Because life is too short to watch all the clips CBS posts each week, I’m here to let you know which ones are worth your time (because apparently, my life is not too short). In addition, I’ll offer analysis of what these extra insights might mean for the game.
In the theoretical world, exciting merge episodes would lead to exciting leftovers, where all the final strategizing that is left out of the broadcast for dramatics would be laid bare. In the real world, you get a lot of bonus videos about the merge feast, building a new camp, and Merica! Why did I decide to write this thing every week again? Oh yeah, to save you all the trouble of watching everything. The things I do for you…
Got Stung By A Bee
Jenn talks about the immunity challenge and getting stung somewhere “really, really close to areas that have to be blurred”.
Analysis: I’m calling it already: Jenn is one of the top 10% casting finds in the history of the show. Young, funny, attractive, competitive, impactful on the actual game, she’s everything you want if you’re a Survivor producer. Just listening to her describe her bee attack is far more interesting than most anything uttered by about 75% of this cast, and this is (probably) a good cast.
But beyond Jenn being Jenn, this video is telling because it shows that she knew even during the challenge that Joe needed to win or he’d be gone (Joe also has a video where he admits the same thing). So it seems like she already knew which direction Carolyn et al were taking in the vote and that it would soon be idol time.
Milestone In Survivor
Mike talks about the significance of making the merge.
Analysis: One of the underrated pleasures of this season is watching Mike excitedly talk about things. It’s freaking adorable. Look at how he folds his hands together at the end like a preschooler who is forced to sit criss-cross applesauce. I am all in on the Mike Holloway experience. This video shows you how much of a fan Mike is, as he beams over hitting this Survivor milestone and the potential of others to come. I particularly like his observation that if people aren’t coming to you in the early hours of merge, then you probably don’t matter in this game.
We Are Swing Votes
Shirin talks about her position in the game post-merge.
Analysis: By the end of the episode, Shirin is throwing down with the No Collars all the way, making sure everyone knows that she doesn’t see herself as a swing vote. This confessional shows that she’s either completely lying at that moment or at the very least, did not always feel that way. Of note: she thinks it’s a better ploy to work with the Blue Collar tribe AFTER the cracks start to take hold, not before when they’re still theoretical. Also of note: it’s not clear that she would’ve gone the way she did if voting Joe was an option. Perhaps even more notable: she is not concerned with the tightness of Jenn and Hali.
Amazing To Watch
Will talks about watching the immunity challenge and his deep, burning desire to vote out Joe.
Analysis: Man, it’d be embarrassing if someone had spent the past two weeks analyzing bonus video coverage and coming to the conclusion that Will was firmly on the side of Joe, Jenn, and Hali after watching this week’s episode and this video. I’m not even sure why you’d bother continuing to read any analysis such a person had to offer after that. What the fuck am I even doing here?
Sixth Castaway Voted Off
This is actually coverage of the seventh castaway being voted off. YouTube fail.
Analysis: Alright, so this isn’t a secret scene at all. It’s just the tribal council as it aired on Wednesday night. But I promise you, rewatching it is more rewarding than any other bonus video I would’ve thrown in here. Let’s watch together:
0:55 – Is anyone going to play the hidden immunity idol? Let’s drag out the drama with all the reaction inserts we can!
1:02 – Oh no! Jenn in blinking in indifference! Could this be the end of our hero?!?
1:05 – The music is almost over, you’re missing your chance!
1:08 – 1:18 So much blue collar/wet blanket consternation!
1:22 – 1:25 – These are not the faces of people who feel like Jenn just burned an idol.
1:44 – First vote for “Jen”. Alright, we’re getting somewhere here.
1:50 – And let the laughter begin!
1:57 – Three votes Jenn.
2:05 – 2:15 – And now the BC/WB alliance has sit and wonder who’s it gonna be?
And if you can’t love that, then just quit watching Survivor right now. Unless you’re Kelly. Then, my condolences.
Andy wants to make sure that if you take one thing out of this column, it’s that Will is definitely a free agent ready to flip on his original tribe. You can follow him on twitter at @andy_sayers to get the shortest snippets of his opinions possible.
Co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast and the Canadian of the group, Andy has been watching Survivor continuously since the very beginning and likes to treat that as some kind of virtue to lord over others.
Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cagayan, Cook Islands, Palau, Winners at War
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino