So my friend Mario and I sat down the other day to discuss the latest Survivor season. Now, saying that Mario and I are Survivor-heads is sort of like saying that Siskel and Ebert like to talk about movies. The only difference is that both Mario and I are still alive. Unless Mario is a ghost. Whatever.
Anyway, we ended up chatting for three hours (!) Toldja we were hardcore. If you don't care much for Survivor, you'd better skip this one unless you like reading long posts and not getting 90 percent of the jokes. If you do like Survivor, buckle up, since this will basically be like porn for your eyes. Wait, isn't porn porn for your eyes? I don't know what I'm talking about.
Mario: Okay so let's talk Survivor. Has Parvati Fever swept Toronto yet?
Mark: Ironically, poverty fever swept the town about a decade ago, but then the government had a crackdown on the homeless. And by crackdown, I mean, "blamed the poor for being poor."
Mark: But yeah, Parvati wins. Probably should've been unsurprising, but boy, I would've bet money on Amanda or Cirie taking it in the end.
Mario: All season long I was thinking that Cirie was going to win, but about midway through the episode last night I started to think it might be Pov. I suddenly realized, you know what? Provarti never had any hand in the blindsiding of Erik. She actually had her hands clean on a bunch of the later votes. Once I realized that, I actually started rooting for her.
Mario: And yes, In honor of Jeff Probst I will be spelling Poverty's name a different way every time in this chat.
Mark: The key factor for Parvati was the fact that Natalie and Alexis were apparently totally in her pocket in the whole time. That was only really made apparent in the last episode, which made the final vote a lot more up in the air. She might've won even if it had been a final three.
Mario: By the way, it's ironic that you wouldn't automatically associate "Parvati" and "taking it in the end" in the same sentence. You're Canadian. Has Norm MacDonald taught you nothing?
Mark: Heh, well, to Parvati's credit, she appeared to be more interested in playing the game than in hooking up this time.
Mario: Yeah. I actually think she gets a bad rap. She's not the best player in the world but she's no doormat either. She's certainly no Sarah Jones.
Mario: And I agree. I think Parvati might have even won if it had been a final three. As surprising as it might seem, she really didnt have that many enemies.
Mark: If it had been a final three, you have James-Ozzy-Erik voting for Amanda. You have Natalie-Alexis voting for Parvati. I dunno how Eliza and Jason end up voting.
Mario: All we know is that it would have taken Eliza a long time to decide.
Mark: They need to invite Eliza back to every jury for the reaction shots alone. Man, that never stopped being funny.
Mario: I agree, but I also disagree. I love the fact that she has these full body reaction shots, but it tends to get a little attention whore-y to me after a while. It's like she's just trying to get on camera.
Mark: Remember back in the olden days when the jury was instructed to never interact with the players? Eliza wouldn't have lasted five minutes.
Mario: Yeah. Back then they just wouldn't have shown her. Burnett would have sent his goons out to the jury house to send her a message.
Mario: So why did Amanda lose? Was it the Doe Eyes?
Mark: She is horrible, HORRIBLE at answering jury questions. That is her fatal flaw. She should've won China in a cakewalk, except she totally swung and missed on the final questions.
Mario: So in other words, with a good jury performance, she wins Micronesia?
Mark: I think so. Unless she lost it when she answered Jason's question about telling Ozzy about the blindside.
Mark: The Ozzy blindside was considered the major strategic move of the game, and the fact that she admitted to not just not being a part of it, but also that she should've sabotaged it probably cost her Jason and maybe Eliza's vote.
Mark: You mentioned her 'doe eyes.' I think she was actually pretty genuine. The only times she was 'acting' at TC was when she was attacking Erik to convince people she didn't have the immunity idol.
Mario: Yeah. I just use that term to refer to her blank stare. It's hard to take her seriously as a player when she just stares at you with those big sad doe eyes.
Mario: Oh, I dont think she's acting at all. I think that she's a genuinely emotional person who happens to have these giant expressive eyes. She's like a Pokemon character. And its hard to take someone like that seriously as a player. She's too sad looking.
Mark: That's a good point. It's like your old point about Neleh....she didn't "look" like a winner. To quote Arrested Development, the jury was, like, "Her?"
Mario: Yeah. Exactly! It doesn't matter how good a player you might be. If you don't "seem" like a player, it's a hard sell.
Mark: Like in China....Todd had the rep of being the sneaky one, so he got the 'game respect' vote, even though Amanda had to reign in his nonsense and really made the big calls herself.
Mark: So, Amanda and Cirie....where do they rank on the 'best players to never win' hierarchy?
Mario: Well Cirie I'd rank really high.
Mario: There are only two reason Cirie hasn't won Survivor yet. A) Because she can't start a fire, and B) Because she doesn't have strong arms. There's not really any strategic reason why she hasn't won. She has ended up in the Rob C. "too respected to take to the finals" position twice now.
Mark: That's true, that's Cirie's flaw --- she just isn't any good at challenges. That last one, though, seemed right up her alley. She even said it herself, she has to hold tiny instruments in place as a nurse under way more pressure-packed circumstances. Of course, it's not like CBS would've wanted her to win, nosiree.
Mario: Haha. Well, I certainly wanted her to win. Can you blame them?
Mario: But yeah it's certainly a great flaw of hers. She just can't win a challenge. The minute they said there was a F3 immunity challenge, I knew she was screwed. It could have been "identify Cirie's three kids in this picture" and Amanda probably would have beaten her.
Mark: The fact there wasn't a final three was baffling. They were a vote away from a tie! Did nobody consider this? Was that CBS' dream scenario, having a fan and a fave in the F2, so there could be co-winners?
Mario: Well word on the street is that it was a last minute change caused by James' injury. That maybe it was supposed to be a F3 and it had to be changed at the last minute. I have no idea.
Mario: I dont think they intentionally planned to have an even numbered jury. Even Dr. Sean wouldn't be that dumb.
Mark: How would James' injury have affected it? Why wouldn't it have still been a F3?
Mario: I don't know. Maybe they had a certain number of episodes promised to CBS. Maybe they had a certain number of challenges they wanted to use. Something went goofy. No way it was planned that way.
Mark: I thought there'd be a final twist, like "Ok, we're going to have a jury challenge and the winner gets an extra vote."
Mario: Yeah. It was very jarring that they didn't even mention that at the reunion show. What would have happened if there had been a tie?
Mark: The universe explodes.
Mario: Either that or they award Rupert the win.
Mark: lol. He just bursts out of the audience, roaring and wearing that same damn tie-dye shirt.
Mario: You know he was waiting back there. They probably had him all cued up to go, just like the Hulk. He could burst through the wall.
Mark: While Burton is somewhere pointing at the TV and laughing.
Mario: Best. Ending. Ever.
Mark: I think a Rupert attack would've caused Joel to jump into action. He looked ready to kill someone at that reunion anyway.
Mario: Yeah what was up with that? Did Chet put his hand on his thigh or something?
Mark: It struck me last night. Joel looks like Chris Benoit, the wrestler that killed his family. I dunno if that makes the situation funnier or scarier.
Mario: Joel vs. Rupert would have been epic. I'd pay to see that.
Mark: I think we've already seen a Rupert/Joel fight. It was called Cloverfield.
Mario: The only advantage I think Rupert would have over Joel is that you can see whatever soup Rupert ate for lunch by looking in his beard. Other than that, they are evenly matched.
Mark: Soup-identification is always a key element in any fight.
Mark: So, Erik giving up immunity. Dumbest move in Survivor history?
Mario: Well here's the way I look at it. As Erik explained at the reunion, if he HADN'T given away his necklace, he wouldn't be Erik. That's just the way he is. It's sort of like Ian quitting. I mean, yeah it was dumb, but it fit his personal ethics and his character pretty well. I think it's hard to fault the guy for that. He's just being himself.
Mario: I feel bad calling either one of them "stupid."
Mark: Oh, actually, you're right, Ian quitting is still the dumbest move in Survivor history. I forgot about that.
Mark: Erik's speech was such garbage. I hate it when players make a dumb move or get totally outfoxed and then try to save face by saying, "Oh, well if you have to be a sneaky person to win this game, then my morals are just too important to me." IT'S SURVIVOR!
Mario: Yeah his speech was lame. But I still think he was being completely serious about why he gave up immunity. I just don't think he's really meant for this game.
Mark: Which was bizarre since he's supposed to be this big superfan and was making other strategic moves (trying to convince Chet to ditch Ozzy, for example) earlier on.
Mario: I love that Erik didn't follow up his "Survivor is for mean people!" speech by adding an obligatory apology to Parvati. I was expecting him to add something like "Not you specifically, Parvati, but in general you have to be a cold hearted ass to win Survivor." I love that he didn't add that. You could tell Parvati was a little offended by that.
Mark: That's why Parvati won, however. She said it herself, she went in there and owned up to her actions. James/Ozzy/Erik weren't voting for her anyway, so hell, why not. Amanda was all wishy-washy.
Mark: Did you like the fans vs. favorites concept? Did you think it was fair, or a good way to run a season?
Mario: It wasn't fair at all, but who cares? Unfairness makes for good drama. :)
Mario: All in all I loved the concept. It sort of broke the monotony of "Look, we're on a generic tropical island again."
Mark: Yeah, it was the same location as season 10, right? Like literally the same island?
Mario: Yep. You could still see the ink on the sand from Angie's back tattoos.
Mark: lol, wow, your knowledge of obscure pre-merge eliminations never fails to amaze me.
Mario: During one scene I even saw James standing there, still trying to tie his knot.
Mark: I'm not one of those people that makes a big deal of the location. They could have it in St. Louis for all I care. I mean, for example, they played up the wild animals in Gabon in the preview for next season, but that's not going to factor into it. It's not like one of the challenges is to wrestle a cheetah.
Mario: Yeah. It's funny how they always do that in the previews. They'll show all these fantastic amazing animals, and then of course you never see them during the season.
Mario: Hell, I'm still waiting for that fucking pink dolphin from the Amazon preview.
Mark: We saw the pink dolphin....his name was Chet.
Mario: So you're not at all jazzed to see Africa again?
Mark: Oh, it'll be fun to look at, especially in HD. But as far as it affects the actual game itself, the location isn't a big draw for me.
Mario: I think the location counts in terms of remembering the season five years down the road. But that's about it. The first Africa was unique because it didn't have any water.
Mark: Yeah, hopefully they've found a way to work around that now. The game has too many swimming challenges now to have a waterless location. I just remember the seasons by number.....Africa to me is just S3.
Mark: Ok, so you're the guy who wrote the funny 115. What moments from Micronesia would make your next list?
Mario: Well obviously Erik. Even if I have a hard time calling him dumb, and even if I thought that whole incident was more painful than "funny", I'd have to include it on the Funny 115. That's a no brainer.
Mario: No pun intended.
Mark: True...the comedy there was the fact that the whole jury and other players were openly laughing, and Erik was still clueless over what was going to happen. That was a classic.
Mark: I enjoyed:
* Yau Man plowing Fairplay into the canoe, that was pretty hilarious.
* Eliza's whole "it's a fucking stick" chat with Jason.
* Probst's ongoing rivalry with Jonathan Penner.
* The fact that James' dad looked exactly like James, but in an oddly fake way, sort of like Thomas J. Wilson in Back to the Future II as 'old Biff.'
Mario: Hahaha. I never thought of James' dad as black Biff.
Mario: And yeah the stick conversation would be my top Micronesia moment. That scene was classic. If I put that on the Funny 115, Eliza would knock Judd out of the top 10 and would become the only person in the updated Top Ten more than once.
Mark: Poor Eliza...she just gets no respect in this game. That's another sign of how good Cirie is. Everyone knew to knock out Yau, Eliza and (inevitably) Penner due to their brains, but Cirie managed to still fly under the radar.
Mario: Also, you might want to add the fact that Fairplay named his daughter after Rowdy Roddy Piper. I'm guessing that Savage Dalton didn't sound feminine enough.
Mark: Oh my god, the Piper name just dawned on me right now. Ah ha ha, that's hilarious. I was laughing enough that the poor little girl's legal last name is Fairplay, but man....that takes the cake.
Mario: Is her last name really Fairplay? Did I miss that?
Mark: Yeah, it was like Piper Ashley Fairplay or something. Did Jon legally change his name?
Mario: Holy shit. I guess he did. Man, that beats naming your kid after Janu.
Mario: I love the fact that Jon's wife had zero say over the naming of the kid. Wow, I guess he really IS a smooth talker.
Mark: Perhaps she got some say over the middle name.
Mario: Middle name? What's that? What sort of mother would only settle for middle name naming rights? That's like being an 1840's Native American and volunteering to take all your people and settle in Oklahoma. It would be the worst decision ever.
Mark: I dunno, i know a lot of people who go by their middle names. If she had come up with a great middle name, Piper could've just usurped it
Mark: And to be fair, 'Piper,' out of context, isn't a bad name. As you said, it's better than Savage or, say, Undertaker.
Mario: Jon's so convincing he probably could have named her Trishelle and even gotten away with it.
Mario: "Hey honey, how about if we name our love child after the drunk skank I was nailing during filming of The Scorned? Would that be okay? Trishelle Snuka Fairplay?"
Mark: "But Trishelle was the name of my dead grandma! It would honour her!"
Mark: Oh, speaking of Fairplay and talking people into things.....did I hear that right, that Mary and Ryan-O got engaged after three days?
Mario: Yeah Ryno moves fast apparently. Maybe the chick is part pelican.
Mark: Ironic that it was Mary, eliminated early but ended up married, right next to Mikey B, eliminated early and then found out his mom died. Suddenly Debb's problems don't look so bad.
Mario: It's funny. Even in an IM chat, you bring up Debb and the fun grinds to a halt. She's the ultimate buzzkill. She's like the real life Debbie Downer.
Mario: I half expect her to pop up right now and tell us a stat about feline AIDS.
Mario: In any case, I just realized we skipped over something from earlier. How does Amanda rank on the great players never to win scale? I ignored that question from earlier. What's your opinion on this?
Mark: Hard to say. I mean, Amanda's different from people like Cirie, Yau Man, Cesternino, who were eliminated before they could get to the end because they were seen as obvious F2/F3 threats. Amanda made it to the endgame twice and blew it both times.
Mark: It's easy to predict that Cirie/Yau/Rob would've won if they had gotten to the end, but Amanda actually did, and both times dropped the ball.
Mario: Yeah. That's a good point. It's easy to say "what if" with players like Rob C and Yau Man. But with Amanda you can't. The answer to her "what if?" is "she did."
Mark: I'd say Amanda is the best of the players who have ever not won the F2 or F3, though that does encompass some of the biggest stiffs in Survivor history.
Mario: I had a friend once who told me that the worst place you could ever finish in a Survivor season was second place. Because then you have no excuse. If you lose a jury vote, it's because you suck. If you finish third, you can still keep bragging rights.
Mark: That's true. Or if you get hurt.
Mark: I know Bruce is strutting around saying he had Exile Island in the bag.
Mario: Not only did Amanda do that (lose a jury vote), she actually did it twice. The first time she was shut out. And the second time, she probably should have won, but she choked. So in my opinion I think she sort of gets disqualified from the "best player not to win" category. Amanda blew it twice. No soup for you!
Mark: Amanda was shut out in China? I thought she got one vote from somebody.
Mario: Did she? Could be. I was under the assumption she had been shut out, but then again, I don't really memorize seasons anymore. If one of the legion of Amanda fans wants to write in and take offense, I'll admit I was wrong. Maybe she got one vote in China. I don't remember.
Mario: In any case, Amanda got hammered (by Courtney!) the first time, and she choked the second time. Hard to compare her to Cirie or Rob C. or Fairplay after that.
Mark: You could make that case. I mean, some people in the F2 or F3 really have no argument that they could've made to a jury that would've won them the game. People like Katie Gallagher, Dreamz, Cassandra from S14, Lillian Morris had to know they were screwed going into it. They could've been Barack Obama to the jury and still not won.
Mark: But with Amanda, yeah, she has no excuse.
Mario: By the way, there's a theory floating around over at Survivor Sucks that Amanda is the single worst endgame player of all time. How respond you to that?
Mark: She just didn't own it. The only person who's ever been able to make the "I apologize to you all for screwing you over though I didn't really screw you over" argument work was Chris, who was the Hamlet of lying.
Mario: Yeah but Amanda fell apart even before that. She just started breaking down at camp, just like she did at the end in China. Todd (Cirie) called her out at Tribal Council and she fell apart. It has happened twice now. The stress seems to crack her.
Mark: Which is funny, since before that she went out and won those individual immunities in pressure situations.
Mark: I wonder how Amanda and Ozzy will do on Amazing Race, since c'mon, you know that's going to happen.
Mario: As long as Parvati doesn't show up and steal 14 days of his time with Amanda, things should be okay.
Mark: Yeah, it looked like this All-Star season would pass without a dose of Lex-esque bitterness about broken friendships, but then Ozzy stepped up to the plate.
Mario: I didn't expect Ozzy to turn into a chick movie. That was weird. Wasn't this guy in porn movies once?
Mario: I half expected him to hold up a fucking boombox over his head. AMANNNNDA! I LOVE YOU!!!! YOU COMPLETE MEEEE!!!!!!
Mark: And, best of all, after that heartwarming display of affection, Amanda still lost. Ouch. Hell, at least Rob Mariano lost but got to share the million.
Mario: Haha. Yeah I know. I loved it that Rob and Amber still lost!
Mario: Ozzy cries and acts like a big vagina, and his girlfriend still gets crushed by Parvati. Talk about a double cockblocking. He doesn't even get to marry a millionaire now
Mark: Also great, Natalie's incoherent question about Parvati's bedroom habits.
Mario: "Hi Parvati. You're a slut on the island, but are you a whore in real life too? What's the correlation?" Best jury question ever.
Mark: Natalie ended up being awesome....she was totally a non-entity for the first 10 episodes and then suddenly she's talking about flossing with people's jugulars. Perfect.
Mario: Yeah where did Natalie come from all of a sudden?
Mark: After that episode, I seriously thought she was going to win. It was like how they basically ignored Vecepia in her season until there were about five shows left. There had to be a reason they were holding back.
Mario: What was the weirdest to me was how Natalie got zero confessionals for the first ten episodes, and then all of a sudden she got like 12 confessionals in one episode It was like her mom suddenly took over as editor.
Mark: Maybe she just snapped and (thus) became far more entertaining.
