Survivor Kaoh Rong Premiere Liveblog – “I’m a Mental Giant”

It’s our first week of live coverage of Survivor Kaoh Rong.  Follow us on Twitter and Storify!

 

Matt
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Matt

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

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

    Tai is the Lorax! He speaks for the trees! 😍

    • Violina23

      …. until he rips them out of the ground to look for idols? Tai is adorable, but he is a puzzlement…

      • Kingoftonga

        He said they were “dead trees” but those leaves looked pretty green to me…

        I’m all for it. Tai is way more interesting to me if he turns out to be living in a Coach-esque web of hypocrisy

        • DrVanNostrand

          You’re rapidly becoming my favorite commenter.

        • Violina23

          Yeah those trees were very much alive and (likely} pleading for their lives. Surely a gentle gardener would save them!

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Maybe he replanted them?

          • hornacek

            Isn’t that like breaking someone’s legs and then saying “Hey, I reset the bones, what’s the problem?”

        • Saturday Evening Palsy

          Toncantins Coach is one of my favorite players ever. I would welcome this.

      • But he *apologized* to the trees, so it’s OK. Plus, he let the chickens go free range!

        • DrVanNostrand

          I usually roll my eyes at the Survivors who are so squeamish about the chickens. (It’s Survivor, you’re starving, you know it’s going to happen, so just disappear and look for the idol or something). But trying to help those poor, doomed chickens live out their last days with dignity made me so happy.

      • forever1267

        He did apologize to those trees, though.

        • And then he replanted them in a half-ass manner, so he could maybe come back and do some kind of Weekend at Bernie’s charade where he pretends the tree is still alive.

          • hornacek

            I hope there’s a scene later in the season (before the merge, if they don’t stay at this beach) where they show those trees have withered and died.

  • Barbara Anderson

    I am so disappointed 🙁

  • Black Dynamite

    I’m really stunned. I thought Alecia for sure. Guess I got to change my Pick 4. Not a good fantasy debut for me.

    • Barbara Anderson

      Hey, don’t worry about it. I will also be making a change in mine, so it’s no biggie.

      • Black Dynamite

        It’s a humbling experience to be bested by a mental giant.

      • torchoflaw

        Same here. lol

      • Kemper Boyd

        This thread is so confusing because of the fact you all have the same Avatar (which I guess is the new “no avatar” avatar) BJ get an avatar so we all know it’s you more easily!

        • Barbara Anderson

          I will do it tonight. Sorry!

          • Kemper Boyd

            Don’t apologise! Avatars are just a useful way to recognise who you are talking to and I like talking to you so it would be cool to know it’s you.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Aww…thanks!

        • The new default avatar is my fault. If you guys really hate it I can go back to the blank human outline thing.

          • Kemper Boyd

            It’s just jarring at first because you think it’s someone’s actual avatar because you’ve not seen it before and they are talking to themselves.

    • Alkanarra

      Don’t feel too bad. I myself picked Debbie. After this episode I’m thinking of trading in for Darnell in the off-chance they bring back the ever-popular Outcasts twist and he comes back. That seems more likely then her getting points.

      • Barbara Anderson

        Technically she got points tonight.

        • Alkanarra

          She’ll find a way to lose them. A new negative-point category will be invented called the Debbie.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Maybe quitting can earn a negative point deduction?

          • Alkanarra

            I actually like that idea. A punitive slap on the wrist for picking a quitter.

          • DrVanNostrand

            She’s on my team too. I’m currently re-thinking that. Does she have goat potential? That’s her ceiling, but probably not.

          • Alkanarra

            Realistically sure, she has a shot, but even goats get eliminated if they’re too annoying. Possibly she could transition into a mother hen role (such as when she was comforting Aubry) and find some value there, but yeah, it wasn’t a good look for her.

          • Kemper Boyd

            You can’t be too big a goat early or you’ll be the first on your tribe voted out when they are trying to keep the tribe strong. (or be Phillip on Boston Rob’s tribe).

    • Diego Armando

      I flipped Julia and Tai. I still like Tai, but he is in a bad spot, plus I have him in my Outcast league, so no sense doubling down.

      • Barbara Anderson

        Yeah, I’m worried about him. I had a big night with 3/4 of my Pick 4 getting bad edits.

        • Diego Armando

          I think he can rebound. He just needs to last until tribe swap. Spencer was also screwed pretty early in both of his seasons. I really hope he lasts.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Good point. I think he can make it due to the strength of Caleb and Nick and the apparent puzzle acumen of the girls.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Julia and Anna really did impress on the puzzle. They worked well together and both were clearly contributing.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Maybe we got some good puzzle people this year with them and Aubry. I also think that Jenny could be good with them as well.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Jenny was doing it alone for half of it and wasn’t sucking. Liz and Aubry worked as a team. It’s so much better than just having Kass and Joe crush every puzzle.

          • bassmanxvi

            Jen pulled that off after the diving, a night of no sleep and a parasite. She is sticking around.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I like her, I might switch her into my pick4. As people here know I believe in the brunettes this season.

          • My wife and I had the same thought while watching. Jennifer wasn’t getting enough credit for that, which was pretty impressive.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Don’t forget Spencer.

          • Diego Armando

            Aubry was the challenge MVP. I love puzzles so I am always happy to see people do well on them.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Also, and I can already tell that isn’t going to be mentioned anywhere, Aubry was one of the divers for Brains which she did surprisingly well.

          • Diego Armando

            That was what really impressed me. I think she was ultra-motivated due to her anxiety attack (which are horrible).

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yeah. I hate saying it, but she is better at challenges than Shirin, especially puzzles.

          • andythesaint

            The lowest of bars.

          • Barbara Anderson

            But did she cross it for you?

          • andythesaint

            Cleared it easy.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I figured she might have.

          • Diego Armando

            It’s not hard to be better than Shirin in challenges. Even John would tell you that.

          • I don’t think I would be better than Shirin in challenges. At least she can swim

          • indescribable hat

            Wasn’t she the only diver? I wasn’t paying that much attention but I thought Jeff said she did it all.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I think there was another one, but I can’t remember who. Maybe Peter?

        • Other Scott

          Tai’s edit was fine. It’s not a winner’s edit, but it’s a Stephen Fishbach memorial story edit which can get you into the final 4. I’d rather have Tai’s edit than Julia’s or even Michele’s.

          • sharculese

            So when Julia had that confessional where she said it was a misconception that she had gotten through life based on being in a sorority, I literally screamed at the tv “that’s because you haven’t gotten through life, yet!”

          • andythesaint

            Another solid argument for avoiding being on a reality show when you’re 18: you’ll have recorded proof of how much you thought you knew when you really knew nothing.

          • sharculese

            I’m more positive on the concept of young people than you are, mostly because my job revolves around interacting with them and I’ve met some genuinely delightful ones who will be awesome people when they finish growing up. And well, part of that is I get that it’s hard to be in that phase and own up the fact that you’re only partially grown up. But seriously, don’t try to tell actual adults that you are. It will not work, and it will make them frustrated with you.

          • andythesaint

            For the record, I agree with you that many young people can be awesome. Even exceptional. But at that age, we truly don’t know what we don’t know. But we think we do.

            Thankfully for me, I never pretended like I did on national TV.

          • Yeah, I believe we touched on the fact that we’re not hypocritically judging the teenager here. We (or at least I) was saying that I would have been the exact same way at 18. And I would have been wrong.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Some people have really lived a life at 18, I strongly doubt Julia is one of them…

          • Purplerockmatt

            i bet Tai lived a life by the time he was 18

          • Kemper Boyd

            Exactly, Julia, not so much.

          • andythesaint

            I bet he lived an even more interesting one in the time since.

