11/17 Survivor Nicaragua Features Jeff Probst and…No Marty Pimobo

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Survivor Nicaragua is back for another week.

Isn’t it great?  The Castaways’ sufferings over days and days — rain, hunger, thirst — is all boiled down into one hour.

Now, if only the rest of us could accomplish that with the parts of our lives we don’t like.

Kelly Shinn, Ben “Benry” Henry, Brenda Lowe, Chase Rice, Jud Birza, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, NaOnka Mixon, Dan Lembo, Holly Hoffman, and Jane Bright return.

________________

The opening review reminded us of Brenda and Sash’s hubris.  Will it continue?  Will it be rewarded?

Or will it deflate like so many million-dollar dreams.

There was also a delicious recap of Marty’s failed attempt to keep himself alive in the game.

10 left folks.  Who’s next?

We open at Libertad on night 24.  Brenda told the camera all about her “control” issues.

Joy.

Jane and Holly had a quiet discussion about knocking out the king and queen.  That’s big.  Power move.  Two big votes.

Watch your back Brenda and Sash.

Next was a great commercial — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Nice.  Are you going to see that?

I probably am.  I’ll probably see it more than once.

Okay, back to Survivor.

Day 25 opened with scenes of otters and fire.

And rain.

Fabio complained to the camera that he wasn’t looking forward to a wet day.  Too bad, dude.

Holly told the camera she feels she’s come a long way in the game, and she and Jane tried to lead an attack against Sash and Brenda.  Holly played it hard with Benry and got him thinking hard about strategy.

Benry called it a “wake-up” call.  Indeed.  But did he already miss the alarm?

Jane approached NaOnka about getting rid of Brenda.  Surprisingly, Na jumped on board.

Or, so it seemed.

Holly approached Chase next about dumping Brenda.  Chase told the camera he wants to gun for Benry.

Hmmm…I’m not sure about that Chase.  I think when you have a chance to get rid of power brokers, you go for it.

At the first challenge (reward), two teams of five had four barrels, two planks, and ten feet of rope to make a bridge across the beach.  The winning team would travel to a volcano for pizza, drinks, and brownies.

That sounds good to me, and I ate a good meal today.

Dan smashed his hand and it looked really painful…big setback for yellow team.  Meanwhile, the blue team kept on rolling.  It wasn’t even close in the end.  Neither Sash nor Brenda went on reward, but Jane did.

A great opportunity for strategy.

That’s the best part of the rewards…everyone is happy and friendly.  It’s a great time for people to try to set up new alliances.  But then again, sometimes it all backfires.

Take a look at what happened to Marty.

On second thought, don’t.  Best to let his ghost lie quiet on the beach while his body resides at Ponderosa.

NaOnka, Purple Kelly, Fabio, Jane, and Chase arrived at the volcano.  They donned bright orange suits and slid down the side.

Really.

Jane said it was “fun as crap!”

Fun as crap.

Awesome, Jane.  Awesome.

Meanwhile back at Libertad, Holly, Dan, Sash, Brenda, and Benry came back to find a fire had engulfed the camp.

Bad bad bad.

I think it’s in times of suffering when people stop being “against” each other and just become people in a problem.

Libertad lost chests, food, tarp, morale.

Benry didn’t take it very well.  He called it “a day from hell,” and he’s probably right (although, I can’t say I know what it feels like, as I watch Survivor from my house where there is no beach).

At the volcano, it didn’t take long for the talk to begin.  NaOnka pulled Fabio aside and tried to form an alliance with him against Brenda.  Fabio was on board, looking forward to staying under the radar.

Power move, Na.  Power move.

The question is, can this quiet alliance hold together long enough to knock out the two big power brokers?  That’s always the $64,000 question isn’t it?

Chase took Brenda aside and told her about the quiet alliances to take her out.  Chase says he “trusts” Brenda.

Argh.

He threw Holly under the bus and spilled all the beans.  Brenda took it in her usual stride.  Chase then took Na aside and lobbied against Benry.  NaOnka was definitely not on board.

NaOnka took Benry aside and told him that Chase wanted him out.  Benry seemed to be on board with Na, who then went to Jane about Chase.  Jane was suddenly unsure about her North Carolina alliance.  Na then approached Holly about Chase.

Guess how that went?

At immunity, each player stood on a platform and leaned back on a rope.  Every few minutes, players had to change hand positions knot by knot until they fell into the water.

Chase, Jane, and Benry took it down to the wire.

Yes, Jane.

Awesome, Jane.

Eventually Benry dropped off, leaving the North Carolina contingency.  Jane thought she might give up, but kept on fighting.

Good thing, too.  She outlasted Chase.

You read that right.

Awesome, Jane.

You can just never tell in Survivor, can you?  When people are put under stress, they access deeper levels of strength beyond what they think they can endure.

Have you ever had an experience like that?  Have you ever stretched yourself past a limit you thought was set in stone?

On day 27, Jane was visibly pleased and she attributed her strong hands to her dog training.

Chase and Sash had a long talk about knocking out Benry.  Then, Na and Sash had a talk.  Na told Sash about the Brenda play.

Sash admitted what we all know…eventually “worry” sets in, and Sash admitted that he was not as confident in Brenda as he once was.

Holly approached Fabio and Chase about Brenda.  Chase reminded the camera that he plays with his “heart” but that he feels like he may have to vote out Brenda, to play with his head.

Chase then threw Na under the Brenda bus.  Brenda told the camera that she is in no mood to “scramble” and that she would just act cool.

Brenda brought up the issue of the idol to Sash who said he’d consider it.  If that were to happen, Brenda lobbied the camera for a NaOnka blindside.

Interesting.

At Tribal Council, Alina and Marty came in from Ponderosa looking clean and well-fed.

Sash admitted to Jeff that he felt “out of the loop” and Brenda revealed that she didn’t want to vote Marty in the last Council.

Brenda called NaOnka out for “jumping ship” from her alliance.  NaOnka denied that it was her idea, and put the onus on Chase.  Jeff goaded Purple Kelly into talking and Kelly said that she is also “out of the loop” and that she’s learning a lot of new information.

Brenda told Jeff she didn’t want to “scramble,” and Jeff asked if scrambling was “beneath her.”

How do you think that banter went?

You’re right.

At Tribal, Sash held on to his idol (Marty’s idol?)

In the end, it was Brenda.  And didn’t we all predict this?  She became confident…over-confident.  Bordering on arrogance.  And when that happens in Survivor?

Well, you know the drill.

I’m just amazed Brenda didn’t know it.

Jeff told Libertad they need to “fight for” the million bucks.  How true that is.

I think what we learned this week is what we learn every season.  Survivor, and life, call on us to be confident in our abilities.  We need to work as individuals and as part of groups, and we need to bring out talents to the table.  But when we decide to get on the table and dance, kicking coffee cups into the laps of others with a nasty grin, often, people will fight back.

At her exit interview, Brenda said she was in “disbelief” over NaOnka’s move.  Brenda said she didn’t expect it to end so soon, and she said she’s sad it’s over.

Don’t slip on your way off the table, Brenda.

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