Purple Rock Watch-Along: Survivor Nicaragua Finale

It is the Finale and Reunion 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: everything! Because we are done! One of our long national nightmares is finally over!


Previously on Survivor: There are 5 left, and no one would have predicted these 5. Dan wore $1600 shoes, was ineffective or sat out of challenges, but has no enemies. Holly stole Dan’s shoes on day 5 and tried to quit, but she’s now the godmother and took out Brenda. Chase revealed his final 3, but every person Chase was aligned with he voted out. Sash was a dead man walking on day 28 (really, show?) and he made secret side deals with everyone. (Editor’s note: Unrelated to mortgage payments. Stop it, conspiracy theorists.) No one was in a deeper hole than Fabio, who won the last challenge and is now a serious player.

What a final five.

Fabio wants to break up Sash, Holly and Chase. He and Dan want Holly out. Holly comes over and she is all, “It’s anyone’s game!” So Fabio asks, “Ok, why not go to the end with me?” And Dan adds, “Hey, why not me?” She has no answer, because she was just spouting meaningless platitudes guys, geez.

Fabio is now talking to Sash, and Sash is worried about him making an immunity run. Sash is making promises to everyone because he doesn’t realize breaking promises is a great way to make enemies.

Chase wants Fabio out next. He just needs to lose…

The challenge is basically 1) answer questions about Nicaragua, 2) get puzzle pieces, 3) solve puzzle. First question asked what country was on Nicaragua’s northern border, everybody gets it right. Second question is the term for the east coast of Nicaragua (Fabio misses). Third question asks what the term is for the Spanish conquerers- the wrong choice is matadors.

I think only Fabio missed a question (Dan is just so slow that Fabio still beat him). Fabio was way behind because of that question miss, but he is making up a lot of time on the puzzle. Fabio the puzzle king! He wins! Holly is stunned, as am I that Fabio trounced everyone on a puzzle.

Judson Fabio Birza – Puzzle Master

Holly is unhappy, because the plan was to vote him out. She is hoping that it is an easy Dan vote instead.

Fabio says his plan was always to wait to be aggressive, follow along and then make a move late. Let’s see if he can do that.

Dan and Fabio are talking and this like Dumb and Dumber. Dan actually asks Fabio how many votes they need. There are five people left, Dan! You need 3 votes! My god, this fucking season.

Dan has a weird sales pitch to Sash- he basically says that because Holly is from a small town she is a threat. Sash thinks she might be a threat because she is a woman and the jury has a lot of women. Sash is wondering how threatening Dan really is.

While Fabio and Sash are talking, Holly comes up and is all, “Who you voting for?” Fabio is like, “Oh, Dan of course. You would know that if you talked to me.” Way to flip that guilt, Fabio. Holly suspects that they were talking about her though, because of course they were.

Probst says that Dan’s strategy is, “Take me to the end, I’ll never win.” He could use a million dollars though, probably for those gambling debts.

Fabio thinks Holly is a “pretty cool lady.” Take that Monica Culpepper. Cool > neat.


Huh. A random vote for Chase, but Dan goes home. He didn’t even send his vote at Holly? Weird. Oh, Dan did it to show how much he disliked Chase. He considers Holly a crook and hopes they cut her hands off, then calls Sash a girl and makes weird sounds that are kinda like moans.

Sash, Holly, and Chase are all celebrating: “Final four! Yay!” Fabio is standing there next to them like…yay final four, I am on the outside.

Sash thinks everyone left will take him to the end, but wants Fabio to go home. Sash has no idea he is the goat. (Editor’s note: This is untrue. He totally would have won if the producers didn’t rig the game against him. Source: Probably Sash.)

Chase and Holly both think they will lose to Fabio at a final three. Holly knows they will have to turn on their own. She and Chase think Marty, Purple Kelly and Dan will all go Sash. HA!

Chase doesn’t like to lie, he thinks this is a million dollar challenge.

UGH rights of passage. I am glad they got rid of this segment. Chase on Shannon “I’m sure outside this game he is a great guy.” Because in the game he was an asshole … and probably outside it too. Kelly B. says she learned she had a thicker skin than she knew (because she never had to deal with NaOnka before). Fabio thinks NaOnka quit with an idol in her hand despite Chase playing it. NaOnka of course thinks she was the smartest player in the game. Dan thinks he will be less spoiled when he goes home.

Fabio is giving a confessional at the end of this segment and the music is crazy swelling and its like a blinking neon sign is above his head flashing “winner, winner, winner”.

Last challenge is stacking coins on the handle of a sword, stack falls and you are out. Every coin is slightly uneven, making them hard to stack. Fabio’s stack is leaning a lot. He readjusts it when he places the next coin, though it is still shaking a lot more than everyone else’s. Holly had one coin fall off, she is first out. Chase goes out next. Sash’s stack looks really good too, almost straight up. Fabio’s stack still is leaning a bit, but Sash drops the coin he is placing displacing a bunch on top and Fabio wins.

