Survivor Kaoh Rong Episode 10 Liveblog: “I’m Not Here To Make Good Friends”

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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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440 thoughts on “Survivor Kaoh Rong Episode 10 Liveblog: “I’m Not Here To Make Good Friends”

  1. Aubry’s Law: if she makes or endorses a plan that involves specifically keeping one person from winning immunity, that person will win immunity.

  2. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m the opposite of screaming. If anything, I just hear the whirring of my brain and the rush of blood through my veins, trying to figure out what this all…means.

    1. I think we all already knew that Probst’s character preferences diverge wildly from those of most PRP’ers.

  3. Is it too late to swap the Ultimate Survivor Bracket choices? Because it looks like a new contender just entered the ring.

  4. I think my favorite part of the episode: Aubry mentions Joe, cut to random shot of Joe by himself, pissed off at something. Pissed Off Joe is my favorite Joe cutaway.

        1. Sorry, my eyes glossed over the second “Joe”, not much unlike my eyes gloss over most of Joe’s appearances in this season

      1. No, no, no. You’re thinking of part-time Michele. She got voted off last week.

      2. I was thinking about this, and…if there is another medevac this season, what are the chances it’s OWM?

  5. I’m sure people will criticize Tai for not sticking with two goats, but as we saw, his chances weren’t great going that way either. He’s probably equally screwed either way. At least this way he still has an idol.

    If I had been one of the girls, I would’ve been telling Tai, “I’m instituting an anti-goat strategy! If you go to the end with one of those jackasses, I’m voting for one of them and not for you! Count on it.” (Who knows, maybe they DID do this and we just didn’t see it.) I think all players should threaten to do this from now on when an extra-repulsive goat is in play, such as Special Agent Phillip, Will, or a Hantz.

    Tai probably can’t make it to the end no matter what. The advantage will make him a big target, as we’ve seen very recently.

    1. I think that a better argument would be to ask him which group of people he is more likely to win the last 2 immunity challenges with, a professional NBA player and army veteran or 3 girls, two of them with almost no physical aptitude. (Although actually Aubry is kicking ass.)

      1. Cydney has been pretty good too (though her body might be failing pretty rapidly since that first individual challenge)

      2. Aligning with goats too soon can backfire, though. The more strategic players will zero in on that pretty quickly and target that player.

      3. I think the answer is a former professional NBA player and the army veteran. Scot has been awful in the individual challenges. Tonight was Jason’s first good performance. Meanwhile, Cydney and Aubry were second in each of the challenges Tai won.

        1. This is stolen from Rob and Stephen, but they were making the compelling point that you don’t care so much about who is the best at all challenges in the aggregate- you care about who is better at the challenges YOU are good at. There’s a pool of challenges where Scott thwomps Jason, but Tai’s not winning most of those challenges against the field.

          Which only emphasizes how from Tai’s perspective, Cydney and Aubry are more threatening challenge wise.

          1. I don’t know if I agree. I would rather have someone which is good at challenges which I’m good at, like Cydney and Aubry, which in a final 3 balance challenge I can try to win by force of will, than Scot and Jason, which if the final 3 challenge is a physical one like in World’s Apart, I just lose. (Especially given that, in this case, Tai is arguably the best at the challenges he is good at.)

            Although, if you are cynical, you can play the metagame and expect that production will not choose a physical challenge as final challenge if you are up against 2 players that production decidedly don’t want them to win.

          2. Right. So Tai would have to vote out almost everyone to compete in a straight up strength challenge. Which they don’t really do in the individual phase anyway.

        2. But all (individual) challenges so far have been balance/position endurance challenges. (Perhaps even on purpose, because of Scot.) They were bound to eventually do some physical challenges, and then Tai has very little chance.

    2. Tai has an idol, he has the advantage, and he wins challenges. It is possible for Tai to get to the end.

      1. This explains why Probst didn’t like the season. Tai is the opposite of an alpha male. A scrawny, middle aged, gay, Asian… who is an amazing human being.

        1. Not to mention that I am STILL always surprised when, after all this time, people end up on this show and exhibit a weird sort of moral code. It’s certainly endearing when it’s someone as innately likable as Tai, who had his “Boromir saves Merry and Pippin (…sort of)” moment of redemption after his “Boromir succumbs to the power of the One Ring” segment last week.

          But I don’t know if it’s just that I’m that jaded, or if it is actually that amazing that Aubry’s plea to Tai’s sense of decency actually worked.

          1. I think a lot of people here are gamebots, but Survivor seems to go out of their way to cast compelling, emotionally engaging characters. It’s also certainly a lot harder to be a gamebot in the game. Being a robot also doesn’t necessarily endear you to people. Just look at Spencer last season. You have to have a bit of gamebot at your core, but also be a very empathetic, emotionally intelligent, and charismatic person, which generally means you have feelings. Unless you’re a psychopath like Heidik.

          1. He described him as the new Rupert. You don’t do that with a player you don’t love to have on your show.

  6. I love the fact that Scot’s idea of being gracious and bringing unity to the tribe is extorting Aubry.

    1. In one of those night shots at the beginning of the episode, Scot in a bandanna looked like he could have been Russell Hantz’s twin brother. Spooky.

      I thought the same thing, his idea of being gracious made me do a spit take with my drink.

      1. Russell Hantz’s twin brother who could easily carry Russell around like he was the wee baby Seamus, you mean.

          1. it is extortion, i made a joke about this in the liveblog so they are trolling me here

      1. I didn’t put that much thought into it. Strong-arming might be more appropriate than either.

    2. Scot: Aubry (punch) if you do what I say (punch) I will stop (punch) punching you in the (punch) stomach.
      Aubry: (doubled over) Ok.
      Scot: There, isn’t that better? And what do you say now?
      Aubry: Thank you.

