A few episodes ago, I whined and complained how slowly this season was going, BUT did that ever change last episode when the merge occurred. As good as last week was, this one was EVEN BETTER. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the episode and during tribal council, I literally screamed. What caused me to show such an open display of emotion? If you watched the episode, you’ll know but if you didn’t… read on.
During the “previously on Survivor” segment, Natalie receives a lot of praise for orchestrating Erik’s blindside. Seriously, the editing makes her sound like a strategic mastermind. Who knew a member of the “dumb ass girl alliance” would be such an integral part of the plotting. I’m getting the strange feeling she’s either getting booted or receiving a “Mark Burnett winner’s edit”.
If the recap didn’t give enough love to Natalie, the first five minutes of the episode definitely did. We see everyone’s favorite blonde Foa Foa catch a glimpse of a huge rat. Instead of screaming like your typical girly girl, she contemplates killing it with either a rock or a stick. She chooses the later and scoops it up with a coconut shell. YOU GO GIRL. She brings the dead rat back to camp, much to everyone’s surprise. Apparently when barbecued, the little rodent tastes exactly like chicken, according to Natalie.
The first of two relatively new challenges, requires the cast to split into two random teams with one person sitting out the challenge. Even though the leftover person doesn’t get to participate in the challenge, they can still enjoy the reward if they predict the winning team. Mick, Laura, Jaison, Russell H and Brett form the yellow team, while Shambo, Kelly, Dave, John and Monica make up the purple team. As the odd man out, Natalie predicts the yellow team as winners. Even though the yellow team gets off to an early start, the purple team comes from behind and wins reward by correctly solving the correct numeric sequence. Seriously, whether they’re Foa Foa or not, the yellow team still SUCKS ass hard- that color must be cursed.
My Survivor crush, John, and the rest of the winning team enjoy an afternoon by a beautiful water oasis complete with rock waterslides and redonkulous donuts (not my words but Monicas). How cool were those rock slides? Not only do they receive fried chicken and other tasty treats, they receive a clue to another hidden immunity idol back at camp. They all agree not to share the info with the former Foa Foas and decide to target Russell at the next tribal council- everyone but Shambo. Kelly feels she’s protecting Russell despite his shadiness. Kelly who? Exactly, she’s barely made a blip on the radar all season long, and then all of a sudden, she’s getting a ton of face time.
Meanwhile back at Aiga, Russell confesses he “doesn’t care about no damn reward” and just there to win the game. Knowing both hidden immunity idols are both gone, he predicts another idol has been hidden back at camp. He searches everywhere for it and after a few seconds in television time, he finds it underneath the bridge. WTF, not only is he the first person to find the idol with no clues but he’s done it TWICE now. For someone who was touted as the most evil person in Survivor history, he’s sure coming off quite likable at this point.
Even though he swears he’s not going to tell a soul about the idol, he divulges his “secret” to Shambo the second she’s back. Feeling a bond with the former Foa Foas, the news delights Shambs and the two plot to oust Laura at the next council. In the off chance she wins immunity again, Shambo suggests they target Kelly. Why Kelly? Shambo explains that the under-the-radar hairstylist is well liked and stronger than the annoying Monica.
In order to win immunity this week, the castaways must throw hooks to grab two bags. The first three survivors to grab 2 bags move on to the second round. Mick is the first one to complete part one, with Shambo coming a close second. Russell looks like he’d be the third, but gets cocky and slowly drags his bag back. During this time, Laura hooks her final one and beats Russell in a photo finish. Will this put a kink in his plan to get rid of Medusa?
For the second portion of the challenge, Mick, Shambo and Laura have to complete a “Perfection” type puzzle. Am I dating myself by referencing that old school game? In the end, Laura comes from behind and wins immunity for the second week in a row. Looks like the plan to auf Laura is derailed.
Saddened by the fact they can’t vote off Medusa, Russell shows off his “secret” idol to Jaison, Mick and Natalie. He instructs them to vote for Kelly and to make sure the former Galus target him. Meanwhile in a four-way pow-wow between my boy John, Laura, Monica and Dave, they discuss voting Russell out. Surprisingly, Monica is the sole person entertaining the thought Russell could’ve found the hidden immunity idol again without any clues. The three dismiss her and decide to vote off Russell instead of Natalie. As they were entertaining the idea of voting off Natalie, Russell walks by and overhears them mention her name. Having heard Natalie’s name, Russell worries the target has shifted from him. At this point, I’m not sure how either side is going to vote. The build-up is almost unbearable at this point.
After Aiga arrives at tribal, Probst brings in a still pissed off Erik. As he walks in, he holds his necklace up and scowls all the way to the jury area. Does anyone know what holding his necklace symbolizes, because I have no clue. Jeff asks the tribe if voting Erik out was a wise call. The former Galus bash Erik and call him a rat, shady and a snake which draws the ire of Erik. Being unable to talk while on jury, Erik performs a series of angry fist pumps representing his anger. Man, I love it when the jury is bitter and animated. I can’t wait til next when another jury member joins Erik, and the two of them can eye-roll with each other, as the remaining castaways put their feet into their respective mouths.
During council, the former Galus talk about staying together and voting off Foa Foa one by one. As they cast their votes, we’re not shown a single one. At this point, I can barely stand it. When Jeff returns, he asks if anyone has an idol they want to play. To the shock of many, Russell stands up and uses the idol. Jeff confirms the validity of the idol and the former Galu’s jaws drop. Dave’s mouth was so big, he could’ve given a blow-up doll a run for its money.
While all this is going down, Erik couldn’t be happier that one of Judases is going to get the boot. As Jeff pulls out a Russell vote after another, Monica, Kelly, John and Dave all worry who’s going to receive votes. Surprise, surprise the first non-Russell vote is for KELLY. Being surprised Russell had the idol was one thing but targeting Kelly totally catches the former Galus off guard. When Kelly officially got the boot, Laura mutters underneath her breath, “He stirred up a whole lot of hell. That’s what he did.” Overhearing this, Shambo turns to Laura and gives her a look that’s too priceless to describe. Jeff informs the remaining castaways that the hidden idol will be placed back in the game. Bye Kelly, we hardly knew you.
How awesome was that episode? Definitely one of the best episodes ever in Survivor history. If that wasn’t enough to revive this season, next week’s previews looks even more amazing. The clips of everyone searching for the idol and Laura and Dave shadowing Russell are hilarious. Next Thursday can’t get here fast enough. Who are you rooting for? Are you finding Laura to be more of a villain than Russell? Post your comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.