Survivor Kaoh Rong: Episode 6 Liveblog “Play or Go Home”

Join us for the latest episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong.  Follow along on Storify below or on Twitter!

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Mark

A Survivor fan since the end of season one, Mark hasn’t finished One World, but still thinks Kim is overhyped.

Top 5, Baby: Cambodia, Cagayan, Heroes vs. Villains, Pearl Islands, and Palau.
Mark
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431 thoughts on “Survivor Kaoh Rong: Episode 6 Liveblog “Play or Go Home”

      1. I hope David Bowie appears to her in a dream next episode and advises her to start wearing a funky eyepatch.

        1. I hope that she was only crying because she was chopping onions for a lasagna for one.

        1. Dalton Ross, if you’re reading this, you’re a dimwitted misogynist who is bad at jokes.

    1. I had to pause at that I was laughing so hard. The editors are having the time of their lives with her.

  1. I haven’t been on the Michele wagon, but that sounded like part of a winner-edit. BIG TIME.

      1. Yeah, I was on the Cydney bandwagon for the last few episodes, but back with Michele now.

        1. Although Cydney did get a nice little moment of her saying “Damn Debbie” after Debbie joked about Michele drowning herself. That shows that she has social awareness.

          1. Oh yeah, forgot about that. She also tried to throw Scot off his game at the Reward challenge, then smiled when he won.

          2. And a bit of a sense of humor which we have not seen (also trying to throw Scott off was funny.) I wonder if the split personalities was just a ruse to get on the show. Or maybe we’ve been watching Rebecca the whole time.

      1. Yep this season’s edit is definitely making it interesting trying to predict the winner. Many of the winners are fairly obvious when looking at who the edit makes sure to feature again and again, with depth and without ridicule. The classic hero edit.

        But there’s another type of edit that has often been a winner’s edit – it’s just not an overtly heroic edit. There’s the edit that has appeared ever since Tina Wesson: it subtly highlights a quietly strategic woman episode after episode, often one who purposely hides her strategic side from most players while aligning herself with more over the top players. Natalie White, Danni, Vecepia, Sophie, even Sandra and Natalie Anderson despite their brashness. Characters who are never “leading” characters but who are still provided with scenes highlighting their strategic abilities throughout the season.

        That’s why my pick to win is Aubry. (Which of course means I’ve just jinxed myself and she will be voted out next episode.)

        1. So basically the woman’s winner edit? Very rarely do women get the hero edit see Spradlin, Kim. Apart from Kim the greatest winner of them all, where their hand was forced by her utter dominance not many women got the obvious winner’s edit.

          1. I’d say the Parvati exception is two-fold:

            1.) Parvati was constantly doing things. You can’t tell the story of Micronesia without her, because she either had a hand in or was the prime mover for most of the important events that season.

            2.) Sure, the same is true of Kim, but Kim doesn’t pop on tv the way Parvati does. This isn’t a knock on Kim, on the contrary I think being so low key is part of why she was able to do what she did. Parvati is a different beast. She’s one of those people like Courtney or Sandra or the Robs who just effortlessly and instinctively knows how to be a television character, and you’d be an idiot not to feature that.

            And then what makes Parvati different from Sandra brings us back to point 1. You can tell the story of Pearl islands and HvW without putting Sandra at the center of it, and both are better for being stories about the downfalls of Fairplay and Russell. You can’t really tell Micronesia any other way from “the Widows did this.”

          2. Well put. The Kim Spradlin effect was one of those things where you didn’t realize how masterful she was until the end, at least how it was edited. Parvati was much more visible about getting her hands dirty.

          3. Basically yes. Except for the incredible Kim, of course. I think we can all agree on her sheer dominance of her season. A fantastic winner.

      2. I imagine it will come into focus once they get further or after they win. I’m rubbish, I can only piece together the breadcrumbs after you tell me the result though.

      3. The lack of a winner’s edit does kind of point to Michele. Not only is she a woman who isn’t a grating caricature, and thus obviously not interesting according to the rules of Survivor editing. But she’s also never gone to tribal. There has never been an episode where the strategic machinations of Michele COULD have been the A plot. This is the knock on Cydney. While big moves were being made on her tribe, the show was not interested in showing her perspective.

        So what I’m saying is, Nick has this in the bag.

      4. I couldn’t see anything resembling one before this episode (although I thought there might be something to Anna), but I think when we look back, this could be the episode where the winner’s edit picked up steam.

        1. The only person getting anything resembling a winner’s edit is Tai. There is always a winner, but not always a winner’s edit.

          1. I look at it differently. There are different ways to edit the winner, but every modern winner gets a carefully crafted edit, their winner’s edit.
            Other contestants may get equally carefully crafted edits (which may resemble edits for sole survivors before and after them), to create doubt for the eventual winner and to make for good TV, but if they’re not winning, it’s not a winner’s edit in hindsight.

            Not sure if we’re disagreeing on the actual edits here or if it’s just a matter of perspective.

    1. I LOVED the dueling confessionals with Nick. If it’s not a winner’s edit, it’s an “eliminated at the final 4, probably would have taken the whole thing” edit.

      1. I’m more cautious because I think the story may be about mocking Nick, and Michele’s role as the awesome person is incidental.

        This is an extension of the basic principle that a “winner’s edit” isn’t composed of things that are good TV- it’s composed of the filler. I think Michele’s material in this episode was good TV standing alone.

        1. That could be true for the very entertaining dueling confessional scene, but I feel like there was much more content on Michele with all the focus on the RC and its fallout that we have no business getting, if not to put some of the spotlight on Michele.
          Other people that got that kind of attention were more involved in their respective episode’s stories, if my memory serves me sufficiently. That’s why I have her in my mind now at the top of the leaderboard (with a decent gap followed by Cidney, another even bigger gap to Aubry, rounded out by Julia and Debbie. I don’t see any plausible scenarios for anyone else, although to cover all the bases, I’d probably have to add Scot, Neal and Kyleson as longshots), even though I could hardly understand what all the buzz surrounding her was about previous to this episode.

          Back to your point, I thought there was some bonafide filler stuff for Michele in this episode (possibly just a ruse), but more importantly, I can hardly remember anything that would pass as such for the other contenders.

      2. Whatever it ends up being, for some reason they felt the need to flesh Michele out as a character and give us access to her inner thinking. That certainly bodes well for her chances.

  2. I’m getting a Walt White/Jesse vibe from Aubry and Joe. That looks Aubry has when she’s talking with Joe … chilling

  3. NO! Go to a tie if you need to, don’t give up at the prospect of a tie. Aubry and Joe are already on the fence about voting off Pete

    1. We’re getting the parts where they talk about not tying. I’m sure there were also parts where they did talk about tying.

  4. I was wondering what the “original plan” was about. That’s equivalent of “stick to the plan,” but worse because you’re only spooking everyone and it was intentional. It would be one thing if Scot and Tai are trying to subconsciously get Aubry and Pete to vote Julia (which wasn’t necessary with or without knowing the actual votes), but if Scot and Tai are voting for Pete, then the comment has no purpose; Julia was voting for Pete anyway

    1. I think ‘original plan’ is better than stick to plan because it gives the idea there is more than one plan and the other side will be shaken more as Aubrey was. And I think it was said out loud for that purpose

    1. Must be nice. I dropped Debbie for Caleb, and I haven’t looked at Pick-4 for so long, I can’t remember if I picked Julia or Anna

        1. Well I’m glad you like it there. Because you absolutely cannot lose this season. Sure, you can throw your fancy “math” at me if you’d like. But if there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s that you will win Champions League this season. No doubt.

    2. Two of my Pick-4 are gone, but both of my Outcasts survived also. I am banking everything on Tai and Aubry. I am likely doomed.

        1. Julia could pull something off. You are sitting pretty in Pick-4 though. I will not risk saying anything positive about my teams chances. Survivor has taught me that ends badly.

      1. Me too. I was so so bummed when my Outcast team ended up being Nick and Debbie and now not so bad in comparison to how I thought it would go.

  5. I loved the juxtaposition of ‘next week it’s a merge’ with Peter saying ‘I look forward to seeing them in a few days.’

    Lol, no, you won’t.

      1. I was thinking about that. Anyone else think we might have an F2 at FTC?

        EDIT: actually we might. Isn’t there 11 people left now?

          1. There was nothing about Micronesia that required a final 2. Even with the 2 medevacs and the medequit there were 17 people and the requisite number of jury members. They did a final 2 because they wanted to.

            They may have done a final 2 in Cagayan because they thought they had to, but they’re not gonna do it again unless it absolutely can’t be avoided.

          2. That makes Cirie’s vote out at final 3 even worse, because if there was no reason they couldn’t have a final 3, she would’ve won. The producers screwed her out of a win.

          3. I’ve begun to question the common held belief she would definitely have won. I think looking at the Jurors there is as much as a chance of Amanda holding on to all 3 of her votes and Parvati losing Eliza and maybe Siska to make it 3-2-2 win for Amanda or a 3-3-1 tie if you believe that Alexis would have abandoned Parvati for Cirie making Eliza the swing vote on a revote (I believe).

          4. I really think it’s a 3 vote win for Amanda if Cirie is there. Ozzy and James are locks for her, as are Alexis and Natalie for Parvati. I think Cirie peels off Eliza and probably Siska, so the question is what happens to Erik, and I don’t think he defects. Go back and listen to his jury confessional – he’s still hung up on the idea that he wronged Amanda and has to make amends, and honestly, I think he kind of had a crush on her.

            So yeah, 3-2-2 for Amanda. Maybe Siska doesn’t switch to Cirie and it’s a 3-3-1 tie, but I don’t know.

          5. This is exactly my feelings on it. People forget that 2 of Amanda’s 3 votes were locks and Erik wasn’t far from a lock and in my opinion more likely to vote Amanda than Cirie. The question is really does Cirie win if she wins Immunity and goes against Amanda or Parvati? The answer is still not a lock. I think she might still lose as Amanda or Parv vote for each other and both have 2 jurors on lock.

          6. I dunno. I see the logic but we also didn’t get a chance to see how Cirie would do at final tribal, something Amanda is terrible at. I think James could be torn between Cirie and Amanda, and his vote is only locked against Parvati, not necessarily locked for Amanda.

          7. Based on some of the discussions we’ve had here I’m actually shocked to see you of all people argue that James might have voted for Cirie. A lot of the time when I hear people make that argument the background thought I have is “why? because the’re both black?” but I doubt that’s the argument you’re going to make, so please tell me what your take on it is.

            But I also really don’t buy that James was ever voting for anyone other than Amanda. Through China and Micronesia his biggest values were consistency and loyalty. I think he was always going to reward the person who wavered the most about breaking up the Favorites alliance over the two people who enthusiastically charted a different course.

          8. Uh yeah…. NO, I’m definitely not making that argument because they are both black. The very idea annoys me and I certainly respect both James and especially Cirie enough to confidently say that neither one of them would subscribe to that logic.

            There’s one major thing about James that makes me think his vote could be up in the air: he admires intelligence and he appreciates strong and/or plucky women. Cirie is a strong, intelligent woman and I think her argument at final tribal could potentially sway him. And in China he didn’t vote for Amanda to win – he voted for Courtney.

            I also think there’s a chance that Erik could be swayed by Cirie during final tribal, despite his obvious crush.

          9. Yeah, to be clear, I didn’t believe for a second that your argument would be that it was because they’re both black, just that a lot of ‘James is a Cirie vote’ arguments do seem to have that implication.

            That said, I’m curious where you’re getting this idea that intelligence and pluck are qualities James appreciates in women. Honestly, Micronesia and HvV convinced me that, if anything, James is a bit of a misogynist, and when he’s playing the game it comes out in ugly ways. Like I said, I think consistency and loyalty are traits he prizes much more (see all the ‘biting the apple’ nonsense), and that he’s rewarding Amanda for adhering to those values.

          10. Good! I’m glad to know that.

            I wonder if his bad attitude in HvV and Courtney catching him broing out with Jean-Robert is what is making you feel he is misogynist. I didn’t care for him myself in HvV. But in Micronesia he is quite happy having the women in his alliance call the shots; he didn’t seem to give it a second thought pre-merge. And in China he said many positive things about Denise and he felt positive enough about Courtney to vote for her to win. I don’t get misogynistic vibes off of James at all. But then James is one of my top favorite characters, at least in his first couple seasons, so I’m biased. James being in roid rage mode during HvV is one of the reasons that season is my second not first favorite season. But to me that illustrates how he can be a bully not necessarily a misogynist.

          11. James was the one who used to throw around all those apples-reference (as in: the original sin apple) while talking about Parvati and her woman alliance. He wasn’t that please about that, seemed a bit condecending, and acted like he expected Parv to just be content with being third or fourth place behind Ozzy and Him.

            He wasn’t violent or openly insulting but it was unpleasant nonetheless.

          12. I can understand why you and anyone would think that. Mainly because Black Widow alliance is one of the most amazing things to happen in Survivor and James was openly disapproving of it. But even then I understood James’ perspective – he wanted people to stick to the plan, not get greedy by making (what he thought were) unnecessary big moves, and just get to the final five – as a loyal alliance that stuck together. The apple commentary was a bit on-the-nose for my tastes but I still thought it was more about loyalty than about being anti-woman.

          13. A i said, it’s not that he is “anti woman” it’s that he has internalized prejudice (don’t we all) about what women should be, and they manifested themselfes several times, in ways that allow to conclude he is not progressive. He was also the one to call Parvati a “sex kitten type”. I remember the reviewer at TWP wondering if it’s okay to call that a woman you just met.

            (But i think it’s cool that he voted for Courtney, and he is a funny presence on screen, most times)

          14. I have no clue whether or not he is progressive, but his easy acceptance of people as different from him as Todd, Denise, Courtney, Amanda, and Cire make me think he is a pretty open-minded guy. The designation of Parvati as a “sex kitten type” does not remotely bother me because that is an identity that Parvati herself carved out, proudly, in her first season. Which is where he would have been first exposed to her, as a viewer at least.

          15. While it really coalesced in HvV I felt James’s bad attitude towards women in Micronesia as well. The thing that always stick out for me is the scene after the Ozzy vote off where James confronts Parvati, and it’s always seemed to me like he’s talking down to her for not continuing with an alliance that ended with him or Ozzy winning.

            Yes, I get that he’s legitimately mad about being betrayed, but he seems to have almost no conception of Parvati doing what’s best for her own game to the point where you wonder whether he really thinks women should be playing this game.

            And then the Stephenie stuff in HvV is kind of just icing on the ugly cake.

          16. I could see myself feeling and reacting the same exact way, except I wouldn’t be coming from a place of considering women as inferior. It would be coming from a place of being irritated at an alliance member betraying that alliance – and not confiding in me. If I’m playing a game, I’m not going to be in support of an all-women’s alliance because it doesn’t include me! If I can see myself feeling those things, I’m definitely going to be giving James, a personal favorite, the benefit of the doubt and assume that that is where he is coming from too.

            I think your feeling that he wants Parvati to continue playing a game where he or Ozzy wins is your own feeling. I mean he may have thought that, sure, but I don’t think he did and I don’t remember him saying anything that made it appear as if he did. He just wasn’t buying Parvati’s argument for betraying their alliance. If I was blindsided, I’m sure I’d feel the same way (and I despise Ozzy). And in particular with James, I’m not so sure he’s the kind of person to look at things from multiple angles, which is why he’s not a strategist. He’s a black-and-white sorta guy: you betrayed our alliance and that was the wrong thing to do, period. Old School.

          17. Having the greatest season in 5 years taught them not to do a final 2? I mean, you could argue that they almost ended up with Woo vs Kass, but instead they got the worst choice of who to take to FTC ever.

          18. Right, worst choice ever. I’m pretty sure production knows they got incredibly luck with Woo’s decision (I’m definitely sure Probst knows it) and I don’t think they’re tempting fate any time soon again.

        1. It seems almost certain. There are 7 more episodes before the finale (May 18), so that means there will be 4 going into the double elimination finale night. A jury of 9 and a final 2 would match up exactly with the first BBB season. A jury of 8 and a final 3 would be weird.

          Also, Mark Burnett is on record saying there are three evacuations, and if you count Liz as the first then that means there will be one more. That also implies that there’s an episode coming where there is no tribal council or vote, which is always sad.

          1. Jury of 8 and final 3 happens pretty often recently. Caramoan, SJDS, World’s Apart. (I believe Phillippines as well, though I still haven’t seen it)

          2. Are we counting people that got medevac’d after getting voted out in that “3 evacuations this season” count? Because in his RHAP interview Peter said he got evac’d after getting voted out for surgery on his hand (and I think his back too). So if that’s the case, we’ve already had 3 medevacs.

        2. They’re still one boot ahead of schedule because of Caleb’s medevac. There are other ways to solve the problem but one is to let it go to a F2 instead of an F3.

          1. I’d say that’s the best solution. I only tolerate the final 3 because I know they sometimes need it to make the number of boots in the number of episodes work.

          2. They build in medevacs and quits into their schedule now. It most likely just means we won’t have a double-boot episode.

      1. Mine was much better. Also my cat walking across a keyboard could make a better title than that.

  6. Random thoughts:

    Was Cydney massaging Jason’s legs while he was laying in the shelter?

    The timing of DEBBIE PART-TIME MODEL appearing could not have been better.

    Do the treemail messages usually describe the challenge in such great detail?

    “Let’s go, Blue!” Even the players aren’t bothering learing the tribe names.

    How pissed did Scot look every time Nick sunk a buoy into his own basket?

    Poor Liz. Voted out 3 episodes ago and she’s still being insulted thanks to Peter’s scheming.

    Did we say Peter was the most arrogant player this season? Hello, Nick.

    Now Peter’s the cancer? I can’t remember, who was the cancer last week?

    Joe has a hard head.

    As soon as Jeff said this challenge requiring teamwork I knew the tribe with Joe and Peter would lose.

    And Peter knocks over his tower. Nice.

    At least Tai never brings up using his idol for Julia. He learned his lesson last time.

    I love a tribal where people are whispering while other people are talking.

    Ok we have to keep Julia if only to see more of her attractive handwriting.

    Wait, why are they showing what name Aubry wrote. Oh, the old “will they edit their vote” trick.

    IRONY ALERT: Peter is disappointed with Joe after he’s voted out, and Joe is the only one that didn’t vote for him!

    Peter thinks he got voted out because of the box stacking. That’s so adorable!

    1. I was actually shocked that Scot praised Nick’s effort tonight. It was much more sportsman-like than I expected.

    2. I never watch the final words, but if that’s why Peter thinks he got voted out, it is one of the most incredibly ‘Peter’ thoughts I’ve ever heard. Never change, Peter!!!!

        1. I can’t believe my “you know, the pretty brunette” response became non-applicable so quickly.

  7. I did not think this was possible, but Nick was even worse than Peter at talking to people.

  8. Uh Peter, you will be taken to a different location than the Jurors, so even if the brains are the next four people gone, you will not see them before you see any of the other remaining players.

  9. I was wondering if she was going to cross out Julia, due to how long the shot lingered Aubry staring at her name. I am cool with that, since I need her and Tai to vote the same for my fantasy league.

    1. I felt like I made it when I got a shout out from the podcast! Hell yeah, you made it!

      1. I always hope Andy will talk about something Canadian and mention my name.

        I need to re-evaluate my life.

    2. I mean, I have my a style of fantasy league play named after me, but I have never had a Survivor get passive aggressive by a conversation I was in. Of course, I was having it with Morgan Strandling, so it was bound to happen.

          1. Oh, I don’t think you implied anything to the contrary. I was just explaining (not mansplaining) why she is followed by Survivors.

          2. Yeah this pre-merge boot list goes Man of Colour, Woman, Woman, Woman, Woman, Man of Colour. Not great Survivor, not great.

          3. In the show’s defense, this particular man of colour was voted out because he was a horrible Survivor player. Pretty sure his colour factored in about 0%.

          4. Hmmmmmm. Cambodia gets more of a pass because it had such a high number of PoC and was won by a MoC. But yeah again despite that not being the reason behind any of the boots the optics are bad.

          5. Not really, Liz being taken out because she and Peter weren’t liked and it was presented as Peter being the one they wanted rid of but chose Liz as Peter was worth more in challenges. It’s a classic Survivor move to take out a woman to cripple the man she’s attached to not just take out that man.

          6. Yes but it is justified as Peter is more beneficial to them in challenges. (He was great in the immunity challenge this episode). Peter and Liz were equal strategically and on the outs and her disadvantage was she wasn’t as brawny. It wasn’t exactly the case where the woman has no stake in the game and is only caught in cross fire for being the man ally.

          7. Liz hadn’t exactly been a slouch at challenges though. I’m just commenting on the pattern, whether you like it or not the optics of the pattern is not good whether each boot had perfect reasoning doesn’t matter. (can you tell I work in politics?).

          8. Can you tell that I am a woman of color? lol. It definitely doesn’t look good as a pattern. I was just thinking of the reasoning of the players that allowed this to happen with/without intention, and not just the statistical outlook of it.

          9. I always get minded of the John Rocker situation. If everyone already thinks you’re a racist, yeah, maybe it’s just very unfortunate that your tribe just HAPPENED to vote out its only two members of colour first. But you have to accept that it’s going to look bad.

          10. I’d argue the most damning of all was Darnell when you look at the pattern of first boots. But yeah I do think Darnell and Liz were the only questionable boots even though both would still have been gone just in a different order had they not gone (Darnell when Alicia did and Liz probably when Peter did). Alicia, Jennifer, Peter and Anna were all the right move.

          11. In almost every season, the individual vote seems justifiable. Yet the pattern is still there.

      1. He’s brimming with misplaced sincerity when tweeting about how much he loves Sheboygan fucking Wisconsin.

  10. Peter is sooooooooooo dumb! He basically did the only thing that was sure to get himself voted out. If he went against the Brains and stuck with it, Joe goes home. If he stays loyal to Brains, Julia goes home. He hit that perfect sweet spot of indecision. He’s really bad at this game.

    1. I was watching it thinking “Peter is so bad at this game”. He is the kind of guy who really thinks he’s good but has shown nothing. The way he buckled under pressure from Joe was terrible. All he had to do was say “you know what Joe, screw you, I’m voting with them” and he’s still here and Joe is gone.

        1. If you want to be that bad at the game you have to be in the middle of a strong alliance a’la Albert (I don’t think Albert was as bad as Peter just really bad).

      1. “Peter, you buckled like a belt.”
        “You know what the worst part is?”
        “The fact that I’m right about your buckling?”

    1. I think it was just an issue of volume. Joe had a small cut, which seemed to clot quickly. Kelly soaked through her damn buff.

        1. As a personal taste, I can see how some might find it a bit gross. I just don’t think medical dropped the ball or anything. He’s a crusty old FBI agent. I’m sure he just didn’t care enough to clean it off.

        2. Medical probably offered to put on a bandage but Joe told them “Get that thing away from me!”

    2. At first I thought that streak of blood was a 3 inch long wound with about 20 stitches in it, which made me laugh hysterically for some reason

        1. i need someone to assemble the full list of chyrons at the end of the day when she is done

        2. It would be so awesome if her goodbye episode contained a confessional with a chyron labeling her as “twelfth person voted out of Survivor.”

          1. I can’t be the only one who said “called it!” out loud when the “part-time model” chyron popped up.

      1. At this point I’m wondering if we’ll see her in a final three with Aubry and maybe Michelle or Cydney.

        1. I’d say any 2 of those 3. Hell there are only 5 women left now and I do think Debbie will try and bring Julia in with a motherly vibe so you never know.

          1. I’m kinda feeling that a woman is gonna win this one–and based on how they are portrayed on the show, I’d be good with any of them winning. All of the women that are left have had pretty good edits (Julia has not had much, but she could still gain some traction). And aside from Debbie, none of them have had really negative things said about them (and Debbie has had positive stuff too, so it seems to mostly negate the bad stuff). Meanwhile the guys are not being portrayed too favourably (except Tai, because Tai is awesome; and Neal, who’s barely being portrayed at all). Perhaps that all-women alliance Debbie is hinting at is gonna come into fruition. In any case, it’s looking like it’s gonna be a good season heading into the merge.

          2. I agree. A woman winning and not Debbie makes sense with Jeff’s underhyping of the season. I think the fact they’ve shown Debbie say “I want to see a woman win this” twice to two women and Cydney who preseason talked about disliking women talk about having use for a mother type plus the Beauty women’s alliance really does point towards a female winner, if not an all female FTC.

          3. (Standard disclaimer this season: My pre-season winner picks were Jenny and Liz). I think Jason is going to go on a rampage in the early post-merge, emulating his role model Russell Hantz and taking out the men (other than Scott and Tai) and keeping the dumb-ass women around. Usually, non-Kim women’s alliances aren’t stable enough to last or even form in the first place, but Jason’s strategy will given them a numbers advantage and his behavior will appall them enough to form a united front.

          4. I just said this downthread, but I’m actually starting to question whether Kyle has a Russell-style game in him at all. He’s mastered the lying and being a dick to people parts, but he’s well… lazy. And that’s the one thing Russell never was. I was talking about it in regards to camp life, but I think it applies to the game as well. Russell was constantly working everyone around him either to find cracks or to make sure what he had set up was still solid. Kyle, from all appearances, does just enough to stabilize the situation and then takes a nap.

            In a way he’s kind of like the anti-Tony. Where Tony took the part of Russell’s game where you play at a million miles a second, he also realized that only works if people still like you (or he was just naturally better at being likable). Kyle seems to have homed in on the parts where your abrasive and manipulative, without learning the part where you’re always thinking ten steps ahead.

            And I kind of think that if he gets voted off, that’s gonna be why – he gets caught of guard by something he totally could have planned for but didn’t, because that’s not a skillset he has or a level of effort he’s capable of.

          5. Having other people say the same thing just convinces me that I’m not insane.

            I do think we’ve seen Kyle take one page out of the Russell playbook – immediately making deals with everyone. It’s just that that’s literally one page of the playbook, and by far not the most important one.

          6. To be fair (why in the world am I sticking up for him?), with his alliances and sub-alliances set and his tribe not going to tribal council, I’m not sure what else he could be doing at this stage except maybe look for the non-existent idol on his new beach. I think he’s taking it easy now, like a playoff-bound team the last few regular-season games, precisely so he can come out blazing after the merge.

          7. We can only hope that the women will get him out even before the rampage. He really has not done much that Russell did though, has he? No hiding things, burning things, etc. No Russell seeds.

      2. I don’t know about that! I think her crazy side will always make people like Kyle, Nick or Neal think that she is just too crazy to win and perceived weakness is a strength post merge.

    1. I honestly think Debbie is playing the best game at the moment. I think she could potentially win.

      1. It’s Coach with actual game. I don’t know if she knows that she is off the wall cuckoo bananas but she shows enough cuckoo for people to want to work with her and not see her as someone to go after yet whilst I think showing enough game play to win their votes if she gets to Final 3. I am genuinely enjoying it.

        1. “off the wall cuckoo bananas” had me laugh a lot. I don’t know if it’s really funny or if it’s because english isn’t my first language and i am tired. Anyway great expression.

        1. because of Alecia I think we have discounted Scot, but I think he is actually playing pretty damn well.

          1. My reason for discounting him is that I am unsure if they would give a million dollars to a professional athlete. He is playing a good game.

    2. I am invested as she was my preseason winner pick (before conventional wisdom picked her too!) but I felt like her confessional about Nick is one of two things firstly it’s a great winner quote “I don’t need to be carried, bro” or it’s a foreshadow of her demise at Nick’s hands.
      That being said it doesn’t matter who wins this season, it’s the season of Debbie. #wanneredit.

  11. Aubry seems to have a pretty good head for the game. Her decision tonight was a tough one, but her basic read of the room was right, and she thought about all the angles pretty well. It was funny, though, that she was all about ‘Brains unity!’ when Peter was targeting Joe, but quickly abandoned that when she heard he was targeting her. It’s the ultimate Survivor cliche. It’s easy to be a gamebot when someone else’s head is on the chopping block.

    1. Aubry may be one of the most well-rounded people out there. She’s a strategic threat yet no one on that tribe went after her this week. She’s good in comps and seems to work well with men and women of all ages. I just worry about her overanalysis.

  12. LOVED the editing bait-and-switch. And I TOTALLY fell for it. Well played, Survivor editors, well played.

    I don’t think she’s going to make the finals, but I’m really enjoying Aubrey.

    Looks like we have more asshole Jason and douche Nick to look forward to next week… ugh.

      1. Wait, Dude why did you lady up your name and avatar? I resent this conformity to the gender norms of society.

          1. Fun story: there’s a politics blog I post where for a while we were infested with a troll who was generally liberal but really dismissive towards anything involving reproductive rights or rape/sexual assault.

            Like a lot of people, he assumed I was a woman, and when, someone corrected him, he totally lost his shit. He called me a ‘gender fraud’ and insisted that everyone who was on my side (which was literally everyone, because nobody else cared and dude was an asshole) of being morally equivalent to someone who hands the keys to a drunk driver.

            It got to the point where GENDER FRAUD is still a meme there.

        1. I did it in a semi-ironic way last week because I kept getting referred to as a guy on here, but now I kind of like it 😮

          1. OK, as long as you like it. I withdraw my righteous feminist anger. I always get referred to as a guy on new forums so I usually being with an “as a woman” comment early to try and bed in.

          2. No apologies needed. If you met me in person and thought I was a guy, then I might get upset 😉

    1. I think Aubrey might make the finals bc I think she’ll slide into the background in some ways. Everyone goes to her. She’s good enough in challenges not to be a liability but not so good to be a threat.

        1. I get the impression she can. She’s very good at what she says at tribal. She’s good at letting others say their piece and listening to their concerns.

    2. I hope you are wrong about Aubry. She’s been my pick to win since episode one. Go, Aubry, go!

    3. The bait and switch was great but also it’s how I like episodes to go. The story from both sides makes the challenges meaningful.

  13. Mmmm did that reward challenge make anyone else hungry for tuna salad that’s been warming in the sun for 2 hours?

      1. Sophie Clarke might not be my favorite winner, but man did she earn points with her “what is this crap” reaction shot to that movie playing.

        1. Sophie won me over in episode 1 with her dismissive reaction to Coach’s sad attempts to speak Russian.

          1. Everyone American who learns Russian learns a Moscow dialect.

            But as someone who minored in Russian, Coach’s attempts at connecting with her really were that bad. What he did was equivalent to trying to impress an English speaker by knowing the word “salutations.”

          2. What about “privyet,” the word Coach was trying for and failed at?

            Also ‘comrade’ obviously isn’t atcually Russian, but for the record the Russian is ‘tovarisch.’

          3. Her reluctant acceptance of her fate as a member of the Jesus lovin’ tribe really impressed me.

          4. That’s honestly one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen someone pull off on Survivor, speaking as an atheist.

          5. It’s another reason I like Sophie as a winner, because I would really struggle as a secularly raised Jew (atheist with some cultural stuff). Her ability to just suck it up for 39 days with people she didn’t really have anything in common with or like (she seems to genuinely hate Albert) was masterful.

          6. Brian Corridan did the same thing in Guatemala, it’s just was much less of a factor on the game.

          7. Sophie had so many great moments. Her “Coach is my young girl” speech is one of my all-time favorite Survivor things.

          8. In my ranking of awesome shit Sophie did it’s behind “Albert, pick up my tiles,” but only barely.

          9. I have “Coach is my young girl”, “Albert pick up my tiles” then “will you shut the fuck up and let me finish”.

          10. Sophie is the winner with the personality most similar to mine, that is a personality that shouldn’t really be good at the game especially on a 21 year old woman who in Survivor is expected to be pretty and not do much and that is why I like her as a winner. I don’t have her high on my list but she really understood herself and how she had to play to win and then she did it.

        2. She had so many awesome moments. One of my favorite winners! From one of my least favorite seasons.

          1. Kaoh Rong could become a top-10 season if they did a Survivor Cinema reward with a movie released in October-November 2015, and it’s an already-forgotten stinker like Pan or Victor Frankenstein.

      2. Jack and Jill is still such an amazing reward for the pan shot of all the guys laughing and Sophie and Edna Ma both eating popcorn stonefaced.

    1. Pretty sure that stuff they show at the challenge is fake and they deliver the real stuff to the camp.

    1. I’ve previously mentioned that I ranked all of them before the season just to see where Scot would fair, but yeah, I think he’s on pace to come in second to Tyson. All that remains to be seen is if he has a Jeff Kent-esque misstep post-merge.

      1. I know he was a professional cyclist, but when I think of people like Scot, Cliff Robinson, Rocker, Jeff Kent, etc., I’m not putting Tyson in that group because he was not a known presence in his sport before coming on to Survivor.

          1. Ha! One of my favorites actually. I’ve had good luck with ex-pro athletes on Survivor: most of them added something entertaining or interesting to their seasons. Even Rocker.

        1. Oh I know, and the rest of the list is structured around the metric you articulated, which is why it includes Ashley Massaro and Jimmy Johnson. But then I said fuck it and put Tyson in first place because he’s Tyson.

          1. I take it you are a fan of Tyson? I really enjoyed him in his winning season. Hated him in his first season and found him amusing in his second.

        1. In all fairness, I’m pretty sure Tyson 1.0 just wanted an expensive camping trip paid for by someone else and didn’t actually consider actually playing the game until he thought he might win.

          1. Tyson 1.0 (and Coach) treated Sierra and to some extent Erin a lot like Scott and Jason treated Alecia.

          2. Tyson 1.0 was also a lot younger than Kyle or Scot, and seems to have grown out of that kind of bullshit.

            I give no passes to Coach or Debbie.

      1. No love lost between FBI and a bounty hunter, I think.

        Note that I’m basing that opinion entirely on the movie Midnight Run.

    1. Jason seems to like to sit around and do nothing at camp and let everyone around him do the work, so for that reason alone I think Joe will dislike him.

      1. What cracks me up was the Kyle’s initial excuse for getting out of doing an work was emulating Scot, who was legitimately wiped out from adjusting his giant body to a starvation diet. But now that Scot isn’t around, and most of the people with him have never played with Scot… he’s still doing it, while Scot seems to be doing his fair share of the work at Gondolin.

        Also, for someone who claims Russell is the only person who ‘ever played the game correctly’ he does not seem to get what a big component of Russell’s game was being in near constant motion.

  14. What’s the record on people changing their minds at tribal council without immunity idols in play? This season has got to be up there already.

    Nick is so hilariously bad at this game it’s almost endearing. Not quite, though.

    1. Do we know that Aubry changed her mind at tribal council? It was made to look that way, but Scot was acting like he had a plan in place to vote out Peter long before then. I’m not saying his behavior is definitive, but I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that Aubry was breaking from Joe a while before they got there and it was just edited to seem ambiguous.

        1. I forgot about that, good point. Still, until we here from Aubry I want to put this one in the ‘two options that were both in the running until the last minute’ camp of tribal decisions.

      1. I think this was Aubry’s attempt to flip on Joe without Joe actually believing she’d flipped on him. ‘I just changed my mind at the last minute’ is a SLIGHTLY easier sell than ‘I…misspelled?”.

    2. I admit I’m finding Nick kind of endearing anyway. Mostly because my other options are low. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, EVEN IF that person is Nick.

    3. What I don’t get about the “original plan” thing is why did they have to tell Julia about it? If the new plan is supposedly vote out Julia, surely they didn’t tell her that?

      1. It’s possible they were distinguishing between the “Vote Peter” plan and the “Vote Aubrey” plan, both of which Julia was at times exposed to.

        1. But then the original plan would be to vote Aubrey, no? (In fact, that was what I expected would happen throughout most of the TC.)

  15. I think I’m almost ready to throw my Pick-4 team’s buff in the fire. After losing Peter tonight I’m down to Neal and Nick. Nick is clearly not long for this game. I still have ultimate and unwavering faith in the ice cream man, but I don’t think a solo team can win. Maybe if he goes on a total immunity streak and pulls off a couple of idol plays I still have a chance. But wow, did I ever misjudge Peter. Nick I knew was probably going to be slimy, but I never thought he’d be a mansplaining tool of that caliber. Good grief. Talk about two guys that are just bad at Survivor.

    My Champions league team is still holding on with Neal and Scot, so there’s still a small Bic-sized flame of hope.

    1. I think the problem with Nick is that he’s playing up a very specific persona and that 1.) he didn’t realize that that persona was gonna come off as offputting to most people and 2.) he didn’t bother to think about what his edit would look life if he didn’t win.

      1. I dunno… “He’s playing a persona” is seeming more and more like a fairy tale that we all accepted because holy hell nobody could be that out of touch and up their own ass, right? But I think after a certain number of days out there your natural personality is just bound to come out, and I didn’t get any sense that he was acting when he was trying to steamroll Michele into submission and treating her like shit. And if it was an act, that’s no better, because it’s a terrible way to treat someone for no upside.

        1. I think it’s little of from column a and a little from column b. He’s playing up constructed character, but the reason the character of ‘colossal d-bag’ appeals to him is because there are already elements of it in his personality. Most of what he does comes off as so staged, but even when he lets the veil drop he’s still an asshole.

      2. I agree with the bean man. I think he thinks he’s playing a persona but that persona is in fact the real him.

      3. I would tend to agree with this assessment. I have had a strong sense since the cast bios came out that Nick had carefully constructed this character that he for some reason thought would be appealing to fans. Maybe he thought he’d be the villain we love to hate, like a Fairplay type? But he’s just not good enough in the game to come off as anything but an unpleasant guy with fairly poor social skills right now.

        1. I think he’s gettting the edit Spencer would have gotten in Cagayan if circumstances hadn’t saved him from himself. The difference is that Spencer was 22.

      4. I think he’s playing a different persona in confessionals than he is in the game, or at least he thinks he is. The Michele thing on its own wasn’t *that* bad, it was pretty typical, but he comes up with the douchiest explanations of things in confessionals.

        I think he’s fine being the villain. He thought it would get him air-time. It did not.

        1. Maybe he’ll get more airtime now that Peter is gone. Part of his problem is that he was trying so hard to be the biggest d-bag on the island and he had the bad luck to be up against someone to who it came effortlessly.

        2. Its a bit like Dan spoke to the other women (not just Sharin) in Worlds Apart (open your ears, etc.).

        1. Ah, okay. Just saw a connection between Nick & Peter & Savage’s personalities, and thought you might be a fan of that personality type. I am, to root against at least. I love having at least one per season.

      1. It’s easy to remember who turgid picked last time, because they were the top four finishers.

          1. At draft time I thought Emma had a very reasonable team, perhaps even a little envious, and yeaaaah.

          2. Reminder that before this season I was the ALL TIME POINTS LEADER.

            It can happen to anyone.

          3. I still have a pretty good track record, especially is you count my previous foray in the outcasts league.

        1. I can barely commit my pick 4’s to memory, let alone anyone else’s!

          But that is actually pretty incredible.

  16. Peter in his final words: “If this was over stacking boxes, I’ll never hear the end of it.” That was worth a real laugh. Dude, you are so not good at this game.

  17. Oh Peter, why are you so stupid?

    The dude’s in a confessional but still feels the need to lie. “A certain element of truth”?!! No, that was the whole truth jerk! Though I think Peter needs to lie to himself more than anyone else. That’s definitely a house of cards waiting to collapse.

    Joe catching him in a lying was great. Dance fool dance!

    Nick is awful. But he is a psychopath so it makes sense.

    Jason, Kyle, whatever the hell his first name is, still useless. He doesn’t do a damn thing apparently accept take the credit for others.

    Debbie does some modeling from time to time. I can sort of see it (saw the link above!).

    I like Joe, but he seems a little too rigid to make it far in the game.

    Aubry needed to go with Joe when he wanted to vote him out, but she changes her mind once she gets wind now that she’s a target, so it’s understandable for Joe to not want to switch since she made him make up with Doctor Douche bag!

    The Brains were over thinking this one.

    Scot and Tai’s mini conference at tribal was great.

    Aubry changes her vote mid-vote. I should’ve guess when they showed her write “Julia”.

    Goodbye, Peter, and yes, it was totally for the blocks challenge.

    1. I really get where Joe is coming from; Aubrey was awful. While she thought that they were gunning for Joe, she pushes him into making up with Peter. The moment she gets wind that they might be gunning her instead, suddenly trusting Peter is not good enough anymore. Now the possibility that he might flip is too dangerous, as someone that is actually important might be going home if that happens.

  18. I’m kind of excited for this merge. It feels like there are no solid groups around. So it could either be really exciting or shambolic. Either way you feel edit aside anyone can win.

  19. Really great all around episode. Kind of what I needed to get in on this season. Even before the last minute switch on the deciding vote, I was really enjoying this episode.

    I don’t think Peter was super arrogant compared to the average Survivor player. His problem is almost that he’s way too honest with everything and doesn’t hold back some of what he’s really thinking. In Survivor, everyone’s duplicitous, but if you’re honest about how duplicitous you are it just looks really, really bad. Bad player, but fun and interesting to have on the season.

    Debbie is that perfect combination of underestimated but everyone thinks she’s on their side. That’s good playing, but once you get down to the jury I don’t know how well that style of game play flies.

    I guess Neal took this episode off.

    1. I don’t think Peter was ever duplicitous until this episode, and when he was confronted about it he wasn’t honest. Him thinking that people would fall in line with his plan while talking down to them is simply arrogance.

      1. I’d say he was duplicitous when he and Liz thought they were running the game and pretended to be buddies with Neal and Aubry while wanting to vote them out.

      2. I think people would fall in line with his plan. The moment he lost is when he backpedaled on voting out Aubrey. (And he made it even worse by letting the others know he changed his mind.) Then the bottom 3 had no choice but trying to find another target.

    2. I think Peter also seems to have a really bad sense of other people and how they perceive him (hence his thinking that he was voted out because he messed up the challenge, rather than because people disliked and distrusted him).
      I also think you’re right that he was too open. He must be a really bad liar, judging by the way he froze when Joe approached him. I’ve known very analytical people like that before, and often they don’t think quickly on their feet in social situations.

    3. He did have a problem with the idea that people are better because of their looks so they should be followed.

  20. I was about to come here and wonder aloud as to if there is a single guy on this season now who is not awful.

    Then I remembered Tai is still in the game. Phew. But it’s a sad state of affairs when the tally of men on this show I don’t hate is:

    1. Tai
    2. Beast Mode Cowboy
    3. That bloke that got voted off first

      1. I knock off 10 personality points every time someone refers to another tribe member as a cancer. I’m a harsh but fair hater.

  21. Am I the only one worrying that the scrapes on Tai’s legs will lead to an evacuation? In that Mark Burnett interview he specifically talks about infection (although that could be in reference to Liz), and in the early previews they show a closeup of a gnarly scab that looks a whole lot like Tai’s leg.

    1. At this point I’m worried that ~every~ injury will lead to a medevac (and I think the editors are majorly playing that up) but Tai would be particularly tragic 🙁

    2. Editors are completely playing with us at this point. Joe’s finger, Tai’s legs, Joe’s head wound.

    3. AAAAAAH! STOP IT! THAT IS TOO PLAUSIBLE TO EVEN SPECULATE ABOUT

      I’d think that would also guarantee “Survivor: Tai v. Caleb”

      1. If Tai and Caleb ever get brought back in the same season they absolutely MUST be placed on the same tribe. Any thing else would be a travesty.

        1. I have a feeling that any tribe Tai is over on will involve some guy having a bromance with him. I mean, it’s Tai.

    4. It’s getting really scary. First we hear that Liz got medevac’d after getting voted out with staff infection surgery on her back, then Peter said on his RHAP interview he got medevac’d for surgery too. Are any of the jury members going to have to be medevac’d for surgery too?

  22. Did anyone else think Aubrey was notably terrible at tribal? She was highlighting her problems with Peter, at a point where she was at least considering sticking with him AND plausibly needed his vote that night. Whether you want to blindside him or work with him, there’s no benefit to putting him on alert.

    1. “Struggles with difficult emotional situations” would seem to match the profile with Aubry, and it makes me wonder what happens if she’s in the final 3.

      1. She really was, but even then the cameras still loved her. Ok, maybe not exactly in the scene withTai and Julia, but overall I think the average viewer comes away from this episode feeling pretty good about Aubry.

  23. So I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m a little bummed out we’ve been robbed of an Alex Angarita level douchey FTC question from Peter. Because you know whatever he said would have been the absolute worst.

    1. He might have been amusingly douchey at Ponderosa as well…now I’m sad that they didn’t vote off blandly pleasant Julia (or Scot- really I wish they had bounced Scot. I do not need more Scot Pollard in my life).

    2. I don’t know if that’s fair. Alex Angarita was very attacking in his jury question, whereas Peter never really attacked anyone.

      I have to admit, I kind of like Peter. And I don’t mean just as a character. I just think he lacks self-awareness and social skills.

      1. I didn’t mean to imply he’s gonna be an asshole in the same way Alex was, just that he’ll be equally self-absorbed. Maybe it would have been better to say it’s gonna be Heidi Strobel level douchey.

        1. “If anyone on the jury could be up there in the final 3 instead of you, which handsome ER doctor would it be?”

          1. “Probably Debbie. She said she worked as an ER doc for a year or two.”

            “Wow. Ok. But…is there anyone else?”

        1. I’m thinking any FTC question asked by Nick will end up being extremely disappointing, something like, ‘What have you learned about yourself this season,’ or, ‘Why should your opponent win?’

  24. The theme seemed to be “Men are dumb”. Peter and Nick versus Debbie, Michelle and Aubry. i liked that. More screen time for the ladies, less for the abrasive bros (Scott and Jason).

    I am not into woman but Cydney is gorgeous. I want to get back to the gym now.

    1. Super gorgeous. I fell even more in love with her when she talked about her own story (college, how people perceive her). We need more character moments like that from her.

  25. And the award for the most unpoetically read treemail goes to……this episode. I miss when they read the poems that kept survivors guessing. Now it’s basically an instruction manual….and not like an Ikea one.

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