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S12: Exile Island

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I have to admit that I did enjoy Cassaya and what a dysfunctional tribe(family) they were.  They were a mess, but they could usually pull it out when they had to get a win. I even remember them calling themselves the Cassaya Gangstas, which somehow seemed oddly appropriate.

 

I loved Cirie and how she became like the den mother to these freaks.  But nobody with the exception of Aras and maybe Danielle ever got that she was this master strategist.

 

I was mostly bored by Terry.  I got the impression he thought it should be a straight up athletic competition, and ugh, no.  I didn't find him as entertaining as many others did.  I don't think he had that much personality.  Shane also got on my nerves a lot.   He always seemed like he was thisclose to just snapping, and to me, that's just uncomfortable.   He also seemed pretty bitter afterwards that Cirie did play him for a fool.

 

On the other hand, I felt some sympathy for Courtney.  Yes, she was weird and very awkward, but I also feel like she was misunderstood, like with Bruce's damned zen circle or whatever it was called.  They really ganged up on her, and I think i remember that she really was completely crushed when she realized they hated her.  Plus Shane saying he wanted to kill her?  I was on her side there.   Basically she was just a bad casting choice, but she wasn't the worst. 

 

My friend came up with the nickname Space Ghost for the astronaut.  Was his name Dan?   I thought the nickname was clever and always called him that.

Edited by vb68
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I couldn't stand Terry (still can't) but seeing him continually being blindsided at the merge, on top of some of the hissy fits thrown pre-merge during the challenges, was worth having to put up with him all season long.  I never considered him to be a good player.  Good at challenges?  Yeah.  But strategy wise, he sucked.  Since he was on an immunity run, he could have easily used his idol to spare one of his alliance members and possibly flip the game for himself.   

 

The one thing I disliked most about this season were the initial tribe set ups.  What was the point of 4 tribes if they were going to dissolve them the very next episode?  I did like that the younger men almost lost that first IC to the older women (and again, what's the point of tribe names in cases like this when all Jeff does is call them out 'younger men', 'younger women').  There weren't too many people this season I was rooting for.  I liked Misty, and again with Terry's strategy, he kept two weaklings around in Dan and Ruth Marie.  I don't feel like Misty was going to flip on Terry and drag Nick and Austin with her.  I loved Cirie, but grew to dislike her after Micronesia and HvsV.  However, she did momentarily inspire me to consider trying out for the show, since her whole line was being that average person sitting home on the couch.  I like Aras more now after seeing Vytas.  Bruce seemed cool, and yes, I did love crazy Shane with his blackberry and nicotine withdrawals.  I normally roll my eyes during the tears flowing at the family visit, but I had to shed a few when his son came out for this one. 

 

On the other hand, I felt some sympathy for Courtney.  Yes, she was weird and very awkward, but I also feel like she was misunderstood, like with Bruce's damned zen circle or whatever it was called.  They really ganged up on her, and I think i remember that she really was completely crushed when she realized they hated her.  Plus Shane saying he wanted to kill her?  I was on her side there.   Basically she was just a bad casting choice, but she wasn't the worst.

 

 

I liked kooky Courtney.  I don't know that I consider her a bad casting choice, just someone that might have been better off with a different group of people.  Depending on how out there they are, I tend to root for the eccentric types.  Over time I began feeling sorry for Danielle.  It seemed like Probst wanted to drag her through the ringer at the reunion show over not taking Terry to the end.  And I attributed that more to Probst's man crush than any promise Danielle made. 

 

I had completely forgotten that Dan's nickname was Space Ghost until I found this forum!

Edited by LadyChatts
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I'm five episodes in, and so far it's OK. It was jarring, at first, to see Terry so much younger. He definitely has an inflated ego.

 

Cirie really hasn't stood out yet, but she's been getting an awful lot of screen time for someone who's supposedly so weak. (It's nice to be spoiled.) She definitely plays Shane pretty well, mollifying him with the Bruce vs. Bobby vote, "You were right. You were right. You were right."

 

Speaking of that vote, I think it showed Aras didn't have a real handle on strategy. He didn't tell Bruce to vote for Bobby. Always count the numbers! Had he done so, it could have been a tie between Bruce and Bobby, along with Shane's "no vote" for Aras. That would have been interesting to watch.

 

I'm not a fan of Shane. Unpredictable players are entertaining to watch, to a point, but they're not my favorite players, and I don't like when their actions affect the players I do like. That hasn't happened with Shane (yet?), since I didn't really like Bobby. That "no vote," though, was hard to rationalize. Aren't there skills you should hone and things you should do before you go on Survivor? Fire making, conflict resolution, cross fit/yoga, etc. Another one should be give up habits you can't feed while you're marooned. Cigarette smoking? You're not going to get one for a long time: give it up. I wouldn't wish withdrawal on anyone; I'm not sure Shane should have even been on the show.

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On the other hand, I felt some sympathy for Courtney.  Yes, she was weird and very awkward, but I also feel like she was misunderstood, like with Bruce's damned zen circle or whatever it was called.  They really ganged up on her, and I think i remember that she really was completely crushed when she realized they hated her.  Plus Shane saying he wanted to kill her?  I was on her side there.   Basically she was just a bad casting choice, but she wasn't the worst. 

 

I felt sorry for Courtney too when she took a bunch of hits in that "how well do you know your tribe" game, but I thought she was casting gold. Genuinely flaky and out there, not playing up her quirks for the cameras but just being that weird. When Bruce is doubled over in pain and her first instinct was to ask if he wanted a song (and then tried to sing anyway after he said no, lol)? You can't make that shit up. 

 

And having her on a tribe with Shane, who is also nuts and can't hide it, was extremely entertaining. 

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Terry reveals that he has the idol to Austin, Sally, and Danielle (La Mina is down to three). That sends Aras into a frenzy: he knows they're voting for him, and if Terry gives the idol to Austin, the next highest vote-getter goes home. 

 

The whole time, I'm yelling at the screen: split the vote! SPLIT THE VOTE! Of course, it hasn't been invented yet. Which surprises me: Cirie's a mastermind, right? I wonder if they did discuss it, but didn't come to a satisfying answer. And the producers being who they are, they didn't bother showing us the talk of vote-splitting (if it was there) because ultimately, Terry didn't give away his idol, and Austin went home. A moo point.

 

But then I got to thinking: how would you split the vote? There were nine left: six for Casaya and three for La Mina. The three vote for Aras. The six vote for who? How do they split? The idol can be played AFTER the votes (yeah, Tyler Perry!). Terry saves whoever gets the highest vote in the split, and Aras goes home.

 

What about a three-way tie? That would have been interesting, but I'm not surprised it didn't happen.

 

But none of that happened. Why not? Why didn't Terry save Austin?

 

I need to dig up my saved recaps.

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Here's what Miss Alli wrote in the Season 12, episode 1 recap:

 

... Jeff explain that the other thing about Exile Island is that somewhere on it, there is an individual immunity idol -- much like the one Gary found last season. Just as with last season, you don't have to tell anyone if you find it. But unlike last season, you can save it and only use it if you're actually voted off, meaning it won't be wasted on people trying to hedge their bets. Furthermore, if you use it after you're voted out, there's not a revote -- it's the person with the next most votes. If you think about it, that actually is a sizeable development, strategically. If your alliance of six were up against somebody else's alliance of three, no matter how good you are, if you pick the wrong person and that person has the idol, your alliance will lose someone instead of theirs.

 

That was some really good foresight there.

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What about a three-way tie? That would have been interesting, but I'm not surprised it didn't happen.

 

But none of that happened. Why not? Why didn't Terry save Austin?

 

I need to dig up my saved recaps.

 

Because Terry sucks at strategy. He wanted to hoard the Idol for himself in case he lost an IC. Had he played the Idol on Nick at the merge, he'd only be facing a 5-4 deficit. Target Cirie or Aras, remove the glue attaching Danielle/Bruce to Shane and Courtney and he's split the game wide open.

 

As for Cirie not figuring it out, perhaps she did, but "Plan Voodoo" wasn't discussed on-air until later. Perhaps Cirie thought Aras falling victim to Idol bounceback would be the perfect way to remove her biggest threat? Hmm.

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As someone who never liked Terry, I do have to cut him a little bit of slack regarding his idol play.  The idol was still a brand new feature, and being so on the outs I can understand why he was reluctant to possibly play it on anyone else. 

 

However, I agree that Terry is not strategic at all in this game.  This past season was no exception.  Someone else that was a bit more strategic would have seen the opportunity the idol would have presented and used it to their advantage, even in the early years of idol play.  Terry got continually blindsided at numerous TC post merge, and he was told by others to possibly hand his idol over to save them and maybe give them an upper hand, but he didn't.  Since I didn't care for Terry, seeing his frustration and looks of surprise come out when things didn't go the way he was expecting was a highlight in an otherwise bad season.

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Because Terry sucks at strategy. He wanted to hoard the Idol for himself in case he lost an IC. Had he played the Idol on Nick at the merge, he'd only be facing a 5-4 deficit. Target Cirie or Aras, remove the glue attaching Danielle/Bruce to Shane and Courtney and he's split the game wide open.

 

As for Cirie not figuring it out, perhaps she did, but "Plan Voodoo" wasn't discussed on-air until later. Perhaps Cirie thought Aras falling victim to Idol bounceback would be the perfect way to remove her biggest threat? Hmm.

 

At that stage of the game, Cirie might have thought Aras was still useful to her, but agreed that she probably wouldn't have been crushed if he got eliminated in a way that didn't put any blood on her hands. 

 

The whole time, I'm yelling at the screen: split the vote! SPLIT THE VOTE! Of course, it hasn't been invented yet. Which surprises me: Cirie's a mastermind, right? I wonder if they did discuss it, but didn't come to a satisfying answer. And the producers being who they are, they didn't bother showing us the talk of vote-splitting (if it was there) because ultimately, Terry didn't give away his idol, and Austin went home. A moo point.

But then I got to thinking: how would you split the vote? There were nine left: six for Casaya and three for La Mina. The three vote for Aras. The six vote for who? How do they split? The idol can be played AFTER the votes (yeah, Tyler Perry!). Terry saves whoever gets the highest vote in the split, and Aras goes home.

Arguably, Cirie did pioneer the split vote strategy when she came up with the 3-2-1 split that bounced Courtney (the season's prime goat that everyone wanted to drag to the end.) 

 

And yeah, in that scenario with that number of votes in play and an idol that can be played post-vote, there really wasn't much a split vote could do. 

 

Either they read Terry correctly that he was hoarding the idol for himself or they just got lucky. 

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All right: I finished this one. I liked: Cirie, Bruce. I disliked: Terry, Courtney, Shane. The others were just ... okay. Ghost Spaceman, Austin with his center-part hair, President Poopin' Bobby. Eh.

 

  • Bruce was just always positive! I loved that.
  • Cirie was positive AND whip-smart, and I'm hoping she doesn't disappoint in later seasons (I hear she does, and I'm gonna be mad).
  • Terry was flipping arrogant--Aras pegged him so right: "Somebody call the whambulance, Terry's crying on the course!" I really wish I hadn't voted for him to come back. Normally, I like dominant players (Colin from TAR5 makes me laugh and laugh, if that tells you anything!), but Terry just yuk.
  • I'm also discovering I dislike bitter jurors, and both Shane and Courtney were right up there with the eye-rolls and head-shakes. Courtney's final question redeemed her a bit, but Shane: ugh, I'm glad he didn't make it to Second Chances.

 

The one thing that confused me, though: it seemed that Terry had to give his idol to someone BEFORE the vote were read. I wondered why he didn't hand it to Nick, Austin, or Sally after the votes were read. Was he not allowed to?

 

The season, overall, was OK. I didn't really like Exile Island, and it sounds like there are quite a few seasons ahead where it plays a prominent part. I really disliked the super-power idol: it just crushed any strategy. 

 

Moving on!

Edited by cherrypj
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As far as I know, Terry was allowed to play the idol on someone else.  I don't remember that ever being a rule.  As for why he didn't give it up to Nick or Austin, or I would argue Danielle in the final 4, that's a good question that many of us wonder (I only say Danielle because, even though she lost, it might have made it that much tougher for her to vote Terry out at the final 3 and face the jury if he had helped spare her the previous vote).  I'm guessing because the idol was still a relatively new concept that he didn't work it out in his head (plus he was a target the second he lost immunity, and he knew he'd probably be gone without the idol).  Also, Terry is just really bad at the strategy aspect of this game.  I saw it last season with him.  I think he's a bit of a bully and control freak, but it's like he expects the game to be played for him and for everyone to throw themselves on their swords so he can keep advancing through.  At least that's the vibe I always got.  This past season, I still laugh when I think of him out there "grocery shopping" in a tribe where he's outnumbered, and everyone is back at camp plotting his demise in the game.

Edited by LadyChatts
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cherrypj, on 26 Jan 2016 - 04:24 AM, said:

Cirie really hasn't stood out yet, but she's been getting an awful lot of screen time for someone who's supposedly so weak. (It's nice to be spoiled.) She definitely plays Shane pretty well, mollifying him with the Bruce vs. Bobby vote, "You were right. You were right. You were right."

 

Cirie had already pulled off what is to me her most astounding bit of mind-control: getting those ladies to not vote her off first.  It makes no sense.  It can't have happened.  And yet it did.  The Cirie Fields Story.

 

cherrypj, on 08 Feb 2016 - 5:58 PM, said:

 

  • Cirie was positive AND whip-smart, and I'm hoping she doesn't disappoint in later seasons (I hear she does, and I'm gonna be mad).

 

Whoever says this is crazy-town.  She doesn't get to make much of an impression in HvV (which is not her fault), but she is unbelievable in Micronesia.  Unbelievable.  It's hard to say which game of hers, Panama or Micronesia, is more astonishing, but certainly Micronesia is more spectacular.  In Panama she survives the first vote, pulls off Cirie's Triple Play which I think is still the only successfully manipulated split-vote (i.e. the splitters were not aware they were splitting; Reed almost pulled it off in SJDS but "Stick with the plan" happened), and gets Aras to suicidally try to keep her in the game over Danielle at F4--these are mindboggling, impossible feats, but you sort of have to think about it to see that that's true.  No wonder they focussed more on her human journey from couch potato to seasoned backwoodswoman.  In Micronesia it's like, no more subtle magic tricks, she's going to pull down actual thunder and lightning and raise volcanoes under our feet...

 

Casaya is my favorite tribe of all time, not even a contest.  Shane is the best (completely insane, but voting-wise a 100% rational player) and he pretty much makes Casaya what it is, the crazy keystone of a crazy tribe.  I do kind of feel bad for Courtney over that challenge, but not about anything between her and Shane, because she obviously sees his rantings in the correct light.  "If you don't, after the game is over, I am going to come to your shitty apartment and kill you in your sleep."  "My apartment's not shitty!  Why would you say that?" = the funniest exchange ever on Survivor, and also demonstrates that Courtney knew what was for real in that statement and what could be ignored.

 

Unfortunately though this is a season which I am hesitant to watch again just because I despise Terry on such a deep visceral level and he is a constant feature gleaming in the spotlight as the Great White American Hero and object of one of Probst's most obseqious man-crushes.  Oh well.

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DH and I are watching this season now (me for th second time, him for the first), and we are discussing Aras jumping off the lily pad in the Final 3 Immunity Challenge. He thinks it goes down as one of the Top 5 stupidest Survivor moves ever. I disagreed because yes, while it was stupid for him to trust Danielle on a head nod, it is definitely not on the level of stupidest moves.

What do you guys think?

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I think throwing immunity is the stupidest thing ever.  I don't care how safe you think you are, or how loyal you think the person is next to you.  It's kind of like those geniuses who think throwing a challenge to get rid of a threat is a smart idea-only to see themselves or one of their allies get blindsided later on.  However, to call this one of the stupidest moves ever?  No, I wouldn't go that far.  Stupidest moves to me are Erik giving up his II to Natalie, despite knowing he couldn't trust those girls.  I don't really even consider getting voted out with an idol anymore to be a stupid move, unless you are like Jason and Scot this past season.

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I agree with you, it is no doubt extremely stupid. It made me laugh on the last day when he kept saying how stupid he felt for falling on the rocks. Please, if you want to talk about stupid moves, just go back a day earlier. 

My issue is that in all the stupid moves in Survivor, it cannot possibly be the stupidest. Top 10, no doubt though...

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I dunno. In S1, Rich knew that Kelly or Rudy were taking him. He stepped down, and that worked out for him. It worked out for Aras, too: I don't think Danielle was ever going to take Terry to FTC, and I think Aras knew it.

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I like people who throw final immunity for a reason, from Richard on; oftentimes (look at Cydney and Michele this season) not being the person who voted you out is enough to get your vote.  But I don't remember what happened with Aras -- he fell off before Terry?  If so, dumb, because no way would Terry bring him.  If not, why did all the Terry fans hate on Danielle and say the challenge was rigged, if both Aras and she beat him?

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Terry fell off first in the final immunity challenge. Aras and Danielle then negotiated: he stepped down, she won. (She was definitely looking more steady than him at that point.)

The "fall" he was embarrassed about was a wipeout on the beach the next day. He was carrying their Final Two champagne bottle and took a digger. Required stitches too!

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I give Aras a pass on the final immunity challenge. Sure he did jump off, but let's face it, he wasn't going to last much longer on it anyway. He barely had his balance as it was, and Terry had already fallen off . Plus, I can see why he would feel confident that Danielle would take him to the final two. Her choice was Terry or Aras, and either one would have beaten her, but she likely thought she had a better chance against Aras than Terry. 

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Re-watching this, Terry in the merge episode might be the single worst strategic display of the whole series.  There are lots of very dumb things (many of which involve Cirie's Jedi Mind Tricks) that have happened, but no one is quite as inept as that display.  He's offering people already in the top 6.... the top 6 with a clear sub-alliance which they are not in.

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Yeah, Terry's attempt at getting people to swing to him was awful. He talked to them like his side was the one with numbers and they needed him, instead of the other way around. I don't think anyone in the Casaya alliance was going to budge anyway (despite how little they liked each other), but Terry's approach did his side absolutely no favors.

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I will give Terry credit for one thing.  He seemed to have learned how badly he played the social game in this season and improved markedly on that front for Second Chances.  Not every player does that.

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So my mother and I (we're both Survivor fans and have been watching together (for the most part) since the beginning) began a rewatch of this season last night.  Partially because it's the oldest season other than the original that Hulu has, and partially as a flashback on Cirie.  (And because a lot of the other early seasons have some...unfortunateness that I don't really want to watch right now.)

 

But this look back is very interesting as a followup to Game Changers.  We've only seen the first 2 episodes so far but Cirie's path to Survivor legend is made clear in both episodes.  The first has the moment where we first see how Cirie will play; the plan to eliminate Tina instead of Cirie herself.  The second shows her in danger yet again after the tribe shuffle (merging 4 tribes into 2 while mixing members of all 4 each), but her honest emotional display at TC likely saved her for yet another day.  And Cirie did say at that first TC that wannabes should stay on the couch.  What a change after all these years.

 

We also talked about the butterfly effect and one little change could have affected all of Survivor history.  Going back to episode 1, we see Tina's emotional breakdown over the recent loss of her son.  I don't recall when it was made "public", but I do know that Tina was originally cast for the previous season, Guatemala, but her son's accident happened before that started shooting, so she got moved to this season.  But what if that accident hadn't happened?  Tina being on Guatemala changes that season, but really affects this one.  Because her personality and self-isolation led to her being the first boot.  But a different person playing instead of Tina might have led to Cirie getting booted instead, changing all of Survivor history from this season on.  Because there's no way Cirie is invited back if she was an early boot.  There's no 3-2-1 play, no convincing Erik to give Natalie the necklace, no mentoring of Michaela. 

 

It's also interesting looking back at this game with a view of strategy that has evolved with the game to the present day.  Even with the beginnings of the HII and Exile Island, this is an Old School season.  Physical strength is still more important in the tribal game than strategic minds and game-trust.  The schoolyard pick for the shuffle bore that out.  Other than Terry, who was "captain" for the pick, and Shane, who was Danielle's first pick (for some reason), all the Younger Men and Women were picked before the Older Women and Men, with Bruce not picked and sent to Exile for nearly 3 days.  And it was pretty obvious who was going to be in danger after the IC, Shane's temporary desire to quit notwithstanding.

 

However, there was an early bit of New School in there, after the shuffle.  On La Mina, the original tribe breakdown was 2-2-2-1 (the one being an Older Woman).  And the Younger Men were approached by both the Older Men and Younger Women to form a majority alliance.  That made me think immediately of the voting blocks that came to be the norm in Second Chances, 19 seasons and 9 years into the future.

 

And it's kinda funny that each of the 4 original tribes from this season has had a representative come back for future seasons, and only one from each.  Makes you wonder if they were actually onto something with the starting tribal division.

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We've watched a few more episodes of this season, and it's still fascinating to look at from a mindset that has evolved with the game,  watching Cirie's game in particular.

Episode 3 had Bruce join the Casaya crew of misfits and become a leader.  Then they (Shane specifically) mentioned that fact at the RC, which was the first RC where the winning tribe sent one of the losing tribe to Exile.  La Mina won, so they decided to send Bruce back to Exile to weaken Casaya.  And they made this clear that that was why.  If they'd said they were sending him back because they didn't want to send someone there that couldn't handle Exile, things that happened next might have been different.  This episode also had the beginning of Casaya's winning streak at the IC, and Misty (the first Exile) getting voted out.

Episode 4 had Casaya win the RC.  And with Misty gone and the bad taste of Bruce being chosen because he was a leader on Casaya, Casaya sent La Mina's leader, Terry, to Exile as a form of payback.  But he finds the HII, leading to the events of the post-merge.

Episode 5 had a very fun RC that might be a good idea to bring back.  It was a relay where the teams had to throw items from one to each other, starting with simple bags of beans and rice, then 6 large whole fish.  When the fish got to the last person, they had to cut off the heads and tails before putting them with the bags to score the point.  Casaya started with a lead and had Bruce as the anchor at first, but they fell behind on the first fish when he took a long time to decapitate the fish.  He traded off with Bobby (aka president Bob-Dawg), and he was able to remove the heads on the rest of the fish with only one or two hits of the cleaver.  Casaya won all that food, plus spices, oil, and wine, and sent Terry back to Exile.  La Mina got the choice of the beans or rice and took the beans.

I highlighted the wine, because this was the infamous episode where Bobby and Bruce drank the last bottle of said wine in the outhouse (that they won in the previous RC) while everyone else was asleep in the shelter in the middle of Lake Casaya.  Bobby took the brunt of the blame from Courtney, who was pissed that everyone in the tribe had contributed to them winning the wine (except she and Danielle sat out of that competition, so they didn't actually contribute to the win, other than not fucking it up.  And it was Bobby's chopping skill that won then the challenge, so he did do a hell of a lot more than she did to earn that wine.)  But all that led to the great line from Bobby that he was sorry for drinking everyone else's wine, but not hers.

La Mina wins the IC in this episode.  And in no small part related to the argument about the wine, Bobby is voted off.  But it goes down interestingly.  Bobby is Shane's first choice for the vote, but Aras wants to vote for Bruce.  When they discuss this with Danielle and Courtney, the girls agree with Aras.  Then Shane goes to talk with Bobby and tells him that he had been the target but no longer is.  Bobby promises to be loyal come the merge, which was one of Shane's worries and reasons to vote Bobby off.  They make a pact to not vote for each other.  Meanwhile, the girls talk to Cirie and decide that they do want to get rid of Bobby after all.  And since they only need 4 votes to do so, they need just one more.  So they get Shane and tell him the new plan.  Which he gets upset about them not thinking about that in the first place when he brought it up.  He also tells them that he just promised Bobby he wouldn't vote for him. 

In the end, it goes down as a 3-2-1-1 vote.  The women all vote Bobby, he and Aras vote Bruce (likely Shane told Bobby about this plan), Bruce votes Courtney, and Shane throws away his vote by voting Aras.  I have to think it was Cirie that realized that the vote would still work, as long as Shane didn't vote Bruce, and Bruce voted however he wanted.  In any case, I think this vote in particular was the inspiration for Cirie's 3-2-1 yet to come.

Episode 6 was the last we watched.  This one started back at camp right with Shane keeping everyone in the shelter awake (Courtney was not in the shelter and sleeping near the fire pit) by complaining that the vote should have been for Bruce, and blaming Danielle in particular.  In the morning, Cirie and Danielle told Courtney what happened in the shelter overnight, and them deciding that Shane would be the next to go.  Then came the challenge; a combination RC/IC.  Winners got the traditional local cultural experience by going to a cookout at a nearby fishing village, and put someone on Exile that would then miss TC and not get voted out.  Casaya pulled out the win, thanks to Cirie and Bruce solving the puzzle. 

So Casaya got to decide who of the 5 people on La Mina (Terry, Dan the astronaut, young men Nick and Austin, and Sally) would go to Exile and be immune.  As they huddled up, I noticed that the person first leading the discussion was none other than Cirie.  Yet one more step on her path to legend.  Sally is sent to Exile, meaning that one of the 4 men will be voted off. 

Meanwhile, Casaya goes to the village and feasts.  And Shane gets his first couple of cigarettes in 15 days.  As he's smoking them, you can see the nicotine physically change him.  He becomes a "normal person" again, apologizes to the young women, and they accept.  Which makes Cirie nervous.  Because while the rest of Casaya is enjoying the break, Cirie is still playing the game.  She's seemingly the only one doing so.  Further evidence of her being one of the best players ever; she never stopped playing.

And as would be expected, La Mina voted out Dan; the oldest and weakest, and part of the puzzle team that lost the lead on the challenge (Sally being the other part).  He tried to convince Terry, his main ally, to tie the vote and have it go to a challenge.  But Terry didn't do that.

Which was probably the smarter move for Terry.  As I was writing this, I realized that it wouldn't have gone to a fire-challenge if it had tied in this vote.  It would have gone to rocks.  And Terry would have been one of the two people drawing (Nick being the other since Dan voted Austin and in this hypothetical, so would have Terry). 

The next episode we watch will be the merge.  And all the pieces are in place now.  Terry's in his minority alliance of men but holding the HII.  Cirie has worked her way up the ladder in Casaya with the alliance of 4 cracking (but not fully breaking) because of Shane's temper.  And Sally's about to return from Exile, with the full knowledge that being on Exile is the only thing that kept her in the game that night, so she's the wild card.  Interesting times are afoot.

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I remember that fish challenge, mainly because Terry got so frustrated at the end when they lost I thought he was going to chop right through the surface.  I was glad when Sally got sent to EI, because it spared her from certain elimination.  I liked her, and really hated Terry's merry band of men, so I was glad they finally had to turn on each other.

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8 hours ago, LadyChatts said:

 I liked her, and really hated Terry's merry band of men, so I was glad they finally had to turn on each other.

Except they kinda didn't.  They all talked between IC and TC, and Dan knew he was the one the young guys were voting for.  And he accepted that.  He knew that the reason they were going to TC in the first place was failure on his part of the challenge.  Terry and the young guys did the physical part and gave Dan and Sally a big lead in solving the puzzle.  But they couldn't even get one piece in until Cirie and Bruce had got two placed and Terry could call in cheats off of them.  

Dan also knew that the two young guys were allied and not going to vote for each other, nor would they vote Terry.  He also knew that he was the physically weakest of the 4 of them.  So he accepted he was the only available logical choice, since Sally was immune on EI.

The entire TC was unusual.  Dan knew walking in he was probably going to get voted off.  He still held out some hope that Terry would force the tie, but he knew.  He even admitted it to Jeff.  Plus the other guys were singing his praises at TC.  The prevailing sentiment was "we don't want to do this, but we have no choice."

I guess the question is, does it count as "turning on each other" when everyone knows exactly what is going to happen and accepts it?

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I haven't watched this season in a very long time, but wasn't Sally going to be the target had she not gone to EI?  For argument's sake I'm going to say they picked Terry to go to EI instead of her.  Would the 3 men have stuck together and voted Sally off, or would Austin and Nick jumped ship and targeted Dan?  I assumed Sally was the one going if not for the last second reprieve of going to EI.  With her gone, the men had to turn on each other.  In that case, I know Dan likely knew he was going, especially if he couldn't convince Terry to try and force a tie.

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Just now, LadyChatts said:

but wasn't Sally going to be the target had she not gone to EI?

She was.  And she knew it.  She knew she was in danger the next time La Mina went to TC.

2 minutes ago, LadyChatts said:

Would the 3 men have stuck together and voted Sally off, or would Austin and Nick jumped ship and targeted Dan?  I assumed Sally was the one going if not for the last second reprieve of going to EI.

I would assume so too.

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Couple more episodes down (skipping the recap episode that took place right before the merge). 

Not too much to say, since the game pretty much went along as an old-school season would; a basic Pagonging. 

The only time it got interesting was at the F9.  Terry had won the IC for the second time, so the Casaya 6 had to decide between Austin and Sally (Nick have been voted off at the previous TC and just missing the jury.)  But they were worried about Terry having the HII and giving it to whomever had been voted for.  It's obvious in retrospect what they needed to do; split the votes and cause a 3-3-3 tie.  Even if Terry used the idol on one of the two, the other would then get all the votes on the revote.  And that plan is standard Survivor gameplay today.  But at the time, no one had dreamed up the concept of splitting the votes to nullify the idol.  So they voted en masse as usual for a Pagonging, hoping Terry wouldn't screw them over.  And since he was mismanaging everything post-merge in the first place, he didn't, so they got lucky.  But still, the lack of a commonplace move became very evident.

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We watched another 3 episodes on the 4th.  These covered Sally's boot, Bruce's medevac, and Courtney's departure. 

Not too much to say about the first episode.  The only thing that struck me was Aras saying before the RC that he'd like to go to Exile to check for the HII himself.  Then during the RC itself, which was a team challenge of directing one person suspended on a bungeed platform around a frame to gather numbered flags in order, Aras seemed to mess his team up by knocking the the retrieved flags out of their end point, causing them to waste time putting them back before continuing on.  That let Terry's team come from behind to win the RC, and they sent Aras to Exile.  So I wondered if he did that on purpose.  This was also the episode where this happened.  As for the Sally boot, still basic Pagonging.  But at least they "tried" to swing votes by threatening to use the HII.

The next episode was where it started getting interesting again.  The RC was a coconut chop, with Courtney being the predominantly "bad" answer.  Cirie "won" the challenge, sending Terry back to Exile again, and taking Aras and Danielle with her on the overnight spa visit, despite having a deal with Shane to share  a reward.  Her claim was she also made the same deal with Danielle, and did it before she made the deal with Shane.

That left Courtney, Shane, and Bruce back at camp.  Shane was still a little upset about the result of the challenge, but Courtney was more pissed about the results during the challenge.  That led to an observation about the two of them: Shane is quick to anger, but flares out fast.  Courtney is slower to anger, but burns for a long time.  As evidenced by her passive-agressive greeting to the group when they returned in the morning.  This was also where the classic exchange of "I'll kill you in your shitty apartment!" "My apartment is not shitty!" took place.

This is also when Bruce started really showing the intestinal pain that eventually led to his midnight medevac.  Which is poignant because of Bruce, but funny because of Courtney and Shane.  And this is what Courtney was passive-agressively telling Cirie, Aras, and Danielle about when they returned from the spa.  "Bruce was in a lot of pain, the medics came and took him away, we don't know how he's doing or if he'll be back...but glad you had a good time."

Amongst all that, I wondered what would have happened if Cirie had taken Bruce to the spa.  Would the massage treatment have helped unblock him and allow him to stay?  Or would he still have been medevaced, just cleaner and more comfortable beforehand?  And since the F7 IC wasn't run, we'll never know if that would have been a challenge Terry couldn't win, allowing them to burn the idol.

The last episode was the F6; the episode that cemented a legend. Cirie's 3-2-1 Play.  Not much really needs to be said about this.  But binging the season, even in short bursts, clearly shows how good Cirie is at Survivor.  From dodging the first couple votes to taking total control of this one IC, knowing where every single vote would be (minus a little bit of wavering from Danielle).  It's Survivor strategy at some of its' finest.  And all from the woman afraid of leaves on Day 1.

That said, here's where Terry really screwed up.  He should have played the idol here, at the 3-2-1.  Courtney was the 3, but Aras was the 2.  Terry could have saved his new ally and taken out his biggest threat in one fell swoop.  And after determining Shane was the odd man out (no joke here), he could have likely brought him over too.  That would have finally given Terry the numbers advantage as well as the challenge advantage, guaranteeing him a place in the finals.  Plus with his plan of taking Courtney, he probably would have won.  But he won the car earlier in this episode, so he lost Survivor.

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Only watched one episode this time.

The F5RC was the old "redoing parts of old challenges" challenge, with the loved ones visit on the line.  And the rule was the winner would assign who got how much love.  As Survivor fans, we now recognize this is a challenge to lose if you're thinking at all.  So naturally Terry wins it.  I'm pretty sure Cirie wasn't trying as hard as she could have, since she won the coconut chop earlier and regretted doing that, so she wouldn't have wanted to take the chance of having to make those decisions again.  That said, it didn't seem like she was tanking, since she passed the first stage (beating out Shane), but lost at the second.  Which is where I had commented before the challenge started as where I would try to lose the challenge myself.  Losing there makes it look like you're trying to win, even in you're not.

At the actual reward part, Terry chose for himself and his wife, plus Shane and his son Boston, to go on an overnight resort stay.  Cirie's husband H.B. went back to camp for the night.  Aras got a hug from his mom at the challenge, and Danielle was sent to EI, only getting to see her mom from a short distance.  He explained some of his logic: selfishness on his own part, he didn't want to be too harsh to a kid, and he was under the impression Danielle was the next to go, so why give her anything.  And my mother opined that it makes more sense to send a man back to camp over an older woman.

But those choices further show how bad Terry's social game was.  If he'd been trying to gain allies at this point (which admittedly he might have given up on, since he'd been shut down with every vote since the merge), he could have used this opportunity to curry favor.   If he'd taken just the hug for himself and sent two others on the resort stay (say Shane and Danielle), he might have gained them both as allies, instead of just Shane.  And sending Aras, the biggest threat to his winning streak to EI seems like a no-brainer, yet he didn't.  Other than Shane and Boston, bad choices all around.  (I'll give him that one.  It does seem harsh to make any other choice than what he did involving a kid, even if he does seem more mature than his father.)

Having said all that, it was entertaining to see H.B. at camp.  His reactions were so like Cirie's at the start of the game.  And flashing forward 22 seasons, their son was exactly the same during his visit.  3 great reactions out of the Fields family.

IC went as expected, with Terry winning yet again.  TC was nothing too special.  Shane voted Danielle, as that was the plan as far as he knew, but Cirie, Aras, and Danielle voted for him instead.  The odd thing was Terry's vote for Aras.  Why'd he cast that throwaway vote?  And while I understand not using the idol to ensure making the F3 (as this one could), this was one more opportunity for him to gain an ally and mess up the majority's plans by playing it.  If he'd saved Shane, the votes would have been 1-1 Aras and Danielle.  So there would have been a revote.  And Shane would likely have voted for Aras, seeing him as a bigger threat and bigger backstabber than Danielle.  Along with Terry's vote, that would have been enough to eliminate Aras.  Cirie's vote would be the more interesting one to watch in this hypothetical revote.  Would she have voted Aras, figuring he was the more likely target and not wanting to antagonize Danielle, or would she vote Danielle, not wanting to burn her closest ally?  At first, I thought she'd vote Danielle, but after thinking a bit, I'm pretty sure she would have read the room correctly and voted for Aras.

