Survivor Samoa: It's Called A Russell Seed
by Jackie Schnoop, posted Oct 2nd 2009 2:28AM
(S19E03) If I had my druthers and could choose which weirdo to watch take over Survivor between Evil Russell and Ben "Coach" Wade from last season, I'd surely go for Russell. Don't get me wrong. I don't like Russell. I wouldn't invite him over for dinner or send him a birthday card. But he's playing the game and, despite saying he's not there to work, he works around camp and at the challenges. However, his expertise in work at camp is playing mind games. Wade did diddly. Now if only I knew what a druthers was.
What I don't like when they focus on one outrageous character, whether Ben Wade or Russell, is that it's hard to remember there are indeed two tribes. As Foa Foa with Evil Russell dwindles in numbers, there are still ten people over on Galu. At least we got a few glimpses of them tonight.
Another thing which is irking me is doubling the challenges into one big reward/immunity challenge. On the positive side, that gives Foa Foa only one chance to lose! Not only is Foa Foa truly sucking at challenges, they're being led around by Evil Russell like he's the Pied Piper of Samoa. Even though we're on the third episode, I've picked a few members of that tribe I like -- Jaison and Mick. But if they're foolish enough to trust Russell every step of the way, they'll deserve to get the boot. Thankfully one bucked the tide tonight ... and survived crossing Russell.
So, once Foa Foa lost yet another highly physically interactive challenge (hmm ... women in mud, women wrestling in water, do you sense a theme?), Good Russell of Galu made one decision I liked and one which is probably going to bite him in the butt. I think, for Shambo's sake, she was the best choice to go to the Foa Foa camp. She's not happy with her "90120" tribemates. She turned on the good will and friendliness. If her tribe doesn't boot her, she could pick up some allies on Foa Foa.
His poor decision was choosing comfort items over functional items as the reward. I'm not so keen on him claiming he did it for the women. Yeah, I'm sure that was his thought. But I'm a woman. If I were there, I would prefer cooking utensils and such. The rains are going to soak the pillows, pads, and towels. The guys are already a bit ticked at him although they didn't seem to say much to him about it. Shambo can't be the only woman to see the sense in going for functional.
With the single challenge over early in the episode, the focus became The Russell Show. He wanted Ashley out because why? Oh, she dared cross him and said she wanted Ben gone. But this time Russell's string-pulling just isn't working. Ben has alienated himself from just about everyone in camp. And it only took one strong game player to take a stand.
Jaison is my new hero. He talked to the girls and Mick. He told them if Ben stays, he's gone. But he told us he has no plans to leave. Heck, if Russell can play people, so can Jaison. I'm glad that he called out Ben on the racist comments made to Yasmin last week even though her behavior was over the top, too. I was also pleased to see that Mick agreed the comments were racist. With race on the shows sometimes being a touchy issue, it's commendable for someone else to be willing to speak up.
Then there's that Evil Russell. Darn, the dude is smart about the game. He saw things weren't going to go his way. He took Mick under his wing, showing him the hidden idol trying to gain his trust to vote out Ashley. But then he switched it up for a unanimous vote to oust Ben (except Ben's vote for Ashley).
So Evil Russell still has everyone's trust, even though his own target didn't get shot down this week. He's still in with the guys and Ashley is a bit of a wishy-washy target anyway. Ben thinks they can't survive without him. I don't think they could have lived with him. He was bad at challenges and caused all kinds of problems. Good riddance.
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