Monday, December 20, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Finale Recap (Spoiler Alert)

And the final vote breakdown was as follows:
Alina - Chase
Marty -Fabio
Brenda - Chase
NaOnka - Fabio
Purple Kelly - Fabio
Benry - Fabio
Jane - Chase
Dan -Fabio
Holly - Chase

I'm not even sure where to begin, so I'll just go chronologically.  Coming into the episode I thought Fabio was a lock to win if he made it to the final three.  I thought that Holly had the next best chance of winning, and I thought that Sash had a decent chance of winning due to his strategic gameplay and jury members like Marty and Alina who claimed to value that.  I felt there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell Dan or Chase could even pick up a vote.  Man was I wrong.

It's hard to tell with the edits, how much of a comeback Fabio made on the puzzle, but it's pretty clear that the dude had his shit together.  He did a few things that Brett (who?) Clouser wasn't able to do in Samoa.  He was interesting, he won the immunity challenges he needed to, and he was good for him.   But just as if Brett had won in Samoa, I feel like Fabio was kind of a crappy winner, even if he was clearly the best choice of the three.  More on that later.

Anyways, moving on to the third to last tribal, I was a bit surprised that Dan was to be voted out since he wasn't the least bit of a threat to win any money, or screw up any plans with a surprising immunity win.  I think Sash banked too much on Fabio not winning the last immunity and should have looked at other ways to make a good final three for himself (probably Dan and CHase being his best options).  It was all a moot point anyways though as Sash made abundantly clear at the second to last tribal council.

It's always amusing when people criticizing things like backstabbing and dishonesty in this game.  No one comes through it clean, and I get even more annoyed when people criticize the same quality in one person that they laud in another.  Jane had no problem with backstabbing when her and Holy were conniving to get Brenda voted out.  That having been said, if you're playing that kind of game, you either have to do one of two things.  You either have to play it so well that no one notices, (Sandra Diaz-worst winner-Twine), or you have to be able to put on your best apology face (or actually feel remorse) at the final tribal and try to make amends (like Todd "best winner" Herzog).  Or you can be Sash, slimey until the end, and tell Fabio things like "I've always been your best friend in this game," and "I don't know if I would have taken you or not."  Ironically Sash's abysmally poor performance at the second to last Tribal in which he tried to convince everyone that he was a decnt guy was probably the reason that Fabio voted Holly.  He realized, this moron is never going to win.

Final tribal council:

I'll just run through everyone in the order they were voted out.

Alina - What a disappointment.  Alina became one of the most likable castaways in her time at Ponderosa and she ruined it all in about three minutes. First of all, saying that she didn't want a "boy" to win the game was stupid.  Alina is only two years older than Fabio at twenty-three and Fabio probably didn't want a little girl asking such a stupid question at tribal.  I think what she was trying to say is that she wanted to vote for someone who played the game well.  Which makes her vote for Chase all the more puzzling since he just let the hottest girl still in the game bat his vote around like a tetherball until it was all hags and men left.  Based on her criteria she should have either voted for Sash or just started masturbating in front of the cameras since she clearly wanted to while she was watching the three men go at it.  Benry was right, you are a dirt squirrel.

Marty - Gold Medal, and question of the night!  "If you were to hand out a dumber than a box of hammers award, who would you give it to?"  I'm not sure what Marty expected to hear, I just think he wanted to call Chase the fucking moron that he is.  (Kelly Purple would have also been an acceptable choice though.  What does it say about a season when you have someone like NaOnka who is neither the first NOR the second stupidest person in the game?)  I'll give Chase credit though, he actually realized that Marty was calling him stupid and got rightfully angry about it and gave probably the best response he could have for the rest of the jury in recognizing that he clearly wasn't going to get Marty's vote.  I love it when someone calls out a finalist for what they are, especially if a lot of the jury doesn't realize it, and Brenda, Alina, Holly, and Jane needed to know what they were voting for.

Brenda - Look, Brenda is a twat and I didn't expect anything from her.  Asing Sash why he didn't do more to help her was a bit stupid since at the time she made it abundantly clear that she felt she was too good for help.  For someone who claims to be a dominant and strong woman she had Chase's cock halfway down her throat for the entire question.

Kelly Purple - Kelly Purple said something stupid and uninteresting that I don't remember.  I do remember her being confused by the answer she got though, which is pretty predictable.  Go sit down, idiot.

NaOnka - NaOnka might have had the best question of the night that didn't involve calling Chase stupid.  The fact that she recognized that Fabio started to pick up his game after getting a visit from mom was pretty intuitive and I think it showed a human side to NaOnka that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE thought she had.  Rare props to one of the more obnoxious contestants in Survivor history.

Benry - I don't really remember what Benry said, but I'm pretty sure he called Chase stupid in what would be a recurring theme.  I don't mind speeches, but unless you're calling someone a rat, a snake, or otherwise insulting them memorably, I could do without them.  (Upon watching again, I thought Benry's question, 'why was I a mark?' was decent, but forgettable.)

Jane - "I just realized that you did the exact same thing that Holly and I did to Brenda and therefore I am voting for you Chase.  However I need to feel good about it and look like less of a hypocrite so I will ask the easiest question to answer that gets asked at every final tribal."  What will you do with the money?  Oh gosh *sob* my (friend/relative) died of (ebola/AIDS/cancer/SARS) so I will give $$$ to (charity).  Puh-lease.  Think of something better next time. 

I would have given her more points for calling Sash a slimey gutter rat if it wasn't so obvious to everyone at that point that Sash himself probably would have stood up there and given Jane's exact speech.  This may seem hypocritcal since I loved everyone wailing on Chase like a hick pinata, but half the jury had deluded themselves into thinking that Chase was anything but a moron and waste of survivor space because of the pretty packaging.  They needed to be reminded he was an idiot.

Dan - "Beauty fades, dumb is forever."  Awesome.  Dalton Ross at Entertainment Weekly quipped that he could have directed the same words at Kelly Purple, which is true, but at least her stupidity was endearing, Chase's was just frustrating and annoying.

Holly - The only reason she voted for Chase is because Fabio voted her out, plain and simple.  Nuts to solid player to nothing, the end.

Tribal Performances:
Sash - Sash was boned going in, and he was just as boned going out so he gets a C.

Chase - Chase actually did okay for himself, but he was given softballs by a lot of people who already had their minds made up.  He gets a C+

Fabio - I feel like Kelly Purple and NaOnka were on the fence and Fabio definitely knocked Na's question out of the park.  Still his tribal performance was like his game, underwhelming and built on the foundation of him being likable.  He gets a B-.

The Reunion:
I wish Jeff had talked to Marty more.  Sure he was arrogant, but I felt like he was one of the best players on the show and I would LOVE to see him back for an All-Stars season.  I think he's the kind of guy who would be able to see his cockiness and learn from it a second time around, like Boston Rob did in All-Stars.  And also like Boston Rob, he finished in a bad enough position that he won't be considered a target going into an All-Stars season.

I think Fabio was too shocked at the win to be really intelligible, but it was nice to see him showing some intelligence, even if it was rambling.

Seeing Terry Bradshaw was nice and he definitely did not disappoint.

Even though by the end nobody liked Sash and everyone thought he was worth berating, Shannon STILL elevated his own douche quotient by picking on him.  Too bad it wasn't in better humor because it was really funny.  "I was calling a duck a duck.  It was quacking like one."  Awesome.

Wendy is crazy.  Seriously like flat out nuts.  Holy shit.

There are always people that look way better when they're dirty and gross on the island than when they do when they're cleaned up.  Probably the best evidence of this is Laura Morett the 39 year old who somehow thought that being a grandmother made her a half disabled underdog instead of just a shitty parent.  This season's "better while dirty" winners are Kelly Bruno who is a legit firecracker, but brought the worst haircut ever to the reunion and Jane and Holly who apparently thought they had to cake on a half ton of whore-makeup to look good in a cast that wasn't very attractive to begin with.

The Verdict:
I agree with Dalton Ross, this was the worst season ever (though I haven't seen 11-16).  There were too many unlikable people, no one that played the game without a major flaw (Marty, Brenda - arrogance, Chase - stupidity, wishy-washyness, Sash - Sliminess, Fabio - lack of gameplay), and too many characters that never make it past five shows in any other given season such as:
The person no one wants to be around - NaOnka
The useless one - Dan
The crazy chick - Naonka and Holly
The wimpy buff dude - Chase
The Arrogant bitch - Brenda

Right away the tribes seemed hell bent on voting out the most likable people like Jimmy Johnson and Kelly Bruno.

Still Fabio's Colby Donaldson esque heroics and good tribal questions by Marty, Dan, and NaOnka (seriously, wtf) made the finally pretty decent.  Until February...

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