Survivor Kaoh Rong

Casual Survivor: Karma Is a Five-Letter Word

Welcome back to Casual Survivor, the blog that ranks the contestants based on the mindset of a comment writer from social media. I greatly appreciated the feedback last week and laughed at the confusion surrounding the votes for Debbie, but people order pizzas and have to answer the door sometimes, and thus, they fail to process vital information, but that should not take their voices away, especially when they have mean tweets to send. The perspective from which I wrote last week was I Hate Bullies because most comments echoed this sentiment. It’s a very common category of casual fans, but this week we had less hate and more love; fans were happy to see Scot get his just desserts even though he lost out on food and Tai was forgiven for standing up to Scot. One episode Tai personifies evil and the next he personifies everything good in the world. That is pretty extreme fluctuation.

In the Survivor fandom, many are those who wish to right the world of all wrongs and see bad guys voted out for breaking the moral code on the show. If they had their way, good would always triumph over evil on Survivor. While that sounds like a really, really boring show that might boast winners like Colby, Chet, Jan from Thailand, Wanda, and Earl, I can see where the casuals are coming from. It is not nice to practice psy ops on fellow contestants, especially when this season of Survivor is not trying to actually reenact the Vietnam War. Jason must have read the memo incorrectly, but I’d like to watch the show he thinks he signed up for. If things don’t go his way soon, he may start laying snares along the trails and things could take an ugly turn. I have to admit, I’d like to see him interrogate people about their votes.

From the overwhelming majority of comments, you’d think April 20th would be declared Be Nice to Blondes Day nationwide and people would act out a passion play with Tai shaking his head and Jeff would extinguish Scot’s torch by pouring a bucket of water on it. The entire play would be a loop of this scene until Scot has been reborn enough times to realize that fire is life and he, in fact, took a life each time he put out the fire. The play would end with his repentance and his commitment to never putting out fires again ever. This could have actually happened if they’d bring back the single greatest Survivor twist: Redemption Island. Scot would be sentenced to starting fires all day like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill only to have production put the fires out. Finding an actor as tall as Scot will be tough, but Jason Momoa is a good choice even in his Khal Drogo get-up.

Here’s the irony. Scot never called Alecia Blondie. He tried to work with her. All Scot did was hide a machete and an ax and put out a fire in front of people. It is actually more hurtful to do it when people are sleeping and then pretend to be saddened to learn the fire is out, yet Tai is held to a different standard because people discriminate against tall, brawny guys and assume they are bullies. It’s just the way the world works. Many of the casual fans who dislike bullying were cheering this week in the name of karma and some celebrated by calling Julia Jason’s new Blondie– which is not the same at all as what Jason did because the comment writers were not on the island with Julia. The moral code is location specific–it’s only bullying if people are on the island together.

The fans were so rabid this week about Scot getting his comeuppance that they may have missed the beautiful scene with the sun rising underneath the bodhi tree (seen in the featured photo) that represents Tai’s journey (or Jason’s) on an enlightened path. There was no time to take that in for the casuals because, with Caesar dead, the angry mob wanted the blood of Brutus, the one who stabbed Debbie and Nick in their backs—Scot– because in their minds, he orchestrated all of the blindsides including his own. In reality, another pizza probably arrived and they were busy answering the door again.

In Survivor, fire is life, which cannot be stated enough times and Scot and Tai disrespected that metaphoric life. Tai fought back his tears when he had to kill a real chicken, but he intended to kill it to help his tribemates. That’s selfless– or a total betrayal of the chickens’ trust. With the fire, however, it was clearcut sabotage and actions like that come back to bite later. Sure, Jason and Scot were upset that their ally, Nick, was voted out and Tai tried to show his support for their position, but no one on the island has as much right to revenge as Mark the Chicken and he has shown remarkable restraint. His allies were killed and eaten in front of him and if he should attack Julia, Michele, Aubry, and Joe, then they are simply getting what’s coming to them because karma is a 5-letter word indeed. Strangely enough, I’ve seen Mark peck at Cydney and Tai so maybe the chicken is a hardcore strategist or he sees something we don’t and he’s playing his own psy op games with them. Come to think of it, he targeted Peter before he ever got to taste Vietnamese chicken.

