The signs were everywhere. The theme of quitting was inescapable on tonight’s episode of Survivor: Nicaragua on CBS. From the first few minutes within the recap up until Tribal Council, quitting was a hot topic. As the rain continued battering the nine remaining castaways on the Libertad tribe, two losers decided they had enough. Who opted to quit the competition? Read on to find out!
Facing The Elements
On day 28, the Libertad tribe was sitting inside the shelter as a big storm ripped through camp. NaOnka said all of the rain was making her miserable. She said her joints were starting to hurt as a result of being anemic. Kelly S. — who has been nearly invisible this entire season — was also struggling with the weather. As they all moped in the shelter, Holly and Fabio thought everybody needed to look at the weather as a temporary event.
As the storm cleared and the sun poked out, Benry and Fabio walked away from the shelter anticipating NaOnka and Kelly S. might quit. Benry welcomed their desire, because he felt nobody in that frame of mind deserved to be there.
As Chase and NaOnka walked in the woods, she said her heart is no longer in the game. Practically in the same breath she gave him the hidden Immunity Idol she had found early on in the game. She felt Chase was best-suited to have it in his possession.
At the Reward Challenge, the contestants were divided into two teams and then tethered together. The competition surrounded an eight-foot stuffed dummy named Gulliver, which was tied to a table. After untying him, the teams had to carrying the dummy over and through a series of obstacles without dropping him on the ground.
Just like Big Brother does, Survivor used the Reward to attach itself with an upcoming movie — “Gulliver’s Travels” starring Jack Black. Host Jeff Probst said the theme of the movie is very similar to Survivor — it doesn’t matter how big you may be on the outside, but how big you are on the inside.
The team to cross the finish line first would share in watching an exclusive screening of the movie along with endless amounts of hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and candy. Dan was the only player not selected in the schoolyard pick. Anybody surprised? He chose to support the blue team, which featured Benry, Holly, Chase and NaOnka. If they won, he would share in the Reward.
It was a very close race through every obstacle. “We are neck and neck right now!” Probst shouted as the teams pushed through the final portion of the challenge. The blue team fought hard and crossed the finish line first.
If you thought the sub-header on this section — “Big Dummies” was referencing the giant Gulliver props you were wrong. The big dummies emerged as Probst was explaining how the Reward was going to work. NaOnka interrupted him and declared she was quitting the competition. When Probst asked if anybody else wanted to quit, Kelly S. chimed in and said she was also ready to leave.
Told ya. Dummies.
Probst immediately questioned their decisions saying they are so close to the end of the game. He asked for them to take some time to think about their decision, which they would discuss at an unplanned Tribal Council that night. They both agreed.
Sacrifices & Greed
As the drama continued after the blue team won the Reward, one person on the winning side was offered to give up their time at the Reward itself to benefit the entire group with a tarp and more rice for camp. Without too much hesitation, Holly stood and approached Probst saying she needed to take care of the group. As Holly explained her decision to give away her spot, Benry stood behind trying to urge NaOnka to take her place — especially if she was going to quit the competition. NaOnka didn’t budge and stuck with the other members of the blue team to experience the Reward. That includes Dan — who did nothing to deserve the benefits since he wasn’t good enough to be picked in the first place.
Back at camp, the losing group put up their new tarp. After that was done, Holly and Kelly S. went out to gather firewood. That’s when Holly tried to convince the young castaway from quitting the competition. Holly feared Kelly S. would regret the choice forever. Kelly S. said she was having a rough time dealing with the crummy weather, and was ready to leave. Holly took on the motherly role and told a story about her daughters who wanted to quit cross country. She said she pushed them to stick with it. They did, and wound up state champs.
Escaping The Game
The blue team arrived at the Survivor cinema where they gobbled down plates of movie-style treats. Even though everybody was disappointed with NaOnka’s decision to share in the Reward even though she was planning on quitting the competition, she had zero regrets about it. Instead she happily sat there and giggled at scenes in the movie along with Benry, Chase and Dan.
Torches Laid Out
At the impromptu Tribal Council, rain continued to fall as the issue of quitting was the main topic of discussion. The jury of Alina, Marty and Brenda were stunned to hear that NaOnka and Kelly S. wanted to quit the game. Probst was hoping they each took some time to consider their decision before quitting. Holly told her story about toughening up despite her desire to quit the game early on. After Jane weighed in about will power, NaOnka said she’s proud to admit how far she’s made it. That was good enough for her. Same thing for Kelly S. who said the decision to quit came to her early in the morning.
Probst asked NaOnka if she ever believed she had a shot at winning the game. NaOnka said she knows there was once a time she had the chance to take the grand prize. Probst genuinely could not believe what he was hearing. Probst moved on asking why she didn’t volunteer to give up the Reward so Holly could go instead. NaOnka simply responded that she wanted to go out with a bang. When asked about age differences, Jane said young kids don’t know how hard the real world is because they have been blinded by their parents. Jane said there are people in the world a lot worse off than they are — and those people aren’t playing Survivor.
After the rest of the group offered their thoughts, Probst asked NaOnka and Kelly S. for the final time if they were definitely quitting the game. They both said yes. “I can’t believe it,” Marty hung his head. Probst, obviously disappointed with both of them, asked what should be done with their torches. NaOnka and Kelly S. both thought they should be snuffed out, which Probst agreed to do. But he declared the torches would be left at Tribal Council so each of them had to face their decision each time they returned as members of the jury.
NaOnka’s torch was snuffed first. “You want to go? Go.” Probst said. Then it was Kelly S. who was snuffed out. Probst nodded his head and said, “Head out.” He then set their torches aside as Alina broke down into tears.
Probst was fired up and offered a few parting words to the remaining seven contestants. He told them desire and will power is everything. He said there were no more excuses. “It is time to step up and start playing this game,” Probst said.
In their final comments, Kelly S. apologized to those already voted out. NaOnka offered no apologies saying she was proud of her choices.
I totally understand why Probst gets so upset. There are thousands upon thousands of Survivor fans sitting at home who would never quit the game.
I hope Probst digs hard at both of them at the live finale.
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Images courtesy of CBS.