Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X finale “Going for the Million Bucks”

John is back to discuss the final episode of Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X and the entire season. Guys. It’s time for some game theory.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Millennials vs Gen X episode 14 “Going for the Million Bucks”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • How we felt about the conclusion of Adam’s story.
  • What we think about his game.
  • What the jury valued and how it impacted the season.
  • If Ken is bad at Survivor, or just bad at the version of Survivor these people wanted to play.
  • Should… we have given Hannah more credit?
  • What David did to earn his rep at the best player out there.
  • What does Ken and Hannah getting shut out and David’s reputation in game say about the Big Moves era of Survivor? Is it a real thing?
  • How similar Bret’s game was to the one he dismissed from Ken.
  • Jay’s greatness.
  • The fake idol actually accomplish anything? You know, besides fun.
  • Was the legacy advantage worth the wait?
  • Actual praise for a reunion show? That can’t be right.
  • How this season rates.
  • How Adam rates as a winner.
  • Three favourite players this season and who we’d like to see return.
  • Offseason plans.
  • You.

If you have an ideas about offseason content, you can comment here, @ us on Twitter, or send us an email.

Here’s the music we used to end our episodes this season (minus the Taylor Swift tracks that aren’t on Spotify):

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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376 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X finale “Going for the Million Bucks”

  1. I’d like to solicit feedback on the podcast this season, so if you’ve got any, feel free.

    In particular, what did you think of the mailbag feature and the frequent divergence away from Survivor in some of those questions? Did they add value or not? Were they fun but best to leave as a one time thing? Did we (me) get too indulgent with them and push them past your interest? Or did you like it and would like more of it?

    Same questions with the experiment of playing random music at the end of the show.

    1. I thought it was great. Having non-Survivor things to talk about helps build the community element of the site, and made it worth commenting last week when it should have been *crickets.*

          1. Magnolia Electric Co. shouldn’t be obscure. It is a stunning slice of Americana that should be taught in schools.

          2. I just decided to listen to that album after reading this, because I haven’t really listened to a lot of Songs: Ohia (there are some who debate if The Magnolia Electric Co. is actually a Songs: Ohia album, but whatever). When “Farewell Transmission” started, I realized that I really need to listen to more of Jason Molina’s music.

          3. If you’re gonna dig into Jason Molina’s catalog, just know that the experience will be varied. He didn’t really settle on the robust alt-country sound until Magnolia, so like for instance Ghost Tropic verges on being a drone album.

            And then the problem in the other direction is that, the deeper he fell into alcoholism, the more the songwriting suffered. Trials & Errors and What Comes After the Blues are both great, but the dropoff starts to happen there. He’s basically just rewriting inferior versions of songs he’s already made.

            Two years later I’m still more bummed about his death than anyone we lost this year, including Leonard Cohen because the way he went out was just so sad.

    2. I think the mailbag segment worked really well because it gave us a chance to get to know all of you really well as well as having to answer the questions ourselves. Also, what helps this section is that it is completely optional. You clearly say that this is the end, if you want to listen to good, but if you don’t, that’s cool too. I do like the music, especially if they work with the theme of the episode and the season.

      1. Let’s be honest, you can call segments of a podcast as optional as you want to, they aren’t always. I have a job that involves a lot of driving, so I listen to a lot of podcasts. If I’m driving down 400 and Andy starts talking about hockey, I can’t do a lot about it without endangering lives. That said, I still think it’s a thing worth keeping.

        1. Fair enough. I can’t drive, so I don’t have to worry about that issue just yet. Please note that I wasn’t complaining about it. In fact I think I only opted out of two: the accounting question and the hockey question. Other than that, I listen to the whole thing, even when it was 45 minutes about 2000s music.

          1. I drive a 2004 Accord with no connection between phone and dashboard and use Podcast Addict because it’s been my thing since before Google Play had podcasts and I don’t feel like changing. Skipping ahead means physically picking up my phone and hitting the forward button until the segment is over. So no, I don’t do that on the highway.

          2. I drive an ’06 Corolla and keep my phone in a cupholder to listen via the podcast app, so I feel ya.

          3. My big issue is that I spend a lot of time having to find weird suburban neighborhoods, which means I need it sitting on the passenger seat face up so I can glance over and see when Waze wants we to turn again.

          4. I don’t know where your cup holders are, but mine is in the center console so I just have it angled towards me for gps purposes.

          5. I really probably should just be doing to. You live in like the only city that’s maybe a more tangled maze than Atlanta, so if you can get by, I should be able to. I just get paranoid.

          6. There are certain parts of Atlanta where there are so many tiny segments of street laid on top of each other that directional apps just shit the bed, so I can’t always count on the vocal directions being reliable. At least if I can glance at a map I have some waypoint.

          7. I have a ’05 Prius and also have an impossible time listening to podcasts.

            Because it has an early touch screen, I can’t even install an Aux cable like you can in regular cars (I did that to an old Nissan).

        2. Ditto with the job that has a lot of driving – just to/from work alone is 3.5 to 4 hours a day depending on when I go. (Leaving at 9 p.m. or later takes a lot less time than leaving at 6 p.m.) I listen to a lot of podcasts too. I like the divergence even if it hits sports.

    3. The occasional divergence into something non-Survivor related is fine and welcome, but should hopefully be a special bonus and not something where eventually every episode ends with a half hour of grab bag material. And I don’t care how weird or off-brand you want to get as long as it’s a topic where at least one of you has strong opinions/experiences/ideas/whatever. (I.e. I’d welcome more personal finance corner, or views on the best brands of hockey tape, or whatever.)

      And please lord no parody songs, sound boards, or impressions. (Or voicemails featuring anyone who says “love you bay”.) A certain other podcast is really testing my patience with that crap.

    4. I liked the mailbag questions. My favorite was Andy’s Oilers rant, since it is always entertaining to me to hear people passionately geek out (except for music, which I don’t really care about)”. I also like the community building this creates. We already have an insanely connected group and this gets us even more involved.

      I would keep the Non-Survivor questions to 1 per week (or two short ones).

    5. Also, since this thread is moving slow I’m just inventing a new discussion topic:

      Favorite music video, and pick one, because let’s not clog Disqus up too much by posting videos

      Los Campesinos! – The Sea is a Good Place to Think About the Future – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoIr60buB1I

      It helps that this may be my favorite song ever, but the gorgeous cinema verite video, which depicts a gang of teens hanging out on the beach all night in grainy 8mm, perfectly captures the sense of nostalgia and wistfulness this song is meant to convey.

      One of “The Sea”‘s great strengths is that like it’s inspiration, it rises and falls like the tides that inspire it (on an album that playfully mocks post-rock with the lines “the build-up takes forever/ but you never get me off” no less.) And this perfectly syncs up with that, a great combination of tense moment and calm interlude.

      What I love most about it is that there’s really no story, but, watching it, you feel compelled to craft a backstory for this group of attractive youngsters clustered on this British beach. Who are they. What’s the reason they’re all clustered together here? Are they thinking about the future? What future is that? The video leaves all of that open-ended, giving us a perfect avenue into what it was like to be that age and have the world stretched in front of us.

      1. I literally had to turn off your video because the jittery camerawork makes me feel sick.
        The only music videos I have watched throughly were all on MTV2 in the early 00’s and I was getting high in some dude’s basement.

      2. If I’m being honest, It’s probably “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)” but I don’t think it’s necessary to post that. You are all likely familiar.

        But my second favorite video also takes place on just a simple white soundstage. So if you are making a music video, just start with that and go from there. Limits force the increase in creativity and all that.

        It’s “Pillar of Salt” by The Thermals. Also I just generally love Hutch and Kathy in general, so I like looking at them.

        1. Oh shit, I was just watching the Pillar of Salt video the other night. Between the two singles off TBTBTM, Id call Returning to the Fold the better song, but Pillar of Salt definitely has the better video.

    6. I’m all for the mailbag feature and the non-Survivor discussion, but maybe always do them after the Survivor discussion so you can give listeners who aren’t into it permission to skip it.

      I guess I’m at the opposite end of the tech spectrum from sharculese and Emma in that I’d like time stamps in the show notes, so I don’t have to use the scrubber or hold down the rewind button when I’m driving to re-listen when somebody says something I totally disagree with.

      1. We used to have time stamps in the show notes, but it’s a lot more effort for us to do them. I believe Andy at least puts the topics we discuss in order, though.

        1. Yeah, if it was easy, we’d totally do it. But how it usually works is that I write the post while John is editing it (this season I did more of the editing/didn’t bother to edit at all due to John’s scheduling). So I don’t even KNOW the times of things when I do. But I do know order of the conversation, both because I make the list of discussion topics and because I was in the conversation.

          One thing we might consider is to time stamp our non-Survivor conversations at the end (assuming we continue to do them).

    7. Honestly, I come here for survivor talk, and I don’t care much about non-survivor related topics. To be fair, I have no idea what you are talking about most of the time it is not about survivor (I swear I never even heard of any of the bands you like).

      So I would vote against it, but it doesn’t bother me much. And I know I could just turn it off when it starts (and sometimes I do), but for some reason that also has a certain cognitive cost for me. (I guess I get afraid I missed something important later on.)

    8. I really like the non-Survivor stuff but I am the kind of person who likes phone in radio because other people are fascinating no matter if theya re right or wrong.

    9. The way I feel about the mailbag/off-topic questions is the same way Mitch Hedberg felt about frilly toothpicks: I’m for ’em!

    10. I skipped most of the extended digressions (90s pop music just not my thing). But they were easy to skip. So it didn’t bother me at all, and I have no objection to maximal digressions so long as they come after the Survivor talk.

      The Survivor-y part of the mailbag worked, but I don’t think needs to be an ongoing thing. I like you guys putting a rotating gimmick in the slot.

      1. We’ve actually already started discussing what we’ll do for next season. But yes, if we’re doing any non-Survivor stuff, that will always be at the very end of the podcast so people can skip it.

      1. Also you should just have us commenters on the pod to talk about pop culture instead of Survivor since that’s really where this all started anyway.

          1. I’m curious on what the effort that goes into having guests on. I realize that I actually know very little on what goes into podcasting.

          2. There’s a few things.

            One, we record really late on the east coast (where many of y’all live) due to my family commitments and MST time zone. So when we’d do guests, we’d typically record their segment first, then have to go back and record the rest of the show. Which threw off our rhythm, made the show sound a little disjointed, and forced John to stay awake even longer.

            Two, the way we record (non-video) podcasts is to have each person in the conversation record their own vocals. Then we bring them together and edit them as a whole. This allows us to edit out crosstalk and the like. The more tracks we add to the process, the longer it takes.

            Three, when we were doing a lot of guest podcasts (which we enjoyed from a getting to know you, fresh conversation standpoint), it throws John and I off our natural rhythms, to the detriment of the rest of the show.

            Four, each time we do the process with someone new, there’s generally a ten minute start up convo of how to get set up, how to export their audio, etc. And then some of the audio quality is not so hot.

            All of which isn’t to say that we’ll never do it again. But we did realize that it can’t be a frequent thing.

          3. BD we’ll just have to start our own podcast where we break down the opinions of the PR peeps and show them why they are wrong and we are right.

          4. Sounds great. One request I have is about 20 seconds each episode for me to yell at Barbara Anderson to watch Palau already.

          5. Oh I would say there are more important seasons than Palau.

            You’re probably best served by watching Pearl Islands first. But be warned, Survivor didn’t film in HD until Gabon so that’s all you’ve seen.

            As for pre HvV best seasons? I’d say it’s Borneo, Pearl Islands, Palau, China, Micronesia, Tocantins

          6. I have seen Borneo, AO, All Stars, and China in full. After my Survivor fandom friend finishes watching her Game Changing homework (we are in SJDS now and she already likes Keith! Her pick 4 team is Natalie, Jon, Keith, and Missy) at the beginning of the next year. She is turning the tables on me by having me watch her selection of essential seasons starting with Amazon. Palau is more of a @Black Dynamite homework assignment.

          7. FWIW, if we do another watch this offseason, it will be of a season featuring one of the S34 cast members. And we may let you all vote to decide.

            (But… we might not do another watch beside Nicaragua).

          8. Cool.

            Between watching them as they aired, and catching up the ones I missed in recent years I have only missed Thailand, Fiji, and Nicaragua. Still unsure if I’ll be joining Matt etc. with Nic.

          9. Damn, I guess I can wait a little bit even though I’m already pumped at the prospect of watching Palau again. It will help balance out finally watching Nicaragua whenever Matt starts that one.

          10. I think it might be fun just watching what the experience does to Matt, even if you don’t watch it again yourself. I know I’m looking forward to it.

          11. I’m interested in finally getting the full context of why Nicaragua is so awful. It will also help actually finishing the season if people here are talking about it. I watched Thailand on my own and will probably never finish it.

          12. I would be open to that. It’s easier to watch a shitty season if I have someone to talk shit about it with.

          13. That’s fair, a good way to go into a season is with an open mind. You would be a fabulous choice to watch something with. I’ve also grown to appreciate your anti Cambodia stance, even if you’re wrong.

          14. It’s not that there’s any one incredibly awful thing about Nicaragua, it’s that it’s a Murphy’s Law season where everything that went wrong in previous seasons went wrong at once. Imagine Fiji’s cast (minus Earl, Yau-man, and Michelle) plus Gabon’s gameplay plus Samoa’s weather plus an Outcast-level twist. There’s more but you get the idea.

          15. Oh God, that sounds like the worst. I’ll just find a way to have fun with it. I do legitimately want to watch Nicaragua, it’s not just some chore to check off on the list.

          16. YMMV, but at least Nicaragua has the most attractive female player ever, according to me, the Survivor 30 magazine, and various creepy dudes on r/survivor and Sucks.

          17. Oh also discuss relevant music that isn’t 20 years old because we don’t have kids and thus have more free time (and empty souls)

          18. I thought the reason you don’t have guests any more is because the last batch were so terrible.

            Oh wait. Aw, I made myself feel bad.

          19. If we were doing video/YouTube, it’s actually a lot easier. But the audio quality on that generally sucks, and I’m often not available to do video.

            Doing an audio podcast with a guest requires the guest to have a mic (and not kick the table/computer, or fidget with the mic- like Emma did recently when I wasn’t on, and yes that is a pet peeve of mine) and the ability to record his/her audio track. Recording the call straight from Skype has its own issues with awful audio.

            Not only that, but we also have to record around 11pm Eastern. It’s not ideal for getting guests.

  2. In re Hannah vs David: When I saw her talking about gender as a motivating factor in how she was viewed, my reaction was “yeah, it’s impossible that didn’t come into play.” But I would point to one specific thing as tanking her, and that was taking ten fucking minutes to vote at her first tribal council. She let the story of her as an ally be defined by her being flighty and indecisive and never came up with a good way to counter that.

    1. Yeah, the ten minutes to vote is probably the moment the perception of Hannah changed. She has a decent premiere episode where she is slightly shown to be the link between Freaks and Geeks and the Triforce, but it all goes to pot in that second episode.

      1. Doesn’t help even her own side thought from the get go she was just “puppies and butts”. Hard to get passed that.

        1. yes the ten minutes to vote think did not create an image of Hannah out of whole cloth, it confirmed the image they had of her forever

          1. That’s not the only supporting evidence they had. We saw Hannah flaking on Zeke to the point that he knew he’d lost her. And her “ohmigodwhatishappening” faces and reactions at tribal council do not convey the impression that she is someone in control or in the know.

          2. Yeah, that’s another good point. Every time Hannah overreacted it confirmed what people thought about her already.

    2. This was basically my point. You can’t suddenly say “Take me seriously!” after there is a deeply ingrained perception of you as a jittery, indecisive spaz.

  3. “How many people voted for the person who voted them out at the last moment?”

    Of the final 2s it looks like this. Finals 3s I think get harder because the final immunity winner doesn’t always have the most agency in the game.

    Jan
    Rob C.
    Ian
    Erinn

    1. Yeah, it takes some judgement calls about whether or not we believe the person who voted was deemed the decision maker by the final member of the jury.

    2. Rob C is almost an exception, because while Jenna voted him out, it was Matt stepping down from the challenge that felt like the betrayal.

      1. For sure. In TEoS, Rob says they had talked about it beforehand and she had made it clear she knew taking him to the end was a bad idea. He had no expectations.

        But also, Ian deliberately asked to not go to the end, and Erinn knew or should have known that JT’s game required him to go to the end with Stephen.

        So in terms of bitter jurors who were axed by the person they voted for, we just have Jan. And Jan’s other option was Clay.

          1. That can’t be right. The way I hear it, no one voted for Rob because he played a scorched earth game on par with Russell Hantz and actually sucks at Survivor and can only win when the producers fix the game in his favour.

          2. Rewatching All-Stars, I was shocked by how Rob played nearly the same game there that he did in Redemption Island. He plowed through challenges, created a tight group that would be deathly loyal to their core, voted out the people on his tribe that opposed him (Rob), Got a strong meat shield to keep the heat off of him(Rupert her, Grant there) and a kept a goat around (Jenna Lewis here). The only main differences were outside relationships and true love.

    3. I didn’t see this chain before. Here’s the raw data of people who voted for the person who voted them out:

      + Marquesas: Neleh voted out Kathy.
      + Thailand: Brian voted out Jan.
      + Amazon: Jenna voted out Rob C.
      + All Stars: Rob M voted out Jenna.
      + Palau: Tom voted out Ian (kinda).
      + Fiji: Earl voted out Yau-Man.
      + China: Courtney voted out Denise.
      + Tocantins: J.T. voted out Taj.
      + Samoa: Natalie W voted out Brett.
      + Redemption Island: Rob M voted out Ashley.
      + South Pacific: Sophie voted out Ozzy.
      + One World: Kim voted out Christina.
      + Philippines: Denise voted out Malcolm.
      + Caramoan: Cochran voted out Eddie.
      + BvW: Tyson voted out Tina.
      + SJdS: Natalie voted out Keith.
      + Cambodia: Jeremy voted out Kelley.
      + MvGX: Adam voted out David.

