Regardless of what you think about his tactics on Celebrity Treasure Island, you have to admit, Sam Wallace came to play.
His shrewd game-play may not have won him any fans in the old Mako camp, but this week Sam's laser focus on individual gain paid dividends and meant he chose who competed in all three elimination challenges.
The only person standing in the way of Sam's total domination? The inimitable Shannon Ryan.
Even though he sent her into battle three nights in a row Shannon proved time and again that she is an absolute machine, refusing to be defeated and sending three titans of the game packing.
After winning the last team face-off challenge Sunday night, Sam and Mako members Athena Angelou, Moses Mackay and Barbara Kendall got to choose who was sent to the elimination challenge that evening.
Sam wasted no time showing his true colours by abandoning his last scrap of Kahu loyalty to guarantee his immunity the next day.
Despite insisting he would "stick up for my fellow teammates" when Sam had the chance to rescind an earlier agreement and leverage an extra night on the island if he put his best bud Eric Murray up against Shannon in the elimination challenge he didn't think twice.
With full confidence in Eric's puzzle-solving ability Sam predicted, "We can probably say goodbye to Shannon."
How wrong he was.
Shannon put in a truly impressive effort, making light work of the feather puzzle. No, seriously, it was like she could have done it with one arm tied behind her back.
The fiercely competitive Eric, who that day had told Shannon, "if I was to go, I'd give my clues to Sam" was pretty salty about the whole thing and made a big deal of burning his clue in the fire.
Not before whispering the answer into Shannon's ear though.
Figuring he hadn't alienated himself enough the night before, Sam was back to have another crack on Monday.
Pulling out all the stops in the face-off challenge to keep control of the strategic reigns and individually negotiating yet another day's immunity from four of the remaining Mako members, Sam was adamant that he was just playing the game the only way he knew how.
That meant doubling down on the strategy that just the night before had sent his best mate packing and given Shannon the answer to five clues.
Except this time he put Shannon up to face-off against everyone's favourite opera singer, the 'unstoppable force' Moses.
And just like the night before, Shannon dug deep, defeating Moses in a gruelling physical challenge and picking up another clue in the process.
As Moses left the game having earned over $17,000 for his charity, Dream Chaser foundation and Sam continued into Tuesday's episode still not having defeated Shannon but more determined than ever that, "a few more weeks of ostracism, it will be worth it if I win."
After shaking off a medical incident and sharing more details about his bowel movements than we ever wanted to know Sam pulled off the unthinkable, winning his third face-off challenge in a row.
Not even an emotional phone call home to check in on his six-month-old son Brando was enough to shake Sam's resolve.
Rather than heeding Shannon's plea to align himself with her and the six clues she holds, Sam once again chose to go for straight for the jugular.
Defiant he's just playing the game and definitely not exacting revenge for the time Shannon made him do yoga inside the outline of a penis, Sam put Shannon up for the third night in a row.
Just in case there was any remaining doubt that he meant business, Sam decided Shannon should go up against the matriarch of the game, Barbara. If you ask us, Sam, that's quite a weird way to thank the woman who cleaned up your emergency defecation situation only hours earlier.
In the clash of the wahine toa Shannon once again came out victorious, solidifying her place as the elimination 'battle beast' and knocking out Five-time Olympian Barbs in her first elimination appearance.
Barbs had a stern word of advice as she departed, "Good luck to everybody. Be nice, Sam."
After a mammoth week even Sam had to admit Shannon is a force to be reckoned with, conceding, "She is so stubborn. She's such a great competitor; I can't get rid of her!"
As we head into the final week in Fiji there are two questions on our minds: Can Shannon continue her winning streak? or will Sam's huge gamble pay off?
We cannot wait to find out.
Celebrity Treasure Island screens Sundays, 7pm on TVNZ 2 and continues Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm.
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