December 03, 2009 08:50 PM by Ryan Haidet
Love him or hate him, you have to admit that evil Russell Hantz is actually quite good.Â Yes, he has sabotaged his own tribe by dumping out water and burning their socks, but his strategy is unrivaled — and his gameplay displayed tonight showed more reasons why Russell is the best castaway Survivor has seen in years.Â He was able to change up the whole game plan right before Tribal Council, which resulted in yet another blindside.Â But before we get to that point…
After returning from Tribal Council when Laura’s torch was snuffed, John said in confessional that he had to switch sides to break the tie vote since he wasn’t willing to place his fate in the hands of chance.Â But his methods were starting to rub Monica the wrong way.Â She called him the Judas of the Galu tribe, and felt it was time for him to go.
The next day, each player was given $500 to spend at the Survivor Auction.Â As in seasons past, the bidding had to take place in increments of $20, and the auction would end without warning.
The first item was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Â Natalie tossed out a $200 bid immediately, and she won it easily.Â The next item remained covered, and the bidding war began.Â Shambo took it home with $240.Â After paying, Jeff Probst revealed she had won sea noodles and slug guts.Â Even though it looked nasty, she ate it anyway.Â What a waste of money.
The next item was covered, too, which Monica won for $340.Â And it was worth the cash because she won herself a whole roasted chicken, which she started chowing down immediately.
Up for bids next was what Probst said would be a significant advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge.Â After a short bidding war, Jaison bid $500 on the advantage, which he was forced to keep sealed until the Immunity Challenge.
Next up, Mick won a cheeseburger, fries and beer for $500 as soon as Probst uncovered the plate.Â And it may have been the biggest burger I’ve ever seen!Â Mick bit deep down into the greasy goodness as Jaison looked on slightly disappointed he had just spent all of his cash on the Immunity advantage.
After that, John won a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol for $200, but that was a wasted win since Russell already had the Idol in his possession.Â But much more interesting was what took place after John won a huge piece of pumpkin pie.Â But before he started digging in, Probst offered him a choice — he could chow on his pie or divide an entire pie with the rest of the group.Â He kept the pie for himself saying he hoped nobody would vote against him for that decision.
Although there were no amazing family moments like we got last season with Taj, this was still a pretty good auction.
With the Aiga tribe ready to kill the chickens for dinner, Shambo was nearly brought to tears.Â She approached their cage and told them that she would eventually see them in Heaven.Â So now one must ask — do all chickens go to Heaven?Â Anywho, after their heads were placed on the chopping block, Shambo decided to take the reigns as the chef.Â She told everybody else to leave her alone, claiming she knew the best way to cook it up.
But when Dave came into the picture, he immediately questioned her cooking methods, which totally offended her.Â She was fed up with his remarks saying, “I don’t think I’ve been more angry in the last 29 days.”
This moment raised a question from me — I thought Russell let the chickens free.Â Last week during the recap episode, we were showed Russell opening the cage to let the animals loose.Â I guess they never got away?
That night Shambo had a dream in which Dave was voted off.Â The segment was a tad ridiculous as the producers made it seem like a Blair Witch-type deal with her moving around in her sleep making her almost look possessed.Â The next morning, Shambo was convinced her dream was the sign to take Dave out next.
At the Immunity Challenge, the nine contestants arrived at the first major endurance challenge of the season.Â Every player held a rope with a log on the other end. Every three minutes they had to switch hands and move down one knot on the rope, which made the log feel heavier.Â The last person standing would win Immunity.Â Jaison’s advantage was the opportunity to move his hand up the rope two knots at any point, which he did after just nine minutes.
After 21 minutes, Shambo lost her balance and fell off the platform.Â Russell surprisingly dropped out next.Â After everybody made it to the end of the rope — except Jaison of course — they started dropping like flies.Â Monica.Â John.Â Brett.Â Mick.
“That hand better be bleeding when you let go,” Probst said to the last three contestants.Â Moments later, Natalie, who had a rather impressive performance in the challenge, dropped out.Â That left just Jaison and Dave shaking uncontrollably as they battled for Immunity.Â But it didn’t take much longer before the rope slipped out of Dave’s hand, which gave Jaison victory.
Flipping It Around
Back at camp, John wanted a Foa Foa member to be the next target, so he and Russell made the deal to oust Mick.Â But not so fast.Â He literally just made a deal with the devil.Â Although Russell acted like he was on John’s side, he was ready to vote him out because he was showing signs of being a strategic player.
So Russell quickly went to Dave — who was likely the next target — and told him they needed to take John out.Â Mick agreed to vote against John, too.Â But Jaison was reserved about the situation, fearing if they turned on Shambo and didn’t take out Dave that she would be angry with them and flip back to the other side.
Another Jaw-Dropping Vote
At Tribal Council, Shambo said she really enjoyed the day at camp because it was peaceful and not strategic at all.Â But Russell chimed in and said his day was nothing but strategy.Â Oh yeah!
After three big blindsides, Mick said that nobody should be surprised if they get eliminated — but Russell said the person voted off will be shocked.
When the votes were revealed, Mick and Dave both had one vote apiece coming from John and Shambo.Â The rest of the ballots fell against John — and his frowning face was absolutely priceless.Â Both he and Shambo were stunned by the vote.
But any fan of the show should have seen this coming — John was so heavily featured this episode, which is often a sign of that player’s elimination.
Images courtesy of CBS.