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)

Episode 20 – ‘Michelle Shocked’ OR ‘Once Bitten, Twice ‘Chelle’

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I’ve easily watched this at least a hundred times since it aired…

Where to start on tonight’s episode? When the highlight of the episode is charades you know there’s not too much strategy to talk about. A snack pack of popcorn chicken is meatier than this episode. Let’s not get in a flap about it though, I fuggin LOVED the charades. I don’t know that I’ve ever laughed so hard at reality television before. Has T-Bone ever seen an octopus or a moth? Well done Channel Ten/Endemol Shine. You’ve really brought your A game to the challenges this season. Although I do question the immunity challenge in this episode. Can anyone tell me if we’ve ever seen this type of head to head tournament for individual immunity before? I don’t like it. It’s much more suited to reward or tribal immunity. Anyway, that’s enough talk about Survivor the show, let’s talk about Survivor the game.

Sarah. Sarah. No Time is a Good Time for Goodbyes

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Actual footage of a cat about to drown.

This result is completely down to Sarah’s social game. Sarah told everyone this episode not to be emotional, but emotional intelligence is exactly what she needed tonight. I’m not suggesting that Sarah is a cold person in general. I don’t know if the stress and the game is getting to her. But a bucket of nuggets could see that Michelle needed more engagement than what Sarah gave her. I don’t want to get into the previous episode too much or I’ll be writing until dawn, but had I posted analysis last night, I would have agreed with Luke’s assessment not to tell Michelle what was happening regarding the Tessa vote. That agreement though would have come with caveats. That either she is told directly before, or at, tribal council, or failing that, that she is bought back into the fold ASAP post tribal council. Now Sarah told us during tribal that she did try talking to Michelle after the decision. The conversation that we did see (THE NEXT DAY!) between Michelle and Sarah was as awkward as the joke T-Bone tried to tell before the reward challenge.

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The reward may have been for KFC, but this was no Zinger…

The conversation basically went the way of Michelle telling her alliance that she felt hurt and betrayed and couldn’t trust them further. To which Sarah responded by coldly trying to tell Michelle why she was wrong, and why this is better for her. You can’t logic someone’s emotions away, it doesn’t work. The only way to change emotion is to connect emotionally. Then once Michelle feels heard to understood, then she can listen to the logic of your plan. Hell, you don’t even need to try and convince her of the logic or the game plan. You need her as a number, let her feel that you’ll do whatever she wants on the next vote. Once it was clear to everyone that Michelle was unhappy and likely to flip, it was game over for Sarah, there was little she could do, the numbers became unassailable. If there was any sentiment in Samatau that they may be willing to vote Michelle, Sarah did not do her best to bolster it. She actually never made a case that it should be Michelle. I guess during tribal she was still trying to hide from Michelle that her name was on the chopping block, but what she should have been doing is undermining Michelle and detailing how unpredictable and emotional she is, and therefore a liability in this game. To be honest though, I don’t think it would have helped. At this stage of the game people will always take out a threat before they take out an easy vote. Particulalry if they can have that easy vote vote with them in future tribals. Tessa made a well-articulated point in the previous tribal. That is that it’s important to understand what is good for your opponents game and what is in their best interests. It seems Sarah completely missed that. Luke and Jerkicho knew it, making it a seven vote landslide against Sarah. The other option she has once she knows her name is on the chopping block (and it seemed pretty clear to her it was) is to present an even juicier target than Michelle or herself, Ziggy. You don’t even need Michelle for that, all you need is Luke, Jerkicho, Tara, and Peter. That could have been worth a shot. Perhaps knowing that Michelle was gunning for her actually did affect her emotionally, and did not allow her to see that there were other moves ahead than retaliating against Michelle.

Big Bash Luke

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GIF captioner got it wrong, what he actually sang was “I know Asaga will get on your nerves”, and he was singing to Michelle…

Luke did somewhat better than Sarah in placating Michelle. Firstly he approached her directly after tribal. During this interaction, unlike Sarah, he engaged with her emotionally, looked her in the eye. It looked like he apologised. And for his part during the above in tent conversation with his alliance, he literally lay down, and let Sarah take the heat. He and Jerkicho were also smart enough to realise that there was no changing her mind, and that voting against her would only damage the relationship they need with her, particularly now that Sarah is gone. So what can they do now? I don’t know that I’ve discussed this before but often thought it; Luke’s strategy seems to be take down whoever he sees as the biggest threat whenever he can. I can’t really argue with that strategy, he’s made it this far, and could actually win the game with it. And I hate to say it, but of the seven players we now have remaining, he’s probably most deserving. Just a smidge above Ziggy. Oh gee that’s a sad thought, considering the caliber of some of the players we started with. Anyway, my point is that I don’t think he considers the ramifications of his actions beyond the immediate. This was clear for the Tessa vote. While I’m sure he sees Sarah as an eventual threat, he needed her for at least one more vote. So I am surprised he didn’t try harder to get the vote off her and try and shift it toward Ziggy as suggested above. I guess it was too late to put in all the work required to pull that off. Anyway, Luke’s and Jerkicho’s best bet now is with both Michelle and Peter in the game, move on Locky and Ziggy. They need to be split, now. Admittedly, if Locky and Ziggy are still around two more votes then they’ll likely turn on each other (again in Ziggy’s case). They can’t wait for this to happen, because I’ve no doubt that Luke and Jerkicho are in Locky’s and Ziggy’s sights. Speaking of Ziggy, how ‘bout that idol play?

Gettin’ Ziggy With(out) It

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Whatever KFC paid to have their products on Survivor, it was worth it for this GIF… K-Fucking Ching

I don’t blame her at all for playing her immunity idol. I think it’s more indicative of her paranoia than it is of any poor game-awareness. Things are at fever pitch, there’s blindside’s coming left, right and centre. While you wouldn’t say that the previous tribal went against her, she was just as blind-sided by it as Tessa was. I’d be jumpy too. Of course she’d be better off keeping it, but I’d much rather look like a fool playing it when I didn’t need to and staying in the game, than not playing it when I had it and being booted out. She’s a target with or without it. Without the safety buffer it affords her though, she really needs a friend. Hello Peter! We really are in a situation where we have power players, and their goats. Locky has Tara (for now). Locky and Jerkicho have Michelle. Peter is a goat without a home. Ziggy can be that home. From there it’s a matter of splitting Luke and Jerkicho, then taking out Locky. Easier said than done, but certainly easier if you have Peter in your pocket. This may not suit Peter though.

Playing it for Himself

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Totes homo

I loved Peter telling Ziggy to play the idol for Michelle. If he was sincere, it does suggest that his maths is not great. Either he suspects that Locky or Tara were voting against Michelle (unlikely), or he played it for the reason I hope he played it for, to make Michelle believe that he is with her. There are very few people he can beat in a tribal council, so he needs to work with Tara and Michelle. As I did last year at around this point, I’ll run through these numbers in more detail in the next post. Before I go though…

“I’m not being emotional, I’m just hurt and pissed off and disappointed”

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….and now we’ve seen The Hangover 4…

Oh Michelle. This is terrible play. She really is blinded by her emotions. Yes, she was left out of a big decision, but now she has one less ally. It’s not all bad though. She hasn’t completely burned her bridges with Luke and Jerkicho. And while Locky and Ziggy will drop her without a second thought once they feel she’s no longer useful, Peter is still an option for her. I can’t even begin to think where T-Bone sits in all this though. I have no idea what her game plan is other than to do whatever Locky says, and if we are to believe the preview for the next episode, then it seems she won’t be doing that much longer anyway. If we believe the preview.

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🎵Let me roll with your body baby, make you feel hot🎵

I think that’s going to have to do for this post. I know I haven’t talked much about Locky, but that’s mostly just because I couldn’t think of a Locky/Loggy pun funny enough to be worthy of inclusion. Perhaps I need to ask T-Bone for some tips. Hopefully Locky is still about after the next episode so that I can spend some time contemplating the future of his game. Until then, 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)

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OK, just one more… DO DO DO The Funky Gibbon

Episode 15 – ‘One Night Stand’ OR ‘Gang of Four’

Don’t let there be any big surprises at this tribal (ffs how many times did J-LaP ask about that tonight?), check the previous episode’s analysis here!

I don’t understand what these people on Asaga are doing. Am I obtuse? Do I not understand this game at all? Perhaps there was a lot here that we didn’t see or was edited out. I’m not saying I disagree with the choice to take out Odette, I just don’t understand people’s justifications. Particularly with T-Bone still in the mix(ed grill).

Anyway let’s make like Luke in the jungle and search for some meaning in all of this.

Unhappy Family

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TFW there’s more letters in your tribe name than members of your tribe

Before I get into individual gameplay I have to say how shocked I was at the amount of strategy disclosed during tribal tonight. Everybody sitting on the log tonight seemed more than happy to tell J-LaP, and thus the rest of the tribe, what their game plan was going forward. Not even in a fake-out way to trick Odette. I guess that tells us that this group of people are pretty much exhausted and done working with one another, or completely comfortable with one another (which I really can’t believe). I can’t see any other justification short of sheer stupidity, or at the very least, poor cognizance that this disclosure could actually work against them. It’s not very often that I make solid predictions, but contrary to Odette’s opinion I have to believe that none of these people can win this game.

