Purple Rock Watch-Along: Survivor Nicaragua Viewing Plan

We are starting our Nicaragua watch-along this Thursday and this is how it will sear the living skin from my eyeballs:

I will be doing a weekly watch of Survivor :Nicaragua starting January 5th.  I will be doing this in live-blog format, but not actually live-blogging at a set time.  So you don’t have to worry about coordinating watch times or anything like that.

Here’s the order I will discuss the episodes:

January 5th: Episodes 1-2
January 12th: Episodes 3-5
January 19th: Episodes 6-7
January 26th: Episodes 8-10
11 is a recap episode and will not be watched because why do that to ourselves?
February 2nd: Episodes 12-14
February 9th: Episodes 15 plus reunion

Note: This is my first time watching this season, so if you are rewatching it, please be careful with the spoilers.  I mean I know who wins, and I know about the quitters, and I know that this season generally sucks.  But I want to experience the suck live and as it is happening so I can give you a fair and accurate portrait of its sucking. Or maybe I’ll actually like it?

Matt
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Matt

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
Matt
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  • Come On In Here

    Jeez… what a thing to do with ones self. Have fun with this everyone. I’m going to do… anything else.

    • purplerockandy

      Same.

    • Roswulf

      I’ll instead be finishing up my first watch Micronesia (Jason just went home- I was very upset that when production hid a special idol just for Jason they didn’t make it a fvcking stick), and then conducting my first watch of Heroes v. Villains.

      So…pretty much the anti-Nicaragua Survivor experience.

      • Oh my gosh, you are in for a treat with HvV.

        • Roswulf

          I’m especially excited because HvV is the one season that I’ve really tried to avoid spoilers on. I mean, I’m not going to be shocked by the winner or anything- but I’m not going to be watching knowing the turning points of the season from episode one.

          Micronesia has been highly entertaining (I mean, except when it was expecting me to care about the Fans), but the biggest shocks have been things like “Oh, James gets med-evaced at seven? I thought he got voted out at seven” and “oh, that’s Alexis? I thought that was Natalie” and “OH MY GOD WHY IS EVERYONE ON THIS SEASON FAWNING OVER OZZIE?!?!? OZZIE IS TERRIBLE!”

          • I am just impressed that you don’t know the big plot points of HvV

          • purplerockandy

            When you’re done, you can listen to/watch our HvV podcasts.

          • Diego Armando

            HvV will be an awesome watch. It is the concensus pick for best season of Survivor for a reason.

      • Dutch

        Enjoy Heroes v. Villains! Top 5 season for sure!

  • Hornacek

    Welcome to the suck.

  • Kemper Boyd

    I am deciding if this is a pass or a hard pass. But also way to be a completist.

    • purplerockandy

      I will not be re-watching any of this season. But I am expecting it to be lots of fun experiencing Matt experiencing it for the first time.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Oh I’m 100% coming to the threads, I just haven’t decided if I’m watching. I have a new hour and 20 minute commute so I might see if I can download it to my tablet and watch one day on the way in. But it seems like an extra torture.

        • Alycia Swift

          Unfortunately, I can’t download and watch things and drive at the same time for my two hour commute. Sigh.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Mine is bus, train, bus or if I’m unlucky, bus, train, bus, bus.

          • Alycia Swift

            In an hour and twenty minutes? That’s a lot of changes.

            Mine’s just straight driving for 2 hours in the morning and less at night depending on what time I leave. At 10 p.m., its an hour and 30 but that’s only because I drive a little slower due to the dark back roads and deer.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I live in London, it’s 9 miles but across the river and not really in a straight line.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I live in London, it’s 12 miles but across the river and not really in a straight line.

          • purplerockandy

            I live in London, it’s 15 miles but across the river and not really in a straight line.

          • I live in London, it’s 18 miles but across the river and not really in a straight line.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Yes but I lI’ve in actual real London. Londinium

    • DrVanNostrand

      I already rewatched it once when some wanker on RHAP did a long bit on how great and underrated it was. That guy was an idiot, and I will never watch Nicaragua again. There are some bottom tier seasons that I could stomach watching again, like Redemption Island, Jesus Island, or Gabon. But Nicaragua is a bridge too far.

      • “It’s underrated! It should be next to last in your rankings, not dead last!”

        • purplerockandy

          Always my favourite comment. “How can Nicaragua be the worst when X exists?!?” As though splitting hairs on its relative shittiness is somehow a defense.

          • Diego Armando

            Nicaragua is terrible, but I can think of 3 seasons I personally hate more.

          • purplerockandy

            That’s fine, but you’d allow that difference to be one of personal preference, not an example of someone being wrong, right?

