Survivor recap: NaOnka Plays Saboteur
The controversial contestant starts burying everything, including — perhaps — her chance of ever winning
“I want her to know I have her back. Even though I kind of don’t. But I kind of do at the same time. It’s like a toss up.” —NaOnka
That quote tells you absolutely everything you need to know about NaOnka: She’s a woman completely allergic to logic. Much in the same way she is allergic to kindness, modesty, and if you were to judge by her irrational hatred of Kelly B., prosthetic limbs. We haven’t been able to understand a single thing about the woman all season, and now it appears she even confuses herself. I’ve wondered for the past few months whether NaOnka might have a split personality. (In our interview before the game, she was downright giddy, a far cry from the surly spectacle we’ve been treated to on the show.) But now I fear she must suffer from multiple personality disorder. Hell, the woman even thought she was Russell Hantz for a few minutes there — burying pans and bowls and food as well. And amazingly, she stays in the game just to torment both her tribemates and us viewers a little bit longer.
Okay, let’s take it from the top. It’s day 19 and Marty’s telling us how the vultures are circling. “Finally, we can use that footage of vultures devouring a carcass we’ve been sitting on for two months!” yells an excited producer. High-fives abound in the editing bay, and they move on to their next task: finding a way to work in 17 more snake shots per episode. Snakes seem to have replaced spiders devouring their webbed pray as the go-to nature shot of the season.
But hold the phone, because “Uncle Fabio” — who really needs to stop calling himself Uncle Fabio — has received some tree mail. Looks like it’s merge time! La Flor gets a key, while Espada gets a chest that needs the key to be opened. The Keymaster! The Gatekeeper! Hey, let’s track down Gozer and get this Ghostbusters party started! But before Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis can do the dirty deed and turn into dog statues, Alina has a plan to keep her tribe strong. She says they need to stay together! She says nobody can switch sides! She says the six Espada members can be the final six! Just one problem: No one gives a flying hoot what Alina says. Benry, who used to be aligned with her and Shannon, now apparently can’t stand her and is about 40 minutes away from comparing her to a dirt squirrel. And NaOnka says Alina is like G.I. Jane without an army, even though NaOnka is about 24 minutes away from not being able to decide whether she should enlist or not. Confusing bunch, this is.
Finally, the chest is opened and instead of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man popping out and terrorizing all of Nicaragua, it turns out there’s bread and buffs and booze, the last of which prompts Fabio to insist: “We have to drink all of this TODAY!” Marty then christens the new tribe Libertad, which means liberty. It should be noted that it also could be rearranged to spell “liter bad” which I personally think is a more ecologically friendly (if less catchy) moniker.
NEXT: NaOnka makes the classiest move in Survivor history.
Everyone is ecstatic about the feast, especially NaOnka, who informs us that the salami “just dissolved in my mouth, It was so good. Like my booty.” To punctuate this outstanding non-sequitur, she proceeds to lift up her right butt cheek and let one rip, which is possibly the classiest thing I’ve ever seen on this show. (Perhaps from this display we are being led to believe that NaOnka is hording all the beans as well.) Oh yes, it should also be pointed out that she has “nuts in my bra.” Just reporting the facts, people. No more, no less.
Brenda then fills Naonka in on all the hidden immunity idol shenanigans over at La Flor while Chase and Jane bond over their accents and recent deaths of a family member. Jane even offers to have Chase as a house guest, explaining, “You can stay at my house anytime. Even If I’m not there the door is always open. We got dogs that live in the yard. I feel very safe. Plus, I got a shotgun.” (Whether she was planning to use the shotgun on Chase, the dogs, or a possible intruder is open to interpretation. Most likely Marty, now that I think about it.) But then fireworks begin for real.
“I woke up this morning very irritable,” NaOnka informs us on day 20. How this differs from days 1-19 is unclear, but this time NaOnka is upset that Fabio and others were taking “big ass bites” of the tortillas she made. So she goes and takes the flour and buries it. But she isn’t done. Then it is a pan. Then, some fruit. Then, a bowl and some spoons. Hell, at this point I was half expecting her to go bury Dan. (The saddest part: He probably wouldn’t have even been missed.) “They really made me mad,” she explains as her reasoning. “So I’m going to make them mad.” Well, as long as a lot of thought went into it.
NaOnka’s problem (other than being looney tunes) is that Holly watched her take the flour. She at first refuses to apologize to the tribe — which of course makes complete sense on Planet Crazytown — but then finally comes clean, although she cannot resist putting her hand up to Fabio’s face and telling Marty she doesn’t care whether he bought her story or not. You can take the NaOnka out of the sassy, but you can’t take the sassy of out NaOnka. And yes, I realize that makes no sense whatsoever, but guess what? Neither does she!
After the worldwide debut of a brand new dance sensation known as Jane’s fish dance, Libertad is off to the immunity challenge. Individual immunity is at stake. In fact, immunity is so nice Jeff Probst has to hand it out twice — one for women, and one for men. The contest is an endurance challenge (my favorite kind), with the contestants having to squeeze two metal handles to hold up a steel bar. If they let up on the handles at all, the bar will drop and break their tile. In a truly shocking development, Dan actually lasts a millisecond longer than Purple Kelly (I still feel stupid writing that nickname, by the way), but seeing as how neither of them lasts a full three seconds, I’m not sure how much of an accomplishment that really is.
NEXT: Chivalry doesn’t die, but Jane’s strategic game kind of does.
And after that, the contestants start dropping like flies, and next thing you knew Jane has already won for the women. But does she then drop her bar? Hell no! She wants to beat the guys as well. Which is incredibly badass. And incredibly stupid. Why make yourself out to be a threat? Team challenges are over. Being a good competitor now works against you. Since Jane had already won her immunity, there was nothing left to gain except bragging rights. Here’s hoping those rights prove worth it, as Jane did indeed outlast male winner Fabio, although he didn’t appear to be trying to beat her. He just let his bar drop. (And they say chivalry is dead.)
It becomes clear once everyone makes it back to camp that it’s either Marty or Alina going home. Jane makes a big push for Marty, but Sash is having none of that. Clearly worried that the next person voted out could be part of the jury, Sash can’t risk burning Marty and that potential vote since he had promised to give the immunity idol back at the next vote if Marty were in trouble. Of course, this is exactly why Brenda and others should be INSISTING that Marty go home, so they can steal that final tribal council vote. Think, people! Think!
For their part, Marty and Alina start doing everything in their power to stay in the game. Marty makes Holly give “The South Dakota Word of Honor” (whatever that is) that she won’t vote him out. That’s a new one. I’ve heard of swearing on your children and dead relatives, but never swearing on an entire state. Alina, meanwhile, tries to win over Fabio, who doesn’t want to turn on Marty because they “get along.” Alina then puts on her sad face and replies weakly “I thought we got along too.” Think again!
At Tribal Council, Marty gets the show rolling by, essentially, attacking Jane and saying that if she makes the final three she is guaranteed to win and that even he would vote for her. He’s probably not wrong, but he comes off as just vindictive and mean, which doesn’t really help his cause. NaOnka doesn’t help herself — when does she ever? — by having to finally admit “I robbed the tribe” while insisting that she was punished because nobody talked to her. Much like the punishment we endure by having to watch her every week on our television screens.
Alina’s plea to stay basically amounts to her saying she should be kept around because she is a pawn. He plea is so bad it actually serves as its own plea for exactly why she should be kept around. “See how bad I am at selling myself? Then just imagine how awful I’d also be speaking to the jury in a final three! Imagine Amanda Kimmel…only worse! A lot worse. That’s me! You can’t lose against me!” Pretty compelling stuff.
NEXT: Is this the least likable Survivor cast of all time? They’re certainly lobbying hard for the honors!
Of course, the episode couldn’t end without the cast once against cementing itself as one of the least likable of all time. In case you were lulled into a false sense of mild appreciation, here comes Benry telling Alina that she is “a 100 percent, grade A dirt squirrel.” Although, to be fair, if anyone can properly judge dirt squirrels, it is a former Girls Gone Wild cameraman. The man has credentials! That’s all I’m saying.
So Marty and his amazing hair live to flight another day, and you can be sure he and Jane will get around to more fighting. As will NaOnka and pretty much everybody. But we have some friendly treats for you right here! Master blogger Jeff Probst breaks down the latest episode in his latest EW.com column (look for it in the early morning on our PopWatch blog), and in our video player below you can find all sorts of goodies including: an exclusive deleted scene, my pre-game interview with Alina, Jeff Probst giving his picks for his favorite Survivor challenge and favorite marooning ever, and the most recent edition of the TV Insiders podcast. When you’re done with all that, let us know what you think. Would you have kept Marty or Alina? Is NaOnka nuts? And did Jane make a strategic error in insisting on also beating the men in the challenge? Hit the message boards and let us know. And for more Survivor news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.