Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette: Aubry Bracco

Time for the next edition Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette, where the authors of this site are randomly assigned contestants from the upcoming season of Survivor: Game Changers and must give an honest assessment of what to expect from them. Next up: Aubry Bracco.

Editor’s note: Since six entries didn’t feel like enough for this series, we invited some more regular contributors to the site and put them through the randomizer. Even though she’s insanely busy saving the world via the law, we asked EmAndScoutinBK if she had time to write something anyway.

Aubry, newest Survivor Queen! Puzzlemaster! Awkward Dancer Extraordinaire! Coleslaw Enthusiast! I was pretty excited when I drew Aubry in roulette, but then came the dawning realization that I was going to feel a lot of pressure while writing up an entry for the latest “robbed g.oddess.” Nonetheless, I’m beyond thrilled that I get to talk about fellow New England nerd, Aubry. She is probably the most popular player to come off of Kaoh Rong, except for OWM, whose win makes Matt’s blood pressure rise automatically.

Aubry surprised people last time she was out on the island. After having an anxiety attack early on- during which Water Felon Debbie soothed her (more on that later)- she bounced back and never really showed that aspect of herself again. She proved time and time again her value in team challenges. Her two biggest obstacles were at the swap and at the merge. At the swap, she struggled with indecision in the voting booth, crossing out Julia’s name and voting out her old tribemate Peter, which served only to anger everyone. At the merge, she was down in the numbers. Even worse, her number one ally (Neal) was medically evacuated because the beach was trying to kill them all, and he didn’t give her his idol.

But, her social game came out in a big way later on when she convinced Tai to flip on his bro alliance, shifting the landscape for the rest of the season. Tai’s loyalty to her was so deep that he forced a fire-making challenge at the final four, even though he thought it was to his disadvantage to keep her in the game. She won that fire-making challenge, which puts her in an elite group of fire-making challenge winners who couldn’t seal the deal in the finals with “Emotional Spitfire” Becky Lee, “Yeah, Baby!” Carolyn Rivera, and “Captain of Sports” Danielle DiLorenzo.

Throughout the post-merge of Kaoh Rong, Aubry persevered – she was on the right side of every vote, kept Joe’s loyalty, and made it all the way to the final three. But… we all know how that turned out. The jury didn’t love her the way the audience did. She only managed to gain two out of seven votes, though she suffered from Neal’s ejection from the jury.

Hey Aubry, what do think about the jury’s decision?

Here’s the thing about Aubry – she’s a great narrator. The audience loves her. She forges great relationships. She instilled a relationship with Joe so trusting that people considered him basically to be an extra appendage to her. The major issue? She suffers from the “Dawn effect”. Her relationships were solid – so solid that people felt betrayed when she voted them out, Former Model (and Current Hypocrite) Debbie in particular.

But for Game Changers, let’s start with the obvious – there are four people playing from Kaoh Rong. It is great for Aubry that Tai is playing. To say that it is not so great that Former Caretaker of Nuns Debbie is playing is a large understatement. Caleb’s relationship to Aubry appears to be a non-factor at first, but remember – Tai and Caleb were apparently super close on the Beauty tribe. If Aubry and Tai maintain their relationship, and Caleb and Tai do the same, she has a built-in third ally.

And that’s where Water Felon Debbie comes in – Debbie is a perfect example of what went wrong for Aubry last time. Aubry blindsided Debbie, and even though Debbie didn’t seem to have a close relationship with Michele, she appeared to vote against Aubry rather than for Michele at final tribal council. Debbie still appears to be holding on to those feelings about Aubry, if she’s being honest in interviews. Of course, having four people from Kaoh Rong, the largest from any prior season, playing together might put a target on her back anyway, but if Cambodia is any indication (and it probably isn’t), it doesn’t matter what your relationship to one another is – numbers are dominance.

Best Case Scenario

Aubry’s challenge prowess makes her an asset in the pre-merge worth keeping around, and she knows how to keep a low profile. She bonds with her tribemates over various side dishes on rewards, and this time, she learns how to prevent the backlash from voting out her allies. She takes credit for her moves and makes sure that the jury “sees her game” this time around.

It shouldn’t be too hard for us, the audience, to imagine her winning – she’s so damn likable. All she has to do is get the people on the island to see her the same way. Aubry makes sure that she sits next to two people who specifically don’t have her social game, and she coasts to the victory that most people wish she’d taken in the first place.

Worst Case Scenario

Two words: too soon. Losing in the finals isn’t easy to recover from, and let’s face it – her loss was probably particularly hard after the fact. She hasn’t had time to heal. On top of it, she came off of Kaoh Rong with the biggest target on her back out of the four– she was regarded as probably the most strategic, certainly out of those on that season, and many considered her deserving of a win.

The worst case scenario is something along the lines of the men teaming up to be meat shields for each other and pulling in Sandra because she’s already targeting Aubry. Throw in a little mix of her tribe deciding to play the post-merge game in the pre-merge, and Aubry could be the first to leave the game.

Most likely scenario

There are bigger threats out there than Aubry, and those will likely be the people that are taken out first. Aubry, with her puzzle-knowledge and active listening, is likable AND an asset in the pre-merge. Assuming her tribe doesn’t lose every challenge, she’s probably safe until the merge, at which point someone will eventually realize how dangerous she is. She’ll probably get booted, heartbreakingly for us all, a few episodes after the merge.

Read the rest!

Other Game Changers preseason contestant content:

EmAndScoutinBK

EmAndScoutinBK

Em has watched the show since the first season, though her enthusiasm for it skyrocketed during Philippines. Her favorite Survivor-related moment was when she and her best friend of several years both realized that the other was secretly a huge Survivor fan as well. Em also has a crush on Ken McNickle, which is very confusing for everybody.

Favorite seasons: HvV, Pearl Islands, Micronesia, Amazon, China, Philippines.

Favorite players: Sandra, Denise, Yul, Parvati, Kim
EmAndScoutinBK

Latest posts by EmAndScoutinBK (see all)

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    I can’t believe I had to get to the bottom of this article for the coleslaw gif. Priorities Em!

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Hey, you got your coleslaw, whaddya want from me?

  • When I was writing my bootlist, I put down Aubry as my merge boot and I was shocked.

    • I have worries that she’ll even get that far. This is not the ideal time or season for her to play.

      • EmAndScoutInBK

        I completely agree, hence my worst case scenario. But she is truly someone who I could see being the first boot or winning for those reasons. I really struggled with “just pre merge” or “just post merge” for most likely placement for her. I went “just post merge” because I think there are enough kinds of shields for her to hide behind – and at the teams stage, unless her team is constantly losing, she only should have to hide for a few episodes. Hopefully.

        • purplerockandy

          FWIW, I predicted her as first boot, but I also agree that she has the skills to win too. Really wide variance with her.

          • Diego Armando

            If she survives the first couple of boots, things could go very well for her. Tai and Caleb would be extremely valuable allies and she is capable of winning some challenges.

  • Alkanarra

    People all talking about Sandra/Tony/Cirie as first boots, but they will be targets both pre- and post-merge, and whatever allies they have will understand they need to go at some point. Aubry through… everyone knows they can’t chance it and let Aubry meet up with her KR people. Unless Caleb/Tai/Debbie all go fast, I don’t see her making it out of the first few votes.

    Wish she hadn’t come back so soon. Wish casting hadn’t kinda screwed her.

    • Maritimer

      I can see that happening, and of the 4, Aubry is the biggest (only real?) threat so they cut her in preparation for a swap or merge.
      But they let the Cagayan 4 get to the last boot pre-merge, and even then, it wasn’t the fact that there was 4 of them that got him booted, it was being Abi’d. The SJDS 3 all made the Final 6

      • Alkanarra

        Aubry is definitely the ring leader, so I see her being the biggest target, though breaking up the Caleb+Tai combo would likewise be important. Aubry’s best chances come with Tai going home, ’cause it severs the link between her and Caleb as well. Still don’t like her odds.

        And while precedent has occurred, the problem is that everyone *knows* about the precedent and will, if anything, overcompensate. It’ll be the new “women’s alliance” where the idea of the KR members combining will cause such panic that the other players will let bigger threats get through rather than chance it.

        • Maritimer

          I would like Debbie and Caleb to be the targets of the 4, but yeah, Aubry and Tai are much more likely. Debbie going home removes someone targeting Aubry at least.

          • Alkanarra

            Which is just so stupid too. Aubry blindsided Debbie, didn’t get her vote, and clearly there’s still bad blood. Yet people are going to assume they’ll work together again, which only hurts her chances.

            I just hope Aubry sells Caleb downriver on the first vote. Makes it clear as day she doesn’t give a damn about the KR connections.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Even better if she pairs up with Tony and Sandra to do it. Who’s a game changer now?

          • purplerockandy

            Spencer and Kass teamed up for a vote. These things get weird.

            (OTOH, Kass and Tasha went to war. So).

  • Mike Hirsch

    That dancing gif is my favorite.

    Also, greetings, fellow New Englander!

    Aubry is one of my favorite players. She played hard and well enough to make the finals, she made some key errors along the way, but none that proved detrimental in my opinion of the game she played. Factor in how I go all 😍 when she gets confessionals or a chance to do something, and I am definitely biased in this matter.

    I am worried that it was too close to her original season, and that she might wind up an early target. My hope is that Debbie is out early on the other side and by the time it gets to the merge, Aubry has won over everyone else by being the plucky comic relief, a la Guy in Galaxy Quest. I will enjoy this season more if Aubry is in it for a while. Kind of like how I feel like I’ll enjoy Alien Covenant if Danny McBride lasts most of the movie, rather than being the first victim.

    Hoping a finalist, or a very late boot.

    • BadPlayer91

      ALIEN COVENANT!!!! I’M GONNA BE SO HAPPY ABOUT EVERY PART OF IT!

      Also, it seems likely McBride will given the most recent trailer *which everyone should see*

      • Mike Hirsch

        Yeah, the trailers are what has me hoping. Prometheus disappointed me, but I’m willing to start (mostly) over here and give Covenant a chance.

        • BadPlayer91

          I mean, I LOVED Prometheus, but i accept what had people disappointed. I’m just an Alien Diehard. I love all the films, even the awful awful AlienCUBED and Alien Resurrection (gawd that Alien-Human hybrid is disgusting). Any Alien is good Alien for me.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            lol. Now I know what it’s like for my friends listening to me talk Survivor.

            “I mean, I LOVED One World, but i accept what had people disappointed. I’m just a Survivor Diehard. I love all the seasons, even the awful awful Gabon and World’s Apart (gawd that Dan Foley is disgusting). Any Survivor is good Survivor for me.”

          • BadPlayer91

            Fan-life is hard and misunderstood

          • Mike Hirsch

            I draw the line at Aliens vs. Predator Requiem.

          • BadPlayer91

            Oh GAWD it is SOOO terrible and awful
            …………………………………………………I’m not gonna say it existing is a good thing, but i’m not gonna complain that it does exist.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    It sounds like we have Jimmy Fallon to thank for the fan voting aspect of Second Chances, but I interpret that as “Jimmy Fallon is to blame for T-Bird’s snub.” Dammit Fallon!

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Probst’s early career audition reel was glorious.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        The best part was the truck honk, though I have to say *puts on tinfoil hat* it’s curious that they got a clear reverse shot of a truck driving by at 40 mph at the least. Well, then maybe they just got a shot of another truck and played the sound over it. But then what if he never got a honk at all? Everything is fake.

        Though I wasn’t used to the HD close up shots of him in the interview. He didn’t look like the typical ageless Jeffrey Probst (though that isn’t to say that he looks his age).

      • Mike Hirsch

        I miss Celebrity Rock n’Roll Jeopardy.

    • Man, Fallon is getting to be the worse.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I liked Late Night when he was hosting, but this past year of the Tonight Show, … oi

        • I think this past year has really changed my opinions on both Fallon and Timberlake.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            What did JT do aside from Can’t Stop the Feeling?

          • That’s the issue. He was so desperate to get that win for Best Song that he pulled out all of the stops. His family dressed up as Trolls like in the movie.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            I didn’t see that but just imaging it made me cringe. I mean, Lin doesn’t have to stoop to that level, have some dignity man.

          • It was pretty awful. And guess what-he’s already trying for Oscar nod number 2 by composing all of the music in a January bomb that starred Maisie Williams, Jason Sudeikis, and….his wife.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            I think he’s co-starring with Jim Belushi in an upcoming Woody Allen film, if you need more reasons.

          • Why Jim Belushi?

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            The eternal question.

          • I am of course speaking as a person who seen roughly 2/3 of According to Jim instead of you know, The Wire or Breaking Bad.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            I know how you think about Cambodia, and thus I know you to be a person with misaligned priorities.

          • I don’t hate Cambodia. I just don’t love it…that’s all.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            I know you don’t hate it. But anything aside from “I love Cambodia” gives me pause.

          • Black Dynamite

            I wouldn’t admit things like that out loud.

          • I was younger and stupid.

          • Black Dynamite

            Oh God, I can relate. There are shows I look back at now and wonder what enjoyment I ever got from certain shows. There needs to be someone out there to teach the younger crowd about quality television.

          • What didn’t help was that I got stuck watching what my parents watched and we only had the basic channels so while I remember watching the last few seasons of West Wing, we also watched a lot of Cold Case and Without A Trace.

          • Black Dynamite

            Watching television with my parents when I was younger meant watching a lot of shows and movies with good “Christian values.” Unfortunately that didn’t translate to good scripts.

          • Diego Armando

            I have seen an episode or two and they made no impact on my life whatsoever.

  • BadPlayer91

    So, full disclosure, Koah Rong was the first season I watched entirely live. And, as a result, Aubry will always have a place in my heart. The fact that i’m still watching after she didn’t win, is only a testament to my obsession.

    I think Aubry embodies the typical “all-around” player. She’s good at challenges, but not great. She’s helpful around camp, but not a sole provider. She’s strategic, but sly about it. And she’s good at building relationships (even though that may have been her downfall). I think this leaves her as that ‘just under the surface’ kind of player. She does what she needs to make it to the final, without ever making herself a huge target until its too late to stop her. But it’s still easy for a jury (most of the time) to see her BMs, see her strategy, and reward her for a game that was dominant but subtle.

    That being said, I think the biggest trick to this “all-around” style of play is, it doesn’t usually work a second time around. Once you get to FTC and point out your under-cover control, now everyone knows about it. In a second go, people will be aware of her strategy, her ability to play the game well, and they won’t be docile in making her a target. I hope her skills get her far, but I’m not sure that the same game plan from Koah Rong is going to work here.

    My doubts about her early game is basically the only reason that Michaela is my true bae. Aubry is my secondary bae.

    • Alkanarra

      Damn gouis. I’ll never read “BMs” as Big Moves again.

      • BadPlayer91

        Thank you gouis, for your contributions!

        • Alkanarra

          Let’s not forget Andy for getting the ball rolling.

          Classy duo, those two.

      • Mike Hirsch

        Who hasn’t had dominant but subtle BMs a few times in their life? Amirite?

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      She certainly could become a target, but I’m a bit more optimistic for a couple reasons. First, I still believe that all of the Manas except Tony and Sandra are safe until the swap. Second, part of the reason Aubry played like a boss in Kaoh Rong was that she had to (or felt she had to) prove herself to be capable after the bad impression she made early in the game. She won’t need to do that again. Plus I think she’s more than intelligent enough to take a page out of the Jeremy Collins playbook and dial it back.

      • purplerockandy

        Vytas tried to dial it back. Gameplay, I mean.

        Doesn’t help if people are coming after you.

        • But Vytas also amped up his “flirt” game.

          • purplerockandy

            That was mostly the work of his me undies.

          • It wasn’t all the power of his Hidden Immunity Idol. I mean, he was talking about Peih-Gee’s freckles.

      • Diego Armando

        She can argue that yes “I am a threat, but so are Sandra and Ciera, and I am more useful at challenges than they are.”

    • Violina23

      I think John & Andy explain it better on their podcast than I will now, but I think she is VERY good at forming social bonds with people — because she made a LOT of early-game mistakes, and still got where she was. Definitely suffered from the Dawn effect though. She needs to be able to blindside people without getting all the emotional blame for it, which I think will continue to be hard for her BECAUSE she is so sweet & social. And a woman.

      • BadPlayer91

        I agree. I think, of all her qualities, building relationships is maybe her best, but I wouldn’t call her a ‘social player,’ just cause I think that insinuates that a player is only social and that’s what they use to get by.

        Aubry is very social, but she rounds it out with a number of other skills. If anything, her social game is her biggest weakness BECAUSE she is so social, and good at making connections that people forget they are playing a game. When they remember, they feel betrayed, and then they lash out at her. If she wants to win, she has to balance making good friends with collecting jury votes

      • EmAndScoutInBK

        She needs to channel Denise

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Don’t we all.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            Valid. It is a life goal.

          • Diego Armando

            It helps that Denise is a therapist, which requires you to be able to get people to discuss their most intimate details with you.

            That might be the best career to help with Survivor.

  • giorgos

    She doesn’t have the resume of Sandra or Tony, but I think she will be almost as big a target as them because of her loss in KR. Her season was only the third (after All-Stars and Samoa) where the “wrong person won” narrative overshadowed everything else. I bet a lot of people in the cast would view her as kind of a “winner” more than JT for example, who actually won his season.

    Also the Koah Rong 4 might be a complete afterthough as a threat like the Cagayan people were in Cambodia, or she could be targeted the moment she steps into the beach like Parvati was in HvV.

    • purplerockandy

      They weren’t REALLY an afterthought though. Spencer was a front of mind target for a lot of people in the game, and if Shirin hadn’t jumped in front of the bullet, he would’ve gone home second.

      Kass was the other big target going into Cambodia. But she didn’t go to Tribal Council until right before the merge (when a DIFFERENT Cagayaner was taken out instead).

  • Black Dynamite

    I’m in Survivor love with Aubry. She is an incredibly smart Survivor with great social skills and strategic mind. Pretty good in challenges too. She is that triple threat player that is infectious to watch. She is so great in confessionals. I hang on every word. She also very goofy and winds up always putting a smile on my face. Everything she does is so damn awesome and she is gorgeous. I would love for her to win Survivor but even more than that I want to be her best friend.

    As for this season, it’s too soon. She is such a threat. She was the best player in Koah Rong and that season just aired. I think she can subvert the attention on her for awhile. She can form some bonds and be a highly competent partner to align with. I think after awhile though she will be the biggest challenge for the other contestant’s path to victory and they will cut her pretty soon after the merge.

    My prediction: Post Merge

    Bonus story: I had the pleasure of attending my first Know It All’s event last season. It was great seeing all these players I enjoyed watching, but in person. I did not play it cool. But by far the person I was most starstruck by was Aubry. At the after party I was so nervous to approach her and I had butterflies in my stomach. She has such a calming presence about her that she made meeting her so smooth. I was also fortunate enough to spend a decent amount of time talking to her. She is so funny and nice and really help make my whole experience that night so fulfilling. She will always hold a special place with me because of that.

    Here’s a blurry pic of the meeting https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37d1029b44a47c55bb88f0222be094bd960836de9eaf1a71d4c83c2f8e10a8b9.jpg

    • Get a better camera, Denzel.

      • Black Dynamite

        It was one of the people I was with that took the picture one their phone. I was very disappointed when she sent it to me. I’ll just have to try again if the opportunity ever arises.

        • I had a pic of me with Savage from the Cambodia finale that I’d planned to use to troll people here, but it was a little blurry. If I ever see him again, I’m going to have him hold up a sign that says “Best of luck in everything you do, Gouis and Kemper!”

    • Violina23

      So sweet! I grabbed her on stage since i couldn’t stay for the party and told her she was my Survivor Spirit animal. It was kinda weird because I was getting fan-girly on someone who is probably 10 years younger than me, but she was very sweet and seemed to honestly appreciate it. I hope she does well, but I’m not expecting too much.

    • Ms_Woozah

      Love this.

    • Kemper Boyd

      You make a cute couple.
      Sandra thinks she’s a huge threat and we know Sandra is game smart.

      • Black Dynamite

        As a huge fan of both, along with Tony, the first Tribal for that group really scares me. I would much prefer for them to work together. I’m not just saying that as fan either. I think being together could be good for all three of their games.

  • pufflehuff

    Great post + gif-work: agree that Aubry suffered from Dawn effect, but hopefully she has that worked out.

    My hopes for Aubry are:

    1. Harry Potter alliance with Malcolm.
    2. More dancing & spitting.
    3. Narrator alliance with Cirie + Varner.
    4. Uses her curse for good, leading Troy and/or Debbie to be medivaced for a stubbed toe on day 2 after they share a casual nod with Aubry.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      I’m hoping she can channel Denise. Also, your alliances are on point. I hope she an Sandra can work it out also – that would be a dream

  • the sky is falling

    Not to say I do not also love Aubry, but I’m not convinced that she wasn’t just one of the 2-3 best players on a relatively poor, ugly season. I don’t see her going far this time. Kind of wish Cydney was the one returning instead of Debbie, but I guess casting reached their quota of strong black women.

