Survivor recap: Sprinting to the Finish
A little to the left. No, that’s too much. Now a little to the right. Ah, perfect. Perfectly centered annnnnnnnd…SNAP! Wow, that is an awesome picture I just took of the half-consumed can of Milwaukee’s Best residing on my coffee table. Oh, hello there. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m just making memories with my incredible new Evo phone from Sprint. In case you didn’t know, it’s the first 4G phone out there! (At least that’s what Jeff Probst tells me.) Whether you’re building a shelter out of a crate of Home Depot materials, watching the latest idiotic Jack Black movie, or just chillin’ in Casa de Charmin, the Evo from Sprint will help you relive all those crazy times with a simple press of the button. That’s right — the Evo from Sprint is there every step of the way as you…Wait, hold on a second. I have a call! It’s my mom. Oh my God! I haven’t talked to my mom in, like, three-and-a-half hours. This is amazing! “Mom, is that you? (Sniffle, sniifle.) I love you, mom. I love you so much! I never realized how much I loved you until we were apart for three-and-a-half hours and all of a sudden this dramatic piano music started coming out of nowhere. And now I can’t stop crying. And the more I cry, the louder the music gets. And the louder the music gets, the more I start crying. It’s a vicious cycle, dammit! Thank God we’re capturing this all thanks to the technological magic of the Evo. It’s sooooooooo much better than that lame Palm Pre they kept trying to sell me on Survivor: Samoa.”
Ah, yes. Making memoires, indeed. But the Survivors themselves were making some memories of their own this week. Some good, some bad. Here are the impressions each made on me in the penultimate episode as we head into Sunday’s finale.
Dude, STOP promising to bring people on reward challenges with you! He burned Sash last week and then was up to his old schizophrenic tricks once again, telling Fabio, “I promise, it will be you, me, and Sash.” Cut to him winning and taking Sash and…Holly? Chase’s problem is that he is trying to please everyone. (I learned a long time ago — like, say, when I wrote the Jimmy T column — that that is impossible.) So he tells people what they want to hear to make them happy, not realizing he is pissing them off even more when he then goes back on his word. You could even see his overwhelming need to please people and be liked when he asked Jeff what would happen to the people that didn’t get to go on the reward. “They will be taken and executed,” replied Probst, “as with any good challenge.” Hey, you ask a stupid question….
Chase then seemed legitimately shocked when Fabio expressed outrage over not being chosen. (“You know I would have taken you and your mom because I know how much your mom means to you,” pouted Fabio “You know that!”) Later, when Jane confronted Chase, Holly, and Sash about whether they were turning on her and voting her off, Chase tried to shift the blame, saying it was Holly and Sash that wanted to do it. I was truly amazed at how poorly this was handled, but it turns out the good ol’ boy was just warming up. This was the mere appetizer before the main course of awkwardness at Tribal Council.
NEXT: Holly’s hubby goes bonkers
I suppose Chase thought he was being the good guy by admitting to there being a three-person alliance that would vote out Dan and Fabio next, but you never sit there and tell people they’re next to go, effectively daring them to make a bold move and change up the game. To make matters worse, he then insisted on dragging Holly and Sash into his own mess. “Would you agree with that?” he asked them. No answer. “Would you agree with that?” he asked again. No answer. “The game is happening right now,” Probst finally cut in, only then leading Holly and Sash to begrudgingly agree. And finally, my favorite exchange of all:
Probst: “Chase, the look on your face is utter confusion.”
Chase: “I don’t know what the hell is going on, honestly.”
Gee, you don’t say.
Instead of Holly, can I just talk about her husband Charlie instead? That guy was sweet! He talked in his Sprint Evo video about wanting to get his arms all over his woman (you randy little bugger, you), and then when it came time to participate in the reward challenge, the dude was positively pumped, letting out some sort of primal scream when Probst asked if everyone was ready. “I WAS BORN READY, PROBST!” Unfortunately, while Charlie may have brought a heaping helping of enthusiasm to the table, he was sorely lacking in Survivor smarts, as evidenced by him yelling out the answer to part of the “Family Comes First” word puzzle.
I give Holly props though. She lost her mind in the first few days — burying Dan’s shoes and threatening to quit — but she evolved to become a true player, even engineering Brenda’s ouster. I can’t say I’ll be excited if she wins. I’m not so sure I’ll be excited with anyone left winning. But she’s no less worthy that anyone else still out there.
There’s not a whole lot to say about Sash this episode. It was nice to see him tear up a bit looking at his mom’s video and then to hear him talking about how he and his mom didn’t have a lot of money growing up. It was the first real, genuine emotion we’ve seen out of Sash this entire season. Which could be his biggest problem. Sash is a very smart player, and I have a lot of respect for the way he pressured Marty into giving him the immunity idol and for the way he immediately regrouped when his alliance with Brenda was torn apart. He’s a player. But everyone knows he’s a player and I’m not sure anyone feels a true connection with him. Then again, if people don’t feel connected to him, then they’re less likely to be angry with him during a final jury vote as well. Jane is probably a lot more angry at Chase, who she thought was her surrogate son, than Sash, who she probably never fully trusted to begin with. If he makes it to the final three, Sash is such a smooth talker, he may able to win over the jury.
NEXT: Fabio loves his mommy
Wow, Fabio loves his mom. I mean reeeeeeeaaaaaaallllyyyy loves his mom. I’ve seen people break down before during the loved ones visit but never quite like that. When Chase went back on his word and did not select Fabio and his mother to enjoy a little Nicaraguan cruise/feast, “Jud the Stud” was not happy and had no problem letting Chase know it. And he didn’t calm down later either, having to explain to Chase what a rhetorical question was after asking if the big bad liar enjoyed his reward extravaganza. But Fabio took his mom’s advice and got his game face on, dominating in an immunity challenge that forced the blindfolded contestants to go over and under obstacles and then recreate matching symbols on a shield. Good for Fabio.
But Fabio made a big-time blunder as well. Perhaps he was simply too confused/bewildered/flummoxed by Jeff Probst making like Rich Little and impersonating his own mother, but once it was clearly pointed out that Sash, Holly, and Chase were in a three-person alliance and were planning to vote him and Dan off next, there was no reason whatsoever for Fabio (and Dan) to not switch his vote to Holly and force a 3-3 tie. I know Fabio’s been angling to get rid of Jane so he just decided to go with the flow, but this would have been the time and the place to make a power move. I’m sure his mother would have approved.
Oh, Dan. I’ve gone from being angry that Dan was still around, to amused, to back to angry again. The dude just brings nothing to the table. I was, however, mildly fascinated by his interaction with his son Matthew. The two started off by giving each other the “I’m Not Gay” hug. You all may not be familiar with the name, since I just made it up, but the “I’m Not Gay” hug is something you see pretty much anytime two men hug. For some reason, they can never just go in for a regular hug; they also have to pound each other on the back while doing so. It’s as if hugging is seen as too affectionate so they have to counterbalance the touchy-feely nature of the hug by beating the crap out of each other at the same time. Seriously, watch any two guys hug. They never just hug. They always start slapping each other silly on the back. What’s up with that? I pointed this out to my coworker Dan Snierson and then tried out a regular old slapless hug on him to see what it felt like and I think I legitimately freaked the guy out. I doubt he’ll ever hug me again!
But then Dan and Matthew surprised me. Yes, they engaged in an “I’m Not Gay” hug, however seconds later Matthew went on a full-on kissing spree, repeatedly planting big wet sloppy ones on his dad’s head. “He can’t stop kissing you,” noted Probst. And he was just getting started! Later when Dan sat there stewing and calling Chase a “scumbag,” Matthew tried to calm his pops down the only way he knew how — by massaging his chest. So while I was amused by the hug, I was impressed (and, yes, slightly disturbed) by the overwhelming public display of affection between the father and son.
Of course later Dan — after telling Probst that it would indeed make sense for him to form an alliance with Fabio and Jane to take on the other alliance that just told him they planned to vote him out—wrote down Jane’s name instead. Which is why I’m back to being angry.
NEXT: Hurricane Jane comes out to play
I’m torn on this one. On one hand, I love the way she refused to lay down and die once her alliance told her they were turning on her. And watching her pour a bucket of water over the fire and exclaim, “By God, I started it, and I’ll put it out” was tons of fun. On the other hand, it was all a bit childish to take things so personal. Sure, fight like hell to stay in the game, but why is someone like Chase okay when he lies and betrays other people, but then when he does it to you he’s all of a sudden “a flipper, a liar, a cheat, and a backstabber.” Jane didn’t mind when he flipped on Brenda. In fact, she encouraged him to do it. So I’m not exactly cheering her need to get all high and mighty. And I thought it was a bit silly for her to get upset at Chase for not selecting her to go on reward because she gave up her last summer to be with her daughter before she went off to college. But Jane, YOU chose to give up your summer with your daughter. Not Chase. I have plenty of things you can blame Chase for if you’d like. But not that. Still, watching former allies turn on each other is a blast, so it was fun to see “the wrath of Jane.” If you’re gonna go out, might as well go out in a blaze of glory, I say.
Speaking of going out in a blaze of glory, we’ve got lots of things to get you ready for Sunday’s finale. You can start by enjoying an exclusive deleted scene as well as my pre-game interview with Jane in the video player below. Then, make sure to head over to get all the insider insight from Jeff Probst’s EW.com blog. Speaking of Probst, he’ll also be our guest on our Friday’s edition of the TV Insiders podcast. (You can check out last week’s edition with more Survivor stuff right under the video player.) And we have a few other goodies heading your way this weekend as well. But until then, tell us what you think. Did Dan and Fabio blow it by not voting for Holly? And whom are you rooting for to win Survivor: Nicaragua? Hit the message boards and let us know. And for more Survivor news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. See ya Sunday night!
EW’s TV INSIDERS PODCAST: Jeff Probst previews the Survivor: Nicaragua finale, discusses this season’s big quitter controversy, and reveals whom he’ll be rooting for to win the million dollars. Plus: Ken Tucker helps Dalton Ross and Annie Barrett break down the best and worst shows of the year, and Michael Slezak calls in to say goodbye. Just click on the audio icon to enjoy all the fun. And don’t forget that we’re now on iTunes! You can subscribe for free right here and take the TV Insiders with you on the go. And to send a question to the TV Insiders or learn about upcoming editions, follow us on Twitter @TVInsiders.