  7. Oh and also, because Tai didn’t save Scot, Gary Hogeboom is still the longest lasting ex-pro athlete

        1. A good enough separation: was their sport featured on a channel that normal human beings get? If not, then they’re not in this group. So no Ethan, Tyson, or Matt Bischoff. I don’t know if Vanilla Julia has been on TV, but who cares?

          1. A good separation too would be – did they actually make a decent amount of money in their sport?

            Another – did anyone ever know who they were when they played the sport professionally (were they a well-known public ficture)?

            Gary H., Jeff K., Uncle Cliff, Ashley (the wrestler – just listened to the Historians first part of China), Jimmy (the coach), Jon Rocker, Grant and Scot, were fairly well known, I guess in their heyday. Gary probably made enough to be concerned that he had to change his name. At least one player recognized Jeff K, Rocker, and Gary. I’m not sure about the rest.

            Before he won the million, did Ethan ever make $$ or was he a well-known public figure? Did Tyson?

          2. The majority of people immediately recognized Jimmy Johnson, and Woo figured out who Cliff Robertson was pretty quickly.

          3. Except maybe Lisa Welchel. Penner, Denise and Skupkin all recognized her. Not sure about Jeff Kent recognizing her.

      1. I looked him up and Ethan played in veeeeery non-major soccer leagues. I don’t even know enough about cycling to say how big time Tyson was.

        1. Also another difference is that those guys were still playing but the other guys that I am thinking of were retired

  8. Dream Scenario #2 for the WIN! This made me way too happy.

    My first instinct is that I don’t think this is bad for Tai. I think everyone on the jury (except for Scot) will respect him for it and consider it a move well-played, especially in light of the looming super-idol. Scot will bro-vote for Jason in the finals, but Tai could easily sweep the rest. I see that he’s now a clear threat, but I think the girls will zero in on Julia/Joe first, and Tai still has an idol.

    I could totally see him being the last medivac though… because it would be sad.

    1. not Joe, Joe is clearly on Aubry’s side. Michele and Julia were the ones not in on the plan

      1. Okay, so I’m saying this completely un-ironically, but I TOTALLY forgot Michele was in the game

          1. See, I thought “Obvious Winner” was an optional title. Like, “Your Honor” or “Darth”

          2. Leia didn’t! And things turned out mostly ok for her… just not her planet. Or her friends…

          3. Well, based on the joy he expressed from an oil bath, maybe the fresh polish was enough of a reward for him 😉

        1. What???!!! Didn’t you remember the really memorable moment when she repeated Jeff’s question back to him in statement form at TC?

          1. she did also have a confessional where she very blandly stated precisely what was going on with zero color.

      2. Are you telling me OWM wasn’t driving the action? I refuse to believe that’s true. This is going to make it much harder to justify voting for her as MVP this week.

        1. Excuse me OWM’s vote for Tai TOTALLY drove the action. By placing that second vote on Tai rather than joining the Scott dogpile, she ensured that Tai could not side with the assholes at the last minute- If Tai had played his idol for Scott, Tai would have gone home on the revote. OWM managed to ensure Scot’s exit, without drawing any ire from Jason, who is now a key pawn in her master plan. It’s a very Jeremy-esque game, using super-threatening players like Julia and Aubry as meatshields.while she protects the relationships that make her such an OWM.

          It’s in the secret scenes!*

          *It’s not in the secret scenes.

          1. You saved me a lot of work! It would have taken me days to come up with that rationalization.

    1. Yeah, made 0 sense for him to even have it, actually. Jason could have just held it and they’d accomplish the same super idol goal. The only thing him giving it away does is gives Tai a chance to screw them.

      1. I guess that shows how that possibility didn’t even cross their minds. (Well, their faces at the end of the tribal also show that very clearly.)

      2. And I think that this puts to rest the idea that there are weird rules for combining idols. Jason and Scot seemed quite certain that Tai could give the idol to Scot and he could play it.

        1. Which also makes their little roshambo show last week kinda meaningless. Amusing, but meaningless.

          1. I actually think that it wasn’t meaningless. All three of them are the only ones to know the rules of the superidol (besides the jury via Neal), so they can pull a Tony and make up rules to fool the other players-and it worked….for three days.

          2. yeah it kept everyone guessing this week. these people clearly didn’t know the idols could be combined afterwards

        2. Though there are weird rules for giving away idols. That was what Jason and Scot were making fun of right?

      3. It made zero sense to give it to Scot as Kyle had immunity. Fucking idiotic. That’s the level of hubris they had.

        1. Actually, if Tai played his idol then it would make sense for Scot to play one as well. Except that Jason could have played it for him, or given it to him after Tai played it.

          1. That’s my point, there was no reason fo Scot to hold it as everything Scot could do with it Kyle could do for him. In fact for Kyle it made more sense to hold it because if he plays it for Scot it’s his move not Scot’s.

    1. But OWM got another moment “sticking it to the man” by winning that reward. Nobody had to carry her! She ate that burger ALL BY HERSELF

    2. I’m a little sad for Cydney, but it seems like she doesn’t really have any loyal allies on the other side after jumping ship from the guys.

      1. Yeah totes. And she’s TRIED to make moves, they just haven’t worked. I’d probably get along with her best in real life as well.

      2. I do think she’s built a relationship with Aubrey…but Aubrey’s willing to cut throats (see her botching of the Neal bond), and Aubrey has better pawns than Cydney.

        1. I agree, I think Aubry wants to work with Cydney more than anyone else while she can but would also cut her throat if she needs to.

          1. Aubry has not enemies just opponents, Cydney has Kyle as a real enemy, that is a problem for her.

        1. That’s a very good point. Jason’s odds of winning just went down to zero. Guess who’s preseason zero percent club is looking pretty damn good right now?

    3. Now 100 people are typing at me to say that I forgot Julia. That’s true. But she’s also 19 and 19 year old make dumb decisions.

        1. Her attempt to play both sides didn’t really work because the non-asshole side just cut her out of the loop. Still good for her age though.

        2. Well, the fact that she is shown plotting to kill Tai’s chicken as revenge for his vote (that is pretty messed up, by the way) points to the show not caring much about making her look good. I think she is being set up as the next villain to be taken out, after Scot. (Jason I would assume is not going anywhere anymore.)

      1. But doesn’t everyone think she’s twenty-one? Twenty-one year-olds make *amazing decision* compared to nineteen year-olds.

      2. I buy the Edgic-y case against Julia. Julia was getting a noticeably weaker edit than Michele in the pre-merge, and Michele is either OWM or a spectacularly boring player. I can’t imagine the winner being outshined by Michele for any significant length of time, especially as I think Julia is both not a dummy and reasonably charismatic.

          1. In fact, I think Michele is either spectacularly boring or has a story that’s going nowhere and they just don’t have time to show what she’s actually doing. Because I have no idea what she’s actually doing, if anything.

          2. Maybe, like a bartender at a crowded bar, Michele only shows up briefly to give you something that vaguely resembles what you ordered. Then the rest of the time you’re left wondering when she’ll appear again because you were disappointed by what she gave you.

          3. I weirdly imagine her working a real shitty dive bar, that only ever has like 9 people in it but has a good pool table and all she has to do is bring you beer because they don’t serve mixers.

          4. The edgic case for OWM is entirely based on her vanilla, unnecessary confessionals, so they’ve had time to show what she’s doing, if anything. If she wins, it’s either because she turned it on at the very end like Jenna or she’s refusing to talk strategy in her confessionals like Danni.

          5. Yup. The Doomsday Scenario is now off the table, thankfully, but we could still be in for a Panama-like end game (by that I mean the people who have been driving the season fall just short, and we end up with a very unsatisfying Final 2).

          6. There is a third option. One that doesn’t have an analogue. That she really does nothing, says nothing and ends up at FTC by way of a Sandra style anyone but me strategy so hard that she did even less than Sandra and no one was looking at her. I made the joke earlier than lack of strategic value is in itself a strategic value. Joe is still there and could conceivable be around til the end for the same reason; maybe she wins final immunity and sits by Joe or goes to final 3 with Aubry and Kyle and Kyle wins immunity.

          7. That’s one of the things I’m worried about. The possibility that the reason Probst was down on this season is that he knows exactly how unsatisfying the winner is.

          8. True- what I’m saying is that Julia getting less screen time than OWM is not a vice, because they will give some attention to even a crushingly dull winner. But if OWM OWs, than Julia doesn’t.

            And if Michele doesn’t win, then no way the editors would choose some of Michele’s more pointless early season spotlights over equally pointless winner moments. So Julia doesn’t win.

    4. This is the first time all season where I could actually envision an OWM edit, and in a truly disappointing fashion: Tai wins final immunity, brings OWM instead of Aubry, and EVERYONE on the jury is bitter at Tai for basically flipping on all of them at some point.

      1. If Tai makes the finals, as long as he brings Mark with him and has him sit on his shoulder during the entire tribal, he wins unanimously.

    5. That’s my new best case scenario. And honestly if that’s the FTC, I think Aubry takes it pretty easily.

      1. I mean if it’s an Aubry/Tai FTC, that would be fantastic for me…..I mean the fans of the show. I would have no ulterior reasons for being seeing those two in the finals at all.

          1. It was the Sucks/ Mario Lanza parts of the Survivor superfanbase. The casuals voted Shirin into second chances.

          2. Casuals and RHAP fans. Wasn’t she pretty popular in their polls? There’s some support for her at r/Survivor, but her haters are very vocal there.

          3. Yeah. I tend to think the casuals had the biggest sway in that voting, due to the lack of Shane and T-Bird, but RHAP fans, PRP/AV Club, and most of the reddit fanbase are pretty behind Shirin as well.

          4. Oh, okay. I had mostly left the AV Club by then and just assumed it was the same type of people as were here like it was before.

          5. I would also lump in half of Reddit with that group. I like Shirin’s character on the show because she is really unique, but I can see why some people don’t like her. I am kinda shocked that Lanza doesn’t like her.

          6. Isn’t Lanza the guy that said he knew that Boston Rob was the best player ever after Marquesas aired? I heard him on RHAP saying something like “Anyone that doesn’t say that Boston Rob isn’t the best Survivor player of all time is just jealous of him.”

            He makes some hilarious Survivor articles/lists, but some of his opinions are questionable.

          7. That doesn’t sound like him, since he spends most of the Historians chapter on Marquesas ranting about how Vecepia is one of the greatest winners of all time.

          8. I may be mixing him up with someone else, but I remember listening to an old RHAP episode where he told Rob how he met Boston Rob after Marquesas but before All-Stars and he gushed over him and told him “You are the best player I have ever seen play the game.” Even Rob C is incredulous about how Mario has this opinion after watching just Marquesas.

            Oh, when I said that Mario said that “Anyone that doesn’t say that Boston Rob isn’t the best Survivor player of all time is just jealous of him”, I think this may have been about why he didn’t get all the votes in All-Stars? Or maybe it was the Survivor Hall of Fame. I can’t remember, but he really goes off the deep end.

          9. I listen to the Historians even though I’ve never read his old articles or fiction. He likes characters more than whether they win the game or not.

          10. I remember the RHAP episode when BR won Redemption Island, Rob had Mario on. It was basically an hour of Mario telling everyone “Boston Rob is the greatest ever, you all were wrong, I was right. If you don’t agree with me then you’re just jealous of the greatness that is Rob.”

  9. Barring an endgame medevac I think this will be my new #1 season. Yeah, yeah, recency bias, whatever. The drama, the characters, and the overwhelming chance that a woman wins (3 men left, two of whom have been pretty much eliminated from contention). The moral struggles, the physical exertion, Audry taking out every threat that stands in her way. Oh my GOD, it is PERFECT!!!!

    1. I think it might be an upper-half season, but I wouldn’t go that far. I am enjoying it quite a bit, though, especially when I can live-tweet with you-all and live-comment afterwards.

