Survivor Nicaragua – Maybe Not The Smartest On The Puzzle

When the producers of Survivor were drawing up their plans for season 21, Survivor: Nicaragua, I don’t think this is anything near what they envisioned.   They had this clever little plan to have a young and fit model types against an older, experienced tribe.   They threw in the medallion of power which was supposed to sway power back and forth, potentially giving the weaker (*cough* older) tribe a head start on challenges so they don’t get pegged off one by one.

Fast forward a bunch of weeks, the medallion was removed from the game because the younger tribe wasn’t even using it yet still winning, “old vs young” was scrapped, teams were shuffled once before they hit the merge, then their eye-candy was getting picked off one by one, slowly killing their male 18-30 demo.  Finally they were left with one person who brought drama with her wherever she went, and the other was the last bit of eye-candy even though she said like 5 words all season.   Yet in the same week, both quit the show leaving the remaining cast of an intense competitor (Benry), two ditzy people (Jane and Fabio), one major floater (Dan), one sap (Chase), and only two real thinkers (Holly and Sash).

So based on the way the season is going, you can almost expect Jane, Fabio, Dan, and Chase to somehow make it to the final 4, and while Fabio is entertaining to hear him talk, that’s probably the least ideal final 4 anyone could really want.    I know it’s hard to follow back to back seasons with one of the master manipulators of all time, Russell (love him or hate him), but the entire cast only had a few real thinkers to begin with, so it’s not shocking Sash appears to be the only one left who is still trying to play the game, with the occasional contribution from Holly.

Last night’s episode can basically be summed up by saying Sash ran around trying to be the middle man between the two “alliances” of Fabio / Benry / Floater Dan and Jane / Chase / Holly.

No Toilet Butt

First they had their reward challenge which was to revisit earlier challenges this season.  That means they had to throw some tiles to break other tiles while standing on tiles.  Just kidding, I think the Survivor crew used up all the breakable tiles in Nicaragua because surprisingly this challenge didn’t feature any!   Contestants had to dash under wires in the mud, use a stick to get the key from a loop, unlock a chest and throw bags at a barrel.  They also had the lame challenge of digging in the dirt with oars, finding rope and playing ring toss, but without the toilet butt effect.

Chase ended up winning the challenge and was allowed to bring two players on a pretty mediocre reward where they could have a shower and relax in a resort that pales in comparison to Ponderosa, but he did the right move in picking Holly who definitely deserved it, but then doing a Chase move, he picked Jane as the second person.  (Jane is the new Brenda)  This allowed Sash to go back to camp with Fabio, Benry and Floater Dan where it almost seemed certain they would convince Sash to come to their side and pick off the other three one by one then let the best men win the final challenge and make the final 3.

This years mastermind?

In most other seasons, Chase’s non thinking would have been him essentially cutting his own throat, but not this season.  Instead of Sash being worked by the three, he ended up doing the working and turned that little alliance on itself convincing Dan and Benry to vote for Fabio, all while convincing Benry to tell Fabio to vote Holly.   It was actually quite funny and sad to see at the same time.

It was then time to hit up the immunity challenge which ended up being team male fighting for their chance to stay in the game, even Dan!  Haha, just kidding.. Dan hasn’t been relevant on a challenge all season, and it didn’t start last night.   The challenge was to free enough rope to get a bag of puzzle pieces, and Sash, Benry and Fabio quickly made it to the final round, which was to put the puzzle together.   Benry spent the entire time staring at the puzzle like a caveman told to rebuild a carburetor, while Fabio kept cheating off the smart kid next to him and got close to finishing, but of course Sash finished first which gave him the idol this week, with a hidden idol in his pocket for future weeks.

The best part of the show was when they hit tribal council, it was time to introduce the jury which Jeff proudly did by calling NaOnka and Kelly the quitters, which they deserve.   Other than that, tribal council was pretty dull with Jane saying a few things nobody really cares about, Benry begging to stay in the game, and Sash sitting pretty knowing he has full control of the game right now.

The show went back and forth on who the female alliance were actually going to send home, but with not much of a shock, the intense competitor was sent packing leaving an even weaker remaining cast.   It was definitely smart for Sash to get rid of Benry, and it’s only a matter of time to see if he can make it to the finals.  If he can’t beat Dan, Chase, Fabio and Jane to earn a spot on the final 3, he doesn’t deserve to be there, Holly as well.    Right now it’s their game to lose.

Benry voted out

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