Saturday, November 30, 2013

Survivor 27: You Play Bad -- Episode 11 Recap/Analysis

Despite an ostensibly dominant performance thus far, a closer look at Tyson's decision-making process ultimately leaves much to be desired, the remnants of which are still embodied by Hayden's inexcusably continued presence in the game. But with Gervase and Monica seemingly satisfied with second place and while Snitchin' Randy Ciera seems eager to hand Tyson the check, does his laundry list of blunders even matter? Find out when you listen to this week's episode on the player below, find the direct link here, or find us on iTunes here.


  1. Always a great podcast, but I'm surprised you guys missed Redemption Island as a factor in there being a tie. If we assume Tina and Laura again gang up to take Caleb out consider the motive for a tie: Ciera and Katie will be at a 2:1 advantage in the truel even if they draw the purple rock, and Hayden is obviously in it to win it, set to gamble. There will only be a couple more comps to get back in, so why not take a stand? There are LOTS of possibilities for either Katie or Ciera OR their moms to get back in.

    1. I definitely hadn't considered that and I agree with much of it, but if that's the case, booting Tyson/Gervase here at F7 is a much better plan than going to rocks at F6.

    2. Good listen.

      Another scenario could be if Hayden/Katie win immunity and find the hidden immunity idol. It's still farfetched because it would require one and only one person from the majority alliance to flip even though there is every incentive for all of the non-targeted people in the majority alliance to flip. It's also possible that if Hayden/Katie are so confident that everyone in the majority will flip, they may decide to not play the idol, thus exposing one of them to a tie vote.

  2. Bottom line - Tyson developed a better bond with Ciera than Hayden did. Bad play on Hayden's part, considering that he had more time with Ciera than Tyson did.

    Secondly, Hayden and Caleb had their chance to vote out Tyson the round previously, and whiffed on it when Ciera approached them.

    I appreciate the analysis, but it's impossible for you to make blanket judgements when it seems that out there at least, Hayden and Caleb were viewed as HUGE jury threats, especially Caleb - according to what cast members have said on Twitter.

  3. Dom's opinions seem to be largely biased towards his preconceived favorites. On one hand it was soooooo dumb for Tyson to get rid of Aras at the merge (ignoring the fact that Vytas/Aras/Tina/Katie were a dangerous foursome that had no interest in keeping Tyson for their long term plans and he had Hayden, Caleb, and Ciera all there who were more than willing to trust and work with him. How many confessionals have we gotten where Hayden said he knew Tyson had his back??)

    On the other hand, Tyson should have gotten rid of Hayden rooooouunnds ago.


    1. That being said, I've binge listened to a bunch of your podcasts from this season this week. They're an interesting listen, even if you guys have a lot of your facts wrong.

    2. One could passably argue our bias against Tyson stems from the seeming inevitability of his win, but which points/facts/etc specifically did you feel were grossly off-base?

    3. (I'll respond to all the comments so it's easier)

      I'm not suggesting that Tyson should have discarded the loved ones and gone back to Aras/Vytas, just that Tyson's logic in making that move ('Aras is a threat, let's vote him out ASAP!') is overly simplistic and speaks to a flaw in his overall mindset. By constructing the boot order that way, he put himself in a spot where he was vulnerable to people making the obvious play. I'm not sure which of Aras and Hayden you're saying is my favourite but a basic summary of the post-merge is that, despite his determination to remove anyone who could challenge him, Tyson gave a skilled former winner a shot at overthrowing him and inexplicably let him stay in and try it again. To me that suggests he erred somewhere.

      Hayden and Caleb may be huge jury threats, but siding with them here doesn't commit Ciera to going to the end with them. Once Tyson's gone she can take whoever she can beat - two of Gervase/Monica/Katie? - and go after Hayden. Voting out Tyson now gives her the freedom to do that, as there's no other claim on the returnees' loyalty. As it is, her only hope is that Gervase/Monica see sense and go after Tyson, and that this actually matters since Tyson could very easily win out in challenges from here.

      re. Kim/Troyzan: There are a few key differences there. 1) Kim, Troyzan, and the rest of the OW cast were playing for their first time, so Kim didn't have a wealth of experience to draw on in the way Tyson does; 2) Kim took out Troyzan at the earliest convenient point and didn't give him a lifeline; and 3) every non-Troyzan person was so thoroughly snowed over by Kim that he never had a chance of making it work. I'm not sure what your argument is about Alicia and Christina? If anything, Kim's one possible mistake was booting Kat over Tarzan at F7.

      I do side with you over Colin in that I think F8 was the right time to pull the trigger for Hayden, and it's a mark against both Hayden and Ciera that they weren't able to put aside that difference at F7.

  4. To use a metaphor, you guys are basically saying that Troyzan played great to recognize that Kim needed to go, and Kim got lucky that no one else joined in.

    Luck? of course, every winner has it in spades, but also skill on Kim's part. and Tyson's.

    In regards to Hayden not being booted yet, did you guys rant about Kim getting rid of Alicia and Christina before Sabrina and Chelsea? Sometimes what seems more 'clear' as a viewer isn't actually the best move given the real dynamics out there and what's worth the social capital to push for.

    1. Kim had every reason to believe that no one would side with Troyzan, whereas Tyson gifted the newbies a perfect spot to rally against him with Hayden leading the charge, who is SLIGHTLY better at these things than Troyzan.

    2. Apparently not better than Troyzan, right?

      That's the thing - you're basing your opinions on what you WANT to have happened, rather than what did.

    3. If anything Hayden should have made a better case, he sort of let Caleb lazily make the pitch to Ciera and that was that.


    would like your opinion on the following: should hayden and company have stayed voting on tyson, hoping monica would be paranoid enough to not draw a rock?

  6. It was nice to see Hayden play very well last night.

    But I guess he is to be blamed for not keeping Ciera close to him. It seems like Ciera was trying to move against Tyson when Laura was still in the game. At that point special care should probably have been taken to keep Ciera very comfortable. But instead of Hayden it was Tyson who was reassuring her. So she felt more comfortable going with Tyson last week.

    I know your arguments this week will be that Hayden was the better player than Tyson this season. But I can't get on board with that. He put himself in a position where he needed to hope for a hail mary to go his way to get back in the game.

    I think the Laura boot was the nail in the coffin for him, because Ciera saw that it was him that really wanted it to happen. Hayden should have agreed to boot Tyson there when Ciera was ready and willing.

    Even going back before that, you could argue that as soon as Hayden saw the way Tyson, Gervase, and Monica were going to vote at the merge, he could have approached Vytas and tried to form a newbie alliance, because going with those three veterans was going to bite him in the end.

    Ciera was the swing of the season, and Tyson had better trust with her at key moments. That's the decider of the season. How you can see that read and still argue Hayden was the overall better player is pretty tone deaf.

    But I'm sure you guys will do it.

  7. If you were to ask Hayden what his biggest regrets were, I think he would say:

    1) Not developing and fostering a better relationship with Ciera throughout the game. He let Gervase and Tyson poison her against him and let them put all the blame on him for various moves.

    2) Not going with Ciera's idea of voting out Tyson instead of Laura.

    Maybe most importantly:

    3) If Tyson really did want to go to final 4 with Hayden, as he said, then it would have probably been Hayden's best move to get to 4 easily with him and then hope to get into that 3 for the easy win. Hayden is a great competitor and I don't think Tyson saw him as a major threat.

    As fun as it was to watch Hayden lead the charge against Tyson at final 7, it essentially blew up his game.

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