      1. This season has been surprisingly good. But i am not sure if the reason i am enjoying it is because of that surprise

          1. I’m starting to wonder if Probst was doing that on purpose. I mean, there’s enough (Caleb, Sunburn, etc.) to not want to hype this season too much, but on the whole it’s not yet clear why he’d be so down on it.

          2. Maybe because he over-hyped Worlds Apart and the audience hated it for good reason (though I personally was fine with Mike winning).

    2. I posted the same above, I wouldn’t say #1, not even top3, but if it stays like that I would certainly consider it for a Top 5 season. And I even think that so far it is actually even better than last season.

      1. I actually may agree with that statement. I have made my thoughts about Cambodia well known( like, don’t love), but so far, I am enjoying this season so much more.

    3. Calling it number 1 right now is pushing it, but right now the only thing that will make this a lower-half season for me is if someone other than Joe or Michele get medevaced. I fear that will stop the momentum dead.

      1. I will accept a Julia or Jason medevac. Or even Cydney. Heck, if anyone other than Aubry gets medevac’d I think it won’t ruin things.

    4. Great villains, actual well balanced editing, strong pre-merge with memorable boots, and a serious contender for the best 3 consecutive post-merge episodes ever? I can’t find a reason to disagree with you.

  10. I am enjoying this season, but I am worried that we are going to get an underwhelming winner. I mean, I don’t want Jason to win but I could see how he could be a “worthy winner” to the jury. Is anyone else getting this vibe? Also, has there been a season that has been good to great consistently until the finale?

      1. The finale was the best part of Samoa, especially because by the time it aired, he had to have known he also lost HvV. Watching Russell’s dreams get crushed on national TV was kind of like this:

    1. Amazon. Amazon fantastic season and then Rob loses at final 3 and the end is just uh… I guess?

          1. Fairplay does not beat Sandra. Lets be honest here. Marquesas though i think Kathy wins in that final 3

          2. I’m now about 95% sure that Sad Lil is one of the regulars here who just switches accounts when called upon. She appears too easily.

          3. I love how in the Pearl Island commentary track Fairplay claimed his final plan was to take Burton to the end because the jury would never vote for a player who was voted out. I love this because he was completely unaware that a. Sandra, Rupert and Christa hated him; b. Lil had also been voted out and was closer to Burton; c. Tijuana actually voted for Lil to win; & d. Darrah was creeped out by how generally pervy he was towards her.

          4. Did you listen to Fairplay on RHAP this season where he claimed that what the show didn’t air was that everyone on Pearl Islands hated Rupert and loved him?

          5. No, I haven’t. I do not think Sandra, Rupert or Christa had a great amount of respect for him.

          6. Sandra did not love him – she hated him like she hated Russell .. and she liked Rupert so we already know that his claim is bogus.

          7. Yeah, but an FTC with Fairplay in it is still probably a lot more dynamic than just Sandra v. Lil.

          8. It was not a shot at Sandra, I swear. I bow at the throne of Queen Changa. However, how much better would our lives be if there was a FTC with Sandra, Sad Lil, and a drunk Fairplay?

          9. I think Amazon and Panama are the two seasons that soured production on final 2s, but I suspect Pearl Islands helped a lot.

    2. Honestly, Jason is certainly not my preffered winner, but I wouldn’t be very bummed if he won. He seemed to play a good (albeit aggressive) game, and his behavior in the challenge shows that he really cares. Besides, I believe that he is playing up the villain role, I don’t think (or rather prefer to believe) that he is not like that in real life.

      1. I mean I would straight up hate it if he wins, but I can kinda understand it. Taking out all sarcasm, a win from Michele at this point seems really out-of-left-field. Even Natalie got an Erik blindside. Michele was left out of a major vote tonight.

        1. So here is the other thing about Michele. What do we know about her? People are talking about how she has these random forced confessionals, but they haven’t told us anything about her life. We don’t know anything about where has come from, her family, her friends, anything.

          1. We had this discussion earlier today on Slack. Bartender was the only descriptor we had for her.

            Man, people really tried to make this season about her, didn’t they?

          2. I was so puzzled by people’s obsession with her winning that I thought there were major spoilers telling people about the ending… I’ve mostly gotten past that feeling, but I can’t quite shake it.

          3. We have the same feeling, or had, anyway. Was worried that it would make us look like sore losers.

          4. I can’t either because its happened before … the “players” – good or bad, knock each other out or piss off the jury and someone innocuous wins.

          5. I saw someone online described her as a weird mix of Parvati and Eliza (in regards of physical attractiveness). But, does that count…I don’t know? Maybe she is getting the 5th/6th place edit since people like Baylor/Sierra/Kimmi/Keith (Cambodia) got very little edit.

          6. Oh yeah, “pretty” is the other descriptor we had for her. But that’s not really something revealed by the show so much as by looking at her.

          7. Probst says that she will be like Parvati, but even in Cook Islands, she still had some decent strategic moments. She has had as many strategic moments as “STICK TO THE PLAN” Joe.

          8. Baylor creepily got a lot of edit during the foot-fetish challenge.

            Probst: The more you know…

          9. I think Baylor got a pretty reasonable edit actually. Pretty negative, but reasonable visibility.

          10. To be fair, being a complete non-factor in anything that happens on your first season is incredibly Parvati-like.

          11. Bullshit. Eliza is way more attractive than Michele would be if there was someone on this season named Michele.

      2. Yeah, I realized today I liked Jason better than Scot because Jason seems to know he’s a villain whereas Scot still acted like he was a hero. Scot’s condescending speech to Aubry helped me reach this conclusion.

        1. I feel the same way. I also feel that Jason is playing much more to the camera than Scot was.

      3. I don’t think he’s playing a good game at all. Other than Scot, who can he beat? He might get one or more votes depending on who he is sitting next to and if its a final 3 or 2 but really, who can he beat in either scenario.

