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Survivor: Samoa - Week 10 - Ding, Dong...

"Monica in a pensive moment.“


Galu is determined to prevent Russell finding a third idol. To the extent of following him everywhere he goes. So if they see him looking, what can they do? Seems to me they’d be better off looking for it themselves. And will Shambo make her subterfuge open this week and tie things up? You know what would really be cool? If Russell found the idol, and Galu knew it, and then Russell won individual immunity. Then told Galu “I gave the idol to one of the other FoaFoans. If you vote for the wrong one, one of you goes home.” Then watch Galu try to decide whether to go for it or knock off one of their own. I’m just sayin’.

Season 19: Week 10: The Day of Reckoning

Airdate 11/19/2009

Notes on next week.

Survivor is on the schedule for next week (Thanksgiving Day) but I have no information on content. It may be a repeat, a clip show, or a new episode. Also, I see on my Time-Warner cable guide station a promo program at 9PM Thanksgiving Thursday called “Survivor Millionaires, Where are They Now?” which may be of interest to Survivor fanatics. Anybody know if Richard Hatch is still in the pokey?

Aiga - Night 24

Russell rocks contentedly in his hammock, contemplating his coup just pulled off at tribal council. Dave, who did seem to be 50% amused along with 50% horrified when Russell pulled out his second hidden immunity idol, stops by to congratulate FoaFoa on their "good move!" The rest of Galu (along with Natalie) in their sleeping hut are likening Russell to "that little snake."

But, interviews Laura, "We’ve still got the numbers."

Russell and Shambo giggle over the situation and Laura's reactions.

Aiga - Day 25

Russell is up before everyone else and searching - in the Aiga banner, under logs, in trees, in the huts. Shambo does a little recruiting, trying to sway John to her side. She presents a rational self-interest case. She wants him as the sixth vote to oust Laura, should she not win immunity. John promises Shambo he won't share that she asked him the question. John later interviews that he's the only one in Galu that knows Shambo has flipped - now what should he do with the intel?

Reward Challenge

Once again the tribe will be divided into two teams of five ("randomly", I presume). One will lie face down in a cradle suspended from four ropes while the other four pull on the ropes to maneuver them around an arena with fifteen numbered flags planted in the sand, to pull the flags and plant them in the corresponding numbered hole in a log. The reward is a plane trip to a neighboring island where they'll picnic by a waterfall and be given a product-placement brand phone to take some pictures. Russell later interviews that he assumes they'll receive a hidden immunity idol clue as well, and if he can get that "it's all over" - so I guess this means the producers have made it a little harder to find this time and his early morning hunt came up empty. By the way, the arenas are decorated in Yellow and Purple, to continue the old-tribe rivalry theme.

Yellow: Rope pullers Shambo, Jaison, Monica, and Mick with John in the cradle (wonder why not the lighter Monica? Afraid of heights?)

Purple:Dave, Brett, Laura, and Russell, with Natalie in the cradle.

At least the gods of randomness seem to have cooperated this week. With the fomer FoaFoans distributed evenly, perhaps we'll find out if it's the color that's the jinx.

Natalie seems to be a much better flyer than John, and Purple builds a lead and steadily improves it and complete their fifteen flags before Yellow has their eleventh. Purple wins - that's it - it's the color Yellow that's the jinx! Watch everyone fight to avoid it in the next challenge.


The five ooh and ahh over their plane trip and snap numerous pics. They sit on cushions near a picturesque waterfall and feast on fruit, hot dogs, pies, potato salad, and mac 'n' cheese.

Apparently there's only one phone between the five on reward. Russell notices in reviewing the photos that one tells them where to go (on the phone) to get a clue.

The clue is

This [product placement] in your hand holds much information,
Which you'd better heed or it will be your own loss,
The immunity idol is no rolling stone,
A rolling stone gathers no moss.

I wish they'd left that last line out to make it a little less obvious that the idol is some place with a lot of moss. The text also tells them there's more info in a video.

The video shows a mossy stone being turned over to reveal the idol.

Back at Aiga - Day 25

Jaison and Mick chat up Monica. Monica plays it coy. What can they offer her, really? They tell her they have five besides her - she'd be number six. They're keeping the identity of number five to themselves but tell her they're 100% confident of number five. Monica sees right through them and later interviews that she thinks it's Shambo. Monica tells them she wants John out. "We can do that," they tell her.

Aiga - Day 25

The rewardees return, and Russell quickly whispers the clue information to Mick and Jaison and they set out post haste. Laura, Dave, and Monica see the FoaFoans setting out already and make rush to to form their own search party. But mostly the idea is follow Russell around, especially Dave. There's an old wall that Russell thinks has the right shaped stones and Dave turns some over left and right, but finds nothing. Russell decides to jog and see if he can lose his pursuers. He does, and doubles back to the wall, and by golly, finds his third idol! The stone was underneath a hole in the wall, not as out-in-the-open as the video seemed to indicate.

Aiga - Day 27

Monica conspires with Laura. Monica says she doesn't trust two people on their tribe, and says the FoaFoans say they have two with them but won't say who - of course Mick and Jaison said ONE person, but if Monica says that, Laura will obviously think Shambo, and Monica seems to have it in for John.

Laura interviews that she has a target on her back and Shambo completely despises her. Seems to me like Shambo tried to talk their differences out and Laura played the "it's all in your head" card. So, Lara says, she really needs to win a third straight immunity challenge.

Immunity Challenge

Each person has three tiles hung close together. They get one rock to try and break as many as they can. Each broken tile earns a spear for the second round. They will shoot the spear at a target (doesn't that make it more like an arrow?) and the closest spear to the center earns immunity.

The tiles are hung one behind the other, but on a rising slope such that you'd have to throw underhand and up, I think, to break more than one. They're also close together side by side, and Jeff mentions the possibility of breaking another person's tile, but doesn't say if that earns the other person a spear or not. If it does, I guess the people on the ends are screwed, having 50% less neighbors to potentially break their tiles. Contestants are allowed to choose their one rock from a pile in front of them with various sizes and weights.

Shambo heaves and misses everything. So does Russell. Jaison takes out one of his tiles. John misses everything. Monica misses everything. Dave breaks one of Monica's, and Jeff confirms this gives Monica a spear. Natalie, like Monica, is short and low of the whole field. Mick breaks one of his own. Brett somehow breaks two tiles, despite throwing overhand- the camera angle doesn’t allow us to really judge how he did it. Laura chooses a big rock, and hits the ground before the first tile, bringing a chortle from Shambo.

They're shooting the spears with a crossbow-like device. It even has a rest - they don’t have to hold up the rather bulky device. Brett's first shot hits the second (from the outside) ring. Jaison misses the target entirely. Monica hits the outer ring. Mick hits the three ring, so Brett's got to beat him to win immunity. Brett hits the 2 ring again, and Mick wins immunity.

Shambo interviews that it's Laura's "Day of Reckoning" and her destiny to go home tonight.

Russell swings in his hammock and contemplates the lump in his pocket (not a euphemism). He interviews that it's been their intention for nine days to get rid of Laura, and now they finally have the chance.

Now Shambo is lobbying with Brett for a sixth vote. So much for stealth. I don't suppose she'll try Monica, but, well sheesh. Brett listens and nods, but is non-committal.

Dave and Laura approach John and propose voting for Russell, reasoning that if he has the idol that at least flushes it out. Apparently they've forgotten the part where it also sends one of them home. John demonstrates his rocket scientist skills by telling them no, it's Natalie, because she's the least likely to have it, since she didn't even go looking.

Later John interviews that it's distressing seeing how pathetic the analytical skills are at Galu.
He ticks off some of the many Galu fauxs pas.

  1. ”Let’s telegraph the move to Russell. You’re an idiot.”
  2. ”Let’s sit back and let’s piss off Shambo. You’re an idiot.”
  3. ”Let’s sit back and let’s vote off Erik – over a thirty second decision. You’re an idiot.”

Monica is talking with Brett and Dave and putting in a bad word for John again. Dave advocates not rushing in to anything and staying cool and thinking for a while.

Monica interviews that "the plan is" (she doesn’t say if it's a Galu plan, or just hers) to tell FoaFoa that she's voting for John, when, in reality, she's voting for Natalie. I'm not sure how this helps. Is FoaFoa all supposed to vote for John too, just because she is? Seems like that more than ever makes it easy for them to vote Laura out, seeing as how it means no more than four (and in reality, three) Galuans could then be voting for the same person.

Monica tells Mick and Russell how she’s 'voting'. They talk it over with Jaison. Russell says they should tell John what Monica says.

Dave and Brett explain the plan to John, so I guess it was a Galu plan. Shambo votes for Laura, the four FoaFoans are tricked into voting for John, and the five remaining Galu vote for Natalie. Actually it's not a half bad plan if you think you can swing the middle step, but what's FoaFoa's incentive? Avoidance of a tie, I guess. John is not too happy about the 'voting for me is a good thing?' part of the plan.

John interviews that he's not risking his metaphorical life for Laura. "Laura picked a fight with somebody that I think is going to knock her out, and I'm not going to step in the way of the punch."

Russell and John talk, Russell say they're being conned to put John's name down and he doesn't believe it and is sticking with Laura. John confirms that the rules at this stage say after there's a tie, they re-vote. If still tied, the tied people are safe and the remaining survivors draw stones from a bag, and the one getting the purple stone goes home instead. So there's some incentive to switch, if there's a tie. I think I can see where this is going. John says if he switches and sends a Galu home, the next vote has to be a FoaFoan. Russell says “deal”, but John's not sure if he can trust that. John says his optimum strategy is to NOT switch after a tie, and pray that a FoaFoa picks the purple rock. Well, there's a 33% chance.

Tribal Council

In walk Erik (still bearded) and Kelly (lookin’ smokin’) to populate the jury box.

John says the last two tribal councils have been total surprises to him. Jaison says the FoaFoa four have four tight votes that might appeal to a majority member looking to work an angle. John agrees its an attraction. Russell acts like the ‘quest for flipper’ hasn’t borne fruit yet. Laura smiles at this and I wonder, given Shambo’s approaches to both Brett and John, how she’s not aware there already is one flipper – or is she acting? Mick says sooner or later someone has to realize it’s an individual game and take advantage of the opportunity. The camera focuses on a poker-faced John, and I wonder how much the contestants can read from where the cameras choose to focus.

When asked, Shambo says Galu is “absolutely not” a tight unit any more, provoking a fist pump from juror Erik, and a frown from Laura. Shambo says the tribe broke the day they decided to vote Erik off, provoking, I’m sure, more merriment from Erik although not shown this time. Laura takes the same line as when Shambo tried to patch up relations between them “I don’t know what she’s talking about, because the Galu that I’ve been in has been tight,” provoking an eye roll from Shambo. Is that the Galu that never shared their strategy with Shambo, leaving her out on a limb by herself when voting, that tight Galu? Erik hides his eyes.

Jeff calls BS on tightness when Shambo is discontent. Laura makes a revealing remark “I guess it depends on how big of a group you’re considering.” Meaning, I guess, she’s never considered Shambo part of the tribe. I wonder if seats for tribal council are assigned for, as usual, Laura is in the back (higher) row where she can dominate physically all those before her. Do Survivors just wander in and pick their seats or do the producers assign them? Jeff points out that if Shambo bolts, we have a potential 5-5 tie. Jeff points out that if there’s a tie, and re-vote produces another tie, then the two tied opponents are safe and the remainder draw rocks from a bag, the one getting the Purple Rock Of D-o-o-m going home, and is Laura OK with that? Laura says no she isn’t, but that she’s not entirely in control. Dave says he’ll go to the stones if need be.

So, vote time. Mick chooses to keep his individual immunity. Bret votes. Mick votes. Jaison votes. Shambo votes for Laura, saying “You are a viper and a poison, and I pray to God you go tonight.” Russell votes. Monica votes for “Nat”. Dave votes. Laura votes. Natalie votes. John votes.

The votes are tallied and Jeff invites anyone with a hidden immunity idol to play it. Everyone looks at Russell, but he sits pat. Laura. Natalie. Laura. Natalie. Laura. Natalie. Laura. Natalie. Laura. In the jury box, Erik grins and whispers “Man this is good,” to Kelly. The final vote comes out – Natalie. 5-5 tie. Natalie looks chagrinned, Laura smiles and appears pleased, I assume realizing that another tie gives her immunity.

Next round: Laura and Natalie cannot vote, everyone else can only vote for Nataloie or Laura.

Brett votes. Mick votes. Shambo votes. Dave votes for “Nat”, saying “I’m ready to roll the dice.” Monica votes. Jaison votes for Laura. Russell votes. John votes.

Again the votes are tallied and come back: Laura. Natalie. Laura. Natalie. Laura. Natalie. Laura. Laura! Eric chortles “So good,” while Kelly makes a moue. Shambo laughs, while Monica, Dave and Brett follow Laura’s departure with their eyes, Dave making his “Wow!” face, then actually saying it out loud this week. Natalie smiles, Russell hangs his head to avoid gloating too obviously. Laura departs without comment. Jeff comments on how nobody knows what’s happening next. Erik whispers “There goes the lead,” to Kelly and grins some more - which will last until he realizes he no longer has luscious Kelly all to himself back at the Ponderosa.

Laura’s family make the usual encouraging remarks, so inappropriate just as someone gets voted off.

Next time:

Russell decides to shake things up again and sneaks out at night and liberates the chickens. Shambo, Dave and Brett are talking tough. Dave says “We have to dump him now.” And Shambo says “He’s a cancer.” Jaison is shown saying of at least himself and Mick “We’re all with you, Sham” I think we’re supposed to think it’s Russell they’re talking about, but it could just as easily be John.

Closing Remarks

Laura thinks she was voted off because Shambo hates her and the two immunity idol wins made her a threat to the others. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with one person not wanting to draw rocks to see who goes home. Nah. She still hope a Galu buddy wins the million.

Voting against:

(First Round)
Laura: Russell, Mick, Jaison, Natalie, Shambo
Natalie: Laura, John, Dave, Monica, Bret

(Second Round)
Laura: Russell, Mick, Jaison, Shambo, John
Natalie: Dave, Monica, Bret


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

Posted by Cecil on November 19, 2009 6:21 PM
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