          • Diego Armando

            I will allow it. I know my hatred of Samoa is personal.

            I have put a lot of thought into whether Nicaragua or South Pacific is worse and settled on South Pacific. I feel a lot of their flaws cancel each other out (Brandon/NaOnka, Bad twists/Redemption Island, etc.). I personally decided that Nicaragua at least kept me wondering where it was going, while South Pacific was a below average Pagonging (which a bunch of other seasons did better). I can see people preferring South Pacific though (they are really close in my rankings).

            I will go to my deathbed proclaiming Thailand the worst season of all time; I am legitimately surprised that it did not get Survivor cancelled.

      • sharculese

        The RHAP comment section is basically a contest to see who can stake out the most needlessly contrarian position. Don’t listen to them.

        • DrVanNostrand

          I agree and I gave up on that comments section long ago. It was some dude on the actual podcast, some other Survivor blogger or podcaster or something. Probably 2 or 3 years ago.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      If you’re close to having seen every season I say go for it. It’s still recognizably Survivor, the show we love. Yes it’s the worst season, but being the worst season of Survivor is like being the dumbest Jeopardy winner. It’s solidly in last place not because it’s so much worse than the other bottom-tier seasons, but because it lacks their redeeming qualities (at least Gabon was funny, at least Coach didn’t win South Pacific, etc.).

      • sharculese

        Justin from last week is not nearly as awful as Nicaragua.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I’ve seen every season. *smug but also a bit sad*

    • Diego Armando

      I went through the completionist period last summer (although I still need to watch 1 episode of Palau). Australia filled me with joy, Africa was a huge disappointment, Thailand nearly broke me (way worse than Nicaragua), Marquesas impressed me by not being Thailand, Amazon and All Stars gave me a nostalgia boost, and Pearl Islands was the perfect end cap.

      I would say go ahead and watch the season if you already have Hulu or can rent it from a library just to get rid of the nagging feelings of incompleteness.

  • gouis

    :’-(

  • Ethan Kyle

    Nicaragua is great if you go into it looking for a parody of survivor ,actually I just love Nicaragua in general

    • Purplerockmatt

      that was what people said about Gabon. There can’t be two parodies!

      • No, Gabon was a parody of old Survivor while Nicaragua is a parody of modern Survivor….right.

        • Ethan Kyle

          yeah pretty much, and theres really no reason there can’t be two parodies, I mean there are lik 300 Leslie Neilson movies and two pointless Austin Powers movies

        • Purplerockmatt

          they were 3 seasons apart!

          • But Heroes vs. Villains was in that gap and that changed everything.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Nicaragua is to Gabon as Pacific Heat is to Archer.

      • Other Scott

        I feel like Gabon is more the true parody of Survivor, in that they were barely playing Survivor.

        Nicaragua is real Survivor played almost entirely by unpleasant and not all that intelligent people.

      • sharculese

        Gabon is a war crime.

  • Kemper Boyd

    At work I had to write a very long application for Fairtrade status and I had to type the word Nicaragua a gazillion times because we partner with a Nicaraguan town and their coffee plantation. I could do this because Survivor taught me how to spell Nicaragua.
    This is the sole redeeming feature of Survivor Nicaragua.

  • jersey_luck

    Well I am getting root canal tomorrow and if my memory is correct this season is not as painful as that, so fuck it I will join you on this ride.

  • Black Dynamite

    I’m very excited for this. Nicaragua is the last season of Survivor that I haven’t seen a minute of (I never finished Thailand and won’t anytime soon). I’m curious to see if it lives up to the hype as an incredibly shitty season that even superfans stay away from. Well, until I realize that it does live up to the hype and I’m left watching shitty television.

    • I would watch it, but I have higher priorities.

      • Black Dynamite

        Are you hinting at something here or am I giving my hopes up that you’re finally watching a certain great season of Survivor?

        • Well, I mean I am pretty close to rewatching Cambodia with Purple Tally…

          • Black Dynamite

            Okay, so a different great season of Survivor 😆

          • Luckily I can’t see emojis…

        • Hey, boo

          • Black Dynamite

            Finally!! You are in for a treat whenever you start.

          • Good because it was either this or rewatching Worlds Apart .

          • Black Dynamite

            Oh God, never rewatch Worlds Apart. I wanna know your thoughts when you watch it. I’ll jump in as well. Working on my Best 33 list has only made me appreciate Palau more.

          • I am going to shoot for watching maybe tomorrow/Friday since I am sick, but I will keep you posted.

