Survivor Insights 76: Survivor Nicaragua- Adam & Yve (Episode 6)

1) One Big Mistake, Game Over: Yve was voted-out. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It sounds to me that getting rid of Yve was the smartest decision Alina, Chase, Benry and Na’Onka have agreed to work on. SURVIVOR is a cut-throat game and it’s better to slay the dragon before it’s too late and this dragon could swallow them alive.

Bias as it seems, I don’t want Yve to go. Her game plan was clearly going in the right direction before the tribal switch. It was in Episode 5 when Yve committed her biggest unforced error. She was not part of the numbers and sad to say, every little thing became hazy.

It’s not surprising to see Yve couldn’t fix the situation. She was getting paranoid and based on what I have seen in the editing, Yve was fighting hard. She was there talking with Holly, Alina and Na’Onka however, at the end of the day, Yve got uncertain to snake inside the numbers and that fear has devoured her.

2) Dan, the Quitter: There are two situations for Dan. He was either attempting to quit this game for real or this was only a show to get sympathy. If this was his strategy to stay on course, KUDOS to him. Dan does not need the money after all. He has nothing to lose. He was existing and he was clearly surviving despite of the knee-and-weather drama.

3) Benry threatened by Yve: I couldn’t blame Benry if he wanted to oust Yve. I have seen this scenario last week and I could also see Yve voting him out if Yve would have survived the cut.

Benry was one of this season’s power players, so is Yve. If these two power players live in one camp, you instantly expect a clash. It’s either they are against each other or they are protecting each other and Benry chose the former.

This was a proven fact already. Back in Heroes vs Villains, Boston Rob and Russel Hantz were two of the biggest power players in history who were forced to live in one camp. Russel pulled Parvati on his side but they were still outnumbered. Boston Rob couldn’t swallow his ego and it boiled down to him or Russel who must go home before the merge. Unfortunately, it was Boston Rob’s empire which was shattered.

Just like Russel Hantz, Benry only protected himself from a bigger threat. He was also well-aware of what’s happening around him and he seems in control covertly. Chase admitted he had a nice bond with Yve and Benry could have joined this circle to shake things up in Espada. However, Benry stayed loyal with his “young” alliance, which was a nice decision for the time being, to oust the listener.

There’s a slightest trace of betrayal though. Watch out for Chase. He’s still playing the game and he can probably blindside Benry or Alina when things begin to shift at his hands.

4) Big Moments for Holly & Jill: It’s quite a surprise that Jill and Holly have won this week’s Immunity Challenge. This was a well-earned win for Jill. She needed this necklace around her neck to avoid the chopping board and her way of saying “I AM HERE TO STAY!” As for Holly, she did not need it. She was safe with her kids. She knew it and by sticking with them, they can take her to the merge.

5) Brenda, Sash Control La Flor: This episode was all about Sash and Brenda. They were running the show and they were absolutely in much control. Brenda felt overconfident and she even lied in front of Marty during Tribal Council. Applause for Brenda for a very good move!!!

Marty was clearly fuming- he was shocked like Adam in the Garden of Eden upon realizing Eve had eaten the fruit of life. Marty’s nose turned very red and his level of anxiety was up in the sky. Marty was ready to go but expect the unexpected, he got very lucky despite of not using his idol. I’m not sure what the logic behind but Kelly B. took the fall after the tiebreaker.

My Overall Episode Rating: Although Yve was eliminated and my heart got broken, this was the first and exciting double-elimination episode since it started in Season 16 (correct me if I’m wrong).  Therefore, it’s 9 of 10 stars!

Photos Courtesy of:

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Survivor Insights 75: Survivor Nicaragua- Peace out Tyrone! (Episode 5)

1) The Twist: New episode, new twist and new tribe members. Brenda chose Marty, Jill and Jane to join La Flor while Holly chose Chase, Benry, Alina and NaOnka for Espada. I have no complains at this tribe shake-up. It all seems fair and equal, especially for those youngsters. If they at La Flor stick together, they (Brenda, Kelly B, Judd, Purple Kelly and Matthew) can rule this game. On the other side, this twist has its biggest impact on Marty and Yve. No matter how smart these two are, one of them could be in trouble and would bye-bye before the merge feast.

2) Shaky Situations for Marty and Yve: Marty was the luckiest man on Nicaragua Rainforest when La Flor won this week’s Immunity Challenge. Marty needed this win and hopefully, he would use this moment to have the numbers on his side. Should Benry broke that last tile for Espada and Judd did not, Marty was forced to use his not-already-hidden immunity idol and Jill goes home.

Over at Espada, I don’t get the big picture why Yve voted against the numbers. Was she completely blinsided? Or she only miss something an important puzzle while talking with Alina?

It hurts but it’s true. Nothing is 100% in SURVIVOR, everything can change in a blink of an eye and you will realize this was probably the cold case with Yve. Probably, she has forgotten to fix her plans after the switch and for that, Tyrone went home and there were only two votes revealed against NaOnka.

(Some miracles here please!)

3) Holly and her kids (Chase, Benry, Alina): Holly is back and I am satisfied with her decision to put Alina, Benry, Chase and NaOnka in one tribe. If Holly sticks to her word and stay with her three charismatic kids in Nicaragua, that would be good. If not, and Yve successfully persuades her to let go of one of her kids, then there will be no ABC in the merge. Preparing myself for the worst, it’s probably one of her sons who need to go. It’s either Chase or Benry. Except if these two finds a way to copy what JT and Stephen accomplished in Tocantins.

4)  The Spit-It-Out Immunity Challenge: This is a unique challenge that can blow anyone’s mind upside down. The creative minds behind this challenge are genius and they deserve much love and much bigger KUDOS. They also deserve a raise, Mark, a lot of raise 🙂 This is the type of challenge I’ve been waiting for since SURVIVOR SAMOA.

5) Chasing NaOnka: There’s a story of rainbow going on in Nicaragua Rainforest to save NaOnka’s breakdown. Was it a part of strategy? Could be. But to me, the story was genuine. Listening to Chase is a wake-up call for all of us to treat our dads like our best friend before the time is up.

My Overall Episode Rating: 9 of 10 stars

Photos Courtesy of:

Two Weeks of Ajde Tennis

At last!

It all happened again. One special victory in Asia and a redemption in European soil, just like in Indian Wells two years ago!

When I expected him to lose, he wins. That’s Novak Djokovic. This Mighty Serbian smoothly defended his title in China and overcome the likes of Gilles Simon, John Isner and David Ferrer.

One week later, Ana Ivanovic did not waste time after a loss to new world #1 in China (Wozniacki). The Serbian Beauty ended her two-year drought by winning five consecutive matches to claim the 2010 Linz Open.


Survivor Insights 74: Survivor Nicaragua- Delusion of Grandeur (Episode 4)

Delusion of Grandeur: Mr. Wikipedia defines it as “a subtype of delusional disorder characterized by fantastical beliefs that one is famous, omnipotent, or otherwise very powerful.”

1) The Lessons Learned: I don’t understand why Jimmy T. was pushing himself to be a leader. This is his biggest mistake and he’s playing a game that everything is uncertain and every little thing is also based on luck. If you’re playing or not playing too much, you’re out. If you are taking the role of a leader, you’re also out. Get the picture now? Leaders are no one in SURVIVOR. Being a leader is a huge threat, especially when you are a negotiator as good as Marty, who wanted to get all the attention of his tribemates, and in any case you want or you have become a leader by chance, you need to find ways to forget that wish ASAP to avoid the cut.

Looking back in the first three seasons, Rich was not the leader of Tagi, he only controlled the group by becoming the king of alliance. Tina won the second season because of luck that Colby chose her over Keith. In Africa, Ethan was not a leader in his tribe- Tom and Lex were.

If only Jimmy T. followed these patterns then he could have stayed and would have enjoy the merge feast.

2) Yve, The Listener: Listening is everything and I am glad this is what Yve has been doing for four episodes now. She might not have many confessionals as Jimmy Johnson has but it still can’t be denied you could feel Yve’s existence and she’s playing her own social game.

Your opinions and your point of views are no longer important in SURVIVOR and so far, this was Yve’s greatest achievement in the game. She’s not talking a lot probably because she knew she didn’t need to or because she knew the situation would be better if she would let the strategist (Marty) and the leader (The Jimmys) perform all the talking for her.

In addition to that, it’s really hard to talk when the stomach is empty and you feel sleepy all the time. These are the type of situations where the conscious-side of you is not working properly. When you’re tired and you don’t want to perform things that are regrettable later on, just keep your ears open, just socialize, keep the numbers on your side and keep reminding yourself to shut up, especially in Tribal Councils.

3) The Beautiful Alina: As the days passed by and the nerves were cracking up in La Flor tribe, I notice that Alina has become more beautiful than her profile photo in CBS. Alina’s beauty is hard to ignore and hopefully, she and Kelly B. could find a way (or an unexpected twist) that someone from the alliance of five will be needing her just for the sake of numbers. I want Alina to stay and bias as it seems, I want her to be a part of the jury.

