Survivor Game Changers Episode 10 Liveblog: “A Line Drawn in Concrete”

Follow us on Twitter and Storify below for episode 10 of Survivor: Game Changers!

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

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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907 thoughts on “Survivor Game Changers Episode 10 Liveblog: “A Line Drawn in Concrete”

  1. In what world does one vote set an alliance in concrete? Debbie really hasn’t watched Survivor, has she?

  2. Is there any link between winner of season and episode titles they get? cause Debbie has 2 already.

    1. In the past, the winner typically gets one (Natalie got “We’re A Hot Mess”, Tony got a crap ton). However, with the past three winners, they have not named an episode.

  3. If Michaela had seen that advantage, she could have got it inconspicuously. But Sarah swimming over instead of getting on the boat? Does that not grab people’s attention?

    1. Seems like Micheala would have no reason to search the platform. I can see how it would easily be overlooked. yes, a bit conspicuous though.

    2. It seems like they were getting on the boat from that platform, so maybe not, but being willing to go for it in front of the tribe is why Sarah is a #GameChanger

      1. Sarah is not a favorite player, but this season I have to give her props for her awed “Sandra… it’s like she’s grooming us” and casually swimming to a platform she has no need to be on (when everyone is exhausted so this should raise a North Korea of red flags), where she calmly manages to conceal a largish clue.

        1. By the time Sarah jumped in the water to swim to Michaela’s platform, the other team had already left, and everyone on her team except for Michaela was either already on their boat (and below deck, unable to see anything outside) or getting on the boat so facing away from Sarah.

          Of course, Michaela should have noticed that Sarah was swimming towards her platform and wondered “Why is she coming over here?”

    3. I seriously bet Sarah probably whispered “I really need to pee before I get on the boat!”, and bought herself some averted eyes.
      I imagine tribe life is pretty used to this kind of intimacy by now.

    4. In Dalton Ross’ column today, he explains that the boats they use to transport players for these type of water challenges have the players go downstairs and the windows are all blacked out. So all Sarah had to do was pretend to play with her shoes so that she would be the last one in line so that when she swam over for the advantage the rest of her team was already aboard and out of sight – except for Michaela, who wasn’t that observant that day anyway (plus the other team was already long gone on another boat).

  4. I’m glad Cirie was happy about that moment; a gym teacher did something similar to me once and almost 30 years later it still infuriates me.

  5. No Sarah, Debbie already played her extra vote correctly. Stolen votes, different story.

    1. Debbie didn’t play it correctly. Playing it correctly would require using it when it actually made a difference. The vote for Ozzy was 7-4-1-1, which means using the extra vote did nothing.

        1. I think she played it well. But not technically “correctly”, because of Cirie’s weird vote. But it was the time to play it and she did it well. The biggest part of playing it then was that allowed Debbie to keep the circle of trust to just her six.

      1. I disagree. The final vote means it wasn’t necessary- but it doesn’t mean she didn’t play it correctly. She played it at an even number when she only had half the votes on lockdown, and when the extra vote gave her the majority. It’s a correct play in the same way that Parv’s double idol play was the correct move in HvV even though not protecting Sandra would have worked out better with full information.

      2. Debbie was the first one to play a vote advantage correctly in that (a) the person voted for went home, and (b) the person using the advantage wasn’t voted out instead. I’d say that counts as “correctly”.

  6. currently in play: 2 secret advantages. 3 idols. this was all designed for a Tony or Sandra win.

          1. Plus I find Sarah somewhat endearing and Michelle an absolute non-entity as a television presence.

          2. And in her first game, Sarah’s fatal flaw was being SOOOO OVERDRAMATIC about having power.

            That’s the anti-Michele.

        1. Sarah is a far more interesting human and is at least TRYING to play the game hard. She’d be a far more compelling winner.

        2. You people over here already forgetting about how boring Michele was. Man no one gets more boring than Michele. She is like the equivalent of black in Spinal Tap. There is none more boring

          1. Michelle gave more polished confessionals and some witty one-liners, but I like Sarah more because of how terrible her confessionals are. It’s like she’s constantly surprised that she’s being filmed.

          2. Michele was great at the confessional telling us that it was now the merge which is the moment when the tribes meet up and become one tribe

          3. You mean hilarious one liners like, “Yay, cheeseburgers!”, or the time she ruined the Tai massage joke by explaining it?

          4. Sarah speaks in her confessionals that she’s thinking very hard about everything she’s saying. Sort of like she’s making a police statement and is constantly scanning everything she’s about to say for anything that might be incriminating.

          5. See but I kind of like this about Sarah, she is kind of distinctly monotone and police like and it makes her into something. Michele wasn’t anything.

          6. Nah, the opposite, I think people have oversold how boring she was in their minds. Michele’s were usually forgettable, but Sarah is actively annoying in her lack of charisma.

          7. I’m not following your logic- isn’t “forgettable” way more boring that “actively annoying”?

          8. If boring is a feeling and not a memory, no. It’s like the difference between a conversation that is so boring you want to scream, and a conversation that makes you shrug. (I don’t know if I’m following my logic either but I’m DOUBLING DOWN)

          9. Does Sarah have an ICONIC quote like “I don’t need to be carried, bro”??? I think not.

            (This is not sarcasm I legit like Michele a lot)

    1. (I wrote pretty much the same exact thing, and I decided to delete the comment instead of typing-cat myself…)

  7. Sarah: I don’t want to do what I did last time. I don’t want to just play it safe. I want to take risks. But is this the safest time for me to take a risk? I’ll have to see.

    1. She was all over the place today. However, it is a tough decision. Would you rather be on the bottom with a bunch of tools, or in the middle with serious competition? Honestly, I think she was 100% on board with the Sierra, Debbie, Sarah F3 until Debbie went and ran her mouth. I also think that’s why Debbie was the target, and not someone more obvious like Brad or Sierra.

      1. I think it’s also possible that Debbie was the target because you can figure Brad, at least, isn’t going to be all that devastated at losing her. She’s a number you can pick off without having to consider all your bridges on the other side totally burned.

      2. I think that in the moment, Sarah thinks that she is as equally good as the “serious competition” group, so she doesn’t see it as being the worst player in a group of greats.

      3. I think it was a MONSTER mistake to vote out Debbie. Take this opportunity to vote out someone that can win the game, like Brad. Debbie being a huge part of your opponents brain trust is the best situation you could ever hope to be in.

        Even discounting the fact that she wouldn’t garner a single vote in final tribal, her toxic personality would undermine every thing the other alliance wanted to accomplish. There would be constant infighting and low morale and there would ALWAYS be someone on that side you could flip. Eventually that alliance would be fall apart only for her to pollute a different, smaller alliance.

        Brad is the opposite. Not only can he win, he comes off as a calm leader type that people can rally around. Even when outnumbered, that type of player can always come back to haunt you. Get rid of the glue and keep the monkey wrench

    2. To be fair, she said she doesn’t just want to play it safe, implying that she wants to play it safe, but also play a different way simultaneously.

  8. No matter what happened in that challenge with Cirie, let us not ignore the fact that noted gymnast Debbie crawled across the balance beam.

    1. Well she was the head of her school’s Human Centipede Club, so you gotta use those skills when you can.

      1. Oddly enough, “popcorn centipede” is this months special down at the Lobster.

      1. Debbie floated across effortlessly. Her feet didn’t even TOUCH the beam. WHY ARE YOU DOUBTING ME? I’M MAD AND THEREFORE RIGHT!

      1. It *was*!

        But I don’t make lists, I just list random thoughts. I don’t want @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus to think I’m infringing on his turf.

          1. I had a close friend who was the gymnastics correspondent for the school paper because it was a “girl’s sport.” Only in her senior year did she decide to say “this is bullshit, I know more about football than the rest of you, I should get to cover football.”

            But that meant I went to a lot of gymnastics meets in college because we were supporting our friend. It helped that the Gym Dawgs were national champions every year I was there. When I started watching Survivor and found out Courtney Marit was a former Gym Dawg I got excited. She’s the second most accomplished UGA grad in their time on Survivor. (The first is Parvati, for obvious reasons.)

          1. Except in the case of Troy’s dong, in which case, this is apparently an understatement. *shudder*

  9. What are the odds Sarah announces she wants to use the Vote Steal and Troy and Tai hand out all their idols in response?

    1. That would be… pretty damn entertaining actually. Sadly, I could see Aubry or Michaela going home as a result 🙁

    2. I really want to see how this plays out. Would be a really fun way for a bajillion advantages to play out.

    1. It’s too bad we don’t have a terrible speller this season like Ralph from Redemption Island, because I like the idea of Jeff pulling out a vote that reads SEREA and massive confusion following

      1. Debbie was our best chance at this. Remember in the premiere when talked about her conversations with Sheree?

  10. Congratulations Sarah, you have learned nothing! Be glad you are playing with dumber people.

    1. I assume she’s eating in the style that previous seasons have referred to as “Survivor Popcorn.”

    2. Michaela eating things at blindsides is one of my new favourite things. She has now joined my dream jury with Eliza and Courtney and some other people I’m too tired to think of

        1. This is the first season in a long time that makes me actively unhappy almost every week

    1. Yeah, I’m taking a hit in the 5-team league, but I will ecstatically trade that for Cirie, Zeke, Andrea, Aubry, and Michaela running things.

  11. It’s almost like Debbie is incapable of viewing things from other people’s perspectives.

    1. What are you talking about? She was able to experience the joy of being in an airplane since none of her fellow team members had ever been in a plane before (apparently they all took a boat to Fiji from America for this season).

        1. So many casuals that have never experienced the joy of watching Jeff jet ski from FTC back to America.

          1. I loved him riding in the subway holding the urn, with cuts to shots of other passengers looking strangely at him.

      1. Haha. I know. I did the same thing last week. Will probably happen next week because I only post on my phone on Weds

        1. I recently updated the software on my phone and it un-learned everything I taught it. Now I have to type out “HBO CEO of tits” like a commoner!

          1. I’m going to ask this since he’s not around, but shouldn’t his title be HBO Chief Tit Officer? I don’t understand this hierarchy.

          2. I don’t want to say no humans in history have ever had it as tough as us. I’m just saying I can’t think of anyone else that had it worse.

      2. My phone finally figured out that “fucking” is more likely than “ducking”, but I’m not sure I’m happy about that

        1. Oh my goodness, my phone has gotten really dirty recently and I’m not sure why. I’ve had a lot of things autocorrect to “cock” in the last month.

  12. I swear you can see the exact second Sarah decides to flip, and it’s the moment Debbie announces that they “just click”, and it’s like when your asshole boss goes “you remind me of myself at your age” and you realise you need to think all of your life choices immediately.

    1. That was just your rage at even the slightest possibility of a Sierra-Sarah-Debbie final three

    2. Her nail polish is still on point though, which also leads me to believe that she does jackshit around camp. I can’t even open snack bags for my students without fucking up my nails. There’s no way hers have lasted opening coconuts.

      1. The featured picture on this week’s AVClub Survivor “column” calls out FFSDT’s nail polish.

          1. That bare strip at the base as they grow would be annoying me so much by that point. I’m very impressed by their staying power though.

            (Also that photo suggests that it might not be the fake tan that’s the problem so much, it’s that she’s having some sort of breakout around her mouth area. So now I feel bad).

          2. Yeah, I repaint mine about once a week. Mainly because my students are really into seeing what I do with my nails, but also because I use a peel-off base coat, so they don’t last very long. (Teaching and retail are hard on nails.)
            I don’t know if she’s having some kind of reaction to something, but it’s also likely that she’s making an effort to keep her tan even.

          3. I had to give up on having good fingernails when I started bouldering, because long nails & tiny climbing holds do not mix.

            I can wistfully remember what it was like, however.

        1. No, if she had it with her, her nails wouldn’t look so grown out. You can see in the picture where they’ve grown out, and they are chipping a bit, but they’re overall still looking respectable.

