I’m two weeks behind this season. Which doesn’t really matter, because this season is terrible. In this brave new world of ours, where we no longer have to watch TV at a particular time to see a particular show, it’s difficult to get myself psyched up to watch Survivor: Nicaragua. Used to be, Thursday night would roll around and I would drop whatever I was doing at 8pm because if I didn’t, I’d miss out. But now? Now that I have every episode at my fingertips whenever I want? I can’t even drag myself to the TV. “I could go watch Survivor… or I could watch this paint dry. Hmm… I wonder how far I can get this file up under my fingernail before I pass out from the blinding pain!”
This is the fourth season I’ve blogged Survivor, and this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to talk about tribal shuffles. I’m… not a fan. You take some perfectly good game dynamics, throw them away, and start fresh from scratch. “Jeff, it’s a whole new game!” is really just another way of saying “Jeff, those first four episodes didn’t matter!” Even the medallion of power is gone now, if it were ever really important in the first place.
Marty, Jill and Jane hopped over to La Flor. Alina, Benry, Naonka and someone else (Chase? Sash?) are now on Espada. Seeing players adjusting to new their new camp life is usually pretty entertaining, so at least we have that. Marty lectured his new tribe about how he is the pinnacle of virtue, then shared his immunity idol with them. Brenda decided this was the dumbest move he could have possibly made, and I think I agree. Marty was in a tough spot here; he wanted to play up how noble he was, compared to the now-absent she-devil that knocked down the poor, defenseless cripple. But he couldn’t do that, not directly, because Jane was there to tell everyone he had the idol. So he had two choices: he could either share the idol and play his integrity card, or he could keep the idol and the integrity card in his pocket, so as not to get called on it.
Obviously he chose to do the thing that let him talk the most. He is Marty, after all.
A better choice might have been to just bring Jane in as his ally. The old folks are at a numbers disadvantage on La Flor; that idol could have been their ace in the hole. Maybe Jane sees reason and agrees to keep it quiet, in which case they have a small, but tight group with a secret idol. Or maybe she tells him to shove off, in which case he can go forward with Operation: I’m Awesome and he’s in no worse position than he already was.
And make no mistake: Marty’s position isn’t great. Not only are people already clipping on to his arrogance, but he probably doesn’t know Jane is against him, and he certainly doesn’t know to watch out for Brenda. I wonder if someone will weasel that idol out of him before he gets cut loose.
Over on Espada, Tyrone lectures everyone about tribe rules which, quite predictably, goes over with the new kids about as well as a lead balloon. Then it starts raining and Naonka melts. I knew she was part wicked witch, but even so… really? You’re scared of rain? All it takes to defeat your tough girl ghetto talk is for water to fall from the sky?
Naonka didn’t quit — at least not this episode. But I wish she would have. In fact, I’d like to see a new rule next season. If you breathe even a single word about quitting, scary tribal dudes with feather headdresses and bones through their noses emerge from the jungle to drag your crybaby ass off. Done, right there. Decision all made for you. One whimper, one sob, one questioning doubt — and you’re done. Endzo. Watching the hillbilly tell a blubbering story about his ol’ dead pa to the poor hurting negro lady might make for good television if you’re watching Lifetime, but this is Survivor. Something tells me that savages dragging would-be quitters away in gunny sacks would play better with this audience.
Oh! Then Espada had a chicken problem. Namely, they were rewarded with some chickens, and they wanted to eat one. They were all, “We are hungry! That creature is a walking bag of meat wrapped in feathers! Let us consume it, and be satisfied!” And Tyrone was all like, “No, we shall not consume it, for it produces eggs. But if I’m outvoted anyway I’ll eat the biggest piece because I have a man’s hunger.”
The solution looked pretty simple from where I was sitting: just eat the rooster. Roosters can’t lay eggs, last I checked. I mean, I’ve never been on a farm, and in fact I’m not even sure I’m spelling the word “farm” correctly, but they don’t lay eggs, right? I admit, my only familiarity with roosters involves an MGM cartoon about an alcoholic bulldog, but I’m confident that rooster meat eats just as well as chicken meat, and you don’t miss out on any eggs that way.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe rooster meat is poisonous to morons. Or maybe Espada is just having too much difficulty getting themselves up in the morning.
Tribal council was painful to watch, because it was all about whether the tribe would vote for Useless Breakdown Girl or Big Mean Boss Guy. In the end they sent Tyrone home because, hey, maybe it’ll rain again tomorrow and Naonka will just burst into flames and save everyone the trouble.
This episode did have one saving grace though: the immunity challenge involved waterboarding. That was endlessly entertaining.
Who’s gonna win? Jeff Probst. He gets paid the same whether the season sucks or not.