Episode 4 – ‘Big Swinging Balls’ OR ‘F*@k. That Ass’

Don’t let your lack of knowledge be your Achille’s heel, or Jenna’s Ankle as it were. Check out analysis of the previous episode here.

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In the words of the great Damon Albarn, “This is a low”.

 

Let’s get the ugliness out of the way early. I hope we all know what I’m talking about. Zach’s abhorrent, abominable behaviour. He was a complete and utter douchebag. I’m just going to say I hope he sees how he came off tonight and makes the appropriate changes. Let’s get on with the game discussion.

 

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.

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No caption necessary….

I think we can all agree that Moana is playing a reasonable game at the moment. She’s certainly getting a lot of airtime. She was in a great position not to have to show her idol to anyone but she chose to show it to Mat. As a rule I’m not against sharing idols and advantages, though my rule of thumb is is generally if you don’t have to share, then don’t. I would argue that Mat is a special case. I believe he’s trustworthy and loyal to Moana. She really had nothing to lose by showing him, he’s hardly going to go spruiking it around camp, and what she gained is a tangible cementing of the trust between them. Quick question though, did she give it to or show it to him. I’m sure I heard Mat say that she gave it to him for safe-keeping, but we didn’t actually see that. Can anybody shed some light on this please?

Provided Moana & Mat make the merge together they’ll be a real physical threat and I suspect will always be a voting block. I’d love to come up with a nickname for them but the best I can find is Eminem. I’m not really feeling it, let me know if you have a more catchy suggestion. Their tightness is going to make it very hard for Sharn. While it’s fair to say the longer that she can stick with them the further she’ll go, there’s going to come a time where she has to split the two of them up in order to win the game. Perhaps take her opportunity after merge if Eminem gets split up.

 

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Subtitle game strong Channel Ten. To be fair, this mirror probably was more exciting than the lacklustre tribal this evening. Everybody played it very close to the chest. Only Anita actually vocalised who she was aligned with.

Of course most of the action was with the Contenders this evening, but before I leave Champions I have to quickly point out that upon returning form the reward challenge Mat and/or Sam I can’t recall who, emphasised that their win was on the back of the solid effort from their female tribe-mates. That the females carried the tribe in that challenge. This was in stark contrast to the goings on at camp Contender.

 

Voting A-Gender

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It became clear this evening that the bro-lliance of Zach, Robbie and Benji (not to be confused with ‘brilliance’) felt that they were superior to the ‘girls’ who needed to be “systematically wiped out”. From a numbers point of view this might make some sense to the bros, but it is incredibly short-sighted. If we were to take gender completely out of this, then ostensibly you have a group of five (Heath, Steve and Manpower Australia) against a group of six (everyone else). Let’s say the group of five do manage to even things up, then you’re still left with five and five and someone has to flip eventually. It’s much wiser to start looking at options now rather than assuming you’re onto a solid thing.

Enter Heath, who has always seemed to be uneasy with being inserted in the douchebag bag (that Benji and Robbie did not call Zach out on his douchebaggery makes them just as douchebaggy as he, so I’m comfortable tarnishing them with that bag). Heath has clearly looked outside the bag at other options and formed himself his little parents alliance trio with Tegan and Jenna. Nice. Shame we didn’t see him have to answer to Robbie and Benji about that idol clue from last episode though. I can’t imagine that was forgotten about. What definitely won’t go unnoticed is him not voting with Manpower Australia. I’d like to think he can explain this away as he could see that the numbers were against Steve, and had to vote that way at the last minute, and still convince Manpower Australia he is with them and prevent them from getting their knickers in a twist.

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Say it with me now, “Shonitella”. Doesn’t it feel great in your mouth?

It was great to see Fen, Shon and An, or as I like to call them, Shonitella,  show us they were aligned as well. This looks like another trio to watch. The three trios accounted for and we are left with Paige as a floater. Which for mine puts her in a great position. All Paige has to do is take her pick of the above trios and I suspect she’ll see herself through at least the next tribal. This is a tough choice though. Manpower Australia perhaps being the most likely to use her and lose her, though I don’t know that she will see that. Hopefully that comes out for her next episode. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Manpower Australia break up and seek shelter elsewhere, particularly if Heath makes it clear he won’t necessarily be voting wiht them. If I were Benji and Robbie I’d certainly be hopping off the Zach express at the next stop. But that is probably emotion talking and not strategy, which means I’m tired and should probably conserve my energy for another three fugging hours of Australian Survivor this week. I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all Survivor gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

Episode 2 – ‘Hantz Down, Our Best Episode So Far This Season’ OR ‘Two Rings to Rule Them’

Don’t be a dweeb, make sure you’re up to date with all Russell Feathers’ ramblings on what happened the previous episode. Find ramblings here!

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“Don’t play your game so loud”. Perfect.

“Don’t play your game so loud”. If Australian Survivor had titles for their episodes like US did then I suspect this would be this ep’s title (WHY THE FUG DON’T THEY?!). It should be clear to anyone reading this why Russell left tonight. I’m not going to go into too much detail about all the things he did right, he did wrong, and what he continues to do wrong, but much like Sam fondling his balls, I will touch on them below. I’ll talk a little bit about how Jackie ended up with so many votes and the opportunity she has now to turn things around for herself. But first, it’s time again to have a discussion about the place of mateship in Australian Survivor.

 

Yeah, Nah. Yeah.

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When you want to say “You’ve got nice legs”, but it is less appropriate than ever.

For three seasons now I’ve witnessed (and been part of) bitching and moaning within the Survivor Fan Community within Australia about how ‘mateship’ does not belong in Survivor and is ruining Australian Survivor (note ‘mateship’ is not the same thing as ‘social gameplay’). Generally the arguments put forward are that Survivor is about strategy, cunning, manipulation and ruthlessness. I’ve taken part in these debates myself and made comments similar to those above here in Drop Your Buffs!, but it’s about time we actually pulled apart what it means when people make these arguments.

I agree that the reason I watch Survivor is because I want to see that sort of gameplay. It’s what I find exciting about watching the game. Seeing people given the opportunity to engage in behaviours that they would never engage in in their everyday lives, and to use this freedom to win what is an incredibly competitive game. In my opinion however these are just the reasons we as fans enjoy watching the game so much. These behaviours are inherently more entertaining to watch than ‘mateship’. It makes sense to me that fans react negatively when the strategy and cunning that is so paramount in their enjoyment of this game is replaced by unexciting ‘friendliness’.

I argue that more crucial to the essence of Survivor, what gives Survivor its ‘Survivorness’, is that the game is what the players make it.  There is no one, or even handful, of ways to play the game. The possibilities are endless. To argue that something doesn’t belong misses the point that EVERYTHING belongs.

 

JLP – “Are the cracks starting to show?”

Monika – “No”

Contenders – “…”

I do believe that producers play a huge role in manipulating what elements they emphasise and broadcast in their show, and though I wish that wasn’t the case as it dilutes the purity of the game’s ‘Survivorness’, unfortunately it is a reality that we have to accept. I don’t work in television/media and clearly have no idea what the public want, so take the following commentary as the opinion of a punter, not a professional. The self appointed fans have made it clear that they want less mateship and more tension, but if the producers are emphasising the mateship it’s because the ‘casuals’ (not a derogatory term) want it. And while it is unlikely we wouldn’t have an Australian version of the world’s greatest game without our very passionate fanbase, it’s equally unlikely that we wouldn’t have an Australian version if it was only marketed to the fanbase. Without the casuals, Australian Survivor doesn’t exist. So I don’t envy the balancing act that the producers have to play in order to turn this game into a financially viable show to get it to our screens, and keep as many viewers as happy as possible. I’m not saying production does a great job. I’ve spoken at length in the past about representation (rant still to come this season) and myriad other failures both in content and format, and will continue to point out instances where I believe they have missed or misfired and need to improve. But they are clearly doing well enough to at least put a show on air and that is something to be happy about.

Furthermore, I don’t feel as though we fans need to worry that mateship will ruin the game. To date no Australian Survivor has won on mateship, and I can’t see it happening soon. What is exciting to me is that Australian players are manipulating and will continue to learn how to manipulate the level of mateship (I promise this is the last time I’ll use the word this post) going on around them to further their game, and ultimately this makes the game even deeper. Adding another element in the landscape for players to navigate to make it to the end and win. Which brings us to Russell.

 

‘Pic Ass O’ or ‘Mr Tex-Ass’

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Russell shows us how big his ego is…

As has been been articulated by commentators more articulate than I, and as I alluded to in the previous episode’s analysis, Russell was going to have to adapt his gameplay if he was going to get a foothold this season. Some might argue that he did change his gameplay. That in the previous seasons he did well in he kept a lower profile at the start of the season and didn’t start making bold moves so early. Or at least that any bold moves he made were not so loud. The disclosure of his idol to his tribe absolutely screamed ‘kick me out’. So perhaps one could say that his gameplay this season was different to the gameplay on his most successful seasons.

The key word for me though is ‘adapt’. And though he may have changed his gameplay somewhat, he didn’t adapt his gameplay to suit his season. His gameplay did not fit his tribe. Clearly Russell hasn’t been reading my blog (fucken idiot). We’ve talked at length previous seasons about how important it is to keep a low profile at the start of the season, particularly in (exceedingly) long Australian seasons. His first flaw was in thinking that he had the right game plan and could bring his play style to the season and force the game to be played his way. Survivor rarely works that way. Not in Australia, and not anywhere else. I contend though that there is a bigger flaw in Russell and it doesn’t lie in his gameplay, it actually lies in his attitude, and is why I now think he’ll never win Survivor.

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Russell shows us how big his vocabulary is…

Throughout Russell’s career in Survivor, and he has made a career of it, one thing that has accompanied Russell from day one, is his arrogance. He will tell you every chance he gets that he is the king, he is a champion, and as I spoke to in the analysis of the previous episode, he feels that he deserves to win, so much so that he believes the rules of the game should be changed to facilitate this.  In short, Russell feels entitled. Nowhere was this clearer than in his post elimination interview at the end of the episode where he told us repeatedly and in no uncertain terms that he made the right move, it just didn’t work. At the risk of using results-oriented thinking, I have to say that “mate if it didn’t work, then it’s not the right move!” I’m talking primarily here about whether or not he played his idol, and not the idol reveal itself. As miscalculated as I believe the idol reveal may have been, that is not what cost him the game here. BECAUSE HE STILL HAD AN IDOL TO PLAY TO SAVE HIMSELF (admittedly as a result of flashing his idol, playing his idol may have only bought him 3 days). I don’t believe that revealing idols is inherently a bad move, particularly if you want to be able to hang on to it for later. But if you’re going to bring your idol to tribal, you have to be prepared to read the room and use it if necessary. It should have been crystal clear to him, based on the tribal that we were shown, that votes were still coming his way and the best move was to play it safe, play the idol.

Which brings me back to my initial point. Russell believes he is untouchable. Despite all the signs around him that he needed to play his idol, he believes he is so special that things will go always go his way. And when they don’t, it was because everybody else fucked up, not him. This attitude will never get you a win in Survivor. Even those great players who are arrogant pricks have had to find a way to curb this distorted thinking to keep themselves in check. To put processes in place to verify that the way they are thinking matches what is happening. Despite all the great things that Russell has brought to the game, Russell is clearly incapable of doing the one thing that is lacking from his game that he needs to do to succeed. Humble himself. To himself. Which brings me to Jackie.

 

Jackie When I Lost Control in the Heat of the Night

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To quote the great Craig l’Anson, “Game on moles”

The second Jackie opened her mouth to tell her tribunates who should go home I thought, “steady on Jackie, them’s drawing attention to yourself words”. This is what began Matt’s downfall previous episode. Once you start talking about numbers and splitting the votes and throwing other people into the mix, then people start to see you as a strategist. And now is not the time to make people edgy. By all means do that stuff with your alliance, once your alliance is tight. But to do that while alliances are just beginning to be formed is unwise to say the least. The good news for Jackie is, even though she received the next highest number of votes this evening, the writing is not on the wall. There is one simple thing that Jackie has to do know to set her path straight again. Say sorry.

The shining example of the power of humility in recent memory is AK’s (or as regular readers of this blog know him, MRW, Male Rebel Wilson) turnaround early in the previous Australian season. AK played too hard, too fast, too early and very nearly paid the price for it. AK was smart enough to know the best course of action here was to admit it. To own it. To admit to his tribe that he had played too hard, that he got caught up in the game and making moves for himself by himself without regard to his tribe. His mea culpa was a defining moment of the season and this tactic should be regarded by students of the game as a critical tool that any self-respecting player needs to have at their disposal.

With Russell having created such chaos at camp prior to tribal Jackie is in a good position to be able to apologise for her behaviour, attributing it in part to being caught up in the hysteria that Russell had created. I hope for Jackie’s sake she is astute enough to see this pathway. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to the Champions tribe now that Russell is gone, and now that they realise they have to start playing the game. I’m also really looking forward to seeing how the Contenders react when they learn Russell is gone.

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Sam struggling with his boys, I mean buoys

Two things before I finish up. Firstly, I’m generally not one for discussing things that happen behind the scenes, or in the game but outside of the show, but I have to share the footage of Sam at camp that is at the end of this recap video by the good people at Fantastic Fools. Do yourself a favour and check out their regular video recaps. The Sam footage is at the very end. You can view that here.

Secondly, I have to apologise for the lateness of this post. It has always been and continues to be my goal to make my analysis of each episode available by 6am the morning after the episode airs. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to do that on this occasion, especially so early in the season. Unfortunately life got in the way (I’m fine, thanks so much for your concern Featherheads, it is really touching). This may happen from time to time, and knowing exactly when Survivor is going to air each week helps me to avoid this (I’m looking at you CHANNEL TEN), but as I said, I’ll endeavour not to let this become the norm.

I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all Survivor gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Finale 2017 – ‘The Sea Was Angry That Day My Friends’ OR ‘Easy Big Fella’

You don’t need to be in the dark when you start reading this analysis. Check out the previous episode’s analysis here.

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Party of two…

Congratulations Jericho. Winner of Australian Survivor 2017. I can’t argue he didn’t play a strong game. I can and have argued that he didn’t play the strongest game. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve his win. I’ve long held the belief that the beauty of Survivor is that the winner always deserves the win. That’s the way that the game is structured. It’s the genius of the jury system. I will say however, had Tara won, then I would have to reassess that position. This would be based solely on the fact that she had already been voted out. All of the players believed they were voting her out. Nobody else, other than Anneliese, had been given such a second chance, and the events surrounding Anneliese’s initial vote out were less than fair, to her, or to the rest of the players. As far as I’m concerned T-Bone simply had no claim to be there. At least no greater claim than any other person who was voted out of the game after she was given a second chance. It might be time for me to stop bitching about a scenario that didn’t occur, but we came too close for comfort.

Lean In To It

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“Can’t start a fire without a spark….if we’re just dancing in the dark”

Knowing going into this finale that there were three contestants whose games I was less than fond of, and the thought of having to write an analysis of a finale consisting of these three filled me with dread. I decided to look back on my analysis of last years finale. I remember I had similar thoughts preceding that finale, but I decided to lean in to it. To let myself get lost in the moment. Allow the grand spectacle of that final immunity challenge to wash away my negativity. Reading back on it, not only was I proud of what I had written, but I was filled with affection for that episode. What a dizzying wave of delight we rode watching the scale of that epic challenge and the way the characters fought and hustled through it. The emotion I felt at the sight of Kristie’s dad carrying a battle weary Kristie in his arms, his face filled with immense pride, yet at the same time being the fatherly protector, taking his precious daughter in his arms and letting her know that everything would be alright. The joy Lee and his family felt at being reunited after more than 55 days apart. These things filled me with tears then. They do now just writing about them. Watching the end of the immunity challenge 2017 literally brought me to tears once again. Unfortunately, these were tears of anger. That this is what my favourite game had come to. These three characters, that I had no feeling for, in a challenge devoid of the height of spectacle and depth of emotion we were treated to last year. Sure, now it was dark and looked pretty all lit up by torches, but without the family there, and without anything like Kristie’s impassioned promise to Lee that “I’ll take you, just let me have this!”, what we were left with was underwhelming. And I haven’t even started on the gameplay.