      But obviously a lot of those are meaningless, since it wasn’t a situation of an ally turning on another ally. (Or, more to the point, the finalists were both part of an alliance that took out the third/fourth place finisher, such as Cirie in Marquesas.)

      It also doesn’t factor in situation where people *didn’t* vote for their ally because their ally voted them out, such as David and Cydney.

      And even then it’s still super subjective: if Steph had voted Rafe out rather than Danni, would Rafe still have voted for her?

      You can see why this whole thing kinda got away from me….

  4. On Jay: Midway through last week’s episode my roommate turned to me and said “I really like Jay,” as if this was some kind of embarrassing confession. And I was just like “yeah, that’s because you’re human.”

      1. 1. Easy/Lucky/Free
        2. Lua
        3. Four Winds
        4. Bowl of Oranges
        5. The Happiest Place on Earth (yes, I know it’s not actually a Bright Eyes song, I’m counting it anyway)

    1. This is insane. I have never heard anyone ever say that their favorite Bright Eyes song is from Digital Ash.

      Also it’s Landlocked Blues or Four Winds depending.

    2. My opinion of Bright Eyes is somewhat complicated. I absolutely love some of his music, but I kinda can’t stand him. His pretentious arrogance bothers the shit out of me, even though you’d expect that to be my thing. I think the issue is his pretense is overly precious.

      For instance, it took me forever to get into I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning because he opens it with a spoken word intro to a crowd that always made me go “fuck you Connor” then choose something else. I eventually got over it and realized it’s his best album. He makes some great music though.

      1. Lover I Don’t Have to Love – Haunting, sinister, sexy, self-destructive – not only my favourite Bright Eyes song (by a considerable margin), also one of my favourites of the entire decade.
      2. Lua
      3. We Are Nowhere and It’s Now
      4. Method Acting
      5. Four Winds – Note: I may have chosen this over some other tracks from Wide Awake just to prove I’ve heard more than two albums, but it’s also really good.

      1. TBF Lifted and Wide Awake are his dual magnum opuses. Four Winds is great but it’s also not really representative why he has devoted fans.

        Also his solo release this year, “Ruminations” is really good. Very similar to his older more depressing haunted style over his newer stuff.

  5. Well, with the music talk that was big during the podcasts this season, I thought it would be appropriate to have one more music rankings.

    Top albums of 2016
    1. Solange- A Seat at the Table
    2. Childish Gambino- “Awaken, My Love!”
    3. Frank Ocean- Blonde
    4. Anderson .Paak- Malibu
    5. Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book
    6. A Tribe Called Quest- We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
    7. Rihanna- ANTI
    8. Kendrick Lamar- untitled unmastered
    9. Beyonce- Lemonade
    10. dvsn- SEPT 5TH

    I like to hear what other people have as their favorites from this year. I’m always looking to listen to enjoyable things. Obviously, I tend to gravitate to Hip-Hop/R&B but I enjoy other genres as well.

    1. This is appropriate. I don’t really have much of an answer beyond:
      1. Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death
      2. Chvrches – Every Open Eye

        1. That’s what I thought, but Spotify listed it as 2016 (probably when the extended edition came out). Ugh.

          1. Heartthrob is a superb album. Great for running to as well. If I had run at all in the last 5 months.

      1. Tegan and Sara – I like their earlier stuff. So far have not gotten into this one.

        One of the albums I’ve been listening to over and over is Bettie Serveert’s new one, Damaged Good.

    2. Coloring Book is probably the only album I listen to multiple times a week. That probably isn’t the best measure of an album but it says something.

      1. I love Coloring Book. And I almost never get to listen to new music. I only recently discovered Chance, but I love “Sunday Candy”, “Juice”, “Angels”, “Blessings”, and “Cocoa Butter Kisses”.

      2. I hear you on that one. I’ll play it often and it brings me joy every listen. I love the positive vibe.

          1. I saw the Barack Christmas pre-recorded sketch and he was charming in that, even when the material wasn’t the best. Also, it was cool that they got Darryl from Run DMC to be in it as well, especially since it is sorta visually riffing on Christmas in Hollis.

          2. I remain confused by the Grammys definition of Best New Artist but I’m in favor of Chance getting all the awards.

          3. I looked it up and apparently now you cannot not be nominated for Best New Artist after your third album. That is why Zayn is not in the category since he released four albums with One Directions.

    3. If it’s of any interest to people, voting in the world’s largest music democracy (I’m not making that up), triple j’s Hottest 100, is now open:
      https://hottest100.abc.net.au/auth/login

      You vote for your favourite 10 songs of the year, and on Australia Day they do the countdown, with parties being held all over the world (there will be a map to show all the registered parties in each country.) For the past few years they’ve also done a countdown of the songs that came 200-199.

      (I haven’t done mine yet, but it’ll include Modern Baseball, Alex Lahey, Verge Collection, Sugar Army, Disclosure, and a Like A Version.)

    4. Basically in order but subject to change, so I’m not putting any numbers on them:

      Preoccupations – s/t
      Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
      King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
      DIIV – Is the Is Are
      Savages – Adore Life
      dvsn – Sept. 5th (big ups for including it on your list, Black Dynamite)
      Beyonce – Lemonade
      The Avalanches – Wildflower
      David Bowie – Blackstar
      Crying – Beyond the Fleeing Gales

      1. Shit, I still have not listened to Wildflower, which is a crime, because Since I Left You was a serious contender for my 00s list.

    5. Top Ten +1, not in any order

      1. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
      2. Bon Iver – 22, a Million
      3. Solange – A Seat at the Table
      4. David Bowie – Blackstar
      5. Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”
      6. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
      7. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
      8. Radiohead – A Moon-Shaped Pool
      9. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive
      10: Beyonce – Lemonade
      +1: Spitz – 醒めない (My favorite Japanese band, and possibly the world’s best jangle-pop band still standing)

      Notes:
      1. The Hamilton Mixtape makes the top 10 if compilations qualify.
      2. Frank Ocean’s Blonde just isn’t doing anything for me, I probably need to listen to it again.
      3. I’ve never been much of a Rhianna fan, but I just listened to the iTunes previews of the songs on ANTI and it sounds very good.
      4. An inordinate number of artists I normally like put out B-minus/C-plus albums in 2016: MIA, Sia, Lady Gaga, Drake, Wilco, Sleigh Bells, Explosions in the Sky, Bruno Mars, De La Soul, Green Day, John Legend, Alecia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Paul Simon, Garbage

    6. In no order:

      Chance – Coloring Book
      Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker
      Bowie – Blackstar
      Car Seat Headrest -Teens of Denail
      Radiohead – AMSP

      Sorry for the sausagefest. But if any of you like indie rock AT ALL you owe it to yourself to listen to that Car Seat Headrest album. It’s transcendent.

  6. More rankings from me. These are the players I most want to see play again.

    1. Jay
    2. Michaela
    3. Zeke
    4. Hannah
    5. Michelle
    6. Bret
    7. David
    8. Ken
    9. Figgy
    10. Chris

    Jay has the highest potential out of this group to be a transcendent Survivor player. Michaela is one of the most entertaining characters this show has had and she will always make good TV. Zeke is solid. Hannah was my favorite this season and also would be solid. Bret surprised me with how much I enjoyed watching him. I want more of him. I want to see what players like Michelle, Jessica and Figgy have to give a second time around.

    1. I feel like you could cut this list off at 5. I cosign the first five with Hannah and Michelle flipped.

      1. Probably. There is a bit of a dropoff in several places but I do tend to want to see a lot of people play more than once. I like to see how they evolve in Survivor.

        1. Yeah, I think that’s the big drop off- those are the three I actually want to see again. I have Michaela first with a bullet though- she’s just amazing television. Fortunately, there’s no way Survivoe DOESN’T ask Jay back.

          Then there’s a tier of people I wouldn’t mind using as spackle in a returnee season. For me, Brett is at the top of this group. His brand of grumpiness and impatience with BS amuses me.

      2. O/T Adventure Zone talk:

        So you were half right, in that it appears Wonderland nerfs healing magic but not attack magic. The reveal that the elves are liches isn’t all that shocking but I’m wondering about Griffin’s claim this can be wrapped up quickly. I hope he changes his mind because TAZ is about the journey not the destination.

        1. Yeah, I thought it was weird when Griffin said not to worry, they’ll keep making episodes because they want to keep doing them and they’ll find ways to extend the story. I never felt like this story was close to ending before this episode. It’s like if your mother said “Oh, saw the doctor; turns out it’s benign” and you’re like “wtf you had a tumor?”

          1. they have discussed before what they will do when the plot ends and basically i think that they will trade off to a new DM (probably Travis)

          2. I don’t know if you’re a donor, but I am, and if they say “fuck it” and make the first episode of Adventure Zone Nights free for everyone I’ll be fine with it, because it looks like a good campaign, and I’d rather get that than one episode a year.

          3. Hrm.

            They’ve talked about it before, and I’ve assumed for a minute that this story is coming to such a complete finale that continuing it would feel weird.

    2. The top 3 are people I would like to see again, and then there are some like Bret or figgy that are agreeable people that I wouldn’t mind seeing again. But people like Hannah and David I would rather not return, not because I don’t like them, but they either tend to make the season too much about them (which was also the problem with Shirin), or their storyline is already fulfilled as well as it likely can be (like Adam as well).

    3. Jay is the far and away number one for me. I think a Jay with experience could be All-stars Rob to Marquesas Rob.

      Will could be an interesting returnee in 5-10 years or so when he’s actually an adult. I think the potential for a decent player is there

    4. I’d put Ken in Zeke’s spot because I want to see if he does have that nasty side he mentioned in interviews and to see if he learned anything.

      Zeke we are seeing but I’m in the minority when I say “meh.”

      I do not want to see Bret again (I’d actually rather see Sunday to see if they show her relationship or will they just ignore another mom.)

      I’d like to see if David could get anywhere now that the others will know about him. Can he adapt?

      I’d like to see Jessica again. The tough female roles are harder to fill. She’s also a mom who did not get the mom treatment. She was good in challenges, fair in strategy. She made one blunder early on (but this was a season full of blunders) which she could not recover fully from. She was not voted out and left in one of the worst ways other than medivac.

      No interest Chris or Figgy or Taylor. Would rather Michelle or Mari or Hannah over Figgy.

      1. Shit, excluding Jessica on the top ten list was an oversight on my part. I just realized she wasn’t there. I agree with your assessment on her and would also want to see her again.

        I see Zeke as a dynamic storyteller and a versatile character that could fit in successfully in tons of different seasons.

  7. It’s funny… I liked Jay as a character these past two episodes. But before that I found him pretty off-putting. And there really isn’t much to him as a player. He voted out Michaela which you can argue didn’t hurt him but it sure as hell didn’t help him. He really only made it is far as he did because David had bigger fish to fry (Chris and Zeke) and Zeke had bigger fish to fry in David.

    He probably would make an awesome villain if he played again and had some power.

    I’d also like to see David, Jess and maybe Michelle play again. Along with the two coming back next season.

    I think if we look back at the controversial moves if the season:

    -Jay voted out Michaela but didn’t really gain anything. Bret and Sunday weren’t loyal to him. But he didn’t have to worry about Michaela later.

    -David idols Jess. Well, if they don’t swap suddenly he’s taken the majority on GenX. He also has Jess’ unwavering loyalty. Plus, the ability to make amends with Chris.

    -The rock draw. Look at sides that drew rocks

    1. Jay makes people like him. That’s like one of the number one things to have in a player. It’s not always enough, but it’s thing one.

    2. I don’t know; I think it is quite possible that my view of Jay as a player is affected by liking him as a character, but I don’t see what else we could have expected of him. He made social bonds (and even with people that certainly were not in their best interest to bond with him, like Adam), got idols and made reasonable moves. In the end, the Michaela move didn’t work out, but if I remember correctly, that was because Hannah just threw their alliance to the wind and moved with David, not because the move backfired.

    3. As much as I want to see Jay play again, I’m not sure if I want him to risk ruining his reputation. As many other people have said, if he’s playing from a position of power, he could easily come across as a dick instead of a likable young guy who’s playing hard. (He sounded kind of obnoxious in his RHAP exit interview, but that was right after the finale and I think he might have been a little drunk.)

        1. But, Jay never really got the same reception as Ozzy. Sure, Hannah called him “Peruvian Ozzy”, but he was never as powerful as Ozzy was for as long as Ozzy was in any of his seasons.

      1. He was unbelievably charming by the time he got to Josh Wigler, if that helps:

        Wigler: You and Adam had this rivalry, especially after the merge. Where did that come from?

        Jay: Adam is a beautiful person. He’s very smart and very intelligent and very outgoing and very outspoken. He’s like me if I grew up going to school and, like, being… I don’t even know if he’s rich, but maybe.

        Wigler: He’s rich now!

        Jay: Yeah, now he’s rich. Me? I was going to go skateboard. He’ll go to school and read, and I’ll go off and do whatever it is I do. We really are a yin yang. We have this mutual respect and this love for each other. We each have our little color for each other. On the outside? These two should not be in love with each other. But I love him.

        1. This has inspired another ranking from me. Top ten players I would most want to drink with from this season (if they drink).

          1. Michaela
          2. Zeke
          3. Hannah
          4. Bret
          5. Jay
          6. Jessica
          7. David
          8. Chris
          9. Michelle
          10. Taylor

          1. Mari is a good one too. I think Taylor would be hilarious drunk but there may be higher risk with that choice.

          2. A little drunk, or very drunk? Paul probably stops being entertaining after drink #3, Michelle doesn’t start being entertaining until #4, Taylor probably stays insufferable until #7, at which point he turns into Jean-Ralphio.

          3. When I put together the list, I guess had very drunk in my mind. I would need to drink a lot to kill the nerves of hanging with Survivor players. It’s only fair they match me.

  8. I just had a crazy thought: the Legacy Advantage could have been tampered with when it switched hands between Jessica and Ken and considering who Ken was likely to give it to, maybe Production threw a bone to the then-minority alliance.

        1. I’m not one for the “production interference” conspiracy theories but it’s obviously possible that they could have 10 different legacy advantages and decide which one gets handed over at each tranistion.

          1. That is computely viable as well. Also, I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but this advantage along with the message in the bottle had the highest likelihood of interference.

          2. In a similar vein, when was the fourth idol hidden? I can put on my tinfoil hat and say it was in a very similar location to where Adam found his first idol, the same beach even.

          3. They usually put two or 3 out at first, depending on the the number of tribes, and will replace them up until the merge, but from what I remember, generally wait after the merge as the numbers dwindle until all the idols are used.

            As far as we saw, people did not look after the merge until the last idol was used and really only Adam and Jay looked. This has happened other seasons as long as people know the idols have actually been found even if they do not know by whom.

          4. In Cambodia, they put another idol out after Wentworth’s play even though Jeremy still had an idol in his possession. I guess that was to compensate for Angkor being an awful place to be.

          5. That might be an exception. I can’t remember if it was before the merge or after. They were doing a lot more than usual that season.

          6. That was definitely after the merge because that was the idol that was just waiting for Jeremy on the spider web after he found the clue at treemail after Abi scared away Joe from looking for the idol.

            See, I do remember a lot about Cambodia.

        2. Absolutely. Just never occurred to me that the producers had the perfect opportunity to change it.

          1. Also, after Jessica was voted out, there was only three tribal councils between that and Day 36, which could have easily been a Pagonging of David/Ken/Hannah/Adam. That could have been safety for the last one standing from that alliance.

  9. I genuinely feel there’s no need to see David again.
    Hannah’s at a maybe for me; I could definitely see her returning with more confidence.
    Jay, yes please.

  10. Thanks for the shout out. Didn’t know I was posting on here as much..

    Just to to touch on a few things you discussed.

    – I mostly agree with your overall take on Adam. I do think you were to harsh on him at the merge time but in the end he did not really get to execute his moves and won in-spite of that. Bar a few differences, his victory is almost exactly like Sandra’s in HvV in terms of being a proxy for the jury (something you touched on). I do think his best move probably was that second idol find, it probably kept him in the game and also allowed Hannah to finish off any minute chance she had with that jury. Fittingly even in that move, he made the mistake of revealing the idol to Hannah.

    – 100% agree with your take on reasons behind Hannah not getting the credit she think she deserved.

    – Have to admire Andy’s commitment of turning everything this season as an evidence to support Jay’s move to oust Michaela. You are correct, that there is no way to prove that take wrong. Simply because it seems any thing from Jay’s position post merge supports that move and nothing takes away from it. For example, if Jay had won Andy would have used that as an evidence to support his position but him losing seemingly has no impact. My simple reason for maintaining that it is a bad move is that the bad outweighed the good. If Jay got rid of a threat and gained some allies, it would have been worth it, except as a result he lost 2 allies in Hannah and Michaela, failed to gain allies in Bret and Sunday and also lost a meat shield in Michaela.

    – Initially, I thought the same of Ken and that he sort of played the best game he could minus failing to socially connect with people not in his alliance. But Jay’s answer to Rob’s question about his game plan in his hypothetical next season made me re think this notion. Jay basically said that he won’t know how he would play until he saw and met the group he was playing with. And this really is key to survivor. You need to be adaptable to play different kinds of game to be a good survivor player. Luck could favor you and you could end up in a group aligned with your natural game but you should not rely on that. Someone like Sophie for example, adapted herself into someone who could mix it with Kumbaya tribe she ended up with despite being a NY liberal.

