Brad shares the best bonus scenes from the previous episode of Survivor: Precipice of Peril.
Hi. Remember me?
Wow, it’s been a minute. Where have the video posts been, you might be asking. Or if you didn’t notice, keep it to yourself. I’ll say that the pronounced lack of video posts this season was the result of a combination of factors. First, the bonus content wasn’t that good. If I had a dollar for every Secret Scene that was just them reading Tree Mail… well, I wouldn’t be rolling in it, but I’d have at least three dollars. A lot of the confessionals were redundant, especially the ones from the Edge, where every newly eliminated player repeated what previous Extinctioneers said before them. Second, the YouTube channel that I normally source videos from stopped uploading for a month leading up to the finale. So without videos to embed, writing these posts became impossible. Third, in addition to the already precarious work/life balance I had as a teacher (this is an open invitation to other educators to sound off in the comments), I found out right as the season started that I was being RIFed. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, RIFfing is the equivalent of being laid off for contracted labor; you just clear your desk when your term runs out at the end of the school year.
But we’ve turned around in each of those areas this week. The videos this week, they are quite good. And I can embed them! My job hunt is over with hopefully official good news on the day this post publishes, and I’ve been grading/planning all weekend, so my motivation to do more work for my current job is low. Just add water for instant video post! And it will be a superbly dumb one, I expect.
“And This Is Our Ponderosa!”
Holy cinematics, Batman! The slow-mo shot down the beach. The swelling score. Jeff Probst narrating the opening? Some of y’all have a Ponderosa budget to blow, and it shows.
Emotionally and narratively though, this first portion of the finale Ponderosa is all over the place. At first, it feels like we’re watching footage of rescued passengers from a capsized cruise liner whose bottom three decks are flooded with raw sewage, joyful but in shock having at last escaped their hellhole at sea. Which, as a metaphor, is pretty apt for the actual situation they were in. It turns into a more somber affair as the players grapple with the finality of their run in the game, though many seem at peace with how the season ended for them. And then it becomes a party boat. With croissants!
It’s hard to make a compelling and balanced narrative for ten people in a six-minute video, but kudos to the editors for doing their damndest. This is a good start to what looks like an hour of content, so it’s only onwards and upwards from here.
“My Body’s Distorted; Am I At A Carnival?”
Ah, go fart in a phone booth! I didn’t think that opening from Probst was going to be recycled in all of these. Now I look like an idiot for what I said above! But I won’t spend time to go back to revise or rewrite anything, that’s a guarantee form me.
In this portion of Ponderosa, we get a twist on classic Ponderosa tropes: getting weighed and seeing yourself in the mirror. The major changes from how these normally play out is the frenetic energy with which the players bounces around the mirror and Dr. Joe and the competitiveness with which the players were comparing their lost weights. I see part of myself in Aurora, who quietly says, “I don’t know if I want to eat” after seeing her reflection; I also see part of myself in Wentworth, who gets weighed and quickly disappears for the rest of the video in order to, I deduce, hunt down a cheeseburger.
“Believe It Or Not, Salad Is Really Good After All This Time”
This video is like an extended director’s cut of a merge feast. Highlights here include: Aubry being excited about mustard; Aubry being meta about being excited about cole slaw; Aubry (who was possibly drunk) saying “Just to hear no voices is the most beautiful thing.” With that said, this might have played better if the video showed us how good the food looked instead of just the jurors telling us how good it was.
One interesting note: at first I thought Ron was working his way through a food coma, but it turns out that he was really torn up about finally being eliminated. So much so that Joe and David were poking fun at how long Ron would sit in the shower to soak and sob. It’s not unusual to be down because you lost, but when Ron sees Chris heading back into the game, it’s not unusual to see him cry.
“Buddy! Do You Wanna Roommate?”
Here we get a glimpse at the unseen social dynamics that occurred at the Edge, which has been previously discussed. Ron and Joe are tight, as are David and Wardog, despite everything that happened between those pairs in the game. And Reem and Julia are besties; who knew! Speaking of best, the best part of this clip was at 3:30 when Aubry said that the food-deprived yet energetic Reem she knew on Edge will be a “turbo-jet” once she’s fed, which is quickly followed by Reem emphatically insisting that the cameramen put down their equipment and have a slice of pizza.
“I Have A Stale Croissant In My Room”
If you haven’t noticed, these videos are just making a prolonged version of a normal Ponderosa, necessitated by the ten storylines present here (instead of the usual one). So this installment is the part where the newly eliminated players have their first breakfast with the jury, trying to negotiate a new version of existing relationships which were previously fraught with conflict and tension. Except this time, there’s fireworks! There’s also an unnamed chocolate monstrosity created by Eric which would benefit from the elimination of either the peanutbutter (one word) or the Chips Ahoy.
“I Didn’t Want Those Cold Nuggets Anyway”
David, what the fuck. You know there’s a wiki, right?
And Wardog, what the fuck? Way to kill the vibe.
Back to David: I have to say well done on all the small details because the blue shirt really sold the Jeff Probst illusion.
“Oh No! She’s Gonna Kill Me!”
This one is Classic Formula Ponderosa, but it’s featuring Victoria, so why wouldn’t you watch it?
“They’re Gonna Make Memes Of Me”
And this one is with Lauren. Don’t not watch it, do do watch it.
“I Do Not Need A Million Dollars, I’m So Lucky”
And this Ponderosa is for Rick. But I’m not going to write it up because I have to eat dinner before Game of Thrones. Watch it for Aubry making a good point about Devens’s advantages, or don’t. I believe in self-agency!
Brad (formerly known as Taako from Teevhii) has watched every season live but was too young to remember the first ten seasons (and is only saying that to make you all feel bad). He treats Wednesday nights like a religious observance and wonders if he can finagle that into a tax benefit.
Favorite Seasons: Winners At War, Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Cambodia, Micronesia
Favorite Players: Kelley Wentworth, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Kim Spradlin, Denise Stapley, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, Yul Kwon, Charlie Herschel