Archive for November, 2009

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Laura Morett

November 23, 2009

When the story of “Survivor: Samoa” is told, odds are a majority of it will deal with the women who crossed Russell Hantz and how he got the better of them. In the most recent (and perhaps most impressive) chapter, Russell managed to eliminate Laura Morett from the game despite her Galu tribe having a four-person advantage over Foa Foa. We spoke with Laura the day after her elimination to find out how she feels about Russell becoming a fan favorite, what really went down between her and Shambo, and whether or not she really is a “Mean Girl.”

Gordon Holmes: Good afternoon, Laura.
Laura Morett:
Hey, how are you?
Gordon: I’m good. I just wanted to let you know that I’m talking to you on a Palm Pre. For the best in voice clarity, Web browsing, and digital imaging, make it a Palm Pre.
Laura: (Laughs) That’s nice to know.

Gordon: I’m a little disappointed, because I don’t like it when strong players leave early. And I’m kind of getting the feeling that you, John, and Russell were the only ones making any effort out there.
Gordon: Did you know that John had flipped?
Laura: What a lot of viewers don’t know is that Brett and I had a really tight alliance. And, I know that from the Russell Swan days that John was coming for me.  Brett told me. There was a challenge before, the fishing challenge, that they wanted to throw to get me out. They being John, Erik, and Shambo. They were willing to throw a challenge to get rid of me, so I was thinking I’d better start winning some immunities.

Gordon: There’s been some debate on Fancast over how mean you’ve been to Shambo. She seems very upset with you, but we haven’t been shown what you’ve done to deserve such anger. Were you mean to Shambo?
Thank you! Don’t you think that if I was mean to Shambo that CBS would show it?
Laura: Believe me, they would be showing it. It’s so hard to watch because I never was. And when people say I’m a mean girl or I’m the head cheerleader, I say, “Show me one time where I did that.” To the contrary, in the very first scene where we’re all swimming we say, “Shambo, come in the water!” And she says, “No.” Then it shows her interview saying, “Those young kids are out there swimming.” Well, first of all Shambo, I’m your age, so is Russell, and so is Dave. She just wanted to be the victim. We always invited her to come into the shelter and she’d sleep out by the tree. It’s really hard to watch this show and be portrayed as a mean girl. I say, “Please show the footage of me being mean to her.”
Gordon: Well, we’ll see how this interview goes, and if you’re super nice to me, I’ll let everyone know.
Laura: Should we start over again?
Gordon: Too late now!

Gordon: Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s this guy named Russell on the show.
(Laughs) Yeah.
Gordon: They show him every now and then. Last night he finds his third immunity idol. Did you have any idea that he had it?
Laura: They didn’t give that as much footage as they should have. It was hilarious. I chose to follow Jaison who doesn’t like to run. I picked a good guy to follow. Dave’s trying to follow Russell, and Russell is running over bushes, under trees. About an hour later Russell comes back to camp and he’s lounging on a hammock, it’s like a cat and mouse game and he has the mouse’s tail hanging out of his mouth. We knew he had it. That little troll found it!
Gordon: So he didn’t even pretend to keep looking for it once he had it to keep up the façade…
Laura: Nah. He’s like laying back, relaxing in his hammock.

Gordon: They kind of teased a cross-tribe alliance between you and Russell, which I dubbed LauRussell, did you ever give that any serious thought?
No. He’s creepy. There are certain things you can hide, but you can’t hide creepy. From the moment I went to his tribe he was very aggressive. Just super creepy. My family and friends, the texts I got on that day were “Tell me you did not make an alliance with him!” After we merged, he comes up to me and is like, “Hey, remember me, the deal we had?” Then he shows me the idol which immediately confirms that he’s a big fat liar.
Gordon: Because he had told you that Ben found it.
Laura: Right. And I said to him, “Why would I believe you? You lied to me already.” And they didn’t show it, but he got really aggressive. He crossed a line. He gets in my face, he puts his finger in my face. He’s being a bully. He says, “Look little girl, if you know what’s good for you.”
Gordon: Does it bother you that he’s starting to become somewhat of a fan favorite?
Laura: Yes and no, it bothers me because I wish they would have shown where he crosses the line between being a good, aggressive, smart player and OK…he threatened me. He threatened a couple of people and they didn’t show it.
Gordon: Just to be clear, when you say “threaten” you mean, he’s going to vote you out of the game.
Laura: Yeah, not like a physical thing. But more of a “Look it, you’d better do what I’m telling you to do or else.” It really wouldn’t matter because the viewers are going to believe what they want to. But, I’ll give it to him, he’s playing a good, aggressive game.