    – David’s reputation of being the biggest threat out there had an element of self fulfilling prophecy to it but he deserves credit for fostering strong bonds that allowed him to go deeper that he should have. Hannah had no logical reason to choose him ahead of Zeke, given doing so forced her to pick rocks and turn herself into a target but she still did and then kept him in the game just because she liked him. Same with Ken, it practically needed people point blank telling Ken that he had lost before he got on board with cutting David.

    – I think your Jay fanboism is letting you to being too kind on him for that believing that fake idol. Everything was a job well done by David except that ugly Pink spot. No way that looked like anything production would do and Jay should have known that the last symbol was much more subtle than a flashing neon sign that pink painted coconut was.

    – I personally loved this season. Defo in my 5-10. Have a feeling I would rate it higher than Cambodia when I have a re-think for the overall ranking. My 3 fav players would be- Michaela, Jay and David. Must admit, Probst over hyping Zeke sort of made me expect even more from him.

    1. When Andy was working on the list he briefly had our post counts visible, so now I know exactly how much I post here.

        1. I was glad that I made the top twenty. It’s my mission to make the top fifteen. Top ten will be a hard nut to crack.

        2. I have 1000 more posts than the next person. It only didnt horrify me because I already know how much I post.

        3. It definitely horrified me because it highlighted that someone in between having two part-time jobs and finishing my master’s degree, I had time to post a lot on this website.

    2. In order:

      -Nothing to add.

      -I like when people agree with me.

      -I imagine you’re not actually admiring it, but I’ll take it anyway. Two MORE notes on Michaela (or maybe just the same ones again): I agree nothing good came of it, but nothing bad did and there was POTENTIAL good had he made the end. I like moves that up your winning potential, even if they come at the expense of your current safety (depending on the level of risk). The potential goods are A) not having to beat Michaela (obviously) and B) executing a Big Move on a season where such a thing is admired rather than disdained.

      -I agree with the idea that a good Survivor is adaptable. I’m not arguing that Ken would be an all-timer in other seasons. But it could have been good enough to win in many seasons (unless there’s something about him that always puts people off, not just these people. No way of knowing).

      -David’s best moves were definitely his social bonds with Hannah. But it also sounds like some of that was also Ken’s bond with her/Hannah wanting to go to the end with Ken (because she thought she could beat him).

      -You’re right. We admitted as much. I think he was fooled for two reasons: A) David did a good job, and B) Jay WANTED to believe it. Which is how a lot of cons work.

  11. So overall I liked this season, and Adam was the best possible winner (besides completely reshaping the season and having someone like Michaela win).

    What bothered me somewhat was that the ending was really rushed, with 8 people left in the last two episodes. Other than that, it was pleasant, but not one of the best. I place it around halfway among the (around 20) seasons I have watched.

    What keeps it from being among the best is that I agree with (I think) Andy that while most of the cast was interesting, there were no real stars like Sandra or Fairplay or Rob C. And there were not so many big moments as well: on top of my head I can think only of Jay and Michaela TC and Zeke and Bret talk.

    1. I disagree. I feel David would have been the best winner. He played the best strategic game and people seemed to really like him.

      1. Well, I do agree that he played the best strategic game (at least among the potential winners), and I also agree that people seemed to really like him. But *I* didn’t like him (as much as I liked Adam, at least). And I would have rated this season lower had he won. (Not only because of that, but because it would make moves like Hannah not voting him out at F4 even more frustrating.)

        1. I have to agree with Kemper – if Hannah/Ken did not vote him out, it would have showed he played a fantastic strategic and social game.

          While I am fine with Adam as a winner because you saw he played with good and bad strategic moves, other than Jay and to some extent Hannah, we saw a pretty bad and/or nonexistent in some cases social game but that did not turn out to be the case. At least there was a lot more than last season’s winner.

  12. Thank you for articulating the reasons I can think of Sandra as a beast and Adam as a very mediocre winner.

      1. I don’t know that they buried them as much as there were other stories to tell. But it did make it surprising when someone like Jessica voted for him.

        1. My guess was that she liked him more than Hannah and was hurt by Ken voting out David the previous day.

  13. I’m starting to wonder if what we’ve seen in juries the last two seasons are what we’ve been seeing in America in the last 12 months:
    • blatant ignorance and/or misinterpretation of facts, cheerfully disseminated (hi Chris!)
    • opinions formed well in advance of any rhetorical response, which would be ineffective anyway
    • people voting for like-minded and like-designed competitors (happening in-game too)

    Sound familiar? If “Survivor” is meant to be a microcosm of American society, it certainly played out that way within the game this season and last: early game processes lead to a largely homogeneous jury pool, who then seem to immediately gravitate towards voting for someone who seems benign and caused them the least emotional turmoil.

    Andy is probably right that people are “voting for themselves” because in an increasingly diversified society, it subconsciously feels like a “safe” thing to do. It also is self-validating (“that person is like me, so if I was there instead of her/him, I would have won”). So I wonder if this is a silent but huge shift in how the game is going to be played, where “big moves” mean much less than management of where increasingly sensitive and stubborn people sit at the end of the game — and/or if that process is what becomes “big moves” going forward.

    1. I agree with Andy: I see where you’re going with this but the comparison between Survivor and the US presidential election falls apart because Russell can’t win Survivor.

  14. I’d probably put this season somewhere in or very close to the top third of the seasons. I’d have to do some serious considering to determine what my top 10 actually are. The memory thing…she ain’t what she used to be.

    1. I find it hard to rank but I know that the top 7 off the top of my head in no particular is HvV, Micronesia, Cook Islands, Pearl Islands, Philippines, Cambodia, Amazon. After that is gets hazy.

      1. I know I’d have HvV, Borneo, Pearl Islands, Cambodia, Cagayan, and Micronesia in mine somewhere in the ten. Also no particular order.

          1. He did not (I think It was a he. I did not check.) But you are right. That’s just a loose thread from the muzzle.

            There was a very cute entirely brown one sitting on the ground just out of the shot with reindeer antlers on it. My hubby just got spooked by the evil eye and did not take the picture.

          2. I liked it. You can see some of my thoughts in my comment to John, but I will say that it is interesting to see Tasha and Spencer waylay Woo’s gameplay knowing what their (but especially Tasha’s) gameplay will be in Cambodia.

          3. I had watched the pre-merge a few times but somehow magically my total legal source to watch Cagayan totally legally did not have the Jefra boot, which meant that I never had enough momentum to finish. It is definitely top 5 baby, but fifth. I think what holds it back a little bit from hitting any higher is that 1 tribe really gets the short shift of the edit (yes, Philippines slightly have this issue but not to the same degree as Cagayan).

    2. I never really ranked them myself. I will say Palau and Pearl Islands were my absolute favorites.

      I’ve also never seen Borneo since I started with season 2. I have it as someone gave me a video collection but I’ve never felt compelled to watch especially knowing the winner and knowing its a different animal.

      1. My top 6 would be in no order Cambodia, Tocantins, Palau, Philippines, Heroes vs. Villains, Cook Islands.

        I would say Cagayan, Pearl Islands & Blood vs. Water are in the top 9 group.

        After that I think in no order Amazon, Australia, Micronesia, All Stars, Borneo, Guatemala, & Millenials vs. Gen X.

  15. I’d put this season around where John was putting it. I’m thinking 12-15, or something like that.

    Definitely ahead of MvX: Borneo, The Amazon, Pearl Islands, Palau, China, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, and Cambodia. The group right after that has Guatemala, Panama, Cook Islands, Blood vs. Water, San Juan Del Sur, Kaoh Rong, and probably Millennials vs. Gen X. I think after I’ve had some time away from MvX I’ll end up putting it #12.

    1. My intuition was the same as John’s, no need to actually work out a ranking: Definitely upper half, probably not upper third (but possibly the very bottom of upper third). So those parameters mean MvGX is somewhere between 11-16.

      1. I probably wouldn’t have named specific seasons either, but I just started a three week break and I’m already going crazy for not having work.

        Anyway, it’s good to see that a lot of people agree with my general placement of this season. I’m very glad that I watched it, and I’ll watch it again, but it’s not quite good enough to crack the elite tier of seasons. It feels at home as being around the bottom of the 1st third to around the top of the 2nd third of seasons.

  16. Here’s my rankings of every player from this season, based solely on how much I enjoyed them:
    20. Paul
    19. Lucy
    18. Cece
    17. Rachel
    16. Taylor
    15. Mari
    14. Will
    13. Sunday
    12. Figgy
    11. Adam
    10. Jessica
    9. Chris
    8. Hannah
    7. Michelle
    6. Ken
    5. David
    4. Bret
    3. Michaela
    2. Zeke
    1. Jay

    1. I would say that CeCe should be last and would swap Will and Taylor but otherwise it is a solid list.

    2. I’m just surprised you have Adam at 11th, after even Jessica. (I would put him at 4th or 5th.) Other than that I mostly agree. (I would also rank Taylor and Mari much lower, probably under Chris.)

      1. I’m actually fine with Adam somewhere in the middle (based strictly on entertainment value). He wasn’t a very dynamic presence.

    3. Adam feels low, but I think you have the top six nailed. And the strength of the season was in watching that group of six likable weirdos play the game with intensity but with very little malice.

    4. On this chart – 12-18 are pretty accurate.

      I’d say Michaela is #1 for me.
      2. Jay (though I did not like him at the beginning).
      3. David
      4. Ken
      5. Hannah
      6. Adam
      7. Jessica
      8. Zeke (I’m not as enamoured as others of him. I am not into the total gamebots and he was one.)
      9. Michelle (Not enough of her.)
      10. Chris (I just did not like him until after the show and his Ponderosa videos.
      11. Bret (I am one of the minority in that I just did not like him).

  17. I have a prediction based on how well the players on this season will do on next season based on their starting tribes from Inside Survivor so spoilers Michaela should be safe on her starting tribe because there are bigger targets plus the fact that she is one strongest in challenges on it. However, Zeke on other hand is probably starting with a bad hand of cards. He is a tribe with Ozzy, Brad and JT, three tough personalities that are going to hard to work. Adding to fact that players like Andrea and Cirie being willing to throw him under the bus and chances are Zeke might be first off that tribe explaining why Jeff Probst did not say he would on again at the initial announcement.

  18. Glad to see at least a modicum of Ken respect on the podcast. Agreed that he could have won other (even recent) seasons. He did exactly what he set out to do, and pulled off the most important move at the right time.

    He just had no shot because he’s a weirdo and the norms didn’t like him. Well I like you Ken. You can come debate the merits of Bright Eyes with me any time.

    1. As I said on the podcast, it’s just one of the very rare times in his life that things didn’t turn out well simply by being Ken. But we wanted to make it clear that it’s not that Ken couldn’t win Survivor. I think he could have won a decent percentage of seasons, even being the sexy weirdo that he is.

      1. I don’t know about that. Survivor players don’t like to be preached to about honesy and integrity, pretty much from the very start. I think that was the most off-putting thing about Ken to the players and I don’t think in other seasons that would change.

    2. This.

      I think it stems back to the GenX tribe when he would not fall into line with the 2 dominant Alpha males (Chris and Paul – I can’t quite say Bret was an Alpha – he was an in-between).

  19. Anyone else applying to be a S34 expert? Because I’m totally applying to be an expert on Andrea, don’t even care that I’m committing to rewatching Redemption Island.

      1. Rob C. is doing a thing where you can put your case in to be the definitive expert on one of the s34 players, and if you get picked, and are willing to rewatch all of their seasons and listen to all of their RHAP appearances, you come on the show to talk them up.

        1. So can I be the Troy expert? And by “expert”, I mean person who thinks he is fucking garbage at Survivor and can cite evidence that proves this.

          1. I agree but it looks like he wants the positive side (my guess) of each contestant for an actual podcast. Not someone to trash him/her (unless in his comment section, of course).

            And yes, I realize there is no positive side of Troy.

          1. Well they will probably include Big Brother in that one since you have to listen to all the person’s appearances on RHAP.

          2. Out of the players there, I think I understand Brad Culpepper the most actually.

            I’ll be PRP’s Brad Culpepper expert.

          3. Brad would probably be the easiest to do, since you only have a couple of episodes to watch, plus his exit interview. Although you do get bonus points for listening to TEoS for that season and finding places you think Rob and Josh were wrong.

          4. Plus he probably had a podcast when he was campaigning for second chances. Not sure. Did not listen to all of them.

          5. So are you supposed to watch all the episodes and be paying attention to whatever, say, Tai is doing in the background of a scene as well? Because I am far too lazy for that. I hope you get the gig.

          6. Yeah the only problem is I’d have to listen to the TEOS of a season I find pretty mediocre. And something tells me Rob and Josh aren’t going to be big Monica Culpepper fans either.

          7. You dont have to. TEos is extra credit, and theyve stressed that picking a less popular player is a smart move.

            I think Im gonna have competition for Andrea, but not a lot. You wont have much competition for Brad.

      1. You would probably have good shot because I can’t imagine a lot of competition.

        I’m thinking Haley myself. But I probably won’t just b/c of time. We do have the lawyer connection thing.

          1. I believe it started ironically on RHAP’s episode about it but yeah it’s an ironic thing now for sure.

      1. I can do one. Give me anyone and I could write a hype post on them. If Earl is in the cast I would love him.

    1. Hali Expert here, insofar as I chuckle at her Merica confessional frequently and with only moderate malice.

      Heh. Merica.

      1. And that’s the one thing I hate – Merica. But I hate that in general.
        So maybe I should not apply.

        1. On the show itself, it all got conflated with and buried under Mike’s completely un-ironic, right-wing MERICA!!!-ness, but I find Hali’s deleted-scene and YouTube-video liberal flag-waving (and Constitution-waving) patriotism to be utterly delightful, and frankly I think it’s a good look for liberals interested in winning elections.

  20. I had not had a chance to post before much except the pic but I just listened to the podcast on the way into work.

    I really enjoyed the podcasting and don’t think you guys need to change a thing. I love the mailbag, and the other discussions we have even though I am not always a part of them (anything to do with sports and some of the games you guys talk about). (I like Hannah, never was or will be a Captain of Sports). I never did get around to posting my favorites of music more because of I don’t really go for full albums. There’s always something I don’t like on them. Even what I would say is probably one of my favorite albums (Rickie Lee Jpnes’ Flying Cowboys from 1989) has one song I hate. But I did hear of and in some cases listened to most of the bands you guys described and you gave me ideas for others to look into.

  21. I want to clarify something I said in response to Andy’s proposal of “the jury votes for themselves”, where I said the jury votes for the person who they hold least responsible for screwing up their game.

    When I say most responsible, I’m not talking about the person who directly voted them out, especially if that person was someone they were targeting. I’m talking about the person they planned and were hoping to have on their side, that from their perspective it was logical to be on their side, but ended up going against them. That’s why you have people like Trish and Kass and Spencer furious at Woo at the end instead of Tony. That’s why you have Stephen never ever voting for Spencer in Cambodia.

    That’s the problem when people say they judge jury votes based on gameplay. It’s a very biased version of gameplay where they expect people to be playing their game, ie they mistake the biggest threat to their game as the biggest threat overall, and everyone not working with them to get them out is just stupid. I think from a pure gameplay perspective, Hannah wiped the floor with Adam. But that’s not what they are actually voting on. They are voting on who they hold responsible for their game failing, the people who didn’t work with them when they should have.

      1. I think that Hannah got her ideal Final 3, which was Adam who was thought of as a bit of a spaz, and Ken. And she did that by swinging every vote to the way she wanted. She propped up David rather than Zeke, ensuring that the David side won. Then she pretty much singledhandedly took down Sunday and Bret, and from what we saw she was the driving force to convincing Ken to vote out David. From a strategy perspective I don’t really see a mistake Hannah made.

        I just don’t think the same could be said for Adam, who fell for a ruse and caused David to play his idol incorrectly, then played his own idol incorrectly twice and really didn’t want either Bret or Sunday to go home.

        Hannah made the right moves to get the result she wanted, and Adam did not.

        I’m not using this to say Hannah should have won, just that she was the driving force behind the final 3 that we got, which was the exact final 3 she clearly wanted. If the jury was voting only on gameplay, I think they would respect that.

        1. I think you can argue that Hannah’s game was tactically superior to Adam (although I’d disagree- her tactical bungling of the Zeke vote in particular was astounding. And its’ worth noting that in the first David/Zeke confrontation, the one in which Hannah flipped, the David side DIDN’T win).

          But if Hannah’s preferred final three included Adam, that means her strategic game was a complete and unequivocal failure. If your Final three includes someone who will beat you 10-0, you got played hard.

          At best, you can say that Hannah’s problem wasn’t tactics, it was a disastrous social game, and a lack of strategic analysis of what that social game meant (“I am goat- to have a shot, I need to find super-goats. Who is super-goat?”). Which is what Survivor has always been primarily about.

          1. Seriously though, which 3rd member can Hannah bring who she does get a vote against? Adam was her best shot.

            And I agree with the disastrous social game, but I’d also argue that it’s unfair for someone with the clear degree of anxiety that Hannah has to have a good social game, especially as a woman.

          2. Maybe Sunday. Maybe Will. Maybe Jess (lots of people hated Jess for dumb reasons!). By the time the finale started, Hannah was drawing dead- but she was drawing dead because of her own mid-game choices.

            I agree that it’s unfair to the very clever but socially inept that they can’t win at Survivor. But, well, that’s what the game of Survivor IS (and for me, that’s what makes the game interesting). Survivor is a game of relationship and reputation management.

          3. It really didn’t help that her “could she win” montage ending with her in confessional asking if her armpit hair showed. If you are getting a dodo edit in the finale, you are doomed (see both SJDS and Cambodia Keith and Cagayan Woo as prime examples).

          4. It’s a counterfactual that can’t be proven, of course, but I don’t have a hard time believing that Aubry could have won with this jury.

          5. I think gender factored into her problems, but Hannah was absolutely awful at reading the room at times. She needed to cut David before the Final Four because the Jury (Chris, Zeke, Bret, Will, Sunday, Jay) was very vocal about the fact that they considered David a huge threat and that keeping him around made you look like the idiots that kept Boston Rob and Kim around. Hannah staked her entire argument around being the person who kept David around, while ADAM actively campaigned to oust him prior to when she did. You have to know what the jury wants to see and hear to win Survivor.

        2. Hannah deserves more blame than ADAM for David wasting his idol, since her crappy conversation with Zeke prevented a potential blindside.

    1. I disagree about how intentional Hannah’s gameplay was, but set that aside. You make a great point that people say they value “smart gameplay”, but what they mean by “smart” is “benefits me”. To me, nothing illustrates that more than that everybody accused Hannah of being a flip-flopper, to the point that she as well as we in the PRP community have all internalized it. But the fact is that she voted in lock step with David, Ken, and Adam from the merge all the way to F5. That’s the exact opposite of being a flip-flopper. What the people that feel betrayed by her mean is that she DIDN’T flip when they wanted her to. Hannah torpedoed her game by repeatedly flirting with and even promising to flip, but then running back to her alliance. That left her without any Big Move™ to put on her resume and also without any credit for loyalty (not that that was going to be rewarded by this jury, but maybe she could have claimed to be the brains of the alliance).

  22. You guys, I’m sure this has been discussed at length in the comments below, but I’m really conflicted about whether/how much gender was a factor in this FTC. I feel like on paper Hannah and Adam are really similar, so my instinct is that if the genders were switched, male-Hannah may have easily won over female-Adam. However, I also acknowledge that there were real differences between their game style, strategy and personalities that may also have influenced the vote completely independent from their genders.
    Not to bring this back to politics, but I have to confess that the whole election fiasco has really hurt my “women can do anything” mindset and that’s probably adding to my baggage over this jury’s decision. Truthfully, on Nov. 9th I woke up and thought “oh, I guess women can’t actually do everything men can.” 🙁
    Anyway, I don’t think Adam was an undeserving winner and I don’t think Hannah necessarily lost unfairly, but I do have this nagging feeling that gender (and the jury’s perceptions of it) influenced this vote and so it does give the final result of the season a bit of an off taste for me.

    1. It’s certainly not difficult to believe that a group that voted the way this group did in the pre-merge might have trouble giving women proper credit for things. The problem is that it’s hard for a juror to think Hannah was a mastermind when they’d seen her publicly disavowing knowledge of votes (the Michaela vote), whispering with Adam mid-tribal, flaking out on Zeke, taking 10 minutes to vote, etc.

    2. I think it’s not so much that gender influenced the vote as that gender influences everything in Survivor (because AMERICA). So much of Survivor is about presenting a version of yourself that fits within the right stereotypical boxes, and which boxes are available is hugely shaped by gender (and race, and queerness, and age and disability status). Because Hannah was a woman, she was quickly slotted into the box of “flighty and unpredictable paranoid follower who requires endless emotional labor to work with, because women, right? Not a serious person.” David took early-game actions that, were he a young woman, could easily have gotten him put into the same box- but as a middle aged guy he was allowed to instead be “city nerd who grows into STRATEGIC MASTERMIND!”

      I don’t think there’s any question that being a man, especially a white man near the age center of a cast, gives you the most options for crafting a winning reputation. Any difference from that “default” demographic identity limits your options. I’m pretty sure that Winning with Hannah’s game is not an option for a young woman.

      1. David’s early behavior by a woman normally would have gotten her voted out first on a different season.

      2. The problem is that Hannah’s argument is more “my gameplay would be respected more coming from a man” rather than “my mistakes and flaws wouldn’t be as damning coming from a man”. Because I think there’s something to the second part. Both Adam and David were allowed to overcome bad impressions in ways that I don’t think they could have were they women.

        1. It’s really the same thing though right? Because Hannah is so flawed the jury saw her as a goat, and therefore any move she made was either seen as sporadic or the work of someone else.

          Like you can imagine Hannah playing an idol on David or Adam the same way David did for Jessica and the reaction being “Wow, David/Adam got Hannah to play an idol on them!”

          1. That’s a good point. But I think that’s yet another reason David playing his idol on Jessica so early was helpful. At that point, perceptions are still a little more fluid.

            I can see the argument that this is a gendered thing, but Chris discounted Ken flipping on David and called it Adam’s move because Chris already had a perception of Ken that wasn’t going to change.

          2. Oh yeah I’m definitely not arguing that this is a gendered thing. What it is though is a misdiagnosis of the jury of what they’re voting for. They may think they are voting for gameplay, but there’s always a very biased notion of what “gameplay” is.

          3. Hm, so maybe the issue boils down to: first impressions affect certain casting types more (and more negatively) than others? The only nerdy girl type I can think of who has ever won was Sophie, and she most certainly didn’t win because the jury fell in love with her.

          4. Yes that is pretty much correct. And Sophie never really had the anxiety issues that Hannah or Aubry had.

          5. In fact, Sophie’s breakdown at F5 Part Deux helped her in the eyes of some of the jury because it showed that she was human and had these emotions. I am sure that Dawn (at least) was swayed by that. But, what helped Sophie was that this was the first time she let her guard down.

            Hannah had consistently had her guard down.

    3. In a way, you’re literally correct. Hannah and Adam really were the same “on paper”–their votes were identical from the merge through F5* (except for the Jay/Taylor attempted idol flush, which is still coordinating votes). And yet Adam was viewed as trying and failing to make things happen, while Hannah was viewed as dithering and ultimately preventing things from happening. I happen to think that’s an accurate assessment of what was going on, but I also don’t doubt that gendered perceptions and roles had something to do with it (including the gender roles Adam and Hannah were permitting themselves).

      *I really think the overlooked story of the post-merge is that for all of the twists and turns, the David-Ken-Hannah-Adam alliance stayed rock solid when it actually came time to vote, and that from the rock draw onward it was just a straight up Pagonging of Zeke’s final five alliance.

  23. Just listening now and commenting as I go:

    Bright Eyes!! My husband is from the Omaha area and is a huge Conor Oberst fanatic going way back. We even went to the daylong festival thingy he put together in Benson a couple years ago (ugh it was so hot that day). I myself am extremely uncool, but I do have a top 5 (in no particular order because that’s too hard):
    -Kathy with a K’s Song
    -Ladder Song
    -Four Winds
    -Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh
    -Cleanse Song

  24. So I’ll have you know I started working on that whole “have players who were voted out right before final tribal council historically been bitter towards the person who voted them out” thing, but it ended up at five pages before I realized I should maybe settle down a little. If I can somehow cut it into a Disqus-sized article then you all can find out the exciting conclusion!*

    * – Ironically the conclusion was “needs more data”.

      1. Just the sort of pointless drivel this site needs!

        But yeah, I’ll see what I can do. Wouldn’t want to deprive the world of more wild speculative Survivor articles.

  25. Thanks for another great year of analysis and commentary, fellas. The comment count got a bit unwieldy at times, but the PRP community remains my favorite place to consider alternative perspectives on this tricky little game we all love. Enjoy your off-season and merry Christmas.

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what we can do about the comments getting so massive. And Disqus seems like the best of the terrible options available.

      1. Probably so. That’s just the price you pay for delivering a consistently enjoyable podcast with respectful, clever discussion.

  26. FYI, the note for the Legacy Advantage once it was opened said that it was able to be given to another person so they could use it for immunity at that tribal.

  27. 33 Best Survivor Episodes Part 8

    12. Survivor: Cook Islands episode 9 “Mutiny”

    One of the most beloved story types is the one of the underdog overcoming the odds and conquering the powerful opponents. Survivor has had this story play out a few times over its run with a few satisfying results. Cook Islands gave us the biggest underdog story in the Aitu Four and their origin story is one of the best and emotional moments Survivor has produced. The episode starts with the Aitu tribe minus Ozzy planning their next move. Ozzy is on the bottom because he’s such a huge challenge threat but there are a lot of other moving parts within the tribe. Yul, Becky, Candice and Penner are the four running the tribe. Yul and Becky are pairs along with Candice and Penner. The tribe doesn’t trust Penner with the exception of Yul. Penner and especially Candice is looking to reunite with Adam and Parvati post merge. Penner views Candice as his number one ally. Candice does not view him the same way.Over at the Raro camp, Brad is becoming less trustworthy during conversation about the merge leading to his “everyone for themselves” comment. All of this comes together during the reward challenge, when Jeff offers everyone an opportunity to step off their team mat and switch to the other tribe. Brad stays put as the camera zooms in on him. Candice and Adam exchange looks like they’ve been all season. Personally, I find the idea of Candice being attracted to the douchey facial expressions Adam makes the whole goddamn season way more confusing than the move she’s about to pull off. Candice steps off the mat and Penner follows close behind. Yul expresses shock and Ozzy expresses anger at Candice and Penner’s betrayal. Aitu is left at four players while Raro grows into an intimidating eight. Aitu would go on to win the reward challenge and Candice, now cast as the “villain,” is sent to Exile. Ozzy loudly tells Penner that “mutineers are the first to die.” Sundra is overcome with emotion as her plucky little team is able to overcome the big bads in this challenge. On Exile, Candice is satisfied with her decision to rejoin Douche Face and Parvati but is feeling the effects of being singled out by Aitu to suffer on Exile while Penner gets to bond with Raro. Penner is not bonding with Raro well. While Candice was expected, Penner is portrayed as the unwelcome guest that needs to go immediately. In one of my favorite Survivor segments, the Aitu Four get a nice reward with letters to family that serves as an emotionally shared experience that draws them closer. We get more insight into who these people are and are drawn to cheer for these heroes as they go through their Survivor journey. Aitu would find the strength to win the immunity challenge as well. All of Aitu is competent challenge wise but having Ozzy at his peak is such a great advantage in competition, especially when he’s one of four parts as opposed to one of six parts. His dominance carries more weight. Penner is the low man on the totem pole with Aitu and Candice wastes very little time throwing him under the bus in conversations with Adam. Adam and Nate reach the conclusion that Penner is stuck with them and he can’t go back to Aitu, which is some nice foreshadowing to what happens in future episodes. They decide to cut Brad instead, thinking he could flip to Aitu. Overall a fabulous hour of Survivor that set up a great second and third acts to a great season. It even brought a legit tear to my eye.
    Episode MVP: Aitu Four (Becky, Ozzy, Sundra, Yul)

    Twist: There are two episodes in the number 11 spot. The 33 Best Survivor Episodes actually has 34 selections. These next two hold a bit of a connection for me.

    11a. Survivor: Borneo episode 13 “The Final Four”

    I had the most trouble ranking this episode. Without out a doubt to me, it’s the biggest/most influential episode of Survivor ever. I remember exactly where I was and my mindset during the original airing. I was a 10 year old during the summer of 2000 when Survivor was the biggest thing in America. There was a small viewing party at my next door neighbor’s house on a humid night in Cape Coral, Florida. A mix of adults and surprisingly quiet children were all enthralled by what was going on the television. I remember being stunned and upset at the final result. Richard was an asshole, why would anyone vote for him? It was a sour result to what was an enjoyable season of TV. Survivor would then be forgotten as I committed my Thursday nights to WWF (at the time) Smackdown. It was many years later before I fully appreciated the game Richard played. Revisiting the episode, I was surprised it held up. It’s still one of the best finales Survivor has ever done. I’m surprised how downright dour the mood was amongst the players. None of the excitement, anxiousness or frustration that would be more prevalent in later seasons. These players were just over the whole experience. Rudy was extra curmudgeon and the relationship between Sue and Kelly has completely deteriorated. Rich I’m confessionals was the only sign of life throughout most of the first hour. This atmosphere seemed appropriate for what these players went through. The episode takes its time showing what the players feelings. The alliance has completed the pagoning and one of their own had to be eliminated. The final four challenge was a trivia competition about the past competitors of the season. This game really highlighted the differences between Richard and Kelly. Richard got the most wrong, not knowing or caring much about the people he voted out while Kelly was very knowledgeable. Kelly would win and the Tribal vote happens immediately. Kelly turns on Sue in the revote, no longer burdened to protect the former friend. The final three challenge was a test of endurance as the players had to keep a hand on the totem pole for as long as possible. This is where Richard made the brilliant decision to bow out. Both Kelly or Rudy would take him to the final over each other. Richard is coy though when asked about his choice by Jeff. Kelly would win again and select Richard to accompany her to Final Tribal. The jury had a lack of energy with their questions, with one noticeable exception. Sue’s “Snakes & Rats” speech is one the biggest moments in the show’s history. The words she used cut deep. Her line about letting the vultures do whatever they want with Kelly haunts me to this day. So much venom in Sue’s words. Gervase actually spends a good minutes bashing Sue while voting for Kelly, which I think is an underrated moment. Greg asks the infamous pick a number question as well. In the first edition of Survivor, Richard would beat Kelly four votes (including Greg’s vote) to three. With that, history was made and Survivor has been running like a machine ever since.
    Episode MVP: Richard

    11b. Survivor: Cagayan episode 1 “Hot Girl with a Grudge”

    The first episode I watched since the Borneo finale. One Sunday during football I saw a promo for a particularly famous episode of Blood vs Water. I turned to my friend and pulled the cliche move of asking “This show is still on?” He assured me that it was and that the show was good and I should watch it. I told him to let me know when the next season starts and I’ll jump in. This brings us to Cagayan. I watched this episode and instantly fell in love with this show. Unlike Borneo’s methodical pace, Cagayan hits the ground running. We’re introduced to a fascinating cast immediately and leaders are selected to make a decision about who the weakest tribe member is. The highlight of this is David quickly choosing Garrett as the “weakest” tribe member. Not a baffling decision if you’re familiar with how the Marlins are ran. Morgan and Garrett look for idols while Trish builds camp. I don’t think there’s a wrong choice here but I would choose camp supplies and search for the idol without the clue. We get some insight on each track dynamics. LJ is intimidated by Morgan’s hotness on the Beauty tribe. Brice, who is amazing and Survivor should bring back, decides to align with Morgan. Over at Brains, J’Tia bosses around her tribemates while they build camp. Garrett finds the idol. At Brawn, Sarah immediately suspects that Tony is a cop and Woo is a big fan of Cliff Robinson. The introduction to the casts is great here. We get a mix of potential savvy game players and entertaining characters. Greatly leaves you wanting to follow the journey. I believe Cagayan is the best newbie cast Survivor has had. At the immunity challenge, Brains performs pretty pathetically and gets blown out. J’Tia seems to be the main target because of her laziness around camp, bossy attitude and poor challenge performance. David is threatened by Garrett and wants him gone. He’s thinking about Day 39, which seems like bad thinking on his part. Not surprising if you’re familiar with how the Marlins are ran. Instead David gets clipped in the first Tribal Council of the season. In the second hour, Tony is off building a spy shack, which is awesome. He’s targeting Cliff Robinson. Over at Brawn, Brice and Morgan brings Jeremiah into their group. Brain remains the main focus because they are very shitty. They blow a big lead in the immunity challenge when J’Tia has a meltdown on the puzzle. J’Tia is again the main target for elimination. Garrett doesn’t want side conversations because he doesn’t know how Survivor works. Instead he wants an open forum and asks the other castmates what they’re thinking. Kass isn’t shy about telling J’Tia that she wants her out right in front of her. Spencer reluctantly agrees that J’Tia should go. Tasha wants to have a side conversation with Garrett and Spencer but Garrett refuses. Tasha grows so frustrated that she approaches Kass about just voting Garrett out. Alone at camp, after being told that she’s leaving, J’Tia decides to dump all the rice in the fire and delivers a creepy confessional while doing it. Anyone who picked her to win must be feeling incredibly foolish watching this. At Tribal, Garrett, who has an idol, repeatedly puts his foot in his mouth as Kass and Tasha attack him. Spencer looks like he rather be anywhere else. None of this matters because obviously they are going to vote out the rice burner who implodes in challenges. Except they don’t. They get rid of Garrett instead. Holy shit, this show is insane. The Cagayan premiere jumps into the action immediately with so much crazy activity that you have to come back for more. I came back for more and never left.
    Episode MVP: J’Tia

    Coming in 2017, the top ten episodes. Nine different seasons are represented. Bonus points if anyone guesses which episode is number one.

  28. Listened to this a few days ago but wanted to jump on here and say thanks again for a great season. This was a busier time for me than normal so I wasn’t able to get as involved as I normally do, but this place is always a haven and a fun time. Thanks for all that you do, PRP crew.

    Also, to answer Andy’s question – I liked the extra stuff when I had time to listen to it, but I’ll be honest – my podcast listening time is limited to my commutes nowadays, and if doesn’t fit into that 45 minutes of time I usually don’t feel super inclined to go back and listen to it.

  29. I’m late responding, but here is a list of my Random Thoughts, @hornacek:disqus style:

    1) Thanks again for a fun season of podcasting! I always listen to you guys first (or, as soon as it is up)
    2) I also love the live-tweeting, on the site, and when I am lucky enough to participate.
    3) I don’t mind the extra stuff since it’s at the end of the podcast. Keep it up. I think the only time I didn’t listen to all of it was when you started talking about Westworld, which I hadn’t caught up on yet (I since have…FTR)
    4) If you do a rankings on Survivor winners, I’d suggest you including the qualifier “Satisfying”, because that’s essentially what it comes down to. All winners “deserve” their win, but obviously some are FAR more satisfying than others for a variety of reasons.

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