Survivor Game Changers Episode 5 Liveblog: “Dirty Deed”

Follow us on Twitter and JotCast for episode 5 of Survivor: Game Changers. And in keeping with the spirit of this season, we’re changing the game with a new guest host for one week only.




Em has watched the show since the first season, though her enthusiasm for it skyrocketed during Philippines. Her favorite Survivor-related moment was when she and her best friend of several years both realized that the other was secretly a huge Survivor fan as well. Em also has a crush on Ken McNickle, which is very confusing for everybody.

Favorite seasons: HvV, Pearl Islands, Micronesia, Amazon, China, Philippines.

Favorite players: Sandra, Denise, Yul, Parvati, Kim

1,005 thoughts on “Survivor Game Changers Episode 5 Liveblog: “Dirty Deed”

  1. Questions for tech-savvy Purple Rockers: What is a VPN, how can I get access to one, and will it prevent people from finding out that I spend hours a day talking about Survivor on this site?

    1. Check out Private Internet Access. $40 a year, your speed is marginally affected. Certain services (Netflix, for instance) won’t allow you to stream while it’s running, but otherwise it’s good for masking your Internet activity. Lets you choose which region of the world you want to pretend you’re connecting from.

    2. This was originally a jokey post, but I’m actually learning a few things. I also hope that other people can use some of these replies.

  2. Why are they showing so much of the pre-challenge strategy? Who’s going to blow it for their tribe?

  3. Have the editors ever done that before? Either they hate Debbie, this is her Drewchbag episode, or both

    1. Just posted this on the live blog, I don’t remember ever seeing a flashback, I like it. next step, get Ron Howard to narrarate

      1. Using flashbacks to call people out when they are full of shit is excellent and should be done more

    2. In Amazon, when the men and women are still separate tribes, there’s a post-challenge scene back at camp where the men are talking about the women, and we see what can best be described as thought-bubbles above their heads showing the specific woman they’re talking about. Those thought-bubbles are wordless footage and only a few seconds long, but it’s previously-aired footage.

      That’s all I could think of.

      1. “I love you. I don’t know why you’re so upset with me.”

        Brad is a saint. I never would have thought I’d be saying that this season.

          1. Yes, but he’s known Monica for years and actually loves her.

            Debbie is “a crazy lady” that he’s known for a couple of weeks.

    1. It’s like the show said “We’re not gonna wait to show this footage at the reunion – we’re gonna do it right now.”

  4. Did Debbie have a crush on Brad? Is that what that was all about? Because it kind of seemed like it

    1. She certainly seems very jealous of/threatened by Hali. I think it’s a combination of ego (she wants to be in charge: Brad is instead) and insecurity (Hali is young, pretty, receiving the roles Debbie apparently wants in the challenges, and no longer a lock to go home next time they go to tribal).

  5. “Debbie’s just different; she’s a crazy lady” OMG Tai!
    Also that was AMAZING background music during Debbie’s rant
    ALSO is Debbie actually crazy? Hali didn’t do the digging, so how did she cost them peanut butter, by not digging fast enough?

    1. Hali went first on the balance beam. And it looks like she was quicker than Debbie.

      1. Right, but according to Debbie Brad lets Hali do whatever they want and they lost because Hali took too long digging. She later changed it to that she took 2 minutes and Hali took 10 (obviously false), but initially she didn’t even seem to know what had happened at all.

        1. She seemed both furious at Brad for putting her on the balance beam, and also furious that they failed to sufficiently recognise her balance beam prowess in favour of praising Hali. You’d think these two things were mutually incompatible, but what do we know?

          1. I suspect that deep down she realised she was (at least partly) responsible for their loss, but rather than owning up to it she convinced herself that she was blameless and projected her frustrations out onto Hali and Brad.

          2. I think she sees Hali as the outsider in her tribe, so she has to fit what happened within that narrative.

  6. Varner’s eyes looked like he was watching the Debbie meltdown when he heard Sandra’s idea.

    1. I don’t know if I’m fully onboard with that, but it did look like Debbie was laughing after yelling “YOU CRUSHED MY HEART” at Culpepper.

        1. It was one of those self-protection things. You know, the, “I’m about to cry because I’m really upset but I’ll just play it off as laughter, ha ha, you can’t get to me” thing.

    2. Wait… you’re worried about excessive producer interference in the season where two of the first four boots were Tony and Malcolm?

      1. Well, I didn’t say they were doing a good job. They are trying, but can only do so much when JT works so hard to counteract all the help they give him.

        1. Maybe the reason she volunteered at Red Lobster and was never officially hired is because she couldn’t balance the tray and was always spilling drinks (and lobsters) on the customers.

  7. Could that be the most over-the-top negative edit for a non-bootee ever? Hopefully its going somewhere (like her boot)

    1. Midway through the episode I turned to my roommate and said, “they haven’t telegraphed the boot this aggressively since season 29.”

        1. I kept expecting Brad’s tribe to show up at tribal saying “Jeff, we decided to give up immunity in order to vote one of our own out.”

    2. I said above that it’s like the editors decided to give Debbie the Dan Foley treatment that Jeff did at the reunion, but not wait that long.

    1. JT: I destroyed Malcolm’s entire game last week in my desperation to get rid of Sandra, but now that someone has stolen the sugar…

    2. They seem to be setting it up to be Michaela, so who the hell knows, its probably like Probst or something

      1. After Jeff said “someone will be voted out,” they showed a shot of JT and Michaela, then a shot of Sandra and Varner. Wide shot of Nuku, no closeup of Aubry.

        But that might just be a continuation of the edit.

  8. Quality of life problem? Arguing at challenges? It’s uncomfortable? Was Mana at the same challenge that day?

        1. I think there’s a spin off storyline: will Aubry now feel like a free agent once the merge hits? Does she feel any loyalty at all to Sandra or Varner?

          1. I would say no. Also regarding tribal, strategy is more interesting than chaos, that tribal was a chess match, last one was a mess

  9. That was a work of art. Oh my God. And JT leaving with an idol in his pocket seals his legacy

      1. I still don’t understand how he could be that confident. Always bring your damn idol to tribal, but especially when you know people are voting for you

  10. The fact that we got this ‘Debbit edit’ episode where she didn’t go home convinces me that Brad is winning.

          1. I forgot about this until now, but when Debbie was ranting about Brad being used to being a leader on the football field I screamed at the TV “he was a tackle!”

          2. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a leader tho. Or at least have leadership qualities that worked for him at some level of the sport he exceeded at for 20ish years of his life

          3. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have leadership qualities, but, when you’re looking at the leadership positions on a football team, nobody is pointing to the tackles.

          4. from the outside looking in, people think of the quarterback as the one true leader of the entire team, and maybe some of the other star players. But every team has at least two team captains (one offense and one defense) and most teams have 4 team captains. Offhand I’d guess that linemen make up about a fourth of team NFL team captains. Plus each position group will tend to have a leader of its own.

            I totally agree with YOU that Debbie is a COMPLETE nutcase tho. But I’d be inclined to agree with her in that Brad has a hyooge leg up in having leadership experience with large groups

        1. It’s a two-season arc. Hated by fans/Candice Woodcock, redeemed by his charm (?) and gameplay in his second go-round.

          Or if you don’t agree with that, then a Malcolm Freberg edit.

    1. Counter: there’s no way they could NOT tell that story. 1) It was insane. 2) Debbie continued doing it during the part they HAVE to show (the immunity challenge, where she trash talked her own tribe).

      Another Counter: Sandra is winning.

          1. Rob C doesn’t seem all that close with CBS, as compared to other former players.

          2. Huh? I never got that impression. I think he gets fewer calls than a lot of people, but that’s just down to his obvious lack of interest in playing again. His relationship with the network seems fine,though; when they did that panel of stars pre-Cambodia he was the only non-winner in the group.

          3. I think I’m conflating the way CBS does their casuals fan service with their relationship with Rob. You’re right, it’s not cold and rocky, but they never have him do press or coverage (Parvati and Malcolm have done this), and they wouldn’t use their airtime to hype him up like they did for Boston Rob.

          4. I think a lot of that is more on Rob’s end. It’s not that he has a bad relationship with the network, it’s that he has his own media brand and they want to maintain the distinction.

            It’s not true that they never have him for press stuff, like I said, there was the pre-Cambodia panel, where he was the only person there who hadn’t won. He’s also told a story before about how when he first got access for exit interviews he was relegated to the end of the second day, with the international press, and when someone in media realized this was Rob C’s podcast they were like “that’s ridiculous, you deserve a prime spot on the first day” and immediately moved him.

            I also suspect a lot of it is they would use him more if he was willing but he just doesn’t want to. He seems to really like that he gets to work from home. I’d bet they’ve asked him before to fly out for the preseason and he’s always come up with an excuse not to.

          5. I love when he tells the story about how he read the online comment on the Survivor column he used to write, “Oh, I thought this was Boston Rob. I didn’t know it was the Rob that sucks.”

          6. The first time I saw Rob C play I thought he was Boston Rob lol. I didn’t know any better and I assumed that because of how big his character was he was the famous guy. It didn’t lost long but I did realize he was not Boston Rob during The Amazon.

          1. The winner of a reward got Rupert to come to their camp to do Survivor things like fish and build shelter. Then he was terrible at it.

          2. JINX. I posted this before I saw that you had the same thought. At least Rupert is a more sociologically respectful rent-a-native than … renting actual natives.

      1. During Cambodia, after Joe went home, Rob C played a game where he read off crazy schemes from the Survivor Facebook page explaining how he could come back into the game.

        I understand those people now.

    1. There’s going to be some awkward way to tie it in with the theme. Jeff’s going to be like, “A former gamechanger returns…to change the game for you!”

    2. I have to say that it would be hilarious if it’s someone like Yul or Kim Spradlin and they just completely fuck up our fantasy leagues.

      1. I would absolutely love that, but then I would realize that they kept a quarter season of Kim/Yul from us. It’d be unforgivable.

