December 23rd, 2017 | 7 Comments | Posted in Survivor 35 - H vs. H vs H

Heading back to camp after the challenge, and somehow this group has broken ranks and are not walking back single file. I thought that was a Survivor requirement! Who’s allowing these people to rewrite all the rules?!

A few “congrats” are thrown at Chrissy, but this is going to be Ben’s moment. He heads off to record a confessional, and we can see how important this challenge was to him. He’s near tears when he tells us this probably cost him his kids’ college tuition, his retirement, and who knows what else? Maybe a big bag of cocaine and a crazy night in Vegas with a bunch of strippers. I think I’m projecting a little…

Back at camp, Chrissy tells Ryan she feels for Ben because it’s obvious he’s hurting inside. But Ryan has his own bomb to drop on her,

“You can be a millionaire.”

I’m expecting her to say. “I’m already a millionaire, bellhop, but I don’t wanna brag. Hell, I paid for these teeth somehow…” But she’s too smart to divulge that at this point.

“I know one thing,” Ryan adds, “Ben will not be.” And that reality seems to hit Chrissy in the feels a little. We know she’s secretly in love with Ben. They’re both Krauts, they’ve connected this season, but their lives are star-crossed, and they live at different sides of the country. And they’re both married, but who cares? This is their hill, and these are their beans…

Ben and Chrissy (natch) head off into the jungle to have one final confab, where he asks her if there’s ANY way he doesn’t go home tonight. She responds to him through a series of song titles from her youth:

“Need You Tonight”
“Don’t You Want Me?”
“Pour Some Sugar On Me”
“Tainted Love”
“Under Pressure”
“Welcome To The Jungle”
“Beat It”

She doesn’t want to tell him there’s “no friggin’ way” she’s taking him to Final Three, so she says she’ll “hear him out” at Final Tribal. But…she still needs to read her Secret Advantage which may blow up everyone’s game, knowing Survivor. Let’s see what happens…

She finds the most dangerous place to read her scroll, high atop a cliff where only mountain goats can reach, and unrolls the parchment. It tells her she has the only vote tonight. She’ll get to pick who sits with her at Final Tribal while the other two will need to fight it out in a fire-making challenge. Holy crap, did someone say, Becky vs Sundra? Methinks these two dudes will have a bit more ability than those chicks – sorry, CBS Legal, “Non-males” – but it’s great that Ben still has a chance to be a millionaire.

Chrissy realizes Ryan has never made a fire in his life, so the only way for Ben to go home is to battle against Devon. And since she can spill the beans any time she wants, she climbs on a mountain goat and rides down the hill to find Devon, to have him start practicing his fire-making skills…

She shows him the scroll, so he knows she’s not bulls**tting him, and he embraces the opportunity to build up his resume in front of the Jury. This is exactly what he needs to prove to them he deserves the million bucks…IF he can beat the Marine. A guy who’s been trained to make fire, and survive, and not feel pressure… But yeah, the surf instructor from San Diego is cool with those odds. Smoke another fatty, Devon. Rolling joints and mixing drinks is probably the only things you can do better than Ben. That and a killer Keanu impersonation…

In the shelter, Ryan wants to know what the Secret Advantage is and Chrissy spills. She’s taking him to Final Tribal and Devon must make fire against Ben. When she and Devon start explaining why she chose Devon, Ryan just raises his hand and says,

“I don’t give a s**t why you chose Devon. I’m fine with it.”

And he heads off into the jungle to tug one out, knowing he’s going to Final Tribal without having to lift a finger.

It’s time for Devon to start practicing his fire-making skills, and he claims to have started many at camp, so he’s not too worried. But as he struggles to start one now, and then breaks the flint in the process, he decides practice is not what he needs. He needs serenity. Now. The only thing that’ll bring that is to channel Coach on Exile Island and achieve “Total Consciousness…which is nice.” You do that, Devon, and we’ll be sure to send your 4th Place check to Black’s Beach, San Diego. Addressed to the dude with the “gorgeous eyes and dynamite wiener”…

The Final Four head off to Tribal, knowing what’s in store, except for Ben. And does anyone else think the show is setting up Ben to win? I mean, really. He’s a friggin’ Marine and he’s given ANOTHER opportunity to save himself when he should be going home? RYFKM?

