Revisiting the heyday of department stores and five-and-dimes

'Survivor: Samoa': Betting on surprises

Survivor kicks off real quick -- after a quick recap of how incredible AWESOME the past three weeks have been -- with the Survivor Auction. Yay, food, the contestants cheer!

First item: A PBJ, which Natalie snatches up for $200 of her $500. Everyone lets her have it.

Second item: A covered item goes for $240 to Shambo, and she gets sea noodles and slug guts, "with a little bit of parmesan." She's so hungry, she eats it anyway.

Third item: Dave Ball bids $300 right off the bat, but they're playing the odds there wouldn't be too gross items in a row, Russell says. Monica pays $340 for an entire roasted chicken. Did I mention they can't share money or food?

Fourth item: "A significant advantage in the next challenge." Jaison decides his group needs to be in possession of that and decides to make a sacrifice. He bids his $500 on the item and wins it, after asking what happens if he and John both bid $500 and finding out that it's who gets to $500 first.

Fifth item: The biggest hamburger ever with fixings. Mick immediately bids $500 and wins it. Seriously, this burger is as big as Mick's head.

Sixth item: John bids $200 for a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Isn't this the idol that Russell already has?

Seventh item: Natalie pays $120 for a shower, shampoo, soap and clean underwear. She's psyched. So are all the guys who watch her.

Eighth item: John bids $300 for a piece of apple pie. Then Jeff says he can sacrifice his piece of pie and share a whole pie with four others. He opts to keep his piece, saying that no one will vote him off because of that. I wouldn't say that for sure!

Then it's over!

Back at camp, John starts looking for the idol but it's not there, which makes him think that Russell has it. Gosh, ya think?

Then Shambo talks to the chickens and tells them they have to be the day's lunch. Wait, really? Isn't this the same day that a bunch of them just got to eat? Anyway, Mick kills them, Shambo cooks them, Dave thinks she's ruining them, and Shambo is mad.

Then the editors have a good old time with footage of Shambo sleeping intercut with her talking about her clairvoyant dream that they vote out Dave. Russell's like, "Surrre, it's a sign, let's do it!"

Then it's time for for the immunity challenge. Each person has to hold up a log that weighs as much as they do by a rope with some knots. Every three minutes, they have to switch hands and move down a knot, which increases the pressure and tension. Jaison's advantage is that at any point in the challenge, he can move back two knots. He does this very early on, as soon as he can, actually. Shambo is out first, then Russell, literally seconds after I said to my husband, "Russell's got this in the bag, don't you think?" At the end of it, they don't have a knot at the end helping them with leverage. But Jaison still has knots. The last three standing are Jaison, Natalie and Dave. Natalie, wow! Shortly thereafter, it's Dave vs. Jaison. Dave's hands slip, Jaison wins it. Good thing he sacrificed for that advantage!

Back at camp everyone agrees that Dave should go. Then John starts talking with Russell about the idol and how he has it, right? Which means Russell's after John now.

To make that happen, Russell goes to Dave to float the vote-for-John idea. He says he'll talk to Monica. Then Russell talks to Mick, and Mick thinks getting rid of John is a great idea, though he's worried what Shambo will do if Dave doesn't go. Jaison points out that they are doing to Shambo what her original tribe did, which means she could flip in a second. 

Why doesn't anybody go, hey, what if we all went against Russell? No one at all?

At tribal council, Shambo says today was calm, and Russell says today was all about strategy. Shambo says, "Wow." Jeff is shocked -- shocked! -- that Shambo is shocked that people were scrambling to stay in the game. Mick says clearly no one feels safe -- everyone packed their bags. Dave says if the vote goes the way he thinks it's going to go, then he will be surprised. Shambo had already said she didn't think the vote would be a surprise. Then John tells Jeff that he thinks the vote will be a surprise because Jeff has asked questions of the "two names" and both people said it would not be a surprise. (I think I got that right. It was a leetle bit complicated.)

As the votes come in, John's name comes up several times, and he looks surprised, shocked, perplexed. Laura, over the on the jury, whispers, "He's so screwed." Then, regarding Shambo: "She has no idea what happened!"

Jeff: "Based on how you've been playing, I can't wait to see what happens next." ME TOO!

But now, I'm off to watch the Oregon-Oregon State game. Yes, I know, I'm about the only person in Maryland who cares about this, but GO DUCKS! I smelllllll roooooooooooooooses ...


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