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'Survivor': Shambo, the chicken whisperer

98164_D20222 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.

98164_D26862I 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.

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Comments () | Archives (9)

I think Russell has a few tricks left up his sleeve. Though he is definitely a threat that I couldn't stand at the beginning, the more I see him manipulate everyone, the less I want to see him voted off!

And Shambo isn't cuckoo.. she's just plain lovely. :)

Russell is FOR SURE winning. Next week is the last chance to vote him off. But he has the immunity idol and no one knows it.
I liked Sham before, but Russell's right, she's got no strategy. She won't make it to finals. She'll only stay until Dave and Mick are out.

I agree that last night's episode was not that riveting. The season overall has been great (Thanks to Russell). Just wanted to comment that Brett is the all time "under the radar" guy. I can't believe he's still alive, but mainly because you hardly even notice he has been there.
In fact...I watch the show almost every week and had to go and look to make sure of his name before I even commented on him. Something to be said for laying low in the game, but Brett has been almost invisible!

I think that Russell is way too smart to go out next week with the immunity idol. He'll somehow catch on to what everyone is thinking and end up using it if he has to. And I think Shambo is fantastic too : ) But I think she could be easily blindsided. I think this season has been great! I am totally rooting for the old Foa Foa members! Yay for the underdogs making it to the end!

I was glad John went home only because it showed Shambo that she's not in charge!

This was an awesome review. Is it just me or is this the most vocal jury ever? I'm surprised Jeff hasn't shut them up. He's such a stickler for the rules.

With John's departure: Shambo is gonna freak out (PMS? We haven't seen the half of it, Sham), we're running out of eye-candy and Russel is gonna take it if the others don't organize an uprising.

btw, thanks for the research on the chicken. I can now rest easy knowing that the battle of the bad hair goes to Shambo!

They have given way too much TV time to Russell this season. We barely got to know much about the blond (Kelly?) or the under the radar guy (Brett?) but we get to know every little thing Russell thinks.

He was dumb a few weeks ago telling people he had the idol. Then he repeats the same mistake to John. He put himself in a bad spot and had to get rid of John but if he was smart he would have done it differently. Shambo trusted him completely and he could have kept using her. He should have told her that he thought John had the idol and this would be the week to get him off and would have kept her trust and diverted attention that he (Russell) might have the idol. Instead Russell put himself in a bad spot and probably ruined his trust with Shambo all in one stroke and people think he is a great player for some reason becasue of it.

Actually your wrong about chicken, 1 three pound chicken should only take 1 hour to 90 mins (hour and a half). Dont know how you found 2 hours for chicken online, I couldn't as much as I tried. You could it for that long theres a chance it will be stringy and tougher.

Besides what shambo was doing was a real hard boil. When hardly any recipe is a hard boil. Another reason she should have only boiled an hour or untill the chicken fell easily of the bones.

Wake up folks, Russell is a producer plant. No one, I repeat, no one, could ever find 3 hidden immunity idols in a row without help. And the fact he deliberately trashed peoples items the first night without any precedent introduced enough spice to get people interested in this otherwise sagging brand. Viewership drops off over time in Survivor and they somehow needed to raise their anemic ratings, so Russell is their way to do that. "Oil company executive." Gimme a break. He is a good actor though.


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