Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 3 Liveblog: “My Kisses Are Private”

Follow us on Twitter and Storify below for the third episode of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers!

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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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858 thoughts on “Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 3 Liveblog: “My Kisses Are Private”

  1. Torn between watching the last inning of Nationals-Cubs and catching up with Survivor, or just watching Survivor live. Go Nats!!!

      1. I’ve never seen the Nationals win a playoff series. But if this game ends in the next five minutes I can watch Survivor commercial free while still seeing Tribal Council live!

  2. “Have you ever worn somebody else’s clothes after you voted them out?”

    Ryan, this um, how do I tell you, the first time you’ve ever voted someone out. None of you have done that before.

    Oh, cool, and he follows it up by calling Ali ‘a female.’

  3. So they always keep the “strong” guys for challenges in the beginning. Need to see some analysis as to of that actually makes a difference.
    Do early challenges really rely on strength?

  4. Theory: Patrick is that pale because he’s a sasquatch that production captured and shaved. His tender skin has never seen sunlight before.

  5. “Look at the octopus!”
    “That’s a rock!”

    We need this dialogue put onto a GIF of a boulder.

  6. I’m so jealous of everybody’s PRP shirt pics, but on the other hand the thought of owning more T-shirts than I currently do is very stressful to me.

  7. Ashley says to Ben “We could train him.” about JP. I think she and Ben are thinking of different meanings of “train”.

    1. Everyone still thinks he’s a simpleton. She even referred to him as a dog of some sort. Jon Misch 2.0 confirmed!

    1. I can’t tell whether Jessica is mad about Cole telling Roark (I think?) about the idol because it’s bad strategy or because she’s already getting jealous.

      1. I think she’s mad that what she thought was THEIR strategy is actually HIS strategy (so, right in between your options). Which is kind of exactly what Cole is realizing about Joe.

    1. People who are on a show where you don’t get a lot of choice about what you eat and who know that complaining is just a way to isolate yourself.

  8. Is this developing trend of getting to 30 minutes without the challenge a sign of a new type of edit or is it just a product of the necessary narratives of these episodes?

    1. I think it’s just cause there is a single challenge in the early episodes on a 3 tribe season

      1. That never stopped them in previous seasons. Normally it rolled in around the 15-20 minute mark

    2. Maybe we’re just not getting reward challenges until the swap and maybe not even until the merge?

    3. Another developing trend is Jeff saying “Let’s get it on” before challenges. It’s not great.

          1. There was. I think the first round of “let’s get it on” pre-dates that. I want to say around Micro (I could also be confusing Jeff with an old gym teacher of mine who used to say that)

    4. It’s happened in a few seasons. In the beginning with a lot of players, it makes some sense to combine reward and immunity to give us some time to see everyone at camp. I’m down with anything that gives us 10 seconds with Desi, that we would otherwise never get.

      1. Jeff: We’re giving you chickens. They are not defective, they work like normal chickens. They do produce eggs.

  9. Poor Dr. Mike sits out. I think he said in his pre-season interviews that he practiced throwing bean bags at a target a lot.

  10. After that challenge performance and everything from the previous few days, I’m going to be very interested to see how Ali tries to spin keeping Patrick.

  11. Y’know what, I kind of think I’d rather come in second and get one nice egg dinner than have to deal with the tribe politics of when we get the next portion of stringy, unseasoned chicken.

    1. Also, they don’t know this, but they’re swapping the next day so some players could win the chickens and then be swapped to another tribe and miss out on eating chickens.

          1. There’s a special about Rowling for BBC (?) after the final movie came out where she did a family tree of all the main characters and what happens to them after the books, and she reveals that George never recovered from Fred’s death and didn’t have a very good life. She explained that when one twin loses another in a relationship as close as Fred and George’s, it leaves a hole in the survivor’s life that can never be filled.

          2. That was a big battle. The odds that all of the Weasleys would make it out alive were pretty low. And if one of them were to die, for it not to be one of the twins, that’s stretching credulity (in a story involving magic).

          1. He seems kind of guileless. Not dumb, necessarily, just like subterfuge doesn’t occur naturally to him.

          2. I mean Tocantins JT was really really good, so yes the default position is almost any newbie is a step down from JT

        1. There were a few shots of Devon in this episode at tribal where his face was totally expressionless and I got Mateo flashbacks.

    1. I don’t think the analogy holds. Rob C. grabbed Killer Matt because he was an outsider. I haven’t gotten that vibe from Devon at all.

    1. I think the implication is that neither of them is expecting to go home tonight, they both think the other 3 players are with them

    2. In modern survivor blindsided means voted out. Kind of like when people use literally in a context where it means not literally.

      1. Why’d they turn on him, is he too active in strategy now? Do they prefer Ben because he sits there and says “OK” once in a while?

  12. Ryan was very eager to offer up that he’s never been in a relationship.

    Wait, could we have TWO virgins on this season? Is that a record?

        1. He was only 18. What, you’re telling me people have sex before graduating high school? That’s insane.

    1. Two people who the tribe didn’t like were on the block and one of them went home. Can’t wait to hear Reddit’s take on how this is still the Best. Season. Ever.

      1. I really think the season is doing a good job building long term stories. They’ve invested a lot in a lot of relationships that may really pay off down the road.

        We’ll obviously see when some of that stuff starts coming to fruition.

        1. I don’t think anything so far is a harbinger of a bad season (except the cast.)

          I’m still going to bag on Reddit.

        2. Yes, predictable so far, but still feel like it could work its way towards something intriguing

      2. I mean it’s not a total cluster fuck and the winner isn’t a borderline invisible woman (that we know of), so they probaby aren’t that high on it.

      3. It’s a good season so far if you don’t put all your enjoyment on the tribal vote. Remember the MvGX episodes where the Gen X tribe had major blindsides but the episodes were kind of bland? Or how Panama was a lot of fun but only had like 3 interesting votes?

  13. this episode was fine. This season needs a strong postmerge. I’d say Ben is the front runner at this point.

    1. You are mistaking this for a season w memorable moments. I’m feelin like this is gonna be fine, but not even mvgx level interesting

    1. Oh god. He’s definitely getting one isn’t he. Because he’s a good “character” and not a boring “strategist”

          1. Strangest? I’ve said it here more than once, but this is the guy that wrote some Survivor fan fiction of an all star season years ago (before the actual All Star season) where he had Vecepia turn into a strategic mastermind and win.

          2. The weird thing is how arbitrary some of it is. For example, Zeke is a gamebot where as Sophie is fantastic and worth rewatching South Pacific for. This is weird because Zeke was an emotional player who played to the camera and audience, whereas Sophie did not. Sophie’s strategy of preventing interesting things from happening is the definition of gamebot behavior (valuing strategy over entertainment), but that is good.

          3. One of his entries this round. I can’t find it, but its probably one of the ones where he argues that Dan and Tarzan are good characters who we should appreciate more

          4. I think it was in his clue burning screed. He in addition to his go to gamebots Ciera and Zeke, he made some caption of an angry Jeff saying something like “Tai wouldn’t have done this.”

      1. My definition of a gamebot is a player who places strategy front and center and does not try to entertaining. I think the definition has now changed to “anyone I don’t like; anyone plays in a way I don’t agree with; or anyone who Probst likes”.

        1. I think that’s a fair definition and frankly, few people fall into that. I can see the argument for the Cochran/Spencer type, because they are trying to use strategy as their entertainment, which is what I would call gamebot. I really don’t think the term is bad in the way it should be used. Its the way other parts of the Survivor Internet uses it that I hate, which is the changed definition you note.

    1. He seemed really salty about being turned on, which makes me think that Patrick did not know what show he was going on.

      1. True that. In the first two episodes he just seemed goofy and thus maybe it didn’t stand out as much, but here he looked like he straight up hadn’t watched a single episode of Survivor prior to.

  14. I liked this episode. Like I’m comparing it to the beginning of Kaoh Rong which is a season I loved, and while the actual votes haven’t been as interesting we are building stuff with the Cole-Jessica-Joe stuff and the Chrissy-Ben stuff and I think we’ve set up a lot of dominoes to pay off down the road.

    Meanwhile we didn’t know anything about the beauty tribe in Kaoh Rong at all, and even the brains were a little bit amorphous.