Fabio is happy that he gets to come back and see the other three sweat it out. Holly says she “needs water” and asks Chase to go with her. He looks visibly unsure whether he should go with her or stay and talk to Sash and Fabio. Sash is desperate and is trying to convince Fabio he should be with him. Sash is running down the jury, and Fabio is just grinning in the background. He is enjoying this power a lot. Sash: “Oh, I wouldn’t have taken Holly and Chase.” (He definitely would have taken Holly and Chase.) Fabio is still grinning, he knows it is bullshit.

Secret Targaryen Fabio sits upon his throne

Fabio tells Chase what Sash was saying, and Chase starts selling Sash out. Chase tells Fabio that he would have gone home if he didn’t win. I think Fabio appreciated that honesty. He thinks Holly is the only one that hasn’t lied to him.

Fabio tells the jury and Probst that Sash lied to him about taking him and the jury all laughs because they know Sash is full of shit. Now Sash is all “I have had many alliances with different people” and doubles down on saying he would have taken Fabio, and the jury is dying. They hate him (Editor’s note: Probably because he definitely offered to pay Jane’s mortgage, even though no one can corroborate this story.) Sash triples down, saying he has been the most honest to Fabio.

Holly voted out. Not a shocker. Fabio leaves the immunity necklace at tribal council.

r.obbed go.ddess

Sash thinks that Fabio and Chase don’t deserve to be here, and that he is the best. He says, “You two can be my wingman any day” because he is obviously a Top Gun fan, and Fabio is cracking up in confessional and is like, “Take a back seat man, I’ll show you how this is gonna go.” Even Fabio knows Sash is a goat.

Fun bit of Nicaragua trivia: this is the only season with an all-male final three. Even in seasons with final twos that were both men (which only happened twice anyway- Thailand and Tocantins), the last person voted out was not a guy.

Chase is still working the game he says, trying to get Fabio over confident. Chase thinks the difference between him and Fabio are the relationships he had with people. He says he didn’t come here for second place. (Editor’s note: Foreshadowing! Sorry, spoiler. Whatever. Fuck this season.)

Sash says he is going to the jury tonight and is going to be 100% truthful.

Sash takes the friendships more seriously than the alliances… not sure people can separate the two.

Brenda attacks Sash for breaking all his alliances (she can’t even get 5 words in before he cuts her off), she calls Chase her snuggle buddy, and felt they had an emotional attachment. Chase thinks he put his neck on the line for her. Sash says, “Oh, Chase could have done more,” and Brenda is like “You could have given me the idol you fucking asshole!”

Marty asks Chase to pick the dumbest person and says he can pick someone on the jury (camera lingers on Benry). Chase refuses to do so. Marty ends by congratulating Fabio’s run and change.

Holly asks Chase what was his most strategic move (sorry- strategical move) and Chase says voting out Shannon. She asks Fabio if winning those challenges was too little too late, and he is like “Ha! No, it was just enough, that is why I’m here.”

Jane considers Sash a NYC river rat, and she wants him to go crawl back in the sewers. She is pissed at Chase, but thanks him for making her time here fun. Chase says he wants to take care of his mom, and Fabio is like, “Yo man, me too. I want to take care of my mom.”

Dan thinks Sash is a liar and phony, and is spineless and wants him to stop winking (the show then adds in a wink with a star twinkle). Dan thinks Chase was the most paranoid player in the game, and says Chase back-stabbed him. (How?) He tells Chase that dumb is forever.

Purple Kelly asks Sash to explain how he outwitted, and he actually gives a good answer because he realizes that he hurt people.

NaOnka gives Fabio the chance to cry and be emotional. Said seeing his mom focused him on getting to the end. Everyone is crying.

Alina doesn’t want to give a million dollars to a boy, she wants to give it a man. She was impressed by Chase tonight, though.

Fabio says that Chase tried to get to the end by not offending anyone but that Fabio actually did that. And then when Sash cuts in, Fabio has the great “well you didn’t outplay anyone, Sash” response. I love seeing Fabio give Sash shit at the end. And I bet the jury loves it too.

Alina votes for Chase, says he really impressed her today. That is probably one of the big surprise votes. Otherwise its 5-4 Fabio, with Fabio getting Marty, Benry, Dan, and both quitters. Pretty interesting that under current jury rules, Alina would have been the swing and deciding vote.

Fabio looks really different at the reunion. Short hair and everything. Honestly he looks like a boy band reject. I think he is even wearing sneakers on stage. Also, Fabio was the youngest winner ever. I think that is still true, though maybe Sophie was younger. (Editor’s note: Whatever. I’m not going to check. I hear facts don’t matter anymore anyway.)

Gotta worry about those men’s alliances.

Another fun fact: This is the last season that was decided by one vote.

Fabio while trying to describe that he played a goofball sounds really fucking stupid… so yeah, not a total act. He does admit “I have been crazy all my life.” He also says his mom’s dad invented the color wheel and his mom looks like “No, that isn’t what I told you.” He wants to undermine the government and travel around and start a production company and travel around. He is way weirder than the show portrayed.

Chase admits he was wishy-washy all game. Chase is all, “It wasn’t a showmance, my mom would see that.”

