Did you miss last week’s tribe shuffle? Check out my recap here.
This week’s episode of Survivor begins at Espada after yet another Tribal Council and the ouster of Tyrone. There is a storm rolling in, which Dan can not abide. He wants to quit because he can’t deal with another twenty days of rain. Holly tries to encourage him, but confesses to the camera that quitting is the easy way out. “You’ve signed up for something — suck it up and finish!” Yve and Holly collect wood, when Yve asks why she wasn’t let in on the tribe voting for Tyrone. She would have went along without a fuss, so she what’s to know what’s up. Holly says that she and Dan weren’t so sure Yve would vote with them because they thought she and Tyrone had an alliance. Yve assures Holly that she didn’t. Holly says that maybe they should be more open and honest with each other. Yve agrees, which leads Holly to immediately tell her that Dan wants to quit. Yve confides to the camera that she doesn’t want to throw anyone (Dan) under the bus, but in the game of Survivor, “you gotta do what you’ve gotta do to survive.”
Over at La Flor, Jill and Marty talk about how they are clearly on the outside of their tribe. The “kids” will get rid of them immediately when given the chance. Brenda confesses that indeed, it is still old versus young on La Flor. “Well, young and Jane,” she admits because Jane is well-liked amongst the younger players. Brenda plans that when La Flor has to go to Tribal Council, they will give three votes to Marty and three votes to Jill to flush out the Hidden Immunity Idol. It’s a great plan, so hopefully nothing will happen to mess it up. Cue the…
…Immunity Challenge. Upon seeing the new Espada tribe, Fabio and Marty both remark how awesome it is for them that Espada voted out Tyrone. Jeff tells the tribes that tribal immunity is not up for grabs. He reveals two Individual Immunity Necklaces: one with an Espada sword, the other with a La Flor fleur-de-lis. One member of each tribe will win Individual Immunity and will be safe at his or her tribe’s Tribal Council that night. The tribes will take on the Challenge separately. Each player will have her or his own patch of sand to dig through with a paddle. Buried in the sand are three rings. When a player finds a ring, he or she must use the paddle to flip the ring over their head and into a basket attached to the player’s back. The first to collect all three rings will win Individual Immunity. The winners from each tribe will then compete against each other in a ring toss. Whomever wins the ring toss will earn Reward of a feast of chicken and beef kebabs for his or her tribe. That feast will take place during the losing tribe’s Tribal Council, after the winning tribe has voted out someone at their Tribal Council. Espada won a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors and will therefore go first.
All members of the tribe start digging in their patches of sand. Dan is the first to uncover a ring, but he is unable to flip it into his basket. Alina drops her first ring, giving Holly time to secure her first one. Alina, Yve and Benry all catch their first rings, right before Holly catches her second. Alina and Benry then catch their second rings, and Chase his first. Dan is nowhere close to catching a ring (big surprise, I know). Alina and Holly toss their third rings into the air at the same time, both of which land on the sides of their basket. Alina’s falls to the ground, but Holly’s falls into the basket. She runs the ring to her mat. Holly wins Individual Immunity!
Now it’s La Flor’s turn. Fabio misses his first ring, but Brenda and Sash catch their first ones. Fabio, Marty, Jill, Kelly B, and Jane all catch their first rings in succession. Marty secures ring number two, as do Kelly B and Jill. Kelly B and Jill find their third rings, but both drop them on their first toss attempts. Both women throw their rings into the air again, but it is Jill’s that finds the basket. She runs her third ring back to her mat. Jill wins Individual Immunity!
On to the Reward Ring Toss. The board has three pegs on which the rings may land (the players do not have to get one ring on each peg). Holly lands her first ring, but Jill quickly snags two on the same peg. Holly nails her second ring, but it is Jill who is able to aim her third ring to a peg first. Jill wins the Feast!! La Flor will go to Tribal Council first, vote someone out, and then watch Espada’s Tribal Council while dining on chicken and beef kebabs.
