Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette: Brad Culpepper

Time for the next edition of 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: Brad Culpepper.

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. Assistant Dragon Slayer THOUGHT he wanted to play… then reality struck.

This may or may not be how I reacted when I found out which Game Changer I was assigned. It could be how you reacted just now when you found out who today’s analysis is about. But it is most definitely the way two of the 18 Blood vs. Water cast members not named Culpepper reacted to him—to his face, in front of the entire cast, while the cameras were rolling. Given that Survivor is first and foremost a social game, and that to win you have to be sufficiently well regarded by the other contestants that they want to hand you a million dollars, Culpepper seems to have a flaw in his game.

Mr. Peanutbutter Former NFL defensive lineman Brad Culpepper

How Culpepper Changed the Game

Just kidding. He didn’t change the game, but in fact followed one of Survivor’s most well-trodden paths: the alpha male who immediately takes charge, pushes everybody around, won’t shut up, and gets on everybody’s last nerve.

Sweep the leg, Vytas!

Culpepper managed to foster a great deal of ill will very quickly: he put a target on his back on the starting mat, before the couples were even divided into tribes. He led Tadhana to four straight immunity challenge losses. He blew up his alliance because, uh, reasons. He may have shushed women. He had resting douche face.

Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

He yelled at Tyson so harshly that Colton quit the game. Yes, this was the best thing to happen in the Blood vs. Water pre-merge and possibly in all of 2013, but it was unintentional, so Culpepper doesn’t deserve any credit. Plus it precipitated the very short chain of events that resulted in Culpepper being blindsided by Caleb (RIP).

Redemption Island being used in Blood vs. Water also contributed to Culpepper looking more villainous than he really was. In a normal season of Survivor, you can blindside and betray all you want during the pre-merge with no direct blowback, and in every other Redemption Island season you didn’t have to face the person you ousted at the arena.

In short, Culpepper’s first Survivor appearance was no masterpiece.

Masterpiece, Roy Lichtenstein, 1962

When I first contemplated Culpepper’s chances in Game Changers, I thought that — as a former professional athlete, a present-day lawyer, and a man in his mid-40s — Culpepper is just set in his ways and incapable of change. I figured that as a Survivor player, he has one gear and one gear only: the bull in the china shop that 99 times out of 100 becomes the pre-merge villain, blindsided by his own arrogance and by tribemates who just can’t take it anymore (the 100th time, the bull in the china shop is Tony Vlachos).

But here’s the thing — as Monica Culpepper’s husband and at best a Survivor casual (at the time), Culpepper probably watched One World (and no other season) over and over and over and over again. So maybe he came into BvW just assuming that gender alliances are the default, and was determined to succeed where the Muscle alliance from One World failed. His obsession with forming a five-guy alliance (or rather, a “four guys and a gay guy” alliance) and complete exclusion of the Tadhana women made him look like a sexist idiot, but I suspect it was less sexism per se than a by-product of playing a men vs. women game on a blood vs. water season (still idiocy, just not necessarily sexist idiocy).

It also seems likely that Culpepper has reviewed the BvW game tape and is going to try to adjust accordingly. For what it’s worth (not much), he certainly says all the right things in his Game Changers cast video. And that could serve him very well in the early going. A Culpepper who’s taken a chill pill would have a certain good-ol-boy ex-jock charm, and would be a real asset to the tribe, both in challenges and around camp.

Also, Culpepper has said in interviews that between the blood vs. water twist, the Redemption Island twist, and being a newbie on a half-returnee season, BvW was an incredibly difficult game to play. He also implied that he played to protect Monica rather than completely in his own interest. That’s a little self-serving, but he’s not wrong. Game Changers is ironically going to be a much less complex game for him.

“I Know…Bro” “I Know…Brad”, Roy Lichtenstein, 1964

Scenario Analysis

Let’s get real, production brought Culpepper back to provide a couple episodes of abrasive alpha-male antics and get booted right away, so that none of the “important” returnees goes home too early. He’s supposed to cause drama right from the jump, give you a hit of that sweet, sweet schadenfreude when he gets blindsided, and get the hell off the stage. But don’t let that fool you.

Although the very biggest threats are on the Mana tribe, Nuku would have to be crazy not to be at DEFCON 2 about Cirie and Ozzy, and the tribe also has a former winner in JT and a complete-package third-time player in Andrea. I don’t think they’re going to get distracted and clip anybody merely for being insufferable. And Culpepper might not be insufferable in the first place.

Just like the 1-15 Cleveland Browns are almost certainly going to do better next season simply because they can’t do much worse, I think Culpepper is almost certainly going to do better on Game Changers than on BvW. Being the lineman he is and not insisting on being the quarterback would be a big step in the right direction.

Just how well Culpepper does on Game Changers will depend a lot on which version of him shows up: The old Culpepper (or as Josh Wigler put it in The Evolution of Strategy, the bad version of Tony), or the new Culpepper, who has corrected (and possibly overcorrected) his rookie mistakes.

