People’s Survivor Blog- Hannah Shapiro Went Through Puberty Late

This season, I’ll be judging entire generations based on a random sample of Survivors. 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 @purplerockjohn.

“39 days. 20 people. 1 Survivor.” – Some dimpled guy in a blue shirt

Another season of Survivor is upon us, which means it’s time to evaluate this season’s crop of new players and draw broad conclusions about them as human beings based on a few exceedingly small and incredibly unreliable data points.

“But John,” you’re saying, “whither the hype? Surely there will be hype posts for this cast to provide us guidance on the players we should be most excited for, right?”


Hype posts are reserved for players with some combination of great pre-game press, interesting bios, or entertaining social media presence. And Dan, for some reason.

Instead, this cast deserves to be viewed through the lens of the People’s Survivor Blog, the definitive source for Survivor failure. Even though the season hasn’t begun, the aforementioned pre-game interviews and biographies provide ample evidence of the deficiencies of these players.

I’ve scoured the interviews conducted by the always-excellent Josh Wigler and Gordon Holmes (the only pre-game interviews worth your time), read the bios of each player, and watched all of the “meet the cast” videos that CBS released. For each player, I’ve taken excerpts from those sources and italicized them. My responses are in plain text.



Hobbies: […] browsing the Survivor subreddit 

Learn to pander to people who can write coherently about you, kid. (But feel free to come join us once the Reddit backlash against you begins, because you seem like a decent person. Pro tip: You’ll know the backlash is coming when the first “Why does everyone like Adam so much?” thread appears.)

Reason for being on Survivor: As an ultimate super-duper fan, winning Survivor is an unrealized goal that I simply must accomplish.

Let’s not do the grade inflation thing with Survivor fandom, ok? I know your generation demanded that your GPA be allowed to go over 4.0 because you think your “A” in AP Literature should somehow be worth more than an “A” in a regular English class where they thought Animal Farm was just a story about some uppity talking pigs. But let’s keep that shit out of Survivor fandom. Superfan is far enough.

I’m not the biggest guy in the world, certainly. I’m not the most attractive person in the world. I’m sort of middle-of-the-road for everything.

When I think “middle of the road”, I think handsome, top-of-his-class Stanford grad that was also the homecoming king and student body president.

(Speaking of handsome, I’ve had at least two Survivor fans tell me that Adam is very attractive. They were both men, and I think Adam is straight, but a compliment is a compliment.)

The money is secondary, but not unimportant because it would allow me to continue my passion for social justice.

You’re going to use the money to tweet about how popular media from the past is #problematic, write petitions about how every politician is “literally Hitler”, and start a tumblr with a bunch of feminist Beyoncé gifs? Get off my lawn! Leave the feminist Beyoncé gifs, though. Queen Bey is always welcome here.



“I could be on an island with a bunch of whack jobs.”

Bret, are you sure you’ve seen Survivor? You are definitely on an island with a bunch of whack jobs. The only time you aren’t on an island with whack jobs is when you’re land-locked with a bunch of whack jobs.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Bret: Great question…Earl (Cole)…wait Yau-Man (Chan). They were just really cool players and I liked them. I liked how they were loyal to each other and were from opposite ends of the world.

Wow. That was an unexpectedly great answer. And you’re clearly an actual fan, because I know the Survivor producers didn’t force you to endure watching Fiji prior to going out there. You’re winning me over here, Bret.

Bret: [It’s like] when you go to the Dunkin’ Donuts drive through and you say, “Give me a black dark roast medium”

And now you’ve lost me. I like my coffee like I like my women: Colombian.

Gen-Xer’s remember a time when Saturday morning brought the best cartoons, they know the difference between VHS and Betamax, and they certainly know what it means to drop a dime.

What a weird list of things to use as points of pride for your generation. These damn kids can watch great cartoons whenever they want! And they can watch them without using crappy physical media like VHS tapes! Also, does Bret mean “drop a dime” as in giving information to cops? These Millennials don’t even know how to snitch! The can’t narc like we can!

(On a related note, the word dime has taken on so many meanings: assists in basketball, drugs, attractive women, etc. Do Britons use “dime”? Or do they call attractive women a ten pence?)



What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? Nothing was handed to us. We worked hard and, if we failed, we tried again. That’s the overall mindset of a Gen-Xer.

I tried to write something funny about this, but it was hard. I give up.


Why so serious?

“I like the guy who looks like a surfing Santa, but like a cool version of that”

Oh, so regular Santa isn’t cool, Chris? Giving gifts to all the good little boys and girls isn’t cool? The war on Christmas is real, y’all.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Hammons: I’d align with Russell Hantz. He gets you to the end, and then he loses. I’d just hang onto him, get to the end, then let him lose.

66.6% of the time, it works every time.

Wigler: You list a medicine pouch given to you by an Indian chief as one of the items you’d bring out to the island. What’s the story there?

The real answer was something inspirational. I was hoping it was going to be that the bag was filled with peyote, and he was going to get these kids high as shit so they could bond. Because if there’s one thing I know about the youths, it’s that they love the drugs. But I guess Chris wouldn’t do that, because apparently he’s from Generation Narc.



Three words to describe you: OCD, nervous, and paranoid.

OCD is already three words. You can’t just use acronyms to get around the word limit! That’s why in my bio, the three words to describe me would just say “DTF“.

I hate outside, I hate the sun. I avoid going out to the bars.

Oh man, you need to hang out with Emma. Or not hang out with her, because of your crippling social anxiety.

I’ve seen every episode, but I was trying recently to bone up on Boston Rob


Jeff Probst recently said: “You either use me at Tribal, or you get used by me at Tribal.”


Personal claim to fame: Playing chess against Magnus Carlsen, the No. 1 ranked player in the world.

Your claim to fame is that you got annihilated by someone much better than you? What’s next on your agenda of famous failures? Are you going to run a 100m against Usain Bolt? Play Jeopardy! against Ken Jennings?



What does it mean to be a Millennial?
Millennials get stuff done and work hard while throwing a good snap in our [Snapchat] stories every now and again.

The next time there is a good Snapchat story will be the first time.

Holmes: How about flirting?
Figueroa: For sure. In my life I’ve been handed a lot based on my looks. But, I’m more than a pretty face and I’m looking forward to showing that.

For someone who is more than a pretty face, she mentions her pretty face a whole lot. It comes up more than once in her bio video, and she used the “more than a pretty face” line in multiple interviews. So she doesn’t want you to think of her as the one thing she keeps bringing up.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Figueroa: This is super hard because I admire Parvati’s game so much. But, I would never align with her unless I was in Amanda’s shoes. But even then I would’ve taken her out. I would’ve taken Cirie. I kind of like Ozzy, for sure. He’s good at what he does.

TL;DR: Figgy watched Micronesia.

Wigler: You describe yourself as a leader. So we shouldn’t expect to see you playing a passive role?
Figgy: Yeah. I want to be the active role, female-wise.

I have no idea what this means. I want to be in the understand, male-wise.



Pet Peeves: A pet peeve of mine is someone who likes to kill people. Not sure why, that’s just such a pet peeve of mine!

Let’s not get precious here.

Pet Peeves: Also people who stick their gum on public benches or fart in small elevators.

This is why I always ride in large elevators. You can just let it rip in those bad boys.

Hannah: I have a big nose; it’s my Aunt Betty’s giant Jewish nose. She has a sweet little love story with Uncle Eddie. They were very cute when they were alive.

And then immediately ceased being cute when they died, I guess.

Hannah: This is what I want the title of your article to be: “Hannah Shapiro, Went Through Puberty Late.”

Maybe those prudes at Parade Magazine won’t let that grammatical fucktastrophe of a headline fly, but I don’t adhere to such standards. Of decency, I mean. I don’t give a fuck about morality, but I will not abide incorrect punctuation. I’m like a social justice warrior, but for the Oxford comma.

Anyway, since Wigler was too scared to do it, I give you this blog post’s headline. Enjoy it, Hannah. May it forever be the first search result when people Google you.

Young Susan SarandonJay


Personal claim to fame:
Purchasing my house at the age of 25.

Someone let this man buy a house? Excuse me while I divert all my investments into shorting the housing market.

Wigler: Wow. Done in one shot? You auditioned, and you made it onto the show?
Justin: Um… (Pauses.) I took two shots. (Laughs.) If we want to get technical, let’s get technical.

Not even on Sesame Street is the number two a technical term. It’s not even a technical term for pooping, despite my repeated emails to the staff at the Oxford English Dictionary.



Personal claim to fame: I recently had a trial in which the jury gave me a round of applause when it was completed.

A round of applause is your personal claim to fame? That’s the participation trophy of claims to fame! Are you sure you aren’t a Millennial? Maybe you and David can bond over your mediocre claims to fame.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?
Champagne and salt and vinegar chips, which I am lumping into one item because they always go together.

When they bring the bottle of Dom P to your table, they don’t usually ask, “And where would you like me to sit the Pringles, ma’am?”



Pet Peeves: Superficial connections and communication.

So, playing Survivor then? Great. This should go well.



Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Huang: That the weakest link will win.

“Come on in, guys! How has everyone been getting along as a tribe? Great, great. I ask that because the game is about to change. Drop your buffs, everyone- we’re going to let Hannah and David arm wrestle, and the loser wins this season and is one million dollars richer. No final tribal council, nothing.”

Congratulations to Lucy for coming up with a season that I would somehow hate more than Nicaragua. I didn’t know that was possible- although at least this season would have a better winner.

I could be the shy girl, the introvert…I play many roles in life.

So you can be two things that are pretty much the same. Got it.

“Our generation is more manual labor”

Word? Because I get exhausted from typing too fast.



Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Takahashi: Neither! Arrow.

You made the decision to go off-menu here, and the hero you select is someone with the “power” to use a bow and arrow well? You could’ve regenerated like Wolverine! Controlled the weather like Storm! Or used a bow and arrow really well like Hawkeye!

Mari: I think me playing video games all of the time makes me, in some ways, emotionally detached…

At last, someone says something relatable!

Mari: I’m going into this like it’s an RPG. I’m playing this character on the island that I’m controlling from the outside..

Just have her look for a guy named Cid. He always has an airship, for some reason.

Holmes: What’s your stance on flirting?
Takahashi: I don’t know. I like to throw the little sister/big sister trope in more than spreading my legs.
Holmes: I think you and I have very different definitions of flirting.

I’ll have to look it up to make sure, but I think little sisters and big sisters also flirt. And it may even be possible to flirt without having sex. Wild hypothesis, I know.



Michaela has a long personal finance rant in Wigler’s interview with her, so it’s like she’s just gunning for my endorsement. She’s off to a strong start. Let’s see if she can keep it up.

Holmes: What’s your stance on flirting in the game?
Bradshaw: My man friend tells me I flirt without knowing it. But only to attractive people, so it depends how many attractive people are on the island.

You only flirt with people you find attractive? Me too! Wow, we have so much in common! We should hang out some time. Orange looks really great on you, by the way.

Wigler: Looking at your bio, your hobbies include cuddling…
Michaela: Yeah. (Laughs.) Only one person though. You can’t cuddle everybody. That makes you a [redacted], I think.

This is the second bio in a row that tries to shame women for some insanely innocuous behaviors. Don’t let the patriarchy get you down, ladies! You’re free to flirt and/or cuddle with whomever you want. I guess I need to root for Adam to win so he can open your mind with some feminist Beyoncé gifs.


Wigler: You list your reason for being on Survivor as leaving an inheritance for your children’s children. Do you have children?
Michaela: No! Heck no. Children cost money! (Laughs.)

You know what’s free, though? Birth control. Thanks, Obama! (Seriously, though. Thanks, Obama.)



Michelle’s bio says she’s into dragons, which Game of Thrones fanboy Josh Wigler thought was cool. So she began her interview with Wigler by asking him to draw a dinosaur for some reason. (Update: She did it with Gordon Holmes, too! Is this just what she does when she meets new people?) Wigler went with a gentle-ass Brontosaurus. Here’s how that same interview would have gone if I’d conducted it:

Michelle: Draw a dinosaur real quick.

On it.

Michelle: Great. Now add wings.

One step ahead of you.

Michelle: And now add fire coming out of his mouth.


Michelle: What do you got?

Note the consummate Vs

I’ve got a masterpiece, bro.

A coworker turned to me this last fall and said, “Michelle? Have you ever thought about going on Survivor?”

I like how people who aren’t Survivor fans see this as a compliment. What it actually means is A) you’re insane, B) you’re a massive narcissist, or C) I’d like you to be away from me for at least 39 days, and maybe when you come back you’ll move to L.A. and be out of my life forever.

I believe I have an advantage in that I have talked with my creator. He has very literally spoken to me.

Me too! I speak to my creators a lot, especially when I need them to babysit my kids.

Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Schubert: Communist.

A Christian Communist? Way to embrace sigh of the oppressed creature. (And you all thought I’d go with “opiate of the masses/opium of the people”. But that Marx quote is out of context. Themoreyouknow dot gif.)

I love learning. I love reading. I love history. I love science. I like correcting things, and I’m a skeptic at heart, so when somebody says something and it sounds bizarre — or even when it doesn’t sound bizarre, honestly — I don’t like to accept it as truth until I’ve researched it.

Look at the whole world…there were hundreds of what we call “dragon myths” from around the world.

Oh man, have I got some interesting things to tell you about flood myths and miraculous birth myths.



I’m from New York and we don’t have a lot of stoners and surfboards.

Two things:

1) You definitely have a lot of stoners in New York.

2) Not all of your women are curvy.

Holmes: How do [your children] feel about dad’s big adventure?

Wachter: My kids are used to it. They ask me a question, they get an honest answer. I don’t give them the (expletive deleted) birds and bees.

Two more things:

1) The answer to every question your children ask is not an explanation of how reproduction works. Although that would explain the test results of our state’s schoolchildren.

2) The fucking birds and bees is a pretty honest answer if they were asking about how reproduction works.

Holmes: If you could align with any past “Survivor” player, who would it be?
Wachter: It would be Andrew Savage. He’s the guy that I think can win the game.

You know who else thought Savage could win the game? Matt.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer?
Someone who never received a participation award.

Exactly. My 8th place ribbon from some random high school track meet proves that we weren’t given superfluous awards like these entitled Millennials.



“I think sexiness comes from within. It’s in here like a little tiger. I can pull it out.”

The jokes…so many…can’t decide…

To paraphrase the response a college roommate of mine would use whenever people would suggest he fellate them: Pull the little tiger out.

Wigler: I’m looking through your bio, and under contestant you are most like, you list Amber because you’re “going to meet my twin flame out on Survivor and live happily ever after.” 
Rachel: I’m just hoping… because that was my favorite season ever, when Amber met Rob. That’s what really launched Survivor for me.

Rachel is the world’s only Survivor: All-Stars fan! We did it, everyone! We found her!

I attempt to eat organic daily, and it’s a little bit difficult at times. So I do appreciate that I’ll be eating very organically out here.

It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of free-range, pesticide-free sea snakes!

I tried to do a little bit of research online to attempt to see what the experts and fans are saying. I read something about a super idol that looks like a yin and yang, that can be put together, and separately if you only have one half of the idol, it works as a normal idol. However, if you put it together with another player’s idol, then you can play it after the votes are read. I think that would be an interesting and brilliant twist.

That does sound really novel! I hope they do that in the near past!

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I aim to be the first Asian Pacific Islander female to win Sole Survivor and $1 million!

I can imagine how that entire conversation went:

“I’m going to be the first Asian to win Survivor!”

Yul Cook Islands

“I’m going to be the first Asian woman to win Survivor!”

Natalie Anderson SJDS

“First Asian Pacific Islander?”




If she had married a guy with the last name Morning, that Lionel Richie song would have turned into the most devastating troll job ever.

Holmes: What about flirting?
Burquest: No. (Laughs) I’m going to try not to do that. I don’t want my boys seeing that on TV.

I don’t know how to tell you this, but there are some things on TV that are even…wait, are you sitting down? Ok. There are things on TV that are even worse than flirting, if you can believe that.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Burquest: I’d align with Kim (Spradlin) because she had a really good social game.

Great choice. Also, horrible choice. Because Kim will destroy all in her path.



What does it mean to be a Millennial?
We invented the words “sicky sicky, gnar gnar, rachet, clutch, bae, and LOL.”

You idiots invented LOL? O RLY? Let me ponder that claim while I hop aboard the greatest ride at the AOL theme park: the Lollercoaster.

The worst ride at the AOL theme park? The A/S/L Tower of Terror.

You can have gnar gnar, though. I don’t imagine any other generation would want credit for that abomination.

If I see a tree, some people look at that as just a boring tree. I look at that as a jungle gym, and it’s like, “I’m going to climb that tree. I’m going to go do that.” (Laughs.) I look at things in a different way.

How unique! You’re like a snowflake! Who else would have such a quirky perspective?!

Oh, right. Every child ever.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I make friends easy. I also believe most would have a hard time voting me off because people like me.

Do they like that you don’t understand the fucking concept of adverbs? Because that made you my enemy quite easily.



Will: I’m looking at the kingpin type. Even though it’s different to see an 18-year-old as a kingpin, I want people to be able to come to me.

I’d be hesitant to come to you for extra peppers on my burrito. I’m not coming to you for anything related to trying to win Survivor.

Inspiration in life:
Jesus Christ and Ronald Reagan.

Jesus Christ, Ronald Reagan?



I considered becoming an Episcopal priest, and then later decided I wasn’t selfless enough to engage in that sort of do-goodery. So I ended up in finance.

Relatable! Crush the proletariat, Zeke!

I feel like we’re going to Fiji, and we have to honor Yau-Man and the first-ever fake immunity idol.

One step ahead of you, bro. I’ll admit it- Zeke is growing on me.

Holmes: Do you have a problem lying?
Smith: No problem. I’m a very talented liar, I always have been.

Me too! Check this out: The mustache is a great look.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
Hopefully, all those hours… okay, days…. fine, years spent watching Survivor and listening to Survivor podcasts will yield at least some aptitude at the game.

You listen to Survivor podcasts? Ugh, I’ve lost all respect for you. You realize those are precious hours that you’ll never get back, right?

And the dead fishy goes to:

For those that don’t remember or haven’t read one of these before, I award a Dead Fishy trophy to the worst Survivor player each week. And we’re at almost 4,000 words at this point, so if you’ve read this far, you deserve a trophy. The opposite of a Dead Fishy. I don’t even know what you’d call that sort of award, but it would be very prestigious.

Anyway, the preseason Dead Fishy for the biggest Survivor failure goes to Taylor, the poster boy for Millennial idiocy. He got strong competition from Michelle, particularly with her “Draw me a dragon” recurring bit. I have a feeling both of them will be in the running each week until their inevitable boot episodes.

Enjoy your hardware, Taylor. It might be the first trophy you’ve legitimately won.

dead fishy trophy