Survivor: Samoa: Three Strikes and You're Not Out
I think I mentioned it on last night's recap: Survivor: Samoa's been all about Foa Foa for the past couple of weeks.  In fact, the only Galu castaways that I can think of at the top of my head are Shambo and Russell.  Surely not a good thing, right?

Understandably, because Foa Foa is so messed up right now.  Consider Betsy's elimination.  It's simply because she's older than the rest, sure--and older people don't usually perform well in challenges.  I mean, just look at Mike, although that went perilously close to a worst-case scenario.

Maybe it's just me rooting for Betsy, who last week was sowing the seeds of a possibly insurgency against her Russell, the bald-headed one.  But, I mean, come on--you choose to eliminate someone who can help your tribe rather than Ben, that purported outlaw who got himself booted out of a challenge because of a cheap shot, who argued and belittled a visitor from the other side, and who annoyed the hell out of everyone while they were asleep?

Sure, the country boy is young (else I wouldn't call him a country boy) and is capable of doing a lot in the challenges (else he wouldn't have been pulled out of the hybrid task).  But if it's a negative force that you're looking to remove and make your tribe as harmonious as it can be, then remove the one thing that's threatening to break it apart.  In this case, it's Ben, the guy whose mouth is what Ashley described as a liability, the guy whose believes that his chances at winning the game are still good despite what Mick called his "three strikes", the guy whose very actions threaten to decrease Foa Foa's chances at winning the game, or at least, making the merge intact, whatever "intact" means this season.

Instead, we saw someone who seems harmless removed, because everybody thought she's a threat to their chances... oh, damn, that scenario sounds absolutely familiar.

I hate to say this, but two weeks in, short Russell's plan is working out quite nicely.  While he didn't exactly orchestrate Betsy's elimination--his "she's threatened me and she must go home" line came in just when the decision seemed more than certain--all this wouldn't have happened if not for his efforts last week, and his efforts this week, as much as it was kept in the background most of the time.  He really does have the upper hand, and while there's still a good chance of a delicious backfire, right now he's seemingly unstoppable.  And wait till I mention the immunity necklace hidden somewhere in his pants...

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but Ben, are you doing the exact same thing?

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