|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
After eighteen days and losing six tribe members, the Foa Foa four prepare themselves for a possible merge when they return to camp from Tribal Council. Russell suggests first targeting Laura as someone who could be swayed to their side. "There"s segregation in their tribe. In our tribe, Foa Foa, there"s unity. We"re all working as a team, so I"m not really nervous about my numbers," says Russell. Russell plans to manipulate the minds of the Galu tribe in the hopes of ensuring his safety after the merge. "I"m too good for this game. I"m too sly," boasts Russell.
SHAMBO VERSUS LAURA
At the start of Day Nineteen, Laura strikes up a feud with Shambo over a missing canteen. Shambo takes Laura"s interrogation as an accusation that she misplaced the canteen, and a heated argument erupts between the two Galu members. "Clearly Shambo doesn"t like me in camp and that was a huge reason why I got sent over to the Foa Foa tribe," Laura states. Shambo confronts Laura for constantly getting into a power struggle with her, which Laura denies. "I"m done with her. I have no use for her"¦none," Shambo fumes. Meanwhile, Erik sees this confrontation with Shambo as Laura"s fault. "We know Shambo"s crazy, so if you get in a fight with Shambo, who"s the one that looks bad? You look bad," says Erik.
At the Foa Foa camp, Natalie reads treemail, which hints at a possible tribe merge. With numbers down and morale low, Foa Foa prepares to enter the next phase of the game. Russell grabs his hidden immunity idol just in case the upcoming challenge turns out to be a merge. "There"s so much more to this game than playing a physical game with somebody. You have to be able to outwit them. That"s the most important thing of the whole game," Russell proclaims.
The two tribes arrive on a beach where a treasure chest awaits them. After opening the chest, Mick reads the note: "Congratulations Foa Foa and Galu. You are now one tribe," Mick exclaims as both tribes cheer. The note reveals that everyone will now be living at the old Galu camp. They each grab their new blue buffs and make their way to a picnic area where a feast awaits them. "It was literally a feast fit for royalty," Monica cheers. Russell takes notice when bonds begin to form between the two tribes. "I"m looking around Foa Foa and everyone is taking that step to do exactly what we said to do in camp. Get with these people, bring them under your wing, and connect with them," says Russell. Monica laughs and feeds Russell grapes off of the vine, much to his excitement. "I mean come on! Who gets grapes fed to them? The kings do!" Russell snickers.
THE EXTENDED FAMILY
The newly merged tribe arrives at the old Galu camp to set out on the task at hand. After the old Galu tribe cordially welcomes the old Foa Foa tribe to their camp, they debate over what their new tribe name should be. Brett suggests, "Aiga," which means "extended family" in Samoan. After a unanimous vote, the merged tribe is now known as, "Aiga." Brett, Shambo and Erik begin painting the new tribe flag. Erik clearly feels much more secure in his position in the game over the Foa Foa four. "They"re starting over. They"re on Day Two, I"m on Day Nineteen," Erik smugly states. And as for the new tribe name, Erik has a translation of his own. "Extended family? What"s Samoan for "˜get the hell off my island,"" he says.
PLANTING THE RUSSELL SEEDS
The next day, Russell immediately takes steps to infiltrate the old Galu members and bring them over to his side. Starting with Laura, Russell scrambles to prove his trustworthiness by showing several Galu members his hidden immunity idol. When Laura shows signs that she is not on board, Russell then turns to Monica. After showing Monica the idol and giving her the same assurances that he gave Laura, Russell becomes skeptical of Monica"s allegiance to him. "Monica didn"t mean a word she said over there on the rocks. I see it in her eyes, but she might start meaning what she tells me if I get rid of her boss," Russell schemes. "If I get rid of Laura, she comes a runnin,"" he says. Russell then takes steps to lure one of the Galu men on his side to vote out Laura. He seeks out John, shows him the immunity idol, and in an instant he has the main ingredient to set his plan in motion. With John now on his side, there is hope for Russell to take down the girl power in the tribe and rebuild the old Foa Foa. "You ever hear of a man named Babe Ruth? He struck out more than anybody, ever, but you know what? He also hit the most home runs, so that tells me one thing: keep swinging baby. Eventually you"re gonna hit one," Russell chuckles.
