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Special Guest Malcolm Freberg Joins Stephen for Survivor Know-It-Alls

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While Rob Cesternino (@robcesternino) takes a brief podcasting hiatus to become a parenting know-it-all, Stephen Fishbach (@stephenfishbach) is at the wheel with special guest Malcolm Freberg (@MalcolmWHW) on deck for a live edition of Survivor Know It Alls!

Stephen says he wasn’t actually sure whether or not John Cody would go home until the very end of the episode, and Malcolm agrees. He was sad to see John go, proudly displaying the picture he has of him with hearts drawn around it and now stained with tears. Malcolm admits that when you really unpack it, getting rid of John was the right decision and Stephen agrees considering he feels John couldn’t have handled the situation with the immunity idol any worse. Malcolm revisits what Stephen discussed with Rob last week – that receiving a clue to a hidden immunity idol publicly makes it impossible to get away with not sharing that information with your alliance. Considering this week he now had two clues and thus a better chance of having found it, Malcolm feels John was untrustworthy and understands why Brad would want to lead a charge against him, even if he still doesn’t have a very good read on Brad as a strategist.

But at the start of tonight’s episode, we said goodbye to Colton Cumbie once again, and according to Jeff Probst, we watched him quit the game once again. Malcolm was very surprised to hear Jeff throwing around accusations of Colton faking the appendicitis that allegedly took him out of Survivor: One World, even though he knows it’s always been a common rumor in the fan base. Stephen also felt surprised, saying that Jeff rained hellfire on Colton in tonight’s episode. He and Malcolm both thought it was poorly handled though because Jeff is an executive producer and if he a) hates quitters, and b) knew that Colton had faked his illness to leave the game, why did he bring Colton back at all just to berate him on national television for quitting again? Malcolm thought it was almost breaking the fourth wall and destroying the story Jeff created for the show as an EP.

In terms of gameplay, Stephen and Malcolm were also confused why Colton would have faked his injury the first time, considering he was running the show on One World. This seemed like an entirely different playing field for Colton this time so neither Know-It-All is really sure what was going through his head. Both also thought it was funny that Caleb didn’t even try to convince Colton to stay, even casually telling him “see ya on the flip side” as he walked off Redemption Island. In addition, Tyson opted not to switch with Rachel at the truel, and Malcolm understands Stephen’s point of view on this – why risk losing everything on the chance that one challenge you’re not good at can get thrown your way?

Speaking of challenges, this week’s physical immunity challenge pitted siblings against siblings and parents against children and was not the most physically aggressive challenge as a result. Stephen and Malcolm understand this though, both saying they couldn’t go against their moms at a challenge and would likely want to just let them win, even if meant facing the scorn of their tribemates. Stephen and Malcolm both thought Vytas’ response to losing to Aras was kind of sore loser-ish, dismissing Aras’ win as inevitable because he was the college athlete.

To wrap up the show, Stephen and Malcolm take questions from the live chat. What does the future hold for Brad – is there a future at all for him in this game? Which Laura will be the first to fall? Is it already time to switch up the tribes? Who was awarded the first ever “Malkey”? Plus, hear some behind the scenes details on Malcolm’s own experience dealing with blood vs. water – it’s only on Survivor Know It Alls!

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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  • David

    Why is it a surprise? How do I know if I want to watch or not?!

    • Mike

      Because you know with certainty is has Fishbach, so you do.

  • Alex

    Gotta disagree with you Stephen. John should NOT sacrifice himself for Candice, she should sacrifice herself for him. She played two times already, he has never played. He should not have to sacrifice his first (and possibly only) run on Survivor so that she can have a third.

    • Stephen Fishbach

      I didn’t mean strategically – I meant personally! For the love of the Cody-Woodcock marriage….

      • Trixie02

        Emphasis on the order of names.

  • Dan C

    Episode 1 Brad talked about how the “weak women and Cochrans” were winning yet he votes off John instead of the 2 girls who very well may flip to their mothers at some point. Yes, John was shady in the short term with the idol but in the long term he would have been loyal to those guys. Who else would he go with? The other tribe voted off his wife Day 1.

    • Bertinho

      Also Candice has no one on the other tribe, effectivly making her a +1 for the bros.

  • verily

    Malcolm is a really good addition to this segment – any chance you could get him more often? If not weekly – I get that that’s a lot for a lot of people – then maybe once or twice a season?

    • verily

      Also I love the fact that Stephen’s been to Space Camp. It’s so appropriate.

  • damnbueno

    If Tyson is as good an athlete as so many say he is, his shoulder should not be a problem unless its the first time he has separated it, or if its his throwing shoulder and he has to throw something.

    I have had the same injury. I did it stealing home plate while playing softball. The first time, it was immobile for 6 weeks. The doctors told me if I didn’t have surgery, it would be easier for it to pop out as time passed. My injury was to my non-throwing shoulder.

    They were right. My shoulder has gone out swatting at flies, reaching back to close a car door, and waving a runner home to score. Every time I could slide it back in, and continue playing the game. The people watching me slide it back in were in more discomfort than I was.

    If you remember, Stephenie suffered the same injury in the first challenge at HvV. She had injured her shoulder before, slid it back into place and was able to keep playing.

    When a shoulder pops out, it is very easy to slide it back in. It is very sore and stiff, but functional. If he can take the pain, it shouldn’t knock him out of the game.

    • Mike Magas

      yeah but its quite immobile for a bit, next episode should see improvement

      • damnbueno

        If he had a partial separation — in which it doesn’t pop completely out — he should be fine.

        The key is in how quickly they slide it back in. My shoulder got very swollen because it was at least an hour between my injury and when it went back in.

        • Mike Magas

          i believe they slid it back in at the challenge, hence the sling but we’ll see

    • Omar Gonzalez

      Very tangential question: Given that in softball a baserunner isn’t allowed to take a lead until after the pitcher releases the ball, how on earth did you manage to steal home plate?

      • Mike Magas

        basically you out run the pitch, it’s why it the hardest think to do

      • damnbueno

        This was a modified fast pitch league. I was a very fast runner at the time. I noticed 2 things: 1 — The catcher was lobbing his throws back to the pitcher with very slow throws. 2 — The pitcher (who was throwing a lot of bad pitches) was getting upset with himself, and would catch the throw from the catcher, turn his back to me at third, and angrily bounce the ball on the ground.

        On a 2-0 count, I took a large lead off of third with the pitch, and kept walking towards home. When the catcher lobbed it back, I took off. The pitcher caught the throw and turned his back to me. He threw home late, after I slid in (feet first). I was safe.

        I didn’t even know I was hurt until I tried to get up to celebrate.

        • Omar Gonzalez

          How gutsy and thrilling. (But how’d you separate your shoulder on a feet-first slide?)

          In modified-fast, though, I didn’t think the a baserunner is allowed to advance unless the catcher tries a pickoff or makes an errant throw back to the pitcher… Oh, well.

          • damnbueno

            That question has been haunting me for years.

            My shoulder popped out towards my back. My best guess is that I must have slid on my left side instead of squarely on my butt, and the shoulder popped out with my arm raised when it hit the ground. Maybe I tried to slide in front of the plate to avoid the catcher’s tag. I don’t remember.

            I’ve never figured out why it popped out towards my back instead of towards my chest.

            The league I played in allowed bunting and stealing. You could leave the base as soon as the ball was released. If the catcher wanted to, he could throw behind you to pick you off.

    • Trixie02

      It does limit the range of motion.

      • damnbueno

        It depends. My shoulder was a complete separation. If I could have slid it back into place on the scene, it would have been much more mobile, but I waited 1/2 hour for an ambulance to arrive, and even longer waiting to get into the ER for X-rays. I had a TON of inflammation, which greatly contributed to the limited range afterwards.

        Its also possible Tyson only had a partial separation, in which it just slips out slightly. If that’s the case, he should have good range of motion in a day or two.

        But he’ll be very sore either way.

  • Omar Gonzalez

    For the same reason that Stephen mentioned, I find it almost inconceivable that Colton quit One World. He was calling the shots, and he knew it… But then again, it seems that he had no reason to quit this time, especially knowing that even if his team would have thrown a challenge in order to send him to Redemption Island, his fiancee would likely take his place.


      It’s pretty clear that him quitting has little to nothing to do with his position in the game, lol. He probably can’t take the elements/starvation

      • Omar Gonzalez

        Having listened to Colton’s explanation of why he quit BloodVs.Water, I don’t completely buy it, but I still believe that Colton was legitimately sick in One World.

        For BvW, I suspect that he convinced himself of whatever he needed to believe in order to feel comfortable about quitting, when really he simply felt extremely scared and vulnerable out there, and hated feeling that way.

        • Homertownee

          Colton might have been sick in One World, but most people who drink and eat far foreign food get some illness. I think, actually am sure, that at most he had a tummy ache and just played that for sympathy and attention, just as he has lived his entire life.

          • Omar Gonzalez

            His claim of having been treated for a bacterial infection is consistent with what I remember from right after he got med-evacuated from One World.

    • Homertownee

      Colton was certainly looking for an excuse to leave One-World Even if he wasn’t dead in the game, he was out of his element and just couldn’t hack not having a pampered life.

      It was interesting that Probst threw the other producers under the bus about bringing him back. I guess they sort of had to, considering how “compelling” he was, but he now has to be the biggest loser of Survivor ever.

      • Omar Gonzalez

        Colton definitely seems spoiled, and like the type who doesn’t care for the wilderness. But why wouldn’t he have said something like, “This is NOT the strategic challenge I thought it was going to be. It’s too easy. I’m bored, hungry, and in need of a shower. I quit.” I don’t buy for a second that he faked his sickness at One World.

        And I’m not sure Probst believes that Colton quit One World either. I think he was just saying whatever he could to try to manipulate Colton into staying.

        (What I do suspect is that when it turned out that Colton only had a bacterial infection, someone might’ve said there’s only a low probability that such an infection would’ve produced the same symptoms as appendicitis.)

        • damnbueno

          See my response to Mike Norris above for a possible reason for Colton to quit in One World.

      • I don’t believe they had to bring him back but I guess they wanted to guarantee themselves a villain… Jeff Kent I would’ve preferred to see in his place, Shane Powers or James Rocky Reid.

        Probst has also thrown the Doctors under the bus by implying this is Colton’s second quit. If we’re to go with the perception Erik also quit Caramoan (when he was actually taken out), it appears they are diagnosing serious ailments where there are none. I’m appalled by Colton’s quit since he took the place of a worthy competitor. Going back to One World though, I can’t imagine many people feeling as unwell as Colton seemed and hearing ‘suspected appendicitis’ from a Doctor deciding to stay. He’s proven he’s a terrible actor and can’t act beyond a mere few days.

    • Michael Norris

      It was right before the merge though, and we all know he would’ve stood no chance against the great mastermind. He probably knew that too.

      • Omar Gonzalez

        If I recall correctly, he had never been on the same tribe as Kim. I don’t see why or how he would’ve had any reason to fear her, especially with an idol in his possession.

        And I’m not so sure that he couldn’t have gotten her voted out. Let’s not forget we’re talking about a man who was so influential as to persuade his tribe to UNANIMOUSLY give away their immunity.

      • damnbueno

        Colton and Kim spent time on the same beach, but they were never on the same tribe.

        Kim’s brilliant moves didn’t really kick in until after the merge — after Colton left — so I’m not sure how he could be aware of just how good she was when he left the game.

        He likely left One World for other reasons.

        Colton claimed he had Jay’s vote in his pocket, and could have added that to Jonas, Tarzan and Alicia’s votes, giving him 5. But he had already burned bridges with Christina and Leif. Sabrina told him to stop pestering them pre-merge. In fact, she called a meeting and told him to go away in front of all the women (including Kat and Chelsea). Still he came back a few minutes later, which prompted Kim to tell him ““You’re making dumb moves. Being here all the time is not an option,” also in front of all the women.

        He had reason to believe the women wouldn’t cooperate with him in the same way this season’s Vets wouldn’t. Colton had lost the women’s support (except for Alicia), and didn’t want to play with Troyzan, Mike, or Leif.

        So if Colton was right about Jay, he could control 5 votes — his, Jay, Jonas, Tarzan, and Alicia’s. But he didn’t control 8 votes — Kim, Chelsea, Sabriina, Christina, Kat, Leif, Mike & Troyzan.

        5 against 8 (with Jay’s vote questionable at best) isn’t a winning formula. It would be worse if Alicia realized Colton didn’t control all the men like he said he did.

        Perhaps Colton quit one world for the same reason he quit this time — he couldn’t get his way.

        • Omar Gonzalez

          Very reasonable analysis. BUT:
          1) Colton had an idol in One World, 2) And although he had alienated Lief, he ultimately spared him by getting rid of Bill instead, so I imagine he was still confident in his ability to manipulate Lief. Plus: 3) I don’t think that simply not wanting to play with Troyzan, Mike or Leif would’ve precluded him from doing so in order to continue as the kingpin.

          • damnbueno

            Leif wasn’t the smartest guy, and yes, he was easily manipulated. But Colton called him a “munchkin” and an “annoying Oompa Loompa.” One of those comments was in confessional, but the other was right to Leif’s face.

            Leif confirmed after the game (on this site I think) that he wouldn’t keep following Colton’s lead after that remark. But I do acknowledge that Leif would likely do what Tarzan, Jonas, Jay or Troyzan asked. If Colton were able to fool any of those guys, he’d get Leif’s support too.

            Very good point about Colton’s Idol. That very much supports the “didn’t quit” argument. But I don’t think he cared about it. Colton is smart enough to know he could only threaten people with it for so long, and at the most it could only get him through a couple of votes if he didn’t have the support of an alliance.

            He hated all the men except Jay. And even though he had Jonas and Tarzan following him, I think he knew their support would be gone as soon as his Idol was gone.

            Colton is used to getting his way, and throws childish tantrums when he doesn’t. I think he quit because he couldn’t control the women he liked in the game, and couldn’t stand the men — something he stated pretty clearly several times in the first week.

            Colton is also someone who has no problem lying his face off. His word isn’t reliable.

            But I do consider that Probst’ word is reliable.

            When Probst accused Colton of quitting in One World at the duel, Colton didn’t deny it. If he were genuinely sick, I’d think he would angrily defend himself. He would mention that he had an Idol. He would say he was in total control. But Colton said nothing. His silence on that topic spoke volumes to me.

            I also think Probst was unwilling to let Colton bail out a second time by using some lame excuse. This time, he was gonna make Colton say “I quit” on camera.

            I think Colton was surprised that Probst called him on his BS like that, and on camera. Since Colton didn’t have a cover story ready, he just tried to ignore it.

            But now, 6 months later, he has his BS cover story memorized and rehearsed.

            I think Colton’s reaction during that duel was sincere. He was quitting, and didn’t care what anyone thought about him because of it.