          1. The bullying was fine, it was relatively mild and set up villains for the season which gave investment and rooting interest. I like that there were clear sides set up, where the minority was unlikable but also had extra advantages, and I loved the two episode stretch of the Debbie and Scot votes.

          2. The bullying only seemed mild because Alicia wasn’t as mentally fragile as the z-grade pissboys who were perpetrating it. It was still unbelievable gross how they behaved.

          3. It still brings a smile to my face when Aubry talks about it and says that it infuriated Scot when she didn’t react at all when they poured water on the fire. Because the only thing they cared about was getting a reaction.

          4. Tai is indeed charming, but Cydney is mostly just a few empty one liners who didn’t do much game wise, and Aubry is like shitty Shirin.

          5. I’d argue with the man, but I think it’ll be more amusing if we wait for BD to hear someone was trashing on Aubry and let him do the work for us. It’s effective *and* lazy.

          6. Dude just needs to wait until someone brings up Hannah and I can talk about how she’s a clone of Aubry where they were missing a few key amino acids in the cloning pods.

          7. It’s comforting to know that I don’t have to be here to respond to everything and someone else will pick up the ball for me.

          8. Cydney was one of the most intuitive game players we’ve seen in recent seasons and flipped the entire season on its head, in addition to being a great character. Shirin is wonderful television, but wishes she could be the player Aubry was.

          9. I was really high on Cydney that season up until she didn’t vote for Aubry at the FTC. Then we heard in her post-season interviews that she refused to vote for Aubry for the sole reason that Aubry had voted her out.

            And when asked about her plan to get to the end and win, she said that if she had been successful at voting out Aubry at the final four she would have had enough jury votes to win including Aubry’s. She failed to see the irony that she fully expected Aubry on the jury to vote for her to win after she had voted Aubry out, but in reality she refused to vote for Aubry to win because Aubry had done exactly what she was trying to do to Aubry. Total hypocrite.

          10. She said it was a toss up and that she used that rationale as a tiebreaker. I think it’s bull, but I also think she just voted for Michele because she felt closer to her but didn’t want to say that out loud which is fine.

            EDIT: I also think her reasoning isn’t all that hypocritical. Michele was never going to vote her out, which she rewarded. Cydney turned against Aubry because she knew Aubry was changing loyalty to Tai.

          11. I’m remembering her RHAP longform interview and Cydney flat out states that she fully expected Aubry to vote for her to win if she had been able to vote Aubry out at the final four. I can’t remember for sure but I think she she also said that her goal was to always vote out Aubry at final four because she expected her to be a vote for her on the jury. She definitely says that she felt betrayed that Aubry would vote her out at the final four and that’s why she didn’t vote for her to win.

            So yeah, I still think she’s a hypocrite.

          12. Well she was right – Aubry would have voted for Cydney at final tribal. Aubry has said as much. Just because she (correctly) expected that vote, that doesn’t mean she owes one to Aubry.

            I also have faulty memory, but I thought I remembered her saying she would have been happy to go to the final 3 with Aubry and Michele.
            But if not, then I’d still say whatever. Cydney giving her vote to Michele doesn’t mean she is placing herself above Aubry. It just means she is giving more props to Michele. From Cydney’s own perspective, she might rank the 3 of them Michele>Aubry≥Cydney. She’s just trying explain her vote, she’s not getting on a moral high ground.

          13. Exactly! Aubry would have voted for Cydney to win because if Aubry had gone out at final four instead of Cydney, Aubry would have looked at the final three of Cydney, Michele and Tai and thought “Cydney is the best player of these three” and voted for her.

            But Cydney could not do the same. Do we really think that Cydney looked at the final three of Aubry, Michele and Tai and really thought “Michele is the best player of these three”? Besides, Cydney said in her post-game interviews that the reason she didn’t vote for Aubry to win is because she felt betrayed by Aubry voting her out (or forcing the fire-making challenge). That’s why Cydney voted for Michele to win – she doesn’t do exactly what she expected Aubry to do in the same circumstances, so that’s why I call her a hypocrite.

          14. “That’s why Cydney voted for Michele to win – she doesn’t do exactly what she expected Aubry to do in the same circumstances, so that’s why I call her a hypocrite.”
            That’s like…the worst possible way you could read it though. She was grateful Michele showed full loyalty and she rewarded her. Cydney turned against Aubry because Aubry turned against her. The meta aspect of who played the “best” game doesn’t matter – Cydney doesn’t say anything about that – Cydney voted for Michele because she was grateful for her loyalty and can cast her vote based on any criteria.

            “Aubry would have voted for Cydney to win because if Aubry had gone out at final four instead of Cydney, Aubry would have looked at the final three of Cydney, Michele and Tai and thought “Cydney is the best player of these three” and voted for her.”
            Because that’s how Aubry would base her vote. Cydney can decide that “most deserving” means the person she feels closer to, even if as fans we appreciate when the savvier game player is rewarded. Nothing Cydney says here contradicts anything else she said. Aubry WAS more disloyal to her than Michele was, straight up.

          15. So you’re saying that Cydney voted for Michele to win to reward her loyalty, not because she thought she was the best player. That’s a valid reason to vote for someone, but she can’t say that and then turn around and say “I didn’t vote for Aubry because she voted me out … oh, by the way, if I had voted out Aubry I would have expected her to vote for me to win and not be bitter like I was.”

          16. Expected as in anticipated? Sure, why not? She probably knows they have different criteria. Expected as in demanded? That would be very silly indeed.

          17. Bottom line – she didn’t vote for Aubry at the FTC because Aubry did X. Cydney’s plan was to do X to Aubry and she thought Aubry should have voted for her to win. I’m sorry, but that’s almost a textbook definition of being a hypocrite.

            Agree to disagree, I guess.

          18. Rob was asking her a hypothetical if she had voted out Aubry at final four, or if she had won that fire making challenge, if she thought she would have won. I think Rob went through the entire jury in this scenario and she said she totally expected to get Aubry’s vote because Aubry would vote for her as the best player of that final three even though Cydney had just voted Aubry out.

            Again, this is the exact same situation we actually got with Aubry voting Cydney out, and yet Cydney told Rob that she didn’t vote for Aubry because Aubry had voted her out.

            This is probably the most I’ve ever written about this in one comment board. It probably comes across like I’m obsessed with this scenario, I swear I’m not!

          19. Haha, after I posted my last one I was thinking “I’m probably annoying as shit right now”. I…might be kind of obsessed but only because I love Cydney! But yes, fair enough. We’ve probably gone as far as we can in this discussion…

          20. Wait, this is a disagreement on the internet. Shouldn’t you be calling me a soulless bastard and defaming my mother right about now?

          21. Alright, I’m fact checking now. Cydney says on RHAP that she would have been happy to go to the end with anyone, because she thought she could pitch her case against anyone. She then says it would have been nice to go with her friends (Aubry and Michele), but that if it had to go another way then she would be happy just to get to the end.

          22. The bullying lasted like 2 episodes in pre-merge. 2 of the 3 medevac episodes were pretty good. Kaoh Rong had a cast that was stacked with active players and an edit that was actually willing to show everyone’s place in the game, which made the strategy more interesting. I think Tai’s story line was probably the best one Survivor has ever had. The pre-merge gave the early boots good stories too and had legitimate blindsides in almost every episode. The villains were well fleshed out. The Nick/Debbie/Scot stretch of vote outs was top notch. It had arguably the most likable final 4.

          23. And he voted their asses out – one of them in the most glorious way – and it was satisfying as hell. Fair enough, though.

          24. Kyle is such an unrelenting piece of shit that I wouldn’t have been satisfied with any comeuppance that didn’t involve the phrase “just straight got his dick bit off.”

          25. Damn. I’m curious why you say that for Jason instead of Scot. I think I would get along fine with Jason in real life, but I don’t think I could put up with Scot.

          26. One, he’s a bounty hunter, so, gross.

            Two, that bullshit about how he was bullying Alicia because he didn’t want his girls to grow up to be like her established him as the worst kind of toxic, predatory misogynist.

            Three, he just generally seems smugly ignorant in the most obnoxious kind of way. At least Scot knows he’s kind of a goon. Kyle things he’s a bold iconoclast.

  15. So with the swap coming next week, what are the best outcomes we could get? I’d want to see Alan-Cole-Jessica (POWER COUPLE!) and Joe-Ryan. If Joe went that hard after Mike, I’d want to see how he’d approach Ryan.

  16. Of all the Survivors I was going to find myself comparing Patrick to, I wasn’t expecting it to end up being Stephen Fishbach vs The Stick.

  17. Calling it now: Jessica is going to go Full Bunny Boiler the SECOND she catches Cole looking at one of the other women the wrong way.

    1. My reaction to Jessica this episode rapidly went from, “Cool, apparently there is a person named Jessica on the show. She’s kind of charming.” to “OK, that’s more than enough from Jessica. You can stop now.”

      1. I’m fully invested in Jessica at this point. This story can go pretty much anywhere at this point and I wouldn’t be shocked. Personally I’m hoping for “flirt with Mike to make Cole jealous”

        1. My take is that the reason Jessica is still a virgin is that everyone she dates mysteriously turns up dead before the relationship has a chance to get to that point.

  18. Were still kind of in the first phase of survivor. I feel like this season is going to get really good come the merge.

    1. I think the last two episodes have been fine, building long-term interpersonal dynamics, and telling a clear story about why Simone and Patrick went home. What I don’t like in the preseason is random blindsides that go unexplained by the edit.

  19. Ryan, The Decider: *utterly unable to hold eye contact with Patrick after votes are read.*
    Me: God, I miss Michaela.

          1. I’m surprised it’s a family-friendly term! I never heard worse obscenities then when I waited tables and someone received a small tip

          2. Please! We aren’t waiters! There is a certain amount of class involved in our industry!

        1. Always engage and always tip. We know people in the travel industry and can really ramp up a vacation. You talk to us like we’re human and drop a decent tip… You just got free tickets to Fiesta Texas.

        1. A good hopper never tells. We don’t even discuss it amongst ourselves. We jokingly refer to it as our “Hoppocratic Oath.”

          1. The “Why Blank Lost” podcasts have taken a dive in quality this season with Rob leaving and Jessica Lewis joining David. She’s ok, but she’s not a player I think of when I think of “strategic players who I want to listen to discussing strategy with David”.

          2. This is actually the only Survivor podcast I listen to, though I read pretty much all content around I can find. If I expand to RHAP beyond listening to Jay I will avoid that one I guess. I recently learned RHAP puts out about 8 Survivor podcasts a week, which seems insane

          3. They’ve always been horrible in my opinion. Bloomberg has the personality of a slug and always seems pretty bitter

          4. The Survivor rules are rote and boring and having to go through them makes most of the episodes interchangeable, but what killed it for me was Kaoh Rong when he kept taking everything Kyle told him on Twitter as gospel truth even as it became increasingly clear that Kyle was an irrelevant on-looker to the entire post-merge.

            It was an embarrassment even to semi-amateur podcast journalism.

          5. I found David’s discussion of those Twitter Press Conferences as funny and from what I remember, he admitted that this was what Kyle was telling him months after the episode was filmed and to take it with a grain of salt.

          6. I always enjoyed the back-and-forth with Rob and David. It was the nerdiest of the RHAP weekly Survivor podcasts since it was all about the vote and strategy.

        1. I am curious how much, if any, strategic talk Jay may have to contribute. I remember from Rob’s red carpet interview with Jay after the reunion, Rob asked him how he decided who to vote for, and Jay said “When I got to tribal, I would just zone out and not listen to anything, and eventually I would see these lights in the air … ” and it just goes on like that until Rob realizes “Oh, I made a huge mistake asking this question and starts talking to someone else.

      1. I mean, Jay would also be preferable to Ryan. But Michaela & her props would be preferable to either.

        1. Oh my mind went to stone cold yeah-I-did-that Jay when he voted Michaela out, but I see now what you were saying.

          1. To be fair, Jay kinda seemed like a dick three episodes into his season. Still plenty of time for one of these folks to turn it up.

    1. Gawd yas where is she? She belongs, she’s a hero, she hustles (see her lightning windmill arms digging shit up like a beast in GC), and her meer presence is healing.

      I guess maybe they decided they couldn’t put her on just one team, because as noted YOU CANT CONTAIN GREATNESS!

      Michaela is BAE. MICHAELA IS LYFE!

      1. Millennial’s vs Gen-X was the first survivor season I ever saw, so I got to see Michaela first. Since then I’ve seen 7 other seasons, and that season is still one of my favorites.

  20. The Saga of Patrick was compelling tv. He was very, very ill-suited for the game of Survivor, but damn fascinating to watch, for me at least.

    1. I know it’s still early, but not a lot of star power this season. It’s fine, but no one really popping for me so far.

        1. Balanced doesn’t mean good per say. If everyone is a scrub it means it’s a balanced group but that probably not good.

          1. This might be true, but success in Survivor is always and completely relative to everyone else on your season. So when there’s more parity, there are more directions that season can go in and power is more equitably spread.

      1. I’m fine with the cast so far, although it is hard to get super excited about anyone. Patrick was strangely compelling, but not in a way that would have necessarily been good over a whole season. I liked the condensed Patrick we got.

      2. That’s about how I feel. It’s just been nothing special so far. Hopefully the potential is there for some excitement after the swap and into the merge. On the bright side, I think a season with a boring pre-merge and an exciting post-merge can still turn out to be a top tier season, while the reverse is much harder to pull off.

        1. Are you saying that ‘bargain basement Ken’, ‘bargain basement Tony’, ‘bargain basement Cochran’, ‘bargain basement Jay’, and ‘exact Jon Misch clone’ aren’t compelling characters?

          1. I hear that a lot on this site, and I have the same opinion of JP as everyone else, so I am left to conclude that I have a much lower opinion of Jon Misch.

          2. Stop forcing me to defend Jon Misch. I don’t even like Jon Misch. But at least he is worthy of an opinion, unlike the human embodiment of face blindness.

        2. Right, which I why I like Caramoan better than Worlds apart (to use two bad seasons as an example because I haven’t had enough coffee yet to come up with another one)

      3. On one hand, I generally agree, no one has really captivated me with sassy quips or a personality that jumps out of the screen, but it’s still early. I feel like in Newbie seasons, it usually takes till at least the first swap to get everyone comfortable and gelling with the whole TV thing.

        At the same time, one of the early things that helps is to see players “doing survivor things” but thus far its been generally straight shooting, no need for amazing strategy, and nothing to push it. Back to the other hand, the few opportunities for “Survivor things” have happened to those who seem less aware of the significance or have just been lack luster. For example, we really haven’t had a Spencer “I can’t believe I’m on survivor” moment.

        Anyway, I have hope, but i agree, thus far nothing shiny.

        1. Does Lauren get points for being super ginger-racist? That is crazy reality TV shit, but it is also awful.

          1. Did she just invent her own prejudice? I have never heard that people don’t like gingers

          2. I always thought that just referred to being obviously different, not redhead hate specifically

          3. Actually, considering the racism Irish immigrants faced over a century ago, I think the sentiment and phrase are all rooted in genuine discrimination.

          4. That’s definitely true, but anti-Irish racism is really mostly an anachronism today. That’s why it was so jarring to see sincere anti-gingerism.

          5. I would agree that it’s not as prevalent, but I don’t think any strain of racism ever truly dies out. So what’s the phrase? I was surprised but not shocked?

          6. Definitely true. The whole thing is still just weird to me. I’m half Irish, and no one on the Irish side of my family is even remotely ginger. No one probably even knows I’m Irish because I don’t really give a shit, and outside of St. Patrick’s Day, I kind of thought no one else did, either. Also, ironically, my cousins on the non-Irish side of my family are super-gingery. This is why racism is such a failure.

          7. As I mentioned above, I’ve heard from several Australian sources that it is extremely common and genuine down there. But it’s weird to see it here in the US.

          8. I’ve heard it a few times because my best friend is redhead. Honestly, she hates the term ginger, has dealt with some unfortunate discrimination, and often gets guys hitting on her by bring up body hair like it’s okay to ask a stranger about pubic hair because she’s got red hair.

          9. I once matched with a guy on Tinder whose chief concern was with trying to confirm that I…had some. Which I guess is marginally better than guys who want to confirm that you don’t have any, but still…

          10. I know a lot of redheads who hate the term “gingers” and have experienced lots of teasing/bullying and yes, even prejudice…but many are from Ireland/UK.

