Survivor: Worlds Apart

Trying to Fit In

Previously on Survivor :

  • Carolyn found the idol while her White Collar tribe was embracing the No Collar way of life. Tyler wondered why their camp had become a nudist colony.
  • Hard work was taking its toll on the Blue Collar tribe. Mike said: “There is stuff out here that has to be done if we are to survive”.
  • Will was an absolute disaster at the last challenge. Jeff even said that he “fell apart”.
  • In the No Collar tribe, facing their first Tribal Council, Nina was struggling to fit in while Vince wanted to recruit Will but Will promised to go with the young alliance to take out Nina. We heard that Joe wanted to split the vote and we heard his confessional where he said Will better be on his side.
  • At Tribal Council, Will decided to go with his own agenda, taking out Vince and leaving Nina on the bottom, all alone.

There was still nothing substantial said about the White Collar tribe.  In the Blue Collar tribe, it’s still Mike’s voice that is heard.   Rodney and Lindsey’s point of view didn’t seem to matter.

For the No Collars, the stage was set for their next vote, but the recap painted a weird picture of Will’s actions.  He never promised the young alliance that he would take out Nina.  At most, he pretended to go along with their plans. He was much closer to voting against Jenn than it transpired in this recap.  

Trying to Fit In

No Collars – Night 6 

Eliminating Vince was a bigger move than voting out So, but both were effective blindsides; therefore, we have to note the fact that the No Collars weren’t ignored like their counterparts in Masaya.  While this doesn’t mean that Nagarote is the “Tribe of Interest”, it’s an indication that the players in Masaya count less than them.

Jenn and Joe’s reaction told us that they saw Vince as a snake. Joe’s confessional was inserted here.  To the group, he said that things worked out.

Hali asked Will if he trusted them.  Will said he didn’t know who he should trust.

Nina was very direct: “I know I’m the next one out…  Can we just make it so that you don’t make me feel like an outsider until you get rid of me?”  Nina’s confessional was placed here.

Everyone told her that she shouldn’t give up.  “Anything can happen” said Hali.  Jenn added: “Enjoy yourself, Nina.”

Joe in confessional: “I wanted to stick with the split vote plan, but Will ended voting for Vince instead.  Frankly, I don’t trust him as much as I did and it made me a little nervous.”

Will’s confessional: “To me, in Tribal Council, you got to think ahead.  I didn’t trust Vince so I just prolonged my chances in the game.  That is what it’s all about.  I’m playing chess not checkers.”

Nina’s interview: “I thought we were going to blindside Jenn tonight.  It didn’t happen: Will bailed.  I went into tribal thinking we were going to be a solid three, but I left Tribal being an outsider again.”

Jenn’s confessional ended the scene: “Nina immediately pulls a Nina and starts crying and gets all upset.  She brings in her hearing thing again, too. I’m like: Nina, all you do is talk about your hearing.  I get it; you’re deaf. We all understand.  Stop using it as an excuse.”

From this scene, we can say that Joe is aware of the dangers that an untrustworthy player can cause but we don’t know if he will be able to deal with the big guy or if he will cause his fall.  As for Will, he may be playing chess, but I don’t think he could beat even Vitas Gerulaitis!  I’ll call it now: Checkmate in 6 moves or less, Will.  Nina continues to harp on her “disadvantage” as she calls it, but did we need to hear Jenn complaining about it once again? I feel like someone should say: We get it, Jenn; stop talking about Nina.  Jenn must have said something about the two votes she received, but that would have shown her serious side and that doesn’t seem to fit in her storyline.

White Collars – Day 7

Shirin was imitating a couple of howler monkeys and said: “Monkey teaches white collar how to live in the wild.”

She got all excited watching the monkeys mating.  She raced to camp with the “news”.

Carolyn’s confessional told us what she thought: “Shirin is crazy…I’m like: What?  I just don’t know where to go with that.  I don’t know how you work in corporate America if you’re so crazy.”

Tyler’s confessional reinforced the point: “Shirin spent most of the morning talking about howler monkeys and she’s about as annoying and as loud and as intrusive as a howler monkey right now in our camp.  It’s weird and it’s strange.  She’s got this vibe that doesn’t quite fit in, and she’s definitely trying to fit in and it shows.  But the reality is that it’s actually painting a black X on her back.”

Bam! Bam![/caption]

“Bam!” said Shirin right then, as if she were firing a shot.  Her arm wasn’t pointing at her own head though; it was pointed in the general direction of Tyler.

