Survivor Cambodia Episode 10 and 11 Liveblog – “My wheels are spinning”

It’s our tenth week of live coverage of Survivor Cambodia.  Follow us on Twitter and Storify!

Wrap Thoughts and Three Up and Three Down:
What an awesome pair of episodes guys.  Ciera and Stpehen may have gone home but those were fantastic tribals.  Stephen’s downfall was his decision to split the vote.  The interesting thing is that earlier in the game he didn’t want to split when he thought he might be the target, but now he knows he is the target and splits the votes.  That said, I’m not sure he plays the advantage if they all pile on Joe and then he just goes home 5-4.
Three Up:
Jeremy (saved his ally, too bad it was short-lived, but still huge move), Spencer (beat joe! got out Stephen!), Joe (He lost and didn’t go home!), Kelley (Another idol!), We the viewers (this season is fantastic guys, no one can seize control because everyone is too aware of who is on top and who is on the bottom).
Three Down:
Abi (if Abi doesn’t destroy the world why focus on her insanity?), the rain (seriously that looked awful), voting blocs (looks like alliances are back in season).
Savage Corner: He keeps the hat which isn’t as funny anymore, but he does seem happy to see Fish play his advantage, and probably even happier that it didn’t cost Joe a place.
Matt
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Matt

Matt has an irrational dislike for all contestants named Michel(l)e. Also if he ever takes a strong stance about why everyone else is wrong, it is he that is inevitably wrong.

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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  • Scarlett3639

    Well, I did not expect that the episode that Joe first loses immunity is not his boot episode. You would think that would have been a no brained.

    • Purplerockmatt

      I think some people may be thinking that about Joe, but also Joe is more threatening when you are on top, when you are on the bottom you are just trying to assemble any majority you can

      • Scarlett3639

        Also, are people in the back of their minds thinking, there’s no way there are two immunity run winners in back to back seasons?

        • Purplerockmatt

          I don’t think so. That is the type of thinking like thinking if a coin was flipped and came up heads it can’t come up heads on the next flip. Probability doesn’t change. I think the equation is just enough people felt they were on the bottom that they needed to use Joe.

          • Scarlett3639

            But Survivor fans don’t know basic math, let alone probability and statistics.

          • Purplerockmatt

            hmmm good point

          • Kemper Boyd

            Does Joe have enough locked in votes to beat everyone still there? This is a serious question: The only locked in vote I see for him is Wigles.

          • purplerockpodcast

            Wigles and Savage. That’s the only ones I would bet on, at least. Not to say he couldn’t get others, but I think those two would be locks. The exception would be if he’s up against Jeremy, in which case I think Jeremy gets Savage’s vote.

          • Kemper Boyd

            yeah, that’s how I see Savage too. Savage will vote for Jeremy, Joe, Spencer, Keith, Tasha, Wentworth, Kimmi, Abi in that order. Maybe he’d vote for Tasha above Keith.
            I think Wentworth has 2 locked in votes in Ciera and Kass vs anyone.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I think Tasha is above Spencer, he said Spencer was a good kid, but said Tasha was like a sister.

          • purplerockpodcast

            I think Savage would put Tasha over Spencer and Keith, since he seemed to genuinely like her. But agreed on Wentworth, though.

          • sharculese

            Jeremy pretty much sealed up Savage’s vote tonight. Savage may not trust Fishbach but that sort of play is just made for him to love.

          • Purplerockmatt

            locked now? no, but if he continues to win I think a lot of the older school players and players like Keith and maybe Tasha will be swayed

        • purplerockpodcast

          From what we’ve seen, Wigles and Savage seemed to be the only ones that were actually aligned with Joe. I don’t know if that’s just that nobody wants to align with the obvious target or if Joe has actually alienated people. I can’t imagine he’s a goat, but I wouldn’t put it past Survivor to hide it if he’s a huge douchebag (remember, they almost managed to do that with Ozzy once upon a time).

          • Crappy

            I think people in the game kind of hate Joe mostly for winning too much right now. Even Mike got the same hate last season after his move at the auction but the jury still voted for him in the end. If Joe was being douche, I am sure some of the exit interviews would have highlighted that by now. Even Kass who got burned by his pivotal switch to bro-alliance, did say anything bad about him personally, just criticized his game.

          • purplerockpodcast

            That’s a good point. Nobody has shied away from talking shit about the rest of these people in their exit interviews.

      • Roswulf

        I think Joe would have gone had Jeremy not announced his Power-Couple Partnership with Stephen to the world. It’s easy to talk yourself into voting off Joe the second time he loses an immunity challenge- the Jeremy-Stephen pairing looked like a more immediate strategic threat.

        • sharculese

          I said below-thread I watched this with people who don’t normally watch Survivor, and one of the things I had the hardest time explaining is why Jeremy saved Stephen. What I eventually came up with is that Jeremy instinctively wants to look like the godfather, which was the problem he had in his first season in a way he didn’t seem to realize, and may have fucked him over once again.

          • Roswulf

            I agree that part of it is Jeremy not being willing to relinquish control of a vote, but I think another part is that he believes in the power of a strong pair. He really wanted to be Stephen’s second JT.

