Survivor: Nicaragua Recap
Pulling the Trigger
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
October 7, 2010

Ask me about my cup size!

Previously on Survivor, Dan’s scar was not HD friendly. NaOnka took on a one-legged woman in a butt-kicking contest, and didn’t care if America abhorred her afterward. Jimmy T. complained about his playing time.

Also, Jimmy Johnson was there.

Oh, wait.

Well, he was there, but he’s not anymore. Early on in the last episode, Jill manipulated Marty into revealing he had the hidden Immunity Idol. The warm reception he received made Marty believe that it was his time to shine. Seeking to consolidate power, he targeted the player who made him most insecure. The end result is that Marty believes he is in command of the elder tribe. This makes us wonder if Milton is right that it’s better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven, because being in tribe of Espada means he’s Captain Ahab.

We also wonder how much ratings are going to drop tonight. This season started with a big concept in old versus young and star power with Jimmy Johnson. Obviously, the star power is gone now as he finishes in 18th place, and a big concept means nothing if the elder tribe is simply going o be picked off one by one, who will care? We’ve heard a lot of chatter about how much people dislike the members of the younger tribe, which can’t be a good thing if they dominate.

Also, NaOnka is such a vile personality that she’s just difficult to watch. Yes, Survivor likes its villains; however, the evil things that spew from her mouth with regard to her teammates is not Evil Loser Russell fun (though we’d argue that he was never fun, either). It’s just horrifying.

Anyway, on to the show. Since you’re probably not watching, you can read our recap instead. Tonight’s episode begins with the only remaining Jimmy annoying people to death. He tries to point out that Survivor is an individual game of self-interest and that Jimmy Johnson was never going to like him anyway. All of this is correct, but when Jimmy T. has to ask Dan if he’s going to make it through the night, you can’t help but wonder what they were thinking with their recent vote. That’s not to say that Jimmy Johnson would be in better shape, but at least with him you have a proven leader. It seemed as though he got voted out for having his team start the season 1-2.

After the break, it’s more of the same. So far, the theme of this episode is “Jimmy T. is not someone you want to be trapped with on a deserted island.” We see that conditions are terrible at Espada. It has been raining for days, and as a result the water by their beach is rushing by in a flood, making it all but impossible to fish. They’re down to two cups of rice a day as far as rations. It’s at this point that Jimmy T. takes it upon himself to do the fishing. Marty offers to help, but Jimmy T. has no plans to be a team player. Marty makes it very clear that he disagrees with just about everything Jimmy T. is doing here, and Jane laments that by voting off Jimmy Johnson, they voted off the one guy who was a good fisherman. Oops.

On the plus side, with Survivor giving us the Jimmy T. show, we haven’t had to see NaOnka at all so far.

Oh, wait. Never mind. She’s the first person to really talk from La Flor, but fortunately she’s not spouting off hateful things. On the other hand, she did just find the hidden Immunity Idol. Do you know what everyone wants to hear? That NaOnka’s position has been strengthened. Brenda deciphers the clue and the two of them go off searching together, and they actually land in the correct spot.

What does NaOnka think about this lovely turn of events?

“The Immunity Idol is mine. It’s mine. It’s mine. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. Brenda helped me, but ultimately, I figured it out, and it’s mine.”

We propose a merge alliance between NaOnka and Marty. It will be called the “Mine, mine, mine, all mine” alliance.

NaOnka then tries to bully Alina and Kelly B. as they try to find the idol themselves. Her behavior is tantamount to taunting them, but they’re not intimidated by her, which is nice to see. Needless to say, she’s pissed when they stand up to her, but we’re not really sure what she’s trying to accomplish here. Does she think they’ll just walk off the island? Kelly B. calls her a psycho, and we can’t even imagine that editing alone can make a person look this bad.

Back over Espada, Marty is trying to be the leader without being the leader. He suggests that Tyrone should take over where Jimmy Johnson had failed (in their estimation). Tyrone looks at Marty like he is a special kind of crazy. I could be worse, Tyrone. You could be over on the other side of the island.

Of course, Jimmy T. is pissed off that Marty passed him over for consideration. Jimmy claims that he was the one who got the last guy eliminated, so by Lord of the Flies rules, he should be the one to take control. He calls Marty a “preppy little bitch” (not to his face of course), and we’re starting to feel like we’ve got a bit of a jocks (Jimmy T.) versus nerds (Marty) mentality going on here. We’ve got Jimmy T., the champion rower versus Marty, the Silicon Valley exec, there are two distinct Type A personalities going at it.

This Survivor cast is seriously awful. Will this group be able to rise above the mediocrity they’ve portrayed so far?

With tree mail comes a clue that the next challenge will involve blindfolds, so Jill suggests that Espada practice. Several minutes later, Jimmy T. suggests that the tribe practice. You heard us.

So, the tribe decides that Jimmy T.’s (Jill’s) plan is a good one, and Tyrone begins to organize them and call out directions to teammates wearing blindfolds. After they’ve finished, Jimmy T. takes an opportunity to talk about all the things they should do in the challenge.

Usually, we find one person (like Evil Loser Russell) to pick on during a season, but we’re really having trouble limiting it to that single contestant this year.

Marty gloats about how he’s manipulated Jimmy T. into being insecure about someone else being in a leadership position, and while it has obviously worked, we’re still not sure why Marty is so anxious to stir up bad feelings amongst his group and promote discord. At this point, you still want to work with your tribe so that you are strong if you ever make the merge – which we’re still frankly dubious Espada can do. It’s just a strange decision of gameplay to want to accelerate the eliminations from your own tribe, in our estimation.

Thankfully, we have a Probst sighting. Today’s Immunity/Reward challenge has each tribe broken into pairs, each of whom are blindfolded. A “caller” will have to guide them to ten different items out in a field. They will return those items and a treasure chest to their mat, along with keys to open it. First tribe with all ten items and the chest open wins.

Probst reminds the younger tribe that they can use their Medallion of Power, which would give them a head start with two items on their mat. They elect to use it, which may help them since as far as we know, they didn’t have a chance to practice.

Tyrone yells directions for his team, while Brenda calls for the younger tribe. We’re not going to waste time building false suspense, because La Flor whips Espada up and down the Immunity field. They win easily, getting all their items plus the chest onto the mat by the time their elders have four items (though editing might be misleading here). The kids have wasted the Medallion of Power, and Espada will send another member home. Surprise!

One item of note from the challenge is that Tyrone notes at one point that Jimmy T. just doesn’t listen, and it does seem to be true. Out on the course, he’s in his own little world. He’s drawn all kinds of attention to himself due to his insecurity and obnoxious personality, and he’s going to be perceived as a key reason they lost the challenge. He wants to be Kobe Bryant for his team, but in the world of Survivor, being Kobe Bryant just makes you conspicuous.

So…it’s time to play “It’s Time to Play It’s Anyone But Jimmy T.” When the Espada tribe gets back to camp, he digs his grave a little deeper by giving his tribemates his coaching resume (he’s led several teams, we guess) and comments on how they just having been using him enough. That’s right. After he completely sucked in the challenge, he talks about how they should use him more. And don’t think it goes unnoticed by the elder tribe. Tyrone specifically is annoyed. He did not sign up to be on the Three Stooges tribe.

Over at the La Flor tribe - or as we like to call them, The Super Winner Tribe – has returned to camp with the spoils of their victory. Chase finds yet another clue for the hidden Immunity Idol in a tackle box that is in the middle of their prizes, and immediately invites Brenda to go searching with him. Brenda lets the charade go on for a moment before telling Chase that NaOnka has already found it. She tells him that he totally doesn’t need to say anything about it to NaOnka…you see where this is headed, right? We do. NaOnka is about to flip her shit. Let’s see if we’re right.

No…we head back on over to Espada, where the group is grabbing sea urchins to eat for dinner. Jill notes that there’s not much to them, but they have to eat something. Marty is sitting by the beach eating something, and Jimmy T. calls him out for not being a team player (which is correct). Marty is all about Marty. Nonetheless, Jimmy T. is annoying enough when he does this that it’s just another nail in his coffin.

While Jane thinks that Dan should be voted out, and Holly listens to without committing, Marty is gunning for Jimmy T. (of course). He knows Dan is weak but he’s an integral part of their alliance, so he tells Jill it can’t be the old dude who sits out every challenge with his bum knees. Tyrone agrees with us, but Marty tries to talk him into the notion that Jimmy T. is a team cancer.

“I’m not saying I would’ve done anything different, but I could have won [the challenge] today. I’d just like the opportunity. The question is why aren’t I getting the chance?”

Because you have 40C boobs, Marty. There, we said it.

If Eve was on the fence about who to vote off, the one thing Jimmy T. should not have done was talk to her. We don’t want to say he’s bumbling all over himself, but Tina Fey is warming up her impression of her.

Remember Wendy? We miss her.

“I’m easy to get along with, I think.” –Jimmy T.

To use the wisdom of Bull Durham, the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.

At Tribal Council Jimmy T. may redeem himself a tiny bit when the group tells him they will not make him a leader and that they expect him to be a follower instead. He tearfully accepts this statement, and says that he will do what he can to be valuable to the team, regardless of how they see his role.

It’s too little, too late, though. There is no suspense on this vote, and Jimmy T. is the second consecutive Jimmy to be eliminated from Survivor.

Stating the obvious, voting off Jimmy Johnson last week was a mistake. The tribe should have told Jimmy T. to shut up, voted off Dan, and then this week they would have at least had the advantage of Jimmy Johnson’s leadership ability and fishing at this point.

The good news for tonight is that the episode was largely NaOnka-free. Next week promises that we’ll see her sensitive side, but even more importantly, a shakeup is in the offing as the preview shows Probst telling the contestants to drop their buffs. The format as it stands right now is failing, so the producers are forcing their hand. Maybe we’ll get that NaOnka/Marty alliance a little sooner than we thought.