There are only two remaining episodes of “Survivor: Nicaragua” and it feels as if we still have a lot of contestants remaining. Or maybe it’s just my feeling that if Dan is still in the game, it ought to be very, very, very early in the season.
Click through for the full recap of Wednesday’s (Dec. 15) “Survivor”…
Pre-credit sequence. The Libertad Six return to camp after voting Benry out. Sash immediately pulls Fabio aside and tells him that Benry had been targeting him. Sash is pleased that Fabio knows he’s in charge, but cackles that as long as Fabio doesn’t win Immunity next, he’s going out. But Fabio has other ideas. Or he wants us to believe he does. “I think they believe I’m more gullible and naive than I am,” Fabio tells us. He’s hoping to astound his fellow castaways with his stealthy wisdom, but he may only have 57 more minutes to astound viewers. Think fast, Fabio!
Sprint to the finish. If you’re keeping score at home, it’s Day 33 for Libertad. Instead of Tree-mail, they receiver a cell phone. They spend a long time holding the Sprint phone in the direction of the camera as they figure out how to make video play. “Something as simple as a Sprint cell phone can bring you to tears,” Chase shills. One after another, the castaways see their videos and properly position the Sprint phone for maximum impact. Everybody’s bawling as spouses, parents and children send Sprint messages. My favorite moment is when Fabio’s mother calls him “Juddy,” forcing absolutely everybody to remember that Fabio’s name isn’t “Fabio.” So many tears. Everybody begins plotting on who will take who if they win Reward. Fabio and Chase agree that if they win, it’ll be a Young Man’s Reward.
Hugs and tears, brought to you by Sprint. Before the Reward Challenge, Probst whores for the Sprint phone. Ick. He takes back their phone, which gets shown again in a close-up as it passes into his hand. Want to know what they’re playing for? The winners will receive a lunch and a cruise and the company of their loved ones and their Sprint phone. Chase’s mom is here! They hug and cry. Thanks, Sprint! Fabio’s mom — total babe — is here! They hug and cry. Thanks, Sprint! Fabio’s mom says that Fabio used to be called “Jud the Stud.” Sash’s mom is here! They hug and cry. Thanks, Sprint! Sash tells us that when he grew up, they didn’t have a lot of money, but they had a lot of love. Dan’s son is here! They hug and cry! Thanks, Sprint! Probst is impressed with how much Dan’s son keeps kissing him. Jane’s daughter is here! They hug and cry. Thanks, Sprint! Holly’s husband is here! They hug and cry, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Thanks, Sprint!
Splashing and puzzle-solving, brought to you by Sprint. Oh. Wait. Forget about the hugging and crying. There’s a challenge to be performed. The castaways have to keep jumping into a pool to collect letter tiles. They bring the tiles back to their loved ones, who have to spell the phrase, “Family Comes First.” It’s a bit sad that Dan’s son has to see how weak his dad is. Everybody is working on the puzzle before Dan even brings the tile back. Jane appears to have told her daughter the puzzle, but it doesn’t help. Chase’s mom is first to solve the puzzle. Will Chase make the right Reward partner choice this time? Or will he blow it again. He only gets to choose one castaway, though. Chase correctly picks Sash. Then Probst lets him take one more. Chase picks Holly. “He’s a scumbag. Don’t worry about it,” Dan’s son tells him. Fabio is bawling and pissed off at Chase, which is fair, since they kinda had an agreement. Before they leave, Probst hands them their Sprint phone and instructs them to record their memories.
Bitterness and disappointment, brought to you by Sprint. The bitter, family-free Libertad castaways return and grumble. Dan and Fabio are outraged that Chase keeps choosing Holly for things. “He straight-up lied to me,” Fabio grouses. “You made a million dollar decision today,” Jane complains in Chase’s nebulous direction. Fabio’s annoyed an his behalf. Dan’s annoyed on Jane’s behalf. Jane’s mad on her behalf, thinking that she’s the fourth person in a four-way alliance, which worries her.
Cockiness and hubris, brought to you by Sprint. Meanwhile, the winners fall upon the food like it’s their last meal for a long time. Sash, who has gone two weeks without a solid meal, is grateful. Chase agrees with the other two that they’re the Final Three. Chase isn’t worried about the choice he made, saying he needs to keep Holly close. They toast to their collective success and take many pictures using their wicked awesome Sprint cameras. Everybody hugs. Everybody cries. Everybody appreciates the power of Sprint. But Chase knows he has to go back to the camp to face “wrath,” brought to him by Sprint.
