Dave, a 38-year-old fitness instructor from Los Angeles, CA, became the thirteenth castaway ousted from Survivor: Samoa by a 7-1 vote during the first Tribal Council in last night's episode.
"I wanted a chance to play the game and I played my hardest. I went full on," said Dave. "[Russell Hantz] just played a better game. I think we all underestimated Russell -- he's just born to play this game. I'm bummed it's over."
Monica, a 25-year-old law student from San Diego, CA, then became the fourteenth castaway booted from Survivor: Samoa by a 5-2 vote during a separate Tribal Council at the end of the broadcast.
"I'm shocked I made it 33 days. I feel amazing. I think I made it really far in this game," said Monica. "I definitely went out causing some conflict in Foa Foa. I think they all distrust each other a little bit more. I'm proud to say that I caused that and I stirred the pot even if it was on my way out."
Survivor: Samoa's thirteenth episode began on Night 30 at the merged Aiga camp following the elimination of John Fincher -- which upset Shannon "Shambo" Waters, a 45-year-old sales representative from Renton, WA, since she was unaware her ally John would be booted and instead thought Dave was going to be sent packing.
"John was majorly blindsided, as was I," said Shambo in a confessional. "I had no idea they were voting John. The plan was to vote Dave, and I'm positively stunned."
Sensing that Shambo was unhappy about not knowing about John's blindside, Russell, a 36-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX, attempted to ease her concerns.
"When John came up to me he was saying how pissed off he was at you," Russell told Shambo. "So he was trying to get rid of you, and I didn't want you to..."
"Break my word?" asked Shambo.
"Break your word to him," continued Russell.
"I couldn't have," she said. "I would have written Dave down anyway."
"Is everything still cool?" asked Russell. "I don't want you to worry. Nothing's going crazy."
"Alright," she replied.
In a confessional, Russell called his conversation with Shambo "damage control" and he thought it "definitely worked."
"I just lied to her, which is exactly what I've been doing this whole time," he said. "I've lied about almost every aspect of my life. I'm the richest man here -- but I lie about what I do for a living because I'll do whatever it takes to win this game."
The next morning Monica and Brett Clouser, a 23-year-old T-shirt designer from Salem, OR who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, were sitting on the beach when they were approached by Jaison Robinson, a 28-year-old law student from Chicago, IL.
Monica told Jaison that Russell and Mick Trimming, a 33-year-old doctor from Boise, ID who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, would get "a lot" of jury votes if they made it to the final Tribal Council, and he agreed. Brett called Russell "the biggest threat by far" and Jaison said "behind the scenes" it's been him and Russell who have been calling the shots.
"I kind of left him out there to be the aggressive bulldog while I kind of stayed behind the scenes trying to be nice," explained Jaison.
"That my ruin you," said Monica.
"I'm beginning to think that was the wrong strategy," said Jaison, who said in a confessional he was starting to think about how he might win over the jury by explaining to them Russell's decisions were actually group decisions.
"If I was in your situation -- someone like Russell, I would not want to go up against him in the end," Brett told Jaison.
"But the interesting thing about Day 36 is that at that point, there's no Hidden Immunity Idols anymore," replied Jaison, a not-so-coy reference to the fact that Russell wouldn't be able to play his Hidden Immunity Idol at that point.
"Anyway, Russell doesn't need the money. He told Mick he made $2 million last year."
Monica and Brett looked shocked at the revelation.
"I'm starting to see some of the cracks in their armor," said Brett in a confessional about the former Foa Foa.
"I think this will be the time that tests their loyalty to each other, especially since they all have different opinions of who they see in the Final 3. So it's just a matter of time before that bomb ticks and then blows up."
The eight remaining castaways then met for an Immunity Challenge -- a Survivor bowling tournament -- and host Jeff Probst explained the rules.
Each castaway would be randomly matched up against another person and the goal was to roll the ball down the lane and knock over as many pins as you could. Each castaway would get two shots, and the winner would move onto the next round while the loser would be out. Last person left standing would win Immunity.
Jaison and Shambo were the two castaways who made it to the tournament's final round -- and Shambo couldn't knock any pins down while Jaison got two, winning his second consecutive Individual Immunity.
"When Dave did not win that challenge, I was like, 'Bye bye,'" said Shambo in a confessional. "Dave's going home tonight."
Dave knew he was "low man on the pole" but knew there was still hope.
"Russ is going to start scrambling again and we want to listen to everything he says," he told Monica.
"Stay calm," she said.
Russell approached Mick and Natalie White, a 26-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Van Buren, AR, and made sure the vote was going to be for Dave to appease Shambo.
"Once we take this vote, then one, two, three we're in the top four," he told them. "No questions asked."
Monica approached Russell, and he told her she wasn't the target and that Dave was going home.
"Right now I'm trying to stay passive and get into people's heads," said Monica in a confessional. "Russell is no fool. He's not about to take someone like Shambo that far -- who couple potentially get a lot of jury votes."
Monica pitched her ideas about Shambo being a threat to Russell.
"Let's face it, a majority of the jury is Galu," she told him. "They look at Shambo as a strong woman who really competed in challenges and kept things going at camp, was always in the running for immunity. I think you should still keep options open."
Russell said he heard what Monica was saying and subsequently stated in a confessional that he has "a lot of options in the game."
"I can play different ways and still be okay," he said. "One option I have is keeping Dave because I know I can beat Dave for the $1 million... So it's a good strategic move to keep Dave around."
Russell approached Dave about the possibility of booting Shambo. Russell said he could get Natalie to vote for Shambo while Dave said he could get Monica and Brett -- which would be enough votes to send Shambo packing.
"I have no idea whether that's actually going to happen," said Dave in a confessional. "Last night I was pretty sure I was coming back, but I wasn't positive. Tonight... I don't know. However miracles happen constantly. If one happened tonight, I wouldn't be surprised."
Mick, Russell and Shambo then discussed Dave as the impending vote, and Mick told her that the former Galu members were "starting to gun" for her.
"They're not starting to gun for me, they've been gunning for me since Day 1," she corrected before stating in a confessional that she was still concerned.
"If Dave isn't voted off tonight, I think Russ and I are going to have a little chat," she said.
Jaison said the three main things he was basing his vote on were getting rid of strategic players, physically strong players, and who he felt he best had a shot against getting jury votes against.
Shambo then bluntly stated she wouldn't have voted John out of the game.
"Not in a million years because he's somebody that I was aligned with and I think I was more blindsided then John was," said Shambo, and Jeff accused her of working the jury.
"No, this is serious," she replied.
Monica said "unpredictability is scary at this point in the game," and Dave added to stay in the game you needed to get people on your side by working the jury angle.
"Say, 'I think you have a better shot at $1 million with me than you have with this person over here who you're currently aligned with,'" explained Dave.
Russell said he appreciated that strategy and thought it made sense.
The castaways then voted -- and everyone opted to oust Dave, who voted for Shambo, and he became the fifth jury member.
"Stay strong," Laura mouthed to Brett as the castaways left the Tribal Council area.
The next morning, Russell told Mick and Jaison that the "biggest threat" left in the game was Brett.
"Brett is just way to likable. He's a nice guy," said Russell in a confessional. "He would almost get 100% of the [jury] vote, so Brett is a huge threat in this game. That's why I've got to get rid of him next."
Mick was starting to get a bit uneasy about his spot in the former Foa Foa alliance and asked Russell who he ultimately wants to take to the end, and Russell assured him not to be concerned.
"It makes me nervous thinking your nervous, to tell you the truth," Russell told him -- and he had reason to be concerned.
"Day 1, I was voted leader of Foa Foa," said Mick in a confessional.
"But I think it's developed now to where Russell is definitely the leader of us strategically. I've got to be thinking he's a game player -- he plays hard -- maybe he's thinking of taking other people to the jury with him so that he has a better shot."
The seven remaining castaways then met for an Immunity Challenge, and Jeff explained the rules.
Each castaway would have to race out into the water and retrieve one of three bags and race back to the beach -- where they'd have to use a plank to launch the bag into their basket. The first person to get all three bags in their basket would win Immunity.
Brett grabbed an early lead he never relinquished and claimed Immunity -- throwing an instant kink into Russell's plan.
"Brett has shown that he's got new life and if he wins enough Immunity challenges he could put a wrench in our entire game plan," said Jaison. "Now we've got to get Monica, which is fine. But this could be a problem."
Back at camp, Russell told Mick and Jaison it was now a "no brainer" that Monica was the next to go -- and she was obviously aware her head was on the chopping block.
"It sucks for me because at this point it puts me in a bad situation where I seem like the next viable option to go home," she said. "But I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen."
Brett and Monica talked to Mick about the Final 3, and Brett said since Mick is a "very likable person" that makes him a threat.
"I think that Russell is planning on taking Shambo and Natalie to the end," added Monica.
"I've thought about it a ton," replied Mick.
"It's like a little kid sees a snake and the snake's like, 'Hey, play with me. I'm not going to bite you.' The kid starts playing with the snake and the snake bites him. And he's like, 'What happened? You said you weren't going to bite me.' He's like, 'I'm a snake. That's what I do.' So I am very skeptical."
In a confessional, Mick said there's a part of him that "wants to make a big move" and he considered the possibility of getting rid of Russell. Sensing Mick's uneasiness, Brett told him that he would have some help if he wanted to target Russell.
Mick went to Jaison and asked if he was "confident" in Russell's plan to take them to Final 3.
"He's a player man, and it would make more sense for him to take Natalie and Shambo," said Mick to Jaison. "And these guys do bring up good points. I just don't want to be off-guard and not weary about things."
Monica then approached Russell and told him he's "keeping a lot of threats around."
"My position is the best in this game right now," he said. "So why would I jeopardize that?"
"I think you are jeopardizing that by taking people like Jaison, who's just counting down the days to Day 36 when it's your final day to play the idol," replied Monica.
"Why do you think that?" asked Russell.
"He told me so," she said.
"So, when did Jaison tell you that?" he asked.
"He told me that on the beach. He said, 'Well he can only play that idol until Day 36,'" answered Monica. "So who do you think you have in your court?"
Monica added she could "make or break" Russell as a jury member.
"I don't think so," said Russell, who was obviously getting agitated.
"I mean Natalie already told me that you make lots of money," said Monica. "Not Natalie... But, uh, Jaison told me you're a multi-millionaire already. I'm voting based on need. Who needs the money."
Having heard enough, Russell walked away from Monica and immediately confronted Natalie -- who defended herself.
"I never told her what you did," said Natalie.
Russell and Natalie then approached Brett to find out how he knows what he does for a living -- and Brett pointed the finger at Jaison, who was the confronted by Russell.
Monica, she told me that you said that you're gonna vote me out after I get rid of the idol," said Russell to Jaison. "She told me what I do for a living. I want to know what happened?"
Jaison denied he told Monica that -- even though he did -- and explained she was simply trying to save her own skin.
"Russell was so angry. I may have made a mistake and told her what he does for a living, I honestly don't remember," said Jaison in a confessional. "But now I'm nervous that Russell is going to come after me. So we've got to nip this in the bud soon."
Jaison approached Mick and Natalie about being careful about Russell and knew they had a big decision at upcoming Tribal Council -- however it was clear where Russell's vote was going.
"Monica, she had to run her little pie hole," he said angrily. "The little bitch needs to be sent home tonight. But now I've got to worry about Jaison. So at Tribal Council -- if I'm feeling any kind of heat -- I have the Immunity Idol. If I feel any kind of threat whatsoever, I'll stand up and play it."
Tribal Council then commenced, and the jury entered. Once the jury was seated, Russell immediately stood up and put the Hidden Immunity Idol around his neck.
"I just found a little pretty necklace, thought I'd where it, make me look a little better out here," he said.
Nobody was surprised at Russell's move, and Monica accused him of getting "a little catty."
"Some people think that this right here puts a target on my back," said Russell. "I beg to differ about that. I think it puts the target on somebody else's back. Nobody really knows what you're going to do with it -- that's what makes it so powerful."
Brett said Russell's "gestures" suggest that he feels "pretty comfortable."
"But when you get comfortable in this game, things can come and haunt you," added Brett. "So you've got to stay humble in this game."
Shambo revealed that Russell "got his feather's ruffled" after the Immunity Challenge and it was "not pretty." Russell then explained his conversation with Monica and how she would sway the jury about voting for him if she was booted. However Russell said the threat only made Monica's target bigger.
"Russell came into the merge and basically tried to push a lot of buttons," said Monica.
"I haven't see Russell's buttons pushed. But today he was huffing and puffing all over camp. He was fuming. Basically, I couldn't help but have a sense of pride knowing that if I put a [hint] of doubt in their minds about trust, then I accomplished my mission."
Russell said if he would have been on Galu at the beginning, he might have been "dangerous" working with Monica.
"She got me pissed off," said Russell. "If she would have played hard this entire game, she would be the one in charge right now."
"Or I could be going home earlier," said Monica.
"I've been playing hard this entire game and I'm still here," said Russell.
"Because of idols," said Monica.
"Well, that's playing hard," he corrected.
Russell said he was "not at all" concerned about Monica's attempts to create distrust because he knows "everything's fine."
"That might be my mistake in the game, but I don't think so," he said.
Mick said the final jury vote was something he was starting to think about.
"If you're not, then you're stupid," he said.
The castaways then voted, and Russell decided against playing the Hidden Immunity Idol. It was a wise decision, as Monica was ousted and became the sixth member of the jury.
Survivor: Samoa's penultimate episode will air Thursday, December 17 at 8PM ET/PT.
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