It’s that wonderful time of the year! No, I certainly don’t mean winter (brrr), nor do I mean holiday season (kill me trying to shop between Nov-Dec), the wonderful time of the year is the time when both tribes in Survivor get together and push aside all their differences and merge! Wait, it doesn’t really happen like that, especially this season when the producers introduced a horrible Old vs Young format, then changed it mid game. All it really did was give the younger tribe the numbers, then split them up so they can learn their competition before re-joining to continue their systematic elimination of the older players.
More of the merge after the jump! Don’t worry, it’s not so gloomy, it was actually a pretty good episode
Wasting no time this episode, Fabio comes back with tree mail which tells them about the merge, and Espada also gets a notice that LaFlor will be heading into camp. Kind of weird choice since from the sounds of it, LaFlor was the far better camp, but maybe that was their plan. I assume they want to make conditions harder for them which causes more crazy moments like NaOnka crying about going home.
Of course a little hollow pre-merge planning happened on both sides. Brenda Lowe tried to include Marty in some type of LaFlor alliance which quickly went nowhere. Alina on the other hand, she took the effort to sit down Espada and really try to have this “We’re 6 strong” push, thinking Chase and NaOnka were suddenly going to turn on their LaFlor BFF’s. If anything, it was funny to see their reactions when Alina was trying to get this plan together.
Teams merged up, open the chest to find some rum, cookies, bread, and their new red buffs. Of course, they were also told to create a new tribe name, and Marty came up with it:
Libertad – spanish for “Liberty”
It doesn’t take long for Brenda and NaOnka to go off and catch up on the drama between the tribes, making no sense of surprise like last season when everyone felt Russell was on the chopping block but was really running the show on his tribe. Speaking of NaOnka, please give her less interview time, or tell her to calm down a bit! Everyone else talks into the camera, but half of Nay’s interview consist of her yelling like the camera man stole something from her.
That’s a good segue into the drama of the night, which involved NaOnka basically robbing the tribe of food and dishes for some odd reason. What she didn’t realize is that Holly spotted her toss the flour into her bag and walk away into the woods. She didn’t say anything yet, and I thought it was going to be another non-issue like Jane cooking and eating a fish in the woods by herself, but when people started noticing things missing, Holly stood up and called out NaOnka.
However, before she was caught, she decided to be friendly to Alina, knowing full well she was on the chopping block. Her reason? It was actually a pretty smart one, she was working the jury, something Russell refused to do which is why he never won. She brought her into the woods and even showed her the stash of stolen goods, which later prompted Alina to convince Nay to fess up and move on.
It didn’t go as smooth as Alina predicted, but she was right in the sense that NaOnka has an alliance which still decided to protect her after that, but keep a safe distance in order to prevent the scandal stink to spread on to them. Fabio was probably the most vocal about it, but nobody seems to really take him serious so his movement to be pissed at it seemed to fade really quick and the talk resumed to who was going home between Marty and Alina. Ignore the fact that NaOnka was a thief, in a strong alliance, and has an immunity idol, pick off the stragglers and swing votes!
This tribe is not thinking too hard this season.
In fact, one week too late, Marty finally realizes his departure is imminent, so starts playing the game and tries desperately to push focus on Jane, giving even Brenda something to think about, although it eventually did fall on deaf ears because Brenda has Jane’s vote in her back pocket, there is no reason to ditch her yet. Way to go Marty, good job playing now that your back is planted against the wall.
I almost feel misleading calling it challenge time, I should have probably called it “Lack of” Challenge Time, because yet again, they approach a challenge that was extremely physically easy. To their credit, it was supposed to be an endurance challenge, but it was too hard for that, yet too easy for a physical one. The goal of the challenge was to pull apart two metal handles that were holding up a pole. Any lack of tension allows the pole to drop on.. of course, a tile! (they had to throw in the tile, as I think Nicaragua must have given them a discount on them).
One note about the challenge, there are two winners of immunity idol this week. The last female and last male standing.
Ok, even describing it, maybe it wasn’t even that hard of an endurance challenge either, but the rate people were dropping, you’d think the pole weighed 50 lbs. Within seconds, Kelly Shinn, Dan, and Alina all dropped their poles (sounds dirty), and it didn’t take much longer for Brenda, Benry, Sash, NaOnka and Holly to drop theirs quickly leaving Jane as the last woman standing. She realizes holding poles up is her calling (watch out Fabio, she’s coming for you), so she remains in the competition to prove a point. What point is that you ask? My guess is that she’s more of a challenge threat than Dan, and will likely be going home before him. Dan is playing the ‘weak old man’ card perfectly.
Marty and Chase then drop their poles (again, dirty), leaving Fabio as the last man standing. He doesn’t care whether or not Jane beats him, so he drops his pole and Jane wins(?) the overall challenge. Grand Prize? Immunity for the night, exposure for the long run. Congrats Jane!
Not much happened after the challenge except for Dan cluing Marty in on the whispers of his name going home that night, which resulted in a mad scramble between Alina and Marty to get as many votes as possible before tribal council. Of course, no episode would be complete without the obligatory Brenda Lowe Ass wedgie shot. I almost thought the editors forgot about that!
The happy family atmosphere of Libertad was quickly squashed seconds into tribal council as Marty gives Jane an absolutely ass-whipping that could possibly open some eyes around camp. Of course it made Marty seem bitter and pissed, but in the end he had some points like I mentioned last week. Jane chose horrible people to align with early on in the game, and she is an older lady with her own sympathy vote who went against tough odds to be in the final 3, and will likely win the million dollars.
That may also work against Marty, as it could put a target so big on Jane that she becomes invisible, so the Jane situation should be interesting to see as the season continues.
Dan then speaks up which was shocking in itself, and brings up a touchy subject, NaOnka the thief. He rips Nay for stealing the food, and tries to pick up steam, but it quickly moved to Alina who was a slight accomplice in the theft. The light is again off Nay because she was already punished by “nobody talking to her”, and back on Alina who makes a last desperate attempt to get votes over Marty, and did it work?
No, it didn’t work.
Alina was the 9th person voted out, and the 1st member of the jury