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Survivor recap: Heaven Help Her

Natalie seeks divine intervention at the reward challenge, while Russell gets even cockier at Tribal Council

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Survivor Natalie
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

Ah, the penultimate episode of another season of Survivor. You know what that means, right? My seasonal Survivor rankings, where I rank all the Survivor seasons, from first to worst, and tell you where the current one falls. But, no! Not this time, ladies and gentlemen. That’s because I scooped myself and put them up yesterday on Popwatch! I don’t know why I did that after Popwatch made fun of my 1980s ski sweater, but I decided to forgive and forget. In any event, if you want to argue about what’s first, what’s last, and where Samoa should come in, then hop on over to see the rankings right now. That’s okay, we’ll wait…

Done, yet? Great. Okay, now let’s get to last night’s episode. And I want to start with the reward challenge. Here’s the set-up: Russell, Jaison, and Shambo are taking on Natalie, Mick, and Brett in a challenge where they are pulling strings out of a maze of other strings holding up coconuts. The team who causes the least amount of coconuts to fall wins a feast at a local village. Apparently, Natalie felt her team was a little outmatched, so she sought out a new alliance partner: the Big Fella Upstairs! She asked God to guide Brett’s hands and told Mick not to worry about dropping 19 coconuts because “You have two Prayer Warriors on your team” — as if that guaranteed them victory.

Look, contrary to popular belief, I’m no heathen. I actually go to church every Sunday. I take my kids to Sunday school every week. And are you ready to have your socks completely knocked off? I sometimes even help teach Sunday School! (Poor kids, I know.) So this is by no means an anti-religion rant. I just think there should be limits on what sort of things you can bug the Big Guy in the Sky about. Food for the homeless? Check. Extra whipped cream on your ice cream sundae? Not so fast. Clothing for the needy? You betcha. A Gucci mink coat? Sorry, that’s a no go (on so many levels). Shelter for the destitute? You’re in! A mansion with a swimming pool shaped like the character Dig Dug from the 1980s hit arcade game Dig Dug? Pass (even as cool as that sounds).

But nothing cracks me up more than when athletes insinuate that God has a rooting interest in a sporting event. Dude, this is God we’re talking about? Do you think he’s chillaxing in his La-Z Boy recliner with his face painted, a six-pack of Bud, and an oversized foam #1 finger? Sorry to break it to you, but the Man has BIGGER FISH TO FRY! So let’s get back to the challenge. If I’m God — and let’s all count our blessings right here and right now that I am not — and Natalie starts putting out the prayers to me in this instance, here’s exactly how I’m responding: “Are you freakin’ kidding me? All the things I have to deal with — disease, famine, genocide, MTV’s Jersey Shore — and you’re bugging me with this? I mean, it’s not even an immunity challenge, for crying out loud! If you were playing for immunity maybe, just maybe, I could understand you asking me to deliver you up a little’ somethin-somethin. But a reward challenge? C’mon, now. And just for that, I’m going to cause you to drop 58 coconuts on your next pull. That’s right, you heard me! And not only that, but because you hit me on my lunch break, I’m also gonna send Shambo another one of those clairvoyant dreams I have so much fun with and give her the exact number that Jaison is gonna drop. Heck, I may even cause Jeff Probst to inadvertently start breakdancing just to rub it in! I haven’t decided yet. But bother me with more of this trivial stuff and you can be sure I will. Oh, and P.S.: Tell everyone you know to take the Saints this weekend against the Cowboys. I love that Drew Brees. What moxie on that guy!”

NEXT: Brett proves that nice guys can still have a shot