Mike removed, Betsy voted out of Survivor; both say Russell H. “outwitted us”

Last night after watching Survivor Samoa, I was on the verge of hating this season, and it’s only episode two. Mostly, I’m just frustrated with the relentless focus on Russell H., which is nothing close to the kind of attention Coach got last season, and now the only other person that got much play was Ben, who’s a bigot that is worth about as much as the stain on Russell H.’s boxer briefs.

And oh, the stupidity. There was so much. Yasmin telling the other tribe she’d help them because she didn’t want to compete against weak losers. Yasmin picking a fight with Ben. Ben being an asshole, calling Yasmin “Jasmine” and, worse, “ghetto trash” and “pretty close to being a hooker.” Ben chopping wood all night long for no reason. Shambo going fishing and catching nothing. Shambo losing part of the snorkel and failing to provide an explanation. Ben and Russell high-fiving at Tribal Council. Ben saying “I got the goodest chance of anybody” to win after having the gall to criticize Yasmin. All of Foa Foa failing to realize Russell is playing them. Ben being an asshole.

I’d add Jaison aligning with Russell H. to that list, but because Russell now trusts Jaison, and I like Jaison and think he’s pretty smart and together, I’m hoping he’ll provide our salvation by blindsiding his ally, although he seems to be a bit too open with Russell and may get targeted himself. About the only smart thing we saw last night was, I hate to admit, from evil hobbit Russell H., who searched for the hidden immunity idol even though they’d not yet received a clue–and he found it OMG FUCKER HAS AN IDOL AAAAAARGHHG/UAK]JLAF SD;KJLF>SADKJL.

I was also impressed by conservative Laura, who not only kicked ass in the challenge, but had some great one-liners. Mocking Shambo, she said, “You’ll never believe it: there’s fish in the ocean!”

Mostly, I’m pissed that they got rid of my favorite, Betsy, who on her way out said, “If they don’t open up their eyes, the whole tribe will go down.” Very true, and it’s tragic that a superfan who had as much potential as Betsy was booted and the models stick around because they’re younger. She went home because she was perceived as the weakest, but as she pointed out in a more gracious way, dickface Ben is much weaker in challenges, and is also, you know, a dickface.

I talked to Mike and Betsy a few minutes ago, and she said “Russell definitely had a big part of” getting her voted out. “I had no idea he had that much power.” Mike said that Russell was “screwing up the younger people’s minds” and “outwitted us.”

Mike and Betsy were in an alliance (and Betsy was also aligned with Mick and Marisa) and Mike said had he returned to the game, “I know I would have fought for Betsy” and “talked the other people out of it.” He said, “Betsy and I, right from the first hour we lined up, because we’re both in AA and we had that bond right off the bat” and “I would have stuck with her until the end.”

As to Mike’s medical evacuation after the brutal Schmergen Brawl challenge (read more from behind the scenes), he said he was “just dehydrated” from giving “150 percent” during the 45 minutes that the challenge lasted. He said “an hour later, I was fine,” and said the editors “could have shown me a little better–I was really kicking butt.” This was essentially Mike’s second removal from the game for medical reasons, since he was pulled from Tocantins before the game began. By the way, Betsy bruised two of her ribs during the challenge.

Neither Mike nor Betsy had any idea that Russell H. was sabotaging the tribe “until last night,” Betsy said, watching it on TV. As to that, Betsy–who tried to get on the show for six years–told me this morning, “I thought my dream come true was being on Survivor, but come to find out, my dream come true was sitting on the couch watching it with my family.”

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.