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October 5, 2015

Review: Survivor Samoa - This Is the Man Test

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Oct 23rd 2009 12:13AM
Dave and Monica watch as Galu Russell passes out
(S19E06) Well, this was the most unusual episode of Survivor I've ever seen. Mind you, I've seen all of them since the first season. I won't get into why it was so unusual until after the jump just in case you've missed all of the hype over the injured castaway in commercials all this week. But it wasn't just the injury which made it unusual. It was all discombobulated.

The commercials made it look like Russell of Galu struck his head on a table during a challenge. However, that wasn't really the case, nor the injury. Similar to what happened to older, out of shape Mike earlier in the season, it was low blood pressure and passing out. Unlike Mike, Russell is probably one of the most fit men on the show this season. Apparently he just didn't know when to stop pushing himself and took his leadership role perhaps a bit too much to heart.

Now, before this all happened with Russell, the show was a bit discombobulated. At the start of the reward challenge, Jeff said both tribes would be going to tribal council and hinted both would vote someone out. But the hint was then thrown away.

And, since there was no mention of immunity -- this was strictly a reward challenge -- he backpedaled a bit and said the winners of reward would go to tribal. They would watch the losing tribe vote someone off as they ate pizza. Um. Okay.

They didn't even make it through reward. I do think that Foa Foa actually had a chance to win, but it's hard to predict. Had Russell not passed out, he was so out of it that he would have doomed Galu's chances of a win. He passed out not once, but twice. His heart rate dropped 37 beats per minute just sitting up before he passed out the second time. While his leadership ways have annoyed me as a viewer, this was downright scary to watch.

Medics attend to Russell on Survivor Samoa

Let the discombobulation begin:
  • Jeff called off the challenge. No one gets pizza.
  • He told them that both tribes would go to tribal and both would vote out a member.
  • That would be in addition to the loss of Russell for Galu.
  • Then, at tribal council, he backpedaled once again and said neither tribe would vote anyone out.
  • Jeff gave the tribe leader necklace to Galu and told them to appoint a new leader back at camp.
What? Huh? Although the show has had its share of injuries and people taken away by helicopter medics, they seemed very unprepared for a possible life-threatening situation. Sure, the medics were standing by and they knew what they were doing. But Jeff was totally rattled. Thankfully, Russell is okay now. I feel sad that he had to go down that way.

I feel compelled to touch on the other Russell for a moment now. No, I don't want to touch him ... I said touch ON him. He still creeps me out. But at this point, I have to say if he wins it all, he'll deserve it. He is playing the game more than anyone else in the game.

Despite his stance that he's taking it easy, he's working. He's working around camp, give challenges his 100%, scheming, and not letting anything get in the way of his ultimate goal. I still think his start was horrendous -- the Katrina lie, sabotaging his own tribes' belongings. But he's working it. What do you think?

[Watch episodes and clips of Survivor over at SlashControl.]

Who should Galu appoint as leader?
Shambo77 (26.4%)
Monica3 (1.0%)
Dave67 (22.9%)
Erik97 (33.2%)
John31 (10.6%)
Laura4 (1.4%)
Brett11 (3.8%)
Kelly2 (0.7%)

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". . . they seemed very unprepared for a possible life-threatening situation. Sure, the medics were standing by and they knew what they were doing. . . . " If you will read Jeff's blog on EW.com you will see how wrong you are with the above statement. He talks about how the medics actually rehearse various potential situations before the challenges. Jeff also comments that this was the most frightened he has been in all of the years of Survivor (which is why he was so rattled). It is an excellent blog. And I think you owe an apology if you do, in fact, read it to see how wrong you are.

Why do people think 'Evil' Russell is playing such a great game? I don't see it. He just intimidates everyone with his stank eye if they dare to disagree with him. I think he will be eaten alive and among the first to go once the tribes merge. He is a bully with a little man complex, acting like a bigshot to make up for his shortcomings. Yea, he works around the camp and competes hard in challenges........but A LOT of other people do, too, esp. the men of Galu. I will be very surprised if he wins.

October 24 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dottie's comment

Russ is certainly playing, but I don't know how well. His tribe is in shambles and he will have a hard time doing this again as the underdog after the merge. Perhaps he can pull it off, though. His current success is a result of the other survivors lacking any guile and that probably will carry over.

October 24 2009 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SO, who got to eat all the pizza? They had to have it on hand cause i don't think anyone delivers to Samoa.

October 23 2009 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow! This tribal council was one of the best ones ever, there was a great deal of unspoken emotion and the body language showed me one person, John may have alienated himself when the tribes merge, I explain it all at http://www.spyingforlying.com/2009/10/survivor-samoa-episode-6-tribal-council.html

October 23 2009 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You obviously did not understand a thing that was going on.
Jeff stated extremely clearly, since the beginning, that both tribes would go to tribal to vote someone out, and that the winners' only reward would be to eat pizza and watch the other tribe's tribal council.
When russell went down, Jeff said "come to tribal and we'll let you know" - and that's what he did. Jeff never backpedaled, he made a decision based on the incident that happened. And to call the survivor team "unprepared" is really uncalled for in face of the humanity and professionalism that transpired in Jeff and the medical team's reaction to Russ' injury. They did everything right, from what I saw. This is the middle of the jungle, I've no clue what more they could have done, short of moving the game to a city with a hospital. Seriously.

You should have done the same thing. This episode was all about Russell, and the emotional content, yet you barely touched on it (that's right, I can use "touch on" as well without bragging).
You should go over to ew.com and read dalton ross' review to see how it's done.

October 23 2009 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

I don't agree. No pizza! This is "Survivor"... I get mad as it is already every time a tribe wins food. I want them to earn it. Not through completing a puzzle but by catching it/finding it. I always love when they "win" a native showing them all the food that is right in front of them but they never noticed. It also seems noone has a clue how to fish. When I saw Russell trying to "fish" in the beginning of the episode all I could do is shake my head in despair...
I'm sorry to see him go, though.
Regarding "Evil Russell": He is not only playing the game "more than everyone else" - he is the ONLY one playing it.

October 23 2009 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that they all should have gotten pizza. They were all cold from the rain and possibly dehydrated and should have had something to eat while talking at Tribal Council.

October 23 2009 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Voting for Monica is pointless, as she is the most useless Survivor contestant since Eliza.

October 23 2009 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, Creepy Russell continues to scare me.
Is Foa Foa so dumb they don't realize the monster they have in their midst? It's like a fox in a chicken house. Does no one get the "creep Factor" from him? When the merge occurs, I cannot believe he will be accepted or kept on. Shambo looks like a monkey peering out of her tree. How funny.
I agree, they should have all gotten pizza.

October 23 2009 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode had me frustrated. Everyone should have gotten pizza as a reward for walking all the way to tribal council for no reason at all. This was a wasted episode altogether.

In the poll I intentionally picked Monica. Doesn't surprise me that TV Squad-er's think only men (which includes skunk-head Shambo) should be allowed to "lead" a tribe of morons.

October 23 2009 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MCW's comment

Yea, lets give out A's for effort. Come on, this is Survivor.

October 23 2009 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On another blog, Jeff Probst said that both tribes DID get pizza. They just didn't have time to show it.

October 24 2009 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would have been interesting, with both tribes sitting together at Tribal Council, to have seen each tribe vote someone off, only to find out they were only going to join the other tribe instead. That would have been a great shakeup, especially considering the imbalance between the two tribes.

October 23 2009 at 3:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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