[spoiler in case you somehow missed it?]Tommy, Dean and
And I never finished watching the reunion show. Whoops again. Anyway, now we're in for a MUCH MORE EXCITING TIME.
I already got my main thoughts out about this cast back in May, but I've finally decided to force myself to do a completely ranked list, instead of just by tier, in order to see how it compares to the actual voting-out order, because I know how Survivor loves watching me cry when it crushes my dreams.
I didn't have time to read or watch any pre-season interviews or other coverage, and the only new information influencing me is how annoying it is to continue seeing Rob and Sandra now that I've watched them poorly act out scripted dialogue for a whole season already (the respective answers are 'very' and 'only a little'), and seeing the new cast photos.
DREAM BOOT ORDER (from who I want voted out first to last)
- Michele (#ROBBED QUEEN AUBRY. yes I know she already got to come back. STILL. would rather have had her on this season.)
- Tony (or he & Rob could switch)
- Denise (I downgraded her from the top tier for that hairstyle. You know how I hate shaved hair. It's somehow worse when it's only partial/asymmetrical.)
- Ethan (IDK; in theory he should be higher but he's absent 1 crown of glorious curls. and I just like all the other people even more)
-I am actually VERY undecided between my top 4, and I genuinely don't know which of those 4 I would most want to see win. I'm leaning toward Nat just because she is so pragmatic and collected, has a strong personality, and it is genuinely fun to watch her maneuver her human chess pieces. Then again it's the same for Kim, who fills me with such a sense of "I want to be her best friend, but more accurately I want to be in awe of and bask in her gracious Athletic Homecoming Queen presence from afar."
I want and NEED a woman to win again ASAP, but I would make an exception here for Yul because he would be such a pleasant surprise win from the Old School Days -- and he could give such an eloquent and convincing speech as to why he should win, and he would unquestionably deserve it. I was able to push Jeremy down to 4th because he's a dude and less of a novelty than Yul, but then again, I'd love to throw even more money at his family.
-I don't know that I will always love Sophie in this context as much as I did when she was smoking the numbskulls in South Pacific -- I still like her, and I'm very impressed and inspired by the weight loss she's maintained (she looked great regardless, but she has my body shape and I love proof that I could get in shape), but between Twitter and the Know-It-Alls podcasts it seems like she's gotten a lot more confident/outspoken and opinionated, and her style could get abrasive. Particularly if she comes for my faves.
-Same for Adam -- I have not loved his career choices post-show and I'm too stubborn to request a follow on his set-to-private Instagram account, so I can't accurately judge if he has remained a quality person. I have the gut sense that he seems to have regressed in maturity from Optimum Marriage Material With Noble Career Goals to Young Bachelor Bro In The Limelight. But I want to believe he will reignite the same screen magic he did before. Not least because he has so many detractors on Reddit, damn. He was the perfect winner of M v GX, y'all, shut up.
-I am not super excited about Sandra right now, but I feel like she could be a sleeper agent. She's still a question mark/waiting game for me. If she comes for my enemies I will definitely love her, so that's my hope. Game Changers aside, she does tend to come for my enemies who are men.
-I can't believe Nick, our spectacular David vs. Goliath representative, is getting lost in the middle of the pack. That's how good our rep this year is!!
AT LENGTH, I FINALLY WATCH THE EPISODE...
Worst thing first: catch me cussing an eternity and back when the first vote comes down to two of my top 5 (natalie/adam) and my GODDAMN FAVORITE is the first one out to Exile Island, creating the worst possible Twinsies parallel. Cool, cool cool cool (IT WAS NOT COOL). Odds of her winning the game even if she gets back in: 5%. That will go down to 1% if she isn't the first one back in.
But other than that, I promised myself that this season should not feel stressful when people are voted out, both because they'll stay on our screens via Exile -- though to be clear, I still do NOT like that element and would rather miss out on my favorites so that they can live in the lap of Ponderosa luxury, and more importantly, SO THAT I CAN HAVE PONDEROSA FOOTAGE POST-MERGE -- and because this is truly such a high class calibre of cast. And so far, it has delivered.
I've enjoyed basically every second, except for how sick I am of hearing Rob talk. Mom's like, "I don't want him to go! He's so likeable!" and I'm like, sure Jane. There is no charisma left; he is a tubby sack of smug potatoes reveling in the fact that the camera is obsessed with him. I don't feel bad criticizing his weight because if he is going to irritate me, he should apologize with an aesthetically pleasing physique from the neck down, a la Tyson. And I don't even really think he's an egomaniac or arrogant, it just irritates me that he's so damned sure of himself at all times (hmmm...am I Miss Minchin?) and always has that little half-smile smirk, and what's worse is he's nearly always right. And I so hate that snake-hypnotizing thing he does, as demonstrated on Ben, that I almost would rather have Ben succeed over him. Which would definitely be worse, because tattoos are grosser to look at than a flabby midsection, and cannot be starved away with time.
I'm sure you can also imagine my devastation when the second vote comes around, AND SUDDENLY IT'S KIM ON THE PROPOSED CHOPPING BLOCK. What the frick?? What kind of Worse Game Changers hell..... thankfully, she was spared, but at the cost of sacrificing Amber (WHERE are ALL the MEN...'s names being written down).
Which, I'll take that deal any day of course, but over the course of this 2-hour episode I found myself really liking Amber, of whom I have no practical memory on the show. WHY couldn't Sandra have had the opportunity to eliminate Rob directly. FOUR FREAKING SEASONS BEFORE THIS ONE. *Fat Amy gif* Enough!! I was starting to really look forward to seeing Amber play as much-matured individual. She seems genuinely nice. And I am now Officially PISSED that even in a world of top shelf quality, women are still being eliminated first. I understand why this particular set wouldn't go for a women's alliance, but I had still hoped that the chips would unintentionally fall that way.
Speaking of much-matured individuals who aren't, I thought for about 5 minutes that I could give Parvati a blank slate in her new mom/Wife-Of-Hot-John role, but first her fugly jumpsuit personally attacked me, and then she opened her mouth. Being the same level of teeth-gratingly smug with borderline mockery of her fellow competitors, while immediately aligning with one of my least favorite men (again). This one needs 2 go.
Random Stray Thoughts
-Still can't get a good read on Danni, but in her limited screen time, so far I feel like I was right to be interested in seeing her play. She definitely seems the least connected out of all the contestants, and I can't help but feel for her while watching her stumble and cast about for a group.
-I IMMEDIATELY remembered why I liked Yul so much. I mean, I can trust my general positive memories and read my old reviews and all, but something about seeing him in action takes it to a whole new level; he's just magical. So smooth-voiced, so polite, so eloquent, and so frickin' genius. I absolutely loved Sophie's thunderstruck reaction when he asked if she wanted to work with him. And also her confessional
-Adam asking to be Denise's Malcolm was kinda cringe and gave me war flashbacks to Nick trying to be Christian's JT, but I appreciate that she accepted and I'm willing to see if this pans out.
-Tony, Michele and Sarah have been basically invisible and that's the way I like it.
-Still cracking up over Kim "announcing herself." (and the memes arising from it!!) Even if her frustration at being the one shut out of conversation made me want to cry. Y'all, the amount I am raring to cast her in a novel... Digression: if I didn't have roughly 47 novels already on my immediate TBR, I'd be ripping up the internet trying to find one.[SERIOUSLY it is a long digression and spoken in a vernacular only I understand]She'd be a good fit for an independent, confident woman -- obviously a business owner would work, maybe a girls' team coach (she'd also work for a high school AU, YA soccer player maybe?) but I'd really like to see her in something outdoorsy, like a forest ranger -- of course my brain went to Last Woman in the Forest, which I read last month...but Diane Les Becquets does have another similar one! -- or IDEALLY, a Western horse operation setting. I can see her so perfectly in jeans and boots and a straw hat and really anything else Sierra Dawn Thomas wears on her barn time. A rancher, a horse breeder, a stable owner; I'm just spitballing here. Really anything that puts a horse ridden under a Western saddle in her immediate proximity. Like Marilyn Holdsworth's Pegasus, except I'm stubborn on keeping Rachelle LeFevre or Elizabeth Mitchell for that. Why have I suddenly forgotten how to find horse-centric novels for adults.
-FOLLOWING THAT: I truly thought I was gonna hate the fire token idea, but I kind of don't? I'm intrigued and I want to see where this goes. Also I just really love it when voted-out players bequeath things.
-I loved that Natalie found the immunity idol on Exile
-I didn't even have the brainpower to really analyze who was on what tribe or what alliances I agreed/disagreed with. Looking at them now, I'd say the red team (Dakal) is currently in my favor, because all Sele really has going for it at this point is Jeremy, Ethan and Adam. They don't have my ultra-enemy (Tyson), but they've got Parvati, Rob, AND Ben (also Boring Michele) to make up for it. The only detraction from the red team besides Tyson is Sarah. Tony is there too, but he's barely even enough to register on my scale of annoyance at this point. Meanwhile this tribe has Sophie, Sandra, Yul, Kim, Wendell AND Nick? Dear god please don't go to Tribal Council again until after a tribe swap.
-I will say that I really liked the idea of the non-interconnected winners forming their own little band of a misfit alliance.
LONG STORY SHORT: I am excited that I get to see it live 2 more times before night work starts.