Survivor Kaoh Rong: Episode 4 Liveblog “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered”

Join us for another exciting (we hope) episode of Survivor.  Follow along on Storify below or on Twitter!

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

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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454 thoughts on “Survivor Kaoh Rong: Episode 4 Liveblog “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered”

    1. I’m thinking the medivac might come in the IC because it doesn’t look like the set up the chopper came in to. Maybe this extreme RC explains the dramatic nature of the evac?

    1. At one point it looked like we could only see Cydney from chest-up. I know she was only sitting down but still, at that point you have to think “The bags aren’t buried 6 feet deep, maybe I should dig somewhere else.”

        1. Scot could have lay down in the middle of that circle and his head and feet wouldn’t have touched the border.

    2. It sounds like when they tested the challenge with the Dream Team, they had flags marking the spots. Which is kind of a significant variable that they changed for the real challenge.

      1. What the fuck use is that? Timing only the run and ball game not the element that I assumed would be the longest bit.

        1. “OK Dream Team, we’re gonna test out this challenge where you have to race out to get puzzle pieces and then use those pieces to put together a puzzle. Because you’re the Dream Team we will have a finished puzzle on display so you can see where each piece goes.”

      1. Agreed. My heart goes out to those players. Cydney’s screams of pain are haunting.

        1. I’ve had heat stroke, not this badly obviously but I remember being curled in a ball in the minimal shade of a tent thinking I might die.

  1. Going into this I never thought I’d legitimately feel bad for the guy, but that’s a rough way to go. I look forward to ironically rooting for you again in your second chance, Caleb Reynolds. Let’s just hope between now and then you acquire your brother’s tolerance for pain.

      1. Maybe he’s from the Charlie side then? All I know is if they want to bring him into an episode of Sunny, I’m all game.

    1. I thought they were going to throw it after the RC. While they didn’t appear to be losing on purpose, I don’t think Brawn was particularly worried about losing either. I think they were ok with any outcome.

      1. Yeah, as I said above, it seems their position was, “If Alecia manages to win, okay, if she can’t, we are not going to make any effort helping her stay.”

        1. In a weird way that is downright fair of them compared to throwing a challenge. In another way it still sucks, but not like anything else they did

      2. I don’t think they ended up throwing the challenge but yeah I agree with you that they didn’t care about losing.

  2. So this episode was no fun at all.
    Cydney is the only brawn to root for. Alecia was getting treated like shit whether she’s annoying or not that is not how you should be treating other people.
    Scot’s words voting “we really were trying to help you” to me is bullshit, they were helping by bullying, belittling and shouting her down then claiming she wasn’t listening.
    This has left a Dead Fish Will level bad taste in my mouth.

    1. I thought the brutal challenge was going to be the low point, but yikes. Let’s hope this isn’t the start of a trend.

      1. I don’t see how Kyle can win now, that is not something they show of a winner. Or Scot for that matter. So much for being the quiet one who may just be following the bully not bullying themselves.

        1. I wouldn’t count on that, unfortunately. There’s precedent for production making the winner look really bad in the early part of the season, so long as that winner is a blue-collar, salt of the earth type male (thinking specifically of Chris Daugherty and Mike Holloway).

          1. Chris was never made to look like a d-bag, just a bumbling idiot. Mike was mostly bumbling idiot, too. The exception is the Lindsey stuff, and Lindsey was also edited to come off as kind of an asshole. Alecia’s edit was practically glowing by the end. You don’t show the winner being a dick to that person.

          2. Neither looked this bad. Although I suppose there are still plenty of people on the Jason bandwagon, so maybe that perception isn’t universal.

    2. Cydney doesn’t escaped unscathed since she didn’t say anything about their behavior, which pretty much gives it a pass. It would’ve been terrible for her game, but as a human being, I can’t imagine that behavior sitting well with anyone.

      1. No, that’s true but as we know doing the right thing morally is often not conducive to being successful at Survivor. The only reason Mike could stand up for Shirin is he was already on the outs.

        1. I can’t remember which one of them said it, but supposedly Mike and Shirin did have a legit solid bond. They were the two who would get up early to do chores, and while they were off doing things they used it as time to nerd out about being on Survivor.

          1. I’m sure that’s true but Mike’s position as pariah was also helpful to stepping in and getting her away from the situation and then defending her at TC. Had he been number 3/4 in that 6 person alliance could he have done it even if they were tight?

    3. Scot pretty much reinacted the Rocky/Anthony plot from Fiji. It was about as pleasant here as it was in that season.

  3. Lol do you guys still have to sign when you buy stuff in a shop? and America calls itself a first world country!

      1. you’ve got chips right as we got contactless for pruchased of under £30. makes bar rounds so much easier.

    1. It’s so bizarre. Every time I’d pay at a restaurant, they were taking my card away to their machine like what the fuck? Plus, one dollar bills and pennies.

      Fucking savages.

      1. Wait, does that not happen in Canada? I swear I had to sign for things last time I was in Canada.

        ETA: And it wasn’t that long ago either. Like last June.

        1. Maybe in a really small restaurant. Otherwise, they bring a debit machine to your table and you never hand over your card. Which is a good safety move. It’s weird to have to sign receipts now, since most transactions are PIN-based.

          It depends on the last time you were here.

        2. I was at a restaurant recently that said they weren’t set-up for the chip or swiping for VISA and I had to sign the slip. It was very strange.

          1. I went to a small place this weekend where it was the same, so it happens. But it is rare.

            The U.S. also took a lot longer to get debit cards at all. I’m guessing the issue is that there’s so many different banks there.

          2. When is our government going to give homeless people debit machines? No one carries change anymore! Get on this, Justin!

      2. I mean we have £1 coins and pennies but we also have chip and pin devices and contactless payments.

        1. £1 coins are fine (we have loonies! Also, I think I might have a random pound somewhere in my house from my last trip to London). But bills? So backward.

          1. The main problem here hasn’t been the feasibility of replacing $5 bills with coins, it’s been “What will be call the coin?”

            $1 = loonie
            $2 = toonie
            $5 = ??? (foonie?)

          2. Last year I was proctoring a test at a high school, and the vending machine in the cafeteria proudly advertised the fact that it accepted our last attempt to make dollar coins happen, and I thought “dear god, this thing is ancient.”

          3. I lived for many years in Japan, where they have the equivalent of $1 and $5 coins and the smallest bill is a $10 (and you could pay for stuff with an NFC in your cell phone almost 10 years ago). Walking around now with a wallet full of $1 bills is just so barbaric.

          4. “Walking around now with a wallet full of $1 bills is just so barbaric.”

            But you need them for strippers!

  4. This really upsets me. Scott and Jason has done nothing but shit on Alecia and make her feel inferior. They decide not to vote her out twice but instead of bringing her in they just shit on her more. She can’t win no matter what she does. She tries to stay positive, she works to be accepted by these assholes and they shun her. They weren’t trying to help her and they are awful teammates. I hope a swap comes so Cydney can escape these people.

    1. yeah that was the thing that bugged me too, they obviously hated her but they kept keeping her around just to shit on her some more

      1. Yeah, you really lose all standing to complain about her when it’s your fault she’s still there to begin with.

    2. Completely, Kyle was berating her for not trying hard enough when the thing she was complaining about was Scot telling her to stop trying and be encouraging at a point both of them were just sitting still.

    3. Why are you so sure that Cydney doesn’t like them? I never got that impression, quite the opposite. And Jason was really good to Cydney this episode.

      1. Yeah I’m pretty sure that Cydney is tight with Jason and Scot, but that she didn’t shit on Alecia (but I don’t think she liked her either)

        1. I feel like Cydney can be not tight with Scot or Kyle as soon as it benefits her. If they act like that to one of the Beauty women and there are other Beauties there then it could go south real fucking quick for them.

          1. I agree with that, but I don’t want people to start thinking that she liked Alecia just because she wasn’t yelling at her, because I’m pretty sure past episodes have Cydney throwing shade at Alecia in confessionals

          2. She may not have liked her which it’s whatever, you don’t have to like someone but at least she seem to treat her with basic human decency.

          3. yes that was my point, but some here are making Cydney out to be Alecia’s one true friend, which she wasn’t, she was just the only decent human being

          4. It’s ok, I could have phrased it better. This episode sucked and we are all a little hot

          5. Oh yeah, I’m not arguing she liked Alecia but people are insinuating she likes the guys or doesn’t but from the tiny amount of info I have I read it as her being tight with the people who hold the power. I feel like she will be willing to cut bait the moment the tide turns. If they swap and it’s her and one of those guys and that guy is obviously disliked for this behaviour, I just feel like she’ll tell stories about them being shitty to Alecia and how Jen wanted them gone that’s why she went and kick that guy under the bus.

          6. I don’t think Cydney will flip for no reason, but I do think if the tides are against them she is fine jumping ship

          7. Yeah, just get the impression had the starting 3 been Alecia, Darnell and Jennifer gunning for Kyle then Cydney would have been with them. I’m getting a decent gameplay vibe from her. I mean it’s usually safer to stick with your original crew but I get the feeling that Cydney knows loyalty is something you give until the person you are loyal to drags your game down.
            Or I could be completely wrong.

          8. I think Cydney *expects* to jump ship, but she’s doing the smart thing. Letting the conflicts happen elsewhere, stay out of the way, be nice to everyone, and don’t burn any bridges. I think she’s in a great position so far, and I really like her. Hope she gets a good break on the swap.

          9. I might be proven wrong next episodes, but I don’t think Jason or Scot are sexist or anything like that, and the completely respectful way they treat Cydney shows that. I think their problem was with Alecia, and I feel the reason many people are hating on them is because we likely got a way more positive edit of her than the truth. She just seemed way too immature (e.g., when she didn’t want to confirm or deny having an idol, and I doubt she was helpful at all at the camp), and that must be very frustrating to work and live with.

          10. I think the reason Jason and Scot treat Cydney differently from how they treat Alecia is because Cydney is one of the guys, she was willing to fit in with them, but they weren’t willing to accept someone different

          11. I didn’t read their treatment of her as sexism either… I mean they are indisputably gigantic assholes, but I think they would have given similar treatment to a Skinny Ryan type player.

            On the plus side I’m now convinced that Scot nor Kyle can win this game any more. I think Alecia would have been presented in a much less sympathetic manner, or Kyle/Scot would be smoothed out a bit by the edit, if one of them were the winner. I was hoping for an Alecia revenge arc but I’ll settle for “arrogant douchbags get crushed at the swap/merge/final tribal” if that’s what we get.

          12. Alecia’s edit though is very Fishy to me (and yes pun is intended here). We are meant to laugh at them at one moment, cheer at the next, and then cry with her after that. At least with Fishy, we know why they did it. But why did they do it with Alecia? She didn’t even get a J’Tia edit where she was the reason why they lost every challenge.

          13. the answer, i think, is gonna be Jason. I think Jason is going to be around for a long time, and this might be why he loses in the end, because he treats people like dirt

          14. Yeah, I have a feeling that he turns on either Scot or Cydney at a certain point and that really comes back to get him. I think that is why we got the whole “we are family” speech.

          15. which is also shitty that Alecia’s story is really Jason’s story. can’t even get her own story!

          16. Maybe that is why we got so much of Alecia’s attempts to make fire. She gets something going but then it gets snatched away by Jason. See also: last week’s idol hunt.

          17. and it is clear they want her to be part of Jason’s story and not Scot’s because even though she voted for Scot, we saw much more of Jason laying into her

          18. I’m sure she’s annoying but how annoying can a person be to get that level of treatment and get it quite early. It seemed to me they really didn’t like that when they were coming after her early she defended herself and didn’t cow to them.

          19. I think it might have been a situation where they get to the beach, look around and she someone who isn’t the typical Brawn type like they are. She is different and therefore everything she does gets magnified more. They definitely didn’t like that she fought back and defended herself. I loved that she refused to do a premature tribal. She never gave in to their shit and I admire that.

          20. No dude, Kyle used the word “female” instead of the correct word “woman” that’s sexist. He refused to use her name which would never have been done to a man. I don’t care if it’s latent or it’s coded, it’s still sexist.

          21. I will also say I think they think what they don’t like is weakness but are the kinds of men who see women as weak until proven wrong, Jennifer had a fucking ear bug and powered through and well Cydney is obviously strong.
            Ironically they also don’t like it when someone they perceive as weak stands up to them.
            That is still latent sexism.

          22. I don’t like Jason and Scot or their treatment of Alecia, but I do have to admit that she was getting on my nerves during the scene where she would not let the ‘cheer leading’ argument die

          23. I’m with you in that she seems super annoying, and I don’t know how much of that is real and how much is editing. For what it’s worth, I think the nicest thing a tribe member had to say about her genuinely, was when Jenny said something like, “You’re as annoying as fuck, but I kind of like you.”. All that said, there’s no excuse for treating people like that. Cydney, who basically claims to have rage issues, can do it, so can everyone else.

          24. I thought the same thing, but then I stopped to think about it from her pov, that they’ve been shitting on her this entire time, and she’s just tired of it, so anything they say to her she’s not gonna let drop cause fuck them that’s why, and I was like, yeah, just do your thing Alecia.

          25. There was no benefit to continuing the argument (it was as pointless as a Facebook political argument, nobody was going to change their minds), but I kinda admired that she wasn’t going to just sit there and take it.

          26. Being annoyed at Alecia isn’t sexist. Treating her she’s not worthy of breathing the same air, refusing to call her by name (Would he call Scot “Brunette”?), dismissing her only skill set as being a “cheerleader”?

            I’m not quick to cry sexism/racism at every turn, but it was full of misogynistic undertones.

      2. I guess I mean more that I actually like Cydney and want to root for her success which is tough when she is with those guys.

      3. I feel like the relationship they’re really hiding in the edit is Cydney-Jason. She joined him in turning on Jenny (she may have even had something to do with letting the cat out of the bag) and I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that Jason was the one that helped her through the heat stroke. Also, despite all her “Storm” talk, Cydney may be one of the most level-headed and thoughtful people in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she dumped Jason and Scot if they rubbed people the wrong way after the merge/swap.

    4. Pretty sure Cydney is using them as asshole shields. I’m sure she knows they are only so loyal to her.

    5. I know it would’ve been in-game suicide for Cydney, but she shouldn’t have kept silent about their behavior. Her silence gave their behavior a pass, so I don’t think I can root for her.

      1. There is also very little sign of her recognizing what is going on in confessionals, or alone with Alecia, or in any context where she could safely recognize that she is allying with human garbage.

        It could certainly be an editing thing- I don’t think Cydney is important to the story, so her humanizing moments could easily be cut- but there’s no in-show evidence that Cydney is a decent human.

        1. I sort of got that feeling from her at the beginning of the show, when she aligned with that first guy they booted, and said she didn’t like Alecia for whatever reason. It felt way too early for her to make a judgment like that.

          I’m guessing Alecia rubbed people the wrong way, but she certainly didn’t deserve the treatment she received. Though Jennifer said she liked her, cause of her spunk or something. They just should’ve voted her out when they initially wanted to to avoid this ugliness.

  5. Like…if that whole Alecia redemption arc wasn’t going to really go anywhere…it probably could have been left on the cutting room floor.

    God, how boring was EVERYTHING else during those 9 days, then?

    1. Eh, there probably wasn’t really any way around it if so much of camp life is Scot and Jason shitting on her. It would be weird if they didn’t make her sympathetic.

      1. I guess I mean that I’d rather have not seen any of it, and have had that time filled with anything else. But I suppose there is an obligation to that story. Maybe it will pan out in a great way by the end with some super comeuppance. (And…maybe not.)

        1. I’d rather not have had to sit through them shitting all over her and acting like she’s the worst person ever because she doesn’t bow down to them. But if I had to see the meanness I need to see her get some sort of positive storyline.

          1. At least they skipped directly to the vote after the challenge and saved us an evening of obvious berating.

          2. God, so true. And I hope the whole rest of the day, she was blatantly ignoring them. Just enjoying the beach and the water and the murderous, murderous sun.

          3. next to? if they’d treated me like that I’d have shat in the shelter, not by it. (by the way shat is the past tense of shit). Maybe in both their bags or shoes…

          4. I was thinking about this, if this happened to me and I’m waiting the 4 hours to get to tribal or whatever and I set fire to the shelter, would I still get my 4th boot money? is 4th boot money worth not destroying shit for fun?

          5. I don’t think they’d take your money away for that. They probably would if you quit or you physically assaulted someone, but not for destroying the tribe’s shelter.

          6. Cool, I was thinking I’d have set that thing on fire and thrown one shoe each in there because often a single shoe is worse than no shoes.

  6. I am very worried that the rest of the season will be more like the end of this episode than like the previous three.

    1. I’m omptimistic. I’ve felt for a minute that the warnings about bullying Probst and Burnett were about how Brawn treated Alecia, and now that it’s over we’re going to not have to deal with that.

      But seriously, Kyle is approaching Savage levels of not having any redeeming qualities.

      1. The difference between Savage and Kyle is Savage is a good guy who does things because of misguided ideas of loyalty and honour, who likes to be in charge. Kyle is a piece of shit with a temper problem who likes to be in charge.

          1. What is the other side of the spectrum of sexism? Not trying to sound like a dick, legit curious as to what you mean.

          2. Well I think Savage’s shit is paternalistic, he feels that is a big strong man and he knows best (he doesn’t necessarily think women know nothing just that he knows better) and he what he is doing is for their own good but Kyle seems to be sexist from the I’m a big strong man and this weak woman knows nothing.

          1. No Scot. To me Savage comes off like he always does, a man who needs his opinion heard when no one needs it.

      2. Be careful what you wish for. From a “comeuppance edit” point of view, it’s vital that Jason continues to be abusive. As either Rob C. or Stephen pointed out, Jason and Scot haven’t mistreated anybody except Alecia, who is now irrelevant to the game, and Cydney is the only remaining witness to their abuse. A Russell-wannabe who has an idol and enough sense not to antagonize future jury members wins Survivor.

        1. I think there’s still a lot of room to for them to be off-putting assholes; I mean Kyle is a bounty hunter, Survivor didn’t turn him into a creep, he already was one. Just maybe not as awful as they were to Alecia.

        2. I wonder if he has enough sense not to antagonize future jury members. Russell did. He said Russell is the only one who played the game right. And I wonder who the next potential person he picks on might be … Julia b/c she’s blonde and young? Tai because he’s small and sensitive?

          1. Russell didn’t have that sense. The show just stopped showing how bad he was to the jury because he was the most exciting element of the season.

          2. I actually meant that Russell antagonized future jury members, not that he had the sense not to. I just worded it wrong.

  7. The moral of this story is. I should have gone to sleep at a sensible time and nt stayed up til 2am to watch THAT epsiode of Survivor. They say never go to bed angry but tonight I’m mad at Survivor.

      1. I stayed up to 3am on here and it’s 10am now I’m at work and exhausted. But probably less tired than you considering you have a toddler.

        1. Eh, exhausted is my new normal. But I had an orchestra rehearsal and I got home at 10:30 and I was WIRED. Watching people almost die, and then a remaining contestant be verbally assaulted, did not exactly settle me down 🙁

  8. How screwed up was it that Alecia tried to get someone else to go in for her at IC and she was flatly turned down? She has said before that she is not good at puzzles and yet they make her do puzzles. What the hell kind of logic is that?…unless they were trying to throw it. If that was the case, struggle in the water.

    1. I think they were basically like, “If we lose, you are going out. So it is in your interest not to lose, not ours. Why would we save you if you are not even willing to save yourself?”

        1. I think she should already be “grateful” that they didn’t outright throw the challenge, especially after she openly said that she was just waiting for a swap to turn on them.

          1. It seemed pretty obvious to me that Cydney wasn’t trying to solve the puzzle at all.

          2. Has anybody ever flatly refused to participate in a challenge in order to throw it? Because I wouldn’t have put it past them.

          3. The favorites in Caramoan after Brandon melted down. But that was a very special circumstance.

  9. So here is the thing, I can see being annoyed at Alecia for what she doing in the challenge (seriously that kicking was some weak bullshit), but there is zero way that the way they would approach that annoyance would be as hostile if it was a male teammate that did that. Look at how they treated Darnell after he lost the goggles, they basically were straight up with him, they weren’t on him constantly or undermining him.

    1. Kicking isn’t that bad an approach if she was kicking the already dug sand out of the circle so as not to dump it where you will need to dig. But also she’s doing it at a point when Scot and Jason were basically just sitting waving their hands in the sand a little.
      They were on her from day 1 and she couldn’t do anything right for them. Try hard to stay positive, she gets called out, be quiet, she’s pessimistic and not trying to be a team. Fuck even when she was trying to cheer-lead they berated her for not trying to be part of the team.

      1. Nah kicking isn’t helpful there, or at least not what she was doing (the hard foot drag is more useful than the kick), but yeah the bigger problem is that the only incentive for her to try harder was that she would spend more time being crapped on by them

        1. I will give her one massive piece of credit. She was pretty fucking good and letting a lot of their shit slide of her back. I’d have definitely burst into tears and or thrown something at them.

          1. yup agreed. I am amazed at how she could keep a smile on her face. I would’ve been screaming at them much earlier

          2. Tears. Definitely tears. But I’m also known to cry when I’m furiously angry which doesn’t help me exude strength.

          3. Me too, one of my weaknesses in life is I cry at the drop of a hat, all strong emotions get tears, relief, tiredness, anger, happiness, boredom.
            One strength I have is I can cry pretty much on command and it freaks men out.

          4. YES! Me too. Any strong emotion. It’s fucking annoying. Especially being in the software engineer where I’m already combating the stereotype of being a “hysterical female”.

            I’ve never cried in front of a client, though.

          5. The rest of the Brawn tribe has basically guaranteed that if any of them ever come back as a favorite, it will be her.

          6. Good point. I’m trying to rack my brain on recent WoC they haven’t brought back yet and literally the best I can come up with is Nadiya.

          7. If we go on soley not Caucasian: Nadiya, Val, So Kim, Carolyn is Latina I think (and I was surprised she didn’t get into 2nd chance), J’Tia.

          8. I don’t think J’Tia coming back would be any different from the first time, and I don’t think it would be interesting to see again.

            Val I didn’t think of, and the argument for her is the same as the argument for Nadiya- she flamed out but her loved one won. So I could see that. But I also don’t see Val going out again until her son is a couple years older.

            As for So Kim… what’s the angle? I don’t see what’s compelling about bringing her back at all. She wasn’t a terrible first boot, but she was still a first boot.

          9. You know people joke about a first boot season? Imagine how diverse that would be. In fact it would be more heavily minority than any other season bar race wars and Fiji.

          10. The problem is that a lot of first boots were first boots because they were PoC, but also a lot of first boots were just first boots for a reason. Have you listened to John and Andy’s first boot season draft podcast? I feel like they made it clear exactly how dire a first boot season would actually be.

          11. J’Tia had made the second chance short list. Did the video interview in LA and everything.

          12. Yeah, I’m not saying I don’t believe the show would bring J’Tia back, I just have no interest in seeing it.

          13. I believe it’s Carolyn’s husband that’s Latino, actually. Not that those are mutually exclusive, of course. But I don’t believe she is, and that’s where the last name comes from.

          14. Marissa! I would love to see her play again, she got fucking shafted. But she is definitely the least memorable of all the women you listed (Nadiya is a winner’s sister, Val’s big idol lie, So’s big “neutral” lie, J’Tia fucked shit up).

          15. I was trying to draw a line at “recent” but to be honest it was tough. I went back to Cagayan but yeah Marissa definitely got shafted, another woman taking out because of a man she was connected to and she’s a WoC.

          16. But I wouldn’t say that Marissa’s ouster had anything to do with her being a WoC and had everything to do with her being Gervase’s outburst after the challenge.

          17. The men of the loved ones tribe had bonded and were going to vote out a woman. Even though Katie and Cierra did poorly in the puzzle part of the challenge and some men wanted one of them gone, Brad lobbied to vote out Marissa because of Gervase’s actions. He specifically said in a confessional that that was the reason he wanted her gone (plus she had said earlier that a comment he had made about maybe throwing a challenge to save Monica could make him a target).

            Based on what we saw on the show, Monica’s color had nothing to do with her being voted out. If Gervase hadn’t trash talked after almost drowning at the challenge, it would have been Cierra or Katie.

          18. Cydney is giving me Alicia Calloway vibes. I’m thinking she may end up a mid-jury boot. She should be back in a future season considering she’s getting good airtime and seems level-headed and self-aware.

          19. As we’ve discussed below there are few WoC from recent seasons who they could come back. J’Tia can’t, Val and Nadiya are related to winners so are probably out and So Kim was a first boot.

          1. Yeah once I realized that we were getting a tribal as well I knew it was Alecia going home

          2. Especially since we barely saw any Brain tribe life and we saw absolutely zero Beauty tribe to the point that only Tai had a confessional out of the 6 beauty members. I believe someone on Reddit said that only 6 people got confessional tonight, but I counted 7: Peter, Debbie, Tai, and all remaining Brawns. I know that is because of the first half being solely emergency central, but it still feels really weird.

          3. This is why I try really hard not to count confessionals; at this point they’re basically in-episode spoilers.

          4. I didn’t realize it until after the episode how few of them got confessionals. Hell, I forgot that Tai got the post-RC confessional which made everyone on Twitter go “Oh crap, Tai is going to Tribal and playing his idol”.

          5. I still didn’t see it as anything other than “not Brains”. Tai had that Idol quote, which could have meant they went to Tribal.

    2. I don’t disagree at all, but I do want to point out two things:
      1. Darnell was on Day 3 which is different from Day 11.
      2. It’s not just that Alecia’s a woman, it’s that she has absolutely nothing in common with them which I think was really driving that wedge.

    3. Alecia was kicking after everyone had spent 45 minutes digging. At that point I’d be standing up so my back wouldn’t lock in place after being hunched over for almost an hour.

      1. Yeah, the goal in that challenge was not to move earth quickly, it was to move earth without dying. Some time spent kicking is entirely consistent with that goal.

        1. I’m pretty sure that at the start they were all on their hands and knees digging with their hands.

  10. Just like a baby-yet-full sized Debbie being born from a sand vagina, this episode was a painful struggle.

    1. He was probably taken straight to a hospital and then the US so no island location to film it at.

          1. Plus you want to see his son is alive and well, and have the plug for organ donation.

  11. Some random thoughts:


    Yay a reward challenge! Wait, this looks like the death-challenge from last week’s preview.

    Have we ever had a challenge before the opening credits? Not counting Redemption Island duels/truels?

    At the 45 minute mark Production is thinking “Maybe we should have just buried 1 bag instead of 3”.

    “Keep cheerleading. It’s what you’re best at.”

    Ok when one member of each tribe needs medical attention, maybe Production has to start asking themselves some questions.

    I’ll admit it, I was close to tears as they worked on Caleb and Cydney, but I held it together. Then they told the Beauty tribe that Caleb was out of the game and Tai started crying. Where’s that tissue?

    Everyone on the Beauty tribe except Nick is crying. Nick: “He’ll be fine, he’ll be fine.” Thanks, robot.

    So hopefully all future challenges this season will either be in the water or in a tent.

    I really thought that Jason and Scot would just refuse to participate in the immunity challenge to make sure they could vote out Alecia.

    I guess this vote is a no-brainer, but showing nothing back at camp? Is that a first?

    Wow, Scot was just trying to help Alecia! He’s so helpful!

    Jason’s vote said “Alecia” and not “Blondie!” Who saw that coming?

        1. Not only did you beat me to the Nick observation, but an Arrested Development reference. Well done.

          1. We need a GIF of Probst when he realized that Cydney needed Medical too and he suddenly realized that this may be the moment when the show finally went too far and killed some players, with the caption “I’VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE.”

    1. My roommate, who hasn’t ever watched the show, and her friend, who stopped like around Redemption Island, were in the room while I was watching, and I had to assure them that this clusterfuck was a first.

  12. The edit makes Alecia look annoying. I have no idea how true that is, but there’s just no excuse for Jason and Scot. It reminds me of how Rocky thought he was “helping” Anthony by constantly ridiculing and belittling him. THAT’S NOT HOW YOU HELP PEOPLE!!

    Did anyone else notice that Nick was conspicuously absent when Tai and the women were consoling each other about Caleb? It’s a lot easier to fake “human emotions” for the 5 minutes it takes to try to pick up someone in a bar than it is to fake a response to a truly emotionally charged situation. As many have said before, Survivor has a way of stripping you down to who you really are. Nick makes Heidik look like a lovable puppy dog (insert obvious joke here).

    Anyway, my pre-season opinion of Kylon Jasle is looking better every episode.

    1. Nick was there for the hug and he was elevating Caleb’s feet while the medics were helping him. He elevated the feet.

          1. You just wait and see when Nick wins this season!

            …He’s on my fantasy team, okay?

          2. I have Kyle. I swapped him IN for Darnell after the first episode. I clearly have bad instincts on people.

          3. The last time I got knocked out of the Champions League was when I picked Vytas first for BvW. I gotta stop trusting addicts with my game.

    2. Yeah, seconding SNP, medical put Nick to work. He’s still a douche, but he was a douche who was currently doing what he was told to.

    3. Nick was with Caleb helping the medical staff, he was holding Caleb’s legs up to get blood to his head.

        1. “Nick, I know you’re helping medical to, you know, keep Caleb alive, but could you stop doing that so we can get a shot of you with the rest of your tribe?”

          1. It’s ok, I know what you meant. The show is always about getting people framed for the shots they want on camera. They’re not above getting a tribe to enter the frame a second or third time in order to get the shot they wanted.

            On Probst talks about during that crisis he was acting like 3 people: the executive producer, the host, and the audience. He was thinking about how best to frame this for tv, but eventually (hopefully) he realized “The hell with that” when he basically told any crew member within the sound of his voice to come help.

          2. Okay, good. It just felt odd to not get a sense of Nick’s emotions. Maybe that would have been a good time for a confessional. If they could, I would love to have seen that aftermath on the Beauty on the show instead of through the secret scenes. I haven’t watched them but I know there is an Anna one that talks about how they lost Caleb over salt and pepper, which is something that needs to be reminded. First place won a “kitchen set” and second place won salt and pepper and some dishes. That is fairly crappy rewards, right? Were they just tapped out of rewards because so much of what they could have offered (chickens, fruit, etc.) was offered through the marooning?

          3. With three tribes they have to make the first place reward great and the second place reward a lesser prize, something worth killing yourself in the challenge (poor choice of words) to make sure you get first instead of second.

          4. It just seems like this year that division between first and second hasn’t been so neat. Take last week, where 1st place could either pick the comfort items (including a tarp) or the emotional items and 2nd place got whatever 1st pick didn’t. While I understand the appeal of the emotional items, why not just beg for a trap at the very least?

          5. Yeah, I’d prefer a three tribe reward challenge to be first place gets to choose from 2 rewards and 2nd place gets what’s left. Then again, Production has to make both prizes somewhat equal, and that means if you come in second you get a prize equal to what first place got. Hmm.

          6. Yeah, it’s a pickle. I know that in other three tribe seasons, one tribe won chickens and the other tribe won eggs. While that is not equal, it made sense to be prizes together.

          7. I think you underestimate how appealing the idea of flavor is after a week and half of living on rice and coconuts.

            Chickens and fruit are a one time thing, but spices mean you’re getting food that tastes like something for at least the next week.

          8. I guess I have a really bland palette anyway where I don’t add salt or pepper to anything. So, I don’t always think about people who need more flavor to their food.

          9. No, Liz said in an exit interview that they didn’t get rice. Which especially sucked for her because she has a shellfish allergy.

          10. When he yelled for the crew to swarm, I thought “alright, things are officially really bad.”

  13. And you know what? Screw Probst for acting like an action movie star during that crisis! “That bird there is comin’ in for him right now!” He was so glad he got to bark those orders. “Glad” may be the wrong word for it but I just bet when he watched it tonight his lips moved along with his on-screen quotes.

    1. I felt bad for Probst. Simultaneously, he was feeling a huge boner for calling in the chopper like a boss, losing it for evacuating his favorite bro, and getting it back because the bro literally (figuratively) knocked himself out of the game by giving 110% for the team. His penis has never been so confused.

    2. What’s worse is you know they’re going to use this as an excuse to pat themselves on the backs at the reunion for their medical team and response, when they should be accepting responsibility for putting the players in this spot to begin with.

      This isn’t about how “real” the “surviving” is. If this was a true survival situation, people wouldn’t be digging in the sand and playing skee ball at the hottest point of the day.

      1. I really hope we’re done with Cambodia. I remember watching the premier of Second Chances and thinking how gorgeous the scenery looked and how happy I was for the switch up, and now I’m just over it.

        1. Liz had a staph infection so bad chunks of her back had to be removed and she had plastic surgery. Do the next season in a field in Idaho for all I care as long as the strategy still exists I’ll watch.

          1. Jeff: “Wanna know what you’re playing for?”
            Players: “Yeah!”
            Jeff: “Potatoes!”
            Players: (groans)
            Jeff: “You don’t like potatoes?”
            Players: “Every challenge is for potatoes!”

          2. I would absolutely be up for a season in like Idaho, Montana, or the Dakotas, but I don’t know if it stays warm enough at night for that to work.

          3. Actually, on the Dakotas, I’m just gonna throw this out now – Survivor: Deadwood. The individual immunity token is a cowboy hat.

          4. One of my favorite facts about Deadwood is that someone did the math and found they say ‘fuck’ roughly once every two minutes.

        2. I visited Cambodia last summer. It should be on your and everybody’s bucket list. It’s odd and disappointing that they’ve gone the “random tropical beach” route this season.

      2. Yes, I have absolutely nothing against medical evacuations, I think they are an unavoidable part of a game called Survivor, but I really feel bad when someone is evacuated during challenges. Challenges are not normal survival situations, they are production made. (Even worse are the cases that the evacuation has absolutely nothing to do with the elements, purely by bad challenge design, like that poor woman in the first episode of Worlds Apart.)

    3. Agreed, but I did think he looked legitimately scared during part of Caleb’s bit when they also realized Cydney was down. “Oh shit, this could turn around on us.”

      1. Oh yeah, one doctor and 3 people who needed him at some point. It was scary. Had Peter sat out the challenge not Neil I think he would have helped, I don’t like people giving him stick about it because during the Debbie situation you could see he was gassed too, I doubt he was in a state mentally to be helpful medically.

        1. I was wondering why Peter didn’t go all “I’m a doctor, get out of my way!” on the Survivor doctors. I don’t doubt for a second that in his mind, dehydration or not, Caleb would be better off being treated by him than by those 3rd world doctors.

          1. Peter said on twitter that he wasn’t allowed to interact with contestants on the other tribes. He tried to yell that ocean water is cooler than average body temperature but they couldn’t hear him above all the noise. Also most of the doctors seem to have Australian accents, not sure why Peter would consider that “3rd world”?

      2. Yeah, when Debbie went down and they resolved the situation he was thinking “Ok, nipped that in the bud.” But then Caleb went down and he was worried, but when Cydney went down he was probably thinking “Oh shit, I think we finally went too far.” At that point he probably expected half a dozen more players to collapse like dominoes.

    4. OF COURSE Probst calls it a bird. If you weren’t a combat helicopter pilot you shouldn’t be allowed to call it a bird.

  14. I don’t know how or why they’re doing it, but they’re making me love Debbie (the stuff she said about her daughters really got to me, plus I like her relationship with Aubry).
    Sudden unfiltered thought: could she be the next medevac (assuming there is another one)?

    1. I was thinking during this entire segment: “Is this… what a Debbie winner’s edit would look like?!” I am still reluctant to go that direction, but her edit this entire season has been as positive as it gets. (She even got the mastermind edit last week!)

    2. I started to feel for Debbie during that confessional too. But then I remembered that she falsified water tests putting hundreds (thousands?) of people at risk, and that feeling went away.

      1. Yeah, it’s important to bear in mind that “the mistakes” she speaks so movingly about revolve around committing fraud WHEN TESTING HURRICANE KATRINE FLOOD WATERS FOR CYANIDE.

        1. I mean, this is bad enough any time, but we’re in the middle of the crisis in Flint where the town decided in order to save a hundred bucks a day they would change their water source and now people can’t drink their water and it doesn’t seem like they’re doing anything to fix the pipes.

          1. “If they [state and federal officials] had just followed the minimum standards under federal law which would have cost just $100 a day, none of these things would have happened – including the high lead in water, the likely Legionella deaths that have occurred, the leaks of the pipes, the economic devastation and the loss of confidence in government that occurred,”

            Dr. Marc Edwards, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, told RT in an interview.

          2. I believe what Matt is referring to is that the problem was as much ignoring infrastructure maintenance as it was choice of water source.

            Also please tell me RT isn’t short for Russia Today.

          3. and the water source was not chosen by the city council but by the emergency manager. seriously this is a complicated mess in flint, don’t go victim blaming. The town decided to change water sources to another source that was used by many many townships and cities. The emergency manager came in at this time, and detroit denied Flint the right to continue using their water on a temporary basis screwing over the town’s short term stop gap plan. The Emergency manager then was the one to choose the Flint River as the short term source, but failed to properly treat it. It was the failure to treat the water that resulted in the significant pipe damage that produced the lead in the water (lead is not in the Flint River in those quantities it comes from the water corroding the pipes, something that can be prevented with treatment).

            Saying “the town decided to save a hundred bucks a day” is victim blaming citizens who had their power to choose removed from them at the very moment of crisis. Further the problem was exacerbated by the repeated failures of any agency to reveal what they knew all along, the water was poison. The city council could not even take any measures to correct the problem because the real power was in the emergency managers. So again blaming the “town” and the elected officials is horseshit.

          4. i have a friend who lives in flint and has been pretty vocal about how much power was removed from the citizens and their elected reps in this mess

        2. The water felon stuff really sticks with me because my dad is an air pollution scientist (and formerly radiation pollution), and I have had it drilled into me since childhood how important care and attention in this shit is.

          1. It’s like Republicans who want to de-fund the EPA, I just want to shake them and yell “Don’t you know what they do?”

            If there was a way to de-fund the EPA for just Republican homes then I say do it for a year. Then they can revisit that decision.

          2. They know. They just don’t care if it hurts donor’s bottom lines.

            Fun story: Air quality is a huge issue in Hawaii, because active volcanoes emit shit you don’t want to breath. To the point where, when the Tea Party took over Congress, there was a general ban on government travel to Hawaii, but my dad’s department was excepted.

            At one point the Senate tried to cut funding to my dad’s department, and Daniel Inouye was so incensed that every year after that he made a personal point of inserting funding as a line item.

  15. Here’s a thought. Maybe after the merge Jason, Scot, Peter, and Nick end up on a tribe together and form an alliance. How fun would that be?

    The answer is none. None more fun.

    1. honestly my worry is this, because peter and jason are both getting big enough edits i could see them sticking around for a really long time

      1. None of them are getting good edits though. They learned with Jenna that it’s a bad idea to make the winner look this bad. Emphasize the positives, hide the negatives.

      2. Maybe Jason. But Peter? I don’t think so (and I hope not). They’ve given shading to Jason with the bits about his family. They’ve only portrayed Peter as a cartoon villain.

        1. See, I feel like Peter has a better chance for redemption, at least edit wise. He’s been arrogant, but not an asshole/bully type the same way Jason has been. I do think Jason goes far though.

          1. At the start of the episode I thought we might be in for a Peter redemption arc, but his confessional got sooooooo douchey I backed off on it. I think editing just might be clowning on him.

          2. I dunno. I still don’t think characters who have been portrayed this many episodes in a row as a cartoon stand much of a chance of gaining new dimensions or a redemption arc.

          3. Ah! I get you.

            Personally, although I see it as more likely than Peter, I don’t want to see a Jason redemption either because my loathing for him is intense. I mean I’d love one in real life, sure, he’s a human being so why not. But I don’t want some tv version of redemption because he’s basically intolerable and not even slightly fun to watch. At least cartoon villain Peter is a fun buffoon.

            Well cartoonish Debbie has been deepened as a character as of the past two episodes, so who knows, maybe something will happen to Peter too.

          4. The scene of him lying on the beach in the dark bodes well for that. In an episode where so much of the time was taken up by the medical drama they spent time on Peter.

      1. It’s like looking back now at Jerri on Australia who was, at the time, this hated villain. Oh look, she wants chocolate, she’s a terrible human being.

    1. Rest of Beauty tribe: Poor Caleb, I hope he’s all right.
      Robot Nick: He’ll be fine, he’ll be fine. Let’s get back to camp.

    1. I hope it contained
      Both the words “chopper” and “bird”.
      I think Jeff does, too.

  16. Who knew looking for small bags of balls in a beach full of sand would be so difficult. Fuck you Jeff.

    That reward challenge was insane. 3 people got heat stroke. Debbie was the luckiest, Cydney looked pretty bad, but Caleb almost dies and gets evac’ed. I wonder if they’ll change their challenge set up to allow for water breaks or something cause that got really dangerous.

    Jason and Scot continue to be d-bags, and wonder why Alecia is constantly asserting herself to them. Fuck both y’all.

    Alecia may be argumentative and probably pretty ditzy, but she didn’t deserve to be shat on by those two asshole constantly.

    Cydney doesn’t look too great ignoring what was happening. Sure, it’d bad for her game, but letting those two assholes have free rein makes her look shitty.

    Peter, still delusional.

    Anyhow tribal was quick and to the point, I’m just glad Alecia doesn’t have to deal with that bullshit any longer.

    1. Regarding Jason and Scot: It’s a real testament to how much lying around they do that I know where their spots are in the shelter. I don’t normally take notice of these bits of trivia.

  17. I’ve watched far fewer seasons than most of the group, so a question. Was this the worst Survivor episode of all time?

    Incredibly unpleasant to watch throughout, and also stupefyingly boring. Heatstroke, and then a couple of misogynist bullies feeling smug about their successful bullying. And nothing else. Nothing at all.

    Just awful.

    1. …I liked it. It was intense. I don’t want it to ever happen again though. At least not in the next 5-10 seasons.

      1. I remain amused by the fact that you and I appear to be looking for absolutely diametrically opposite things in Survivor…except for Woo.

        1. With respect to the medical situation, I don’t like watching episodes like this one but I’m glad they exist. They help make real the fact that, more than many other reality shows, Survivor is a truly taxing ordeal that actual people actually struggle with. Also, I have to hope that fiascos like this meltdown help the producers reevaluate and calibrate their safety precautions.

          As far as the bullying, it sucks and it sucks to watch.

          1. I mentioned I watched that scene with a casual who hadn’t seen the show in years. She didn’t remember much, but ‘that one guy who fell in the fire’ was lodged in her brain.

          2. When that happened it was front page news. Well, maybe not “front page” but it was something that everyone was talking about. Even if you weren’t watching the show, people were still saying “Oh yeah, that’s the one where the guy fell in the fire.”

            I mean, that season premiered after the Superbowl, for crying out loud.

          3. I didn’t know it happened at the time, and didn’t know until I started watching the show, but I was also 14 and dead set against paying attention to anything CBS did, because CBS was for old people.

          4. Every year I get more and more adamant with my non-Survivor-fan friends that Survivor is excellent television. They tend to counter that it’s all fake, to which I reply that while it’s true the survival aspect has been diminished over the years in favor of an emphasis on strategy there is nonetheless real risk and danger on the island.

          5. I have one friend who insists it’s fake, but the two women I was watching it with were both glued to the television. Neither of them was going to bed until that crisis was resolved (I didn’t get to start the episode till 11:30)

            My roommate, who again, was never a fan, at one point said, verbatim: I can’t believe I’m getting sucked into Survivor.

          6. That’s the thing: whenever I’m trying to convince someone that Survivor is quality, I point out that all the competition-based reality television they’re familiar with is a pale imitation of Survivor, that Survivor is not only one of the originals but also one of the best, and that even if they watched Survivor back in season 1 it’s a completely different beast than its original form.

          7. I get it because I used to be like that. Before I watched the show I had exactly one memory of it, and it’s not what you think. In law school I had to take the train downtown, and MARTA at the time had a deal with CBS where there were monitors in all the cars that cycled a mix of entertainment news and promos for CBS shows. I have exactly one vivid memory, which I now realize is a promo for the Redemption Island episode where Bible Matt wins the jailbreak challenge, and the only things I could think when I saw it were “dear god, Survivor is still on” and “this looks boring as fuck.”

            Then I was living in a group house with one dude who was really into Survivor and, since he was never the dude who tried to pick the channel, when he wanted to watch Cagayan we were like “yeah, of course.” It took me a couple episodes, but around the swap was when I accepted that I was hooked on this.

          8. At least it wasn’t a preview featuring the shuffleboard challenge. Like I said, I’ve only just this past week watched Redemption Island and there definitely seemed to be a few episodes in a row where the challenge designers were phoning it in with respect to the duels.

    2. Brandon got someone voted out for giving him boners. Also, most of Nicaragua. Also, Colton.

      1. I find Brandon, Colton (and the World’s Apart misogyny crew), to be deeply unpleasant to watch- but ultimately more interesting than this shit. This wasn’t just awfulness, it was the same awfulness we’ve spent the whole pre-swap enduring.

      2. Don’t forget Dan equating being adopted to being abused by your parents. And Will telling Shirin that nobody at home loves her.

    3. No. “Rice Wars” still exists.

      Also I still would rank this over Brandon’s exit from Caramoan, Sue’s exit from All-Stars, and Ghandia’s exit from Thailand.

      1. I’ve watched at least 15 various seasons, but somehow I missed the first Redemption Island season and have been watching it for the first time this past week. “Rice Wars” is absolutely horrific.

        1. I will say this: as much of a disaster as “Rice Wars” is, Probst acquits himself really well in it. “Perception is reality in the mind of the perceiver” is a nonsense phrase, but he’s clearly doing his best to navigate a difficult situation and mostly does it right.

          1. I dunno. I think he overcompensated like most white people do* when it comes to the topic of race, one way or the other. In this situation he overcompensated by letting an offensive asshole talk about his perspective to such a degree that it made it appear as if there was some slight possibility that the other guy had actually done something racist. When everyone else including the editors had made it clear that Phillip was both crazy and ridiculous.

            *not that I have anything against white people. “Some of my best friends are white”

          2. What was interesting was that Phillip had a point. There is a lot of coded language that white people use to dismiss black people. The problem was that Phillip’s example, the word “crazy”, didn’t work because Phillip spent the whole game, the reunion show, the post-game, and his second outing demonstrating that he was a crazy person. I’ll give Probst some credit. Steve had little to lose, because the edit would inevitably support his view. But Phillip got to express his point of view, even if he was very, very wrong.

            (Edited to add: I am most definitely an overcompensating white person.)

          3. Giving Probst some credit? DrVanNostrand, that sounds like crazy talk to me.

            Edit: and you do make a good point regarding use of that and other words.

          4. Okay, so the Assman said a lot of what I would have said had I been sober, but to reinforce:

            Yes, it’s absolutely true that Philip was a fucking nutjob. But at the same time Philip’s argument is plausible. And what DvN doesn’t mention is that it also seemed pretty clear that Steve wasn’t going home, so any residual tension was coming back to camp. Given all of those factors, I think Probst really did the best he could of steering through tricky waters and defusing a situation that could have poisoned the rest of the season.

          5. You don’t think Probst was aware of how this played out back at camp by the time they came to tribal council? Many of his questions over the years appear, to me at least, to be coming from someone who is being kept abreast of how a tribe is doing. Philip’s argument is completely implausible if you look at the context in which he provided that argument – namely, what happened back at camp. Context is really important and without it, there is a chance that anything inflammatory can simply be accepted as truth because it has been put out there – people respond emotionally, and often stupidly, to such things because of their personal histories.

            And so I still think Probst irresponsibly provided a platform for an asshole to wrongly accuse a completely innocent guy of being a racist. It was gross to watch. And I’m the kind of guy who is always keeping an eye out for signs of racism; growing up as a person who isn’t white in Orange County meant that it was a part of my life. It disgusts me when another person of color uses race in the way that he did. I’d dislike him intensely if he didn’t do what he did because of all of his other antics; after he pulled that, I didn’t just dislike him – I despised him. And I just hate, hate, hate that Probst provided him a platform when I’m confident that he knew exactly what Philip was trying to do.

          6. I think he was completely abreast of it, which is part of my pint. I think he knew exactly what he was heading into with that tribal council and the difficult path he was going to have to navigate, nd that it was going to end with Steve not going home, and I’ll get back to that in a minute.

            So I want to make one thing clear: when I say Philip had a plausible argument, I don’t mean it applied in his case. Steve called Philip crazy because Philip was acting crazy. Because Philip is fucking crazy. But he also wasn’t wrong in the general sense. Trust me as a technically white person who grew up in the heart of the south, when racists are in a group of white people and trying to sound out whether they have reign to let their confederate flag fly, ‘crazy’ is one of the code words they use if it’s a black man they’re talking about , just like ‘angry’ is the word you use if it’s a black woman.

            There was no way Probst was going to be able to reign Philip in at tribal. He’s straight up crazy. To his credit, he did eventually apologize to Steve, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s over the line bonkers. But, given those conditions and the fact that it was obvious that Julie was probably going home, I think Probst honestly did a good job of steering through things and sending everyone back to camp with the least tension possible.

          7. I guess we’re just not going to see eye-to-eye on this. Phillip did something that was disgusting back at camp: he responded to something he didn’t like (not getting rice that wasn’t his) in an aggressive way and when his comments were called “crazy” he said that that person was racist. Gross and grosser. Then Probst actually gave him a platform that allowed Phillip to re-contextualize why he called Steve a racist into it being about his personal struggle as a black man – when that was not what it was all about at all, not in the least. What it was about was Phillip acting crazy and then delivering a really low blow when he still couldn’t get what he wanted. Probst allowed him rewrite history, and in the process Phillip managed to diminish actual racism to black men into an excuse to excuse his pathetic behavior. It was the worst!

            If an asshole acts like an offensive, in your face type person to me, talking all kinds of shit, and I call them crazy… I’ll be damned if I will ever respect an inquiry into my comment as potentially meaning I was mocking people with mental health challenges. Even if that asshole insists that my reaction to their actions triggered some feelings about their own mental health challenges, and so let’s talk about my behavior instead of their own. I’d recognize that as an asshole trying to worm their way out of owning up to their assholish actions by pointing the finger elsewhere. Probst helped Phillip do exactly that.

          8. I think both of you are overlooking the real victim here: Me, lured into rewatching an episode of Redemption Island.

          9. Heh. Yeah, I really can’t believe I spent so much time talking about my least favorite character from my least favorite season. My sincere apologies!

          10. One other thing – what do you see Probst doing to defuse Philip in the tribal council that would make it better?

            He can’t play into Philip’s narrative, because Philip is insane. He can’t ignore it, because Philip isn’t going to let him. And he can’t throw Steve under the bus because Steve isn’t going home, for obvious reasons. He had to steer a path through narrow waters and I think he did as good of a job as it’s possible to do with that task.

          11. He could have ignored it and/or the editors could have left all of that bullshit on the editing floor. But they didn’t because they were all overcompensating – and so they ended up essentially rewarding Phillip’s bad behavior. A platform to talk about his personal life is a reward, and he received that reward after throwing some kind of fit back at camp and then following that up with a heinous low blow of an attack. Probst made it all about Phillip’s personal experiences in his life when what actually happened was an innocent guy was called one of the worst things you can call a person, and on national tv, by someone who was butthurt over not getting his way.

          12. I agree. The Tribal Council in the episode is actually one of the best*, in my opinion. Jeff oftentimes seems to be trying too hard for the perfect little piece of philosophical cotton candy, but the way he managed to work with and bridge both Phillip and Steve’s points of view was actually pretty solid.

            *One of the best in terms of its quality of discussion, as opposed to some Tribals which are great for their crazy-bats-wild-three-hidden-idols-WTF-stool-standing-nonsense.

          13. One of the best tribal councils, you say? If only we had some content going up tomorrow that would allow you to definitively determine the actual best tribal councils…

          14. The way that segue was set-up, I suspect that @itsafuckingSTICK:disqus is @purplerockjohn:disqus’s second (third?) Disqus account.

    4. As hard to watch as it was, I still thought this episode was amazing. And I will never watch it again.

    5. I thought the first portion of the show was handled fairly well and they tapped into a lot of the compelling human emotion that was there (it was impossible not to feel for the remaining Beauties as they had their group hug). As horrifying – and easily avoidable – as the heat stroke sequence was, it was actually the best part of the episode for me. The second half was so contentious and unpleasant that I was just counting down the minutes until it was over. I’m not sure what else they could have done in editing to fix it. Maybe they could have structured it more like the Skupin medevac episode of Australia where the emergency happened toward the end and they closed the episode with the group hug. But then they would have had the to cram the the Alecia elimination into the beginning of the next episode or something…

      1. I actually think it was edited as well as it could have been. The problem was that, due to casting and production mistakes, nothing happened over this three-day-period with two eliminations that I had any interest in watching.

        1. Yeah that’s fair. I think the biggest mistake (besides not modifying/postponing the heat stroke inducing challenge when they realized it was going to be 115 degrees out) was not cancelling the day 11 tribal council altogether. I can’t imagine a result that would have been positive or entertaining. Say Brawn didn’t lose, then what? The Brains vote out Peter with little fanfair or the Beauties lose and are subject to further emotional devastation.

          1. I think the reason it was one episode was because Brawn lost and voted out Alecia. Otherwise, they probably make Caleb’s evac its own episode. But because Alecia being voted out was such a foregone conclusion that it lacked any drama whatsoever, they made the decision to tack that tribal council on to the end of this episode to avoid wasting an episode next week on an extremely predictable vote.

            And the fact that they included the vote in this episode likely spared us having to see a lot more of Alecia being treated poorly- if she had a boot episode all to herself I’m betting a lot of the focus would have been on camp life at Brawn, which would likely not have been pretty.

  18. OK, I’m going to get crucified for this.

    It’s like 50 gazillion degrees out, and Alecia is clearly annoying. Jason and Scot aren’t right at all in how they were treating her, but she doesn’t fit in with them, she gets on their nerves, and humans can only tolerate so much. Scot in particular seemed to be OK early on in the season and is just starting to lose it here. It’s a really tough situation and being filmed and watched by people who are in the right minds there’s no way you can’t come across as awful, especially when the person you can’t stand has this admirable never say die attitude.

    Survivor is a really tough situation, and sometimes situations just get beyond where you don’t have the energy to act with even basic human decency. I think there’s more to this than just saying Scot and Jason are horrible people. They’re just horrible characters in a TV show.

    And that was a unique episode that I found really interesting. But yes, in the future, try to keep your contestants alive Survivor. Thanks,

    1. I’m gonna quote cabspaintedyellow from the av club review, cause they articulated it the best, so no need to try myself :

      “Jason and Scot were infuriating.

      Now, I’m not necessarily the world’s biggest Alecia fan, but I don’t think she deserved the contempt thrown her way by those two, who basically jumped at any chance to leap down Alecia’s throat over every little thing she would say. Accusing her of always making everything about her, just because she answered that she did her best, more or less showed that Alecia was in a situation where she just couldn’t win. And it wasn’t even entirely her fault, considering that her tribe continually chose to save her over brawnier options. Yet at no point do they reflect on the choices they made and think, “Well, maybe if we hadn’t chosen to keep her around, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” It’s not as if Alecia played an idol to stick around. They CHOSE not to eliminate her when they had the chance! If Alecia’s self-absorption is obnoxious to them, then their lack of introspection is maddening to me.

      Also, Scot ignoring Alecia’s point about teamwork and somehow thinking it doesn’t apply just because he was in the NBA makes me feel like he needs a good kick in the dick.”

      1. I think we just have too high of expectations for the people on the show re: this kind of behaviour. They just came off a challenge where it was so hot they almost died, and they have what to them is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. I’m not saying that’s Alecia’s fault or anything, but do you not have anyone that really annoys you? Imagine having to live with them nonstop for 10 days. Then imagine at the end of those 10 days it’s 115F out and you just want to sleep in the shade and they start and argument with you. If you can keep your cool, good on you. A very high percentage of otherwise perfectly reasonable people would not.

        It’s not Alecia’s fault, it’s just Survivor builds artificially impossible situations and we expect people to still act rational and with decency. It’s typically not going to happen.

        1. I think this explains blowups. Say Trish exploding on Cass near the end of Cagayan.

          But that’s not what we have seen from Scot and Jason at all. We have seen eleven straight days of unmitigated, self-righteous, dehumanizing, misogynist contempt from them towards Alecia. And throughout, they have seen themselves as the noble heroes.

        2. Maybe we can stop trying to give their behavior a pass or explain it away? Doesn’t really matter how annoying someone is, it’s no excuse to be abusive. Like Roswulf and others have said, they’ve been acting like that since day 1. In any event, they were complete assholes to her, and they’re wondering why she’s getting all “uppity”?

          Or how about this, let’s justify Alecia’s behavior. Oh wait, that’s actually simple. Having people constantly shit on you made her damned determined to show them up and remind them of their shitty behavior, even if it meant pissing them off, which annoyed them.

          1. I’m not giving the behaviour a pass, it was clearly bad.

            I’m offering context and just suggesting we shouldn’t be so quick to evaluate them as people.

          2. That is giving it a pass. It’s not intentional, but I see the context justification all the time for all sorts of shitty discriminatory behavior. We need to call it for what it is and stop rationalizing why people are cruel assholes. Yes, it’s good to understand the root causes so we can analyze how to stop further behavior, but it veers too close to victim blaming when we say we shouldn’t evaluate the abusers (for being abusers) so quickly as there’s undertones that the victim did something to earn their wrath.

          3. It’s possible to condemn actions without condemning the people performing the actions. I disagree that there are undertones to victim blaming to it at all.

            Anyways, I’m done. Let’s move onto better things.

          4. Fair enough, but when we look at context, a lot of times (not all) it can remove some, if not much, of the responsibility from those responsible which then unjustly places the focus on the victim.

            See how we’re saying Scot and Jason aren’t right, but Alecia doesn’t fit in/is annoying/can get on their nerves. The main focus should be on Scot and Jason’s behavior not Alecia’s. We can talk about Alecia’s annoying traits (like her ill-timed idol subterfuge), but not at the expense of Jason and Scot’s complicity in the matter by saying that there’s some underlying reason (stress from lack of sleep/fatigue/scrutiny of filming), as that marginalizes Alecia’s actual treatment in comparison to their “hardships”. Alecia is under the same strain as everyone else, but her behavior is just attributed to her flaws.

            I, also in no way, am doubting how stressful it can be, as I’m pretty cranky when I don’t get enough sleep, and have snapped at plenty of people in my time, I’m sure many of us have, so I can only imagine how it’d be in that situation, but as with most people, it’s never crossed that line into needlessly abusive.

            Context is important, but I think in this case, these guys are assholes who don’t deserve that benefit of the doubt.

          5. I got the point you were trying to make, and I didn’t get the impression that you were trying to blame Alecia for Scot and Jason’s behavior.

            You aren’t nearly as wrong here as you are about Woo, at least.

          6. Woo? How quickly we forget that my arrival on the AV Club scene was getting everyone mad at me about Jon Misch.

          7. I endorsed both of them, my endorsement of Woo was just more muted.

            And not taking the bait.

          8. I think even this undersells the inoffensiveness of Alecia’s behavior. Even well into this episode, she was talking about their conduct in terms of “what is best for the team” and trying to build a relationship with Scot based on mutual experience and respect.

            That’s what pissed them off the most. Not that she kept reminding them that they were scum, but that she kept trying to engage with them at all instead of accepting the obvious truth that she was scum.

        3. You almost touched on one important thing there, which is that Survivor casts people that are strong-willed enough to cause conflict. Conflict is easy, instant drama for a reality competition like Survivor.

          So they do build artificial and difficult situations, but *they* don’t expect the people to act rationally and with decency. I’m sure there’s a line- they don’t want situations like Will in Worlds Apart, but they’ll gladly take Tony getting frustrated and speaking llama to Kass.

    2. When it comes to Alecia, I’m kind of on both sides, with one caveat. Cydney doesn’t seem to like her either, but she was the smart one. She played nice and tried to use her. It’s more humane and better gameplay.

      1. Of course. Cydney did great. Cydney was also almost dead, and thus had no energy to get involved, but she did great.

    3. Except Kyle was behaving like that on day one. This wasn’t something that just suddenly appeared; it was always how he thought of Alecia. I’ll give more slack to Scot, who had it a bit more reigned in early on, but even there it’s only some slack – if you respond to stress by acting like a bully, it’s because at your core, you are a bully.

      1. Have you ever lashed out at someone when you shouldn’t have in a situation of stress? I don’t think that’s who I am at my core.

        I think it was only bullying in this instance because there was more than one person teaming up on her. If it was just Scot and Alecia I think it would have been classified as an argument (though one where Alecia was clearly in the right.)

        1. I mean…yes to some extent…because that’s what bullying IS. Bullying is about exploiting a power differential to treat someone like garbage. In Survivor, the primary power differential is numbers.

          I still don’t see how one can characterize Scot’s behavior as lashing out. It’s been consistent for eleven days- varying in volume, but always implying by word and deed that Alecia is unworthy of being treated like a human being with thoughts and emotions. He justified lashing out by saying “I called you essentially worthless, because you are essentially worthless!” That’s Will Sims logic. He didn’t say “Look, we both know how brutal that challenge was- look at Cydney, Caleb, Debbiy. I was hot, tired, in excruciating pain, angry and frustrated at the fact that I was physically defeated, and took it out on you unfairly.” That’s not a hard thing to say.

          If you blow up at people in moments of stress and then insist on your own righteousness afterwards…yeah, that’s who you are.

        2. I’ve lashed out at someone because of stress. I’ve never obsessively mocked and belittled someone because of stress.

    4. I’d be more inclined to give them some benefit of the doubt tonight if they had done anything to earn it in the previous three episodes.

  19. One small thing that Scot did tonight bothered me is that at Darnell’s tribal council made a big deal that did not hold his hand over his mask when diving but when he dove tonight, it didn’t seem like he followed his own advice.

    It’s petty and me noticing this is probably due to the fact that I don’t find Scot dynamic or overly likable and to the fact that I think that him saying “do drugs, kids”/weird haircuts got him on survivor over actual star power or personality as survivor loves casting controversial athletes.

    1. It’s not petty. He’s a deluded, egomaniacal hypocrite and that’s just one more example of it.

    2. Didn’t Darnell dive head first into the water off a platform, and Scot ran into the water and then dove down when he was bobbing at the surface? Even if Darnell jumped feet first in, that mask was coming off of him if he didn’t have a hand on it, no matter what.

      If you have a mask on while on the surface, I think you can go under the surface without a hand on your mask without it coming off.

      1. Yeah, you are probably right. I forgot that Darnell had to dive from a greater height and the situation was not the same.

  20. Wow, I really didn’t think there was going to be a tribal council this episode.

    First half was horrifying – I legitimately had my hand over my mouth for part of it – but also a fascinating look at the crew and medical staff. I definitely don’t want many more episodes like this (maybe don’t bury those bags 4 feet deep in 115 degree weather next time, production), but it was really interesting and different than anything we’ve seen before.

    The second half though… Vomit. Totally Team Alecia. I understand she is annoying, but the girl never did give up and fucking horrid Scot and Jason never called her by her name, belittled her at every turn…and then Jason has the gall to compare her to his daughters?? Left such a nasty taste in my mouth, and I really hope we’re not in for a whole season of Jason’s misogynistic bullying.

    Have to say, I did like Probst standing up for Alecia at the end there. Seems he’s learned a thing or two from World’s Apart.

    1. Yeah, I found the medevac sequence stressful and unpleasant, but then to follow that up with another challenge, and then all the awfulness of Alecia’s elimination just took the episode over the edge into disaster territory for me. I’m not sure what they could have done differently (besides cancelling the death challenge of course). Part of me was really hoping that they would throw in a swap before the immunity challenge, but there wasn’t nearly enough time for that. What a strange episode.

  21. I’m a bit ashamed to say that after the rewards were handed out I wish Probst had ended with his traditional, “I’ve got nothing for ya.”

  22. So can we look at any of the challenges in Second Chances and identify any course corrections Production (hopefully) made after the debacle this challenge turned out to be?

      1. Yeah, that story/race through the jungle challenge seemed cool because of the night setting. Now it was probably Production thinking “We have to change our challenges so these returning players don’t die!”

        1. No, I think that was was purely a callback based on the theme. I’d analyze the daytime challenges to see if they made them smaller/faster to avoid exhaustion.

          1. I’m looking through the challenge list for Cambodia, and as late as the penultimate episode they have stuff that looks like you have to push yourself. And remember, they had that blindfold challenge that was deadly as fuck. Even once you got the blindfold off those blocks were a struggle to fit together in the heat.

            Granted, the final challenge involved bringing back the Tocantins ball maze, rather than recreating the Temple of the Dog, but I can believe they had that planned as the final just for history’s sake.

          2. Yeah, I’m always disappointed when they go small for the final immunity challenge, but that one would have been incredible if Stephen had made Final 4.

          3. I’m fine with it, if only because they’ll never build another structure with as awesome of a name as Temple of the Dog.

          4. Appropriately, the Survivors in the Temple of the Dog were goin’ hungry. Going hungraaaayyyyyyyyyy!

            I’ll show myself out.

          5. The Survivor Witch Project took place in the day, not at night. There’s nothing about this story challenge last season that said it had to take place at night.

          6. O/T but fun story – I was working with an OTP student on Tuesday and we were doing a passage on urban planning. She seemed baffled by the idea and I said that it made sense not to be from familiar with the idea of a planned city being from Atlanta. She shot back “I’m not from Atlanta; I’m from Cumming.” And I just responded “Thank you for acknowledging the difference.”

          7. It could be both. That seems like a good pick if you’re looking through the archives for challenges that are less dangerous.

      2. That’s a great point. I had thought they did those in the evening for the cool visual effect of having a challenge near sunset. But you’re right, it was likely because they didn’t want to lose any players. Especially in a Second Chance season.

        1. Before Second Chances started …

          Probst: “The bad news is that we almost lost some players last season. The good news is that they were all new players. But this season is all returning players! Players the public voted for! We can’t kill them!”

    1. Well, there was that one time they ran an exhausting endurance challenge in the middle of the day and their strong, young guy passed out…

    2. When the contestants got to opt out of a challenge in exchange for the shelter with the waterproof roof?

      1. Iirc this season wrapped before the rainy season started, so I think that was a fix they came up with on the fly.

        1. I was thinking more that since weather had been a problem the previous season, maybe they were more worried about the rainy season in Second Chances. Most seasons they are more likely to reward the contestants with tools and supplies compared to a built shelter.

  23. Obviously this is not at the top of the list of production’s questionable decisions this episode, but why in the world didn’t they do the tribe swap after the medevac? Swapping at 13 (has there ever been an odd-number swap?) has the potential to really mess up the game (at a minimum, the 7-person tribe is going to have a challenge advantage). And while they couldn’t have predicted that Brawn would lose the immunity challenge, not having Alecia make the swap really alters the course of the game (she was obviously going to tell anyone and everyone about Jason and Scott’s abuse and about Jason’s idol, whereas Cydney may not have incentive to do either).

    1. I’m going to make this point on the podcast anyway, but I’ll also make it here: Once they lost that challenge, Alecia should’ve yelled out, “Just so you all know, Jason has the immunity idol!”

      1. Alecia was disappointingly non-spiteful- even in this episode, trying to have a reasoned discussion with Scot about teamwork and being decent.

        It sure suggests she’s ultimately a very nice woman placed in an untenable social situation by the Survivor Gods. But it makes it even harder to watch

        1. I’m gonna bet that back home there are tons of comments about Alecia that get prefaced with “bless her heart.”

        1. Now I expect the the podcast to open with John introducing himself and then Andy, and Andy will say “Welcome to the podcast … Alecia should have told the other tribes Jason had the idol once Brawn lost the immunity challenge!

    2. I was thinking that maybe they might do a double-elimination next week and do a swap after the first tribal, but in the preview they show all 3 tribes when Jeff says “Drop you buffs” so this is unlikely.

      1. I guess that’s possible (hadn’t though of that) but that would put them two eliminations ahead of schedule, and it’s not like you can have an Amazing Race-style non-elimination leg on Survivor.

        1. It would be funny Amazing Race-style non-elimination legs. Alecia, you get the most votes… but this wasn’t an elimination tribal council!

    3. I am not betting on it because we would have got some indication of that by now, but a potential explanation for the swap next episode is that we get another medical evacuation the beginning of next episode, and then they swap with 12. But I think the more likely scenario is that we have another “big tribe” merge. I think the idea of swapping with odd numbers doesn’t make any sense, did they ever do that before?

      1. In Panama they did a schoolyard pick with odd numbers, and since Bruce wasn’t picked he went to exile and would join whichever tribe lost the next immunity challenge.

        I don’t know how they can do that on this season. I’d say set up a temporary exile island, but given how awful Angkor beach is I can’t imagine what the fourth beach they found looks like.

        1. Having thought about it some more, I’l bet they just merge next week without doing a swap first. They merged at 13 last (next?) season, although it would be a little weirder this time since they started with 18 rather than 20.

          And let us never forget: Casaya chose each other!

      2. On the one hand, I hope the merge isn’t happening next week. On the other hand, I think I’d prefer an early merge to a swap with uneven numbers.

  24. This is completely unrelated to the episode at hand, but on a lighter I am extremely grateful to the Lady Roswulf for pointing out that Neal is basically Neal from 1994 holiday classic “The Santa Clause”. He’s got the same bland and vaguely smug mien that defines a Judge Reinhold character, the same preference for hideous over-patterned clothing probably made by elves, the same tousled hair, the same…uh first name.

    Apparently she’s been making jokes about this for weeks, such jokes mostly consisting of saying Neal with a particular sneer, and I didn’t notice. I just thought she didn’t like Neal. It is now my favorite part of the season.

        1. It’s still what I think of when I see David Krumholtz. And what I think of when I lie about being in traffic.

          1. All joking aside, I will defend The Santa Clause to the death (at which point someone else will be magically compelled to take on the mantle of defending The Santa Clause).

          2. “I will defend The Sants Clause to the death”

            Like the death of Santa Claus in that movie? Seriously, how did a family Christmas movie where Santa Claus dies get greenlit?

    1. I thought for sure he was going to be a medevac because of that sunburn. I guess there’s still time left for that. After Alecia was voted out, she should have either slapped Jason’s shoulders for fun or dropped her torch on him as she clearly is not brawny enough for her tribe.

      1. I’m actually impressed that she didn’t f*ck with their campsite before leaving, that we know of. Higher ground!

        1. I would love next week’s episode to start with Brawn coming back to their camp and find the shelter on fire (set ablaze by Alecia on the way out).

          1. With a special confessional with someone voted out in the previous episode:

            Alecia: “Yeah, I took their flint.”

  25. In Caleb’s exit interview on RHAP he said more than once that the reward challenge was for immunity. What is more likely? That he was confused at the time and didn’t understand that challenge was just for reward? That his memory of that challenge is hazy based on his collapse? (but you assume he watched the episode this week)

    Or … is it possible that this actually was another reward/immunity challenge, and it was changed in post-production/editing to make it a reward challenge? It would explain why the tribes were fighting so hard for salt and pepper.

    The show has redone Jeff’s voiceovers at challenges before. I can’t remember if the Beauty and Brawn tribes were carrying the immunity idols when they walked in, or if scenes where Jeff specifically says it’s just a reward challenge included shots that could have been inserted after.

    Probably not true, just a thought.

    1. I support this crazy tinfoil hat conspiracy theory and would like to explore it further. (Seriously, that is interesting.)

    2. It makes sense in regards to why they suddenly had separate immunity and reward challenges.

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