Y’know, I thought I was done with this blogging business. I must have said all I want and need to say about Survivor by now, right? Plus, I get to scratch my Survivor itch via the Survival Challenge (née the DWSC), where I get to do a bit of everything (casting, game designing, field producing).
And yet, here I am again, hammering away at the keyboard, spouting highly dubious opinions about Survivor (none other than MvGX winner Adam Klein, who played a legitimately great game in last year’s DWSC, assured me that I’m an inaccurate jackass roughly 93% of the time). Why, then, return to bloviating for strategy-seeking blog readers? I guess it comes down to this: There’s only so much Survivor I can watch before the blowhard in me insists on being taken out for a spin (OH MY GOD ALL THOSE IDOLS FOR BEN AND THE FINAL 4 FIRE TWIST I MEAN WHAAAAAA). And really, I suppose it’s only fitting that the Dozen has been exhumed for a season that will be guided by the ghosts of Survivor seasons past.
Okay, enough about me. You’re here for Survivor, and so am I. And there’s a lot to talk about heading into Ghost Island, so much that I’m going to split my preseason thoughts into two columns: this one, which is about the various twists and tensions that are going to shape the season, and then, later (date TBD), a wildly speculative player ranking/potential boot order.
Before we jump in though, a request: Imagine that you’re a Survivor producer, and you’ve got a show to piece together. What you’re looking to create—a compelling, unpredictable game which can then be shaped into a dramatically satisfying 14-episode season—requires you to shape the game before it begins, and then impose a fictional reality on the action in the aftermath of over 50,000 minutes of gameplay (39 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes = a gross oversimplification, given that there are 20 players and multiple cameras, but you get my point). The complexity of this task virtually requires you to take shortcuts: you need season-long themes… exploitable stories… and the potential for conflict and connection.
This season has all of that… and more. Indeed, I suspect that when we look back at this season, we’re going to see production’s fingerprints all over the place. (This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, by the way; drama emerges from design, and narrative is necessary for a complex game to become a coherent story. As long as production lets the game unfold in an authentic way, and the edit reflects the essential truths of what happened out there, then they’ve done an ethical job.) Given the goals of production, then, we’re left with but one crucial question: Baker, you cynical bastard, how might the producers have shaped Survivor: Ghost Island?
I’m so glad you asked.
1) One significant season-long theme: Players in the middle of major life changes.
If you watch any and all Probst-based preview material, you cannot avoid statements like “this player is trying to find himself out here” and “she’s going through a lot in her life.” And if you watch the ET Canada player interviews—and you really should, if you want to get a strong sense of who these players are (Erin Cebula is good at what she does)—you’ll hear the castaways share their production-approved story “hooks.” While these interviews are filmed before the game began, they’re likely edited afterwards, with an eye towards promoting the season and story the producers—and the players—have decided that Ghost Island will be. To be sure, they went into the season planning on this being a key theme -- it was undoubtedly scrawled on a whiteboard somewhere in the early days of planning -- but there were certainly others, ones we’re not hearing about now, because they withered on the vine while “transformative journey” flourished in Fiji.
Thirty-six seasons in, Probst is a master of insinuating all while revealing nothing; his talking points shape our expectations, but he steadfastly (and, most of the time, artfully) refuses to expose the endgame. Still, when he keeps beating the same drum—and we hear the theme echoed by other outlets—we have to pay attention, and assume that this is a (perhaps the) defining theme of the game. It feels inevitable that our journey player will be someone who is at an inflection point in his or her life… key confessionals will revolve around the heartwarming belief that Survivor is helping players find direction and purpose… and the endgame will be overflowing with players who embody this theme (odds are high, too, that the winner’s story is defined by the transformative power of the game).
And if there’s anyone out there who keeps telling us, “I’m in a good place in my life, I’m happy, I’m just here to play a game,” we can be pretty sure that player ain’t winning.
2) For the producers, this season’s youth and beauty is a feature, not a bug.
The obvious observation: The Ghost Island cast is young and attractive (although I’m forced to accept the opinions of others on the latter point; I find these men and women to be distinctive, but not outright beautiful, but that’s how I always feel about people, real or fictional, when they’re on my TV).
Going deeper, I can think of a few reasons why they went this way with the cast:
** The survival element of the show is going to be amped up this season, and it’s probably wise to return to old school suffering with a cast full of kids.
** As much as Survivor is always, in the end, about the players, production really wants this season to be remembered for Ghost Island… what happened there, who went there, what they brought back, and how the Survivor relics impacted the game. Having a demographically homogeneous group of players helps keep the focus on the lore and legends of Ghost Island. While the endgamers will still become contributors to the mythos of Survivor, much of this season will be more about the past than the present.
** Heading into the season, everyone knew that the episodes were going to be packed both with the usual (reward challenges… immunity challenges… camp life check-ins to develop individual/tribal/alliance storylines… establishing potential boots… Tribal Council) and then overstuffed with this season’s theme park wild card: visits to Ghost Island (and the relic/player flashbacks that will undoubtedly go along with them). Having a lot of players of similar ages is temptingly helpful, because it allows for story chunking: The young players are bonding! The older players are struggling to fit in! And the Survivor staple: The hot people are attracted to other hot people! Narrative complexity will be saved for after the merge; in the early episodes, there will be a lot of story skimming, and having a lot of young players will help with that.
3) Speaking of hot people finding one another attractive…
… this season should have been sponsored by eHarmony or Match.com. Actually, scratch that, given the age of the players, and the single/mingle mentality on display in the ET interviews (which is another clue that this was a talking point both before and after the season played out), the applicable app would be Tinder.
Fire -- particularly that which is located in the loins -- is life.
My point? Players are going to be pairing up this season. Honestly, it shouldn’t happen -- it’s almost always bad gameplay -- but it does, time and time again. And the truth is, I understand it: Having played in a four-day game, and watched three other seasons play out first hand, the connections players make with one another run deep. It makes sense: When you’re tired and hungry and drowning in lies, finding someone you trust is a rare and wondrous thing. Then, to have that trust tested again and again and seeing it survive and to know that your alliance, your connection, is real and true… that sort of loyalty brings with it profound gratitude and endless affection.
I suppose it’s apropos that I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day, because the truth is this: to play well, you fall in love out there. Not everyone is looking to hook up, of course -- although many do (there’s a reason it’s nicknamed Pounderosa) -- but every alliance, every relationship, is based on attraction. And this season -- with a lot of beautiful 20-somethings running around on beaches in bathing suits -- has the potential for quite a lot of sexual tension (which, I would argue, is one of the things the producers were hoping for).
4) Let’s spend five minutes and create a ridiculous soap opera, shall we?
On Malolo, Jenna and Libby will be intrigued by Michael (and who wouldn’t be)... but Libby might be eying Chris over on Naviti (a logic leap I make for one superficial reason: she’s religious, and he wears a gold cross; that said, I just listened to Josh Wigler’s interview with Libby, and she formed a pretty negative pre-game impression of Chris, so what the hell do I know)... Jenna, meanwhile, will end up with SOMEONE, because that just feels like why she was put out there, she’s DTF (get your mind out of the gutter—that’s Down To Forge an Alliance), and yet, if it isn’t Michael, there really aren’t a lot of other options… Jacob? No—he’ll totally get friend-zoned. James? I don’t care what his bio says, he’s in his 50’s. Sebastian or Bradley (after a swap)? I can’t see it. But it’s happening with one of these people. Heck, maybe she ends up with Chris after Stephanie G shuts him down.
Anyway, I digress. Over on Naviti, Chelsea could gravitate to Michael after a swap (but for some reason—probably all those PR photos where Chelsea looks intense—I don’t see her seeking out a showmance). Morgan might try to flirt with Chris, but I have a feeling that Morgan might be a bit too much for a lot of these guys. There’s one relationship, though, that seems like a mortal lock: Kellyn and Bradley. She’s out there in an emotionally vulnerable place (the end of a six-month marriage), and will be seeking a sense of safety. The more I think about it, the more I feel that it would be a great match… they complement each other well: Kellyn wants someone with whom to strategize, and Bradley needs someone to help him with the human part of the game (empathy is Kellyn’s superpower!). They’re both attractive but not TOO attractive (we tend to be drawn to those who live in the same beauty neighborhood as we do)... I mean, given all of the social and psychological factors that suggest they’re an ideal Survivor alliance, if they DON’T end up working and playing together, producers will be punching mollusks and bemoaning the massive missed opportunity. They’re SUPPOSED to find each other; let’s hope they do.
5) Do not underestimate Deprivation Destruction.
Last season, production decided that they needed to fix something that they felt was broken (that Probstian favorites went home at Final 4). This season, they’re addressing another perceived problem (that not enough value is placed on providers). Setting aside the debate around these decisions—which I lovingly refer to as the Ozzy Amendments—we need to heed the law of unintended consequences. Among the many ripple effects of halving the rice and depending on fishing:
** A guy like Sebastian is going to skate through to the merge based on collective hunger alone (and, among producers, there was much rejoicing).
** Big guys -- Michael, Chris, James, and Brendan -- are going to HURT. The show muscle kids (Michael and Chris) will be worse off (Jay Byars once told me that packing on muscle right before going on the show was an incredibly stupid thing to do; he did it for his modeling career, but going from pounding calories to scrounging for them was brutal on both body and mind). Given his infinitesimal body fat percentage, Brendan is clearly used to food restriction, so while his muscles will scream, he’s had decades to get used to it. As for James, who knows how an android processes hunger pangs? Anyway, my point is this: some of these guys are going to get irritable, and their more negative personality traits will come to the fore. (Who wants to bet that Chris—who has been identified as a pre-game Ponderosa buffet line-cutter—is going to amp up the annoying when his body starts deconstructing itself?)
** The same goes for the larger/athletic/muscular women: At least one of Stephanie G, Desiree, Jenna, and Laurel is going to get hangry and say something she regrets (maybe a Desiree-Chris starvation confrontation)... and another one is going to shut down, physically and psychologically (my money’s on Laurel).
** Oddly enough, guys who have been working to lose weight—Jacob and Domenick come to mind—will be in a better place than one would expect on the food front. Still, they’re going to be in pain; those with big bodies have minds that bellow for burgers. (I know of what I speak.)
** The best equipped to endure? Players built like Libby, Wendell, Chelsea, Bradley, Kellyn, Donathan, Stephanie J, and Morgan. Slim and fit is, in many ways, the island ideal.
Bottom line: Some games are going to be sunk less by strategy than by suffering.
6) Some really interesting players are going to be gone pre-merge…
… largely because most of these people are really interesting. Not a lot of cannon fodder, that’s for sure. After listening to podcasts and watching videos, I’m even warming up to players that I didn’t respond to initially.
Still, I’m anticipating the boots to stem from predictable sources:
** The aforementioned suffering: Stephanie G, Desiree, Laurel.
** Lack of empathy (which might be the single most important Survivor skill of them all): James and Angela seem likely to fall into this category—they don’t project a lot of warmth.
** A Survivor staple: Challenge liabilities! Jacob and Donathan appear to be the only obvious ones (which happens when almost everyone is in their 20’s). One of these two will probably make it to the merge, though, based on social game alone; my money’s on Donathan, because he won’t be seen as a serious threat to win the game, given his “just really happy to be here” vibe.
** Screwed by a swap: Impossible to predict these… but I’m going to take a wild guess and throw Morgan into this category (because she’s got an edge to her—honed, perhaps, from years of over-emoting in front of Sea World audiences—that might get grating a week or two into the game).
And now watch that these players become the Final 7.
7) The post-merge game is going to be a BLOODBATH.
Setting aside the possibility of a Pagonging (which is one of the dangers of the two-tribe format), there will be heads to put on chopping blocks everywhere you look:
** Need to split up the power couples… the strong guys like Chris and Michael will be tempting targets, while ladies like Libby, Chelsea, and Jenna get a pass (even though in modern Survivor it feels like post-merge challenges more often favor players with slight builds and good balance).
** You’ve got to get rid of the players who seem like obvious winners if they get to the end… which means Brendan has gotta go (if he even got here), as does Sebastian (if he’s been an Ozzy-like provider and challenge beast throughout the game).
** You also can’t let obvious strategists like Bradley control the game, so he’ll have a bull’s-eye on his back.
** And then there’s going to be a lot of nice people left… and, while nice people can be useful pawns, they can also get a lot of votes at the end. Simply put, you just can’t let someone like Kellyn sit in front of the jury. She’s just too damn charming.
Let me look that over… who are the only players I haven’t mentioned? Looks like Domenick, Stephanie J., and Wendell. Hmmmmmm. Interesting. Are they my Final 3? Nope! But their fates in the game are intriguing to iterate and imagine. (Sadly, you’re going to have to wait for my boot list column to find out how I think these three are going to do.)
I will say this, though: What’s going to matter in the post-merge game is controlling the conversation, and defining what types of players should be targeted, and why. Indeed, the winner of Ghost Island will probably be someone who helped shaped the perception of the other players as to who should go home. And, if I’m right about the categories above, and all of those groups get gutted, our winner won’t be part of a power couple… won’t be a Probst-approved alpha beast… and won’t necessarily be nice. That makes the short list even shorter.
8) Survival of the SuperFan
In the past, being a newbie superfan who obsesses about Survivor strategy has proven to hurt more than help… there are enough of them on this season, though, that they not only have a critical mass, but they might actually get some traction.
That said, some of these superfans are going to target one another because they see the danger inherent in allowing a strategist to assemble a loyal alliance (see David vs. Zeke)... so maybe they’ll cripple and/or eliminate one another, allowing aggressive but less overtly dangerous players to navigate their way to the endgame. Will be worth tracking if SuperFandom ends up being more of a help or a hindrance in a season full of informed players.
By the by, before we fall over ourselves praising this cast for being a bunch of SuperFan Strategists, let’s be honest: Many of these players were recruited and then did their homework. They were given a few more DVDs this time—or, more likely, just given a CBS All Access account and told which seasons to binge). In their interviews, many of these castaways reference Game Changers and Heroes vs. Villains, neither of which is terribly useful, given that returnees and newbies are similar only in that both groups are evolved primates being filmed in a tropical habitat.
When you hear, “I’m a recent fan” or “I went away from it for a while, but I caught up” or “This opportunity just fell into my lap”—all of which pop up all over the place in the ET Canada interviews—the translation is pretty straight-forward: “Once I knew I was going to be on the show, I watched as much as I could stomach, and now I’m an expert and I’m going to win.” Now, I’m the last person to say that if you don’t know the game, you’re doomed—Earl Cole remains one of my favorite players of all time, and he’s living proof that if you know people you can win Survivor—but being acutely aware of what all of the possibilities are, and how others have handled the trials and tribulations ahead, is a MASSIVE advantage, particularly in a season steeped in lore like this one. Bottom line: There’s going to be some boneheaded moves this season which are directly linked to insufficient understanding and awareness, because, as we hear so often, a little learning is a dangerous thing.
On a related note, one other thing that jumped out at me when watching and reading the pre-game press: Some members of this cast refer to Survivor as a show, while others call it a game. The “show” folks are in trouble; if you’re out there for the ancillary benefits of being on TV, the other players—those who appreciate that Survivor is a game that never stops and never sleeps—tend to use and abuse you. The most adept of these castaways, however, understand that Survivor is both a show and a game. Fortune, as we see time and time again, has a way of smiling on those who provide both entertainment and gameplay.
9) Out of the gate, Malolo (the orange tribe) is in a lot of trouble.
While Malolo has some top-end challenge beasts, their bottom end is significantly weaker than Naviti’s. While it’s true that there are more spots to hide unathletic players in an immunity challenge designed for tribes of ten (remember Caramoan Cochran contributing to the cause by helping to open a set of locks?), at some point, someone on Malolo is going to stumble, and Naviti is going to capitalize. It won’t matter TOO much in the long run—there’s going to be a pretty swift swap, if precedence holds—but at least one Malolo is going home early because of the (mildly) lopsided tribes.
10) The shape of the swap will have a significant impact on the game.
It’ll be interesting to see what production decides to do with two tribes of ten. Will they swap into three tribes (as they did with newbies in MvGX and returnees in both Game Changers and Cambodia)? Or stick with two tribes (BvW, Caramoan, Nicaragua)? It’s a choice with major game implications: In the three tribe format, challenge prowess moves to the fore (protecting athletic players of both genders); two tribes, and castaways better suited to strategy than swimming are more apt to avoid the snuffer.
My guess? When you cast a ton of players who are single and ready to mingle, you kinda sorta need to give them an opportunity to mingle, so I think they’ll go for two tribes over three. Plus, the characters this season are far more intriguing than the muscle (an opinion I suspect that the Survivor producers share), so why not give them a slightly better chance at making the merge?
11) Production is HEAVILY invested in the theme of the season…
… which means there are going to be a lot of production shenanigans this season. The ones that immediately come to mind:
** They’re going to want an articulate and engaging SuperFan to go to Ghost Island first so that he/she can geek out, talk about everything that they see, and speculate about what else might be out there. If I had to guess, production would love it if the first visitor to GI was Kellyn/Domenick (if someone from Naviti goes) or Jacob/Laurel (if Malolo loses the first challenge). They’d all be perfect for the early GI confessionals.
** Side note: Writing “GI” over and over this season is going to drive me nuts while also making me giggle like an adolescent. I grew up in a medical household—dad was a doctor, mom was a nurse—so for me, GI means “gastro-intestinal.” (“You using the whole fist there, doc?”) I’m going to do my best to avoid scatalogical jokes in the weeks ahead, but no promises (particularly when additional areas of GI are opened up and we can start talking about upper and lower GI).
** Can’t help but think that the first person to go to GI is screwed: Not only are you unable to make pivotal social connections in the early days of the game (think Val in San Juan del Sur), but everyone is going to be petrified about what you brought back with you. I’ll even go so far as to say that it would take a minor miracle for the first resident of GI to make it to the merge.
** Related note: The “second worst player” on the tribe that loses the first immunity challenge is screwed as well. With the inhabitant of GI safe from the vote, someone who would have had another three days to get established will be targeted at Tribal. Sure, that player could and should have done more to be ensconced in an alliance by Day 3, but it’s still a brutal way to go.
** Wouldn’t it be fun if the “relic” that the player on GI was empowered to play/bestow was the Ryan/Chrissy “can be used only at the first Tribal” expiring idol? Sadly, it’s not on the list of 82 items that were announced as GI artifacts. But one can hope (they can’t really mention it without giving away what the first relic will be). And doesn’t that feel like something the producers would do? To give the resident of GI an opportunity to have an impact on the first Tribal, even though she/he isn’t there?
** The wagering aspect of GI should be interesting: Given the limited rice the show is supplying, I’d guess that players will be able to provide for their tribes or have a chance to get their hands on an idol or advantage. No matter how this plays out, though, anyone who goes to GI is going to come back to a tribe that does not trust whatever tale they tell. Return with rice? It doesn’t seem like a lot, so you probably got an advantage, too. You’re empty handed? You have an idol. It will be fascinating to see how everyone plays it: when you get back from GI, you can embrace the doubts and convince others that you’re locked and loaded… you can turn every player who goes to GI into a massive target… the people who have gone to GI can compare notes and work together… so many possibilities! Fun stuff.
** Speaking of fun stuff, I really hope that Ghost Island ends up being what I imagine it to be: A place where more and more areas open up as we get deeper into the game… where the relics become ever more powerful… where you can see the places other players have gone (and maybe get hints about what they might have gotten)... where you can choose between different paths (leaving another area for a later player to explore—and you might have some idea of what was down that other path)... and we eventually reach the summit of Ghost Mountain (which might allow for a Rite of Passage on Ghost Island, ending with the F4 fire-making challenge up on the highest peak). Could be really, really cool, if they do it right.
** That said, there are going to be a RIDICULOUS number of idols and advantages this season. No way around it. Simply have to accept it (even if some good players are going to be victimized by it).
** You have to wonder if Erik necklace—which is guaranteed to be out there—HAS to be given to another player at Tribal. Would be an interesting twist. (It’s the sort of thing we do at Survival Challenge year in and year out.)
** With the Scot/Jason/Tai Wonder Twins idol out on Ghost Island, someone is getting a SuperIdol this season. I wonder if half will be on GI, and the other half is back at camp? Would be an interesting moment to see those two players find one another after the GI exile returns to the tribe.
** Will there be a double-fake-out? For example: The “It’s just a f****** stick” is going to be available. The immediate thought is that this time, the stick is actually an idol. But everyone would expect that, right? So—surprise!—it’s actually still fake.
** Will there be a challenge on Ghost Island where a castaway is playing to make an idol real (and not fake)? That could be fun. (By the way, it must have been awesome brainstorming ideas about what to do with the relics and Ghost Island in general. What a cool gig that must be! I know, I know—I don’t want there to be too many idols and advantages this season, either—but man, coming up with the possibilities had to have reinvigorated the creative development process.)
12) A Section for Cynics
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I tend to question Survivor/ SEG/ Probst. Having worked in the entertainment industry, I understand the pressures on production (an empathy that’s even stronger now that I help create a five-day Survivor-lite experience). Still, I know that reading some of my more extreme takes can be exhausting.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to put my theories and questions and conspiracy theories behind a Trumpian wall. Want to hear my jaded suspicions? Venture into the “Section for Cynics.” Want to cling to your “Survivor is completely immune to the Grodneresque tendencies of every other reality show known to man” optimism? Great, avoid the SfC whenever it appears in one of my columns. Everyone wins!
With that out of the way… here’s where my mind goes when the pessimist in me takes over:
** Are we really going to have the Malcolm Freberg “Do the Final 4 Challenge Twice” AND the fire-making “twist” in play this season? Probably. How better to save a player like Brendan, if he’s still around?
** At least one player is going to be set up to fail with one of the idols/advantages. Production is pushing “Can they reverse the curse?” pretty hard in the pre-season; the implied promise is that the answer is both yes and no. The unvarnished truth is this: They want some of the relics to be used well, but not ALL of them. Which means that at least once, someone is going down in flames because of one of these relics… because the producers (and viewers) want it to happen.
** At least once this season, a Probstian man crush will get something super sweet on Ghost Island… while a purple player will be marooned on GI only to find out that either the challenge is ill-suited to her/his skill set, or that the idol/advantage they’re playing for is back at camp.
** In a recent column (in which he correctly gives Survivor grief for the Final 4 fire-making twist because it favors a certain type of player, one that Probst is particularly fond of), Dalton Ross is adamant that everything on Survivor is on the level. His proof: That there are lawyers on location to make sure that everything is fair (for example, they make sure that challenge rules are explained to each tribe the same way). To which I ask: Are the location of idols pre-determined? Is the timing of when those idols are put into the game locked down before the season starts? Can they choose whether or not to re-insert a played idol? Are all of these things committed to paper? Are the lawyers on hand to make sure that everything is done just as planned?
** And let’s add a Ghost Island twist to that line of questioning: Are the areas of GI going to be opened up in a set order? Are the available relics locked in? Or is there some flexibility—some gray area for production judgment calls—as the game unfolds?
** For the record, I’m genuinely curious to know the truth—not just because I would prefer the game be as fair as possible, but also because I help oversee the idols and advantages for the Survival Challenge (and if you’re curious, we commit to a plan before the game starts; fairness reins supreme).
13) I don’t have anywhere else to put the rest of this stuff…
** According to their pre-game interviews, almost all of these players believe they have it within themselves to be cutthroat, that they’ll be able to make a big move when the game calls for it. But there’s a big difference between saying it and doing it. Watch the videos and look for the non-verbals: players shift in their seats, touch their faces or their hair, or look away from the interviewer. They’re clearly uncertain if they’re speaking the truth; in some ways, they’re trying to talk themselves into it. The truth is, most of them won’t be able to do it. There are a few, though, that I believe will. And those are the ones I find intriguing.
** I can’t wait to see Probst, at the start of the opening reward challenge, tell the tribes, “Pick a leader.” With so many knowledgeable players in the mix, how many of these people are going to nominate someone else—anyone else!—so long as it isn’t them? “It should be Stephanie J because the loud pants shows conviction!” And yet, Brendan might step up because everyone will expect him to step up so if he doesn’t step up he’ll get a lot of grief for not stepping up and then people will find his lack of up-stepping to be sort of suspicious like he’s pretending to be a non-up-stepper when he is clearly a stepper upper. And over on Naviti, Chris is egotistical enough—with what appears to be limited game awareness—that he might accept the job eagerly, much to Domenick’s relief.
** One of two things HAS to happen with the Chore Chart they’re using in the camps this season. Either we get to the Final 5 and someone looks at the Chore Chart and says, “We have to vote out Wendell, the dude has made fire every day for a fortnight”... or, better yet, someone sneaky—Chelsea, say—needs to put a whole ton of check-marks by Donathan’s name to make it LOOK like he’s been building fire. Because that would be AWESOME.
Okay, I think that’s enough for now. Gotta leave some bullets in the chamber for the boot list column, right? Before I go, though, let me say this: It’s good to be back, dear reader; hope you’ll come back for more.
Andy Baker is a long-time, but definitely not long-winded, Survivor blogger.
Follow Andy on twitter: @SurvivorGenius