Let’s face it, over its 10 years on the air (21 seasons!) CBS’ Survivor has introduced us to some not so nice competitors. But on this season’s Survivor:Nicaragua, La Flor tribe member NaOnka may have just taken over the title of “Most Evil Survivor Player Ever”.
Evil is nothing new on Survivor. Going back to Survivor’s first season , when Sue Hawk made her famous “snake and rat” speech, telling finalist Kelly that she wouldn’t give her a sip of water if she found her dying in the desert , we saw it. And then there was the infamous Johnny Fairplay, who made up a lie that his grandmother died in order to gain sympathy. And then there was the arrogant, havoc-wreaking Russell Hantz on Survivor: Samoa.
But after last night’s episode of Survivor: Nicaragua, I think I’ve seen it all.
Twenty-seven year old gym teacher, NaOnka Mixon, went beyond nasty when she literally pushed Kelly B. aside to snatch a fruit basket that contained a clue to the immunity idol. It was a sucker punch and it was a low blow. Kelly B. lost her leg due to a birth defect and now wears an artificial one.
It would have been a sucker punch no matter who NaOnka had done it to, but the disturbing part was that she had no remorse over blindsiding her disabled tribe mate. Clearly it wasn’t the equivalent of picking on someone her own size. NaOnka knew that by pushing Kelly B. she would lose her balance. Kelly didn’t have a chance.
And it was NaOnka’s comments after the incident that made it even worse. She didn’t express any remorse over knocking the woman down and wrestling her. In fact she said that if Kelly got in her way again “next time that damn leg will fall off”.
NaOnka apologized to her tribe for smashing the fruit in the basket. Indeed smashed bananas are a tragedy on this show, but her half-hearted banana apology made the fact that she had no remorse over what she did to Kelly B. all the more apparent.
Even Survivor host Jeff Probst had trouble stomaching what Naonka did. On his blog for EW.com, Probst wrote, “….My gut turned when I saw the scene. Keep in mind I do not watch tape on location so I had no idea this had gone down and how physical it got between Naonka and Kelly B. Had I known, I’m not sure if I could have contained myself the next time I saw Naonka.”
Probst also expressed disappointment that NaOnka attacked the disabled Kelly B. , writing, “Yes, you can argue that Survivor is a game and anything goes …. I know Kelly can take care of herself but an artificial leg is not a real leg. ….when it comes to balance Kelly B is at a disadvantage…..I really found it distasteful.”
On her Survivor bio, NaOnka’s occupation is listed as a physical education teacher. With her lack of compassion and sportsmanship, I can’t imagine what school will keep her on their staff after Survivor ends.
Survivor: Nicaragua, “Glitter in their Eyes”, September 29, 2010, CBS