Previously on Survivor, it was Parvati's Island and everyone else was just living on it. Seriously, she didn't just eviscerate the competition. She did so in a way that as BOP webmaster Tony Kollath pointed out managed to leave four different players with their mouths hanging open in stunned silence. J.T. knew he had gotten beaten (although he failed to correctly guess who had done it, aptly summarizing his play this season), Amanda knew that Parvati had seen through her lies, Evil Loser Russell knew he'd given the idol to someone who played him for a patsy and Jerri realized that younger chick she hates just saved her ass. Words cannot describe how perfect a play it was.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
April 30, 2010
To our amusement, some have derided her strategy as needlessly reckless. As a reminder, here is what happened. She found a hidden immunity idol the prior episode. During the most recent one, Evil Loser Russell tried to show that he was a big, strong provider of a man by giving her another hidden immunity idol, the second time he has done so this season. So smitten is he that he never thought to ask if she already had one. After all, finding idols is men's work and she's just a girl.
The end result is that when Tribal Council arrived, Parvati protected not one but two Villains from potential elimination. Sandra did not garner any votes, but Jerri would have been entwined in a 5-5 tie with J.T. Although there is some speculation about whether the Quest for Fire challenge is still the tiebreaker this season, if it had been, Jerri would be out of the competition right now. Meanwhile, J.T. and the rest of the Too Stupid To Live Alliance masquerading as Heroes would be in position to exterminate all remaining Villains. Given that Parvati knew the Heroes perceived her as the biggest threat from the way that they, you know, gave a total stranger a hidden immunity idol and explicitly stated the idea was to get Parvati eliminated, the Heroes this season offer all the subtlety of a July 4th fireworks display.
With J.T. eliminated, Parvarti is in complete control of the game at the moment. There are five remaining Villains (Evil Loser Russell, Danielle, Jerri and Sandra being the others) while only four Heroes (Rupert, Colby, Candice and Amanda) are still alive. What happens next is hard to anticipate since Sandra and Amanda are only vaguely attached to their former tribes at this point. Russell is now a man without a country as well after Sandra duped him into voting off his only potential ally, Coach, and the Heroes know him to be a snake in the grass.
If ELR goes redrum on Parvati for making him look like a fool, which she did, he is in trouble tonight but we strongly doubt that happens. He is well known for his composure and calm temperament. Yes, that's sarcasm. Dude just got arrested for assaulting an 18-year-old girl the night the episode aired. We are operating under the assumption that he wouldn't be so touchy about the whole affair if he had gone on to win the competition. We have moved the Evil Loser Russell Loses Doomsday Clock up to 4 Minutes Until Midnight. We put the over/under on number of episodes he has left at three, but his elimination tonight would not surprise us. Similarly, we worry about Sandra's situation in that the previews indicate she is about to flip to the Heroes side. If the Villains find out about this ahead of time (read: if Amanda tells Parvati), they will rectify the earlier mistake of voting off Courtney instead of a prior champion. Tonight's episode promises to have a lot of moving parts as we continue what has been to date the greatest reality show television season ever.
Back at camp after Tribal Council, Evil Loser Russell has the crazy eyes. He accuses Parvati of lying to him, which she correctly denies. He then switches his argument to saying that she is guilty of a lie of omission, which is true. Before the two of them can hash it out, Danielle tries to help, with her idea of "help" being to throw gas on the fire. She stands right beside Parvati, with her body language clearly indicating to ELR that she has passed him on the food chain. In terms of vitriol, the exchange barely registers on the Survivor Hate Scale; however, we wonder if Evil Loser Russell's condition will decline once he's had a night or two to stew.
While we're never above drinking ELR's tears, the more important aspect of the night's conversation involves Rupert determining options. To his credit, he does take note of the fact that four out of five villains are holding court, while Sandra is persona non grata. We have said this before and we mean it: one of the aspects of the Survivor alliance that editing cannot hide is how people interact immediately before and after Tribal Council. Allies communicate and update strategy. The fact that Sandra is not doing this with the other villains definitively establishes that she is not with them. While never described as a master Survivor strategist, Rupert does make the correct determination that Sandra is in play.
Next, Evil Loser Russell pulls out the only play in the ELR Handbook. He targets a young girl on the other tribe, in this case Candice, and tries to get her to flip to his alliance. Let's just say that between his offer and Door #3, we'd take Door #3 every time. He generously states that he could make sure she gets to the top six...maybe even top three! Pinch her; she's dreaming! We're not sure if the editing is misleading or if we're completely misreading her body language, but Evil Loser Russell reports back to his alliance-mates that Candice has flipped. This is not the impression she gives us at all, but...Tyson.
Probst sighting! The Reward Challenge is Team Shuffleboard. The Survivors are divided into three groups of three to compete for a visit to author Robert Louis Stevenson's home, where will enjoy a sumptuous meal and a screening of the classic film based on his most famous novel, Treasure Island. The groups are made up of ELR, Rupert and Sandra; Colby, Amanda and Danielle; and Parvati, Candice and Jerri. Evil Loser Russell and Rupert both make great throws, and their team appears well positioned to win the game, then Colby V.2.001 makes an appearance. The one-time challenge horse carefully scrutinizes the table, and makes a shuffleboard throw that would be the envy of the entire state of Florida. We are disappointed by this, as we are disappointed by the prospect of Evil Loser Russell and Rupert fighting through an entire challenge while Sandra manipulates both of them. Instead, we'll be treated to three of this season's blandest personalities as they say things like, "Oh, good food."
Oh, wait. We spoke too soon. While touring the author's home, Amanda susses out that a clue for a hidden immunity idol must be hidden somewhere within. She never finds it, though she picks up a lot of items and examines them. Colby and the two women get into bed (don't act so surprised) and start to watch Treasure Island. A telling sequence events reveals how each player is competing this season. Amanda frantically searches all aspects of the room and is unable to enjoy the movie as a result. Danielle passively eats the popcorn and accidentally stumbles upon the clue and sneakily deposits it under her side of the bed. Colby watches the movie.
Moments later, Amanda realizes she saw something out of the corner of her eye, and pieces together that Danielle must have found and then hidden the clue. She walks over to Danielle's side of the bed and aggressively stands beside her, which makes us momentarily wonder if we're about to watch a Vivid Video. She grabs the clue off the floor and runs away. Danielle pursues Amanda and the chick fight is on. Colby doesn't help those rumors any when he doesn't even glance up at the battling babes. Instead, he acts annoyed and grudgingly presses "pause" on the movie. Truly, Colby is unlike any other player in the history of Survivor. To wit, Colby, who is in an alliance with Amanda and outnumbered by Danielle's alliance, determines that it is only fair for Danielle to get the clue, mainly so they can all shut up and go back to watching the movie. God help the person who leaves their cell phone on in Colby's movie theater.
When Danielle makes her triumphant return to camp, she cannot wait to show the others her clue. She even manages to get in a fish story about how she wrestled Amanda and fought six alligators along the way. What she does here is indescribably stupid. Danielle has been celebrating her status as Parvati's favored pet, but instead of waiting for a time when she and her master could go look for the idol themselves, she goes with Evil Loser Russell. Angry that he was shoved out of an alliance that, to his mind, is Russell and Co., he makes sure to uncover the idol himself while Danielle is not looking. He hides it in his pocket, then mumbles something about the Heroes looking at them and walks off. A more savvy player would immediately pick up on what he had done, but Danielle needs Parvati to the heavy lifting for her.
The end result of this is that Evil Loser Russell pulls out the only other play in the ELR Handbook (yes, we know we said there was only one earlier). He shows Candice his immunity idol. And let us tell you, Candice wants to see it. She begs to see it. She demands to see it right there, in the forest. Evil Loser Russell immediately feels like much more of a man, and we move the Evil Loser Russell Loses Doomsday Clock down to 6 minutes to midnight. Hidden Immunity Idols are Russell's Cialis.
Now that he no longer has Treasure Island to watch, Colby is left with no other option than to play the game. He engages in a conversation with Sandra wherein she informs him about all the votes the Villains lost. He's confused by her story, which is understandable. She keeps listing former allies who were voted off. The math doesn't track back. She knows her story and realizes she's telling the truth, and doesn't consider how implausible it would seem to someone who doesn't know Tyson. A one sentence summary of "Tyson screwed it up for everyone" would go a long way.
Eventually, Colby settles on the notion that Sandra is not playing him because she has no reason to do so. Her alliance is in the majority, after all. Soon afterward, ELR has an ominous conversation with Sandra, where he tells her that they now have six people in their alliance, so even if Sandra flips, they still have the numbers. She thinks he's done the math wrong until he explicitly states that one of the Heroes has switched sides. This would be devastating to Sandra if true.
