Our long national nightmare is over: Tyson has returned to Survivor. Come, let us rejoice in it.
There are many people and issues that divide the Survivor fan community. But this is a season of celebration- a time to come together and appreciate the show we’ve often loved over the course of its two decades on the air. So in that spirit, let’s start with some things upon which we- the fandom- can all agree:
First, PRP- both the podcast and the website- has a long and glorious history. We’ve been doing this for a long time now, we are very good at it, and none of our opinions have ever been wrong.
Second, my Survivor hype posts have an unimpeachable record of identifying the players you should be most excited about in a given season.
Third, Tyson is the best. He is an asshole, and yet he is universally beloved. Universally! There is not a single exception to this.
Huh. That’s weird. I assume Barb said that in error? Maybe she didn’t realize that Ara was talking about Tyson, a player that we all love and appreciate? Could she have accidentally replied to the wrong tweet?
WHAT THE FUCK, MIDWEST BARB? I HOPE YOU TRIP OVER ONE OF YOUR CATS, SPILL POTATO SALAD ALL OVER YOUR “MAYOR PETE 2020” SIGN, AND ACCIDENTALLY KNOCK YOUR “LIVE LAUGH LOVE” DECORATION OFF YOUR DINING ROOM WALL, ALL WHILE QUIETLY MUMBLING “GOSH DURN IT”, YOU UNGRATEFUL RUBE! HOW DARE YOU!
Who are you even rooting for, Midwest Barb? Adam- the answer to the question “What would happen if an Imagine Dragons song became a living, breathing human?” Danni- because you want a winner whose game is so spectacularly pedestrian that she doesn’t rub it in the faces of everyone else by being good at Survivor? I’m enraged right now. Barb’s fictional rooting interests that I just made up have gotten me all fired up. You’ve divided the fandom, Barb! This was going to be a nice, unifying hype post and you came along and ruined it!
Barb is probably one of those people that does that bullshit about how she misses the days when men were gentlemen. And yet here she is, dismissing Tyson, blind to her own hypocrisy. Tyson is the very epitome of a gentleman. Remember that time Katie lost her chair in Blood vs. Water and Tyson found it for her? I’m sure he was busy and had other things to do, but he put those things aside to help her out.
Tyson was gracious enough to offer Katie that help even after experiencing an incredibly stressful rock draw. Because that’s the type of person Tyson is- a true friend that will go out of his way for you. That’s what friends do: they have your back. They look out for you. They tell you that people don’t believe your stupid bullshit stories, and that you’re the butt of their jokes.
They probably also tell you that you shouldn’t come back for a dismal season called South Pacific because you’d be a massive contributing factor to its terribleness, but then that advice gets edited out to save airtime. Anyway, the point here is that Tyson is a caring, generous person. You may think that he’s some kind of cocky asshole, but you’re wrong. WRONG, Midwest Barb!
In Tyson’s pregame interview with Dalton Ross, he even talks about how he selflessly turned some other Survivor players into legends:
I mean, you look at Heroes vs. Villains — I was in a six to three alliance. I essentially created Russell and Parvati’s legacy. Like, that is me and they never thank me. Neither of them thank me for that, because they had solidly worked themselves into a minority alliance like they are so good at doing, which is, to me, the mark of a terrible Survivor player. But now … and that’s the worst part of that is that I stole that from myself.
If somebody else botched it up for you, then you’d have someone to blame and be like, “Well, that’s the way the cards fell.” But me doing it to myself, it stings a little bit worse. And then people taking credit for that and being like, “I’m one of the greatest of all-time.” No. I’m one of the greatest of all-time but I handed it to you on a platter and nobody recognizes me.
Well, since Parvati and Russell- and Midwest Barb- are too rude to say it, I will: Thank you, Tyson. Thank you for making Heroes vs. Villains the legendary season that it was by voting yourself out to give Parvati and the bandy-legged troll the opportunity to craft their legacies. It takes a truly humble man to yield the spotlight to others, and you did that- for their benefit and for ours. Legends making legends.
But Tyson’s ability to evaluate Survivor talent does not end there. He has a keen eye- both for greatness and lack thereof. In his pregame interview with ET Canada, he points out that Yul and Tony both played excellent games by properly exploiting the idols they had. And in his interview with Dalton Ross, Tyson had this to say about Adam and Nick:
I don’t see Adam or Nick stepping up to lead their side into battle, you know? And I see them more pandering to me or Boston Rob, trying to get in with the cool kids. And then maybe that’s incorrect, but, I mean, every time I turn my hat around backwards out there, Nick turns his hat around backwards, too.
Now obviously I have no spoilers, but I can say with confidence that this assessment is 100% correct- mostly because this is exactly what I said about Adam and Nick in our season 40 preview podcast. Much like Tyson, I have a gift for this. And if you needed further proof that Nick wants to get in with the cool kids, this was his response after reading Tyson’s interview:
Tyson and I aren’t the only legends that have identified Nick and Adam as the lower tier of players here. There’s also a dig at Nick and Adam in Boston Rob’s interview with Gordon Holmes–
Holmes: “Boston” Rob is a challenge beast. I don’t want to face him with individual immunity up for grabs.
