Funny 115 - The Third One
Fuck You Thank You Brad Culpepper
Blood vs Water - Episodes 1-5
What up, Brad?
One of the problems facing you when you are creating a new
is the fact that you have a bunch of fun, new, interesting characters,
but the audience has no idea who any of them are yet.
as the audience is concerned, these new people on the screen are all
the same, and they are all interchangeable. And this is why
sitcom writer who knows what he is doing will have his characters say
each other's names a lot in the first couple of episodes.
"Hey, Rachel, how are you?"
"Oh I'm fine, Phoebe, thanks for asking."
"Say, Rachel, have you seen Ross?"
"Isn't Ross the guy who looks like a camel? And who enjoys
"Yes, Phoebe, that's Ross. He's currently in the closet naked
with a bag over his head."
"Oh, neat. Rachel, let's go do meth."
You know. Stuff like that. Watch
for it the next time you start watching a new TV show. It is
a classic writer's trick, you see it all the time.
is also the main reason Chevy Chase became the first breakout star of
Saturday Night Live. Guess who was the only castmember who
introduced himself by name each week?
So anyway, when you introduce a new character into a TV
main thing is that you want the other characters to say their name a
LOT. Ideally, you want to have them addressed by name each
every time they appear on screen. Because
this, and only this, is the tried-and-true method to force the audience
to love a new TV character.
And then, on the flip side, there's Brad Culpepper
Want to see a step by step guide how to NOT become a beloved
Want to see why it's a BAD idea sometimes when the other
characters are always saying your name?
me to spell out exactly why Brad was one of the single most hated
characters of any season between 21 and 30, despite the fact that
almost NONE of it was his fault, and he does almost NOTHING wrong in
any of his five episodes?
Well read it and weep.
For never was a
story of more woe.
Than this of Monica.
And her Brad Culpepper-o.
The happy couple, in between antiquing jaunts
Okay, so it's day one of Survivor: Blood vs Water.
If you don't remember this season, it was one where they had former
Survivor players teamed up with their loved ones.
was also the first time in Survivor history that the producers had ever
done something like this before. So it wound up being a lot
complicated than your typical Survivor season, which is something you
will notice when Brad starts having his downfall and he
know what to do about it.
Here's returning player Monica from One World, teamed up
with her husband, Brad.
the way, if you aren't familiar with Brad Culpepper, he played nine
seasons in the NFL between the years 1992-2000. He also used
weigh nearly 300 pounds. Twenty years ago, he was an
successful professional athlete. He has also always
had a reputation for
being an exceptionally good guy.
What up, younger Brad?
So here comes Monica on Survivor with her famous husband, Brad
Culpepper. And right off the bat you can see that the two of
are overjoyed to be out here playing Survivor together.
Who here is a neat couple?
Except here's the twist.
into the game, Jeff explains to everyone that you won't be playing WITH
your loved one. You will be playing AGAINST your loved one.
Then he has to explain to Kat what "against" means
So just like that, Brad and Monica are now relegated to opposite tribes.
And it is at this point that you need to follow the
storyline in this entry very carefully.
like the scene in a Christmas Story where Schwartz dares Flick to stick
his tongue to the frozen light pole, it is easy to see how we start at
Single Dare (Brad is just happy to be here), and how
all the way up to Triple Dog Dare (FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER!) simply
because of the characters involved.
Also, CIERA VOTED OUT HER MOM!
Okay, so here we go. Let me point out how
Brad becomes "one of the biggest assholes to ever play the game of
Survivor."* Despite the fact that
he never actually disrespects anyone, and he never actually does
anything mean to anyone.
* The Internet, circa 2013
It starts right off the bat
Jeff asks Brad if he will be torn playing Survivor against
his wife. And Brad is perhaps a little too honest with his
"There might be a challenge where I want her to have the
instead of me."
"I can deal with this stuff."
Oh shit. A guy wants to make sure his wife is safe and
comfortable. What an asshole.
Of course, Brad's new teammate Marissa hears this.
And she isn't pleased with that answer at all.
"He better not be on my team, thinkin' that."
The rest of the players laugh at Marissa's response to
"You better not be on my team, sayin' that."
So right off the bat, Brad has done something dumb.
He didn't do anything malicious. He never said anything bad
about anyone. He just said something dumb.
Hey I never said he was a great player. I'm just arguing
about his character here!
Uh oh. Brad done already fucked up.
Brad then tells us in a confessional how it is day one, and his tribe
is already worried about him.
"I answered with my heart instead of my head."
"And all of a sudden I got stares and looks of every person
"And I'm thinkin' to myself, oh my gosh."
"First five seconds of the game, way to go Brad."
Well then. So much for that first impression.
The loved ones are split up and that's that
Guess who wants no part of her new NFL tribemate?
Okay so that's step one in how Brad makes a new enemy. Now
let's go to his second enemy.
This one will wind up being the more important one.
The tribes are forced to immediately vote out one of their
members, and the returning players tribe votes Candice
Oh no you fuckers didn't
Candice and Laura Boneham are immediately voted out of the
game, for no reason other than the other players don't want them here
And guess who remembers that Monica Culpepper was one of the
people who voted for her?
Candice's anger towards Monica is going to come back later,
in a big way
Okay, so that's the opening scene. Right now almost nothing
happened in the game, other than Brad has said something dumb (not
mean, just dumb), and Candice is holding a grudge that the returning
players voted her out. Keep both of those in mind as we
We go to Brad's new camp, and he already knows that he has
to do damage control
The loved ones have to know that he isn't going to tank any
challenges. They need to know he is going to give it his all.
So he pulls his tribe aside to explain that he is 100% with
"If you don't see me giving 100% in a challenge, you have my
blessing to vote me out."
Marissa, of course, isn't buying this.
"Brad said he's not gonna throw a challenge for his wife."
"But it wasn't an apology exactly."
"I feel like he's one I'm definitely gonna have to keep an
eye on and
keep him close."
"He seems like he could be a loose cannon."
And this is where we get the divide that is going to lead to
most of Brad's problems later.
Brad sits down to tell us how he is going to get past the
first vote over here at Tadhana.
It turns out his wife gave him some very good advice before they got
here to the beach.
"She said, Brad, when you play this game you better hit the
"You need to make connections, you need to get an alliance."
And so that's what he does.
He takes the first four people he sees, which happen to be the four
other guys, and he forms a quick five man alliance.
"We should stick together. We're strong."
"That Ciera looks like a girl who might vote out her mom one day."
And just like that, Brad is probably going to make it past the first
Tribal Council now.
he has done nothing malicious. He has never insulted anyone,
disrespected anyone. He has never been mean to anyone.
All he has done is find four people he gets along with, and he has made
himself an alliance.
Just like EVERY GOD DAMN OTHER PERSON WHO HAS EVER BEEN ON SURVIVOR
Candice's husband John weighs in on the lightning quick
alliance Brad has formed
"Shocker, the guy who played NFL football wants to keep his
And here we have the Greek Oracle of Cody laying out exactly what is
going to happen down the road.
"But you know, the more Brad talks about that kind of stuff
and sort of
asserts himself as the leader..."
"The more that could potentially end up biting him in the
Meanwhile, Brad is just giddy to be playing Survivor. He
loves it out here. He loves that the tribe just got their
For him, this is even more exciting than going to a sweet ass antique shop
He loves that he gets to hang around and talk with everyone.
And hear all their stories.
he sympathizes with Ciera about being a teen mom. Brad says
if his daughter ever got pregnant at that age, he would love her and
with open arms. WHAT A MONSTER.
he empathizes with Vytas being an ex-junkie. And
having to live in his brother's golden shadow all the time.
A DICK THIS GUY IS BEING RIGHT NOW.
Oh yeah, and in the first immunity challenge?
Brad lets Ciera wear his hat, just so the sun won't
get in her eyes
That fucking ASSHOLE.
Oh yeah, and when the returning players win the first
immunity challenge? And Brad's tribe loses?
Guess who is the first person to applaud them and tell them
So Brad's tribe loses the first challenge. And they have to
stand there as Gervase taunts them and tells them they suck.
Gervase taunts the loved ones "AND THAT'S HOW YOU
The Tadhana men stand there and listen to Gervase being an
ass to them
Surprisingly, this Pagong member has less of a social game than B.B.
Brad and his Tadhana family wind up going to the first Tribal Council.
again, it is important to pay attention to exactly WHO is the
who decides that they vote out Marissa tonight. It's not just
Brad. This will wind up being a group decision. The
girls even wind up voting for Marissa.
The Tadhanas come back to camp, and naturally this monster
Brad tells everyone that they all did a good job today
"Our loved ones have fire. There's a silver
let's be happy they have fire."
"I know this. I don't think there's a
single person here who didn't give a hundred percent."
"Puzzle makers, that was a tough puzzle. I get it.
You're beatin' yourself up. Don't."
Man, what a dick. You can practically see the poor
sportsmanship and the misogyny just dripping off the guy.
Oh and then Brad Culpepper has the nerve to tell his tribe:
"We're gonna win some challenges. When we do,
let's win with grace."
"I don't want to gloat over them. Remember,
they're gonna lose a loved one."
And this is where the tribe splits apart to decide who would be the
easiest to vote out.
Surprisingly, this decision isn't all that hard.
"Of course Gervase talked too much."
"And who are they gonna correlate Gervase with?"
Which, hey, is the exact same thing that the
five man alliance is talking about!
"Whoever we vote out, we gotta remember, is gonna be a stab
somebody's heart tonight
"I'm a little spoiled right now on Marissa, just because of
guys agree that it would be easy to vote out Marissa, because Gervase
isn't someone they want to work with down the road anyway.
Remember, in a season like this, there is an extra variable
here that no one has ever had to deal with before
even sits down to give us one of the better confessionals of the first
episode. Remember, Brad Culpepper might be kind of a spaz at
times. And he never was the most subtle strategist.
But he always was good for a fun confessional.
This is where he explains to Gervase how he just got his own niece
""Hey bozo, your loved one may go
home. You're cheerin' about that?"
"Great, you beat us. But you're beating your own."
"She's goin' home."
"How do you like them apples?"
Is not going to like those apples
So anyway, that's what happens.
Vytas correctly explains that no Survivor season has ever
been like this before
"When you win a challenge, you have to worry about what the
is doing at Tribal Council."
"It's a different dynamic."
Marissa puts up a good fight. Because she isn't cool with
what is about to happen.
"I feel like people should just be judging me for my
character, and my attitude."
But it is to no avail.
Because she is voted out unanimously. Complete
with a couple of frowny faces.
And guess who she will later assume was responsible for voting
That guy she lipped off to back on the beach on the first day
If only Marissa had a four word phrase to express her
feelings right now...
So Marissa is pissed. And Marissa is hurt. And
Marissa goes to Redemption Island.
And guess who is right there, waiting for her, and ready to stir up
Hi, I'm Candice. I'm a professional muckraker.
And this is where we get the conversation that will lead to a lot of
drama down the road.
attention to the fact that Marissa doesn't say this. It is
who says this. Candice is the one who starts all of this.
"You know why they voted you out?"
"Because you made that comment about not liking Brad."
"You called him out in front of people and he didn't like
And as Mikey Walsh said at the start of the Goonies...
Okay, so episode two.
"Welcome to Redemption Island. Just a bunch of
Yes. Marissa is most definitely pissed off.
She is especially pissed off about those little smiley faces that kept
showing up on her votes.
There were at least three of them
"People had the audacity to put a frowny face next to my
name, like they
were upset about it."
By the way, guess who didn't put a smiley face on his vote?
This guy. This guy would never do that.
Brad Culpepper is not a bad damn sportsmanship, man.
Rachel tells us that the girls were the ones who put the sad
little smiley faces on their votes last night
Okay, so here's the first duel. Brad's world is about to
start crashing down around him.
Yay we all get to watch the big Redemption Island
Ironically, the mood among the members of the Tadhana
(including Brad) at this point is very much,
returning players arrive at the Redemption Island duel, and they scan
over to see which one of their loved ones was voted out last night
It sure wasn't Brad.