  13. Aubry rolled her eyes so hard at the camera that it almost knocked me out. Glad she’s getting small moments like that, at least.

    1. Aubry’s double middle fingers at Debbie were one of my favorite things all season. Aubry is perfection.

        1. The fact that Aubry has now voted Debbie out twice just makes me so happy. Aubry may never win, but she will always be a top favorite of mine.

          1. I didn’t say she controlled the vote. I said she voted her out. For the way this season has been going, that is more than enough for me.

          2. Fair enough, but she had more control over it last time and was just a number now. I love Aubry, but let’s not give her too much credit for the vote. (Her amazing reactions get all the credit, though.)

          3. I don’t give her much credit. I’m just glad that she’s apparently on the show now.

          4. I got the impression that it was Aubry who started directing the target onto Debbie, though we have to give the move to Sarah (and also Head Puppetmaster Cirie).

          5. She didn’t control the whole vote, but approaching Sarah about Debbie seemed to play a big part in it.

    2. When I met Aubry I told her she was my Survivor Spirit Animal. This and her Jedi Mind trick are EXACTLY WHY.

    3. These was probably Aubry best moments. This season will probably be about to equal to James run in Micronesia. Good characters moments but not as good as their first runs out.

  14. I don’t know if Mike Hirsch has posted this yet, but we were so right with our preseason Debbie predictions, it’s amazing!

    1. I haven’t posted it yet, but I did pick her yesterday in the prediction because I felt like I had to. (Also I looked back because I couldn’t remember if I said she finished in 10th place or if I said she was 10th out. I said “10th place.” So I was wrong there, but I did say she’d play exactly the same game and go out exactly the same way, and, yeah, spot on there.)

      1. You don’t have to nail it to the exact place. We both said it would basically be a carbon copy of her first season, and it basically was. Even Aubry pointed that out! (Goddamn it I love Aubry!)

          1. I’m making sure both Aubry gifs are in my post on Monday, but if others capture it before then, all the better

    2. If she plays again, will there be points for correctly guessing which jobs she will claim to do?

  15. Yes! The smug water felon goes out!

    Although really, if Sarah wasn’t getting such an obvious winner’s edit*, I’d say this was probably a bad move for her. Everybody’s obsessed with making Big Moves these days. But if you have a chance to pagong out Cirie, Andrea, and Aubry, while leaving Tai and Troyzan and annoying schmucks like Debbie and Sierra in the game, shouldn’t you take it?

    (*Though in her season, Aubry seemed like she was getting an obvious winner’s edit too, so who knows? In recent years, you can’t be totally sure, because the editors are maybe getting a little wise. Or at least I hope so!)

    1. I think she likely would not have made it to 4. Tai would automatically be there in that scenario and Brad would likely target Debbie at 6.

    2. I think Sarah was probably right to realise that she was on the bottom, though. And Debbie is a smart choice given that she already had that fight with Brad. If she can talk her way back in with him (and Troy, who she is also aligned with) then she might be ok. Who’s really going to be that angry about losing DEBBIE?

    3. I agree with you’re thing about Sarah. Michele definitely had the clear winners edit not Mike levels of obvious but Aubry never stood a chance though I was surprised she was a FTC loser rather than r.obbed g.oddess. Adam was the surprising one.

      1. How was ADAM surprising? He literally had a scene where he found an idol and cryingly dedicated it to his dying mother.

        1. He also had multiple episodes where both the viewers and other players said he was playing terribly.

  16. Can we get a gif of Zeke’s face when he voted out Debbie please? I don’t think I have ever seen him look happier. (It is also pretty much how I looked when Jeff read that final vote also).

  17. Just wanted to say I love you guys but I drove 1500 miles this week and just finally got moved in my new place so I’m going to sleep.

    Also Aubry who?

        1. I had movers. It was still hell.

          (Plus I had a month in between closings with no house so we had to rent for a family of 4 + 2 cats. It was expensive, and horrible, but temporary and inherently worth it)

      1. I will likely be moving this summer and then hopefully not again until I have a family

        1. If you’re already planning to just abandon them why not just not have one in the first place?

          1. Kids can’t afford a P.I.! They just gather up a ragtag bunch of the school sad sacks to track you down to take their little league team to the championship game across country at the Houston Astrodome where you can coach them to victory and grow closer to your son that you named after a family member but it’s still a girls name so there is resentment there that you only work through by winning. Happens all the time!

          2. I was definitely the next Dustin Pedroia. Politics got in my way. It’s all politics, dontcha know?

  18. Did anyone else notice how reluctant Probst was about his Troyzan hug? Maybe Probst has (slightly) better taste than I thought.

    1. Troyzan’s whole Idol acceptance was awkward. He tried to talk over Jeff, and didn’t seem to know where to stand.

  19. Definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season. I liked how Cirie leaned into the “inspiration” storyline until she got it to be about finding ways other than winning challenges to advance her game. This is what I like about Cirie, she can remanufacture the manufactured stories. Aubry was simply beautiful in her adverse reactions to Debbie. Debbie fell victim to HUBRIS, otherwise known as Debbie’s daily life. Michaela is a goddamned delight. Ozzy looked a bit gassy. There was lots to like about this one.

      1. He was not happy to still be awake when Debbie got booted, and I was like, “Son, this is a momentous day. You’ll tell your grandkids about this someday.”
        He looked at up at me with his doleful eyes and said “Car?”

    1. Ozzy looked gassy, but Hali looked cold, hungover, and filled with regret after whatever happened with Ozzy over the past few days.

          1. I upvote you all the time too. But if you’re asking about the liveblog, I’ve never read it, which I found out last week kind of annoys Mark.

          2. Snark free side bar: Everyone should really read the live blog, Matt does such a good job with it! It’s not like you have to read it live; I enjoy it after-the-fact as a recap and it doesn’t take too long anyway.

          3. Seconded. I can’t read it live because I’m generally live-tweeting, but I enjoy reading it after the episode is done so I can see what Matt and others were thinking in the moment as the show was airing.

          4. I always read it after the fact as well. Very fun, and I feel special if he picks my tweets 😉

      1. She can’t be happy about it? He’s not my favorite but I don’t particularly suspect him of being a regrettable hookup.

        1. Flipping the genders, I wouldn’t feel bad about hooking up with the female version of Ozzy. I *would* feel bad about having to spend weeks with them at Ponderosa afterward.

          1. DEBBIE: “I am an EXPERT in Three-Ways, I have training in the French art of ménage à trois, and that skinny little skank is going to cum like Sasha Grey tonight!”

        2. I imagine he seems like a skeez to us, but if you’re out there seeing him do his dolphin boy things, I can see yourself thinking “you know what? I deserve this”.

  20. As the Debbie fan this season I will say this was probably as far as she should go. She got one funny downfall that ties back to her original season. Hell she even got blindsided by the same people because Aubry thought it might be funny to blindside Debbie again. I glad with amount of Debbie we have had this season.

    1. She went from being an afterthought to being the edit/edgic (I’m assuming?) darling. I know we’ve thought stuff like this before but I think Sarah has become the favorite.

      1. I am in two Edgic groups and pretty much everyone has Sarah winning at this point. I picked her in episode three myself, at that time it was mostly Brad/Sarah/Sierra picks

    2. I’m struggling to think of two people Sarah could win against, though. Maybe Tai and Michaela, although I can’t imagine how that scenario would come to pass. Possibly Aubry as well?

      1. Sarah would probably beat: Brad, Tai, Troyzan, maybe Zeke (a lot of ppl don’t like him much at this point), and Michaela. Those are the for sures.

        1. Sarah’s ideal outcome is probably for a bunch of her current allies to get idoled out by the other side, stacking the jury in her favour with no blood on her hands. I don’t think she necessarily beats Brad on, say, gameplay, but she might be able to beat him on friends-on-the-jury.

          1. Nat Anderson said on purplerock that rumor is Brad is getting way too kind of an edit. His main ally called him an idiot. He isn’t winning in any F3.

          2. No she said he was getting way too nice of an edit. Yeah on Rob. She said people weren’t as big on Brad as the edit was.

          3. That’s disappointing. I was enjoying the Brad redemption in spite of myself. He just seemed like a neat dude!

        2. Why does everyone think that the players hate Troyzan so much? He could be well liked by many of them. He was calming Cirie tonight and helping to talk her across the beam. That might be enough to win her vote if she’s on the jury.

          1. After his glorious member made an appearance at the challenge, I can’t imagine anyone not voting for him. It’s a family show, so the cameras didn’t show it, but I can only imagine it was like that scene in Zoolander where he stopped the ninja star with ‘Magnum’.

          2. Maybe that thing’ll spook them. Maybe next week we get “tenth player voted out of Survivor: Game Changers and the fourth and fifth members of our jury…”

        1. I’d assumed that was because she was the most indecisive and easiest to convince. I will acknowledge that she seems much more natural and likable in her personal conversations than she does in her confessionals and tribal speeches.

      2. I don’t see her as having a particularly difficult time against the jury if she has a bit of a resume, and tonight helps with that.

      3. Michaela who everyone hates. Troy because people should and probably do hate Troy. Tai seems like a nice guy but has so far proven to be a disaster at tribal. Sierra is coming off as super arrogant and unlikable if it’s that way to the jury too maybe her. Zeke doesn’t seem super popular. etc. A lot of the cast seems beatable right now.

        1. Ozzy has said that the Sandra tribal was all acting on the part of Tai throwing Ozzy’s name out there to Sandra. So if you believe him, with a lot of preparation and work, Tai can be good at a tribal.

          1. If that is indeed the case, I really wonder why we didn’t get to see it. (Probably in the following episode.)

          2. I can believe that since Ozzy is not the person who would let something like that fly otherwise.

          3. Yeah, if it had been genuine it seemed strange that when they got back to camp Ozzy didn’t say “Um, Tai, what the hell was that?”

      4. I actually got the completely opposite impression from the show: I feel that she is an underdog against Brad and Cirie; probably 50/50 against Sierra (and perhaps Troy); and a favorite against everyone else.

    3. I didn’t get that feeling before this episode, and I still don’t have that feeling. She was the swing vote in tonight’s tribal, so they have to show her to tell the story of the vote.

  21. My new power ranking:

    1. Brad: as I said earlier, he will remain here until he wins or is voted out.
    2. Sarah: Might actually win
    3. Tai: Still has 2 idols, hasn’t betrayed any jurors and can win immunities.
    4. Zeke: Good job
    5. Cirie: Yay
    6. SDT: This season can still suck, but you took a huge hit.
    7. Andrea: Everyone knows she’s a threat
    8. Aubry: Because I like her
    9. Troy: Because I don’t like him
    10. Michaela: Because a lot of people have expressed dislike for her.

    1. Come on, Sarah! You’re my last hope in our fantasy league! Get me to third place! I believe in you!

      1. I think you have a shot at having the winner. I think it is between her, Brad, Tai and Zeke.

        1. I don’t really see Tai happening, but I agree that Sarah’s looking pretty good. I would be OK with that. She really let me down in Cagayan, but right now I’m finding her competent and enjoyable.

          1. Maybe I like them because they’re like the cop confessionals on Parks and Rec, but I find her woodenness entertaining.

          2. When she talks she sounds like she’s reading cue cards.

            Maybe I’m not respecting her game but I don’t see her as a particularly strong strategist so I would find her journey to be boring.

      2. That’s right. I’m gonna have to listen to John’s BS about Outcasts League tommorrow. That’s gonna suck.

        At least I have an Assistant to the League Commissioner to take it out on.

    2. Sarah is the huge Edgic favorite now. Brad’s edit fell apart merge episode. Plus no jury is going to avoid his rich butt more money.

