Survivor Kaoh Rong Episode 13 Liveblog: “With Me or Not With Me”

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Matt
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Matt

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

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
Matt
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  • Black Dynamite

    Joe winning reward literally put a tear in my eye. That man is amazing.

    • sharculese

      The challenge kind of sucked all of the momentum out of the scene though. It was an interesting idea, but it turns out watching a bunch of people stand around waiting for other people to do things is about as exciting in practice as it sounds in theory.

      • It felt like a Redemption Island challenge in that you have an audience watching you.

      • Black Dynamite

        I agree. I like the idea of the challenge and I think it would work out better if there isn’t such a vast difference in how quickly the contestants get it done.

        • Maybe they should have had the castaways get all of the bags first, then untie and throw like they normally would.

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            Yeah I think there were really multiple flaws with that challenge.
            First, I’m generally not a fan of challenges that involve running out into the woods. Everybody ends up scattered, and it’s hard to get a wide shot like they could on a beach or in the water. Second, the rule that they all had to stand around and wait until everyone ran out of bags was just dumb.
            I agree with your assessment. Although, ultimately, that would have transformed this back into the recent-classic Survivor format of “run through this obstacle course and then throw things at other things” (a variation on the other classic “run through this obstacle course and then do a puzzle”). I’m not mad at that format though.

          • Yeah, I appreciate the twist but I think they just didn’t think it through. If you missed my later comment, Probst confirmed that they will never do that challenge again because of how it ended up.

      • corndogshuffle

        It would have been more amusing if Joe literally walked back to get his bag and took as much time as possible, just to rub it in.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Or have him gone so long that they get worried and go find him just napping under a tree.

          • corndogshuffle

            For a bit I actually thought he was gonna pass out in the woods and get medevaced straight from the challenge.

          • Black Dynamite

            I felt like they teased some kind of collapse for a few weeks with Joe. So his actual evacuation came as a cruel twist.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            They didn’t actually evacuate him did they? I thought I heard Probst say that he was just going off to live on a farm. You know, so he can run… Right?

          • DrVanNostrand

            I’ve been waiting for this for so long, I thought he was going to fall off the ladder thing while going after his 3rd bag!

          • Hornacek

            Jeff: (taps Joe with his foot) “Wake up.”

        • Hornacek

          Or if he pulled a Gervase from Borneo and walked even slower once he got out of sight. Hmm, how would he have walked slower? I guess he could have walked backwards.

          • sharculese

            Everyone knows Joe can’t moonwalk. This comment presupposes – what if he can?

          • corndogshuffle

            I mean I don’t know that Joe can’t moonwalk… that’s proof that he could moonwalk as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s time for a twitter press conference with Joe.

          • Hornacek

            Joe taught MJ how to moonwalk during an undercover FBI assignment in the 70s.

            Now I want the show “Undercover Joe”.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            “For this disguise I use a man-bun…”

          • Guys, I just realized something. Has every Survivor Joe been checked by medical at some point?

          • Diego Armando

            I think so. Tocantins and Kaoh Rong were evaced and Joey amazing did pass out. Am I forgetting one?

          • Hornacek

            Rob and Stephen listed off 4 (?) Survivor Joe’s on KIA last night, not sure if that’s every Joe’s that’s ever played though.

          • I can only think of Joey Amazing, Agent Joe, and Joe Dowdle.

          • Hornacek

            Yeah, I can’t think of any others. Maybe it was just three.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Are they counting Joey Amazing twice?

          • andythesaint

            Just those three. With four seasons among them.

          • corndogshuffle

            I suppose it’s possible by walking slower he would have lost momentum and collapsed. Sort of like with water skiing, you need to keep the energy wound up a bit if you don’t want to fall over?

      • prettyboyprobst

        To think they actually altered this challenge because it ran too quickly (there was a challenge-preview, where Jeff and the Kirhoffers decide to make the 25 holes smaller after the test run) and then end up with this – I’m sure production wasn’t happy, either.

        But it was nice in that it gave Joe a fair shot. Aubry was close to ending it much sooner, too.

        • andythesaint

          I’m not sure giving the worst competitor a chance is a good look for a competition.

          • prettyboyprobst

            How it turned out clearly wasn’t a good look for a Survivor challenge (credit to the editors for not trying to work around that and embracing the absurdity instead), but can you really say he’s the worst competitor when he was the best at the main portion of the challenge, throwing bags into holes?

            If anyone could have just matched him there it would never have gone from dynamic challenge to hilarious waiting game with a happy end and nobody would be talking about it.

          • andythesaint

            Yes. I can say that he was the worst. He was lapped by everyone else. If they all knew they could just walk the challenge and take all the time in the world to shoot, their throws may have been better. But they were competing against at least two other players. He wasn’t.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Their shots may or may not have been more accurate if they had not rushed themselves[sic]. I guess there was a walkthrough beforehand, so everyone knew it would come to this if they squander their bags.

            Cydney didn’t seem rushed in the last IC and only won because everone else messed up more than her. I’d say she was the best at that challenge.

          • andythesaint

            They knew they would run out of bags, but they couldn’t anticipate that people would. It’s not like Joe was enacting a strategy. He just sucked so bad that it eventually (and luckily) became advantageous.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I don’t necessarily disagree with the latter part of this comment (I don’t understand what you’re getting at in the first sentence), but I also don’t think we can say for sure how much Joe was deliberateley going slow and taking time to aim even before he was the last player on the course (Which is a doubtful advantage. No time-limit and limited shots helped him for sure, but these were the rules for everyone. It merely gave him a chance.).

            I don’t think it matters much. Everyone knew they had only 15 or 25 shots a this, so if they did rush their throws at any point, that is just a stupid approach to this challenge.
            And if they did not, then they clearly showed worse skills than Joe in meeting the objective of this challenge. We know from an earlier RC that he’s pretty good at throwing stuff at things.

      • Prom King

        But that was hilarious! I laughed multiple times at the sight of them bored and frustrated out of their minds as Joe did Joe.

        • sharculese

          I suspect you enjoy challenges more than I do, but for me it was kind of ‘c’mon, c’mon, get to the part where we find out who won the challenge.’

          • Kemper Boyd

            I watch on torrent the next day (I’m not sorry, it’s not on in the UK at all) and I skip all the challenges so I can watch the whole thing in 35 minutes on the way to work. I skip on to about 1 minute before the end to see who wins and if it’s dramatic.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            You need to move 10 minutes further out.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Counterpoint, every day but Thursday I have a happy 25-35 minute commute.

          • Hornacek

            Millions of Survivor viewers: “When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory???”

        • Violina23

          I have to admit, I was kind of amused too. Aubry looked like she was doing some kind of interpretive dance

        • prettyboyprobst

          Bro, I know. Everyone who isn’t convinced yet should just take a good look at this marvelous picture:

      • Hornacek

        Jeff said on EW.com today that they will never be doing this challenge again: “It just doesn’t work. We got lucky in that we had a dramatic finish and inspiring win by Joe, but when a challenge is incumbent on something remarkable happening, that’s not a good challenge.”

  • Mike Hirsch

    Editing because I just realized John already made the joke I originally said here. So, d’oh.

    I like that Joe was a “someone” to Tai, though.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Also, I wish Doctor Joe referred to Joe as “Non-Doctor Joe.”

      • Hornacek

        Or “Average Joe”.

        • Saturday Night Palsy

          Or “Gramps.”

      • DrVanNostrand

        Joey Amaz…. no, that doesn’t quite work… maybe Joey “Good for an old guy”

        • Hornacek

          Pretty fly for a Joe guy?

  • Scarlett3639

    I find it fascinating that Jeff and the survivors were never in the same shot during that last speech. Shot later perhaps?

    • prettyboyprobst

      Pretty sure I heard Joe adressing Jeff and thanking him, but it’s an interesting observation nonetheless.

    • sharculese

      Probst as he was boating Joe off: I NEED A NERD TO GETS SOME SMART STUFF FOR ME TO SAY! jOE, YOU WERE ON THE NERDS TRIBE, WHAT WOULD A NERD SAY RIGHT NOW?

    • prettyboyprobst

      I realized just now that you wrote “speech” and not “scene”. That makes more sense, nevermind then.
      My sleep-deprived eyes tricked me here.

      • Scarlett3639

        It happens to the best of us.

      • Scarlett3639

        I just rewatched and from after Joe left and Probst started his speech, Jeff was never in the same shot as any of the remaining survivors. In fact, none of the survivor’s reaction shots seemed to match what Jeff was saying, although that could just be the shock of Joe leaving.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Well, the whole act of Jeffy lecturing grown ups with platitudes after every TC has to be a little bit awkward for everyone involved (although undoubtedly part of the Survivor-experience), so I can see how they took this opportunity to give it a rest for once, instead of doubling down on it after an evac.
          Doesn’t mean the viewers can be left without stern-faced Jeff, or else we wouldn’t know that the decision is final and the episode over.

          Btw, since Probst’s inappropriate challenge commentary felt less and less unintentional, I started looking for scenes where he’s actually shown saying that stuff at some point early in this season.
          It rarely happens.

  • Black Dynamite

    I’m rooting hard for Cydney and she would be a damn good winner but based of what I’ve seen this season I think Aubry takes it. Aubry has made a few decision making flaws but her social game is on point. She has a knack for bringing people close to her. It’s incredibly valuable.

    • I think I may be dragged on the Michele train. We got so much random camera shots of her during the Joe medevac while we barely got any of Aubry. That has to mean something.

      • corndogshuffle

        They keep turning these medevacs into “Aubry gives an inspirational speech” moments. I want Aubry to win so I admit that I could just be reading the story that I want instead of the one that’s happening, but I think Aubry is getting a “overcomes the longest odds to win” kind of edit.

        • But, I think that is a trend they have been doing this season. Medevac happens, the castaway closest to him gets a confessional to close the segment/episode (Caleb/Tai, Neal/Aubry, Joe/Aubry).

          • corndogshuffle

            That’s what gives me pause, because it could just be a coincidence that the two post merge medevacs have been Aubry’s inner circle. This season has been very evenly edited but I do think the closest thing we have to a “winner’s edit” is Aubry.

          • tocantins

            Aubry certainly got by far the best edit of the season. The problem is that she was the main character and player of the season, so that is not by itself a winner’s edit (see Rob C.).

          • My only quibble with that is that Aubry is not the clear main character-see Tai and Cydney for that debate. I am getting a weird Panama feeling all of the sudden.

          • Prom King

            I see Cydney as more of a key supporting player (who could still win). Like Denise was to main characters Malcolm and Lisa.

          • Ooh nice point!

          • Alkanarra

            It’s been a long time since Amazon and the mistake of ignoring Jenna. If they haven’t learned how to present their winner in a better light after 20+ seasons then shame on them.

          • Cough Samoa Cough

          • Prom King

            Yeah there’s almost always a ringer in the editing to surprise people, and she would be the perfect one. I’m reminded of Kathy in Marquesas. Well, only if Aubry doesn’t win, which I really don’t want to happen.

          • Of course, I am currently watching Samoa which has no winner’s edit.

          • Black Dynamite

            But a really satisfying losing one.

          • Diego Armando

            The look on Russell’s face after Natalie was announced the winner was the highpoint of the season.

          • I am looking forward to that!

          • DrVanNostrand

            OWB (Obvious Winner Brett)

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            It was obviously more the story of Russell’s downfall, but Natalie got a winner’s edit IMO. I may be misremembering or merging two or more confessionals in my mind, but I remember a confessional (before the merge I want to say) where she spelled out exactly why Russell would lose and what she had to do to win.

          • sharculese

            She said that, but for some strange reason they also showed Jaison expressing the same idea.

        • Not only that, but she started the season in tears and seeming like she couldn’t cut it. They love those growth arcs.

          • corndogshuffle

            It’s all the growth arc (and then more than some) that Spencer was trying to get with none of blatantly forced narrative that came along with it.

          • That’s a good point. Counterpoint: Has anyone with a growth narrative that has made it to FTC actually won? Stephen didn’t. Spencer didn’t. Lisa didn’t.

          • sharculese

            Cochran. Even at the beginning of Caramoan they’re still painting him as the awkward nerd.

          • Good call. I forgot about that. But could you argue that that particular narrative was forced on him since Caramoan is a hot mess of a season?

          • sharculese

            All storylines are forced to some degree. But his is definitely “this is a boy becoming a man.”

          • You got me there!

          • turgid_legume

            Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
            Spooky scary
            Boys becoming men
            Men becoming wolves

          • sharculese

            And then Spencer lost Cambodia, even though he’s not a werewolf anymore!

          • Hornacek

            Werewolf? There, wolf.

          • corndogshuffle

            Excellent counterpoint. I would counter by arguing that a lot of Aubry’s growth narrative has been more game related than theirs (lost allies, playing from behind, adapting to Cambodian weather, etc) Also I think Aubry is a much better social player than any of those three and will have more success articulating why her narrative matters.

          • Fair enough.

          • Kemper Boyd

            We know almost nothing about Aubry beyond that she lives near Boston. Her whole arc has been game-based.

          • I made that point last week or the week before. People (myself included) complain about the lack of information we know about Michele, but we may actually know less about Aubry. The difference is that Aubry is so engaging, we tend to forget that fact, but it is so abundantly clear with Michele. In that way, Aubry is getting a Wentworth in Cambodia edit, except for the fact that she doesn’t have idols.

          • andythesaint

            Tai’s the only one we know all that well as a person. I wonder if a lot of this is because the other the finalists are in their 20s. There just might not be much of a home life story to build there.

          • We do know that Cydney is a pre-med student from Penn who is trying to play dumb.

          • andythesaint

            That’s still not much.

          • Hornacek

            We know that Aubry is just a small town girl, living in a lonely world.

          • corndogshuffle

            That’s probably part of it. I also think Tai’s story would stand out regardless of what season he happened to play on, that’s gotta help.

          • Violina23

            Yeah, do we ever ask how much we “know” about a person, if they aren’t an inherently interesting/dynamic personality to start with? That’s my problem with Michele, I’m sure she’s perfectly pleasant, but she’s reading flat & uninteresting on television, and I don’t think knowing more about her job, where she grew up, if she likes pina coladas and dancing in the rain, would really add anything to my picture of her.

          • DrVanNostrand

            I loved how his growth was that he learned how to make relationships……. that he could use to advance his game and discard when it was no longer convenient. It was like a psychopath learning that he could use these “human emotions” to his benefit. (I don’t actually think Spencer is a psychopath)

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I’m sure those kids locked in his basement would say otherwise.

          • How dare you talk about his girlfriend that way?

          • Basically Spencer was trying to be the next Brian Heidik, but that’s just not him.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I was not a fan of that guy. That wasn’t a season I liked.

          • DrVanNostrand

            You don’t think Spencer has it within him to shoot a puppy with a crossbow?

          • corndogshuffle

            I bet if his girlfriend told him to he would do it.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            That sounds like one dangerous puppy.

          • sharculese

            Do you think Spencer can aim a crossbow?

          • I didn’t think he could shoot a basket until Cagayan. Anything is possible.

          • prettyboyprobst

            What a nice little reference to an iconic basketball quote!

          • prettyboyprobst

            Shall we act like you did it on purpose? Did you?

          • Yeah. I totally knew that.

            PS: Is that how Scot won his championship?

          • prettyboyprobst

            Yeah, that was after they won the deciding finals game against the Lakers.
            He was inactive that night.

            To be fair, his best times were behind him at that point. He did play a more vital role in Sacramento’s playoff-runs in the early 2000’s, but that was before I got interested in the nba.

          • Kemper Boyd

            One doesn’t need to be a psychopath to display tendencies or sociopathic tendencies. I have a friend who I believe is a sociopath, as a teenager her relationships were very much surface level, she was very self-involved and had trouble empathising. She saw the world in very black and white terms. She has grown up a lot in the now 14 years I’ve known her, we are very good friends but she is still much worse at those aspects of behavior than every other one of our friends.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Contrast that with juries, who Stephen proved don’t really give a shit about growth arcs. (Not that Aubry has to rely on that with the jury, just a stray observation)

          • Alycia Swift

            Aubrey might be smart enough to not reference a growth arc.

          • sharculese

            Intellectual intelligence is not the same as emotional intelligence. One big issue Aubry might have is playing the “I cried on day 1” card without thinking about the fact that she blindsided the person who comforted her in that moment.

          • Wait, wasn’t that a point she made against Peter during the Liz boot tribal? The pre-merge is a big blur for me right now.

          • sharculese

            Yup.

          • Hornacek

            I think there was a guy named … Caleb? Everyone was talking about him after he left the game, but I can’t remember why … yeah that pre-merge seems so long ago.

          • Hornacek

            Most players have a growth arc that lasts an entire season. Aubry had one that began and ended in the very first episode! Crying, saying she couldn’t handle it, pep talk from Debbie, then beasts it in that challenge.

      • Black Dynamite

        A Michele win would take some time for me to comprehend. I don’t have enough insight into her game. I wouldn’t be upset if she took it, just a bit confused. If she can get it done then kudos to her. She faced tough competition and oultasted them all. That’s impressive and a win well earned.

        • I could see Michele having an asterisk around her win similar to Parvati’s based on the medevac situation.

      • Ms_Woozah

        Really? I remember thinking we got a lot of Aubry and hardly any of Cydney.

        • DrVanNostrand

          We got lots of Aubry, including what I think was a big moment with Tai.

          • Hornacek

            Yeah, it seemed like Aubry was in trouble when she was on the reward. Then she got back, talked with Tai, let him cry on her shoulder, and it seemed all good again. She is really good with Tai.

        • Purplerockmatt

          Lot of Aubry, lot of Michele, lot of Tai, some Cydney

          • prettyboyprobst

            Agreed, I thought everyone got some good stuff tonight. Cydney may not have had as many scenes as the others, but she got good strategic and emotional content, and the way I saw it, was the only one without any apparent marks on her edit tonight. (apart from Jeff’s voiceover which I didn’t hear well and if nothing else escapes me right now)

            I don’t think the edit of the penultimate episode is that useful as predictive material, though. At some point they have to build suspense for the finale.

        • I was referring to the actual scenes of Joe in pain. We got like 5 confessionals from Michele talking about how great him going out was.

          • DrVanNostrand

            There was also some Aubry, but as has been the case quite often this season, Michele got more confessionals than you might expect given how ‘Ann Veal’ she is as a character.

          • Way to plant, Egg!

          • sharculese

            On the other hand, what we saw of the reward was basically them saying “we’re final 3 right?” “Yeah.”

            The stuff they could tease back at the beach was more interesting just by default.

      • DrVanNostrand

        As I said above, I’m thoroughly off the Michele train. I don’t think she gets to a final 2 with Tai, so I don’t think she wins.

    • tocantins

      I’m pretty sure it is between Aubry and Michelle right now. And I really really hope it is Aubry. (Don’t get me wrong, Cydney is great, but her edit is not.)

      • Alkanarra

        Yeah, Jeff’s voiceover at the end was basically a spoiler in how badly she’ll be perceived by the jury.

      • Black Dynamite

        Cydney probably won’t win but she has been the biggest star for me. A big reason why I’m high on this season.

        • Agreed. I don’t think they’re telling the story of Cydney winning, but there is no player I’ve enjoyed watching more.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Agreed.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Aubry and Cydney are both playing really good social games.

  • Alkanarra

    Now all I can imagine is an alternate reality where Boston Rob gets taken out of RI at the final four because of bladder problems from eating too much meat at reward. The blind panic in the editors’ eyes when they realized they’d have to spin that would have been amazing.

    • Hornacek

      Would those bladder problems be caused by a re-occurrence of his crybabyitis?

    • Side Character

      If that happened, they may have burned the footage of the entire season and claimed it never existed.

      If this world exists, I want to go to there.

      • Other Scott

        Many would say they should have done that anyways.

    • Prom King

      Natalie Tenerelli Winner Edit! Wow that is so hard to imagine.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        No, it’s worse than that: Ashley would have drawn votes away from Natalie.

        Survivor winner, Phi… no I can’t even type it.

  • DrVanNostrand

    At least we finally got the Joe medevac out of the way. As an Aubry fan, it’s unfortunate. Joe would’ve been great defense at 4, and as we saw at the reward, he seems perfectly content with losing at FTC. On the bright side, I feel confident that Michele can’t win any more unless it’s a Michele-Tai final 2. In spite of Aubry’s betrayal and all his alone time with Michele, it still seems like Tai just likes Aubry better, so I’m hoping that holds. I just want them to vote Michele out next week so I can like the winner of a really solid season.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I put down how I think people vote in a Cydney, Michele, Tai FTC and I’ve got it as a 4-4 tie between Michele and Cydney.

    • Figaro

      Having Joe on the jury might even be beneficial for Aubry if he manages to get Debbie (who he seemed to get along with) to see Aubry’s game in a better light.

  • Ms_Woozah

    If you took a drink every time someone said the word “urinating” then you would have to urinate shortly after. Unless you’re Joe.

    • sharculese

      I have an ex who liked to have something on the tv while she slept. At one point she was going through a Forensic Files phase. I woke up before she did, and while I was laying there the host said “stomach contents” in a stern British accent so many times that I reached a point where I was like “welp, gonna go puke a bunch now.”

    • Diego Armando

      Congrats, you are the last Mantis standing in the Outcast league! Bizarre fact: I have had praying mantises fly onto me or my seat at two different MLB Stadiums (Tigers and Indians).

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        That was probably the highlight of that Indians game.

        • sharculese

          It was actually when Rick Vaughn came out in those sweet horn-rimmed glasses.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            That comment makes my heart sing.

          • Once he won the pennant, did he get to take another piece of clothing from the cardboard picture of the owner?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            That comment wouldn’t have made it out of some parks.

          • Hey, you already took the Wild Thing referencing. I couldn’t think of anything else.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            That time I had to reference a joke from the trailer that didn’t make it into the movie! I can’t help it!

          • Wait, Wild Thing wasn’t sung in Major League? Am I losing my mind?

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            No, no. The whole “that hit wouldn’t have made it out of some parks,” “Oh yeah, name one.” “Yellowstone.” was in the trailer for the movie but cut for the actual theatrical presentation.

            I remember this because I am older than you. I am still younger than Joe.

          • Oh okay. I am not that young. I totally have three or four gray strands in my hair.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I totally have three or four brown strands in my beard. *sigh*

          • SNP, how I adore you so.

          • sharculese

            I don’t know, but I had to look Major League up on wikipedia to make sure I had the right spelling of Vaughn, and learned that the original ending involving her revealing that she loved the Indians all along and was only pretending to be a bitch as a motivational tactic, but test audiences hated that version so they rewrote her as pure villain.

          • Wow! By the by, I think a rewatch of Major League is in my future. This was definitely a movie that I watched too often as a 9 or 10 year old because my dad and brothers liked it along with several episodes of Baywatch.

          • sharculese

            I don’t know if it’s a good movie, but I do know I can quote most of it.

          • I think it is a decent movie, but my nostalgia filters may be on.

          • corndogshuffle

            As long as we are talking about the original I will defend it as a good movie. Possibly good in the same was Anchorman was good (turn your brain off for maximum effect), but in doses I think movies like that have a place. The sequel on the other hand…

          • sharculese

            If you think Major League 2 is bad clearly you’ve never endured Major League: Back to the Minors.

          • corndogshuffle

            I have driven all memories of that thing out of my mind. I’ll at least recognize ML2 as being a movie, it’s just a bad one. Back to the Minors is something else entirely.

          • this bear is tops blooby

            The first one was pretty good and holds up decently. The second one not so much.

          • andythesaint

            I watched it last year. It holds up enough, especially with the nostalgia boost.

          • this bear is tops blooby

            Love most of Cerrano’s quotes. And I also love the fact that that was Dennis Haysbert!

            “Hats for bats, keep bats warm.”

        • Diego Armando

          Yeah, the A’s kicked their butts. The mantis flew to a few seats before it got to mine, causing everyone nearby to get out their phone to take a good picture of it. It eventually flew onto the netting behind the batter.

          Progressive Field is a really nice ballpark though. Of the 11 I have visited, it is probably my favorite. All the seats were really nice, the food was above average and the concession areas all opened towards the field to give you a good look at the game.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, I remember when the A’s kicked other teams’ butts, rather than getting outscored by the Red Sox 40-13 (A’s season ticket holder here).

          • this bear is tops blooby

            Jackie Bradley Jr.!

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Nobody wants to hear about another person’s fantasy team woes, but I was beaten to Jackie Bradley Jr. by, no joke, three minutes (same story with Travis Shaw).

          • this bear is tops blooby

            No no, do tell! Fantasy baseball woes are how we commiserate!

            I traded Jackie Bradley Jr. in one league as a throw away player only for that manager to drop him. I picked him back up like 2 weeks ago.

            Some things gotta go right for every move that goes wrong. I freaking dropped Nomar Mazara 3 days before he got called up. Ugh, that still stings.

            Or I dropped Yadier Molina prior to the season cause I had too many catchers at the time (Schwarber and Swihart). Oh the irony.

          • andythesaint

            Wait, are we talking fantasy baseball? Because THIS GUY has Max Scherzer. And Jose Altuve. And I just randomly grabbed Trevor Story off the waiver wire before the first game without knowing much of anything about him.

          • Black Dynamite

            Jose Altuve is a mini God. He’s the main reason I’m sitting on top of my fantasy baseball league.

          • corndogshuffle

            Well, I at least have Jose Fernandez and he balled out the other day. Not to the absurd level that Scherzer did (I’m rewatching Scherzer’s game now because I have no life), but still.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            THIS GUY has Sonny Gray and Chris Archer, ay yay yay! Although last week I was on the receiving end of the worst trade of the season so far (Bumgarner and JD Martinez for Chapman).

          • this bear is tops blooby

            Story’s been a great surprise, and I thought he was pulling a Joc Perderson earlier, but he’s gotten his average back up. Sadly, I was only able to grab him in one of my dinky 6 team leagues.

          • andythesaint

            Yeah, Story has slowed down from being amazing. But he’s still solid. Especially for a shortstop.

          • Diego Armando

            Sorry. The AL Central just has the A’s postseason number. You still have time this year.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Tell me about it–I attended both Verlander elimination games. The season’s only 1/5th over, it would be pretty sad for a team to be hopelessly out of it already.

            Pretty much everything has to break right for the A’s to contend this year, so if something’s wrong with Sonny Gray, Menaea isn’t ready for the majors, and Khris Davis keeps whiffing, it’s gonna be a loooong season.

          • Diego Armando

            Grey looked pretty good on the game I saw him pitch this year.

      • Black Dynamite

        Speaking of baseball, Max Scherzer just had a 20 strikeout game against the Tigers. And here I thought Joe had the worst night.

        • Diego Armando

          Wow. Great for him and awful for us. There was a reason I called him Skherzer. We suck at maintaining consistency.

          • this bear is tops blooby

            Hey, at least V-Mart is having a great year so far.

          • Diego Armando

            We have that. Zimmerman has also been good. Our problem is that we are so streak prone.

          • this bear is tops blooby

            Miggy and JD will get on track soon enough, and with V-Mart and Kinsler hitting the way they have, they should score a ton of runs. I’m more worried about what’s going on with Upton. Now their starting pitching is different matter altogether. Verlander is inconsistent, and Zimmerman I’m not sure will be able to keep pitching so well (I think he’s just benefiting from the league not adjusting to him yet).

        • Diego Armando

          I’m not even upset at our terrible performance. That deserves respect.

        • corndogshuffle

          As a die hard Nationals fan… that was absolutely glorious and I am SO glad I put that game on DVR. He was hitting 96 MPH in the eighth inning 100 pitches in! On top of being amazing at baseball, Scherzer is such a great personality. He is my favorite DC athlete in any sport by a wide margin.

          • Diego Armando

            I have seen him play for years with the Tigers, so I knew what he was capable of. Enjoy it, no one else is better at throwing strikeouts than him.

    • forever1267

      “It’s like raaaaiiiin….”

  • sharculese

    This is admittedly terrible, but during all of the Joe medevac all I could think of is that episode where Abe’s kidneys burst because Homer won’t stop to let him to the bathroom.

    • Hornacek

      TOO SOON!

      Oh wait, this was filmed a year ago.

      JUST SOON ENOUGH!

  • Hornacek

    Random thoughts:

    For the reward challenge I hope for Joe’s sake that he wins it on his first set of sandbags so he doesn’t have to run back into the jungle again.

    So if you run out of bags you have to wait for (a) someone else to win, or (b) wait for everyone else to run out too? Everyone has lapped Joe – they could be waiting awhile.

    OMG it happened! Everyone has to uncomfortably wait for Joe now. Is this where he collapses and gets medevaced?

    Joe going back for his third bad would be the perfect time to have the first (?) ever commercial break in the middle of a challenge.

    “JOE GETS IT DONE!”

    Aubry doesn’t tell Joe to pick Tai right after he wins, and then she doesn’t pick Tai when she gets to pick. Aubry, I thought you wanted to get Tai back on your side …

    Joe just eating beef and throwing Cydney’s game under the bus.

    Michele gets a Tai massage while Mark watches.

    Joe, Aubry and Cydney go on a spa reward, and yet the only massaging we see is with Michele and Tai.

    Oh no Tai is crying! Why did you do this to me, Survivor???

    Why do they keep talking about how much Joe ate on the reward? Oh no, is he gonna get Bruce’d?

    I record the show and watch it later, so I don’t know how much of the episode I’ve watched, but it feels like this is the last segment. I don’t think we’ve having a challenge. Poor Joe.

    Oh wow it’s another “Dr. Joe tends to Joe” moment.

    During Jeff’s “next adventure” conversation with Joe part of me was thinking “Joe is in pain just take him to a hospital now!”

    Cydney cried. Tai cried. Then Joe laughed. He’s such a little trooper!

    Next week: shuffleboard!

    • DrVanNostrand

      If he gets Bruce’d, does that mean they fly Courtney in to sing to him while he’s writhing in pain?

      • Hornacek

        I love the Funny 115 entry which describes how Courtney rearranges Bruce’s zen garden as a tribute to him, not realizing that when she would do that it infuriated him.

      • Hornacek

        And do a fire dance routine.

    • Saturday Night Palsy

      Joe going back for his third bad would be the perfect time to have the first (?) ever commercial break in the middle of a challenge.

      “Do you ever get that ‘bloated’ feeling…”

    • prettyboyprobst

      Who knew that temporary love deprivation is just the way to assure Tai’s loyalty?

      And yay, shuffleboard in the final IC!

      • Kemper Boyd

        Shuffleboard right after the Florida Pensioner (is pensioner a term you use in the US????) gets bounced, unfair.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Just like the ice cream reward challenge after Neal was evacuated!

          (No, not really. But pensions are a thing, so at least it’s easy to know what you mean.)

          • Kemper Boyd

            Our term for old people is OAP: Old Age Pensioner.

        • prettyboyprobst

          The icecream-reward after Neal’s evac alone could be a coincidence, but it’s starting to smell like production interference just for cruelty’s sake.

          NOO EMMA!! Just by seconds…

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          It’s among the British English terms that most Americans understand (like “lift” and “car park”).

          • Kemper Boyd

            I like to check with you guys to make sure I’m making sense.

        • sharculese

          we call them ‘retirees’

    • I can’t believe I joked last week that there would be a shuffleboard immunity challenge and then it shows up THE WEEK AFTER Joe gets evacc’ed. Fate, you are so cruel sometimes.

      • I bet Joe’s going to watch that one from home and feel like he could have been a late-game immunity beast.

  • DrVanNostrand

    Does anyone have the quote from the great phrasing moment where Joe talks about how he usually doesn’t eat so much meat?

  • Saturday Night Palsy

    When I was in college (eleven years, no degree) I had a little cactus plant that lived in a pot in the hallway of my apartment. I didn’t water that cactus for well over a year and it got minimal light at best. One day I decided I was being a bad cactus owner so I watered it and put it out on the front porch in the sunlight. It died that day.

    I was reminded of this moment in my life when I was watching Joe having “Beef Day” during this episode.

    • That deserves an unironic “Cool story, bro.”

      • Other Scott

        There’s such a thing?

  • tocantins

    So, was Aubrey picking Cydney really a bad move? I think that it was arguably a good one. First, she knows that Tai and Michelle hate each other, while Cydney and Michelle are close. Second, Tai is a loyal person, and Cydney loves to jump ship. I think that it was much safer to leave Tai back with Michelle and hope to pick up the pieces later than have Michelle and Cydney bond for an entire day and possibly form a tight alliance.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Maybe the best move was to take Michele! I don’t think it was terrible. There would be risks either way, but she sure seemed to smooth things over with Tai afterwards.

    • sharculese

      I think one thing this episode made clear that we didn’t realize before is that Aubry has figured out exactly how to work Tai and was confident she could reel him back in.

    • Violina23

      I think she was afraid of Cydney plotting in her absence and was trying to keep her close.

    • Other Scott

      Yeah, ideally she takes Tai and Cydney, but Joe winning kind of took that option away.

  • Diego Armando

    I have put a new review at https://robertsreviewsandmusings.wordpress.com/. As always please feel free to leave a comment to let me know how I can improve. Thank you.

    • I think congratulations may be in order, sir.

      • Diego Armando

        I would not be so sure yet. I just hope my lead is big enough to survive a potential Michele/Cydney final two. Thank you though and I believe you also have congratulations in your future too, Obvious Pick-4 Winner Barbara.

        • DrVanNostrand

          OP4WB?

          • I sense a new nickname in my future, which is better than the name that I go by in my regular life.

          • I’ll spoil it for you all: Barring a situation where Cydney outscores Aubry by 17 points in the finale, Barbara Anderson is our Pick-4 winner for the season.

  • sharculese

    Did anyone else audibly groan when Michele got a confessional to explain the “Tai massage” joke?

    • I completely slept through it with my eyes open.

      • prettyboyprobst

        That sounds like an apt description of the Michele-experience for everyone who isn’t eagerly trying to either read into her edit or turn everything she does and says into snarky tweets.

        (Not me, not anymore. But I remember not remembering what she said in her extra-scenes, right after making the effort to watch them, earlier in the season.)

        • Yeah, she has had only one memorable line that doesn’t make her look like an idiot (yes, I am referencing the explanation of the Tai/Thai massage and nothing else).

          • Other Scott

            My favourite Michele line is still “I just proved my loyalty by voting out my closest ally.”

          • Hornacek

            Like Ciera and her mom!

          • That is also a goodie.

          • andythesaint

            Oddly, the show is also branding her the “loyal” one.

          • That’s why I balked in the finale preview that mentioned how Michele’s game has been built on loyalty. I am in the borderlands of truther/not a truther, but even that made me scratch my head. Relationships, absolutely. Loyalty….to quote a smart woman, I don’t know about that.

          • andythesaint

            Counter: is loyalty a trait traditionally valued by juries, a group of people you almost definitely weren’t loyal to?

          • I don’t know. I think juries will be more appreciative of finalists trying to bridge gaps rather than being loyal. If loyalty was extremely valued, Tasha would have won Cambodia instead of Jeremy.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Loyalty is always relative. (think Jaime Lannister)
            Just because it sounds wrong, doesn’t mean it won’t make sense when you think about it.

            (Always keep that in mind when reading my comments!)

      • Other Scott

        I basically completely ignored the Tai – Michele stuff the first time through. Then I was like, that took so much of the episode it must be important. Then I realized it wasn’t they just had a ton of episode to fill and not much time to do it.

        (They should have just put in another 5 minutes of Aubry dancing though.)

        • Alycia Swift

          Have we ever had a season where so many of the women are just straight up funny? Debbie, Cydney, Aubrey and even Alecia have said some funny things. And Aubry’s dancing and Debbie and Aubry’s facial expressions have also been hilarious.

          • andythesaint

            Can’t think of one.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Vanuatu if unintentionally funny counts.

    • corndogshuffle

      I think that is the Michele confessional we will all use twenty seasons from now when we try to explain to people how frustrating it was to watch Michele Fitzgerald win Survivor. (fingers crossed)

      • DrVanNostrand

        She has a last name?

        • corndogshuffle

          I’m just surprised her last name isn’t “Smith”. That would be too perfect.

          • Diego Armando

            Fitzgerald is appropriately generic.

          • corndogshuffle

            She should trade last names with Jefra and become “Michele Bland”. That would give her about 20 extra cool points in my book… which is 20 more than she currently has.

          • I think Jefra is more memorable than Michele.

          • sharculese

            “Are ya’ll peein'” is way more memorable than anything Michele has said.

            Is what I would say if there was someone on this season named Michele.

          • DrVanNostrand

            *Joe raises hand* “I haven’t”

          • corndogshuffle

            I’ve got no beef with Jefra!

          • Oh I know. I am just stating my opinion.

          • corndogshuffle

            Me too. I’m off my game tonight. Stupid allergy pills make me groggy.

          • I feel ya boo.

          • corndogshuffle

            I’d rather just be sick. At least that has a time frame. I should move to the desert so I don’t have to deal with things like trees.

          • Diego Armando

            I react the opposite way. The lack of humidity in deserts and mountains always makes me nauseous and constantly gulping down water.

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            I’m sort of similar. The lack of comfort in deserts and mountains always makes me avoid them.

          • Hornacek

            Given her most well known confessional this season, it should be “Michele Bro”.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Add “Michele gets to explain an obvious joke, thereby making it less funny” to the list of bizarre and unnecessary Michele confessionals.

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        “At first I didn’t understand why Mark even had to get to the other side, but then it was explained to me and it turns out it was just a joke, lol! See, the reason he did what he did was…”

        • DrVanNostrand

          I just peed a little

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Just rub it in to poor old Joe.

          • sharculese

            oh dear god phrasing

          • Other Scott

            This thread just gets better with every comment.

            …and then I have to go and ruin it.

    • Diego Armando

      It’s funny because the guy giving her the Thai massage was named Tai!

      • Oh, *now* I get it! Jokes are funnier when Michele spells out why they’re supposed to be amusing.

        • Diego Armando

          That’s why she is the obvious winner.

    • Purplerockmatt

      the funny thing is that i have gone way beyond just not liking her because of the truthers, i now genuinely dislike her as a person. it may be petty but its true

      • Diego Armando

        I believe that is called hype backlash. I know that feeling well. I really wish she was slightly interesting.

        • Purplerockmatt

          nope! I have felt this way since before I wrote the edgic post, she has a quality about her that just really bothers me

      • DrVanNostrand

        I can’t even summon dislike. All I can summon is, “Her?” She’s the embodiment of ‘meh’, which is the worst thing from a character perspective.

        • Diego Armando

          Yeah, that is pretty much where I am. Her victory would be the equivalent of Aras’s victory in Panama (i.e. you won because the two more interesting winners left and you are better than the alternative).

          • I had that exact same realization earlier.

          • That’s the exact comparison I was going to make on the podcast. Especially because I watched the first three episodes of Panama this week.

          • Purplerockmatt

            we are really hating on Aras here.

          • Black Dynamite

            Is it weird that I found myself more impressed by Aras in BvW than the season he actually won?

          • Purplerockmatt

            oh he obviously developed a much better understanding of the game as he got older, no question, but he wasn’t completely inept

          • Black Dynamite

            Oh definitely. I think Aras was perfectly fine in Panama. I also really liked his relationship with Cirie.

          • Purplerockmatt

            he was also much less emotionally volatile than everyone in his alliance not named Cirie, which makes him a bit more endearing

          • sharculese

            That… makes him less endearing.

          • Purplerockmatt

            i mean less endearing to watch from an entertainment standpoint, more endearing from a “deserved winner” standpoint

          • Purple Rock Emma

            It’s important to remember that Aras is pretty hot.

          • Fauxhawk and all.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Look, the 2000s were a dark time for all of us.

          • At least he didn’t have the frosted tips.

          • Hornacek

            We were so glad that we didn’t die from Y2K, everyone did something during that following decade that they’re now embarrassed about.

          • sharculese

            This is the best explanation for the Bush administration ever.

          • Hornacek

            The quote I always think of when I think of the Bush administration is Dennis Miller on Politically Correct with Bill Maher: “Bush isn’t smart, but he’s smart enough to surround himself with smart people, like a hole will surround itself with a donut.”

          • sharculese

            Ah yes, noted smart people Doug Feith and Tommy Thompson.

          • So important.

          • Hornacek

            And I bet that most of us are mispronouncing his name too.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Wouldn’t Michele be more like if Danielle had somehow won that season?

          • Prom King

            Yep. Although Danielle is actually far more amusing of a character than whatshername.

            Personally I thought Aras was great. At times an interesting character and a pretty successful leader. Although I was rooting for Cirie like everyone else in the world.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            If Panama is the worst-case for this season, then it’s an above-average season, no matter what Dalton Ross says.

      • sharculese

        It almost felt like she was repeating something production had just explained to her.

        • Hornacek

          “I’m in television now. It’s my job to be repetitive. My job. My job. Repetitiveness is my job.”

        • Purplerockmatt

          my god that is exactly it. that has been bugging the crap out of me forever

      • Other Scott

        I kinda like Michele as this weird, clueless character who thinks she’s in tight with people but is actually just floating through the game because no one is bothering to eliminate her.

        The Michele we’re seeing as a winner is just not a character type that makes sense to me.

    • andythesaint

      Whoever picked out that she’s the Perd Hapley of confessionals (Hornacek? Diego?) completely nailed it.

      • Hornacek

        That was me. Not sure if I was the first to post about it but once I saw it I couldn’t un-see it.

  • Diego Armando

    The challenge rotation continues. Aubry is due to win the next challenge.

    • DrVanNostrand

      As an Aubry fan, I approve.

      • As someone who has Aubry in her Pick 4, I also approve.

        • Violina23

          As someone who has all 4 players eliminated from Pick 4, but likes Aubry, I also approve

  • Diego Armando

    At least this is an easy week for fantasy scoring.

    • Only Joe gets the points for winning an individual reward challenge, right?

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        And Tai does NOT get the points for using his idol successfully. How many points would that have gotten him?

        • Purplerockmatt

          they wouldn’t have voted for him anyway so he wasn’t getting those points regardless

          • Saturday Night Palsy

            Makes sense.

          • andythesaint

            I thought there was something about someone playing their idol in the last TC, since they shouldn’t be penalized for not being a target?

          • Other Scott

            You aren’t getting penalized, you already got points for finding the idol. You just don’t get additional points for playing it correctly, same as anyone else who was also not a target and did not have an idol.

          • Purplerockmatt

            maybe, i honestly forget

        • 4, I think.

      • Diego Armando

        Yup

    • Hornacek

      The vast number of players that had Joe in their pick-4 are all devastated.

  • Kent McK

    I really can’t stand these uber boring Michelle confessionals trying to convince us that she has agency in this game. Next week is going to be so frustrating. I know Survivor is luck based, but this season is taking it to another level.

  • This episode featured the most audience-inappropriate discussion of prostates since “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

    Although…CBS’s demographic, so.

    • Missed opportunity by some drug maker that should’ve bought commercial time to advertise their drugs that improve the power of your urine stream.

      • Hornacek

        Jeff should have turned to the camera at the end of the episode and talked about the importance of eating beef in moderation, and checking your prostate regularly.

        • Alycia Swift

          Maybe he will at the finale.

          • Hornacek

            It could become his “Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed and neutered.”

        • sharculese

          I can totally see Probst as a spokesman for a men’s health group.

  • sharculese

    Update on my roommate: was clearly disappointed I watched tonight’s episode before she got home and admitted that she’s invested in what’s happening.

    • Sylvisual

      I feel like these updates should all be collected in a season finale blog post somewhere. The life and times of casual Survivor fans.

      • sharculese

        She’s not even a casual. The first of Survivor she ever saw was the Caleb medevac challenge, during which she said, “oh no, I’m not getting sucked into Survivor.”

        And then last week she was asking me to explain how idols worked and what the jury is there for. She’s hooked, she just doesn’t want to admit it yet.

      • Could there also be a place where I get to do updates on my non-Survivor fandom friend watching Survivor (we are currently gearing up to watch Episode 4 of Samoa, but she is also doing some “homework” ie essential seasons to watch before Heroes vs Villains by watching Marquesas on the side. She knows of Boston Rob, but she doesn’t why.)?

        • Maybe that can be part of the offseason Gabon viewing. Note: I am not encouraging you to have these new fans watch Gabon. I’m just saying in the comments of the Gabon posts you can update us on their progression.

          • sharculese

            Since I’m watching China, if she see anything it’s going to be that. I might also squeeze in Tocantins.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          “She knows of Boston Rob, but she doesn’t why.”

          This cracks me up for some reason.

          • She thinks it because of the fact that she likes to read the Probst EW weekly blogs and he will mention him (she thinks that he wins Marquesas and that’s it). I believe it is more of pop culture ethos since Romber was a big deal in 04.

    • sharculese

      Also this week I realized she looks strikingly like Aubry.

      • Adli Hanif

        She looks like this?

        • Hornacek

          We have a new go-to graphic for “come hither stare”.

  • DrVanNostrand

    It feels like Know it Alls is in a parallel universe where Cydney is obviously going to beat Aubry at the end, and it is definitely, 100% a final 2.

    • Purplerockmatt

      I have been thinking it was a final two until that next time on

      • DrVanNostrand

        I don’t watch next time on, but I’ve been thinking it could really go either way.

        • Purplerockmatt

          yeah I’m still on the fence honestly, could see it go either way

          • Kemper Boyd

            If it’s F3 then it’s an 8 person Jury. I actually have Michele, Cydney and Tai final 3 coming out as a tie on my completely objective, scientific calculations.

          • andythesaint

            A Survivor first!

    • sharculese

      Between Stephen going all in on edgic and David Bloomberg’s crush on Kyle this has not been a great season for the RHAP auxiliary podcasts.

      Except for the addition of the Wiggle Room, obviously.

      • DrVanNostrand

        WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE!!!! … er

      • corndogshuffle

        I like to think that Bloomberg’s crush on Kyle is purely related to his absurd willingness to answer any and every question to anyone on twitter. It must make his life pretty easy. And I’m in love with the Wiggle Room.

        • sharculese

          I think that’s probably the explanation, but whatever it is, it’s not a good look on him. It’s a shame, too, because it seemed like they had finally worked the kinks out of that show, only to have it suddenly become the ‘well Kyle told me this on Twitter’ hour.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Yeah, I don’t listen to exit interviews as I agree with Fishbach that they are not canon. And they ruin the fun of the season for me. I liked the Why X Lost podcast last season where it had a little less explanation from Survivors and that wasn’t always taken at face value. Kyle seems to have been writing the history he wants to be on record, he still thinks he could have won and did nothing wrong so everything he says needs to eb taken with a pinch of salt.

      • Preface: I don’t listen to KIA.

        I wonder if Stephen is going all in for two reasons. 1) He’s fresh from a season where the edgic was fairly reliable (ie Jeremy, Wentworth, and Spencer went far), so he believes it can be an accurate gauge (Cagayan nonwithsatanding). 2.) This seems to be the season that edgic went mainstream in the Survivor fandom. I mean, OWM has been a thing basically all season. So, why not try to predict the edit, especially if he knows that fans are going to ask him about it?

        • sharculese

          No, Stephen has always been really into edit-reading. And it’s to his detriment because it frequently ends with him making strong proclamations that turn out very wrong. In SJDS he was convince Jon was going to win. In Cagayan he was all in on Spencer.

          He’s said that when he was out there for Cambodia producers were straight up giving him shit about what kind of edit he thought he’d get.

          One of the consolations I have with the OWM thing is actually that, if Stephen thinks it, how can it be true.

          • I thought he thought that LJ had it in the bag for Cagayan.

          • Hornacek

            I’m only a few episodes into Cagayan KIA but Stephen has a huge man-crush on LJ.

          • sharculese

            That’s who it was. But yeah. He gets way into the weeds with who is getting a winner’s edit.

          • andythesaint

            It’s almost like people reverse-engineer their edit analysis to fit with outcomes they want.

          • I know that is his reputation, but I wonder if he has put it into overdrive this particular season because of the Michele truthers.

          • UseYourCommonSense

            But Michele is obviously winning this season. And to be fair, very few people correctly guessed Tony as the winner of Cagayan.

          • sharculese

            But that’s not an argument over obsessing about the edit, it’s an argument against it.

          • andythesaint

            I feel like other people’s failure to see Tony as the winner of that season is a symptom of the same condition that made them see Michele as one. Ignoring the evidence you don’t like to fit the conclusions you do.

            (I say other people because I was not one of them. I dialled into Tony as winner just after the merge. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see a doctor about this sprained shoulder I got from patting myself on the back).

      • Hornacek

        I like the Wiggle Room, it’s very funny, but I find it the least essential of Rob’s 6 (?) weekly Survivor podcasts. When a show’s mission statement is to not discuss strategy, sometimes I ask myself “This is entertaining, but what’s the point?” I don’t really find myself as interested in the story of the players compared to what strategic moves they are making.

        Plus Josh is obsessed with Wanda from Palau. For some reason he thinks she is the funniest thing ever and each time she’s included in one of his song parodies it just gets less funny. It feels like he’s determined to drive that joke into the ground.

        • sharculese

          I wish RHAP would knock it off with the song parodies, but I’ll take Josh’s over the rest of them, because he at least seems to put in some kind of effort.

          • Hornacek

            I have to give most of ShutUpTim’s a pass because he knows that he’s an awful singer* and just revels in it.

            * Man, I hope he knows that.

          • sharculese

            I think he does, but “I’m an awful singer mumbling puns over a pre-recorded track” stopped being funny such a long long time ago.

          • Hornacek

            I only started listening to RHAP during the Second Chance voting interviews so I’ve only had to listen to 2 seasons of ShutUpTim’s submissions, maybe that’s why it’s not as bad for me.

            A couple of years ago I started listening to RHAP from the beginning (HvV), am now up to Cagayan but still no ShutUpTim, assuming he starts submitting songs soon (funny in retrospect: after the first 2 Cagayan episodes Rob says Tony has a 0.0% chance of winning).

          • sharculese

            There may have been one or two in World’s Apart but Cambodia is where he really goes all in on it. Before that he was just doing the “Best Know It All” themes, which showed up for the first time in SJDS.

          • sharculese

            Also, I haven’t listened to back episodes of RHAP, but when I was watching Blood vs Water I listened to old episodes of Purple Rock, and John’s palpable fear that the dream of a Tyson win was going to be snatched away from him is hilarious.

          • Hornacek

            Yeah, there are a lot of great “funny in retrospect” moments when listening to these old podcasts. When Tyson voted Aras out, Rob was convinced that Tyson had made his power-move too soon and that he would be targeted immediately and voted out.

          • andythesaint

            “after the first 2 Cagayan episodes Rob says Tony has a 0.0% chance of winning”

            What a fucking moron.

          • Hornacek

            No podcasting credibility whatsoever.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I like Tim’s better, too, because a) he did it first and b) you get the feeling he just has some stupid ideas and hammers out a parody-song within minutes of the initial idea.

            Josh sometimes seems to be trying so hard with these and does these long winded set-ups that it can be uncomfortable at timesto listen to. I used to fastforward through his songs, but I’m getting more used to it and even enjoy them now occasionally.

            Disagree on fake-Wanda, though. She’s the best part in all of the songs she apppears in. Don’t expect further justification, I just love her parts. (si, PHRASING)

          • Hornacek

            With Wanda … it just feels like Josh thinks he’s found something that is hilarious and he wants to let everyone else know about it so they’ll think it’s hilarious too, and he won’t stop until we see what he sees.

            It’s kinda like an American film executive finding a comedian that no one in America knows about, so they give them their own major motion picture and then can’t understand when the film bombs and the rest of America doesn’t think the comedian is funny. And they’re convinced to keep giving them movies and can’t understand why America doesn’t agree with them.

            Maybe it’s just me, maybe everyone thinks Wanda is hilarious and loves her in Josh’s songs. But to me it’s just “ugh, this again?”

      • Hornacek

        It didn’t feel like David had a crush on Jason, more like Jason was the player that was responding to him online more than anyone else this season. Was “Twitter press conference” a thing before David’s episodes this season?

        • sharculese

          Towards the end it was really dipping into “well Kyle told me this on Twitter, so it must be true,” territory, and then the most recent episode was him going out of his way to explain why the dude who was never in on a vote post-merge and alienated all of his tribemates wasn’t playing a bad game.

      • Other Scott

        The main RHAP podcast though has been fantastic. All winners except for Shirin, Varner, Abi and Pete, Fairplay and Kass. What more could you ask for?

        (Well, knowing you, you would ask for Penner. But my point stands.)

        • sharculese

          Well, yeah, obviously Penner but also it sucks Denise couldn’t do it this time around. Also it’s been too long since we’ve had Haley Strong on the voicemails.

          Overall though, agreed, it was a solid season for he main podcast.

