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Survivor Fodder

Survivor Samoa Week 13 - Double, Double

"Can Russell actually win a challenge?"


The tribe is down to six and loyalties begin to erode. Can Russell hold his alliances together? Will Bret repeat? And if he does, will FoaFoa turn on Shambo?

That's right, folks! Contrary to the entire rest of television, we've got new episode this week!

Not only that, but we've got three hours of new Survivor coming this Sunday from 8 to 11PM. Yep, it's the Survivor Samoa finale coming up this Sunday! Can Russell and his Machiavellian machinations win it all? Tune in tonight and Sunday to find out!

Season 19: Week 13: Two Heads are Better Than One
Airdate 12/17/2009

Aiga - Night 33

Bret give Shambo a head rub and schmoozes for all he's worth. He interviews how weird it is to be sitting around the same campfire he's known for 33 days, but with a whole new crowd of people he never expected to be there with. He calls himself the "Last True Galu". See that's why you guys lost Shambo and, ultimately, the game, because you never counted her as one of you. Russell interviews that Monica was an easy choice for the vote-out, but as soon as Brett loses an immunity challenge he's gone.

The Survivor pics in the opening are back again (yay!) but not limited to the final six - they're showing everybody back to Erik - I guess so we don't forget who the jury member are.

Aiga - Day 34

Bret and Natalie rest together in the shelter. Bret quotes the Bible, knowing how to get on Natalie's good side, Ephesians 3:16-19, "(16) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (17) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, (18) may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, (19) and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." It works. Natalie is impressed, and later interviews that Bret is an "absolute sweetheart." And let me just say that Natalie wins my vote for best-looking 30-day survivor ever. She's showing no signs of the physical strain that is taking a toll on everyone, especially as seen in the wade 'n' run challenge last week.

Russell gives an interview bagging on Shambo's hair. Not gentlemanly, Russell. But them I'm sure Russell doesn't give a rat's patootie about being gentlemanly.

Challenge - but what kind?

The final six arrive at a challenge site. Will it be a week with two immunity challenges again? No, Jeff reveals it to be a reward challenge. Doing the math in my head, I figure this means we're going to have a final three. Eliminating one today leaves five, then Sunday's two hour finale, if it follows the usual form will eliminate two more, leaving three for the final tribal council. Through the rest of the program I look for any signs that any of the Survivors has figured this out, but detect no hint that any has.

The challenge is simple - the six are divide into two teams of three. There's an elevated platform with a horizontal frame on top where a huge pile of coconuts is supported by an interlaced network of ropes. Each rope leads down to a rail where it's fastened. The Survivors, one at a time, will unfasten a rope and pull it out of the network. Any coconuts that fall though counts against the team. The first team to drop 100 coconuts loses.

The survivors draw rocks for captains. Russell and Natalie 'win'. They then rock-paper-scissors to see who gets first pick of teammates. Russell goes rock, Natalie paper. Natalie's first choice is Bret. Russell chooses Jaison. Natalie takes Mick, leaving Russell with Shambo. As the camera pans over the contestants we get a side shot of Bret in which we can see he actually does have a beard. It's just so fair and sparse it can rarely be seen.

The prize is a visit to a Samoan village, complete with feast and overnight stay featuring mattresses, sheets and pillows.

Shambo goes first and examines the interlaced ropes carefully, finally chooses one, releases it and pulls slowly, dropping four coconuts.

Shambo 4/4
Mick 2/2
Jaison 7/11
Natalie 1/3
Russell 8/19
Bret 1/4
Shambo 10/29
Mick 19/23
Jaison 48/77
Natalie 58/81
Russell 0/77
Bret 23/104

Yellow wins. The combination of Russell's outstanding zero on his second pull, and Natalie's disastrous 58 on her second snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

Natalie is a good loser, wishing the winners "Enjoy it," and "Have Fun."

Jaison interviews that he's worried about Natalie picking Bret and Mick, wondering if it represents a crack in their alliance.

Samoan Village - Day 34

The victorious three arrive and are greeted with leis and a feast. Pigs, shellfish, and fish are cooked under hot coals wrapped in leaves. Jaison says it's his first reward ever in the game, now only five days from the end. The Survivors lie around on mats and, literally, pig out. Shambo makes a toast to the Samoan people that is very popular with the villagers. The visitors are treated to native music and dances, some involving fire batons, and as usual are coaxed into dancing themselves.

Back at Aiga - Day 34

Bret proposes the left-outs produce their own feast and Mick and Natalie readily agree. They set out gathering food from the seashore and tidal pools. As Mick and Bret walk along the beach, Bret says he's proud to be the last "True Galu" member and how bizarre it feels - like inviting people over to your house and they stay and stay while your family slips away one by one. Natalie shares about what an amazing person Bret is and how if she has to be standing next to any Galu he's the one she'd pick… but, she and Russell have been together "since the very first day".

Samoan Village - Night 34

The three luxuriate in their bedtime perquisites. Shambo giggles and makes faces and Jaison (affectionately) says "Sometimes you're like a forty five year old seven year old." Shambo says "Being a grown-up is highly overrated." Jaison wants to discuss Natalie's choice of Bret. Russell says he'll have to have a nice long talk with her when they get back. Russ tells them that if Bret wins immunity again they should vote off Mick. If anyone else wins they should vote off Bret. Jaison says even a week ago he would have reacted with horror to the idea of voting off Mick, but now he can contemplate the possibility. Russell later interviews that he was just putting the idea in their minds to let it ferment a while.

Aiga - Day 35

Russell sitting in his usual hammock throne. talks to Natalie and tells her the others were freaked by her picking Bret. Of course he never doubted her but it made the others consider voting out Mick. Russell says it's no problem because he's in control. Natalie reassures him she's not swaying in their purpose.

Immunity Challenge

Once again, it's raining as the tribe gathers for a challenge. Today it's a memory challenge. They run into a field and count the objects in each of six pens, then run back to their station and record the numbers by placing tiles (sort of like Scrabble tiles with single-digit numbers) in their workstation. When they have all six numbers they use them to work a combination lock sort of like a big bike lock. If they get the combination right they withdraw a club from the center of the lock and use it to break a big tile, signifying their win. Each person's numbers go in a different order in their lock.

The objects to be counted (some of them mobile) are rocks, coconuts, fish, squid, crabs, and octopi. The crabs and pigs are the mobile ones. At "go!" the contestants are off, Russell in the lead. Russell is the first one back with a couple of numbers, followed by Jaison and Mick. After a lot of back and forth running, Mick is the first one back with all six numbers, followed by Jaison and Russell. They all begin working on their combinations. There are 720 possible combinations of six numbers (assuming they all counted right in the first place) so this could take a while if there are no other sources of information.

The numbers all appear to be in the teens, twenties and thirties. On each band of the 'lock' there are six two-digit numbers, so perhaps the right number can only appear on one or a few bands, enabling the combination to be found faster. Myself, I wonder if it might not be possible to 'pick' this lock (a skill I picked up in the Air Force), without getting any of the numbers in the first place. And if so, would the show let you win it that way? Nobody tries this. Bret returns with his last numbers and begins working on his lock.

Jaison is the first to try a solution and it doesn't unlock. He heads back out to recount - how does he know that it's not just the order? Mick gives his a try and it doesn't open either. Bret finishes his combination, gives the club a yank and pulls it out and smashes the tile. Bret wins two in a row at the most crucial time. The others give Bret their congratulations, but sour looks prevail as he accepts the immunity necklace for the second straight week.

Jaison interviews about his frustration at Bret winning again, and says that even though Russell wanted to go after Mick, he thinks they need to eliminate Shambo, who’s no good at challenges, so as to have a better chance of beating Bret in the next one.


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Aiga - Day 36

The tribe returns to camp. Jaison tells Russell "It's gotta be Shambo," and lays out his reasoning. If Bret is in the final, they all lose, so to have the best chance at picking off Bret. They need to keep Mick. Shambo walks up and Jaison leaves hastily. This makes Shambo nervous and she talks to Russell about it. Russell says Jaison was telling him they go after Mick, but has no good explanation for Jaison's hasty departure.

Russell goes to Mick and trash-talks Shambo. Unnecessarily demonizing her, in my opinion, when there's a nice rational case for voting her out, which Mick would readily respond to since it's fit's every Survivor's #1 criterion: "NOT ME!"

Russell later reveals his three primary reasons for NOT voting for Shambo:

  1. She'd never write Russell's name down.
  2. She's horrible at challenges.
  3. She won't get any votes for the million.

And his ONE reason for NOT voting for Mick.

  1. To keep the best athletes together in order to defeat Bret in the next immunity challenge.

He says he doesn't know what he's going to do. He's wearing his un-hidden immunity idol as he discusses this. He tells Mick he's wearing it to tribal council tonight, the last opportunity to play it.

Tribal Council

The jury comes in. Dave is looking more his old self now, and better than last week's Larry-of-the-three-stooges look. Monica looks fine all made up and smiles at Bret who returns the smile.

Jeff points out the awkwardness of having only one "true" Galuuney left, since Shambo defected so long ago, and might Shambo be a good person to take to the finals, since she's not likely to get any votes from the Galu majority on the jury. Natalie agrees it's so. Russell says Shambo has helped them immensely and he trusts her as much as the FoaFoas. Jaison agrees that a big factor in voting now is who they'd lose votes to in the final tribal council, and so Bret is their primary target but he's won immunity twice in a row so they have to devour one of their own. Shambo agrees and praises Bret's many fine qualities.

Bret says his strategy will just have to be to win the rest of the immunity challenges. Jeff points out that Mick is another good challenge player and asks might that send him home tonight and how would he feel about that? A little pissed off is the short answer, plus disappointed. Russell says this will be the first tough vote for him.

Bret keeps his immunity. Mick votes for Shambo, Jaison votes, Natalie votes, Shambo votes for "Mick :)", Bret votes, Russell votes.

Jeff tallies and returns. He says "If you have the hidden immunity idol around your neck and want to play it, now would be the time, since it's the last time it can be played." Russell is so confident he says he'll keep it for a souvenir.

Jeff reads the votes: Shambo, Mick, Shambo (from the jury, Laura smirks), Shambo, Shambo… Shambo rises and Bret reaches out an arm and she gives him a hug. In the jury Dave rolls his eyes. After her torch is snuffed, Shambo turns and says "Good luck, you guys."

We get another sad little Survivor family moment with a single family member offering encouraging words to the just-voted-off.

Next Week

We get no real information except that it's war in the final five. If you were any one of these five and I'm right about the end being a final three, which two others would you want to take with you?

And remember "NEXT WEEK" in this case is THIS SUNDAY, DEC 20th, 8PM-11PM.

Closing Remarks

Shambo says FoaFoa is a very loyal group so she understands and accepts their vote, although (she doesn’t say, but I do) if Bret had gone down last week or this, she might still be there. She wishes a "Semper Fi" to all the members of the military and thanks them for their service.

Voting against:

Mick: Shambo.
Shambo: Everybody else.


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

Posted by Cecil on December 17, 2009 12:31 AM
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