      2. Now next year my entire pick 4 can be players not even on the season and they can’t stop me. It’ll totally fuck up John’s spreadsheets.

  11. Yo JT didn’t even bring his idol to TC. Someone is really angling to hit the bottom 5 of the next round of winners rankings

        1. Apart from JT’s lack of strategic skill this season, his social skills are also seriously lacking. We watched him put up with Coach with a smile in Tocantins, and now he’s ready to explode after Michaela asks for a cup of coffee?

        1. Heh! I loved Fish defending the incompetent decision of not bringing the Idol to tc with “perhaps you incompetently buried your Idol somewhere in camp where you can’t get to it when you desperately need it. Or maybe you’re too incompetent to determine at tc to make the right decision, so best not to have it at all”

          1. I wouldn’t care if I had buried it in the middle of camp and everyone would see me digging it up. No way I’m going to tribal and leaving my idol at camp.

      1. At first I thought Sandra was stirring up shit to stir up shit, but it was so very strategic. I can’t wait for everyone to say she didn’t earn her third win.

        1. Keep hope alive, search your feelings, you know it’s gonna be a terrible winner.

    1. I’m fine if she goes next week due to a bad swap. She has been magic so far and has done more than I dreamed she could get away with and I have loved every minute.

      1. Yes. That move generally isn’t a high percentage play. People just let too much slip. I’m shocked that Michaela was able to hold it in, but maybe she found inner strength because she was fueled by rage.

        1. I was honestly worried they were overplaying it. But since JT didn’t even bring the idol, I guess it didn’t matter

    2. I didn’t think she did well last week, but I am fully back on board. That was incredible.

    3. She really is The Queen, and she is going to end right back at the Finals again. And yet she seems to contribute so little in camp life and challenges. She is amazing!

    1. The increase in screentime makes me hopeful, too. I was worried she was getting the sort of edit that meant she left in a rock draw.

  12. Question: Is it a tribe swap back to 2 next week? OR is it an unprecedented merge at 15?

    1. I think it might be back to two tribes… didn’t they say someone was being exiled? If I heard it right and someone *is* being exiled I would assume that means two tribes of 7 players.

      1. Players at Exile always come back before the IC. I think it’d be a fascinating (albeit unusually cruel) twist to have someone miss out on the chaotic mingling/scrambling that happens directly after the merge.

          1. But the first three names sound dumb when paired with “maneuver” and the Sugar Maneuver is now taken

          2. He certainly wasn’t going to write one called The Sierra Dawn Thomas Identity.

          3. While this is likely if they follow the template, I’m not ruling out anything this season.

        1. I would assume random, I feel like it’s been a long time since Survivor felt comfortable letting teams draft. Has there been a draft since Gabon?

          1. Though it can end disastrously, I do think it could be awesome though. We’re down to 9 old Nuku and 6 old Mana, so two tribes of 7 with someone going to Exile.

            Do all of Mana try to stick together, with a sacrificial Nuku? (Imagine if you managed to swipe, say, Brad or Ozzy from the other side). Does someone like Aubry or Troy or Hali try to make a break for safety? Are you picking Sandra or Cirie because they’re your number, or would you rather do your best to keep the tribe strong? With returnees, it’s the type of thing I’d like to see (I’m trusting them not to be as dumb as Fang here).

            I’m also happier to see someone get screwed over because someone mucked up the draft than someone getting screwed over because they were unlucky with the buff draw.

        2. They’re gonna pretend the second swap in Australian Survivor wasn’t a terrible idea and go back to that well.

  13. Michaela just sits there sitting water like a boss and Sandra is all “I’m so proud of you, my child. If you were a baby goat I totally wouldn’t eat you.”

    1. I’ve kept this a secret because I don’t want to be exiled, but roommate and I weren’t fans of Michaela last season.

      I fucking loved her this episode. That coffee cup shit was the best.

  14. it’s weird that Tony is getting so little screen time. it’s not like him to lay low. 😏

  15. A couple of weeks ago I said Troy was the most likely person this season to join the Jason Siska too-stupid-to-play-your-idol-when-you-are-the-obvious-target club (which needs a better name). With gritted teeth, I must apologize to Troy and give that dubious honor to JT

        1. I *NEED* for Sarah to think that she’s being discreet with Troy, and for the other four sacrifice Sarah to flush Troy’s idol.

        1. It was definitely over confident, but I wonder if its more Sarah’s problem than his, since she kind of abruptly appeared this week

  16. Okay I am going to honest and say that this was the funniest episode of Survivor in a while. In between Debbie meltdown, Nuku’s sugar problems, JT idol screw-up, Michaela’s prop comedy, and some great confessionals this week was great.

        1. They never, ever show the players breaking the fourth wall like that, and you know new players must constantly be mugging for the camera until they tell them to knock that shit off. They made a huge exception for Sandra because it was so damn funny.

          1. They let Boston Rob break the fourth wall like that every chance he got and the show was better for it.

          2. The last one I remember is Caramoan, when Malcolm looked at the camera after being subjected to Phillip’s nicknaming ritual for Stealth R Us.

    1. I also loved Michaela and Sandra’s comedy duo act during tribal:
      “Has anyone ever seen me wash dishes?”
      “She has washed dishes”
      “Has anybody ever seen me help prepare food?”
      “She has prepared food”
      “Has anybody ever seen me deliver food to anybody else on a plate?”
      “She’s given me food on a plate”

      I literally rewound and watched that bit five or six times while attempting not to die from laughter. They’re the best Survivor Duo since Sandra and Courtney.

    2. My favorite line of the night was easily Brad’s, “Is she acting?” He was genuinely confused. And SDT didn’t seem too sure either.

      1. While that is a good line, it comes second to “I love you. I don’t know why you’re mad at me.”

  17. Oh BTW Stephen isn’t doing KIA tonight which is total bullshit. I lost a lot of respect for him.

    1) It means he was spoiled. Whether it was for just this week or for multiple weeks it’s still bullshit for someone who is supposed to be an “analyst”.

    2) It’s weak of him not to come on and eat crow when his buddy loses. Really weak.

    1. Yeah, that’s not a good look and I’m sure Rob is probably not the happiest about it, especially since he has had to deal with the rumors that he is spoiled in concerns to his premiere podcast guest.

      1. I think Rob has been spoiled for a long time. All the top tier Survivors tripping over themselves to be on his show, he’s spoiled rotten.

        1. I think Rob knows better because if CBS even senses that he is spoiled, then he could lose a lot of his access as a podcaster. That is a reason why most of his podcasts has to be PG.

        1. Sorry, I didn’t make that original sentence clearer. I meant to say that people thought Rob was spoiled because he had Vytas coming in to recap and Kass coming into do voicemails for the week that Ciera and Tony go home. It was similar to how Dan Foley was the guest on Survivor Oz the week that Shirin went home on Cambodia.

          1. Thanks for clearing that up, but please, also, can I just have more time to say nice things about Josh Wigler?

          2. Please, I am not stopping you. I know that he was “spoiled” on the first episode because, well, he was there, but he is also good enough to not have that seep into his pre-season commentary.

          3. I mistyped again (that might be my sign to go to bed). I mean to include that it is cool that he is able to talk around the stuff he knows, especially this one that he has known about for 9 to 10 months now.

          4. He’s also a wise dude who knows who the true tastemakers in the Survivor community are.

          5. I know I’m the most pro-Josh voice here and possibly anywhere, and I’m a fan of his because he genuinely feels like a breath of fresh air in the community, but, to be completely cynical, you’re right, he’s a wise dude who knows exactly why his career as a Survivor journalist happened. The thing is, part of that why is the fact that he was a breath of fresh air. That’s his brand. He’s not compromising it any time soon.

          6. I wasn’t throwing shade. I was (I thought) not at all subtly calling out that he name dropped us last week.

          7. I didn’t know he did that. I didn’t listen to any other podcasts because hearing people talk about the Bad Time was just a bummer.

            I listened to his preseason interview with Dom and Colin and noticed he named dropped you guys in that one, tho.

          8. For context he was there to discuss his reveal of the ‘no tie-breaks’ twist and he said something like ‘yeah, I’ve got all these people like the Purple Rock guys hitting me on twitter asking why I couldnt do this before they made their preseason predictions.’

            Gonna have to go back and listen to last week’s Wiggle Room, I guess.

          9. Josh mentioned “the Purple Rockers” on last week’s Wiggle Room when Rob suggested Survivor DST i.e. everyone deciding that this week’s episode would be called “episode 5” and continuing that numbering going on.

          10. Are we sure that Dan didn’t just drop everything (RE: nothing) to be on at the last minute with whoever would have him?

          11. That was also the same week as the live KIAs where apparently he made an ass out of himself with Max, which started not only the downfall of Max and Shirin (reportedly), but it also started the major rumors of the leaked boot list. With all of that and especially since that was when Joe was still in the Dirty 30, I think he was spoiled and desperate to take down Shirin.

          12. Having Vytas be the first recap guest when Vytas was the first boot on the previous returnee season is a no-brainer. I don’t see how this means Rob already knew that Cierra was the first boot this season.

    2. In Stephen’s defense, he has missed KIA episodes before due to travelling or other commitments. I think Rob had Kim sub for him once, can’t remember who else he had (Tyson?).

      Rob has even missed a few times. Stephen had Sophie and Malcolm (?) as subs.

      I think people may be reading too much into this.

  18. I’m ok with JT going home. His stance against Michaela was more than a little unpleasant.
    My call on next week’s returning former Survivor: Please oh please be Rupert. Just like, whoever is on Exile has to spend the entire time with Rupert. Please let this happen. Otherwise, it’s probably Monica Culpepper.
    The problem with booting Debbie pre-merge, because she should be booted as soon as humanly possible, is that she’s the perfect “alternate plan” boot to keep in reserve for the post-merge, for when the actual boot target wins immunity. But, damn, that shit was uncalled for. Poor Brad. Poor Tai. Poor Hali. Poor FFGCLAHBYOBBBQSDT.

