Funny 115 - The Third One
The Quiet Adventures of Purple Kelly
Nicaragua - episodes 1-12
Over the years, the Survivor franchise has produced
a lot of legends.
Such as the Sandras. And the Coaches. And the Zoes.
And the Boston Robs.
There's one legend, however, whose story has NEVER been told.
The Milk Milker
Get ready for the saddest entry of all time.
It's time for the Quiet Adventures of Purple Kelly.
The Quiet Adventures Of Purple Kelly
For starters, who exactly IS Purple Kelly?
Do we actually know anything about her?
For most people, the answer to that question is "no."
most Survivor fans, she's simply that girl who quit towards the end of
Survivor: Nicaragua. And because she quit, Jeff Probst and the
producers were furious with her, and they decided to make an example out of her.
So they basically cut her out of the season. Just to warn other players
in the future... DON'T YOU DARE FUCKING QUIT ON OUR SHOW. Or this is
what we'll do to you. We'll make it seem like you weren't even there.
And really, to this day, that's Kelly Shinn's only legacy among most
She was the first player in Survivor history who was basically edited
out of a season.
Oh hai, Kelly
Although it's not like she was forgotten entirely.
After Nicaragua, whenever a player doesn't get any airtime in a season, Survivor fans nowadays say that
player got "a purple edit."
Out of respect for The Forgotten One.
Kelly's edit (or lack thereof) is one of those things that the hardcore
internet fans have known about for years. Because I'm not exaggerating,
it really is one of the craziest things ever if you
jokes. They seriously just CUT HER OUT OF THE WHOLE GODDAMN SEASON.
the extent that the first time you see her on screen, she literally has a tree blocking her face.
This is a message from Jeff Probst. Fuck you.
I've talked to a lot of people who I would call Survivor insiders over the years. and from
what I've been told, the producers were so furious that Kelly quit
Nicaragua, that they apparently set a mandate. They basically told the
editors, just get rid of her. Cut her out of the storyline. And
you DO have to leave her in a scene, make sure you humiliate her.
Which leads us to the fact that Kelly really only speaks about six times the
entire season. She really only gets two confessionals in twenty eight days!
And the handful of times she IS allowed to speak, they make sure she sounds like an idiot.
"You get to milk your own milk, I guess."
"I have nothing left to suck."
Oh, and then there's the most famous time she's allowed to speak in Nicaragua.
Where an entire scene is dedicated to pointing out how little she
I'm going to do in this entry is, I'm going to walk you through Purple
Kelly's entire storyline in Survivor: Nicaragua. Exactly the way
producers depicted it in the episodes. It's going to be either really
sad, or really funny, depending on how you personally feel about her.
Because I'm not exaggerating, they really do just absolutely crap on
her. There's NO other player in first twenty-one seasons who got an
edit anywhere near as bad as she did.
Trust me, there are bad edits, and then there's Purple Kelly's bad
edit. It just blows everyone else's crappy edit away.
Especially when you start to go looking for it.
Funny how that torch wound up blocking her face
Boy, that's a great shot to include in an episode
Even when they subtitle her, they crop off most of her face
anyway, Rose, are you ready to go back to Titanic? Are you ready to
walk through the entire humiliating storyline of Purple Kelly?
Before I start, I should probably add this last little
disclaimer. It's actually kind of important.
know a lot of fans think that Kelly deserved the edit she got in
Nicaragua. If you ask around, the vast majority of Survivor fans you talk to
will say, well, the producers were right to cut her out of the season.
They were right to make her look like a fool. Because she was a
quitter. If a
player quits a season of Survivor, the producers HAVE to embarrass
them in the edit, just as a warning to other potential
players in the
future. They're basically telling other future Survivor players, "If we cast you, if we invest all this time in you, and you
quit, then THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS."
is the opinion of the vast majority of Survivor fans that you'll meet.
If they remember Kelly at all (which is unlikely), the first thing
they'll generally say about her is, well, she got what she deserved.
Because quitters should never be
treated with respect by the show. If you quit Survivor, after
taking someone else's casting spot, then fuck
you, you're dead to us. A lot of people think it was
hilarious what the editors did to her.
And that's fine. If you believe that, I'm not going to sit here and try
to change your mind.
Do you actually know WHY Kelly quit in Survivor: Nicaragua?
going to put this next part in super big, bold letters, just so it's
the part you remember. Because in my opinion, what the producers
did to Kelly was one of the biggest producer dick moves of
all time. In fact, I don't think she deserved what happened
to her at all.
QUIT BECAUSE THE PRODUCERS WOULDN'T LET HER WEAR ANY CLOTHES.
HER GO OUT THERE IN JUST A BIKINI AND A SUN DRESS, AND THAT'S ALL THEY
WOULD LET HER WEAR BECAUSE HER CHARACTER WAS "THE HOT GIRL."
AFTER 28 DAYS OF HAVING NO CLOTHES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NICARAGUAN STORM
SEASON, HER BODY COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, AND SHE QUIT.
PRODUCERS GOT MAD AT HER AND THEY TOOK IT OUT ON HER IN THE EDIT.
ALL BECAUSE OF
A PROBLEM THAT THEY
SPECIFICALLY CREATED FOR HER IN THE FIRST PLACE.
The only clothes Kelly was allowed to wear
might think I'm making that up, but go back and read all the Nicaragua
exit interviews that came out after the season ended. And look how it
was mentioned by just about every single player who came out of the
They all made a point to comment how shitty it was that the
producers wouldn't let Kelly wear anything but a bikini and a sun
dress. They all pointed out she was freezing her ass off, every single
night, and the other players were surprised she even made it
twenty-eight days at
all. The producers wouldn't even let her bring a jacket.
This is how she slept at night. All
huddled up for warmth.
and, speaking of not having a jacket, this actually becomes important
to the story of the season. Kelly not having a jacket is actually one of
the reasons that Fabio won.
Most hardcore fans will already know
this, but it might be news to people who don't know Nicaragua
very well. Because none of this was included in the episodes
all. This information only came out later, when all of the players did
their exit interviews.
The reason Kelly voted for Fabio to
win at the end was because Fabio was just a genuinely good guy. After
almost every single day, he would let her borrow his jacket.
Just because she had no warm clothes, and everyone else did,
and he didn't think it was fair. He simply wanted to look out for her.
Any shot you see like this, she is wearing Fabio's jacket
any case, before I walk through Purple Kelly's purple edit, I just
wanted to point that out to you. You might have already been aware
of it, but you'd be surprised how many people out there don't know
about any of this. Mostly because Nicaragua is such a forgotten
season, and Kelly was just such a forgettable character.
Meanwhile, TO THIS DAY, the people who played with her are all still
trying to stick up for her.
They all know she got screwed.
a personal note, I should mention that I've never had a single
Kelly over the years. So I don't have any personal stake in this issue
like I've had with some of the other causes I've defended on the Funny
115 (like defending Lex, or Brad Culpepper). I've never written to
her, I've never met her, I've never had any interactions with her at
all. But I do know a lot of people who HAVE interacted with her. For a
few years after
Nicaragua, she was very active at most of the fan events.
And do you know what every single person I've ever known who has met
Purple Kelly has said about her?
It's usually some variant of this:
"She's the nicest Survivor I've ever met. I can't believe what the
producers did to her."
If the producers had a punching bag
With all that in mind, let's look at Purple
Kelly's storyline in Survivor: Nicaragua now.
We're going to carefully go through it, episode by episode.
I can guarantee you no one else has ever gotten an edit like this.
The Tale of Purple Kelly
aka The Humiliation Edit
Okay, it's episode one of Survivor: Nicaragua.
And we're about to be introduced to one of the most infamous Survivor
characters of all time.
There she is, hidden among the trees. It's the infamous
Why exactly is she named "Purple Kelly"?
It's funny, I've actually seen a lot of people ask this on message
boards over the years. They don't actually spell it out very well in
She's called Purple Kelly because there are two Kellys on the tribe,
and it's too confusing to call both of them Kelly.
And because Kelly Shinn has purple streaks in her hair...
She quickly becomes known as Purple Kelly
So we meet all the castaways in Survivor: Nicaragua.
And we get
the ridiculous shot I pointed out earlier, where Kelly has a goddamn stick in
front of her face.
Spoiler: She's probably not the winner
And you know what?
This is the most we're going to see of Purple Kelly for a while.
She's not really going to speak for the first six episodes.
Oh hi, mysterious one
Here's Kelly hanging out with her friends
Here she is laughing
Probst has all of the players walk out. And he
introduces them all. And then he breaks them out into the younger
players against the older players. Because that is going to be the
theme of the season, old against young.
Here's Kelly (off camera) on her new tribe of the younger
She will barely be a member of La Flor
By the way, want to see one of the first really good shots the editors
include of Kelly in the episode?
I love this one.
She has her back turned
So the La Flors meet up for the first time. And they have a little
Kelly's left elbow is involved
Then they head back to camp.
Then we get a couple scenes where Kelly either has her back
turned to the camera...
Or the editors specifically use an angle that hides her behind a tree.
No matter what shot they decide to use, she's either not facing the
camera, or she's just some vague shape off in the background.
basically just set decoration.
Here's Purple Kelly frolicking in the surf
And, you know, things aren't going to get that much better for her.
Oh wait, except for the first immunity challenge. I forgot
about this one.
She actually gets airtime here
Here's Purple Kelly doing jazz hands
Probst actually addresses her by name at the first immunity challenge.
Which is like the only time this will happen for maybe half the season.
"She's Kelly B. And you're going by Purple Kelly. Is that
Sweet Jesus, she gets a reaction shot
Then, of course, it's right back to basically just being a piece of set
La Flor celebrates their first big immunity win
Oh yeah. And I should also include this.
When you insert a closeup of your heroine's face...
Make sure she's looking down
So that's episode one.
Meanwhile, episode two
starts with PURPLE KELLY ACTUALLY TALKING!
Oh, she doesn't actually get a confessional. Don't get crazy, she's not going to get one of
those for a while.
But she does actually speak.
A lot of people don't remember this part.
Naturally, she has her back to the camera while she's talking
They specifically use a quote where she points out how gross she is
"I've never gone so long without showering or brushing my
Guess what? A few minutes later, they actually do this AGAIN.
The producers include another shot that only exists so she
can point out how gross she is getting.
