Survivor – Episode 21-5 Review

The battle of old vs. young has come to a close on Survivor: Nicaragua, and I think it’s safe to say it was a total failure. The young tribe dominated, the Medallion of Power was lame (thank god that’s over with) and a tribal shake-up was just what this season needed.

Drop your buffs, raise your expectations

Wednesday night’s Survivor shuffling did screw up some alliances though, and the consequences were certainly felt in my own Survivor pool. My mom (who started the pool many moons ago and has yet to win it) was eliminated with Tyrone, who happened to be my top pick as well as hers after the premiere episode. And it’s not looking too good for my girl Jill. Jane sold her out immediately and her boy Marty is running around his new camp acting like a jackass. I can basically kiss the prize money goodbye. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the new tribes.

Everyone arrived at the reward challenge feeling pretty good about themselves – especially Marty, who gave the classic “You can’t get cocky in this game, but…” line. No! You can’t get cocky, period. Don’t even SAY the word cocky out there! And no one should be cocky when they have hair like Marty’s! Seriously, can’t someone tell him that he needs to address that ‘do? So when Probst said “drop your buffs”, Marty’s jaw dropped along with them. Everyone picked rocks to see who the team captains would be, and the jobs went to Brenda and Holly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d want some crazy chick who drowned a dude’s shoes choosing my teammates. Brenda got to select three old folks for her new team, and Holly got to pick four young’ins. And the new tribes are:

La Flor: Brenda, Kelly B., “Purple” Kelly, Fabio, Sash, Marty, Jill and Jane. There were five “young” people and three “old” people on this tribe.
Espada: Holly, Tyrone, Dan, Yve, Alina, Benry, Chase and NaOnka. This tribe was evenly split, with four people from each former tribe.

Appraising the Antiques

The reward challenge was kind of cool – tribe members rolled a ball up, and then down a maze, and someone else had to catch it. Imagine trying to catch a Plink-O chip rather than just watching to see where it will land. My notes during this challenge consisted of “Really, Marty? A backwards somersault? Really?” and “Marty fell AGAIN???” and finally “WHY DOES MARTY KEEP FALLING?????” But seriously, though – no one  else was falling. He was just acting like a jackass, like the old guy at the company picnic baseball game who wants to appear as though he’s trying harder than everyone else. And then he dropped the ball and lost the challenge for his team. What a great start!

You know what’s a great idea when you lose a challenge? Delivering a self-righteous lecture immediately afterward! Marty arrived at the La Flor camp and started rambling on about all the rules and schedules they had over at Espada. It was not cool. He also criticized them for not punishing NaOnka after she knocked over Kelly B. and stole the immunity idol clue, to which Fabio hilariously responded “I don’t know, man. We’re the young tribe and I guess we don’t really know what we’re doing.” Then, just to make sure he REALLY alienated himself, Marty showed everyone his immunity idol. So now literally every single person playing Survivor: Nicaragua knows he has it. In fact, he probably emailed all the former Survivor contestants about it when he got home too, just to make sure everything was all out in the open. Brenda summed it up best when she said “He’s coming into our home and he’s already setting up like he’s the king.”

Things were not going any more smoothly over at Espada. Tyrone, who I’d been a fan of up until this episode, delivered an even more condescending lecture on camp rules and methods than Marty did. It was probably well intentioned, but he should have read the crowd better and realized that he was talking down to his new tribe mates. NaOnka said something along the lines of “Don’t think you a G, which is a gangster, cause you not.” Why does NaOnka insist on using slang if she’s going to follow everything up with “which is…”? Doesn;t that sort of defeat the purpose? She’s like a walking, talking, obnoxious version of

Holly thought she was fitting in well with “the kids”, but the mere fact that she was referring to them as “the kids” disproved that claim. At this point in the episode, I scrawled “THEY ARE SO OLD!” in my notes. Seriously, why does everyone come on Survivor and act like themselves? Haven’t they ever had to bite their tongues before? Have none of these people ever held a job in retail?

Whining in the Rain

Before the immunity challenge, a rain storm hit and dampened a few bodies and spirits. Particularly on Espada, because they had a crappy little shelter. I thought the point of being the old, wise tribe was that all their rules and schedules would result in a highly functioning camp. But this episode revealed that not only did the old tribe suck at challenges, they also had less food and a crappier shelter than the young tribe. So what were they succeeding in? Stroking their own egos?

The only person who seemed really bothered by the weather was NaOnka, who curled up into a sad little ball in the shelter. “When I’m cold…I lose it,” she said. Um, what? Hold the phone! Was she trying to imply that when it was dry, she was an emotionally stable little ray of sunshine around camp? And I can’t believe that Alina actually discouraged her from quitting the game. I get that NaOnka was a number, and they wanted to keep their numbers up, but come on. Alina shouldn’t be touching NaOnka with a ten foot pole, let along comforting her in the shelter! As soon as it turns sunny again and NaOnka remembers that Alina is friends with a one-legged girl, she’ll go crazy again and turn on her! If I were Alina, I would not have been attending the pity party that NaOnka threw for herself. At least Alina kept her head on straight privately, telling the camera that NaOnka is like a high school girl and that “She’s irrational and crazy and she just seems like she’s on her period all the time.” Chase did the worst job of comforting NaOnka, telling her some story about how one time he thought he saw a rainbow, but then he turned around and there wasn’t a rainbow. Wow. Super inspiring.

Wheel of Misfortune

OK, let’s talk immunity challenge. So. Cool. And kind of disgusting, no? For the challenge three tribe members were strapped to a giant wheel. As other tribe members spun it they would be dunked under water, where they had to collect as much water as they could in their mouths and then spit it into a bowl when they got to the top of the wheel. When they’d collected enough water a ball would be released, which other tribe members would have to throw to try and break plates. La Flor won (again) which meant Marty (and therefore Jill) was safe…for now.

Instead, Espada was going to tribal council, and the two people on the chopping block were Tyrone and NaOnka. Both for good reason, but did anyone else think “How the hell did Dan skate through again?” The guy can barely walk, and his name didn’t even come up! I thought for sure the younger folks would want him gone, since he’s now by far the weakest person on the tribe. But NaOnka was talking about quitting, and Tyrone kept digging his grave deeper.

It’s a hypocritical day in the neighborhood

Espada won two chickens and a rooster as a reward this week, and Tyrone had immediately voiced his opinion that they should hold on to the animals for a while to see how many eggs they could provide. It was a valid point, but an unpopular one. Again, Tyrone failed to read the temperature of the tribe and kept talking when he should have shut up. Everyone voted to kill one of the hens, and after a lot of moaning about being against it and some self-righteous “Be conscious of your neighbor” crap, Tyrone feasted on way more chicken than the rest of the tribe. It was clear that meant lights out for Tyrone.

Everyone except Tyrone and Yve voted for Tyrone, and it was a mistake. It should have come down to either Dan or NaOnka. Dan is weak and isn’t any good in challenges. NaOnka keeps talking about quitting, and if it continues to rain and she quits anyway, they’ll be down two people rather than one. They should have politely aired their grievances with Tyrone and then kept him on board, because they need him at camp and they need him in challenges. It was a mistake.

By the way, is there anyone out there who actually understood NaOnka when she said “There were not 24 hours in that day, there were 26, but it felt like 48.” Huh? I also can’t believe she compared Survivor to her recent divorce, only the difference was that during the divorce she didn’t have a support system like she does on Survivor…you know, her support system. That group of strangers who don’t really like her because she treats everyone like crap.

Do you think Espada will regret their decision? Will NaOnka last much longer? And did this episode turn the season around?