In an episode Thursday night that saw Shambo sent into exile as the tribe narrowed to the five finalists, Brett emerged as a force to be reckoned with, earning his second immunity challenge in a row.
Going into Sunday's two-hour season finale will be Russell, Brett, Natalie, Jaison and Mick.
Photos: "Survivor: Samoa"
As host Jeff Probst pointed out as Tribal Council, Brett, the only Galu left on the merged tribe, needs to continue winning immunity challenges to stay in the game. One night without that necklace around his neck and he's gone.
Which is why Russell probably chose to send Shambo packing instead of Mick. In a moment of contemplation, Russell, who has been dominating the game all season, listed what he called three powerful reasons to keep Shambo around: She won't vote to expel him, she does poorly at challenges and the jury, composed mostly of Galu members who view her as a traitor, won't award her the million-dollar prize.
In the end, it appears Russell chose to sacrifice Shambo to keep Mick around because Mick is his best hope of keeping Brett from winning another immunity challenge.
Will it work? Fans have only the weekend to wait to find out how the season's game of "Survivor" plays out.