I can't wait to see what happens tonight!
Russell woke the tribe up with tree mail news of a challenge, and they were all complaining about how miserable they were. Jaison apparently had some bad stomach discomfort and couldn't wait to go home. Dr. Mick and Jaison watched Natalie do her laundry while discussing some strategy, and the need to get rid of Brett. Russell told Natalie that if Brett wins the next challenge, she is going to go next, because the three guys stand to beat Brett in the final challenge more than she does. Of course she was not happy about that.
Russell reminded himself (and Natalie) that Brett is not some superstar genius. "He's no Mike Tyson. He's Brett." He doesn't want people to get intimidated by Brett's back to back wins.
Survivors will race across obstacles, grab puzzle pieces, race up a very steep wall, and unscramble the puzzle pieces.
Russell as running across balance beams like they were two foot wide planks, and then scaled the wall super quickly, getting his pieces out first. Dr. Mick and Brett followed him, but Jaison and Natalie were not far behind.
Brett was doing a very good job on his puzzle. What a race to the finish. Jaison was not doing very well at his puzzle. And it was super close, but Brett won.. by a hair. Brett got the necklace again, and one of the Foa Foa Four is going home.
Will Natalie be able to scramble to save her place in the final four? Russell told Natalie that he was trying to keep her, and he said it was because he doesn't think that she could get more votes than him. I don't know about that. Russell is gunning for Jaison because he's weaker in challenges than even Natalie. He is waffling, though, because while Mick would have a better shot at beating Brett in challenges, he stands a better chance of getting jury votes.
Russell talked to Jaison and told him that they need to get rid of Dr. Mick, and then talked to Dr. Mick and told him that the plan is to get rid of Jaison. Both Jaison and Dr. Mick had nearly identical confessional speeches, about how they trust Russell to keep them in the final 3. Ummm... one of them is wrong. Russell told Natalie that it would be up to them, since he has Jaison and Mick voting against each other.
No one even talked to Brett, as far as I could see.
Probst asked Jaison when it became clear that there is no where to hide, and one of the Foa Foans is going home. Jaison said it was clear as soon as Brett won immunity. Probst asked Natalie how the decision is made, and she said that there are two ways to vote - can the person you keep beat Brett, or will they beat you in the jury? Everyone else kind of agrees. Brett said that the past few challenges have just played to his particular skills. Russell said that they are still being beaten by Galu, even though there is only one of them there.
Time for voting!
As expected, Mick voted for Jaison and Jaison voted for Mick. The other votes went to Jaison and he is out. I have no idea how Brett voted (did he throw a vote at Russell? - nope, he voted Jaison as I saw in the end there), but Jaison is gone. I am not sad. He did seem to do a lot of complaining for a long time.
Jaison is pissed about being voted off, and said that he is now rooting for Brett, because Russell betrayed him.
Back at camp, Russell made a deal with Brett to go to the Top 3 with him, if he wins the final immunity. Looks like Russell is going to the final three no matter what if no one betrays him.
It's time for the walk of the fallen - they will collect masks at torches of "fallen comrades" along a long walk, and at the end, they will burn the masks.
Brett doesn't even know most of the people in the beginning of the walk, because they were all Foa Foa.
I was really hoping that Marissa and Betsy would have made it farther. I really liked Betsy. No one missed Ben.
I think that part of the reason they do the fallen walk is to tire them out before their last challenge. But, all the same, it's good to remember everyone.
Final Immunity Challenge
Survivors will place a wooden statue on the end of a pole. At Probst's signal, they will add another section of pole. Statue falls, you're out. Their hands have to remain on the bottom section of the pole. Sections get added every two minutes.
Anyone could win this one.
It would be a much quicker challenge if it was a windy day.
As it was, it was clear and sunny.
Dr. Mick dropped his first, followed by Natalie. It's down to Russell and Brett.
Then the wind picked up.
Russell waited a long time to get his pole on the 7th foot mark, and I thought he wasn't going to make it, but he did. Brett was wobbly, but recovered. Russell was shaking. I think Brett was watching Russell's statue and lost track of his own, and down it came.
Russell wins Individual Immunity, and it's looking like a Foa Foa Final Three.
Russell asked Natalie and Dr. Mick what they thought of his chances to win a million dollars now. Natalie told him she thinks he is going to win. It was all about him, and I think it was getting to Dr. Mick.
Now, Russell has a problem. He promised final 3 to Brett. And he promised final 3 to Dr. Mick. Dr. Mick was suspicious of Russell going to get fire wood, and then Brett went to talk to him. Natalie told him not to worry. I think maybe he should worry... who knows what Russell is going to do?
Russell told Brett that he made a deal with everybody, and he loves Brett and he's the kind of guy who he would want his daughters to marry. Russell talked to Brett about forcing a tie, to have a final challenge. I actually think that could be a really good idea. We'll see.
Wow - Jaison looks so different all cleaned up! Russell talked about possibly keeping Brett. Dr. Mick and Natalie said that was a stupid idea, but Brett of course thought it was a good idea - and might win him some respect in the jury.
I honestly have no idea how this is going to go down...
Of course Dr. Mick and Natalie voted for Brett, and Brett voted for Dr. Mick. And Russell voted for Brett, and kept it a Foa Foa Finale.
What a comeback, Foa Foa! If you think about it, it's kind of amazing.
The Final Three head back to camp for one final night, before heading to the final jury.
Can I just say, Natalie's hair looks amazing, and I wonder how she is taking care of it? As a long-blonde-haired chick myself, I am full of admiration.
Back at camp, Natalie and Brett couldn't wait to bathe and brush their teeth. Russell sharped the machete.
And it's time for a feast - lots of delicious looking brunch food, mimosas.
Then, Russell asked Natalie what she was going to say when the jury asked her what she did to get where she is. He was practicing his speech. Dr. Mick made the point that Russell needs to be reminded that Russell couldn't have made it there without them. Russell couldn't stop talking about how easy it was going to be for him to win all the votes, and I wanted to kick him.
The traditional bon fire of camp is set, and I hope that the production crew is standing by with fire extinguishers.
At this point, I suppose Russell has earned the win he thinks he has in the bag, but I am rooting for Natalie, mostly because of Russell's behavior at the brunch. He is so grating.
Final Tribal Council
Probst brought up that this season is the first time that all of the final three have voted for every single jury member. Interesting.
Dr. Mick is first. He said that he knew that there was some moral leeway that was tempting to give way to, even as underdogs, and he was not super willing to go out of his own moral boundaries, and didn't go out of his way to make promises to people.
Natalie said that she played the game about having no regrets and going outside her comfort zone, and it's been humbling, and she thanked the jury for being there.
Russell said that he entered the game with huge strategic moves, and he has played every day he was there, and he was willing to do anything to get where he is. He told the jury that if either Natalie or Dr. Mick outwitted or outplayed him, by all means, give them the money. And he ended with "May the best man win." Natalie didn't look too happy about that line.
Jaison got his say first. He congratulated them on being there, and told them each to give the jury some of their own backgrounds. Natalie said she was in pharmaceutical sales, and she is not unemployed, but she loved it and wants to go back. Russell was cagey and said he is a business man, and has found success, but neglected to say how much. Then Dr. Mick let it be known that he is hugely in debt from medical school. Jaison told the jury that they didn't lie, but they weren't exactly forthcoming, because Natalie has made quite a bit of money in her job, and Russell is a millionaire, and Dr. Mick has great fellowships, so they shouldn't base any vote on financial need.
Shambo apologized to America for dismantling Galu, because she is not sure that it was a good decision at all. She told Mick that his gameplay was feckless and he said that he would have to look it up. She told Natalie that she is full of the "c" word - "coattails." She didn't even ask Russell a question and said no way in god's green earth would the others get her vote.
Brett asked Mick what they would do on a Bro-Day together. Dr. Mick said he would whisper sweet nothings in his ear and tickle his nose, and then said that he was kidding, but he would end up going out and watch sports. He asked no more questions.
Kelly told Natalie that they were perceived as similar, but she relied on herself, whereas she never saw Natalie doing anything for herself. Natalie claimed to be stronger than that. Kelly asked Russell if he also lies, cheats, and steals in real life, and he said that was not how he lives his real life, and he doesn't want his kids to think he is like this outside of the game, and he claimed that in real life, he is all about honor, integrity and loyalty. She wasn't buying it, but I think I almost do.
Monica wanted more passion in Natalie and Mick, and asked each of them to tell her why the others don't deserve the money. Dr. Mick said that Natalie hasn't done anything to win the game, and that Russell has pit people against each other, and then Russell asked if he could speak up, and said that neither of them seemed to mind being honest people, but high fiving him for his deceptions. Monica didn't even wait for Natalie's answer and said she was basically done. Wow. (I wonder if there is more of this one we don't see...)
Dave was curious what people thought their chances were. Dr. Mick thought he had a 20% chance, and Natalie thought she had about 30-40%, and Russell admitted that he thought his chances are down to about 55%.
Laura asked Russell what he learned about her that let him beat her, and he said that he knew immediately that she was the strongest Galu, and if things had played out differently, she would be there.
John asked for the hard sell from Dr. Mick. He said that he is the most stand up dude up there, and the money couldn't go to a better guy. He told Natalie that she was hiding under Russell's wing, and why should she win? She said that she noticed that the strongest girls were voted out first, and she didn't want to put that target on her back. He thanked her for showing some strategy.
Eric told Dr. Mick that he never saw any leadership in the supposed leader of the tribe. He told Russell that he got to the top by playing an unethical game and got to the right place playing the wrong way. He told Natalie that she got to the final three because she deserves it, and the others are full of arrogance and delusional entitlement, and that Natalie doesn't think she deserves to win, so maybe that proves that she does, and he told her she has his vote. (In fact, he voted for "Ratalie," since she brought up her rodent-killing prowess.
After voting, Probst gathered them, and the Live Finale is on.
Amazing how a jungle path in Samoa can lead to Hollywood, isn't it?
Natalie has put on some healthy weight and looks lovely in her bright blue dress. Russell looks pretty much the same as he did in Samoa. Dr. Mick has a hair cut and has also gained back some weight. I think that Natalie is sporting a Bump-it.
And in the end, Natalie on it, and I think it was deserved. Russell looked like he wanted to throw up.
Natalie said that the experience taught her Want vs. Need, and said that the most strategic thing she had a hand in was the ouster of Eric. She also said that she was doing the same kinds of things as Russell, but in a more subtle manner. Russell said that of course her key move was to align with him, and he said that he did play a good social game, because he had people like Natalie, Jaison, and Mick, who trusted him, he had tears in his eyes. Probst asked if maybe he should have brought Jaison and Shambo to the final, and it looks like he would have won it if he had made that decision. He admitted that it sucks. He asked Natalie if he could have the title of Sole Survivor, and he would pay her $10,000 if she would cede it to him, and have Probst say it.
Probst said that no one played like Russell played it, so does that make it possible to play the best game and not win? The audience thought so. Jaison said that the fact that people value Russell's negative contributions more than Natalie's positive contributions is weird. Russell thinks that Jaison is still bitter about the burnt sock, and then he pulled a sock out of his pocket and threw it in the fire in front of them. Wow.
Back from break - Shambo recap. Good times. Shambo said that she is getting a lot of positive reactions in her hometown and she is able to touch a lot of kids' lives because of that. She said that she gets a lot of response from people of all ages. They showed a picture of the mullet in 1986, but the mullet was born in 1984. He asked her about her problems with Laura, and she made a chicken sound and said that they both are used to ruling their roosts. Laura said that the fact that the tribe kept calling Laura the strongest woman, when Shambo was the marine, and she didn't think that Shambo liked it. Laura claimed that forgiveness has been given.
Brett said that the final immunity was intense and tough and sad, because it was such a tiny seeming thing and cost him the million.
Let's revisit Not-Evil-Russell's medical evacuation, shall we? Russell said that he had no idea how bad it was when he was out there, and he was in fact mad at Probst for pulling him out of the game. He seemed to have had an out of body experience, because he felt amazing during the blackout...
Focus on Russell (that would be Evil Russell). He certainly had some great moments in the game. Natalie declined the $10K offer. He made it $100K, and she said no. Probst said that he would call Russell "Sole Survivor" for $100K. I love Probst. Probst asked how kids feel about Russell, and he had twin 4th graders, and the whole school loves him. Probst asked him about the search for the clueless idols.
And Probst asked about the Dumbass Girl Alliance - and asked about how his wife, his daughters, and his mother feel about it. Russell said that he has no regrets, and Probst told him that one of those Dumbass Girls beat his ass.
Probst them introduced us to Russell's wife, who seems very sweet.
Back to when Probst pulled Ben from the challenge. Probst wanted to feel safe going home and asked Ben if they are cool. Ben agreed.
Russell (and specifically "Evil Russell"), Shambo, and Brett are in the running for the fan favorite. The winner of the $100K is Russell. That's about right. He's the Player of the Season, and Natalie wasn't even in the Top 3.
Evacuated Mike is doing well, and his happy to have not cried on camera. He's lost about 65 lbs. Ashley has gotten closer to her father, because they watched together. Monica thought it was an awesome growth opportunity and she loved it. Yasmin forgives Ben for all of the nasty things he said. Probst said that a lot of viewers wanted to see Betsy in it longer, and she said she wished she'd made it longer, too. Marisa doesn't regret playing hard, and admits that she would have gotten rid of Russell if she had been out there longer.
What's coming for Survivor 20????
South Pacific, and it's another All Stars - Villains vs. Heroes. God, it's going to be good. 20 castaways. If Russell isn't one of the Villains, I would be stunned. February 11th. Yay!!!!!
Who do you think is going to be on that season? Would the IRS let Rich Hatch be on? Do you think Natalie deserved her win?