Old Culpepper: Best Case Scenario

Pre-endgame boot: Despite comprising only three guys (plus two gay guys), the men’s alliance sticks together this time and pulls in FFSDT, who knows a thing or two about allying with unlikeable men. After the merge, they hook up with Beast Mode Cowboy, Malcolm, and Troyzan (Tony went down quickly at Mana) (Also, phrasing). The post-merge turns into the Star Trek mirror-universe version of One World. Yippee. Culpepper makes a move against mirror-universe Kim (i.e., Malcolm) and fails.

Old Culpepper: Worst Case Scenario

Pre-swap boot: Ozzy, JT, and Tai are willing to bro down with Culpepper, but they fail to pull in Zeke or any of the women. We all know what that means.

The math checks out!

New Culpepper: Best Case Scenario

Mid-merge boot: A favorable swap gets Culpepper to the merge. He then gets carried a few tribal councils longer as somebody’s meat shield. But that’s as far as it goes. He’s not docile enough to be an attractive FTC goat, nor is he crafty enough to turn the tables on whomever he’s shielding.

New Culpepper: Worst Case Scenario

Swap boot: Culpepper finds himself in the minority on the swap tribe and gets thrown to the wolves by the other Nuku(s).

Most Likely Scenario

Late pre-merge or early jury boot: I think Culpepper will do his best to keep his mouth shut and head down, but in deliberately taking a less aggressive approach he’ll become too passive and out of the loop, and not notice when the numbers take an unfavorable turn or his allies have decided he’s expendable.

Read the rest!

Other Game Changers preseason contestant content:

Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer fell in love with Survivor from the very first episode he watched: the Caramoan premiere. He considers any Survivor better than the Caramoan pre-merge to be great Survivor.

Favorite seasons: Pearl Islands, China, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Cambodia

Favorite players: Yul Kwon, Denise Stapley, Cirie Fields, Tony Vlachos, Judd Sergeant, Benjamin Wade (Tocantins and HvV only), Brenda Lowe (fight me!)
Assistant Dragon Slayer

Latest posts by Assistant Dragon Slayer (see all)

  • PurpleTally

    I’m all in on him this season. I just feel bad for Monica if he wins since Survivor is her thing.

    • sharculese

      Yup. I didn’t like Monica in BvW; I found her to be too smarmy and ‘church nice,’ but that FTC, where you realize her whole adult life has been defined by her choice of spouse and she just wants one thing to be about her is heartbreaking.

      • Super duper fan

        While I didn’t mind Monica in BvW, that FTC really sheds some light on her perspective and how she feels most of her life.

        • sharculese

          The ‘holy shit’ moment for me was when I realized ‘Rex, Judge, and Honor,’ were the names of their kids. Because you know those names weren’t her idea.

          • TheForRealDeal

            Look out for twins Habeas and Corpus.

          • Kemper Boyd

            You’ve just made me think “poor Monica”. Such an alien feeling.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Possibly the biggest “ugh!” moment in doing the research for this entry was listening to Brad’s exit interview with Rob C., where he basically takes credit for putting Monica in a position to go far into the game (which in addition to being a “c’mon dude” moment was a big spoiler).

          • I think Production needs to talk to these people before the exit interviews to go over what they can and cannot say.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I’m sure their NDAs are quite long and specific (remember the Twitter crackdown sometime around SJDS or WA?). But I don’t know how they would police the exit interviews. Rob did put a spoiler warning at the beginning.

          • sharculese

            SJDS was the season of the Twitter crackdown, because everyone felt public feuding between Spencer, Kass, and Tasha spoiled part of Cagayan.

            Then, pre-WA Max Dawson started convincing everyone that it wasn’t legally worth it to CBS to try to stop them from tweeting, so they could do it as much as liked with impunity.

          • I think part of the SJDS NDA discussion was due to the fact that Probst didn’t like them.

          • sharculese

            Multiple big name commentators, including Rob C. and Dalton Ross, were complaining that the high visibility of the Cagayan cast on social media was ruining the season. It’s not something production pulled out of their ass.

          • Good to know.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Pretty sure they have handlers that coach them before and even during the exit interviews already, but there’s not much they can do when players give these indirect, between the lines sort of spoilers. For something more balatant they would probably step in and demand it be taken off the record (if it’s not live-radio).

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Are we absolutely ~sure~ those aren’t their golden retrievers? Because yeesh :/

          • sharculese

            Yes. She mentions her sons by name at one point.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I defer to the resident pupper expert

      • Yeah before FTC, Monica reminds me a lot of Sierra’s game in Worlds Apart. She is largely seen as someone who is in the perfect opportunity to flip, but doesn’t.

  • Black Dynamite

    I’ve liked Brad’s pregame interviews. I’m not sure how much of his game will be changed though. While he may or may not align with the alpha males, he will come off as the one of the louder members of whatever group he’s in, but not as goaty as Troy.

    My Prediction: Pre Merge Boot

    Previous Predictions
    Pre Merge Boots
    Caleb
    Tai
    Sandra
    Debbie (First Boot if there’s a God)

    Post Merge Boots
    Varner
    Cirie
    Troy
    Sarah
    Ozzy

    Final Boot
    Malcolm

    Finalists
    Zeke
    Hali

    Winner
    Andrea

  • Alkanarra

    Wow, that actually was a good cast video. I don’t for a second believe that he’ll be able to control himself enough to pull off what is in his head, but it does show some surprisingly astute instincts.

    Also, I’ve never seen artwork used so sarcastically before. Well chosen.

    • the sky is falling

      Hi-5 for the Lichtenstein art.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    I like the use of his last name throughout the article, and commend you on your list of favorite seasons, as that is the only correct best seasons list.

    • Black Dynamite

      “only correct best seasons list.”

      My phone must’ve cut off Palau when this article loaded up.

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I have to concede this to you, as I always forget Palau. And that’s no fault of Palau’s; I only saw it once, when I was 9.

      • Super duper fan

        Are you sure, I see this exact list.

        “Pearl Islands, China, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Palau”

        They are all the seasons that should be on that list.

      • the sky is falling

        Is it just assumed that Borneo is on everyone’s best season list? Implied best season?

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I exclude Borneo from my rankings because its historical importance makes it impossible to compare to subsequent seasons. Plus it’s just so different in tone from every other season (note though that I haven’t seen seasons 2-5 so maybe there’s an evolution that I missed).

          • the sky is falling

            2: Outback and 4: Marquesas are probably only essential viewing of 2-5. Outback because its a good cast and Marquesas mostly to see Rob 1.0.

          • Super duper fan

            The fall of Roty 4, the purple rock and Kathy story are also good reasons to watch this season (plus some really cool character moments).

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        For the record, Palau is somewhere around #10 for me. By the time I watched it I was completely spoiled about every major event. Plus Palau is a bit dull until it’s clear what’s happening to Ulong. I give seasons that hit the ground running a bump up in my rankings.

        Speaking of which, I’m halfway through a first watch of Micronesia, and I already want to revise my favorite seasons list.

        • PurpleTally

          Someone else who understands! But, seriously, spoiled Palau is boring and then you can’t rewatch it with the same nostalgia filter of people who watched it the first time unspoiled.
          Micronesia is #2 for me. I love it so, so much.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Right? I have a general sense of what happens in the Micronesia post-merge (not as much as when I watched Palau), but the pre-merge has been a huge surprise. I just assumed that the Favorites were a bunch of anonymous redshirts, but every one has been great TV (my knowledge of the post-merge is why I’m not complaining about invisi-Natalie). That’s not to say they have any business playing the game of Survivor, though.

          • Super duper fan

            Did you mean Fans?

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Duh. Yes, editing now.

          • PurpleTally

            I didn’t know anything going into Micronesia, which maybe helped, but I imagine it is also still hella entertaining when you know what happens, because there are great characters.

          • Roswulf

            I found spoiled Palau to be really entertaining, especially when watching with an unspoiled partner. Lots of great moments in the opening few episodes with the whole “THE GRUMPY OLD PEOPLE OF KOROR ARE DOOMED!” plot, and the insane arc of Ian works even better when you know where the show is headed.

        • Black Dynamite

          I understand what you mean about watching Palau while bring spoiled on the results.The slow death of Ulong and the Tom/Ian/Katie situation was two of the best storylines I’ve followed and unfortunately the magic is lost when you know the trick.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    Also, if Culpepper is too shielded to be insufferable and voted out, then I think it follows that Debbie is too shielded to be insufferable and voted out. This is both good and undeniably terrible.

    • Maritimer

      I think Debbie would be exponentially more insufferable to live with

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        Undeniably so, but Debbie is an insufferable you can work with/drag along (is that an oxymoron?). The primary reason Debbie got voted out was because she just talked to the wrong person. BvW Brad is the kind of insufferable that is actively detrimental to everyone’s gameplay. And if you’re passing over that in favor of targeting threats, then you’ll pass over any kind of insufferable.

        • Maritimer

          Ah yes, I misunderstood your initial point. Though I think Debbie could be actively detrimental to everyone’s gameplay too, especially if you are a woman who is smarter/prettier/more athletic than her it seems

  • Mike Hirsch

    The Cleveland Browns could easily be *as* bad as they were this year, but I see your point. Brad has a pretty high ceiling for improving his game. As do the Browns. Brad probably has a slightly better chance.
    In one of my drafts, I said that Brad seems like the kind of player that when it gets down to about five people left, everyone else will suddenly notice him, like, “Jesus, Brad! What are you still doing here?” and he’ll get cut around that point. Unobtrusive Brad. That’s what I’m thinking this time around.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Brad’s chances, put in terms of Cambodia:
      Best case scenario: Keith? (this is very optimistic)
      Worst case scenario: Vytas
      Medium/most likely case scenario: Savage

  • I want to call him a “neat man” all season.

