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Survivor Samoa Week 12a - Bowling for Immunity

"Dave, have you noticed how Bret's beard never grows?"


The former FoaFoa tribe begin to wonder about Russell's loyalty. Can this be the week they turn on him? Will Shambo re-defect after having been left out in the cold last week?

Season 19: Week 12a: Damage Control
Airdate 12/10/2009

Note: Survivor throws us a curve this week staging two tribal councils on the same program. As far as I know, this is unique, never having been done before in a one-hour show with only one tribe. We’ve had double tribal councils with two tribes, each going, and we would have had one this season but for RussellG’s unfortunate medical disqualification, so maybe this is a way of getting back on schedule. In any event, I choose to cover this unusual episode as two mini episodes, each with its own blog. Herin is the first, episode 12a.

Aiga - Night 30

The tribe returns from tribal council. Remember how much everybody worried last week about alienating Shambo and sending her back into the arms of Galu? Russell handles it all with a couple of sentences. John came to Russell last week (he tells her) and proposed voting Shambo out, so Russell organized the vote against him in order to not cause Shambo to have to violate her pledge never to write down John’s name. A total lie, of course, but it works, Shambo is mollified and even thanks Russell for his consideration.

Aiga - Day 31

Jaison joins Bret and Monica. relaxing I the beach. He asks them who they would vote for if they were on the jury. They agree Russell will get a lot of votes. Of source saying so to another possible finalist is designed to get Russell voted off and raise a little Hell. Jaison takes this food for thought seriously, wondering if he’s been wise in his strategy, allying with a sure vote-getter. He interviews about his strategy, telling the jury they were joint decision makers but he chose to remain in the background. Bret says he, were he in Jaison’s place, would not want to go up against Russell. Jaison speculates aloud about how the hidden immunity idol is no longer any good after day thirty-six. Jaison spills Russell’s beans about his income, apparently having heard it from Mick who Russell told last week.

Bret interviews about how that ‘two million dollar’ income of Russell’s could be a bomb, and he’d like to still be in the game when it goes off.

Immunity Challenge

The challenge is a game of Survivor bowling. The show has a lane built in the middle of the jungle, in Purple and Yellow to continue the season theme. Survivors are randomly paired to compete against each other, each will roll two balls, highest pin count advances. This if the first indication the survivors have there’s no reward today – straight to immunity.

The lanes look to be regulation length, but the surfaces, the ball and the pins don’t, I think, meet USBC standards. Natalie and Shambo are the first pair up. Natalie’s ball rattles down the purple lane and falls into the rather deep gutter. Shambo rolls near strike, knocking down nine pins. The ball doesn’t appear to have very much mass, and the pins aren’t very lively, either, so contestants would be advised to throw hard. No finger holes in the ball, either, but he ball is much smaller than standard, so it’s more like bowling duck pins, except no rubber band around the pins to increase the action. Natalie rolls a better second ball and it hits right in the 1-3 strike pocket, but without much force behind it and only five pins fall. Natalie is out.

Next match, Bret vs. Russell. Bret leads off with a gutter ball. Russell is light on the pocket and the light ball scoots the 1 pin to the side and takes out the 2, 3, 4 and 8, leaving a 1-5-6-7-9-10 split, which I don’t think has ever been seen in real bowling. Bret bowls another gutter ball and Russell advances.

Next match, Jaison and Monica. Jaison knocks down the 6 and 9 pins. Monica rolls a slow roller that just misses the 10 pin on the right. (The lanes are just wide enough for this to happen without hitting in the gutter.) Jaison roll Brooklyn side and takes out the 4, 5, 7 and 8, for a total of six pins. Monica takes out only the 7 pin and is eliminated.

Mick and Dave. Mick takes out the leftmost pins of each row, 1, 2, 4, and 7. Dave looks like he may have actually been in an alley before and rolls a strike. After congratulations from Jeff for the first strike of the tournament, Dave makes a bowing ‘namaste’ gesture. Lost fan? Shambo grimaces at Dave’s good fortune. Jeff says Mick has to knock down every remaining pin to force a tie-breaker. What? The striker doesn’t get a second ball? The USBC shall hear of this! Never mind – Mick takes only three of the six remaining and is eliminated.

New matchups in round two. Shambo vs. Russell and Jaison vs. Dave. Shambo gets five with her first, leaving a 1-2-4-7-9 split. Russell knocks down four and leaves a 1-4-6-7-9-10. Shambo gutters the second. Russell needs only two for a win, but gets none and is out.

