|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Winner||Jud "Fabio" Birza|
|Location||San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Original release||September 15 –|
December 19, 2010
|Filming dates||June 14, 2010– July 22, 2010|
Survivor: Nicaragua is the 21st season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. It premiered on September 15, 2010 at 8:00pm, moving to the Wednesday timeslot for the first time since Survivor: Borneo. Applications were due in January 2010, filming started from June and ended in July 2010. Nicaragua and the following season, Survivor: Redemption Island, were filmed near San Juan del Sur in Rivas Department on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.
This season's opening titles uses the original version of "Ancient Voices" — Survivor's opening theme song — first used for the debut Survivor season. Traditionally, each season features its own version of "Ancient Voices", using instruments and sounds meant to evoke that season's location or theme. One was created for Nicaragua but was not used, though the song was released onto iTunes on October 10. The reason for this omission has not been publicly disclosed. Survivor host Jeff Probst also announced that the Hidden Immunity Idol will continue to be used in the game. However, as idols had been found too easily in the past two seasons, the idol was hidden differently. The clues to the idols' locations were visual rebuses rather than text as in past seasons. In addition, the tribes vied for control of a new item, the Medallion of Power, which offered an advantage to the tribe who held it at a challenge, but should they use the Medallion, it went to the other tribe for the next challenge. This season also marked the return of the tribal swap, which was absent in the previous three seasons. When the tribal swap occurred in episode 5, the Medallion of Power was retired.
This was the second season in which tribes were divided by age, the first one being Survivor: Panama. Jud "Fabio" Birza was named the winner in the final episode on December 19, 2010, defeating Chase Rice and Matthew "Sash" Lenahan in a 5–4–0 vote. Birza became the youngest person to ever win the game, at age 21 years and 6 months. Jane Bright won $100,000 as the "Sprint Player of the Season."
The season was released by CBS DVD on November 18, 2014, in a DVD set including all episodes and numerous special features, including unaired scenes and the Life at Ponderosa webseries. It will only be made available through online purchase, manufactured by Amazon.com's CreateSpace.
The cast is composed of 20 new players, initially splitting into two tribes based on their ages containing 10 members each. The tribes are Espada, contestants over the age of 40; and La Flor, contestants aged 30 and younger. Their names come from the Spanish words "sword" and "flower", respectively. Notable contestants this season include Kelly Bruno, a triathlete whose leg was amputated at six months old because of a birth defect, and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. Bruno is the second Survivor contestant to be an amputee, the first being Chad Crittenden of Survivor: Vanuatu, who lost his right leg to cancer.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
|Wendy Jo DeSmidt-Kohlhoff
48, Fromberg, Montana
|Espada||1st voted out|
30, Lafayette, Louisiana
|La Flor||2nd voted out|
67, Islamorada, Florida
|Espada||3rd voted out|
48, Gloucester, Massachusetts
|Espada||4th voted out|
42, Inglewood, California
|Espada||Espada||5th voted out|
26, Durham, North Carolina
|La Flor||La Flor||6th voted out|
|Yvette "Yve" Rojas
41, Kansas City, Missouri
|Espada||Espada||7th voted out|
43, Erie, Pennsylvania
|Espada||La Flor||8th voted out|
23, Downey, California
|La Flor||Espada||Libertad||9th voted out|
1st jury member
48, Mill Valley, California
|Espada||La Flor||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
27, Miami, Florida
|La Flor||La Flor||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
27, Los Angeles, California
4th jury member
|Kelly "Purple Kelly" Shinn
20, Mesa, Arizona
|La Flor||La Flor||Quit|
5th jury member
|Ben "Benry" Henry
24, Los Angeles, California
|La Flor||Espada||12th voted out|
6th jury member
56, Jackson Springs, North Carolina
|Espada||La Flor||13th voted out|
7th jury member
63, Water Mill, New York
|Espada||Espada||14th voted out|
8th jury member
44, Eureka, South Dakota
|Espada||Espada||15th voted out|
9th jury member
|Matthew "Sash" Lenahan
30, New York City, New York
|La Flor||La Flor||2nd runner-up|
24, Fairview, North Carolina
|Jud "Fabio" Birza
21, Venice, California
|La Flor||La Flor||Sole Survivor|
Brenda Lowe returned to compete on Survivor: Caramoan as a member of the "Favorites" tribe.
Twenty new castaways were divided into tribes by age: La Flor, which consisted of castaways 30 and younger, and Espada, which consisted of castaways 40 and older. Both tribes also vied for ownership of the newly introduced Medallion of Power, which granted them an advantage when played in challenges.
Several members of the older Espada tribe vied for leadership. While Jimmy J. initially took control, he was quickly overthrown by Marty and voted out. Marty furthered his control of the tribe by finding the Hidden Immunity Idol and voting out aspiring leader Jimmy T. Despite dominating the challenges in the first eleven days of the game, the younger La Flor tribe also had their own share of conflicts. Two warring alliances emerged, one led by Shannon and the other led by Brenda, with both alliances vying for Chase's vote. A confused Shannon lashed out at La Flor's first Tribal Council, causing Chase and some of Shannon's own alliance members to vote him out.
A tribe swap on Day 12 caused allegiances to shift. Alina, Benry, Chase, and NaOnka moved to Espada, while Marty, Jill, and Jane moved to La Flor. At the new Espada, Holly and Dan aligned themselves with the younger members. At the new La Flor, the once-powerful Marty fell from grace, and Jane teamed up with the original La Flor tribe members. Brenda planned to split the vote between Marty and original La Flor outsider Kelly B. in order to flush Marty's idol and send Kelly B. home. Unfortunately for them, Marty decided not to use his idol and Kelly B. was sent home anyway, while Marty still had his immunity idol. Sash told Marty that in order to remain in the game, he must give him his idol. Marty complied, and Sash stayed true to his word by keeping him around, only to send Jill, Marty's closest ally, home instead.
On Day 19, the two tribes were merged into the Libertad tribe. Brenda's original La Flor alliance regrouped, with the addition of Holly and Jane. Marty, however, convinced Dan, Benry, and Fabio to follow him. Without any alliances, Alina was targeted by both voting blocs and sent to the jury first. Marty then tried to form an all-male rebellion against the females, which did not work and sent him home instead. It seemed that Brenda and Sash were in total control of the tribe, but Holly made her own move by turning everybody else on Brenda. Brenda put her faith wholly in her alliance without attempting to plead with them, but they ultimately eliminated her. Meanwhile, while the tribe was at a challenge, their unattended fire ignited their cache of food and supplies, burning them and part of their tarp. The remaining tribe members struggled with the meager rations.
With Brenda gone and the sudden voluntary exits of Kelly S. and NaOnka as a result of the camp fire, Sash was left alone without any allies, but eventually regained power by winning the next Immunity Challenge, becoming the swing vote between Holly, Chase and Jane's alliance and the alliance of Dan, Fabio and Benry. Sash joined Chase, Holly and Jane to eliminate an unsuspecting Benry, whom Sash saw as the bigger threat. The newly formed majority alliance planned to eliminate Fabio next, but he went on to win individual immunity. While Dan was the only non-immune of the minority alliance, Chase, Holly and Sash decided to turn on jury threat Jane, and voted her out instead. Fabio won immunity again and Dan was voted out, but after Fabio won his third successive immunity challenge, Chase and Sash decided to turn on Holly, whom they thought had the best chance to win the game against them.
At the Final Tribal Council, Sash was blasted for his numerous deceptions, while Chase was castigated for his indecisiveness at several points during the game. Fabio, on the other hand, was accused of seemingly coasting throughout the competition by acting strategically clueless the entire time, but he rebutted that he did that on purpose to not hurt anybody's feelings, and still stay longer in the game. In the end, Fabio's unconventional strategy earned him the title of Sole Survivor by a vote of 5-4-0.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Eliminated||Finish|
|"Young at Heart"||September 15, 2010||None||La Flor||Wendy||1st voted out|
|"Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"||September 22, 2010||Espada[a]||Shannon||2nd voted out|
|"Glitter in Their Eyes"||September 29, 2010||La Flor[a]||Jimmy J.||3rd voted out|
|"Pulling the Trigger"||October 6, 2010||La Flor[a]||Jimmy T.||4th voted out|
|"Turf Wars"||October 13, 2010||Espada||La Flor||Tyrone||5th voted out|
|"Worst Case Scenario"||October 20, 2010||Jill[b]||Jill||Kelly B.||6th voted out|
|Holly||Yve||7th voted out|
|"What Goes Around, Comes Around"||October 27, 2010||Espada||Espada||Jill||8th voted out|
|"Company Will Be Arriving Soon"||November 3, 2010||None[c]||Jane||Alina||9th voted out|
1st jury member
|"Running the Camp"||November 10, 2010||Benry, Dan, Fabio, Marty, Sash||Brenda||Marty||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
|"Stuck in the Middle"||November 17, 2010||Chase, Fabio, Jane, Kelly S., NaOnka||Jane||Brenda||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
|"You Started, You're Finishing"||December 1, 2010||Benry, Chase,
4th jury member
5th jury member
|"Not Sure Where I Stand"||December 8, 2010||Chase
|Sash||Benry||12th voted out|
6th jury member
|"This is Going to Hurt"||December 15, 2010||Chase
|Fabio||Jane||13th voted out|
7th jury member
|"What About Me?"||December 19, 2010||None||Fabio||Dan||14th voted out|
8th jury member
|Fabio||Holly||15th voted out|
9th jury member
|"Reunion"||December 19, 2010||Jury vote|
- In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- Combined reward and immunity challenge.
- Each tribe competed separately for individual immunity. The two winners, Jill and Holly, moved on to the final round, where the winner would win reward for their tribe. Jill won the final round, winning reward for La Flor.
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
- Holly gave up her reward in exchange for a tarp and a can of rice for the tribe.
- Dan did not participate in the challenge after not being chosen for a team, but he had correctly guessed the winning team and, as a result, joined them on the reward.
- There was no immunity challenge due to NaOnka and Kelly S. quitting the game.
|Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||US viewers|
|305||1||"Young at Heart"||6.8/12||4.0/13||September 15, 2010||12.23||#7|
The game started with the castaways split into two groups. When they arrived at the beach, Jeff announced the Medallion of Power, though did not explain what the power was, and that it was hidden in a lagoon nearby. The castaways scrambled to find it, with Brenda finding it up a tree. When the castaways reassembled in front of Jeff, he announced that the groups they arrived in are not the tribes, but instead the tribes would be split by age, with the 40 and over castaways called Espada and the 30 and under castaways called La Flor. La Flor then traded the Medallion of Power to Espada in exchange for flint and fishing gear. Once at the Espada camp, Jane started a fire with a pair of reading glasses. At the La Flor campsite, Kelly B. showed her tribe her amputated leg, which made several of her tribemates cautious about a sympathy vote for her should she make it to the final Tribal Council. Chase made an alliance with Shannon and then made another one with Brenda. Alina and Kelly B. found a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol while picking up the tree mail. They could not decipher the clue, but decided to keep the clue to themselves.