Gordon: What can you tell me about the game Danger Dave is playing?
Danger Dave is so misunderstood. He is hilarious. He’s like Kramer from “Seinfeld.” You never know what he’s going to say or do. I had to talk him off the ledge a couple of times because he’s a very sensitive guy. He’s extremely smart. Sometimes smart to the point where you think he’s way overthinking things. He did great in the challenges. He won the chickens with the bocce ball. He’s loyal. Him, Monica, and Brett went to rocks for me. That’s amazing. Three people said, “I don’t care, Lolo. I will draw a rock so you can stay in this game.”

Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Brett.
Gordon: Danger Dave?
Laura: Misunderstood.
Gordon: Jaison?
Laura: Driven.
Gordon: Natalie?
Laura: Faithful.
Gordon: Shambo?
Laura: Lost.
Gordon: John?
Laura: Self confident.
Gordon: Mick?
Laura: Predictable.
Gordon: Monica?
Laura: Seeking.
Gordon: Russell?
Laura: Tortured.

Gordon: What do you take from your time in Samoa.
I take owning it. My kids have always said, “Mom, you need to do that.” I can own it. I am strong, I am good at challenges, I can survive in the jungle.
Gordon: Excellent. And thank you for not going all “Mean Girls” on me.
Laura: That’s my goal in life, I don’t want to be mean!

‘Survivor: Samoa’ Episode 10 Recap: The Fall of Galu?

November 19, 2009

Last Week: Russell was able to find another hidden immunity idol using only the dark side of the force. He used this idol to reverse boot Kelly. Laura vs. Russell…it’s so on.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

Aiga (Samoan for “Extended Family”)

Brett – 23 – T-shirt Designer
Dave – 38 – Fitness Instructor
Jaison – 28 – Law Student
John – 25 – Rocket Scientist
Laura – 39 – Office Manager
Mick – 33 – Doctor
Monica – 25 – Law Student
Natalie – 26 – Pharmaceutical Sales
Russell H. – 36 – Oil Company Owner
Shannon – 45 – Sales

We join up with Russell after tribal council, he’s comparing his performance to a Picasso painting. I’d describe it as reminiscent of his early Texan Evil Genius Period.

Dave saunters over and congratulates Russell on his impressive maneuvering. I suppose that’s a better strategy than just being bitter, but it’s pretty transparent. Meanwhile, Shambo is downright giddy that one of the 90210ers has been sent back to the Peach Pit.

The next morning the Easter egg hunt is on as Russell is trying to find his third immunity idol. No luck…yet.

At the same time, Shambo is trying to bring John on board to be a part of her alliance with Foa Foa. He doesn’t decide either way, but he agrees not to out Shambo as a Foa Foa sympathizer.

Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will break into two teams of five. One member will lie face down in a hammock-type thing. The other members will use ropes to guide them around a circle. The person who’s lying down will try to retrieve fifteen flags and place them into numbered slots in a log. The winning team gets to fly to another island and enjoy a feast. While they’re there they’ll get to take pictures with a Palm Pre (which would make a fantastic holiday gift).

The yellow team features Shambo, Mick, Monica, John, and Jaison while the purple team is made up of Dave, Brett, Laura, Natalie, and Russell. John and Natalie are chosen to lie in their teams’ respective cradles.

The yellow team has a bit of trouble early on as John accidentally drops a flag and knocks a flag out of his log. Natalie does an amazing (yet terrifying) job, dangling out of the hammock to retrieve and place the flags. It seriously looked like she was going to fall and split her head open. Fortunately, she managed to not die and win it for her team.

Russell lets us know that he intends to use the clue to find the immunity idol. Really? Why take the easy route now? He should try to find it blindfolded.

As the yellow team is flying to their reward, we’re treated to pictures that were taken with the Palm Pre. Amazingly, there aren’t any pictures of Russell and Laura laughing and painting each other’s nails.

Back at Aiga, Jaison and Mick are trying to work on Monica. Monica isn’t sure because she thinks Galu still has a six to four advantage. The guys say they’ve already got a Galu member on their side, but they won’t say the person’s name. Monica proves she isn’t an idiot by promptly figuring out that it’s Shambo.

Back at the reward, the magical Palm Pre coughs up two hints to the hidden immunity idol (is there anything it can’t do?!) Apparently the idol is hidden under a moss-covered rock.

When the yellow team arrives back at camp, the Easter egg hunt is back on. Dave and Laura are basically chasing Russell as he’s searching. Amazingly, they manage to lose Russell despite the fact that there’s obviously a camera man following him.

