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S40.E14: It All Boils Down to This

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4 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

That's a pretty good average for Sarah. Also a good time to point out that Rob's average is now one win out of 5 times playing. 

 

I'm a huge Rob fan, but his game definitely hasn't aged well. He also refuses to change it up and risk looking weak. At this point I'm over seeing players more than 3 times, even if I'm a big fan. This includes Rob, Parvati, Tony, Sarah, Cirie, Ozzie, Malcolm, Tyson, etc. 

I do want to see new players take the stage, but the worry is that in recent years a lot of them have been super boring. Maybe another second chances season with players like Dom and Rick Devens would be interesting. Winners I'd like to see back for Season 50 would be Earl, Todd, Sophie, Natalie, Michelle, Kim, Tommy and maybe Adam for entertainment purposes.

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My money was on a Tony win for weeks now as no one dominated like him. I was excited to see Natalie get back in it and she did well with the limited time she had left, but kind of floundered in the final tribal council. Michelle was much more well-spoken and made a good case so it was sad to see she didn't get any votes.

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But at least Natalie got some votes and is the first woman finalist to get jury votes since S35's Chrissy (which don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of the latter part of this sentence). And Michelle has never had her torch snuffed in her Survivor career.

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But between Tony's dominance and the entire jury eating out of his hand every time he spoke, it was easy to see how the votes would go. And while I don't agree that Natalie should have given up immunity to take on the fire-making challenge, I do have to agree that she should have done more to oust Tony, which I didn't really see from her. Her beelining  for Sarah, Tony's ride or die Cops R Us that was not exactly a secret, was not the best move as there was no breaking up that twosome. Her better bet was to pull in Denise and tell her she wasn't going further than final 4 by sticking with Tony & company. She had a better shot at F3 and winning with her slaying of Sandra with her own idol. 

Elsewhere, that fire making challenge was EPIC. And Ben, who has grated on me a LOT this season, melted my heart as he threw himself on the sword for Sarah as he was more concerned with keeping the friends he made then going further in the game. SMH at myself.

I liked the moments with the EOE after the Nat is back challenge as I think, for many, this was their Survivor swan song. And yes, I love seeing Rob and Amber's obvious love for each other after all these years. 

I have to say that this show was one of the bright spots in this season of covid-19 and I'm bummed that there won't be any more episodes for a while.

Off to read everyone else's thoughts.

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On 5/15/2020 at 7:20 AM, tracyscott76 said:

I hesitate to say this, but I'm going to anyway.

I get that people don't like Rob, are tired of him, think he's a bully, that he's bitter against Natalie (maybe he just...didn't think she deserved to win, or at least that Tony did more? I can relate) but it's kind of too bad that some of the anti-Rob statements have to repeatedly say that he's old and fat. Similar to how some of the anti-Sarah comments throughout the season took shots at her appearance (I mean, I don't really care for her either, but c'mon).

Anyway. Carry on.

From where I sit, "old" and "fat" Rob looks pretty damn good to me.

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4 hours ago, skybolt said:

I'm a huge Rob fan, but his game definitely hasn't aged well. He also refuses to change it up and risk looking weak. At this point I'm over seeing players more than 3 times, even if I'm a big fan. This includes Rob, Parvati, Tony, Sarah, Cirie, Ozzie, Malcolm, Tyson, etc

Yea I think 3 should probably be the limit. If you haven't won by your third time you will almost certainly never win. As mentioned above Andrea is probably one of my favorite players partially because at the end of game changers (I think) she realized that her game was played out, she had no chance of winning future seasons, and there was no point coming back.

And I really hope Rob never comes back, because unless they set him up with another gimmy type season he is never winning again.

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3 hours ago, CountryGirl said:

But between Tony's dominance and the entire jury eating out of his hand every time he spoke, it was easy to see how the votes would go. And while I don't agree that Natalie should have given up immunity to take on the fire-making challenge, I do have to agree that she should have done more to oust Tony, which I didn't really see from her. Her beelining  for Sarah, Tony's ride or die Cops R Us that was not exactly a secret, was not the best move as there was no breaking up that twosome. Her better bet was to pull in Denise and tell her she wasn't going further than final 4 by sticking with Tony & company. She had a better shot at F3 and winning with her slaying of Sandra with her own idol. 

The decision of Natalie and Michele's that makes the least sense to me is why they left Sarah in the game. They were in no danger if it came down to a tie in that scenario, there were no rocks to be pulled. Sarah and Denise would have had to make fire and the chips would fall where they may at that point. That was the chance to break up the Tony/Sarah/Ben trio and while Denise was close to Ben, she wasn't tied to Tony the way Sarah was. 

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Elsewhere, that fire making challenge was EPIC. And Ben, who has grated on me a LOT this season, melted my heart as he threw himself on the sword for Sarah as he was more concerned with keeping the friends he made then going further in the game. SMH at myself.

That was probably Ben's most likable moment, but I'd be pissed if I were his wife. He wasn't likely to win, but he could have brought home a not-insignificant chunk of change even as a 3rd place finisher. These "friends" that he made are people who I assume don't live nearby and aren't going to be part of his life on a day-to-day basis. It seemed like a highly emotional decision that may not hold up after the fact. 

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16 hours ago, watchingtvaddict said:

I watched that season of Amazing Race and I can’t believe I actually like twinee... I think I really like the juxtaposition of one twin being voted out first while the other twin won. 

Yeah, the first time Natalie played I was shocked by how much I liked her. Because I hated, despised, and pretty much loathed the Twinnies on Amazing Race. Nails on a chalkboard, those two.

