Hindsight Bias Episode 1: Last Week Tonight

…son of a… it’s Wednesday isn’t it.

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The easy excuse is I got sick, but for the most part I planned on making the point of the official episode threads to be the last ones in the cycle. I find that by the time initial articles are up, perceptions, reactions, and information change over the week. Before last week’s episode becomes yesterday’s news, I want these articles to be sort of a last hurrah, the tying of a bow on the wrap-up party before we get ready for the upcoming episode.

That having been said, what do we know now that we didn’t know then? I’m going to go tribe by tribe, and where applicable, person by person. The best place to start would probably be the elimination. 

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The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

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Last we checked, after the elimination of Darnell I think everyone was left a little slackjawed. Darnell was, despite his faults, pretty unquestionably portrayed to be better than Alecia, who spent every waking moment making herself look a fool in some hilarious ways. How did Darnell, whose only real crime was taking a shit and losing the goggles, deemed more of a liability or a little brown trout than Alecia “Mental Giant Whose Kryptonite Is Pen Lids” Holden?

As we were to find out on Kyle’s twitter, he had Darnell voted out because Darnell was so likable. Yep, our Russell Hantz wannabe took a page out of his book- “Get rid of the strongest player first damn the detriment to the tribe it could cause just because you like straaaadegy”. Granted, there are a few valid reasons for him to do this- Darnell’s alliance with Cydney, Darnell having potential sway over the women like Jennifer who related to the idea of emotional struggle- so it’s not as abysmal a move as certain other Russell moves that Kyle deeply admires. Still, it’s that train of thought I fear will claim a lot of interesting victims and potentially suck a lot of fun out of the season, and if losing someone potentially strong like Darnell over someone as admirably useless as Alecia (which I mean out of pure adoration) indicates anything, it’s that it’s easier for Brawn to lose again. To Tang is shaping up to be my least favorite tribe with people I dislike making up 60% of the tribe with the easy potential to corner the other 40% and exterminate them.

Still, they exist, so we may as well check in on them.

Kyle = Tony?

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I think in the next week or two I might give you the audience a crashcourse on edgic. Editing Logic is an imperfect but intricately founded method of determining future events based on each person’s individual edit, the tone and visibility thereof, and any other little clues dropped that if you pick them up could schedule some nifty foreshadowing. Generally, edgic at the best of times calls a winner very early on, at worst as the season rolls towards the halfway point they pick someone they left in the shadows and give them a second chance.

There have been some colossal edgic failures, such as with the colossal logic failure of Survivor: Gabon where Marcus dominated the lists with an iron fist, only to be usurped by Ken after his stunning blindside, with eventual winner Bob only getting third place out of five in the final episode before the finale. It’s not perfect enough to be a guaranteed spoiler, but it’s logical enough to draw conclusions from. However, there’s one that this week I just can’t get behind, and that’s the idea that Kyle, or Sarg, or Jason- I’m calling him Kyle because he’s yet to earn last name respects or nickname respects- can win because Tony was also a wacky overplaying winner and won.

The Tony win was probably the biggest modern shocker to Edgic, especially in a time where winners only got more and more spoonfed. Tony had been edited as somewhat of an overplaying buffoon who could make plans but maybe shouldn’t have even bothered, and his #2 Woo was getting a slow-build edit of being the nicer alternative with clever under the radar gameplay where he committed the same moves but got none of the social flak. Even above that, Tony’s social agent Trish got a fantastic subtle edit where she kept a crumbling alliance together socially and survived round by round by not pitching a fit when Tony went against plans and by reeling in the scorned to rally against those who wronged them, or to stick together and not let revenge cloud their vision. However, the end of the season would turn everything on its head when Tony cut Trish loose in fifth, scrambled into a Final 2, and decimated Woo 8-1 in a shock blowout.

To many, the Tony win was not just a shock, but something deserving of horror. The idea that someone who was seen as socially incompetent on-screen due to his childish schemes, his spastic temper, and his overzealous, chaotic gameplay, seemed like a death knell to the social side of Survivor. However, upon retrospect, you could see moments where socially he endeared himself to the tribes he was on- his sense of humor eased them into it, and in the heat of the moment he had almost a papa bear sense of loyalty to his alliance. He was always honest about his emotions, but even in the heat of things his insults were never anything more than somewhat annoying childish feelings.