Mad. Respect?

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To quote Tara this episode “I’m not meant to be here” and “I really was trying”. The only two things she’s said that I agree with?

There was little gameplay here for me to discuss. Jericho chose to take Tara. He would have beaten either. I would have liked J-LaP to have asked the jury if they had to choose between Jericho and Peter who they would have voted for. We didn’t get that, maybe he’ll remember next year. If there is a next year. Incidentally I am almost certain that they were advertising applications for this season before last season had finished. Am I right about that? If so it worries me that they didn’t do that this year. I didn’t find either Jericho’s or T-Bone’s pitch to the jury particularly clever. If anything, I was worried that Jericho shot himself in the foot early on with his apparent disrespect of the games of many of the jury members. To me that’s a no-no. But at least he owned his game. I, like Sarah, was completely confused at his explanation of who he was. Was he trying to say he was really the bad guy playing the good guy? At one point he sounded like he was saying that he was a good guy, playing a bad guy game, by being a good guy. I don’t think he knows. And as for the whole ‘to be the best you have to beat the best in the final tribal council’ argument…well I know I’ve gone on and on about this in the past, but can anyone actually name a single time a jury member has voted against someone because they took a goat to the finale? I just don’t think this has ever happened (feel free to correct me in the comments). Doesn’t this tell you that such an argument/tactic is ridiculous?! There were just so many facepalm moments. I can’t decide which was more cringeworthy, T-Bone telling us that she didn’t start playing the game until Locky was voted out (even though this was also supposedly her biggest move. How does that work?), or, her line “in my defence…bring it on!” How the shit is “bring it on” anyone’s ‘defence’?!?! So as you can see, there really wasn’t any gameplay to critique.

Respecting This Thing We Call Survivor

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That would explain the DEVO-lution of the game this season…

I’m glad we finally got our reunion. It was nice to hear from some of those players again, but for mine it was way too long. I didn’t need to hear what Aimee felt like when she fell on her head. And I swear if I have to hear about cookies one more time….! There was too much filler like that. I guess I’d prefer to have a too long reunion than no reunion at all though. And I had hoped though that J-LaP would at least ask Tessa how she would have voted had she been given the opportunity. It would have been interesting to see if that would have made a difference. Anyway, hopefully the reunion will return should we get another season.

Devaluing The Achievement

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Everybody’s getting a three piece together (my most obscure music reference this season?)

Speaking of another season, I’ll briefly touch again on how there needs to be a format change if they do go ahead. If you’ve read this far you know that my feelings regarding the finalists. If you’ve been reading all season then you know my feelings regarding the final six. I know I’m not the only person that feels this way, and I understand this feeling is also reflected in the ratings. This is the same situation as last year. A drab final six devoid of real game players (with the exception of Flick). Surely now the production team must be considering that 24 players is too many. I read an interview this week with J-LaP. He was unashamedly spruiking that Australian Survivor does Survivor better than US Survivor at 1/4 of the cost. I won’t argue that from a production standpoint. The product looks beautiful and this season the challenge design is the best I have ever seen in a single Survivor season. But being left with these uninspiring, bland, milquetoast-filled final sixes? Well let’s just say that US Survivor has never, in my opinion, had a season with such an underwhelming final four, let alone final six. Why that might be bears significant consideration if they want to ensure the future of the game we love. I’m sure by now there’s no need for me to further point out that many of the twists characterised by an Australian Season contribute to the further devaluing of this game.

“this season saw some very high highs”

I love this game. I have for many, many years. If you’re reading this you’re likely one the thousands who loves it just as much. When people ask me who my footy team is, I tell them I watch Survivor. In case the fact that I’ve written around 100,000 words about Survivor in the last 15 months and around 40K this season didn’t tip you off, I’m passionate about it, and I want to share that passion. So when I meet someone who hasn’t watched Survivor before and wants to know about it, it’s easy for me to wax poetic about all the things I love about it and all the reasons why I believe everyone should at least try watching it. Having now watched two seasons of Australian Survivor (those first two abominations from the early noughties don’t count), I have to say that I would not encourage a prospective new viewer to start their experience with Australian Survivor. Certainly, this season saw some very high highs. Some of the best Survivor episodes EVER. But these highs have been completely undermined by the lacklustre endings. Please Channel Ten… Please Endemol Shine… Please Castaway Entertainment… Survivor Gods I implore thee!! Heed my words. Reassess your approach for the sake of the fans, and for the sake of this thing we call Survivor that we treasure so dearly, promote so enthusiastically, and respect so zealously.

Until next year, I got nothing else for you. You can head home.

– My heartfelt thanks to all those who have read, commented on, or in other way engaged with my shit this season. See you next year – Russell Feathers

 

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

 

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Episode 25 – ‘T Intersection’ OR ‘Pitt, Stop’

If you’re struggling to understand Plan B, perhaps reading the previous analysis will help you decide what’s best for you.

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For perhaps the first time ever, I agree with T-Bone

I’m going to do my very best here to understand why T-Bone took the turn that she did tonight, and really try to ignore my Olympic feelings. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s no secret that I don’t like Jerkicho’s or T-Bone’s games at all, and that I find their characters repellent. Based on what we see on-screen I suspect that if I were playing with them they would really rub me the wrong way. That being said, they made it into the game, I didn’t. I’ve always said this analysis is about the game and not about the show, so it’s only fair of me that I do my best to thoroughly and genuinely analyse their game tonight, and not their person. Let’s start with Jerkicho.

