Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #8

Image (1) jeffprobst_l.jpg for post 949So I’ve recovered from my Zyrtec cloud and yes I now realize that we promoted the merge. It was funny to be reminded of it by you guys. What can I say, I really was “loopy” when I wrote that blog. But yes I do see episodes and I do know what we promote, sometimes I just forget…

In honor of my slip up last week, I’m going to dedicate today’s blog to… what else… The Merge.
MERGE FEAST
Let’s start with the feast. Did you see how quickly their moods changed when they got some food in their belly? Think about it… I bet a majority of you had some sort of snack even while you were watching Survivor. Probably snacking on something right now while reading this blog. We like to eat. It feels good. When we don’t eat we get crabby. Laura didn’t give a hoot about her canteen once the feast started. Why would she? She was happy again. I love seeing them happy… momentarily. I more love seeing them in conflict. But you need a balance. Too much conflict, too many days without food, too many nights drenched from the rain and you just have angry people. Producing a good season of Survivor requires an ebb and flow of highs and lows. The merge is almost always a high, even if only for a moment.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Another fun thing about the merge is it’s like starting over once again. You have new people in your world and you get a second chance to make a first impression in the game.

Some people choose to stay in game mode, working their strategy. Not John. The ever cocky, always aware John was waiting for someone, anyone to ask him anything about himself. It resulted in one of my favorite exchanges of the season:

Jaison: So engineering school, huh?
John: Uh yeah, Mechanical Engineering degree.
Jaison: Congratulations.
John: Not a law degree. I contemplated becoming a patent lawyer.

It was the swagger in his walk and the tone of his voice when he said, “Uh yeah..” that really made it work for me. Nice.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: If I had a Mechanical Engineering degree I’d look for ways to bring it up, too. But since I don’t it’s fun to be a catty little stick-eating biatch and make fun of John.

WE’RE ALL ONE HAPPY FAMILY
It never fails. We merge and suddenly everybody pretends to like everybody else. I had the exact same reaction Erik did when I heard Brett’s suggestion for a new tribe name:

Brett: “AIGA, it means extended family.”

Extended family? Gimme a break. (Truth be told, Brett probably really means it and Brett is the kind of guy that outside of the game you’d be friends with, your families would dig each other, and you’d end up having a lifelong friendship. But this is in the game and that’s a different story.)

Plus, think about it, Brett had to research that name before he even left America, which is downright irritating. Not sure why it’s irritating, but it is. Maybe it’s because Brett is so likable.

Like I did last week, I’ll use one of my honorary nieces as an example of what I mean. Mackenzie, my niece, is really likable too. She’s so likable that I’m sure lots of boys would love to ask her to a school dance or an afterschool party because she’s so… nice… (just like Brett)… and also because she’s cute (okay, fine, just like Brett).

But what makes Macky really fun to be around is an extra layer of… sass. Yes, she’s nice but she’s lippy too and she’s not afraid to call someone out for something and that adds a whole new level of respect to a person.

So come on, Brett, gawk at Kelly like Ben would have or give Dave Ball a hard time for still wearing that out-of -tyle ponytail, or tell Laura to back off Shambo just a bit. Gimme something I can respect.

Please don’t write and tell me to lay off, Brett. Brett is doing just fine. Brett can handle these comments. He’s a big boy.

But Erik was right, this is not one big extended family. It’s not even two separate families. It’s 12 in-dah-vidge-you-uhls… all trying their best to figure out how to get rid of everybody else so they can grab the check from CBS for a million dollars. Before taxes. It’s a million dollars before taxes people.

THE SCRAMBLE
A merge also offers up a chance for new alliances to form and just like on day one, those new alliances need to form quickly. Enter Russell. He doesn’t care about the food, or the tribe name or what anybody does for a living. He wants to win the game. Period.

Sending his troops (Jaison, Mick, Natalie) out to make relationships with different people is further proof that this little pirate is a pretty darn good Survivor player.

And I know some of you think there is too much Russell in the game, but he’s the guy making the most moves so that is naturally who I am going to write about. With that in mind…

I love that Russell is telling everybody everything. It’s such a risky move. You gotta respect it. To go to everybody on the other tribe that you have the idol and offer them the same exact deal could so easily backfire if just one person opens their mouth. But Russell is counting on greed to be his ally. He knows that the people he is approaching are better served if they don’t tell anybody else. If he’s right it’s a major move. If he’s wrong he’ll soon be in trouble.

THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GAME TURNING
The most exciting element of the merge is that it offers a chance to completely turn the game around. Typically that requires somebody flipping sides, and usually the “flipper” is somebody who feels on the outs and is looking to improve their spot on the totem pole.

So many times in this game the people on top forget about the people on the bottom. They forget how dangerous the outcasts are because they have nothing to lose by switching sides and everything to gain.

Shambo is clearly one of those on the bottom and she knows it. Shambo is a major threat to change the game. Nobody on Galu is paying any attention to that fact. Crazy, right? Hindsight is always 20-20. It’s why I host and don’t play.

The merge is such a simple twist. Combine the two tribes into one. We do it almost every season, and yet it amazes me how many times it creates havoc. As Dave Ball states, from the outside looking in, Galu should just vote off Foa Foa four times in a row so they can all make it to the final eight.

But it’s not a team game. It never has been. It’s a game of individuals and that complicates everything because every single person has a different agenda. Even if they agree on whom to vote out it is always for different reasons. Always. Because at the end of the game only one person wins so every single time they vote they are voting to help ensure they are the last person standing… and that often means…

SOMEBODY COCKY GETS BLINDSIDED

Erik was such a fun guy to have in the game, he has a huge heart and that was fun to watch. It may also have been his downfall. He bled Galu purple to such a degree that I think he forgot that it is… an individual game. You have to make moves in this game based on the idea that everybody else is making their best move. Erik was a major threat in the game with a major attitude. He lost sight of how others saw him and never considered that the best move might be to get rid of him. Because not everybody on Galu bleeds Galu. He was so confident that he forgot to consider the other people in the game were also playing to win and they might not care about keeping Galu together.

And boy did it cost him.

Talk about a blindside. Wow. One of the biggest and most memorable in a long, long time. Erik could not have been cockier. He was absolutely certain the outcome was set. He never-saw-it-coming.

Russell’s HUGE move to play the idol is yet one more pencil in his jar of “this is how ya do it.”

RUSSELL: “Figure it I have it I might as well play it.”

NOTE: To all future Survivor players… You Don’t Hold Onto The Idol If You Have The Slightest Concern You Are In Trouble.

If you have it and you think you need it – play the damn thing.

Russell is playing to win. He doesn’t care about second place. He may not make it, but with each passing week you have to respect the game he is playing.

NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
So where does the game stand now?

It’s an interesting thing that often happens in this game. You lose enough people from your tribe, your numbers get so low that you have absolutely no other choice but to rely on each other and stick together. Foa Foa is at that point. In order to have any shot at actually winning the game, they cannot risk betraying anybody on their tribe. This gives them four votes in the new tribe. That is significant because as we saw last night – within Galu there are lots of possible sub alliances and cracks to be exploited.

Give me your predictions. Will Galu regroup and get rid of Foa Foa? If so, what order do you predict Foa Foa will be voted out?

Now check out our exclusive deleted scene below and read Dalton Ross’s TV recap.

Comments (625 total) Add your comment
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  • Michael

    I am becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Natalie. She may seem like Russell’s crony, but she’s got a LOT of skill when it comes to subtle and non-menacing manipulation. I love surprise players; she’s in the same vein as Jenna Morasca and Parvati Shallow.

    Is it weird I don’t loathe Russell? He’s been a pig at times, but that seems to be mostly for show. He does a damn fine job of ending his enemies. I kind of root for him; he’s such a mastermind.

    Plus, word is he’ll be on next season’s roster. Might as well get used to the guy, yeah?

    • NumberOneSurvivorFan

      Totally agree with everything you just said. I really love Natalie and think she’s definitely a surprise threat to win this game.

      • Snsetglaze

        I am liking Natalie too – she is smart and she is using her social skills but not necessarily her looks like Jenna and Parvati did. She does not seem to be flirting her way along. She also seems to be able to read Russell right which so many other women have failed at (including to some extent Laura).

      • Mary

        Yes! I really like Natalie and am kind of ticked that Probst said not one thing about it being her who went to the girls to get them to vote Erik. Russell didn’t trust her ability to get things done, and that’s why he played the idol.

        And, in a totally different vein here…am I the only one who gets really annoyed by Probst saying “INSIGHT” all the time?

