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REMEMBER THIS FACE, FOR IT WILL SPELL YOUR DOOM, LAURA.It’s Night 21 at Aiga, right after Erik has been voted out. Russell tells us that he didn’t even think twice about playing the idol, even though he knows it exposes him and he’s sure he’s leaving next. On the other side of camp, the Galu females congratulate themselves: “That went perfectly,” Laura says, gloating about the fact that they got Erik out and also got Russell to expose himself. Okay, that is the last time I use the words “Russell” and “expose himself” in a sentence, because I think I just went blind briefly.
In the morning on Day 22, Natalie is wandering through the woods and stumbles upon a REALLY big rat. She waffles hilariously between Girly Squeal Mode and Determined Hunter Mode for a while. “Oh, rock or stick?” she says before apologizing to the little guy and settling on “stick”, killing it. Wow, did not expect that from her.
She takes the rat carcass back to the tribe inside a coconut, showcasing her prize and telling the story to all her tribemates, who are various shades of impressed. They cook it up quickly and eat it commenting that it taste like chicken while Natalie beams, proud of herself. It is pretty impressive to think about. I’m pretty sure I would have run in the other direction, squealing like a girl and high stepping.
Mick and Russell go to get the treemail, and Russell peers inside the treemail structure, jokingly looking for an idol. “There’s another idol around camp, and I will find it, or I’m gone,” he says. There’s really not precedent for another, post-merge idol, since we’ve never had this many people left with no idols in play. I mean, James got voted out with both idols (HA HA), but that was much later in the game. I had no reason to bring that up, except to remind you that James got voted out with both idols. Loser.
Reward Challenge. Two teams of five will race to collect poles threaded with white and black coconuts. Once all the poles are collected, they’ll have to be arranged to form a four digit number, and a blindfolded team member will then use the number to unlock a combo lock by touch only. The winning team will receive a getaway to an oasis with a rock slide, where they will also get a picnic lunch.
Because there are eleven people and the challenge calls for ten, Natalie gets left out. She will choose a team, and if that team wins, she gets to go on the reward too. Since one team is all the former Foa Foas, plus Brett and Laura, she’s sort of forced to choose that one.
And hey, with all the Foa Foas on one team, guess who wins? The team with all the Galu members! They manage to uncover their number first, and from that point it’s pretty much impossible to catch up. I know that you are shocked.
So we jump immediately to the former Galu members enjoying their reward, swimming majestically in slow motion and sliding down the rock formation, which really should involve wearing a helmet. And yes, I just said that these people should be wearing helmets because what they’re doing looks dangerous. I am a fifty year old Jewish grandmother.
After the Galu members have finished tempting fate, they sit down to a tasty meal, which apparently involves a fried chicken toast. I sometimes wonder what those people on The Biggest Loser did to get so large, and now I know: they toast with fried chicken instead of champagne. That is some shit Homer Simpson would do to qualify for disability.
It turns out that the picnic also comes with a clue for a newly hidden immunity idol. The Galus quickly agree to keep this information from the Foa Foas. Everyone agrees that it should be Russell who goes next, so they want to make sure he doesn’t get ahold of the idol. Well, everyone except Shambo, who wants Russell to stay, because she has the people reading skills of a German citizen, circa 1940.
Back at Aiga, Russell is turning the camp upside down searching for another immunity idol. “It has to be near something, a landmark or something,” Russell says. He has a point: it does have to be near something obvious. So he’s walking over this bridge, and he gets on his belly and looks underneath, and: there it is. AGAIN. Holy shit, this guy.
See, now I almost feel like I have to root for him, even though I detest his constant yammering. I mean, the guy has worked the system for all it’s worth, and there’s something to be said for that. I mean, how has no one thought to do this before?
But here’s the thing: if this show devolves into everyone frantically searching around camp for the idol, I’m out. How is that interesting? It sucks a lot of strategy out of the game, so if the producers would be nice enough to hide the idol a little more carefully next season, or, better yet, someplace that is not camp, that would be awesome.
When the reward winners return to camp, Russell pulls Shambo aside and shows her the idol, because that is what he does with idols. OMG, it’s almost like he needs as many people as possible to know how smart he is! I surely hope that is not his undoing, for that would be tragic and also poetic. Also tasty.
He tells us that he’s showing Shambo because they only have four people on their team and need some help. If you have the idol and are planning on surprising someone, does it matter how many people you have? The thing I don’t like about Russell is that he treats the audience like we’re stupid too, and this is just one instance of that.