    • pufflehuff

      He keeps all his different prejudices in carefully labeled folders.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Can Monica not have anything to herself?

      • He’s only a neat fella because he married a neat lady. He’s Mr. Monica.

    • indescribable hat

      I want to call him a neat man for two, maybe three episodes.

  • Super duper fan

    Brad definetely says all the right things in the pregame press. The problem for him will be that he will overcorrect, he focuses on fixing his image in the Survivor community of some misogynictic douchebag and -while understable- he should not go FULL on allying with the people with whom he said he was gonna work with, cause they may be a little frightened of a “wildcard” and could suspect that he tries to trick them. He should keep his allies under wraps, so they can take control of the merge tribe.

    I’m not THAT rooting for him, but I understand why they would want him there and he’s still MUCH better than Caleb and Troy.

    • Alkanarra

      Frankly, if I’m Culpepper, I’d just straight up admit that I’m playing a damage control game and trying to change my image. Don’t even hide it from the other contestants. That way when they see him talking to the female contestants and not being so aggressive they won’t think “that guy is being sneaky and I don’t like it,” they’ll think “ah, the idiot is just playing it up to the camera.” If he’s transparent enough in the pre-merge then they may just ignore him for other threats since his game is so easy to see through that it won’t seem threatening.

      • Super duper fan

        Maybe, you’re right. But I do think that if the alpha men decide to work together, they could be wary of working with him, if he doesn’t convince them that he is with them 100%. He should at least try play middle-ish, so in case that that alliance really does form, they will see him as a loyal number, not an enemy.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        I often wonder why more people don’t use this strategy – just say up front (whether it’s true or not) ‘I’m more concerned about my image than good strategy so I’m not planning on betraying anyone in my alliance ever’
        Not all players will respect this of course, but you’d have to think a good number would at least believe it. Who knows, maybe people do use this tactic but CBS doesn’t want to let them break the fourth wall on air…

        • Alkanarra

          I’m sure there have been people that admit they’re just playing for exposure for their modeling/acting/whatever career, but $1mil is a ton of money. If you’re delusional enough to go on this type of show, you’re delusional enough to think you can win. Even if you’re Abi-Maria.

          My strategy for getting cast would be to say “I don’t want to win, I just want to make good TV. Production can tell me whom to vote for, they can edit me however they like, I’ll make wildly unpredictable moves if the votes are going to be boring, and I’ll aid whichever player they want to give the good edit.”

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            If we’re in an era of all-returnees every 3-4 seasons, newbies have kind of a dilemma: try to win (which would make it wise to lay low until the merge) or try to get invited back (which makes it wise to be as big a character as possible).

          • sharculese

            Try to win vs. try to get invited back has been the dilemma since Coach happened. It’s just exacerbated now.

          • I think you can tie in Russell Hantz to that as well.

  • BadPlayer91

    Brad is and was very NFL Sunday for me, I don’t hate it or love it, it’s just a thing that happens for which I don’t have much interest. In BvW the players were all going crazy about him like the superbowl, and i was like, i guess this is happening so i’ll watch. He never caught my attention as overly exciting or overly terrible, just instead I was generally uninterested.

    In my personal opinion, I never got an overly sexist vibe from Brad. I think his game wasn’t sexist on purpose, more by ignorance. Like, he admitted that Monica told him getting an alliance immediately is super important, so he looked at Tadhana and was like “There are more men, I can work with this.” Being a Football player on top of that was helpful to his game, but unhelpful to his image.

  • the sky is falling

    I’m starting to have a minor panic attack at the prospect of all the interesting strong players going after each other early. Thus leaving us with a horrific post merge game involving:
    Brad
    Caleb
    Troy
    Debbie
    Hali
    Sierra
    Sarah

    • Maritimer

      I take heart in what Probst said about sharks and jaws and whatnot and the threats circling each other rather than attacking early on

      • the sky is falling

        ok, I dont read/watch much pre-game stuff usually, that sounds promising. I’d much prefer the 7 listed above to be the first boots.

        • Mike Hirsch

          Don’t put too much stock in it though, because what Probst actually meant was the season is a lot like Jaws 3-D.

      • Roswulf

        Of course Probst’s notions of sharks could be Brad, Caleb, and Troy.

