If you read last week’s recap you have to admit I was pretty darn close to predicting the entire outcome of episode V, and potentially the fallout for the next phase of the game. To be honest, I even surprised myself!
Episode VI was dominated by the elements…specifically, an unrelenting rain that pounded the Samoan island and made me reconsider any future travel plans to that neck of the woods…it just looked miserable. The two tribes appear to battling the weather more than each other and this week Eric on Galu even made some sort of an alliance with Mother Nature or God by praying for the rain to stop…which it did…for about half a day.
During the downpour, Galu leader, Russell S., took it upon himself to tend to the needs of the camp – basically moving around rocks and wood in a valiant effort to keep the fire burning to no avail. While the rest of the tribe hovered in their makeshift shelter (man that tarp would look good now) or in the hollow of a tree (Eric), Russell worked his tail off. Would this strategy elevate Russell in the eyes of his beleaguered tribe-mates or make him look like a show-off…we’ll never know.
Meanwhile, over at the depleted Foa Foa tribe, Jaison and Mick express their displeasure with the weather, the effects of the weather and their place in the game, all of which Russell H. sees as sure signs of weakness. “This is really no big deal,” Russell says of the pounding rain.
Next is the reward/immunity challenge. Jeff explains the rules and informs the tribes that both teams will be sending somebody home at Tribal Council with the winning team getting to sit in on the losers’ deliberations while enjoying a pizza party.
The challenge sees each tribe placing one player in a large sphere while two other blind-folded players roll the ball through along a course towards a puzzle under the guidance of the player inside. Foa Foa, with Liz in the sphere and Russell and Jaison doing the heavy lifting, get a good start and navigate themselves quickly to the puzzle. Galu seems to be having some trouble getting through the course under the direction of Laura with Russell S. and Eric pushing. In fact, Russell is really labouring almost leaning on the ball just to stay on his feat. Jeff thinks he’s exhausted or disoriented from being blindfolded. Somehow, Galu make it to the labyrinth-like puzzle, at which time Russell S. basically passes out with head down on the board. Jeff calls a timeout and quickly realizes something serious is going on so he summons the Survivor medical team. After tending to Russell for a few minutes and trying to get him to sit-up, Russell passes out for a second time, prompting Jeff to suspend the challenge and send both tribes back to camp. There would be no pizza party.
The medical team continues to work on Russell, but every attempt to get him back on his feat results in his blood pressure dipping and his legs turning to rubber. The team determines that Russell requires more medical attention and Jeff informs him that he is out of the game which brings poor Russell to tears before he is carted-off in the helicopter.
Back at camp, Foa Foa can’t believe their luck as they believe they had the challenge won before Russell collapsed. In addition to feeling sorry for themselves the tribe tries to figure out who they should get rid of – Liz or Nathalie?
At Galu, the group ponders life without their leader and realize what a severe toll the game, mixed with the elements, is taking on their bodies. Shambo tries to align herself with the female Galu members but Monica calls her out for writing her name down and Shambo realizes she has no friends or allies on the tribe. As a final plea for her life in the game, Shambo approaches Erik and John and asks them not to write her name down to which Erik and John simply advise her to “stay consistent” and write Monica’s name down again. Realizing that she has an agreement with Galu men, Shambo is thrilled. Erik tells her to stay quiet and “lock it up” regarding their alliance to which Shambo pounds fists with Erik in delight. Pounding fists does not lock it up, Erik observes.
At Tribal Council there is no pizza and there is no Russell S. as Jeff lets everyone know that Russell had to be removed from the game for medical reasons. Galu is shocked by their leader’s departure and vow to defeat Foa Foa in honour of their fallen leader, to which Mick, sort of reluctantly, accepts the challenge. Jeff then lets both tribes know they are off the hook and nobody would be voted out of Episode VI.
Galu will be forced to pick a new leader next week and look for Dave to fill this role since he is the tribe’s fire-starting guru. However, don’t be surprised if Shambo gets some consideration for the role. If my predictions hold true, Foa Foa will win the immunity challenge in Episode VII, Monica will go home from Galu and Shambo will have new life as the merge approaches.
The Scribe has spoken…