A Million Dollars' Worth Of Lip Venom
Jeff asks Gary about the fact that Gary definitely believed it was more than inspiration -- it was celebrity worship. Gary allows that he himself was a big fan of the show, and that Steph and Bobby Jon were two of his favorites. He thinks that they were able to use that to their advantage to some degree, which is just "smart play." Jeff says that this answer will not get Gary "off the hook," because apparently, Gary has shown some irritation over this in the past. Gary has told Jeff, it seems, that he thinks having recognizable faces around had a substantial impact on the game. Gary says that yes, for a while, people just enjoyed being around famous people, and were asking them all kinds of questions. He calls out the fact that Stephenie was on TV, and people just respond differently to people they're very familiar with from TV. Which he is completely right about, incidentally. You can tell that Gary is holding back quite a lot and being as tactful as he knows how to be when he says that "there were some people who were really, really glad [Stephenie] was there," and I think we have found the source of the animosity between Gary and Cindy, as well as the reason the show didn't explain it, fourth-wall-breaking as it would have been to see this conversation play out in front of the cameras.
Jeff would now like to talk about Stephenie's "stellar" record in challenges. She has participated in forty-six challenges, and she has won ten and lost thirty-six. On the other hand, she lived through twenty-five tribal councils. Jeff thinks that this speaks well of her game, at least on some level: "Hats off to you for that." The entire challenge record thing is somewhat of a BS statistic, of course, because Steph doesn't have total control over all the team challenges, and it's not like you should expect an even win-loss record in individual challenges where there are often four or six or however many people playing. It's still a cute number, though. There's not a league where they're going to tell you that 10 and 36 is a good record or can be spun to be so. Better than the Packers, though. (Oh! Unnecessary roughness!)