La Flor arrives back at their beach in a celebratory mood. After congratulating Jill for “tearing it up,” they all put their hands in a pile, and shout, “1-2-3..La Flor!!” Brenda confesses that the cheer was a complete sham. The younger players still outnumber Jill and Marty, but Jill winning Individual Immunity was the “worst case scenario.” Sash suggests to Brenda that they send three votes to Marty and three votes to Kelly B in order to flush out the idol. Brenda is fine with this plan because she wants Kelly B out because of the sympathy factor. To put the plan in place, Brenda tells Kelly B that they are going to split their votes between Marty and Jane. Kelly agrees, but confides that she likes Jane and wants to keep her around. Brenda tells the camera that everything seems to be in place, but she’s worried about Fabio. He’s so dumb that he could very well be a wild card and throw a monkey wrench into the plan.
Marty takes advantage of Fabio’s less than completely knowledgeable self by telling him that he, Marty, is a grandmaster chess player. In fact, he beat Argentine champion Guillermo Vilas twice when he was a kid. Fabio buys this load of bull (Guillermo Vilas was an Argentine tennis player from the 1970’s) hook, line and sinker. Seeing this, Marty tells Fabio that he has a whole plan laid out that could lead to a huge move for the two of them if Fabio wants in on it; he wants Fabio to form a four-person alliance with him, Jill and Jane. Fabio confides that he is ready to follow Marty because he’s clearly a smart guy who knows numbers and stuff.
Back at Espada, Holly says that while it is great for her to win the Individual Immunity, the other tribe still gets to come watch their Tribal Council. Moreover, La Flor gets to feast on kebabs! Since she is safe, she feels she just needs to go with the majority. Dan helps Holly retrieve water, but tells her that he is exhausted. He’s rich and has fancy cars, so he doesn’t know why he’s putting himself through this experience. Holly does tell the camera, though, that Dan ha snow reversed his position and wants to stay. Benry, for his part, tells Chase that he wants Yve out of the game before The Merge. Dan is not a threat to anyone, and since the four younger members of Espada are tight, they should get rid of Yve. Chase confesses that he trusts NaOnka, but isn’t so sure about Benry and Alina. He goes to NaOnka to tell her how Benry wants to vote, but she isn’t so sure. Dan is clearly a physical liability. If there are any more challenges that have a strength element to them, Dan is a weakness.
Yve catches up with NaOnka and Alina, and tells them that she really wants to stay. Dan told her that he wants to go home, so they should vote him out. Further, it would be smart to keep Yve because she gets along well with Marty and Jill, so once The Merge occurs, she can keep NaOnka and Alina safe. Alina voices, privately, that Yve’s connection with Marty and Jill might actually be concerning instead of valuable — what’s to say Yve won’t just join them against NaOnka and Alina? Holly finds NaOnka and Chase, and tells them that Dan has said on multiple occasions that he wants to leave. After Holly leaves, Chase says to NaOnka, again, that it might be wise to keep Dan around. NaOnka protests, saying that Dan is only hurting the tribe. She tells the camera, however, that she has no problems voting Yve out, if that’s what the majority wants.
