The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#57. The Roger Sexton Farewell Episode
aka "What type of prune is this?"
Amazon - Episode 7
This isn't a moment per se, it is actually an entire episode. It's the Roger Sexton boot episode from Amazon, and to this day I have never seen another episode quite like it.
Well because the sole purpose of Amazon episode seven was to get you hate the Napoleonic leader of Tambaqui, Roger Sexton. You were supposed to hate him from the very first minute, you were supposed to hate him throughout the entire episode, and you were supposed to laugh with glee every time the other players slammed him behind his back (which was quite often). The entire episode could best be described as "Ha ha! Roger sucks!" And to make matters worse... the editors didn't even try to hide the fact that Roger would be going home at the end of the episode. They flat out told us all along that Roger was going home, there wasn't the slightest attempt to misdirect the audience, and it was totally unlike any Survivor episode we had ever seen before (or have ever seen since).
In fact I will come right out and say that Amazon episode seven remains the most slanted and the most biased episode the show has ever had. It was the most cruel, it was the most mean-spirited, it contained the most gratuitous putdowns... and I have to say that no player has ever been ripped a new one by the editors as badly as Roger Sexton. And I don't care how unpopular the guy was with the other players, all in all I have to say that his boot episode was very, very unfair all around. No one deserved to get roasted that badly on their way out. Not even Roger.
However, that being said...
This was also one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen in my life. I know, I know, I'm a hypocrite. Because basically I'm now negating everything I just said. But damnit this was a funny episode. I know Roger probably didn't think so, especially when he saw it air on TV for the first time, but you have to admit it was funny watching the sheer amount of joy that the other players got from a Roger Sexton blindsiding. I have honestly never seen an entire cast that happy to see somebody go. And I don't know if it was editing, or if the guy really was that unlikable, but after a while you more or less started to laugh along with the rest of the cast. There was so much giddiness going around that it was practically impossible not to get caught up in it.
In case you don't remember the "Roger gets blindsided" episode, here are some of the highlights. Sorry I don't have a lot of screen caps (this is the only episode I don't have on DVD from the first eight seasons of Survivor. So of course it's the one episode that ends up making the list on its own. Figures.)
THE ROGER SEXTON BOOT EPISODE
I. Roger is the bossy, diminutive (5'5"ish) leader of Tambaqui. And it's safe to say that he is not particularly well-liked. He is openly and blatantly biased against the women, and he has every intention of reuniting the men at the merge to band together and march their way to the end. But little does he know that Rob Cesternino has other plans in mind. Rob isn't about to team back up with Roger. Not in a million years. And Roger is about to find this information out the hard way... when treemail announces that it is time for the two tribes to merge.
Rob gleefully planning Roger's demise
II. Here is a pre-merge quote from Rob. He is planning to band with the women and finally get the numbers against the supremely arrogant Roger: "I just want to say Roger, shut up. Stop talking, Roger. That's gonna be a highlight of my game."
III. Here's a pre-merge quote from Alex. He is also not much of a Roger fan: "The problem with Roger... is that he's an ass. He's loud. He's obnoxious. He's bossy. He thinks he knows everything."
Alex talking about why he hates Roger
IV. Deena (the alpha female) and Roger butt heads over construction of the new shelter. Rob sees this and is immediately giddy with anticipation. He knows how badly Deena will want to take the guy out now.
V. Another Rob quote: "Roger loves to see himself talk. Roger thinks that women are stupid."
VI. Yet another Rob quote, talking about how stupid Roger is to ignore the females: "Some people are building a shelter. Some people are building alliances. We'll see if the people building the shelter will be around to use it for more than a few days."
VII. Heidi pleads with Deena: "Please let Roger go first. Please!"
VIII. Here's a quote from Deena, who is rightfully upset with her new tribemate: "Roger will never let a woman win if he's on the jury. So screw him."
Deena joins the bash-fest
IX. And now we see the editors start to bury Roger in an early grave. Here is the first example of building him up to take a great fall. It is a quote from Roger: "The men outnumber the women and it just seems too easy. Something's probably going to happen here. We'll see."
