Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #12

Once again history repeats itself. It always does. Especially on Survivor. Anybody remember back on Survivor: All-Stars when Boston Rob pleaded with Lex to save his soon-to-be wife, Amber, promising his loyalty in return? We all remember how that turned out… Lex was the next person voted out. Sound familiar?

John made a huge move last week when he aligned with Russell and Foa Foa and switched his vote forcing Laura out of the game. It was a big move that I fully appreciated. He risked alienating Laura and other Galu members to put himself in a better position in the game. Unfortunately for John, the big move was poorly executed.As always hindsight is 20-20, so ”with all due respect” to John (which my buddy Lopez says means you don’t actually respect the person at all), I offer this analysis of why John is no longer in the game.

John made three big mistakes that led to his ouster. The first mistake John made was in making a deal with the one guy you simply cannot trust – Russell. Russell is nothing if not consistent and he is consistently untrustworthy.

Russell is also a great player. Yes, I said GREAT. Russell used John like a mercenary. By convincing John to switch sides, he got what he needed which was another Galu member voted out. That was John’s second mistake. He should have insisted that in order to get his vote, they must first vote out a Foa Foa. He didn’t. That was a fatal mistake. Because once Laura was voted out, John was no longer of any use.

From Russell’s vantage point, it was an easy and extremely wise vote to get rid of John as soon as possible. In doing so, Russell and the rest of the Foa Foa tribe officially changed the game. Foa Foa (plus Shambo) is now in control of the numbers. Brilliant.

One of the best ideas we’ve had in recent years was in Guatemala when we introduced the ”advantage” to the auction. Danni bid on the advantage, it helped her win the challenge and she ended up winning the game. Jaison made a great move in buying the advantage. It’s money well spent and we (producers) always make sure that the advantage is significant enough that if you play it right, you have a very good chance of winning the challenge. It’s the biggest move Jaison has made in the game and it paid off big time.

To be fair, it’s easy to sit at home and say Jaison made the right move in buying the advantage, but when he saw Mick buy an entire meal moments later for the same amount of money, believe me he had 2nd, 3rd, 4th thoughts about how he had spent his money.

But by the time the challenge came around Mick’s meal had already made it’s way in, through, and out his body and it clearly didn’t help him in the challenge. Good move, Jaison.

Side note: Dave Ball, thank you for not bidding on the shower.

The biggest moment of the auction was not the $200 peanut butter and jelly sandwich that Natalie bought, nor was it Jaison buying the advantage in the challenge. The biggest moment of the auction was John deciding to not share the apple pie with the rest of the tribe. His third and final mistake.

John: I’m confident that nobody is going to vote me off because I didn’t give them a piece of apple pie.”

NOTE TO ALL FUTURE SURVIVORS: Whenever you are given a selfish vs. selfless choice, you ALWAYS choose the selfless option. Always, always, always. Survivor is a social game. John could have used that pie to buy a lot of good will from a lot of people, and I absolutely believe had he done so he would still be in the game. Instead he lost even more favor because he was seen as selfish. The truth is it was a golden opportunity that he wasted. Then again, I say that as I am finishing up a pizza while I write this blog. It’s a tough position to be in for sure, but that’s why we do it – to force the Survivors to make tough decisions.

We’ll never know for certain how much of a part it played in him being voted out, but it definitely did not help him, and had he given up the pie he might have saved himself. You never want to give anybody a reason to vote you out. Never.

While we’re at it, if you ever find yourself playing Survivor and muttering something that begins with: ”I’m confident…and ends with ”won’t get voted off” start packing your bag, cause the blindside is already in motion.

Admittedly, Shambo is a bit of a kook, but you have to find a soft spot in your heart for a woman who shares a clearly heartfelt goodbye to an about-to-be slaughtered chicken and promises to see them in heaven when they’re back together… only moments before she cooks them over an open fire.

First off, Natalie was impressive. A major effort. I tested this challenge myself and those wooden planks were very heavy. Natalie dug deep and outlasted everybody except Dave and Jaison and Jaison had an advantage.

I was so happy to see the advantage pay off for Jaison. Not because I’m rooting for him but because I respect big moves. Spending all of his money for one advantage was a big move.

The look of shock on John’s face was one of the best of the season. It was almost, not quite, but almost, hard for me to watch. He never ever saw it coming.

Also, I’m not sure why Laura is so concerned with whether Shambo knew what was going on or not, but it says to me that there is clearly still some bitterness between the two and if Shambo makes it to the final you can bet she will not have Laura’s vote.

So where do we stand now? Well, this much we know for sure: It is a new game. Foa Foa is now in charge and you can bet that Monica, Dave and Brett are very worried about their future.

The good news is that once again the numbers are uneven and that means that somebody on Foa Foa is now a potential swing vote. The remaining Galu members have to find the crack. They have to find out who is on the bottom of the Foa Foa totem pole and convince them that joining forces is in everybody’s best interest.

The only shot they have of pulling that off is if they start thinking like Russell and ask themselves, ”What Would Russell Do?”

See ya next week. Don’t forget to check out the deleted scene below and read Dalton’s recap.

[ewbrightcove “53932596001”, “51824177001”, “475”, “345”]

Comments (524 total) Add your comment
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  • Jeff Fan

    Once again, Brett who?

    • NC

      He owns a T-shirt company and if you watch the Pondarosa videos on YouTube or CBS’s website one of the jury members shows up in one of his company’s t-shirts next tribal council.

      Can’t remember who. John maybe? Maybe Jeff can explain how that happened next week? :)

      • Centient

        I do know that Laura knows Brett from church. Could be that someone else knows Brett as well. FWIW I’ve been practically screaming at my TV for the past 2 weeks “VOTE BRETT OFF NOW!”. He’s the one member of Galu that I wouldn’t want to risk bringing to the finals. Given the composition of the jury I just wouldn’t feel confident that I could beat Brett if I were Foa Foa, or frankly even a member of Galu…

      • lbj

        Exactly, Brett who? Boring much? I say this every week but the best part of this show is Russell – I wouldn’t be watching this season if he wasn’t on there…

      • CD

        Centient: Agreed! Brett should have been the one voted out right after Laura. It was the best move for Russell & Foa Foa to take out the alliance of 3 women, but Monica is much weaker at challenges and Brett is the youngest guy there. I think Brett really should have been the next after Laura. I think John could have lasted a couple more rounds – although he was a more sneaky player than Dave, Brett, or Monica has shown. So as long as Russell didn’t upset Shambo too much by excluding her from the vote, and still has her alliance, then everything still should be good for Russell and gang.


        I don’t think Brett will win foir the simple reason that he is not playing. Any juror would have to look at him and say “What did you do?”. You have to play to win and all the jurors, being true players, will recognize this and reject him in favor of anyone who at least took chances.

      • Anna

        I saw the Ponderosa videos. It’s Erik who comes to the next Tribal in a Brett designed t-shirt. I think I may have even seen Brett wearing the same one in one of the rare glimpses we’ve gotten of him.

      • Centient

        Anna: Thanks for the heads-up. Thinking I may know what’s going on now…

    • Survivor Blog

      Bret was my pick to win it from the beginning. Even though we never see him I think he is pretty good. Read more Survivor thoughts at

      • Sue

        I would vote off Brett too before Russell because if I was a Foa Foa I would not want to sit next to him at the end. What’s not to like?

      • jem

        I had placed him high on my list of potential winners as well, but if I were playing I would think he is too cute and likable to compete against in the end.

        More at

    • hhh

      what I can’t understand is, Why did Brett made no appearance this week, and the week before, and also the week before that, oh!, and also the entire season. Is he too boring, or is he too much under the radar or what? it’s 11 episodes now and this is the first time in survivor history that I dont know almost anything about a contestant at this stage in the competition. Basically this whole season is a Russell show. And Jeff, I don’t get when you said, “Foa Foa is now in charge and you can bet that Monica, Dave and Brett are very worried about their future” – Because I am not sure there are beginnings, past, present and futures of Brett in this whole entire season. I mean, its getting ridonkulous, the editing of this season.

      • D

        It was much worse last season with Coach. At least Russell is making moves and playing the game. Coach was just a delusional jerk.

      • Emily

        Brett’s not even on the radar! I mean seriously, has he ever said anything at tribal council?

      • Henry

        Agreed, D. I enjoy Russell because he’s clever and innovative. Coach was neither. He was just unpleasant to spend time watching.

      • C

        The reason Brett has not made an impact on people, I believe, is strictly editing. I think this guy is the smartest one on Galu.

        A deleted scene showed Brett telling John (right after the merge) that voting out Monica was a horrible idea. It showed Brett attempting to convince John why he was wrong with that decision. Brett was right.

        The Thanksgiving recap episode showed that he was the only one smart enough to figure out that voting out Erik was a BAD idea! Again, Brett was right! Unfortunately, they informed him of the plan too late for him to change their minds.

        Also, he is the only Galu member who has been shown trying to reach out to Shambo even a little bit. Isolating Shambo was Galu’s biggest mistake, and Brett seems to be the only one who realized the mistake while they were making it.

        I think Probst would agree with me: Brett is a smart player, and NOT just playing on the sidelines. Editing can be deceptive.

    • Matt

      Hey Jeff,

      I suggested Heroes vs Villains for season 20 in this blog last year, and here’s my new idea –

      Survivor 22: Second Chance Edition

      Think about it: 22 = 2nd chance, it makes sense. There have been rumblings (true or false) regarding a Second Chance season, which seem to be getting stronger. I think it will happen in season 22.

      Here is the proposed cast (8 males and 8 females who provide a good mix of personalities):

      Mike S (Australia)
      Silas (Africa)
      Robb (Thailand)
      Bob-Dawg (Panama)
      Cao-Boi (Cook Islands)
      Ace (Gabon)
      Ben (Samoa)
      Russell S (Samoa)/Mikey B (Micronesia)

      Gina (Marquesas)
      Dolly (Vanuatu)
      Angie (Palau)
      Misty (Panama)
      Michelle (Fiji)
      Tracy (Micronesia)
      Sydney (Tocantins)
      Betsy (Samoa)

      Thanks for reading,

      • Kristin

        Nice cast… i think that would be awesome!

      • CD

        I think if you are going to give people a 2nd chance, they should have at least made the jury. I dont even know who half of these people are.

        A better idea would be to have an all-stars that does not include anyone that made it to the final tribal council, but did make the jury. Basically the best (or most interesting) players that finished no higher than 3rd and no lower than maybe 9th (or whatever from the seasons that have more than 9 people (including jury) at the final tribal council.

      • chrissyo8

        i think this is a good list. However, i would take out sydney from tocantins and in place put marissa from this season.

      • D

        Sydney was BORING!

      • Abby

        Love the idea! The only problem is that it should be called Survivor: LOSERS

      • Rob

        I like the cast you came up with, except I think more contestants from the first eight seasons would be better. And don’t put Robb from Thailand in, I loved that season, but that guy is such a douchebag.

      • Noel

        Awesome idea! I vote for Jeff Varner, from Australia, b/c he got royally screwed over by Skupin falling in the fire!

      • Annie

        why would you put Ben from this season in? WHY? He is the most horrible person to have played the game. He doesn’t deserve a 2nd chance he deserves to get absolutely nowhere in life until he changes his personality.

      • Henry

        Some of the smartest and most promising characters are always eliminated from the start. Some of them are car crash television crazies, but that’s fun too. I’m sure some fans would wilfully miss the point at first but they’d catch on.

      • Henry

        Everyone’s list is bound to be a little different. For me, Thailand’s pastor John Raymond, Marquesas’ yoga guru Peter Harkey, Panama’s Timber Tina and Samoa’s Marisa and Betsy were characters who fell disappointingly short of their potential the first time. I’d love to see them do it right this time.

      • Matt

        Thanks for the kind words.

        I just thought that maybe it’d be good to have one post merge player on each team – Erik R and Sierra. That would stir things up a bit seeing how they would cope, and they are both favourites of the casual fan.

        Mike S (Australia)
        Silas (Africa)
        Robb (Thailand)
        Bob-Dawg (Panama)
        Cao-Boi (Cook Islands)
        Erik R (Micronesia) – Post-Merge
        Mikey B (Micronesia)
        Ace (Gabon)
        Ben (Samoa)

        Gina (Marquesas)
        Dolly (Vanuatu)
        Angie (Palau)
        Misty (Panama)
        Ashley (China)/Michelle (Fiji)
        Tracy (Micronesia)
        Sierra (Tocantins) – Post-Merge
        Sydney (Tocantins)
        Betsy (Samoa)

        That would be a great season.


      • Cari

        it would make a lot of sense if a “SECOND chance” themed survivor had SECONE placers. The people you named are just random :p

      • Will

        I am another HUGE FAN really pulling for a second chance season, especially in light of how marisa claihan and betsey bolan went so early this season.

        I’d also like to see


        Tina – (Panama) (her elimination broke my heart! Poor woman’s son just died, and she was on an older woman team… aw I cried when she was eliminated.)

        Dolly (Vanuatu)

        Nicole (Pearl Islands)

        Sandy (Tocantins)

        Tracey (Fans. Vs. Faves) Seriously should be on an all star season. One of the best strategists EVER. She just go unlucky with the season she was cast on.

        Marisa and Betsey (Samoa) (OMG Marisa crying when she got sent home… and if you watch the whole video of her @ after she got voted out, when she breaks down crying… it makes you cry too.)

        Jamie (China) wins for DUMBEST reason the tribe voted her out.

        Christina (Cook Islands) Cop who just missed the jury… when her whole time ganged up on her it was sad.

        Lindsey (Africa)

        Stacey (Borneo) Richard Hatch’s very first victim. Homegirl unknowingly started up everything survivor is based on.)


        Silas (Africa)

        Andrew (Pearl Islands)

        Russell Swan (Samoa)

        Mike (Australia)

        Ace (Gabon)

        hmmmm I have to think about that, but it’s clear to me that girls have always gotten the short end of the stick on survivor.

      • Courty

        Hunter from Marquesas or Thailand.

      • falconer

        i think that one shot it enough at a million as much as i liked some of these ppl i hate watching them all again half the fun of watching the show is trying to figue out what ppl are like and what they are thinking

    • AcaseofGeo

      As a Brett fan, I have plenty of Brett moments. He’s quiet for sure, but man is he sooooo good to look at, even after 30 days in the wild. Remember that aside from Shambo, his tribe was relegated to few scenes due to the editing. This suggests one of the underdogs will eventually win, similar to last season with JT.

