Ponderosa: NaOnka and Kelly get personality makeovers, plus a trip to Granada, cash

Survivor Nicaragua quitters NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn not only got an entire episode celebrating their lameness, but when they were voted out of the game, they got a lot more than that: a luxurious vacation, plus new personalities.

Both are virtually unrecognizable in their episode of the CBS.com Ponderosa web series, which starts with the doctor weighing them and then telling the camera, “their bodies are physically quite capable of keeping on going, but they just don’t want to be in it any more.” What they do want is to just be on vacation, and that’s what they get; their Ponderosa is pretty spectacular, and compared to, say, the shitty tents and camp toilets that was Survivor Tocantins‘ Ponderosa, they are extraordinarily lucky. (I couldn’t imagine what NaOnka’s reaction would have been like if she’d discovered she’d have to spend 11 days in a tent pooing in a plastic toilet surrounded by tarps.)

Their fellow jury members treat them well: After crying at Tribal, Alina basically disappears, but Marty gets help from some wine and Brenda, who totally takes the high road and welcomes the two quitters:

In the second video, the jury members get a wad of cash to take with them on a day trip to Granada. Perhaps most notable is how NaOnka seems like an entirely different person, and talks about how in the game, she felt like she was against everyone. Less than 24 hours after watching her selfishly stuff her face with food and Jack Black comedy, I’m not changing my mind yet, but it’s interesting how different she is.

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.