Survivor Worlds Apart hype man preview: Dan Foley

In hip-hop music, a hype man supports the rappers with exclamations and interjections and attempts to increase the audience’s excitement. In honor of Survivor’s upcoming Worlds Apart season, I’ll be picking out a few members of the cast and serving as hype man to get you excited about both the player and the game. Today’s candidate: Dan.

Dan Foley

Ok, we’ve got the brains. We’ve got the wildcard. You know what this team needs? The muscle. Enter Dan. Why Dan, you ask? Allow me to explain to your narrow-minded ass:

You know how Survivor will cast generic, All-American Midwestern people just to make it seem like you’re getting some cross-section of America playing the game? They’re usually people that have never seen the show; they got recruited because they look like some stereotype of an American- a cowboy, a model or pageant queen, someone who was in the military. On their CBS bios, when they have to name a previous player that they’re like, they say, “There’s never been a player like me!” or “Parvati.” Because how do they know?

Those people are not Dan. Dan saw those people get cast and he screamed at his TV. “What the fuck!?” he yelled, waking up his wife and the dog he probably has, who are both somehow asleep at 8:30 p.m. in this scenario. Dan was mad, because that was bullshit. Those people were recruited and didn’t give a shit about the show. But Dan wanted to be on Survivor. He drove thousands of miles over the years going to open casting calls, all so Survivor could ignore him and cast Cowboy Rick and the bland-to-detestable wastes of space that appeared on Survivor: Nicaragua.

A lot of people think they’d be great on Survivor, but they’re boring human beings. They’re delusional. America doesn’t want to watch them on TV. (Full disclosure: I might be one of them. I’ll let you know if I ever submit a Survivor application and don’t hear back.) But that’s not Dan. You’re going to like Dan. And do you know why? Because Dan is Rupert.

The original manbearpig
“I’m a pirate! I’m an All-Star! I’m a hero! My wife is my blood!”

“Back the fuck up,” you’re saying. “Rupert? I’m not a Rupert fan.” And you’re right. You’re not. Now. But let me take you back to late 2003: You were hearing exciting rumors about the Motorola RAZR flip phone. You were burning a sweet mix CD of all the 50 Cent songs you’d pirated. And you were watching Survivor: Pearl Islands.

Pearl Islands was a great season. One of the best, according to the definitive Survivor season rankings. You liked that cast. Osten, who looked like he was chiseled from granite, became the first person to quit and it blew your mind. (He later turned into a whacked-out conspiracy theorist on Twitter. I am not making this up.) Andrew Savage looked like a charming stud who might march straight to the finish, but he got voted out by a fucking grown up Girl Scout. Some scrawny d-bag made up a lie that didn’t affect the game at all and people acted like it was a big deal. And Sandra got loud too, WHAT THE FUCK!?

And then a bearded fat guy in a tie-dye shirt acted like a pirate and won you over. He cried talking about how he was bullied as a kid, and how he had trouble fitting in. Hey, that’s not cool, you thought! Rupert didn’t deserve that. He’s a nice guy! And he’s great at spear fishing! And hahaha, he stole the other tribe’s shoes! I’m going to go cast a vote for him for fan favorite right now! If only I had a Motorola RAZR to do it from! (You were so excited about that RAZR.)

That was you in 2003. If Rupert got hit by a bus in 2003, you’d be missing Rupert- unlike the hypothetical bus, which clearly didn’t. It’s the diminishing returns that have come ever since that are ruining it for you. Here, I’ve made a convenient chart that summarizes your feelings on Rupert:

Rupert feelings, via emoji
See? I understand emojis. I’m hip.

But we’re throwing it back. Dan isn’t the Rupert you’re tired of. Dan is that 2003 Rupert, a lovable underdog with the strength of a manbearpig that you root for because he seems like a nice guy. Only unlike Rupert, Dan recognizes that this show is not about how well you can build a shelter (not that Rupert ever could) or provide for your tribe. Dan’s not here to steal shoes; he came to steal hearts. And according to his bio, he’s going to do it with…disc golf? Shit.

Ok, so you’re not sold on Rupert and disc golf? I’m failing you here? I’ve got to give you something more to work with? Well I’m out of ideas, so let’s check his interview with Gordon Holmes and his Twitter:

Holmes: What are your thoughts on this cast?
Foley: It seems like an all-star cast. We have a Parvati, we have a Colby, we have a Dawn, we have Kim, we have Malcolm, Denise, Brenda, Benjamin…oh, I’m sorry, “Coach.” And you have me, Rupert.

Holy shit, he knows he’s Rupert! I swear I had the entire Rupert argument written before I ever saw this interview. But let’s see how well he did identifying the rest of the cast:


See? Dan’s got this game figured out. I can already see Probst falling in love with New Colby, and New Parvati flirting once and people pretending that was the sole reason for her success. Dan fucking nailed that assessment. Now watch Dan work his social game:


Hey, that’s a promising start! Looks like Dan gets along well enough with Mike from his tribe to have a good laugh about their clearly mutual man-crush. What else do we have?

Aw, bleat bleat bleat bleat motherfucka!
Aw, bleat bleat bleat bleat muhfucka!

Wait. That goat looks familiar.

This feels like a promo picture for a CBS comedy
Love you Bay!

I knew it! Dan is a reader of this fine website! He definitely didn’t just do a Google image search for “goat” like I did and pick the funniest one on the first page. He clearly reads and enjoys this site. See? Dan does the exact same thing you’re doing: he reads the best Survivor-related site on the internet!

But I’m not hyping Dan today because he’s just like you. He’s certainly not just like me, although if he comes to Florida I am down to play disc golf with him. If I’m like anyone on this season, it’s some cross between Shirin and…someone I haven’t mentioned yet (but will in the final hype man installment). But it’s ok to like someone even if they aren’t like you- something the creators of the Hottest Female Castaway poll apparently didn’t take into consideration when they gave you the option of white girls, Brenda, or Christina.

So drop that bias you rode in with. It’s time to hop on the same ride you’ve been on before and pray that this time it turns out differently. It’s Rupert 2.0 time! (Note: If Dan begins the season by completely embracing this “blue collar” shit and trying to unionize the blue collar tribe, abandon ship immediately and forget this post ever happened.)

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John is the co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. He can get loud too, what the fuck!

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia
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  • Maybe it’s because I saw Rupert out of sequence (btw, I finally dumped like a 1,000 words about what happened in All-Stars down below) but I didn’t like Rupert in Pearl Islands at all. But really I don’t think it’s that, I didn’t buy the narrative he crafts for himself there at all, and I found him to be really mean-spirited. He doesn’t come off as someone who’s still the frightened bullied child, he comes off as someone who was bullied as a kid and learned that being a bully gets you what you want. He’s a huge dude who gets in people’s faces and screams at them and the scurries off to say, ‘no that’s not really who I am, I’m really very sensitive,’ and then he does it again. and again. As a dude who’s 5’5″ and has learned how to deal with dudes who think they can get what they want just by being bigger than you, it’s not hard to spot the Ruperts of the world and I don’t like them.

    • I think I’m biased because the person he blows up and yells at is Jon Dalton. And I love Sandra for doing the exact same thing. The key to earning my Survivor love is to get in Jon Dalton’s face and yell at him, I guess.

  • Other Scott

    I’ve never been able to figure out why the Grandma Lie is such a big deal that many consider it to be “the number 1 moment in Survivor history.” (I’m looking at you, Mario.)

    • As a fan of outrageous lies, I’m pre-disposed to like it, but I also can’t really identify an effect it has on the game. It helped him vote out…Tijuana? I’m sure there’s no other way you could have pulled off that feat.

      • Other Scott

        I feel pretty confident saying it ended up having almost no impact on the game. You only have two arguments:
        1. It helped keep Lil on his side for two more votes. I don’t think this was the case, because Lil’s alliance was with Burton, and Fairplay just happened to be the third person in it from her perspective. When Burton revealed he and Jon were actually the final 2, Lil turned.
        2. It got Christa and Sandra on his side for the T vote, where otherwise the game would have flipped. This one just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Christa and Sandra choose the Fairplay side here. Sandra made a brilliant move to have Tijuana listen in on the Jon/ Burton plots to get rid of her, so they have 4 against the alliance of 3. Then for no particular reason, Christa and Sandra side with Burton and Jon? Maybe it was because of the Grandma lie, somehow Christa was swayed and that swayed Sandra? This is one of the biggest mysteries of Pearl Islands to me, along with “Did Sandra know Rupert was leaving, and vote Jon to ensure it happened?”

      • ” Why would Christa and Sandra choose the Fairplay side here. ”

        I dunno if you’re listening along with Rob C’s Evolution of Strategy, (you should, it’s interesting and a lot of fun) but he and Josh Wigler hashed this out and Rob’s argument, which I find convincing, is that if Sandra and Christa go through with the plan at that point and pick off Burton and Dalton at 7 and 6, it becomes 3 Morgans to 2 Drakes, which is not exactly an ideal position for them.