Jericho Spoke in Class Today

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Jerkicho starts wrapping T-Bone around his little finger

I don’t think anyone can begrudge the effort and tenacity shown by Jerkicho tonight. On tonight’s performance alone, it would be a challenge to argue that he’s not most deserving of the three remaining. Good on him for realising that it was his name that was likely to be written down the most (and bad on Peter, but more on that later). Once he suspected that he was on the chopping block he needed to do something. And something he most certainly did do. All he needed was to have one person not vote for him and he knew that one person wasn’t going to be Peter. I could critique his choice to approach Michelle first. I would have thought that T_bone would be the easiest to sway, not only because of who she is but also due to their relationship as the Asaga four. I guess when your back is against the wall you take the first chance you can get. Ideally, when you’re in Jericho’s position, you’d want to have Tara vote Michelle and Michelle vote Tara, and then you could choose who you want voted out. Taken Peter would vote Jerkicho, then Jerkicho would send home whoever he would like in a 2-1-1 split. That’s the ideal situation if you’re Jerkicho. Obviously, Michelle was too touchy to be influenced that way. I’ll have to rewatch but I did not get the feeling on the first watch that there was any hint of bullying or threat in Jerkicho’s approach to Michelle. Regardless, Michelle took it that way, and in fact that was all that J needed. He was able to leverage her instability and give T-Bone another option.
Beyond the above, his performance at tribal was spot on. Again, if this is the potentially the last chance you’re going to get to address the jury, then take it for all it’s worth. He played up his against the wall, underdog status at this tribal. And the jury seemed impressed. I don’t recall there being anything in his speech though that was aimed at convincing T-Bone to vote with him. Again, hopefully a rewatch can clarify this. So why then did T-Bone vote the way she did?

Shit Stirrer

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T-Bone attempts a Shaggy style ‘it wasn’t me’ before realising that that couldn’t possibly hold up 

Some people just want to watch the world burn, and some people just want to watch the fire challenge burn. T-Bone is both of those people. In a game where she hasn’t really made any positive gutsy moves, at least she now has one thing that she can point to in her resume (should she be required to provide it). Unfortunately for her, this very move actually strengthens Jerkicho’s resume (should he get there). So if her thinking was that by backing Jerkicho she’s more likely to get to the end, then, it has actually made her more likely to lose against him (in my opinion). If I was sitting there in that particular tribal council listening to Jerkicho tell the tribe, J-LaP and the jury what he was telling them, and perhaps more importantly, how well he was telling them, I would be thinking, “I don’t want to go up against this guy in the finale”. If she had this level of awareness she would understand that there is no way that she would beat Jerkicho in a final two. While I agree that her best bet at making it to final two would be to do what she did, and oust Michelle (not that she did it, Jerkicho did, but she gave him the ability to), unfortunately for her, this move makes it less likely for her to win. So ultimately, I have to say that this is a bad move. I won’t make argument again as to the merits, or otherwise, of the ‘to be the best, beat the best’ argument. I’ve done that plenty in these analyses. Really her only chance to win now, is to win immunity and bring Peter to the end. Then she better hope she can make like Donald Trump, and have the best words the jury’s heard her utter thus far (worked for Kristie) and hope that Peter can’t articulate an argument as to why he should win.

Awfully Civilised Scrambling

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That you might end up in an awkward conversation should be the least of your worries at this point in the game…

Well done Peter on a much needed immunity win. Not so well done on how he played Jerkicho tonight. His conversation with Jerkicho was a) not at all believable in his body language, and b) not at all believable in the content. Jerkicho was right to think that it all seemed too easy. Starting the conversation with, “I think it should be Tara” was never going to be believable in my opinion. As I’ve said so many times this season, and the previous, if you want to gain someone’s trust, don’t tell them what to do, ask their opinion. It seems that maybe Peter had his first taste of power. And with this sweet elixir coursing through his system, he perhaps forgot that these conversations still required nuance, savvy, and shrewdness. On top of that, well did he even know that there was unrest among the remaining three? If he didn’t, why the hell not? If he did, what did he do to stabilise the situation? In fact both he and Michelle need to be called out about their lack of gusto in at tribal council.

‘Don’t let Jerkicho tell you what to do, Jerkicho is not best for your game’

In the face of Jerkicho’s impassioned and articulate argument, they needed to do more to argue their case, and argue it directly. It should have been clear to Peter by now that that Jerkicho knew the votes were headed his way. At this point there is no need to dance around and play games. Both Peter and Michelle needed to stand up and say they are voting Jerkicho, and they are voting Jerkicho because he’s the strongest, and if he goes to the end he will win. It is time to get him out now. Of course, T-Bone being T-Bone there’s every possibility that this could backfire, and she could be the one saying that she’s being bullied into voting a particular way. So if one were to do so, one would have to be careful. Perhaps Michelle’s line to the rest of her tribe mates encouraging them to play their own game was overly cautious. That line might have worked if the ‘get rid of the biggest threat to YOUR end-game’ argument had already been framed. The other option for the two of them, particularly Michelle was to push the bully point harder. Knowing just how much T-Bone hates being told what to do, Michelle could have made it clear to T-Bone that nobody should be bullied, and that Jerkicho’s performance at tribal and pre-tribal was bullying. That may have made it a little harder for T-Bone to vote the way she did. And if it didn’t work, it was at least worth a shot. Perhaps this was what Michelle was alluding to in her ‘play your own game, vote your own way’ line. Unfortunately it was too subtle for Tara to understand that the subtext was (or should have been), ‘Don’t let Jerkicho tell you what to do, Jerkicho is not best for your game’.