    3. I can’t see the jury voting Jason over ANY of the remaining players (with the obvious exception of Scot) unless something TRULY ugly goes down in the next few episodes.

      1. I could see it against Joe or Michele. I don’t know that he’d be favoured against either, but it would be in play.

          1. Again, not favoured. But I don’t get the sense that any of these people think highly (or at all) about Joe or Michele. So it’d come down to what is more important to them: liking the winner or respecting them.

            Because I’ve heard some of these people give some praise to Jason. I haven’t heard a damn thing about Joe or Michele.

          2. I heard Debbie’s interview on RHAP and she respects the hell out of Joe. I did not listen to her others.

  11. Sloppy editing tonight. Was that a crewmember eating a hamburger in the background during the rewards challenge?

  12. Well, this was a great night for my fantasy team. I think this may have been the Aubry turns things around to win the season episode.

    1. I don’t know if she wins, but by now she is clearly the favorite. Today threw her stocks through the roof.

      1. I still think you are winning the Pick 4 (or at the very least placing in the top 4). You now the only person to have all of their players left. Take that Mark.

        1. Hey now, all of my pick 4’s won a challenge tonight. (I’m counting swaying Tai as the episode’s third challenge.)

  13. Random thoughts:

    So Cydney is brooding, petty and small! Silly me, I thought it was Jason and Scot. Thanks for clearing that up for me Scot.

    I like this Choose Your Own Reward type of challenge. Do this more often, show!

    Tai gets the Dan Foley advantage. If he shares this with Jason and Scot, and they just steamroller everyone else to the end … no, don’t think that way. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

    Julia, Michele and Aubry discuss voting out Tai and discuss the idols like they’re just regular idols. How is it that they don’t know that they can be combined into a superidol? I feel that this has been mentioned in front of everybody at least once.

    Aubry’s 50s dance craze even has Jeff moving his shoulders.

    Some people seem to only have their fingertips on their discs, others seem to have their whole palms.

    Jason and Scot are laying on the “If everything goes according to plan …” and “We’re unstoppable” confessionals – this has to be a standard fake-out by the editors, right? Right?

    Tai is not here to make good friends. This does not sound like it will end well …

    “Everyone here should know exactly what we’re doing because we’ve never hid anything.” Well, except for the axe and machete.

    “No. Sorry.” And the viewers fall back in love with Tai.

    That was an uncomfortably long silence. Tai looked left and right like he was watching a tennis match.

    I forgot Scot had the idol! Oh this is even better!

    1. I also loved the choose your reward challenge. I think it’s a great way to un-break the auction as well.

      1. I would’ve liked to see someone buy every other item for only $20 before they changed it. Someone should fine a market inefficiency before the market resets

        1. In TEoS Rob said they tried that in Amazon. The idea was that everyone was going to let people agree on what everyone got and then they’d be able to lowball on everything.

          The result was that Probst got mad and told them that everything was going to be covered items until they started actually bidding.

    2. “Everyone here should know exactly what we’re doing because we’ve never hid anything.” Well, except for the axe and machete.

      They even showed Alecia their idol!

    3. Choose your own reward challenge was really good because it also shows where people think they stand in the game.

  14. This episode was simply awesome, certainly the best in the season, and perhaps the best in quite a while (since Cagayan, perhaps?) I am actually starting to wonder whether this season is so far even better than last one. (Although I do have a general distaste for returnee seasons.) (I hope I’m not jinxing it.)

    1. I’m just amazed that the ridiculous Brains/Brawns/Beauty gimmick has once again produced a strong season, and in both cases it was with all new players.

    2. Endgame is super important to how you evaluate a season, so I’m not comfortable even giving it too much of a range yet except to say top half.

      I actually think last week’s episode was better, and probably the Peter episode, but this show’s been on a roll this season overall.

  15. I still don’t think that Jason and Julia will kill Mark the Chicken. At least I hope not. They did share a reward with him.

    1. If they killed Mark, I would feel bad for Tai for about 5 minutes, then I personally wouldn’t really care. In the game, I think it would be a very bad move.

      1. If Tai doesn’t make it to FTC, I really want his vote to be based on striking back at whoever ate the most Mark.

    2. That preview was so good, cut from Julia saying “We’ll kill the chicken” to Mark having that horrified chicken look.

      1. stop threatening the chicken! either kill the chicken to eat the damn thing or let it live!

          1. “… and the winner of Survivor Kaoh Rong .. Tai.”
            (Tai jumps up, hugs some players, then runs into crowd where Mark is sitting to lift him onto his shoulder, where he remains for the rest of the reunion)

          2. It would be weird to call an animal you plan to eat (or one that becomes your pet) the same name as your partner.

  16. Jeff Probst was right – I did yell at my TV during tribal council (with glee). And I yelled even more when I realized that Scot was eliminated WITH JASON’S IDOL 😀 😀 😀

  17. What a finish – my dad and I were watching together and we literally stood up and applauded Tai!

    This season is starting to creep up towards top ten territory in my mind. Even an underwhelming winner wouldn’t spell doom for this season depending on how everything else plays out. Unless the end game just completely falls apart this season will have been consistently entertaining from start to finish… for having less than zero hype we have been given an absolute treat!

    1. I feel like it’s probably safe to say this will be an above-average season even if the winner is disappointing, and it’s certainly exceeding the low expectations most of us had for it.

        1. I have enough interest in Julia as a player and a character that I wouldn’t think that was an absolute disaster.

      1. I’d push back against that. For me, this has Fiji-ish vibes. Some beautiful moments, and hopefully a satisfying end…but also a lot of episodes that were actively unpleasant to watch. There was an awful lot of Alecia.

        1. That’s certainly a possibility. Although I wouldn’t say there was an awful lot of Alecia. She didn’t last that long.

  18. I showed my husband (who watches the show every week) the Joe/crickets tweet and he totally didn’t get it. I explained like three times and then he was finally like “Ohhh, Joe is a guy on this season.”

