Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Survivor recap: NaOnka's Pity Party

The combustible contestant considers throwing in the towel after a tribe switch and a nasty storm

Posted on

NaOnka Survivor Nica
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

“NaOnka seems like a high school girl. She’s irrational and crazy and she just seems like she’s on her period all the time.” —Alina

Now that Jimmy T is gone (unless he decides to pop back and write another recap for me — KIDDING!), welcome to the NaOnka show, everybody. All NaOnka, all the time! Up until this last episode, NaOnka was a firecracker, full of vim and vigor, piss and vinegar, attitude and no gratitude. She’d steal your socks, knock you to the ground, and berate you as you searched for hidden immunity idols. Love her or loathe her (and I think we all pretty much fell into that latter category), you had to admire her spirit. Her spunk! Her moxie! And lots of other words from the 1930s.

Where did it all go? The Survivor producers and editors are trying to convince us that the woman was simply beaten down by a few raindrops —that a night with no tarp suddenly turned Hurricane NaOnka into a depressed mess who seriously contemplated quitting the game. But I don’t buy it. Not for a second. I think we’re being sold a pound of phoney baloney, people. To me, NaOnka’s emotional downfall had nothing to do with the weather, but rather something far more debilitating — the fact that she no longer had a physically handicapped person to pick on anymore.

Bullies need targets, and NaOnka had the perfect one in Kelly B. A woman with an artificial leg? Easy pickins! Over the first 11 days, NaONka developed what could only be described as an unhealthy obsession with the prosthetic limb, calling it out at every opportunity and dragging it into conversations even when it made no sense whatsoever. “Yeah, winning the fishing gear was incredible and really helped us in terms of eating and protein. But you know what has no protein? Kelly B’s leg. I hate that damn leg!”

It was as if once she was separated from the object of her ire after the tribe switch, and saw that everyone on the new Espada was in possession of all their regular body parts, she didn’t know whom to pick on, and decided to simply pick on herself instead. And it was wonderful. There is nothing more gratifying then watching a cocky bully be completely humbled by the elements of the most powerful player in the game — Mother Nature. But, as usual, I’m jumping ahead. Let’s take it from the top of the episode.

There is nothing Survivor producers love more than to make contestants look bad by showing them talking about how smooth everything is going and how they have absolutely everything figured out and under control. Because as soon as they do that, the producers screw with them. So Marty talking about how the next two to go would be “Jane and Holly. It’s locked. It would take something extraordinary, off the charts, completely wacked out to disturb my plan,” was the equivalent of a Survivor money shot. And sure enough when the tribes showed up at the next challenge, with Marty’s insane hair making his head look like a poorly grown-out Chia Pet, it was only a matter of time before we heard those three magic words: “Drop your Buffs.”

NEXT: We’re going to have to make Mr. Probst repeat himself a couple of times.