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'Survivor' recap: Talking with your mouth full

October 14, 2010 |  8:30 am

99280_D17864c What is this? Could it be? Entertainment?

A month into the new season of "Survivor" –- one in which many fans have yet to find few, if any, likable players –- I'm finally getting really into this.

Was the producers' old-versus-young idea to blame for the general lack of excitement? No, there have been several water-cooler moments so far; it's just that the whole thing didn't seem to be clicking. Mostly we've been annoyed by players and have yet to want to back any others.

I do question the editing a little now. Some who've seemed evil came off OK Thursday night, and all of the sudden some I've liked became really stupid. But the more things change, the more people continue to talk too dat gum much.

Biggest change: Tribes were switched, just as Marty and NaOnka were onscreen talking about how everything was going great for them ("I got my swag!," Na exclaimed.). You should never feel too confident about the game, because that's when it changes -– that's how it goes for just about every reality competition show. Also: the Medallion of Power is no more.

Brenda and Holly got the luck of the draw, and got to select who to swipe for their respective tribes. Brenda takes Jane, Jill and Marty for La Flor, and Holly gets Alina, Benry, Chase and Na. Pretty good selections for both there, and we got to see the new groups in action when they faced off in a reward challenge for three chickens.

The tribes played a plinko-like game in which the first tribe that failed to catch three falling balls lost. Marty, who was as sure of himself as he could be before the switch, literally dropped the ball here. Twice. But that didn’t matter to him, because he knew there were already luxuries at La Flor's camp. And once there, he proceeded to question the tribe's laid-back attitude (even after saying "How can you argue with winning?" earlier), to talk himself up and to hold a news conference to announce that he possessed an immunity idol.

Brenda was not amused, making me like her so much more. Same with Jane, who told her new tribe mates not to trust Marty and Jill.

"Marty and Jill have been tight as ticks, one like humping the other one on the back, I'm tellin' ya." All right now, ma'am! Jane was also loving how La Flor isn't all "schedule, schedule, schedule," like Espada was. So you can imagine that the La Flor players now with Espada won't be feeling that, and that was exactly how they were welcomed to their new camp.

Tyrone, who for some reason still believed that Espada "had a good thing going," unloaded a barrage of rules and structure on his new tribe mates. Oh, Tyrone. While Ty was busy acting like somebody's daddy (yet worried about flirting?!), Jane said she thought of her kids when picking the transplants (Holly love the kids.), and connected with them. With four new "kids" to four original Espada members, she is now a part of a majority.

I shouldn't even have to talk about how awkward/awesome it is that Na and Alina find themselves friends now, given their situation. That friendship was put to the test as Na began to break down. It was raining hard and apparently cold, and that was affecting Na more than the others.

"NaOnka seems like a high school girl. She's irrational and crazy, and she just seems like she's on her period all the time," Alina said. Pow. But am I the only one that started to feel for Na? Especially after Chase told that story about his late father and a rainbow to cheer her up?

At the next immunity challenge, we saw an awesome game in which three from each tribe were strapped onto a wheel, dunked in water and had to bring some back up in their mouths to spit in a bucket. Then, once again, there was a throwing component in which Benry had his tribe's victory so close at hand but lost.

When Espada, down and hungry yet again, returned to camp, everyone but Tyrone wanted to eat one of their chickens. For some reason, Ty thought it was better to get one egg a day, but when that bird was cooked, we saw him tearing up a leg quarter like nobody's business. Of course this rubbed many the wrong way, and despite Na's breakdown and multiple declarations of wanting to go home, Ty was voted out in a "blindside." I put blindside in quotations because Ty should've known there are few sure things after tribe switches. See how everyone voted below.

I honestly did think that Na's answers to Jeff Probst would continue the pattern of predictable tribal councils, but I guess at this point in the game emotional honesty becomes admirable. That and making no contributions, because Dan is still there. Ty's first impression on his new teammates did him in. You can't try to tell people what to eat and then eat a good chunk of what they cook –- remember that, people.

I had several physical and verbal reactions while watching this week's episode, and with the preview for next week, there should be more down the pike. Marty is a chess grandmaster? And he's telling people?! What are you thinking/feeling, everybody? I think I'm backing Espada now. Let's just hope the tribe isn't really cursed. One thing I wondered about: Chase knows Na has an immunity idol. What will come of that? Time will tell.

-- Anthony Williams

Photo: Espada's Yve tries to spit water into a bowl during an immunity challenge. Credit: Monty Brinton / CBS


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