It's Called a Russell Seed
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
October 1, 2009
The problem with these single challenge episodes is that there really isn't enough going on at camp to justify this much downtime - at least not at this point in the season. Over at Galu, Good Russell attempts to justify his selection of comfort, the guys roll their eyes, and the girls cuddle with each other. Foa Foa features Jaison threatening to quit if Ben isn't eliminated, while Evil Russell shows Mick his thingy (the Immunity Idol, you pervs) in an effort to foster a better relationship with the doctor. He also gives Mike his word that he will vote for Ben once Ashley has been eliminated.
Before Tribal Council, Evil Russell does everything he can - with Mick's help - to bully Jaison into voting for Ashley. Evil Russell's rationale is that he doesn't want the girls to have numbers so that they can gang up on the dudes. In bewilderment, Jaison asks, "You're worried about 3-3?" Evil Russell says yes, but we all know that he just wants to get rid of Ashley because A) she's a girl and B) he doesn't think he can control her. For his part, Jaison stands his ground, letting Evil Russell and Mick know that he will not accept keeping the racist around camp, and that if Ben does stay for another night, things are going to get very ugly afterward. This is commendable, and causes Evil Russell some concern, because he truly does want to keep all the strapping young men close to his side. We won't analyze that too much.
Who are we going to root for the rest of the season? At Tribal Council, Jaison gets our vote with this mocking response to more of Ben's blustery nonsense. "Oh my God! I'm an outlaw! I'm a renegade! But they splashed me in the face! I can't tackle anyone now. I'm sorry! I got splashed!"
The argument between the two of them goes on for about five minutes, with Jaison saying that no million dollars is worth staying at camp with someone like Ben. For what it's worth, Ben really was attacked last week by Yasmin, he just took things too far on his end, not knowing when to stop. He's completely lacking in tact and has a chip on his shoulder that is too big for him to handle. Ben just can't help himself and he just can't stop. He's transferring some of that anger to Jaison tonight, but Jaison is also right when he tries to explain why some of Ben's comments might be offensive to him. Jaison doesn't back down at all, which is admirable.
In the end, we see that Evil Russell has taken the temperature of the tribe correctly, which is to his credit. He realizes that it will be important at some point in the future for Jaison to have his back, and to that end, Russ has secured the tribe's vote against the antagonistic Ben. Everyone votes for Ben except, well, Ben. They've eliminated a guy who is an albatross in challenges and a miserable human being to boot. This was the right call. Much as we dislike Evil Russell, we have to admit that he does seem to know which moves are the right ones to make at this early juncture. We're still not convinced he can carry through to the finish, but it's solid early strategy.