Gervase sees that they voted out his niece. And
that means game on.
The delightfully awkward first meeting of Survivors and
Marissa-less loved ones
So here come the three duelers.
Hey look, there's pissed off Marissa
And there's Candice, who is so pissed off that she's not in
the game that she plans to just sabotage everyone
And then there's this other guy
And this is where it all starts going downhill for Mister Brad
"Marissa, you gave a big long stare to your tribe that just
voted you out."
"'Cause I don't think I should be here at all."
"The person who goes to Redemption should be based off of
"My performance did not lose our challenge."
She tells Gervase that she was voted out last night because
"You rubbed salt in their wounds!"
"I'm gonna rub some more. Promise you that."
You know who Gervase is glaring at as he says this.
He is glaring at Mister Former NFL Guy
Candice, of course, loves it. Teach you guys not
to vote me out. Serves all of you right.
So the duel starts, and Marissa and Candice both stay alive.
"Marissa and Candice! Live to fight again in three
As the winner of the duel, Candice gets to pick one person to
receive a clue to a hidden immunity idol. And, naturally, she
chooses her husband, John.
John gets his idol clue
And here is step three in how Brad is going to unwittingly become one
of the all time great Survivor villains.
His best friend just became the only person with an idol
clue. Remember that.
Okay, so now we're back at camp. The Tadhanas have just witnessed their first duel at Redemption Island.
John laughs because Marissa is SO pissed at them.
Meanwhile, does Brad laugh? Is Brad sitting there mocking
No. Brad's first line of business...
... is to start a round of applause for John's wife.
Congratulations, buddy. Candice did great.
(happy for his friend) "And she looked fantastic."
Man, what an asshole.
Then the five guys retreat to the well, where they discuss
the ramifications of these duels and this twist
Vytas points out that, with this new twist, we want someone
out on Redemption who
will swap with their loved one.
"Which player on the other tribe is the strongest?
Who is most likely to swap with
their loved one?"
Of course there is only one candidate for this. There is one
player over there who the Tadhanas would LOVE to get out of the game.
Again, let's point out that this is all Vytas's
idea. Vytas is totally the guy calling the shots here.
Brad is simply just a part of the group at this point. He
"We vote out Rachel next. And Tyson will have
a really tough time not switching with her."
"And that will make their tribe a lot weaker."
And here is the trickiness of a season like Redemption Island,
which is a variable that a lot of Survivor fans tend to forget.
This was a complicated season.
John is a little leery about voting out Rachel.
Mainly because he
doesn't want Tyson over there defeating his wife
on Redemption Island.
John is going to drag his feet on this Rachel vote, and it
will come back to haunt him
Okay, so it's time for the second immunity challenge. Will Tadhana get their revenge against loud-mouth Gervase?
In fact, not only does Gervase single-handedly
win this challenge for
his tribe, he then starts yelling and taunting the loved ones AGAIN.
This one's for Marissa! This one's for Champagne!
This one's for Bubbles!
The loved ones have to stand there and listen to this
And now the loved ones on Tadhana are starting to get really
frustrated. As you would be too.
"Is it just me, or is Gervase as stupid as he looks?"
This is where Brad says the one and only mean thing he
is ever going to say the entire season. Which, again, is only
because Gervase is being such a horrible sport and he keeps
rubbing salt in their wounds. A guy who used to be a
athlete wouldn't have any respect for that.
"I'm looking forward to a physical challenge when I can body
"I'm gonna throw him in the water. I
swear to God."
And this is where Tadhana follows through on their plan to vote
John drags his feet a little about doing it.
Because he is worried about Candice.
And again, remember, Vytas is the guy who is spearheading all this.
It's not Brad.
"Who is John's allegiance really to? Is
it the five
guys? Or is it to Rachel?"
"This early in the game, to have doubts arise is not a good
Even the girls on the tribe are worried that John is never going to
vote for Rachel. He's too close to her. He's too
about Tyson switching and going to Redemption and beating Candice.
"John is NEVER going to vote for her."
But at the end of the day, John is a good little soldier and he
votes for Rachel. And she becomes the second person voted out
the game in Blood vs Water.
Complete with more smiley faces
and guess who had almost NOTHING to do with this vote at all?
Guess who was barely shown being a part of the decision
Here's a hint. It's the guy who waves to her and
wishes her good luck. What an asshole.
Okay, so we're now to episode three. It's time for Brad to
start taking heat for stuff he didn't even do.
Tyson is pissed when he sees that his girlfriend was voted
out by the loved ones
It all starts to go downhill when we get to the duel, and
Probst asks Rachel what she thinks happened last night.
Note which name she randomly pulls out of her ass.
"I think Brad's lining up his game right now, I
"And everybody's just falling under his spell."
Of course, since he's the host, it's Probst's job to turn and to stir
up the pot here.
What do you think about that, Tyson?
Tyson turns and he issues a challenge.
"If you guys see me on Redemption Island, none of you have a
Tyson then singles out Brad Culpepper.
"Mister Football over there, smilin' at me like he does..."
Brad then smiles and waves. Because he's goofy.
And because why not?
"You can be big, but that's the worst thing in this game."
Now Brad defends himself (and his tribe) by saying something
that is very reasonable and accurate. And of course
how different this weird hybrid of a Survivor season really was.
"We haven't wanted to vote ANYBODY out but we've HAD to."
"You guys cheer over there after you win."
"And we gotta go home and get rid of one of your loved ones."
"You guys haven't had the difficult conversations we've had."
"Nobody's been voted out over there so don't start throwin'
arrows at us."
"We've had to do what's hard."
And how is Brad rewarded for quite accurately summing up the
complications of voting out another player's loved one?
He gets yelled at, of course
Get ready for it. You knew it was coming.
"Difficult? It should be easy. You
should vote out the weakest person to help the tribe!"
"You voted out two strong people already!"
"Hence, the reason why you lost!"
Brad just shrugs his shoulders. Whatever.
There's no way we can win at this point.
Then he says... again, quite accurately...
"We're playin' Survivor, babe. Maybe there's more
to it than
To which Marissa retorts:
Marissa curses out Brad
Candice laughs. She's impressed.
At this point even Gervase tells Marissa to pipe down and to lay
off the attitude. Which is pretty rich considering
"Tone it down, Marissa. Take it down."
Brad just waves it off for now. Whatever.
And of course here we get an unexpected bonus of the whole "Fuck You
Brad Culpepper!" showdown. A lot of people forget that these
things were in the same scene.
Colton starts crying because he can't take all the anger
around. And because Survivor is hard and the other players
better than him.
So he quits the game like the little bitch that he is
anyway, the scene starts with yelling, and it ends with Colton
quitting. Don't ever say that Brad Culpepper wasn't good for
Oh yeah, and I have to point out...
That in the following duel...
Brad is right there, rooting along with John, for Candice to
Candice wins the duel. And John and Brad are both ecstatic
Candice then gives John a second clue. Which is a bad idea.
This is going to be a problem for John
Okay, so after the second duel, here's where we stand.
is starting all this shit about Brad Culpepper over at Redemption
Island. Despite the fact that she has never even MET him, she
successfully convinced both Marissa AND Rachel that he was the one who
was single handedly responsible for their defeat. Despite the
fact that this is complete B.S. and Brad barely had anything to do with
either one of them.
But the perception is beginning to stick.
And now it is the only thing that people are talking about.
Tyson, of course, is furious that Brad Culpepper took down
"I know Brad is the main reason Rachel was voted off."
"He's creating a huge target on his back."
Meanwhile, over at Tadhana, Brad seems legitimately shocked why he is
drawing all this anger all of a sudden.
Why do people go to Redemption Island and they
all suddenly hate him so much?
Again, he points out that this season is a lot different from
any other season that has ever come before it. There is a
different variable this time around, and it makes Blood vs Water
"In the past, you vote somebody off and their dirty laundry
goes with them."
"Now you vote somebody off and the dirty laundry comes back
He sits there and ponders how he can possibly salvage his
game at this point
Brad even sits down for a confessional where he recaps what just
happened with the whole FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER outburst.
"At Redemption Island, we walk in and all of a sudden..."
He then points out that it is inaccurate to call him the mob
"I mean, I AM calling the shots, but I'm making everyone
else feel like they are
part of the decision process."
Meanwhile, what do we get when we go to the rest of the Tadhanas?
Are they all sitting around talking about how Brad is a jerk?
Are they all slamming the guy for being some huge egotistical
Of course not
Here, John and Hayden talk about how Brad is really a solid
He's a hard worker. He listens to everyone. He
excludes no one.
John says that everyone here is much more
comfortable because they have a teammate like
John likes Brad SO much, in fact, that he shares both of his idol clues
with him. Because Brad is the only guy out here who all of
"I shared my clues with him because I like Brad a lot."
Brad, of course, is ecstatic about this.
the other tribe might hate him. Yeah, the people on
Island might hate him. But at least the guy with the idol
still loves him. And that means a lot.
Brad and John go hunting for the idol together
Meanwhile, the other guys on the tribe worry that Brad and
John are getting a little too close.
As you can guess, this isn't going to be good
Okay, so we are now up to the third immunity challenge.
This one is called "Sumo at Sea." This is the
where two people square off on a platform, and they try to knock their
opponent into the water.
known fact, this challenge was originally designed by seven year
old Make-a-Wish kid Billy Slater. It was originally called "Go
Okay, so the Tadhanas are preparing for the big Sumo at Sea challenge.
And who do they ask for pointers on how to win a challenge like this?
Well naturally, you ask the guy who used to do this sort of
thing for a living
What up, Brad?
Brad pulls his inner Miyagi and tells them that the key to
this challenge will be balance
"First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule,
Ciera-san, not mine."
Here Brad teaches the Tadhanas how to use your low center of gravity
and how to balance. What an asshole.
He also teaches them how to, well if you NEED to punch Gervase in the
face, here's how to do it.
With Brad's tutelage, naturally the Tadhanas go to the immunity
challenge and they kick the shit out of the returning players.
The loved ones finally win their first challenge, right?
Ciera and Katie both get beat by their mom, and it is kind
Fun fact: Ciera would later vote out her
So anyway, yeah. Tadhana loses again. And that
means it is time for another Tribal Council.
Oh, but not before this little moment. Which I just have to
Brad finally squares off against Gervase
And he beats him fair and square, with no cheap shots
And guess who wins with grace, and who doesn't taunt his fallen
Oh that Brad Culpepper. What an asshole.
So Tadhana loses immunity for the third straight time, and
now the five man alliance is reeling
this is where Brad decides that his original game plan isn't working.
I mean, come on, Tadhana is 0 and 3. They haven't
This is where Brad realizes that, up to now, he has been approaching
this game all wrong.
This is also where fate is gonna now start
shitting directly onto his head.
"Coming back from the last challenge, my whole perspective
"That's when the light bulb went..."
"Here's the deal. I'm running our tribe right now."
"But John's wife, Candice, is KICKIN' it at Redemption
"And let's say she gets back in the game."
"If we go to the merge and they're reconnected, Brad doesn't
control John anymore."
"Candice controls John."
"And I'm just kicked to the curb and I'm second fiddle."
so this is where Brad changes his strategy. Like
else, he is still trying to figure out how to work around Redemption
Island, and how to use its weird eccentricities to your advantage.
So this is the solution he comes up with.
"We can't afford to have both John and Candice back in the
We vote John out. And then he takes out Candice
over at Redemption for us.
Brad is the one who suggests they take the Candice variable out
of the mix, by using their ally John. And of course the rest
the tribe is more than happy to go along, because they all thought John
was too close to Brad anyway. Besides, John also has those
scary idol clues.
On paper, this is actually a pretty good plan.
Oh, but then Brad of course says something stupid in front of his tribe
He can't resist. He's Brad. This is what he does.
suggests that they all vote for John. Except he DOESN'T vote
John, just so he can stay in the guy's good graces when he comes back
into the game.
Yeah, I don't think so, says Vytas.
"Nuh uh. If we make a move like this we gotta suck
it up and do it together."
And here is the problem that Brad Culpepper runs into time and time
again when it comes to Survivor. Which is sort of funny, in a
way, when you realize how much of an asshole he is always perceived as.
"Brad just doesn't want to be the bad guy."
Okay, so time for the third Tribal Council. And time for the
big John Cody blindside.
always, please note that Brad isn't doing this because is trying to be
an asshole. He is doing it because he is trying to work
the tricky Redemption Island variable.
He is doing it because he wants Candice out of the game. He
wants to become John's number one ally down the road.
Brad tells Probst he is sensitive to the fact that
he seems to get blamed for everyone
who is voted out.
"It's not true but that's the assumption."
I mean, I'm gonna get blamed for John's boot this time
anyway. So why not?
And then the votes start to come in.
See ya John. Note the smiley face.
I love the Brad Culpepper side eye here. He can't
even look over to see the reaction.
Huh. Well fuck you too, buddy.
And just like that, Brad's best friend and number one ally has just
been voted out of the game. And this time, for the first time
ever, it actually WAS all because of Brad.
and Ciera laugh because they know how much heat Brad is going
take over this. I mean, he just voted out Candice's
That's almost as amazing as voting out your MOM.
*smuff* Bye John.
Meanwhile, it is now dawning on Brad that...
You know, I might actually take some heat over this
And this is where the shit is going to hit the fan for our friend,
Mister Brad Culpepper.
Because John shows up at Redemption Island. And
Candice realizes who was responsible for this.
And they just do it right there in the three-person shelter
And meanwhile Marissa is like..
"Well THIS isn't going to be uncomfortable."
Okay so we're now to episode four. Brad Culpepper is about to
get a Jason Siska-level bitchslap by the gods of Survivor.
And hey, guess what? It starts with Brad talking too much and
saying something stupid again!
"The strategy now is loved ones. We need people
have loved ones on the other tribe. John didn't have that."
By the way, guess who ELSE doesn't have a loved one around anymore?
That's right. John's other good ally, Caleb.
Fun fact: Colton sucks
anyway, yeah. Brad's game is basically a turd spinning slowly
slowly as it goes down to the toilet bowl now. And it's not
to get any prettier from here.
Because that's right, it's time for the next duel!
"Come on in, guys!"
Here comes Candice. Right out in front.
And guess what happens when you vote out her husband?
It is never said. But I believe the FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER
has been implied.
Ready for Jeff to ask her about that angry middle finger
Please ask me about it. Please ask me about it.
Please ask me about it.
Naturally, Probst can't resist.
"Candice, what was it like last night seeing your husband
"I was really upset."
"I wanted somebody to come that she and I could work
together to beat."
"Somebody you could hate."
"Somebody I could HATE."
"Like Brad Culpepper!"
Annnnnnd here we go.
What up, Brad?
By the way, I should point out that when they cut to the long
of Candice staring him down, Brad isn't actually staring back at her.
He is simply looking down at the ground, and trying to avoid
eye contact. See the diagram below.
Now Candice starts to mock him over the fact that he won't look her in
the eyes. She starts taunting him the way Gervase would have
"Just, you know, look away."
"You're a child."
Probst, of course, has to ask Monica what she thinks about all this.
"Monica, EVERY time we come here, your husband gets drilled."
She does her best to defend him. But what can she do?
She has no more idea what is going on over there than anyone
"You know, there's not just one person voting.
It's an entire
Brad then points out (correctly) that most of the votes so
far have been unanimous.
And I'm not even the one drawing the damn smiley faces!
Candice isn't done with her little hit piece though.
"Monica, we've been listening to the people who get voted
"About how he's shushing the women."
"He's never shushed a woman!"
"Ask John. Did you ever see me shush a woman?"
Even John can't back up his wife on this one. He says he has
never seen Brad shush a woman.
"I didn't see it."
"When Marissa came to our camp she felt about this small."
Brad, of course, can't let this last accusation go. At this
point now they are attacking his character.
"Ask your husband if I've hushed anybody."
"Did I hush you?"
"He didn't hush me."
"No, he didn't hush a man who's bigger than him.
Who can beat
All kidding aside, this is really one of the more
uncomfortable scenes in Survivor history. Especially when it
all bullshit. In fact Candice even admitted it
after the season was over. In interviews, she said that
is fair in the game of Survivor, and she was pissed at Brad and Monica,
and she wanted to make it tough for them. Because screw
for voting her out, and screw Brad for voting her husband out.
Screw you guys for not giving me a chance to play, I'm taking
of course, won't go so far as to back up his wife's accusations.
But he does have an important memo he feels he should share
"I will say that, accusations aside, everybody that's been
voted out and
been sent to Redemption Island. Every single time it's been
"Maybe people should start thinking about knocking the king
After all this drama, and screaming, and the accusations, the duel
itself that follows is fairly anticlimactic.
Especially because it's a puzzle, and puzzles are boring
Although we do get these two fun little moments
"Candice placing a piece."
"She's always calm."
"Unless she's yelling at Culpepper."
"Cut my baby, I cut you."
And I do like this one.
Ever the optimist, even the beaten-down Brad still thinks he
can regain his social standing in the middle of the duel
Especially when he sees that John has made a mistake with
"I could still get John to like me again. Watch."
"John, one of yours doesn't fit. Right hand side."
"Of all people to give John a hand, it was Brad Culpepper."
John takes Brad's advice and he winds up winning the duel
John! Wins the duel!
"Candice! Finishes second!"
A good sport as always. After all that, Brad still
applauds for them. Nice job.
So Marissa is out of the game, and this is where Candice
decides she wants to dig the knife into the Culpeppers even further
Because John gets to decide who gets a clue to the hidden immunity idol.
And Candice, of course, has one hated candidate in mind
Hmmmm. Who should I give the clue to?
Who do I want to make a target out of?
"Let's give it to Monica."
It's the forgotten variable in the whole Cody/Culpepper drama.
People forget how angry Candice was at Monica.
"John, does she tell you what to do all the time?"
"She does. I don't always listen."
"Jeff, that's what husbands and wives do."
So that's that.
"I'll give the clue to Monica."
Why? I don't know. Spite.
"Maybe just to spread the love a little bit."
"So you're trying to take a Culpepper down."
