Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 1 Liveblog: “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Confident”

Follow us on Twitter and Storify below for the premiere episode of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers! Yes, that’s really the name.

Matt
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Matt

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

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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911 thoughts on “Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 1 Liveblog: “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Confident”

  1. So in the Game Changers finale comments someone suggested that I should post my “Random thoughts” comments live instead of all at once after the episode was over. So I am gonna try that out this season. We’ll see if I can keep up with the show.

    And now … onto Survivor: Paladins vs Clerics vs Rogues!

          1. Plus, by the time I had watched the episode and posted my Random Thoughts, there were usually ~100 comments already posted, so I wasn’t appearing near the top of the comments list. And let’s face it – I post a long list of Random Thoughts on each Survivor episode – I’m obviously a raging egomaniac who wants to be first and counts every upvote I get.

  2. Let’s get ready to rumble!!! And by rumble I mean engage in spirited, yet civil, discussion and debate full of much respect and Simpsons quotes.

      1. I laughed at the CNN panel where they interviewed 5 people that voted for Trump and 3 of them said they regretted their votes. When the interviewer asked those 3 when they started to feel that way, one of them said “The day after the inauguration.”

          1. Gotta love that Canadian opimism. Still going strong. I’m basically resigned to him never leaving office until he dies.

          2. I can’t remember if it was on this site or somewhere else that I posted this week about a Daily Show story about a golf course owner who voted for Trump and the proposed wall will go right through his golf course, ruining his business. And he still says if he knew then what he knows now (he says he thought the wall was metaphorical) he would still vote for Trump.

  3. So we all know about starting fires and splitting coconuts, but how high does “rowing a canoe” rank among “Survivor skills to learn before you hit the beach?”

    1. Probably not that high, tbh. It’s certainly nice to know, but you’re kinda fucked if multiple people in your tribe don’t know how to do it, no matter how well you do.

      So in terms of personal benefit, it’s largely negligible. It’s also one of those things you’ll get to learn while you’re out there. Which doesn’t help in this specific situation, which probably won’t mean squat in the overall direction of the season.

    2. You should at least understand how to use an oar to steer the boat and make turns. If the boat is pointing at 3 o’clock and you want to be pointing at 6 o’clock, you really shouldn’t have people rowing on both sides of the boat.

          1. I meant that you can turn by having one side go backwards and the other forwards, but yes, by the end their boat had gotten flipped around and they weren’t capable of doing anything about it except paddling backwards.

          2. Oh right, there probably wouldn’t have been room for all 6 of them to row on one side. But I wouldn’t trust that tribe to organize one side rowing backwards and the other rowing forwards.

    3. Think about it this way: How many seasons before the modern age were you in an inland area with no real water? A lot. But, modern age castaways need to learn it, especially since Probst seems keen on the idea of staying in Fiji.

        1. Now that I’ve seen this I want him to make it to the end and threaten to put someone on the jury when it’s day 39 so badly.

  4. Joe says he wanted the 3 Healer females on his tribe, and Cole is ripped … and Dr. Mike is just waiting for Joe to mention him.

    1. Definitely. There is no way that they quickly were like “so were good” and didn’t remember they know each other. They definitely talked about it and production was like “nah”

      Just can’t decide if it’s good or bad for them..

      1. Too bad, I thought it was interesting in the pre-season interviews where she said she recognized him but he didn’t say anything about it. I wanted to see that first conversation about how the topic was broached.

  5. Why are the oldest female Healer women going off by themselves leaving the young people to talk about how young they all are? No lo!

  6. Ryan, you either find out you’re on bottom of your tribe or get to save someone who probably won’t make the merge. That is not what power is.

          1. Traveller: I have to go up to my room, but my luggage is so heavy. I guess I’ll have to carry it …
            Bellhop: Sir, allow me. I’ll carry your luggage.
            Traveller: My hero!

    1. Calling it now: Ryan spends his breaks standing outside the hotel sucking on a huge vape pen and wondering why all the girls who walk past try to avoid eye contact.

  7. Super-idols are bad, but as long as it’s only good at the first tribal, it’s not that bad. It’ll be gone by next week.

  8. I think Joe’s Tony-schtick would work really well if he didn’t look like someone who’s dressing up as Tony for Halloween.

    1. “Who are you supposed to be, Joe”
      “I’m Survivor winner Tony Vlachos!”
      “Okay, and who are you supposed to be, Ken?”
      “…”

      Man, I miss that hashtag.

        1. o/t: I’m listening to the new episode of Wonderful! and Griffin just mentioned that he’s a Cowboys fan, so I’m hoping we’re gonna get some commentary from him on Alan at some point.

          1. We need Griffin and Rachel to start a Survivor podcast bc I would listen the fuck out of that. Island Buddies? Torch Buddies? Does that work?

            Also while we’re talking McElroys: I know we’ve bounced around the idea of a TAZ re listen. I’m in for a relisten from Gerblins to 11th Hour (I actually think that works real well bc the people who enjoy the format/structure can jump straight into Pilot Season and those invested in the arc can finish the last 20 eps). But also, if we wanted to recruit people, the audience is now here for it.

  9. Is this a good advantage to tell people about? I think it depends on if you can hand off after the votes are read or if whoever’s holding is the only one who can play it.

      1. I say good. It only works for one vote, and it’s a super idol, so you are protected no matter what.

        And if you find the right people, an early demonstration of trust can mean a lot. Especially when it costs nothing.

    1. I think he said you can play it for someone else. I don’t think there’s much risk to telling since you’re not going to have it long term, and it seems to have won him a friend/puppy.

  10. Joe is questioning Dr. Mike about looking for the idol, but all I’m seeing is Joe’s low-riding shorts and bright orange underpants. Use the drawstring on those shorts, Joe!

  11. It’s been a while since I cackled while watching Survivor. Thanks Alan. Also thanks for possibly tanking my Pick 4 team on day one but I’ll pretend you’re being smart for the moment.

    1. I can’t take him off my pick 4 because my team name is a very labored joke about the other Alan Ball.

        1. Oh lord, I shouldn’t have mentioned it. Alan Ball’s Six Feet Over and True Blonde, and it’s Alan, Cole, Chrissy, and Roark. As usual I wanted to make a joke but gave up before I found a good one.

          1. True Blood

            I wonder what a show called True Blonde would be like…probably this season of Survivor. *rim shot*

          2. That’s the joke. Ish. The joke is that I have tall guys and blonde women on my team, and also that one of them is named Alan Ball, but now it’s all going to hell because I have to take him off my team but I have to keep the name the same under the new system.

    2. Is Aurvivor like Survivor except they strand a bunch of golems made from pure gold inside a Minotaur’s maze? Cuz I would watch that show.

          1. If the switch to Kinja didn’t happen over the summer, we might’ve been able to save some tonight.

    1. Wounded by the first site overhaul, put down with the second. May you join the table and feast with the former greats like Geocities in the great wayback machine.

    2. Either die as an independent alt-weekly or live long enough to see Univision as your majority stakeholder. What a strange history with an unfortunate ending.

      1. I would be fine with the un-intuitive new comment interface if the site itself wasn’t so poorly organized. Also about 10% of the content posts now are cross promotional posts from the network of sites. I still enjoy (some of) the content but the redesign has turned it into a poor viewing experience.

      2. And trying to estimate how many times you’ll have to press the “show more comments” button is impossible. With Disqus it shows you about 50 comments to start and each time you press the “Show More” button it shows you 50 more (so when I came back from lunch and saw that this page had ~750 comments I knew I’d have to push the button ~15 times).

        But with Kinja it shows you 1-2 comments to start, the first time you press the “Load more” button it shows you a whole bunch of comments, and each button press after that shows you 5-10 comments. It defies logic (oh, and don’t get me started on the “Show more replies like this” links).

        Yes, I do obsess over stuff like this.

  12. What the he’ll is Alan doing? You’re in good with a 4, don’t say “I know something’s going on.” to them.

  13. Shouldn’t he have had to give opposing team advantage in front of everyone?
    Apparently he just tells production who to give it to?

    1. Like should he have done it or should that have been the rule? Because the rules he read said not even the recipient would know where it came from.

  14. Healers get last choice of puzzle and end up winning. I guess Tyson is right – it’s better to take what’s left than make a choice.

  15. I feel like we’re moving towards either an Alan or a Chrissy boot, which sucks because they’re the two least bland Heroes. The only way we move forward is if Ryan gives one of them the idol and they play it correctly and/or Chrissy wants to play BRob/Sherri to Alan’s Philip/Shamar.

  16. We’re not going to see who gets the idol are we? God, we’re not going to find out until it’s played.

    EDIT: Welp, never mind.

  17. So at this point, it looks like we’re either going to get a tie or Ashley goes home. If you’re Chrissy, you’re saving yourself and Katrina from a tie because holding the idol won’t help you save an ally next time. But do you break a tie and save Alan? Or do you let that play out as it will?

          1. “What are you, 46? You’re old and add no worth to the tribe!”
            “No, I’m only 39!”
            “39? Well, that changes everything! Welcome aboard, equal!”

      1. Reminded me of the little village in Africa.

        But it does look stupid, all these elaborate set pieces and they make them sit on the tiniest little stools and crates.

    1. Fiji was looking damn fine as well. Not sure if those islands they’re on are a new location or not, but the beaches and the palm trees were making me want to take a tropical holiday.

  18. David Boreanaz you are almost 50. You know you only played an immortal killer on TV, right? Nobody believes you as an active duty Seal in 2017.

  19. Ben thinks everything is settled – Katrina or Chrissy. Then he walks over to those 2 talking to Alan and the look on his face says “What the he’ll is Alan doing?”

  20. Note to future players: if you lose the first immunity challenge, vomit in front of everyone. Someone might give you a superidol.

    1. Ugh I’m going to have to take him off my pick 4 team. I just don’t want to figure out who to replace him with. I’m really annoyed that he’s made a tiny bit of work for me.

        1. I’m all in on Alan. That kind of crazy is perfect to go deep because no one wants to get in its way. Also, my team consists of the only four non-Caucasians on the cast so I have no choice.

          What a great winners edit so far for Simone, I delusionally have to pretend.

          1. I think Alan is either out by the merge or making it to FTC. He can go like Shamar/Dr. Pete or be dragged along like Philip/Brandon Hantz. But there’s no middle ground.

  21. So can Chrissy play the superidol on just herself? If she can play it on anyone then spoiler alert, Ashley’s going home.

    1. I mean basically she didn’t want to stick her neck out there if no one else would. I think it was a solid decision.

        1. My hope is they will make it more clear in the next episode, but yeah. Why not have a confessional where Chrissy weighs her options right before tribal? Then at least we understand them…

          1. I mean, how often does a person look in their bag? I understand that most people pack their things to go to tribal, but what are the odds someone is willed this superidol in a future season and doesn’t check their bag at all?

    2. Maybe Chrissy thought she could sneak unnoticed through the Alan-JP-Ashley blowup that’s bound to continue, and if that’s the case it’s probably better not to stick your neck out to save Kristina – especially if she’s worried that revealing she had an idol could cause Alan to turn on her.

      1. especially if she’s worried that revealing she had an idol could cause Alan to turn on her.

        Exactly. All of that focus on Alan’s nonsense also served as a sideways explanation of Chrissy’s decision. Using that idol would have had one result: she’s next out. She still may be next out, but at least she didn’t stick her neck out begging to be next out by saving who the group was against. Not using it is giving her a chance to maybe ride with Alan and the marine.

        1. So… she went from a situation where she had to flip Alan AND Ben to… a situation where she has to flip Alan AND Ben.

          BRILLIANT!

          1. It’s the first week, I don’t think she’s flipping anyone. Sticking her neck out by using a hidden immunity gets a second focus on her in addition to her age. Not sticking her neck out means more time to lay low and develop something with Ben and Alan.

          2. So, your argument is that the person that was the obvious next boot should avoid doing anything to change that because it could… make her the obvious next boot?

            And by avoiding doing anything, she can now flip someone, even thought that’s also a thing you also state is impossible.

            So if I’m hearing you right, your argument is essentially “there’s nothing someone like her can do anyway, so why bother trying”. Admirable.

          3. You can use circular logic on me all you want, Andy. All I’m saying is that she is not unnecessarily giving them a second reason to vote her out. Gives her more freedom to continue cozying up to Ben and Alan and doesn’t escalate Alan’s paranoia. Nothing admirable or brilliant about it; what it is is common sense.

            I’m really not sure how many more ways I can explain this to help you understand. Since you clearly have such strong feelings about it, perhaps you can explain how using the super idol would have been a brilliant, admirable plan that definitely gets her further in the game. I can’t imagine that you’d just want her use it because it would be a BIG MOVE!

          4. From the exit interview stuff I read it sounds like it was always more like Chrissy was with Alan and Ben rather than Katrina and Chrissy. It was just edited this way to make the episode more dramatic. Katrina even seems to think Chrissy was trying to make Katrina the target to be voted out. You can still disagree with her decisions but it doesn’t sound like Katrina was ever Chrissy’s ally so it wouldn’t have been saving an ally by playing an idol on her, and would have gone against two people who sound like she might be more close with in reality in Alan and Ben. Plus now that it’s a 5 member tribe and she know Alan is wary of JP and Ashley as a pair/possibly having an idol. Alan might have baked into a corner where he needs Ben and Chrissy to not risk a 2 v 2 split against JP and Ashley. It doesn’t assure Ben but if he sides with JP and Ashley they might be more likely to go after Alan than Chrissy.

        2. Alan is already anti-Ashley and JP. It wouldn’t take much for Chrissy to convince him to flip over to her side. Hell, she could have shown him the idol before tribal and said “We’re getting Ashley out, and then Katrina and I will join with you to be the majority.”

          1. In the first few days, I think it would take a lot. Alan is a crazy player and Ben seems like a conservative player. Chrissy needs some time to play up to them before they’d contemplate mixing it up. Strength usually goes with strength in the early days.

          2. In the first 3 days, Alan went from being confident in his 4-player alliance to openly accusing 2 of them that they have an idol and are a power couple, even after JP strips naked and turns out his pockets to prove he doesn’t have an idol.

            I agree about Ben – he is going to take his time to make the right decision. But Alan is, as we’ve seen, very erratic. I think Chrissy (or just about anyone) would be able to convince Alan to switch alliances if they convinced him that they could get rid of Ashley and JP.

            Of course, all of this may be moot, as some exit interviews have shown that Chrissy was targeting Katrina almost immediately, so even though they were in the #MomSquad, they weren’t going to work together.

          3. some exit interviews have shown that Chrissy was targeting Katrina almost immediately

            Oh that’s interesting. Huh. Although I guess not surprising, now that I think about it. I will have to check out some exit interviews.

          4. I haven’t listened/read any yet, but the headline for Dalton Ross’ interview on Twitter says something like that.

      2. Right, but the show should have, you know, given us some insight into that. Any insight. At all. I don’t want to have to speculate about what I just saw. If Survivor’s gonna be like this, then fuck it, just play Don’t Stop Believing at the end of every challenge, cut to black, and then let us figure out for ourselves who got voted out.

    1. Mutual Ben-Jeff handjobs FOR EVERYONE

      He also went to Ben on the boat. He will probably spend the season asking amazing questions like “Ben, how does being a hero help you in this situation?” or “Ben, as a Marine, how does this affect you?”

      1. “Ben, last time we had Marine on the show he turned out to be a crybaby who had to go home because he got sand in his eye. But you won’t let me down, right buddy?”

      1. Jeff was thinking “This is the cowboy I wanted in South Pacific but never got!” (plus the whole military thing)

  22. Chrissy’s apparently taking the “there can only be one ‘old’ woman” path, and I think it could work for her? Better than saving Katrina in a 4-2, anyway.

  23. Jeff should have said “If anybody has a normal hidden immunity idol and you want to play it …” just to see the reactions.

  24. “I will always be an Olympian.”

    Hey, Katrina, that’s what the last Olympian who was on Survivor thought, and well…

  25. What the hell? Why didn’t Chrissy play the superidol for Katrina? Doesn’t she know she’s next?

    Although maybe it’s non-transferable. We need confirmation on this.

    1. “Hey guys I know it’s gonna sound like bullshit but this special idol was just in my bag and I don’t know where it came from.”

      That is not gonna sell. If she plays the idol for Katrina she’s still next, because now she’s Chrissy who finds idols, only she doesn’t actually know how to find idols and doesn’t have the one she didn’t have to work for.

          1. You’re really going with “destroying the instructions to a fairly confusing new Survivor tool is the smart play” one season after Cirie was made to look the fool for not reading her instructions carefully?

            Bold.

          2. None of these people saw that happen to Cirie. The last GC episode they saw before shipping out was where Malcolm got voted out.

        1. And it seemed like maybe Alan would flip if he could flip alone… I can see reasons for going either way, so I’m going to hope she made the right call with more information than we have. And now she has a great fake idol for the future!

          1. There are very few situations where “burn an idol on vote 1” is the right call, and if you’re in that decision making space you’re probably already not winning.

          2. Except this idol is gone after vote one either way, so there’s less downside to playing it than there usually is. And perhaps this early in the game there’s more potential to reshape alliances by saving someone.

            I actually really like this idol because it’s giving us something to think/talk about on the first vote.

          3. I forgot about this superidol even though I heard about it in the preseason, but we had 2-3 scenes where someone says that this superidol can only be played at the first tribal.

          4. I must have ignored that part on the grounds that keeping it in the game and making people pass it on until it’s used is the only way to make this gimmick interesting or useful.

          5. Ryan mentioned it when he read the note out loud, and again when he told Devon.
            Chrissy mentioned it when she read the note out loud.

            It was labelled in the note as a “superidol”, not a “legacy idol”, meaning it was not like the legacy advantage. I am fine with a superidol that can only be used at the first tribal. I would not be fine if it could be passed on like the LA and could only be used at the final 6

          6. Well, yeah, it’s not a legacy. You pass it on when you AREN’T in danger of going home. And it would have to expire at the merge, since you can’t pass it to someone on the losing tribe after that point.

          7. Right, but this one specifically states that it’s only good at the first tribal. It can’t be passed on after that.

          8. On KIA they showed an excerpt from an interview a few months (?) ago with Jeff and Josh Wigler where Jeff described the idol note that told its owner that it could be used at the first tribal only, or you could choose to use it to fool your tribe (i.e. keep it after the first tribal as a fake idol).

          9. I’m not sure what point you think you’re making here? I get that those were the rules they designed. I don’t think they designed the rules right.

          10. You’re right, I think we were both on different tracks here.

            So let’s reset. Why do you say that they didn’t design the rules right?

          11. Leave it in the game. If Chrissy doesn’t play it, it’s hers until she’s safe from tribal council, at which point she has to give it to someone who isn’t.

            Ideally this creates a situation where more and more people slowly gain knowledge of the idol, but not where it is or how it got there. Maybe some high level strategy involved in who you give it to/predict has it.

          12. No, I don’t agree. Viewers don’t like superidols, as I think we found out in Cagayan. Having a non-expiring superidol in the game this early would be a terrible decision. The reason this one was a good idea is because it had an expiration date

          13. Caring about what other people want out of the show? That’s not very Purple Rock of you, Hornacek.

            But it’s different from the normal situation where you can just wave it around and say ‘nope, can’t vote me out,’ which is what makes it better. As soon as the Heroes won a challenge Chrissy would be vulnerable again.

          14. I’m pretty sure almost all of the comments here during Cagayan were against the idea of the superidol (aka The Tyler Perry Idol) being brought back. So I think I’m being PR.

          15. I think Chrissy would have a better chance of getting Alan on her side if it was Chrissy and Katrina trying to convince him than if it was just Chrissy.

            Now, Chrissy is all alone against 4 players. But if she had played her idol for Katrina, she could convince Alan the three of them (Chrissy, Katrina, Alan) would be the majority.

          16. At first I didn’t agree, but now I think I do. I mean, I think I could argue some other situations, but yeah, not many.

          17. I really want an episode where someone finds and idol and reads the note which says “This is a hidden immunity idol. Once you finish reading this note, eat the note.”

          18. I love the idea of using it as a fake idol. That’s a fantastic play. Unless of course, Ryan is the one to stumble upon the rehidden fake idol.

      1. Also, if she plays the idol, she can’t say “I voted with you” because she voted one of the 4 (no matter how flaky they are) out, and thus she antagonizes them and makes it really hard to get herself out of the bottom. Now, she didn’t vote one of them off, can say she voted with them, and can find the cracks in that alliance without seeming like she’s playing to hard.

        Though, no one can possibly look like they are playing too hard when Alan is within 100 miles.

          1. Nope. Vote was 5-1. Chrissy Voted Katrina.

            My guess being, after the Alan freakout at tribal, she knew it would be one of them, and decided to throw her vote Katrina and use the idol only if she needs. Once you get that info, I think it speaks a lot better to Chrissy’s strategy.

          2. Yeah that definitely makes a difference. I even wonder if she was told.

            I had a very clear memory of two Ashley votes, which is a little worrying.

      2. Why wouldn’t it sell? Her being able to play it after the vote clearly indicates that this is something new and different. But being a little MORE different would be beyond the pale?

        1. That’s a good point, and it probably would play that way most of the time. But Chrissy is out there with Alan, who appears to have prepped for Survivor by watching TSA training videos.

    2. I guess she thought with her gone they could win challenges? I would have voted for the flashier option personally, but she’s playing it safe.

      1. Pretty much every online prognosticator was saying that Heroes would probably not lose a challenge before the swap.

        Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see Katrina doing anything to make them lose the challenge. So it’s possible they’ll win the next challenges, but I am less sure of that now than I was before the premiere.

        1. I think this challenge was largely random. Everything before the maze was just theater…and they weren’t ever using the same maze (nor was it obvious which maze was the right choice).

          I don’t think this loss means the Heroes are weak at challenges…but it does flag how random such things are.

          1. It wasn’t random that the Heroes made it to the maze first and got first pick – they got there because they were physically strong (although it wasn’t a blowout – 2nd place seemed very close). They made the bad decision of which maze to do – the maze-runners didn’t seem like they were bad at it, it was just the longest maze with the longest path.

            Challenges are full of decisions like this – who does what, who goes next, etc. If they keep making bad decisions like this, future challenges could go very bad.

            Or they could win every challenge after this until the swap. Who knows?

          2. I just don’t think there was any real skill in guessing the right maze. The difference in difficulty comes down to small differences in calibration that couldn’t be determined without, well, using the maze.

            The “reward” for getting to the maze first by a nose was thus illusory. Whole thing was ultimately a coin flip (unless one team was shockingly bad at things…but none of them were). As are a lot of challenges in modern Survivor.

          3. The maze the Heroes chose, it has the least opportunity for the ball to fall off the maze into the gutters. There were many maze walls, and only a few points on both sides where the ball could fall into the gutter. The other two mazes had no walls at all at the gutters so if the wall went towards the edge it was going into the gutter.

            The one with the single track down the center – once they figured out the trick, it was easy (it looked like there were small alternating walls along the edge of that track, which is why they were tilting the maze left and then right and then back again as the ball went down the track. Once they had that rhythm, it was pretty easy to get the ball from the start of the track to the end.

          4. Let’s take the single track maze. There’s a version of that maze that looks identical….but has a slightly slippier finish, and therefore is much harder than the maze chosen by the Heroes. And in that scenario, the Heroes choice works out great!

            My point is they didn’t have enough information to make an informed choice. There’s no benefit to being the one’s guessing about how a ball will roll on a particular wood finish. They ended up choosing wrong, but that gives us no information on the Heroes’ challenge ability going forward, any more than if they had wrongly called heads on a coin flip.

          5. Are you being hypothetical about the other version of the maze? Because besides the single track maze, and the literal maze, the other maze was not identical to the single track maze at all. It had multiple triangular obstacles in it that they had to get the balls past. And the ball did not have to stay in the single track in the center – it could go across the entire maze’s width.

            And of course they didn’t have enough information to make an informed choice. Like any challenge, after Jeff describes it to them, they have to make decisions then. But the three mazes (which they clearly saw when Jeff was describing the challenge; they were standing right next to them) were each different from the others. It’s like the season (Worlds Apart?) where they had the choice of the 5, 25, or 100 (?) piece puzzle.

            My point is that the Hustlers had no choice of the maze – they had to take what was left. And they smoked the other tribes. The Heroes had first choice, and they chose the one that took the longest time. Poor planning and poor decision making.

          6. I just don’t see any evidence of poor planning or poor decision making here. I think they made an arbitrary choice and were wrong.

            It’s as if you gave a bunch of Survivors the footage of three thoroughbred horses running and asked them to pick the one to bet on in a race. Yes, one horse is probably faster than the others. With expertise, someone might even be able to make that choice easily. But under the conditions of Survivor they have no ability to analyze that choice meaningfully. So if they pick the right one, it shows no more skill than if they picked the wrong one. They just got lucky.

            I think the Heroes just got unlucky here.

            To be clear, I feel the same way about the puzzle choices. Those aren’t truly strategic or analytical choices, they just create the illusion of strategy. There’s too much missing information to make anything but an arbitrary decision.

            And to return to the top, all of this means that I don’t think the Heroes losing this challenge makes them any less likely to win next week. Even if they had to make the puzzle choice, I don’t think this makes them any less likely to choose correctly and win.

          7. In Katrina’s First One Out interview (done the day after she was voted out) she told Josh that she thought they should have picked the maze with the track down the middle, and told her tribe that, but the rest of them decided it would be better to take the maze-like one. So yes, they made a choice and they were wrong. Everyone had plenty of time to examine the 3 mazes before the challenge started; they didn’t just get to the mazes during the challenge and say “Ok, we’ve never seen these mazes before, we have to make a split-second decision of which one to take.” They had already decided before the challenge that if they got a choice, they would pick the maze-like one. So I’ll still say that was poor planning on their part.

            Will the Heroes lose next time? I have no idea. But I do not one of the most important things in 3 tribe seasons is momentum. If you get it by winning challenges, you’re more likely to win the next one. But if you lose a challenge, your chances of losing the next one is greater. Add that to the tribe being completely dysfunctional at this point, and I would be really surprised if they were able to get it together next time and not lose.

          8. Before every challenge, the competitors are taken through each aspect of the challenge and are allowed to ask questions. They had time to see each maze.

          9. Exactly. Those tribes had at least half an hour to inspect all aspects of that challenge, including all 3 mazes. They had plenty of time to make a tribe decision about which maze they would pick if they got the choice.

        2. Personally, I wondered if Heroes would be the disaster tribe after Probst mentioned that there was a lot of egos on that tribe. Quick reminder: Probst, stop spoiling stuff in your interviews.

          1. He’s already saying in interviews that this season has an amazing and dramatic finale, and that the viewers will go into rooting for one player and may end up rooting for “the other player”. He doesn’t come right out and say it, but it sounds like he’s talking about a final two (or there could just be a 3rd finalist who everyone knows has zero chance). But don’t tell us that the finale is “dramatic” and that the person we are rooting for will change during it – if we go into the finale and JP is the obvious choice to win, then we’ll know that likely something will happen to make us turn on him and root for “the other player”.

            I’d rather have him reverting to Worlds Apart Probst and just tell us that this is the best cast he’s ever seen and not tell us anything else about the season.

  26. How do we feel about the fact that Simone screams “gone by the swap” but got literally got less screen time than Lauren?

    1. Dunno what you’re talking about. My edgic shows Simone is getting a classic QX17RW Platinum winnner’s edit.

      1. That is so last year. Now it’s all about the QX17RW Platinum 2000 with qluadrophonic speakers. Feel that bass?

        1. The 2000 recalculations make a mess of the Attention hexagons. I joined an offshoot edgic group that rejects the new methodology – r/enlightenededgic. They have a fascinating 20 page paper on how 2000 only works if you make abrupt changes to the positivity axes, and even then, it’s still off by about 1.4 object points on average.

          1. Good news, I may have come up with a way to extend the gimmick. It’s been long enough since Michele that I need a new bit.

          1. On the one hand, I don’t see how you’d need an edgic tag for a juror. On the other hand, I think little enough of edgic to believe they’d do it anyway.

  27. Have to say, worst play of this episode was Alan, he had the crazy Brandon Hantz eyes for half the show

          1. Sigh. I miss all the gimmick AVClub accounts – LeslieKnopeHeadlines, all the Batman villains on the Gotham reviews, the DS9 characters on the DS9 reviews, JudgeReinhold …

      1. I agree, but all he really did was sit there and nod and make banal comments while Alan went crazy.

        Not a great episode for people who aren’t a fan of the crazy.

          1. In his little bio he pretty much said that he was unbearable to be around when he was hungry. I was just surprised that he got this nutty this fast.

          2. I am now hoping that he is like a weaponized, jacked up Phillip Sheppard. Crazy, but built like a tank.
            Get out the way!

    1. The Olympic swimmer who can’t sell “I’m an Olympic swimmer- we are on an island. Vote out older lady 2.” is an Olympic swimmer I don’t want sticking around.

      I mean, that’s a strong pitch.

      1. This. Exactly. “Vote our older lady 2. Who barfed after the challenge. Did I mention I’m an Olympian?”

        That said, Chrissy is my winner pick, so I’m glad it didn’t go that way. Iguess she’s getting the David Wright edit.

      2. True, and I basically agree, but for the obvious counterpoint: that isn’t the kind of sell we would expect from an Olympian, like, a desperate plea for others to vanquish my teammate. I wonder how she’d feel about herself, as a fan of the show (?), if she had done that.

        Really, yeah, she coulda at least dropped hints, without an aggressive pitch.

      3. She should have known, once she saw her tribe, that she would be on the bottom. I’d be doing everything to convince them that I had worth in the challenges.

        I wasn’t paying attention to her in the challenge, but she didn’t seem to be doing that badly, was she? If the Healers had lost, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Joe as a possible vote-off, considering it was day 3 and he far behind the rest of this tribe in that challenge, barely able to climb up that ladder.

  28. We’ll this was fun, and only 4 minutes over. And now I don’t have to rush to my computer to organize my notes and post it.

    Now off to sleep where I’m a Viking!

  29. Is this where we talk about general feelings for this season? I’m feeling good, that was a solid start, but could easily go sideways still

    1. Were those people in this episode? If don’t think I recognize any of them. Especially the person in the middle.

      1. Devon is the surf instructor who Ryan approached as an alliance partner. Simone was on camera a couple of times. Desi had just one confessional because Survivor hates me.

        1. Ok so he was one of the ‘generic white guys’ just wasn’t clear which.. Desi’s confessional must have been bland I don’t recall it at all. I might rewatch the episode as I feel like I don’t even know who half the people are.

  30. I know complaining about the way the youth use “literally” is very popular, but you’re just pretending not to understand hyperbole to sound smart.

      1. I’ll defend “to be like” as in “to say” as having a specific, useful meaning, but peppering speech with filler likes is unfortunate.

        1. if you are talking about “he was like” and “then i was like” then again no. Why not use ‘he said” or “she said”

          The Office would have really sucked if Michael Scotts’ catchphrase was
          “that’s what she was like…”

          1. It has a subtly different meaning. You use “to be like” when you want to reenact a conversation, using direct quotes and possibly silly voices, but you aren’t guaranteeing that you’re quoting accurately. “He was like” essentially means “he said and acted something like this.”

          2. Dunno, it pushes my buttons, it’s a crutch as much as saying um and ah in my mind, I can barely follow what people are saying when they do that

      2. There was a guy like that in one of my college classes. We started tapping our pencils every time he did it. He never caught on but the professor definitely struggled to keep her composure.

    1. But… the entire reason for the existence of the word literally is to delineate between when you are using hyperbole and when you’re not? Like, that’s the word’s job: “hey, I know we’ve made this thing I’m about to say into a figure of speech or use it to exaggerate the truth, but in this case I am not doing that and I will clarify that by stating that what I’m about to say is, in fact, true”.

      1. But it’s easy to tell the difference and we do this all the time with other words. No one flips out if you say, “I really and truly could have killed that woman on the train,” even though really and truly are “meant” to be used to clarify that you’re being sincere. It’s just a fixation on a newly common usage because we always need to panic about the downfall of society and kids these days.

        1. It’s fixation on a newly common usage that LITERALLY means the opposite of the definition of the word, thereby illustrating that the user has no idea what the word they’re using means.

          I’m all for the evolving nature of language. But this is a stupid evolution.

          1. Anyone that misuses the word “literally” should be made to watch a supercut of Parks and Rec’s Chris Traeger saying “literally”

          2. It doesn’t mean the opposite though. It’s just exaggeration. If I say, “It was so hot today that my eyeballs figuratively boiled out of my head,” then I’ve just undercut my whole crazy complaint and I’m not even being melodramatic anymore. But if I tell you my eyeballs literally boiled out of my head, I’m really committing! I mean it’s obviously an absurd lie, but we both know that. Using “literally” is just a way to pile on the absurdity, to up the hyperbole.

            This is not even an evolution of language thing. The meaning of the word has not changed. It’s just being used to intensify exaggerated statements by claiming that they’re true, in the same way other words and phrases may be. “Hand to God, this guy was fifteen feet tall.” “I honestly think that was the worst soup ever created on Earth.”

            Sure it’s funny that we use “literally” when speaking figuratively, but it’s not wrong. It’s a figure of speech.

      2. The idea that literally should be the one word that is off limits for non-literal use is interesting but doesn’t strike me as practical or necessary. Of course we’ll use the not-lying tag to lie, we do that with all of them, but we’re still able to let people know when we’re being serious, it’s just a little more nuanced.

  31. So dropping one’s pants to prove the lack of an idol sets a horrible precedent for future seasons of Survivor

          1. As someone in the urban planning profession, I was very confused about why you’re using Graphic Information Systems to search for images. Like, the only images in ArcGIS are base maps…

          1. I said the word “butthole” to my doctor a month ago because it felt weird to say “anus” or sphincter”.

          2. One time when I was in college my roommate was in his room with his girlfriend, and just as they were staring into each other’s eyes and about to progress to under the clothes stuff, they heard me yell through the wall “buttholes, buttholes, buttholes,” like in a voice like I was slinging hotdogs at a 1920s baseball game.

            And she started laughing and it killed the moment.

            I didn’t know they were home and didn’t even remember doing it until my roommate asked me about it the next day. For a week after he kept asking me “why’d you do it, man? I’m not mad, I just wanna know… why?” I didn’t have a good answer.

