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Ousted ‘Survivor’ castaway never saw it coming

In perhaps one of the most surprising votes all season, a strong contestant was voted off the island, and on to the jury.
/ Source: contributor

The tribe has blindsided you: Bartender Erik Cardona, 28, was voted out of the newly merged tribe, and became the first jury member and this season's biggest blindside. "Wow, wow, wow," he said after being voted out while holding a hidden immunity idol, which he didn't play because "you can't defend against something that's invisible." His strategizing around camp seemed to freak everyone out, so they got rid of one of Galu's strongest players instead of picking off one of the weaker former Foa Foas.

We are family: Brett suggested "Aiga," Samoan for "extended family," as the new tribe name. In a confessional interview, Erik mocked that, saying, "What's Samoan for get the hell off my island?" Not sure, but 10 votes with your name on it will suffice.

American idol: Once the tribes merged, Russell went to Laura and promised her the hidden immunity idol. Then he did the same thing to Monica. Then he shared it with John. There were very few people left who haven't seen Russell's idol, including Jeff Probst, who received it when Russell played it at Tribal Council before the votes were read. None of the votes were for Russell, but he said, "Everybody knows I have it, I might as well play it."

No more confidence: Russell started the episode cocky and confident as ever, saying that Foa Foa was "steps ahead of them. We already have our plan down." At the newly merged tribe, he said, "I'm the ruler of this kingdom." But no, he wasn't: Post-immunity challenge, everyone started scrambling, leaving Russell to panic and play his idol. He finally admitted, "This is the first time I don't know nothing." Like why not to use double-negatives.

One hit wonders: The first individual immunity challenge awarded two immunity necklaces: one for the women and one for the men. Each Survivor had one swing at a teed-up ball, hitting it into a skee ball-like grid to get points. John won individual immunity for the men, getting five points; Laura's four points won her immunity, and protected her from a plan to vote her out. Foa Foa, once again, didn't succeed in a challenge. "Those guys can't win s---," Erik said. Of course, they're all still in the game.

Sham-wow: Shambo kept up the comic relief. When John told her the plan was to vote out Erik, she said, "Who's Erik?" Then she remembered her tribemate and ally: "Our Erik?" At another point, she said that when Laura won immunity, "I got a gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach." At least the gut-wrenching feeling wasn't in your elbow, because medical would probably need to check that out.

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