In hip-hop music, a hype man supports the rappers with exclamations and interjections and attempts to increase the audience’s excitement. In honor of Survivor’s upcoming Worlds Apart season, I’ll be picking out a few members of the cast and serving as hype man to get you excited about both the player and the game. Today’s candidate: Dan.
You know how Survivor will cast generic, All-American Midwestern people just to make it seem like you’re getting some cross-section of America playing the game? They’re usually people that have never seen the show; they got recruited because they look like some stereotype of an American- a cowboy, a model or pageant queen, someone who was in the military. On their CBS bios, when they have to name a previous player that they’re like, they say, “There’s never been a player like me!” or “Parvati.” Because how do they know?
Those people are not Dan. Dan saw those people get cast and he screamed at his TV. “What the fuck!?” he yelled, waking up his wife and the dog he probably has, who are both somehow asleep at 8:30 p.m. in this scenario. Dan was mad, because that was bullshit. Those people were recruited and didn’t give a shit about the show. But Dan wanted to be on Survivor. He drove thousands of miles over the years going to open casting calls, all so Survivor could ignore him and cast Cowboy Rick and the bland-to-detestable wastes of space that appeared on Survivor: Nicaragua.
A lot of people think they’d be great on Survivor, but they’re boring human beings. They’re delusional. America doesn’t want to watch them on TV. (Full disclosure: I might be one of them. I’ll let you know if I ever submit a Survivor application and don’t hear back.) But that’s not Dan. You’re going to like Dan. And do you know why? Because Dan is Rupert.
“Back the fuck up,” you’re saying. “Rupert? I’m not a Rupert fan.” And you’re right. You’re not. Now. But let me take you back to late 2003: You were hearing exciting rumors about the Motorola RAZR flip phone. You were burning a sweet mix CD of all the 50 Cent songs you’d pirated. And you were watching Survivor: Pearl Islands.
Pearl Islands was a great season. One of the best, according to the definitive Survivor season rankings. You liked that cast. Osten, who looked like he was chiseled from granite, became the first person to quit and it blew your mind. (He later turned into a whacked-out conspiracy theorist on Twitter. I am not making this up.) Andrew Savage looked like a charming stud who might march straight to the finish, but he got voted out by a fucking grown up Girl Scout. Some scrawny d-bag made up a lie that didn’t affect the game at all and people acted like it was a big deal. And Sandra got loud too, WHAT THE FUCK!?
And then a bearded fat guy in a tie-dye shirt acted like a pirate and won you over. He cried talking about how he was bullied as a kid, and how he had trouble fitting in. Hey, that’s not cool, you thought! Rupert didn’t deserve that. He’s a nice guy! And he’s great at spear fishing! And hahaha, he stole the other tribe’s shoes! I’m going to go cast a vote for him for fan favorite right now! If only I had a Motorola RAZR to do it from! (You were so excited about that RAZR.)
That was you in 2003. If Rupert got hit by a bus in 2003, you’d be missing Rupert- unlike the hypothetical bus, which clearly didn’t. It’s the diminishing returns that have come ever since that are ruining it for you. Here, I’ve made a convenient chart that summarizes your feelings on Rupert:
But we’re throwing it back. Dan isn’t the Rupert you’re tired of. Dan is that 2003 Rupert, a lovable underdog with the strength of a manbearpig that you root for because he seems like a nice guy. Only unlike Rupert, Dan recognizes that this show is not about how well you can build a shelter (not that Rupert ever could) or provide for your tribe. Dan’s not here to steal shoes; he came to steal hearts. And according to his bio, he’s going to do it with…disc golf? Shit.
Ok, so you’re not sold on Rupert and disc golf? I’m failing you here? I’ve got to give you something more to work with? Well I’m out of ideas, so let’s check his interview with Gordon Holmes and his Twitter:
Holmes: What are your thoughts on this cast?
Foley: It seems like an all-star cast. We have a Parvati, we have a Colby, we have a Dawn, we have Kim, we have Malcolm, Denise, Brenda, Benjamin…oh, I’m sorry, “Coach.” And you have me, Rupert.
Holy shit, he knows he’s Rupert! I swear I had the entire Rupert argument written before I ever saw this interview. But let’s see how well he did identifying the rest of the cast:
See? Dan’s got this game figured out. I can already see Probst falling in love with New Colby, and New Parvati flirting once and people pretending that was the sole reason for her success. Dan fucking nailed that assessment. Now watch Dan work his social game:
Hey, that’s a promising start! Looks like Dan gets along well enough with Mike from his tribe to have a good laugh about their clearly mutual man-crush. What else do we have?
Wait. That goat looks familiar.
I knew it! Dan is a reader of this fine website! He definitely didn’t just do a Google image search for “goat” like I did and pick the funniest one on the first page. He clearly reads and enjoys this site. See? Dan does the exact same thing you’re doing: he reads the best Survivor-related site on the internet!
But I’m not hyping Dan today because he’s just like you. He’s certainly not just like me, although if he comes to Florida I am down to play disc golf with him. If I’m like anyone on this season, it’s some cross between Shirin and…someone I haven’t mentioned yet (but will in the final hype man installment). But it’s ok to like someone even if they aren’t like you- something the creators of the Hottest Female Castaway poll apparently didn’t take into consideration when they gave you the option of white girls, Brenda, or Christina.
So drop that bias you rode in with. It’s time to hop on the same ride you’ve been on before and pray that this time it turns out differently. It’s Rupert 2.0 time! (Note: If Dan begins the season by completely embracing this “blue collar” shit and trying to unionize the blue collar tribe, abandon ship immediately and forget this post ever happened.)
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