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17 hours ago, watchingtvaddict said:

I watched that season of Amazing Race and I can’t believe I actually like twinee... I think I really like the juxtaposition of one twin being voted out first while the other twin won. 

It is the editing, it has to be.  They pretty much showed only the positive side on Survivor, but on TAR they probably had no other choice but to show how she really is.  Also, maybe her sister brings out the worst parts of her personality.  They are the TAR version of the Kray twins.

11 hours ago, CountryGirl said:

From where I sit, "old" and "fat" Rob looks pretty damn good to me.

I just quoted you because I think your avatar is awesome.  Any avatar with a cat in it deserves to be pointed out.

1 hour ago, 30 Helens said:

Yeah, the first time Natalie played I was shocked by how much I liked her. Because I hated, despised, and pretty much loathed the Twinnies on Amazing Race. Nails on a chalkboard, those two.

I felt the same way and as much as I hate to admit it I was softening to her a little.  At one point I even thought, "If I only saw her play Survivor, I would probably like her."  But then I saw the finale and remember just why I despised her.  Well her and her sisters were also thieves and that was a big reason.

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Listening to Sarah's interview, she noted that players in the real game thought that their tokens to buy advantages went to a Survivor bank instead of the EoE players who sent the advantage. If they had known that the EoE players could use these tokens to buy advantages, large peanut butter jars and immunity idols, it would have completely changed their thought process in paying for these advantages. She specifically mentioned the 8 tokens spent by Nick and Michelle for a minor challenge disadvantage. This is a huge deal since it puts the players still in the game at a disadvantage because the rules were not shared with them like the EoE players. Other things she disliked about EoE are similar to complaints noted on these boards:

1.) Returning player having vital information with respect to how people were voting and all the secrets shared from recent vote outs. She specifically mentioned how demoralized Ben was after Natalie told him over and over again that everyone hated him on the jury.

2.) It was unfair that the returning EoE player could buy an idol or advantages with their fire tokens, but in the real game they couldn't do that. She mentioned how upset everyone was back at camp when Natalie played the idol at final 6.

3.) She hated the idea of what she called participation tokens, especially if in the real game only the challenge winner received tokens.

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On 5/16/2020 at 11:43 AM, 3jt said:

If Jeff and team wanted to do something REALLY different this season, instead of throwing more crap into the game, they should have gone back to their roots and recreated the conditions of season 1. No HII, no stupid currency, no EOE. Minimal food, basic challenges, and conditions that will kick your ass. 

It would have been a great concept for an all winners season! I would love to see something like that.

I do remember (I think? I am pretty sure I read that somewhere but can't remember where) Jeff saying they wanted to showcase how the game as evolved since the beginning, so there was no way they were going to go back to the way season 1 was. 

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On 5/16/2020 at 11:30 PM, skybolt said:

Speaking of, Tyson was the only one who stated that he was voting for Natalie no matter what happens at tribal and it was solely based on her giving him the immunity idol. He was also going to try and rally the rest to vote for her. Apparently this is ok, but Rob asking what everyone is thinking makes him a jackass. This is basically what I hate about EoE. Since Natalie had a gazillion fire tokens she could basically bribe Tyson with an immunity idol without any repercussions. If you do something like that in the real game, you risk getting blindsided like Sandra.

I am in total agreement with you regarding EoE. If somehow the players on the main island were made aware of what's happening on EoE, I'd have less of a problem with the whole Edge concept. I don't like that this season (I don't remember if it was like that in the first Edge season) the main players had no clue of the happenings on the Edge, while the Edge players knew everything that was happening on the main island due to them sitting as the jury. It created a very unfair unbalanced playing field, IMO.

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Very interesting tidbit from Sarah's interview. She mentioned that Natalie sat down with her at final 4 and said that she's going to have Michelle go up against Tony in the fire making challenge. Her reasoning was that A.) she was not doing it and hadn't practiced, B.) Michelle was not winning, even if she beat Tony, and C.) Sarah would benefit from winning the fire making challenge.

Throughout the whole day Sarah went through the numbers. Her worst fear was that if Tony beat Michelle, then her and Tony would split votes giving Natalie the win. She said that in her mind she was thinking her and Tony would tie at 6-6 with her getting Yul, Sophie, Ben, Denise, Dani and Kim. Her worry was that since Rob disliked her and Ben for voting him out, he would switch his and Amber's vote from Tony to Natalie to give her the win if the votes were even all around. I think this is mostly based on what Natalie had told her about how Parvati and Rob were talking smack about her and Ben's game back at camp, which could've been false.

Anyway, ten minutes before they left for tribal, she approached Natalie and told her that she can beat Tony at the fire making challenge. She also noted that both her and Natalie saw how long it took Michelle to make fire and that she had very little chance at beating Tony. That's when Natalie switched her decision.

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3 hours ago, skybolt said:

Listening to Sarah's interview, she noted that players in the real game thought that their tokens to buy advantages went to a Survivor bank instead of the EoE players who sent the advantage. If they had known that the EoE players could use these tokens to buy advantages, large peanut butter jars and immunity idols, it would have completely changed their thought process in paying for these advantages. She specifically mentioned the 8 tokens spent by Nick and Michelle for a minor challenge disadvantage. This is a huge deal since it puts the players still in the game at a disadvantage because the rules were not shared with them like the EoE players.

If this is true, that's total, unbalanced b.s. Though I wonder what the players thought a "Survivor bank" would be.

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1 hour ago, tracyscott76 said:

If this is true, that's total, unbalanced b.s. Though I wonder what the players thought a "Survivor bank" would be.

Not sure, but they may have assumed there's a finite number of fire tokens in the game. Whatever fire tokens were used for advantages, would be banked and later return in the game in the form of as a prize for the person winning an immunity challenge. It does appear that Tyson decided not to share much about EoE when he came back to the game after the merge.