On an individual level he also worked well with others, being able to keep a friendly relationship with outsider Spencer, and forming such a bond with Woo that Tony did what could only be accomplished by Tina, who could in many ways be considered Tony’s diametric opposite- convince him to turn away a perfect goat to take his best friend to the end despite said best friend being a pretty crafty and respect player.

We have one episode of Kyle to compare to Tony’s first episode. In Tony’s first episode we saw him overplay a lot- desperately concealing his career from fellow cop Sarah being the highlight. More of Tony’s chaos in the premiere happened in the second part than the first, which is considered a second episode by many, but in Episode 1 it’s hard to say we got a truly negative impression of Tony- just a feeling he’d probably implode his way out of the game in hilarious fashion. It was misleading, true, but I left finding Tony hilarious and endearing. I think the thing that separates Kyle from Tony is that Kyle has more of a personal negativity.

Personally negative winners aren’t all that common an occurrence. You get villainous strategists, like Todd, but his biggest faux pas was complaining about a cultural reward in a somewhat immature way. There’s also Brian Heidik, who actually did have some deplorable moments, but many were brushed under the rug in favor of showing what a startlingly competent player he was capable of being. Kyle seems to have a lot of moments where he looks unpleasant, vindictive, judgmental, and like more of a cocky ass than a cocky goofball, like Tony was, or even a cocky yet openminded individual like original winner Hatch.

There’s a lot of moments where the edit draws attention to the fact that Kyle doesn’t seem that likable. Probst calls attention to his steadfast refusal to dignify “Blondie” with her real name because he thinks she’s subhumanly idiotic. Kyle has a moment where he pulls a Shamar and prematurely calls his own tribe’s victory before losing by an embarrassing margin. He is seen making multiple conflicting alliances while considering people rubes for falling for it- very reminiscent of Russell’s “Dumb Ass Girl ™” alliance, moreso than Jeremy gathering troops for battle last season and making peace with Keith’s uneasiness as an ally from their last season. I don’t think we’re supposed to like him or respect him. With Tony, as time went along, I think we were supposed to think “Daaaaaamn, I can’t believe this son of a bitch is getting away with the shit he does, maybe he can take it”. With Kyle, I get the sense that we want him taken down a peg. And boy, oh boy, do I ever.

P.S. if Kyle ever reads this and puts it on his twitter, by all means send me a screenshot. Kyle’s twitter is the kind of Twitter that kills rainbows and makes kittens cry. I’d love to see what malformed opinions he has of this.

Power Shots

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I’d say, however, that if anyone has the power on To Tang, I’d have to surprise myself and say Scot. I’m still not a huge Scot fan, per se, as he still kind of bugs me and seems a little unpleasant, but as I recover from the sting of the Darnell boot I think I can tolerate him and lean “negative, but can be swayed” on him. As far as the game goes, however, it’s Scot I think is in the best spot on To Tang. Being immediately open with his career is a bold move for an athlete, and it actually earned him a lot of praise from the tribe because it fit the theme, making them feel indomitable. He relies on humor in many ways to make others comfortable and also to be self-deprecating, and he has a connection to outsider Alecia that, while rocky, is more than the more dismissive peers on To Tang gave her.

Scot’s hitting the sweet spot of having enough connections made naturally so that if people compare notes, it won’t come to the conclusion that Scot’s a scheming villain as it would with Kyle. He makes connections with personal interactions and his strength and spirit makes him valuable. He strategizes to a point and it is relatively decided by emotional outrage, but he doesn’t over-promise and he doesn’t overplay, and he’s managed to do the borderline impossible and become Scot the To Tang member, not Scot Pollard the rich NBA player who needs to go now. That’s especially impressive by me because even small-time players like Gary Hogeboom had people infamously hounding him for his identity. Scot’s a pretty big NBA name, but he hasn’t attracted that type of ire and suspicion yet. I have to say, I’m really impressed and I’m curious to see if he can keep playing strong in a way that athletes of his caliber never get the chance to.