From the moment Scot poured water on the fire, I knew he was going because living on the island with these contestants is a b**** named Karma and she likes fire. To be perfectly frank, Survivor karma does not follow the tenets of Buddhism. The path to Enlightenment is not through meditation and reflection but through big moves, digging deep, and backstabbing according to Jeff. Between these two karmas lies a third version: Casual Survivor Karma. It consists of a simple maxim: Bad things should happen to those we dislike. Anything that happens to those contestants is deserved, even if implemented using divisive methods. It’s the outcome, not the journey. The only problem is that once bad things happen (like an alliance member becoming a turncoat), those players now become the underdogs and need sympathy. The players who blindsided them deserve karmic retribution. It’s a confusing cycle in the casual world.

Before we begin, I’d like to add a disclaimer. Reading this may cause side effects like twitching eyes and mental confusion, but I take no responsibility whatsoever.

Eighteen contestants, thirty-nine days, thousands of pointless, repetitive comments, only one chicken remains… This is Casual Survivor…

It’s always fun to see a little guy take out an arrogant bully. Now Jason is stuck with Blondie who only follows the crowd. Karma, baby!

Tai, you’re a 50+ -year-old acting like a 3rd grader. Grow up! You just proved you’re disloyal and a liar. Why would anyone vote for you now?

The first quote is interesting. Is Julia’s double-dealing karma for Jason allegedly “bullying” Alecia? I’m assuming Tai is the little guy who took out Scot, the arrogant bully, who certainly voted for the fire…twice… and he irritated Joe, so there is that. Michele was riled up enough to call him “immature”. The comment then turns to Jason and claims he deserves Julia or she deserves him.

The second quote, in contrast, became a popular thread with Tai haters. I love the passion pouring out as he speaks to Tai directly. It sounds like a controlling husband asking why anyone would want him now or the lyrics to “Wonderwall”. Perhaps a restraining order is overdue.  Look into it, Tai.  I hate when people speak directly to the contestants in their comments.

This week, I will take my inspiration from these two quotes to rank the survivors according to the karmic retribution they deserve, not according to Buddhism but the casuals’ interpretation of the phrase which is a step down from Earl Hickey’s list. It’s not necessary to accuse me of mocking Buddhists as I’m not, but what’s to stop you in the comments section anyway?

Archetype: Karma Police


7. Aubry

Aubry has selfish intentions, so she should expect repayment in kind. She never considered how Michele and Julia would feel when she recruited Tai. She picked the worst possible time when they were sunbathing to speak to him, too. She has backstabbed her allies and she has gone against Sensei Joe… twice. When karma pays Aubry back, it will be huge. She owes karma for Liz, Peter, and Debbie, plus she is responsible for Nick’s exit and Neal’s because she received antibiotics, which is cheating.

It was interesting that Tai and Aubry were shown with the reflection of the fire in their eyes because both of them have backstabbed people in the game–that, or because they both wear glasses. In any case, they were shown with eyes full of life, but fire burns. She will be burned soon by Cydney.

Aubry will become overzealous and fail to see to blindside coming.

6. Julia

Julia is not a girls’ girl even though she’s in a women’s alliance and a sorority sister. She takes whatever the women tell her and runs to the guys in exchange for validation. It’s not a fraternity mixer.  It’s sad, but at the same time, she is dangerous and probably takes photos of her drunken friends at said events and shows everyone later.

She just cost Scot the game and now who will be her third with Jason? Joe won’t choose her to go to the end and she has tattled on the women. Will anyone vote for her except herself? Julia claims that she was Scot’s ally, but when she told Tai to play the idol, she almost cost Scot the game, but happily for Scot, Tai listened to him.

And isn’t it just plain mean for her to beat Joe out of reading his letter? Millennials! Joe’s like her grandfather and she can’t fall out instantly? They should have made Julia stand on her head to even out the competition. Depriving an old man of love is not a good look for Julia.

Mark the Chicken needs to strategize and get her out of there quickly. She wants to write his name down next week.

Julia will carry tales to others only to realize they are all telling her tall tales and voting her out.

5. Cydney

Cydney has been playing a jealous, petty game. With Scot out, I wonder if she will reunite with Jason to vote out Aubry. Up until recently, Cydney was calling the shots but then she started riding shotgun as Aubry got her hands bloodied. That strategy never works in Survivor. People reward the one who blindsides them: Andrew Savage voted for Kelley. It’s a tradition.

