Survivor Fan Friction – Rodney Lavoie Jr

It’s time for another edition of Fan Friction, a 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). This isn’t a place to be fair and balanced. This is a chance to let your fan freak flag fly. We all knew this one was coming… we might as well get into it.

Why He’s Great

Survivor loves its heroes. It loves its big, beloved crowd pleasers: its Ciries and Cieras, its Cochrans and Colbys. These are the types of folks that Survivor knows are gonna fit the bill for all those casual fans that tune in solely because the almighty TV should be on just after dinner. Someone that they can root for.

The Survivor casting pan frequently turns up a gold nugget. Sometimes it’s a hero, sometimes a villain. You get your Ruperts and you get your Russells. You get your Spradlins and you get your Sandras. But sometimes something goofy happens when casting is panning for gold.

Sometimes it turns up a gem like Rodney Lavoie Jr.

Please, don’t get me wrong. Rodney is not a great player of this game. I will concede that right now. He wasn’t a goat by any means, but he is most assuredly not going to be in the Survivor Hall of Fame. But aside from maybe Jeremy Collins, Rodney is probably the greatest Survivor player to come out of Boston. (Editor’s note: to be continued).

What we get out of Rodney is tenacity. He is not a student of the game – not at all –but he is a student of competition in general. This gentleman is pretty much the Tom Brady of any contest that he is involved in. And oddly, the only person from Boston to never mention the Red Sox. Ever.

Rodney’s game hinged on his dedication to what he called “The Three ‘C’s” Let’s examine these.

CALM Having an outburst at camp gets you nowhere. That’s just Survivor 101. Anybody remember the player that ran around screaming “I can get loud, too!” just because something didn’t go their way? Exactly. Nobody does. Rodney stayed calm in this game. He had no food or rest. He made a BFF and lost him in mere days. And Rodney never went on a reward. Never. In spite of these hardships Rodney remained calm and kept his outbursts down to one every two or three days – roughly once an episode or so. Rodney is like the John McEnroe of Survivor.

Bros

COOL Now some of you may be saying “wait a minute, Palsy. Isn’t staying cool the same as staying calm?” Not according to Rodney. Rodney looks at cool the same way that Fonzie does. In Survivor, your social game is everything. Anybody remember the athletic, good-looking player that was nice to everyone and made it to FTC just by playing an honorable game? Of course not, even though everyone at the time thought he was beautiful. He just didn’t have the cool persona that Rodney did. (His name was Woo, by the way) Rodney wasn’t just nice to his tribemates; he befriended them. He did impressions. He cracked jokes. He took his tired and hungry friends and he made them laugh. And if he made it to the end with Dan and Will? He would’ve won. That’s cool. Rodney is like the Michael Jordans sneaker of Survivor.

You gotta RELAX bro

COLLECTIVE Lots of folks laughed when Rodney said this multiple times on national television. But was he wrong? When true Survivor scholars like Max Dawson and whoever Max Dawson is talking to at a party mention the term “hive-mind” you will see that Rodney may have known just what he is talking about. Rodney assembled and led his Axis of Evil alliance almost to the end. He controlled their votes and guided them in crushing his opponents. His control was so on point that if it weren’t for one lone Texan he would have won a million dollars. At directing his collective, Rodney was a genius. He is the Gregg Popovich of Survivor.

Haters Gonna Hate

But Rodney was a bit of a bully

He was. He wasn’t the biggest bully, but he was a bully. He was a villain after all.

He was weak at challenges

Yes, and it was funny!

He was a misogynist

I won’t argue this point at all except to say that he shows a remarkably different side of his personality at museums and carnivals.

He wouldn’t have been a deserving winner

Look. People bitched and moaned about how boring of a winner Mike Holloway was. You can’t have it both ways.

Embrace Debate

Okay sure, Uncle Palsy joked around a bit up there. I’ll admit it. Because to me Survivor should be fun. I started watching Survivor at the beginning of the first Blood vs Water with my mom’s best friend, who is basically like a second mother to me. We watched it together because my mother loved it and had recently passed away. The winner of that season was a villain, and he was So. Much. Fun to watch.

I discovered this community over at the AV Club and started commenting there. Survivor became a passion. I joined the fantasy league and found my way over here to this awesome group of people. I look forward to Wednesday nights because I get to watch something fun and I get to do it with people I genuinely care about.

And Rodney is fun. He is easily the most memorable person from his season. He was there for us to laugh at, to root against, and most importantly to have fun with.

Okay, I’ve said my piece. Let me wrap it up with this last bit. I’ll never forget when Mark asked me to return to the Outcasts fantasy league even though I had just blown the last season by choosing Rodney. He said that watching my melt down over him was the most fun part about the season (or words to that effect). And he was right. It was fun. And I realized that I was actually gonna miss having Rodney around. I really loved watching him.

He was fun.

Saturday Night Palsy

Saturday Night Palsy

Saturday Night Palsy is a beloved and respected member of the PRP family who is known for his wisdom, kindness,and modesty. He has been the champion of more than one fantasy league, so it's clear that he knows his stuff. He has survived witchcraft and he drinks beer with cats.

Favorite seasons: Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Blood vs. Water, Worlds Apart

Favorite players: Burton Roberts, Christa Hastie, Jonny Fairplay, Lillian Morris, Rupert Boneham, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Abi-Maria Gomes, Ciera Eastin, Kelley Wentworth
Saturday Night Palsy

Latest posts by Saturday Night Palsy (see all)

  • Alkanarra

    In true SNP fashion, that list of favorite players is all the fuck over the place. Not to downplay Rodney or anything, but I’m truly regretting that we didn’t get a Christa Hastie article instead.

    • Alkanarra

      Wait, and six of those players are from Pearl Islands, but it’s not one of his favorite seasons. He’s even trolling us in his bio!

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        And the other three were in Cambodia…

        • Did you double troll me in your bio?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            No. I only trolled teased two people specifically.

          • Because have you really survived witchcraft?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            The three Cambodia players have nothing to do with you…

          • No, I am just making a fantasy league joke. I am okay with 2/3 Cambodia players you mentioned.

          • Max_Jets

            https://media.tenor.com/images/d8efd36750317abecc82502b0d7cd540/tenor.gif
            EDIT: Okay, I love Ciera but I can’t watch that over and over so it is now spoiler tagged.

          • How did you know that Ciera was the one I was talking about?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I’m kind of surprised that nobody has figured out the reason for my choices yet.

          • Did they screw you over in Champions/Outcasts League?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            No. Pearl Islands was one I had to go back and watch.

          • No, I mean the witches.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            One particular one beat me fair and square* in Champions. I beat everybody in the Savage league.

            *There is no rule prohibiting witchcraft.

          • I thought you were pretty savagely trolling Barbara.

          • purplerockandy

            All people who voted out Andrew Savage.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I was originally gonna do someone else but my opinion of that person has changed since watching season 22.

          • Blurry Denzel

            You would’ve had to explain who half the favorite players were in the case.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Paschal English isn’t a household name?

          • Hornacek

            He is the epitome of household names.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            The Tom Cruise of Survivor.

          • BadPlayer91

            Oh no, is Tom Cruise the household name by which we judge other household names?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Now it’s probably Bradley Cooper or Chris Pratt.

          • BadPlayer91

            I’m happy with that. mmm, Chris Pratt.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            And now he’s available.

          • BadPlayer91

            Yeah, it breaks my heart. But Chris could mend it, with his body.

          • StormofCuteness

            Too soon! 😭

          • Hornacek

            “I’m afraid it’s splittsville for Delta Burke and Major Dad Chris Pratt and Anna Farris.”
            “But they seemed so happy!”

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            But you are not!

          • Purple Rock Emma

            No, but I’m also not the one who wanted him!

          • Hornacek

            Is it the Alphabet Strategy?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Yeah. That was a “strategy”.

          • Max_Jets

            We’ve debated her Cambodia game before, and I think you’ve been high on the other two in the past.

          • Alkanarra

            Psh, Ciera is great. I think. Like a true Survivor fan, I mostly just find her attractive and therefore overlook her questionable gameplay.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            She looks too young. I have that problem with a lot of players.

          • Alkanarra

            I very much do not have that problem.

          • sharculese

            SNP wants Survivors to get off his lawn.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Damn right! If they step on an old beer can and cut their foot who do you think is gonna get sued?

          • Oh yeah…maybe my feeling on Ciera drops Cambodia down my list.

    • I recently saw something on r/Survivor that gave some interesting information for someone to have to defend about Christa.

      • Alycia Swift

        I think I saw that too.

  • TheForRealDeal

    I bet everyone else who wrote an article feels like Luc Longley after reading this one.

    • StormofCuteness

      Any New Mexico Lobo reference gets an automatic upvote from me.

  • Purplerockmatt

    What about the fact that Rodney definitely, in no way, shape or form, did not kill his sister. He definitely did not know all the grisly details of her murder, including ones that may or may not have been reported to police. he definitely did not bring it a number of times in a sort of taunt to those who would seek to find the killer. He definitely did not kill his sister.

    • Hornacek

      I remember I started joking about this when WA aired, and someone suggested that maybe I was going too far. Maybe I was just ahead of my time.

      • It might’ve been me. I’m not a fan of the joke.

        • Purplerockmatt

          Oh look at John here, Mr. I’m-Too-Sensitive-To-Take-Lightly-A-Joke-About-Murdering-Vulnerable-Women

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            What bothered me about the situation was not so much the tattoo, but the fact that he got in on his bicep so that when he told girls the sad tale he also got to flex and show off his muscles. That’s tacky.

          • Purplerockmatt

            It also could not possibly be more Rodney, a man who clearly used this story to score with the ladies

          • sharculese

            meh, as someone who has an ‘in memoriam’ tattoo, by the time you get to that point you very much want to get it in a way that gives you the chance to talk about the person.

          • Hornacek

            Pretty sure Rodney says in a confessional that he can use the story about the tattoo to get people to feel sorry for him, and I think he says something about using it on girls he’s trying to pick up too.

          • Alycia Swift

            Yep. He did.

          • Hornacek

            Classy!

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I notice that you didn’t add “…and score some chicks to the end of that. That’s the difference.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Should have gotten it on his crotch.

          • BadPlayer91

            eh man, you think Rodney’s gonna let some brah near his junk with a needle, ain’t gonna happen you wackjob. Maybe if it was some chick, but chick’s given tattoos bro, no way.*

            *please read in a gratuitous Boston accent

          • Alycia Swift

            I read this hearing the accent.

          • Alycia Swift

            I am so glad he did not.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Rodney, tacky? This comes as a complete shock to me.

        • Hornacek

          I’ll admit that I probably went too far with it.

        • Yeah, it is weird that is so vaguely described in the show, but I did not immediately assume murder. I just assumed drug-related.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Not that funny, Matt. That event caused him a lot of pain. Almost as much pain as the tattoo caused him after(?) she was found.

      • Hornacek

        Did Rodney have Memento-itis and that’s why he had tattoos about his sister’s death?

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          1. Your name is Rodney.
          2. Your sister was murdered.
          3. Pick up milk.

          • Hornacek

            4. You did not kill your sister. Probably not.

    • Hot take coming from a lawyer. I guess a lawyer can’t be sued…oh, wait.

  • purplerockandy

    Rodney would’ve beaten Carolyn too. I firmly believe this.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      He had a great chance of beating Tyler and Sierra Dawn Thomas as well.

      • Mike Hirsch

        How can he beat that which doesn’t exist?

    • sharculese

      I didn’t know there was any question about whether Rodney would have beaten Carolyn. Of course he would.

    • The real question is could he beat Mike…I think it’s close either way.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        I don’t think so. Too many jury members were pulling for Mike. Do you remember their smiles when he would show up to final tribal council with another immunity necklace around his neck? Rodney would have gotten some votes but he wouldn’t have won.

        • I think Rodney gets Dan, Will, and maybe Tyler but he does not get the No Collars +Shirin

      • Hornacek

        I’m pretty sure Rodney still thinks he would have won.

        • sharculese

          When he went on RHAP to talk about the Rodney Bowl he made it clear he thinks he could have talked his way to victory. He actually had kind of a clever strategy where he took a piece of parchment and some of the paint from the merge flag and pretended he was writing down foods he missed when what he was really doing was writing his jury speech. I don’t think it would have worked but it’s not the worst idea ever.

          • Kemper Boyd

            “my name is Rodney, I played good”

          • Hornacek

            “Let me tell you about my dead sister and my hot AF mother.”

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            “Gooder than most.”

      • purplerockandy

        I think Rodney gets more votes than did Carolyn, but not enough to beat Mike. Which means Mike made the right choice to try and eliminate him.

      • sharculese

        In this scenario we can assume that Carolyn was voted out, because everyone wanted to sit next to Will.

        So, just to play it out, Mike has all 3 no collar votes plus Shirin locked up. We can assume that he still makes his apology to Dan. That’s enough. But just to game out the others:

        Carolyn – This would mean that Mike chose to vote her out after sweet-talking her for the last week. I’m not sure she forgives that quickly, so I’m gonna say Rodney.

        Tyler – Yeah, I think that’s a Mike vote.

        Sierra Dawn Thomas – who?

        • Was Tyler a locked in stone Mike vote? I feel like he would vote for the best strategy and Rodney did try to save him with the whole moping gambit when Mike wasn’t immune.

          • sharculese

            I think Tyler votes for the superior athlete, because did you know Tyler played football for five seconds once?

          • He likes to set goals.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Technically he liked to kick them.

          • sharculese

            He at least wanted to. We don’t know how many times he enjoyed success aside from ‘not enough.’

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Didn’t Tyler almost vote for Will?

          • That sounds right.

          • Diego Armando

            He also spent the most time on the jury with the four biggest Mike backers. That might be enough to convince him.

        • I think Sierra votes for Rodney because she is secretly a bitter juror.

          • sharculese

            I just realized that, if I’m wrong about Tyler, we could be talking about the nightmare scenario where we find out what the tiebreaker is for a jury, but it’s because Will decides who wins Worlds Apart.

          • That’s worse than Troy IMO.

          • sharculese

            I take it back though, because I still think Mike apologizes to Dan and it has the same effect. So that’s five. That’s enough.

          • Maybe, but Rodney though.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            It takes some Bostonians four tries!

          • Or twice

          • purplerockandy
          • sharculese

            Getting to look like a big man who could accept an apology was a big deal for Dan.

          • Duh….That way he could have the last word with Mike as well.

          • Hornacek

            That’s because Dan was an expert at giving out apologies.

          • Diego Armando

            No, I kind of think Carolyn may have voted for Will.

          • Hornacek

            She hadn’t gone through Sheriff school yet.

          • But has she now?

          • Hornacek

            The episode wasn’t titled “There will be a new sheriff in town eventually”.

          • But she wasn’t the sherriff-Cirie/Debbie was the sheriff or maybe more correctly Sarah was the sheriff.

          • Hornacek

            Sarah was just an Officer. It was Sheriff Dawn Thomas.

        • Max_Jets

          I think Dan has a good chance of voting Rodney. To him, it’d be a big step up from Carolyn and Will.

          • Alkanarra

            Agreed. I never felt Dan completely forgave Mike, but he put himself into a corner with all his anti-Mike rhetoric. He knew Mike was winning and he knew how he’d be viewed by the fans if he voted either Carolyn or Will, so he burned his jury question in order to make his flip back believable. I definitely could see him holding onto the bitterness if Rodney were available though.

        • Diego Armando

          I assumed Carolyn loses the Tiebreaker.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Tyler wouldn’t vote for Rodney. He’s a pompous arsehole, he can vote for Mike for out muscling him but not Rodney for outthinking him.

      • Diego Armando

        Mike had Hali, Joe, Jenn and Shirin locked down. He needed one additional vote to break the tie. I we saw him swing Dan, Tyler and Sierra could be receptive, especially after heavy coaxing from the pro Mike crowd, and I think there is a strong chance that Carolyn would have voted Will.

    • Diego Armando

      Probably, though I think it is not certain. I assume Sierra votes Carolyn, Dan votes Rodney. I really have no idea on the other 6 and can see reasons they might go for either of them.

      • No Eyes in Blindfold

        Based on her speech where she heavily praised her game, I think Shirin votes for Carolyn. Since Shirin doesn’t know that Natalie won SJDS, she would have thought that the last female winner was Denise, five seasons before. While I think Shirin respected how Carolyn had her pulse on the game and cut Tyler when she needed to, I do think that if Shirin thought that Rodney and Carolyn’s merits were similar, she would lean toward the woman due the perceived social biases that favor males.

        I also think that Tyler might actually vote for Will in this scenario as it seems to me that he did not respect Rodney’s game, especially stuff like his birthday shenanigans and his plan of pretending to quit and that he might still be mad at Carolyn for betraying him. I could see him voting for Carolyn. Also, while it cannot be viewed as canon or representative of his feelings on the island, I think I remember Mike saying that he would vote for Carolyn to win in that scenario.

  • Hornacek

    Any haters of Rodney need to hold themselves to a higher standard.

  • Hornacek

    Was there more to Rodney than what we were seeing? In one episode Jenn went from saying “I fucking hate you so much” to the following episode where she said that Rodney was so much fun to be around. If he could win over Jenn, who literally could not give two fucks about anything, why can’t we win over us?

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I remember listening to a RHAP episode where someone from the season was unexpectedly raving about how hilarious Rodney is IRL. I kind of want to say it was Shirin?

      • Hornacek

        I just listened to Shirin’s exit interview from WA and she doesn’t mention Rodney at all.

      • sharculese

        It was Jenn.

      • Max_Jets

        I think Shirin might have had something on RHAP where she talked about Rodney and played clips of his impressions. Maybe the Second Chance interview?

  • Hornacek

    I’m assuming today is Rodney’s birthday and that’s why this was posted now.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Hot Rod was easily the most entertaining aspect of WA. He was a true challenge beast, in the sense that he tried to stampede his way through every challenge, blundering about with no finesse or ability to rein himself in, and probably drooling a lot.
    I would legitimately like to see him come back to play again, but only if he was going to be trolled as hard by the editors as he was the first time around.

    • Hornacek

      I would only want him brought back on an even-numbered season so he could potentially be out there during his birthday. Otherwise, why bother?

  • sharculese

    I don’t remember the knock on Mike being that he was boring. There was a lot of entertaining stuff about Mike: the weird voice, the happy dance, that time he ate a scorpion, magically appearing out of the brush to warn Carolyn she was on the chopping block, etc.

    The knock was more that his win was painted as fairly inevitable by the show. Which isn’t really his fault.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I guess I should’ve said “how boring it was having Mike Holloway as a winner”.

      • At least he got a pretty stable relationship out of it.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Oh, I liked Mike. I thought his win was great. I was still pretty new to Survivor at that point so I couldn’t “read the edit” yet. On initial watch that season was great.

          • I don’t know if I was around to tell this particular story, but I used Worlds Apart during its airing to talk about critical thinking. My students had to watch the first episode and they could continue to watch the rest of the season until the semester for extra credit. Luckily, I had to blog for another class about it, so I still have my results to a couple of questions:

            Who should have went home first?:
            So-13

            Carolyn-8

            Joaquin-4

            Shirin and Max-3

            Who is the winner:

            Joe-12

            Mike-5

            Tyler, Jenn, and Will-3

            Max and Kelly-2

            Joaquin, Hali, Vince, and Carolyn-1

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Who did they say the winner was?

          • The majority thought it was Joe.

          • sharculese

            Was this class taught via Facebook?

          • Nope, because I don’t want them in my life like that. That is why they don’t my nickname.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Makes sense. Even the worst Survivor player’s daughters had crushes on Joe.

          • purplerockandy

            SOON

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Heh, I thought his comment was a dig at Savage.

          • It was. Pretty shocking Andy would make it about him, though.

          • purplerockandy

            It’s actually pretty all purpose.

          • BadPlayer91

            INTRIGUE!

          • Maritimer

            This. I kind of sensed Mike was winning but wasn’t really involved online so didn’t really see the “winners edit” so for me, it was exciting to watch and see if Mike could win immunity every time, even if I wasn’t really rooting for him (Team Carolyn)

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Is he dating someone else from the Survivor world?

          • Super duper fan

            He is dating Meg from Big Brother.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Ah, I don’t keep up with BB but good for them!

          • Nope, Big Brother

      • Diego Armando

        I almost wrote my Fan Fiction about him. I think he deserves a bit more credit than he gets, since he had some actual strategic moves and I’m not sure he could have done anything more to earn allies at a certain point.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Also from an entertainment perspective, as a long time Survivor fan it was actually pretty fun to finally see someone immunity their way to a win.

          • BadPlayer91

            Agreed. There are some people I would rather have done it instead (like Wentworth), but it was fun to see someone win by sticking around, where so many others have slipped up. It kinda helps explain the heavy Mike edit, given that he was one of the few to actually then win every immunity he needed to.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          I rooted for him the whole last half of the season.

    • Hornacek

      Yeah, I’m currently listening to the RHAP Worlds Apart episodes and from very early on Rob and Stephen (especially Stephen) are pretty sure Mike is winning. Even after the auction where Mike’s entire alliance turns on him and he’s at the bottom, the conversation isn’t “Mike has ruined his game, he’s not going to win, who else do we think is going to win?”, it’s “Mike has ruined his game, how is he going to turn this around so he ends up still winning?”

      • Tin foil hat time: Stephen may have known that Mike did well because they were in the running for Cambodia together. Also, that may have been Stephen’s inner monologue saying that he will win and be taken out of the running for Cambodia.

        • Hornacek

          Just listening to the KIA eps, he was definitely hedging his bets after the John Misch winner’s edit fiasco the previous season. He mentions this a few times.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            See, the difference between Rodney and Jon Misch is that Rodney was likeable.

          • Hornacek

            But Rodney wasn’t a sommelier.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            And Jon didn’t pop bottles.

            I know who I’d rather hang out with.

          • I read that as “Jon didn’t poop bottles”. Which is probably also true.

          • Hornacek

            You wouldn’t want to eat spaghetti in bed?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            No. That’s gross.

          • sharculese

            I don’t blame Natalie for choosing not to sleep in that bed.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan
    • Alycia Swift

      Exactly.

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    Here’s an odd note: While looking through the old AV Club posts to “research this article, I noticed that all of Jim’s posts have been deleted.

    • sharculese

      And nothing of value was lost.

      • Diego Armando

        But how will we know what he felt about Spencer?

        • sharculese

          Check how reddit feels about Spencer and extrapolate.

          • Hornacek

            Exponentially extrapolate.

  • I think Rodney played the Boston Rob in Marquesas game a lot better than Boston Rob in Marquesas. He actually showed some great social skills, but the problem was that he made the person with the hidden immunity idol mad. He also wasn’t as good physically as Rob in Marquesas was.

  • BadPlayer91

    Personally, Rodney’s misogyny ruins him as a character for me. I’ll admit, particularly after my Abi article, that he works well as a villain, for many of the same reasons. But unlike Abi, I didn’t enjoy the season more because of his villainy. I just had a good deal of disdain, and spent most episodes hoping he would be ejected so I didn’t have to watch him.

    • sharculese

      The one thing I will say in defense of Rodney is that his misogyny was the dumb misogyny of a dude in his early 20s that it’s very possible to grow out of if you expand your world just a little bit. Not saying he will but it’s possible. It’s nowhere near the baked in misogyny of Dan “men are from Mars, women should shut up and make me a sandwich” Foley.

      • BadPlayer91

        Eh, I agree and I don’t. Dan’s misogyny wasn’t just baked in, it was inherent to his interactions in every way. You could tell that he talked differently to the women than the men without even realizing because his interactions were subconsciously colored by his misogyny. With Rodney, it was a little more flashy, bold “women ain’t smart” kinda misogyny that is easier to see. However, when pressed on it, he often traced it back to “that’s what I was taught” and it was just “common knowledge” where he grew up. While Rodney could have some epiphany that helps him move beyond this way of thinking, it seems, IMO, just as likely that he won’t, because he has accepted his misogyny as an something inherent to nature and essential to his culture.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Understandable, and it rubs me the wrong way as well. But borrowing a phrase from ADS, he is so buffoonish in his claims that it still makes me laugh. Is the kind of dumb statements that I feel sure that Rodney cringed at when they aired as opposed to Will’s comments, which he stood by.

      • BadPlayer91

        I sure hope he cringes at them.

        I guess if I was to further pin it down, I think part of my problem is that Rodney’s misogyny falls into a no-man’s land. He isn’t quickly dismissed, removing his misogyny, and his boot lacks the ‘vengeance’ element to seem like justice. His FTC comments and vote for Will further demonstrates that, he didn’t leave the game with any change of mind or epiphany. So, purely from a story/narrative arc standpoint, Rodney’s misogyny was regularly present to the viewer, but with no final outcome, is an ‘accepted’ part of Worlds Apart. So as viewers, we have to watch the misogyny without any kind of payoff. For me, that’s off putting, and a big part of why I so disliked Worlds Apart.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Rodney’s FTC comments and his vote for Will were made before he had a chance to see how awful his comments were. As for the lack of “vengeance”, his whole story is like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. His entire season is like the Drew Christie boot episode.

          • BadPlayer91

            Eh, I’ll give you that. He was a big doof, and the edit showed that. But for me, his narrative lacks a hero or someone to put him in his place. It isn’t the glory of the women conquering misogynist Johnny Fairplay, if only because those who beat Rodney were also so unlikable. Carolyn and even Mike could not play the role of likable hero. So in the end, his ejection felt unrelated to his misogyny, and I wanted to more clear ‘Rodney defeated’ moment.

          • Alycia Swift

            I didn’t and still don’t find Mike unlikable.

          • BadPlayer91

            There were moments that I did, but the fact that I found him so unlikable in the beginning constantly forced me to check myself. Overall, I think the fact Mike wins greatly colors his depiction on the show, and the fact that he doesn’t seem overly likable even so, makes me wonder if his characterization would be fairly unlikable, or even villainous, had he not won.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Plus he always seemed to be trying to present his misogyny as a positive, because he just loves women so much and his mother is a saint, which seems extra smarmy to me and harder to argue against in a way that would ever convince him.

          • sharculese

            This article has been missing this video, and now is a perfect time to post it.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            “That’s a real human being” XD

    • Diego Armando

      I don’t disagree that he was awful, I kind of found him fun in a laugh at this idiot sort of way.

    • Alycia Swift

      This.

    • indescribable hat

      I’m much more bothered by misogyny that goes unexamined by the show/players/Probst/fans, so weirdly I develop a deep hatred for mid-level misogynists and kind of shrug at the ones who say really extreme things.

      • BadPlayer91

        For me, I’m a white male who regularly benefits from being a white male without even realizing the ways in which I do. As a result, i’m always trying to be better at recognizing the injustices that I can ignore both others can’t. While I agree there are certainly levels to the severity and danger of misogyny, I believe it’s important to always point it out and meet it will a strong stance. No amount of misogyny is harmless. So while I agree that others in Worlds Apart may present a more severe level of misogyny, I don’t believe that means Rodney’s misogyny should be seen as anything less.

        If it weren’t terrible, I would start a Band called Rodney’s Misogyny. Our first album would be called Wackjob.

        • indescribable hat

          I actually meant that I would have been more bothered by Rodney’s misogyny if it had been subtler. He’s kind of in a sweet spot where he says fairly outrageous things and plenty of other people (like you!) are landing on him and so I never get too emotionally invested and years later hardly remember it. Meanwhile I’m still seething over John Cody playing along with Probst’s little dig about Candice telling him what to do.

          This isn’t about how bad an instance of misogyny on Survivor is at all, but there’s a zone in between so appalling I always remember and so subtle people are defending it and I MUST FIGHT where it doesn’t make much of an impression on me anymore. Just sort of a weird observation about myself.

          • BadPlayer91

            I feel that. I wasn’t really trying to jump on you specifically. More just being loud about the fact that I think any and all misogyny is unacceptable, no matter the intensity.

  • Super duper fan

    Rodney is ok…yeah, that’s all I had to say. But for real, I didn’t really hate him that season, or at least not as much as Dan and Will. He was mostly entertaining, and I wouldn’t be that angry seeing him again, but again, I also wouldn’t mind not seeing him again, so eh.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I feel roughly the same – if they were to bring back anyone from that season who hasn’t already been back, I’d say he’s the best choice (or Carolyn). Also, if they ever do HvV 2 he’d be a good addition to the villains (and please please not Dan or Will)

      • Alkanarra

        *cough* Jenn Brown *cough*

        Sorry about my cold. As I was saying, Jenn Brown, hero or villain, second chance or BvW, doesn’t matter. Bring my favorite quitter back.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Jenn can come too, but only if she’s stuck on the same tribe as Rodney the whole game XP

          • Alkanarra

            Deal!

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Aren’t they friends now? I’ve seen them together in the “dirty 30” pictures.

          • I feel like Jenn is a satellite member of Dirty 30 while Rodney is deep inner circle.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Really? I don’t know much about them but I thought she was pretty constant. I have no idea though.

          • sharculese

            If I had to guess, it’s more that Jenn is one of the more ‘flexibly employed’ members of the Dirty 30, so she has more time to go to meetups.

        • Shockingly, I forgot about Jenn in my villains tribe but she definitely fits the Courtney Yates character type. Plus, we could have her with Abi-Maria.

          • BadPlayer91

            YAS

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Who are your heroes and villains? And what are the parameters?

          • I posted my cast in the Abi-Maria article, but I think you automatically take out anyway who was on HvV 1 and also anyone from seasons before HvV who returned. After all, HvV 1 was a showcase for seasons 1-19 while HvV2 should be a showcase of seasons 21 through 34. Admittedly, I struggled with female villains so I can easily take out Sierra for Jenn.

      • indescribable hat

        No Mike? He’s a goof! I’m not sure how people would view him on a winners’ season, or in fact any returnee season. Does he get the Joey Amazing challenge beast treatment like he should or do they treat WA as a fluke?

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          Good call – I would actually be curious to see Mike play again. My hunch is that no one would take him seriously, so he actually could do pretty well. But there would always be an outside chance that people would get rid of him around the merge. His best strategy would probably be to suck at a few early challenges and/or fake an injury like Tyson did in BvW.
          But in an all winners season, can you imagine a Mike/Danni led UTR alliance sneaking to the end? That would be pretty fun 🙂

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Fake an injury? Was that the dislocated shoulder?

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Yeah that’s what I was referring to but I phrased it poorly – I think Tyson really did hurt his shoulder but he’s said that he played it up and gave less than 100% in challenges so people wouldn’t consider him a physical threat.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    What an emotional roller coaster you just took me on, Uncle Palsy. First when I saw who the article was about I was like “eh, okay I can maybe get on board with that” then I read the first half and decided you were trolling, but then you brought it all back together at the end. I wouldn’t call Rodney a favorite by any means, but I will admit he was at least funny and thus better TV than half the players in WA, plus he really was ~thisclose~ to winning (though it might have been the single worst FTC of all time).
    Anyway, great write up! And I believe that BvW was when I started regularly following the AVC comments as well 🙂

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I was originally going to write a jokey article bashing him but as I re-watched some episodes and read some old recaps I remembered how entertaining he was to watch. Then I realized that this wasn’t a series about the “best” players, but our favorite players. Rodney is easily one of my favorites. If he came back for a second season (especially a HvV2 like some have suggested) I would be stoked!

      Also, I kind of like the “Uncle Palsy” thing. It’s respectful and creepy at the same time.

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        “Respectful and creepy” is exactly what I was going for 😀

  • Hornacek

    You forgot the most important Rodney fact.

    Never call his mother a whore.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I’m pretty sure Dan said that was part of an extensive back and forth of raunchy insults. Don’t buy Survivor’s deceptively edited, unedited video. Fake news!

      • Hornacek

        Wait until the next reunion when Jeff destroys you and your argument on live television.

  • Super duper fan

    Weekly Big Brother thread.

    After pretty ugly stuff, and from the first glance boring HoH, from the things happening on the feeds, it has been actually an interesting week so far (while I still haven’t watched the newest episode), even though from the looks of it Jessica will go home. The best things of this week have been so far few cracks forming in Paul’s alliance. Very small, and may not in the end lead to any #PAULEXPOSEDPARTY, but it’s at least sonething.

    I can’t really describe how I feel about this season right now. I at the same time really love it, and really hate it, so it’s in a no man’s land for now. How this season will be received comes down to the jury portion of the game, making this either really LOVED, or HATED.

    And from my personal BB watching updates, I resumed the first watch of all the BB seasons, and I began BB6, which I’ve been really enjoying so far.

    • Blurry Denzel

      Where are you in BB6?

      • Super duper fan

        Just after the 2nd eviction so far, so I still have a long way to go. But from the things that I can make an opinion, I love the “secret pairs” twist.

        • Blurry Denzel

          Me too. I’m surprised the show never went back to it. Also, it would be the only realistic way I could get cast if I wanted to go on the show.

          • Super duper fan

            I have to say, they really struck gold in the twist department during BB4-6.

    • StormofCuteness

      I deleted the season from my DVR. After I heard about the edit of the insane bullying, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it or anymore of this season. Production has lost me. Not that they care, I’m sure they’ll get even higher ratings from the travesty they created, but it’s too far for me. I’m sad because I just want it to be fun and silly not personal attacks of the most horrifying kind. Sigh.

    • Maritimer

      I still haven’t gone back. I was on vacation, and now need to catch up on GOT and AUS Survivor. Once I catch up on those I might consider it again, if the tone changes and/or Paul goes

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I’ve been doing a (very slow) first watch of BB too! I’m currently working on season 5. OMG so many popped collars!

      • Super duper fan

        Yeah, I started my first watch of all seasons of TAR and BB from June last year, and I have been very sporadic about it. The problem was for me that I was juggling in my watching of them, so it was hard keeping my watching schedule, even though I really enjoyed what I’ve seen from them! Now I’ve decided to focus solely on BB for now, and I’ll resume the TAR one after I finish.

    • indescribable hat

      I’ve been kind of bored with this season lately. I watch so I’m caught up for my podcasts. I liked Christmas in the latest episode though.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    More Rodney thoughts: I generally rate the quality of a character by how quotable they are, and “you
    gotta relax bro” is probably the most quotable line from the whole
    season, followed closely by “I’m jacked for a reason!” Also: “it’s my
    damn birthday” “cool calm collective” “you wackjob” the list of Rodney
    quotes goes on and on, plus his over the top accent doesn’t hurt either.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      “We’re like chicken parm and tuna fish.”

    • Hornacek

      “Women should hold themselves to a higher standard.”

    • Diego Armando

      We are like Yankees and Red Sox, Apples and Oinges.

    • Hornacek

      “I’m like Tom Brady.”

    • indescribable hat

      AND he can do these amazing impressions. I do have some warm feelings toward Rodney in spite of his jerkitude.

    • Hornacek

      “tip top toes”

  • Diego Armando

    I’m sure this article will spawn no disagreements whatsoever.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Psssht! Everybody loves Palsy!

      That is a saying, right?

      • Hornacek

        We need Brad Garrett going by on a treadmill in the background saying “Everybody loves Palsy.”

  • Diego Armando

    For as unpleasant as Worlds Apart was, and despite the fact that he was a large part of that, I think he was a very good villain.

  • DrVanNostrand

    Rodney is the second best player from Boston? That is a bold claim, sir! Based on the editor’s note, I can only assume I’m not the only one who remembers Survivor Legend Trish Hegarty!

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I believe that said editor is trying to include Suburbs of Boston Rob, the three time loser that wasted so much of our screen time over his many unjustified seasons.

      • StormofCuteness

        Crusin’ for a bruisin’.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Yeah. Being banned from the AV Club just wasn’t enough for me.

      • DrVanNostrand

        I vaguely remember that guy. Went out before the merge twice, lost to one of the worst winners of all time at FTC, and then Probst basically gave him a win as a participation trophy, right?

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Exactly! He’s like a hero for the casuals. He’s like the Rupert that they just gave a million dollars to.

      • indescribable hat

        Oh, wow. He’s not even on the T!

  • StormofCuteness

    It scares me how much I blocked out of that season. I really must have hated it because all I actually remember is Shirin being treated horribly and then it’s like my memory goes fuzzy. Did that season give me PTSD?

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      I wonder how Survivor would have handled that if Mike hadn’t stood up for her. That was an awful moment that I have chosen not to rewatch.

      • Hornacek

        Hey, remember when one player saying that another player had no soul and no one at home that loved her was the worst thing one player could do to another? Good times, good times.