"I am so eaten alive. My legs are out of control."
After that back to back punch of random airtime, we finally come up to the malicious part.
Starting in episode two, the show starts to compleeeeeetely
cut Purple Kelly out of anything that might be important to
the storyline. This is where the producers start to get especially
nasty with her. And it's funny, because even at the time the season was
airing, a lot of people noticed it, and they thought it was strange.
To be blunt, for the next five episodes, people will talk ABOUT Kelly.
But we will never actually hear FROM Kelly. People will only talk about
her as if she's an NPC.
Which is bizarre because... if you look at the structure of the
tribe... Kelly is actually an important part of the majority alliance.
In fact, not only is she an important part of the majority alliance,
she will remain an important part of the majority alliance almost every single
minute until the day that she quits.
You may not realize this unless you pay attention to Nicaragua
really close, but because she has a good social game, and because
she winds up being friends with everyone, Purple Kelly is actually one of the power
So here we go.
They completely cut her out of all strategy talk starting in episode two.
"We need an alliance. Let's start
bringing in people. Maybe Brenda."
"What about Purple?"
Pretty soon, the La Flor
Medallion Alliance of Power has
been assembled. It consists
of Naonka, Purple Kelly, Sash, Brenda, and Chase.
I mean, we ASSUME that's who's in it. We never actually SEE Purple Kelly being in it.
For the next few episodes, everyone just TELLS us that she's in it.
This is specifically what they tell you not to do in writing class.
You're supposed to show, not tell.
"I've got Nay. I like Sash. I feel like I can
get Kelly Purple."
"And I'm really tight with Chase. That makes five."
"It's you, me, Purple, Sash, and Nay," says Chase
"This sucks, man. I can't believe they got Purple."
You can basically wash, rinse, and repeat these exact scenes any time someone is going to talk about the alliance for the next
or six episodes. Every strategy talk on La Flor (no matter who's
talking) will include some variant of "Hey, Kelly's in the alliance
too. Kelly's actually kind of important."
But will we ever actually hear from the Purple One?
Actually, no, I was wrong.
We actually DO get to hear Kelly weigh in on the strategy talk
at least one time in episode two.
Naturally, the producers make sure she says something insightful.
So La Flor goes to their first Tribal Council at the end of episode two.
It's an especially crazy one.
is trying to get Brenda voted out. Fabio spends most of the time fighting with Naonka.
finds himself caught in the middle of everyone. At one point, Shannon
demands to know if the greatest bachelor in New York, Sash, is gay.
It's a night of complete chaos.
And how much airtime do you think the Purple One gets during one of the
most memorable Tribal Councils of all time?
I mean, here she is, staring
Here she is, sitting near Benry
Here she is, reacting to when Shannon asks if Sash
Ha, I tricked you. She actually gets a lot of airtime
at her first Tribal Council.
Sadly, this might be her only good scene of the season.
Here she is, amused by Nay saying she doesn't like
Here she is, looking smug when Shannon and his huge
nipples are voted out
Here she is, walking up to vote
She gets so much airtime at the first La Flor Tribal Council
that she's practically Russell.
course, I can't resist pointing out that the clip they use of her
voting out Shannon, the one that plays over the end credits...
Is one with her eyes closed
In any case, Purple Kelly gets a ton of reaction shots at the first La Flor
Tribal Council. And it's actually kind of cool.
But don't get used to it.
It's not gonna happen again.
Okay, so episode two is done. Now it's on to episode three.
And, to be honest, what have we learned about Purple Kelly so far?
We know she's probably part of an alliance
We know she likes Jeff Probst jokes
We know she likes putting her hair up
We know she likes watching Sash vote
We know she enjoys the beach
And guess what? We're not going to learn much more about her over the next two episodes either.
Because this is literally all we find out about Purple Kelly in
episodes three and four.
She likes to watch Fabio make fire
She enjoys looking over there, at that stuff
Um... let's see. What else?
She likes to walk in the sand
She spends time listening to Sash
Once again, we never actually see her talk strategy.
We never actually hear what her opinions are about anything.
Mostly, what we always get is this.
"The alliance is me, Sash, Chase, Brenda, and Kelly
Alright then, thank you Naonka.
"I trust us five, and that is it."
HOLY SHIT, SHE SPEAKS!
"I also wish we could find a way to milk our own milk."
Alright then, never mind.
In any case, episode three of Nicaragua is the infamous herb garden
episode. Which you might remember for the scene where Kelly Bruno's
mechanical leg tries to attack Naonka, and Naonka heroically fights the leg off and tries to throw it in the fire.
It's one of the most controversial episodes of all time.
Want to see Purple Kelly's contribution to the herb garden reward fight?
Here she is, reacting to the reward being an herb
And then afterwards, here she is eating a small piece of
Let's just say she doesn't get a whole lot of screentime in this episode.
Okay, we're now up to episode
No confessionals yet.
But this IS the stretch of the season where Purple Kelly actually gets to be in
a couple of action scenes.
Behold the screentime
Of course, most of her big action scenes don't actually feature
her as the focal point. Of course not, that would be far too
Most of Purple Kelly's big action scenes involve her...
Cheering on Benry
Or comfortably sitting on a bench
Or high fiving Fabio. All right!
