Survivor: Samoa

This Game Ain't Over

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

December 20, 2009

We're happy we didn't have to post a picture of Russell in a bikini.

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Previously on Survivor, Galu absolutely destroyed Foa Foa, then somehow, Foa Foa was able to return the favor after being one of the most incompetent tribes ever in Immunity Challenges. The core four players of Mick, Jaison, Natalie and Evil Russell rode a combination of poor decision making, treachery, lack of strategy and blind stinking luck into four of the five spots in the finale. The only remaining member of Galu is low key Brett, whose personality, if it were a color, would be...well, what's the most boring color ever? Let's just create one and name it Brett. On the Foa Foa side, Natalie seems best positioned to win, as she has played an exemplary strategic game, and has managed to make no enemies along the way. Sizing up the odds for Mick (remember way back when he was tribe leader?) and Jaison seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Most fans of the show have a fervent opinion that one has been a key decision maker while the other has been a hanger on, but there isn't a consensus opinion about which is which. We like Jaison to win a little more than Mick, but we think both of them have proven to be tenacious, opportunistic competitors.

And then there's Evil Russell.


The reality show incarnation of Loki has been the subject of almost all the discussion involving the show this season. Love him or hate him, you must acknowledge three things: 1) He's a total bastard. 2) His unearthing three hidden immunity idols without clues is arguably the most impressive individual feat in the show's history. 3) Jack the Ripper had more respect for women than he does. Evil Russell's candidacy in this game comes down to whether he can convince a jury that absolutely loathes him that they should vote for him anyway since he has outplayed them. Little stunts like not playing the last hidden immunity idol at the final tribal council where he could do so are exactly the kind of implosions on his part that will likely keep him from winning. If he does, we'll tip our cap to the guy, and dread the upcoming season where he will appear again. We hope Jim recaps that season. We're sick of talking about him (no, not Jim). He's gotten more face time on Survivor this year than Jeff Probst has...much more.

The episode begins with tree mail, which makes us happy because it means we're going straight to an Immunity Challenge. As the Foa Foa Four discuss the fact that they must eliminate Brett, it soon becomes clear that their choice for the next vote if Brett does win immunity is Natalie. Their reasoning for this is simple. If Brett is in the Final Four, they need the strongest three players to work together to eliminate him in the next challenge. Evil Russell makes the interesting decision to inform Natalie that she will in fact be going home if Brett wins immunity. This news goes over about as well as you would expect. She understood their alliance to the final two to actually mean that the two of them would be going to the final. How cute.

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