      • sweaterfan

        I was just thinking about this in terms of Stephen and Jeremy (moot point now I guess) but it’s a valid question for Wentworth and Joe now too – at what point do you as a survivor underdog decide that it’s worth it to attach yourself to someone you can’t beat because it’s your only way to make it to FTC? I genuinely don’t know the answer, and it’s probably different for everyone, including some who might argue that it’s ~never~ a good idea and it’s better to go out in a blaze of glory trying to take down the front runner rather than sitting next to them at FTC knowing you can’t win.
        I do think that’s what is beginning to happen with Wentworth though – she had to keep Joe around because he was a vote on her side, and because of his challenge prowess she may literally never get the chance to take him out before the end. Although she arguably has a non-zero chance of beating him at FTC, if she continues to outshine him strategically.

    • sharculese

      I was watching Survivor with people who don’t normally watching Survivor, because Thanksgiving, and my uncle asked me, “I don’t get it, if everyone disliked Joe so much, why would you be worried about him.”

      It was really hard to explain that calculus.

      • Purplerockmatt

        People don’t dislike Joe, people are worried about Joe. The problem is that they do like him (or rather that enough people will like him on the jury)

        • sharculese

          Yeah, I know, but that’s really hard to explain to someone who has seen these two episodes and no other Survivor.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Oh totally. Also a few people might dislike Joe but they know a lot of people like him

    • Barbara Anderson

      I think Joe’s douchiness is slowly coming to light though. He is getting a bit too comfortable.

      • Scarlett3639

        Also people could being getting overdosed on Joemazing. The edit isn’t showing it this season but look how frustrated people were last season at Mike’s run. Granted, those people were jerks, but still.

        • Barbara Anderson

          I think they would be od’ing by now. By the way, we all now know what Joe’s weaknesses in challenges are:
          Gross food eating challenges
          Trivia challenges

        • Kemper Boyd

          I think that’s the nugget, everyone Mike was against was a jerk or an older woman (who did not get enough respect for her game).

    • Kemper Boyd

      I was wondering that too, that in a returning player season where the jury should be more sophisticated in their voting choices an immunity run only isn’t going to win it if you’ve got Jeremy or Wentworth or Spencer sitting up there showing how hard they had to fight when they never (or only once) had immunity to keep them safe. Basically Joe wins if he’s up there with someone full goat (Kimmi) and someone semi-goat (Abi and her Kass, Wentworth and Ciera votes).

      • Scarlett3639

        Do you rank Keith as a full goat or semi goat? No one is bringing his name up so his social game seems to be good.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Semi-goat, but only for women because I think Savage would vote for a man over any women.

  • sharculese

    Really glad the rock thing ended up not being ‘eat or compete.’ That was a fantastic way to inject some drama without derailing things.

    • Purplerockmatt

      I was surprised at how many gave up immunity, but it was pretty damn interesting

      • Kemper Boyd

        I was really surprised Spencer and Jeremy did, you’d think they are smart enough to calculate that Stephen, Ciera, Abi and Kimmi all would and that someone has to take on Joe. I mean fuck Keith managed to think it out.

        • tocantins

          I think that shows really how bad the storm must have been.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I’ve been to Cambodia in summer (rainy season) and fuck me does it rain, if you can’t go inside and dry off you do stay damp forever because the humidity is also so high. I can see why they’d all do it.

        • sharculese

          I don’t think he thought it out. I think it was every bit as surface as he presented it – “I’m a competitor; let’s compete.” It’s part of why nobody was mad at Keith for doing it. That’s the exact attitude you expect from him and coming from him it’s endearing.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yeah, Keith had the right attitude about it. Meanwhile, Joe….didn’t.

          • sharculese

            I mean, Joe wasn’t wrong. He just shouldn’t have waited until tribal to point out that he’s the person who has to win immunity.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I think his way of explaining it turned a lot of people off. For once I was agreeing with Abi.

  • Purplerockmatt

    But seriously, if it didn’t come across these were two really, really good episodes. I am loving this freaking season

    • gouis

      People who don’t like this season are insane. Every single vote has been “what!!! them!!”

      • the cage

        I don’t like this season particularly, though I will admit that these last two episodes were a lot of fun.

      • Barbara Anderson

        I know a common complaint about this season is that it is a very gamebotty season, so much so that characters like Keith and Kimmi have put to the side.

  • Sylvisual

    At this time of thankfulness, I give thanks to:
    – Stephen, for completing the dodo edit with some great wins and making things entertaining, despite being voted out by his #1 strategy.
    – Production, for some amazing editing, B-roll, and making the best of a rainy week.
    – Spencer, for winning immunity, giving me Pick-4 points, and setting up a Spencer vs. Jeremy storyline in the back half.
    – Idols, for some great moves and being cleverly hidden this year (that guiding light thing was a misfire last week).
    – Abi, for never changing. Shine on you delusional dragon, you.

    • sharculese

      At the start of that episode I was thinking I was about to regret picking Spencer as the winner and by the end was regretting picking Abi for most improved.

    • Ms_Woozah

      I don’t think he had a straight-out dodo edit. It was a fairly complex edit with highs and lows. I think his boot reflects that — he had the right idea using his advantage, but he went one step further than he should have and it was his downfall.

      • Barbara Anderson

        Yeah, but boy did they make him super cocky in his boot episode. I knew as soon as they showed his extra long voting booth confessional that he was going home.
        That being said, his edit is one of the most interesting edits that I have ever seen.

        • Sylvisual

          But his voting bit had to be long. He cast two votes!

