‘Survivor': It’s a Whole New Ballgame

This season just keeps getting better and better.

Last Updated: November 19, 2009 @ 11:03 PM

The show opens with more quotes from Russell:

“This might be one of my best pieces of work I’ve ever done. Take that to the bank.”

Then: “It was almost as great as my kids being born."

Galu still thinks they still have the numbers, though. Laura tells the camera that they should have known better. Somehow CBS cuts to NBC with Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers saying, “Really.” Before the opening intro, Shambo is laughing hysterically at how “pissed” Laura was.

Day 25 has dawned and begins with Russell searching for the immunity idol. He compares the idols to magnets, as they are drawn to him. Shambo is calling Laura the following names: head viper, viper queen, the snake of the tribe, the evil demon and the beast. Awesome, Shambo.

Shambo tries to convince John to join the Foa Foa alliance, and it seems to me like a very dumb play on her part. John says he will do what’s right for him. For the reward challenge, the winning team will have a plane ride to a waterfall and picnic lunch. The Palm Pre from Sprint is sponsoring this challenge and the winners will get to take photos with it.

They’re divided into teams and must maneuver John and Natalie, who are laying face down in a cradle with ropes toward a flag. Have I described it well enough? The cameras either avoid the gratuitous cleavage shots Natalie is providing or they have just been edited out.

She’s doing very well in this challenge, though. Now whenever she’s shown, there’s a lot of blurring going on. Natalie, Russell, Laura, Dave, and Brett win reward. Before commercial, Russell says that with the clue he will take out Laura.

In the plane, lots of Palm Pre shots. The island they’re arriving on looks stunning. The winning five dig in on hot dogs and pie. In case you’re wondering, no, Russell didn’t ask to put his hot dog in Natalie’s pie.

Back at camp, Jaison is strategizing with Monica and Mick and the guys appear to be making an attempt at bringing her on their side. On the Palm Pre, there is both a text and video clue to the whereabouts of the immunity idol. Back at camp, Russell pulls Mick and Jaison aside and tells them about the clue(s). And now the race is on to find the idol…

Who will find it? Everyone is looking, and Dave is following Russell. Russell is actually trying to outrun him, which is pretty funny. Holy crap. Once again, Russell has found the idol. Wow.

Laura and Monica are concerned about Shambo’s loyalty, and Laura knows that a target is on her head. But it’s already time for the immunity challenge. It’s a two-part challenge involving rock throwing and bow and arrow shooting. Oooh, Laura misses her shot at the second round and Shambo laughs at her like they’re in a third grade schoolyard.

It’s down to Mick and Brett, and Mick wins immunity. Shambo believes it is “the day of reckoning where Medusa’s head will be lopped off.”

Ominous music plays after the commercial break, and Russell is talking about how Laura is out. Shambo now tells Brett that she’s voting Laura (not sure why) and Brett appears downtrodden. “There is no more Galu,” she says.

John, Dave, and Laura are talking about voting Natalie, and then John secretly tells the camera that his tribe is a bunch of idiots. Now Monica, Brett and Dave are strategizing about telling Foa Foa that Monica is voting John. Monica is now trying to convince the Foa Foas that she’s voting John. Mick isn’t sure whether to believe her. There is lots of strategizing going on and John is referring to himself in the third person, refusing to risk his life to save Laura.

Russell knows it’s a swindle and tells John to switch over to their alliance so he can save himself. Are you confused yet? It looks like there may be a tie at tribal. And as I type that, it’s time for tribal council…

Jeff asks about tribal alliances and there are some differences of opinion, specifically Laura and Shambo. Jeff now talks about the possibility of a tie and how it may come down to drawing stones to settle it.

It’s time to vote, and Shambo is voting Laura, Dave is voting Natalie, and that’s all they’re showing us. I’ve gotta say this has been a solid season so far…

The votes are being read out, and Laura has 5, Nat 4… and the last vote is… Natalie.

And we do have a tie.

Re-vote time. C’mon John, vote for Laura. We don’t see his vote. Jeff tallies the second vote. This time, Laura is out.

John turned on his former teammates and voted for Laura. The camera pans to Erik who has a huge smile: “This is so good.”

Dave: “Wow.”

Erik is beside himself as the show ends. We’ve got a new game here, folks.

Mark Stone is a freelance entertainment writer living in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He is the managing editor of DailyBrainCandy.com and author of "Behind the Screen: Hacking Hollywood."