Survivor – Episode 21-8 Review

What will NaOnka have to do to get voted out? Pushing over a woman with one leg wasn’t enough. Moaning about how badly she wanted to quit the game wasn’t enough. And stealing food and cooking supplies on Day 20, when people are starving, wasn’t enough. What will be enough?

La Flor and Espada merged this week (into a tribe Marty christened Libertad with zero argument) and we finally got a decent episode of Survivor: Nicaragua. Before La Flor arrived at Espada’s camp though, Alina decided to make a little speech about how if the six of them stayed strong they could make it to the final six. I like Alina, so I hate to say this, but that was a stupid speech. You can say that to anyone. You can randomly grab any six people and say “Hey! If we all stick together, we could totally be the final six!” That doesn’t mean those six people actually want to stick together. And for some reason – a reason I’ll never really understand – no one wanted to stick with Alina.

Poor Alina. Had she not been voted out this week, I think I would have been rooting for her to win. She was smart, she was an underdog. She didn’t have a grotesquely elevated sense of self-worth. She was a girl I could root for. Now I’m back to square one.

Food Feud

Everyone was excited about the feast the newly merged tribe got to enjoy. Especially Fabio, who spotted rum and screamed “We have to drink all of this TODAY!” Wow, he just made his mama proud. Then NaOnka went on a little rant about her booty and her bra and the fact that she’d stored nuts somewhere. After watching this display, I’m shocked that when the words “dirty squirrel” were uttered later in the episode they were not directed at NaOnka.

Brenda and NaOnka spent a bunch of time together updating one another on the goings-on at their camps, and then Chase and Jane bonded over both being from North Carolina and “my mama told me”, as Marty put it.

The next day NaOnka awoke and told the camera “I woke up this morning very irritable.” Right. Because NaOnka has been such a ray of sunshine in the past, what with the amputee bashing, the sock stealing and the threatening to quit the game. She’d been such a Pollyanna so far, I couldn’t believe that she’d actually woken up feeling irritable. The reason for her irritations? NaOnka cooked up some tortillas for breakfast and felt that everyone but her got too much to eat. Quite the complaint coming from the woman who’d been shoving nuts down her cleavage the previous afternoon.

So what did NaOnka do? She took the flour, shoved it in her bag and then went and buried it. Then she took the frying pan, bowls and spoons too. And some fruit for good measure. In fact, I’m not sure there was anything left at camp by the time she was done – she could have had Kelly Purple buried in there too, not that anyone would have noticed.

The best part of this was that the person who watched Crazypants NaOnka steal the flour was Crazypants Holly. Pot, meet kettle! NaOnka stole flour. Holly stole shoes. Can she really judge? NaOnka really takes the crazypants cake, though. First she showed Alina her secret stash, even though Aline is supposed to be totally shady. She even shared some fruit with her! Then, somehow, Chase found out about it too – but not before the tribe had confronted NaOnka and she swore up and down that she’d only put the flour in her bag and then immediately put it back. You know, as one does. Chase and Alina told NaOnka she had to come clean, but NaOnka didn’t think she could do that after telling everyone individually that she hadn’t done it. “You lied,” Chase told her – just in case she didn’t understand, I guess. Finally NaOnka ‘fessed up, but the tribe really pounced on Alina.

You had to give NaOnka an ounce of credit here. Is she totally wacko? Yes. But she didn’t throw Alina under the bus. Not that it mattered though, since the tribe decided to make her the scapegoat anyway.

Still Standing

Libertad’s first individual immunity challenge was an endurance challenge, which I love. It gives smaller players a chance to kill it – you might remember Parvati rocking a few of these last season. This immunity challenge was even more interesting because two immunity necklaces were being awarded – to the last standing man and woman.

Players had to hold two metal handles tight in order to keep a steel pole between them. If their grip loosened the pole would fall, smashing a tile on the ground. I called Dan as first out, but he actually lasted about 0.005 seconds longer than Kelly. Overall, the performances were pathetic. The women dropped like flies, and before you knew it Jane and Holly were the last women left. Jane and Holly. Holly’s pole dropped and Jane was declared the winner, but she didn’t want to quit. She wanted to beat the boys too. And here lies the reason why I don’t like Jane. That was a stupid move. She revealed herself to be a threat, first of all. Second of all, that kind of self-serving showmanship will either make people think “I can’t stand her because she beat me” or “I don’t want to go to the end with her because she’ll beat me”.

Fabio won for the men, and dropped his pole. Jane finally let go, dropping her pole on the ground and declaring “I’m not breaking my tile!” I hope the glory was worth it for Jane, because she can’t fly under the radar anymore.

The Player vs. The Pawn

Back at camp it became abundantly clear that either Marty or Alina was going home. The only person who even mentioned voting out NaOnka was poor old Fabio, bless his heart. She was being protected by Brenda and Sash, but she was also kinda-sorta still on Alina’s side.

Jane was really pushing for Marty, but Sash didn’t want him to go. And herein lies my confusion: Sash didn’t want to vote out Marty because he’d agreed to give him back the idol. Marty knew he was on the chopping block, so did he ask Sash for it back? Did Sash give it back? Obviously, Sash didn’t want to burn Marty in case he ends up on the jury – but if he’s not going to give the idol back, isn’t he going to end up burning him anyway?

If Brenda was thinking, she would have argued to vote out Marty. She never made such a promise to Marty, and if he does end up on the jury it would mean she could get his vote instead of it going to Sash. Furthermore, if Brenda told Alina she was the reason they were voting out Marty instead of Alina, she’d potentially have that vote too.

The swing vote became Fabio, but he didn’t want to vote out his buddy Marty. Alina pulled her best “hurt girlfriend” face and said “I thought we got along too”, but it wasn’t looking good for her. At Tribal Council, she made a very good argument to stay – why keep a power player like Marty over a swing vote like her? She’s a pawn. Use her.

The most surprising part of Tribal Council was Marty’s rant against Jane. He argued that she was a huge threat, that you couldn’t write a sadder background story than Jane’s, and that if she made it to the final three she’d win, hands down, because even he would vote for her. It was a good argument, but considering Jane wasn’t even on the chopping block it seemed a little premature. He wasn’t arguing to save himself, he was sabotaging someone else and he came across as vindictive. Not a good color on anyone.

In the end, everyone except Alina and Jane voted for Alina. Benry even called her a “100%, grade A dirt squirrel,” whatever that means. And then he made a gross squirrel noise. I dislike him.

Why do you think Alina was so disliked? Can you believe NaOnka didn’t suffer a worse punishment for stealing than no one really talking to her? Is this the least likable Survivor cast ever? Sound off in the comments!