Fabio correctly uses the word “rhetorical” in a sentence. A spider and crabs are creeping around camp as the victors return. “How was it?” Fabio asks. Chase tries telling him, but Fabio response, “That was a rhetorical question. I know it was great.” Well played, Fabio. But Fabio tries being the bigger man and claiming he won’t hold a grudge. He’s determined to win Immunity. And I hope he does. Go Fabio!
The blind side. Probst takes Immunity from Sash’s neck. They begin the challenge blindfolded. They have to go through a hitching station, caress an assortment of symbols on a shield, collect a bag of similar symbols, make it back to the start and decorate another shield with the matching symbols. Sound confusing? Why does Dan even bother? Sigh. Fabio makes it back to the shield first with his symbols. Can he pull off the miracle Immunity win? This is a really hard challenge. Fabio finishes first, but one of his pieces is wrong. He tries again and… He’s right! Fabio wins Immunity. Suddenly, it’s unclear who’s going home next. Intriguing! Unless it’s just Dan going home because he forgets to take off his blindfold and never makes it back to camp.
The blindside. Let’s see how this goes down. Sash grins and admits that the only think that could have screwed up his plans just happened. Dan mentions being exhausted, a regular occurrence. Chase lobbies to get Dan out, but Fabio is lobbying to take Jane out while they have the opportunity. For some reason, Chase is convinced that sending Jane home is a big risk. Sash plays the “Jane is unbeatable in the Final Three” card. Chase, though, wants to vote Jane out in the Final Four. “I don’t know if this is right or not,” Chase mumbles. Oh Chase, if you think it, it’s probably wrong. Jane comes to make sure her alliance is steady, but nobody even attempts to reassure her. “So is it me?” she asks. Chase quickly passes the buck and blames Holly and Sash, who are forced to squirm in front of Jane. “Y’all have been conniving this the whole time,” Jane accuses. When Sash explains their point of view, Jane flips them off and storms away, saying she’s most disappointed in Chase, warning that he shouldn’t return to North Carolina. Jane also isn’t impressed with Sash and the way his mother raised him. Jane’s proud of how she’s played the game and vows that a Rabbit Jane is gonna break out. Mothers, hide your carrots! Before they depart, Jane douses the fire. And douses it again for good measure. “By God, I started it, I’ll put it out,” she says, between gritted teeth. Oh. A *Rabid* Jane. BRING ON RABID JANE!
Tribal Council. Probst doesn’t refer to NaOnka and Purple Kelly as quitters this time. Probst begins by asking about their crazy afternoon. Dan explains Jane’s action and Jane defends it. “There’s absolutely no loyalty in tonight’s vote. It’s full of liars and backstabbers,” Jane says, before calling people out. Jane mentions Holly’s shoe-stealing and tells Holly that where she comes from, you go to jail for that. Dan just nods. Ask to defend the betrayal of the alliance, Chase again throws Sash and Holly under the bus. Probst keeps peppering Chase with questions and he keeps deferring to Sash and Holly, who agree that whoever doesn’t win Immunity next between Dan and Fabio is going next. Probst does an impression of his mother and asks Jane, Fabio and Dan why they don’t have an alliance. Why didn’t they think of this? Who knows. Jane tells Jane to try strategizing and she proposes writing Holly’s name down, forcing a tie. Suddenly, Holly’s a little concerned. Chase doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and he admits it. The jury is loving this.
The Vote. Sash and Chase both have Idols and can’t use them after tonight. Will either of them give Holly their Idol just in case? Chase and Sash both play their Idols. Holly is exposed. Jane. Jane. Jane. So much for Probst’s attempted troublemaking. Jane is voted out. “Y’all have fun,” she declares, with minimal sincerity. Jane lost respect for everybody, especially Sash. Oh and in the final vote, everybody wrote Jane’s name down except for Jane and she voted for Sash.
Bottom Line: What does it say about this season’s contestants that Jeff Probst was responsible for generating the most Tribal Council drama of the entire season? And what does it say about this season that even though he made a fair amount of sense, he couldn’t successfully produce drama, even with his impression of Mama Probst? I guess Jane just felt she was better off pouting, swearing, flipping people off and behaving like a petulant child than making any effort to scurry and save herself in what should have been an evenly divided tribe? It’s taken a long time for me to find anybody I wanted to root for this season, but I’m 100 percent Team Fabio for Sunday’s finale. I guess there are arguments to be made that Holly and Sash have both negotiated the game well strategically, but I’m not interested in those arguments. And don’t you dare tell me you’re rooting for Chase to win. But really, when you take the quality of the season into consideration, is Dan really the season’s only truly appropriate winner?
Who are you rooting for on Sunday? And, put a different way, who’s the season’s most deserving winner? And who would be the season’s most appropriate winner? And is there any chance the Jimmy Johnson wins the $100,000 America’s Favorite vote? That would be fun…