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I'm watching this season now. It's pretty entertaining, especially fun to watch Cirie in her first season. She's pretty good - she has a soft way of persuading people and disarming them since she is no physical threat. I just saw the episode of the 3-2-1 vote. As I was watching her wheeling and dealing, then saw her conversation with Aras and Danielle, I suddenly thought "This is the 3-2-1 vote!"  Cirie, Aras, Danielle = Courtney; Terry and Courtney = Danielle; Shane = Danielle. (I think that's how it went.) Aras seems pompous for his age. Shane is just nuts and I would have voted him out long ago. Those tirades must have been hard to live with. To me Courtney was much more bearable.

Also poor Bruce - made me think of Joe.

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9 hours ago, Lamb18 said:

Cirie, Aras, Danielle = Courtney; Terry and Courtney = Danielle; Shane = Danielle. (I think that's how it went.)

No, Terry and Courtney went for Aras.  Shane did go for Danielle, though.

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On 8/1/2017 at 7:32 AM, Lamb18 said:

I'm watching this season now. It's pretty entertaining, especially fun to watch Cirie in her first season. She's pretty good - she has a soft way of persuading people and disarming them since she is no physical threat.

Seriously.  Her lack of overt physicality (note that in the tribal phase, she was one of Casaya's "strength" players, alongside Bobby.  They were the ones lifting and throwing around teammates in some challenges, and their opponents in others.  And during the fish throwing relay, Cirie was very good at chucking the heavy fish.  She had only one bad toss that we were shown, and it was really the fault of the person she was throwing to that the fish fell) combined with her strategic mind and superb social abilities are why she's so damned good at this game.

Over on my rewatch, we just finished the season.  We picked up right after the Shane boot (so right where Lamb18 just stopped).  The F4RC was set up to split the 4 people up into pairs.  2 on the reward, the other 2 to EI.  Each side was guaranteed to bond, and make plans against the other side.  Doubly so when the two biggest rivals in the game were on opposite sides.  Aras taking Cirie was a logical move (repaying her for taking him on a reward earlier, and not sending her to EI even if she wouldn't have been there alone), but maybe not the best move, seeing as Danielle switched over to Terry's side.

Which brings up something my mother pointed out.  Danielle played a very good game.  She made good alliances, but had decent back-up plans for when the alliance wouldn't work for her.  She doesn't get credit for having a good game because she was overshadowed by someone with an even better game and story: Cirie.  But looking objectively and beyond Cirie's legend, Danielle was a good player for the era.  It might be interesting to see if she could adapt to the current school of Survivor.

Something I hadn't recalled seeing before was in the post-credits at the F4TC.  Since that episode ended on the tie-breaker cliffhanger, there were no final thoughts from the new juror, and no vote recap.  Instead, it was glamour shots of the TC set.  And one shot stood out to me: a scorpion crawling on a skull.  I immediately thought of the fable of the scorpion and frog.  My mother hadn't heard the fable, so I told it to her, then explained why the scorpion was a great animal symbol for Tribal Council itself based on that fable.  TC is where a player's nature in the game is held accountable.  And for the rest of the night, we kept commenting about that...mostly in regard to Terry.

There was a Fallen Comrades for the F3 on EI that I had forgotten about, since that no longer happens (on camera at least.  I like to imagine that they still do Fallen Comrades in some form on the way to the FTC, even if they no longer show it.) And it was highly appropriate that those 3 people who had been sent to EI the most times were the ones that symbolically closed the island down.  It would also have been appropriate for Terry to throw the HII into the fire there, since it came from EI and no longer had any power.

And thinking about it, other than Misty, everyone else that went to EI made it to end of the game in one way or another.  Sally, Austin, and Bruce all spent time on EI, and all made the jury.  The lone exception was the first Exile.   Somehow, that seems to fit too.

 

On 7/5/2016 at 9:26 PM, Sarahsmile416 said:

we are discussing Aras jumping off the lily pad in the Final 3 Immunity Challenge.

On 7/7/2016 at 11:35 AM, ForeverAlone said:

I give Aras a pass on the final immunity challenge. Sure he did jump off, but let's face it, he wasn't going to last much longer on it anyway. He barely had his balance as it was, and Terry had already fallen off .

Exactly. Danielle had two advantages in that challenge.  First, women do tend in general to have a better sense of balance than men, and this was a balancing challenge.  Looking back, Danielle was a rock throughout this challenge.  Her second advantage was her lighter weight.  That meant she was displacing less water, allowing her pads to remain higher above water than either of the guys.  This is evident in the transitions between the pads, mainly at the last one they used.  Both Terry and Aras add enough weight to completely submerge their pads, whereas one side of Danielle's pad remains above water as she moves across, and then the whole thing levels out just above the water's surface as she stabilizes herself.  Meanwhile, Terry completely fails to get stable in the allotted time, and while Aras does manage to get upright, he's shaky the entire time, and the entire top of the lily pad he's on is underwater, with the water's surface above his toes.

So Danielle had the challenge on lock.  Aras jumping after getting the nod from Danielle was a saving grace.  He would have failed eventually anyway.

 

On 2/8/2016 at 8:44 PM, LadyChatts said:

As for why he didn't give it up to Nick or Austin, or I would argue Danielle in the final 4, that's a good question that many of us wonder (I only say Danielle because, even though she lost, it might have made it that much tougher for her to vote Terry out at the final 3 and face the jury if he had helped spare her the previous vote).

Danielle says as much after she wins the FIC.  She tells Terry flat out that if he'd given her the HII at F4 and not made her go to fire, she'd be taking him to FTC without question, instead of trying to decide between him and Aras.  So Terry being selfish with the HII did cost him the game.  Danielle was not going to win no matter what.  If he'd been at FTC, Terry would have likely received the 4 votes he needed to win from Sally and Austin (his former allies), Shane (who said so in his jury speech), and Aras.

One question was raised by the events of Day 39.  Aras injured himself and required the medical team to come out and stitch him up, literally.  But what would have happened if they'd needed to remove him from the island?  Would Danielle have won by default?  Or, since it was Day 39, could both Aras and Danielle been evacuated to the hospital so they both would still be under the same conditions, Danielle getting an IV nutrient drip like Aras would need, then both of them going straight to FTC from the hospital once Aras was cleared to leave?  The latter case seems fair for an F2.

And after all was said and done, my mother raised one more question.  What if, in a future season of Survivor, they re-applied these old rules for the HII?  Meaning no Special (Tyler Perry) Idol, but that any and all HIIs hidden in the season could be played after the votes again.  How would that change the game after the rules being the way they are for so long?  Neither of us were sure, so I put the question out there to you all.

(I'm sure if that had been the rule in GC, then the Idolgeddon would not have happened.  For one, there'd have been fewer HIIs in play, since they probably would have been spent earlier.  And secondly, only the people with votes would have played their HIIs, so there would be people other than Cirie available for a second vote.)

Edited by SVNBob
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6 hours ago, SVNBob said:

And after all was said and done, my mother raised one more question.  What if, in a future season of Survivor, they re-applied these old rules for the HII?  Meaning no Special (Tyler Perry) Idol, but that any and all HIIs hidden in the season could be played after the votes again.  How would that change the game after the rules being the way they are for so long?  Neither of us were sure, so I put the question out there to you all.

Isn't this the way it is now? You play an idol after votes are cast but before they are read. Or do you mean after they are read?

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7 hours ago, Lamb18 said:

Isn't this the way it is now? You play an idol after votes are cast but before they are read. Or do you mean after they are read?

The old school idols were played after the votes were read.  After Cook Islands, the ruled changed where it had to be played before they are read, which can make it a bigger risk of when to play it and who to give it to (not sure if you've watched Survivor Fiji yet, but there's a great example of that in there).  I honestly like it that way, because I think it does add more strategy, and people don't purposely target someone out of fear that they will obviously play their idol when they see they or their ally are getting voted off.  As to how it would play out nowadays-my guess is in the era of "big moves", they would totally take the risk and flush it.  I don't think there'd be any fear of keeping someone around because they'd play the idol for themselves or someone else.  It'd probably be worth the risk losing an ally but getting an idol out of play.

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17 hours ago, SVNBob said:

Which brings up something my mother pointed out.  Danielle played a very good game.  She made good alliances, but had decent back-up plans for when the alliance wouldn't work for her.  She doesn't get credit for having a good game because she was overshadowed by someone with an even better game and story: Cirie.  But looking objectively and beyond Cirie's legend, Danielle was a good player for the era.  It might be interesting to see if she could adapt to the current school of Survivor.

See, I'd known that Danielle was a good player ever since she organized Bobby's boot.  Aras had tried to strong-arm Casaya into voting Bruce out, but Danielle was having none of it.  After a talk with Cirie, in which both realized that they trusted Bruce to stay loyal to them, but not Bobby (which they had every right to fear -- Bobby was planning on flipping to La Mina at the merge), she got her and Courtney (who actually wanted Bruce to stay, as well) together to blindside Bobby out of the game.  Despite what Aras had ordered them to do, I loved Danielle for basically going, "Fuck him," and taking control of her own game.  I even still remember the exchange when the women made the choice:

Danielle: Courtney!  What do you say we change this game up right now?
Courtney: I was just thinking about changing up the game.

. . . Or something along those lines.

It was just so good seeing someone not willing to go with what the alliance leader wanted and taking control of her game like that.

The bonus was not only seeing the blindsided look on Bobby's face when the vote went down, but even the face of Aras himself.  He was not happy that the women had gone against him.

I mean . . . by the end of Exile Island, I liked Aras, largely because Terry had gotten so insufferably worse by that point, but the Bobby vote had gone down when I still couldn't stand him at all.  So that was a nice bit of schadenfreude I felt to see him totally, completely flummoxed like that.

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I just finished Exile Island and am watching Cook Islands now, but I'm pretty sure Jeff is saying that idols will be played before the votes are read. That's when he's asking for idols. I'll pay closer attention tonight when I watch the next episode.

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I'm watching the season now. I'm on the F8 Episode and wondering why Courtney thought it was smart to go to F2 with Terry who had won 3 ICS already. Also why Danielle would think it was Smart at one point to work with Terry instead of getting him out before she cut him at F3. Also I don't see or get why Courtney got the hate she did from some of her cast mates. Shes never annoyed like others have 

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2 hours ago, Josh371982 said:

Also I don't see or get why Courtney got the hate she did from some of her cast mates. Shes never annoyed like others have 

Bruce is in pain and waiting for the medical team

Bruce: *moans*

Courtney: Do you want me to sing for you?

Bruce: no.

Courtney: *sings anyway*

Bruce: *moans louder*

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7 hours ago, SVNBob said:

Bruce is in pain and waiting for the medical team

Bruce: *moans*

Courtney: Do you want me to sing for you?

Bruce: no.

Courtney: *sings anyway*

Bruce: *moans louder*

Yes that was dumb but personally I saw Shane as more unlikable by far. 

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On 9/12/2020 at 11:33 PM, Josh371982 said:

Also I don't see or get why Courtney got the hate she did from some of her cast mates.

I didn't either. Some of the cast (I think Bob Dawg and Shane) interviewed that she seemed to have two personalities out there—one nice and one evil, but I don't think they ever aired anything that showed that. Although thinking back, I'm not sure how much of Courtney's strategic game we got to see.

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16 hours ago, Hera said:

I didn't either. Some of the cast (I think Bob Dawg and Shane) interviewed that she seemed to have two personalities out there—one nice and one evil, but I don't think they ever aired anything that showed that. Although thinking back, I'm not sure how much of Courtney's strategic game we got to see.

Well she thought it was a good idea to go to the end with Terry before she was booted which I didn't get and thought was dumb JMO. I didn't think anyone was gonna beat Terry or Aras by the end. Smart players wouldve taken out Aras before F4 and then Terry at F3 again JMO. Then Again Cirie mightve beaten either guy 

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