At the Immunity Challenge, Jeff explained the power behind the Medallion of Power. Espada decided to not use the Medallion and then lost the challenge. Before heading to Tribal Council, the tribe debated between getting rid of Jimmy J. or Wendy for being weak links. Holly was conflicted due to her pact with Wendy. At Tribal Council, Wendy made a short speech just before the vote in an effort to remain in the game. The appeal worked against her and she seemed to confirm the tribe's decision to boot her. The votes were read and Wendy was voted out unanimously.
|306||2||"Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"||7.0/12||4.0/12||September 22, 2010||12.59||#19|
At La Flor, Sash made an alliance with NaOnka and Brenda and talked about creating a "minority alliance". NaOnka thought somebody stole her pair of socks out of her shoes while they were hanging up, so she took Fabio's spare socks and then had a short confrontation with him when he attempted to ask her about the socks. Over at Espada, Holly snapped at Jill for eating snails which Holly thought were inedible. Holly dumped the snails, which caused the rest of her tribe to question what had gone wrong with her. Holly overheard Dan calling her "crazy" and decided to take revenge on him by dumping his $1,600 pair of alligator-skin shoes into the ocean. After a while, she confessed to the tribe to dumping them into the sea. Holly thought about quitting the game, but decided to keep going after receiving counseling from Jimmy J.
At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, Espada used the Medallion of Power and ended up winning the challenge. Espada chose to take the fishing gear for their reward. While unwrapping the fishing gear, the tribe found a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. Jill figured out the last part of the clue and told Marty in a ploy to gain his trust. Using the clue, the two found the Hidden Immunity Idol. Before Tribal Council, La Flor seemed like they had an easy decision and NaOnka was to go because of her fiery personality. However, discussions turned to Brenda, who seemed like a bigger threat (due to her being seen with Chase). The tribe seemed divided with NaOnka, Brenda, Sash and Kelly S. on one side, and Shannon, Alina, Kelly B., Fabio and Benry on the other side. NaOnka and Brenda started to try to garner the votes to boot Shannon. Chase was conflicted due to his ties with both Shannon and Brenda. However, Brenda seemed to cast doubt on Chase's alliance with Shannon and it seemed like there would be a tie vote. At Tribal Council, Shannon was very aggressive in his answers during Jeff's questions resulting in a fiery Tribal Council discussion, even accusing Sash of being gay. The vote was taken and Shannon's aggressive answers and homophobic statements did not help his case. Kelly B. and Benry flipped their votes, and he was sent home.
|307||3||"Glitter in Their Eyes"||7.1/12||3.5/11||September 29, 2010||12.26||#18|
At Espada, Marty was getting more resentful of Jimmy J.'s position within the tribe. Jill told Marty that he should show the tribe the Hidden Immunity Idol, so he did and announced that he was sharing it with the tribe to make them stronger post merger. Over at La Flor, the alliance of Brenda, Chase, Kelly S., NaOnka, and Sash discussed voting out Alina.
At the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge, La Flor won the challenge without using the Medallion of Power. When Kelly B. and NaOnka picked up the basket of fruit that was part of the reward, they both noticed a note tucked within the basket, but neither made a move toward it. However, as soon as they reached their camp, the two tussled over the note in full view of their tribemates. NaOnka won the tussle and walked off alone with the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. She wasn't able to decipher the clues and shared it with Brenda, who wasn't able to decipher it either. Back at Espada's camp, Jimmy J. and Dan were on the chopping block. Marty lobbied hard to keep his ally Dan in the game and wanted Jimmy J. voted out. Jill and Jimmy T. quickly went along with Marty's plan, though Tyrone wanted to vote out Dan for being the weakest in challenges. In the end, Tyrone and the rest of the tribe chose to vote out the NFL Coach, sending Jimmy Johnson home.
|308||4||"Pulling the Trigger"||7.0/12||3.8/11||October 6, 2010||12.05||#19|
At La Flor, Brenda and NaOnka found the Hidden Immunity Idol. NaOnka kept the idol. Alina and Kelly B. noticed that Brenda and NaOnka were searching for the idol and set off to find it themselves, not knowing that NaOnka already had it. NaOnka overtly followed the two and then argued with Kelly B. Over at Espada, the tribe tried to strategize and practice for the upcoming challenge with Marty nominating Tyrone to lead them as tribe caller. As Marty predicted, this nomination did not go over well with Jimmy T. who asserted that he wanted to lead the tribe in a challenge.
