This week, on Survivor: Shambo continues to find new and interesting ways to make me hate her; Russell would be pretty cool, if he would just stop talking so much; and John decides to grow a brain all of a sudden.It’s night 24, and hey, GUESS WHAT? Russell is congratulating himself about something. “That was like a painting, like a Picasso,” he says of the Kelly boot. “I’m a great artist, and this is my work.” I think the guy’s trying way too hard at this point to piss off the viewers. I mean, who says that? At this point, I think it’s best just to ignore him. Wow, I sound like your mom when you tell her about that bully at school. Worst advice ever, am I right? You just have to beat he hell out of the kid to get him to leave you alone. That or pee in his lunchbox. Not that I ever did that.
Dave comes over to congratulate the Foa Foas for pulling off such a nice move, and Russell tells him that it was “almost as great as my kids being born”, which is actually pretty hilarious. But what I noticed most about this scene is that Russell is looking up at everyone, and I mean everyone he’s speaking with, so if you’re still wondering whether the guy has Napoleon syndrome, break out your tricorner hats, bitches.
“I need help reaching stuff in the grocery store!”
Over in Shambo’s little private cubby hole, she watches Laura and Monica freak out and laughs openly at their misery. When Russell wanders over to bask in the glow of his own awesomeness, Shambo takes the opportunity to gloat some more, telling Russell that Laura whispered “He has ruined everything!” after Kelly got voted out, which we know is not even close to what actually happened. In confessional, Shambo cannot stop laughing at Laura’s misfortune, guffawing about how awesome it would be to find the idol and give it to Russell again.
And it seems Russell has the same idea, because he is up at dawn before everyone else, turning the camp upside down to find the next immunity idol. It is also here that I noted that the Aiga flag has the words “Hi Dad!” painted on it, which is pretty great. “I’ll find the third idol. Those things are like magnets to me!” he says. Wouldn’t Russell himself be the magnet in this scenario? I am confused. Science does that to me sometimes.
“On the plus side, I can call the other guys and make some really badass Fudge Stripe Cookies in this tree.”
Later that morning, Shambo watches Laura wander around camp. She is apparently doing some highly offensive things, because Shambo calls her “the head viper”, “a beast” and “the evil demon”, all in one sentence. Who is Laura, Ron Swanson’s ex-wife Tammy? (Side note: I know that “Parks and Recreation” was not good last season, and that it airs opposite this show, but you owe it to yourself to check it out, because Sweet Square Dancing Jesus, did it get hilarious. Best line from this last episode: “On a scale of one to Chris Brown, just how mad is he?”)
Meanwhile, John and Shambo look around for the idol together, which is the equivalent of hiring two rhesus monkeys to investigate the disappearance of a family member. Shambo takes this opportunity to disclose to John that she will be voting with Foa Foa for Laura at the next tribal council no matter what, which will result in a 5-5 tie. She would like to avoid said tie, so she wants John to be the sixth vote. He is wisely ambiguous with his answer, telling her that he can’t promise her anything. I do think it’s wise that he’s keeping Shambo in his pocked when everyone else has obviously abandoned her, and he’s doing it without letting on to anyone else that it’s happening. Maybe I need to give this guy more credit, no?
Reward challenge! We’ve seen this one before: The ten remaining players will be split into teams of five. One person from each team will be put into a harness, and the other team members will control the harness with ropes, maneuvering the harnessee (?) around to pick up numbered flags. The first team to pick up and place all their flags gets another food/vacation reward, this time in the form of a plane ride to a waterfall coupled with a picnic lunch.
Shambo, Jaison, Monica, Mick and John are on the yellow team, leaving Dave, Brett, Laura, Russell and Natalie on the purple team. The purple squad picks up the mechanics of the challenge very quickly, and their lead is only extended when the yellow team drops a few flags and slows even more. While John (in the harness for the yellow team) is just sort of laying on his belly, Natalie (in the harness for the purple team) is actually physically dangling from the platform to extend her reach, which seems to really increase her speed and ultimately wins the reward for the purple team. Man, wearing yellow really screws you this season, doesn’t it?
What is this, the American Music Awards?
We head immediately to the reward. When the winners arrive at the waterfall, an impressive array of picnic food awaits them, including some good looking mac and cheese. Natalie thanks the Galu members for “taking Russell and I” on a reward, which is a giant stretch considering that she was the MVP of that challenge.
The winners have also received a product placed cell phone to take pictures with, and it turns out that the clue for the immunity idol is actually in the phone, and it even includes a helpful video, which shows the idol hidden under a mossy rock. Gee, do you think they want someone to find it?
It’s probably not fair that the passcode to unlock this file was the birthday of one of Russell’s kids.
Back at camp, Jaison and Mick try to work Monica over to their side. When she expresses her hesitancy to tie the vote, Mick tries to tell her that she’d actually be the 6th vote and not the 5th because they have someone else, and she’s really, really slow to catch on. They seriously have to tell her like twenty times. It doesn’t help that they’re trying to be ambiguous about who it is, which is stupid because Monica is immediately like “It’s Shambo, duh!” in confessional. It’s not like Shambo is a master of deception; she’s had the same hairstyle since Full Metal Jacket came out.
The reward winners arrive back at camp, and Russell immediately tells Mick and Jaison that the idol is hidden under a mossy rock. They go off to go idol hunting right then. Dave notices this swift movement and decides to tail them, following Russell three or four steps back. Russell keeps trying to lose Dave, sprinting through the forest and making sharp turns. It’s easy to lose someone when you’re the size of the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, so Russell manages to elude Dave and then circle back to a rocky area, where he finds the idol, AGAIN. Jesus.
He’s like Sonic the Very Short Hedgehog.
I bitched at length last week about how terrible I think this is for the game, so I’m not going to do it again. I will simply say that I think that once the initial idols from the beginning of the game have been played, there should not be replacements like this. One or two idols make the game more interesting and give people an extra chance if they’re smart, but this is now the fourth idol in the game this season. FOUR. Think about how that many variables could ruin even the most soundly played game, and then try to tell me that this is good for the show.
I’d be much more willing to give it up to Russell for playing a good game if he weren’t the first person in the history of this show to even have that many chances. Who else has had an opportunity at four idols? Do you think if Cirie or Yau-Man or any other fan favorites had four chances at an idol, that they would have gotten a bit farther? Because I think they would have. This here? Is fucked. That’s all I’m saying.
Immunity Challenge. Today is pretty simple: Each person gets one rock to throw at three tiles. For every tile that you break, you earn one spear, which you will then shoot at a target. The person whose spear is closest to the center of the target wins immunity.
So Jaison, Monica (who gets one spear thanks to a misthrow by Dave), and Mick get one spear apiece, and Brett gets two. Laura throws last and misses, causing Shambo to openly laugh in her face and high five Russell in front of everyone.
“I’m laughing because I just lost the immunity necklace, so this whole thing is pointless!”
I know that we haven’t seen every second of footage from camp, but I really fail to see what Laura’s done to deserve this type of treatment from Shambo. In fact, it seems very apparent to me that Shambo is the one who is difficult to get along with, and she’s also a bigger snake, since she’s the one switching tribes. I just really find her behavior here repulsive and petty, and where I disliked her moderately before, I dislike her intensely now.
So anyway, Mick ends up getting his spear pretty close to the center of the target, and even with two spears, Brett is unable to beat it, so Mick wins immunity. Back at camp, Shambo tells Brett that she’s going to vote for Laura. Shambo is dumb, and she hasn’t figured out that this vote here, placed out of spite, is dooming everyone at Galu, including Shambo herself. Enjoy fifth place!
Dave, Laura and John try and figure out what to do, because they’ve finally figured out that it’s time to stop voting for Russell, at least for a bit. They think they should vote Jaison, but John tells them Natalie is the best option, since she’s the only one that didn’t go on the hunt for the immunity idol. “It’s bordering on annoying how bad the strategy of Galu is,” John says. “Oh, let’s telegraph a vote to Russell! You’re an idiot. Let’s sit back and piss off Shambo! You’re an idiot. Let’s vote off Erik in thirty seconds! You’re an idiot.” Quote of the episode, and maybe of the Survivor Samoa in general: never has one season been so completely full of idiots and unlikable douches.
