‘Survivor': Then End of Russell?

For the first time, someone’s got his feathers ruffled — and they’re plotting against him.

Last Updated: December 10, 2009 @ 10:35 PM

As the episode begins, Shambo is stunned about John being voted out. Russell tries to soften the blow by placating her, telling her whatever it takes to win. “This is too easy,” he says. Strange, no opening sequence tonight.

Day 31 and the tribe members are lying around the beach talking about Russell. Jaison tells the camera that he should win the million dollars. Jaison just sold Mick and Russell out by telling the tribe that Russell made $2 million last year.

Ouch. It’s already time for an immunity challenge a few minutes in to the episode — no reward challenge tonight. For immunity, it’s a Survivor Bowling Tournament.

On Shambo’s first shot she knocks down nine pins and beats Natalie in the first round. Second round Russell beats Brett. Third round Jaison beats Monica. Last round – Dave gets a strike and goes on to the next round. Next it’s Shambo vs. Russell and Shambo moves on to the final.

Jaison takes on Dave and Jaison is moving on to the final against Shambo. Shambo throws two gutter balls and Jaison, on his second throw, knocks down two pins and wins individual immunity for the second straight time. The last eight minutes of the show have been about as dull as watching bowling on TV (sorry to the professional bowlers out there).

The tribe is back at camp, and Dave tells the camera he’s low man on the pole. Natalie is hanging her panties on a tree, and Russell looks up longingly at them. “Mmmm panties,” he’s thinking.

Russell and Monica are strategizing and it appears as if Monica is planting the seed of voting Shambo out. As Russell talks about the simplicity of beating Dave, the camera pans to Dave digging for nose goblins.

Russell then approaches Dave and throws Shambo’s name out there. Did Dave just say, “The Lord frickin’ provides?” I hit rewind, and yes, he did.

Did Shambo just say, “I’m the Sham with the plan?” I wish she hadn’t, but she did.

And …  it’s time for the first of what looks like two tribals.

Shambo tells the jury that she was equally or more blindsided by John’s ousting than John was. Jeff calls her out on her jury play but she swears it was just honesty. It’s time to vote, and I have a feeling Shambo is on her way out. We see Shambo voting Dave and Dave voting Shambo and that’s all they’re showing us …

I was wrong – and all the votes are going Dave’s way and he is gone.

Dave tells the camera in his exit interview how everyone underestimated Russell.

The next day dawns with Russell explaining how Brett is the next guy who should go. He and Brett strategize, but not much comes out of it. And already we have another immunity challenge.

It’s a water challenge with bags, planks and baskets. Place bag on plank, jump on plank, get the lotion in the basket. OK, I made up that part about the lotion but man that would have been cool to have Clarice Starling save the day.

Natalie is losing her clothes, and Jeff seems to be enjoying. Mick’s butt crack is showing but it’s blurred. It looks as if Brett and Mick are neck and neck. Monica is really sucking, not having sunk a basket. And Brett wins immunity.

Russell looks very disappointed.

The tribe heads back to camp, and Shambo gives Brett a congratulatory kiss. Monica knows she’s the next viable option to go home, but promises to do all she can. Brett, Mick and Monica strategize about the possibility of getting rid of Russell.

Mick hits up Jaison with the Russell option. Monica is working on Russell, and is playing him like a violin. Russell now gets mad at Natalie for blabbing about what he does for a living. Now he goes after Jaison; and Russell, for the first time in the game, seems to be scrambling.

Has his streak ended?

“Monica had to run her little paaaaah hole, this bitch needs to be sent home tonight,” he says.

If you didn’t hear him say this, you missed out on something awfully funny, folks.

It’s time for tribal, and Dave looks really silly with his hair down. Russell shows up and immediately puts the hidden immunity idol around his neck — and everyone is talking about it. Shambo tells Jeff about how Russell’s feathers were ruffled back at camp. Russell and Monica argue. Russell seems very confident. Did Monica’s scrambling pay off?

It’s time to vote.

We see: Russell voting Monica, Monica voting Russell, and that’s all.

Russell is not playing the immunity idol. And Monica is out.

The jury looks pissed.

Seriously, how does Russell manage to stay in this game?


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."