September 24, 2009 07:17 PM by Ryan Haidet
It has been a long time since a season of Survivor got off to such a strong start.Â I thought last week’s episode was good, but tonight’s hour of Survivor: Samoa topped that one by far.Â Fights are erupting, schemes are unfolding and somebody even found the Hidden Immunity Idol without using a single clue — but there’s a big surprise in store for that player when they find out that Idol holds no value. To top it all off, two contestants were eliminated in tonight’s episode and one was tossed out of the Immunity/Reward Challenge for getting far too physical.
A New Deal
At Foa Foa, Jaison and Russell H. made one of the most unlikely alliances in the game’s history.Â Shortly after forming their bond, Russell H. told his new ally that he was certain an Immunity Idol was hidden somewhere at their camp.Â And he searched for the thing right in front of everybody.Â As Russell H. dug around inside a giant tree right by the fire, he found the Hidden Immunity Idol.Â Amazing.Â He put it down in his underwear immediately and walked away.Â He then took that Idol over to Jaison and showed it to him so he could prove that he is a trustworthy ally.Â Or at least seem to be.
But let’s consider this little factoid — that Immunity Idol is only good for a member of the Galu tribe.Â That’s right!Â There are two Idols hidden in the game — each at the other tribe’s camp.Â So the one that Russell H. really needs is not the one he found — but it’s at the other camp.Â Whoops.Â But I sense he’s smarter than that.Â If Russell H. realizes that his Idol is no good, I have a huge feeling that he may try to convince Jaison to keep it.Â That could result in a huge moment down the line. Just a thought.
After getting Tree Mail, the tribes decorated themselves in war paint and headed off to an extremely brutal challenge for both Reward and Immunity.Â It was essentially a physical version of basketball with a few twists to it.Â Six people were placed on the ground to fight over the balls, which they then had to get to one of their three team mates at the opposite end of the muddy field.Â Once those folks got their hands on one of the balls, they had to shoot it across to the other side, hoping to land a basket.Â The first tribe to score three points would win safety and fishing gear.
There have been tough challenges in the past, but this one really had me amazed at how intense the tribes got.Â They were pushing, shoving, smacking, slamming, tossing and tripping each other all over the place.Â After two rounds, the tribes were even at one basket apiece.Â And that’s when host Jeff Probst issued a warning that they were getting far too physical with each other.Â He said there was to be no more hard hits, face smacks or other potentially harmful moves.
So much for that, Probst.
Moments later, during the third round, Ben kicked Russell S. in the leg and sent him tumbling to the ground.Â “Stop!” Probst screamed from his perch before removing Ben from the challenge.
When the match was all said and done, Galu was easily victorious.Â Not only did Galu win the Reward, but Russell S. was given the option to send one of his tribemates to the other camp for the day where they could also witness Tribal Council.Â He chose to send Yasmin over with them.
Big Blood Pressure Trouble
Before Foa Foa went back to camp, Probst told Mike that the medical team was going to take a look at him.Â They checked his blood pressure numerous times and when Mike tried to stand up, he fell over and had trouble breathing.Â It seemed every time medical checked his blood pressure that it was getting lower and lower.Â With that, Mike was removed from the game because the medic felt it was too risky to let him stay in the competition.
Foa Foa was down to eight.
Yasmin’s Stupid Strategy
Once she arrived at Foa Foa, Yasmin gathered everybody together and introduced herself.Â But this was no ordinary introduction.Â Oh, no.Â She told the opposing tribe that she was there to help them out with strategy and gameplay.Â Huh?!?!Â What?Â The girl who was complaining about hating life in the woods is going to dish out advice to eight other adults?Â Is she dreaming?Â Honestly, Yasmin, on what planet do you think this will be looked at positively?Â All you have done is created tension with people you may eventually have to play with if you happen to make the merge.Â Pure stupid strategy!Â Russell H. walked away because he felt Yasmin was far too disrespectful.Â “She’s gonna pay for that statement, I promise you,” he said.
Then she asked Ben to have a quick chat.Â But that chat turned into an argument.Â She couldn’t believe that he tackled her in the challenge.Â She felt he was a sissy player and called him out for his actions.Â But nasty Ben didn’t take her words nicely.Â After she stormed off, Ben joined Russell H. and said that Yasmin needed to get out of there and go eat her ketchup sandwiches and drink her Koolaid.Â Wow.Â Ben is pushing it.
Betsy Vs. Ben
Betsy felt threatened and wanted to target Ben next.Â She quickly pushed her strategy on Ashley and Natalie, but they seemed really anxious about it.Â Ben is a strong, physical presence and that had some of the tribe worried about voting him out.Â They felt strength was a necessity to their success — and Betsy seemed to be a weaker player.
But Ashley was having second thoughts.Â She wasn’t so sure that keeping Ben around was a good idea because of his abrasive ways.
They arrived at Tribal Council and Yasmin sat over to the side so she could watch the events unfold.Â Although she was immune from elimination, that didn’t mean Yasmin was safe from nasty comments.Â Ben addressed her visit at their camp and called her ghetto trash before saying he has no respect for her.Â After several other snide remarks, Betsy opened up and said she couldn’t understand how she was being targeted when Ben was acting so nasty.
When the voting began, it was evident that either Betsy or Ben would be the next to walk into the Samoan darkness.Â As Betsy wrote down Ben’s name at the voting booth, she sang the theme song to Cops.Â As Ben wrote Betsy’s name down, he called her a bad cop and fired an imaginary bullet at the camera.
When the votes were read, they overwhelmingly took Betsy out of the game.Â Let’s hope this season can hold its awesome momentum.
Images courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.