4) Invisible Kelly Purple: For four consecutive episodes now, the editing has abandoned Kelly Shin. It’s hard to find Kelly Purple in the crowd and to be honest, I haven’t recognized her if she did not seat out during the reward/immunity challenge and when she did not pass the idol to Brenda when her tribe won.

5) NaOnka & the Hidden Idol: Now that Jimmy Johnson is gone, every episode until her stay will be about NaOnka. The NaOnka who chose to be in the hood and who’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind and the NaOnka who have found the hidden immunity idol with a big help from Brenda. Could she have the power now? Probably yes and probably not if she’s inconsistent to what she’s saying.

My Episode Overall Rating: 7 of 10 stars

Photos Courtesy of: Survivor Seasons in Facebook

Survivor Insights 73: Survivor Nicaragua- “I Got Hood, Not Ghetto.” (Episode 3)

1) The Tribe Has Spoken: The Former NFL Coach, Jimmy Johnson, was voted out. What does this mean for Espada? Who’ll replace his coaching position? To me, Jimmy J is irreplaceable. He was a big name in the show. The editing loves him too. He’s one of the castaways since Season 1 who has the power to bag the biggest scenes in three episodes, and to calculate it right, that’s three whole hours of SURVIVOR: The Jimmy Johnson Show.

For now, Farewell Jimmy J. and hopefully, another superstar will attempt the toughest and roughest test in seasons  22, 23, 24… …. … Just to satisfy the cravings of tennis fans all around the world, how about Pistol Pete or his fellow rivalry (Agassi) in the wild? That will be intriguing eh? Tennis stars without their fitness coaches and they are playing a game that requires them to outwit, outplay and outlast without the use of their deep groundstokes.

2) Arrogance & Ego: By revealing  the hidden idol to his tribe mates, Marty claimed himself as the season’s puppet master. The puppet master rules, he dictates and all in all, Marty accomplished it. This man was in his zone. He got Jill on his side and successfully played the “negotiating game” with Tyrone, Jimmy T and Dan.

Though there might some serious dangers ahead. If Marty continued to play aggressively, someone could overthrow his throne easily. It’s already written in history and only one puppet master has won SURVIVOR and that’s Richard Hatch. Boston Rob came a little bit short in All-Stars, Rob Cesternino has failed to win the most important immunity challenge in Amazon while Russel Hantz wasted all his chances in Samoa and Heroes vs Villains.

A huge part of Marty’s success was Jill. A strong and intelligent woman like Jill chose to be loyal with Marty and that’s kinda rare. Without frills, she just allowed Marty to decide who to get rid of without plans of backstabbing him. Folks, have you noticed some patterns here?

3) NaOnka versus Kelly B: La Flor became a stand-out tribe consisting of nine people because of NaOnka. If you’ll take her personally, you’ll surely get annoyed. But, once you have remembered what this game is all about and I’m sure Kelly B knew it too before booking a ticket to Nicaragua, Nay’s confessionals were pure entertainment to watch. She was just playing her game the way she wanted it and what can you do if she chose to be “in the hood and not in the ghetto,” which has to be the coolest line during the episode.

Kelly B would be fine. She knew the risks of playing this game and even NaOnka outbalanced her for a piece of clue, Kelly B could still whirl this game on her side by snaking inside the Minority Alliance of Five (Brenda, Chase, Purple Kelly, Sash and Nay).

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By the way, NaOnka and I had a short chat in Facebook and she explained to me these hood-and-ghetto-thing.

SurvivorDean: Hey Nay. I have one question, just a quick one. what does “i got hood not in the ghetto” mean?

NaOnka: Ghetto is where there are crack houses. Hoes walking the street, kids doing drugs & all that really craziness. Hood is when everybody is streeet, lots of street smarts. Hood people are fighters and strong head.

SurvivorDean: Hood people are fighters and strong head… just like me.

NaOnka: Then you have a little hood in you.

SurvivorDean: Yeah. Thanks Nay.

NaOnka: U R welcome.

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4) Ben’s Biggest Win: The editing has ignored Ben during the pilot episode but two episodes after, he has found  a way to redeem himself by winning the third immunity and reward challenge  for his tribe.

He superbly dominated. Tossing the sandbags onto the top of ten barrels was tough, especially when you’re 3-6 down against your opponents. This challenge requires a lot of precision and the timing of toss should also be accurate. What’s a lot more impressive was, Ben stayed 100% focus and patient, just keep tossing until he gets to the last barrel and won.

Without a doubt, this was certainly Ben’s biggest moment in SURVIVOR. His mighty way of saying “I ALSO DESERVE THE AIRTIME!”


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