          11. seems like the most foolish prejudice you could have. off the top of my head, conan obrien is a redhead. Lauren is missing out on hours of entertainment.

          12. Fortunately, there are bunch of people I don’t have to keep score for because everyone picked Patrick, Ryan, Ali, Alan, Cole, Joe, and, for some reason, Desi, with maybe a few Devons and Mikes in there.

          13. No, because I have to finalize the point values today and then go back and rewatch those episodes.

  21. There’s a lot of really endearing but sort of dumb dudes on this season – Patrick, Cole, JP, Alan in his own crazy way. I thought Devon would fit this profile, but he seems pretty strategic.

    1. Ha I thought the same thing actually! My main takeaway from the episode was how dumb the guys are over all this season, compared to how smart almost all of the women are. I mean, is this the most women with advanced degrees we’ve ever seen on a season of Survivor?

  22. Jeff thinks the Hustlers are going to be in a new place of peace and unity after this tribal.

    I think that now Lauren has exorcised her greatest foe, gingers, she is going to transfer her ire to a new target.

    Luckily, there’s a swap coming, so Jeff is already going to be wrong and Lauren is going to have new candidates for hatred thus increasing the chances for me to be right. I kind of hope she ends up on a tribe with Joe so I can see what happens if he complains about the cooking again.

    1. Lauren basically played her hand correctly (bring up Patrick’s stupidity, challenge blinders, and idol hunting), but still seems like a weak contestant, really off-putting and grumpy. I get that it sucks to be the old person around a bunch of twenty-somethings, but I feel like you have to be prepared to put up with a bunch of young narcissists if you’re going on Survivor.

      1. Yes, this. I think she genuinely disliked Patrick, but he was also a convenient focus for her grumpiness. He might be gone, but that will still be there. Just more…generalised.

      2. Replace Lauren’s name with Kass and everything else is true except maybe “weak contestant.” All of it works for Randy.

        1. Randy is my strongest contender for needs a third shot. along w Courtney and *ducks* Phillip Shephard 💪🏼

  23. Everything is still pretty predicable because the real strategy hasn’t begun. Many people haven’t been tested on their strategic potential. Hopefully the game will really start because of the swap.

  24. Good on Lauren to sacrifice the high ground created by Patrick’s “based on how she looks I don’t think she’d throw much better” by going full gingerphobic

      1. The weird thing is that Lauren got a pretty positive edit this time aside from that. I was convinced that either Patrick was going home or all the Hustlers were being set up as season villains.

      2. Lauren does kinda see like the goat person, but it could also go the other way. Judging by how she got everybody against Patrick she could easily do the same if the person she is aiming at is a valid target.

        1. So true, even the worst survivor season is awesome to me, intrigued to see where this one goes

      1. It’s funny you mention that. I was the captain of my grad school softball team, and the second hardest thrower had Lauren’s exact build (Edit: In case it wasn’t clear, she was also a woman). The hardest thrower was a taller version of Ryan, and was a high school pitcher with a fastball in the 80s.

      2. Neither of those are great.
        I want someone on Survivor to make “Reynold” a verb.
        “According to the information we had at hand, I thought she’d Reynold that challenge.”

          1. When I still used Twitter, Keith nale once liked my post, proudest social media moment ever

          2. I have multiple Troyzan likes.

            How do you like that bit of info @purplerockjohn:disqus ?

          3. I wonder if he did that on purpose, or if his giant pendulous dong just flopped out and landed on the like button. Did you consider that? If not, I encourage you to do so. Picture it in your mind.

          4. I’ve always assumed he did everything with his giant dong, so that’s what I’ve always pictured in my mind.

  25. I’ve generally found Patrick to be pretty obnoxious, and until today found Lauren’s side of that little feud more sympathetic. But was anyone else really bothered by her seemingly heartfelt and sincere bigotry towards gingers? I have a ginger friend from Australia who tells me it’s a really big deal down there, but I honestly always got the vibe that here in the US it was more of a jokey thing. It was kind of shocking and made me like Lauren much less.

    1. I just figured Lauren was joking… right??? Prejudice against redheads?! Could that even possibly be a real modern-day thing?! Didn’t they laugh at tribal council at her “bigotry”? Or was that a nervous laugh? I assumed it was a dark, dry sense of humor.

      1. It felt more like nervous laughing to me. But either way, I think it’s unfortunate the show included it. Either she had an honest moment of bigotry, and the show smoothed over it like it was nothing of important, or she meant it as a joke, which I don’t think is acceptable. If she had said “I’ve never trusted a person with brown skin a day in my life” then we would be understandably up in arms. Instead, for some reason, making fun of someone’s red hair seems acceptable while making fun of their skin color is not.

        1. Well the context on those is pretty different. Bias against people with red hair isn’t, like, a defining feature of our society.

          1. I’m not challenging that. But, the difference between hair color and skin color shouldn’t, in my opinion, by the difference between acceptable or unacceptable. While it may not have the same cultural impact, it is still discrimination, and their is no good or okay discrimination for me.

          2. To try to bridge the gap, I would say that not all forms of bigotry are equally harmful, but they are all equally bullshit.

          3. I agree, I just think there’s a pretty good reason we’re not all reacting with the same level of outrage we would have toward an overt expression of racist views. This can be unacceptable while still being a way less big deal.

          4. Somebody mentioned it in another comment thread but bigotry toward redheads could be rooted in racism toward the Irish, similar to what I’ve heard before about the term “paddy wagon.”

      2. The thing is, Lauren played it 100% straight both times. Ginger racism is weird these days, and it certainly lacks the institutional power of other forms of racism, but it does exist, and she seemed really sincere about it.

      1. That’s the thing about Cartman. He’s so racist, he even holds racist views that barely even exist any more!

    2. I found it horrifying (I also love redheads!), and it really dampered my joy that they had actually booted him.

  26. So, I went full survivor data nerd at work today and analyzed all the FTC numbers. you may be surprised to learn: there have been 87 participants in FTC, 44 women, 43 men. I was shocked to learn it has been so evenly balanced between genders.

    1. Though 19 male winners against 15 female winners. It’s a 9% margin, so it’s not significant; but still tilted in the men’s favor.

      1. Sure, but my gut feeling was that men had a more significant advantage. Turns out if you are a woman and survive the first two-3 votes, you have a shot. Unless you are black or other, then you are in trouble.

        1. Even then if you survive the first 3 votes you’re okay, you’re just pretty unlikely to survive those votes.

          1. Yeah I mean overall minorities and old people have a harder path, but the winners are surprisingly varied

          2. I really don’t feel that 27 white winners out of 35 is very racially varied, especially with the caveat of Fiji and Cook Islands (and Sandra counts twice). That means we’ve had a white winner about 77% of the time.

          3. That’s really interesting (in a depressing way). I guess it all comes back to casting – if they cast more diverse players we’d probably see more diverse winners, but they don’t and so that isn’t the case.

    2. You’ve excluded race from your data. It’s also 85, according to my count – not 87.

      64 out of 85 participants were white.
      Only 12 were men of color – 4 of whom competed on Cook Islands and Fiji.
      Only 9 were women of color – Sandra participated twice, and two of the other women of color also competed on Cook Islands and Fiji.

      I wasn’t talking about sexuality in my original comment, but since you brought it up, out of 85 FTC participants, there’s only been 3 gay people- and they’ve all been men.

      1. Fine, you win. White folks clearly have an advantage. I guess my overall point is that the composition of winners and contestants is fairly close to the overall demographic breakdown of the US which is roundabout 61% white 13% black and 17% latino.
        I’m gonna try not to debate you anymore cause now its starting to look like I care more than I do about this issue. I agree there is some bias towards white males but just think most of the contestants aren’t intentionally racist or sexist.
        Sorry to belabor my point.

  27. Well, it’s officially the time when for the sake of my fantasy team I stop hoping to hear more from Roark and start hoping she stays invisible until she gets rocked out at 6 or something.

      1. As the weather finally starts to cool down here in San Antonio I am finding myself ready for some pumpkin spice Tony.

      2. We know Cole and Jessica are a couple, Mike is a penis doctor with an awkward sense of humor and Desi competed in pageants. You are right about Roark tho.

          1. “Jessica, it’s been eight days and somehow Cole still reeks of cannabis. Yesterday he burped and I got a contact high. I… don’t think his boys can swim.”

          2. That’s useful information. These days, depending on the employer, contraceptive coverage could be a real issue.

          3. Yeah, I wasn’t saying his difficulties were necessarily a bad thing. It’s all about what you’re looking for.

    1. Roark is like the Tyler of HHH. She pops up maybe once an episode (maybe not even that) to say something reasonably intelligent sounding in a confessional, but is entirely invisible the rest of the time.

          1. Is Roark a “he” or are you talking about someone else?

            If that was just a typo, Roark had a confessional during the premiere? I don’t remember that at all.

  28. Hey all TAZ people: we’re going to start our discussions next week on Monday or Tuesday over the first two or three episodes. It really depends on how much people want to listen to and if a post goes up on Monday or not. So sound off on which number you prefer.

    I would recommend starting with three episodes; it adds up to about 3:20 if you listen at the normal speed. I think three episodes is the right number for people to really tell if they’re on board or not; but if that’s too much, we can scale back to two episodes.

    I would also recommend that you listen to the supercut version of the first episode; there’s a lot of fat on the uncut version that could be trimmed. However, I know @sharculese:disqus is listening to the original version to compare to later episodes to see the growth of the pod.

    1. I prefer Monday. 😂 Haha, sorry, had to piggy back on my ‘I don’t like podcasts’ comment from last week

    2. I started listening to the uncut version and remembered it got cut down because there’s five minutes just on the time Clint met Gary Gygax. I’m still gonna power through it.

        1. SNP, do you have any idea where to find discussions on current tv with displaced AV Clubbers? I’ve tried Disqus’s AV Club After Dark, but that seems to be a lot of generic, catch-all threads, too much to read through to find specific content. And Kinja needs to go and DIAF. This is the only good place to discuss Survivor, but I need great comments threads for everything else I watch!

          1. AVClub After Dark seemed to just be one big cool kids club to me and they were not as forgiving with the snark as the AVClub was. There is some sort of Tolerability Index offshoot but I don’t know where it is (do you know @purplerockmatt:disqus ?). I’m not terribly familiar with TV Overmind. That may be a place to try?

          2. yeah the Tolerability Index Forum, i’ll try and find my link to it, but I haven’t used it in awhile. It might be saved on my home computer so i’ll look for it after work

          1. You can’t mess up D&D. Such a fun game! I hope that a lot of the listeners will be new to it.

          2. Man, this better be as funny as you all say it is, because I have nooooooo idea what you people are talking about.

            But my boys at The Flop House love TAZ/the McElroys, so I have faith.

          3. Are you caught up? For a hot minute I thought Elliott’s move would mess up the rapport, and indeed there have been glitches, but they’re so minor and it seems fine. Although I don’t like that Stu and Dan watched the last movie days in advance, because they forgot a lot, and when they all watched the film on the night of recording together, that wasn’t an issue.

            HOWEVER, it was a Neil Breen extravaganza, so they’re forgiven for not quite retaining the “plot.”

          4. During the Max Fun Drive switcheroo Flop House took over TAZ and did a short campaign that took place in the aftermath of the first TAZ arc. So you have that to look forward to.

          5. I played some D&D in middle school, but gave up because I hated all the DMs. I think if I had played with someone like Griffin, I would never have stopped. Of course, one would expect a more nuanced approach to DMing from a grown-ass professional podcaster than a 12 year old boy.

          6. I played a bit as a young one but quit around 20. Started again around 35 and it’s been much much better.

          7. I played a bit as a young one but quit around 20. Started again around 35 and it’s been much much better.

          8. It’s hard to mess up. Just start with the oldest episodes. But if it helps, the first arc is “Here There Be Gerblins.”

      1. Like @sharculese:disqus said, the episodes are numbered. But for ease of scrolling, you can adjust the order they come up in (at least, in Apple Podcasts you can). In the show’s settings, you can set the episode order to “Oldest to Newest” and the play order the same thing.

    3. I can definitely burn through three TAZ episodes. I would advocate for slowing down a little in future weeks for other listeners. But I think it’s a good idea to rush in (like Magnus) to the first few episodes to get past the character creation, which is dry, and really get into the show.

      1. I agree with a slower pace later on, but I can see some people listening to two episodes and still being on the fence about the pod. So not just getting past character creation but getting a real feel for the pod helps new listeners a bunch I think.

        1. If we’re doing 3 episodes this week I feel like we can do 2 eps per week after that through the end of Moonlighting. Yes that puts the end of HTBG and the beginning of Moonlighting together, but I kind of like how doing that reveal as once piece works.

          1. I think Gerblins is one of the few arcs where its works better going straight into the Lunar Interlude. Your PTTM and 11H finales need to be the jumping off points for discussions.

      2. We should probably also note that half of the character creation gets tossed out eventually. Like, is Taako’s last name canonically Taco? Merle is definitely not a hill dwarf, though that’s how Clint introduces him.

  29. Feeling slightly better about having Lauren as my default pick in Champions League. (Well, I did have a choice, but it was her or Katrina, so really, there was no choice.)

  30. Man, they did not pass up a single opportunity to make Patrick look bad.

    Also, I’m not sure Lauren should be proud of the fact that she never looked for the idol.

  31. Patrick looks a lot like the dad of one of my students. The dad works at a coffee shop, which, according to the student “That’s why his hair is red.”
    And that was all I could think about whenever Patrick was on screen.

  32. The look on Jeff’s face after Ryan stated/complained/bragged about never having been in a relationship was a thing of beauty.

    1. I don’t know why he made that face. Ryan is clearly spending all of his time out-heroing, out-healing, and out-hustling to be involved in a relationship. #BellhopStrong

          1. I miss @Whovian automatically replying “Downvoted” to any AVClub comment that contained a hashtag.

            Thanks, Kinja!

          2. I can’t tell if people enjoyed Whovian’s weird pathological obsessions or it was just stockholm syndrome. I though he was funny like a fifth of the time and irritating the rest of it.

          3. it was weird. The post could be the most well-thought out comment ever, but if it contained one hashtag, Whovian would downvote it. They stuck with their motif until the bitter end.

    2. By this point, Jeff knows that if Ryan is at tribal, he is going to him first and that Ryan will give him some gold.

  33. I am really glad I’m not the only one who was initially confused about why Roark was mad that Cole was sharing the idol information without asking her first, before realizing that person was actually Jessica

    Also, Ryan is an annoying attention seeking tryhard. I take back the nice things I said about him last week

          1. That’s how I was telling them apart, too 🙂 Plus Jessica looks like she dyed or tattooed her eyebrows (probably because of the blondeness)

          1. Remember the One World premiere where they had name-captions appearing as people were talking (not in confessionals) to tell us who they were?

          2. Not really, but that’s mostly because I try to forget the parts of One World that weren’t Kim or Jay

          3. It was only in the first episode – I guess the producers thought since everyone was on the same beach we needed help learning everyone’s names and keeping them straight. From what I recall, the reaction was negative and they dropped it after the premiere.

          4. My theory is that they copied it from Fox Sports when they aired NHL in the 90s and added a glowing circle around the puck because they thought the viewers were too dumb to be able to follow the puck.

          5. That happened again recently with NBC too I’m pretty sure. A circle and possibly also a trailing line to follow its path

          6. The Fox Sports glowing puck era also had a red arrow appear when someone shot the puck to show its path from shooter to target.

        1. Beauty pt. 2 had the young one, the one who likes it when children die of preventable disease, and the other one. That’s way more distinct than the healer women.

          1. Honestly, until I knew she was an anti-vaxxer (aka during the season) I knew her in my head as the one with the boobs, which I understand is terrible

          2. Those were more innocent times. Back when we all thought anti-vaxxers were more dangerous than people who supported a racist, narcissist, lunatic who would never actually win the Presidency.

      1. I keep trying to like Ryan. I was good all episode until the never had girlfriend thing and yet another laboured analogy at Tribal which he clearly has spent months and/or years working on. If he would stop that, I could like him

      2. He’s livening up his tribe. He’s interesting and I don’t *hate* him. That’s OK in my Survivor book

    1. The weird thing about Ryan is that he actually seems to be playing a pretty good game so far and is liked by his tribemates. He’s just insufferable in confessionals and at tribal.

      1. I agree with this. Its the laboured analogies and camera seeking statements that bug me. Based on his tribemates (specifically Devon) and watching his interactions I bet he’s actually a decent guy to be around. Mind you, I liked Spencer and didn’t like Cochran so I’m not even internally consistent on my reaction to camera seeking behaviour

      2. The fact that his tribe went to tribal twice and Ryan’s name was never even considered by anyone (as far as we know) is a sign of Ryan’s strong social game. I think in the pre-season many people thought “For Ryan to do well, he has to hope his tribe doesn’t go to tribal before the merge, because if they do go to tribal, he’s getting voted out.”

  34. Also, when Patrick and Lauren were talking about idols, and Patrick is talking about Lauren saying she hasn’t been looking for idols so she doesn’t have one, and Lauren says she has two of them, was that a Val Collins reference?

      1. I realized today that Aubry in Game Changers was pretty much Eddie from Caramoan. Every potential alliance they had collapsed. They were seemingly on the wrong end of every vote. They survived for a while by being less threatening than whoever just emerged. They were given Idols.

        1. Having just rewatched Caramoan, this seems spot on…except that Eddie got a way larger edit.

    1. Probably. It would be a weird thing to say otherwise. However, we do have one example of a person who said that, back when it wasn’t even a reference.

    2. On that point, the way she completely deadpanned “I have two idols” made me think it was more likely that she was also joking about the ‘I hate gingers’ thing, but she just has a very very dry sense of humour where it almost doesn’t even come across as if she’s joking.

  35. Pat will land on his feet I’m sure. I hear the Foundation for Resting Shit-Eating-Grin Face (FRSEGF) is looking for a spokesperson.

    1. This sent me into a tailspin of her Twitter feed, then Patrick’s Instagram, then the insane comments and replies by previous Survivor contestants, so I’ll never forgive you.

          1. They were close enough that he was in her bed.. Or on it. Maybe under it. I don’t know what method he used to carry the mattress.

            (assuming it was Ali’s mattress that he moved; I have heard this, but have also heard it was a friend of Ali’s)

  36. I would like to think that Patrick watched this tonight and learned a little bit about relationships and the way he projects himself, but, on the other hand ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  37. I just finished watching Heroes verus villains for the first time today and I want to defend the legacy of my man, Colby Donaldson, challenge beast. You can make your points about how he repeatedly lost to Sandra in immunity challenges, or how he got owned by coach, i don’t care. Colby Donaldson won the shuffleboard reward! The same thing that took out my beloved Tyson! Colby Donaldson is legit y’all. #alwaysfaithfull

          1. Pardon my French, but Barbara Anderson is such a witch that if you stuck eye of newt in her cauldron in two weeks you’d have a spot in Champions League.

          2. It’s a variation on a Ferris Bueler quote. I probably should stop doing that. It’s what originally got me kicked off of AVClub.

  38. If they ever did another HvV season again do you think that Scot or Kyle/Jason would be on it? How about Varner?

    1. Varner – definitely not
      Scot – probably not
      Jason – ehhh maybe, but only if they really need another guy villain

      I think Scot and Jason voting for Michele instead of Aubry really made production sour on them, otherwise they would have been prime candidates (but not together).

          1. I’m pretty anti-Phillip, but he’s not as bad a Brandon or Colton. I mean, they basically invented a new tier of awful.

        1. The answer is definitely Brandon, followed by Colton. But I’m also going to toss in a vote for Abi-Maria (if you have to play with her. It’s not so bad if you’re just watching).

          1. I was about to get on my knee-high Abi-Maria fighting boots, but then I read the parentheses, and was able to stay in my cozy PRP slippers.

          2. I’m gonna say that it was obviously Brandon in retrospect, but Colton was a worse decision before seeing the outcome. Brandon had an almost friendly, redemption arc in SoPa, so you can almost understand the thinking of bringing him back (while thinking “maybe he’s grown up in the time away”). There’s no defence for choosing to bring Colton back.

          3. As I’ve said before, according to post-season interviews, the majority of the SoPa jury/final three have said that if Brandon had made it to the finals he would have easily won (which always confounds Rob when this is mentioned on RHAP). So I guess I can kinda understand Production looking at this and thinking “This guy almost won, the other players like him, he deserves a … second chance.”

            But yeah, no excuse for Colton. Were viewers really clamoring for him to play again?

        2. Brandon is obviously the worst. But I’d put Franchesqua on that list too.
          Voted out twice on the first day. Arguably due to overplaying and making the exact same mistakes twice.

          1. She was voted out at the first tribal, not the first day. Plus she still appeared for a few more episodes in RI because of, well, RI.

      1. The only reason I think they won’t bring back Varner is that he’s almost aged out. Otherwise, I’m not confident production wouldn’t make the terrible mistake of bringing him back just for the controversy of it. The GC reunion made me question that they understand we don’t want to see him anymore…

        I agree with your Scot/Jason conclusion. Their last villainous move was an instrumental hand in giving Michele the win, and Probst has showed dislike for basically anything related to Michele, lol. One might make it back though, they were one of the better villains in reason season (besides ultimate villain Abi-amazing-Maria.

    2. The thing about HvV is that the villains were (for the most part) players we wanted to see again and liked in spite of (or because of) their villainy. I don’t think any of the three you mentioned fit into that category.

      1. Unfortunately I think the way they’ve been casting villains lately has really hurt the odds of ever having another HvV season that’s any good. There aren’t many recent “villains” I’d really want to see again because they’re so over the top and unlikable. The only original villain I feel that way about was probably Russell.
        Just thinking about people who’ve played since the original HvV, I’d say Kass sticks out as the only real villain I’d want to see again. And I guess maybe Rodney, though I’m not pining for his return by any means.

        1. There are some options, if you use the Survivor definition of Villain as “gives snarky confessionals” – Sophie, arguably Jay, Ryan this season probably, KR Nick, SP Christine, Ciera, etc

          1. I think so too, for now at least, I was just throwing her out there as a potential villain. Kass and Abi are both more likely

          2. Yeah all right, I would not mind seeing most of those people again. But that would potentially be quite a watered down villain tribe. Then again, who would the heroes be? Denise S for sure, Zeke (maybe?), Aubry?

          3. But, imagine people being like “He’s a villain after what he went through”. Most people would just say that his attempt to get out Andrea was a massive overcorrection after the outing.

          4. He’s a devious schemer who plays fast and loose and is snarky in confessionals. He was built for the Villains. Putting on the Heroes because of what happened in Game Changers is exactly the kind of narrative pigeonholing as ‘the trans Survivor’ he was trying to avoid.

            If he’s comfortable with that being his story, fine, but if he shows any reticence about letting that incident define who he is as a TV character then let him be a Villain and tell anyone who doesn’t like it to go pound sand. Villains have more fun.

          5. Praise for Abi-Maria reference. I 100% agree with the heart of this, he should get to play based on what he wants to portray, and Zeke the player is clearly built for the Villains tribe. That being said, i’m just skeptical the show will allow that. They won’t want to acknowledge that it was Zeke’s choice as to where he went, and they won’t want to handle the backlash over calling him a Villain. Honestly, I think it would just be better he wasn’t on a HvV season, but if so, i think it’s more likely he would be a hero.

          6. I agree that Zeke would need be a Villain and also that there would be some backlash. However, the concept of Cook Islands was ‘race wars’ and CBS survived that, so I think they would be ok.

          7. I don’t see Zeke playing again. As much as he wants to (and deserves to be) known for his gameplay, it will always be about what happened in GC for whichever players he competes against.

          8. Your probably right, but I hope they wouldn’t put him in that situation. If they want Zeke back it should be for what he did, not what he was done to him.

          9. Natalie Anderson is a lock to be invited back, though she could fit in as either a hero or a villain depending on how they wanted to spin it. David Wright, again…could be either hero or villain.

            Carolyn would have a decent chance to get invited back to a villains tribe, based on both demographic and the fact that she’s one of the least-unpalatable of the Worlds apart endgame.

            I do think they blew a lot of their good heroes and villains on gamechangers though. What a waste.

          10. There’s someone on the tip of my tongue. There was a guy who maybe worked for some kind of federal agency. The IRS maybe?

      2. But you know who does?

        ABI-MOTHERFUCKING-MARIA!

        Also, side thought; could they have given Brad Culpepper a last episodes he’s-gonna-lose Villains edit just to make him seem like a plausible HvV2 cast member? I really hope not….

        1. First of all, we have discussed this. Abi-Maria is a virtual lock for Villains 2.0. Also, I don’t see Probst making Brad a villain. They had to do that to say “Here’s why he’s not winning”. We call that the Fishbach edit.

        2. Downvoted for suggesting that Abi-Maria would be a player I’d like to see back and root for. Once was more than enough, and twice was twice too many.

          I’ve said it before, but after seeing Abi in Second Chances, it made me sympathize with RC (game-RC, not real life RC) for what happened with her and Abi in Philippines, and agree with her (rumored) decision not to participate in the Second Chances nominations when she found out Abi would be participating too.

          If Abi returned for another all-star season, I just can’t understand anyone thinking that they could work with her. If she wasn’t the first one voted out, her tribe would be idiots.

      3. Nah, lean into it.

        Varner, Scot, Kyle, Will Sims II, Dan Foley

        Abi-Maria, Alecia, J’Tia, Kass, Michele

        (Note: It’s saying something that I couldn’t fit Rocker in, and that I had to make a joke to get to five female villains)

        1. No more Varner. Ever.

          In general, I would say no more of the truly hateful people. No Will, No Dan, No J’Tia, No Alecia.

          More of the “sneaky” variety of villain. Kass & Abi-Maria are perfect (although I’m personally done with Abi)

          1. What did Alecia do that was hateful? Seriously, all I can remember was her being bullied by Kyle and Scot.

          2. I think I’m mixing her up with the Alecia in… One world, I think? There was a really nasty mean-spirited human that was basically the epitome of “Mean girl”

  39. It continues to suck to miss all the fun because I’m on the West Coast, but I really enjoyed that Matt’s running commentary matched the one going on in our home.

    Patrick was a doofus and deserved to go home, but Lauren’s red-head hatred is just no.

  40. I picked all three healer women in the fantasy league. Still trying to work out if that was a good move.

    1. Hmm, there’s the hot one, the virgin that wants to bone Cole, and the other one. It’s possible that one of them makes it far, but I don’t see a winner coming out of that group.

    2. I didn’t realize when I drafted that I have 3 Healers (but not all the same gender), I have a lot of eggs in one basket…

  41. Last week I introduced a friend to Survivor via episodes 1 & 2. He is coming over tonight to watch episode 3. Should I:

    a) show him episode 3?
    b) show him a different series?

    (Apparently he has also done some research this week via means of watching some youtube clips. These clips were a Tony highlight montage, something about Rob vs Russell and [via me] Natalie blindsiding Baylor.)

    1. Always risky having someone watch a currently-airing season, because you don’t know how good or bad the season will turn out to be. I made a big pitch to a few friends to get them to watch Worlds Apart when it aired because I was all in on the preseason hype, and I apologized profusely to them afterwards.

      1. Yeah, I am afraid of something like that. I’m trying to decide which one season I would try to get him to watch. I’m thinking it needs to be recent-ish, contain all the classic Survivor elements, but not anything that’s going to require a vast amount of explanation/backstory. And also have a satisfying winner.

      1. The problem with watching Cagayan too soon is that it’ll ruin other seasons for you. You have to have enough experience with the show to think that Tony couldn’t possibly win.

        1. I know, it wouldn’t be my normal recommendation, but if Tony clips got him interested, I would say you gotta steer into it to get them into Survivor. That said, I’m not even sure you have to be a regular Survivor watcher to initially think Tony wouldn’t win

          1. I think the Tony clips are probably just one of the first things to pop up when you type Survivor into youtube.

            Weirdly I think Redemption Island is pretty good as a starter season if you just want someone to see a tutorial in how to play the game. And MvGenX had some great TV.

            I LOVE the endgame of SJDS, but I think a BvW season is not a great entryway.

          2. MvGx would be good. Couple of meta references though. I think you need to go before meta-Survivor, which I think starts at Cambodia.

            Tocantins and Pearl Islands are also good options, though PI may be a bit old school for this

          3. I think Survivor moves in phases. There’s the Old School Era (1-11), the HII Era (12-20; yes it showed up before that, but it was never played correctly. Alt name: Exile Island Era, but is that better?), the Dark Ages (21-24), the Renaissance (25-29), and Meta Era(30-present).

            I like the term meta-survivor, and really the only reason Worlds Apart made it in there is bc Max and Shirin are essentially the heralds of the new era.

            But looking at that, I think a season from the Renaissance would be the most relevant to present-day Survivor without going into the Meta Era. The problem is that 25-27 require you to know previous players and 28-29 are not right for a first season. Despite that, I think Philippines is the best starting point. None of the three returnees go out late enough in their original* season for the spoiler of their exits to ruin your viewing of it. There are clear heroes and clear villains. And the gameplay overall is extremely balanced.

          4. Yeah, those phases seem about right, though the lines can be a bit blurry, as you note with WA. Era 2 does need a better name though.

            If you want to stay new school with a first season, I do co-sign Philippines. You don’t really need to know anything about the returning players and its good Survivor – both strategy and character wise

          5. Ditto on Philippines. I watched it not knowing the 3 returnees (and I still haven’t watched one of their’s season) and it didn’t impact it. The ‘3 returnees’ element seems to blur and become unimportant so fast, in the shadow of great players and interesting newer stories, that it didn’t ruin anything for me, or my friend I showed it to as her Survivor introduction.

          6. The stuff about Russell trying and failing not to take command of Matsing carries on a few episodes makes less sense if you haven’t seen Samoa first.

            Also, if you watch Philippines first, when you get to Australia [REDACTED] is much more obviously a bumbling doofus.

          7. Agreed on Philippines being the choice here. It’s modern enough, has a good cast, and has enough gameplay elements to be interesting. And a certain podcast I know recently rewatched it and has coverage of it, if you’re into that sort of thing.

          8. How did I miss that episode?!? (They do actually make Survivor references on The Adventure Zone at times)

          9. I started with Philippines and loved it. Perfect balance of gameplay and characters for a new viewer, and a satisfying winner

          10. This is true, but also, I feel like any season 25 or after, you are probably going to run into some name drops that, if you remember them, could spoil you on things. It’s just part of watching modern seasons, you will learn things, but the only other option is to watch from the beginning (and if you’re me, avoid the PRP comments entirely. Thus why i’m generally pretty spoiled, lol).

          11. Yeah, its just the best option if you want to stay really recent. It wouldn’t be my first pick but it would work. Also, you wouldn’t really understand how odd the (somewhat) fluid alliances are.

          12. I’d go with Philippines. Everyone who i’ve started on Philippines now watches regularly, because it’s so good, has just enough twist to give a taste of modern survivor, but in a package that is very classic, and it’s full to the brim with interesting characters. It’s probably top of my list for most modernly accessible to a first time viewer.

            Bonus if they’ve seen the Facts of Life.

          13. Count me as another Philippines recommendation. However, I wonder if a newbie would be able to appreciate Denise’s gameplay, or would just think Malcolm was robbed. Depending on your friend’s tolerance for the likes of Colton and Alecia, I almost want to recommend One World, since Kim’s game is so much easier to understand.

            I’d also note that my first season was Caramoan, and I loved the show immediately. I didn’t know enough to realize how awful the pre-merge was, and I didn’t really care about the backstories of the returnees. So maybe you don’t necessarily need to show your friend a top-notch season (so long as it’s eventful) and maybe returnees aren’t a dealbreaker.

        2. That’s what happened to me and I turned out… I guess fine is a little strong. But I turned out!

    2. If I’d never seen an episode I think I’d be intrigued by any season. Is Borneo hopelessly dated at this point? Havent watched it in a while. That season had plenty of good stuff if I remember correctly.
      Greg, Gervase, Colleen, Dr. Sean, Jenna Lewis, Hatch, Susan, Rudy, Wiggles. I remember it quite fondly. Also, its important to understand what ‘Pagonging’ is. And its the birth of Alliances.

      EDIT: I’m frightened that I remembered most of the cast without google. After looking at wiki, have no idea who Dirk or Joel are tho

  42. In the end, I felt a little bad for Patrick. It’s like having a toddler that *loves* Batman. Like, he sees Batman, and he gets excited and exclaims, “Bat-Bat!” So you decide, “Ok Patrick, here are a Pop doll of Batman and a mini-Pop doll of Batman,” and he’s super delighted and says “Mama Bat-Bat! Baby Bat-Bat!” and has fun playing with them, and then you take them away from Patrick, and his little heart breaks. The Pop dolls are Survivor. He will be ok after a nap and a squeezable yogurt pouch.

