Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Tonight, on Survivor: it’s two episodes in one! Also, people finally figure out that it might be a good thing to get rid of Russell at some point.I should mention that there is material in the previouslies that we’ve never seen before, which makes them less “previouslies” and more “here is some information to make this episode make sense”. I guess Russell told Mick that he made 1.7 million dollars last year at some point, but we’re seeing it for the first time. And hey, if you would like to know any additional information about Russell, feel free to ask our commenters, because they have been stalking him with the zeal of a thousand Single White Females. They left a cigarette butt under my windshield wiper yesterday morning, and now I’m scared.
It’s night 30 after John’s boot, and Shambo is predictably pretty upset. Russell does some excellent damage control, however: he makes the genius move of lying to Shambo and telling her that John was trying to get rid of her, so they voted him out without telling her, which allows her to keep her word to him. Genius.
Here’s the thing about Russell: he’s obviously an excellent strategist, and phenomenal at this game, as is evidenced his control of Shambo right here. But if the damn show weren’t so adamant about giving him credit for everything that happens, including things that he has nothing whatsoever to do with, I would be much more inclined to appreciate what the guy does. If he (and the show) would just shut their collective face holes and let his actions speak for themselves, I would probably think he was rad. But as it stands now, I find it very difficult to give him credit, because it only reinforces this behavior. And that is why I will not be able to enjoy his inevitable win, despite the fact that I usually root for the person who is the best strategist. So thanks, show.
Shambo buys it hook, like and sinker because she is Shambo. It also helps that, if you squint, Russell could kind of look like a chicken. I wonder if Shambo wears contacts? It would be hilarious if she thought she was aligned with a talking chicken this whole time.
The next morning, Jaison approaches Brett (WHO?) and Monica, who joke that they are talking about “how to handle being voted off”. Jaison begins to ask them what they’ll be basing their jury votes on, which seems a little presumptuous and kind of an assholish thing to do.
Monica and Brett tell him that Russell is a huge threat to Jaison’s potential victory, and Jaison begins lobbying for votes by telling them that while Russell has been out in the open about it, Jaison’s been the one making the decisions behind the scenes. There are a host of things wrong with what’s going on here, and I can’t think of a single reason why this is advisable to do to people who are still in the game. When they ask him about Russell’s immunity idol (which is apparently common knowledge), Jaison tells them that he’ll just have to wait until Day 36 and do something about it. Jaison also takes this opportunity to point out that Russell doesn’t even need the money, revealing that he told Mick that he made almost two million dollars last year. You think people who are already being worked for jury votes will be keeping that little betrayal secret?
Immunity Challenge! That’s right, we’re getting a double boot today, but we’re essentially going to be getting two different half-hour episodes. Today’s challenge is a take on the always-riveting sport of bowling. The eight remaining players will essentially having a single elimination tournament; highest score moves on until a winner is crowned.
The first round is Natalie versus Shambo. When Shambo’s turn rolls around (GET IT?) she’s like “This one goes out to all my bowling league friends!” I am sure you are shocked at the revelation that Shambo rolls with a bowling league crowd. Next up on the slate of big reveals: she’s seen Cinderella in concert over twenty-six times.
So Shambo, Russ, Dave (who gets a strike), and Jaison move on, and then Shambo and Jaison end up in the final. When Jaison knocks down two pins and Shambo rolls two straight gutter balls (way to go!), Jaison takes home another immunity. “When Jaison won the challenge, I was like ‘Buh-bye’ to Dave,” Shambo says with a dismissive little wave of the hand. Boy, she is really getting full of herself, no? Pretty soon we’re going to have to bring her out of Samoa on a dolly. Hopefully sooner than later.
Back at camp, Natalie hangs her panties on a line (!) while Russell watches, clearly enjoying it. I cannot say that I blame him, frankly. Nothing hotter than a chick who can murder small animals. Russ tells her that they’re going to get rid of Dave, and then it will be an easy road to the top four for Foa Foa. Monica asks Russell what their plan is, and he tells her that it’s going to be Dave. Monica makes the argument that Dave’s not a threat to Russ and can’t win immunity challenges, which is probably not the way to go when he’s narrowly missed immunity the last few times. “You’re underestimating Shambo,” Monica says. She pretty obviously doesn’t have any strategic reason for Russ to get rid of Shambo, and it’s pretty clear that Shambo would be bitter as shit if she were blindsided by Russell. In short, Monica is bringing exactly nothing to the table here.