          • Barbara Anderson

            But he purposely said that he was going to savor voting out Joe. That is when RHAP Nation was in slow motion yelling “NO!!!” at their televisions.

          • purplerockpodcast

            He’d already done the confessional earlier where he said he was in a good position (followed by his immediate metacommentary about how one should never say that).

          • Barbara Anderson

            Was that in the first hour?

          • purplerockpodcast

            I don’t recall at this point. I just remember that he did it.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I didn’t watch the first half hour so I missed a lot of the Stephen crying footage.

          • purplerockpodcast

            That comment could apply to so many episodes this season.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I can’t wait to figure out how many episodes did Stephen cry in. I know of at least two.

          • Purplerockmatt

            i remember at least 3

          • Barbara Anderson

            So for sure there was last night and the episode that had the second swap. Was there another one early on?

          • sharculese

            It was.

          • tocantins

            And it is the perfect piece of irony that he was completely right that he should have never said that.

          • purplerockpodcast

            That’s the sort of stuff that makes Survivor producers do a fist pump.

      • sweaterfan

        I sort of wonder if Stephen’s super weird edit came about because of the vast differences between the opinions of casuals and super fans? He’s just the type of guy that the Savages of the world love to hate, but I’m sure the whole RHAP universe was rooting for him like crazy. I did a mini-marathon re-watch of the first 9 episodes of the season this week and he really did have some low lows and high highs. As goofy and physically inept as he was, they also stressed his strategic chops and he was in the top three in terms of total confessionals so he was really a key part of the narrative of the season.

        • sharculese

          For what it’s worth, the one person I talked to between the vote and the start of this season who I would call a casual (intelligent person, watches the seasons because they’re entertaining and she likes the characters, but doesn’t analyze them and doesn’t revisit them) told me the three people she was really excited to see again were, in order, Spencer, Joe, and Stephen “Fishbein.”

          ETA: She is also from Louisiana and cannot stand Keith because she thinks he makes Louisianains look bad.

          • sweaterfan

            Fascinating! I must confess, I’ve had bad luck interacting with casuals IRL. Last spring a colleague of my husband’s mentioned that she’d been watching Worlds Apart, and I started raving about Survivor and talking about my all time faves like Sandra, et al. I asked who her favorite players were and she was like “…well I really like Mike.” 😐

          • Barbara Anderson

            I am a teacher for a living and one of my students is a big Joe fan because he is cute and he is an underdog.

  • sharculese

    Fun fact: in the first foot fetish challenge, Baylor also got the yellow blocks.

  • Barbara Anderson

    Is Keith the last one standing who did not get a confessional in the first 18 minutes of the premiere?

    • Purplerockmatt

      Abi?

      • Barbara Anderson

        Abi got one for sure because she had the montage of all she did wrong in Philippines.

        • sharculese

          I don’t think that happened until they got to their beach.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I asked the obsessives at Reddit to see if they remember. I know that Vytas, Shirin, Peih Gee, Terry, Woo, and Stephen didn’t get one, but I thought there was somebody else.

          • Sylvisual

            Nah that happened early when everyone was recapping.

    • Diego Armando

      Yes. This is proving my theory that none of these people were winning. I don’t think Keith pulls this off.

      • Barbara Anderson

        But at least they have both outlasted people who had opening confessionals (Varner, Kass, Savage, Wiglesworth and Ciera).

  • Scarlett3639

    Have they done night challenges before? I can’t think of any.

    • Purplerockmatt

      they have. the ones they have done at tribal of course, but also the epic Palau challenge lasted into the night and I think this challenge has happened at night too

      • Scarlett3639

        Thank you. I knew some of the endurance challenges have lasted into the night but I couldn’t remember any that had started after dark.

    • sharculese

      The second version of the storytelling challenge (Australia) was run at night.

      • purplerockpodcast

        I think they did it in Africa too.

        • sharculese

          I know they did it in Africa, but I can’t remember if it was a night challenge. I feel like letting that cast run around in alone the dark would have been a wrongful death lawsuit waiting to happen.

          • purplerockpodcast

            I believe they had torches.

          • sharculese

            In torch vs lion I am not betting on torch. But I’m not saying it didn’t happen, because everything I’ve read about the staging of that season suggests a deep level of irresponsibility.

          • purplerockpodcast

            Sadly, I just watched that season a few months ago and I still can’t be certain.

  • Diego Armando

    Hell yes. I sort of called it when I suggested my fantasy idea of Joe losing immunity and the others blindsiding Jeremy. Yes they targeted Stephen, but I was on the right path and will take this.

    Alas poor Ciera. I knew thee well.

    I have also published my review at https://wordpress.com/post/robertsreviewsandmusings.wordpress.com/114.

  • Ms_Woozah

    This season is nuts in all the right ways and I am LOVING it. I’ll miss Ciera and Stephen. They played as hard as they could and in a season with lesser gamers they could have run away with it. It’s a testament to how great it is to have (almost) everyone out there know the game and be willing to keep mixing things up. Like I’m fairly certain Jeremy and Tasha can go back to Spencer now that Stephen is out.

    Wentworth is my favorite. Her commentary is golden and her impressions of Abi had me rolling. Great camerawork during that idol search, too.

    • Kemper Boyd

      It’s kind of epic right? to go into each episode not having a scooby who is getting voted off.

