'Survivor: Nicaragua' Recap: A Tribal Council for the Ages
'Survivor: Nicaragua' Recap: A Tribal Council for the Ages
Ben Watson
Ben Watson
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Well here we are, back for another episode of Survivor: Nicaragua, and what a doozy it was! 19 are left, who will be voted out tonight?

Of Shoes and Socks

Remember last week when Jimmy Johnson told everyone that he didn't want to be thought of as the leader? Well, it looks like that ship has sailed. From the moment the episode began, it became clear that Jimmy J. is the boss around camp. Jimmy J. (when can we start officially referring to him as "Coach?") is running Espada like a well conditioned football team, and everyone except Jimmy T. appears to be on board.

It was nice to see that Holly feels bad about voting off Wendy, but I'm starting to think Holly may not be all that stable. She pulled out a big gun Survivor move, and messed with Dan's shoes. She straight put sand in Dan's ($1,600, alligator) shoes and sent them off to sea. That is a serious play! But unlike the big timers, Russell and Rupert who pulled similar moves in previous seasons, Holly immediately felt bad about it and confessed to Dan. I'm still trying to decide if that was an honorable move or an idiotic blunder.

After spending more time in La Flor's camp this week I am beginning to see their disadvantage: they are mostly morons. The major dimwit is surprisingly not Fabio. No, NaOnka definitely has taken on the role of most annoying La Flor member. I think she has yet to have an interview when she doesn't mention Kelly B. leg. Also, NaOnka stole a pair of Fabio's socks and then yelled at him when he confronted her about the situation.

How about Sash's idea for an all minority alliance? He said that they have a bond that no one else can share. I have to admit, that would be pretty interesting. Too bad it would mean that you had to have NaOnka on your team because she is as gone as Holly.

A Somewhat Challenging Challenge

I was happy to see that this week's reward/immunity challenge proved more physical than last week's. Seeing the castaways schlep through the mud helped curb any worry I had that the whole "Older vs. Younger" angle would make challenges boring. We can now put that concern to rest.

Espada opted to use the MOP, and while I was watching them almost lose the challenge, it hit me: the MOP is probably there in order to give Espada a shot at winning a challenge. They ultimately won the challenge, but can you imagine the beating that would have occurred if they chose not to use the MOP?

Speaking of physical, Kelly B. proved today that she is not going to let an artificial leg get in the way of being incredibly competitive. I was very impressed by the way she owned that course. Contrast that with NaOnka's decision to sit out of the challenge. What? Are you kidding me? Last week she said she would challenge Kelly B. to a foot race and this week she is sitting out on a challenge. I almost couldn't believe it.

Also, someone pointed out in the comments something interesting. Why do the tribes have names if Probst is just going to refer to them by each tribe's collective age? You're better than that Probst.  

The Great Tribal Massacre

Let me take a breath because this was a tribal for the ages! I was not prepared for everything to fall apart so quickly for La Flor. Let me echo Probst when I say that in all the seasons of Survivor I have never seen an opening question open that much whoop-ass at a tribal council. I can't even remember the initial question. Things spiraled out of control so quickly; I had to fasten my seatbelt.

We have Shannon asking if Sash is gay, NaOnka ripping into Fabio for no apparent reason, and Chase revealing to everyone that he is in two alliances. Have you people ever seen the show before? You don't start whipping out that level of crazy at your first tribal.

Oh, and do you want to know the most shocking part of tribal? Fabio may be the smartest male on the team. Think about it. During the meltdown Fabio was trying to get Shannon, who I assume was in his alliance, to calm down. He also chose his words carefully when he was being called out by NaOnka. He seemed very aware of the social aspect of this game. He may be a dumb blonde, but tonight he is the tribal MVP.

The tribe voted, and it is Shannon that is sent packing. Good riddance! His inability to censor himself proved that he could never win this game. It's not all about the how strong you are physically Shannon, you have to play smart as well.

After watching the destruction that was tribal council I started rethinking this season's structure. I went into it thinking that Espada had the disadvantage because of their age, and therefore lack of physicality. Now I am beginning to see that although the members of La Flor are in great physical shape; social and developmentally they are kindergartners compared to Espada.

(Image courtesy of CBS)