And...it's time for another Probst sighting! The Immunity Challenge is a simple card stacking game. The first person to stack their cards to the ten foot level wins the necklace. For the 73rd consecutive challenge, Sandra is not a factor. Don't worry. She's saving it up for the final Immunity Challenge this season. In a shocking turn of events, the two strongest competitors prove to be Jerri and ELR. The latter player's performance is particularly impressive when you notice that he has the shakes from five feet on. He probably would have won the competition had he not run out of pieces. He is forced to run back down his ladder to grab a few more. Those few seconds prove to be the difference. Evil Loser Russell has to make a desperation stack at the top, but those few pieces prove unstable. Jerri finishes her tower and astutely points out that this is her first individual immunity in the entire time she has played Survivor. Given how close she came to being voted off last week (thank God for new BFF Parvati), she is thrilled to get this Tribal Council off her back.
An entire segment ensues that can be summarized as "What the hell are you thinking, Candice?" We see this happen every season. Someone has been a passive player for too long and it starts to overwhelm their senses. They determine that they will do something bold and reckless even if it's idiotic. At least they feel like they're doing something. For Candice, this involves flipping to a situation where she would be sixth at best. This is ludicrous to Sandra, who has been working through this whole episode to make sure that Candice will be no worse than fifth best.
Sandra and the Heroes determine to vote ELR off. Candice goes to ELR and tells him - after only the briefest moment of hestitation - the entirety of the Heroes plan. And we all know how much Evil Loser Russell likes it when he's targeted. Calmly and sanely, he approaches Sandra as if she were an 18-year-old resident of Louisiana. He asks his supposed ally who will be going home, and she explicitly states that it will be Amanda. Candice joins them, and she too indicates that the person being ousted tonight will be Amanda. ELR processes this information and determines that the person being voted off is...Russell (don't ask us) and professes that he will play the hidden idol.
Sandra returns to the Heroes, explains what happened, and effectively requests that they beat Candice to death. Humorously, Colby states that if Amanda does go home tonight, it will be entirely Candice's fault. She awkwardly laughs until he makes eye contact with her and she realizes that he is dead serious. We have no idea what Candice will do at Tribal Council, but she is less popular than Congress at the moment. Just before the vote, Sandra berates Candice for her short-sighted game play. Candice swears once again that she is with Sandra. FYI for Candice: in case you're ever invited back to the show, people twirl their hair when they are lying. You have a tell.
For whatever reason, the producers of Survivor definitely want us to believe that Amanda is going home tonight. If she is, this is very strange editing. If not, we're not sure why they locked in on her prior to the apparent swerve.
At Tribal Council, the jist of the pre-vote discussion is that Sandra is a Villain in name only. She describes herself as fifth out of five in the pecking order. ELR reinforces this premise when he lists the people he's allied with and names every villain but her. Meanwhile, Sandra goes out of her way to let the Villains know that despite all this, she has been unwilling to flip on this. We know this is not true, but if the vote goes as expected, they'll be more likely to believe it.
After the votes are in, something hilarious happens. ELR is once again convinced that as the strongest player there (in his mind), he will of course be the target of the night's vote. Thus, he plays his immunity idol. The first two votes are revealed to be for Amanda, but then the third vote is for Parvati. That's a funny way to spell Russell! At this moment, Parvati almost swallows her tongue and Courtney on the jury taunts ELR to the point that we expect her to do the wave. Alas, Candice's incompetent game play is the fly in the ointment. Since she was unwilling to remain loyal to the Heroes, she and Sandra were both forced to vote with the Villains, meaning that for the first time in her three outings as a Survivor contestant, Amanda has her torch extinguished. Parvati survives by an eyelash thanks to a dumbass named Candice. We do not expect Sandra to be happy at the start of the next record. She had orchestrated a move that would have usurped the throne, but Candice inexplicably flipped at the worst possible moment. What Candice did was more about longstanding frustration with Amanda that ties back to the Tom vote than it was about anything anyone did tonight. She made the determination that she couldn't win, so she chose to punish Amanda instead.
On the plus side, Parvati is pissed at Evil Loser Russell and the teaser for next week shows a War of the Roses flavored acrimonious split in the offing.