Survivor: Samoa: Is Foa Foa Really The Stronger Tribe?

During Tribal Council, the surviving Russell boldly claimed, or at least implied, that Foa Foa is the stronger tribe this time around.

Could've been believable, except that the odds are actually stacked against them. They've lost four members to the vote, with a fifth one out due to injury. It seemed, especially at the very beginning, that the tribe is close to breaking up, perhaps because of the actions of a few, or because they just can't get along each other. Galu, on the hand, was almost perfect: there was a consensus, they were able, and they were winning when it mattered.

Not to mention the fact that it's Russell who said his tribe is stronger--the same guy who is outright in his plan to manipulate his fellow castaways to get him closer to the win. He's the guy who calls his fellow tribe members "lazy babies", and then allies with them so he can have his way. With all that stacked up, it's no surprise Erik was surprised at the statements. And that wasn't a matter of game play, even.

But to an extent, Russell is right. At this point, Foa Foa has the upper hand, never mind that luck, and everything else, seems to be against them.

Galu may have the numbers, but it's a lot of clutter to work with. The strength of half the tribe is countered by dead weight. Foa Foa may not be delivering, but lately they've come really close to winning the challenges. They do say it's better to be lean and mean than to be packed and clumsy. Once they get rid of Natalie, it gets better.

Both tribes may be split down the middle, but it looks much worse in Galu. Partly it's because they haven't gotten rid of anyone for a while, but it's mostly because they were never meant to fit. The other Russell's evacuation just drilled the point further: without a tribe leader who, somehow, manages to put everyone at Galu together, the whole set-up breaks apart. The guys think one thing, the girls think another. And now that Shambo is seemingly (and surprisingly) poised to take over the leadership, the cracks is set to become more prominent.

Foa Foa, on the other hand, lives with the old Cold War policy of mutually assured destruction, which is why old alliances don't apply as much as it should be. Even Russell gave up voting for Liz to kick Ashley out. That, or his plan to manipulate everyone like puppets is working better than we imagined.

There is, of course, the possibility that Russell is bluffing, that he's just saying that to scare that headless chicken called Galu and make them scramble for supposedly lost momentum. I'd like to think, however, that he's seeing beyond the present--and if he is right, Foa Foa could take the upper hand. In my scorecards, they already have. But the purples won't take it sitting down, surely, and it's bound to be a great finish--just as promised.

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