For Scripted TV and Movie Podcasts and Blogs, Visit Our Sister Site at

Sophie Clarke on the Survivor Blood vs Water Final 8

Watch the Show on Youtube

Listen to the Podcast:

Subscribe to RHAP on iTunes

CLICK to Subscribe to Rob Has a Podcast on iTunes

This week on Rob Has a Podcast, Rob welcomes Sophie Clarke, the winner of Survivor South Pacific, back to the podcast and takes your voicemails with Gordon Holmes from Xfinity TV.

Sophie Clarke

Rob and Sophie begin their discussion with a little insight in to what goes on in the daily life of Sophie Clarke. Rob asks Sophie her thoughts about this season and the following subjects:

  • How does Sophie compare the Blood vs Water season to the same period from Survivor South Pacific?
  • How does Tyson’s game hold up compared to the game played by Coach on Survivor South Pacific?
  • What were some of the mistakes that Aras, Vytas and Tyson made along the way this season?
  • Does Sophie consider Monica to be a true wild card in the game like Brandon Hantz?
  • How would Sophie fare in a gross food competition?
  • What would be the best course of action for Katie, Laura, Ciera, Hayden and Caleb at this point in the game?
  • Would Sophie ever date a player that didn’t make the merge?
  • Should Tyson ever reveal that he has the idol?
  • What does Sophie think of Redemption Island, having won a season which had that twist.
  • What are the latest plans for Sophie’s alleged rival upstart podcast with Kim Spradlin?
Sophie Clarke discusses Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 9 on Rob Has a Podcast

Sophie’s Back!

Gordon Holmes (Starts at 1:36:40)

Gordon Holmes (@GordonHolmes) joins Rob to discuss his thoughts on the season and answer voicemails from the listeners from the season.

Gordon reveal his takeaways from being part of the press that spoke with the players in the pre-game interviews.  Gordon also visited Redemption Island arena to test one of the early challenges.  We also hear what Gordon saw first hand watching the challenges from the first 3 days of the game.

Rob and Gordon listen to your voicemails and discuss Tina and her daughter kissing on the lips, whether people from Redemption Island should get to go to tribal council, Gordon’s bet from the world series and much more.

Subscription Links:

Subscribe to RHAP (All Shows) on iTunes:

Subscribe to RHAP (All Shows) on Stitcher:

Subscribe to RHAP (All Shows) on Soundcloud:

Subscribe to RHAP (All Shows) on YouTube:

Save on Domain Management from Hover: – Save 10% on a new domain name with promo code: ROB

Rob Cesternino

Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor player and reality TV aficionado. Rob gives his thoughts on his favorite Reality TV shows as the host of "Rob Has a Podcast" More From Rob Cesternino »

Become a Patron of Rob Has a Podcast

  • Riva Gold

    Parvati won and made the merge. Also, Sophie is killing it as usual. Watch out for her new podcast at the podcast awards next year.

    • Corndogger

      Parv won and should have won Heroes vs. Villains.

      • damnbueno

        The person who “should have” won is the one who positions themselves best to get the Jury votes.

        Parvati didn’t do that better than Sandra did.

        Parvati put herself in the best position to get Coach and Danielle’s votes. She got Jerri’s because Jerri didn’t like how Russell said he didn’t need anyone’s help to get to the finals. Jerri felt she helped him a lot, and considered it an insult, so she voted for Parvati. Russell put that vote in Parvati’s lap, not Parvati.

        Sandra put herself in the best position to get Courtney’s and all 5 Heroes votes. Parvati largely ignored the Heroes Jurors during the game, while she was so busy hiding behind Russell. Then when she lied about being connected to Russell, she killed any remaining shot at getting the Heroes votes.

        So no, Parvati shouldn’t have won in HvV.

        • Jouni Knuutinen

          So, are all Survivor winners deserving winners? Is every winner the person who “should have” won the vote? Or can you find an instance where the jury got it wrong?

          • damnbueno

            Since the objective is to make it to the finals, and earn the Juror’s votes, the “most deserving” will always be the one who reads the jurors with the most accuracy.

            And since the jurors can use ANY reason they want to choose a winner, reading them accurately is probably the most important goal. Accomplishing this goal can be done during the game, during jury questioning, and (when returning players are involved) before the game begins too.

            Whoever the Jury wants to be the winner, will win. So no, the Jury can never get it wrong.

            Jurors have no obligation to pick the person us viewers think should win.

            There are several winners I didn’t think played the best game. So what? I didn’t have a jury vote, so my opinion on who “should have” won simply doesn’t matter.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            So, are you saying all winners were able to read the jury? That they all somehow manipulated the jury into voting their way? Yeah right. As a fan of the show you really should know better. There are several winners that didn’t really do a good job of reading people during the game or the FTC, but they still got the votes anyways. Reading people accurately is a rare skill and one that very few people actually possess.

            You got it right on one thing though: Whoever the Jury wants to be the winner, will win and they have no obligation to pick the one the viewers want to win. They have every right to vote whatever way they want, but that doesn’t make the winner the most deserving by any means. Sometimes they are bitter and petty and vote against somebody instead of for somebody. In those cases you can’t really credit the winner for getting all those votes. If Parvati had won 5-4 in HvV, would you have said she got Jerri’s vote because she earned it? Or would you have stood by this: “Russell put that vote in Parvati’s lap, not Parvati.” Which is it?

            I do think every winner deserved to win one way or another. To get to the end and get the votes they did something right along the way. It’s just that sometimes some other finalist would have deserved it more.

            If you don’t think your opinion matters, you should probably stay out of every discussion regarding whether someone deserved to win or not. Some people find these discussions fun, but it’s clear you don’t, so how about you just stay away from them? The jury has their criteria and that’s perfectly okay. The fans have
            their own and analyze the show based on that and that too is perfectly

          • damnbueno

            “So, are you saying all winners were able to read the jury?” — Nope. Some winners simply embodied what the Jury preferred without having any idea they were doing something right — like Natalie and Fabio. But at a minimum, both of them were smart enough to know what would NOT make any jurors angry with them. That was an accurate read.

            Whoever the jury thinks “deserves” the win will get the win. It simply doesn’t matter what you, me, Probst or anyone else thinks. Bitter jurors are part of the game. Everyone who plays knows this BEFORE the game begins. I choose to listen to the players instead of assuming I know what they’re thinking, or assuming they’re using MY criteria. Jerri said on this site that she was leaning towards voting for Russell until he said he did all the work to get himself to the finals. That’s why JERRI says she voted for Parvati, so who am I to say she had a different reason? Russell’s actions put that vote in Parvati’s lap. Nothing Parvati said or did got her that vote.

            These boards are a forum for us hardcore Survivor fans to express their opinions. So its just plain stupid for you to suggest anybody stay away from them just because they don’t agree with you from time to time.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            You simply don’t get it, do you? This is not about what the jury thinks, because we know what they were thinking. That’s the whole point of discussing these things, you bypass the jury and try to look at what the players actually said and did during the game and the FTC and try to assess who deserved it the most. If you don’t find such intellectual exercises fun, then don’t participate. It’s fine if you disagree, but it’s another thing entirely to say there is nothing to discuss, when there clearly is.

          • Mike

            And what exactly did Parvati say or do during the game that should have got her the jury votes she didn’t get? Her getting to the end that season was largely about relying on individual immunity or hidden immunity idols, and you’re surprised she didn’t have the social game necessary to get a bunch of jury votes? Parvati astutely realized that Sandra was going to win, and tried to get Russell to take her out instead of Jerri, and I credit her for that, but Parvati failed in this mission. If she succeeded, I might be more inclined to say she deserved to win, but she didn’t. Sandra is the type of person that’s going to win a lot of juries, so don’t let her get there, period.
            While I don’t tend to agree with DBs militant stance on this, I do think you bear the burden of proof when you want to say the winner did NOT deserve to win the season for two reasons. One, we see an edited 42 minute clip of the events, not the full 3 day period in every episode. Two, putting yourself in a position to win the jury is a part of the game and if you lose, it appears that you didn’t do that. Unless you’re playing a game where you can beat anyone at final tribal council, like Kim did, if you want to play the Black Hat, you need to be taking Natalie Tenerrellis and Phillip Sheppards and Clay Jordans, not Sandra Diaz-Twines or Natalie Whites.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            Like I replied to DB, saying someone deserved to win, because they won, is circular logic to me.

            I actually think there wasn’t much Parvati could have done herself before the FTC to get more jury votes. Her only option of getting to the end was to go with Russell and play her own game when needed and hope the jury appreciates that. It turned out they appreciated Sandra’s “anyone but me” strategy more. That doesn’t necessarily mean Sandra was more deserving or more astute at reading the jury. Don’t get me wrong, Sandra also deserved to win in her own way. She definitely deserved to win over Russell. I just think Parvati played the game better than Sandra and I would have liked to have seen that rewarded.

            Parvati failing to eliminate Sandra is similar to Sandra failing to eliminate Russell. At least Parvati made the right read about Sandra getting a lot of votes, where as eliminating Russell could have meant Sandra would not have made it to the FTC.

            Parvati’s FTC performance could have been a bit more humble. That is what makes this so interesting. If she says some things differently during the FTC or Sandra says some things that she shouldn’t, that could have got Parvati the two votes she needed for the win. Would she have suddenly been, in your and DB’s mind, more deserving than Sandra?

          • Mike

            “That doesn’t necessarily mean Sandra… (was) more astute at reading the jury.”
            Maybe not, but watching the final tribal council certainly showed that. They were not buying what Parvati was selling, and she didn’t recognize that and alter her approach. When people were berating her for aligning with Russell, she went with, “well Russell was my pet,” and they didn’t buy it, because it wasn’t true. Russell brought in Jerri, Russell usurped power from Parvati by cutting out her best friend (and someone she could beat) Danielle at final 7, Russell turned Candice, these things are what the heroes saw, so of course they aren’t going to believe what she was saying about being the dominant one in the alliance.
            If she instead takes the approach of, “I get it, I understand that Russell hurt you guys, and I’m sorry about that, I know I bear some responsibility for it because I aligned with him, but from day 1, I was toxic, no one wanted to align with me purely because of my reputation from past seasons. The only person who would be on my side was Russell, so I had two choices. I could give up and die, or I could bite the bullet, align with Russell, and try to make it to the end. I made the latter choice, I hope you can respect that”… and maybe she gets a few votes from the heroes, and she would have deserved them. That speech would have swayed my hypothetical vote, because I too watched the show, and saw that Russell was not Parvati’s pet. People don’t want you to lie to their face at final tribal, that’s the time when you’ve gotta bare your soul and show them how the trick was done, Parvati didn’t do that.

            On the other hand, Sandra knew exactly what they wanted to hear and gave it to them. Say what you want about Sandra during the game, and a lot of it may be true, but there’s no question in my mind she’s ELITE at final tribal, up there with Chris, Todd, Sophie, and Kim.
            As for saying that if you won it means you’re more deserving, I understand how it comes across circularly, but I think the reason that winning makes you deserving is that getting those votes is part of the game, so if you fail to get the jury votes, it is likely that you messed up somewhere. In your hypo, if Parvati got more votes, that means that she did something differently in the game, and the thing she did differently in the game to get those votes is what makes her more deserving, not merely that her total was higher. If, as you said “she said things differently, or Sandra said things she shouldn’t” of course that makes Parvati more deserving because the game doesn’t end on day 38. Final tribal counts, and can count a lot. Just ask Sophie… or for that matter, ask Coach.

            In Parvati’s case, there are many ways she could have got more votes at FTC. Give a better, more honest FTC performance. Successfully cut Sandra at 4. Don’t get outplayed by Russell and lose Danielle. (this is the biggest one, if she’s there with Danielle and Russell, she might win 9-0) Parvati made mistakes, and unfortunately they proved fatal to her game.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            I think you just described perfectly what Parvati should have said at FTC. And yet even that might not have been enough. The jury was so biased against voting for her (and not necessarily because of anything she did in the game) that I’m not sure anything could have swayed their minds. I guess her FTC performance was fueled by ego more than anything else. She was expecting to lose and decided to just go all out, trying to make herself seem to be the mastermind instead of Russell.

            You do bring up good points about where Parvati perhaps fell short during the game. Danielle getting voted out was bad for her, but there wasn’t much Parvati could have done to save her. Similarly there wasn’t much she could have done to get Sandra booted at F4, except win immunity. Still, Parvati was much more influential on the game than Sandra. Russell was by far the most influential and yet he got, deservedly, zero votes.

            Obviously the game doesn’t end on day 38 and the FTC should count… but often times it doesn’t. We’ve seen many tribal councils were the jurors have made up their mind before they set foot on the tribal council area and they just spend their time berating the players they hate and congratulating the one they are going to vote for. Many people have got votes despite what they said at FTC and despite what they did or didn’t do during the game.

            Thanks for the good and calm reply. It’s refreshing to have a debate without the opposition throwing insults all the time :). You actually succeeded in making me rethink my position on this. Perhaps I’ll rewatch HvV during the off-season and change my mind.

            I still don’t buy it though that every winner was the most deserving out of the finalists. There have been some bitter juries in the past.

          • damnbueno

            “Danielle getting voted out was bad for her, but there wasn’t much Parvati could have done to save her.” — Yes there was.

            Russell saved Parvati by playing one of his Idols for her, which resulted in him buying her loyalty and cooperation.

            Parvati decided to copy his move by giving Idols to Sandra and Jerri, and buying their loyalty too. But Parvati knew there was little or no chance Sandra would stay loyal. Even if Sandra had been voted out, Parvati was well aware of how flaky Candice was. Parvati also knew Amanda didn’t really trust the rest of the Heroes either. There were two prime candidates to defect to the Villains, had they lost Sandra.

            Parvati could have easily kept that second Idol — the one Russell didn’t know she had. If she’d done that, she may have been able to use that Idol to protect Danielle later on. But she was more interested in pulling off a move flashier than Russell’s. She wasn’t thinking long term, she was living for the “big move” moment that would guarantee her screen time.

            If Parvati had guessed right, Sandra might have been angry, but she was trying to defect to the Heroes anyway. If the move works, and J.T. is still booted, Sandra is still in the same position — up 5-4, and unable to make the Heroes see how she could help them take control of the game. She already knows she’s #5 on the Villains, but since the Heroes were so dumb, it still wouldn’t make sense to flip.

            Some Juries are bitter, some aren’t. But there has never been a case in which EVERY member of the jury is bitter. That’s why is so important to figure out why each person might cast their jury vote in the pre-jury parts of the game. That’s the best way to figure out what to say during jury questioning.

            In other words, having a good SOCIAL game is often more important than having a good strategy.

            Parvati misread her HvV Jury. She thought they’d buy into how SHE perceived things. She did a horrible job of observing how THEY perceived things. That’s why she had no idea what to say to them, and as a result, only hurt her own cause under questioning.

            When you look back at FvF 1, Parvati didn’t really handle that jury very well either. She greatly benefitted from Amanda’s meltdown.

          • Mike

            Thank you for that DB, since now I get to argue on the side of one of my absolute faves, rather than depressingly being forced to argue against her. I appreciate it.

            Your argument about why Parvati playing both idols at final 10 to make a flashy move and get screentime is patently absurd. It was the right strategic move, and Parvati was aware of this.

            If you play one, and guess wrong, you run the risk of going to rocks. At rocks, you are a 4 to 2 favorite to win (Jerri, Sandra, Danielle, and JT are immune), but if you hit that 33% chance and lose one of your own people, or god forbid, yourself, the entire game shifts and the heroes win the game. So you have a 16% chance to go there yourself, and a 33% chance to lose the numbers (and its your most important number, a goat and a master tactician all wrapped into one). If you play both idols, you are 99% safe (Amanda basically explicitly told Parvati she was safe by telling her to play the idol with her crappy poker face, and voting for Russell makes no sense given their plan of giving him the idol) at that tribal council, and by gaining the numbers there, Parvati was a massive favorite to make final tribal council. She improved her final tribal council (!) equity by upwards of 30-40% by making that move, not just her near future equity. There’s no way you leave those percentages on the table as early as final 10 for an idol you MIGHT need later. There is no way keeping the idol is higher expected value then ensuring with nearly absolute certainty that you get the post-merge numbers.

            Additionally, the only reason she might have needed the idol later is because Russell made a horrendous play twice in a row at final 8 and final 7. Given the information I, being Parvati in this spot, had at the time, there’s no reason to assume he’d make such a bad play. He is the guy I saw just completely destroy Boston Rob and Tyson, he’s the guy that got an idol from JT, he’s the guy that turned Candice pre-emptively before Sandra could even make her counter move (that was like some Minority Report business). The guy was playing a ridiculous game, why would you assume he’d vote out two obvious goats to keep people like Sandra, Jerri, Colby and Rupert around both as a potential foursome voting bloc and as much bigger jury threats?

            I also intend to address the more specific jury stuff later, but alas time is short at the moment so I’ll come back to that later. For now, I’ll just say I do agree with your premise that Parvati may have slightly overvalued her ability to win a jury based on her win the last time, but even if I thought there was only a 20% chance I actually win at final tribal, I’m STILL playing both idols there because it gives me such massive odds to make it there in the first place to realize that 20%er. (And I think her odds were much better than that based on the information she had, as I discussed above).

          • damnbueno

            I think Parvati was doing it for camera time, but I admit it’s purely opinion. She’d just watched Russell make a show out of playing his first Idol for her a few days earlier, and decided to top that move.

            Its not surprising that you’re giving Parvati much more credit than she’s due, but we’ve been down that road before, and I know you’re not REALLY interested in pursuing it much further.

            I don’t think Parvati considered the rocks tiebreaker. or how easy it would be to lure Amanda and/or Candice to the Villains side if they lost Sandra (who wasn’t really loyal to the Villains anyway). Besides, we’ve both heard Parvati interviewed several times since that move, and never once have I heard her say she was thining about rocks tiebreakers, or how much better it improved her chance of making the finals. Your analysis, as always, is very thorough and well thought-out, but it’s YOUR analysis, not Parvati’s.

            Instead, I’ll believe Parvati, who said herself DURING the game that part of the reason she gave both idols away was to 1) Keep her alliance safe 2) secure Sandra and Jerri’s loyalty to her, and 3) show Russell he wasn’t completely in charge.

            If I’m watching YOU give away two Idols, then I’ll believe you’re thinking everything you posted. But I don’t believe that was in PARVATI’s mind when she made the move. She’s much too self-interested to go three years with out ever tooting her own horn about it, if that’s what she was thinking. In fact, its totally within her character to take credit for thinking that way after someone else brings it up to her. Yet I haven’t heard her discuss it once.

            The fact remains that Jouni asked for one possible scenario in which Parvati could have saved Danielle, and I gave him two.

          • Mike

            Even if she didn’t go through that depth of analysis in her head, it’s kind of like what Boston Rob talked about when he was on the podcast when he’s talking about “the math.” He can’t break it down like a Stephen or Albert (or even many of us clowns that post about Survivor all the time), but he has that knowledge intrinsically, in the same way that Parvati came to the conclusion that giving away the idols was the right play, and it was. The depth of analysis is necessary to prove it in a court of law, but within Survivor, it’s sufficient to say that, she gave immunity to Danielle, Russell and Parvati weren’t getting votes, so if I give both away then we’re 100% to have the numbers post merge and that’s really all that’s necessary to prove by a preponderance that it was correct, my analysis was just to remove any reasonable doubt that that was the move to make there. Your equity goes up by a huge margin if you come out of the merge with the numbers. In games where there were split votes at the merge between 2 alliances, only three times ever has the person on the wrong side won (Chris, Danni, and Bob), so if you have the opportunity to make sure you win the battle at the merge, do it, no matter the cost, because you’re an overwhelming favorite to win the war.

            As for me potentially giving her too much credit, I feel I can still be pretty objective with regard to her games, since I’ve just shown in the previous chain here that I’m more than capable of being critical when it’s warranted. I think your language within this post “she’s much too self-interested to go three years with out ever tooting her own horn about it” belies much less of a reflection of objectivity than mine has thus far. To that specific point, what would be the need for her to do that anyway? The full set of people that don’t think Parvati’s move there was actively good is basically: damnbueno.

          • damnbueno

            “Your equity goes up by a huge margin if you come out of the merge with the numbers” — Not necessarily a HUGE margin.

            There is some grey area because of members switches, but after 26 seasons the breakdown is about even.

            I don’t have my notes handy, but I think we’ve had 10 winners emerge from a majority, 9 from the minority, and the rest came from even numbers at the merge. But I’ll trust your results about winners emerging on top after the 1st even numbers vote. But if we’ve had 7 even numbers merges, and 3 winners came from the down side of that first vote, that’s basically a push to me.

            Colton had it right when he said having LOYAL numbers is more important that simply having a higher total of members than the other tribe.

            We’re going nowhere on the “damnbueno can’t be objective about Parvati” debate. When it comes down to the bare facts, we agree she shot herself in the foot with the HvV Jury.

            Are there more people who like Parvati than not? Of course, she’s one of the most popular players ever. But popularity doesn’t equal intelligence, savvy game play, or awareness. If it did, we’d have no choice but to name Rupert as the best player of all time.

            And we BOTH know that’s ain’t true.

          • Mike

            “But if we’ve had 7 even numbers merges, and 3 winners came from the
            down side of that first vote, that’s basically a push to me.”

            But why would we restrict it to that? For instance, you can have pre-merge alliances that have larger majorities, such as Kim and Co. in one world, or split alliances from tribe swaps, such as Rob/Jenna/Heidi/Alex/Deena/Matt, their data points still count in the “having numbers after the first merge vote” set. There’s no reason that it’s a substantive difference whether the merge vote is even, and THEN you come out with the numbers vs. already having them and voting that way at the merge, either way, the end result is the same, you want to be on the right side of the merge vote.

          • damnbueno

            Well, Kim is a curious case. Do we list her as having a numbers advantage because her new mixed tribe was up 7-5? I don’t think so because that season pretty much ended up being women vs men the whole time, which would make it a 6-6 split.

            Even though Troyzan & Co. trusted their new female partners, most everyone in the game was worried about giving the other gender a numbers edge. Kim, Chelsea, Kat & Sabrina were never really loyal to the guys. The only one who really defected was Alicia.

            Jenna is an even more confusing case. She & Heide were never really loyal to Christy. They were loyal to their new alliance with Rob & Alex. And those two guys pretty much sold out Roger and Dave too. But everyone else in the game pretty much stayed gender loyal. Jenna could justifiably be listed as having a 6-4 gender edge or a 5-5 loyalty split. I’ve never broken it down further than that, but if you’re up for it, let’s give it a shot.

            I was fairly satisfied to see that the numbers indicate there isn’t as much an advantage to merging with better numbers as most think.

          • damnbueno

            I found my notes

            10 winners emerged from the majority: Ethan, Brian, Amber, Tom, Aras, Todd, Parvati, Fabio, Boston Rob and Cochran

            9 winners emerged from the minority: Vecepia, Jenna, Chris, Danni, Yul, Bob, J.T., Natalie & Denise

            7 winners emerged from even numbers: Richard, Tina, Sandra (P.I.), Earl, Sandra (HvV), Sophie & Kim.

            Like I said, the waters are a little muddy because of members switches. I’ve got Fabio as up in the numbers because his original tribe held a 8-4 advantage, but with the switches, that was probably more of a 6-6 split because some players like Jane had clearly defected.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            What a long lecture.

            “Parvati also could have developed a stronger relationship with Colby and Rupert from the moment the merge was announced.” This is easier said than done. How can she have a stronger relationship with them, if they don’t want it? You can’t force a relationship with someone.

            I disagree with some other things you are saying, but I pretty much put this issue to rest after Mike’s excellent reply, so I’ll refrain from commenting on them.

          • damnbueno

            “How can she have a stronger relationship with them, if they don’t want it” — The most incredibly obvious motive to me is because they want to stay in the game.

            “You can’t force a relationship with someone.” — Russell did.

            Russell called Rupert a “dumbass” in front of everyone left in the game. Are you trying to tell me Rupert WANTED a relationship with Russell after that?

            So why did Rupert and Colby do cooperate with Russell, and help boot Danielle at Russell’s request? Because they wanted to stay in the game. If this isn’t a voting relationship, I don’t know what is.

            Parvati had an equal opportunity to lobby Rupert and Colby’s votes as Russell did. In fact, I’d say she had a better chance simply because she didn’t call Rupert a “dumbass.” But Parvati didn’t think of that did she? She and Danielle could have asked the guys to help boot either Sandra or Jerri (since Russell had immunity). They could have made their pitch more compelling by claiming they wanted to get rid of Russell next.

            But since Parvati chose to ignore the Heroes (except for Amanda) after the merge, she left them wide open be lobbied by Russell, Sandra and/or Jerri. Parvati’s failure to for a voting relationship with them — even if it only lasted for one vote like Russel’s did — cost her Danielle to Russell’s move with the heroes. Then it cost her the million when Sandra formed a better relationship with the Heroes Jurors than she did.

            Parvati simply wrote off Rupert, Colby, J.T. and Candice at the merge. It was a horrible strategic and social move, that eventually cost her the win.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            You present some pretty big “what if” scenarios for a guy who has been known to hate them.

          • damnbueno

            I’ll just cut and paste the response from above for you here because its just as applicable.

            “In recent weeks, you’ve seemed to be on a campaign to show me how I contradict myself by using some of my own phrasing to illustrate your point.”

          • damnbueno

            The Jury decides who wins. Period.

            So any opinion that chooses to bypass the Jury’s opinions is meaningless to me.

            ” but it’s another thing entirely to say there is nothing to discuss”

            “If you don’t find such intellectual exercises fun…”

            You constantly amaze me with your inability to comprehend what I write on these boards. What exactly do you think these statements from my last reply meant?

            “These boards are a forum for us hardcore Survivor fans to express our opinions.”

            “And the fact that you don’t think I’m having fun on these boards proves you’re not reading me accurately.”

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            This just shows that you completely misunderstood what I was talking about. I know what the jury was thinking and I know why they cast their votes the way they did. What I’m talking about is something completely different.

            Your argument seems to be that whoever won, deserved to win, because they won. That’s circular logic to me.

          • damnbueno

            You seem to be saying that the Jury should NOT be able to use their own criteria to cast their votes.

            Is this not true?

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            No, that is not what I’m saying. They can use whatever criteria they want.

          • damnbueno

            Well, I’m not really interested in talking about what anyone thinks the Jury SHOULD have done after the winner has been announced. I don’t consider those kinds of discussions to be intellectual at all.

            Instead, they’re usually a case of someone refusing to acknowledge the mistakes made by the player they wanted to win. Its sour grapes. They’ll usually invent a scenario in which the Jury made a mistake as a means of absolving said player of any mistakes.

