After starting-off Season 19 of Survivor with two completely entertaining and exciting episodes, the show hit a bit of a snag with an episode that focused on (yawn) Jaison and the playing of the always popular race card.
To be honest, nothing really riveting happened this week. No great challenges, no surprises and no strategic manoeuvring. I have to wonder why the powers-that-be decided to have combined reward/immunity challenges in the early weeks. Are they out of creative ideas? Why reward one tribe with a reward and immunity for a win…doesn’t make a lot of sense plus there is really no ability to build drama this way.
Anyways, here’s what went down.
After losing last week’s challenge, the Foa Foa tribe went back to camp and immediately started planning who their next Tribal Council victim should be. Mick and Jaison get together and decide that big-mouthed Ben and his questionable ethics need to go. Instead of getting together as a group and figuring out how to win a challenge, Foa Foa spend their time planning to lose and vote another member out of the game.
Sensing his demise, Ben tries to share his wisdom and outdoorsman experience by teaching the group how to use the flint to start a fire. His first piece of advice…the girls can’t do it. Russell H, always on his game, picks up on Ben’s feeble attempts to make himself invaluable and decides that he needs to keep Ben in the game as someone for people to hate. Unfortunately, thanks to Jaison the wheels are already in place thanks to send Ben packing.
Over at Galu, a tribe we haven’t really seen much of so far, the gang is partaking in some yoga which frustrates and probably confuses Sham-Bo, who spends her time collecting wood, boiling water, and tending to the campsite.
Back to Foa Foa where Russell continues to manipulate people by telling Ben that Ashley is out to get him. He tells Ben to keep this to himself knowing full well than Ben will confront Ashley, which he does, and the arguing continues, to Russell’s delight.
Next up it’s the reward/immunity challenge, but not before the Survivor gods send each team a package with clean, dry and rather skimpy swimsuits. No complaints, except from Shambo who sticks to her sports bra-top.
The challenge is, once again, a combo swim, strength and puzzle game where teams swim out, gather large blocks and arrange them on top of each other in a pattern. Can we please get some creativity in these games? Haven’t we seen this before? Come on Mark Burnett…throw us a curveball.
Not surprisingly, the relaxed, well fed and strategically sound Galu tribe win the challenge sending Foa Foa back to Tribal Council to vote out their third member (actually fourth if you count Mike’s health-related departure last week). Once again Galu must send one member as a spy to live at Foa Foa’s camp and attend Tribal Council. This time it’s Sham-bo.
Sham-bo is a big hit over at Foa Foa. She’s friendly, helpful and provides a calming force in the group as they decide what to do next. Even Ben has no issue with her visit. Sham-bo also gets a second clue as to the whereabouts of the hidden immunity idol. She spends a good chunk of time looking for the idol while Russell watches from afar and snickers as she looks up the exact tree where he has already found the idol. “I’m running this whole show right now,” Russell concludes.
Well, maybe not the whole show as Jaison continues to impose his will on the tribe and his decision to toss Ben out of the game, even though Russell and a few others want to keep Ben for his skill around camp and strength in the challenges. At Tribal Council Jaison comes right out and calls Ben a racist for the comments he directed at Yasmin last week. Ben refuses to apologize and essentially digs his own grave. So long Ben.
Foa Foa have to win a challenge next week or their remaining members are toast. Once again I predict they will win and Sham-bo will be sent packing. One possible twist is that Jeff could try and even out the teams by having Foa Foa draft a player from Galu or ask Galu to cast away a member to Foa Foa. Either way, Sham-bo will play an integral part in Episode IV.
The Scribe has spoken…