Brad shares even more stuff from the finale of Survivor: Winners At War.
So there are literally hours of bonus content this week. So much that it seems a gargantuan task to try to write it all up. So we’re breaking it into chunks spread out over a few days. In addition, I’m going to hold back on doing full break downs for every clip, going into it with book club vibes instead. I’ll have some quick thoughts, but I’ll mostly pose questions that y’all can dissect in the comments.
This Week With The Queen
“I’m Sandra Diaz-Twine, And I’m The Queen”
– I do love that they cannot seem to pin her down in one location. I imagine they kept trying to get a solid interview out of her, and after three minutes, she’d said, “Okay, Imma leave now.”
– My god, can you imagine if Sandra’s phone number had actually changed and Production had no way of contacting her for Pearl Islands?
– I love that “Sandra sucks at challenges” is part of both her legacy and the clip package.
– This video feels different from the Romber one in that it covers the entire span of her Survivor career, and it gives Sandra’s perspective to moments that happened off the island.
– Sandra discusses how she had to change her game after Heroes vs. Villains due to her reputation. She certainly played a more aggressive and controlling game in her last two seasons. Do you think that her boots were due to the nature of the swaps, or do you think that there were changes she could make in her approach that would have carried her further? Is there any chance that Sandra could have made it to the end a third time?
This Week In Reflections
– It sounds like Denise has a good sense of acceptance and closure regarding her game. She says that there are very few (if any) things that she would change–though she later switches positions and says that she could have been more active at Tribals.
– She qualifies it each time to say that she loves him, but Denise slams Adam twice for messing up her game.
– I think it is interesting that in terms of narrative edit, Denise was painted as closest with Adam in the beginning but closest with Ben at the end. This is contrasted with Denise saying that she had strong alliances with both from the jump.
– How is Ben’s beard bigger here than it was on the island?
– This is the second time in the post-game press that Ben has mentioned the look Jeremy gave the camera on Day 1. I know that the premiere was jam-packed enough as it was, but I feel like this would have been a crucial moment to include in the cut because there would be a massive narrative pay-off after the merge.
– I feel like it is very silly that they keep asking these players if they regret anything about their game when the players keep responding, “no.”
– Sarah saying that her favorite day of the game was Day 38 feels very genuine and heartfelt. Seriously, get Tony and Sarah on Island of the Idols.
– I think Michele makes a good point about how playing from the bottom can help boost your game, which seems counterintuitive. Many players flip out and burn bridges after being left out of a vote. Michele argues that you have to compartmentalize and remember that you’re still playing a game, and the people who made game moves against you in one instance may need you if they flip again. I think it’s a perspective that you wouldn’t get if you were a player on top throughout; we’ve seen past players spiral as soon as their sense of control was challenged.
– Michele says that her best move was the Ethan vote (on Day 9), and if that doesn’t say “I shouldn’t get votes,” I don’t know what does.
– Who the hell wrote these questions? Natalie gave Tyson an idol, not a necklace, dammit!
– The question “Who else played a great game?” is a strange one because … like … the other finalists? It almost sounds like they had nothing to ask a person who spent 33 days outside of the game.
– “Muh-ment” will never not make me smile.
– Everyone said that the Loved Ones Visit was their favorite moment, and Tony says it was realizing he could make a Spy Nest.
– I sometimes feel like Masterclass is an S-Tier grift, but I would subscribe in a heartbeat if Tony had a Masterclass on playing Survivor. I think Tony hits it on the head that you want to lay low in the beginning but make sure to leave your mark after the merge. He adds his perspective that focusing on building a resumé will throw off your timing, which I think is a message more players should hear.
– Someone send Sophie this clip of Tony hyping her up.
This Week In Thank Yous
“Thanks For Watching”
We’re winding it down with the end of Season 40. We’ve got a few more Influential 40 posts to go, but then we’ll take a quick hiatus to reset.
I think gratitude is important. We’ve got about 3/4 of the cast expressing gratitude for all of the fans above. And I’m reiterating for everyone on staff here how grateful we are for the audience and community the site has. We head into the break without knowledge of when the show will return or what it will look like–hell, the same is true about the world at large. But we’ll see you on the other side.
Let’s hit the theme music.
Suite Season 40
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