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Survivor Fodder

Survivor Samoa Week 7 - Who's Who at Galu?

"No the spin said right foot there."

Preview: The Galu men think they're pulling a fast one on Shambo. Anyone reminded of briar patches here?

Meanwhile Russell invites at least his eighth person to the final two with him. And this one's Laura, from the other tribe!

Now that I'm about caught up from the two stints in the hospital, I intend to make preview entries for all new episodes, so you can begin commenting immediately, and I'll fill in the full recap as soon as it's through.

Season 19: Week 7: Houdini Magic
Airdate 10/29/2009

Galu - Night 15

With Russell gone, the male tribe members discuss the fact that the tribe is now split 4-4 men/women, and how that makes them vulnerable. They come up with the idea to bring Shambo in on their side, at least for as long as they need her, since the other women don't like her anyway.

FoaFoa - Day 16

Russell interviews how happy he is that "Big Russell" is out at Galu, and Galu's lead is cut to eight to five. Jaison and Mick rise and agree this could be the day they turn things around.

Galu - Day 16

Erik, the smart one, raises the idea to the other guys of electing Shambo as Galu's new chief. The others nod mute agreement, or maybe they're just too tired, cold, and wet to put up a beef.

Erik proposes the idea of chiefdom to Shambo and she just nods "Sure," matter of factly, like 'no big deal.' Later, as the tribe huddles together under the shelter from the resumed rain, Shambo raises the idea of needing a new chief. The others agree, and Erik proposes they count off numbers, then everybody puts their hands behind their backs and raises them with a number simultaneously - most votes is chief. Eric counts off "one", John is "two", Shambo "three", etc. When the votes are revealed, Erik is holding up "three", Monica "one", John "three". Shambo gets four votes and is elected - I guess out of modesty she didn't vote for herself. Monica's eyes are downcast, Kelly looks wide-eyed, Laura purses her lips.

Laura interviews that the vote was over before 'anybody' realized what happened, and wonders how Shambo got elected. Clueless=Monica. Now she wonders if she'd have gotten voted off last night if there had been a vote.

Back in real-time, Shambo makes a brief acceptance speech and says she'll try not to be bossy, even though that's hard for a former Marine Corps sergeant.

Dave interviews that the Shambo putsch was a good idea, and the only thing that could screw up their plans is Shambo's cluelessness, so they daren't let her in on any of their plans.

Reward Challenge

There's a field of tables set up with pyramidal covers over the table's contents. It's Survivor CONCENTRATION. It's a sunny day and everyone is happy about that. 26 of the tables contain one of a pair of survival items. There are also four dummy items that don't match anything. A survivor from each tribe will go out and pick up two covers. If the items match, the tribe scores a point OR they can elect to keep the item but forfeit the point. The reward is a cruise on a sailboat with a nice lunch. Plus one winner goes home with the losers and misses the treat.

Galu has to sit out three and Shambo makes her first command decision - to relinquish command to someone else, sitting out Kelly, Dave, and herself. I'm a little mystified by her thinking process here - the next challenge may well be physical, while this one is purely mental, so why leave Erik and Brett in it?

Shambo is asked who she assigns to make decisions in the challenge and she immediately picks "Erik", only to be immediately second guessed by Dave, sitting beside her "No, no Brett," and immediately corrects herself "I stand corrected, Brett."

Russell goes out first for FoaFoa, and uncovers a fire starter kit and rope - no match. John for Galu uncovers a cleaver and a mosquito net. No matches in the first four.

[Digression: Have any of these people ever played Concentration? The strategy is obvious. (1) If your first pick is something uncovered elsewhere, try to find the match. (2) If your first pitch is something previously uncovered, uncover something already seen, else you run the risk of uncovering something that HAS been seen before, and the other team gets first chance to match it. Only exception to (2) is if you're in the end game with very few previously uncovered spots left, you might try one of them to because the odds are improved it's one of them]

Jaison immediately shows the folly of ignoring rule 2. He uncovers a lantern (previously unseen), and then a fire starting kit. Laura goes straight to the original fire starter kit, then makes the match. The bundles of sticks are only representative of the real kit. When Jeff shows the real kit, it's wrapped in a nice big canvas tarp, and Brett immediately decides to forego the point and keep it.

Liz goes out and uncovers a cleaver, but she misremembers where the original cleaver was and uncovers another mosquito net. Brett immediately goes out and matches the mosquito net and this time Galu keeps the point 1-0. Natalie uncovers a hammock, and a pot (rule 2 violation!). John goes out and matches the cleaver - Galu 2-0.

At this point the show begins to speed through the choices without showing the individual detail. At one point Galu, already ahead 5-3, finds fishing gear and gets a chance to replace the items Shambo lost, but chooses the points - 6-3. Jeff says there are only three items left, which seems at first to contradict the statement that there were thirteen items out there to be matched, but then I recall that Galu kept the fire starter, so it doesn't count.

Now a smart guy at Galu would think that the next item they match, they should automatically keep, since that would also make it impossible for FoaFoa to win.

Natalie is next out for FoaFoa and finds the pot and matches it - 6-4 Galu. Monica goes out and matches the eating utensils, and I'm screaming "KEEP, KEEP!" but apparently Brett's not that smart, and they don't. Shambo sends Laura over to FoaFoa. And feels it necessary to explain she's 'keeping her guys strong' for the immunity challenge and unwilling to go a third time herself. Methinks the chief doth explain too much.

Kelly interviews that she thinks Shambo may have been just getting back at somebody who doesn't like her all that much (in which case shouldn't it have been Monica?)

Jeff tells Galu to grab their tarp and the smallest Galuan, Monica, grabs it. Guess they've got to save the strength of those big, strong guys.

Doc Mick interviews he's starting to get superstitious and really believe there's a pox or a curse on FoaFoa.

FoaFoa - Day 16

Natalie and Mick welcome Laura to the tribe. Liz and Russell add their greetings.

Laura interviews that FoaFoa is a really friendly tribe with no cliques (unlike her own). She's sure 'Sham' doesn't like her and that's why she got sent.

Russell shares a mango with Laura and invites her to go catch some crabs with him (not a euphemism). He tells her he has twin girls and is a PK (preacher's kid). She says she is a theology student. Russell makes a pitch to her to protect each other after the merge, with him, Natalie, and Laura shooting for final three and him and Laura for final two. Now where have we heard that before? Russell also tells her she can throw her clue away since Ben found the idol but failed to play it at tribal council, leaving it hidden somewhere in camp.

Russell interviews that he has to work his "Houdini magic" on Laura to overcome the numbers disadvantage they're likely to have at the merge.

Laura interviews that she's open to Russell's proposals as, at least, another card to have in her hip pocket.

Galu - Day 16

The tribe, less Laura, rows out to a three masted sailing vessel. Their first task is crewing the boat, raising sails, steering. Even though every mast has three yardarms (cross pieces, ostensibly for hanging square rigged sails from) I think they're all for show, as all the sails raised are triangular, raised from below on the fore and mid masts, and three from the forward projecting bowsprit.

Out comes the food, heaping bowls of stew, and hunks of homemade bread and scones.

FoaFoa - Day 16

As Liz builds the fire, Laura chats with Natalie about riding Harleys with her husband and her pastor and his wife, and about a book she's writing.

Liz interviews that she's irritated by the two chatting away while she was working hard and not offering to help.

Liz complains aloud to Russell about the lack of help.

Russell interviews that 'Liz is so stupid he doesn't know how she manages to walk upright'. He's happy that Natalie is chatting up Laura, because they'll need Laura's help come the merge.

Immunity Challenge

Laura returns to her tribe, getting hugs from Erick and Shambo.

The challenge is to paddle a boat out to retrieve fish-shaped puzzle pieces, which are connected to floats with rings on them and must be retrieved by two tribe members with 'fishing poles' with three-way grappling hooks on them. When they get back, three tribe members will assemble a puzzle from the pieces.

