Thursday, November 18, 2010

Searching For Signal: #180 - “Survivor: Nicaragua” - Episode 10

So, everyone’s marching back to camp after they sent a very-surprised Marty marching through that creepy cemetery that probably doesn’t lead to anywhere fun. For the most party, everyone seems relieved that Marty and his hair are gone, except for Benry and Fabio. Then again, every single thing that ever happens seems to confuse Fabio, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

Brenda in a sidebar: Tribal Council showed the allegiances tonight. “We took out their little Marty.” Everyone thinks Sasha and I are the king and queen, but really, “Sash is more of a queen, and I’m the king.” (Then Brenda looks around for a swarthy peasant to race up and wash her feet with his hair. This doesn’t immediately happen.)

Jane and Holly get together. Holly: Now it’s you, me, Chase and NaOnka. (It is?) “Brenda has to be stopped.” Holly in a sidebar: “It’s time to make a power move.” (Then crickets chirp while sitting in Holly’s mass of kinky hair as she tries to figure out what a “power move” might be.)

Roll opening credits.

Shots of people wandering around and fussing about the rain. Fabio in a sidebar, while we watch folks perform what he’s talking about: We moved the chests around the fire to protect it from the water. (Um, is that really a good idea?)

Glimpses of Holly and Jane strategizing, with Holly pushing for a blindside of Brenda. Since Jane always seems to have the same expression no matter what, it’s hard to tell what she’s thinking. But Holly is super energized about this power move thing. In a sidebar: I could really keep going in this game! (Then dead crickets fall out of her hair and she thinks it’s raining again.)

Holly and Benry get together. Holly: “Sash and Brenda are in total control!” She then proceeds to lay out what’s happening at camp, and she’s actually very good in making her case, to the point that I’m thinking somebody replaced the person playing Holly during the middle of the night. It can happen. Just ask the cast of “Bewitched”. (In another sidebar, Benry confirms that he wants Sash and Brenda gone. Then again, this is the same guy that thought Marty walked on salty water.)

Shots of Jane running to work on NaOnka about sending Brenda home. Nay seems hip with it, but keep in mind that Nay spends most of her day ate up with the dumb-ass, and you never know what she’s going to do.

NaOnka in a sidebar: “Brenda’s like my best friend out here,” but she’s too powerful and we need to get her out. (Then Nay imagines that she hears a bird on the other side of the island talking smack about her, so she runs through the jungle to cut its throat.)

Holly marches up to Chase, with details of the Brenda plan. Chase, surprisingly, is not enthused about this. Really? Why would he not be?

Chase in a sidebar: “Benry should go first!” I don’t trust him. (Dude, I don’t trust him, either, but he’s a bit on the simple side. Worry about him later.)

Holly in a sidebar: “Chase is leery about sending Brenda home, which makes me a little nervous.” (Then Little Orphan Annie races up and asks if Holly is her momma, because they have the same hair.)

Time for the Reward Challenge.

Jeff explains: There will be two teams of five. You have to use barrels, ropes and planks to cross a section of beach. If anybody touches actual sand, your team will have to start over. Winning team gets to traipse around the edge of an active volcano, and then go have pizza. Survivors ready? Go!

It’s really not a contest. The yellow team (Brenda, Benry, Dan, Holly and Sash) completely suck, with people falling on their asses and Useless Dan somehow smashing his hand even though he isn’t doing anything. The blue team (Chase, NaOnka, Jane, Fabio and Kelly) basically race across the beach and triumph. They be gettin’ some pizza, yo.

Cut to the winners climbing out of a helicopter on top of this volcano. Part of the festivities include these folks riding boards down a slope of volcanic ash. They all whoop and holler like it’s the best thing ever, including Jane, who ends her ride by uttering “That was fun as crap!” (Still love her. Just keep it together, girl, and you just might make it to the end.)

Cut back to camp, where the sad losing team hasn’t arrived yet, but we see, as we sort of suspected, that the stupid decision to place wooden chests around the fire, “to protect it”, has had disastrous results. Flames are billowing and things are exploding. Not good.

And here comes the yellow team, totally stunned that the camp now looks like somebody had a frat party and things got out of hand. Ashes are everywhere, the chests are gone, the tarp over the hut is melted, and most of the food has moved on to a better place. Disparaging remarks are made.

Back to the volcano, where happy people are feasting on pizza and fixins’, totally unaware that the homestead has suffered a blow. Once fed and belching, they start to strategize, when NaOnka suddenly jumps up and drags Fabio away. (The other three just sit there, because when it comes to Nay, she just doesn’t have the social skills that a decent person should have.)

Off to the side, NaOnka spills the Brenda plan to Fabio. Interestingly enough, he’s quite fine with it, as long as they don’t let Brenda know about it. (Duh, Fabio. You would have to be an idiot to tell Brenda what was going on.)

Speaking of, once the volcano pizza eaters return to camp, Chase runs to tell Brenda what is going on. “And it’s Holly that is orchestrating the plan.” And Benry. (Well, Holly may have started it, but everybody else is knocking each other down to join the band wagon. Shouldn’t you tell Brenda that as well? Wait, my bad, I forgot that Chase having more than one thought in his head makes him go to a dark place.)

But get this. Brenda’s reaction in a sidebar: “I don’t have to do anything to beat them. I’m not that impressed.”

My fingers are so firmly crossed at this point that they kick her out that my fingers have almost snapped in two.

Quick meeting with Chase and NaOnka. He’s really pushing for Benry to go home. (What is his deal with Benry?)

NaOnka immediately runs to tell Benry. Dude, Chase wants your ass, and not in a fun way.

Benry in a sidebar: Chase is crazy.

NaOnka, always a very busy girl, runs to tell Jane that Chase is wigging out. (Jane in a sidebar: Chase better not go back on his word to me. “Carolina people don’t like that.”)

NaOnka, still busy, break-dances her way to Holly. Nay: “I don’t trust Chase.” Holly: “TOLD you. What the hell is wrong with Chase?” (Then they both pause to wave at Jeff Probst’s luxury yacht as it sails past in the bay.)

Time for the Immunity Challenge.

Jeff explains again: You have to stand on this very small platform and lean back over water while holding a rope. Every five minutes, you have to move your hands further down on the rope. Last person still leaning wins.

Sash drops almost right away. (Really? The king of the island?) Kelly tumbles next, followed by Holly, Brenda (yay!), Dan, Fabio and NaOnka. All of this in the first round. The remaining folks then have to move down to a lower section of the rope. Benry splashes into the water next, leaving just Jane and Chase. They hang for a while, then Chase starts smack-talking about how he can last forever. Jane, visibly trembling, announces that she’s going to drop.

Jeff ain’t havin’ none of that. He tells Jane that she is NOT going to just give up. (Me thinks Jeff is a tiny bit sweet on Jane. He didn’t say a word to the previous eight people who took the plunge of shame.) Jane hunkers down. And Chase falls.

So Jane, oldest one of them all, once again beats out all the young studs and wins Immunity. This pleases me immensely.

Back at camp, we have the traditional scurrying as folks figure out who gets to tromp through the creepy cemetery.

Jane in a sidebar: I’m thrilled that I won! As long as she doesn’t have an Idol, Brenda is going home.

Sash and Chase get together. Sash: So, who’s going home. Chase, incomprehensibly, is still pushing for Benry to go. (Then both of them pause to admire their reflections in a nearby puddle, until NaOnka comes along and stomps in the puddle, because it gets on her nerves when people are happy.)

NaOnka, once her feet are dry, runs to Sash. Nay: “Chase is pissing me off, he’s so paranoid.” Then she spills about the Brenda plan. To SASH. (This is SO risky, Nay, why are you doing this?) Amazingly, Sash admits in a sidebar: “It’s not a bad idea” to send Brenda home. Oh? Guess you all weren’t so tight after all. Heyyy.

Scene with Chase and Fabio. Chase is about to share some intricate intel, but nosey Holly comes waltzing up, still shaking crickets out of her nest hair. She pushes once more for the Brenda plan, then she runs off to have her curls tightened even more so her brain doesn’t completely fall out.

Brenda and Chase. Brenda: So what’s the game plan? Chase: You. There’s not enough numbers to save you. Brenda: Nay would never vote for me. Chase: Uh….

Brenda in a sidebar: I just gotta be strong and act like I’m not bothered by all of this. (Honey, you should be bothered. Even your besties are throwing your name out. This is not the time to be acting all Zen and assuming the planets will align to keep you here. Time for some suck-up groveling, yes?)

Brenda, Chase and Sash. Brenda, mainly to Sash, because she doesn’t think that Chase has the intellect to understand: “There’s no way you can get the numbers back if I go home tonight.” (I guess it hasn’t occurred to Brenda that even if she stays, the numbers aren’t what she thinks they are. This is my favorite part of “Survivor”, when clueless people, especially arrogant clueless people, can’t see the light.)

But maybe things aren’t so grim for Brenda. Sash in a sidebar: “I might have to give the Idol to Brenda.” Followed by Brenda in a sidebar: “I hope Sash gives me the Idol, and then we can blind-side NaOnka.”

Time for Tribal.

Jeff tries to get Sash’s thoughts on how things are going in camp, and Sash lies out his ass about how he was totally surprised by Marty going home the last time. (Dude, you voted for him to go.) Jeff then prods at Chase, with him admitting “the strong alliances are gone”. Brenda, irked by this, tries to throw people under the bus: “NaOnka is wanting to jump ship.”

A brief pause while we reflect that NaOnka jumped ship a long time ago, and will probably never be back on deck.

Jeff pokes at Nay: Jumping ship? Nay: I’m not the one that started all this. (Which is kind of true. Holly started it. But Nay had no problem picking up the ball and running like a bat out of hell.)

Jeff to Kelly: Your thoughts? Kelly: “This is the first council where I don’t know what’s going on.” (The first council? Are you serious with that?)

Jeff to Sash: What happens when you break trust? Sash: You go home. (Oh? But you broke your trust with Marty, Sash. You’re still here. What up with that kind of response?)

And here’s the kicker. Jeff tries to find out from Brenda how she’s been acting in camp to keep her chances alive, and he gets fed up with her egotistical responses: “Are you too proud for the word ‘scrambling’?”

Brenda: “I think so.”

Oh my.

Time for the vote.

Jeff does the tally thing, then: “Anyone want to play the Idol?”

Brenda turns to look at Sash, her expression clearly indicating that she expects him to fork it over. He doesn’t, instead pretending that there is something completely fascinating off to the side that he really needs to look at.

1 vote for NaOnka (Brenda), 1 vote for Benry (Kelly, of all people, so I guess she really didn’t know what was going on), and 8 votes for Brenda. She gone.

Jeff: Well, there’s one thing to be learned here. If you want to win, you’ve got to fight for it.

Then the tribe wanders away to go sleep with the ashes.

Roll end credits.

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