Cydney claims to want to vote Julia’s traitor ass out but sometimes a traitor ass makes a good ally. Julia and Cydney could be the next Parvati and Amanda if only they played like Parvati and Amanda. Cydney may very well decide to take Aubry out and vote with Jason once; otherwise, she’ll be the bridesmaid again as Aubry takes in Tai and drags Jason to the end. Storm needs to start playing the game for her.

Cydney should consider voting Aubry’s strategic ass out.

4. Tai

Tai broke the bonds of trust with Jason and he’s jeopardized his greatest ally, Mark the Chicken, in the process because Julia wants them both out. Tai became power hungry and not in a good way like Russell. What kind of a man betrays his friend and kills his idol’s brother in the process? Tai’s snakelike tactics will only gain him a target on his back and he deserves it even more so than Aubry, Julia, and Cydney.

Aloysius_Chinigan brilliantly posted anagrams on Reddit and Tai Trang=Giant Rat. How appropriate because Tai is a rat. And in Survivor, it is the way nature intended it, the snake eats the rat. Tai will literally eat himself in the game.

Tai has an advantage and an idol, but no real allies. Sometimes in Survivor, one has to make good friends. Like Scot, Tai put out the fire when everyone was sleeping, so he is destined to lose. Joe will give Tai a sad look when he manages to mastermind a blindside.

He who blindsides someone with an idol will be blindsided with an idol in his pocket and his idol won’t have a brother to save him.

3. Jason

Last week, he was a villain. Now, he’s the underdog. Jason has paid karma already and she gave him a receipt to prove it. He lost Scot, his friend who carried him over the threshold, and with Scot, his idol. But Jason does not need a gimmick like an idol to get him to the end. He needs to win immunity and sway Tai to join him and Julia. That will give him the three he needs.

If Jason can accept Cydney’s apology and works with her, then he might go very far. Now that Jason’s idol is buried, perhaps he will find a new one to replace it. A kinder, gentler Jason needs to emerge, or he should kick the psy ops up a notch.

Jason has been reborn and Jason 2.0 will emerge in the same game.

2. Julia

Julia hasn’t done anything to make enemies. She probably should have let Jason win the hamburger, though, to gain his trust. She tends to vote as she is told which makes her loyal and a force to be reckoned with. Since she voted for Tai, he won’t want to work with her, but Julia and Jason will and that makes three. I hope she figures out that Aubry voted for Scot instead of Tai, so she can target her with the Beauties. I’m not sure she will put the pieces together, however.

Julia would have rated higher if she played for “love” or something to help her alliance. Playing for food is selfish. In general, she is great at camp and Joe likes her. Unlike others, she doesn’t need to win anything. She needs to sit back and let the terrible people take each other out.

Julia is on the right path, but she needs to put others first.

1. Joe

Joe is the best player in the game. He keeps the fire going (and fire is life), he votes with his heart, and he stays loyal even though Aubry lied to him…twice. Forgiveness is divine. With Debbie out of the game, no one is looking after Joe and he is so under the radar, but firmly calling the shots.

Joe could have easily flipped on Aubry so while he lets her think she is driving the strategy, he really is. He saw through Tai, too, when he said he liked the chicken more than any of them. In spite of the miserable people that Joe has to work with, he manages to block them out.

Sandbagging the challenges is a great strategy too because when he swoops in later, no one will expect it. The balancing challenges are unfair for a man his age, however. They should have a bocce ball or shuffleboard challenge. It’s so rigged against him! And yet, he perseveres and has the winner’s edit.

Joe played for love, and love conquers all.


How do you rank the players? Which comments were your favorites this week?

Mine came from Michel Trudeau, not a casual, who spoke about Scot and Neal forming a super-idol in Ponderosa. Maybe Neal could get his “Mayor of Ponderosa” status back that way. Check out his blog:

NB: I took it easy on people this week because Scot has been receiving vicious comments. I do have a heart.

Lastly, for the record, last week’s rankings were pretty spot on in terms of who is wearing the biggest target. They were very similar to Shirin’s power rankings with Gordon Holmes. Does that make Shirin a casual or the casuals strategic? Think about it.

Thanks for reading. I’m ready for the comments.

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