The Funny 115 - The Third One

#30. 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.

Loves fafaru

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.

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."

To 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 Survivor fans.

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.

Purple 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 like editor's jokes. They seriously just CUT HER OUT OF THE WHOLE GODDAMN SEASON.

To 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 in Nicaragua, that they apparently set a mandate. They basically told the editors, just get rid of her. Cut her out of the storyline. And if 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 says.

What 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 that the 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

So anyway, Rose, are you ready to go back to Titanic? Are you ready to walk through the entire humiliating storyline of Purple Kelly?

Oh yeah...

Before I start, I should probably add this last little disclaimer. It's actually kind of important.

I 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."

This 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?

I'm 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.







The only clothes Kelly was allowed to wear

You 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 game. 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.

Oh 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 at 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 all, 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

In 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.

On a personal note, I should mention that I've never had a single interaction with 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 Purple one.

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 the episodes.

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 players

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 celebration cheer.

Kelly's left elbow is involved

Then they head back to camp.

Kelly celebrates

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.

She's 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 right?"

Sweet Jesus, she gets a reaction shot

Then, of course, it's right back to basically just being a piece of set decoration.

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 getting.

Thanks, editors.

"I've never gone so long without showering or brushing my teeth"

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 players.

Power player

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 five 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?

*insert tumbleweeds*

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.

Shannon is trying to get Brenda voted out. Fabio spends most of the time fighting with Naonka. Chase 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 is gay

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 Fabio

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.
Of 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.

Bye Kelly

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 Purple."

Alright then, thank you Naonka.

"I trust us five, and that is it."


"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 garden

And then afterwards, here she is eating a small piece of banana

Let's just say she doesn't get a whole lot of screentime in this episode.


Okay, we're now up to episode four.

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 interesting.

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

Action replay

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.

It's incredible.


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 it.

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 miserable.

Most of her tribesmates have said she never got any sleep at all.

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 storyline.

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 trinkets now.

Literally every scene on Survivor. Seasons 31-60.

Okay, so that's episode four.

It's the start of episode five now.

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."

Well, okay.

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 end.

Episode five is where the dominance that Purple Kelly has created on La Flor is about to come crashing right down onto her head.


Because episode five is where she first hears those terrible words from Jeff Probst.

You don't respect the game, so fuck you.

Just kidding.

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 this.

"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 Flor?

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 quits.

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 La Flor?

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 Probst starts openly shitting on Purple Kelly in his "Previously on..." segments.

This 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

Although I will point out that episode six contains my favorite "Kelly is 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.

Purple 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 it.

Not 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 seven.

This is the episode where they finally give her a confessional.

And, uh, fasten your seatbelts. This one is going to be brutal.

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 yourselves."

Kelly is so excited about this reward. You can see it right there on her face.

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 confessional.

Naturally, they choose the one that makes her sound like an idiot.

Because why not.

"Reward was for a... horseback ride and breakfast."

"And you get to..."

"Milk your own milk."

"I guess."

"I don't know if that makes sense."

"You get to milk your own milk, annnnnnnd... that sounds amazing."

"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 social game. Who is liked by everyone. And who has always been a part of the power alliance.

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 angle.

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 strategy talk

And naturally...

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 eight now.

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.

Of course, she hasn't actually been shown talking strategy yet.

All 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 coincidence.

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 meme. Enjoy.

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 Alina.

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 episode.

Remember when everyone had this Purple Kelly catchphrase on a t-shirt?

"So, we need to get, like, us girls together. And Sash."

"And that's it."

Purple Kelly's spiral into irrelevancy has reached its final few episodes now.


Okay, it's now episode nine.

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.

Oh yeah!

And of course, she also...

Covers her face

This episode also has the scene I mentioned at the beginning of this entry.

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 challenge.

Purple rain

"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 now.

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.

To 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 active 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

They feast

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

That's 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 completely out 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..."

"This... it's..."

"It's enlightening."

And this is where I feel the need to monologue a little.

You 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.

For 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 Tribal Council.


In the first ten episodes.

All the audience is supposed to take from this is that she is a blithering idiot.

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 her.


Episode eleven, 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 episode.

"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 episode twelve.

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"
"Turf Wars"
"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 place for the weak."

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 pep talk."

"She staged a complete turnaround."

Yay Holly!

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 finish."

Next, we move on to Naonka.

"On day thirteen, rain and bitter cold made Naonka want to bail."

"But kind words from Chase warmed her up, and kept her in the game."

Okay, we saw that scene too.

Good job to Chase for giving her a pep talk.

And now, we move on to the Purple One


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."

She did?

Since when?

"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 her storyline?

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.

But 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 the recap.



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 idiot again.

Because here are Probst's exact next words:

"She stayed because she was blindly obedient 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 else.

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 alliance 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.

And storms.

And floods.

The 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 days.

And this is where she starts seriously talking about wanting to quit.

"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 Travels.

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.

Especially 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."

And... well...




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."

"Choose wisely."

Heh heh

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""

"The quitters."

"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 Survivor: Nicaragua."

"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.

Which 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 suck."

And with that, the Legend of Purple Kelly is born.

The first player who will ever be successfully cut out of a Survivor season.


Eat shit

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.

She 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.

Which 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.

And 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 humiliated her.

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.

After 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.

Effectively, 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.

If you like the Funny 115 (and my other Survivor projects), please consider becoming one of my Patrons.

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