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'Survivor': Shambo finally gets her day in the sun

October 29, 2009 | 10:41 pm

Elizabeth After days of numbing rain on Samoa, the sun finally emerged this week on "Survivor" -- and one of my favorite castaways got her day in it. 

After the untimely exit of Russell S. last week, Galu opted this week to elect Shambo as tribe leader. I was thrilled, but not surprisingly, the women of Galu weren't pleased with the decision. 

"Now that Shambo is chief, it's like she was raised in a trailer park, married a rich guy and now she's driving around in a Jaguar treating everyone like crap," Kelly seethed after the hasty vote. 

I continue to be baffled by the hatred thrown Shambo's way from her fellow tribemates. It doesn't seem like she always knows when to shut up, but otherwise, Shambo seems like a fair and considerate leader who just wants Galu's respect. Plus, her mullet is amazing.

Sadly, little does Shambo realize that the men of Galu are actually only using her as a pawn to gain numbers at the merge. But I'm holding out hope that she'll be able to win over some of the remaining Galu members later in the game. (Does Dave really make for better company than Sham? Come on.)

And Shambo definitely made some good choices during her first challenge as leader, helping Galu to secure yet another win. And after the scary loss of tribe leader Russell S. last week, it was nice to see Galu members enjoying themselves on their reward challenge. 

"I felt like I didn't even deserve it, to be honest," admitted a humble Erik. "What have I done in life that's been so great that I deserve that kind of opportunity?"

Well, I'm glad Erik enjoyed himself, because to be honest, I didn't think the reward seemed all that great. Usually these guys are flown off in helicopters to exotic locales where they receive massages and endless platters of fresh fruit and barbecued meats.

But for Galu's reward, tribe members had to help raise the sails on a pirate ship and steer -- which I'm sure was cool, though not exactly relaxing. And after being unable to cook because of the rain, any food must have been great. But beef stew and a hunk of bread with scones? I guess it's protein, but it didn't seem like the kind of food that would go down well while spending a few hours on a bobbing ship. Did you see that thing being tossed around in the still vaguely stormy waters? I was surprised no one was thrown overboard.

Meanwhile, it was really disheartening to watch Foa Foa lose yet another challenge -- making the tally eight losses out of 10 competitions this season. That's pretty bad -- certainly worse than any team I can remember on any of the recent seasons. And it's not fun to watch a team continually biting the dust. Galu is getting cocky, which makes many of their players unlikable, and Foa Foa is so demoralized that all one can do is pity them. 

Still, at this point, I'm totally over Jaison: His bad attitude has made him simply intolerable to watch. He started off the immunity challenge strong, using his height to propel his team through the water without paddling. But after arriving at the puzzle with a lead, Jaison threw his hands up in the air and stopped trying to help his team the second he became frustrated because he couldn't figure it out.

"I'm so embarrassed," Jaison kept repeating back at camp after the challenge. And he should have been. He showed some real weakness during the challenge -- something that the rest of his tribe clearly picked up on. When he sat down at tribal council, resting his head in his palms and looking downward, I felt disappointed that Russell H. opted to persuade the tribe to vote out Liz over Jaison. Sure, Jaison's athleticism might bring in another win, but he's just bringing morale down even further. If his apathy continues, I don't think he'll make it far past the merge.

I'm surprised to see this season that other than Russell H., it doesn't seem like many tribe members are thinking long-term strategy. Case in point: Mick. He's a physical threat. He was the only one on his tribe to figure out the puzzle at the challenge this week, showing he's also got brains. Plus, he gets along with everyone and hasn't burned any bridges so far, making him dangerous in a final tribal council situation. He seems like a serious threat who continues to go unnoticed. For his sake and for my viewing pleasure (he really is impeccable looking), I hope he's able to keep under the radar until further in the game.

Next week is the merge! Who on Foa Foa will be picked off first? Will Russell H. live up to his full villainous potential? And do you think Galu made a smart move in electing Shambo as tribe leader?

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


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Photo: Liz Kim, the Foa Foa tribe member who was blindsided at tribal council and sent home this week. Credit: CBS.