      • NC

        I don’t think it would be much of a surprise. Word is that there will be a final 3 this season (and next) so we’ll see how these folks impact the jury. If he makes it that far I think Russell really shot himself in the foot this week.

      • Cory

        I agree, too. I don’t think Natalie got enough credit for the blindside, since she was the one who convinced Laura and Kelly to vote for Erik, who in turn convinced everyone else. Without her, Jaison would probably have been going home. She’s probably my favorite so far.

      • Jeff

        I have to disagree. Natalie was great but all she had to do is convince Monicas bff Laura, who Natalie became close with, that Monica was next to go. Laura didnt like that and told Kelli and Monica. Now Jaison should go soon but it was all his idea to get rid of Erik. He said it all when he said I dont like Erik and what do we have to lose to vote off erik were screwed anyway. Also he agreed that they let Russell play the idol.

    • AnonymooseBlog

      When you said he will be on next season a huge smile broke out over my face. With next season being all stars and being filmed right after, the other all-stars will not know anything about his scheming and that will make next season all the more epic!!!!

      • sonny

        Survivor, what are you thinking? I gotta believe you would have done much larger numbers, had you not put this psychopathic loon, Russell H. on this years episode Samoa. He alienates alot of people, especially women. I hope you got the wrong Russell for the next years Survivor. Remember Russell ( the good one) had to be sent home because of health reasons. He is the one that should be on the next Survivor.

      • Julie

        That would be true if it’s just an all star but the rumour I have heard is that it’s villains vs heros so if they put Russell in as a villain then everyone will know what he is like.

      • Henry

        Yeah, Julie, but if I’m Russell, I’m saying ‘villain’ is just a matter of perspective. It’s the editing. You know?

      • Puppy dog

        I missed where Jeff said he would be on next season, but if he, or Benjamin Wade are on another season of Survivor, this is one dyed in the wool fan who will quit watching for good. I’m sick of the woman bashing creeps, and I’ll sign off forever. I believe there’s a hugh following that will no longer follow.

      • Liz

        @Puppy Dog, I loved LOVED LOVED Benjamin Wade. He was my all time favorite person on Survivor, EVER. His insanity was what made him so likeable and so hate-able. Regardless of what you think of him he made great TV. I will never forget his story about being trapped by the Amazon natives and getting getting airlifted into the jungle by the air force etc. etc. It was vastly entertaining and I hope that he makes the All Stars.

      • NC

        @Pussy Dog. Jeff/CBS haven’t said ANYTHING about S20 ‘officially.’ Richard Hatch filed a petition to the judge overseeing his home-arrest/probation to be on S20 and after that people started watching which former contestants left myspace/twitter for a month. Later some folks slowly leaked some of the remaining names… the common thread was that there was only ONE spot for a S19 contestant. Nobody knew who Russell was until CBS started talking about how he was the most evil dude ever on Survivor and shortly after his name was leaked

        Or so it was told to me.

      • puppy dog

        Well Liz, that’s you, but I read all the comments last year, and you are in the minority. It’s these creeps that are being cast that has caused the drop in the ratings. Huge drop. I didn’t hate Ben W. I just couldn’t stomach watching him. The same can be said for Russhole.

      • KC

        I didn’t see him say it either but I skimmed the article. If Ben the woman-bashing, racist, ignorant, creepy (STILL can’t get over that salamander thing it creeps me the F* out – still!) I’ll not watch.

      • puppy dog

        KC I believe we are speaking of two different Bens. I’m speaking of Benjamin Wade, the idiot from last season. If Ben Browning from this season was on, that wouldn’t bother me. I liked him.

      • NumberOneSurvivorFam

        Coach IS definitely confirmed to be on the next second but he doesn’t get TOO far from what early spoilers on SurvivorSucks are saying. I don’t like him but the thing with all-stars especially one like Villains vs. Heroes is that there are so many big personalities that it would be hard for either Russell or Coach to get all the screen time. I mean, we’re talking the first female villain, Jerri Manthey and also people like Rupert Boneham, Rob Mariano, Sandra Diaz-Twine and so many more. I don’t think Survivor would shove all those classic players to the side for an idiot, albeit a funny one, like Coach. I’ve heard Russel goes VERY far though so…

