11/24 Survivor Nicaragua Features Jeff Probst and Sash — Sans Queen Brenda Lowe

Welcome to “new scene” night…the day 25 break.

Otherwise known as “A Closer Look.”

Kelly Shinn, Ben “Benry” Henry, Chase Rice, Jud Birza, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, NaOnka Mixon, Dan Lembo, Holly Hoffman, and Jane Bright are cast in a new light as we see some scenes we didn’t see the first time around.

Meanwhile, Brenda Lowe is off trying to rule Ponderosa.

Lucky Marty and Alina.

I’m sure they’re thrilled.


Jeff Probst’s voice graced us at the opening.  He reminded us of the battles of the newest survivors — and the age division that started the show.

It was good to see a shot of Jimmy Johnson again.  I wish he was still around, but I guess he just wasn’t cutthroat enough.

The best part of the opening was seeing Brenda’s torch go out.

Ah, the mighty.

It was really interesting to look back and see the groups meeting again for the first time…who was struggling to lead?  Who actually led?

Jimmy Johnson took control right away, yet Marty Pimobo gave him a run for his money.  Marty really thought he was in control.

Oh, man.

Interesting how on the early Espada tribe, the men jumped right onto the shelter and the women were in a more gathering role and weaving palm fronds.


Maybe they should have reversed that…there probably would have been a lot less arguing and swearing and a lot more progress.

At La Flor, the group seemed very laid back.  Brenda bragged about how their tribe was more fit, and “happy to be here.”  Alina told the camera she was happy to be on the younger tribe, saying that the older tribe would have a harder time bonding.

Um, Alina?  I think you misjudged that one.


The Espada shelter really came together by night fall, and they seemed to come together as a team.

However, when their shelter bed collapsed at night, I must say that was pretty funny.  I know it’s probably bad karma to laugh, but…well…y’know.

On day 4 we were treated to some animal footage.


At Espada we got an inside look at leadership.  Jimmy Johnson took the lead when it came to sleeping positions.  It was really funny listening to the tribe talk about the people they “spooned” with.

A La Flor, Fabio took the opposite of Jimmy’s approach.  He told the camera he wanted to stay under the radar.  Although, it’s hard to stay under the radar when you put hot pepper in your eyes.

And he did.

And Alina had a good time watching his agony.

NaOnka called him “stupid” and an “idiot.”  I’m not sure her opinion has changed all that much as the days have progressed.

Somehow Fabio found a beehive and a bunch of ants in a tree, then he stepped on a thorn.  Then he banged his head.  Then he fell down a mound on the beach.  I think there’s a strategy in there somewhere…after all, he’s still here.

By day 9, paranoia had spread through Espada.  We got a peek into Holly’s strategizing with Jimmy T.  Jimmy told the camera he feels she’s “off the deep end.”

Holly, when T. tells you you’re off the deep end…you’re probably off the deep end.  Even Holly admitted to the camera she struggles with the strategy part.  Over-analyzing can be a problem in this game, but Holly is still around, isn’t she?  So something must be working.

Purple Kelly cried to the camera about the rain.  She clearly had second thoughts about her Survivor experience.  Luckily she didn’t quit.  She could take it all (even thought Benry called her a “waste of space.”  Ouch.)

On day 11 at Espada, the men fought to fill the Jimmy Johnson void.  Marty thought he was finally in control, obviously forgetting that fortunes change like crazy in Survivor.

It was really funny to hear Marty tell the camera that he knows what Tyrone is all about — liking to hear himself talk and feel in control.  Are you sure you’re not talking about yourself, Marty?

Watching Marty and Tyrone fight was an interesting study in castaway dynamics, especially when leadership is on the line.  It’s such a predictable dynamic.

Day 12 saw a switch-up of the tribes.  Jill, Marty, and Jane found themselves outnumbered, but Jill seemed to bond quickly with her new tribemates.

That, of course, didn’t bode well for Jill and Marty.

Jane told the camera she started prepping for Nicaragua by eating less calories at home and using a sauna to get used to the heat.  Plus, she can fish and make fire.


We got to see Jane create a great diversion and steal fire so that she could clandestinely cook a fish she caught and eat it alone.

She’s lucky she wasn’t discovered.

New Espada saw four young members join the fray.  Dan admitted to the camera that he felt vulnerable in this new tribe, and that making friends was his way to stay around…and as you can see, it’s working.

On La Flor day 16 a lonely Marty yielded to the younger Sash.  Marty having the immunity idol didn’t ingratiate him to his tribe.  His fortunes changed in a moment and it was great to see him backtrack.

It’s nothing personal against Marty.  It’s the genius of Survivor.

Day 19 saw a merge into Libertad.  There were hugs and a feast…and Brenda screaming.

We got another glimpse of NaOnka’s secret food escapade — taking the flour and burying it.

Na came clean with Holly to relieve her conscience.  Holly, “as a mom,” convinced NaOnka to tell and move on.

Na seemed like she really appreciated it.

It was an interesting moment.

NaOnka took the group to find the flour, but then said she couldn’t remember where she buried it.  The whole tribe started to question her position in the game.

It was pretty uncomfortable to watch again.

I’m sure we’ll see it again at the reunion.

Brenda gave us a lecture about keeping emotions out of the game, causing me to roll my eyes.

But wait!  Wait!  That was an emotional response.  I guess I should learn to suppress that if I want to win a million dollars.

Next, Sash talked to the camera about the “special spell” he and Brenda have cast over the tribe.  Wow.  Too bad the tribe cast a ‘disappearing spell’ over Brenda, vanishing her to Ponderosa.

Jane called the guys out on their…guy-ness when it come to Brenda.  She found it laughable that Chase and Fabio initially wanted to keep Brenda in the game.

She saw right through them.

And Brenda.

But in the end, Chase sided with Jane and Brenda hit the trail.

Now, nine are left and the million is getting closer.

What did we learn from the closer look?  I think we learned that Survivor is a game of trends.  There is going to be ego and leadership, fear and following.  Then, just when a person thinks they have it all in hand, it slips through their fingers.

One thing is for sure.  These last few weeks will be exciting.


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