            “My player played the best game, and the reason they didn’t win was because the Jury screwed up.”

            That kind of thinking won’t ever fly with me because the Jury is never wrong.

            And you seem to be a lot more bothered by it than Corndogger is.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “Well, I’m not really interested in talking about what anyone thinks the Jury SHOULD have done after the winner has been announced. I don’t consider those kinds of discussions to be intellectual at all.”
            Good. Then don’t participate.

          • damnbueno

            Again with the orders on how to conduct myself on this site?

            If you followed your own advise on this thread, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

            Walk it like you talk it.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            Umm. You claim you are not interested in discussing who deserved to win and who didn’t… while discussing it: “Well, I’m not really interested in talking about what anyone thinks the
            Jury SHOULD have done after the winner has been announced.”

            It seems to me that you are, indeed, interested in talking about it. If you were not, you would not have replied so many times.

          • damnbueno

            Do you even stop to think if what you’re writing makes sense BEFORE you hit “post?”

            The only person who ever “deserves” to win Survivor is the person the Jury chooses as the winner.

            I’m always interested in discussing why the jurors vote they way they do.

            I don’t give a crap about how someone who was NOT on teh jury thinks they “should have” voted.”

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            It seems you do, indeed, “give a crap” about how someone, in this case me, thinks the jury should have voted. If you don’t, why do you keep replying? If this is a discussion that doesn’t interest you, why do you participate in it?

          • damnbueno

            You are a unique case.

            In recent weeks, you’ve seemed to be on a campaign to show me how I contradict myself by using some of my own phrasing to illustrate your point.

            I have indulged you because its fun for me.

            But if you actually read any of my comments on this subject instead of merely trying to flip them into supporting your point, you’ll find that every time you start talking about what Jurors SHOULD have done, I just shut it down.

            So sorry, you’re wrong again Jouni. But I’ll keep on playing if you’re that into this game.

            I guess we will be going another 10 replies on this.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            I keep pointing out how you contradict yourself mainly because, well, you keep contradicting yourself.

            Oh how I wish you would “shut it down” every time we talk about what the jurors should have done :). Your input into such discussions is very limited and yet you keep on commenting the same thing over and over.

          • damnbueno

            Wrong again Jouni.

            You have failed miserably in pointing out any contradiction in any of my statements. If you’d succeeded, I’d acknowledge it.

            What you HAVE done is shown a very consistent inability to comprehend me accurately — something I’ve pointed out every time you’ve done it. This is probably why you think I contradict myself.

            And considering I don’t give a crap about what anyone thinks jurors SHOULD have done — something else I’ve said to you with great consistency — it should be abundantly clear to you that I’ve never commented on that subject. And since I’ve never offered any input, that makes it 100% impossible for said input to be “limited.” On the contrary, its non-existent.

            But again, you didn’t comprehend my very straightforward, bluntly honest statement on that subject.

            I just can’t help you there Jouni. 6 more replies to go.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            You have, indeed, commented on that subject.

          • damnbueno

            Are you comprehending any of the information I post in my replies?

            If you provide factual confirmation of your claim, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong about it.

            But I suspect you simply misinterpreted another one of my comments. I don’t take your word for anything.

            4 more replies to go.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “Are you comprehending any of the information I post in my replies?”
            Yes. You are going to be either two or three replies short

            of your goal.

          • damnbueno

            Now we’re up to 2.

            Here’s your incentive. You can prove me wrong by NOT replying to this response.

    • Tammy L. Nelson

      She not only made the merge, she made F3.

      Sandra won, and that was as it should be. Even Parvati herself, said she’d vote for Sandra. Parvati knew her connection with Russell (which kept her in the game) would be held against her.

      It is what it is.

      • Jouni Knuutinen

        Parvati was at a serious disadvantage the whole game because of her reputation. None of the heroes really wanted to work with her. Her aligning with Russell was really her only chance of getting to the end. Like you said she knew Russell’s behaviour would reflect poorly on her too… but it really should not have.

        • damnbueno

          Part of Parvati’s reputation was caused by her own actions. She believed they hype about her, and would make several public appearances talking about how good she thought she was.

          Doing things like that will make other returning players resent you.

          Parvati put herself in that pregame position. She created her own disadvantage. Simply being a former winner didn’t do it.

          If being a former winner was the kiss of death, Sandra wouldn’t have won, and J.T. wouldn’t have made it to the merge.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            You are right about that, she certainly helped in putting herself in a bad spot pre-game. That however has nothing to do with how she actually played the game.

          • damnbueno

            Not all jury votes are based on how someone plays the game.

            In HvV, Courtney and Danielle voted for their friend. Game play had nothing to do with it. Russell and Sandra never had a chance at getting Danielle’s vote, and Parvati and Russell never had a shot at Courtney’s.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “Not all jury votes are based on how someone plays the game.”
            Yeah, but they should be.

          • Mike

            I think it depends what you mean by that. If you mean that if you played hard, you should get the votes, that seems silly, because the entire premise behind the jury, and why it’s one of the best parts of the design in the game is that it polices bad behavior. The jury serves as a form of check and balance on your play-style. If you want to play a villainous game, you also need to understand that those villainous moves are going to lower your percentage chances to win the jury. Thus it’s a zero sum game, the more people you stab in the back, the lower your chances to win the jury are. If you want to play that game, that’s fine, but it’s inherently easier to play the game without a moral compass, so to deserve to win the jury that way, you need to increase the difficulty in another area, which is done by not only getting yourself to the end, but by dragging your hand-picked goat to the end with you as well, like Boston Rob did in Red-I and Brian Heidik did. If you want to win, you either need that goat with you or you need to reduce your reliance on stabbing people in the back.
            It’s not anything special about Kim’s cast that allowed her to win and made sure the jurors weren’t “bitter or petty”, while Parvati, Boston Rob, and Russell (twice) lost to “bitter juries”, she’s just much better at Survivor than they are, because her social game crushes theirs. She can stab you in the back, and you instantly forgive her, that skill is ridiculous, and why she’s the GOAT.

          • damnbueno

            I’ll take everything you said about Kim, and apply it to Earl, but without the stabbing part.

            Come on Mike, you knew I wouldn’t leave this one alone didn’t you?

          • Mike

            And I’ll say the same thing I always say, Earl is absolutely great, and probably 2nd or 3rd for me, but he also didn’t have to vote out Lisi and Rocky since they went pre-merge, and he didn’t vote out Michelle because of the twist. That’s three votes right there that he avoided getting a drop of blood on his hands through no design of his own, merely happenstance. Additionally, Stacy’s vote out was pretty purely on Yau-Man, since if he doesn’t play the idol, she doesn’t go home there. That’s at least three, and arguably four he didn’t have to put on the jury himself, whereas Kim had to put all 9 people on the jury, and still managed to easily win. Earl started the post-merge game at basically 9 people left, so all he really had to do was beat the opposing alliance of three and he was at the end. It was the nature of the season that prevented him from having to stab people in the back, not any superior play.

          • damnbueno

            Everything you say about Earl is true, but the fact does remain that he put himself in the best position to get their jury votes regardless of whether or not he had a direct hand in voting them out.

            And who’s to say that taking the logic and reason approach is better or worse than taking the emotionally manipulative approach?

            I think both Earl and Kim had elements of both in their games.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            You never leave anything alone, do you?

          • damnbueno

            Geez dude, was it not clear I was having fun with Mike?

          • damnbueno

            “Yeah, but they should be” — You’ll only be right when someone who writes or enforces the rules for Jury voting criteria says so.

            But as long as Jurors can use any reason they want to cast their votes, you’ll be wrong on that point.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            No, I’m not wrong. Wanna know why? Here goes: It’s an opinion!

            I’m not requesting for a rule change, I’m just hoping the players would cast their vote based on how the players played the game instead of letting some external factors cloud their judgnment.

          • damnbueno

            But the players are under no such rules restriction. They’re allowed to base their votes on emotion, personality, or any reason they want.

            So they’re not violating any established “Code of conduct for Jury voting” by making up their own mind.

            And I think that’s a very compelling part of the game.

            Russell is the classic example of someone who went the whole game assuming the jury would base their votes on who played the best game. He totally ignored the very real notion that the Jury has to WANT you to win. They want to feel good about who they vote for. He didn’t care what they thought about him as a person. He also incorrectly assumed the jury would withhold their votes from Natalie because she was merely a passive follower.

            Russell didn’t accurately observe that this was a personality-based Jury. If he had, it was completely within his power to bring Jaison or Shambo to the end instead of Natalie. He would have seen how much more disliked those two were than Natalie or Mick. He also would have realized he had a better shot at getting Natalie and/or Mick’s jury votes too.

            If you can’t get a good read on WHY each person might cast their million dollar vote, you’re either gonna end up sitting next to the wrong people in the finals (like Russell did twice), or totally unable to tell the jury what they want to hear to convince them to vote for you (like Coach did).

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “But the players are under no such rules restriction.”
            I never said they were. This is not about the rules.

    • Will V

      Parv, however, did not win on her first try like other returning winners, so she had tasted defeat.

