'Survivor Nicaragua' Recap: The First Blindside

Linda Sharps
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Tonight's episode opens with Espada, where Holly professes shock over Jimmy T. being voted off last week. She simply had NO IDEA he was going to go! She totally didn't see it coming! She's ... oh, Holly. Jesus.

Marty, meanwhile, preens to the camera, bursting with confidence. "I'm in control of this tribe, finally," he says, practically rubbing his hands together with glee. "I can't imagine anything going wrong to disturb my plans."

Too bad there's not a metaphorical Survivor animal that stands for FORESHADOWING, because here's where they would have a long dramatic nature shot.

Challenge time! Already? Huh, that's kind of weird, I wonder if—oh, snap, Jeff tells everyone to drop their buff, because they're switching tribes. Everyone stands there with their mouths hanging open, like holy crap, I cannot even believe they switched up the formula on this show that's known for constantly switching up its formula, what could possibly be next, a reward sponsored by some sort of corporation?

The tribes draw for captains, which end up being Holly and Brenda. The captains have to choose a few people from the opposing tribe, and now I'm the gobsmacked one because Brenda picks Marty (WTF?) and Holly picks NaOnka (WTFFFFFF).

"Old versus young is over!" barks Jeff. "Medallion of Power is over!"

Unspoken but implied: "Dwindling viewer interest is also hopefully over!"

New Espada wins the challenge, carting off a couple of chickens as reward. Back at the Espada camp, Tyrone confesses to the camera he appreciates seeing young women around the camp, and he briefly swaps out his signature frown for a leering grin. He then proceeds to school the new young tribe members on how things are run around the Espada camp, prompting NaOnka to head-waggle for the camera.

"Don't think you're a G, which is a gangster, because you're not."

By the way, if you have to explain what you mean by G, I'm thinking you aren't much of a gangster either. Just saying.

Back at La Flor, Fabio (née Jud) says that how the new tribe has worked out is "pretty right on." Marty starts asking how they get work done around La Flor, and Brenda shrugs and says they're, like, pretty chill. Fabio adds that they don't really know what they're doing, being as how they're young and all. Marty's eyes gleam and he mentally replaces all their faces with the word SUCKER.

As a ploy to win everyone over, Marty confesses that he's got an immunity idol. Everyone murmurs appreciatively, except for Brenda, who may be chill but isn't stupid.

At Espada, which is apparently located in an entirely different weather zone than La Flor, it's raining and windy and miserable, and NaOnka must be the Wicked Witch of the West because she instantly starts freaking out. "This weather is killing me," she moans. "I want to go home." I'm meelllllllting, I'm melting, oh what a world, what a world.

Alina sort of comforts NaOnka but is clearly taking some pleasure from her suffering. "She seems like she's on her period all the time," she tells the camera. "We're all wet. Big deal."

Challenge time again! This one's for immunity, and it's hard to describe but it involves something that looks quite a bit like water torture. La Flor wins, thanks to a surprisingly adept last-minute move by Fabio.

Back at Espada everyone but Tyrone agrees they should kill and eat a chicken. Tyrone busts out his customary glower to indicate he does not approve of this decision, but says, "I ain't going to gangster it." Well, duh. You're not a G, Tyrone.

When it comes to dinnertime, though, he's sucking down chicken bones like he's at a Vegas buffet, which pisses off the tribe. Everyone seems torn about who should go: NaOnka, who has transformed herself from ghetto girl into a whining bag of weaksauce; or Tyrone, who everyone thinks is kind of an asshole.

Tribal council! Jeff asks how things are going with the new tribe, and Alina talks about turf wars with Tyrone, which does NOT make him happy. Or more accurately, it continues to make him as unhappy as he's seemed since he started the show. Tyrone then says he embraces his leadership role but wants things to be smooth. Eyeballs roll on all sides.

NaOnka somehow gets talking about how the only other thing that's been as remotely difficult as Survivor was her divorce, and I can't believe it but I actually sort of stop hating her for half a second.

I KNOW.

It's voting time, and the best moment comes when Benry swaggers up, writes down Tyrone's name, and tries to get cocky with the camera. "Time to dethrone the king of Espada. Benry's here, baby!" he says, then promptly knocks a giant metal paperweight thing to the ground. "Uh ... my bad," he mumbles.

Heh. That's what you get for being called Benry, dude.

In the end Tyrone is sent packing, and Jeff addresses the tribe. "Your first blindside," he says with barely restrained disgust, because I don't know if you've noticed, but somewhere along the line Jeff has become less of a show host and more of a meddling, disapproving den mother. "Congratulations."

I don't know how I feel about Espada's choice. I was for sure sick of seeing Tyrone scowl at everything all the time, but on the other hand, NaOnka was basically asking to go home. On the other other hand, I still don't like her for being such a hootch to Kelly B., so maybe she should get rained on a little more, just for kicks.

What do you think? Should Espada have kept Tyrone instead of NaOnka?


Image via CBS

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