Survivor Samoa: Erik Got Clotheslined by the Invisible Man
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Somewhere Charlie Brown is snickering. He may have spent decades trying to kick the football, only to end up on his butt every time, but at least he didn't get clotheslined by a clothesline. That just looked funny. One second Erik was running at top speed through the woods. The next his feet were lifting off the ground and he seemed to be flying. He probably barely felt the wrenching strangulation of a rope slamming into his throat before he had crashed to the ground in a pile of leaves.

I'm sure that hurt, and I hate to be mean. But I hope Erik takes some consolation in the fact that win or lose he'll always have a hilarious YouTube video to show for his momentary pain. I loved it.

I also loved this week's host-less reward challenge, which posed the castaways with a really interesting dilemma. Without Jeff Probst there to enforce the rules, why follow them? Even though they were starving, Russell Hantz, Mick and Natalie handed over the chickens with refreshing good sportsmanship. But if they had grabbed the chickens by the scruff of the neck and walked off with them no one would have stopped them.

Love him or hate him, if Ben had still been in the game you know The Outlaw wouldn't have played by any of those "sissy rules." He would have gotten those chickens back to Foa Foa even if it meant he had to kick Russell Swan in his other leg.
In a lot of ways last night was like a second premiere for Survivor: Samoa. After three weeks of having to refer to Dave as "that guy who looks like Kevin Spacey" we finally sat down properly with the Galu tribe.

From what we can tell, while Foa Foa was burning the laundry and fighting about race, Galu was on "snooze patrol." Rocket scientist John is, of course, the charter member and honorary captain of the Snooze Patrol. But Yasmin, Kelly and Brett all seemed happy to join him for an afternoon snore. I think Monica and Laura were too hyped up from sniffing the fresh towels to nod off. How has this tribe been winning? I'm surprised they found the challenge beach without a GPS.

Speaking of which, what was up with Monica in the challenge? So far, she has always competed with the heart of a terrier. She's petite but don't tell her that. She'll wrestle people to the ground like she thinks she's a Green Bay Packer. This week she was huffing and puffing before she was a third of the way across that rope. Was she having a panic attack trying to walk across the trembling rope? Or did that comfort reward last week come with a trunk full of Lucky Strikes?

On a final note, I'm already excited for next week's episode. The gross food challenge is a Survivor classic, so catchy in its simplicity that it spawned one of the worst reality shows ever made. When it comes to finding foods that will give you nightmares, Fear Factor wins undigested. Err.... Contested. But Survivor: Africa's blood drinking challenge did make my best friend toss her fafaru. So after next week's seafood smoothies Jamba Juice blender-istas may be left wondering what happened to the morning drive time rush.

Do you like the new Galu? Do you think "riding Russell like a horse" (or a jackass) is a good plan for Natalie? And am I the only one looking forward to the backlash when it rains for 48 hours straight next week and Galu are left standing around with their towels and no tarp?

-Henry Jenkins, Guest Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)