Survivor: Nicaragua Recap
Company Will Be Arriving Soon
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 4, 2010

A picture says a thousand words about the stupidity of the younger players.

Previously on Survivor, Marty was happy about all of his threatening teammates being voted off. Then, he was less happy when his primary ally, Jill was voted off due to the fact that two people can’t win an election against seven others. Things got so bad that Marty even admitted that the game isn’t going so well for him now. Perhaps he should have thought about this when he was all gleeful about voting out Jimmy Johnson. You know who’s good at making mediocre teams look good? That’s right. The coach. And we don’t mean Holly here.

Of course, the person most affected by this turn of events was Jill, who of course was the person voted off. She made the unusual decision to decipher the hidden Immunity Idol clue, deduce the location of it, and then tell Marty where it was so he could have it. Marty’s ownership of the Immunity Idol is what saved him in the last vote. The idol was given to Sash, Brenda Purple Kelly and Fabio, at which point Fabio screwed up completely by admitting he would hold onto it in case the other two turn on him. This is something you think to yourself instead of blurting out in the middle of Tribal Council.

Jill was as inscrutable a Survivor as we’ve ever seen, and her failure proved that it is possible to play too far beneath the radar.

Tree mail arrives almost immediately, and we learn that it’s time for the merge. This is good news for anyone under 30, and a promise of a quick and merciful end for anyone over 40 (except Dan. Dan’s immortal). Marty predicts that the younger kids will all be clamoring to get rid of each other. What he doesn’t realize is that he is the only person who thinks eliminating members of his own tribal/alliance is solid strategy. The others presumably see him standing all by himself and think, “Let’s don’t do what Marty did.”

But wait. When the other group gets news about the merge, Benry does indeed confirm that they want to kick Alina out of the game. Alina talks about what a threat Marty is and how important it is to vote him out. Everyone sort of quietly listens but without any tacit approval or agreement.

NaOnka talks. What’s our rule about NaOnka? That’s right. “Let’s not listen.”

When the two tribes come together, the usual excitement is shared and Marty takes it upon himself to choose their new name. They will be Libertad, which is Spanish for Liberty or Freedom. He’s certainly stepping up and taking charge. We wonder how Chase, Benry, NaOnka and Alina will feel about all his rules here in a few minutes.

NaOnka talks. She also tucks some of the celebratory food in her underwear. No, seriously. She pulls a nut out of her pants in a confessional that takes place sometime after the merge feast. It might be the filthiest act we’ve ever seen on Survivor.

Immediately, Brenda and NaOnka take a walk to discuss everything that has happened in the time they were apart. Essentially, they establish that Alina is dangerous and Marty must go. When NaOnka realizes that Sash has the other Immunity Idol, there is much celebration between the two of them.

Brenda is often compared to Parvati Shallow in terms of gameplay, and it’s true that the newcomer does seem to have the ability to flirt her way into the heart of dudes and dudettes alike. However, we can’t help but wonder if she isn’t making the same mistake Parvati did during the Heroes vs. Villains season. Parvati aligned with Evil Loser Russell, thinking she could take him to the end game and beat him. In the end, that backfired on her, as she was considered guilty by association of all the crappy things ELR did. Is Brenda committing a similar mistake by thowing in her lot with malicious NaOnka?

On a happier note, Jane and Chase make a real connection as they learn they are both from North Carolina and have some commonalities. Jane lost her husband recently, while Chase’s father passed away, so they can share in a little wistful sadness. He sees Jane as a surrogate mother on the island, and she has already connected well with the younger members of the tribe. It’s a really nice moment.

It doesn’t last, though, because NaOnka…gets pissed off that her fellow Survivors eat the food she cooked for them. No, we don’t get it, either. She seems to think she has been slighted somehow, and starts mumbling about how vengeance will be hers and the hour of purification is at hand and the unbelievers will blah blah blah, and walks off with a jar of flour. Holly, who has some experience in being nefarious as she is the one responsible for filling Dan’s shoes with sand and throwing them in the water (why doesn’t Dan ever remember that?), is immediately suspicious and wonders what Na is up to. Well, the answer is that NaOnka buries the flour in the ground. That’ll show ‘em. We guess. She also eats some of the fruit, which is probably more impacting. Then, she starts talking to herself, which we guess is less crazy if you can accept that she’s talking to the camera. Remember when Spock got all hepped up on spores and wanted to kill Captain Kirk? Of course not. You’re under 50. Okay, Captain Kirk is the guy from that show $*!& My Dad Says. We would all have been better off if Spock had accomplished his crazy plan.

But we digress.

NaOnka decides that there’s not enough drama around camp, and tells Alina that everyone is gunning for her. Naturally, this makes Alina very upset. NaOnka claims to have done this to earn Alina’s vote (she gives her some of the stolen fruit to eat while they have the conversation), but we’re pretty sure NaOnka is just bored. And crazy. And vile. Why did we start listening to her again?

We joke about this a lot, but NaOnka seems to be the person who has stayed unstable during the game for the longest amount of time. Other people have brief moments of insanity. NaOnka has descended to the depths of madness and stayed there. When the tribe members notice that all the food is missing, Holly connects the dots and realizes that NaOnka is the responsible party. The other tribe members begin pressing NaOnka on the subject, which is when she comes up with the weird explanation that she put the flour in her bag but then took it back out and put it away. Even Fabio thinks this is odd, wondering what purpose was served by putting it in her bag in the first place. This earns a terse denial that she stole the flour. NaOnka then repeats this denial to all of the remaining players. Finally, she lobs a couple of F-bombs at Fabio and storms off.

Our challenge as writers this season is coming up with ways to describe the new levels of crazy NaOnka is displaying. She’s not even happy now that the one-legged girl is gone. NaOnka is the type of person who would win the lottery and be pissed because she didn’t like the pen she had to use to cash the check. We don’t think she’d spend the money on artificial limb research.

Eventually, Alina and Chase talk NaOnka into admitting that she did steal the food, and again, her tribemates don’t understand. She tries to justify it by saying it was her way of rationing it. At this point, Marty throws his hands up in the air and says, “Come on! Vote her out!”

Even so, Brenda, Sash and Chase have determined that NaOnka is worth taking to the end, because there’s no way she’d be awarded the million dollars. Sash sleazily tells her that she’ll be taken along and she doesn’t need to worry about any thing. We think if you touch Sash, he might be a little slimy. Ick.

The other tension in the camp occurs when Jane delivers another fish to the tribe. Almost all of her tribemates think this is awesome. Marty, however, will not let this act of aggression stand. To his extreme frustration, he is the only one who sees her for the monster she is. We’ll let him explain it:

“The more Jane stays in the game, the more complicated the game gets. I think they all see the connections that she’s now made with Chase. I betcha that can’t be unwound – the whole Carolina thing, and my momma told me, and all that crap. It’s now infected Chase and it’s going to continue to spread like cancerous tentacles through the tribe.”

The cancerous tentacles in question are quality parenting and friendship. Watch your backs, Survivors!

He chooses to vent his frustration to…Brenda. Yes, the same Brenda that hates him. We are not duly impressed with Marty’s social game. His rant basically serves to make Brenda want to vote him out sooner, before his actual cancerous tentacles infect Benry, Chase and Fabio.

At long last, we have a Probst sighting, and two individual immunity necklaces will be awarded – one to a man and one to a woman. It’s an endurance challenge, which has the contestants holding a thing that they can’t drop. It’s too difficult to describe it. You get the idea, though.

Purple Kelly is the first one out as she accidentally messes up. On a related note, who is Purple Kelly? Immediately after this, Dan basically says, “Oh screw this” and lets his thing drop. On his way out, Dan for no apparent reason knees Probst in the crotch and eats a baby seal. Everyone will continue to call him “Uncle Dan” and love him forever, right to the final three. We really look forward to his explanation as to why he should win. “You had 18 chances to vote me out. You have no one to blame but yourselves. Idiots. I’m going to go buy myself some $5,000 shoes.”

She knows she’s in danger, but Alina drops her thing anyway. So do Brenda, Benry, Sash, NaOnka and Holly. Jane is the last woman standing, but she refuses to quit. She wants to beat the men, too. We think that’s possible.

She certainly outlasts Marty, which is honestly all she really wanted if we get right down to it. Chase follows, which means that Fabio and Jane both get immunity. Marty scowls. Damn the cancerous tentacles of achievement!

The girls get together to decide tonight’s vote. Jane is gunning for Marty, though Chase is feeling like Alina ought to be the choice due to her wiliness. Sash, however, wants to stay true to the promise he made Marty at the previous Tribal Council. He said he would return the hidden Immunity Idol to Marty, and since he’s already playing to the jury, Sash thinks it’s critical to gain trust. Jane isn’t happy about the situation, and says she will not vote for Alina. She’s still writing Marty’s name down.

Meanwhile, Dan suddenly wakes up and decides to play the game – at least until he gets bored and decides to do something else, like take a nap. He tells Marty that he thinks Chase may try to blindside him, and we all know how well Marty takes it when people put a target on his back. He bitches about it to Chase’s allies for about 45 minutes, which then makes Sash reconsider his whole “give the idol back to Marty” plan. Marty asks Holly to give him her word that she won’t vote for him, and she does.

A lot of maneuvering takes place then, with Alina suggesting that Fabio should vote out Marty. He tells her that he’s been friends with Marty and isn’t comfortable doing that, which does hurt her feelings, because she thought she was friends with friends with Fabio, too.

At Tribal Council, Marty immediately goes on offense by talking about the cancerous tentacles known as Jane. Marty tells them that she will get his vote if she makes it to the final three. He’s obviously trying to paint a target on Jane’s back because he hates her, even though he claims he loves the sweet old lady from South Carolina (she’s from North Carolina). Alina warns the tribe that this little diatribe proves that Marty is a strategic player and dangerous to the end. Dan once again wakes up from his nap to alert everyone that Alina and NaOnka stole food at camp. To her credit, NaOnka says it was all her, and that Alina wasn’t responsible. Still, the body language of the group shows that Alina is gone. When Benry calls her a “dirt squirrel” during the vote, it’s pretty evident that there was a lot of underlying subtext that we as viewers just didn’t see. Alina will join the lost Kelly on Loser Island.