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By Gina Carbone
*Note* The “Survivor: Nicaragua” finale will reportedly start 18 minutes late; so around 8:18 p.m. Eastern time instead of 8 p.m.
Something happened in the past, oh, year or so. I used to be a “casual” fan of “Survivor.” The kind who would be rooting for Judson “Fabio” Birza to win “Survivor: Nicaragua” as we go into tonight’s live finale. But somewhere along the way I went hardcore.
Now it’s not enough for me to have a winner who spent 90% of the season as a spectator. I know it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, but that’s just one reason I really wanted Holly Hoffman to win.
I don’t want a Spectator to win “Survivor.” I want a Survivor to win.
To me — other than Holly — that’s Matthew “Sash” Lenahan as #1 and Chase Rice as #2.
They were both knee-deep in the game the whole time, mistakes and all. No one on this show played a dominant game. This wasn’t a great season overall. No option for winner would be perfect.
I have no major issue with Jud.
Really, I’m pretty much past this season already. I’m mostly interested in what Jeff Probst says at the reunion about Season 22 “Redemption Island” (the rumored title) with Russell Hantz and Boston Rob Mariano as the rumored main players. (Would they really get immunity until the merge? That’s effed up.)
*Update* Jeff didn’t say anything about Rob vs. Russell, so maybe that’s not really going to happen? Or is that being saved for later?
I’m going to do my stream of consciousness live blog recap tonight, just because I’m now obsessed with “Survivor” — even a mediocre season.
Here’s our final five going into tonight:
Judson Birza, 21; student/model/musician, Venice, Calif.
Chase Rice, 24; NASCAR jackman/singer, Fairview, N.C.
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, 30; luxury broker, New York City
Holly Hoffman, 44; swim coach, Eureka, S.D.
Dan Lembo, 63; property management, Water Mill, N.Y.
Can’t wait to find out what happens? Check out the spoilers boot list.
Catch up on all of my “Survivor” recaps and spoilers in this nifty archive.
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS FINALE RECAP
No offense, but WTF is up with Andy Rooney?
8:18 p.m.: Here we go! Recap of season to date. Jeff says no one could’ve predicted that Dan, Sash, Jane, Fabio and Holly would make it to the end. Talk of Dan’s expensive shoes and “ineffective” or non-participation in challenges. Jeff’s recap says he’s the only one left who hasn’t made any enemies. Is that true? I thought Fabio was in the same boat?
“Godmother” Holly ftw! Alas…
Since Day 3, every person Chase has aligned with he eventually voted out. Chase has angered so many people “it was a wonder he was still in the game.” Does Jeff not like Chase?
Sash does look like “a dead man walking.” Is it physically possible for him to get skinnier? I’m asking. “I hold more chips than anyone else still remaining.” I respect the strategists. He should win.
I forgot that Shannon was the one who called Fabio “a dumb blond” and started the “Fabio” nickname. For the record, I think Fabio is exactly as smart and stupid as he’s being portrayed. I don’t think he’s playing anyone; he’s just being himself.
8:23 p.m.: Opening theme, then commercials…
8:27 p.m.: Is Fabio just now realizing that Sash, Chase and Holly are tight and want him out next? Just NOW? Fabio wants to break up the alliance. “Do you want to go to the final 3 with me?” he asks Holly, in front of Dan. Non-entity Dan. Take her to prom, man!
Fabio wants to be “cool” and not let on that he’s playing the game. Too late, since you just played your entire hand in front of Dan and Holly. Fabio needs to win immunity, which he knows. Finally.
Sash knows there’s a good chance Fabio could make an immunity run. Sash tells Fabio what he wants to hear. Sash tells Fabio he would like to get to the end with Chase and Fabio. He wants as many avenues to the final 3 as possible. If that means making deals with everyone, so be it. Big move. Big risk.
8:29 p.m.: Immunity challenge #1
Puzzle with questions about Nicaragua. Did they study before they came?
Fabio got one wrong, had to go back. Chase and Holly coming back for 3rd bags. Fabio back with 2nd bag. He was in last. Except for Dan, who remains a non-entity.
Fabio is way back. He has to make up a lot of time. Dan finally back with 3rd bag, working on puzzle.
Sash has a huge lead right now. Fabio and Sash neck-and-neck. Fabio is good with puzzles! It’s like Parvati with the balancing challenges.
“FABIO WINS IMMUNITY!” Get used to hearing that tonight. At least he’s struggling to win. I hate an anointing.
Chase was missing a piece. Cue the jokes about Chase not playing with a full bag of puzzle pieces.
8:40 p.m.: Lots of “way to go, Fabios” from all the fakers.
Fabio is “lovin’ it, man.” He’s always known that he was going to wait until the last minute to be aggressive. That’s a great strategy provided you get to the end. But Fabio has just been lucky so far.
Chase thinks Dan is less of a threat than Holly. Fabio tells Dan that Chase wants to get rid of him. Fabio wants to keep Dan around. He sees Dan as less of a threat to win.
Dan tells Sash and Fabio that Holly is a bigger threat. Fabio wants to make a case for Dan not being the biggest threat. Fabio wants to split up Chase and Holly. He tells Sash he’s not just trying to save Dan. Sash tells him he brings up good points.
Holly comes up to talk to Fabio and Sash. She’s surprised to hear that Fabio is talking about dumping Dan. She knows he’s full of crap and wants to get rid of her. That’s my girl!
8:44 p.m.: Tribal Council #1
Dan says he lives a nice life and has money and he thinks no one would vote for him. His whole “ploy” is, take me to the end, no one will vote for me to win.
A lot of fingers were pointed at Holly last time and she’s afraid it will be her again. Uh oh! Holly says Dan wants four guys in the final 4.
Holly vs. Dan!
“The lady from North Dakota!” Or South Dakota, as it happens to be.
Brenda whispers to the jury that Chase is “paranoid as hell.” Chase’s mind is always spinning.
Jeff says it’s potentially a million dollar mistake to vote the wrong person out.
It’s down to Dan vs. Holly. WHY? Are we assuming Dan and Holly are bigger threats to win than Sash and Chase? I would vote out Chase. He’s a flip-flopper, but he’s a nice guy and a strong presence the entire time.
I’d vote out Chase or Sash, since Sash is the mastermind. Even more than Brenda. But he’s so hated (because of Jane) so maybe the theory is that no one would vote for him. Does he know this?
3. Chase (SMART! Who did this?)
Oooh! Bitter Dan voted for Chase to show how much he hates him. And he’s still mad at Holly for stealing the expensive shoes HE NEVER SHOULD’VE BROUGHT ON SURVIVOR.
Bitter. Bitter. Bitter. But he’s not mad at Fabio. And he doesn’t mention Sash.
Why is Dan so mad at Chase, again? Dan should’ve gone last week, if not several weeks ago. Chase stuck with his alliance (for once) and Dan has no right to be mad. He was never in an alliance with Chase or Holly, as far as I can tell.
No one ever votes the way Fabio wants. If he didn’t have immunity, he’d be gone. He’s just not an influential strategist.
8:55: Final four. Rah. Rah. Rah. They all seem pretty low-key about it.
Fabio knows he needs to win again because he doesn’t know what’s going through Sash and Chase’s minds. So Sash and Chase are in charge. They are the locks to make the final 3.
Sash believes every person left will take him to the end, no matter what. Well, that’s because everyone seems to hate you. You are less of a threat than Non-Entity Dan.
Holly talks to Chase about what they would do if Fabio wins immunity again. Chase thinks Sash will get votes from Purple Kelly and … who?
I’m sick of hearing about Fabio. I know I’m alone on this, but he’s not exactly Russell Hantz. Or Parvati. Or Tom Westman.
This could be a million dollar challenge for Chase. The fact that Chase is a lock for the final 3 — no one going after him, everyone vying for his vote — is a sign that he’s played a better game than anyone is giving him credit for.
8:58 p.m.: Oh the fallen comrades again. Blah Blah Blah.
Holly is the last of the Espada tribe. She’s also the last woman standing. Love Holly. Love love love Holly. Love her transformation.
I miss Jill. I wish Jill had stepped up more.
Everyone talks about how the social game was such a big deal. Probably this season more than most. There wasn’t even a Russell Hantz in the house. Or a JT Thomas. No one standout. Anyone who got close to standing out (Jimmy Johnson, Marty, Brenda) got knocked down.
I know I’m going to have to see Brenda again on an all-stars season, but I’m not looking forward to it. So. Freaking. Smug.
Wait. NaOnka says she always had a smile and was the smartest person in the game?? Which NaOnka is this?
Benry says they were smart to vote him out because he would’ve kept winning challenges. Except for puzzles. So, of course, the last challenges have been puzzles.
Are they gearing these challenges toward specific players? Like all the balancing and Zen challenges for Parvati on “Heroes vs. Villains” and puzzles for Fabio?
Maybe I’m just cranky about what happens, but Fabio’s “mans” are getting on my nerves. Am I turning into NaOnka?
9:11 p.m.: Final Immunity Challenge!
Balancing coins. No one had to physically balance or do a tough physical challenge. The challenges have been lame this season. I miss Palau. But I always miss Palau.
Fabio looks good with his hair pulled back. He almost drops out but makes a nice recovery.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …
Coins are boring.
Holly is out! Dang it!
Chase is out.
Down to Sash vs. Fabio. Again.
This would be more impressive if the challenge were better. What about the blindfold maze that ended HvV? Come on!
That’s it. Fabio wins. Which means Fabio wins.
9:22 p.m.: Fabio: “I’m lovin’ this, man!”
He knows everyone is going to make their cases for why he should keep them. I’m tired of Fabio. He’s just going to let it play out he says.
He tells Sash he hasn’t made up his mind. He says he’s got to think about things. Since he was the one who wanted to get rid of Holly, it makes sense for him to continue to want to get rid of Holly.
So Sash is scrambling. Fabio just ruined his plans. Fabio is looking smug.
Sash thinks Brenda will vote for Chase. He thinks Purple Kelly for Chase.
I think Brenda is for Fabio.
Sash! He tells Fabio, you’re “my best friend in the game.” He says he never would’ve voted out Fabio. Fabio smiles. He knows it’s bull.
It’s not rocket science that Holly/Sash/Chase are an alliance, although this ep is trying to make Fabio seem like Sherlock Holmes for cracking the code.
Fabio tells Chase. Chase is upset with Sash for going against him. Sash will say whatever it takes to get through the game. THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO.
Fabio thinks the cockroaches are scrambling. This edit is trying to make Fabio seem bright when it’s been obvious for a while that Sash, Holly and Chase have been a unit.
Fabio says Sash and Chase have lied to him the whole time. Holly is the only one who hasn’t lied or done anything to him. So is that why she has to go?
I’m so done with this season. This ep is trying to make Fabio seem like a strategist when he should’ve known the lay of the land before this moment. It’s not a bad thing to scramble or say anything to win. That’s what a survivor does.
I’d vote for Holly to win. So I’d have to vote Holly out at this point.
9:33 p.m.: Tribal Council #2
Fabio keeps smiling. He can’t hold it in. The jury adores him. I think that’s what bugs me. The Fabio WORSHIP out there.
Why is Fabio so proud of realizing Sash and Chase never would’ve taken him to the end?
Sash has had alliances with everyone. He finally admits he’s made deals with two groups to take them to the end.
There’s nothing wrong with that, in my eyes. But this jury seems to think actually playing “Survivor” is a HORRIBLE thing to do. Unheard of!
I bet Russell Hantz is rooting for Sash.
Jeff gives Holly, Chase and Sash an opportunity to make a last pitch to Fabio. Don’t bother. Sash says he’s been honest with Fabio.
So they are making Fabio seem like he’s totally in control. He’s the only one who gets to vote? No. So why don’t they get to make pitches to each other?
Holly was honest with him. … And he burns her for it. Nice.
So why did everyone act like it was all up to Fabio? He was only one vote. Stop selling me Fabio, CBS!
9:45 p.m.: Fabio says it took him 38 says to get into a power position. But there were four votes cast. It took more than Fabio’s vote to get out Holly. So why are they kissing his ass?
Fabio knows the jury will be receptive to what he has to say. WHY? Sash shouldn’t have to feel bad for wheeling and dealing. He did play the best strategic game.
So this final 3 doesn’t really like each other.
Sash calls Fabio and Chase his “wing men.” Fabio says Sash can take a back seat and take notes on how this is going to go.
So … Fabio gets a little power and it goes straight to his head. The smugness. Just because his journey ends well doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten how it began.
This is probably the most important day of Fabio’s life, he says. The edit is handing this to him, in total.
They get food and champagne and pancakes and stuff.
Chase keeps telling Fabio he thinks he’s going to win. This is so frustrating. Everyone in this game has short, bitter memories. Fabio is confident and proud, as if he hasn’t been clueless for 90 percent of this game. I’m sickened.
9:51 p.m.: Chase says he’s had more of a relationship with the people on the island than Fabio. And he thinks he played a better game than Sash. He was targeted as a physical threat from the beginning but still made it to the end. That’s exactly why I picked him as my second to win, after Sash. Big, strong, game. Complicated, sure, but all good games are. I hate when they coast, ala Fabio, who is so proud to have finally woken up.
9:53 p.m.: FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL!
Chase gets to speak first. It’s been an honor to play and he invites the questions. He knows he’s pissed off some people.
Fabio says they’ve had some good times. His strategy was to be himself and stay in the clear. In the end he knew he had to step up and win. He played a stand-up game. He thinks he deserves a million dollars and he would have a lot of fun with it. He laughs and the jury laughs LIKE THERE’S A LAUGH TRACK. Dammit. I hate this kid and the jury that loves him.
Sash seems too smart in his jury speech. Juries hate that, ala Stephen Fishbach over JT Thomas. Sash says the friendships he formed he takes more seriously than the alliances. The alliances were part of the game. He makes a respectful argument. Not arrogant or self-absorbed, ala Russell Hantz … or Fabio, for that matter.
9:58 p.m.: JURY QUESTIONS
Brenda is up first. She’s really proud of them. She enjoyed playing with Sash. Making alliances and breaking them and asking for votes … she doesn’t think that’s smart. But didn’t she turn on people a lot, too? It’s part of the game. She calls Chase “my snuggle buddy.” She had an emotional attachment to him. It was “shocking” how easy it was for him to vote her out, she says. He says first thing he heard of her vote, he came to her. Which is true. He tried to save her. She didn’t scramble. Sash says he thinks Chase could’ve stepped up more. Sash could’ve handed out the idol. She doesn’t even talk to Fabio?
Marty is next. There’s good reasons why they are there and he isn’t. He wants to play something out with Chase. There’s going to be a “dumber than a bag of hammers” award. Who would it go to? Marty is not eligible but it can go to anyone on the jury or the final 3. Chase calls it a BS question. He wouldn’t pick anyone but Marty. Marty says Sash is a cerebral player. Marty calls Fabio “dude” and he thinks Fabio has changed the most as a person and a player. OK.
Holly asks Chase what he considers his best strategical move that he made on his own. He said his initial move to vote Shannon out. It allowed him to vote with people he could trust. Does Fabio think winning the last immunity challenge was too little too late. Fabio laughs and says it was the best timing possible. Did Sash ever lie to Holly. Sash says yes he did. They both made a commitment that they would never write each other’s names down. At the end they both had to write each other’s names down. Holly says she truly respects them and she had a great time.
