Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Episode I Survivor Samoa Recap

Welcome to the first episode this season of Survivor Samoa!!! I apologize for the delay in my blog. This past week I have had the flu and have had computer problems and problems accessing the net. Wow and what an episode! If ever the preludes to anyone on the show could ever be so true. That is very true of Russell Hantz. Prior to the airing of the season, talk was awash all over the net that Russell would play a rather serious villain role this season. Jeff Probst himself even stated that Russell is the most evil of the villains to ever appear on the show! But as I watched Russell (I knew I would be and closely watching) what I was seeing was from the start from when Russell appeared on the scene was that he would be a pretty strong force from the beginning.

At the start of the show we see Jeff announcing the new location Samoa and that 20 Americans have embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. Thus we start on 39 days, 20 ppl and it all comes down to one SURVIVOR....

On the beach Jeff is awaiting these new bunch of castaways. He divides them into two tribes:

Foa Foa (wearing yellow) consists of : Ashley Trainer,Ben Browning, Betsy Bolan, Elizabeth Kim, Jaison Robinson, Marisa Callahan, Mick Trimming, Mike Borassi, Natalie White and the man himself...Russell Hantz.

Galu (wearing my purple buff lol) consists of: Brett Clouser, Dave Ball, Monica Padilla, Laura Morett, Erik Cardona, John Fincher, Kelly Sharbaugh, Russell Swann, Shannon Waters, Yasmin Giles.

He tosses to each person a buff and then picks the tribes brains by asking on first impressions. Who stood out to you in your tribe...who do u think would make a great leader?

Meanwhile Mick is seen saying he feels he does have what it takes to be a leader.

The tribes each write down who they choose. Galu's votes are read first and it comes down to between Shambo (Shannon who is a retired Marine officer and she says the moniker was given to her in 1986 while Rambo movies were popular. She wore a bandanna like Rambo and her friends would say Shannon...Rambo...Shannon...Rambo...SHAMBO!!) and Erik and also Russell
Swann. Who eventually emerges the leader by vote.

Then the votes are in for Foa Foa Tribe who pick different people. Elizabeth is one vote. Russell Hantz votes for Marisa (I think that was not actually a serious vote but him possibly playing the game and trying to make good with Marisa ) Marisa wrote Russell as a possible leader also. Other names thrown out Jaison and Mick. Eventually Mick would emerge in a close vote between he and Jaison.

Then the leaders are again asked to, based on their first impressions, select who of the newly formed tribe would be their best swimmer:

Foa Foa: Jaison

Galu: John :

Most Strongest:

Foa Foa's Mick picked the obvious strength in Russell Hantz

Galu's Russell Swann picked Erik:

Most Agile:

Foa Foa (Mick) selected Marisa:

Galu (Russell Swann) selected his goddess in braids Yasmin (good selection!)

Yasmin was to me a particularly strong challenge player as she evened the odds a lot quicker as Foa Foa has a pretty solid lead built. They came within inches of a win between her and Shambo's last minute rally.

Most Smartest:

Foa Foa (Mick) Elizabeth Kim

and Russell Swann for Galu selected the stand out player (to me ) SHAMBO!!!!!

Shambo when picked stated she was smart in ways of life and not book smarts and stated she was praying that God would help her to be smart now...lol

Elizabeth when selected stated she was selected because most likely her ethnicity. She stated the positives being that Asians are smart and the

Jaison stated he was on a water polo team in school. So he is indeed a strong swimmer. That he was, and he was GOOD! John though seemed to have got winded easily. Once he got back ashore he virtually collapsed to the sand and did not move.

Russell Hantz was a powerhouse lifter the first leg but struggled a bit the second. Erik struggled most of his two legs but did a gallant effort.
Marisa did good on her leg but Yasmin really broke through and between her and Shambo they came darn close to pulling it off. But in the end..the well selected team picked by Mick won out and won flint!

Then it is time for both tribes to make camp. On Foa Foa's side we see Russel instead making alliances "secret alliances" with all the girls.

He has his "Dumb Girls Alliance" with Marisa, Natalie and Ashley.

Plus on the side a more serious alliance possibility with Betsy. Who states she sees right through his attempt and she has little trust for him. She states she is a police officer and can gauge a person by looking them in the eye and that she herself does not trust Russell.

Russell does though say the same to each but he does it rather openly. Let's face it yall, girls do talk when they get together. Sometime here soon that little secret will be out. lol

On Galu's side it seems that the alpha males have trouble deciding on the placement of camp which bothers Shambo who now questions Russell's leadership as he decides to take a rest and go in the water with the tribe to relax.

Shambo decides to sit on the beach and says if it were her she would light a fire underneath them and get things going. That Survivor is not like the Marines. lol

I could not help but wanna say to Shambo...I know girl, it is irritating you, but in a game like Survivor...even tho u don't want to jump in the water and frolic, it is a social game and sometimes it is best to socialize.

Back to Foa Foa, we see Russell start his very villanous play. He approaches the various girls about "secret" alliances. Casting Marisa, Ashley and Natalie as his "dumb girl alliance" and in a strategic move adds Betsy to the list as a secret ally calling her the old lady and stating she may not be as easy as the other girls to play.

We see Russell talking to each and to each girl he says the same thing. Let's keep it secret and I will be honest with you. Right off the bat strategically it is a power play. He is playing it close to the vest but with each girl being added and more than 2 being approached, strategically he could be baiting himself for an eventual disastrous move as the island is small and people do watch who you talk to. With that kind of play you do need to be careful.

Russell is then shown sharing a story of a time in New Orleans during Katrina, that he lived there and during the storm he ended up losing his beloved dog, a German Shepherd he had had for quite some time. It did seem to move a few of the girls (namely Ashley who says she is an animal lover)

...afterwards privately, Russell did confess this story was a well thought up lie. A move to arouse sympathy and break their hearts. He stated that this was so easy to do..to break their hearts with a lie. He admits he is not a fireman (his job in the story he shared) but a multi million $ oil refinery owner and was not here for the money but to show how easy it would be to win Survivor.

My first player analysis based on this episode of Russell is he is playing a pretty methodical psychological game on his cast mates in order to control each person's game and thereby control the entire game and it's outcome. Ensuring his victory at the end. He is seen dumping out the water out of each tribe mates canteens and burning Jaison's socks so as to "ween out the weaker players" ..this has immediate results as we see Ben and Marisa arguing amd Jaison admits to being very uncomfortabl without his socks. Meanwhile Russell seems to be stepping back and admiring how it all is going. His plan is working rather effectively.

The word that comes to mind is sheer diabolical. What he does is successful in what he aims to do..to make people lives miserable and weaken them so that he can exploit it.

But what is not figured in, is in doing so, you weaken your tribe and that can affect challenges and camp life as well. As the next challenge due to these dysfunctions, I believe, Foa Foa lost and it was an important Immunity Challenge.

The IC was a series of A frame leanings where each tribe member had to pull themselves up scaling the side of an A frame wall carrying rope and more. At the end, a rope is tossed and then each tribe has to play a tug of war to retrieve the rest of the pieces to put together a puzzle and come up with a solution.

Galu worked beautifully as a team on this challenge and I noticed during the solution part that Foa Foa's Mike did not even attempt to try to help solve it. Instead once they lost Mike tried to pin Ashley (who worked very hard during the challenge) as the weaker one. Mike was never really a part of the challenge I thought while looking at it.

Galu does win Immunity this episode and did so with great team work. Foa Foa seemed to be falling apart in certain stages of the challenge.

Back at Foa Foa camp...Marisa is seen talking to Russell and she openly admits that she is leery of him. She tells him she has noticed him "scrambling around" her wording and in effect is questioning their "secret alliance" and Russell's motives. Russell responds that he is just talking to the various cast mates. That is all he is doing and seeing what their thoughts are or gathering information.

Russell then privately states that he feels Marisa is threatening him. He then goes immediately to Ashley, Jaison, Betsy, Natalie and even to Mike, who himself is trying to toss Ashley under the bus in order to spare his own game....telling everyone that Marisa had threatened him and she had to go.

At Tribal, talk starts of who on the tribe do people think of as weak. Betsy states she feels Ashley is. Ashley speaks up for herself stating that she had worked very hard during the Immunity Challenge and worked out every day to keep fit and could not understand why she would be viewed as weak.

Marisa is asked for her opinion and she seems for a second to start what would be be an intelligent response, but seems to suddenly be stymied and non responsive which causes Ben to get aggravated with the response and he speaks up and says he asked for your thoughts on who is weak...so just answer him. Jeff noticed this and made a remark to this and asked if the two are getting along, which is obvious they aren't. Russell then speaks up and tells Jeff and the tribe of his talk with Marisa and her threats to him. Marisa tries tor defend this and states that if given another shot she would not do this again. With this voting starts.

In the end, Marisa got 7 of the 10 votes Ashley got 3.

The first person voted off Survivor Samoa Marisa Callahan

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