Survivor: Samoa

This Is the Man Test

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

October 23, 2009

Evil Russell has triumphed over Good Russell. Somehow.

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As for Galu, Monica has decided that she will vote for the person who has voted for her - regardless of that person's value to the tribe. Revenge never works out well as a motive on Survivor, and we expect that to stay the case. The women who are not Shambo seem convinced that the winner answer tonight is Shambo. The rocket scientist, who has all the other guys on his side, uses something heretofore unforeseen in this episode. We'll call it strategy. He realizes that Shambo is valuable around camp and in challenges while posing very little actual threat to become a Survivor winner. The girls think that she's not as pretty as they are. This really isn't an exaggeration. We're flat out disgusted by the game play this season.

Tribal Council is surprisingly entertaining, given what happened. It's a welcome respite from an otherwise grim episode. All 13 remaining contestants are seated together and the effect feels like something choreographed by Don King. Foa Foa, a tribe consisting of five people, three of whom have grown apathetic about remaining in the competition, cheerily claims victory in the day's challenge. Russell (nee Evil Russell) proclaims that his group is ready to shock the world. We don't think he's very good at taking the temperature in a room. Dr. Mick goes so far as to say that since they were ahead and the challenge wound up a tie, Foa Foa won. You heard us correctly. Disbelief is written all over Erik's face. "They got a tie, and that's supposed to make us nervous about a momentum shift? I don't think so," he says. We couldn't have put it better ourselves, Erik. Interestingly, the comments from Foa Foa seem to ignite all of the tribe members of Galu, and it looks like Erik's comments do something similar to Liz and Jaison of Foa Foa.


Jeff surprises everyone by announcing that rather than eliminating two people tonight, there will be no vote. For Galu, this means there is no further punishment on top of the unfortunate Good Russell situation. In the case of Foa Foa, it means they don't have to reduce their tribe by 20%.

As a final note, we think that Survivor might have been dangerously close to seeing a contestant die. Over the 19 seasons of the show, they've subjected the contestants to ever more grueling conditions and more punishing challenges. This season has seen two men removed from the show for health reasons that at least partially seem to have resulted from conditions on the island and the intensity of the challenges. The producers of the show might think this is good television, but we have to concur with Probst when he says this is the scariest thing he's seen in all his years as host. We don't watch the show to see a guy black out while his eyes are still open. All best wishes to Russell Swan.

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