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'Survivor': Indifference sends Yasmin home and lets a chicken fly the coop

October 8, 2009 | 10:44 pm

Yasmin There was a wealth of apathy on the island of Samoa this week, and the lack of desire to play the game of "Survivor" ended up sending one contestant packing.

Galu, who finally lost their first immunity challenge, voted Yasmin Giles off due to her general malaise and her resistance to doing work around camp. I, for one, wasn't devastated to see her go -- mostly because she didn't seem all that heartbroken to be leaving herself.

"Vote me out because my body could use a rest, damn it," she told the camera before tribal council, where she awkwardly sported a pair of high heels and strutted through the dirt after Jeff killed her torch's flame.

But Yasmin wasn't the only one shrugging her shoulders at the game this week -- Jaison Robinson was driving me crazy with his incessant whining. He got his wish at last week's tribal council when Ben Browning was sent home for spewing insensitive racist remarks at Yasmin. At the time, Jaison said he'd leave if Ben wasn't voted out. But this week, it just seemed like perhaps Jaison had used those words as a ploy to get out of a game he wasn't all that into playing.

"I came here to have an adventure, but frankly, I believe coming here right now was the worst decision I have made in my life," Jaison confessed to the camera, after complaining to Russell Hantz about how mentally and physically exhausted he was. 

What's this dude's problem? He's super physically fit and performs well in challenges -- and he's aligned with the shifty Russell H., which could take him far later in the game. Instead, Jaison seems eager to go home and is somehow shocked that being thrown onto an island with adverse weather and a lack of food isn't a cakewalk.

As for Russell H., I've yet to see his strategy really come into play.

"Whoever I want to be gone will be gone. I got it all under my thumb right now," he boasted this week. But I question the control Russell H. assumes he has over his tribe. With Jaison's fervor for the game already waning, Russell H. is centering on the blonde Natalie White, a 26-year-old with a strong Arkansas accent. If he gets to the end of the game with Natalie by his side, Russell H. believes he'll be able to claim Natalie was riding his coattails the whole way -- or, as he more crudely put it: "I'll say she rode me like a horse." Though the weaker sidekick females haven't often fared well in the final tribal council, I'm not sure Russell H.'s fellow tribe mates, whom he's lied to for weeks, will be at the ready to hand him a million bucks.

Still, Russell H.'s tribe Foa Foa came out on top this week, even though they lost out on a coveted prize: three chickens.

The two tribes first headed to a reward challenge, sans Jeff, where they met one another and stood in awkward silence until they figured out how to proceed with the task. An intense game of boccie ball gave Galu a big prize when Dave Ball, the L.A. fitness instructor who has remained relatively quiet during the first couple of episodes, threw the winning shot and proudly brought the chickens home.

On the exterior Dave remained modest, but to the camera he finally showed off a bit of personality:

"I didn't want my ego to show through. However, I won chicken," he said. "What did you do? Not that. Peace."

Back at camp, Shannon "Shambo" Waters -- whom I still have a soft spot for -- immediately took a liking to the animals. A self-proclaimed "country girl," Shambo brought the birds drinking water and hunched by their cage, clucking at them in an attempt to apparently coax them into laying eggs. 

Whether her "bok, bok, bok"-ing worked or not, one of the chickens did end up laying one precious egg -- but as Shambo reached inside to take it, one of the birds flew off. The camp immediately went into a frenzy, running around trying to catch the animal, which quickly flew up into the high branches of the tree.

Shambo shrugged, saying she didn't realize birds could fly. Really now?

"I'm not calling Shambo stupid, but it's a bird," an exasperated Russell Swan said later. "I'd assume you, being a country girl, would assume something with wings could fly."

After all of the searching, Galu couldn't even find the chicken -- a loss which, surprisingly, no one seemed all that bothered by. 

But their morale was lowered even further at the immunity challenge, where Foa Foa finally won. I was glad the underdogs won, as I hate the seasons when one team sweeps the challenges until the merge and then picks off the remaining members one by one. Things are much more interesting when there's some real, fairly matched-up competition. Now that Foa Foa has at least one win under their belt, maybe they'll get some momentum going. 

So, do you think apathy has swept over both camps like a plague? Do those who don't want to be in the game -- like Yasmin and Jaison -- deserve to go home? And is the alleged most evil competitor in "Survivor" history, Russell H., stacking up to the hype? Share your thoughts in the comments.

-- Amy Kaufman (follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA)


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Photo: Yasmin Giles, who was voted off this week. Credit: CBS.