      • Well the effect it had on the game is hard to quantify because it wasn’t directly relating to someone being voted out. Plus like many moves the person who did it didn’t end up winning so it kind of automatically doesn’t make a huge impact. More than anything the move was about social capital. After the lie Fairplay constantly swears on his Grandma to seal deals and it works for everyone other than Sandra who pretty clearly never believed that his Grandma died. If that makes things happen that other wise wouldn’t have there is basically no way to know. Also, it was meant to help with the jury at FTC because Fairplay isn’t exactly beloved by the other survivors. Plus, Fairplay wasn’t a fan of Survivor. He watch the season before he went out, but that was most like cramming for a test than really studying and loving something. But his loved one, Thunder Dan,. was (and is) a huge Survivor fan. Fairplay wanted him as his loved one (And to spend time with him) because he was such a big fan and so he could go over strategy for the end game with him. Since Fairplay didn’t win it’s easy to say it didn’t effect anything since even if it did it’s almost impossible to have an specific data to prove it. If he had won it would probably be considered a brilliant out side the box move. It certainly had more impact on the game than “Hold up Bro” and “The Three Amigos” tribal counsel and people seem to really love them for reasons I can’t understand.

      • “Hold up bro” I dont’ get the love for either. The three amigos tribal council, on the other hand, I love just for Phillip Shepard’s mounting rage as Malcolm keeps talking.

      • “After the lie Fairplay constantly swears on his Grandma to seal deals and it works for everyone other than Sandra who pretty clearly never believed that his Grandma died.”

        So I didn’t know he and Thunder D did the strategy thing, and that makes sense, but I’m not sure how much the oaths really help him. At that point he and Burton were already in the driver’s seat, swearing on his grandmother seems to me like a marginal advantage at best.

      • Other Scott

        I’d love to listen to The Evolution of Strategy, and I’ve listened to most of the Borneo one, but I just don’t have time.

        Anyways, even that doesn’t make sense, because the other option that tribal was Lil, in which case you would have 4 Drakes to 2 Morgans. Not that Lil was much of a Morgan anyways.

      • “Hold up, bro” was funny, but ended up having no major strategic effect (although he was right to suspect Reynold wasn’t the target, he just incorrectly guessed the actual target).

        The Three Amigos tribal was awesome, though. It certainly could have been even more amazing, and Malcolm has since admitted that he kind of blew it, but even as it stood it was a unique situation. There were people trying to quickly whisper out new alliances and targets within tribal council! How nuts is that?

        Just like with “Hold up, bro”, Malcolm guessed the wrong target. Had he said they were voting for Cochran or even Andrea, those two would have been smart enough to immediately act to save their own skin.

      • I’m sure there was a better target than Philip, who is absolutely never going to win Survivor (and I say this as someone who has a pretty high Philip Shepard tolerance) but then we don’t get the majesty of the ‘fun police’ speech and Philip getting angrier and angrier the longer Malcolm talks, so I’m hard pressed to say I’d prefer Malcolm had made the better strategic move.

        (I’m also a little down on Malcolm at the moment after finding out he’s a libertarian, so there’s that too.)

      • tocantins

        I feel people sometimes forget that had Lil not committed suicide in F3, Jon would most likely have been the winner of Pearl Islands. So it is hard to criticize his strategy. I feel the grandmother lie was more a big Survivor moment than a big Survivor move, but it is very convincing the argument that it saved him at F7 vote. He does swear to Sandra and Christa on his dead Grandma, and (at least by the edit) this does seem to have some effect on their decision. It is not only through that, there is the strategic reason behind it, but they would never side with Fairpĺay if they didn’t believe him at all, and I feel that lie made them believe him a bit more (if still not a lot), probably enough to accept not voting him out.

      • A bunch of posts won’t let me comment on them? I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong. So I’ll respond here. Christa said that she went back with JFP because of swearing on his Grandma post game. Sandra followed suit because you don’t alienate yourself by voting the other way.

        • I have no idea why it wouldn’t let you comment on other posts. As soon as you’ve had one comment approved you should be able to comment anywhere and have it show up immediately.

    • Mario has it ranked at number 1 on the Funny 115 (v1) a list of the 115 FUNNIEST things on survivor (in seasons 1 through 11). Not the best strategic moves or most important things to happen, etc. Ranking that 1 doesn’t even mean the moment it’s self. It’s the whole challenge and all that involved. Which is very funny (though I don’t think it’s the funniest thing in the season I think Fairplay getting destroyed by Lill in the final immunity is funnier personally).

      Part of the reason it’s a big deal has to do with context. People looking at it now have seen someone like Russel Hantz who lied about losing a dog in Katrina and that kind of stuff. It’s common place. When Fairplay was on Survivor Richard was considered a villain because he was part of a voting block, and Jerri was a villain because she said the chef made bad rice, etc, Someone lying about their Grandmother being dead to gain an advantage in the game is a huge escalation in terms of what people are willing to do and lie about in the game.