Welcome to the next three 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 (which is fine, because we are at the merge now). And that is it. With that out of the way, to the liveblog!
Episode 8 – “Company Will Be Arriving Soon”
Previously on Survivor: Events centered on three people:
- NaOnka, who is vindicative and outspoken but has an idol
- Marty, who is…Marty, and
- Sash, who is apparently suddenly the puppet master? Really? The show can’t even give credit to Brenda here?
Marty is left alone with no friends or idol. (Editor’s note: Who could have seen that shit coming? If we’d been podcasting then, that move would have made us explode and this season would have made us quit podcasting.) So he starts off talking about who deserves to be in the game. I hate that “deserves” bullshit more than anything else.
“Uncle” Fabio found some treemail. Fabio is a weird guy because he apparently also refers to himself as “uncle”- oh, and the nickname that he was given at the beginning of the season. Do you think he went back to Jud when he got home, or was he so used to Fabio after a month-plus that he just started asking his real life friends to call him that?
At the merge announcement the camera briefly shows Purple Kelly, she laughs. That is it for Purple Kelly. (Marty thinks this saves him. Betting he is wrong, or maybe right for one vote).
Espada is not happy to be staying at their beach. Or maybe just surprised?
Alina is trying to convince everyone to stick together, and I don’t think anyone wants this at all. Why? I have no fucking clue why no one wants to stick with this alliance. Instead they just want to scramble things up again.
I bet Alina goes home, then Marty, then … I don’t know, someone unexpected.
The merge tribe name of Libertad might be the only thing about this season that isn’t historically awful.
NaOnka puts nuts in her bra. John, finish this thought. (Editor’s note: BOFA them? – Andy)
Brenda is happy to see NaOnka. Because remember, Brenda fans, Brenda actually likes NaOnka and isn’t just allied to her. Brenda regards NaOnka as her best friend/ally on this season. This is the power couple this season, NaOnka and Brenda.
Jane is telling Chase about her shotgun and dogs. Chase is eating it up. He needs that southern accent like a mule needs a spinning wheel.
NaOnka is complaining about not having a lot of food left when they literally just had a merge and a feast. So she is stealing and hiding food, and Holly notices. NaOnka steals the flour which is the worst food to steal, are you going to sneak out to the jungle, start a discrete fire and cook the flour? That is so stupid. Oh, she has a secret plan! You see, she wants to make tortillas.
Now NaOnka is hiding and stealing fruit and talking shit about Alina.
Alina and NaOnka are talking despite Purple Kelly being right next to them. They don’t notice her at all. Just like the producers.
NaOnka trying to pretend that everyone else is gunning for her. Also NaOnka thinks she can get Alina’s jury vote? HAHAHAHAHA! Alternative facts!
Now everyone notices that not only food is missing, but the bowl and the frying pan. And Holly confronts her. Fabio loses it.
Alina apparently knew NaOnka stole the food, and didn’t say anything.
NaOnka cannot confess that she did it, because she told them she didn’t. Chase and Alina convince her to tell everyone, and she again offers some alternative facts about taking the flour to measure it. Oh, and she throws Alina under the bus.
Marty thinks this should be simple to get her out, only he can use her. Marty is terrible at this game. Really fucking terrible.
Brenda’s reaction is basically, “lol sucks to be Alina.” Because yeah NaOnka stole food, but Alina knew about it! Sash wants to drag NaOnka to the end as a goat.
Marty, Benry and Fabio are making fun of Jane. Marty thinks she is a threat. He tells Brenda this. Brenda’s response: Hey, maybe Marty has a strategy and is a threat. People on this season are stupid.
Oh, it’s the challenge we just saw in Millennials vs Gen X. (Editor’s note: They’re holding the clamps to keep the metal thing from falling. I paint pictures with words.)
Purple Kelly and Dan go out in literally 2 seconds. (Editor’s note:
Jane wins the immunity for the women. Jane keeps going to try and prove a point. That is really stupid. For a lot of reasons. I would expect nothing less from this cast.
Fabio wins immunity for the men.
Jane wanted to beat Marty because again she hates Marty. We get it.
PURPLE KELLY TALKS! She wants a women’s alliance and Sash to vote out Marty! Alina is trying to use that and Jane to get out Marty.
Jane would write down Marty even if everyone else says Alina. Sash says wait one more vote because of his idol deal. Brenda says no rush, Jane asks, “What if he wins the next three times?” Brenda reminds her there are 8 more times.
Dan tells Marty that Chase is gonna try and blindside him. Marty talks to Sash and Brenda, both of them play dumb.
Sash says Marty is only on the chopping block because he is talking so much, but would otherwise not be on the chopping block despite literally all episode being that the vote is Alina or Marty (Editor’s note:
literally). Holly, Jane, and Alina are trying to arrange a Marty vote and realize it relies on Fabio.
Fabio wants to vote NaOnka. Because Fabio. Alina is all, “Don’t do that! Wait, no. Do do that!” because throwing his vote away is great. Fabio is like, “This is why people want you out,” because she is actually trying to not go home.
Hahaha, Fabio says, “I like Marty, I get along with Marty.” And Alina says, “I thought we got along too,” and walks away as Fabio is just sputtering. It was actually really sad.
Probst asks if big moves will start happening.
Marty tries to explain the Jane thing and just attacks Jane. And then promises to vote for her if she gets to the end. Jane says it is a personal vendetta against her.
Alina talks in complete sentences and everyone looks at her as a threat.
Dan blames NaOnka and Alina equally for stealing the food. NaOnka actually takes full credit! Fabio hates NaOnka so much, it is the reason to root for Fabio.
NaOnka thinks the punishment she suffered for it was enough, her punishment was that no one talked to her. Fabio and Benry react in disbelief.
Awww, that is cute, Alina. She thinks the vote will come down to the best argument. Honey, no.
And Benry calls Alina a…dirt squirrel? What? Dude is fucking weird.
Alina goes home, everyone voted for her except Jane. Jane is disappointed. Probst notes that they are still making group decisions.
Episode 9 – “Running the Camp”
Previously on Survivor: Brenda and Sash calling the shots, Marty on top of the hit list (behind Alina, I guess), though they blame the Alina boot on the food thing. Marty threw Jane under the bus.
NaOnka thinks the tribal shook things up, despite this being a near-unanimous vote.
Jane is now calling Marty, “Farty.” That is the kind of wit you get on Survivor: Nicaragua folks!
Marty is wondering who put his name down. It was Jane, dummy. Someone else says it was Holly. Marty believes that person because he is a dummy. Gonna give you a hint Marty: it was Jane, dummy.
Marty has a really complicated plan he is pitching to Benry and Dan. Meanwhile, he is saying that already Jane has a winning number at final 3 on the jury. The thing is that Marty, besides being bad at the game, doesn’t get along with anyone here except maybe Dan, Benry, and Fabio.
They drew for teams randomly and ended up men vs women. Chase doesn’t get picked and bets on the girls winning. (His allies are mostly on the girls side).
The obstacle is literally breaking through sticks. (Editor’s note:
literally) The men’s greater mass helps them a lot there. The men are slowed down by Dan. Shocker. And then they have to break through a brick wall. Jane is struggling hard.
“The women hit the brick wall!” This is literal, they don’t even move it at first. (Editor’s note: literally!)
Purple Kelly is crying because she is hungry.
Marty criticizes Chase for sticking with the girls. It is called a social game, Marty. It’s that thing you don’t have.
Dan tells us there aren’t ziplines in Brooklyn except if you are a burglar.
Also ziplining was “okay” for Dan. I would think Dan would love ziplining because he can move without actually doing anything.
Marty wants to convince the guys he is good at the game and has a plan. (The plan is target NaOnka to flush her idol, then vote for Chase).
Dan calls Chase “a bad horse to run.” Sash is also obviously not interested in the plan.
Brenda thinks Chase made a dumb move, and doesn’t think he makes smart moves. Brenda, your master game player, everyone!
Chase also says that if he doubts Brenda it will drive her away, so he decides to not push her. Again, this is a smart decision.
Of course he doesn’t follow his own advice and immediately talks to her. Brenda doesn’t respect Chase at all. She compares him to a baby, then makes some comments about men’s roles and blah blah blah. Guys, Brenda sucks. Stop defending Brenda, she is bad at the game and she also seems like a fucking terrible person. (Editor’s note: If citation is needed, see Caramoan final tribal council.)
Jane starts invoking religion to call Marty evil.
The first round of a memory challenge claims everyone but Benry, Chase, Fabio, Marty and Brenda (it was only 6 long). Benry is knocked out and says, “Come on, Brenda.” This is an easy Marty vote coming up right?
Yeah, Brenda wins.
Benry then talks to Fabio and Fabio says, “I hate playing stupid so much, but it is the smartest thing to do right now.” (Editor’s note: It also probably requires the least effort.)
Fabio talks about laying low and not ticking people off being a good strategy, and honestly he is not wrong.
Did NaOnka say that she is straight from South Detroit, L.A.? I could not have heard that right.
Haha, Chase sees right through their plan and lays out exactly what master strategist Marty is trying to do.
Sash and Brenda are worried that Chase and his clique of women are calling shots. THAT IS WHY CHASE IS BETTER AT THE GAME THAN YOU ARE, BRENDA.
Brenda: “I like to be in charge and I kinda am in charge, so it comes down to what Sash and I want.” So you and Sash are in charge? But you were just talking about Chase calling shots.
Also, Fabio can count numbers. Fabio is a dummy, but he gets the game better than a lot of people on this season (like Jane, NaOnka, Dan, Kelly at least). (Editor’s note: Counting numbers is the bar for getting the game better than a lot of people on this season. Great season, though. Can’t believe we ranked it dead last.)
Jane is now trying to walk back some Marty stuff, weirdly.
NaOnka doesn’t want to talk about the food any more. NaOnka calls herself a humanitarian. She was going for human. Probst nails it, she doesn’t like Marty because he strategizes.
Also Fabio tries to talk and NaOnka just yells at him the moment he opens his mouth.
NaOnka is all “I’m not intimidated” and Fabio rightly points out that something is under her skin. Which only irritates her more.
Probst doesn’t get why NaOnka is still here, and can only surmise she is around as a goat. Also she is all “this is who I am, if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.” I’ve got to go back to my Justified quote: if you meet an asshole, you met one asshole. If all you meet are assholes, you are the asshole.
Marty’s master plan doubly fails- not only does he not flush the idol, he goes home. However, he did get a lot of people to vote with him, so we actually have minority alliance for once! (It was Fabio, Benry, and Dan).
Episode 10 – “Stuck in the Middle”
Previously on Survivor: Sash and Brenda are king and queen, and everyone else a peasant. Brenda says “they need to remember their place.” Sash betrayed Marty’s plan, Chase is close to Brenda and Jane. Brenda and Sash squash his plan and have a lot power.
Brenda: “Tribal council shows where allegiance really is.” She targets Benry, Fabio, and Dan. And then she says Sash is more of a “queen and herself a king.” (Editor’s note: Cool Shannon callback, bro.)
Guys, Brenda fucking sucks. This isn’t female empowerment, this is just Brenda conforming to gender stereotypes and running down people who don’t fit in them. Chase has feelings? He is stupid and a baby and not a man. Sash is a queen.
Also Holly goes to Jane and tries to convince her that her real alliance is with Chase and NaOnka. Why is everyone with NaOnka dammit?
Holly is trying to get a vote against Brenda, and goes to Benry. HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, SOMEONE IS PLAYING THE GAME!
Also, apparently Purple Kelly crawls up Brenda’s “bleep”. I would like to see that…
Even NaOnka is calling Brenda “Marty Jr.”
Jane: “I don’t befriend myself with villains, that is why I’m with you NaOnka.” I hate so many people!
Chase thinks Benry should go first, but is again stuck in the middle. He doesn’t trust Benry. And that makes Holly nervous.
The reward challenge is the barrel challenge that we saw again in Worlds Apart, where Fan Favorite Game Changer Sierra Dawn Thomas rode that barrel to a loss.
NaOnka gave a confessional where she didn’t insult or demean someone! It’s a miracle! (The confessional was basically “I’ve never been in a helicopter.” Still, though.)
Probst called it volcano surfing, but it seems more like volcano sledding.
Fabio asks what is happening at camp, the response: “I don’t care.” Smash cut to…
the camp burning down. Good work, editors. Also, who is the Butch?
They sheltered the fire from the rain with wooden chests? Yeah no shit it caught fire! (Editor’s note: The people on this cast aren’t aware of how fire works.)
Chase asks who is running the show. Fabio has no idea who is running the show. And then NaOnka pulls him aside. Like in front of everyone and mid-sentence.
