Brent Sullivan

Brent Sullivan - Top Five, Baby!Brent Sullivan is a long-time fanatic of Survivor and has been writing about it for years. When he is not writing, talking about, or applying to be on the show, he spends his time with family, doing nerdy IT stuff, and watching movies.

His column, "Top Five, Baby!" has run here at the True Dork Times since 2020, when he first wrote about season 40, Survivor: Winners at War. Prior to this, he covered S33: Millennials vs. Gen X through S38: Edge of Extinction at Inside Survivor, under the column title, "Give Me Five!"

Follow him on twitter: @BSully_13

  • S43 logo Survivor 43
    Looking back on 43 - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 13 analysis

    Episode 13: Looking back on 43

    Survivor 43 Episode 13 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 19, 2022

    With the Survivor 43 finale and aftershow in the rearview, Brent takes stock of five key scenes during the season that correctly forecast long-term important points, along with one that seemed predictive, but was misleading.

    Top five, baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 12 analysis

    Episode 12: Top five, baby!

    Survivor 43 Episode 12 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 12, 2022

    It's that time of year, when the column title is the same as the column name, and Brent looks at the top five (baby) of Survivor 43 in his final pre-finale column, and projects which of the quintet has the best chances of getting that money (baby, also).

    Plots + schemes + underdogs = fireworks? - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 11 analysis

    Episode 11: Plots + schemes + underdogs = fireworks?

    Survivor 43 Episode 11 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 5, 2022

    Brent looks at all the still-unresolved scheming and plotting in Episode 11 of Survivor 43, notes the well-stocked armory of unplayed idols, and puts a massive firework display at the top of his pre-finale wishlist.

    Lurking idols, planted seeds, and players on the outside - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 10 analysis

    Episode 10: Lurking idols, planted seeds, and players on the outside

    Survivor 43 Episode 10 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 28, 2022

    As the majority alliance crumbles and rebuilds, there are just three votes left in the game and three idols still in the mix, creating opportunities for those on the outs to mix things up. Brent highlights five key scenes and items from Episode 10 that may play into how Survivor 43 finishes up.

    Two wins, two out, eight left - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 9 analysis

    Episode 9: Two wins, two out, eight left

    Survivor 43 Episode 9 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 21, 2022

    Episode 9 of Survivor 43 split the Gaia tribe back in half, but that opened up the game to some big moves (okay, one big move), and Brent examines the newly formed connections, in a projection of which of the alliances shown could go all the way.

    Surprise idols, sketchy power, and fishing - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 8 analysis

    Episode 8: Surprise idols, sketchy power, and fishing

    Survivor 43 Episode 8 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 14, 2022

    As Survivor 43 moves deeper into the post-merge, Brent sees a murky path ahead for one player, another whose hold on power seems suspect, and questions and surprise answers elsewhere. Whose path to the end (with votes) looks the clearest?

    Moves, mud, and the AlliGabler - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 4 analysis

    Episode 7: Moves, mud, and the AlliGabler

    Survivor 43 Episode 7 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 7, 2022

    Episode 7 of Survivor 43 saw the arrival of individual challenges (sort of), a reptilian challenge winner, another original tribe splintering, and the return of an advantage everyone thought had been safely eliminated. Brent tries to put all the key pieces together to figure out where things are headed.

    Four vs. four vs. four - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 6 analysis

    Episode 6: Four vs. four vs. four

    Survivor 43 Episode 6 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 31, 2022

    The sort-of-merge episode of Survivor 43 featured the infighting and implosion of Baka, the largest group, leaving an even three-way split among original tribes, all still armed with idols and advantages galore. Brent is excited to see where this all is headed in the post-merge.

    Manhunts, lost votes, and acting - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 5 analysis

    Episode 5: Manhunts, lost votes, and acting

    Survivor 43 Episode 5 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 24, 2022

    As the pre-merge of Survivor 43 wound down to an event-filled but familiar-feeling conclusion, Brent looks at how the various advantages and disadvantages could affect the fates of the players holding them in the individual portion of the game.

    Conflict, cooperation, and questions - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 4 analysis

    Episode 4: Conflict, cooperation, and questions

    Survivor 43 Episode 4 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 17, 2022

    After an episode that saw alliances split, camps receive unwelcome visitors, and opposing tribes make surprising collaborations, Brent looks at the groupings, conflicts, and rising tensions that may pay off within the next few episodes.

    Idols, advantages, and the joys of searches - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 3 analysis

    Episode 3: Idols, advantages, and the joys of searches

    Survivor 43 Episode 3 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 10, 2022

    In an idol- and advantage-heavy episode, Brent praises the drive and determination of the contestants who went to work acquiring such items, as well as those who put in the effort but came up short.

    Twos and threes in 43 - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 2 analysis

    Episode 2: Twos and threes in 43

    Survivor 43 Episode 2 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 3, 2022

    The opening episodes of Survivor 43 have provided more time to get to know the new contestants, and Brent uses that introduction to identify and examine key solo players, pairs, and trios in the game's first two episodes.

    Three new tribes of big characters - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43, Episode 1 analysis

    Episode 1: Three new tribes of big characters

    Survivor 43 Episode 1 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: September 26, 2022

    As Survivor 43 kicks off with an expanded, 2-hour premiere, Brent revs "Top Five, Baby!" up again with an also-larger six items, with a focus on every tribe and (at least) one important player from each, as shown in the first episode.

  • S42 logo Survivor 42
    Looking back on 42 - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 13 analysis

    Episode 13: Looking back on 42

    Survivor 42 Episode 13 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 30, 2022

    With the winner crowned and the finale and aftershow shown, Brent looks back on how certain seemingly important (at the time) scenes and narrative threads from Survivor 42 ended up paying off (or not).

    Five people, one Survivor - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 12 analysis

    Episode 12: Five people, one Survivor

    Survivor 42 Episode 12 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 23, 2022

    As the finale approaches, Brent takes it all in — the big move of Episode 12 and all the rest — and tries to forecast where the top five (baby) will end up when it's all over and the Survivor 42 winner is crowned.

    Edits, alliances, and secrets - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 11 analysis

    Episode 11: Edits, alliances, and secrets

    Survivor 42 Episode 11 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 16, 2022

    Brent ponders what one contestant's curious edit in Episode 11 of Survivor 42 means for their game, how the actual alliances are structured, how Omar's big move will be perceived, and what could happen with all those advantages, with just six left.

    Raining idols, rewards, and Omar - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 10 analysis

    Episode 10: Raining idols, rewards, and Omar

    Survivor 42 Episode 10 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 9, 2022

    As the Survivor 42 game clock ticks down to the final seven, Brent takes in the new updates to the idol counts, talks about the reward, and ponders whether the newfound ex-Taku majority will hold together or break apart.

    Real-life moves, extra lives, and a move driver - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 9 analysis

    Episode 9: Real-life moves, extra lives, and a move driver

    Survivor 42 Episode 9 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 2, 2022

    Brent talks about the larger-than-life issues raised at the second Episode 9 Tribal Council, the puppet-master pulling the strings at the first, and how the fallout from these two votes could affect the game moving forward.

    Power, knowledge, and Knowledge is Power - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 8 analysis

    Episode 8: Power, knowledge, and Knowledge is Power

    Survivor 42 Episode 8 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 25, 2022

    This week, Brent examines the Survivor 42 power dynamics: Who's in the know and seemingly in the middle of every discussion, who's on the outs, who has a massive assortment of advantages and idols — who needs to eat, and who will be eaten.

    Goats, idols, amulets, and unexpected popularity - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episodes 6-7 analysis

    Episodes 6-7: Goats, idols, amulets, and unexpected popularity

    Survivor 42 Episodes 6-7 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 18, 2022

    Brent tries to take in all the newfound friendships and relationships formed in the double-length merge episode(s), and hones in on key bonds formed over allegedly secret items, and some big players that people just seem to like, as the individual phase of the game kicks off.

    From three tribes to one (-ish) - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 5 analysis

    Episode 5: From three tribes to one (-ish)

    Survivor 42 Episode 5 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 11, 2022

    Brent wraps up the three tribes' internal maneuverings in the final fully pre-merge episode of Survivor 42. Who is clearly going to flip, who should consider doing so, and which, if any, tribe will stick together after they ... eventually ... merge?

    Tribal fallout and outsized competitors - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 4 analysis

    Episode 4: Tribal fallout and outsized competitors

    Survivor 42 Episode 4 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 4, 2022

    Alliances are shifting on multiple tribes (except possibly the one with the Goliath), as Brent examines five big events from Episode 4 that could have long-term significance in Survivor 42.

    Underwater, underwear, under pressure - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 3 analysis

    Episode 3: Underwater, underwear, under pressure

    Survivor 42 Episode 3 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 28, 2022

    Brent is back with a rapid-fire look at the big events, twists, and chaotic Tribal Council action of Episode 3 of Survivor 42, and the way they could impact the game moving forward.

    Key pairs and open secrets - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42, Episode 2 analysis

    Episode 2: Key pairs and open secrets

    Survivor 42 Episode 2 recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 21, 2022

    After an episode exploring the characters more deeply, Brent looks at couples — regular and odd — forming in two of the tribes, people's inability to keep things secret, and of course, Maryanne.

    Returns, revisions, and exits - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42 Episode 1 analysis

    Episode 1: Returns, revisions, and exits

    Survivor 42 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 14, 2022

    Brent is back to break down five key events of the Survivor 42 premiere, from new twists to old, including prominent decisions, actions, and deletions from the fun but rapidly dwindling cast.

  • S41 logo Survivor 41
    One last trip back in time - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 13 analysis

    Episode 13: One last trip back in time

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 18, 2021

    With Survivor 41 now in the rear-view mirror, Brent looks back at his past predictions from the season and highlights five stories and scenes that really did have long-term impact (and one that didn't).

    Looking to the endgame - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 12 analysis

    Episode 12: Looking to the endgame

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 13, 2021

    This week, the "Top Five, Baby!" is literal, as Brent examines the paths each of the five remaining contestants are likely to follow in the season finale (already!?) of Survivor 41.

    Emotional moments, power shifts, and luck - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 11 analysis

    Episode 11: Emotional moments, power shifts, and luck

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 6, 2021

    A new majority has emerged, but can it last? A new twist has entered the game, but did it work? Brent asks these questions and dives into the big, emotional discussions of Episode 11 of Survivor 41.

    The many moving parts of a big move - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 10 analysis

    Episode 10: The many moving parts of a big move

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 29, 2021

    After a shocking blindside, Brent takes a look at the people involved in making it, their reasons in doing so, and how their decision to act positions them in the game, as numbers dwindle.

    Conflict, faces, and showing power - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 9 analysis

    Episode 9: Conflict, faces, and showing power

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 22, 2021

    Brent looks at the continuing conflicts within the main alliance in power, the shifting profiles of people within that core, and whether anyone outside that group can stay in the game.

    Fractures, etiquette breaches, and other disasters - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 8 analysis

    Episode 8: Fractures, etiquette breaches, and other disasters

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 15, 2021

    It's only Day 16, but two of the three original tribes are in tatters, people are eating slivers of fruit without getting approval, and there's someone named Heather at Tribal Council! Brent looks at these and other shocking developments in Episode 8 of Survivor 41.

    A big move, and a big tribe finally merges - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 4 analysis

    Episode 7: A big move, and a big tribe finally merges

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 8, 2021

    Brent looks at a bold move that shook up Tribal Council, a small tribe that now appears united, and a big bond that formed surprisingly quickly as Survivor 41 officially enters the post-merge phase.

    Add the four and the one: Five topics at the merge - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 6 analysis

    Episode 6: Add the four and the one: Five topics at the merge

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 1, 2021

    While the merge is only halfway complete (maybe?), Brent looks at the traditional long-term meat of the merge episode: The feast talk, the new alliances, some old ones falling apart, and, of course, an exile.

    Goodbye (?) to three tribes, hello to three idols - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 5 analysis

    Episode 5: Goodbye (?) to three tribes, hello to three idols

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 25, 2021

    Brent takes a mid-season peek at the three still-standing original tribes and their dynamics, greets three freshly powered-up immunity idols, and nods grimly at an overpowered new advantage.

    Looking ahead when one tribe can't lose and another can't win - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 4 analysis

    Episode 4: Looking ahead when one tribe can't lose and another can't win

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 18, 2021

    Brent ponders the road ahead for an Ua tribe that keeps going to Tribal, and the dynamics of a Luvu tribe that can't seem to get there even when they're trying. Will either of these groups hold together through a swap or a merge?

    Broken trust, broken votes, and shifting fortunes - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 3 analysis

    Episode 3: Broken trust, broken votes, and shifting fortunes

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 11, 2021

    With so many advantages and votes in limbo in Episode 3, it's hard to track what's of long-term importance in Survivor 41. Brent is here to highlight more significant moments, even ones that don't even involve broccoli or butterflies.

    Secrets, advantages, and spilling the beans - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 2 analysis

    Episode 2: Secrets, advantages, and spilling the beans

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 4, 2021

    The second episode of Survivor 41 is awash in secrets: things gleaned from eavesdropped conversations, wrapped packages that should have stayed wrapped, and a second summit. Also this week: a rebound for one contestant and a collapse for another.

    Twists and risks and savviness - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 1 analysis

    Episode 1: Twists and risks and savviness

    Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: September 27, 2021

    Survivor is back, and Brent dives into five topics from the double-length premiere episode that he thinks will have long-term impact on the season, from the many new twists, to the increased elements of risk, to one player's savvy gameplay and another's seeming lack thereof.

  • S40 logo Survivor 40: Winners at War
    Top One, Baby!

    Episode 14: Top One, Baby!

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 17, 2020

     

    With a salute to the new two-time champion, Brent wraps up his Winners at War watch with a look back at five previously flagged key items from earlier in the season that ended up indeed being a big part of the story (plus a miss).


    Episode 13: Top Five! (Maybe ... one more as well)

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 10, 2020

     

    Now that Winners at War has reached its (initial) final five, Brent assesses each of their games and chances of becoming the re-winning Winner. Plus a bonus look at some other contenders.


    Episode 12: Strained relationships, strained arms, and strained Tribal trends

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 3, 2020

     

    As the game churns on and tensions mount, Brent is here to break down the key connections, disconnections, and question marks in Episode 12 of Winners of War.


    Episode 11: Enemies, extortion, chaos, and ... Tony!

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 26, 2020

     

    After 10 long episodes of biding his time, the old Tony Vlachos came bursting through the trees to shake this episode up. Brent celebrates this development, and the other key events in Episode 11 of Winners of War.


    Episode 10: Lots of family, cops, and an original Dakal duo

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 19, 2020

     

    As Brent surveys the key events of the family-heavy Episode 10, the same names pop up frequently: Tony, Sarah, Sophie, Sarah, Sophie, Tony. Original Dakal drives the action, laden with advantages and necklaces.


    Episode 9: Chaos, an Edge split, and rising and falling targets

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 12, 2020

     

    After Episode 9's dramatic and chaotic Tribal Council, Brent evaluates where the divisions are and who has become a target on Winners at War, including a new divide that has become apparent at Edge of Extinction.


    Episode 8: Big threats, little threats, and actual threats at the merge

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 5, 2020

     

    The merge and Edge return produce a surprising shuffle of various alliances, as Brent focuses in on key threats, prime targets, and the balance of power in the post-merge scrambling.


    Episode 7: Boats or tokens, post-merge Tony, and potent tensions

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 29, 2020

     

    The final pre-merge episode finds the Edge group getting smaller but more token-rich, and two of the three tribes patching over simmering tensions. Brent brings it all together for this week's five key topics.


    Episode 6: Peanut butter comfort, spy shack paranoia, and twice the idol fun

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 22, 2020

     

    Brent breaks down five big moments in the big sixth episode of Winners at War, from Edge of Extinction choices to listening to water-well voices to (of course) making a big splash with idol deuces.


    Episode 5: Three new tribes and a lot of hardware

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 15, 2020

     

    A big swap adds a third tribe and shakes up the game, and Brent examines the new opportunities and dangers lurking as the players face their new tribemates. Plus: the women this season are accumulating some serious hardware: Will it soon come into play?


    Episode 4: Lugging logs and legging the trek up from the bottom

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 8, 2020

     

    Brent revisits a week full of stories of hikes up from the bottom, from the Edge dwellers' literal one (or twenty) to Adam, Rob, and Parvati's metaphorical journeys. Plus a check-in on someone who seems to have completed that journey, and an eye on the swap.


    Episode 3: Fishing, covert missions, and momentous decisisons

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: March 1, 2020

     

    Winners At War's third episode had some memorable shark-eating hijinks, and a tragic loss as the losing tribe got down to the business of eating its own. Brent highlights the top five moments of this week's feeding frenzy.


    Episode 2: Idols, advantages, ladders, and a lad

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: February 23, 2020

     

    Episode 2 sweeps in awash in idols and advantages (and fire tokens), but don't worry guys, it's designed to be like this. Brent highlights these new-school developments, plus a rising ladder engineer and an ascendant Adam.


    Episode 1: Nerds, rookies, and blowing up the pre-game

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: February 16, 2020

     

    Brent manages to whittle the two-hour, action-packed Winners at War premiere into five key events and themes that appear to hold importance for the season as a whole - among them a fun new alliance, and the weaponizing of the mere suspicion of a pre-game one.


    Pre-season: Winners at War alliance assumptions

    By Brent Sullivan | Published: February 2, 2020

     

    For his pre-season preview of Winners at War, Brent speculates on the five most likely alliances to form in the upcoming all-winners season. Will they make an impact on the game?

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