Survivor recap: Open Warfare
Insults abound as several contestant feuds heat up, leading to a testy Tribal Council
I’ve heard a lot of Survivors call other Survivors some pretty horrible things over the years, but for some reason, Mr. Farty really stands out for me. There’s nothing particularly ingenious about it. Jane simply took Marty’s name, realized her good fortune in that it rhymed with “farty,” and rolled with it. But, see, the average insulter would have stopped right then and there and called it a day — sufficiently pleased with their comedic word play. But not Jane. By simply adding a “Mr.” prefix, she took it to a whole different level. There’s just something about Mr. Farty that is so insanely absurd that you have no choice but to love it. Seriously, Mr Farty. It just has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. And the fact that the game of Survivor has reduced 56-year-old Jane to busting out kindergarten-level insults is truly amazing. (Go to any playground and say the words “Mr. Farty” and I guarantee you they will think you are the funniest person on the face of the planet. And you know what? YOU WOULD BE!) But this was just one in a long line of insults in what is becoming an increasingly testy season of Survivor. Let’s take it from the top.
Things start off at Libertad on night 22 with NaOnka saying she feels bad for Jane because Marty “was going too hard on her. He’s throwing punches that she couldn’t block.” Wow, such empathy. That doesn’t sound like NaOnka at all! She continues and notes that if it were her, she would have hit him “really, really hard.” Okay, that sounds like NaOnka. For his part. Marty says everyone on the tribe is stupid for being hoodwinked by his sudden arch-nemesis Jane. He tries to sell Benry and Dan on a plan where they tell everyone they are voting out NaOnka, but then vote Jane out instead, thereby flushing out NaOnka’s idol and sending Jane home. Dan likes any plan that involves no decision-making nor movement from the waist down on his part, while Benry likes any plan that allows him to make snide comments at the voting urn. They’re both sold!
Meanwhile, Jane tells the camera how much she hates Marty and that, “I’d like to take him to the woodshed and kick his ass.” Poor Mr. Farty. (Side note: Anyone else notice the passing gas theme of Survivor: Nicaragua? We already had a challenge where players had toilets strapped to their backs, NaOnka let one fly last week after devouring salami, and now we’re busy discussing Mr. Farty. What gives? Maybe it’s because this season kinda…well, stinks.) MOVING ON!
The contestants are then told to “COME ON IN, GUYS!” by Jeff Probst and they arrive to find a reward challenge that will force them to burst through hay, sticks, and bricks, much like the three little pigs. The only thing missing is Jimmy T. chasing them down in a Big Bad Wolf costume. (“Hey, give me a shot at it! I’d make a great wolf! I’m Jimmy T!”) In what proves to be the least random division in randomly divided history, all the men end up on one team and all the women on the other. When this happened, producers were no doubt shaking their heads on the sideline moaning, “God, can anything go right for us this season? Seriously!” This is because there is no way the women were going to be able to burst through the sticks and bricks as quickly as the men. Only an idiot would think they could. Wait, did somebody just mention Chase?
NEXT: Why is Purple Kelly crying? (Maybe because people continue to call her Purple Kelly?)
Chase is the odd man out in the numbers game, so he has to sit out and pick whom he thinks will win. If he picks right, he gets to go ziplining with them and enjoy a scrumptious barbecue feast. If he picks wrong, he goes back to camp with the losers. Chase selects the ladies because he’s
a sucker still infatuated with Brenda and views Jane as a southern mother figure. The challenge is a doozy. Highlights include the women struggling to get through the wall of sticks while Probst yells “HIT IT! HIT IT! HIT IT!” and the fellas busting through the bricks like they’re auditioning for a freakin’ Kool-Aid commercial. Dan and Jane also are apparently engaging in some sort of personal battle to see just who can slow their team down the most, and that race is simply too close to call. As for the actual team race, the men dominate, which is too bad because it would have been nice to enjoy the hilarity of watching the women bounce off the bricks a few more times before it was all said and done.
Awwwwwww, look at Purple Kelly. Purple Kelly is sad. Purple Kelly is crying. Maybe Purple Kelly is crying because she’s starting to get the sense that she has received only 3.6 seconds of screen time all season. Or maybe Purple Kelly is crying because people keep calling her Purple Kelly. (It could be worse. Her nickname could be “Benry.”) Probst tries to make her happy by asking if any of the men want to give up their spot on the reward to one of the women. They all respond “Hell, no!” (And to think they say chivalry is dead.) So off go the men to zipline their troubles away. I was actually lucky enough to do some ziplining while on location in Nicaragua, and it was extremely cool. You go super fast from tree to tree. Unless your name is Dan, in which case you once again do your best tortoise impersonation. After flying through the trees, Marty flies through his first beer while also insisting on talking game and telling everyone how to vote. Subtle, as always.
Back at camp, Brenda continues to make her case to enter the Parvati Shallow Black Widow Hall of Fame by dissing and dismissing Chase for following his heart instead of his head and joining the women. For his part, Chase is worried that Brenda isn’t talking to him as much any more, so he goes to that absolute model of stability, NaOnka, for direction. Her advice? “Don’t get on her nerves”—because lord knows NaOnka has not gotten on anyone’s nerves all season. His reaction? To go straight over and tell Brenda “You seem really unsure”…three different times! Although I personally don’t blame him one bit. My philosophy is to always do the exact opposite of whatever NaOnka says, so you can see how he went awry here. Brenda then goes on another Chase dissing spree, calling him a paranoid baby. Along with Jane referring to Marty as an “evil diabolical person” it’s just one big lovefest.
NEXT: Brenda vs Marty! NaOnka vs the word “Humanitarian”!
Which reminds me of the time…when contestants played memory for immunity! Which is right now! The challenge is just like a game of Simon. Minus the flashing blue, red, green, and yellow lights. And the annoying sound effects. And the ability to take the game and fling it against the wall when you are unable to properly play back the correct sequence of red, yellow, blue, yellow, red, red, green, yellow. DAMN YOU, YELLOW!!! AS IF YOU WEREN’T ALREADY THE UNCOOLEST COLOR OF THE RAINBOW! YES, EVEN UNCOOLER THAN INDIGO!
Jane, NaOnka, Dan, Holly, Kelly, Sash, and Fabio are all eliminated in short order and we are down to the final four. Then Probst decides to spice things up by magically transforming himself into a cold-hearted bastard. When Chase picks musket while the other three pick coins, the country crooner/Nascar jackman puts down his cube in defeat, leading to this brilliant retort from Probst. “Hold on brother, you don’t know if you’re right!” Pause. “Chase, you’re wrong.” At this point I half expected the host to yell “PSYCH!” and go punch Chase twice in the shoulder as an exclamation point.
Finally, it is down to Marty and Brenda. “Not the best of friends in this game so far,” according to Probst, although you could say that about pretty much anyone and anyone this season. Hell, Dan’s two knees can’t even get along. Brenda wins immunity, ensuring a Jane/Marty showdown at Tribal Council. Leading up to it, Fabio and Benry discuss whether the plan to pretend to vote for NaOnka while actually voting for Jane will work. Benry says they should just “lay low and say we’re voting NaOnka and play stupid,” leading to the most genius exchange of the episode, and, perhaps, the season:
Fabio: “Dude, I hate playing stupid so much, but it’s the smartest thing to do right now.”
Benry: “It’s easy.”
Fabio: “It’s real easy.”
For some more than others. I’m not dissing Fabio, though. I love Fabio. He is easily the most likable and easy-to-root-for person this season. I also deeply respect how Brenda and Sash are playing (although they need to dial down the bragging about how they are running the camp by about, say, 18%). As tough as this season has been in many regards, at least these three all appear to be in good position to make it far in the game. See, silver lining, people!
After Marty tells Chase a story about a linebacker who for some reason likes to go around stealing wallets, and Chase easily figures out the NaOnka voting ruse, we are off to Tribal Council. My, doesn’t Alina look fresh and refreshed as our first jury member? As I watch her taking her seat, I try to calculate exactly how long it will be before her entire existence is completely wiped from my mind. (I’m thinking 10, no, 15 seconds after the finale.) Sensing that Tribal is running a little too smoothly, Probst decides to stir things up, asking NaOnka again about the flour thievery. NaOnka does not appreciate this in the least, sassing both left and right while insisting she is a “humanitarian,” although I’m not entirely convinced she knows what that word means.
NEXT: Hey! Marty and Fabio, duck! Here come the f-bombs!
Then NaOnka goes after Marty, at one point insisting that “his walk sucks,” because that is clearly the type of thing humanitarians like to point out. She then goes on and on about some track meet where he’s is in lane 5 and she’s in lane 4, apparently making noises that are supposed to resemble that of either a ghost or a raver — I can’t tell which. And then come the F and S bombs — directed at both Marty and Fabio. Probst says he’s been left speechless, only to then contradict himself by immediately pointing out, “That you can go off like this Tribal after Tribal and still be in this game tells me I should be looking for you to be sitting here at the final.”
NaOnka’s response? “Somebody wants to take me because I’m being a bitch or embarrassing myself, if you will, then so be it. But I’m not putting on a show, This is who I am. This is who I’ve been for 27 years, so if you don’t like it, then you don’t like it.” This just in: I DON’T LIKE IT! And neither does anyone else.
Now everyone is in a tizzy and Purple Kelly is clearly so rattled that she can’t even figure out how to open the marker to cast her vote. (Blondes.) Jane has some specially prepared words as she casts her vote for Marty: “You are a disgrace to every man who calls himself a father. There is no way in heck I would allow my child or my grandchild to come play with your children — plain and simple.” Marty responds by insisting that, “Y’all’s catfishing trip has been terminated because y’all messed with the wrong gator, Missy.” (Advantage: Jane)
NaOnka chooses not to play the idol, but Marty still looks confident that his plan to oust Jane is solid, which explains why he smiling and bobbing his head while up in votes 4-2. That smiling and nodding stops when we get to a 4-4 deadlock, and by the next vote he knows he’s done. Alina looks excited, NaOnka claps as Marty gets his torch snuffed, and we are treated to a shot of a distraught Dan, just to further infuriate us that he is still even in the game.
And thus concludes another testy edition of Survivor: Nicaragua, but you are far from done, my friends. Jeff Probst has all the inside scoop for you in his weekly EW.com column (look for it early Thursday morning on our PopWatch blog). And check out the video player below for an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as my pre-game interview with Marty, and Jeff Probst’s pick for the best Survivor Tribal Council ever. Then let us know what you think? Will you miss Marty’s hair? Do Brenda and Sash have this game locked up? And who has a sudden craving for Kool-Aid? Hit the message boards and let us know. And for more Survivor news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. See ya next week!