I acknowledge that it’s easy for me to sit here in the rocking chair and with the gift of hindsight wax academic about what they should have done. I know it is much, much more difficult in the heat of the moment to frame your argument perfectly, and to effectively counter the arguments of your opponents. Hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to put my money where my mouth is.

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“Hey Mick, want to stick your fingers in my lolly jar?”

Before I go I’ll quickly mention the family visit. While it had me crying as it usually does, the fact that it wasn’t tied to any sort of challenge completely devalued it for me. Is this another Survivor first? Let me know what you think in the comments. Until the finale, I’ve got nothing else for you, head back to camp.


– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

Episode 24 – “Getting Pegged” OR “My T-Bone is the Centrefold”

You don’t have to read minds to know how we got to this point, check out the previous episode’s analysis here!

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#toteshomo

Well that was a waste of an hour of my life. Drop Your Buffs! has always been about the game of Survivor and not the show, so I’ll try not to spend too much time discussing the banality of this episode, but unfortunately there’ll be some things I just can’t avoid. Anyway, let’s make like Peter and break (it) down.

T Pain

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If you think you’re getting anywhere near $500K for an appearance in a ‘dirty magazine’ Tara, I’ve got some bad news for you….

The above may seem a little harsh against Pete, but the truth is listening to Pete talk about his family was the only thing that made me feel anything this episode. I’m a sucker for the family stuff, so it didn’t take me long to get some sympathetic tears flowing. Regardless, the first 15 minutes was all ‘we’ve come so far’. It was a full 15 minutes (without ad break) of uninspired, hackneyed platitudes. That’s a quarter (more than when you factor in ads) of the episode listening to our remaining four essentially say the same thing over and over. How hard it has been to get this far, how they’re so proud of themselves and excited by the prospect of a one in four shot to win $500K. I had to laugh when T-Bone told us that she gave it her all. How many times this season did she tell us she was giving up? Give me a break. Survivor has NEVER been this boring before, the first quarter added NOTHING to the episode, the series, or the individuals’ character arcs. If US Survivor has never served up anything this insipid and vapid, what makes production think that it will work for Australia? Ugh.

Crackin’ Coconuts

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I don’t have a witty (or otherwise) caption for this, it’s just a beautiful shot.

The other bookend to this episode was 15 minutes of our flavourless foursome mostly telling us how, to quote Jerkicho, “the ultimate decision”, could mean the difference between $550K and nothing. Really? I’m pretty daft so you better have each of those players plus J-LaP reiterate that over and over again or there’s a possibility I might not comprehend the gravity of the advantage. This was literal face-palm television.

So when you factor in the challenge itself (which I quite enjoyed) was close to another 15 minutes, that leaves only 15 minutes of actual ‘gameplay’. This gameplay consisted of Jerkicho putting the jury into two groups, the ‘I don’t knows’, and the ‘they’re fines’. Apparently Tessa is the only one who doesn’t fall into either of these groups because “I don’t know if she respects gameplay or…”. Doesn’t the “I don’t know” part of that sentence put her into the ‘I don’t know’ group?! Fark me, this was like pulling teeth. Barely watchable. That’s enough episode bashing for now, let’s talk gameplay.

Cleaning the Trash Out of the Room

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When you ask Jericho about the mile high club…

The only strategy to chew on tonight was all about which jury member you vote out. And that particular morsel is wafer thin. Of course, you want to vote out the one who is unlikely to vote for you, and who is likely the most vocal about it. I liked that he asked the rest of the players for their opinions. The more info you’ve got on your opponent’s motivations and opinions on how the jury will vote the better. To not do so when given the opportunity would leave you with a myopic view of the opinions of the jury. Of course, they’re going to try and influence you, but there’s valuable info to glean from that. Incidentally did I miss something in the unveiling of the advantage? I didn’t know he could ask questions of the jury until we got to tribal council. I assume he was aware of that some time before council started. I can’t argue against his choice of questions and to whom he asked them. Having never seen this situation before it’s not something I’ve ever pondered. I understand this is the first time ever in US and Aus Survivor history that the remaining players have been able to communicate with the jury prior to the final tribal (fill me in if I’m mistaken). I guess that’s kind of a big deal. I particularly liked the question he asked Anneliese, concerning what might make her sway her mind in a final tribal speech. Nice one. It gives Jerkicho something to consider when developing the speech. Unfortunately, it gives his opponents the same info, but I’d prefer to have the info and know that my opponents did too, than not have the info and be wondering if I’m barking up the wrong tree. One thing I wonder about his decision to vote out Tessa (so fuggin sad to see her go, that’s when I REALLY REALLY cried, would have loved to see her exit interview), is would he have kept her had she picked Michelle as the weakest? I suspect he intends to take Michelle to the end if he can help it, so maybe that’s why he chose Tessa to go. He couldn’t trust that she wouldn’t vote for Michelle. I hope that we find out the specific motivations behind his questions when his game finishes, because I’m certainly intrigued. We may even find out at the finale. I’d like to think that if he makes it to the end, he would leverage this part of his game into his story. Explaining what he did with his opportunity, and how it helped him.

Sweetening up the Competition

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Be careful Michelle, you’ll never guess what Happened to the last person T-Bone ‘let into her sugary  bucket’ 

Before I go, could it be argued that T-Bone’s offer of lollies to Michelle is strategic gameplay? Well in T-Bone’s mind it was. I guess at this point she’s got nothing to lose. If it works, great. Another tool in the tool bag, in more ways than one. If not, whatevs. Hopefully we’ll have more to discuss tomorrow, if the preview is anything to go by, with family visits on the agenda, it looks like it will be another tears one. I got nothing else for you. Head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

Episode 23 – ‘Up All Night To Get Locky’ OR ‘Daft Punk Dumb Jock’

If you need a security blanket before diving into this episode’s analysis, check out the analysis of the previous episode here!

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Care to provide some evidence for that claim….

Alright Featherheads, I’m going to have to make this short and sweet (Like AK’s reign). I’m sick as a mofo and have to crawl into bed. But I’m a committed sick mofo, so let’s celebrate the departure of everybody’s least loved Alien vs Predator Guy (what the heck does that mean Jerkicho?) with brief analysis of a pretty straightforward episode.

Harder, Better, 2 Seconds Slower, Stronger

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….that’s a more accurate claim.

Thanks Locky for telling everyone 50 times that you were only beaten by two seconds. Michelle had literally just won her first immunity challenge so the time was perfect to remind everyone how awesome you are and that it is all about you. I have to give some credit where it is due. He was sharp enough to pick up the idol clue and fabric scrap that Anneliese dropped. I don’t know why it took him at least ten days to do anything with it. Surely in that ten days he could try and fashion an idol out of it. Sure, everybody knows by now just what an idol looks like, they’re quite distinctive this season, so I’ll concede that the task is harder than it sounds. More credit to the effort he put in scrambling tonight. Though, I would imagine that the best way to get T-Bone back on side would not be to call her a flipper and start an argument with her and tell her she did the wrong thing. If he had to beg, plead, for her sympathy, he should have tried, if the game meant so much to he (not a typo…sing it). The big dill. But of course Locky’s ego wouldn’t allow him to talk to her any other way. So that stuff aside, I guess he really tried using just about everything he had in him. The question is, is there more he could have done this episode that might have saved himself, short of winning immunity again. I can’t think of anything. He tried different tactics for different players, and even had Michelle believing that he saw her as a threat. I really don’t see anything else he could have done. Let me know if there’s anything you think of below.

Idol Chatter

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“A la peanut butter sandwiches!!” Locky conjures an idol.

I would like to say that I’m shocked that MT believed he had an idol, but I’m not. Peter seemed to be the only one smart enough to request that he show it. His line about the power of the idol and the move is only powerful if you don’t show it being one of the most interesting bullshit excuses I’ve ever heard on Survivor. Particularly if you factor in that this was the last tribal an idol could be played, so if he really had it he had nothing to lose. If you’ve really got an idol why would you scramble so much. As Phoebe and Kristie showed last season, if you’ve got an idol, the play here is to let everyone think that you’re resigned to going home, then spring the idol at tribal. That he shared he had an idol was all the proof needed that he didn’t have an idol. Though I don’t disagree with Michelle’s thinking in voting Peter. I’ll also point out how impressed I was that T-Bone showed actual competency and presence of mind in noting Locky’s reaction to losing the challenge. Well done T-Bone.

Holden Hope

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Oh. What a feeling…

Credit to Michelle for her immunity win. If you had asked me a month ago if I could see myself yelling “GO MICHELLE, GO” at the tv, I would have choked on my papaya. And yet, there I was…
I understand her thinking that by voting against Pete she had an ally in Locky if he really did have an idol, but it shouldn’t have gotten to that. She should have given him an ultimatum, “show me your idol, and I’ll vote with you”. She didn’t seem to do that. Had she done so I’d like to think there is no way that Locky could convince her that he had it. But, he did convince here that he thought she was a threat, so I guess it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities. This is Michelle we’re talking about. What’s her plan now? Nothing has changed for my final four from what I suggested last analysis. Buddy up and be ostensibly two strong, then form a secret alliance with one person of the remaining two and go to the end together. This holds for each of the remaining four. And of course, look for some advantage and try like hell to win immunity. I imagine there is an advantage or twist yet to come. Last season there were 26 episodes. If we’re to have 26 episodes again this season, that means there’s an episode without an eviction of a player on the horizon. Given that Channel Ten has heavily promoted Wake In Fright as airing at 8:30 this Sunday, I’d say that any such twist will be next episode.

Human After All?

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And he don’t mean Greatest Of All Time… (or God Of All Texas)

The only other thing of note to mention this episode is how much the term ‘goat’ was thrown around, and how much our players, Peter particularly, distanced themselves from that descriptor. I was surprised that people wanted to point out how well they had played the game at this point in the game. J-LaP made a good point, one that I have made in the past, and that is that the goat can be seen as a threat because they could take one of the coveted final spots. I don’t believe that holds true this late in the game and with a final four comprised solely of goats. If you believe you’ve got a solid resume to present at final tribal council, present it at final tribal council. Don’t present it here and have people think you could beat them. It also allows them to develop counterpoints to your argument should they face you at final tribal. So needless to say I thought it was foolish of Peter to do that tonight. I understand it though. Locky had changed the conversation. Proposing the old, “if you want to be the best, beat the best” argument. An argument I have never agreed with. My counter-argument being, if you think someone (like Locky) is the best competition, then you’ve already beaten them by voting them out when you did (like tonight). If you disagree, I’d love to hear arguments as to why you might think that being labelled a goat (or sheep) tonight would be a baaaad thing (yes, that just happened. I told you I was sick).

So that’s all I’ve got for tonight. Until Sunday, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

Episode 22 – ‘Think, Quick’ OR ‘Stale, Mate’

If you haven’t read the previous episode’s analysis you can get your sugar fix here.