    1. And she was laughing with a weird face after she told Culpepper that crush statement.

      He apologized and he did not need to. I can’t believe I’m defending him.

      1. Brad seems like a genuinely nice guy. I like how everyone in-game considers him a devious, steamrolling mastermind.

        1. I would be fine with a Culpepper win. favorite player bias aside, he is playing a good game for a player I previously disliked

      1. That’s the second best possibility. Right behind Kim showing up, taking Troy’s idol and giving it to Cirie, then beating Troy in a challenge and voting him out.

    2. If they had gone to tribal, I am 100% sure she was the boot. That was a weird edit though, leading into a swap. Start of an Abi-Maria long term edit? I hope not

          1. But there was a teensy sliver of reality on which to hang that–her bracelet vanished, it was in Pei-Ghee’s bag. She assumed it was deliberate (nuts if on aesthetic grounds, maybe workable on someone-pulls-a-Russell grounds?) but that’s not at Debbie’s level of bending time, space, and the fabric of reality to have Brad force her onto the balance beam, which she crossed in 30 seconds.

          2. Everyone has a similar-looking bag. Abi-Maria thought that Pei-Ghee waited years to get back on Survivor, and then would throw it all away to steal another player’s bracelet. Abi didn’t think it was a misunderstanding – she was convinced Pei-Ghee had deliberately stolen it. Delusional.

        1. Yeah. To be clear, I was comparing edits, not the people, in that Abi would be the rare example of a long-term OTTN edit

    3. Do you really think it’s Monica? She can’t be there on a loved one’s visit just for Brad. Otherwise, they’d only boat up to the beach if it was a Terry Deitz-style pull. But they wouldn’t fly Monica out to Fiji if it was that urgent. It’s gotta be someone else, preplanned by production.

      1. Yeah, I guess that’d be real short notice to bring a loved one out to Exile. Ok, maybe not Monica.

        I mean, it’s probably Coach.

        1. I would pay good money to see Coach and Troyzan on the same island/tribe. (For like 3 days max)

          1. Oh, maybe it’s Boston Rob, passing the torch of “most days played” to Ozzy.

            Or it’s Cochran, he needs a ride home from Probst.

          2. So it’s like “We’re worried that you haven’t targeted Ozzy, so here’s a reminder that you should get on that?”

    4. We have seen JT say things about women being untrustworthy but also wonder if race came into it because I felt a little uncomfortable.

      1. I was wondering that, before I remembered Taj. The editors steadfastly refusing to include any footage to suggest JT’s grievances (seven drops of coffee aside) had any merit is not a good look for him though.

      2. Ya know, with the way JT went after Cirie and Michaela, it’s a wonder Taj lasted as long as she did.

      3. I was wondering if he has ever targeted a man the same way as he has targeted Parvati, Sandra, and Michaela.

      4. Was there some conflict with Michaela that didn’t get shown? The coffee thing seemed like too small a thing to cause this big rift, and whatever happened also convinced Aubry that Michaela needed to go.

        1. I think Aubry has been on the outs and was just looking for an alliance at that point – it might not have been personal to Michaela. It seemed like they thought they had Varner (hence, no idol)

          1. …and Varner also said she had “an attitude problem” in the pre-tribal confessional, so it’s not hard to believe that Michaela was irritating to be around at times

      5. I felt the same way – especially when he called her “ignorant” for wanting a scoop of sugar (???)

        1. I think in his mind she’s ignorant for NOT LIKING COFFEE THE WAY THAT HE LIKES COFFEE.

          So…yeah, read as racially charged bullshit to me.

          1. I’m pretty sure that he called her ignorant because she wanted a spoonful of sugar for only seven drops of coffee, which he considered a waste of the sugar. It seems a little unfair to JT to read racism into his statements when there’s no actual evidence of that.

          2. At that point aren’t you just eating a wet spoonful of sugar? Are you getting any coffee out of that?

          3. I’m sincerely surprised all of them aren’t eating the sugar. That’s straight calories there, without the stomach upset of stuff like cheese burgers.

          4. At one point she said she’d “try it” so I have a feeling Michaela doesn’t actually like coffee (which is fair, it’s disgusting) and that was her way of giving it a shot.

    5. A thing that should be kept in mind is that week Malcolm in his exit interviews compared Michaela to Abi-Maria so if I had to guess others had those thoughts about her too.

          1. If someone tried to sell me a religion based on Harry Potter references, Survivor, and Troy’s massive dong, I might consider it.

          2. I’m there for two thirds of that. I’ll be the weekly regular who you recognize at services but don’t know the name of.

          3. I feel like the fact that knowledge of the third thing was brought to light is the darkest timeline.

          4. “And on the 39th day Ozzy rested. For he was on Exile Island and the producers chose to leave him there.”

          5. For some reason, I processed “ganj” as “ginger” and then as “minj” and none of it made sense at all.

          6. I was about to make a comment about how they’re equally terrible, but even as a committed non-fan of Ginger I can’t claim she’s as awful as Lasagna.

          7. This reminds me that I didn’t see you on AV Club after Drag Race. Don’t want to hijack, but are you excited for this season?

          8. I kind of got tired of that community. Taako/SpicyMayo and I are doing Drag Race chat on the podcast post threads once we’ve both seen the episode, so look out for us there on Saturday afternoons.

            As for whether I’m excited… no. I’m not really jazzed about any of these queens. I’m rooting for Nina by default because she’s the Atlanta* girl, but nobody is really clicking for me this time. I think there’s a lot of good performers here and we’ll get a good season, but just a good season.

            *Clayton County

          9. I will look for you all there. I’m definitely more excited than you are, but maybe it’s because Lady Gaga kicked ass as a judge, particularly on Untucked.

    6. It’s Natalie Anderson, there to reclaim her spot from STGCFFSBATISDT.

      You don’t lose your spot due to injury. Everyone knows that. Ask Wally Pipp.

  19. Random thoughts:

    Is the the shortest opening credits we’ve seen on this show?

    Troy(zan) sits out again. Is he still being punished for last episode’s reward challenge?

    “Yes I can Jeff!”

    How can JT’S tribe possibly win this challenge? Oh right, Debbie is “good with balancing”.

    Oh man, the editors just threw Debbie under the bus with that flashback to her “good sense of balance” statement.

    I love that the rest of Debbie’s tribe has no idea if she is really upset, or why.

    Was there some crazy editing and we weren’t shown something? How does Debbie think that Hali cost them that reward?

    Commercial break. I still have no idea why Debbie is upset. But the editors are really having fun.

    So … Sandra’s playing like Russell now?

    Soak a board? Invisible ink? Is this Survivor or summer camp?

    Jeff explains the challenge. I wonder .. which player asked Jeff “What if you hit another tribe’s target?”

    When they show us pre-challenge discussions it’s usually because one player steps up and loses the challenge. Have we ever seen this level of stubbornness?

    “Hey Brad, I was the first over. Did you notice? Brad? Hey, did you see that? Brad? Brad?”

    So much for the Debbie-goes-crazy-and-gets-voted-out edit.

    Three days ago JT screwed his game because he *had* to get rid of Sandra. I had no idea sugar was so powerful that it could change his mind so quickly.

    That tribal was getting ugly. JT went from hero-edit to bonehead-edit to villain-edit.

    1. Or like she always has. She is after all the originator of the dump the tribe’s food play

    2. I loved that immediate cut from Debbie complaining about dictator Brad to Brad listening to Debbie and following her advice to let her do the balancing. Brad just can’t fucking win.

    3. JT was acting like a cranky jerk this episode, which was an especially bad look when he should have been sucking up to everyone to repair for the blunder he made at last tribal :/

  20. 1. So apparently Debbie is basically a toddler. Not a surprise.
    2. Michaela was trying to play it cool, but in that last shot of her drinking the water, she was seriously shaking. Bad news for Aubry. This tribe will never win again.

  21. The only thing that would have made that ending better would have been if Michaela brought the thermos out and IT CONTAINED ALL THE REMAINING COFFEE and then JT’s head exploded.

  22. Sandra is now the only former winner left standing. I like that she has completely shifted her game play from her day 1 plans to team with other winners and use them as shields, and has been very successful at it.

  23. There were so many good lines this episode.
    Tai talking about Debbie being a crazy lady
    Michaela explaining her anger in the sugar situation “I’m trying to keep it down, keep it down, but I wanted to kill him!”
    The following exchange between J.T. and someone:
    “And now there’s no more sugar”
    “where’d it go?”
    “IN HER MOUTH!!!”

    Also you’ve just gotta love Varner’s face when Sandra is eating all the sugar. He’s just so enraptured by the crazy on Survivor.

    1. Varner just has to be giddy that his name will never come up with all that craziness going on.

      1. Varner: Whatever crazy shit you want to do, I will be there for it. I will have your back. From a distance of about 10 feet away so that I still have plausible deniability.

    2. Imagine an F3 of Sandra, Varner, and Michaela. The journey there would be ten times better than the inevitable outcome (a third win for Sandra).

      1. I don’t know about that. Michaela rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but people really seem to like Varner. I think it could be a close vote.

        1. It might be close, but Varner currently looks like he’s just riding Sandra’s coattails. If that trajectory continues, Sandra (in her new strategist role) could win 60-70% of the jury.

          1. Let’s keep this going. Right now it seems like she and Brad are the 2 winner candidates.

          2. I wish she did because she’s one of my favorites. But her edit needs to pick up STAT!

          3. FFGCSDT has to be in the conversation. Brad is the obvious threat that gets taken out, and she gets in. (Alternatively, it’s equally possible that she gets taken out as his lieutenant). She can’t be ruled out. And it pains me to say that because I think she’s extremely ‘meh’ as a character and as a player.