    • Fuck no, save Cydney for later. They didn’t need 4 people from Kaoh Rong on this season anyway.

      • the sky is falling

        Ah, good plan.

      • BadPlayer91

        When Cydney returns, she will be my instant bea for that season. Cydney was my favorite player from KR for awhile, before Aubry got more awesome and before Cydney became a bitter juror and gave her vote to Michelle….

    • purplerockandy

      The rumour is that Cydney turned down the invite. Needed to get her body right.

      • Maritimer

        Cydney saying yes would have led to quite a switch up. Presumably no Michaela, knowing Survivor, plus a Kaoh Rong castaway would have to be cut, likely Debbie for another older woman…Carolyn?

        • Ugh. See? This cast could have been worse!

          • Roswulf

            Cutting Debbie does not make things worse.

          • Adding Carolyn does.

          • Maritimer

            Carolyn>Debbie. Others I’d rather see, but that’s easy math

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            Word. Carolyn is better than Debbie. I would happily add Carolyn if it meant that Debbie goes away.

          • Roswulf

            I come not to complement Carolyn (who kind of sucks), but to insult Debbie (who totally sucks).

        • purplerockandy

          You nailed it: https://t.co/YQe0k0asuu

          (Link is to an EW interview where Probst mentions that Carolyn was one of the last cuts).

          • Mike Hirsch

            If they’re just going to get around to casting all the Second Chance non-vote getters eventually anyway, doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of the vote? Like, weren’t we also saying who we *don’t* want to see back? I can’t take Jim Rice coming back.

          • purplerockandy

            To weed out Shane Powers and T-Bird, obvi.

          • Mike Hirsch

            I voted for both of them, so they can come back.

          • Maritimer

            Jim is coming back. Jeff loves him. Sabrina and Carolyn likely will too. Hopefully Shane and T-Bird too. Mikayla/Nat10/Steph V. have all probably missed their shot. Hali and Sierra took the spots they’d hold this season and there are so many other variations for that spot – Baylor, Jaclyn, Michelle, Julia, Mari, Anna, Alecia and so on

          • purplerockandy

            Everyone involved with the Second Chance vote failed us by not highlighting how stunningly hot Natalie Tenerelli has become (including her). I feel a little betrayed, tbh.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Fuck Jim Rice.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Former Boston Red Sox left fielder Jim Rice is the only Jim Rice I recognize.

          • No one boasts like Jim Rice
            No one taunts like Jim Rice

          • Diego Armando

            When voted out
            No one can pout like Jim Rice

        • Other Scott

          I highly doubt they were ever gonna cut Michaela

          • Maritimer

            I was more cracking a joke at Survivor’s expense there. In reality, it probably would have been Hali

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Her body is so right. Dammmmmmmnnnnnnnn gurl.

      • Diego Armando

        Makes sense, that season likely did a number on her physically and they already had a pretty similar player in Michaela.

        • purplerockandy

          To be clear, Michaela had nothing to do with it. She said no when they asked if she’d be interested. So it didn’t even get down to the choosing part yet.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      I’m happy Cydney’s not back for this season so she’ll have a better chance at another season later on… and I love all three “nerd girl archetype” women. Though, I do think Aubry probably is the best player, if we’re looking at the game they played.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      And their quota of black men, which is apparently just zero now 🙁

      • Black Dynamite

        I didn’t even realize that until now that there are no black men on this season, after having no black men last season. That is depressing.

        • Well, Jeremy has said that he is never coming back and James…I don’t why they didn’t go after James. Apparently, the only black man in contention was Earl, who ultimately pulled himself out due to work obligations.

          • Black Dynamite

            I think the lack of black men that would even be considered for Game Changers is a problem. Either seasons flat out don’t cast black men or the ones they do cast leave early. It’s frustrating.

          • So, I decided to rack my brain about modern black men on Survivor (aka post HvV).
            NOTE: I am also including biracial men. If you have any issues about that, please let me know.
            Nicaragua: Sash and Tyrone
            Redemption Island: Phillip
            South Pacific: Albert
            One World: Bill
            Philippines: Artis, Russell Swan
            Caramoan: Shamar (and Phillip again)
            BvW: Gervase
            Cagayan: Cliff and Brice
            SJDS: Jeremy
            Worlds Apart….I am drawing a blank here. All I can remember is a dead fish.
            Cambodia: Jeremy
            KR: Darnell and Peter

            So, right off the bat, I forgot that Peter was in brief contention for this season. Secondly, out of all these people, I am extremely shocked that Phillip is not on the season.

          • Black Dynamite

            I also forgot Peter was in contention for this season. He is the type of player that is fun to root against unlike the “villians” that I just want off my TV.

            Overall I’m actually surprised there was this many names. Darnell and Tyrone were gone too quickly to make an impact. Phillip, Shemar and that asshole from WA were casting misfires. Artis was invisible.Bill got cut by racism. Albert got owned by badass Sophie, which I’m forever grateful for. Jeremy was obviously a great find. They need to bring Brice back immediately.

            Not the best history and having none in the last two seasons is a problem.

          • Hot take: I am okay with seeing Gervase again. He will always give good confessionals and cause great drama.

          • Black Dynamite

            I completely agree. I also loved his dynamic with Tyson.

          • Yeah. His biggest problem was that he didn’t even try to take out Tyson like he did with Aras.

          • Black Dynamite

            That was a problem. He waited too long to take out Tyson. People overestimate the opportunities they have sometimes. It’s a tricky balance between pulling the trigger too early or too late.

          • He probably could have taken him out at the Vytas vote.

          • Black Dynamite

            That was early enough where alliances are still in flux and you can still get in good with Monica, Caleb, Hayden, and Ciera. People tend to point to what ended up being the rock vote. That one I’m a little more skeptical about. If Gervase flips there he is #4 the way Ciera was the other way. Probably still worth the risk if you want to win but it may have already been too late for his game at that point.

          • He could have also picked up the Vytas/Tina/Katie votes again.

          • Maritimer

            Utterly ignoring Phillip, I’m actually quite disappointed in Survivor for their failure to cast someone from this list, despite its pathetic shortness there are quality potential returnees

          • Like I said, Jeremy has said that he will never play again. Your next best option from the modern age is probably Gervase, especially since he is from Borneo.

          • Maritimer

            True, but if you want to diversify your cast (I know, its Survivor) Peter, Albert, and Brice are right there, and even Artis or Darnell are viable.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            It’s obvious why production wants to bring back people who lasted a long time in the game and made a big impression, but you’d think they would want to make their lives easier by bringing back early boots who were simply caught on the wrong side of the numbers, like Brice and Darnell.

          • I don’t see them going after Albert again.

          • Alycia Swift

            Brice has wanted to come back. Cliff was fun.

          • I can see Brice coming back, but not right now.

    • Alycia Swift

      Cyd was probably asked but last time took a toll on her body. She was concentrating on her bodybuilding career.

  • MrBurkesButtons

    I wonder how the editors will depict Aubry’s quirkiness so quickly after Hannah’s season.
    Will Aubry be exemplified as “TV nerd done right,” highlighting her competence and wit?
    Will they double-down on the cringe “laughing at you” moments, since that’s the inevitable conclusion for the nerdy girl edit?
    Or will they bury that side of her character completely and just present a master strategist with good-not-great people skills?

    • Maritimer

      If I were betting, I would say the just master strategist side, unless she is top like 6 in which case “TV nerd done right” to show her as relateable

  • Violina23

    Awwww Aubrey. I know you might be an early target, but I picked you for my pick 4 anyways. This might be why I suck at Pick 4.

    Love your writeup, @disqus_FeYRrg1QKY:disqus . I nominate you for the hype post should Ken ever come back..

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Aw, thank you. I actually got pretty nervous during the process because I realized I hadn’t written much that wasn’t a motion in the last few years. But you know if Ken comes back, I could write 1,000 words just on his abs. Or his eyes. He’s so dreamy.

      • Maritimer

        Would a Ken post need to be anything other than just pictures really?

        • Roswulf

          Ken would like you to know, that when you reduce him to just pictures, it makes him want to curl up in bed and listen to vinyl.

          • Objectification makes Ken sad! Quick, someone comfort him with some snuggling!

          • Alycia Swift

            Actually it does not, if you see his Twitter and Instagram. And he seems to have gotten over losing.

          • Maritimer

            Could someone take pictures of that?

          • purplerockandy

            Yes, but with @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus’s friend’s shitty camera.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            …Can I curl up with him?

          • Roswulf

            Yes, but it won’t soothe the aching loneliness in his soul.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            We could listen to the Garden State soundtrack together or something

          • I’ll allow it.

        • If only one of the Game Changers post secretly contained a Ken easter egg…

        • Alycia Swift

          No.

      • Mike Hirsch

        We all should be so lucky as to have Ken back.

      • purplerockandy

        And his social consciousness! *Insert cat with heart eyes emoji*

        • Kemper Boyd

          Can this just be an offseason series please? We can all write about our love for one not very good or obscure player? I will give you words on Katie Collins and it will mainly be about the fact I think she’s really cute.

          • I am going to call dibs on Keith Nale, who (in a shocking epiphany last night) is my eighth favorite player of all time.

          • Black Dynamite

            Who are the first seven? Mine are Cirie, Parvati, Fishbach, Natalie Anderson, Earl, Jerri and Aubry (quickly moving up the list).

          • 1) Sandra
            2) Jerri
            3) Cirie (This is not reflected in my current bio because I had not seen Panama. That has since been corrected)
            4. Denise
            5. Aubry
            6. Courtney
            7. Fishbach
            8. Keith Nale
            9. Colby
            10. Tina

          • Maritimer

            I support this, and stake a claim on Spencer Duhm, a random favourite of mine since I first watched Tocantins

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Slightly O/T, but I’m watching Micronesia for the first time and I want to do Volume 2 of sharculese’s “Most Useless Survivors Ever” offseason project just for the opportunity to write about Chet.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Chet sucks so hard. SO HARD.

      • Alycia Swift

        Me 2 Em. I haven’t had time to read all of these posts because I got slammed at work (that’s why I haven’t been around) but I did write on on JT and I got so nervous about it. I kept writing and re-writing and wrote an entirely too long piece. It should appear this week I guess. I also haven’t written that much that wasn’t a motion, complaint, counterclaim, demand letter, legal research brief etc. I forgot how fun it was.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Great post! I agree that Aubry’s trajectory this time around is one of the most variable, in that anything from first boot to winner seems entirely plausible. One thing Aubry has going for her is that she’s a great challenge competitor, but this season is actually full of really fit players (both men and women) so that might not be much of a factor early on. Also, it seems the less able challenge competitors tend to be the best strategists on this cast, so a player who is the whole package (a la Aubry) might actually find that they are an early target because of it.
    In my heart, though, I see Aubry struggling early and then getting her footing with a decent alliance and sticking in there for a while. I’m not sure if her competitors will let her get near FTC again, but you’d think she could use being an FTC loser as an argument that she’s a lesser threat than some of her competitors.
    So, I guess my prediction for Aubry is a giant shrug ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • BadPlayer91

      I agree, and I also love this shrug, the internet is great

      ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Mike Hirsch

      I think she should target Caleb immediately. That’s the first step on my “Aubry Path to Success” plan. Target Caleb, show she’s not allied to the KR4….Profit!

      • BadPlayer91

        Exactly. Assume Debbie won’t make merge, target Caleb to show you aren’t part of the KR4, and then work your magic with Tai later to pull him back in. Because everyone has pointed out the KR4 as an issue, that angle of cooperation is spent. Either they cannibalize each other or they all go down together.

        Also someone (*cough*SANDRA*cough*) could claim that discussing the KR4 pre-game is an amazing move to neutralize that threat before even hitting the beach.

  • Ms_Woozah

    I kept rewatching that gif of Tai whispering in her ear…so many funny elements.

    I love Aubry and hope she can prove her disloyalty to the KR group (particularly Tai) out there pretty quickly. I think if she can do that she’ll get pretty far.

    • BadPlayer91

      Yeah, if her mentality is to distance herself from them immediately, than i think it could save her. But she still has to get through a dangerous first vote or two.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Looking at Aubry’s tribe (not sure if tribe make-up is still considered a spoiler so I won’t name any other names) I’m just hoping they don’t lose the first immunity challenge because there are a lot of people I’d be worried about in that first vote, including Aubry 🙁

        • Super duper fan

          They are on CBS so it isn’t a spoiler.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Aha, thanks! Then it’s Tony and Sandra that I’m also worried about 😮

          • the sky is falling

            If we had to lose either Tony, Sandra, or Aubry at first vote, I’d feel extremely meh about Aubry going home. Hopefully Troy is on that tribe.

          • He is

          • BadPlayer91

            LOLOL, something about hiding those words in a spoiler block just tickled me so. You must all be convinced i’m 4 years old.

          • I was just worried about those who were concerned about tribe breakdowns. I know you are at least….15?

          • BadPlayer91

            LOLOLOL. oh gawd, no I wish you had said 4….

          • I was just taking a guess?

          • BadPlayer91

            25. To be fair, i assume you are Leslie Nope, so….

          • Oh, 91 is your birth year, isn’t it?

          • BadPlayer91

            Guilty

          • Oh…I am an idiot.

          • BadPlayer91

            Nah, You’re just legit Leslie Nope.

        • BadPlayer91

          Agreed

    • Black Dynamite

      The gif is the cutest. It will be sad to see a situation where Aubry cuts Tai but it will be for the greater good, which is Aubry going far in this game.

  • Super duper fan

    Aubry is great. And I agree with practically the most of this post, but the only thing i would argue is that her loss wasn’t really about her having really strong connections and them being bitter about it (with an exception of Debbie), but her not having much of a relationship with some of the jury (she wasn’t really that working with Scot, Jason and Julia. And also Julia was voting for Michele no matter who she was up against, and a person who could be probably blamed for swaying votes for her is she). And I think with Cydney it came down to who she felt closer with, and that person turned out to be Michele which she was with since the swap.

    • BadPlayer91

      I partially agree, but i think it was a lot of different things. For Scot and Jason, there main thing was simply being anti-Tai, so Aubry’s association with him (and her sly magic to wrestle him away from them) lost her their votes, and honestly, we could tell they were going to be bitter jurors MILES away.

      I think the edit pushed a narrative that Cydney and Aubry were close, largely because they were working together for awhile before Michelle won final immunity and pitted them against each other. Maybe Michelle and Cydney were closer than the edit could adequately show, but it seemed clear to me that Cydney blamed Aubry for targeting her/knocking her out via fire building. As a result, she went with Michelle, who she found non-objectable.

      That all being said, I would say it seems unlikely Aubry would have had a blow out even if she had rightfully won. I would have guessed the votes as 4 for Aubry (Debbie, Joe, Nick, Cydney), 3 for Michelle (Scot, Jason, Julia), and none for Gretchen Weiners (Tai)

      • Super duper fan

        And I don’t disagree with anything that you’ve written. I think also that it can be two things, for example with Julia she voted for Michele cause she was in an alliance with her since day 1, but as was admitted by Julia herself she didn’t have a relationship Aubry in the game and would’ve voted for Tai over her cause she liked him more, so it was both a vote FOR Michele as it was a vote AGAINST Aubry. I just was trying to say that her loss wasn’t only because of spite (and I do think the only person who voted against Aubry cause she had such a strong relationship and felt betrayed with her was Debbie).

        • BadPlayer91

          I guess i’d also put Cydney in the ‘had a strong relationship and felt betrayed’ category, but it is a bit more complicated than that.

          • Super duper fan

            Yeah, I put her more in between the reasons why Debbie voted for Michele and the reasons why Julia voted for Michele. She was the person who had a strong relationship with Aubry, and she felt burned, but probably good enough of a relationship with Michele that she still could vote for her regardless of what Aubry did to her, but by feeling betrayed by her she leaned more on Michele while she maybe could be swayed by Aubry without that.

          • Alkanarra

            The “Cydney felt burned” explanation never made any sense to me. She and Michelle were already going after Aubry at F4. Michelle had immunity and there is no way Tai could vote for himself, so Aubry’s only choice to stay live was to force a fire making with Cydney to stay in the game. Cydney *had* to know that. The Cydney was bitter argument also requires Cydney to be the sort of person who would be angry at Aubry because Aubry did the only thing she could to stay in the game, and I don’t accept that. Cydney wasn’t that dumb. At the end of the day she just liked Michelle more than Aubry. It sucks because we all prefer Aubry here, but… that’s just how it was.

          • Super duper fan

            I also didn’t get that kind of vibe from Cydney, at most she maybe felt “Ha! You thought you got me, but I got you”, but I think her vote leaned more towards Julia reasons than bitterness.

  • Max_Jets

    I think one things undersold about Aubry is that she is fairly original with her gameplay. Her decision to cut Debbie when she did to avoid idols and set up the second part of the move – flipping Tai – was in my opinion pretty brilliant, but either way it’s an interesting and pretty unique move to Survivor. I also found her decision to leave Tai out of the loop at final 6 in an effort to make him look worse in front of the jury interesting. We know in hindsight that it was her only time to get rid of Michele, and it was very risky to alienate Tai, but to some extent it did (along with Michele’s independent plan of performing to the jury at tribal) succeed in making him look like more of a goat.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Hey @disqus_FeYRrg1QKY:disqus your favourite are spot on. I just had Courtney over Denise but Denise is life goals, I’m glad we agree on that.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Courtney would have been an honorary mention, for sure (along with Cirie and Wentworth).

      • Kemper Boyd

        I do love Wentworth, her sense of humour is perfect.

  • Kemper Boyd

    I know Aubry took Sophie’s space and it comes down to the fact that Aubry really is Sophie but more entertaining. I think Sophie probably could be good tv but she obviously wasn’t shown on SP and also she was only 21 at the time.
    I think Entertaining Sophie is really high praise because it means you have a good head for the game, are decent at challenges but not a huge threat and people want you there and value you.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I’m no @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus, but what I heard is that Sophie was production’s first choice after Natalie pulled out at the last minute, but because she didn’t respond right away they had to take whoever they could get, which was FFSDT. Aubry and Sophie on the same season–such a missed opportunity.

      • I wonder if Sophie purposefully ignored the call after getting cut for Aubry, because if you can find her tweet about Sophie, then you would be able to tell that she was a bit salty about the whole deal.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          It’s possible, or that Sophie was in transit to where she was going using the vacation time she had reserved for Survivor. In any case, it seems that it wasn’t a matter of production not wanting two players of the same “type” in Aubry and Sophie, but that with Tony, JT, Sandra, and Natalie, they fulfilled their former winners quota (two male and two female, one for each tribe). Or maybe it can be two things.

      • Kemper Boyd

        She was on a big international trip because she didn’t get cast s couldn’t go I believe. But she was making it pre-Aubry.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          As I said below, I don’t think it was a matter of not wanting Sophie anymore after Aubry said yes, but rather that they chose Natalie over Sophie for the second former female winner spot. But it can be two things.

      • Diego Armando

        That would make sense, they would likely search for a female winner to fill Natalie’s spot. I think they might have picked Sierra because she was the most athletic woman they could get on short notice.

        • Don’t forget the fact that she is also around the same age range as Natalie.

    • Diego Armando

      Sophie played the perfect game for herself, but it was horrible television. A game consisting of urging others to stick with the plan and to not do anything rash is likely not going get help her get recast. I think she could do really well on a return season, but will have to compete for spots with the nerd girls who have stronger personalities (Shirin, Hannah) or are have demonstrated a willingness to try bold/reckless moves (Aubry, Hannah again).

      • Kemper Boyd

        I think a 27 year old Sophie will be a very different prospect to a 21 year old Sophie.
        I agree Sophie wasn’t good tv but god did she play a good game, just so so boring

  • Hornacek

    “Former Model (and Current Hypocrite) Debbie in particular.”

    If you’re talking about a hypocrite in Kaoh Rong how can you not mention the biggest hypocrite of that season – Cydney? Her plan was to vote Aubry out at final-four, and she later said that she expected Aubry to vote for her to win if that plan had taken place because of their alliance. But when Aubry was forced into a corner and had to vote out Cydney in order to survive, Cydney would not forgive her and voted for Michele instead. Up until that point I was a big fan of Cydney and wanted her to return. After that, not so much.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Valid. But I was actually referring to Debbie’s hypocrisy re: Andrea. Also, Cydney’s not on this season. But I don’t disagree with your point.

      • Hornacek

        I know, but I had to point out that any discussion mentioning Kaoh Rong and hypocrite had to also mention Cydney.

  • Diego Armando

    I originally had Aubry pegged as my preseason winner, but I have gradually been losing confidence in that. I would still place her in the top 4 behind Malcolm, Andrea and JT.