Thursday, November 26, 2009

Survivor: The First 27 Days

Quote of the Week:  "She wouldn't even know how to talk.  She might even say, 'Oh, he's right, give it all to him.'  She's so sweet, I love it." - The Russell speaking about his alliance with Natalie and the final voting. Looks like Natalie won the "Dumb Blonde Alliance Challenge" with The Russell.

This week's episode was the typical Thanksgiving recap episode.   Not much to report on, but we did get a look at some extra footage from the season.  Some of that footage turned out be curiously entertaining.

The Russell and Ben made an interesting first impression by wearing the weirdest and grossest boxer briefs to date.  Recently The Russell has upgraded to a nice swimsuit, but he rocked the thin, gray undies for about five weeks.  How he even competed in half the challenges without using up CBS's blurring budget is a mystery to me.  Meanwhile, Ben made an interesting choice with short, short yellow shorts that apparently causes whoever wears them to act like a jackass and get voted off early.  I'm still waiting for that person on a season to wear like four outfits underneath whatever they are wearing when Probst makes them jump in the water, get off a wagon, etc, to start the game.

Funny scene after the first reward/immunity challenge.  Jaison must have gotten picked on by the senior rocket scientist when he was a freshman on the water polo team.  Old wounds don't heal I guess....

The Russell rakes over a million per year?!?  Seriously?  Where can you get paid that much to hunt down hidden jewelry in south Texas?  As of now I don't believe him, but if he does, it could hurt him later.

Dave says he wants to get Shambo out of his hair.  Could she hide in your hair?  That fancy mullet would be hard to cover with anything.  But I guess if Dave let his flowing locks down, he might be able to do it.  I guess he could always flip it over to make up for what's missing in the front.  In fact, if Dave let his hair out, he might have a mullet to rival Shambo's.  Here's hoping this season tie breaker is a good ol' fashion mullet-off. (whatever the hell that is.)

OMG...Laura..seriously?  I'm sooo glad she's off the show.  I'm not a huge Shambo fan but I definitely hadn't guess that Laura had a black piece of dirt where her heart is supposed to be.  "Where's our sun?"   What a winner.  (Honestly though, I thought she seemed nice, so I was either dead wrong or CBS pays it editing department more than The Russell makes)

Nothing noteworthy as far as the outcome of the game goes was shown.  I guess I'll be sticking with my predictions from last week.  Check it out if you missed it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Survivor: The Day of Reckoning

Days: 27
Survivors Remaining: 9
Reward Challenge Winner: Team Yellow (Dave, Russell, Natalie, Brett, Laura)
Immunity Challenge Winners:  Mick
Survivor Voted Off: Laura
My Picks Still Remaining: Brett

Jury: Erik, Kelly, Laura
Quote of the Week:  "It takes balls to jump into this arena." - Shambo to John when discussing John being the sixth vote to get Laura out.  What arena is that Shambo?  The egg producing arena or the arena in which you lose the fishing gear. 

Well, I really am amazed.  Maybe I'm not that amazed since they did a heavy preview for the search of the idol last week, but it is truly amazing that The Russell found the freaking immunity idol again.  It was hilarious that The Russell sprinted away from Dave and was chased into the jungle  WTF was Dave thinking chasing him.  They don't hide the immunity idol three miles away from camp.  Just stay around the general area and The Russell would have come back to you.  I can't figure out if they have made the idol easier to find this year or if he is just good at finding things.  I have noticed that finding the idol has gotten progressively easier - even when it is on exile island.  So in summary The Russell has found three hidden immunity idols: two without clues and one with one clue (albeit a big clue).  The amazing part is he didn't even have to use it last night and seems to be sitting pretty for a couple weeks.  Surprisingly he even seems to be liked by about half the people.  I definitely thought he would be more of a villain than he has been (at least to people's faces).  

Laura did herself a major disservice by becoming the villain of the Galu tribe.  I know that she had her little spat with Shambo of the canteen, but why doesn't she just apologize and move on.  The one thing you don't want in the game is to have someone out for you no matter what the strategy might call for.  Especially Shambo, given her rough and tumble kind of ways.  I think Laura just got too smart for her own good and should have taken a cue from Natalie and played the "nice girl".  Maybe it's hard to understand without being on the island, but sometimes I can't comprehend how angry they get at each other over small details.  Stress, no food, and a competition will bring that out a I suppose, but it's just stupid to allow someone to hold a grudge.  

John was correct in his voting execution.  He really didn't have a choice because I wouldn't be betting my game on a rock draw.  In Survivor, you play to win the game, but surviving another day is always better than going home.  He is smart and seems fairly strategic so he might figure out a way to stay longer, but now it seems to be up the the old Foa Foa tribe headed by The Russell  Shambo.  Yes.  It appears from the preview that Shambo the preverbal "bulls by the horns" or balls as she might put it.  I think she is hilarious is her naiveté.  I think she has thought she was controlling the game the whole time and in a way she has (by flipping sides) but it is clearly not with her mind.  She should hope the The Russell continues to find no fault in her.

I'm going to try to give an order of finish this week and see how it goes.  It was too tough last week with he split vote.  Here goes (in order of getting voted off):


Final Three: The Russell, Shambo, and Natalie.

Which should make for an interesting final.  Nobody really likes Shambo and Natalie hasn't really done enough so far to make a case as the winner.  I think that most (not Laura) will begrudgingly vote for The Russell.  I will have to eat crow for saying he definitely wouldn't win after the sock burning incident.

That's my best guess.  Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section, but I am typically pretty good at predicting finishes.  (Again setting me up for eating crow.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Survivor: Tastes Like Chicken

Days: 21
Survivors Remaining: 10
Reward Challenge Winner: Team Purple (Dave, Monica, Shambo, Kelly, John)
Immunity Challenge Winners:  Laura
Survivor Voted Off: Kelly
My Picks Still Remaining: Brett

Jury: Erik, Kelly
Quote of the Week:  After Laura said "He just stirred up a whole lot of hell, didn't he", The look Shambo gave her was classic.  An angry look and a nod of agreement.  That was the best acting I've seen on reality TV since Audrina had to act like she wasn't going to be used by JB on The Hills.  Nice work Shambo.  

FREAKING UNBELIEVABLE!!!  We'll get to the rest of the episode in a moment, but who the hell could have thought that The Russell would not only find the immunity idol without a clue, not once, but twice.  People really need to be watching him 24/7.  He is always up to something.  It might be burning socks, dumping water, finding idols, or sneaking into Shambo's bag to sniff her sports bra.  The Russell really has the crux of the game down to a science: SURVIVE.  The only thing on his mind back at camo was finding the next idol.  And ,as I would assume and the preview for next week confirmed, he'll spend the next day or so looking for the idol again.  The Russell has some suspect strategy at times (I would have voted out one of guys instead of Kelly) but, so far, he has the results to justify his moves.  Assuming that Shambo has already flipped, (despite her voting for The Russell) we should have even numbers.  

The use of the idol this week confirmed my belief that the idol is really only valuable when it is kept a secret for as long as possible.  Last week The Russell planted the target squarely on his back and was forced to play his idol.  (No way he knows they are voting Erik out).  It only worked this time because he used it as a surprise tactic.  One good thing The Russell did with the idol was to use it to conjure a sloppy kiss out of Shambo.  I saw the magic in her eyes as soon as she found out he had the idol.   I wonder if The Russell would feel like a jilted lover if he found out Shambo voted for him.  

Natalie used some of that Arkansas blood to kill herself some good ol' forest rat.  I surprised she was so scared of the rat given it's a staple at the Thanksgiving table in Arkansas.  Nice hit though.  Nothing like killing a four inch animal with a four foot blunt object.  I applaud her for giving the rat a small coffin to carry him back before he was burned over the fire.  Natalie couldn't continue her run of good luck when she couldn't pick the right team to win the reward challenge.  The purple team was able to pull it out despite Shambo slowing the team down.  Her mullet has grown too big to be able to run fast.  That thing gets caught up like a sail in the wind when she runs. 

Next week's episode will decide which side of the new tribe will become dominant.  If someone finds the immunity idol, that could change a lot.  It's tough to tell which way it will go but I just can't bet against The Russell at this point.   I have a feeling my pick of Brett isn't going to last too much longer.  It's interesting that neither he nor Kelly has said more than 10 words the whole season.  I feel bad for Kelly.  She seemed to be playing a decent game and ended up being on the wrong end of a "Russell seed".   It reminds me of Michelle on the Fiji season.  Just ended up in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

Needless to say this season is shaping up to be a memorable one.    

Friday, November 6, 2009

Survivor: All Hell Breaks Loose

Days: 21
Survivors Remaining: 11
Reward Challenge Winner: None - Merge
Immunity Challenge Winners:  John and Laura
Survivor Voted Off: Erik
My Picks Still Remaining: Kelly and Brett

Jury: Erik
Quote of the Week:  "The guy is definitely cut from the same cloth as me. He's a country boy, I'm a country girl." - Shambo while fawning over The Russell's plan to vote out Laura.

Finally...we have a merge!!!   This was really a God send for the Foa Foa tribe.  They had nothing else to give and so they really needed to merge, but the numbers suggested that they were still dead in the water.   The Russell was already planning all his schemes in advance of the merge and assuming he still owned the whole game.  You really have to admire The Russell  - he has had a decent run of bad luck and has never lost his (possibly misplaced) confidence.  He continually loses challenges, his tribe mates get voted off and he slaps on that stupid grin and southern accent and drags himself around until he finds some plan that involves getting his way.   And we saw him do that in large proportions on this episode.  

The pre-merge numbers told a said tale for the former members of Foa Foa, but the Galu tribe really had too much of an advantage.  When there are that many people, someone is either going to feel like their on the bottom and flip or someone is going to throw a big target on their back by being over confident.  Looks like this episode fell under the latter category.  The Russell started off the mental screwing by showing his idol off to everyone who would look like he was a senior boy walking around the freshman locker room.  His strategy was either genius or way too aggressive.  He laid all his cards on the table and I'm gonna grade his moves out as a push for now.  Yes, he survived another week, but now he is sans immunity idol and he looks like the biggest schemer in the game (which is incredibly true).  

It did seem that he had a decent plan in place until the immunity challenge - which was one of the more boring challenges to date.  They at least need a few more rounds to build the drama.  I don't think I've ever seen two individual immunity necklaces, but I don't have time to do the research right now.  It's probably fair to do that on some of the more physical challenges, but in general, I don't like it.  This should be the last time they do that.  The Russell's plan fell apart when Laura channeled her inner Christian and pulled out a miracle win.  Actually, it was probably more of miracle that Shambo didn't snap the bat over her knee after she hit the ball the length of her mullet.  I think we all can agree that Shambo has a little Bo Jackson in her.  

The Russell and Shambo had what I would call I brief love connection while they were planning to vote out Laura.  The Russell can probably snag any tail he wants and its surprising his compass fell onto Shambo, but you can never tell what will happen when two people sit on a dock and jam worms onto sharp hooks in order to catch and eat a raw fish.  

Strategically, I can't tell if voting off Erik was good or not.  So many scenarios were thrown out this week, that it is really hard to pin down who is holding the cards.  I am pretty confident the remaining Galu members will see that losing the majority is the worst thing they could do and they will vote someone from Foa Foa off.  It should be Jaison or Russell, but it will depend on who wins immunity.  

The last wild card that remains is whether or not another hidden immunity idol will be hidden.  They have replaced them in the past and if they do it could really help someone or cause someone to flip.  All in all, I think the power of the hidden immunity idol is a bit overrated.  I don't really think showing it to people will help you (sorry The Russell) unless you already have an alliance with them.  Next week should be interesting.  I don't know what I'll write about it The Russell gets the boot.