You can never get too comfortable playing the game of Survivor as too many elements are in play and the game can change on a dime at any time. This fact became abundantly evident in Episode 5 as the producers decided to do-away with the ‘young vs. old’ theme that has been a dud so far and shuffle the deck into two new teams. This, right on the heels of both Marty and NaOnka declaring themselves the King/Queen of their respective groups at the start of the show – the Survivor kiss-of-death unless your name is Russell.
Host Jeff wastes no time asking the tribes to drop their coloured buffs. He then hands out rocks to each of the players in order to declare new team captains – Holly for Espada and Brenda for LaFlor. Next Brenda must pick three of the old and older Espada to join LaFlor and Holly must draft four LaFlor to join Espada. At the end of the draw, the teams are completely mixed with Marty, Jane and Jill now on the LaFlor tribe and Chase, NaOnka, Alina and Benry on Espada. Back to the follow-out from the big shake-up in a minute, it’s time for a reward challenge.
The new tribes take part in a giant game of plinko (remember that old Price Is Right game?) with two players dropping balls down a large obstacle-laden wall while two opposing players try to catch them – drop the ball and the other team gets a point. First team to three wins. It’s a much closer challenge now that the teams have been balanced but in the end, Marty brings his old tribe’s losing ways to LaFlor by dropping the final ball to give Espada the win and a reward of two hens and a rooster – cock-a-doodle-do!
When the new Espada returns back to camp with their reward, old LaFlor members realize they are not in Kansas anymore. Espada barely has a workable shelter, there is no food and the tribe, despite their lack of amenities, runs a tight ship led by Tyrone. Espada likes to keep busy, work and follow a strict daily regimen…not very popular with the LaFlor four. Somehow, Holly of all people hits it off with the former LaFlor players by taking on a maternal role with the youngsters while Tyrone alienates the group by barking out tribe rules and roles. Things get very bad at Espada over the next two nights as their meagre shelter cannot protect the team from the downpour or rain and cold winds leaving NaOnka to consider going home. Amazinly, Alina and Chase – two of NaOnka’s enemies back at LaFlor – attempt to comfort her and coach her through the bad times. I would have left her for dead myself, but that’s just me.
At the new LaFlor, Marty, Jane and Jill are shown the LaFlor way – i.e. there is no way. The tribe chills out all day in their swanky shelter, eats well, rests and wins challenges. Jane bonds with a few of her new tribe-mates and warns them not to trust Marty or Jill. Soon Marty reveals to his new tribe that he is holding an immunity idol – smart of dumb, Marty is always playing the game.
The immunity challenge looks like something invented by the Girls Gone Wild crew as each team straps three girls to a large wheel. Their team-mates spin them around so the player on the bottom is submerged in a tank of water. The spinnees must take water in their mouths and spit the water out into a small cup/test tube contraption that, when filled, releases some balls the team will use to break tiles. Alina and Yve do a very good job at sucking in the water and spitting accurately into the cup, however, Fabio brings LaFlor from behind by breaking the last tile to give his tribe immunity. Espada is returning to tribal council.
At Espada, the decision is simple – get rid of NaOnka and her fragile mental state or kick-out Tyrone for bossing around the tribe. Before they decide on who’s going home, the tribe decides, to the dismay of Tyrone, to kill a hen for dinner. Despite his feelings about killing the bird, Tyrone doesn’t seem to mind eating his fare share and Benry notes that Tyrone has eaten more than anyone.
At tribal, Tyrone’s abrasive behaviour and lack of success at challenges results in his departure from the game – another ‘older’ player eliminated. As the game moves forward it will be interesting to see if a few of the older players can hang on, form alliances and stay in the game. If not, the old LaFlor will reunite at the merge and a youngen’ is winning Survivor Nicaragua.
The Scribe Has Spoken…