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Survivor: Nicaragua — Leadership & Hunger

October 06, 2010 06:58 PM by Ryan Haidet

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Finally!  An episode of Survivor: Nicaragua that wasn’t choppy or fractured in the storytelling.  It felt smooth, consistent and filled with the themes of leadership and hunger — two elements that make Survivor what it truly is.  It all started back at the Espada camp after they voted out former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson.  Jimmy T. didn’t regret voting out the tribe’s leader because he didn’t think any of Jimmy Johnson‘s leadership qualities were worth keeping around.  Struggling to stay warm while standing in the rain around the fire, Jimmy T. was singing and annoying the entire group.  Just enough irritating qualities to drive Marty crazy.

Struggles & Hardships

The next morning, Espada saw their beach had been destroyed by Mother Nature’s fury.  Wet and damp from the constant rains, they all looked worn and tired.  Jillian was getting worried about the food situation as their rations were shrinking with only two cups of rice a day and no fish.  As a commercial fisherman in his day-to-day life, Jimmy T. was trying to motivate and teach everybody else to catch fish.  But in true Survivor fashion, the person who brags too often usually can’t prove their worth.  As he tried to toss the net into the water in front, Jimmy T. struggled to catch any fish.  Creative editing here?  Not sure, but it played perfect for the story CBS was trying to tell.

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Idol War

At La Flor, NaOnka and Brenda were working to decipher the clues to the hidden Immunity Idol as Alina watched from a distance.  After a short discussion, the duo dug a short hole near tree mail and easily found the Idol.  Although Brenda was the person responsible for finding the Idol based on the clues, NaOnka said in confessional that the Idol is hers and only hers.

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Unaware the Idol had been found, Alina and Kelly B. went looking for it later in the day.  As NaOnka followed them on their search, she fired up an argument telling Kelly B. she doesn’t like her.  “I really don’t need no charity case on the jury,” NaOnka said in confessional.  “Screw your leg,” NaOnka continued in confessional.  “Keep it away from the fire.”

Challenge Prep

Espada was really struggling on night 10, especially considering the lack of food.  As discussion of leadership arose, Marty nominated Tyrone to take charge in challenges, which Jillian agreed with.  The next day, the tribes were given blindfolds in their tree mail, which Espada took advantage of by practicing for the upcoming challenge.

At yet another combined Immunity/Reward challenge (seriously?!?!), the tribes were tasked with gathering 10 items along a course while blindfolded simply by following the calls of one tribe member.  This time, the young La Flor tribe chose to use the Medallion of Power, which gave them a two-item advantage meaning they only needed to collect eight in order to win.

With the competition underway, Brenda was calling for La Flor as Tyrone took the reigns for Espada.  La Flor was off to a successful start having collected more than half of their items by the time the older team had gathered just one.  As always with these challenges, the contestants were slamming into each other and tripping over obstacles.

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This challenge wasn’t even close as La Flor clobbered Espada.  As their Reward, the youngsters chose to take fishing gear, a tarp and cooking supplies from a slew of items.

Idol Chatter

La Flor was high-fiving each other when they returned to camp with their new supplies from the challenge.  Benry held the tarp over his head as Chase rummaged through the tackle box and found a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol.  He secretly pulled the clue out and put it in his pocket.  Moments later, he went for a walk with Brenda and told her that he had the next clue.  Without telling him she had already found it with NaOnka, Brenda went along with him in an effort to find what was no longer there.  After playing it off for quite some time, Brenda finally admitted to Chase that the Idol was already found.

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Mastermind Among Wimps

Back at Espada, the gang was gathering sea urchins together, but when Marty found a few on his own, he ate them immediately.  That naturally rubbed Jimmy T. the wrong way so he called Marty out saying he should have contributed the ones he found to the entire tribe.  With that, Marty was on the warpath to get Jimmy T. out.

Most of the other tribe mates — Jillian, Holly, Tyrone and Jane — wanted to oust Dan next since he’s been so weak with no contribution to the challenges.  But Marty was not at all interested in voting Dan out.  Instead, he wanted to get Jimmy T. out of the competition based on his volatility and irritating qualities.  Jimmy T. was also starting to rub Yve the wrong way saying he needs to keep his mouth shut.

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At Tribal Council, host Jeff Probst asked Dan if he’s a burden to the tribe since he never competes in challenges.  Dan said he certainly doesn’t deserve to go just because he’s got a bad knee.  When leadership was discussed, Jimmy T. dished his thoughts about wanting the opportunity to stand at the top.  When asked, Marty said he doesn’t believe Jimmy T. has the best set of qualities for that role.  Holly argued that maybe they should just offer Jimmy T. a shot at leading the tribe because they truly don’t know what he can contribute since they haven’t seen it.  But the majority of Espada disagreed and concluded that Jimmy T. would play a better role in the group as a follower.  Brought to tears by the situation, Jimmy T. agreed to step down from his push to lead and vowed to become a worker bee for the tribe.

But by then it was too late.  When the votes were tallied, Jimmy T. was eliminated with five votes falling against him — the other three against Dan.

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Amazing how Marty was able to swap the majority of the votes from Dan to Jimmy T.  He truly seems to be a strong player among a bunch of weak-minded strategists — with the exception of Jillian and Jane.  But I also think Marty is playing too aggressive, which will come back to haunt him as the game progresses.

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Images courtesy of CBS.

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