This Is the Man Test
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
October 23, 2009
Foa Foa sticks Liz in the ball, with Evil Russell and Jaison pushing. Meanwhile, Laura is in the ball for Galu, while Good Russell and Erik push. Galu gains a quick lead, but eventually gets stuck across a tree and starts to go from side to side instead of straight forward. If you watch the logistics of what is happening, you soon realize that one side of the ball is being pushed harder than the other. Good Russell's stamina gives out quickly and past a certain point, he's just hanging on to the ball rather than aiding in its movement. As they approach the puzzle, he leaves the ball and stumbles. His teammates scream at him to go to the appropriate place so they can begin the puzzle. They do not realize that Good Russell is effectively unconscious on his feet. Instinct alone is driving him to the finish.
As Laura yells instructions on how to balance the table in order to make the ball navigate the maze, Good Russell follows none of it. In fact, he collapses, but the board supports him from falling down completely. After a moment, Probst notices his plight and comes over to assess the situation. At this point, Jeff realizes the seriousness of the matter and stops the challenge, calling for medical. Good Russell claims to be okay, but as we cut to commercial break, he seems to be completely numb. In fact, when the table is moved from under him, it looks as if he could have even damaged a knee ligament, because he falls down in an awkward manner. The two female medics try to support him, but he goes completely limp and they lay him down on his back as a bigger crew comes in to assist.
The next segment of the show focuses upon the attempts to medically restore Good Russell to the competition. Suffice it to say that they fail. Jeff calls off challenge and makes the decision that both tribes will vote out cast members to night. The reason he makes this call is obvious. We say without hyperbole that this was the scariest moment in the show's history. When they try to sit Good Russell up, his heart rate plummets from 97 to 68 in seconds. The medics say he must be pulled from the show. Good Russell cries and tries to say he's just a bit dehydrated, and we are sincerely wowed by his competitive spirit. The entire time he was blacking out, he was somehow trying to honor the instructions of his teammates. After losing consciousness twice in a matter of moments, his primary concern is making sure his family doesn't see him as a quitter. Jeff tries to console him but ultimately, Good Russell is heartbroken. The leader of the dominant tribe this season is unexpectedly eliminated from competition.
We see some really horrible game play in the next segment. At Foa Foa, the girls give up. They figure the two of them could never possibly swing a third vote to win a majority, or maybe they just relish the thought of being the only woman among men. Either way, it looks like Evil Russell is going back to getting his way.