‘Survivor: Samoa’ Episode 12 Recap: ShamBowling!

Last Week: Shambo got into a bizarre fight with Danger Dave over chicken preparation. She wanted him to go, but the Foa Foa Four decided to target John. The Foa Foa Four went behind her back and made a deal with Dave to send John to the jury.

Some people think chicken soup is good for making you feel better when you’re sick. Last week we learned it’s also good for fracturing alliances.

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
Mick – 33 – Doctor
Monica – 25 – Law Student
Natalie – 26 – Pharmaceutical Sales
Russell H. – 36 – Oil Company Owner
Shannon – 45 – Sales

CBS is promising Russell’s most shocking tribal council maneuver ever. At this point, the only thing Russell could do that would surprise me is to figure out a way to vote Probst out.

We meet up with the tribe as they return from tribal council. Shambo is not pleased that she was left in the dark regarding the John vote. Russell tells her that John had been gunning for her and they did it so she wouldn’t have to break her vow never to vote for John. Shambo shrugs it off saying she would have voted for Dave anyways. Man, she takes that chicken stuff seriously.

The next morning, Jaison sidles up next to Monica and Brett to discuss strategy.

Quick Aside: Brett is like the “Survivor” Ninja. He’s been out there for like a month now, but you never see him.

Jaison asks them who they’d vote for if they were on the jury. They inform him that they might vote for Russell because he’s played such a strong game. Jaison is offended by this because he thinks he and Russell have had an equal say in what’s been going on.  Wow…Russell’s got him fooled.

Jaison drops the bomb that Russell already has a lot of money. The “Survivor” Ninja says this could affect how he votes. He then throws a smoke ball on the ground and disappears.

Another Quick Aside: I don’t like the idea that you vote for someone based on how much money they have. At the end of the day, it’s a competition. Vote for someone based on how well they play the game.

First Immunity Challenge: Um…it’s literally a game of bowling. One ball, two throws, ten pins.  Way to go, creative team. Oh well, at least they’re not running out to get puzzle pieces, then putting that puzzle together. The players will be randomly paired off to compete in a single frame.

Opening Round: Shambo defeats Natalie, Russell eliminates Brett, Jaison beats Monica, and Danger Dave nails a strike to bounce Mick.

Semifinal Round:
Shambo bests Russell while Jaison beats Dave “Gutter” Ball.

Final Round: Shambo throws two gutter balls, Jaison does slightly better hitting three pins to win his second straight immunity challenge.

Back at camp, Dave realizes that he’s the lowest man on the totem pole. Monica goes to bat for him, trying to talk Russell into bouncing Shambo. She even refers to it as “planting the seed.” She’s like an adorable junior Russell.

Russell seems more interested in the Shambo idea then you’d think he would be, even going so far as to discuss it with Dave.

Shambo doesn’t seem too concerned with this. During a strategy discussion, she even refers to herself as “The Sham with the Plan.” That’s it, after that nickname I’m on board with Shambo going home too.

That night at tribal council, Shambo says she was more blindsided than John was during the last vote. Probst thinks she’s trying to work the jury. I’m not sure Shambo knows there is a jury.

Dave explains his strategy of telling people that he’s a good person to take to the finals. Russell says he agrees with this, and the game now comes down to sticking with people you can beat. Ominous music plays as Mick and Jaison look over at Russell.

Voting Time: Shambo votes for Danger, Danger votes for Shambo, and you know the drill with the rest. One vote for Shambo, three votes for Dave…and the fifth member of the jury is…Danger Dave.

The next morning, Russell tells the rest of Foa Foa that the biggest threat is Brett. Wait, who?

Russell thinks Brett is far too likable to keep around. Has Russell just now started reading the Power Rankings?!

Mick pulls Russell aside to tell him that he’s a little worried about Russell’s comment the night before about who he wants to take to the finals.  Have we learned nothing?! Never challenge Russell or you’re going home John-style!

Second Immunity Challenge: The players will run out into the ocean to retrieve a bag. They’ll then return to the beach and try to catapult the bag into a bin. They’ll then swim out to get their next bag and continue the process. The first person to get three bags in their bin wins.

Not much to describe in this one. Brett gets out to an early lead and doesn’t give it up. Brett wins his first immunity.

Back at camp, Monica realizes that she’s taken Danger Dave’s place as the new low person on the totem pole. Monica and the “Survivor” Ninja chat with Mick and try to convince him that Russell is going to take Shambo and Natalie to the final three.

Monica and Russell have a conversation where Monica claims that Jaison told her that Russell has the idol. She also says that Natalie told her that Russell makes a lot of money.

And…Russell snaps. He goes after Natalie for spilling the beans to Monica. She denies it. Russell then goes after Brett to find out how they found out about the money. He rats out Jaison.

It’s getting ugly at Aiga camp.

Russell lets us know that he feeds on being angry, and that if he feels any kind of threat at all that he’ll play his immunity idol.

Tribal council starts…and Russell stands up and puts his hidden immunity idol around his neck! Russell is the king!

Russell lets us know that the idol doesn’t put a target on his back. Monica disagrees.

Monica and Russell are going back and forth to the point that I think Monica is going home and is mouthing off because she has nothing to lose.

Russell thinks that if Monica had played the game from the beginning the way she played it that day, that she’d be in a better position.

Mick says he isn’t naïve and knows that only one of them can win the million dollars.

Voting Time: Russell votes for Monica, Monica votes for Russell, and the rest blah blah blah… Probst asks if anyone wants to play the idol. Russell does not.

One vote for Monica, one vote for Russell, one vote for Monica, one vote for Russell, one vote for Monica, and the sixth member of the jury is…Monica.

Verdict: This season is top five…easily.

Who’s Going to Win? I’m still liking Natalie at this point.

What Do You Think?
Was Russell’s idol move brilliant or stupid? Where does this season rank for you? Could anyone beat Brett against a Galu-heavy jury?

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