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The 18 Survivor All-Stars on the Perfect Brains, Brawn & Beauty Tribes

Casting the Fake tribes of Survivor Cagayan with All-Star Beauty, Brains and Brawn

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In this very special off-season edition of Rob Has a Podcast, Rob and Gordon Holmes come up with a full cast of Survivor Cagayan IF it was going to be cast with Survivor All-Stars. Obviously, we know that this upcoming season is not an All-Star season of the show, but we are pretending that it is for this exercise.

Listed below are the 3 tribes that were created during the show, but listen to the full podcast to hear how Rob and Gordon ultimately came up with these names.

Our Criteria

This list is made as if we were in the position of casting the show for real.  We looked at factors including, but not limited to whether the person would come back, whether they have been back too many times and whether or not we wanted to save them to compete on a potential all-winners season.  Most of all, this list was created to attempt to provide the best television show and is not based on who SHOULD or DESERVES to come back.


Don’t scroll any further unless you want to see the names…

Brawn Tribe

While the word “Brawn” could mean either dominance in the challenges or being very muscular, we ended up with a group of players that span both of these categories

Stephanie Lagrossa

Stephanie LaGrossa

A great way to get brawny is to enjoy a Filet Mignon pizza from GiGi’s

Last seen on Survivor Heroes vs. Villains, Stephanie has been a dominant challenge competitor and is a favorite of a big portion of Survivor viewers.

Crystal Cox

Survivor Crystal Cox

You know you want it, you know you need it… Crystal Cox!

A former Olympic gold-medalist, Crystal embodies what we are looking for in a member of the brawn tribe.  Plus, her surly demeanor will rustle ruffle some feathers and provide great drama.

R.C. Saint-Amour

RC Saint Amour

Could Miss Survivor 2013 win a Survivor title too?

R.C. was left at the altar when she got cut pregame on Survivor Blood vs Water, but her swimming prowess and propensity for creating drama make her a must have for us on the Brawn tribe.

James Clement

James Clement

Banana Etiquette is not practiced on the Brawn tribe

When you think of a Survivor with Brawn, James is probably the first name that comes to mind.  We think four times for James is probably pushing it but there’s bad blood with Stephanie and there should be plenty of fireworks.

Brad Culpepper

Survivor Brad Culpepper

This season must equal 5 in to 9 because Brad Culpepper is IN!

You know he’s coming back eventually, so why not use Brad Culpepper here on the Brawn tribe?  The guy is a lightning rod and will surely deliver in his second consecutive season.

Shannon Elkins

Survivor Shannon Elkins

Officially now a Two-Show Shannon

Not a reflection on gameplay, but Shannon certainly fits the title of Brawn.  Known best for his outrageous and offensive comments at tribal council, Shannon will likely butt heads with most of the people in this very outspoken tribe.

Beauty Tribe

Aesthetically pleasing is a given but we tried to find Survivor players who might also provide some comedy as well.  This is the tribe that don’t have a fire but all have a perfect tan.

Jenna Morasca

Jenna Morasca

Jenna and the Beauty tribe go together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

From Rob’s original season, Jenna (along with Heidi) is a perfect person to come back to join the Beauty Tribe.  She has never been voted out and deserves a chance to come back for the third time.

Chelsea Meissner

Survivor Chelsea Meissner

Have you seen Chelsea lately?

Another former Miss Survivor finalist, Chelsea would be welcome addition to your HD television on Wednesday nights.

Angie Layton

Survivor Angie Layton

To view this photo, make sure to enable cookies in your browser.

Angie didn’t go far, but she had a moment on Survivor Philippines.  She is a former Miss Utah and is the epitome of a Survivor on the tribe known for its beauty.

Eddie Fox

Survivor Eddie Fox

What does the Fox say about being on the Beauty tribe?

Best known as one of “The Three Amigos” from Survivor Caramoan, Eddie returns to the show for a shot at Redemption (and by Redemption I mean a chance to have a real showmance this time around).

Jud ‘Fabio’ Birza

Jud Fabio Birza

When you see Fabio on this list, we hope you don’t say “I can’t believe its not Better”

A male model by trade, the winner of Survivor Nicaragua would be a great addition to the Beauty tribe.

Pete Yurkowski

Survivor Pete Yurkowski

Pete Bro is Back!

Another player with modeling experience, Pete would be the most self-aware of the Beauty tribe men and could provide some interesting commentary.  Plus, his stunt with planting the immunity idol clue hints that he might actually have some game.  We also are hoping that he and R.C. can both make it to the merge.

Brains Tribe

Stephen Fishbach

Stephen Fishbach

Will he give himself a Fishy every week?

Stephen is a natural choice to come back for the Brains tribe and have a second chance to win the game.

Yul Kwon

Survivor Yul Kwon

Yul thank us later for including him on this season

The winner of Survivor Cook Islands really could be put in to any of the tribes, but is best known for his analytical mind.

Yau-Man Chan

Survivor Yau-Man Chan

Yau-Man would rather be on the Beauty tribe

Yau-Man is a perfect fit in the Brains tribe.  It’s been 12 seasons since he last played and this would be a great way to bring him back.

Sophie Clarke

Survivor Sophie Clarke

The Brains tribe is Looking So Fierce

The winner of Survivor South Pacific is one of the smartest women to ever play the game.  We think Sophie 2.0 would provide some fireworks as she would be less shy about telling another player off.

Cirie Fields

Cirie Fields

She’s not the lady on your iphone

Cirie came so close to winning the game in two separate seasons, she’s a great candidate for the Brains tribe as one of the most strategic players ever.

Ciera Eastin

Survivor Ciera Eastin

Watch out Moms!

Coming off this last season, Ciera was regarded as one of the smarter strategic players.  Her willingness to make big moves should continue to provide good television.


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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 »

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  • hillaryrenee

    Angie Layton was a former Miss Utah Teen (2010) & is the current Miss Utah (2014) and since she was getting ready for Miss Utah when the new season of Survivor was mostlikely filmed I don’t think she’s coming back.

  • TrollExterminator

    I heard Robb Zbacnik talk trash about Rob Cesternino on Survivor Oz. This is Robb Z’s entire reasoning of hating Cesternino on that other Podcast.

    Robb Z: What’s up man how’s it goin?
    Rob C: Who are you?
    Robb Z: You know you the f I am stop acting like you are better than me.

    Apparently Robb Z’s friend stuck his finger in Rob C’s ear during an interview according to Robb Z. I don’t really use social media and have no idea if there was some sort of twitter feud between them. Robb Z seems highly irrational and he talks about how stupid his hair looked on Thailand. So logically it would make sense for someone not to recognize you if you cut your hair and if it was years since you’ve seen that person. I’m sure this issue is resolved I’m just late to the party. It’s probably the reason Rob C didn’t like hearing the other Robb mentioned.

    • Our Rob refuted this on a podcast not long after Robb’s interview went up. (After I heard it, I was curious and googled, and found Rob’s response in the RHAP archives.)

  • JRHane

    Not too bad. Although, I liked the no four-timers rule, and they broke it for three different people. So if we want to stick with no winners and no four-timers, this is a list that I came up with. There’s also only one three-timer.

    Crystal Cox
    Ashley Underwood
    RC Saint-Amour
    Terry Deitz
    Joel Anderson
    Brad Culpepper

    Angie Layton
    Julie Berry
    Chelsea Meissner
    Eddie Fox
    Chase Rice
    Pete Yurkowski

    Deena Bennett
    Prof. Kelly Goldsmith
    Eliza Orlins
    Kenny Hoang
    Stephen Fishbach
    John Fincher

    • TrollExterminator

      If you bring Deena back then you have to bring Helen from Thailand back. She’d make a great Brawn tribe member and talk some sense into everyone else.

      • JRHane

        I’ll admit I’ve tried rewatching Thailand and just can’t get through it. If I thought about it more, and if I replaced anyone on the Brawn tribe it would be Kelly Bruno over RC, since Kelly’s a triathlete. Also possibly Mike Chiesl over Joel.

      • Zachary Zarnett-Klein

        I agree! Helen and Dina would be AMAZING together!

    • Amanda Rabinowitz

      Deena should totally have Sierra’s spot on the fictional Brain’s tribe!

    • Zachary Zarnett-Klein

      It would be awesome to see Kelly back- hopefully she’ll return in the future. I like your list if we’re going with no winners/ 4-peats

  • yesimsquidward

    Fun podcast, Rob!
    The Cha Cha came in 4th, not 5th tho

  • jon dunn

    Pretty awesome cast list. Of course Steph isn’t actually a great challenge performer, but it is absolutely imperative that Crystal ‘Blazing Speed’ Cox play again so I’m glad she was cast for this.

    Seriously, Crystal is an obvious returnee choice it is a travesty she hasnt been asked back yet.

    • Zachary Zarnett-Klein

      I wonder what Alicia’s up to (aka Crystal’s alternate). We don’t seem to have heard anything from her since All-Stars.

  • jon dunn

    I think James and Steph were the casting mistakes for this. James moreso. He stopped being good TV a while ago

  • Snappy

    Kinda disappointed in the beauty males. I would love to know how Stephen Fishbach feels about this season. Who would he be in alliance with?

    • Who would you have cast instead? Its possible my taste in men is off.

      • Snappy

        It’s really hard because I think many of the men fit the brawn and the beauty tribes. I think my three would be :

        John Paul “J.P.” Calderon
        Jay Byars
        Mr. Candice Woodcock

  • andrew14

    I really wanted to have Erinn Lobdell back for this season but she’s definitely a mix between brains and beauty!

  • Rod

    I read the title wrong and thought the list was real!!! =D

  • I propose a fourth tribe, which we can call “Batsh*t” for alliteration’s sake and which can contain some of our favorite drama-causing or otherwise unhinged folks. To name a few: Shane Powers, Abi Maria, Phillip, Matt von Ertfelda, Shambo, and Na Onka. (Just don’t bring back Brandon Hantz. We want “batsh*t” in quotation marks.)

    • Velocisexual

      What about “Bonkers” 😉 Since batsh*t prolly won’t make it through censors.

      • toast

        Well the “Bonkers” tribe might refer to activities back at Ponderosa.

      • Penn Jillette is fond of the word “bugnutty.” That would also work well.

    • Kevin Wong

      Randy Bailey. Why? Because this:

  • heymikeymike

    Brandon/Colton have totally ruined any chances of bringing back Shannon to the show. Survivor has been burned twice by bringing back loose cannons; I don’t think they would make that mistake a third time.

    As much as I love Cirie, I feel like her story has been told. Much like James, there isn’t much left in terms of good tv that we could squeeze out of them.

    Eliza is a must have in a Brains team. Kick out Ciera and save her for FvF3

    • Alex

      Cirie was actually going to be on Blood vs Water, but she was cut at the last minute because her partner and her backup partner both couldn’t come. You can read about who was asked for which seasond here.
      They even considered putting Janu on the first Fans vs Favorites! So Colton wasn’t even the first quitter they considered.

    • toast

      I don’t think Shannon would do the petulant meltdown.
      He might be utterly unbearable to be around, but that’s okay. That’s a reason to be there.

  • Al Zaki

    Am I the only one who thinks that Rob Cesternino would make a fine inclusion in the Brain’s tribe?

  • Jacinta Mary Paul

    How about a “purple” tribe with Kelly, Katie, carter, Brett, lief and Brenda

    • Jacinta Mary Paul

      If Brenda can’t then Becky from Cook Islands

  • Isabella

    I would love to see both Rob and Stephen on a season together. Rob, would you be loyal to Stephen and do you think he would be loyal to you? It would be tough for me to pick a favourite to win 😛

  • Keith Dixon

    Oh man I wish this were a real season. I think this is a solid cast and everyone listed is the perfect representation of their respective tribes.

    Also, isn’t PeteBro and Abi-Maria currently together?

  • Brandon Bryce

    Guys the cast list is good. I would keep the brawn tribe as is. The beauty tribe could be reshuffled. For the ladies I would take out Jenna and Chelsea. Chelsea’s story is set, she went to the end didn’t get votes bye bye. Jenna should enjoy life as a civilian and wait for an all winner season. I would want Brenda because she has fan appeal, she was second in voting for fan favorite. She needs redemption from teeth gate. I would also include Abi Maria for the sizzle and spice she would have to add to the game. Peterbro might have to go but oh well. Also the brains tribe is so overrated. If anyone lets Cirie, Stephen and Sophie past final 9 they need to have their head examine.

    • Snappy

      Do you think Abi Maria could go on the brains tribe? I think she plays her game more to outwit like Ciera.

      • toast

        Abi and Ciera could go on the “Smart, but a bit Feral” tribe.

  • Terri Raab

    Where’s Malcolm? A fan favorite who could actually be put on any of the 3 teams.

    • BIG Franky

      Malcolm could realistically only be put on the beauty tribe…. he wasn’t particularly strong in challenges (remember he always lost, LOL), and he obvi wasn’t that bright with how he played.

      • anyone cares

        Malcolm Freberg is a triple threat: beautiful hair, smart mind, and athletic body.

        Keep in mind that he had only two weeks off before he came back in Fans vs Favs 2. Two weeks is not enough time to recover.

    • toast

      Malcolm needs a bit of a break from the show then come back in a heavy duty All Stars season.

  • William Davis

    Will Crystal Cox make sure Shannon Elkins eats his rice?

    • Alex

      Eat your rice!

  • BIG Franky

    love this cast for the most part, but Ciera in the “brains” tribe? I thought that was a joke at first…. that is crazy talk right there…

    • We know that they want to bring her back, it’s not the like the show hasn’t shoehorned people in to tribes that they didn’t belong before. Candice was a Hero, Francesca was a Favorite – it happens if they want to bring somebody back bad enough.

  • sanjayP

    Rob’s funny. Nicole’s beautiful. And they both have awesome demeanors!

  • Lisa

    Whenever I press pause on the podcast and then play it again it always skips back a few seconds which I don’t like.

    • Tommy Lee

      first world problems. Get over it. Consider yourself lucky we’ve got Rob doing these great podcasts

    • toast

      … those Angie Vines….

    • Kevin Wong

      It happens to me with any podcast using the podcasts player on my iPhone, so maybe it’s an iOS thing?

  • Alex

    Ciera isn’t THAT smart. I mean, she utterly botched the final seven. If she had just joined up with Katie, Caleb and Hayden she could have overpowered Tyson. Instead, she foolishly waited until she DIDN’T have a numerical advantage to make her move. And she shouldn’t have given the idol clue to Tyson. I agree with all of the other choices for all three tribes though..

  • Alex

    Colton should be on the Brawn tribe!

  • KendallZebidiah

    I was waiting for you guys to weigh in on Crystals steroid usage! A few years back she admitted to using steroids during her stint in the olympics and got stripped of her gold medal. The producers could milk all sorts of storyline out of this. Unfortunately I feel like all this would keep Crystal from coming back in the first place.

  • Zachary Zarnett-Klein

    My Miss Survivor Top 3: Corinne, Andrea, and Laura M.

    My Mr. Survivor Top 3: Aras, Vytas, and Malcolm (maybe Matt Bischoff?)

    Also, Rob, will we be able to see the Roast afterwards (will it be either live-streamed or recorded?). Wish I could come to L.A.!

    • Marcus

      Don’t forget about Reynold and Brenda!!!

      And I believe he mentioned that there will definitely be audio, but they’re still working on the video.

    • Dan C

      My Top 3 predictions for…
      Miss Survivor: Andrea, Brenda, Ciera
      Mr Survivor: Tyson, Malcolm, Hayden

      Who I’m voting for…
      Miss Survivor: Brenda, Candice, Ciera
      Mr Survivor: Reynold, Vytas, John

      I think Mr Survivor is stacked with returning players so I’m voting newbies to help them make an upset (Hayden basically counts as returning by having a BB fan base).

      I’m voting Candice for 2 reasons. 1. She looked stunning at the finale. 2. After hearing she wanted to be on Billy Claus’s naughty list on the Christmas podcast I know she’ll be game for a fun interview.

      • toast

        Hayden with get a Big Brother Invasion of votes. He will have that advantage of lots of non-RHAP voters.

  • Jimmy Baird

    What a great podcast. I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. I just wish this was the actual cast for a future season. Thanks Rob!

  • Whistler


  • Morty

    Like anyone listening, many of my choices would have been different, but I at least understood the reasoning behind all of these…except one.

    I was baffled by Ciera on the “Brains” tribe. Ciera’s smart moves were pointed out to her by others, or she was led. She was an astute observer insofar as narration went, but her few moves were were too late, prodded by others, or irrelevant. She was bold, though, so maybe she could be on a future “Ballsy” tribe.

    • anyone cares

      Agree ^^^

    • Snappy

      I think she is crafty and would be able to get herself out of different situation. I think her title would be outplay instead of brains

    • toast

      I don’t think she was very good in her scheming, but she definitely has a go at it. You can see the cogs turning in her brain.

    • Trixie02

      Or a Bold and the Beautiful v The Young and the Restless season.

      • Morty

        Hmmm, she could be on either one of those, tho. Gun to head, I might actually put her on the Y&R tribe in that match-up.

  • Josh M.

    I’m surprised they haven’t brought back Crystal yet. She was funny and brought entertainment her entire time in the game, whether it was intentional or not, and she proved to be strategic and had some strong alliances.

  • NatalieKuchik

    What the heck were you all thinking with the ‘beauty’ male cast, especially with Fabio because he is NOT that good looking of a man. And Eddie…really…I would take Reynold over Eddie, and even that is pushing it. Some better male candidates for beauty, Benry, Jay Byars, or Mr. Candice Woodcock. I would really want to see Fincher on brains or beauty. I KINDA see where you were coming from with “dumb but good looking” but Fabio, and Eddie are not even good looking and I barely remember Pete.

    As for beauties in females I would NOT want to see Angie again. I would take Ashley Underwood, Andrea, Brenda, Whitney Duncan, Hope, Alicia (one world who would cause drama), Rachel (Blood vs. Water) Natalie Bolton or Natalie White over Angie. You need some color in the currently All White beauty tribe, so I think Alicia from One World would be best.

    • JRHane

      The problem with the beauty tribe, for either gender, will always be subjectivity. You’re saying you’d put Alicia from One World on the beauty tribe, but I’d argue against it – at least not when you look at her from her time on the island. I highly considered putting Dawson on my beauty tribe, but I was thinking nobody else would agree.

      • susan appleby

        I agree. Fabio is the top of my list. He is gorgeous. And I would have a young Ozzy as well- he was beautiful. Don’t care how many times he played.

        So it is all very subjective.

        And you didn’t include Tyson… He is also beautiful, at least before he starves.

        What about some of the stunning Older women? I think Laura M and Monica are beautiful in their own way as well.

        • A Fan

          I think Monica showed she would even be more suited for Brawns, considering her physique and dominance in challenges, although I imagine there is only enough room for one Culpepper on the tribe.

          • JRHane

            Brad was out so early I forgot he existed and immediately thought Monica was a shoe-in for the Brawn tribe.

        • Morty

          +1 on Laura M.!

    • Morty

      Angie is on the Beauty tribe for 1 reason…..O-K, 2 reasons.

    • toast

      I just got a Patreon email for this podcast.
      Guess who’s photo Rob uses to sell the episode to listeners….

      Angie is in this season.

    • Kevin Wong

      So add Cha in there.

      • damnbueno

        Cha has got the best rack the game has ever seen.

        • TrollExterminator

          You can’t even assess hot women, typical.

    • damnbueno

      If ranking the 9 One World women in the beauty dept., Alicia would come in 8th, ahead of only Nina. And if Alicia spoke, she’d drop to 9th.