“A Galu jury will vote for her,” Monica says, lying some more. Yes, the Galus are quite likely to award the prize to someone who betrayed all of them and helped to eliminate their four person majority! He may as well hand the check to her!
Russell does humor her, but probably only for editing purposes: “I’m pretty sure I could be Dave at the end,” Russell says, even though he very plainly has a much better chance against Shambo. It’s mostly an excuse for the editors to use the footage they have of Dave picking his nose:
Mick and Jaison talk to Shambo, and she’s all excited to get rid of Dave, because she is petty. “I’m the Sham with the plan!” she says, narrowly skirting the concept of rhyme. I bet she could have a very lucrative career as a treemail clue writer.
“I can’t wait to vote out Dave, because that guy drives me absolutely bananas,” Shambo says with no irony whatsoever. “If he doesn’t go, I think Russ and I are going to be having a chat.” Yes, your vague threats will surely keep him under your thumb.
Tribal Council. Probst asks Jaison why people get voted out, and he gives the normal physical, mental and strategic reasons. This is all a setup for him to ask Shambo about her statement last week in which she vowed to let someone who “deserved it” win. Shambo uses this as a reason to complain about John being voted out, since he’s apparently one of Shambo’s chosen ones. “Nice work on the jury!” Probst says cynically. Please, as if Shambo is going to get that far.
With that, it’s time to vote. We see Shambo vote for Dave and that’s it. Russell chooses not to play his idol. The first vote is for Shambo, and then all the rest are for Dave and that will do it for him. Bye, Gallagher!
The next day at camp, Russell keeps telling us that some dude named Brett is a threat. He’s so paranoid that he’s trying to thwart imaginary villains, y’all! Creepy. Mick pulls him off to the side and confronts him about some of his comments at Tribal Council the previous night, where he spoke extensively about the benefits of taking people who are not likable to the finals. Russell tells Mick that he was referring to Brett, and that he has no reason to worry. “Honestly, it makes me nervous thinking that you’re nervous,” Russell says, admitting to us in confessional that if he were Mick, he’d definitely be trying to eliminate him. It makes me nervous thinking he’s nervous, because then we’ll end up with a Russell-Shambo-Brett final, or something equally terrible. Honestly, that’s probably what’s going to happen anyway. Hey, they can’t all be JT-Stephen-Erin, right?
Immunity Challenge #2. Each contestant has a set of beanbags floating in the water. They’ll swim (really wade) out and retrieve the beanbags one at a time, and then use a seesaw to catapult the beanbags into an elevated basket. The first person to get all three bags into the basket wins immunity.
Brett and Mick are neck in neck throughout the challenge. It is worth noting that Mick’s ass is hanging out the entire time, which somehow makes his performance in this challenge more impressive. Seriously, he does not even try to pull them up. Anything that you can do well while your ass is hanging out is generally more impressive than anything you can do while fully clothed. Ask me about my experience with naked Quadratic Equations next time we’re at a cocktail party together.
Anyway, Brett manages to sink his set of bags first and win the challenge, meaning that Russell’s plan to eliminate the scary invisible monster has been thwarted. Monica is fully aware that this does not bode well for her as the last unprotected Galu member. “My only hope is to work Russell and make him think his team is turning against him,” Monica says. Monica and Brett pull Mick aside, telling him he should be worried about Russell. No shit, Monica, which is essentially what Mick tells her using a story about how a kid plays with a snake that promises it won’t bite him, and then when it bites him and the kid’s surprised, the snake’s all “I’m a snake, dumbass,” which is pretty much the entire story of the season thus far. Hey, maybe Mick should be writing recaps!
On the other side of camp, Monica is working another angle with Russell, telling him that he’s keeping threats around, namely Jaison. “He told me he’s just waiting until Day 36 to get rid of you. He also told me that you made a lot of money last year,” she says, dropping both bombs and completely selling him out. Good for her, frankly.