          4. They are trying to prop her up though – I will give her credit for telling Debbie to STFU when Tai was trying to tell them about his idol. That actually was important, as subtle as it seemed. If he doesn’t tell them about his idol because Debbie scares him off (and let’s face it, he’s not the most reliable player), she might go home that episode.

          5. There’s been a lot of focus on Cirie too. And Sierra is always being featured in a low key positive light.

          6. Nah, Sandra is one of Troy’s pregame alliance partners. Remember how he blew up the dream alliance by confiding in her at 3 am?

          7. Varner looks like he’s duplicating her old game. Against anyone other than Sandra, that’s probably a compelling argument to give him the win.

        2. I think if Sandra makes the finals, there is just too much respect for her ability to get there despite the colossal target on her back to not vote for her. I’m not sure how she gets past any Final 4 vote though

        1. I’m not saying a third Sandra win would be bad, I’m saying the season getting us there would be better.

  24. Debbie is getting full on Daned now and it is glorious. Could not be happening to a more deserving player.

    1. Debbie’s edit this episode was the editors saying “We can’t wait until the reunion! We have to throw Debbie under the bus RIGHT NOW!”

  25. I knew JT would find the idol. I thought he would play it though. I don’t know why I gave him that much credit.

  26. Zeke looked on the verge of tears when they announced Malcolm’s removal. He channeled all of us.

  27. I am hoping that the Returning Survivor is *not* what they did in one season of the Israeli edition of Survivor: the rent-a-native reward …. except, you get Rupert in camp for 24h.

    1. Rupert would be a great asset if you were building a shelter. Do the exact opposite of everything he suggests.

      1. “So did he help you guys out?”
        “A little bit. But mostly he just hollered a lot and cried over a dead snake. Oh yeah, he also brought up the game changers theme about every third sentence.”

    2. My first thought when they showed that in the preview was “Rupert”
      But I am also hoping it’s NOT him.

    3. I had that exact thought, and I’m going to laugh so hard if that’s who it is. Especially if Sandra then goes into a solid two minute monologue just mocking everything about him.

  28. That last line from Michaela also reminded me of the last line from South Park’s Towelie episode. Also reminiscent of a great line from Micronesia!
    Michaela: When you see Malcolm, let him know you got him voted out
    JT: I will

    Cartman: You’re the worst character ever, Towelie
    Towelie: I know

    Chet: I hit my head back there
    Joel: I don’t care
    Chet: I know

        Dear Malcolm,
        I told Brad we were voting for Sierra. I’m sorry. However, can we still be Survivor besties? (Underlined twice) Please do not tell Stephen. I cannot deal with the constant texts as it is.

        1. I’m still binging Rose Buddies and it’s making me want a season where Malcolm is the bachelor (I’m still not going to watch the show, but it would make me happy to know it exists), but also if he and JT were or Bachelor in Paradise together that could be fun.

          1. Oh my gosh, that would be really good and a season of the Bachelor that I would watch. I mean the only season that I watched was Season 2 and that was because the Bachelor was from my area, so Malcolm being on would be a big deal.

          2. And he is still the hottiest Bachelor of them all. That’s a beautiful area, says the former St. Louisan.

      1. Since I haven’t mentioned Buffy this week yet, let’s go with this: Debbie is like if you combined Kennedy and Rona and everyone else that was a terrible character that ate up way too much screentime in season 7.

          1. Felicia Day was easily the least irritating of the Potentials, and that’s not even retconning. I liked her at the time. I liked her hat.

          2. I can’t remember either. I haven’t seen season 7 since it aired so I’m really scraping the corners of my memory.
            Puppet Show, though, watched that recently. “You’re a wee puppet man!” Classic.

          3. Yeah, although I didn’t particularly like Millie on Freaks and Geeks. I’m sure that’s kind of blasphemy, but, damn Millie, shut up about Mathletes!

    1. Well to be honest Debbie made this episode better so I thank her for that. But I don’t think she can top tonight in Survivor career again.

    1. Did Natalie Portman start laugh-cry-raging like a schizophrenic toddler after that line? I think I missed that part.

        1. That’s Tommy Wiseau from The Room. Not, I repeat, *not* to be confused with the Brie Larson movie Room.

          1. Tommy Wiseau was so good in Room and disappeared so seamlessly into his part that people think he was in a movie called The Room instead

  29. Sandra is SO GOOD at Survivor!
    And Debbie is SO BAD at being rational.
    I thought this was a really good episode! The challenges were exciting, I loved Sandra’s sugar scheme, and TC was great. The only thing I didn’t like was seeing Debbie go crazy and not getting the satisfaction of seeing her immediately voted out, but I loved the charade going on at TC so much that it softened the blow of JT (AKA anyone other than Debbie) going home.
    Also, Ozzy, Cirie, Zeke and Andrea were all completely missing this episode. I’m not sure any of them said a single word other than during challenges? Kind of took the suspense out of the showdown at the immunity challenge.

    1. Its funny how we all think its hilarious when Sandra pulls stuff but got so mad when the Kao Rong guys hid the machete and axe and dumped water on the fire.

      1. The difference being that the sugar doesn’t directly impact the quality of life around camp. Also, what Sandra did was preemptive and strategic. Scot and Jason just seemed churlish.

        1. Well also that she was doing it to be funny – to amuse Varner and herself. The guys were doing it for revenge.

          1. Nah it was strategy, remember they already probably suspected JT had the idol from the whole “abandoning them on the raft” thing, so Sandra is just making sure if he plays it votes go towards Michaela and not the queen.

      2. It’s totally true that I’ll give people a huge pass if they do something in an entertaining way. Even so, Sandra had a plan here. Make sure that JT and Michaela bickered constantly. Fuel that fire. Convince JT that everyone agreed Michaela was the terrible one. Bye, JT. It’s smart in a way that Russell, Scot, and Kyle never were.

        1. Yeah, Russell’s plan was to make everyone else weak, which is not a great plan. Scot and Kyle’s plan was “Either align back with us or we keep wrecking your shit”.

    2. The challenge was disappointing in that repsect because obviously the green tribe wasn’t losing, since they had all of 2 mins airtime this episode, to set up the Sarah-Troyzan “alliance”

      1. When that’s the most interesting thing that happens on your tribe… I was about to say something derisive, but if you continue to win immunity and find each other sorta tolerable that really is a good plan.

  30. Hey anyone else remember that whole Sandra couldn never survive on a losing tribe …. no joke here, its just funny

    1. Seriously debating devoting a solid 30 minutes of the podcast this week to finding the worst Sandra takes from the past few weeks and dragging the shit out of them.

      1. I figure there’s a lot of recent converts, especially after this week. That will not stop me for an instant from DRAGGING ALL HERETICS.

        I will be insufferable.

      2. “Sandra only plays anyone but me”
        “Sandra has never done anything to win”
        “Sandra isn’t good tv”
        “Sandra is a bitch ”
        ok the last one is true but she’s the best at it.

        1. “Sandra only wins because of whom she sits next to”
          “Sandra doesn’t have a strategic bone in her body”

      3. Update: It was probably about 20. But we couldn’t resist and came back for more dragging later. So maybe we hit 30 total.

    2. Finding two shit stirrers on a tribe of 5/4 is a lot better strategy than being the only shit stirrer with an attitude on a tribe of 10, or even 6. She still played a bad stretch between Day 6 and Day 13.

        1. Yeah, those three days they were immune and the three days Mana targeted Malcolm were really dangerous. A bad social game doesn’t always need immediate danger. (I’m still a Sandra fan, lest I be Slack shunned.)

          1. She’s been to tribal council four times now. You’d think someone playing as bad a game as you’ve been claiming this whole time would’ve received a vote by now.

  31. Gather around folks for I have the saddest tale of Survivor-related woe since… last week’s Survivor episode.
    Get back to my area around 7:15 CST and thought okay, no big deal, have the first fifteen minutes of the episode DVRed
    Unfortunately, my parents (who I was riding with…remember no driver’s license here, folks) decide to make a hour long visit with my brother. Once again, not a big deal, have the episode DVRed.
    Get home and turn on my DVR. Got to when Debbie was complaining about Brad to Hali and Sierra and a Tornado Storm Alert pops up that lasts until Michaela gets out her cup at Tribal.

    TLDR: Only got to see half of the episode. Thanks potential tornado.

          1. I could have broken it down further but that’s Black Dynamite’s job. And I could not remember stuff beyond hurricanes b/c my mind is mush tonight.

    1. I’d let you use my CBS All Access information to catch up if their site wasn’t somehow able to tell that Montana isn’t New York.

      Oh, and uh, the legality of that arrangement. Yep. Sure. I totally care about the legality.

    2. At least your interruption was warranted. I cannot for the life of me figure out why a local affiliate overran primetime broadcasting for news about a Trump rally.

      1. You made the mistake of living in Tennessee.

        (Just kidding, Nashville is awesome and I’ve thought about moving there.)

        1. #Nashville2017 was trending this morning, and as far as I can tell, it was just a circle jerk hashtag hyping Nashville as a place to live.

          Also, Nashville is awesome, but I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for school. And a lot of that has to know with being in TN.

    3. Not quite as bad, but I missed half of last week’s episode because we are new cord cutters and our trial of Tablo’s guide service expired literally that day and the episode didn’t record. My husband realized with about 25 min to go.

      I’d say I got the best part of the episode since it was basically tribal council, but you all saw that episode…


    4. There’s plenty of decent streams. Tho i used to dl and since my fav site went down i have yet to find a good one

  32. So, Sandra’s “as long as it isn’t me” strategy is great, but let us not underestimate her take the tribe’s food and blame it on somebody else strategy.
    She is so great. Michaela is a great beans to her rice this season, too. A worthy fill-in for Courtney Yates. WITH PROPS.
    Today was a rough day at school, and this just made everything better. A great episode. If someone had to go home from Nuku, at least it happened like this.

    1. After all this, she’ll get to the merge and still manage to convince everyone she’s not a threat. She’s amazing.

    2. I love that this season she isn’t playing “anyone but me” and she’s still very good at Survivor.

      1. Yeah, I am enjoying the “Queen” stuff because it’s such a deliberate departure from her first two rounds. She isn’t playing her old game (Varner arguably is, instead) and it is working astonishingly. “I’m the Queen. I am such an obvious target that you can safely keep me around this TC and vote out a social-challenge threat instead.”

  33. Bringing a former Survivor back on a boat is the Survivor equivalent of bringing Shangela back in a giant gift box.

      1. S3 already had enough bullshit going for it without Shangela and at least Raja is a good winner.

        1. I mean, every season is chock full of shenanigans and tomfoolery. Shangie broke the camel’s back for me, especially since she still seemed completely out of her league.

  34. My biggest takeaway from the 30 minutes that I watched is that Debbie essentially pulled a Michele running off into the ocean after failing a reward challenge. I wonder, who was the one who made fun of her then?

      1. I’m just gonna casually walk through this neighborhood carrying a sawed-off shotgun and whistling “The Farmer in the Dell” for a minute.

    1. I hate to say it, and many have said it already, but Mario Lanza is 100% right about Brad. He may not be great at Survivor, but he’s a decent guy. He desperately wanted to talk it out and make peace with Debbie. He even apologized (for no fucking reason). Even during the challenge, he’s trying to tell her that he still considers her a friend and ally. Debbie is the worst. This is why she’s on my fantasy team. (She’s not on Pick 4 because I forgot she was on the season at all…. or I managed to block it out for a while).

          1. I never fully understood the hate Brad got from his game in BvW. Maybe I need to rewatch, but I don’t remember Brad being especially anything. He seems like a pretty decent guy and so far he’s playing the best game of anyone.

          2. That was the point of the Mario Lanza entry. He made plenty of mistakes as a Survivor player, but he never did anything remotely villainous. And the most serious accusations were completely fabricated by Candice.


          To be fair, so does Lanza, but…. he has more .gifs?

        2. I said it in my write-up, although my emphasis was less on Brad himself than on the fact that anybody who drove the early boots was going to catch tons of blowback because of the way BvW was set up. I wish I had hit that note harder.

      1. My favorite subtitle of the episode was “I love you. I don’t know why you’re so mad at me.”

  35. So, the returning player–Surprise! Richard Hatch has been living on Exile since the start of the game and he’s joining Nuku.

        1. Because he was trying to lose enough weight to have the anklet just fall off? What a game changer!

          1. I don’t tell many jokes… but when I do I make sure they’re damn good. I’m the anti Bill Posley.

  36. “I’m fed up with you telling me what to do and not listening to my input! I have some excellent ideas but because I’m the low man on the totem pole I don’t get any say! Well you know what? F@#& you!”

    “I’m very sorry, Debbie. But as shift manager I’m gonna have to ask you to turn in your Red Lobster nametag.”

      1. Saturday Night Palsy has to stop being so funny and give you guys an equal shot at getting featured comment

    1. My roommate had just come back from frisbie and went to take a quick rinse during the post reward challenge scenes, or as she called it “the eating and yelling at each other part.” She came back in right after Debbie’s confessional about Hali on the balance beam, and I told her I was rewinding this because someone else had to experience this bullshit.

      1. I liked how everyone on her tribe was completely baffled by her arguments. I also do not remember seeing scenes played out in flashbacks before.

        1. I think her tribe rightly knew there was no point in trying to challenge any of her arguments, because she’d just think that she was being further victimised. You sort of have to just keep quiet and let it play out.

  37. Wild speculation time! Who is the former Survivor that’s going to return?

    Boston Rob- 15:1
    Earl- 10:1
    Richard Hatch- 12:1
    Michele- 999999999999:1
    Lil- 7:1

    1. In a dreamworld, it’s Fairplay. But the odds are even worse for than than they are for Michele.

    2. I want it to be Lil, only because I’ve heard the stories about how Sandra just ripped her to shreds and made her cry every day. Now that Sandra is a full blown villain, they might show it on TV.

      1. CBS and Castaway Prodcutions just FYI, if you release a DVD of Sandra being mean to people it will be the first DVD I ever buy from you.

      1. So, there is a decent chance I will actually meet Rodney IRL in a few weeks. When I found out I thought of you and was wondering if there was anything you wanted me to say to him for you? There is no other scenario where I would want to interact with him, so this could be the perfect opportunity.

          1. One, two, Palsy’s coming for you
            Three, four, hide out on Koror
            Five, six, it’s a fucking stick
            Seven, eight, here comes Courtney Yates
            Nine, ten, Palsy has SPOKEN

          2. I think that if I was ever able to be a competitor on Survivor it would be perfect if it were a FvF season…

      1. I was actually going to put Rupert as an option, because it wouldn’t be the first time he randomly showed up on someone else’s Survivor season.

    3. Is it possible that the crew stumbled upon Cao Boi wandering aimlessly around the Mamanuca Islands? Legend has it that he hasn’t been sighted in 10 years.

          1. Oh I thought it was because he didn’t cry after Savage told him a touching story about his wife. I am mistaken.

    4. Tony. He found a Double Secret Idol. It was hidden at pre-merge Ponderosa, under his pillow.

    5. Is it possible it could be JT going to Exile/Redemption island? Kind of doubt it.

    6. It’s perplexing because except for Michaela and Zeke, you figure everyone knows each other. They are not going to be excited about Rupert (or anyone else) coming to explain Survivor, the way a tribe of newbie super fans would.

      1. The simplest prediction is that it’s Boston Rob coming to congratulate Ozzy for being the Survivor with the most days spent playing. Then maybe Rob gets to be the honorary starting gun for a reward challenge: “Survivahs ready? Go!”

      2. Yeah, this seems like a strange thing to do on a returnee season. I could see a newbie season excited to have a former Survivor like Boston Rob visit and show them how to do stuff they don’t know how to do.

        But on a returnee season – what could this mystery guest possibly have to teach them?

        1. Maybe show them the proper way to run over balance beams? He’s really good at that.

          Though not quite as good as Debbie.

    7. Is the new visitor joining the game? Last week we were talking about worst possible twist.

      That might be it.

      1. I’m assuming it’s a reward thing. Except I don’t know which former contestant would be viewed as a reward.

        *thinks* *so if Survivor knows this is not really a reward for the contestants, but it’s to entertain the audience, but it’s not Fairplay because they don’t love us that much*…

        It’s Abi Maria?

        1. Maybe it’s a reward challenge in which the losing tribe has to host Abi-Maria for two days, at the end of which she will vote off whichever of them she has developed a random vendetta against in that period.

        1. If you are wrong, you will join Mike Flynn in the league of unfortunate quotes. “Any one asking for immunity is guilty”

  38. Since I am watching Micronesia and Game Changers at the same time, I am noticing some small similarities. The biggest one though (besides Cirie and Ozzy) is the fact that they have so many different roles in these challenges to almost ensure that Production Faves don’t go home. They did not do this in Cambodia. When is the last season that we have had multiple separate jobs for tribe members during a challenge?

    1. I’ve been doing the same! It’s actually my third time watching Micronesia because I love that season so much. Cirie & Parvati are amazing and Jason & Erik are a lot of fun. Still not a fan of Natalie.

    2. It does happen in a few seasons. It’s great cos it means Sandra isn’t a super weakness.

  39. OK, this is the most obvious comment of the night. How delusional can Debbie possibly be? After Hali gets across the balance beam, her team has a huge lead. When Debbie has to do the balance thing, both other tribes pass her, and her team doesn’t even get to start the slide puzzle. HOW IS THIS ALL HALI’S FAULT? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!

      1. I originally thought it was Debbie’s fault but when she said she learned gymnastics for 10 years I very quickly realised that the edit had duped us! There’s no way she could have screwed that up! Evil Hali used her sweet schoolgirl charm to twist the camera man to do her bidding. Justice for Debbie!

  40. I want Sandra and Michaela to be partners in anything. Survivor, Amazing Race, watching movies together, doing their taxes. I’m here for it all. I love them together so much. Throw in Courtney there as well and that trio can tour the country.

    1. I just said this to Matt in our staff chat, but if they want to just give us a Michaela and Sandra buddy comedy for the next few weeks, they’ll get no complaints from me.

      1. I would watch a solid hour of Michaela listing things she does around camp and Sandra agreeing with her. It would be more interesting than 99% of what we’ve seen about Tavua so far, since they seem to think the draws on that tribe are Troy and Sarah.

        1. Sarah is playing a very odd persona. Last time around her cop lie detector skills were a joke, but she’s seemingly convinced it’s her Thing.

          She’ll appear at a challenge and I’ll think “Oh wait, Sarah is still here” and then she’ll do a confessional and I’ll think “Sara is still here?”

          1. That’s the bonkers thing: If you have seen Cagayan, then you know that half of Sarah’s confessional are bullshit. She did not have a good social game. She could not tell when people were lying besides Tony’s professional.

          2. She’s definitely one of those players who survives by never being noticed by anyone. Except that that’s not her deliberate strategy, just what happens to her when she tries to be a strategic mastermind.

    2. I was torn on JT leaving, but this comment settles it. JT fucked himself, so I don’t feel bad for him. But I do want this pair to continue. I even loved Michaela’s reaction when she found out Sandra had been trolling them.

  41. Sandra Diaz-Twine is the queen. Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted, this her shit. Bow down, bitches.

    I was really hoping for Sandra to pull out something like, “Where’s that snake motherfucker, JT? I tell you what, can’t nobody trust that bitch right there.”

  42. Debbie pre challenge: I can do balance, I love doing balance

        1. Debbie did mention how slippery something was. Possibly she meant the beam? After, presumably, Hali sweated all over it? Or maybe Debbie was talking about the slope she was about to slide down in her head.

      1. Does Debbie just rewrite history in her head or something? Like this woman is deranged and I’m starting to feel like should not have been on Survivor once, much less twice.

