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Review: Survivor Samoa - Tastes Like Chicken

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 13th 2009 1:02AM
John looks weary of playing the game on Survivor Samoa
(S19E09) If you haven't watched this episode of Survivor, stop right now. Watch it. Oh, don't go by the expression on John's face. That's the face I had when the show started. Yet now I'm downright perky and alert. For me, this started off being a real iffy season. But, as folks really play the game, I'm all excited about it all over again. Some play it poorly, but there are a few movers and shakers this season.What can I say about Evil Russell? You know that I don't want to like him -- he's a misogynist, nasty, and evil. It makes me feel a bit tainted to be cheering him on. But, dang it... I think he's the first player since Richard Hatch (in the first season) who has seriously played the game of Survivor. He's working all angles. He's playing a mental, physical, and strategic game. He's working the crowd the best he can, thinking ahead, and scheming all the way.

When he found the third hidden immunity idol tonight (the second for him) without a clue and with no assurance that one even existed, I was floored. I saw his logic in where he was searching for it. But I don't know if I would have thought of that strategy in the search if it was me in Samoa. Hats off to the bad dude, he rules. Thankfully, he decided to use it to save his butt tonight. Even Erik on the jury and the ex-Galu people had to smile in amazement after they got over their shock. It's incredible.

Laura is definitely playing the game, too. But her approach is more winning challenges. She's a tough lady. I think, outside of Russell, she's the most dangerous person in the game. She rocks in challenges, yet her sneak factor isn't quite as advanced as Russell's is. She's not thinking ahead. But what really gets me about Laura is that, at times, in looks and the way she purses her lips, she reminds me of the Lily Tomlin "Ernestine" character -- "One ringy-dingy... oh? Russell has another idol? That's just not possible. Are you the party to whom I'm speaking?"

Had the Galu folks listened to John, they would have split the vote and rid themselves of a Foa Foa. Why pay any heed to what a rocket scientist might say? He was right. But they listened to Dave instead. Now they're down another member and they don't seem to have a clue that Shambo (who is still left out of everything) has already left them for Foa Foa. Yes, she voted with them tonight, but the Foa Foa Four didn't need her vote. I can bet it was Russell's idea to have her vote with them to keep up appearances.

I wanted to see the show even out the numbers. Right now Galu has five and Foa Foa has five if you consider the Shambo swing. Shambo is kind of a lost cause in challenges, but she's a number. I don't know if Russell can keep working his idol mojo, so the Foa Foa contingent better start winning or they'll fall. Once Russell is out of there, it's probably game over for any Foa Foa left. Tonight's show was a classic blindside of Kelly and amazing gameplay for Russell. I want more! How about you?

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

Should Russell win it all?
Yes, he's playing an amazing game364 (80.5%)
No, he's a slimeball38 (8.4%)
I hope not!50 (11.1%)

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I'm late to post but I was late to see the show, too. I can't let myself be a Russell fan but I do admit he is playing the game on all levels. He and Laura will be good to watch on Thursday night!

It was a good lesson on how little things change what happens. Listening to Monica would have made a difference as would Russell not taking the time to gloat. I love this week's show!

November 15 2009 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CLASSIC Tribal Council. CLASSIC. I've replayed the part where Russell stands up and plays the Idol repeatedly and it's just as enjoyable every single time.

It's amazing that for as many seasons as this show has been on (and I've seen every single season) each season still manages to reveal unique cast members and situational twists never seen before and, in the case of this season, the "twists" had solely to do with one player's shocking ingenuity rather than anything the show had actually planned.

I'm still on a "wow" high from this one.

November 15 2009 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Monica was on the right track by suggesting to split the votes in case Russell had the Idol, too bad she was quickly dismissed by "Dave", quite arrogantly, I thought. Maybe these guys should listen more often to these women.

November 14 2009 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that was the first time that a hidden immunity idol was played successfully. It was fantastic!. While I too didn't like Russell at the beginning of the season I am rooting for him to win. All Foa Foa has to do is make sure Shambo is on board and block vote for a poor fire maker. Great job Russell.

November 13 2009 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jan Crump

You are giving John (the rocket scientist) credit for questioning about the idol and Russell - BUT it was Monica who brought it up first about splitting the vote in case Russell had the idol and John agreed with her. Everybody says she is too stupid but she thought that through and the rest were too egotistical to think that anybody could think smarther than them. Am really enjoying this year and my husband and I laughed our butts off when Russell turned in the idol. He will definetely go down in history for that! Also, did you see in the previews they are all running after Russell seeing if he finds the idol and trying to keep him from finding it! He is ruling this season! Hate Laura and want her to go next. Too smug!!!!

November 13 2009 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

I loved whatshisname on the Jury ... he looked so pleased watching Russells' sneak attack go down

November 13 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a great show and a great tribal council but I think there was a way Russell could have kept his idol. Imagine if right before the vote, Russell pulls the idol out and shows it to everyone and announces he will play it and he has 4 votes going at one of them. That doesn't give Galu enough time to come up with a new plan on who to vote for and they are essentially voting "blind" of one another. Pull Shamoo [sic] into the mix and you have five targeted votes at Galu. Galu is then forced to vote for a non-Russell player, Russell doesn't play the idol, and more than likely, a Galu member goes home unless all six can magically pick a new person without communicating.

November 13 2009 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tonight definetly made me a Russell fan. I tried all along to not be but the episode definetly turned me. The guy had no idea there would be another immunity idol but he went out and found another one. I mean no one has ever found an immunity idol without a clue. Most of the times they don't find the idol with a clue.

It is interesting that "Good" or "Dreadlocks" Russell is the reason that Shambo turned to the other side. Sure she never really clicked with alot of people on her side, but him sending her over to the other side twice was a stupid decision that may cause most of his former teammates a chance to win. I feel bad that the guy had to leave the game a couple weeks back, but his decision many weeks ago has ultimatley caused the elimination of two of his former teammates.

Anyways, I am definetly rooting for Team "Evil" Russell now and we'll see what happens. This season is definetly heating up now.

November 13 2009 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tanya Buchanan

Very, very impressed with Russell, but I could never ever root for him. He lied about Katrina, for goodness sake!!

November 13 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

I hate you Survivor! For making me root for the guy I hated most for the first eight episodes. But now, it is Russell for the win. I almost peed my pants laughing during tribal...

November 13 2009 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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