If the monkeys are getting so comfortable that they don’t hesitate to “get it on” even with all those cameras around, then maybe Survivor has been using the same location too often! 

As for the content of this scene, I think we can safely take Shirin out of contention.  Annoying, loud and intrusive aren’t the required qualities in this social game.  However, since the editors love irony, I wonder if Shirin will bring down Carolyn and Tyler with her.  That image of Shirin shooting an imaginary gun in their direction was intriguing.  It certainly could mean nothing and Shirin could be the next to go like Tyler said, but I suggest that we keep it in mind.

Blue Collar – Day 7

The guys were talking about food while the girls wanted comfort in the form of blankets.  Rodney scoffed at that and everyone turned on him because he apparently sleeps all night while they can’t.

Mike said: “You are full of crap. You’re the earliest one that goes to bed and the latest one that gets up.”

Lindsey agreed: “Yeah! You sleep your ass off.”

If Lindsey agrees with Mike, then it means it has to be true.  Rodney’s laziness is incompatible with the Blue Collar ethos.  He’s another player that we can practically take out of contention. 

Rodney simply replied: “Haters”.

Mike chuckled at that while Dan said: “Just because you don’t like the facts, doesn’t change the facts.”

Rodney retaliated: “Go to bed, Dan…Nobody asked you.”

Dan’s confessional set up the next exchange: “I think my best characteristic may be my worst characteristic which is my mouth.  I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut.  I definitely feel that I am not as bad off as I was and I can learn from my mistakes.  Sometimes it takes an anvil to be dropped on my head, but I can learn”

Rodney was shown while Dan’s last sentence was heard in voice-over.  He was personifying that anvil.

Dan then told Rodney something about his mother and laughed out loud about it.  That didn’t sit well with the man from Boston. Even Mike realized that a line had been crossed.  “Never mention my mother, brother.”

Rodney’s confessional: “Me and Dan were joking around.  I forget what I said to him but he came back with: “You’re mother’s a…” Dan is trying very hard to make us laugh…but the fact is: Dan, you are not funny, bro.  You don’t talk about my mother; that’s number one.  You don’t disrespect my family.  Back home…then the battle’s on… and I’m going to jump down your throat.”

With tempers flaring, Kelly had a confessional: “I did not think Blue Collar people were emotional, but hanging with these guys, they are pretty emotional.  As a cop, you know how to sit back, watch, analyze and then know when to interject.  It’s like sometimes if there’s a bar fight, we don’t rush there because, by the time we get there, they’ve duked it out and they are calm and they have settled down.  We get there and we see that they worked it out.  Rodney can be a drama queen.”

Rodney gave us another confessional:  “Dan is picturing like he is one of my boys from back home, but he is just digging himself a bigger and bigger hole and we’ll just see where he ends up at the end.  I mean, he crossed the line big time with that.”

Like he said, Dan is in a better place than he was on day three but that big mouth still puts him in trouble.  Like Rodney said, we want to see where Dan ends up in the end even if he is in a deep hole.  Dan and Rodney’s words are big hints that Dan will have to defend his actions in the end.  I didn’t think he stood a chance after the first episode but I think Dan could be navigating his way to the final Tribal Council.  Of course, he probably can’t win because of his way of talking to the others, but it would certainly make him memorable.

More importantly though, this scene gave us a gem of a confessional and it came from Kelly of all people.  That confessional immediately puts her in contention because, contrary to Shirin, it displayed the essential qualities to win this game:  Sitting back, watching, analyzing and then knowing when (and how) to interject have been vital ingredients in many winners’ game. If this is Kelly’s strategy, then it could very well pay off in the end.  The marvelous thing about this confessional is that it explains her story up to now.  We didn’t see much of Kelly because she was sitting back and analyzing.    

This scene suggests that we could very well end up with Mike, Dan, and Kelly sitting together in the Final Three. 

No Collar – Day 7

The weather was perfect when Hali said: “It looks gorgeous out.”

Jenn asked: “You want to go surf today?”

Hali: “Yes, I do.”

Jenn: “I think that would be nice.”

Jenn in confessional: “Hali and I have been looking at these waves since we’ve got here. They’re perfect little barrels and it’s been kind of killing us not being able to surf. So, why not have some fun with it? Were using drift wood for our said surfboards but they’ll make do. They’re rounded on the bottom and flat on top…”

After a fun ride, Hali said: “That’s perfect!”

Hali also spoke in confessional: “Bodysurfing was such a good idea. Surfing is like my #3 passion in life. So when she pulled that out I was like “Yeah, girl, I’m right with you!””

Jenn’s confessional continued: “This is exactly what No Collars do. I guarantee you the other tribes don’t even think about doing stuff like this but No Collars lives are kind of about having fun; nothing is too serious out here. I don’t know why everyone takes this game so seriously.”

I was half expecting a comment from Nina that the girls didn’t include her in yet another activity, but at least we were spared. The thing about this scene is that it makes Hali and Jenn look a little bit too much No Collars for their own good. If paranoia caused Vince to go over the edge, being too carefree can also be disastrous. If Jenn isn’t taking this game seriously, someone will certainly find a way to remind her that it isn’t always fun and games.  

Meanwhile, in camp, Joe was on the hunt. He caught a small lizard.

Joe gave an interview: “With Vince gone, I feel like a little paranoia has left the tribe. It’s a beautiful day, the waves are crashing, and everything is golden. I think we’re good. I want to keep continuing to provide for the tribe, keeping everyone’s state of mind in a good frame of reference and bring that team camaraderie up, up, up.” We heard him asking Nina if she was alright and happy to be there. He told her she wasn’t on the outs. Joe’s confessional continued: “Nina, I love her but she just felt like she was alone again. I’m going to try to become a little better friends with her. My mom was an interpreter for the deaf and she taught me and my three sisters sign language. I’ve been around the deaf community a lot in my life, and it’s definitely one of those things that you keep in your pocket.”

Nina had a confessional to tell us that she appreciated what Joe told her. She told us that she had been a White Collar person before losing her hearing. She added: “These people are a little more free-spirited than me.”

To prove the point that she wasn’t really with them, Nina refused to try the lizard.

Adding a layer to his character, Joe gave us a glimpse into his family life. We always get that personal touch from the eventual winner, so despite the previous impression that the Blue Collars could make up the Final Three, Joe is still solidly in contention. His game still needs improvement, though, as we will shortly see.  

White Collar – Day 8

We saw that Shirin, Joaquin and Max were searching for the idol while Carolyn stayed in camp to tend the fire.

Carolyn gave an interview directly from the shelter: “The whole tribe is out looking for the immunity idol, so I’m watching the fire, relaxing! I’m enjoying it because I already have the immunity idol, so I don’t really have to search! Fun!”

Shirin proposed a truce so that they could stop looking for the idol until the next challenge. Tyler readily agreed, but Joaquin didn’t because, as he said: “I haven’t trusted you since day one. If you are tired, go take a seat.” She asked him why he didn’t trust her, so Joaquin said she has been paranoid since day one.

Joaquin gave us a confessional: “Shirin is like a blood-sucking leech that won’t leave you alone and is the most annoying person I think I have ever met in my life. She’s like the mosquitoes at night; they are relentless, buzzing in your ear…”

Joaquin is making the same comments about Shirin’s lack of social game that we heard from Tyler and Carolyn. It’s a clear indictment of this super-fan’s failure to understand the practical aspect of the game.

Shirin also gave an interview: “Joaquin was not himself. There was a fury behind what he was saying which is turning out to be pretty great for me because it means he doesn’t know how to maneuver at all in this game.”

After we heard him telling Shirin that she could go back because he didn’t need a babysitter, the second part of Joaquin’s confessional was heard: “I’m on the outs right now, and I can’t find this idol, so I am going to do what’s best for me in the long run. Me and Tyler, we have a good rapport, so I showed him the clue to the immunity idol. That’s my boy; he needs to see it.”

Tyler’s interview followed: “Joaq decided to show me the clue to the hidden immunity idol. On day two, Carol showed me the idol but it was important to me that Joaq extended this sign of trust. When you actually show somebody and go that extra mile, there’s a kind of unity that comes with it. Even though Joaquin is on the outs, right now I am really getting along with him and Shirin is at the point now where crazy is as crazy does. From the nudity to the talking to the monkeys in the trees to the incessant talking around camp, I have a strong feeling that if we were to lose this next challenge, Shirin would absolutely be at the top of everyone’s list.”

I Want to Win, Bro!

I Want to Win, Bro!

In the middle of the previous confessional, we saw the two guys hugging after Tyler said he appreciated Joaquin’s gesture, adding: “I want to win, brother.”

Joaquin’s actions contradicted Shirin’s assessment that he doesn’t know how to maneuver at all in this game. He is just about to leap over her in the pecking order and she seemed oblivious to the possibility. Shirin needs the tribe swap to happen quickly.

Tyler’s last comment could be seen as a winner’s quote but it could also be misdirection. It has to be noted that he has the only consistent story in the White Collar tribe, but we have seen hints that Tyler isn’t comfortable in this game. While he is in a terrific position in this tribe since Joaquin, Carolyn and Max all value him, it seems that there is something wrong with his game. He has been keeping Carolyn’s secret for almost a week now so we have to wonder how the others will react when they find out that he hasn’t been honest with him. Will Max and Joaquin find it funny when they realize that he let them search endlessly for that idol? Carolyn’s secret can be her downfall if it is revealed, but it can also hurt Tyler. If he is close with Max and Joaquin, he isn’t helping himself by keeping someone else’s secret. That idol is unlikely to help him at any point in the game.  

Blue Collar – Day 8

Too Many Mikes!

Too Many Mikes!





We saw Mike, Mike and Mike (!) hard at work, chopping wood. It was a funny montage as we saw him in quick succession, first chopping trees in the woods while wearing his blue T-shirt, then he was shirtless with no buffs on his head while pruning some branches in camp, and then he had his buff on his head while cutting some more wood near the shelter.

Mike’s confessional: “The man that I call dad is the pastor of my church and he taught me at a very early age that, you know, if you work hard, good things will come to you. So, you don’t have to tell me to do something because I see that something needs to be done and I just do it. But, this Blue Collar tribe, which is supposed to have the best work ethic out of all three tribes, is failing in work ethic and I feel like Rodney is the worst.”

Must be a Union Break

Must be a Union Break

Getting it Done!

Getting it Done!





(At that moment, we saw Lindsey, Sierra and Kelly sitting down and then the camera focused in on Rodney so that we could actually see that he was sleeping in the shelter)

This confessional explains all of Mike’s antics:” If you work hard, good things will come to you,” he said and that is the very basis of the Blue Collar way of life. It even comes to him from a man of God so we understand the reason behind his behavior. He may look crazy, but he is just more driven than his tribe mates. Contrary to Jenn, he is taking the survival aspect of the game seriously and it has brought him some good things up to now. It should continue or else what message is being delivered? What kind of story would it be if it told us that you can work only when you feel like it even if you are a Blue Collar? It makes me seriously doubt that Rodney and Lindsey will get their way and boot Mike.  

Mike woke up the man from Boston, asking him for his help carrying the wood. Rodney said he needed to eat first because he was light-headed. He added: “I’ll do the work when I want to do work. How’s that? Ain’t nobody my daddy out here.”

Mike had just talked about the man that he called dad, saying he was the source of his hard work. The juxtaposition of these two references to father figures is telling us that Rodney needs someone to tell him what to do.

Lindsey’s confessional came right in the middle of the argument between the guys: “Mike makes this comment and I am like: OK, this is annoying.  Watch what you say because you are not the only one busting your ass.”  (Note that Lindsey is seen sitting down doing nothing while we heard this in voice-over) “We have been doing stuff all morning with no thank you.  Blue Collar people in general, we tend to critique other people’s work ethics because we think that ours is the best.  We think that we know the best way; we think that we work harder…  At the end of the day, in this tribe, I know I have the best work ethic.”

Lindsey Doing Stuff

Lindsey Doing Stuff

That’s certainly not what the viewers have seen.  The story is contradicting Lindsey once more.

Mike then challenged the tribe: “If I’m the first one to go home because I step up and say something, then I’ll step up and say something.”

Sierra was seen in close-up enjoying some rice when Mike said this.

Rodney said they would do the work at their own pace, that Mike wasn’t the captain: “Is there a “C” on your shirt, bro? Are you the captain of this team?”

Mike replied that everyone was keeping their mouths shut but that they all thought what he was thinking about Rodney’s rant.

Rodney’s confessional: “Rodney is going to do what Rodney is going to want to do.  It doesn’t matter how much you are busting your ass; this is a social game.  Whether you do the most or you do the least that isn’t going to take you to the end.  It’s keeping everybody happy, man!  Get off my back.”  We saw Dan talking to Rodney, apologizing for not noticing he didn’t feel well.  Rodney was so irritated that he started imitating Mike.  He made Dan smile when he said that they were out there to have fun.  Mocking Mike and a whole state, he added: “Ain’t no one want to live in Texas.” His confessional continued: “Mike is the number one target right now, so I got to lay low, go back on my three “C”s, my cool, calm and collective (?) and it’s going to take me to the promised land.”

Mike was talking to Lindsey and Sierra when Rodney came back to camp with three logs under his arm. He gave Mike the finger before angrily throwing the logs on the reserve pile.  Mike was saying that he doesn’t get as much respect as he gives.  Rodney found that comical while Lindsey turned it around: “If someone gets respect out here, it’s you.  It’s certainly not us.”

Mike argued that he thanks them while Lindsey and Sierra said he doesn’t.  Lindsey’s confessional was inserted here.  The argument got heated to the point where Lindsey said: “We all do everything… We don’t get firewood, true or false? (Mike acquiesced) We don’t cook, true or false? (“You cook all the time,” he said) Tend to the fire? (Mike’s frown expressed his doubt)  We don’t tend to the fire?  How the f___ do you think this fire is going right now?  How do you think that got there? Magic?  Your God?  Did your God come down and do it with his f___ beard?”

(An editor showed he has a sense of humor by giving us a close-up of Dan’s beard right then!!!)

Lindsey’s confessional from the previous scene: “Mike is being ignorant right now.  It’s the one thing that I cannot take, and of course, he wants to sit there and fight with me of all people.  Like, I know that you have some Bible verse on your back, but that didn’t help the fire get tended to.”

Mike’s confessional followed Lindsey’s rant: “I’m not sitting here saying that I’m the best Christian in the world, but I do have a relationship with God.  That was very offensive to me.  It honestly hurt my feelings on a personal level.”

To the tribe, Mike said: “If stepping up means I’m the first to go, then send me home.”

Lindsey had more to say in confessional: “Mike always says: “If that’s why you want to send me home, then send me home.”   Wish come true (expletive deleted). Sorry,” she said while showing him the imaginary door with her hand gesture.

Mike certainly looks like he can’t fit in with his tribe because of his maniacal behavior.  Logically, he shouldn’t be able to outlast Rodney, Lindsey and Sierra but that is exactly what I think will happen.  Rodney is using his time in Nicaragua as a vacation while Lindsey only knows how to complain.  Maybe she had a point about the fire, but we didn’t see her starting it or keeping it going.  In fact, we have rarely seen Lindsey doing anything more than sit and eat.   If the message is that you have to work hard to make it to the end the,n they can’t last that far. 

The Challenge

You Have to Look Surprised

You Have to Look Surprised

When Jeff said: “Come on in, guys” we saw that the three tribes were walking one behind the other on the beach, barely ten feet separating each.  Therefore, the shock that everyone expressed when Jeff told them that Vince had been voted out meant one of two things: Either Jeff has them on such a tight leash that no one dared to look behind OR those were all faked expressions of surprise.  To me, they looked fake.

Once more, Dan participated in the challenge.  Lindsey was the one to sit out.

Jeff pointed out that Will was struggling early.

We heard Carolyn telling her tribe to plug the holes.

Joe told Nina to go ahead so she ran back alone.  Jeff made the comment: “Joe is going to send Nina out ahead.  It could be a very smart strategy for the No Collars if it pays off.”

We saw Lindsey cheering for her tribe who had the early lead.

Jeff then told us that the No Collars dumped half their water on the ground.  When Nina went out again, Jeff expressed doubts about the tactic.  “No Collars once again very slow and doing it with only four tribe members even if they have five.  What you are doing isn’t working, No Collars.”

When it got to the third leg, the Blue Collars held their lead and we saw that Will was exhausted.

Lindsey got quite animated on the sidelines yelling: “You have to beat them.”  The White Collars grabbed the lead but neither tribe had enough water, so they went back for a fourth run.  When they reached the reservoir, we heard Mike telling the group they had enough, that they had to go.  It put the Blue Collars back in the lead.  They edged out the White Collars by a few seconds, which got Lindsey to jump with joy.

When Jeff handed out the idols, we saw a nice hug between Rodney and Mike, another sign that victory is the best ingredient for team spirit.  It probably won’t last and one of the two guys will regret all those immunity wins.

Before sending them back to camp, Jeff asked Joe why they didn’t let Nina participate in the challenge.  Joe explained that they thought they would be quicker that way, but it turned out to be a bad call.

Since the vote wasn’t going to blindside anyone, the last scene had to distract us from the obvious.  That meant giving Will the confessional after the challenge: “I thought I was at boot camp; that was ridiculous.  The challenge kicked my ass…The sad fact is that we have to go to another Tribal Council and I think it’s time for Nina to go.”

Joe’s tactic failed, but it wasn’t really the reason for their loss.  They were simply slower than the other two tribes.  So, on one hand, it’s good that Joe was given a chance to explain himself, but on the other, the faulty tactic didn’t have to be underlined.

No Collars – Day 8

I noted that we saw vultures, but they weren’t feeding on anything, just hovering over the tribe.  It’s not really a better sign than the vultures that were feeding on a carcass before Masaya’s Tribal Council because it could mean that Nagarote is slowly agonizing.

Joe apologized to the tribe and to Nina in particular for not giving her a chance to show what she could do.

Joe’s confessional: “Man, we were so close today and I feel a little bit of the responsibility because I came up with the strategy and the game plan and I should have shut up and let Nina participate, and I feel very bad about it because I screwed her over today.  I know Nina doesn’t want to go home; no one wants to go home from this game so, if she wants to fight, she’ll fight.”

Will also had a confessional: “We blew it again. We tried to make Nina a non-factor and it cost us, so back to Tribal Council we go.”

Will told Joe that it wasn’t his fault, that they were playing Survivor not playing friends.  He added that they made the decision as a team and that he backed him up.  They all agreed to vote out Nina.

This exchange helps Joe save face a bit more.

When Nina asked Will about the vote, he told her that he had no idea who was going home.  Nina knew it was between her and Will, so she went to the others to see if they could eliminate Will.  They told her they could, Jenn saying that Will had now cost them two challenges.  She was ready to forgive one but not two.

Jenn’s interview: “Nina and Will are definitely on borrowed time.  Will did not perform in the challenge; it was embarrassing. Plus, I still don’t really trust him at all.  He seems sneaky, but you know, Nina is a wet blanket on the entire tribe.”

Jenn and Hali went to collect water and they used the time to talk about their options.  Jenn asked if the two of them should vote against Will.

Hali in confessional: “Nina is so frail and her attitude is not there but Will is struggling like hardcore.  Will voted for the wrong person at the last tribal and now I don’t trust him.  I think he’s a snake.  So, my biggest fear moving forward is that Will might do something idiotic and that Jenn and I will have trouble at the merge.  So, we are between a rock and a hard place right now.  Who is going to go home?  Will it be Will or Nina?”

Now that could be an interesting piece of information to keep for the merge episode.  We could see Will doing something that will cost Jenn and Hali the game.

Tribal Council

Jeff went back to the previous vote, saying that Vince wasn’t the only person that seemed to be surprised.  He asked Will if there was anything to clear up.

Will simply said that he voted out the person he didn’t trust.

Turning to Joe, Jeff said that they were still in the tribe portion of the game, but they were already playing the individual part.

Joe said trust was a huge factor in keeping the alliance going into the future.

Asked again about the last challenge, Joe said he was afraid Nina would stumble and fall, bringing the whole thing down.  “I messed up today, big time.”

Nina said that it was because of her disadvantage which got Hali and Jenn to roll their eyes.  Jeff rightly pointed out that the challenge had nothing to do with hearing, but Nina insisted that it was because they saw her as having a disadvantage.

Will disagreed, saying Nina always came back to being deaf.  He said he was upset because they tried talking to her.

Jeff went back to one of his old arguments: Perception becomes reality.

Joe agreed, saying Nina misunderstands them as much as she feels misunderstood.

Will refused to admit it was his fault in the latest challenge, saying they simply didn’t work well as a team.

That’s when Nina interjected:  “You guys would be crazy to keep Will.  You can trust me; I am strong.”

Jenn replied that Nina had been emotionally weak and that it concerned her.

Hali, like Jeff, wondered if Nina was on the right tribe because of the philosophy of taking life as it comes. She explained: “For most of our tribe, we go with the flow, but Nina doesn’t have that same flow going.”

Nina said she was a White Collar before, but she had changed in the last seven years.

Hali said that she would have to make adjustments if she wanted to stay with the tribe.

Nina said she wanted to make those adjustments.

It was time to vote and we saw that Hali was willing to give Nina a chance because she voted for Will.  Joe and Jenn, however, voted against Nina who was eliminated 3 to 2.

Jeff sent them back to walk in the pouring rain after saying: “Survivor is often about enduring short term losses for long term gain.  Losing today’s challenge means you go back to camp without a tarp to keep you dry from the rain and down yet another tribe member.  The hope is, in the long run, it will be worth it.”

Jenn was shown when Jeff mentioned the hardship while Hali was seen when he said it could be worth it in the long run.  Does that tell us anything about the future of the game or was Jeff just hoping none of them quit?  The problem is that we don’t know if that was the only thing Jeff said or if it was selected from a long dissertation.  If we knew that Jeff had been rambling on then this tidbit would have value, but as is, it sounded like wishful thinking.

The Story

This week, the story was about the players that couldn’t fit in with their tribes.  Each tribe had at least one member that gets on everyone’s nerves.  Nina was one of them and she wasn’t long for the game but that will probably not be the case for all of the ill-fitting players. For one thing, Nina didn’t fit in because she was too White Collar to be with the No Collars, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

While everyone was very enthusiastic about this season, it seems to me that there are less interesting stories than last season.  Maybe there are more players willing to make big moves but their constant acting for the cameras makes the whole production look very formulaic:  Someone doesn’t fit in so that person should be voted out, but something will happen to change the game and suddenly the target will emerge as the victor.

The Characters

Surfing Along:  For them, the game is like a vacation:

Carolyn:  She finds it fun to sit back and watch everyone search for an idol that she’s had in her possession for nearly a week.  Since she gained these players’ trust, she should realize that her secret could hurt her in the long run.  If that wasn’t enough, she may decide that one of her close allies has to go because she doesn’t know how to deal with Shirin.

Max:  By going around naked, it seems that Max scared away the cameramen because he was barely seen in this episode.  We saw him searching for the idol along with the others so we have to wonder how he will react when he realizes that Carolyn and Tyler have been keeping secrets.

Hali:  She expressed her opinion by voting against Will instead of Nina like Joe and Jenn did.  She had been more sympathetic to the older woman than Jenn and her rogue vote will not alarm them.  It may trouble Will though so maybe that will motivate him to go against the two women at the merge.

Jenn:  The recap could have reminded us that she was in danger since she was Vince’s target but it wasn’t mentioned.  She was still talking about Nina which doesn’t make her an endearing character.  While the surfing scene was beautiful and was nicely shot from up above, it led to Jenn telling us that she doesn’t take the game seriously, something that has to lead to her downfall.

Lindsey: She is the unhappy tourist, complaining about everything:  Room service is bad and the people in her group are horrible. Even if I used to reserve the term “tourist” for players that didn’t have a story, Lindsey still has all the characteristics of a “tourist”.  We have not heard Lindsey say anything about the game except that she wants both Dan and Mike gone first.  Since they can’t both leave first, then maybe she doesn’t get anything done.

Sierra:  It’s funny that Sierra has become Lindsey’s sidekick.  She was the first to complain about Mike and Dan, but it appears that Lindsey, because of her sharper tongue, has taken over the role of villainess.  Like Lindsey, Sierra is only in this for the ride because she has given us nothing of substance about her plans.

Rodney:  The man from Boston first appeared like someone who could be more than just a Blue Collar, but instead he has evolved into the tribe’s “Drama Queen”.  While he used the excuse that he wasn’t feeling well and had to eat before getting to the chores, we still heard from multiple sources that he was lazy.  In fact, Rodney is the worst and everyone is scared to tell him.   The way he is presented suggests that he will soon get a rude awakening.  One cannot win Survivor by being the first to bed and the last to rise.

Not Fitting In:  While they should follow Nina, irony tells us that a couple could go far.

Shirin:  She continues to be more No Collar than most of the No Collars we have in Nagarote and she is oblivious to the dark clouds forming over her head.  So, either like Vince and Nina, this episode set the stage for her elimination in the next one, but it could also have been telling us that she will find safety in an upcoming tribal shuffle.  It seems that she would find a community of spirit with Jenn and Hali.  They wouldn’t need to take the game seriously to form a nice voting bloc.  Shirin could cause a lot more problems for Tyler, but her portrayal tells us that her social game is too weak to win this game.

Joaquin:  He is on the outs with the tribes because of his inability to maneuver in this game.  In a sense, Joaquin has been much more a Blue Collar than a White one even if he can’t get the job done.  He failed when it came to making fire and searching for the idol but he is learning as we saw when he earned points from Tyler because of his honesty.  If Masaya loses and they consider that a swap is imminent, then Joaquin could be in danger but Shirin’s act could still save him.

Will:  He is in trouble with his tribe simply because his vote made everyone distrust him.  He has himself to blame because saving Nina the last time didn’t accomplish anything.  Nagarote would have stood a much better chance to win the challenge if Vince had been there to carry his share of the load.  A tribal shuffle could save him and we have heard hints that he could do something that would end Jenn and Hali’s games at the merge, so maybe all is not lost for Will, but this chess player is in danger of finding himself in checkmate.

Dan:  He doesn’t fit in because he doesn’t know how to talk to the others.  It was first evident when he used a terribly condescending tone while talking to Sierra and Lindsey and it was seen once again in this episode when he tried to make a joke by insulting Rodney’s mother.  Still, we have to note that Dan is in a much better position now than he was during the first cycle and his story has not dropped off one iota.  He continues to get a good portion of the airtime even if he isn’t enemy number one anymore.  That is a terrific sign for his long term prospects even if his mouth will probably cost him the votes he would need in the end.

Mike:  Of all the players that don’t fit in, Mike is too much of a Blue Collar than the others in his tribe.  We have to remember that Vince was too No Collar for his own good, so the same could apply to Mike in this tribe, but there has been too much care given to his story for me to consider that likely.  His hard work has contributed to the tribe’s success and we were given an opportunity to understand what makes Mike tick:  The man he calls dad is a pastor who taught him that hard work brings good things in the end.  Sitting in the Final Three would certainly be a nice reward for this hard working man. Seeing Rodney and Lindsey triumph over him would be sending the wrong message.  Of course, people will say that Mike’s craziness caused his dismissal but it would still mean that laziness was rewarded over hard work, and I simply don’t think that will happen.

The Players on Alert:   The Observers have an advantage in the game.

Tyler:  He is in a great position in his tribe and it enabled him to get information from everyone.  We know that he wants to win and he could very well reach his goal.  With that being said, there is something wrong about Tyler:  He isn’t comfortable in his alliance, he has to keep another player’s secret, and he doesn’t want to eliminate the player that is on the outs.  Shirin annoys him greatly, and he doesn’t seem to know how to handle her.  Like the images suggested, Shirin could very well cause his elimination.

Joe:  He knows that he can’t trust Will, but he had to spare him in order to keep the tribe strong and to keep the camaraderie going up in the tribe.  Despite the fact that he liked Nina, she was dragging everyone down with her insecurities.  Joe is presented as a likable person and he gets to explain all his decisions even if they don’t work out as he hoped.  Joe’s story could be similar to Malcolm’s: The likable, athletic guy that falls just short.  However, he could also turn out to be somewhat like Aras:  A player that is in over his head trying to manage a dysfunctional group, but still somehow finds his way to the end.

Kelly:  Whenever a player suddenly gives a confessional that stands out, we have to take notice.  Kelly seemed like an extra, someone that was simply in it for the ride, and would probably go far because she wasn’t a threat to anyone, but she would get voted out when the others realized they didn’t need her anymore.  That isn’t Kelly’s story at all.  Instead, she has been sitting back, watching and analyzing everyone until it is time for her to step in.  The sudden importance of her confessional reminded me a lot of Natalie White’s episode 4 confessional where she told us she would stick with Russell because he rubbed a lot of people the wrong wa,y but it also reminded me of Kim’s episode 2 confessional where she said it wasn’t yet time for her voice to be heard.  Both women emerged from the chaos in their tribes and went on to win the game, so Kelly could be following a similar path.

Kelly sees Rodney as a drama queen, the type of hot head that usually gets into bar fights.  That impression was validated when we heard Rodney say that he was close to battling Dan over his unsavory comment.  In Kelly’s mind, Blue Collar people aren’t emotional so she is telling us that it’s Rodney and his girls that don’t quite fit in even if they are taking up all the space.  She should then side with Mike and Dan if the need arises.  However, the tribe’s dominance means that she can probably continue to sit back and wait for the right moment to interject.

Right now, I think we could very well see Kelly, Mike and Dan sitting together in the Final Three, and the outcome of the vote depends on Kelly’s way of intervening.  If we see that her intervention is well-accepted by the others then she will be in an excellent position to claim the million dollar prize.  If she is seen as the strong-armed cop who barges in and takes charge then Mike would be our victor.

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