Survivor Cambodia hype man preview: Keith Nale

In hip-hop music, a hype man supports the rappers with exclamations and interjections and attempts to increase the audience’s excitement. For Survivor: Cambodia, I’ll once again be serving as hype man for a few select players in order to help get you excited about both the player and the season. And since this is the season of second chances, I’m going to give a second chance to a player I didn’t enjoy last time: Spencer Bledsoe. Keith Nale.

Keith second chance thanks for the votes

Wait! Where are you going? Just hear me out! I promise it’ll be worth it.

With every other hype post I’ve written, there has always been the chance that what I write will be read by the player that I’m writing about. That works out well for hype posts, since I’m only writing about the players I’m excited to see and the posts are pretty complimentary. And who doesn’t enjoy reading compliments?

This one is different, though. Keith Nale reading his hype post is about as likely as Tyler getting invited to a child’s birthday party.
Tyler Fredrickson TFreddy pirate costume

Keith is technically on Twitter, but I’m pretty sure he just yells into his phone like a walkie-talkie and hopes that it posts. I’m only half-kidding. Marvel at his tweets, standing defiantly against capitalization, grammar, and coherence:

Keith tweet- its good here

Keith tweet- cracker barrel

Keith tweet- copy fish

Keith tweet- follow copy that

This last one is accidentally hilarious, which is a pretty good description of Keith in general:

Keith tweet- allowed to social media

In our preseason preview podcast, Andy called Kelly Wiglesworth’s interaction with the Survivor community a brilliant piece of performance art. Keith’s tweets are no different. I hope Keith can at least get enough money from Survivor to buy an iPhone, just so we start seeing tweets like “Roger that Siri what channel is the race on over”.

Let’s be clear: I don’t want Keith to win Survivor. I would not find it hilarious. (Exception: If Keith Nale, as r/Survivor has suggested, goes Keyser Soze and suddenly starts playing puppet master while giving confessionals saying “You got Naled!” That would be both hilarious and an even more amazing piece of performance art than his social media accounts.) We already had a season where the Keith won, and it was the worst season Survivor has ever had.


So why am I hyping Keith? Say a new ice cream place opens up in your neighborhood. You have a coupon for a freebie, so you stop in to “treat yo self”. The man behind the counter points to this sign and says, “Here’s what you can have. What do you want?”

Survivor Worlds Apart ice cream flavors

It’s free, so you take vanilla. But it’d be nice if there were other choices that weren’t completely objectionable, right? That ice cream shop is Worlds Apart. If the ice cream shop were San Juan del Sur, all the flavors would be mediocre and pretty dumb, just like this analogy.

The point is that the storytelling in Survivor needs options. Last season’s “Mike and the Goat Farm” post-merge sucked because there were so many goats and they were all miserable human beings, so all the scenes that weren’t about Mike’s inevitable win were about how objectionable everyone else was. If there had been a lovable goat like Keith to inject some levity into the story, it would’ve been more enjoyable to watch. The only time it’s a terrible idea to have Keith on a season is when he has a chance to win.

Fortunately, in his preseason interview with Josh Wigler, any fears about having to endure a Keith Nale winner’s edit disappeared with this one sentence:

Keith- Wes helped coach him

Coaching won’t matter anyway. Keith will be exactly what he was before. There is no subterfuge with Keith. He doesn’t intentionally fuck things up for other people. He’s not Chaos Kass. He’s Oops Keith. And people will drag him along because he’s not a winner. He’s a walking, talking, spitting Survivor participation trophy.

Keith Survivor participation trophy
Congratulations! You stuck to the plan!

There’s another gem in that interview Wigler did: Keith was surprised he got voted on to the Second Chance cast because, “I’m from a small pool — I’m not from Chicago or New York. I didn’t have a big pool to pull from. So I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

Does Keith think that people went to the polls and voted for their local candidates? Did he show up at his local elementary school to cast a vote for himself? I can’t rule this possibility out.

Keith Survivor Second Chance vote

In his preseason video with Dalton Ross, Keith is asked about what mistakes he made in San Juan del Sur. “I think the biggest mistake was not hooking up with somebody earlier,” he says, completely unaware of the existence of double entendres, “I think I need to hook up with somebody this time.” I’d suggest he aim for hooking up with the lovely Peih Gee, but he may have an uphill battle with that one given that in the “Who do you want to vote out first?” video, he says he wants her gone first. At least, I assume he means Peih Gee. What he actually says is “Phoebe.”

And the fun doesn’t stop there with the Keith preseason media. Gaze upon the gem that is the official “Meet Keith Nale” video from CBS:

Let’s take a tour through the highlights, shall we?

  • Keith says he was on “Blood vs. Water…Uh, Nicaragua.” Hey, close enough!
  • He can stay out here 79 days, he ain’t got nothin’ to do! Keith would have been a great member of the #Dirty30.
  • The reason he said “Stick to the plan!” in the middle of a tribal council: “I don’t know why I said it, it just come out, you know? You can’t plan for stuff like that!”

Indeed, Keith. You can’t plan words! And that has never been more apparent to me than the time I uttered the words, “I’m going to write a hype post about Keith Nale.” So go forth, Second Chancers, and use this frequently-spitting man as the pawn that he is. Confuse him with your strategies. Give him your fake idols for the lolz. Just let him hang around long enough to provide us some entertainment. Because every three days Keith stays in Cambodia gets us closer to making this a reality:

Keith Survivor know it not podcast


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John is the co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. He can get loud too, what the fuck!

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia
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47 thoughts on “Survivor Cambodia hype man preview: Keith Nale

  1. I love Keith and I think he will be a fun presence on this season. If he makes the merge, I think the season will rank as one of the funniest ever.

  2. I did love the idea that Keith seemed to think the vote was more about a community rallying support for its citizens, rather than Survivor nerds just voting for who they want to see again.

      1. Well, see, I voted for Woo because I was giving my tenth vote to eye candy rather than comic relief. So I can’t do that.

          1. I’m more encouraged that they had two other nominees from One World. That means we’re only a few more Second Chance seasons away from the glorious return of Kourtney Moon!

        1. Pearl Islands remains a very popular season, but I don’t know how many people remember him in the midst of other incredibly memorable players. I wouldn’t be surprised if Terry was the 11th place spot.

          1. Terry would definitely be my bet. I consider Pearl Islands to be the demarcation line for nostalgia. It’s the newest season that most long time fans are really nostalgic about.

          2. I would agree with that. I think casuals remember/like Terry just a bit more than Shane. After all, he is a heroic Navy pilot. I think Keith was a shoo-in since he was such a memorable and likable character from a recent season.

    1. I think it’s entirely possible that Woo and Keith were right in the middle of the pack of the ten winners.

  3. I can’t bring myself to get excited about him, but he might at least shake things up a little with his erratic play, and his one liners are pretty good.

      1. I’ve got my fingers crossed, because that would be hilarious. I was hesitant to pick him for my fantasy team for precisely that reason, though.

  4. Naw. I don’t need every player to be competitive, but I don’t find Keith funny. I think most people on reddit who love him have never met a redneck, and they are laughing at him like some kind of circus freak. I’ve recently lived in both Georgia and Texas, and even if they were in big cities I don’t need any more Keith types in my life.

    1. I think my problem with Keith is that he’s basically a walking stereotype, and people are laughing at the stereotype. That’s not really cool with me.

        1. I’ve met plenty of Keiths. And yes, the laughter is occasionally at his expense. But so was my laughter at Coach in Tocantins. Mean spirited is subject to your interpretation, though. I don’t think laughing at Keith crosses a line, but everyone has their own line.

          I don’t think it’s all about the stereotype, though. Part of it is how Keith interferes with the games of the other players. Like Andy pointed out, he killed Reed’s game in SJDS. Kass also killed Spencer, Tasha, and Sarah’s game in Cagayan. Cochran killed Ozzy’s Alliance of Awful People (and Dawn). It’s not only funny when it happens, it makes gameplay more exciting.

          1. I actually thought you did a pretty good job here compared to how some others are hyping Keith. I know you’re from Florida so I give you a bit more leeway when it comes to discussion Keith than I do to 17 y.o. redditors from Glastonbury.

          2. Like I said, I’ve met plenty of Keiths. Some are even in my extended family. So part of my amusement is recognition of similarities with people I know.

          3. I agree with this statement. Although I am not from the South, I know my share of Keiths. I just like Keith’s way with words. Sometime he is unintentionally funny, but sometimes he just is. If the right person uses him, that person will end up closing to winning the game since Keith is inherently loyal to anyone who wants to hang out with him. But, I do see people’s problems with Keith.

          4. Yeah, the other thing is irrational game killer has never been a favourite archtype of mine. I don’t like Shambo as much as many do, for instance. And I love Kass, but that’s been more for her post-game trolling than anything she did during Cagayan, except winning the final 4 immunity which was freakin awesome.

          5. That’s fine, but without Shambo and Kass, both of those seasons probably turn out in a far more predictable fashion. Although maybe with Samoa that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

          6. I can’t stand irrational game killers either, but at least with Keith we had Natalie to give us a master class in how to use one.

          7. Reed killed Reed’s game in San Juan del Sur. Remember when he told Jon and Jaclyn to stop fighting to strategize because he was so important? He didn’t get it. So, yeah, Keith saying “Stick to the Plan” changed nothing. But watching people who *think* they are better players get outlasted by people like Keith who don’t sound smart, that is hilarious. The thing is, Keith almost won Survivor, whereas Reed and Jeremy and the “strategists” all got voted out. Keith’s a better player than them.

          8. What is funny about the Reed situation is the fact that he basically told Alec to ignore anything that he said at that Tribal, but he didn’t say anything to the loose cannon Keith. Reed was on the same tribe with Keith during the trainwreck tribal where Jeremy basically outed that they could have had a suballiance because Keith said that he had no one. Reed should have known better. Honestly, if Jon would have been voted out at the Tribal, Reed wouldn’t have won because it seemed very few people actually liked him.

      1. Noooo, that’s not it. He’s funny, but he’s also very lovable. We laugh at him, and we like him.

  5. Time to admit something, I bought a RHAP “Stick to the Plan” tshirt. Because I wanted a Survivor based shirt and Stick to the Plan was objectively a fucking entertaining moment.

  6. We already had a season where the Keith won, and it was the worst season Survivor has ever had.

    This would hold true even if you were talking about the actual worst season, which is Gabon.

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