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'Survivor' Recap: Jeff Probst Is a Sweet-Ass, Talking Stick O'Butter

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 11, 2016 |

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 11, 2016 |

If ever there was a week where we needed the fun of Survivor, this was it. My god.

So we’re still in the jet wash of last week’s blindsiding of Michaela. God, she was great. She was such a goddamn force. And Jay betrayed her.

We open in Ikabula where Jay is talking about it:

“I made a big-ass move tonight.” He says.

He sure did, and frankly it was a smart one. Michaela would have eaten these fools for lunch in the challenges. That was never her problem. People were her problem. Because they stood between her and her money.

But now she’s gone.

And her virtual twin in every way, Barista Hannah, is left behind. Really, when you put these two up next to each other, you can barely tell them apart.

Wait - did I say twin? I meant EXACT OPPOSITE. Good lord.

Hannah was left out of the vote last week because Jay and Will knew they couldn’t trust her.

“Jay thinks I can’t see past his pretty face and…intense…gameplay.”


Hell, I’m a straight cis male and I can barely see past it. That boy is fucking radiant.

“I mean, I would have voted however you want…”

That has to be the hallmark of the sheep on Survivor. BAAAHHHHH. I’ll do what you tell me! Bahhhhhhhh!

I’ve missed enough seasons of Survivor to not know if that is a strategic thing, but man it seems like you’re making yourself cannon fodder when you just allow your vote to be decided for you.

Okay so we have a few scenes about how dumb Hannah is and how she wants to get back at Jay and his…whew…his…my goodness is it hot in here… his y’know…cute smile…and those eyes…and like…mmmmmm…gonna get him…mmmmm.

Okay Hannah. Settle the fuck down.

Then we’re off to one of the other camps. I forget the name, and there’s a boat coming in…

Is it…

Could it be…


ay ay oh ee oh ee oh ee ah ah ay ay oh ee oh ee
ah ah ay ah oh ah ay ah oh ay ah ah ee
la la bah bah bah la sah oh bah day ya
ah ah ay ah oh ah ay ah oh ay ah ah ee
buh buh buh buh buh buh buh
buh buh buh buh buh!!!!

Okay so everyone from the other two tribes arrives at Vanua exactly like the way Washington crossed the Delaware, except with significantly less ice and moderately more crotch sand…

And now we’re merging. It seems like there are a few bizarre crazies who have been reading these recaps who DON’T ACTUALLY WATCH THE SHOW.

Nutters. Just go watch it, guys & gals! It’s fuuuuuuuuuun. You’ll get a much better sense of the players if you catch even a single episode, and thus, you’ll be able to discern just how wrong I am about all of them!

Anyway, The Merge is when everyone comes together and makes one big, final tribe. The Merge is kind of like the beginning of the end on Survivor. Once you merge, the team/tribe portion of the show is kaput. From then on, it’s all about winning individual immunity and getting to the end of the game.

The Merge also signifies the makeup of The Jury.

Everyone who is voted off the show, from this point onward, beginning with this episode, advances to The Jury. We’ll get a player voted off every week until you get to the final two.

As one of the final two players, your fate is now out of your hands. You have to then appeal to The Jury, and THEY VOTE to see who wins the million bucks.

Wanna know what’chure playin’ for?

No Jeff Probst you sweet-ass, talking stick o’butter. We know what we’re playing for.



So we’re all together. Merging. Landing craft rolling in. Boots hitting beaches. BUFFS. It’s like D-Day, but with assholes. Hug hug. Kiss kiss.

Michelle is happy to be back with the people she trusts.

There are a couple trunks of grub waiting for them. And they’re all cheering and chowing and it’s great fun.

But they’re also scanning the playing field. Having been away, I forgot how much I enjoyed this piece. As a competitor it must be tough, but as a viewer it took me a minute to just look over the gang and remember who’s in with who.

Because as much as this started out Survivor: Baristsas vs Grunge, some of those alliances have…drifted.

Some of those old teams aren’t as fresh and new as they once were. That was kind of fun to watch. Some of the players just like Gen-X’ers or other Millennials better than when they started.

So Jay is doing his talking head thing and he’s like: I have all these alliances and I have an idol and no one knows that I’m the kingpin.

And then basically in every other talking heads segment, people are like: Jay’s the kingpin.

“He’s the locus of power right now.” Says Zeke

Nice use of locus, Zeke. Five points to Hufflepuff.

But yeah, no one is missing the fact that Jay has shit in hand.

Bret, for example, was thinking he could possibly trust Jay and then when he say the Millennials fist bumping, he STAHTID TO GET NERRRVISS. He doesn’t know if he can trust Jay OAR NAWT. I DANNO, MAN.

It was nice to see Bret and Chris back together again.

Chris seems like he’s on the ball. Like him.

Now Zeke is fixing his alliances. Zeke, like Chris, is linked up with lots of people. He brings Hannah back in with Adam to what he calls his “Nerd Voting Block.”

Hannah explains how Jay turned on Michaela, but for some reason she won’t say Jay’s name.

It’s…the eyes…and…the smile…SHE’S GONNA….MMMMM…GET HIM.

She can’t even say his name.

Zeke says that he thinks Jay controls both Will and Michelle and that everyone is starting to be taken in by his “Jay Charm.” He sees Ken and Bret and all the guys sort of hanging out with Jay and says Jay has a “mystique about him.” And that “If this bro-lliance happens, I’m in trouble.”

So Zeke knows he has to get rid of Jay.

Meanwhile, Adam feels like he’s in a precarious position. Yes, he has a nerd alliance of sorts with Zeke and Hannah, but who knows if he trusts them. And yes, he saved Ken and Jessica to vote out Figgy, so he theoretically has their trust. But who knows, really?

To protect himself, he goes looking for an immunity idol and instead he finds something COMPLETELY NEW in the Survivorverse: THE REWARD STEAL.

If someone wins reward, he can STEAL it from them.

Ouch. That’s gonna leave a nasty burn on someone.

But Adam isn’t done. He’s scheming hard, and like Zeke, he feels like he has to knock off Jay. So he makes the galactically stupid decision to TELL THAT TO TAY TAY. And he also tells him about finding the REWARD STEAL.

Why? Why Adam?

“Taylor is an unlikely ally.” Adam says.


You killed his love! In the paraphrased words of Prince Humperdink Taylor might say to Adam:

We truly loved each other and so we might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no man in a century will suffer as greatly as you will.

All Tays wants is to DESTROY ADAM. That’s what they named LAST EPISODE. There is no Tay Tay for you Adam! He will never be your friend. YOU KILLED FIGGY. YOU KILLED FIGTALES, YO! That ship has sailed!

Millennials hate Adam. He has too much overt gameplay. It’s not subtle. After Tays IMMEDIATELY tells Jay that Adam wants to target Will in an effort to weaken Jay, the cool kids: Jay, TayTay, Michelle and Man Voice Will all make Adam their target.

Nice job, dummy.

Now part of what Adam calls his “midnight bro-down” with Taylor was because TAYLOR stole food. He straight up stole a bunch of the food and loaded it into a mason jar, which, by the way, he’s pretty good with. That’s a quote from Taylor.

“I’m pretty good with mason jars, and y’know, canning stuff.”

Ah, well said Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Your mind is a forest of verbs. Do continue!

“So I pull a classic Survivor move. I grab a mason jar and I put so much stuff in there and I’m just like I’m gonna tryn’ eat as much of that stuff as I can.”

Poetry! And such a ‘classic’ move as outright theft six feet from everyone else. I don’t see anything wrong with that plan. Huzzah!

Of course Bret and Adam both see him. Eventually, it comes out at Tribal that TayTay stole the food and he’s like “no I didn’t like, steal. My stomach was freaking out.”

He’s a goddamn genius.

Once man Voice Will finds out that Adam is gunning for him, he’s pissed. This is when we really see that he’s young, because he makes it so personal. The Millennials outnumber the Gen-X’ers by one player at the merge, so before they can take out one of their own they HAVE to take out a Gen-X’er. It’s basic arithmetic. Six Millennials. Five Gen-X’ers.

Michelle seems to be the only one aware of this. But then again, her voice makes me want to drown myself, so. God, her voice. Every time she talks it’s like she’s speaking through a Rick Moranis filter. I mean, I love me some Rick Moranis, and his voice matches with, y’know: Rick Fuckin’ Moranis. But on Michelle? No.

But white boys will be white boys and they’re not hearing any of it. Testosterone is a magically stupid thing. Will wants Adam to go home. Period.

And Will needs immunity. Just in case.

We sleep through the night and then we see a little strategy session with Bret and Chris. I really like them both, and if I was on Survivor, they’d be the ones I’d personally feel more comfortable with because there’s not a ton of artifice with either one of them. That’s not to say they’re not crafty, but they’re somehow more stable. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s the Gen-X seeing something in them that makes more sense to me. The other ones seem like kids to me.

At this point, if I had to rank the remaining players by how trustworthy they are, I’d go:


David would sell his actual living soul to the devil to win this game. And his mother’s. Ditto for Adam. Zeke isn’t that bad, but he is a plaaaaaaaayer. He’ll do what he has to. Just like Jay, but he’s more subtle than Jay. Everyone knows Jay is an Alpha.

Hannah is the toughest one to place, because I feel like if she had one person who was like “I’ll get you through to the final two with me” then she’d be loyal. But that’s fractured by the fact that she doesn’t have that and also because she’s as dumb as a Hello Kitty bag of lard-filled sweat socks and fickle as a toddler raindance.

So as people are chatting, the name Taylor starts to get thrown around.

Jay wants the Gen-X’ers to flip one of their own, but that’s the issue with these particular Millennials. There’s no plan to do that. In no part of this episode is there any conversation where a Millennial tries to spin a Gen-X’er against one of their own. The Millennials are FALSELY CONFIDENT because they have the numbers.

I’m just going to have a moment of silence here for people who are falsely confident in numbers.


Deep breath. Deeeeeeeeeeep breath.

That’s the most important thing this week: that Gen-X successfully makes the Millennials turn on themselves. It was sort of done just naturally, without a lot of pressure or spin, and it was excellent. You can’t even point to a Gen-X’er who arranged it.

Immunity Challenge

No reward challenge this week, because it’s the MERGE. The merge takes the place of that segment. Rewards will return next week.


This one is an endurance challenge. I wouldn’t last seven seconds doing this challenge. This challenge could have been called THE ARMPIT HAIR CHALLENGE because that’s all I could seem to focus on. Players drop out…one by one. They just can’t last.

But Jessica and Will do, for over an hour and a half! It’s grueling to watch. And then….


Jessica is out. Man Voice Will wins immunity!

He goes to her and says “I needed it!”

And of course Adam hears that, so he’s like, how did he know? How did he know we were gunning for him?

And TayTay is like:

y’know…information leaks.


Come on Adam! How dumb are you? How do you think it passively leaks? Like, hey man food is eaten.



The best part of this show for me was Lady Castleton loving this challenge. She was laughing like a Danish Countess every time someone got dumped on. OH HO HO HO HO. I was laughing just because she was laughing and she actually SAT NEXT TO ME AND WATCHED this time! Whoooooo hoooooo! I was like “do you remember this kind of challenge?” and she was like “no, I’ve never actually watched this show.” That’s right, she hadn’t. I forgot that. I can’t remember who I watched it with in the old days but it wasn’t her. I am, as the French say, an attentive lover. SIGH. I SUCK.

Anyway, I was tickled to see how she reacted to the people getting splashed on. So much fun. Good clean schadenfreude.

I like Man Voice Will. He’s young, but he’s intelligent. I’m not sure how good of a player he is at this point, and I’m leaning toward a lower-than-average rating, but we’ll see.

There’s some dissention in the Millennial ranks and Zeke informs Adam that he fucked up by telling Tays.

Adam is like shit, “I was playing too hard.”

But he has an immunity idol. I mean, it’s not that dire. But being Adam, he treats it that way. He should just settle in and stick to the plan with the Gen-X’ers, which is to pick off either one of Jay or Taylor. But they worry that Jay has an immunity idol and will give it to Taylor.


Holy shit dude! How dumb are you?

The very act of Adam just TALKING to Taylor makes him suspicious to the Gen-X’ers. Jesus.

So now neither side trusts Adam. Hannah and Zeke, probably his most loyal people in the tribe are already sick of him. Hannah warns him.

“Adam is the worst teammate ever.” Says Hannah

“Yes. Adam needs to go very soon. Adam is not trustworthy. Adam is a bad alliance member.” Says Zeke. “So now I’m just thinking we should just vote him out.”

So now both sides are gunning for Adam. Should he play his immunity idol? That’s the big question.

Ken wants Taylor gone. But the Gen-X’ers are worried that Jay has an immunity idol (which he does) and that he might give it to Tay Tay. David suggests possibly taking out Michelle, just because she’s in that top of the Millennial power structure and they’ll never see it coming.

Ultimately, they can’t decide. Maybe it’s still Adam.

Tribal Council

At tribal, Jeff Probst does his friendliest prodding to date. All smiles, but crushing dreams with his innocent questions. Who’s loyal to who?

Jay, as always, has fucking amazing shifty eyes and facial expressions throughout the whole thing.

Bret outs Taylor for stealing the food. Taylor is totally clueless. He’s just smiling and laughing. Jeff Probst can’t believe it.

Jeff asks Chris about it and he says that Taylor was being selfish. And Tay Tay is like Nah Nah, I wasn’t hungry! My stomach was messed up!

And Jeff is like “So you’re saying it was a medical emergency?”

And Tay is like Yah! Big smile! What? What?

So okay, it’s time to vote.

Everyone does. I’m pretty sure Adam is fucked, one way or another. Jeff asks if anyone wants to play an immunity idol….




I was like WOW. Wow. You’re more worried about looking stupid that staying in the game?


Okay once the votes are read the decision is final. The person voted out will be asked to leave the tribal council area immediately. [Let’s] read the votes.

First Vote:


Okay we knew this. Now the question is: what’s vote #2 because if it’s Adam he may have sucessfully pissed off EVERYONE in the game. What Jay has in charm, Adam has in flagrant in-your-face-obvious gamesmanship.

The big vote comes next. Who’s it gonna be?

Second Vote:


Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! So there we have it. David’s plan won out. The rest of this shit is academic.





We’re tied. Four votes Adam. Four votes Michelle.

The people who have voted for Adam are the Cool Kid Millennials: Jay, Tayz, Will & Michelle.

Let’s say that the four votes for Michelle are all from Gen-X’ers. But it doesn’t matter, because Adam doesn’t get another vote.

Everyone else knocks off Rick Moranis’ voice and a roar of approval is heard across the land.

From Gen-X’ers at least.

Because now Jay & Man Voice Will and Tay Tay are in a WORLD OF HURT.

Michelle, you need to bring me your torch.


Yoost like that: she’s gone.

—flash video removed—

One final note: I’ve spent WAAAAAAY TOO MUCH time thinking about how I’d look if I was standing in front of Jeff as he snuffed out my shit (since it will NEVER happen) and the one thing I promise before all the Gods of Olympus is BY HEPHESTAUS I WOULD NOT HAVE A FUCKING STUPID HALF-STUNNED GRIN ON MY FACE.


Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllll no. Hell no.

If anything, I’d reach into the very flame of my torch and grab a handful of whatever that pu pu platter gel shit is and I’d drive my flaming hand into Jeff Probst’s chest hair and yell:


God this election has kicked my ass seven ways to Sunday.

(I wouldn’t really kill Jeff Probst, by the way, you guys. OBVIOUSLY.


I just, y’know, wouldn’t have a dumb grin ‘n’ shit.)

Have a great week, friends.

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