Survivor: Samoa

The Day of Reckoning

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

November 22, 2009

Why does Shambo hate me? I only spat in her food those 17 times.

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Previously on Survivor, the show turned into an Easter Egg hunt, as Evil Russell found his second "hidden" immunity idol. This created a huge opportunity for the remaining members of Foa Foa and they capitalized at Tribal Council. Evil Russell played the idol after the vote. This saved him from elimination, as he received all seven votes from the former members of Galu. At the same time, the girl with the best hair was victimized. Kelly received all four votes from Foa Foa and was sent home. At the end of the episode, Jeff Probst gleefully announced that the immunity idol would be re-hidden at a random location in the camp that we are presuming to be Evil Russell's bedding area. Dear Survivor Producers: it's okay to meddle some, but when you do too much, you wind up with Scoutmaster Lil in the finals.

The start of tonight's episode reveals the generally unacknowledged schism between the remaining men and women. Dave, who was seemingly heartbroken at Kelly's departure, approaches the dudes from Foa Foa and congratulates them for a brilliant blindside. Evil Russell claims that the good feeling he had at Tribal Council was only exceeded by the birth of his children. That's nice.

Meanwhile, Laura is ticked off that the "snake" Evil Russell changed the game in such a way. In front of Natalie - one of the four tightly aligned Foa Foa individuals - she talks with other members of her Galu alliance about how they should have known he'd have an idol and should have done things differently. You know, Laura, maybe when Monica brought up the possibility that Evil Russell might have the idol before the vote, you should have listened. Laura is as guilty as Russell is of discounting the possibility that someone else might be smart.


Shambo, on the other hand, is as giddy as 1987 Sylvester Stallone after popping his latest steroid. She comments that she and Evil Russell had a brilliant plan, and no one was in on it but the two of them. Clearly, in addition to being giddy, she is also oblivious. Considering that she voted for Evil Russell during Tribal Council, we also wonder about her short-term memory. The current thinking is that she intentionally voted that way in order to hide the fact that she had betrayed the men of Galu, who once voted her tribe leader. We're sure this is part of Russell', her and Russell's cunning plan.

Early on in the episode, we see Shambo's hatred of Laura has led her to behave irrationally, as is occasionally the case on Survivor (and other reality shows). A dim-witted contestant magnifies the importance of a perceived slight until it becomes all-encompassing. The end result is almost always that both players engaged in the feud lose and then spend years afterward swearing it was the other person's fault. She approaches her Galu teammate John and tells him that she's flipped her alliance to Foa Foa, and that she plans to keep it that way. That means things are even between the two alliances at 5-5, but if he would join their group, it would be 6-4. Yes, she's dumb enough to reveal her plans to a Galu compatriot even though she took great pains to hide it by voting for Evil Russell at Tribal Council. John says he'll think about it, and so Shambo asks him not to reveal to everyone else that she's terrible at espionage. We don't remember Jason Bourne ever looking at anyone and saying, "Shhh. Don't tell anyone I'm a spy."

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