Sunday, December 19, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "Finale Night"

You know when you’re watching a really crappy movie, and you need closure? You need to see how it ends? Or maybe you’re reading an absolutely horrible book, but you still need to make it to that final page? Or maybe you’re a marathon runner who has no shot of winning, or even finishing in a decent time…but you tough it out anyways and make it to the end? That’s the way I feel about Survivor: Nicaragua (ok, maybe the marathon runner analogy was a stretch, but you get the point), it’s been a struggle, but after 4 months of snake footage and breaking tiles, at least it ends tonight.

I’m back in the Eastern Time Zone, not having to wait that extra 3 hours for my Survivor fix, so let’s get right to business on this Season Finale. Would Fabio be able to hold off the open target on his back, as declared by Sash, Chase, and Holly at the last Tribal council? Would (as Rob Cesternino suggested tonight) NaOnka and Purple Kelly quit the Reunion Show since it’s raining in L.A.? Does Dan have a chance to win it all? (Answer: NO!) And is this indeed the worst Survivor season of all-time?

My Random Thoughts:

- I appreciated that the Season Recap to start the episode was only 3-4 minutes long, instead of the usual 10 minute rehash of everything. On top of that, Jeff gave us the road each of the Final Five took to the final instead of a recap on everything. A marked improvement, I must say. And the highlight of the recap was what I referred to in my last recap as the best moment of the season, when Jane tossed water on the fire. Not because of the extinguishing of the fire, but because of something I hadn’t noticed on Wednesday…that when Jane doused the fire, Dan was sitting right in front of it and got a spectacular faceful of smoke that sent him scurrying like a cockroach that just saw the lights get turned on. - I liked the opening immunity challenge where answering wrong meant you got an incorrect bag of puzzle tiles, but how much better would it have been if the incorrect pieces weren’t black, but actually looked like puzzle pieces, but didn’t fit? That would have been pretty confusing for the castaways.

Did you see how fast Fabio solved that puzzle, though? That was impressive. And I thought it was hilarious watching the others look over at his puzzle trying to see how to solve it. How many times at school do you think Fabio had people looking over his shoulder trying to copy? Not very often, I suspect. Also, wasn’t it great how we were supposed to believe that the piece that Chase dropped was a factor in the challenge, when Chase wasn’t even close to making progress on that puzzle?

- Did Dan really ask “How many votes do we need?” when there were only 5 people left? Is he that bad at math? Maybe that’s why he spent $1600 on shoes. I can see him in the store buying a $200 pair of shoes, and as he pulls his wad of bills out of his pocket and peels off a couple of hundreds, the clerk keeps telling him “keep going…”

- Listening to Holly talk makes me feel like I’m watching Fargo again.

- The first Tribal Council saw Dan hit the Yellow Brick Road and…wait…I’m mixing up my short jokes…Is he an Oompa Loompa or a Munchkin? Actually, I could see him as part of the Munchkin mafia, couldn’t you? And what was with his bile-filled confessional after being voted off? Where was that sort of passion and fuel for the past 37 days?

- The Fallen Comrades Walk: I’m not even paying lip service to this segment, always the worst part of a season, other than to say it was a nice touch that the 2 quitters got black shields. Seven-and-a-half minutes of our lives that we’ll never get back.

- In the Final Immunity challenge, Fabio completed his reincarnation of Kelly Wigglesworth, winning Immunity in the final challenges to earn his way to the Final Tribal Council. (For the record, that was a great challenge to watch in HD) I’ve been on record saying how much I hate the concept of a Final Three vs. a Final Two, but another of the reasons is the inability of the winner to choose who they sit beside at the end, which was always a huge selling point of the challenge, as Jeff would constantly tell us. It’s not like the old way, when there were two left and the two votes would cancel out and the Immunity holder was the sole vote…now it’s still a full 4 votes cast. While they’re all scrambling to see who Fabio will take to the end, he can’t really decide on his own…he’s just one vote. I think that’s part of the reason we see a Final Three sometimes, but I still hate it as an end scenario.

- The look, and the tiny little head-shake, that Fabio gave after Sash told him he was his “best friend in the game” was priceless. A full-on belly laugh in our household.

- I was somewhat surprised (but not shocked) to see Holly voted out 4th. I thought it was going to be Sash, but I think the threat of Holly winning the game meant too much to Fabio, and even if he voted for Sash, that only would have ensured a 2-2 tie.

- If we have to still refer to her as Purple Kelly for the entire season, couldn’t she do us the courtesy of wearing purple just once?

- Fabio came up with a great line at the suggestion by Sash that Chase and Fabio could be his wingmen. “Sash, dude, you can take a back seat. I’ll let you take notes on how this is gonna go, cuz it’s gonna be fun.” He’s been pretty entertaining all season, I’ll give him that.

- The traditional celebratory breakfast feast for the finalists was the typical fare of burnt pancakes and mimosas. I loved the imagery of the tight camera shot of the frying pan cooking the breakfast links…after all, this was the ultimate Sausage Party.

- The Final Tribal Council opening statements essentially went like this: Chase – Bring it on. Fabio: Let’s have fun with the money. Sash: I’m the best player. Three very different approaches.

- The questioning was all pretty benign, don’t you think? But Sash and Chase still both took a fair bit of heat from the Jury, while Fabio laughed his way through it all as he watched them. There was really no doubt he was going to win the million, was there?
- On the Reunion Show, Fabio was clean-cut and rambled on making no sense at all, Dan looked like Joe Pesci, Jimmy T. decided the occasion warranted a T-shirt, Chase sang some horrible country music, Purple Kelly looked like Terri Nunn from Berlin, there was WAAAY too much Terry Bradshaw, Holly gave out Ostrich boots (???), NaOnka’s mom was not only named Xena…but was also the size of Xena…, Jane won the $100K popularity prize, Shannon was even douchier than on the show, Wendi Jo has crazy eyes, and Season 22 was announced as Redemption Island (but not Boston Rob vs. Russell), as I reported in my earlier post. Check out this chat with Jeff Probst for a full explanation on how Redemption Island will work.

- Overall I thought the Reunion Show was pretty uneventful and quite weak. But then again, it wasn’t hosted by Bryant Gumbel, and Rosie O’Donnell didn’t hand out free cars to everyone, so that’s something. I suppose a bad season deserved a bad reunion show. The only really good thing to come out of this show (and this season) was the 100% BANG-ON decision to have the option to exclude quitters from the Jury.

So what did you think of the Finale? Did the right person win? How about the Jury questions? And what are your thoughts about the Redemption Island twist? Please note, now that the season is over and the spoilers are irrelevant, things are back to normal and I’ve removed Comment Moderation.

Survivor Fans, I hope you’ve enjoyed the recaps this season. Please feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of my recaps and other blog posts as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading this season.

Related Posts:
Survivor Nicaragua Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog
Spoiler TV Recap


D. said...

It is pretty ironic how, for me, this season was the complete opposite of TAR 17. The latter may be my favorite season of all time, while Nicaragua may be the least. In TAR, the team that I loved from day 1 actually won. For the first time. And for the first time, the one castaway that I didn't like from day 1, also won.

I'm sorry, but I just don't like that kind of strategy (which I named Brett-strategy); to just do nothing the whole game, be friends with everybody and then win the last immunity challenges. I think that is pathetic. Plus, the way Fabio always says 'dude' and 'man' really gets on my nerves. Even the nickname is annoying for me.

And as soon as Fabio had won the final immunity challenge, I knew he was going to win. So yeah, horrible.

And when the highlights of the reunion show are seeing Cirie and Boston Rob and the unintelligible comments of the FIRST person voted out in the game, you know this was a bad season.

Again, no words were heard from Kelly Purple (shocker!) and she looked at least 35 years old. Loved your comments about the others!

I look forward to Redemption Island. But it could turn out really bad if the cast is again unlikable, weird and stupid.

Hooray for a really long comment! :P

R.P. McMurphy said...

Thanks for a great season of recaps. I don't like the idea of "having the option" to exclude future quitters from the jury. There should be no decision, if you quit, you're done. When I saw Boston Rob in the audience, I was hoping your Rob vs. Russell was right. Maybe it still will be...

Choirchick22 said...

I was really hoping for a Russel vs Rob showdown. Did you notice they were seated across the aisle from each other? I thought for sure it was to set up that season. Perhaps it will be, but I don't think they could mix both of those twists in one season.
I am pretty glad Fabio won. I can really relate to Fabio cuz I'm the chill hippie friend in my area. After Marty was gone *and boy wasn't he something at the last tribal* I knew Fabio had to win it.
SO glad Sash got nothing. Everyone could see through that smug little look and I always wish they would address the lack of votes in the reunion.
Can they just not include the early members of the cast in the reunion? Nobody even remembers most of them by the time the show ends, and it takes up time that could be spent talking about strategy and lies from the jury and final players.
Definitely agree about final 2 vs 3. 2 was much more entertaining!

Look forward to your recaps of next season!