You know Survivor is well under way when the opening few scenes of the episode are last weeks losing tribe huddling around pretending everything is ok after a brutal tribal council that night. I always get a kick out of this part of the episode, you get to see these people stand around and try to be friendly and nice after some nasty shit was said just an hour or so prior. It’s like having a nasty breakup with someone where you say the worst things in the world to each other, only to realize you’re 2 hours away from home and need to drive together in one of the most awkward moments of your life. That’s Survivor for you!
This week I’ll begin on the Espada tribe, where they’re still in pretty good spirits despite a close victory while using the medallion. Nobody mentions the fact that they’re a) old, b) tired, and c) have the potential to be extremely short handed the next immunity challenge. In fact, aside Marty, the whole tribe is running around having a grand ole time talking to monkeys.
Marty spends the morning grumbling about how they have a celebrity on their side, and how the entire team is essentially lining up to jerk off the coach, while he’s left with blue balls. After some convincing from Jill, he decides he wants some kudos and pulls out the immunity idol he found and declares it’s for the team to use when they get down to the merge. It’s a very hollow gesture, and Tyrone sees right through it, but that move easily swayed Jimmy T who now decides to hold a grudge against the only real solid leader of the tribe. (yes, I’m becoming a Jimmy Johnson fan, he’s worked his ass off so far)
After some time, and some really weak moments by Dan, the tribe starts to realize that he may actually be weaker than the 100 year old Jimmy Johnson, so Mr Mafia gets his defenses up saying how he’s not all that weak (despite him struggling to walk), and while he’s not as strong as the other guys, he’s about as strong as the women on his tribe. Oh, and according to him, the women are built like Mooses[sic].
While there was no monkey chatting on the LaFlor tribe, they were getting along surprisingly well for a tribe that was essentially split down the middle the night before. I mean Jud, Alina, and Kelly Bruno basically know they’re fucked in the game now (unless a miracle happens), so they’ve seemed to accept it and just sit around watching “Team Minority + Kelly” plan how they’re going to pick them off one by one. However this is Survivor and a 5 person alliance is only as strong as it’s weakest (or craziest) link, and right now that seems to be NaOnka – more on that later.
Right now those three kind of remind me of watching some sad nature show where a pack of lions take down some deer and the rest just kind of sit there watching helplessly wondering if they’re going to be a meal soon.
It’s kind of sad, really.
But, like I said above, anything can change in this game, and it usually does, so keep your head up Alina and Kelly B.
IMMUNITY + REWARD CHALLENGE
The plotting, waiting, and worrying is over, now it’s time to find out who is going to tribal council and who isn’t! Espada takes their routine walk into the challenge, and likely waiting to see what type of taunt LaFlor has in store for them this week, but nothing. LaFlor, showing signs of defeat, just walk in normally this time. No march, no crazy dance.. definitely a tribe divided.
This challenge was a weird one where there was a basic set of instructions, but no real rules like there normally is. Teams had to go retrieve 10 barrels, place them into a pyramid shape, then anyone they chose could throw little beanbags and try to get them to land on each barrel. First to land on all 10 barrels wins. It was an odd challenge because usually they require teams to send out ‘x‘ players to retrieve, then alternating ‘y‘ players to throw, but not this time. This type of rule-set is good to have in an old vs young challenge, where on physical challenges, Espada can send out Tyrone to fuck shit up. In this challenge, however, any player could throw bags and it would have helped Espada to not have a strong player (like Benry) remain throwing.
Jeff then gave LaFlor the option to use the medallion, which would have started them off with 2 barrels placed, and to bags on top of the barrels, but after some discussion, they chose to keep the medallion for next week. Pretty bold move on their part despite reeling from last week, but should send a big message should they win the challenge.
The challenge started, and it was surprisingly pretty even for the first part of it, mostly due to Tyrone dominating the shit out of stacking the barrels, then it came down to Benry vs Tyrone throwing most of the beanbags for each team save a few throws by Jimmy T and Chase. This was a re-match of last challenge where Tyrone was able to get the bags in barrels and Benry choked causing his team to lose. Could he get redemption?
The score stayed pretty close early on, going 1-1, then 2-2, but Benry starts choking again and Tyrone pulls ahead 6-3 which prompted a brief change to Chase who also failed. After some rest Benry came back, and came back strong…
Espada 6 – LaFlor 4
Benry nails 2 more…
Espada 6 – LaFlor 6
Things are getting tense on the Espada tribe now. Jimmy T is talking to Jimmy Johnson like he’s a rookie trying to get the coach to put him in. “Come on coach, I can do it! Trust me!” Coach ignores Jimmy T’s pleas for now then Benry nails the next 3 to Tyrone’s 1
Espada 7 – LaFlor 9
Coach Johnson finally yanks Tyrone for Jimmy T who nails his first shot…
Espada 7 – LaFlor 9
Can this be the turn around Espada needed? Will Jimmy T pull a Mariano Rivera and close out the game for Espada? Why am I talking like this is a sports event? I guess Coach Johnson even got me fired up! However, before Jimmy T can mount his epic comeback, Benry nails it. Game over, LaFlor wins.
Espada 7 – LaFlor 10
LaFlor gathers their goods, and heads back to camp. Wait and minute, what’s this Kelly Bruno finds in the fruit? It’s another clue to the immunity idol! However, not all is good as NaOnka also spots it which causes a lot of tension between the two on the walk back to camp, which promptly results in a wrestling match over the clue!
wait for it…
wait for it…
NaOnka wins the wrestling match, snatches the clue and walks down the beach like a bad-ass. Hey NaOnka, you just wrestled a piece of paper from a one legged girl, don’t act like you just took down Randy Couture. All the while, Jud is still on 15 minute delay and finally finds out the girls not only wrestled, but smashed the bananas. Poor guy, he’s so clueless, it’s funny. I hope he sticks around for awhile because of that.. I really do.
After brushing herself off and getting over her victory party, NaOnka pulled the clue out of her bikini top (which btw seems pretty see-thru seeing as her nipples are always blurred), and went into the woods with Brenda Lowe to search for the idol. Both stood around staring at the clue like it was written in hieroglyphics, and after a few minutes of throwing out some ideas, they gave up and headed back. This is one area where the older team definitely dominated.
Over on the Espada tribe, things weren’t nearly as exciting, in fact they were pretty dull in comparison. Marty is channeling his inner Russell Hantz by trying to over-play the game far too early, constantly trying to strategize while the rest of the team just seems content on picking off the weakest players on the team and gearing up for a post-merge run with whatever they have left. Watching Dan hobble around for the past few days, it was becoming clear on nearly everyone’s mind that he needed to go, but Marty and his new bff Jimmy T had their sights set on someone else for different reasons – Coach Jimmy Johnson.
While Jimmy J is clearly one of the weaker players on a tribe, he’s very good for a leadership point of view this early on. I do agree with Marty that Jimmy had to go before he flew under the radar post-merge, but was he thinking too far ahead by not targeting Dan? Tyrone clearly thinks so and let it be known to Marty in a very awkward conversation that started like they were best friends and ended like Marty just tried to proposition Tyrone for sex.
OFF TO TRIBAL COUNCIL
Like most of the Espada side of the episode, Tribal Council was pretty dull despite Jeff trying to instigate some type of arguments like last week. Having tribes set up this way is definitely interesting, as you get to see the night and day maturity levels of the groups. Despite Jeff prodding, Espada really didn’t take the bait and start arguing, especially for a minor Jimmy T meltdown. They handle everything on a very mature level as opposed to LaFlor which, well, acts like what they still are, kids. Of course the physical side will go to LaFlor, but I am really liking having an all mature tribe to watch.
Anyway, because it was so uneventful, I’ll spare you the drama (or lack thereof) and just say it was eventually pointed out by even Jimmy Johnson himself that he was the weakest and oldest player on the tribe, and the votes were cast:
- Jimmy T – Jimmy Johnson
- Jill – Jimmy Johnson
- Holly – Jimmy Johnson
- Marty – Jimmy Johnson
- Yve – Jimmy Johnson
- Jimmy J – Dan
- Tyrone – Jimmy Johnson
- Dan – Jimmy Johnson
- Jane – Jimmy Johnson
Jimmy Johnson is the 3rd person voted off Survivor: Nicaragua