IMO, I think they should've waited to put advantages and fire tokens in the game until at least 5 players were voted out. I would've also limited the number of fire tokens earned to 2 or 3 (per finding a clue). It just seemed unfair that whomever found that last clue would be able to purchase 3 advantages in the return challenge, which almost guaranteed them making it back into the game. Not to mention that targeting players was based on information shared by recent vote outs, such as how many fire tokens each person has.

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The thing I hate most about all the advantages, idols, fire tokens, etc. is that it gives production a chance to meddle in the game to help certain players. For instance, Rob talks about running the trails at EoE every day, then low and behold, they receive a clue noting that fire tokens were hidden at the end of each of the 4 trails.

The bottle that Natalie found on the beach to extort Tony could've been placed there by production as soon as they saw Natalie and Parvati head in that direction. If it was Yul, I bet there wouldn't be any bottle to find. I also bet that the stone structure the last clue was found at was a place that Natalie visited a lot of times during her stay at EoE.

When someone comes back at final 6, it's very easy to get that person to at least the fire making challenge. They have an idol from EoE at final 6, then production can place an idol in a tree as soon as they see a certain player looking in that direction, which then gets you to final 4.

For those who think something like this is not possible, just go back to Ben's season where the idol was hidden at the confessional with a sign to dig here. Yeah whatever.

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20 hours ago, ljenkins782 said:

The decision of Natalie and Michele's that makes the least sense to me is why they left Sarah in the game. They were in no danger if it came down to a tie in that scenario, there were no rocks to be pulled. Sarah and Denise would have had to make fire and the chips would fall where they may at that point. That was the chance to break up the Tony/Sarah/Ben trio and while Denise was close to Ben, she wasn't tied to Tony the way Sarah was. 

I get that Denise is the Queen Slayer, but that's all she had to her resume. It's like she thought that big moment - and yes, it was big! - was enough to win this season. I agree I would have taken a shot at Sarah before voting off Denise.

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53 minutes ago, Bouffe said:

I get that Denise is the Queen Slayer, but that's all she had to her resume. It's like she thought that big moment - and yes, it was big! - was enough to win this season. I agree I would have taken a shot at Sarah before voting off Denise.

They could've also taken a shot at Sarah at final 5, if Natalie was a little bolder with her moves. Tell Sarah we're voting for Ben, and then play her idol for Michelle, while actually voting for Sarah. I'm not sure why Natalie was so adamant about getting rid of Ben, especially since he was beatable at the end. Based on her interview she seemed to think that beating Sarah was in the bag, but I doubt she beats her at the end. Maybe Rob and Amber switch their votes to Natalie, but everyone else would've likely voted for Sarah.

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On 5/13/2020 at 11:20 PM, violet and green said:

 

Oh, and Jeff, after the disaster that was Dan Spilo, and you getting all learned up c/ Lacina about gender bias (ffs, tell that to Mary Wollstonecraft), you think it's a good idea to invite 16-year-olds to come and play, with your creepy camera people and producers as chaperones? No. Just no.

 

Survivor: The Blue Lagoon

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Other tidbits from Sarah's interview:

She noted that the full version of the steal an advantage at night segment was even funnier. I guess Tony kept telling her to be careful, don't get caught, etc., and she basically told him, dude it's just a game, they won't torture me. She said the entire camera crew was on the ground laughing throughout the entire segment and they were afraid everyone would wake up.

It seems like Sarah was also having fun with Tony's spy nest antics. She would take people to the well and put on a show for him. She said it made life much easier at camp since Tony wouldn't have to bombard her with 20 questions as to what happened. Earlier in the game Tony had also built another spy bunker, but Sarah couldn't convince anyone to go to the well with her. After lying there for 45 minutes with all the critters, that idea went out the door.

She said that her, Tony and Sandra strategized before the game, but that she had only met Ben briefly at an event. Their bond grew at Yara. She didn't want to name names, but noted that a few players strategized with 10-12 people before the game started.  She mentioned something about Yul and Sophie having a pre game alliance, but I may have heard that wrong.

Sarah noted that her and Wendell got along really well a camp and that she was his apprentice when he built all the furniture. She said they had a "System" alliance with her, Tony (cops), Wendell, Nick (lawyers) and Sandra (paralegal?). I guess Nick was still coming up with nicknames. She also mentioned that Nick was very mad after the Wendell vote out, so she gave him Chinese takeout reward to make him feel better about his situation with the group. She was also being sarcastic when she said she's allergic to Chinese food.

 

Edited by skybolt
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9 hours ago, Bouffe said:

I get that Denise is the Queen Slayer, but that's all she had to her resume. It's like she thought that big moment - and yes, it was big! - was enough to win this season.

I think you’re missing a very salient point.  Making a move that big also puts a target that big on your back - so if after pulling off such a coup Denise had STILL managed to make her way to one of the FTC chairs, she would have had an extremely strong argument to make to the jury.

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7 minutes ago, Nashville said:

I think you’re missing a very salient point.  Making a move that big also puts a target that big on your back - so if after pulling off such a coup Denise had STILL managed to make her way to one of the FTC chairs, she would have had an extremely strong argument to make to the jury.

The Kim vote out definitely took a lot out of her sails. In hindsight she should've teamed up with Michelle and Natalie to at least attempt to take out one the trio. I just think that at some point she decided that it's better to join the enemy than beat them. Maybe she has unbelievable fire making skills that we're not aware of (if she made it to final 4).