A reasonably straightforward episode with a reasonably straightforward outcome. I think that is pretty much what we can expect from the remaining three or four episodes with this cast of clowns. That this is our final five is further testament to what I mentioned last analysis, that there needs to be some sort of shake-up of the Australian format. I DON’T WANT ANY OF THESE PEOPLE TO WIN! And I’m sure I’m not the only one. I need to make like Tessa and put my emotion aside so that I can continue with this analysis, but with so few people left, and so few strategic options, there’ll be little to discuss, but let’s make like T-Bone and have rice for breakfast on Mother’s Day. And by that I mean, get on with it.

Should Have Zagged.

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Last Supper

The one thing that bugged me for almost the entire episode was Ziggy’s inability to search for other options for herself. Surely it’s as clear to everyone out there playing the game as it is to us here on our couches, that Tara is in no way reliable, dependable, or predictable. That makes her the biggest threat to your game (to clarify, NOT the biggest threat to WIN the game). To me Ziggy’s best play this episode would have been to approach the Peter, Jerkicho, and Michelle alliance (P, J & M) and propose to them that neither side can bank on her vote, that because no-one can know which way she will go, she’s a threat to everyone’s game. Both side’s game rested on her vote.

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Playing dumb, or dumb playing?

Now it is possible that Jerkicho and his gang knew they had T-Bone all along. How tribal played out would suggest otherwise (more on this later). It is also possible that had Ziggy proposed such a move, that P, J & M could just agree with the move, tell her that they would vote for T-Bone, and vote Ziggy anyway. Regardless, it was worth a shot for Ziggy. She may have got a feeling that they weren’t as strong as they presented. Instead, she seemed to sit back and hope that T-Bone would vote with her. Even when P, J & M went on a targeted offensive at tribal to flip T-Bone like she’s been on a searing BBQ for two minutes, Ziggy still didn’t fight to gain T-Bone’s vote. Instead digging in her heels. And while I won’t say that this is why she went home, without showing any strategic tenacity she was never going to get further. AND SHE (nor anyone) DIDN’T EVEN SEARCH FOR AN IDOL?!?!?! (I assume). Was flipping the right move for T-Bone though?

 

Bonehead

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Just at tribal???

Why is Tara so steadfastly aligned with Ziggy? Does she seriously think she can beat Ziggy in a final two?!?! Incidentally there was a lot of talk about a final three in this episode. Does anyone think this is what will occur this season? Has anybody heard any rumours? Let me know below. Back to T-Bone. For me it was a no-brainer that she should have voted against Ziggy. What now for her? Doesn’t really matter because she can’t win. Based on the numbers I ran last week, the only person she has any possibility of beating is Michelle. With this being the case, I would argue her best play from here, notwithstanding that everybody rightly wants Locky gone, is to propose a final two with Michelle. As the two solid underdogs everybody wants to take them to the final two. Once Locky is gone (hopefully he’ll lose an immunity challenge soon) this scenario would leave Jerkicho and Peter to vie for Michell and T-Bone’s vote. A powerful position to be in. If we are left with a Michelle and T-Bone finale, I will be a very dissatisfied Survivor fan. With this a distinct possibility, what should Jerkicho and Peter be doing to prevent that?

Pearl Jam (P & J, yeah it’s weak I know)

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🎵Jericho spoke in, claaaaaass today🎵

Well, for these two, the best bet is to do the same thing that I’ve proposed above for MT (oh yeah, say those two letters fast and tell me it’s not an apt descriptor for Michelle and Tara!!). To band together against MT (again, once Locky is gone), as I would argue that they are more likely to win immunity than MT, then each of them has to hope they can win the final immunity so they can choose who to take to the end. For Jerkicho, based on last weeks numbers, he can beat them all. Peter should be able to beat MT in a final two.
The possibility that Locky could realistically win every immunity between now and the end is something that should be factored in though. How on earth do you manage that spanner (yes, by spanner I do mean both that this scenario would be a ‘spanner in the works’, and that Locky is a tool)?

Tickle The Boxes

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That he couldn’t see that he was asking of Michelle exactly what he refused to do for Michelle speaks volumes regarding his ego.

“MY GIRLS!!!” This two word utterance from Locky tells you everything you need to know about the chauvinistic, entitled, domineering, arrogant way he has played this game. Fuck me I hope he doesn’t win. I’ll admit that he is very good at challenges, and tonight, unsurprisingly he showed he was good at spinning shit. But that is where any credit I give him ends. He’s shat me since day one, and to be honest has been lucky to make it this far. I’d love for someone out there to count just how many times he voted the wrong way at tribal (let me know below).
Unfortunately, based on last week’s analysis, and now that Ziggy is out of the picture, if he makes the final two at this point, he is a shoo in. So as I’ve alluded to above, the first thought in the minds of the other four is, and should be, getting rid of Locky. Each of these four though also needs to do their best to convince Locky that they will solidly vote with him in the event he continues to win, and hope that he chooses them to take to the end. And I’ll say it one more time just so that nobody could possibly misunderstand, EVERYONE SHOULD BE HUNTING FOR IDOLS!

Before I go I will quickly note how impressed I was with the pressure that P, J & M applied to Tara at tribal council. Without this directed focussed pressure, she arguably would have voted the other way. But P, J & M were savvy enough to realise that if they Turned up the hit on the T-Bone, pretty soon she would be ready to flip.

Well, that ought to be enough from me for now, time to take my antibiotics, put on a Survivor podcast, and drift off to sleep. I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

 

– Russell Feathers

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)