Survivor: Samoa

All Hell Breaks Loose

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

November 8, 2009

Another victim of the Too Big For Their Britches scenario.

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But back to Natalie's machinations. She reveals Erik's treachery toward Monica (and oh, by the way, it is later revealed that he was lying to the Foa Foa trio, because Jaison was his real target). Word soon spreads amongst the Galu tribe members that Erik has gone rogue and he is the person to target at Tribal Council. Guys from the alliance, like Dan and John, initially fight this notion, but they soon realize that this tribe mate has become a problem and he does need to be eliminated.

Natalie tells Mick and Jaison that she's managed to turn the Galu group to their way of thinking, and she even goes so far as to tell Evil Loser Russell that she has cut a deal. He doesn't believe her for two reasons. First of all, she's just a dumb blonde girl. How could she strategize and work a deal with the other tribe? Secondly, he's so in love with his own game play that he finds it impossible to believe that someone else might be able to negotiate with the Galu group. In fact, while Erik has played the game about as badly as possible during this segment, Evil Loser Russell is only marginally better. Not only has he revealed to opponents that he has the hidden immunity idol, but he also fails to engage any of them in any real alliance. When another member of his Foa Foa group does manage to forge a deal, he doesn't even see it as a possibility. And then, when he sees former Galu negotiating Erik's ouster *right in front of him*, he fails to see it as a realistic possibility. Other than acting like a dick, ELR hasn't honestly accomplished much in this game at all.

The tension of the moment is momentarily alleviated when Dave tries to explain game play to Shambo. "Kelly said the plan has changed. Tonight, Erik goes," he says.


"Who's Derek?" asks Shambo.

"Erik," says an exasperated Dave.

She then hilariously swivels her head around to make sure Erik is who she thinks he is. "Our Erik?" she asks incredulously. In case you are still wondering, Shambo is not a power player this season.

"What concerns me is that it almost seems too easy right now, and that makes me uncomfortable." --Erik

The problem with most reality television is that drama is frequently contrived. People are forced into circumstances and manipulated into behavior to create conflict that is largely artificial in nature. The genius of reality television involves those rare moments when circumstances evolve organically in a manner that puts the best and worst of human nature on display. The blueprint example for this is Erik's behavior at Tribal Council. To his mind, Galu is rock solid to a person. They will vote off the four remaining members of Foa Foa, and then one of the eight Galu members will become the Survivor champion. He has failed to take the proper head count of the composition of his tribe against theirs and he has not adapted to the changing circumstances created by the merge. The applicable sports metaphor would be that Erik is highstepping his way to the end zone, never noticing the defender directly behind him, ready to force a fumble. He is celebrating far too early in the game.

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