Stephen's Survivor Strategy Blog: Die, Quitters!

Survivor: Nicaragua Recap - NaOnka and Kelly Quit
Stephen Fishbach and NaOnka Mixon
Monty Brinton/CBS (2)

12/02/2010 08:30AM

"The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you." – Law 10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

Wow. After beating up a girl with one leg and stealing food, I guess NaOnka had just run out of disgusting things to do. On this week's shocking episode of Survivor, she pulled her coup de gross. Watching two contestants walk away from the opportunity of a lifetime while Alina, Marty and Brenda salivated from the jury bench was nauseating and disappointing. And ... it was good TV? For eliminating herself from the game of Survivor and providing cover for Purple Kelly to self-smuff too, NaOnka wins this week's Fishy.

Most past Survivors will tell you that by day 28, things are actually easier. Yes, your limbs go numb and sometimes you fall over if you stand up too quickly. But your body has adapted to tropical living. You've settled into a rhythm at camp. Most importantly, you've completed over two-thirds of the game. You can almost smell the million dollars. And it smells like cookies.

That's why it's so shocking to watch two Survivors just get up and go. The only other Survivor in history to quit at the jury stage of the game was Janu on Palau – and many people accused Jeff Probst of pressuring her off to save Stephenie. I never bought it, though. Jeff hates quitters.



"What's frustrating about a quitter is this," Jeff tells PEOPLE. "There is an implied agreement that we are going to give you as a contestant the adventure of a lifetime. Nothing will probably ever compare to what we are going to present to you ... and the implied agreement is you will finish, because if you all quit, we don't have a show."

Most Survivors, when they're sitting in the jungle cold and miserable, couldn't give a Gulliver over whether or not CBS has a show. But I think almost everyone feels incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play the greatest game in history. Then there's the tens of thousands of people who would give anything to be able to one day play Survivor. For Kelly and NaOnka to quit because – Why? Because they were cold? – is a slap in the face to all of them. What did you ladies think you signed up for exactly?

Major kudos go to game-changer Holly this week for providing a voice of motherly wisdom. "You came here for a reason," she tells Purple Kelly. "The reason is to play Survivor. You need to suck it up and you need to play the game." Unfortunately, Kelly has "nothing left to suck." So the two girls walk out of the game and into infamy.

The one place they shouldn't be walking is the jury bench. One of the hardest parts of Survivor is getting a jury of people you voted off to vote for you. When contestants quit, they're voting themselves off, so there are no repercussions – positive or negative – for the final 3. Jeff, Mark, it's time for a new rule. Quitters should be tossed out of the game. And, ideally, they should be left on the island to die.

Gulliver's Travails

On a side note, was that the most awkward product placement in Survivor history? It made me long for the carefree days of the Sprint Palm Pre on Samoa. I can't imagine how outraged I'd feel if, after winning a grueling challenge, I was then punished with a Jack Black film. Aren't rewards supposed to be ... rewards? The only thing nastier than watching clips from that movie was watching NaOnka enjoying it while Holly suffered in the cold back at camp.

Moving Forward

The major beneficiary of the quit may, perversely, be Sash. Jeff claimed that Sash is actually the big loser because "Sash's alliance just blew up." But when we left Sash last week, he was isolated and alone after the Brenda boot. NaOnka had already ditched him for Holly. Now that Kelly and NaOnka are gone, Sash is between two equally strong alliances: Holly, Chase and Jane, and Benry, Fabio and Dan. Suddenly he's the all-powerful swing vote.

Tell Us: What did you think of the double quit? Are you looking forward to Gulliver's Travels?

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