      If you want to add some “color,” add in Becky Lee, Cecilia Mansilla, Monica Padilla, Elyse Umemoto, Candace Smith,or Alicia Calloway — the best looking Alicia to play Survivor.

      • TrollExterminator

        You’re not qualified to rank women because you view Survivor as a feminist.

  • anyone cares

    This season would be great to bring back the three amigos. Malcolm as Brains, Reynold as Brawn, and Eddie as Beauty.

    The setting would be the same as Survivor Philippines (3 medevac), with the three amigos playing the somewhat “leader” role.

  • anyone cares

    Isn’t Pete Yurkowski an engineer graduate student? Engineer graduates would more likely be a brain.

  • anyone cares

    Colleen Haskell

  • Mat Karako

    Wasn’t Crystal later stripped from her Gold medal due to admitted P.E.D. use. It explains a lot about her character, the moodiness, the bulk, the lack of physical talent in challenges.

  • A Fan

    I personally think Todd would’ve made a good addition to the Brains tribe, if he could play…

  • toast

    I would replace Chelsea with Natalie White, because she is shockingly gorgeous, and it would be amusing to have a Beauty Tribe that is heavy on Winners.

    And, a possible replacement for Jenna as the “elder hot chick”, would be Julie Berry. For her freakish cheekbones.

  • Tyler

    Any fictional all-star list without Crystal not valid, so I’m glad she’s included here.

  • Dave

    Great podcast, loved listening to it! Some of the choices are a bit batty though… I mean, Shannon?

    I think the difficulty is in balancing out the tribes beyond just the personalities. Trawling past Survivor casts for distinctly brainy people that will be able to play well in the challenges is tricky, for example. The most difficult tribe to find balance on by far though is beauty – it’s very easy to end up with a cast of bland 21 to 29 year olds.

    My list:

    BRAWN (I avoided “must have” Brad for personal taste reasons. Troyzan is also a bit of a must have in some people’s eyes)

    BRAINS (you guys didn’t even mention Deena!)

    Eddie (you two convinced me… I think he’s very bland though and would replace him if I could think of someone else)
    Danni (to add someone a bit older)
    Ace (is he attractive? Yes and no simultaneously. He certainly thinks so. I’m casting him from a “beauty is vanity” perspective – he thinks very highly of himself. He’s also a little bit older, snarky in confessionals, and will add a bit of sneakiness to what could otherwise be a very strategy-lite tribe.)

  • jeremiahp

    With this cast, there is no doubt that someone from the brains tribe would win.

    • toast

      Actually, I’d put my money on Chelsea.
      I think she’ll be smart and mature and physical. Out from under the Khaleesi’s spell, I think she’ll be effective.

    • Trixie02

      Rob’s rigging it for Stephen. 😉

  • Carlos Vidal

    How was Kenny from Gabon not even considered for the Brains tribe!
    The travesty!!!

    • Marcus

      Yeah, I kept thinking, “Ok, now they’re going to mention Kenny,” but they never did! He would be perfect, especially if both he and Crystal made the merge.

      Also, Reynold got shafted twice in the span of one podcast; he could fit in brawn or beauty. Eddie is boring. I would argue for Natalie on brains but she can be saved for HvV2.

      Otherwise, though, great job Rob and Gordon.

  • Dan C

    Loved this podcast. I was annoyed when I heard Miss/Mr Survivor was pushed back a week but this made up for it! I agree with a lot of casting but disagree with how the tribes would vote, especially with the bro-analysis. Pete, Eddie, and Fabio are locks to bond, and Angie would play game with them just to guarantee she gets further than last time. But on the brawns tribe I see all types of conflict between Brad and Shannon and James would just give up on them.

    • I’m trying to time the winner to coincide with the week of the premiere, so don’t blame me… blame the Olympics!

  • Antony Gilbert

    Ciera on the brains tribe. OMG. You have got to be joking. She may be a fighter but she definitely has no brains. The main reason she had to fight was because she made an incredibly dumb move – maybe one of the dumbest strategic moves ever. And actually it wasn’t Ciera who fought, it was Hayden. She just sat there bewildered for most of that tribal. If Hayden hadn’t done his thing, Ciera would have stuck with her new idiot alliance.

    • anyone cares


    • Avery Gordon

      What people who are making this argument missed in the entire situation is that the plan to get rid of Tyson was in place at Final 8 but then Hayden flipped on the idea and decided to get rid of Laura instead (They didn’t show it in the edit, but the cast members have confirmed this is what happened).

      When you have a strategy in place at 8 and they flip on it and get rid of your mom instead, you aren’t going to trust them the next day when they want to get rid of Tyson at 7. She felt like she was 4th in the Hayden-Caleb-Katie alliance, while Tyson did a great job at making her feel like she was in the Top 3 with him and Gervase (well up until Gervase ruined it at tribal). She made the right move with the information that she had. As a viewer, you have the edited information, and with the edited information, she clearly made the wrong choice. (credit to /u/feedthemachine on /r/survivor, I have explained this same thing, but he worded it better than I.)

      • Antony Gilbert

        Lets get this right. The reason Hayden and everyone else decided to vote out Laura instead of Tyson was because Ceira was actively campaigning for that outcome. The suggestion that Ceira made the move to be with the Tyson alliance because Hayden flipped is nuts. The reason he flipped was because of Ceira. The reason Ceira flipped was because she was fixated with making moves for moves sake. It had nothing to do with her mistrusting Hayden over Laura being voted out.

        • BobbyKe

          Ciera never campaigned to get her mom out – She tried very hard to keep her & Hayden is the reason the first plan to get Tyson out @ Final 8 didn’t happen. Ciera wouldn’t have turned on him & the others @ 7 if he had been more secure in wanting Tyson out earlier

          I think Ciera’s a fine selection as a brain. She’s smart & thinks hard. I would’ve personally saved her for a HvV2 season, but nothing Ciera did made zero sense & she explained the logic in all of her moves. That’s what you need in a brain. Not for every move they make to work

      • anyone cares

        The main argument is that Ciera is not a smart player to be in the brains tribe.

        She botched final 8 by voting out her mother. One of the reason Hayden flip was that he did not trust Laura M and Laura M did not trust Hayden (read/watch exit interview). Also, Ciera botched final 7 by going with the veteran players.

        “She felt like Top 3 in Tyson alliance” makes her not aware of her position in the game. Ciera did not go into tribal that night to draw rocks at final 6. It took Hayden, Gervase, and Monica saying Ciera was number 4. At the same time, the jurors, who were Aras, Vytas, Kaleb, were nodding and smiling at Ciera to flip. And lastly, Jeff Probst kept on nagging on Ciera she was number 4.

        I think this is the only time in survivor in which Jeff Probst got involved in player’s game play by telling the players what number they are at.

  • T42n24tt42n24t

    Stephenie gets way too much credit physically. Let’s give credit where it’s due to some other athletic females for a change.

  • toast

    I want to see Angie running up the beach, all floppy wristed, the be hugged by James when her returns from an inevitable injury.
    Face it. James will seriously hurt himself some time in the season.

    • Kevin Wong

      Angie running up the beach would get the Baywatch treatment, I’m sure. If she wants to channel Amanda and run floppy wristed, I’m ok with that.

      • toast

        Okay. Just Angie running. Angie getting out of the water. Angie rolling playfully on the sand. Angie winning the “Have a Shower” reward.

      • Max

        Angie can do whatever she wants as far as I’m concerned! lol

  • I’m really loving all the discussion on this episode. Glad to see so many strong opinions from the community. I think we may have even rustled some feathers of the real Survivors on twitter. Too much fun for the offseason!

    • Stephen

      You’ve outdone yourself here Rob. It never ceases to amaze me what kind of reactions opinion pieces (which is essentially what this is) can draw.

    • Mike

      I don’t really follow any Survivors on Twitter, any people worth seeing the reactions from?

  • Antony Gilbert

    Now please no one take this the wrong way but Yau-Man deciding to be in a final four alliance with three black people was rather dumb. And black people sticking together because of cultural/historical reasons is somewhat understandable. I could see what was going to happen a mile off.

    • damnbueno

      First off, even though Dreamz very much wanted to form an all-black players alliance, Earl never committed to it. He just wisely let Dreamz believe he was interested after the merge. I don’t think Earl stuck with Cassandra and Dreamz at the end because they were black. Instead I think he explained his actions perfectly on the show. “I voted you out (Yau-Man) because I couldn’t beat you.” Earl knew he could beat Cassandra and Dreamz.

      Second, Earl approached Yau-Man with the idea of becoming partners, not the other way around. And when he did it, Dreamz and Cassandra were on the other tribe. Considering the Earl/Yau-Man partnership was probably the best the show has ever seen, its pretty silly to say Yau-Man was dumb for partnering with Earl.

      Third, Yau-Man never had a final 4 deal in place with Dreamz. Part of
      the reason Yau-Man pitched the truck deal was because Dreamz
      was not in his alliance. Besides, Dreamz was so disliked by that cast, sitting next to him in the finals would be a decidedly smart plan.

      And finally, since Boo had won two straight Immunity Challenges, he was the obvious target to eliminate at final 5 when he finally lost. Booting the well-liked player who could win his way into the finals is much smarter than booting the perfect finals goat.

  • Legionwrex

    I’m surprised you’re not on the list, Rob. You really are perfect for all three groups.

  • Justin

    It breaks my heart Rob is about to do a Pearl Islands belated 10-year Reunion show and the name Burton never even came up in discussion for brawn. Absolute challenge beast who has a bulky build as well. He never lost a team challenge and he won four individual challenges (reward and immunity combined). Only strike against them is Probst may not want him back because he became Fairplay’s buddy.

    • BogDa

      Totally agree. Burton was a beast.

    • damnbueno

      Burton won 3 individual challenges, not 4. He won 2 for Immunity (Underwater Swim & Blowgun Darts) and one for Reward (best of previous challenges).

      Burton was given immunity when he was voted back into the game. Then he won the Underwater swim IC, and gave Immunity to Rupert, since he already had immunity himself.

      Next, Rupert won a reward and gave it to Burton.

      Then the TEAM of Burton and Fairplay won a reward beating Rupert and Lil.

      Then Burton won the blowgun IC.

      Darrah won the next 3 ICs.

      Burton won the “best of previous challenges” reward, and also won a car. Then he got voted out.

      So Burton’s “individual” total is 3 wins, not 4. If you add in team wins, and the immunity he had when voted back in, his total would rise to 5.

      But yes, Burton was very good at challenges.

  • CelticMaclean

    Am i the only one who really wants to see Jim Rice back? And even Bobby Jon would be great although he may be served better in a different season

    • Stephen

      Jim would be fun to see back. I would’ve preferred him on Caramoan over Brandon, I don’t know if he had bad blood with Cochran still but watching him get into it with Phillip would be 100x more fun than the Brandon/Phillip stuff.

  • Kevin Wong

    A few thoughts:

    – I would’ve found a way to work BobDawg in there somewhere.
    – I think Rafe should’ve gotten more consideration. Although with that said, in this hypothetical season he would’ve had to give up working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel Universe > Survivor. Sorry.
    – If we have Alpha Betas, Pi Delta Pi, and Lambda Lambda Lambda, does that make Jeff the Dean Ulich of the season?
    – With that said, this hypothetical Beauty tribe should be called Delta Delta Delta.
    – I don’t know what to call the other two. Varsity Club and Super Geniuses?
    – Would the “Triple Threat” tribe then be called the Venn tribe?

    – Crazy Person Tribe: Randy Bailey, Shane Powers, Cao Boi Bui, Abi-Maria, Courtney from Survivor Panama, maybe Shambo? I dunno, haven’t thought this tribe through. Although Shane and Courtney together again would be money.

    • Trixie02

      Jeff might be Coach Harris; he loves his alpha-males. More importantly, who is Ted McGinley’s character, Stan?

      • Kevin Wong

        Yes, he was Stan, the star QB.

      • Kevin Wong

        However, there is no proof that Stan Gable ever scored 4 touchdowns in one game. :)

        • Trixie02

          The fraternities and sororities in “Revenge of the Nerds” do parallel this season. Lewis, Gilbert, and Betty final three. I called it.

    • damnbueno

      Nice list of crazies. I’ll add Kimmi (Australia), Frank & Linda (Africa), Ghandia (Thailand), Matt (Amazon), Wanda (Palau), Flica & Billy (Cook Islands), Lisi (Fiji), naked Dave (China), Coach, NaOnka, and Brandon.

  • Daniel Alberto

    I’m surprised that neither Ozzy or Ian were considered for theses tribes.

    • Carlos Vidal

      I think everyone is tired of Ozzy playing Survivor
      I loved him in Cook Islands and FvF but South Pacific Ozzy is not someone I want to see play
      It was awesome the first 2 times
      Same with James

      • T42n24tt42n24t

        As well as all the other three time players.

      • Daniel Alberto

        Oh sure, were all tired of Ozzy, but apparently we’re not tired of people like Cirie who are so overated.

        • Carlos Vidal

          I dont think Cirie is overrated, maybe to the hardcore fans who appreciate her gameplay
          but i wouldnt want to see her play survivor again either, we know what she can do and she peaked in FvF
          everyone will want her out like in HvV

          • Daniel Alberto

            Survivor should try going back to not having hidden immunity idols, then we’d see how good people are when they need to rely on actual skill.

          • Carlos Vidal

            Idols bring a layer to the strategy part of the game
            and usually the idol is only held by one person if people were motivated enough they could get rid of idols easy

        • damnbueno

          Cirie is the best manipulator Survivor has ever seen, and absolutely belongs on the Brains tribe.

          • TrollExterminator

            Who did she manipulate? She came up with ideas of manipulating players and other people carried that out. Cirie is the queen of common sense, that’s about it.

        • Ron

          Except that we just saw Ozzy, and in his season I felt he was pretty much an entitled jerk. I think that absence has made the heart grow fonder for Cirie. At least that’s true IMO.

      • Stephen

        I agree with your opinions on both, Ozzy is one of those guys who gives you the same thing every time. His first game was fun, his second one not so much and his third was basically a mixture of his first two.

        James I also agree with, he gets in a strong alliance every time, then when the alliance switches it up he has no plan B. When he was medivaced in Micronesia he was a sitting duck (it was either him or Erik). In HvV he got injured but I don’t think for a second Amanda or JT or anyone else in that heroes alliance would have taken him to the end.

    • Trixie02

      Ian would be great, but I think their criteria was bulk rather than lean muscle.

      • Daniel Alberto

        If that’s the case, that would be stupid because brawn should be based on the challenge powerhouses.

        • Trixie02

          I need to listen again, but it was discussed. Ian is quite amazing as is Ozzy. Jason from FvF was quite good, too. As Toast said above, big guys will waste away on one cup of rice per day.

        • Mike

          brawn ( noun )
          1. strong, well-developed muscles.
          2. muscular strength.

  • Max

    Would love to see Julie Berry for the beauty tribe this season! Also would like to have her back on the podcast next season. Love her!

    • Daniel Alberto

      Unfortunately, Julie dated Jeff and she learned about all the production secrets, making her ineligible for future seasons.

      • Max

        Yeah I know this :( hypothetical fun though!

      • toast

        Pretend it’s season 32, and Jeff has left the show, and… hmmm… Cochran has taken his place as host. (I was going to say Scout Cloud Lee, but that would also be a conflict of interest).

        Then Julie can come back on the show.

        • Daniel Alberto

          Nope, she still wouldn’t be able to come back, that would still be a breach in her contract. Also, Mark Burnett would be on CBS’ a** if they let Julie back on.

  • Carlos Vidal

    No Darrah from Pearl Islands mention either for the Beauty tribe!!!

    • Daniel Alberto

      I think she’d do better on the “Brawn” tribe because she was a challenge beast.

      • damnbueno

        Darrah had 3 Immunity wins, but one was a Word game, another favored someone with tiny, skinny hands, and the third was aiming and shooting a Musket. Overall, she’d probably be average at more physically-demanding Survivor challenges.

        She’s not quite a challenge beast, but is definitely a beauty.

  • Trixie02

    If Colton can come back and Shannon is being considered, then why not Osten? He quit, but can’t he get redemption?

    • toast

      Join the tribe of muscle bound guys who find themselves agonisingly starving to death because big guys like that can’t live on a cup of rice a day.

    • Daniel Alberto

      Colton probably annoyed the f*ck out of Jeff to even be on again. He quit because we knew that when his back was against the wall he knew then he had to actually work; and as we all know, Colton doesn’t do work. I imagine the tribes would’ve been dancing had they had the chance to vote out Colton.

  • Steven


  • Ron

    Well, 5 players who are 3rd or 4th timers, and 4 winners. Sadly, that’s probably realistic of how CBS would cast it. Regardless, this was a fun exercise!

  • Narborg

    Just read all the captions, hilarious!!

  • Michael desLauriers

    This’ll be a long one. Sorry. Not really.

    This season and cast would be incredible. Make it happen, CBS!

    I think a Yul/Sophie/Cirie/Stephen alliance could prove quite powerful and fascinating to watch, but I think Jenna would probably give this alliance a run for her money as she is also a potent challenge player and strategically competent as well. I think she could form a sub-alliance with a Sophie or Cirie and maybe take out her Brains competition.

    I don’t see Angie winning, especially if a single Brain is in the Final 3 as I get the impression that the hypothetical Brains alliance would command a certain respect as the players are amiable and no-bullshit for the most part.

    I would think Yul would win in your guys’ scenario seeing as he is so respected and yet isn’t quite as threatening if he can use Cirie as a shield in the endgame. If Yul’s out, Cirie wins. If neither is out, a Stephen/Sophie match-up in the Final 3 would be pretty fascinating.

    Speculation aside, a Brain wins this season unless Jenna can pull a move.

    Some other players that should of been considered: Kelly Wigglesworth (won 4 challenges, a raft guide, Brawn), Greg Buis (Ivy league, Brain), Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien (a keen and observant player with a leaning towards pathos, Brain), Andrew Savage (sort of a somewhat more intense Yul Kwon, Brains), Twila Tanner (tough as nails, willing to make moves, Brawn), Sarge Masters (Drill Sergeant, imposing, Brawn), Judd Sergeant (Huge guy, big personality, Brawn), Earl Cole (smart, amiable, Brain), Amanda Kimmell (beauty queen, jack-of-all-trades, Beauty), Erik Huffman (handsome, friendly, Beauty), Ace Gordon (suave, English, Beauty), Ken Hoang (smart, nerdy, Brains), Brendan Synnott (handsome, Beauty), Nataie White (pretty, debutante-ish, Beauty), Jaison Robinson (smart, Ivy League, Brains), Dave Ball (witty, funny, dorky, Brains), Chase Rice (handsome musician, Beauty), Albert Destrade (dating coach, Beauty), Whitney Duncan (Country Musician, had some moments, Beauty).

    • BogDa

      No way Cerie does that alliance.

  • Carlos Vidal

    LOL at the Eliza and Ciera Twitter war over this list

    • Stephen

      You mean Eliza losing her mind and Ciera not giving an eff? Hilarious but not unexpected.

  • Ghandi

    omg rob stop being shallow. Christina and Leif were absolutely not the people Jeff was talking about! Why would they even cast a dumb midget? COME ON! You call a calm person stupid? That’s not right my man

    • Ron

      Well, then who? Probst’s remark was pointedly aimed at One World.

      • Ghandi

        No, he only pointed at a recent season where a group of people did something to ruin it for other people. That does narrow down the possible seasons, but there is a season even Rob didn’t consider in his podcast about the whole matter back in the days. You have to listen very carefully with great detail on what Probst says and by being objective about it, you’ll realize there was always another option to One World. I’m already positive he wasn’t talking about Leif or Christina and I already know why they we’re cast in One World. They we’re a production experiement, but they weren’t experiementing with stupid people in their case. Though the latter was their plan in a different season. No point in spilling all the beans at this point.

        • Stephen

          Jeff said the low IQ contestants (2 of them if I remember correctly) caused a whole season to be screwed up. Is there any way in the world Jeff would say a season Boston Rob won was screwed up? Factor in to that one of the Zapaterans (David) had one of the highest IQs in Survivor history I don’t think that he was talking about them.

          My guess is that he was talking about Leif and Kat, he caved on the “no more stupid people” rule when they brought Kat back because having a Big Brother winner on the show was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

    • BogDa

      Leif was deffinetly one of them. I think the other was Kat.

    • Keith Dixon

      I can understand (I guess) Christina ruining the season, but how did Leif ruin One World?

  • paul

    crystal cox has admitted to taking drugs during her olympic track days and as a result has been banned and i belive had her medals stripped from her. plus she was useless from what i remember in survivor, wasnt she the last person that ran up that hill in the very 1st challenge.

  • Alex G

    I went and watched the Coach vs. Ozzy puzzle – what an awesome challenge! Wish they had more of those puzzles, maybe this upcoming season.

  • Trixie02

    Crystal is all 3 + blazing speed. She’s the self-proclaimed 4 B’s!

    • damnbueno

      She’s a good athlete outside of Survivor, but she largely sucked at the Gabon challenges.

      She’s probably not gonna ride an immunity streak to the end, and isn’t a good strategist or social player. So the only way she’d reach the finals would be if someone carried her there.

      • T42n24tt42n24t

        She needs to come back though. Her challenge fails were incredibly entertaining.

        • damnbueno

          I’ll agree with you there. While watching Gabon, I was constantly asking myself “How did this person win an Olympic medal?”

          • TrollExterminator

            You and millions of other people thought that about Crystal. What an astute observation.

          • Kevin Wong

            Excelled at the
            So she was good.

          • damnbueno

            Too funny my man, too funny!

          • Kevin Wong

            I have my moments.

          • damnbueno

            Indeed you do. And we’re all better off when you have them.

        • Alex G

          Maybe she was brought on to give the Brawn tribe a challenge handicap?

      • Trixie02

        She has a confessional in Gabon in which she says: ” I’m bringing the 4B’s: brains. beauty,blazing speed, and brawn.”

        She would be great entertainment on a tribe with Brad or Shannon. Someone may literally need to carry her to the end if she performs like she did in Gabon.

      • Trixie02

        (This posted elsewhere in the thread, so sorry for the repeat.)

        She has a confessional in Gabon in which she says: ” I’m bringing the 4B’s: brains. beauty,blazing speed, and brawn.”

        She would be great entertainment on a tribe with Brad or Shannon. Someone may literally need to carry her to the end if she performs like she did in Gabon.

        • damnbueno

          So that would be 3 B’s and one BS?.

          • Trixie02

            Yes, and a big mouth!

  • Brian Altschul

    I’m not a huge fan of returning players. However, this season would be AMAZING!

  • I was so relieved to not see Jon Fincher on there. I’m not a fan, especially for a brains tribe. Glad to see the inclusions of Sophie, Yul, Yau-man, Cirie, and Stephen. I would have picked Elisa over Ciera, but I see the point about all the alliances. Apparently, I’m a fan of brainy Survivor players.

    Gordon was making some pretty crazy claims during this episode. A lot of the picks (Shannon, Jon Fincher, etc.) were odd to me. Still, I had a lot of fun with this podcast.

    • Mike

      Why would those picks be strange? Gordon backed up his reasoning for both, whether you like either of them as players or not. In the case of Fincher, his job title is literally rocket scientist. There’s a reason the idiom “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist” exists, because that’s seen as a profession that requires high intelligence, thus if your brain tribe shows up with doctor, lawyer, rocket scientist, people will buy in to the label. As for Shannon, he is a physically imposing figure and fits the theme Gordon wanted for the brawn tribe of people who look big, and are lunatics who would fight all the time, which makes sense given that one would assume a brawn tribe would do well in the challenges.

      • It’s just my opinion, obviously. I’m not saying every pick was crazy. There were just several that stood out as not clicking with me. That’s the fun of this podcast – everyone’s going to have a strong opinion about it.

        • Mike

          Understandable, and I can buy that with Shannon, but to say that it’s a “pretty crazy claim” to put a rocket scientist on a brains tribe, you’ve moved past opinion into something that is just objectively wrong. That’s literally the profession that exists for an idiom of the baseline for intelligence necessary to do a task.

          • My issue isn’t that he’s a rocket scientist; that makes complete sense. It’s that it’s John Fincher. He wasn’t bad TV, but I’m not seeing it for “brains”.

          • Trixie02

            …Except all 4 rocket scientists: Dave, Misty, Jon, and Dan Barry did not perform like “rocket scientists.”

          • damnbueno

            Amen. Book smarts rarely equals Survivor smarts. You could throw Pilot Terry into that mix too.

          • TrollExterminator

            Terry made it farther than your beloved Cirie in Panama. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

          • Trixie02

            I liked Terry.

          • damnbueno

            I had no problem with Terry as a person. But as a Survivor player, he could never be described as strategically or socially “smart.”

            But he was a powerhouse in challenges. If Survivor were only a physical competition, he’d be an overall Top 3 player.

          • Trixie02

            He was amazing to watch and although his social game was not great (especially when he voted out Dan), the man versus tribe aspect was riveting.

  • Kooks

    Isn’t Cirie a survivor superstar?

  • damnbueno

    Not a bad list at all. My only gripes — and both are pretty minor — are the inclusion of Crystal Cox and Shannon Elkins.

    As athletic as Crystal looks, she largely sucked at Survivor challenges. She didn’t seem to be intentionally sandbagging it either. She was embarrassingly bad across the board, but she was an entertaining personality. I think Kelly Wigglesworth, Monica Culpepper, Alicia Calloway and even Cindy Hall from Guatemala would be better choices. And of course, Kim Spradlin and Danni Boatwright could fit in any category.

    And Shannon is just too vile a person to ever bring back, and he was an average challenge performer at best. We’ve seen his act. He’ll piss people off then get himself booted again. Pilot Terry, Lex, Grant, Ian, or even Rafe (who won 4 challenges) would be better choices. And out of those, Ian, Lex and Rafe are also good strategists who might pull a fast one on some of the brains. Ozzy of course is the best Survivor athlete ever, and should be the #1 pick for any Braun team.

    Guatemala was probably the physically toughest season ever, and to only have one person from that entire cast doesn’t seem right.

    As for the beauties, Jenna and Chelsea are fine choices, but Angie was just a lifeless, manufactured mess to me. I’ll take Brenda Lowe, Kim Powers, Monica Padilla, Elyse Umemoto or Jacquie Berg over Angie.

    And of the Brains, the only question is Ciera, and only because there are several women who played much smarter games than she did, including Vecepia, Denise, Brenda, Kathy, and the aforementioned Kim.

    • Ron

      What was James? In my view he was vastly overrated in challenges, but he sure looked the part.

      • damnbueno

        James didn’t do well at Individual Immunity challenges, but he was a powerhouse in the tribal challenges, which many overlook when making their evaluations. I remember in FvF 1, James carried Joel around a lagoon, then later busted through a pile of 5 people and stole a heavy bag from them.

        I take it a step further and include physical work in camp as part of the process. James (and Rupert) would be top picks for any tribe in that department. Geez, James pushed over a tree!

      • T42n24tt42n24t

        Stephenie was another one who looked the part but was vastly overrated in challenges.

        • damnbueno

          Like James, Stephenie is another one who most forget always did very well in the Tribal challenges (with one glaring exception in HvV).

          Stephenie won one Individual Immunity challenge, and was handily leading another until Danni got to use a reward advantage to switch places with Steph.

          Stephenie’s mouth got her into trouble, but her muscles never did.

          • T42n24tt42n24t

            People don’t “forget” her in the tribal challenges, she’s the only one in her first two seasons (and sometimes when it comes to women, her third, no joke) who gets any credit for it. In 2014, people still subjectively refer to her as “the strongest woman ever” because of her physique and unique situation in Palau, minimizing the accomplishments of other women who dominated challenges and went on immunity runs. She also got a ton of airtime in the tribal challenges compared to others. This fictional cast is a prime example of overrating her. Idk, just pisses me off that other women aren’t recognized for their strength. *shrug*

          • damnbueno

            Well if that’s how you feel about Stephenie, it doesn’t make any sense that you’d call her “overrated.”

            Yes, Steph got all the hype in Guatemala. Returning players always
            get the hype when paired with rookies. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t performwell in challenges.

            I also don’t think the Steph hype
            did anything to minimize great runs made by Kelly W in Borneo, Parvati
            in HvV or Kim. And there was plenty of noise made about Monica this
            past season too. I’ve read many comments about Jenna’s 4 wins in Amazon, even though hers were mostly luck-aided.

            This hypothetical column pretty much proves that plenty of strong women haven’t been “minimized” or forgotten at all. Crystal wasn’t even good at challenges, yet look at how many are talking about her on these boards alone.

            I don’t buy into the hype presented in “previously on Survivor” segments that built up Stephenie in her first two seasons. I make up my own mind based on her contributions in the challenges.

            I remember one challenge in Guatemala — a 3 vs 3 “basketball” challenge played on a raised netting. Each player had to be able to throw a pass, catch a pass, shoot a basket, run on a net and defend the other team. You weren’t allowed to run with the ball either.

            Stephenie was teamed with Lydia and Brianna. Brianna never moved on offense or defense, so Stephenie could only pass to Lydia. Lydia then kept running with the ball, causing turnovers. Lydia and Brianna both sucked on defense too. But Stephenie outran Danni to the ball twice, blocked one of Danni’s shots, and made several good passes to Lydia. In this example, Stephenie played very well, but her team lost because her teammates were incompetent.

            In another challenge, Stephenie, Rafe & Judd held a net and tried to catch balls launched by Lydia and Brian. Following Stephenie’s directions, her trio caught 4 of her tribe’s 5 points — including the game winner. She also directed her trio into blocking two catches from Brandon and Bobby Jon’s trios.

            Stephenie deserves her status as one of the top physical females in Survivor history.

          • T42n24tt42n24t

            Anything that’s ever been popular has been and can be argued as “overrated”. My opinion is that she’s overhyped and doesn’t live up to it. I never said she doesn’t have good moments, just that she’s given too much credit. And sheep calling her the “strongest woman” based on the Ulonging kinda did undermine the strengths of the strong women who came before her? What bugs me is that other females have their challenge strengths ignored are and are automatically ranked below Stephenie because they weren’t the “last one standing” or because they weren’t ever as popular as her. Brooke Struck mentions in an after show interview that Stephenie did poorly in the tile breaking challenge and that Danni(who recieved one of the crappiest winner edits ever) did much better than her, but that it wasn’t shown. So it’s not always someone else who’s at fault for her team losing challenges and she’s not off the hook for Ulong’s lack of teamwork. Danni also mentioned somewhere that the mayan basketball challenge went on longer than and that Nakum beat Yahxa more brutally than was shown. What’s shown isn’t necessarily what happened.

          • damnbueno

            “And sheep calling her the “strongest woman” based on the Ulonging kinda did undermine the strengths of the strong women who came before her?” — That’s a fair point, so let’s explore it.

            Palau was season #10. Off the top of my head, these were the best female athletes from each season to play before Stephenie:

            Kelly W. (Borneo) 4 individual wins.
            Alicia C (Australia)
            No standouts in Africa
            Kathy (Marquesas) 2 wins
            Helen (Thailand) 1 win (Trivia questions)
            Jenna M. & Heidi (Amazon) 4 wins for Jenna
            Darrah (Pearl Islands) 3 wins
            Ami (Vanuatu) 2 wins — 1 with her loved ones partner
            Stephenie (Palau)

            While Kathy & Amber each had 1 win in All-Stars, I’m gonna eliminate that season since its unfair to compare rookie performances to those of returning players.

            Would you agree with this list?

            If you’re taking a purely results-oriented approach, you’d have to call it a tie between Kelly and Jenna. But I don’t do that. In addition to the tribal challenges, I consider part of being a “good physical” player to be how you contribute to camp life — building fire & shelter, finding food, not crumbling (emotionally or physically) in bad weather etc.

            Jenna M wanted to quit when she was in the final 5. That eliminates her right there. And as I said before, 3 of her 4 wins were VERY luck aided. Heidi did well in team challenges, but sucked at individual ones. And neither of them did much work around camp.

            Alicia was a very intimidating person, but most of that was because of her aggressive personality, not because of her athleticism. In the challenges, she was average. But it should be said that she has admitted to sandbagging it in challenges both times she played. Because of this, we can’t really be sure how good she is at individual challenges.

            Kathy was very strong in challenges — especially in the water. But when setting up camp, she was a whiner who would complain instead of sucking it up and just getting to work.

            Helen was also a good swimmer, and average on land. But she was very indecisive in and out of challenges. While she was capable, I don’t think I’d consider her more valuable than Stephenie.

            Darrah had 3 wins, but 1 was a word search puzzle, and in another, the players had to stick their hands into a skinny, water-filled tubes to retrieve keys. Darrah’s tiny, hands and wrists gave her a huge advantage. I can’t call that a skill-aided win even though she did very well in the balance parts of that challenge.

            So that would leave Kelly W., and Ami.

            Ami was also a good swimmer, but Stephenie was better on land and on puzzles. Stephenie was also more valuable at setting up camp than Ami.

            But a very strong case could be made for Kelly W. She won 4 immunities — 3 of them when she knew she’d be voted out if she lost. Huge props for coming through in the clutch. She also had one reward win.

            Kelly and Stephenie had similar “last woman standing” stories to tell, but since Kelly played in season 1, the hype machine wasn’t at full speed yet.

            I admit, its a tough call. Its been so long since I’ve seen Borneo, I’d have to rewatch it to see how valuable Kelly was in camp and the tribal challenges to really decide.

            But since very few on these boards are even mentioning Kelly W. for the brawn team, I think that proves your point is valid about her.

            As for “What’s shown isn’t necessarily what happened,” I’d disagree slightly. Whatever was shown most definitely happened. Its just not ALL of what happened. And I’m fairly confident that between the broadcast and the deleted and secret scenes, we get most of the major points.

          • T42n24tt42n24t

            I would agree with that list, but add a few early boots who look good at least on paper (Firefighter Steph, Jessie, Jolanda, Amy O’Hara, and every woman on Nakum) as well as some more Pearl Islands and Marquesas girls. And some older women like Twila and Kim J.
            But yeah, Kelly is one of the first I think of when it comes to female challenge domination.

            However, It’s not fair to pull the “luck” and “advantage” cards on Jenna and Darrah because different challenges tend to favor specific types of strengths or body parts. Like winning the game, luck, adapting, and creating good luck are involved in these sorts of things. The immunity challenge Stephenie won may have given her an advantage too that isn’t as obvious. And I wouldn’t hold that against her. As long as they’re not rigged (like Rob’s final immunity in redemption island haha), all challenge wins are fair and square.

            I personally don’t care about individual challenge win ratio growths spanning across multiple seasons. I count them. I don’t care much about camp life either. We only saw a portion of what was done in camp.

            When I said “what’s shown isn’t necessarily what happened”, by that I meant just because Stephenie was shown doing well during a particular part of a challenge doesn’t mean she didn’t do crappy at others. Just because she blocked one (and definitely not all) of Danni’s shots doesn’t mean she’s automatically a better athlete than her. I’m sure hundreds of shots Stephenie, Danni, or anyone attempted to make while on school teams were blocked.

          • damnbueno

            I’ll address Jenna’s wins so you know what I mean by “good luck.”

            Her first win was the “chop three ropes” challenge. Probst asked trivia questions about the Amazon. Most of the players wanted the physical threats out first, so Dave, Matt and Alex all got their ropes chopped first. After that, in the middle questions, it was about payback. If someone chopped your rope, you chopped theirs right back. But since Jenna couldn’t answer any of the early questions right, she didn’t do any early chopping. Then when she couldn’t answer any of the middle questions, she didn’t get any payback. She still had 3 ropes left when everyone else had some chopped already. I don’t believe she was answering questions wrong on purpose (like Rob C. said he did), so it was 100% dumb luck that got her that win.

            In her second win win, everyone first had to use a slingshot to shoot marbles at plates with their names on them. Every plate they hit would earn them one puck to use in round 2 – Shuffleboard. Jenna hit two of her own plates, but she ended up with more pucks than anyone else when Butch and Rob (I think) hit her plates by mistake. In round 2, whoever ended up with their puck closest to the X would win. Everyone sucked with their first couple of shots — nobody could figure out how hard to slide their pucks. Several pucks either flew off the end of the table, or fell way short of the target. But Jenna had extra shots to learn the table. To her credit, she came up with an amazing shot that knocked Rob’s puck out of the way and simultaneously put hers closest to the X.

            Her third win was a blindfolded maze in which Jenna, Matt, Rob and Butch had to find 4 necklaces. Matt led the entire challenge. Jenna pretty much followed him the whole way. Matt made a wrong turn at the end, and Jenna won again.

            Her 4th win was pure skill, but the “Balance On A Perch” challenge has been won by a woman every time is has been used except when Ozzy won it.

            So since Jenna’s intentional actions didn’t create any of the conditions that led to her first two wins, and since her own skillset did almost nothing to get her third, this is why I don’t consider Jenna M. to be any kind of Immunity threat.

  • Mike

    The brains list really needed more Kelly G. Maybe she falls under the “wouldn’t come back” list, but still, if you’re a professor at Northwestern, I’m going to guess you’re pretty smart, and she was a good character the first time around, I think she’d make a good returnee. And I do agree with Gordon that titles are important for the brains tribe for people to make that instant connection. Lawyer, doctor, rocket scientist, professor, podcaster (we need you on this fictional brains season, Rob!), etc. Maybe you make the exception for Cirie because she’s a big enough star, but otherwise I like that as a barometer.

    Also good call with settling on Chelsea for the beauty tribe. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all, but daaaaaamn… She is just unbelievably attractive.

    • damnbueno

      You can have the greatest “book smart” brains around on one tribe, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be any good at Survivor. If you’re gonna have returning players, at a minimum, they should have been good strategists as rookies.

      Kelly G. seemed content to follow Lex’s lead, and was pretty bad at getting herself out of trouble when wrongly accused of betraying Lex. Terry Deitz was a fighter pilot — which requires mad book smarts — but he wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to convince anyone to defect to his side. He could explain the theory behind G forces all day (and probably did in Panama, boring everyone). But In Survivor, Cirie ran strategic circles around him.

      • TrollExterminator

        Cirie came up with 2 ideas that other people carried out on Panama. That’s hardly running circles around Terry. Technically Terry did have Courtney at one point.

      • Mike

        I was under the impression that we were primarily just going superficial on the categories, since it’s pretty superficial of a theme in the first place.

        • damnbueno

          Maybe so, but wouldn’t the superficial part only apply to the brawn and beauties?

          Then again, Kelly did base her vote on Benjamin’s hotel room number from “The Graduate.”

          • Mike

            I suppose, but my point is that painting people into one box is a superficial way to look at people. Most actual human beings can fit into multiple boxes, not just one, so I went with the superficial ideal when thinking about the cast to embrace the theme. Most of the best survivor players don’t really fit neatly into these themes, and most of the good players that were cast for the fictional season don’t actually fit into one category, such as Yul and Sophie.

