Survivor: Samoa

Two Brains Are Better Than One

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

December 17, 2009

She's still trying to figure out who Derek is.

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Yay, it's Probst time! We actually have a Reward Challenge today. The six contestants will be split into two teams of three. The game involves a big stack of coconuts held up by a maze of ropes. One by one, the survivors will pull ropes in turn, with the object to not knock coconuts down. The first team to have 100 coconuts fall loses the challenge. Reward is a visit to a local village, where the winners will receive a feast and a good night of sleep with a mattress, blanket, pillow and shelter.

The Survivors draw stones to determine who will be team captains. Evil Russell and Natalie get to choose teams. Natalie chooses Brett (which elicits a raised eyebrow from Evil Russell) and Mick, while Evil Russell selects Jaison and gets stuck with Shambo.

Shambo goes out to pick her rope first, and Probst, in all his mighty awesomeness, quizzes her about her hair. He asks her how long she's had that particular style, and she tells him it's been like that since 1986. "Twenty-three years. That's commitment to a hairstyle," Probst says. God love him. His wry distraction technique isn't all that effective, though, because she only drops four coconuts.

After Mick drops only two coconuts on his turn, Natalie turns to Brett and asks him, "You're a prayer warrior, aren't you?" As the two of them join hands, Evil Russell's disgust and annoyance are palpable. It's clear that he's beginning to question Natalie's loyalties in the game, which could prove to be bad news for either Natalie or for Russ himself. Evil Russell tells Shambo that they're going to have to "break that up."


Jaison causes his team to have seven coconuts fall, which means that they're up to 11. Natalie counters by dropping only one coconut. Russ then messes up his team by taking them to 19, while Brett drops just two. The score is 19 for Evil Russell's team to just four coconuts for Natalie's team.

Then comes Shambo, who really unleashes a torrent of coconuts. Their new total is 29. But things go poorly for Mick on his next turn, and he has 19 coconuts fall to take their total to 23.

Up next is Jaison, who releases a full 48 coconuts, which puts the ELR team total at 77. Natalie approaches the ropes, commenting about how God has taken care of her. Shambo guesses that Natalie will loosen 58 coconuts. And guess what? She nails the number exactly. The contest is a dead heat, with Russell's team at 77 and Natalie's team at 81.

Evil Russell approaches the ropes and scrutinizes his options. And his selection is perfect, too, as not a single coconut falls. It's looking grim for Team Prayer Warrior. Brett chooses a rope that lets loose 23 coconuts, which means that Brett might be wanting to either pray harder or be less of a sinner. Evil Russell, Jaison and Shambo are going out for the reward. Jaison comments that he's concerned about Natalie's selection of Brett for the challenge, and she's sure to be the big topic of conversation between the winners as they enjoy their feast.

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