    • Ricky G

      Hey guys seeing that all of you are hardcore Survivor fans!! lol … You should go to Youtube and watch all the secret and Ponderosa scenes on CBS’ page. Just saying in case nobody knows or is craving more Survivor!!

      They add like 5 to 7 CLIPS AFTER EVERY EPISODE!!!

    • Matt

      I’m pretty sure it is a running gag between the producers to see how little air time they can give Brett. There is no way he makes the final four with such little airtime.

    • vilher

      brett who is still in the game.
      That makes him að better player than Laura, Kelly and Eric. Not to mention the wimps that were sent home before them.

      • Shawn

        I 100% disagree that Brett still being in the game, makes him a better player. You have to take chances and make moves to benefit yourself and control your fate. Brett has done nothing, he has had opportunities to convince his tribe to vote a certain way and has yet to succeed.

        In my eyes he is a terrible player, and so boring that he is not even worth watching.

    • carl

      I love Brett and I think he is great and great looking….i love him….Im gonna buy a lot of his t shirts….go Brett…hope you win

  • dummy

    wheres the secret scene?

    • Ricky G

      Go to CBS’ Youtube page “dummy”!!! lol

  • rolly

    As always, great recap Jeff.

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Yeah, I really admire Jeff’s blog. They added to spice to an excellent dish called Survivor. Hope the blog continues along.

      On the side note, John is an idiot. Perhaps dumbest astronaut/engineer. By voting off Laura he sealed his doom more rather than take a chance of a rock. He failed to calculate that odds.

      And Jeff Probst, being selfless doesn’t guarantee win. Ask Matthew from Amazon did that and yet he didn’t win. Or even Randy with the cookies with Sugar. Being selfish on the other hand guarantees more animosity though.

      Natalie on a shower makes Jeff Probst a pervert. I am sure the producers along with other castaway doesn’t mind her winning that auction. Kelly is still hotter than Natalie.

  • Paula

    Jeff…this is the BEST Survivor in a very long time…so many surprises and blindsides…Russell is without a doubt the top Survivor manipulator ever. Can’t wait for next week!!!!!!

    • Annie

      Its funny you point this out about Russell making some bad moves, I was thinking the same thing. In fact, if Russell had opponents who could actually play survivor, Im not sure he would have made it past week 2. But the deal is…he IS working these people like Ive never seen before. He is the greatest Survivor player in the history of the game because the guy started playing the game hard from the moment his feet hit the sand and he’s never let up. He found THREE AI without A CLUE.

      And I cant believe that someone feels Natalie is dumb? She’s dumb like a fox. She may wind up winning the whole thing.

      • Bert

        AI? Did you mean ammunity idol? That’s hilarious.
        HINT: The initials would be II.

      • Sarah

        I think he did have a clue for the third idol…

      • Annie

        I totally meant Immunity Idol! Hysterical…maybe it’s because of all the American Idol stuff plastered all over the page? Subliminal slip!

        And he didn’t have a clue. Remember? Dave pulled the rock out, was SOOOO worried about what Russell was doing that he missed the idol and then Russell circled back around and got it!

        Talk about hysterical!

      • D

        Annie, hon, sorry but your memory is weak. Russell, Dave and some others were on a reward challenge and everyone on the reward got a video clue of a rock being moved. And the “HII is no rolling stone” clue. Russell absolutely had a clue for that one.

      • Annie

        Lee-I think it’s bad form to assume that people who don’t see things from your viewpoint are “amateur” viewers. I’ve never missed a single episode of Survivor…ever. And in fact, if you see what I wrote, I said that if Russell found himself against worthier opponents, he probably wouldn’t have made it past the first few votes.

        Having said that, everyone out there knew he was finding idols without clues, (because he STUPIDLY told them) yet no one else could be bothered to look for them. That doesn’t change the fact that he has out maneuvered an EIGHT TO FOUR advantage going into the merge! Evil or not, I think we’ll see that when it comes down to the end, he will be furiously loyal to Natalie.

        And Russell, if you’re reading this, you owe Nat an apology when this is all over for referring to her as your “dumb blonde alliance”. She has proven to be anything but dumb.

      • Henry

        It’s always a role of the dice. A clever player could have spotted Russell as a threat and gotten rid of him early on. But Russell’s pretty good at flipping votes, and he’s so strong and useful around camp it would be hard to vote him out. He could hold his own.

    • sonny

      How is it that everyone seems to think that this little evil troll is the “greatest survivor player ever”. Just because he finds a few idols that aren’t hidden very well, doesn’t make him a great player. From my point of view, he has alienated almost everyone left in the game, especially the ponderosa voting group, as well as quite a few others playing the game. No way could he win the big prize of a million bucks! And lest we forget, THAT IS THE TRUE TEST OF WHO IS A GREAT SURVIVOR PLAYER. He’s a loser… and very creepy- look at his eyes.

