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Twenty new castaways brave the islands of Samoa to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other for
$1 million. Twenty castaways, 39 days... only ONE Survivor!

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Jeff Probst
Creator Charlie Parsons
EP Mark Burnett
Charlie Parsons
Packager Mark Burnett Productions
Survivor Productions
Castaway TV Productions
Origins Upolu Island, Samoa
Web cbs.com/survivor
Airs 8p Thurs, CBS
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Two Brains Are Better Than One
December 17

Last time, we had double the action as not one but two of Russell's foes were vanquished, first Dave, then Monica, but a new threat is threatening to shake things up in the tribe as we get closer and closer to the all-important jury vote. Six are remaining. Who'll join the jury of nine next?

Night 33: "God... Wow..."

Brett's basically sitting around the campfire with an entirely different group of people than he would imagine, being the sole Galu remaining. Russell meanwhile decides that he's going to push it to the limit. Monica going home was an easy choice. He says that as soon as Brett loses, he's gone.

Day 34: Ephesians 3:16-19

Brett and Natalie get closer through their shared faith. They come from the same walk of life. Will that help him in this game? Natalie seems to enjoy it. Meanwhile, Natalie says that she needs a haircut. ... Yep. If Russell didn't need Shambo, she would've been gone already.

R-CHALLENGE: Jungle Kerplunk! (for a feast in a local village)

Divide into two triplets. Pull a rope and hope that you don't drop any coconuts. First team to 100 coconuts loses.

It's Russell/Jaison/Shambo vs. Natalie/Brett/Mick. Shambo drops four coconuts... pocket change. Mick only has two. Over the course of the challenge, Natalie, Brett, and Mick decide to have a little prayer circle... and it seems to work, but in the course of the game, she may want to consider who's watching them. Right now, though, they lead it, 29-4. Mick closes the gap with a really bad pull. Jaison pulls 48 coconuts for 77. Natalie... coconut. Avalanche. They're up to 81. Russell... gets off easy. Brett... not so easy. That's game. Russell, Jaison, & Shambo win!

At the reward, the three take in the local color. The tribe makes them feel welcome. Russell welcomes the reward, which gives him energy. All the while, Shambo toasts her hosts.

Back at camp, Brett, Mick, and Natalie decide to take a break from the game, just enjoying the time and creating a reward for themselves. Natalie says that it's the hardest thing to balance her heart (Brett) and her head (Russell). She hopes her head is clear enough to see the big finish.

Night 34: "Sheets and blankets and I have a pillow!"

Shambo's having WAY too much fun with a mosquito net. She thinks that she's a goofball. She also thinks that Natalie choosing Brett is very telling. Russell says that Natalie is with her, but maybe something IS going on, so he has to stop that. His idea: get rid of Brett and Mick. "We're gonna have to blindside everybody."

Day 35: "I know they tried to talk to you."

Russell and Natalie talk about the pick from yesterday, saying that we have to get rid of Mick. It doesn't matter what each individual thinks, because Russell has control. Natalie says that she's been on the same page as him. Russell hopes to prevent Brett from winning immunity. He's not a huge threat to win the challenges, but he's a big threat to win the game.

I-CHALLENGE: How Many?

There are a number of items in six stations. Remember them. They will be used to solve a combination lock. First person to get it right and break their tile gets a spot in the final five.

Russell heads back first. But Mick starts to work on his combination first. Will he be the first to break his code? It is... BRETT! For the others, it's going to be so close, yet so far.

Jaison just flat out says it...

Day 36: "Tonight's Shambo's night."

Russell tells Shambo that Mick is getting his walking papers. That was the plan from the beginning. Worst case scenario is that Brett keeps winning, so Russell has a choice to make: Mick or Shambo. Shambo thinks that Jaison is going to vote for her. She doesn't think anyone's beyond the chop, though.

Russell talks to Mick about using Shambo for votes. "We ain't buddy buddy. She's gone. One day without her would be heaven." There's a chance that Russell may be lying to her. He's just anxious as hell right now, though. Russell can keep Shambo around because she'll never flip and she'll never win the money. Mick is good to keep the athletes together.

One thing's for certain, though... Tonight is the last night that Russell can play the hidden idol.

Night 36: Tribal...

Natalie says that you can't win without the jury votes. Russell says that Shambo's loyalty has been very helpful. We're in the end phase. Jaison thinks about who is most likely to beat whom in a jury vote. Brett's a big threat because he's physical, mental, and social. The only way Brett stays in this game is to win immunity. Mick is another strong threat. If it's him tonight, he'll be frustrated. Russell says that it's going to be tough to see one of his teammates go home tonight. Sometimes, you have to vote people out that you like.

Shambo: MICK :)

Russell says that he'll keep the hidden idol as a souvenir.

The other votes say.... SHAMBO. By a vote of 5-1, Shambo... the tribe has spoken.

So it's come down to this... We have a gamer, an all-around threat, a physical player, the quiet undergod, and the one pulling all the strings... At the end of the next show... One of them will be a million dollars richer. Fifteen have lost the battle... Next time... prepare for war.

To view this episode in its entirety, along with extras and blogs, as well as information on how to become a contestant, go to cbs.com/survivor.