Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 6
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSI’M SO CONFUSED…
Two people were sent home, and from my vantage point they were the wrong two people. More on that later.
DOUBLE ELIMINATION INSIGHT
Let me explain why we have to have double tribal councils. When the show first started we had 16 contestants. That is still the perfect number if you want to vote one person out each week and have a final two scenario at the last tribal council. To be clear — we LOVE starting with sixteen people.
Here’s the problem. Over the years, contestants have become okay with quitting. After Osten did it back in the Pearl Islands, it became acceptable to quit. Well, a quit really screws us up because then we don’t have enough people to finish the season. So, in an effort to make sure the game can play fairly and without interruption, we started bringing more people.
If you bring 18 people, which we have done, you have to consider the fact that you’ll have an uneven number of men and women on each tribe.
So, that often leads you to bringing 20 people. Twenty people is great because even if people quit, you are okay because you brought more people than you needed.
The two problems with 20 people are:
1. It’s a lot of people for the audience to get to know.
2. At some point you have to get rid of the extra players.
That’s where the double tribal councils come into play. To keep it a bit more fair, we now offer everybody a chance to win individual immunity, so you do have a shot to keep yourself in the game. But obviously if you’re the one in trouble, then you hate this facet of the game.
So anytime we have 20 people you can expect to see at least one double-elimination at some point.
Okay let’s review the four options for the vote:
DAN WANTS TO QUIT
Dan wants to quit. That should be enough. But this is Survivor and sometimes even though somebody wants to quit, their vote is too valuable to let them leave. But with Dan he’s also a major liability in challenges. On top of that he doesn’t help out much around camp. What are you doing keeping him in the game? Let him quit! Or equally effective, vote him out! They did neither.
QUIT CHIP NECKLACE
I understand that Dan has had enough. He’s been successful in life. He’s proven to himself that he can get out here and hack it and so now he wants to go home. Fine. But here’s my wish… I wish we had a “Quit Chip Necklace” that every contestant had to wear. If you mention to someone that you want to quit, they have to pull off one of your chips. When you run out of chips, you have to go home. Period. You show up at a challenge, I see that you have no chips left, I take your buff, give you a friendly kick in the ass and send you on your way. Ah but that’s only a dream.
Here’s why it wouldn’t work – we hate it when people quit! We want you to stay in the game and play. We want you to try to win. We want you to make moves that improve your station in the game. We don’t want you to quit. Quitting sucks. Everybody regrets it and it just makes for a problem for us. So I would be shooting myself in the foot if I pressed for us to actually introduce the “Quit Chip Necklace.” But I do like the sound of it – much better than Medallion of Power.
MARTY IS A CHESS CHAMPION
I loved this. I always wish more people would play this game of making stuff up! Marty’s “Grand Master” play was fantastic. Brilliant to realize the age difference between him and Fabio almost guaranteed its success.
Everybody keeps saying Fabio is crazy, or maybe not the sharpest tool – but I wonder how crazy he really is? Is he playing everybody including us? That was my question from day one. I was never sure if his surfer boy responses were 100% genuine or a bit of a character he’s created. I’m guessing a bit of both.
Marty is a good strategist, he’s a threat in challenges, and he has the idol. He is an obvious target in this game. Plus he is on the wrong side of the numbers. That’s this biggest problem. If Marty had the numbers he’d be in the driver’s seat. But he doesn’t. So, if you have a chance to take him out then you do it, or at least get rid of the hidden immunity idol. That was the plan… but it didn’t play out that way.
I never really understood what happened with Kelly B. No idea why Naonka hated her so much and why the rest of the tribe shunned her. I don’t live out there on the beach with them so I miss a lot, but from the moment I met her she seemed like a very likable person who can clearly handle herself in challenges. Was it simply the threat of the artificial leg? Hard to know, but she didn’t seem to be a big threat at the moment.
Sometimes you just get off to a bad start. She never had a super strong alliance and the switch certainly didn’t help her. Yve was stuck in no man’s land.
Yve made a big mistake in sharing with Alina that she is tight with folks on the other tribe. Alina is smart. She “hears” things others don’t. In hindsight it was a mistake to share that with Alina. Man, Survivor is so difficult. You can never let your guard down. You have to think twice before speaking, you have to imagine what the best move for everybody else is and then make your move based on the assumption they’ll make their best move… it’s tough.
And yet, I still didn’t see Yve as a big enough threat to worry about right now.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
SASH AND BRENDA
They seem to be playing a fairly smart game. They’re very good at strategy, but tonight they went way left of where I thought they were heading.
They wanted Marty out. They even lied at tribal council trying to throw Marty under the bus by saying it was his idea to vote out Jane. Brilliant. Their goal was to get rid of him and/or the idol.
LA FLOR TRIBAL COUNCIL – MARTY SURPRISES EVERYBODY
But Marty didn’t play the idol. Not playing the idol was a big, bold move and one that I respect. But because Sash and Brenda forced a tie and Marty didn’t play the idol in the first vote, he couldn’t use the idol in the tiebreaker. So they had him and the idol!! All they had to do was change their votes to Marty. But instead they voted Kelly B. I really don’t understand why Kelly B was seen as a bigger threat. Maybe I’ll ask them at the live show.
BYE KELLY B
Sometimes Survivor… just like life…isn’t fair.
MORE CONFUSION AT ESPADA TRIBAL COUNCIL
First Dan says he wants to quit, and then at Tribal Council he says he doesn’t. It can’t be as simple as not wanting to be seen as a quitter because he knows we already heard him tell Holly he wanted to quit. Hmm.
Dan is an interesting guy – he’s very combative but equally likable. I enjoyed Dan and he took a lot of grief from me, but he definitely sticks up for himself.
But come on…DAN IS A HUGE LIABILITY! He can’t run, jump, crawl, he can barely sit down for crying out loud. Likable? Yes. Helpful? No.
Why they voted out Yve instead of Dan is another mystery to me. I know there are many ways to play this game but I would have voted out MARTY and DAN tonight.
For LA FLOR , the Idol and Marty would be gone.
For ESPADA, their biggest liability would be gone.
Plus – two more “older” people would be gone from the game.
Ah who knows… maybe that’s why I host…
See ya next week.
And be sure to check out several treats in the video player below, including: an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, Dalton Ross’s pre-game interviews with Kelly and Yve, and the latest edition of EW’s TV Insiders podcast, which includes discussions on everything from Survivor and Dancing With The Stars to Mad Men and The Good Wife. Plus, don’t miss Dalton’s recap, “Marty Lives on the Edge.”