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.
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?
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?
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.
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-
Spencer: I AM INCAPABLE OF LOVE, PLEASE ASSIST!
Nominee #2: Stephen Fishbach
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!
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…)
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?
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:
Abi talking about Varner being unpredictable is as funny as her calling PG sketchy. #RHAP
— Angie Caunce (@AngieCaunce) October 8, 2015
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.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia