’re referring to. It would be interesting if we were talking about different episodes.

          • I was talking about one involving a boat reward.

    • Prom King

      These are 3 great write-ups, kudos. Definitely picked the best episodes of two sub-par seasons (Caramoan & SP). I loved being reminded of the Brenda-Andrea part. Now to find your past write-ups.