Episode 13: Stats (some meaningless) for a finale
Published: December 15, 2022
Well, Survivor 43 is certainly over. Damnbueno rolls out his reactions to the action as it unfolds, and his immediate attempts to understand the ending. (It's mostly jaw-dropped Jeanine face.)
Episode 12: This is why I LOVE Survivor!
Published: December 8, 2022
Survivor 43's second-to-last episode features plans on top of plans on top of plans, and Damnbueno is excited about every last second of it, particularly including Jesse's glorious double idol-flushing (neither his own) pièce de résistance.
Episode 11: The agony of the follow-up
Published: December 1, 2022
Damnbueno runs through Episode 11, which follows his favorite episode of the season, and celebrates Survivor 43 ditching Do or Die in favor of a clean Final Seven vote, but then notes the show backslides into a possible Advantagegeddon redux in the process.
Episode 10: To the observant go the spoils
Published: November 24, 2022
A classic strategic catch-22 ensnares one player, while another gets the editors' full endorsement for an "anatomy of a blindside" explainer, all in Episode 10 of Survivor 43. For Damnbueno, was this a great episode, or the greatest episode of the season?
Episode 9: Split-squad drama
Published: November 17, 2022
With one challenge and two Tribals, Episode 9 of Survivor 43 managed to pack in a surprising amount of conflict and big moves, with two key votes breaking up the majority Seven. Damnbueno recaps the big wins and blindsides.
Episode 8: A brief history of Survivors producer meddling
Published: November 10, 2022
In a two-part column, Damnbueno kicks off with a reaction to Knowledge is Power being thrust back into the game a second time, followed by his reactions to Episode 8, where idol-related antics continued. (But KiP was somehow forgotten?)
Episode 7: Survivor Blabbermouths
Published: November 3, 2022
If there was a recurring activity in Episode 7 of Survivor 43, it was talking: Jeff Probst talking and talking through an extra-long challenge, Gabler doing the same in the final stage, James telling everyone in sight about his Knowledge is Power advantage. So Damnbueno is here to talk some more about that, and suggest the missing theme for the season.
Episode 6: Stay humble, or die
Published: October 27, 2022
Survivor 43 sort of hits its merge episode, and Damnbueno highlights the dangers of playing the game with overconfidence, especially in a minefield of random draws and lack of information equilibrium.
Episode 5: Being annoying for fun and profit
Published: October 20, 2022
After a brief journey through Survivor history, Damnbueno looks at the flubs, acting, self-dunks, and strategic miscues of Episode 5 of Survivor 43, with an excited eye to how all the tensions and rivalries could combust when the tribes are brought together next week.
Episode 4: Introducing the Coco tribe
Published: October 13, 2022
A return to the classic reward-immunity-Tribal structure for Episode 4 of Survivor 43, and with it both a camp raid and (finally) a trip to Tribal Council for the Coco tribe, which Damnbueno says reveals a lot about the six players we've barely met until now.
Episode 3: Quick thinking pays off
Published: October 6, 2022
Episode 3 of Survivor 43 was light on strategy and heavy on idols and advantages, but also personalities and relationships. Damnbueno takes in all the actions and reactions and asks whether the Vesi tribe members made the correct decisions.
Episode 2: We're on strategy watch
Published: September 29, 2022
Idol hunting and snooping began in earnest (and paid off ... or did it?), pairs abound throughout the game, and one tribe had to maneuver around one, possibly two missing votes. Damnbueno is back with a more strategy-focused look at Episode 2 of Survivor 43.
Episode 1: LIVIN
Published: September 22, 2022
Damnbueno gives his quick reactions to a double-length premiere. He applauds the show's return to a form lacking some of 41/42's most objectionable twists, and tries to parse which of the group of 18 new contestants are the best prepared, and are making good game choices so far.
Multi-season: Why subtlety prevails over 'big moves' in Survivor: Part 2
Published: September 12, 2022
Damnbueno's series on the power of subtlety concludes with a look at a few more winners, plus some non-winners who fell just short, all with a continued emphasis that quiet, non-flashy manipulation of the other players will get a contestant further in the game than someone blowing up the game with 'Big Moves.'
Multi-season: Why subtlety prevails over 'big moves' in Survivor: Part 1
Published: September 6, 2022
In another inter-season series, Damnbueno pushes back on the modern Survivor refrain that "you have to make Big Moves to win," and highlights six specific examples in which eventual season winners instead subtly manipulated their castmates into making moves that ultimately improved their position in the game. Even in the "new era" game!
Multi-season: Race and Survivor: Part 2
Published: August 22, 2022
Damnbueno concludes his look at the history of race (and racism) in Survivor with a deeper dive into individual case studies of players whose seasons included incidents or accusations of racism. Plus an attempt to list why every Black player was voted out!
Multi-season: Race and Survivor: Part 1
Published: August 15, 2022
In which Damnbueno takes a look at the reasons why discussions about race became such a prominent component of Survivors 41 and 42, the show's history of (scant) minority representation, and what the increased diversity of recent seasons means (and doesn't mean) for the show moving forward.
Damnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.