  • Ethan Kyle

    Of course the one fucking time Joe actually wins something

  • Side Character

    So it seems like the final four this season could rank pretty high among people’s favourite–I’d be okay with everyone that’s left winning this. Which season(s) do you all think had your favourite final four? It may be what you consider the best, or just most satisfying, or whatever.

    Personally, mine are Philippines, Cambodia, Cook Islands, and Tocantins. I would have been happy with anyone in these seasons’ respective final four winning.

    • Prom King

      Vanuatu and Cambodia are pretty much my only ones.

      Had to edit because I actually already forgot that Michelle was in the final four and I had put Koah Rang in there with the other two. But no. I don’t dislike her, but I would not be happy with her winning.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I’ve said before on this discussion about F6 that I think returnee seasons are usually better because you have players who you already have connections to prior to the game. But I’ll go against that and say:
      Philippines: As much as I hated Skupin, Denise and Malcolm saved Survivor and Lisa Welchel is underrated.
      Cook Islands: Aitu 4 are legendary even if Sundra and Becky got little respect or edit. Micronesia: Parvati, Amanda and Cirie are 3 of the top 10 female players of all time and I found Natalie Bolton to have some game.
      Tocantins: Taj, Taj, Taj and Taj.

      • Max_Jets

        Sometimes I wish Lisa had got her way and kept Abi at the Final 5, so we could have Lisa Whelchel as a great, cutthroat Survivor winner. But of course, Denise <3

        • Alkanarra

          I recently rewatched Philippines and I really underappreciated Lisa’s whole character arc. It’s the sort of thing the strategic-minded both ignore and hate taking up screen time, but it’s really fascinating television when you give it a chance. She was just so open and articulate about her feelings that it felt much more compelling the second time around.

    • Paging another Black Dynamite list!

    • DrVanNostrand

      Rating on a 1-4 scale, starting with S1

      1: 3
      2: 2
      3: 3
      4: 2 (Kathy saves it from a 1)
      5: 1
      6: 2
      7: 3
      8: 2
      9: 2
      10: 4
      11: 2
      12: 2
      13: 3
      14: 4
      15: 4
      16: 4
      17: 0 (I guess my scale goes to 0 now, sorry Bob)
      18: 4
      19: 1
      20: 3
      21: 0 (good thing I invented 0 for Gabon)
      22: 1
      23: 1
      24: 2
      25: 4
      26: 2
      27: 3
      28: 4
      29: 2
      30: 1
      31: 4
      32: 3

      OK, that was long and pointless.

      • sharculese

        The Nicaragua f4 still has Holly Hoffman in it. Surely that’s good for 1 point?

        • DrVanNostrand

          You have a good point, but Sash and Jane obliterate all the points for me. Those two would need a Yau Man level character to get them above 0.

          • sharculese

            Oh thank, god, I thought I was the only one who hated Jane.

          • Alycia Swift

            Nope you are not. I hated her too.

          • andythesaint

            I hate them all!

          • sharculese

            Didn’t you guys pick Jane when you did the all-star collars season podcast?

          • andythesaint

            Fuck no.

            I did pick Marty though. Because I felt like you needed a haughty douche to fill in the white collar role.

  • Sylvisual

    Couple comments since I’m late to the game…

    – #GetItDoneAt71 is the new hashtag for CBS’ demographic in the bedroom.

    – Tai has been talking about “me vs. the girls” and “going home with an idol in my pocket” all season, and both are finally a reality. Good work, editors.

    – Good work, editors, take 2: Michelle’s edit may annoy me, but I appreciate a good Tai pun to tie it all together.

    – This is one of the strongest Final Fours in a while, including Cagayan. Really excited to see how it plays out.

    – So is it Aubry/Tai vs. Cydney/Michelle? If so, can the final 4 tiebreaker fire challenge involve roasting Mark the Chicken if Tai loses?

    • Kemper Boyd

      The final 4 thing, I thought that as I finished watching. I don’t think Michele is as bad as people are saying, I think there has been a push back against her by people who are pushing back against truthers.
      Cydney and Aubry have played two of the most controlling games that women have played in a few seasons. They took control at the merge and never gave it up.
      And Tai, well no one thought Tai could get here, he has game, although I don’t think it’s come across well to the Jury, I think it was Rob C who said he’s like a mom, in that he isn’t expected to play ruthlessly so when he does the other players don’t like it at all. He’s like Dawn, he’s played a really good game but he’ll sit next to someone at the end who the jury members feel better about being beaten by, so he won’t win.

      • Didn’t Andy or John say that “Tai is like a mom” last week?

        • That was Andy. I’ll give him credit, since it was one of those rare times where I was like, “Damn, you’re right!”

          • I had that exact same epiphany last week. That was a brilliant observation.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Well maybe I just can’t keep my Survivor Podcasts straight in my head at all. Apologies if it was you guys, I listened to them all on the same day so it’s faded.

      • I don’t have anything against Michele. I’ve said repeatedly that I’d be fine with her win, I just want to be shown evidence that she’s done things to actively pursue that win. And that doesn’t mean Big Moves ™; I would be fine with seeing other people telling us how much they like Michele, or seeing that she’s got close bonds with anyone (we finally saw Cydney mention how she’s had an under-the-radar alliance with Michele this week).

        But it’s one of those rare final fours where I’d be fine with any of them winning. Michele would probably be my last choice, but only because she hasn’t felt very present in the narratives this season.

        • Kemper Boyd

          I agree with you. The problem with Michele is that her staying in game is all small social things and that never makes great tv coupled with other people making bigger mistakes.

          • andythesaint

            Or it’s just “why would we ever vote out a non-entity like Michele”?

          • Kemper Boyd

            I duno, when it comes to the jury, each season’s jury is slightly different and has different motives.

          • andythesaint

            Sure. I just don’t know how much credit should be given to Michele for staying in the game simply due to the fact that there’s never been a reason to vote her out (besides last week, where she can get a bit of credit). It might be gameplay. Or it might be an accurate assessment of all the players playing with her to decide that someone else is more dangerous than she.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Why can’t it be both? It can be both.

            (you were really setting this one up, weren’t you?)

          • andythesaint

            It can be. Which is why I don’t know.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I guess my biases are showing, but we do give credit to others who do this well I guess the credit has to be given if she gets to the end and actually wins. Even boring winners get credit for winning as really that’s the sign of success. We can call her a really boring Sandra.

          • andythesaint

            Yeah it’ll all come down to how the people she was there with react to her.

          • Kemper Boyd

            And that is one of the parts of Survivor we as an audience can’t predict. How the people there feel about each other really. For every 45 minutes we see they live 72 hours.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I think there is a lot of truth to this. Michele’s best moves may have been stepping aside when other players were eager to tank their games or to take big risks at best. I don’t think there was much room for her to move for her first three TCs: First Cydney flipped, then Aubry on Debbie, then Tai.

            It seemd that she tried to save Julia but didn’t succeed, but she got her wish when Jason left.
            She seems to be pretty straight forward with everyone and hasn’t made many enemies, as it seems.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It’s a game that gets you deep, can it be a winning game? well Sandra played it with a lot more character, Natalie White played it with a great social game, Bob Crowley played it too. So it can work. Is it interesting for viewers? no.

          • prettyboyprobst

            It can be interesting for viewers who are into these kind of players, but it helps when the person playing that way is interesting in itself.

            Michele though, well, she’s comely, so that’s a plus.

      • sharculese

        The ‘if there was a player on this season named Michele’ thing might be an affectation now, but I really was 3 or 4 episodes into the season before I knew who Michele was, and I’m not a person who goes, ‘wait, who was that?’

        She’s super duper bland, and if she wins I’m not going to be thrilled about it.

      • prettyboyprobst

        I agree with the first two sentences, but I’m surprised that you (or anyone, really) would argue that Tai showed a lot of prowess as a strategic player. I think he’s god-awful (although I’m sure part of it is just cultural or stems from a language barrier). Which is also why I can’t fully agree with your point on Cyd and Aubry – their game really hinged on Tai doing his thing.
        That’s not to say he wouldn’t suffer from that mom/nice-guy malus.

        • Kemper Boyd

          I don’t necessarily think Tai has been great or even good but I think he’s better than a number of players this season. The “he has game” thing comes from the fact he has made moves however bad they may have been in the long run and the fact that many many people including his cast expected him to do what Joe has done but in a sweeter way. It’s that expectation of kindness from him (like from sweet older ladies) that means every move is seen more harshly by those who suffered from it, not with a “well you got me” kind of respect we see get given to other demographics. I think it’s to some extent who the jury would be happy to be beaten by, it would sit easier to be beaten by Aubry, Cydney and probably even Michele than by Tai.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I think people get especially pissed when they get betrayed and the betrayer apparently doesn’t even gain a strategic advantage in the game by doing so. Think South Pacific Cochran.
            I assume Tai is seen by many on the jury not as playing hard, but as playing hard and stupid. He is a player, though, and not just along for the ride, I agree with that (I still wouldn’t rank him above anyone other than Alecia and Peter, as I’m thinking about this. Scot and maybe even Jason played worse but showed more potential at the same time. It is hard to account for his likability and good heart, that makes everyone wanting to align with him, so he should probably be a few spots higher).

            Cydney on the other hand, I could see Scot and Kyleson dial back their anger with her if she actually achieves what she doubted was possible in their alliance and made her leave them. (especially if it’s a F2)

          • Kemper Boyd

            Scot and Jason voted wrong at every tribal they went to, how is that potential? Tai saw an opportunity he liked and took it, that is better, he is in the final 4 and is almost a lock for FTC. Jason and Scot were not going to be able to make it, even as goats.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I wasn’t clear at all here and I’m not sure if you got that wrong, so please forgive me for spelling it out: The part about likability and attracting allies, there I was talking about Tai again.

            So at the end of this stream of consciousness I put Tai somewhere ahead of Scot and Jason and maybe a few others. Tai has some really good qualities for a Survivor-contestant, but there are also really awful traits (loose lips, emotional approach, struggle to communicate effectively; to name a few) that make him a net negative in my book.

            As indicated by their (post-merge) voting record and status as pick4-fantasy-bums, Scot and Jason played a hilariously ineffective game considering how long they lasted. However, I think there is also some potential as hypothetical future players when you look at how they controlled theit initial tribe, how Scot blended in after the swap and how Jason stayed approachable after losing his allies and embraced his goatential (at least until his boot-ep).
            Overall, even when looking at my impromptu HypFutPlyr-ranking and not just this season, I tried to put them below Tai in my initial post, just in a confusing and inarticulate way.
            All of them would have to show that they learned from their mistakes before I’d consider them contenders in another season.

        • Hornacek

          “It’s cultural!” aka the Abi-Maria defense.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Fully aware of that – but I do think it applies to Tai more than her, although I’m sure it’s a small part of Abi not being that good at Survivor, too.

      • DrVanNostrand

        It depends on what you mean by Michele is “bad”. She seems to be playing an OK under the radar game. She’s just extremely, aggressively, boring. They’ve given her so much confessional time, and what has she done with it? Nothing. Truthers make it worse, but this is mostly a problem with Michele the Survivor character. The rest of the final 4 is great.

        • Kemper Boyd

          I guess what I mean is she is still probably more interesting for me than some of the non-entities who have gotten to F4/F3 in other seasons. But that might be my own biases coming into play.

    • prettyboyprobst

      Great minds…

      Your final 4 tiebreaker proposal would go really well with my idea for a tiebreaker(which I described above and first mentioned in last weeks liveblog comments) at this season’s FTC, like Tacos with Margaritas.

  • andythesaint

    So do we still think final two?

    PREVIEW DISCUSSION

    They show the massive challenge with all four of them competing in it. Do we think that this is the penultimate challenge? That would be odd, right?

    I’m thinking it’s a final three solely based on that footage. If so, which two people lose to Michele? Answer: ALL OF THEM.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I was wondering if that was footage of the same challenge honestly. Could it have been a dramatic splicing of two challenges to make it less obvious who was in the Final 3 challenge? I suspect not but it seems to have a lot of bits that looked like final parts of challenges, shuffleboard, build a tower etc. I think it’s more likely a splicing including some footage of an advantage challenge but still.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        That’s actually what I thought too. Seems like it could potentially include 2-3 challenges. Although yeah, I bet one of them is an advantage challenge and it is a final three.

        • Kemper Boyd

          I kind of hope it’s a final 2, just to fill the 2 hours.

    • I thought the massive challenge had four lanes to it, but this wouldn’t be the first time that the penultimate challenge has been more epic than FIC. Worlds Apart and Cambodia both had more epic second-to-last challenges.

      • andythesaint

        In Worlds Apart, the tower challenge was the final one.

    • Hornacek

      Do we think there will be a reward challenge with the winner getting an advantage in the final immunity challenge?

      • andythesaint

        We also haven’t gotten a family visit yet.

        • Hornacek

          “Sorry Mrs. Joe, you almost got to see your husband and be on the show, but he ate too much beef and got all blocked up.”

          • sharculese

            “That’s my Joe. He’s good at solving crimes, but he was always bad at pooping.”

      • Other Scott

        In Cagayan they fit family visit, immunity, immunity in for F4.

        No reason to think they won’t do that again.

    • Purplerockmatt

      i think they fill the time this way: family visit and reward, final four fire tiebreaker, massive immunity challenge, parade of losers (?), tie at the end?

      • Hornacek

        Did you mean “Tai at the end”?

        • Purplerockmatt

          no. stop it. bad Hornacek

          • Hornacek

            (sits in the corner, thinks about what he’s done)

  • turgid_legume

    I just hope they have an air compressor at ponderosa so that poor Joe can top up his pecs.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    “I knew from personal experience that Mr. Joe wasn’t going to be in a good place later on.”

    (Watches Joe eat, not saying anything)

    Ladies and gentlemen, that right there was the final nail in Cydney’s coffin, editing-wise.

    • Other Scott

      I don’t think Cydney has much of a shot, but I also don’t really think that was supposed to be taken the way you took that

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I don’t think it was a huge moment of villainy, but matching that voiceover to that shot was a conscious editing decision, and one I don’t think you make about the winner in the next-to-last episode.

  • this bear is tops blooby

    Joe wins reward!

    My god he was slow, and what was up with having to wait until everyone was done?

    Aubry picks Cydney for Joe’s reward challenge.

    Joe can’t get enough beef. Looks like another hot beef injection for Joe!

    Cydney keeps her head down and listens. Smart girl…

    Until Joe highlights how good she is by talking about how not a threat is she. Thanks Joe!

    Aubry’s look after listening to Joe.

    Tai and Michele bond on the beach.

    #Taimassage

    Aubry realizes she’s gotta do Tai damage control.

    Cydney suspects something immediately. Girl is paranoid, but boy is she right on the money.

    Joe’s having a stomach/urinating issue. Oh god, he’s getting pulled.

    Aubry’s doing the funky chicken.

    Since the episode didn’t have much time left and they hadn’t done the IC, that was pretty much saying Joe was getting pulled, especially once medical showed up.

    Joe is pulled. That’s another tough blow for Aubry

    Jeff really respects Joe apparently.

    Man, that beef was the real game changer!

    Last episode next week!

  • Kemper Boyd

    I had a thought about Aubry’s edit that goes back to the discussions I had with the wonderful women of this parish for International Women’s Day (Praying Mantis Crew for life!).

    Aubry is a female player playing an incredibly strong social game that has been the reason she has been able to control votes, usually this type of player doesn’t get the best edit, is the reason she is getting a boss edit because there are no men around for the editors to focus on?

    I think she was pretty on point when she said she was like Sophie, she has played a very similar game to Sophie but without a Coach or a Brandon to soak up the airtime.

    • Alkanarra

      You and Sharculese kept talking up Sophie so I really tried to give South Pacific another go as I’d forgotten almost all of it. Made it about 40 seconds. It was a barrage of awfulness right off the bat.

      10 seconds: I forgot Ozzy was in this. Crap.
      20 seconds. Oh, right, Redemption Island. Well that won’t be fun to watch.
      30 seconds: Cochran 1.0. Yikes…
      40 seconds: “I’m Brandon Hantz.”

      That’s the precise moment I went scrambling for my remote. I guess I’ll just have to take your word for it that Sophie was underappreciated, cause I’m never going back to South Pacific.

      • Kemper Boyd

        South Pacific is a fucking hellscape of everything is wrong when Survivor focuses on characters and bad male players. But Sophie was a 21 year old woman thrown onto a tribe with Coach, Brandon Hantz and Albert who played the only game that would have led to her victory. She saw an alliance forming and made sure she was always a central member, she always got her way in the voting and she sat at the end with two disliked men.

        • Alkanarra

          For some reason I remember thinking that Prince Albert was the hands down winner and being shocked at final tribal when everyone was ripping into him. Can’t say there was any definitive reason other than “obvious alpha male,” so I was likely as guilty as all the rest by the bad focus. You’re right, though: between Coach, Brandon, and Ozzy they really didn’t give anyone much room to breath that season.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Sophie dealt with the FTC really well, it’s a very good performance which takes ownership of every move made and puts emphasis on the bad social behavior of the men sitting either side of her.

      • sharculese

        Sophie is awesome, but it doesn’t make South Pacific suck less. Just watch clips of Sophie doing things on youtube instead.

        • Hornacek

          Just Google “Albert drop your stack” and watch it on a loop.

      • Max_Jets

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xQbOmBfJpF4
        That’s all you need
        The finale in general is pretty great too though

        • sharculese

          I love all the cuts to Sophie’s “what is this bullshit?” face.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, but this video is missing the movie reward, which is the Platonic ideal of that face.

          • sharculese

            I think I mentally inserted it because that scene is etched in my brain.

        • Alkanarra

          That was *so* much easier to handle.

          And you could really see how young she was with all of that strung together. I can understand why bringing her back with more confidence and experience could lead to good things.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    For a late game medevac, that was just about as entertaining as it could have been. I loved Joe’s challenge win. During that looong stretch where he was moseying back to get his last bag I was laughing my head off, and I even told my husband “I don’t care if they had to cut out something important later on, I’m so glad they let this moment land!”
    Also, Joe is seriously a tough old man. That whole conversation with Jeff at the end where he’s talking about how excruciating the pain is, but barely showing it, I was in awe.

    • Hornacek

      Jeff has said on EW.com that they’ll never do that challenge again. I think he made that decision while waiting for Joe to go back into the jungle for his final bag, thinking “Man, we’ll have to edit the hell out of this!”

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      “For a late game medevac, that was just about as entertaining as it could have been.” We pretty much knew it was coming, and it seemed like it would be nothing but a huge, momentum-killing bummer, and yet we got 1) a Joe challenge win (inconceivable 24 hours ago), 2) Shakespeare-worthy dramatic irony, and 3) the final 2/3 plans of the remaining players in shambles.

  • Dalton Ross update: He has placed Kaoh Rong as number 16 in his (otherwise not really updated) season rankings and in his Q and A with Probst, Probst says that “this challenge will never be repeated. It just doesn’t work. We got lucky in that we had a dramatic finish and inspiring win by Joe, but when a challenge is incumbent on something remarkable happening, that’s not a good challenge.” Good on you, Probst.

    • As Andy pointed out last week, it’s always a great idea to rank the season before it’s even complete. Definitely no flaw in that idea.

      • Well, Cambodia jumped up from 8 to 5 because Jeremy winning and the season being unpredictable (although in hindsight, the post-merge eliminations seems to fall in a certain way: a Witch, someone from the Bayon-strong alliance, an outsider: Kass, Savage, Wiglesworth, Ciera, Stephen, Joe, Abi-Maria, Kimmi, Keith, and Wentworth).

      • Hornacek

        Dalton says that his recap for the final episode is already super-long so that’s why he puts the rankings in the penultimate episode recap. And as @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus pointed out, he adjusts them if necessary. The no-votes tribal definitely got Second Chances into the top five, baby!

        • andythesaint

          I understand his reasoning. I just don’t think it matters. It’s asinine to try and rate any story before you see the ending. Try to imagine any other scenario where that would make sense:
          -Without seeing the final battle, where do you think Civil War ranks amongst Marvel films?
          -Before we get to the final chapter of Deathly Hollows, where does it rank against the other Harry Potter books?
          -Before the fourth quarter starts, how does this Super Bowl rank among all the others.

          • Hornacek

            I’m fine with it. I would say that as most people watch Survivor and they get further into the season they start to decide if it is a top 10 season, just average, or one of the worst. And with each episode, your opinion can change (i.e. “the pre-merge has been terrible, but everything after the merge has been awesome!”). It’s not something you only start to decide after the final episode is over.

          • DrVanNostrand

            -Before finding out if it impacts my bowels and blocks my urethra, where do I rank this steak satay dinner?

    • Other Scott

      But really, this season is better than mid-tier. Or at least not more than 10 spots behind last season.

      Looking at my season rankings, this is going to end up either 8th or 9th out of 22 (finale will probably help me decide whether it’s better than Vanuatu or not). Cambodia was 7th, and the finale probably drove it up a bunch of spots as it was one of my top 3 episodes of the season.

      It has great characters and storylines, but it suffers from not having a lot we haven’t seen before, other than tons of medevacs.

      • I am not that high on Cambodia and especially the last two episodes of the season, but I can see that point of view. Kaoh Rong’s biggest strength is easily Cambodia’s biggest weakness-the storytelling and character development. At least, all four of the final four have at the very least somewhat decent claims for why they should win, which was not exactly true with Cambodia’s final 6.

  • Hornacek

    “This is Michele Fitzgerald telling you, the viewers, that on this episode I got a massage that would be described as both a Thai massage and a Tai massage, because the name of the person who was performing the massage upon my own body was Tai, a name that sounds identical to the word Thai, which is a type of massage.”

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    I thought it was going to be a Final 2/Jury of 9 for sure until I saw the preview, but if it’s a Final 3/Jury of 8 I’ve thought of a new reason why Probst and CBS seem to be so down on the season: It’s a tie (4-4-0 or 3-3-2) and they’re still not sure what to do (or they know what to do and know that it’s going to make people mad).

    • Probst has said they’ve had a procedure in place for a long time for a tie at FTC. So if that happened, I think they’d be ecstatic.

      • turgid_legume

        I wonder how that would work. If they reveal there’s a tie while still on location, they could do a fire-making challenge, but then the players would all know who won. If they wait and only reveal the tie as votes are read at the reunion then they can’t really do much for a tie breaker since they’re live, so it would have to be something really dumb like the total number of votes cast for the person in all previous tribal councils. Maybe a revote at the reunion? That would be hugely unfair for a number of reasons, though.

        I can’t really think of any satisfying way to deal with a tie, so I can very easily see them anticipating a lot of fan anger if there is one, even if they have a (shitty) procedure in place.

        • My guess has always been that if two people tied, the third person in the final tribal would get to vote for one of the two that tied.

          • Purplerockmatt

            you mean that was my guess that you are now taking credit for

          • prettyboyprobst

            So was mine for some reason, but legume raises a solid point in that at least the third finalist breaking the tie, but more likely everyone on location would instantly know who won. They should have something better in store.

            (I’m not counting out my Mark’s wishbone as tiebreaker scenario yet.)

          • Violina23

            How often do you guys REALLY think the players don’t know who won? I can’t remember the last time it wasn’t obvious from the jury behavior.

          • prettyboyprobst

            It has probably been a while because of all these blow-outs, but I imagine if it comes to a close vote, even the jury wouldn’t know for sure who won in most cases.

            It would be a pity if they have to let go of real suspense until the last vote is read because everybody saw, let’s say Tai casting the deciding vote for either Aubry or Cydney.

            (now watch events unfold that make Tai vote Cydney over Aubry at FTC)

    • Other Scott

      They’re down on the season because they had 2 wasted episodes worth of medevacs. I think it’s pretty simple.

  • andythesaint

    Hi all: since there isn’t much to talk about with this episode that we haven’t already talked a bunch about before, we’re opening it up to you: any questions you’d like addressed on the podcast? It can be about the episode, the season, Survivor in general, the podcast, whatever.

    Note: we’re kinda sick of dissecting the edit, so maybe not that unless you have an interesting angle.

    • Other Scott

      What hasn’t happened yet on the show that you most want to see and why? It can be like a Final Tribal Council tie, some sort of vote arrangement, a Final Four (haha, just kidding), some type of twist, etc.

      • andythesaint

        Answered on the show.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I know it’s only been a few months, but I would love another roundtable discussion between Emma and some of the female commenters about women on Survivor. I think it would be even better in podcast form than transcribed for a blog post, and maybe some of the participants would like to restate their thoughts in more fully-baked form. Plus it seems particularly relevant given that an all-female Final 2/3 seems highly likely, and that any of them (maybe not Michele) would be an unorthodox female winner.

      • Violina23

        Maybe we can pull something together in the off-season, what do you think, my fellow praying mantises? (Mantai?)

        • sharculese

          According to wikipedia, it actually is ‘mantises.’ I thought it was ‘mantids,’ but apparently that’s just members of the family Mantidae.

          • Violina23

            I think I just wanted to work in another tai pun 😉

            QUICK! Someone get Michele to explain…

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Of course, if Tai wins we have to have a roundtable discussion of us bros mansplaining Tai’s strategy of carrying chicks to the end.

          • Sylvisual

            What about Mark? He’s a chick…en.

        • Kemper Boyd

          I’m in, I very many years ago interned at a radio station and may be able to remember how to edit audio to a minimally decent level. I think though due to having 5 people trying to talk it may be a little difficult not to all talk over each other.

          • Violina23

            Granted I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past 3 years, but my background is software engineering so I’m sure I can help with some of the technical stuff, given a few hints/basic instructions from the seasoned pros 😉

      • andythesaint

        Hey, if they want to do all the work of arranging it, recording it, and editing it, we’d probably publish it.

    • Something Quirky

      What other names did you consider for the podcast?

      Would quarantine laws allow Mark back for the reunion? Where was Mark born?

      Actually, I have a question that isn’t interesting enough to give airtime to – why do players who have played Survivor before have to audition again?

      • Sylvisual

        2a.) Just because I live in Atlanta doesn’t mean it’s the Walking Dead here. 2b.) Also Atlanta.

        4a.) I enjoy the trend of answering chicken questions as my own. Fried > roasted.

        • Something Quirky

          Well, I never specified the chicken =p

      • andythesaint

        I don’t know the real answer to your third question, but a guess would be that people change over the years?

        • Kemper Boyd

          and they don’t want another Colton or even Jenna situation. Like Jenna’s quit makes perfect sense, her mother was dying and she realised it really wasn’t worth being on an island and then in secondment for 40+ days when it could be the last 40 days she could spend with her mum but they could have found that out or said to her “are you sure? your mum is dying, well hold a spot for you if we do more all stars later” and not had a quit in an all-star season.
          Colton situation is obvs what isn’t wanted in a returnee season.

      • andythesaint

        First question answered on the podcast.

        • Something Quirky

          Yay!
          I hope one of them is “The Survivor Hour of No Probst Power.”

    • sharculese

      1. You brought this up last week, but any further thoughts on the future of the double vote/vampire vote, both as a game mechanic and as a narrative mechanic. What ways do you think they could tinker withit to make it more effective?

      2. I can’t help but notice that there’s an awesome looking dog in your avatar. I’d like to know more about the dog. What kind of dog is it? What’s it’s name? Is it a good boy or girl?

      • andythesaint

        2. Beagle. Gromit. He’s kind of a dick; always stealing our food and howling and stuff.

      • andythesaint

        I think we covered all the opinions we had on the double vote last week. It was pretty definitive.

      • Something Quirky

        2. Ha, that was one of the first things I asked about just before a podcast recording.

    • Violina23

      Why do you guys think everyone has been SO obsessed with the edit this season? I know we (on this blog, avclub, etc) have always had fun with the idea, but why has the internet has gone so bat-shit crazy about it this particular season? Do you think it all stems from Probst’s pre-season comments?

      • andythesaint

        Answered on the podcast. I think this was an interesting one. (The question anyway. The answer? You can decide).

        • Violina23

          Looking forward to listening 🙂

    • MrBurkesButtons

      If you guys, having been cast on a mostly-newbies season, could bring back any former player to work with you (as goat, muscle, charmer, co-strategist, whatever), who would you pick?

      For the sake of argument, we’ll assume the All-Star wants to work with you at first… but depending on who you pick, there’s no guarantee they wouldn’t backstab you later.

      • andythesaint

        Answered on the podcast.

    • prettyboyprobst

      Some meticulous vote-predictions and vote-counting looking ahead to the FTC would be fun and useful, preferably with some range (e.g. “If jurors X and Y base their decisions on who they like, potential finalist A could get up to Z# votes, but if they’re looking for who in their mind played the best game, finalist B gets their votes in addition to U’s, V’s and W’s, making it more advantageous for A to bring C instead, should A win immunity).
      You could sum it up general-election-style: A vs B final two is safely A/ heavily leaning A/ leaning A/ battlegound/ leaning B/… or, you know, just give a range of possible vote-totals.

      You would probably have to treat is as a final two rather than a final three, as head-to-heads are less messy to think about. Try to go through all the combinations!

      • andythesaint

        This was too complicated to get into, but we do get into subjects similar on the show.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Yeah, that’s probably easier done in writing, but I like listening to seemingly endless podcasts much better than blog-posts that read like scientific papers.

    • DrVanNostrand

      Where does Michele rank on most boring players to make F4?

      • andythesaint

        On par with most of them. Their boringness makes comparisons difficult. Like comparing how pregnant someone is.

  • Something Quirky

    It’s interesting that, as far as we know, none of the idols that left the game were replaced this season. Also, no idol clues at rewards that anyone found.

    It’s kind of odd having neither an eating challenge, nor an auction.

    • Hornacek

      There were definitely no idols played, no confirmation on if there were any replacement idols, from exit interviews players were looking for them. Maybe the replacements were just never found? But you think that in a season with a super-idol production would be dropping clues left and right, wanting to get replacement idols found so that a super-idol could be formed/played.

      The reward challenge where you could pick what you were playing for (food, advantage letters from home) was production’s new version of the auction in order to “fix” the auction which had become “broken” in previous seasons where some players would not vote on anything, just waiting for the advantage item. I don’t think we’ll see the auction return anytime soon; expect to see the Choose Your Own Reward instead.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Somebody on one of the Michele Truther podcasts (Dom and Colin or Snakes Rats and Goats, I can’t remember) said something that struck me as part nonsense, part rationalization, and part “actually, that’s kind of a good point”: Michele’s Obvious Winner edit is not that different from Mike Holloway’s (particularly early on, when Mike’s path to victory seemed incredibly unlikely), but Michele is meeting much more resistance from the fans because 1) Mike is a Survivor winner “type”, and 2) there was nobody else to root for at the end of WA.

    • andythesaint

      Yeah, Mike really wasn’t much of a character other than a few strategically placed confessionals. He never really was involved with strategy or gameplay at all. He and Michele = same.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        They weren’t make a 1:1 comparison, just saying that when Mike started getting the OWE, his path to victory was just as narrow and improbable as Michele’s (although in a very different way). I don’t QUITE buy the argument, but the point about fans resisting Michele in part because there are other players to root for seems legit.

        • andythesaint

          I disagree with the premise of why we’re resistant to the premise of her win.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It would be the most boring win since Bob Crowley.

    • DrVanNostrand

      The only premise in that entire argument that seems even remotely rooted in reality is that there was nobody else to root for at the end of WA.

    • prettyboyprobst

      “Michele’s Obvious Winner edit is not that different from Mike Holloway’s
      (particularly early on, when Mike’s path to victory seemed incredibly unlikely)”

      It’s funny to me that they would say that, because I always think of Mike’s inconsistent and somewhat messy edit in the first half of his season when I try to remind myself why this could really be an Aubry-coronation (while I generally lean more towards Michele as OW). Their edits seemed similiar in that regard.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Mike was allowed to display more personality in one confessional in the first episode than Michele has shown all season. (remember him eating the scorpion and his puppy dog enthusiasm for everything?)