“Every time she speaks, it becomes more evident she’s crazy. I’m gonna keep one eye on Holly and one eye on my shoes.”
The second episode of Survivor: Nicaragua, which I believe is the first episode of a television series to be named for a quote taken from one Super Bowl winning coach by another Super Bowl winning coach,* represented, I suppose, a slight upgrade from a bland opening salvo. The main thing it really did, however, was further the realization that a lot of these castaways are really bad Survivor players.
*Jimmy Johnson quoting Vince Lombardi: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
We’ll start with Holly, who after going against her day-old alliance with Wendy in the season premiere, became a bit unhinged. First, she snapped at Jill for eating snails because she deemed them inedible (by watching Jill eat them), eventually throwing all the snails away. Then, after overhearing her tribemates making fun of her, she stole Dan’s $1,600 alligator shoes,* filled them with sand, and placed them in the water. Dan started wondering where his shoes were, Holly started wondering why she was rapidly becoming such a terrible person, and so she decided to come clean — which I believe only made the rest of her tribe think less of her.
On the other side of the beach, NaOnka — who appears to be on a mission to fill certain stereotypes — grew angry when her socks went missing. And so she just stole Fabio’s socks, blatantly wearing them in front of the tribe.* This led Na and Fabio to argue a bit, but Fabio isn’t really the arguing type, whereas Na very much is.
*Man, is everyone trying to be Russell by stealing stuff? And can’t anyone man up about it and just deal?
That brought us to the Immunity Challenge earlier than usual in the episode. This week’s challenge consisted of racing on all fours through mud to then find a ball hidden in a haystack, then passing the ball to tribemates who had to use shields to pass the ball among themselves and into a bucket. I’m pretty sure the latter part of the challenge was a game we played in fifth-grade gym class.
Espada chose to use the Medallion of Power this time around, meaning they only had to get three balls into the bucket instead of four. This proved valuable at the end, with Tyrone going 3-for-3 in tossing the ball into the bucket while Benry (for La Flor) struggled. Along with Immunity, Espada won a reward of fishing gear, which they chose over a tarp for shelter.
Included in the fishing gear was, of course, a clue for a Hidden Immunity Idol. On the plus side, at least the clues appear to be getting harder this season, since only Jill was eventually able to figure it out. She dropped some knowledge on Marty in a shrewd move that allies her with who might just be the most powerful player in Espada. Marty found the idol, and no one appeared to see him and Jill find it — not even Amanda from last season.
Back at La Flor, two alliances began to emerge. First (earlier in the episode), Sash approached NaOnka about the possibility of a minority alliance, since, you know, he’s actually half-black. The two of them figured they could rope Brenda — the Asian with a Hispanic lilt to her voice that I’m now officially switching the classification from cute-ish to cute — in as well. It didn’t seem like Sash had thought much beyond that, considering they were the only three minorities.* NaOnka, as much as she dislikes Fabio, said they should cut the head off of the other alliance by voting off Shannon.
*And come on, a minority alliance? Why not base it off something a bit more legitimate than Sash’s claims of half-blackness.
The second alliance was the one led by Shannon (the ironically named, misogynistic male), who had Benry and Chase as his closest allies along with Fabio. Alina and Kelly B. appeared on board as well, and they wanted Brenda out because she was a relatively strong woman who would likely use her looks to her advantage. Only problem is, she was already using her looks to her advantage with Chase, who was stuck between both alliances.
It was shaping up to be a big vote: Shannon and Brenda were the two targets, and they were seemingly the most involved members of La Flor to this point. Whoever won the vote was likely to seize control of the tribe, possibly all the way to the merge. For the second straight week, though, a lot of the suspense was drained out of the decision process at Tribal Council, where Shannon made it very clear that he is a terrible human being. Continuing in the tradition started by Holly and Wendy in the first episode, Shannon first made all alliances transparent by calling out Chase for hedging between he and Brenda, saying he would vote him off next if he were still around (this, by the way, is not a good strategy: If you help me out of this situation, I’ll kill you. If you don’t help me, I can’t do nothing about it). To make it even worse, when Sash told Shannon he was digging his own grave, Shannon quickly came back with, “I’ve been meaning to ask this, man. Are you gay?” Tact is not Shannon’s strong suit.
Eventually, Fabio and I think Alina stuck with the initial plan — although Fabio expressed confusion about it while voting — to eliminate Brenda. Chase, Benry, and Kelly B., however, all flipped to the other side after seeing Shannon’s performance and sent him home. Shannon’s post-elimination comments about how much he hates his marriage — dude was married at 19 — made Tribal seem less like an aberration than it might have been. He’s also a Louisianan who doesn’t eat seafood, which strikes me as inconceivable.
So in Week 3, we get to look forward to another episode of Holly Drama, the feud between NaOnka and Fabio, and the continued growth of the ill-conceived but productive-to-this-point minority alliance. What’s not to like?