Jane! Jane says someone must’ve raised Sash good to be a “New York City river rat.” He can go back to the gutter. Fabio laughs like this wasn’t incredibly rude and out of nowhere. Hunt the Cure was started by Chase’s brother. If he wins, $100,000 is going to that charity to help cure cancer. He’ll also take care of his mom. Fabio puts his hand up, that he wants to take care of his mom and dad as well. Jane doesn’t even ask Fabio anything.
Benry says he’s heard everything he needs from Chase. He congratulates Fabio on back-to-back-to-back immunity wins. Benry says he was able to see through Sash’s fake smile. What did Benry do wrong that Sash could see? He asks for Sash’s assessment. That tells me that Sash is seen as the best.
BITTER ASS JURY
Dan says Sash is a liar and a phony. He calls him “spineless” and he hates that smile. He wants him to fix his eye wink. Dan is an ass. Dan calls Chase the most paranoid player in the game. As if Dan has a right to say a goddamn thing. Chase let Dan down. Chase: “This is Survivor, Dan.” Dan: “Beauty fades. Dumb is forever.”
AND YOU JUST PROVED IT, YOU ASS!
Purple Kelly. Sash gets 60 seconds to explain how he outwitted everyone. Sash thinks he should’ve been voted out at the merge. He’s getting feedback that he hurt too many people. Kelly likes his honesty. That was it? She didn’t talk to anyone else?
No one is even asking Fabio anything.
NaOnka says Chase was her boy. Fabio was her friend. Sash was the strategic player. NaOnka asks Fabio if seeing his mom was gasoline to fuel him to go on. Fabio chokes up. “Yeah, man. It got me to the end.” Oh Lord.
Why is everyone crying over that?
Alina says Fabio is the ultimate surfer boy and she loves that, but she doesn’t want to give a million dollars to a boy. She wants to give it to a man. Nice! She wants Sash to convince her that he deserves to win over the other guys. Sash says Fabio didn’t know what was going on most of the time. (True! Like the Benry vote where he voted for Holly.) Alina is pleasantly surprised by Chase tonight. Chase says everyone called him wishy-washy but it was him finding himself a way out.
This is all just reinforcing my personal ranking:
Fabio tells Alina he got through the game without backstabbing anyone and that’s hard. Chase says he got there because he didn’t know what the hell was going on. He won three immunities in a row, but “This isn’t the NBA finals.” NICE ONE, CHASE! It’s outwit, outplay, outlast.
Why does everyone credit Fabio with getting them to the final 3? It was not his decision alone.
10:18 p.m.: THE JURY VOTES FOR A WINNER!
Purple Kelly is first. She is a quitter and her vote should note count.
Marty calls Chase the dumbest player to ever play this game and Sash is a weasel. Marty gushes over Fabio, saying he loves his game and believes everything he said. Vomit. Vote for Fabio.
Alina says Chase impressed her tonight. He came in there like no one she had seen before. He had his game face on. True.Vote for Chase.
Dan votes for Fabio, which proves my point about the entire season.
Brenda makes a meal out of her vote. She finally reveals it to be Chase! Yay!”I hope that you win and I am really proud of you. Congratulations.” Nice! Chase did make a very good argument for himself.
10:21 p.m.: LIVE FINALE
Fabio cut his hair. Chase and Sash look handsome.
Was 8 for Chase? Anyway, they are tied now! Four votes Chase, four votes Fabio, none for Sash.
The winner of Survivor: Nicaragua: Fabio.
That was closer than the spoilers led us to believe. But Sash was still ROBBED.
10:28 p.m.: What are the odds. Everyone loves Fabio. Blah.
Fabio says his mom gets asked why did she name her son Fabio. Ha.
Now Fabio is pretending he played the goofball. He played himself, which means he is a goofball. Remember buying how Marty is a chess master?
So sick of The Fabio Show.
Shut this kid up. He’s not a mastermind. The audience adores him, though.
He’s the youngest winner ever, though. That’s cool He’s 21. He wants to start a production company, connect our dots around the world and undermind the government via communications and art.
Natalie White and Sandra Diaz-Twine never got to babble this much. God. I want to know who voted for whom.
Jeff asks Chase about the Brenda thing. It was a showmance. They were just friends. Brenda looks beautiful. All the girls are dressed up.
Brenda admits that she had planned to get rid of Sash. She told NaOnka and NaOnka told Sash. But she was still hoping to get the idol from Sash? Duh.
Jeff kept telling Sash he would be the first voted out. But he made the finals. And he SHOULD’VE WON!
Chase cares about music. “Survivor” hasn’t really helped him. He lives in Nashville now.
Chase gets to play guitar in front of everyone. Fabio is in a band too, you know. But he plays drums.
10:43 p.m.: Jimmy Johnson’s turn to babble. Other than football, “Survivor” is his favorite show. He tried to get on this show 6 or 7 years ago. Do you think they cast Fabio? A model living in the L.A. area? Seems like it to me. I hate when they cast for people instead of letting regular folks audition.
Survivor saved Jimmy’s life? It got him healthy. He applied again so he could be on the show and be eliminated pretty fast.
Did you see Coach Ben Wade in the audience? I love Coach. I do.