At the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge, La Flor used the Medallion of Power advantage and easily won over Espada. La Flor selected fishing gear, a tarp, and cooking supplies as their reward. When they returned to camp, Chase found a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol in the tackle box, which he shared with Brenda. Brenda told him that she and NaOnka had already found the idol and to keep that information to himself as she did not want to jeopardize the trust that she had established with NaOnka. When Espada returned to their camp, Jimmy T. repeated his request to be given a shot at leading the tribe in a challenge. He also called out Marty for not being a team player when the tribe went searching for food. Marty then targeted Jimmy T. for elimination at Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, Jimmy T. again repeated his plea to lead the tribe just once in a challenge, but he would not get the chance as the tribe voted him out.
|309||5||"Turf Wars"||6.9/11||3.8/11||October 13, 2010||12.32||#15|
Marty and NaOnka thought they were in total control of their tribes, but Jeff spoiled their plans by telling the castaways to drop their buffs as there would be a tribal switch before the start of the Reward Challenge. The castaways drew rocks for captains, with Brenda and Holly being selected. Brenda was told to pick three members from the older tribe that would join the younger tribe and she picked Jane, Jill, and Marty. Holly had to pick four members from the younger tribe to join the older tribe and she selected Alina, Benry, Chase, and NaOnka. Jeff declared that the old-versus-young tribal dynamic was done, and so was the Medallion of Power.
The newly formed tribes went on to compete in the Reward Challenge and Espada took the win. Back at Espada's camp, Tyrone told the new young tribe members how the camp worked, which did not sit well with Alina and NaOnka. Holly tried to align herself with the younger group. Over at La Flor, Jane told Brenda and Kelly B. to watch out for Marty and Jill's alliance. Marty told the tribe that he had a Hidden Immunity Idol. On day 13, an intense rain storm drove NaOnka to break down emotionally and she considered quitting, but Alina and Chase convinced her to stick it out.
The Immunity Challenge was won by La Flor when Fabio and Jane came from behind during the tile breaking stage. Espada voted to kill one of the chickens before they head off to Tribal Council, so they killed one of the hens. Tyrone didn't want to kill the chicken and he was perceived to have taken a larger share of the chicken. The tribe considered voting out NaOnka for potentially quitting and Tyrone for being too bossy, but the vote went against Tyrone at Tribal Council and he was voted off.
|310||6||"Worst Case Scenario"||7.0/12||3.6/11||October 20, 2010||12.26||#14|
On day 15, Dan thought about quitting the game. Yve asked Holly about why she wasn't told about the previous Tribal Council vote against Tyrone. When Yve found out from Holly that Dan was thinking of quitting, Yve thought she could use that info to lobby the younger members of the Espada tribe in voting out Dan. Over at La Flor, Brenda planned to flush out the Hidden Immunity Idol by splitting a 3–3 vote between Marty and Jill.
When the tribes arrived for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff announced that they would not be playing for Tribal Immunity, but would be playing for Individual Immunity as both tribes would be going to Tribal Council that night. Jeff then announced that the winners of the Individual Immunities would then compete in the Reward Challenge. Jill and Holly won Individual Immunity for La Flor and Espada, respectively; Jill then won reward for her tribe. Jill's immunity threw Brenda's plan into disarray and she came up with a new plan with Sash: to split the 3–3 vote between Marty and Kelly B., while telling Kelly B. that the vote would be split between Marty and Jane. Marty worked on getting Fabio to join the older alliance by fabricating a story that he was a chess grandmaster and that as a child, he had beaten Guillermo Vilas, who actually played tennis and was not a chess grandmaster. Sash told Fabio to vote for Marty, but Fabio had believed Marty's chess story and was conflicted about voting for Marty since he thought Marty was offering him an alliance and insight into his game. At Espada, Yve continued her lobbying against Dan as being the weaker player in challenges and him thinking about quitting. The younger members of the tribe were split between voting Dan or Yve as she was seen as the bigger threat within the game. At La Flor's Tribal Council, the plan to flush the Hidden Immunity Idol did not work when Marty did not play it and the vote ended up being a tie 3–3–2 between Marty, Kelly B., and Brenda. A second vote was taken with Marty and Kelly B. not voting and the others only voting for those two. The vote swung against a very surprised Kelly B. and she was voted out. The remaining La Flor members then moved to the side to enjoy their feast and observe Espada's Tribal Council. Yve continued her lobbying against Dan, but she was unable to convince the tribe to vote against him and she was voted out.
|311||7||"What Goes Around, Comes Around"||6.6/11||3.5/10||October 27, 2010||11.82||#19|
After Espada returned to their camp site, Chase, Holly, and NaOnka talked about voting out Alina ahead of the merge. Over at La Flor, Marty was seething over Jane's flip to the younger group at Tribal Council and confronted her about it, but she neither confirmed or denied her vote.
Espada won back to back challenges by winning both the Reward and Immunity Challenges. With the La Flor loss, the younger group had another opportunity to flush the Hidden Immunity Idol and they planned to split the vote 3–2 between Marty and Jill. If Marty played the Idol, the vote would be tied between Jill and whomever the Marty/Jill alliance would vote for and the younger group would then vote out Jill. Meanwhile Sash came up with the plan to tell Marty that he would be safe at the next Tribal Council if he gave up the Hidden Immunity Idol. Sash sweetened the deal by telling Marty that if La Flor lost the next Immunity Challenge, Sash would return the Hidden Immunity Idol. Marty decided to give the Idol to Sash instead of playing it at Tribal Council hoping to stay in the game and make it to the Tribal Merge. At Tribal Council, the younger tribe kept their word about keeping Marty and Jill was sent home.
|312||8||"Company Will Be Arriving Soon"||7.0/11||3.7/11||November 3, 2010||12.30||#13|
Marty was ecstatic that the tree mail on day 19 announced the tribal merge and a move to the Espada camp site. Before La Flor arrived, Alina lobbied for the six Espada members to stick together to the final six, but there was little enthusiasm for such an alliance. Marty named the new tribe 'Libertad', the Spanish word for freedom. After the merge, Brenda and NaOnka reestablished their alliance made before the tribal switch and told each other what had happened at each tribe. On day 20, NaOnka made breakfast, but got angry when she ate last and got the smallest share. Her anger prompted her to steal food and supplies which she hid in the jungle. NaOnka shared her stolen items with Alina and told Alina that she was being targeted by the tribe. When other members of the tribe noticed that items were missing, Holly said that she saw NaOnka take the flour jar and put in her bag. NaOnka vehemently denied that she took the flour, claiming that she put it back, but did not explain why the flour was in her bag. Eventually, NaOnka confessed to stealing the food after Alina and Chase convinced her that if she confessed, it would be better than continuing to lie. Even then, she tried to convince them that she stole it for the benefit of the tribe, and so that they wouldn't greedily eat all of it too soon. But most of the others, most prominently Marty, refused to believe this story and knew that she stole the food for her own benefit. The alliance of Brenda, Chase, Jane, and Sash decided to protect NaOnka by distancing themselves from her. Sash admitted that it would be better strategically to bring NaOnka to the finale at this point because of her actions, as obviously, no one would vote for her to win, which would greatly benefit whoever else was in the finale with her.
At the Immunity Challenge, Jane stayed in the challenge to continue to compete against the men even though she had already won the women's side of the challenge. Fabio outlasted Chase to win the men's side. Jane told the rest of the women that she stayed in the challenge to show up Marty. The tribe was split between voting for Marty or Alina. Sash asked his alliance to keep Marty around for one more Tribal Council so that he could keep his word on the deal that he made with Marty to give up the Hidden Immunity Idol. At Tribal Council, Marty was very vocal that Jane was the biggest threat to win the game, even going so far as announcing that should Jane reach the Final Tribal Council that he would vote for her. The votes were cast and after the tally, Alina became the first jury member.
|313||9||"Running the Camp"||6.4/10||3.2/10||November 10, 2010||11.29||#19|
The day after Tribal Council, Marty continued his plotting against Jane by proposing a plan to Benry and Dan to feign a vote against NaOnka to Chase and Holly, but really vote for Jane. Marty said that this would flush out NaOnka's Hidden Immunity Idol and blindside Jane.
At the Reward Challenge, the random draw for teams turned out to be men versus women. Since there were eleven castaways, Chase was the odd man out and did not participate. However, he could select the team he thought would win, and if they won, he would join them on the reward. He selected the women, but this turned out to be a poor choice when the men won the challenge. On the reward, Marty continued his lobbying for his plan to vote out Jane.
The Immunity Challenge was won by Brenda. Back at camp, Marty put his plan into motion by telling Chase that the men were voting for NaOnka. Chase told Holly that he thought the guys were trying to blindside Jane and he was voting for Marty. Marty told Brenda that the plan to flush the idol and blindside Jane was Sash's idea. Brenda and Sash talked over their swing votes by either joining the Marty or Jane blocs. At Tribal Council, the discussion became heated when NaOnka made an expletive-filled rant towards Marty and Fabio, culminating with NaOnka giving Marty the finger. Marty's plan to flush the idol failed when NaOnka did not feel threatened enough to play her idol. When the time to vote came, Brenda and Sash decided to join the bloc voting against Marty and he was sent to the jury.
|314||10||"Stuck in the Middle"||6.9/11||3.5/10||November 17, 2010||11.98||#17|
After Brenda and Sash tipped their alliances at the last Tribal Council, Holly decided that she had to make a move in the game and get either Brenda or Sash voted out next. She then recruited Jane, Benry, and NaOnka into voting for Brenda. She talked to Chase about voting for Brenda, but he was more concerned about Benry being a bigger threat. Holly left Kelly S. out of the plan believing that she wouldn't switch because she was riding Brenda's coattail. A rain storm came and the tribe moved their three wooden chests around the fire in order to protect it before they headed off to the challenge.
At the Reward Challenge, the team of Chase, Fabio, Jane, Kelly S., and NaOnka cruised to victory. While on their reward, NaOnka took Fabio aside and filled him in on the plan to vote out Brenda. Kelly S. looked on in surprise and questioned their actions to Chase but he didn't fill her in on the blindside against Brenda. When the losing team returned to camp, they discovered that the three chests had caught fire and burned down, taking with it their machetes and almost all of the tribe's food. After the winning team returned to camp, Chase told Brenda the entire plan to vote her out, but Brenda shrugged it off. Chase again lobbied to vote out Benry to NaOnka, but NaOnka would not budge and she then told Benry, Jane, and Holly that Chase could not be trusted, since he had told Brenda about their plan.