          • Black Dynamite

            Hope you feel better soon. Sweet on watching this, though I’ll miss harassing you about not watching it.

          • You can easily find another season that I haven’t watched (although the ease is slowly going away).

          • Alycia Swift

            When is more of the list going up?

          • Black Dynamite

            Hopefully soon, I didn’t get the opportunity over the holidays to work on it. I should have some free time coming up to put it together.

          • Other Scott

            I have this feeling I might be the only person on the site who likes Worlds Apart more than Millennials vs Gen X

          • I think Worlds Apart has the far better premiere and story for the winner, but the darkness of the post-merge hurts WA so much.

          • Alycia Swift

            Yup. Exactly.

          • Other Scott

            I was okay with the darkness until it became became boring darkness.

            I think MvGX had a slightly better post-merge, but the disparity in the pre-merge is just so massive that I like Worlds Apart better overall.

          • That’s an absolutely fair point but I think Worlds Apart has a middling merge at times (the Nina episode is horrible).

          • sharculese

            Let’s see. In the one hand I have a glass of room temperature water with a half a packet of Kool Aid in it. In the other hand I have a glass of dog urine with ground glass in it.

            Decisions, decisions.

          • I actually think the cast for Worlds Apart had potential, it’s just that the ones that sucked were the ones that made it furthest in the game. If it had been a season dominated by Max, Shirin, Jenn, Hali, Lindsey, and Vince- with Joe and Mike making the challenges mildly interesting- maybe it could’ve been good. I would’ve even tolerated Dan getting punked and dragged to the end as a goat.

            Instead we got Carolyn’s permascowl, Rodney’s whiny misogyny, Sierra’s gamechanging invisibility, Will’s Trumpian garbage-humaning, and Tyler’s next-level bland mediocrity.

          • Alycia Swift

            And Dan’s sexist idiocy. But I was glad Vince left early. I liked Carolyn (she was expected to be the first out due to age but she smartly trailed So and found the idol herself) early on until she turned on Shirin and joined Rodney’s side.

          • You know what? I would even take Joaquin to go further into the game than most of the late pre-merge crew.

          • Pass. He’s not any different.

          • Yeah, but we expected him to be a smug snake.

            Also, why am I trying to defend Joaquin?

          • Sylvisual

            I’m really curious about those DVD extras. Any enlightening info from them?

          • I know The AO DVD had one that discussed why some of them brought the luxury item that they did including the fact that Kucha kept some of Kimmi’s scrabble game because they used the tile holders to eat and Alicia brought a comb because if she didn’t, her hair would look like Chaka Khan’s.

  • K.P. Watershed

    For those who HAVE seen this season… Would anybody be open to playing a fantasy game?

    But obviously, since we know who wins etc., the scoring would need to be different for things which we’ll need to count… for example “# of confessionals” and “# of times physically holding a piece of tree mail”

    • Alycia Swift

      Sounds interesting. Not sure I’m going to watch due to time but I play if this is gotten together.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    When faced with a tough decision, I find it helpful to make a pros/cons list.

    Pros: Brenda
    Cons: Everything not Brenda

    I’m in!

  • Mike Hirsch

    That grenade is just sitting there, waiting for you to jump on it.

    I watched this season a mere year ago, so I don’t know that I’ve let enough time pass to heal those wounds for a second watch, but I’m willing to at least follow along with the blog. Good luck.

    Also, just saw that Gabon’s Dan has passed away. R.I.P., I hope that the end of your path led to an immunity-idol filled lake.

    • Alycia Swift

      Dan’s death was so sad.

    • I watched this season back in August and it is seriously like a fever dream to me.

  • Other Scott

    There’s a whole subset of the internet that loves Nicaragua! Maybe you’ll be one of them!

    (You won’t be one of them)

    • Mike Hirsch

      I’d like to know what’s wrong with those people.

      • Ethan Kyle

        I have a sense of humor and high pain tolerance

    • Sylvisual

      It’s ok, you can say the R word.

  • jersey_luck

    Okay there a couple of a random things that I remember about this from second hand knowledge that deserve to be shared at certain points during this season so…

    Something to keep in mind: Before this season started there was a online vote to vote a person on an audition tape they sent in. There were ten finalists and the winner would be put on this season. So that’s right we put someone on this delightful cast. Can you guess who we voted on the cast of Nicaragua? That right it was Jimmy T. . This is a fact that should be kept in mind for the season.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Wow, I didn’t know that (I wasn’t yet a fan at the time). I shudder to think about how bad the other nine auditions must have been.

      • America is so, so bad at voting.

        • sharculese

          RIP Shane Powers.

          • Shane not making it on is a solid reminder that there are a lot of people that don’t watch Survivor the way we do.

            (And that our way is superior, naturally.)

          • I know we will never find out, but I want to know where Shane fell. I heard some rumors that he was 12th, but I don’t want to believe it because that is just heartbreaking. I much rather him be 16 out of 16 instead edged out yet again.

        • How dare you forget about T-Bird.

          • Sylvisual

            Is that what we’re calling Donald now?

          • No, no, no.

  • tocantins

    I’ve been trying this summer (it is summer here) to give some love to not so famous and well-liked seasons of Survivor (I’ve watched ~20 seasons, but mostly famous and recent ones), and try to see how bad it gets. So far it has been an utter failure, as I loved Fiji (yes, it is better MvsX—and 2nd Chances), and although not as good, I’ve been loving so far Panama/Exile Island (although I haven’t finished it).

    I was planning to go down step-by-step and try seasons like Gabon and Thailand next, but I guess I’ll take this chance and try going with you straight for the bottom of the well.

    • That’s commitment to the team!

  • Other Scott

    I am watching Philippines this offseason.

    Then I’m hoping to jump into Micronesia at some point, though I am hoping for a co-watch with Barbara Anderson.

    • Black Dynamite

      Philippines is so great. I’m very confident you’ll enjoy it.

      • I have to cosign that. It is my second favorite season for the sheer fun of it.

    • Micronesia may be a little bit because my friend is currently watching Worlds Apart, then we are watching Cambodia (call it my second chance on that season), then she is watching KR. After that, then I am watching Amazon, Pearl Islands, Panama,Cook Islands, and then Micronesia. What I am saying is that it might be a bit before we get there.

    • Sylvisual

      This is the season that got me back into the show. Really good! Enjoy.

  • Dutch

    I’ve been binging the past 3 weeks on foreign versions of Survivor (Israel, South Africa, etc.), so a rewatch will be nice.

    Think of all of the positives we got from Nicaragua:
    1) Brenda is playing in her prime
    2)
    3)

    • I actually think there is one solid yet underrated part of Nicaragua, but I don’t want to spoil it.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I think I know what you’re referring to, and I agree (and obviously I agree with @disqus_pLiISyxQov:disqus).

        • What are you referring to?

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Holly’s Cirie-ish story arc

          • Not quite, although that is good. I just feel like it has been done before and better…and it will be done again and much better. My selection is The FTC

        • Dutch

          There are definitely a few good parts of Nicaragua. The season had a solid premise and unique location, but the casting, for the most part, is what hurt this season the most.

  • I told Purple Tally about this and her exact words were “Oh dear God why would anyone ever do that to themselves. At least he’s not rewatching it.”

    • She knows what’s up. She’s already becoming a good Survivor fan.

      • Kemper Boyd

        She’ll be here soon, becoming the queen on gossip.

        • Just 2 seasons and 5 more episodes away! Had I not told her that 31 was a returnee season, she would have rage quitted on me. She watched “Bring the Popcorn” and couldn’t bear to watch another second more at all yesterday. She instead played Pokemon Snap.

          • Kemper Boyd

            My friend who I wrote a comprehensive list of what he should do to start watching Survivor when he was unemployed never did. he just read books and stuff. The bastard.

  • Diego Armando

    Nicaragua is a bad season, but it did not leave enough of an impression on me to give me the sort of hatred for it a lot of others feel. Samoa was my “Do I even want to continue watching this?” season and Thailand was the singlemost unpleasant experience I have gotten from the series. This one went in one ear and out the other for me.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I have the opposite reaction. I find a season with a dominant psychopath to be reasonably entertaining. Neither Thailand or Samoa are top tier to me, but I enjoyed both of them reasonably well. On a rewatch, Samoa even got bonus points from me for crushing the dreams of their psychopath.

      • purplerockandy

        Same. I prefer both of those because at least someone was good at aspects of the game.

  • Sylvisual

    I’ve decided to join poor Matt in the comment section, as I too have never seen Nicaragua. Will wash down weekly with a quality sitcom (or maybe just some Nyquil).

    • DrVanNostrand

      You’re not Matt? I’m so confused.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    I’m looking forward to reading about the rewatch without actually participating in the rewatch XD
    Nicaragua is one of only, I believe, 4 seasons that I did not watch as they originally aired. I took a break from Samoa through Redemption Island and miraculously missed the entire Russell Hantz arc before resuming at South Pacific. Of course I’ve seen all of the seasons now, but HvV is really the only season from that stretch that I regret not watching live.

  • corndogshuffle

    “Or maybe I’ll actually like it?”

    LOL no.