At Heart (Espada)
HERE TO READ THE HAPPENINGS AT
DAY 1: POWER PLAYER
The 21st edition of the show
that made reality shows big takes place in Nicaragua. Between the
Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, amid rainforests and young and
active volcanoes, twenty Americans from all walks of life are currently
on their way to the adventure of a lifetime and, with any luck, a
million dollars. Oh and, by the way, we have a very special guest this
time around: a certain resident of Islamorada, FL who has mostly been
seen recently on another network only on Sunday afternoons. That's
right; one-time NCAA Championship-winning and two-time Super
Bowl-winning football coach Jimmy Johnson (who also won an NCAA Title as
a player in '64) is among the rabble for this rendition.
The twenty castaways have
already been divided into two groups of ten and are merging on a lagoon
where our dear old uncle Jeff Probst awaits us. We talk immediately to
him about first impressions that the groups came up with en route. Yve
mentions the way people walk (and Kelly B. gets paranoid that maybe they
know about her prosthetic leg). Marty seems happy with his group (though
he wants nothing to do with Jimmy J).
Well, Uncle Jeff sends us on
our first "challenge". See, somewhere in the lagoon area is a Medallion
of Power. Own the Medallion and you'll have SOME sort of advantage for
the tribe at SOME time during the 39 days. After making absolutely sure
to everyone that this is NOT an individual reward, Jeff sends us on our
way. After several minutes of frantic searching, Brenda finds it and we
all return to Jeff. Marty thinks that, whatever power is involved in the
Medallion, it'll do their tribe well.
That it would, mentions
Jeff,...IF these were in fact the tribes. See, they may have traveled as
groups of ten...but those groups are NOT the tribes.
Jeff divides the tribes into
those 30 and younger (La Flur, Chico's tribe, wearing yellow) and 40 and
older (Espada, my tribe, wearing blue). Yeah! I got Jimmy J! HE'S not
too happy, though. Aside from Jimmy J, my tribe also has:
Jill Behm, 43, ER doctor
from Erie, PA
Jane Bright, 56, dog trainer from Jackson Springs, NC
Tyrone Davis, 42, fire captain from Inglewood, CA
Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff, 48, goat rancher from Fromberg, MT
Holly Hoffman, 44, swim coach from Eureka, SD
Dan Lembo, 63, real estate exec from Water Mill, NY
Marty Piombo, 48, tech exec from Mill Valley, CA
Yve Rojas, 41, homemaker from Kansas City
James "Jimmy T." Tarantino, 48, commercial fisherman from Gloucester, MA
La Flor now has a choice:
keep the Medallion of Power or trade it for flint and fishing gear.
After a brief get-together, they decide to trade. The Medallion goes to
us and we head our separate ways.
AFTERNOON 1: CAMP AND TRAINING
Welcome to Camp Espada.
Lovely beach, some drinking water close by (provided you boil it), lots
of indigeonous wildlife. Oh, but you'll have to forage your own food and
build your own shelter, though. So...after hugs around, get to work.
Jimmy J is happy to play the role of "celebrity" but knows others may
resent that. Wendy and Holly strike up an immediate alliance based on
first-impression trust. Wendy is hiding the fact that she's a blabber,
hoping not to be first out like her husband believes she will be.
Apparantly, Jane has watched
several editions of "Survivor" and knows you don't need flint or sticks
to make fire; all you need is a pair of glasses. In this case, she
borrows Jill's to focus sunlight into the hairs in a coconut husk. She
could use the million to pay off her farm, which has struggled since her
husband died last year. And, huzzah, we have fire! Marty feels reassured
that they produced fire quickly in the game.
NIGHT 1/MORNING 2: LISTED AS
Either Jimmy J (or "Coach",
as the others have called him) has been taking acting lessons from Howie
Long and Terry Bradshaw...or he pushed his 66-year-old body a BIT too
hard today. He's wretchiing, he's tired...and he's not impressing Jimmy
T. at all. Tack on a cold, restless night and being bitten by ants and
mosquitos and Coach feels absolutely whooped. Who knew that LIVING
"Survivor" was so much different than WATCHING it?
MORNING 3: PRE-GAME WARM-UP
Tree-Mail! Or, to be
Change the course of
Or you may just lose your flame.
Keep your mind in the gutter,
Or be the first to leave the game.
Time for a motivational
huddle-up by Jimmy J. He says there's no chance in heaven, hell or
purgatory a Jury's gonna give HIM the million. He's here for the
adventure and wants to help someone on his TRIBE win the million. He'll
do what can to look at the other team and "kick their ass" along with
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: GUTTER
In we come to Challenge
Beach...and in comes the young whippersnappers, doing some sorta "haka"
or spaz attack or something. We are not amused. Uncle Jeff just says,
"Kay..." Furthermore, Jud is now "Fabio" and the two Brendas are
distinguished by color of bikini. Grow up, juniors. Tyrone doesn't care
about Kelly B.'s bum leg; they ain't gonna take it easy.