TBH, I don’t care, because I predicted this before the season began. Allow me to remind you of my pre-season predictions:

Ben Driebergen – there’s hillbillies (whom I dislike) and then there’s “good old boys,” who I think are great. Not sure Ben is going to win, but I’m pulling for him. I like his no-nonsense approach, and the fact he knows you don’t have to scream to prove your point. Let’s hope he finds the right alliance and wins the title for guys like Ken who got robbed. Prediction: Final Tribal

Chrissy Hofbeck – I like her the same way I like Jessica Lewis. Just a good woman who knows she’s good at what she does and doesn’t seem to bullsh*t her way through life. I do hope she’s able to play on the dirtier side of things too, because her honesty may get in the way of her game. An actuary could do well on Survivor, if she’s aware of the numerous risks involved, but rarely do players know about ALL the other risks at play. I hope she does well but there’s a chance she’ll be out before the merge. I hope she makes the jury.

Devon Pinto – Let’s see if the latest reincarnation of Malcolm and Joe can play along with the big kids. He seems to think he can, but I just wonder if his “play dumb” strategy is the best way to win. Worked for Fabio, but each season is its own Petri dish, and using another winner’s strategy is a strategy that won’t work. Who knows? Maybe he’ll align with the right players and go deep, or his surfer vibe could rub people the wrong way. I wish you luck, dude… Prediction: Jury

Ryan Ulrich – David Wright, Cockring, Todd Herzog. Fishes out of water. Yeah, we get it. And with the whole “I want to bring my dad to the Loved Ones Challenge” storyline, I guess we know who’s going deep this season. Seriously, I hate guys like this doing well, but I know they are underestimated enough to not be voted out early. Then, they align with the right folks, and are carried as goats to the end. Will he win? Probably not. Will he make it to Final Tribal? Quite possibly…

I’m gonna pat myself on the back a little and say I predicted most of what we’re seeing tonight. But what’s left to see? Shall we get back to it?

Night 38 and we’re back at Tribal Council. The Final Four takes their seats, as do the Jury. Jeff brings everyone up to speed on Chrissy’s Immunity Challenge win, and then queries the players.

-Chrissy says she’s stoked
-Ryan says he’s heartbroken he couldn’t finish
-Ben’s Pi will haunt him
-Chrissy’s Secret Advantage was not shared with everyone
-She then reads the challenge, and Ben realizes he still has a chance
-Chrissy essentially says, “I hope Ben eats a bowl of dicks tonight”
-Jeff asks Chrissy who’s going with her to Final Three and she replies, “Lame Ass”
-Jeff tells Ryan he’s safe
-Ben is happy to have one more chance
-Devon is delusional

After the break, the guys take their spots – Ben is sitting on Becky and Devon on Sundra. Something tells me we won’t be needing matches tonight, unless someone breaks out a doobie for Devon to smoke while building his fire. Jeff calls “go” and this challenge is on. I’ll highlight…

-Both seem to be utilizing a similar method.
-However, it seems Ben was scraping magnesium onto his pant leg…?
-The hard part is not telling Jeff to “shut up!”
-This ain’t no Becky & Sundra, fo sho! Both guys are working the magnesium and getting sparks.
-Devon gets the first flame, but it burns out.
-Ben then gets his nest burning, and quickly adds sticks. It seems to be working.
-Devon is now frantically striking his flint. “I think we’ve got a bleeder” here in a second…
-With a good-sized flame burning, Ben can add the big sticks now. I think this challenge is over soon… Those Marines are well trained!
-Devon should just give up.
-Chrissy and Ryan are NOT happy…
-Pop! Goes the Weasel as Ben’s string snaps and his flag is raised.

I think we just crowned our champion, folks. Do they even need to vote? I guess so as that’s how the game works. And holy crap, do you hear this music? I think it’s from “Saving Private Ryan” as the Americans are decimating the Germans. This is some patriotic s**t right here.

Ben and Devon hug it out and the surfer wishes him well. Nice to see Devon’s not as bitter as Chrissy and Ryan right now. I can’t believe Chrissy isn’t hiding her dismay any better. There’s still the Jury to face, so why hasn’t she used that big brain of hers and thought about swinging a couple Jury votes her way? We can all agree Ryan doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, but at least he’s hiding it a little better.

Jeff tells the Final Three to “get the hell outta here” and go get some rest. They’re gonna need it… And in Devon’s Final Words, we can see he’s a good soul and knows he’s a better man for this experience. Others may be bitter at being chosen to perform a fire-making challenge, but Devon is happy he held his fate in his own hands, and not hit by a blindside.

Back to CBS and Jeff brings Devon onstage for his final interview. He cleans up rather well and I’m sure he’s getting some tonight…but from which Survivor alumna? However, Devon ain’t that great at talking onstage, but he may have gotten a little emotional a minute ago having seen his departure from the show. He’s probably drinking backstage too.

Jeff then lets us know the fire-making challenge at Final Four will become a regular part of the show and we’ll see it next season. Oh. Okay.

Dawn breaks (Day 39) and Ben and Chrissy stop having angry sex long enough to check out the sunrise. Realizing they’re on camera, Ben quickly rolls off her and sprints over to camp to “mark the tree.” That’s actually Survivor code for “lower your boner.” Ben carves the 39th mark and gives Ryan a big hug. Dude, this guy gets around!

Ryan confesses how he’s going to approach the Jury. Since he’s the last Hustler standing he’s gonna tell them he was in charge of the game from the get go. He knows this is a lie, but that’s what Hustlers do, right? They lie. True, Ryan found the first Secret Advantage and aligned with Devon early. But what else did he do? His game seemed to implode every time he tried to make a move and was on the bottom for part of the game.

The Final Three head to their final feast and suddenly spirits are lifted. Actually, it’s not spirits, it’s champagne, but that’s all Chrissy needs to put a smile back on her face. She stares longingly at Ben and confirms what we all know what happened at sunrise,

“Dude, it was a fun ride.”

“It was a ride, for sure,” he affirms.

“The ride’s not over yet.” What. A. Whore. Twice before Final Tribal? Can they bring Probst’s yacht back for a threesome? In her confessional, Chrissy gives the moms of the world a pat on the back for being everyday heroes and I think she’s still drunk off mimosas.

Ben the Intrepid heads off down the beach so he can relieve himself in the shallow Fiji waters. He confesses he’s got his work cut out for him because “Ryan’s a good talker,” (okay…) and “Chrissy won 4 Immunity Challenges (that means something). So, his plan is to be humble but confident in his replies.

He claims to have gone “full throttle” from the get go, and he’s doing this for his family. So, he “needs to bring a paycheck home.” Something tells me he’s going to bring a big paycheck home. Ben sums it up.

“This is probably the biggest night of my life.”

There’s a fungus amongus, and let’s hope it’s a bitter Jury. The Final Three file in and take their seats. Jeff calls in the Jury.

-Ever-shiny Desi
-Cole, who looks like he’s put on 15 lbs. at Ponderosa
-“No look” J.P., the best goalie on Fiji
-“Tongue out” Joe, flirting with Chrissy after the stories he’s heard
-Lauren doesn’t even get camera time
-No screen time for Ashley either, but thankfully, she doesn’t seem angry anymore
-Nada from the Viagra King
-Clean-shaven, and ever-wincing, Devon (seriously, does he need glasses?)

And darn it, they’re going with this “3 aspects of the game” nonsense again and not letting each Jury member ask a question. Is this really the best way to do this? It worked for so long the other way. Of course, it could’ve worked better if the show demanded to know the final Jury questions so they could approve or disapprove any stupid ones. You hear that, former players who asked people to pick a number? Dumba**es ruined it for everyone…

Okay, Jeff. Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. We know the drill. Tell us what it all means.

Outwit: The social aspect of the game. Relationships, alliances, relationships outside alliances, etc…

Outplay: How did you deal with the conditions put on you by the game?

Outlast: Did you put people on the Jury who will still respect you for how you conducted the other two aspects.

Outwit is up first. Our Baby Oil spokeswoman is up first. What you got, Desi?

“Chrissy, you killed it in challenges. Ben, you found idols like a madman. Ryan. You suck. You’re here because you could be beat. Convince us otherwise.”

Ryan: “Well, first of all, f**k you, Desi, but let me direct this answer to everyone else. I found the Secret Advantage on Day 1 and used it to form relationships with Chrissy and Devon. And I was the one for opening the Burger Alliance franchise. Suck it…”

Ashley interjects: “Ryan, how can you say you did all that when you never spoke to me strategically one time.”