Shambo’s reaction is pretty great. “You are shitting me,” she says, completely losing her mind. “This is a samurai sword!” she says, hacking at the air like a crazy person. Don’t let her hold it; she’ll lose it in the ocean!
Russell says the plan is to get everyone to vote for him, then play immunity idol and send Laura home. They discuss what should happen in case Laura wins immunity again, and they decide to get rid of Kelly, since they think Monica will destroy herself. I’m hoping Shambo and Russell destroy themselves, actually.
Immunity Challenge! In the first round, each contestant will use a grappling hook to retrieve two bags containing puzzle pieces. The first three people to get their bags will go to the final round, which is to solve a puzzle by matching oddly shaped pegs to their correct holes.
Mick gets his bags pretty quickly, and Shambo follows soon after. Russell and Laura get their bags at the same time and have to race to the finish line. Russell freaks out and loses his bag, so Laura is the final person to go onto the final round. During the puzzle round, Laura catches on quickly and absolutely smokes Mick and Shambo, winning Immunity for the second time in a row as Russell watches, powerless.
Back at camp, Shambo whines to the camera about the fact that she can’t vote off Laura. “My heart is broken,” she says, because apparently being unable to eliminate your mortal enemy is the equivalent of a tough high school breakup.
So now it’s time for Russell to put his plan into motion; he tells Jaison, Natalie and Mick that he’s found another idol, and that they’re going to blindside the Galu members and knock Kelly out of the game. They congratulate him on finding another idol. “You deserve it, man,” Jaison says, which is the exact opposite of the truth. It’s impressive, but there’s really nothing deserving involved. Also, explain to me why they’re going after Kelly again? Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to eliminate Dave or John? Getting rid of Kelly is just going to merge the boy and girl Galus into one united front, instead of keeping them separate.
Mick is excited to pull one over on Galu: “I can’t wait to put a dent in that patronizing attitude they have towards us,” he says. I’m not sure that guy is used to being inferior to anyone.
Meanwhile, the Galus are putting together their plan to eliminate Russell. Monica brings up the idea of splitting the votes to eliminate Natalie on the “off” chance that Russell has found the immunity idol. Dave, in his infinite wisdom, thinks this is a ridiculous idea. “I don’t know, if I were him I’d be looking pretty hard,” John says, taking Monica’s side, which is strange.
I’m not sure splitting votes is going to do much: there are only seven Foa Foa members remaining (including Shambo), which means they’d have to put four on one person and three on another to have any effect, and that would at best only create a fire-making tie breaker. Unless I’m missing something, there’s really no point to splitting the votes. This was probably pointed out by someone and edited out to make Foa Foa look hubristic, I’m guessing.
Tribal Council! Erik gets brought in as the first member of the jury, and he’s holding his necklace in the air for some reason. Remember how Crazy Amber used to do that when she voted on Big Brother? Hate.
Jeff asks the Galu members whether the elimination of Erik was a sign that they are splintering. Dave says that Erik actually made them weaker, since “he was a snake”. Wait, I thought Dave was tight with Erik? Either way, Erik is completely livid on the sidelines, dying to speak.
They talk at length about how the voting is still going to be along tribal lines, like we needed to know that. Probst asks Dave how Galu decides to eliminate, and he tells Probst that it’s “A combination of things”, including “whose needs will be met” when they eliminate someone. I don’t even know what that means.
Time to vote! We don’t see ANY of the votes, which is an interesting way to go. Before the votes are read, Russell gets up AGAIN and plays the idol, flooring the Galu members. “Keep hope alive!” he tells them, smirking. You know, I hate Russell a whole bunch for being a smug asshole, but when everyone the entire cast is composed of nothing but smug assholes, it’s hard not to smile, a little.
And what do you know? Russell receives the first SEVEN votes cast, rendering them all useless. When the next vote is read for Kelly, she knows her time’s up immediately. When she gets the next two, that’s it for her, which is too bad because she’s super hot.
“He just stirred up a whole lot of hell, is what he did,” Laura mutters, flabbergasted. At this point, Jeff declares that the idol is going back into the game again.
And then, guess what? In the stupid previews for next week, a bunch of assholes chase each other around camp, trying to keep one another from getting the idol. Yay, I can’t wait to watch the central conceit of this show to be rendered useless! If this is all the show is gonna be from now on (because you know future contestants will be doing this same thing), and all we’re going to do is watch a bunch of jerks hunt around randomly for the idol, than I believe we may have just witnessed a shark jumping. Thanks, RUSSELL.