          • damnbueno

            I agree with you 100%. The best Survivor players don’t stand out in just one particular category. Instead, they’re all good social players and strategists. They don’t even have to be good athletes because their other strengths can overcome bad athleticism.

            The ideal scenario would be to have all 18 players be at least average in two categories, but exceptional in the third.

            I don’t know if its possible, but a great test would be to have a cast full of Kims and Earls.

      • JRHane

        You could argue that being a fighter pilot, Terry also probably had to pass an extremely physical training regiment to qualify. So in that regard, in addition to his challenge dominance, he’s going to be better served on the Brawn tribe.

        Also, as much as I like Lex, his witch hunt for his one extra vote was completely over the top. There probably wasn’t much Kelly could have done or said to convince Lex it wasn’t her. You can’t really pin that on her.

        • damnbueno

          Terry would only qualify for the Brawn tribe. His Survivor strategy was ridiculously bad.

          As for Kelly G. she needed one more vote to boot Lex, and wasn’t shown trying to recruit Brandon or Kim J, the two who’d benefit most from Lex’s removal. If she didn’t think of that, or she tried and failed, then yes, we can pin it on her.

          • TrollExterminator

            Yeah Terry’s strategy was so bad that he made it farther than Cirie in Panama when everyone in his alliance was voted out.

          • Mike Magas

            in fairness, while the hate on Terry strategy is ridiculous, how do you convince people to backstab their alliance, when their alliance has several goats to beat at the finals

            but he made it further by winning immunities and an overpowered idol so I’d have to say Cirie’s was better on results

          • TrollExterminator

            Terry’s idol made absolutely no impact on the game. I doubt Cirie or most of the other people could have actually found that idol anyways. Considering Terry was the biggest threat in the entire game and he makes it to the final 3 is pretty remarkable in my opinion. Terry was endanger of getting voted out because he was a threat, and Cirie was potentially going to get voted out because she was a weak link on a tribe of nut jobs and Aras. It’s pretty clear what game should be respected more.

          • Mike Magas

            I agree Cirie is overrated, good certainly but not the mastermind she’s made out to be, frankly I don’t know if there is anyone who does match the massiveness of her reputation.

            But in Panama her 4th place finish to Terry’s 3rd was not the result of strategy is was challenge depth and an idol. To think otherwise is to devalue her strategic ability, her work during that game was quite impressive, but her following 2 appearances, well 1 was overrated the other ended pre merge.

          • TrollExterminator

            I agree, but you have to admit Terry’s strategic game is undervalued because he did not have the majority going into a merge. Comparing the 2’s strategic game play is not fair in my opinion. The only thing you can say for sure is that if Terry had the numbers going into the merge we would have seen much more of Terry’s actual strategy rather than Challenge dominance. I highly doubt if Cirie was in Terry’s position that she could convince someone in another alliance to defect to be in her alliance. That is basically the only criticism you can have of Terry’s strategy is that he couldn’t convince anyone to flip. It was especially harder in the earlier seasons to flip someones vote who wasn’t in your alliance.

          • Mike Magas

            Very much in agreement see my argument with Damnbueno in this same article really.

            Terry is roasted for failing to convince people to do something that had no value for them and really just handed him a win (in their opinion). I really don’t see how this is a negative as very seldom if ever in Survivor are people able to do what everyone wanted him to do, make someone do something they are convinced they should not do.

            That being said if we could somehow arrange a strategy off where other talents aren’t involved I do imagine Cirie would win but we really can’t say Terry was as bad as people suggest because the people who played with him don’t believe he was as bad as the public seems to be stating.

          • TrollExterminator

            Yeah it’s very trendy among Survivor fans to like Cirie these days and it’s moronic to like guys Terry, J.T. and Amanda. A lot to do with their lower popularity is due to them being the biggest reasons Cirie was voted out.

          • Mike Magas

            People seem to be allowed to like JT and Amanda, Terry seems to be this weird case of Survivor hate. There are a few others.

          • TrollExterminator

            I personally haven’t heard anything positive about Amanda and JT in a very long time.

          • Mike Magas

            Mostly because the positive of Amanda has run its course and the only thing worth debating is can she actually keep it together before a jury

            As for JT after his messiah bit on Tocantins his HvV showing showed that hes not as awesome as we thought (and really should have suspected) so he gets some flack.

          • TrollExterminator

            Yeah I completely understand that, but JT and Amanda outperformed Cirie on Heroes vs. Villains. JT and Amanda probably would have been in the final 3 if Candice doesn’t flip on them. Both of them even made huge mistakes and could have won that season.

            In prior seasons JT won his first season and Amanda was in the finals twice, yet Cirie is considered a way better player than them who has never been at the finals. The reason she was never in the finals is not because she was this massive threat either.

            This is how I look at their games.

            Physical: 2
            Social: 9
            Strategic: 9

            Total: 20

            Physical: 8
            Social: 9
            Strategic: 7

            Total: 24

            Physical: 7
            Social: 8
            Strategic: 6

            Total: 21

            Survivor purest are probably going to say a physical game isn’t a big deal, but yes it helps if you can actually win challenges. More importantly if you can win challenges and not be considered a threat helps out a lot too. People can’t ignore the physical part of the game and proclaim Cirie this amazing player in my opinion.

          • Mike Magas

            I wouldn’t say shes a 2 just because in the right challenge Cirie is a wrecking ball, additionally she is solid (not amazing) at puzzles which I realize is not a physical skill but I think even having a pure Physical area is a flaw, it should be challenge ability instead

            I do agree that to whole hearted say she’s a better player than 2 people who outlasted her is a tad foolish but results based thinking is also kinda foolish when there are so many variable.

            Case and point, is Rupert really better than JT? He did outlast him. Is Russell better than Boston Rob? He did outlast him.

            Simply saying player A finished higher than player B is a considerable oversimplification

          • TrollExterminator

            I guess my point was that JT and Amanda finished better in all of their seasons overall compared to Cirie.

            I do include mental challenges in the physical attribute of a Survivor contestants. I should say physical attributes encompasses the challenges and how well your body holds up throughout the game and how strong you are with barely any food or water. I don’t recall Cirie ever winning a puzzle challenge, so how can you be sure she is good at puzzles. On Micronesia she wasn’t even picked to be in a mental challenge and had to go to Exile Island. To be honest I think Sandra is good at puzzles, but she has zero chance to win a individual puzzle challenge because parts of that challenge will require some athleticism.

          • Mike Magas

            Cirie has helped tribes win puzzle challenges, like I said she’s not light the world on fire good but she holds her own, on a 10 point scale at least a 6-7 added to the fact that when she can use her size (see the wrestling for the bag and sumo challenges) she’s pretty much going to beat 99% of survivor females

            so i’d have to give her better than a 2

          • TrollExterminator

            The only challenge I remember Cirie doing a puzzle is on Heroes vs. Villains she just stood there while other people were trying to figure it out. Also I gave Cirie a 2 instead of a 1 because of that Sumo challenge.

          • Mike Magas

            The panama run for puzzle pieces then put the put it together her and Bruce made up considerable ground against Sally and Dan and actually won the challenge for Casaya (they were way behind as Terry/Austin/Nick beat the piss out of Aras/Shane/Danielle)

            also the lillies challenge in Micronesia with Eliza and Yau (not impressive as they had a major lead)

            there are a few more examples of her doing puzzles reasonably well

            Like i said not Boston Rob or some other puzzle master but solid

          • TrollExterminator

            Okay yeah I forgot about the Panama one. I put more into individual challenges rather than team challenges anyways. Team challenges is not really where people shine or why people are referred to challenge beasts anyways. Yeah you make a good point though. That Panama challenge was huge and the astronaut could not figure it out.

          • Mike Magas

            Individual challenges do point out weaknesses to a greater level but team challenges shouldn’t be discarded all together

          • TrollExterminator

            True. Survivor can be interpreted anyway you want. However someone wants to look at Survivor is fine with me, just as long as they don’t preach about being completely objective and end up being completely biased like damnbueno. That is the only issue I have with a fan of any sports team or TV show.

          • Mike Magas

            very true

          • Trixie02

            I’ve never understood the Terry hate. I really liked him. He had to compete against everyone else virtually alone and he nearly pulled it off.

            Cirie is great at manipulation; however, Cirie lucked into not being first vote on her tribe because Tina the Lumberjack was grieving over her son’s death and that was interpreted as being anti-social. No one ever brings that up.

            What I dislike about Cirie’s personality is she practically rolled her eyes at the reunion when Tina’s story came up. It could be editing, Terry, on the other hand, took the high road and I found his battle against the others inspirational.

          • Mike Magas

            The man has his flaws but the need to invent more confuses me. Ie he should have convinced people to join yet no one has ever provided me with a reason he could have used.

          • damnbueno

            A ,part of the reason Terry was “virtually alone” was because of Terry himself. He did a lot of things before the merge that made his post-merge game much harder than it had to be.

            He failed to form a solid relationship with Shane and Bruce at the start of the game, which made it tough to convince them to defect after the merge.

            He reprimanded Sally like she was a child after she lost some fishing gear, giving her little reason to want to help him later on.

            He let Nick and Austin hear how he didn’t want to keep the younger women around (starting with Misty), which told them it was only a matter of time until he’d take aim at the younger men.

            He voted out his closest and most trusted partner Dan, in part because he’d lost the ability to convince Nick and Austin to vote out someone young again. This also told Nick and Austin that Terry would have no problem cutting them loose later on.

            If Terry had a better strategy to his social game, he wouldn’t have been as alone after the merge.

            Then after the merge, when Terry knew he had to lure a defector, the first person he tried to vote out was Shane, who (along with Bruce) was one of the two best to approach about defecting as far as Terry knew.

            But Terry didn’t make any deals with or endear himself to Shane or Bruce in the first few days. We all know how important it was to Shane to keep his word. If Shane had given his word to Terry, he would have felt compelled to keep it after the merge.

          • Mike Magas

            how many people convince people with legimate chances to win in their alliance to defect?

            and before you say they couldn’t take a moment

            Shane wasnt going to flip, he’s sworn on his son
            Cirie probably wins if she makes the end against her alliance
            Aras did win
            Danielle made it to the end
            Everyone wanted to taek Courtney to the end

            Flipping on your alliance seldom wins you friends

            What argument did terry have? join my alliance, I may take you to the end, you won’t win because i have my alliance voting for me and yours will be pissed at you so really I’m asking you to give me the win

            Failure to do something isnt a sign of lacking intelligence all the time, there are factors beyond your control

          • damnbueno

            “How many people convince people with legitimate chances to win in their alliance to defect?”

            Here’s a few off the top of my head:

            While outnumbered 5-4, Earl convinced Stacy and Boo to defect from Alex’s alliance and blindside Edgardo. He also convinced Dreamz to vote for Mookie at the same vote.

            In One World, Alicia was in control of 4 votes (hers, Kat, Tarzan and Christina) and Kim convinced her to boot Tarzan, which pretty much left Alicia powerless for the rest of the game.

            In Cook Islands, Yul’s alliance was down 5-4 and he convinced Jonathan to defect. And he did it using the same overpowered Idol Terry held. Terry wasn’t smart enough to use the idol the way Yul did.

            In Palau at final 5, Katie had convinced Jenn and Caryn to boot whichever man didn’t have Immunity — Tom or Ian. Ian convinced her to stick with the men and boot Caryn instead. Earlier that same game he convinced Katie to boot Gregg instead of facing a possible tiebreaker.

            There are more examples too.

            It definitely can be done if you’ve got a decent social game. If you know WHY people make decisions, and can communicate to them in THEIR terms, you can do it.

            Terry was horrible in this aspect. His approach was basically “You should go with my plan because you’d be stupid if you didn’t.” He made people feel like they’d be working FOR him instead of WITH him. His approach made Casaya want to shove his arrogance back in his face. He once tried saying “go with me and you’ll be safe for two votes.” That’s equal to saying “I’m getting rid of you in three votes.”

            Most of the Casaya tribe absolutely hated each other. But they stuck together because they disliked Terry’s condescending arrogance more. Terry’s bad social skills crippled him strategically.

          • Mike Magas

            Many of those you listed who flipped where terrible players or in the case of say Penner if you don’t flip I will end your game was the ultimatum

            but fine lets say its a common occurance, what reason do any of them have to join him? Keeping in mind we have hindight to help us and a great deal more info than terry did, what do you tell them?

          • damnbueno

            Well that’s what separates the good players from the bad ones right? The good players can convince the bad ones to make mistakes. Or you could say good players can manipulate other good players (or average ones like Penner) into doing their bidding by giving them a reason to believe the move will be good for them as well.

            One very common ploy is to appeal to whomever is on the bottom of the alliance like Yul did with Jonathan. Terry could have told Cirie to join him or he’d boot her with his Idol. But instead, his pitch to her was pathetic. After he tried to recruit her, she said in confessional “I’ve already got an Encyclopedia and you’re trying to sell me a Dictionary?” She laughed at his attempt. He couldn’t think of anything that she’d actually want. That’s a sign of a bad social game.

            I don’t consider Courtney, Danielle or Shane to be good players at all, and Bruce was probably average at best. It was monumentally obvious that they couldn’t stand each other. The cracks in that alliance were huge, yet Terry was never shown trying to play one of them against another.

            Terry kept trying to convince them to get rid of the one player (Aras) they all liked. Was Terry even aware how much Bruce hated Courtney? Why not work on Shane to boot Danielle? Why not approach Danielle with an idea to boot Shane or Courtney? Bruce told Terry he’d flip if he convinced Danielle to go with him, but Terry’s pitch to her was laughable. He claimed he had the Idol, but didn’t show it to her. It was 5-4 at that point. Why hold back? After Yul admitted he had the Idol, everyone was afraid to vote for him. Yul no longer needed to win Immunity. Terry didn’t even think of doing that.

            Instead of fighting with Aras all game, why not see if you can figure out who else Aras wanted to get rid of? Yul had great reason to be furious at Jonathan after he defected, but Yul kept his cool and figured out a way to lure Jonathan back. Did Terry ever consider he might be able to work with Aras? I don’t think so.

            Was Terry even aware of how much Casaya disliked him? If he wasn’t, that’s his fault. Its also possible he could have come up with a plan and asked Nick, Austin or Sally to execute it for him — much like Cirie did with Amanda, Parvati and Natalie in FvF. If Casaya didn’t like Terry’s approach, maybe one of them could have done better.

            Instead, Terry was ruled by his ego and emotions. His ego wouldn’t let him realize his approach wasn’t working. He also got fixated on booting Aras. His fixation blinded him to so many other options. He kept banging his head on the wall and wondering why it hurt.

            And if Terry was so obsessed with booting Aras, he didn’t realize the best way to do it would be to lose an Immunity challenge on purpose, then boot Aras with his Idol. After all, his chances of beating Shane, Courtney, Danielle and Cirie in future challenges were much better than his chances of beating Aras the rest of the way.

            We just watched Vytas win over everyone in a members switch by showing his vulnerability. We also saw Denise leap from #7 to #4 in two days simply by demonstrating she was willing to work WITH Penner and Kent instead of against them. A similar show of humility might have worked for Terry. But he was just too full of himself to ever consider such a tactic. He didn’t realize how effective it was to let others believe they could manipulate you.

          • Mike Magas

            you ignore a key factor, yes they hated each other but they all thought they could beat each other

            and yes Cirie knew she was on the bottom, she also knew she had no trouble manipulating her alliance and quickly rising to the top

            Booting aras by throwing an immunity also doesn’t work very well, most of the time had terry thrown immunity aras would have had it

          • damnbueno

            My point is that Terry only used one tactic after the merge no matter how many times it failed. His arrogance prevented him from admitting his idea wouldn’t work, so he kept trying it. That’s bad strategy.

            The absolute best Survivor players know how to adjust when their plans go awry.

            When Kim realized she couldn’t convince Chelsea to vote out Sabrina, she adjusted and came up with a winning plan that began with booting Kat instead. Alicia believed she could beat Tarzan for the million, yet Kim convinced her to get rid of him. Kim figured out a good reason why Alicia would want him gone.

            When Sandra realized she couldn’t convince Rupert to help her get rid of Russell, she helped boot Rupert, and let Russell start believing he controlled her vote. Sandra knew she couldn’t win the million if she counted on Rupert, so she cut him loose.

            When Amanda told Todd “I don’t trust you anymore,” he figured out a way to earn her trust back — twice.

            Brian was planning on going to the finals with Ted, not Clay. But when he found out Ted was plotting against him, he booted Ted instead.

            When Terry failed to convince any Casaya to boot Aras, he kept trying to convince Casaya to boot Aras. He did it four times and failed each time.

            Cirie was the best manipulator in Panama, but she didn’t hit her stride until well after the merge. Her best move was when she left Shane behind on a reward, realized he’d be furious, then smoothed things over with him as soon as she returned.

            But that didn’t happen until 3 votes after Terry first tried to recruit her. Right when the merge came, Cirie didn’t yet know how well she could manipulate everyone on Casaya. To that point, she had only convinced them to boot Melinda instead of her, and she collaborated with Danielle to blindside Bobby. She didn’t think she was quickly rising to the top when Terry lobbied her right at the merge.

            Aras was sandbagging it in the first few post-merge challenges. He has admitted as much on this site. Aras dropped out of the first 2 challenges early (when Nick, and Austin were booted), and was totally vulnerable at the first post-merge votes. But at the first vote, Terry went after Shane, which permanently ended his ability to lure Shane to his side.

            And of course, Terry was originally tribemates with Shane and Bruce. If he’d formed a good relationship with them at the start of the game, they might have been more receptive to joining up with him at the merge.

            But Terry’s arrogance turned off Bruce and Shane too.

          • Mike Magas

            Bruce still liked Terry and Shane also agreed that he would go with Terry later but he had sworn on his son.

            Your are judging Terry based on an edit designed to explain why he failed, and his ability to read people who were mentally unstable. Serious they are the nutball alliance.

            What we did not see, and has been admitted by others (not Terry’s words who doesn’t really talk Survivor) is Terry tried other things that didn’t make the edit and that he did make them think. Problem was this everytime they thought they came back to the say ending point, so if we go with you, you win.

            I’m not sure there was a counter argument. Terry could lie and say my alliance won’t vote for me, but the general thought was they would. That those backstabbed would also vote for him.

            How do you convince people to backstab their alliance that they think they will win in, to let you win? I think if you can do it you are the greatest manipulator ever or they are the dumbest players ever.

            And cirie realised much earlier she could manipulate the Casaya alliance, I believe in her words she realised it when she was offically the next to go but everyone was consulting her, that was shortly before the Bob Dawg vote.

          • damnbueno

            “Your are judging Terry based on an edit designed to explain why he failed” — That argument will never work with me.

            “The edit” didn’t cause Terry to fail. Terry did. “The edit” didn’t make Terry become obsessed with booting Aras. “The edit” didn’t make Terry make his ridiculous “you’ll be safe for two votes” offer.

            I’m evaluating Terry by using the same criteria I use to evaluate anybody else who plays Survivor. Each player’s game is defined by how those who played with him/her describe it. They’re the ones who decide who the winner is, so their opinions mean more than anyone else’s.

            Terry’s attempts to lure Cirie, Danielle and Courtney were mocked by those three. Peace-loving Aras couldn’t stand him, and Shane was the one who lobbied Casaya the most to stick together against him. Bruce may or may not have liked Terry, but he never joined him.

            Part of the biggest challenge of Survivor is how quickly you can get to know total strangers and convince them to do what you want. If they’re all nutballs, or all level-headed rational people, the challenge is the same: you have to figure out how to communicate with them in THEIR language. After 4 tribes were reduced to 2, Cirie was in the same position Terry was at the merge, yet she did a much better job of working her way into Casaya’s favor. And she did it while being vulnerable 100% of the time. She didn’t have the luxury of an Idol or the talent to dominate challenges.

            Why did Cirie succeed and Terry fail? Because Cirie figured out how to get through to the nutballs. Cirie is also a much better Survivor player than Terry is.

            “Problem was this everytime they thought they came back to the say ending point, so if we go with you, you win.” — This is Terry’s failure. He couldn’t convince anyone they could beat him. Malcolm is just as physically intimidating-looking at Terry is, yet nobody went after him because of his athleticism. Lisa wanted him gone because she found his Idol.

            If Terry were smart enough to sandbag it in the early challenges like Malcolm was, he might not have appeared so unbeatable at the merge. We’ve just seen too many players (Yul, Malcolm, Aras, Erik, Sabrina, Alica C., Rob C. to name a few) benefit from concealing their challenge talents to say its not a smart strategy.

            Yul had Becky, Sundra and Ozzy totally convinced they’d beat him for the million because the jurors would be mad at the way he removed them all. Earl and Kim did it by being insanely likeable to everyone in the game. And nobody is better than Sandra at convincing others that she can’t beat them. Terry’s ego wouldn’t even let him consider letting anyone think they could beat him.

            If the other players think they can beat you for the million, they won’t try to vote you out. Terry’s style was “I’m the best and nobody can beat me.” That kind of swagger is fine in most aspects of life, but its a losing way to play Survivor. All it accomplishes is making everyone want you to lose.

            Even if you’re not arrogant about it, or never say anything to pump yourself up, appearing too tough to beat can hurt you. Its part of the reason Colby, Ozzy and Boston Rob all lost the first time they reached the finals. Its why Tyson got blindsided as a rookie, and Ozzy got booted from FvF 1. If you’re gonna dominate the challenges, you’d damn sure better bring totally loyal, and/or totally unlikeable people to the finals with you like Tom and Boston Rob did. You’d also better make sure you don’t anger the jury more than they do too. Historically, that’s the only way you’ll win.

            “How do you convince people to backstab their alliance that they think they will win in, to let you win?” — Like I said, we saw it done by Earl, Kim and Ian. Maybe you can rewatch those seasons with different eyes and see how they did it. Elisabeth & Rodger also convinced Keith and Tina to turn against Amber by using a “she doesn’t deserve to stay” ploy. Colby wanted Rodger gone. Who knows? If they were more aggressive, they might have broken the Colby/Tina alliance, or might have even convinced Keith to join with them.

            Cirie wasn’t nearly as self confident when Bobby left as she was when she flipped the vote to boot Courtney. She hadn’t even considered manipulating a vote all by herself until Shane told her everyone could beat Courtney in the finals. She realized she was earning trust when several started asking for her opinion, but she hadn’t yet swung an entire vote by herself aside from booting Melinda. And that was done more out of last-minute scrambling than by a preconceived, manipulative plan.

            Re: The Bobby vote, Cirie didn’t even offer to help make it happen until after she realized Danielle and Courtney were so mad at Bobby for drinking all the wine and taking a dump in their shed. The tribe was originally set on booting Bruce until D & C got mad at Bobby. Danielle and Courtney got mad at him, and Cirie just suggested they boot him instead of Bruce, and not tell Shane about it. It wasn’t until AFTER Bobby was booted that Cirie realized how well she could make Casaya change their minds.

            Making people switch their target is tougher than making them pick one when they’re undecided. When Cirie decided Courtney had to go, she had to do all the work herself. Everyone still wanted Terry gone, but when he won Immunity again, Danielle & Courtney were considering siding with Terry and booting Aras. Danielle also wanted Shane gone, and Shane was dead set on booting Danielle. Courtney was undecided. Cirie locked up Aras first, then she convinced Danielle to go after Courtney, then she fooled Courtney into thinking they were all booting Aras.

          • Mike Magas

            Again how do you convince people to let you win when they think they are winning?

            You really shouldn’t be able to. Your hate for Terry is just ridiculous.

          • damnbueno

            You know its pretty funny.

            When I point out Parvati’s mistakes, some people say I hate Parvati. Very recently one fool read something nice I wrote about her and concluded I love Parvati.

            When I point out Ozzy’s mistakes, some people say I hate Ozzy. But when I say he’s the best athlete the game has ever seen, some claim I love Ozzy.

            When I mention Amanda’s Final TC meltdowns, some people say I hate Amanda. But when I say how good she is at reaching the finals, some say I love her.

            When I said I was ready to name Russell the best player of all time when he reached the Samoa finals, the Russell haters were all over me. But then when I say how horribly bad he is at learning from his mistakes, the Russell lovers start shooting back.

            And now, when I point out Terry’s mistakes, you’re claiming I hate Terry. If I say I consider him the 3rd best challenge athlete of all time, will you be saying I love Terry?

            Terry tried to recruit Cirie. Cirie laughed at his attempt. I say Cirie laughed at Terry’s attempt. Does that really mean I hate Terry, or does it mean I’m merely recounting what happened?

            It’s all nonsense. All the contradictory accusations I get pretty much confirm I’ve got a pretty solid criteria for evaluating players. It proves to me I can see the positives and the negatives. And whenever I explain them in detail to “Amanda’s the greatest” or “Boston Rob Forever,” that’s when all the love/hate accusations start flying.

            Love and hate has got nothing to do with it.

            Instead, I think more often than not its a case of someone getting pissed off because I dare to to say something negative about their favorite player. I’ll add that I’m not saying this about you. You know I respect your Survivor knowledge.

            Saying something bad about a player doesn’t mean you hate them any more than saying something good about a player means you love them.

            “Should” and “shouldn’t” have little to do with Survivor too. Either you can do it, or you can’t. Kim, Earl and the others I mentioned could do it. Terry couldn’t.

            How *I feel about Terry doesn’t change a thing.

          • Mike Magas

            Oh I agree you can point out a survivor’s flaws without hating them. For example I do not hate Terry but am perfectly willing to admit the man had flaws and certainly did things wrong.

            I agree his pitches could have been better and less repetitive. And I agree getting inside people’s heads is a key skills and the most important probably.

            I am however against the double standard that is being set here which is Cirie is this master manipulator for manipulating Casaya yet Terry is the worst thing since smallpox for failing, its far too much of a slide.

            I reiterate Terry is not a great player, great physically probably I have him at 2 on my list personally but I subscribe to the theory of who you beat being key (Panama had an oddly high number of college athletes in the cast) as opposed to number of challenges won for example. But he was put into a very difficult scenario and no one has ever convinced there was for Terry an argument that worked. Doesn’t mean I’ll all out defending the man, he did a sub par job but it’s not as bad as some seem to want to make it to be.

          • damnbueno

            Well, when all is said and done, Cirie was better at manipulating Casaya than Terry was. Cirie also went on to enhance her reputation in FvF, while Terry largely remained bitter about his experience.

            Many rip into Cirie claiming she’s horrible at challenges, (which is far from the truth). And since she can’t run fast it means she’s a bad player overall, which is equally inaccurate.

            Some people accuse me of taking a results-oriented approach to Survivor. If that were true, I’d have no choice but to rate Terry as better than Cirie since he finished 3rd and she finished 4th. That thought is ridiculous to me.

            The most pure test of a Survivor player is as a rookie, playing against all rookies.

            As a rookie, Cirie proved to be good at Outwit and Outlast and average at Outplay. Terry excelled at Outplay, which was the only reason he lasted as long as he did. Since he had no other means to Outlast, I call him average there. But he was miserable at Outwit.

            But the most valuable aspect of Survivor is the Social game. If the other players like, and/or respect you, or believe you’ll honestly answer their jury questions, you have a much better chance of winning. If you can speak their language, you have a much better chance of convincing them to give you the million too.

            In the social game, Cirie blew Terry out of the water. To me, THAT’s the main reason Cirie is so much better at Survivor than Terry. The gap comes in the social game.

          • mikko m

            You’re probably a much better writer than I am but practically everything you’ve said in this conversation is the way I see it as well :)

            Also I think it’s a bit silly to forgive Terry his inability to turn Casaya against each other by saying that of course they wouldn’t do that because they all thought they could beat one another.

            Good players can do it regardless of who they play with and bad or mediocre ones can’t, and in this aspect results are the only criteria we can go by.

          • damnbueno

            There are two types of negatives in Terry’s game, all of which were in Terry’s control to eliminate if he were a smarter player.

            1) Things he did that made people want to vote him out.
            2) Things he did that made them not want him to win the million.

            For category 1, Terry:

            1) Stood out as exceptional in challenges pre-merge. He pretty much let everyone know they’d have a tough time beating him for Individual Immunity. Terry should have sandbagged a little.
            2) He largely shunned Bruce and Shane at the start of the game instead of making them feel valued. Bruce had the additional sting of not being picked when they eliminated two tribes. While that wasn’t exclusively Terry’s fault, Terry didn’t lobby to be reunited with his original tribemate either.
            3) Showed favoritism towards Dan, Nick and Austin, largely shunning Misty, Sally and Ruth-Marie, who all knew they weren’t in Terry’s long-term plans.
            4) Angrily ripped into Sally when she lost some fishing gear, treating her like a child.
            5) Turned his back on his most trusted partner Dan, sending a message to Nick, Austin and Sally that Terry won’t support them either. After all, if he’d dump Dan with little hesitation, he’d turn against them much easier.
            6) Stood out s the leader of LaMina, which gave Casaya a clear #1 target.

            And for category 2:

            1) Had a consistently condescending an insulting attitude towards everyone on Casaya.
            2) Refused to use his Idol to protect Nick, Sally or Austin, even when Terry had immunity himself.
            3) Showed little or no interest in getting to know anyone except Dan on a personal level.
            4) Made his “safe for two votes” pitch to lure a defector. Players felt insulted that Terry would think they were dumb enough to go for that pitch.
            5) Made an equally insulting pitch to Cirie.
            6) Failed to notice how much Cirie, Courtney and Danielle were sick of hearing fighter pilot stories. They all thought Terry was full of himself.
            7) Scolded Cirie — treating her like a child — when he tripped over her torch.
            8) Insulted Danielle and Courtney by saying “Whichever one of you finishes second in the final challenge will go to the finals with me.” This was basically saying “I’m gonna finish first because you can’t beat me.”
            9)After Terry won the loved ones reward, he insulted Aras and his mother by saying “Spouses and children are more important than parents” when explaining why he didn’t allow Aras to see his mother. Terry was pretty much saying “My wife, Shane’s son and Cirie’s husband are more important than your mother or Danielle’s mother.”

            There were a lot more reasons people wanted Terry gone. It wasn’t exclusively because he was the “leader.”

            Think about it, did Yul, Earl or Kim ever do anything close to this?

          • mikko m

            I hope you didn’t think that I disagreed with you because this is still exactly how I feel as well :) You’re probably just bettar at articulating it so thanks for spelling it out for me (honestly, no sarcasm here) :)

          • damnbueno

            Oh, I know you agree with me. I just love talking about Survivor in depth. Perhaps a little too much.

          • mikko m

            No it’s fine. I loved your analysis. Just keep on writing them :)

          • Mike Magas

            and how do you become vulnerable after being a strong dominant presence in the early game when those traits were needed?

            how do you be vulnerable when your an ex fighter pilot?

            How do you not come off as a threat to win when you lead an alliance that you did not backstab?

            And Cirie realized and SAID before Bobby was gone she could make them change their minds, you argue otherwise despite her own words

            You also admit Terry had some success, Danielle and Courtney were tempted to join him, Cirie countered it.

            I am not saying terry is better than Cirie at survivor, there is no evidence to suggest that he is beyond challenges and camp life, ie the 2 least important parts, never have I said it. In fact I have said many times the only way I wish to see Terry back is some kind of challenge beasts season.

            But you credit and many others do with Cirie manipulation of Casaya as a sign of a GREAT PLAYER yet someone who can’t do it is instantly a terrible player? Not really a fair standard.

          • damnbueno

            “and how do you become vulnerable after being a strong dominant presence in the early game when those traits were needed?” — You don’t stand out as a good challenge athlete in the first few challenges. We saw Malcolm do it in Philippines. We saw both Malcolm and Erik do it in FvF2 too.

            Did you see Gervase flop around in the water like a fool in this past season’s first challenge? He convinced everyone he still couldn’t swim, and nobody went after him for being good at challenges the whole season. But then a few challenges later when he wanted the food reward, he swam like a fish, then bragged about how well he fooled everyone in a deleted scene.

            It can and has been done. Many times.

            “how do you be vulnerable when your an ex fighter pilot?” — Instead of always talking about how great a pilot you were, talk about how scared you were when something went wrong. Vytas could have talked about the scumbag things he did to get high, which might have intimidated others. But instead he talked about how scared he was when he was in prisons, which made Monica, Ciera, and Laura B. love him. Tina even wanted him to date her daughter Katie!

            “How do you not come off as a threat to win when you lead an alliance that you did not backstab?” — Don’t lead the alliance in the first place. Let Dan, Nick or Austin think they’re leading it. Everyone in Stealth R Us were happy to let Phillip think he was leading them. The Faves thought Corinne was leading the defections at the merge, not Malcolm. Kim let Alicia and Troyzan think they were the leaders too. Terry chose to give orders and ignore suggestions made by others.

            ” Danielle and Courtney were tempted to join him” — Tempted yes, but they never did it. What ultimately matters is how they vote and why they voted that way.

            After the Panama season, I thought Cirie was “very good.” It wasn’t until after FvF 1 that I started calling her “great.” Then when Tom specifically targeted her “because she’s too smart” (that’s a direct quote by the way) that’s when I put Cirie in the “One of the greatest” category.”

            Only 3 players have been targeted by other players who thought they were “too smart” to compete against — Rob C. (by Boston Rob), Yau-Man (by Cirie), and Cirie (by Tom). When Survivor players show that kind of respect, so do I.

            I mean come on. Cirie came up with a plan that convinced the most vulnerable player to give up his immunity — without making him mad at HER! If that’s not great, I don’t know what is.

          • Mike Magas

            Again you’re basically admitting that you are holding Terry inability to manipulate Casaya against him yet suggest the person that did is GREAT.

            Phil Kessel can’t score goals at the rate of Alexander Ovechkin, this doesn’t make him terrible.

            And Terry needed to stand out in challenges early on to actually get his team to win them, as it is they went in down numbers.

            People suggested he lead and he did take suggestions. He agreed with Nick and Austin to vote off Ruth Marie, if he was as stubborn as you say he would not have done that. He also would not have voted Dan off. Also had he not donned the leader mantle, Dan would not have it’s not really his personality and there is every chance that without his strong presence, Austin and Nick join the sexy young ladies.

            I do like the idea of talking about being scared, I just think it would come off as not genuine because of his base personality. Something that was built over 40+ years and would be difficult to tear down mid game.

            It really seems you are going out of your way to devalue him rather than just stating flaws. In the end, many veteran survivors have said it, you have to be you out there, you can’t act for 39 days. Terry is an alpha male, leadership comes from that, he’s not a man who’s used to being vulnerable it would be hard to change that. I think you’re expecting someone to do something they really can’t do.

          • damnbueno

            “Again you’re basically admitting that you are holding Terry inability to manipulate Casaya against him yet suggest the person that did is GREAT.” — Nope. After Panama, Cirie was good. She didn’t become “great” until after FvF 1.

            Positioning someone as a leader is a form of manipulation. The smart play is NOT to accept the role. Todd spelled it out perfectly in China. He explained a plan to make Aaron their “official” leader so he would take the fall if they lost a challenge. Aaron didn’t want the role, but foolishly accepted it in front of the whole tribe. Ultimately, Peih-Gee and Jamie booted him instead of James because they thought Aaron was the “leader” and could influence more players than James. Being the “leader” in Survivor is a bad move.

            There’s a long line of successful Survivor twosomes — Todd & Amanda, Earl & Yau-Man, Stephen & J.T., Tina & Colby. If you can find that one trustworthy person who you know won’t betray you, you’ve got to do all you can to keep them around. For that reason, Terry agreeing to boot Dan, who would never have betrayed him, was also a bad move.

            And hindsight being 20/20, Terry and Dan should have lobbied harder to boot Sally instead of Ruth-Marie. Misty was already gone, so there was only one “sexy young lady” for Nick and Austin to side with.

            There have been plenty of Alpha Males who had a much better Social game than Terry, including Colby, Nick, Lex, Hunter, NYC cop Ken, Rupert, Fireman Tom and Gregg (Palau). All of them were well-liked and respected by the other players. Terry had a chance to watch all of them play.

            He also had a chance to see several insulting and condescending alpha males (like Boston Rob, Ted, Roger, Burton, Shawn, Lex in All-Stars Sarge, James in Palau, Judd,and Jamie in Guatemala) fall on their faces. If he were paying better attention, he would have known what approaches were more and less likely to work.

            But if Terry watched any Survivor before he played, he did a horrible job of learning which approaches would NOT work. Those who ignore the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them.

            Terry repeated them.

          • Mike Magas

            being the leader can also be a good move, see Boston Rob, Kim.

            You list these failed leaders though in many cases they failed for very different reasons.

            Boston Rob failed by being put onto a tribe that lost early and made mistakes on the first vote out (Taking out Peter who probably could have helped with challenges) but the entire tribe was culpable for the move.

            Ted never was the leader it was always Brian who in the end won the game. And before you say people didn’t see Brian as the leader they were very did, Helen, Jan, Clay, Jake all sized him up as the leader very quickly.

            Burton lead a minority in his tribe, thats really not the leader if you think about it and compounded the issue by actively throwing a challenge.

            Lex wound up with numbers heavily against him and was targeted as a challenge threat as well.

            James wasn’t a leader in Palau he was a joke.

            Shawn I’m not sure who you are refering to as I’m not recalling a Shawn leader

            You also ignore that in many ways, Aras who won Panama was a leader.

            In final saying Leadership isn’t a problem if you do it right. People seldom handle the mantle properly.

          • damnbueno

            Kim didn’t appear to be the leader for most of the season. Alicia believed she was leading the women most of the way, and Troyzan thought he was leading the mixed tribe. At a minimum, Sabrina, Chelsea, Mike, Jay, Kat, Alicia and Troyzan all believed they could convince Kim to do what they wanted. And that means Kim did an excellent job of making everyone feel valued.

            Another way to avoid the “leader” tag is to 1) secure a solid one-one-one relationships with everyone in your alliance, and 2) make sure everyone believes they can influence your decisions. That’s how Kim, Earl, Yul, Brian, Rob C., Denise and Todd did it. Again, if people think they can control how you vote, they won’t want to vote you out.

            Boston Rob had so many advantages that season it was ridiculous. But he primarily worked as the “leader” because he had Phillip deliberately pissing everyone off, which distracted them from going after Rob. And after failing three times, Rob finally figured out he had to be respectful to the other players above anything else.

            I didn’t say Ted was the leader, I said he played like an Alpha male — aggressive, doing much better in challenges than others, giving orders more often than making suggestions, often talking about how good he was in challenges etc. I already addressed Brian’s approach above.

            Burton also played like an Alpha male, but he was more like a leader in the first half of the game. A “leader” can be anyone who has people following them. Burton convinced half the tribe to throw a challenge, so at that moment, he was the “leader.”

            Lex was unquestionably the leader in Africa and in All-Stars. His social game in Africa was much better than in All-Stars because until Teresa voted for him, he made sure everyone felt valued and included. I think his social game was good enough to beat Kim J., but not good enough to beat Ethan.

            James was absolutely a joke, but the tribe listened to him when he wanted Jolanda, Ashlee and Kim voted out. They followed his lead in the “build a bathroom” challenge as well as a couple of others. I think the primary reason Ulong did so badly in the challenges was because they let James dictate their strategy. Stephenie certainly wasn’t the leader that season. She was much too indecisive. Ibrehim, Bobby Jon and Kim were much too passive. Angie was an outcast from day 1. Jeff largely submitted to James’ decisions until he got injured. Then he pretty much quit. Jolanda wanted to be the leader, but she clashed with James. The tribe went with James and voted her out.

            Shawn was Burton’s original partner in Pearl Islands, and also pushed to throw the challenge to get rid of Rupert. He also joined Burton in mocking Rupert’s skirt. He wasn’t the leader, but he played like an alpha male similar to the way Ted did. He was also camp lazy, and expected others to do things for him, much like Albert in South Pacific and J.P. in Cook Islands.

            The Casaya tribe liked Aras, but they rarely listened to him. When he’d ask Courtney and Danielle to keep the fire going, they slept and let it go out. When he asked Bruce to help get food, Bruce built a Zen rock garden. Shane and Bobby refused to be led by anybody. I don’t think there was any clear leader on Casaya, but Cirie was the best at influencing how they voted. If anyone came close, Shane was the one who rallied them to stick together when he saw LaMina approaching for the merge. But it’d be tough to call Shane the “leader” too.

            To this day it amazes me that people who disliked each other as much as Casaya did managed to stay loyal. The only common trait I could find that united them was their desire to beat Terry. Can you think of another reason?

          • Mike Magas

            On Casaya, they didn’t like each other but they didn’t like anyone and also thought they could win against each other.

            An alliance doesn’t have to like each other to work, we have seen a few examples of this, they simple have to believe they will win with it. In the case of Casaya they either really could, Aras and Cirie or they were delusional enough to think they could, Shane, Courtney and Danielle. Bruce I could never figure out but out of what I can think of it was more lack of options, jumping to La mina would force a draw and he didn’t see that as preferable. This is entirely supposition of course I can’t recall seeing a Bruce interview.

            Your list of leaders however does have people who succeeded, thus showing you can lead and win, you just have to do it right based on the situation.

            And I do disagree on Kim, as much as people did think she was with them, they still thought of her as a leader. With the exceptions of delusional Alicia and delusional Troy, the others did have her pegged as the leader, so a case of being the leader but giving people what they need to let you lead.

          • damnbueno

            Everyone on Casaya liked Aras. He didn’t have fights with anyone but Terry.

            Yes, of course it’s possible to be the “leader” still win the million. But it’s easier to win when you’re not seen as the “leader.”

            Here’s the breakdown as I see it.

            Rich — winner and leader. No Pagong leader
            Tina winner. Colby and Skupin leaders.
            Ethan winner. Lex leader
            Vecepia winner. John, Hunter and Rob leaders
            Brian winner. Jake leader. Brian best manipulator, but not “official leader. Everyone thought he was their #1 partner.
            Jenna winner. Roger and Deena leaders.
            Sandra winner. Andrew, Burton & Rupert leaders.
            Amber winner. Lex and Boston Rob leaders.
            Chris winner. Ami & Sarge leaders.
            Tom winner. James leader. Tom & Ian co-leaders.
            Danni winner. Stephenie & Gary leaders.
            Aras winner. Terry leader. No Casaya leader.
            Earl winner & leader. Alex leader.
            Todd winner. Aaron & Peih Gee leaders.
            Parvati winner. Cirie leader. No Fans leader (I don’t believe the hype. Cirie made the decisions for that alliance, not Parvati).
            Bob winner. Marcus, Ace & Kenny leaders. (Even though G.C. held the “official” title, he quit. Leaders don’t quit).
            J.T. winner. Coach leader. Stephen & J.T. co-leaders.
            Natalie winner. Russell H, Russell S & Laura leaders.
            Sandra winner. Russell leader. No clear Heroes leader.
            Fabio winner. Coach Jimmy, Marty, Brenda & Sash leaders.
            Boston Rob winner & leader. No clear Zapatera leader.
            Sophie winner. Coach & Ozzy leaders.
            Kim winner. Colton, & Troyzan leaders. I’ll give you Kim from final 8 on, even though she couldn’t get Sabrina booted when she wanted to.
            Denise winner. Russel S., Pete, Jeff Kent leaders.
            Cochran winner. Phillip leader. No clear Fans leader except maybe Sherri before the swap.
            Tyson winner. Tyson & Gervase co-leaders. Brad leader.

            So in 27 seasons, only Rich, Tom, , J.T., Boston Rob, Kim and Tyson have held ‘leader” status.

            6 leaders. 21 non-leaders.

            One could argue that Todd was the real leader of his alliance, but even if you add him, it would only make 7 out of 27.

            Its pretty clear that your chances of winning Survivor are better if you don’t appear to be the leader of your alliance.

          • Mike Magas

            I don’t disagree the leader mantel is best avoided but the idea that it is always a bad idea is a terrible notion.

            For 1 many alliances that lack any official leader have done quite poorly so if everyone says I’m NOT going to lead we could have a catastrophe on our hands

            2 – the reason many of the leaders you listed failed is because of the reason why they were the leader. In many cases others pushed them to “lead” while being the puppet master. So their leadership wasn’t necessarily meant to benefit them in anyone’s eyes.

            Your successful leader is a leader but avoids dictor labels, listen to others, and figures out what they need. These are actually solid leadership traits in anything outside of survivor as well. Many of your failed leaders lack these abilities and further some of the leaders who didn’t win also were in good positions. Colby immediately coming to mind, his decision to take Tina cost him the game, nothing to do with his leadership.

            Finally you’re ratio is frankly terrible. Yes 7 leaders have won the game and that is less than the 20 followers or at least shadow players. BUT how many none leaders have lost the game?

            You have to remember when you are doing a ratio analysis that you have to look at the related ratios, no season really has had more than 4 leaders, maybe 1 had 5, even if we assume an average of 3 leaders a season thats 7 winners out of (3 x 27) 81

            there are far more than 81 followers, using this average you would have on an 16 player season 13 followers so 20 winners out of 351.

            8% of leaders win (using these very off the top of my head numbers in fairness)
            7% of followers win

          • mikko m

            You know, there are other options than being a leader or a follower. Out of those 20 or so non-leader winners maybe only 2 or 3 are true followers (Natalie and Bob are two clear ones and maybe Fabio too even though I think he has the worst record of correctly voted out players as far as winners go).

            For example one can’t call someone a follower if they try to get rid of the leader constantly after the merge (Sandra) and some of them (Todd, Sophie, Kim, Cochran) made a conscious effort to avoid being seen as the leader.

          • Mike Magas

            Technically if you are in an alliance you are either a leader or a follower, I don’t say this as a negative thing you can be a thinker and follow at the same time

            I would give you sandra because she didnt follow russell’s lead but she did follow boston rob early.

            Also the michael skupin case is an example of not leading biting you. Now he made the finals and such but his early game issues stemmed from having Pete and Artis want him to lead and him refusing.

            You could say if he lead he’d be a shield that they really just wanted to get rid of, probably true I don’t really think Skupin was in Pete’s long term plans and other things about Skupin irked Artis.

            My end point is people talk about how the leadership mantle is something to always avoid because we have only 7 winners who are winners out of 27 cept there are quanitically fewer leaders than none leaders.

          • mikko m

            That’s a good point you make about Skupin, and it’s one of the points I’ve also made before how not being able to read people can bite you in the butt.

            And I agree that Skupin probably doesn’t win in any scenario because Pete probably doesn’t want him to stick around anyway, and I think Artis hated him for the shelter he built or something like that. So wasn’t that kinda a demonstration of how trying to lead didn’t really put him in any better position either? :)

            The problem I had with your original analysis was like you said: You can be a follower and a thinker at the same time, but not all followers are thinkers. That’s why I don’t think you can really put all non-leaders together like that.

            I think it’s also important to note the circumstances each winner had, and if a leader wins did they win because they were a leader? Would’ve they also won if they weren’t a leader? And had the circumstances been different should’ve they still seeked the leadership position?

            For example Rich had to be a leader because it was the first season and there wasn’t anyone else who would’ve done the job and also being a leader on those early seasons probably wasn’t as detrimental because the people who were playing more often than not respected someone to take that position.

            And most of the others were only co-leaders (which isn’t even close as dangerous) like Tom, JT. and Tyson. Rob had Phillip to divert attention but it’s unclear how he would’ve done without that and Kim only emerged as the leader quite late but even then her biggest threats didn’t recognise her for the danger she was.

            So mostly I think that even if being the leader isn’t necessarily the one thing that costs people, it’s important to have someone to either divert or share attention, or understand that you shouldn’t make yourself any more visible than absolutely necessary.

            Most of the leaders who fail do so because they command rather than suggest and quite often they also have such a big egos that they can’t back away if they aren’t getting their way. And then some are just simply pushed into that role and it ends up costing them even if their leadership style wouldn’t rub others the wrong way.

          • Mike Magas

            Agreed with all of the above but you are also admitting that being a leader isn’t a death knell which is exactly what im saying

            As for Skupin, the shelter thing became a bigger deal because he wouldn’t own up to it admit mistakes or admit he was even the leader and his issues with Artis (I thought) stemmed from something he said that I generally read Artis took to be racism, I could be mistaken though.

          • mikko m

            I never said being a leader would be a death knell :) I took more issue with putting all followers together. Trying to lead the way the vote goes can be an extremely useful strategy as long as you try to take measures to ensure that others won’t see you as the only leader (or a leader at all).

            I think it’s much worse for one’s game to seek the leadership position in the camp (building the shelter, telling others what to do, etc.) but also when guiding the vote it’s much better as a strategy to “suggest” rather than to “command” like I said :)

            Sometmes it’s also kinda hard to say when “a follower” has had an independent thought to get rid of the same person that “the leader” either “tells” or “suggests” that they should get rid of. So is it then fair to say that one of them is the mastermind and the other one is just a follower?

          • Mike Magas

            Quite right my reasoning though was based in a counter to the don’t lead or won’t win philosophy being advocated above. In that paradigm there was really only 2 groups, leader and follower and i was pointing out that yes 20 winners are followers, that being said there are a lot more followers in each season and overall so the fail and success rates were very similar

            Also grouping all leaders together is also unfair. For example how much did the play of Yul have in common with say James for Palau?

          • mikko m

            “Also grouping all leaders together is also unfair. For example how much did the play of Yul have in common with say James for Palau?”

            Please explain. I’m not sure I understand what you mean because Yul wasn’t grouped in with the leaders in the original post, whereas James is arguably one of the worst leaders of all time whose leadership style is exactly what cost him.

            My point is: How many of the “leaders” who failed did so because they were leaders and how many of the “followers” who won did so for something else than being a mere follower?

            I won’t calculate the answers but I’m pretty sure the results should clearly show that people fail for being a leader much more often than they fail for being a follower. But in the end people who are just “leaders” or just “followers” most likely don’t succeed and most of the winners have at least a little bit of both qualities.

            But I’d still argue that being a leader first and a follower second is worse than being a follower first and a leader second. (In this I mean being a leader in a sense that you’re trying to influence the vote)

          • Mike Magas

            James and Yul were grouped together by someone else earlier in this argument, it was a simple these people were leaders, these ones won.

            And if you ddint win as a follower being a follower to an extent cause them to lose.

            Survivor Palau has 2 solid examples of both of these cases im talking about.

            First up James
            James was a leader of the Ulong tribe but if we say he lost because he was a leader was it true? James in the end was never going to win Survivor Palau because he was ass, had no strategic sense or social grace. Had he not lead he still would not have won. Maybe Ulong isn’t the disaster it was but I tend to think they still would be shambles and one of the ways to prevent that is voting out James leader or not.

            Second Up Stephanie
            In post game interviews Stephanie has analyzed the mistakes of the Ulong tribe, and they are all pretty correct really. Voting out Angie when they did, taking out Jolanda, trusting James etc.
            But something she really doesn’t look at or mention is if you knew this (she claims she did) should you not have stepped up lead instead of letting a terrible leader lead? In essence did she lose and other members of that tribe because they didn’t lead?

          • mikko m

            I don’t think you can really seperate the two sides: James was an ass because of his leadership style. And also he couldn’t not lead because he was an ass who wanted to lead.

            If there is someone who everyone recognise is a bad leader then that person should be voted out but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who orchestrates “the take over” needs to take a permanent leadership position.

            Also there are examples of people who let someone else lead (poorly) and yet it didn’t mean their own distruction such as Malcolm in the Philippines.

            On the other hand there’s also no guarantee that Stephanie would’ve done any better even if she booted James and/or took the leadership position. So it really doesn’t prove anything that isn’t obvious already, which is that if “a company” has a bad “CEO” with poor “management skills” that person needs to be “fired”.

          • Mike Magas

            Just saying if all of these people saying letting James lead was a bad idea had done something at the time maybe Ulong isn’t the disaster it was

            And Malcolm in fairness doesn’t belong in this category for 2 reasons really. One his tribe sucked if you really think of it from a challenge standpoint

            If we assume the 3 returnees were challenge equals which they were not but it wasn’t a vast gulf. He got the worst returner (Russell), the weakness man (Zane) and 2 weak females. IF he steps up and leads they still repeatedly lose.

            And no you can be an ass and not lead, there are a lot of examples.

          • mikko m

            I didn’t mean you can’t be an ass and not lead. What I meant was James was an ass who wanted to lead and his “assness” inevitably transferred to his leadership style. Therefore it’s a bit futile in my opinion trying to determine which one came first: His desire to lead or him being an ass.

            People who are assholes never succeed, leader or not, but good leader’s sometimes do (I never denied this) but I’m still keeping my stance that being “a leader” will more often put more obstacles in your way than being “a follower” would and therefore it’s better to “follow” rather than to “lead” no matter how good you are socially.

          • Mike Magas

            oh it will, for example leaders likely have less time to recover, when you end up in the minority and you’re the leader of it you’re at the top of the hit list.

            When your leadership seems to not be working again you have very little room to recover

          • mikko m

            So we agree that it’s (in most situations) a bad idea to seek that leadership position because what if something goes wrong and you do end up in that minority?

            And once again I’m not saying leading never works. All I’m saying is that in most cases it’s safer not to lead and that will also lead to a better chance of succeeding overall.

          • Mike Magas

            I agree but i disagree with people (not necessarily you though at times you came off that way) that claim leadership is never advantageous

          • mikko m

            That was never my intention. One of the clearest examples where being the leader was the only way to play was for Rich in Borneo. That’s pretty clear.

            On the other hand there’s someone like Rob whose game play came off as if he was the obvious leader but for other people in the game, they somehow bought the argument that Rob was there only to help one of them to win.

            This then allowed Rob to turn his leadership position into an advantage, because there was no way that someone with his reputation could’ve blended in the background and not be the leader. Not to mention Phillip whose presence clearly helped.

            But being someone who only wants to lead and doesn’t bother to do anything to avoid appearing as a threat hardly ever wins. Every single winner who can be put to that leader mold have done things to consciously diminsh the target in their backs that being a leader would otherwise put there.

            The paradox of this whole situation kinda is that mostly every tribe needs a good leader to succeed but in most cases the leader himself/herself falls because he/she then becomes the target number one.

          • Mike Magas

            I will state one exception, tom

          • mikko m

            And that’s a good one. The weird thing about his tribe was though the amount of alpha males (Tom, Ian and Gregg) which inevitably helped him to avoid the biggest target even though I guess he was the leader of the “alpha males” faction as well but maybe he didn’t appear to be the leader so clearly to the other players…

          • Mike Magas

            I think he did but Koror dominance allowed it to happen and Ian wasn’t really an alpha male he had physical strength and such but his desire to be the man in control either didn’t really exist in a strong way or was very in check

            Gregg didnt have the needed numbers, he had Jenn and Colby to work with and Willard when he was in the game possibly

            So his win is definitely the product of a perfect storm but it is an example of how it can happen

          • damnbueno

            Tom’s style made people want him gone.

            Gregg had convinced Jenn and Katie to go after Tom at final 6. Ian flipped Katie back and got Gregg booted instead.

            And Katie had convinced Jenn and Caryn to boot whichever man didn’t have immunity. Tom eventually got immunity, but once again, Ian flipped Katie back.

            If not for Ian’s superior social skills, Tom would have lost Katie’s support twice.

            Tom also angered Jenn by refusing to let her take a shower with some water won in a reward. Caryn was furious at Tom when he flat out lied to her about voting out Katie. And Coby never did like Tom. He voted for Katie.

            Tom won because of Ian’s brain fart, which meant he sat next to Katie, whom everybody hated. I think Ian would have beaten Tom with votes from Katie, Caryn, Jenn and Coby. He might have got Gregg’s vote if Jenn had any influence over it.

          • Mike Magas

            Don’t disagree with any of the above, he still won being a leader, perfect storm yes but it does happen

          • damnbueno

            I never said “Don’t lead or don’t win,” or anything like that. I said your chances of winning are better if you’re not the leader. There’s a big difference.

          • damnbueno

            I’m not saying being the leader is “always” a bad idea. I’m saying its smarter NOT to be the leader.

            If you’re going to be the leader, or find you can’t avoid having that label, the best way to do it is the way Earl and Yul did — by 1) making everyone feel valued and respected, 2) making them believe they can influence your decisions, and 3) making them believe they can beat you for the million.

            If you’re not gonna use the Earl/Yul method, you’d better make sure you’re sitting next to the most disliked player(s) in the finals like Tom or Boston Rob did. Tom had the luck of Ian’s brain fart at the end, which wasn’t in Tom’s conrol. And Rob had immeasurable advantages in his win.

            Terry didn’t do either of those.

            I think the a great way to do it is to control some key votes without everyone seeing you as their leader — like Tiina, Todd, Sophie, Ethan and Sandra did. All of them were either close enough to the “official” leader to swing the votes, or were good enough at manipulating a majority of the votes when they absolutely had to.

            I agree with your definition of a “successful leader” 100%.

            As far as the ratios go, I’m only talking about the winners, and apparently you agree that your chances of winning are better if you’re not perceived to be the leader.

            Also, I caught a mistake I made earlier. Yul also won while being the leader, so it’s actually 9 out of 27. I fixed my numbers above.

          • Mike Magas

            I wouldn’t disagree with the above, though I would say Terry in La Mina did some of the things that make a good leader.

            The blade of the leader is circumstances. If you merge down numbers if you are seen as the leader by opposing alliance you are very high on the hit list, for that reason alone being the leader is a disadvantage.

            Your money seat is the Todd seat, the muppet master, the shadow lurker, the leader without being the leader.

          • damnbueno

            I agree. I should have included Todd in my Yul/Earl category. I guess I think of Yul and Earl because they did it before Todd did.

            Yul did it first, but couldn’t get rid of his toughest competition. Earl did it the best. He never made anyone angry at him. Todd’s execution was just slightly less effective than Yul or Earl because he angered a few players and entered the finals in a worse position than Amanda. Todd needed a brilliant Jury speech and equally brilliant answers to take votes from Amanda. He also benefited from Amanda’s meltdown.

            Yul and Earl played a much better social game than Todd did. They didn’t have to come from behind to win.

          • Mike Magas

            certainly, while I do have an issue with Earl season (the fact that several of the survivors admitted to not having seen the show and the whole luxury idea) his win was without a doubt one of if not the most dominant win ever

          • damnbueno

            Very true. Most people discount Earl’s win simply because they didn’t like the season’s twists.

