'Survivor: Samoa': Recapping the recap!

Ah, the formerly-dreaded Survivor recap episode. We used to mock it even more than gratuitous Palm Pre product placement. But then something unusual happened during the Tocantins season. The recap episode became less of a recap and more of a collection of deleted scenes and storylines. And some of those deleted scenes and storylines were actually pretty decent. So it was with moderate hope as opposed to unwavering boredom that I approached the Survivor: Samoa Thanksgiving recap episode. And that moderate hope was rewarded…with moderate entertainment! In case you were too busy stuffing your face with, um, stuffing, click below to read the full post and see what you missed, as we were treated to previously unseen sabotage, threats, tears, and vomit!

• We always assumed Mick was a crappy tribe leader since the only things we saw him leading were Jack and s#&@. Well, we were presented with irrefutable visual evidence as we saw Mick offering no direction whatsoever at the Foa Foa camp, stammering on and on to Ashley and Natalie about, well, nothing. “He sucks,” said Russell.

• Yasmin called Shambo “Shamu.” That’s mean, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh.

• As far as I could tell, every single member of both tribes was hoarding secret stashes of papaya. Erik even cut a whole tree down and was hauling it away to God knows where. Now, I’m now arborist, but wouldn’t it have been a tad more inconspicuous to just leave the tree standing there camouflaged by its buddies as opposed to plainly dragging the entire thing across the beach? Just sayin’.

• Very interesting exchange after the basketbrawl challenge (the one Ben was kicked out of). We saw Jaison spanking John and complaining about getting kneed in the chest. But he wasn’t done. Just as Probst was about to award victory to Galu, Jaison interrupted him and gave a speech about playing within the rules and how “I’m coming for John. I’m coming for him.” This caused Shambo to say she was “disheartened” by Jaison’s comments, to which Jaison actually concurred, talking about all the obstacles his dad had to overcome in his life and how he never
complained once about them, and therefore neither should he. It was a combative moment that turned into a touching one as well. Good stuff.

• I always wondered what happened to Daisy the chicken after Shambo accidentally let her escape. Well, we now have our answer. Erik was a man on a mission, trying to capture the bird and even comparing himself to Rocky trying to catch the chicken in preparation for fighting Apollo Creed. The persistence paid off, as he set a trap with a net that Shambo used to finally catch Daisy and return her to the coop. Erik was so out-of-his-mind thrilled after that he was acting like he had won the damn Super Bowl. Seriously, I half expected him to dump a cooler of Gatorade over himself and proclaim that he was going to Disney World.

• No sooner was Daisy back in the coop that Russell decided, “It’s time for me to create chaos. I’m in a bind right now so I have to get everybody else at each other’s throat.” He went in the middle of the night and opened the door to the chicken coop to let Daisy and her pal out (although I’m not so sure they actually left). Then, Russell couldn’t help but show off a bit, putting on his hidden immunity idol while watching everyone sleep. Only everyone wasn’t sleeping. Dave woke up and had himself a nice little chat with Russell…who was wearing the idol right in front of him the entire time! It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Dave, but I have no doubt that if he was watching this go down that he was silently mouthing the word “wow” at the TV screen. After all, that seems to be his go-to move.

• Don’t look now, but we got the season’s first quality Brett scene!  Poor Brett. His one decent scene — relegated to the recap episode. (Insert depressing Charlie Brown music here.) It also involved giving us some more background on the last minute Galu decision to oust Erik. Brett didn’t like it, but went along with it under his plan to “fly under the radar for a while.” Is that what he calls it, flying under the radar? Dude, you are flying so low, you’re a freakin’ submarine!

• Shamu…I mean, Shambo was undoubtedly the star of this episode. We saw her calling Dave a moron for taking over making the fire (which he was successful at). We later couldn’t help but sympathize with her when Dave began treating her like a little kid by refusing to share their alliance’s strategy with her for fear that she would spill the beans. “The tribe of Galu is going to take me deep into the game. Oh, I am so appreciative,” said Shambo sarcastically. “These people can kiss my ass.” This was not her best line of the night, however. That would be after Laura tried to comfort Shambo who was grieving over her dead siblings, yet couldn’t help but insist that the former marine was paranoid for thinking the other girls didn’t like her. Shambo’s response? “Don’t make me throw up on your face.” Had she actually done so, it would have only been THE BEST DELETED SCENE EVER! Shambo still wasn’t done, though. She then hilariously called out Monica for trying to get her to join back up in one big, happy Galu alliance. “Drop the bull about Galu loyalty,” responded Shambo. “Because there is none. It’s Puff the Magic Freakin’ Dragon.” (I take it back, dragons on Survivor would be the best deleted scene ever.) And how do you top that for an encore? You sing! Yes, all of our suspicions about Shambo being an 80s arena rocker were confirmed when she closed the episode by crooning the words — at least some of them — to “Eye of the Tiger.” (By, of course, Survivor.)

All in all, it was pretty decent stuff. Not as great as an original episode, of course, but certainly better than the recap rehashes of yesteryear. And on Thanksgiving, I am certainly thankful for that. What did you think of the episode? Sound off on the message boards. But first, make sure to watch the latest episode of Survivor Talk below with Survivor: Samoa‘s Laura (who shares her voting strategy on the Jury) and Tocantins runner-up Stephen Fishbach. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRossif you dare!

[ewbrightcove “50647066001”, “51824177001”, “475”, “345”]

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Comments (162 total) Add your comment
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  • ANN

    No kind of EW hype can make me watch a Survivor recap show. Sorry.

    • Anna

      It was your loss. I’m not trying to be sarcastic. It was actually pretty good, 98% new material. It was still in large part the Russell and Shambo dog and pony show but we did finally get to hear Brett’s voice. Up until now I was never completely convinced he even had one

    • April

      I had NO plans to watch this, and didn’t. Then I was surfing EW, and if Dalton says it was better than usual, I am going to trust him every single time. The survivors this year are so entertaining, it was fun to just get to wacth them in action without dealing with the challenges.

  • DVaRmy

    also it was interesting how Russel and Mick shared income and job secrets…and how Mick would use it in a minute. I wonder if Mick was there for the “my dog died in the Katrina flooding after using my ax on the door because I am a Fireman” story?

    • Sam

      Actually, that comment and Natalie’s little promise to Russell about not throwing him under the bus if they went to F2 were the two most interesting bits. I think Foa Foa are destined to make F4 at this point, bar some strange and completely idiotic defection. At that point, Russell and Natalie are way tighter than Mick and Jaison, and Mick would probably throw Russell under the bus if things went to a F3. At this point, it’s still looking like Natalie’s game to lose.

      • Mika

        I think Russell will work to get Natalie and Jaison out before Shambo. I think it will be the Foa men and Shamu for F4.

  • MollyFaraday

    If only Galu would have listened to Brett about voting off Erik. It would have been a whole new game…… Making hasty plans is never good, especially when you are turning on your tribemates….. Idiots. Go Brett!

    • Winston

      You should check out Ponderosa. 3 people into the Jury and he is still unnerved about being voted off!

      • Anna

        No kidding!! Erik could stand to go a few more rounds with the camp psychologist.

      • Shelly in NoHo

        You are so right!! The “never before seen” scenes with Erik proved to me even more what a complete arrogant dummy he is. I am so glad he was voted off and hope Russell goes VERY soon!!

    • naynay

      Could someone please remind me what Eric had done to have everybody so willing to vote him off???

      • ichorwhip

        He was a completely cocky and reckless blabbermouth, but the Galus should have kept him anyways. They self destructed, and now a Foa is the odds on favor to win in my mind.

      • JA

        Also, Erik was trying to get Monica voted off – one of his own. And it blew up in his face.

      • teresa

        Voting off Monica was John’s idea, not Eric’s!

  • Lori

    We’re talking recaps now (keep that in mind) but this was the best recap ever! It was ALL new scenes – I enjoyed it (though admittedly a turkey high was probably a helpful happy sedative)

  • Jeremiah

    Although the scenes from the next survivor are usaally misleading I’m hoping that Russell doesn’t go after his own tribe. They just got the numbers advantage and while its bound to happen eventually he neds to stick with the gameplan they’ve got now. He’d be just as dumb as the members of galu if he voted off one of his own, sometimes I think that Russell is playing too agressive. He’d better keep the idol to himself this time because the game is gradually becoming an individual game rather then a team one.

    • Shelly in NoHo

      I know. That preview where Russell yells at Natalie and telling her hope stupid she was. Not a smart move. But seems like he is being his usual arrogant jerk and hopefully his days are numbered.

      Since there are only 3 more episodes before the finale and 9 players remaining, there has got to be at least 2 double elimination shows to get it down to 4 players for the finale on Sunday, Dec 20th.

      • Applesauce

        …or medical evacuation.

      • chris b

        no. this is going to be a final 3 ending (HATE IT) so that means the Sunday episode will historically start with 5 people left. But who knows, maybe they’ll start the finale episode with 6 people.

      • sonny

        Yea, this final 3 stuff is starting to stink to high heaven. if you were unsure that the producers were assisting Evil russell to a lucrative money night, I guess you can see it for what it is, and has been all along. It looks like the fix is in.

  • James

    I liked this episode. Nice to see Brett talk and learned a bit more about everyone. Every week my opinion of Shambo changes. This episode made her look whiny and inconsiderate.

    • JenR

      I thought it made her look smarter than I had given her credit for being. Her speech to Monica was great. And Dave hastily apologizing and trying to sooth her after he made her angry was very entertaining.

    • D

      Disagree. It explained for me a good part of the reason that she rightfully could not stand Laura. What a phony Laura was!! So glad she is gone myself.

      • AcaseofGeo

        On Shambo’s deceased siblings, Laura: “They’re better off”. Thats ALL she could say??? OMG. One was a baby and the other a 27 year-old newlywed. I know there is a Christian belief of a wonderful heaven, but this is not what you say to someone recalling mournful times in their life.

      • G

        Yeah, Laura really demonstrated some great ministering there, didn’t she? Seriously, I could do better than that, and I’m awful at comforting people. At last I see why Shambo dislikes her so much.

      • Lee

        Before everyone jumps on Laura, consider editing. The producers have already made Russell the star of the show so maybe the recap was their attempt to make Shambo the star of the episode. Personally, I don’t care for either Russell or Shambo. That’s why I’m willing to give Laura the benefit of the doubt. I think she is the more mature person than Shambo.

      • Jock

        Yeah, it’s so mature to giggle at someone being called named behind her back. Forming a little mean girl’s club and shunning her is also terribly mature and Christian, too.

      • mary mac

        I agree with D. This episode showed the heartless side to Laura. I was half expecting her to say “Oh, so sorry, ahhh, could you move, you’re blocking my sun!”

      • James

        Im not saying I liked Laura but look at everything else. There was Shambo biting Dave’s head off, her laughing at Laura’s misfortunes left and right, I mean, act like you’ve been there and show some class. Then there was her own hypocrisy about when she told Mon that Kelly got what she deserved for targeting her. Shambo has shown that she can be very self-centered.

      • CJG

        Laura has some seriously fake boobies.

      • Jack

        I guess it is a matter of perspective. Personally I went from liking Shambo to disliking her when her true colors were revealed. The worst I heard Laura call Shambo was ‘a Gilligan’. Shambo called Laura all kinds of vicious names—and yet that doesn’t phase you at all. Even John, who was also in the game, said that Shambo’s ‘overt aggressiveness’ and “in your face 24/7′ was turning people off. Shambo made a lot of vicious comments about people. She’s quite mean-spirited herself.

    • LiLa

      I thought the recap showed Shambo to be more of a game player than I had thought. And Laura’s apparently true colors came through and they weren’t pretty.

  • Dennis

    My TV broke. Who got voted off tonight?

    • Lee

      ha ha

  • d


  • jarjhead

    for Shannon:
    Semper Fi,marine and belated happy birthday. where you in okinawa between jan 87 to jan 88, and what base were you stationed at. cause i was there and i think i recognize you. lcpl garcia

  • darclyte

    It wasn’t a “recap” show. They used to “recap” and toss in 1 or 2 brief “never before scenes.” This one, was like ALL deleted scenes. All the stuff about Erik and the chicken…new. All the stuff about Shambo telling Laura about her sister who died while Laura “sunbathed,” and then Laura saying, “Hey, where’s my sunshine”…new. The scenes with Mick not being a leader…new. Just lots and lots of all new. Best non “new” episode ever.

    • ichorwhip

      Must agree, this was the way to do a “recap show” by showing mainly all new stuff, and the changed perspective that goes along with it.

  • i’m a lady

    4 words. too much chicken footage.

    • Anna

      And after all that they didn’t even tell us what transpired as a result of Russell facilitating their escape. I’m huffing a sigh of exasperation now. I mean crap, if the chickens didn’t make a run for it why even bother with the Russell clip? And if he did cause chaos why didn’t they let us in on the ensuing drama?

      • JenR

        They showed the chickens in the cage after he opened the door. The chickens stayed. I doubt they even realized the door was open as it was night and they were sleeping.

      • D

        Maybe they will address it in next week’s episode.

      • darclyte

        From the preview, it appears that the chickens are still in the cage. Russell left the door unlocked so that the chickens could have pushed it open and escaped (as opposed to just taking them out) but it appears as though they didn’t leave.

    • Suz

      I loved the “chicken hunt”, it was hilarius.

    • julie

      I loved the chicken chase footage with Erik, so funny. Good episode

    • dogbreath

      Have there been any scenes showing them eating anything that looks like eggs?

    • sonny

      It should have been a TURKEY!

  • sherrell

    Nice work-even on Thanksgiving. After waking from my turkey induced nap & ready to watch survivor-it was nice. I love watching every scrap about the show, deleted scenes and all. To bad it didn’t show us what Jeff was really doing during his off time(sleeping in hammock w/pina colada)! Looking forward to new epi next week. : )

  • a.e.

    My admiration for Russell has been consistent through the season, but by no means enthusiastic primarily because I can tell that IRL he is a major jerk. However, this episode inched me a little bit closer to love. The guy is great for TV and his scenes delivered the most laughs/entertainment in the Recap episode by far.
    Also? Jaison is pretty damn hot (or was before the lack of lotion made him look an ashen-mess). Seeing earlier episodes before the whining and misery kicked in really made me take a second look.

    • D

      They all looked so much healthier in the earlier scenes, I noticed.

  • Nutz

    Laura can stop blaming the editors for looking like a conniving rat. She has been saying all along that she and Brett talked about everything. Well, that must have gone one way because Brett seemed pretty surprised about the Erik vote. Also, very hard to believe that she wasn’t “working” Shamu on the beach. It’s also interesting to hear her after Russell now and then hear Russell say that this is all about just playing a game where there are no rules. Nobody has played the game quite like him. For what it’s worth, there is no strategic value to anyone taking John out of the game now. Obvious targets are Monica (still part of a three person alliance) and Dave.

    • Sam

      Laura was ridiculously selfish on the beach. Shambo’s crying and Laura’s more concerned with her tan, feigning compassion. Laura’s just self-serving and if she was less hypocritical about it, she would be more likeable. I’d take out Brett at the next tribal. Foa Foa are tight now, and so they can start removing the physical threats.

  • Winston

    No skit this week? If there was, I’d guess wearing the ever-so-inconspicuous idol around one’s neck, or the personal mission to capture a chicken.

    I really liked the “recap”. I didn’t watch the “recap” of Tocantins (now I must), and I liked seeing 95% new footage that explained and clued us in on some of the things that were said and done.

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