'Survivor: Samoa' Recap: Protein Shakes To Get You Through The Storm
It was a tumultuous week for Galu last week on Survivor: Samoa, when they found themselves in their first Tribal Council, and Yasmin found herself voted off by everyone but Shambo.  And Erik found himself an immunity idol.  And I haven't mentioned the chickens yet.

Tribal council wasn't a good thing for Shambo, who's tired, and has just realized that she's the only one on her side.  The rest think Shambo should be tossed, especially Monica, who knows she gave that one single vote.  Bet at this moment she badly wants to be over at Foa Foa, where she has fans.  Well, that's how I'd put it.

The ocean, Erik says, is being a bitch, thanks to surprisingly high waves interrupting his sea water bath time.  But it's worse over at Foa Foa, where the sea has eaten up the coast, and Jaison was forced to set up a makeshift levee (read: a piece of wood) to prevent the water from creeping into their living quarters.  Over there, politics is pretty much underway: when tree mail came in, hinting at a food challenge, Liz expressed her concerns that Ashley won't be able to perform well.  Her mistake was telling Russell her worries, and he quickly flicked on the game switch, telling the rest of the tribe about Liz's concerns.  Actually, he feels threatened that she's angling for position, and you know what he does to whoever he considers a threat.

The reward challenge is, indeed, a food one.  "Samoa smoothies," as Jeff put it, with a lot of stuff from under the sea determined by a Russian roulette wheel of sorts.  One point is given to whoever downs the shake, regardless of how long it takes them.  The first tribe that gets five points win steaks to bring home, and the chance to send someone to spy on the losing tribe--which sucks, because the designated spy won't get any barbecue.

And the stuff?  Actually looks yummy, at least in my twisted mind.  Giant clams, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea snails and an octopus--well, not all of them together.  It was a pretty close match for the first four rounds, and it all boiled down to Dave and Ashley, who both ended up chowing down a barely-ground-up mix of sea slug guts and water.  (Jeff was trying to annoy them both, right?)  Dave finished quickly, and Ashley, who acted excited at the beginning, was having a hard time--but, to be fair, she did almost chug it all down.  It was a matter of mind play, and after call-outs from Galu, she gave up, barely.

So Galu wins the barbecue, and (black) Russell gets to send someone else to Foa Foa--in this case, Shambo, again.  She isn't happy.  He thinks she should pay for the chicken she let loose last week.  Maybe she should be happy, I thought, but she said she needs her protein.  She instead asks for a group hug from the yellows, and gives back by sharing what is possibly the last clue for the hidden immunity idol.  She finds the tree, but of course she doesn't find the idol--it's with that Russell, right?  The tribe thinks since-eliminated Ben has it, but Liz confronts Russell with her suspicions.  He plays the threat card again--and I think he's found a new target.

Over at Galu, the barbecue stalls because Russell couldn't start a fire, and he hits back on Dave for talking rather than helping.  Well, he says, he wasn't asked for help, but he later realizes he's become a bit of a jerk and apologizes.  Then, the big reveal: he's the only one in the tribe who can start a fire.  Suddenly he feels so smug about his chances.

That night, it starts raining really hard on the island, and the following day, nobody really seems to be in the mood for the next challenge.  As Brett says, they all just want to stay dry, but will have to get past it to win immunity again.  The challenge involves a man and a woman from each tribe holding on to a rope holding a net.  Opponents would have to shoot coconuts to the nets until one tribe is left holding on to the net.  It was a pretty lopsided challenge in Galu's favor, with an early lead giving them immunity once again.  But, man, Liz held on pretty tightly to that rope--she even outlasted that bald Russell guy.

Foa Foa returned to camp with no idea how things will pan out.  The rain is still strong--48 hours, as Liz pointed out--and everybody's just huddled inside their shelter, shivering and cold, making only one decision: that they vote who they want to vote for.  Unless, of course, someone volunteers to leave.  Jaison somehow wants to, but nope, he doesn't budge.  Ashley feels she's got a target painted on her back, and wants Liz out because she trusts her the least.  Liz wants Ashley out--physically weak, she says.

Tribal Council, for once, was a comforting thing--a better shelter, and fire, fire, fire.  While all the talk was about the possible randomness of tonight's vote, Mick and Russell hint that there's a collective decision going on, and the vote wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.  Ashley was the one voted off, pretty much a unanimous decision, and she leaves hopeful that Foa Foa holds the one who'll win in the end.

Next week, the rains won't stop, and it drains everyone so badly that another one goes to medical.  In the middle of a challenge.  A blindfolded one.

- Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)