Chase to Purple Kelly: “You never talk, do you?” “I know, it’s kinda funny really.” “Weird.” This was the best moment the entire season.
NaOnka tells Chase everyone wants Brenda gone, and that she wants Brenda gone. They don’t trust Chase because “he is scatter-brained.” The perception of Chase is more powerful to these people than the reality of Chase.
Chase tells Brenda that Holly is trying to change the game up and vote out Brenda.
Now Brenda is thankful for Chase. She isn’t impressed with the plan against her. I think she goes home.
NaOnka is flipping to Holly and Jane because Chase is running around telling everyone. Benry says Chase is being played by Brenda.
Jane: “Chase is sucking up to Brenda like he wants to get in her pants.” I mean… probably, yeah.
Now everyone is wondering what is wrong with Chase. Indecision fucking kills games, people. If there is any lesson, it is that. Do not betray outward indecision.
Jane wins immunity, moments after saying she was going to give up.
Now Sash and NaOnka are talking about Chase pissing them off. And NaOnka goes from saying she will keep this quiet, to telling Sash that is the plan. Way to keep it a secret, NaOnka.
Chase tries to talk to Fabio and Holly comes running over and just tells them Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. Meanwhile, the editors keep showing a snake before going to Chase. Juxtaposition!
Brenda is all “NaOnka won’t vote for me, you are terrible.” You trusted someone who steals and lies and now you are surprised?
Meanwhile, they are blaming Chase for telling Brenda, when NaOnka told Sash who has the fucking idol! These goddamn people.
Brenda: “I didn’t want to vote Marty.” BULLSHIT.
Alina is super happy that NaOnka is turning on Brenda.
Purple Kelly: “I think that, well I think that I am out of the loop.” (Only she says it with like seven more likes. Like, you know?)
Probst: “Are you too proud to scramble, is that beneath you?” Brenda: “Yep, scrambling means you have already lost.” Alina and Marty hate her. See, I knew I liked Alina for a reason.
Holly: “You should have scrambled.” Wait, do I like Holly? Is that a thing now?
Brenda looks at Sash expecting the idol, so does Chase, and he doesn’t give her the idol. She is giving him the looks too, big grin and everything.
If you couldn’t tell from my live thoughts, these are the episodes where I found myself turning from contempt to outright hatred of this season. And the thing is that episode 10 has all the hallmarks of a good episode of the show! But in everything it does right it leads to ends that are just terrible. So what we see in these three episodes is a San Juan Del Sur-esque targeting of anyone who has a strategic bone in their body.
But that is not why these episodes are bad. It is because the first two we watched are dreadfully boring, and then in the Brenda boot we finally see some people making a move and no one tries to make a move in response. In fact, most of the response to Brenda being targeted is people talking shit about Chase. Everyone in this season is happy to go along as long as they are not the target.
The other thing that became clear to me during these episodes is how much I hate Brenda. Besides the toxic friendship with NaOnka (which amusingly bites her in the ass), there is the obvious high school cheerleader worldview she subscribes to, with the popular on top, where men must be strong and silent. She mocks Chase for displaying emotion, she calls Sash a queen to emphasize how he isn’t manly enough, and she basically looks down on everyone this season as being lower class than her. If anything, I think the show hid how distasteful she really is. I’m kinda amazed that people defend her, but then I guess she is pretty, so…
Meanwhile, we have Holly finally trying to actually play the game in episode 10, and displaying a feisty personality in doing so. Fabio basically gives his strategy on how he could win (lay low and win challenges). And as I keep pointing out, Chase (especially before the Brenda boot) continually displays good instincts and then poor execution. He knows what he should do, but he rarely follows through. And his continual displays of indecision make it seem like he is being led around by everyone else (in reality he has managed to maintain alliances with everyone despite looking like an obvious challenge threat).
One potentially interesting thing is how the show refuses to draw lines. With nine people left there should be a clear majority alliance or at least the core of one, but I’m not sure I see it. To the extent there is one, I’d say that Jane and Holly and Chase are in it, with maybe NaOnka and whoever they can get as their fifth. Benry and Dan and Fabio are probably together, with Sash and Purple Kelly the swing voters. But the show rarely actually shows this. This could be an interesting time in the game, only I know what comes next, so even this potentially pivotal next vote will be fatally undermined.
Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan