Purple Rock Watch-Along: Survivor Nicaragua Episodes 6-7

Welcome to the next two episodes of Purple Rock Podcast’s (well, Matt’s) watch of Survivor: Nicaragua. Read my live blog below.

A reminder before I dive back into my running thoughts of Survivor: Nicaragua- I am spoiled on the following things: I know who wins, I am pretty sure I know who is second and third (but not the order), and I know who quits. Aside from that, I believe I know a few other people who make the merge (for instance I’m pretty sure I know one makes the merge based on getting invited back for Caramoan). And that is it. With that out of the way, to the liveblog!

Episode 6 – “Worst Case Scenario”:

Previously on Survivor: The young tribe is in control, with Brenda, Chase, NaOnka and Sash on top (even the intro forgets Purple Kelly). The new La Flor tribe has young people in charge (duh). New Espada takes out Tyrone for no discernible reason. And Yve wasn’t told about that plan.

Dan is talking about quitting. Yet another person who has talked about quitting. Add him to the list!

Now Holly is criticizing someone for talking about quitting, despite acknowledging that she was just talking about quitting a few days ago. This fucking cast.

Yve confronts Holly about leaving her in the dark, and Holly plays(?) dumb. So Holly deflects to Dan. Yeah, this is an Yve boot. Calling it now.

Marty and Jill are on the outs. Brenda calls Jane a natural, genuine helper (despite Marty and Jill waking up early and keeping the fire going). What Brenda means to say is that Jane is a natural, genuine person she likes.

Marty and Jane are super happy that Tyrone is gone. They know they need to win tribal immunity to stay in the game.

Oh! Double individual immunity, and no team immunity. I feel that is the show punking Marty. Calling it: Yve and Jill go home right now.

Haha, Dan just has his ring stuck on his paddle and is twirling in place like a dog chasing his tail.

Holly wins immunity.

Hey, Probst mentioned Purple Kelly! (To emphasize how poorly she was doing).


Oh damn, Jill wins immunity. Guess I was wrong about that prediction. (Oh, and Jill won the feast and “listen in” advantage.)

Jill winning complicates Brenda’s plan since Marty will play his idol in all likelihood. Who goes instead? Maybe Jane?

Oh okay, Kelly B is the split vote plan. Not Jane. That makes sense given that she was on the bottom before. Brenda is targeting Kelly B because she has a fake leg. Everyone is really scared of that fake leg. Maybe Brenda made Dawn show her false teeth because she hates fake body parts?

Brenda acknowledges that Fabio is hard to account for because he is dumb.

Marty confesses he is a grandmaster of chess to Fabio because… this is stupid, but he made it up to fool Fabio. Fabio totally buys in, because that is a stupid enough lie to work on Fabio. (Pretty sure Kelly B will still go home.)

Holly says the young people have the advantage. She should know, because she gave them the advantage last week. Dan has a Range Rover and a Ferrari. Makes sense, what does Dan do again? Waste management?

Benry wants Yve out because Dan doesn’t want to be there. Chase only trusts NaOnka because Chase has terrible judgment.

Yve makes a pitch to Alina and NaOnka. I love that people think they are close. Then Yve blew up her game by saying she is close with people on the other tribe. But she was going home anyway.

Chase thinks it is most important to keep the tribe strong physically so he is pushing to vote Yve out because “most important” isn’t actually what he is basing his vote on.

Jane is told she just has to vote for Marty, she knows Marty has an idol, she doesn’t ask for the rest of the plan. Jane is also not very smart.

Fabio asks, “Do we really need to flush the idol from Marty?” God Fabio, you realize that doesn’t actually send him home right?

Sash is just talking, talking, talking. Saying way too much. Marty believes him about Jane. Marty is not good at this game.

Sash tells Brenda that Fabio doesn’t want to vote for Marty and we see Brenda saying. “The hell?” Smash cut to Marty saying he doesn’t think he should play the idol tonight. Nicaragua everyone!

Probst basically reveals their plan to Marty. Because we are literally playing on the level of Probst’s leading tribal questions in terms of gameplay.

Kelly B says don’t trust anyone. She is on the other end of that vote split, but feels pretty comfortable. Should have listened to herself.

Brenda says Jane has to worry about Jill and Marty voting her out. Marty takes offense to that because they are two, not five. Marty tells people to change the vote to Brenda. Pretty sure if he wasn’t playing his idol before he is now.

Brenda’s move there revealed herself to Marty, but also seemed to convince Jane she is on her side. Much more open hostility now in all likelihood.

Wow, Marty does not play idol. The fuck?! Also, throwing your votes onto Brenda and not Kelly B was a stupid move by Marty, though he still thought he had Jane. So it’s a tie vote between Marty and Kelly B.

They should vote out Marty here, but doing it this way means that no matter what the minority has two people they know are being gunned for. Though I guess that was an inevitable consequence once Jill won and Marty had an idol.

Also, in continuing the inexplicable, they vote out Kelly B despite Marty holding onto his idol. WHY? God, these people are stupid. An overly complicated plan that didn’t accomplish its primary fucking goal.


Brenda is looking like the cat that ate the canary despite Marty still having a fucking idol.

Alina not happy to hear that Kelly B went home.

Dan and Yve going at each other- well, Yve and Benry are going after Dan (though Benry would say he is a liability, but not incompetent), Dan says Yve is on the chopping block. Dan calls her arrogant, despite the fact she doesn’t talk about her Ferrari or six homes (Dan acknowledges he does), but it is her attitude you see. Which is to say, it’s because she is a woman.

Yve goes home. Shocker.

Possibly the last good thing on this season.

Episode 7 – “What Goes Around, Comes Around”:

Previously on Survivor: Young tribe adopted an older mom to get the upper hand on both tribes, and every other old person is on the outside of the majority alliances.

Dan thanks everybody, and compares himself to John Gotti. No, seriously, is he in the mafia?

Chase comes back and immediately targets Alina along with NaOnka and Holly. Man, the goatherding began super early on this season. Sash has no answer to why they didn’t actually vote out Marty. Because it made no sense.

Marty is pissed that Jane turned on him despite his never lying to her. Jane might feel different about that assessment, Marty. Maybe you should ask her why, before you target her?

Marty confronts Jane; Jane says she never had a clue about him being a target. That is a blatant lie, and Marty tells her he thinks she is lying. Jane just laughs and doesn’t answer. That was actually a good moment from Marty- predicated upon an idiotic moment from someone else.

Purple Kelly mention! It was in a reward challenge that requires everyone to go one at a time, so Probst was forced to mention her.

During the challenge, instead of jumping and throwing, Dan first throws, then kinda jump/falls into the water. Fabio knocks the ball away without moving and gives a look to the camera that is just like, “I am embarrassed for both of us”.

Decided to go with this pic instead of one of Dan. You’re welcome.

And Fabio peed in the pool. Probst asks if everyone pees in the pool, no one else admits they do.

The key is to not announce it. Rookie mistake.

Purple Kelly gives a confessional about not winning reward. It is as bad as I could possibly imagine from hearing her talk.

Jane is really resentful of Marty and Jill. For no particular reason, either. Or no reason we have seen.

Sash is happy to have the older people work hard and feed him. This game is basically parents and their mooching teenage children who don’t appreciate them, but just want some damn space MOM!

Jane catches some fish, sneaks a fish for herself. Jane just seems resentful of everyone. God, even the quiet people on this season turn out to be secretly awful.

The reward food includes a giant block of fresh cheese, and man that would mess with my stomach bad and yet I would eat the entire damn thing.

Holly and Alina bond over being homesick. NaOnka thinks it is a show because NaOnka is putting on an act constantly and projects like a motherfucker.

By the way, I am pretty convinced Alina is going home tonight because I actually like Alina and this isn’t just compared to the general crumminess of everyone else. That said, she would still be like the 8th or 9th best person on a season like Cagayan.

This is a weird immunity challenge- they have to line up a ramp and can adjust it to different lengths and drop from different heights. This just seems overly complicated, without being terribly interesting.

Purple Kelly and Brenda are not good at this and are giving some lip back to Fabio. That includes Purple Kelly actually saying something! She says, “We are talking about it.” (Editor’s note: R.obbed g.oddess, amirite?)

Benry wins and says, “I should be a pirate.” Pirates do not shoot off of weird ramps dude. They had cannons.

This vote feels like it should be Jill. Marty should now play his idol. But I have the feeling it may not be Jill.

Jane says she has been treated like she doesn’t exist. And I’m not a Marty fan, but good lord Jane is doing tons of projecting here.

The current brilliant plan is Sash asking Marty for the idol if they promise not to vote for him, and Sash is held up by Brenda saying ask him for the idol and then vote him out. Sash objects because… I don’t know. What is this even?

Sash promises Marty that he would not go home tonight, and that he would give him the idol back. This is really stupid both as an offer and as a solution.

Marty gives up the idol to live one more vote, playing the idol would also get you one more vote you dummy. Seriously if Marty doesn’t go home now, just what the fuck are these people even doing?

I wish Jill was given more time instead of Marty. I think she could have been good, but she is subsumed by Marty’s ego and personality.

Fabio even calls out Marty for giving the idol away. When Fabio calls you dumb, you might want to have done something different.

Sash has a Freudian slip saying if he loses trust in the rest of his alliance the shared nature of the idol will change (rather than vice versa), and then Fabio- FABIO!- explains what a Freudian slip is. Brenda writes it off, while Fabio gives it the proper weight.

Sash lives up to his word, Jill goes home. Not sure why they still split the vote if Marty has given the idol away… (Editor’s note: Because they’re master strategists. This season is so great, you guys.)

Closing thoughts:

So yet another way that Nicaragua is falling down is in the fact that people are dragging goats around super early on. We are coming up on the merge and the season is full of people who the rest of the cast sees as incapable of winning. Dan, Holly, Jane are all regarded by the cast as having no chance to win. Besides them, there are people like Fabio who everybody laughs at and calls dumb, NaOnka who seems to be feuding with half the cast at any given time, and Marty who has painted a big target on his back by being a self-declared mastermind and failing to back it up in any way whatsoever.

Of the remaining six, I don’t know who Benry and Alina are even aligned with, because no one seems to claim them in their numbers when they actually discuss any plans. That leaves us with Sash, Brenda and Chase. These three are at least playing a version of the game and appear inoffensive enough.

Brenda gets attention because she is the one that is most actively trying (and succeeding for now), but good god look at the Marty idol debacle. Two straight votes they can eliminate someone and both times they choose not to- for no discernible reason! First they try and flush the idol, then choose not to finish the job when he doesn’t play the idol! Then, when Marty stupidly gives the idol away, they still don’t vote him out! I don’t get what shots Brenda is calling here, but while they may be working out for her so far they are anything but impressive.

Similarly, Sash gets that you should at least have alliances that control a majority and then vote out people against you (something I’m not sure most of this cast gets), but something about him seems off. He might just be a victim of Penner disease where he seems sneakier than he actually is.

And then there is Chase. If forced at gunpoint to identify who is playing the best game right now, I might say it is Chase. (Editor’s note: What sick individual would hold you at gunpoint and demand your opinion on Survivor: Nicaragua? Pretty sure that’s outlawed by the Geneva Conventions.) Chase understands alliances, but he is so wishy-washy that I think he pisses his allies off. I think Chase might know what he should be doing, but he finds it so hard to commit to anything that everyone perceives him as being either dumb or manipulable.

Last week, I talked about how the show was leaning on all the wrong narrators. The show cured that to a degree this week by spreading the wealth around more, only this just revealed how weak the cast is at being entertaining. I honestly think Dan Lembo might be the most entertaining person in the cast because I’m 90% convinced I saw him on season 4 of The Sopranos.

Also, all the people I think I might like as players are excessively normal and are on the outs with everyone else (like Alina and Yve). I joked above that I like Alina and she might be the 8th or 9th best person on Cagayan. Besides being exceptionally kind in rating her so high, that is where she would rank on most seasons (if not lower), but on this season she is probably top 5. And most of the people joining her in the top 5 are already voted out. Jimmy Johnson might have been the most interesting person on this season, and he was 3rd out!

Wait, is that a compliment?

I don’t actively hate anyone on this season besides NaOnka, so it has that advantage on Worlds Apart or One World, but I don’t care about anyone either. I don’t remember the last season where I care about no one at all.

Finally, one of our commenters said that everything that Nicaragua does poorly some other season does worse, but it is the fact that Nicaragua does everything poorly that makes it so bad. I can’t argue with this sentiment.

This is not the most hateful cast ever because so many of these people are boring rather than hateful. This wasn’t the worst pre-merge ever because Fiji exists. This isn’t the season with the least strategy because Gabon just looks blankly at the idea of strategy like a dog trying to understand complex commands. No, Nicaragua is just the second-worst at everything, and so the dread I have as I venture further into this season isn’t that it gets worse, but that this season doesn’t have to necessarily be the worst season ever.

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Matt has an irrational dislike for all contestants named Michel(l)e. Also if he ever takes a strong stance about why everyone else is wrong, it is he that is inevitably wrong.

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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  • Black Dynamite

    Marty doesn’t play the idol when it’s clear the votes are going his way. That’s a stupid move and he’s going home.

    Kelly B is eliminated

    Marty gives Sash his idol when it’s clear the votes are going his way. That’s a stupid move and he’s going home.

    Jill is eliminated.

    I’m starting to think the real stupid one here is me for agreeing to watch this season.

    • Alkanarra

      The only logic I can think up is that maybe they really want Marty as a juror over either Jill or Kelly B? The devil’s advocate in me is working real hard on this one…

      • Black Dynamite

        Maybe they saw him not play the idol and then just give it to Sash and thought there is no way this man is a strategic threat down the road. At least that’s what I think.

        • I could see that a little. Getting rid of Marty’s idol is like declawing a cat: once you get rid of what makes it a threat, they are relatively harmless.

        • That’s giving them way more credit for foresight and planning than they deserve.

          • Black Dynamite

            Admittedly, I’m grasping for any logical reasoning behind what they’re doing. The real answer is way more likely that they are not good at this.

    • It’s hard to overstate how dumb it was that Marty gave them the idol. And yet people refer to him as one of the best players of the season, and he’s the one I most frequently see referenced as someone to bring back from Nicaragua. (Although the few people that want him to come back probably only suggest that because Marty has done RHAP a few times.)

      • purplerockandy

        He’s actually good on RHAP. Mostly because he’s willing to trash his season and his gameplay.

        • Hornacek

          I like the theory that he is future-Spencer.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Based on what Andy said about RHAP appearances, Randy Bailey might be slightly-future-Marty.

        • Other Scott

          I don’t love him on RHAP. He’s not insightful enough to be a Boston Rob type guest but not entertaining enough to be a Penner type guest.

          • purplerockandy

            I said good, not great. I may have been stretching it with good though.

          • sharculese

            You find Boston Rob insightful? I love a Boston Rob episode, but it’s because it’s a masterclass in spinning drunk barstool bullshit. About 60-70% of what he says is totally meaningless if you think about it for more than a minute.

          • Other Scott

            I do! I think Boston Rob understands the game better than maybe anyone else in the world, just by virtue of playing it so many times.

      • Max_Jets

        Marty makes stupid moves, but he is charismatic and entertaining to watch which makes him one of the best cast members of the season. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back either, I just don’t want a season of 20 of him.

        • Marty is charismatic and entertaining *relative to the other people in this cast*. That’s a very, very low bar.

          Reminder that the only player ever brought back from this season was completely individual throughout that second season. I think Matt nailed it- it’s not just that these are bad players, it’s that nobody can coherently narrate and tell us what’s going on.

          • Max_Jets

            It’s a low bar, but I think he’s good casting. I would rather see him back than Brad (who was actually great in BvW), Troyzan, Ozzy, Sierra, or Sarah but that is also a low bar. Swap in Marty for Troyzan on Game Changers and my fears for the season get a lot smaller. So I can see why people want him want him back but don’t really care either way. I see your point now though – him being the main player that people want to return definitely shows the low quality of the cast. I’m of the opinion that Fabio is the best person in the cast and it isn’t really close even if Holly would have been a better winner but he obviously doesn’t help with the narration problem.

          • I think Holly comes to life at the merge, but that whole quitting thing really hurts her. I wonder if she is someone who would have fared a lot better on a mixed age tribe, especially since she was/is a swimming coach

          • Max_Jets

            I don’t think too much about the quitting thing. I would bet a lot of people contemplate quitting but never follow through so it isn’t shown (I want to say an actual Survivor contestant said this but I don’t remember.) For Nicaragua, all the talk about quitting is both relevant to Holly’s arc and foreshadowing for the two quits.

          • Good call. But I feel like they submerge her so much during the pre-merge that it is nearly impossible to think of her as a winner. Also, that sounds like something Stephen would say.

    • Purplerockmatt

      if it didn’t come across in the liveblog that entire idol sequence invalidated everyone on this season from being considered a strategist

    • DrVanNostrand

      “I’m starting to think the real stupid one here is me…”
      Yes… yes it is. Don’t feel bad though. I made that mistake once as well.

  • Alkanarra

    At the risk of her doing something stupid soon and ruining this trust, I also like Alina. She really only had one bad vote, which was unfortunately the first one. Even at the time she realized working with Kelly B was problematic and wanted to jump ship, but Sash’s “no whites” club had already prohibited her. The olds lost so many members and had Holly/Jane jump sides so quickly that she couldn’t look to them, and then wisely played nice with the power players to not make herself a target. I’m not really sure what she could do differently at this point.

    The best I can come up with is trying to play Brenda and Sash against each other by feeding them lies, but I feel like you need more people to add credence to that attempt. The only person who might go along with that ruse is Marty, who is on the other tribe and is *also* seen as untrustworthy. Or maybe try to get Benry/Chase to usurp the power position from Brenda and Sash? But now Sash has an idol so even that seems risky.

    Anyway, from what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t have a problem with her coming back.

    • purplerockandy
      • Alkanarra

        Methinks your argument style might be a wee more effective.

      • Diego Armando

        She would be one of the 2 players from the season I wouldn’t mind seeing again; she seems fine and might have some solid game skills )the other is Fabio, who could fill the Woo, Keith, Kat role of entertaining doofus).

    • Black Dynamite

      I also like Alina and wish she was cast on a different season, far away from NaOnka. She seems to have a grasp on how Survivor works and can articulate that in a way to holds a viewer’s interest. Not the most loud personality but if you put her around those types who aren’t raging assholes like NaOnka, Alina has a role.

      • Is she a better version of Fan Favorite Game Changer Sierra Dawn Thomas?

        • purplerockandy

          There is no better version.

          • Oh dear…

          • sharculese

            Sierra Dawn Thomas is legitimately, and without sarcasm the S34 player I’m most excited about.

          • Hornacek

            SDT is Paul if he was a game changer!

          • sharculese

            If you want this to work you have to actually try.

          • Hornacek

            But trying is the first step towards failure.

          • Go on…

          • sharculese

            I’ve seen the other 17 people play Survivor before. I mostly know what to expect. SDT is an unknown quantity.

          • In that regard, I get it. You may proceed.

  • Black Dynamite

    These two episodes are not as annoying as the previous ones. I think it was a due to minimizing NaOnka’s awfulness. What was really frustrating about these episodes was the baffling gameplay.

    For all this talk about Kelly B’s leg and how she is definitely getting votes at the end, the way these assholes talk about it, I’m not sure that would even be true if she got to the end.

    More time with Dan and Jane is awful. I dislike both of them but see them lasting awhile, which does not bode well for my happiness.

    Kelly B and Yve actually seemed nice along with being beautiful people, so I’ll miss them.

    The only contestants I’m interested in at this point are Sash, Chase, Brenda and Alina.

    Benry amuses me in the challenges. That’s the only opinion I have on him.

    Purple Kelly confessional count through 7 episodes: 1. This is the easiest assignment I’ve ever had.

    • purplerockandy

      These were the episodes where the so-called strategic players of the season all died for me. The play of Brenda, Sash, and Marty with the idols was so idiotic that I wrote them all off. And they’re STILL the best the season had to offer.

      • Black Dynamite

        I agree. I’m struggling to find rational reasons for the strategy and coming up blank. They weren’t too bad up until the point where Marty doesn’t play the idol, then it fell off a cliff. I’m sure Chase will do something soon for me to write him off as well.

        • purplerockandy

          For Chase, it’s his general demeanor. He’s so indecisive that even if he makes the right decision, he gets no respect for it for how difficult he is to deal with.

          • I straight up think that both him and Brenda came on to the show to find love. After all, Brenda’s first confessional is about how single she is and Chase spends a large portion of this pre-merge “booty blinded” by Brenda.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Did they pull Brenda from rejected Bachelor contestants?

          • Hornacek

            Who would reject Brenda?

          • Um, I could see ABC being like “We have already reached our quota of WOC. Sorry”. Heck, her profession as “paddleboard shop owner” screams Bachelor contestant wannabe.

          • DrVanNostrand

            I’d reject her for a 3rd Survivor appearance for sure. She seems like a slam dunk for a reality dating show.

          • Hornacek

            I can understand why she was brought back for Caramoan, but based upon that season, I don’t see any reason to ever bring her back. She was such a non-entity until she saved Dawn’s teeth and the whole debacle with that. I’ve mentioned it before, but on the RHAP episodes they were calling her “Purple Brenda”.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Sheesh, and you think Survivor has a WOC problem…

          • Other Scott

            I still think that was mostly an edit thing to explain why he lost to someone as dumb as Fabio, when the reality is that Fabio was the underdog and the jury will vote for the underdog every single time.

          • purplerockandy

            It’s possible. But I feel like he was attacked for it at FTC, which means it was a real thing. But that could be a faulty memory.

          • Other Scott

            Yeah the Final Tribal would actually be the one part of Nicaragua I’m interested in rewatching. I know Marty came at him with the “dumber than a bag of hammers” question but other than that I can’t recall exactly how they attacked him.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Letting Marty escape but taking his idol would make sense for Brenda and Sash IF the plan is to neutralize him and then form an alliance of the (relatively) strategic players. The players who kinda sorta know how to play Survivor are going to be badly outnumbered following the merge, so they ought to at least consider sticking together for a while. This has to be what Sash is thinking (and what Marty should be pitching). For Brenda, at least she has a reasonable expectation of assembling a post-merge majority (the four from La Flor plus Nay, Chase, and I dunno, Benry maybe?).

        ETA: But this is all fanfic since nobody gives any indication that this is what they’re thinking.

    • That’s a great point about Kelly B. Don’t they(being the youth) realize that there is a strong chance that they will make up the majority of the jury, so they will ultimately decide the winner and therefore can vote against Kelly B.?

      • Alkanarra

        You make projections based on you being in the finals, not the jury. If you’ve pissed people off then they have an easy excuse to vote for the disabled girl to make themselves feel like they’re not being vindictive with their vote. I was super pro-Kelly B the first time I watched, only now to realize she didn’t really do much of anything. I really can’t fault them for being so afraid of her, especially since she was *also* a good challenge competitor and could have won some key immunities.

        • That’s a good point. I think Kelly B was just painted in a corner because of NaOnka.

          • Hornacek

            That’s a good point. I think Kelly B was just painted knocked down in a corner because of NaOnka.

            Fixed it for you.

  • turgid_legume

    What is the picture of Kelly Sharbaugh doing there? Purple Kelly is Kelly Shinn. Am I missing a joke or reference? That Survivor had two Kelly S’s that were both blonde?

    • Go back to last week’s “live blog”. You might pick up on something there.

  • Mike Hirsch

    To this day I cannot grasp how Marty listened to Sash’s pitch and thought, “yeah, yeah…this is a good idea.” I guess if he is trying to build an alliance, and the price of that alliance is “give me your idol and we won’t vote you out for at least two votes,” instead of playing the idol and getting past only one vote, that could be tempting. Stupid, but tempting. Still, despite his unwarranted arrogance and dumb moves, I didn’t mind Marty as much as some in the cast because at least he’s *trying* to play the game. He’s just bad at it.

    Roy is a great Simpsons character. Way better than Poochie.

    • Alkanarra

      Maybe now that Sash has the idol, he can go to Brenda and convince her he’s too much of a threat and needs to be blindsided? It would still be a terrible move, but I’m really trying to give Nicaragua some credit it clearly hasn’t deserved.

      • Mike Hirsch

        That’s not a terrible idea. (I’ll be honest, it took me a moment to realize you meant Marty should go to Brenda and not Sash going to Brenda, saying “I have an idol and need to be blindsided,” because that’s just how terrible this season is.)

    • “Give us your idol- the one thing that can guarantee you’ll survive this tribal council- and we’ll guarantee you’ll survive this tribal council.”

      This was an argument that worked.

      • Mike Hirsch

        It’s baffling. I’d like to think that after 14 or 15 days of not eating or sleeping, I’d still have the mental faculties to narrow my eyes at that offer and say, “Hmm, yeah, tempting. But I think I’ll not do that.”

        • I think it should be stated that the last season they saw was HvV, so I think they think that they have to play this extremely intricate game. However, none of them have the faculties to play even an omega version of the HvV game.

          • Mike Hirsch

            It certainly helps explain NaOnka being so aggressively awful. She hears “Heroes vs. Villains” and thinks, “ah ha! This is how I can get invited back one day!”

          • I hadn’t even thought about that element (especially since that line of thought didn’t really become popular until South Pacific/One World), but that is definitely true. Not only does NaOnka fit the female villain role that they always like to have, but she is also a WOC, which is a major plus in her column. However, I think she would be too villainous for the Villains tribe.

          • Mike Hirsch

            How legitimately awful would a second Heroes vs. Villains be if it included only people post-season 20?

          • Purplerockmatt

            we have had a really good run of seasons in that time, so i am confident we could stock tribes with people like Tony and Kim and all the other people they have been bringing back for the returnee seasons in recent years (and a few they missed)

          • Oh yeah, I think there are still a few people that haven’t returned yet from these seasons that would fit perfectly with the concept of HvV. The big problem though is that they would probably rely too much on Worlds Apart, and that’s an issue.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Production seems way more into Worlds Apart than me, and that’s my personal issue with it.

          • Oh yeah, they do.

          • sharculese


            John Cody


            Natalie A.
            Peter B.
            Pete Y.

            I’d watch that.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Ok, *that* I would watch, and gladly (especially if Rodney got any reward he won stolen from him). But I feel like the show would try to shoehorn in a Dan somewhere.

          • I have a few comments:
            1) Which Monica? Culpepper: Absolutely. She fits a perfect niche needed on the Heroes tribe. Padilla: She is never coming back.
            2) I don’t think Production would have both Jaclyn and Wentworth on the same tribe when many casuals got them confused on SJDS. Also, I don’t think Wentworth is a hero because of how she was against all of the heroes on Cambodia.
            3)I think I would have a hard time buying Aubry as a villain. But, the problem with this cast is that you would probably swap Aubry with Wentworth. But once you do that, you have three of the four Witches together.
            4) (Caveat: this is not an issue with your list but just the way the winners fall) I feel like Tony as a lone male villain winner has a major target on his back, but there are no other male winners that you could sell as villains. Cochran is a maybe, but then you have him with Sophie and that’s no good. Jeremy and Fabio are definite nos. B. Rob and Tyson are out because they already were on Heroes vs. Villains I.
            5) No Malcolm or Jay? I would take Jay over Joe any day of the week.

          • Diego Armando

            Tai would be on the hero side over John Cody, no way they would not go back to that well. I think Lisa would get a Hero spot over Monica (she beat Malcolm for Sprint Player of the season).

          • sharculese

            I don’t want to see Tai play again, though. I can tolerate John Cody. I’m bored with Tai.

          • Yeah, I thought Tai was an odd miss, but I feel like there are a lot of macho men that Probst would want for that Hero tribe. I was also thinking Lisa for Hero, but as we know, Monica has been in contention for another season (Game Changers…yes, both her and Brad were in contention) while Lisa has not. I think Lisa’s time has come and gone unfortunately.

          • Diego Armando

            Why are the producers so obsessed with the Culpeppers? I get that Brad is a buffoon who can self-sabotage, but is there really that much demand for Monica?

          • I think it is that name recognition. Also, Casting thinks One World is the best cast (yet they keep wanting to bring back the same people), so that helps it.

            But, yeah I think Carolyn trumps Monica everyday of the week, but she is no hero.

          • Diego Armando

            One World had a fucking terrible cast!

          • Besides Kim, right?

          • Diego Armando

            She and a few others are fine.

          • Okay, good. Even I (who hasn’t finished One World) can acknowledge how good Kim is.

          • Diego Armando

            She’s good, but she is nowhere near enough to save that season.

          • Diego Armando

            I would recommend not finishing it. You already have a taste of her dominance and there really are no big twists or particularly flashy moments of gameplay. The terrible people last the majority of the season and don’t really get satisfactory comeuppance. Kim also isn’t particularly interested in playing to the camera, so you are dealing with a Yul/Cagayan Spencer level of narration (good, but nothing memorable), but without a strong supporting cast.

          • Fair enough. Next question: you don’t think that Cagayan Spencer is not a memorable narrator?

          • Max_Jets

            I’m gonna have to disagree with @godot123:disqus and say that One World is worth finishing if only for the final 6 episode to see the way Kim plays her way through a certain situation. I think I agree with his narration opinions though.

          • Diego Armando

            I think he has his moments, but for the most part is kind of average. He wasn’t at the level of narrators like Sandra, Penner, Varner, Boston Rob, Rob C., etc.

          • I don’t think he’s a B range narrator in Cagayan, but he drops below average in Cambodia when he repeats the whole “I’m growing” confessionals.

          • Diego Armando

            I have no issues with bringing back Carolyn.

