SURVIVOR NICARAGUA Recap: Wheeling & Dealing

By: Josh Wigler

Scrambled Eggs: SURVIVOR is always at its best as it gets down to the wire, assuming there are enough interesting personalities to make things worthwhile. Thankfully, the final cast of NICARAGUA fits the bill quite nicely. With seven players left, there were two clear alliances of three with Sash sticking out like a weed waiting to be plucked. But Brenda’s ex-wingman used the position to his advantage, not only furthering his own spot in the game, but completely derailing one of the two alliances. More on that later.

Chasing Bad Ideas: In some respects, Chase is the best player out there; in others, he’s the worst. Clearly, Chase is a physically dominating player, as evidenced by how he totally tore the reward challenge apart. But he’s not the brightest bulb of the bunch, either, having picked Jane over Sash to enjoy his hard-earned reward. Bringing Jane not only put a target on all of their backs, it also gave Sash a chance to saddle up with the rival alliance. Luckily for Chase, he realized his mistake later and was able to convince Sash to stay on board. Even luckier is the fact that Chase has a hidden immunity idol, because he’s going to need to play that thing very soon if he loses another challenge.

Swinging Around: Sash is in the most interesting position of the game right now. After weighing out his options, he chose Chase’s alliance as the team to support. It was an easier decision to make considering the confidence he must have had from winning immunity and having a hidden idol in his pocket, more or less guaranteeing his safety for the next two rounds of SURVIVOR. But it’s not enough to get to the end: in order to win, you have to get there with the right people. Sash knows very well that he won’t beat Jane, and he probably won’t beat Holly either. They might take him to the final four — heck, maybe even the top three — but Sash can’t beat them both. He’s going to need to figure out a way to get Jane and Holly out of there, but doing so is going to rub some would-be jurors the wrong way. At this point, Sash is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, but chances are good that he gets fourth place at least.

Benry Bounced: Benry sealed his own fate the minute he expressed his interest in getting rid of Fabio. When you’re that eager to turn on your own solid alliance that has just as reasonable a shot at beating the other crew, it’s going to raise flags for anybody with a brain. The smarter move would have been to make a private side deal with Sash: “You, me and Dan at the end of the game.” Dan is a dead vote and Sash’s chances against Benry are as good as he has against anybody in the finals. If he had pushed Sash harder, he might have had a fighting chance. But his willingness to cannibalize his own alliance for his own benefit, combined with his status as an immunity threat, proved to be his undoing.

Next Time on SURVIVOR: Sandwiches, chips and watermelon for the winners of the next reward challenge. For the losers? According to Probst: “Losers will be taken and executed.”

Josh is an entertainment reporter based out of New York City. He is commanded with ruthless efficiency by his office manager, Pardo the cat, and writes regularly for MTV News, Comic Book Resources, Spinoff Online and more. He’s a SURVIVOR fanatic and doesn’t mind that Benry’s gone, because let’s face it, Benry is a silly name. Follow him on Twitter: @roundhoward.

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