          • Roswulf

            I thought it was a reasonable (if banal) observation about interacting with other college students. BUT YOU ARE NOT INTERACTING WITH OTHER COLLEGE STUDENTS! THE PEOPLE YOU ARE INTERACTING WITH ARE DISMISSING YOU FOR YOUR AGE, NOT YOUR SORORITY AFFILIATION!

          • Barbara Anderson

            I actually think that Julia and Michele got decent edits. At least we have a sense of who these people are. I still have no idea who Liz is, even though she got two or three confessions.
            Full Disclosure: Julia is in my Pick 4, so she was my shining star last night because she got the whole “Caleb was on Big Brother” reveal (but not the confessional) and she got to talk about how she would be underestimated but not super arrogantly.

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        That’s a good league. I look forward to seeing who y’all picked.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I think it’s a good move. Tai has upset his team and if Caleb gets pissy about the kiss thing it puts him in a bad spot.

        • Barbara Anderson

          I think the Debbie and Tai clips in the Previously on segment is a red herring, similar to what they did with Max and Shirin in the same spot on Worlds Apart.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Good point so Brawns lose again and bye bye Alecia?

          • andythesaint

            Yeah, they sure fooled us into thinking that Max and Shirin were not well liked by their tribe.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I was referring more to the fact that Max and Shirin were on the hot seat in the second episode.

          • andythesaint

            If Joaquin wasn’t so good at shooting baskets, they would have been.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I agree….

    • sharculese

      Still processing having to root for her to succeed.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I can see my Debbie pick going up in spectacular flames but it will be more fun than Ole Dead Eyes (Diego Armando I’m officially using this all season, fingers crossed it’s just til next week).

  • Diego Armando

    My brother walked in as Darnell was bringing Jeff his torch. Our conversation was as follows:
    Brother: “Did you think it was going to be him?”
    Me: “I thought it was going to be the blonde with the really dead eyes.”
    Brother: “I noticed her dead eyes also… (Looks closer) YAHH. Her eyes looked like a clock with the second hand bouncing back and forward again.”

    • Purplerockmatt

      I have no idea what that last sentence means but it is amazing

    • gouis

      She looks like a meth addict.

      • There’s an actual former addict on that tribe, and it’s not Alecia.

        • hornacek

          Do they know Vytas? I assume all former addicts know each other.

          • Barbara Anderson

            She knows Jonas who probably knows Vytas. Does that count?

    • Kent McK

      I’m picturing one of those creepy cat clocks and it’s pretty spot on.

      • hornacek

        Felix.

  • gouis

    I’m sorry Matt. I was wrong.

    • Purplerockmatt

      i expect to hear this once a week

      • gouis

        You were right all along. All hail Matt!

  • DrVanNostrand

    What insanity just happened? Why is Alecia still here? Someone help me understand!!!!!!! Maybe Brawn is the dysfunctional tribe this time.

    • Diego Armando

      Apparently, Scot and Jennifer (who didn’t want to vote Darnell) voted Darnell, while Cydney and Kylejason voted ol’ dead eyes. I suspect the tie caused everyone to revert back to the origional plan of ousting Darnell. That was the best sense I could make out of it. I also think they have the Angkor beach.

      • DrVanNostrand

        I think you’re right about the actual mechanics, but my question was more about why he was the plan in the first place. He screwed up, but Alecia was worthless in every aspect of the game. The “mental giant” couldn’t even use a damn marker. I feel like I’m missing something, like there was a scene where they caught Darnell torturing a bunny, or raping a chicken or something.

        • Kingoftonga

          They caught him pooping right next to camp!

        • Diego Armando

          I have no idea on that one. I would have kicked Alecia to the curb.

      • Barbara Anderson

        On that note, Ta Keo is where the Brains are, according to Joe Anglim.

        • sharculese

          Yeah, it’s slightly less swampy than Bayon, which is how I told them apart.

          • Barbara Anderson

            I am terribly at identifying the tribe camps. So, that means that Beauty has got Bayon, right?

          • sharculese

            Yeah. Angkor was obvious but I had to think a little longer about the difference between Bayon and Ta Keo. I think the thing I originally focused on was I remember Bayon having more open beach, and things started connecting from there.

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yeah. The only distinctive thing I remembered about the beaches is the little sitting area near the Angkor/Brawn well.

          • Diego Armando

            I knew it was Angkor when after the challenge the camera showed that the beach was covered in rocks.

      • Brawn is on the Angkor beach. Still can’t believe they kept Alecia, though.

        • Diego Armando

          I did put a change for my pick four league on one of your comments. It was Anna, Liz, Michele, Neil. After last year that you saw it.

          • Diego Armando

            Sorry for any double post.

          • I’ll get to updating fantasy tomorrow. Too difficult on my phone.

          • sharculese

            How do points work for a tie at tribal? Do I get points for both Jennifer and Alecia, or just one for Jennifer?

          • We’re discussing, but the second round of voting will likely be the one that ends up counting for VTEP.

          • Diego Armando

            I think this may have been a vote split. The topic of Darnell and Alecia having idols did come up and that would explain why Cydney voted Darnell on the revote.

          • I think the final decision is that anyone that voted for Darnell in either round will end up with a VTEP point.

          • sharculese

            I refrained from advocating either way because I have a conflict of interest, but the law nerd parts of my brain compel me to now say that I think this is the right call. If I understand correctly, the intent is to score players for being on the right side of the numbers even if being on the right side means not voting for the person who’s going home. And Alecia was on the right side of the numbers this time, if only just barely.

          • That’s essentially what it came down to. If Alecia didn’t vote Darnell in that first round of voting, he doesn’t go home. And if the others don’t vote for him in the second round, he doesn’t go home. So everyone that threw a vote his way at some point played a part in voting him out.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            Additionally, Alecia WAS instructed by the clear majority to vote for Darnell which lends weight to the argument that she should earn a VTEP point for participating in a successful split vote plan.

            My initial fear with this line of argument was that it would seem to end in the result that Darnell should also win a point, since he was presumably instructed to vote for Alecia (as part of the plan to split votes). However, it ‘shocks the conscience’ to award a VTEP point to the actual evictee. The saving grace is a close reading of the rule, which states that “VTEP points are awarded when [a] player casts a vote- or participates in a split vote plan- that successfully snuffs SOMEONE ELSE’S torch” (emphasis added to someone else).

          • sharculese

            I don’t think your fear is warranted. That the boot target is frequently fed a dummy target by the majority isn’t evidence that they’re on the right side of the numbers, it’s evidence they’re on the wrong side.

            But, moreover, I don’t think we have to go to that point in this case, because Darnell clearly didn’t have to be fed Alecia as a target in this case. Not only was she clearly the only other plausible candidate, his closest ally was vocal about wanting her gone.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            I agree that the boot target is frequently fed a dummy, and that generally there’s no argument for a the evictee being awarded a point. This is the first time I’ve ever scratched my head thinking that maybe–possibly–the evictee deserved a point.

            I think there were two things throwing me for a loop in this particular case. First, although the boot target is frequently fed a dummy, I think the dummy typically isn’t the /other/ boot target. Second, I can’t remember a split vote ever being employed at the first tribal council of a season (assuming, of course, that this actually was a purposeful split vote).

            Since this was such a small group of castaways and they were demonstrating allegiances for the very first time, I guess it seemed noteworthy that Darnell and Alecia–both the targets of the split vote–were each told to vote for one another. Yes, on the one hand, they were fed ‘dummies’, but they were also given real intel as to who to vote for. So after thinking about it a bit I thought maybe Darnell should get a point too, but that didn’t sit right so I pondered some more and eventually ended up nerding out about it on the net 🙂

          • hornacek

            Why wouldn’t Alecia vote for Darnell in the first round? I mean, who else is she gonna vote for?

          • Herself.

          • hornacek

            The only time I saw that happen was on Whose Line is it Anyway.

          • itsafuckingSTICK

            Additionally, Alecia WAS instructed by the clear majority to vote for Darnell which lends weight to the argument that she should earn a VTEP point for participating in a successful split vote plan.

            My initial fear with this line of argument was that it would seem to end in the result that Darnell should also win a point, since he was presumably instructed to vote for Alecia (as part of the plan to split votes). However, it ‘shocks the conscience’ to award a VTEP point to the actual evictee. The saving grace is a close reading of the rule, which states that “VTEP points are awarded when [a] player casts a vote- or participates in a split vote plan- that successfully snuffs someone ELSE’S torch” (emphasis added).

    • Kent McK

      The edit was making Alecia look sooooo dumb; I thought it had to be her. It seems like Scot is calling the shots, so it probably came down to him feeling like he could control Alecia I guess?

      • VoicOff

        Yeah. He almost explicitly stated so
        Plus you know, she’s hot and Darnell’s black

    • Barbara Anderson

      Alecia is completely flipping the first chance she gets.

      • sharculese

        If she does I’m waiting for her to screw it up in the most self-immolating fashion possible, Shii-Ann style.

        • Barbara Anderson

          Me too.

      • Roswulf

        And she should. She’s on a tribe that views her with contempt.

      • sharculese

        Okay, so now that have an actual avatar- sweet avatar.

    • sharculese

      The best I’ve come up with so far is maybe Cydney and Darnell were doing a bad job of not looking like a tight two, and it seemed safer to break them up immediately.

      Yes, Alecia is going to plot and scheme, but she’s not going to be any good at it, so she’s still less scary than a solid two in a group of five.

      • bder19

        Oh, I just assumed some latent racism was at play. That’s probably a baseless assumption, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

        • sharculese

          I don’t think you can ever really untangle race from Survivor, but if you’re trying to construct logical game reason to clip Darnell over Alecia… yeah, that’s what I’ve got.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            I blame the turd.

          • forever1267

            He did almost literally shit where they eat, so… that was not a Brains move. Or really Beauty for that matter.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            Unless you’re German.

          • Heilige scheiße!

            (I don’t know German. Well, I knew that second word. But I used a translator.)

          • hornacek

            I know a little German. He’s sitting over there.

          • hornacek

            Nobody who speaks German could be evil!

          • sharculese

            Downvoted* for mangling a quote you shouldn’t have.

            *Not actually downvoted. Downvoting is stupid.

          • hornacek

            Me: I apologize. I must be the first person to ever misquote a Simpsons quote on the internet.
            @sharculese:disqus: Dude, are you being sarcastic?
            Me: … I don’t even know anymore.

          • hornacek

            Considering the large number of scenes where people are sitting in the ocean talking to each other, the fact that Darnel pooped in the water so close to camp showed poor reasoning. He might as well have taken a dump right in front of the camp.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Darnell is saying in exit interviews that he was in the designated poop zone. Thus, they were teasing him about “brown trout” and not yelling at him to go further out. And come to think of it, given how often “gastrointestinal distress” is used as a cover for idol-hunting, it’s probably a good idea to have the poop zone as close to camp as possible without being disgusting.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I just don’t think Darnell was bonding with anyone other than cydney, you saw when kyle and scot were talking alliances they never mentioned him, and we never saw him talk to anyone other than cydney.

          • sharculese

            Darnell wasn’t doing himself any favors, but, absent something else, I’m not sure that justifies keeping him over Alecia, who seemed to be actively digging her own grave.

          • Purplerockmatt

            i mean i agree and i bet they regret it

        • DrVanNostrand

          Not baseless at all! I don’t doubt that none of them ever thought, “we should just vote out the black guy”. But it’s not just coincidence that a black guy is such an easy target compared to a young blond.

          • Prom King

            I think they feel they can control Mental Giant.

        • Prom King

          My mind went there too but then Pollard was in the NBA and so it’s actually hard for me to imagine that race was a factor for him. Seems like it would be tough to actually be a racist if many of your teammates are black and you’re playing with them for years.

          • I don’t think it was overtly a case of Darnell’s race being the deciding factor. I think it was more that his closest bond was with Cydney (possibly because of race). So if Scot-Kyle aren’t 100% convinced that Jennifer is solidly with them, that Cydney-Darnell pairing gets more dangerous.

            Plus, as you mention elsewhere, Alecia seems like a pawn. Darnell was more likely to have his own thoughts.

          • bder19

            That’s never stopped athletes like John Rocker and Riley Cooper

          • Prom King

            Solid examples that I can’t argue with. Guess I am just a glass half-full sort of fellow.

        • Other Scott

          I don’t think it was racism. I think it’s just that Alecia is such a complete non-threat that getting rid of her is kind of pointless. Especially if you don’t think Darnell’s going to be much help in challenges anyways considering you’ve already got a ton of muscle (though they may end up needing a bit of speed and dexterity?)

      • Alkanarra

        I fully agree and think it might actually have been a savvy move that the show (for some reason) made to look like a mess. Essentially Kyle/Scot/Jennifer just did a boring vote split in case of an idol. If you have the numbers and actually worry about an idol, which was obviously on their mind from their chat with Alecia, then it makes sense to split the votes, break up the couple in case they use the idol to target one of them, and save Alecia as an easy boot next time. We just weren’t shown anything to believe that happened, but it could have been edited out to add dramatic tension to the decision (or possibly an edit to make the Brawn tribe look less organized than they were for future thematic reasons). It’s certainly not *impossible* that there was logic at play here.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I think the vote split was an accident. I think they agreed on Darnell going in, but only with great reluctance. Then Jennifer said she didn’t want to vote Darnell, which spooked Kyle (who was already wavering) into switching his vote to prevent a tie. Then on the revote everybody stuck to the plan (hehehe, spit).

          • Alkanarra

            Oh, I definitely agree that — based on what we were shown — the split happened out of confusion. I’m more or less arguing that it’s *possible* there was actual gameplay for the split but it was edited out for dramatic reasons.

            I’m just giving them more credit than we’ve seen. If it was indeed a result of fear and confusion then that’s endlessly more enjoyable to watch.

  • Scarlett3639

    That was much better than I thought it would be; but then I have really low expectations for this season.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Yeah, cautious optimism here as well.

    • Other Scott

      I think the show has gotten pretty good at these 1.5 hour premieres. This was solid, though probably at a lower level than Worlds Apart and Cambodia.

    • sweaterfan

      I agree with both halves of that statement 🙂 About halfway through I started wondering whether I was just enjoying having new Survivor on my screen again or if it was actually a fairly good premiere, so I’m glad to see others enjoyed it as well.
      They had some pretty good content to work with too – the bug in the ear stuff was gut wrenching, and the Darnell/Alecia choice was genuinely perplexing since a lot of preseason assessments had pegged Alecia as a possible first boot. If the rest of the season can maintain this quality I will be content.

  • Sylvisual

    No one died yet. I was promised George RR Martin would be on this season.

    • Purplerockmatt

      wiener, wiener wiener, wiener wiener

      • DrVanNostrand

        I can’t ever hear that song again without hearing those lyrics in my head.

    • Ms_Woozah

      there were at least three different death foreshadowings. and even someone’s brain got eaten this episode!

      • Sylvisual

        CBS is really desperate for that Walking Dead syndication money.

    • hornacek

      “Stop saying I’m gonna drop dead you damn internet nerds!”
      – George RR Martin

  • Diego Armando

    I am nominating Alecia for the Dan Foley Memorial Punching Bag Award.

    • Purplerockmatt

      she is getting the jaime from china edit

      • gouis

        That’s an insult to Jaime’s intelligence.

      • Diego Armando

        Jaime at least looked competent early in her season.

      • Prom King

        That’s a thing?

        • sharculese

          Yup, Jaime’s edit was very carefully constructed to tell her “you think you outsmarted the show? We’ll show you.”

          • Other Scott

            And it was entirely the edit. Jaime didn’t really do anything dumb at all.

          • sharculese

            I’ve said this before, while I’m not anti-challenge throw, I’m not as big on the China throw as a lot of people, and I think Jaime and Peih-Gee deserve getting dumped on for it.

            My three issues:

            1.) I don’t think there was any real upside to it, and given the risks of a challenge throw I think you have to ask what the upside is. The only way their plan could have worked was if Sherea was with them, which she was not. I’m not going to say they should absolutely have known
            Sherea was only interested in the individual game, because I think she only said that in confessionals, but it should have been earlier than before the next challenge that they realized they had a problem, because when she was still at Zhan Hu she was already making it clear she wasn’t part of the team. So I fault them for not reading that.

            2.) This is my biggest point, but It’s going second because it’s not the most effective reason for defending Jaime’s edit. I think they were assholes to Erik about it in a really dumb and counterproductive way. The physical portion of that challenge was brutal, dudes like James and Aaron were lying on the beach gasping, and not only did they not tell Erik, when they finally let him in on it, they don’t really seem to see why he’s bothered. I don’t care about your crush on him, giving the person in the game who is most solid with you reason not to trust you is bad gameplay.

            3.) And finally, just don’t laugh in production’s face. That’s dumb. This is game about power dynamics, and willfully flaunting people who have power over you, and laughing about it, shows a lack of ability. If you choose to be a smug dick to the people who control the storyline, you don’t get to feel slighted when you’re punished for that.

    • Kingoftonga

      I thought her tribemates were being a bit harsh until that scene with the pen

      • Barbara Anderson

        I partially agree. However, she was just standing to the side while Jenny was trying to get blocks out.

        • DrVanNostrand

          I loved that. What did she say? “Help me with the ______ blocks!!” or something like that. I almost shot whiskey out my nose!

          • Barbara Anderson

            Yes, she did.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      This is rude, but something about her face really irks me.

  • Violina23

    I’m still not over the fact that Alecia used the fact that she gave up on the puzzle as an example of how she doesn’t give up….and is still in the game?

    • DrVanNostrand

      Her floundering was EPIC! She literally grasped all the straws.

      • Violina23

        …. And spilled them all over the floor

    • sweaterfan

      She was so desperate! I loved it!! She was like “my strength is that I know when to give up” and then Kyle (Jason? what are we calling him?) was like “you should never give up” and she’s like “yeah, I never give up!” Beautiful.

    • Kemper Boyd

      The communities reaction to her when the cast came out were spot on. Her highest potential is terrible goat.

      • My first impression of her from the video and bio was proven completely correct. I was wrong about Caleb, though; he was much more actively awful than passively bland.

        • gouis

          FLORIDA!

        • Boooourns

          On Caleb’s Big Brother season, he got so creepy with one of the female contestants that I was actively wondering just how fast security could intervene if things went south.

  • Violina23

    Holy SHIT that ear stuff made me physically uncomfortable. Once when I was a kid, I once used a Q-tip to try to get wax out of my ear. Not a good idea. They had to go into my ear with something sharp and pointy to get it out, and it was some of the most agonizing pain I’ve ever experienced (and this includes childbirth).

    Plus, I have a kid who had so many ear infections that she had tubes put into her ears 4 times. Ear pain is serious shit. I was yelling at the TV “WHY HASN’T MEDICAL BEEN CALLED!”. When they didn’t answer, I yelled at @purplerockjohn on twitter instead…

    And because it’s obligatory…..
    “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHNNNN!”

    • Yeah, I think in those situations medical should just come in. I get that the conditions suck. I don’t want to see this poor lady suffer.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Maybe because it happened at night but fuck when it’s light get a fucking scope and some tweezers you monsters!

        • Violina23

          Nighttime hasn’t stopped them from bringing medical in the past…

          • Kemper Boyd

            might do with something like this if it’s in the ear canal because it needs sight. I dunno, seemed hella harsh to leave it in there.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I don’t mean to pile on Alecia or anything, but…. oh, fuck it…. yes I do mean to pile on Alecia some more. But didn’t you want Jennifer to try to murder her with her bare hands when she suggested it might just be water, as if Jennifer has never been swimming or taken a bath before in her entire life.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        Her look was perfect: “Fuck you, it’s not water,” said her eyes.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Ear shit and eye shit. I’ve had inflammations of my eye and had stuff pulled out of my ears and really bad eye pain. It’s pass out levels of pain.

    • bassmanxvi

      More like….

      Probst!

      You are going to have to come down here.

      PROBST!

  • hornacek

    Just a few random thoughts:

    Why would any player say on day one “I can make fire”? Just do it and then impress people.

    Was Darnell the first player they ever showed taking a dump?

    Tai loves trees so much that he uproots them while looking for the idol.

    That bug coming out of Jennifer’s ear may be the grossest thing I’ve seen on this show. Also, was that really her ear, or did they re-use the prop from Wrath of Khan?

    After Jennifer is saying she’s all better after the bug was gone, I’m remembering that Night Gallery episode about the earwig. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well.

    Challenge results: Brains wins (poor Cagayan Brains tribe). Beauty comes in second (Tai dodged a bullet). Brawn loses (Jeff is weeping on the inside).

    • I’m pretty sure Darnell is the first one they’ve shown doing an aqua dump, yes.

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        I wonder if it’s a better way…

        • hornacek

          According to former players, an aqua-dump is something most players do and something they are encouraged to do by production.

      • Kemper Boyd

        That we know of… they show shots of people sitting in the water alone, we just aren’t told they’ve gone for a dump.

      • hornacek

        Why wasn’t Probst talking this up earlier this week? “You’ll see something on the show that we’ve NEVER SHOWN BEFORE!”

        • andythesaint

          Nah, it was the writing without removing the lid of the pen.

          • hornacek

            Have we seen someone try to write with the wrong end of the pen? I’m sure we have seen scenes where the person has tried to write and then flipped the pen around.

            This week article: “Top Ten Flubs At The Vote-Writing Spot”.

          • sharculese

            1. Stephen gloating about voting out Joe
            2. Clay voting for “Denver Diva”
            3. That time Abi got so mad she slammed her parchment shut and it wouldn’t fit in the urn

          • hornacek

            Didn’t someone make some statement after voting, trying to look cool, and then they dropped something (the pen? the urn?) off the table? Was it Benry?

    • Saturday Evening Palsy

      My mom told me about that Night Gallery episode when I was a kid and I’ve been creeped out by earwigs ever since.

    • sharculese

      First person they’ve shown doing it, I’m pretty sure, but there’s the whole diarrhea sequence after the auction in Australia.

  • Kent McK

    So did anyone else feel like the editors were trying to make us think that either Aubry or Jennifer could be medevaced tonight? I hope they don’t do this with every minor injury this season just because it’s “the most punishing season ever.”

    • Violina23

      Right after one of the commercials, there was all this intense music, they were showing things like Kyle moving a big rock, people swinging the machetes wildly… I felt like CBS was just starting to troll us…

      • hornacek

        I thought one of those rocks was going to crush someone’s foot when they dropped them.

        • Purplerockmatt

          yep definitely thought that rock was going to hurt someone

    • DrVanNostrand

      I think you’re on the right track. If there are a bunch of medevacs, they have to set it up by showing how hardcore the season is right from the start. Even if some of it, like Aubry, is utterly commonplace and boring. The Jennifer thing was just so gross they couldn’t *not* show it.

      • sharculese

        I’m not sure the Aubry thing was played up. As far back as the end of Worlds Apart we were already getting rumors about how fucking hot it was during Kaoh Rong.

  • sweaterfan

    Welcome to the season of a million medevacs! Is everyone ready to get extremely stressed out every time anyone does anything remotely dangerous?

  • sharculese

    Guys, just fyi, I will stick with Brains, Brawn, Beauty as the tribe names until we swap to two, but at that point the Stephen Colbert-level Tolkien nerd in me is going to be compelled to call the yellow tribe Gondolin.

  • sweaterfan

    Okay so I did a whole boot order prediction thing for kicks this weekend, and somehow ended up with Michele as the winner. I was working on the idea that the women from the Beauty tribe would stick together(ish) and ended up with Anna and Michele making it to the end with a goat, but in the end I just couldn’t give it to Anna because she seems like she might alienate people along the way. Anyway, I wanted to record my off the wall prediction for posterity even though it seems like a long shot 🙂

    • Michele is my winner pick, so I hope it’s not that much of a long shot.

      • sweaterfan

        Oh yay – I’m not alone! Team Michele!!! 😀

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        I would vote out an adult Harry Potter superfan on general principle.

        • Sylvisual

          You and Andy can go stand in the corner, thank you.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            You’re just mad because there’s no such thing as butterbeer.

          • sharculese

            Sure there is. You melt the butter and you put it in the beer and then you have butterbeer. And diabetes.

          • andythesaint

            For the record, I have no problem with adults reading kids books. I do have a problem with them pretending that they’re not kids books.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Kids books that progress to young adult books! And yes, there’s a difference, just like there’s a difference between an 11 year old and a 17 year old.

          • andythesaint

            Young adults are kids.

          • Violina23

            Team Emma here, they start more child-like but the characters and themes get infinitely more complex. Kids can enjoy the later books, but they will not get the full depth. These characters had to handle a lot more than an average 17 year old 😉

          • hornacek

            Technically, aren’t “young adults” adults? “Young” is the descriptor, “adults” is the classification.

          • sweaterfan

            In the library world for some reason “young adult lit” refers to teenagers all the way from like 13 to 18, even though real-world usage seems to generally refer to adults who are young (early 20s).

          • andythesaint

            No.

          • hornacek

            You refuted my entire argument! Bravo!

          • andythesaint

            Nailed it.

          • Other Scott

            Young adult books are distinctly different than kids books though. There’s a noticeable difference between kids and young adult books. Often the difference between many adult and young adult books is simply marketing.

            There’s some really high quality young adult books.

          • andythesaint

            Another big difference: less vampires in kids books.

          • Violina23

            Don’t think there were any vampires in Harry Potter, for the record. There were some werewolves, but none of the emo and teenage angst variety.

            In fact, there was a little bit of teenage angst in book 6, but not that much over the whole series. In fact, Harry was a moody little asshole for a lot of book 5 and got called out for it. We called him CAPS-LOCK!-HARRY.

          • andythesaint

            Right. Because Harry Potter is a kids series. Vampires are for YA.

          • Other Scott

            Ok, I’ll put my argument this way, to defend young adult books as a whole.

            The early Harry Potter books are very good for kids books.

            The later Harry Potter books are better than the early Harry Potter books.

            The late Harry Potter books are very average for young adult novels.

          • andythesaint

            Here’s the issue: you assume that I’m using “kids books” pejoratively. Or that I’m doing the same for “young adults” books. I’m not. But it’s fun to see HP fans get defensive about me claiming their series about a boy wizard set in a prep school is a kids series.

            (To be fair, I am being a dick about it. Just not in the way you’re assuming).

          • Purple Rock Emma

            The issue is that literally every time it comes up, you make your snarky little “kids books” comment and then pretend you weren’t saying it to be patronizing, when at best, you’re just being patronizing in a silently more nuanced way.

          • andythesaint

            Naw, I’m being a dick in a slightly more nuanced way, but I’m not being patronizing. Because I don’t think it’s a problem for adults to enjoy art made for children. Go ahead, do that. Some of it is really good. What I do have a problem with is when they try to justify it with the old “it’s not really for kids”. Because it is. Maybe note EXCLUSIVELY for kids, but it’s for kids. They’re the primary audience, and the adult is the interloper.

            You may think it’s semantics, but it isn’t (or if it is, it’s important semantics). Because what happens when adults glom on to entertainment designed for younger audiences then insist they “aren’t for kids”? THEY OFTEN FUCKING RUIN THEM. You get fucking Bronies making My Little Pony perverted. You get movies where Superman glumly fights Batman and doesn’t act like a hero. You get slash art of Harry blowing Snape.

            You get people trying to elevate the thing that they like because they’re uncomfortable with the fact that they find something made for children to be artful. But being for a younger audience and being excellent are not mutually exclusive concepts. Be comfortable with that. If you’re defensive about it, I think it says more about you than it does about me.

            (That said, I also do it to get a reaction because it’s fun for me. Because I can be a dick. But I challenge you to ever find a place where I made a qualitative judgement on the Harry Potter series).

          • hornacek

            Just wait a few years until Andy Jr. (I don’t know his name) starts reading Harry Potter and tells Andy “These are the best books ever!!!”

          • hornacek

            What about vampire rabbits?

          • sharculese

            That’s still only like 4 books.

          • hornacek

            Bunnicula had 3 sequels???

          • sharculese

            It actually had 6, according to wikipedia, although I don’t remember any of them after Nighty Nightmare.

          • Wow, this conversation has really gone down the vampire rabbit hole.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I was literally typing a Bunnicula reference when I saw this comment.

          • hornacek

            I never read the book, but back in the 80s ABC had an anthology series on Saturday mornings (after all the cartoons were over) that did adaptations of kids books. They did an animated version of Bunnicula.

            I think the series’ host was an animated cat named … O.G. Readmore? Why do I remember this and not what I did last week?

          • Purple Rock Emma

            *fewer
            =P

          • sharculese

            I wasn’t gonna be the one to say it, but thank you.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            So is a 16 year old working a summer job at the mall participating in child labor then?

          • andythesaint

            What’s the legal penalty for posting nude pictures of 16 year olds?

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Would you call Speak a kids book? Perks of Being a Wallflower?

          • sharculese

            Kind of, yes. That’s where there’s whole kaleidoscope of laws related to people under 18 working, like how long you can have them work, how late, how much school they have to be doing.

            I don’t really agree with either of you on this because maturation is a spectrum that makes it hard to identify specific points (and is then made harder because it happens at different rates for everyone.)

            I’d say you’re more right than he is on the overall point, young adult is to some degree a distinct category from child, but I don’t think child labor laws are a particularly good piece of evidence as to why.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Well neither is child pornography, so he and I are probably both committing logical fallacies. But my mom was a school librarian for years and YA is absolutely a distinct category. In fact, there’s actually something in between children’s books: middle grade, which is for ages 8-12. So if I really wanted to get specific, the early Harry Potter (first three) novels are middle grade books. And a lot of classic literature would have been considered YA if the distinction existed at the time.

          • andythesaint

            So…. are you suggesting that book stores put Harry Potter books in different sections depending on what book it is in the series? Is that a thing that happens?

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Buying books in bookstores? Spoken like a true old.

          • andythesaint
          • Purple Rock Emma

            There’s very little precedent for a series growing with its audience the way Harry Potter did. You can find the series in the teen & young adult and literary sections of Amazon. You can also find The Great Gastby in the Amazon children’s book section too.

          • andythesaint

            You can also find Harry Potter in Young Adult within Amazon.

            But, hey, if you want to keep arguing as though I’m taking this seriously, I’m game.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I mean the Harry Potter in YA was literally my point so whatever. I just want to make Matt feel good by there being a lot of comments on his blog. Almost at 400!

          • andythesaint

            (I was pointing out how unfair/weak my argument was when I tried to make it like Amazon lists HP as Children).

          • Purple Rock Emma

            (You can understand why you pointing out your own argument is weak would confuse me, as someone who has talked to you for years.)

          • andythesaint

            I’ll clown on myself in the absence of another victim.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            But really, my real beef is with Saturday Night Palsy for thinking it’s off putting for a 24 year old to be a Harry Potter fan when that might be the most average thing she could be.