          • I don’t either. I just think it would be hard to say that she is a hero though.

          • sharculese

            Aubry as a villain makes more sense when you remember villain means “good at confessionals.”

            See my response to Emma about Jay.

          • In that regard, Aubry is a pretty good villain. 🙂

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Rodney and the Petes sounds like a band from the 90s and also like a valid reason not to watch Survivor.

          • I don’t mind Pete Y, but I just realized that Pete and Abi are on another tribe together. That just seems like disaster waiting to happen.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Male Objectification Alert: Pete Y is pretty much only good to look at. And here’s my hot take: he’s hotter than Malcolm. So I also don’t mind him, but he’s wasting a spot by not adding anything.

            And yeah, I didn’t think about putting Pete and Abi together. At least it’s not RC and Abi. And at least it’s not RC instead of Abi.

          • That’s tricky. I think Malcolm is one of those guys (like Boston Rob) who hits his island hot peak around Day 10-15. After that, he turns into a pirate. Pete stays consistently hot, but I am not as drawn to him as I am to Malcolm. But, I think you have to have someone like Pete because he is the only one (besides) Tony to have a pretty consistent challenge record. However, you don’t have to have Pete because you gotta have Abi.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            What do you mean by challenge record? Wouldn’t that be Mike? I don’t think either Pete or Tony ever won individual immunity (though that is consistently 0)

          • Good question. I guess I mean in general challenge performance. Pete seemed to be well-rounded enough, but he just never won individual immunity. He did go on some rewards and he was a key part of the Tandang success. Yes, Tony was part of the Aparri success, but he wasn’t as strong as Woo or Sarah in those challenges. The only challenge Tony straight up won by himself was a mud run, which would favor someone who was willing to get dirty.

          • Diego Armando

            They won 0 Immunity challenges.

          • Yeah….maybe I didn’t explain myself so well. I guess I was just referring to challenge performance rather than challenge wins.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Pete is definitely hotter than Malcolm.

          • sharculese

            “Pete Y is pretty much only good to look at.”

            I kind of have a soft spot for Pete-bro. Yeah, he’s a smug douche, but I like that when Artis gets voted out and it’s clear Tandang supremacy is over, he’s like “welp, guess I gotta scramble now,” and just goes off to scramble. He doesn’t do a good job, but it would have taken a superhuman to do a good job at that point. I just appreciate that he handled losing like an adult.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I don’t want to make everything about Brenda, but this seems like a swipe at Brenda.

          • sharculese

            Lol, I didn’t even think of that. It’s true that’s not a place where Brenda covered herself in glory, but I really was just talking about Pete. After Artis goes home he’s just so stoic and accepting that things have gone sideways, which is not at all what I expected out of him; it’s a really refreshing moment.

          • sharculese

            That was intentional. I want it to be.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Hey sharculese. My kid is just now starting dedicated SAT prep. He’s a sophomore and won’t take it for a least a year. For now he’s working on the Princeton Review book and Kahn Academy. Is there anything else we should be doing at this stage? He needs more prep on English than Math.

          • sharculese

            Okay, a couple of things:

            1.) When you say he’s doing SAT prep, did he make an affirmative decision to do SAT over ACT or is it just that was the assumption? Because it’s not like when we applied to college, an ACT score is just as good as an SAT score, now, and, if he hasn’t, he should explore that test to see if he likes it better. I can tell you more about the differences between the two if you’re interested.

            2.) You’re at or slightly above where you need to be in terms of prep. Ideal timeline for the situation:

            a.) Now to mid-summer should be about picking goals, both in terms of scores and schools, and knowing what the schools he wants to go to are looking for. Do they superscore? How seriously do they take the essay? Stuff like that.

            b.) Serious prep should start around the middle of summer or a little bit before the school year starts, focusing on test dates starting in August or September and running through February or March. I know that sometimes other obligations that interfere with test dates, but if he’s not satisfied with his scores yet, he should shoot for as many of the tests in this period as he can do. If he hits a point where he’s got the scores that will get him where he wants to, obviously, he can stop.

            c.) If he’s looking at a school that superscores, after this period it’s still fine to be looking at another test date or two to boost that one or two scores he needs to, but he should be mostly done and focusing on the actual application process.

            3.) In terms of SAT prep, I don’t know the PR book, but the Kahn Academy stuff is pretty good. If he’s feeling the need to look at writing more than anything else, know that the SAT is lightly biased in favor of questions that ask about improving the message of the passage over pure grammar, with the ACT biased slightly in the other direction.

            4.) He’s a sophomore, so he’s taken the PSAT at this point, right? Because SAT math is that, but even more abstract. It’s more about thinking around problems than just doing calculation, so if he wants to go the SAT route he needs to be prepared for that. Does he have his PSAT score back yet? They’re not supposed to come out for another month but in Atlanta they got posted in like November, so I don’t fucking know.

            I know I just dumped a lot on you, so let me know if you have any questions.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Thanks, man, I really appreciate all the information. The choice of SAT is by default/inertia; I really need to look into the ACT. You don’t need to go into detail, I can look it up. On the PSAT he was in the low 40s percentile in English and low 70s in math. So not a catastrophe, but a lot of room for improvement. One thing special to our case is that we moved back to the US when he was in 3rd grade, and of listening/speaking/reading/writing, he’s relatively behind in writing. So maybe the ACT might be a little better, and I think we’ll be cautious about schools that really look hard at the essay portion. If the ACT math is less about abstract essay questions that would help too.

            One thing that’s really changed since when I was applying to college is that getting into a Cal State school is roughly the same as it was then, but getting into a UC school has become incredibly difficult (not just Berkeley and UCLA; all of the campuses). So there’s a big gap between the scores he needs for CSU vs. UC, meaning that there’s a lot of potential for wasted effort (strictly in terms of getting into a school, and yes I know there are many other schools than CSU or UC, I’m just using that as a shorthand).

          • sharculese

            Yeah, have him take some ACT practice stuff and just see which one he feels more comfortable on. There’s all kinds of stuff you can read on what kind of student each test favors, but a huge component is just which one he prefers doing.

            As for the essay, I wouldn’t worry about it. If he’s applying to state schools, they’re gonna look at his essay score barely, if at all.

            I do wanna push back on the idea of “wasted effort,” though. It’s too early to be setting specific goals, but just familiarizing himself with the test is likely to boost his score a little. It doesn’t have to be about getting in any particular place, a few extra points just means more wiggle room and options when the real deciding starts. If he’s willing to do the work, nothing about is wasted. Just make sure he doesn’t feel pressured or like this test in any way defines him.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I feel like we gotta get Jay in there.


          • sharculese

            Jay was one of my original picks for the villains, but in the strain of find a fifth male hero (seriously, John Cody was the best I could do) I forgot about him. Kyle out; Jay in.

          • That feels right.

          • Maritimer

            I think Jon Misch would be my 5th male hero, but over Joe or Woo rather than John Cody, because I think they are both played out. But that obviously creates a problem with Jaclyn.
            And support Jay in

          • Other Scott

            We must have Jon Misch and Woo in the same cast! Can you imagine how obnoxious I would get?

            Plus Monica Culpepper I would be more excited about this than maybe the original heroes vs villains.

          • sharculese

            The problem with Jon is that I was trying really hard not to have two people on either tribe who were ever in an alliance together, and filling that fifth female hero spot was even harder than fifth male hero.

          • I could imagine. With your described parameters, the only maybe I can think of is Cydney and that might be a stretch for “hero”.

          • Alycia Swift

            Just got to read the comments. I do not see Jaclyn as a hero. Ditto for Monica. I’d switch Natalie, Sophie or Aubrey in there.