Mariano: I’m a challenge beast? That was ten years ago. I’m a challenge beast against Jeremy and Wendell and Tyson? Are you kidding me? Look around, bro. Open your (expletive deleted) eyes.
Holmes: You’ve got that dad strength now.
Mariano: C’mon, look at Ben. Every single one of them. I think I could beat Adam. Maybe Nick.
Rob is the retired basketball player who claims he couldn’t dunk anymore unless it was on an 8-foot rim. Adam and Nick just happen to be 8-foot rims. And speaking of dunking on that 8-foot rim…
Dalton: What if he tries to be in a goofy named alliance with you? He likes to name his alliances.
Tyson: Yeah, get the f—out, dude. I will not be in … I don’t even like to name alliances. Why are we naming alliances? Coach on Tocantins named an alliance and he never told me the name. And after the game, I was like, “The Warrior alliance, bro?” And he’s like, “I know, and I didn’t tell you because I knew that you would hate it so much and that you would think it was so stupid, so I just decided to keep that from you.” […] whatever Jeff Probst said about these people after they won or whatever the fans said about these people after they won, they embrace that and that’s what they become on this season. So Nick being the master of disguise, able to name alliances, and fit in with everybody, he probably thinks he’s a genius at that.
But Tyson isn’t all about mocking the youth. In fact, he’s all about shaping young minds and preparing them for the future. He used his winnings from Blood vs Water to become a stay at home dad. I guess that’s not cool with jerks like Midwest Barb, who can’t accept that Tyson is living the dad life that most of us dads can only dream of. Barb probably prefers that dads be distant and/or absent, like they were back in the “good ol’ days”.
Tyson isn’t even just an active, involved father. He’s a dad evangelist. A dadvangelist? No. Dad evangelist. We’re going with that. Bear witness as Tyson spreads the Gospel of Dad to our dear friend Gordon Holmes:
Apostol: […] being a dad has changed me. My kids are my priority rather than just myself. I don’t work out as much as…not even as much as I’d like to. I like to stay home with my kids. I skip out on a lot of stuff like that because I want to be with my kids, not because I have to be with my kids. I’m probably more patient. You have to be patient with kids, they’re just kids. They don’t know everything. They haven’t lived for forty years yet. You’ve got to cut them a little slack.
Holmes: You can’t be like, “What are you doing? Stupid.”
Apostol: […] I don’t even make jokes about them being stupid, Gordon.
Holmes: I’m taking this all in. This isn’t just for the “Survivor” community. My wife and I are trying to start a family and I need all of the help I can get.
Apostol: Have you tried intercourse?
Holmes: (Laughs) With a woman?
This isn’t just some angle Tyson is working to charm Gordon. Tyson is letting everyone know something I’ve been saying for years: Being a dad is fucking great. Everyone should do it. Actually, I’ve been reading a lot of those Reddit relationship posts lately, and if those posts are any indication of what men are like in general, it’s probably for the best if most of you don’t become dads. Still, Tyson manages to talk about being a father both in his ET Canada interview and when talking to Dalton Ross:
“I mean, being a father, there’s so many layers. Like if we’re going to get into this, we need to start our own dads podcast, you know?”
Be careful, Tyson. I’ve been down this road. The podcast thing starts as a joke, you keep repeating the joke, and then several years later you’re sitting in front of a mic again, late on a Thursday night, thinking, “Oh man, I have to talk about Ryan and Chrissy and Dr. Mike some more? Why did I sign up for this? How is this my life now?”
Still, I’m not sure fatherhood could help Tyson become a better Survivor player, because he’s already a legend. And it doesn’t seem like taking a few years off has hurt his game. In his EW Canada interview, he lays out one scheme he’s working on in order to put the target on multiple other players. His plan is to tell the others:
Aras called me to say that John Fincher (Parvati’s husband) called him and said that Parv only agreed to come out if she got paid the same as Rob and Sandra got paid to do season 39, which was $200K. I don’t even know if any of those numbers are correct.
This lie is rock solid. First, nobody will question it because no other human intentionally talks to Aras- no one wills boredom upon themselves. Secondly, suggesting that Rob and Sandra got a whole lot of cash in order to do 30 minutes of work every few days beneath giant statues of Sandra and some other generic male is fucking brilliant. It hammers home that Sandra and Rob are the real stars here, and everyone else is in their shadow- perhaps even literally, since some of these pregame interviews were done within sight of this monstrosity:
Tyson came to fucking play. And maybe wet blankets like Midwest Barb can’t appreciate that, but I know you do. Because you’re cool. You can be Tyson’s friend. Unless…wait, you aren’t Sierra, are you?
John is the co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. He can get loud too, what the fuck!
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia