Survivor Fan Friction – Jenn Brown

This is the part where I introduce Fan Friction, our series of essays where one of our columnists writes an ode to one of their favorite Survivor players while defending them against any potential naysayers (both real and imagined). I generally try to make small changes to the intro so that every post on our site doesn’t look exactly the same to internet spiders, even though I know barely any of you read this part. Except for that time I introduced at least one of you to a very popular internet spelling of the word “more”. Anyway, here’s Alkanarra to pay homage to Jenn motherfucking Brown.

Why She’s Fucking Great

If you told me a year ago that I’d write two articles for The Purple Rock Podcast and that they would both be about a garbage-quality season like Worlds Apart, my response would probably have been: “So what? Who gives a shit?” And it’s in that same spirit of aggressive ambivalence that I come to sing the praises of Jenn “Expletive Deleted” Brown.

What can I say about Jenn that hasn’t already been said? Maybe I talk about her epic idol play or how her vegetarianism lead to finding that idol? Maybe I talk about how Worlds Aparts’ bizarre pre-merge had people assuming she and the other No Collars would be the obvious stars of the season? Maybe I bafflingly compare her to Michael Jordan because this was a time before the PRP learned how to outsource their offseason articles to the comment section? (Editor’s note: a much darker time).

Honestly, I don’t really feel like I need to sell Jenn all that much: most people’s opinions boil down to one obvious issue, which will be addressed below. There is, however, one aspect where she if often overlooked. People can’t really argue about Worlds Apart hitting the gutter with the downfall of the No Collars. They offered a lot to their season: they were high energy, generally pleasant, and really fucking good looking. But the thing that made Jenn stand out from her trio – and the only thing missing from the Worlds Apart post-merge – was that she was a highly underrated narrator.

A non-Jenn alternative

Ask yourself who else that season had to lean on? Mike was amusing, but also playing an entirely different game, Rodney could be OK but was often too caught up in personal grievances, and everyone else was either powerfully boring or actively awful. Even Joey Amazing was vanilla as fuck. That season needed a Courtney Yates sniping at the players from the sidelines, and Jenn offered it in spades. And while she may be remembered for her humor, let’s not forget that she was both aware of what was happening around her and able to articulate the show’s narrative, whereas everyone else could only parrot “we need to vote out Mike” endlessly because, well… let’s hold off on that for a second. Instead I want to talk about why Jenn is a bitch.

Haters Gonna Fucking Hate

She’s a Bitch

I’ve heard this one enough times that it needs to be addressed. The notion is that, should she return, Jenn Brown would be nothing more than a mean-spirited Corrine or Colton, polluting Survivor with her nasty attitude. Dubious Rob touched on this same theme of “assertive woman = bitch” in his Sophie Clarke article, so yeah… ditto.

But there’s more to it than just blanket sexism. Because while Jenn does have some fairly cutting insults for her tribe mates, let’s remember that they are 100% confined to confessional (Editor’s note: as long as we don’t count that time she told a dude she fucking hated him. Which I’m okay with). In a season where people are outright vile to each other and insensitive to the feelings of adopted people v. non-adopteds, Jenn consoled Nina “Crying on Day 4” Poersch, gave Dan vital “don’t pee on it” instructions, and even formed a deep but brief bond with The Seeker of Truth.

And while we’re on the subject of Jenn being a big meanie, let’s not forget that HER SEASON FUCKING SUCKED. Those people were goddamn awful and deserved to be shit on. She was totally justified in hating them and no argument otherwise can be brooked. Are we really going to call out Jenn because she said some mean things about Carolyn Fucking WhateveryourlastnameisIdon’tcareneoughtolookitup? Give me a break.

She’s a Quitter

Yep. She is. We can argue the definition until we’re blue but it won’t change the fact that she actively wanted to go home. Rather than leave it at that, let’s take a moment to address what is Jenn’s biggest criticism.

When playing backseat Survivor we often like to participate in the “what if?” game, coming up with all the right decisions to win for someone else. The truth, of course, is that it just doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you’re Kelley Wentworth and you got swapped onto a tribe where your dad burned all your bridges. Sometimes you’re Courtney Yates and all you can do is wait to see which one of Rice or Beans the Villains decides to send home. Sometimes you’re Michelle Yi and my God Fiji was an awful season.

So the question is… what could Jenn have done? Yes, part of her reaction was due to her obvious connection to Hali, part of it was not being in control of the game anymore, but the biggest factor, and the one that should end this argument for good, is to simply look at the people she was playing against.

(Editor’s note: Yep. Pretty sure this isn’t a confessional).

As amusing as it is to point out how much the Worlds Apart cast sucks – being arguably the most toxic and/or boring group of players since Thailand – that’s not even what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how they played the game. This was a group of players who were all implementing the same strategy: select a target and stick to them until that person is gone. This was the same group who focused on one man – a man with no allies, who had made countless blunders, and had virtually no game savvy – and they never entertained another strategy, never realistically considered using his vote, and had no defined plan for what to do once he was gone. They stuck to this mindset every week until he beat them. They were so insistent on their strategy that they ultimately coronated him by making him the underdog.

Just as many wins as Kim Spradlin

Could Jenn have made some moves to stay in the game longer? Probably. But as much as Hali and Joe and Shirin wanted to stay in the game because they love it so much and rah rah don’t give up until whatever, ultimately Jenn demonstrated once again that she had the best intuition out of everyone that season. She knew her only chance was an immunity run and that was coincidentally the only part of the post-merge where she tried to compete. She knew the players she was up against. She knew it wasn’t worth bothering.

Ultimately, though… so what if she quit? Big fucking deal. This is the same show that had an entire season predicated on the idea of second chances. Even if Jenn came back and did the same thing – was an amusing, savvy player until things didn’t go her way and she bailed – she’d still be entertaining as hell. Don’t ask yourself “who will try the hardest”, ask yourself who will give me the best season. You know the truth. You know what you want. You want more of Jenn Brown.

Embrace Fucking Debate

Or not. Maybe you hate Jenn and that’s that. I don’t give a shit. Jenn doesn’t give a shit. Do whatever you want.

But before you do, consider my final argument. We’ve had some questionable articles during this Fan Friction series. While I don’t want to call any particular Taakos out, let’s just say that I’m not here to compare Survivor to Harry Potter or Pokémon or Sailor Moon or some other gimmick.

No, instead I’m here to compare Survivor to Game of Thrones; or, more specifically, Jenn Brown to her true spiritual counterpart: Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.

I’m seeing double: four Krustys!

Don’t believe me? Then maybe a series of extremely low quality and out-of-context gifs will convince you.

Enjoys a Beverage or Two

Enjoys Curse Words

And One Curse Word in Particular

Able to Withstand Considerable Pain

Skilled at Vanquishing Their Foes

Has a Secret Heart of Gold

Bad at Directions

Accompanied By A Beloved Companion

Supportive and Nurturing

Dismissive of Their Peers

Fueled by Hatred

And Yeah, Maybe Quit a Little Bit Back There

So there you have it. Definitive proof not only that Jenn Brown is the best, but that I have way too much time on my hands. Any other thoughts on the subject?

Alkanarra

Alkanarra

A casual fan from Pearl Islands to Guatemala, Alkanarra's inappropriate crush on Boston Rob brought him back just in time for Redemption Island. Since then he's been mainlining this addiction so much that he probably needs help, you guys.


Favorite Seasons: China, Philippines, Palau, Pearl Islands

Favorite Players: Penner, Jenn Brown, Boston Rob, Courtney, Sandra
Alkanarra

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210 thoughts on “Survivor Fan Friction – Jenn Brown

  1. I’ll be honest, the real reason I wrote this article is to piss off a bunch of people who went looking for The Hound gifs and found this nonsense instead.

    1. “… and to confuse those that don’t watch Game of Thrones and won’t understand what I’m talking about.”

  2. Two things:

    (1) Will was a No Collar and was neither high energy nor generally pleasant nor really fucking good looking.

    (2) You tryna start some shit, Alk?

      1. And I could be referring to any Alk. If I wanted to tag you, I would have. And then I’d tell you that “Jenn Brown is the Hound” sure as shit ain’t gonna pull the traffic that the Wentworth from Hogwarts post did. But I didn’t do either.

        1. If only we combined our powers. We could create the greatest shitpost this site has ever seen!

          Aside, of course, from the one I linked above where they compared Worlds Apart to the Chicago Bulls. Can’t really top that.

          1. Oh, there’s absolutely no way to top the Bulls shitpost. Really amazing too what Andy and John were putting out there as a new and aspiring Survivor site.

            But also: HvV as GoT characters.

            Sandra as Queen of Thorns (obs pick here)
            Courtney as Margaery (sidekick to Lady Olenna and gone too soon)

            Russell as Cersei
            Parvati as Jaime
            (Genderswapping here because Parvati is the villain you root for and is tied to the insufferable, petulant child who thinks they’re more clever than anyone else in the game but like, maybe isn’t? That’s Russell btw. Though I’d also accept Russell as the Night King for being super evil and ugly as fuck)

            Rupert as Tormund (another obvious pick)

            Colby as Jorah (washed up and a little pitiful, but still has his moments of glory. Don’t know what this makes Jerri)

          2. Wentworth is Arya. Put in a tough situation by her father then turned into a scrappy but unexpected underdog, badass, and fan favorite. This in turn makes Ciera a dead ringer for Sansa: betrayed her family to play the game, takes bizarre risks, the community questions her every decision, and is a “sneaky” character who is actually super obvious.

            This could go for a while.

          3. Okay, Emma linked to an PRP post where Rupert is King Robert, which works very well except for the part where Robert’s Rebellion was actually successful.

          4. Cersei is way more subtle than Russell.
            Russell is Ramsey Bolton because he was Savage as Fuck out there. Maybe Joffrey is acceptable too.

          5. Parvati is a better Margaery surrogate, especially given the Russell as Cersei arguement. I maintain Sandra as Varys.

          6. But Margaery and Cersei were always at odds; Russell and Parvati worked together because they had no one else (like Cersei and Jaime).

            I think there’s a little overlap for Sandra and Varys, but not enough to call them proxies. Varys doesn’t have Sandra’s cutting wit nor her ambition. He purposefully serves the Realm before himself.

          7. Jerri might be a bit of a Sansa. Started off pretty bitchy and too into boys/power and grew over time into someone with power of her own?

        2. Ironically, Alkannara’s avatar makes him look like the ‘welp, this is adulthood’ Harry of ’19 Years Later.’

    1. According to exit interviews of other No Collar people, Will said his goal was to make sure no one under 30 won the game.

  3. I love me some Jenn Brown but still scratch my head at the near universal disdain for Carolyn around these parts. It almost seemed like a weird trend when I first started watching to hate on the older woman – Kass, Missy, Carolyn, Debbie – who never deserved as much hate as they got. What did she do that was so bad?

    1. I’m with you on Missy and Carolyn. I never really understood what they did wrong. The thing is, the people on the island with them seemed to hate them. In particular, it seems they hated Carolyn for things that never really appeared on screen, which makes we wonder what was up there. Kass, I never forgave for betraying Spencer, but I don’t get the actual hate there either. Debbie, the Water Felon, I get.

      1. I don’t hate her, she was just boring. In fact, really only Dan and Wil on that cast were actively awful (with Rodney up for debate). Tyler, Sierra, and Carolyn were just empty space, which is almost just as bad for a TV show.

        1. I guess I just never found Carolyn very boring and generally pretty engaging. She especially shines towards the end when she’s getting a bit giddy about teaming up with Mike.

        2. Like Max Jets, I didn’t find Carolyn boring, just undereditted. Late game Carolyn was actually quite fun. I ended up rooting for her, in stubborn defiance of the glaring winner’s edit. (though I get the early wet blanket stuff)

      2. On show it seemed like there wasn’t much of a difference between Debbie and Coach except that Debbie actually came to play right off the bat. I always forget about the water felon part though…that, I get.

        1. True about the Debbie/Coach comparison, but I also could never stand Coach. I guess that’s a personal preference on how out there you want your characters to be

        2. Coach definitely came to play, how dare you.

          “With friend and foe we march to the battle plain
          Some to seek success. Others to seek fame
          We play with honor. For the love of this game
          And with armor or without, we will toil in vain
          So that someday, someone, somewhere, will remember our name.”

    2. It was an attitude that developed early on in World Apart, where we had two white collars (Max and Shirin) who were having fun and reveling on being on Survivor and stick-in-the-muds (Carolyn and Tyler) who sat there and frowned at them for doing it.

      It became really easy to dislike what John dubbed the Wet Blanket Alliance.

      1. I love Shirin, but the Max and Shirin combo did seem kinda annoying. I thought them playing it straight also made for a better TV show.

      1. I mean, Mike didn’t really need a strategy though. Win all the immunities (which he could do) instead of get people to work with him (which he couldn’t).

          1. I hate that we all pretend that his screw up at the auction changed anything about his place in the game. Even though we already had confessionals from Rodney about wanting to vote Mike out.

            Mike going for the advantage didn’t make him a target. He went for the advantage BECAUSE he was a target.

          2. I don’t fault Mike for going for the advantage, but I think he fucked up by not going through with it. When he walked away from that table the damage was done. And I don’t think Mike even thought he was undoing it, I think he just realized that doing this was harder than he thought it would be because Mike’s gotta Mike.

            Obviously Rodney was going after him no matter what; Mike didn’t have to make it that much easier.

          3. Oh, I totally think he screwed the whole thing up. I just don’t think it ended up mattering, other than making plain what would have otherwise been hidden: these people were after him. Because they knew he was better than them.

      2. Yeah, her strategy of “do nothing until I’m the biggest threat left with no options” was pretty smart.

        1. Hey, she won a fire making challenge, successfully played an idol, won immunities and got to the end as the only other remotely strategic person in the final six other than maybe Sierra (who did something on that season, hell if I remember)!

          1. No, but it was more resume accumulations. She did manage to stick in the awful person’s alliance and worked her way around that better than Sierra did

          2. One could even argue that she did, in fact, lose to Mike. Or that she received the same amount of votes as Wil Sims. I’m fascinated by the pro-Carolyn love that’s appeared in this comment section ’cause man is it strange to me.

          3. Well yeah, that I can get behind.

            Fun typographical fact: I deliberately changed Mike’s gif font to be Comic Sans, which pretty much sums up my feelings on him.

          4. That season has the fan community just assigning strategic chops to Tyler and Carolyn because they fit the type better than the available options.

          5. Man, I had forgotten the whole phenomenon of people talking about how great Tyler was doing as the show continued to refuse to show him doing anything at all.

          6. I’m not saying she’s great. I’m just saying she was the best option to root for after Shirin was voted out. I’m closer to neutral on Carolyn. She wouldn’t make my top 8 most seasons. I just don’t get the hate either

        2. That undersells her a lot. She and Tyler were the swings at the merge and they decided to go with the considerably less likable less strategic less threatening side. Then, you don’t really expect her to make a move to the minority after that, do you?

          1. She…didn’t? Yeah she got the majority of votes on her at one point but I don’t know if that is outmaneuvered.

          2. The people in her alliance chose Rodney over her. We know this because they tried to vote her out twice.

    3. I completely agree. Yeah, she wasn’t the MOST entertaing person in the season, but she still was miles better than Sierra, Tyler, Dan, Will and a few others.

    4. I was turned off by Carolyn with her insistence that a woman needed to go in the first episode. That woman being So didn’t help things.

      Kass is a great character but can be a frustrating player, which could be what turns people off.

      Missy was meh to me. Don’t have the energy to hate her.

      Debbie is fucking awful.

      1. Kass is interesting to watch because she’s really good at constructing her optimal narrative for the season, but also way too susceptible to believing herself when she shouldn’t. She’s kind of like a Penner without the ability to create an ironic self-distance. It can be frustrating, but also fascinating.

        I’m not clamoring to see her a third time, but I also wouldn’t complain.

    5. Carolyn is just kind of…unpleasant. At the game she was fine, narration wise she’s fine, but she doesn’t really add anything to a season and when Shirin left they desperately needed people that added value.

      1. Carolyn did give us this: “You couldn’t let me win that for my kids you son of a bitch?”

        Also, we got the hilarity of her (and the rest of the tribe, excluding Mike) promising Rodney that they give him their reward if they won the reward challenge that took place on his birthday, and then when Carolyn won she took a looooong time to think about it and then decided nope, she wasn’t giving her reward to Rodney.

        Carolyn later said that she promised she would bring Rodney on a reward if she was the sole winner of the challenge and got to bring some people. But it was a “tribe-split-into-two-teams” challenge and she wasn’t about to let Rodney take her place.

  4. Does production like the snark? The salty language? I know we internet folk can’t get enough, but I get the feeling that Jenn wouldn’t be their first pick back even without the pseudo-quit at the end. It is a ‘family show’ after all.

    1. Probst was fascinated by her don’t give a fuck attitude and all things equal would probably be on board for bringing her back, but he’s basically said he can’t be confident she wouldn’t give up again so it’s probably not happening.

      1. Which admittedly makes sense. From production’s viewpoint, why bring back Jenn when you can bring back Courtney instead and get the same thing but more reliable? Speaking of which: bring back Courtney.

          1. Is that true? Sad if so. I’d love for an older and in theory more mature but still not actually mature Courtney to come back.

          2. I would love to see her go a bit of a Tyson tragectory, if she were ever to come back (and unfortunately, I also don’t think she wants to).

          3. Courtney can’t go the Tyson trajectory, she doesn’t have that switch in his brain. Tyson went on Survivor because it was a free exotic camping trip, and midway through Tocantins you can see his brain click to “I can with this thing, so I will win this thing.”

            Courtney can’t get into that mindset. I bet you she was sitting there on day 39 of China thinking, “I’m probably about to lose to one of these jerks. Whatever. Do you know how much Captain Morgan’s $50,000 buys?”

    2. I feel like we see enough snark and bleeped swearing to know production likes to season the show with both.

  5. Jenn was the best part of World’s Apart. Hands down. I was going for her from day 1 and her leaving was the last hope of the season being saved going (sorry Shirin, but you were not winning at that point). I hope she will come back, maybe with a few less awful people (there still needs to be someone for her to mock though)

  6. I do like Jenn, but i’ll admit to my biggest hangup being her quit, and really, i’m all over the place as to why.

    I understand why she quit, and if I’m looking at this from a friend point of view, i’m sympathetic to it. If a friend told me she quit a class because she couldn’t stand any of the students in it, i’d be sympathetic. No one should want to spend time with people they hate, and for someone who seemed very focus on enjoying Survivor for what it is, Jenn got the worst season to do that.

    However, as a viewer, watching Jenn quit was a bitter time. Part of that, admittedly, is that the show never edits quitters very kindly. But also, Jenn was one of the last people that was in any way enjoyable to watch on that season. So her bombing out created some resentment, because it doomed us to dealing with the rest of the cast. When you get down to the last person you want to watch on a season, and they have given up and been complaining about wanting to go home for a few episodes, it isn’t fun.

    I would argue that, had Jenn just not voiced her desire to leave, there would be no reason for this article. She could have left Worlds Apart the final likable person to get the boot, and thus the final victim. At least for PRP, but also elsewhere, assertive women are well revered, and if she had gone down fighting, it would have made her a tragic hero.

    Finally, there is a gameplay standpoint. I don’t think Jenn is bad at Survivor, but her quit demonstrates exactly why she isn’t great at it either. Sure, the cast she is with is terrible, but plenty of more dedicated players would have put up with them for the million. Jenn weighed ‘spending more time with these people’ and ‘winning a million dollars’ and decided the chance to win a million wasn’t worth it. She also lacked the creativity to entertain that had she stuck around or tried to shake things up, she might have found a way to win. She seemed to believe that her only way to the end was challenge-beasting while dealing with terrible people, and decided that wasn’t likely or worth it. We know that plenty of players would have looked at this from a positive outlook and I believe some of the best players could have worked their way out of a situation like this. Jenn, by her own admission, couldn’t.

    So not a terrible player, and I like Jenn, but her quit is a hangup that will always leave me a bit hesitant on seeing her play again. I don’t want to become invested in someone who, when the going gets tough, may just quit again…

    1. This is all very fair and why I don’t question her position as a quitter anymore. I will concede that “Jenn being defeated” isn’t nearly as entertaining as normal Jenn and not something I or others would want to see again, and yeah, I’d never claim she’s a particularly amazing strategist either. My argument is simply that the good was so good that it’s worth the risk, but that’s obviously a personal position and why it’s very unlikely she’s coming back.

      On the other hand, having someone who legitimately doesn’t give a shit about the million dollars is very, very rare, and could be super entertaining to see what they’d do if they’re not stuck with fucking Dan and Wil all season.

        1. Fortunately for everyone I couldn’t find a pic of Dan from the reunion where he was wearing a “MAIL ESCORT” t-shirt.

      1. I’ll agree that the idea of a player who’s confessionals are filled with variations of “I’ll do whatever it takes to win a million dollars” is refreshing, but I also don’t think it can get the edit I would want. The guy in Marquesas (Gabriel?) who said he didn’t want to play the game and was just trying to build a new society was made to look like a tool. And when you have now hundreds of people trying their hardest to get the million, coming in with a counter attitude will always appear either conceded or in poor taste. So, it’s a really hard place for her to try and inhabit.

        1. Gabriel: I’m not here for the money or to win the game. I want to try to build a new society.
          Boston Rob: (thinking) I must vote this guy out as soon as possible.

      2. To your broader point: I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say Jenn didn’t care about the money. There’s the great quote from the premier about how you never see a sad person on a jet ski. She was thinking about the money.

        Jenn’s bigger problem was that she held in disdain the parts of Survivor that generally matter for getting the money. In her exit press she said she basically only watched the show for the challenges and fast-fowarded/ignored the other stuff. Building coalitions, dealing with people you dislike, planning ahead – none of these were things Jenn found herself constitutionally capable of doing. So she wrapped it up in a veneer of studied disinterest because that’s what she does know how to do.

        1. Yeah, this again talks to the idea that, from a gameplay standpoint, she just didn’t have what it takes. She wasn’t prepared or interested in dealing with much of what is essential to Survivor, that being spending time with people you don’t like, who make you uncomfortable.

          Even though I haven’t seen South Pacific yet, Sophie seems the complete opposite to this. Didn’t like the people she was with, but willing to put up with them for the million, no matter what.

          1. Yup. There are great players, your Sophies, Todds, Natalie As, who are great at smiling around camp and then burning everything down in confessional. Jenn can’ manage that disconnect.

          2. Yeah Jenn is an entertaining and an engaging narrator and a fun presence when she’s around people she likes.

            It’s those times she’s not around people she likes that she becomes a major casting issue.

    2. I was trying to remember why Jenn left a bad taste in my mouth and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. It’s not just that she gave up, it’s that she was kind of a whiny brat about it. If she had even merely acted defeated and accepted her elimination without putting up much of a fight I would have probably forgiven it, but complaining and then basically asking to be voted out just makes her like Osten, and does he deserve to be honored with a Fan Friction post? No, no he does not.
      😛

      1. I maintain that Probst was way too harsh with Osten. I get the trying to make an example so others wouldn’t quit (didn’t work) but the go home comment and handling of the torch was uncomfortable for me. I much rather would’ve had Osten just get voted out, which was the plan going into tribal in the first place.

        1. This is a good point – Osten’s ‘quit’ wasn’t even close to the worst we’ve seen, but he just had the misfortune of being the first one and Jeff’s reaction and treatment of the situation were all wrong.

        2. And which is what has happened to people in that situation since — if you say “just vote me out” before tribal now, Jeff will let tribal play out as usual.

  7. I legit thought “Man, remember Jenn from Worlds Apart?” a couple of days ago #WitchPowers

    Anyway, I think Jenn’s presence is a bit diluted because of the season she is on and the seasons surrounding it. The season right before hers is a season that has been getting a bit of a critical resurgence and the season after hers is the long-awaited all returnee season. So, everything great she did was almost immediately forgotten about.

    1. I think that, even without the quitter’s thing, this makes Jenn’s returning odds pretty long at this point. We already have 4 WA returnees (albeit questionable ones) including 3/4 of her post-merge alliance. I think this season may be one the show wants to start to quickly shove down the memory hole and may not ever produce another returnee, other than maybe a third time Joe. There will also be at least 2 more newbie seasons to pick from next time around along with MvGX having a lot of untapped potential and SJDS, Philippines, and arguably Cagayan having better untapped potential

          1. Yeah, I think her chance has passed but you never really know. Lisa, Denise, and Trish, at the very least, are probably all ahead of her for the “older woman” spot on a returnee season

          2. I’m torn on Lisa coming back. On the one hand, I’d love to see more Lisa, on the other hand, I think she’s gone too early, not because of her past life, but because returnees will remember how she turned into a force to be reckoned with in the late game and will decide to get rid of her when it’s easy and obvious.

          3. Yeah, she would be an easy consensus early boot. But we thought the same about Sandra and Cirie in Game Changers so I’d be willing to run that risk

          4. I agree. I think we often forget that the “recency bias” can be very much a factor in returnee seasons, like people sometimes joke that Probst only remembers 3 last seasons. If we didn’t watch a certain person play in over a 3 years, we begin to forget the so-called “nuances” of someone’s game or personality, and begin to stick to them one or two ‘traits’ who are major oversimplification, ESPECIALLY if that person didn’t play a second time yet. For example, if Jay from some reasons haven’t played a second time until after 5 years from his original season has passed, people could very well think of him as just a Joe, who only cared about challenges, and that he was a nice guy.

            Plus, we can sometimes overestimate how many people who are returnees actually watch the show.

          5. Interesting that you have Trish on your returnees radar, I don’t know what she showed that could warrant a return aside from her placing.

          6. She seemed to have a decent social game and was kind of amusing. I’m not how high she is on productions list, but I think she’d be ahead of Carolyn

          7. Carolyn was on TV, in America’s face, against a pool that included Monica Padilla and Stephanie Valencia, and America still said ‘meh.’ I’m gonna bet casting took note of that.

          8. Casting had to make it up to them somehow after they were offered up as sacrifices to the dread god of multiculturalism.

          9. Carolyn was in the running this time and Probst publicly mentioned that they’d like her back one day.

          1. He was a random recruit who gave them everything they expected from him. Yes, they will bring Rodney back if they can.

          2. Yeah, I know that’s probably true, I just don’t want it to be. He’s probably a top contender for a FvF season.

          3. Plus in a possible HvV2 as a Villain. And to be fair, if we have to pick one person to be in that season to be part of the Villains, it’s at very least not Will or Dan.

          4. Its Jenn or Carolyn honestly (per the Survivor definition of female villain). If we get HvV2 I want it to be as strong as cast as the first one and I don’t think Rodney fits that bill, or anyone on WA really. Maybe Shirin or Joe

          1. What happened between them? I’m just today listening to the RHAP WA post-finale voicemail episode and Rob describes going to the after-party, seeing Jenn, going up to her and saying “Hi Jenn. Can I say hi to you?” and she says “No.” so Rob walks away. Rob admits that it was a dumb question to ask and she may have just been joking (it does sound like the kind of response she would give), but he says that was their only interaction at the party. Was this the “fiasco” you’re talking about? Or is there more to come?

            Oh wait, Jenn appeared on the RHAP Family Feud almost a year later, didn’t she? (checks Google, confirmed)

          2. Oh right, that sounds familiar. At the time it didn’t seem like that big a deal, but the live KIA are usually a bit rowdy (“Eliza, why don’t you come up on stage and give someone else a chance to interrupt me?”)

  8. I kinda wish Julia from Kaoh Rong had switched with her on seasons so we could see Jenn on a season with mostly likable people and two villains that didn’t have nearly the power that the ones in Worlds Apart did

    1. Interesting! I think that swapping Jenn and Alecia would have improved both seasons, actually. I think Jenn would have worked well with Jennifer and Cydney, and maybe they could have pulled in Darnell and voted out Jason and Scot (hallelujah!) Or maybe Brawn wouldn’t have been such a dumpster fire and Scot and Jason wouldn’t have had anyone to bully until at least the swap. As for World’s Apart, I’m sure they could make a case for putting Alecia on the No Collar tribe (sure she was a realtor, but her bio was mostly focused on her adventurousness if I recall). I’m not sure how much of an impact she would have had on the season over all. Best case scenario, she teams up with the young cool faction to get rid of Will first, then Nina. Assuming she takes Jenn’s spot in the swap, maybe she would have been more annoying than Max, getting voted out in his place and allowing him to make it further? I think those two changes would more than make up for losing the entertainment value of Jenn from the season.

        1. That was my first instinct even though I went with Will in my post (wishful thinking, lol). But I think you’re right – Alecia would have been the weakest link and probably would have rubbed at least one person the wrong way, so the odds are she would have been the first boot from that tribe.

        2. It’s also possible Vince is able to sway her into booting his rival Joe (Wil, remember, voted with Vince, and Jenn wouldn’t be there to support her buddy), in which case that’d be a totally different No Collars tribe.

  9. I like Jenn, I’m sure she’d be good on a not completely vile season.
    I definitely do not want a Cleganebowl storyline where Jenn has to square off against Dan who has been turned into a Jason Voorhees-like killing machine (and who spells Jason Voorhees “Josan Vrooehes” probably).

  10. Good Lord I hated Worlds Apart. Might be my least favorite season of the ones I’ve seen. Behind even Thailand. At least I knew that season was going to be rough from the beginning, WA at least had some potential and it all went into the trash.

    I suppose it was still better than Gabon anyway…

      1. It’s funny, I was thinking Bob Crowley would be a good candidate for this series, but then I realized one has basically already been written somewhere else:

        https://medium.com/a-tribe-of-one/anatomy-of-a-winner-bob-crowley-60f7b2e62cb2

        And that piece had this little gem about Bob:
        “He voted correctly only 56% of the time he went to tribal council. That is a horrendous number… This does not speak well to Bob’s strategic awareness.”

        THAT’S the guy who won the game. Basically because he was less of an asshole than most of that cast. I’m all for seasons that are more entertaining than strategic (which is why I am a Fiji apologist) but Gabon didn’t work either way for me.

        1. Fiji had a player who was insanely strategic in Earl and another that was pretty damn good at it in Yau Man. Nobody in Gabon sans maybe Charlie and Kenny were all that strategic, and it was beautiful for it. I like my utter mess seasons that don’t have people being TOO bad (Randy is an asshole but he’s not like Dan Foley or something).

          1. Was Earl insanely strategic? I didn’t really see much from Earl that shouted “strategist” to me.

          2. Basically he was, yeah. I’d consider him a top 15-20 player ever at worst. Personally I’d have him higher because I’m a big Earl fan, but guess it could just be bias. Nobody in Gabon is probably a top 75 player ever, which makes it rule.

          3. I’m not arguing that he’s not top 15-20, but I don’t think that means he was super strategic. Like there’s not much you point to Earl and say…LOOK AT THAT MANEUVERING, he just always knew how to keep himself in good positions.

          4. A lot of Earl’s social skills were in his strategy. He wasn’t really a physical threat, yet he only got 1 vote towards him ever and it was a throwaway nothing vote. He was essentially the leader everyone went to yet nobody thought to try and take him out. There’s a lot of strategy to it.

          5. But… that’s social game, not strategic game. I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that Earl wasn’t a great social player, except maybe like reddit.

          6. I mean he was the strategic leader of his tribe/alliance, and took them all the way essentially. And got exactly who he want to the finals with him.

          7. Reddit LOVES Earl. He was ranked at no.3, in the recent winners’ ranking, where people rated each winner in a 1-10 scale.

          8. For the record, there was Corinne, but I agree that the sheer mad spectacle of a season where literally nobody knows how to play Survivor keeps Gabon out of the very bottom tier.

  11. I generally do like Jenn, and it would be fun seeing her again. I just personally don’t have many REALLY strong feeling towards her that she would be at the top of my “to return” list*. And that she gave up doesn’t help either, even if it’s a bit justified.

    *#BringBackNatalieBolton
    #BringBackMichelleSchubert
    #BringBackTheQueenAshleyUnderwood

  12. “Except for that time I introduced at least one of you to a very popular internet spelling of the word “more”.”

    Yay! I made the intro!

  13. One of my biggest complaints about Worlds Apart is that the editors didn’t know what they were doing. Shirin revealed that at the auction they weren’t allowed to share food but she got around it by sharing some of her pancake syrup with Jenn by filling her own mouth with it and then she kissed Jenn, letting the syrup go into Jenn’s mouth. And the editors decided NOT to include that?

    1. They did a lot of interesting stuff editing around that particular auction. Apparently, Jenn’s drink came with a steak, which she couldn’t eat because she is a vegetarian. In the edit, that became Rodney’s steak. Also, Tyler didn’t use any of his money except for (IIRC) the loved ones letter.

      1. I always loved the Survivor auction (possibly because I eat with the gusto of a Survivor contestant at a post-merge food reward most of the time) but it’s really gotten stale of late, and I think Worlds Apart finally killed it. I wish they could come up with something a little bit more exciting than the ‘choose your own reward’ challenge to replace it…

          1. I like that, or some variation on having to choose between food or a chance at an advantage. Off the top of my head, I imagine the survivors showing up to the auction and finding out they have a choice between some sort of Survivor buffet (admission $500) or bidding at an auction of 100% blind items in the hopes of getting something like a challenge advantage/idol clue/other random advantage. Jeff could say up front that there could be any number of advantages (including zero) and for fun they could even throw in some whammies like a challenge disadvantage, or ineligibility to participate in the family visit, etc.

          2. I don’t think they’d ever make someone ineligible for the family visit – that’s a Big Deal moment on the show and they’ll be damned if they don’t milk the most out of it – but otherwise I fucking love this idea.

        1. I did like the twist of the first person to buy an item got kicked out of the auction, but that may be retroactive enjoyment because it was Will.

        2. What’s the choose your own reward challenge? It reminded me of the list-of-meals-of-decreasing-quality-assigned-by-the-victor challenge, which I always thought was kind of a fun oddball reward like the auction and wouldn’t mind seeing again.

    2. Is this really a thing? That not making it into the final edit is ridiculous. It seems like production was maybe buttsore that they didn’t catch it as rule breaking, and thus didn’t want to include it and make Jeff look bad? But really, a reality TV show leaving a real-life mama-birding moment out? Nonsense.

      1. Yes. The full story is that Jenn couldn’t bid on anything at the auction because all of the food had meat in it, so all she got was that giant cocktail (which also explains why she missed Will’s rampage, she was having a power blackout), so Shirin started mouth-feeding her syrup from her plate of chicken and waffles.

        1. It’s crazy to me that they wouldn’t include a cheese pizza or a bean burrito or something in the auction, since I’m sure they knew she was a vegetarian. I don’t know for sure, but I always assumed they must ask players what their favorite foods are during casting, since there are a lot of weirdly specific food rewards (like the wine for Jon Misch or the Snickers for Mike).

          1. Production knew she was a vegetarian already because of the whole “I can’t watch the chickens get killed so I’ll go off and look for an idol” thing.

      2. In my listening of old RHAP eps I just finished Worlds Apart and in Shirin’s Second Chance campaign interview she describes this scene at the auction. Apparently Shirin spent a lot of time with the tribe before the auction explaining how they could get around the rules in order to get the most for their money.

        1. Which I think is why they didn’t show it. Survivor knows that people know how to game the auction and they don’t like it; it’s a problem they were dealing with as early as Amazon. They had to show Shirin explaining how to make sure they all got their letters because it was a crucial plot point, but that also meant all the other ‘Shirin games the auction’ stuff had to hit the cutting room floor.

          1. Random comment, but your survivor analysis rocks. Although I still think Paul sucks, I’m always scared of how you are gonna break down my comments with actual legitimate analysis. *BOW*

          2. It’s auctions like this that led to the show “fixing” the auction in Kaoh Rong (?) where they had a reward challenge where people chose before what they were playing for – letters from home, food, or an advantage (?) and whomever won for each prize won it. That was the show fixing the auction.

            I don’t think we’ll see the auction again in its original format unless they do something to prevent people from not bidding on any items to wait for an advantage. Maybe have the advantage be the first item so they can get it out of the way for the food items? Or tell everyone “There will be no advantage item sold in this auction”? I’ve seen someone suggest putting an advantage in an envelope taped to the bottom of one of the food dishes, and at the end of the auction saying “Everyone look under your dish, if there’s an envelope there then you also bought a reward.”

    3. I’m actually kind of stunned Survivor didn’t include that. That seems like exactly something they would use in previews to promote the episode

  14. Another “Jenn doesn’t give a fuck moment” – at the reunion, Jeff asked who would have voted for Rodney in a Carolyn/Will/Rodney final three, and Jenn puts her hand up, even though she did the half-Murphy at the FTC and told everyone to vote for Mike.

  15. Wow guys, I am late to the party, but I wasnt that active in Survivor online during HvV. Apparently? Sugar slept with JT before HvV started. He swore allegiance to her in game And she tried to commit suicide in Ponderosa. They moved her to Australia to monitor her. This changes my whole opinion of JT.

    1. Yeah, this story has been around for a while. I actually enjoy Sugar as a player, but it’s the main reason I’d never want her back on the show; it ain’t worth anybody hurting themselves over it. And yeah, fuck JT.

  16. i generally LOVE Jenns personality. My only issue is that after the merge when things looked their worst, Jenn was talking about wanting to go. She never fought to stay.

    1. Jenn seemed to love playing Survivor when she was in control. But as soon as she lost that control (and her BFF, Hali), she was like “Pfft, this isn’t fun anymore, I don’t wanna do this – can I go now?” Not a good look.

    2. That’s the reason I’d say I liked her on Worlds Apart, but I don’t ever want to see her return. Completely giving up is something that really sours me on a Survivor player.

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