Free(d) Agent

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Odette learns a new word…

There’s not much to say about Odette that I haven’t said before. Floating can only work for so long. I know there’s people out there that thought that this floating, much like Kristie’s last season, could take her all the way. The difference between Odette and Kristie is that Kristie actually did make strategic decisions about where she would float to. Odette’s strategy on the other hand seemed to be to just vote with the majority every time. And given she didn’t know what the majority was, that it seemed to come down to her, she couldn’t make an actual decision. She even went as far as saying that she would toss a coin, and I don’t think she was just saying that. I get the impression that if there was a coin on island she would have done that. And when she told camp (I’m not sure who was there exactly, if you know leave a comment below) that she would do that I was shocked. That sort of behaviour has never worked in Survivor. It didn’t work for Sean back in the very first season of US Survivor almost twenty years ago, just like it didn’t work for Barry last year. We suspected all along that Odette really didn’t understand this game, last episode she showed that she had no idea what the phrase ‘swing vote’ really meant, that you have the power to swing the vote your way. Again she had that power tonight and completely squandered it. Anybody who knows anything about how to play this game would take the opportunity to analyse what they can do with that power, not just for tonight’s vote but for their future game, and maneuver accordingly. You know what, y’all know this stuff, I’m not going to go on talking about what she did wrong. It’s all very obvious to even the johnniest of come-latelies. She seems like a really lovely person who I’d love to get to know, but Survivor is not her bag, at least not this season. I’d love to see her come back and play again having (hopefully) learned more about how to play this great game. T-Bone on the other hand…

River Dunce

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🎵…flippie to the flippie, to the flip, flip, flop, and you don’t stop a rock it, to the bang, bang boogie…🎵

I should preface this next section by acknowledging the possibility that my personal preference or otherwise toward Tara as a person could cloud my strategic view. I suspect that were I on island with Tara, she and I would not get along. I find her irksome and I cringe whenever I see her onscreen. So it’s possible that the following is more a reflection of my distaste for her than my disrespect of her game and where she stands in the game dynamic.
Why was T-Bone not the easy vote tonight? I would argue that she’s a greater threat than Odette post merge. She is just as unpredictable as Odette if not more-so. And she has ties to Samatau. Could they be looking at her as a goat? She is a very risky goat. Likely to flip (and flop) at a moment’s notice. Why her name did not come up tonight (or at least we didn’t see it) has me completely bum-puzzled. Having said that, she now is in a good position to get as far as her personality and gameplay allow her. Which way should she be going post-merge? Well she has to assess her options. We don’t know exactly what her old Samatau friends; Locky, Anneliese, and even Pirate Petey think about working with her. One would assume Locky would take whatever alliance is going at the moment. She needs to suss this out and let the big, noise-making players take the heat while she finds her path.

Model Prisoner in the Five-Senses Realm

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Sarah – “Perhaps you shouldn’t be such a jerk then jerk”

I mentioned in my last analysis, and previously in the series, that Sarah needs a wingman, and that wingman should be Odette. While I do feel that riding this trio train (plus the T-Bone caboose) into merge station is safer than shuffling in as part of an Asaga divided, I stand by the decision that she needs a wingman. Perhaps she sees Pirate Petey as that wingman. Good luck if that’s the case. The foursome she is riding in with will only stay together for so long, and I’ve no doubt she knows that. Having Odette loyally by her side (if of course Odette could have ever been convinced to be loyal and join a strong twosome) would have helped her ride the storm once Jerkicho and Luke inevitably decided to sever ties. I do agree with her however that tonight was not the night to try and lose Luke. So notwithstanding that I think it was better to get rid of T-Bone than Odette, if she had tried to lose Luke, then the risk was too strong that this could backfire and put her back in the immediate firing line. Much better that she let him go to merge as her shield, as he now looks to Samatau that he was running the show in Asaga. She can keep that shield for as long as works for her while she finds another path to the end with the other players. I shouldn’t dismiss the strategic possibility of actually really joining Luke and Jerkicho as a solid threesome to the end. While I’d like to think that this option should remain open for strategic reasons, the reality is that there is too much animosity between them for that to occur.

Circle Jerk

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I thought “A-game to the A-frame” was the worst J-LaPism I’d ever heard until he followed it a minute later with “near the end of the limit!”….so you mean, like, the ‘limit’???

Firstly, what is it with Jerkicho and his war metaphors? Fuggin christianity… Anyway, I do have to give credit to Jerkicho for a few things today. His performance in the challenge was nothing short of powerful. Well done. Also well done for the way he made Odette feel comfortable about the impending vote. For a while there, I wasn’t sure what he was doing, I thought he was putting a target on his own back by so openly strategising with Odette directly after his alliance had all seemingly agreed Odette was the target. I suspect there was a conversation there amongst the foursome that we did not see. That it was agreed that Jerkicho should go and talk to O to make her feel comfortable. Other than that I don’t think I saw anything from Jerkicho that interested me.

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“Clearing out the forest” – actual footage of Luke trimming his pubes again

Same goes for Luke. Again, I agree that it was time to set enmity aside and take out Odette as an easy vote, rather than raise Sarah’s hackles and consequently raise the risk that he could go tonight, and hope they’ll merge shortly. I’m unsure whether it is better for him to keep T-Bone over Odette. Is it possible that he still thinks that he can sway Tara? I can see that he would be arrogant enough to think so. For him I suspect it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. He’s not interested in either long term. From here though, with a merge on the horizon, it might be time to turn on the charm offensive and try his luck as a number with either of he Samatau alliances. Either way it will be interesting to see just what happens for him during the merge, particularly what happens between he and Zenry, given Zenry is in a weak position within his Samatau homies.

That will do for tonight. Overall this was a somewhat boring episode, but when it comes to ‘reality tv’ they can’t all be staggeringly stupendous. Until merge 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)