          • Omar Gonzalez

            From what I’ve heard, Survivor insiders have long wondered whether Colton faked his condition at One World. I’m sure Colton was aware of his own reputation, and has had plenty of time to formulate an explanation. I haven’t taken the time to re-watch the back-and-forth between him and Probst, but I have to imagine that Colton did speak up for himself significantly more than what the editors allowed us to see.

            But anyway, what I remember of One World is that prior to the re-shuffle, he had all the men on sheer lockdown, that after the re-shuffle, he was calling the shots at his new tribe, and that Christina was about to get voted off until he got med-evacuated.

          • damnbueno

            It certainly appeared Christina was next to leave, but we’ll never know how it would actually have played out.

            Who knows, Colton could have tried to exploit Christina’s insecurity and figured he could carry her vote in his pocket by claiming he kept her in the game by booting Leif, whom he didn’t like either.

            It didn’t take much to make Colton mad. Matt, Bill, Leif, Monica and Christina all did it, and had no idea how it happened.

            But we’ll never know what would have happened because Colton quit.

          • Omar Gonzalez

            Or, to be more accurate, we’ll never know what would have happened because Colton got medevaced.

            I’ve only touched on this previously – and I’m not trying to convinve you that Colton didn’t fake it – but I think people need to realize that at the moment Jeff was obviously was trying to pressure Colton to remain BvW; therefore, had every reason to accuse Colton of having quit OW, even if he didn’t believe it himself. Or maybe Jeff was being completely sincere. Either explanation is entirely feasible.

          • damnbueno

            That’s entirely possible. Probst is a producer, and he knew that keeping Colton in the game was good for ratings. He knows a huge chunk of the audience would keep watching merely so they could root against Colton.

            But the other side of that equation is that Probst was so disgusted with Colton, he wasn’t gonna let him off the hook by pulling some lame excuse. If Colton was gonna quit, Probst was gonna make him say those words.

            I think Probst knew that was gonna happen because HE said the word “quit” before Colton did, then immediately followed it with the accusation about One World, and how quitting again would show the world he has NOT changed.

            Colton didn’t say he didn’t quit in One World. He followed by saying “I’m tired of being hated.” That was a bizarre thing to say in that situation because I didn’t think he’d done anything to be hated yet. He couldn’t cause chaos in the tribe like he wanted, and perhaps the only other option he thought he had would be to start being the elitist racist person he was in One World — which he knew America hated.

            I’m sticking with Probst on this one. Colton is a 2-time quitter. Colton’s refusal to deny he quit in One World is the smoking gun for me.

  • Homertownee

    Colton has to be the all-time worst Survivor castaway, right? Any other two-time quitters to make it even a contest?

    • Michael Norris

      By the logic of Colton quitting the first time, Erik also quit once, and the other time, he essentially sent himself home.

      • Stephen

        Erik didn’t fake his injury, which is what Jeff accused Colton of doing in One World (although I feel like Jeff was either A. fishing for a reaction or B. playing the cameras, maybe a bit of both).

        • Michael Norris

          I don’t think either of them faked it, but I was under the impression that Erik’s was psychosomatic, which I remember was what a lot of people thought at the time. That’s what I assumed Jeff was talking about with Colton as well.

      • damnbueno

        Being fooled by a master manipulator like Cirie hardly equates to “sending yourself home,” faking an injury or quitting because you can’t get your way. By that logic, we can also say Tyson sent himself home twice.

        Erik’s health was legitimately in danger the 2nd time around. The medical team ordered him to be removed. They didn’t give him the choice to stay in the game. Its not correct to say Erik quit at all.

        • Michael Norris

          No, but he asked who the worst player was. I think sending yourself home puts yourself in that conversation. They ordered Colton to be removed the first time too. They didn’t him the choice either. That’s why I said by the logic of Colton quitting, Erik also quit. We have no more reason to think Colton quit than we do Erik.

          • damnbueno

            The difference is we now have confirmed that Colton faked his injury. We don’t have confirmation with Erik.

            Let’s cut to the chase, who do you think is the better Survivor player, Erik or Colton?

          • Michael Norris

            Erik, but they’re both probably in my bottom 30 or so.

          • damnbueno

            I’d agree that Erik is better than Colton.

            How about this, in your eyes, did Erik improve his ranking after last season, or weaken it?

            I think his “no strategy” strategy worked very well for him.

          • Michael Norris

            Yeah, but imo, he had so many opportunities to join a final three alliance. It was good to get him as far as it did, but he needed to have some sort of plan to get him a win. I think the move should’ve been at the final seven, with Andrea and Eddie. They would’ve gone into the final six 3-3, with an idol, and the greater likelihood of one of them winning immunity, meaning he would’ve had better than a 50/50 shot of making the final three had he voted out Brenda in the top seven instead of Andrea, and he could’ve easily won that vote, especially if he ditched Andrea for Sherri at the final four. I’d say he probably kept his placement the same for me. He knows how to get far, but he won’t do what he needs to do to win.

          • damnbueno

            All true, but Erik didn’t think of that plan.

            Once again, we’re splitting hairs, and comparing two approaches (Erik’s rookie season, and 2nd appearance).