  • Daniel Parker Reed

    Sophie (So-Fierce) is pretty much my favorite Survivor ever. Couldn’t see this one live, but. She’s friggen awesome.

  • Michael Norris

    I had no idea who the guest would be today. I must’ve zoned out when Rob mentioned it yesterday, but imagine my sheer delight when I saw Sophie’s face on my computer screen.

  • Joseph

    Coming around on my opinion on Sophie even though I still think she’s not one of the better winners she definitely moved up some spots on my list with this coupled with her appearance on Dom&Colin that I heard today. I agree with her that the secret scenes can provide insight, but honestly a lot of them are fluff of them just talking about the challenges/redemption island, like it seems like they purposely don’t give ones that are too in depth on strategy, like you never hear Hayden say anything about Tyson being threatening which if he’s smart he has to be saying in his confessionals, but you hear him saying that Aras and Vytas who are out of the game are threatening. It seems like they wanna keep us in the dark about the relations within the current game for some reason.

    • belinda

      I agree. The whole double eviction episode sort of showed that the show was way more focused on giving the ‘thrills’ of double elimination (except not really, since no one actually is out of the game even after two elims because of Red I) then actually showing us what some of the players are thinking, who they are strategizing with, how they are bonding (or not) with the other players, etc, etc. Instead they just stacked two challenges (which is never that fun to watch anyway) and two tribal councils to ‘make up’ for the fact that both elims are the obvious ones, when really it would be nice to see how the merged tribe is actually interacting. The only person who we are shown actual strategic thoughts is Tyson (and how the two voted out players scrambled, and to a lesser degree Monica being paranoid), but we aren’t shown a lick of what Ciera, Hayden, Caleb, Laura, Katie and Gervase is doing. What are they talking about to each person? We see Monica point out the ‘pairs’, and that would only be interesting if we were shown Caleb and Hayden for example talking about the game, or Ciera and Laura planning the next step, etc. They’re assumed pairs from being on the same tribe and being mother and daughter, but we don’t see them actually declaring final twos to each other or any kind of strategic talk. Even Tyson, we’re shown him talking about his moves yet we’re not really shown how he is able to keep his alliance in his pocket (because I doubt they aren’t wary of Tyson being the leader here, and there’s no way none of the others have said one single thing in a confessional about it, no matter how not strategic they are. It’s only impressive if we actually get to see Tyson sweet talking the people into following him, and if not, show us a clip of Ciera being wary of Tyson’s promises and what she plans to do next).

  • Corndogger

    Sophie was great as usual. Loved her insight on the season.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Rob’s “Hey, did you see the commercial of Todd on Dr. Phil” topic pitch has landed with a thud with both Stephen and now Sophie. It feels like he’s trying to make it a hot topic and keeps missing the cues that it’s more serious than dishy.

    Especially in the case of Stephen, Courtney and Todd are actually best friends in real life, so Stephen obviously had knowledge of what was going on while he was dating Courtney.

  • Michael Norris

    Wait, you guys have really never heard of a Mexican standoff? I thought it was a very common term; often used in movies.

    Actually, every time I hear the term, I think of the scene in the diner at the end of Pulp Fiction, so it’s funny that Rob (almost) mentioned it.

  • fuggybootnling

    Never mind anything else – who cares about some stupid reality show! I am just so crushed about Todd. God my heart goes out to the guy. I remember laughing over him appearing on Evel Dick’s wide panel and passing out – it was funny, you thought you just caught him on a bad night. But now? Ugh…he’s such an engaging human being. I really hope that whatever rehab he’s in works.

    Don’t DO this to yourself Todd!

  • Alex

    I really want Sophie to return for a future season of Survivor. I’d like to see a little more of her, because the first time Coach, Ozzy, Cochran and Brandon took most of the airtime.

  • Alex

    Here’s the reason that they are doing a double elimination episode. Because two people total will return from Redemption Island, and there will be 19 people getting booted instead of 17, they have to speed up the elimination process, to compensate. For this reason we will have another double elimination episode.

    • cameron

      Another reason why RI needs to go post-merge :(

      The plus side is it gets a few sitting ducks out of the way in Vytus and Tina. Hopefully Katie can go soon too.

  • Alex

    Rob, when you were listing winners and were saying that they all left early, you left out Parvati, who is the only one other than Sandra who made a deep run in the game after a repeat try.

    • Yep, this is one that I am going to hear a number of times over the next few days. I blew it on Parv on Heroes vs. Villains – though I will say to back up the point I was making with Sophie, Parv won AFTER she lost the game once, so she really shouldn’t apply to our example.

      • Morty

        That’s some impressive hair-splitting there!
        As Tina would say, “Bra-Vo, Bra-Vo!!!”

      • Alex

        Don’t sweat it, even a Know-It-All can’t know it ALL.

  • BIG Franky

    I think the people on Redemption Island get informed about the previous tribal from the person that gets sent there… so they get schooled on what happened much like the BB jury does….minus the DVD…. reliance on those that were voted out last.

    • damnbueno

      But more often than not, the person who gets voted out really doesn’t know how it happened.

      Marissa thought Katie was leaving. Even Vytas lied to her about that.

      John and Rachel were close, but he told her to vote for Ciera even though he knew everyone else was voting for Rachel. Vytas was the one who convinced the tribe to vote her out.

      Both Marissa and Rachel blamed it on Brad, and told Candice as much.

      Laura M. had no idea Aras orchestrated her exit, as evidenced by how much she wanted to work with him when she returned.

      When Aras got voted out, he had no idea Gervase had betrayed him, and I’m not sure that Vytas knew when he got voted out either. Tina eventually got clued in, but she could just as easily tell the guys that Tyson is pulling the strings. Gervase could escape without getting any of the anger from Aras, Vytas or Tina, should they return to the game.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Sophie was fantastic, as usual.

    Sophie, Kim, and Sandra need to be on every RHAP season. They are the female Mt. Rushmore of RHAP – every single one of their podcast appearances is interesting and they bring it.

    • damnbueno

      You got that right!

    • Morty

      When Sophie expressed disappointment that Kim didn’t make a surprise appearance on this podcast, my first thought was what a great podcast it would be to have both of them on at the same time with Rob.

      Make it so, Rob!

    • Mike

      Agreed wholeheartedly, and the story from Sophie’s dad was very fascinating, since the gut reaction from pretty much everyone is always, oh come on, no one would EVER vote out their loved one, don’t be ridiculous.

  • Stephen

    Ozzy’s hall of fame ballot was James, Ethan and Ami, is it sexist if I say that Ami was the head scratcher, even though Ethan and James got votes from a lot of people?

    • Mike

      Saying any vote is surprising from Ozzy doesn’t seem sexist, just kind of silly, since he’s not exactly expressed a great mind for the game on any of his three appearances so what would you expect.

    • cameron

      I love Ami though :( but yes, he is biased because the two are not only friends in real life, but played together (although they did turn on each other).

      Ami is a great player though. She completely did a 180 in her gameplay in FvF to be more likeable with the other contestants. This is incredibly hard to do– Jerri failed to do it in S8 and Ozzy in both of his other seasons. Brenda mastered it last season though.

  • taylor

    I’m very excited for the Kim and Sophie podcast, even if they are using the second pronunciation of the Gervase.

  • Richard Weed

    Sophie talking about the family visit her season, the real drama we missed out on is Whitney’s husband coming out while she was basically dumping him for Keith.

    • dsharden


  • Sam Paxton

    Rob, last year around this time, you posted what you called a “throwback podcast” featuring one of your earlier interviews with Penner. Well, after listening to this show with Sophie and Gordon, I got a project for the interns: In honor of your impending first-go-around as a Survivor Hall of Fame voter, you should take your previous HOF discussions with Gordon (I know there have been at least two pretty in-depth discussions in the past), as well as and ESPECIALLY your original Venn diagram podcast (which I believe was among the first five shows you ever posted), and have the interns or yourself cobble those together into the second “throwback episode,: much like they do with the “best RHAP soundbytes of the returning players” shows you do. Could be a great show to coincide with next week when the voting begins over at xfinity.

  • Lisa

    Monica was glad to get revenge on Vytas for “taking out Brad”. I guess she doesn’t know about Calebs move to get Brad out then, huh?

    • Thats a really good point!

    • cameron

      I think she is aware that Vytus was the one who flipped on Brad– had he not, Brad would have been safe if it went to rocks.

      Plus, Caleb is her ally so it would totally screw up her game if she went off at him.

  • Mike

    Hatch-cast! That is fantastic news! As someone that has watched a heck of a lot of Survivor in my life, the three guests that I still feel like I learn something new about the game or strategy or social dynamics from every time they are on is Kim, Yul, and Richard Hatch, so it’s great to hear that he’s back next week.

  • Shambo’s Dreams

    I love this podcast. I really like the fact that Sophie thought about this podcast before and was prepared about different subject. The fact that she doesn’t talk slowly is also a plus. It was really #SOPHIERCE !