          • andythesaint

            Yeah, that guy is a dick.

          • hornacek

            Hey, the kids love that Gatsby!

          • andythesaint

            I wasn’t committing a logical fallacy so much as I was making fun of your point.

          • hornacek

            Can’t it be both things?

          • sharculese

            I wouldn’t say it’s fallacious so much as just a weak comparison.

            But I’ve been tossing this around in my head all day, both as just a word nerd and as someone who has spent 3 of the last 5 years of his life working with young people.

            Don’t think I don’t know these categories of books. I was an introverted kid who spent tons of time in the library, so of course I do. BUT, and I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you here much at all, we’re just talking about it in different ways, I find those categories at best marginally helpful. Growing u is a continuum, and everyone proceeds differently down it. Trying to pin down precisely what’s going on is something I see as a fool’s errand.

            AND more importantly to what’s being talked about right now, the ripple effects of growing up don’t subside immediately when you hit 18, or 21, or 25, or 30. They persist, and material that speaks to those ripples continue to resonate. And that’s not unreasonable.

            In short, I reall disagree with the idea of trying to pin down labels on who material is for, and would prefer to focus on whether it’s good*.

            *For the record I have read all of Harry Potter, and read Deathly Hallows in that leaked version where someone took pictures of a pre-release copy page by page and posted it as a .pdf.

          • hornacek

            “fallacious” sounds dirtier than it actually is.

          • Diego Armando

            I read the first three when I was 11, then read the others when I was… older.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I really think the Harry Potter thing is generational. People who read them at sort of the right ages (I was 20 when the series finished and 12 when I read the first book) get why adults still love it. Michele was likely 10-14 when she read them and they were very important to people at those ages. I don’t think someone over 32 can quite get it.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            That was my point with my other comment asking if they didn’t understand the whole staying attached to something from your childhood/adolescence. I read the first three when I was 9 or 10 and the last one came out when I was 17. Besmirching people for being “adult Harry Potter fans” ignores the fact that most of us grew up with the books and/or movies.

          • Kemper Boyd

            LIke I don’t get Star Wars, I didn’t see it until my late teens and it’s of no cultural significance to me but I’m not going to say the people I know, especially those who were kids when the first ones came out, are stupid for still liking it.

          • Violina23

            I’m 34. I started reading them when I was a freshman in college (only 1-4 were out at the time). I was married 1 year when the final book was published. I don’t think I talked to my husband for a solid day while I was reading it. Then I woke him up at 2AM to tell him that I finished and I wanted to talk to him about it but I couldn’t.

            Pretty much all of my family & friends all loved the books too, so I don’t think I was that much of an anomaly. There is a significant adult fan base. It exploded through word of mouth, most people I talked to were cynical, but got sucked in once they started. I used to joke that JK Rowling owed me a commission fee for the number of fans I created.

            NOTE: if anyone is judging the books based on the movies, you don’t know what you’re missing.

          • Violina23

            P.S. I just want to add that I haven’t had an intellectual debate on the merits of Harry Potter in YEARS. This is FUN!

          • Kemper Boyd

            I don’t think people are pretending they aren’t young adult books but I was 11/12 when the first one came out and 19 when they ended, I love the book series. A lot. I don’t think you can quite get what it is like for those of us aged 23-30, what Harry Potter was to us at the ages they came out doesn’t change just because we’re older now.

        • Ms_Woozah

          I wish I could Evanesco this comment.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            Too bad I put a Permanent Sticking Charm on it.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Do you people not understand the whole “staying a fan of something you liked as a child” thing?

          • andythesaint

            Of course not. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some comic books to read.

          • hornacek

            (Andy reading a comic book) “But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You’re from two different worlds!”

      • sharculese

        Michelle is the only one I couldn’t identify on sight and this point. Which means I should be able to do it process of elimination, but nope, not happening.

        • Sylvisual

          Beauty brunette who’s not an anti-vaxxer. She and Jennifer looks similar, so God help us at a swap.

          • sharculese

            I can’t see ignorance. I’m not a wizard.

          • Sylvisual

            Maybe if you drank more butterbeer!

          • sharculese

            But I just bought all this regular beer!

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            Just melt some butter and put it in the beer and then you have butterbeer. And that’s it!

          • sharculese

            Ugh, fine!

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            It’s really only for Harry Potter superfans or people standing in the corner.

          • sharculese

            Welp, as I said, I’m a Lord of the Rings superfan, so I’ll just smoke this fine pipeweed instead.

          • Purplerockmatt

            LOTR superfan high five!

          • hornacek

            I hope in the new Harry Potter book they have the scene where Harry, Ron and Hermoine switch from butterbeer to actual beer and are not prepared for it.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Wait, one of them is an anti-vaxxer? I hate her more than Aubry.

          • Violina23

            Wait, who is an antivaxxer?

          • Anna. She tweeted a link to an anti-vaccine thing, and said something like “The media doesn’t pay attention to this!”

            Then Fishbach promptly responded with a link to the New York Times covering it and debunking it, and she backtracked with something like, “Lol, just doing my research!”

          • Diego Armando

            The Anti-Vax movement is complete crap. Immunize your kids. Vaccines work only when mass quantities of people get them, thus building up a herd immunity. This has been my rant for the day.

          • Violina23

            *slow clap*

          • indescribable hat

            I love Stephen. I know we’re supposed to have some sort of RHAP backlash towards him, but my love is pure and Tocantins-based and backed up by stuff like this.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Nah, John has said on several occasions that there’s no rivalry between Purple Rock and RHAP. They just genuinely think Stephen isn’t all that.

          • I think Stephen is great, both as a podcaster and on the show. We’ve said that the perception of him as a scheming mastermind was hilariously misplaced, because most of his strategy recommendations revolve around making a strong alliance and staying completely loyal.

          • Roswulf

            I think the official Purple Rock position is that Stephen is a mensch, but that Stephen is not a strategic genius as a Survivor player.

          • Violina23

            I agree with both parts of that assessment.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Um, we love Stephen.

          • Fuck the RHAP backlash. PRP still embraces Fishy.

          • sharculese

            I never put all of this together before, but having seen you write out that acronym I’m now referring to this place as “purp'”, with all of the related connotations.

          • hornacek

            Coming soon to the website, a new section, The Purp Walk.

          • Violina23

            Thanks, I need to know where to send my righteous rage….

            And major Fishbach points have been scored…. 😉

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Wasn’t she more like, “lol I don’t trust the NYT”?

          • No, I think she legitimately backtracked so people would stop raging at her.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Ah, I must’ve missed that part, I only saw the Stephen chain.

        • andythesaint

          Less chesty brunette beauty.

          • sharculese

            We’re nearing the point where there is a solid chance I spend this season obstinately pretending I don’t know who Michelle is.

          • Saturday Evening Palsy

            Not a butterbeer fan?

          • sharculese

            I don’t want diabetes!

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Does it make it better or worse if I tell you she spells it Michele?

          • sharculese

            I don’t know, I’m still gaming out what the precise version of this gimmick that’s most amusing to me looks like.

          • Kemper Boyd

            You have to pronounce it Me-shell like the French way…

          • Other Scott

            I’ve always thought the French pronounciation sounds like Me-shed

          • Purplerockmatt

            or sing the Beatles song

          • Kemper Boyd

            That’s Liz…

          • Purplerockmatt

            no Liz is Brains

          • Kemper Boyd

            I just meant not so busty brunette…

          • andythesaint

            She’s the less chesty brunette beauty on Brains.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I was making a crass joke.

          • andythesaint

            I was building upon that joke. We’re getting a rhythm here.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I was so happy to see that you’d picked her and now we can be wrong together.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Michele was my gut pick when everything came out. I can’t explain why though.

      • sweaterfan

        Welcome to team Michele 🙂
        I have a strong gut feeling that a woman is going to win this season. The women just seem so much better all around. Even Cydney pleasantly surprised me in the premiere.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Me too, as many know I feel a female brunette will win which mean any woman who isn’t Julia or Alecia.

          • Purplerockmatt

            i think saying that Julia or Alecia won’t win is very very safe

          • Kemper Boyd

            I’ve realised that, but it’s more than I couldn’t decide whether I thought Liz, Michele or Jennifer would win and then lumped in all brunettes and went “oh fuck, that’s 75% of the women”.

          • Other Scott

            You should probably just go with the all Brunette pick 4 team

          • Kemper Boyd

            I had planned to then I felt bad and threw Nick in. I’m am honestly tempted to make it Jennifer, Liz, Michele, Anna, except I WILL NOT ROOT FOR A TRUMP SUPPORTER.

          • Other Scott

            I mean, you could go Aubrey? It wouldn’t be horrible?

            But then again, you know who else had a mini in-challenge redemption arc? Dan Foley.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I had a crisis of feminist confidence in an all women team and then I decided that I can’t tinker with the lineup too much.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        She’s a Goldilocks player: She’s not lacking in any of the attributes you need to win, but she also doesn’t have so much of any attribute that she’s seen as a threat. Of course, that’s the kind of thinking that led people to predict a Monica Padilla win last season.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Ahhhh but my goldilocks last season was Wentworth…

  • MrBurkesButtons

    I know you guys have dialed back the “zero percent club,” but there’s nooooo way the editors show Alecia try to write with a capped pen in Episode 1 if she’s the winner, right? (Yeah, yeah, Mike ate a scorpion.)

    • DrVanNostrand

      Nope. Kyle and Alecia. That’s mine.

      • Other Scott

        Kyle? He was looking good this episode

        • DrVanNostrand

          He said Russell was the only person to ever play the game the way it should be played. He will never win. It’s possible that he was just playing it up for the producers and all that.. and he mocked Russell on Twitter (supposedly, I never checked personally)… and he looked good today… but I’m sticking with my preseason pick. No one who thinks that about Russell will ever win.

          • Other Scott

            You can say Russell was a great player without having the heartlessness to play like Russell though. As long as Kyle keeps the current trend of actually having people think he’s an awesome guy, he’s not a zero percenter.

          • DrVanNostrand

            This is my response to everybody. It’s not that he said Russell was a great player, or that he was fun to watch, or any other general praise. The specific words he used, and the implication that he wanted to out-Russell Russell is why he’s in my club. I’ll be happy to send a letter of apology to the reunion show if I’m wrong.

          • Diego Armando

            Tony said in a pre-interview that Russell was the player he was most like. That was what caused me to not want to pick him, but he wound up being delightful. Russell was not a good player though.

          • sharculese

            Russell is the player Tony is most like. Tony somehow manages to take the best parts of Russell’s skillset and (mostly) filter out the bad. That’s a hard act to repeat though.

          • indescribable hat

            I want to feel this way too, because Russell is such a flawed player and he drives me up the wall, but you know who thinks Russell is great? Cirie. Cirie thinks Russell is great.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            *clamps hands over ears* LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.

    • Roswulf

      Naw, it was a funny moment in an episode lacking in levity. Plus she would be an under the radar LADY winner, who doesn’t get that kind of edit protection.

      But more fundamentally, the producers showing funny means nothing.

      I am hopping aboard the Alecia bandwagon. It’s so roomy!

      • Kemper Boyd

        If she’s winning it would have to be a Natalie White thing or realistically a Nat Ten who somehow won (because Natalie White was way way better than I can see Alecia being) and Natalie White always got a decent edit.

    • andythesaint

      The dangerous part of doing a Zero Percent Club this season is that I have a feeling like it’s a season where most everyone will feel like a zero percenter. Which means most of them aren’t.

      Except Alecia tho. She’s zero point zero.

    • Barbara Anderson

      However, Mike also had a redemption edit in that same episode because he saved his tribe from going to Tribal, so he had that. Alecia has nothing.

  • sharculese

    Guys, does anyone have a list of all Debbie’s chyrons?

    • Saturday Evening Palsy

      The mother, the father, the serpent, the priest, the foreman, the woman, the widow, the beast.

    • DrVanNostrand

      She said something about optronics or lasers and I thought, “she probably works for my dysfunctional clusterfuck of a company”. Is she from Boston?

      • I think so, actually.

      • sharculese

        Reading, PA. Is that close to Boston? I don’t know the geography of our nation’s frigid northern wastelands.

        • DrVanNostrand

          Closer than I thought, about 6 hrs by road. I spent the last 14 years in warmth, but I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so I suffer through our nation’s frigid northern wastelands like a Stark.

          • sharculese

            I spent the last three years in DC, which is as far north as I’m willing to go, but it’s had the effect of making Atlanta winter much easier to bear.

          • Sylvisual

            We’ve had winter?

          • sharculese

            I blew a tire out on Paces Ferry during that one light snow, and it suuuuucked, so yes, I’m going with we did.

          • Snow? Never heard of it.

        • hornacek

          I took a ride on the Reading once. Then I went to jail.

    • Sylvisual

      Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy

      • sharculese

        BUT THOSE WERE DIFFERENT PEOPLE

        • gouis

          That’s what Karla wants you to think.

    • forever1267

      The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.

    • Diego Armando

      The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker.

  • corndogshuffle

    I still feel decent about Anna as my winner pick.

    Unfortunately, my pick four also included Darnell and Alecia so that’s gonna have to change a little bit!

    I’m optimistic for this season. I don’t think it will be anything like Second Chances but it doesn’t have to be Second Chances good to still be good.

  • Diego Armando

    I have finished writing a review for this episode at https://robertsreviewsandmusings.wordpress.com/. If anyone reads it, feel free to comment or tell me what I can do to improve. Thank you for your time.

    • Saturday Evening Palsy

      Tried to leave a comment. Not sure if I did. Nice write up!

      • Diego Armando

        Thank you for your viewing.

      • Diego Armando

        Yep, I got it approved. I am still figuring out the nuances of WordPress.

  • Saturday Evening Palsy

    I have to say that Aubry, Queen of Elves and Manatees, did much better than I thought she would.

    • sharculese

      I don’t think anyone expected the woman who called herself Queen of Elves to do well. Except John, and if Aubry does well I don’t want to think about how smug John is going to be.

      • Saturday Evening Palsy

        When I saw that someone replied I thought for sure it was him.

    • hornacek

      I was hoping she would start to hallucinate and call her tribemates elves and start giving orders to her subjects.

  • Ms_Woozah

    Aubry was kind of a hot mess in the beginning of this episode (anxiety attacks are no joke) but she definitely redeemed herself in the Immunity challenge. I don’t have a strong opinion on her yet but could see her growing on me.

    Really liked Tai, Michele, Jennifer. Not a big fan of Jason yet to be honest. Came across way too patronizing here.

    Also loved that Scot just up and admitted he was from the NBA. He also seems to understand the game more than past athletes.

    • VoicOff

      Both Jason and Scot were competing for the title of patronizing douche in chief

    • Kemper Boyd

      Heat Stroke ain’t no joke and once you get that hot it can really fuck with you. I’ve had it and I remember seriously thinking I might die in the moment, my friends had to give me rehydration sachets, dump a tonne of water all over me to cool me down and lie me in the shade for a couple of hours before I could move.

      • Ms_Woozah

        That sounds miserable. I’m as pale as they come and I can’t stand more than a few hours in the hot sun, even with massive amounts of sunscreen. I’d wouldn’t last half a day on Survivor.

    • Scarlett3639

      I especially agree with you about Scot. I am so sick of people trying to hide their careers.

      • How was Scot going to hide that? He’s almost SEVEN FEET TALL.