Up a Creek Without a Paddle

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Alecia is getting only more and more popular as a hilarious trainwreck. As of now, she’s higher in the crazy what-the-hell survival rate than J’Tia was in the David boot, but at the same time she’s still nowhere near as high as J’Tia in the Garrett boot, where she infamously dumped out all the rice out of petty revenge and then, oops, survived because Garrett had a strategic IQ of -500. As it stands, Alecia feels like a first boot that accidentally survived. Her edit was negative in a way that suggested clear death by incompetence, yet over a relatively complex and sympathetic first boot, she managed to survive by the skin of her teeth.

It’s hard to remember everything Alecia did wrong. Minor yet traditional complaints like complaining or not being as strong developed into showing signs of complete obliviousness- when Jennifer struggles with Earworm Syndrome, Alecia suggests it could just be water. Jennifer aptly replies “My ear is bleeding, sweetheart.” Later, at the challenge, we get a ridiculous gif-worthy moment where Alecia… see above.

It’s not like she was doing anything wrong here, it’s just that she could make a career out of looking ridiculous. Which, judging by her modeling, she already does.

At the puzzle, Jennifer started in on solving it while Alecia sat there, as Squidward would say, “like a half-wit, mouth agape”, until Jennifer yelled at her to “pick up the (expletive deleted) pieces!” She eventually sat back as Jennifer and various Brawn members cycled in to fail the puzzle and send them to Tribal. At that point, Scot decided to try and save her, but Alecia undercut him by playing cute about possibly having an idol, which turned what would have been a unanimous Darnell vote into an idol split that easily could have gone wrong as Darnell drummed up sympathy. At Tribal Council, as Darnell spoke from the heart, Alecia insisted that she was a mental giant, despite immediately admitting she was crap at puzzles. To add to her claim, she went to vote for Darnell and wrote three letters of his name before realizing the cap was still on the pen.

She survives the episode.

This woman should have been a mockery, a joke character on the level of Zane, and would easily have gone down as one of the better first boots of her time. Yet, as if by a cosmic accident, she survives. She’s here another week, folks. Is this just the tip of the iceberg? Are we to expect a rice-throwing and other chaotic failures as she survives over the unlikely? At this rate, I can’t say I’d object. One thing that she won’t do, however, is win.

Back to edgic, one thing that everyone on the official board does is rate people from first to last in terms of contenders, likeliness to win. Alecia, after her bottom tier performance and embarrassing edit in Episode 1, got a grand total of 16.92nd place out of a possible 17. I think that means literally one person out of thirty or forty put her any higher than last, and it was probably just to put her at 16th. That’s what happens when you let a first boot stick around, guys. Prepare for fun times ahead.

That Moment When You Have An Earworm Stuck In Your Head

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It’s not often that you get instant-iconic scenes anymore. We’ve had some memorable side scenes that don’t revolve around moves or strategy. Last season, that was Keith carjacking a taxi to go on a joyride around the beach. In Worlds Apart, it was much darker, with the iconic scene being Shirin evening the score against a verbally abusive Will by denying a slanted deal for him to get a family letter after mocking Shirin’s torrid family history. Still, those are character based scenes with a lot of emphasis on you-had-to-be-there. You have to understand how Keith takes the opportunity to make experiences to really get the beauty of the “to-to” joyride. You’d have to understand the vast complexities of Shirin to understand how righteous it was for her to pull a Game of Thrones revenge scheme. Most of Early Survivor’s heyday moments, however, are sentences where you don’t have to list any names or specifics, but just say that it happened.

“That one episode where the guy falls into the fire.”

“That one episode where someone lied about a dead grandmother.”

“That one episode where two hot chicks stripped naked.”

These are moments enriched by knowing who was involved and why they happened, but can still get someone hooked in just by saying what happened. Someone on Survivor falls into a fire? Jesus, lover of my soul, how did that happen? How did everyone react? What did this mean for that Survivor show?

I think that with the bug-in-the-ear scene, we have a new addition to the list of instant-iconic moments, something where a sentence is enough to hook you in. “The episode where a bug crawls in someone’s head” should be enough to make your skin crawl up your spine. It’s already taken off as this memorable moment because it is straight up out of a horror movie, and the scene felt like it. Jennifer, who I’ve also disclosed as easily the strongest and most badass person going in, has already had a rough go at things, so go figure Cambodia has a good mean laugh and has a bug crawl into her ear and her head.

It’s not played up, but it’s not played down. It is straight up horror. Jennifer panics, she can’t understand what’s wrong with her, it looks unfixable, and it keeps her up at night. You can’t tell if it’s the pain of the bug, the fear of what it could do to her, or both that keeps her haunted, but during the day she convulses on the ground, claws into the shelter, and screams in pain even during confessionals as it could be tearing her up from the inside for all we know. As we’d later learn from Darnell’s exit interviews, even medical couldn’t do jack for her. All she can do is ask “What’s happening to me?” as she continues being possessed by this demon bug, until, thankfully, it crawls out and is promptly crushed by Scot’s humongous thumb. After that, it may as well have not even happened- Jennifer recovers and promises to give her all in the challenge. Despite To Tang failing, she puts in an impressive amount of effort.

Will this scene make Jennifer an icon? Who’s to say. Despite her putting in an impressive effort, the fall and recover arc goes to Aubry instead, making her a bona fide star in the episode while Jennifer is shown as a trooper, but not to the same extents. However, that horrible bug in her ear is now a bigger Survivor icon than Amanda Kimmel. This is a moment that, for most anyone who recounts it, strikes horror and disgust into their hearts. For that alone, it’s iconic, and I don’t see it ever being forgotten.

Notes on Cydney

Anyway, on to Gondol!

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Vietnam War Espionage

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This above picture is not of Tai Trang. Apparently I need to clarify that.

So here’s a thing that pisses me off.

Going around a lot is a preconception that on each tribe is a member that deliberately wasn’t there to fit in. There’s a twist that revolves around them potentially being a spy to send messages to their “correct” tribe. They might only be there to throw others off their game. They might just be a cosmic prank. Whatever the case is, the surprisingly large people with this asinine, secretly judgmental type of theory, can’t hide the fact that they think it’s because Tai isn’t “beautiful” enough to belong on a beauty tribe. Trust me, the fact that it’s the older Vietnamese gay man who gets mocked for not being beautiful despite a shockingly diverse, fascinating episode from a guy who seems like a truly beautiful human being, that doesn’t make it any better. Between him and Brice being similarly mocked, I guess you can only be beautiful if you are white and a Playboy model, even though personally I’d take either of them over the leftover pieces of L.J.’s protest against Rogaine and the sleek ostrich with Trump’s toupee they’ve named Nick.

It strikes me as very meanspirited and derivative. It also covers Alecia being “too dumb and weak” to be a Brawn, though good luck switching them around and leaving lopsided genders on their tribes. Worst of all, it detracts from the fact that Tai is a fascinating, unique emotional center of a tribe that I feared would reject him for who he was, but instead is both winning others over with a stunning and impressive ability to be the best provider on the tribe, and then losing them due to strategic failures that alienate them. Tai’s experiences come from being involved in community gardening, being a Vietnamese refugee, and from being gay, but the beauty tribe, even Caleb who has voiced homophobic views less covered before, and Anna who seems equally as intolerant, take him for who he is despite some misconceptions- appreciating his spirit and his capabilities and then condemning perceived selfish play and conniving attitudes.

What I’m saying is, people, do not be one-upped by a rabid anti-vaxxer who sees animals as better than the autistic, or by a pussy-entitled meathead who calls himself Beast Mode Cowboy. If they could, despite misgivings, see Tai as a human being, you should as well. He’s not conventionally beautiful, and on the surface he could throw even the steeliest SJW off, but he’s shown himself as a powerful entity that his tribe appreciates and has unique interactions with. The fact that you wouldn’t wanna make his breasts a focal point all season like a certain cheerleader doesn’t take away from that.

They’re Not Completely Awful!

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Digging into the preview from this week, which by Wednesday many have seen, there’s a scene that interests me and compounds with the Next Time on Survivor. If you don’t wanna hear about the preview, feel free to skip to the next bolded line. I won’t judge ya.

Okay, anyway. In the NToS Tai alarmed me by going in for the kiss on a pretty decidedly straight man, which socially is a pretty big no-no, at least for a romantic introvert like myself. Consent is all I’m asking for, even if I’m sure Tai was just trying to be funny. The preview, however, adds a layer of lightheartedness to it, and also surprises me with something else- a “bromance” between Tai and Caleb. A sort of reversal on Richard and Rudy, where the closedminded military man is the young one and the resourceful and dynamic gay man is the older one. This is not what I expected to be of their interactions but Caleb seems genuinely impressed by Tai’s capabilities.