      1. Sierra calling Brad, Troyzan, and Tai idiots was a huge Edgic tell that those three probably aren’t winning.

        1. I don’t read Edgic but…does it make a difference that Sierra is getting what looks to me like a deeply unsympathetic edit? Does it matter that they’re being called idiots if the person doing the calling is being portrayed as a smug asshole?

          1. That’s why I think it wasn’t super bad that Zeke was the one who mentioned how obvious it was that Brad gave up the merge feast because we were slowly being set up that Zeke is a bit of an unreliable narrator.

          1. Except most season when it predicts with winner correctly. Not that you need edgic to do that per-say but the success rate is quite high and certainly enough so to say it’s not bullshit. Though there are plenty of seasons where they don’t get the winner till the finale episode or two so it’s hardly locked in stone but if edgic is saying she’s the favorite to win right now I agree with them.

    3. If I were playing this season, Michaela would be my number 1 goat choice. A lot of people dislike her and she doesn’t seem capable of reversing that, plus I can’t see her playing nicely or pandering to anyone at final tribal. But she’s also a really loyal and honest alliance partner, and performs well in challenges. We’ve seen her pull off a couple of convincing tribal performances now so it’s unlikely she’s going to blow up anyone’s game. I’d say the biggest risk with her is that the opposing alliance will continue to target her because they dislike her, but if you stay in control of the numbers or have an idol to protect her, you’re golden.

        1. As a diehard Michaela fan, I would be totally OK with that. I struggle to think of any player in Survivor history who would be a more entertaining goat than Michaela in full bile-spitting mode.

      1. And it helps your argument that Cirie has clearly picked her as her number 2/FTC Goat.

        When in doubt, I believe in assuming that Cirie is making the right decision.

      2. As someone who likes Michaela, that would be my strategy as well. I’d get to keep around someone I enjoy, and her challenge prowess would help our alliance with rewards and immunities.

        And if I miscalculated and she somehow beat me, it would at least make my personal finance-loving heart happy to know that she’s had success in managing her finances already, so the money would be in good hands.

          1. Until you told me, I had no idea of that. Did Tasha ever say anything onscreen during her two season about accounting?

    1. I laughed and laughed. Eating that coconut like popcorn, getting under all those nerves, clapping when Debbie’s name comes up–oh, god, I can’t help but love her.

  22. Survivor is fun again! I’m nervous about how things will tip in the next couple weeks fun-wise, but I enjoyed this episode!

  23. In “Survivor as Buffy”: This episode felt like an earlier episode of Buffy, chock full of breezy wit and brimming with confidence. Something akin to “Reptile Boy” or “Halloween,” maybe?

    1. I’m gonna go a little later. This is that early season four episode where she starts college and has that annoying roommate. You can already see the “Buffy is delusional” plot playing out, are a little bummed by how it’s predictable and lame, and then they totally turn it on its head with a double fakeout. This was a nice reversal that should have been obvious but was a fun surprise instead. Sure, the rest of the season might be a little uneven, but at least the show can still surprise us.

      Also, Brad Culpepper is basically Adam, so my Season 4 analogy is flawless.

      1. I’m gonna support this. “Living Conditions.” There’s already been a sense of “this is not what I wanted this season to be” thanks to “The Freshman,” but this episode at least goes a long way toward helping me accept that if this is not going to be the season I wanted it to be, it can still be enjoyable enough on its own terms in spots.

        1. Most importantly… do you believe in life after love?

          Season 4 was hit or miss, but when it hit, it REALLY hit. Too bad Adam was a sub-par villain (I read that the professor was supposed to be the big bad, but ducked out). Still rank it above seasons 6 & 7, and probably season 1 (mostly because it was too campy)

          In the name of @BlurryDenzel, here is my rankings of Buffy Seasons:
          1) Season 3 (
          2) Season 2
          3) Season 5
          4) Season 4
          5) Season 1
          6) Season 6
          7) Season 7

          1. I can see an argument for anything here that I personally disagree with. There’s something to appreciate in all the seasons.

          2. Also, my rankings for Angel are:

            I loved the Holtz revenge storyline, combined with the beginning of Dark Wesley.

            I went back and forth between 2 and 5, because there are some amazing episodes in Season 5 and it was such a cool turn for a series that almost imploded upon itself in the previous season. Great finale. But the Drusilla/Darla stuff in Season 2 was great drama, Pylea was an unexpected fun mini-arc, and most importantly, I have not forgiven Joss Whedon for “A Hole in the World”.

            Even with Gina Torres, Season 4 can’t recover from nearly destroying
            Cordelia’s character, and the ick factor of the Cordelia/Connor thing.

      1. Oh Halloween is wonderful. SMG gets to be girly, it’s one of those rare episodes where Xander is useful (so useful, in fact, that they keep going back to the “memories of my military training” thing for seasons to come), vintage Spike, Cordelia being the only one whose costume didn’t change is perfect, Ethan Rayne’s first (and best) appearance, and of course slutty ghost Willow. Fully agreed on Halloween.

    2. Halloween is a great episode. “Do you have a musket?”

      Reptile Boy… not so much.

      At least you didn’t say “Teacher’s Pet”. Then I’d have to unfollow you on twitter.

      1. But Reptile Boy had “I told one lie, had one drink…” “Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words ‘let that be a lesson’ are a tad redundant at this juncture.”

  24. Just so everyone who needs to sees it and because I guess it doesn’t matter if people who aren’t in the league do (hell, feel free to chime in if you like) we have a page for discussing what the point values are gonna be for Underground League, where gameplay is irrelevant and you get points for picking fun characters.

    But fyi, John made the page kinda NSFW, so… be prepared for that:

    1. It’s NOT poop! But if it is, all the pathogens would be killed by the boiling water. BUT IT’S NOT!!!!!

        1. “Are you sure you hate me because I’m a terrible person, or is it really because you’re upset about your boob job?”


          1. You didn’t use enough ten dollar words wrong for that to be convincing as something Tarzan said.

  25. Random thoughts:

    The line’s in sand. No it’s in concrete. Not it’s in sand and getting washed away. Make up your mind!

    Is something a “secret advantage” if it has “SECRET ADVANTAGE” printed on it?

    I guess Michaela forgot what Cirie told her last week about holding her tongue. Or she decided after the last vote it doesn’t matter.

    Troy(zan) loses his shorts! Blur that!

    Debbie’s crawling across the beam? But … her sense of balance …

    Part of me wishes that Cirie was the one not picked for that challenge. Or that the other team had won before she even started. Still a very uplifting moment from Sarah and Troy(zan) of all people.

    No one notices that Sarah, instead of getting in the boat, jumps in the water and swims to Michaela and then gets in the boat? Really observant, folks.

    So now the advantages are like idols – when one is used another one enters the game.

    “I will be the first one to play this vote correctly.” Sarah, so good at the attention to detail that she can spot expired registry tags, but forget that an advantage was used at the previous tribal.

    Debbie loves airplanes … and watching people who have hardly ever been on an airplane experience them.

    FFSDT obviously has never seen any Survivor seasons (including her own) and gives multiple confessionals saying saying how everything is going great and that nothing can possibly go wrong.

    Should Jeff really be making fun of Tai having trouble spelling IMMUNITY when English is his second language?

    Troy(zan) wins immunity, possibly leading to Andrea getting voted out. This season continues to punch us all in the gut.

    That Aubry eye roll was perfectly timed after Debbie’s “And I think it’s working.”

    With all this cockiness from FFSDT and now Debbie at tribal, how can Sarah NOT be flipping?

    Michaela bringing more props to tribal.

    That felt like after a series of defeats, the good guys finally got a win.

    1. I loved the symmetry of Debbie saying the line was in concrete and can’t get washed away by the tide, followed by Sarah saying the line was in the sand and would get washed away by water. I am usually too dense to catch stuff like this but I noticed this time, and actually felt pretty confident throughout the rest of the episode that Sarah would take Debbie out. Great editing this time (although it seriously telegraphed the outcome).

      1. I was hopeful that it would be Debbie, but I wasn’t 100 percent until her behavior at the IC (especially since the editors subtitled it). It gave me a lot of flashbacks to Nick throwing his last IC after Aubry and Debbie got down.

        1. I actually liked Nick. And I thought he would be much worse! I thought he would be a top 5 Survivor villain.

        2. I was reading these posts and thinking about the wrong Nick.

          *Nick Iadnaza for American Survivor*

      2. I didn’t see what it was setting up, but I was impressed they got such good parallel confessionals to set up the central question of the episode.

    2. “No one notices that Sarah, instead of getting in the boat, jumps in the
      water and swims to Michaela and then gets in the boat? Really observant,

      GAME CHANGERS! Not observers.

    3. When Sarah got on the boat, it looked like the others were already below deck, so couldn’t have seen it.

      And yes, I will say that was a nice moment for Troy.

      What Tai was trying to do was pretty smart; that way he wouldn’t have to look for the next letter at the time, and no-one else had thought of it.

      1. I think Michaela was still on her platform when Sarah jumped in the water, so at the very least she should have wondered “Why is Sarah swimming over here?”

        Tai stacked the tiles to spell IMMUNITY, but he had the I on top and Y on bottom, so that order was the reverse of what he needed.

        1. Yeah, the Sarah swimming to the platform is harder to explain.

          He got the right way around eventually! =p

  26. So I only just started the episode because I don’t have an attention span, but hey “”, you guys are probably doing great work but you also need to come up with a logo that didn’t have me thinking for a second that this episode was literally sponsored by hepatitis C.

    Also your website name scans as “hep chope” which… sounds like a choke sex thing.

    1. Thank god there’s a challenge so i can not pay attention and devote all of my energy on this terrible marketing fuckup.

      1. Oh dear god, I just realized I created a system where I have to pay attention to challenges next season. Fuck.

        1. Jesus fuck, I’m sorry not even Cirie can make me care about a fucking challenge. Make this end.

          1. Cirie, you’re not a failure. Challenges are stupid. Please stop talking about a fucking challenge.

          2. Did this play for people who value athletic ability more than we do or was this just a weird choice? Sarah diving in was fine, but the whole big song and dance where Cirie Fields gets treated like some loser child was really strange.

          3. I think the only reason why he brought it up on Tribal Council was to have the jury love Cirie, which they probably do already. I only think this because it was right after his preamble of “think big moves to put on your resume (cough, cough Sarah)”

          4. Yes. If only because of Cirie’s own reactions. If she felt supported, then I’m glad they supported her and I will look at them from her perspective. I mean why not? It feels better than looking at it as if they were condescending to her. She’s a legend and they all have actually recognized that previously anyway.

          5. I found it oddly compelling because of how much I love Cirie, and how much it clearly affected her. But you’re pretty much right.

          6. I cried. I can’t help it. I am easily manipulated by the edit, I guess. Also as a middle age couch potato, I probably too strongly identify with Cirie. Also also, I really like it when people help each other out to accomplish things without getting an actual reward for it.

          7. I also cried, because I love Cirie, and also had an emotional day already.
            (Okay, and sometimes the inspirational stuff gets to me.)

          8. Roommate who cares about challenges is in New Jersey, so I don’t have the perspective of someone who cares about challenges available.

          9. It was a legitimate callback to Cirie’s Panama edit, which pushed “Cirie, couch-bound loser who is terrified of leaves” really hard.

            Of course what made that bearable in Panama is that it was played frequently as comedy rather than inspirational drama- Cirie being self deprecating while chuckling makes literally anything fun to watch.

          10. I wondered if they cut something pertinent, like Cirie actually *asking* to finish the challenge course. At tribal council, Jeff referred to the incident as though that’s what actually happened. It would make me feel a whole lot better about it, because without that, it seemed awfully close to grade school phys ed teacher sort of bullying. I mean, she was totally spent at the end of that challenge. I was afraid she was going to hurt herself, trying to do more past the point of total exhaustion.