OK, onto the challenge. One
tribe member goes to the top of a tower and pours colored water into a
gutter trough held by five other memebrs...which will hopefully lead the
water to a big barrel at the bottom. Once the barrel is full, puzzle
pieces will be released and the other four members must put it together.
First to do that wins a golden conquistador statuette...which will keep
you away from Tribal Council tonight.
Oh, right...the Medallion of
Power. Well, guess what? Giving the Medallion to the other tribe gives
an advantage in challenges like this one. In this case, we can surrender
the Medallion to La Flor and start with a full bucket of water in our
barrel...which is about 1/5 of the barrel. Of course, giving it up means
that La Flor can use it at the NEXT challenge. After some discussion, we
decide to hang on to the Medallion for now. The tribes get set for the
challenge. For us, the men will have their minds in the gutters
(stereotyping, I know), Holly will pour and the other girls will puzzle
The younger tribe seem to
have a knack for keeping the gutters stable. Holly's just having trouble
not pouring water on the guys instead of into the gutters. Soon,
however, she gets the idea. However, it is the "Younger Tribe" (as Jeff
calls La Flor) who has their pieces drop first. Espada ("Older Tribe")'s
pieces fall a minute later and Jill, Jane, Yve and Wendy get to work. La
Flor gets their name right...but it's the outside pieces that give them
an issue. Just when Espada feels they can catch up...the pieces fall in
place...and La Flor wins immunity!
But is Jimmy J nervous? Not
really. He had to lose a Super Bowl before he could win two. They just
need to ditch the weakest player and trudge on.
AFTERNOON 3: WAIT TIL NEXT
Jimmy T. is
traumatized...and he STILL doesn't believe "Coach" is cut out for this
game. The other men seem to agree with him. Holly and Jimmy J. walk
along the beach and "Coach" believes the weakest players are himself and
Wendy...and Holly starts to re-think her Day 1 alliance with Wendy.
Wendy thinks she's weak as well because of her tight-lipped strategy.
Holly pulls the other girls and Marty into a game of "Would You
Rather..." with the only question ending "...keep Jimmy or Wendy?" But
nobody answers...not out loud. Guess it'll have to all come to fruition
TRIBAL COUNCIL: "TURN IN YOUR
Oh, THIS is nice. Councils
are being made in a ruined missionary building...or the Church of Doom,
I guess. AND it has a GRAVEYARD! How appropriate.
Uncle Jeff gets us to light
our torches and then sits us down for a chat. Jane has proven she's not
a "southern hillbilly" by making fire...thanks to her reading one of
Uncle Jeff's blog articles. Jimmy T. considers himself a leader...until
he was teamed with Jimmy J. "Coach" says he's no leader here but will
hang around as long as he's a benefit to the tribe. Jimmy T. doesn't buy
it; the Jury WILL give him the money if he plays well enough. Marty says
there are different ways to lead and those who lead wrongly will not
last long in the tribe.
"Who thinks they're in
trouble tonight," asks Uncle Jeff. Over half the tribe raise their
hands. Holly talks about her alliance and her possible change-of-heart.
Wendy says didn't connect with others because she was quiet...and then
proceeds to show a mouth like an outboard motor. No one asked her age,
she says. She'll start "tooting her horn", she says. She's known as
"Chatterbox", she says. Even after Uncle Jeff calls for a vote, she begs
for her spot on the tribe for a good minute or so.
Finally, it IS time to vote.
One by one, Espada tribe - Jane, Marty, Jill, Dan, Yve, Jimmy J, Tyrone,
Jimmy T, Wendy and Holly - write down their votes on the parchment and
place it in the golden coffer. All we know for sure is Tyrone's vote:
"Wendy Jo gotta go!" Uncle Jeff tallies the votes, brings them to the
chamber and reads them aloud:
Wendy Jo (Tyrone's vote)...
"Eve" (uh,...that's Yve,
whoever wrote that...)
What do ya know? Wendy's
hubby was right all along. By sticking her foot in her wide-open mouth,
she's out by unanimous vote. Her torch is snuffed and she heads through
the graveyard and back to her goats.
Uncle Jeff (correctly)
assumes the vote tonight was to improve chemistry among the tribe. And,
since we made fire WITHOUT flint, we get rewarded WITH flint so we don't
need to use eyeglasses anymore. We head back to camp one member
shorter...but are hearts just a little bit lighter.
To view this episode in its entirety,
along with extras and blogs, as well as information on how to become a
contestant, go to