Shambo chooses John (whose name she seems to have trouble recalling), Monica, and Laura to sit out.

Jeff asks Mick where his leader necklace is. Mick says they began to wonder if it was a jinx and left it home. (I wonder if "they" means "Mick".)

The teams race to their boats, anchored in shallow water. Jeff yells "Three people paddling, two people fishing." But apparently that's not a rule, because Russell, Mick, and Jaison stay in the water pushing the boat instead of leaping in and paddling. Galu decides it's a good idea and their paddlers jump back out as well. FoaFoa jumps to a substantial lead. The line to the hooks is long, and all the fishers, sitting in bobbing boats, have trouble snagging the rings. Nobody is bright enough (or maybe there's a rule against it) to roll the line up on the pole shortening it and making it easier to maneuver the hooks.

As all the 'fish' have been secured, Russell has jumped in and is paddling, Mick and Jaison still wading and pulling. Jeff yells it's a lot more work to swim than to paddle and Galu takes the cue and all jump in. Jaison appears exhausted and wades in without even pushing on the boat. The puzzle solvers start at about the same time, Dave, Kelly, and Brett working for Galu, Liz, Mick, and Jaison for FoaFoa. Jaison appears stupefied, and mostly just stands and stares without much input on the puzzle. Jeff drops the clue that not every inch of the board will be covered. Liz figures out and whispers sotto voce that the fins make the open pattern. Galu catches on as well.

Then Galu gets it all together and WINS! (Ho, hum, what else is new?) I think there was once a tribe that lost EVERY challenge, but FoaFoa is coming close to that level of futility.

Russell interviews "These idiots are probably going to cost me a million dollars." Maybe they should get rid of Jaison, he says, who was just standing around out there.

FoaFoa - Day 18

Natalie is helping Liz with the fire, now.

Russell interviews he's seriously considering Jaison. He talks it over with Mick.

Liz and Jaison glumly talk the situation over around the campfire. Jaison says he's incredibly embarrassed by his performance.

Liz and Russell talk on the beach. Liz says Natalie should have been on the puzzle instead of Jaison. Russell says it comes down to Natalie or Jaison to be booted,

Liz interviews that she's thrilled because her stock seems to have risen.

Tribal Council

Natalie says the tribe is still hanging in there and remaining positive. Russell says he's still hoping every morning "today's the day", but he seems to think Jeff is asking about the merge, rather than winning a contest. Liz says she "absolutely" trusts her tribe at the merge. Mick says trust is at the absolute core of the social game that's yet to be played out. Russell agrees it's very hard to vote any of these trusted people out. Jaison says he's frustrated with losing and feels he has some responsibility for the losses.

Voting time:

Mick votes. Liz votes for Jaison "This is totally strategic and not at all personal. Sorry." Natalie votes. Jaison votes for Liz. Russell votes.

The votes are tallied and come back: Jaison. Liz. Liz. Liz. Liz smiles and whispers "Good luck, guys", and hands in her torch, then makes her way down the path. Jeff compliments the tribe on getting real good at blindsides.

Next Week

MERGE! Glasses of champagne(?) and beer(?) flow. John's telling someone to write down Monica. Shambo's telling Russell the name to write down is Laura. Laura's telling Russell it's Shambo. Kelly says it's Erik.

[Digression. Why does the majority tribe at merge always immediately bring out the knives to knock off some of their own members? Granted, 8-4 is a pretty strong lead, but knock one of the 8 off, and immediately the other members of the majority who are, or may think they are, on the outs start thinking of flipping. Why not methodically mow down all the minority, then move on to settling scores, when the ones on the outs have a dearth of possible allies. Russell may find his way out of this yet.]

Closing Remarks

Liz congratulates her tribe mates on advancing and is proud she got as far as she did. No hard feelings.

Voting against:

Liz: Russell, Mick, Jaison, Natalie
Jaison: Liz


Can’t tell Kelly from Natalie from Ashley? Check out SURVIVOR SAMOA BIOS.

Posted by Cecil on October 29, 2009 11:38 AM
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