This past week, another major player is sent packing and the balance-of-power appears to have shifted to two of the unlikeliest players in the game – Holly and Jane. Who’d of thunk it? Not me.
The episode opens with the Libertad tribe licking their wounds after sending Marty home. For Holly, Jane, Danny, Benry and Fabio, the vote clearly indicates that Brenda and Sash are not aligned with them and likely running the show. Holly and Jane see the writing on the wall, and vow to work together to shake things up.
As the reward challenge approaches, so to does a massive wind and rain storm. The team decides to protect their shelter and belongings by huddling everything close to the fire. I’m no Survivorman (different show) but I am aware of the fact that wood burns. Apparently the tribe is not so aware of this, and despite the teachings of cavemen from thousands of years ago, they protect their fire with their belongings which are safely inside LARGE WOODEN CRATES.
The Reward challenge is a classic team-building game where the tribe is divided into two teams and must use barrels, planks and rope to make their way across a large field without ever touching the ground. I believe I did this exact exercise (minus the barrels) at pre-camp one year in early ‘90’s.
The teams are Chase, Kelly, Jane, NaOnka and Fabio versus Sash, Holly, Brenda, Dan and Benry. On paper, I would have given the edge to Sash’s team, but what do I know? Chase’s team easily figures our a system and work well together to easily win the reward – a helicopter trip to the Cerro Negro volcano and a Survivor picnic.
While enjoying pizza and brownies the reward winners talk a little strategy. Chase asks the group who they think is running the show, and before he can finish answering, Fabio is pulled aside by NaOnka who explains that they are gunning for Brenda. She’s making a power move and Fabio is happy to play along. They share with the group and Chase is left scratching his head.
When the reward losers return to camp, they are shocked to find that the high winds caused the fire to burn the LARGE WOODEN CRATES and melt everything inside (machetes, pots, food and fishing tools) as well as burn part of their shelter and tarp. “This is a day from hell,” espouses Benry.
When the winning team returns to camp, Chase immediately takes Brenda aside and lets her in on the plan in play to get rid of her. Brenda plays it calm and decides that she doesn’t need to do much at this time. She is comfortable in her position within the tribe and her alliances. She also figures that Sash, and his idol, have her back.
The immunity challenge is a test of strength and endurance as the players must support themselves on a small board over water by holding a rope – every five minutes they slide their hands further down the rope making it tougher to hold on. The final three are Chase, Benry and the miraculous Jane who toughs it out against the big boys and wins immunity. Jane is proving to be the Yoda of Survivor Nicaragua in more ways than one.
As the tribe scrambles to align their votes, Chase appears to be Brenda’s only loyal ally. He refuses to say he’ll vote for her, while even Sash admits that the tides have changed following a discussion with the always scheming NaOnka – props girlfriend.
At tribal council, Brenda appears confident even though the votes seem to be piling up around her. When the votes are cast, she looks at Sash, I believe asking for his idol, but Sash doesn’t budge. In the end, the self-proclaimed queen of Libertad is voted out of the game.
Brenda’s departure certainly puts Chase in a bad spot and likely takes some of Sash’s power away (although he still has the idol). With Jane, Holly, Danny, Benry and Fabio apparently aligned, and NaOnka, Chase, Sash and Kelly acting as free agents, it’s a crapshoot figuring out who goes next. My guess is Chase’s head is next on the chopping block.
The Scribe Has Spoken…