Sure enough, once Russell is alone he pulls a moss-covered rock out from a wall and uncovers his third hidden immunity idol. They must be buying those idols wholesale.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will each throw a rock at colored tiles. For each tile that’s broken, a player will get a spear. They’ll then use a big crossbow-type contraption to shoot that spear at a target. The player with the spear closest to the center of the target wins immunity.

Jaison hits one tile, Dave hits one of Monica’s tiles, Mick hits one of his tiles, and Brett breaks two tiles. Everyone else misses. Shambo does not try to hide how pleased she is that Laura won’t be participating in the rest of the challenge.

The shooting portion is quick and relatively drama free. Mick gets his spear the closest, earning immunity. Shambo is downright giggly.

Back at camp, Shambo is breaking the news to Brett that she’s going to be voting for Laura. Poor Brett looks like he’s going to cry…like he lost his woobie.

Dave and Laura approach John about Galu’s strategy. I think John is growing frustrated with Galu. The fact that he called them “idiots” three times may have something to do with that.

Monica hatches a plan to tell Foa Foa that she’s voting for John. Her idea being that the four members of Foa Foa will vote for John, the five members of Galu will vote for Natalie, and Shambo will vote for Laura. Wow…so Galu doesn’t get that Shambo’s completely in bed with Foa Foa.

Whoa…sorry for putting that image into your head.

Meanwhile, Brett lets John in on Monica’s plan. John is of course displeased with any plan that causes Foa Foa to vote for him.

That night at tribal council, Kelly is wearing a pink button. Oh, now she’s trying to communicate.

J-Pro asks John how he’d feel about teaming up with Foa Foa. John smartly downplays the question.

Probst then lays out the math, explaining to Laura how the way she alienated Shambo has cost Galu their advantage.

Tie Break Rules: If there’s a tie, there will be a second vote where they can only vote for the tied players. If there’s a tie after the second vote, the other players will pick rocks. The person with the odd colored rock goes home.

Voting Time: Shambo votes for Laura, Dave votes for Natalie, and the rest are for Probsty to tally.

Probst asks if anyone has the immunity idol. Everyone looks at Russell, he stays seated.

One vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura…and the final vote is for Natalie! Tie game!

They’ll vote again. They can only vote for Laura or Natalie.

Voting Time Part Deux: Dave votes for Natalie, Jaison votes for Laura, and the rest are double secret.

One vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura, one vote Natalie, one vote Laura…and the third member of the jury is Laura! John turned. The looks on the Galu members’ faces are priceless. Shambo looks like a kid on Christmas morning who just got a Palm Pre.

Erik has the line of the night as he shakes his head and says, “So good!”

Verdict: The past three episodes have been golden. Everything since the merge has been awesome. My question now? Does anyone on Foa Foa know Russell has that idol?

Between this season and Tocantins, I wonder if this is going to spark an attitude where the dominant tribe heading into a merge isn’t going to mess around so much.

Who’s Going to Win?
Dare I say it? Could Evil Russell walk away with this whole thing?

What Do You Think? Have you become a Russell fan? Can Foa Foa trust John? Is Galu done for?

‘Survivor: Samoa’ Power Rankings Challenge: Week 9

November 18, 2009

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins’s” Tamara “Taj” George and your beloved “Survivor” recapped Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of that Thursday’s episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if John is voted out this week, Taj will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 5 points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Samoa” Power Rankings Challenge Champion and be presented with the coveted Golden Probsty Award.

Last Week: Kelly was reverse booted thanks to Russell’s magic immunity idol finding ability. This stunner earned Taj 4 points and Gordon a pathetic single point. The current score is now Taj: 102, Gordon: 109.

Taj’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 1 Dave: Dave made his first big mistake this week; he didn’t think of every avenue.  With Russell’s capabilities, he should’ve been prepared for him finding another HII.  There are cracks in his armor, but I like him.
2 2 Brett: This season is definitely the Russell H. show, but every now and then Brett will peek his head out for some air.  If Foa Foa continues to outsmart Galu he just might be in trouble.
3 3 John: See Brett!
4 7 Mick: I want to call him the “silent but deadly” type.  “Silent” but not so “deadly.”  Foa Foa is made up of some of the smartest people.  This is why they are surviving each week in the face of complete dominance.
5 10 Jaison: Jaison reminds me of myself at times.  We both look like we might do some serious damage at times in the competitions but really never do.  Lol!  I can throw someone around in the water and hold 100 lbs on my back, just don’t ask me to run two feet.  I would die, and so would Jaison!  He sucks at challenges, which makes him dependent on the rest of his tribe for help.  Not a good position to be in.
6 9 Shannon: It appears that Galu knows that Shambo is playing for the other team.  Luckily for her, the tribe is divided evenly now.   I want her to outwit her tribe.  They’ve never been very nice to my mullet-wearing Marine friend.
7 8 Natalie: Natalie is a little tough cookie with an incredible brave side.  I was so proud of the little southern belle for killing the rat and actually eating it.  She deserves to stay for that alone.
8 6 Monica: You’re seriously on borrowed time.  So please, whatever you do, don’t get comfortable.
9 5 Laura: Why are you being so mean?  Don’t you know that kindness will get you far in this game?  Clearly not!  You better keep winning challenges because I have a strong feeling Foa Foa wants to prove their loyalty to Shambo by scratching you first.
10 11 Russell H.: Darn, I love you!  You make me laugh so hard each week.  If you find one more HII I will personally give you a million dollars myself (don’t hold me to that, lol!).  Unfortunately, you are such a threat out there that the X on your back has grown into a permanent tattoo.  Continue to think one step ahead of Galu because they are right on your tail.

Gordon’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 3
Brett: I’m pretty sure Brett is going to be around next week. But, I thought the same think about Kelly, so how can you trust me? I’ll stick him first because if Foa Foa manages to pull off another miracle, then I’d assume Laura or Monica will go.
2 4 Danger Dave: Danger, buddy…you’re telling me that you think a man who found an immunity idol without a clue wouldn’t try to do it again? I’m ranking you high because I don’t think you’re a target, but you need to step up your game.
3 5 Mick: In any other season, Mick would have been one of the first people picked off after the merge. Not so, in this bizarro season. I don’t think he’s playing a good game, I just think don’t think anyone is worried about him.
4 7 Shannon: Think back to the first time you saw our dear Shambo. Did you ever think she’d be the fulcrum that would bring down a dominant tribe? And yet, here we are…
5 6 John: Sometimes I feel like John, Monica, and Russell are the only ones playing to win. And since John isn’t in anyone’s direct line of fire, he may be the favorite to take the whole thing.
6 8 Monica: Last week they were either going to reverse boot Kelly or Monica. They went with Kelly. This makes ZERO sense to me. Destroying Laura’s power base isn’t as important as taking out physically strong players.
7 11 Jaison: I talked to the lovely Kelly this past Friday, and she confirmed my suspicion that Jaison has totally checked out. If I were Galu I’d still try to get rid of him just in case he realizes how close he is to a million dollars.
8 2 Natalie: Galu knows that Natalie is Russell’s second in command. If Russell lands immunity or finds the immunity idol, she’s likely to be Galu’s target.
9 9 Laura: Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago they were teasing the LauRussell cross-tribe alliance? Now they hate each other and the game hinges on an immunity idol Easter egg hunt. I bet that alliance is looking really good to Laura right now.
10 10 Russell: Has there ever been a turnaround like this is “Survivor” history? The most hated player has become the most beloved. It’s like when “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan turned on the nWo. If Russell survives this week, he could go all the way. But at this point that’s a big “if.”

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Kelly Sharbaugh

November 13, 2009

Take everything you know about “Survivor,” wrap it up in a neat little package, and throw it out the window. The rules simply don’t apply anymore. By all accounts, you cannot find a hidden immunity idol without a clue. Russell Hantz has…twice. After the merge, it should be your goal to vote off the strongest physical players in the opposing alliance, right? Then why are Brett and John still in the game while Kelly Sharbaugh was sent home? Worse than that, the poor thing now has to talk to me. I chatted with Kelly the day after her booting to find out if she knew Shambo had turned on Galu, what her strategies were, and what Russell is really like.

Gordon Holmes: How shocked were you when Russell stood up with the idol?
Kelly Sharbaugh:
When Russell played the idol I was completely shocked.  I think we all were. Nobody knew he had it. He must’ve found it when we were at the reward challenge where we got the first clue.
Gordon: When he played the idol, who did you think was going home from Galu?
Kelly: It was definitely going to be Monica or myself, and I thought it was going to be her because everyone was targeting her.

Gordon: Did you have any clue that Shambo had turned on Galu?
Oh yeah, for sure. She was on the outside of our tribe. From the beginning of the game she chose not to sleep in the shelter with all of us. Anything we did, she’d say we didn’t include her. It was clear from the first time that she went over to Foa Foa that she was going to flip. I tried to avoid her at all costs. There was probably a lot we could have done to keep her around, but it was so hard to be around her.

Gordon: I feel like we didn’t get to know you very much during the show. What strategies were you employing that we didn’t see?
I’m a very good listener. I hung back. I was there to play a game, I wasn’t there to get camera time on the beach, or play a role. I think some people are.

Gordon: How strong is Laura’s grasp on Galu?
Laura has a pretty good grasp on everyone. She’s very nurturing at heart. She was always making sure that everyone was taken care of. Everyone got along with her. I wouldn’t call it a ‘grasp.’ I think that, unfortunately, our tribe was so successful that we didn’t have to strategize as much. I don’t think it was one person leading the tribe. It was pretty mutual.

Gordon: I assume the plan was to pick off Foa Foa. Had there been any talk about strategy once they’re all gone?
When Laura went over to Foa Foa, they discussed an all-female alliance with a final three of Monica, Laura, and myself. As the game progressed it seemed like that would be more difficult as Monica and Laura were being targeted. I think that we thought that once Russell was gone we’d be able to pull Natalie over.

Gordon: It seemed last night that Natalie was a little bit of a target. Did Russell hear that correctly?
Yeah, we were trying to figure out what order. We knew that Natalie was Russell’s number one ally.

Gordon: Does anyone consider Jaison or Mick to be threats? For two big, strong guys, nobody seems to be worried about them.
No, they really weren’t. I think Jaison was the least of our worries. As they showed on TV, he wants to quit. He wants to go home, he’s checked out. And physically he’s just wasting away. And Mick? I don’t expect much from Mick. He’d help around camp, but at challenges he couldn’t get it together. But, maybe that’s his strategy.

Gordon: OK, word association time…let’s start with John.
A little bit cocky. The first time I saw him I thought he was a good-looking guy, but I have a history where good-looking guys always turn out to be tools.
Gordon: We totally do.
Kelly: (Laughs) You fall under that category?
Gordon: Well…I am a tool. So, I’m halfway there.
Kelly: (Laughs)
Gordon: Moving on…Danger Dave?
Kelly: His comedy and his wit got me through a lot.
Gordon: Laura?
Kelly: She’s kicking a— in challenges.
Gordon: Natalie?
Kelly: I have more respect for her after watching the show. Especially the rat thing.
Gordon: Rat murder is not something to respect, Kelly.
Kelly: (Laughs) It was the cutest stomping of an animal I’ve ever seen.
Gordon: Cutest rat snuff film ever. OK, let’s finish this up with our good buddy Russell.
Kelly: Russell was a creep. I don’t think I ever saw that guy sleep.

Gordon: Is there anything you didn’t get to express on the show that you’d like to say right now?
Everything! At the end of the day I walked away from it well, I think I grew as a person. I think I showed myself what I could do physically and also that I could do them with dignity.

‘Survivor: Samoa’ Episode 9 Recap: Russell Hanging On By a Thread?

November 12, 2009

Last Week: I go away for one week and all Hades breaks lose!  Everyone tried to vote off everyone else at one point. But in the end, Evil Russell used his hidden immunity idol when he didn’t need to and Erik didn’t use his when he should have. Welcome to the jury, Erik.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

Aiga (Samoan for “Extended Family”)

Brett – 23 – T-shirt Designer
Dave – 38 – Fitness Instructor
Jaison – 28 – Law Student
John – 25 – Rocket Scientist
Kelly – 25 – Hair Stylist
Laura – 39 – Office Manager
Mick – 33 – Doctor
Monica – 25 – Law Student
Natalie – 26 – Pharmaceutical Sales
Russell H. – 36 – Oil Company Owner
Shannon – 45 – Sales

We meet up with Aiga after tribal council and they’re busy discussing such important topics as how thick Brett would like the peanut butter to be on the chocolate chip cookies he wishes he was eating.

In more strategic talk, Laura thinks Russell is a fool for using his immunity idol. I disagree. When everyone knows you have the immunity idol, they’re going to be trying to think of a way to blindside you. Granted it’s just one less reason to get rid of Russell on a list of about forty reasons.

It’s the following morning and…HOLY COW, NATALIE IS NAKED. Oh wait…she’s wearing a flesh-colored bikini.  I shouldn’t type while I watch the show. OK, she’s fully clothed, but she did murder a rat with a stick.  I’m having mixed emotions about the last three minutes.

Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will be divided into two teams of five. The teams will have to run across the field to recover poles with colored coconuts on them. Once they have all of their poles they’ll have to arrange them on a rack to make a sequence of numbers. Then a blindfolded tribe member will have to use a Braille-type lock to solve a puzzle. The winners will go to a rock water slide and enjoy a picnic lunch with fried chicken and chocolate brownies. Jaison, Laura, Brett, Mick, and Russell make up the yellow team while Monica, John, Shambo, Kelly, and Danger Dave are the purple team. Since there is an odd number of players, Natalie will have to choose who she supports. If her team wins she gets to go on the reward. She chooses the yellow team.

