Season 19: Episode 6 - This is the Man Test
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

At the start of Day Fifteen, the Foa Foa tribe is pounded by wind and rain.  As all of the tribe members sit huddled in the shelter, shivering from the bitterly cold rain, Russell finds bliss in the turbulent weather and decides to go for a dip in the ocean with Jaison.  "I'm sitting here trying to battle what seems to be a battle that fate doesn't seem to want us to win," Jaison complains.  As the two Foa Foa members attempt to warm themselves in the ocean, Jaison displays an attitude of utter defeat, which Russell views as weakness.  "This is really no big deal," says Russell as the rain continues to pour on him.  "As a matter of fact, this makes me stronger," he chuckles.


At the Galu beach, Russell fishes alone in the rain while the rest of his tribemates comment on his noble efforts to provide for the tribe.  "Russell's an animal," says Brett as the rest of the tribe takes shelter.  Russell takes on the full responsibility as Galu's leader as he gathers firewood in a torrential downpour.  "I'd rather be in the shelter, but sometimes you have to make some deposits in case you need to any withdrawals later on," Russell comments.  When Russell trips and nearly falls down in the shelter, his tribemates begin to fear for Russell's health.  "He's just pushing himself too hard and it's going to take its toll, you know?" says Kelly.  However, Russell remains more determined than ever to push himself to the limit.  "I can go back out there, I just need to get my body temperature back up," says Russell as he nestles himself in blankets.


Back at the Foa Foa camp, the tribe is miserable as the rain mercilessly unleashes its fury on them.  Mick curls up in the corner of a thick tree, shivering from the cold.  "The shelter has so many gaps in it that when it rains the water just pours right through," says Mick.  "Just trying to stay semi-warm and out of the rain and just trying to get through this," Mick whimpers.  Russell watches in disgust as his tribemates appear defeated and miserable.  "They're just a bunch of babies," says Russell.  "That's why we lose the challenges, "˜cause they're lazy.  If you don't throw up after every freakin' challenge, you didn't do your job.  That's how I think of it," Russell philosophizes.


Later that day, the rain finally blows over, leaving the sunshine and a beautiful rainbow behind.  Erik, who had been huddled up in the hole of a large tree throughout the storm, reflects on his prayer to the gods of Samoa for better weather.  "It's as if Samoa said, "˜That's all I wanted to hear, Erik.  Just know I'm the man, you're not, now that we got that clear, enjoy yourself for the next twenty-four days,'" Erik laughs.  Russell is elated at the sight of the rainbow, and embraces the challenges to come.  "I think going through a storm like this, I think it definitely brings the tribe together because we weathered it all together.  Now that we're out, we know we've got a task at hand, and we're stronger than ever.  I mean, we really are," says Russell.


The Galu and Foa Foa tribes arrive on their respective colored mats.  Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge.  One person from each tribe will be strapped in a large sphere.  That person will then guide two blindfolded tribemates as they push the sphere through a long course to a table maze. The person inside the sphere will then guide the rest of their blindfolded tribemates as they navigate a ball through a table maze to a finish hole.  The first tribe to get it right wins pizza.  Jeff Probst then reveals a shocking twist: win or lose, both tribes will be going to Tribal Council where each will vote one person off.  The winning tribe will get to sit in on the losing tribe's Tribal Council where they will enjoy pizza in front of them.  Since Galu has four extra members, Russell chooses to sit out Monica, Kelly, Shambo and Dave.

For Foa Foa, Liz is navigating in the ball with Russell and Jaison pushing.  For Galu, Laura is in the ball with Russell and Erik pushing.  The Survivors are off as Laura and Liz guide their tribe members through the course.  Russell and Erik push Laura into a tree, allowing Foa Foa to take the lead.  Russell becomes winded quickly, which further slows down Galu.  Liz carefully and accurately directs Russell and Jaison to the table maze as Galu continues to struggle with Russell out of breath.  When Galu finally makes it to the table maze, Russell becomes disoriented, and accidentally makes his way to Foa Foa's table maze instead of his own.  Laura yells at him to turn to his left, but he cannot determine which way to go.  John is finally able to direct Russell to his corner of the table maze, and Galu gets started on the table maze.  Russell then suddenly collapses onto the table, and Jeff Probst stops the challenge and calls in the medical team.  The medical team attempts to revive Russell, but he collapses a second time onto the ground.  