Ryan: “When I said, ‘suck it,’ I wasn’t speaking to you. But I did speak to you during the game. Through Devon. And sometimes I whispered things in your ear when you slept. Because I’m creepy like that…”

Joe interrupts: “Devon, can you confirm that?”

Devon: “Uh. Yeah. Totally.”

Lauren breaks in. “Devon, we need more than that. This is important.”

Devon: “Uh, remember when I said I was gonna play the ‘dumb guy’ game? That’s, like, now…”

J.P.: “Did Ryan know about me getting blindsided?”

Ryan: “To be honest, I wasn’t aware of a couple votes. I didn’t know J.P. was going home and I didn’t know about the Joe vote. But I was totally in charge of everything else…”

Joe: “Ryan, I’m so glad we started with Outplay because I didn’t know you were the one controlling everything. You found Advantages and you got Chrissy and Keanu to take all the heat. Wow, you’re the man. But I’m just f**king with you, I wanna talk to Ben now. Ben, you yelled at me. And Chrissy, you and I butted heads like mountain goats. How could you put all of us over here and forget you gotta be nice to us?”

Ben: “Yeah, when you brought the Marine Corps into it, I kinda had to do everything I could not to slit your throat. I’m a veteran, you tool. I don’t have the luxury of ‘being nice’ to everyone around me. If you don’t get that, blow me.”

Naturally, Chrissy interjects: “As someone who’s blown Ben, I feel I’m qualified to speak now. I didn’t need to make a bunch of big moves, or make false alliances, because I was faithful to everyone on this show. Except my husband. But that’s another topic entirely. In fact, I love all of you and learned a little bit about all of you.”

Joe: “Whatchoo talking about, Willis? What d’you learn about me?”

Chrissy: “Marriage sucks. You don’t believe in it. Let’s talk at Ponderosa later…”

Joe: “You got my vote, Chrissy!”

Jeff asks Cole if he’d like to say anything.

Cole: “Ben, I got a beef with you. You made it look like I was food thief. Wanna come clean on that? Exonerate me? If you do, I might vote for you.”

Ben: “I own that. It was a strategic move. You were hunky, and that threatens me. Me calling you a food thief was nothing personal.”

Ryan almost craps himself. He jumps up and down…

Ryan: “Ben hated you, Cole! Don’t believe him.”

Ben: “Ryan, STFU, I just owned the fact I suck at being a good person. Don’t make this worse. I opened up to Lauren, Devon, Mike…”

Ashley interrupts him…

Ashley: “You telling stories is not the same as Chrissy asking about people. People like to talk about themselves…”

Ben: “Um, I just said I was talking about myself. How am I the bad guy here…?”

Ashley: “I’m a lifeguard. Not a genius. Don’t ask me to explain my thoughts. Have Chrissy do that…

Things begin to implode as Chrissy starts throwing out facts about everyone, Ryan’s complaining he would’ve learned more about everyone if they were tipping him $2 a bag, and Cole saying none of this matters because it’s a GAME. Ryan keeps chirping about things Chrissy is saying, and it’s starting to get ugly. Except for Ben, who hasn’t said a word in over a minute.

Eventually, Desi must remind everyone to “take a step back” and realize how dumb they look. And I think she’s only talking to Ryan. But Lauren wants to jump on Desi back at Ponderosa, so she thanks her for that sage advice and reminds everyone – including the Jury – Desi was speaking to everyone.

Outplay is up next. Who’s on deck?

Cole: “I’m Grizzly F**king Adams! I love the outdoors. Chrissy killed it in challenges and Ben played Idols like friggin’ Rain Man. Ryan…You sucked balls out here.”

Ryan: “Yes, I did suck balls. But that’s because other people could suck less balls than me. And if I were to step up and suck balls, and be bad at it, then where would that leave me?”

Mike raises his hand and asks if he can answer this question. Jeff says the Censors won’t allow it.

The group starts attacking Ryan for everything he didn’t do, and it’s awesome. I love when a goat is treated like a goat… And, just to remind everyone I hate the Casting Department, GOATS shouldn’t be on Survivor! Period.