          11. I thought it was amazing. But then, I make my living as a personal trainer and played sports all my life. I legit teared up. But then, I’ve always been surprised by how much the online communities devalue any form of physical prowess when it comes to survivor. I’m used to it now, but it caught me off guard at first

          12. I went to the same Summer Camp for 4 years. My last year, I said to my counselor on the first day that “This year, I want to get to the top of the rock wall, the top of the alpine tower, and do all of the ropes courses, just to prove I can.” And I did most of that. Not because I felt that I HAD to, not because I wanted any sort of recognition, but because I wanted to prove to myself that I could.
            I think that was something Cirie wanted to prove to herself. She came in this season feeling better physically than she ever had on a previous season, and, unfortunately, she came up against a challenge that she couldn’t complete. For her, this was a moment that she needed to prove to herself and her sons that she could persevere, and she did it. I don’t think Cirie felt like a loser after she finished. I’m basing my opinion of the scene on how I think Cirie felt. Maybe Probst played it up a bit much, but I’m very happy for Cirie. It’s not because it was important to the game; it’s because it was important to Cirie.

          13. i totally agree. and i have felt like you’ve felt in your summer camp story. even tho i like physical activity i haaaaate running. short or long distance, i loathe it. but one year i decided to do a half marathon just to prove to myself that i could. i didn’t want to break any records and i knew i’d be RIL slow, but I just wanted to know that i could do what it takes to prepare and finish something that was way out of my wheelhouse

          14. I wasn’t put off by it because I devalue all physical ability when it comes to Survivor. I was put off by it because as a fat couch potato, it really DOES come off as incredibly patronizing when more athletic people cheer others who are having a very hard time on like that. It’s like, “awww, you are so incompetent but you tried really hard! How NICE for you!” If Cirie wanted to walk across that beam to prove it to herself, brava. But the reactions from Probst and Sierra especially seemed patronizing.

          15. That’s fair and I respect your right to feel that way. But just because you choose to believe that a person’s actions are insincere or condescending doesn’t mean that’s how that person meant them. Personally, I respect effort, and if someone is performing at the best of their ability and isn’t quitting when quitting is a legitimate option, I have a ton of respect for that and will try to say something encouraging to that person. I can only hope they take it in the spirit that it’s given

    2. And the little Gilead logo is bad synergy with the fact that I watched Handmaid’s Tale right before this!

        1. Right? I could watch Elisabeth Moss’s face all day. (This is not hypothetical. I watched Top of the Lake on Netflix in one sitting.)

  27. I finally realize why I was so confused about the Cirie moment…because it wasn’t really about Cirie. It was about Sarah. It was about her recognition that Cirie needed help more than her team needed the reward. This is the second time that Sarah has gotten a lot of love from the edit for “standing up for the little guy” and both time she was rewarded. By standing up for Zeke, she had a built relationship that she felt comfortable flipping. By standing up for Cirie, she was able to get a secret advantage. Overall, this episode felt a little bit like the loved ones episode for Adam last season where their edit really started to feel winner-ish.

    1. Ah, I understand now. I didn’t see that. My initial reaction was honestly “fuck, bye Cirie” Then I was just confused. It being Sarah’s story makes sense

      1. I meant to say this in the live blog and forgot, but I think that is exactly what it is. Both she and Brad have had other people talking about them and saying nice things or making other people’s moments about them.

          1. So far as I can recall Sarah hasn’t had anything negative. Brad has in at least one moment last week when Sierra was talking about him being her pawn or not being in charge etc. Plus he had a confessional about ‘the 6’ being unbreakable only for that to not be true by the end of the episode. There is still a ways to go and I think Brad is still in it but his edit so far is reminding me a lot of Monica in BvW and Ken in MvGx with a really stand out pre-merge then really falling of post merge. He has not been seen much since the merge (especially compared to per-merge) and when he has been seen or talked about it’s not as positive as earlier. |I didn’t initially pick up on Sarah’s edit helping Cirie before reading your post but I think you’re dead on. I think Sarah is way ahead of the back now as a potential winner.

            I don’t have any real read on Troy’s idol based on the edit, but my gut says he plays it at some point. But I’m not sure if it’s successful or a wasted idol.

          2. It’s very Ken, great point.

            I don’t know if this is what you were actually saying, but winners do get negative moments, all the time.

          3. But he never had his main ally calling him an idiot/pawn. And he never had shots of goats losing their footing directly after a confessional. Adam had an interesting edit but it had potential. Also the whole WWMD thing. What did Monica do? Went to FTC and lost. Merge episode made me sure of what I already suspected. Brad loses in FTC.

          4. Adam had scenes where members of his own alliance (Zeke and Hannah) were saying “What is Adam doing?” in front of other players and saying in confessionals that Adam was playing terribly and they may have to vote him out.

            He also had multiple confessionals where he talked about how great the reward-steal advantage is. And I don’t care what he said after the show – I believe that he really believed it.

            Finally, he got outsmarted by Taylor. Come on!

          5. Brad’s edit fell apart at merge. He also has negativity directed towards him from Hali in the joint tribal. Then there was the goat losing footing right after he said he had good footing in the game. I picked Sarah by episode three because she got positive content when it was unnecessary to the storyline and didn’t affect the episode at all. Her winners edit has only gotten better since. In the last dozen seasons or so I have only missed one winner when it comes to Edgic (S28). So I am pretty confident in my picks. That said I would bet heaps of money on a Sarah win. She is getting an extreme winners edit + I have pretty much disqualified everyone else from having a shot to win. Brad and Zeke were the only other two I had “alive” behind Sarah going into the merge. And merge episode and after those two have fallen off hard.

          6. I am looking forward to bathing in your tears after the inevitable Cirie win, which has been completely supported by the edit. (If only.)

          7. Sarah’s edit has been all positive. Her reads have been on. She has had positive content not affecting the episode’s gameplay. She is getting an obvious female winner edit like Michele. I picked Sarah during episode three and haven’t looked back or second guessed myself.

        1. I just realized something: Cirie has been involved in stuff that becomes more about Brad and Sarah. In the Varner boot, we got the time with the other tribe of everyone, but especially Cirie, being miserable over crappy pizza. That then gradually became why does everyone love Brad. In this, it became Cirie overcame her fear of challenges (?) because of the encouragement of her team, but especially Sarah.

          1. that episode with Cirie and everyone talking about why they love Brad is why I think it’s crazy to discount Brad as a possible winner

        2. Brad is the only one that has had negativity in his edit (Hali’s comment at joint tribal), the goat shots, his main ally Sierra calling him an idiot (no winner besides Nat White has their main ally pretty much call them a total pawn), and the shots last night of him and Sierra totally blindsided. Brad is getting a FTC loser edit in my book. Sarah’s edit has been better all season, she was getting positive content in episodes where she didn’t go to tribal and had no affect on the game. That is a huge tell for sure female winner edit.

          Stuff I think is clear from edit:
          Sarah wins
          Cirie has a tragic exit
          Cirie will vote for Sarah to win
          Tai is probably final juror
          Sierra is likely the next boot
          Brad will be a FTC loser (I am guessing he gets Debbie’s vote and that is it, maybe Sierra’s)

          1. I laughed when Stephen said during this week’s KIA that Sarah would play it correctly based on the uplifting orchestral music playing when she was talking about it.

          2. genuinely curious: what does Edgic then say is the purpose of the Varner boot episode having everyone on Brad’s tribe cry about pizza and then saying all these nice things about him as a person? How does that dovetail with your narrative that he has a negative edit?

    2. I think editors had their cake and eat it too with that segment. They highlighted both the fan fav in Cirie and what I suspect is the eventual winner in Sarah.

      1. I am thinking about Cirie’s confessional after the RC where she was like “I want to do this for my sons…..but, also these people are really good people”.

        Does all of this mean that Cirie still doesn’t have her storyline this season?

    3. I am not ruling out Brad just yet, especially since he was showed prominently in the preview, but Sarah is gaining on him.

      1. And what little coverage Brad has been getting has been showing his “strategic chops”. Last week with the whole we need to vote out someone big and this week with his decision making process about not picking his entire alliance to be on his RC team.

        1. But clearly his thought that Sarah and Troyzan were the least susceptible was off. He should have skipped Sierra, his strongest ally, so she could keep an eye on what happened with the second group.

  28. This was a great episode and I’m excited to see where the season goes from here. Debbie leaving was about the best thing that could have happened for this season (but it’s the worst thing that could happen to Ponderosa!)

    Now for some edit talk:
    I could still see Brad squeaking by to the end, although he’s been pretty invisible for the past few episodes – if his edit doesn’t pick back up soon I’d say he’s out of it. I think it’s still too late for Aubry or Andrea or Troy to really develop a fully fleshed out winning story line.
    Zeke and Cirie are on the edge but it feels unlikely that either one of them will swing into a power position and sustain it to the end.
    I think Tai and Michaela’s edits have shown that people just don’t seem to like or respect them that much, in terms of the game (though either one would probably make a great goat at this point).
    I would actually say the person with the most consistently positive and present (albeit low key) edit so far has been Sarah. I guess I wouldn’t mind if she won? She’s not the best option we have left, but she’s also not the worst. Speaking of….
    As much as I’ve been down on FFSDT all season, I’m intrigued by the idea of a villainous woman potentially winning. Not intrigued enough to root for her, but it’s so rare that I actually might not be mad at it. Especially if she beat, say, Brad and Troy by presenting herself as the strategic mastermind who controlled an alliance of benign but likable older men. Like a reverse Cochran I guess? Seriously, the only other villainous female winners I can think of are Parvati and Sandra – am I missing anyone?

        1. Argh Jenna. I guess there have been more of them than I though! I’m rapidly losing interest in a potential FFSDT win now.

      1. Natalie A was definitely a villain but it helped that she was a reality villain before she went on Survivor.

    1. I don’t even know if she needs to present herself as the mastermind of that alliance. It seems like everyone perceives her as that already. When Cirie (or Sarah?) asked who was running the game, then answer was “Sierra. … and Brad.”

      1. My rule is: Outside the game doesn’t matter for the most part. I really have no interest in learning about the real world lives of any of these people.

      2. This is what I miss by not being able to post here right away. What is the “Sarah is a fascist” thing?

    2. And really I think Sierra did a good job turning a sure Sarah flip into a moment of real doubt, like whether it was true or not Sierra put the work in to get Sarah to stay, she’s just a little bit outclassed by Cirie.

      1. Not only that, but by all we saw it seems that her conversation with Sarah saved her skin. The plan before that was to take out Sierra, but apparently they moved to Debbie after that. (At behest of Sarah, one would assume.)


        1. HEY! Pennsylvania is a perfectly fine state. Certainly better than New Jersey and Delaware (let’s throw New York in there too because overrated).

    1. I looked up the Civil Air Patrol on wikipedia. It’s pretty much what you’d expect these days. They were pretty badass during WWII though.

      1. I looked up part-time model on google earlier in the week. After about four hours I didn’t get the impression that Debbie was one of those after all.

      2. I’ll admit that I did get a laugh from her “I’ve flown on a ‘plane’ before, unlike these rubes” confessional.

        1. When she said that, my first thought was “Debbie, they’ve been on planes before. They flew out to Fiji with you.”

          1. The weird thing is she could have made an actually sensible point about being more familiar with flying on small planes than her competitors.

            But Debbie’s ego always goes BIG.

      1. According to cabspaintedyellow, who for some reason continues to post at the AV Club but not here, yes.

          1. I didn’t see your comment about Leonard Pierce, but that won’t prevent me from commenting about it. Like Leonard Pierce!

          2. 4, 8 ,15, 16, 23, 42?

            (Did I get that right?)

            Keep in mind, I couldn’t remember what day it was and where I put my keys….

          3. I always hope that in a challenge that involves numbers for a combination someone will say “The numbers are bad! The numbers are bad!”

        1. cabspaintedyellow and DanTheKingOfSockMonkeys are the two I remember from the old AV Club Survivor review days. Streets Ahead too, who comes here more than those two but not a whole lot.