  19. I’m thinking that it was best for Tai not to give Scot the idol, given the voting circumstances. In addition to changing loyalties (ie not voting Aubry), there were two votes for Tai. It was a 4-2-2 vote, so if Scot plays the Super Idol, then it’s a re-vote where they vote either Tai or Aubry. Jason and Scot vote for Aubry, but Cydney, Michele, and Joe vote for Tai. I don’t know about Julia. If Julia votes for Tai again, Tai goes home. Otherwise it’s a 3-3 tie and they draw rocks. Tai would be safe in that scenario, but I don’t know if he would want to take that chance with giving up the idol if he didn’t think the numbers were on his side. And I don’t know if Julia would take that chance of going home, either.

    1. well Tai voted for Scot, so yeah no reason to give Scot the idol then, but if he hadn’t voted for Scot that is the real question

      1. If he had voted Aubry (and no one else is changing their vote), and he gives Scot the idol, then it’s 3-2 and Aubry goes home. I was going to say he’s then stuck with the guys, but then I realized there’s 7 people left. And if we assume that Julia is with the guys now, Tai becomes a swing vote (if they can sway him).

  20. Three cheers for Tai!

    Did we hear a single word from Joe tonight?

    I absolutely loved the choice element in the reward challenge–more of that, please.

      1. I must’ve missed that part. Did Joe say a single word other than agreeing to somebody else’s plan? I think Joe is completely boring so I’m not complaining, I’m just surprised.

          1. The medevac had damn well better be Joe. That’s the only possible way that his purpleness can be reconciled. I want off of a planet where an Aubry or Tai gets medivaced late in the game and Joe hangs around.

          2. She gets medevac’d but they don’t show it. We just get a card show saying “MICHELLE WAS MEDEVAC’D FOR SOME MEDICAL REASON” and then the show continues without anyone mentioning her.

  21. @purplerockjohn:disqus For the fantasy league, I can’t remember all the rules. Do you get points if you win the reward challenge, and if so, will you be awarding those points to each of the 3 players that won their “bracket” for each of the 3 rewards?

      1. Yes, but in those occurrences, the winning team is playing together – if one wins they all win. This time, Julia won her bracket, but 6 other people outlasted her (since she dropped out as soon as Joe was out).

        Just wanted to be sure.

  22. Scot and Jason brag about their psychological warfare. Sorry dudes, that’s not why they booted Debbie.

    Scot telling Aubry to vote out Cydney and camp life will go back to normal. Yep, fuck you Scot.

    Scot is right, Cydney is a little petty and petulant. Still better than both of you assholes.

    Michelle beats out Scot and Jason for a hamburger and fries. Even more satisfying than eating it.

    Tai wins advantage (and an extra vote).

    Julia wins the Loved Ones Letters.

    Joe is a non-entity. And he sucks at challenges.

    Aubry seeing Julia playing both sides and plans to remove her in the future. Go Aubry!

    Julia really is being way too blatant about it too.

    I guess with those two fuckwits, it’s hard to play a strategic game.

    Tai realizes Scot and Jason aren’t really listening to his input. Fuck’em.

    Immunity stretching challenge! Hold up some circles!

    Aubry spits in reaction to Jason spitting. That was so great.

    Aubry doing the Charleston to stay in it.

    Ugh, I knew Aubry wasn’t going to win the IC.

    Scot and Jason actually show some sense and reveal they’re eventually going to vote out Tai. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Scot and Jason reenforce just how douche-y and smug they are at tribal.

    Julia telling Tai to play his idol at tribal. lol

    Scot telling him not to play it. lol

    Scot getting voted out and Tai not playing the super idol it for him. YEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    Even sweeter is Jason gave Scot the idol and he went packing with it!!!

    Next week, Julia and Jason are embittered. Big surprise.

    1. I can see why from Jason and Scot’s perspectives it would have seemed like their “psychological warfare” plan worked.

      1. I assume Scot is similarly convinced that his psychological warfare is what cowed the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.

    2. “Scot telling Aubry to vote out Cydney and camp life will go back to normal. Yep, fuck you Scot.” Hey, if you let me get my way I’ll stop punching you in the stomach. And don’t forget to say “thank you” when I stop.

      “Joe is a non-entity. And he sucks at challenges.” From now on, the name “Joe” will be known in Survivor lore as “a person who sucks at challenges”.

      “Scot and Jason actually show some sense and reveal they’re eventually going to vote out Tai.” They told this to Julia, so maybe they were just lying to her, telling her what she wanted to hear?

      1. I don’t think they told Julia this because its what she wants to hear. I think they believe they are playing a great game and of course, the jury will not be bitter, or smart, and they can beat a young female who has not done much strategically and is just nice.

        1. In the parts of his Ponderosa video right after he leaves the game, Scot was talking like he really was planning on going to the end with Kyle and Tai.

        2. Maybe, but the only thing we have to go on is that Jason and Scot told Julia. We don’t have any conversations between just Jason and Scot about whether they wanted to go to the end with Tai or not.

  23. AHHHH. This was a near-perfect episode. I just watched this with headphones on, trying not to wake my roommates, settling for very enthusiastic silent fist pumping instead of the screaming I wanted to do. Tai is so. SAVAGE.

    I’m all in on Aubry now. Her moves have been so risky, but have paid off each time. Especially after she told Tai about the plans to vote him out, I was sure this was her boot episode. She deserves a million kudos for the way she worked over Tai at the end there.

    Wish we saw more Cydney this episode though 🙁

    1. I feel like he’s the first player that you could just stop calling him by his name and just start calling him the one word that perfectly describes him: Savage!

  24. Welp, that severed the last tiny thread of hope for my Champions league team, and I’m not even mad. Kudos to Tai and Aubry.

  25. Aubry had a great episode. She did the thing that we always talk about good players doing, she talked to the person she was trying to flip and asked what he wanted, what he was thinking and listened to him. It seems like a lot of players either forget or have no capability to listen to their alliance mates. In the era of “you have to make big moves to win this game” allowing members of your alliance to have some feeling of agency is vitally important.

