It’s Night 24, and Brenda is resigned to aligning with Holly and Jane. “Fabio, Benry and Dan now know that we’re not aligned with them. Sash and I are the king and queen of this island. Well, Sash is more of a queen and I’m more of a king.” It’s a gay joke! About Sash! GET IT?
The next morning, the people that Brenda just put her loyalty in have awesomely decided that Brenda is not to be trusted. “Brenda and Sash are in charge, and that’s not good for us,” Holly says with her giant, crazy eyes. “We need to get rid of Brenda. We need to make big moves to get ahead in this game.” Wow. Did not expect this to happen this season, especially not from Holly.
Thank God for crazy, right?
Holly begins to move the pieces into place to eliminate Brenda. She pulls Benry aside and convinces him to go along with them pretty easily. Meanwhile, Jane is over talking to Na Onka, who is surprisingly down to get rid of Brenda too. “She’s Marty Junior!” Na Onka says hilariously. “I don’t like to associate myself with villains.,” Jane says, ”not in real life and not in this game. Brenda befriends you and then throws you to the wolves.” When, exactly, has Brenda thrown any of her friends “to the wolves”? More importantly, why does Jane feel the need to villainize the people she wants to get rid of? First there’s the random (and extremely harsh) insult about Marty’s ability as a father that had absolutely nothing to do with the game, and now this comment about Brenda’s sneakiness. Brenda’s smart, but she’s no dastardly villain. Bring it down a notch with the righteousness, Jane.
“Brenda’s my best friend in this game, but I didn’t come all the way out here to go back home,” Na Onka says. I must say, this whole change of pace is very impressive. I expected these people to lay down and let Brenda and Sash waltz to the finals.
Holly continues to gather votes, approaching Chase and telling him about the plan to blindside Brenda. He looks uncomfortable the whole time, mostly because voting Brenda out would require doing something besides whining all the time. ”I don’t know, I really don’t trust Benry,” Chase says, because he is the Denise The Mulleted Janitor of this season who is clearly playing for fourth place.
“I can’t wait to lie at the reunion about losing my job.”
Before the tribe leaves for the Reward Challenge it begins to rain, so these geniuses decide to try to protect the fire from the rain by surrounding it with large, highly flammable wooden chests that also happen to contain all of their food. A flawless plan! Next week: the contestants douse themselves with gas and run headlong into a match factory.
“You guys think we should throw some flint on this thing? You know, to protect it from the rain?”
Reward Challenge! Probst is wearing a shirt that is not blue or khaki! Wow, this show is always finding new and interesting ways to keep things fresh, aren’t they?
Today two teams of five must use a set of barrels, some planks and a length of rope to get themselves across the beach to the finish line without touching the ground. I think I did this exact thing once at teen leadership camp. Yes, I went to something called “teen leadership camp”. What of it?
The reward is a trip to an active volcano, where the winners will be something called “volcano boarding ” (which I did at Teen Endangerment Camp), and then there will be pizza. Essentially, the reward is kind of like a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, with an active volcano in place of the ball pit.
One team is Chase/Purple Kelly/Jane/NaOnka/Fabio, and the other team is Sash/Holly/Brenda/Dan/Benry. Both teams start by rolling the barrels on their sides, but they figure out quickly that this isn’t sturdy enough to support four people and shift to walking along the barrels on their ends. The blue team (NaOnka’s) even decides to leave a barrel behind.
The other team is not having much luck, however. Dan is being a trooper and crawling over the barrels on his knees, but they’re so unorganized and in such disarray the the other team smokes the shit out of them. Na Onka’s team has finished the race before Brenda’s team has even really left the starting line. A helicopter arrives to pick up the winners and they squeal in delight. It is not very becoming.
Neither is this.
The volcano sledding activity looks pretty rad, actually. The contestants sit on these little pieces of plastic and slide down the rim of the volcano, through the ash. I’d still say that sliding down the side of an active volcano is pretty ill advised for these people. I imagine Fabio careening off the end and falling ten stories into a giant pool of lava.