    • Larry

      I don’t think Russell is a mastermind. At least not a very good one. He made all kinds of mistakes in last nite’s episode: 1) Showing his idol to Laura and then turning on her. 2) Showing his idol to John. 3) Telling Laura, John and Shambo that he wants to get Laura out before the immunity challenge. (If he was a good mastermind–he would’ve done this AFTER the challenge.) 4) Playing the idol. Personally, I felt Russell showed his idol to too many people and as a result, he got burnt. He didn’t get Laura’s loyalty. Instead she betrayed him by telling everyone that he had the idol. And then he played it not only because he felt he was in danger but because he didn’t think he had anything to lose since everyone already knew he had it. What a waste of an idol. If he was a good mastermind, he would’ve used his idol in the same manner that Yul from Cook Islands used it. Russell had the right idea to try to persuade Laura to form an alliance with him. His mistake was he gave up on her so quickly. He should’ve tried harder instead of trying to recuit someone else, such as John, so quickly. If everyone knows that Russell had the idol, I’m sure everyone knows how hard he is playing the game. Now that he doesn’t have the idol, he has put a huge target on his back to getting voted out. These are the reasons why I don’t think he’s a good mastermind. To tell you the truth, I think Mick is playing the best game. He’s playing under the radar and not stepping on anyone’s toes. I’m getting tired of Jaison’s attitude. All he does is whine and complain and was of no help to Foa Foa in challenges. And then he has the audacity to tell Erik at tribal council how much he was worked to stay in the game??? Say what? Talk about being delusional. After Russell, I hope Jaison goes.

      • Esme

        Man, I totally agree with you. Russell is just a dope! The producers are trying to shove him down our throats like he’s some hard-working yet intelligent everyman. Reminds me of all the bogus hype around the loathsome Rupert, who the producers ended up rewarding with a million bucks for doing nothing.

      • Gno

        Nah, Russell’s doing a fine job! You mistake his actions as errors, when really they’re strategic moves. He knew that in showing his idol to Laura and others that the deals might not stick. He was aware of that at the outset and knew when not to believe their word. It was a calculated risk to expose the idol to numerous people.

        It was a bold move that had the potential to pay off in a huge way…and it nearly did, if the immunity challenge had gone a little differently Russell would be sitting very pretty right now.

      • Dee

        Rupert was a fab favorite including mine. From the moment he stole the “booty” from the other tribe. I loved that man.

      • Simmons

        Actually the waste of the idol was in eric’s pocket, not Russells. He is outwiting and outplaying all of them i think. The only one with any gonads to actually make moves this season.

      • Elle

        First off great blindside! Second watching evil Russell make mistake after mistake was enjoyabe! It’s a little scary to see how if you dont agree with Russell he will try to take you out immediatly. I wonder if he is that way in Real Life? Anyway unless Russell wins ammunity hes going bye bye so…so long Russel :) P.S. Jeff It would have been more fun if the wiffel ball challange was further away,it was weird watching people tapping the ball but I guess if it was further away only the athletic would have won this gave everyone a chance. I did wish Laura would have lost though.

      • Liz

        Rupert was my favorite, the only person I ever went out of my way to vote for in the online fan voting. From his man skirts to his looting, oh Rupert, what a mighty fine Survivor .

      • Jaybe

        Larry,

        If I recall correctly, it was Jaison that decided that Erik was the threat and he persuaded his teammates to work on getting him eliminated. I think that was quite a strategic move for someone who just whines and does nothing to help Foa Foa.

      • Jaybe

        Larry,

        If I recollect correctly, it was Jaison who decided Erik was a treat and should be put up for elimination, then convinced his teammates to vote Erik out and they in turn talked the other Galu players to follos suit.

        That does not sound like someone who just whines and brings nothing to his Foa Foa team. To be say he was the one who turned the whole game around with the ouster of Erik while masterminding the major blindside which led Russell to giving up the immunity idol is an understatement.

      • Alan of Montreal

        You know what I truly find scary about Russell? That he has daughters. You kinda wonder how he’s raising them…I fear for their future.

      • Caleb Jones

        so ho many idol holders left the island losing the vote with an immunity idol unplayed in their pockets? Eric this same episode to start with. Plus anyone who is even suspected of having one becomes a big taRGET, so he had to get rid of it! But he should have kept it a secret, that i agree with!

      • karen

        Oh my how I loved Rupert!! Rupert was my all time favorite player in all the Survivor episodes!! You actually shouldn’t even say Rupert and Russell in the same sentence!!

      • Sookie

        I agree with your Larry. Russell thinks he is pulling the strings but it has been Jaison all along. If you remember, Russell wanted to keep Ben but Jaison said he needed to go. If Russell were masterminding this then Monica would have been voted out but Jaison decided he didn’t like Erik telling him what to do. Russell didn’t mention Erik once. Jaison is the one with all the game and Russell is taking all the credit.

    • Jen

      I agree with Michael. Russell may have made some mistakes, but he is a very smart man. If the votes were against him last night and he didn’t use the idol, then you could call him a dope…however he felt he may need it and he played it. Nothing wrong with that!

    • Susan

      so share, where are you people getting these rumors? thanks!

      • Captain Obvious

        The internet.

      • Spaz

        I see where you get your name from Captain Obvious! lol.

    • H

      I’m cheering for Russell, too. He’s great. And it’s nice to have a “villain” who you do like. Rather than someone you’re just waiting to get the boot.

      • princess

        I am with you….Russell is funny to watch. Now, the ones I won gone is Laura, Monica Kelly in that order.

        Laura’s mistake tell Russell you have 10% and I have 90% how smart was that.

    • lls

      i agree. i had been thinking she was a huge idiot, but this week she showed that she is actually aware of what show she is on and how to play the game.

    • DwightBigSurvivorFan

      Natalie is super smart. She showed last night just how good she is.

      • Puppy dog

        Dwight, we’ve been saying it all along. She knows how to say what’s necessary, and keep her mouth shut when she should. Russhole hasn’t made one decision since the ousting of Betsy. Not one person voted out since then was his choice.

      • DwightBigSurvivorFan

        Hi Puppy, I know you don’t like Russell and I don’t really like him either. But you gotta admit he’s a pretty good player. He could go all the way.

      • puppy dog

        I don’t agree that he’s a pretty good player. I think he’s a fool, and is only still there because the others know he can be manipulated into doing what they want. He’s proven that.

      • Sookie

        Thank you Puppy Dog!! I have been saying this all along. Russell talks all about how he is running the game but he has been all talk basically.

    • Joe

      I agree! I didn’t really start paying attention to her until last night – and you’re right, she is playing a hell of a game. Maybe she’ll stay under the radar long enough to advance a few more weeks and then pull some back-to-back immunity wins? It’s players like Natalie that keep me tuning in season after season. They’re the ones that mix it up and keep it interesting.

    • marykate

      I think that Natalie is a strong player, and one that no one will suspect. If she keeps her cool, she will stay under the radar and slowly stay in the game, possibly to the top!

    • leila

      I agree with your comments about Natalie!! With her sweet Southern accent and innocent looks, no one would suspect her of manipulation. She has shown that she knows when to keep her mouth shut, and when to open it. Just like JT last season, she is someone that can fly under the radar and go far in the game.

  • NumberOneSurvivorFan

    “Maybe it’s because Brett is so likable.”
    Not to mention invisible.
    I really loved this episode. Hopefully the season continues to be unpredictable like this! :D
    Loved the blog again but I disagree with how you said Russell showing people the idol was smart. I actually think it was pretty stupid of him. But Im actually starting to like him a lot more. Also, Natalie really seems to be the underdog. She’s actually pretty strategic and invested in the game unlike some of the Galu duds. Can’t wait for next week! :)

    • Brian C.

      Who’s Brett?

      • sdm

        LOL!

      • sdm

        For me I forgot Galu had another female player until Luara called her (Kelly) over when she was talking to Natalie. Has she ever talked on camera?

      • Ripley

        Brett is the guy that’s been there for two weeks and still hasn’t grown a beard.

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        I actually type Brent the last time. I keep forgetting his name. Now we now who is Brett.

        Galu ain’t that smart even with a rocket scientist on their team.

        I reckon Galu will wake up and vote off one of the FoaFoa, but you never know Laura could still go home.

        I still despise Russell H. I guess H stands for Huster. Russell the Hustler. You may not like him, but you have to respect how he played the game. How we wish that the producers pick more like that to even that out. Heroes and Villains should be interesting.