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On 5/13/2020 at 11:54 PM, Stee said:

I’m neither here or there on a returning EOE player coming back and winning but I found it annoying when Rob said that Natalie had to play “the perfect game” and take out Tony with the fire making challenge in order to earn the win.
 

I didn’t interpret that as Rob saying Natalie’s “perfect game” is beating Tony in the fire making challenge, but just getting him out of the game by any means necessary. Rob didn’t specifically say she should have beat him in fire making, but just be the one to take him out. I took that to also mean rallying people to vote Tony out.

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55 minutes ago, skybolt said:

The Kim vote out definitely took a lot out of her sails. In hindsight she should've teamed up with Michelle and Natalie to at least attempt to take out one the trio. I just think that at some point she decided that it's better to join the enemy than beat them. Maybe she has unbelievable fire making skills that we're not aware of (if she made it to final 4).

Agreed! Denise was playing from the bottom along with Kim. That’s why they switched sides and went with the numbers.

I think the idea of Denise joining Natalie and Michele was DOA. Denise would have never blended in with Natalie and Michele’s gameplay. Denise would have never voted for Ben, and Natalie’s first target was Ben.

With that, Sarah also had the same opportunity and I’m a little surprised that nobody took it. It’s kinda like they all chose to sit back and do nothing.

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14 minutes ago, AntFTW said:

I didn’t interpret that as Rob saying Natalie’s “perfect game” is beating Tony in the fire making challenge, but just getting him out of the game by any means necessary. Rob didn’t specifically say she should have beat him in fire making, but just be the one to take him out. I took that to also mean also rallying people to vote Tony out.

Not to mention that at the 2 previous tribal councils Natalie had specifically mentioned that the jury was favoring Tony and he was the biggest threat. You can't make that statement and then complain about what Rob said. To Natalie's credit, she really hasn't disagreed with Rob's point. She now wishes that she had gone up against Tony in the fire making challenge. Also, even though Rob asked a couple of tough questions, at the end he mentioned that everyone did a great job answering the questions presented to them. He could've been argumentative and said that Natalie's replies didn't suffice, but he didn't.

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2 hours ago, skybolt said:

It seems like Sarah was also having fun with Tony's spy nest antics. She would take people to the well and put on a show for him. She said it made life much easier at camp since Tony wouldn't have to bombard her with 20 questions as to what happened. Earlier in the game Tony had also built another spy bunker, but Sarah couldn't convince anyone to go to the well with her. After lying there for 45 minutes with all the critters, that idea went out the door.

Sarah should be glad they didn't show this because it would've made her look even more like a Tony puppet than she already did.

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She also mentioned that Nick was very mad after the Wendell vote out, so she gave him Chinese takeout reward to make him feel better about his situation with the group. She was also being sarcastic when she said she's allergic to Chinese food.

So it was strategic. I mean, that was obvious, but she was on there trying to act like it was out of the goodness of her heart lol.

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31 minutes ago, AntFTW said:

It’s kinda like they all chose to sit back and do nothing.

I think you just described this entire season in a single sentence.

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6 minutes ago, Nashville said:

I think you just described this entire season in a single sentence.

Yet you have Probst out here acting like there was so much amazing gameplay this season. So funny!

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38 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

Sarah should be glad they didn't show this because it would've made her look even more like a Tony puppet than she already did.

So it was strategic. I mean, that was obvious, but she was on there trying to act like it was out of the goodness of her heart lol.

In the interview she said it wasn't strategic, but then admitted it was somewhat strategic. In other words, it was strategic. 🙂

Listening to another Tony interview, he mentioned that he had created a fake idol and given it to Sarah to use as a decoy. He mentioned Sarah slyly putting the idol into her bag as Natalie watched from the background. Not sure if this worked or not, but perhaps that's why Sarah wasn't targeted at final 5 or 6. Tony also mentioned waking Nick up in the middle of the night to show that he found a second idol in the jungle. In his opinion, this second idol kept Nick from potentially switching on the alliance, since Tony told him that he's willing to use it for him. The reason why Tony did that in the middle of the night is because Nick was so disoriented and couldn't tell a real idol from a fake one. Looking back, in a secret scene Tony did actually ask the other players if he can keep these beads from a tree mail as a souvenir. I guess we all know what he used them for.

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7 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

Yet you have Probst out here acting like there was so much amazing gameplay this season. So funny!

I think another Heroes vs. Villains season with people that have only played once and haven't won would be great. I would love to see Dom vs. Devens on the villains tribe. These players are hungry for a win.

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13 minutes ago, skybolt said:

Listening to another Tony interview, he mentioned that he had created a fake idol and given it to Sarah to use as a decoy. He mentioned Sarah slyly putting the idol into her bag as Natalie watched from the background. Not sure if this worked or not, but perhaps that's why Sarah wasn't targeted at final 5 or 6. Tony also mentioned waking Nick up in the middle of the night to show that he found a second idol in the jungle. In his opinion, this second idol kept Nick from potentially switching on the alliance, since Tony told him that he's willing to use it for him. The reason why Tony did that in the middle of the night is because Nick was so disoriented and couldn't tell a real idol from a fake one.

I wish we had seen more of those antics! Same with the Sarah night mission. 

2 hours ago, Nashville said:

I think you’re missing a very salient point.  Making a move that big also puts a target that big on your back - so if after pulling off such a coup Denise had STILL managed to make her way to one of the FTC chairs, she would have had an extremely strong argument to make to the jury.

That's a valid point. But I still think it would take her more than that one move, as big as this one was. I think it was smart to go back to a more under the radar style of play after the Sandra vote out; as you pointed out, it did put a big target on her back. But at some point, I would have expected her to scheme a bit more, to try and shake things up a bit more. 

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2 minutes ago, Bouffe said:

That's a valid point. But I still think it would take her more than that one move, as big as this one was. I think it was smart to go back to a more under the radar style of play after the Sandra vote out; as you pointed out, it did put a big target on her back. But at some point, I would have expected her to scheme a bit more, to try and shake things up a bit more. 

If we're using a football reference, it's almost like Denise jumped to a 21-7 lead at halftime (after the Sandra move), and then decided to play prevent defense the rest of the game. On the other hand, since Tony hadn't really done much to build his resume right after the merge, he knew he had to get out the playbook and score a couple of touchdowns to win the game.

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I found it hilarious that Sarah Lacina told Jeff to use her last name in a season in which he wasn't using last names.  Me thinks she carried that with her from an earlier season.  So, it just was silly to me due to the context of the season.

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After watching Kim's interview with Rob C. I came away thinking that her edit this season was spot on. She's very intuitive, but basically didn't try and do much beyond her idol play. Here are a few tidbits:

After getting targeted early, she bought into the whole lions vs. hyenas theme, which is why she didn't target Denise, Adam, Michelle, etc. as allies early on. The problem was that she was also hesitant to work with Tyson and Jeremy after the merge because of the poker alliance issue. She kept trying to team up with Sarah and Sophie, but knew she was likely the 4th or 5th wheel in that alliance.

Before getting voted out the second time, Tyson convinced Sarah that Kim is the biggest threat to win this game if she makes it far. This prompted Sarah to have that conversation with Tony. The reason Tyson did that was to pull  Kim away from that group, which in a sense worked. Both Tyson and Jeremy had told Kim that they're targeting Sophie and that Tony and Nick could flip. By playing the idol for Denise, Kim was hoping to force a tie in the hope that Tony or Nick would flip on Sophie on the re-vote. Also, the reason why she didn't give the idol to Tyson was because he had told everyone that he has an immunity idol from EoE. What we didn't see was that after Tyson got voted out, Sophie, Kim and Sarah stayed up all night crying and reconciling, which pissed Tony off.

Kim said that her and Sophie still face chat at times, but emotions were running high on Ponderosa when she was telling Sophie about how close a friendship they had.

She mentioned that everyone cried a lot this season. I guess her and Tony would wake up each morning talking to each other and crying about how much they missed their kids. She also felt bad that everyone's kids ran to their parent, but hers treated her like an impostor. I guess her husband was complaining about taking care of the kids on his own during his entire stay on the island. 🙂 She also mentioned that her sister came along for the trip to help out.

Kim said she'll be shocked if she plays again, but if she does, her failing this season will help her game moving forward. She said being targeted early, being on the outs, not having her moves stick, missing her young kids are all things she didn't experience her first time around.

Not related to this interview, but I thought it was interesting that Natalie was annoyed at both Sophie and Kim for not voting for her because she shared peanut with them on EoE. Thank goodness the vote outs spent a couple of days at Ponderosa so they could vote on a full stomach. 

Also, with respect to EoE, all the interviews I've read point to multiple verbal confrontations on the island, with most of the people walking around like zombies and doing nothing. Even Natalie noted that you just need to stay positive to give yourself an edge. I definitely admire per perseverance, but at the same time don't like having an EoE player come back at final 6 with all these advantages because their competition has basically given up or not caring. 

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1 hour ago, skybolt said:

Not related to this interview, but I thought it was interesting that Natalie was annoyed at both Sophie and Kim for not voting for her because she shared peanut with them on EoE. Thank goodness the vote outs spent a couple of days at Ponderosa so they could vote on a full stomach. 

Another excellent reason why Natalie absolutely, positively could NOT have been the winner this season; she had the widest breadth of Production-sanctioned jury tampering of any player this season, but she STILL couldn’t build social relationships substantial enough to survive a couple of decent meals.

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2 hours ago, skybolt said:

I guess her husband was complaining about taking care of the kids on his own during his entire stay on the island. 🙂 She also mentioned that her sister came along for the trip to help out.

Wow, Kim's husband seems like a dick lol.

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36 minutes ago, Nashville said:

Another excellent reason why Natalie absolutely, positively could NOT have been the winner this season; she had the widest breadth of Production-sanctioned jury tampering of any player this season, but she STILL couldn’t build social relationships substantial enough to survive a couple of decent meals.

Also, Jeremy was always going to vote for Natalie because he sees her as his little sister. However, in a recent interview Natalie mentioned that when she had a bad concussion a few years back, Tyson and his wife took her into their home in Utah for a week to recover. This factored into her giving Tyson the immunity idol, as well as Tyson obviously voting for her. I give her somewhat credit for getting Parvati and Ethan's vote, but the fact these 2 players did not even get a chance to meet Tony shows us why the jury should mainly consist of people making the merge. Natalie called Dani a bizarre person because she thought they bonded on EoE and she should've gotten her vote. Dani actually sounded very professional in her jury interview, noting how she liked the way Tony was controlling the game. 

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51 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

Wow, Kim's husband seems like a dick lol.

 

I somewhat get it since I complain a lot about taking care of the kids for long periods (my wife is obviously the strong one), but if she was competing for $2M, I would've lied and said don't worry, everything is great, just concentrate on the game.

