Movie Stream Cast 70: Special Correspondents (2016) and Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Movie Stream Cast is back! This time, Josh welcomes back his original MSC co-host, Rachel, to review the Netflix Original film Special Correspondents, written and directed by Ricky Gervais. Rachel also talks some television with the Netflix original series Love and Flaked. Then, Survivor expert Daniel Erenberg joins Josh for a recap of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng “Brawn vs Brain vs Beauty 2”.

I. [00:00:00] What We’ve Been Streaming

II. [00:07:13] Feature Review: Special Correspondents (2016)

 7/10 (Stream It)
 6/10 (Queue It)

III. [00:15:29] Previously on Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

IV. [00:34:56] 
Wrap up

STREAMING NEXT: Documentary Now (2015)

We’d like to thank Sharon Rowan for our podcast artwork and Chris Ohran for our music. This episode also contains music from the great Russ Landau. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @MovieStreamCast and subscribe on iTunes. You can also reach us by email at


150 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 70: Special Correspondents (2016) and Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

  1. As far as movies to review here in the future, what are the parameters besides them being available for streaming? Do they have to be super recent releases?

    • I just want movies (or shows) that are not super popular but not super obscure. Movies that people have been thinking about watching but maybe haven’t gotten around to it taken a chance on are the bread-and-butter of this show, in my opinion.

        • Well, in that case, here is my list of suggestions. I’ll break them down to genre—though some may fall under several—so it’s easier for you to pick according to your current mood. All currently streaming on the Netflix:

          The Killer*
          Tokyo Tribe

          Angel Heart*
          Ava’s Possessions
          In Fear*
          The Fury*
          We Need to Talk About Kevin*

          Charlie’s Country
          Heaven Knows What*
          Mean Creek*

          The Wood*

          *batteries not included*
          The Machine*

          Black Coal Thin Ice
          The Forbidden Room
          The Keeping Room
          The Machinist*
          Scenic Route*

          I just noticed that Dino had already posted a list, so I tried not to step on his toes, but there were some movies he picked that would make it on my list. Anyway, I realize this is a ridiculous amount of suggestions, so do with it what you will. I’m still looking very forward to that review of Young Ones, which I liked a lot.

          *I’ve denoted the movies that I’ve seen and that I think are of high enough quality with an asterisk.

    • Yeeeeah … I need to build up a bunch before I start so that I can review a whole slew of videos in one day. It will happen, but I need to do more watchin’ first.

      • That’s fine. I believe it was my turn to remind you about it since Dino and Juan have already (I think…)

        My list of requests are really short:

        – The Lost River
        – ESPN 30 for 30 (Whether individual episodes or a ranking episode where you briefly talk about the best five)
        – Woody Allen (Same deal as 30 for 30, either covering a Woody Allen film or just doing a top five)

        I’m not much of a sports fan anymore, but the two 30 for 30 episodes that I’ve seen (This Magic Moment and June 17th, 1994) were great. I know you’ve talked about June 17th, 1994 on MPW before, but I couldn’t find any reviews for the series on MSC.

        Speaking of things you haven’t covered on MSC yet, it couldn’t find any reviews for Woody Allen directed films. I’ve only seen a few of his films, so I’d like to get your views to know which other ones I should check out.

        • We listed several 30 for 30 films on our Trophy Kids Top 5 Sports Docs lists, but I’d be down for that.

          Really interested in doing a Woody Allen show. Could be a lot of fun. We did a few on MPW, I’m pretty sure. Both feature and mini reviews. I’d do that here in a heartbeat.

  2. Dammmmmit! I only have 3 possible safe picks to enter on JSFL.

    Also, can’t decide if I should factor a med-evac into my Tribe points. What are you guys doing there, if you don’t mind me asking? I feel like I should just think about the vote and not try to guess about the med-evac at this point.

    Really scared about making a new Overall Pick on The Tribe now that Jason is gone. Again, I think I’ll go with my heart and pick Aubry, although the Michele conspiracy theories are hard to ignore.

    • I still have all options open on JSFL safe picks, but if I remember right, this is the last week that the “pick four” format holds. For the finale, JSFL has you rank the order of finish for the Final Four (or Final Five, depending on the season).

      Is it for sure that there’s going to be another med-evac, or is that just what’s been rumored? Rough season either way. Does The Tribe still give you full points for correctly guessing the eliminated player if it’s a med-evac and not a vote-out?

      • This med-evac business is what’s throwing me off. What if the med-evac happens until AFTER the final three have been chosen, giving way to a final two instead? Is that too much of a far-fetched scenario? Has it happened before?

        • I think the latest we’ve seen a med-evac is the final five. That would be an intersting scenario, though! If it didn’t require someone getting extremely hurt, I’d love to see it.

      • A med-evac gets four votes on The Tribe. As for it happening again … I thought it was a fact early on, but lately it has been treated as a rumor, so who knows.

    • My picks this week on JSFL were extremely easy. One castaway was already at six, so I had to go for them as my voted out and the rest as being safe. After tomorrow, two more castaways will be at six and I’ll be unable to mark them safe.

  3. I agree with Josh and Rachel on a lot of their points regarding Special Correspondents, despite coming in at a lower rating than them. For me, I feel the biggest issue with the movie is that it didn’t seem to know what the tone was supposed to be. The issue at hand was very serious, yet they acted as if it was a light subject. Their actions while hiding out in NYC seemed like the plot of a movie where two guys are hiding out in the city when their in-laws are in town (Better wear hats and sunglasses when we go out so no one spots us and tells our wives on us~!), not when they’re supposed in a war torn country and eventually taken hostage. I especially agree on Rachel’s point that Vera Farmiga’s character was too over the top to believe that she could be a real person.


    Furthermore, I’m not sure if we’re supposed to at least understand her actions due to unhappiness in her expectations for her marriage or not. They made a point of her expressing her feelings and having Frank later repeat it, but even that doesn’t come close to explaining her “Dollar for a Hero” scam. If it’s all just one big parody, I don’t feel as if they went far enough with it. Throughout the entire movie, there’s this battle over being some silly made for TV movie that you could find on ABC Family and an ultra serious film with deception and lives being endanger. Without picking a side, neither approach worked for me.

    I do have some small nitpicks. For example, the fake hostage video. It bugged me that Ricky Gervais’ hair was neatly combed. Mess that hair up, homie! Make it look as if you’re being kept against your will in a miserable experience. Then on the boat ride to Ecuador, Eric Bana’s character is shown shaving. Dude, let that facial hair grow instead of making it seem as if your captors are providing suitable means of grooming yourself. Even their clothes when they arrived in Ecuador bugged me. Roll around in the dirt or rip them some. You look like you just came from New York. I suppose all of this could have been intentional as part of the parody, but it seemed off to me that they were doing such a poor job at making everything look believable.

    I did think the movie picked up when they headed to Ecuador and they were actually taken hostage. America Ferrera’s small role was adorable. The song, “Dollar for a Hero” was oddly catchy. The movie may look good on paper, but I can’t say it’s anything more than a popcorn flick to turn on when you’re bored. Semi-enjoy it while it’s on the screen and then promptly forget it once it’s finished.

    To some degree, Special Correspondents felt as if it was a little romantic comedy about Ricky Gervais’ dealing with a wife that may have never loved him as he discovers a much more rewarding love with his coworker…while over the top antics occurs with a fake reporting of a war and an actual hostage taking. Ha


    Rating: 5/10 Recommendation: Queue It for a rainy day

    Thanks to some of the praise the movie received in this podcast, I will be checking out Wag the Dog though. With any hope, we’ll have a repeat of Mississippi Grind where the movie reviewed didn’t do much for me, but the secondary movie that’s brought up does bring a lot more enjoyment.

    • Like you agreed with most of our points, I agree with most of yours.

      Personally, I liked the “walking around with hats and sunglasses” scene. It felt very screwball comedy.

      I do think those nitpicks were intended to show how poor a job they were doing of being convincing.

      The “Dollar for a Hero” was my least favorite element, but only because they didn’t give us the proper set-up for that character. I think it could have worked.

      I wish Ricky Gervais could deliver on a feature film. Like Kevin Smith’s podcasting being funnier than his films, as of late, Ricky Gervais is so effortlessly funny when just talking but can’t seem to translate all of that humor into a great narrative film. Still rooting for him, though.

      I so hope you enjoy Wag the Dog! Fingers crossed. Better writing and better cast. Very similar tone, though and equally as absurd. I really love that movie and its the closest to what this movie is. I’d also HIGHLY recommend Three Kings, if you haven’t seen it. That’s closer to the movie I’d wished this was. Or actually closer to Whisky Tango Foxtrot with the Three Kings humor.

    • Rob is hands-down the best Survivor podcaster out there, but I still prefer others’ exit interviews.

      JoAnn and Stacey have some solid set questions they always ask.

      EXIT INTERVIEW (audio)
      Survivor Fans Podcast

      I love Wigler’s writing.

      EXIT INTERVIEW (written)
      Josh Wigler for Parade

      And Gordon Holmes with the word-association at the end.

      EXIT INTERVIEW (written)
      Gordon Holmes for XFinity

  4. More crack-pot theories for the finale…

    I’ll start this off with a bold statement that won’t be very popular on here:

    Aubry’s only solid chance of winning will be in a final 2 against Tai.

    I’ve been thinking about possible jury votes ahead of the finale. Some scenarios seem pretty clear, whereas others are still quite cloudy. I’m going to break my thoughts into two separate posts, looking at final 2 scenarios and then at final 3 scenarios.

    Final 2 scenarios:

    – Aubry vs. Cydney, Cydney wins 5-4 (Aubry gets Joe, Tai, Neal, Nick; Cydney gets Michele, Julia, Jason, Scot, Debbie)

    – Aubry vs. Michele, Michele wins 6-3 or 5-4 (Aubry gets Joe, Tai, Neal, maybe Cydney; Michele gets Julia, Jason, Scot, Debbie, Nick, maybe Cydney)

    – Aubry vs. Tai, Aubry wins 8-1 or 7-2 (Aubry gets Joe, Neal, Cydney, Michele, Nick, Jason, Scot, maybe Debbie; Tai gets Julia, maybe Debbie)

    – Cydney vs. Michele, Cydney wins 6-3 or 5-4 (Cydney gets Aubry, Joe, Tai, Debbie, Neal, maybe Jason; Michele gets Julia, Nick, Scot, maybe Jason)

    – Cydney vs. Tai, Cydney wins 9-0

    – Michele vs. Tai, Michele wins 9-0

    I guess by this matrix, I see Cydney as being in the strongest position before the jury in a final 2 scenario, followed by Michele, then Aubry. I don’t see a scenario where Tai wins.

    Based on the numbers, a final 2 seems (9 jury members) more likely than a final 3 (8 jury members). Unless, of course, the rumored “jury twist” is something drastic, like eliminating a jury member. Then, a final 3 is possible if they’re ok with having a 7-person jury.

    • This is gold.

      But seriously, thanks for sharing. I’m curious as to why you gave Jason’s and Scot’s votes to Cydney if you think the jury will be more about relationships than big plays. If this will indeed be a bitter jury, then there’s no way Cydney gets those two votes.

      • Yeah, I was rethinking the Aubry vs. Cydney final 2 scenario while working on my final 3 scenarios (below). But, it was too late to go back, so I just left it. That scenario will 100% never happen, though, because neither Aubry nor Cydney would take the other to a final 2.

      • More specifically, in hindsight, I don’t think Scot would vote for Cydney. However, I could see Jason voting for Cydney. They were in an alliance at the very beginning, and he’s said in exit interviews that she played a very similar game to him (strategy-wise). She just did it better. I could see him respecting that.

        I could see that matchup being Cydney 5-4, Aubry 5-4 or Aubry 6-3. But, again, a final 2 matchup between them will definitely never happen.


      Dino initially wrote:

      “Aubry vs. Cydney, Cydney wins 5-4 (Aubry gets Joe, Tai, Neal, Nick; Cydney gets Michele, Julia, Jason, Scot, Debbie)”

      And later wrote:

      “In hindsight, I don’t think Scot would vote for Cydney. However, I could see Jason voting for Cydney. I could see that matchup being Cydney 5-4, Aubry 5-4 or Aubry 6-3. But, again, a final 2 matchup between them will definitely never happen.”

      First, let me say that this is my fantasy Final 2. Two players going head-to-head. Either outcome satisfying (though I strongly prefer Aubry). This Final two would really elevate the season for me.

      Now, the votes …

      My issue with all of this is that I think this jury is pretty hard for me to read. The only certainties, as I see it, are that:

      1. Julia is NOT voting for Aubry and …
      2. Joe IS voting for Aubry.

      -I don’t know where Scot’s vote would go, but I am leaning toward Cydney. Still, could go either way.

      -I think your analysis is spot on and I think Jason goes for Cydney.

      -I think Debbie could go either way, but my guess is Aubry this time. I think Debbie sees Aubry the way we’re saying that Jason sees Cydney. This is the main one we disagree on.

      -I would assume that Neal goes for Aubry because they were close allies, but I also think that Neal might think he was the brains behind that alliance and he might see Aubry as a coattail rider.

      -I think Nick’s vote is up for grabs here, but he might be down on Aubry due to their interaction at his vote-off. He did say that he liked her the most personally at the time, but the vote may have changed that.

      -Tai goes Aubry.

      -Michele goes Cydney.

      So, I see Aubry with 2 definite votes, in this scenario, Cydney with 2, and the rest up for grabs with the likely outcome being Aubry 5 > Cydney 4.

      • I don’t know. Debbie has had some pretty strong words against Aubry in the wake of her blindside. I’m pretty sure she won’t be voting Aubry in any scenario, except maybe if it’s a final 2 of Aubry vs. Tai (because she repeatedly said she wants a girl to win).

          • I remember her constantly saying that Aubry was paranoid and neurotic. But it’s mostly a feeling I get from her Ponderosa video. Specifically, at 1:30 of her Ponderosa, when she said:

            “Aubry, you lost my vote if you make it to the end, though.”

            I don’t know, seems pretty clear to me. 😉

            • Yep, that sums it up. She seemed more good-natured in her final words after Tribal and she sounded like she respected the moves on her exit interviews. But that’s pretty rough.

            • Reading back the exit interviews, her tone does seem a little less harsh than I originally remembered. My impression was probably tainted by her Ponderosa.

              I guess time heals all wounds.

            • I keep getting the impression that this will be a bitter jury, though. Whether it’s from the Ponderosa videos or in-game actions, I feel like very few jury members will actually base their vote purely on gameplay. My experience is obviously limited, so maybe it’s always like this. But I just can’t shake that bitter jury feeling.

            • Yeah, it’s weird. I feel like you have all of these people who sound like they’d respect gameplay like Nick, Neal, Scot and Jason, but I do get a bitter vibe from a couple of these guys. Or at least big ‘ol chips on their shoulders. I’ll be really curious to see how it plays out.

              Personally, I like it when the jury really gives them the business at the final tribal, but then ultimately votes “correctly” for the best player.


      Dino wrote:

      “Michele vs. Tai, Michele wins 9-0”

      I’m not so sure. Before I go any further, let me say that this is my worst case scenario. Two people who don’t belong at the Final Tribal, other than as goats, fighting it out for the win. Yugggh.

      As players, I think Tai has a much stronger resume. Sure, most of it was bumbling, but do the players see it that way? The vote breakdown:

      -Judging by Scot’s Ponderosa video, he is giving Tai much more credit than he deserves for the move to take him out. He may respect Tai’s game more and I can see him not respecting a woman.

      -Judging by Jason’s Tribal Council attacks on Tai, he sees Tai as a huge threat. Like Scot, Jason may respect Tai’s game more and I can see him not respecting a woman.

      -One might assume that Nick votes for Michele on first blush, but Nick may feel toward Michele as I describe Neal feeling about Aubry. We know that Nick thought he was driving the boat in that alliance. He may see Michele as a floater.

      -Neal doesn’t know much about Michele or Tai, but (looking again at Scot’s Ponderosa) he seemed more wowed by Tai’s idol move than anyone else. He’s up in the air for me, but I think he bends slightly toward Tai, unless Nick has really been in his ear talking up Michele this entire time.

      -Debbie wants a female winner. I think she’s fine with Michele.

      -I can see Joe voting for Tai. Yes, he voted against Tai to save Michele, but I think he was still probably closer to Tai. Also, I can see him not respecting a woman. He’s largely an unknown, though.

      -I think Aubry could go either way, but I can see her respecting Michele’s under-the-radar game and being into a “Girl Power” thing. She does have a real closeness with Tai, however, and nothing that we’ve seen with Michele.

      -Julia goes Michele.

      -Cydney goes Michele.

      So I see Michele with 2 definite votes, maybe 3, Tai with 0, but the rest up for grabs with a possible outcome of Tai 6 > Michele 3.

      I don’t think that’s likely, though. I think the biggest thing Tai has going against his is his ability to perform under stress and face conflict. Tai is going to fall apart in a Final Tribal. Michele, on the other hand, is a REALLY good talker and can be very articulate and persuasive when she gets on a roll. I think she’s likely to talk people like Neal, Nick and Aubry into voting for her. I’d like to think that Joe’s vote is his own, but I can see him following Aubry here, as well. There’s also the chance that Scot and Jason are petty (though I don’t think they are) or get Julia in their ear talking-up Michele.

      Still, I think they most likely scenario here (unless Tai completely shits the bed at Final Tribal) is Michele 6 > Tai 3.

      Do not want to watch this version of the finale.

    • You can probably figure out my different iterations based on these two posts, since I covered everyone once.

      Dino wrote:

      “Based on the numbers, a final 2 seems (9 jury members) more likely than a final 3 (8 jury members). Unless, of course, the rumored ‘jury twist’ is something drastic, like eliminating a jury member. Then, a final 3 is possible if they’re ok with having a 7-person jury.”

      I think two more jury twists that are more likely than an eliminated jury member are:

      1. Medical evacuation for a jury member (which I doubt)


      2. A tie. This would only be possible with 8 on the jury and a Final 3, but I could see it happening. It would be the very first ever and the show would have to unveil their long-secret Final Tribal tie-breaker. There have been all kinds of guesses as to what that might be from an impromptu challenge (either on the island or with the studio audience) or even drawing rocks!

      And speaking of drawing rocks, we might see that this week as well if the vote becomes deadlocked between Tai/Aubry and Cydney/Michele. I would hate to see Aubry go out like this, Tai and Michele vote out Cydney, and Tai and Michele going to the Final 2. Blech. Worst possible series of events.

  5. Discussing possible final 3 scenarios is tricky. So, instead of breaking it down as I did above for a final 2, I’m first going to look at who has “locked-in” jury votes. In other words, members of the jury who will vote for a contestant irregardless of who they are up against (including where I think the 4th place finisher would vote, shown in parenthesis).

    Final 3 “locked-in” votes:

    – Aubry gets Joe and Neal (Tai)

    – Cydney gets ??? (Aubry/Michele)

    – Michele gets Julia and Nick

    – Tai gets ???

    That leaves the only “in-play” votes as Jason, Scot and Debbie, plus Cydney if she is the 4th place finisher. Here’s how I breakdown potential votes for these “in-play” jurors in a final 3 scenario…

    – Jason: Will not vote for Tai; not sure who he goes with between the girls

    – Scot: Will not vote for Tai or Cydney; not sure who he goes with between Aubry and Michele

    – Debbie: Will not vote for Aubry or Tai; probably votes Cydney over Michele

    – Cydney: Will not vote for Tai; not sure who she goes with between Aubry and Michele

    Also, if either Aubry or Michele are the 4th place finisher, then their “locked-in” votes would be put back in-play…

    – Joe: Probably votes Cydney

    – Neal: Will not vote for Tai; probably votes Cydney or Michele

    – Julia: Will not vote for Aubry; probably votes Cydney

    – Nick: Probably votes Aubry

    If it’s a final 3, I don’t think Tai gets any votes no matter what the mix is at FTC. So, the rest breakdown as follows:

    – Aubry: 2 locked-in votes + 2 potential votes (current jurors) + 1 potential new jury vote (Tai, or maybe Cydney) + 1 potential “locked-in” vote steal (Nick, if Michele is out; but Michele would then vote Cydney, essentially neutralizing Nick’s added vote)

    – Cydney: 0 locked-in votes + 2 potential votes (current jurors) + 1 potential new jury vote (Aubry/Michele) + 1 or 2 potential “locked-in” vote steal (Joe and maybe Neal, if Aubry is out, which would add another vote from Aubry; Nick, if Michele is out, which would add another vote from Michele)

    – Michele: 2 locked-in votes + 3 potential votes (current jurors) + 1 potential new jury vote (maybe Cydney) + 1 potential “locked-in” vote steal (maybe Neal, if Aubry is out; but Aubry would then vote Cydney, essentially neutralizing Neal’s added vote)

    Final 3 scenarios:
    (potential “in-play” votes shown in italics)

    – Aubry (3 + 2) vs. Cydney (1 + 1) vs. Michele (2 + 3)

    Aubry: Joe, Neal, Tai, Jason, Scot
    Cydney: Debbie, Jason
    Michele: Julia, Nick, Jason, Scot, Debbie

    – Aubry (4 + 1) vs. Cydney (3 + 1) vs. Tai (0)

    Aubry: Joe, Neal, Scot, Nick, Jason
    Cydney: Michele, Debbie, Julia, Jason
    Tai: –

    – Aubry (2 + 3) vs. Michele (3 + 3) vs. Tai (0)

    Aubry: Joe, Neal, Cydney, Jason, Scot
    Michele: Julia, Nick, Debbie, Cydney, Jason, Scot
    Tai: –

    – Cydney (3 + 2) vs. Michele (3 + 2) vs. Tai (0)

    Cydney: Aubry, Joe, Debbie, Neal, Jason
    Michele: Julia, Nick, Scot, Neal, Jason
    Tai: –

    Best case final 3 scenarios for…

    – Aubry: vs. Cydney and Tai

    Aubry has the potential to reach 5 votes in each of her final 3 scenarios, but going up against Cydney and Tai gives her 4 locked-in votes. She would only have to fight against Cydney for Jason’s vote to win. This would likely be the most straight-forward final 3 scenario.

    – Cydney: vs. Michele and Tai

    This matchup is the only final 3 scenario for Cydney where she has the potential to reach 5 votes. Even still, it could be a tough road for Cydney in a final 3 because she would need to fight against Michele for Neal’s and Jason’s in-play votes.

    – Michele: vs. Aubry and Tai

    Michele is the only remaining castaway with the potential to reach 6 votes in a final 3 scenario. This matchup gives her 3 locked-in votes, and she would be in-play for three additional votes from Cydney, Jason and Scot. She would have to battle Aubry for those votes, making this the most exciting possible final 3 scenario.

    – Tai: no chance

    I see no path for Tai to win, period. I don’t see any way for him to receive even a single vote in any final 3 scenario, making him the perfect goat to carry to FTC. If there’s a final 3, Tai will be there.


    I think it’s interesting that Cydney seems to have a really good shot to win in a final 2, but is probably least likely to win in a final 3 (removing Tai from the equation, of course). Conversely, I think Aubry will have a tough time winning in a final 2, but has a fighting chance in any final 3 scenario. Michele, more than anyone else, will need to win votes at FTC. However, she’s the only remaining castaway with zero enemies, so she has the highest vote upside. I don’t see Tai receiving any votes in a final 3 scenario, which is also why I think he would definitely make it there if it’s a final 3.

    # # #

    How I think things will play out…

    Aubry will win immunity. Tai thinks he’ll be voted out because he is the only guy left and was on the outs at the last tribal. However, given Aubry’s “epiphony” about Cydney at the “reward that took down Joe,” I think she’ll want Tai beside her at FTC and will target Cydney instead. Tai and Michele are on board (obviously), leaving them and Aubry as the final 3.

    Jeff Probst has said in the past that he prefers a final 3 to a final 2, so that’s what the producers will want. However, with the current numbers, that would leave an 8-person jury, which leaves things open to a tie. Not ideal. So, there will then be a reward challenge that will reveal the long-rumored “jury twist,” which is the ability to eliminate a jury member from FTC. (would they have a 7-person jury?)

    Michele wins this crucial reward, and considers which of Aubry’s two “locked-in” votes – Joe or Neal – to eliminate. She only spent a little time with Neal after the first tribe swap and he was targeting her for elimination back then after she messed up on a reward challenge, so she decides to eliminate him from the jury. Minus-1 vote for Aubry. Also, Cydney feels burned by Aubry for going back on her final 3 promise, so she decides to vote Michele. Debbie is in the same boat as Cydney – she won’t vote for Aubry because she turned on their alliance. Jason and Scot give Aubry their votes because of her excellent all-around game play, but it’s not enough to counter the bitter jury votes and powerful jury twist reward.

    FTC vote count:
    – Michele gets 4 votes (Julia, Nick, Debbie, Cydney)
    – Aubry gets 3 votes (Joe, Jason, Scot)
    – Tai gets 0 votes

      • I do think Tai has a better than zero chance and could actually beat Michele under the right circumstances, but I don’t disagree that he is the last place finisher in most tribal councils. he is so bad at talking. He may very well talk himself out of a few key votes.

    • This was amazing analysis … well, until that end section, which was crazy.

      I just don’t think it will be a Final 3, as much as I wish it would be.

      I think the most likely scenario, which I basically said above, is that Aubry and Cydney target each other, Tai flips with Michele, Aubry gets voted out, Tai sticks with Michele, Cydney gets voted out. And there’s your Michele win.

      Of course, this doesn’t take into account ties and rock draws or any immunity wins. I think the field is pretty open with immunity, but Aubry and Cydney have the best shot at it. I think Michele has the worst shot at it. Still, I can see Cydney or Michele winning it for the first vote and Tai or Michele winning it for the second vote.

      I don’t want any of this to happen.

      Aubry deserves to win the most. Then Cydney. Then Michele. Then Tai. What will actually happen? I’m dying to find out!

      • I don’t think we can necessarily say Aubry deserves to win the most. I think it’s safe to say the producers probably see it that way as that’s how it’s been edited, but I think a very good argument could be made for each of the remaining castaways…

        Cydney has played the middle much more elegantly and effectively than Julia. She also weathered the storm early on in the game when the Brawn tribe was in dire straights.

        Michele has thus far outlasted every member of her alliances while seemingly being at the bottom of all her alliances. She’s played a subtle, yet effective social game, and is the only remaining castaway with zero enemies.

        Tai has played a largely uncontested game by finding a HII, going into an alliance to use the potential of a super idol to shield him at tribal, and won the mysterious advantage (which also shielded him from attention at tribal).

        • I disagree with your Michele analysis (obviously). She has no enemies because she hasn’t made any moves. Even her “flip” on Julia is mostly moot bc Julia was going regardless. She outlasted her alliances because she posed no threat. Now, having said that, I think Michele is actually quite sharp and could talk her way into a victory against Tai. Maybe even Cydney.

          I slightly disagree with you about Tai. First, being under the protection of the immunity idol could be seen as a negative, but he also went out and found the idol, earned the advantage. Those could be seen as resume-builders. It really depends on the jury. Also, most people didn’t know he had the idol until after the merge. So, while it was keeping him safe, technically, his social game (or maybe his ineptitude) were the reasons that he never had to play it.

          I also think you’re giving Cydney too much credit. Yes, she successfully played the middle, but as a bully. She threw a fit when things didn’t go her way. Even over little things like disliking how Tai targeted Michele or Joe asked her to get fire wood. I think her social game is really bad. Aubry has placated her bc she’s afraid Cydney would fly off the deep end. And, despite being Ivy League educated, we haven’t really heard her articulate any strategies. She’s sharp and excellent at reading people, but I’m not sure how she’d do, presenting her case at a Final Tribal. She doesn’t suffer fools lightly. She doesn’t suffer anything lightly. I think she could turn off certain jury members of she can’t reign that in.

          As for Aubry’s edit, we’re down to the finalists. All of these people got the best possible edits for who they are. With Aubry, we saw someone who could engage both socially and strategically at a higher level than any other player. She’s also not a slouch in challenges. Cydney lacks the social. Michele lacks the strategic. Tai won’t be able to come up with a good defense of his game.

          • These aren’t necessarily my arguments for each of these players. These are the arguments that I think they could make for themselves, or that their supporters might make for them.

            p.s. As for Tai, I was presenting the HII and advantage as pluses for him since, as you said, he was able to find/win them.

            p.p.s. Why do you hate Michele so much?!

            • I don’t hate Michele. I think I’m frustrated that she’s probably the winner. She’d make a great 3rd place in a Final Three. My issues with her asa winner are just what I said above:

              “She has no enemies because she hasn’t made any moves. Even her ‘flip’ on Julia is mostly moot bc Julia was going regardless. She outlasted her alliances because she posed no threat to anyone.”

              Each person is different and those differences require different approaches to the game. Some people can only play under the radar and they have to play the best game for them to get to the end.

              But, there is a difference to me between a player who hides under the radar but makes moves when they count VS a player who was just along for the ride. I see Michele as the latter.

              Her social game is fine, but she hasn’t done anything with it so far other than coast. Her strategic game has been non-existent. her physical and metal game in the challenges has been non-existent. Her survival prowess as a provider or huntress (hahaha) has been non-existent. So, she’s played one aspect of the game okay and hasn’t played the rest. That’s just a boring winner, IMO.

              I think if she was my 3rd place finisher in a Final Three, I’d say, “Oh, Michele wasn’t so bad. She was really cute, had some funny sound bites and was smarter than she appeared.” But as a winner … total bummer.

              However, I’m not from Jersey. I’ve been known to root for some less than stellar finalists from Utah.

              Now, we still have 2 hours of game left and two big players that might be saying “bye, bye” so that could be interesting. If she makes some big moves in the finale, I could be swayed.

          • I love how differently you both perceive the show. We all do, but it’s particularly noticeable with this show because of the gameplay.

            • Another thing is that we’re not given the whole story, just bits and pieces that also happen to be heavily edited for maximum entertainment value. So really, we’re given a distortion of the truth and left to come to our own conclusions. Even with supplemental material like exit interviews, deleted scenes, and the Ponderosa videos, we’re still not getting the whole story because players experience the game from their own perspective and in many instances recall events in different ways. As memorable as an experience like Survivor can be, I would think that with as many things going on at once like harsh weather, malnutrition, taxing physical activity, constant scheming, and paranoia (among several other things), one wouldn’t be able to exactly recall things as they were. It makes me wonder how dependable the things players say in interviews really are. And this is not even taking into account how memory recall works. Total crazy, man!

            • You’re totally right, Juan.

              As Stephen Fishbach often says, “Exit interviews are not canon.” But I do feel like you can discern the truth from the collection of all of these podcasts and secret scenes and interviews. I think that’s why they are so addicting for me.

            • Speaking of Fishback, listening to him podcast has made me like him like a million times more than I initially did. I’m actually looking forward to seeing him play again.

            • This season has been extremely unpredictable. I do love that about it. Only Jenifer guessed the correct person going home more than twice, I think. At least on JSFL. And we didn’t all guess the same people on the same weeks. There was very little crossover. Pretty cool.

            • I’ve guessed the person going home correctly thrice, if you count Joe as a correct guess this past week. For me, that’s Anna, Julia and Joe.

              But, yes, very unpredictable. I blame the edit because in hindsight things seem to have mostly played out in a logical manner. At least post-merge.

            • True, but it’s not just the edit. The gameplay was very unpredictable as well, despite the boots being standard, and the edit captured that incredibly. So, I don’t “blame” the editors there as much as cheer them on. If Michele is the winner, I might have some blame to pass around.

      • Aren’t we beyond the point of drawing rocks? According to the Survivor Wiki [pauses to push up glasses], in the event of a tie at the final four tribal, the two tied players will compete in a fire-making challenge. Loser is eliminated.

        So, somewhat flying in the face of my “How I think things will play out…” above, I think Tai and Cydney will be voted into a fire-making challenge.

        The scenario: I’ll stick with Aubry winning immunity. Now realizing that Cydney is a major threat, she will target Cydney and convinces Tai to vote with her. However, Michele will remain loyal to Cydney, and the two of them will vote Tai. Tai wins the fire-making challenge, eliminating Cydney.

        * * * * *

        Not sure if anyone has watched the preview for the finale that CBS put out on Friday, but it revealed one thing “for sure”… and potentially another thing…


        In the finale preview, a graphic flashed on the screen that said “3 TRIBAL COUNCILS,” … “2 UNFORGETTABLE HOURS.” This would suggest that it will be a final 2 – 4 castaways go to tribal council 1 >> 3 castaways go to tribal council 2 >> 2 castaways go to FTC (tribal council 3). Of course, we know anything can happen, but it’s looking like it’ll be a final 2.

        The second thing that was potentially revealed is that Michele wins immunity at some point. There’s a brief moment where we see the remaining castaways (only Michele and Aubry are visible in the shot) walking with their torches (presumably to tribal), and Michele is wearing the immunity necklace. Now, this could be a flashback to the memory challenge that Michele won a few weeks ago, but it occurs later in the preview after all the flashback clips were shown and while all the new challenge clips were revealed. My guess is that it’s from the finale. Whether that’s before the first or second tribal, though, is unclear since only she and Aubry are visible in the shot.

        So, continuing with my revised “How I think things will play out…” from above, I’ll say that Michele wins immunity before the second tribal. Again, she will remain loyal and vote with Aubry to eliminate Tai, giving us an Aubry vs. Michele final 2. Not a bad scenario: they have different deliveries, but both can talk.

        This is how I think the FTC voting will go, with a little more explanation than I gave above:

        – Cydney votes Michele: Cydney and Michele were close, and Cyd’s feeling a little salty from Aubry’s betrayal at the final four tribal

        – Debbie votes Michele: As I mentioned before, Debbie has been super critical of Aubry following her blindside

        – Jason votes Aubry: Out of respect for her gameplay and as a competitor

        – Joe votes Aubry: Obvious

        – Julia votes Michele: Obvious

        – Neal votes Aubry: I don’t see any reason to believe he wouldn’t stick with his strongest alliance from the game

        – Nick votes Michele: He had his eye on her before the game (admitted in exit interviews that she was who he wanted to work with most based on audition videos) and during the game

        – Scot votes Michele: I think this is more of a bitter vote against Aubry than a vote for Michele

        – Tai votes Aubry: He always goes with his heart, and was never able to connect with Michele

        So, when breaking down the votes, I think Michele will narrowly pull this one out… mostly by way of a bitter jury. Does that mean she’s less deserving? I guess that depends on how you’re looking at it. From a gameplay perspective, yes, probably. But being able to last until the end while making zero enemies would suggest a superior social game. And, remember, she told us way back in the season premiere that playing the social game is what she does best, and it would be her strategy to win Survivor.

        • I haven’t read your finale spoilers yet … still debating if I will … but, yes. You are right about the final four rack draw. My bad. I still think that could potentially decide the winner. It would be the worst, but it’s possible.

          I like a good old fashioned fire making challenge. I mostly vary with you in that I think Cydney will target Aubry. So I think we could see both Cydney and Aubry building fires in the event of a tie. I haven’t seen either of them build a fire this season, so we may be for a long sit.

          • Josh, don’t read my finale preview spoilers if you normally skip the episode previews.

            It’s always so hard to tell if they contain actual spoilers or just misdirection, but I don’t want that on me if it turns out to be an actual spoiler! That’s why I put the spoiler warning up.

      • Josh – I know you don’t like watching the previews, which is why I put a spoiler warning for that down below (I would definitely avoid the finale preview if you normally avoid episode previews). BUT, I forgot to insert an end spoilers marker where I break down a potential final 2 scenario between your Aubry and my Jersey girl. So, I’ll post that here…

        This is how I think the FTC voting would go if it was an Aubry vs. Michele final 2, with a little more explanation than I gave above:

        – Cydney votes Michele: Cydney and Michele were close, and Cyd’s feeling a little salty from Aubry’s betrayal at the final four tribal

        – Debbie votes Michele: As I mentioned before, Debbie has been super critical of Aubry following her blindside

        – Jason votes Aubry: Out of respect for her gameplay and as a competitor

        – Joe votes Aubry: Obvious

        – Julia votes Michele: Obvious

        – Neal votes Aubry: I don’t see any reason to believe he wouldn’t stick with his strongest alliance from the game

        – Nick votes Michele: He had his eye on her before the game (admitted in exit interviews that she was who he wanted to work with most based on audition videos) and during the game

        – Scot votes Michele: I think this is more of a bitter vote against Aubry than a vote for Michele

        – Tai votes Aubry: He always goes with his heart, and was never able to connect with Michele

        When breaking down the votes, I think Michele would narrowly pull it out in a final 2 against Aubry… mostly by way of a bitter jury.

        Does that mean she would be less deserving? I guess that depends on how you’re looking at it. From a gameplay perspective, yes, probably. But being able to last until the end while making zero enemies would suggest a superior social game. And, remember, she told us way back in the season premiere that playing the social game is what she does best, and it would be her strategy to win Survivor.

        • Yeah, I’m divided on the “bitter jury” topic. Mainly, I’m of the opinion that if the jury is bitter toward you, you didn’t play well. On the other hand, sometimes they’re just plain bitter. The social game is often called the most important aspect of the game bc it’s the price that the really flashy strategic and physical players leave out. I used to agree with that, but I’m not sure. I do think it is an equal part. You can be purely physical and strategic and get to the end too. What matters in the finals is what your jury respects. It’s just easier to snowball more quadrants of people at the end with a strong social game than with the other two skills.

          • The truth is, people are often disappointed in winners that don’t exhibit at least two of the three primary factors. Fans have complained about winners who are predominantly physical. Fans have complained about winners who are predominantly strategic. Fans have complained about winners who are predominantly social. We all tend to agree on the well-rounded.

  6. Dino, Am I right? You have just recently started watching Survivor – Correct! You are really smart and strategic. I would love to see you play!

    • Thanks, Jenifer. Flattery will get you anywhere. :)

      I think the more likely explanation, though, is that I just spend way too much time thinking about this stuff.

      And you are sort of correct. It’s my first season really watching the show properly and thinking about the gameplay. I had watched the first several seasons of the show, but only as a casual fan. Also, from what I can remember, the survival aspect was more the focus back then. Either way, this is my first time really paying attention and thinking about the gameplay.

      That said, I did actually send in an audition video after season 2. I was only 19 or 20 at the time and dreadfully boring, so (in hindsight) really stood no chance of getting a callback.



    Cody – 51 pts (USB pick: Aubry, 5 pts)
    Dino – 50 pts (USB pick: Michele, 5 pts)
    IcarusArts – 49 pts (USB pick: Liz, – pts)
    JeniferP – 49 pts (USB pick: ???, 24 pts)
    Sal Roma – 48 pts (USB pick: Jennifer, – pts)
    juan_the_one – 44 pts (USB pick: Jason, – pts)

    The Tribe

    Dino-Machino – 82 pts (overall pick: Michele, 20 pts)
    jeffprobsthairpiece – 74 pts (overall pick: Tai, 20 pts)
    JeniferP – 71 pts (overall pick: Michele, 16 pts)
    IcarusArts – 67 pts (overall pick: Aubry, 10 pts)
    juan_the_one – 59 pts (overall pick: ???, 8 pts)
    Sal Roma – 40 pts (overall pick: Cydney, 26 pts)

    Purple Rock

    Dino – 62 pts (still in the game: Tai)
    IcarusArts – 58 pts (still in the game: –)
    Jenifer – 50 pts (still in the game: –)
    Jeff Probst’s Hairpiece – 40 pts (still in the game: –)

    • If Aubry comes through for us, Josh and I could easily jump ahead of the pack . *crosses fingers*

      I’d like to say that I missed the first week of JSFL, so I’m potentially 5 points ahead of what I am at the moment. Not that it matters :/

        • Haha, nice!

          Fortunately for you, picks carry over from the previous week, so it didn’t really hurt you that much. The first time you forgot to enter your picks actually worked in your favor – you lucked into getting the full 5 points. The second time, you were hurt by having Julia as a safe pick when she was voted out the week before – 3 points. So, those two weeks averaged out to 4 points. Not too much damage… maybe cost you a point with that Julia safe pick, but could have also helped you gain a point by lucking into the Nick blindside.

          Poor Juan, however, forgot to enter picks for week 1. Since there were no previous picks to carry over, he just lost out on those points altogether.


    Let’s get the obvious out of the way right away. Wag the Dog was a massive improvement over Special Correspondents that it was worth it to watch the latter just to then hear mentions of the former. Perhaps this is because we talk about Survivor a lot here, but Wag the Dog reminded me a lot of the strategy aspects of Survivor. Robert De Niro’s character has a clear objective of creating a distraction that will keep all of the voters busy until after the election. Much like Survivor, he had to come up with all of these different ideas, former alliances (Survivor has nothing on the degree of “Short lived” alliances that De Niro’s character had), and it’s ultimately something that could blow up at any moment if he’s not constantly working on keeping his plan going forward. Hell, you might as well just call him Boston Robert De Niro.

    Just like in Survivor, it was thoroughly entertaining seeing the plan laid out, executed, and then altered as time went on. Looking back, it was a fantastic idea to have the CIA reveal to the lie to Craig T. Nelson’s character because it made the lies becoming something even grander. When the lie changed with the news that the war was over and then changed again with the news of Schumann being behind enemy lines is comparable to being a kid and playing flashlight tag or some sort of war game. Your friend claims he shot you, but you being a snot nose kid, you come up with some BS excuse for how the shot missed you. It’s all very playful which is so ironic because this wasn’t some childhood game. This was a lie to the nation that we were at war. It’s a perfect satire in that it makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time.

    To some extent, it’s an educational film in that it’s trying to teach it’s viewers to not buy into everything they hear or see on TV. Maybe everyone is better off if they try to do some research of their own instead of blindly following along with the man behind the curtain. At the same time, I began to wonder if a movie like this could be dangerous too in creating this great mistrust in the government. I realize I’m not finding the right words to describe my thoughts on this, but there seems to be a need of a balancing act. This also made me wonder if there’s a certain line that filmmakers shouldn’t cross due to the reaction that it would create. That’s not to say this film went too far, but rather it just made me ponder that question. One could extend that question out for a more topical issues these days. For example, those that records a police officer abusing his power and using excessive or lethal force against a civilian. Yes, it’s a terrible thing, but it’s also something that would create a lot of backlash. Is the truth so important that you’re willing to make a situation far worse? It’s an ethical question and regardless of my own personal feelings, Wag the Dog is responsible for making me think about these bigger and more important questions. Any time a movie can make you think is great.

    The movie had a lot of laughs thanks to the over the top reactions and results of how everything was working out so perfectly. This parody type of comedy is where Special Correspondents failed. It was supposed to be funny when Vera Farmiga tried to capitalize on her husband’s fake kidnapping, yet it was never explained why she would try doing it and it never felt as if this person was real. In Wag the Dog, this type of comedy connected. Due to the fact that I was a teenager when 9/11 happened, I can remember a lot of the ramifications. I can remember all of those flags, how quickly we turned on anyone who had a constructive criticism about what was going on, and even the ridiculous name change of French fries becoming Freedom Fries. My experiences with post-9/11 made it easier to identify with how the Americans in Wag the Dog bought into everything so easily.

    Due to the subject matter and how zany the twists and turns were, it would have been very easy to succumb to just being cheesy similarly to Special Correspondents. Overall, it’s a great movie that I can see myself watching again. While it’s not the best movie that Josh has recommended to me (That still belongs to Dogville), it’s probably in the top 5.

    Rating: 9 (Maybe 9.5) Recommendation: Stream It

    • Ahhhhhh! Guys, I was just about to post here that I did not go with my heart and went with what I thought was most likely, but then I went back and changed it. Couldn’t do it. Had to go with my heart even if I’m wrong.

      They call me Icarus.


    So how about that winner uh? I’m honestly not outraged like the majority of the people seem to be, but I’m not happy with Michele as the winner. I’m just not a fan of her gameplay and I do think she was just very lucky. I’m not trying to take anything away from her though. I think she did just enough to win and if that worked for her, which it did, then good for her.


      I don’t know. I wouldn’t say she was lucky. She played the exact type of game she wanted to play – from day 1, she said people and relationships were her strength, so she was going to play the social game. Factor in that she ended up being the best at challenges in the end, and I’d say she’s a worthy victor.


        You could also argue that Aubry made two pretty big strategic mistakes along the way – getting rid of Debbie and Jason. She probably would have been better off targeting Michele at both those points.

        I know hindsight is 20/20, but they both seemed to be rather odd moves at the time. Especially the Jason vote.

        On the surface, it’s easy to say this was a mostly bitter jury, and that’s how Michele lucked into winning. But even if you take away the “bitter votes” (Jason, Scot and Debbie), it would still have been 2-2 and a fight for those other three votes. So, not a foregone conclusion that Aubry would have won.

    • Juan, does it put a damper on the season for you overall? Because you were pretty big on this season as it went on…

      • It doesn’t sour the season as a whole, it just mostly lessens my enjoyment of the big finish. But then again, I’m not as much into the game as someone like Josh, so my views on this might change depending on how much more I expose myself to the show and allow it to take over.


      I expected the Michele win just prior to the finale, but it still came off as underwhelming to me. She did step it up at the end, but otherwise, she’s not an exciting win at all. There were so many big moments this season and ultimately, the victor couldn’t live up to that.

      Does a Michele win sour me on this season? It certainly doesn’t help it. A good season and a worthy winner can result in a great season. I know Rob Has a Podcast was comparing it with Samoa and while I don’t know if I’d go that far, I’d agree that the winner of this season does drop my overall enjoyment of the season a bit.

      • Josh Wigler noted that Michele claims to have been behind the Julia elimination. That’s certainly not how it was presented on the show (possibly to keep her “clean” appearance), but it makes sense in the context it was given post-show. If that’s true, then I would say that was the biggest move of the season.

        • Maybe the biggest move for Michele, but not the biggest move of the season. That belongs to Tai, hands down.

          • I disagree, sir. We saw what Tai’s big move did – it burned bridges. It was a big move, for sure, but it’s definitely arguable whether or not it was the right move for his game. So, if a big move ultimately is a bad one, should we still consider it a big move?

            Also, there are blindsides and then there are backstabbings. If you can betray someone deftly, a blindside, then that can benefit your game. I think Tai’s move was brazen and reckless, though, and ended up hurting his chances in the end. That was really the turning point of the season for Tai, when it began to become clear that he was drawing dead. Conversely, Michele’s move on Julia (if that, in fact, is how it went down… that it was her suggestion to Aubry’s crew) gained her some game respect, further cemented her jury vote from Julia, and quite possibly earned her even more jury votes.

            Look, I’m a Michele apologist, for sure. But I think a big reason for that is because most people seem to discredit the social aspect of the game nowadays compared to big, flashy “strategy” moves. At the end of the day, this game is still a social experiment, and someone who can make it to the end while forming solid relationships with most, if not all, of the other contestants is going to be a worthy victor in my book.

            • But that’s the thing. Michele never created any moves. She was a follower. She followed the right people and the right moves, and in my mind that doesn’t make it her move. Now, I’m just going from what we saw and perceived.

              Look, I’m not a Michele hater, but I disagree that she’s a worthy winner.

            • Yeah, I hear you. That’s definitely the case from what we saw. But I’m saying that, if what Michele has said in post-show interviews that the Julia elimination was her move, then that’s probably the “best big move” in the game. Whether or not that’s the case, we’ll probably never know, but I see no reason to think Michele would make something like that up.

            • On Tai’s defense, I think it was a big move for sure, he just didn’t talk himself to that position. Someone a lot smoother at sweet-talking people could have turned that into an advantage, I think.


    Any overall opinions on the reunion? As time passes, the more I feel it was pretty lame. Jeff spoke with so few players and when he did speak with them, very rarely did he speak about anything important. How did we not get any questions to Scot, Jason, or Alecia in regards to the bullying? As someone not familiar with Sia, I thought her interrupting was awful. I would have liked to have heard from Jennifer, whether about the bug incident (Which was one of the most newsworthy moments of the season) or her infamous performance at tribal council. In addition, I would have loved to hear from some of the jury members for why they voted for who they did.

    There was so much to talk about on the reunion and it didn’t seem like they covered any of it.

      • Although, I’m not surprised they didn’t touch the bullying topic. I’m sure that’s something they wanted to stay away from. But, yes, I would have liked to hear more from the contestants and why certain decisions were made.

        • It’s a bit of a tricky situation due to what a hot topic bullying is these days, but this was the chance for Jason and Scot to explain themselves to the biggest platform available for Survivor viewers. Whether it’s showing that they weren’t bullies to any other females or the program didn’t show the pair trying to help Alecia.

          If they didn’t want to actually highlight the bullying, Jeff could have focused on something smaller like asking Jason and Scot if they regret voting out Darnell or Jennifer before Alecia.

          • Definitely a tricky situation. If you watched Jeff’s season preview where he introduced each contestant, he described Alecia as a ticking time bomb (or something to that effect). Knowing that, probably best to just stay away from the topic, as much as we may have wanted to hear about it.

        • Anyone who saw Worlds Apart knows that the show does not shy away from bullying. I think it was just a matter of a pop star walking on the stage uninvited and CBS requiring a commercial for The Price Is Right. On the other hand, Worlds Apart may have killed the topic of bullying in Survivor forever. Would have thought One Workd would have been enough to do that.

    • I really enjoyed the reunion as I watched it, but so much was left uncovered that it is a bit annoying now. I’m happy they didn’t give Alecia a mic, but I definitely wanted to hear from the jury, Jennifer and Cydney. BTW, was Peter even there? I must have missed him. Also, I’m glad Caleb’s okay and we HAD to follow-up, but it was pretty pointless and the Doctor Joe segment could have been a clip package alone. Didn’t need the interview. Also, I don’t need them to work Cocheran into every flippin’ finale. Still, I didn’t mind what was there. Just spitballing fat that could have been cut to get more game talk. Worse reunion shows include Caramoan, Phillipines, whatever the one with Blossom was, and Wolds Apart. The end of Worlds Apart was AMAZING with the Cambodia cast reveal, but the WA cast got shafted even worse than Caramoan. The truth is they are usually bad. Jeff talking to some children or random war vet. And none of these are as bad as the old days when Bryant Gumbel or Rosie O’Donnell would do the reunion show instead of Jeff. I don’t think Gumbel had even seen the show.

      • Do you watch the reunion shows when re-watching a season? Seem like a deflating way to end a season, but I also feel like you have to watch them (at least on the first watch through).



    Dino – 105 pts
    Sal Roma – 73 pts
    IcarusArts – 64 pts
    JeniferP – 59 pts
    Cody – 56 pts
    juan_the_one – 44 pts

    The Tribe

    Dino-Machino – 162 pts
    JeniferP – 97 pts
    IcarusArts – 92 pts
    jeffprobsthairpiece – 79 pts
    juan_the_one – 63 pts
    Sal Roma – 60 pts

    Purple Rock

    Dino – 64 pts
    IcarusArts – 58 pts
    Jenifer – 50 pts
    Jeff Probst’s Hairpiece – 40 pts

      • Not to get conspiratorial, but let’s address the elephant in the room … Dino was reading spoiler sites. Right? I mean, you called Michele WAY early for no good reason and you called the totally unprecedented “vote out a jury member thing” … Dino cracked open the spoiler door and it just flung right open. That’s my guess.

        I actually want to address this on the next episode: The game vs the show. Cesternino and Wigler discuss this on their “Final Word” podcast in a similar way that I going to (actually they covered several things I was going to) and although I’m not as bugged by the “edgic” stuff as they are, I do want to discuss what it means for the game at this point.

        • Yes, Josh, let’s discuss this because it’s something I’m very conflicted over. The short answer to your question/statement is yes, and no.

          If you consider that “site-that-shall-not-be-named” a spoiler site, then I absolutely was reading a spoiler site. Your favorite Survivor blogger mentioned the jury twist on there early and often, and the jury vote-off was his speculation of what the twist actually was. They also posted press photos for the upcoming episode on that site each week, and a lot can be gleaned from carefully examining them.

          I also subscribed to the SurvivorOnCBS YouTube channel, and watched all the secret scenes and episode previews they posted. Again, a lot of information can be taken away from those. In fact, CBS seems to have this horrible habit of inadvertently spoiling their own show in the episode previews. For example, they twice showed clips that actually spoiled that week’s immunity winner (Jason and Michele in the finale)! That’s why I warned you against watching the finale preview earlier this week, considering you don’t normally watch episode previews.

          As far as Michele is concerned, certain podcasters that you turned me on to (namely, Fishbach and Dom & Colin) talked incessantly about Michele’s “winner’s edit,” and the evidence they presented in defense of their theory made a lot of sense to me. It actually made me watch the show in a different light, noticing “Michele’s moves” more and more (which may also be why I’m such a Michele apologist).

          Another factor that had me leaning towards Michele was my wife, who called her as a giant threat pretty early on. And my wife is just a casual fan, so she’s far removed from all of the “winner’s edit” talk. She is a badass psychologist who “gets people” better than anyone I know, though, so her opinion held a lot of water for me. (for the record, she wanted Aubry to win even though she was pretty sure it was going to be Michele)

          These were the sources of information I drew upon when making my fantasy picks… which leads to my source of conflict. On the one hand, part of the joy I found in Survivor was trying to piece together this puzzle using the clues that were made available. On the other hand, this flies in the face of my anti-trailer/anti-spoiler lifestyle preference. I actually wonder how my enjoyment of the season may have differed if all I had was the show and our discussion. Would being 100% in the dark on everything have heightened the experience, or is trying to put together this puzzle a significant part of the enjoyment?

          Ultimately, I don’t know the answer to that question. What do you guys think?

          * * *

          p.s. I’m not sure if this has come through in our discussions, but I am a crazy competitive person – losing is not an option!

    • Fine work on your Triple Crown, Dino. I don’t object to anyone’s watching clips or following fansites. Maybe I’ll try doing more of that next season. :-)

      Wow, I cratered on that final week. (Didn’t get to watch any of it until late Friday.) I was loaded for bear with Aubry and Tai, and I had it right that Cydney would be first out of the Final Four. Beyond that, blah. I did not see Michele Fitzgerald coming … until she won the final two challenges. My biggest mistake going in was thinking that Aubry and Tai would dominate the final challenges. If you’ve got any game bona fides at all heading into the finale, and then you grab the final big challenge win (or wins, in Michele’s case, which only made her stronger), then the jury will lean toward you, despite whatever they may actually open up their mouths and say. I think Michele had a decent argument for herself heading into the finale, but she was by no means in an overwhelming position of power. So good on her for two thrilling, last-second challenge wins … but I think losing either of those would have cost her the game.


    So I can’t deny that I was disappointed by the outcome of this season but I was pretty much expecting it. The more I thought about how Jeff Probst would be less likely to downplay such a strong season had Aubry, Tai or Cydney won coupled with the way that Michelle’s presence was creeping into the edit more in the final few weeks (often in spite of her input being kind of superfluous) had me in agreement with Dino that she was lucking more and more likely to be the winner. But in my opinion Aubry was the more deserving finalist by far. Michelle’s game may have been subtle and maybe a bit more pureoseful than the edit showed but Aubry was the one behind most of the big game changing moves in this season. I’m calling “bitter jury” on this one; we see how truly petty Scott, Jason and Julia are in Cydney’s Ponderosa video and I’m guessing that bleed through into the jury verdict.

    Michelle’s certainly not the worst winner of a Survivor season; she did show a decent working knowledge of the game and certainly utilised her strengths to avoid the chopping block but she just didn’t play na interesting enough game for me to feel satisfied with the result.

    I still enjoyed this season a lot though, which is impressive considering it had to follow Cambodia which might end up being remembered as one of the very best Survivor seasons of all time.

    • Apologies for so many mistakes. My cat is sitting on me and it’s difficult to type.

      And I’m also an idiot.

    • David: I agree that Aubry had the strongest résumé, though not by a whole lot over Tai. I think either of those two were more deserving than Michele. Michele’s biggest strength was understanding both the importance of talking a good game, and then knowing how to actually do it. Lots of people understand that you can make up ground on your competitors with a little well-played smooth talk, but doing that well enough for people to actually consider what you’re saying is a next-level skill. Michele really locked it down, though, by squeaking past Tai and Aubry in the biggest challenges of the season. I’m not thrilled that she won, but I think you have to hand it to her for coming up huge twice in the finale.

  13. The RHAP “Why Michele Won Survivor” podcast with David Bloomberg gave some interesting insight into why Michele won (and, potentially, why Aubry lost). In short, a voting block of two or three jurors who just plainly did not see Aubry’s gameplay at the time (but have, in hindsight). Especially interesting that Jason has said if he saw then what we’re seeing on the show, he would have voted for Aubry.

    Could be why Jeff Probst was so lukewarm on this season.

    (I still love you, Fitz!)

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