Each week, I’ll be analyzing how well the second chances of various Survivors are going. I’ll be paying particular attention to their spectacular failures, and giving out an award I made up.
John is a nerd on the internet who has never been on Survivor, but has been podcasting about Survivor since 2013. This season, in The People’s Survivor blog, he will blog about his experiences as a Survivor viewer. Follow John on Twitter @purplerockpod.
“I have two idols, you steroid-riddled hate machine.” – Val Collins (possibly paraphrased), Survivor: San Juan del Sur
One of the great things about Survivor is that it works on so many levels. It can be a narrative of good vs. evil, where “good” usually takes the form of either a beautiful man or Rupert. It can be a complex strategy game all about positioning yourself against your rivals. Or it can be, as it was this week, straight up soft-core porn expressed via subtitled images and gifs:
Who needs erotic fan fiction when you can enjoy erotic fan fact? Between this and all of Probst’s balls and poles talk, I think Survivor decided to try to go for a double-entendre record this season.
But you’re not here to talk about Survivors getting sexy (actually, judging by the search terms some of you weirdos use to get here, you’re looking for pictures of every Survivor naked), you’re here to talk about how their games got fucked.
The flaws in the game
As usual, there were many things that were wrong with both the episode and the players. Alas, there can be only one Dead Fishy. So let’s review this week’s candidates:
Nominee #1: The technology that allows Survivor to spray dust at you
I didn’t realize technology had progressed this far, but clearly CBS figured out how to transmit dust through my television and straight into my eyes. And then the dust allergy (that I didn’t even realize I had) starts to make my eyes water. This just seems like bad marketing on CBS’ part.
Totally unrelated: Family visit episodes were far easier to make fun of before I became a father.
Nominee #2: Abi-Maria Gomes
Abi lost the reward challenge to Wentworth because even though Abi started spelling her word first, she was spelling the wrong word. “I was trying to spell redemption.”
One problem with that is that what Abi-Maria actually appears to be spelling is “redemshon”. Which, admittedly, is at least closer than Dan got last season while attempting to spell outwit, outplay, outlast. At least Abi is using actual letters that exist.
But Abi’s greatest mistake this episode was voting out Joey Amazing. She personally robbed Joe of the $100,000 he would have won by going to a final three with Abi-Maria and Kelley. And even worse, she said he had clown hair while casting her vote! His hair looks beautiful, and I won’t hear claims to the contrary!
Nominee #3: Parental stereotypes
Remember when TV shows wanted us to think of moms as the nurturing, coddling types? Abi-Maria’s mom ain’t having that shit. She lays down the law.
Not to be outdone by this tough love parenting style, Joe’s dad also lays down the law. And the law is that adorable little challenge beasts get tickles!
Nominee #4: Kimmi Kappenberg
This is Survivor, Kimmi! Not a 1990s Naughty by Nature concert!
(The 17 old people who read this blog loved that joke. The rest of you kids can get off my lawn.)
Nominee #5: Kelley Wentworth
You win the family reward and you don’t even pick the pregnant lady as one of the people that can stay? Way to fuck that one up, Wentworth. Sure, you can use the old “I didn’t know she was pregnant because Jeremy was actively conspiring to keep that a secret” excuse, but that’s bullshit. Boston Rob would’ve known she was pregnant. And yes, maybe Boston Rob would only know because Probst was whispering that information in Rob’s ear while giving him a shoulder massage, but the point is that Boston Rob would’ve known! Besides, I have it on good authority that Kelley is a witch. And witches probably have some kind of special pregnancy-detection powers.
By not bringing the pregnant lady to join them at camp, Wentworth robbed us of a potentially amazing scene: Jeremy trying to pretend nothing was out of the ordinary as production wheeled in a king size mattress, a foot massager, and a mini refrigerator stocked with assorted random condiments, chocolate, pickles, fruit, and bizarre flavors of ice cream. You know, for no reason.
Nominee #6: Tasha Fox
“Decisions, decisions. I got offered a final three deal with Jeremy and Spencer, and I’m sure it’s a great idea to go into a final tribal council against two pleasant, well-liked players. But Kimmi just offered me an alliance with the other three women, so I could potentially sit in a final tribal with Kimmi and Abi-Maria. I wonder what Jeremy would do?”
Indeed, Jeremy. Sitting next to Abi would be easy money. You’re essentially guaranteeing yourself at least $100,000 just by having her in your final three. I wonder if anyone else has thought of this.
Nominee #7: Keith Nale
Keith really isn’t getting enough hate this week. If he hadn’t held out so long in that challenge, Joey Herbal Essences Commercial would still be in this game right now! I hope that in a bonus scene we see Probst yelling at Keith for winning that challenge while yelling, “You were supposed to stick to the fucking plan, Keith!”
And the loser is…
Like a staggering number of Survivor viewers, I am appalled that these terrible, selfish people weren’t doing everything they could to give Joe a million dollars for being a beautiful man who is good at carnival games. So this week’s Dead Fishy goes to Keith, who won the challenge that should have given us another week of Joey Immunity Necklace.
Go forth and attack Keith on social media, adoring fans of Joe! I can only hope he responds to your outlandish insults and threats with “copy that”.
Housekeeping note: There is a 99% chance there won’t be a People’s Survivor Blog for the next episode. I’ll award next week’s Dead Fishy in advance to Abi-Maria, just as a sort of lifetime achievement award.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia