'Survivor': Shambo, the chicken whisperer
We've reached the tipping point in a "Survivor" season that I love. Contestants are getting blindsided left and right. Everyone is tired of one another. The fat has started falling off of the players' bodies. And some tribe members are starting to get a little bit of island fever -- specifically, my beloved Shambo, who came off as a bit of a loony toon this week. Don't get me wrong, I still love Sham -- curly mullet and all -- but she's definitely a little nutty.
At first, I thought it was kind of endearing to watch her crouch by the chicken coop and mouth a quiet goodbye to the birds before they met their end.
"We're gonna have you for lunch today, just so you know," she warned the animals. "I'll talk to you in Heaven when I go to Heaven."
I certainly understood her resistance to wanting to watch or hear the birds being slaughtered. And -- shocker! -- was anyone surprised it was Russell who opted to hack the poor things to death? Yikes.
But later, to camera, Shambo confessed she believed that the chickens had probably been her "single source of happiness the last 29 days" and that they had shared things during joint conversations. Riiight.
Cut to the bizarre "Blair Witch Project"-esque sequence in which Shambo is shown writhing in her sleep in night vision. She's throwing her hands in the air and having a nightmare -- nay, a vision -- that she later says told her Dave needed to be voted off next.
Really, Sham? Are you sure you wanted to vote Dave off because of your clairvoyant dream? Or were you actually just still mad because he wanted to cook the chicken differently than you did?
(By the way -- my roommate and I Googled the appropriate time to boil a whole chicken, and Sham was actually right on the money: two hours.)
Regardless, one thing was clear: Shambo wanted Dave gone. She revealed her wishes to Russell, who was on board with the plan until he realized it would be a much smarter move to ax Galu's John before he advanced any further in the game.
I thought this was totally the right move on Russell's part -- and he was right: Shambo votes with her emotions. This is partly why I like her -- she doesn't hide her feelings and everyone knows where they stand with her. But that also doesn't make her a very good game-player. Then again, she's made it this far.
I was disappointed to see nothing all that exciting go down during this week's episode. John was blindsided and sent home, just as Russell had planned.
I did enjoy watching the auction, one of my favorite rituals of "Survivor." I'm always surprised when people don't start bidding on items immediately, since Jeff always says the auction can be stopped at any time. I think Natalie and Mick made off with the best prizes: the pint-sized blond got both a PB&J sandwich and a hot shower, while Mick trotted off with a gigantic cheeseburger, fries and beer.
I'm curious to see if the remaining Foa Foa members will try to vote Russell off next week while they still have the chance. As I predicted earlier this season, I think Mick is starting to prove himself as a threat. It looks like he's going to be the one leading the charge next week urging the others that Russell's a snake who will eventually end up biting all of his supposed friends.
I just hope Mick doesn't back down off his convictions. I got worried when I saw the attractive doctor tell Jaison about Russell's plan to vote John off. Though Mick really wanted John gone, the second Jaison said he thought it was a bad idea. I could see Mick backing off and doubting himself.
Do you think Russell might fall prey to Mick and the remaining Foa Foa members, or will he outwit them all? Were you surprised to see John blindsided? And is Shambo really cuckoo? Let's discuss in the comments section.
--Amy Kaufman (follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA)
Photos, from top: Shannon "Shambo" Waters talked to chickens and had a clairvoyant dream this week; John Fincher was sent home. Credit: CBS.