      • ks

        Oh my – you aren’t watching the same show I am – he is a great player because he never stops playing. He masterminded John’s exit, likes he’s done in the past. You may not like him, but you must respect the way he’s playing – unlikeable people have won before – just for playing the game.

      • ac

        It doesn’t matter whether the immunity idols were poorly hidden or not. Russell’s genius was the fact that he was on constant hunt for them, clues or no clues. I was amazed that no one followed his lead. . .

      • Laura K.

        He’s playing a game. And he’s banking on people to vote for who played the game the best, not who they liked the most. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but it’s the gamble Russell has to take, because he’s just not that likeable.

      • Lee

        I’m with Sonny. Evil Russell is NOT one of the greatest Survivor players. The main reason he looks good to a bunch of “amateur” Survivor viewers is because he’s surrounded by a bunch of idiots. I think the biggest idiot of them all was John. Like Jeff said, John made a costly mistake by aligning himself with someone untrustworthy like Evil Russell. As far as I’m concerned, John is the reason for Galu’s demise. Wasn’t it John who wanted Monica out after the merge and created a splinter in the old Galu tribe? Wasn’t it John who cast the deciding vote to get rid of Laura? And then there’s Shambo. One of the dumbest players I have ever seen in Survivor. Forget about playing strategic. This moron bases her strategies on freaking DREAMS!!! Acting like Queen Elizabeth, she thinks she’s god-almighty or something by saying, “I want Laura gone” and “I want Dave gone.” In other words: “Off with their heads.” At the same time, this woman hasn’t done crap. He loses the scuba gear and one of the chickens. She doesn’t even know how to start a fire or make chicken soup. This past episode, she was the first one out of the immunity challenge. I mean, even freaking Monica beat her! ONE OF THE WORTHLESS PLAYERS IN SURVIVOR HISTORY. The only reason she’s still in is because of John’s dumb mistakes–NOT because she’s a good player. Do you want me to talk about other dumb players that surrounds Evil Russell? How about Dave Bell? Not only was he one of the instigators to oust Erik, but he was stupid not to believe that Evil Russell would have and play another H.I.I. that cost Ashley the game. And what exactly has Mick and Jaison done that was strategically brilliant in the game? Oh–I know. They went along with Evil Russell and Natalie with the stupid idea to get rid of John instead of Dave thereby betraying their trust to Shambo. Jeff said that old Foa Foa was the numbers now. I don’t think so. I would say it’s even at 4 to 4 (with Shambo part of old Galu). The only half-way decent strategic player this season would probably be Erik. But even he wasn’t too bright for not telling anyone that he had the H.I.I. which could’ve saved him. I realize this is all said in hind sight. But let’s face it. Evil Russell looks good because he’s surrounded by terrible players.

      • Mark

        I think you mean Kelly, not Ashley. Ashley was in Foa Foa and got voted out before the merge.

      • Julie

        You never know how a jury is going to vote. Russell may have made some enemies, but if he gets to the end it will depend on who is paired up with. Richard Hatch won bc peopel appreciated he was always thinking, not bc they liked him.

      • Lolly

        I don’t think he really has made enemies, which is part of the genius. I think people are just impressed at how he keeps pulling these maneuvers off. John might be the first one to have a real bone to pick with him, and that’s really John’s fault.

      • Mike

        Why do people downplay finding two hidden immunity idols without a clue? Think about it. The idol is a package about the size of a coffee mug. Now, if I took you to an island and told you I hid something that size on the island, heck even near the beach you are standing on, how long would it take you to find it?

      • JAG

        Russell is the perfect goat, not one of the best survivor payers, for sure. He has done nothing to secure any jury votes, and has an extremely poor social game. All his great strategy is nothing without these things. Thus, making him a poor Survivor player, and any true Survivor fan will know that. He will not win. And not because he was evil or creepy (although he is ;) at least in the game) I thought both Brian (S5) and Chris (S9) were creepy, and they won their seasons, because they hid it enough – knowing how to play the social part of the game. I don’t even think Russell has a clue about how important this part of the game is, let alone knowing how to play it. Therefore, making him NOT one of the greatest survivor players (despite all the shameless plugs) Thanks for hearing my rant :)

      • Matt

        Lee you are obviously the “amateur” viewer considering that you don’t know the difference between Ashley and Kelly. Dumbass

      • Monica

        everyone who has left the game so far has done so because of him, i don’t know exactly what dreams you’re having or what show you’re watching but he’s taken out EVERYONE.

      • puppy dog

        Monica, you are wrong. He wanted to vote Ashley out when they voted for Ben. That was Jaison’s doing. And voting Erik out wasn’t Russhole’s idea either. That was Jaison’s idea, executed by Natalie. Russhole hasn’t been the deciding factor in EVERYONE being taken out. There’s only been three ousts that were originally his idea. And for you, Lee, Dave Ball wasn’t one of the instigators in ousting Erik. He went along with Laura, Monica, and Natalie, as did everyone except Shamu. The instigators were Jaison, Mick, and Natalie.

  • JD

    I think it’s funny that you always mention Russell’s smart moves, but never all the dumb ones. and he is making a lot of them.

    Taking out John before Dave was a very stupid move, Jaison knew this. it might work out next week, but it was a risky move. could get Shambo very upset, and Dave is a much better player than John is. John is an idiot and could have just as easily been blindsided next week.

    anyway, I am liking this season more. but Mick, Jaison and Dave are the only people left rooting for.

    • Ted

      You’re not rooting for Natalie? She’s awesome!

      • JD

        She is too invisible, and dumb for me to root for. The likeable females all left early this year (Marisa, Betsy, Liz)

      • Krusty

        I beg to differ. Natalie is playing just as hard as Russell is and is his ally (for the moment) but she’s doing it without alienating anyone and without seeming like anyone’s toadie. She toughed it out last night and has performed semi-decently (for a little tiny thing who is losing more muscle than body fat daily) and people seem to get along with her. I think Russell will re-think taking her to the final 2 even though she’s one of the dumbass women he spoke of so frequently in the beginning. Otherwise, he’ll lose. THat of course presumes that he makes it near to the end. If Mick and Jaison wake up, they would toss him soon and NOT tell Natalie, and get old Galu to vote him off too. Put a mark on Dave Ball but conspire to vote Russell without having him play the idol. If they weren’t so hungry, I think their powers of stealth would improve. Apparently Russell doesn’t need food to operate but most humans do LOL.

      • Krusty

        That said, I LOVE the way Evil Russell’s been playing and rolling with it (that’s why he does make some dumb moves but he’s smart enough to be flexible about his plans). After watching EVERY single season, I am tickled to finally have someone who understands the game actually play. There haven’t been too many who have (Hatch, Boston Rob, that Todd guy, maybe Parvati and that’s about it). Great season.

      • davey

        I’m rooting for Natalie and could totally see her taking the win. Even if she made the finals with someone like Russell, we all seem to forget that Survivor is also a social game and Russell has lied to EVERYONE time and time again….while Natalie has stayed true to HER team and let Russell do all the heavy lifting!

      • CD

        I am not rooting for Natalie, but if she makes it to the final 3 I see her winning easily. I think Russell’s best chance at winning would be a final 3 with Shambo and Jaison.
        Any other Galu in the final would grab nearly all the Galu jury, and I think Mick and Natalie have a decent chance of beating Russell. That pretty much makes Shambo and Jaison as the only two likely for Russell to beat.

      • jeffwatcher

        I like Natalie too. Has done everything right and works hard without being a jerk. I can’t wait until Shambo, the control freak who I am sure boiled the every little taste out of that chicken, is voted OUT OF THERE! She is such a blowhard!

      • puppy dog

        Natalie’s smart, and knows how to play. She’s even playing Russhole. I believe she’ll be the winner this season. I hope Shamu goes home next Thursday. It’s a double elimination, so, of course I’m hoping that Russhole will accompany her. He went into the game with a lot more fat reserves than anyone else, and he’s short to boot, which is why he needs less food than most of the others. I don’t like him, and I don’t like his game play. I wish the editors would have let us see the personalities of all the contestants. Just having him shoved down our throats constantly is enough to make him unlikeable.

    • lbj

      Well, the whole coat-tail riding, do-nothing strategy has worked before so it could work again. But we all know Russell deserves this more than anyone. Hands down.

    • Jason

      You’re wrong, brother. I think that Natalie is the second best player left.

      Yes, she’s riding coattails a little bit at the moment, but I think that’s according to plan. Where would she be if she wasn’t?

    • Cowcharge

      Russell couldn’t vote anyone off without double crossing someone. He couldn’t take Dave out without blowing his promise to John to give him a Foa Foa after Laura. He’ll just placate Shambo and take out Dave next week.

  • Christie

    so was the chicken soup any good or not? Such a big deal was made about the way Shambo was cooking-couldn’t y’all have showed us just a few seconds of everyone eating it?

    • Ted

      Yeah, big editing blunder, IMO.

      • D

        What the heck? It is the second one this season after the pizza fiasco. They had pizza and didn’t show us. PROBST-We care about food story lines. Please finish them!!

    • darclyte

      I agree. The “real point” was to show Shambo’s feelings about Dave, but it would have been nice to have a comment about how it turned out one way or the other.

    • Kathy

      I agree as well. With that much time spent on it, I expected a huge pay off. Who was right, Dave or Shambo? Did either one give an “I told you so!”?

      • Snsetglaze

        I was wondering too. I think it was to show that Dave was not going to be voted off.

      • Ivy

        You definitely are not supposed to boil a chicken for two hours. One can boil chicken bones (feet, and other inedible parts) for two hours (or one hour, really) to make a broth, but the meat should only boil for about 20 minutes (or less for small pieces) or else it ends up incredibly tough. Dave was absolutely right.

      • Anna

        I have cooked a thousand pots of chicken soup, Dave was right, Shan boiled the thing to a mushy mess.

      • puppy dog

        Fortunately we won’t be eating dinner at her house. That had to be the dumbest thing I’ve seen so far this season. After watching the recap, and this episode, I have come to really dislike Shannon. It would be difficult to spend even one whole day with her, let alone 39.

    • RBlues

      That was my “wtf” moment last night as well. So much build up and conflict and then no mention of how the soup tasted? By the way, I’m pretty sure the longer you cook chicken soup, the better it tastes.

      • Doremifah Solatido

        Not on a hard boil, momo. And you need lots of other stuff; carrots, onions, celery, a good marrow bone if you can….that brainless mullet head made chicken-tinged kettle cleanser……

      • dogbreath

        I’ve made chicken soup many times and believe me if you leave the chicken in the full time (especially at a hard boil) t getw very dry. You need to remove the meat after 30-40 min. and leave the bones to brew.

    • Petunia

      I also wanted to know how the soup turned out. If Dave was right it would make Shambo hate him even more

      • DawninDenver

        Jeff you can see we want to know…was the chicken ruined or not?? Please share!

    • Jack

      The chicken soup was probably awful. That’s why the editors decided not to show it. Why make Shambo look worse than she already has?

    • Julie

      I know! I really wanted to find out :(

    • Pat

      I know!!! I was totally waiting to find out how it turned out!

    • ileen

      I disagree with Jack. I think the soup wound up being good and that’s why they didn’t show. Must not show anything that strays from the storylines they’re constructing. Shambo is an idiot as we’ve been shown time and time again, so showing a good idea of hers is verboten. Even her capture of the escaped chicken was saved for the clip show Thanksgiving night.

  • Kevin

    I think you missed John’s most important mistake, Jeff — he forced Russel to reveal that he had the idol. The second he let that cat out of the bag, he knew John had to go (he was just too dangerous to have around). I sincerely believe that Dave was going home until John pressed Russel to reveal that idol. John basically knew he had the idol and should have kept that a secret or shared the info at a strategic time.

    • Al

      He didn”t “force” Russell to tell him, Russell just can’t keep his big mouth shut about having the thing! All Russell had to do was play dumb. Sure John would be suspicious, but he wouldn’t know for certain.

      • Kevin

        What’s your point? He put Russell on the spot, basically accusing him of having the idol. Even showing that he strongly suspected Russell of having the idol was a HUGE mistake. If Russell sees you as a threat to winning the game (which knowing he has the idol would be a monumental threat) then you’re gone. It was an idiotic move by John to press him for that info. He deserved to be voted out last night.

      • AnonymooseBlog

        Even Russell admitted this! He said the other contestants shouldn’t listen to him talk, because if Russell lets something slip, then the other person must go!

      • Jack

        By Russell voting out John, he betrayed Shambo. That was the idiotic move.

    • Julie

      John’s big mistake was that he was the only person on Galu who seemed to think logically, and Russell knew it. The others are idiots, Dave being #1.

    • Alexis

      Totally agree with Kevin on this one. John could’ve easily kept that information to himself and used it later on in the game to go further. At that point he should’ve just stood back and let Dave get burned next. Or he could’ve even pretended that he had found a second idol and pulled a BOb :) This was his opportunity to do something devious and he didn’t use it to his advantage.

    • Gabe

      Absolutely right, Kevin. He wanted to confirm intel he had, but the way he chose to do it made him a threat to Russel. Shoulda held that card close to his chest, even if he wasn’t absolutely sure of it’s accuracy.

  • Bob

    Why no mention of the soup after it was finished?

    Also; what is it with the guy with no facile hair; he is flying so low below the radar.

    • Marc

      What happened with the soup?? Was it good? Was David right or was Shambo? Did everyone eat it?? I was so upset they left that part out. Anyways, slow start but this season has been the best to date. Always fun to watch each week!

    • Kat

      facile = easy

  • danielle

    i agree with christie. i kept waiting to see them comment on whether shambo or dave was right about how to cook chickens especially because in the past shambo has said she knew how to do things and dave’s questioned her and kinda humiliated her (i.e. making the fire)

  • Deb

    did anyone else notice shambo giving dave the finger during tribal?

    • Stevex

      I watched that in slo-mo, and it was the index finger, unfortunately.

  • Jeffrey

    The “Thank you, Dave B, for not bidding on the shower,” is hysterical.
    I like Jaison and am glad he won. And his eyes are beautiful.
    Shambo is so gross and idiotic; amazing to me they can tolerate her.
    Liked the shirt Jeff P wore at the reward challenge.

    • tennisfan

      Yes — it was nice to see Jaison make a big move and have it pay off — and I liked how he & Mick congratulated each other on actually winning something back-to-back, it must have hurt to have lost so much as Foa Foa did… And besides the eyes, Jaison has a beautiful smile, glad we get to see more of it!

    • Marc

      That was a great line. But I was hoping it was John getting to take a shower & a shave…

      • Jill

        me too…bye bye eye candy :(

      • Alexis

        Me three!! He’s sooo handsome :) in that rugged, sexy, “Im a rocket scientist” kind of way!

  • Meredith

    It’s been how many weeks now and I still find myself asking…who is Brett? He’s said, like, three words the whole time and that was in the recap ep. I don’t recall a Survivor ever having less screen time this far in the game! Probst, I need answers. Is he really that boring?

    • Annie

      Meredith, Im with you on this one. I think there must be some REASON no one ever mentions him. It’s like they all feel he is 100% a non-factor in the game. He must just sit there and say nothing, do nothing and have very little interaction with them. And as Jeff likes to point out…this is a social game, so I can’t imagine anyone feeling compelled to vote for him should he make it to the end.

      But yah…PROBST GIVE IT UP!

      • Cowcharge

        If all I consider with regard to Brett is editing, then he won, probably took every immunity challenge left, and they’ll trot him out as a Cinderella story.

    • ZRob

      Remember, it’s an edited show. I’m sure he speaks, he’s just not getting the camera love for whatever reasons.

    • JAG

      I really like Brett, and it appears that he is (was) in the best position of all the Galu going into the merge. As was stated by each of the “evicted” players so far, Brett was either in an alliance with them or their pick to win the game, or both. Brett, himself said that he was going to the F2 with Erik in a web clip. My guess is that Brett’s edit was traded to give Russell extra time, as Brett will not make it to the finals and win. And based on the deranged thinking of the writers/editors (and you too Jeff as per your blog, sorry, although I love ya) that we would rather see more of one character who they deem (and forcefeed) that we would find more interesting, than develop another character. Brett got the short end of the editing stick because CBS was pushing Russell from the start, plan and simple. Poor editing IMO

  • Kathryn

    I was curious about that soup too! Shambo was just as adamant that she knew how to make fire, and we know that didn’t turn out so well! Did Dave get to say “Told you so!” again?

    I think Shambo is going to be furious that Dave is still there and that she was deceived – I think the next person voted off is Shambo unless she wins immunity. Other contenders will be Dave and Russell, so I guess Brett’s safe for another week.

    • Petunia

      “I think Shambo is going to be furious that Dave is still there and that she was deceived” – Astute of Jaison to point that out. I wonder why no one told Shambo since everyone else was on board. Abandoned by Russell!

      Jaison/Mick/Nat would make a sensible alliance, since no seriously trusts Russell, except Shambo. Well, at least until last night. It would be odd if they didn’t ally with each other and follow Russell until they can oust him.

    • Anna

      Given the state of Shan’s plummeting mental status she either needs to be voted out at the next Tribal or medical will have to come in with a strait jacket and haul her off to the insane assylum. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be around camp with her but she’s starting to look scary unstable.
      About the chicken soup? I think, based on my own experiences with chicken soup, she probably boiled that chicken to a mushy mess.

      • Cowcharge

        You simmer soup, not boil it, jeez.

      • Fiona Bloemker

        Like the comment about the strait jacket Anna and I think u are right too.

  • lee

    brett is in the best position no ones noticing him which says he’ll last to top 6 in which case he takes 2 or 3 ppl from foa foa and get them out also he’s loved and trusted by everyone from wat i can see in the deleted scenes

    • GP

      Punctuation, dude!

  • iloveProbst

    Jeff, in the Fan vs. Favorites, I believe Jason shared food with the tribe, only to be blind sided and voted out. I don’t think sharing food with the rest of the tribemates would necessarily earn you goodwill and keep you from getting voted out.

    • Minnie

      It might be true that sharing won’t guarantee you to stay, but NOT sharing definitely puts you at a much bigger risk. So why chance it?

    • Loni

      I completely agree with this. I don’t think it does them any good to share food, I would have done the exact same thing.

      • Michelle

        I think what Jeff is saying is that you ALWAYS share because if you don’t you will be voted out. You might get voted out if you do share, but your chances of staying are certainly better and you won’t be voted out BECAUSE you shared, but for different reasons.

      • Offelia

        I don’t think that it’s really the sharing or not sharing that makes a difference, but more the way you do it. And the fact that he made a big deal of considering it before he decided to be deliberately and obviously selfish didn’t help. It would have been better if he said something like “Most of you already got something good here to eat” or “this isn’t going to help anybody much nutritionally” or whatever

    • Mike

      Sharing may not keep you in the game, but asking your tribemates, “Anyone want some pie?”, and after getting some yea’s you turn around and say, “I’m gonna keep this for myself.” isn’t exactly going to help you out when people are deciding who to vote off.

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