Thank god the tribes are merging next week, because Survivor: Nicaragua could really use the boost in excitement. I mean, when urine is the biggest thing that happens in an episode, you know you’re in trouble. Although, seriously Fabio? Totally gross.
The episode kicked off with Dan comparing himself to (in?)famous mobster John Gotti and nicknaming himself “Teflon Dan”. Very nice, for a guy who’d just returned from a Tribal Council where he accused Yve of being arrogant. The guy is pretty untouchable, though – I had him LAST on my Survivor pool list. Last! I never thought he’d make it to the merge! It just goes to show how difficult it is to predict this game – Tyrone was my number one choice and he was booted out a couple weeks ago. I had Yve up pretty high. Heck, I ended up with Jill because I’d placed her mid-range and you know what that got me. Nothing! (I’m not bitter about losing yet another Survivor pool or anything…)
Over at La Flor, Marty was trying to figure out what had happened at Tribal Council. He wasn’t alone – judging by all the blogs and comments I read, no one understood that vote. Only Marty wasn’t quite on the same page – I couldn’t understand why the tribe hadn’t voted Marty out in their second, tie-breaking vote. Marty couldn’t figure out why Jane hadn’t voted Brenda like he’d instructed. Gee, Marty? Do you think maybe it’s because she can’t stand you? Marty’s problem is arrogance. He’s on the bottom, but he acts like he’s still on the top. He confronted Jane about her vote and she responded with maniacal laughter. Because that made her seem trustworthy.
Trouble – That starts with a “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for…pee
Finally, a water challenge! Well, barely. The reward challenge this week took place in the Survivor equivalent of an inflatable kiddie pool. One tribe member would have to stand on a post guarding a net, while a member of the opposing tribe would have to try and throw a ball into the net while jumping into the pool.
This reward challenge was hilarious for two reasons.
Reason #1: Fabio relieved himself in the pool. Was it a brilliant tactic to gross out the opposing tribe so much that they wouldn’t be able to jump in, and would therefore have to forfeit the challenge? Nope. He just had to go. And apparently he couldn’t go off the side of the platform before jumping into the water, because that would be too easy. The best part of this, of course, was that immediately after the pee incident, NaOnka was up to bat. Karma!
Reason #2: Dan truly sucked at this challenge. We already knew the man can’t really run, or even walk. But now we know he can’t jump or swim as well! Seriously, I wish he’d had to take more than one turn because his attempt was truly pathetic. He teetered on the edge of the platform like a cat on a diving board, threw the ball while remaining on the platform (which meant it didn’t count) and then, several seconds later, jumped in. At that point, why bother jumping in?
Despite Dan’s awkward attempt at participation, Espada won the reward. Some reward it was, though. Riding horses? Milking cows? That’s farm work, not fun! None of them even wore helmets! My mom looked at me funny when I pointed this out, but they should have had helmets. When I did a horseback safari in South Africa the horse one of my friends was on bolted and eventually threw her. Luckily we were no longer in the vicinity of rhinos, but it still wasn’t good. You won’t catch me on a horse without a helmet.
You also won’t catch me milking a cow. Remember this, Amazing Race fans? I would have excused myself from that part of the “reward”. I would have told them all about how when I was a little girl I went on a school trip to a farm and I got to milk a cow, and then it kicked me in the stomach and I spent six months in the hospital. It doesn’t need to be true, it just needs to be sad.
After the farm work the tribe got to enjoy a pretty delicious looking meal, and then Alina and Holly cried. Yes, it was as random and uncomfortable as it sounds. How did rice and beans remind them of how much they miss their families?
Something smells fishy
I’m not a huge fan of Jane. She’s kind of batty, whines too much about how poorly she was treated back at Espada, and I think she’s fooled herself into thinking she’s not on the bottom of the young tribe’s totem pole. That said, the fact that she built a secret fire in the woods and cooked up a fish all for herself was pretty awesome. This is one thing I like about Jane – she works hard and doesn’t guilt-trip the rest of her tribe about it, but she’s not a pushover either. She worked hard to catch all those fish and deserved to have a big one all to herself.
Great Balls of Fire
Who was that crew member that played on La Flor’s tribe in the immunity challenge? You know, the blonde chick who was calling the shots with Brenda? Since when are tribes allowed to bring in ringers? Oh, she’s actually ON the tribe?
Yes, we actually heard the mythical Kelly Purple speak this week. Not that she hadn’t anything of consequence to say. The immunity challenge was pretty awesome – a bunch of the tribe members had to move around some chutes while two tribe members stood atop platforms and rolled balls down the chutes in an effort to smash tiles on the ground. What I liked about the challenge was that it had a learning curve. Brenda and Kelly were rolling the balls for La Flor, and they clearly never caught on. Benry and Alina rolled Espada’s balls, and they caught on quickly – and killed the other tribe.
After they were pulverized, Kelly told Brenda “I really felt like we had that.” Well, now we know why she hardly ever speaks – she clearly hasn’t been saying anything intelligent. In what way did they have that? The score was 5-1! They scored once and then struck out on every subsequent attempt!
I was hoping La Flor would win immunity for a couple of reasons. First of all, I knew Jill (who I had for the Survivor pool) was in serious trouble, since the vote would go to either her or Marty. Second of all, I wanted to see if Espada would finally vote Dan out, or if they’d make another stupid choice. But La Flor had to go to Tribal, which meant either Jill or Marty would go, or an idol would be played.
Possession is nine tenths of the game
La Flor knew the best move would be to split their votes – they had a group of five (Brenda, Sash, Fabio, Kelly and Jane), so three people would vote Marty and two people would vote Jill. If Marty didn’t play his idol, he would go home. If Marty did play his idol it would be a tie between Jill and whoever Marty and Jill chose to vote for, and Jill would be eliminated in the re-vote. (Although really, who the hell knows? Marty was supposed to go home in the re-vote last week, and instead everyone voted for Kelly B.)
But then Sash and Brenda came up with an alternative plan – Sash would tell Marty that if Marty handed over the idol they wouldn’t vote him out. Marty hesitated, so Sash sweetened the deal – if they lost at the next immunity challenge, Sash would hand him the idol back.
Let’s pretend they’re not merging next week, for a moment. There is no way in hell that Sash would have handed back that immunity idol. That would be crazy! I was sure that Sash, Brenda and co. would vote out Marty to avoid having to deal with that agreement next week. Then they’d have the idol and both Marty and the agreement he made with Sash would be gone. Besides, Marty is a much bigger threat than Jill. He’s more likely to win individual challenges and is a hell of a lot craftier.
What’s up, Doc?
Let’s talk about Jill for a moment. Could she have been any more passive throughout this entire game? She found the idol! She did! Every single decision she made throughout this entire game was questionable, at best. She deciphered the clue to the idol and shared it with Marty. Why? She let Marty say “I found it! I found it!” Why? She let Marty tell the entire tribe that he’d found it, and never uttered a word about how she did too. Why? She let Marty tell the new tribe that he had the idol, with no mention of her. Why? Why didn’t she try to make a single move?
A gutsier play might have been for Marty to tell everyone he was willing to vote Jill out, voted for her himself, given her the idol, and then hope to god that she actually received the most votes. Then whoever Jill would have voted for would be gone. Instead, Marty’s enemies have an immunity idol, and Marty doesn’t have a single ally. I’m not saying it would have worked, but it’s not as though the decision Marty made has left him in a great position.
The tribe voted out Jill (thus eliminating me from the Survivor pool that I am doomed to never win) and they’ll never give Marty back that idol. The best part of Tribal Council was some top notch pot stirring from Probst, who asked Sash if he’d be willing to give Brenda the idol and then accused him of making a Freudian slip when Sash screwed up and said “If I ever lose trust in them” instead of “If they ever lose trust in me”.
Next week there’s a merge, but who’s left on Espada that Marty can work with? Dan? Whoop-di-doo. The cripple is on his side. Here’s hoping that the merge will shake up this game, because it needs it.