Survivor Review: "Running the Camp"

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Holy ego, Batman!  I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a cast of survivors so full of themselves.

This week on Survivor: Nicaragua we were treated to boorish behavior (thank you Marty), smugness (Brenda, no shock there), false bravado (NaOnka WAS intimidated), over-aggressiveness (Jane thinks she’s 26, not 56) and entitlement (our resident New Yorker, Sash).  If that wasn’t enough, we also witnessed pure stupidity from Chase and impressive arrogance from a repeat, yep, you guessed it, Marty.

Marty Poses

Each person deserves their own analysis, so let’s break down each one.

First off, what was he doing hooting and hollering after winning the reward challenge?  He was on a team of five men competing against five women in a very physical challenge.  He/they were supposed to win.  That’s why Chase is getting so killed for picking the women.  It was so imbalanced; Probst was practically coaching the women the entire way through the challenge to help them.  Marty, you can be excited you won, but no need to rub it in the face of an opponent you were supposed to beat anyway.

I’m probably supposed to feel bad for picking on a guy after he was voted off, but I’m sure Marty would just say that I don’t know how to write a review and that’s why I’m doing this.  Seriously, dude, relax.  Simply because people are not playing the game the way that you want to play it does not mean that you are playing the game with people who do not want to play the game.

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  Yes, playing the numbers game, thinking about jury votes and coming up with elaborate ways to flush out idols is one way to play a game.  So is laying low and letting other people take the bullets for you.  Marty needs to get off his “I’m playing the game” high horse because he wouldn’t have won anyway, he made too many enemies.

What a performance she put on at the immunity challenge!  I’m not talking about how she impressively remembered everything and easily dispatched her tribe mates in the challenge.  I’m referring to one of the smuggest, self-assured smiles in Survivor history.  Did you catch the way Brenda smirked when the challenge got down to her and Marty?  Not the one when she realized he wasn’t sure which symbol it was, the smile before they even got to that final question.  She knew that Marty had no chance against her, no matter how long the challenge went on.

Brenda Smiles

Personally, I might have walked over and punched Brenda.  I hate people like this.  The beauty of smug people like Brenda is that they typically get over confident and do something stupid.  Yes, Brenda, you’re right.  Overly worrisome people like Chase are annoying.  However, going the opposite direction, over confidence, can be equally as dangerous.  I’m predicting the queen doesn’t make it to the end.

Seriously, am I the only one who Jane’s act is wearing thin on?  Her anger towards Marty reflects ignorance, an inability to move on and general bitterness.  So she and Marty ended up on differing alliances back with Espada.  Big deal, it happens.  Move on!  So Marty gunned for her during the past two tribal councils saying she was a threat to win.  He’s right and everyone knows it.  He’s also right that it is a compliment to say so.  More than anything, his back is against the wall and he’s scrambling.  Don’t take it personally. 

More than anything, Jane’s insistence that she was strong, faster and better than Marty now comes off as embarrassing.  She’s a 56 year old woman.  Marty’s a 48 year old man.  This is not being sexist, but it terms of physical strength, no one expects Jane to be stronger than Marty.  Simply competing with him on an equal plane was more than impressive.  As far as genders go, she’s more impressive than Marty.  But you can’t talk such a big game and then completely collapse in a challenge.  Know your limitations.

Why are people so insistent on feeling in charge or appearing like they are in charge?  Especially in a game like Survivor where being in charge often comes with a target on your back, what’s the benefit?  Why not let Marty’s plan play out?  Just because it was Marty’s idea and not yours? 

Sash and Brenda seemed to talk themselves in to going with Marty’s idea, but then did an unexplained about face.  Is that because they didn’t want Marty to get satisfaction out of hatching and executing a plan?  If so, that’s just ridiculous.

Being in charge is more than about making every decision or appearing like the head rooster.  Control and leadership is about motivating a group to accomplish what you need without ordering people to do your commands.  So many people get caught up in who the directive comes from than what it accomplishes.  Voting out Jane and flushing NaOnka’s idol was a good move for Sash (and Brenda).  Go with it and let Marty take a few more bullets in the process.

Sash Relaxes

Brenda said it best: Chase choose the women because of some underlying feelings of wanting to appeal to “Carolina Jane” and “Mom Holly” and the other women.  I’m glad she saw through his foolish decision and recognized that the obvious move was to go with the guys and win reward.  Interestingly, I don’t think anything would have changed for Chase except that he’d have a full belly and more respect from the men.  He didn’t gain much respect from the women for his transparent vote of confidence in the women.

Her philosophy is to respond to force with force.  She believes that this is how you demonstrate that you’re not weak.  All it really does is show how emotionally unstable she is.  She is intimidated by what the other tribe members say about her.  No one believes for a second that her forcefulness is a demonstration of strength and confidence.  It’s simply the only way she knows how to deal with bullying.  All she did in the interim was make a fool out of herself. 

More thoughts from this episode:

  • Has anyone else noticed that the women have been instructed to stand in front of the men at the challenges?  Surely this makes for a better shot as most men are taller than their female counterparts.  I loved seeing Dan have to stand up front with the women at the challenges this week.
  • Speaking of Dan, you know who is truly confident and in control?  Dan.  He’s obviously very weak in the challenges, but does anything seem to rattle him?  Do you think there’s anything you could say to him that he’d respond to or react to?  He’s truly comfortable with himself, far more than anyone else in the game.
  • Best part of the entire episode was watching the women bounce off the brick wall.  Hilarious.
  • The process of flushing out the idol is going to have to change.  Marty, et al, over did their attempts to bully NaOnka into playing her idol to the point where Chase, and likely everyone else, realized what was going on.  It’ll be interesting to see how survivors try to do this in the future.

Running the Camp Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)
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Survivor Season 21 Episode 9 Quotes

[Marty's] just waiting for the hatchet man to cut that rope and he's gonna be hung.


[Marty's] throwing punches, but [Jane] can't block