          3. For my Survivor Party we ordered some food that uses cricket-flour as a play on the gross food challenge, including cricket chips and cricket cookies. I brought the leftover cookies into the office and one of my coworkers refused to eat one because it’s made of bugs, but she was eating a hot dog while she said that….

        1. Alan really took a good look at it, too. He bent over and examined those nether regions like he was Mike the Urologist.

    1. I mean, In amazon we had women stripping for peanut butter

      But agreed. Particularly give the #idolstripsearch. I look forward for to all the men stripping, and I dread where castaways asking women to strip will lead.

    2. Multiple former survivors have gotten naked during challenges as a strategy. There is a precedent for nudity based strategy.

      1. I think there’s a meaningful difference between GETTING naked strategically, and pressuring others to get naked strategically. The former is generally OK*, the latter does set a bad precedent.

        *BIG RICHARD HATCH IN ALL STARS ASTERISK

  32. I feel very apathetic about this season… I think Game Changers broke me.

    Hopefully some solid gameplay is coming up…

    1. Game Changers sort of feels like a bad dream? Very little about that season has stuck with me. This season already seems more promising, but I tend to be too optimistic about season premieres

      1. My memories of Game Changers are so hazy that I spent part of today trying to remember how Woo got voted out.

      2. Same. I’m usually excited to rewatch recent seasons to see if they hold up and catch anything I missed, but with GC…I think I’m good.

      3. I like remembering the pre-merge.

        The other day I tried to remember who won. But my mind rebelled and it just didn’t come to me. Had to look it up!

    2. I think there is almost a 0% chance that this isn’t better than Game Changers. This episode was nothing spectacular, but I’m glad I watched it. Whenever I’m underwhelmed by a season premier episode I remind myself that Redemption Island has a surprisingly fun opener.

        1. I don’t remember a Troy, but I do vaguely recall a giant dong attached to some weird, weaselly looking dude.

      1. I don’t know how I missed this earlier but I had totally forgot Michaela made the final 7. It’s shocking how few memorable moments that season had looking back a few months later. Basically everything post Sandra is forgettable of memorable for bad reasons. Remember this anyone who plays on a future season with Sandra.

  33. Im glad I didn’t pick Alan for the fantasy league after watching this. He’s going to get voted out because he’s too jumpy and distrusts everyone.

    1. I feel way better about my Mike pick after tonight. Alan terrifies me but I’m gonna stay on this train and see where it takes me. Ryan is my winner pick and I saw nothing to change that tonight, while I don’t have much of a read on Roark yet.

      1. I picked Ryan as one of my fantasy league picks. He seems like a really strategic player based on the first episode.

      2. I don’t know about Mike. I also picked him for the potential Dave Wright upside (which I assume is why most people who picked him did so), but I feel like if someone like him is going to go far, he would’ve had more screentime in this episode. Maybe that’ll change once the Healers go to tribal.

      3. I don’t know about Mike. I also picked him for the potential Dave Wright upside (which I assume is why most people who picked him did so), but I feel like if someone like him is going to go far, he would’ve had more screentime in this episode. Maybe that’ll change once the Healers go to tribal

    1. I’m glad I have all of you. It’s been a rough month for me, but I know I always have a support group here.

        1. That’s fine. I fractured my foot and my brother is moving across the country. But on the positive side, I got a kitten! His name is Henry and he is adorable.

          1. When you click the “Reply” link there’s a image graphic in the bottom left corner of the reply box to add images from files.

    1. Was it when she was lifted that Roark seemed fun to watch, or was it… some other scene that I have no recollection of?

  34. So I’m stealing this from Reddit, but y’all:

    If I’m Chrissy, I put that idol in JPs bag and watch Alan go full Debbie Wanner

        1. I wonder what the job title is of the person who gets to sneak idols into bags and take them out again? Or is that job divided into sneakers and takers…

          Hey I think we have the kernel of the next 3 team gimmick. Help me fill in the blank…

          SURVIVOR: Sneakers, Takers and ________ers

          1. “I wonder what the job title is of the person who gets to sneak idols into bags and take them out again?”

            intern

    1. I could see Chrissy doing something like that. I made her my winner pick (although much of that is just because I go to the college that she went to), but I could see her having Denise Stapley upside now that she’s gotten past the first few days. Then again, I might just be crafting a narrative to explain how my winner pick has to do well.

    2. God, that would be awesome, but seriously, she has the world’s most convincing fake idol now, no?

  35. Alan is pure crazy eyes.
    But I’m still keeping him on my fantasy team. I had Troy last season. My standards are low.

  36. Alan seems to have confused planting a seed of paranoia with “SHOW ME YOUR GENITALIA SO I CAN ACCUSE YOU OF HIDING AN IDOL”. It’s an easy mistake to make.

    1. Maybe Alan is just looking for an excuse to see Peen. Maybe he has a big gay secret he just can’t handle!

      a boy can hope…

      1. Umm, this season has so much male eye candy I can barely contain myself. Which is not to say that I don’t also find many of the women attractive. Oh the joys of bisexuality!

          1. I’m so glad we’re in an era when men feel some pressure to pick out good underwear to wear on TV. Even though boxers are so obviously practical I might try to wear them on Survivor!

          2. i’d argue boxer briefs are probably most practical. Protect the junk, avoid chafing, but not skimpy. Though I’d be all for Cole’s brief look…

  37. I’m feeling good about this season. Seems like it will get better from here. Some boring groundwork was laid, and hopefully the next few episodes are the payoffs.
    The edit wasted too much time on stuff that didn’t matter though, like the super idol (makes me think Ryan might be getting a Winner’s Edit, because the only reason that idol matters is to make him look savvy).

    I think Chrissy made the right choice by letting Katrina go, because they would still be a minority and blindsiding someone on the first vote would just further alienate them. Any chance Chrissy shows off her expired idol as if it is still valid? This is the first time someone has had the opportunity to present people with a real idol and I’m betting everyone would fall for it.

    1. Temporary idols have existed before. I’m guessing they’re collected by production once they expire.

      1. IIRC that I listen to/read an interview with a former player where they said something like that was taken by production after tribal but I can’t recall who it was or where I heard it. But I’m pretty sure you’re right.

        1. I think it’s especially true now that they’ve tried to introduce “fake idol making kit” as an advantage. They’re not gonna let this one be that.

          1. Seems like the stuff I read/listened to today say they get to keep it so they can use it as a fake idol. So like an advanced fake idol kit. But we’ll see how it plays out.

          2. On KIA one of the listeners submitted an excerpt from an interview with Jeff weeks ago about the superidol note; it tells the player that they can choose to use it at the first tribal, or choose to keep it and use it to fool other players later.

            So it appears that Chrissy gets to keep this idol and do with it what she wants – use it as a fake idol, or plant it in Ashley’s bag and convince Alan to search her bag.

        1. It would certainly be more interesting than something that I’m pretty sure has never once mattered in Survivor history.

      2. Doesn’t everyone usually know the idol has expired? They normally make a spectacle of “who ever can get the idol the fastest is safe from the first vote”

    1. But the Cole we did get: HONEY.

      btw I’m not encouraged by next weeks preview, because whenever a couple forms, at one is guaranteed to get chopped (and this is the part where Andy tells me that Romber was a couple that made it to the end).

      1. Its fine. The girl always gets voted out anyways. Cole’s safe. (Seriously though, I am a little worried for him after that) (but JP and Ashley survived tonight)

      1. Even ignoring the obvious (which we shouldn’t- he’s so privileged he doesn’t even know what privilege is), what kind of “Hustler” hasn’t figured out how to get at least some advantages?

        That’s the least hustler-y thing I’ve ever heard.

        1. He’s playing the white republican long con:
          1. Be a white dude
          2. ???
          3. Profit
          4. Lobby for tax cuts so no one can touch your fucking profits!!!!!

          He’s still working on step 2.

      1. I find the fact they didn’t make him wear a bellhop hat as part of his wardrobe to be very disappointing.

      1. I know you’re joking but Michele had a good premiere content wise for not going to tribal. How much the content the beauty girls alliance got for never going to tribal was a huge give away.

        1. In the Josh pre-season interviews, Ryan said that since BvW, the season’s winner did not go to the first tribal council (Tyson, Tony, Natalie, Mike, Jeremy, Michele, Adam, Sarah). So if that trend holds, look for a Healer or Hustler to win this season.

  38. I was honestly shocked it was Katrina, because as Matt noted, she was barely in the episode at all. Like, I was barely aware she was a person until about 2 minutes before tribal. I was convinced it was Ashley

    1. I totally thought the edit was trying to get us to root for the mom squad which would mean Ashley was going, but I guess we were just supposed to root for Chrissy?