Jaison rolls a bouncing gutter ball left. Dave may be getting overconfident, does not take as much time in his approach as before and rolls a gutter ball right. Russell, who had frowned at the previous strike, smiles now and glances to his left, presumably at Shambo. Jaison hits the center 1 pin dead on with his second roll, and takes down seven pins. Dave rolls another gutter ball left, and the final will be Jaison vs. Shambo.

Shambo gutters right. Jaison does the same. Shambo talks to herself, and rolls another gutter ball identical to her first. Jaison almost follows suit, but hangs in just enough to take out the 6 and 9 pins, and wins immunity for the second time in a row.

Aiga - Day 31

Dave is really worried about tribal council, discussing his case in whispers with Monica. Russell goes to Mick and Natalie (washing her new clean underwear – see last week) and tells them the choice is obvious – Dave. Mick interviews that this is a good idea to keep Shambo pacified.

Russell and Monica have a conversation by the campfire. Russell tells her she doesn’t have to be worried – she’s not going home (this week, he doesn’t say.) He tells her in no uncertain terms it’s Dave this week. Monica tries to stir up a little discord by tell Russell that Dave’s not really that strong a competitor – that the Galu jury will look at Shambo as one of their own, a hard worker and competitor in challenges. Of course that’s why they froze her out of the in-group, made strategy without telling her, and snubbed her at every opportunity. Uh-huh. Russell interviews later that going against Dave would be a slam-dunk. Right, show, the most Machiavellian strategist the show’s ever seen is going to take advice from Monica.

Dave and Russell lounge on the beach and Russell asks why Dave hasn’t been talking to him. Russell says he could line up Natalie against Shambo and if Dave could deliver Monica and Bret that’s be the five votes necessary to send Shambo home. Dave says it sounds like a plan to him.

Russell confers with Mick and Shambo, telling Shambo the Galus are gunning for her. Like this is anything new to Shambo. She interviews that if Dave doesn’t go tonight, she and Russell will need to have a talk.

Tribal Council

The jury troops in. Erik, still bearded, Kelly looks like she cut her hair. (Sob!) But still smoking. Laura still Laura, John looking all clean, shaven, and happy, smiles and shoots a ‘thumbs up’ at Monica, who smiles back.

Jaison says the votes are more strategic now, getting out the stronger competitors and trying to create the jury you want. Shambo says she still views the voting out process as a chance to eliminate the unworthy but says this doesn’t apply to John, whom she didn’t vote for. Guess that just makes the rest of the jury feel all warm and fuzzy. Monica responding to Jeff’s questions about unpredictability says that unpredictability is ‘scary’ at this point. Clearly pointed at Shambo, but, really, who’s MORE predictable than Shambo?

Dave says the key to staying in is to show how you staying in gives other people a better shot at the mil’ and Russell agrees that could be a powerful strategy.

Vote time. Mick votes. Natalie votes. Jaison votes. Shambo votes for Dave “See you later, Dave.” Dave seems to feel actually turning his head would jinx him, and looks sideways to follow Shambo’s motion. Bret votes. Dave votes for Shambo. Monica votes. Russell votes.

Jeff returns from tallying. No one wants to play a hidden immunity idol.

First vote, Shambo. Dave. Dave. Dave. Dave. Dave.

Eric doesn’t appear as delighted at this vote as the three previous ones, simply nods his head quietly. After his torch is snuffed, Dave turns back to the tribe and says “Good game you guys.” “See you Dave,” Bret responds. Jeff points out that, for the first time n this game, the members of FoaFoa have a numerical advantage, drawing a pained grimace from Laura in the jury. Jeff draws the lesson that no matter how things seem, never count yourself out. As they leave Laura makes a poser fist at Bret and whispers “Stay strong.” Whatever happened to the days when communications to/from the jury weren’t allowed. The old standards are slipping.

Next on Survivor

Immediately following: More grudges, more fights, and more betrayals, Jeff says.

Closing Remarks

Dave wishes he’d lasted a little longer, and says he – and everyone else – really underestimated Russell.

Voting against:

Dave: Mick “Danger Dave” , Natalie, Russell, Jaison, Shambo, Bret “Danger Dave Ball”, Monica “Danger Dave Ball”

Shambo: Dave

Don’t think we ever heard the “Danger Dave” nickname on the show. And why does everyone (especially Peachy) feel constrained to use Dave’s last name? It’s not like we had two Dave’s.


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

Posted by Cecil on December 10, 2009 12:56 AM
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