Barbara Anderson and Blurry Denzel shares the best bonus scenes from the previous episode of Survivor: Marvel vs. Capcom in live blog-ish form.
This Week In Secret Scenes
”It’s the Freaking Southern Accent”
Blurry Denzel: We come back from a exciting tribal council to see the reactions of several players along with a little explanation of what exactly went down in the move to get the Mayor of Slamtown out of the game. We see Angelina caught off guard after what happening and Davie towing the “it’s only a game” line. What stuck with me is that Nick seems to be the mastermind behind the minority vote split plan. I thought the move was brilliant and serves as an example of why Nick doesn’t get enough attention as a threat. Dude is constantly thinking of the game and is very slick. Gabby correctly points out that the southern accent plays a role in downplaying the danger of Nick. I don’t think he comes across as charming as JT 1.0 was in Tocantins but I think there are similarities between those two.
Barbara Anderson: Sticking with those three Davids, we also get a sense that these three are the core of the David alliance as we see Christian telling Gabby about the plan to use Christian as a vote magnet (which did not come across on the show last week) as a way to protect her and all three of them being excited that both idols were flushed before Christian says that one idol was played correctly. After all, had Davie not played his idol at all, Christian would not be there right now.
BD: I think going forward those three Davids have the most potential directions they can go. While Strike Force did not pan out, there are still relationships built with people like Alec, Alison, and Mike. These are connections they can take advantage of later in the game when your current allies look more like roadblocks to your success. We haven’t seen as many outside connections for Carl and Davie. Their ceiling may not be as high as they think it is at this moment. Also, it’s interesting that Gabby is being informed of details after the events happen.
BA: I wonder if the David powwow didn’t make the cut for two reasons. One, they want to emphasize how strong of a group that the Davids are. Two, they don’t want to emphasize how out of the loop Gabby is. As you will see throughout this week’s bonus content, that second reason is a running theme and may end up costing a lot of people the game.
This Week In Confessionals
”Waking Up Before the Break of Dawn”
BA: Speaking of that running theme, Gabby details the search process for the Davids. For those of you who were curious, both Gabby and Carl in another confessional basically confirm that none of the Goliaths searched for the idol. However, my big takeaway from this confessional is that Gabby is a bit hung up on the fact that her allies are withholding information from her.
BD: I love a lot of the mindset that Gabby has here. Sometimes, after experiencing a big event, there is a cool down period. You get through a stressful situation, things went how you wanted it to and now you relax. Gabby is not taking that approach. I like how she mentions that the Goliath tribe may come back stronger after this blindside. There can be no underestimating the David tribe and the Davids can no longer be under the radar, at least not as a group. I’m happy to see that she wants to keep it moving. I think that can be a good sign for her game. As for whether is good or bad sign that she is hung up on the information withholding, I think it is good to recognize potential pitfalls. What remains to be seen is how she plays it.
BA: I think she has the right instincts, but I’m worried about her paranoia. Yes, good players are going to be somewhat paranoid, but they are not always going to be worried about your alliance withholding information unless it becomes a pattern. We shall see if both of these issues become larger patterns.
”Basic Counting Is Not A Strong Suit of the Goliaths”
BD: In this clip Mike frames this vote as do or die for the Goliaths. They have a one person advantage in the game and he wants to badly hold onto that. He believes that there is no return if the Goliaths flip. There is a sense of panic that I get with Mike. Perhaps it’s the way he turned his back on the Strike Force, I get the feeling that Mike believes his game is dead if this doesn’t work. He has nowhere else to go. I do think he is right about this vote being huge in shaping the game but I think this idea of Goliath strong that he has is really misguided. I’ve been puzzled all season by the game Mike has been playing. He is not having good reads on his other Goliath tribemates and he did not have a good read on the David tribe.
BA: I think Mike is just not having as much fun as he thought he would be out there. He was on a tribe where he was clearly the odd man out from Day 1. However, once the merge hit, he was screwed because due the format of this season, the tribes are meant to be at each other’s throats. Even when he had the perfect opportunity to make a cross-tribal alliance that could have taken him far, he threw that opportunity away. He also knows on a meta level that he isn’t even the narrator of the season, which is the role that he was clearly meant to do on the show. You can see how hard he is trying in this confessional to get the perfect quips in,like calling Angelina “Miss Bossypants”, but it just doesn’t work. There is also a part where he is clearly trying to get a clean read of a line that he feels will make air (of course, part of that might be due to some weird editing of this particular confessional).
BD: What you said is exactly what makes this gameplan of Mike so weird. I agree that he does feel miscast in the position he was put in. He had this moment to correct what the show did to him. Watching his interactions with some of the Davids, you can tell he was genuinely vibing with them. I feel like he was even coming into that situation with power. He had options the Davids didn’t. I was also wondering why exactly is he so desperate for it to be Christian? Does Christian represent the game Mike wanted to play?
BA: Does Mike see himself as the Christian of the Goliaths, even though that is not even true? After all, the way he talks about Christian being both the heart and the brains of the Davids feels like something he would say about himself. Is that why he is so desperate for the Goliaths to stay together? I wonder if he sees how close the Davids are and envies that, so he tries his absolute hardest to keep the Goliaths together so he can be seen as the heart of the Goliaths. But, the damage has already been done and he may also be overestimating how close the Davids truly are.
”It’s the Dream Role”
BA: On this podcast this week, Matt and Mark talked about how Christian felt so different than normal nerdy guys cast on the show because of how settled he was in his nerdom due to his age. I think this confessional highlights that in a really great way. He recognizes how he is in a great position, but he also understands that it is not a permanent position. The way he explains though feels so genuine that he cannot contain his nerdiness.
BD: I find myself liking Christian more and more each passing week. The meter has gradually moved from this person is playing up this role to that may be actually who this guy is. I’m liking his genuineness, the reflective amazement he has with his situation in the game. He is confident in things he feels he is good at but not trying to sell to the audience that he is this super great player. That is what makes me feel connected to him. I want the best to him. I’m kind of worried though long term. He is that position where if anyone gets him out, that is the move they point to during their Final Tribal Council. He has become the Final Boss Emma of Survivor. It’s hard from this far out to get to the end with all the eyes on you. If he can get there though, I can’t see him losing.
BA: I also enjoy how he really loves the experience of working with a diverse crew of people, but it is worth noting once again how he brings up all of the Davids except for Davie, despite the fact that Davie just saved his life in the game. It makes me wonder if Davie is secretly the bottom of the David alliance, which would make some sense. After all, his idol play started up this roll of great play by the Davids and would be something that Davie could highlight during his FTC if he got there. It’s yet another subtle clue that the Davids are not as close as the show would like us to believe.
BD: The hierarchy within the David tribe is a big thing to follow for the rest of the season. They are no longer in the position of fighting from the bottom to survive in the game. Roles will soon be defined and how will people be able to respond to wherever they land, whether they are in control or just a number. I’m especially curious as to who Christian’s number one is. We have seen a lot of him and Gabby but also he has the Mason Dixon thing (I still hate that name) with Nick that he mentions in another bonus scene as being the real deal to him.
BA: I mean Christian does say in this confessional that Gabby is his closest ally, but things can change at a drop of a hat in this game.
”A Sign from My Mom”
BD: This is probably my favorite bonus confessional of the week. This one has less to do with the mechanics of this current game and more of does finding inspiration in the game of Survivor. Kara beautifully paints a picture of what her mom meant to her, the importance she still has in her life and how she has motivated her to succeed so far in the game of Survivor. I am always interested in how players can make it through this rough game and to hear how Kara does it is heartwarming.
BA: I love how Kara is clearly seeing her situation with a healthy mix of humor and sadness. It makes me wonder how long her mom has been gone for. I also love the fact that she realizes that everyone out there is playing for someone back home and how those different configurations matter to them just as much as playing for her dad, brother, and late mother does to her. This confessional is also a great reminder of how captivating Kara is as a personality on the show. She may not be the most bombastic out there, but she is one of the most intriguing in my opinion.
BD: I’m with you. Kara has drawn my attention whenever she has been in screen. I really liked moments like her reaction after the tribal where Natalia was sent home or her observing the disagreement between with Elizabeth and Carl/Davie with optimism that she can benefit from this. I think out of the players left, there is the most mystery of where Kara goes from here. I think she is savvy in this game and can maneuver around for awhile. She seems to be a very likable presence in this game. I can see her easily cast in the role as the person people go to for help to shake up the game. I think she is highly capable of answering that call.
BA: However, I worry that the Davids will see her as the next big threat on the Goliath side due to her earlier ties to Dan. I also wonder if Alec will rat out the fact that she knew about Dan’s second idol to the Davids to save himself. What I am trying to say is that I think her days are numbered unless she gets a lucky break soon.
”A Ray of Light that We Needed ”
BA: Before we get started, I want to emphasize that I was the one who pushed to include two Gabby confessionals this week, not BD. Now that we got that out of the way, this is the only bonus content we get from the Davids about the plans for their epic play and I feel like we are missing crucial information. Note how Gabby goes on and on about the vote split, but she never mentions the idol nullifier. It makes me curious if the great scene of the Davids on the beach reveling in the fact that they have almost all of the advantages was spliced together.
BD: I’m a big fan of Gabby. I love the chip on the shoulder attitude of this confessional of how the Davids will turn the tables on the Goliaths. The glee she has about attempting this play mixed with the knowledge she has about Survivor to know that history has not been kind to the vote steal is an example of something I can’t get enough of in this show. A lot has been made in the Survivor community about how often Gabby has been shown to cry and whether her emotions will be a hindrance to her game. I don’t think that will be the reason for any potential downfall. I see Gabby as someone who will look to solve the issues that may come up and not stay the course of a dead end. I think she will call on the relationships she continues to make in the game to get her far and I think she is more than capable of executing plans in her best interest. She has also shown to have the ability to hold her own and potentially get immunity challenge wins in the future. She may not be the favorite but don’t be surprised if Gabby wins this game.
BA: My big concern is that while she is happy serving as a team player right now, Gabby will start to get antsy about not really having any power in her alliance. She has not found any advantages or idols. She hasn’t really ever steered the vote. All the jury may know her for is for saying “Stay David Strong” and that is something that will probably weigh on her mind, especially with her knowledge of Survivor history. Speaking of Survivor history, why does everyone forget that Tai also misplayed the advantage? I know his misplay was not as fatal as Stephen’s and Dan Foley’s, but he still misplayed it.
BD: Valid concerns. There is still plenty of time and I’m intrigued to see how it goes for her. Also, I think people forget Tai’s play because people try to forget everything Michele related. I remember though.
BA: As do I.
Alec discusses how bartending helped him win the challenge. #ObviousWinnerAlec
Nick tells us about how being on the island has helped him view his relationship with his girlfriend, which sounds a lot like Spencer’s arc on his second season, but it then takes a weird turn.
This Week At Ponderosa
”Where’s My Brochacho At?”
BD: A lot of Dan’s Ponderosa is an extended conversation with Elizabeth about the impact of his Survivor experience will have on his daughters. That didn’t resonate with me that much and I kind of mentally fast forwarded to when the Shaman of Sexy was on screen.
BA: Before we yada yada yada half of Ponderosa, let’s slow down because this is another great example of Ponderosa revealing what the contestant clearly wanted their storyline to be on island that just didn’t make the cut. Apparently Dan is actually Copdad, which I believe was brought up once on island at the absolute most, but it was clearly a thing discussed off camera. In fact, I think Dan is who Kara was talking about in the aforementioned confessional where she mentions that a fellow contestant that she is close to has two kids. Anyway, as resident Elizabeth defender on this very website, it is nice to see her as Ponderosa therapist because I think this highlights how strong her social game was in the early days of the game. Dan is someone who I would not expect to have much of a connection with Elizabeth, yet they have a pretty great conversation over their kids. She really is trying to make Ponderosa into a healing place before the jury goes back to the real world, which is really nice.
BD: Back to the George Bushy of Tushy. He was perfect in his role during that little video at the end. I’m still not fan of these things though. None can compare to the Chris Noble rap. The Jenna/Michael commercial was fine for reasons. The rest of these segments they do, I say keep it.
BA: Yeah, they are really trying to make Ponderosa viral, when really they are not going to be outside of superfans. It also made me mad because I believe that Dan made himself President, despite the fact that John is the face of the Brochachos. It is funny to see how Dan may be more in love with John than he was with Kara, which is kinda cute.
This Week In Gifable Moments
Shoutout to Purple Rock Brad for gif assistance and just general awesomeness.
When you spot “that” Black Friday deal from the entrance of the store.
When you show off the Black Friday deal that your friend so clearly wanted but you bought yourself instead.
When you start to play Spider-Man for the PS4 and realize that it is not the easier game to play.
When you and your friends decide to bail on a TV show.
When you hear a contestant say that Brad Culpepper holds the immunity challenge record at 6 wins.
When someone asks if anyone has a birthday this week.
When you realize that a certain season has not been mentioned by name during this article at all despite who is writing it.
After being an off and on viewer for 14 years, Barbara watched the season premiere of San Juan del Sur and the rest is history. And by history, she means winning two Survivor fantasy leagues, becoming the resident Cambodia contrarian and Survivor gossip queen and lurking in discussion forums. Oh, and she’s totally not a witch.
Favorite seasons: HvV, Philippines, Australian Outback, China, Cagayan
Favorite players: Sandra Diaz-Twine, Jerri Manthey, Denise Stapley, Aubry Bracco, Courtney Yates