          1. I’d read the liveblog if work didn’t block it. So next time, try not make it so controversial that it gets blocked.

          2. No, I’m out of practice with this and I forgot that I can’t read the liveblog at work so I didn’t bother reading it after the episode last night.

      1. I read my own tweet! But really I usually read it after watching the episode (and enjoy it) as I don’t watch the show live anymore because it’s bed time for the kiddos.

    2. I was shocked it wasn’t Alan for the reverse of that reason. He got SO much screen time with dem crazy eyes considering it wasn’t his boot.

      But after we got an immediate alliance breakdown for Heroes I was like “They are definitely going to tribal before the merge” and when we went back to them for a check up before even going to a challenge, I was like “Oh, we they are going to tribal this episode”

      1. Until they walked to tribal, I was waiting for JP and Ashley to swing the vote to Alan. Then I thought Chrissy might play her idol to get rid of Alan. Then I was just confused.

        Earlier, I was with you. I thought it was setting up a 2-2-2 divide a la KR Brain’s tribe

      2. I think Alan earned his screen time by being pointlessly aggressive and having some strong facial expression work.

        Without Alan, there’s pretty much no story at all.

        1. Oh, I agree. But it isn’t unheard of for Survivor to burn storylines in favor of weaving one around the next cast member to get the boot. Given the lead up, I assumed that the “Alan is playing so hard” edit was being used to explain his boot. I still think it is, but it’s too bad Katrina got almost no screen time in her boot episode. She seemed very chill and likable in the post-interview I listened to.

  39. Often, when a first time player does something crazy like Alan, you can trace it back to a recent season and they’re doing a shitty version of someone else’s move. I genuinely can’t figure out where Alan got this idea. Panama, maybe? Tribal bonding via genital exposure?

    1. I think it’s the other way in this case. I don’t think he’s really a fan and doesn’t realize how bad this could turn out for him because he doesn’t know about the many example of this kind of thing turning out very badly. Plus someone mentioned apparently in his bio he says he doesn’t take being hungry very well which probably contributed.

      1. I listened to Josh Wigler’s thing today and Alan called the pre-merge ‘when they’re still in teams’ so I’m gonna double down on he wasn’t a fan coming in.

    2. I think in this case it’s just paranoia + panic attack. A slow burning panic attack that apparently lasts for days.

      I wasn’t unhappy with targets though, so Alan keep that paranoia train running!

    3. Maybe because everybody on the Millennials tribe was so freaked out by Faylor? (I’m citing MvGX because Alan 100% didn’t watch as far back as, say, Cook Islands or All-Stars).

      1. I think they’re truth to this. Alan seemed more like “I know I’m not supposed to like power couples because reasons” than actually having the solid why down, which makes sense if he watched MvGX

    4. I liked on KIA when Rob asked “When was the last time there was a power couple that controlled the game?” and Stephen quickly said “Me and J.T.”

        1. Pretty sure someone (Aubry?) tweeted a photo of David and Ken in response to this power couple question.

          I think Stephen only said himself and J.T. because Rob had been kidding earlier about Devon and Ryan being the better version of J.T. and Stephen.

          Also, not sure if M&D and D&K are power couples. M&D were separated for awhile, and they eventually turned on each other. As for D&K, Ken eventually voted out David. Doesn’t a true “Survivor power couple” have to go to the end together?

  40. Ugh, back to a 60-minute premiere instead of 90 minutes, I guess so that CBS could give a good time slot to the debut of Middle-Aged Angelus SWAT (errr I mean SEAL) Red-State Hero Bin-Laden-Killin’ Cool Guys. This is terrible. I hate 60-minute season premieres. You really need that extra 30 minutes to get to know the players. I barely had any idea who that skinny lady was who got voted out.

    So far I don’t feel great about this season, but then, this happens a lot. Survivor usually gets much more interesting for me a few more episodes into each season once I’ve gotten to know the players a little more. The only people who stood out were: Alan, who is either completely nuts or… yeah he’s nuts (I hate to say it, but: CTE?); Sex Doctor Mike; tattooed-with-a-creepy-baby-head Tony-ish guy who is already picking on Sex Doctor Mike; shrimpy bellhop & his best buddy, Fabio 2017; and Roark, a little bit, but mainly because her pre-season interview on one of the podcasts sounded interesting, otherwise I would barely have noticed her. We learned basically nothing about the power couple before Alan smeared them as the power couple. (Is the girl the hardcore Christian and self-professed virgin from the pre-season podcast interviews?)

    I need to go listen to the RHAP “Corinne verbally abuses everybody” cast assessment podcast — maybe that’ll help me keep all these idiots straight.

    1. “I need to go listen to the RHAP “Corinne verbally abuses everybody” cast assessment podcast”

      Don’t bother. This one is light on jokes and very heavy on long, boring anecdotes about Corinne’s love life.

      1. Sometimes I miss the fact that I’m too busy to listen to all the RHAP podcasts these days… and sometimes I read posts like yours.

      2. Thanks, good to know. So far it’s pretty dreadful and I’ve got way more stuff to listen to than time to listen to it (and I work for That Big Audiobook Company, too, so I get free audiobooks, and no time to listen to all of them!). Could you listen to all of my other podcasts for me and tell me which episodes I should skip? I’m way behind on The Best Show, Why Oh Why, and The Sporkful. Better get cracking! 😛

        1. I don’t know what you actually do but I’m still jealous of your job. I’ve really gotten into audio books in the last year or so. So great for the commute/working out/cooking/doing work around the house/etc.

    2. I called Devon “Taylor 2.0” during the preseason. But since you could probably call Taylor “Fabio 2.0”, I guess that makes Devon “Fabio 3.0” by the transitive property of .0s

        1. Agreed, Fabio seemed like a decent human being, unlike a lot of the other people from that wretched bottom-feeding season. I was giving this new guy the benefit of the doubt by comparing him to Fabio. There’s certainly no evidence so far that he’s as gross as Taylor. (There’s not much evidence he isn’t that gross, either, but I’m trying to be more positive and less of a crank!)

    3. I agree on the 60 vs. 90 minutes thing, especially on a three tribe season – this premiere felt super rushed and choppy to me

    4. What was shown in the episode was perfectly fine, even though I would’ve liked to have seen more about why Katrina was targeted. That being said, I completely agree that 90 minute premieres are necessary for learning about the contestants (especially for me this season, since I barely paid attention to the preseason). I also need less of Ryan, who is apparently what happens when Reddit tries to clone Cochran, and more of Roark.

    5. > but mainly because her pre-season interview on one of the podcasts
      sounded interesting, otherwise I would barely have noticed her.

      Thank you for saying that because for a moment I though I was crazy because I don’t remember a Roark at all.

      1. Roark was the strategic mastermind who helped the yellow team dominate the rolling ball puzzle board challenge.

    6. (Is the girl the hardcore Christian and self-professed virgin from the pre-season podcast interviews?)

      That’s Jessica, the blonde girl on Healers who Cole is about to start a showmance with. Hope he’s ready for a commitment.

        1. It worked out pretty well for them and if one of them goes out like Jamie did then I’m totally on board with this.

        2. Poor Erik, he really got grilled at the reunion by Jeff about whether he was still a virgin. It was … uncomfortable.

        1. Rob, Nicole and Corinne all said that they thought Cole was actually wealthy, and he lived in his car to throw off any women only interested in him for his money. As if there would be women not interested in him for his looks.

    7. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think every time they’ve done a 90-minute premiere, it’s been followed by the 90-minute Big Brother finale. CBS doesn’t have any Wednesday night 1/2 hour shows, or any of their 1-hour dramas that get expanded to 90 minutes.

      So because BB ended last week (?) and they knew Survivor was starting a week later, they knew it would have to be 60 minutes.

  41. Honestly having someone who plays game for money up there in the hero team with people who saves lives for a living is bullshit.

    1. I do like the idea that it’s not full of ACTUAL heroes, rather people who get called heroes for reasons reasonable and deeply stupid.

      It’s still a bad idea, but hoping you can make Alan even more bonkers by calling him a hero is the best part of this stupid, stupid theme.

    2. I generally try to avoid getting overly political… but fuck it. When they finish gutting Medicare and Social Security in this fucked up country, financial planners will indeed be life savers.

    3. “Hustlers, your tribe name is Yawa. Healers, your tribe name is Soko. Heroes, your tribe name is The Justice League.”

        1. There’s a chest full of critical equipment chained to the bottom of the sea… A job for Aquawoman! Aquawoman…? Where’s Aquawoman, guys?

    1. The funny thing about Alan Ball to me is that he looks MASSIVE on Survivor, but he was a fucking defensive back. The NFL is crazy.

