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Survivor Tocantins: The Semi Re-Watch

This past week has been an INTENSE reliving of the Tocantins era, mostly scouring YouTube for clips, during which time I found an ENTIRE PLAYLIST of bonus scenes -- largely Brand New Information to my grateful eyeballs. I also really enjoyed reliving all the Ponderosa clips and the genuine camaraderie there (especially after the cliquey nightmare of segregation and bittercakes that was the Gabon jury). Best part is that this one of the rare seasons where you get to see the Final 2 arrive at Ponderosa too, so you don't have to choose between the bonus semi-real-world footage and satisfying finalists.

But last night, I took such a determined run at the search results...THAT I FOUND FULL EPISODES. The whole entire season of full episodes. And had the time of my life staying up all night to skim through the best of the long-lost highlights before they had a chance to disappear.


(Listen, CBS, I tried to buy episodes on YouTube when I saw you had some for sale at $1.99 a pop or $10/15 for all in SD/HD, but for some reason you're not offering Tocantins as one of said for-sale seasons? Congratulations, ya played yourself.)

First up, for my own amusement, here are quick links my Tocantins episode commentaries because I am tired of skip-150-ing the tag.
[Spoiler cut usually kills my carriage returns but oh well. that's why I also included the general link above.]
Disclaimer: No one else shouId click on these / I am not responsible for the immaturity of my text below. Everything over 7 years old on this blog is considered an embarrassment to me at all times. But it is my history, and I know how to extract what I meant from it.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6. Clip show
7.
8. Merge
9.
10.
11.
(11, post 2).
12. Family visit
13.
14. Epic Finale + Reunion Post


Now, highlights.

1. The Family Visit
First of all that is WAY MORE FAMILY TIME THAN I REMEMBER and second of all, PUNCHING THE AIR WITH MY FIST because I knew my Screencap Collection O' Joy was missing something, and damned if JT doesn't give his sister a kiss on the top of her head + a second one to the temple before letting her go. Yes. Now I can die/sleep happy. I need it in HD in order to be truly happy, but I'll take blurry and slightly voice-shifted over nothing.

P.S. Oh, Erinn. I love her so much. "Please don't tell Mom how skinny I am?"

[edit: Oh dear, I went bouncing around social media 3 nights later and I. Am crying a lot?
"My favorite episodes are always the one where the loved ones come to visit, and our season was no exception. Taj made a huge sacrifice when she went to Exile with Eddie so the rest of us could see our loved ones as well, and I will forever be grateful to her. A few years later my dad passed away unexpectedly, and I feel like now I always have that time with him. I can just pull up a video any time I want and feel like I'm hanging out with my dad."]

2. The Recap Show: Exile Cuddle Club
So one of my favorite things about Stephen is the way he says absolutely ridiculous things that look super awkward/embarrassing on paper, except he says them on purpose. He shamelessly owns how it sounds and has fun playing with the delivery.
"I have never been so close to another man. He and I spooned for all we were worth. Oh my god. It was raining, it was cold...nothing could prepare me for lying huddled against a hunk of man."
# I'M SCREAMING
(P.S. I had forgotten Brendan's delightfully chill "yeah, we spooned all night and had a great bonding experience!!" recap. Brendan is such a fun dude on rewatch. Also oh my god he is so much richer than I thought and no wonder he was like "JT winning this game is as good as me winning." I know this wasn't all straight to him, but still, he sold Bear Naked in 2007 for $80 million? Co-founded EVOL Foods in 2009 and sold it 4 years later for $45 million? That's a chunk of pocket change. Also I understand why this business-focused video skips it over it, but god am I happy to think that being on Survivor probably helped pep him up a bit too.)

3. F5 Reward
I mentioned this in the last post, the one JT won. I had seen a small deleted scene at the "governor's retreat," and I was dying to see the full reward. May I just say, I love that even if Survivor hadn't shown them at Ponderosa, this was basically a preview version, with the first look in a mirror, a proper shower (the JT's Shower Spy Cam is still invasive as hell and I still appreciate it), a huge catered dinner -- except here we get the bonus of both of them looking way more fetching than anyone in a bathrobe should.

Also wait. I distinctly heard "our room" without a plural and from what we see of said room... DID YOU JUST 'THERE IS ONLY ONE BED' THE PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR?!

# I'M STILL SCREAMING (seriously, how did the slash not turn up sooner)

3.5. Also I still hate that Stephen and JT trash-talk Erinn for TELLING IT LIKE IT IS with Coach and calling him out on his melodramatic bravado. It's true and she should say it.


(disclaimer: I hold no animosity in my heart toward Coach these days, not even this version of him. I'm so glad he is/was part of this show. I scrolled through his Twitter account just now and found out he's now married with kids and honestly, he's just kinda awesome. ALSO I found this absolutely trerrible-looking book on Amazon and I want it. I want it bad.)

4. Episode 3
And while I'm on this theme, this is the episode where Jalapao wins comfort in the form of blankets and pillows, and even though it's in the morning after everyone's awake, never have I been so grateful for a peek at sleeping arrangements. Specifically the one where JT is in between Sydney and Stephen (it's free prime real estate), the latter being on the end. And that's before I get the bonus gift of JT asking, "Stephen? You all right?" while the latter is propped up on his elbow and facing the opposite direction.

5. Final Tribal
I can still only watch in bits and pieces because Awkward Stephen hurts me, but having all those exit press quotes in my head while I fixate on Stephen's face once JT starts up his "I just felt like a fool" routine is great.

6. The Saga of JT's Tooth
I was right to block this from memory -- god, Jeff, why are you so weird about this; is it an environmental hazard or a potential lawsuit or something? -- but one highlight I did not realize before is that it's SIERRA who takes it out. Hahaha! I always assumed it was one of the big guys colliding with him, but no. Lil' bitty Sierra flails out with her racket, missing the ball and cracking him in the face. Also I didn't realize it was just the back half of a tooth (a crown, someone said). I always assumed it was a whole molar or eyetooth or something. Yeah, waaay too much fuss for this.

Parting Thoughts
1) I found a long-gone LJ user, borg_princess, who casually recapped the Tocantins season a year after the fact, and I am SO SAD that I did not find them sooner, because no one in the world has ever had a perspective on it so identical to mine. Someone else who understands the unmatched greatness of Stephen! And Erinn! I definitely love JT more than they do, but I still rank Stephen first and there are so few people who do. These recaps are soooo funny, I was in stitches for at least a couple of hours. And their blog looks like it has a lot of other great content too. And they cram even more into each post than I used to! We should have been friends! Alas, they abandoned the place in 2014.

2) You know that thing where if you read one author too long (J.K. ROWLING), you start to adopt their characters' speech patterns? Yeah, the same goes if you watch a lot of one person's interviews. I can't do that with JT. My grammar is already goin' to hell, and I ain't kiddin' neither. This might pose a slight problem for someone whose literal job is editing bad grammar (among other things).

3) I was gonna post this to Tumblr, but despite all the gifsets I've been reblogging I still don't have enough context there for text posts, so I'll just put the thought that occurred to me this morning:

"You ever think about how Survivor Tocantins, this pinnacle of joy containing the best winner and bromance of the series up to that point, was followed up by the PLUMMET STRAIGHT TO HELL that was a Russell-Hantz-centric Samoa? Because I do." 2009 Me knew it was bad, but only 2019 Me can really appreciate the true disparity. 2009 was the real Heroes versus Villains saga.....change my mind.

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