russell swan 'Survivor: Samoa': Russell Swan's swan songTonight on “Survivor: Samoa,” Russell Swan is removed due to medical reasons and it’s the SCARIEST MOMENT ON TV EVER (according to Jeff Probst).

Foa Foa
Jaison is not doing so well in the elements. He calls it the “Man Test.” He is visibly shaking in the rain. Russell meanwhile is acting like it’s no big thing. I think I would fall somewhere in between. I want to tell most of these people to SUCK it UP, but I want to tell Russell to dial it back a bit.

Galu
The Galuians are huddled together under a tree. Betcha wish you had that tarp now, eh? The guys are blaming Russell that they don’t have it. However, while they all huddle and shiver, Russell is out tending the fire. Pretty boy Brett (where did YOU come from? Too many contestants!) thinks Russell went “too far” and it was “unnecessary.” Oh my god, Brett. Don’t try to make yourself feel better about being a lazy wuss.

Reading Rainbow
A rainbow appears and you’d think it was a vision of Jesus Christ coming to rapture them all to heaven.

Challenge
(Just for the record, for anyone reading this who missed the episode, when I talk about Russell in the challenge recap I mean Dreadlock Russell, not Hobo Russell)

A person from each tribe is strapped into an Atlasphere ball and has to guide two blindfolded tribemates through a course. Then the sphere person has to guide the rest of the tribe (also blindfolded) to work a ball-on-a-wobbly-table maze. They are playing for pizza but win or lose both tribes are going to tribal council.  The winning tribe gets to sit in on the other tribe’s TC and that’s where they enjoy their pizza. Awesome.

Galu sits out Monica, Kelly, Shambo and Danger Dave and we are off. The giant Atlaspheres are neck-and-neck and then just as both tribes are done with the sphere part, Russell wanders off and collapses. Medical is brought in. Russell is a little incoherent, clearly disoriented and his blood pressure is lower than Mike’s was. Jeff calls the challenge over and says since both teams were going to TC anyway that they still will.

They try to sit Russell up after awhile and he passes out again. His eyes are fixed and glassy, it’s a bit scary.  They take him out of the game.

Tribal Council Lead-up
In Foa Foa, it’s going to come down to Natalie or Liz. In Galu, I think Shambo has worn out her welcome.  She makes a play to stay but it amounts to badgering the girls about who made fire. Oh my god, lady! That’s not going to win you any favors.

You’re a big weirdo PLUS you came back from Foa Foa talking about how great they are. Of course you’re going home! John tries to make a case to the guys that Shambo should stay because Monica is weaker but then Shambo starts badgering the guys too. Stop being such a nag, you lunatic.

They start to hint to her that she should “stay consistent” and she takes like a million years to figure out she should just vote for Monica again. Here’s a tip: if everyone is like “I don’t know who I’m voting for” to your face, it’s YOU. I will be very surprised if Shambo stays.

Tribal Councils
The tribes go at the same time. Jeff updates them on Russell, calling it “THE scariest moment he’s ever had on the show.” I don’t doubt for a moment how scary that was but Jeff is so melodramatic sometimes.

We now talk about the five-day rainstorm and Eric starts getting choked up about praying to God from the bottom of a tree trunk. He compares it to solitary confinement and says this isn’t what he signed on for. Um, it’s exactly what you signed on for. Have you not watched this show? Sometimes it SUCKS. I mean… it’s not ‘Nam, guys.

Jeff them drops the bomb that due to the UNPRECEDENTED EVENT of not completing a challenge, there will be NO VOTE. Again with the melodrama. I constantly expect Jeff Probst to alternately smile with a sparkle and a *ting* sound or do a devious mustache-twirl and sneer to the camera.

All throughout TC, Foa Foa was talking about a momentum shift and at every turn Eric was rolling his eyes or shaking his head or sighing. It was over-the-top to a ridiculous degree. He acts like it’s turning into “Lord of the Flies” out there.

Jeff then tells Galu to assign a new leader and sends them all back to camp.

What a lame-o episode of “Survivor.” Blah.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Am I the only one who doesn’t recognize half these people? I swear to god John, Mick and Brett are all the same person with slightly different hair.
  • I’m glad Russell was okay, it really did look bad for a moment there.
  • I think a week where each tribe is sending someone home really stinks at this point. Foa Foa has 5 members. You should let them compete to try to even the odds a bit, rather than be having weeks where the teams stay even. If the Russell thing hadn’t happened, I’d be really indignant for them.
Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."