 

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Listening to Michelle's interview from today, she noted that she knew Jeremy and his wife when she lived in Boston, but didn't have pregame alliance with him. She also mentioned that Yul had pregame alliances with Sandra, Sophie, herself, Wendell and Nick. It sucks for Yul that he wound up on a 4 person tribe that had a pregame alliance. On the other hand, it's interesting that Yul was throwing others under the bus for having preexisting relationships, but was talking strategy with all these winners before the game started. Michelle also noted that Yul's fire token speech did not sway their decision one way or the other. Yul actually told Michelle about Sophie's idol and wanted to pull her into their group. Michelle acknowledged her mistake of voting out Yul instead of Wendell, since he had the connections on the other side. I guess her and Nick were looking too far ahead and wanted to align with Wendell who wasn't playing that hard. I guess Yul would also spend 30 minutes each morning talking to them about all these permutations he thought of overnight, which scared them.

Michelle mentioned that at final 7, Tony supposedly heard Nick mention his name as a possible vote out while perched in his spy nest. Of course, this could just be Tony over-hyping his spy nest results.

In general, Michelle admitted that Tony was by far the best player and that she can take the loss gracefully. She also mentioned that Parvati was super mad at her when she heard she had a pregame alliance with Wendell, Nick and Yul, which is why she didn't vote for her. They're good now and Michelle idolizes Parvati.

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10 hours ago, skybolt said:

On the other hand, it's interesting that Yul was throwing others under the bus for having preexisting relationships, but was talking strategy with all these winners before the game started. 

I knew his "I don't know anyone, I'm so alone, wah!" line was bullshit, but I didn't really expect it to be that level of bullshit lol.

Quote

I guess Yul would also spend 30 minutes each morning talking to them about all these permutations he thought of overnight ...

That's So Raven Yul!

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3 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

I knew his "I don't know anyone, I'm so alone, wah!" line was bullshit, but I didn't really expect it to be that level of bullshit lol.

 

Now it makes sense why Sandra gave him her token when she was voted off.

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Just finished watching Wendell's interview with Russell. Here a few tidbits:

Wendell was super confused about Michelle's confessionals. He said after dating they remained good friends and talked strategy before coming to the island. He said on one hand she stayed loyal to him in the game and even cried when he lost the return challenge. However, he wasn't sure why she threw him under the bus with her confessionals. Apparently, their friendship has suffered since the show aired. 

Wendell does not like Natalie at all. He flat out said he wasn't voting for an EoE returnee. If Natalie had beaten Tony in the fire making challenge, he was going to vote for Michelle, or maybe even Sarah. He confirmed that Natalie screamed at Yul for taking too long to come back down with the rice rationing (apparently sat with Adam on top of the hill chatting for 45 minutes). He also confirmed that Natalie was going to put his name down as the person sending the advantage to Nick so he would cough up the 8 tokens. Wendell told Natalie she can do that if he gets 2 fire tokens. After hearing that, both Natalie and Kim (not sure how she got involved) told him that they weren't using his name anymore. However, during one of the tribal councils, Nick let loose that my buddy Wendell sent me the advantage (not sure why he'd admit that in front of Ben). Now Wendell doesn't like those 2 women.

He was also upset at Jeremy because just as they got off the boat to go to tribal council, Jeremy told him not to worry, that he was good. After watching the show, he did appreciate Jeremy at least fighting for him to stay in the game. He also thought it was unfair that these past winners would target his relationship with Jeremy based on race, and not 2 police officers and friends like Sarah and Tony. Russel did point out that as a fan watching the show, it did seem like he and Jeremy were super tight, while Sarah and Tony kept their distance.

Wendell said that he and other Survivor players from this season are survivor'd out, which is why we're not seeing so many post interviews. He said he may come back in the future, but will need a break.

Russel joked that since Wendell is portrayed as a villain now, they should work with each other on a future Heroes vs. Villains season. Wendell liked the idea, but said it wouldn't work because Yul is likely watching this podcast right now. 🙂

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Here are some tidbits from Rob C's interview with Ethan:

Part of the reason why Danni felt ostracized from the rest of her group was because after the Natalie vote out, Jeremy started a rumor that she went through his bag looking for stuff. This was a big deal for a whole day, which led to her feeling paranoid and isolated from her group.

Ethan said that he and Rob didn't completely understand how the advantages worked until Nick got voted off. Until that point Sandra had mentioned how she got her idol, but they assumed she was making it up. Adam was also suspicious when he arrived at EoE, but not 100% sure. Natalie rightfully kept all this information to herself.

During the Nick vote out, Denise put on the theatrics during the entire tribal council. She pretended to cry and everything to make Nick believe she was leaving.

Ethan said it was close, but the reason why he didn't vote for Tony was because he never met him, and that he formed a friendship with Natalie (he didn't want to award $2M to someone he never met). He said all the vote outs kept saying that Tony is in control, but since this season included the Edge of Extinction, he wanted to vote for someone who experienced both parts of the game.

He noted that even though everyone getting voted off was saying that Tony is in charge of the Tony/Sarah alliance, if she had beaten him in the fire making challenge, the new school players would've voted for her. He said it would've been close if players like Nick and Wendell voted for Michelle. My gut tells me that Rob and Amber would've still voted for Sarah (if she won the fire making challenge). Yul was likely voting for Sarah as well.

 

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Here are some additional tidbits from another Wendell interview:

Judging from his interviews, Wendell does come off as a very smart and nice guy, but also seems to think that the producers stacked the cards against him. Some examples include the Michelle edit, even though some of it was based on what Michelle was saying at confessionals. He also noted that when he arrived at Sele the producer wouldn't allow him to relocate Rob's shelter, which to him constituted tampering in the game. The interviewers noted that this has happened in the past since tribes were asked to build shelters at locations to make filming easier. Apparently, the next day, one of the producers did receive confirmation to let Wendell move the shelter. So no tampering.

Tony and Tyson have somewhat of an unfriendly rivalry on and off the beach. Apparently, at a Survivor poker charity event that Wendell put together 2 months after the show aired, Tony walked in and announced that the champ is here. When he noticed a group of fans there as well, he tried to take it back. Tony would also try and get Tyson to bet more by going all in every single hand. Wendell noted that it was suspicious that Tony had spent over $4k, which kind of tipped fans watching that something was fishy. It was all for charity though. Survivors at the event included Rob, Tony, Tyson, Wendell, Michelle, Jeremy, Dom, etc. Apparently, Dom was talking trash to Rob and Rob was jokingly telling him that I don't even know you.

Wendell noted that if Sarah had beaten Tony, he, Danni, Nick and Adam would've voted for Michelle. He also noted that Ben, Tony, Denise and Yul would vote for Sarah, with Parvati, Tyson, Jeremy and Ethan voting for Natalie. Wendell said that Natalie could've won, but I still think Kim and Sophie vote Sarah. Not sure if Rob or Amber would've voted for Natalie in that scenario either. He also clarified that he and the other 3 Survivors (Danni, Adam, Nick) had Tony as their No. 1 pick, but would've voted for Michelle to receive 2nd place if Natalie wasn't getting a lot of votes.  Wendell also noted that he may have voted for someone like Yul making it back into the game. On a side note, Wendell stated that Yul was not voting for Michelle because he felt she betrayed their pregame alliance and made him look like a fool.

The fire making challenge took a long time and Tony was horrible at it. I guess after the challenge ended, Tony jokingly told Natalie that see, you could've easily beaten me.

 

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Listening to Rob C's interview with Michelle:

She had a close relationship with Rob. I guess during her first season, the producers noted that her personality profile questionnaire almost exactly matched Amber's. When she told that to Rob, he acknowledged that it made sense.

Yul loaned a token to Wendell before the Parvati vote out in order for him to accept Michelle putting his name down. Afterwards, Yul got his token back and Michelle gave one of Parvati's tokens to him as pre-planned. Michelle regrets turning on Yul, since he told her everything about what happened at Dakal.

Not sure if Michelle is trying to smooth things over with Wendell now, but she admits embellishing her bad relationship status with Wendell to ultimately blindside Yul and Parvati.

When she received the 50/50 advantage option, she was thinking that she may get a complete idol if she accumulated 5 or more tokens. Apparently the producers nudged her to buy the advantage since there may not be anything else out there.

During the Tyson vote out, Sarah and Nick told Michelle that they're voting for Denise. Just before people got up to vote, Michelle whispered to Kim that it's Denise. When it was Michelle's turn to vote, Nick told her to vote Tyson.

Michelle and Tony never trusted each other in the game, but she's closest to him and his family now more than any other player from Season 40.

Tony used Jeremy's 50/50 advantage to convince Ben and Nick not to vote for him. This was the main reason why they went along with the vote, since they knew Kim didn't have an advantage to save her.

Natalie told Michele that everyone at EoE was bitter at her. She even knew about Michelle's pregame alliances and her tricking Parvati into giving her the tokens (Did I mention how much I hate EoE).

 

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Listening to Michelle's podcast with Natalie, there isn't much there.

The narrative appears to be more about gender and color bias as to why Natalie didn't get some votes. She mentioned that if a guy had isolated himself on EoE the last week, everyone would've seen it as good game play. I just find it interesting that getting voted out first and having all this information available to you on EoE isn't looked at as the main crutch as to why the jury wouldn't vote for her. In Wendell's interview, he was really upset at her for lashing out at Yul, who he considers one of the nicest guys in the world.

Michelle had some great things to say about Tony outside the game. She said he's always checking up on her to make sure she's doing well, while he and his wife treat her like a family member when she goes to their house.

Natalie said the reason she was okay with voting out Ben and Denise (instead of perhaps targeting Sarah) was because she wanted revenge for them voting her out first.

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13 minutes ago, skybolt said:

The narrative appears to be more about gender and color bias as to why Natalie didn't get some votes. She mentioned that if a guy had isolated himself on EoE the last week, everyone would've seen it as good game play.

Men do get a pass for behavior that women are lambasted for, but I don't think that would happen in this scenario. The social factor has become less important over the years with the rise of HIIs and other twists, but the final vote often if not always comes down to who you like better (or in some seasons, dislike the least). Anyone, man or woman, who goes off for a week and doesn't talk to anyone -- especially their former allies -- is going to be punished for that. Was it Natalie who said this? If so, more and more, I'm thinking she got some really great edits on her two Survivor appearances and that the nasty entitled person she appeared to be on TAR is closer to who she is.

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1 hour ago, fishcakes said:

Men do get a pass for behavior that women are lambasted for, but I don't think that would happen in this scenario. The social factor has become less important over the years with the rise of HIIs and other twists, but the final vote often if not always comes down to who you like better (or in some seasons, dislike the least). Anyone, man or woman, who goes off for a week and doesn't talk to anyone -- especially their former allies -- is going to be punished for that. Was it Natalie who said this? If so, more and more, I'm thinking she got some really great edits on her two Survivor appearances and that the nasty entitled person she appeared to be on TAR is closer to who she is.

You bring up a really good point. Both Natalie and Michelle were talking about this subject, but the conversation was fairly tamed. 

I truly believe that the new Survivor format with all the backstabbing, switching alliances, finding a gazillion immunity idols, gloating about your game play, etc. benefits the men. The old Survivor format was mostly about strategic and social game play, which IMO evened the field a lot better along gender lines. People may point to winners like Sophie, Kim and Denise as examples of how women can still play hard and win in the new school game, but IMO the game still hadn't radically changed 7-8 years ago. 

I honestly think if the show goes back to basics again (less hidden advantages, no tribe swaps, etc.) and doesn't tamper with the game (Chrissy should've won her season), we'll see a more even divide between female and male winners. That being said, I'm more concerned with the current format for new female players than this Winners at War season. If Tony hadn't played a flawless game, I could easily see someone like Kim, Sophie, Natalie (if she wasn't voted out), Sarah, Parvati, Denise, Sandra, etc. winning the game. All of those women are highly respected for their game play.

Moving forward it's definitely a concern for the show that since Season 25 we've only had 3 female winners. Natalie went up against 2 women, so naturally the jury had no choice but to vote for a woman (although Natalie certainly deserved the win). Michelle beat Aubry (someone who was shunned for playing a strategic, cutthroat game) and Tai. Sarah did beat Culpepper who played a very aggressive game, but Sarah was also a returning player, with built-in status. If this was a season consisting of newbies, Culpepper may have won.

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Some tidbits from Johnny Fairplay's podcast:

Tony was up all night looking for idols about 13 days into the season. However, he took naps during the middle of the day, while others spent hours talking about baseball or other non Survivor related things. That being said, he made it a habit to touch base with each player at camp for about 5 minutes each day. 

Tony would text Fairplay during each episode and give his 2 cents. I guess during the Tyson vote out (post merger), he and Nick were coaxing Kim during tribal to play her idol, but they only showed the whispering. Also, when Tony had the talk about voting out Sophie with Jeremy, Michelle did come over form the beach and talk to the 2 guys about the plan. It wasn't Jeremy telling her just before tribal. 

Sandra called Fairplay and was super upset with Denise's blindside. I guess her and Denise talked on the phone for an hour before going to the island, and had a pregame alliance. Sandra basically said that she's not playing anymore, but if she ever did again, she would fly over to the person she's pregame planning with to look in their eyes to determine if they're lying to her. Not sure that would've worked, since Denise did pull the wool over her eyes talking face to face.

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Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but just finished watching an interview with Adam. Here a few highlights:

The reason why Adam was so adamant about wanting Parvati out is because the old school players were targeting Ben. Adam had a pregame alliance with Ben and did not want him out at that point. 

Adam told Sophie about Sarah potentially having an idol because he thought since Ben and Sarah were getting super close, he assumed that Sophie felt the same about him.

Adam practiced making fire every day before going on Season 40 and had gotten really good at it. He was flabbergasted that some other players didn't do the same. He said he would've gone up against Boston Rob at fire making than taking a chance like Natalie did.

When other players were talking about the trust issues they had after playing survivor, he couldn't relate. To him its always been a game and nothing else. He also didn't get that whole bit with Tyson hinting at him quitting EoE. Adam said he had no intention of doing that.

He didn't like EoE because the goal there was just to be nice to everyone so you can get their vote. He also mentioned that some players were not thinking strategically, and actually believed certain advantages weren't found by anyone after being given a clue. He said in the history of survivor there has never been a situation where a clue to an advantage was handed out and no one found it.

He was a bit peeved about the bottle with a message that Natalie and Parvati found. He was hinting that this was an opportunity only given to certain individuals by production to find.

The EoE group did get food for the family visit.

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Just watched half the interview between Rob C and Tony. Definitely some great insight into Tony's game:

- He hates watching himself on TV playing passive.

- Would be up all night searching for idols, building spy nests, etc., but would come back to camp every 2 hours and bump into people sleeping on purpose while tending to the fire to make it look like he was doing that the whole time.

- He and Sarah would walk in 2 different directions to go to the bathroom, but run to meet up somewhere to talk strategy.

- Initially he wanted Tyson out instead of Amber, since he thought Amber was an awesome person. Yul did not agree, but later changed his mind when Tyson would follow him and Sophie everywhere (since they were running the show). Jokingly he told Tony to get a restraining order against this guy.

- Tony would purposely act stupid and nervous so people wouldn't think he's strategizing. He would even lose games to Wendell on purpose to make it look like he was not that smart. He said the only time he was being real was when talking to Sarah.

-  Nick and Tony had a bond since day 1. They would even go idol hunting together all the time. Tony wanted to bring Nick to the end (because he could beat him), until Nick started throwing his name out there.

- Tony had shown Sandra his spy bunker, which is why she mentioned it to the other group. His whole plan with the spy bunker / nest was to have Sandra and Sarah bring people there and pretend to go pee. He would then see if the other people talked behind their back.

- Tony was sure that Denise was going to vote him out when she played the 2 idols. He said they had formed a bond beforehand, so maybe that saved him.

- Tony liked Adam because he reminded him of Spencer. However, he had to gun for him to save Nick. He said if Michelle had told what Adam was planning at tribal, he would've tackled him before he got to the podium and yelled for someone else to grab the fleur de lis. He said it in a joking manner of course.

- He credits his win to forming bonds with everyone and having 2 alliances. His strategy was to tell his true alliance (Sarah, Ben, Nick, Sophie) that he's going to play double agent with the others and throw their names out there to get in with that group. That way his true alliance wouldn't get suspicious if someone like Kim mentioned him playing double agent.

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3 hours ago, skybolt said:

He also didn't get that whole bit with Tyson hinting at him quitting EoE. Adam said he had no intention of doing that.

 

One of the great editing mysteries of all time, that scene was. I don't think Tyson specifically mentioned Adam, did he? Just made some vague comments about how EoE might be too tough for some people, over footage of Adam wandering around the white flag at some indeterminate time.

 

3 hours ago, skybolt said:

He didn't like EoE because the goal there was just to be nice to everyone so you can get their vote.

And yet Natalie seems to have missed that memo.

Thanks for posting these tidbits. Sounds like Tony really thought things through. Props to him.

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