  43. Here’s something I read in the comments on EW.com. Before the challenge the tribes were told that they couldn’t start stacking their blocks until they had gathered all of the blocks onto the mat (pretty standard in a challenge broken into sections). So since they missed a block, technically they shouldn’t have been allowed to start stacking their blocks when they did. I can understand the show seeing that they had missed a block and knowing this would make great TV but according to the challenge rules, isn’t their win (or non-loss) ineligible?

    1. Jeff really screwed that one up. I hope his boss gives him what for.
      But seriously, you’re totally right – what probably should have happened is that when they started stacking, Jeff should have done his classic “NO NO, something’s not RIGHT!” then and there, instead of when they thought they were finished. Then they should have had to knock down their tower, find the missing piece, and then start over with stacking.

      1. Somewhat related: My boyfriend’s brother spent the whole time arguing about how they should have just placed the final blocks by lifting up the ones below and scooting it under. I agree with this concept, as it would mean the tall guys could complete the tower without lifting people up, but I’m guessing that there was a rule against this, for the exact reason that they wanted to force tribe teamwork to life a person really high.

          1. But what if you only lifted up the smaller blocks to put the final one in place? Like, you have your tallest two lift up only the section above the highest point they could reach. You might risk the 4-5 blocks fall, but it would still be quicker (in theory) then figuring out how to raise an entire person up to the top level.

          2. If that’s the plan you might as well just make a multi-block stack on the ground. One tribe (Brains maybe?) were doing that in Kaoh Rong.

        1. Didn’t they try this the first season they did this challenge? (I think Kaoh Rong?) and it didn’t work because of the instability

      2. That would’ve been better than what we got. I kind of would prefer the less generous solution which would be to make them start over after finally getting the blocks all gathered on the mat. This might be because I was worried about my pick-4 Patrick at that point.

        1. How would that work? Would the players have to take the blocks back and throw them on the ground where they had been knocked off? Or would they bring in Production to take them back because if the players did that they might have just dumped them in one pile instead of them being all spread out.

          1. Sorry, I misspoke there I think. What I meant to suggest is that the blocks should all be placed on the ground (i.e. knock down the tower and make them rebuild, now that the last one has been brought over). But what you are asking here is something I hadn’t thought through, I believe–it would definitely be a “cleaner” interpretation of the rules if the blocks all needed to be returned to that first knock-down area mat and then carried back to the tower assembly area again. That would create additional delay that I’d be fine with, but I think minor compared to the time needed for rebuilding.

            (NOTE: without rewatching, I am extremely likely to get details completely wrong about what mats might be where for what purpose.)

          2. Heh, well either way, I think we would likely get some comedy from the upper blocks raining down on whoever takes care of knocking the tower down. Preferably Probst.

          3. Didn’t someone get hit in the head by a block in this type of challenge? Or a similar challenge where blocks were stacked? Kelly (?) from WA got hit in the head and bled, but I think that was the blindfold challenge.

    2. In all likelihood the team running the challenge didn’t notice the missing block until the Beautiful White Collar Healers had already started stacking, and decided to run with it.

      1. According to Jeff’s EW.com interview this morning, Production instantly spotted that the Healers had missed a block, before they even started stacking. He says they have enough people/cameras to watch every single person during a challenge.

  44. If Cole gets swapped to another beach, I hope he finds the idol at the well immediately.

    Or if it is a swap into 2 tribes and 1 person gets sent to Exile Beach (which isn’t the Healers beach), and Cole is the odd one out, he gets sent to EB, finds the idol at the well there, then rejoins the tribe not at original Healers beach and finds the idol at the well there too. Blam, two idols.

    Of course for this to work, Joe needs to stay at Healers beach.

  45. You guys I have to share two potentially unpopular opinions:
    1. I personally don’t think Cole’s face is that cute (where are his irises??)
    2. I don’t think Cole is good at Survivor at all, and I think he will be gone by the early merge at the latest.

      1. Not that I’ve seen. I’m actually really curious what other people think about that scene. It was weird to me, because we got the whole thing from Jessica’s perspective. The way it was played on the show was the major cue for me that Cole is not going to do great. But setting that aside, he seems like he just doesn’t think before he speaks/acts and maybe he’s a little too honest for his own good (what with Joe and the idol clue). Not checking in with Jessica before bringing in the other two women was not great for alliance management with her, plus the fact that he just blabbed it in a large group like that instead of feeling people out more strategically. All in all I’d say not a great move, though it seems unlikely that it will hurt him that bad at this early stage (especially with Joe being such an obvious target for the vote). More likely, I think it will just be part of a pattern of Cole not really fully getting Survivor strategy, but still trying to play the game.

          1. Yeah, because it shows that she is fairly limited in her alliances on that tribe. She seemingly only has Cole, while Cole has connections with everyone (with the possible exception of Dr. Mike).

          2. I think in his conversation with the women he referenced being able to get Mike to vote with them. Though that may not indicate a connection so much as that convincing Mike to save his own skin shouldn’t be that hard

          3. True, so maybe the bad edit was more about Jessica than Cole? Basically I left the scene thinking their ‘power couple’ wouldn’t be around long.

        1. It was interesting, because Jessica was technically right, but also sort of wrong.

          She was completely right that discussing a blindside before they even knew that they had to go to tribal council was a bad move.

          But she also seemed to object to the whole concept of Cole getting the other women on-side, like the only alliance she was interested in was him and her. It’s uncharitable to say it came off as jealousy that he was also forming connections with the other women…but that’s sort of how it came off.

          What we don’t know is what sort of relationship Jessica has with the rest of the tribe. Her entire network, as portrayed, seems to consist of Cole. At least Ashley seems to be actively making other connections alongside JP.

          1. I also suspected jealousy and then felt a bit weird about accusing Jessica that way so I left it out of my original comment. But yeah… she seemed a little jealous :/

          2. It could purely be that she’s not jealous, she just thought it was bad gameplay. And she could have great connections with the other women that the editors simply haven’t bothered to show us. It wouldn’t be the first time. We’ll see how it unfolds.

          3. I’m going to defend the discussion of the idol before going to tribal thing.

            If you wait until after tribal, where you only have a couple hours, there’s pretty much going to be a sense of “NOW you come to us with this!” Whereas this way you build the alliance early, everyone has a chance to get on board and there’s minimal scrambling.

            The risk is that there’s more time for this plan to get to Joe, but if you’re Cole are you really worried about straight women siding with Joe over him?

          4. Plus, I think it’s going to work out with the swap. He’s built trust with Roark and Desi which could pay off if they end up on the same tribe

          5. When Cole started discussing this with Desi and Roark, I thought that he might be thinking of throwing the challenge to vote out Joe. Otherwise, as has been said, why discuss it unless you know you’re going to tribal?

            On KIA last night Rob reminded me that in Josh’s pre-season interview with Cole, when asked “what is the sneakiest thing you would be willing to do?”, he replied that he would be willing to throw a challenge to get rid of a Tony-like player. At this point he had seen, but not talked with, Joe, but he didn’t say anything like “There’s one guy here who looks a bit like Tony”.

        2. As an in-game move it’s terrible for the reasons discussed, but for entertainment value and the course of the game it’s inadvertently great, because it makes it highly likely that however the tribes are mixed. Joe’s going to be on a tribe with someone who knows about his idol, unbeknownst to him.

          1. Does Mike know about Joe’s idol? Because Mike and Joe to one tribe and everyone else to the other would isolate Joe from everyone who knows about his idol. Though with that said, Mike and Joe being together would be great because it forces Joe to either work with his mortal enemy or against his own self-interests.

          2. It seems that everyone on the Healers tribe knows that Joe has the idol except for Dr. Mike. It would be fitting if in the swap next week, the only Healers on one of the new tribes are Joe and Dr. Mike.

      2. It’s one of those “it’s a good idea if it works, a bad idea if it doesn’t” ideas. The idea of putting the target on anyone other than Cole, specifically someone who has an idol, isn’t terrible. I don’t think Cole was making himself a target for sharing the knowledge that he had, except possibly in Jessica’s eyes. He should have conferred with her to determine the best time to tell Desi and Roark. She has a legit grievance there.