Brenda admits that the day before she went home, she made a plan to take out Sash, which is why Sash didn’t give her the idol. This makes her lack of scrambling so much worse.

Probst thought Sash would be first out from his tribe.

Probst asks Chase about his passion which is music, and holy shit Chase did actually fulfill that dream. He is one of the more famous alumni for sure for outside-the-game reasons.

I hope Chase and Fabio inspired so much fan fic with this pic.

Hey, they brought Terry Bradshaw in! Terry was worried Jimmy wouldn’t survive. He wants to make sure everyone knows he is driven and he didn’t want to go home. So was the rumor that Jimmy asked to be voted out? Because that is how Terry acted.

Holly buys Dan some ostrich boots, because he has 20 other pairs of alligator shoes. Probst asks how rich Dan is. Dan is like “I can’t say that. What if the IRS is here?” He is so mafia.

Jane says Marty fluffed her off.

NaOnka greeted by pretty heavy boos. She said she did what she needed to do to win, and didn’t realize how she was going come across as a villain. She also says she would have left sooner if not for Chase. She didn’t know that “rainforest was going to be a rainforest.”

Probst introduces the rule that says you can’t be on the jury if you quit (or rather it is up to the show if you will be).

Jane was the Sprint player of the season. Ugh. Jane sucked.

Probst: “Shannon, I want to give you a chance to redeem.” Shannon: “Redeem what?” He then doubles down and is like hey if he looks gay, he must be gay. Probst is immediately sorry he asked Shannon anything.

Oh hey, Boston Rob is here. Why does Andy hate this season? It has his favorite player!

In the teaser for Redemption Island, the show obviously forgot about the Outcast tribe. The show does not mention the special returning players even though Boston Rob was just there.

Closing thoughts:

Oh thank god it is over. What did I think of these episodes? Who cares! I am done! But fine, I will try and keep my mind in it long enough for some final closing thoughts on the season.

First of all, I’ll just say that this finale was actually not that bad, which is surprising considering how awful the post-merge this season had been. Because, wow, the post-merge this season was awful and the last three episodes in particular were the worst of the season.

Still, for all that, this last episode didn’t have any of the same boneheaded decisions that I had come to expect. It even had Fabio at his best when he was clowning Sash. If Fabio was doing this all game and they didn’t show it that was just malpractice because that was the best part of the finale. The final tribal council was also surprisingly decent as Chase and Fabio both mounted fairly spirited cases for themselves and Sash imploded in very satisfying fashion.

There is one thing that merits further conversation though and that is NaOnka and Purple Kelly and their jury vote. I said earlier that it was surprising that Alina went for Chase, but I think it might be more surprising that NaOnka and Purple Kelly both voted for Fabio. After all, NaOnka gave her idol to Chase! NaOnka HATED Fabio! Purple Kelly was allied to Sash all game. Purple Kelly’s vote might make even less sense, but honestly we never had any idea what she thought about anything so who knows. This really makes no sense, but honestly I’m kinda happy Fabio won, so I won’t argue with it too much.

Final thoughts on the season: I think this season was as bad as Andy and John make it out to be, but in a way that I didn’t expect. As has been discussed a lot in these watch-alongs, this season is not quite as hateful as some other seasons. NaOnka is awful, but she is no Colton, she is no Will. The twist is bad, but we have seen other bad twists. The Medallion of Power is stupid, but it is gone so quick you don’t even remember it at the end.

Instead, what makes this season bad is that it is boring. Like really boring. And while the cast is bad, they are all bad in a similar way in that they are all terrible narrators. The season had to lean on NaOnka heavily despite her quitting because she was easily one of the best narrators. Shannon might have been  a top five narrator on this season and he lasted two episodes!

And the moments that are interesting are usually because people are being idiots. The double quit is truly awful though, and the last episode before the finale is one of the secretly worst episodes of the show. So it does manage to make an even stronger case that it is the worst season towards the end.

I am also kinda pissed that Brenda was invited back, because this is a perfect cast to ignore forever on returnee seasons. It is much more deserving of that dubious honor than Guatemala is.

But then we would’ve missed this!

In closing, I just want to say screw you guys for reading this and making me feel like I had to finish this season out. Why do you all hate me so? What are you going to do next, make me watch Thailand? You are all monsters!

Suggested reading for people who didn’t get enough of this season.
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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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  • Hornacek

    Finale (I posted these before I read Matt’s notes so sorry if there’s anything he already said):

    I like the challenges that teach you about the season’s setting. I had no idea that matadors claimed other countries for Spain.

    Jeff: “Must have fell out when you dumped it out …” (under his breath) “… dumbass.”

    Every time Chase speaks the jury laughs. No one respects him. How did this guy get 4 votes?

    The takeaway from Dan’s final words: Dan is PISSED!

    “I think Sash would get a lot of votes.” Uh …

    Fallen Comrades:
    – The only thing said about Tyrone: “Tyrone the fireman.”
    – NaOnka was friendly and the smartest player in the game!