Joe: “But what about Advantages and Idols? Do tell…”

Ryan: “I found the Secret Advantage on Day 1. I found the Idol under the flag. Mass chaos ensued.”

Cole: “Yeah, that’s why Chrissy rode me.”

Chrissy: “I rode a lot of things this season.” (wink, wink)

Ashley: “I think I need to bring back some respect for women right now, because Chrissy is blowing it.”

Chrissy giggles at “blowing it.” What is this, “Ab Fab?”

She starts spouting out statistics about women on Survivor, but we all know she memorized that before she left home, so it doesn’t mean that much. She’s a statistical nerd (like myself) of course she knows how many women have played. But, honestly, in the year of the woman, it’s nice the ladies rocked it when so many left early.

Joe: “Queen Chrissy. That’s my girl. But what about you, Ben? Did you put in the work to find them idols or did Production point them out for you?”

Ben: “When my last ally went home. I was a pariah. No one wanted to talk to me. So, when everyone was sleeping, I was searching. The only reason I stayed in this game was because of numero uno over here. And that’s the only person who got me here… But I need all of you now… Is it too late to say that?”

Desi: “Hold up. When it was Ben vs. The Vegans, how the hell did you dumba**es allow him the opportunity to go find idols? You some dumb mother**kers.” (Uh, Desi got suddenly ghetto, didn’t she?)

Ben: “I Russell Hantz’d them Idols.”

Chrissy: “We kinda played like the male tribe on One World.”

Outlast is our final topic. And has anyone noticed Mike hasn’t said s**t all night? He does realize he’s part of this, right? Jeff tells Ryan he’s up first for his final plea.

Ryan: “I sucked balls at Challenges. I know that. But I was busy building relationships, so it didn’t matter. I went to a lot of Tribals, and I was never at risk. That’s because I deserve to be here. No one dragged me here.”

Mike: “Uh, Ryan, can I interrupt? What did you learn about yourself?”

Ryan: “Well, f**k, Mike, I didn’t think you’d actually ask me a real question. Um, okay, I guess I’ll spin a web of bulls**t and say this game made me look deep inside my soul and realize I’ll say anything to try and win a million dollars. Is that good enough for your vote?”

Mike: “I don’t really care. My wife won’t let me have a checking account and pays me an allowance. The longer I stay here, the freer I am. Can this Final Tribal go on forever…? I don’t want to go home.”

It’s Ben turn to throw himself on the pyre.

Ben: “I’m not a smart man. And playing Survivor is like a box of chocolate…covered hand grenades! You were in my way, I eliminated my targets and completed my mission. Thank you, sir! May I have another?!”

PTSD is a bitch…

Mike can’t shut up now.

Mike: “Ben, don’t tell us why you voted us out. Tell us why deserve to win.”

I don’t need to tell you what Ben said. You saw it. He just became a champion for vets, and anyone with PTSD. I think Chrissy and Ryan just realized they lost, and it’s all because Ben had the best story. And as much as I don’t want to compare Ben to Adam Wright, I feel there’s something sh**ty about putting someone on the show who’s “story” is so friggin’ solid there’s no way they can lose. Sure, he had to get himself to this position, but now that he’s here, it’s almost a no-brainer. And that sucks for Ryan and the ho…

(Seriously, I like Chrissy, I really do. I’m just kidding about the ho stuff…)

She’s up next, let’s see what she brings.

Chrissy: “Coming out here, I thought I would suck, but I didn’t. I kicked ass. And I’m a mom. And moms kick ass! I didn’t have to butcher you guys. I didn’t have to backstab. I played a strong, clean, game, and I got to know all of you. Plus, I sucked at application videos for 16 years so you gotta give me props for not giving up. Like a mom. Who’s a hero, and a healer, and a hustler. Amen…”

Pretty convincing. I think if she’s on any other season – recent season, let me clarify – she wins. But she’s going up against the United States F**king Marine Corps! I think she’ll fall short.

We cut back to the live audience where Jeff is trying to give away parchments and pens. I guess the Survivor online auction isn’t doing as well as they thought it would, so little Ava is this week’s winner. I wonder who she voted for…? And why do I think she wrote down “Desi”?

It’s time to vote and Jeff instructs the Jury they can only vote for Chrissy or Ben, because no one really thinks Ryan played better than either of them, right? As the Jury heads off to the voting booth, I’m left wondering two things:

One) How are we 20 minutes into the Reunion Show already? Doesn’t that tell you A LOT about how the show feels about players who were voted out early?

Two) Whatever happened to Jeff wearing the same clothes he wore at Final Tribal? Couldn’t he do a wardrobe change at the commercial break? Those are the little things that superfans dig. Survivor should really get back to its roots and play to the middle of the country again… Those are your true fans. Them and chicks in Canada…

Jeff carries the urn into the studio and the place erupts. This is it! And why is Cochran there again? Seriously, that dude needs to get a life. Forget about him, let’s get back to S35. Jeff tells us this season was “kinda sh**ty” early on, but found its footing once the gameplay kicked in. Yeah, in episode 12! Maybe wanna find better contestants next time, Lynne!

And why is Chrissy’s hand on Ben’s knee?!

Jeff summarizes the Final Three contestants,

Ryan: Nerd. Superfan. Weaksuck. Hollow chested…
Ben: Veteran. PTSD. Vulnerable…
Chrissy: Working mom. Family. My yacht…

Chrissy’s hand is still on Ben’s knee. I’m hoping for a shot of Ben’s wife, who is also a Marine. A sniper. God, this is dramatic. Jeff reads the votes.


Boom goes the… Wait, no, PTSD, no explosions! For f**k’s sake. Let’s just congratulate Ben quietly, and hand him his million-dollar check. There we go. That’s better. Shhhh….


  1. Good luck on your future endeavors. I was kinda right. This season had some good players . Sadly it just had some awful ones too. The fact Ryan or Mike believe they deserved to win is dumbfounding. Devon, Chrissy and of course Ben played very well though. My 3 cents. No one has an issue with you having a political opinion. The issue is when you speak down to others who dis agree, having an opinion is great . Attacking those who have a different opinion not so great.

  2. Horrible writing by a middle-aged,  misogynistic,bitter, Fat,
    turd. His quiet racism did not go unnoticed.  Bravo for finally realizing this crap bf the fish churned out was NOT writing, more like ranting and complaining. Good Riddance. Take this man to the nearest AA meeting

  3. Must be a sad life you live. Simonsays how about those internet tough guys. Sorry Simon that your life is so pathetic that puffing up online is how you make yourself believe you are a man. Never have to leave moms basement and your favorite blow up doll. Just mouth of online like your opinion matters.

  4. Ricky-baby! Thanks for all your comments over the years. You were far and away, my best commenter. And I get what you’re saying about the My Two Cents essays. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t trying to preach, I just hate what I see when I look around. And booze makes me type without remorse. Apologies if I offended you. And thanks for being good posse, too. You always had my back.

    Simonspaz! I think someone needs a hug. Thanks for being so concerned, but I think I have a clearer path to happiness than you do. Maybe you didn’t get I wrote a parody column, but I’ll wait for you to look that up…

    My “quiet racism” is non-existent, because it’s called sarcasm. I believe everyone’s at the same table, which means everyone’s fair game for ridicule. If it’s black, Asian, Jewish, Latin or white, we’re all equal, meaning we’re all candidates for jokes. Some people don’t get it. Like you, obviously. And I’ll only go to AA if you’re my sponsor. If I’m gonna fix myself I can only do it with your help. You obviously know what’s best… Happy New Year, kid…

  5. Fish, great final recap! I am going to miss you and your recaps. I do hope you find a way to stay connected to the show (I like your idea of less involved Survivor articles).

    This season totally set Ben up to win. I’m okay with that. At least he had a good story AND decent game play. Chrissy even managed to sway me a little bit in final tribal. I’m upset at the reunion show. What’s the point of paying everyone to come sit on the stage if we don’t talk to anyone? That was disappointing. Also disappointing was the set up for next season. I about crapped my pants when Probst said the line about past mistakes. I was so hoping that former players would be back. How the hell are these new players going to reverse those mistakes. Sounds stupid to me.

    Good luck with everything in the future. Thanks for being you. I truly have enjoyed reading your recaps since the beginning. Take care!

  6. I m pretty hard to offend. Everyone has their own opinions. If they differ from mine so be it. Doesn’t hurt my feelings. Crossing my fingers for a good new season. I think I am following you on twitter though I never use it. Maybe I will for Ghost Island.

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