Recap: ‘Survivor: Samoa’ – ‘Walking on Thin Ice’

10.15.09 8 years ago


Pre-credit Sequence. Seriously, after a full day of Balloon Boy, how can you just switch gears to “Survivor: Samoa”? If I figure out, I’ll let you know.  It’s Night 11 in Galu and they’re returning from their first Tribal Council, one Yasmin down. Shambo didn’t expect Yasmin’s ouster and she’s irked she was kept in the dark. She goes to sleep, hoping to regroup the next day. With her napping, the “90210” girls sit around the fire and reflect on how nice things are in her absence. Monica, annoyed that Shambo wrote her name down, wants to take Shambo out next. But what would Balloon Boy think?
[Full recap of Thursday (Oct. 15) night’s “Survivor: Samoa” after the break…]
My life, my love and my lady is the sea. For the second consecutive segment, we’re staying at Galu. Crazy, right? Have they suddenly become more interesting, or do we just want to make fun of Erik’s angry rant about the ocean, which he calls the most fickle object he’s ever seen. Apparently, the latter. That’s all we get from Galu.
We’re all foodies here. They’re also eying the fickle ocean over at Foa Foa, but they’re reading the tempestuous sea as a good sign for their tribe. Tree Mail leaves little doubt that their next task is a food challenge. Some of them have seen this show before! Ashley, describing herself as “a pretty experimental eater,” sees the chance to really show off at a challenge. Liz, for some reason, is worried about Ashley and shares that worry with Russell. What’s up with the splotchiness of Russell’s beard? And why is Liz’s concern about Ashley a reason for Russell to feel concern? “I’ve got to be the only mind game player here,” he explains.
Greasy, grimy slug guts. Yum. We arrive for the food challenge, but the flies have arrived first. They’re eating Samoa Smoothies. That is to say that Jeff Probst has a lot of gross stuff in front of him, but nobody will have to stare their snack in the face. Everything will go through a blender first. That, friends, is lame. Want to know what they’re playing for? A “Survivor” BBQ. It’s Shambo versus Jaison for the first smoothie: It’s giant clam and Jeff’s Choice. Jeff chooses octopus, a favorite of the flies. He also adds sea slug. But what difference does it make once he’s blending it? Icky mush is icky mush, regardless of its components. Shambo finishes first, but Jaison also finishes. Since it wasn’t a race, they’re tied. Psycho Russell and Not-Psycho Russell get a jellyfish and milk cocktail. Not-Psycho Russell finishes fast. Psycho Russell finishes slow. Brett and MickDreamy enjoy giant clam and sea cucumber. But really, it’s just a chunky white shake. MickDreamy finishes first, with Brett (whoever the heck he is) close behind. Liz and Monica have shakes full of sea urchin. Monica is determined and finishes fast, skipping away happily. But Liz also finishes. This is SO stupid. So much of the mind-over-matter aspect of eating challenges is seeing what you’re eating and dealing with the texture of it all. This is just plain dumb. Ashley and Dave have a cocktail of sea slug guts and water. Not only does Dave finish his glass, but his sound effects help psyche Blondie out. Ashley has only a slurp left, but she quits. Galu wins. Not-Psycho Russell decides to send Shambo over to Foa Foa, meaning she’ll miss the BBQ. Shamo is displeased. “Had to pay for that chicken,” Russell says.
My bad. Well, yes. “Steak sucks anyway,” MickDreamy says, when the Foa Foa tribe returns to camp. “I don’t need a damn steak. I’ll take a group hug,” Shambo says. But she’s still going off about her need for protein. Ashley’s blaming herself for losing. This is appropriate, because Ashley was at fault for losing. MickDreamy is questioning her strength, but Natalie tries to reassure her. A sisterly bond has formed between Natalie and Ashley, one which allows Natalie to tell Ashley this wasn’t her fault. Oh, but it was!

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter. Back at Galu, Not-Psycho Russell is laying out his reason for sending Shambo off into the wilderness. Power has most certainly gone to his man’s head. Very soon we may need to start calling him Psycho-In-A-Different-Way Russell. The chief is causing trouble, attempting to restart the fire and sparking a feud with Dave. Both men whip their genitals out around the fireplace over who’s going to start the fire. Meanwhile, the steaks are just sitting chilling. Dave fears it may look like he’s arrogant. This goes under the same heading as Ashley fearing people may think she blew the challenge for Foa Foa. After announcing that he’s the only man capable of making fire, Dave tells the camera, “I’m trying to downplay my awesomeness, because it speaks for himself.”
A hole lot of nothing. Shambo, still feeling bonded to Foa Foa, Shambo decides to share all of the Immunity clues with her adopted tribe. As you might imagine, Russell is pretty smug about the Idol, as Shambo is engulfed in the hole in the tree, the previous location of the now-absent Idol. Some people suspect that Ben may have been voted out with the Immunity Idol in his pocket, but Liz suspects Russell. “Liz. She gets it. She knows what’s going on,” Russell acknowledges. “But why in the world would you threaten me?” 
Where’s your comfort messiah now? The rain is pouring down. They’re uncomfortable at Galu, curled up and hiding like Balloon Boy. Suddenly, they’re all, “Geez, we wish we had a tarp right now instead of these soaking blankets.” Whoever could have seen that coming? We don’t get a comment from Not Psycho Russell regarding how well he’s keeping his woman folk happy now. Dave, with an impressive resemblance to a water-logged Charlie Manson, tracks down Tree Mail, which hints at kicking butts and being plain nuts.
That’s just nuts, N-V-T-S, NUTS. Before the Immunity, Shambo returns to her tribe and nobody welcomes her. It’s truly a cold, wet shoulder. The challenge involves coconut tossing and the strength to hold an impressive preponderance of coconuts. Who the heck is Laura? She’s one of the coconut holders for Galu, which gets off to a huge early lead. Jeff emphasizes that Ashley’s coconut tossing has been especially awful. Psycho Russell goes out first, putting Foa Foa’s hopes entirely on Liz. Despite a heroic effort for Liz, Foa Foa goes down again. Perhaps because of the rain, or perhaps just because Foa Foa is horrible, the challenge is over in no time flat and there isn’t enough footage to sculpt actual drama. 

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. Little Russell wants to play. Foa Foa stinks. Jaison knows this. Jaison’s hands are a ghostly white, his feet prunes. He’s ready to go home. He isn’t the only miserable Foa Foa-ite. They can’t even strategize. It’s some weak that Russell asks if anybody wants to go home. Nobody volunteers. Ashley suggests they either go to Tribal blind, or they go to Tribal with total transparency. Naturally, they go with secrecy. Ashley thinks Liz should go home. Liz thinks Ashley should go home. MickDreamy just figures a woman is going home and it doesn’t matter which one. Jaison’s planning on playing things by ear. Russell is just grumpy at having his strategy thwarted. 
Tribal Council. At Jeff’s prodding, Jaison admits to his time on the US National water polo team, referencing the hardest thing he’d ever done. Can we tell if this was a surprise to anybody else? Ashley and MickDreamy admit that there’s a relief to being in a shelter with fire, at least for a while. “There’s no way to try and strategize,” Natalie laments. “Literally, we’re like purple.” Russell says he trusts the people around him, which makes this choice hard. Ashley says she kinda trusts everybody, but mostly Natalie and Russell. Liz also trusts everybody, saying that her gut isn’t telling her she’s going home. This sort of wild card vote isn’t good. “It’s not how you play the game,” Russell says. He’s right. This whole episode has been a problem.
The vote. As we know, Ashley votes for Liz. Somebody votes for Ashley, but we can’t tell who. It could be anybody, because after the one vote goes against Liz, the next four are against Ashley. Farewell, Ashley. I’ll miss your dimples most of all. I wonder if Russell would have found a way to vote Liz out if he’d been able to mobilize his forces. Under the circumstances, Ashley was just too obvious a target.
This week’s episode was all wet. Right? I mean, what would Balloon Boy say? 

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