    • gouis

      It’s been amazing. My only concern is that we are now left with a fair number of people who don’t really seem to “play” in Keith, Kimmi, and Abi.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I actually think it’s unfair to say Abi doesn’t play. She’s played plenty, it’s just we don’t like her style.

        • Purplerockmatt

          Abi plays a lot its just her motivations change constantly.

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        I think Kimmi is ‘playing’, we just aren’t seeing it because ultimately the game she’s playing isn’t a winning one.

        I agree with Kemper Boyd and Purplerockmatt that Abi is playing, but that it’s not the gameplay we want to see.

        You are, of course, right that Keith is just there for the lulz.

  • Diego Armando

    Wentworth had a great episode, my only concern for her is that Spencer is going to get most of the credit for this move and if the two of them make it to the end, I think he will wind up on top.

    • Scarlett3639

      She should get a lot of credit for idoling out Savage. And if she manages to idol out Jeremy I think she definately wins. She needs another trophy move to have a real chance against Spencer or Jeremy.

      • Barbara Anderson

        I think Spencer needs a big move at Tribal to compete with Jeremy and Wentworth. Yes, Fish’s blindside could be pinned on both of them, but he hasn’t had a major play that he call his.
        Also, as I said on Twitter, Jeremy pulled a Natalie Anderson move!

        • sharculese

          I’d say there’s a 90% chance he was thinking of her when he did it, but it’s not the same move. Natalie pulled a do or die move against someone everyone was assumed her closest ally in the game, to save someone she had no reason to want to work with at a time when vote margins are thin.

          Jeremy saved someone everyone knew was his ally at 9. And then that guy just went home on the next vote. He read the theatrics of it right, but he didn’t get the same value, and that probably matters to this jury.

          • Barbara Anderson

            That’s a good point, but it did show that he was doing it for his own game and not for Stephen’s. That is the big point I took away from the move.

          • sharculese

            The other thing is that what Jeremy did isn’t part of a continuum like Natalie’s move was. We had a 9 day story where Natalie flips to vote out Alec, risks teaming up with Keith to take out Jon, and then saves his loved one to idol out her island sister. That’s a hell of a narrative to pull off, and what Jeremy did just doesn’t match it.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Another strong point. I’m sure that people like Kass will recognize that if Jeremy were to bring that up at FTC.

          • Scarlett3639

            I’m curious to see what Jeremy’s next move will be with his closest ally gone. Can he think fast enough to stay on top, or will he be thrown for a loop and give people an opening to take him out? Does he stay with Tasha or does he go with Joe as a shield? Who does he want to sit next to at Final Tribal, besides Abi and Keith?

          • Barbara Anderson

            In hindsight, I love the fact that Jeremy has been building up his trust in Spencer since the second swap and now this happens.

          • Scarlett3639

            Maybe we get a three way struggle between Jeremy, Wentworth and Spencer and the winner is whoever can wrangle Abi the best. That would explain the focus on Abi’s unpredictability, besides the entertainment value of course.

          • Barbara Anderson

            That’s really intriguing. By the by, who was the other Abi vote tonight?

          • Scarlett3639

            Kimmi, Tasha and Fischbach voted for Abi.

          • Barbara Anderson

            For Kimmi and Tasha’s sake, I hope Abi forgives them soon.

          • Scarlett3639

            It was only the first time they’d written her name down so they might be okay. It’s the second one that gets you.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yeap….I wonder if Tasha will have a hand in voting out Abi which would be her second time writing her name down.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I couldn’t agree with you more. The move Jeremy made to save Stephen had no value. He essentially wasted an idol to save an ally for a single vote and get out someone who is seen as a weak physical threat and isn’t well liked by enough of the jury for a win (right now).

          • tocantins

            I don’t know, he didn’t manage to save Stephen after all, but he did manage to get rid of Ciera (and keep his numbers up). It is difficult for us to see it because we always knew she wasn’t going to win, but at that point in time, if they had managed to take out Stephen, Ciera would be a hell of a power player.

          • andythesaint

            He also made it clear to people like Tasha, Spencer, and Keith that Stephen was his closest ally.

      • Diego Armando

        I think Spencer gets Savage, Wiggles, Tasha, and Kimmi easily. Wentworth is guaranteed Ciera and Kass. I think Stephen will reward Spencer for targeting him. Joe, Jeremy And Keith are up in the air. I assume Abi will be sitting there with at the finals.

    • sharculese

      An all Ta Keo final 3 is a real possibility. That’s absurd.

      • sharculese

        Also, thing I just noticed, 5 of the last 6 episodes have involved someone from new-new-Ta Keo going home. Stephen broke the streak, leaving Spencer and Abi as the only members of that tribe left.

        • Other Scott

          They never should have voted out Woo

          • Purplerockmatt

            :Looking back the Woo move is where I think the season gets shaken up

          • sharculese

            That’s probably not wrong. Although the alternate version of this season where Savage and Tasha are trying to drag their Angkor buddies deeper and deeper sounds interesting too.

          • Other Scott

            I have it as when Savage got idolled out. He’s the alliance/ trust guy who’s going to be big on sticking to a core. As soon as he went the whole thing went nuts.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I think the Woo move sets that up honestly. I don’t think we see the first two boots post-merge being Kass and Savage without Woo going home in the way he did. The Woo move drew the battle lines in my eyes

          • Other Scott

            That’s definitely a way to look at it. I personally focus on the thing itself rather than the thing that caused the thing, but no doubt what you say here is right.

            Also, if they don’t vote out Woo they vote out Spencer, and Spencer’s been maybe the major guy driving the voting blocs thing, which makes a ton of sense for him because he was the main man without true allies going into the merge.

        • itsafuckingSTICK

          I am LOVING this season of Survivor but a phrase like “new-new-Ta Keo” is much too complex for my poor little brain to process.

      • Diego Armando

        I think that is a strong possibility

    • Kemper Boyd

      Look, this is Survivor if a man and a woman do anything together the man gets the credit.

  • Barbara Anderson

    By the by, Hurricane Abi takes out another victim that was once sympathetic to her cause.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Alright! Wentworth gets another idol! My hope that a future tribal where both idol-holders are targeted, and both play their idols and all votes get discarded could still happen!

    • purplerockpodcast

      We’ve all been waiting for that one and the tie at final tribal council. Survivor’s great mysteries must be answered!

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        My hope is that if there’s a tie at final tribal the tie-breaker isn’t fire making but instead either: A) chicken beheading, or B) rat eating.

        • sharculese

          I mean, the tie-breaker has to be something they can do in front of a live studio audience, so…

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            I would pay GOOD money to watch that.

    • Crappy

      I think that will happen this time.. there was some comment by Jeff or someone else that something happens at a tribal council that has never happened before. Must be it unless it was a lame reference to vote stealer.

  • purplerockpodcast

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but just wait until you guys see the scores in the Savage League, where XL Pelican has both Joe and Kelley.

    • Ms_Woozah

      ¬_¬

      • purplerockpodcast

        Maybe start buttering up Matt now for a return invite to Savage League (which will revert back to Outcasts League) next season?

        • Ms_Woozah

          I don’t need to butter him up. Matt already knows I admire and respect him and think he’s the greatest PRP staffer ever to exist.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Okay words hurt.

          • Ms_Woozah

            Sorry Emma. My allegiances shift as it benefits me. 😉

          • tocantins

            There are no alliances anymore, only voting blocs!

          • Purplerockmatt

            you get an invite! you get an invite! you get an invite!

        • gouis

          Does me almost shooting the moon get me another spot. Feel like it should.

          • purplerockpodcast

            Not my call. Though your constant denigration of Matt’s buddy Savage has to dock you a few points.

          • gouis

            His beanie isn’t making it any easier.

    • Saturday Evening Palsy

      You know what? Nobody wants to hear that.

    • Other Scott

      I’m curious to see how many pick-4 teams he’s beating. Would he be top 50?

  • Barbara Anderson

    Just out of curiosity, if one of your people gets brought along on the reward, do he or she get points?

    • purplerockpodcast

      No. If it’s a team reward, everyone gets points. If it’s an individual reward that others come along on, only the individual that won gets the points.

      • Barbara Anderson

        I just wanted to make sure. Not that I need any more points…wait, I do. #damnyouVarner

  • MrBurkesButtons

    I thought we’d previously established that you can’t vote for yourself at tribal? Sure, Stephen was just being smug, but that would have been a mind-blowing twist if Probst invalidated “Joe’s” vote.

  • Barbara Anderson

    Hey, I just remembered something that I wanted to say. When Stephen was trying to get them to hurt or kill Joe, did anybody else get shades of Courtney yelling “Break her shoulder” in HvV?

    • Purplerockmatt

      i couldn’t remember who yelled it but yep

      • Barbara Anderson

        I thought it was Stephen because it clearly showed him mouthing. I may need to rewatch that first hour and fifteen minutes.

  • corndogshuffle

    I said on a different website that I can’t call this the best season because I think best is just an alternate way of saying “favorite,” but man is this season firing on all cylinders or what? Every episode has been madness. I can’t think of a season that has been more fun or strategic or entertaining. This season has it all. I think by the time a winner is crowned this season will have earned it’s spot as a candidate for “all time best Survivor season.”

    • sharculese

      You can call it the AV Club. A lot of us still read the AV Club despite this place being better.

      • corndogshuffle

        Gotcha. I’ve run into problems on a few sites (I also frequent college sports forums like rivals) and they are super picky about that sort of thing.

        • andythesaint

          Yeah no worries here. We’re not in competition with anyone.

          • purplerockpodcast

            We’re in competition with some people, but it’s not AVC.

          • gouis

            Yeah fuck /r/Survivor and their bunch of cry baby, men’s rights, SJDS loving jerks.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I think our disagreement is more related to them being Nicaragua loving jerks.

          • Purplerockmatt

            we do hate bad taste more than anything else

          • sharculese

            Wait wait wait wait wait? /r/Survivor loves Nicaragua? Why?????

          • Purplerockmatt

            because they are terrible people

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Because being contrarian makes them feel special.

          • sharculese

            My mind is just reeling at the idea of redditors as silly, attention-starved children. Truly reeling.

          • Other Scott

            I’m quoting them here:
            It’s the funniest season and every character is well developed and has a story.

            Or something.

            There’s also a large group that really dislike Survivor Amazon, which…why?

        • Kemper Boyd

          Most of us (possibly all of us) got here from AV Club. I just don’t go there because by the time I watch the episode the next day (I’m in the UK ) the comments are up to 500 and I can’t read them through.

    • purplerockpodcast

      To your larger point, though, I think you’re correct that so far almost every episode of the season has been good. And there are certainly still elements in play that can make for an exciting finish. At this point, it’s a virtual certainty to be a top 10 season at least.

