Survivor: Samoa

Houdini Magic

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

October 31, 2009

Russell said he was gonna vote for Jaison. I can totally trust him, right?

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Needless to say, the younger women of the tribe who are uncomfortable with their butch elder are shocked by this turn of events. Monica, who is in a blood feud with Shambo (of which Shambo is oblivious), hilariously states in a monologue that she doesn't understand how this happened. Shambo was supposed to have been voted out the previous evening. How is she now tribe leader? The law student gradually pieces together the fact that Probst's announcement that no one would be voted out in addition to Russell's removal probably saved her from being voted out.

Speaking of Shambo and oblivious, she savors the moment of her election and extends it by offering a victory speech. While the event lacks the pomp and circumstance of Obama's inauguration, the speech lasts about as long. She details legislative style, personal aspirations and the like, accidentally offering further torment to the women of the tribe who can't stand her and who can't figure out how she just became leader. The whole affair feels like a key sequence of political revolution from a Tom Clancy novel. The best part comes after the fact when the kingmakers discuss what a perfect choice this is because Shambo is so gullible and easily manipulated. The men of Galu missed their calling as political operatives.

Probst sighting!


This time, Jeff doesn't have to save anyone's life. After the prior challenge's unfortunate events, the athleticism has been dialed down this round. It's good ol' fashioned game of Memory. The only thing that will get dehydrated here is people's brains...which plays into Evil Loser Russell's game. Anyway, the one trick is that the items revealed are useful camp items such as netting, fishing gear and rope. A team can cede a point in favor of keeping the item they match, although this only happens once in the match.

A humorous moment occurs right at the start. Shambo elects to sit out the round along with Dave and Kelly. She is asked to name the person who will make the decisions on keeping items and she blithely states, "Erik." Dave all but slaps her and yells, "Idiot!" His somewhat more courteous reaction is to go, "No no. Brett. Brett! BRETT!!!" Shambo then corrects herself in a brilliant demonstration of obedience...err, leadership. The challenge itself is a blowout. Again. Galu wins the first round with Brett determining that they want to keep the fire-starting kit. After that, they pick the points and the result is never in doubt. They score first, they score second and the score is never closer than two points after that. In fact, at one point, Evil Loser Russell humorously states, "Dang, man, I'm confused already." Mental fatigue has become a huge issue for the frustrated Foa Foa tribe.

The final score is 7-4, meaning that Galu finds 8 out of 12 matches. They could have kept a couple more items if they hadn't generously given Foa Foa the benefit of the doubt in being more competitive. So much for that Foa Foa momentum they were hyping at the full player Tribal Council. After the challenge is over, all of the members of the winning tribe will get to ride on a yacht except for one that Shambo will pick to go visit the other tribe instead. She quickly chooses Laura, a choice that earns an icy reception from the woman as well as her allies, Monica and Kelly. At a later point on the yacht, Monica snidely indicates that Shambo shouldn't feel bad about her choice, a passive-aggressive way of indicating otherwise. In reality, this choice was simple for Shambo. There are eight members of her tribe. She wasn't going to choose any of the four who voted her leader nor was she going to pick herself. That left only the three women in the Shambo Haters club, so her choice was going to trigger their insecurity issues no matter which one she selected. Laura proves to be a much more intriguing visitor than the others would have been, though.

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