          1. cpy knows someone who works with Debbie at Red Lobster and has basically confirmed how awful Debbie is.

          2. Do we know which Red Lobster? I’m guessing probably the Lansdale, PA one. I suddenly have a hankering to eat some fish and talk smack about Debbie’s shitty game, loud enough for my waitress to hear. The only hitch is making sure I get seated in her section…

          3. You really want to talk smack about a waitress with no qualms about poisoning people while being seated in her section?

            A better plan would be to get seated by the kitchen door when she is working another section. Then you can talk loudly as she passes and still enjoy your meal.

          4. Fair point. Plus, I’m deathly allergic to shellfish, so she could easily kill me without even adulterating the food, say, with her water felon chemistry kit.

          5. Ahhh you have two accounts! I was like, where’s that Veronica Mars avatar? I haven’t seen it here… And it was late and I was stupid. Sorry.

          6. Not stupid! A lot of people comment here, and I usually see the episode after most people, so my comments are easier to miss. (And I think the podcast episodes I were on were before this site did liveblogs.) And it’s nice that you remembered me! 🙂

            And yeah, AVC account/Disqus account =p

  30. I am so so depressed that nobody honored the life and death of Charlie Murphy by getting five blocks in, then just decking Probst in the forehead and yelling “UNITY!”

    I mean, I guess Charlie Murphy was still alive when they shot this but still.

    1. We could have another very special episode, where Troy gets voted out for calling Cirie ‘Darkness’. And Sarah learns that even though there are no black people in Iowa, the fact that she still sees Cirie as a regular person reflects really well on her own character.


    1. What are you talking about; Aubry loves me. I even let her know that she was my underling and that I deigned to keep her around.

    2. She basically called her stupid, and then gave the confessional about how they are BFF’s.

      Aubry’s reaction gave me life.

  32. Alright now that I’m done with the episode: Um hey, guys, Ryan’s comment is really funny and deserves to be rewarded, but as soon as I saw it I knew Debbie was going home this episode. This is why people don’t read the liveblog.

        1. The vote steal, which was used in Cambodia (Debbie’s was from Worlds Apart and Kaoh Rong).

    1. *This is why people read the liveblog after the episode because they are responsible.

      1. I had to make sure people knew about the Underground League Rules thread! I’m really excited about the Underground!

        Also, being responsible is the opposite of how I do things.

        1. People are in this comment section for days after the episode ends, if you really want to post your rules you have plenty of time to set it up after the episode and not spoil yourself, but for the people here commenting after the episode they should see a great funny and relevant comment.

          TLDR: It isn’t all about you.

          1. I was feeling salty. I’m sorry. I know you put a lot of work into making the liveblog and it isappreciated.

      1. I just want to make it clear that I seriously feel really bad about what I said. Shitting on the work you put into this was not cool of me. I apologize.

          1. Thank you. You weren’t too hard on me. My behavior was uncalled for.

            I asked John for permission to make a bigger apology in the podcast comments, but I’ll just tell you here – last December I had to get sober, and, thanks to a bunch of factors, I recently fell of the wagon hard. That’s what you saw last night. It’s not an excuse for how I behaved, those are shitty
            parts of me that come up when I drink, which is why I had to stop, but it’s part of the explanation.

          2. I am sorry to hear you fell of the wagon. I honestly don’t know what else to say, except I genuinely wish you find happiness/peace whether that be on or off the wagon.

  33. As it would have helped my personal league, I would have preferred Andrea help topple the 150 people above me in Fantasy.

    But that was very satisfying. Cigarette, anyone?

    1. In one of my leagues Debbie’s ouster leaves me playerless but it was still what I wanted to happen.

  34. Head’s up: In the Dalton Ross interview, Probst says that the team going out to help Cirie is his favorite moment of the season and one of his favorite moments of all time. I think we know what Cirie’s reunion question is going to be.

    1. From Probst’s own mouth: “But Survivor isn’t about what’s easy. Survivor is about pushing the boundaries and this was simply too strong of an opportunity to let slip past. So I made the decision for Cirie. By turning to her and offering to stay here until she finished, even though it had no bearing on the outcome, Cirie faced a giant decision. Do I give up or push myself? And Cirie didn’t hesitate, she dug in and found another gear. Make no mistake, she was still just as afraid and just as exhausted, but whatever drives Cirie took over and there would be no turning back.”

      Or in other words: Dig, woman! We need some good tv!

          1. OMG, I can not wait!

            Also, did you notice that my when do you count crying really mattered in this episode?!

          2. I didn’t, but here’s the answer. If crying happens twice and it’s part of the same scene you don’t get extra points. BUT if someone cries about something at camp and then cries about it again in confessional, those are separate point gains.

          3. And then again at tribal? We may need a cap, right? Also, did Tai wipe away tears at one point or was is it dirt?

          4. We’ll figure it out as we go. Like I said, I’m gonna ask everyone to pick a test season for me to watch and I may adjust the rules based on that.

          5. I was going to suggest Gabon as a joke, but actually it has tons of reality TV moments and very little actual Survivor to distract you.

    2. It’s Probst trying to prepare us for the fact that the rest of the season is terrible then?

  35. Nice Aubry eyeroll. I will take what I can get.

    Lots of touching Cirie moments. A lot of focus on her since merge. Winner: Brad, Sarah, or Cirie? Eh, who knows. Ever since Michele I doubt myself.

    Poor Debbie, born to be blindsided.

    Ozzy with some Eliza expressions. Didn’t expect that.

    Nice that President Lacina was the swing vote yet wasn’t sent home this time. Personal milestone! Plus good eyes, Sarah.

  36. This is one of the few episodes this season that leaves me optimistic going forward. I still think Brad is the favorite (so much time spent early on painting him as a hero, all of it boring, none of it plot-necessary), but the possibility space has reopened. Sarah is now a strong number 2, and a Brad win is looking less like a clean Pagonging of interesting people leading to a dire finale, and more like a clusterfuck of weirdness with at least a couple people I enjoy going deep.

    Obviously this means all my dreams will be crushed next week (so when Cirie goes, blame me), but for now…I have hope. HOPE!

    1. Painting someone as a hero, when he is boring and not plot-necessary during the pre-merge, *gasp* that DEFINETELY didn’t happen never in Survivor history, let alone last season, but even if it did happen, that person must’ve benn SUPER boring.

    2. At the very least the cat is now amongst the pigeons and hopefully we won’t have to watch the “strong 6” pagong everyone else. Also now the idols will be back in play earlier.

    3. In the aftermath of this episode I found myself wondering if maybe the producers/editors just really love Brad for some reason? The evidence is there I suppose – they brought him back after he didn’t make it on 2nd Chances and they’re clearly working overtime to rehab his reputation after BvW. I wonder if he’s just bros with Jeff or something?

      1. I would guess that for returning players seasons, Production loves it when a player transforms from their previous time (like pre-merge boot Boston Rob from Marquesas returning for All-Stars and taking no prisoners). And no one has transformed more this season than Brad, which is why Production is was giving him such a great edit.

  37. Sorry, late to the comments so I may have missed this: where’s the convo about Sarah being too excited to make a big move and how she should just let other people call the shots instead of being driven by her ego and need to control things?

        1. Fine. I’m distracted by the thing where she’s a Nazi. But I’m real real not happy about the idea of a Nazi winning Survivor.

          1. I guarantee you that she would not have been the only Trump supporter to have ever won Survivor.

          2. As a Jewish person living in America, give me the space of being very angry and unwilling to forgive right now.

      1. Geez, dude. I’m not trying to sympathize, but there were a lot of just plain ignorant morons who voted for Trump. Unless you have specific Tweets or something, it’s best not to drive yourself mad with a big logical leap.

        1. There were quite a few Trump voters who disagreed with him about almost everything, but voted for him solely because they knew that whoever won would fill at least 1 Supreme Court seat.

          Not a great look for those voters, but a little better than “I love Trump! He is just what we need in a President!”

    1. This along with the podcast last week has me a bit confused. Now this can just be me missing something but i don’t recall seeing here the point being made that big moves are bad. That feels like a blanket statement that doesn’t usually get made around here. It seems more like it’s a case by case basis where sometimes commenters feel like a “big move” could be good or bad. Again, something could be missed on my part or maybe the statement wasn’t even a reference to this site, which would definitely go over my head.

      1. There were definitely people here and elsewhere criticizing Zeke’s desperate need to make big moves. That he couldn’t just sit back and let someone else take control.

        1. I get that and saw the criticism of Zeke but you seem to be framing it as a dislike to big moves overall and not just for Zeke’s case last week. That is what has me confused because I feel that i haven’t seen that but maybe I’m mistaken.

          1. Either your mistaken, or I’m reducing people’s arguments to their least defensible points.

            But since I never do that, I’m pretty confident you’re mistaken.

          2. I’m not seeing it as their least defensible points as much ss shifting what the point people are trying to make. If the argument is just about Zeke, that’s one thing and I think there are valid points in how Zeke needed to do something “big” but how can anyone defend a point they weren’t even making like a total disdain for big moves?

          3. There are legitimately Survivor fans (hopefully none here) who look down on Big Moves (TM). My guess is that they do so because of some combination of A) wanting to feel superior to “casuals” who can’t appreciate “subtle game play”, B) nostalgia for what Survivor used to be, or C) reflexive hatred for anything Jeff Probst promotes.

            The basic rule of thumb is that if you don’t think I’m describing your argument, then I’m probably not talking about you. I’m talking about somebody else. And boy did that somebody else have some crazy ideas.

            (Note: I’m TOTALLY talking about some of you).

          4. I could just be out of the loop then. This is the only place I go to (besides my IRL Survivor friends) for anything Survivor related. I don’t really see outside opinions. But I’m still kinda confused with the initial comment you made but I’m just going to drop it and do one of my 4th favorite activity, which is sleeping.

          5. We share many of the garbage Survivor takes we find in our staff chat. So while I hate to defend Andy, a lot of the opinions we’ve been trashing are actual things we’ve seen. Usually they are found elsewhere, occasionally they’re from here.

          6. If they were “garbage takes” from here then I definitely missed it. If I had to guess though, I would imagine it was from a very small minority of posters with that take. I usually see much more well thought out opinions, even if I disagree. From my perspective I see/hear what comes out ae a rewording of people’s points that I’ve read, but again I clearly missed something. I feel like it wasn’t made clear on the podcast and I can see people who felt they had explained thoughts feeling like the target. I can chalk it all up to things going over my head and it being a misunderstanding on my part. Those are my rambling thoughts though.

          7. Or it could just be that Andy has been known to rework someone’s reasoned argument in a way that it’s more easily defeated, particularly when the other party can’t respond in the moment.

          8. You get to hear a lot of talk about how Worlds Apart and South Pacific were the two best seasons from the Nicaragua-Worlds Apart period. Also lots of mocking of Probst for suggesting that people do big moves that lead to entertaining television.

          9. It’s really bizzare. And I’m actually a person who LIKES South Pacific, and at the very least doesn’t dislike Worlds Apart, but having them above Philipinnes, Cagayan, Blood vs. Water, and even Sanj Juan Del Sur is weird to me (after WA I only know that he dislikes Cambodia, I don’t know about his thoughts about KR and MvGX).

            And on post about his latest entry on Funny 115 on Reddit he said that he thinks that every decision wants to make towards the show is bad for it, and while I get being slightly annoyed by him, I wouldn’t go THAT far.

          10. I’m going to steal Blurry Denzel’s thing and make my own list of the Top 5 things about South Pacific:
            1. Sophie

          11. Possibly. Although more like a

            C) Ciera
            1) Probst endorses
            2) Voting out mother was not big move so using phrase “big move” incorrectly

            In general I like big moves, especially when they go wrong. Always entertaining. And fun when successful.

            What I actually don’t like is the phrase “trust clusters”

          12. “Trust clusters” is the worst. I hate to give credit to Fairplay but he basically nailed it when he said “that’s what we were doing in Pearl Islands. We just didn’t call it that because it’s stupid.”

          13. Didn’t Hannah coin that term? I thought it was a bit tongue in cheek when she said it. Like she was poking fun at Fishbach’s voting bloc terminology.

            I could be wrong and this is just my refusal to see her in a negative light.

          14. If I’m one of the people you are talking about (who am I kidding here, we all know I am), I just want to clarify that I’m not against big moves, I’m simply against Big Moves™.

            I have nothing against, say, Todd wanting to take James out because he was a big threat with two idols on his pocket, and that would be against his chances of winning. And, I guess, probably some people in the future and in the comfort of their sofas or in Survivor forums would look at that and say it was a “big move”. It was, and it lead to him winning.

            What I don’t like (or rather detest) is when someone like Will Wahl comes and targets Zeke, not because he wants Zeke out, or because it will further his chance of winning the game, but because he will be doing a Big Move™!

            And I feel that in his case he was even more excusable, because he actually had a strategy (to get a better FTC speech), and more importantly because he was young and stupid. But in other cases, and in Zeke in particular, I feel that they do it not even that strategically, but more so just to look smart on TV.

          15. I agree with this. Some people want to play like Cesternino even when they aren’t in the position to. Big moves are usually my favorite part of the show – my favorite winner is Natalie Anderson after all – but I want them to make sense. The whole game is to get to the end against people you can beat. If you are making a big move, it should be with the right balance of increasing your chances of getting far and taking out your competition. If people are making big moves just to make big moves, it feels kinda dumb.

          16. I’m not against big moves. I think they make the game more exciting – I’m very pro-drawing rocks. I think everybody but Will Wahl did the right thing in drawing rocks in that TC in Mill v. GenX because he literally could have avoided being the killed flipper by just voting the other way the week before. I was all in on Sandra’s big game this season – she was playing exactly how she should have, for example. However, I do think Zeke was playing a little fast and loose last week – I don’t think the criticisms are unfounded. It’s not that he was looking to make a big move – it’s that it might have been the wrong move. BUT – that being said, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I don’t know if Zeke flipped. It’s really unclear. Andrea really feels like he did. I just have trouble seeing how Zeke’s move benefited him at that time, at that moment, because it (at the time), seemed to put him at the bottom of both alliances. But I might just not be seeing the upside to it?

          17. Gonna pile on here. Zeke’s move was criticized for being premature. But once you have solid evidence you’re on the bottom, and it’s an odd-numbered vote, a big move is no longer premature. Particularly when you still have a vote-stealer in your pocket for protection next vote if needed.

          18. I told a troll a couple weeks ago that he was putting Andy’s strawmanning to shame, so clearly Andy decided to up his game.

          19. As for the “dislike of big moves overall”, there was an undercurrent of complainers early this season that Sandra was making too many moves too. This is a real thing. And I will always rant about it.

        2. Sigh. Wow, this just riles you to no end. Sarah doesn’t usually make big moves. She just did. It’s exciting!

          Zeke has made big moves where they were completely wrongly timed due to his need to make “big moves”. He’s done that twice now and doesn’t seem to have learned (though I know there was no break between seasons) to enjoy a majority when he has it. I’m pretty sure that’s the main difference.

          At least, it is for me.

          1. I’m pretty sure the big difference is we like who Zeke turned on and don’t like who Sarah turned on. Because she also didn’t seem to enjoy a majority when she had it.

          2. There’s also the fact that I think Sarah is in a better spot in her new flipped alliance than Zeke would have been in his. However, even for Sarah’s move, it cuts both ways. Now she’s in a group with a lot of really dangerous people. She jumped out of the Brad/Sierra frying pan and into the Andrea/Cirie/Zeke fire. In fact, if Debbie hadn’t started talking shit about her to future jury members, she probably should’ve taken Sierra’s F3 offer (if she thought it was genuine). But she probably didn’t want to leave Debbie in the game shitting on her with the future jurors.

          3. Fair point! I can only try to imagine myself in their position, and I could never take Debbie seriously at Ponderosa with a full belly and an open bar. The actual jurors this season could very well be different.

          4. There was a wonderful Ponderosa moment when the camera focuses on Hali’s expression after Debbie flashes her so-called abs.

          5. One would hope. Counter: Debbie voted with the majority of the jury on her last season AGAINST the person responsible for her demise.


            Probably, yeah.

          6. Ok, let’s break this down (at length):

            Zeke: In what was presented as a relatively tight alliance with Cirie, Andrea and Sarah, with Ozzy as a fifth and Aubry and Michaela as floaters. If you can hold that for a few votes (big ‘if’ admittedly) that is a classic Onion Alliance. Even better, Zeke is at or close to the centre, but can pretty much rely on other people being willing to assist him in removing Andrea and Cirie when the time is right.

            Sarah: In an alliance where the majority of the other members have spent much more of the game together than with her. Clear duo in Sierra and Brad which doesn’t include her. Final 3 offer from Sierra (good!) but the other member of that projected final 3 is already trying to throw her under the bus with potential jurors (bad!). (On the plus side, possible secret sub-alliance with Troy. If you consider that a plus).

            Zeke: Flipping to a seven-person alliance (if we include Sarah), that would then spend the entire next episode calling themselves a strong six person alliance that didn’t include him. (Results-based analysis here, obviously.) Apparently strong existng ties between other players (Brad-Sierra, Brad-Troy, Brad-Tai, Sierra-Debbie), none of which included him and with no clear cracks in the apparent core five with the exception of Brad-Debbie. Put himself on the bottom, though in fairness to him he couldn’t have known that for certain at the time.

            Sarah: Flipping to a six-person alliance including two apparent floaters in Michaela and Aubry, and two people who are unlikely to team up together by choice in Andrea and Zeke. Lots of potential final 3 options, though much less ideal in terms of calibre of player to go up against.

            Zeke: I think we all generally accept the idea that odd-numbered votes are the ones where you flip; even numbered votes it’s usually best to maintain the status quo. Zeke picked final 12, and found himself in a spot where the side he flipped to now had an apparent majority of two, so decided it didn’t need him.

            Sarah: At least managed to pick an odd-numbered vote. There’s a very good chance this move could have been too early, but if Debbie was right and the other five in that alliance were all going to stay strong, this was her only chance to gather enough other players together for a majority (without having to use her vote steal). It is also, importantly, NEVER too soon to remove Debbie from my TV screen.

            Zeke: This was his big problem – he executed badly. His target found out that he’d betrayed her; she didn’t go home; the side he was attempting to flip through then left him out of their plans. A lot of bad feeling caused for very little return.

            Sarah: Very well-executed. She kept it quiet, blindsided her target, and has the opportunity to do damage control with Sierra et al without a furious Debbie in camp to contend with.

            ‘BIG MOVES’
            Zeke: Removing Andrea would indeed have been a big move; as someone with a naturally villainous persona, however, I’m not sure Zeke should be giving his opponents that sort of confirmation bias. Don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself, dude. If there’s anyone he should be modelling his game on, it’s Todd.

            Sarah: Is removing Debbie really a big move? She wasn’t presented as a power player, particularly. Sarah if she needs to can argue that all she was doing was taking out a pawn who was threatening her game personally (ie telling Aubry lies about her). Also, Sarah is a woman, so hooray for patriarchy being unwilling to award credit/blame to a woman most of the time.

            tl;dr: I think Sarah gave herself more potential options in the game, whilst Zeke damaged his position unnecessarily. Also, you’re entirely right, I am willing to praise this because I am happy Debbie is gone and it opens up the rest of the season to potentially become more interesting. Sue me.

          7. Counter: I don’t think Sarah’s move is as good as you’re saying it is. Nor did I ever think that Zeke’s move was as big as you’re saying it was.

            “Also, you’re entirely right, I am willing to praise this because I am happy Debbie is gone and it opens up the rest of the season to potentially become more interesting. Sue me.”


          8. Really really well done post, kudos.

            I do think Debbie was presented as a power player – although in one episode only, Ozzy eliminated. Still, if Sarah can can claim that successfully, it’s the first (small) feather in her cap. Maybe the start of more. Edit has certainly been hinting at more to come for weeks now.

        3. I don’t know if you are talking about me or not, but if you are, I wasn’t trying to criticize Zeke that he wanted to make a big move, just that the big move he tried to make didn’t make any sense to me (big moves can be good OR bad moves just so you know, for example: I don’t think that Cochran’s and Kass’s flips were good moves, even though they were entertaining), and I said that I’m not over the moon on the character he is on TV.

          1. I’m with you. I feel like Zeke’s “big move” put him outside both alliances. I don’t neccesarily believe this was a great move for Sarah but she saw herself as 6th and I really think she would have been 6th (especially as we know but Sierra and Sarah don’t that the men in their 6 person alliance have 3 idols between them).

    2. Well, I’ll bite the bait. We can discuss whether her move was a good one or not (it probably was), but she saying (paraphrasing a bit), “I don’t know if it’s the right move or not, but I promised myself before the season started that I would do big moves” is just plain wrong.

  38. –The Australian Survivor scenario, dead at the age of one vote. It’s in a better place.

    –Michaela not getting picked for that challenge is insanity. Does Culpepper dislike her THAT MUCH? Does Cirie need to distance herself THAT MUCH?

    –Of all the blindside faces, I think Culpepper and FFSDT’s mannequin challenge of shock was my favorite.

    –Let the record show that Cirie planted the seed of doubt in Sarah’s mind. The arrogance of the majority alliance was only the water and fertilizer.

  39. We got another shot of Aubry reacting to the presence of cole slaw. THESE EDITORS GET ME!

  40. Hard not to enjoy a Downfall of Debbie and the Dud Alliance episode, so there were lots of things I enjoyed this week, including:

    1. Michaela is basically in a different TV show at this point and she is definitely winning the game she’s playing.

    2. Aubry, still enjoying coleslaw and blindsiding Debbie!

    3. Cirie’s segment with Sarah, where she twists all the kind of risible ‘most inspirational moment ever’ stuff to make it be about Sarah getting ready to cross a strategic balance beam that Cirie basically built.

    4. Cirie could still win this! Back up to about 95% wishful thinking after this episode, but she’s still in with a shot.

    5. Cirie’s and Ozzy’s back-to-back ‘who is this putz? facial reaction to Troy’s ‘I’m So Happy to be in this 6’ speech at tribal.

    6. Jury Ozzy looking good.

    7. Monica the Chicken remains alive, as far as we know, despite her near-Aubry edit. Hope is not lost for a scene where Monica Culpepper meets her, only to eat her, because Monica only has room for one Monica on this island.

    1. “1. Michaela is basically in a different TV show at this point and she is definitely winning the game she’s playing.”

      Yup. A thousand times this.

  41. Did anyone else think it a bit odd that they never showed us the conversation where Team Fun picked Debbie as the target? I mean, we had the Aubry conversation but I don’t think they explicitly picked her there. I’m curious as to why Debbie and not Sierra or Brad. I am assuming Team Fun did the smart thing and let Sarah pick and she was pissed at Debbie but we weren’t shown that.
    All this while the show was strongly indicating a Debbie boot but had Sierra as an option as well. So when it was never actually said I thought we wouldn’t see any of Team Fun’s votes to blindside us, which wasn’t the case. Then once they focused on Michaela’s popcorn eating I was 100% certain Sarah had flipped and what was going to happen. I’m not really criticizing, I just thought it was an interesting way to edit the episode. Hopefully we get a “why Debbie” explanation next time before things (presumably) shake up (which was also nicely hinted at with Zeke’s reshuffling the deck comments)

    1. I think that they felt showing that conversation would make it too obvious it was Debbie going out, and take away the surprise at tribal. As far as why they chose Debbie, I am sure Sarah decided it. She didn’t like Debbie, but she was very close to Sierra. (And for some weird reason, no one seems to be that afraid of Brad.)