  • EmAndScoutInBK

    I never understood why Marty gets so much praise. He’s not good. And his confessionals aren’t great. Also, I felt like Jill was actually better at the game as well, but she got attached to him, which screws up her game and puts in her in the minority.

    Also, Jane is terrible.

    • Purplerockmatt

      marty had a cocksure arrogance that almost passes as a personality which is more than almost anyone else on this cast. that is why he gets praised

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      In the land of the blind, etc.

      Jill seemed like she was intelligent and mostly had a good read on what was going on, but she was too passive for her own good. She didn’t object to any of Marty’s terrible ideas (like telling everybody about “their” idol) nor did she attempt to keep Jane in the fold.

      • I think her passiveness renders her to become the perfect alliance partner for Marty since she is someone who will not overshadow him. Maybe Marty saw himself as a better (in regards to social game) Russell who was looking for a not as good Natalie White…and he found her in Jill.

    • Diego Armando

      I remember rooting for him, but looking back I am not sure why. I guess he just talked enough about being a strategist that I believed him.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        I think that was me with Sash. Ah well, I was young and the choices were abysmal.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Marty was one of the 5 most interesting people in Nicaragua… which is exactly why it’s a total shit season.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    My entire page of notes and thoughts while watching these episodes:

    “Milk your own milk.”

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    I wish I had a wittier or more insightful way of saying this, because it needs to be said: Hot damn, Brenda is fine!

    “Reward was for a horseback ride and breakfast, and… you get to… milk your own milk, I guess (giggle). I don’t know if that makes any sense. You get to milk your own milk, and…that sounds amazing! We should have won, we should be going, ’cause that is amazing.” Ladies and gentlemen, 13 minutes into episode 7, Purple Kelly speaks! Why oh why didn’t we hear from her until nearly the halfway point of the season? Such a mystery…

    I don’t have much to add about the idiocy of not voting out Marty on the revote. 10 seasons into the hidden immunity idol era and even on a sub-par cast, nobody except Fabio needs to have the mechanics of a vote split explained to them, and yet they pass up the chance to get rid of the real target on the revote, which is whole point of doing a vote split. On top of everything else, if they cut Marty they get Fabio back to bolster their numbers going into the merge, and even if Kelly B is pissed off she has nowhere to go.

    What I want to know is–since she knew they were going to split the vote and then vote out Kelly B on the revote for some damn reason–what did Brenda think she was accomplishing by gaslighting Marty at tribal council? Yes, it was mildly entertaining, but to what end? It would have made sense as grandstanding for the future jury if La Flor had lost the challenge and Espada was watching the tribal, but as it is it was pointless.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Brenda is not good at this game. Because lets talk about the dumber decision in these episodes: splitting the vote after Marty has given away his idol. Why even bother? It only opens you up to a defector fucking your plans up. You know where the idol is, and it isn’t in Marty or Jill’s hands. It also reinforces who is on the bottom of the tribe.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I’ll give them a pass on this one, actually. There’s always very little time between the immunity challenge and tribal, and in this case even less time from the point Marty agrees to hand over the idol and tribal. The two Marty votes came from Fabio and Jane, the two fringiest members of the majority and probably the two that it’s hardest to give last-minute instructions to.

        • Also, Jane was probably always going to vote for Marty, regardless of what they told her.

    • purplerockandy

      Yeah, why split the vote at all if Marty isn’t your target? Were they afraid Kelly B might’ve had an idol?

      • Wait a minute, doesn’t Brenda know via Na’Onka where that idol is and isn’t? Why would they think that there would be two idols at one beach before any of them got played?

    • DrVanNostrand

      Brenda is fine, but I’ve always thought she was an underwhelming Survivor player. Despite her athleticism and charisma (as well as her obvious beauty), she never seemed as good as I thought she should be.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        She’s like Amanda in the sense that she’s above average in everything so she isn’t targeted as a liability, but she’s not so superlative at anything that she’s targeted as a threat. That gets them far into the game, but they lack the Natalie Anderson/Micronesia Parvati gear they need to win.

        Also, as I noted last week, if NaOnka quits a day earlier, Brenda has a very feasible path to victory.

        Brenda’s Achilles Heel is the social game, and specifically alliance maintenance, but that’s something to discuss several episodes from now.

        • Are we going to talk about her lack of scramble?

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            We will on Thursday, that’s for sure. And it’s unfortunate that we won’t be discussing episodes 10 and 11 in the same block.

          • Good because I have actually found another Survivor who is similar to her that I want to discuss.

    • tocantins

      I think that flaming Marty at the tribal council was a way to make him suspicious and use his idol. (That was even their excuse for it after the tribal, which he took surprisingly well.)

  • Hornacek

    I just watched these episodes in the last 2 days and I can barely think of anything to say.

    I liked Marty when this first aired, so I always thought my dislike of Jane was because of that. But rewatching the season, I can say that Marty has nothing to do with it – I just don’t like her. She just comes across so miserable and unlikable, blaming everyone else for everything. Plus she won’t shut up about Marty and Jill not letting her play in any reindeer games.

    I don’t know, I kinda liked Marty’s “chess grandmaster” lie.

    NaOnka seems like an alien who doesn’t understand positive human emotions, so when she sees other people experiencing those emotions, she can’t understand how anyone can feel that way and it makes her angry. Hey NaOnka, remember when Alina comforted you when you wanted to quit? Apparently not.

    Was it just me or was Brenda (and Purple Kelly?) trying to throw that challenge with the balls and the ramps? It would make sense if they wanted to go to tribal to get rid of Marty/the idol, and she seemed to be ignoring the advice of the other players holding the ropes.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      It seems possible that Brenda was throwing the challenge, but that would just add to the mystery of why they didn’t get rid of Marty at the previous tribal.

      Going back to last week’s discussion of how Survivor’s storytelling gets stuck when there isn’t a good narrator among the players, I’ve often wondered how many challenges are thrown, but the audience misses it because the perpetrator is subtle about it and doesn’t talk about it later. When Jeremy got smoked in a physical challenge by Savage and Terry, it seemed a little fishy to me and then much later in the season when he talked about the meat shield strategy it was a big “Aha!” moment for me.

      • I hear discussion of Cambodia, which means it is my time to shine (especially since I watched that particular episode two days ago). Jeremy got beat in that chalelnge because Jeremy was the wrong build to do well in that challenge. He didn’t have enough height to be free from the waves (if that makes sense) while Terry and Savage are both taller and leaner than Jeremy. I think if Jeremy threw any challenges early on, it was the “Stephen hits the wrong target” challenge, but he didn’t play it. If you go back and watch it, Jeremy is mad that he isn’t playing, so even that one is questionable as to whether Jeremy threw it or not.

        • TheForRealDeal

          It also helped that Savage can literally walk on water.

          • You know what he can’t walk on? A slip and slide (yes, I did watch “Bunking with the Devil” last night and almost cried twice, it’s that good).

          • TheForRealDeal

            I can’t for the life of me think of what the second crying moment might have been.

          • 1) Everybody finding out about Terry
            2) Sympathy crying during Stephen’s crying confessional.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I liked Marty’s grandmaster lie because I’m also a tennis fan

      • Other Scott

        I liked the relative obscurity of tennis player he picked. His next chess master was going to be Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

        • Purplerockmatt

          i would have actually recognized that one

  • Other Scott

    The worst thing about the vote split is that it was clear Fabio was bonding with Marty. If he flips on you for any reason, and Kelly B smartly realizes they are splitting on her and tries the other side, then it is bye-bye Brenda.