  • Nick Fishman

    WIFE OF CULPEPPER, big lols

    • Kevin Wong

      I don’t understand how Brad gets the nickname but Monica didn’t at first. I mean, in Survivor, Brad is the WAG (or whatever the male equivalent is) right? If anything, it should be HUSBAND of Culpepper.

      • Kevin Wong

        And yes I know JP has a man crush on Brad. Still.

    • BogDa

      Do you’ll know what the real “Wife of Cullpepper” Reference is from —-
      Catherine Howard executed wife of Henry VIII.

      “I die a Queen, but I would rather die the Wife of Cullpepper!”

  • pedro padro

    Regarding damn bueno’s posts, although he is very articulate, a lot of the time, I find that he is very rude to anyone who disagrees with his opinions or subjective views on various points. I remember in another article, he was very disrespectful to Michael Trudeau, a writer here at the site.

    • dsharden

      He/She really adds a lot to many comment sections, but I also tune out when the jabs go to the blogger on the site. I personally love Michael Trudeau’s writings. I assume i missed something long ago between those two and chose to ignore those conversations.

      • damnbueno

        I’m a he.

        And your assumption is correct. Michel took some shots at me too.

        You’re probably right for just ignoring our spat. Others should follow your lead.

        • Trixie02

          Some of us hope you’ll reconcile.

          • Morty

            Another “Beer Summit” at the White House?

          • Trixie02

            LOL. It will be like NAFTA talks in the 1980’s given we have a Trudeau.

          • damnbueno

            I can’t say I’m opposed to that happening. I’m just not sure how it could happen though.

          • Trixie02

            You both have strong opinions, but eventually you’ll get there.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            Just stop commenting on every little (perceived) mistake he does. If you feel like making a snarky comment, just… don’t. That would be a good start. I’ve defended Michel a few times here and asked you to stop your bickering because I feel both of you have a lot to give to this site. This petty feud that you have is just a distraction every time I come across it.

          • damnbueno

            If Michel and I ever settle our dispute, it will come after a lot of communication between he and I.

            Just so you’re aware of how I interpret some of your comments…

            When you phrase something like this “Just stop commenting on…” I consider that an act of you giving me an order on how to conduct myself on this site. That will never work with me.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            Consider it a plea or a tip. It’s certainly not an order, I have no power here except the power to speak my mind. (And the power to push those upvote/down buttons, but you tend to ignore those, right?)

          • damnbueno

            Duly noted.

    • damnbueno

      It is never my intention to be rude to anyone. I’m obsessed with factual accuracy — probably to a fault.

      If someone takes a shot at me, I probably shoot back with more intensity that is necessary.

      But your point is well taken.

      • Jouni Knuutinen

        As the recipient of some of your rude comments I feel that it is indeed your intention to be rude. You often do it simply because somene disagrees with you, not because you yourself were attacked. Unless of course you think disagreeing with you is attacking you.

        • damnbueno

          I’ve never felt like I was being attacked.

          I also believe that I learn more from those who disagree with me IF they’ve got confirmed, fact-based reasons for arriving at their opinions. As I’ve said to you on many occasions, my mind is changed by facts, not unsubstantiated opinion.

          Several on this site have changed my mind on many Survivor topics — Mike, Mike Magas, Trixie 02, Mike Norris, BogDa and a few others. I was just as persistent in demanding factual confirmation with them as I was with you. I disagreed with all of them, yet none of them ever called me rude while we were debating.

          Perhaps the way I poke factual, logical holes in some of your theories about Survivor makes you think I’m being rude or attacking you?

          Did you consider it rude when I persisted in asking you to name one idea RC came up with that actually worked?

          Was that an attack? If you felt that way, its not what I intended. My intent was to find out exactly why you thought she played a good game.

          My intention was to convince you to actually think about how RC played the game — how nothing she tried ever helped her advance.

          But you came up empty, and apparently got upset when you couldn’t change my mind.

          But if doing that made you feel attacked, I can’t help that. And it doesn’t change my intent at all.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            If you don’t feel like you are being attacked, why do you attack people yourself? Why the hostile attitude? You can’t treat your own opinion as a fact. It’s just an opinion, just like everyone else’s.

            I won’t touch the discussion about RC here. This thread isn’t about her.

            There is a big difference in the way we look at the game. You tend to look at results in a “if it didn’t work, it was a bad idea” kind of way. Your “facts” are basically “results”. I try to look at the idea itself, whether it had worked in the past and whether it had any chance of working in the particular situation it was applied in. This is probably the root of many of our disagreements about certain players, including RC.

            I don’t think I’ve ever heard you compliment a move that didn’t work. Have you?

          • damnbueno

            I don’t feel like I attack anyone. And I’m fairly sure I’m more aware of my intent than you are.

            If someone has an opinion or conclusion I don’t consider accurate, I get very focused on finding out why someone has reached their conclusion. If they can’t come up with factual evidence to confirm the accuracy of what they’re claiming, then more often than not, I can conclude that they’re simply expressing an unsubstantiated opinion.

            You claim RC played a good game, but you can’t come up with anything she did that didn’t blow up in her face or led to her being voted out first from her tribe. Since you continually come up empty in that department, I conclude that you simply like RC (and there’s nothing wrong with that at all).

            However you use the fact that you like RC to substitute for claiming she’s a good player.

            You want an example?

            I think Cirie is a good player. One move she made that led me to this impression was when she convinced her 5-woman tribe in Panama to vote out Tina instead of her, when Cirie clearly was the cause of their first challenge loss. That’s just one single move that clearly shows how she adjusted to game conditions and was able to advance herself.

            RC didn’t do that. She came up with one idea that didn’t work, and kept trying to make it work no matter how much it failed.

            To you, that might be a definition of a good player. It isn’t to me.

            If you use an idea that worked in the past, and it becomes incredibly clear that its not working for you, a smart player would stop using it, and try something else.

            Parvati is a smart player. She realized that flirting alone — which was what she tried to do in Cook Islands — was a losing strategy. So she used a different strategy in FvF 1. I consider that to be a smart move.

            If Parvati had simply relied on flirting in FvF, I would not consider that to be a smart move because she would have been using a strategy she knew didn’t work.

            “There is a big difference in the way we look at the game.” — You’ve got that right. If you think continually using an idea that clearly isn’t working means you’re a good player, we’re never gonna agree.

            No, I don’t compliment an idea that didn’t work. However, if a player recognizes an idea isn’t working, and switches to a different idea that has a much better chance of working, I’ll compliment the good DECISION to change strategy.

            A good example is Rob C. He was totally happy to stick with Alex, Jenna & Heidi until it Alex made it clear he’d be screwed at the final 4. Rob recognized that the plan he was using wasn’t gonna get him to the finals. So he wisely adjusted his strategy, blindsided Alex, and formed a new plan using Matt and Butch.

            That means Rob came up with a good idea that advanced him in the game. It moved him from a likely 4th place finish to a position where he had a much better chance to reach the finals. His idea absolutely worked.

            RC wasn’t able to realize that trying to gain Abi-Maria’s trust back wasn’t gonna work. To me, that’s the mark of a bad player.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “I don’t feel like I attack anyone.”
            Wow. Perhaps it’s time to take a hard look into the mirror.

            Like I said before, I’m not going to comment on RC in this thread, not even as an example. This isn’t about her and I’m not going to let you drag me into that conversation. If you want my views on her, check the earlier thread. It seems your memory needs some refreshing on that since you think I “came up empty”.

            “If you think continually using an idea that clearly isn’t working means you’re a good player, we’re never gonna agree.”
            I was clearly talking about using ideas that have worked in the past for former players, not about using the same idea over and over. Adaptability is obviously important, but that wasn’t what I was talking about.

            “No, I don’t compliment an idea that didn’t work.”
            This something that I just can’t understand. An idea in itself can be good and solid but the result can still be bad due to unforeseen circumstances. Similarly there have been plenty of bad moves that somehow ended up working. The value of an idea is not in the result, it’s in the likelihood of it working out in your favour. Many ideas in Survivor fall into the grey 50-50 area.

            Allow me to present a short poker analogy: In Texas Holdem poker if you get all the chips in preflop holding two aces against one opponent holding a random hand, that’s a good move right? And yet the aces only win the hand 85% of the time. So, if the guy holding the aces loses, did he make a mistake? Was going all-in a bad move? Of course not.

            Obviously in Survivor it’s much harder to calculate whether a move was good or bad, but we still should not base the evaluation solely on the result, which is what you often seem to do.

          • damnbueno

            “I was clearly talking about using ideas that have worked in the past for former players, not about using the same idea over and over.” — Fine I’ll rephrase: If you use an idea that has worked for someone else in the past, but clearly isn’t working for you, its time to use a different idea.

            “”No, I don’t compliment an idea that didn’t work.” This something that I just can’t understand.” — RC decided to align with Pete, Abi-Maria and Artis. That plan worked for about three days. It blew up in her face when Pete pulled his Idol clue move, and Abi-Maria screamed at her in front of the whole tribe. THAT was the moment she should have formed a new plan. This is an obvious case of plan A (aligning with the evil 3) NOT working. You’re expecting me to call RC a good player for continuing to try and align with 3 players who couldn’t stand her? She had about two weeks to do something to improve her position, but did nothing.

