The twenty contestants were assigned tribes at the start of the game and, based only on appearances, were instructed to elect a leader who would make critical decisions at challenges for the first half of the game. The leader of the tribe that won the reward challenge would also choose a member of their tribe to observe the other tribe for a day, receiving a clue to the hidden immunity idol at the other tribe's camp. Mick was chosen as Foa Foa's leader, and Russell S. as Galu's.
At Foa Foa, Russell H. attempted to make living conditions harsher for his tribe by dumping water out of canteens and burning socks, leading to Foa Foa losing nearly every challenge. Russell H. managed to find his tribe's hidden immunity idol at his own camp and, after making alliances with virtually all of his tribe mates, amassed a huge amount of influence among the members of his tribe. Galu's winning streak led to a relaxed state at the camp, a condition that Shambo resented, putting her at odds with the tribe. After Galu won a reward challenge, Russell S. opted to send Shambo over to Foa Foa for one night, where she found the tribe had a strong work ethic and welcomed her. Russell S. was removed from the game due to fatigue, and Galu elected Shambo as their new leader in order to gain her loyalty.
The two tribes merged with twelve players left: four from Foa Foa and eight from Galu. Natalie from Foa Foa was able to convince the Galu women to vote off one of their own. At this vote, Russell H. had played his hidden immunity idol, but it was all for naught as Erik was eliminated. Russell H. was able to find the idol in its new location before the next tribal council. He played his new idol there, saving himself from being voted off as he was targeted by every Galu member. With ten players remaining, Shambo decided to align with the Foa Foa alliance, resulting in the next vote ending in a 5-5 tie. John from the Galu alliance, worried about being eliminated from the game by random draw, switched his vote on the tiebreaker, putting the Foa Foa alliance in the majority. They systematically eliminated the former Galu members, however their plans were halted when Brett, the final member of the Galu alliance, won three immunity challenges in a row. Perceived as physically drained, and unlikely to beat Brett in the coming immunity challenges, Shambo and Jaison were voted out. With four players remaining, Russell H. ended Brett's immunity streak and he was the final player eliminated.
Russell H., Mick, and Natalie were the final three. At the Final Tribal Council, Mick was ignored by the jury, given his lack of leadership when assigned that role and his seemingly lackluster drive. Though Russell H. was confident that he had played the game well and that Natalie would be seen as a coattail rider, most of the jury members disliked his brash attitude and saw Natalie as the lesser of three evils, with Erik giving an elaborate closing speech in Natalie's favor. Natalie was ultimately named the Sole Survivor over Russell H. and Mick by a vote of 7–2–0.
Read more about this topic: Survivor: Samoa
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