"It's a game, Jeff. I mean, there's nothing
They just seem to have a lot of power right now."
Naturally, Monica is leery of accepting any sort of an idol clue from
the Codys. Partially because she is in a strong alliance
already, and she doesn't want to spook anyone, and partially because
she knows Candice hates her guts, and she's not an idiot. So
Monica does the smart thing for Monica and she throws it in the fire.
Yeah, no thanks.
"Walk down there, put it in the fire."
"We're really kind of not interested over here."
"I don't think our tribe's interested."
This is definitely not the outcome that Candice was
expecting. And she shows her displeasure to her husband.
Well, so much for that plan.
"Good job, Mon."
This, of course, is the beginning of a wonderful run of episodes where
the players start burning every single idol clue that Probst tries to
give them. Which you know must have pissed him off something
royally since Probst pretty much masturbates at the altar of "idol
plays" and "voting off your mom" and "BIG MOVES!" these days.
He must have HATED it when the players in Blood vs Water
refused to even bother trying to find an idol. And yes, of
course you know that is going to be a Funny 115 entry one of these
days. Meta things that piss off Probst are always a
lot of fun to write about.
Like this, for example. You know how much Probst
must have hated this. HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO MY COACH AND MY
So anyway, Monica refuses the clue, Candice and John's plan to take her
down doesn't work out, and all is right in the world. Monica
did what was best for Monica, the clue got burned, and that was that.
But that doesn't mean Candice can't get in one last little dig at her.
"Doin' what she's told."
Which is pretty amusing when you realize Candice just told her husband
what to do about two minutes before this.
Eat shit, Candice. Eat all of the
So that's it for the blowout between Candice and the
Culpeppers. It was ugly, it was mean spirited, it was
completely uncalled for, and you'd THINK that it would only get nastier
from here. After all, you'd think this would just be a
gateway into even more nastiness, especially because at the
very least there will be at least one more duel featuring both of the
Codys and both of the Culpeppers.
However, in a season that features a lot of twists and turns, here
comes one of the more unexpected ones.
It turns out that John and Candice start to enjoy all the
time they are spending together on Redemption Island.
I mean, they aren't in the game, true. But at
least now they get to spend an island honeymoon together.
Right now it is just the two of them out here.
So maybe instead of cursing Brad Culpepper, maybe they really should be
thanking him. I mean, if not for nice guy Brad Culpepper,
maybe the two of them wouldn't be out here on Redemption having the
time of their lives.
So that's pretty much the end of the nastiness between Candice and the
Culpeppers. It started with the Marissa vote out, it peaked
with the duel after John was voted out, and this is the last time we
will see it again in the episodes. From this point on,
Candice and John are pretty much just on an endless honeymoon.
Of course, there are OTHER variables that explain why the
rivalry dies out as well, so let's get into them.
It's time to wrap up the end of the sad Brad Culpepper tragedy.
Back on the returning players tribe, Monica is having a
breakdown because everyone is being so mean to her husband
"If I know Brad, he's the first one up, he's the first one
"He's the one making sure everyone is fed."
"He's doing everything he can to make it easier for our
loved ones on
the other side."
"And I guess that just puts a target on your back."
Publicly, Monica is saying all the right things because she knows her
husband is a good guy, and she knows he would never shush anyone.
Especially a female. She knows that everything
Candice was saying was total B.S.
Privately, Monica is a little more honest about what she thinks Brad's
chances are right about now.
"Is there ever gonna be a duel that my husband is not
verbally accosted? By a bunch of people who don't even know
"You know, leaders have followers."
"And if that's the case then somebody's buyin' what he's
And now, her prediction. Which turns out to be remarkably
"Brad IS the strongest one out here."
"If he makes it to the merge I won't believe it."
And yep. You guessed it. Here comes the inevitable
Brad Culpepper blindside.
Frankly, with his storyline, I think it's amazing it took four episodes.
Back at Tadhana, the only thing that anyone can talk about
is Candice's Redemption Island outburst
"That's not Redemption Island. It's the Brad
"They're mad when we vote out a loved one, and then
somebody's mad when we don't."
I love this next quote, by the way.
"Nobody's mad at YOU guys."
They're mad at ME!
Brad, of course, is pretty beaten down by what happened at Redemption
Arena today. Because it's one thing for everyone to throw
daggers at him. Now they are throwing daggers at his wife.
And for him, this just isn't fun anymore. At this
point, you can sort of just see it in his eyes. None
of this is fun. He just wants it to end.
"Yeah, today was a rough day."
"I wasn't expecting Candice to be so... uh... personal
The plan for Tadhana at this point is to vote out Caleb.
And there's really only one reason why Caleb has any sort of a target
on his back. Basically, Brad wants to vote somebody out who
doesn't have any loved ones on the other side. He is looking
for the ONE person he can vote out, where he won't get yelled at.
Yes, this is how far Brad Culpepper's morale has sunk. He has
gone from "Wow! I love Survivor! This is so
exciting!" And now he is at, "Let's get this over with.
I just don't want to get yelled at."
And remember, this is only the fourth episode.
"If Caleb rolls out there on the arena floor, nobody's gonna
screamin' at me."
Okay, I think we can pretty much skip to the end here.
The returning players win immunity for the fourth straight
Galang wins their fourth in a row!
Well that sucks
Brad then promises the girls that the vote is going to be for Caleb
tonight, and that both of them are safe. He says that voting
out Caleb would more or less be a peace offering to the other tribe,
and this is something they need to do.
Here he is explaining this while shushing them
He also reiterates to both Katie and Ciera that he has never lied
to them before, and he is not lying to them now.
And then Brad Culpepper, that notorious villain, that asshole above all
assholes, gives his final confessional where he spells out what a huge
jerk he has been this entire time.
"All I ever wanted to do was keep this tribe strong."
And then, BAM. Caleb pulls a fast one on Brad at Tribal
Council, and he flips around the vote on Brad instead.
"Brad when you sit at home, and you fantasize about being on
Survivor, this is not how it goes."
Boy, you sure said that right.
And just like that...
Brad finally gets the mercy killing that he should have gotten about two
And what does he do?
What does this arrogant creep who is terrible to everyone and is a
total self-centered egotistical jerk do after Caleb turns the vote
around and blindsides him?
"Sorry dude. You mess with the bull, you get the
After he is blindsided...
He reaches over to Caleb.
And he congratulates him.
"Good job. Nice work. No hard feelings."
Man that Brad Culpepper is just a fucking asshole.
"Good luck Ciera. It was nice playing with you."
"I made a bad move. It was my fault.
By the way, check out Ciera's eyes in that last picture. When
Brad reaches over to congratulate Caleb, she has no idea what he is
doing. She just hears him reaching over. I bet if
you asked her in an interview, she would say she was scared shitless
because she thought Brad was going to punch Caleb out. In any
case, this is my new favorite Ciera picture.
Guys, she voted out her MOM
And so thus ends the tale of Brad Culpepper.
From the top of the world to the bottom of the dump, in just four
episodes. It was a pretty amazing story arc.
He even gets a couple of good quotes off on the way out.
"Guys, I'm not mad."
"... not like everybody else."
And then maybe my favorite Brad Culpepper quote of all time.
"The tribe has spoken. Head off to Redemption
Island, where you will find John and Candice. Good luck."
"Oh THAT'S gonna be fun."
THE FEEL-GOOD EPILOGUE
Now you'd think that is the end of Brad Culpepper's story arc.
But it actually isn't. He actually has a pretty
good moment during his stay on Redemption Island.
This is also the part where I point out that, if I've done my
job right, maybe I can actually get you to tear up while you are
reading this last section. This is one of those rare Survivor
moments that can actually bring a tear to my eye when I am watching the
Okay, so Brad arrives on Redemption Island. Or as
I like to say, he interrupts John and Candice's 48-hour island sex romp.
"Kudos to Caleb. He got me. That was a
Man, what an asshole.
Oh, and what is the first thing this monster does when he
sees John and Candice?
I'm sorry Candice. I'm sorry John. I
completely understand if you guys are mad at me. Maybe we can
settle this one day by grabbing some beers and going to an antique mall.
And then we get to the duel.
The first thing Monica does when she sees Brad is she
tearfully offers to take his place. She will personally take
a bullet just so her beloved husband can get back in the game.
But Brad will have none of it.
No way, he says, while completely not shushing her.
"All I want, before I leave, is for everyone to know that
I'm not a jerk."
"My tribe already knows that. I just want the rest
of you to know that before I'm gone."
And with that, Brad is ready to make his last stand.
But then, a funny thing happens. Something you never
would expect if you just went on Candice's word that Brad was simply
this egotistical asshole.
Brad winds up in a very close challenge against the Codys
And the entire returning player tribe starts rooting for him
Even Gervase starts cheering for him. All of a
sudden Brad becomes the big fan favorite that he was back when he was a
And just like that, with the cheers of the Galang tribe driving him to
Brad finally wins his first challenge of his Survivor
Just like that, for maybe the first time ever....
Redemption Island has actually redeemed someone.
"Brad! Stays alive! He beats Candice!"
Like I said, this is one of the very few Survivor scenes that can
actually bring a tear to my eye
Adrian Monica, I did it! Yo Adrian Monica, we did it!
The one fleeting moment of glory in his Survivor experience.
Thank you Brad Culpepper.
And then, in his very last moment of Brad Culpepper being an enormous asshole.
He applauds for Candice and tells her good job.
Culpepper might not have been the best Survivor player in the world.
He might not have been the biggest fan favorite in the world.
Hell, one could argue he was easily one of the biggest doofus
in the history of the show. But damnit, I will NOT sit here and
let any more history pass with Survivor fans thinking he was just this
enormous asshole. Brad Culpepper was not an asshole. He
wasn't an asshole
at ANY point during Blood vs. Water. I mean, go back through this
entry, and point out one time where he actually said or did anything
that was actually mean to someone. You can't do it. That
footage doesn't exist. All you will find is Brad going out of his
way, over and over, to be a good sport and to try to be nice to people.
Culpepper might not have been a great Survivor
player, but he was a good guy, and the Blood vs Water episodes showed
that over and
over and over. In fact, after writing this entry, I am more
convinced now than ever that Brad should have been the first
player voted back when they did Second Chances. In my
opinion, no player in the history of the show has EVER needed more
of a redemption story than he does. And yes, I am even including
Silas in this.
Still waiting for that call back
That was so fucked up when America snubbed Brad and they didn't vote for him to get
a second chance in Cambodia. I just hope everyone who is reading
this realizes that. And this is why I hope America never ever
EVER gets to cast a vote at a final Tribal Council. Survivor fans
can never (and will never) be trusted to vote for the right people. They just can't.
I mean, my god. Vytas? Brad was even a good sport when he lost the returnee vote on national TV.
come on, to end this entry, how about I post Brad's final words for
Monica right after he loses his last duel? Tell me this isn't an
awesome speech from an awesomely great guy. These are the kind of
sentiments that can bring a tear to your eye. Who else has ever had a
sweeter final speech than this one?
"Monica, I came on here as a shield." "Through my fault, or no fault of my own, I probably became an anchor."
"You're free. Wind's blowin'. Sail."
And just like that, he was out of our lives. Never to be seen again.
Until he came back and started shushing everyone again and antiquing a couple of seasons later in Game Changers.
Thank you, Brad Culpepper. Thank you for everything.
Thank you for being a friend
And also, fuck you.
P.S. Here's the thing with this entry. This was originally
supposed to be the single most important entry on the Funny 115.
I originally sat down to plan F115 version three, I had a couple
of goals in mind, but #1 out of all of them was, "I want to write
something that defends Brad Culpepper." Because in my mind, that
was something I had never seen anyone do before on the internet.
All you saw prior to me planning this entry was "Brad Culpepper
sucks." Or "Brad Culpepper is an ass." Or the worst
offender of them all, that moron who wrote how Brad was a sexist
asshole and how he was killing Survivor. Again, when I first sat
down to plan this entry, all I remember thinking was, my God, I could
be the first person EVER to point out that Brad is actually a pretty
good guy. And that there is no footage anywhere to back up what
everyone was saying about him. For me, this was one of those
"Chris Daugherty Moments" where this was an entry I knew could make a
world of difference when it came to how a player might be perceived one
day. And that's why I always told myself before writing it, when
you do the Brad Culpepper entry, you absolutely have to nail it.
Out of all the entries on version three, this one is the
But then, along the way, a funny thing happened.
few weeks before I got to my big Brad Culpepper redemption entry, it
was announced that Brad was going to come back as a contestant on
Survivor: Game Changers. And along with the cast announcement
came this picture, where he held up a sign and he totally went along
with the joke that everyone was always yelling at him.
"Troyzan? What kind of a name is that!?
It's Fuck You B. Culpepper's Island!"
The minute I saw that picture, I was immediately struck by two
competing emotions. The first one was YES! HE DID IT!
That's the picture that is going to win everyone over about him.
Once people realize he is in on the joke, it will be impossible
for everyone in the fan base to think he is a douchebag now.
other emotion, of course, was NOOOO. I wanted to get my entry out
there before everyone came around on him. Because I knew people
were going to come around on him eventually, you just can't really hate
the guy if you go back and you rewatch Blood vs Water again. So
this concept of Brad suddenly being re-cast out of nowhere, and turning
into a fan favorite before I could actually write anything about him
was something that sort of caught me off guard. It also tells me
that I really need to write these entries a lot faster.
any case, now please let the truth be known. I have always loved
Brad Culpepper. I can think of no more noble purpose for the
Funny 115 than to help get this guy the redemption that he has always
deserved. Of course, he managed to do it on his own pretty much
just by holding up that picture, but that doesn't change the fact that
the ONLY reason I start every entry with what I like to call "The
Shaming of the Culpepper" is because I wanted to take something
negative and help turn it into something positive. The only
reason I curse him out at the start of each entry is because I wanted
to help take the sting away of something that was probably a very
hurtful time of his life, and I wanted to make it fun. So yes,
there has always been a method to my madness with those FUCK YOU BRAD
CULPEPPER pictures at the start of each entry. Which is good,
because I'm not planning to end that tradition any time soon.
There will always be a place for FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER when it
comes to the Funny 115. Even if no, of course I don't mean it.
If anything I am just making fun of all the people out there who
hated him so much.
P.P.S. There are a lot of great Brad Culpepper fan interaction
stories floating around out there on the internet, but this is my
Blood vs. Water, my friend Dwight haaaaated Brad Culpepper. He just
didn't like the way Brad played the game. I think he thought that Brad
wasn't a good sport. Something about being rude or playing too hard or
blah blah blah. Honestly I don't really know the details because I tend
to stop listening when people complain about Brad. For one thing, he's
hilarious. Also, I personally like Brad's game style and thought that
he had a great attitude. Anyone who had a major problem with Brad just
wasn't on *his level*, in my opinion.
so my friend Dwight's birthday was coming around and I knew it was a
great time to really aggravate his Fuck You Brad Culpepper emotions. I
knew these emotions existed because I saw them flare up every time
Dwight and I watched a B v W episode. But I didn't know how deep they
went. So I prepared a little birthday package to find out.
put a few different things in this birthday package. I forged a letter
from Brad Culpepper congratulating Dwight for being nominated the
president of the local chapter of the Brad Culpepper fan club.
Obviously there is no local chapter of the Brad Culpepper fan club, but
I knew it would just piss Dwight off to even be associated with a
fictional concept of this club. I also had a shirt made with the number
76 on the back of it (one of Brad's numbers during his time on the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)
And then to seal the deal... I contacted Mr. Culpepper himself.
took a little bit of trying, but I finally got a hold of him at his law
office in Tampa. (Now that I think about it, I wonder if there
are any court transcripts or recordings of Culpepper in action in the
courtroom? I'll have to look that up sometime). I told Brad that my
friend Dwight was his biggest fan. We had elected Dwight the president
of our local fan club that was dedicated to Culpepper awesomeness, I
told him. Brad was flattered. I felt a little guilty for
lying, but oh well fuck it.
I told Brad I had two humble requests:
You don't happen to have any signed head shots from your glory days in
the NFL do you? Dwight would absolutely shit his pants with birthday
joy if any of those showed up at his doorstep on his big day.
Do you have the time to record a short video for Dwight, wishing him
happy birthday and congratulating him on his recent presidential
election? It would mean THE WORLD to him.
guess what... Brad came through like a true champion. He sent me a
couple awesome 8x10 signed portraits of himself lined up on the line
during his football glory days. And they were signed with nice messages
too -- "Happy Birthday Dwight!" and "Congratulations Dwight!" Really
cool of him to do that.
he also emailed me the video!!!! It's a 10-15 second video of Brad
standing in front of the ocean in Florida wishing my friend Dwight a
happy birthday and also insulting me. He said something like "Dwight,
Happy Birthday my man. Thanks for being a fan. You're a real winner.
Not like that clown Aaron."
I burned the video on a DVD and put everything in a package that I left
on Dwight's doorstep. I made the return address look like it came from
Brad Culpepper and put stamps on it and everything. Dwight's mind was
blown and he still has no idea what happened.
TLDR: Brad is a great dude!
This is why I have some of the greatest readers. Here are
some of the FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER parody pictures that readers of
mine sent in that I have judged too weird to use in an entry. A
lot of them are really funny, but I thought they were too off kilter to
use in a writeup. But now, thanks to the miracle of the internet,
and to my tradition of endless P.S.'s, hey, now they can see the light
of day. Thanks to anyone and everyone who keeps sending me ideas
for these things. You should see how many fun ones I have lined
up for the next 80+ entries.
I really wanted to use this one in an entry, but I just couldn't.
If you don't know it, this is a parody of my book about the first three Survivor seasons. Which, hey, is available on Amazon!
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Here is a fun little video to end the entry. Thank you to Ryan Weiss for creating this.
** Thanks to about twenty
different people who sent me the FUBC picture at the top. And
thank you to Cory Gage, Aaron Conn, Ryan Weiss, Will Holston, and Tom
Dube (among others) who sent me the rejected FUBC pictures **