            I actually think that if he made the finals in either season he had a chance to win the game on likeability (or jury hatred of the other finalists) alone. His chances were slim, but they did exist.

            So the question remains, did Erik become a better player in his second try, did he stay the same, or did he get worse? Did he move closer to Kim, or closer to Abi-Maria? If he was ranked #150 going in to last season, is he #149 now, or #151?

            I think he got a little better because 1) he was smart enough to sandbag it in the challenges so he wouldn’t be targeted for his athleticism after the merge; 2) he put himself in a position where a total of 2 challenge wins (as opposed to the 5 he’d need in FvF 1) would put him in the finals; and 3) he didn’t alienate any jurors to the point where he had no shot at getting their jury vote.

    • Stephen

      People who get voted out first get more respect from me than quitters. Good on Jeff for tearing him apart about it.

      • CrumbThumber

        What was great, is he tore into him, then moved on. It was like they said, “Let’s get this out of the way so we can go back to survivor.” It wasn’t too big of a show.

    • Dave L

      A thousand years from now, when a new species discovers this thread, they’ll wonder why humans were so obsessed on labeling who the worst Survivor was.

  • Stephen

    Tyson’s trash talk is incredible. He gets up and trash talks Brad, then he flies off the rails and everyone else piles on. Tyson starts it yet Brad comes off looking like the douche.

    • BogDa

      I think there are certain people who can talk trash and still win the game because they come across as authentic. Sandra is the big one.

      • damnbueno

        Sandra’s dislike of Fairplay and Russell was genuine.

        If it wasn’t, good lord is she a good actress — and it should put to rest any lingering doubt that she’s the best ever to play Survivor.

      • Stephen

        I agree, and I think Tyson is one of those people. Mainly because they all know he will trash talk them. He really got under Brad’s skin though, which was impressive, considering Brad’s past as a professional athlete. If Brad had just rolled his eyes or laughed a little bit to himself, then Tyson would look like the fool, yet Brad gave him the reaction he was looking for.

  • Jeremy Carson

    Well I feel as if the merge is definitely going to be 12 people now with 2 returning from redemption. Aras had a secret scene where he confidently said that 2 out of 9 that get send return. At first that number seemed odd. Colton’s quit makes it very sensible. I’m surprised that contestants were told when they were merging. John and Candice together need to survive 7 more duels to return together. That isn’t gonna happen.

  • What an exciting episode! I think Brad should’ve gone home… but it was also smart to get rid of John! It’s funny how Brad thinks he’s in control but he’s a dead man walking. I can see him going home soon, if they keep losing. Hayden and Vytas just got rid of the bigger threat in John! Can’t wait for next episode with Candice flipping out!

    Read my thoughts on this episode here: Exciting episode! Read my thoughts on what happened here:

  • Kapil

    Was I the only one who was bothered a bit by Colton basically getting a reward for quit – his buff ??? Most Survivor players “who compete” would love to keep their buffs as a souvenir, but due to this ridiculous RI twist, they are forced to burn their buffs while Colton somehow still managed to exit with his. I know its not really a big deal but it surely didn’t endear RI to me one bit. And to top it – it happened after a speech where Jeff used the word “ironic” to refer to something else when the true irony was how they handled his exit. And what’s worse – because this is a RI season, we probably won’t see the fallen comrades challenge during the finale due to time constraints and thus producers won’t even get to stick it to him there by not featuring him – like they did with Osten all the way back in Pearl Islands.

    Damn I hate RI !!!

  • Beard55

    Many thanks to the Know-It-Alls for the great summary of the podcast from the deaf and hard of hearing fans of RHAP.

    • Brendan Noel writes the outstanding recaps of the Know-It-Alls each week. Glad that they’re a help to you.

  • taylor

    Great job Stephen and Malcolm!

  • Trixie02

    I’ll probably get a lot of flack for this, but a part of me really felt sorry for Colton. When he said he’s tired of being hated, I found it sad. He seems to have mended fences with the One World cast. He’s just too emotional for this game.

    I wonder which week of BB corresponded to this episode. Colton may have received some of the CBS wrath that the BB guests did not. He seems to be the whipping boy while Aaryn, Amanda, etc were let off easily. The “Pandora’s Box” is an obvious reference.

    I’m in no way agreeing with his antics for the record.

    • damnbueno

      I wouldn’t say he’s too emotional for this game, I’d say he’s too spoiled.

      He quit this season because he didn’t get his way.

      Who knows why he quit in One World. My best guess is because he couldn’t handle living without breakfast in bed delivered by mommy.

    • Shae

      Hayden made a reference to Pandora’s Box while talking to the camera about voting out Brad or John, saying it would be like opening Pandora’s Box. I am guessing that is where the title of this episode came from.

      • Trixie02

        Thanks. I missed that.

    • BogDa

      The way you prove yourself is to play the game and do your best. When you get beat, you take it like the hundreds of other people that have played this game before him. They got beat —-and they got voted out. Colton quiting is the same pathetic thing that Brandon and Willie Hantz did. They couldn’t bare to acknowledge that they were beaten and so they wanted to go out on their own terms. Pathetic and immature.

