Survivor: Nicaragua, "Stuck in the Middle": volcano surfing

Quick Take: Survivor: Nicaragua, "Stuck in the Middle"
"NaOnka will not vote for me." - Brenda


Review: Survivor: Nicaragua, "Stuck in the Middle"
(S2110) Tonight's Survivor forced me to add a new item to my bucket list: volcano surfing.  It's more like volcano sledding, really, but it looks awesome.  More on that later.

Marty got the boot last week, after inexplicably evading the vote for the past month.  But there's no time to waste being relieved; these players are ready to move onto the next target. Holly, who is morphing into a pretty solid and savvy competitor after almost quitting early on (and her absurd shoe sinking incident), is suddenly ready to lead a charge against Brenda, who is clearly running the show.  Now that her nemesis Marty is out of the way, Jane is ready to come on board as well, and they quickly recruit Benry, Fabio, Dan, and surprisingly NaOnka.  NaOnka had a seemingly tight alliance with Brenda, but since NaOnka is basically insane, she's more than willing to jump ship.

Holly and Jane also foolishly present their plan to Chase, who still has a puppy dog infatuation with Brenda.  They didn't even need Chase's vote, numbers wise, so this was a questionable choice, and he immediately runs to Brenda to tell her the news.  She's still pretty confident she'll be able to stick around without much effort. 

The reward challenge comes, and it involves a tricky little task of traversing a stretch of beach without touching the ground, by maneuvering some barrels and planks.  The team containing NaOnka, Chase, Purple Kelly, Jane, and Fabio wins easily.  The other team was utterly clueless, and they also had Dan, which is pretty much a guaranteed loss in a task like this.

The reward?  VOLCANO SURFING! Yes, it sounds a lot cooler than it is, but it's still pretty cool.  They get to sled down a hill of ash.  As a fan of sledding but a hater of cold weather, this seems like the perfect pasttime, and it definitely created some nice visuals.  Then, per the norm on these rewards, they get a nice meal, during which NaOnka pulls Fabio aside ("On a volcano," as Purple Kelly astutely points out) and reinforces that Brenda needs to go.  At what point did Fabio and NaOnka begin tolerating each other enough to work together?  This continuity is worse than Glee's!

Back at the camp, the losers return to discover that all of their food and supplies have burned up.  How could this happen?  Well, they surrounded the fire with a bunch of wooden chests filled with all their stuff, obviously.  I don't see anything wrong with that picture at all, except for everything. If only they had surrounded it with a protective barrier of gasoline, they might have been okay. In a group of 10 adults, no one thought this was a bad idea?  Benry is angry.

The immunity challenge has the survivors leaning back while hanging on to a rope.  It comes down to the impressively strong Jane and Chase, and Jane almost gives up.  In an odd show of support, Jeff encourages and motivates her to stay on.  Way to be unbiased, Jeffrey.  Anyway, his pep talk works and Jane wins immunity again, giving her ample opportunity to talk about how working with dogs gives her super strength.

It's scrambling time back at camp, except that Brenda refuses to scramble.  I like this strategy on the surface; panic and a paranoia rarely get people anywhere, so calmly assessing your options is probably smart.  In Brenda's case, she may have been a bit too passive, as she hardly seemed to be making many attempts to shift the vote back in her favor, aside from suggesting that Sash play his idol.  It even takes a bit to convince her that NaOnka has turned, as she initially insists that "NaOnak will not vote for me." Chase is still running around trying to get people to vote out Benry, despite no one else really caring.

Tribal council is relatively calm compared to many weeks.  NaOnka denies that she is jumping ship, even though every single person on the tribe knows that she has.  Purple Kelly doesn't know what's going on at all, which is understandable since she's rarely on the show. She seems seriously out of the loop though, and ends up casting a lone vote for Benry.

The vote happens, and drumroll... Sash does NOT use the idol.  Kudos to him for being selfish enough to keep it for himself, but this may have been a missed opportunity to swing some numbers back to his side.  We'll see.  Anyway, Brenda's torch gets stuffed, despite seeming to be in complete control of the game a week ago.  I'm glad people are playing the game at least.  Crazy times in Nicaragua.

Actually, other than volcanu surfing, this was a pretty mundane episode in a pretty mundane season.  But don't worry, it looks like NaOnka is going to do something crazy again next week, so watch out for that. Also, Dan is still there, with no target anywhere near him.  Watch out, he's going to win this thing.

What are your thoughts?  Be sure to check out Tom's roundup as well!

By Adam Wattenbarger

About the author

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1 Comment
On: Thursday, November 18, 2010
kirklowe said:

hot girl gone who cares any more .  time to watch something else . Rating will drop


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