Welcome to the next two episodes of Purple Rock Podcast’s (well, Matt’s) watch of Survivor: Nicaragua. Read my live blog below.
A reminder before I dive back into my running thoughts of Survivor: Nicaragua- I am spoiled on the following things: I know who wins, I am pretty sure I know who is second and third (but not the order), and I know who quits. Aside from that, I believe I know a few other people who make the merge (for instance I’m pretty sure I know one makes the merge based on getting invited back for Caramoan). And that is it. With that out of the way, to the liveblog!
Episode 6 – “Worst Case Scenario”:
Previously on Survivor: The young tribe is in control, with Brenda, Chase, NaOnka and Sash on top (even the intro forgets Purple Kelly). The new La Flor tribe has young people in charge (duh). New Espada takes out Tyrone for no discernible reason. And Yve wasn’t told about that plan.
Dan is talking about quitting. Yet another person who has talked about quitting. Add him to the list!
Now Holly is criticizing someone for talking about quitting, despite acknowledging that she was just talking about quitting a few days ago. This fucking cast.
Yve confronts Holly about leaving her in the dark, and Holly plays(?) dumb. So Holly deflects to Dan. Yeah, this is an Yve boot. Calling it now.
Marty and Jill are on the outs. Brenda calls Jane a natural, genuine helper (despite Marty and Jill waking up early and keeping the fire going). What Brenda means to say is that Jane is a natural, genuine person she likes.
Marty and Jane are super happy that Tyrone is gone. They know they need to win tribal immunity to stay in the game.
Oh! Double individual immunity, and no team immunity. I feel that is the show punking Marty. Calling it: Yve and Jill go home right now.
Haha, Dan just has his ring stuck on his paddle and is twirling in place like a dog chasing his tail.
Holly wins immunity.
Hey, Probst mentioned Purple Kelly! (To emphasize how poorly she was doing).
Oh damn, Jill wins immunity. Guess I was wrong about that prediction. (Oh, and Jill won the feast and “listen in” advantage.)
Jill winning complicates Brenda’s plan since Marty will play his idol in all likelihood. Who goes instead? Maybe Jane?
Oh okay, Kelly B is the split vote plan. Not Jane. That makes sense given that she was on the bottom before. Brenda is targeting Kelly B because she has a fake leg. Everyone is really scared of that fake leg. Maybe Brenda made Dawn show her false teeth because she hates fake body parts?
Brenda acknowledges that Fabio is hard to account for because he is dumb.
Marty confesses he is a grandmaster of chess to Fabio because… this is stupid, but he made it up to fool Fabio. Fabio totally buys in, because that is a stupid enough lie to work on Fabio. (Pretty sure Kelly B will still go home.)
Holly says the young people have the advantage. She should know, because she gave them the advantage last week. Dan has a Range Rover and a Ferrari. Makes sense, what does Dan do again? Waste management?
Benry wants Yve out because Dan doesn’t want to be there. Chase only trusts NaOnka because Chase has terrible judgment.
Yve makes a pitch to Alina and NaOnka. I love that people think they are close. Then Yve blew up her game by saying she is close with people on the other tribe. But she was going home anyway.
Chase thinks it is most important to keep the tribe strong physically so he is pushing to vote Yve out because “most important” isn’t actually what he is basing his vote on.
Jane is told she just has to vote for Marty, she knows Marty has an idol, she doesn’t ask for the rest of the plan. Jane is also not very smart.
Fabio asks, “Do we really need to flush the idol from Marty?” God Fabio, you realize that doesn’t actually send him home right?
Sash is just talking, talking, talking. Saying way too much. Marty believes him about Jane. Marty is not good at this game.
Sash tells Brenda that Fabio doesn’t want to vote for Marty and we see Brenda saying. “The hell?” Smash cut to Marty saying he doesn’t think he should play the idol tonight. Nicaragua everyone!
Probst basically reveals their plan to Marty. Because we are literally playing on the level of Probst’s leading tribal questions in terms of gameplay.
Kelly B says don’t trust anyone. She is on the other end of that vote split, but feels pretty comfortable. Should have listened to herself.
Brenda says Jane has to worry about Jill and Marty voting her out. Marty takes offense to that because they are two, not five. Marty tells people to change the vote to Brenda. Pretty sure if he wasn’t playing his idol before he is now.
Brenda’s move there revealed herself to Marty, but also seemed to convince Jane she is on her side. Much more open hostility now in all likelihood.
Wow, Marty does not play idol. The fuck?! Also, throwing your votes onto Brenda and not Kelly B was a stupid move by Marty, though he still thought he had Jane. So it’s a tie vote between Marty and Kelly B.
They should vote out Marty here, but doing it this way means that no matter what the minority has two people they know are being gunned for. Though I guess that was an inevitable consequence once Jill won and Marty had an idol.
Also, in continuing the inexplicable, they vote out Kelly B despite Marty holding onto his idol. WHY? God, these people are stupid. An overly complicated plan that didn’t accomplish its primary fucking goal.
Brenda is looking like the cat that ate the canary despite Marty still having a fucking idol.
Alina not happy to hear that Kelly B went home.
Dan and Yve going at each other- well, Yve and Benry are going after Dan (though Benry would say he is a liability, but not incompetent), Dan says Yve is on the chopping block. Dan calls her arrogant, despite the fact she doesn’t talk about her Ferrari or six homes (Dan acknowledges he does), but it is her attitude you see. Which is to say, it’s because she is a woman.
Yve goes home. Shocker.
Episode 7 – “What Goes Around, Comes Around”:
Previously on Survivor: Young tribe adopted an older mom to get the upper hand on both tribes, and every other old person is on the outside of the majority alliances.
Dan thanks everybody, and compares himself to John Gotti. No, seriously, is he in the mafia?
Chase comes back and immediately targets Alina along with NaOnka and Holly. Man, the goatherding began super early on this season. Sash has no answer to why they didn’t actually vote out Marty. Because it made no sense.
Marty is pissed that Jane turned on him despite his never lying to her. Jane might feel different about that assessment, Marty. Maybe you should ask her why, before you target her?
Marty confronts Jane; Jane says she never had a clue about him being a target. That is a blatant lie, and Marty tells her he thinks she is lying. Jane just laughs and doesn’t answer. That was actually a good moment from Marty- predicated upon an idiotic moment from someone else.
Purple Kelly mention! It was in a reward challenge that requires everyone to go one at a time, so Probst was forced to mention her.
During the challenge, instead of jumping and throwing, Dan first throws, then kinda jump/falls into the water. Fabio knocks the ball away without moving and gives a look to the camera that is just like, “I am embarrassed for both of us”.
And Fabio peed in the pool. Probst asks if everyone pees in the pool, no one else admits they do.
Purple Kelly gives a confessional about not winning reward. It is as bad as I could possibly imagine from hearing her talk.
Jane is really resentful of Marty and Jill. For no particular reason, either. Or no reason we have seen.
Sash is happy to have the older people work hard and feed him. This game is basically parents and their mooching teenage children who don’t appreciate them, but just want some damn space MOM!
Jane catches some fish, sneaks a fish for herself. Jane just seems resentful of everyone. God, even the quiet people on this season turn out to be secretly awful.
The reward food includes a giant block of fresh cheese, and man that would mess with my stomach bad and yet I would eat the entire damn thing.
Holly and Alina bond over being homesick. NaOnka thinks it is a show because NaOnka is putting on an act constantly and projects like a motherfucker.
By the way, I am pretty convinced Alina is going home tonight because I actually like Alina and this isn’t just compared to the general crumminess of everyone else. That said, she would still be like the 8th or 9th best person on a season like Cagayan.
This is a weird immunity challenge- they have to line up a ramp and can adjust it to different lengths and drop from different heights. This just seems overly complicated, without being terribly interesting.
Purple Kelly and Brenda are not good at this and are giving some lip back to Fabio. That includes Purple Kelly actually saying something! She says, “We are talking about it.” (Editor’s note: R.obbed g.oddess, amirite?)
Benry wins and says, “I should be a pirate.” Pirates do not shoot off of weird ramps dude. They had cannons.
This vote feels like it should be Jill. Marty should now play his idol. But I have the feeling it may not be Jill.
Jane says she has been treated like she doesn’t exist. And I’m not a Marty fan, but good lord Jane is doing tons of projecting here.
The current brilliant plan is Sash asking Marty for the idol if they promise not to vote for him, and Sash is held up by Brenda saying ask him for the idol and then vote him out. Sash objects because… I don’t know. What is this even?