    It’s so nonsensical to split the vote if your target isn’t the one with the idol. It’s not the stupidest move in the history of Survivor, but it’s the one that has always baffled me the most.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Kelly B had no idea votes were coming her way, but you’re absolutely right that Marty might have swayed Fabio, in which case it would have been 3 votes Marty, 3 votes Brenda, 2 votes Kelly B. I think the revote favors Brenda, but it’s much too close for comfort. Fabio and Jill vote Brenda, Sash and Jane vote Marty; Kelly B voted Marty on the first vote, but now has reason to switch to Brenda, and while Purple Kelly seems like a “stick to the plan” type who’ll vote Marty, who knows?

      The only explanation I can think of, and I’m really grasping at straws here, is that they genuinely see Kelly B as a big jury threat, and that they only view Marty as a danger because he has the idol, not because he has strategic chops (because on La Flor he’s only talking strategy with Jill and the cameraman).

      • Other Scott

        Fabio knew votes were coming Kelly B’s way though and could have informed her to help her flip.

        • Maybe he was also scared of her leg?

          • Other Scott

            Well mostly he didn’t actually flip, presumably because….Sash was a good ally? I’m not really sure, he did end up flipping as soon as the merge hit though so it’s not like it was completely out of the question.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    So this is off-topic to Nicaragua, but I’m interested to see how this would turn out with a large enough sample size of respondents. So if y’all have five minutes to spare, could you fill this out: https://goo.gl/forms/6ekiDT583XvyTFEQ2

    Also, a while back, someone on r/Survivor mentioned what a Rivals cast would look like, and I commented the following:

    “Kass, Crystal, Abi, Francesca, Corrine, Jean Robert, Savage, David, Shane, Fishbach

    Courtney Y., RC, Ciera, Courtney M., Susie, Spencer, Randy, Zeke, Phillip, Rob

    You can figure out the rivalries. There are some casting decisions that probably wouldn’t happen (a “rivalry” that’s not show-canon; 4 players from Gabon, but a rivals season could be half of that cast). But this was harder to do with the self-imposed “No Winners” rule”

    At first I thought that would be unwatchable, but then I thought, eh, maybe not. What would y’all think about that cast?

    • Purple Rock Emma

      I love Erinn, but she should be under villains.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I always think of JT, Fishbacj, Taj, and Erinn as heroes. But making her a villain would certainly make the female villain ballot stronger.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Snarky women are generally considered villains. See: Courtney, Sandra.

      • sharculese

        Ditto for Penner.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Good call, I didn’t catch that.

    • Alycia Swift

      David from which season and which Rob?

      Of this list, I only like Kass, Courtney Y, Fishbach and Francesca (who would be voted out again first) so there’s not much to root for (since I don’t know which David and Rob you are talking about). I don’t want to see Phillip, Randy, Corrine, Jean Robert, Ciera, RC, etc.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        Wright (paired with Zeke) and Cesternino (paired with Fishbach). Since Phillip and Francesca are on different tribes, my hope was that she’d actually get to play.

        My first instinct was that half the cast was terrible and the actually good players would be targeted first, leaving a Nicaragua/Gabon-like post merge. And in fact, tribe swaps would ruin the theme, and personal conflicts would likely preventing new alliances from forming post-merge. That would mean that only takes a margin of a few tribal immunities to set up a pagonging post-merge. So it’s bad all around.

    • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

      Following up, this is confirmed unwatchable. Susie is the most strategic. Courtney Yates is gone fifth. Randy wins fan favorite. The amazing thing is that Kass wins, only getting one vote against her the entire game, but that would require such a game change that watching Kass just wouldn’t be fun. Maybe it’s the cast, or maybe it’s something with BrantSteele. Also, Jean-Robert won Bermuda Triangles. And Corinne found two idols and misplayed both of them. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4564740046ce289302aa9a807958534e707ddd5cac4df18b6504ce22a6960c8e.png

  • Diego Armando

    Off topic question; Does anyone know when the fantasy game will start.

    • Oh shit, right. The fantasy game.

      So the answer is no, no one knows when it will start. Because I’d be the one to know. I still think we should get started on it earlier than later, to avoid potential spoilers leaking. I’ll update you all after discussing it with the rest of the PRP staff.

      • Other Scott

        Should we wait until CBS releases the cast officially still?

        Like Redmond hasn’t been wrong before, but it could still happen in theory.

        • Hmm. That’s a reasonable concern. Although in theory, if it turns out the cast wasn’t correct, we could always re-draft.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Wouldn’t that be a huge pain in the ass though? Sorry, sorry, I’m projecting my own laziness onto you guys.

          • No, it’s a pretty valid assumption that I’d always want to err on the side of less work.

          • Purplerockmatt

            this community really gets us

      • corndogshuffle

        Damn, my strategy was to read the spoilers and then just pick the FTC contestants plus whoever finishes sixth. Gotta throw everyone off the trail, right?

        • purplerockandy

          You’ll have to beat Barbara Anderson to posting then.

          • corndogshuffle

            She does have that black magic. I guess I’ll pick FTC plus seventh. I’ll play the Tasha game, enough to get the end and receive zero votes.

          • I am not a witch.

          • corndogshuffle

            Are you sure? Can you prove that you weigh more than a duck?

          • Dude, you never ask a lady how much she weighs.

          • corndogshuffle

            If all else fails, we can throw you into the pond.

    • Alkanarra

      I’m so ready to grab Troyzan and the three runners-up who will lose to Troyzan.

      • Get out.

      • DrVanNostrand

        Oh God, you may have just identified the flaw in my Costanza strategy. I might have to pick Troyzan.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I have an all name team I need to select.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        Can I guess that it’s Ciera, Sierra, Sarah, Cirie?

        • Roswulf

          I’m pretty sure there’s at least a half dozen of us just waiting to grab that team.

          • As always, it’ll be first come, first served. But I’ll give you guys a heads up as to when the post will go up (it’ll be some time after the cast is officially announced).

          • Kemper Boyd


        • Kemper Boyd

          I decided against Sarah because I really don’t like her but it is a riff on this. If someone else steals the team I totally mentioned firstlike @Roswulf:disqus I will be happy and make real picks. But I’m terrible at picking hence the all name team being what I want.

        • Kemper Boyd

          for the best possible all name flow it reads Sarah, Sierra, Ciera, Cirie. but yeah. Although I need Sandra cos she’s going to win.

    • Hornacek

      I’m predicting that Fan Favorite Sierra Dawn Thomas will be in the top five of picked players.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I want to zag on who everyone else is picking (because of gameplay), but FFSDT fits so perfectly into my Costanza team

    • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

      I’m torn on how I should view Zeke and Michaela. I think Hantz and Malcolm are the only other two players to film back-to-back (All-stars, Guatemala, and Micronesia were after a break, right?). Both of them got to the post-merge, but they were also on the outskirts of their tribes. I don’t think Zeke or Michaela have shown the strategic finesse to utilize that position.

      • Diego Armando

        Rupert, Amanda and James also played back to back.

        I think Zeke has a slightly better shot than Michaela at sticking around longer since he seems more socially graceful. Michaela might speak out to someone and get targeted early.

        • jersey_luck

          I think it exact opposite. I think based on initial tribes that Michaela has a better tribe to get along with and to be honest they need her skills at challenges. Zeke on the other hand is on a tribe while physically stronger, is on a tribe that if I had to guess would not value or get along with him.

          • Diego Armando

            I have not seen the tribes.

          • He’s on Ozzy’s tribe, isn’t he?

          • jersey_luck

            That is correct.

