Survivor Cambodia Midseason Awards and Polls

Though the days of rampant spoilers are behind us (Right?? Don’t answer that), we decided it would be fun to do another set of awards for the halfway point of the season of Survivor Cambodia.

As with our Quarter-Season Awards, the math here is based on number of players left in the game, not episodes in the season. We started at 20 players, we’re at 10. Midseason.

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Survivor Cambodia Midseason MVP

After the first nine episodes, who has been the stand out? Much like sports leagues, we left it up to each voter to decide their criteria for MVP: is it the person playing the best game? The one most influencing events? Most essential to their alliance? Creating the best TV? Dominating the edit? Some combination of factors? We picked our own criteria, and so can you.

Andy: No obvious choice like there was with Varner, as the story and game has been fairly evenly split among the upper handful of players. I’ll go with Jeremy, who both seems to be most in control with the most amount of options from a game standpoint and seems to be having the most fun out there. Two idols doesn’t hurt either.

John: Just as I did last time, I’m going to go with the person that has provided me the most entertainment. And that person is Stephen Fishbach. He’s inept at challenges, he’s awkwardly quoting poetry, and he’s itching to make moves that podcaster Stephen Fishbach would oppose. But I’ve loved it all, particularly the contrast between awkward and neurotic in-game Fishbach scenes juxtaposed with insightful and competent confessionals.

Emma: I thought I was going to be out on a limb with this one, but I too am picking Stephen as my MVP. His uneven edit has led to a lot of interesting discussion in the community, as well as making the game more unpredictable. His rivalries with Savage and Joe have led to some of the more predominant arcs of the season. And by siding with the witches last week, he’s helped prevent (or at least stave off) a Pagonging. Nothing’s more valuable than that!

Mark: While the pre-merge was dominated by Jeff and Abi, the merge has been telling the rise of Stephen and the witches. (There’s a sitcom idea if you need it, CBS.) With the playing of her idol waking the dominant alliance up and having held her girls together for one more vote, the One True Kelley, Wentworth, gets this award. Plus she has a decent-enough relationship with some players back in the big alliance to be able to sneak through as the last witch melted. Sure, Jeremy now has two idols, but he’s already getting another award later…

Matt: Okay okay, hear me out. Yes you all hated Andrew Savage, but you loved to hate him! He gave you such a focus for your rage, you forgot all about Abi! To some he was the alpha douchebro and that is a valuable function!  He drew the criticism and tried to clamp down on the game and his ouster set up an exciting second half. Besides, now that he is gone I am obligated to honor my irrational fandom by giving him one award. This is all he’s getting.

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
Jeremy  Stephen
Stephen Kelley  Andrew  Jeremy 

Mid-Season MVP

  • Kelley Wentworth (29% Votes)
  • Jeremy Collins (29% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (19% Votes)
  • Joe Anglim (6% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (5% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (4% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (4% Votes)
  • Andrew Savage (1% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (1% Votes)
  • Other (1% Votes)

Total Voters: 77

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Most Improved Player

Who has made the most significant improvement, either from their previous season or from the beginning of this one, or both?

Andy: At the quarter-season mark, I picked out ​Kelley Wentworth​ for revealing hidden star qualities that weren’t on display her original season. And that was just by finding an idol and giving fun confessionals. Now that she’s author of the best moment of the season, I see no reason to change my vote.

John: I can’t believe I’m saying this: it’s Ciera. She’s still in a difficult position, but experience is helping her. She’s still trying to forge working relationships even though her voting bloc is small, and it seems to be working. With the exception of tribal council, where she’s simply fighting for her survival in the game, all of her strategy conversations have been calm, rational arguments; her appeal at the reward feast about how she didn’t want these other people to repeat her mistakes from Blood vs. Water was an excellent example of a Survivor soft sell. You could argue that she’s only still in the game because Kelley’s idol play actually worked out, but all great Survivors need some degree of luck.

Emma: If there’s one lesson Jeremy needed to take away from San Juan Del Sur, it was “get before you get got.” Jeremy has always known that he is seen as a threat. While he might not be doing as good of a job of hiding that as he might have hoped, he’s being proactive about striking within his alliance, rather than waiting until the weaker members of the opposition are ferreted out. If there’s two lessons Jeremy needed to take away from San Juan Del Sur, it was to be better at finding idols. I’d say he’s been pretty solid at that.

Mark: So much for giving this to the Cagayan Four the last time we did this. We lost Kass and Woo back to back as Chaos reared its head, and Tasha has turned from Angkor anchor to the rigid naysayer of those early Cagayan days. I still think Spencer has a shot, though. He’s gone from perpetually on the bottom to the middle of a solid alliance. It may not be a position of power, but he’s sandwiched between a real threat (Jeremy) and another strategist in Stephen. He, not Woo, has weaseled his way into the majority after being one vote away from the boot several times. Add his angelic choirs both on and off the show, and you have the makings of a finale castaway. It remains to be seen if that helps him any more than the last time he played, though.

Matt: Okay think about it like this, Jeremy has been forging strong social bonds with everyone, Stephen has been executing strategy, Spencerbot has developed HUMAN emotion, Kimmi has been showing an evolved social game, Ciera has been making moves from the bottom, and Kelley made a boss idol play.  BUT Joe is most improved, because Joe came into this season needing to do one thing, win a fuckton of challenges, and the dude has yet to lose.  He hasn’t given them a chance to vote him out yet.  He has evolved into Challenge Beast Prime.  And it probably won’t take him all the way, but the fact we even have to consider it shows a leveling up in his challenge beast-itude.  Joe only has one skill, he just took it from great to Joey Amazing.

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
S31_kelley_t Kelley  Ciera Jeremy
 Spencer Joe
S31_kelley_t Kelley

Midseason Most Improved Player

  • Kelley Wentworth (44% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (20% Votes)
  • Jeremy Collins (17% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (9% Votes)
  • Joe Anglim (3% Votes)
  • Keith Nale (3% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (1% Votes)
  • Kimmi Kappenberg (1% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (1% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (0% Votes)
  • Other (0% Votes)

Total Voters: 70

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Most Disappointing Player

Andy: For years, it just felt wrong that the first runner-up in the history of the show, the woman who came within one vote of winning and changing the entire direction of the game, was being left to history while 5 of her castmates came back. Then ​Kelly Wiglesworth did come back and… yeah, that was a waste.

John: Keith. Maybe it’s not his fault, because unlike in San Juan del Sur there are actually other interesting players to focus on than Keith. But we haven’t gotten much of what Keith has to offer this season, with the exception of his extraordinary skills in challenges involving balls.

Emma: Okay, so the pre game press didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but with the aura of Borneo around her, it would have been nice to see a little more of Kelly Wiglesworth. To see her still focus on the survivalist aspect is a bummer, although it does make me continue to be grateful that Richard Hatch won all those years ago.

Mark: Everyone has come to play. I knew going in that a Kimmi or a Keith wouldn’t do much, so it’s hard to be disappointed by them. I’m disappointed we don’t get more Kass in the game, but jury foreman Kass is probably the best Kass. So of the remaining players…Joe? I wish he could show off his jewelry skills or what is clearly a decent sense for the game, but instead he’s been reduced to winning every challenge yet again. That won’t end well.

Matt: I said Kass before and I will keep it as Kass.  I am disappointed nice troll Kass didn’t stick around longer, but I am also disappointed that evil troll Kass didn’t create more havoc.  Having Kass go out when she did robbed us of the true Chaos Kass.  I miss that Kass.

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
S31_kelly_tKelly Keith  S31_kelly_tKelly
Joe Kass
S31_kelly_tKelly

Most Disappointing Player - Midseason

  • Kelly Wiglesworth (47% Votes)
  • Monica Padilla (10% Votes)
  • Joe Anglim (9% Votes)
  • Kimmi Kappenberg (7% Votes)
  • Kass McQuillen (7% Votes)
  • Andrew Savage (6% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (6% Votes)
  • Woo Hwang (3% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (1% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (1% Votes)
  • Keith Nale (1% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (1% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (0% Votes)
  • Other (0% Votes)

Total Voters: 70

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Best Goat

Who has positioned themselves so far to be the most useful goat?

Andy:  I’m won over by the point Will Holston made in the comments that Abi isn’t as good a goat as she may seem, at least not for anybody but Ciera or Kelley. She could have three jury votes from those two and Kass. Not enough to win, but enough to make it a much closer race between two other people. Instead, you want someone who can’t make a better argument than you. If you’re someone other than Ciera and Kelley, that person is ​Kimmi​. She’s doing fine in the game, but not appreciably well. If she were to make the jury, what could she say that others couldn’t say better.