Sash promises Marty that he would not go home tonight, and that he would give him the idol back. This is really stupid both as an offer and as a solution.
Marty gives up the idol to live one more vote, playing the idol would also get you one more vote you dummy. Seriously if Marty doesn’t go home now, just what the fuck are these people even doing?
I wish Jill was given more time instead of Marty. I think she could have been good, but she is subsumed by Marty’s ego and personality.
Fabio even calls out Marty for giving the idol away. When Fabio calls you dumb, you might want to have done something different.
Sash has a Freudian slip saying if he loses trust in the rest of his alliance the shared nature of the idol will change (rather than vice versa), and then Fabio- FABIO!- explains what a Freudian slip is. Brenda writes it off, while Fabio gives it the proper weight.
Sash lives up to his word, Jill goes home. Not sure why they still split the vote if Marty has given the idol away… (Editor’s note: Because they’re master strategists. This season is so great, you guys.)
So yet another way that Nicaragua is falling down is in the fact that people are dragging goats around super early on. We are coming up on the merge and the season is full of people who the rest of the cast sees as incapable of winning. Dan, Holly, Jane are all regarded by the cast as having no chance to win. Besides them, there are people like Fabio who everybody laughs at and calls dumb, NaOnka who seems to be feuding with half the cast at any given time, and Marty who has painted a big target on his back by being a self-declared mastermind and failing to back it up in any way whatsoever.
Of the remaining six, I don’t know who Benry and Alina are even aligned with, because no one seems to claim them in their numbers when they actually discuss any plans. That leaves us with Sash, Brenda and Chase. These three are at least playing a version of the game and appear inoffensive enough.
Brenda gets attention because she is the one that is most actively trying (and succeeding for now), but good god look at the Marty idol debacle. Two straight votes they can eliminate someone and both times they choose not to- for no discernible reason! First they try and flush the idol, then choose not to finish the job when he doesn’t play the idol! Then, when Marty stupidly gives the idol away, they still don’t vote him out! I don’t get what shots Brenda is calling here, but while they may be working out for her so far they are anything but impressive.
Similarly, Sash gets that you should at least have alliances that control a majority and then vote out people against you (something I’m not sure most of this cast gets), but something about him seems off. He might just be a victim of Penner disease where he seems sneakier than he actually is.
And then there is Chase. If forced at gunpoint to identify who is playing the best game right now, I might say it is Chase. (Editor’s note: What sick individual would hold you at gunpoint and demand your opinion on Survivor: Nicaragua? Pretty sure that’s outlawed by the Geneva Conventions.) Chase understands alliances, but he is so wishy-washy that I think he pisses his allies off. I think Chase might know what he should be doing, but he finds it so hard to commit to anything that everyone perceives him as being either dumb or manipulable.
Last week, I talked about how the show was leaning on all the wrong narrators. The show cured that to a degree this week by spreading the wealth around more, only this just revealed how weak the cast is at being entertaining. I honestly think Dan Lembo might be the most entertaining person in the cast because I’m 90% convinced I saw him on season 4 of The Sopranos.
Also, all the people I think I might like as players are excessively normal and are on the outs with everyone else (like Alina and Yve). I joked above that I like Alina and she might be the 8th or 9th best person on Cagayan. Besides being exceptionally kind in rating her so high, that is where she would rank on most seasons (if not lower), but on this season she is probably top 5. And most of the people joining her in the top 5 are already voted out. Jimmy Johnson might have been the most interesting person on this season, and he was 3rd out!
I don’t actively hate anyone on this season besides NaOnka, so it has that advantage on Worlds Apart or One World, but I don’t care about anyone either. I don’t remember the last season where I care about no one at all.
Finally, one of our commenters said that everything that Nicaragua does poorly some other season does worse, but it is the fact that Nicaragua does everything poorly that makes it so bad. I can’t argue with this sentiment.
This is not the most hateful cast ever because so many of these people are boring rather than hateful. This wasn’t the worst pre-merge ever because Fiji exists. This isn’t the season with the least strategy because Gabon just looks blankly at the idea of strategy like a dog trying to understand complex commands. No, Nicaragua is just the second-worst at everything, and so the dread I have as I venture further into this season isn’t that it gets worse, but that this season doesn’t have to necessarily be the worst season ever.
Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan