Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 9 Liveblog: “Fear of the Unknown”

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

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

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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662 thoughts on “Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Episode 9 Liveblog: “Fear of the Unknown”

    1. To be fair, I would like to think that the this group was so disappointed that could not think a creative tribe name they decided to keep the flag down in shame.

    1. Apparently there is a secret scene of Cole from a few episode ago (after Dr. Mike found the idol) where he says that he asked Jessica if she had the idol and she said no, then he asked if Dr. Mike had the idol, and Jessica was silent, and Cole said that by the look on her face he knew that Dr. Mike had it.

      So if you believe Cole here (and that’s a big “if”), he didn’t know that Dr. Mike had an idol but he suspected it. Of course we didn’t see anything on the show to indicate this, so that’s why it’s a secret scene.

    1. Ryan’s favorite Survivor scene is when Adam pulled his idol out of his pants. He wants to recreate that scene so bad.

  1. Just realized that everyone left, aside from Dr. Mike, either voted for Trump or doesn’t vote. Just a theory why we seem to hate these people so much.

    1. Okay he could be in the doesn’t vote category, but Devon also talked about caring about climate change pregame so maybe!

  2. This challenge involves throwing balls into a target. Could we finally have the promise fulfilled of seeing Lauren’s softball skills?

    1. Blech! I didn’t see any bagels! There were some edible looking donut cushions, but I couldn’t see any bagels.

  3. So is these episode Joe burns down in the flames or will be the boot be more complex. Let see in the classic immunity situation Joe vs Cole vs everybody else next.

    1. It’s a bit obvious for it to be Joe, but maybe it’s a double fake out by the editors. Joe seems too obvious

  4. Joe does know that if he somehow makes it to the end, he has to have these people vote for him to win, right? Right?

    1. For real though, good job on Devon using his real reaction to what Ben said as a focal point for his fake reaction. That’s how you lie correctly.

  5. If someone tells you that they want to sit next to you at the finals, you shouldn’t take that as a compliment.

  6. “This challenge is symbolic of the symbolic fire that represents your life.”

    Hey Jeff: fuuuuuuuuck you.

    1. “And the flag is symbolic of the symbolic flag that is waved at the end of your life when you shuffle off this mortal coil.”

  7. I don’t want to hear what Reddit has to say about Lauren winning a necklace. I don’t want to know; nobody tell me.

      1. I don’t want anything that makes Reddit happy. If Paul comes back and Reddit champions him and he wins, I will be against it.

  8. So who will go home tonight. We it be obvious immunity threat Cole, obvious pain in the ass Joe, or will it be shocking blindside of the character they want to be a fan favorite Ryan.

  9. Editors: “We can’t splice these two scenes together. In one of them Ashley has her shirt on and in one she doesn’t.”

    Production: “Who is Ashley?”

    1. When Dr. Mike was standing outside the shelter watching Joe dig, wasn’t he wearing his jacket, and then suddenly his jacket was off when he hadn’t moved at all?

      1. Until tonight, I was feeling like we were supposed to like him but I just didn’t. After tonight, I don’t think we’re supposed to like him. Now I’m thinking FTC loser.

        1. I was wondering if the conversation with him and Devon is setting up the scenario where they go to F3 together, and then Devon wins because everyone hates Ben.

      1. “Dad, I don’t feel well. My nose is bleeding and I feel light-headed.”
        “Don’t be ridiculous. Just shove some tissues up there and it’ll stop. Get walking.”

    1. He really should have followed the Hali Ford rules:

      “Just be a decent person. That’s how you get far in Survivor. Don’t be a weirdo. Don’t be annoying. Don’t be inconsiderate. You’ll do okay.”

          1. I’m rooting for Joe and Mike to make it to the end since I think that’s the most interesting and unexpected result possible for this dull season

      1. But, World Apart had moments that were better than anything that has happened so far. You had the fall of Vince, Mike faking people out with his Idol, Jenn knocking off Kelly with an Idol and Dan at Ponderosa. You also had more entertains players, like Mike, Jenn, Shirin and even Rodney.

    1. Kind of. This season of Survivor is the most bland season that as happened years. And depending on how you qualify bad as absent of good material then this season is up there with the worst.

          1. Traditionally, two bottom of totem pole guys is a good time to make a move against main alliance

          2. Just like when they went to rocks in MxGX and when Jeremy played an idol for Stephen only for Stephen to get blindsided the next hour. Yawn.

          3. To be fair, the first Cambodia episode was pretty dull until Jeremy played the idol. The second episode kicked things into overdrive.

          4. Recent seasons have proven that the nights with 2 episodes back-to-back can just as easily be great episodes.

          5. Because CBS scheduled the season that way. Survivor does not plan out the way the season based on pleasure CBS decides when it will be double sized to fill holes in their schedule.

      1. Agreed – bland is exactly what I would call it. I can’t remember a single episode that stands out as being any better than the others, and I’m also pessimistic that it’s going to get any better in the remainder of the season.

    2. Possibly. It doesn’t have anything as egregious as certain incidences in Caramoan, Worlds Apart and Game Changers, but if you consider bad to be the absence of good, this tops that list. Even those seasons and SDJS had high points. This season is like if Redemption Island didn’t have Boston Rob. There is one guy being weird and annoying, but everyone else is okay, dull and lethargic.

    3. The sheer nastiness of of WA’s post merge and predictability of Mike’s win, is very hard to beat. This season is trending lower and lower, a bad winner might just breach that mark. This is also officially worse than SJDS for me, can’t see any arc from now onwards saving it ala Natalie’s.

      1. I don’t know. This season doesn’t have Kim, but it also doesn’t have Colton, Alecia and Alpha Douchebag.

      2. Yes at least OW and RI had displays of dominance. This is really feeling like a South Pacific (I have avoided Nicaragua)

      3. There’s no greater way to turn Andy against a season than groups of people making inexplicable strategic errors

          1. Is that what the dog says on that stupid Canadian hero dog show you love so much? The one with the theme song that takes the same strokes?

      1. I legitimately think sat this point, Devon might be the best player, in the sense that he has done the least wrong.

      2. I still think Chrissy is good at this but I am expecting some explanation for the wonky vote splits after the game. I don’t like Ryan and he made a mistake past week (at least the edit indicated it was one so it will probably turn out to be) but he is ok to good at this well. Other than them, there is nothing note worthy about any one else.

        1. If they split Mike-Cole with Mike as the intended target then Mike saves himself and doesn’t burn any potential working relationships. I don’t know if that was his thought process, but it is a possible one.

          1. Even if Dr. Mike and Joe knew that the votes were going to be split on Cole and Dr. Mike, all they had to do is both vote for Cole (which is what they did) and not play the idol or attack people at tribal. This way Cole is guaranteed to go home.

            Still hoping someone can explain to me why Dr. Mike wasted played his idol.

          2. I realized this and then…immediately forgot? Call me a Mike I guess. I don’t know, maybe he just got nervous.

          3. Alright, I have a defense again! Mike’s play for tonight was a safe bet and was never going to look like a master plan because he did not know what was happening. Mike and Joe vote for Cole because they want Cole to go home or are at least cool with Cole going home. Why play the idol? In case the majority splits the vote 4-3 on Mike and Joe. This is the worst case scenario, because Mike loses his ally, but the only person he burns a bridge with is Cole who is completely on the outs and he still gets to stay another round regardless.

  10. Can this be Samoa repeat, where bottom 2 steamroll to end? I think Russell and Natalie came back from a similar deficit. am I remembering right?

    1. They came in 4 to Galu’s 8, but they quickly got 2 Galu’s gone and flipped Shambo. I’m not a Russell fan, but Mike and Joe aren’t as strategically savvy as he was

  11. Wait what? Cole was hoping Joe would go home but voted Ben. Mike played his idol on himself but voted for Cole? And so did Joe? What is going on here?

  12. Wait, Dr. Mike and Joe voted for Cole too? What was the point of playing the idol? If they were splitting the votes, those 2 extra votes would have made sure Cole went home. And if the alliance of 7 had all voted for Dr. Mike (which I guess was his plan) Cole would have gone home instead of Ben.

    Did Dr. Mike completely waste his idol?