X. Another Alex quote: "Roger was an ass today so he's going first."
XI. More from Rob. He's talking about how Roger fell asleep during the celebration feast: "One guy fell asleep snoring... and it happens to be the same guy everybody wants to vote off! *Rob laughs gleefully*"
XII. More from Rob. He really doesn't like Roger, does he? "Roger has no sense of self-awareness, so he can't determine that people don't like him. Nobody likes him."
Deena wins immunity. Uh oh, Roger is in trouble now.
XIII. Rob slams Roger some more after Roger fails to win immunity at the "Perch" challenge: "I said that the only way Roger is gonna win immunity is if it's a contest of 'Name that Perry Como song.' Or perhaps 'What type of prune is this?' Or some sort of other thing that only an old man like Roger would be able to determine."
Rob talking about Roger's shortcomings prior to the big vote
XIV. Alex slams Roger after Roger loses immunity: "The game worked out better than expected. We had the best time out there. Naked chicks. Shyeah. Pizza. Shyeah. Roger was stupid enough to jump off and get himself nothing. Shyeah. He has no idea that he's going home tonight. It's gonna be a beautiful day in the Amazon."
XV. The editors let Roger dig himself a deeper grave. Here is another Roger quote: "Everything seems to be falling into place. And I'm sitting here saying... it's too good to be true!"
"It's too good to be true!"
XVI. Deena taunts Roger behind his back just before Tribal Council: "Roger is planning all these interesting activities for later in the evening. But Roger isn't gonna be here!"
XVII. And now the coup de grace. Rob goes for the jugular in his vote for Roger at Tribal Council. This is arguably one of the most memorable (and funny) voting comments in Survivor history. And it all happens when Rob does his impression of DJ Casey Kasem: "Here comes tonight's long distance dedication. It goes out to Rob from New York. He writes: 'Dear Casey, there's an old man in my life that's about to leave. Could you please play something appropriate for me?' Well Rob, here's your request: 'Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey heyyyy hey. Gooood bye."
The fateful vote
So anyway, that was that. Roger was blindsided, he never saw it coming, and to this day it remains the weirdest episode of Survivor I have ever seen. There was no misdirection. There was no fake editing. Hell they never even gave us an alternate boot who might have gone home instead of Roger! We knew Roger was gone from the first minute of the episode, so basically the entire episode just turned into a 60-minute bash fest instead.
Like I said, if I was Roger watching this episode at home with my family, I would have been mortified. I really don't think CBS should have treated the guy that way. Especially since he didn't seem all that bad in the first place.
But as a Survivor fan, I have to say I laughed at this episode more than just about any other episode overall (other than perhaps the Vanuatu finale). The Roger Sexton boot episode was mean, it was cruel, yet the players were so giddy in their united hatred for the guy that after a while you just had to laugh along and join them. You probably didn't feel good about it afterwards, but when that many players unite to hate the same person... who knows? Maybe he really did get his just desserts in the end. In any case, this episode was so quirky and so distinct that it easily slides into the #57 spot on my countdown.
Heck, it would have made the list just for the Cesternino quotes alone. I still think the "What type of prune is this" confessional may be my single favorite Survivor confessional of all time. Rob Cesternino at his peak was pure comedy gold, I tell you. That kid was an absolute Survivor legend.
"Well he may be gold, but I'm Brian and I'm platinum!"
What the fuck? Get off my list, Brian! How did you even get in here, anyway? Security! Security!
P.S. Another quirky aspect of this episode was the introduction of the famous "double confessional." You see, this was the first episode ever to feature two people talking in the same interview. It happened with Alex and Matt early in episode seven, and then followed with a Heidi/Jenna twosome right before Tribal Council. Like I said, this episode was just weirdly edited all around. I have no idea what drug the editors were on that week, because this episode just doesn't fit with any of the other ones.
P.P.S. And why did the producers hate Roger so badly, anyway? Did he sleep with Burnett's daughter or something? Was Roger Sexton ChillOne? Is he actually a Sith Lord? I sense a conspiracy here. Does anybody else have any other theories?
P.P.P.S. By the way, Roger's bashfest didn't even end with the seventh episode. You would think 60 minutes of humiliation would have been enough, but then the editors showed Rob and Deena hanging his underwear in a tree at the start of the eighth episode. So when does the humiliation end, CBS? TELL ME, WHEN DOES THE HUMILIATION END?
Hanging Roger's underwear in a tree
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