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The sole survivor: Natalie White, 26, a former pharmaceutical sales rep from Arkansas, won "Survivor Samoa's" $1 million prize, taking the title of sole Survivor from one of the biggest game players ever, Russell. But his game was too big, and the jury gave Natalie more votes (third-place Mick apparently received zero votes). Natalie may not have outwitted like Russell did, but she outplayed and outlasted him.
Famous last words: After the first immunity challenge, Russell said of Natalie: "Who better to take to the final two than her? There's no way she can beat me in votes." No way at all. He also said that the other players were "my puppets. When I'm finished with them, just throw them in the trash." But he forgot that he needed to get their votes before discarding them.
Devastated: Before the final Tribal Council, Russell told us, "If Mick or Natalie won this game over me, that would just be a shame. It wouldn't make any sense to me. I've played this game strategically better than anybody, maybe in history." But during the live show, he displayed bloodshot eyes.
Jeff Probst told him, "You look visibly upset right now." Russell said, "I feel like I played the best strategic game in history. And I'm not the only one who thinks that. I can guarantee you millions of people think that." But as Jeff Probst pointed out, Natalie's strategy of riding the coattails of an abrasive game-player was "a strategy that's legitimate."
$100,000 for a title: During the reunion, Russell offered Natalie an extra payout: $10,000. "All I want is the title of sole survivor. I will pay you $10,000 for the title, if Jeff says 'you are the sole survivor,' and I get it written in paper," he said. Natalie kept her million and her title, even after Russell upped his offer to $100,000. "I would have taken that money," Jeff Probst said.
Many threats, few votes: Before the final Tribal Council, Russell tried to psyche his opponents out, talking about being a millionaire and congratulating himself. He even told Natalie, "This game ain't over girl. I'll put you in the jury." But as Mick pointed out, "(Russell) needs to be reminded that he couldn't have done this without us." The jury got the message.
Don't need the money: During the final Tribal Council, Jaison used his time to expose the final three's finances. He asked them to come clean about what they really do for a living, threatening them with, "if you don't, I will." Doctor Mick Trimming said he's $320,000 in debt, Natalie pointed out she doesn't currently have a job, and although Russell is already a millionaire, he didn't say that. But Jaison's point was that all three have had or will have financially lucrative careers, so the jury shouldn't take monetary need into account.
Jaison goes home, and offers up TMI: After seven Tribal Councils in a row that saw Galu members go home, the first member of the Foa Foa four to be voted out was Jaison. Russell and Natalie chose between Jaison and Mick. While Jaison said that "Russell and I have a very long history of working together," Russell blindsided him because "Jaison checked out of this game a long time ago." It's hard to argue when, at the start of the show, Jaison told his tribemates that he had "little energy and diarrhea all night."
Holy shaky pole: The final immunity challenge came down to Russell and Brett, who were balancing statues on top of seven-foot poles. Wind blew and their poles wobbled, and the outcome of the game rested on those statues. If Brett won, he'd almost certainly win the game with a jury full of former Galu members. "This is a showdown," Jeff Probst said. But Brett's streak of immunity challenge wins ended when his statue fell.
Brett bites the dust: Brett, the final member of Galu, was voted out after losing the final immunity challenge. The outcome was a given, although Russell pretended as if he was going to keep Brett around to go up against a strong competitor in the finals. "What at one point was an absolute certainty ... now has a bit of suspense," Jeff Probst said. But Russell, Mick, and Natalie did the smart thing and voted Brett out unanimously.
Apology not accepted: Shambo said during her jury speech, "I would just like to apologize to America for dismantling Galu." I'm sure that means a lot now since your vote only affected the entire second half of the game.
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