This week's Survivor: Nicaragua had it all: a raging inferno, intense strategizing, backstabbing — and even a backflip! In this season's best episode to date, the Libertad tribe finally wakes up and realizes they're being played by the self-described power players: Brenda (dubbing herself "the king") and Sash ("the queen"... wonder what Shannon would have to say about that!). Holly, once the crazy Espada member who threatened to quit on Day 5, starts chatting with Marty's old alliance of Benry, Dan and Fabio to get them to team up with her alliance of NaOnka, Jane and Chase. Together, they realize that if Brenda stays in the game any longer, it's only a matter of time before they get picked off one by one, so she must be eliminated. Before the tribe heads to their first challenge of the week, the rain starts to pick up and Fabio moves three wooden chests around the fire to protect it from the elements while they're away. Always thinking, that Fabio!
At the reward challenge, two teams of five must use four barrels, two wooden planks and a 10-foot rope to get their team across the beach without touching the ground. Chase leads his group with a winning strategy that involves ditching the rope and fourth barrel altogether, and they cross the finish line with ease as the other team tumbles and must start from the beginning. Their reward is a helicopter ride to the top of a Nicaraguan volcano where they enjoy some volcano surfing (rather, sledding) and a picnic of pizza, soda and brownies. At the meal, NaOnka takes Fabio aside and tells him that the time to vote off Brenda is now because she has become too powerful. Fabio, always flabbergasted when somebody starts talking strategy, likes this plan. Chase, meanwhile, is stuck with Purple Kelly and makes the astute observation that she doesn't talk very much, which elicits nervous giggles and agreement from our favorite silent tribe member.
When the losing team arrives back at camp, they discover Fabio's idea to keep the fire going has instead torched their camp, completely burning all three wooden chests, a section of their shelter's tarp, the machete handles and the majority of their remaining food. When the rest of the group returns from their reward, Chase decides to inform Brenda of the impending plan to vote her out because he inexplicably trusts her more than anybody in the game. The rest of the tribe gets very wary about Chase for running his mouth, but while Brenda admits she's worried, she does not start to "scramble" or strategize because she believes that would be a sign of weakness and defeat. Instead, she targets her anger towards NaOnka, once her closest ally in the game, and meets with Sash to decide that she must be voted out that night.
At the individual immunity challenge, each player takes a spot above a pool and must hang from a rope while leaning backwards. Every five minutes, they must move down a knot on the rope and the last person standing wins immunity. Not surprisingly, the players start dropping like flies from the very beginning, but most surprisingly, Dan is not the first one out! It ultimately comes down to Jane and Chase, who tells Jane he can stay in it for a long time if she wants to drop. She admits to getting finger cramps, but Probst talks her into staying on the platform a little bit longer. Chase soon slips up after readjusting and Jane — the oldest remaining woman in the game — wins individual immunity.
Back at camp, Chase once again lets his disagreement with the plan be known, and he goes to Sash to try to get him to vote out Benry and give his hidden immunity idol to Brenda. At Tribal Council, Sash admits there's been "reshuffling" in the tribe and Brenda starts attacking NaOnka for betraying her alliance and "jumping ship." NaOnka then deflects the attention from herself to Chase, arguing that he's been running around "with his head cut off" because he was paranoid.
When Jeff starts questioning Purple Kelly, she admits this is the first Tribal Council where she's been "completely out of the loop," yet somehow I find it hard to believe that's true. Brenda also tells Jeff that she will not scramble to save herself because she is too proud for that word and trusts her alliances in the game, namely Chase and Sash. When the votes are cast and Jeff asks if anybody wants to play the hidden immunity idol, Brenda glances towards Sash, who does not budge. Brenda votes for NaOnka, Purple Kelly wastes her vote on Benry and the rest of the tribe — including Chase and Sash — make Brenda the third member of the jury.
What did you think of last night's episode? Were you glad to see Brenda go? And who do you think has the best shot of winning the million-dollar prize?
This week's Survivor: Nicaragua had it all: a raging inferno, intense strategizing, backstabbing — and even a backflip! In this season's best episode to date, the Libertad tribe finally wakes up and realizes they're being played by the self-described power players: Brenda (dubbing herself "the king") and Sash ("the queen"... wonder what Shannon would have to say about that!). Holly, once the crazy Espada member who threatened to quit on Day 5, starts chatting with Marty's old alliance of Benry, Dan and Fabio to get them to team up with her alliance of NaOnka, Jane and Chase. Together, they realize that ...