        • Maritimer

          Not even Probst could be that blinded by his jock guys…

          No wait, yes, yes he could

          • the sky is falling

            Probst is too busy drooling over Ozzy and Malcom and JT and Tony on the same season to care about Troy, Brad or Caleb

    • Super duper fan

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Sarah and Hali go far (even Debbie at least 4 episodes, but it’s an unpopular opinion). While others…yeah.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      That’s a fairly horrifying prospect :/
      However, I will continue to have hope that either a) a few of our fan faves manage to make it to the end or b) if your list does represent the final 7, that a few of them will step it up and actually showcase some good strategy and at the very least entertain us.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Remember that before Micronesia Parvati was a “who?”, Andrea was similar in Caramoan and Wentworth was for Cambodia. You may be pleasantly surprised but yeah not optimistic.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        This. Not to mention one John Cochran. A scenario in which the big names go early would imply that the Halis and FFSDTs of the cast are at least playing actively enough to band together. Someone from that unpromising list is bound to transform into a big-time player.

        • Super duper fan

          I would also add Tyson to that list cause I don’t think a lot of people were thinking of him after voing himself out in HvV, “that person could win”. And dwe can’t forget Boston Rob and Amber (majority of the fanbase still view as nothing special (including me) but as with Tyson, we wouldn’t think of her as a person that could win).

          • Kemper Boyd

            Tysoe was a funny guy bit not a serious player. I think despite Dawn’s emotional breakdowns she played a great second game.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            S26-28 was a neat run of seasons in which a character type that can’t possibly win Survivor wins.

          • I think you can push that back to Season 24:
            Sophie: brash smart girl
            Denise: tough mom
            Cochran: super nerd fan
            Tyson: goofball with some strategy sense
            Tony: bull in a china shop

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, every winner breaks new ground in some way, but sunburned nerd, goof who’s not taking the game seriously, and bull in a china shop are particularly unlikely types to win.

          • Fair enough.

          • the sky is falling

            The cool thing about that particular bull was that he didn’t seem to care if he broke all the China.

          • More to come on that particular bull very, very soon…

          • the sky is falling

            Hooray! I have some stuff to cover if you miss. I’m a big fan of the out of the box players and weirdos and freaks.

          • Diego Armando

            I was wondering when he would turn up.

          • Super duper fan

            Agreed.

        • Kemper Boyd

          There are always a few people who their story around in a returnee season.

  • Maritimer

    Of the people on this season I disliked their first time around, Culpepper is the one I’m most open to a changed opinion on. I’m not necessarily convinced his changes will make him GOOD at this game but he may be an interesting/entertaining presence until he’s cannon fodder some (double-boot) episode.

    I also think a New Culpepper could end up with a purple-ish edit, because, as mentioned, he was brought back to be alpha-male and brash. If he’s not, he may just be boring.

    • Purplerockmatt

      This sums up my feelings on Brad pretty well. I disliked him the first time, but I also can see him changing his game and personality a lot and am open to that change.

      • pufflehuff

        While I feel like I *should* share this open-mindedness, my personal best case scenario for Mr. Monica is that he’s taken down by Ciera 3.0 with even more blazing hubris. I think he’s in the Troy/Debbie tier. But I haven’t read the pre-game interviews etc. so maybe he is going to change those spots.

        • Super duper fan

          I would love to see Ciera being his downfall again.

          • sharculese

            Technically Caleb was his downfall. Unless you mean Ciera fucking up the puzzle.

          • Super duper fan

            I know, I meant that she also would be one of the people to vote him out, no matter if it’s her plan or not.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    The gif game in this article is on point!
    Brad is a huge question mark for me this time around, so I appreciated the multiple best/worse case scenarios. I think there’s a serious chance that multiple bro-down alliances form which could either help Brad coast a bit longer if he’s willing to play second fiddle, or cause him to go out almost immediately if he tries to set himself up as the alpha among alphas. Either way, I think Brad’s chances of getting past mid-merge are very slim, and his chances of winning are close to zero (I say close because there’s always the chance he makes it to a final two with Troyzan….oh the humanity)

    I have to admit that as fun as it will be if Brad repeats his trainwreck performance, I will be genuinely pleased if he comes back and actually plays well – especially if he does something unexpected and, say, joins up with an underdog alliance of misfits. I’m at best neutral toward him going into the season so it would be nice to see that the sexist jock vibe from BvW situational and not actually who he is (of course the jury is still out on that…)

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Hey everybody, there’s been some interest in forming a PRP fantasy baseball league. We have seven definites (me, Alkanarra, Andy, Black Dynamite, SpicyMayoJaySimpson, corndogshuffle, and Kemper Boyd) and three maybes (Emma, Gouis, and EmAndScoutInBK). It looks like there’s more interest in head-to-head than roto (and if you’re interested but don’t know what that means, don’t worry, you’re among friends).

    So we need five more to have a full 12-team league. If more than five of you are interested you can Schmergen Brawl for the 12th spot.

    • sharculese

      O/T, I haven’t replaced my harddrive, but I have a borrowed computer, so I guess I have to follow through on my promise in re: Australian Survivor. I should be able to do it Thursday.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Wow, now that’s a labor of love. Believe me, nobody’s going to hold you to any promises. But by all means do it if its important for you to finish the project. At least the finale gives you a lot of material to work with.

        • sharculese

          For real, part of the reason I never finished was that I knew I had to watch all of that again to figure out what the fuck it all was, which seemed really daunting at the time. But now I’m gonna go through with it.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Now that’s some exciting albeit unexpected news. Here’s hope time hasn’t mellowed you too much on that head-scratcher of an endgame.

        Fwiw, I could never find more than a few short clips from that family feud episode.

        • sharculese

          Even if it had, I can still write it like it happened yesterday.

    • Diego Armando

      I have no idea how to play, but like baseball. So maybe if instructions are given.

      • Black Dynamite

        Liking/knowing baseball is a great first step, especially if you enjoy the statistical side of the game. Fantasy Baseball is crazy fun and not hard to follow once the concept is explained. I highly recommend it.

        • Diego Armando

          Sure, why not.

    • Other Scott

      Never played fantasy sports before, but the PRP group seems as good as anyone to start

  • Kemper Boyd

    Quick off topic: I was super bummed that the RHAP Sandra preview was all men. We’ve got one of the most important female characters in Survivor history and we hear from 3 men about her.

    • Max_Jets

      Do you recommend any of the previews? I listened to Aubry’s because I love Aubry, and I thought the Cirie preview was really good but have not listened to any others.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I haven’t listed to the Sandra one yet, but I don’t think they’re super-essential. The way Rob solicited contributors (having people volunteer to talk about specific players rather than assign players at random) means were getting more hype than analysis. The Troyzan one is interesting for the level of delusion.

        • Alkanarra

          Wait, so… you’re saying you *didn’t* want to randomly draw Brad Culpepper?

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Not when FFSDT is still on the board!

          • Diego Armando

            Theoretically, Matt is still a mystery.

        • Guest rite

          It has been fun to to hear the different types of fans. Who could possibly volunteer to podcast about this person? Oh, its that type of survivor fan.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Very true. I found the Sandra one way too fan girly from that guy. And I say that as an enormous Sandra fangirl.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        I’ve listened (or at least tried to listen) to most of them and have been somewhat disappointed over all. IMO the most useful ones are for the cast members who aren’t the absolute super stars (Sandra, Tony, etc.) or the total duds (Troyzan, Debbie, etc.) but rather the players with some potential who aren’t at the top of everyone’s hype list. That would be like Aubry, Hali, Sarah – maybe even Malcolm and Andrea. The benefit of those is getting to hear a recap of their previous game(s) and a somewhat balanced assessment of their chances. As a general critique of the podcasts, I’d say they’re a bit long for what they are, and some of the guests are definitely more amateur than others. Also, as others have noted, some of the guests are total stans for their fave cast member which leads to unrealistic analysis.

        • purplerockandy

          Speaking from experience, trying to establish conversational chemistry on a podcast with a new person every week is not recommended.

      • Kemper Boyd

        A lot of them have been really uncritical. The Troy one is spectacularly bad. Tony was fun. Honestly it really depends on your mood and which contestant you listen to.

    • I know that one of the Survivor Historians was one of the three men, but I also know that he is a mega fan of hers.

      • prettyboyprobst

        http://survivorpodcast.com/sandrapicture.jpg

        Award-winning Sandra-impressionist Paul Asleson

        • sharculese

          Good god, he looks exactly as twelve as he sounds.

          • prettyboyprobst

            To be fair, that picture is from 2010, but yes he does.

        • gouis

          This picture just convinced me to never listen to any of these previews.

          God I hate young Survivor fans who seem arbitrarily obsessed with the show.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I haven’t listened to more than a few minutes of the Tony-cast so far, so I can’t tell you yet if you’re missing out or not. They’re all clogging up my mp3 player and I’m sure I’ll get around to listen at least to the profiles of some of the players I like.

            As for Paul, I can see how that picture would make you feel that way, but he really is not that young, but, like Barbara said, a veteran Survivor podcaster and while obsessed with the show, I wouldn’t say arbitrarily obsessed (because he always was and growing up in Montana, I can see how there could have been a lack of better options to obsess over).

            Me otoh? Also not that young, but there really is no good reason for my (more modest, but at times still bordering on obsessive) fandom.

          • IIRC, Paul is 26 or 27 and I think he is not as obsessed with the show as he once was (getting married and getting a job apparently will do that for young fans).

          • prettyboyprobst

            That is a high bar and pretty much impossible to clear, but he seems to be back to podcasting a lot.

          • Yeah, I believe he also studied abroad in Germany for a bit, so he couldn’t podcast then.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I sure noticed that, as a German myself, and somehow I’ve resisted the temptation to send them listener questions in german.

            Btw, I just saw days ago (around these parts) that you are indeed the creator of the BJ method. I sometimes wondered if you are one of the Tribe-related Barbaras, but most of them seemed to be older/some of their mothers, so I never followed up on that. Mad respect!

          • Yeah, I am the young Barbara over there. I am way behind on the Tribe due to computer incompatibility issues with that podcast and that podcast only.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Sounds horrible.
            Would it help to go directly to the rss feed?

            http://survivorpodcast.com/feed/podcast/

          • No, I hadn’t. All I know is that when I try downloading it directly from their website, it only downloads like the first 10-15 minutes.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Such a strange world we live in…I hope you find a way to work around it, be it via stitcher, podbay or simply another device.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I listen to way more podcasts than I really have time for on a normal basis, and with the PRP, Tribe, Dom & Colin, and Snakes Rats & Goats previews all super-long and all hitting this week my queue is complete anarchy.

            I don’t think the individual RHAP previews have been particularly great. I think you could jettison them if you needed to.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Haha, so I come here and get excited upon seeing a post for the preview podcast, glance at your comment while downloading and that excitement got hightened for second when I saw you mention casually that there is indeed a SRG preview out. Then I read your comment again, checked all the sites and realized I’m about 12h behind ond preview podcasts before we’re even talking about the indvidual RHAP stuff.

            It hasn’t even been that long since I checked all my bookmarks, so wtf is the Suvivor podcasting cartel trying to do here? Force us to decide? And wasn’t Rob & Nicole’s preview usually one of the first to drop? I haven’t seen one of the previews with Nicole at all, and they were always a sign to get serious about preseason content consumption.
            Instead I got distracted by nba trade deadline- and politicsy listening material.
            Ok, D&C had the first part of their two-parter out for over a week
            now, but for some reason I didn’t think they would be the ones ahead of the curve and that page always takes ages for me to load, so I don’t check as often.

            As you said, it seems like they all dropped just this
            week (you can add J&S to that list), and foolish me even got the
            newest ATF before I saw all of this, because they have Sophie on to
            preview S34.
            Anarchy in the podcast queue is right, and that one as
            well as all the indivdual previews will have to wait until I have
            sorted and listened through all the new previews of my favourite outlets (challenge accepted, podcast cartel!), if I’ll ever get to them at all.

            I think I may have to follow your advice on that one, but
            I’ll probably leave them on until I really need the space or the season
            is over.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Some of them have actually analysed most have geeked out.

        • Kemper Boyd

          It was a very mediocre impression.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Let’s just say there is a reason why I decided not to subject anyone to the video of that and included the picture instead.

      • Kemper Boyd

        but like they couldn’t find a woman who loves Sandra?

        • Shrug shoulders emoji

        • purplerockandy

          I’m pretty sure women don’t like to podcast.

          • Kemper Boyd

            we are all here…

          • gouis

            Just gotta form that alternative future PRP that I laid out elsewhere

          • @disqus_R9cNRvxsfG:disqus, you are good with being alternative John, right?

          • So she’s the John and you’re the Andy? I knew I’ve always kinda hated you.

          • I am just going by how long winded I am as well as the fact that I have a fun accent (although, I am assuming that Kemper does too, so who knows?).

          • I mean, she’s British. So…yes.

            What is your accent? Midwestern?

          • I have a bit of a Southern twang mixed in. I also have some fun aftereffects of not learning some speech sounds properly until I was like 7, so yay!

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I hope the real story isn’t some kind of sensitive topic for you, but just know that I’m going ahead and assuming that you were raised by wolves.

          • I have touched on the topic before (in fact, it is honestly the biggest reason why I was rooting for Ken to go far in MvGX), so I am okay talking about it. No, it’s not a Nell thing. I just didn’t start talking until I was 3 or 4, so I was fairly behind in my speech development. Yet, I was one of those insane children who was already reading the phone book before kindergarten.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I can be so bloody Norf Landaan if you want me to be or I can clean it up and be the middle class you’d see in a Ricardo Curtis film. Depends what you want. Th’s or not really.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Ooh, Yorkshire accent please if you’re taking requests.

          • Kemper Boyd

            My father was a Yorkshireman. I can’t do that accent. I have two speeds, Norf London and Middle Class as he’ll.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Better the John than the Andy.

          • Yay! I look forward to talking for 2 hours about why Coldplay is the best.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Yeah I’m not on board with your whore bread music taste

          • I said I would talk, not you. There’s only 1 way I’m alternate Andy and that is full tilt.

  • Hornacek

    I was disappointed this column didn’t mention Brad’s HONOR and JUDGE tattoo’s.

    Also, is @AssistantDragonSlayer:disqus topless in his PR image?

    • I am glad that someone else mentioned it before I did.

    • purplerockandy

      No, he’s wearing a flesh suit.

      • Hornacek

        It puts the lotion on the purple rock …

    • BadPlayer91

      Is it really topless without nipple? just saying…

      • Hornacek

        • BadPlayer91

          The amount of times that I actually do shout “nipple” at the TV screen is genuinely childish. But sometimes they just pop into frame like you know that camera operator was feeling the thirst….

          • Hornacek

  • Brian Gold

    I am all in on Brad Culpepper this season. Brad was not a good Survivor player, but he almost single-handedly made the start of Blood vs Water. As the oldest man on a young tribe (he was 11 years older than the next-oldest people, Vytas and Rachel, and everyone else was 30 or younger) he was an easy choice to be “leader.” Him being perceived as the leader led to all kinds of drama, but behind that was a guy with some funny moments. He played to help Monica win, more than for himself. But watch him accept his vote-out with grace and dignity, and you see he’s not quite the douchebag he’s shown as.

    More importantly, Brad seems to be a funny guy. Watch him at the Cambodia reveal, where Probst tries to sell him as having a chance next to Spencer and Joe, and Brad is just like “are you out of your fucking mind?” Read his interviews before this season and his videos, and you see Brad is more of a buffoonish goofball than serious.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Oh, I hear you. I went into this project intending to write wall-to-wall jokes, but I was impressed by the things you mention. I’m pretty sure he’s going to moderate his negative traits this time around, I just don’t see enough positive traits to think that he’ll actually do well in the game.

      • Brian Gold

        I would love to see Brad win solely for the explosion of the fans, but I think that even in the most generous scenario, it’s hard to see him winning. But I do think he’ll be a fun character and redeem himself in the audience’s eyes. He doesn’t belong in the same conversation as He Who Must Not Be Named.

        • Agreed. He’s a fun “villain” while the other one is not even a good villain, let alone a fun villain

          • Brian Gold

            Brad is good TV. The dude who declared war on Samoa was bad TV.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    I don’t know what Jeff honestly thinks of Troyzan, but he says Troy’s absolutely a game-changer and cites “This is my island” as his game-changing move. I am now confused as to what constitutes a game-changing move.

    • Maritimer

      I believe its defined as “that thing you did that we can use to justify bringing you back under this random theme we created, because for some ungodly reason Probst thinks you should play again”

      • the sky is falling

        Probst is the worst. He barely understands his own game. At least he wont be able to push the game-changers narrative as obnoxiously as Millenials vs. Gen X

        • “That sounds like a challenge.” – Probst

        • Maritimer

          Much as I mock, I actually think Probst is a fantastic host, though he sometimes has weird ideas about who people like/should like, and yes, can get obsessive with the themes

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I would even take that a step further, and surmise that most of the annoying stuff Jeff does comes from his role as a producer. If we were able to separate out Host Jeff and Producer Jeff cleanly, we might like Host Jeff even more. Of course, that isn’t to say he’s a bad Producer (since I have no idea what it takes to be a good producer) just that a lot of what’s annoying about him as a Host comes from him trying to aggressively market the show in a certain way from inside the show.

            Did any of that make sense? Haha

          • Agreed completely. I may disagree with some of his opinions, but:
            1. He’s definitely an awesome host and a great promoter of the show.
            2. He’s actually listened to criticism and seems to be trying to dial back on some of his previous bro-centrism.
            3. He tries to steer the action in a way that will keep viewers more interested, which keeps the show we all love on the air.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            #3 all day long – Jeff does seem to have his finger on the pulse of what the casual fans want. And I can live with a Rupert or an Ozzy coming back every once in a while if that’s what allows us to keep getting new seasons of this show 🙂

          • Not to spoil anything, but that’s a point we make on our preview podcast, which should hopefully be available tomorrow.

          • Maritimer

            This is a lot of what I thought about saying in my first reply last night but was too tired and lazy too type out. I think he’s a great host and good producer. And as also mentioned, just because we don’t agree with his marketing and/or it annoys us, it works – both in terms of theme and returnees

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          “Shevotedouthermom!”

          Eh, Probst annoys me at times too, but I think he understands the audience better than we do. In the end this is a prime-time legacy-network show, and we’re vastly outnumbered by the casuals.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Hey! Watch your mouth!

      • prettyboyprobst

        For Troyzan, and don’t ask me about a detailed breakdown of that episode, there was that whole fiasco of him being part of an entire tribe agreeing to go to tribal despite winning immunity for Jeff to point to, if he absolutely had to bring up something that connects Troy to the theme.

        Jeff even said, probably in the same promo-video, it doesn’t have to be something that worked out well, but his stupid shouting was just not much at all (other than prime material for John’s diss track of Troy, which, by the way, proved to be very useful for me to rediscover how awful this guy really is).

  • Diego Armando

    I hope he is fun and keeps his negatives in check.

    I stated earlier that I 0%ed him. I stand by that.

  • gouis

    I’m late, but who was responsible for all the Lichtenstein? Love it

  • forever1267

    But… but… he’s hot! Doesn’t that count for something…? …Anything…? Bueller….?

    Perhaps I should re-evaluate this shallowness.

    • purplerockandy

      Wait… him?

      • forever1267

        if you’re into muscles on muscles, yes. (And I’m a sucker for bald / shaved heads.)