'Survivor: Samoa' Episode 9: More Surprises Up Hell's Sleeve - Recap

There was something spectacular with Survivor: Samoa last week. Did you notice how the episode's entire mood changed when the blindside got underway, when names got tossed around, and when the vote finally came in, the editors decided to use different music just to highlight the shift? I still feel chills thinking about it, yes. But Erik's gone and it's another few days for the newly-merged Aiga tribe, where frontrunners get pushed to the back, and the most unlikely people get to jump the line. In other words, I don't know what's happening now.

The one thing that's obvious is that Russell has a way bigger target on his back, especially after playing his hidden immunity idol. It's his "dumbest move," Laura insists, because he's going next.

Apparently life at the Aiga camp isn't going well, because they're all going hungry. So hungry, in fact, that it forces Natalie to hunt--and hunt she did. She finds a rat nibbling on something and just hits it with a stick, albeit hesitantly because it's just so cute. Everybody's surprised, but they take fresh hunt anyway, and yes, it tastes like chicken.

The reward challenge splits the tribe into two teams of five. Four will grab poles with black and white coconuts, and then arrange it so the white ones form a number. The fifth member, blindfolded, will have to unlock a lock using the numbers. The first to raise their flag wins a trip to a rock slide with a picnic lunch, featuring actual chicken. The teams are selected randomly, and Natalie ends up becoming the odd one out, so she has to support a team. She chooses the yellows: Russell, Jaison, Laura, Brett and Mick.

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