Mario: So which favorite do you think improved the most the second time around?
Mario: Other than the obvious answer, Parvati
Mark: Most improved? Boy, you know, I think it's just Parvati. And also Cirie, who elevated herself into the pantheon of all-time Survivor players. The rest of the favorites frankly didn't do much or weren't allowed to do much.
Mario: Yeah. Although some of them, like Yau Man, just never had a chance. He got Rob C'd.
Mario: I also thought Ami did okay. She was put in a different position this time, and she had to play a whole different type of game, but I thought she did okay for the hand she was dealt.
Mark: Ami didn't get a chance to get out of the blocks. I was disappointed, since I actually thought she had a shot at winning.
Mario: Eliza didn't do all that well this time but at least she proved she was a scrapper. The other players seemed to respect that.
Mark: Ozzy ended up faring poorly this time since he doesn't seem to be capable of the strategic portion of the game. Same with James.
Mario: Man, Ozzy couldn't even win the Sprint fan vote. What's a guy gotta do? In Micronesia, he failed at everything.
Mark: I couldn't believe Cirie didn't even make the final three of the fan vote. Come on!
Mario: Maybe Ozzy needs to show more grieving women his abs. That might make him more popular. It seems to work for James.
Mark: lol, oh Jeff Probst. He might as well borrow Amber's "I Heart Rob" shirt and put in James' name.
Mario: Haha. I love that Probst didn't even hug Fairplay's kid.
Mark: Well, walking into the audience would've taken up a good chunk of time in a live broadcast. But yeah, you're right, he didn't even try to hide his disdain for Fairplay. "Jon, you found someone who actually loves you? How is that possible!"
Mario: I thought they should have dumped slime on Fairplay's head like on You Can't Do That on Television. Just embarrass the guy on national TV.
Mario: Maybe have him do a slam dunk contest against James.
Mark: It kind of bugged me that Fairplay made the cast since he clearly didn't give any sort of effort. That's a spot that could've gone to Ian, or Rafe.
Mario: Yeah I agree. I am ticked about Fairplay too. And I've even more ticked that he doesn't seem to get any flak about it. He wormed his way into All-Stars and then quit on day one? What a pussy.
Mario: Oh wait. No. He didn't quit. He "protected a legacy." Whatever.
Mario: That's pussier than Ozzy PMS'ing over missing Amanda.
Mark: What a douchebag.
Mark: So, where does this season rank among the other 15?
Mario: I thought it was great, to be honest. But at the same time I don't think you can judge a Survivor season until you have watched it 3 or 4 times. Some seasons hold up over time, some don't. So we'll see.
Mario: Right now I'd put Micronesia in my top half. Maybe even my top five. It was easily my favorite season since Vanuatu. How about you?
Mark: Wow, high praise
Mark: I'd say it's definitely top five....I think my top five are Amazon, Exile Island, Pearl Islands, the original Borneo and now this one.
Mark: I'm mostly just relieved that it was a huge upgrade over the disaster that was the last All-Stars.
Mario: Yeah no kidding. I have literally been less of a Survivor fan since All-Stars. That's how much I hated it. After the Rob and Amber show, I have never quite regained my thirst for this show.
Mario: My top two seasons have always been Pearl Islands and Marquesas. After that it's all up in the air. My next three would probably be Amazon, Vanuatu, and Micronesia.
Mario: By the way, here's something you will find amusing. Over at Survivor Sucks, I just read that someone compared Amanda's horrible endgame to Ian's horrible endgame. They have started calling Amanda "Ian with ovaries."
Mario: Ha ha. I like that.
Mark: I'd give Amanda more credit than that. She didn't physically quit in China to give her position to, say, Courtney.
Mark: Hey, maybe that should be the theme of the next All-Stars....Geniuses vs. Idiots. The best strategizers against the ones who made the dumbest moves.
Mario: Oooh. That would be fun.
Mario: Hey, do you like the pretentious little subtitle that every season has to have now? I love that new addition to the Survivor legacy.
Mario: Coming next season-- Survivor Egypt: The Price of Fear.
Mark: It's funny. If you had told me five years ago that there would be a Survivor: Eden, I would've done a spit take, but here we are.
Mario: Please. Full title please. Earth's Last Eden Show some respect
Mark: No! I refuse! I'm holding out!
Mark: If you ever asked anyone what they were watching on Thursday and they said "Survivor: Earth's Last Eden" instead of just Survivor, that's grounds for ending a friendship.
Mario: Sort of like saying, "I can't go to the game with you because that's 3 hours of my life where you're taking me away from Amanda."
Mario: By the way, my hope is that the season subtitles get more and more pretentious as we go along.
Mario: Survivor Mumbai: The Lady or the Tiger?
Mark: It's too bad they didn't start it sooner. China could've been "Survivor: The Kiss of the Dragon"
Mario: Survivor Thermopylae: The Persian Army approaches. Beware.
Mark: The final 'beware' at the end is the clincher of that one.
Mark: It was either have a long subtitle, or just Survivor: Gabon. The ad campaign would have been a flashing screen that just says Gabon, Gabon, GABON!
Mark: "Daddy, what's Gabon?" "I dunno. Some place, I guess. Some place called Gabon."
Mario: "Wait, isn't that Earth's Last Eden?" "Oh yeah. That place."
Mark: I guess if Gabon is the last Eden, that ruins my theory about the island on Lost.
Mario: If Gabon is Eden, does that mean the women there are all made out of ribs?
Mark: The women on Survivor are already all ribs. When you cast nothing but 110-pound wannabe models and starve them for a month, it ain't pretty.
Mario: My favorite is when you get the Tina Wesson effect. The women shrink but their implants don't. Sooner or later everybody becomes Jessica Rabbit.
Mark: Not to mention the effect that dehydration has on botox. Yikes.
Mario: Okay we should probably wrap this up pretty soon. Let's make sure we have answered all the pressing finale questions. Want to go down our pre chat question list?
Mark: Yeah, I think we covered everything in some form or another. I'm good to go.
Mark: Now that you mentioned it, I might go and get some ribs for dinner.
Mario: I would get ribs for dinner, but that would be 45 minutes of my life that Tony Roma's took me away from Diana. Not sure I can risk that.
Mark: I'm 150 to 200 percent sure this will become the next running joke between you and Diana.
Mario: I don't know. We're heavy into 90210 jokes at the moment. Hard to beat that.
Mario: Here we go, let's just make sure we covered out big eight finale questions.
Mario: Question 1. How does Micronesia rank among the other Survivor seasons?
Mark: We both loved it, said it was top five. Or top fiveish
Mario: Yup. Started slow, ended strong. I loved it.
Mario: Question 2. How do you feel about Parvati as the winner?
Mark: I can appreciate her victory, but there's just been always something about her that I found obnoxious. There's also the fact that I really, really wanted Cirie to win.
Mario: I wasn't rooting for Parvati along the way, but I surprised myself by rooting for her at the end. Mainly because I just didn't want Amanda to win. For some reason, Amanda just bugs me. Always has. I was happy with the ending. But yeah, I do think Cirie would have been my favorite winner.
Mario: For all the Parvati haters though, just remember this. Sometimes in the most chaotic seasons, only the unlikely survive.
Mario: I love the seasons with the unlikely winners. Weird winners make for an interesting season. That's my new theory.
Mark: That's true....Vecepia, Jenna, Amber, Chris.
Mario: Take Amber off that list. All-Stars didn't count. :)
Mario: Question 3. Was "fans vs. favorites" a fair concept, given that the faves all had prior experience?
Mark: It ended up being not terribly fair, but that's mostly because they did a good job of casting level-headed favorites. If they had cast more wingnuts, it could've degenerated into pettiness in their camp pretty early, and the fans could've capitalized. It seemed like most of the cleverest fans (Mikey, Tracy) were knocked out early.
Mario: Yeah I agree. I don't personally think it was fair, but at the same time I don't really mind. It was basically like "haves vs have nots" from Fiji, only not as blatantly.
Mario: I liked fans vs. favorites because it created resentment. Artificial resentment leads to good drama.
Mark: The haves vs. have nots is still the most blatantly unfair because it affected actual gameplay. I mean, what did Burnett think was going to happen there? That season also wasn't helped by (aside from Yau, Earl and a couple others) the worst cast ever.
Mario: It also sucked that Rocky wasn't interesting at all. When your big star villain is boring, can't do much about it.
Mark: I dunno, Alex ended up being a pretty great villain, and he had that classic moment of getting his ass kicked. Dreamz was a good villain too, if somewhat unwittingly.
Mario: Yeah. I do think Fiji is underrated, but not that much
Mario: If nothing else, we got Yau vs Dreamz. And you have to admit that was about as compelling as just about any Survivor subplot ever.
Mark: That's true. Okay, you've swayed me, China had the worst cast ever. Yau, Dreamz, Earl, Michelle, Alex... that's enough to win me over.
Mario: Careful. You're gonna anger the legion of China zealots. Watch out. Todd Nation might come after you.
Mark: Todd might be the worst winner ever, but that's probably a separate argument for another time.
Mario: Haha. China fans, send all hate mail to Mark's MySpace page.
Mark: I could use the page views!
Mario: Anyway... Question 4. Of the returning favorites, who played the most improved game?
Mark: Parvati, no doubt. And Cirie, since she arguably played even better here than she did in her first season.
Mario: Yeah its hard to say anyone other than those two.
Mario: But I also have to give props to Ami. No, she didnt get far, but she was put in an entirely different situation this time around and she almost pulled a comeback out of her butt. So if nothing else, she proved to be a scrapper. Just like Eliza. Those Vanuatu girls are feisty.
Mark: That's true. Ami's plan would've worked if Chet hadn't been such a loser.
Mario: Did you ever notice that Chet looks almost exactly like Rafe? He could be Rafe's dad. They both have the exact same awkward gay redhead gene.
Mark: Oh man, don't disrespect Rafe like that. He's one of the all-timers. That's like comparing the Clippers to the Lakers.
Mario: Which one of those is Rafe again? I don't remember the Lakers releasing the Celtics from their promise not to beat them in the 84 finals.
Mario: But yes. Despite my personal distaste for Rafe, he was a hell of a player.
Mario: Kind of surprising coming from Chet's son
Mark: Hmm, okay, one of the greats in spite of a big endgame mistake.
Mark: Question 5. Where do Cirie and Amanda rank on the list of best Survivors to never actually win?
Mario: Cirie, at the top. Amanda, not even close.
Mark: 'Not even close' is harsh since she did make the finals twice, but she's definitely a few rungs below the likes of Cirie.
Mario: I'm sorry to have to repeatedly come down on Amanda, since I have a bunch of friends who are from Montana and go to her high school and are all big fans of her and all. But I can't help it. She didn't deserve to win in China, and she didn't deserve to win in Micronesia. When you lose a jury vote, it's for a reason. It's because the player you were up against was better than you.
Mark: See, that's where we differ, I think Amanda deserved to win in China but choked. Here she deserved to win probably no more than Parvati but again, choked.
Mark: And geez, does this make Amanda the biggest celebrity in Montana? What else does that state have going for it?
Mario: The Unabomber.
Mario: Amanda is still a distant number 2.
Mark: Poor Montana. The most they have going for them is Joe Montana and Hannah Montana, and neither of them are actually from the state.
Mark: Oh, and Montana Max from Tiny Toons.
Mario: My friend Paul Heiko, host of The Montana Mole, is probably the third biggest celebrity in the state. That's how empty it is there.
Mark: Stay tuned for our next co-chat, where Mario and I discuss the greatest celebrities from various lower-tier U.S. states.
Mark: Question 6. Should Eliza be invited to all future Survivor seasons just so she can provide reaction shots from the jury box?
Mario: I know what your answer will be. Are you physically wearing your "I heart Eliza" t-shirt? Or are you just sitting there naked, staring at her official website?
Mario: Wait. Don't answer that.
Mark: She has an official website?! *makes AIM door slam sound*
Mario: I'll send you an extra jar of Vaseline.
Mario: I don't know Eliza personally, but she and I have exchanged a few emails over the years, and she was even nice enough to write a testimonial for the Funny 115. So I say this with the utmost respect. Even I got a little annoyed by some of her overdramatic reaction shots this season. It was just too much. I mean, she's a nice person and all, and I'm a big fan of hers, but enough. The jury is supposed to just sit there. They aren't supposed to be a part of the proceedings. As Sandra Diaz-Twine would say, "It's not about you all the time."
Mario: Sorry Eliza :-(
Mark: I don't like Eliza 'in that way' to quote myself in fourth grade. I just could watch her react to bizarre things all day. She's like a living DVD commentary.
Mario: Yeah she is. I would love to watch Eliza play poker. She would have the worst poker face ever.
Mario: She would be like Bill and Ted. "Dude, I got three aces!" *cue open mouthed Chad-esque reaction shot*
Mark: Cirie would win a Survivor poker tournament in about 10 hands. Jason: I win with a flush! Eliza: It's a fucking two spades and three clubs! Jason: *doesn't say anything*
Mark: Actually, wait, I guess Jean-Robert would probably win the Survivor poker tournament. Bad example.
Mario: I wonder what Eliza's orgasm face looks like. At the height of excitement, does her face actually melt like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?
Mark: Boy, if Eliza actually is reading this, she sure isn't now.
Mario: Yes she is. She likes the attention. Didn't you watch Micronesia?
Mario: Seriously, hi Eliza. Please post comments. :)
Mario: Moving on.... Question 7. Erik giving up immunity. Dumb move, or the dumbest move?
Mark: Not as dumb as Ian quitting at final three rather than lose the friendship of a man he has known for a month. So, second dumbest move ever.
Mario: I have a hard time calling it "dumb", since I'm not sure a guy like Erik would ever NOT make that move, but I would have to say dumbest. He just wasn't ready for these females. They bitchspanked the poor kid. He didn't have a chance.
Mark: Natalie's line of "I feel dumb just listening to this idea" was another great moment.
Mario: In Ian's defense, Tom is pretty fatherly. I actually sent him a father's day card last year. The guy is hypnotic.
Mario: Also, in terms of dumb Micronesia moves, don't overlook Jason's decision not to play the idol. That choice was right there behind Erik's.
Mark: That's true, that's also right up there. But that at least is justifiable since when you have that HII, you only want to use it when you absolutely know you're going. Granted, Jason should've seen that the time was now, but still.
Mario: And again, I think we're sort of undervaluing what James did last year too. Because remember, he had TWO immunity idols. So choose your favorite dumb moment. Any one of them works for me. Your mileage may vary.
Mario: Personally I think the dumbest movie was letting your husband name your precious little daughter after Rowdy Roddy Piper. But that's just me.
Mark: Hopefully Piper Perabo doesn't read this chat and realize that her name has a wrestling origin.
Mark: And finishing up. Question 8. Ok, Mr. Funny 115, what were the funniest moments of Micronesia?
Mario: Oh, where to begin...
Mark: Here is my list:
* Eliza reacting to the fake idol, that was total gold.
* Natalie's increasingly insane confessionals.
* Yau Man slamming Fairplay into the canoe.
* Erik's giddiness in general
* Erik giving away the idol
* The 'hold the water bucket' challenge when everyone was promising not to vote out Jason and crossing their fingers like it was grade school.
Mark: That last one was actually arguably my favorite.
Mario: Yeah those were all good. I loved Erik popping a boner over seeing Jeff Probst.
Mario: There was one funny moment this season that Diana caught that a lot of other people probably didn't catch.
Mario: About midway through the season, Erik was talking to some people and he got some bad news. And rather than say something most guys would say if they were upset, like "Shit!" or "Fuck!", he just squeaked out this tiny little womanly "... damn." It was the funniest thing. Here was this strapping young athlete, and when he gets mad he just lets out this tiny little "am I okay to be angry?" squeak.
Mario: All season long, every time Erik got some bad news (which was often), Diana would just imitate him and squeak "damn!" It was funny. I don't remember what episode he said it in, but it was right in the middle.
Mark: Oh Erik. If only they had had an ice cream scooping challenge.
Mario: Oh yeah! And then of course in Erik's final words, he cracked us up when his first two words were "damn! damn!" Poor Erik. He's now a Survivor legend.
Mario: By the way, how's this for a special addition to the Funny 115. How about some lady coming up to James after a funeral and asking to see his abs?
Mario: "Yeah, James, my mom just died and we just cremated her and all. But you know, in real life, she loved your abs. Would you mind taking off your shirt in honor of a dead woman?"
Mario: That's like a Will Forte SNL sketch.
Mark: I think that was a deleted verse from Eleanor Rigby.
Mario: "Hi James. You don't know me, but my mom was a huge fan of yours. She thought you were so sexy. Anyway, would you mind walking over to her grave and having sex with me on top of it? Would you be so sweet? She would really love that."
Mario: "You can just bend me over and do me while staring at her headstone. It would be what she wanted. There was nothing she loved more than hardcore interracial necrophilia porn."
Mario: "Yeah, Mom was into the freaky stuff."
Mark: It's just too bad that James "They bit the apple" Clement didn't even get to play in the Eden season. He would've fit right in.
Mario: I didn't even think of the James-Eden connection. Curse you, Canadian!
Mark: That's seven years of Sunday school talking!
Mark: It's funny to think of these people going back to work. I mean, obviously they do unless they become professional reality stars, but it's funny to think of people constantly coming up to them. Like Ozzy, scrubbing toilets (unless that was a dig on Denise.)
Mario: Oh you know it was. Ozzy doesn't scrub toilets. That would take time away from Amanda.
Mario: I'm just glad Parvati can get back to her taxing job of professional charity fundraiser.
Mark: Well it's better than that 'boxer' last time. At least now she has enough cash to retire from the ring and spare herself from getting a detatched retina.
Mario: Parvati going back to "fundraising" is like Big Tom getting back to his job of Professional-Shower-Upper-At-Survivor-Events.
Mark: You know what you just reminded me? In Micronesia, both Amanda and Cirie surpassed Big Tom for the 'best overall finishes' record. Thank god.
Mario: You know what Tom will say when he hears that
Mark: Something that'll need to be subtitled?
Mario: Yeah. And something that will involve the word "titties" at some point, I'm sure.
Mark: Tom: "I don't know how I lived the first 50 years of my life without knowing that stat."
Mario: I bet no one ever asks to see Tom's abs.
Mark: Why would they ask? He's always shirtless, so people don't have to ask.
Mario: That's right. His abs are just thrown right out there. Literally.