          • Yikes…he is definitely not long for this game.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    I got enough feedback that now I’m curious. How do different players look in retrospect? Are they heroes or villains? Was David that clearly a hero when Boston Rob was a villain on the original HvV? Anyway, I promise I’ll stop posting surveys (at some point), but please answer this one, because I am truly curious.


    • Figaro

      I feel like with several of those you could make a pretty compelling argument for them being either a hero or a villain. Tai, David, Jay, Natalie A, Wentworth, and Aubrey could all probably be viewed as either or.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I’m genuinely curious as to why some people view Tai as a villain. There’s a not insignificant portion of people who voted that way, and the only explanation I could come up with for that was many people submitted trolly joke votes because he was so obvious a hero and would never actually be voted a villain. This may (but probably won’t) compromise the integrity of the survey (lol) but right now, the proportion of people who voted Tai as a villain is equal to the proportion of votes for Jim Rice as a hero. That makes zero sense to me.

        • Alkanarra

          The only person who was tough for me was Penner.

          With Tai, there was the whole pouring out the fire thing and a general sneakiness that I can understand. While *I* thought he was a hero, it was mostly based on what he said and his whole aura; he never really did anything heroic other than depriving his team of a tasty, tasty chicken.

          As far as Jim Rice goes, the only problem there is that you didn’t add a “scumbag” category. That woulda made his taxonomy real easy.

        • Max_Jets

          He is kind of a villain in Jason’s boot episode, but putting him on the villains tribe would be like putting Rupert on the villains tribe. Even if you like him less than some of the villains, it doesn’t make any sense given his edit.

        • Figaro

          In terms of arguments in support of Tai’s “Survivor villain-y” I suspect people would mostly point to him needlessly putting out the fire, and jumping alliances in a way that was seen as wishy-washy. I think people probably want their heroes to be more determined and either playing from a leadership or an underdog position, whereas Tai just waffled a bit too much. Also, although he is likeable, he’s not super charismatic which maybe works against him.
          Despite all that I’d probably personally categorise him as a Hero because he’s obviously a good person, and he had a chicken sidekick (which if I’ve learnt anything from Disney films, automatically designates him as heroic)

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    So after giving it* a lot of thought, I think that if you look at it through the eyes of the La Flor majority, using only the information they have, it actually kind of makes sense to vote out Kelly B instead of Marty, and getting rid of Jill is at worst a side-to-side move.

    The key here is the numbers. At this point, four olds and one young have been voted out. By the merge, the youngs will have an 8-4 advantage (9-3 if you count Jane). The threat level of any of the olds, Marty included, is already close to zero. There will be plenty of opportunities to get rid of Marty, with or without the idol. Now of course you, me, and Chris Daughtry can tell you the downside of thinking this way, but Vanuatu was an improbable edge case, not the norm you should be planning for.

    Meanwhile, if you’re in the La Flor majority, why should you think Marty is any kind of mastermind? He’s only talking strategy with Jill and in confessionals, he’s made one incredible blunder (telling everyone about his idol), and has shown no ability to bond with the youngs except Fabio a little bit. The only thing about Marty that makes him a threat is the idol. So sure, try to flush it, but once the choice is down to Marty or Kelly B, maybe getting rid of the jury threat rather than the guy who has almost no path to the end is the right choice.

    As for voting out Jill, it’s more of a punt, but maybe if you’re Sash the calculation is that you’d rather have a good shot at Marty’s jury vote (“you’re on the jury because I didn’t backstab you when I had the chance”) than blood on your hands and idol that everybody knows about.

    *”It” here refers to a pre-merge episode of the worst season of Survivor, more than six years after the fact. FML, who was the damn fool commenter who suggested a Nicaragua watch-along, anyway?

    • purplerockandy

      I think Kelly B is far more dangerous than Marty to them, as she could team back up with Alina, plus who knows what’s happening with the olds over there, plus maybe Fabio. So I agree there.

      The issue comes back to, if they wanted to vote out Kelly B instead Marty… why split the votes at all? You don’t ACTUALLY have to split votes to flush an idol. You just gotta convince the idol holder to play it at a time that won’t bounce back on you.

    • I know I said I would be down for it before I had actually watched Nicaragua.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Actually it was my suggestion . But don’t blame me, my idea was to pair it with Micronesia, the way we paired Gabon and HvV last off-season.

        • I thought it was you, but I wasn’t going to call you out or anything.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, that’s not an accusation someone should make lightly.

        • purplerockandy

          Micronesia was considered for a rewatch right now, but there simply isn’t the time.

    • tocantins

      Besides, not only Kelly B. is more dangerous than Marty, but after getting 3 votes, she would be furious. (As Brenda pointed out.) If you are going to betray someone in your alliance, might as well get him out entirely.

      The Jill vote you could argue exactly the same thing: now that Marty doesn’t have the idol, how much of a threat is he really? He is arrogant, unlikable, has shown no signs of knowing how to play. Jill seems like a bigger social threat. That said, I think they simply felt bad for Marty making such a fool of himself.

      (Now, as Andy pointed out, still splitting the votes—in both tribals—seems inexcusable. Although that hardly seems like it will be a very harmful mistake.)

  • Figaro

    Dare I suggest that Episode 7 wasn’t a terrible episode, and was in fact even sort of fun (or at least as ‘fun’ as Nicaragua can get)?
    Strategy and good gameplay aside, there’s several enjoyable moments such as Fabio peeing in the pool right before NaOnka has to jump in; “Milk your own milk”; NaOnka not being entirely terrible – “now I can say I touched a cow’s nipple”; Benry directing the raising of the pole at the challenge “Nay, like a ‘toot'”; Fabio knowing Freud. And if you really want to be generous you could say that Sash convincing Marty to give up the idol is pretty impressive.

    On the other hand, maybe the preceding episodes have just significantly lowered my standards of what a fun episode of Survivor can be.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Listen to your other hand.

    • tocantins

      I agree; I actually think that episode 7 was a good one. Very funny, with even a cool move by Sash and Brenda asking Marty for the idol. (And he actually giving it!) I think they were so surprised he actually agreed that they felt bad voting him out immediately. (And anyway, as soon as he lost the idol, he stopped being so dangerous. You could argue that Jill indeed became more dangerous, as she is more likeable.)

  • tocantins

    So I hate to be a contrarian (not really), but so far I don’t think I dislike this season nearly as much as everyone else here. The first 2 episodes were OK, the next 3 were quite bad, but these last 2 were also quite okay. (As I wrote below, I would even go as far as call episode 7 a good one.) Don’t get me wrong, it is still a below average season, but so far I like it more than Worlds Apart, One World and SJdS (my least favorite Survivor seasons). But maybe it gets worse later on.

    But who knows, maybe I’m just weird: in fact, so far I’m even liking NaOnka. She and Fabio are my favorites in the cast at this point.

    • purplerockandy

      Two things:
      1. It gets worse. This is actually its high point.
      2. Our opinion of Nicaragua is shaped by its complete lack of good. There may be things in other seasons that make us more angry, but those seasons also have something good in them (maybe a player, or a moment). So it comes down to how you judge things. If you’re someone who focuses more on things that upset you, then it would make sense that another, more upsetting season would be worse for you. For me, I don’t get upset by much, so my metric is what was good about something (even if there isn’t a LOT of good, every season has something better going for it than this does).

    • Purplerockmatt

      I turn on this season hard in the next set of episodes (spoiler). Up until that point I was merely apathetic. Now I hate it hardcore

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Pace yourself, Matt. You’ll need plenty of hate in the tank for episodes 12-15.