Season 21 of Survivor hasn’t exactly been the barn-burner I had hoped for. Let’s face it, when the most exciting thing to happen this week was Jane, the 56-year-old dog trainer/country bumpkin, secretly cooking herself a fish in the forest before sharing the rest with her tribe, the game is in trouble. For now, I blame the producers for casting such a boring group of castaways, but time will tell if the season can be salvaged following the merge.
Last week was really more of the same story line we’ve seen for a few weeks. Marty and Jill attempt to get in the good books of the La Flor tribe, while Espada wrestles with the decision to vote out the weak (Danny) or the threatening (Alina).
At the reward challenge, the tribes compete for a chance to go horseback riding and enjoy a home-cooked breakfast. The teams play a game that looks like water polo meets the NHL shoot-out with one player acting as a goalie protecting his net while the opposing tribe’s player leaps off a platform while trying to put a ball in the net before entering a pool of water. Of note during the challenge was Danny’s inability to run, throw, jump or get the ball from his side of the platform to the net – something not lost on NaOnka. Also, Fabio/Jud took his time in the pool between shots as an opportunity to relieve himself in order to improve his concentration. Yuck. Despite Fabio’s tactics, Espada, on the strong play of Benri, win reward.
At La Flor, the tribe sleeps away their day while Jane, their eldest, collects wood, cleans camp, builds a fire and goes fishing. As a reward to herself, Jane cooks the biggest catfish in her bucket for herself, enjoying every bite while the others waste the day away.
The immunity challenge is a team effort where you have to roll different sized cannonballs down a long moveable ramp in order to break a set of tiles on the ground. Benry (by the way…what kind of a name is Benry?) proves to be invaluable once again for Espada, leading his team to a win and immunity. Meanwhile, Marty and Jill are back on the chopping block over at La Flor…and they know it.
With Sash and his alliance of Brenda and Fabio looking to flush out the idol, a plan is developed to get Marty to give-up his idol for a chance to stay in the game. Sash convinces Marty to give him the idol in exchange for two weeks of immunity (this and next). While Marty doesn’t exactly trust Sash, he realizes he has very few options left and at least this move could get him to the merge.
At Tribal Council, Marty calls-out Jane for flipping on her old Espada tribe, but Brenda comes to her defence. Jeff questions how Sash ended up with the idol, and during his answer he makes a Freudian slip about using it when he loses trust in his tribe (oops!). I was convinced that Marty was going home just like Erik the ice cream scooper did in season 16 when he gave up the idol, but I was wrong. Sash stayed true to his word, and instead, Jill – Marty’s only ally in the game – was sent packing.
I hope things pick up this week with the merge. The questions going forward are whether or not original tribe alliances are still in place or will some of the new alliances take precedent. Will Marty be able to re-align himself with the old Espada or will the La Flor tribe be reborn and send the old Espada packing one at a time. Either way, it can only get more exciting from here.
The Scribe Has Spoken…