December 20, 2009 08:46 PM by DA Southern
Survivor: Samoa ends as it began; with a bang as the fireworks will be flying as Russell and crew look to weed out one another on their march to one million coconuts. The real question is can Russell hold his ego in check and play as intelligent game as he has played all season. Love him or hate Russell, he has been the reason that this installment of Survivor has ranked up there with the best of the bunch.
Three Tribal Councils will get us there and there will definitely be surprises along the way but the key to victory at this point is definitely immunity in any way a survivor has it. Brett knows that feeling as he skirted the wrath of Jaison and Russell in the previous episode when he won immunity as we got a quick recap of how the final five got in the driver’s seat.
Day 37 had the final five looking at tree mail for their next challenge and it was all about a balance-beam challenge and the tribe was gunning for Brett. Host Jeff Probst told the survivors that they were to run across obstacles and grab puzzle pieces and do a puzzle.
Russell had the first bag to his station but the others caught him pretty quick. The puzzle, the Survivor logo, was an easy one, but Brett looked as though he was getting ready to wear the immunity idol once again. Brett foiled the others and one of the Foa Foa four was headed out the door at the next Tribal Council.
Natalie knew her fate might be sealed and Russell was trying to do what he needed to do to keep her. Russell quickly set his sights on Jaison as being a weak link, but discussed Mick with Jaison. He then went to Mick and targeted Jaison. Now, I don’t know what is going to happen.
Probst quizzed the Foa Foa four about the strategy against Brett, but the answers the five gave was a mixed bag as to which way the winds of change were blowing.
Mick voted for Jaison and Jasion voted for Mick leaving Natalie and Russell in control. After Jeff counted the votes, Jasion got the other votes and was sent packing and, boy, was he pissed at Russell.
The Final Immunity Challenge
The final four were shocked to be where they were, except for Russell. Russell and Brett had the discussion about the final three and Russell was looking to have an insurance policy by finding a bit of common ground with Brett.
The final four did the traditional Survivor Torch Walk, where their fallen comrades were hailed as they made their way to the final immunity challenge. Man, I had forgotten those early survivors voted off.
The Final Immunity Challenge was a balance challenge where the survivors were to balance a statue as it was lifted into the air. Mick was the first to lose his statue, quickly followed by Natalie and it was between Brett and Russell to win the final immunity. The wind picked up and it looked as though it would finish one or both in short order. When the final segment to be added, Russell barely made the seven feet transition in the allotted thirty seconds. When Russell’s statue looked to be slipping, Brett lost focus and Russell won the final immunity challenge and it looked as though Brett was headed to the jury, maybe.
Russell is the player that played the best game ever in the history of Survivor but would he convince the jury that he was worth a cool million dollars? If they were completely honest, Russell will be a shoe-in for the money, but if they wanted to just not reward him because of his brilliant gameplay, some one undeserving will win. Brett was still hoping that Russell would take him to the final three, but Russell had the same arrangement with everybody. Russell was actually considering sending the final tribal to a tie vote and then let the chips fall with whatever challenge would keep the third person in the game.
The Final Tribal Council
Jeff quizzed the final four knowing that nothing was ever what it seemed when it came to voting. Jeff and Russell had a love-fest between them and Russell shocked Mick with comments about taking Brett to the final three. Mick voted for Brett, as did Natalie and Brett gave Mick his vote, leaving Russell, as always, controlling the game. Jeff tallied the votes and Brett and Mick each got a vote and Russell completed his dominance of the game by daring not to throw Brett in front of a jury full of his peers, all former Galu tribe members, except for Jaison.
The Survivors State Their Case
Russell really had no equal when it came to who should win, but Natalie maybe had the best shot as the lone female who was able to get into the final three by playing a smart game. Mick was going on the “Nice guys should finish first” approach and Russell was playing Mick and Natalie to the very end by taunting them with who he thought would vote for him.
Mick was first to speak and was eloquent in his “Nice guy” approach. Natalie was the “I’ve grown so much” approach and Russell indeed talked about his gameplay and how he screwed everyone and was proud of it. For once a player who never claimed he didn’t lie and tried to play an “Honest game.” Very refreshing.
Jaison went into a “What do you really do” which I didn’t understand; Shambo was brutal to Natalie and Mick but said she was voting Russell; Brett was talking about Bro-dates with Mick, again I am clueless; Kelly was brutal to Natalie talking coattails and even tougher to Russell and I am not sure how she was voting; Monica said that Mick and Natalie didn’t have passion; Dave asked what he though everyone’s chances were tonight; Laura asked Russell what he learned about her that she should be out; John was looking for a hard-sell on why he should win and why Natalie should win against Russell; Erik said he didn’t need anything from any of them and said that Mick didn’t deserve the award but looked like he was leaning towards Natalie.
Wow, weird questions here and I am unsure how this jury will vote. It still seems as though to deny Russell would be a sham of epic proportions as he was truly the greatest player ever and it is always so self-serving when jury members bitch and moan about playing the game when they wish they were sitting there fielding questions from the jury.
After the vote, Jeff scooted off to the live portion of the finale and got into the voting results fairly quickly.
NATALIE WINS SURVIVOR SAMOA!
OMGâ€¦the biggest upset ever in Survivor: Samoa history. The person who played the smartest game that is the essence of Survivor, Russell, was denied the final prize. Truly shocking.
While the discussion was spirited in the after winner confab, it was clear that the audience genuinely was appreciative of Russell’s brilliant gameplay. While it was surelyÂ dishearteningÂ to Natalie to hear how she rode Russell’s coattails, it was Natalie who deposited a cool million into her bank account at the end of the day.