The medics administer blood pressure tests as Russell insists that he is fine and wishes to continue the challenge.  Jeff Probst assures Russell that he passed out twice and should hang tight as the medics check him out.  Jeff then instructs the other tribe members to remove their blindfolds and declares the challenge over.  Neither tribe wins reward, and both tribes will go to Tribal Council to vote one person out.  Jeff releases both tribes back to their camps, and announces that Russell's fate will be revealed at Tribal Council.


The Galu tribe returns to their flooded camp worried about Russell's undetermined fate.  "If he comes back, I will be shocked," says Dave.  "For Russell to go down the way he did today, it shows you how tough this game is," says John.  "His body failed him today, and it's so unfortunate," he continues.  The rain starts up again, prompting every tribe member to take cover under the shelter.  "We're still thinking about the next person that's gonna go, but I know my heart is really heavy for Russell.  I just hope he's okay," says Laura.

Back at the challenge location, the rain finally lets up.  The medics decide to sit Russell up to determine if he becomes lightheaded.  Within seconds of sitting up, Russell passes out again.  The medics reveal that his heart rate dropped considerably and therefore, Russell must be pulled from the game.  When Jeff Probst relays this sad news to Russell, Russell sheds a tear.  "My family depends on me to be the strong one," he cries.  Jeff attempts to console Russell, telling him, "you pushed and pushed and pushed your body until your body said, "˜Enough.'"  Russell lies on the ground, heartbroken.


Back at the Foa Foa camp, Liz curses the fact that her tribe must return to Tribal Council yet again.  "It was surprising and a little upsetting because none of us want to go back there.  We were just there," Liz complains.  She meets up with Natalie, who agrees that one of them will be the next to be voted out, so the two decide to vote for each other.  Russell approaches Natalie with the notion of voting out Liz.  Natalie relays the information to Russell that it should be easy considering that Liz already suspects that she will be going home.  Back at the shelter, Liz attempts to extract information regarding who will be the next to go.  "I have no idea," Mick replies.  Jaison expresses utter contempt for the random acts that causes his tribe to continue to lose challenges, namely Russell's collapse leading to the early termination of the challenge.


With Tribal Council just around the corner, paranoia begins to take hold of the Galu tribe.  Monica pairs up with her allies, Kelly and Laura, to discuss ousting Shambo.  Laura takes Monica's side in getting rid of Shambo due to the fact that she has ties over at the Foa Foa camp that could hurt them after a merge.  Shambo runs into Kelly, Laura and Monica and makes her case for staying in the game.  "I have been an honest competitor, a good competitor, a fair competitor," says Shambo.  Monica lashes out at Shambo for writing her name down at the previous Tribal Council.  "Who didn't write my name down?  Everyone else in this tribe except for you!" Monica yells.

Meanwhile, John pitches to Erik, Dave and Brett, keeping Shambo over Monica because she poses no threat.  Getting rid of Monica would break up Laura's alliance and would take the power away from the women of Galu.  "Monica I think is the clearer move because Monica doesn't help us win challenges at all," says John.  

Shambo approaches Erik and John about not voting for her, to which they respond that Shambo should vote for Monica.  "Sham, you gotta lock it up," says Erik, to which Shambo attempts to pound her fist with Erik.  "Pounding fists is not locking it up," Erik replies.


At Tribal Council, all thirteen remaining castaways are in attendance together for the first time in Survivor history.  Host Jeff Probst breaks the news that Russell has been pulled from the game, bringing Galu down to eight members.  "It was the scariest moment I ever had on this show.  Nineteen seasons, I have never been more afraid in my life at how bad things were.  Russell was in terrible shape," says Probst.  Members of both Foa Foa and Galu express great compassion for Russell's tragic exit from the game.  The tribes also vent their frustrations at having to endure the harsh weather that has plagued both camps for the last five days.  "I feel like I've been in solitary confinement for a crime I didn't commit, and that is not anything that is advertised" says Erik.  Jeff Probst then reveals exciting news: nobody will be voted out.  An intertribal feud ensues when Erik threatens to defeat Foa Foa at future challenges, in honor of their fallen leader.  Mick welcomes the challenge, and Jeff Probst carries out the final order of business.  He hands over the leadership necklace to the Galu tribe, who must choose a new leader upon returning to camp.