Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSOkay, I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that there is a bit of an implied contract when you agree to be on Survivor.

On our side, we promise you the adventure of your lifetime. Something you have never experienced before and will probably never experience again. It’s a multi-million dollar, life-changing thrill ride that will test you on every level. We promise, and we always deliver. Always.

In exchange we expect only two things from you: Show up… and play. That’s it. When you fail to do one or both of those requirements you are not living up to your end of the bargain. One might say you are in breach of our implied contract.

That’s my new philosophy regarding quitters on Survivor. You’re breaking your contract. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, such as medical evacuations and family emergencies, but I’m talking about the contestants who just decide they don’t want to play anymore. In this case, Naonka and Purple Kelly.

You’d think that by the time you have gone through the long arduous process of casting, meeting the executives at CBS, suffering through your immunization shots, getting your passport, arranging to leave your life for 39 days, getting on a plane, meeting with the press, and then lasting 28 days to give yourself a 1-in-9 shot at winning a million dollars, that this would be a no-brainer. Of course you’re going to finish; quitting would be foolish, right?

I’m not going to rehash the events of the quit, that’s just a waste of time and space.

I will however mention that when Naonka had the chance to walk away from the reward in exchange for tarp and rice, I truly believed she would do it. I was initially shocked when she didn’t move. Shocked. Naonka had just told everybody she wanted to quit. She knew she would be eating real food and sleeping in a real bed within hours, and all she had to do was stand up and say “It’s the least I can do before I quit.” She would have redeemed herself just a little bit.

But upon reflection I can clearly see that my expectation was flawed. Naonka has been consistently selfish for 28 days, and for her to stand up and suddenly do the “right thing” would not be consistent. Naonka went out the same way she came in, “Looking out for numero uno.”

In addition to not being a lawyer, I’m also not a psychologist, but it never seems to stop me from offering up an opinion. So here’s my take on whether they will regret this later in life:

I don’t think Naonka is going to regret her actions for one moment. I think Naonka has a lot of maturing to do and it doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. Quitting Survivor doesn’t make Naonka a bad person in my eyes, it was just disappointing. I’ll be curious to find out the reaction from Naonka’s family at the reunion show.

In the case of Purple Kelly, I think she will learn a lot from this experience and will at some point regret not sticking it out for 11 more days.

When you quit, when you give up and walk away from a task, even though you know you have some gas left in the tank, you are in a sense giving up on yourself. Purple Kelly had a lot of gas left in her tank. She’s a very strong and resilient young woman. Naonka gave her permission to quit and she took it and ran. I have a feeling the next time Purple Kelly is in the same situation she will think a long time before quitting.


I know a lot of you are angry right now because Naonka and Purple Kelly are allowed to be on the jury, so let me explain.

The reason they will both be members of the jury is because a precedent had already been set back when Janu quit in Survivor: Palau. Janu quit the game but was allowed to be on the jury, so we used the same reasoning with Naonka and Purple Kelly. It wasn’t an emotional decision, just an issue of fairness.

And yes…Marty, Alina and Brenda were very upset when they found out these quitters would still get to have a vote to decide who wins the million dollars.


Naonka and Purple Kelly quitting just blew this game wide open. It’s like we’re starting over. Their quit benefits some and penalizes others. The person who lost the most was Sash. He not only lost Purple Kelly, who would have voted any way he wanted her to, he also lost Naonka and her idol. He could have taken those two to the end with him and probably been a shoo-in for the million dollars. Instead he now must scramble to make something happen, and other than Dan, everybody else is a threat to win the game.

From a show point of view it’s an awesome turn of events. It changed everything and makes for an exciting and unpredictable finish.

Everybody left in the game has a legitimate shot to win.

Everybody except Dan. Dan’s best hope was to go to the final with Naonka and Purple Kelly. Now that they’re gone, I cannot think of a scenario in which Dan could beat anybody to win. This makes Dan a great person to take to the end. The dilemma is going to be who else do you take to the final?

I am not picking on Dan, I actually enjoy Dan quite a bit, and I could be wrong and Dan could win. If he does win, stay glued to your television because there is a very good chance that at the live show, as I read the last “Dan” vote, I will become light-headed and pass out on the CBS stage. Fortunately, Dancing With The Stars tapes nearby, so Tom Bergeron could run over and handle the rest of the reunion show.

Okay, so we are down to seven: Jane, Benry, Fabio, Holly, Sash, Chase, and Dan. There is going to be a lot of scrambling happening from here until the end. Here is my assessment of what each player needs to do:

Chase needs to form an alliance and stick with it.

Fabio, Benry and Jane need to start winning immunity or they are in danger.

Holly needs to keep mothering and nurturing and keep the attention on others.

Sash has the most work to do since his rug has been pulled out from under him.

Dan doesn’t need to do anything; it’s been working for 28 days. Why change?

It looks like we might have an exciting finish….

See ya next week.

UPDATE (Dec. 2, 12:00pm):

In response to so many comments about last night’s episode I wanted to add a follow up on the topic of quitters being allowed to be on the jury. When Janu quit and was allowed to stay on as a member of the jury, the precedent set was one that says “if we are in the jury phase of the game and you quit, you will still be a member of the jury.” Here is why the Janu precedent is important….

If you take it one step further, you realize that the decision has major ramifications because whoever Janu was in an alliance with, may still benefit from her vote at the end of the game. It could be a million dollar vote… from a quitter. Not the greatest situation but that’s the precedent that was set.

So, we did not believe it would be fair, based on precedent, to suddenly change the rules and say to Naonka and Purple Kelly, “you cannot be on the jury.” Because that could unfairly penalize someone in their alliance. If that person made it to the final and Naonka and Purple Kelly were not on the jury that could make a case that it was “unfair”… based on the precedent set with Janu.

We always strive to be fair. When you remove the emotion of the situation it’s easy that this was the “fair” thing to do. It wasn’t a popular decision on location and we understand that as fans you really don’t like it at all, but it was the fair decision.Will we look to make changes in the rules from this point forward…? Consider that a big YES. Thank you for your input, we listen to your feedback and in this case we agree with you.

I’m sure we’ll deal with this at the live reunion show on Dec. 19th as well.

Check out an exclusive deleted scene below as well as pre-game interviews with NaOnka and Kelly. Then, make sure to read Dalton Ross’ Survivor: Nicaragua episode 12 recap.