The People’s Survivor Blog: Get under that bus!

Each week, I’ll be analyzing how well the second chances of various Survivors are going. I’ll be paying particularly close attention to their spectacular failures, and giving out an award I made up. 

The People's Survivor Blog (not Stephen Fishbach's)

John is a nerd on the internet who has never been on Survivor, but has been podcasting about Survivor since 2013. This season, in The People’s Survivor blog, he will blog about his experiences as a Survivor viewer. Follow John on Twitter @purplerockpod.

“Abi, if this vote doesn’t go as planned, there’s something seriously wrong in the universe.” – Denise Stapley, Survivor: Philippines

There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and Abi-Maria flipping the fuck out on every episode of Survivor she appears in. If you want to predict who Abi-Maria will be aligned with at tribal council, just look at the group she was aligned with at the start of the episode- it’s not them. Abi-Maria is Survivor‘s version of a white elephant gift; once she’s yours, you just really hope someone else takes her off your hands, regardless of what you get in return.

But hey, new tribes! I love when Survivor mixes up the tribes, because it gives us a chance to see how players interact with their new group. And with no reward challenge, we’ll finally have time to see how some other people are doing in this game. Like Monica, for instance. Remember how America voted Monica onto this season? What’s she up to?

Cambodia- Monica hunting for an idol probably
Oh. Keep it up, Monica. You’re doing great.

And check out how those new tribes ended up. They could rebrand this season Brawn vs. Brains vs. The Rest (I still love half of that The Rest tribe, though). Shockingly, The Rest lost the immunity challenge that required brute strength and puzzle skills. Probst is going to have so much apologizing to do to Savage.

The Walking Disasters

But most importantly, new tribes mean new social interactions. And new social interactions mean new chances to truly fuck up at the game of Survivor. Let’s take a stroll down Failure Lane:

Nominee #1: Spencer Bledsoe

Spencer, you’ve got this. All you have to do is talk to these people on your new tribe, form some bonds, and make them feel like they can trust you. Spencer? Hello? Everything ok?

Windows Blue Screen of Death
The kids love Windows 95 jokes


That’s ok, we’ll just install the latest patch while everyone else is out looking for idols. We can recover from this one. Now let’s go over the plan: What are you going to do this time? And if you could, please let your answer be accompanied by an awkward hand gesture.

Cambodia- Spencer trying to have feelings

Nailed it, kid! Now go talk to Jeremy!

Spencer: Hello, Jeremy. Nice weather we’re having.

Jeremy: Yeah. A little warm, though. I’m from New England, so this-


Nominee #2: Stephen Fishbach

Cambodia- Fishbach coconut chop failure

You can’t even chop a coconut, bro. Why don’t you let SpencerBot jump in there and help?

Nominee #3: Jeff Varner

What the hell happened to you, Varner?! You were riding high, running the show with your ripped sleeves and bitten ass. Now you’re letting your alliance of misfits (and Peih-Gee) fall apart in the span of three days? And why were you mouthing “rub my nipples” to Wiglesworth after that challenge? Now is not the time, Varner!

Jeff Varner Cambodia boobs

No! Bad Varner! Once you win the million there will be plenty of people lining up to rub those bad boys. I’m pretty sure that’s what Chris Daughtry spent all of his winnings on.

Nominee #4: Terry Deitz

Producer: Ok, Terry, time for your confessional. How are you feeling with this new tribe?

Terry: I’m amazing. I’m in the perfect position. I cannot lose.

Producer: Terry, have you ever seen this show and how we use these confessionals?

Terry: There is no way I will fail. Everyone loves me. I’m going to win. Nothing can possi-bly go wrong.

Producer: Great, thanks Terry. We’ve got enough here.

Terry: You sure? You want me to pose for a statue that you can carve of me or something? Everyone here is rooting for my success.

Producer: Nah, we’re good.

(Months later, in the editing bay…)

Cambodia- Kelley Wentworth get under that bus Terry head

Nominee #5: Survivor editors

You had this clip of Keith- imitating either Joe’s hair flip or a circus seal with a traumatic brain injury- and you didn’t use it?

Keith Nale

This is why you have Keith! He gave you exactly what he was cast for- what he was voted back in for!- and you didn’t use it. SHAME!

Nominee #6: Abi-Maria Gomes

Two-time Dead Fishy recipient Abi-Maria was not content to merely rest on the laurels of her terribleness this week. No, like a true champion of failure, she got right back on that grind trying to earn another trophy. And once again she presented a solid case, best summarized by this tweet:

Listen up, kettles! Black pot Abi-Maria has some thoughts about you.

Champion of failure

Abi-Maria is almost eligible for the Dead Fishy as a Lifetime Achievement award at this point, yet she continues to give us exactly what we expected when we voted for her- even if some of us didn’t really put enough consideration into how her presence might affect the Survivors that we would be rooting for.

And sure, you can make the argument that it’s all our fault for voting in someone that not even Denise could tolerate. (Denise- a professional therapist who makes her living by being sympathetic and understanding- could not keep her sanity around Abi-Maria. Really, what hope did these other Survivors have?) So yes, those of us that voted for Abi-Maria to get on this season may be partially to blame. All I can do as penance is to place another Dead Fishy into Abi-Maria’s impressive trophy case.

Congratulations, Abi-Maria. You continue to fail upwards.

dead fishy trophy

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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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19 thoughts on “The People’s Survivor Blog: Get under that bus!

  1. The non Kelly Wentworth women are really getting the shaft. It’s all either completely 1D (Abi is crazy! Kass is a big softie! TASHA STRONG) or they are completely invisible (Monica, Ciera, Kelly, Kimmi). Combined with your Keith point above, I kind of feel like they should get it.

    1. To be fair, it’s not like anyone (male or female) on that original Bayon tribe has had a chance to be anything other than 1 dimensional. And Abi’s been given as complex of an edit as you can give Abi. She has clearly shown that she’s trying to be better and less confrontational and has just been failing horribly.

      I think you are asking stuff from the editors that they don’t have time to do. We’re three episodes in, there’s only so much story we have and Abi is dominating the game right now.

      1. Yeah that’s mostly fair. And as much as I love Jeff, his dominance of the show has really come at the expense of everyone else.

        Although I get the feeling they’re giving him so much airtime because he’s the story of the pre-merge. I think he likely goes out fairly soon, whether from a vote or from a medivac.

        1. I don’t want this to become true, but it’s certainly possible. For my own sanity I just keep telling myself that we can’t read to much into Varner’s edit, because smart editors would just give us all of Varner that they have, as long as keeps on giving and is central to the episode’s story-arc.
          So maybe there’s still hope for my winner-pick despite his over-the-top-edits, if not he still could be an endgamer. But yeah, sadly early merge or even premerge semms to be just as likely.

        2. Where was this clairvoyance 4 weeks ago?

          (not getting old to me. you still kick my butt in the pick 4 though, just like almost everybody else)

    2. Eh.. Tasha had a great episode. More than being strong, she was shown as being optimistic despite being in a bad situation in contrast to Savage who was a real Debbie downer until Varner’s blunder. She was also shown to be intuitive and strategic with the whole Abi-PG situation. It remains to be seen if this was one episode thing or start of an arc. The fact she got more credit for turning around a bad situation than Savage indicates it will be latter.


    Favorite scene this season so far. And wonderfully recapped here.

    1. It was glorious, but I think people aren’t giving enough credit to Jeremy’s response of “of course you don’t say it back” which was straight up out of the Dudebro Handbook for Talking to Chicks When You’re a Bro Who’s Also a Dude

      1. to be fair, he also said being out here will give you clarity which is good advice for someone who actually is hesitant to say it

          1. See, I took that as him saying that Spencer shouldn’t say it back if he doesn’t know how he feels.

          2. I can see that, but the wording was weird. It wasn’t ‘that’s what you should do if you feel that way,’ it was ‘that’s what you’re supposed to do’ which kind of read like ‘if your woman wants you to say it back, make her work for it.’

            I will say, to Jeremy’s sort-of credit, that’s not how he talks about Val, so maybe this was his not great estimation of how to talk to a younger guy that he course corrected as he realized Spencer was trying to have a serious moment.

    1. That whole Cabana Boy secret scene may have been the best scene of the episode. Or would have been if they had included it.

  3. From all I’ve heard on podcasts and read in different places Abi clearly seems to be the people’s choice and as such a deserving winner of this particular blog’s award, but I don’t think you’ve been very fair to her and you certainly don’t give her the benefit of the doubt. Why not give her the benefit of the doubt? Ima give her the benefit of the doubt:

    After being a target at the first vote and seeing the majority had switched from new to oldschool, she created an opportunity to align with the side that targeted her to keep her safe and better her prospects. Then last week it seemed like it was Jeff’s blow-up that destroyed any chance of old takeo sticking together. Savvy Abi, as I will call her from now on, was just the first to strike by bringing up Varner for his unpredictability (why is it that she’s not allowed to state the obvious without being mocked for it?) as the target to Tasha. She then wisely went above and beyond to demonstrate her new allegiances by ticking of Peih-Gee to the point that she stuck her neck out for the person everyone was shooting for, simply by offering her to join the majority, burning all the bridges to her old (and doomed, considering that at this point it’s sure to be 7:10 old takeo to old bayon ratio – so inns to old-bayon seem to be of utmost importance to anybody’s game at this point) tribe.

    All that is not to say I wasn’t shocked and in despair when the vote turned out to be against PG – I think she would have been the more interesting player to watch going forward. But Abi softened that blow right away by turning around and whispering sweet nothings to Woo.

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