    1. Yes! And contrast Aubry’s discussions with Tai with Scot/Jason’s interactions with Tai, which went something like this:
      Tai: I really like Aubry, and she wants to work with us. I trust her.

      Unless the edit was messing with us there, Scot is truly inexplicably awful.

      1. I mean, the edit was probably messing with us to a large degree, I don’t think Scot responded to Tai saying “Maybe we ally with Aubry” with “Let’s vote out Aubry”, but the key principle was still true that they weren’t really listening to Tai’s input.

        1. i feel like there was probably that realization as Tai was talking that Aubry is really, really dangerous and that was what was motivating Scot to say that

          1. But still, it says “hey Tai, you think we should trust X so instead we will get rid of X because your voice means nothing”. It probably is the edit but it seems like they never listened to him just counted on him as a vote with them.

          2. oh I agree, I am just saying there was probably a bit more logic than just “me strong man, you do what me say”

          3. I think that part of Survivor is one that many players aren’t great at. How to make people feel included even if they aren’t.

          4. also maybe explaining your reasoning, because Scot could have thought of all the logical reasons to get rid of Aubry (and there are plenty) and just not communicated them

          5. Absolutely, I don’t think that Scot’s logic was faulty but it was his delivery that was really not good. He shouldn’t have gone at Aubry right away, why not say “ok Tai, maybe we can work with her but she’s too connected now, let’s take out Joe, no one will expect that, he’ll never vote with us. Then we can use Aubry”. Then go at Aubry next time. It’s final 9, she’s not winning the next 5 immunities.

          6. Julia’s targeting him though. He’s now gotten more play in “Next time on Survivor” than OWM, who I don’t think has shown up at all.

          7. I think even that is a flawed way to play it (though obviously lightyears better than what Scot did)- you are still imposing your own plan on Tai. You need to learn from the wisdom of Nick, and listen. Ask Tai why he thinks pairing with Aubry is a good idea, what HIS plan is going forward with Aubry in the alliance. Demonstrate that you value Tai’s opinion, and are willing to let him determine YOUR vote.

          8. Absolutely true as well. Some very good players would have been able to use Tai’s plan and some others would have been able to make him feel heard and then convince him of their plan, Scot is neither of those types of player.

          9. Scot did not think he needed Aubry – he had Julia, who was not as smart as Aubry. He did not think he needed to comfort and listen to Tai. Not saying he was right.,

          10. This is my point. He never thought about how to work with Tai, he just thought about having Tai voting with them. There was no consideration for Tai as a person with agency. Of course Tai switched, he felt completely excluded.

          11. If I remember correctly, this was something that Cochran was particularly good at in Caramoan. He would introduce concerns about a person to his alliance, and then sort of gently lead them to the conclusion that that person needs to go. I have memories of Cochran walking various people (Dawn, Andrea, etc.) through discussions and then at the end saying something like “okay, so you think we should vote out X this time?” when really that’s what he wanted from the beginning. I love this technique, and it seems like a really hard thing to pull off well.

          12. I actually think Scot was a pretty good player from a logic standpoint (though playing the idols straight up last night would have been a better decision.) Just he completely lacks self-awareness on how he comes across in what he’s doing.

          13. Disagree about playing the idols straight up being the better move, if you think Tai is loyal (obviously, an incorrect assumption). You wait to see if you NEED to play them. Because you might not at all, then that’s another TC you get through without playing them. It’s the whole benefit of having an idol you can play post-vote.

            As evidence, I present last week.

          14. Yeah, I was mostly basing on Julia telling them the plan was everything on Tai, and you have to assume if there was an alternate plan she’d be in on that and letting them know, but there could be a Julia vote-out coming in which case it’s better to save the idols.

            Thinking Tai was going to be loyal seems like a really good assumption to me. Who flips from final 3 with two goats to bottom of a 4 person alliance with a bunch of jury threats anyways?

            Actually, why didn’t a Julia vote out happen here? Unless Aubry really believed that Tai was on her side, which I would have thought would be really shaky. Maybe it would have been too difficult for Aubry to get anyone but Cydney on board with that.

          15. I think Aubry correctly realized that it was now or never on the plan to make a move against the guys. She couldn’t just keep pushing off the decision by taking out secondary targets. Especially since right now, if her plan to target Scot failed, it seemed like it would be Cydney who took the fall, not her (which the guys used to flip it to her).

        2. I don’t think there was an edit in that scene, one spoke and then the other spoke right after.

          I suppose I should have double checked before saying that, but it’s what I recall.

      2. He wasn’t wrong to make that connection (from his perspective) but it’s always about execution…

    2. I think Aubry’s decision to vote out Debbie last week was really vindicated by this episode – without having to deal with Debbie trying to call the shots, reading people wrong, alienating Tai etc, she was suddenly left with a functional alliance with /just/ enough swaying power. Would this play have worked with Debbie in the game rather than Cydney?

      1. I agree, I felt that the move to take out Debbie was the best one available to Aubry and Cydney last week. They felt that with Julia they couldn’t risk a vote split and then it was a choice between one of them going home or choosing who they felt they could sacrifice in their alliance. Debbie was the obvious move because of all the things you mentioned. This play could have worked with Debbie but it’s doubtful because I think she would have tried to talk to Michele and Julia about it and then it gets back to the guys.

      2. That might be a good answer for the inevitable “What move did you make to win the game?’ question. To say something like “I recognized that Debbie was not going to see things the way I did, and I had to cut her loose”

      3. In a way, an untrustworthy ally may be better than an inflexible and indiscreet one. It’s a horrible combination. It means your ‘ally’ is constantly working against you, blabbing all your secrets to whoever the hell they feel like, and annoying people you might want to work with. It makes it damn near impossible to get anything done.

