‘Survivor: Samoa’ Episode 13 Recap: Foa Foa No More-a?

Last Week: Brett won immunity, Russell lost his cool, and ‘Danger’ Dave and Monica received an all-expense paid trip to the jury.

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
Jaison – 28 – Law Student
Mick – 33 – Doctor
Natalie – 26 – Pharmaceutical Sales
Russell H. – 36 – Oil Company Owner
Shannon – 45 – Sales

We start off with a disturbing image…Brett giving Shambo a mullet massage. A mulletsage? Brett might deserve the million.

The following morning, we meet up with Brett (twice in one episode?!) as he quotes scripture to Natalie. Natalie seems to have a strong faith as well and is happy that she and Brett have that in common.

Meanwhile, a less deep conversation is taking place between Russell, Shambo, and Jaison.  The topic? Shambo’s glorious mullet (twice in one episode?!) and how large it has gotten. Unfortunately, this blog isn’t really a visual medium. So, I’ll do my best to paint a picture using words…her mullet has expanded to full Wookiee proportions.

Russell laughs as he tells us that Shambo smuggles food in her mullet. I’m not sure if he’s joking or not.

Reward Challenge:
A huge net contraption is holding a large amount of coconuts. The players will be broken into two teams of three. One at a time, the players will have to remove a string from the net. Their goal is to find a string that will release as few coconuts as possible. The first tribe to release 100 coconuts loses. The winning tribe will join a Samoan tribe for a feast. They’ll also get to spend the night in the village, sleeping on a mattress with pillows and blankets.

Russell and Natalie will serve as captains and choose teams. Natalie chooses Brett (which raises some eyebrows), Russell chooses Jaison, Natalie chooses Mick, and Russell ends up with Shambo.

As Shambo is choosing the first rope to pull, J-Pro asks Shambo what she calls her hairstyle. Shambo responds with “Shambo-licious, baby.”

OK, that’s way worse than last week’s “Sham with the plan.”

Probst continues with his coif-based grilling, asking her how long she’s sported her mullet. She says since 1986.

For those of you keeping score at home, Brett was born in 1986.

Round 1: Shambo releases four coconuts, Mick releases two coconuts.

Before the second round starts, Natalie and Brett say a few words to the Almighty as “Prayer Warriors.”

OK, we’ve discussed this in the past. I don’t think God is going to slip Shambo pointers about who to vote off, and I don’t think God is going to pick sides when a barbecue is at stake.

Round 2: Jaison releases seven coconuts, Natalie releases a lone coconut. The score is Team Russell 11, Team Natalie 3.

Round 3: Russell releases eight coconuts, Brett releases one coconut. Team Russell 19, Team Natalie 4.

Round 4: Shambo releases ten coconuts, Mick releases nineteen coconuts. Team Russell 29, Team Natalie 23.

Round 5: Jaison releases forty eight coconuts. Before Natalie can pull her string, Shambo predicts Natalie will drop fifty eight coconuts. Natalie pulls her string, and sure enough, fifty eight coconuts drop from the net. Team Russell 77, Team Natalie 81. Maybe God is giving Shambo pointers.

Round 6:
Russell uses his evil powers to pull a string that doesn’t drop a single coconut. Brett pulls a string that releases a coconut avalanche. Team Russell wins the reward.

At the feast, Jaison, Shambo, and Russell are treated to pineapple, lobster, crab, roast pig, and other island delicacies.  After he ate, Jaison informed us that he’s “About to get jiggy with it.” With that, he got up and danced with Shambo, Russell, and the Samoans. It is unknown if he eventually cut a rug.

That night, the three of them made the decision to vote Brett out next. They also decided that Mick will be their target if Brett wins immunity.

The next morning, Russell pulls Natalie aside to make sure there wasn’t an ulterior motive with her decision to choose Brett. Russell shows how smart he is by playing it off like Jaison and Shambo were concerned with her choice.

Immunity Challenge: The players will run across a field to six bins. Each of the bins has a certain amount of items (pigs, rocks, fish, crabs, squid, and coconuts). The number of items in these bins are the same as the numbers in the combination of a lock. The first person to get all of the correct numbers and open their combination lock wins immunity.

Russell, Brett, and Jaison manage to get all of the numbers first.  Brett arrives shortly afterward. They all race to input their numbers into the lock.

Jaison has the wrong numbers, Mick has the wrong numbers, but “The Little Galu That Could” has the right numbers. Brett wins his second consecutive immunity challenge.

Back from the challenge, Jaison approaches Russell about voting out Shambo instead of Mick. However, Jaison didn’t take into account one of the most basic “Survivor” rules…


Shambo was literally a few steps behind Jaison when this conversation took place. Maybe Jaison didn’t think she could hear him through all that hair…

Shambo didn’t hear what Jaison said, but once he saw her he ran off. Naturally, she thinks something is up. Russell tried to play it off, but wasn’t entirely successful.

Later, Russell breaks down the Shambo vs. Mick conundrum. Shambo is loyal, terrible at challenges, and can’t win at the final tribal council, but Mick is an athlete who could help them defeat Brett.

That night at tribal council, Shambo admits that she betrayed the former members of Galu. Natalie agrees with Jeff’s assessment that nobody on the jury would vote for Shambo.

Russell lets us know that he trusts Shambo as much as he trusts the other Foa Foa members. I’m assuming he doesn’t trust anyone at all, so technically that wasn’t a lie.

Shambo tells us that Brett is a threat because he stayed “Loyal to a fault” to Galu.

Brett says his strategy is to keep winning immunities. Really, Brett? Way to go out on a limb there.

Russell says this is the first time he’ll feel bad about voting someone out.

Jeff lets Russell know that this is the last time he’ll be able to use his immunity idol. Russell decides against it because he’d like to keep the idol as a souvenir. Russell is the king.

Quick Aside: OK, being the king aside, moves like that are keeping me from joining in the “Russell is the best player ever” discussion. All that move did was entertain the folks at home and annoy the jury. Most entertaining player ever? Possibly. Best player ever? Not in my book.

Voting Time: Mick votes for Shambo, Shambo votes for Mick, and the rest are victims of editing magic. One vote for Shambo, one vote for Mick, two votes for Shambo, and the seventh member of the jury is…Shambo.

Verdict: I’m not sure how I feel about the Shambo vs. Mick decision. I think I agree with the decision to keep Mick. If Brett wins two more immunities, he’s a millionaire. It’s as simple as that.

Who’s Going to Win?
Russell’s the favorite, but I could still see Natalie sneaking in there.

What Do You Think? Was Russell’s idol move stupid? Is Russell the best player in “Survivor” history? Who’s your pick to take home the check Sunday?

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