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'Survivor' recap: Trust and consequences

December 9, 2010 | 10:39 am

99280_D26586 And we’re back. A week after two players quit, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst still sounded bitter about it when introducing NaOnka and Kelly as the two newest members of this season’s jury. But I’m way ahead of myself -– just like a few castaways in Wednesday night’s episode, where blind trust actually seemed to benefit those who would survive tribal council.

Remember how the producers all of a sudden made it look like Sash was running things? Now, of course, he’s all alone after Na and Kelly bounced. It appears he’s on the outskirts of the remaining/quickly solidified alliances. There’s Chase, Holly and Jane on one side, Benry, Fabio and Dan (oh, Dan) on the other.
Sash ain’t never scared, though. He’s from Harlem, so they say, and even in his new predicament he sees himself as a LeBron-like free agent. Sash’s decision-making process wasn’t as drawn out, but it was just as slick.

The morning after last week’s rain-soaked tribal council, Sash goes up to the young guys in that “I just have something to say, please listen to me” way. As far as he’s concerned, being between two alliances makes him the swing vote, and he keeps at that campaign with everyone to see what they’ll do if he joins their team. But, as I thought, no one trusts him. This is the guy who didn’t fight for his “partner in crime” Brenda and manipulated Marty. Chase, though, starts out slow over small talk, making a handshake promise with a starving Sash that he’s in line, right behind Holly, for deserving the next reward.

Cut to the reward challenge, which is a mix of elements from previous challenges (mud run, key grab, ring toss). Chase wins over Benry, and gets to choose two others to spend a night at a resort with. Like he said, Holly’s an easy decision, but then says “I love you guys, but I feel like I have to go with Jane.” That’s gotta hurt – and it’s pretty stupid, taking your whole alliance away and leaving Sash with the other. Guess that makes Chase the New York Knicks in this Sash-LeBron metaphor?

Back at camp, funny enough, it’s not the other guys really pushing for Sash to join them. Sash “just wants to be upfront” and is all over them, running his mouth and wanting reasons to side with them. It seems so simple to Dan, just join them and knock the others out, and this gets Sash to stutter-stutter. Dan doesn’t trust him, but feels they have to at this point.

The conversation at the resort is basically the same. Chase suddenly realizes he messed up by not picking Sash, but he and Holly know if the guys align against them, they’ll likely go after Jane first. But what do they really care at that moment? They’ve got food, showers and a massage.

And as they relax in comfort, the guys back at camp decide to eat their last chicken (which they’ve named Kelly-Na, natch). This gets Jane all emotional when she returns, with her crying and making a grave for the chicken. Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh here. Don’t get attached to chickens in the wilderness when you know they’re going to be eaten, people.

Benry’s the one starting to get paranoid, feeling Sash is closer to Chase’s group then his. This is where Chase leaving Sash at camp turned into the best thing ever. Benry approaches Chase to see if his name’s come up in any of their talks, and is all of sudden totally cool with getting rid of Fabio. Sash is able to tell Chase and Holly that’s a bunch of mess, and while no one really trusts Sash, now Benry seems most underhanded and threatening.

At the immunity challenge, the castaways have to loosen their individual rope enough to grab a bag of coins yards away, then finish a puzzle. Benry, Sash and Fabio qualify for the puzzle, and Jane hilariously cheers them on as Probst comments on every move. Benry’s lost, and Fabio starts paying attention to Sash, who wins anyway. So it’s no surprise then that Fabio begins to worry about his safety (not surprising how he still makes little sense). Fabio pulls a Brenda and continues his “lay low” strategy, while Benry and now Dan tell him they're voting out Holly. In reality, they believe they’ve finalized a plan with Chase and Sash to send Fabio home.

The way the castaways answered Probst’s questions at tribal, about communication and such, everything still seemed a lock for Fabio to go. But, what do you know, Benry’s blindsided and sent home.

Were you surprised by the turn of events at the end? I admit, they got me. Now we’re down to the final six, and Sash is as cocky as ever. Anything I missed? And with just one more episode before the finale Dec. 19, what do you guys expect to see? Will Dan make it any further? And who’ll make up the final three?

— Anthony Williams

Photo: Benry and his hair long before he was voted off the island. Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.


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