At the Immunity Challenge, after a showdown between Jane and Chase, Jane claimed victory; and afterwards, Chase once again lobbied to vote out Benry, but this time to Sash. NaOnka told Sash about the plan to vote out Brenda and he was then torn between giving the Hidden Immunity Idol to Brenda or letting the plan go through. At Tribal Council, Brenda called out NaOnka for splitting up the original alliance, while NaOnka tried to deflect the blame onto Chase. Sash and Kelly S. said they both felt it was the first time they had been left out of the loop. Brenda defiantly refused to scramble to stay in the game, leaving it up to her trust in her alliance to keep her in the game. However, it was not to be and she was voted out.
|315||11||"We Did It Guys"||4.7/8||2.0/7||November 24, 2010||8.02||#24|
|A recap of the first 27 days including previously un-aired bonus footage.|
|316||12||"You Started, You're Finishing"||7.0/11||3.6/11||December 1, 2010||12.26||#6|
When the tribe returned from camp after Tribal Council, Kelly S. felt left out of her alliance as she did not know that the vote was going against Brenda. NaOnka felt that Brenda had "thrown her under the bus". Holly told NaOnka that she trusted her more now that she had told her about Brenda's plans. Chase thought that the core alliance was himself, Holly, Jane, and NaOnka. On Day 28, the rain returned with a vengeance and made camp life miserable. NaOnka and Kelly S. had doubts that they could continue in the game, as they were both exhausted by the conditions of the weather. NaOnka gave her Hidden Immunity Idol to Chase, and with NaOnka thinking about quitting, the alliance of Chase, Holly and Jane brought in Sash, but he preferred that NaOnka and Kelly S. stayed in the game and considered joining Benry, Dan, and Fabio in an alliance.
At the Reward Challenge, Dan was left out of the challenge from the school yard pick. He decided to back the team of Benry, Chase, Holly, and NaOnka, which meant he would join them if they won the challenge. The choice turned out to be a good one as the four won the closely fought challenge. As soon as the challenge ended, NaOnka announced that she wanted to quit the game. A stunned Jeff asked if anybody else wanted to quit and Kelly S. said that she did. Jeff told the two women that they should think about if they really wanted to quit and that the tribe would meet at Tribal Council that night to sort out the matter. Jeff then offered a tarp and a can of rice to replace the ones lost in the camp fire if one of the winning team members would forgo their reward, to which Holly stepped up and volunteered. Benry tried to make NaOnka step up and volunteer since she had wanted to quit, but NaOnka remained silent. Benry, Chase, Dan, and NaOnka went off to their reward. During the reward, NaOnka gave her hidden immunity idol to Chase because she wanted to quit. Back at camp, Holly tried to convince Kelly S. to stay in the game. Later that night, the five who didn't go on the reward arrived at Tribal Council followed a short time later by the four who did and the members of the jury. Jeff and the tribe discussed what it took to keep the desire to stay in the game and why NaOnka and Kelly S. were considering to quit. Jeff then asked NaOnka if she did want to quit and she replied that she did. Kelly S. was asked the same question and she also stated she wanted to quit. Jeff asked the two women what should happen to their torches. They asked for them to be snuffed as per usual practice, which Jeff agreed to, but then said that the snuffed torches would remain in the Tribal Council area as a reminder to the two women that while they served on the jury, they had quit the game instead of getting voted out. Their torches were then snuffed (and laid down) and the two left Tribal Council and became members of the jury.
|317||13||"Not Sure Where I Stand"||6.8/11||3.6/10||December 8, 2010||12.13||#10|
With NaOnka and Kelly S. quitting, Sash knew that he was the fourth man between the two three-person alliances of Chase/Holly/Jane and Benry/Dan/Fabio. Sash told Benry, Chase, and Fabio that he would play his Hidden Immunity Idol at the next Tribal Council so that he would no longer be seen as a threat and to get the two alliances to see him as a swing vote. Chase told Sash that he would take him all the way to the end and that he would take Sash on the next reward along with Holly, since she had given up her last reward.
At the Reward Challenge, Chase, Jane, Benry, and Holly advanced to the second round. Chase and Benry then advanced to the final round, which was won by Chase. To join him on the reward, Chase selected Holly and Jane, reneging on his promise to Sash. While Chase and the women were on their reward, Sash talked to the remaining three guys about joining their alliance, but Dan and Benry were leery about Sash's true alliances and did not trust him. On the reward, Chase realized that he made a major mistake by not taking Sash on the reward and that he would have to regain Sash's trust. In order to do so, Chase and Holly came up with a plan to tell Sash that the two would vote out Jane and take Sash to the final three. Chase also told Benry that Jane would not make it to the final three, to which Benry said that was fine and he was willing to vote out Fabio. Chase and Holly told Sash that leaving him behind was really a sign of trust in him, since they figured that he was loyal to them and that it would be safe to leave him alone with the Benry/Dan/Fabio alliance. Sash told Chase and Holly that Benry was lying about being willing to vote for Fabio. When Benry joined the conversation, the three told him that the next target was Fabio.
At the Immunity Challenge, Fabio, Benry, and Sash advanced to the final round where Sash solved the puzzle ahead of the other two. After the challenge, Benry, Chase, Dan, and Sash agreed to tell Fabio that the vote would go against Holly, though they would really vote for Fabio. However, in reality, Sash decided to align himself with the Chase/Holly/Jane alliance and vote out Benry. At Tribal Council, the alliance of Chase, Holly, Jane, and Sash put their plan into motion and voted against Benry, who was sent to the jury.
|318||14||"This is Going to Hurt"||7.0/12||3.5/11||December 15, 2010||12.32||#10|
Day 33's tree mail contained a Sprint HTC Evo 4G with videos from the castaways' loved ones: Chase's mom, Connie; Fabio's mom, Ann; Sash's mom, Lea; Dan's son Matthew; Jane's daughter, Ashley and Holly's husband and then-South Dakota House of Representatives member Charlie. Fabio and Chase agreed that if one of them were to win the Reward Challenge, they would take the other on the reward along with Sash. At the Reward Challenge, Jeff introduced the castaway's loved ones. The team of Chase and his mother won the challenge. Chase then selected Sash and his mother and Holly and her husband to join in the challenge, reneging on his promise to Fabio. Dan, Fabio, and Jane were very upset at Chase's choices. While on their reward, Chase, Holly, and Sash agreed that they would go to the final three together and that their top priority at this point is to get Fabio voted out.
However, Fabio went on to win the Immunity Challenge the next day, which ruined their plan. Fabio told Chase that Jane had to go, but Chase was conflicted about the choice between Dan or Jane. Holly approached Sash and Chase and confirmed that Dan was also on board with voting off Jane. The three of them finally decided that this was the only choice left. Then Jane joined them and asked if her alliance of four with them were still strong. When the three hesitated in answering her and then finally admitting that they were discussing voting for her, Jane knew that her alliance had turned on her, and proceeded to unleash a tirade against everyone. She flipped them off immediately when she learned of their betrayal, avoided everybody else at camp for the rest of the day, and even dumped a bucket of water on the camp fire shortly before Tribal Council, stating that since she started it, she was going to put it out. At Tribal Council, Dan told Jeff and the Jury of Jane's recent actions. Jane stated that she was going to be voted out. After some digging by Jeff, the alliance of three stated that the next castaway voted out after Jane would be Fabio or Dan. Jeff then asked why Dan, Fabio, and Jane did not form an alliance and vote against Holly to force a tie with Fabio being immune due to his Individual Immunity and Chase and Sash having their Hidden Immunity Idols. The votes were cast and Chase and Sash played their idols since this Tribal Council would be their last opportunity. Jeff's suggested alliance did not form and everybody voted for Jane. Jane's sole vote against Sash was discounted and she became a member of the jury.
|319||15||"What About Me?"||7.3/12||4.1/10||December 19, 2010||13.58||#8|
Knowing that he was odd man out in the alliance of Chase/Holly/Sash, Fabio worked on breaking up the alliance. At the Immunity Challenge, while Fabio fell behind due to a missed answer on the second question, he quickly caught up to Chase, Holly, and Sash during the puzzle assembly stage and picked up the win. Fabio talked to Chase and Sash about voting out Holly before Dan using the argument that Holly was a bigger threat than Dan for jury votes. At Tribal Council, Dan lobbied to keeping him around because nobody would give him a million dollars and that Holly was a threat to win. However, his lobbying went for naught when he was voted out.
On day 38, the final four received tree mail telling them to take the traditional journey honoring the castaways voted out before heading to their final Immunity Challenge. At the challenge, Fabio outlasted Sash to take the final Individual Immunity. The win forced the Chase/Holly/Sash alliance to turn on one of their own. All three talked to Fabio about taking them to the Final Three. Sash told Fabio that if Fabio had not won immunity then Sash would have taken Chase and Fabio to the Final Three, but Fabio thought Sash might be lying. When Fabio asked Chase about the alliance's plans should Fabio lose immunity, he told him that the plan was always to vote out Fabio and that he would have stuck to the plan. Holly told Fabio that Sash was the biggest threat for jury votes and that she would have stuck to the alliance's plans to vote him out. At Tribal Council, the alliance of three continued their pitch to Fabio to keep them in the game. Ultimately, Fabio saw Holly as his biggest threat, and she was sent home.
Chase, Fabio, and Sash woke up on day 39 and enjoyed the traditional breakfast. Before heading off to the final Tribal Council, the trio burned their camp site. At the final Tribal Council, Chase focused on being open with the jury about how he played the game. Fabio told the jury that he was always open with everybody, had not back stabbed anybody, and had earned his spot in the Final Three. Sash emphasized that he was remorseful about the alliances that he had broken but that the friendships he made were important to him. Chase was mocked by several members of the jury for his rash decisions. Chase and Sash charged Fabio with never knowing what was going on. Still, the jury chose Fabio as the title of Sole Survivor over Chase and Sash in a 5–4–0 vote.
|320||16||"Reunion"||6.1/11||3.0/8||December 19, 2010||11.19||#14|
|The castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- The first Tribal Council vote resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- No vote: NaOnka and Kelly S. chose to quit the game.
- Sash played a hidden immunity idol, therefore the one vote against him did not count.
- Kelly B. and Marty were not eligible to vote in the second round of voting.
Survivor: Nicaragua was heavily panned by critics and fans, and is often considered to be one of the worst seasons in the series. Survivor columnist Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly ranked Nicaragua as the worst season of the entire series, for four reasons: "1) Splitting the tribes up by age and the Medallion of Power were both enormous flops. 2) Like One World, Thailand and Fiji, just too many unlikable players. 3) Two people quitting with only 11 days left. 4) No big memorable moments. Even Thailand had the fake merge and Fiji had the big Yau-Man/Dreamz free car deal gone bad, but what was Nicaragua's signature moment? Unfortunately, it was people quitting, and that was memorable for all the wrong reasons." Nicaragua was also ranked as the worst season by fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" in 2015, describing it as having "terrible casting, a terrible gimmick, and the worst winner ever," combined to make "a truly horrendous Survivor viewing experience."