            But Earl played the cleanest game ever.

            To this day a lot of people still say J.T. had the first unanimous win, completely forgetting Earl’s 9-0-0 triumph.

            I even rank Earl’s win as better than Kim’s because Kim angered Kat for a bit, and took a risk in dominating the challenges so much. But Earl would only best Kim by something like .00005%.

          • Mike Magas

            Earl was built for the game despite not being a big fan, I don’t discredit his win its just a painful season to watch lol

          • TrollExterminator

            It amazes me how much of a hypocrite you are.

          • mikko m

            “Shawn was Burton’s original partner in Pearl Islands, and also pushed to throw the challenge to get rid of Rupert”

            Did they really want to get rid of Rupert? I thought that Burton’s goal at that point was to get rid of “dead weight” (I can’t remember who exactly) or at least that’s what he told Rupert. But was that just a ploy to get Rupert on board to throw the challenge?

            On the other hand it wouldn’t really make sense to me because wasn’t one of the biggest reasons why Jon didn’t want to work with Burton in the beginning because Burton was being too honest and “honorable”? So it wouldn’t then make sense for him to be targeting Rupert at that point. I thought the first time someone targeted Rupert was when Trish and Jon tried to switch the vote just before the outcast twist.

          • damnbueno

            Burton knew how well Rupert was doing in the Tribal challenges. Rupert was killing it. Burton also knew how well-liked Rupert was. Burton and Shawn knew they’d have a tough time beating Rupert for individual immunity. The Drake tribe had won the first 6 challenges too. Burton and Shawn thought they could beat Morgan even if they didn’t have Rupert.

            Burton told most of the tribe he wanted to get rid of their “dead weight” (namely Michelle) as a means of convincing Rupert, Sandra and Christa to agree to throw the challenge. But later he and Shawn told Fairplay, Trish and Michelle that they’d really blindside Rupert. Fairplay didn’t want to do it, but reluctantly agreed.

            Drake threw the challenge, in part by having Rupert and Burton sit out. But a twist allowed Morgan to kidnap one player. That player would not have to go to Tribal Council, and couldn’t be voted out. Morgan kidnapped Rupert, thwarting Burton’s plan.

            Sandra, Christa & Fairplay got mad at Burton for throwing the challenge. Fairplay ended up as the swing vote. He figured booting one strong player was as good as booting Rupert, so he convinced Shawn to help vote out Burton instead of the “dead weight” women Burton claimed he wanted to boot. Burton had egg on his face, and could only convince Michelle to vote for Christa.

            Fairplay didn’t really like Burton at the beginning of the game, and thought he could outsmart the other players better than he could Burton. But later, when Burton returned to the game, he and Fairplay became partners.

            Trish didn’t try to get rid of Rupert until two votes after Burton tried it. But Sandra sniffed out her plan and got Trish booted instead.

          • mikko m

            I won’t argue. I’m sure you have a better recollection of what happened than I do. I just thought since Burton’s biggest problem according to Jon before the outcast twist was that he wasn’t willing to “play dirty” that he wouldn’t do that to Rupert at that point either but I trust you if that’s what you say :)

          • TrollExterminator

            This is Cirie’s entire strategy since F vs. F, vote out the strongest player because she can’t beat them. That’s exactly why she was voted out of Heroes vs. Villains.

          • mikko m

            “Did you see Gervase flop around in the water like a fool in this past season’s first challenge? He convinced everyone he still couldn’t swim, and nobody went after him for being good at challenges the whole season. But then a few challenges later when he wanted the food reward, he swam like a fish, then bragged about how well he fooled everyone in a deleted scene.”

            Inversely isn’t it also possible that this played into why Gervase didn’t get any votes in the end because no one believed him and they thought that him celebrating so loudly was a showing of bad sportsmanship?

            So even though he might have had the right idea he failed to read people and see how others would perceive his actions. (The same with him yelling in the tribal council later in the season). All in all, I think he went a bit over board with his attempts in strategy.

            Not that I’d think he could’ve won anyway but I think that his actions weren’t really maximizing his chances either. Just a thought.

          • damnbueno

            You’re absolutely right. Gervase torpedoed his own chances of winning in other ways.

            First off, nobody respected the way he celebrated after that first tribal Immunity win. Several jurors mentioned it in their “The Jury Speaks” confessionals, which are recorded a few hours before final T.C questioning begins.

            In those same videos, 7 of the 8 jurors talked about how Gervase’s social game was better than Tyson’s in that Gervase would approach each of them and say something like “I’m sorry. Its all Tyson’s fault. He wanted you gone:” Ciera said “Gervase did a great job of cleaning up the messes he and Tyson made.” His intention was to portray Tyson as “the bad guy.” He hoped the jurors would be angry at Tyson in the end and refuse to vote for him.

            What Gervase didn’t realize was that in doing so, he was actually giving the Jurors a reason to respect Tyson’s game. Gervase didn’t know it, but he was pretty much telling them that he was following Tyson — something a few jurors mentioned too. Gervase thought he’d face an emotional jury, when instead they were level-headed and rational — especially Katie. Sabrina made a similar mistake when she chose to stick with Kim.

            Instead, Gervase should have done a better job of owning his actions. We all know he and Tyson made the decisions together, but Gervase made it impossible for him to convince the jury that he wasn’t a follower. Also, when he and Tyson would agree on an idea, Gervase often sat back while Tyson pitched the idea to others. It was actually Gervase’s idea to blindside Aras, but Tyson did most of the talking when they lobbied Hayden, Ciera, Caleb and Monica.

            If Gervase had better control of his emotions,showed some humility, and owned his actions better during the game, he probably would have beaten Tyson because most of the jury liked Gervase better than Tyson for most of the game — at least up until Gervase started yelling at Hayden during Tribal Council.

            Some jurors described Tyson as “aloof.” Both Aras and Ciera described bad social moves Tyson made, including his insulting comment to Katie (“There’s your jury seat”). Tina and Katie both said they couldn’t get a read on him at all. The only juror who said she really liked Tyson was Laura M.

          • mikko m

            Excellent points. I agree 100 %

      • TrollExterminator

        Who did Cirie convince in an opposing alliance to switch and be on her side? Nobody, that’s right. It’s only happened a handful of times in Survivor history. As for Terry nobody would switch to be in his alliance because he was unbeatable at the final 2. Terry beats anyone in that season in a final 2 even Cirie. Terry would of had 3 confirmed votes going into the final 2 against Cirie. Cirie would have had 1 confirmed vote going into the final 2. The rest of the people on the jury were blindsided by Cirie with the exception of Bruce who was medevaced. At one point during the season Bruch said Terry was the most stand up guy on the season. You do the Math dumbraino. Terry wins no matter who he’s against in the finals and how was that bad strategy that his tribe didn’t have the numbers going into the merge. The reason Danielle took Aras to the end is because she thought she would have a better chance of beating him than Terry. Terrible analysis and it shows how subjective you are.

    • Ron

      Who?? Seriously, I don’t want to see the 3- and 4-timers again unless it’s a legends season (which maybe this one could be?), but there’s such a thing as too obscure as well. I don’t think I would have remembered her by the time Rob played in the Amazon, let alone today.

  • Carol

    Calling Ciera on the brains tribe is probably the worst of all selections. 1) No one who gets pregnant as a teen could ever be considered anything but stupid. 2) Gave her alliance a clue to an idol 36 hours before flipping on them. 3) Refused to flip when she had the numbers, instead flipped to draw rocks.

    • T42n24tt42n24t

      All teenage mothers are stupid? Okay then.

      • Carol

        She’s not just pregnant out of wedlock once, but twice. It’s pretty dumb to get pregnant and then think you could hide if from your mother. Ciera appears to have no job and did not graduate from college. To put her on the brains tribe is like putting Candice on the Heroes tribe.

        If you get pregnant in high school, you aren’t thinking with your brain. You belong on the “thinks with my genitals” tribe.

        • T42n24tt42n24t

          I agree that getting pregnant out of wedlock isn’t a good choice, but it holds no bearing on her smarts as an adult.

          • Carol

            Right, which is why it was only part of my argument. I also included her flawed gameplay and lack of any sort of major intellectual accomplishments in life as part of my argument.

            If you are trying to make a good show, sure put her on the brains tribe. If you want actual women with brains, someone like Becky or Denise or Laura Alexander should be on there.

            Also with Ciera, it’s not like her pregnancy (especially her second one) was that long ago. She’s a young one and so I don’t really buy the “she’s a completely different person now” argument.

          • T42n24tt42n24t

            I’m not a fan of Ciera by any means, but your judgment of her being a young mom just rubbed me the wrong way.

          • Carol

            I mean I live in a world where you are judged by your actions. A teen pregnancy followed by a 2nd one in your early 20s to a different man out of wedlock is a big strike against you being smart/making smart decisions. If she went onto become a professor of physics I would change my mind, but we by nature have to “judge” someone as smart or not smart in casting for this season. Based on what I have seen from Ciera so far, she would not be on the brains tribe. I can only judge her based on what I have seen/know about her, so that’s what I do.

          • BogDa

            The conclusion to this is Eliza wins the spot over Ceira. There ended.

        • Matt Geoghegan

          Stop being mean to Ciera please. I think she is plenty smart

    • Louise Monroe

      You’re the dumb one for that generalization, Carol, or for thinking that only dumb people make mistakes. And sometimes pregnancy happens even when you take precautions not to. It hardly a black and white thing.

      • Carol

        She got pregnant twice. It was a fluke thing.

    • R .

      Don’t hate her because of a mistake; hate her because she’s a pro-gun, anti-gay conservative. I agree, she was much weaker in the gameplay than the show made her out to be, although her confessionals were usually well thought out. But I agree with others that calling her stupid for becoming pregnant as a teen is unfair, especially considering that the ignorance is in large part the result of poor education.

      • Antony Gilbert

        The overwhelming vast majority of gun murders in America happen in urban/metropolitan liberal controlled areas. The vast majority of mass-murder gun crimes are committed by young, pot smoking, violent video game playing, atheists. Meanwhile Middle Americans watch on at this violent carnage slowly spreading to their areas and ignorant liberals incredibly want to ban weapons from the law abiding.

        Seeing that gun ownership is a major deterrent in preventing home invasions etc, what number of extra rapes and murders every year would be acceptable to you when the criminal class in America becomes fully aware that the law abiding can no longer defend themselves? How about tens of thousands more dead and violently assaulted.

  • The Looney One

    No mention of Bob Crowley on the Brains tribe? Really?

    Also, I may of missed it, but was their any mention of Heidi for the Beauty tribe?

    • Sam Suppa

      I think Bob’s too old/ But that’s what I thought about Yau Man too. Heidi was mentioned, but I think they said she has a young child so she probably wouldn’t do it. Jenna was the alternate.

    • Matt Geoghegan

      There was but they chose Jenna over her

    • Kevin Wong

      Did someone mention Bob?

  • Will Holston

    I’m going all in on Chelsea to win. The Brawn tribe is going to implode, and the egos on the Brains tribe are going to cause deep divisions. The Beauty tribe will be down going into the merge, but I think Chelsea is coming back playing by the KS RULES. She learned from the best, and she’s going to be deceiving and sending people packing. She’ll get there to the end with Jenna and, say, Ciera (if she makes it to the merge.)

    • Stephen

      Chelsea would be my pick to win it too. If she could up her game play by about 20% and keep her frustrations to herself a little more she’d kill it. Realistically in One World if someone else won the final challenge and she made the big move against Kim at final 4 she probably has a solid shot at winning the whole thing.

  • BogDa

    Great Podcast!

    Going with your picks I feel like a Beauty comes up the middle while the brawn and brains are fighting and takes it. Jenna Morasca wins the season. She’s a beauty, but she’s also a record holder for immunity wins and she smart. She’s also more mature and well liked and respecter outside of the game. She’s got the edge.

    Cerie –probably targeted early. If she survives there is NO WAY she sticks with Stephan/Sophie and Yul. She made that choice already in Micronesia, she sided with the brawn/beauty. She wants a level playing field. First chance she gets Cerie sides with the beauty tribe.

    Ceira doen’t last long in this season. I think Eliza woudl be the better choice as she’d be more likely to endure. I feel like this is a waste of Ceira. Save her for a fans vs favurites or a Villains tribe,

    • damnbueno

      Oh how soon (and consistently) we forget.

      Kelly W. got 4 Immunity wins in Borneo long before Jenna M. did. Jenna (and Kim) merely tied Kelly’s gender record.

      • TrollExterminator

        You obviously don’t respect the males with the most challenge wins, so why do you care?

      • BogDa

        Being tied is still the record…. I don’t forget anything.

        • damnbueno

          Well, you called it Jenna’s record instead of Kelly’s.

          Nobody called Hank Aaron the home run record holder when he tied Babe Ruth, they merely said he tied Ruth. Aaron spent an entire off season with that status. He didn’t break it (setting his own record) until the following April.

          And I don’t hear anyone calling Kim a record setter either.

          • TrollExterminator

            You’re comparing Survivor challenge stats to baseball stats, unbelievable.

  • BogDa

    In terms of Beauty:

    Sorry guys, straight men don’t get to cast the male beauty tribe. I feel like all the beauty people should be cast based on their looks being the topic of conversation or controversy. Chelsea would fit too.

    There is NO WAY Jay Byers doesn’t make this tribe. He’s the hottest guy ever on the show.

    Beauty should be:
    Jay, Fabio, Eddie, Angie, Jenna and Mikalya in my opinion.

    Brains should be:
    Stephan, Yau-Man, Yul, Sophie, Eliza and Cerie.

    Joal, Brad, Shannon, Crystal, Stephanie and RC.

  • Matt Geoghegan

    Angie Layton would definitely win this season. Also, she is the best looking survivor contestant of all time

  • Matt Geoghegan

    Greg Buis for the brains tribe? I’ve always wanted him to come back

    • BogDa

      He was asked to be on Blood vs water. So there is hope.

  • ParasocialDude

    Fun nonsensical podcast, but, ultimately, I am glad they are doing all noobs because other than Fishback, Yul and RC, I wouldn’t want to see any of these jokers play again. I think too many unlikable players were chosen here. What made Blood V Water work is that there were so many people near the end that you could root for. This dream cast draws from too many unlikable seasons like One World and Nicaragua.

    • toast

      Nicaragua is a bit like Cook Islands.
      No one likes the season, but so many great characters can come from it.

      • ParasocialDude

        Yeah I agree there are some diamonds in rough seasons

        But here are my beefs anyway:
        1. Lagrossa – her shameless self-promotion at HvV finale
        2. James – his vicious, inarticulate side is exhausting
        3. Culpepper – just not interested in millionaire athletes playing
        4. Shannon – homophobic/racist/misogynistic jerk
        5. Jenna/Sophie/Fabio – Winners shouldn’t be in B3 like Holmes sez
        6. Chelsea – Best moment was Tarzan talking about her fake tits
        7. Eddie – Reynold would have been the better pick. Eddiez2vapid.
        8. Pete Bro – very forgettable character in a kinda forgettable season
        9. Cirie – Love Cirie, big time, but she won’t bring anything new.

        Fishy has a redemption story to fulfill and would be the best winner narrative-wise. We should be talking about the inevitable Redemption Island: All Stars season: 2nd and 3rd placers only.

        • Kevin Wong

          I’ve seen the alleged cast list for this season. If you hate ex-pro athletes competing you’re not going to like this one.

          Personally I’ve no beef with ex-pro athletes because I think they tend to play harder given that the money is unimportant to them. But that’s just my opinion there.

      • TrollExterminator

        Cook Islands is one of my favorite seasons. According to Mario Lanza that season sucks because it wasn’t that funny and the characters sucked. The idea of the best physical threat going head to head against one of the strategic threats at the end makes the season great in my opinion. Also how the mutiny decimated a tribe and the 4 people left in that tribe dominate the rest of the game is such a great story in my opinion.

        • Justin

          Mario has actually said that the end of Cook Islands is neat because it is the game’s best physical threat against the game’s best strategic threat. But if you go back to the pre-merge of that season after the episode 2 Billy/Candice incident, it becomes borderline unwatchable.

          I am pretty sure Lanza thought decently of Nicaragua as it was airing, though. It just did not make the Funny 115 I believe due to time constraints.

          • TrollExterminator

            Liking Nicaragua more than Cook Islands is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. Do you have the article or know the podcast where Mario talks about Cook Islands? I’ve only heard him mention Cook Islands a couple time on the Historians podcast. Also Lanza likes Fiji more than Cook Islands, which is crazy to me. Lanza also hates Micronesia, and I agree with him on that one.

          • Justin

            This is where he talks about why Cook Islands is not funny in his Funny 115 countdown and he explains his reasoning:

            The part about Yul and Ozzy I brought up came from the Survivor Sucks thread where he solicited ideas and comments for the Funny 115, but I cannot seem to find the exact page where he referenced it. That said, here is another page from that thread as he is re-watching Cook Islands and he does like the post-merge a little better as a whole, but in the end I think in his mind it still does not make up for the lousy pre-merge.

          • TrollExterminator


  • Joseph

    Totally agree that Fabio is totally someone who could win again because by the time they’d recognize the threat of him it would be too late and I actually think if he was able to pull off essentially the same feet again by making it to the finals by being under-estimated that people would respect his game enough to give it to him again.

    • The second I heard Fabio’s name mentioned on the podcast, I thought: “Wouldn’t that be funny if he was the other two-times winner?”
      Then by the time they had cast the whole fantasy season, he was my winner pick, for the exact reason Rob stated.

  • BobbyKe

    Seems to me like not much thought was put into this. The Brains tribe is the only one even remotely good

    The worst tribe is the brawn tribe – James, Crystal & Stephanie all suck at challenges. Heck, Fabio who was put on the Beauty tribe fits Brawn much better. Shannon & Brad also? Easily the worst tribe of the 3

    Beauty is a bit better since it has some good players in Jenna, Chelsea & Fabio (Although Fabio fits better with Brawn) – Pete as the most self aware of this bunch is funny since he isn’t at all. Angie & Eddie fit the beauty role, but suck at players, so I’d go with good lookers that are worthwhile gamers

    The Brains tribe is very good. Stephen & Ciera would both be pre merge boots I believe with both previous winners (Yul & Sophie) having a good chance to win again

    This makes me happy that this twist is being used for a newbs season

  • Keith Dixon

    A lot of you are putting WAY too much thought into this. Everyone knows when you have returning players, you gotta have a couple ‘WTF’ picks and Ciera and Fabio being on the Brains and Beauty tribe respectively is exactly the right choice! I still say overall, this cast list is solid, and it’s not real! Just have fun with it you guys :-)

    • BogDa

      Agreed. That’s why I love Crystal on the brawn tribe. Hilarious.

    • Kevin Wong

      Would agree. It’s fantasy booking, and frankly it’s just a fun podcast to tide us over until the next Survivor season (also, there’s suddenly a lot less content from football podcasts. Can’t imagine why.)

  • BogDa

    Who would be a true “TRIPLE THREAT” —-players who are smart, athletic and beautiful.


    1) Parvati, 2) Kim, 3) Malcolm, 4) Ethan, 5) Jenna M, 6) Eliza, 7) Ami, 8) Yul, 9) Aras, 10) Tyson, 11) Monica, 12) Andrea, 13) Brenda, 14) Vytas, 15) Hayden, 16) Stephanie, 17) Amanda, 18) JT, 19) Tom Westman, 20) Ian, 21) Alex (Fiji), 22) Burton, 23) PeiGee, 24) Jerri, 25) Charlie, 26) Marcus, 27) Coleen, 28) Elizabeth, 29) Bryan H. 30) Vecepia.

    Personally I think Sophie looks really hot on reality game masters so I think she could be in there now. Personally I think Richard Hatch is an attractive guy, so I’d put him in there too, it can’t all be pretty people. Colby’s sucks now, but he would have been on the list.

    • damnbueno

      You’re being very liberal with your “smart” parameters.

      Parvati is only “smart” when she has Cirie or Russell doing the thinking for her. The same applies to Amanda, but just substitute Todd for Russell. And Parvati’s underbite never worked for me.

      Jenna M. wanted to quit when she was in the final 5. She’s only an immunity threat if the Gods of Astonishingly Great Luck are smiling upon her. And boiling her buff in the tribe’s drinking water can’t be described as “smart.”

      Andrea got blindsided three times (Matt Elrod, her 1st boot in R.I., and again in FvF), the third time while holding an Idol. Plus as rookie, she blindly followed Boston Rob.

      I didn’t watch Big Brother, but Hayden’s muscles didn’t prove to help him in Survivor challenges.

      Stephenie has never been known for her smart strategic decisions.

      Jerri??????? She’s not a standout in any of the 3 categories.

      J.T. told the Tocantins jury he could do it without Stephen. Then he gave an Idol to Russell.

      Charlie was a follower who didn’t do much but talk about Marcus. He might be smart, but he didn’t show it in Gabon. Colleen didn’t cook up any great ideas either.

      I’m not gonna rate any of the guys on their looks, but among the women, the only legitimate triple threats are Kim and Brenda.

      • TrollExterminator

        We finally agree on something, how bout that.

      • BogDa

        I’m talking smart as in intelligent, not good a puzzles. All the people on my list understand the game on a strategic level, doesn’t mean they have all been superstars at it.

        Parvati and Jenna are intelligent people.

        I could agree on Hayden not being athletic.

        Jerri is in her 40’s still looks exactly the same as Australia. She’s been on the cover of playboy. Always performed well in challenges and is smart.

        And are you blind, why can’t you comment on the men’s looks. Oh no people will think you are gay!!

        • damnbueno

          Terry Deitz is proof positive that intelligence outside of Survivor doesn’t translate into playing an intelligent game. Since we’re talking about people who’ll be playing Survivor, they’ve got to be “Survivor smart.” They’ve got to have the social awareness to know how to eliminate the other players while simultaneously ingratiating themselves to the point where the jurors will want to give the million to them. Russell and Stephenie (Guatemala) are also good examples. They did a great job of getting themselves to the finals, but none of the jurors wanted to give them the million because of they disrespectful way they treated the jurors along the way.

          “Survivor smart” also means knowing when and how others will try to remove you from the game, then figuring out how to thwart their plans without putting their potential jury vote for you at risk.

          Parvati is a smart person, and in Survivor, she is very good at executing solid strategic plans. She’s just not any good at thinking up those plans. In FvF 1, Cirie used Ami’s idea to blindside Ozzy. Of the 5 who voted for Ozzy, Parvati was the last one to find out about that plan, yet still claims to have planned it all. Cirie came up with the ideas to boot Yau-Man, Jason, Erik and Natalie, and it was Amanda’s plan that got Alexis booted. Parvati merely agreed to those ideas. Parvati actually pissed off most of that jury. Had it not been for Amanda’s meltdown, Parvati would have lost.

          In HvV, Russell came up with the ideas to boot Tyson, Rob, Courtney, J.T., Amanda, Danielle, Rupert, Colby & Jerri. Parvati stood up to him but couldn’t swing the votes to boot Coach, Rupert or Sandra when she wanted to. She lost every time she tried to take control from him. When she had to think for herself at final T.C., her only idea was to say “I wasn’t Russell’s partner.” The Jury clearly didn’t buy it, but she couldn’t think of any other ideas and just kept lying to them, causing her own loss. She probably thought she’d done something right with the FvF jury, and treated her HvV jury the same way.

          Some call Parvati a great manipulator of men, but she hasn’t once convinced a man to vote how she wanted them to. And the only woman she manipulated was Danielle.

          Jenna may have grown into a very smart person since she last played, but in Survivor she was lazy, selfish, inconsiderate, and wanted to quit. Strategically she was a mess. When she and Dave were pulled to spend a night together, she foolishly told him everything about the women’s tribe — info he used to his advantage when they had to pick new tribes. Others kept her around because of how badly she was playing. Her victory was the result of a perfect storm of dumb luck breaks falling her way.

          Jerri does still look the same as she did in Australia, and she still doesn’t look good to me. She got into Playboy more for her celebrity status than for her looks. Survivor was the hottest show on TV at the time, and Playboy wanted to sell some magazines. Playboy also put Shannen Doherty (and her wonky eyes) and plastic surgery nightmare LaToya Jackson on the cover. Would you call them “beauties?”

          • TrollExterminator

            You preach about leaving emotion out of Survivor or even watching Survivor, yet you have all these ridiculous arguments about contestants that are emotionally based. Do yourself a favor and learn the difference between subjective and objective then tell people which one best describes you before you have an argument with them.

      • Kevin Wong

        I wonder if Ethan and Jenna should be removed from your list based on their Amazing Race performance. That is, they forgot one of the cardinal rules of the Race – Read the Fricking Clue.

        And yes, I know that 7 other teams did not read that particular clue, but none of the other 7 teams consisted of Survivor winners.

        For the guys, Yul made that annual People Magazine list, so I guess he’s a Venn guy (assuming he is in fact a physical threat. I think he was sandbagging the challenges in Cook Islands – because Ozzy – so we don’t know that he would’ve been a challenge monster?).

        But I have to agree with Bueno in that the “smart” parameters seem a bit off. I think the hypothetical tribes were based more on book smarts and thus Rob and Gordon chose who they chose, and Ciera.

        But if they’re looking for gimmicks, there’s another season for you – Book Smart vs Game Savvy.

        • damnbueno

          I don’t watch “Amazing Race,” but that’s surprising about Ethan. I gave him credit for being the first to think of throwing a challenge to gain an advantage for those he was loyal to. It was Ethan’s plan to 1) Secure Frank and Teresa’s loyalty, 2) throw the challenge and boot Silas, who wouldn’t be loyal to him and 3) spare Lex, Kelly and Tom a trip to an even-numbers tribal council.

          Was Ethan just in a rush, and followed Jenna’s lead when they skipped the clue?

          • Kevin Wong

            I’d have to rewatch the ep and get back to you.

            But it’s a general rule of thumb that you’re in a bit of a rush on the show. Something about not finishing last.

          • Trixie02

            The clue said to donate all of their money for that leg of the race to the orphanage in Indonesia. They donated the money they earned, but not all.

            This was the end of the race and they were rushing.

          • Kevin Wong

            That was it. Thanks for picking me up there Trixie.

            So yeah, the Amazing Race can sometimes be subtle with their clues and 7 other teams (including the eventual winners) missed on it initially but I would hold Survivor winners to a higher standard.

          • Trixie02

            Agreed, but tree mail and idol clues don’t get the same adrenaline rush going.

  • TrollExterminator

    This would be the most politically incorrect season.

    Boobs vs. Bigots vs. Ballers


    Angie Layton
    Danielle Dilorenzo
    Cindy Hall
    Amanda Kimmel
    Kat Edorsson (it would be nice to see how top heavy she has become)
    Ashlee Ashby

    Bigots (a person who is extremely intolerant of another’s creed, belief, or opinion)

    Colton Cumbie
    Randy Bailey
    Frank Garrison
    Phillip Sheppard


    GC Brown
    Bobby Mason (Stanford Educated Lawyer who portrays himself as a baller)
    Yasmin Giles
    Courtney Marit
    NaOnka Mixon

    • Morty

      Do you mean bawlers, because “ballers” means something different.

      Anyhoo, I had a similar thought. Someone else suggested a Bonkers tribe, which made me think Bonkers vs. Bawlers.

      • TrollExterminator

        I’m from the suburbs of Colorado and I’ve never heard ballers spelled bawlers. I rarely use social media these days, so I’m probably outdated. I just looked up the definition of both and I’m still confused what the difference is.

        • Morty

          Fair enough. I misunderstood your use of rap slang, of which I have zero knowledge. I was thinking “Ball” as in sports or getting it on, or “Bawl” as in crybabyitis.

          I tired to listen to the video, but I only lasted 37 seconds before I couldn’t take it anymore.

          I still like my Crazy vs. Crybaby notion, tho.

          • TrollExterminator

            I don’t blame you for not listening to it, I hate rap as well.

    • BogDa

      Your biggots list sucks. You’d have to have Survivor Shannon the biggest biggot of them all and that guy from Samoa. Let’s add Clay. How are Randy Tarzan, Philip and Coach biggets?

      • TrollExterminator

        From what Sabrina said about Tarzan and apparently they talked about politics all the time and it never made the show, and the fact that he would think himself being a plastic surgeon is a reason people don’t like him is pretty far fetched and is disrespectful because of a female’s bad boob job. Yeah it’s more of the Coach and Phillip the first time they played. I don’t know if you remember, but they were intolerant of the women for the most part. Also how Phillip tried to bring up race in an argument that had nothing to do with it and paint Steve as a racist for no reason. They toned it down a bunch the next time they played. As for Randy his confessionals about Gillian, Crystal, and GC were pretty borderline hatred of these people and I guess it showed a little bit on Gabon, but for the most part from what was shown on TV he should not have hate these people as much as he did if he was not a bigot in my opinion. As for Shannon didn’t Rob C say that Probst had to block him from twitter because he was trolling Probst? I mean Shannon returning to Survivor is even more far fetched than Colton returning who is a quitter, so I didn’t even want to go there.

  • rich

    Brawn: Stephenie LaGrossa, Danielle DiLorenzo, Laura Morett, James Clement, Brad Culpepper, Burton Roberts

    Beauty: Brenda Lowe, Candice Cody, Jenna Morasca, Eddie Fox, John Kenney, Jay Byars

    Brains: Eliza Orlins, Sophie Clarke, Michelle Yi, Stephen Fishbach, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino

    • Phiiiiiil

      MICHELLE YI!!!!

    • Jesus_Christ_Loves_to_fuck

      Candice again, you could stand that??? Man, you MUST be a saint. And I know how tough she is, but LaGrossa doesn’t belong on the Brawn tribe. There are more cooler choices for women. I would not want to be subjected to ANOTHER season of her dillusioned ego, and constant wining.

  • Kathy Weller

    NO WAY to Fairplay. He QUIT.

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  • Michael Norris

    Christina Cha and Leif were the two? I thought it was Rick and Leif. He said the last two seasons, and I’m not sure he would say that if it were just the last two seasons, plus didn’t Sophie say that Jeff hated Rick?

  • Michael Norris

    This cast would honestly be one of my favorites ever.

  • Darilyn

    Why Rob C isn’t on the brains tribe? Is it because he’s a triple threat? 😉

    • Jenny C

      Yes, I am pretty sure that Rob is a triple threat! :)

  • Amy Li

    Sounds like you and Gordon had a fun time! I was listening to this podcast at work, and at some point I think I heard a coworker ask if the student worker had gone delirious and why was she laughing so hard? (Answer: imagining Jenna Morasca’s reaction to the rest of her tribe-mates, that’s why.)

    For what it’s worth, I think Stephen Fishbach would win :)

    Speaking of fun and practically useless exercises (the best kind), I discovered Innuendo Bingo a while back, and in case you ever run out of better things to do, I’d love to see you try a Survivor version! It’d be a perfect spot for JPICs (more commonly known as Jeff Probst Inappropriate Comments)! Here’s an example: (P.S. Did you know that there’s a TV personality named Rachel Riley in the UK too? No relation to BB RR as far as I know.)

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to the Pearl Islands reunion as well as Miss & Mr. Survivor!


  • alexamato

    A)Why is Bob Crowley never considered for any all-star games? One of the SMARTEST survivor player EVER.
    B) I think Malcolm is a must for a Beauty Tribe; I also think Denise is a must for the brain/brawn tribe.
    C) Angie, Crystal, R.C., Shannon, Fabio, Chelsea.. Really? Most of these people are replaceable and with the exception of Fabio and Crystal, and Angies bust, I didn’t remember a single player. Also, James is an overplay.

    I would rather see some people like : Lex,Jane, Shambo, Vesepia, CROWLEY, Randy than most of the list.

    • damnbueno

      Although Bob is very “book” smart, in Survivor, he was replaced in his original alliance by Randy and didn’t know it.

      Most players we consider “smart” don’t choose to ride coattails most of the way, s Bob told his jury he did as long as he could.

      And the fact that the only reason he stayed in the game was because of flaky, indecisive and irritating Sugar decided Crystal and Kenny and to go because they were “being mean,” doesn’t impress a lot of fans.

      Gabon was largely decided by dumb luck decisions made by mostly bad players, and a lot of fans don’t think Bob outsmarted anyone who couldn’t be outsmarted by a rock.

      • alexamato

        He won 5 immunity challenges in a row. He CHOSE to be a backseat member for a while. He created fake immunity idols, 1 used to blindside Randy. I definitely think he’s a genius when it comes to Survivor

        • Kevin Wong

          Correction: Bob won 5 challenges in a row. That’s still a pretty good run.

          Also, Yau-Man and Ozzy created fake immunity idols, so while I do applaud Bob’s effort in creating a really nice looking one, bear in mind that it had already been done. With a stick and a smiley face, no less.

          Finally, Mario Lanza covered the fall of Randy Bailey here:

        • damnbueno

          Kevin already corrected you on the challenges — 3 Immunity and 2 Reward wins, not 5 Immunity wins.

          Bob’s fake idol was used to boot Randy, who was supporting Bob at the time. If he’d used it to boot either Kenny, Susie or Crystal, who were all working against him, then I’d call it a smart move.

          And his 3 Immunity wins were largely physical challenges, not mental ones.

          One was a blindfolded obstacle course, in which Bob could more accurately be described as being the least worst at it.

          Another win involved tossing balls down a huge cliff at a target. Bob quite literally won it with a lucky bounce, as opposed to mental strategy or physical skill.

          His only brain-oriented Immunity win was an Obstacle Course Maze/Hut puzzle. Sugar beat him in the maze, but he put his puzzle together faster. Do we really want to crown Bob as one of the brainiest because he beat Sugar — one of the dumbest to ever play?

          Bob’s win was largely due to dumb luck as opposed to the result of a well conceived and executed game plan. If we call Bob a “genius,” we’d also have to call Fabio, Jenna M., Amber and Natalie a “genius” because all of them had similar dumb luck wins.

          And if we did that, there simply would not be words in existence to accurately describe Yul, Kim, Earl, Todd or Brian’s wins.

          And no, this post does not mean I “hate” Bob.

          • Jesus_Christ_Loves_to_fuck

            Thank you. If anyone from Gabon belonged on the Brain tribe, it’d be Kenny. He was a strategist.

          • Jesus_Christ_Loves_to_fuck

            welll….mainly due to Sugar being gullible and stupid…but stilll

          • damnbueno

            Yeah, Kenny was strategically the smartest one that season, but socially he let it go to his head.

            He got power hungry and started acting cocky and arrogant, creating his own loss. And that of course wasn’t very smart.

            Gabon didn’t have a lot of smart (social and strategic) players. I think the two best were Marcus and Jacquie, who both got bounced in member swaps. Gabon was dominated by bad players (Sugar, Susie, Matty, Crystal, Randy) who all caught lucky breaks.

  • That was a really fun podcast, very entertaining! And this Brawn tribe NEEDS to happen. I’d be willing to pay to see this.

    (Rob, quick suggestion, I’d LOVE a similar podcast where you cast a hypothetical Celebrity Apprentice season!)

  • Jeff

    Interesting choices but i have to disagree strongly with a couple.

    I dont see brawn when looking at R.C. she could get her butt kicked by Chelsea, and probably even Jenna. And she did win Miss Survivor, so how can you have the winner of a beauty pagent on the brawn tribe?

    Replace R.C. with Denise Stapley.

    Ciera is not a smart player. It took Hayden almost having to put a gun to her head to see how she was not in the top 3 of her alliance. If she was smart she would have seen it sooner and wouldnt have had to resort to drawing rocks.

    Replace Ciera with Erinn Lobdell.

    • BogDa

      Denise is really boring.

  • Kevin Wong

    So the cast list was just officially released. I’m presuming that Rob will have a podcast about this soon, so all I’ll say for now is that as a baseball fan, I’m hoping that a certain “Brain” is one of the first boots.

    • damnbueno

      If Morgan doesn’t make it to the mud/oil wrestling challenge, I’m gonna hunt down everyone who votes her out and smack them around.

      Do you hate the Marlins that much? They won a World Series under his ownership, so he did something right. I’m a Dodger fan, and the Marlins beat the Giants and Yankees that year, so he’s on my good side.

      But yeah, he’s not very popular in Montreal.

      • Kevin Wong

        Well I’m sure he’s more popular there than Loria, so there’s that I guess.

        As a Blue Jays fan I do have a strong dislike for the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers, and I’m never unhappy when the Yankees lose. And there’s love/hate with the Nationals. But I’m sort of indifferent about the Marlins as a team.

        But Loria and Samson, they just come off as dodgy sorts. The whole deal that allowed them to offload the Expos was kind of dodgy. And the new stadium… I don’t know if white elephant is the right term here, but the Dade County taxpayers would appear to have been fleeced.

        So yeah, not a fan of the guy that helped kill the Expos in Montreal.

        • damnbueno

          Yeah, I’ve read all kinds of accusations that say Samson was involved in racketeering too. Maybe he’s working with Mob money. That might also explain why he could leave the team in the middle of the season — with the draft approaching — to play Survivor.

  • Rachel Wagner

    finally listened to the BBB returning players podcast. Out of that
    group I would want Cirie to win but Sophie could sneak in too.

  • Robert Douglas

    Anyone feel like this theme is totally made to mock Heidi with?
    I.e. Heidi believes she’s the inspiration of the BvBvB twist, or Heidi believes she wouldn’t be cast for a returning BBB because they’d have to put her on all three tribes

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  • Alok

    Misty Giles on the beauty tribe .
    Stephen & Cirie forming an alliance would be awesome .

  • gabriel caswell

    Cirie and Yau-Man on the same tribe after Micronesia? She already made it her mission in life to get him out early once. I don’t think there would be any coming back from that…it was pretty brutal and kinda ugly. Might be good television, but I think one of them would take out the other rather quickly.

  • Hanlin Yee

    These are my picks based on players who are most likely to return
    There will be at least two winners on each tribe.

    Kim or Jenna
    Aras or Fabio

    Tom Westman (Not possible…)
    Laura M.

    Russell H.
    Kat Edorsson

  • Zachary Chong

    what about Matthew Elrod from Redemption Island??

  • Michael desLauriers

    Rules I Made: Must make merge, must have at least one person of a racial minority per tribe, one winner per tribe.

    Oztohua (meaning “fox” in Nahuatl) – Beauty Tribe : Jenna Morasca, Aras Baskaukas, Fabio Birza, Andrea Boehlke, Albert Destrade, Parvati Shallow

    Tecolotl (meaning “owl” in Nahuatl) – Brain Tribe : Yul Kwon, Sophie Clarke, Cirie Fields, Rob Cesternino, Eliza Orlins, Stephen Fishbach

    Cipac (meaning “crocodile” in Nahuatl) – Brawn Tribe : Twila Tanner, Stephenie LaGrossa, Tom Westman, James Clement, “Troyzan” Robertson, Kelly Wigglesworth

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