Did you miss last week’s episode of Survivor: Nicaragua? Catch up with a recap here.
This week’s episode begins with La Flor, chastened yet probably better off without a homophobic loud-mouth, returning to their camp. Alina mentions that Jeff said the tribe is divided so that they need to start working together. NaOnka confesses to the camera, though, that everyone was acting “faker than faux fur.” Everybody is acting like they are one big, happy family, but that couldn’t be farther form the truth. She says that Alina, Kelly B and Fabio were shocked that Shannon was voted out (although, it appears NaOnka can’t do math because there were only three votes against Brenda, so one of them, which ended up being Kelly B, voted against Shannon), so that they need to watch their backs, because they are going to get bit on the butt.
The next morning (and to the dulcet tones of a Spanish guitar), the Espada tribe, having heard some howler monkeys, searches near them for fruit. Coach (Jimmy J) starts trying to talk with the monkeys, which only endears him further with most of his tribe. Yve tells the camera that she is starstruck by Coach. She finds him hysterical and innately inspirational. Of course, Marty sees things differently. He’s pretty pissed off that a celebrity was stuck on his tribe. “Everyone’s got glitter in their eyes,” he complains jealously. Marty figures that Coach’s celebrity will be a huge advantage for him come The Merge. As they walk back to camp from the monkey hideout, Marty tells Jill that Coach is a threat. Jill tries to calm him, saying that worrying about Coach should be saved for later in the game. She has something else she wants to talk to Marty about. She thinks it behooves them both if Marty tells the rest of the tribe about the Hidden Immunity Idol. Marty, though is unsure.
At La Flor, Fabio (Jud) is stoking the fire by blowing on it. He must not have been watching Survivor back in the day, or he would have learned from Michael Skupin that one shouldn’t blow into a fire, because Fabio jokes about being dizzy once the fire is started. He confesses to the audience that his strategy is to be the funny guy and make everyone laugh, but he wants to be valued for more than that; he wants to stay for his spirit. NaOnka, f course, just thinks Fabio is stupid. She hated him from the get-go. Even his hair gets on her nerves. So, if she has the chance, she’s going to get rid of him next.
Back at Espada, the tribe is eating when Marty calls for a group announcement, during which he shows everyone that he found the HII. He says that the HII gives them a leg up after The Merge, and Jimmy T agrees. To the camera, though Jimmy T admits that if he had found it, he wouldn’t have shared it. Jill thinks Marty’s announcement wins him some brownie points within the tribe, which can only shine well on her, too. Tyrone confesses that Marty’s admission probably makes other think that he’s a team player, but he thinks Marty’s actions are shady. Marty, for his part, says that his announcement worked perfectly because it made his tribe believe he is working for all of them, but as any Survivor fan knows, the HII is only useful to the person holding it, and he is that person. Later, Jane is drying clothes over an open fire (what, no chestnuts?), as Dan grumbles about his lack of sleep and lack of food. He’s concerned that the rest of Espada is viewing him as the weak link, especially when he’s just as strong as any of the women — even those built like “mooses.” Yve confirms Dan’s fears in her confessional, saying that the guy just doesn’t have it in him to play the game.
Over at La Flor, Benry, Chase, Brenda, NaOnka and Purple Kelly (Kelly S) meet to discuss Alina and Kelly B. They agree that they have a strong five-person alliance, and should they have to vote someone out next, it would have to be Alina. To the camera, Alina admits that a line was clearly drawn within the tribe at Tribal Council, and that she finds herself on the wrong side of the line. NaOnka, ever opinionated, confesses that she wants both Alina and Kelly B gone, but she’d choose Alina first, which would shake Kelly B and make her nervous. “That’s what you get, !” NaOnka charmingly concludes before heading to the…
…Immunity Challenge. Espada gets tehir first look at La Flor and are dumbfounded by Shannon’s elimination. For this challenge (from which the winner will also receive a Survivor Garden consisting of fruit, herbs, spices, and sauces), each team will run out into a field/lagoon and retrieve ten barrels. Once they roll the barrels back to the start line, the barrels must be stood up on ten individual platforms in a shape like a backwards set of bowling pins — a triangle of 4-3-2-1 barrels, in which the tenth barrel stands alone and furthest away. Once the barrels are on their platforms, one at a time, players must throw beanbags onto the barrels. First tribe to get sandbags on each barrel wins immunity and reward. If La Flor uses the Medallion of Power, they will start with two barrels on their platforms, and two sandbags on those barrels (hell of an advantage, I must say!). La Flor talks it over, but decides that they will keep the MoP and compete straight up. The teams plan who will retrieve which barrel, and in what order tribemates will toss beanbags. With that, the tribes line up. “Survivors ready………GO!”
Both tribes scatter across the course. La Flor gets three barrels back before Espada can get any, but a whole cavalcade of barrels arrives for Espada all at once. La Flor is able to get all of their barrels back first, and they start setting them up on the platforms. Jeff yells to Espada to pick up the pace, singling out Dan by shouting, “Dan, you need to do something!” La Flor gets their barrels set up and moves to the sandbags, with Espada quickly following up behind. Benry starts throwing for La Flor, and Tyrone for Espada. Benry lands his first bag, which is answered by Tyrone. Benry gets number two, and so does Tyrone. Tyrone then goes on a run, nailing four more bags (for a total of 6 out of 10). Chase swaps out for Benry, but is ineffective, so Benry jumps back in and lands a bag. It’s 6-3 Espada at this point. Tyrone lands his seventh, but Benry goes on a run of his own. Bag four. Bag five. Jimmy T wants to relieve Tyrone as he continues to miss, but Coach holds him out. Bag six for Benry. Bag seven. Bag eight! Jimmy T again yells for Tyrone to be replaced, but Tyrone tells him to be quiet. Bag nine for la Flor!! Jimmy T complains that he’s being wasted, so after Tyrone lands his eighth bag, Jimmy T jumps in and nails Espada’s ninth. It’s tied at nine. Both tribes come oh so close to winning, but with a high-arced throw, Benry lands a bag. “La Flor wins Immunity and Reward!” Benry collapses on the sand as his tribe celebrates. Jeff hands them the Immunity Idol and tells them to grab their reward. Kelly B immediately volunteers to grab the fruit. When she does, she sees a note hidden inside. NaOnka spies her though, and offers to grab the other handle on the large fruit basket. She, too, sees the note, and tells the camera (later) that once they get back to camp, she’s heading straight for that HII clue.
As La Flor walks back to their beach, NaOnka and Kelly B seem to be eyeing each other. Right when they step foot within the boundary of the camp, the two drop the fruit basket and lunge for the HII clue hidden inside. NaOnka out muscles Kelly B and grabs the clue, much to the shock of the rest of the tribe, and Kelly B who says NaOnka “pummelled” her. NaOnka tells the camera that Kelly B should take a trip (my words, not hers) because she’d do it all over again. “Next time, I’ll push her so hard her leg will fall off.” She continues saying that she “went ‘hood,” but not “ghetto,” which would have entailed a whole litany of slang words, hand throws and head movements that any description could not do justice. NaOnka finishes her tirade by stating that she isn’t going to be nice just because Kelly B has one leg. “My name is NaOnka. Not ‘Fool.'”
NaOnka tries to figure out the HII clue, but is unsuccessful, so she shows it to Brenda. Brenda confesses that she is going to stay close to NaOnka because she has the clue. NaOnka concludes the La Flor portion of the episode saying that Alina needs to start shaking in fear because she is coming for her.
Over at Espada, Jill is upset because the challenge resulted in two losses for the tribe: Immunity and Reward. Jimmy T is hot because he believes his talents are being wasted, and says so to the whole tribe. He freely admits that he would be the leader of the tribe if Coach wasn’t there. He also admits to being a showboat, but in his community he is looked to for guidance. Jimmy T is then able to stop talking about himself for a moment when he turns to Tyrone to blame him for not jumping out of the challenge when Coach called him out. Tyrone says that it has nothing to do with him, he just wants to win. Coach does begin to attack Tyrone a bit, saying that Tyrone wasn’t listening to him, and that they all want to win. Tyrone repeats to the camera that he doesn’t care for personal glory, he just wants to win, and in many cases, the best way to win is not for everyone to touch the ball. Marty confides that he loved the tension playing out in the tribe. He is going to sit back and let it fester. In fact, he’s looking forward to Tribal Council because it will force the tribe to finally start playing the game he is.
The plotting on who is to be voted out begins. Coach questions Dan’s attitude and commitment to the tribe. Marty, as usual, wants to oust Coach, doubting his stated motivation that he just wants someone on his tribe to win the game. Hearing Marty’s concerns, Jill doesn’t really care one way or another. For her, Coach, Holly and Dan are all the same. She just wants Marty to tell her what to do. If she had to pick someone, she’d say Dan is the weakest, but her vote is flexible. Marty starts to work the tribe for votes against Coach. First up, Dan, who is more than happy to have the spotlight on someone else. Jimmy T is more than happy to vote for Coach because he believes Coach to not be a Jimmy T fan. With Jimmy T, Dan, Jill and himself, Marty only needs one more vote for Coach and his plan will be successful. Marty knows that if Coach is ousted, the tribe will crumble without their “daddy,” a perfect situation for him.
Holly strikes up a possible alliance with Jane by telling her she, Holly, feels vulnerable at tonight’s Tribal Council. Jane thinks it’s going to be Dan. Yve says Coach is her favorite person out there. Coach confesses that every Tribal Council he has to fight for his life because of his celebrity, so this time is no different. Marty continues rounding up votes by approaching Tyrone. He may not be on board though because he wants to vote out Dan who hasn’t been helping in challenges at all. Marty tells the camera that opposing him is a very bad idea. “You do not mess with me,” he concludes before heading off to…
…Tribal Council. Jeff asks Jimmy T about the challenge, and Jimmy admits that he wanted more playing time. He went to Coach to put him in, but he was rebuffed. Jeff quotes “Center Field” by John Fogerty before asking Jill if the tribe does turn to Coach for guidance. She answers in the affirmative, saying that he is the most accomplished leader on the tribe, so it is natural that they turn to him. Coach says he’s not guiding strategy for the tribe, but he does try to use his skills to help the tribe. Holly says that Coach steps forward to boost the morale of the tribe. Jimmy T says that he and Coach really haven’t gotten to know each other, which Jeff finds incredible that after eight days they still don’t know each other. Jimmy T says that maybe this is because he (Jimmy T) is a leader, too. Coach believes he has a great relationship with Jimmy T.
Jeff asks Jill what her criteria are for her vote. She replies that they need to keep the tribe as strong as possible. Jeff asks Dan where he places himself on the tribe’s strength ladder. Dan says right in the middle, which garners some looks of disbelief. Jill says Dan is very stiff and is having a hard time moving around. Jane says she noticed Dan’s surgery scar on his knee. Jimmy T agrees with Jill that they need to keep the strongest players, and there are three players he considers weak, though he won’t name them. Jeff asks each member of Espada if he or she is weak. They all say no, except Coach. He admits that he is the oldest, and therefore, probably the weakest physically.
Jeff, a bit astonished, asks then if it is an easy vote because Coach said he is the weakest. Tyrone replies that that is Coach’s self-assessment, which is hard to argue. Jeff notices that Marty almost seems giddy at Tribal Council. Marty admits that he’s excited to accelerate the game play because no one else on the tribe is thinking about the game long term. Jeff notes that making people aware that they are not playing the game as strategically as he is, is probably not the best idea. “Why remind them?” Jeff asks incredulously. With that, it’s time to vote.
Espada votes, and Jeff collects them. The first vote is for Coach, then Dan. Votes for Coach, Coach, Coach…”the third player voted out of Survivor: Nicaragua: Jimmy J!” (It was a clean sweep, 8-1 vote against Jimmy J). A visibly upset Jimmy Johnson brings his torch to Jeff, has it snuffed, orders that someone from Espada win the game, and walks into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff mentions that the tribe has just voted out their leader, so who is going to step up? “Grab your torches. Head back to camp.”
Next time on…Survivor!!
Ratings go down when NFL fans watching just for Jimmy Johnson tune out! Just kidding, folks, although I will be eager to see next week’s ratings. Really, the first storm of the season seems to be rolling in, along with Hurricane NaOnka, who has her sights set on Kelly B. NaOnka is seen yelling at Kelly B, “Screw your leg! Keep it away form the fire!” This led my wife to ask, “Is she going to burn Kelly’s leg?!?” I laughed that off, but maybe…..
Now that La Flor has seen that they can win without using the MoP, I expect them to not use it again next week, if the challenge involves any physical task. If it does, I think they may have been chastened by Espada’s near win, and will use the MoP to really put the hammer down on Espada and try to win a two-person advantage. I fear the La Flor dominance I anticipated may be coming very soon. You know, if NaOnka doesn’t destroy her tribe first. If La Flor somehow does go back to Tribal Council next week, if NaOnka hasn’t secured the HII by then, I think she’ll be in real trouble. It is often seen that even members of the majority alliance are voted out if they are really obnoxious to others in the tribe, especially early in the game, so if NaOnka can’t keep her mouth shut, I think her time in Nicaragua will be cut short.
Odds to Win
I’m not wholly surprised that Jimmy J was voted out. His celebrity was always going to do him in, but I will admit to thinking that he was starting to overcome that disadvantage. Thanks to Marty’s ridiculously high amount of jealousy, however, Jimmy J and his haircut were sent back to the NFL on Fox set. So, how did this episode effect the Odds? Let’s take a look.
Brenda: 3-1. The former Dolphins cheerleader will surely be sad to see Jimmy J gone (a potential Merge partner), but she is sitting pretty (no pun intended) in the majority alliance, with a possible patsy wrapped around her finger (Chase), and knowledge of the HII’s whereabouts. She’ll have to avoid the wariness people will have about her Parvati-like attributes, but this girl is a powerhouse.
Chase: 4-1. I flipped Chase and Yve last week, but I’m flipping them back. This move has more to do with Yve (see below) than Chase, but the big guy finds himself as the strongest person in the majority alliance on his tribe. There are three people ahead of him on the firing line, which almost guarantees him making it to The Merge. Once there, big guys are usually voted out, but I see him linking up with Jimmy T or Tyrone to preserve himself.
Yve: 5-1. Yve moves back down simply because she had seemed to be aligned with Jimmy J, and may therefore be on the outs with Marty. He never voiced that Yve was a target (he’s going after Dan and Holly next), but it may take a some time for her to be trusted by Espada’s current power player.
Jill: 7-1. Jill is in a great position because she is in the majority alliance on her tribe, she’s strong, and she has access to the HII (although she may have to rip it from Marty’s cold, dead hands). Further, I don’t think she has even the smallest of targets on her back as she is a contributor and seems to get along with everyone.
Fabio (Jud): 10-1. Yes, NaOnka hates him, and yes, he may, in fact, be outside the majority five on his tribe, but who doesn’t love Fabio? He’s harmless, and his goofy surfer shtick is endearing. Plus La Flor wants to oust Kelly B and Alina before him, so things could change in his favor moving forward. (Side note, did anyone else notice that neither “Jud” nor “Fabio” appeared over his face during the title sequence? Very weird.)
Tyrone: 20-3. Clearly, Tyrone pissed off Jimmy T during the challenge for not stepping aside, but the guy was killing it for a while. There is no way Espada, as constituted, can get rid of Tyrone. He doesn’t seem to have an alliance with anyone, so he will be a free agent come The Merge. As a swing vote, he will wield a lot of power.
Sash: 13-1. It’s another big jump for Sash this week. He successfully rebuffed Shannon’s shenanigans during Tribal Council, and finds himself tightly aligned with Brenda, Chase and Purple Kelly (or Kelly Purple, if you’re NaOnka). Plus, he seems like the smart, weasely guy who is able to manipulate others subtly. I’m actually looking forward to an eventual Sash-Brenda showdown.
Purple Kelly (Kelly S.): 20-1. Purple Kelly is the other big mover if for no other reason than she’s floating by with the majority on the stronger tribe. We’ve seen that type of player win, most recently on Survivor: Samoa, so Kelly’s odds have to improve.
Marty: 25-1. I made Marty a longer shot to win. I know this is slightly ridiculous because he got rid of his nemesis, and has the HII, but I really don’t think he is going to win. He is just too freaking high on himself, and “pride goeth before the fall” and all that. Plus, you don’t tell your tribe you have the HII! Ever!! He is just setting himself up for a blindside and an unplayed HII. Jackass.
Jimmy T.: 35-1. Like Marty, Jimmy T thinks too highly of himself. His additional problem is that he vocalizes this fact. Constantly. His improvement is really a mark of other people’s chances decreasing.
Kelly B.: 45-1. Kelly B seemed to have no problem with the challenge (again), but she is clearly in the cross-hairs of the majority alliance. She has to hope, that next week’s confrontation with NaOnka shows the rest of the tribe how crazy NaOnka is, and that she, Kelly B, is a more trustworthy compatriot. She did, in fact, vote against Shannon, as opposed to…
Alina: 50-1. Unless La Flor can blow out Espada until The Merge, and therefore not have to visit Tribal Council, Alina is the next to go. Now, it is possible that La Flor does just that, which gives Alina the chance to flip to the other tribe. Or, she could find the HII before NaOnka and Brenda do, but barring those scenarios, Alina is not long for this game.
Jane: 55-1. I’m really starting to dig Jane, in the little bits we get of her, but as I’ve stated previously, it’s just so hard for an older woman to win the whole shebang. Plus, she doesn’t seem to be entrenched in the majority alliance, positioning herself instead with Holly. Methinks this is not a great strategy.
Benry: 60-1. Benry was The Man during the challenge. The question remains, was this enough to get him out of the doghouse with the rest of his tribe? I’m not so sure it was.
Holly: 80-1. Holly is out of the spotlight for now, but she is still viewed as one of the two remaining weak players on her tribe. With a possible onslaught coming from La Flor, I don’t think Holly can last two more Tribal Councils without swearing allegiance to Marty, and someone else really screwing up.
NaOnka: 300-1. I don’t care that she is in the majority. I don’t care that she might find the HII. NaOnka has no social skills, which means absolute failure on Survivor. She’s great for a quote, but I’ll be more than happy to have NaOnka stop talking.
Dan: 500-1. The only reason Dan wasn’t walking through the graveyard at the end of this episode is because Marty is one of the most jealous people I have ever seen. Does Dan have any chance at winning? Fuhggetaboutit!! (Sorry, I resisted as long as I could. He might not be around much longer for me to use that joke.)
Alright, that’s what I’ve got for this week’s Survivor. What did you think about the episode? Is there any way for NaOnka to become more annoying? Will her mouth turn her tribe against her? Will Marty now be super jealous of Tyrone for being a badass DJ? Will the ratings go down now that Jimmy Johnson is gone? Leave your questions, comments and theories below or in our Survivor Forum. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to apologize for smushing the bananas.