      1. I can understand wanting to “do something”, but shouldn’t that something be “something smart”?

    1. From what I’ve pieced together, I think Mike believed that Cole had the flag idol and would play it. With all but one vote being cast for Mike or Cole, there would be no revote and Ben goes home.

        1. Why would he tell Cole what the plan was? Cole has a history with secrets. Just assume Cole’s voting Ben.

      1. I don’t know if this is a good way of foiling the vote split or not. Because if you’re the Healers, you don’t know which two people the 7 are splitting between. They guessed (correctly) that it was Cole and Mike. But if the target was, say, Joe and Mike, then throwing two votes on Cole and one on Ben means that Joe goes if both idols are played. Same if the targets are Cole and Joe.

        1. Ben told Mike it was Cole… Mike tells Joe to follow his lead at FTC… Maybe all it was was a telegraph that two was less than three was less than four… But why play his idol?

          Maybe Mike thought it was him? But why?

          1. So when Ben tells you (Mike) that it’s Cole, there are two possible scenarios: the target is Cole, or the target is not Cole.

            If the target is Cole, you’re done. You know who the target is.

            If the target is not Cole, then it could be either you or Joe. But if you’re Mike, you know that Ben knows that you’re fine cutting Joe. So if the target was Joe, Ben would tell you that. So if the target is not Joe and not Cole, then you must be the target.

            So by a certain logic, the only possible outcomes based on “Ben told you it’s Cole,” are that it’s either you or Cole. So play your idols accordingly. (never mind the fact that if Ben was lying to Mike, telling him that Joe was the target likely makes Mike less skittish and lowers his guard)

            With all that said, I still don’t know why the three of them didn’t vote together. If you vote as a trio and lose on a revote, guess what: you lose anyway when you take away two votes and put them on someone else.

          2. So why the “follow my lead”? Why the pot-stirring at FTC? We’ve seen the NToS–was that all Mike’s plan was? I mean, if he and Joe were gonna vote Cole? Why waste the idol? Unless he was trying to pull votes from Joe to him? The intention seems to be that Cole is sent home. I guess Mike feels like his best bet is to ally with Joe? Seems odd, based on their history.


        2. I also think at some point in this plan you need to bring your alliance in on your idol so they will vote with you. Sometimes you can pull it off without that (Nat A, Wentworth) but Joe and Cole have both flipped to maybe save their skin before so you gotta tell them so they vote with you

        1. Dr. Mike knows Cole well enough by now to know that Cole wasn’t lying about that (or anything). Unless we hear different, Dr. Mike did not think Cole had an idol.

  13. According to Bell, the PVR description of this episode is “Alliances are put to the test; castaways question who will remain loyal.”

    Usually I’m mad at Bell for spoiling the episode with the description. But this one feels like it could be just about *any* episode.

    1. Comcast had the same blurb. My all time favorite one of these was for the episode of Game of Thrones where Sam kills a White Walker: “Sam and Gilly meet an old man”.

  14. This episode was like an M. Night Shyamalan movie (so I’m reliably informed): the shocking twist is easily figured out by anyone who has been remotely paying attention.
    Speaking of, I like to imagine JP watches all these episodes at home and is totally surprised every time by the vote out.

    1. Who got voted out wasn’t surprising. But what Cole, Joe, and Mike did was surprising in a baffling kind of way.

          1. How though? If they think it’s a split 4-3 with 4 Mike and 3 Cole, playing the idol and then forcing a tie does nothing, as it’d then be 6-2 Cole on revote. I’m not saying it was a great move to play his idol. As it turns out, it wasn’t. But I can kind of understand it after thinking on it for a few minutes now. Maybe Mike thought by playing his idol but also voting for Cole, and not targeting any of the majority alliance, he is leaving the door open to work with them down the road.

          2. Antagonizing everyone at tribal council is an odd way of leaving the door open to work with them down the road.

        1. I mean if Mike thinks it’s him getting the votes and he’s playing his idol I’m not sure why the person they would want Cole out. Maybe to make the outsider group smaller/less threatening? But I feel like there were ways to do that with out wasting the idol.

          1. I mean, that’s a pretty unique strategy if it’s ‘make us only 2 guys so not a threat’ if Mike makes FTC and that was his idea, major props to him

          1. And then the only person who voted Ben out, making him the responsible party?

            Edit: saw your other comment about not have a revote on the tie. Makes sense.

          2. But wouldn’t they work that out before the TC, not sure why they didn’t discuss plan ahead of time

    2. In all Shyamalan movies after The Sixth Sense, you’re expecting a twist so you’re coming up with crazy twist ideas while you’re watching it that you normally wouldn’t for a movie by a different director. It’s like realizing while watching a new Michael Bay movie that there will be explosions.

      I still have a problem believing people that say that they watched TSS when it was released without hearing about a twist ending and knew that (do I really have to use a spoiler tag for not just a 18 year old movie, but this particular movie?) Willis’ character was dead the whole movie.

      1. Funny story: I recently watched this movie for the first time on a plane. I had heard about the twist ending before but had totally forgotten about it, so I was totally shocked at the end, before it dawned on me that I was an idiot

        1. And if you rewatch the movie knowing the twist, it all makes sense. There’s no scene where you say “Well, this doesn’t make sense knowing how the film ends.”

      2. He always puts some like awesome twist at the end of his movies to trick the audience.
        Like in The Sixth Sense you find out that the dude in that hair piece the whole time, that’s Bruce Willis the whole movie.

  15. I was really worried about Ryan for a second. He shouldn’t have told Ben about his Idol because now Devon doesn’t trust him, and Devon unfortunately wants to play with Ben now. I have a feeling Ben is going to be voted out soon only because people think he is a dictator, and he is running the game.

          1. The show actually does like to set up hero edits and then throw a pie at them.

            See Culpepper, Brad; Bledsoe, Spencer

    1. I wouldn’t say I was *worried* for Ryan. It’s more like…remember in Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory, when Mike Teavee tries to broadcast himself and Willy Wonka sort of deadpans “Stop. Don’t. Come back”? Kind of like that.

      1. “Veruca Salt” was the answer at trivia night this week, so that and this comment seems to be the universe’s way of telling me to rewatch that movie.

  16. I feel like even last season we were usually well over 200 comments by now. That’s telling, and not about John or Andy.

    1. Sorry, I did the best possible thing: get off work at 7 and join my dad in pre-Thanksgiving shopping. I just got home like 10 minutes ago. If I am not around, that’s like 20 or 30 posts gone.

      1. Weren’t people complaining about how many posts are on the live blog recently? And how it’s hard to catch up if you are on west coast and read it
        AV club is under 50 posts per episode now

      2. Just seems like there’s less to discuss so far this season. Each episode goes mostly the way you think it will, aside from the typical “that was a curious decision by player X. I wonder why they did that?” discussions that crop up.
        I’m sure that next week will straighten out this season and cause it to fly right.

        1. I worry that the podcast is going to consistently go into “Why the hell did Player X (or Alliance X) do that?!”

          Not encouraging that the season this feels the most like so far in the post-merge is South Pacific.

        2. Mrs. Krabappel: Bart! You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve said, have you?
          Bart: Yes, ma’am.
          Mrs. Krabappel: Well, then what did I say?
          Bart: Uh…”straighten up and fly right?”
          Mrs. Krabappel: Well, that was a lucky guess!

        3. Mr. Probst promised us! “An exciting final third of the season”, he said.

          (I don’t remember what words he used exactly, but he did say something to that effect, so this better kick into gear very soon.)

    2. We were usually sad and angry after each episode last season. there was always a lot to discuss

        1. This is probably my most unpopular opinion, but I don’t like chocolate. I can see how chocolate fans would have liked that cake though.

      1. It was so dull I was sort of hoping Cochran would appear out of the blue and give them all a pep talk.

    3. Personally, I’m enjoying the smaller number of comments today since it means I can click any “see new reply” links without having comments disappear and having to reload the entire page.

      Of course, every comment I post increases the total number of comments on the page, making it get closer to that tipping point.

    4. I haven’t been able to make it through all the comments in weeks, so this is better for me. Of course, the comments are over 400 now, but that’s close to half of previous weeks’.

    1. Honestly, I started thinking “maybe Devon wins?” like week four, but I didn’t want to say it because it sounded crazy. Now I’m not sure.

    2. Sure. I really don’t care. This might be the first season since South Pacific where I go into a Finale without giving a shit about any of the remaining players.

      1. Be careful, Sophie Squad gonna roll through and put you in your place for suggesting that boring Sophie wasn’t great.


        (I don’t even care about Sophie. It’s just disappointing that this season isn’t giving us enough to discuss.)

        1. Woop woop someone sounded the Sophie alert!

          Remember when Sophie yelled at Albert to do the challenge for her?

          Or when Sophie made fun of Coach’s shitty attempt to pretend he know Russian?

          Or when Sophie was mortified that she had to watch Jack and Jill?

          The point is that Sophie is awesome.

          1. She lost 3 jury votes to Coach, which I think reflects poorly on her social game. She’s really good at the strategy, but she’s one of those winners (along with Natalie White) who correctly identified a really simple plan (playing sidekick to a jerk) and made it happen. She played the cards she was dealt about as well as she could, except that people didn’t like her (again, props to her for taking 2 more unlikable people to FTC).
            She was fortunate that Coach was on her tribe, and he really played into the us vs them mentality that whole season. With her poor social strategy, I’m not sure she could’ve leveraged relationships in a more fluid season.

            I really loves Sophie though, and I find it interesting that she tends to be drastically underrated or overrated while I find her roughly in the middle

          2. I didn’t think Coach was that hated, and either way he played a strong game. Even looking at the 3 votes she lost – Cochran was GUSHING about Coach, Edna respected his use of religion to manipulate, and I’ll just throw out that it’s possible that Rick was always going to vote for a man but who the hell knows (this is a cheap guess, but I have no insight into Rick). I do think her social game is her weakest point – you can see it on Whitney’s face in jury – but I also think it doesn’t really matter that much and might even benefit her to an extent. I think Sophie will almost always be able to find two people she can beat out at the end – unlike, say, Brian Heidik – and she’s an expert at identifying who that is and how she should get there. Of course this is colored by my love for her, and also by her Survivor analysis on podcasts which I think is better than anyone else’s.

            I might also just be more likely to praise Survivor contestants. If Sophie were just a slightly below average winner, I would say that warrants being called awesome at Survivor.

          3. Fun fact about Rick – according to a production guy’s reddit AMA, he never got screen time because no one understood what he was saying. I thought that was hilarious when I read it.

            Losing Cochran’s vote is always what I most knock her for. Theoretically, Cochran should have been an easy vote for her but he didn’t respect her game at all. I’m not sure if he’s since come around, but even post finale he was bitter that she won.

            The difference in her social game vs someone like Heidik is that everyone loved him until he voted them out. He always had a million different options to go with because everyone was his best friend. Sophie didn’t have any options except Coach’s cult because she wasn’t great at building social bonds. A season that ends up as a pagonging was her best chance to win. I do think her ability to fake interest in religion was amazing though, because she really was on paper the outsider of that tribe.

            And yeah when comparing Sophie to most Survivor contestants, she’s awesome at Survivor. I just meant that Survivor Sophie isn’t as awesome as Sophie outside of Survivor. I love her appearances on RHAP and think she’s great at breaking down strategy.

          4. Cochran has to have come around, but mostly because they are good friends now. I don’t know how to judge Cochran’s vote – he was a superfan and seemed to be starstruck by Coach, and even if he felt the same post season he was judging from watching a season that largely ignored Sophie in favor of Coach.

            “Sophie didn’t have any options except Coach’s cult because she wasn’t great at building social bonds.”
            I don’t really know if I agree with this, since Savaii was the reason she won. The entire tribe voted for her except for the flipper.

            Fair enough though. And I’m relieved to see your last thoughts – Sophie deserves respect!

          5. When watching Tocantins and HvV, I had zero respect for Coach so I always assumed that was the mindset Cochran entered SoPa with. Maybe he was just excited to meet a former Survivor though.
            I haven’t actually listened to any of the Savaii jurors’ interviews, but I have always assumed that Sophie’s lack of a bond with them was ignored because it was expected – the two tribes were very separate from each other so Sophie wasn’t supposed to be their friend.

            I respect Sophie’s game a lot, but I also think her post show interviews have led people to overestimate her a little bit. When I compare people’s opinion of her to someone like Natalie White, who I think articulated her strategy better, I just don’t understand the huge difference.

          6. I’m fairly high on Natalie White too, or at least high enough to have her outside of my bottom 10. Many winners of Survivor made clear mistakes, and it’s hard for me to pick out mistakes made by Natalie(s) and Sophie.

          7. I think it was Rob C. who made the analogy that certain survivor players are like people with a bachelor’s degree and some have doctorate’s, meaning some players are really good at standard survivor but aren’t quite to the next level of player.
            Natalie and Sophie are players with a bachelor’s degree. Everything they did, they did just about the best they could. It just happened to be that nothing they did was overly impressive.

          8. Cochran hated her within that season because Sophie shut out any plan Coach had to take him further. She correctly sensed that Coach might want to take Cochran to F3 as a goat and put a stop to that. Cochran was also always going to vote that season given the latter indulged the fanboy in him till he lasted.

          9. I also forgot to add that I think it’s a bit strange that people call Sophie lucky for being dealt the cards she was dealt. She is the last person that should be fitting in with a religious cult alliance – that’s really impressive social integration.

          10. That was a group decision. Coach and likely Albert and Rick helped with the Pagonging. Also, Pagonging isn’t particularly impressive. They figured that out in Season 1.

          11. Yeah, giving her full credit is a bit over the top, but Albert didn’t want a Pagonging and Sophie was shown shutting down his plans multiple times. Sophie was also shown directing Coach to her desired outcome. It’s always hard to tell though with the TV edits.

          12. It’s equivalent to saying Jack &a Jill is worth watching for the scene where Al Pacino dances around with a donut.

          13. I listen to a podcast that reviews really bad movies, and each episode announcement I dread that they will say “Our next movie is Jack and Jill” and I will be forced to watch that movie.

          14. I don’t watch the films, just listen, I like it that way. It is one of the biggest comedy podcasts there is.

          15. I used to just listen and not watch the movies too, but eventually I realized I was missing out on too much not knowing exactly what they were talking about. So one summer I started from the beginning (Burlesque) and each day I watched the movie and then listened to the corresponding podcast. Caught up after a few months. Have to watch a lot of bad movies, but I feel I get more enjoyment out of it.

            And now I have to watch The Jazz Singer this weekend. Sigh. At least there’ll be some good Neil Diamond music.

          16. I could have only done it during the summer when I didn’t have many (if any) shows to watch, where I could afford to watch one movie every night.

          17. I have No Holds Barred recorded and still need to watch it. It helps that I have read enough reviews to know some of the generalities.

          18. I love when Jason is all-in on on the plot’s logic of a movie they’re watching. “Guys, it all checks out!”

          19. I listen to a couple of them (HDTGM, Flop House, We Hate Movies), although I rarely actually watch the movies. I also watch a lot of RiffTrax.

          20. Yeah, I think it has one of the best finales. “Drop your damn stack”, Sophie beating Ozzy, Albert’s abysmal final tribal, Sophie’s amazing final tribal, Coach’s…mixed bag of a final tribal, Sophie breaking down, Coach striking a deal with Ozzy and then immediately betraying him, and of course Sophie winning.

        2. My exact thought going into that Finale was “I guess I hope Sophie wins…, she’s slightly better than the other options… wow this sucks”.

        3. Funnily enough, I can easily compare Chrissy to Sophie. There playing the Same game designed to get end with a large majority. There are the ones making sure their alliance breaks.

          The main difference is that Sophie had a group of wacky people to stand with and Chrissy has … Joe?

        4. I am with you. Sophie has been great post game, for my money the best recapper Rob gets on RHAP in terms of game analysis. But we saw very little of her in SoPa to be invested in her winning over Ozzy and Coach.

        1. Yeah. I had some investment in Cirie, although was certain she was going home at 6 (I could not see her being immune in the Idocalypse).

          The Edgicers annoyed me enough that I wanted to see if my Brad prediction was right so I could rub it in their faces and then bitch about how Brad was a terrible winner.

          1. Adam’s crotch-idol also (probably) inspired Ryan to say “in my pants” multiple times this episode, so that’s another knock against him.