      1. Yeah I noticed that too. NBA is crazier though, but that is because height always messes up my perspective than just muscular beefiness

        1. Ah yes, poor Woo, convincing us all he was kinda short by running around next to Cliff when we first met him.

  42. Finally here! Before I read the comments, I want to admit that I will definitely be getting rid of Patrick because he’s too over the top. I only hope I can get who I want.

    Also, wtf with Katrina getting no screentime? I mean show her being over eager, annoying, something? But you were right PRP predictions. Don’t get too cocky. (I said Ashley, and she got the only other vote.)

    1. Man, the preview about Patrick was a bit disturbing. Maybe just being goofy? I’m gonna just pretend it’s nothing, for now.

        1. Him and Ali working together was the essential foundation of my pick-4 strategy–and then I saw it actually happening! Later on of course, the discouraging stuff comes along, but I just can’t let the dream go.

        1. Did we actually come close to seeing a guy grab urgently at his crotch and then explain it away as being “crabs”. Like the final scene in some Seinfeld beach episode!

  43. Well, that was an episode of Survivor. Like many of you, I was burned bad enough by last season that I’m still not all the way in.

    THINGS I LIKED:
    1. The twist with the one-use super idol. Good way to lend excitement to a potentially easy vote, and no one gets too mad about someone being screwed by a twist immediately on a newbie season.

    2. Alan. I mean, he’s awful at the game and kind of a jerk, but he’s good TV.

    3. Simone: Obviously didn’t have to do much, but I think she’s positioning herself really cleverly as the fulcrum point of her tribe. I hope she lasts long enough for this to be a running joke. I am not hopeful.

    4. All y’all. I’m not that excited for the new season- I am enthusiastic for coming back to the Purplerock comments.

    THINGS I DID NOT LIKE:
    1. Jeff talking about the theme. This was even more painful than normal. Also…he seems really into the “hustler means HARD WORKER” thing. Which is both not the primary meaning, and so much less interesting gamewise than pushing the “hustler means con man playing all the angles” thing. Bad Jeff.

    2. Joe. He’s bad at the game, a total jerk, and, at least for me bad TV.

    3. The general blandness of this episode. It doesn’t mean much…but it was bland.

    1. “and no one gets too mad about someone being screwed by a twist immediately on a newbie season”
      Bull, I was ready to be pissed before I watched the episode! I do think it would have been fine if it were just a regular idol that could only be used at the first tribal which would still cause excitement, but making it a super idol really limits the possibilities for it and makes it unfair in the most boring way. I’m glad nothing happened with it.

      1. LOL at the idea that Survivor fans wouldn’t have been upset about any new twist or change.

        Way to set her straight, @Max_Jets:disqus

          1. Remember when they introduced the swap and royally screwed over America’s sweetheart, Chip. Ruined the game.

          2. Yeah there have been many good twists, but I feel like I’m always railing against whatever they introduce that I look like a cranky person who will never be okay with any twist. I also didn’t start watching until Cagayan, so I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to fully back a new twist. I was interested in the Legacy Advantage when I first heard about it though, so I will gladly pat myself on the back for being so open minded.

          3. Only possible because Sierra played it as bad as humanly possible, though.
            I still maintain that the Legacy advantage is a good tool to have in the game (in the right hands, where it hasn’t found its way to yet), that opens up interesting pathways for the holder. What’s the right approach to using it may differ significantly depending on the player’s personality and position in the game. It could help you immensely if you get the most out of it, or sink (what’s left of) your game if you FFSDT it. Sitting on it and hoping you make it to day 36 or whenever may be the best for one person, while the next could make the most use of it by dealing with it in a more public manner, maybe even sowing the instructions on his bag for everybody to see, whereas another type, let’s call him Tony, would possibly be best served by spinning little tales around what IT could do and honestly, I can’t even begin to imagine what else HE could do with it.
            On its own it’s neither overpowered, nor a drag on your game (like publicly known ownage of a more miniscule advantage proved to be), so just the right sized twist if you ask me.

            I’m still #Team Legacy Advantage, but I’m not opposed to a re-branding before they bring it back.

        1. This twist really was kind of a dud, tho. A one-use idol that can only save a first boot is just not primed to create something interesting.

          I really wish it would have stayed in the game. Having to pass it on each week and watching information about it slowly trickle out could have built for some really good drama, hopefully culminating in a game of telephone at the merge as people try to work out the chain of custody. As it is, it was kind of meh.

          1. Oh yeah, this twist was pretty inert (to the point where it even landed in a situation where it SHOULD have mattered and didn’t). But let’s not pretend that there isn’t a strong impulse among many fans to instantly reject EVERYTHING unless proven otherwise.

          2. In the GC finale comments, you can see when the FTC format change happens because there are so many “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?” and “This change SUCKS!” comments. But the comments after the show are more “I like this new format.”

    2. > no one gets too mad about someone being screwed by a twist immediately on a newbie season.

      That’s not true. Survivor Palau. I don’t think I need to elaborate.

      1. Totally true, obviously people get mad about everything.

        But Palau is a great example. That was an objectively terrible twist! And it does virtually no harm to the season’s story. A player who might have mattered, doesn’t (also Wanda leaves in the middle of episode 1, as opposed to the end). And then we move on to the real story.

        1. I was actually fine with IRL but lots of people really seem to hate it. Neither Johnathan or Wanda seemed like I lost anything major game play or character wise and though a lot of people say they never got to play they did though in a different way from normal. All they needed was one of seven to want them and they didn’t. C’est la vie. The twists that I hate the most are the ones that are uninteresting or waste a lot of show time for little reward.

  44. If we’re judging solely by the first episode (which we shouldn’t) it seems like the people who will be the big factors of this season are: Ben, Chrissy, Alan, Mike, Joe, Cole, Ryan and Ali.

    1. I think Mike, Ali and (sigh) Joe are the people with the most positive edit indications thus far. Ban, Chrissy, Alan, and Ryan actually did things, and Cole only really got attention in relation to Ryan.

      Mike, Ali and Joe could have been excised from the episode in favor of letting Simone explain her master plan. But…instead we saw them be only moderately interesting.

      1. I think Ben was pretty good. I would not count anyone out yet. It just seems like these people will factor into the most immediate plot lines.

        1. Cole also got attention from the cameramen for his abs. I’m pretty sure like 90% of the time we were with the Healers, the camera was on Cole, no matter who was talking

        2. Devon seems exactly like I imagined, but with much better chances. I had figured he’d so out-of-it that he wouldn’t even understand it’s a competition, but he’s got energy I think, and appears willing to work with people who have plans.

  45. Kind of a meh first episode. I kind of thought Katrina would be safe since we practically didn’t see her, and then she gets voted out just for being an older woman which is never fun to watch. It was kind of funny that the advantage/super idol ended up not even being used and was just a waste of a few minuets in the episode. But at least it’s already done after this episode.

    Seems like a few people are playing was to hard already. Particularly Alan. Why go so hard at an obvious couple and potential make yourself a target especially when you’re not even voting one of them out? Seems like a bad spot to put yourself in. Does he think he’s not in danger this early because he’s a strong guy?

    1. Is it really done now, though? Can’t she use it as a fake idol?

      Once Chrissy barfed, Katrina should have talked about being an Olympian non-stop. Of course, we’ll never know if she did or not since she got zero screen time.

      1. Rumor is that Production took back the idol after tribal.

        At least, they have done that in the past for temporary immunity.

      1. Figured, but at least he doesn’t stick with it after the swap so far. It would seem silly be the hero/healer/hustler divide is already so stupid and forced it’s would hardly be stick to the theme any less other than admitting how arbitrary it is.

    2. Someone (Ryan maybe?) on the Hustlers tribe already talked about being a hustler like it’s a concept that exists outside this season of Survivor. Remember when the No Collars did that?

      1. Rewatch the episode it did come up and Ryan was one of them. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as some recent seasons. I wish it would go all the way a way but a move in the right direction at least.

  46. I wanted to like Alan for being the one lone black member of his tribe but he is too crazy. I hate Joe, too.
    Ryan, a seduction advice: you need to stop talking about your dick and how much action it didn’t get, it’s not an endearing quality in a man.

      1. But AMERICA heard and that’s what matters

        (Seriously, you are awfully literal: it’s just plain annoying to make all those comments about his virginity. It’s not a big deal, get over it)

  47. I think I’m here for Alan. He seems to be way overplaying, but he’s also self aware about how crazy he looks. Could he be fake crazy throughout the season and then win when he reveals he knew what he was doing all along?

    Alan aside, I think this season mostly looks to be a strong cast of women and a potentially weak cast of guys. JP and Cole both seem bland (COME AT ME, COLEHEADS), while Devon, Ryan, and Mike seem like they could get annoying. Ben is great so far though.

    1. Are you suggesting that Ken 2.0 is pretty, but not very interesting? That’s crazy talk. Apart from Ken 1.0, when has that ever happened before?

      1. I agree! First season I wasn’t 100% sold on JLP but this season I feel like he’s been amazing and appropriately sassy. I watched the first ep of this and I’ve never felt so neutral towards Probst before in my life. I thought I really liked him but now he just seems boring or too commercial or something. I don’t know.

        1. I’m a Probst fan, but I thought he was a little off in the premiere. There were a lot of weird shots of him jumping in the sand or taking two or three obviously choreographed steps while staring right into the camera.

          1. His heart just did not seem in it to me. And not really down to Probst but that whole first tribal council just felt super flat. I think it was mainly down to the camera angle and music.

  48. I loved how the two vapid pretty boys tried to make their fake jobs seem more noble by saying it was all about helping kids.

  49. So, the super idol continues its streak of having never been played at tribal council. I mean, it would definitely shake up a tribal if it was ever used, but man, it’s been 23 seasons since it was first introduced and no one has needed/chosen to use it. What are we to make of this?

    1. Maybe production would stop putting one in the game if it was used once because they’d realize how dumb it is. Or maybe they should just rewatch Fiji’s “It’s a Turtle?!” to remember why idols are perfect as is.

    2. Well to be fair Terry won immunity almost every time so he wouldn’t need it. But the general take away is that it’s so over powered that just no one bothers to vote for that person. Though not the case this time.

      1. Plan voodoo would still work. The problem is there are so many idols around these days, that the plan is really risky. Back when you could probably assume there was only one idol, I don’t think it was quite so powerful.

        1. Indeed but I would be risky as you said even more so than against a normal idol. Regardless I think it’s over powered and were better off with the regular idol. As you alluded to there are too many idols these days.

          1. I definitely don’t like the super-idol, but I’m less opposed to it if it’s the only idol in the game. With all the idols floating around these days, there should definitely not also be a super-idol.

          2. I agree for later in the game, but I really didn’t mind having it in the first episode. It added an interesting dynamic that resulted in some early strategy, but is now out of play. Rather than this episode being a will they/won’t they over booting the older women, we also have the added intrigue of will Chrissy need to use it, and how that will play out should she/Ryan make the merge and team up.

            I almost think the better thing would have been for production to just call it something else. Like an Early Idol or something, to indicate that it really is just meant to shake up day 1 strategy and not affect the whole game.

          3. Unfortunately she doesn’t know who sent it to her, so the potential to build trust for a swap or merge is lower. Although I guess if Ryan goes up to her and knows about it that’s pretty good evidence that it was him.

          4. In Josh Wigler’s RHAP podcast, he talks about how Ryan and Devon had apparently had some pretty in depth discussions about who to give it to in the event Hustler’s didn’t lose. I believe their picks were Chrissy and Roark, argument being that both had already demonstrated their knowledge of the game and general strategy, and would know how to best employ the super idol, either as a weapon in the first vote, or as a fake idol. They also argued that if Chrissy/Roark were successful in utilizing it, they would be grateful to whomever willed it to them, thus allowing Ryan/Devon to create a cross-tribal alliance if needed later in the game.

            Also, one of the popular ideas on Reddit is Chrissy could plan the now useless idol in JP’s stuff, and hope Alan finds it and loses his shit. Personally, I think this is a risky move for Chrissy though. Assuming she aligns with Ben, I think it’s a safer bet to make a group of 4 with JP and Ashley, who have proven more level-headed.

    3. Other than this one, many of those other Super Idols weren’t needed to be played because it granted the user immunity without having to play it. So it’s not like it’s been useless.

  50. Early favorites: Chrissy who correctly did not use stupid super idol, Marine, Doctor Weasel, Celebrity Assistant (trying to get past that job title though)

    I like her, but since when has working as Financial Analyst, or whatever she is, remotely heroic? She’s heroic because she worked, then had kids, and then went back to work? Honestly I don’t understand. The basic idea behind “heroes’ just makes me irritated. But I will love hearing phrases like “Heroes Lose Reward” from Probst.

    Like probably most people, the misuse of hustler is driving me up the wall. I guess it has multiple meanings, but I haven’t been told to put some hustle into it since high school.

    And since when does a surf instructor “hustle”?

    That frickin parole officer. Watching that asshole get up in the weasel’s face was hard. Parole officer needs a good smack upside the head. The nerve of him!

    Hey Matt maybe don’t make a habit of mocking the bellhop’s physical appearance, okay? I mean it’s fine to mock him for being a bellhop, that’s really all that I need at least. But he was born with that face and physique, you know? Not exactly an advantage in life, despite being a white American male or whatever that one tweet said.

    I thought the little scene between bellhop and surf instructor was… cute. An alliance that probably won’t last a day but here’s hoping it lasts forever. Maybe they are still fast friends? It’s like a b-movie version of JT & Stephen, a movie watched when really high.

    1. Yeah I wanna second the request to please not demean Ryan based on his physical appearance. As someone who’s been bullied about the way they look it makes me super uncomfortable. If you want to make fun of him because of his personality then fine, but no one chooses their facial features.

          1. Oh no. Is he going to be just as pretentious? Please tell me he won’t find a way to be more pretentious

          2. I’m not say you can do anything. Ever. In fact it’s probably best if you never do anything. But if you are going to do something, mock his turtle neck.

    2. From watching the pre-season videos, I recall that Chrissy is (or was?) an actuary, so maybe that’s what they’re considering heroic? They also talked a lot about how she’s a female mathematician, so that could be their angle too.
      Either way, I thought a higher than average number of people were awkwardly shoehorned into the weird theme this season.

      1. The best description I’ve heard about actuaries is, “They determine how much of a fuckup you are and adjust your rates accordingly”.

      1. Hey I appreciate it, thanks! I also really appreciate these live blogs, thank you for putting them together. I always the miss the live part but they are still fun to read.

    3. Jeff’s description of the Hustlers was hilarious:

      “You are respected for your hard work ethic. Your mantra is get it done, no matter what, 100% of the time”

      To which no one ever thought “he must be describing a bellhop”

      1. Well I’ve heard they put in a heroic amount of work hours. 40 hours a week is just a number to the heroic Financial Analyst, willing to work nights and weekends to meet that deadline! I bet they put a lot of hustle into it as well, so she could really be on two teams.

      2. Remember that time all the Financial Analysts heroically saved us all by blowing the whistle on garbage financial instruments, and prevented a massive recession!!!

    4. Dr. Weasel! That really got me for some reason.

      The explanation I heard somewhere for Chrissy is that she’s a bit of a glass ceiling breaker in her industry. I think the whole Heroes thing works a bit better if you picture a group of kids saying, “My hero is this athlete!” or, “My hero is this woman with a high-powered job!” or whatever instead of trying to fit everyone there into the concept of actual heroism.

      1. That would also explain the use of a definition of hustler primarily used when talking to fourth grade soccer teams.

      2. That makes a lot of sense to me to look at it from that perspective. Irritation slightly lowered.

        Okay now I’m going to focus on finding something irritating about this “Healer” label, I don’t want that tribe to feel left out.

    5. It’s fine to mock him for being a bellhop? Bellhops (we call ourselves “hoppers”) work hard for low wages. Most of our income comes from tips from people who treat us like dirt. It’s a demanding and thankless job. Don’t feel free to mock us. We aren’t lazy skycaps or something.

      1. I will refrain from mocking your interesting life choices, and rest assured my tips will be generous ones! I have heard you guys put a lot of hustle into your work.

          1. If you say you have a healing touch with your guests, I will bow down. Have to bow down to a triple threat.

          2. I’m suddenly reminded of a former boss, who at one point during a staff meeting noted that he was a Triple Threat because he could sing, dance, and act. It was an awkward moment filled with silence. Wish there had been a bellhop at that meeting to school him on what truly constitutes being a triple threat.

      2. Bellhop is a glamorous occupation compared to being a waiter. It’s also demeaning and thankless plus you go home smelling of food and failure.
        (no longer a waiter)

        1. Way back when I was a host, I used to be jealous of the waiters. Also very demeaning work – man the attitudes that some people had. Although minus the going home smelling like food part (but also minus the tip part). No longer a host!

          Bellhop>Waiter>Host?

  51. Fun storytime: Guess who has not watched the premiere yet? Yes, due to working an 8 hour shift at one of my jobs and then immediately babysitting, I didn’t get home until midnight and have to wake up at 5. That essentially meant no Survivor yet and no Survivor until tonight. But I know who goes home. Anyway, I think someone has to retire the witch hat.

        1. I’m talking long cons. The only way to lull us into a false sense of security for S36 is to pick the S35 first boot in all of your leagues. It’s a clever plan fwiw.

          Was there something that drew you to her? I saw some potential in Katrina (not to win but to get/be carried far), but didn’t draft her for fantasy.