The yellow team gets an early lead and gets all of their poles to the rack first. However, Danger Dave manages to tear through the puzzle part and get the correct numbers to Monica. Laura eventually gets her code from the yellow team, but it’s too late. Purple team wins reward.

Man, Foa Foa can’t win anything. Their loser stink might rub off on Brett.

After a break where my computer crashes, we join the purple team enjoying their rock slide. Kelly lets us know that she’s afraid of water slides, but she goes down anyways. Let that be a lesson to “Mika” from “The Amazing Race.” Water slides are your friends.

While the team is enjoying their donuts and sweet tea, they notice a scroll. The scroll lets them know that there is another immunity idol back at camp. The former Galutians decide not to let the Foa Foicans in on the secret.

Strategy is discussed amongst Galu. Shambo seems to be defending Russell. Kelly disagrees because she thinks he’s the most strategic player in the game. See…you let her talk and she’ll say something super smart. What’ve we been missing from her all this time?

We find Russell back at camp looking for the hidden immunity idol. And sure enough, he finds it without a clue. Evil…

When the former Galu members return from camp, Russell reveals his secret to Shambo. Her jaw drops to the floor. The two decide to use the idol to reverse-boot Laura.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will use grappling hooks to retrieve puzzle pieces. The first three players to retrieve both of their bags will move to the final round. In the final round, they’ll have to figure out which of their two pegs goes into a wall. Each time a peg goes into the wall, a new piece will come out. First person to fill their wall with all of the pieces wins immunity.

Mick retrieves his bags in short order, followed by Shambo, and then Laura.

In the final round, Laura manages to tear through the very cool puzzle despite a slow start. Looks like Shambo and Russell’s plan will have to wait.

I love Shambo, but she’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. She had a huge lead and couldn’t figure that puzzle out.

Back from the challenge, and it looks like they’re going to use the idol to reverse-boot Kelly. (Booo…I have her #1 in my power rankings!)

While the former Galutians are debating, Monica is worried that Russell may have the idol. Dave thinks that’s ridiculous. Underestimating Evil Russell? That’s Danger, Dave.

John knows that Russell found the idol before and could find it again. He then says, “I would assume that it’s here. I mean, it’s not rocket science.” C’mon, it’s sounds arrogant when he says it.

That night at tribal council, Erik makes his debut as a very annoyed looking member of the jury.

Jaison says he can’t find any cracks in Galu, but is hoping there’s “Another Erik” out there. Erik continues to look annoyed.

Russell lets us know that he hopes that some former Galu member will approach him with opportunities.

Dave says he picks who they’re voting for based on who’s the “Most dangerous.” Whoa…Danger Dave’s so darn dangerous he’s gonna vote for himself!

Voting Time: None of the votes are shown! Inconceivable! Russell must be using his idol…

Sure enough, Russell plays the idol. Erik stops looking annoyed and seems impressed.

The voting starts; seven votes for Russell which don’t count, followed by two votes for Kelly that do, and the second member of the jury is…Kelly. Wow, so Kelly’s “Survivor” legacy is nine episodes and about four minutes of screen time.

Shambo plays it like a champ, acting disappointed in front of Galu. Maybe Shambo is one of the brighter bulbs on the tree…

Probst lets us know that the hidden immunity idol will go back into play. Oh man, they’re gonna tear that camp apart!

Verdict: Wow, two awesome shows in a row. Everything since the merge has been gold. Hopefully they do a better job hiding the idol next time.

Who’s Going to Win? Why are you asking me? I’m the rocket surgeon who thought Kelly was the safest person in this game.

What Do You Think? Are you starting to like Russell? Are there too many hidden immunity idols? Can Russell overtake Laura?

‘Survivor: Samoa’ Power Rankings Challenge: Week 8

November 11, 2009

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins’s” Tamara “Taj” George and your beloved “Survivor” recapped Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of that Thursday’s episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if John is voted out this week, Taj will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 6 points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Samoa” Power Rankings Challenge Champion and be presented with the coveted Golden Probsty Award.

Last Week: Erik was voted out in a shocker earning Taj 5 points and Gordon 10 points. The current score is now Taj: 98, Gordon: 108.