When it’s Jane’s turn to sled, she gets her own whimsical little music, because this show really, really wants us to like her. Isn’t she great, hanging with the kids and being all wacky and hilarious? Three cheers for Jane, everyone! Ick.
Isn’t she AWESOME?
The scenes of the Survivors playfully sliding down the side of a volcano are intercut with shots of their camp, which is now completely, entirely on fire.
By the time the challenge losers get back from losing, most of the place is in ashes. All three of their chests are now completely incinerated, and those chests happened to contain almost all of their food and machetes, which are now all pretty useless because the handles have been burned to a crisp. Their shelter is largely still together, though. I have to wonder if production decided to put the fire out, because only part of the shelter is burned and it seems odd that the fire would stop without devouring the whole thing. Maybe it was the rain, but still.
Back at the reward, the winners enjoy pizza and chocolate, unaware of the fact that all of their possessions are now gone. Talk turns to the movement to get rid of Brenda or Sash, and because Purple Kelly is there and Fabio doesn’t know about the whole thing yet, Na Onka pulls him to the side. Purple Kelly thinks this is weird because they both hate each other. Sash looks at her like she just apparated onto the show a second ago. “You never talk, really,” he says awesomely. “I know! It’s kinda funny, huh?” she responds.
There’s a reason for that.
Na Onka tells Fabio about the plan to get rid of Brenda. I’m sure Fabio never thought he was going to work with Na Onka, but he is totally in, albeit very worried about Chase jumping ship. They should be blindsiding Sash first anyway, since he has the idol, frankly, and then they wouldn’t have to worry about Chase flipping as easily.
Aaaaand, smash cut to Chase telling Brenda everything. God, what an idiot. “I’ve put my game plan in her, and I told her because of the simple fact that I trust her,” he says. “I’m lucky that I have Chase,” Brenda says, “but I’m not really worried. I don’t think I have to do anything crazy to beat them, they’re not that smart.” True, but there are a lot of them, and that’s all that matters.
When the winners return to camp, we see a scene where Chase tells Na Onka that he told Brenda, but it’s all very oddly edited and hacked together, so I’m not sure I buy this part. What matters is that Na Onka now knows that Chase told Brenda. Na Onka still wants to go through with it even though Brenda knows, because she thinks Sash won’t hand over the idol to her. “I’m fuckin’ in, I’ve been in!” she says. Wow, how have I not noticed that Na Onka is pretty much Kenny Powers bef0re this?
“Shut it, Stevie.”
I don’t know why they even involved Chase, frankly. Jane, Na Onka, Benry, Fabio, Holly and Dan make six. Screw Chase, get rid of him later. “If that boy’s gonna go back on his word, he’s gonna catch hell when he goes back to Carolinas, because Carolina people don’t like that,” Jane says. Isn’t she delightfully backwoods and genuine? Don’t you just LOVE her? Don’t you want to give her a hundred thousand dollars at the reunion? Vote. VOTE! Three cheers for Jane, everyone!
Immunity Challenge. Today each person will stand on a small platform and lean back, grabbing onto a rope for leverage. Every five minutes, the contestants will move their hands down another foot, making it more difficult to remain on the platform. The last person standing wins.
The challenge is pretty straightforward: Sash is the first out, and Purple Kelly drops soon after after. Brenda looks like she’s struggling, and she drops. Jane, Benry and Chase are the only ones left after five minutes, which goes to show how hard this probably was to do. Probst tells them to move their hands down to the next segment of rope, and Benry exchanges weird, territorial screams with Chase for no reason.
At this point, the contestants are almost parallel to the water. Frankly, it’s pretty impressive.