            For the life of me I can’t figure out why you want anyone to compliment an idea that only served to hurt that player. And I’m not gonna try anymore.

            I’m not a poker player, so your analogy is lost on me.

            But in Survivor, when you’re aligned with players who openly say they don’t trust you (Abi-Maria) and completely shut you out of any strategy discussions (Pete & Artis) its a decidedly DUMB idea to stick with them.

            You can call someone like that a good player. I’ll never do that.

            I apologize if you felt “attacked” by this response. Beyond saying that, I can’t do anything for you. I think I’ve made it very clear its not my intention to “attack” you. If you can’t understand that, don’t expect any further explanations from me.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “If you use an idea that has worked for someone else in the past, but clearly isn’t working for you, its time to use a different idea.”
            I agree with this 100%.

            I’m still not commenting on any RC stuff. I don’t understand why you are obsessed with talking about her.

            “I apologize if you felt “attacked” by this response.”
            I didn’t.

            “I think I’ve made it very clear its not my intention to “attack” you.”
            Hopefully you will keep it equally clean in the future also.

          • damnbueno

            “”If you use an idea that has worked for someone else in the past, but clearly isn’t working for you, its time to use a different idea.” — I agree with this 100%

            Then its completely inexplicable why you think RC made a good move by continually trying to align with Abi-Maria, Pete and Artis.

            Your stance here could be the dictionary definition of a “contradiction.”

            If someone else does this, you think its smart to use a different plan.

            But when RC does it, you think she’s a smart player for sticking with a failing Plan A.

            Whatever dude.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            “Then its completely inexplicable why you think RC made a good move by continually trying to align with Abi-Maria, Pete and Artis — a move that wasn’t working for RC.”
            I don’t.

            There, you made me comment on RC by grossly misrepresenting my position. Are you happy now?

          • damnbueno

            Your position has repeatedly stated that 1) RC is a good player and 2) RC made good moves and had good ideas. I represented it flawlessly, and consistently showed how inaccurate it was.

            But as your reply here proves, you don’t apply your own criteria to RC, most likely because you like her.

          • Jouni Knuutinen

            There you go again, misrepresenting what I’ve said.

            This thread is not about her or about me. You can keep going if you want, I’m done here.

          • damnbueno

            If RC had realized Abi-Maria, Pete and Artis were done with her and came up with any good ideas, we might be able to justifiably call her a good player today.

          • BigDan

            Out of curiosity can you substantiate why you think that total dork Erik was a good player, which you seem to think for some reason that completely escapes me.

          • damnbueno

            I assume you’re talking about Erik from both Fans vs Faves seasons, and not Erik from Samoa, right?

            I don’t think FvF Erik is a good player overall. I’d call him closer to average. But I do think his approach to FvF 2 was a smart strategy for his situation. He most definitely played better his 2nd time around.

            As a rookie, he made tons of fundamental mistakes in my eyes.

            1) He stood out as a good challenge athlete very early on, giving people a reason to want him gone close to the merge.
            2) He appeared to be too close and obedient to Ozzy, giving others reason to think Ozzy carried two votes in his pocket. People may have wanted to boot Erik just to weaken Ozzy.
            3) He was too vocal about worrying if the others liked him. While it is important to be liked and respected in the end, constantly talking about it accomplishes the opposite. Cirie eventually used that against him.
            4) He gave up immunity after watching Ozzy, Jason and Alexis all get blindsided. He trusted people too easily.

            But when he returned to play again he did something most return players don’t do. He recognized his mistakes and corrected them.

            1) He sandbagged it in the early challenges because he knew he had a reputation as a good athlete. His pattern is pretty clear. He’d do well in the Rewards so he could keep himself fed, but he usually finished in the middle of the pack in the Immunity challenges. He wasn’t very blatant about losing on purpose, which might have drawn suspicion. It worked. Nobody sought to vote him out because they feared he’d go on an Immunity run. He could have made it to the finals without winning any Immunity challenges.
            2) He didn’t appear to be anyone’s close partner at any time. By telling others he didn’t want to strategize until just before leaving for T.C., everyone figured they could influence his vote. If people think they can control your vote, they usually won’t want to get rid of you. This time around, he knew how everyone was voting.
            3) Instead of being a worry wart, he largely kept his mouth shut and let others bring info to him. With opposing alliances lobbying him, he usually knew how things would shake out after the vote. With the exception of the Francesca vote, he usually ended up on the good side of the numbers.
            4) He didn’t give his trust away easily. He was much more discerning and perceptive. I think the only person he trusted completely was Brenda, who never betrayed him.

            The thing with Erik is that I don’t necessarily think he planned any of this in advance. He didn’t know he’d end up as one of the most informed players. He just adjusted as the game unfolded. Even letting Andrea take the Idol when he found it ended up helping him because had he kept it, people would have started aiming at him.

            Where I think Erik really hurt himself was that he didn’t do much to earn the Jury’s respect. He appeared to be easily-manipulated. While most of the jury liked him, he would have had to have one or both of the other finalists put their foot in their mouth in order for him to win — like how Fabio won.

            Erik was generally seen as an honest person. For that reason, I don’t think anybody would grill him under jury questioning. He wouldn’t have blown anyone away with his answers, but he wouldn’t really hurt himself either.

            I usually hate playing “what if,” but I believe Erik had a decent shot at winning if he was sitting next to Sherri and Dawn.

            Yes, Erik is a dork. But he’s a dork who managed to finish 5th twice, which is a lot more than some “cool” returning players could do.

          • BigDan

            I havent seen many of your arguments so I dont know who’s right or wrong. But I did see on some other page you two were going at it and you felt the need to paste the definition of ‘specific’ which I thought was below the belt. Its fair to say that was meant to be rude, despite being thinly veiled as educational. I really really hope you’re not going to claim that it was meant otherwise.

          • damnbueno

            I think the “specific” comment was being directed at Jouni, who had chosen to say some insulting things to me.

            I had asked him a question about RC, and he chose to avoid answering the question by giving vague responses. When I explained why his response was vague, he got insulting.

            I’m not blind to the fact that I can be insulting too, but it comes with the caveat that I never shoot first. But when I shoot back, I shoot louder and longer.

          • BigDan

            Correct, it was to Jouni. If you realized its insulting then that’s between you two as I didnt actually read the whole conversation. It did seem to me you were being quite rude in the rest of the conversation but I started reading from that point on so if stuff was said before that I wouldnt know.

          • damnbueno

            No worries.

          • TrollExterminator

            Booger PO.

  • Shambo’s Dreams

    Kat did have a photo of Kim as her luxury item on RI !

    • LosPollosHermanos

      Just coming here to post this.

      One of the most hilarious secret scenes ever.

    • Katie

      If that isn’t proof that Kim isn’t one of the BEST WINNERS EVER, I don’t know what is.

  • dsharden

    I’m only half way through the pod cast but I am wowed at Sophie’s interview. i officially love her! Quick wit, intelligent, informative, interesting, and great articulation of what goes into the game. Loved this. To whoever told me Sophie was not good on pod casts lost a lot of credibility.
    She is fun with Rob and enjoyed how much she shared and would love to hear her father. Please have more of her and the other women. Good call, Rob. waiting for another one with Kim. And I can do without R.C. Her laugh after every sentence bugs the hell out of me. I cringed.

    • cburger

      In her winner’s interview, she seemed a little snippy with Rob. Then Rob returned the favour during her first dedicated RHAP appearance. Ever since, Rob and Sophie have been podcasting/YouTube gold. I am most impressed by her ability to adjust her sense of humour to suit the show. She shelved her is-she-or-isn’t-she-joking style while retaining her wit. That speaks volumes about her self-awareness and intelligence.

      Sign me up too for the Thurston Clarke podcast. Team him up with Kim’s sister, Beth, or Jack Cochran. It fits with the theme of the season, Rob!

  • LosPollosHermanos

    New promo for Todd on Dr. Phil with footage of Sandra, she was there too

    • Kevin Wong

      The promo editors are good. It almost makes me want to watch Phil McGraw.


    • Justin

      It does not surprise me at all Sandra would be there. Three years ago, Todd was a panelist on the RTVZone with Evel Dick, Lex Van Den Berghe, Jerri Manthey, Sandra and others. Todd passes out shortly after the 40:00 mark.and Sandra is the only one who shows initial concern for the situation. Hindsight being 20-20, a very scary situation.

      • Trixie02

        The whole situation is sad. I have even more respect for Sandra.

      • BogDa

        Agreed, I remember that scene and thought it was disturbing at the time. Everyone laughed it off, but I could see there was a real issue there. He was often drunk or high during those RTVZone discussions.

        There’s a great People Magazine article featuring both Courtney and Sandra talking about Todd that just came out. Really sad.

      • Troy Skillen

        I remember that also and the first Dr Phil promo took me right back to that very moment I was watching that RTVZone episode and I got the worst case of chills I’ve ever experienced in my life. I suddenly remembered how long ago that was and realized Todd has been fighting this that whole time and it made me so sad. Seeing Sandra step up in support to Todd here kind of closed that physiological circle that opened up for me when I saw the Todd incident all that time ago…

      • BigDan

        is this where he fell off a chair? i have no idea about the event in question but think rob mentioned something like that in one of the most recent podcasts. what is rtvzone btw?