      I’ve seen some people argue that there are too many twists and gimmicks this season, which I think would be valid if this cast weren’t handling the twists so well.

      • the cage

        I think by the time the tribe split up into three tribes I had had enough with the gimmicks. If Takeo hadn’t been such a Matsing early in the season, I wonder if they mix things up that quickly. It was not fun seeing Varner voted out so early when he was so entertaining, and him getting voted out was pretty much a direct result of the three tribe shift. I just don’t like this season at all, the last two eps notwithstanding.

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        “[I]f this cast weren’t handling the twists so well.” This. This a million times. Since this is a season that’s entirely returnees, it’s the perfect time to try out a million and one twists that might be too much in a typical season. These castaways are able to handle twists, especially because these are the castaways that the fans themselves voted back into the show.

  • Roswulf

    A winner ranking. I could see an argument for reordering the top three, but to me those are the clear co-favorites-

    TIER 70% OF A WINNER’S EDIT
    1. Spencer
    2. Kelley
    3. Jeremy (Downgraded for dumb ass game play)
    4. Joe (By losing immunity, Joe also loses his special tier for perfect people. But he still is the favorite to win any given immunity going forward, and still has a story being told about his ridiculous physical prowess, and has been presented as reasonable likable)

    TIER RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO GET A CLEAR, POSITIVE STORY
    5. Tasha

    TIER OUT OF TIME TO GET A STORY OF ANY KIND
    6. Kimmi
    7. Keith

    TIER CAN’T WIN AT TRIBAL
    8. Abi

    • turgid_legume

      Jeremy certainly takes a bit of a hit after tonight, but given that he was in such a high position to start with that isn’t necessarily saying much. I don’t really see Joe as being in the same tier as Spencer, Kelley, and Jeremy. I’m reasonably confident that one of those three is winning this. I feel like with Stephen gone, Joe’s target comes back in a big way and they aren’t going to let him slide a second time. Tasha’s still a wildcard and I have her on my fantasy team so I certainly want to see her do well, but it hasn’t quite felt like the show has been telling her story since the demise of the Angkor days.

      I can’t wait for the fireworks of two more idol plays.

    • tocantins

      I feel that Joe gets a huge boost this episode. Surviving a tribal council was the one thing he lacked towards being a worthy winner (both in regards to FTC and in regards to the viewers/edit).

      • sharculese

        We don’t know how the cast thought about it, but the edit didn’t really present this as something Joe had any real part in, though. It seemed much more like a joint Kelley/Spencer production.

    • Purplerockmatt

      the top tier is basically the tier of people that the show has already justified winning. Like if they won tomorrow you would say, yeah that edit supports that. Tasha is the person where you are like I need to see more but I guess it could come. the rest are well the rest

      • sharculese

        If I understand it right, Roswulf’s rankings are explicitly an analysis of what the edit is telling us.

        • Purplerockmatt

          yeah i’m just explaining my agreement in more terms than the headline

    • itsafuckingSTICK

      The one thing I would say is that by losing this immunity, Joe could very well be ‘motivated’ to reinvigorate his gameplay and thus cinch the win.

  • turgid_legume

    Anybody wanna talk about the preview? It looks like it’s a dude and not Jeremy, so that only leaves Keith, Spencer, and Joe. I suppose that would explain why we haven’t really been seeing much of Keith this season.

    • Roswulf

      Keith and Joe seem to be the main possibilities if it is med-evac serious. There would be a certain horrible poetry to Joe leaving the game due to a freak challenge accident, after playing a game that revolved almost entirely around challenges.

      And Keith is expendable, as you note.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Could it be a James or Missy style injury? that could keep them in the game but cripple their chances (no pun intended).

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        If the person injured is Beautiful Mind/Beautiful Body, Light of our Life, Golden Boy, the Truth and the Glory, Joe then it could just be a really gnarly splinter that he recovers from just in time for them to ‘unpause’ the challenge and allow him to win.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Joe “Beautiful Mind/Beautiful Body, Light of our Life, Golden Boy, the Truth and the Glory, Survivor Cheat Code, He who shall not be beaten” Anglim may be able to bounce back. I mean it looked awful but at this point no one wants it to be a medivac injury.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            As much as I want Joe to be voted out immediately (because of my friends’ personal fantasy league), I also want him to WIN WIN WIN because he’s delivering such an amazing/thrilling story of unbeatable perfectness.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            It would suck SO HARD to be this far in the game, and to be dominating this thoroughly with the challenges, to be medevaced. On the one hand, I want Joe gone three weeks ago because a friend is destroying me in our personal fantasy league with Joe on her team. On the other hand, it would be so sad to see him go in such a sad fashion, and I have been thrilled with his immunity challenge run. Here’s to hoping that it’s an editorial fake out–an injury that sucks enough to tease but isn’t bad enough to actually lead to Joe (or whoever) being taken out of the game.

    • purplerockpodcast

      It seems highly unlikely that it’s Joe, since he’s gone on just about every single reward this season. That guy probably hasn’t lost more than 2-3 pounds, if he’s lost weight at all. I’m guessing it’s Keith, and I’m guessing he stays in the game.

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        Do you think it was a fainting issue? I figured someone got hit on the head by whatever it was they were balancing.

        • purplerockpodcast

          I’m thinking it’s someone falling and hitting their head or fainting, yes. But I also think it ends up not being nearly as dramatic as the preview indicates. I’m guessing someone just gets some fluids and walks it off.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            Oh, yeah. Now I’m remembering Woo’s fall from the tree in his season which was played up like it was a big thing but turned out to be nothing.

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        But if you look at the color of the corral surrounding the hurt finger (for lack of a better way of describing it), it seems to match the color of the stick/idol thing that Joe is holding.

        • purplerockpodcast

          Yes, but the clip they showed of that idol thing falling looked more like it was from the challenge walk-through/Dream Team thing than the actual challenge where the medical team is called in.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            I hear what you’re saying. But in terms of the ‘hurt finger’ and the glimpse where the actual castaways are competing, it looks like the color surrounding the ‘hurt finger’ and the color associated with Joe match.

    • itsafuckingSTICK

      Pausing the preview, it seems like the person whose finger is featured is in a (relatively dark) green corral. Earlier in the preview, it can be seen that each person has a stick/idol thing that matches the color of their corral. I can’t see what Keith’s color is, but Joe seems to have a stick/idol thing that most closely matches the color of the corral which is shown in conjunction with the finger. Just saying 🙁

  • Purple Rock Emma

    “(your yearly reminder that Amanda came in third in China because Courtney got more votes than her)”

    Bow down to Queen Courtney.

    Also omg not being surprised that Colton chose white is the best joke of the night.

  • Crappy

    I think some people including Matt have read Tasha’s comments in the council wrong. Here saying that alliances are back and then being on the wrong side was the show saying that voting blocs are still a thing. Unless people think that the other 5 will form a solid alliance now then voting blocs are still a thing. I won’t be surprised if a different combo of people come together next council to vote Joe out.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Yep, I think you are right.

    • tocantins

      Exactly. I saw this second vote not as a return of the alliances, but instead as the ultimate victory of the voting bloc strategy over the old alliances. Not only the alliance lost, but they were gunned for exactly for being too close to each other. Just like power couples are too dangerous in an alliance game, an alliance is too dangerous in a voting bloc kind of game.

      • Other Scott

        Yeah, people are saying that voting blocs aren’t a new thing, but it’s never been this degree. There’s barely even sub-alliances at this point. The game has never had this much disarray to it.

        • Crappy

          Yeap. Last 3 episodes have been crazy. Ciera working with Stephen then targeting him, Stephen also targeting her. Spencer breaking away from JSS to vote for Fish along with Tasha. Tasha coming back to Jeremy’s crew but Spencer staying with others. I think other than some combos of players always voting together in these 3 episodes such as – Stephen/Jeremy, Abi/Kelley/Ciera everyone has fluctuated way too much.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Remind what did I say about Tasha’s comment? I thought I just repeated it in the moment and before I saw the result. I think I agree with you that the blocs will continue, the nice thing about all-stars is that they are savvy enough to know when they are on the bottom usually and react to that knowledge which makes blocs a more viable strategy

      • Crappy

        I mean this part – “voting blocs (looks like alliances are back in season).” It seemed to be based on Tasha’s comments in the council about alliances

        • Purplerockmatt

          ah yeah forgot I had written that, i agree now that I have processed it a bit more that what was said was different from what we got, so that was a hasty comment. I do write that thing minutes after the episode ends and my mind can change

  • Kemper Boyd

    Guys I found Stephen using his advantage to no effect to be incredibly satisfying. Does this kill off the double vote for good? It’s never worked.

    • Scarlett3639

      Third time’s the charm?

      • Kemper Boyd

        I mean I assume it’s used in 32 as it was filmed prior to 31 but 33, I doubt it.

    • Sylvisual

      That’s kind of the beauty of it, though. It’s not super-powered.

    • purplerockpodcast

      If it weren’t so public of an advantage, it would probably be more successful. Both times we’ve seen it, everyone else knew about its existence.

    • tocantins

      I don’t see why they have to can the advantage just because it hasn’t worked so far. I think the problem is that Stephen tried to hang on to it too long. As soon as he saw that it put the target on his back (and he should have seen that immediately), he should just use it to get rid of it. Just use it immediately for one big move and move on.

      • Kemper Boyd

        because Survivor dumps stuff that doesn’t give results. I think the issue was actually that this advantage is more valuable the further you head into the game; for it to be given so earlier means it needs holding onto for much longer than is safe.

    • Roswulf

      I don’t think Survivor looks at last night’s tribal council and sees something that didn’t work. The stolen vote proved itself as a catalyst for great television.

      I agree with John that a secret vote steal is probably the next step, but what happened this season is something to replicate, not avoid.

  • tocantins

    So I guess now I know how it feels like to say someone is winning just to have him being voted out on the exact same episode. (Although, on my defense, this one was a double!)

  • Other Scott

    I’m debating not saying anything, but screw it.

    This isn’t my season. To me this is like the Survivor version of a B-movie, where there’s explosion after explosion after explosion without much in the way of a cohesive, coherent story and where a lot of things just don’t make sense.

    Like do people not realize Joe only has to win 5 consecutive immunities, and they’re about to get into Mike Holloway run around and solve a puzzle territory, as there’s fewer people and therefore less space required?

    Stephen, love the guy, but that was some terrible Survivor play all around. He did everything wrong the last 3 episodes.

    The person who’s benefited most from everyone just deciding that alliances aren’t really a thing? The guy who hasn’t had an alliance since the first episode, Spencer, who moves into pole position for most likely to win.

    • tocantins

      I don’t know, I get where you are coming from because I felt exactly that way about SJdS. There were tons of big moves, but they never made sense for me, so they seemed only sparks for sparks sake. Here I don’t feel that way, though, and unless it really goes downhill from here on (which I doubt it), it will most likely get a spot on my Top 5.

      So what is the difference? (Pauses writing for 5 minutes to think.) I do think that here the strategies make more sense than back then (“Let’s eliminate all big threats!,” says the almost-pro football player). In this case, in particular, it is clear that Stephen’s alliance has 4 people + advantage, and if they vote out Joe, there is no way they can get back the control of the game. So it does make sense, even if it is a very dangerous strategy.

      Now, more than that, the reason I like this season so much are the characters. As Survivor fans, most of what we talk about is strategy, but what really makes or breaks a season are good characters. And this season there are tons and tons of them, so every move feels like a big move to the audience, because we are invested on the players.

      • Other Scott

        See, I like SJDS a lot better because Jon voted out Jeremy basically as a power trip and established a clear alliance of himself, Jaclyn, Missy, Baylor and Natalie with him as the head of it, which is what he wanted. And then the story of the season becomes about that alliance, first both Reed’s failed attempts to dismantle it from the inside, and then finally Natalie’s successful attempt to undermine it from within and establish herself as the true boss of the season.

        This season can still steer out of this, but what’s the story? What’s the centre of this season? It’s a complex strategy game that doesn’t have time to deal with all the nuances of that strategy and no story to tell to connect it all together. If it’s working for people and this is what people want Survivor to be, that’s great. I never begrudge anyone for enjoying the show. It’s just not the Survivor I like.

        (And Stephen and Jeremy destabilizing their alliance and the game as a whole by voting out Wiglesworth because she’s a jury threat and because Stephen wanted to have a big move on his resume is equally as dumb as anything done on SJDS. At least Jon Misch correctly thought even by taking out Jeremy he would still be part of a majority alliance, and he did so from the bottom instead of the top.)

    • the cage

      I’m glad I’m not the only one not digging this season. I agree with the points you’ve made here.

  • gouis

    Ponderosa analysis:

    Stephen makes friends with everyone except Savage, who refuses to say more than 2 words to him (on camera). Also: baking from scratch sounds impossible.

    • Ethan Kyle

      That’s just what we baking professionals want you to think

  • Crappy

    Speaking of Ponderosa videos, Savage has been such a kill joy there. His sense of entitlement and arrogance is just too much to take at times.

    • Roswulf

      Savage? React to disappointment like a sullen child?

      I’m shocked, SHOCKED.

    • Eliceo

      I want to pie savage in the face so bad! He’s so gross! Ruining ponderosa even! Ugh!!

    • Kemper Boyd

      What an A-hole! He is a genuinely petulant man. Watching Kass look amused as they are shitty to Ciera when she turns up is amazing. Plus Ciera just fighting through it because they aren’t going to make her feel bad.

  • Saturday Evening Palsy

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Why didn’t they vote out Joe when they had the chance? WHY?

    • itsafuckingSTICK

      I’m absolutely shocked by this, but I’m now even more convinced that Beautiful Mind/Beautiful Body, Light of our Life, Golden Boy, the Truth and the Glory, Joe will win this season.

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        He is pure evil and should not win. Look at those winks, those nods, those smiles–those are from an evil man. Why didn’t he fall in the water on last weeks challenge? ‘Cause witches float and that would give away his secret. Joe is not good, people, he is the devil incarnate trying to steal all of our souls with his man-bun ways!

        • purplerockpodcast

          The evidence is all there! Stay woke, people!

  • turgid_legume

    Hey, remember when they were hyping this season and they said one of the changes was going to be idols with unconventional appearances? And how we all realized that Joe would be on the season, and how his fake idol his first season was fairly convincing, and that he’d have a big target on him the second time, and so there ought to be lots of opportunities for him to bluff with fake idols this time?

    Yeah, what happened to that? Kelley’s second idol wasn’t shown but its package/form factor looked like all the others.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      I just… I just want a fucking stick. Is that so much to ask?

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        Sorry, I’m too busy eating cold turkey and pecan pie.

  • itsafuckingSTICK

    I just have to say that I am so sick of the phrase ‘voting bloc’. Even if the future of Survivor is voting blocs (which I don’t foresee it being), I wish we had a catchier/simpler phrase to refer to them with.

    • purplerockpodcast

      Coalitions of the willing?

      • MrBurkesButtons

        Spontaneous alignments of motive (SAMs)?

        • itsafuckingSTICK

          I definitely feel like ‘spontaneous alignments of motive’ is how it’ll be described in 2057 when we’re watching Survivor: Brain vs. Borg. And I, personally, welcome our future reality overlords.

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        Buddies?

  • Eliceo

    Savage at ponderosa : he must know how ugly and unlikeable he is coming across as!! he’s a thinner version of Dan foley

  • itsafuckingSTICK

    I have to say that even though I think I tend to personally reward savvy gameplay and cunning strategy, I’m not sure if I would be able to resist handing Joe the million if I were on the jury. He’s just irresistible.

  • Shut Up!, Tim

    Sorry I missed this till now, but thanks for the inclusion of my tweet in this article!