Taj’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 2 Dave: I like this guy because he does just enough to make you love him without making you feel like he is going to vote for you.  The guys have Shambo in their corner as long as they need her.  I want Dave to take it.
2 3 Brett: Brett is a quiet threat.  He brought up the rear in the challenge to win immunity.  I loved it!  If the guys can stick together until the final four, I can totally see Dave and Brett sitting side by side for the million bucks.
3 7 John: John is beginning to show his competitive side.  But he’s too easily swayed.  Russell had him wrapped around his fingers.  If the guys’ alliance holds true, poor John will probably be the first to go.
4 9 Kelly: Kelly is just following the pack.  I’m still waiting to see her come out of her shell.  I want to know why she has all of those tattoos.  I was hoping to see more mischief from her.  She’s safe for now.  Galu needs to take out the rest of Foa Foa or be picked off one by one.
5 8 Laura: This lady has to play her game a little more cautiously.  She’s picking unnecessary fights with Shambo and has created an alliance with Russell.  The person who now has a mark on his head.  She might become an easy blindside.
6 12 Monica: The only thing helping Monica stay in this game is the fact that her tribe is the dominant tribe.  But the guys on her tribe want to lose her immediately.  Hopefully, she’ll stop playing the baby role and step up to the plate but I doubt it.
7 6 Mick: I really want him to stay in the game a little longer.  I was very impressed when Foa Foa stepped up and was able to vote out one of the Galu tribe.  It made me think of me, Stephen & JT going into the merge down 6-3.  If they can work some magic, anything’s possible.
8 4 Natalie: Natalie seems like she might have made a cool friendship with the ladies of the Galu tribe.  The only problem with that is everyone knows that she and Russell have an alliance.  She should stay with the ladies of Galu to hopefully avoid being voted out sooner than later.
9 11 Shannon: She’s the leader of her tribe but the guys are calling her shots.  Laura will definitely aim for her head during the next tribal council for sure.  Shambo’s best bet is to really try to bond with her guys to remove the other girls.  Otherwise, she’ll be sitting on the jury.
10 10 Jaison: His days are numbered.  I loved him in the beginning but after his incessant complaining and ability to give up when things aren’t going his way, I just can’t stand behind him.  I wish him good luck but at the rate at which he’s playing, it’s just a matter of time.
11 1 Russell H.: I wish I could say I’m shocked that Russell impatiently offered his HII.  I wish I could say that I didn’t think Galu would catch on to his antics.  I wish I could say that he thought of everything and everyone in advance but I can’t because he didn’t.  When he gave up the HII he snuffed his torch himself.  If Russell isn’t voted out this week I will be shocked!

Gordon’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 2
Kelly: What happened?! I go away from one week and the game is all topsy-turvy. Who’s safe? I don’t know, probably Kelly. Has anyone ever gone this deep in the show without saying more than three lines? She’s like a ninja.
2 3 Natalie: OK, so a lot of these picks are going to be based on how safe I think someone is rather than how well they’re playing, but don’t be mistaken, Natalie is playing a much stronger game then anyone realizes. She’s a sleeper.
3 1 Brett: How far ahead is our buddy Brett thinking things? He obviously planned ahead enough to know the Samoan word for “Extended Family.” I wonder how you say “Under the Radar” in Samoan?
4 4 Dave: Oh, sweet irony. Danger Dave is perfectly safe. Even if the other factions turn on the former Galu males (and I think the former Galutians are more likely to go after Foa Foaicans now), he’ll still be OK for a while.
5 8 Mick: Who would have ever thought Mick would be this much of a follower? It seems to be working for him though. He’s higher in the pecking order than Jaison and Russell right now.
6 9 John: What do you know? Brain Rocket Science Surgeons are pretty good at “Survivor.” John was smart enough to see which way the wind was changing and went with it. That’s a sign of a very smart player.
7 6 Shambo: Who was the only person who didn’t vote with the majority last week? Our beloved Shambo. If the 90210ers continue to hold their “Mean Girls” grudge, she could be on her way to eat with the art freaks. Too obscure?
8 11 Monica: I’m torn between Laura and Monica. The men know they need to get rid of one of them, and came close to getting rid of Laura last week before she won immunity. So, I’m picking Monica to last longer.
9 7 Laura: It’s weird to have someone with as much power as her this low in the rankings. I think it’s going to depend on if Galu starts working together.
10 5 Russell H.: Boy, the previews sure are acting like Evil Russell’s number is up. It’s for this reason, and this reason alone that I think he’s safe. But, I’m not willing to bet a ton of points on this, so I’m keeping him low.
11 12 Jaison: I said last week that he’d be the biggest merge target and I was kind of right. I think Galu might be thinking they can pick off Russell at any time now that he’s used the HII, but will need to get rid of Jaison before he starts winning challenges.

‘Survivor: Samoa’ Power Rankings Challenge: Week 7

November 5, 2009

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins’s” Tamara “Taj” George and your beloved “Survivor” recapped Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of that Thursday’s episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if John is voted out this week, Taj will receive 7 points and Gordon will receive 9 points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Samoa” Power Rankings Challenge Champion and be presented with the coveted Golden Probsty Award.