Enough about Jimmy Johnson and football. I want to know who voted for whom. I want to know about Season 22. I want to hear more from my girl Holly. I want Jane to talk about the Sash incident. Did he bribe her? Air it out!
According to Wikipedia, Holly, Jane, Brenda and Alina voted for Chase. Dan, Benry, Purple Kelly, NaOnka and Marty voted for Fabio. I wish they had just asked for a show of hands at the reunion, ’cause I don’t know if I trust this intel. If true, it’s all the more reason why quitters should not have votes on the jury.
Jesus, Dan is tan.
Holly looks gorgeous.
Holly bought Dan ostrich boots.
Jeff: “How rich are you?” (Not half as rich as you, Probst!)
Dan doesn’t want to say anything in case the IRS is watching!
10:54 p.m.: Time to talk to Jane.
Jeff is pushing her likability. Is she really that well liked? I liked her best at first, then switched my love to Holly.
Jane is bitter and was unnecessarily mean to both Marty and Sash. She was waaayyyy too personal in her attacks on both men.
10:56 p.m.: NaOnka. Jeff says it wouldn’t be a great season of “Survivor” without a great villain. It wasn’t a great season.
The quitters should not get much airtime.
NaOnka pretends she only knocked Kelly Bruno down as another competitor. But she focused on her artificial leg THE WHOLE TIME. She talked about it as if she hated Kelly for having a faux leg.
NaOnka has been getting heat from parents at the schools she works at. She thinks that’s ridiculous because people shouldn’t be judged in their personal lives based on how they play a game on a TV show. I think she should be judged on how delusional she is, and how she quit the second things went wrong.
Jeff talks to NaOnka’s mom. Mom says she is a little bit like NaOnka. She’s the good girl, though.
YAY! New rule will help keep quitters off the jury!
Did you see Boston Rob sitting behind Jeff as Jeff talked about the Sprint Player of the Season being named next? Not a coincidence…
11:07 p.m.: SPRINT PLAYER OF THE SEASON
Jeff says this person won the most votes ever. It wasn’t even close.
“It was a blowout” for … Jane? $100,000. So she threw Sash under the bus for nothing. She makes $50,000 a year??? That’s a lot!!!
Shannon was calling a duck a duck. Ugh. Jeff stops Shannon. Shannon met Sash’s girlfriend? What? This isn’t making sense and Jeff cuts it off.
Wendy does have an annoying voice. Her husband was right about her.
Jimmy T.! He won’t not be heard. He tried too hard and played with this heart.
Alina was always laughing and smiling? She was a good jury member, I have to say.
Segue into how they are all part of the “Survivor” family. Boston Rob in the audience. Rob and Amber just had their second baby, Carina Rose Mariano, born Dec. 10.
Ambah! She’s a “Survivor.” “She just got it done.”
Amber is the one who actually won — deserved or not. (And we all know it’s “not.”) She needs to stop having babies so she can come back and try to earn her legacy.
11:15 p.m.: SEASON 22 TEASER
They have a twist that will change the game.
This time when someone is voted out, they will not go home. They will be forced to live on “Redemption Island.” Next voted out will go there too. Then there’s a head-to-head duel. The only way to stay alive is to win. One person will survive long enough to re-enter the game.
It’s like the Outcasts twist meets Exile Island meets “Hunger Games.”
“Survivor: Redemption Island” starts in February.
Jeff calls on Cirie and Rupert in the audience. Are they going to be on the show? Will Rob and Russell be on the show or was that rumor just a rumor?
Catch up on my “Survivor” stories and spoilers here in this nifty archive. See you in February!
(P.S. I almost never do anything interesting on Twitter, but you can follow me there anyway, if you feel like it. No pressure. Like I said, I don’t do much. Thanks!)
Jane: “My alliance have turned on me.”
Don’t worry, dear. Unless they turn 180 degrees, they’re all still facing the wrong direction. What was it Mr. Farty Marty called Chase? Dumb as a bag of hammers? That bag needs room for two more members this week.
Jane Bright is proud of the way she played “Survivor: Nicaragua.” Stealing stuff, making fish behind people’s backs, getting outraged over just about everything. When her dumbass alliance of Chase/Holly/Sash announced in front of her that they would be voting her out on “This is Going to Hurt,” she unleashed “the wrath of Jane.”
Fabio — aka “Jud the Stud” — won immunity right when he needed to and apparently EVERYONE except for Dan’s son has forgotten that Dan still exists.
So instead of voting out Dan, which would’ve been an easy call salvaging the Chase/Holly/Sash/Jane majority, Jane ended up going home — damaging the reputations of her alliance members in front of the jury in the process.
Can we credit Fabio? He wanted Jane gone, which of course makes sense for him. Fabio said if Chase doesn’t vote out Jane it could go down as his worst decision. First of all, that list is way too long at this point. Second, Chase should vote out Jane AFTER Dan.
By the way, Jeff Probst, stop strategizing for the players at tribal council. Yes, they are dumb as a bag of hammers, but that doesn’t mean you and your impression of your own mom need to jump in and do the work for them.
Both Sash and Chase played their idols, but they didn’t need to. No one went after them. They went after Jane. Who, again, was on their side. They didn’t even have the sense to blindside her. They let her trash them. In front of the jury. After dousing the fire. They now have no fire because they told an emotionally unstable woman their plans to backstab her.