Meanwhile, Monica, Dave and Laura figure out that Shambo is likely going to vote for Laura with the Foa Foas, creating a tie. Monica wants to avoid the tie by telling them her vote is for sale, but the price tag is that they have to get rid of John this week and Laura next. She can then vote for Natalie with the other Galus, meaning that there would be 5 votes for Natalie, 4 for John and 1 for Laura. Question: Why not just vote for Shambo instead? It’s essentially the same thing as knocking out a Foa Foa, and it’s the next best thing to getting rid of Russell at this point.
Monica tries to put her plan into action, telling Russell she’ll vote with them, but only for John this time. “If I’m switching, I need to vote out who I want this time as a guarantee,” she says. It’s actually not a bad plan, but it would help if she talked to Russell without a giant smirk on her face the whole time. Russell is many things, but bad at reading people is not one of them.
Nice poker face there, Lady Blah Blah.
Russell, to his credit, does not buy this for a second. He decides to take it to John, who has just been told of the plan himself by his teammates: “It would have been nice to have that run by me before it happens!” he says to them, pissed. “I’m not going to risk my life to save Laura’s,” He says, accurately. I can see why he’s uncomfortable, but he’s not actually in any sort of real danger. It’s like getting stabbed with one of those trick knives. Speaking of which, could someone stab several of these people with one of those trick knives? I would be cool with that. No one would get hurt, I just want to scare them a little.
Russell tells him that they’re going to be voting for Laura and not him, so he should be prepared for the consequences of a tie. For those of you that need a refresher, once a vote is tied, there is a revote and if that one’s a tie, everyone except the people who received votes (and the immunity winner) will have to draw rocks. (The fire making contest is only for the final four, in case any of you are wondering.) “If I vote for Laura tonight after the tie, I wake up on this beach tomorrow,” he points out. That’s true, but you wake up completely screwed. The reality of the situation is that Shambo is forcing a tie here, and the best bet for Galu is to draw rocks and hope a Foa Foa member goes home. If the opposing side is unwilling to budge and ready to play chicken, your side has to be as well, or you’ve already lost.
Tribal Council! The jury of Erik and Kelly enter, and it is worth noting that Kelly looks super hot. Probst asks whether the last two votes have indicated that there are no more tribal lines. Shambo pipes up quickly, telling Probst that in her mind, there is no more Galu tribe. “Once Erik was voted off, Galu was broken,” she says. Laura retorts quickly: “I don’t know what tribe you were in, but the Galu I was in was pretty tight,” she responds, forgetting that Shambo completely alienated herself from the beginning.
Word, Laura’s face.
“A group can’t be tight if one of the members isn’t,” Probst says. He also figures out that the chances of a tie are pretty high. “If we need to draw stones, than that’s what I’m ready to do,” Dave says. “You gotta be willing to make big moves in order to win.” Including SMASHING THIS WATERMELON!
Time to vote! We see Shambo vote for Laura, of course, but we don’t see any of the others. Also, Russell declines to play the idol this time, thinking he’s safe. When the votes are read, there are five for Natalie and five for Laura (including one for “Luara”, which I’m guessing has to be Shambo’s), so it is a tie. Probst calls for a revote. Laura and Natalie will not vote, and everyone else has to pick between the two. We see Dave vote for Natalie again. “Let’s roll the dice!” he says, knowing what’s up. When this set of votes are read, Natalie and Laura get three apiece, and then Laura gets both of the last two, and she is out. The Galu members are mostly shocked, except for Shambo, who is all smiles and gloating. I kind of hate her, you guys.
This would be a lot more satisfying if Shambo and Russell hadn’t forced me to root for Dave, John or Natalie at this point. Is it weird that I’m doing that?
Next week is a Thanksgiving recap, so I’ll be back in two weeks for more hot Russell on Russell action. See you then!