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Review: Survivor Samoa - Damage Control

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Dec 11th 2009 1:25AM
Will Mick turn on Russell this week?
(S19E12) Although I wouldn't have said it a month ago, this season of Survivor has been so interesting each week due to a certain snake oil salesman. Mind you, I don't like a lot of what Russell says, especially his misogynistic attitude towards women. But to give credit where credit is due -- he's a master of the game, and this season would have been boring without him. It's got to all catch up to him one day. His own people will turn on him if any of them are serious about wanting a chance at the million dollars. They have to. Could tonight be the night?

If the typical CBS promo machine predicts that Russell's in trouble tonight with two tribal councils, we know we can generally predict he's safe. But they did blindside us once this season leading us to believe someone went home and they actually did. As much as he creeps me out, I want Russell to stay.

So tonight had no reward challenge, two immunity challenges, and two tribal councils. We had lots of time to see the scheme machines in motion. Well, except for Shambo. I totally understand the mullet now. She's living in her own little clueless Shambo world. While she often comes close to winning immunity challenges, she chokes. No one tells her anything, not Galu nor Foa Foa folks. Russell is her only friend, and it looked like he seriously considered tossing her under the bus tonight. And, what was with Jeff Probst thinking that Shambo had the brights to be playing up to the jury for votes in the second tribal tonight? Duh, she's Shambo!

The immunity challenges themselves were a bit fun and different tonight. I liked the Survivor Bowling Tournament, but it looked a lot harder than real bowling. It garnered Jaison his second immunity in a row. In the second challenge, I groaned when they were told to swim out for bags. No puzzles, please! But it wasn't to be. Instead, we got to watch them catapult bags into baskets. Or in the case of Monica, jump on a board for no real reason.

As for Dave getting voted out in the first tribal council (as per Evil Russell), I'm down with it. He's been more of a threat to any of the ex-Foa Foa than Shambo. Even though he's pathetically skinny, he comes close to winning challenges. Plus, the ex-Galu listens to him. Russell and company were wise to stick to Shambles, er ... Shambo.

After ridding themselves of Dave Ball (the only castaway whose last name is ever used), the next logical target would be Brett. Monica absolutely sucks at challenges -- not a single time has she even done a passable job on one. Brett, although we barely know him due to lack of airtime, is young and healthy. He's not clueless and he's the best Galu left. So what does he do? He wins the second immunity challenge and throws Russell's scheme askew.

Monica tried her best and she did freak Russell out. Although he is a master of the game, he should remember that loose lips sink ships or snuffs the torches out, or something like that. He's told too many people about idols, his work, and more. It's all starting to catch up to him. Jaison and Mick stayed with him for the vote tonight. However, Monica was successful in planting the seed. He only has two more tribal councils (I think) to use the idol. I was surprised he didn't play it tonight although he wore it for them all to see. I hope that he does use it when he needs it. His people will turn on him. They have to. If Russell makes it to the final two, he's a slam-dunk for the jury vote. You can tell the glee and awe on the jurors' faces as they watch every plan of his work.

With Monica and Dave voted out tonight, the only true Galu person left is Brett. If he doesn't win immunity, he's out for sure. Russell's going to have to do some serious winning to stay in. That's a mighty large target growing on his back.

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

Who could beat Russell in the jury vote (if he gets final two)?
Shambo31 (6.7%)
Natalie49 (10.6%)
Brett109 (23.5%)
Mick54 (11.7%)
Jaison46 (9.9%)
No one174 (37.6%)

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17 Comments

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Joyce N.

SRG: Good points. I believe that the rest of Foa Foa seem to be finally getting wise to the fact that they are as expendable to Russell as are Galu. I worry about whether they will act on that info at last. Russell did get flustered this week and I wonder if that will get the better of him. Natalie IS a big question mark right now.

I also am looking forward to see how this all plays out.

December 11 2009 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

SRG: On both comments!

December 11 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

SomeRandomGuy, very, very well said.

December 11 2009 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jan Crump

Why do you make such deragatory comments about Shambo every week? She is sweet, and works hard and no matter what, she is still there when many others are gone. Lay off her. I love Russell and he has made this the most interesting season ever!!! I hope he wins, cause he's right - he's the only one playing the game and 3 idols when noone else even came close is a huge record!! Go Russell!

December 11 2009 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jan Crump's comment
SomeRandomGuy

Quite frankly, Shannon is just so bogglingly unaware on both a strategic and social level that it's really aggravating to watch. I also tired of Shannon's vendetta crap against Galu long ago, as her alienation from the group is as much her doing as it was the others.

December 11 2009 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Max

Wow, Mike. You need a hobby or something. Maybe cut down on the caffine.

December 11 2009 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

When you really think about it, the other tribe members aren't really all that bright. They knew of the 2nd and 3rd hidden idols and barely searched for them. Since Russell had told several of them that he'd found them AND where he'd found them, you'd have thought they would have made some real attempts to look for them, too. They didn't. They practically gave them to him on a silver tray. They have all (finally) come to realize that HE is running the show. They've had chances to get him out of there, but didn't. He's sliced Galu to pieces and will start doing the same to Foa Foa when he needs to. They have to know this, but they do nothing. Russell opens his yap way too much but they're not really listening.

Russell is playing a very serious game and knows how to do so and it's very likely he will win, but it isn't totally his game skills that's keeping him there. Bad decisions by the others are helping him out a bit. Russell has a great instinct for this game and he's also had some good luck. If he wins, and it's likely he will, he'll have earned it.

Then again, if Brett survives however many councils they have left (unlikely) and ends up in the final two, the GALU tribe may give him their votes because he would be the only Galu to have done what they could not, survive Russell.

December 11 2009 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joyce N.'s comment
SomeRandomGuy

"They have to know this, but they do nothing. Russell opens his yap way too much but they're not really listening."

I'd like to think Jaison and Mick both know what's going on, and possibly Natalie as well. But why react to Russell's yap when you can just let him dig a deeper grave for himself? If they can flush the idol out at six or five by making him believe they're going to turn on him, but instead vote out Shannon, they've set Russell up to be completely defenseless (if he can't win immunity) for one or two votes.

I know Brett would be on board with a plan like that, but the big question is where Natalie stands. If she's aware enough to know or thinks that she's Russell's smallest threat next to Shannon and has a good chance of beating the two of them in the jury vote (which I think she does), she has no real reason to join a Jaison/Mick/Brett trio now. The three men are likable, Jaison has shown he can be a good talker, I think Mick would be good in front of the jury as well, and Brett has his old Galu ties to rely on.

If you were Natalie would you want to go against two big social threats (and strategic threats at that point if they ousted Russell), or a woman who has no shot of winning and a man, who while has been strategically outplaying everyone, has begun to unravel and is showing a very unpleasant side to the jury and those around him?

December 11 2009 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SomeRandomGuy

"They have to know this, but they do nothing. Russell opens his yap way too much but they're not really listening."

I'd like to think Jaison and Mick both know what's going on, and possibly Natalie as well. But why react to Russell's yap when you can just let him dig a deeper grave for himself? If they can flush the idol out at six or five by making him believe they're going to turn on him, but instead vote out Shannon, they've set Russell up to be completely defenseless (if he can't win immunity) for one or two votes.

I know Brett would be on board with a plan like that, but the big question is where Natalie stands. If she's aware enough to know or thinks that she's Russell's smallest threat next to Shannon and has a good chance of beating the two of them in the jury vote (which I think she does), she has no real reason to join a Jaison/Mick/Brett trio now. The three men are likable, Jaison has shown he can be a good talker, I think Mick would be good in front of the jury as well, and Brett has his old Galu ties to rely on.

If you were Natalie would you want to go against two big social threats (and strategic threats at that point if they ousted Russell), or a woman who has no shot of winning and a man, who while has been strategically outplaying everyone, has begun to unravel and is showing a very unpleasant side to the jury and those around him?

Definitely looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds, in any case.

December 11 2009 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

I really must have a different definition of "Master of the Game". If you beat a bunch of children at chess, are you a Chess Master?

December 11 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to GL's comment
Kristi

I think that Foa Foa will stay true to each other. They need to get rid of Brett next (and if he wins another Immunity, they have Shambo as a back-up).

It really needs to be Foa Foa in the end, so that the jury doesn't have an option to pick a Galu member.

The next person would be to get rid of Russell, since he has the best argument for winning (although, maybe he's made so many people bitter, that he's the best person to bring and you'll get all votes)

I think Jaison has the best chance of winning right now. He's a lawyer, and if he gets into the Finals, I'm guessing he can speak to a jury. And the previews for next week, where he's positioning himself with Russell is a great idea (he can say he was the mastermind, not the aggressor) plus he's won a couple immunity challenges recently.

There are 2 people I hope do NOT win. AND they are Shambo (the delusional pawn) and Brett (who!?).

http://www.orble.com/teevee-survivor-1210/

December 11 2009 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davidm3825

Since Russell made a worse move by showing he had the hidden idol, I think next week they will back stab him. Jaison and Mick know they can't win with him there. I think even without him they cannot win. There are too many Galu members on the jury and possibly the only one they won't vote for his Shambo. If Brett is in the finals he will win the whole thing.

December 11 2009 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

UGH!!! its another 9 person jury this season so it will be 3 finalists which I hate. I prefer the 7 person juries with 2 finalists.

December 11 2009 at 4:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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