        Kelly, Natalie and Monica are now vying for the Hottest chick this season. Hope they stay longer.

      • Puppy dog

        sdm, of course she talked on camera. She told about how Shan was lifted out of a trailer park by a rich man, and now drives a Jag Wire. I’m pretty sure Shan drives a Jaguar, but doubt that Kelly is smart enough to know the difference.

      • NC

        Brett has had almost no screen time… you can probably measure the amount of time he has been on in seconds and the number of times he has been mentioned (outside of balling called on for challenges) on one hand

      • Athena

        Hey Puppy *or anyone* why did she say ,”Jag-wire,” instead of Jaguar?

    • Mario

      So I predicted this last week, Erik was going to get blindsided, and it indeed happened. It was soo obvious, based on the fact that Erik is a guy who speaks his mind way too often, plus his physical threats. He can say that he’s being honest all day long, but in a game like Survivor, it’s never going to gain much advantage, since this kind of behavior is normally construde by people as being “cocky ” or “pompous”. Which at the end of the day is going to lead you to get your torch snuffed.

      By the way, I think one person is getting all the advantage in the world about this whole Erik situation: that’s John. He’s the real mastermind behind all this voting out Monica nonsense. And no one had any idea that it was him who proposed to Erika about the idea of voting out Monica. absolutely Well played, John. No harms done at all.

  • First

    First…yeah, I said it.

    • whatever

      whatever..yeah I said it.

  • Hoboken Survivor

    The previews for next week show Russell in a bit of trouble, which is not good. Didn’t like him at first, but his focus and tenacity are endearing him to me. Thinking John just got rid of his main competition in Erik. He needs to rally Galu back and stick with voting out the underdogs, keeping Dave, Shambo and Brett close under his wing.

    • Brian C.

      If he was really going to be voted off next week it wouldn’t have been so clear in the coming attractions.

      • sonny

        As much as I am dismayed at your comment, I am afraid you are spot on. Survivor’s producers wouldn’t make it seem so predictable if Russell the moron was about to be evicted. Either he’ll win immunity, or there will be some intervention, that buys him another week or two. He isn’t playing a very smart game, if the goal is to win a million bucks. if the goal is to be outrageous and egocentric, I suppose he is doing that better than the others. Can’t wait for him to go.

      • Anne

        My thoughts exactly. Either he wins immunity (most likely, I suppose) or he sways some of the Galu. If the previews are accurate, it’s not the latter. But I’d be shocked if he goes home — if he does, then CBS needs some serious self-editing in their previews, b/c it’s that obvious.

      • puppy dog

        I don’t know guys, this year the previews have been real spoilers. It’s like they’ve forgotten what the word suspense means. It’s really disappointing.

      • NC

        CBS & Co are teasing you… he doesn’t go home next week
        CBS is claiming that this week has an awesome tribal counsel… we’ll see

      • Erika

        Sonny,
        Just wanted to point out that Russel said in the first or second week that he is some kind of an oil tycoon and doesn’t care about the money…just wants to play the game to have fun and to win for the sake of winning…

    • eekai

      i know! i used to hate russell’s guts but i now find myself uhmmm rooting for him.

    • Rock Golf

      Yeah, they are definitely teasing us. He’s like a soap villain that they keep hinting will get his comeuppance but somehow wriggles free. We love to see the bad guy sweat.
      Of course, they could always be palying the double switcheroo: Make it look so obvious that Russell’s in trouble that we all know Russell’s not really in trouble. Then, whammo!, Russell’s done like dinner.

  • First

    Um….fourth, I mean fourth.

  • Benjamin

    I doubt Galu is going to regroup. I see either Laura or Monica being targeted next from Galu. However, if by some miracle they regroup, I’m sure they will go after Russel or Jaison.

  • Kim from Texas

    The previews seems to beg that Russell is going home next, but I predict that Russell wins immunity. I think Galu will not re-group. There are way too many people on Galu that don’t get along together.

    • Curt

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I believe all the preview did was tease us with the idea, but the fact is they wouldn’t give away the Russell-Show’s demise so easily.

      The question is – who’s really on the chopping block next?

      I say it should be Dan, or John. Did anyone else thing that Dan’s swagger, when talking up how ‘lovemaking’ was his real sport – was kinda sexy? Then he had to turn his head and reveal that nasty and wimpy pony-tail. Somebody cut it off!

      • Abby

        Dave, his name is DAVE.

      • Poindexter

        LOL! Agreed!

      • desert

        The deal with EVERY preview is it sets you up for something that will NEVER happen. If they edit it to make us think that Russell is in big trouble…he isn’t. It’s so transparent and I get tired of it week after week for all these years. I never pay attention to what is shown in the previews. It’s ALWAYS a blindside to the audience.

      • puppy dog

        Yes, curt, it was sexy. He’s got more going for him than the other guys on the show. And as Abby said, “Dave, his name is DAVE”.

      • Athena

        DAVE’s lovemaking as a sport comment sure perked me up to give him a second going over with my eyes ;)

      • Who?

        I thought it was Mick Fleetwood?

  • SharonH

    Who the heck is Kelly and when did she join the show?

    • BWB

      haha, i had the same reaction.

      • sdm

        Me too.

      • Shelly in NoHo

        Me too. Tonight was the first time I heard of Kelly. When they separated the girls and guys in the challenge, I could only think of 4 girls, but there were acutally 5!! lol Good to know!!

    • Fiona Bloemker

      I was surprised to see her, had no idea who she was…haha.

      • DJango

        “Flying under the radar” is one thing but to still be completely anonymous at the merge is another!! She’s one of the blondes, right?

      • gt

        haha. seriously, her bio
        “With a highly addicting and sociable personality, Kelly is certain she will stand out in the game of SURVIVOR.”

        i also dont recognize the brett guy.

      • dawnomite

        I was saying last night that the other cast members must be kinda pissed that they are hardly shown on the show this season. They were there just as long, surviving and struggling. I hate that we can’t know them better, no matter how “boring” their appeal might be. Everyone’s in Russell’s shadow. It’s my only beef with this season. Last night’s ep was great.
        Dave: We’re voting out Erik.
        Shambo: Who’s Erik?

      • Jeanne

        “she will stand out” in the woods where no one will ever see her or hear her speak a word!

      • KC

        haha Jeanne good one.

      • Fiona Bloemker

        Jeanne that was great…=)

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Kelly was hot ever since the first episode. I guess most people forgot about her while they focus on Natalie of FoaFoa.

      Last week she was rank low at the totem pole, but I reckon she goes up on my power rankings.

      Big blindside on Eric. His cockiness doomed him. After being ranked first prior to the merge, he felt the same way we have guessed, being on top.

      In Galu are smart enough, it is time to take Foax2 out.

      My power rankings could be:

      1. Dave
      2. Brett
      3. Kelly
      4. Monica
      5. John
      6. Natalie
      7. Shambo
      8. Mick
      9. Jaison
      10. Laura
      11. Russell the Hustler.

      I reckon there are two things that will happen.

      A. Galu put their brains together and vote off Russell H if he doesn’t win immunity. If he does vote off Jaison or Mick.

      B. Russell the Hustler pulls a rabbit from his…sass (taking a page from Probst) and Galu voted off Laura.

      • puppy dog

        Well, you were WRONG!

    • cj

      For real. I would feel like such a loser if I was her or Brett watching the show now, knowing the producers thought you were SO boring that you never got ANY airtime. ha ha. :)

      • Adam

        I wouldn’t…it probably means they go far in this season and will get their share of screen time when it’s them sitting in the finals.

      • puppy dog

        Boy, I hope she gets even less air time, because when she did talk to the camera, it was obvious that her mouth was running, but her brain wasn’t in gear.

    • Jenn67

      I even said that out loud to my husband last night. Who is Kelly and where did she come from?

    • LiLa

      This season is seriouly lacking in real characters to be this far in and we’re still wondering who these people are!

    • Liz

      That’s how I felt about all of the Galu’s except for Shambo, and Dave. I was just htinking who are all of these people and how long have they been here?

  • Jennifer

    Loved the blog, as usual! Glad you think that Russell playing the idol was a smart move, I was worried it was dumb. But, I suppose James was the best example of what NOT to do with an idol (or 2!).

    • Allie

      How was that smart? He lost the idol for no reason–what an idiot.

      • Michelle

        Everyone, it was smart, because he wasn’t sure if they were playing him or not. He was smart, because SO many times in past seasons, people have been “afraid” to play it, to lose it, and thus got voted out without ever playing it. He was smart, because he didn’t want to get voted out, and regret not playing it. It sucks that he didn’t NEED to play it, but rather to play it and not need it, than need it and get played =P

      • Sue

        No he thought he was in trouble and he was smart to play it. No one ever thinks they are in trouble and therefore lose it. Sure it did not serve him, but at least he had to the guts to not be cocky and think he was safe.

      • Stella

        Did you expect him to take such a huge risk? It’s better to play it unnecessarily rather than be voted out with the idol still in your pocket… like Erik! lol

    • DwightBigSurvivorFan

      Jeff’s right and I thought the same thing last night as I watched. Russell was in danger. He didn’t know where he stood and was a likely target. He made the correct decision to play the Idol. How many people (including Eric) have been voted out while holding the idol? You gotta make your best guess about when you are in danger and then play it. With all the blindsides in the game, if you sense just a little bit of danger, PLAY THE IDOL.

  • missyae

    Oh I am sure I could give you a good order of elimination.

    • Macy

      Russell, please don’t post here. We have had to put up with you on the show, and shouldn’t have to put up with you here.

  • jimhi

    We need to remain this show “Russell Hantz’ Island Adventure”. The guy was on camera for nearly a full thirty minutes. ten minutes him alone showing three different people his idol. I’m quite tired of him dominating the show because he says controversial things. I can’t even NAME people on the old Galu tribe … “Who’s that blond girl? Who’s the young guy?”. What a letdown season.

  • Winston

    Glad you’re feeling better Probst. Did you catch the scene where Erik mentioned he didn’t care if Shambo wrote your name down?

    I absolutely loved Russell for playing his game. The divide and conquer strategy was great for the Foa Foans, yet he still chose to flash his idol at a dangerous point in the game.

    I do hope the former Foa Foa sticks together. This episode was 99% epic, if not for the fact that Erik kept his idol. The plotting, sub-plotting, reverse plotting, and all around scrambling made my head spin, and the music leading up to and during Tribal was awesome-and different. Sadly, my dream of seeing 2 idols being played in the same Tribal was shattered.

    2 final questions:
    Why did you not ask if anyone has the hidden immunity idol and if they wished to play it?

    And finally, is there a Bypass Rule, or was that just a Lost parody only for show?

    Thanks!

    • AnonymooseBlog

      I love the episodes where the target flips wildly over the place. Remember we had another amazing episode like that just a few seasons ago?!

    • Terry

      I thought the same thing…how great it would have been for both idols to be played at the same Tribal Council. Not that I feel particularly strongly about Eric, but it would have been a classic moment. But then Jaison would have gone home, and Foa Foa would have been down to three. I think FUTURE episodes will be more interesting the longer Foa Foa can keep their four.

  • lbj

    Priceless moment was Erik’s cocky arrogance shifting into sheer panic when he realizes it’s going to be him voted out. Dumbass.

  • kellen

    in the preview, dave (or john. can’t remember) said that it’s russell, natalie, mick, jaison. i really don’t understand the logic behind voting out natalie before jaison and mick. granted, they might not be focusing solely on physical strength (clearly, since jaison was said last), but do they really see her as a bigger threat in any aspect? maybe they just want one less female around. who knows? happy belated birthday, jeff!

    • sprite

      I think Galu is likely figuring out that Natalie is really tight with Russell AND that she is making alliences with the women of Galu — hence the men see her as a bigger threat that either Mick or Jaison. They clearly see that Russell is their biggest threat — since he told them he will never quit and he will work everyone — plus he seems to be the strongest physically out of everyone there. Thus, they want Russell out followed by Nat. Mick and Jaison don’t seem to be perceived as strong players who will really work to stay in the game but will rather do as they are told so are much easier to manipulate and easily gotten rid of in the future.

    • Limatob

      Natalie is bonding with the (former) Galu women. The men are already concerned enough about Monica and Laura being so close that they were willing to vote out Laura, a former Galu, to break that bond. Now they have Natalie bonding with the women as well. She’s a huge threat to the men’s alliance. Huge. It only makes sense that she goes ASAP.

  • Kirblar

    JEFF!

    Why no mention of the fact that you did an EARLY merge! What went into the decision? A lot of fans over at Sucks had been begging for one – late merges tend to (imo) handicap players since there’s so few moves to be made when there’s only 9 or 8 players left.

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