    1. I loved the “Hali killed it on the balance beam, Debbie killed us” then straight into Debbie in confessional “she tool 10 minutes and I zipped right over”.
      Please don’t let her be a goat.

        1. Dunk a board in water until the tribe logo appears. But they overlaid audio of him reading that over tape of him walking past the well.

          1. Unclear. My best guess is that the idol is in the well, and the cover is treated to indicate that when wet. So he can dunk the wood in the ocean and return to get the idol, he can drop it down the well, or maybe just splash water on the top of the cover.

      1. He’ll need someone to help him figure that out, I think. But if he has the clue and doesn’t share it, it may go unearthed for the rest of the season.

          1. My guess is that he won’t have time for that, since they seem to swap the morning after a tribal. But if he ends up back at Mana beach, different story.

      2. That line​ about him possibly finding it later may come back to bite him if he has to change beaches during the swap.

        1. I will be mad if he doesn’t follow through and win me some fantasy points. Then again, Tai with idols already messed up enough of this season.

          1. That would put me clear ahead in the FOTM League, so if I have your blessing, can I get some of that Barbara Anderson Witchcraft™ to come my way?

          2. Not to jinx anything, but you do have OW Brad on your team, and there’s only 3 points between you and second place.

          3. Tai is not on my team, so much like David last season, he cannot be gone quickly enough for my tastes.

  43. So there’s a Sarah storyline that’s obviously getting teed up, and it’s no longer the case that she’ll be voted off of Tavua for being too close to Troy. So what are the odds she goes out the same way she did in Cagayan?

    1. See, Sarah in Cagayan was always present even when they didn’t go to Tribal. It wasn’t the greatest edit, but she was definitely there. I am wondering if she is going to get pissed at Troy after Troy plays his idol (without him telling her) or she gets him before he can play his idol. Also, after she brags about being able to tell when someone is lying, she could not tell that Troy was concealing the truth about the idol.

      TL/DR: I don’t think this scene is necessarily the best scene for either of them.

  44. I feel like we need to give Troy some credit. Sarah told him not to act suspicious and he immediately went about failing to rip off a branch. Natural Troy.

    1. He usually uses his member like a prehensile tail, but he was trying to play it cool. He’s pretty clumsy without it.

  45. Okay great episode on multiple levels, this feels like by far the best game Sandra’s played so far even if she doesn’t win. To do what she’s doing with the level of target that is on her back is impressive as hell. And also, HELLO MICHAELA! Welcome to the party!

    But I have to say the one thing that’s crushing my soul about this season is the portrayal of Aubry as the person who continually keeps picking the wrong side. First it was receiving votes on a split because of her alliance with Tony, then it’s siding with JT when Sandra’s about to turn everything around on him.

    I think the obvious explanation is Aubry has set herself up as the main anti-Sandra force, and the anti-Sandra forces really have not gotten the support they need to do anything. Thus Aubry is the one who keeps getting crapped on and finding herself on the wrong side.

    1. The thing that makes me nervous is that the Aubry-Sandra beef has gotten no airtime. If Aubry mattered, it would have to make the show. I’m hoping for the best, but I’m nervous about Aubry.

      1. Sameee. I was just thinking this. If Nuku goes to TC next week then Varner, Michaela, and Sandra will probably all vote Aubry (unless Varner decides to flip, but even then they’d go to a tie so who knows). And I really doubt that challenge beast Sandra and Varner are going to keep Nuku away from TC…

      2. It’s POSSIBLE that there’s a merge to two next week, the two get split up, and Sandra gets voted out pre-real-merge. That would account for the lack of coverage for the Sandra-Aubrey feud, even if Aubrey goes deep.

        But that’s also kind of grasping at straws. The show just seems uninterested in Aubrey.

    2. I think it’s more that Sandra set herself up as anti-Aubry, but it’s probably a little of both.

      1. No you’re right after reflection. Sandra just wants nothing to do with Aubry this season but would prefer to keep her as her sad little puppy dog to kick around than to actually vote out.

          1. Did you see my favourite player list! Only one of these two was on it, and it wasn’t Sandra (though I love Sandra she’s definitely top 10)

          2. I’m glad I’m not alone. I also love Sandra, but compared to this community I basically hate her.

    3. Or maybe…. Sandra and Aubry become tight allies after the merge out of necessity, and get to or close to the end, so their pre-merge feud unnecessarily complicates the narrative.

  46. Well, that was delightful.

    I think my favorite part was Sandra coming clean about the sugar the minute JT was gone. She didn’t let it fester; instead she brought Michaela into the full cackling joy of utterly playing JT.

    My second favorite part is the look in Varner’s eyes as Sandra weaves her magic spell. He’s the perfect audience surrogate.

    You guys, I think Sandra is good at Survivor.

    1. You’d think it wouldn’t going over as smoothly considering how the first vote went. Was this ideal for Michaela Bradshaw? Maybe it’s the high of blindsiding JT, but has something changed that she enjoyed Sandra making her a target?

      1. I think it’s a sign of how good Sandra can be. She has clearly explained it in a language Michaela can get behind. “Look JT is coming for you, nothing we can do to change that, but he thinks we are with him, we are with you Michaela. He’s going home. Trust me”

        1. Yeah, the difference here I think was that JT suggested her name/it was clear he was coming for her. I think at the Ciera boot they told Michaela that they told Ciera it was her, rather than saying Ciera put her forward, which was the cause of the problem

        2. And give Michaela some credit, too. In this situation there’s an obvious reason she’s the decoy. In the Ciera vote her name was “randomly” floated as the decoy, and that rightly set off alarm bells.

          1. That is fair, in a tribe of 5 where you are tricking the other 2 if they want you then you have to be the decoy. You can’t expect to be able to make it Varner when there is no animosity towards Varner.

        3. It also gets into “it’s different when Sandra does it because she’s funny” territory, tho. (Mean that in a good way.)

          Sandra reveals that she engineered JT’s fixation on Michaela, which easily could have led to a ‘fuuuuuuuck you’ reaction but instead ended with Michaela being like ‘oh, you clever rascal.’ Not everyone can pull that off.

          1. Is that not part of “Sandra is really good”? it’s her innate ability to get enough people onside to win.

            I don’t necessarily think she does it on purpose but it’s just part of her personality that makes her good.

  47. Can someone check the tape on this: Did Debbie throw in a “Fuck You, Brad Culpepper” somewhere in her rant?

  48. Survivor has some of the greatest editors on tv. From putting eagle cries after Coach’s confessionals to panning out to reveal that Wentworth was standing 10 feet from Drewchebag, they never pass up an opportunity to make a deserving asshole look stupid in the most hilarious way possible. The Debbie flashback and perception vs. reality confessional now belong in that pantheon of “Laugh at that idiot”.

    1. I am imagining Debbie raging around her own home right now, utterly furious that she’s not even allowed to make any sort of response to this yet. Her exit interviews are going to be something.

      1. Like Garrett, I suspect Rob will ask Debbie one question and she’ll talk non-stop for 20 minutes.

        1. I’m really curious about if they’ll bring this up or not. Is Jeff gonna make another play for some sort of Dr Jeff talkshow?

          1. There are two different scenarios here:
            Debbie gets asked a general question and brings up.
            Both Brad and Debbie make it to the merge, but Brad makes it to FTC while Debbie does not. Debbie then gives a withering FTC speech against Brad and his dictator style. That then causes Jeff to ask about it at the reunion.

  49. That Tribal performance alone justifies Michaela’s addition to this season. Oscar, please.

  50. Farewell JT!. Tony, Malcolm, and now him… I feel like I should be sad that three of my favorites are gone but they all went in such fun ways, surprising ways. Plus this just leaves more screen time for Sandra, Michaela, and Cirie. Although I’m worried again for Sandra now that second swap is coming.

    I might be in the minority on this one, but I just don’t enjoy watching Debbie in general and her freak outs make my skin crawl. It’s a combination of pity and disgust I guess, and I hate feeling that way towards a player. Probably why I didn’t enjoy Coach in his first season.

    Although at least Debbie brought out a great line from Tai with that “Debbie’s just different; she’s a crazy lady”… Tai’s version of being sympathetic is hilarious!

    1. I think Debbie was fine as a WTF thing for one episode, like I enjoyed that storyline of how insane she is.

      But I really won’t be able to put up with this for much longer.

      1. I was convinced we were getting a “meltdown leads to boot that the editors don’t even attempt to hide” episode. Ugh. If only we were so lucky.

        1. I mean what we got was pretty good too. But I’d definitely take the Debbie boot this time and the Michaela/ Sandra snowing Jt next time.

          1. Oh yeah, this was still the best episode of the season. Maybe the best in the last several seasons. I think in a way JT needed to get voted it for it to be this good. Still would be nice to dump Debbie who is officially bordering on “Philip in Redemption Island” bad.

        2. I was shocked that her tribe won immunity. Like had to pause and ask myself, what the hell are they gonna pull a One World and volunteer for tribal or something?

          1. I was half-expecting all of Mana except Debbie to just keep standing on the starting mat.

          2. After last week’s tribal, I half-expected Mana to do the same thing except it would be everyone but JT.

    2. I couldn’t even fully focus on the screen when it was happening, it was so uncomfortable.

    3. I also do not enjoy watching Debbie. I’m starting to think she has actual psych issues (one in particular, I’m pretty sure about), and I’m not sure she should be there.

      1. I compared her to Coach, but at least I got some pleasure out of Coach’s downfall, as well as his subsequent seasons. I’m torn between thinking of her like I do Philip – an obnoxious clown who is nowhere near as entertaining as the producers seem to think – or thinking of her like Brandon Hantz 2.0 – an unstable person who makes me sad & uncomfortable and shouldn’t have been brought back in the first place.

        Maybe the latter more. I’ve worked with borderline personalities and she exhibits a lot of the same traits.