          1. Didn’t Adam waste his idol by playing it when he didn’t have to?

            Also, it cannot be overstated – Adam was outsmarted by Taylor. Taylor!

          2. When you look at people that play idols that didn’t have to, Adam’s wasn’t the worst. But I wouldn’t be saying “Adam finds idols” as proof of his greatness – he also needs to know how to play them properly.

          3. I would argue that he did. He made sure his alliance didn’t lose a vote that they needed to win and then to make sure he wasn’t out at 5, which was the last time he could play it. If you define playing it correctly as saving yourself, its hard to play it correctly when you’re never the target. Even defining it more broadly as saving someone, I’m not sure there was a proper time for him to play it (arguably, he could have saved Bret at 5)

          4. Not only did Adam unnecessarily play his idol because Will had flipped, he earlier believed Sunday’s lie and told David to play his idol on the wrong person. Then he misplayed his second idol by telling Hannah that he had an idol and then playing it on himself when he should have known that since he told Hannah he had it, they would likely not be voting for him.

            Adam’s track record of playing idols is pretty bad.

          5. I still don’t think the first one was unnecessary. It was a worthwhile price for insurance. On Sunday’s lie, that’s true, but the alternative person to play that on was David. I don’t think playing it on Hannah was ever really on the table so I’m not sure its that egregious. Yeah, the third one was the weakest of the three, he should have been able to sniff out that it was Bret not him

          6. Should Adam have believed Sunday? I don’t think so, it seemed obvious to the viewers that she was lying to him. As a “student of the game” he should have suspected that the info the other alliance was giving him may not have been true. But he was 100% sure that the votes were going on the person Sunday told him..


          8. And Parvati’s group (excluding Sandra) was outsmarted by Rupert in the Candace vote.

            Cirie was outsmarted by Sarah. It happens.

            Also, ADAM was not in the best mental and emotional state during his season.

          9. “And Parvati’s group (excluding Sandra) was outsmarted by Rupert in the Candace vote.” Rupert is a Survivor genius compared to Taylor.

            “Cirie was outsmarted by Sarah. It happens.” The Sarah that played a near-flawless game and deservedly won last season?

            “Also, ADAM was not in the best mental and emotional state during his season.” That’s not any other player’s fault but Adam. As someone whose mother had cancer and was told that she would not live another six months (that was ~30 years ago and luckily she is still here) he should not gone on the show knowing his mother’s condition in the first place! (sorry, but personally this is Adam’s greatest flaw that I cannot forgive)

          10. He has already explained that multiple times, his mother only wanted him to go and it was something they decided as a family would be good for them.

          11. I don’t care. If your mother has cancer and is not expected to live much longer, you don’t go away for months to play Survivor. I don’t care how much she (or the rest of your family) tells you to go off and “live your dream”. You stay home and spend every possible moment with her. He can rationalize it all he wants, but in my opinion it was an incredibly stupid and selfish decision.

          12. I don’t think it is fair to impose your judgements on someone else’s decision on something like this when you were not in his terrible position and don’t know the family dynamics at play. From what I heard from post show interviews Adam did, his mom was not prognosed to pass away when she did and was relatively healthy enough to go for walks even when his brother came to see him.
            Anecdotally just last month, some one from my team experienced something similar when he was travelling to US (from India) when his mother undergoing cancer treatment for over an year, passed away suddenly. When he travelled, the doctors had assured him that everything was gong fine.
            Different people have different reactions to late stage cancer treatments and any terminal prognosis. I have seen many a family divided over choices made over the same. My personal experience in talking to cancer patients with bad prognosis jives with Adam’s ‘rationale’ of going by and doing what his mother said would bring her joy at that stage of her life.

          13. Sorry, but it’s just the way I feel. If my mother had cancer and I was told she was going through treatment, going away anywhere for a few months would be the last thing on my mind. I don’t care if you think you can go away and come back before the treatment is over, I don’t care if your entire family tells you to go ahead. You stay and be there, because cancer is a bitch, and treatment can stop working in a heartbeat, which is exactly what we saw on the show! Adam’s brother told him on the family visit that she had stopped responding to the treatment and her prognosis wasn’t good. Adam would have known this and been able to be there with his mother in person if he hadn’t gone off to be on Survivor.

            I don’t care about the lovely story about how Adam got home and got to tell his mother that he had won Survivor and then she died the next day. Maybe someone has to go through the situation of having a loved one get cancer and have to go through treatment and be told that they probably won’t survive the year. To me, that is an awful story because Adam is saying that he got to spend his last day with her, when he could have spent the last ~90 days with her.

            So my low opinion of Adam as a Survivor player and winner is definitely colored by the choice he made to go on the show in the first place. His worst decision of his game, and he made some pretty bad decisions on the actual show too.

            But to me, leaving your mother with cancer so you can go on Survivor is 100% wrong. It was wrong when Jenna M. did it in All Stars, it was wrong when Adam did it, and to me it will always be wrong.

          14. I don’t *hate* Adam. Even if I ignore his decision to go on the show when he did, he made enough mistakes to put him in the bottom 1/3 of winners in my rankings. So I don’t look highly upon him as a player and winner.

            But I’m can’t leave my own personal feelings out of it. Having gone through having a mother diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment, I’m disgusted by his choice to go on the show instead of staying at home to spend time with his mother. I can’t get past that whenever I try to look at Adam’s game objectively. He never should have been on that season.

          15. I’m not really sure Rupert outsmarted anyone but Russell. Jerri and Parvati actively wanted Candice gone. That vote worked great for them. Playing on Indifference is the most I’m willing to give Rupert credit for.

          16. As was mentioned in last (?) week’s podcast, Rupert expended the least possible effort and pulled off the greatest fake idol play in Survivor history. Kudos to him for that.

          17. It was her fault she was the target, but not her fault that they were going to rocks. AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE DEFENDING ADAM INSTEAD OF ATTACKING GAME AWARE HANNAH

          18. Her refusing to look Zeke in the face and answer him triggered Zeke into the fact that she turned on him, causing him to cobble together his makeshift alliance. If Hannah looked him in the eyes and said “Yes” to his plan the whole situation could have been potentially avoided.

          19. Yeah, you’re right. I was thinking they would vote for David expecting 6 votes and still come out with 5, but then she would know to have Adam play the idol for David.

          20. His game was not impressive. He seems like a really really nice dude, he deserved something amazing happening in his life and he’s using the money and his “fame” to do brilliant things. But he was not a good winner.

          1. Yes, he won the immunity challenge where they had to use 2 handles to hold onto a steel bar (?) that would fall and break a tile.

          1. I’m not sure if you’re one of the people you’re talking about, but I don’t feel like I’m getting closer to hate, just like the most interesting thing to talk about this season is how uninteresting it is.

          2. People are starting to get a bit annoying, but I don’t really hate anyone. Also for all of Ben’s steamrolling, I think he was actually kind of right. Joe is easy to get rid of and Cole was the biggest immediate threat.

          3. Are they re-hiding Mike’s idol, though? It’s pre-merge, and there’s already a post-merge idol in play.

          4. That is true, but no one knew if Mike had an Idol, plus Cole was eating steady reward food, so I won’t knock him for taking out Cole. I do hope Joe finds that idol, because he is the only livewire this show has.

          5. I think it made sense for some people (Devon and Ryan especially- they have no ties to Mike, and aren’t actively fighting with Joe), but was specifically a bad idea *for Ben*.

            Ben had a relationship with Mike, and he seems hellbent on torching it completely.

            His social game is….uh….questionable.

  17. Well, at least Cole going home helps my Fantasy game.

    I really have nothing else to say about this episode.

  18. I’m going to make an early prediction. Next week’s two hour block of episodes will be awesome and the rest of the season will be very energetic with lots to talk about. We made it through the boredom and reached the light at the end of the tunnel. On the other hand, I picked Desi to win the season so what the fuck do I know.

    1. If even a hint of the NToS is true to life and we get Lauren leading the charge against Chrissy, Ryan, and Ben, it will be #GoodShit.

      1. I can’t see a straight pagonging happening and I think they’ve set up enough new relationships between players and fractures starting to occur among established alliances that will boil over. Someone just needs to jump. Even if the jumper fails, I think it will at least be in a noteworthy way.

