We know, Jeff, we know...

A funny thing happened in Survivor:Nicaragua last night. Not funny “ha ha”; funny as in “that shouldn’t have happened like that”. Things were said. Strange things. Strange, confusing things. People voted. Strategies had been strategized. Then Marty got voted out. Huh?! Particularly after her rant at Tribal Council, I have no idea how Naonka continues to last in this series, but she lives to fight for another three days.

Survivor has a rich history of “bad” guys: Richard Hatch, Johnny Fairplay, Boston Rob (in his first iteration), Russell, et al. It’s also had it’s share of the deluded (looking at you, Coach). Nay falls into her very own special category – nothing she’s doing is remotely close to strategic, she’s certainly not intentionally playing a bad guy or bad-guy-pretending-to-be-a-good-guy persona, she’s not even deluded enough to think everyone in the tribe likes her.

She’s abrasive, she’s obstinante, she’s rude, she’s selfish, she’s… a child.

Jeff Probst hit the nail on the head with his blog recapping Episode 8 for EW.com:

When dealing with Naonka you simply have to treat her as you would a first-grader. Think about it. She’s selfish. She’s a know-it-all. She’s defiant. She’s a rule tester. She denies everything and only apologizes when she is actually caught doing something. She behaves in every conceivable way as though she were seven years old.

That’s why, at the end of the day, people like Brenda can still find her a little charming. They see her like I do, like a small child. Who can be mad at a small child? It’s not the most flattering thing to say about a twenty-something, but I do believe it’s true. I’m not defending her actions – not at all – but it does make it easier for me to relate to her at tribal council.

Even I have to admit…stealing the food was one of the most brazen things I’ve ever seen on our show. Outright crazy until you remember, she’s only seven.

After reading this, watching Tribal Council from S21E09 (airing 16/11/2010 in Australia) makes a whole bunch more sense. This is a 7 year old child in a woman’s body talking…

Just quickly – hats off to Jeff Probst. 21 seasons without fail he’s fronted Survivor. He’s seen it all with a front row seat. Reading his blogs shows he is a big believer in the show and the concept, too. He analyzes the players, he looks at their strategies. There’s not  much he hasn’t seen unfold in a season of Survivor and it’s getting harder to suprise or bewilder him. But when it does (like Nay does at the Tribal Council in question), it’s all the more important and significant. She left him speechless. That, after 11 years hosting the show my friends, is an achievement.

It's really hard to find a single shot of Naonka

We can only hope the tribe get their act together for the next Tribal Council, and see an end to Naonka’s game. Abhorrently annoying does not even start to describe her – that’s my precious oxygen she’s breathing, with no benefit to the world.


Survivor:Nicaragua – Tue 10pm (allegedly), Ch9
Image/Video sources: EW.com; CBS.