Russell is frazzled immediately at this. He will spend the rest of the episode trying to tell you that no one can touch him and that his is invincible, which is further proof that he’s completely shaken by Monica. The general rule with Russell is that the more he tells you he’s not bothered by something, the more it affects him very deeply. This simple rule is true for all men that try way too hard to be Type A Personalities despite the fact that they are hugely insecure about themselves (see also Situation, The).
To prove that Russell is totally onto Monica and that she’s not affecting him at all, he runs right to Natalie and unleashes this gem: “I told you that as long as we were honest with each other, we could work together, and YOU LIED,” he says, hilariously. Keep in mind that Russell is getting upset that someone betrayed his trust by: revealing a lie.
Natalie promises that she never told anyone, which sends Russell back to Brett, who reveals that Jaison told him. Russell then pulls Jaison aside to confront him. Jaison wisely lies and tells him he never said anything, and that Monica is obviously just saying anything to stay in the game. “Monica is running her PIE HOLE,” Russell says, “and the bitch needs to be sent home TONIGHT.” Translation: “What Monica has said has really made me squirm, and she has accomplished her goal of making me doubt my allies.”
One of the things I do not like about Russell is that he tends to get pretty misogynistic whenever he’s going up against a woman, which is a defense mechanism when he feels bested by a lady. I don’t know if he’s serious or just trying to put on a good show, but I’m guessing it’s about 50-50 both ways. He’s Jonny Fairplay with even less personality, which I did not think was possible.
Tribal Council #2. Dave looks even more like Gallagher when he shows up as the newest member of the jury. Immediately after he enters, Russell stands up, pulls the immunity necklace out, and puts it around his neck. It’s a ballsy move, but also one that you would expect cocksure, faux-masculine personalities like Russell to make. I certainly appreciate it, but if you can read people at all, you would know that this pretty much means that Russell is looking for a way to avoid playing the idol tonight, and this is his answer. What this means is that tonight is actually the best time to vote him out, because this action makes it even more likely that he won’t use it. Odd logic, but very reliable.
Jeff is, of course, in love with this move, because Jeff loves when big, sweaty men do big sweaty man things. If you need him, he’ll just be over here in the corner playing grab ass with Colby. Jeff asks Russell why he’s revealing “what appears to be” the immunity idol around his neck. “Well, some people think this puts a target on my back, but I disagree, I think it puts a target on THEIRS,” Russell says, without actually making any sort of point in his favor. “He’s humble!” Monica says, in the first of many awesome comments she will be making this evening.
Shambo says that “today was the worst”, when Probst asks her why Russell is making this bold move. “Today was AWESOME,” Monica says, laughing evilly. Russell tells Probst that Monica tried to tell him that if she gets voted out, she’ll sway the whole jury and he won’t get any votes. “Now you’re just MAKING me vote you out now,” Russell says. How does that make any sense?
“If I put any doubt in his mind that his allies aren’t looking out for him, I’ve accomplished my goal,” she says. “A little bit of teacher/student going on!” Probst says. OH MY GOD, HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE? Yet again, the insinuation that nothing can occur this season without the express influence of Russell is ever present. Seriously, shut it, Probst. Let someone do just one thing, just ONE, without giving Russell all the credit, dick.
“We would have been dangerous together,” Russell says. Probst laughs at this like he’s on a first date with the high school quarterback, because it is hilarious. “I’ve been playing hard since I got here,” Russell says. Monica, almost immediately: “Because of idols.” Ha! Pretty hilarious. Russell can’t come up with a comeback, because he knows his success is largely due to idols and not necessarily straight-up strategy. That’s not a knock, per se, because idols part of the game and Russell’s been smart to find them, but they are certainly two different things, one more impressive than the other. This is why, to me, there are a variety of past players who are far superior to Russell.
Time to vote! Russell votes for Monica: “Stupid, stupid little girl. Bad strategy,” he says, shaking his head. Translation: “Well played attempt to overthrow me. Your strategy was well done, and you accomplished your goal of making me concerned about my allies. I am fortunate that I currently have the numbers.”
We don’t see the rest of the votes. Of course, Russell chooses not to play the idol. The votes go Russell, Monica, Russell, Monica, and then the rest are sadly for Monica, and she is out. Pretty disappointing performance by Mick and Jaison, who should have had some balls and made a move.
Either way, we’re getting towards the end of the season, people! See you Thursday, and then AGAIN on Sunday!