One thing I’ll say about Nicaragua: the challenges have been quite a bit more inventive than usual. This week, contestants were made to hold a metal pole in place by sliding it through a series of rings, and pulling on the rings so the pole couldn’t slip through. It looked extremely easy, but that was apparently misleading because half the tribe was gone within the first minute. I imagine it required quite a bit of upper body strength to pull the rings hard enough to keep the pole in place.
Some of these challenges have an unfair learning curve, where if the methodology doesn’t click for you right away you can be eliminated immediately. I don’t really care enough about any of these players to care, though.
Actually that isn’t true: I still like Fabio and Jane. They both seem to be having a lot of fun out there, and while I’m not convinced either of them could play a real game of Survivor in a real season against real competitors, I do appreciate their humor and their sunny attitudes. Each of them won an immunity necklace at the metal pole challenge, and therein lies a story. The last man and last woman in the challenge was slated to win, which means Jane won her necklace while there were still three men in the running. She could have simply dropped out right there, secure in her position, but she opted to stay in the challenge so she could show all those young bucks how it was done. You have to love that kind of tenacity.
Fabio, I’m convinced, won the challenge because his brain just goes to this bizarre zen place that makes sense only to him. For all I know his thought process was, “Pull handles? Okay! Ooooh, that cloud looks like a duck! And that one looks like pancakes! What, I won? Cool, do I get pancakes?”
The reason we were playing for individual immunity, of course, is that the tribe is merged now. Usually the transition from tribal to individual Survivor is the happiest time in the game for me, because it means the weak, boring players have been culled off and the people still around are going to step it up for real. Neither of those things describes Nicaragua, though.
Naonka stole food. What the hell? She makes these little crunchy tortillas for the tribe, which was a nice gesture I suppose, but she was so upset that her own tortilla was the smallest of the batch that she emptied the tribe’s pantry into a dirty hole in the woods. I’m not following this thought process here. Why not just, you know, make another tortilla? Her next move was to confess her crimes to Alina, the girl her alliance was targeting, for no reason. Then, when she was caught, she lied to everyone’s face and stormed off in a huff.
Look, I’m not saying stealing from camp is an offense immediately punishable by death. Marty said that, but Marty is stupid. But Naonka’s motivation, method, and execution of the plot were all… what’s the term I’m looking for? Oh yeah: retarded.
Naonka, you are neither hood nor ghetto. You’re short bus.
So let’s paint the picture for tribal council. Twelve people are sitting there, so it’s already the most ridiculously large tribal council, like, ever. Two of those people are immune: Fabio and Jane. Two more people have hidden idols, which is (as far as I know) common knowledge: Naonka and Sash. Marty’s plan? Badmouth Jane.
I actually missed a lot of his little rant, because I was busy cramming nail clippers into my eardrums, but it went like this: “Jane is a nice old lady, who is obviously fairly strong and clever, and all of you really like her a lot, and she has a dead husband. Therefore she is cancer and we should all vote her out.”
Okay, Marty. First of all, a desperate play at tribal council to swing the tide against your opponent is already a bad idea. Players almost always show up to tribal council with their minds already made up, and even in the rare cases they don’t, their minds are typically not swayed by a frothing rant against someone everyone likes better than you. That being the case, there’s a pretty glaring flaw in your strategy: Jane was goddamn immune. What were you hoping to accomplish? Even if your impassioned plea for rationality swayed the opinion of all ten of your non-Jane tribemates, as well as Probst himself and Jesus Christ and the entire viewing audience, they were still all powerless to vote for her.
Who’s gonna win? My skull is full of nail clippers. Nobody wins.