On the dawn of Day Twenty-One, Russell continues to foster his diabolical plans by bonding with Shambo. "She could be one of my numbers, I mean I could use her for that," says Russell. Russell exploits the fact that Shambo is at odds with Laura by using her as another vote to get Laura out of the game. "Shambo hates Laura. She hates her. So I know that at any point she"ll vote Laura"s name," he says. Shambo instructs Russell to bring Mick, Jaison and Natalie into the loop to vote out Laura, and he does just that. "It was easy to control these minds, way easier than I thought. John"s on board and I have Shambo in my pocket, so if we can get rid of Laura, this whole game might change," says Russell.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: NUT CRACKER
The Aiga tribe arrives on their mat. Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge, which is a Survivor version of tee ball. One at a time, tribe members will place their ball on the tee and take a swing. The numbered section that the ball lands in will earn the player that many points. The highest score wins immunity. Jeff then reveals that two people will win immunity. The men and women will compete on separate teams, and the winner of each team will receive immunity.
At the start of the challenge, Dave takes the lead for the men with three points. Jaison hits out of bounds, and Russell oversteps Dave with four points. Brett hits out of bounds, Mick scores two points, and Erik hits out of bounds. The last person up for the men is John, who must land on the five or the ten to win immunity. John succeeds by landing on the five, winning individual immunity.
For the women, Natalie is first up and hits the ball out of bounds. Monica is the first to score, with two points. Kelly tops that by hitting in the three. Shambo in unsuccessful when she hits the ball out of bounds. The last woman up is Laura, who hits the ball in the four. With this, Laura wins individual immunity. "When I saw Laura win immunity, I got a gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach. We were gonna write down Laura"s name tonight and now we can"t," says Shambo.
THE BIG SCRAMBLE
With Aiga"s first Tribal Council on the horizon, the old Galu tribe displays the utmost confidence that someone from the former Foa Foa tribe will be voted out. Russell, feeling that the heat is on him, begins to scramble and contemplates using his immunity idol. When Laura gets wind of this, she reveals his secret to Erik and opts to make it seem like they will be voting out Russell in order to flush out the idol. Erik, in turn, brings this knowledge to John by suggesting that they make it seem like they will vote out Russell, but will instead get rid of Jaison. John immediately rejects Erik"s plan in favor of voting out Monica in order to break up the women"s alliance. When Erik asks John who else will be on board with that plan, John replies that every Foa Foa is already with them. Erik is sold on the plan to axe Monica and attempts to bring in Dave and Brett. Dave, however, becomes fearful that Erik is being too crafty. "That makes me a little nervous," says Dave.
Erik then approaches Mick, Natalie and Jaison with the notion of voting for Monica without telling Russell, so that they can flush out his immunity idol. Afterwards, Jaison suggests to his fellow tribemates that they should instead turn the tables on the overly arrogant Erik. Natalie carries the plan a step further by telling Laura that Erik is secretly gunning to vote out Monica, which causes the Galu women to flip on Erik. The Galu women bring Dave into the mix, as Russell looks on in utter confusion. "This is the first time that I don"t know nothin"," says Russell, who is on the fence about playing his idol. Erik feels as though the plan is "too easy," and he brings his idol with him for protection.
At Tribal Council, Erik takes an arrogant and cocky stance on Foa Foa"s chances for turning former Galu members to vote their way. "My heart goes out to them, but they"re in the hole," he says. Russell fights explains that his mentality is that the underdog should never give up. Erik responds by cutting down every single Foa Foa member, starting with Russell. "Russ goes out there and scrambles. He"s been in everyone"s ear," says Erik. He continues to state that Mick, Natalie and Jaison are utterly useless, and don"t stand a chance against the former Galu tribe. "In other words, just roll over and get voted out quietly"¦well that ain"t gonna happen," Russell snaps back. With this, the Aiga tribe members cast their votes, and when Jeff Probst returns to read the votes, Russell plays his immunity idol. Ultimately, Russell did not need to play the idol, as the tribe almost unanimously voted for Erik. With ten out of the twelve votes cast against him, Erik Cardona, the 28 year-old bartender from Ontario, California, became the seventh person voted out and first member of the jury of SURVIVOR: SAMOA.