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Survivor: Samoa: The Chicken Whisperer

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Try not to be disoriented. This column is not about David Letterman. Much as I'd love to join the line of Puritanical finger-wavers scolding Dave for having the guts to stand up to a blackmailing slimeball by manning up and confessing ahead of the jerk, much as I'd like to take his wife's prerogatives away from her, and scold him on her behalf, dictating to her how she should feel about it, much as I'd like to march shoulder-to-shoulder with any women on his staff burning with resentment for getting passed over for promotions in favor of women who knocked boots with the boss (since 47 other columns on this page allege that Worldwide Pants is just crawling with such women, despite none actually coming out publicly. We are awash in theoretical victims to be outraged on the behalf of!), but for the length of this one column, we will let the Letterman Family sort through their own problems themselves, and not be a batch of meddling busybodies here.

So let's talk Survivor: Samoa, where Psycho Russell was given a week off from being the attention-magnet, and instead we have a journey of fowl discovery with Galu, and see the earth defended from The Menace of Planet X.

Last week, Psycho Russell bragged that all of Tribe Zsa Zsa were his zombies, but it turned out that gorgeous, intelligent, reasonable, personable, righteous Jaison, my doesn't-know-it-yet-future-ex-husband, is nobody's zombie. (Mrs. Jaison Robinson-Morehead. Mrs. Tallulah Morehead-Robinson.)

Jaison, my shining one, said, "But frankly, I, right now, believe that coming here was the worst decision I've made in my entire life." Do you mean the location you chose for your one-on-one confessional? Do you mean Tribe Zsa Zsa? Do you mean Samoa? Do you mean being on Survivor? (Jaison and Tallulah Morehead-Robinson.)

Is that really the "worst decision [you've] made in [your] entire life"? I wish I could say that. Sadly, I've made much bigger mistakes, many readily available on DVD, like that musical I did at 20th, The Gang's All Banged. That was a huge goof! And my second, fifth, and ninth husbands; what was I thinking? (Mr. And Dr. Jaison and Tallulah Robinson-Morehead.)

Psycho Russell now worries that Jaison won't be subject to his mind control, and begins thinking about plotting against him. But due to a freak occurrence later on (The Immunity Challenge), this plot line is on hold for this week. Psycho Russell, who refuses to exchange Official Party Line for Reality, proudly proclaimed: "Whoever I want to be gone is gonna be gone. I got it all under my thumb right now." Oh really? I thought you wanted Ashley gone, not Ben. Is there a Revolt of the Zombies coming? (Mrs. Tallulah Robinson. Mrs. Robinson. Wait a minute! I've been called that before. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me - aren't you?" Of course I am, darling. Now drop 'em and jump aboard! Mrs. Robinson is the Cougar Goddess Emeritus.)

Asked Psycho Russell of Jaison, "What kind of man is that?" I'm going to assume Russell has seen black men before, so I have to theorize that he is baffled by a man with principles, honesty, integrity, and guts. Jaison may be the first he's ever met. Russell is from the J.R. Ewing-was-a-wimp school of Texas oilmen. (Mr. Jaison Morehead. Oh, I like that one!)

Shambles suffers from Tribe Envy. She pines to be a member of Zsa Zsa, the fastest-shrinking tribe in Samoa. Yes, she wants to join the losers! Well, there's plenty of room. Shambles: "I already have a following there." A following? Disciples? Adherents? Fans? Is it a cult? Shambles, do the words "Helter Skelter" have any secret meaning to you?

As Eric works Shambles for Hidden Immunity Idol clues, logically assuming that what applies to Camp Zsa Zsa, will also apply to Camp Galu, up trots Rocket Scientist John, who can't tell that three's a crowd. (Actually, with Shambles, one is a crowd.) Shambles happily blurts out the clues to the boys. You see, Erik had told her "If I can find the immunity idol, I can give it to you if you're in danger." Erik also has a bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn he will sell you cheap. That Shambles might not tell others the clues, and instead go find the idol herself, so that then she'd have it if she were in danger, never occurs to her! Smooth move, Sherlock.

It was Rocket Scientist John who actually got Shambles to spill the clues, through the brilliant subterfuge of asking her, "What were the clues?" Genius! We don't need torture! You can get this ex-Marine to spill her guts by just asking nicely.

Shambles said: "I don't fell like I've hurt myself in the game in any way, shape or form by sharing knowledge with them. That can do nothing but help me going forward - and maybe - maybe it won't. Maybe it'll hurt me, but let's see." In other, shorter words, I've either not screwed myself or I have screwed myself. Do I look screwed? Well, she looks screwy.

Reward Challenge: A treemail summons told the "Tribe Leaders" (a role Black Russell takes far more seriously than MickMoron does over at Zsa Zsa) to select a man and a woman to go on a journey to a challenge for food. Do they ever get junk treemail? What about a TreeVal-Pack? Wow! Cocoanuts half off with this coupon!

MickMoron picked Psycho Russell and Natalie. Black Russell picked "Danger Dave" (Hey, he came up with the name. If he wants to be "Danger Dave," it's fine with me. Saves me the trouble of finding my own silly name for him.) and Shambles, "because I need some brains and some firepower." Firepower? I'm assuming he's talking about Shambles as being the "Firepower," as she certainly wasn't chosen for brains, but what? Does he think she's armed? Is she armed? Is she armed now, wherever she is, having this column read to her? Now I'm frightened.

Jeff Probst forgot to show up for the challenge (How embarrassing for him. Emmy winner, as is Joe Halderman.), so the six players just stood there for a while, staring at each other. "So we're just sitting there, looking at each other, you know, we're waiting for Jeff" says Black Russell, referring to all of them standing around, waiting for Jeff. With his eye for detail, Black Russell isn't so much The Mentalist, as The Mental Case.

A crate of live chickens was sitting out, clearly labeled "Reward," so they knew they would have to win it. There was also a chest set out. It didn't actually have a sign on it saying "Open Me," but it ought not to take Stephen Hawking to work out that they should open the trunk.

Shambles: "Oh, if you catch the chicken, you get the pirate chest full of food." Shambles:

1. The chickens are clearly labeled "Reward."

2. Are you planning on setting one or all of those chickens free, so you can catch them? Because that would be a new stupidity low, even for you.

3. Why are you assuming the chest is full of food? The chickens are food! And to return to point #1, they are labeled "Reward."

Here's Danger Dave's brilliant theory as to what they should do: "I wonder if we're just supposed to jump, like just get over there and start doing stuff, without even asking." Good plan! One small question: could you be a little more specific about what you mean by "doing stuff"? What sort of "stuff" exactly? Is Shambles contagious? Now Galu has no one representing "brains."

Psycho Russell made a move towards the chickens and all heck broke loose. Danger Dave came up with a better plan that just "doing stuff" by opening the trunk, wherein he found the instructions for the challenge to be played for the coop full of chickens.

But Natalie and Shambles ran for the chicken coop, tore it open, and began grabbing chickens. Shambles was slamming her oversized body about to block Natalie access to the chickens. It was like Dwight Shroot from The Office had materialized in drag and a mullet. (Jim & Pam's wedding. Awwwwww! Loved it!)

It looked like the opening of Macy's Thanksgiving Weekend Live Chicken Sale. Without Jeff, no one had the conch, and the savages rampaged free. The flies have a new lord in Shambles.

Shambles was wandering back over to the chest, carrying two somehow-still-living chickens, one by a wing and the other by the throat (Nice work, Shambles. What do you do when you're not abusing animals on TV?), with Natalie trailing behind with one chicken, that she was at least holding seated in her cupped hands, in a manner that wouldn't hurt the bird, unlike Shambles, who clearly didn't care about the birds, but looked proud of having ripped open and looted the prizes before the contest was even held. "[Shambles], put the chickens back," became Quote of the Week to me. Put the chicken down and step away from the coop.

It was "Bocce Ball Horseshoes," with each player in turn tossing balls towards a pole. Closest one wins the chickens for their tribe. Despite sounding dull, and having a comedy element when Shambles turned out to be terrible at the challenge, it became a nail-biter, that came down to Danger Dave's last ball deciding the contest. He laid it out right against the poll, a perfect shot, and the chickens were Galu property. They got to carry the whole coop back to camp, so Shambles wasn't ambling through the woods holding chickens by the throat.

While the players were away at the Reward Challenge, Erik went on a secret Immunity Idol hunt, Rocket Scientist John pretended to nap, but was watching Erik hunt the idol. Eric found the idol, but it appeared that John missed this, and Erik now has the idol hidden away.

As the victorious Galu players returned with their coop full of chickens, Black Russell said: "We're bringing home the bacon, baby." Russell then asked Shambles, "Know anything about chickens, [Shambles]?"

Shambles: "[Snort] 'Course!" I hope at least one of them knows that chickens do not contain "bacon." Shambles announced she was a country girl. Well, she certainly never suggested a Manhattan sophisticate.

Danger Dave wanted to remain centered and humble within the tribe, but he also had a bad case of "Me win chicken. Me mighty hunter. Tomorrow, me kill tyrannosaur." Danger Dave, you are a former flight attendant with a degree in opera who won a game of bocce ball. You haven't slain a lion using just the jawbone of an ass, although you're killing me with a jackass's jawbone.

As we saw her doing a Chicken Dance (shudder), Shambles gave us her chicken credentials: "I don't claim to be a chicken farmer, but I was introduced to 'em at a very young age.." Do you mean socially? Was this at the prom? Was it at your grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary? Your high school graduation or equivilency test? "...You got to have a relationship with chickens." I believe that's still illegal in most states.

Black Russell assigned the care of the chickens to Shambles. Has he already forgotten the fate of the snorkel?

We saw Shambles crouching beside the coop, clucking and making other assorted "hen" noises to the birds, "talking" to them. Shambles is a Chicken Whisperer. She knows the secret, arcane fowl ways. She is an esteemed Elder at their Chicken Councils. Erik and Danger Dave think she might just be a teensy bit insane. I think she's raving bonkers. (A clinical term)

Meanwhile, over at Tribe Zsa Zsa, just because tehy're on the show too, Psycho Russell now thinks Natalie, from his "Dumb Girl Alliance," should be his ally-pawn. Natalie's plan is for people to underestimate her. Is that possible? Wouldn't underestimating her require the use of negative numbers? But enough about Zsa Zsa. Back to Galu.

Just as the Galu guys are thinking about how delicious a chicken would be, Chicken Georgette, aka, Shambles, lets one escape. Did anyone not see that coming? "Damn! He said don't let them escape. I got it backwards! Silly me."

"Escaped chicken!" shouted Shambles, as though the bird had outsmarted her (which it may well have done), or tunneled to freedom. Not a cry of, "Damn! I let one get out." We got a sarcastic eye-roll from Yasmin From Planet X, who was at the fire roasting some sweatpants for breakfast. (The Planet Xians haven't really gotten the hang of "food" just yet, or much else, as we shall see.) Erik joined in a spirited, doomed chase of the chicken.

Erik ran smack dab into the clothesline, falling full on his back in the mud, in a pratfall worthy of Oliver Hardy. Perfectly described by Danger Dave, who was doing nothing himself towards the recapture of the chicken fugitive from breakfast, just watching others and snarking (what I am doing here) "He gets clotheslined by the clothesline."

The bird eludes Erik in a tree by flying, in that way that birds do. "I didn't know they could f**kin' fly," said the Chicken Whisperer, wise in the ways of chickens, since her early introduction to them. Oh. They're birds. They can f***in' fly. Who knew? But they probably can't do both at the same time, as in "Who gives a flying f***?" (Answer: Superman.)

Black Russell: "I'm not calling [Shambles] stupid..." I am "... But it's a bird, for crying out loud."

Shambles said to Erik: "Dude, can I just get a break? I produce one egg, and then I let a chicken get away." They're eating Shambles's eggs? Ew!

The other Galu girls have been noticing that Yasmin is from Planet X, or at least from Planet Wait On Me. She's the sort who drops in just at dinner time, and not by accident.

Immunity Challenge: Running on nets, carrying large blocks, stacking blocks, crossing a rope bridge not-carrying blocks, stacking more blocks. Was this challenge developed by a producer's five year old? It seems like a busy day in a giant's pre-school.

Zsa Zsa is down so many players that Galu had to sit out enough people to make a third tribe.

At the rope bridge we saw every player's crossing. There goes Galu's Monica. Monica? Who is Monica? Was she on the show last week?

Brett? There's a Brett on Galu? Has he never said nor done anything camera-worthy before?

Zsa Zsa finally won Immunity. Jaison is safe for this week. Hey Galu, vote out Shambles, vote out Shambles.

Black Russell: "I saw Monica basically disappear at that Challenge." Monica who? I had the opposite reaction. On the rope bridge she had seemed to materialize from some other show. Has she actually been here all along, or are we just supposed to think she's been here all along, like Nikki and Paulo in the third season of Lost, when they'd never been on the show before, but the producers cut them into flashback footage from the pilot to pretend they'd been there all along? Anyway, Black Russell, don't get distracted. Who ruined the snorkel? Who let the chicken escape? Who laid that egg? Really, who laid that egg?

Back at camp, Black Russell started campaigning against Monica. (Who?) What about Shambles? What about Yasmin From Planet X? Who is Brett again?

Shambles and Yasmin From Planet X were united against Monica (Who?), now renamed Monica Who, the niece Doctor Who has forgotten all about. Yasmin "explains" to Shambles that the reason Yaz does nothing around camp is so she can't be "preyed on" for screwing something up, like how everyone is "praying on" people screwing up by letting a chicken out. Shambles begins to suspect that maybe someday, far, far in the future, someone might be slightly miffed about her letting a chicken go, and breaking the snorkel. Fortunately, her natural awesomeness, and her fantastic Chicken Whisperer powers will see her through.

It also doesn't occur to Yasmin From Planet X that she might be "preyed on" for contributing nothing, that maybe earth women expect everyone to pitch in.

But Yasmin, who has done one good thing, she inadvertently led to Hillbilly Ben's ouster last week, isn't worried since, as she puts it, "I know I haven't came up short," unless she was working as an English tutor.

That someone might want to vote other than as Black Russell demands annoys him. Excuse me? "I'm the leader. These people, they got to listen to me, or there's gonna be some serious ass-kicking." Well, while I still want to vote out Shambles, I think maybe Galu needs to remember who chose fluffy orange pillows over a tarp and other practical rewards last week. Maybe the name "Russell" should be on the ballots.

Tribal Council: Shambles, describing the tension back at camp over losing Immunity: "There was people going for walks on the beach. There was a little bit of whispering going on." Well yeah. It's in every one of their contestant profiles, under "Likes & Dislikes:" "I like long walks on the beach. Kittens. Whispers at sunset. Rainy afternoons. I dislike Mondays, losing immunity, and injustice." I guess the Chicken Whisperer will handle all the whispering herself.

Brett (Who?) said some people aren't doing any work in camp, like maybe Yasmin From Planet X.

Yasmin was wearing spiked, black leather, dominatrix high-heeled boots to Tribal Council in the jungle. Spiked heels in the jungle. See? She's from Planet X. When Brett publically noted her laziness, Yasmin momentarily slipped up maintaining her human disguise, and accidentally displayed for a nanosecond the giant bug eyes her species has back on Planet X, when not disguised as an earthling in order to compete on Survivor, so her alien race can learn to survive. Yasmin said: "Anything somebody has asked me to do, I have did it." You see how her verbal slip-ups reveal that she only just learned Earth Language last month?

"I have not shied away from any work," Yasmin added, further proving that she doesn't yet know the meanings of these things we Terrans call "words," having accidentally said the exact opposite of the truth. She's like Robin Williams in the first season of Mork & Mindy, only not funny, and no Tom Poston. (We loved you, Tom.)

Those boots weren't made for walking, and that's just what they'll do, and one of these days (today) those boots are going to walk back to Planet X with Yasmin in them. Black Russell got a wake-up call that he is not running his tribe. Time for some "serious ass-kicking," although I'd more than settle for some comical ass-kicking.

In the final vote, even Black Russell caved, and voted to oust Yasmin. Only Yasmin and Shambles voted for Monica Who. I guess Shambles was out of the tribe loop, or just loopy. However, I think several of them actually intended to vote for Monica Who, but as they walked the ten yards from their seats to the voting booth, they forgot Monica Who was in their tribe, on the show, or ever existed at all. I think Brett (Who?) may have voted for Paulo. I'll just have to check the recording on that and get back to ya. You betcha!

Yasmin's wonderfully still-self-delusional exit speech to us: "I personally feel like I'm such a strong competitor that, had I made it to the end, it would'a been really hard not to vote for me." I play this game so well, that if I hadn't lost it, I would'a won it. I'll give her this, even this early in the game, her very first Tribal Council, her tribemates did indeed find it really hard not to vote for her.

Yasmin's "Family Moment" made me laugh out loud for five minutes. There was one person in it, so it was a one-shot of Yasmin's sister from Planet Zoftig! Yasmin's sister has, not to put too fine a point on it, epically gigantic boobs, and she was wearing a low-cut dress (not so much a low-neckline as a high-waistline), and angled so that the massive display of round brown flesh, and the truly grand canyon betwixt, took up a sizable portion of your Hi-Def screens. Emblazoned across this impressive display of mammary magnificence were the words "Yasmin's Family". Who wouldn't enjoy attending that family reunion? I'm sure Yasmin's sister said something, but I couldn't hear it over my own screams of laughter. That's a mighty fine-looking family you got there, Farkles.

(Okay, I ran it back. She said "Congratulations Yaz. I'm your sister." They haven't met? They cut Sis off before she could say, "Hey! I'm up here!")

Next week, the Eat-Revolting-Things Challenge, and the rains come to a tarpless tribe with damp, mildewey orange pillows.

Cheers darlings.

To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead the Merrier.