        1. I think of her as more toward the Brandon Hantz 2.0 status of “I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t be out there.” It feels a little too over the line for me. Of course, I can’t diagnose anyone from the couch nor am I a mental health professional (just have some more than usual knowledge because of my fiancee’s doctoral studies and my job), but it’s not like I can say I’m confident that Survivor would never put someone out there who shouldn’t be – because it happened.

    1. I bet Aubry is kicking herself for not writing #ByeBitch on her parchment when she crossed out Julia’s name.

  51. That sequence when JT is showing Sandra the empty sugar jar and the focus pulls from him to her watching us is the best shot in all of Survivor.
    It single-handedly summarize the episode as well.

    That was great. So glad JT is sent home in such a humiliating way. His comments toward Michaela went overboard for me.

          1. I didn’t watch the preview, got here and someone is coming back? I want it to be Hantz.

          2. Well it says a former survivor makes a surprise return, but it’s a survivor preview so that could mean anything really

    1. Coach improved his strategy and toned down his weirdness (like on a scale from normal to Exile Island Coach, at least), whereas Debbie just gets more and more nuts. I think Phillip is a more accurate comparison.
      Also, Coach is likable. Debbie is…Debbie.

      1. Yeah you’re probably right l, Philip’s a better comparison. I was more thinking tocantines captured in the amazon Coach

        1. Tocantins Coach is a fine comparison. I was just thinking of Coach’s whole storyline. Man, Survivor has had some great characters.

      2. Yeah you probably right Philio is a better comparison. I was thinking more Tocantines beong captured in the amazon coach

      3. I’m not a psychologist, but I tend to suspect that the thing all three of them have in common is some level of narcissism. Debbie’s outburst reminded me a little bit of Coach getting upset over Rob saying he didn’t work around camp. When people are playing along, these three can be fun, silly characters. But if something challenges the image they think they’re representing, then they are liable to flip out. Apparently Debbie fancies herself a challenge beast, and so when she struggled with the balance beam and ultimately caused her tribe to lose, she had to lash out and blame everyone around her – and especially Hali (who outperformed her in the challenge) and Brad (who is the leader of the tribe).

          1. That was my immediate reaction when she asked to be on the balance beam. “Debbie, there’s a puzzle, don’t those lay down for you like lovers?”

          2. Or she doesn’t know the algorithm and doesn’t want to admit it. Which BTW, good job on Zeke. Slide puzzles work on an algorithm and if you it you can solve them quickly. If you expect to be the puzzle person on your tribe, fucking learn to solve slide puzzles.

          3. Algorithm was the wrong word, it’s more of an intuitive thing, yhat varies with the dimensions of the puzzle, but basically there’s a certain order you rotate pieces in to maintain chains that guide things to the right place, and the general strategy should be solve from top to bottom. It’s a learnable skill, and one that Zeke apparently took the time to learn.

          4. Really, the only way to learn how is just to do them. There’s probably a baseline level of spatial reasoning skills built in, but the more you do them the more your brain just absorbs the patterns tiles need to move in. Tony’s frantic slamming is why he can’t solve them – he’s not trying to look for how to lead pieces around the board.

            I haven’t done one in a while and might struggle if I tried right now, but about thirty minutes work and I’m pretty sure it would start clicking again.

          5. It’s not about patterns the way solving the bottom two layers of a Rubik’s cube is about patterns. Like sharc said, you solve in rows from top to bottom, and each row from left to right. The only tricky parts are getting the rightmost piece of each row into place (and really, anybody should be able to figure out how to do this pretty quickly) and getting the bottom row in the right order.

        1. I actually get the opposite impression: Debbie seems to be a very insecure person, and she (crazily) overcompensates for this by trying to speak up the abilities that she might (or might not) have. When she tanked the challenge, she immediately felt these insecurities rise to her head. And that explains why she immediately thought she was on the bottom of the pole. It also explains why she also directed her criticism at Hali, since Hali is younger, prettier, and now physically better than herself. (A “princess”, like she said.)

          Anyway, I’m not a shrink; I’m just guessing here.

        2. There’s a neediness and self-pity just below the surface with Coach that makes him much more entertaining (and possibly a more interesting psychological case) than the Specialist or Debbie. Look at the way he completely bought into Tyson’s “advice” in HvV. Philip and Debbie would (correctly) have been offended.

          1. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when my old roommate, who I watched HvV with, started getting into yoga, every time I saw him get his mat out I told him, “do your yoga where no one can see you.”

          2. Of course Coach would buy into Tyson’s advice in HvV. Tyson was acting as Assistant Coach in that situation.

      4. I always saw Phillip as a guy who was,to a degree, acting and trying to be a “reality tv personality. The only time Phillip flew off the handle like Debbie, was when he perceived a racist attack when someone called him ‘crazy’

        Debbie is just nuts

        1. I said it more than once back on AVClub (and maybe here too), but the one thing that could have saved Redemption Island (maybe that season’s beyond saving, but it would have made it better) would have been if at the start of the FTC Philip had started talking in a British accent and revealed he was actually a highly-educated Harvard professor who had put on the whole “Philip” persona the entire game.

          1. In a perfect world.

            Why has no one tried this before? We need a Keyser Soze one season.

    2. No. Coach always kept some form of grounding to him so that you could see a relateable human being in there somewhere. Debbie is just purely insane.

      1. That’s true Coach is certainly more relatable. I meant from a pure entertainment standpoint

    1. I would really like to know what would happen if the Tocantins jury were made to watch Heroes vs Villains, Cambodia and Game-Changers, and THEN vote for the winner of Survivor Tocantins.

      1. JT was really good in the FTC, he through Stephen so far under the bus it wasn’t even funny.

          1. Absolutely. Where a player like Sandra has never disappointed or Parvarti has always done well, JT looks dumber and dumber each time he plays.

          2. Every time he plays he’s a bit older and a bit less charismatic than he was the last time around, and it’s leading to some sharply diminishing returns.

          1. I don’t think Stephen is very good on KIA. I really enjoy Sophie and liked David Wright today…

        1. He had a lot of help with that, though. The jury were already weirdly gunning against Stephen.

        2. I loved that. However he may sully his legacy, he can’t take that FTC performance away from me.

    2. He’s still an excellent social player. I think as long as he can keep the strategy simple like he was allowed to in Tocantins, he is very dangerous.

      I think it’s a matter of game awareness. He has that Jon Misch problem of assuming everything is going his way and is going to continue to go his way. That didn’t burn him in Tocantins because it always was going his way so his assumptions were correct. Here, it burned him real bad, Terry.

      1. I don’t think strategy has been that simple for a very long time. Even in Gabon and Worlds Apart there were a lot of swings and moves.

        1. No Tocantins was really one of the most straight-forward seasons ever from a strategic perspective. Aside from China, it was maybe the most straight-forward of the post-season 10 era

          1. I think I’m even lower on it than you are. A lot of that is because I think JT is just plain dull in the season, and even Fishbach didn’t really impress me that much.

          2. Right, that’s why China and Tocantins (and Panama) are such good introductory Survivor seasons.

            Coach 1.0 tho….

      2. I think that’s a misread- a player who assumes everything is going his way isn’t someone who makes the big moves that have ruined JT’s game in both HvV and Game Changers. Sierra is someone who assumes everything is going her way, so she tries to keep the ship steady.

        No, I think it’s just garden variety arrogance. JT thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, and he isn’t. He thinks his brilliance can get him out of bad situations, and sometimes it can’t.

        BTW, I would have no objection to JT coming back for Round 4. He’s 3/3 on creating entertaining gameplay and television.

        1. I might not have called JT arrogant until this latest episode, but I think you’re spot on. The way he was acting during every scene about the stupid sugar was so obnoxious, and seemed like a really poor social choice for someone who was ostensibly on the bottom and in big trouble. I would have thought he was just being petulant about being the probable next boot, but then when he started in with all the stuff about “Michaela has to go next” he was just off the rails for me.
          I can’t believe that he was always like that, so I can only assume that age and a million dollars have turned him into…well, basically how I would imagine a 33 year old former hillbilly millionaire would act.

          1. Especially because only Michaela and JT used the sugar. Why do you imagine everyone else is up and arms about this, doofus? Compared to your giving away Malcolm a few hours ago?

          2. Exactly! I think it speaks way more to everyone else’s social skills that they played along with his anger over the stupid sugar controversy instead of telling him he was being a dumb jerk.

          3. I don’t know. I’ve seen it in multiple places this condemnation of JT and his sugar; I find it very understandable. He is on an island, with almost no kind of condiment or anything that tastes well. So the sugar is very important, and there is so little of it! I got the impression that the reason he was pissed at Michaela drinking the 7 drops of coffee with a spoon of sugar is not that it was a stupid drink, it is that she was just covering for the fact that she wanted to eat pure sugar. Now, I concede that it was a bit egoistical of him (especially since apparently only he and Michaela even ate the sugar at all), and certainly it wasn’t very socially skillful, but I think it is understandable.

            I also got the impression that Michaela was being way more obnoxious than the edit showed. Malcolm said he didn’t like her; at the immunity challenge, we saw that she was angry when deciding the strategies. She doesn’t seem like an easy person to have around. (But of course JT should know that people are willing to put up with a lot for a million dollars.)

          4. Yeah, I was a little bit surprised by what we were hearing about Michaela, including from Malcolm, because while we see how she acts when it comes to challenges, we haven’t seen much of how she acts around camp other than in this episode.

          5. I think this was a bad tribe draw for her. She’s the youngest by several years, it’s a tribe of big personalities, and also in Malcolm, JT and Aubry a tribe with three great athletes on it. She did well last season when she was on tribes which were happy to let her take a starring role in challenges, but here she’s with people who haven’t seen what she can do, and aren’t inclined to let her have her shot because they’re confident they can do it better.

            I think on either Mana or Takeo she’d be in a much better position – she can do anything Sierra or Hali or Andrea are doing, and also have a more natural ally age-wise in any of those slots.

          6. I’m surprised they didn’t all just eat straight sugar, for the calorie hit. And it won’t mess with your digestion the way a rich food reward will.

            Sandra was brilliant to see that the sugar was a way to send JT right over the edge. JT was not brilliant to let this work.

      1. Perfect conditions for the win. There are other winners this is true for *cough* Michele *cough*.

        1. I think JT is a social player under the conditions of “being around a group of people who really dig his vibe”. I think those conditions could’ve happened in seasons other than Tocantins, but I don’t think they could ever be replicated in a returnee season.

          1. I agree but I’d say the same about Michele, I think her vibe could work for other groups. Her cast clearly love her, I strongly doubt that others wouldn’t but it would never happen with returnees.

  52. You know we were all worried about Sandra’s legacy, it’s cemented, she could go out next and she would still be the Queen. I think she has successfully completed her primary goal for the season, stay the only 2 time winner.

    1. I am not worried, but i so wish she would make the merge, i so mish she would get into the final 6, i don’t dare hope she wins again, because that’s not gonna happen, but she is gold on my screen.

        1. I’m really hoping that we get the Sandra v. Cirie feud or that Sandra and Brad take their armies against each other.

          1. I would be just as happy watching Sandra throw herself out as a free vote over and over again and then win.

          2. I’m not hoping to see any Sandra/Cirie beef until the merge. If they get paired on the same tribe in this swap, it’s much more likely that Cirie’s squad will outnumber whatever backup Sandra has.

          3. Agree, they both have to make at least the jury. The hope is for a long-running simmering feud, with Ozzy and ‘Pretty Lady’ taken out as bystanders and it all culminating in the final episode…highly likely…

    2. She has been completely awesome. And, for anyone turned off by her cockiness: SHE’S WON TWICE. She can be as cocky as she damn well pleases.

      1. I didn’t include this scenario in my best scenario on my pre-season Sandra hype po…, I mean preview. But this scenario is top level stuff. TOP LEVEL SANDRA STUFF.

        1. We don’t know what will happen from here, but right now Sandra is beating much her 99% projection. Incredible TV, incredible gameplay, and incredible in ways that are both consistent with her wins and totally unlike them.

          Sandra in this season thus far is, episode for episode, my favorite Survivor performance ever.

          1. WOW, that’s a big statement. I don’t think it bodes that well for her chances of actually winning but she is hands down the pre-merge star of this season. I love it because yeah Sandra is good tv but I’ve always felt that the show doesn’t love her the way they love Cirie or Parv or Cochran, yet I think pound for pound Sandra is the best combo of entertaining and good at the game that there is.

      2. I also wonder how much of the cockiness is strategy? Her “go to the end with Saaaaandra” pitch feels like a politician to me, and not in an altogether bad way. She is working her allies hard with that message (“I only know how to get to -what?- Day 39”) while simultaneously giving off the vibe that she’s a cocky villain, which probably assuages the concerns of some.

        1. I think this is it. Her under the radar strategy clearly was not going to work for a 3rd time, so she “changed her game” and went with upfront, brash, cocky villain. She becomes the glaring target you can always get next time or is your apparent meat shield and she keeps slipping through

          1. Which makes me worry because that kind of strategy can work *if* you can manipulate other people enough to always target someone else and think they can get you later (which she can do) AND you can win enough individual immunities at the end so it doesn’t matter (which she cannot).

          2. The only way she wins immunity at F4 is if the IC is a spanish spelling bee. There’s going to need to be a major pivot or a major meat shield along for the ride, or she won’t make FTC

          3. Basically, she needed Malcolm to be her F4 boot. I’m not sure who else provides a good enough shield. She needs someone in the Wentworth position, the underdog/opposing alliance player who would clearly win so HAS to be the boot – like Cirie, Andrea, or even Brad

          4. One the one hand, it looks tough because she and her alliance are in the underdog position right now. On the other, there are cracks in Nuku 1.0 between Debra and Sarah and whichever way the wind’s blowing when people talk to Cirie. She seems to have Varner, Michaela, and Troy in her pocket, so she has loyal players who would keep her after Old Nuku’s gone. But if there’s a IIC beast like Ozzy or possibly Michaela (a Mike-less SDT perhaps?) who makes it to F4/5 with them, Sandra’s sitting pretty.

          5. It can’t be Ozzy, if there’s one thing her alliance is short on, its immunity threats. Michaela is the only one I would think who maybe, possibly could give him a run in the right challenge. Ozzy is the Joe this season – first time he doesn’t have immunity you have to boot him

          6. There’s a not entirely dumb argument that Sandra should ally with Ozzy.

            If there’s one player who could convince himself he would beat Sandra with a jury, it’s Ozzy (to be fair, if there’s one player who could beat Sandra with certain juries, it’s Ozzie). It’s still unlikely, but it’s a path.

          7. This is true. He could be this season’s Russell. Its also possible it could be Troy. Or both

          8. Maybe I’m searching for ways to get Sandra to the end, but I suspect Brad and Sandra will want to use each other as millionaire shields, and as well as Brad is doing this time around, I can definitely see him overestimating his ability to sway a jury and underestimating Sandra’s.

          9. I might resign to just thinking that Sandra probably won’t get to the end and win. That seems to be how she usually gets to the end and wins.

        2. I thought this “I only know how to get to -what?- Day 39” speech was very funny, but also quite ridiculous. I could see in Michaela’s face; she thinking, “Should I just forget now that you won both times you got to day 39?”

          1. I’m sure she’s constantly feeding them the line that no one would ever vote for her to be a three time winner.

    3. I still maintain she’s been a weak player this season, but these last two days so far are the most brilliant she’s been since Russell’s hat fire sale. I don’t think a swap will bode well, but then again…

      1. You are wrong. But that’s ok, people are allowed to be wrong. She’s driven 2 of the boots of the 4 tribals she has been to.

  53. Some things I enjoyed about this episode, solely confined to Nuku because soon it will be no more and I wasn’t a fan of the Debbie drama or a cop bagging on how criminals lie all the time. But so many great things about Nuku:

    1. Sandra playing the Natalie A get revenge on a doofus game, made all the better by him having an idol and being convinced she was with him!

    2. Sugarghazi, especially the fun that Sandra and Varner had with it.

    3. Silhouetted shots of the chickens – they mystery of whether Monica lives continues!

    4. Aubry watch – appreciated her kind + intelligent comments about Michaela at the TC. It’s almost as if she’s too good for a reality TV show where people fight about eating sugar.

    5. Also loved that Aubry was all ‘nuka, nuku, whatever’ about one of the greatest tribes ever.

    6. JT accusing Michaela of being filler casting and then immediately getting voted out.

    7. Michaela’s mug.

      1. Reserving the ‘gate’ suffix for when there is a controversy about a gate, perhaps when Brad’s decorative gate to their hut meets Debbie’s disapproval and #Gategate kicks off.

        1. When there is a gate in a challenge and Debbie is THE BEST at opening gates but then they let Hali open the gate instead.

        2. Also was Gategate not Brad Culpepper going crazy at a flight attendant over his hand luggage being to big to take on plane to Fiji?

          1. Didn’t hear about this but I am all for the original Gategate returning Brad Culpepper to his cartoon villain self.

        3. I mean, if we’re all going to agree to use “gate” as a suffix that means controversy, then Watergate would need to be Watergategate.

          1. I guess you’re going to advocate something sensible like ‘WatergateWatergate’ next…throw the sensationalist headline makers and hashtaggers a bone.

    1. Nuku can’t be the greatest tribe when they’re losing all the players that made them great.

      1. greatest tribe for 1 episode! But I think Aubry, Sandra, Michaela + Varner is still a pretty solid tribe – I would happily just watch them next week if that were an option.

  54. Loved Aubry’s reaction to the peanut butter reveal. She may not be on screen as much as she should be but her facial reactions to everything has been on point this season. Aubry is the best.

      1. I should get Immunity ring because she will be safe from ever getting voted out of my heart.

    1. Aubry really is the anti-Michele in a lot of ways: she can do a lot with a little. And watching the gifs of Aubry from the last few episodes would be better than any of the new-Mana confessionals.

  55. Oh boy.. I was expecting this episode was a dud.. but for my money it was probably the best one of the season.

    – First things first, I am not a Sandra fan. Not a hater like some others but she does not possess certain traits I value in survivor players (such as long term strategy / Sarah Channon also covered it well in her RHAP blog on Sandra). I also believe she gets a lot of pass for bad things she does as a player just because of her wins (See last podcast by Andy and John), which some other winners don’t (Adam from last season being one example).
    But irrespective of all that, this was some elite level game play by her. May be it is just me overrating this move but I would put this with top tier moves in survivor history alongside likes of Cirie’s 3-2-1.
    First to have JT move his target from her to Michaela. Then to get him so comfortable that he DOES NOT EVEN TAKES HIS IDOL to tribal council let alone think to play it. To top it off with that hilarious but brilliant TC performance. I mean that cheeky supposed slip of tongue where she uses ‘him’ instead of her… BRAVO. That 1-2 with Michaela had me bouncing in my room. Mad respect to her for this play. Irrespective of when she is voted out now she has far surpassed how well she should have done as the sole 2 time winner in this season.

    – Second.. JT… I won’t take anything away from Sandra’a play but this was just so bad. RobC covered it well in KIA IMO but for a guy who is lauded for his social game he got played like a fool. It’s good for him that Aubry was fooled too but still he was the clear odd man out in that tribe and should have been much more careful. His legacy is done at this point.

    – Finally.. needs to be said .. Michaela and Sandra duo needs to be on every season of survivor. Have them just join every TC for entertainment factor.

    1. JT was on top of my list of players I most wanted to win, but damn if that wasn’t the best episode of the pre merge (or even the season) we are in for an amazing ride. Literally the only thing that would have made me enjoy it more is if JT had played his Idol.

      1. I disagree to be honest, JT getting hosed made this episode for her. And that is coming from som