Each week, I’ll be analyzing how well the second chances of various Survivors are going. I’ll be paying particular 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.
“To tell you guys a little bit more about myself, I’m not real good at a balance beam.” – Chris Daugherty, Survivor: Vanuatu
Challenges are extremely important in Survivor. Challenge prowess is what helped Ozzy win three seasons, and the reason why challenge failures like Sandra and Cochran are universally viewed as worthless chumps. You don’t need to look any further than the first two seasons of Survivor to realize how important challenge wins are: Kelly and Colby were dominant challenge beasts, and the juries rewarded them. If you can’t compete in challenges, why are you even here?
So when Bayon lost the immunity challenge after awkward nerd Stephen Fishbach awkward-nerded his way into hitting another team’s target with the slingshot, you’d have to assume Fishbach was doomed. But instead, Monica had a little problem with Kimmi’s “Who wants some of this giant clam?” worldview. Then Kimmi had a little problem with Monica’s idea to bro-ette down and start a ladies alliance. Kimmi reacted like me talking to a Starbucks barista:
But these people have a second chance, and they’ve decided that there is some other quality that is important in this game other than challenge prowess. Probably because they’re all a bunch of losers. Oh, and Joe. Pretty, pretty Joe.
I assume Stephen tried to save his athletically-incompetent nerd self by offering up some ridiculous reasoning like “We can’t trust Monica, so we can’t be sure she won’t turn on us.” Ugh. And Kimmi and Jeremy went along with it. At least they didn’t tell Spencer. If we start letting these nerds get more power, they’re eventually going to start thinking they’re people.
Started from the bottom now they still pretty much there
But even though we spent most of the episode continuing to watch Angkor disintegrate, there was still plenty of opportunity for people to fail hard. Let’s take a look at this week’s nominees:
Nominee #1: Woo Hwang
Oh, your mother had a heart transplant? Boo hoo. Do you realize that my wrist kinda hurts while typing these things up? You’re not the only one who has experienced real pain here. Your transparent attempt to make this all about you was terrible gameplay and just plain terrible, Woo.
As if that wasn’t enough, you managed to be mediocre enough at Skee-ball to get second place in the reward challenge. Then in confessional, you tell us, “This victory helps us morally and spiritually.”
YOU WON A FUCKING TARP, NOT A NEW GOD.
Nominee #2: Stephen Fishbach
Did they not teach you how to accurately fire a giant fucking slingshot at Yale? Probably not. This is why America’s educational system is such a joke. An Oxford grad would’ve hit three targets with one shot. While he was coxswaining his crew team to victory. Before throwing on his sweater vest and heading to the regatta.
You’re a disgrace, bro.
Nominee #3: Joe Anglim and Ciera Eastin
You gave this job to Keith?
Missed opportunity, guys.
Nominee #4: Kelly Wiglesworth
Spencer’s internal monologue, 2 seconds after the first Monica vote is revealed: “Holy shit, I’m safe! Now all I have to do is approach them after this vote and say I totally understand why they didn’t tell me, and I’m golden. *Applying updates to Small Talk Topics. Please do not restart.*”
Kelly’s internal monologue, 2 seconds after the first Monica vote is revealed: “Oh, another person’s name! Finally, we’re stopping all this alliance stuff. But wait, are they still voting me out? Doesn’t Jeff do some kind of thing where he tricks you with the order of the votes that he reads? I guess I’ll just wait and see.”
Nominee #5: Abi-Maria Gomes
Abi gonna Abi, y’all.
Can you imagine a world where Abi-Maria wins this season, and this is the best possible winner’s edit they could give her? What would they be leaving out of the edit? Did she shit in the rice pot? Did she shank someone with a bamboo shiv during a challenge? Did she wear a Pol Pot t-shirt while interacting with the Cambodian locals? If Abi-Maria wins this season, I demand a behind-the-scenes special on what we didn’t see.
(Note: Abi-Maria will not win this season.)
Nominee #6: Monica Padilla
“Tribal council will be good for us.”
In fairness, at least she immediately figures out what’s going down.
Nominee #7: Spencer Bledsoe
I’ve caught tastier meals than that going spear fishing in the goldfish tank at PetSmart. And they didn’t treat me like some kind of hero for doing it.
Champion of Failure
The time has finally come to award this to the nerd that started it all. Stephen Fishbach was roughly as accurate as a Storm Trooper on that challenge. Even though his challenge boner (tee hee!) helped Savage’s tribe win, Fishbach also turned on his Bayon alliance. And that’s only going to make Dad Savage angry. He is definitely not taking you out for ice cream after this, Fishbach.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia