Survivor Cambodia hype man preview: Shirin Oskooi

In hip-hop music, a hype man supports the rappers with exclamations and interjections and attempts to increase the audience’s excitement. For Survivor: Cambodia, I’ll once again be serving as hype man for a few select players in order to help get you excited about both the player and the season. And since you knew it was coming anyway, today I give you: Shirin Oskooi.

“John, is this really necessary? Do you even need to hype Shirin? We get it. She’s amazing! Just stop!” you say. I have two thousand and two words for you:

Cambodia Shirin dance
Cambodia Shirin- me to you jump

You think I’m going to jump off the bandwagon now? I built this bandwagon! Shirin is the reason hype posts even exist! I read her CBS bio while listening to Lil Jon yelling “Turn down for what” (that’s why that song gets a mention in that post) and thought, “Holy shit, this woman is amazing. I must tell the world about her, weeks before they watch her on Survivor!” And was I wrong?

Shirin and Jeff Probst do a pregame inverted bomb dance

I was not.

A lot of people- my podcast partner Andy included– have suggested that it would be wise for Shirin to tone it down this season, to dial back her unbridled enthusiasm. Why? Because the wet blankets she was surrounded by found it so very annoying (exception: Max <3)? Would you assholes ask the sun to stop shining? Do you ask puppies to stop being so adorable?

Do you think I give a shit if Shirin wins Survivor? I’m the same person that demanded Tyson come back even after he couldn’t manage to just stick to the plan in Heroes vs. Villains. I want a great winner, but I really want to be entertained. I want Bob Dogg getting drunk in the Charmin Shack. I want Rob Cesternino telling me that he’s going to borrow Matthew’s car when Mateo returns to his home planet. I want Eliza Orlins yelling about fucking sticks.

Eliza Jason Micronesia fucking stick
But it has a face on it!

If Shirin wins this season, that’s great (and I will gloat about it relentlessly; see my reactions following Blood vs. Water). But if it’s some off-brand, hollowed-out husk of Shirin calmly cutting throats on her way to victory, I’m out. That is not the Shirin I signed up for. I want the pure, unadulterated Shirin experience; the one that’s like snorting a 5-pound bag of sugar. Is that Shirin going to show up?

Cambodia Shirin popping out of bushes
Signs point to yes!

Are you questioning my motivations? Maybe you’re suggesting this is all some convoluted scheme to get her to tell me who wins this season? Do you think I just hype Shirin because she took time out of her busy schedule to acknowledge me?

Cambodia Shirin- Google calendar
Check her calendar. It was full.

Well, she did slum it and allow us (mostly me) to interview her. Twice. But I have years of dating experience that prove I do not require acknowledgment from a woman to remain interested. And honestly, how could I not be invested in a woman who does the Mr. Burns “excellent” fingers during her official CBS pre-game interview video?

Cambodia Shirin- excellent and then

Could she be gone too soon from this season? Yes, because any time before day 39 would be too soon for me. And after reading Shirin’s pre-game interview with Josh Wigler, I’m already nervous. Partly because of this quote from prolific people watcher (and epic troll) Kass:

Cambodia Shirin- Kass need time off

Still, what does Kass know? It’s not like when she played last time she was surrounded by people that hated her and said terrible things to her, right? Oh, right. Shit. (I’d be less worried about this if Rob Cesternino hadn’t brought up the exact same thing when he interviewed Shirin before Second Chances.)

But read some of those other preseason interviews and watch the videos. People are looking to align with Shirin. And some of them might even be enjoyable people with a sense of humor! Do you think Jeff Varner or Kelley Wentworth are going to roll their eyes if Shirin re-enacts howler monkey sex for them? Spencer and Woo have already proven that they are amused by human imitation of animal acts. And the fact that Shirin loves talking about Survivor shouldn’t grate on Stephen, unless he secretly hates Survivor and talks about it on a podcast only because podcasting is so insanely lucrative.

The point is, there are people here she can work with. She even suggests that she’ll form a Babe Brigade alliance in that Wigler interview! Wentworth, Monica, Ciera, Abi-Maria, and Shirin? Sign me up for the Babe Brigade fan club! (I also like that it’s abundantly clear who the Natalie Bolton of that group will be.)

Black Widow babe brigade Shirin Kelley Abi Maria Monica
Natalie Bolton 2.0 will ask, “How does your Survivor gameplay translate to the bathroom?”

I get that there are people that watch this show that don’t like Shirin. Those people are fucking wrong. I know we’re supposed to pretend that everyone has a right to their opinion, and that all opinions are equally valid, but that’s bullshit. If you don’t like Shirin, the problem is with you.