  • Roswulf

    I hate everybody. Tai’s spectacular mismanagement of the idol search ended my mancrush.

    Well, I don’t HATE Jennifer, but thinking about her makes me want to bash my head against a wall in sympathetic agony…so…UGGGGGGHHH!

    • Other Scott

      I’m the exact opposite. I don’t hate anybody. They all seem either pretty cool or wonderfully not self aware.

      I’ll probably hate Nick given more screen time though.

      • Purplerockmatt

        was it nick who in the opening shot had his leg over the side of the boat? because i hated him from that so damn much

        • Yes, that was Nick.

        • sharculese

          I think we can all assume Nick has #crotchframed at some point in his life.

      • Roswulf

        I’m willing to concede that some of my resentment is based on my general sourness- it’s not like the Beauty girls or most of brains actually DID anything to earn my hate.

        Man, I just don’t understand the Kyle/Jason love at all. His interactions with Alecia…ugh. The dripping contempt with which he does not bother to learn her name specifically because he views her as a worthless person is blatant, conscious misogynistic bullying. And this is a person he plans on working with going forward!

  • Other Scott

    I still don’t know what the heck Matt’s logic was for that Darnell first boot pick, but good on him!

    Yeah, I’m fully on the Scot Pollard bandwagon. Hopefully I don’t get quite as obnoxious this year.

    Also, I didn’t hate Caleb at all? And how did we get saddled with a boring Brains tribe?

    • Kemper Boyd

      Scot Pollard: remember Uncle Cliffy had 3 with him in Cagayan. If there is a swap and he’s low on numbers it’s an obvious boot to throw a challenge for.

    • Purplerockmatt

      There was a vibe in Darnell’s video that made me think he wouldn’t fit in, so i took a long shot

    • Hatred for Caleb comes from Caleb’s own hating on Tai. Tai is a motherfucking gift and should be treated as such!

      Also, nice avatar.

  • Kemper Boyd

    This was a solid starting episode. I like a 90 minute (well hour without adverts) première as you get to meet a lot more of the players than in a standard episode.
    Alecia is terrible and absolutely cannot win after her edit. She didn’t even try and get puzzle pieces out of the bag until told for fuck sake.
    I think Tai is doomed, he seems to have no awareness of how his tribe are reacting to him and that can be a killer. Probst tweeted it’s like meeting Rupert for the first time and I can see what he means because Rupert couldn’t play the game.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Also is he Kyle or is he Jason? I am confused.
    Personally I prefer Fat Bischoff.

    • Purplerockmatt

      first name Kyle, last name Jason

      • Kemper Boyd

        Yes but people are using both and it’s confusing dude.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          He seems to go by Jason. Which is unreasonably irritating me.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Can’t trust a man with two first names. Also Jason is not cooler than Kyle, to be fair Kyle isn’t cooler than Jason they are just white dude names.

          • DrVanNostrand

            I would only ever say his name in Cartman voice.

      • hornacek

        Mr. Jason sounds like a villain in a Mel Gibson movie.

        • Violina23

          Or a lost Matrix Sequel…

  • turgid_legume

    I want to root for Tai but it seems like that’s going to end in disappointment.

    Brawn tribe is a total disaster. I don’t like the attitudes of Scot or Jason at all. They seem hell-bent on playing manly/macho style, social game be damned. And I get that Alecia is kind of awful, but at least have the respect to use her name. (I don’t know if you guys saw it, but Probst did a preview show with Fishbach and Parvati and he mentioned that bullying would be an element of the show.) Jennifer is the only bright star on that tribe.

    Debbie is hilarious and I hope she stays around because I want more from her, but her outlook is bleak.

    • hornacek

      Next week look for Alecia’s onscreen name to be changed to BLONDIE. And Pete’s to be changed to OBAMA.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Guys like Jason/Kyle(?) and Scot don’t win. It’s not good jury management.

      • DrVanNostrand

        Try telling that to everyone tearing apart my zero percent club pick!

    • sweaterfan

      I’m strangely excited to see this become bizarro Cagayan, where the Brawn tribe is a disaster, Brains dominates challenges and Beauty is actually strategic. Please let this happen!

  • sweaterfan

    The entire time Tai was looking for the idol I was screaming at my TV “JUST TELL THEM YOU WERE GARDENING”
    We already saw him weirdly anthropomorphizing a tree earlier, so when he got caught digging around he could have just said he’d seen trees in danger and needed to help. I mean, if you’re going to be weird then you’d better go all out (see: Lady Coach)

  • Kemper Boyd

    Tai was really over thinking where production would hide an idol. I strongly doubt they would bury it and then plant a young tree on top.

    • Yeah. Bad form on his part. When he mentioned the unusual tree I thought he might be on the right path, but then he ripped it out of the ground.

    • hornacek

      Sure they would! Production would be thinking “It would take a gardener to find this hidden idol!”

    • Alycia Swift

      Plus, hasn’t production been hiding idols in holes of unusual trees. Production hasn’t buried idols underground in quite a while. Too hard to find that way.

      • sharculese

        First idol in SJDS was buried, although granted, they did give people a map to it.

        • Alycia Swift

          Did not remember that. But I’m getting old.

          • sharculese

            It’s the one that was by the well. Where they didn’t get the shot of Keith finding it and had to stage having him dig it up again.

        • hornacek

          It couldn’t have been buried too deeply since it leaped up from the ground at Keith.

      • Kemper Boyd

        No more than “under a rock” type burials for a long time.

  • itsafuckingSTICK

    Tai: “I love all living things!” ::rips sapling out of the ground:: “How would you like it if someone hurt you?” ::rips another sapling straight out of the motherfucking earth::

    • hornacek

      I posted it under another comment, but I hope there’s a scene later in the season (before the merge, if they don’t stay at this beach) where they show those trees have withered and died.

      • sharculese

        I hope it turns out that one of those trees was the branch Stephen couldn’t chop.

        • hornacek

          His nemesis!

      • itsafuckingSTICK

        That would be a great shot for the editors to foreshadow Tai’s withering and expiration at a tribal council.

        • Violina23

          Especially if they can do a time-lapse and show it whither and die leading up to the tribal council on his boot episode…

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Well, I’m feeling pretty good about 3 of my Pick 4–Liz, Kyle, and Jennifer are all safely in their tribes’ majorities. Tai though, man. Like all right-thinking people I’m so happy he got cast, but there are a lot of bad signs: his being a “non-traditional” Beauty, his hyperactivity, the fact that a man seems almost certain to be the Beauty tribe’s first boot. As much as it would pain me to switch from one of my favorites to one of my least favorites, I may just switch to Julia–tons of Nat Ten potential there.

    • Other Scott

      I don’t think NatTen potential is really what you’re looking for in Pick-4 though, especially not as an absolute ceiling. VTEP points only take you so far.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        You may be right. Last season Varner single-handedly dragged me down to 40-something place. Maybe I’m overcorrecting by thinking only about longevity.

        • Other Scott

          Just realize you really shouldn’t be taking my advice on fantasy Survivor. I’m legitimately terrible at it.

  • Smocke55

    I’m 80% sure Michelle is winning.Probst is already hyping her as the next Parvati plus she got a big edit and showed her setting up what may very well be the Black Widow Brigade 2.0

    Also,Alecia is adorable <3 . I can't understand why people would hate her over Jason,who seems like a complete DOUCHE.Hoping to god he crashes and burns

    • andythesaint

      Weren’t Anna and Julia the ones shown setting up the alliance? Michele was shown TALKING about it, but Anna and Julia were actually doing the aligning.

  • hornacek

    Holy crap, Liz used to date Stephen Fishbach!

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Well, OKCupid, not just a random meet-cute. Actually, it bodes really well for her chances that a) OKCupid’s algorithm paired her with Stephen, and b) Stephen was sufficiently impressed to introduce her to casting. Also, way to go Stephen!