    2. Probst is on record as saying something along the lines of the end game of this season is really interesting. So you might not be wrong. Just not sure when ‘the end game’ starts.

      1. Also, Probst has been known to make shit up. In this case, I’m starting to think “end game” means FTC

          1. Yes, I remember how slow we thought that game was starting when Tony and Sandra went to war in the second hour of the premiere.

          2. I do think it’s difficult to read into what Probst says, but it’s not like it has no basis in reality.
            The first 8 boots of Game Changers:
            Ciera – consensus boot
            Tony – consensus boot
            Caleb – consensus boot
            Malcolm – 6-5 vote but only in the most contrived set up
            JT – the one strategically interesting vote in the pre-merge
            Sandra – consensus boot
            Varner – consensus boot
            Hali – consensus boot
            Then the game gets more chaotic, just with a less interesting cast. Coming right after MvGX, Kaoh Rong, Cambodia, and Worlds Apart, that is a pretty slow start to the season.

          3. Was there a SJDS episode where 4 different people got votes? Last week there were 4 people that got votes and I said “What is this, Borneo?” but after I felt like there was a more recent season with that many different votes.

          1. I’ve looked for it since and can’t find it, but when Probst made that metaphor Dalton Ross wrote an article describing how what he was describing was not Jaws but actually Jaws 2

        1. If this season follows the Jaws metaphor, Probst is like Chief Brody looking at the audience saying “Come on down here and chum some of this shit.”

      2. Both he and another producer said that it is one of the best finales of all time. And pretty much hinted that post merge only gets good deep into it. But then probst also said WA’s premier was best of all time

        1. Probst has said that viewers will go into the finale (or did he say FTC?) rooting for one player but end rooting for the other player. So expect lots of stuff to happen at FTC to change all of our minds.

          Plus there is the rumor that the reason Jeff revealed at the Game Changers reunion what happens if there is a tie at the FTC is because it happens in this season and he wanted to get the word out early.

          1. Yes, it is a common theory at this point. Could happen, production does seem to be willing it to happen for quite some time now, hence the even numbered juries in F3 since quite some time.

          2. For years people had asked what happens at a tie and Probst always said “We have rules for that in place, but we won’t reveal it.” Then he suddenly reveals it last season because … I think he said “We’ve always wanted to reveal it so we just decided to.” That sounds suspicious.

          3. Either that or he really wanted to make a point about BradC picking the wrong person to take to F3 and losing the game as a result. That is one of his beloved talking point at reunions.

          4. Possible, but there must have been other seasons where someone picked the wrong person to take to final tribal and lost because of it. Why reveal the tie rule now?

          5. No, I meant without asking Troyzan to vote in the hypothetical Brad’s tie with Tai (heh), he would not have been able to complete his shtick about Brad choosing the wrong partner. Brad had already annoyed him by trying to shut down that whole exercise so he may just gone overboard to prove his point.

      3. Fishbach had a good point when he said that was Probst’s way of saying “it’s sucks now but keep watching” so there’s a chance it stays dull

    3. I think “light” is pushing it- we’re still cursed with a lack of charisma on this season, and a lack of strong narrators.

      But I agree that we’ll at least see something happen next week. Probably.

      1. That’s fair. People are mostly just fine but I think a couple of people have breakout potential down the stretch.

        1. When in SJdS did Natalie become dynamic? The Jeremy boot? Because before then all she did was yell at John Rocker, which was fun to watch, but nothing impressive gamewise.

          The Jeremy boot was episode 9 so there is a chance we could see someone here become as awesome as Natalie became.

          1. Yeah, up until then it was like she was just going with the flow, but after Jeremy got voted out it was like she came alive and said “Oh, you guys think you know how to play this game? Hold my beer …”

          2. Ummm she is wonderful in the Drewchebag episode. Me, BD and EmnScout watched it and she was obviously good.

          3. Pretty much everyone that voted out Drew, especially the women, were awesome in that episode. Maybe I’d have to rewatch it but I don’t remember it as being a great move by Natalie, but more like Drew imploding and everyone else just taking advantage of it.

          4. It can be two things. He started going on about how the women were a threat and a load of things that aren’t basic maths. But Natalie, Missy and Wentworth made the decision and got Jeremy onside to vote Drew out.

          5. True, but from what I remember, that was more of a group decision from those women. After Jeremy gets voted out is where Natalie, on her own, becomes a strategic force to be reckoned with. Nothing I saw in the Drewchebag episode made me think “Whoa! Natalie might be the best player left and is likely to win.”

          6. She needed the shock. I will still take that run of being so fucking fun over a low level control game to watch any day of the week.

          7. The Jeremy boot. By her own admission (see post-season walkthrough she did with Rob), she let herself get complacent after the swap, and only kicked back into gear when the alliance turned on Jeremy.

      1. But even then we had the Drewchebag boot episode, which is probably the funniest episode in the history of Survivor.

          1. Roughly…though SJDS went about as well as it could possibly have gone from roughly this point forward. Not just Natalie, but Reed becoming a strong antagonist.

            So the unfunny version of SJDS is the upper bound.

        1. It all starts in Alabama. And then 2018. And then 2020. Be politically aware and active! Raise your voice!! AND FUCKING VOTE Y’ALL!!!*

          *This is a general “y’all” and not a pointed, specific “y’all.”

          1. I did my part in Virginia 2 weeks ago, not just with my vote, but by berating my friends (who somehow are even lazier than me) to also go vote. But fucking Alabama (sorry any Alabamans here but…you know) is never, ever, ever, ever going to put Doug Jones into the Senate. Fuck fivethirtyeight, i’m fivethirtynine and I’m here to tell you it’s the zero percent club.

            America is over party. My two-year plan is to get out to LA and get heavily involved in the secession. Then the East Coast can get their shit together and do their own, and I’d love to come back to my stomping grounds and help them too.

            I’ve had it, officially.

            And happy motherfucking Thanksgiving, go suck a D, Columbus. [pours more wine more wine more wine]

          2. I’m with you. I don’t think Jones can win. I’d love to be wrong on this one, but I think Moore still wins because “OMG Supreme Court nominations!”

          3. If Jones is going to win, it’ll be because of women, who are currently polling for Jones while men seem to be saying “Eh, Moore may be a pedophile but at least he’s not a Democrat.”

          4. Don’t start me up on a secession rant.

            And the way Trump was polling ahead of 11.06.16, I’m no longer afraid to bet on 100-1 odds in elections. At the very least, I act like my candidate can win until they either win or concede.

          5. Moore is probably a slight favorite, but if Claire McCaskill could pull out a 15 point win in Missouri in 2012 (and if Scott Brown could somehow win a special election in Massachusetts), I have some confidence that Jones can win by a point or two.

      1. The problem is that having net neutrality in Canada won’t help us if content providers and creators in the US are choked off.

  19. I may have said this last week, but I’m now all aboard to unironic Devon train. Because I mostly don’t care about this people and Devon’s pretty cute and has a personality. Also, I am really worried that the double episode next week is going to be an unbearably boring end to the Pagonging. Hopefully they don’t telegraph the whole episode next time. This one basically had a flashing neon sign that Mike was misplaying his idol

  20. Well, since I have a Wednesday night class this semester, I’ve been exclusively binge-watching the episodes on the DVR when I’ve come home for breaks. Finally got to watch one on its airdate tonight and…

    Let’s just say there will be no tears shed over the fact that I’ll miss a few more.

  21. I think I will defer to my lovely girlfriend on this episode:

    “These people are kind of dum dums”

    And not the good kind of funny dum dum, like my beloved Cole.

  22. Ok I was totally wrong about Ben winning this season. I’m all in on Lauren…so you know, watch her get voted out next week

  23. Regarding Mike’s FTC performance, the best I can come up with is that he is all-in on an alliance with Joe; he cut Cole loose to get the numbers down to 2 healers, 3 hustlers, and 4 heroes; and he used his idol to let folks know he meant business? I can’t figure out the idol play unless he meant to stir the wasps so much that they’d go after him.

    1. I agree with your first part. The idol play is the easily explainable part – he didn’t want to go home and has no reason to trust the majority.

  24. This edit is clearly leaving us in the dark on a lot of strategy, which I think is what’s making people look so inept. Reminds me a lot of Samoa, but thankfully not as lopsided towards one person.

    1. Huh? There’s a lot of things wrong with Samoa, but I thought the strategy was perfectly clear – the Galus came in to the merge with a bunch of petty resentments they wanted to use tribal council to address, and Russell made all of that work to his advantage.

  25. Was 100% expecting a “nobody ever wants to get in my pants so it’s the perfect place to keep an idol” confessional from Ryan. I am very thankful it didn’t happen.

  26. I actually thought this episode was pretty enjoyable, even if the result was expected. I’m starting to enjoy everyone (except you, JP) as a piece of the action, even if the show lacks standouts and rooting interests. I found Joe very entertaining and even a bit endearing this episode. I will join (or, stay on?) the Devon train, but I wouldn’t be mad at Lauren making a run for it.

  27. My best rationale for Mike playing the Idol (besides fear) is that he was trying the Joe strategy of making himself a target at Tribal Counsel and hoping they all voted for him.

    1. Joe made himself a target before tribal too, which Mike didn’t. Also Mike voted for Cole so it’s super fucking dumb anyway.

    2. But in that case, why vote for Cole? Shouldn’t he and Joe try to take out a member of the majority alliance? Why take out one of your few allies?

  28. Another week of me looking around the internet, finding nothing but hate for this season and everyone on it, and feeling like an idiot because I like it and I want to be positive.

    1. I like it. It’s certainly better than no Survivor at all. I like most of the players, I like the advantages, and I’m even enjoying the challenges. It’s not flashy. It’s definitely not top tier. But I’m not ready to give up on it just yet.

    2. You’re finding hate for everyone on this season? Here? I think part of the problem of this season is that everyone is just sort of baseline pleasant. There’s no one that inspires strong emotions either way. They’re all seemingly decent, which is far better than everyone being a garbage person like the post-merge Worlds Apart.

      And having a different opinion than others never makes you an idiot. Especially around here. Unless your opinion is that Troy is cool. Then you’re an idiot.

      1. I guess not really here but other sites I’ve checked are people constantly hating on Joe and associates, Ben and associates, or Ryan and associates. I think the only people I’ve seen no real hate for are Devon and JP (and the latter by virtue of being nonexistent).

        1. I hate on them strategically, because nearly all of them have made dumb mistakes. But Joe has at least provided entertainment by being the wild card.

    3. I’m legitimately glad you are enjoying it. We all have seasons we like that the majority of people dislike. I enjoyed Gabon and did not hate Redemption Island.

      I don’t hate this season. I am just kind of bored by it.

    4. As someone who has opposing thoughts to others on here about seasons, I completely get it. I am just lukewarm on the season (which is better than what I felt about Game Changers TBF).

        1. Dave Bowman Jeff Probst: Something’s going to happen.
          Heywood Floyd Audience: What?
          Dave Bowman Jeff Probst: Something wonderful!

    5. Each individual episode is pretty entertaining. As stand alones, it’s not a bad season. The problem is that every episode you come away thinking “wow, (insert contestant here) is an idiot” so it’s hard to root for anyone when they all keep messing up. The parts are currently better than the whole in my opinion.

    6. I’ll say I’m kind of weirdly invested?

      Like the season isn’t GOOD by any stretch of the imagination, but I continually finding myself caring what happens. The season isn’t Nicaragua because Nicaragua was a mess trainwreck of random things happening. This is a standard Pagonging.

      Actually my analogy for this season is it’s basically the episode where Kelly Bruno was voted out stretched over an entire season. That post swap pre merge section was probably the best part of Nicaragua, so there’s that, but it’s still not good.

  29. The thing with Mike’s move tonight is that every time you think you’ve explained part of it, that other part just pops back up. It’s like trying to put too small a sheet on the bed and fussing with the corners.

    1. There is no justification for it other than he shat his pants at the thought of going home with an idol in his pocket. One of the worst idol ‘moves’ of all time IMO.

      1. SNP guessed the only reasonable explanation. Mike may have thought Cole had an idol also. if Cole had played an idol Mike would have gone home.

        1. But if that’s the case, why not sit on it and wait to see if Cole plays one first? History has shown that you can wait and play if after someone else plays theirs

          1. I mean, I’d call this outlandish but AUS Survivor had an idol-cancelling idol so its not THAT outlandish, but probably still not something to base your game plan on

          2. Oh yeah, even I was posting it it did occur to me that Survivor probably WILL try that within the next five years. And it’s not an awful idea- worst comes to worst, it just works as an idol.

        2. But Cole told Dr. Mike and Joe last week that he didn’t have the flag-idol. And Dr. Mike and Cole have been together since day one – he should know more than anyone that Cole is incapable of strategy and keeping something to himself. So when Cole told them “I don’t have the idol”, Dr. Mike should have 100% believed him.

          1. Does Dr. Mike really think that if Cole had an idol he wouldn’t have told himself and Joe? This is Chatty Cole we’re talking about here.

          2. Yes absolutely, his best move is to corrdinate any plan with Cole at camp itself but I was just busting a line of argument against his ‘plan’.

          3. Before this tribal, Dr. Mike had 2 options:
            1) Stick with the majority alliance in the bottom position and expose some cracks later.
            2) Make a move now and work with everyone not in the majority alliance, including Cole.

            Why make a move against the majority alliance and not use Cole’s vote?

      2. Nah, worst idol move of all time is James leaving w 2 in his pocket or Eric giving away the necklace if you consider that an idol

    2. WHY DID HE VOTE FOR COLE?Why when he was playing his idol? He and Joe voting Cole basically nulified any chance of a split, so even if Mike was the majority target getting 4 not 3 then they would have made it 5-4 to Cole. I hated this, I hated his stupid speech about being America but hey he is right? America is kind of dumb but always think they are right.

      1. If he thought there was a vote split and that Cole had the fewer votes, then him and Joe voting for Cole to ensure Cole went home makes sense. But then why play the idol? No sense.

        1. Oh the vote for Cole makes perfect sense. Desi could have saved herself by voting for Joe. But it’s the idol after that, the packagedeal of fucking terrible.

      2. America (and Dr. Mike):
        – Kind of dumb but always thinks they’re right.
        – Spews nonsense about how great it is.
        – Actively works against its own self-interests.

        Looks like it checks out.

  30. Let’s talk editing… no not winner’s edit but boot’s edit in the episode. Editors have gone out of the way to hide the eventual boot and misdirect viewers in almost every episode this season. Just think of Ali’s episode where they went out of their way to make it seem like it would be JP going home. I am fine with it being done a couple of times but it is getting very tedious now.

    1. I don’t see that at all. Katrina was the only boot that seemed to come out of nowhere, the rest have just been giving even edits to the two biggest targets of the Tribal (Pat and Simone, Pat and Lauren, Alan and Joe, Roark and Chrissy, JP and Ali, etc). It’s miles better than Game Changers.

      1. – I don’t think they gave Alan enough content in his boot episode, Ashely was set up as a decoy boot, his name never even came up once.
        – During Ali episode, almost everyone bought in to a JP boot, given the visibility spike in his content that episode, something that is usually indicator for boots who don’t get much air time otherwise.
        – Jessica’s boot came out of no where. Yes, her name was bought up at last minute but she did not even get enough content at the merge. But I don’t have too much of a problem with that one.
        – Desi definitely got short changed in her boot episode with majority of the focus being on Joe.
        – In this episode, at one point I was sure Cole would not go home, he was not really part of narrative of the show and barely shown at the TC.

    2. I didn’t think we were left in the dark on this one. We knew it was going to be a Healer. We were shown why it might be Joe and why it might be Cole and the strategy talks among the majority between them. We were also shown a bit of why it might be Mike, to the point where I considered at one point he might idol himself out. But I don’t think that’s leaving us in the dark, that’s showing us the options while leaving some suspense

      1. Agreed. I don’t understand the complaints about Survivor not being predictable, and I think it was pretty clear that Cole would likely go home, but that Mike would likely play an idol and possibly change that.

        I have a lot of complaints about this season, but the edit isn’t one of them.

      2. Agreed. I don’t understand the complaints about Survivor not being predictable, and I think it was pretty clear that Cole would likely go home, but that Mike would likely play an idol and possibly change that.

