Purple Rock Watch-Along: Survivor Nicaragua Finale

It is the Finale and Reunion 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: everything! Because we are done! One of our long national nightmares is finally over!


Previously on Survivor: There are 5 left, and no one would have predicted these 5. Dan wore $1600 shoes, was ineffective or sat out of challenges, but has no enemies. Holly stole Dan’s shoes on day 5 and tried to quit, but she’s now the godmother and took out Brenda. Chase revealed his final 3, but every person Chase was aligned with he voted out. Sash was a dead man walking on day 28 (really, show?) and he made secret side deals with everyone. (Editor’s note: Unrelated to mortgage payments. Stop it, conspiracy theorists.) No one was in a deeper hole than Fabio, who won the last challenge and is now a serious player.

What a final five.

Fabio wants to break up Sash, Holly and Chase. He and Dan want Holly out. Holly comes over and she is all, “It’s anyone’s game!” So Fabio asks, “Ok, why not go to the end with me?” And Dan adds, “Hey, why not me?” She has no answer, because she was just spouting meaningless platitudes guys, geez.

Fabio is now talking to Sash, and Sash is worried about him making an immunity run. Sash is making promises to everyone because he doesn’t realize breaking promises is a great way to make enemies.

Chase wants Fabio out next. He just needs to lose…

The challenge is basically 1) answer questions about Nicaragua, 2) get puzzle pieces, 3) solve puzzle. First question asked what country was on Nicaragua’s northern border, everybody gets it right. Second question is the term for the east coast of Nicaragua (Fabio misses). Third question asks what the term is for the Spanish conquerers- the wrong choice is matadors.

I think only Fabio missed a question (Dan is just so slow that Fabio still beat him). Fabio was way behind because of that question miss, but he is making up a lot of time on the puzzle. Fabio the puzzle king! He wins! Holly is stunned, as am I that Fabio trounced everyone on a puzzle.

Judson Fabio Birza – Puzzle Master

Holly is unhappy, because the plan was to vote him out. She is hoping that it is an easy Dan vote instead.

Fabio says his plan was always to wait to be aggressive, follow along and then make a move late. Let’s see if he can do that.

Dan and Fabio are talking and this like Dumb and Dumber. Dan actually asks Fabio how many votes they need. There are five people left, Dan! You need 3 votes! My god, this fucking season.

Dan has a weird sales pitch to Sash- he basically says that because Holly is from a small town she is a threat. Sash thinks she might be a threat because she is a woman and the jury has a lot of women. Sash is wondering how threatening Dan really is.

While Fabio and Sash are talking, Holly comes up and is all, “Who you voting for?” Fabio is like, “Oh, Dan of course. You would know that if you talked to me.” Way to flip that guilt, Fabio. Holly suspects that they were talking about her though, because of course they were.

Probst says that Dan’s strategy is, “Take me to the end, I’ll never win.” He could use a million dollars though, probably for those gambling debts.

Fabio thinks Holly is a “pretty cool lady.” Take that Monica Culpepper. Cool > neat.


Huh. A random vote for Chase, but Dan goes home. He didn’t even send his vote at Holly? Weird. Oh, Dan did it to show how much he disliked Chase. He considers Holly a crook and hopes they cut her hands off, then calls Sash a girl and makes weird sounds that are kinda like moans.

Sash, Holly, and Chase are all celebrating: “Final four! Yay!” Fabio is standing there next to them like…yay final four, I am on the outside.

Sash thinks everyone left will take him to the end, but wants Fabio to go home. Sash has no idea he is the goat. (Editor’s note: This is untrue. He totally would have won if the producers didn’t rig the game against him. Source: Probably Sash.)

Chase and Holly both think they will lose to Fabio at a final three. Holly knows they will have to turn on their own. She and Chase think Marty, Purple Kelly and Dan will all go Sash. HA!

Chase doesn’t like to lie, he thinks this is a million dollar challenge.

UGH rights of passage. I am glad they got rid of this segment. Chase on Shannon “I’m sure outside this game he is a great guy.” Because in the game he was an asshole … and probably outside it too. Kelly B. says she learned she had a thicker skin than she knew (because she never had to deal with NaOnka before). Fabio thinks NaOnka quit with an idol in her hand despite Chase playing it. NaOnka of course thinks she was the smartest player in the game. Dan thinks he will be less spoiled when he goes home.

Fabio is giving a confessional at the end of this segment and the music is crazy swelling and its like a blinking neon sign is above his head flashing “winner, winner, winner”.

Last challenge is stacking coins on the handle of a sword, stack falls and you are out. Every coin is slightly uneven, making them hard to stack. Fabio’s stack is leaning a lot. He readjusts it when he places the next coin, though it is still shaking a lot more than everyone else’s. Holly had one coin fall off, she is first out. Chase goes out next. Sash’s stack looks really good too, almost straight up. Fabio’s stack still is leaning a bit, but Sash drops the coin he is placing displacing a bunch on top and Fabio wins.

Fabio is happy that he gets to come back and see the other three sweat it out. Holly says she “needs water” and asks Chase to go with her. He looks visibly unsure whether he should go with her or stay and talk to Sash and Fabio. Sash is desperate and is trying to convince Fabio he should be with him. Sash is running down the jury, and Fabio is just grinning in the background. He is enjoying this power a lot. Sash: “Oh, I wouldn’t have taken Holly and Chase.” (He definitely would have taken Holly and Chase.) Fabio is still grinning, he knows it is bullshit.

Secret Targaryen Fabio sits upon his throne

Fabio tells Chase what Sash was saying, and Chase starts selling Sash out. Chase tells Fabio that he would have gone home if he didn’t win. I think Fabio appreciated that honesty. He thinks Holly is the only one that hasn’t lied to him.

Fabio tells the jury and Probst that Sash lied to him about taking him and the jury all laughs because they know Sash is full of shit. Now Sash is all “I have had many alliances with different people” and doubles down on saying he would have taken Fabio, and the jury is dying. They hate him (Editor’s note: Probably because he definitely offered to pay Jane’s mortgage, even though no one can corroborate this story.) Sash triples down, saying he has been the most honest to Fabio.

Holly voted out. Not a shocker. Fabio leaves the immunity necklace at tribal council.

r.obbed go.ddess

Sash thinks that Fabio and Chase don’t deserve to be here, and that he is the best. He says, “You two can be my wingman any day” because he is obviously a Top Gun fan, and Fabio is cracking up in confessional and is like, “Take a back seat man, I’ll show you how this is gonna go.” Even Fabio knows Sash is a goat.

Fun bit of Nicaragua trivia: this is the only season with an all-male final three. Even in seasons with final twos that were both men (which only happened twice anyway- Thailand and Tocantins), the last person voted out was not a guy.

Chase is still working the game he says, trying to get Fabio over confident. Chase thinks the difference between him and Fabio are the relationships he had with people. He says he didn’t come here for second place. (Editor’s note: Foreshadowing! Sorry, spoiler. Whatever. Fuck this season.)

Sash says he is going to the jury tonight and is going to be 100% truthful.

Sash takes the friendships more seriously than the alliances… not sure people can separate the two.

Brenda attacks Sash for breaking all his alliances (she can’t even get 5 words in before he cuts her off), she calls Chase her snuggle buddy, and felt they had an emotional attachment. Chase thinks he put his neck on the line for her. Sash says, “Oh, Chase could have done more,” and Brenda is like “You could have given me the idol you fucking asshole!”

Marty asks Chase to pick the dumbest person and says he can pick someone on the jury (camera lingers on Benry). Chase refuses to do so. Marty ends by congratulating Fabio’s run and change.

Holly asks Chase what was his most strategic move (sorry- strategical move) and Chase says voting out Shannon. She asks Fabio if winning those challenges was too little too late, and he is like “Ha! No, it was just enough, that is why I’m here.”

Jane considers Sash a NYC river rat, and she wants him to go crawl back in the sewers. She is pissed at Chase, but thanks him for making her time here fun. Chase says he wants to take care of his mom, and Fabio is like, “Yo man, me too. I want to take care of my mom.”

Dan thinks Sash is a liar and phony, and is spineless and wants him to stop winking (the show then adds in a wink with a star twinkle). Dan thinks Chase was the most paranoid player in the game, and says Chase back-stabbed him. (How?) He tells Chase that dumb is forever.

Purple Kelly asks Sash to explain how he outwitted, and he actually gives a good answer because he realizes that he hurt people.

NaOnka gives Fabio the chance to cry and be emotional. Said seeing his mom focused him on getting to the end. Everyone is crying.

Alina doesn’t want to give a million dollars to a boy, she wants to give it a man. She was impressed by Chase tonight, though.

Fabio says that Chase tried to get to the end by not offending anyone but that Fabio actually did that. And then when Sash cuts in, Fabio has the great “well you didn’t outplay anyone, Sash” response. I love seeing Fabio give Sash shit at the end. And I bet the jury loves it too.

Alina votes for Chase, says he really impressed her today. That is probably one of the big surprise votes. Otherwise its 5-4 Fabio, with Fabio getting Marty, Benry, Dan, and both quitters. Pretty interesting that under current jury rules, Alina would have been the swing and deciding vote.

Fabio looks really different at the reunion. Short hair and everything. Honestly he looks like a boy band reject. I think he is even wearing sneakers on stage. Also, Fabio was the youngest winner ever. I think that is still true, though maybe Sophie was younger. (Editor’s note: Whatever. I’m not going to check. I hear facts don’t matter anymore anyway.)

Gotta worry about those men’s alliances.

Another fun fact: This is the last season that was decided by one vote.

Fabio while trying to describe that he played a goofball sounds really fucking stupid… so yeah, not a total act. He does admit “I have been crazy all my life.” He also says his mom’s dad invented the color wheel and his mom looks like “No, that isn’t what I told you.” He wants to undermine the government and travel around and start a production company and travel around. He is way weirder than the show portrayed.

Chase admits he was wishy-washy all game. Chase is all, “It wasn’t a showmance, my mom would see that.”

Brenda admits that the day before she went home, she made a plan to take out Sash, which is why Sash didn’t give her the idol. This makes her lack of scrambling so much worse.

Probst thought Sash would be first out from his tribe.

Probst asks Chase about his passion which is music, and holy shit Chase did actually fulfill that dream. He is one of the more famous alumni for sure for outside-the-game reasons.

I hope Chase and Fabio inspired so much fan fic with this pic.

Hey, they brought Terry Bradshaw in! Terry was worried Jimmy wouldn’t survive. He wants to make sure everyone knows he is driven and he didn’t want to go home. So was the rumor that Jimmy asked to be voted out? Because that is how Terry acted.

Holly buys Dan some ostrich boots, because he has 20 other pairs of alligator shoes. Probst asks how rich Dan is. Dan is like “I can’t say that. What if the IRS is here?” He is so mafia.

Jane says Marty fluffed her off.

NaOnka greeted by pretty heavy boos. She said she did what she needed to do to win, and didn’t realize how she was going come across as a villain. She also says she would have left sooner if not for Chase. She didn’t know that “rainforest was going to be a rainforest.”

Probst introduces the rule that says you can’t be on the jury if you quit (or rather it is up to the show if you will be).

Jane was the Sprint player of the season. Ugh. Jane sucked.

Probst: “Shannon, I want to give you a chance to redeem.” Shannon: “Redeem what?” He then doubles down and is like hey if he looks gay, he must be gay. Probst is immediately sorry he asked Shannon anything.

Oh hey, Boston Rob is here. Why does Andy hate this season? It has his favorite player!

In the teaser for Redemption Island, the show obviously forgot about the Outcast tribe. The show does not mention the special returning players even though Boston Rob was just there.

Closing thoughts:

Oh thank god it is over. What did I think of these episodes? Who cares! I am done! But fine, I will try and keep my mind in it long enough for some final closing thoughts on the season.

First of all, I’ll just say that this finale was actually not that bad, which is surprising considering how awful the post-merge this season had been. Because, wow, the post-merge this season was awful and the last three episodes in particular were the worst of the season.

Still, for all that, this last episode didn’t have any of the same boneheaded decisions that I had come to expect. It even had Fabio at his best when he was clowning Sash. If Fabio was doing this all game and they didn’t show it that was just malpractice because that was the best part of the finale. The final tribal council was also surprisingly decent as Chase and Fabio both mounted fairly spirited cases for themselves and Sash imploded in very satisfying fashion.

There is one thing that merits further conversation though and that is NaOnka and Purple Kelly and their jury vote. I said earlier that it was surprising that Alina went for Chase, but I think it might be more surprising that NaOnka and Purple Kelly both voted for Fabio. After all, NaOnka gave her idol to Chase! NaOnka HATED Fabio! Purple Kelly was allied to Sash all game. Purple Kelly’s vote might make even less sense, but honestly we never had any idea what she thought about anything so who knows. This really makes no sense, but honestly I’m kinda happy Fabio won, so I won’t argue with it too much.

Final thoughts on the season: I think this season was as bad as Andy and John make it out to be, but in a way that I didn’t expect. As has been discussed a lot in these watch-alongs, this season is not quite as hateful as some other seasons. NaOnka is awful, but she is no Colton, she is no Will. The twist is bad, but we have seen other bad twists. The Medallion of Power is stupid, but it is gone so quick you don’t even remember it at the end.

Instead, what makes this season bad is that it is boring. Like really boring. And while the cast is bad, they are all bad in a similar way in that they are all terrible narrators. The season had to lean on NaOnka heavily despite her quitting because she was easily one of the best narrators. Shannon might have been  a top five narrator on this season and he lasted two episodes!

And the moments that are interesting are usually because people are being idiots. The double quit is truly awful though, and the last episode before the finale is one of the secretly worst episodes of the show. So it does manage to make an even stronger case that it is the worst season towards the end.

I am also kinda pissed that Brenda was invited back, because this is a perfect cast to ignore forever on returnee seasons. It is much more deserving of that dubious honor than Guatemala is.

But then we would’ve missed this!

In closing, I just want to say screw you guys for reading this and making me feel like I had to finish this season out. Why do you all hate me so? What are you going to do next, make me watch Thailand? You are all monsters!

Suggested reading for people who didn’t get enough of this season.