The kiss moment is led up to, but it’s presented in a lighthearted way with even Caleb laughing in a what-the-hell amused style. I still can’t say I’d react the same, but it’s way more of a sense of humor than I expected from Caleb. Some BB fans tell me he’s had some more jokey homoerotic overtones with gay or debatably metrosexual men in the house, but I still can’t say I bought progress going in. I still can’t say I buy he’s changed now, but I’m more openminded to the idea.

Caleb is someone I’ve compared to Rodney before due to his meatheaded stupidity and bass ackward views, but he and Rodney also have something else in common- they’re pretty young, and while this generation still has a lot of bigotry to shake off there’s a lot more of a push to. I can see Rodney growing up into the good traits he possesses and I can see Caleb doing the same over time. It’s forty-something fathers like Will who harass people for being a victim of family abuse and having no loving parents that alarm me, because that is nowhere near as liable to change. Maybe this is the road to Caleb being a more mature and respectful person. I can be an optimist, even if I’ll probably look a fool.

Speaking of marginally less terrible than expected, psst you can come back now spoilerphobes, Anna has come off as surprisingly competent and less of either the absolute borewhore or horrendous harpy she showed potential to be. Her interactions with Tai were actually very nice, and reminded me that just because someone has some insane and inane views, they don’t necessarily go the full appetizer platter of crazy. After all, what did Tai do that won her over for awhile? He was good to animals. Anna loves animals intensely, more than many people. It’s no wonder that they could traverse a political and sociological gap and become friends.

Anna also does an impressive job of being at the center of the alliance. Michele gets credit for forming it, but Anna helps operate it, gets to see where the others are coming from, and convinces Julia for a short time before Tai falls flat on his face like a timbering tree to include him in the alliance in an eager, rambling conversation. As it stands, I think she’s a decoy- it’s a modern editing trick to give someone the most airtime in Episode one to look like a solid player and Anna took the biggest lead confessional wise. It happened with Kelley Wentworth, Carolyn, Josh, Brad Culpepper, and hilariously Zane. I think Anna will matter, I just don’t think she wins.

Most humorously, my list of just the most wonderfully inane may-as-well-have-been-written-by-Alecia predictions gets bigger. I labeled Anna as extremely boring and Liz as also boring but competent. We’ll get to Liz for the five seconds she deserves but I definitely switched it around. Anna still isn’t really entertaining, she’s kind of gamebotty, but it’s the type of boring I pegged from Liz, not Anna, who has earned a little bit of grudging respect.

Destiny’s Children

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There’s not as much to say about Michele and Julia- both seem nice and positive and I can’t say anything bad about them. Anna took most of the airtime from them but at the same time, the three of them are pretty relevant. Lines have been vaguely kicked in the sand on all three tribes- To Tang thinks that Alecia is an idiot and Kyle thinks he’s a mastermind, and there’s a clear young vs old division where Aubry is hinted at being the most important swing on Chan Loh. On Gondol, it’s clearly set. The women are aligned, and while they considered Tai, it’s looking less likely. This is the only true alliance established in Episode 1 that we are supposed to take seriously. This implies that the guys are not long for the game on Gondol, but as of now, there’s not much else to say but to stay tuned.

Nick and how he’s Relevant to Kaoh Rong

Anyway, on to Chan Loh!

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Business Meeting Agenda

There were three threads in the first episode as far as Chan Loh goes.

  1. debbie wtf
  2. god joe is old he can’t contribute anything to society
  3. omfg aubry g.oddess your favorites could never

As such, we’ll go through them one by one.

debbie wtf

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Debbie to me is hard to define but she won be over the second she dropped “puzzles lay down for me like lovers”. We have hit Season 32 but people still find new ways to surprise me. I think that line might be in some rap song where someone brags about their sex life- maybe if ERB ever incorporated Neil DeGrasse Tyson into a battle- but it definitely was not something I expected out of the mouth of Debbie Wanner, even being prepped with how crazy she could be. She compounded this with more bragging that largely she couldn’t back up. It’s also clear the editors adore her, having pulled the greatest chyron trick yet by changing her occupation into one of the many things she claims she does for a living at any confessional she gives.

Yet, at the same time, as much as Debbie comes off as cocky, stubborn, and relatively incompetent, I don’t think she goes early as Neal and Liz lay out for her. Hell, I don’t even think we’re supposed to dislike her. She’s the one who comforts Aubry, and it’s not made out to be nothing. Captioning done in scenes like this are basically the really obvious foreshadowing clues, moreso than even translating whispers and quiet talk. Someone could basically be shouting something loud and clear and it could be captioned. Debbie got highlighted by this several times as Aubry thanked her for comforting her during her breakdown. Hell, even in Debbie’s confessional, she almost sounded like Denise and not Day 3 demented Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien.

Debbie is hard to see going as early as you’d think. I definitely don’t think, despite her many crazy flaws, she’s even supposed to be that hated. Laughed at, yes, but also strangely endearing. She’ll get votes at her first Tribal Council for sure, but I don’t think she goes home. Rather, I’ve seen some come up with different theories.

god joe is old he can’t contribute anything to society

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I’ve been over what a badass Joe is before, but as time goes by more and more is uncovered. Like Rudy, he may be seventy-two, but like Rudy he’s also quite famous for being excellent at the risky line of work he does. In his bio video he mentions doing work in Somali that he found to be kind of fun. I did a little bit of research. His Somali work, which involved a lot of the badassery he still shows today, happened from 2008-2010. In other words, during Joe’s late sixties. Also found online were pages in a book by another FBI agent, detailing work with Agent Del Campo, namely how he saved a falling apart situation where members of a team bickered about how to catch a dangerous criminal by wordlessly going up the rooftop and sniping the bastard in the neck instead of partaking in the dick-strutting. Everything you catch of Joe Del Campo is him being not just a badass, but a really cool badass. It makes it all the more charming that everything in his personality details a quiet, humble, patient guy who calmly does his bit and keeps going.

However, some are quick to dismiss Joe. Neal, who I still will defend as a cool guy with resting douchebag tendency syndrome, immediately dismisses Joe as too old to function despite the fact that barely five years prior Joe was in goddamn Somali fighting pirates, and he looks the type with the best set of muscles this side of Cydney’s. It seems like despite his clear capabilities he’s becoming the victim of prejudgment. Still, I hold out hope, because in the situation, Joe gets a lot of great quotes about how he can sense a situation coming before it happens and adapt, and some obvious foreshadowing subtitle quotes to Aubry about how it gets more fun near the end, suggesting that he wins the battle. In addition, Liz, Neal, and to some extent Barry look like the condescending asses in the situation. Neal has reasons to dislike Debbie as he was a guinea pig in her instructions that made both of them look like braindead weasels. Still, his words about Joe seem confirmed and arrogant as if there is just no other way.

I think from this information alone, Joe and Debbie can be considered the potential winners of an early Chan Loh standoff. I’m certainly not the only one to determine both as positive, and some have posted even more intricate theories. Dabu, who I should really just give a column to per episode, suggests that Joe figures out a potential vote split, and they swing Aubry over to pull off a 3-2-1 to add Joe to the increasingly bizarre list of people to pull such a vote. I don’t know if it will be that intricate, but I do think Aubry’s a key part of this equation and she looks to be adding to the side of Joe and Debbie.

Hey guys it’s preview time again so if you don’t wanna hear it you can return to your regularly scheduled recap already in progress at the next bolded line!

In the NToS, we saw more of Debbie acting wacky, as her cheerleading prompts tribesmates to mathematically determine whether she is in fact the owner of thirty cats or forty cats. However, the preview paints another unseen picture. In it, Joe is so over Liz, who he sees as being too much of a know-it-all. This is gold for many reasons. For one, Joe has been portrayed as likable and Liz… oh, good lord, Liz got four confessionals in an episode and still is considered under the radar. I can’t think of someone whose airtime ratio to wasted my time ratio was so enormous. I certainly want Liz to go and for Joe to stay. For another, a Suckster astutely pointed this out and it gave me pause, because it’s very right and another good look on Joe.

From Nationpower624: “I love that Joe gives that confessional about Liz next episode, because it totally doesn’t fit their character archetypes. ❤ Historically, we’ve seen the younger woman be annoyed by the older man who thinks he knows everything, but this time it’s the other way around.” This is very astute- from Kelly pointing out Rudy’s flaws, to the Mallrats pointing out Frank’s idiosyncratic insanity, to Danielle and Aras countering Terry’s I-am-46-and-therefore-holy narrative, to as recent as Lindsey pointing out how awful Dan is, it’s always the young woman who points out just because you’re old doesn’t make you better or a genius. This time, Joe points out that Liz’s career doesn’t make you perpetually right.

I’ve got a lot of faith that Team Joe defeats Team Liz, the new bearer of the “who? Egg? Her?” title of Kaoh Rong. At the very least, I hope it happens. Out of all the brains, I have most faith that Joe can win it, which should make anyone scared, but I don’t think it’s unfounded that Joe can win even if he is stereotyped as “Grandpa”. It all comes down to one person, whom I’d argue is the heart and soul of the tribe, the person to watch for.

omfg aubry g.oddess your favorites could never

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Kaoh Rong’s challenge beast, everyone.

I love Aubry. She’s my clear current #1 of the cast. Her breakdown wasn’t nothing and you can lick peanut butter off of my middle finger if you think that it was her just being a whiner. The things she described are all too relatable for myself and many others who can relate to just self-destructive panic. The fact of the matter is, it was actually pretty sad, and I expected a sad elimination. Instead, we got Aubry getting that dirt off her shoulder, bucking up, and slaughtering the challenge beyond human belief. She dove, she paddled, she pulled the boat, she crushed the puzzle. It was beautiful. And, to be clear, this isn’t someone made for challenges like Tasha or Joe. This is Aubry, who probably looks the most “nerdy brainy” of anyone that season, and she’s going hard in the paint.

I think Aubry is meant to be the star of Chan Loh- in a tribe of odd or unlikable people, I think they want us to love this woman. Wherever she goes, that’s where her tribe goes, and it might be where her season goes. I think there’s a very, very strong chance she emigrates to camp Joe and Debbie, if only for their kindness, whereas she’s not shown bonding with the three younger people, one of whom wrote her off for her breakdown as basically J’Tia. Either way, we’re in for a good ride tonight.

Kindergarten Camp- Episode 2, Tonight! (Expect Preview Talk, Kittens)

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about to be the second most surprising thing near Caleb’s mouth

We’ve got less than five hours until the new episode- a time limit which I’m told is how long it takes to read one of my articles. What is there to expect tonight? To cliff note my article, I’ll break it down by tribe.

To Tang

In order for it to not be the obvious Alecia boot anyone in their right mind expects, Kyle would have to bomb hardcore. There’s a good chance that medevacs that have been foreshadowed have been foreshadowed to happen here, especially with the idea proposed in the preview that it’s been tough for to them to survive. However, with all the medevac hype, I don’t think they’d let one of them go this quietly into the night. It’s not impossible that Jason ruins his own game, but it’s more likely we get more lol Alecia moments before she is booted one round too late.

Gondol

I don’t get the sense that this tribe is going to Tribal- aside from Tai, whose fate changes with the wind, there’s no real target set up. It’ll likely be a fun episode where we explore Tai and Caleb’s dynamics and see how it affects the women’s strategy- and, more importantly, see how much Tai can recover from his earlier Survivor stumbles.

Chan Loh

Team Abercrombie and Fitch clash with Team What’s Left, with Aubry making a decisive decision that extrapolates the Joe/Liz rivalry in a way that leads to Liz’s untimely but much appreciated exit. They seem most likely to go to Tribal Council based on conflict setup- no tribe really has a solid story to explain a boot set up quite like Chan Loh does. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

Signing Out

Second Episodes are hit and miss. Sometimes, it’s a boring episode that lets you know instantly who the nobodies are while expressly focusing on one bland vote. Otherwise, it can light off fireworks with a shock boot or a lot of craziness or emotional behavior. I’m not sure which to expect here, but I think there’s a solid story in mind that we can expect, but if not I’m not 100% positive there are enough tiles laid down for solid groundwork for the future. We’ll just have to see, but Episode 2’s job should be to lay more groundwork down for the present and future.

See you in… oh lord, probably six hours for the Autopsy.

-Cameron

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