The Lead is Gone!

Jeff Probst blogs ‘Survivor: Samoa': episode #10


Erik: “And there goes the lead.”

It’s appropriate that Erik’s comment starts this blog since the downfall of Galu all started with Galu voting out Erik, one of their own.

Survivor hindsight is no different than any other hindsight, it’s always 20-20.  But man… if they only knew what they were starting, ‘ole Erik would probably still be wearing those black knee highs and most of the Foa Foa would be gone.

Instead… it’s wow, wow, wow.

Who would have ever predicted this kind of a turnaround?  Galu, the tribe who dominated for so long is now in a giant hole, not unlike a grave, that they dug themselves. 

They should heed the advice of Dave Matthews and start talking to the grave digger right now:  “Grave digger, when you dig my grave, will you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain.”

Eric, gone.  Kelly, gone.  Laura, gone.  What?

How in “Gods green earth” to quote Shambo, are Jaison, Mick, Natalie and Russell still in this game?  Why have they been able to pull off a comeback and get themselves back in contention?

Two big reasons:  The first is this… Survivor is an individual game: I keep saying it because it’s important.  You can never take your eyes off the prize and the prize is ONE check for a million dollars.  Not four checks, each for $250,000.  Not 8 checks each for $125,000.  ONE check for ONE million dollars.  As long as Survivor remains an individual game it will continue to have unexpected flips and flops because everybody has their own agenda and that will always cause chaos.

The second reason for the Foa Foa comeback is “Game Play.”

Here’s my take on how Game Play factored into the comeback:
33% Russell’s individual game play, 33% Foa Foa sticking together and 33% Galu just flat out blowing one of the most dominant leads in Survivor history.  It’s like they lost their brains somewhere in the South Pacific.  And as of last night’s episode, they still haven’t found it.

I laughed out loud when John assessed Galu’s various voting strategies, each followed with:   “You’re an idiot.”

I gotta say, from where I sit – and again my vantage point is all based on hindsight – he’s right.  Targeting Russell?  What?  Here’s a guy who has shown you his willingness to play the idol and his ability to continue to find it.  Trying to take out Russell makes no sense at all.  Not in this episode anyway.

Mick has the individual immunity necklace so they really only had two choices:  Natalie or Jaison.  John is right, you have to try to get intel and/or take a guess as to who is the least likely to be given the idol and vote for them.  It’s the only vote.

Maybe if they had done that things would have turned out differently.  But I think a big part of John’s dilemma probably stemmed from the question of whether or not he believed the remaining Galu members were smart enough to help him make it to the end.

Laura and Dave’s jungle strategy meeting certainly didn’t give him any peace of mind, although it did provide me a favorite moment courtesy of Dave Ball:

John:  “The vote is Natalie.  Times five.  Find a problem with that.  I know you’d rather not—-“
Dave:  “No, no, no. I’ll burn her right now, I do not care… bro.”

I really do pull for Dave Ball.  Can’t explain it, doesn’t even matter why, I just pull for the dude.  I have since he first walked into casting a couple years ago and continued even though we didn’t put him on the show at that time.  When we brought him back again for Survivor: Samoa I was still rooting for him and as I write this tonight, I still am.

Back to John.  When he found out they were going to use him as the bait, things really started to shift.  Once that happens, a mutiny is almost sure to follow as people start to jump off the sinking ship.   People like John.

Like a good Tarantino movie, let’s play with structure a little bit and jump back to the start of the episode.

When everybody returned to camp after the last tribal council, Dave Ball came over to the Foa Foa four and said:

“You guys tell Galu I said this, ‘good move!’”  Did I miss something?   Does anybody know what Dave is talking about?  Dave, you ARE Galu, and the move Foa Foa made was as much on YOU as anybody else.

Laura said it best:  Wow.

She then followed with “I can’t believe that little snake.”  Why is Russell a snake?  Because he’s playing the game?

It’s always fun to hear one group talk about the other.  When Laura wins two immunity challenges, it’s “Awesome.”  When Russell finds the idol, he’s a snake?  Nah.  He’s awesome too, just in a different way.

Going back even further, (still with me?) let’s return to the end of the last episode when I said:

JEFF: (at last tribal council) “One more thing, the hidden immunity idol goes back into the game.”

As I said those words, I was thinking the same thing everybody else was thinking…
Can he do it again?  Can Russell find the idol for a third time?

Russell: “They’re like magnets to me, I’m just drawn to them.”  Now that is a damn funny and very cocky comment, but hard to argue.

It was one of the funniest scenes of the season, the entire group scurrying about looking for the idol.  And even with everybody following Russell…he STILL found it.

You wonder why nobody else finds the idol?  Just take a look at how the rest of the group was looking for it?

Jaison could barely be bothered to pick up a rock.  Dave was merely following Russell and in doing so nearly stumbled upon the idol but because he is so concerned with Russell he walks away from it and chases back after Russell.  Hilarious.

Laura is following Dave so she’s no help.  And what does Russell do?  He easily loses everybody and doubles right back to where Dave was half-assed looking and finds… the… third… idol.

THREE IDOLS!  Come on.  You have to give him some credit.  Check that, a lot of credit.  We’ve had hidden immunity idols for a long time now and up until this season nobody has ever thought to just start looking for them, with or without a clue.  Russell was so on top of his game that he gave us Producers a run for our money.  We were as shocked as you are that he continued to find them before anybody else.

Once again I ask, “He’s starting to grow on you a little, right?”

Let’s give credit where credit is due – the difference in the Reward challenge was Natalie.  Period.  She won that challenge for her group.  She extended her body waaaaaay out over the platform gripping it with only her feet and used her flexibility to reach much further than John was able to and that was the difference.

Now that Galu is starting to scramble it throws everything into chaos.

Galu actually had a very solid idea.  It took some doing, but Galu actually game up with a good plan.  Convince Foa Foa they are taking out another one of their own – John.  In fact, Monica did a very good job of working Foa Foa trying to convince them the vote was for John.  Trusting anybody is tough on Survivor, but in terms of pure performance, she did a great job of justifying why she would not vote for Laura but would vote for John.

But John’s no dummy.  Getting even one vote at tribal council is never a good thing.  Getting four votes is way too risky.  It suddenly becomes too easy for someone to “change their mind” and just vote you out.

Also working against the plan is the fact that Russell is as usual, one step ahead.  He’s not buying it and he’s not backing off his plan to vote off Laura.

John: If I’m gonna give you a Galu before you give me a Foa Foa, the next one needs to be a Foa Foa.  Deal?
Russell: Deal.

But even as he said it, John knew he would be making a deal with a guy who has proven week after week he cannot be trusted.  That’s why Survivor is still on, 19 seasons later.  You can never be sure what exactly is the best move.

It all came down to John.  Does he risk his neck to save Laura and hopefully get rid of a Foa Foa member putting Galu back in charge… or… does he play a more self-serving game and flop to save his own hide knowing his quest for the million dollars may have gotten just a little bit tougher.

John played it brilliantly.  He stayed true to Galu through the first vote, forcing a tie. This gave him the chance to see what was really going to happen.  Then he had a choice:

A. Let it go to a tie and draw rocks, putting him in jeopardy of being sent home or…
B. Flip to Foa Foa thus ensuring he would stay in he game at least one more day.

He flipped and Laura became the third member of the jury.  That was a big move.

IN CONCLUSION (Don’t you love it when you hear those  two words.. finally, it’s over)
I know that Laura had people rooting for her and against her.  Say what you want, but one thing you have to give Laura credit for is playing the game.  From a producer point of view, she gave us everything we could have hoped for and then some.  Sorry you had to go Laura, see ya at the live show.

If you had to vote today for your “favorite” player from this season?  Who would it be?  I’m not talking about who you want to win the game, although it might be the same person, I’m talking about your “favorite” overall player or person in the game?

Look forward to your responses.

Check ya next week.

Check out our exclusive deleted scene below and Dalton Ross’s TV recap.





218 thoughts on “The Lead is Gone!”

  1. That’s not true Fran. You heard it yourself this morning, when all of Aggie’s conditions are meant, she sucks. And that IS the truth

  2. Well, just as I was going to work this had to come up in my e-mail… work can wait.

    DONNA… you are right as usual!

    PK… check old page.

    FRAN… go back to work!

    Hi HOLLY!

  3. Any one want to guess who will get the most votes?
    If I were to guess….Russell. That’s right Ted, I said Russell.

  4. Whoa guys slow down. Frannie (sexier than Fran) and PK are BFF and there is NO Ted in that Picture anywhere, Period.

  5. Ted… There is no “knotty bodies espresso” in Mobile, but we do have a “Hooters” that’s located right next door to “Honey Baked Hams.”

  6. Frannie… MYA is the better dancer and the Pope is Catholic and for DonnaP, not in the pic was used figuratively, NOT literally.

  7. know….he just likes to show off

    Keep it up Frannie and Sea Biscuit’s coming out of his double wide stable again today.

  8. Do you guys know Bob Kuban? PK….sorry to say, but
    he always calls me beautiful….a little better than BFF.
    He was in a little bit agao

  9. I already know I’m dead when Rebecca gets home and reads my posts today, but i guess I can only die once so carry on I’d say

  10. Yea right Frannie, but Bob Kuban is a “cheater” so if that’s what you want go for it. So much for the sanctity of BFF on here. Maybe I should just wax for Aggie and get on with my life.

  11. See Frannie… “Breaking up is hard to do” even here. But I really didn’t want to do it anyway.

  12. Morning Bloggers, I agree with this statement!

    I laughed out loud when John assessed Galu’s various voting strategies, each followed with: “You’re an idiot.”

  13. My favorite player this season – “Danger” Dave Ball.
    O.K., he made some bad moves during the last episode – but I still like the guy. Russell is more interesting and plays the game better – but Dave is still my favorite.

  14. How rude PK….TOO late. What is that supposed to mean?
    And no…not the steak from yesterday you were serving up.

  15. Man Up PK… don’t let her see your posts! Don’t know why she would want to waste her time on this B.S. anyway.

    STRAWBERRY HILL.. please come back… Fun to hear Jeff’s take. Did you read Dalton?

  16. Strawberry Hill… A fly-byer is anybody who know Ted is present so they just fly by and try landing again later when he has gone.

  17. Frannie… I said too late because I had just commented on your lunch arrangements before I got you message…

  18. Strawberry Hill… Ted acts like he’s cool but that’s only because he lives on an isolated Island (used to be a penal colony I think) off the coast of Washington State near Canada where a prisoner named Friday freeze to death one summer.

  19. Make that froze to death. I modified the last sentence at the last minute and forgot the change my verb tense, a crime punishable by a 5 hour ferry delay on Ted’s island.

  20. STRAWBERRY… I am the only one here who likes to talk about Survivor, and you were a fresh voice to be heard. Go up and read earlier posts and see who you want to spend time with. A fly-by is someone who occasionally makes a comment then disappears for awhile. I could think of some who should fly.

  21. I have ear plugs with noise reduction, i miss the social commentary, but with a one night a week show I didn’t too much commentary from people except on game day and post party evictions. But if Ted needs an Island to go to, Sing-Sing needs some residence!

  22. Strawberry Hill. Just look at Ted’s avitar pic. Therein lies the truth. He looks just like that mean assistant principal in high school who made you swallow your gum when it still had a lot of flavor left and made you open your locker for him to check out your personal stuff daily. Beware… I’m just saying…

  23. Finally…..I have relief. I think I’ll go take lunch while I got the chance.
    Be back in a bit.
    See ya round like a donut

  24. Well STRAWBERRY… I see you have succumbed to their lies and innuendos! And, that you cannot spell any better than they.

  25. Strawberry Hill… The survivor blogs are generally very informative with the exception of the word slinging, hot air dispenser Coach. Snakebit Sal is our revered leader and posts the blog at the top of the page daily, early on slow nights and whenever when he closes down the sports bars in Houston.

  26. Well STRAWBERRY… I see you have succumbed to their lies and innuendos! And, that you cannot spell any better than they.

    See Strawberry Hill. I warned you. Ted is bad to the bone mean,

    I am working on a shortened Strawberry Hill, ’cause that’s just too many letters. My ET for Elizabeth Tipton got launched back into space so she is now Liz. Any suggestions?

  27. Stephen R. Covey… The bald headed idiot who I wish was from San Juan Island, Washington, not my beloved Utah.

  28. Why is everyone picking on Ted?
    Ted know that you have at least one friend
    They are just playing with you Ted, they LOVE you.

  29. I have to say … Russell. He has played the hell out of the game so far, and he hasn’t alienated his tribe in doing it. In fact, this whole Galu dominance may have played into his game by making Foe-Foa so sympathetic.
    Now if he doesn’t louse it up.

  30. DonnaP… Just a warning.. You WILL get busted if you keep smoking that stuff.

    persona non gratis until Aggie gets to take her best shot Ted.

  31. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing

    Ted….haven’t you learned by now, if you can’t beat’em join em.

  32. Ted Bundy, Ted Kaczynski, Ted Strutz…. See where I’m going with this? I’m just saying… Better to be safe than sorry…

  33. Aggie… get back here and shorten that leash on Ted. He has already started hitting on Strawberry Hill and two time you again.

  34. Strawberry Hill…..You can slap either one of them at
    any time. aggie & I both need help keeping these two
    horn dogs in line.

  35. You can slap either one of them at any time. aggie & I both need help keeping these two horn dogs in line.

    Frannie, as your BFF, I know that means you keep me at the head of the line, right?

  36. Strawberry…I hope you don’t become one of those people
    that only drop a line or two. Stay awhile. Test the waters.

  37. Frannie… PK sounds nothing like puke and Knudsen sounds nothing like “Cuntson” that some dim wit, Germanic language challenged teacher once came up with during a roll call.

  38. Frannie… After you finish with that dough shipment, I’ll take a dozen custard filled chocolate doughnuts please.

  39. Strawberry Hill… I like your spin on my name, but sadly “d” after a vowel is pronounced “t” in Norwegian so it is actually k nute son…

  40. PK…what’s on the tube tonight? There is too much on Tuesdays.
    Biggest Loser, DWTS, and SYTYCD. VCR’s will be working overtime.

  41. Frannie… My Tuesday prime time schedule is as follows:

    7 pm NCIS
    8 pm DWTS
    9 pm Leno tonight
    10 pm local news followed by Golden Girls until Rebecca starts snoring then I turn off the TV and get “saranaded” to sleep.

  42. GOLDEN GIRLS?…… must have cable or something. I miss that show sooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I wish i had all of them on dvd or i wonder if that’s even possible? I could use a bigggggg laff.

  43. Tendr…

    I wish i had all of them on dvd or i wonder if that’s even possible?

    It is… We have EVERY season of the Golden Girls on DVD. But that is not enough, we have to watch them on TV every weekday night after the local news…

  44. Ted… Your BFF still has not been identified with certainty.

    You changed your mean assistant high school principal pic to a kinder and gentler “Glamour” shot, BUT click on it and voila, there is the Ted we all know best…

  45. You guys change pics like some change their underwear.
    I tried to ger one but wth no luck. So I decided to come
    back as my old self. Besides, Pk can’t call me anything
    different….I told him so.

  46. Ted…why you talking to someone that doesn’t talk
    SS all the time. Or…is it only when you don’t want to

  47. Hi FRANNIE… appreciate your efforts indeed. Hope you are successful, as the world deserves your beauty!

  48. Hi STARFISH… when is BB12? Where have you been? I have been suffering in the absence of my West Coast allies.

  49. PK ~ just realized that was not a good analogy about the wolf… we all know what happened to him!…☠

  50. Well It does look like I am here alone… see you guys later… hoping for Donnie’s quick exit tonight!

  51. I think the way it works on finale night….
    They will eliminate 1 pretty quick. Then they will make us wait for the final two until the end

  52. Time to mellow out and bid My BFF Frannie a pleasant evening and sweet dreams.

    I forgive Ted for not promptly taking out all of the trash I tossed in his direction today.

    Welcome to SS Blog, Strawberry Hill. That is quite a handle but we will find a way to simplify it – maybe.

    Starfish… Where have you been? You are Ted’s ally? NOT!

    Holly… Better luck at first tomorrow. I’m rooting for you.

    DonnaP… Nice pic of Ted? Lenscrafters appointment OK

    Tendr… Golden Girls rock so sayeth my wife and you too.

    And last but not least Aggie… Wax this!

    Nite All

  53. PK, i think Bea Arthur was the one who made me laugh the most. Seems (here) the best tv comes on after one a.m.
    I find myself sitting up watching tv at 4 and by the time i get in bed my hubby’s alarm goes off..sometimes we pass each other in the hall..him getting up and me going to bed.
    I think my fav show though is “Fringe”

  54. WTF…..aggie, you called it right. Donny is the winner.
    Mya was better…but Donny has bigger fan base

  55. I’m slow i guess.
    or always late getting online.

    HEY, I would LOVE to see Russell on the next Big Brother…:)

  56. oops….I thought DWTS was over…that’s what I get for leaving the room for a minute. After going back on TIVO, I
    realized it was for their last dance. Still more DWTS to
    Sorry….my bad :twisted:

  57. Do you hear that CBS…tendr wants Russell on
    Big Brother. Doesn’t sound too bad huh Ted?
    Only if he gets his teeth fixed. That would make for some interesting shows.

    Just want to say….Maxim from DWTS is so OMG
    freaking hot….sorry DonnaP but I have to go with Maxim.
    That dude can shake it. :)

  58. Why do they have to drag this crap out with all the
    crazy losers that try to make it funny. It could have
    all been done in one hour.

  59. Did you hear that last year he called Cheryl Burke fat?
    She did gain a little weight but he was wrong for that.

  60. Ok….I guess I should go to bed and watch some TV
    before going to sleep.
    I’ll talk to you tomorrow from our jobs.

  61. I like the idea of Russell on Big Brother.I doubt he would last long cuz BB is a different environment than Survivor. I think it is easier to manipulate starving people

  62. Hi Kids!!! Just you too? Nice to see an actual conversation here, well kind of. So Donny won? All PK’s buddies in Utah probably voting. I guess it doesn’t hurt to be a showman with decades of fans. Did Marie win?

  63. At least you girls have good taste in tv dramas. My faves… LOST, 24 and FRINGE.

    Nice to see some kind words for TGO. Don’t know how he would fare on Big Brother. Might be hard on him if he didn’t get his way. Isn’t BB kind of like Jerry Springerish?

  64. And…PK… what a colossal Kiss Up with his summary of the day. Don’t care for his words for DONNA, who shows excellent taste by the way.

    TENDR… Like your pic… very pretty.

    Where is my BFF FRANNIE???

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