Benry drops, so it’s down to Jane and Chase. Chase tells Jane that he’s pretty secure, and Jane admits that fingers are cramping and tells Probst that she’s going to drop. Probst berates her into staying, so she hangs onto the rope and a tense showdown ensues. After a few minutes, Chase tries to shift his weight, loses balance and Jane falls into the water, pulling out the immunity win.
Now, I had a whole paragraph written in my notes about how this win is very, very impressive and have a begrudging respect for her win here. But then I read several articles online about how this challenge was edited to make it look like Jane beat Chase in a showdown, when in reality Chase accidentally put his hands above the segment of rope he was allowed to touch and got disqualified. I’m not saying that the win isn’t still impressive, because she still hung on and won, but good god will this show will do anything to make her look good.
Regardless, I still think her strength is derived from all of the souls she’s eaten.
Back at camp, the other contestants congratulate Jane on her win. “I knew if it was anything physical with my hands I’d do well, because you have to fight a dog to do their toenails.” So true.
Na Onka, meanwhile, is still upset at Chase for ruining their blindside and is venting to Sash. “Chase is working my last nerve, Sash. We’re trying to vote Brenda out.” Sash seems surprisingly down to go along with this plan, which pretty much ruins any opportunity Brenda would have had to play the idol. Frankly, I don’t understand why Sash is interested in participating; it only weakens him. I bet Sash is one of those guys who will make a move because it will make him look smart, instead of making the move that is actually smart, but not as flashy (see also: Hantz, Russell).
Chase tells Brenda again that the tide is turning against her and that a lot of people are out to get her. When Brenda asks who’s responsible, Chase blames Na Onka. Brenda doesn’t believe it. “Na Onka isn’t going to vote for me!” she says, and Chase is all “Oh yes she will!”. The scope of how fully screwed she is finally comes into focus, and she realizes that it’s probably a bit too late to do anything. I think she kind of assumed that she had the numbers on her side. “I’m going to try to stay cool, because scrambling just shows that I’m desperate. If I project confidence, people will want to stick with me.” Yeah, this is Survivor, not a night out at the bar. You can project confidence, but you also need votes.
Tribal Council. The jury enters and Marty has thankfully washed his hair.
“I still hate your walk.” – Na Onka
Probst begins by asking Sash how he feels about his position within the tribe. “Things have shifted and I feel very out of the loop,” he admits. Brenda chimes in, telling Probst that she has regrets about voting for Marty now; she was trying to prove that she could be trusted, but that it only served to break her alliance. She goes on to call out Na Onka for jumping ship. “I was worried about everyone else, and now Na Onka wants to get rid of me!”
Na Onka tries to pretend that it wasn’t her, but Chase nips that in the bud by admitting that he went to Brenda and told her everything. Probst randomly decides to go to Purple Kelly here: “Weigh in on this, give us twenty years of wisdom,” he says. Purple Kelly: “Well, twenty years of wisdom, let me tell you….(awkward pause)….I think this is the first tribal council where I felt completely out of the loop.” Wow. I realize that she’s only on the show because she’s hot, but: come on. Casting couldn’t find one attractive girl with a couple of brain cells to rub together?
Probst asks Brenda if she scrambled today to try and save herself. “Not really. If I had a chance to stay, it would be with the people I’m already with.” Probst notices that she’s being kind of uppity about the word “scrambling”, and asks her what her problem is. “Well, there’s a different way to do things. It just isn’t my style.” As you might guess, this does not go over well with everyone else.
Time to vote. Holly votes for Brenda: “You should’ve scrambled.” Brenda votes for Na Onka and draws a key. You know what? I don’t even care what that means.
When Jeff asks if anyone wants to play the idol, Sash sits on it, since he’s in on the plan and she doesn’t know it. Na Onka and Benry each get a vote, but the rest are for Brenda and her time is up. I must say, I did not expect this outcome when I sat down to watch this episode.
Nicely done, crazy.
Good on Holly for making this happen. It certainly makes the rest of the season interesting, thank god.
Next week is a recap show, so I’ll see everyone in two weeks.