If you missed last week’s episode, be sure to catch up with my recap here.
The episode begins with Libertad returning to camp. Sash pulls Fabio aside and tells him that Benry was gunning for him, and there wasn’t enough time to tell Fabio about it. Fabio tells replies that he trusts Sash. In a confessional, Sash says that Fabio is just happy to still be there. Sash is in control of the game, and if Fabio doesn’t win the next Immunity Challenge, he’s the next to go. For his part, Fabio confides to the camera that he’s aware that the everyone thinks he’s gullible, but that’s fine. He’s on alert and watching everyone. When he is able to eliminate the rest of the players, they’ll say, “What? I didn’t know Fabio was that smart!”
The next morning, Day 33, the tribe receives Tree Mail in the form of a Sprint Evo cell phone (you know what that means…. Blatant Product Placement!). The message on the phone tells the players to watch the videos on the phone. Of course, the videos are of each player’s Loved Ones. Each player watches their video and cries. Chase tells the camera how amazing it is that “something as simple as a Sprint cell phone (BPP!) can bring you to tears.” He also points out that the videos remind him that he’s playing the game with real people, and not just opponents. Fabio says that he just wants to see his family. He then pulls Chase aside to ask who Chase would take on the next Reward if he wins. Chase swears he will take Fabio and Sash. Fabio swears in kind. Their vow will be put to the test after the…
…Reward Challenge. Jeff asks the tribe if they enjoyed the videos they received on their Sprint Evo phone — the first 4G phone available (BPP!!!). Holly says that the videos were emotional, but inspirational as well. Jeff takes the phone, but announces that the Reward winner will get it back to take pictures as they sail down the coast of Nicaragua to a feast with sandwiches, champagne, beer,…and their Loved Ones! Jeff then brings out each of the Loved Ones: Chase, Fabio and Sash’s moms, Dan’s son, Jane’s daughter and Holly’s husband. Jeff informs the Loved Ones that they will participate in the Challenge. For that Challenge, the Survivors will run up a plank and jump into a pool of water to retrieve a bag of tiles with letters on them. After they get both bags, the Loved Ones will take the letter tiles and spell out a three-word phrase, “Family Comes First.” The players line up and Jeff starts the Challenge. None of the players have trouble getting their bags back relatively quickly, except Dan, of course. Holly’s husband starts yelling out possible answers so Jeff has to tell him to be quiet. Fabio’d mother and Jane’s daughter fall behind, with Sash and Chase’s mothers and Holly’s husband moving ahead. Eventually, Chase’s mom calls for Jeff to check her puzzle. “Family Comes First!” Chase wins Reward!
Chase gets to pick one player and Loved One to come with him, so he picks Sash, who hasn’t been on a Reward since The Merge. He asks if he can take someone else, and Jeff gives his permission. Though he promised Fabio, he picks Holly. Dan whispers to his son that Chase is a “scumbag” for picking Holly. Chase asks Jeff what is going to happen to the other Loved Ones, and Jeff flippantly replies that they will be executed. Chase then apologizes to Fabio, but the latter doesn’t want to hear it. He calls out Chase for promising to take him on the Reward, but Jeff tells them it’s time for Fabio, Dan and Jane’s Loved Ones to leave. Fabio’s mom (who knows him better as Jud, or Jud the Stud) whispers to him to stay strong before departing. Jeff tells Chase, Holly and Sash that they are to leave for their Reward, but first they should take the Sprint Evo (BPP!!!!!) to record their memories.
Jane, Dan and Fabio return to camp, with the latter wondering aloud why Chase keeps taking Holly on Rewards. Dan says it is because Chase has no allegiance to anyone. Fabio says Chase let him down because they spoke about how important their moms are to them and swore to take each other on the Reward. Dan is shocked he didn’t at least take Jane. Jane says that she has spent her summer there in Nicaragua, instead of with her daughter who will be leaving for college in the fall. Jane confides that she now finds herself to be the fourth person in a four-person alliance, which makes her worried. Dan finishes ripping Chase by noting that he probably just cost himself a million dollars.
Not that Chase cares at the moment. He’s enjoying his feast with who he believes will be in the Final Three with him. Chase tells Sash and Holly that he could have went for Jury votes when choosing who would accompany him on the Reward, but he stuck with them. He confesses that he wants to keep Holly close to him so she’ll take him to the end. Chase then finds a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, but he doesn’t need it as he tells Holly and Sash that he and Sash have the two HIIs (let’s assume that he had already confided in them this information and that he didn’t just blurt it out because he was eating a sub). The three and their Loved Ones make a champagne toast to their success, and then, of course, take photos of their celebration with the Sprint Evo (say it with me….BPP!!!!). The Loved Ones say goodbye as Chase notes that he now has to go back to camp and face the wrath of Fabio.
Fortunately for Chase, when they return the other three players are sleeping. Fabio wakes up and wearily tells Chase that he’s hurt and upset that Chase went back on his word. The next morning, though, Fabio confesses that he has to let it go. Holding a grudge in Survivor usually comes back to bite you. All he can do now is win the…
…Immunity Challenge. Each player will be blindfolded and clipped to a rope. They must go under, over and under three hitching posts to reach a table. On the table sits a shield with raised symbols on them. Players must feel the symbols and memorize them. When they think they know the correct symbols, they grab the three bags of puzzle pieces (which contain the required symbols and extra pieces) hanging off the table, and scramble back to the start. At the start, there is a matching shield with spaces for the symbols. The first player to get all of the correct symbols onto their shield wins Immunity. The players draw for spots, are blindfolded and clipped in. “Survivors ready…Go!”
Fabio jumps out to a lead, with Chase, Holly, Jane and Sash close behind. Dan, unsurprisingly, is far behind. All the players make it out to the shield, led by Fabio, but it is Jane who is the first to make her way back. She is followed by Fabio, Holly and Sash. Fabio is the first player to actually make it back to the start, where he begins to unload his symbol pieces. Jane gets back to the start as well, and so does Holly. Holly accidentally drops one of her bags, so she has to feel around for it. Chase takes a lot of time feeling the symbols out at his shield, but finally starts heading back. Sash returns to the start, and Holly finds her missing bag. The extra time Chase took pays off as he quickly starts placing correct symbols (painted black so Jeff can see them. The wrong symbols are red.) on his shield. The race is really between Chase and Fabio, and it is Fabio who finishes first. Jeff checks Fabio’s shield, but he notices one red symbol and tells Fabio he’s wrong. Fabio immediately swaps out the incorrect small sword with a longer sword. He asks Jeff to check his shield again. “Fabio wins Immunity!” Jeff places the Immunity necklace on Fabio, and sends the players back to camp.
When Libertad returns to their beach, everyone congratulates Fabio on his win. Sash tells the camera that the only way for his game to have been screwed up was for Fabio to win Immunity. Of course, Fabio won Immunity, so Sash needs to figure out his next move. Chase and Fabio discuss the vote. Chase says he wants to vote out Dan. Fabio wants to get rid of Jane, and then Dan. “It’s a no-brainer,” he tells Chase. They keep saying how Jane will win if she’s in the Final Three, yet they continue to keep her in the game. In an aside, Fabio comments that not voting out Jane could be Chase’s worst decision in the game.
Chase then runs to Sash and tells him about this conversation with Fabio. Sash, however, agrees with Fabio and says Jane should go. Holly arrives and Chase asks her who she wants to vote out. She also says Jane, asking Chase if he really wants Jane in the Final Four, where if she wins the Immunity Challenge (which will likely be an endurance challenge like the two Jane has already won), she will be in the Final Three. Sash says the best chance for the three of them to make the Final Three, they need to get rid of Jane; Chase still isn’t sure.
Jane sees the three other people in her alliance and asks them if they are still a group of four. The silence is deafening.Â Holly eventually says that it is hard because they need to vote someone out (uh….yeah, like every three days during the whole game). Jane suggests Dan, but she receives no answer from any of them. Jane asks Chase if she is the one going home. Chase says that he doesn’t want to vote for her, and looks plaintively at Sash for help. Jane, knowing now what has been going on, asks if the three of them have been conniving together the whole time. Chase says that there has been some discussion about sending her home. Sash finally mans up and tells her that the three of them don’t think they can beat her in the Final Three. Jane responds by giving Sash “the finger.”
Back at camp, Jane is visibly upset. She confesses that Chase better not show his face again in North Carolina. Sash tries to talk to her, but Jane orders him to not even look at her. Jane continues to the camera, practically in tears, that she hasn’t backstabbed anyone the whole game. Further, the camp is about to feel the Wrath of Jane. She grabs a bucket of water and quickly douses the fire, sending tons of smoke right into the shelter (and Dan’s face) “By God I started it,” Jane says about the fire, “I’ll put it out.” With what may be her final act at camp, the players head off to…
…Tribal Council. Jeff welcomes the Jury, and gets right to it. He asks Dan if it has been a crazy afternoon. Dan starts to answer, but then hushes himself with a “nevermind.” Jeff is having none of that and tells Dan to speak or else he’ll start digging. Dan tells of Jane’s fire dousing, which she quickly admits to doing. She continues, saying that there is no loyalty tonight at Tribal Council. “End of story,” she concludes. “No, I want more,” Jeff prods. Jane calls out Holly for being a thief for destroying Dan’s shoes, and then flat out says that they were planning on voting out Fabio and Dan as a four-person alliance, though she doesn’t think she’s part of that alliance anymore. Jeff asks Chase if what Jane is saying is true. Chase answers that Jane is still part of their alliance.
Jeff doesn’t believe him, and asks if they vote out Jane tonight, who goes next? Chase pauses, but then says whomever between Dan and Fabio doesn’t win Immunity. Jeff asks Holly and Sash if they agree with that, but they return Jeff’s question with blank stares. Reluctantly, and at Chase’s plea, they finally admit that what Chase said was true. Jeff calls admitting all of this a ballsy move, but what he now sees is a group of three (Chase, Holly and Sash) against another group of three (Jane, Fabio and Dan). Jeff whips out an impression of his mom (in theme with the Loved Ones episode), and wonders why the latter three don’t just team up and force a tie vote.
Jane likes that idea and suggests they vote for Holly because Sash and Chase have HIIs, and, incidentally, it is the last Tribal Council that they can use those HIIs. Chase and Sash hesitate in responding, but they do admit that they have the Idols. Jeff asks Holly if she came into Tribal Council feeling confident, does she still feel comfortable now? Of course not; she’s real nervous now. Jeff points out that Chase has nothing but utter confusion on his face. “I have no idea what’s going on,” he says, in the understatement of the game.
It’s time to vote. The players do, and Jeff collects the ballots. He asks if anyone wants to play a Hidden Immunity Idol, and both Sash and Chase do. The first and second votes out are for Jane. So it the third. “the fifteenth person voted out of Survivor: Nicaragua and the seventh member of our Jury…Jane!” (The other two votes were for Jane and Sash.) Jane grabs her torch, has it snuffed, and says bitterly, “Y’all have fun,” before marching off into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff tells the remaining players that they have survived thirty-six days, but from what he saw tonight, the last three may be the craziest. With that, he sends them back to camp.
Next time on…Survivor!!
Well, we’ve come to the end. On this coming Sunday, we have a two hour finale, followed by the one-hour reunion special. For the episode itself, the preview only showed each player saying another player is a threat (though I don’t believe anyone can say Dan is a threat without laughing). As far as the finale is concerned, Jeff Probst tweeted yesterday that there is a big game changer for next season that will be announced at the reunion special. I asked Entertainment Weekly‘s resident Survivor expert, Dalton Ross, whether it really is a “big” announcement, and he assured me that it is and that he likes it. Start your theorizing now! The big rumor is that Boston rob and Russell are back to be captains of two tribes, but I mostly hope this isn’t the case. Yeah, those guys are entertaining, but it would be Rob’s fourth shot at the game (God, doesn’t Amber, his wife, get sick of him leaving), and Russell’s third try in four seasons. Let’s stick with new people, shall we?
Odds to Win
It wasn’t a big surprise that Jane went home, because as Sash admitted, if she made the Final Three, she was going to win. Best to take her out now, then risk her winning Immunity. I get why Chase and Sash did this. What I don’t get isÂ why Fabio and Dan voted for her. For the love of Jeebus, Jeff laid out the whole plan for them right there in Tribal Council. They should have banded together with Jane to vote out Holly and force a tie (of course, Jane ended up voting for Sash when he had an HII to burn, so I have no idea what she was doing). Were they that worried about picking the purple rock, which hasn’t been the tiebreaker in forever? Fabio and Dan know that the other three are gunning for them, how does voting out Jane make them safe? I hope Jeff asks them at the reunion. Anyway, this is the last set of Odds for the season. Let’s make them count, and predict how the final votes will play out.
Holly: 3-1. Can you believe Holly is here? I mean, I had her pretty high in my original Odds (number 6 our of 20), but after her breakdown on Day Five, the trashing of Dan’s shoes, the tribe switch, and then being in the minority as an older player with all the young players, Holly has overcome a large number of obstacles. Now, she has to avoid getting cut by Sash. I think she has to make a move against him if he doesn’t win the next Immunity. Her ideal final Three is with Chase and Dan, as neither of them played a great strategic or physical game. Further, I think she has Chase in her back pocket, so if Fabio wins the next Immunity, I think she can convince Chase and Fabio to vote for Sash. Holly has the strongest case for winning if she can make it to the end (except for maybe Fabio, which I explain below), so if she can get to Sash before he gets to her, Holly will win.
Sash: 5-1. Sash made the critical move last week by siding with Chase, Holly and Jane and voting out Benry. He was smart enough to recognize that Jane needed to go this week. The only place this gets sticky for Sash is if Holly and Chase band together and vote him out in the Final Four, knowing that he is their strongest competitor. I think Sash wants to go to the Final Three with Chase and Dan, so if Fabio wins the next Immunity Challenge, Sash will have to convince Chase to vote out Holly instead of Dan. There’s a possibility he can do it, plus I think Fabio won’t win the next Immunity. If Sash can get to the Final Three with Chase and Dan, he wins.
Fabio (Jud): 10-1. Well, Fabio he’s won one of the three Immunity Challenges he needs to win in a row to make it to the end. It is clear that he needs to keep winning Immunity if he wants to survive. As I said last week, if Fabio can run the table, he has probably the best chance to win the game. He will have won three Individual Immunities in a row with everyone gunning for him, and his fourth overall. He is a well-liked, nice guy, and most importantly, he hasn’t stabbed anyone in the back that is/will be on The Jury. Enough people have been burned by Chase, Holly and Sash that if Fabio is there, he is likely going to win. Winning three Immunities in a row, however, is a tall order. Fabio can do it, but I’m afraid he’ll come up short.
Chase: 30-1. Perhaps the most illustrative statement he has ever made, came in this episode’s Tribal Council: “I have no idea what’s going on.” Chase has survived solely by hanging onto the coattails of others. First it was Brenda, then Jane, and now Sash. Hell, he even lucked into an HII because NaOnka quit. Yes, he won a Challenge here and there, but for someone so physically capable, he should have dominated Challenges. No, you can’t convince me that he was only performing at 75% or something — the guy competes in NASCAR, I doubt it is in his nature to give less than 100%. If I was him, I’d want to take Dan and Fabio to the end, and argue that I was part of the majority alliance that put all of the Jury where they are. Chase, however, would probably rather go with Holly and Sash to prove his loyalty. This would be dumb because he won’t get a vote between the two of them. Maybe he’ll have some sort of awakening between now and then, but I fully expect Chase to be in the Final Three.
Dan: 100-1. I’d like to keep Dan’s odds up really high, but let’s face it, Dan is making the Final Three. Everyone there knows it. The only conceivable vote I can see him receiving is the one from Jane if Fabio doesn’t make it to the end, and even then, I could see Jane calming down enough to give a vote to Chase instead of Holly or Sash. Dan has done absolutely nothing to earn his trip to the Final Three, and therefore, has earned no right to a vote to win. If by some miracle Dan wins the game, I may have to stop watching the show. I won’t, but I’ll be really pissed (for a few days…OK, hours)!!
So, with all this said, how do I see this shaking out. I offer two scenarios: one if Fabio wins the next Immunity, and one if he doesn’t.
1) Fabio wins Immunity. Holly convinces Chase to vote out Sash. Chase wins the final Immunity Challenge. They vote out Fabio. Holly wins the final vote against Chase and Dan 7-2-0, respectively (Jane and NaOnka vote for Chase).
2) Fabio doesn’t win Immunity and is voted out. Sash wins the final Immunity challenge, and convinces Chase that he can’t win against Holly, so they vote her out. Sash wins the final vote against Chase and Dan 6-3-0 (Jane, NaOnka and Purple Kelly vote for Chase).
If I had to choose, I figure the first scenario is more likely, just because I have a feeling Fabio can win one more Immunity. Of course, there are other possibilities: Sash could convince Chase to vote out Holly even if Fabio wins Immunity, but I don’t think Sash wants any part of Fabio in the final. Or, Fabio could run the table as discussed above. The only thing I am certain about, Dan is going to make the freaking Final Three. *sigh* Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for this week. What did you think about the episode? Were Fabio and Dan smart for voting out Jane at this juncture? How do you see the finals working out? Please leave your comments and theories below. Remember, the season finale airs this Sunday, December 19th, at 8:00 ET/PT for three full hours of Survivor goodness. I’ll be back Monday morning with a final recap and look ahead to next season. Until then, I’m off to look skinnier than Hell.