        I have a lot of complaints about this season, but the edit isn’t one of them

      3. I think the issue is less that the edit is obscuring the boot and more that it isn’t doing the usual things that make the boot SUPER obvious. Like, this episode felt more like a Joe boot episode than a Cole boot episode.

        So they aren’t exactly tricking us, but there is a bit of a pump fake to those who feel like they know how a boot episode is supposed to go.

        1. True, but that’s exactly what I like. I want to go into tribal knowing a couple options for the boot and a decent story for why it might be each, even if one seems more likely than the other. I rarely want to be blindsided by the boot (exception example; Alexis in Micro) and I rarely want it to be super obvious (exception example: Drewchebag). I kind of like that they’ve done this season, particularly in this episode and the Ali boot where they cast some question on the obvious boot with editing, but still had a narrative for the person who went home. I understand that’s just me though.

          1. I wasn’t saying that it’s a bad thing. Just explaining why people seem to be complaining about it.

          2. Sorry, I did understand you were reiterating other people’s criticisms and I was responding to those. I know you think its good editing

        2. I think the story we were getting with Joe last night is that his strategy of being the goatiest goat in Goatville is work. He’s magically found the sweet spot of “terrible enough to be an attractive member of your final 3 but not terrible enough that he needs to be gone tomorrow.”

          I don’t think it’s a winning strategy, but I think it’s going to take him far, and that “we need to get rid of Joe” vs. “yeah, but I want to sit next to Joe” is going to be a major component of the endgame.

          1. Ashley was also right: Joe not being a threat because they don’t think he has the idol is over now that Mike played the idol.

          2. I agree, but I still think he’s unpredictable & implusive enough that I can’t imagine anybody being able to comfortably trust him. (Hence my tweet about him not being a strategic threat, but a trust-based threat).

            But as has been established… who the hell knows with these people.

      4. The whole episode seemed set up for Mike to pull off a move here. They reminded us in the recap he had an idol, we heard from him that he wanted to make a big swing, they made a point of showing Ben-Mike whispering happen and then that Mike-Joe scene at the TC. May be I was just bummed too much at Mike’s atrocious play here but all that build up to yield no result was very meh.

        1. If Dr. Mike had played his idol for Cole, I think us viewers would be saying that this was an amazing move by him. We’d even be willing to ignore the fact that both he and Joe voted for Cole.

          As it actually happened, it was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

          ETA: As @Maritimer reminded me below, there were 2 votes for Dr. Mike. For the plan described above to have worked, he and Joe would have had to coordinate with Cole and voted for Ben too. See, every alternate explanation and theory I try to come up with to validate Dr. Mike’s logic falls apart.

          1. If Dr. Mike had played his idol on Cole while voting for him, Dr. Mike would have gone home. If he had voted with Cole and idolled him, sending Ben home, yes, fantastic move

        2. It was all built to Mike playing his idol, yes. But pretty early on I was 95% certain he was going to play it wrong, it was just a question of how he was going to play it wrong for me. I was kind of hoping he would idol himself out actually, because that would have actually been entertaining

          1. This. I was all in for Mike idoling himself out.

            Which was concerning, because I’m rooting for Mike to win but am desperate enough for SOMETHING dramatic that I still wanted him to blow up his game spectacularly.

          2. I thought about that too but tone of his edit gave it away that he was not going to make a dumb move. and instead we got a lot of Ben negativity being shown so I did somewhat buy into some blindside coming up. May be I am just bitter at another poor episode.

  31. This may be the worst strategic season we’ve seen since 21. Everyone is kinda awful at Survivor. So I assume Devon will win, because why not the likeable surfer dude with the nice hair?

  32. I’ll say this for this season: If you are rooting for a player this season that isn’t named JP, you probably still feel like your favorite player has a chance at winning. It certainly doesn’t feel like anyone else has been completely ruled out.

      1. Because you liked humor because of Fantasy reasons. Because Fantasy is the only thing dictating my rooting interests this season.

      2. I could’ve seen Cole go on an extremely poor man’s version of Jay from MvGX, fighting up hill with his entire alliance on the jury bench.

  33. Ben votes out Cole, the player who, as shown in multiple previous episodes, he has disliked the most. So it’s ironic that in this same episode, Ben acts Cole-like by being told a secret by someone else, and then tells someone else that same secret.

  34. Count me in as one of those who don’t get the hate for the season. It’s mediocre for sure and there’s no stand out strategic player but I think the majority of the people left are not boring TV. I think Ashley is boring and I guess JP still counts as a player of this season but everyone else for me range from “interesting enough to be on TV” to “actually being fun on TV”.

    1. I appreciate this opinion. Can I ask you to give me a top 3 of the “fun on TV” category? I’m interested to see who stands out to you.

      1. Joe, Ryan, Devon. Chrissy is fun to watch. Lauren is a dry fun. Cole was also fun. Patrick was fun.

    2. I don’t think any of them are boring actually. That’s part of the reason I’m still invested. But together they are doing very boring to very maddening things.

  35. Survivor: HHH is what Survivor: Nicaragua would have been like if those people weren’t also hateful.

    1. Not completely since at least those people were hard to predict. These people are just doing the obvious.

      1. Yeah, lost in all the confusion is the fact that they ended up voting out the chalk boot yet again, they just took an inexplicable path to get there.

  36. Real Talk: Devon might actually be the best player of this season. He has held all of his cards close to the chest. He has formed strong social bonds with a variety of different players (Ryan, Ashely, Ben, Joe, Lauren). People trust him enough to tell him about Idols. He is not clueless about strategy. He hasn’t bulldozed people, gone on aggressive ego trips, misplayed Idols, leaked information for no reason or blindsided allies for no reason. He might actually be the best player out there.

    1. Devon, Joe, Mike would be a satisfying conclusion, just get rid of Ryan already, for chrissake

        1. I’m mostly pulling for any Joe/Mike combo now. No way either of them could win, except maybe against JP. But that would be a great comeback if those two could pull it off.

    2. Maybe but considering the secret scenes/bonus confessionals he has had if he won they would have made the show.

    1. I could attempt to make a defense of how the majority knew the Healers were not sticking together anymore, but I just can’t bring myself to do that.

      1. Notice to everyone: you’ll feel a lot better about yourselves if you follow @Max_Jets:disqus’ lead and stop trying to defend these idiots.

        1. “I suggest you don’t worry about those things and just enjoy yourself. (to other commenters) That goes for you all, too.”

          1. The one that’s going to ram straight into the side of that mountain? The one with no brakes? The one with all the passengers screaming for help? That train?

          2. No, the Ashley train isn’t nearly that exciting. It’s more a run out of fuel in the middle of a desert and slowly fade away from dehydration and sunstroke kind of train.

    2. Sure, it looked like a 5-2 vote split with your standard “math”, but you need to follow JP math. JP actually had a secret vote steal, which the viewers were unaware of, since the editors are contractually obligated to not give JP any confessionals out of fear of an immediate drop in viewership. JP, playing the 5D chess version of Survivor only seen from the likes of Zane and Drewchebag, stole Devon’s vote and voted for Mike. Again, the editors, wanting desperately to avoid any recognition that JP exists on this season, replaced JP’s extra vote with a vote for Cole. Luckily, they realized that everyone on this season is stupid enough that no one would really question what looked like a 5-2 vote split.

    3. No, I realize that right away. Shocked it took you this long to realize it. Not shocked by your reaction.

      Question for the podcast: Is this vote split dumber then the Marty vote split from Nicargua?

      1. I’m going to argue yes, because they at least managed to split the vote properly that time, even if there was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to split them

    4. I’m actually wondering if there wasn’t a Tyson-like situation, and someone for whatever reason changed their vote from Mike to Cole. Because I vaguely remember that they talked about planning a 4-3 split, so it’s possible that someone did do it, but since a) it would spoil the target, and b) it didn’t come back to bite them in the arse, they left it out of the episode (unless it was a decision made during the voting).

      1. I think a couple of different (not good) things happened here. 1. What you said, somebody in the majority alliance went rogue and switched their vote. 2. Mike’s intention was only to stir the pot and search for cracks this round, knowing that 9 is a better time to actually try to flip the vote. But being risk-averse, he got spooked and though maybe he went too far, so he decided he needed to play his idol.