Or again, appreciating Benry
But that's not all!
Not only does she do all that, she also finds time to...
See that Jimmy Johnson has been voted out
And cheer for her tribe from offscreen
And raise up on her toes
And, of course, there's always enough time to...
Celebrate the greatness that is Benry
Purple Kelly gets so much action in episode four that, at this point,
she has officially become a Jenna Lewis home movie.
Although I should point out that the editors are sure to
include at least one scene like this along the way.
Just to even things out.
Where she is covering her face
At the end of episode four, the La Flor tribe wins a bunch of
camping supplies. Including a rope and a tarp.
And don't think Purple Kelly won't get a chance to comment on this.
"Oh my God."
That's all we need.
She also wonders out loud if they have knives
All joking aside, there IS actually an important part of her storyline that
pops up at the end of episode four. Although you wouldn't know it
because of the way the scene is edited. You just sort of have to listen for it.
It happens when the La Flors win a tarp as part of their reward.
"Yay! Purple Kelly can sleep now!" says Fabio.
See, as I mentioned before, Kelly didn't have any clothes out
there. She was
freezing at night because the producers wouldn't give her anything warm
to sleep in.
In fact, trivia note, an insider source once told me that NO player has
ever been given less clothes than Kelly was in Survivor: Nicaragua.
After Nicaragua, I heard the producers quietly changed their policy,
and they made sure this sort of thing would never happen again.
Between having no clothes, and the fact that they had no roof over their head
during most of the big rainstorms, Kelly's life at this point was probably already quite
Most of her tribesmates have said she never got any sleep
Twelve days in. No sleep.
So the La Flors finally win a tarp to put over their shelter.
And nice guy
Fabio's first instinct is to be happy for Kelly because now she might
actually be able to sleep at night.
"Yay!!!!!", cheers Kelly. "A tarp!"
Only you wouldn't know any of this is actually important to the
Or why Fabio's friendship with Kelly winds up winning him a million dollars in the end.
And just WHY wouldn't you know any of this?
It's because the producers think it is more important that we hide all
of this behind a voiceover about Chase finding an idol clue.
Hey look, a clue
The entire scene with Fabio being happy that
Kelly can sleep now is mostly hidden in the background.
Because the most important thing in Survivor is apparently looking for magical
Literally every scene on Survivor. Seasons 31-60.
Okay, so that's episode four.
It's the start of episode
And where is Kelly's head right now?
Where does the Purple One stand at this point in the game?
Do we know?
Naonka? Do you have any ideas where she stands?
"My solid five right now is myself, Purple Kelly, Brenda,
Chase, and Sash."
"We are controlling this entire game right now."
We'll just take your word for it.
Hey, here's Kelly. She's taking a small bite of rice.
Kelly's dominance in the most powerful alliance is pretty much the
story of the season at this point.
I'm sorry, I phrased that wrong.
The biggest story about Kelly at this point is that she likes to wear
pretty, pretty flowers in her hair.
Has nothing left to pick
And, of course, episode five is where her world is about to come to an
five is where the dominance that Purple Kelly has created on
Flor is about to come crashing right down onto her head.
Because episode five is where she first hears those terrible words from
You don't respect the game, so fuck you.
What he actually says is...
"Drop your buffs."
Kelly, of course, is mortified by this development.
She immediately goes on a shalingua to tell us how upset she is over
"I'm gonna cry right now."
But it's okay. She eventually drops her buff.
She leaves her position of dominance.
For the first time all game, she puts her life in Survivor into the
hands of fate.
While doing that freaky elbow thing. Yuck.
And just like that, she winds up on New La Flor.
With a couple of her old allies
Although... don't think she doesn't get a couple of great Purple Kelly Action Moments (tm).
Here she is, smelling her new buff
Here she is, wishing she were applauding for Benry
Here she is, making... that noise
Here she is, handing a ball to Brenda
Oh and, remember how Kelly was always part of the power alliance on La
Well she's part of the power alliance on New La Flor too.
She will literally always be in power up until the episode where she
Has more power than She-Ra
So that's episode five.
Kelly has survived the twist, and she has experienced an incredible
Phoenix-like re-ascension to power.
She also has a tarp now.
Things are looking great for her.
"Oh, this is so exciting."
She hasn't actually had a confessional yet. She hasn't said more than a
couple of words. But... you know. Whatever.
Whoever this mystery woman is, she's well on her way to becoming a
major player in the endgame.
You can just see it in her eyes. She's playing to win.
Oh, and how does Kelly celebrate becoming part of the power core on New
She studies the inside of her water bottle
Okay. Now we're humming along. It's time for episode six.
At this point in the season, I should point out that
openly shitting on Purple Kelly in his "Previously on..." segments.
is one of those things that you won't catch until you go listening for
it, but at the start of episode six, Probst tells us that "the alliance
in power has always been the same. Since day one. It has always been
Naonka, Brenda, Chase, and Sash."
Naonka, Brenda, Chase, and Sash. And that's it.
And... um... wait a minute. Wasn't there a fifth
person in there as well?
Being erased from history like one of the McFly siblings
So yeah, Purple Kelly starts to be almost completely edited
out of the alliance at this point.
From here on out, she will barely be in the episodes at all.
And you thought her airtime had been limited BEFORE.
Here she is, standing near a conversation
Here she is, watching Jane chop a coconut
Here she is, being ready for today's immunity challenge
Here she is, running by Probst
It's an exciting part of the season if you're sitting there and trying
to catch a glimpse of her.
Here she is, reveling in Holly's tears
Here she is, passing just out of frame
Here she is, being way over there
I will point out that episode six contains my favorite "Kelly
randomly standing somewhere in the background" shot of them all.
You might be able to hide her, my friends.
But you will never be able to eliminate her.
Here she is, randomly lurking behind Marty
She'll swallow your soul
So anyway, that's episode six.
She is just flat out being cut of the episodes at this point.
"We're all going to vote together tonight. Purple Kelly is
voting along with us."
Oh, is she now?
I mean, I guess she is. Who knows?
So episode six ends.
We're now fifteen days into the game.
Kelly has received ZERO confessionals up to this point. Which, at the
time, was either a record or was really close to a record. She hasn't
been shown having a single strategy talk. She hasn't even been shown having a
conversation with anyone. As a Survivor character, she has barely even
been allowed to speak. Which is astounding, considering she has always
been a part of the power alliance.
But it actually goes even further than that, if you start looking for
only has Kelly been shown having no interactions, she hasn't even been
shown giving an answer at Tribal Council. Over six episodes, Jeff
Probst hasn't even asked her a question yet.
Most Tribal Councils, they show her just sitting there.
Usually slightly off camera
They also love to use shots of her covering her face.
I mean, my god. Kelly Bruno's mechanical leg has gotten more screentime than she has.
Kelly B's leg. With friend.
The producers will never, ever, EVER pass up a chance to throw in a
shot where she looks ridiculous, though.
We get to eat our own eats
So that's episode six.
We're now up to episode
This is the episode where they finally give her a
And, uh, fasten your seatbelts. This one is going to be
Episode seven starts with Jeff Probst explaining that they will all be
competing to go on a Nicaraguan farm experience today.
"You'll get to go horseback riding. You
can make your own fresh breakfast."
"There will be tortillas. Eggs. Cheese."
"And fresh milk that you guys will collect from the cow
Kelly is so excited about this reward. You can see it right there on
So they compete.
In one of the rounds, Kelly even scores a point.
This next shot always makes me laugh though.
Even after she scores a point for La Flor, the water is
covering her face
In any case, Kelly's tribe winds up losing the challenge.
It turns out she will not be going on the big farm reward.
You can just see the devastation on her face
There will be no horses today. No dairy farm. No making your own
breakfast. No milking the cows.
For the first time in a long time, the Purple One is really
bummed about something
And this is where the producers decide to give her her first
Naturally, they choose the one that makes her sound like an
Because why not.
"Reward was for a... horseback ride and breakfast."
"And you get to..."
"Milk your own milk."
"I don't know if that makes sense."
"You get to milk your own milk, annnnnnnd... that sounds
"We should have won."
And so there you go.
We finally get to peer into
the complex inner workings of the girl who has a fantastic
game. Who is liked by everyone. And who has always been a part of the
She likes to milk her own milk
So anyway, that's that.
We're not going to hear from Purple Kelly again for a while.
Now she goes right back to her usual amount of airtime
Which includes walking behind a pole
Although I should point out she gets LOTS of closeups during the
episode seven immunity challenge.
"That looks super good."
Mostly because that's the challenge where she keeps fucking up the ramp
And the producers wanted to make sure you noticed it.
"Guys, it has to be lower."
"I really felt like we had that."
Although on the plus side, we do get a shot from the one and only
Purple Kelly Cam during the challenge.
So at least that was neat.
The Purple Kelly Cam. You get to aim your own aim.
Kelly goes to Tribal Council again at the end of episode seven.
After being shown not participating in any of the
They show her sitting behind a pole
And at this point, her edit is getting so ridiculous, that it's
starting to become amazing.
She's still a big part of the alliance in power, of course.
Never forget that.
The La Flor Four
Okay, it's episode
Kelly has already gotten very far in the game. Which
is amazing, when you consider the only reason the producers even cast
her in the first place was because they'd expected her to be gone first. They
basically just threw this 20-year old recruit out there on day one with no idea
how Survivor works, and barely any clothes to cover her body, and she
has somehow not only survived, she has actually made it into a
position of power. Repeatedly. From a production standpoint, this has got to be one
of the most inexplicable things they have ever seen.
course, she hasn't actually been shown talking strategy yet.
we really know about Kelly as a player is that she appreciates Benry,
and that she would like to milk her own milk.
And that she likes looking at this hand
But it's day nineteen now.
And it's time to celebrate.
Because our girl Purple Kelly has just made it to the merge.
Uncle Fabio is here. And Uncle Fabio's got tree mail!
Yay! It's a rare shot of joy from the Purple One.
"I think I'm gonna cry right now."
So Espada and La Flor finally merge.
They become one big new tribe called Libertad.
Here's Kelly celebrating with her new friends
And here is one of the greatest "Purple Kelly somehow gets hidden in
the background" moments of them all.
This one clearly wasn't intended by the producers. It was only a
But it still makes me laugh.
Everyone is excited by the fact that they got a treasure
chest full of goodies for the merge
And the first thing Jane does...
Is hold a lock up in front of Kelly's face
So anyway, Kelly hangs out with her new Libertad tribe at the merge.
And they all have a good time.
Here she is, helping to read treemail
Here she is, being excited about chocolate
Here she is, pining for whatever Alina has
Side note: One of my readers (Cory Gage) turned this picture into a
All in all, Purple Kelly just has a great time hanging out with
everyone at the merge.
Here she is, sitting across from Naonka
Here she is, watching former enemies hug
And then, of course, it's right back to everyone else telling us who
Kelly is aligned with.
But never actually hearing it from Kelly herself.
"The alliance is back together. We got Chase. We got Sash.
We got Purple."
Let's just say we're not gonna see a whole lot of her on Libertad
One of Purple Kelly's most prominent scenes
Although I will point out she does at least get ONE chance to steal a
scene in this episode.
When her butt photobombs Alina's glamor shot
Yep, in the second half of the game, poor Kelly is going to get just as
much airtime as she got in the first half.
Which is basically none
She's always just sort of hanging around in the background
Or just sittin' there, lookin' at stuff
Although here is a rare action shot. They show her touching
I wish I could be a major character one day
Although never let it be said that the producers don't give her any
airtime at all.
They actually show her talking one time towards the middle of the
Remember when everyone had this Purple Kelly catchphrase on a t-shirt?
"So, we need to get, like, us girls together. And
"And that's it."
Purple Kelly's spiral into irrelevancy has reached its final few
HELP ME GET ME OUT OF HERE
Okay, it's now episode
Want to see Kelly's most important contribution to this episode?
She gets kicked in the boob
She also takes a moment to imitate the Kool-Aid Man.
And of course, she also...
Covers her face
This episode also has the scene I mentioned at the beginning of this
Where the editors actually give her a voiceover line at one point.
But they cut off her head.
The old Marie Antoinette treatment
In the middle of episode nine, she finally has a small
breakdown. Which, of course, will lead to her much bigger breakdown
later in a couple of episodes.
It happens when she starts to cry after her team loses a reward
"Purple Kelly, what's going on?"
"Man, I am hungry."
"It's just rough."
She's only a couple of days away from just saying fuck it and quitting
at this point.
But, of course, the producers can't just leave her alone. Especially
during her first big breakdown episode.
Want to see how they choose to humiliate her in THIS particular episode?
At Tribal Council, they include a shot of her not knowing
how to open the pen
So it's episode ten
This is the first of the two really bad storm episodes.
Lots of rain, floods, and storms over the next two episodes
Naturally, if you're the girl who wasn't allowed
to wear any clothes,
this constant rain and cold probably becomes sort of a big deal for you.
And, of course, the producers start coming down HARD on Purple
Kelly in this episode.
me, episode ten is the one where they stop being funny about it, and
they start crossing the line into just being openly mean.
It all starts when Kelly's team wins a big reward challenge
"Today you'll be going to the Cerro Negro, one of the most
volcanoes in the world."
"You'll do a little volcano boarding."
"You'll also get pizza, soft drinks, and brownies."
So off Kelly goes, on her first big exciting Survivor adventure.
Not looking at the camera, of course
And, as always, the producers make sure to insert a soundbyte where
she sounds like a moron.
Fabio: "How active do you think this thing is?"
But they all have fun on the volcano.
They volcano board
And here comes the part where the producers openly make fun
of how little Kelly is ever allowed to speak in the episodes.
Chase points out that Kelly never talks
"I know. It's kinda funny, huh?"
If you ever wanted an example of what a really good editor's joke looks
like, there you go. :)
She then goes right back to not talking anymore
the first joke the editors make about Purple Kelly not talking very
much. It won't be the last one though. Don't worry, we'll see this come
back again over her final two episodes.
Episode ten IS the episode where Jeff Probst just starts openly picking
on her though.
Purple Kelly, you suck
It happens at Tribal Council at the end of the tenth episode.
Everyone is arguing about trust, and Probst decides to bait Kelly to
get her to weigh in on it.
Behold, one of the greatest Jeff Probst Condescending Dick Moments of them all.
"So the question tonight is about trust."
"Purple Kelly, weigh in on this."
"Give us twenty years of wisdom."
"Well, let me tell you..."
"Twenty years of wisdom."
"I think that..."
"I think that this is the first Tribal Council I've felt
of the loop on what's going on."
"To be completely honest."
"Have you been learning stuff tonight?"
"Like... my whole..."
"The wheels are turning in my head."
"My gameplan... it's... I'm... like..."
And this is where I feel the need to monologue a little.
see, THAT'S the kind of fumbling response you generally don't see on
an episode of Survivor. I mean, go back and watch any Tribal Council
that has ever appeared on the show. From any season, ever. Try and keep
track of how many fumbling, stumbling answers you see. I can guarantee
you won't find very many of them.
In most Tribal Councils, if Probst catches a player off guard
with a question, and the person screws up their answer,
they'll wind up cutting it out of the episode. Mostly because it's just awkward to
watch. And, also, because an answer like that doesn't really make good TV.
the most part, if a player's response is included in an episode, the
producers make sure it is somewhat important to the storyline.
Not in this case though. In this case they simply included it
to embarrass her.
Keep in mind this is the ONLY time Kelly is ever shown to speak at
In the first ten episodes.
All the audience is supposed to take from this is that she is a
The producers even underscore this by inserting a shot of the
jury mocking her
Marty's WTF face
Okay, so that's it for episode ten.
Kelly's character is quickly being flushed down the crapper now.
The producers are being quite obvious about the fact that they want the fanbase to make fun
of course, is the recap episode.
Now, in general, I don't really care about Survivor recap episodes. To
me they are all mostly just filler.
But what's noteworthy about the Nicaragua recap episode is
the fact that Probst actually uses it to dump fresh shit on poor Kelly.
Because she sucks
Check out this voiceover that he includes at the end of the recap
"Next episode, Purple Kelly finally has something to say."
They set up her quit episode by making sure it's part of her new "Kelly
never talks" storyline.
Okay, so here we go. It's now
This is the episode where she quits.
This one is so bad, it might as well just be called "The Shit
on Purple Kelly Episode."
Official Nicaragua Episode Titles:
"Young at Heart"
"Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"
"Glitter in Their Eyes"
"Pulling the Trigger"
"Worst Case Scenario"
"What Goes Around, Comes Around"
"Company Will Be Arriving Soon"
"Running the Camp"
"Stuck in the Middle"
"Shit on Purple Kelly"
"Not Sure Where I Stand"
"This is Going to Hurt"
"What About Me?"
Want to see how gratuitous this one is when it comes to just flat out crapping on her?
At the beginning of the episode, we flash back to a scene THAT WE HAVE
NEVER EVEN SEEN BEFORE.
Here is Probst's official "Previously on..." segment at the start of
the Shit on Purple Kelly episode.
"A month in Nicaragua had made one thing clear. This was no
Oh good. This is going to go well.
He has already started editorializing.
"Back on day five, Holly melted down and wanted to quit."
"She was only saved by Coach Jimmy Johnson, who gave her a
"She staged a complete turnaround."
Okay, that's cool.
We actually did see that scene.
"Quitting's the easy way out."
"You signed up for something, suck it up and
Next, we move on to Naonka.
"On day thirteen, rain and bitter cold made Naonka want to
"But kind words from Chase warmed her up, and kept her in
Okay, we saw that scene too.
Good job to Chase for giving her a pep
And now, we move on to the Purple One
Keep in mind that WE HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN THIS NEXT SCENE BEFORE.
Probst is cheating, and stacking the narrative now.
He is flashing back to something we never actually saw.
"On day fifteen, Purple Kelly hit the wall."
"I haven't really been, like, warm."
"Like, every night has been freezing."
"It's killing me out here."
Oh, so NOW we're including that Kelly was cold every night as part of
How come you never mentioned that before?
"I just wanna quit."
Well okay then. So Kelly has been thinking about quitting all game.
Glad we finally heard about that.
at least somebody gave her a pep talk at some point, like they did with
Holly and Naonka. I mean, she clearly only stayed in the game because
some nice person sat her down and they gave her a hug or something. Correct?
I mean, THAT'S the point of why we're including this in
Turns out that nope, that's NOT why we're including this.
This entire recap is simply a roundabout way to make Kelly look like an
Because here are Probst's exact next words:
"She stayed because she was blindly
to tribe leaders Brenda and Sash."
Okay, got it. So everyone ELSE stayed because some nice person gave
them a pep talk. Purple Kelly only stayed because she was too stupid to do anything
She only stayed because she was "blindly obedient", like a dog.
Thank you for clearing that up.
I get to shit on my own shit
So anyway, enjoy the Shit on Purple Kelly episode.
Strangely enough, they give her a LOT of airtime in this one.
She suddenly starts to talk all the time.
It's funny how that works.
"I don't understand at all. What's going on."
"I was completely left in the dark."
"I'm now at the bottom of the totem pole of any
I would be a part of."
This episode is mostly made up of Kelly giving confessionals about how
much her position in the game sucks now.
rain really comes pouring down in this episode. In fact, I believe this
is the point in the game where the tarp over their shelter gets burned, and
now they have to sleep in the rain again.
Which, you know, is probably a pretty big deal for the player who the
producers wouldn't give any clothes.
Kelly mostly just mopes around in their new wet shelter for the next couple of
And this is where she starts seriously talking about wanting
"I don't know how much longer I can take this."
Naturally, the producers counter her EVERY SINGLE TIME with some other confessional where another player calls her a wuss.
"You're in the freaking rain forest. Come on."
"You don't belong here."
And now we come to the scene where she finally quits.
It happens in episode twelve, right after the Gulliver's Challenge
reward. Where we learn the winning team
will be forced to sit through will get to enjoy a screening of the upcoming flop smash hit Gulliver's
Surprisingly, being forced to sit through Gulliver's Travels is not what finally pushes her over the edge.
Kelly's team actually loses the reward
We find out that half of the players are going to have to sit through Gulliver's Travels.
And at this point, Naonka says fuck that. The weather is cold out here, that movie sucks, and my joints are all frozen.
So she quits.
Peace out, bitches, I'm done
Probst, of course, is not happy about this.
because, I would argue, he knows Naonka is going to be the
biggest star of the season. And I'm sure he realizes this.
From day one,
Naonka has always been a really big character.
Well that sucks. I just lost my villain.
And thennnnn comes the second quit.
Which is the one that I think reaalllllllllllllly pisses him off.
"Anybody else here want to quit?"
Oh girlfriend, don't even
"It's been exhausting."
Yeah, apparently the girl who isn't allowed to have clothes got tired of living in the rain. How weird.
Naturally, Probst just laughs at her.
"You're quitting too."
"This is my last day."
I wonder if it's legal if I just go over there and hit her?
And here comes the big confrontation.
"You're really going to walk away?"
"Yeah, I'm good."
She's already made peace with this.
Probst, of course, has NOT made peace with this.
He's probably not going to make peace with it until they have completely buried her in the edit.
And, unfortunately, that's going to take a while.
"Well I'm not good."
At this point, he decides to give the two of them (but mostly Purple Kelly) an ultimatum.
"I'll give you until Tribal Council to decide if you want to be known as a quitter or not."
And then, of course, he goes on a little shalingua of his own.
Where he basically warns them what the edit is going to do to them.
"You're this close to being one of those "others""
"That nobody remembers."
"Think about it."
Choose the wrong path, and "milk your own milk" is all you will ever be known for
And, of course, we can't finish off Purple Kelly's legacy without the producers actually giving her one final confessional.
She actually gets to speak ONE last time, right before she goes out of the game.
Naturally, they use a clip that guarantees the fan base will make fun of her.
First off, Holly tries to give her a pep talk
Like Jimmy Johnson, the spokesperson for boner pills, once did for her
"If you quit, you'll always be remembered as the girl who quit
"What is your number one reason for quitting?"
"I just freeze, and freeze."
Holly basically gets in her grill and tells her to suck it up,
buttercup. Survivor's a tough game, and this just means that it's time to get tough.
And, of course, we now get the confessional that Purple Kelly goes out on.
I should point out is, really, only her second confessional of the
game. She only has this one and then the milk your own milk one. Kelly
technically has five confessionals for the season overall, if you look
at the stats, but in this episode they really just take one
confessional and they cut it up into four little parts.
THIS is the quote the producers want you to always remember her for.
"Holly said suck it up, you only have a few more days."
"But it's like..."
"I've been sucking it up for twenty-eight days."
"I have nothing left to suck."
And with that, it's time to say goodbye to maybe the most shit-upon player of all time.
"Both of you guys have said and done things you later regretted."
Wait, she did?
What did Purple Kelly do or say that she regrets?
Seriously, fuck you, Kelly. Just fuck you.
And I should point out he's not actually done yet.
"Jane, what is it about young people that makes them suck so much?"
And now, the moment of truth.
"Purple Kelly, what do you think should be done with your torch?"
"You guys are quitters."
I'll tell you exactly what you can do with my torch
"Okay, I'll smuff your torch."
"But we're gonna leave it here to remind everyone that you
And with that, the Legend of Purple Kelly is born.
The first player who will ever be successfully cut out of a Survivor season.
I'm totally gonna fuck up that girl in the edit
We end on a shot of the two quitters' torches.
And then, in a secret scene, we find out Probst also later burned down her house.
She got to heat her own heat
At the end of the day... what can we learn from the story of Purple Kelly?
What can we learn from the girl who basically did nothing but walk out of frame?
At the end of the day, all I think you can say about the Forgotten One is this.
They cast her to fail.
They threw here out there, as a
twenty year old who had barely even seen the show before, and they
expected her to crash and burn.
But she didn't crash and burn.
not only became a part of every power alliance that ever existed in the
game, she actually made it all the way to day twenty-eight.
is a hell of a lot further than most players make it.
Not only did they cast her to fail, they also refused to give her any clothes.
Simply because the producers started to do that in the later years. And for the females it's just kind of a dick move.
The most appropriate protection against a monsoon
They recruited this girl.
They cast her to fail.
They didn't give her any clothes.
then when she couldn't take the fact that she didn't have any
clothes, they announced she had no respect for the game, and they
They gave her the single worst edit of all time.
Oh, and then to make matters WORSE, they quietly changed the rules after they embarrassed her.
Nicaragua, the producers made sure females would always have warm
clothes when they played Survivor. So they'd never wind up with another
Purple Kelly situation again.
Thus implicitly acknowledging that they were the ones who were responsible for her quit in the first place.
All this, to a girl who almost everyone who has met, has described as "one of the nicest Survivors of them all."
I mean, seriously, Survivor producers. Fuck you.
For she will always be, our only true Purple One
P.S. Here's a great comment from a reader of mine named Bailey Vogt:
I feel the best part of Purple Kelly’s Survivor experience is that it was so terrible that it’s come back around to iconic.
If they had given her the bare minimum. Light strategy, light confessionals, she probably wouldn’t be remembered at all. But
the fact the producers so aggressively try to dox her for her quit,
hide from the edit, and make her look like a moron, she has become
legend. Her name is now in the Survivor lexicon.
their efforts to turn her into a forgotten nobody backfired, because
she’s now a Survivor deity of the highest order, and made her more
remembered than she really deserved to be.
P.P.S. Never forget.