      1. This is true. But why not then go full on and not show Andrea’s vote? And yeah, the nobody is afraid of Brad thing is quite interesting to me. I get the feeling that maybe everyone thinks if they cut Sierra loose he may be a good ally for them, which is a testament to his social game

        1. I did think it was really weird that they showed the Debbie vote. Although maybe they felt that if they didn’t, perhaps when it appeared on the first vote, it would be clear that she was going home. I actually got happy when it appeared, because I am somewhat rooting for Sierra. (Please don’t kill me.)

          1. When Andy sees this, you better prepare, he will NOT let you get away with this after the Zeke argument.

          2. Well, if I wanted to annoy people, I could go much farther than that. (But note that although it pleases me to irk people here, I am being completely genuine in the following.) I feel that if we were to base ourselves only on what we are seeing on this season, Brad’s alliance is much more likeable and able to root for than the opposing alliance.

            Brad himself is a star, Sierra gets each episode more confessionals, and not boring ones, than her entire first season, Troy has been really cool this season, Sarah is doing great, and Tai other people like him. Compare that to Aubry, who is barely on the season; Andrea hasn’t had one good moment so far; Zeke has not appeared well outside of his episode, and probably some other people that I’m even forgetting are on this show. (Even Cirie: she is a Survivor goddess, but if you were to list her 10 best moments, you would be hard-pressed to insert something from this season in it.)

          3. I know you probably don’t need a reminder, but for anyone else that isn’t familiar with how Andy and I roll: We absolutely love when you troll us or come at us with differing Survivor opinions (as long as they’re well-argued, and not “lol a butterfly landed on Sierra at 4 minutes and 38 seconds into the episode so WINNER!”).

          4. If I make a listicle for “10 Reasons Why Sabrina Should Have Won One World,” would that be sufficiently well-argued?

          5. I actually liked Sabrina and thought she played reasonably well. It’s not her fault she was up against a goddess.

            If you really wanted to troll me, you’d have to make the case that Troy was the best player in One World.

          6. I voted for Sabrina to come back in Cambodia. I think her and Teresa would have been excellent players in place of … others.

          7. I didn’t vote then, but if I were, the only female I 100% wouldn’t vote for was Natalie, and I don’t think that I also would’ve voted for Mikayla.

          8. Two of Kimmi, Monica, and Abi could have been trimmed for Sabrina and T-Bird, and Cambodia’s cast would have been fantastic. Shane in for Keith and it’s even better.

          9. I would have preferred dropping Woo for Shane.

            Monica and Abi are tough cuts for…reasons, but I do agree that I would have preferred Sabrina and T-Bird as players. Though I honestly don’t know that T-Bird’s game would be that different from Kimmi’s.

          10. T-Bird’s game might not have been different from Kimmi’s, but I would’ve enjoyed watching her play more.

            And Woo is a tough cut for … reasons.

          11. Monica and Abi you can lose, but I really think Kimmi was fantastic casting and the problem was the edit – she was a great character from her original season, tried some things and brought some game. Don’t think she’s the best Survivor player ever but I was really glad she made the season, though I also voted for Sabrina.

          12. Stop insulting Kimmi, she has an ocean-full of clams inside her and she’s ready for a fight.

          13. Really? Cirie’s Michaela chat or mastery of the “Hali vs Michaela” vote isn’t notable?

          14. Cirie’s Michaela chat was pretty fantastic. I might have that in my top ten Cirie moments. That said, Cirie has had a lot of great moments, so it’s a tough list to crack.

          15. Well, I was thinking more of “tv-show” moments: while her move on Hali was really good strategy play, I doubt that it is something people will remember about this season in some years. Her talk with Michaela was very good, though. And she has had good moments throughout the season. (Including today, with the challenge, although I didn’t like that moment as much as I would expect; it seemed a bit forced, especially from Jeff.) But nothing really legendary, like checking Shane’s balls.

            Don’t get me wrong, Cirie is probably my favorite character left on the season (competing with Brad). I just don’t think this season she is enough to make me root for her alliance when the rest of the alliance is barely on the island. (I assume that people that root for them would say that if only they were to win, they would get more screen-time and be as fun as we remember them to be. Perhaps; but truly we don’t know.

      1. It’s the classic Trish/Kass maneuver that took Sarah out her first time around. Maybe she learned something from the experience. I would tend to give Sarah some of the credit here too – it seems like Debbie was the target that just about everyone could get behind. Aubry was openly annoyed with her, and I’m sure the others were griping about her as well. Plus she steered the Ozzy vote and sealed the deal by using her extra vote advantage. In a way I wish we’d seen the decision making, but I also think that it’s fairly easy to fill in the blanks based on what we saw.

          1. They supposedly became friends (or at least me mended) since the Cagayan finale, which was said by Kass in her podcast with Rob this season. Plus that wishing everyone besides her good luck may’ve been just a joke if it was a tweet (at least I think it was a tweet?).

      2. From that perspective I absolutely get it. I’m just still confused why Sarah would call Debbie as the shot. Yes, Debbie was shown dictating the vote to that group of 6, but I find it hard to take Debbie seriously as a threat.

        1. From what we saw it has to be that Debbie is the one she doesn’t like in the 6. She’s a crazy annoying person and then she was spreading lies about Sarah hating Aubry. That’s got to unsettle Sarah.

          1. Definitely the way I see it. I think it was short term thinking by Sarah – targeting the person she was pissed at, though Debbie has shown some strategic chops – but proper thinking by Team Fun in letting her pick the target

          2. I think that targeting Sierra or Brad is better if you really want to antagonize that alliance, and you are hoping to Pagong them with your new one. (But if that were the case, it is waaay too early to do it at F11.) Taking out Debbie, Sarah takes out the only member of the alliance that she didn’t see eye-to-eye (and that might want to turn on her later on), and leaves possibilities open to work with the rest later on.

          3. She’s also has the argument that she could flip back use her vote steal and take out an Andrea.

          4. I think the only counter argument is that Debbie is the most inflexible of that 6, the most likely to have a shit fit if you flip. Sierra and Brad looked confused and slightly like they were impressed but Debbie at camp after a blindside, no fucking thank you.

          5. Yeah, that’s true. She can go back to Brad and/or Sierra for a later move. You could probably never go back to Debbie

          6. All of this, plus we saw that scene about Sierra and Sarah being friends. I would agree that on some level Sarah just went after the person she likes the least, but she also might want to leave open the option of working with Sierra again in the future. If Sierra can forgive and forget, she is probably a better option for Sarah to go to the end with than Cirie and Andrea (just in terms of increasing her shot at winning).

          7. Yeah it makes perfect sense to aim at Debbie, I also think she’s the least moveable of the 6. If you take her out they may be more willing to play with you but if you take out Brad or Sierra then Debbie would flip her shit and never work with you again.

          8. Yes, I hadn’t thought about that, but you are right. If you are going to flip on the alliance, then Debbie is certainly the person you don’t want to see back at camp. While others might understand and still be willing to work with you, Debbie will never ever forgive you.

          9. We’ll know Sarah’s is good if Sierra has a confessional about Sarah being dead to her.

        2. I’m thinking there were 2 main reasons:
          a) Debbie is less stable and more likely to freak out and play erratically after the blindside
          b) If things backfired completely, I can see her defending a Debbie vote (because Debbie’s crazy) than the core alliance member alpha player. You can argue that Debbie said something terrible that shook her trust, and it’s probably easily believed.

    2. I noticed that too and I kind of liked it. I did expect that we wouldn’t see any of the non-Andrea votes so I was surprised when we got some Debbie votes right off the bat. I mentioned somewhere below that I thought the outcome of this episode was kind of telegraphed by the edit but I actually don’t mind that sometimes when the story telling is this good.

      1. Yeah, I thought we might get 5 Andrea votes, then 5 Debbie votes, then the big reveal, and no Debbie votes shown during voting.
        I was pretty sure it was Debbie too but if they want to telegraph it, double down and don’t show any votes

    3. I suppose it makes sense that they showed it in light of the 6-5 voting, so they could do the last vote reveal and have it be kind of up in the air.

    4. I thought it was really strange they targeted her given the fact that the last two weeks the show has seemingly made a point of highlighting the fact that Sierra and Brad are in charge and thus the obvious power players to get out. Before Debbie’s name came up I would have guessed if anyone went home from that alliance it would’ve been Sierra because she’s been pretty low visibility all game up until last week where she had an over the top “I’m in charge” edit which ended up making her look like a fool. Her blindside this episode would have been perfect. If only.

      I definitely thought it was a fake out and Sarah was just humouring Andrea etc. and she’d just stick with Brad and Sierra. I guess I was just choosing to believe that because that’s what I wanted it to happen.

      1. I’m definitely not a Debbie fan, but I do agree with you that it seemed odd (based on what we’ve seen) to target Debbie as opposed to Brad or Sierra.

        1. Well, Sierra was offering her a final 3 deal, and it’s also conceivable that Sarah could have a secret alliance with Brad through Troy. Debbie, on the other hand, was busy trying to throw her under the bus with the future jurors…

          1. You can replace Debbie with Tai or Brad. Or, go to Brad and tell him Sierra was making final 3 deals that didn’t include him. You can even spin it as taking out Debbie because you, Sarah, would rather go to the end with HIM.

          2. Easier said than done to just replace Debbie with Tai or Brad. She just betrayed Sierra’s trust so she’s potentially strained that relationship a lot. Why would Sierra want to work with her now. Also Debbie is a much better person to go with to FTC because she’s basically guaranteed to get zero votes. Can’t necessarily say the same for Tai or Brad. Also Sarah seemingly had a really solid relationship with Debbie. If Debbie was in on that final three they probably could have had an unbreakable three solid votes right to the end.

            Sarah can definitely still use this to her advantage, and work with Brad, like you say, but it’s definitely not as solid as now she runs the risk of looking duplicitous and working multiple sides. I think she can tell Brad what Sierra said about final three to her advantage, but I don’t think something along the lines of “I voted out Debbie so I can go to the end with you” is really going to work by itself.

            From my perspective it looks like an incorrect move that places her in a much worse position.

          3. I agree with most things, except that Debbie and Sarah had a solid relationship. It is hard to know for sure because of how little we see of what is actually going on, but all signs point to them really not seeing eye-to-eye. We were shown Debbie angry at Brad for making deals with Sarah, and she went to Aubry and told them not to trust Sarah. Even if her purpose was to fool Aubry, she wouldn’t say that if she really like Sarah.

            And it is really hard to get F3 with someone you are not solid with. It probably seemed more likely to Sarah that Debbie would convince Sierra to vote Sarah out and go to F3 with someone else, like Brad, for whom she has a thing and a F3 deal.

          4. Hmm very good points! I was thinking back to a confessional Debbie had a few episodes ago stating that Sarah was a good person (or something along those lines, I have forgotten, but she said she liked Sarah). So I just presumed Debbie like her based from that… but you’re right – if Debbie liked Sarah she probably wouldn’t have thrown Sarah under the bus there. And Sarah didn’t seem to like the fact that Debbie was making a lot of the key shot calling.

            Hmm true, Sarah ideally wants two others she can fully trust to go to FTC with. She may not have been sold on Debbie due to trust issues.. but they would have at least been final six guaranteed, meaning she’d have a lot of time to form a better relationship with Debbie and work on making that final three a reality. Now she doesn’t have a clear path to final 6 and she Sierra probably won’t want to go to the final three with her.

            Anyway I suppose it’s impossible to say whether or not it’s a good move or not until we see the whole season! Lets see how it plays out next week.

      2. I think Sarah is trying to keep the “Team up with Sierra” option open. Possibly the same with Brad. This may be her putting Plan Pendulum into effect (though that plan usually works better with a tight pair)

        1. Hmm true, that conversation Sierra had with Sarah was probably Sierra’s saving grace. I wonder if things may have gone differently if that didn’t occur. Who knows. I suppose Debbie makes a lot of sense because she would probably never be open to the idea of changing sides down the track, whereas Brad and Sierra might.