        The NToS backs me up here, to the extent it can be trusted. Ashley and Lauren are logical choices to try to flip. If they do, they only need one more.

      2. It’s certainly possible that instead of them all being complete morons, just one of them was. But… there was also last week’s vote split debacle.

    5. I still take Probst at his word that we’re in for a fantastic endgame, but I’m starting to get that feeling you get when your team is five games out of the second wild card with six games to play.

        1. Hey, he told me last week that Devon movingly redefined both the tribal counsel and our world as a whole with his story of transformation and uh…whatever it was Devon said.

    6. That one’s not on Ben. He specifically said it must be 4 votes Cole, 3 Mike. I don’t know who the Tyson was.

    7. I’m guessing you be as animated on this week’s podcast as you were for last years Thanksgivings episode, but in the opposite direction.

      Also, Chrissy is an acutuary. She should know how numbers work.

      1. If it turns out omehow that Mike and Joe overcome a 7-2 deficit and make FTC, Jeff would be right, for once, about calling an exciting endgame

        1. Yes

          Mike was making the best out of a bad situation. The key to his game right now is survival. He never really thought the majority would turn on one of their own. He was playing with several different ideas. His primary goal was to make sure it was not him who was voted out, which is why he played the idol. His secondary goal was to keep Joe in the game as he wanted nothing to do with Cole.

          That came into play when he and Joe voted for Cole on the assumption that there might be a split vote and if so their two votes would tilt it Cole’s way. The last layer was the havoc he was trying to cause with the majority. That appears to be more of a long-term strategy — if I survive long enough maybe this will bear some fruit. Mike is a nutty guy… but he’s underrated… and that could come back to haunt those who overlook him. Mike is also a great example of what happens when someone feels on the outs — they have less to lose and typically play with less regard, and that can create interesting situations that can flip the game.

    8. In camp didn’t they said the men would vote for Cole and the women would vote for Dr. Mike? They couldn’t even get this right since, according to the Survivor wiki*, Chrissy and JP voted for Dr. Mike. I know we saw whispers and exchanged looks once Dr. Mike went off on his rant, so was their backup plan for everyone to vote for Cole except Chrissy and JP?

      * Although the Wiki is suspect – last week it initially said (and I posted) that Ben was the one who voted for Joe on the revote, but later changed this to Dr. Mike.

  37. Well gee guys, if you don’t like how Joe talks to you, maybe you shouldn’t have voted Desi out.
    Also, because they capitulated RE: Joe, Ben can rightfully say he was calling the shots at the end.

    Also, the camera people just keep bringing it with the nature shots. Though I miss the whales.

  38. I would be fine with Lauren winning at this point. If this is a strategy poor season, we should have a less strategy-focuses winner.

  39. Okay. Some of the majority think that the healers may have an idol. Mike makes his big speech at FTC reminding the 7 that it will soon be down to 4 heroes and 3 hustlers. Mike plays his idol and helps to vote out Cole.

    1. I think I must’ve skimmed what you wrote here, scrolled a bit more through other discussion below, finally gleaned how big of a topic this is, and then moved to the top of the comments and typed up a longer rumination along the same lines as yours here, sorry about that, just noticed, but I can’t delete that much ipad typing once I’ve done it.

    2. But before this tribal Dr. Mike is in good with Ben and the majority alliance. At least, he is not in the alliance but he is voting with them and they are using his vote. If he had said nothing at tribal, he could have kept his idol and stayed in good with the majority alliance. Plus him and Joe voting for Cole would have ensured that Cole went home, whatever side he was in on the vote split.

      Basically, Dr. Mike saying what he did at tribal told Ben and the alliance “I am no longer working with you. I am with Joe.”

      1. Mike was clearly on the bottom. His vote was being dictated by the majority and he wasn’t involved in the planning.

        1. Yes, Ben was telling him how to vote, but Dr. Mike wasn’t in the majority alliance at all. When Ben was discussing their plans this week, he still talked about their “7 votes”, not including Dr. Mike. He was just an extra vote that Ben was using.

          1. So why stay with them? So he can play his idol at final 8 and get voted out at final 7? Make a move while there’s still people to work with!

          2. He should have stayed with the group and not verbally attacked any of them so that they would get down to the 7 in the majority alliance and Dr. Mike. At that point, those 7 are going to be looking at each other and thinking “You know, I should get rid of this person, and I bet I can use Dr. Mike to do this.” Cracks will form in that alliance, and Dr. Mike could have easily set himself up to be the last Healer left and the one to take advantage of those cracks. If he had kept his mouth shut and stayed with them, it’s highly likely he would not have been voted out at 8 or at 7

            Also, if you’re gonna make a move, you make it when the number of players is odd, not even.

          3. I still say his plan turns out to be, “make yourself a minority and watch the majority eat itself” unless Boston Rob is playing, majority alliance usually crumbles, in my experience

          4. If, and I know BIG IF, Joe and Mike survive the next episode, it will mean they flipped the game and are now bottom 2 on 5 person alliance

          5. Right, but he could have done that same plan without attacking the majority alliance at tribal in this episode. Before that it looked like they all liked Dr. Mike. Now they’re all probably thinking that he’s a bit of an asshole and definitely working with Joe.

          6. Mikes move ultimately was probably a mistake, but there must be some behind the scenes stuff we are not seeing. It seemed like he was making inroads with Ben and Lauren. I think it’s probably a mistake to align with Joe. Mike was probably better off just letting them go after Joe and Cole. I think he just got a bit paranoid and didn’t wanna go home with an idol. He maybe is getting a bit overconfident

          7. I think that Dr. Mike just got tired of voting how Ben told him to. He wanted to vote how *he* wanted to. He wanted to make a move of his own.

        1. But Dr. Mike voted with Ben last tribal. He said something about how he went to Ben last vote and asked him how to vote because he wanted to be included in the majority alliance to distance himself from the Healers.

  40. Regarding Mike voting Cole while using his idol: Is it possible that he saw no hope for him and Joe and Cole ever overcoming the split vote against them? And so his two biggest priorities became 1) his own survival, and 2) Joe’s survival. Like, is it possible that he has recently come under the impression that Joe is an ally and also a better shield than Cole? Maybe Joe, as a player (unlike static Cole), has value for Mike in presenting a second vote to one side of a hopefully-crumbling majority.

    If you can go along with my theorizing there about why Mike might want to keep moving forward with Joe on this disruption they’ve embarked upon, then maybe the vote for Cole makes sense as a way to protect Joe (in case of a split vote between Cole and Joe). This would be a bit odd in that Joe could have cast a vote against Cole for the same reason, but didn’t, and so there’s either micommunication, deep strategy, or last-second reading-of-the-room going on by Mike. But I think that that much would just be unclear to us—not necessarily boneheaded. And I think that voting Cole as a way to influence the outcome of a potential Joe/Cole vote split can maybe be defensible. Him and Joe are trying to shake things up, and his idol-play and Cole-vote were maybe a way to get the extra few days that they apparently needed after some not-quite-good-enough appeals before the vote.

    Note: just throwing this out there, might be ridiculous.

    1. I tried writing a situation using your logic but I could not end up with a situation where it made sense for Dr. Mike and Joe to do everything that they did – that’s a knock against them, not your comment. I don’t think there’s any explanation that makes sense that doesn’t end with “Well, that explains why they did A and B, but not why they did C”.

  41. Hypothetical question for the podcast. If JP wins (hahahahaha) is this the worst season of survivor ever?

        1. I didn’t have it in me to stay up all night to edit, so Monday might be the best bet. Yelling that much took a lot out of me.

      1. Umm, ETA on scoring and fantasy league rankings? Or did I miss it? Also, I am back from my honeymoon and clearly greedy.

        1. Monday. But I’ll let you in on a secret: the tables update in real time, and I’ve already updated the scoring. So if you look at the last fantasy post, you’ll see the standings that will go up on Monday.

          And welcome back! How was the honeymoon?

          1. Ooh, I totally went and looked. Thanks for the tip!

            It was delightful and a bit exhausting since we walked far more than we’re used to. Yesterday, we pretty much just did nothing to recover. I’ve learned to buffer a vacation with a few days to relax afterwards. 😂

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