    • BigDan

      any idea when this is airing? and does dr phil actually help with anything or is this just a talk show? i watched my first episode last night, while looking at the todd promo, and didnt see him helping anyone.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    I feel bad for laughing, but this is pretty funny. I know it’s just his voice cracking or whatever, but I thought it was weird when I heard it during the episode:

  • Zack Coffman

    This is by far the best Sophie interview podcast

  • Zack Coffman

    Rob, I have a great idea. Nip this rival podcast business in the bud by inviting them to do their own show, maybe over the weekend?, but through your website. They get the infrastructure, you get some fresh faces for the site, it’s a win-win.

    • Zack Coffman

      You just have to ask yourself Rob, are you in the podcast making business? Or are you in the empire making business?

  • I really like Sophie’s appearances on the podcast; they just feel different because she’s very smart about Survivor but has so much else to say. I enjoyed the tangents this week about working with people and having them discover her role in Survivor. It’s that type of material that makes for an engaging podcast.

    As a lifelong Cards fan, I can sympathize with Gordon Holmes about our Cards falling apart against the Sox. He’s also a strong addition to the show too. Nice job!

    • Morty

      As a lifelong Tigers fan and also a long-time Rangers fan, you can probably imagine what I think of the Cards, Dan!

      • The Rangers one has to sting in particular. I still can’t believe the Cards won that series. That makes this year a little less painful.

  • BogDa

    People really need to stop saying that Kim is a boring winner. She isn’t boring, she was awesome to watch. In the entire history of the game there are only a few winners who were the Big personalities of their seasons –Richard, Jenna, Sandra, Chris, Tom, Todd, Parvati, JT, Boston Rob, Fabio, Cochran.

    All the rest are not huge characters and many are far more boring than Kim.

    More Boring Than Kim: Tina, Ethan, Vecepia, Amber, Tom, Yul, Danni, Aras, Earl, Bob, Natalie, Denise.

    • Kevin Wong

      To me there are some odd choices on both your lists. But let’s focus on Kim.

      Kim is a victim of her own success. I really don’t know that there was much drama after Troyzan got booted, but really, there was very little doubt who was winning at that point.

      And this was great for Kim, but like a blowout victory in sports, it did not equal compelling television, and this perhaps led to the boring label.

      • damnbueno

        I agree 100%. Kim wasn’t boring, the 2nd half of her season was.

        Personally, I loved watching every move Kim made, but I appreciate watching a great strategy being executed more than most casual fans, who prefer blindsides, surprising Idol play, and player arguments.

        • Mike Magas

          one of favorite winners but one of my most hated seasons.

          People tend to think you hate the season you hate the winner, this isn’t automatically true

    • LosPollosHermanos

      So true.

      Sophie made the PERFECT response to Rob by mentioning Tom Westman.

      This has been pointed out to Rob here before, a few times, but he’ll stick with his opinion.

  • pedro padro

    The thing that’s always irked me about Sophie is the amount of leeway people give her opinions, or more specifically, the ones regarding her views on men. Her fans often interpret her as being outspoken, or a strong female, rather than condescending, simply because there have not been as many females with as strong as opinions as her. Her previous outings on the podcast have shown that she views men as inferiors to her, and that she shows a low opinion of them i.e. the three amigos podcast. If she were a male, than she would most likely be one of the more disliked guests on the podcast. I’ve never understood the amount of cult love she’s gotten over the past couple of years. Her nickname “Sophierce” and whenever people call her that bothers me to end. Hopefully, with maturity and age, her views on this topic will surely become more worldly and well-versed in nature.

    • Mike Magas

      She was better this time, gave credit to male survivors (something I honestly had not heard before), still showed her preferences a bit (nothing wrong with it, just doesn’t make the great gender speaker people seem to want her to be)

      But actually one of my favorite guests, case of my issue is more people’s perception of her than her

    • Dave L

      Actually, I’ve noticed that anytime Sophie’s name is mentioned, there is always somebody whining about her “anti-men” views (perhaps just the same person over and over), so apparently she doesn’t get that much leeway. Anytime those people are asked to provide evidence of her “strong opinions” they always give flimsy “evidence” like that she doesn’t think Malcolm is some sort of god. It feels like you are trying to say that you think she is a lesbian and we should hate her for that.

      It’s not a cult love. Sophie is intelligent, charming in a way, and witty. She has a dry sense of humor that many of us appreciate. She doesn’t come off as “fake” like many people do. If you don’t like her personality, don’t ask her on a date. If you don’t like listening to her, don’t listen to her. If you are going to berate somebody, at least have just cause.

      • Mike Magas

        its really much more than her dislike of Malcolm, people pointed out her anti male ring we’ll call it right from the moment she got off the show when we did not know who Malcolm was.

        Malcolm made it hit a fever pitch but her initial issue was the lack of ANY nice things to say about male castmates or any credit to give, according to her they were the worst players ever.

        Now she may be right and had she settled down a bit after that she could have recovered she followed it up though by trashing ever male on One World (again probably deserved but the pattern is emerging)

        She pushed it over the edge by having no appreciation for Malcolm’s game or any other male in the caramoan (she has since relented on Cochrane)

        so while most of what she says is understandable and arguably right, the fact she seems at the very least very hesitant to give male survivor players credit ruins the idea that shes stands out as this gender equality character that many fans want her to be

        this podcast helped, she said nice things finally about male survivors without having to be almost badgered into it but she’s still going to have the anti male point because she did also crap on some

        She’s a great guest, just not for what everyone seems to want her for.

    • As someone who is not an ardent Sophie fan and felt the 3 Amigos podcast was uncomfortably dismissive of Malcolm, I’ve discovered a whole new appreciation of her as a guest. I don’t think it can be disputed that she is highly intelligent and it’s refreshing to hear her talk with such passion and humour about her profession. Kudos to her for doing it on next to no sleep. Really enjoyable and balanced. I think condescending can be archived now. She should be judged on the present and not the past.

  • Justin

    Sophie is an awesome podcast guest. She is incredibly intelligent, well-articulate, carries with her an acerbic wit, and she knows that which makes her fun to listen to. If Rob is looking for a female guest to break into his Mount Rushmore of podcast guests, Sophie is a top choice for me. I always enjoy her RHAP appearances and am pleased Rob has had her on three out of the four seasons since South Pacific (and the season she did not make an appearance during she says she did not watch).

  • Eric Christopherson

    Rob, are you actually going to cast votes as a member of the Hall of Fame Executive Committee? I seem to recall that when you had Gordon Holmes on the podcast around this time last year you said that if you made the Hall of Fame you would forgo your vote. Just curious.

  • Gregorian

    Have Sophie and Kim join the “RHAP Podcast Network”.
    I’ve figured that is your next step. Get some people to do the odd extra podcast to expand things.
    Even if it only turns out to be a single episode, that’s okay. It would be fun to hear.

    Oh and the Jack And Jill Cast with Sophie B Clarke is essential. It would be the only reason I would have to watch that movie.

  • Kevin Wong

    Finally listened to Gordon’s half of the podcast. Word of advice: never plan to listen to a podcast on a Sunday and then turn on NFL Redzone.

    Regarding the Last Chance Kitchen webseries, the remaining cheftestants do not know who wins each challenge and who comes back until the reinsertion – although both times they were able to make the correct consensus guess. This season’s RedEye (aside: I am in fact drinking a Red Eye coffee as I type this) goes in the other direction where everyone knows who stays and who goes as it happens.

    LCK worked so well that they tried a web series on Top Chef Masters (the idea of TCM is that the cheftestants are all established celebrity chefs who compete for charity) called Battle of the Sous Chefs (I’ll call it BotSC for short). BotSC had a cheftestant’s hand-picked assistant compete in challenges, usually for an advantage and/or immunity for the cheftestant. To be honest, I never watched this webseries since we found out the results every episode of TCM, so I don’t think it worked as intended.

    For me, the current format of RedEye is similar to BotSC, as the castaways need to know the results before moving forward in the game. As a result, I don’t see moving RedEye to the web as a good idea since we’re likely to get a recap anyway and thus I don’t forsee a significant bump in page views if you move it to the web.

    Just my thoughts on that.

  • Pingback: Individual Games – Survivor 27 Episode 9 – In the Eye of the Beholder()

  • Mike Burgher

    Parvati is a previous winner who made it deep her 3rd time, in Heroes vs. Villains. But there have only been three seasons (8, 20, and this current one) where past winners have returned.

  • Damien Roberts

    Winners who have made it past merge:


Next Post:

Previous Post:

Try the CBS All Access Pass for Free for 1 Week

Rob Has A Post Archive

Get Scripted TV Podcasts from Rob Cesternino at

Buy Survivor Seasons on DVD

Listen to the 1000th RHAP


The RHAP Original Web Series

Support RHAP by becoming a Monthly Patron