Survivor Review: Loose Lips Sink Ships

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There’s a famous saying from World War II that goes “loose lips sink ships.” 

During the 1940s the phrase was meant to reinforce the idea that discussing the wrong thing with the wrong person could cost American soldiers’ lives fighting over seas.  While the point of the phrase is not that dramatic as it pertains to Survivor, the analogy could have been a very useful lesson for some of the castaways on last night’s episode.

Jimmy T and Yve Get Water

Jimmy T represented the most obvious example of how his loose lips sank his own ship.  I’d ask the question ‘what was he thinking?’ but I really don’t think he recognized how detrimental his yapping was to his future in the game.  Despite his admission on the show that perhaps his talking was going to put his head on the chopping block, I don’t think he was all that serious about the comment.  For all we know, he was responding to a producers question about if he thought his talking was upsetting the tribe and that was the first time the concept occurred to him.

Not surprisingly, despite the fact that he was a far more useful player for the tribe, Jimmy T was sent packing when it should have been Dan.  We often castigate Survivor players for not thinking or voting with their head (and I’m one of the first people to do so), but a Survivor reality is that there is a threshold point of annoyance where someone’s usefulness in the game is not worth keeping around.

(Did anyone else notice how cocky Marty was a tribal council?  He was saying things to and about Jimmy T that we had never heard and camp and clearly would start a war if Jimmy T was not voted out.  Marty knew Jimmy T was going home and felt empowered to talk about him that way.  I think Dan knew as much as well and was confident to be honest about his performance, even if normally it might have put his future in jeopardy.)

If Jimmy T had survived tribal council, I think he would have reformed his ways at camp and might have lasted longer than it seemed mere hours before.  He definitely took his medicine at tribal council, but the decision had already been made and he was heading home.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

NaOnka has a similar affliction that Jimmy T does, a bad case of verbal diarrhea, but I don’t think there’s any medicine in the world that could cure her ailment.  Would NaOnka respect the feelings of the majority of the tribe if they told her at tribal that her mouth was giving everyone headaches?  As she so boldly told us last week, her name is NaOnka, not fool.  Sounds like someone who’s open to constructive criticism for me.

The arrogance that some people display when they are part of a dominant alliance is always shocking to me.   It is as if they have never seen the show before.  This isn’t the first two seasons anymore, they’re going to produce some sort of wrinkle that will rankle and mix up any dominant alliance.  Having as positive of a relationship as possible with every tribemate is vital.  There’s no way of knowing if NaOnka is going to have her tribe flipped on its head and she’ll be left with Alina and Kelly B working alongside Espada members. 

Beyond NaOnka’s misplaced arrogance is her bloodlust for Kelly B.  Normally I would attribute this kind of behavior to a lack of self-esteem, much like with Jimmy T.  However, NaOnka does not fit that profile and instead seems like someone who has been a bully her entire life or is making up for years of being bullied by repaying the favor to someone now that’s older. 

I touched on this idea last week, but her isolation of Kelly B seems far more to do with a form of bigotry than it does with being worried about a “charity case” (NaOnka’s words, not mine) on the jury.  For whatever reason, NaOnka does not like the fact that Kelly B and her prosthetic limb are different from NaOnka and all of her able-bodied tribemates. 

Alina and Kelly B

Her overt hatred of Kelly B will be NaOnka’s undoing long before Kelly B is voted off.  Although the people in her alliance agree that Kelly B cannot make it to the finals, I don’t see them putting up with NaOnka’s bigotry for very long.  While their fear of Kelly B’s ability to win the game is misplaced for the moment, it likely is accurate towards the end of the game.  As NaOnka’s tormenting becomes more awkward to watch, her alliance will be forced to remove her.

NaOnka’s attitude is one of hatred and anger goes beyond the game and crosses many normal, social barriers.  I’m sure Kelly B is very used to her prosthetic limb and is not looking for any sympathy, but it is impossible not to realize that she has faced far more challenges than we have.  She does deserve sympathy and admiration for overcoming her disability and only a cruel person like NaOnka would see it another way. 

More thoughts from this week’s episode:

  • While Jimmy T’s singing was horrendous, at least he was singing Tom Petty.  For my money, anyway.
  • What’s with the blurkle on a guy’s package when he’s wearing underwear or the bottom of a woman’s breast if it’s showing a bit beneath her bathing suit?  Is this really necessary?
  • I’m not a fan of the reward and immunity challenge together.  First, I enjoy the challenges and by merging them, we get to watch fewer.  Second, there’s almost no reason not to use the Medallion of Power when so much is on the line.  We don’t get to debate and second guess when a starving tribe uses the Medallion at a reward challenge just to get food while risking their fate for immunity.
  • My initial reaction to the Medallion of Power is that it would be fun, but it’s blurring the line of competition.  Jeff keeps asking the tribes at tribal council about their effectiveness during challenges, but it’s hard to really evaluate when ever challenge is imbalanced.  The Medallion has impacted the influence of challenge performance on who’s voted out of the game.
  • I loved the high school moment when Brenda was questioning Chase’s trust in her with questions like “do you trust me more than her?” or “how much do you trust me?”
  • I remain impressed with Jill.  She’s smart enough not to be Marty’s lackey, but for now knows that she can let him take and bullets that come their way.

Has NaOnka's verbal abuse of Kelly B gone too far?

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Survivor Season 21 Episode 3 Quotes

Coming back from tribal council was so fake. Faker than faux fur.


Regardless of if [Shannon] thinks it or not, I think we got rid of the right person.