    Fabio is causing havoc at camp after the challenge, and he’s tearing Sash and Chase apart. Could he actually be a (gulp) decent player?

    Jane looks like she stepped off the set of The Walking Dead. (has that show started yet? That’s the problem with rewatching old seasons)

    Final Tribal observations:
    – Dan really took the last 39 days seriously.
    – “Thanks, Purple.” That was something said on Survivor.
    – Fabio is fighting, but he seems more like he’s just having a good time.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      The entire Fallen Comrades segment was worth it to see Purple Kelly’s memorial actually have “Purple Kelly” written on it. For some reason I was just delighted by that.

      “- NaOnka was friendly and the smartest player in the game!”

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (well actually I probably won’t after today)–I suspect NaOnka had massive mood swings on the island, so as bad as she was at her worst, she was probably pretty good to be around at her best. She had tight bonds with the La Flors she wasn’t feuding with right from the jump, and I don’t think it’s because they all wanted an FTC goat. Since the show couldn’t Purple her, the way they punished Nay was by only showing her bad side.

      • Hornacek

        I don’t know, her good side would have to be amazingly good (like saving drowning kittens) to balance out her bad side on the show.

    • Figaro

      Jane’s “just ate a lemon” Final Tribal face was hilarious! I didn’t know that anyone could look so bitter haha

  • Hornacek

    Reunion (I posted these before I read Matt’s notes so sorry if there’s anything he already said):

    It feels like the crowd is struggling to applaud for each Chase vote.

    Who did the 420 Fabio vote? It got a big reaction from him.

    The color wheel? The folding card table? What is happening here?!?

    When this aired I thought “What a waste of time to let Chase sing”. And now, knowing he’s a country music star … I still think it’s a waste of time.

    “One of this season’s most likable, Jane.” Low bar, Jeff.

    Did Dan fall asleep in the tanning bed … again?

    Jeff asks Dan a question and he rambles on incoherently, reminding us why Jeff talked to him so seldom at tribal.

    Jeff tries to get Marty to say he likes Jane now, omitting how Jane said on the show that Marty was a terrible father.

    “It wouldn’t be a great season of Survivor if we didn’t have a great villain.” Um, Jeff, in 12 seasons you’re gonna do another young vs. old season …

    Even before Jeff said it I was thinking “NaOnka’s mom just threw her under the bus.”

    Jeff acknowledges Purple Kelly by saying she and NaOnka helped create a new rule because of how viewers hated them quitting. The underside of that bus is getting crowded.

    “Next season we have big plans and I think you’re gonna like it.” This whole reunion is full of lies!

    Jane is the Sprint Player of the Season. Yeah, I don’t mind that they got rid of that prize.

    At the time we thought Jeff talking to Boston Rob and letting him take over for the commercial outro was as bad as the Probst/Boston Rob bromance would get. How little we knew.

    Hey, someone voted out doesn’t leave the game and may re-enter the game. What a great idea!

    “Survivor: Redemption Island! You will love it!” What did I say about lies?

    Former Survivors in the crowd: Coach, Rupert, Russell and Boston Rob – did I miss anyone?

    Not talked to: Tyrone, Yve, Jill, Purple Kelly, Benry. For a cast of 20, that’s pretty good.

    This was … fun?

    • You missed Cirie, who is the only former Survivor there who has never played on a Redemption Island season.

      Also the 420 vote has been largely pegged on Na’Onka because it also has the drawing of the volcano to symbolize the volcano reward.

      • Hornacek

        Aw man, how did I miss Cirie? When I was making that list I was just picking people we saw for a split second in the audience – Boston Rob was shown briefly in the audience before Jeff talked to him (was Boston Rob sitting behind Terry Bradshaw?) But you’re right, Cirie was mentioned and part of Jeff’s RI explanation.

      • Hornacek

        Of the 5 Fabio votes, we see Marty, NaOnka and Dan voting for him, and I think we see each of their parchments, with no 420 or volcano drawing. So it would have to be on of the other two votes: Benry and PK. My money’s on Benry.

        • Hmm…I did not realize we saw NaOnka voting.

          • Hornacek

            Oh wait, you may be right. According to the Survivor wiki, “NaOnka’s vote was not shown during her confessional.” for the final vote.

            It was Monday when I watched that episode and my brain has done its best to scrub it from my memory.

  • Alkanarra

    I finished! Praise the Maker, I’ll never have to attempt to watch Nicaragua again!

    So while it was certainly bad, at least it didn’t have an entire episode dedicated to a woman being sexually assaulted and then watching that same woman implode in anger and ultimately get voted off in a fashion that made everyone involved look awful, including her.

    Thailand. Still the worst.

    • purplerockandy

      It’s sad that I wasn’t quite sure which season you were referring to until the end. Was about to #wellactually you and say “Sue didn’t get voted off”.

      • Alkanarra

        Man, I forgot all about Sue, which is crazy because that’s the one where we actually got footage. For a show this good it’s also really fucking bad at times.

        • Hornacek

          Sue’s incident took place at a challenge so they would have footage of that. Ghandia’s incident took place in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping – do the camera people film the players while they’re sleeping?

          • Alkanarra

            They obviously didn’t then or they would have shown something. I’m guessing they do now, though, in case similar situations occur and they need to mitigate a sexual harassment lawsuit.

          • I think back in the day, they used to. But, when the budget got cut, I am sure one of the first things to go was cameras.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            They must, or else we wouldn’t have footage of Taylor going for a midnight snack, Jennifer Lanzetti in agony, etc. Or maybe they only put a cameraperson on the graveyard shift when they expect something interesting to happen.

          • I think that is the ticket. If producers are like, “Taylor stole some food”, then Probst like “Get the beautiful bean footage or you’re fired”.

          • Hornacek

            Like when they put a camera-person at camp when there’s no one there just in case Production decides to burn the shelter to create drama a fire accidentally starts.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I think they need a relatively large number of camera operators to make Survivor, particularly at the beginning of the season, and as the cast dwindles, rather than letting them just sit around and get high all day they put some on empty-camp duty, the graveyard shift, etc.

          • sharculese

            The Ted/Ghandia thing happened in the middle of a crowded shelter and was probably hard to isolate from just normal people shifting in their sleep stuff.

          • Hornacek

            Still, if they’re recording them when they sleep all night then they would have recorded the Ted/Ghandia incident. In many seasons we see shots of people sleeping in the shelter because something is about to happen – someone is going to get up and do something, etc. So they must be recording them when they sleep, right?

        • Roswulf

          The problem is that for all of its artifice, Survivor takes a bunch of people and lets them do more or less whatever they want for weeks

          And people are sufficiently terrible that that will backfire an awful lot.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          As someone who watched All-Stars within the past year and hasn’t seen Australian Outback through Thailand, I can assure you guys that All-Stars is definitely close to or in the Nicaragua/Gabon tier if you have no sentimental attachment to most of the cast.

          • Alycia Swift

            Its that way even if you have sentimental attachment.

          • Jim

            Doesn’t having sentimental attachment make it worse? Since it’s not just creating a poor cast, it’s ruining a good cast into a terrible one. It takes multiple of my top 20 in their first iteration, and puts them into the bottom 20 on the second.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            That’s a good point. I guess it cuts both ways. I was thinking that, as a viewing experience, I didn’t have a reservoir of goodwill for, say, Lex and Big Tom that needed to be depleted before deciding that I couldn’t stand them.

    • tocantins

      I am usually a contrarian when talking about Survivor seasons (although I do place Nicaragua at my bottom 3), but I honestly think that Ep. 3 of Thailand (the one you are referring to) is one of my favorite episodes of Survivor ever.

      • Alkanarra

        Far be it from me to consider someone else’s personal belief to be wrong, especially about something as trivial as a TV show.

        … but how dare you and you’re wrong.

        • tocantins

          I know that many here do not even see Survivor much as a reality TV, more like a game (like Genius). But as a reality show, you cannot get better than that. This was a real conflict, as close to being a “social experiment” as it gets. Although it wasn’t completely removed from the game (Gandhia herself admitted a few times in confessionals that she made a bigger deal out of it as a social move), the tension was real, and it went beyond the show.

          For me, those are the moments that make Survivor great. (And that is why I feel that the “this is a game; don’t take things personal” talk of recent seasons, although reasonable, killed Survivor. But that is a story for another time.) Another great classic moment was Dreamz and Yau-man. These are all moments that shine because they go beyond the game, so the stakes are higher and the drama is real. None of these situations make people look particularly good, but life is messy, and this is what makes good TV.

          • Alkanarra

            I can respect that at least, even though I’m totally the opposite. I absolutely, 100% want everyone to come in with the “this is a game, this is a show” mentality and leave their deep issues at the door, but that’s always been the big divide with this show: it offers a mix of both and people’s tolerance for one or the other varies. (And the real-life elements of the game are so stressful that my version of the show could never realistically happen.)

            Frankly if you gave me the choice of Nicaragua or a season with high-emotional, shouldn’t-be-on-this-island people like Brendan and Philip and Dawn, I’ll stick with Nicaragua. I don’t even like “villain” characters. I’d rather people just be pleasant with one another, like they were (for the most part) in Mils vs. Gen-X, even if it’s boring. Like, it really bothers me that Sugar tried to kill herself after HvV over a fucking TV show, and I’d frankly the whole thing be canceled rather than cause the contestant that level of suffering, even if the suffering is cathartic or even temporary. It’s hypocritical to a degree, of course, given the nature of the beast, but while starvation and physical trauma are one thing, emotional scaring over a game? So while the show has potential to speak to strong, human, emotional moments (like Zeke and Brett bonding, for instance), I’m just uncomfortable with seeing actual people hurt.

            It’s probably why I like Ponderosa so much. I get to watch them back off, process that the game isn’t everything, and just relax and enjoy life again.

            Anyway, different strokes.

          • Seconded what Alkanarra is saying- I disagree with you, but I respect the argument.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Ugh, Thailand.

    Congratulations on making it through the season, Matt. Now you can shudder knowingly with the rest of us whenever anyone mentions this godawful season.

    Also, the Frinkiac memes will continue on into the new season, right?

  • Black Dynamite

    Marty deserves whatever bullshit award he was talking about for asking that question. That man is so clever in his own head.

    The season was really bad, as expected. I will probably have it ranked third to last in my rankings, ahead of Worlds Apart and Thailand (the worst).

    This was a fun watch along though. Looking forward to the next one.

    • Mike Hirsch

      I think another watch along would be the only way I would ever revisit Thailand or Worlds Apart. Although I do occasionally watch, like, the Friday the 13th movies willingly, so I will occasionally voluntarily subject myself to things that are godawful, so I guess never say never.

      • Hornacek

        If I had never re-watched the FT13 movies many years ago I never would have gotten to say “Holy shit, it’s little Corey Feldman!”

      • Purplerockmatt

        interested in being in the Outcast fantasy league?

    • It is dead last for me, just behind Worlds Apart and Redemption Island (One World would probably be this low when I finish it…along with Palau).

      • Black Dynamite

        Are you currently watching One World or did you quit in a heap of anger? While Kim is a goddess, I do understand avoiding Tarzan/Colton/Alicia/Troyzan.

        • Um…I don’t remember. Purple Tally is probably the better person to figure out why.

          • PurpleTally

            You Medallion of Powered One World, because you wanted to get to Philippines.
            (Then never got around to finishing it or Caramoan on your own.)
            I assumed you did not finish watching Caramoan with me, because there is only so much you can handle when it comes to me drooling over Cochran. (I make no apologies for this, btw. Cochran is bae.)
            PS the last time I bothered you about finishing One World was the day of the MvGx finale, so you are due: Go finish One World.

          • Have you met @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus? He also pesters me to finish seasons that he likes.

          • Cochran is so great. He was one of the ones I was really excited to meet at the Cambodia after party. And he was amazing; you are right to crush on him.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            This is so not the community where you have to apologize for crushing on Cochran.

          • PurpleTally

            That is good to know. I have found the right place.
            He is so my type. It’s the glasses, I think.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            His Caramoan finale look is so on point.

          • PurpleTally

            That vest tho.

          • sharculese

            O/T, ’cause you’re the only person who will appreciate it: I just came back from a meeting at our central office, where I was the only one to recognize and comment on our director’s Desaparecidos t-shirt, which hopefully earned me some kind of points.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            So I take it that this would be a bad time to say I had to google that band name?

          • sharculese

            Yeah. 🙁

            I was counting on you to be perfectly positioned at the intersection of pop punk and Conor Oberst.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I’m not really a Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes fan, that’s Andy.

          • Purplerockmatt

            interested in outcast fantasy draft?

          • sharculese

            Sure, Im down for that.

          • Purplerockmatt
          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            @purpletally:disqus: Agreed. This is more the community where a straight male feels apologetic for crushing on Brenda.

      • PurpleTally

        How have you still not finished One World?

        • I don’t know. I am past the Michael boot…Is this the point to bring up that I still haven’t finished Caramoan yet?

          • Just FYI, you may want to watch another few episodes of One World. Like tonight, maybe. Up until the point where a certain Game Changer gets voted out.

            No reason.

          • Why do I feel like this payback, you know for no reason.

          • Nah, it’s more that you may soon see some spoilers.

          • Diego Armando

            You don’t need to watch the rest of One World. Kim is literally the only thing keeping it out of my bottom 5.

    • Diego Armando

      I would still hold this as 4th worst. Thailand is the unequivocal worst. Samoa is my pick for second worst since it is the only season I considered not watching. I think South Pacific is a hair worse than Nicaragua since I at least didn’t know where Nicaragua was going.

    • Purplerockmatt

      interested in outcast fantasy league?

  • Maritimer

    Not to be that guy, but Cagayan also had an all male final two, but a woman voted out last so your point still stands

    • purplerockandy

      Thank you. It felt like there was another one, but I didn’t want to figure it out.

    • You beat me to it.

    • Purplerockmatt

      fuck I knew I was forgetting one. i even remember making sure my final three point was right by checking that is was Kass out in third

  • Alkanarra

    Some final questions for further discussion:

    1) Anyone from this season worth bringing back?

    2) Would Holly have made a better winner if Fabio had lost that last challenge?

    3) I couldn’t think of anything else worth talking about related to this miserable season, but having only two questions seemed paltry. So I guess how is everyone’s week so far?

    • 1) Maybe Holly. Other than that, nope.
      2) I believe many have said that Chase would beat Holly easily because a lot of people were more bitter towards Holly than Chase.
      3) This week has been going okay. I am a little overwhelmed finding the balance between the new semester of teaching and my other job (what a millennial thing), but it’s getting there.

    • purplerockandy

      1. No
      2. Marginally, maybe. But I also think that Fabio is the perfect winner for this season.
      3. Meh.

    • Maritimer

      1) Alina, maybe, as that “random girl” role. There are many better returnees for the archetypes for anyone on this cast
      2) Maybe…give us another winner in the “mom” archetype. Though as mentioned, she may have been eviscerated at FTC a la Dawn/Lisa because of that role
      3) Fairly good, in the busy kind of way

      • Hornacek

        2) Early-season Holly would have been eviscerated at FTC. But late-season Holly, after she emerged from her cocoon as was in scrappy mode I think would have stood up very well at that FTC.

        • Maritimer

          While I agree she would have been scrappy, I think the extra personal betrayal people seem to feel from their “Island mom” would have hurt her

          • Hornacek

            We’ll never know but I got the impression that Holly would not have let herself be put into the “Island Mom” role at FTC, even if she already was in the eyes of the jury. Would have liked to see her try.

    • Mike Hirsch

      1) Nah. The only one I’d possibly enjoy would be Jimmy Johnson, but it didn’t seem to be a good fit for him.
      2) Fabio is the winner this season deserved.
      3) Snowed in at the moment (yet still at work). How has your week been?

      • Alkanarra

        Also at work and also snowed-in, or, well, not really, because 2 inches of snow in NYC is basically meaningless with the combined human traffic mashing it down, but that won’t exactly stop me from being cranky about being here. Instead I’m displaying clever defiance of the people who employ me by dicking around and commenting on a particular Survivor messaging board… much as I do even when it doesn’t snow.

        • Mike Hirsch

          I do the same!

          • Alkanarra

            What are the odds?!?

          • Purplerockmatt

            Me three!

      • Alycia Swift

        1. Not interested in seeing anyone.
        2. Agree with Mike.
        3. I have about 8 inches of snow here in NJ. I did not drive to work. My hubby did and said there were numerous accidents and he saw someone drive backwards on a major highway before crashing into a guardrail. NJ Courts closed. I’m working from home but it is difficult to concentrate bc you just want to sit and watch tv or something but that is probably because I had 3 12-13 hour days in a row this week without travel time so I’m fried.

        • Purplerockmatt

          philly got nothing after everything nicely agreed to shut down, so i woke up early checked to see the courts were closed and decided to let myself sleep in. woke up again later and there was no snow anywhere

          • Alycia Swift

            NJ Courts were open while I was on the way home when I checked the website, and closed by the time I got home when I checked again. Usually,they do not do that so early. But I got “permission” to work at home.

        • Mike Hirsch

          It’s hard work sometimes to actually work from home. If the work isn’t keeping my attention enough, it’s very easy to be like, “Hmm, maybe I’ll throw on season 8 of MST3K and watch that.” Or whatever.

          • Alycia Swift

            It also was something frustrating that I was working on. Plus I wanted to read all new Survivor stuff (I did not do that).

      • Diego Armando

        We got about an inch or two in Michigan. It was 45-50 yesterday.

        • Mike Hirsch

          I’m in MA, we got probably a foot, maybe 14 inches. It was also 50 yesterday. I had the opportunity to
          shovel a bit yesterday in flip flops. Incongruous, but kind of fun.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      1) Holly, as I discussed upthread.
      2) Unless Holly goads Chase into self-destructing at FTC (a distinct possibility), I think Chase wins.
      3) I am very much over all this rain. It’s really saying something that rewatching Nicaragua has been a welcome respite from real-world events.

    • tocantins

      1) Not really.
      2) For me, the only redeeming quality of this season is Fabio. He has a likable personality (even though a bit dumb), and It is very easy to understand why and how he won. If he were not the winner, I think this season would be (even) worse.

    • Black Dynamite

      1. Alina or Holly but they aren’t high on my want list. Maybe even Fabio

      2. I actually like how Fabio ended the season so I’m fine with his win. Holly would’ve been okay too.

      3. My week is okay except for having to shovel snow. It was fucking 60 degrees yesterday!!

      • Alycia Swift

        Yes, that 60 degrees was weird. I was not wearing a coat on the way home from work at after 10 p.m. and I was convinced the snow was going to miss us because it has before because the weather did not support it snowing. I was wrong.

    • 1. NOPE.
      2. In the sense that one forgettable outcome is slightly better than another? Sure.
      3. Game changing.

    • Diego Armando

      1. Alina, Holly or Fabio, but not as high priorities.

      2. Maybe.

      3. Fine.

    • Figaro

      I’d only want to see Fabio come back, and only for an All-Winner season. I think he’d arguably be one of the most under-estimated on said season, but his likeability, challenge skills, (and maybe some added maturity due to being older?) could take him far. (NOTE: I don’t think he’d win by any stretch of the imagination but I think he’d still do pretty well for himself)

    • Jim

      Different perspective since I like Nicaragua.

      1. Holly. Marty. Alina. Chase. Fabio. All 5 I’d pick over Brenda.

      2. Maybe? I think Fabios a perfect winner for the mess (in a good way) that the season is. Holly could work too though, as the redemption arc.

  • I have said since I watched this season in August that the highlight of Nicaragua is the FTC. You actively see all three finalists fighting for each and every vote, which is what we kinda saw in MvGX. More often than not, you have one finalist who just seems to be checked out because of the fact that he/she got nothing in the regards of questions.

    • PurpleTally

      Everything about Nicaragua is so mediocre that it can’t even manage to have the shittiest FTC.

  • jersey_luck

    Well in defense bringing Brenda back in Caramoan: I will say that it was the show bringing back a minority character in group of seasons where most POC were duds, crazy, or did not want to come back. Brenda was a women of color who was well liked at the time and who was willing to come back. She was a lock for casting reasons and she was used questionably.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      (hits delete) Well, you just said what I was about to. An incredibly attractive, athletic WOC who demonstrates a fair amount of skill in all three aspects of the game just ticks too many boxes for production not to bring back. Really the only other potential returnee is Holly. I really would like to see her play again. I don’t think she would be trapped in the mom no-win situation, because her coach of sports persona overshadows her mom persona (the way Denise’s therapist persona kept her out of the mom trap).

      • I also wonder if Holly didn’t hit the mom trap because of the fact that they started older vs. younger.

  • PurpleTally

    I think I’d rather watch Nicaragua again than ever willingly read anything written by Cassandra Clare. Which is saying something, because Nicaragua is just freaking dreadful.
    When @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus and I watched this, we powered through it in a weekend just to get it over with, which I think is the best way to watch Nicaragua. Get it done just to say you did it and then never think of it again.
    Nicaragua sucks at sucking. At least with Thailand (screw Thailand) there are specific things you can point to as to why it is the actual worst. Nicaragua has nothing spectacular about it apart from a double quit, which, for being double quit, is anti-climactic as hell.

    • Alycia Swift

      Well it did have a woman bully a person with one leg. Read Mario Lanza’s Funny 115 entry on this. Its amazing.

      • PurpleTally

        That entry is funnier than all of Nicaragua.

  • Diego Armando

    The finale was the other “good” episode of Nicaragua. The final tribal was interesting. I was really baffled at why Sash refused to admit he would have voted out Fabio. Everyone already knew this and telling the truth wouldn’t make you look terrible.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Sash reminds me of the plaintiffs i see. they refuse to admit the non-damning truths because they think admitting anything admits everything, they cannot see how flimsy their house of lies is

  • Diego Armando

    The main reason I don’t have the same level of hate for this terrible season is that I stopped thinking about it the moment it ended. I cannot think of a single season that left less of an impression on me, which is pretty damning.

  • Anthony DePaul

    Thanks for making this a fun experience even though the season was about as good as Gulliver’s Travels

  • Grab your tin foil, it’s time to jump into Mortgageghazi one time because the biggest piece of evidence along with a smaller piece is in this episode.
    1) Jane wins Fan Favorite. Okay, sure. But this is the only time that Survivor has only ever mentioned who won. Even when Ozzy curbstomped Cochran for SoPa Fan Favorite, we knew that Ozzy curbstomped Cochran. Many who buy into this theory believe that this was CBS’s bandage for Morgageghazi.
    2) Purple Kelly’s vote. As Matt says, Sash has probably his best answer of FTC to PK and she still votes for Fabio. Some say that is suspicious, especially when you have to consider that she voted against Brenda.

    As a whole, I am definitely leaning towards it may have happened, but I am not “Production Rigged Nicaragua”. Because, come on, do you really think they want Fabio to be a winner. Heck the only time Fabio is brought up again on the show is when Kass compares Woo to him in the Cagayan finale.

    • Purplerockmatt

      also wouldn’t production want a tie? if PK votes for Sash that ties it up and makes a more interesting finale than this season deserves

      • But would Production want people to
        A) be reminded that the fate of Nicaragua rested on a 20 year old quitter (yes PK could have easily been the swing vote in the original timeline, but we don’t know that. Also, we don’t know what happens with Sash in this scenario. I assume he doesn’t vote and PK revotes, but that could be wrong)
        B) have everyone remember that Nicaragua is the season with the tie at FTC?

  • sharculese

    In re: Shannon outside of the game – isn’t he the one who just relentlessly harassed Rob. C. on Twitter for months because he didn’t think his coverage on the podcast was positive enough?

    • Purplerockmatt

      wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest

    • I think Rob mentions it in TEOS that Shannon, during his exit interview and on Twitter, mentioned that he would start his own Survivor podcast (to put it in context, RHAP was just in its second season, so it wasn’t what it was yet). But, he has largely vanished now.

  • Purplerockmatt

    Oh i forgot to mention it, but I have a theory that we will only see a tie in a terrible season because if there is a tie it will more likely be between two terrible players rather than two good players. Gabon and Nicaragua are the closest we have come in the modern game and look at those final threes. People have long since learned not to bring a real threat to the end

    • John Kenney

      Anyone know if there’s a long-read on how to view the season if NaOnka and PK hadn’t been able to vote, leaving Chase the winner 4-3? Gotta say I like the alternative history aspect of this vote

  • Anthony DePaul

    I’m putting myself through Survivor Thailand right now. Man that pre merge is super awkward.

    • Anthony DePaul

      Also awkward might be biggest understatement I’ve made in a while.

  • John Kenney

    So Holly should have flipped, yes?