I’m disappointed in my girl Holly. All she’s doing is giving Chase and Sash rope to hang themselves, but Jane targeted Holly more than anyone else. This was not well played.
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS RECAP
Holly: “What the f–k is wrong with Chase?”
They call him Flipper! Flipper! Faster than lightning!
Seriously. It’s like a compulsion. Chase got the whole intro, which made him seem like “a portrait of indecision,” but also the one running the camp. Everyone — including Chase — thinks Chase is flighty, but how can that be the case when he’s in charge and no one is even trying to get rid of him?
On the flip side, I’m tired of hearing from everyone — including Fabio — that Fabio isn’t that stupid. Fabio started the episode by insisting that everyone is underestimating him, but if that was the case then why did he vote Holly last week when everyone else voted either Benry or Fabio? He had no idea. Pure dumb luck that he’s still around and scrambling Benry is gone.
Some people think Benry was voted out because he scrambled, but Brenda was eliminated because she didn’t scramble. It had nothing to do with them and more to do with what the other survivors wanted. Holly convinced everyone to get rid of Brenda. Chase convinced everyone to get rid of Benry. It was that simple.
Yes, Jud the Stud is young and strong and sharp enough to win immunity challenges, but he remains strategically challenged. Why the hell didn’t Jud and Dan cover their asses by trying to win over Jane? They could’ve tried to vote out Holly. At least force a tie and forge an attempt at a new alliance. Sash and Chase had to play their idols and they would be totally exposed next time.
And now a special gratuitous plug from Chase Rice: “Something as simple as a Sprint cell phone can bring you to tears.”
It was nice to actually see Dan is alive and well on the island. He cried over his son, which is about as much as we’ve seen him do all season. (Except get mad at Holly and NaOnka for stealing.)
Jud’s mom is hot. Dang. So that’s where he gets his model genes. I’m jealous. Mom Ann (or Anne) informs us that Jud used to be called “Jud the Stud.” Fabio is better. Unless he cuts his hair.
Jud/Fabio wants to go on the family visit reward with Sash and Chase. Chase agrees to it, but if a breath of wind passes him he’ll probably change his mind. That’s Chase’s downfall.
I love watching loved ones run through the forest into the arms of their “Survivor” players. It always makes me want to roll my eyes about how emotional they get after less than 40 days, but I do understand emotions are heightened out there.
Sash’s mom is hot too! What’s in the water? There should be a “Survivor” season just with the hot moms. Why is everyone blonde?
Jane’s daughter is cute too. It’s Jane and her daughter against the world. Sweet.
Holly’s hubby seems like an adorable teddy bear guy. They missed their 25th wedding anniversary for her to be out there. Aww! Holly is still my favorite at this point. I appreciate her journey.
Loved ones have to participate in the reward challenge. More tiles! Enough with the tiles, I say. They have to form a phrase, like “Wheel of Fortune” without the wheel.
Fabio is a stud. Hate to say it, since he’s only 21 or 22. But there it is.
Chase’s mom gets “Family comes first.” Chase gets reward, which means …
COUNTDOWN TO CHASE SCREWING UP THE REWARD CHALLENGE AGAIN
Screw up in 5, 4, 3, 2 …
Chase can pick one Survivor and their loved one…
He picks Sash. Actually, that’s fair. And it’s true, Sash hasn’t been on a reward in a while.
OH NO! HE HAS ANOTHER CHANCE TO SCREW IT UP!
Chase gets to pick a second person. He picks Holly. And there it is.
Way to go, Chase! Way to tell Fabio he would go with you and then take it back. Fabio cries and Mommy has to “shhh” him. Poor Fabio. His mom must live in Missouri. He’s in Venice, California. So just fly home when you win your money!
BITTER, PARTY OF 3
Dan and Fabio wonder WTF is up with Chase flip-flopping. Fabio and Chase both love their mamas (like Colby in Australia!)
Fabio: “He straight up lied to me.”
Oh it does not pay to win rewards, that’s for sure. Now Jane is pissed at Chase, too. They all wanted to go on reward.
Jane feels like the odd one out of a 4-person alliance, since Chase, Holly and Sash are all on reward.
So now it’s pretty clear that Chase Cannot Win This Season, no matter what. Maybe Holly would vote for him, and NaOnka, since she’s allowed on the jury (although quitters should NOT be allowed on the jury), but that’s probably it.
On reward, Chase says he could’ve made a more strategic choice, but he wants to keep Holly close. They want to get rid of Fabio, since he could ruin their plans. Fabio and Dan are the only remnants of their Marty/Benry/Dan/Fabio alliance.
This plan is OK as long as they do get rid of Fabio. But Fabio is young and strong and that’s a threat to win challenges…
Chase comes back from reward. Fabio asks how it was. It was a rhetorical question. Because he knew it was great. Fabio launches into Chase immediately.
Jud says he sees his mom twice a year. That’s not Chase’s fault. Move closer to her.
Jud says the best thing he can do is try to win immunity. Yes, that would help.
It’s a blindfold challenge. They go over and under rails. Using sense of touch they have to memorize symbols and use the same symbols to create a shield. What happened to the water challenges? Is there something wrong with the water? I miss Palau.
Fabio had a quick lead with Chase right behind. I think we’re going to need to get used to hearing that.
Funny how the people who really need to win immunity manage to step up and get it. Survivors are good at energy management.
Chase spent too long studying the symbols. But it’s Fabio vs. Chase, as usual.
Fabio does not have it… but he tries again and … WINS IMMUNITY!
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Jeff: “When you need it, you get it.” That’s what I said! Oh Jeff. You old soul mate, you.
SO NOW WHO GOES HOME?
If not Fabio … shouldn’t it be Dan? He’s the only other alliance member left. But Dan is such a non-entity, maybe they can’t even see him anymore.
Fabio wants to vote off Jane tonight and Dan tomorrow. Not that they vote out a person tomorrow.
Chase wants Jane to stick around. Fabio says if Chase doesn’t vote out Jane it could go down as his worst decision.
Not likely! That list is growing too long.
Besides, Jane is in Chase’s alliance. Fabio has a vested interest in dumping Jane. Scratch that, in getting CHASE to dump Jane, thereby getting rid of the threat of a feisty old lady and making it Chase/Sash/Holly’s fault.
Jud the Stud was not in her alliance, so she wouldn’t blame him.
JUST VOTE OUT DAN, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!
Voting out Jane would be a big mistake. Jane wants to vote out Dan. That actually makes sense, so of course it won’t be done.
Jane gives Chase the hairy eyeball. She knows. She knows!
Chase/Holly/Sash have the Jane discussion in front of Jane. IDIOTS.
Jane: “My alliance have turned on me.”
So she WENT OFF on them in front of the jury.
Fabio is being handed this game. Even if he keeps winning the last immunities, I can’t say that I’m going to be satisfied if he wins. Holly was my favorite and now I am favorite-less. Fabio’s hotness/coolness is not enough to make him a good “Survivor” winner.
THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL AROUND
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, 30; luxury broker, New York City
Chase Rice, 24; NASCAR jackman/singer, Fairview, N.C.
Judson Birza, 21; student/model/musician, Venice, Calif.
Dan Lembo, 63; property management, Water Mill, N.Y.
Holly Hoffman, 44; swim coach, Eureka, S.D.
Catch up on my “Survivor” recaps and spoilers in this nifty archive. See you on Sunday for the finale! Don’t forget!
By Gina Carbone
Hey, how about that Holly Hobbie Hoffman? Nice power move tonight!
Reminds me of the “Survivor: Nicaragua” premiere when Holly cozied up to Wendy, then swiftly cut Wendy’s throat when the tide turned against her.
That’s a Survivor. Holly is a Survivor. Without being too obvious about it (unlike Jane Bright, who can’t stop showing off, even though it won’t help her get to the end.) Holly is a smart Survivor.
Holly told Jane there comes a time when you have to say “see ya,” even if the people are nice. That time came tonight.
So … see ya, Brenda Lowe!
This is Brenda’s own fault. She called herself the king of the island, with Matthew “Sash” Lenahan as her queen. Sash still has an idol. Brenda had no idol. No immunity. No protection beyond her own hot bod and even hotter ego. That kinda makes her seem like the jester. (Unless Jud “Fabio” Birza wants ownership of that title.)
Holly and Jane figured Brenda was calling the shots. Holly convinced Ben “Benry” Henry of the same.
Holly to Benry: “Kelly Purple crawls up Brenda’s ass.”
Not that Benry was a tough sell, considering he was on the Marty-led alliance.
I especially appreciated the awesome moment between NaOnka Mixon and Jane where Jane started tripping down the high road, telling NaOnka she doesn’t like to associate herself with villains. And Brenda is a villain. Irony alert!
Chase was on the fence again. The name of the episode was “Stuck in the Middle” and that’s Chase, but also Brenda and Sash themselves. Their power position was as the swing votes, but that also left them dispensable and untrustworthy.
Chase did a dang good job leading the team of Chase, Fabio, NaOnka, Kelly and Jane. Their reward was pizza, brownies and volcano surfing.
I so wanna go volcano surfing.
So that’s two rewards in a row for Fabio. He was with the men-minus-Chase on the BBQ last week.
NaOnka pulled Fabio aside and they had a “for real, for real” conversation on the volcano. These two hate each other and supposedly Na is Brenda’s best island friend, but now Na is approaching Fabio about dumping Brenda. So much for loyalty!
This plan just fell right into Fabio’s hands. He and Benry were on the chopping block, so if everyone hands him Brenda, bonus! He wants to stay lying low so he can slither along in this game. (Is he a Slytherin? I had him pegged as Hufflepuff.)
I’m telling you, Fabio is being handed this game on a silver platter.
THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIYAH
Meanwhile, back at camp … a shitestorm was in play!
Because rain was coming, the tribe had moved the chests around the fire to protect the fire from the rain. But there was nothing to protect the chests and the rest of the camp from the fire.
There goes the flour. And mangoes. And the machetes. No rocket scientists on this crew, that’s for sure.
How do you think the camera crew feels about situations like this? They have to stand there and film it. No tipping off the castaways.
Benry, Brenda, Holly, Sash and Dan came back from a lost reward challenge to find the camp almost totally burnt down.
This reminds me of that time on “Survivor: Australia” when the river washed away camp and almost stole their rice jar, but Tina and Keith managed to save it. Then Colby came back from his reward and there was definite resentment going on.
CHASE TELLS BRENDA THE PLAN
Oh Chase. Loyal and honest to a fault. He told Brenda Holly’s plan to get rid of her. “For whatever reason I trust Brenda.” There’s no “reason or rhyme,” he said. But there is: She’s hot.
Brenda wasn’t impressed by their plan.
Then Chase told NaOnka that he told Brenda about his plan. Chase really is “scatterbrained.” Love the guy, but he’s not playing a smart game.
NaOnka told Benry she wanted Brenda out, then Sash out, then Chase out. Music to Benry’s ears, since the order up to this point seemed to be Benry, then Fabio, then Dan.
Benry said Chase has been playing with his heart this whole time. That’s sweet in the real world, but not here.
Jane: “Chase is suckin’ up to Brenda like he wants to get in her pants or somethin’. I have no idea what kind of magic spell she’s casting over Chase right now.”
Again: SHE’S HOT. That’s the magic spell.
However, Chase already made an alliance with Brenda.That was after making an alliance with Shannon, who is now gone. Then Chase made an alliance with Jane and the other women.
But Chase’s #1 alliance is clearly with Little Chase, who is charge of his decisions.
Rope challenge. Sash was out first. Sash is so skinny he could hide in one of the chests and no one would find him until the finale.
Purple Kelly (why are we all still calling her that?) was out next. Then Holly. Then Brenda. Then Dan. (Even Dan outlasted Brenda!) Then Fabio, who just released, since he was never in danger. Smart! NaOnka was out next. Benry looked constipated.
It was down to Benry, Jane and Chase. Not sure why Benry was growling, but since he was a “Girls Gone Wild” cameraman and supposedly dated Heidi Montag, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything he does. He was out next.
It came down to Chase and Jane. Chase said he was secure. Jane said she was going to let go. Jeff talked her out of it, if she ever really meant it.
Jane won immunity. Jane is a badass, but she just put a huge target on her back. She was not on the chopping block tonight, but she’s a showoff. She did the same thing a few weeks ago when she fought Fabio for the immunity win she already had.
WHO IS GOING HOME?
Chase talked to Sash about wanting to get rid of Benry. NaOnka and Sash talked about how much Chase annoys them. They can’t stand Chase. What am I missing? From where I’m sitting, NaOnka is the annoying one.
NaOnka told Sash they want to get rid of Brenda. It was the first he heard of it.
Chase and Holly talked to Fabio about what to do. Fabio said he didn’t know what to do, he’s been sitting back. He lets Holly make her pitch.
Chase said he doesn’t trust Benry, Holly, Dan or NaOnka. He doesn’t mention Fabio or Sash.
Chase talked to Brenda and said Na is the one who had the idea to dump Brenda. Brenda said Na would never vote for her.
Interesting that Chase doesn’t mention that it was Holly’s idea. Unless there was an editing fail, this is Holly’s doing.
Sash and Chase talked to Brenda about NaOnka’s plan, which I don’t think was NaOnka’s plan.
Brenda said Sash could use the idol and blindside them. So he considered using it to save her.
Brenda was furious. She thought she had a great plan to take NaOnka to the end. (Which is a great plan for everyone but NaOnka, who has to know by now that no one would vote for her.)
Brenda was hoping Sash would use the idol to save her and blindside NaOnka. Not a chance.
Sash told Jeff there’s been a reshuffling. Brenda said she never wanted to vote off Marty. Brenda said she’s never had difficulty trusting people, but now there’s a break in the alliance due to NaOnka.
NaOnka said “I don’t think it was me…” Jeff cut her off before she could finish the thought. She went on to say Chase was running around with his head cut off.
Chase said he did go to Brenda because he trusted her. Purple Kelly weighed in “with 20 years of wisdom.” She felt out of the loop for the first time. (Is she even in this game?)
NO ONE MENTIONS HOLLY. Love it! Holly may be my new favorite.
Jeff asked Brenda if she scrambled at all. She said she did little things. She’s too proud for the word “scrambling.” It’s beneath her. Eye rolls all around!
Holly holds up her “Brenda” vote: “You should’ve scrambled.”
1st vote: Brenda
Sash never gave Brenda the idol, but it looks like he did vote for her. So did Chase. Kelly Purple gave the Benry vote. So Sash gets out of this with his idol intact, but not his power position. Still, Brenda shouldn’t feel like this is a betrayal by Sash. He never owed her an idol and the majority was already going in her direction. Chase, on the other hand, did a lot of talking for nothing. And Kelly Purple/Purple Kelly is clueless.
THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL AROUND
Ben “Benry” Henry, 24; bar owner
Chase Rice, 24; NASCAR jackman/singer
Judson “Fabio” Birza, 21; student/model/musician
Kelly Shinn, 20; student
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, 30; luxury broker
NaOnka Mixon, 27; P.E. teacher
Dan Lembo, 63; property management
Holly Hoffman, 44; swim coach
Jane Bright, 56; dog trainer
Catch up on my “Survivor” recaps and spoilers here.