All Fabio wants is the feast. Brenda pulls Jane aside and tells her to vote for Marty, their primary target. Jane has no problem with this because Marty and Jill never tried to pull her into an alliance on the old Espada. Sash tells Fabio about the plan to split the votes between Marty and Kelly B, but Fabio hesitates. He like Marty and wants him to stick around. Sash tells him they need to vote that way to flush out the HII. “Why would we want to flush out the idol?” Fabio asks. Sash explains that it is too dangerous to keep anyone around who has an HII, so Marty needs to go. Later, Marty tells Sash that he doesn’t want to leave. Sash replies that Marty should cast his vote for Jane, with which Marty has no concerns. The possibility of joining up with Sash and everyone else has him rethinking his alliance with Fabio. Brenda says that tonight’s vote will all depend on whether Marty plays the HII. He’s the Number One target, but if Kelly B has to go home, that’s no problem because of the sympathy factor. Marty confides that he’s not sure about how it will all go down, but his gut is telling him to vote for Jane. Well, it’s time for him to make his choice, because it is off to…
…Tribal Council (La Flor Edition). Jeff asks Marty about the obvious disparity between younger and older players on the tribe. Marty agrees that he, Jill and Jane don’t seem to fit in but he thinks that as long as he contributes, everything will be OK. Sash explains that when Marty first arrived at La Flor, he called a tribe meeting and told everyone about his HII. Jeff expresses his shock that Marty would volunteer such vital information. Marty replies, telling Jeff that he thought it best to come clean about the HII and prove he is playing a “clean game.” Brenda calls B.S., saying that Marty’s HII admission was really done to make him look more noble than he is. Jeff asks if Marty is considering playing the HII tonight. He is considering it, he would be dumb not to, but he has to trust his tribemates’ word. Jeff asks Kelly B if it is wise to trust people in this game. She responds by saying that no one is to be trusted, but sometimes one has to go with his or her gut when it comes to trust. Everyone has their own intentions, but tonight, she feels safe (Note: When the editors show someone saying that they feel safe at Tribal Council, that person almost always goes home).
Brenda says that if anyone has to worry about tonight’s vote, it’s Jane, because Marty and Jill are coming after her. Marty, somewhat shocked that Brenda would fabricate such a story (it was Brenda, after all, that came to Marty about voting for Jane), says if Jane has anyone to worry about, it’s the five younger players who are in a clear majority. He continues, trying to save himself from the spotlight that is now on him, saying that voting for Jane was the tribe’s call as a whole. He never offered up Jane. Jeff, sensing Marty’s unease, asks him if he is now considering using the HII more than he was before. Marty does indeed feel less comfortable now because he had taken members of his tribe at face value. He concludes by saying that, with the numbers the way they are, it would be “moronic” for him to vote out Jane. Marty then mouths, silently, to Jane to vote for Brenda. Jane gives no response.
It’s time to vote. Jane votes for Marty. Marty votes for Brenda, saying that the battle lines have now been drawn with the Black Widow/Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant is playing Survivor?). Brenda votes for Kelly B, putting her strategy of splitting votes into play. Jeff collects the votes, and asks if anyone wants to play the HII. Marty sits quietly, so Jeff reads the votes. The first is for Marty, as are the second and third. Vote Four is for Brenda, as is the fifth. Vote Six is for Kelly B, as is the seventh. With much different music than normal swelling, the eighth vote is for Kelly B. We have a tie! Marty and Kelly B will not vote, and the others must vote for one of them. The players re-vote, Jeff collects them, and reads out the second set of ballots. The first vote is for Marty. The second is for Kelly B, as is the third. Jeff reads the fourth vote, “The sixth person voted out of Survivor: Nicaragua is…Kelly B!” Marty, eyes wide and head shaking, is absolutely astonished at the result (as am I, and most of America). Jeff snuffs out her torch, and Kelly B marches off into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff tells La Flor to move over to the Jury’s seats as Espada is brought in for…
…Tribal Council (Espada Edition). La Flor is given their kebabs and soda, which Espada eyes like a deserted man eyes his compatriot turning into a side of beef. Chase admits that it is hard to watch them eat. NaOnka, won’t even look at them, and it is no surprise the Jeff asks Fabio, NaOnka’s sworn enemy (besides Alina…and Kelly B…and Kelly B’s leg), how much he’s enjoying the feast. Holly feels terrible that she wasn’t able to come through for her team and win the feast. She’d actually give up the HII for the feast (no, she wouldn’t). Jeff notices that Dan seems not to mind the feasting occurring next to him. He says that nothing bothers him, except for getting voted out. Yve calls B.S. on this statement, saying that Dan has done nothing but complain and wish he could leave. Dan admits to complaining, but says he never wanted to quit. Yve replies that one needs to have 100% commitment to the game and to the tribe, which Dan has not exhibited.
Jeff asks Benry if it is fair to say Dan is a liability, and Benry replies in the affirmative. Dan defends himself, saying that yes, he may be a liability, but only in certain challenges (i.e. all of them). So why, Jeff asks, does Yve think Dan is such a tribe weakness? Dan answers that Yve clearly feels she’s in trouble tonight at Tribal Council, so she’s looking to shift attention elsewhere. Further, she’s arrogant. This statement knocks Yve for a loop. She’s the one who is arrogant? Dan walks around talking about all of his Ferraris, Porches and massive wealth all the time. “Yes, I do!” Dan replies. Jeff asks Allina on what she is basing her vote. Alina responds that they need to decide whether it is better to keep around a tribal liability, or someone who is super competitive. It’s time to vote, so the feast is over for La Flor. They leave, and Espada votes. Jeff collects the ballots and reads them out. The first vote is for Yve. The second is for Dan. Vote Three is for Yve, as is the fourth. Jeff reads the fifth vote, “The seventh person voted out of Survivor: Nicaragua…Yve!” A very perturbed Yve brings Jeff her torch, he snuffs it, and Yve walks through the creepy graveyard (will it be decorated for Halloween next week?) and into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff tells Espada that their vote may make them look like a unified tribe, but from what he heard, he’s not so sure. Espada heads back to camp.
Next time on…Survivor!!
Sash starts to make some moves in the game, by asking Marty to give him the HII(?!?). Jane strikes out on her own by catching and cooking her own fish. Fabio takes an opportunity at a challenge to relieve himself, much to Jeff’s chagrin. Let me use the rest of this space to voice my frustration with this season. It is clear that Survivor: Nicaragua will not go down as one of the better seasons, but more than the old vs. young hook failing miserably, I think the real problem is the cast. Yes, there are a couple players of note (NaOnka, Marty, Jimmys J & T, and maybe Sash will hit his stride next week), but what is bothering me is that none of these people seem to want to proactively play the game. Everyone, with the exception of Brenda, is sitting back and waiting for other people to make decisions. It is almost as if they’ve all seen too much Survivor and are so paranoid about being a leader, or making a move, that they all want to be floaters (to borrow a Big Brother term). I mean, how many players have we heard say, “I’ll just vote how they tell me to.”? I can recall: NaOnka, Jill, Marty, Chase, Kelly B, Fabio, Jane, and Holly just off the top of my head.
Secondly, everyone seems so damn scared, as evidenced by this week’s votes. La Flor not only convinced Marty he was safe to a point that he didn’t use his HII, they actually got a second chance to vote the one power player (besides Brenda) in the game out. He was a sitting duck. Brenda, for as great a player she is, totally let the opportunity fly by her. All to get out Kelly B? Because she may garner sympathy votes in the Final Three? Ten votes form now?!?! This just doesn’t make sense. Unless La Flor somehow figured that they would win every tribal Immunity Challenge from here on out, and then Kelly B would win every Individual Immunity Challenge, how could they not get rid of the guy who has an HIII? This makes absolutely no sense to me.
Then you get Espada, who is already down a player, and facing likely three more tribal Immunity Challenges, voting out a good challenge performer because she’s “playing the game hard.” Seriously?!? Dan is absolutely no help in challenges. None. Yet Espada kept him around because they know he’s not a threat. Great Espada, neither will you be when The Merge occurs and there are only three of you left. I know it’s the younger players that are doing the maneuvering here, and figure they will just fit back in with their old buddies at The Merge, but one never knows what bonds are being made in the other tribe. The only way to guarantee survival is to win challenges. Purposefully hurting your tribe, and therefore, reducing your Challenge win chances is just ludicrous.
Lastly, did we hear Purple Kelly speak at all this episode? This season? Is she that uninteresting? This is all, I believe, a function of Survivor producers seeking out contestants to fit certain casting “slots,” instead of just casting 16-20 people who really want and know how to play the game, no matter their type. I’m sure the production folks would then argue that they are trying to cast a diverse group of people. I’m all for that, but 1) are they trying to tell us that in the literally thousands upon thousands of applications they receive they can’t choose a diverse cast?, and 2) they still ended up with an original cast of 75% straight white people. Survivor, I beg of you, please put people on the show who want to be there and will play the game. It will benefit all of us. OK, rant over, let’s see how the Odds to Win have changed.
Odds to Win
Well, Numbers Six and Nine on last week’s board went down, not too shabby. Yve was clearly in dire straits after being the only person to not vote for Tyrone, and Kelly B was going to go eventually. I just didn’t think either of them would have gone this week (see above). How else has the board changed?
Brenda: 2-1. She’s still the favorite, almost by default. She made a real bonehead move by not taking advantage of a clear opportunity to vote out her self-professed Enemy Number One, but there is no one who comes close to touching her game-play. I will look forward to hearing her explain why they voted out Kelly B, though.
Sash: 5-1. Brenda’s right-hand man, Sash, is in a great position. He’s slightly riding Brenda’s coattails, but is making enough moves to be able to portray himself as a great player should he make it to the Final Three. I’m a little concerned hes head might be swelling a bit with power. We’ll have to see where this whole “asking Marty for the HII” strategy goes next week. Could this be one move too many?
Chase: 7-1. Though he clearly damaged his current tribe by voting out Yve, it’s clear Chase is just trying to make it to The Merge so he can rejoin Brenda. What will he find when he gets there, though?
Jane: 15-1. I move Jane up the board because if any “older” player has a chance of making it to the end, it’s Jane. She is clearly liked by the younger players on La Flor, and has no reason to try to help Marty and Jill. Further, come The Merge, there will be a whole lot of former La Flor players that will be looking to take each other out, and Jane might be able to position herself as the swing vote.
Fabio (Jud): 20-1. He is so easily played, by about everyone. The only reason I have Fabio this high on the board is because there is the chance he’ll win some Individual Immunity Challenges, and I kind of hate the chances of everyone else below him.
Purple Kelly (Kelly S.): 30-1. I refuse to believe someone with this little screen time can win the game. It’s impossible. Then again, she’s in a good alliance. She better do something positive soon, or I’m knocking her all the way down the board out of spite.
Marty: 40-1. How the hell did Marty survive this vote? How? Someone please explain it to me. He didn’t use the HII, and still La Flor kept him around. He will be around at least after one more La Flor Tribal Council, unless he somehow gets completely blindsided again. Just because he somehow survived, Marty’s odds get better.
Benry: 50-1. He will clearly make The Merge (Dan, Holly and Alina will be the next to go on Espada), but if Chase doesn’t trust him, Brenda and Sash likely won’t either.
NaOnka: 90-1. I hate to do it, but I have to move NaOnka up the board. She’s in the power alliance, and still has an HII. Her mouth will eventually get her into trouble, but she’ll be around for a few more weeks at least.
Alina: 100-1. There is a slight possibility that Alina could become a swing vote after The Merge, but none of the remaining original La Flor members likes her, and she lost her only true ally, Kelly B. Alina’s window of opportunity is practically closed.
Holly: 125-1. It’s great that she won Individual Immunity, but Holly will be the next or second next to go on Espada. She better hope that they can rattle off a bunch of challenge wins if she has any hope of making The Merge. The numbers are just against her.
Jill: 150-1. If La Flor has to go back to Tribal Council, and Marty doesn’t give her the HII, Jill is gone. The younger players are clearly trying to pick off the older ones, and she would have been the target had she not won the Individual Immunity. Sorry, Jill, but you’re next.
Dan: 1200-1. I don’t care how stupid Espada was in voting out Yve before Dan, he’s still not going to win. No way in hell. Or I will quit watching this show. I can’t believe these players would give him a million bucks for doing absolutely nothing.
Alright, that was this week’s Survivor. What did you think of the episode? Were you as dumbfounded by the Tribal Council votes as I was? Do you think Brenda made a mistake that will cost her? What do you think Sash’s plan is in asking Marty for his HII? Please drop your comments and theories below. I’ll be back next Thursday morning with another recap. Until then, I’m off to fluff off a Southern woman.