      • Trixie02

        Well stated.

      • Dave L

        Reminds me of when people say that suicide is the cowards choice. Actually it’s just a choice. Why would one starve themselves and dehydrate themselves with a group of people they dislike at a game they can’t win?

        If Survivor wants players not to quit, they need to build better incentives into the game. Make an extra $10,000 for each person you outlast. Give a $25,000 reward to every contestant that doesn’t quit. Something like that. As a school teacher I realize how powerless they are to avoid quitters… Jeff holds the same power I have… the ability to publically say that he is being a bad boy, but that’s about all they can do.

    • Michael Norris

      Aaryn and Amanda were let off easy?

      • Trixie02

        The line of questioning allowed for explanation by Aaryn and Amanda. Colton was scolded and told to leave with a tone of disgust. Probst really lashed out at Colton while Julie was more fair.

        Understandably, Probst does that to all quitters, but I do wonder which week of BB this corresponded to. He was exceptionally peeved and went out of his way to distance himself from Colton.

  • damnbueno

    I hope this week’s episode puts a permanent end to all the ridiculous talk about how good Colton is at Survivor.

    • Kevin Wong

      Has anyone actually said that? I thought the talk was about how knowledgeable Colton was about Survivor, not that he was good at it (I think One World kind of proved that he wasn’t).

      • damnbueno

        Most of the talk came right after One World, but there were more comments about Colton’s intelligence after each of his appearances on RHAP too.

        These people never realized Colton had zero shot at winning One World, no matter how many people he could get voted out.

        Nobody who ended up on the Jury would have wanted to give Colton a million dollars.

    • yesimsquidward

      Amen to that, and also I’m pretty certain they won’t be inviting him back AGAIN!

  • Tony S

    Colton had no real shot. In the end, he did what everyone expected of him. I enjoyed Probst crushing him. Jeff said it well that people would love to be on Survivor, much less twice. To quit is pretty sad for those who do want to get off the couch.

    As for Brad, I’m not sure if there was a worse play at the moment for him than voting out John. They’re not going to miss his strength all that much, still having a huge edge. It’s not why they’re losing. You tell everyone in the guy alliance, you’re expendable. You ditch a guy who is clearly allied with you, willing to give info about immunity idols. You save the women who are jumping ship the first chance they get.

    As for the other guys, it’s a fine choice. They likely don’t get blamed. Long term gain with higher variance, Brad does have the makings of a finals goat to bring along or as a target for everyone else. While John at best is only an average player, they do need someone to try taking out Candice, who would just run over Katie/Ciera.

    Props to Tina for spinning her way to victory against her stronger, faster and much younger daughter. Also, props to Vytas for playing dirty. Ballsy.

    • damnbueno

      Brad is a blindside waiting to happen. Unless you’re a dominant player on a tribe of brainless sheep (like Boston Rob was in R.I. Nicaragua), you won’t be able to carry a player like Brad very far. He just has a natural talent for pissing people off.

      Maybe someone like Brian Heidk could carry Brad along because Brian is such a good liar. But in Brian’s case, Clay was a follower, and did whatever Brian asked (as did Phillip with Boston Rob). Brad won’t be that submissive. He gets off on being in control.

      I think the smarter play for Vytas, Hayden and Caleb would have been to boot Brad. It would earn them points with Katie, Ciera, Laura M., Tina, John and Candice (unless of course Brad eliminated her in a duel, in which case they might lose John’s support).

      Monica would be upset, but she has already seen how Brad has brought so much heat on himself. She’s much more likely to understand why Brad was booted than Candice would with John. There’s zero chance John or Candice will want to work with the rookies now.

      Candice is the most intriguing player now. If she wins another duel, who does she give an Idol clue to? She’s mad at everyone in the game Even John isn’t sure who voted for him. If Candice returns to the game, who does she want to side with?

      I’m not sure how much props Tina and/or Laura M. deserve for winning their heats. Would you be able to push your mother around? I don’t think I could do it.

      • Tony S

        Brad is an easy guy to get rid of anytime. They won’t even need to blindside him. Booting Brad is likely a short term gain, but a long term loss. It does mean your group needs a new leader. Vytas and/or Hayden would acquire a target sooner than they normally would, plus one less person to blame.

        Candice will fall onto her pregame alliances, Tina/Aras/Gervase. Even with John, she still has a good shot at running the table.

        Anytime you beat someone stronger, faster, and younger in a physical match one on one gets props. Katie was practically licking her lips to take on Tina. Laura had a size and strength advantage over Ciera. That wasn’t an upset. It’s a game, you’re going to have to push sooner or later.

        • damnbueno

          Candice seemed pretty mad at everyone who voted for her. She vented about each one (including Tina) to Rupert while they were on R.I. I didn’t see who Gervase voted for. Maybe she gives the clue to him or Aras.

          I agree Candice has the best shot at returning from R.I. Experience alone gives her the edge. She can keep cool under pressure.

          Booting Brad has some long term upside too. So many of the Vets are already angry with Brad, booting him might show them that someone on the Rookies can make smart decisions. Smart players usually like sticking with other smart players. Gervase and Tyson would certainly be happy to see Brad go. Being the one to take credit for that can prevent someone from being the first post-merge target.

          Katie also lost her first match to Laura B., meaning 25-year old Katie lost to a 44-year old, and a 52-year old. Katie has done badly in 2 of 3 challenges now. She doesn’t look like a good challenge performer to me. Sure, Tina gets points for winning her heat, but I really don’t think she was facing someone who has what it takes to win.

          And come on, Ciera practically jumped off the platform when she lost to Kat. Kat only pushed her once. And Ciera was giggling when she faced her mom. How much props do you give someone who beats a player who isn’t trying to win?

          • Tony S

            I’ll predict the person who takes credit voting out Brad goes out 6th or 7th. Laura B would beat any other woman out there, can’t count Candice. Ciera would lose to anyone. I wouldn’t give props to either Laura’s.

          • damnbueno

            Oh yeah, you didn’t answer my question.

            Would you be able to push anyone you considered to be your own mother around in that kind of challenge?

          • Tony S

            Oh yeah, easily. You’re already in a lose/lose scenario. Suck it up and win. Which is also why Hayden can’t throw the challenge to Tyson. It’s not a spot he can throw without a lot of scrutiny.

          • damnbueno

            I guess you and I are made up of different stuff. I couldn’t do that to my mother under any circumstance.

            My best guess is that I’d pick her up and gently lower her into the water.

  • NatalieKuchik

    I LOVED Malcolm on this podcast! Can we please get a full Malc-Cast this season? Both him and Stephen were really funny, and I loved Malcolm’s picture of John with the hearts and tear stains on it.

    ALL OF THE WOMEN on the loved ones tribe LOST. They kept the 2 weakest girls, and that is what they get. If Rachel or Marissa was out there the newbie tribe could have easily won. Neither of those girls have blood ties to the other women so they wouldn’t be so worried about going hard at the challenge.

    I really think the newbie tribe screwed the pooch with getting out the 2 strongest females and now it has come back to bite them with this challenge.

    There is 100% something fishy going on with why they want to keep those 2 girls, especially Katie. I really think Vytas / Aras / Tina / Katie have something going on and he is keeping her safe. I think the whole “lets get Rachel out to see if Tyson switches” was a smoke screen that Vytas created to keep Katie safe.

    • BogDa

      I agree. The show tries to hide the out of game alliances. I think it is time to actually start to acknowledge the existence of these alliances on the show. They lead to big drama when they a betrayed like with Cochran and Andrea screwing Francesca last season.

  • NatalieKuchik

    One more thing: Getting out John was INSANE!!! Do they not realize going into the merge they will be down numbers! If they want to keep up this illusion they will all stick together at the merge wouldn’t Candice being back in the game a GOOD THING for them!! She is 100% not going to side with the returning players, and she is a number for the loved ones tribe. In a game about numbers they just lost 2 with one vote out. Now if Candice goes back in the game there’s no way in hell she will want to work with any of the guys on the loved ones tribe.

    • Simon P.

      I dont understand why brad is afraid of john and candice when it’s the same thing with vytas and aras or hayden and kat. And john was his best allies…

      But i dont thing number are so important after the merge, if you have an alliance of 5-4 people you can just loose all the time vote people out and after the merge you have your alliance + the loved ones.

  • finsburysghost

    Bad game play to vote out John. It only helps the two girls.
    I don’t like the format. It’s all fluff. No player has ever returned from Redemption Island to impact a solid majority alliance. So why worry about Redemption Island. Just vote players off as if they were leaving the game.
    As for Blood v Water, it does add emotion, but it’s also turning out to be exactly like Fans v. Favorites where the new players get killed.

    • Dan C

      It’s all almost exactly like Fans v Favorites. Both the Fans last season and the relatives this season booted their 2 strongest girls first and it’s backfired on both tribes. Hope and Allie would have fared way better than Sherri and Laura in any challenge and ditto for Marissa and Rachel this time.

    • Gregorian

      I quite liked that image of these two daughters sitting there at tribal council, smiling to themselves as the boys backstabbed each other.

      It’s a nice little subplot and I hope it doesn’t fizzle out.

    • Simon P.

      Well now it’s similar to fan vs favorite but after the merge or if they swap tribe, that will not be the same.

    • Trixie02

      But this time RI could have an impact. It depends on the dynamics when the person returns. Individual immunity saves one person from a pair but not the other. Any strong player may put a target on his/her loved one’s back. Players are trying to advance as duos and the returning player might significantly impact the game.

  • Gregorian

    Purple Kelly vs Colton.

    Purple Kelly lasted about 30 days of really horrible weather before quitting, and probably also knowing full well that she didn’t have a shot at winning.

    • BogDa

      Purple Kelly was given only a mini skirt and tank top to wear so that she’d be the hot girl in the bikini. She had no clothes and had no control over that while other people had jackets and sweaters. Colton is pathetic.

  • Sisu Power

    Fabulous job, guys!

  • BogDa

    Why do I love this season so much!! It is so good. It’s so personal and dirty, it’s great. I think things are going to get REALLY nasty as this goes on. I feel like we are finally getting back to a season where we get to know the people. Every member of the family member tribe is awesome. Seriously, just get rid of the returning players and give me a whole season of family members of x-surviors.

    Katie and Ceira: have serious game and I really like them.

    Hayden: How on earth is he not even a target at all. These people are really stupid to vote this guy out right away. So far I’m liking him. He’s not screaming his confessionals.

    Candice & John: I would love nothing more than to see both of these two return to the game. I really hope we see two players come back in. How on earth am I liking Candice all of a sudden! I actually love that she flipped Bropepper the bird. Sometimes I think being raw and real is actually a good game strategy –worked for Sandra twice.

    Colton: Wow. So disapointing. I’m actually shocked that he would quit the game. I can’t believe it. It is so pathetic. He’s just completely ruined his legacy even worse than Brandon Hantz.

    Aras and Vytas: Cain and Abel. Love them. Vytas is seriously the nasty evil brother and very intreguing. I’m hoping Aras takes him down spectacularly. A true villain needs a great downfall.

    Tyson & Rachel: He made the right call. Rachel brought nothing to the table. I keep hearing references to how amazing she is, but boy did we not see it. I think Tyson is probably going to really far and being injured is the BEST thing possible for his game. I really liked that he asked her if she had fun.

    Laura M: Taking this way to personal.

    Marissa: Unfortunetly, she’s probably toast.

    Laura Bonham: Snore. She’s going far in this game unfortunetly and she’s super boring.

    Tine: love.

    • damnbueno

      Being injured sure helped Brenda last season. I wonder if Tyson will be smart enough to play up his injury long after the initial pain subsides?

      • BogDa

        I hope he does. It would be really clever to keep that sling on and just keep getting more and more injured, then go nuts in the last few challenges and kill everyone.

        • damnbueno

          He shouldn’t overplay the injury/sympathy angle though, he could get voted out because some would fear his “persevered through adversity” jury story.

  • BogDa

    Do you think the producers even realized they’d named the episode after a Big Brother reference?

  • BogDa

    It is so true when Tyson said that Survivor ruins people’s lives. Rob mostly interviews people who have succeeded in Survivor as players. But when you listen to Survivor Oz’s interview with everyone who has ever played you can see how much the game haunts people. The social rejection really affects people as well as the response from the fans to their games and personalities. It is especially clear with people from the early seasons like Africa’s Lindsey, Brandon and Silas who all sound like they had a tough time even years later. You can tell Marquesas John and Thailand’s Gandhia were also affected by it. So many people are DESPERATE to play the game again and prove themselves.

    • damnbueno

      That’s very true.

      Its very difficult to see yourself behave badly on TV. It gets worse when you see total strangers tell the entire country what they don’t like about you. And its even worse when you start hearing fans same the same things.

      No doubt a lot of players are shocked that others don’t see things the same way they do.

      The sad thing about it is that many of those who’ve played multiple times didn’t change their public perception for the better at all. I’m not positive of that though, I admit I haven’t done the research on this. But with most fans, the first impression is the one that lasts.

      Just a few examples off the top of my head.

      Cochran and Brenda definitely improved their public image.
      Malcolm, Erik and Corinne stayed about the same.
      Phillip didn’t, but I think he’s smart enough not to care.
      But I think Dawn, Andrea, Francesca, and Brandon all worsened their images.

  • Jamie Wampler

    Obviously Malcolm’s award shouldn’t be called the Malkey – it should be called the Freebie! (or Frebie?)

  • August Bortz Jr.

    colton’s quit certainly help the favorites because he didn’t have to fight in the immunity challenge against one of the strong guys.

    • damnbueno

      They could have just had Colton sit out and used Monica instead.

      Katie and Ciera sucked at that challenge. Monica could have beaten either of them just as easily as Tina, Laura B. and Laura M. did.

      • August Bortz Jr.

        they had to sit out a girl not a guy

        • damnbueno

          Yes. I know.

          They could just sit out Colton.

  • Great job Stephen! Malcolm was a cool guest, and I even liked the five minutes of monologue when he disappeared. While Colton is annoying and Brad is an idiot (I think I can read him pretty well), I agree that there’s plenty to like this season. The twists are leading to a lot of interesting possibilities, and the likable remaining cast (with a few exceptions) should keep it from getting irritating.

    • Trixie02

      It should become interesting at the merge. Imagine Aras winning immunity and everyone targeting Vytas because of it. Immunity might become more of a curse than a blessing. I anticipate that the social aspect will overpower athleticism since the merge might not be an individual game for some. There are many possibilities.

  • Kyle Pennington

    Have we considered that Brad knew what he was doing – quickly getting rid of the only other guy with clues to the hidden immunity idol and the only guy that knows that he has the clues, too? Wonder if Candice and/or John will blow that spot up for him at Redemption Island…

    • Trixie02

      He covered that a bit by telling the group some vague information about something serpentine. If John outs him, he can claim that the information was not clear and that he needs help. He must think logically (he’s a lawyer), but he comes across as a blithering idiot.

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