Down to only four tribe members after voting out Liz, Foa Foa needs divine intervention at this point if any of them have a shot of winning this game. Jaison, Mick, Nathalie and Russell H. head back to camp feeling even more dejected and agree to stick together when the merge happens. They even devise a plan to divide and conquer the Galu tribe when it occurs. With Galu’s eight members, that assigns literally 2 Galu members for each Foa Foa. Should be manageable right?
During last week’s preview, the powers-that-be hinted either Erik, Monica or Laura would be going this episode. Wasting no time, the editors immediately showcase an argument between Shambo and Laura regarding missing canteens. During canteengate, the two passively aggressively go at it, complete with a hilarious whiny impersonation of Shambo by Laura. As the quarrel continues, Erik comments that everyone knows Shambo is crazy and if you engage a fight with her, you come off even crazier. I love how most of Erik’s confessionals are in this wicked hollow tree.
Both teams receive a cryptic tree mail, leaving each tribe to think a merge is about to happen. Russell H. digs up his hidden immunity idol and carries it with him just in case they never head back- a hunch that turns out to be true. When both tribes arrive at the beach, they spot a treasure chest but no Jeff. What is it with Jeff not showing up again. Is this CBS’ way of cutting back costs to show Probst less. I say the hell with the recession, I want my host back on screen. Back to the game, the tribes open the chest and see blue buffs, paint, tarp and a note. Voila, it’s the merge folks. I could be wrong here, but I think this is the first time in Survivor history that they’ve merged with 12 castaways.
As with all merges, the castaways are greeted with a feast complete with roasted chicken, cheeses, pastries and of course liquor. As an aside, I wonder how fast I’d get drunk if I hadn’t eaten regularly for the past 19 days. During the feast, the Foa Foa members implement their plan to divide and conquer- Jaison chums up with John, Nathalie woos Dave and Russell H. with Monica. At one point, Monica feeds grapes to Russell H. a la Caeser style, which leads him to comment that only kings get fed this way.
The producers decide Galu’s camp will be the merged tribe’s new home- talk about home court advantage for the former Galus. During the tour, Nathalie likens it to being at the Hilton compared to their previous dumpy dwellings. After what looks like 5 seconds, Brett suggests “Aiga” as the tribe’s name which means “extended family”. We’ve barely heard from Brett all season long, but apparently he’s fluent in Samoan. Who knew? While everyone is contributing to the design of the tribe’s flag, Erik gets another confessional. Wow, this guy is getting a lot of face time. Could he be the one going tonight? He could very well be. During his confessional he comes across very cocky stating the former Foa Foas are starting over, and on day 2 while he’s on day 19 and holds the hidden immunity idol. He even poses a question in confessional, asking what Samoan for “Get the hell off my island”. Tsk tsk, having this much of a cocky attitude usually leads to one’s downfall.
RUSSELL GOES SPEED SCHEMING
As with Foa Foa back in Day 1, Russell aggressively tries to make an alliance with each of the former Galus. With each new potential victim, he shows off his immunity idol and tells them no one else knows he has possession of it. Haha, I can’t believe some of them actually buy it. He compares his strategy to that of Babe Ruth- even though he struck out a lot, he had the most home runs. Of all the meetings we’re shown (Laura, John, Monica, and Shambo), Laura’s attitude and response doesn’t sit right with him. In fact, she pissed him off so much, he starts a plan to vote her off first and actually gets a buy-in from a few of the Galus. Coming off their fight the previous day, Shambo is all over this plan to blindside Laura and trusts Russell H. implicitly.
Halfway through the episode, we finally get to see Probsty. He informs the group that there will be two immunity idols- one for a man and another for a woman. The challenge is a combination of baseball and skeeball. The person from each group who lands their ball in the highest spot wins the challenge and the ugly necklace. In the end, John and Laura score the most points and win a necklace each. Funny enough, both of them were the last ones to batter up.
During the competition, we get a creepy moment involving Dave making a sexually charged comment. He mentions that baseball isn’t his sport but making love is. Ewww. Sometimes it’s just wrong and gross to visualize someone having sex- this is DEFINITELY one of them. With Laura’s win, the plot to vote her out is spoiled. Looks like once again, the Foa Foas are S.O.L.
LET THE SCRAMBLING BEGIN
Okay, this is where it gets a little tricky and complicated. I could literally write a 3000 word paper describing all the plotting that occurred during this short time. To make things easier, I’m just going to bullet point the entire thing.
Once again, trust plays a major theme at tribal council. With the tribes just merging, it makes sense for Jeff to ask them how much they trust each other. Jaison and Erik sort of get into a cat fight during council. An over confident Erik, mentions it’s hard for Foa Foa to get one of the Galus to flip, let alone the three they actually need to make something work. Wow, the editors are really working overtime to make Erik sound like an idiot- I love it. Jeff instructs them to begin voting. Just as he’s about to tabulate the votes, Russell H. stands up and uses his hidden immunity idol. Probst confirms it’s a real one and continues. With the first four votes cast for him, Erik wears a confident smirk. That is until the fifth vote is cast. As the subsequent votes are read, Erik finally realizes he’s being blindsided. Poor guy never saw it coming. What makes it worse, is he had an immunity idol but never used it. At least he can take solace with the fact James from Survivor China had two but got voted out without ever using one. In the end, Erik is voted out 10-2, with Shambo being the other vote cast for Jaison.
During scenes for next week, it looks like Russell is on the outs with Aiga and is the next to go. Something tells me though, that he’s not the one going next week. Mark my words, the final three will all be Foa Foa members- Mick, Nathalie and Russell.