          Debbie would have been a great person to take to FTC though, but I guess it’s potentially a bit too early to think about that and also there are more immediate things to think about.

          1. I don’t think its too early be thinking goats. The issue with Debbie is the same issue as Abi – she’s too unreliable to make a good goat

          2. Hmm but you see I don’t think that’s a very good argument with Debbie. She may have wavered a bit in the beginning, but ever since that blow up she’s had a really solid alliance with Brad and Sierra and she’s seemingly always got on really well with Sarah. Debbie was starting to get comfortable. From Sarah’s perspective I thought Debbie would look like a highly reliable person to go with to the end. I think she’d definitely be interested in a final three consisting of her, Sarah and Sierra. I certainly think she’d at least be a more reliable ally than Andrea or Zeke or Cirie who I’d perceive to be more willing to swap sides at any vote.

        2. You know what makes a great pendulum? (You know where I’m going with this)

          Troy’s dong.

          1. I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. By the way, I’m just about to start this week’s Adventure Zone!

          2. I going to start in a bit. Debating throwing things on it up here or waiting until tomorrow and putting it in the podcast post.

      3. I mentioned one theory below (that Debbie was just an easy vote to rally around because people like Aubry were already annoyed with her) but I also wonder if there were more factors in play that were maybe attributable to Sarah’s strategy. First, Sarah might be trying to execute a ‘meat shield’ type strategy, where she intentionally leaves Sierra and Brad in the game for a while so everyone can rally around getting them out? Or, maybe they chose Debbie because they thought it was unlikely that the Brad/Sierra alliance would burn an idol saving her. Plus, I can’t remember how much Sarah was in on it, but Debbie definitely steered the last vote. That, paired with the fact that Sierra flat out said Debbie was in her final 3 plans, definitely lends credence to the idea that getting Debbie out would weaken Sierra. Finally, not necessarily a strategic move, but we’ve already seen Debbie get really hot headed this season – maybe they just thought that Sierra and Brad would be easier to live with in the aftermath of a blindside than Debbie?

        1. Hmm true, I’m sure her being an easy person to rally around was part of the reason. I suppose the notion that she would be the last person to have an idol also makes a lot of sense too.

          The meat shield strategy makes a lot of sense short term – Brad and Sierra could be easy targets for the next few votes… but at the same time the Debbie blindside and her swing voting sort of exposes her a bit too. She seemed to be sort of flying under the radar but now she’s probably on everyone’s radar. Now people have reasons to vote her out too. Would she be next in line after Brad and Sierra? Perhaps. I just don’t think it was the best move and I feel like she wants to keep moving forward as a swing vote which is a very dangerous position to be in.

          Yeah, if she wants to weaken Sierra’s control then it’s a good move, I just don’t know if it’s the smartest one. Yeah, I suppose it’s also possible that Sarah just didn’t like being excluded from all the key decision making and saw Debbie as the person making most of those decisions and she didn’t like it.

          Aha you’re right, Debbie probably would have exploded after tribal if they went with Brad.

          1. Why doesn’t anyone who orchestrates a blindside against their alliance member pull a phony “I am shocked!” face to protect their identity as a flipped swing voter? I can’t remember past season details as well as many of you; has anyone ever tried that (and successfully fooled the rest of their alliance)?

          2. That would definitely be fun, I wish it happened more often. I feel like there’s only so long you can protect your identity though. Even the jury is probably going to find out sooner or later.

            Natalie’s worked because she made it look like a miscommunication between her and the rest of her alliance.

          3. That wasn’t so long ago, but I *still* can’t quite remember it! I may have had my clouded vision due to rage (which happens occasionally every season).

          4. Yeah, it seems like a very Rob thing to do, although it also seems like a very Rob thing to do it badly.

        2. Sarah doesn’t need to rally that other side around anything other than “I might throw you a lifeline if you do what I ask you to do”.

    5. Debbie also used an extra vote last week, and they may have been concerned that she had another advantage. Also, it’s a bit of the “eliminate the wild card.” She’s been voting pretty consistently, but she’s clearly not fun to live with, and that could also be a factor. Sierra and Brad are likely more tolerable on the island than her.

        1. It was particularly tear-jerking when she said ‘We are Debbie” as the torch was being snuffed….

          1. Thanks for the praise. It helps when the episode is actually enjoyable to watch and I like talking about it (cough two weeks ago cough).

    1. If you search for a bunch of stuff on Amazon, it will sometimes show up in the ads. I know because I bought a bunch of shit this month. However, for some reason, it will still show the random generic “Game Change” items sometimes. It’s weird.

      1. Well, for what it’s worth, I have NOT searched for headphones. I did research some wireless mouses…. but that’s a big leap to “headphones”

  42. I hope we get a good Survivor memorial on Debbie on the podcast. I feel that this season she was much better (funnier) than her first one; she was a blast. In fact, most of the memorable (good) moments of the season (sans Sandra) involve her. I would even argue that she reached the awesome level of weirdness of first-season Coach.

      1. You must be confusing her with Michaela. You know, the unstable one that could explode at any minute.

        *Cut to scene of Michaela helping someone else fill up a water bottle.*

        1. Her edit is an interesting one. People always say that she’s really annoying but there isn’t any evidence in the edit to support it, for example: Sierra said that if they won’t vote her out at the merge tribal, she will wreck havoc, and how she rudely busts in into conversations, both were never supported by the edit, and I think that it’s intentional.

          1. Someone on the AVC mentioned Michaela having a youtube series, Tea with Michaela B, where she discusses her perception.

          2. I watched that series when she was doing it during off-season, now I stopped, but if I have some time, maybe I’ll watch the rest.

          3. Well, to be fair we did get to see her being ridiculously obnoxious during the reward challenge this episode.

          4. I first read that on reddit, God forgive me, and I really, really want to agree. But her behavior during reward challenge makes me doubt. Oh and I see that tocantins just said that. Ah well, post button needs to be pushed.

  43. I just finished the episode, a bit late this week. I’m actually so devastated. Given how much exposure Debbie has been getting I thought she’d be top 5, no doubt. A lot of people here saying it was obvious but I was 100% expecting it to be a fake out and Sarah was just going to vote out Andrea. To be fair they try to edit in potential blindsides all the time which are never realistically going to happen so I was certain that was happening again here. I’m feeling how you guys were feeling when Malcolm was voted out. I was just so unwavering in my belief that Debbie was going really far this season. I am very sad. This is not an exaggeration.

    I do appreciate the fact that this completely opens the game up though, and next week should be a good episode. Honestly surprised that they didn’t choose Brad or Sierra though after all the chatter about Brad and Sierra being the ones in charge.

    Sarah has to be careful she doesn’t end up going home as the swing vote again this time round. I am really not enjoying all the focus she’s getting the past few episodes. I really hope the strong edit is situational just because she’s she’s played a huge role in the last two boots. She is seemingly doing all the right things, and she’s had some really lovely, heartwarming moments, but I just cannot warm up to her. I keep waiting but it just doesn’t happen.

    Everyone clearly hates Michaela clearly so I hope she gets brought to FTC as a goat because I want her to be in every single episode this season please.

  44. Final update on my students’ reactions to Survivor, as tomorrow is my last day of student teacher:
    They are ECSTATIC that Debbie is gone. They were really afraid it was going to be Andrea, and they like her. They think Cirie is awesome (WHICH IS WHAT I’VE BEEN TELLING THEM FOR MONTHS).
    Also, I showed some of them the picture from AV Club of Sierra’s nail polish and my favorite reaction was (and this is a direct quote): “DAAAAANG!”

    1. Thanks for the update- I always enjoy getting the opinions of non-Internet obsessive Survivor. It’s really interesting that for your kids, this episode’s patronizing pablum really did make Cirie sympathetic. I do support everyone loving Cirie.

  45. One more thought I just had:
    There has been a lot of discussion about Sarah’s Big Move, whether the timing was right and whether Debbie was the right target. One possibility to consider was that this might have been the only move Sarah was capable of pulling off at this point. She’s no Sandra or Cirie, so a series of subtler moves (like steering both sides of the vote to protect her secret allies) might just be too high a level of difficulty for her. Taking out an unliked person in the power alliance may have been the best she could do here. Come at me with your opinions!

    1. But does the minority alliance is that picky, that they wouldn’t let her pick a person to target (at least I think they are)? They and she know fully well that pissing her off, when she can help you is a bad move (I know that it was exactly the mistake she made during Cagayan, the problem then was that she showed a certain side her power, here she at least appears more smarter about that this season). I think that Cirie and the rest talked through this with Sarah, getting her permission about the target, without steering the vote completely how they wanted.

      1. I think you’re right that the minority alliance had every reason to be flexible about the target and basically go wherever Sarah wanted them to. I also imagine that everyone probably wanted to let the plans form organically to some extent, so I could totally see the plan beginning to form when Aubry and Sarah were griping together about Debbie, and things sort of just developed from there.

    2. Agreed that Sarah is not a strong strategic player. Along those same lines, does Cirie get any props for steering Sarah to betray her alliance?

      When the two of them were talking, it seemed like Cirie nudged Sarah to flip on her alliance. Cirie was focused on Brad or Sierra but she at least planted the idea in Sarah’s head that she cannot win if she sticks with those six because even if she makes it to the end, she will get no respect. Also, I’m not reading too much in Brad or Sierra not going because once Sarah was focused on Debbie, it wouldn’t make sense for Cirie or anyone else to really press for Brad or Sierra since she got the desired result (flipping on the six).

      Then at tribal, we saw Cirie explicitly thank Sarah for her help at the reward challenge. I’m not sure if its editing trickery or Cirie truly gave Sarah the only shoutout. It seemed like a smooth way of saying, “play with me, i respect and appreciate you.”

      Of course, it looks like this all blows up next week based on preview, but I would like to think Cirie is quietly building her resume 🙂

      1. Cirie always gets props because we love Cirie. Ever since I found out how awful she is in real life, I’m tempted to give all the credit to Cirie, and pretend Sarah doesn’t even exist.

        1. It is certainly a lot of wishful thinking. I will say that. But I really do feel like ciries story is not over. Whether that means she wins, I don’t know, but she has a secret alliance w Michaela and has been able to refocus herself after the reward challenge. For instance, why show the confessional after the hali vote where Michaela swears her loyalty to cirie?

          I sense an arc coming up! Again, wishful thinking.

          That said there are ten people left w three idols and a vote steal. Someone is going to get boned hard. I have no problem w idols but am not looking forward to so many potentially getting played w so few left.

    3. I wonder if Aubry and Michaela are a little gunshy in going after Sierra due to what happened the last time they went after Sierra. Even if they don’t think she’d have an idol, they know Tai would play one for her…but would he play *two* for her? *Her*?

    4. Also, one that she might not have any ties with. Debbie was also the one saying that everyone in her alliance was respected and listened to.

  46. Aubry liked my tweet! Ok, never mind how I’ve behaved in the past, this is now the best season ever.
    I feel like, this must be how Stephanie felt when she discovered the mysterious Cool Rider (Michael in disguise) was actually alive after he was presumed dead from his construction site pit motorcycle jump in Grease 2.

    1. The fact that the Cool Rider spoke with a British accent and Stephanie still couldn’t figure out he was Michael, the only British student in her town, is the sole plot hole in this otherwise airtight film.

          1. Mine too, come to that. I also genuinely like Back To School. It’s a pretty good Four Tops song.

          2. I highly recommend the How Did This Get Made episode where they discuss this movie (with guest Anna Farris).

        1. Also, given that my first crush was on Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, I’m here for it.

          1. Similar, but in Grease 2. I mean, she wears leather in both. And straddles things in both. There are reasons.