‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 5 Recap: The Grossest Challenge Ever

Alternate Headlines: Spit Happens or Wheely Disgusting

Last Week: NaOnka found an idol and picked a fight, Dan stood around, and Marty added another Jimmy to his hit list by taking out Jimmy Tarantino.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The La Flor Tribe aka The Young Tribe (wearing yellow)

•    Alina – 23, Art Student
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Kelly B. – 26, Medical Student
•    Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
•    NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

The Espada Tribe aka The Older Tribe (wearing blue)

•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Jill – 43, E.R. Doctor
•    Marty – 48, Technology Executive
•    Tyrone – 42, Fire Captain
•    Yve – 41, Homemaker

We meet up with Espada the morning after Tribal Council, and Marty is very pleased with how the game is going. By his math they’re set through at least the next three Tribal Councils. He says it’d take something extraordinary to disturb his plans now.

Over at La Flor, NaOnka tells us how happy she is with her alliance. Her hair looks good, her shoes look good, she has an idol. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

If this was the “Amazing Race” they’d cue that sound effect that tells you when someone is making a mistake.

Sure enough, we’re swept over to some kind of challenge set-up where Jeff tells the tribe to drop their buffs. (Jeff, what’d you say to me in Nicaragua about not always saying the same things?!)

Each of the players pulls a rock out of a bag to decide the new tribe captains. The winners are Brenda and Holly. That’s nice symmetry, the person playing the best game and the person playing the worst game will get to pick teams.

Brenda gets to choose three Espada players, while Holly gets to choose four La Flor players. Brenda chooses Marty, Jill, and Jane. Holly chooses Alina, Benry, Chase, and NaOnka.

Your new tribes are…

La Flor:
Brenda, Kelly B., Kelly S., Fabio, Sash, Marty, Jill, Jane
Espada: Holly, Dan, Tyrone, Yve, Alina, Benry, Chase, and NaOnka

Wow, odd picks by Brenda. Is she trying to weed out who she thinks is the old Espada leadership?

Also, the Medallion of Power is no longer in play. Don’t act upset, you hated it.

NaOnka tells JPro that she’s upset that she’s losing some of her buddies. Yeah, I’m sure Fabio and Kelly B. are really upset about this.

Reward Challenge: Players will throw balls up a ramp, the balls will then roll down a Plinko-style board, hitting obstacles on the way down. Two members of the other tribe will try to catch the balls. The first side to drop a ball loses a point. First team to get three points wins a flock of chickens.

Jane gets a little ahead of herself yelling, “I’m gonna wring that neck on that chicken!” Way to make a good first impression there, Jane.

Not much to describe here. Espada wins the first point when the Biggest Bachelor in New York drops a ball. La Flor scores the next point when Tyrone drops one. Espada scores again when Marty and Marty’s amazing hair drop a ball. La Flor ties it up when Alina drops one. And finally Espada wins when Marty drops another ball.

Back at Espada camp, Tyrone is upset that his alliance is gone, but doesn’t mind that there are some lovely young ladies around camp. He also lays down the law as to how the Espada tribe does things.

NaOnka informs us that Tyrone is not a gangsta. Thanks, NaOnka.

And showing that crazy can attract crazy, NaOnka and Holly actually start to bond. Holly decides that she’s on the outs with the old Espada tribe and that she’s on board with whatever the youngsters want to do.

Over at La Flor, Fabio is “stoked” with his new tribe. He seems less stoked after Marty tells him how hard everyone worked over at Espada.

Jane then rats out Marty and Jill to the kids’ table saying, “They’re as tight as ticks, one of them humping the other one on the back.” She then uses her fingers to pantomime what tick intimate relations must look like.

This show needs more Jane and Fabio.

Next up, Fabio tells Marty about NaOnka tackling Kelly B. Marty says that’d never fly at Espada. He also claims to have not had to lie to anyone (I know a certain two-time Super Bowl champion who’d disagree with that). Then, he admits to everyone that he has an immunity idol.

Brenda doesn’t approve of this move as much as Jimmy T. did. She thinks this puts a huge target on his back.

Back at Espada, the rain is starting to pour down. NaOnka is concerned because when she gets cold and wet she starts to lose it. Too…many…jokes…

Apparently this is a big deal, she even tells Alina that she’s considering quitting. It’s nice to see Alina and NaOnka getting along. Maybe NaOnka’s hatred is specifically for people with less than two legs?

Chase joins the two of them and cheers NaOnka up by telling her a touching story about how he saw a rainbow on the day that his father passed away. It might have gotten a little dusty here at “Survivor” Central.

Immunity Challenge: Three players from each team will be strapped to a wheel. As the wheel rotates, their heads will dip into a trough. They’ll have to fill their mouths with water while they’re underwater. As they rotate to the top, they’ll spit the water into a funnel. Once the funnel is filled up with water a ball will be released. Another player on the tribe will take the ball and try to break a series of tiles. The first team to break all five tiles wins immunity.

OK, I’m going to go on record as saying I think this is the grossest challenge in “Survivor” history. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Gordon, they’ve been forced to eat bugs and drink blood on this show.” And that’s true, but all of those challenges were based on local customs and traditions. In this challenge they’re basically dunking their dirty, greasy, been-hanging-out-on-a-beach-for-two-weeks heads into a trough of water and taking a big gulp.

Fun Fact: You know the kid in every elementary school who has a weak stomach and pukes easily? At my elementary school that kid’s name was Gordon Holmes. This wasn’t an awesome challenge for me.

Maybe that wasn’t such a fun fact.

On the wheel for La Flor we’ve got Kelly B., Purple Kelly Purple, and Brenda. On the wheel for Espada we have Yve, Alina, and Holly.

La Flor’s strategy is to go as quickly as possible, while Espada’s is to go slow so they can spit more water into the funnel. Apparently Espada had the right plan as their ball is released first.

Tyrone and Benry are shooting for Espada. Jane and Fabio are shooting for La Flor. Somewhere in the distance Jimmy T. is screaming, “Put me in, Coach! I coulda beena contender!”

The tile breaking comes down to the final tile, with Fabio winning it for La Flor by hitting the final shot.

NaOnka tells us that she doesn’t want to quit and she doesn’t want her students to think she’s a quitter, but she’s thinking of quitting.

So…it’s OK for your students to think you’ll bully a one-legged woman?

Later that day, Espada is discussing whether or not to eat a chicken. Tyrone wants to keep the chickens for the eggs, everyone else wants to eat a chicken.

Tyrone says he’s not going to push the issue and isn’t going to “Gangsta it.” Which is good, cause NaOnka already told us he isn’t a gangsta.

Holly is annoyed that Tyrone stayed away during the killing and preparation of the chicken, but was first in line when it came time for eating the chicken. Benry also lets us know that Tyrone took the biggest piece of chicken.

“Survivor” always comes down to food. Every time.

That night at Tribal Council, Benry tells Jeff that he thinks Tyrone is the leader of Espada. Tyrone agrees that he is the leader and is happy to have the position.

Alina thinks that Tyrone treats the former La Flors like they’re children. She also threatens to hold her breath until he stops.

Jeff asks NaOnka to compare her time on “Survivor” with the most difficult thing to ever happen in her life. She says it’s been as rough as when she got a divorce. She thinks “Survivor” has been better because she has a support system.

Jeff tries to put Benry on the spot, asking if they’re OK with NaOnka quitting. Benry says he doesn’t know what Jeff is talking about. Jeff doesn’t believe him. Meow. Jeff can get away with that because he is gangsta.

Yve says she understands and that it’s a cause for concern when someone starts throwing around the q-word.

Voting Time: Tyrone votes for NaOnka, Benry votes for “The King of Espada” but the name he writes down isn’t shown, (he also knocks over the paperweight, which is hilarious), and the rest of the votes are super secret.

JPro gets his tally on, then returns. One vote for NaOnka, two votes for Tyrone, one vote for NaOnka, two votes for Tyrone, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” is…Tyrone.

Verdict: First thing’s first; how is Dan still in this game?!

OK, that’s out of the way. I’m not a big fan of tribe swaps, but this season needs something to jump start it. Hopefully this will put it going in the right direction.

Who’s Going to Win? I’m sticking with Brenda until she makes a misstep.

Power Rankings Results:
Yes! Coach and Randy Bailey had Tyrone in spot three while I called it, having Tyrone in spot sixteen. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 49, Team Truth Seeker 53.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? How do you feel about tribe swaps? Should NaOnka be a teacher? Is there anyone to root for?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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