Just like last week, two torches were snuffed on tonight's episode of Survivor: Nicaragua.
OK, so one of them was a chicken...but Jane did carry a torch for it, and she sure was blindsided when the boys killed her pet for dinner.
But it was Tribal Council where a real Castaway met their shocking demise:
Benry! What a delightful surprise for those of us, including Dan, convinced that fabulous Fabio was on the chopping block. Jud's feathers will surely be plucked soon, but at least we can enjoy him for one more episode!
Spoiler Alert: Why was I astonished by tonight's blindside? Because Benry's recent Apple-endorsing tweet hinted that he would be facing the jury in the final: "If I win the million dollars on survivor Nicaragua," he wrote, "I'm buying all of my followers an iPad. " Well played, sir! (Guess you Benry followers are buying yourself Kindles.)
Sandbagging or Douchebagging? Like many of
Coach's Sash's other tall tales—for example, he told me that in a previous visit to Central America he survived both an attempted stabbing during a bank robbery and falling off a cliff on a chicken cart—it's hard to believe his claim that he'd deliberately underperformed in challenges before tonight. Does it really matter though? He's got one Hidden Immunity Idol, and now Fabio and "flighty" Chase are his only other real rivals in Individual Immunity Challenges. (And you know they aren't the sharpest machetes at the camp.)
Brigade Alliance? Before tonight, the final seemed destined to be a frat-boy Big Brother 12 reunion. Seriously, how much does Fabio resemble winner Hayden? Now there's a chance Holly (who is more beautiful with each grubby day) and Jane can continue to represent for the Antiques. (Here's hoping Dan's vote for Fabio means he will soon stop representing for the Lame.)
Game On: Tonight's scrambling at camp gave me goosebumps. Despite this lackluster/infuriating season, the Castaways' desperate maneuvering underscores the brilliance of Mark Burnett's game and shows why Survivor still breaks ratings records in its 21st season. Everyone seemed to be strategizing—even Dan!—as alliances shifted paranoia set in.
Chicken-quits: Jane's chicken deserved better than to be named after nonplayers Kelly and NaOnka—at least it knows the meaning of sacrifice. Still fuming about the dropout duo, I checked in with Marty, who I knew would understand fans' fury: "Intuitively, I believe that hard-core lovers of the game understand the hardship, believe in the honor of playing the game through, not only for themselves, but because quitting in any situation is rarely something to be proud of," he agreed.
"These folks had the opportunity of a lifetime," added my pick to be Nicaragua's
hair heir apparent. "They were carefully selected to compete in the greatest game ever. I think that their quitting reveals how challenging and how arduous this game really is. It showed the audience that all the hardships are very, very real. However, I personally believe, after watching Survivor for over 10 years, that people want to see contestants fight for their lives to survive under impossible conditions, and tough opponents, to win $1 million, but more importantly to claim the title of Sole Survivor."
Benry won't be claiming that title or buying a million bucks' worth of iPads, but he did fight for his life. To hear his to the quitters and his own blindside, check back here tomorrow for our exit interview!
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