John: We’re almost to the point where you can safely try to wrangle her to the end, so even though it may be slightly premature I’ll say Abi-Maria. She’s always been the best goat, it’s just been a matter of it not being worth expending capital to keep her volatile ass around. At this point, it may be worth it.

Emma: Yes, he could have probably won San Juan Del Sur, but this is not the group who is going to vote for Keith Nale at the end. Did you see everyone’s reaction to Kelley Wentworth’s idol play? They were so on board, even when it removed their ally. Even Savage said it was a great play. There’s always a chance that some bitterness encroaches on the Final Tribal council, but this is a group of people who reward game play. (Except Wigles, probably.)

Mark: Well, the easiest answer just got voted off. In a season of all-stars, at this point, no one hasn’t controlled at least one vote to claim that on their FTC resume. Kimmi? Booted Monica. Abi? Got her way through the entire pre-merge. Tasha? Dominated Angkor. That leaves Keith, whose biggest contribution to the season has been as a Cambodian Uber driver. (He hasn’t even spit much!) He’s likely to get smoked in front of a jury next to any combination of those remaining.

Matt: I don’t think there are a lot of goats remaining.  I think basically everyone left can win in some configuration of final three and jury.  But Abi cannot.  Now the problem with Abi as goat is that she has a tendency to be unpredictable.  But unpredictable Abi hasn’t reared her head in a while.  So for certain people Abi seems to be the perfect goat.  For others she is still dangerous.

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
Kimmi Abi-Maria   Keith  Keith Abi-Maria
Abi-Maria 

Best Goat - Midseason?

  • Keith Nale (38% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (28% Votes)
  • Kimmi Kappenberg (28% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (3% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (1% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (1% Votes)
  • Joe Anglim (0% Votes)
  • Jeremy Collins (0% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (0% Votes)
  • Kelley Wentworth (0% Votes)

Total Voters: 68

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Updated Winner Pick

Our second-round winner picks have fared much better — none of our new picks have gone home since the quarter-season awards. However, everyone is free to change up their picks regardless.

Note: Winner’s pick will serve as tiebreakers in the prediction standings. The person who predicts the winner earliest without changing wins the tiebreaker.

Andy: It’s tempting to stick with my quarter-season pick in Kelley, especially since I think she could still win. Changing my pick cancels out the tiebreaker potential for later. But if I’m being completely honest of who I think at this exact point in time is the most likely winner, then the answer is Jeremy.  I think 7 out of 10 still have legitimate chances at it, but he’s at the top of the list.

John: That glowing neon “winner’s edit” sign on Jeremy is scaring me off. He’s smart, he’s likable, and he’s going to be extremely hard to blindside (particularly if Stephen turns against him and tries to use the vampire vote, which would signal to Jeremy that he needs to use his idol). But since he and all of the players I’m rooting for are now in a loose 6-person alliance, I don’t want to jinx my favorites. So instead, I’ll stick with the one person outside of that group: Tasha.

Emma: Truthfully, I think Jeremy has the current best shot of being our winner. However, picking him won’t do me any good as a tiebreaker in the prediction rankings. Therefore I will stick with Wentworth for strategic purposes. (I also think she has a solid chance.)

Mark: Jeremy until proven otherwise by Charlie Brown or that annoying kid from your AP Lit class.

Matt: Again this is staying the same.  Jeremy is getting a strong edit, and while he has been absent a few times, when he is present he is described so glowingly that people are starting to wonder if it is too obvious.  If something seems too obvious that is a good sign we have a favorite on our hands.

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
 Jeremy Tasha
S31_kelley_t Kelley Jeremy
Jeremy  Jeremy

Who will win Survivor Cambodia - Midseason Pick

  • Jeremy Collins (48% Votes)
  • Kelley Wentworth (25% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (13% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (9% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (2% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (2% Votes)
  • Joe Anglim (2% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (0% Votes)
  • Keith Nale (0% Votes)
  • Kimmi Kappenberg (0% Votes)

Total Voters: 64

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Zero Percent Club

Who do we think has zero percent chance of winning based on the first five episodes? Note: Once you’ve declared someone at zero percent, there’s no going back.

Andy: Keith and Kimmi have been far too absent for far too long in the edit to have a realistic chance at being the season’s winner. There’s still time to build up to a winner this season. But not from scratch.
(Previously inducted Abi-Maria and Kelly in the quarter-season awards.)

John: It looks like I didn’t have Keith here last time, so I may as well fix that. Kimmi is knocking of the door of the Zero Percent Club, she just hasn’t been let in yet. And there’s no way Joe can win, but the edit hasn’t told us that yet.
(Previously inducted Abi-Maria, Woo, and Kelly in the quarter-season awards.)

Emma: See my write-up for Best Goat. Keith can’t win. I understand those who add Kimmi, but I think this next episode is key for her. If there’s still nothing there, then consider her added.
(Previously inducted Abi-Maria and Kelly in the quarter-season awards.)

Mark: I went all-out last time we did this, and I’m sticking to it. (Yes, even Stephen. Come at me, RHAP.) I’d add Kimmi, but see “Best Goat”.
(Previously inducted Abi-Maria, Kelly, Savage, Woo, Terry, Joe, Keith, and Stephen in the quarter-season awards.)

Matt: If Keith was the winner, I imagine that we would be getting more Keith.  Keith is way too entertaining to not be featured more if he was winning.  I’m torn on Kimmi.  Super close to putting her in, but any hesitation and I’m holding back.  So I’m still holding back.
(Previously inducted Abi-Maria and Kelly in the quarter-season awards.)

Andy John Emma Mark Matt
Abi-Maria,
Kelly, Keith, Kimmi
Abi-Maria,
Kelly,
Woo, Keith
Abi-Maria,
Kelly, Keith
Abi-Maria,
Andrew,
Joe,
Keith,
Kelly,
Stephen,
Terry,
Woo
Abi-Maria,
Kelly, Keith 

Boot Predictions

Andy: I think the newly formed six sticks together for the next vote and targets Tasha as the most dangerous person among the other four (with Joe being immune). Then, they get Joe with the next vote. Then they probably turn on each other.

John: Tasha and Keith. I don’t think Joe is losing a challenge yet. Next week, though…

Emma: Given the double episode, I’m working on the assumption that the first boot is a little obvious. So I think it’s finally time for Joe to lose immunity and be swiftly voted out. Then JSS goes all in and gets rid of Tasha. Don’t be surprised if next week is a battle for Kimmi and Keith’s allegiance.

Mark: Joey Not-So-Amazing can’t win ’em all. He’s surely out in a double episode. As for the second boot, the witches should be broken up soon, but I can’t help but wonder if one of the second tier Bayon’s falls. Let’s say Kimmi.

Matt: Joe because it has to happen sometime. Once Joe is out, Stephen and co. will flip back to remove someone who’s a threat. I think that threat will be Ciera. 

Andy John Emma Mark Matt Readers
First
Out
S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  S31_kelly_tKelly S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria S31_spencer_tSpencer  S31_spencer_tSpencer Vytas
Second
Out
S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria   Terry Abi-Maria
Peih-Gee  1024px-Red_x.svg N/A
Third
Out
S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  Kimmi Joe
Jeremy  Monica S31_andrew_t Savage
Fourth
Out
Tasha S31_jeff_tVarner S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria  S31_abimaria_tAbi-Maria 
Fifth
Out
Kimmi Kimmi Monica Monica
S31_spencer_tSpencer  Monica
Eighth
Out
Tasha Savage
Savage
Kass
Savage
Savage
Ninth
Out
Fishbach
Fishbach
Ciera
Fishbach
Fishbach
Fishbach
Tenth
Out
S31_kelley_t Kelley
Fishbach
Fishbach
Ciera
Ciera
Fishbach
Next
Two
Outs
Joe
Tasha
Keith
Tasha
Joe
Tasha
Joe
Kimmi
Ciera
Joe
question-markquestion-mark
Score 0-red 0-red
Preseason
Winner
Pick
S31_monica_tMonica  S31_jeff_tVarner S31_kelley_t Kelley S31_monica_tMonica   S31_jeff_tVarner  S31_kelley_t Kelley
Quarter-
Season
Winner
Pick 
S31_kelley_t Kelley Tasha S31_kelley_t Kelley
Jeremy  Jeremy  S31_kelley_t Kelley
Mid-
Season
Winner
Pick 
Jeremy  Tasha S31_kelley_t Kelley
Jeremy  Jeremy  question-mark

Who will be the eleventh and twelfth out of Survivor Cambodia? (Pick Two)

  • Joe Anglim (38% Votes)
  • Ciera Eastin (25% Votes)
  • Tasha Fox (18% Votes)
  • Stephen Fishbach (9% Votes)
  • Kimmi Kappenberg (5% Votes)
  • Kelley Wentworth (3% Votes)
  • Keith Nale (2% Votes)
  • Abi-Maria Gomes (1% Votes)
  • Spencer Bledsoe (0% Votes)
  • Jeremy Collins (0% Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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Emma
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Emma

Emma is the token chick of the Purple Rock Podcast. She has watched the show continuously since the second episode and is pretty sure she's never seen the pilot.

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Micronesia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, China, Philippines

Favorite players: Courtney Yates, Parvati Shallow, John Cochran, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Kim Spradlin
Emma
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  • sharculese

    MVP: Stephen – Jeremy is getting a lot of great confessionals, and is certainly being shown as the shot caller, but at the same time, we’re not really seeing a lot of scenes where he’s driving things. He feels more like a mafia don- letting his underlings cut the deals and then come to him for approval. That’s probably not a bad thing for him, but it’s way less exciting than the rollercoaster ride that Stephen has given us. I don’t know how the show wants us to feel about Stephen’s constant search for a new angle, but it’s certainly fun to watch.

    Most improved: Abi Maria – This is partially down to just how low the bar was, but…the last time Abi was on the bottom she managed to be more insufferable than when she was on the top, to the point where nobody wanted to take the most obvious goat in the world to the end. This time, we’re not seeing that. Granted, this may be the same thing that’s happening with Keith, where there’s just too little going on to deal with ancillary characters, but nobody is saying ‘let’s just pause and vote off Abi because Abi is terrible.’ That’s a big leap forward.

    Most Disappointing: Savage – This was a tough one for me because everyone is either performing to or above expectations. I don’t feel like I can say Kass because I can’t shake the suspicion that there was just no room to move there. So I’m gonna go with Savage because, when I listened to the podcast you guys did with him, I genuinely liked the guy, not enough to vote for him but enough to wish him well. To the point that I was just shocked by how much I did not like the person who actually showed up on tv.

    Winner: Spencer – Honestly, I’m not gonna deny that’s a solid chance it’s Jeremy, but that just sounds boring to say, so I’m gonna stick to my wild theory that Jeremy takes Spencer to the end and regrets that decision.

  • Purple Rock Emma

    Gotta say, having the same boot picks as Andy makes me pretty nervous.

  • tocantins

    MVP I would go with Stephen, he is just great TV, horrible at challenges and anything athletic, but a strong and aggressive strategist. He is really the one moving the wheels at this point.

    Most improved, I would go with Ciera. She went from Monica level pre-merge to a real contender for MVP at this point. Her total absence pre-merge keeps her from being a potential winner, but she is finally giving us what we voted her for.

    Most disappointing is Savage. I didn’t get into the Savage-hate train, but still he was nowhere as likable this time as the last, which is sad, considering how much I used to like him. And I still do, but in a more shades of gray way (if that makes any sense).

    Winner, I would go with Stephen again. He, like Ciera, started to shine as a player after the merge, but as opposed to her, he actually was given screen time throughout. All seems to point to a confrontation between him and Jeremy, and if he can pass those very bad odds (e.g., too idols), then he is set for victory.

  • Other Scott

    So it’s one thing to say your winner pick is getting booted a couple weeks after picking them, but…

    Really, John?

    • andythesaint

      It’s a pretty ballsy move to pick them to win and go home in the same post. John is ground-breaking.

      (But also he’s trying to not jinx anyone he actually wants to win).

  • Mike Hirsch

    Fish for MVP, Wentworth for Most Improved (just by virtue of her even having a presence first of all, then having that presence be as entertaining as it has been), Wigles as Most Disappointing. I have to go with Jeremy as Winner (although I am rooting hard for Wentworth at this point).

    I’m going with Joe for the first boot, and then Kimmi due to her weird “anti-strategy” strategy.

  • Diego Armando

    I’m not convinced that the new alliance was a real bond. I kind of think they just wanted Wiggles and Joe gone and JSS will attempt to jump back to TKK when Joe is gone or immune.

    • andythesaint

      I don’t think it’s a real bond, but that they need to take at least one more down from the other group (which currently outnumbers both sides of the six) before they can split up.