  26. OWM said “you have to be on the right side of the moment” and Tai heard her and changed his mind, great move by Michele.

    1. All kidding aside, I think that quote is the final nail in the coffin for the edgic theory for OWM being the OW. That quote seemed innocuous (like all OWM quotes), but she said that and then voted for Tai.

        1. As I noted upthread, they showed Aubry talk everyone into switching from Tai to Scot except Julia (for obvious reasons) and Michele (not so obvious). Either Aubry didn’t bother because OWM is too close to Julia, or she just plain forgot she’s on the island.

    2. “It was really great to eat, but also just winning 1/3rd of this reward challenge is something I can really hang my hat on at Final Tribal Council” -OWM

        1. I’m honestly curious why. I know I can’t exactly ask this without it seeming like an aggressive attack given all the things I’ve ranted about, but I promise it’s not. Why do you quite like Michele? I will not challenge any answer you give.

          1. Haha, don’t worry about it. I don’t have any particular preference for Michele (I like everyone in the cast), but I enjoy her facial expressions and her amazing eyes and she seems like a very nice person. I get why she is not considered entertaining TV, but I think she is a good counter to the rest of the characters this season. “Quite” might have been a bit strong though.

  27. Quick Hit Thoughts:

    If this episode isn’t death to Michele’s winner chances I’m going to start claiming edgic isn’t objective or something. I feel like Survivor typically does a pretty good job of making people like their winner, and they’ve given no reason for anyone to care about Michele.

    The super-idol actually ended up working perfectly. The right move there is to play both idols individually, and thus take that aspect of having to rely on the other person out of it, but Scot and Jason became so enamoured with the idea of the super idol they ended up paying for it. That’s a great greed kills scenario and this season has been nailing it on stuff like that.

    After this episode, I’m willing to go to war for Aubry. She’s a fantastic three dimensional character with clear strengths and weaknesses to her game, but has that same level of care and effort she puts into every little thing that’s really endearing. I think she’s winning at this point and it would be the perfect ending to this season.

    1. It would be a perfect ending. Flaws and all, moves work or don’t, she is still playing the best game.

      I can’t decide though if I want Kyle in the finals to get no votes or to have him voted out at 4. (And, would he not get at least one vote – Scot’s? I think Nick would vote the better player.)

    2. Her second speech to Tai gave me chills. It showed her as someone who can occasionally give fantastic reads (except for last week) and appealing to Tai’s emotions, logic, and credibility.

      1. She finally did something correct strategically! I deal like this was the Aubry wins episode. She has had a very good growth arc for this season.

  28. It’s very telling, IMO, that once Aubry decided to shift the target to Scot, they carefully showed her recruiting Cyd and Joe (and Tai obviously), but not OWM. Maybe Aubry tried and they just didn’t show it because it’s the part of the plan that didn’t come together, maybe Aubry decided that Julia’s ally is just as untrustworthy as Julia (although why not show her saying that?), or maybe Aubry has also forgotten that OWM is on the island.

    1. Keep in mind that the nice thing about keeping Michele’s vote on Tai is you get a bit of a split in case Tai flips and doesn’t play an idol, but Scot plays his idol. I don’t know what she thought the likelihood of that happening was, but it’s a nice thing to have in your back pocket.

      1. I think it was a simple matter of Michele not factoring in at all on the plan. That wasn’t information she needed to have. It’s good to keep the circle small.

        1. Yes, exactly. OWM has gone from being Cyd’s pawn in the Nick vote and Aubry’s pawn in the Debbie vote to completely irrelevant in the Scot vote.

          1. That’s not fair! She was JULIA’S pawn!

            So a pawn to a player who not only was completely out of the loop, but who also to all appearances planned on bailing on Michele’s alliance as soon as next vote.

            OWM baby, OWM.

      2. They had the 4 votes without her. Why risk adding the risk that she would leak the am to Julia to gain one unneeded vote.

  29. Scot in his Ponderosa video: “I know they didn’t think I was a jerk, ’cause I wasn’t.”

    Oohhhh, dude….

        1. Neal is possibly the most deluded. He thinks both that if he hadn’t been medevaced he would definitely have been the winner and that he has a 100% chance of being a returnee.

          1. Yeah… I don’t think it was impossible for him to win, but… saying it was definitely happening is a little silly, especially on day 20.

    1. You know what? Other than the premise, conclusion, and connection between the two, his logic totally checks out.

  30. Is Michelle the Perd Hapley of this season? Her confessionals give the viewers as much information as Perd’s news-reports.

      1. This is Michelle, telling you, the viewers, that I have a sandwich. And I can say, without hyperbole, that it is delicious.

        I chose to eat the cookie first, and, after reviewing all of the data, I can tell you that was the right choice.

  31. What, exactly, is Julia hoping to accomplish, urging Tai to play his idol when she just wrote his name down? Kaos Julia?

      1. Right. I don’t think she even wanted him gone. I think she would’ve preferred Cydney gone to Tai. She just wanted his idol gone.

        1. Did she even remember there were 2?

          It was interesting how the guys humored her on that. It was also like Tai had a devil and giant devil on his shoulder at Tribal Council but the devils could not agree (no angel here.)

    1. Yeah, she’s trying to set up a foursome with her, Jason, Tai and Scott, all on equal. Without the super idol, the three guys badly need a fourth to stay the majority, and she’s proven her loyalty to Jason and Scott by feeding them information. They then pagong Michele/Joe/Aubrey. Then at four they bounce Tai (or you bounce him at five to be safe and keep Joe- doesn’t really matter), because he is such an obvious threat, and then she wins at a final three by arguing “I am not Jason. I am also not Scott. MONEY!”

      It was not a terrible plan.

  32. Aubry’s almost getting a Mike style edit. But I still feel that she will go out just before the F3/F2. OWM fulfilling the prophecy will be very disappointing. I would rather Jason win over her.

      1. Why? I’ve been here on and off but its a busy day at work today. In fact, I’m still here. But thanks.

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