Last Week: Elizabeth Kim was the last person voted out before the merge earning Taj 13 points and Gordon 12 points. The current score is now Taj: 93, Gordon: 98.

Taj’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 1 Russell H.: This guy is crazy enough to pull off an upset and win the whole thing with his evil strategy. Naturally, I’m a fan of the cross-tribe alliance thing. I hope it works out for them. Someone should be able to do it successfully. Now that everyone is on their own out there I think someone might catch on to his antics.
2 2 Dave: This guy is the silent-but-deadly type. I think he is so low on everyone else’s worry meter that he could very well coast right to the finale. If he remains silent while pulling Shambo’s strings, I can definitely see him in the final four.
3 3 Brett: Brett is another low threat. The guys in the Galu tribe do not appear to be flashy but they are working the girls over in their tribe. For the first time, I want to see an all male alliance. The women are a little slow out there.
4 5 Natalie: Coast, coast, coast! Coast until you can’t coast anymore. Clearly, she’s not a strategic player but she has managed to keep her “dumb-ass girl” alliance with Russell. Even though Liz was clearly the stronger competitor her alliance kept her in the game. Good for you!
5 6 Erik: I love Erik. But his mouth is going to be the death of him. He might not be the first to go but unless he can win some new friends or use his HII when it counts, Russell might be able to pull off an upset and have him voted out.
6 7 Mick: He’s so sweet. He’s silent, but not deadly. There’s no way Galu will hold onto too many of the Foa Foa tribe. He just might be the last to go if he’s really nice.
7 8 John: He’s so lucky that his tribe is dominant. He’s safe because of the numbers. The only thing that can hurt him now is if Galu implodes and decide to get rid of their own before the enemy.
8 4 Laura: I think the only thing that will save her next week are the numbers and possibly Russell. She’s on the chopping block with Shambo but Laura’s tribe is dominant. By the looks of next week, everyone’s gunning for everyone. Laura should watch her back.
9 9 Kelly: This girl has to step it up. It’s time for some individuality. Otherwise, without immunity she could be the second or third jury member.
10 10 Jaison: Now he has a new lease on the game. He has to show some spunk and stop crying. He can’t keep complaining about how he hates losing. His whole tribe would be willing to vote him out to save themselves. He needs to show his athleticism in the challenges.
11 12 Shannon: I hope the guys can come together to save Shambo for the jury. She’s being used and doesn’t have a clue. Bless her heart. You have to love her.
12 11 Monica: Monica was saved last week by Russell’s illness. This week her own tribe is talking about getting rid of her. Since Galu has the numbers and the rest of Foa Foa doesn’t want to leave. I see them getting what they want by sending Monica home.

Gordon’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 3
Brett: Yikes, merge week is the toughest to predict. So, instead of “Who’s playing the best game,” I’m going with “Who’s going to be here next week.” If the 90210ers team up with Foa Foa to go after the male portion of Galu, I think Brett will be safe.
2 6 Kelly: Going with the same logic as above; I think if the 90210ers are the target that Monica or Laura will be the first ones to go.
3 10 Natalie: As the member of Foa Foa who is the least likely to be an immunity challenge threat, I see Natalie as the safest from her old tribe. Jaison or Mick are sure to go way before her.
4 2 Dave: Same deal as with Brett. If the 90210ers team with Foa Foa, then John and Erik are more likely to be their targets. Dave’s safe for now.
5 1 Russell H.: I’d like to think that Russell wouldn’t be a big target heading into the merge, but you never know when people are going to try to flush out a hidden immunity idol.
6 13 Shannon: For as misguided of a game as I think Shambo has been playing, I think she’s safe for a while. She has the guys on her side and Foa Foa seems to be fond of her as well.
7 4 Laura: LauRussell doesn’t seem as likely as last week’s preview made it seem. She seemed to think of it more as a possible avenue than a definite plan of attack. I doubt she’ll go for it unless the Galu men make a move to get rid of Monica.
8 7 Mick: A strong male on the tribe with the least amount of people? Yup, Mick could be in a lot of trouble. However, I think Jaison is a bigger target than Mick is.
9 9 John: John has a strong voice within the male Galu alliance, and if he’s viewed as a threat by the 90210ers/Foa Foa remnants, he could be on the chopping block.
10 5 Erik: Does anyone on Galu know that Erik has the hidden immunity idol? If they do, Erik could be a blindside target.
11 11 Monica: The male Galu alliance (we need a better name for them, any ideas?) has been gunning for Monica for a while. This merge could be their best shot.
12 8 Jaison: The preview didn’t hint at Jaison. However, I have my PhD in “Survivor” history. And that advanced degree tells me the strongest player on the weakest tribe is often the first to go.

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