When Jimmy Fallon, a longtime fan of the show, interviewed Jeff Probst on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he said that he was disappointed with this season and called it a popularity contest. Probst felt that Nicaragua was boring, and was the motivating factor which led the producers and himself to add the "Redemption Island" twist for the following season (which would fare just as bad as Nicaragua as a result of the twist). Nicaragua is ranked as the third-worst season of the series by Examiner.com (only ahead of Gabon and Fiji), and the fourth-worst season by The Wire (only ahead of Samoa, Gabon, and Redemption Island). In 2012, when Survivor fan site "Survivor Oz" held its first annual poll ranking every season of the series (up to that point), Nicaragua was ranked as the second-worst season of the series, only ahead of Redemption Island.
In the official issue of CBS Watch magazine commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor, Probst stated that Nicaragua's tribe division by age "is a division I hope we never do again," (however, 6 years later, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X saw a similar division) and also called the Medallion of Power "one of the worst named and most poorly executed twists we’ve ever come up with [and] embarrassing on all accounts."
- "Nicaragua to host two seasons of hit TV series Survivor". PR Log. May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- "'Survivor: Nicaragua' is Next". CBS News. May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- Fienberg, Daniel (May 19, 2010). "CBS's 2010–2011 fall primetime schedule features 'Survivor,' 'Big Bang Theory' shifts". HitFix. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- Rice, Lynette (2010-07-22). "CBS reveals fall premiere dates". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "Nicaragua to host two seasons of hit TV series Survivor". PRLog. May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- Dehnart, Andy (May 18, 2010). "San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, hosting both Survivor seasons 21 and 22". Reality Blurred. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- "iTunes - Music - Ancient Voices - The Survivor Themes, Vol. 2 by Russ Landau". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- Rocchio, Christopher (May 3, 2010). "Jeff Probst: 'Survivor' changing hidden idols due to Russell Hantz". Reality TV World. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Ross, Dalton (August 9, 2010). "'Survivor: Nicaragua': New cast and new twists revealed!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (September 16, 2010). "'Survivor' & 'Big Brother' Rise in Finals; 'Outlaw' Falls". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (September 21, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football', 'Survivor', 'America's Got Talent' Top Final Week of Broadcast 'Summer'". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
- "CBS SWEEPS WEDNESDAY IN VIEWERS, ADULTS 18-49 AND ADULTS 25-54" (Press release). CBS. September 23, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (September 28, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football', 'Glee,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Dancing with the Stars' Top Premiere Week". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (September 30, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Better With You, The Middle, Modern Family, Survivor, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: LA Adjusted Up; Cougar Town, Whole Truth Adjusted Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 5, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football', 'Glee,' 'Two and a Half Men,' 'Dancing with the Stars' Top Week 2 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 7, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: 'Survivor,' 'The Middle,' 'Modern Family,' 'SVU,' 'The Defenders' Up; 'Cougar Town,' 'The Whole Truth' Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 13, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'SNF', 'Glee,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Modern Family,' 'NCIS,' 'Dancing with the Stars' Top Week 3 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (October 14, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Survivor, Middle, Modern Family, L&O:SVU, Top Model Adjusted Up; 20/20, Undercovers Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 19, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Modern Family, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Glee, Sunday Night Football, DWTS, NCIS Top Week 4 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 21, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Survivor, Buster Posey (NLCS), Criminal Minds The Defenders, Law & Order: SVU Adjusted Up; The Whole Truth Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (October 26, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Brett Favre, Modern Family, Two and a Half Men, NCIS, DWTS, The Big Bang Theory Top Week 5 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (October 28, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Survivor: Nicaragua, The Middle Adjusted Up; The Whole Truth Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 2, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: NFL, Modern Family, Glee, NCIS, DWTS Top Week 6 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 4, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU Adjusted Up". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 9, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: NFL, Modern Family, Dancing With the Stars, Criminal Minds Top Week 7 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (November 11, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Criminal Minds', 'America's Next Top Model' Adjusted Up". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 16, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: NFL, CMA Awards, Glee, NCIS, Dancing With the Stars Top Week 8 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- Siedman, Robert (November 18, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Modern Family', 'Criminal Minds' Adjusted Up". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 23, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: NFL, Glee, Modern Family, NCIS, Dancing With the Stars Top Week 9 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (November 29, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: The Middle, Hell's Kitchen Adjusted Up; 'Cougar Town' Adjusted Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (November 30, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football, Dancing with the Stars Finale, Two and a Half Men, NCIS Top Week 10 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (December 2, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: America's Next Top Model Adjusted Up". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (December 7, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football, Glee, Simpsons, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy Top Week 11 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (December 9, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'The Sing Off' Adjusted Up; 'The Middle' Adjusted Down". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (December 14, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football,' 'Glee,' 'Two and a Half Men,' 'Modern Family,' '60 Minutes' Top Week 12 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (December 16, 2010). "Updated Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Criminal Minds,' 'Human Target' Adjusted Up". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (December 21, 2010). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football,' 'NCIS,' 'Two and a Half Men,' 'Survivor' Top Week 13 Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- "A 'FABIO'LOUS FINALE FOR "SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA"" (Press release). CBS. December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- "EW TV Recaps: Top TV Shows and Reviews - EW.com". tvrecaps.ew.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2015-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon - Hulu". Hulu.
- Reid, Joe. "A Definitive Ranking of Every Season of 'Survivor'".
- "Top 24 Survivor Seasons of All Time – Rankings from 24 to 1!". 15 September 2012.
- Dehnart, Andy (February 2, 2015). "Highlights from the Survivor 30 Seasons CBS magazine". Reality Blurred. Retrieved February 9, 2015.