Dalton Ross
November 08, 2017 AT 09:00 PM EST

Hey, everyone! Welcome to another Survivor recap. If my math is half a good as Chrissy the Human Calculator’s, I believe I have written approximately 440 of these over the years. Wow, that is really…depressing. Imagine all I could have accomplished had I actually focused my attention on something other than fame-hungry wannabe reality TV stars starving on a tropical island in exchange for camera time. (What, you think they’re actually there for the MONEY?!?)

But no, I chose to waste my life away on this. A decision I oddly stand by…as long as I don’t think about the thousands of hours of my life I devoted to such an endeavor while ignoring my wife and children. (Quick: Calculate how much more time I have spent writing Survivor recaps than Ryan was able to spin a ball!) Anyhoodle, you all have been kind enough to join me on this journey for what is now getting (way too) close to two decades, and I do thank you for that. But I’m sorry to say there will be no Survivor recap this week.

THAT’S BECAUSE WE GOT SOMETHING BETTER! That’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Official Outback Steakhouse™ Survivor recap. Yes, the steak authority will be in charge of this week’s recap. And because Outback Steakhouse™ lives by Aussie rules, which are no rules, that means anything goes, people!

Perhaps we’ll have a #PurpleHatAlert. Maybe I’ll trade in my beloved Milwaukee’s Best for a Fosters Lager. And instead of ending with a scoop of the crispy, what say we throw another shrimp on the barbie, mate? Up is down! Black is white! Kangaroos and koala bears living together in harmony while toilets flush backwards!

By the way, can we pause for the cause to give props to this year’s cast for knowing how to score some extra camera time by breathlessly fawning over a corporate sponsor? It never fails. Exhibit A for this shamelessness is Coach after the South Pacific movie reward, in which he gave his rave review to the cinematic masterpiece Jack and Jill:Jack and Jill. Loved it. Adam Sandler — personally, I’m a fan. It was funny, but at the same time, there was a message and that message was, ‘Hey, family comes first.’” That’s weird, I always assumed the message was, Don’t think that mining for cheap laughs by cross-dressing will still actually work in the year 2011. (A message evidently not received by ABC, who then aired the similarly horrifying Work It a year later in 2012.)

But this cast of newbies acted like seasoned pros when it came to effusive corporate sponsor praise. “The steak just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. It feels like it’s straight out of a dream,” cooed Cole in a line that sounded straight out of a TV commercial (which is exactly what this was). “Oh my God, that is so good,” a semi-orgasmic Devon sighed. “Best steak I’ve ever had,” said Lauren with about as much emotion as Lauren can ever muster. “Amazing,” agreed Ryan. (Jessica also proclaimed, “I love your thunder from down under,” but it remains unclear if she was actually talking about food or to Cole.) And then, the pièce de résistance, as Ben closed the proceedings with a completely unnecessary “Thank you, Outback Steakhouse™!”

The whole thing was insanely over the top, but since this is the Official Outback Steakhouse™ Survivor recap I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Outback Steakhouse’s™ incredible line of Aussie-Tizers®, including something called Kookaburra Wings® that kind of makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Now, see, that’s exactly the type of line that would not get me on television. So I guess I would be “deuces” like my man Joe. But before I can do that, let’s recap this S.O.B. while we chow down on Steakhouse Mac & Cheese Bites®!

But really quickly before we do, just two things to which I would like to draw your attention. We have our exclusive mid-game interview with Ryan, where he explains the thinking behind all his moves, and whether he actually wears red turtlenecks in real life. And we also have the long-awaited Part 2 of our 35 former Survivors looking back at their time on the island. This time, we have the fan favorites sharing personal, intimate, disgusting, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of their most painful memories while playing. It’s a fascinating read and I highly encourage you to read it right here. (You can also see their favorite memories right here in case you missed that.) Okay, back to our regularly scheduled recap!

Watch Fan Forum: Survivor on People TV here, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.

The episode begins over at Yawa after Tribal Council, with Chrissy simultaneously saying how she felt so bad for Ali but also had to try really hard to keep from grinning from ear to ear. She also opines that she is “dominating the social game on this tribe” because both guys are closer to her than to each other. Sure, that’s a little braggy, but it’s also an excellent point. That is exactly the situation you want to be in, and Chrissy has maneuvered quite well. (Is it just me, or is Jersey killing it this season? Garden State, y’all!)

Of course, the situation is about to drastically change because of the merge, but before we can get to that we have to see how everyone is about to die. That’s not me speaking, either. Those are the contestants themselves. “If we don’t get food today, we might die,” says Ashley. See! And Devon concurs, informing us, “My brain feels dead.” And while there is no doubt a very mean joke to be made there, I am not going to be the one to make it. Of course, this is all a big set-up to the big merge feast that will save them all, and there are a few amazing things I’d like to point out about Probst’s merge/feast announcement and what followed. (Recap continues on next page)

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