Previously on Survivor, Rupert and Colby were dead meat. There was absolutely no chance that both members of the failed Heroes tribe could survive a pair of elimination votes. The Villains would have to not only fall apart but also act against their best interests in eliminating former allies. And that is exactly what happened.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
May 13, 2010
Candice fell victim to karma in one of the quickest reversals of fortune in the history of the game. One vote after making a move she felt positioned her better in the game, she was voted out, a special degree of punishment for her prior treachery. The worst part is that the move she made wasn't even logically justified, but that is water under the bridge now. With Candice gone, the Villains should have had their choice of Rupert or Colby eliminated during the second vote. Then, Evil Loser Russell reminded the world why he is known for Losing. He arbitrarily decided the time was right to betray Danielle (it wasn't) and that the primary Villains alliance would be fine without her (it won't).
Instead, Parvati and ELR have declared war upon one another with the primary beneficiary being the best remaining player in the game other than Parvati, Sandra. She gained a hidden immunity idol last week and seems to be respected by all of the other remaining players. With only half a dozen remaining contestants, anything can happen tonight, but we believe that the winner of this season will be a female with Sandra gaining a slight edge over Parvati due to the immunity idol and ELR's (further) descent into madness. Meanwhile, Rupert and Colby remain a part of these games, something that shocks the two of them as much as anyone.
As we return from Tribal Council and start the episode, Parvati is displaying some paranoia. Although her wording indicates that she's concerned about the breakup of the Villain alliance, her only true worry is that she's next in line. She does a quick head count among her remaining Villains to try to determine whether she has already lost, and is relieved when they tell her that their alliance stands. Note to Parvati: the way the just voted is a lot more telling than the words they just said to you. Parvati's gameplay is the worst we've seen from her so far this season (not a big compliant, since she's played masterfully). She's reacting to the circumstances from the prior vote rather than adapting to them. With Danielle gone, she needs to be figuring out which three people she can get to vote with her next time, and at this point, it should be apparent to her that Evil Loser Russell is too much of a loose cannon to rely upon from now on.
Treemail arrives in the form of sickening product placement. We won't name their brand, but we will root against their stock in the near future. (This is easy for Kim since they're in competition with Apple anyway.) The unnamed brand's cell phone includes video of loved ones of the various contestants. The family members on the island are Colby's brother, Parvati's dad, Sandra's uncle, Evil Loser Russell's poor wife, Jerri's sister and Rupert's wife. We're actually looking at this as a positive turn of events for ELR, because his wife didn't show up until after his Survivor Divorce from Parvati. This prevents him from being an island bigamist.
The Reward Challenge is one of those where the loved ones join the contestants in a competition. In this case, Survivor players try to bail buckets of water ten feet in the air to their loved one, who attempts to catch as much of the water in their own bucket as possible. There are three humorous aspects to this competition. The first is when ELR's wife demonstrates exactly the sort of class and grace from someone we would expect to have married him. In addition to the contents of her bucket, she spits to increase her water total. She seems like the kind of girl who would try to be Miss Hooters, but she never makes it out of the competition because she keeps punching the judges.
Sandra's performance is so solid that her uncle keeps yelling at her to try, which means it's obvious he hasn't had a chance to watch her in challenges so far this season. Her strategy is not to win challenges. It's to not get voted out. But the true joy of the competition comes from Colby and his brother Reed. There are some families who are all about love and congeniality. Never is an unkind word spoken. The Donaldson family is not one of those. The theme for this section of tonight's episode is entitled: "REED!!!!!!!" Colby becomes completely unhinged, berating his brother for any spilt water whatsoever. He basically flew thousands of miles to be yelled at for ten minutes by his younger brother. After watching this video, we're pretty sure Reed is going to beg off having Thanksgiving dinner with his brother this year.
In the end, the competition comes down Evil Loser Russell and his wife, Melanie, versus Jerri and her younger sister, Jennifer. Melanie spits almost enough to tip the bucket, but Jennifer has an exemplary round to bring Jerri the victory. Jerri is allowed to pick a teammate to join her, and while it's clear that both Sandra and Russell want to go, she instead selects Parvati. She then asks permission to bring one other party along, and before Probst can even agree, she is already yelling Sandra's name. Needless to say, ELR does not handle this well, and whispers to his wife that Jerri has just made a huge mistake. He immediately starts to plot her demise with the former Heroes. At least he's consistent.
It's taken him 35 days to realize it, but ELR finally realizes that the female Villains have been stringing him along rather than vice-versa.
In fact, Evil Loser Russell goes so far as to shake hands with Rupert and Colby, stating that the three of them will go to the final three together. Rupert, who was above such behavior a couple of votes ago when he didn't have that option, has deluded himself into believing he'll be a bigger Hero if he takes the worst Villain with him to the final. Rupert, it's okay to say you just want to win. There's no such thing as Survivor Integrity Police, and if they do exist, just throw Russell in front of you and you'll be fine. Throughout all this, we're disappointed that Colby never yells, "REED!!!!!!"
The reward involves throwing coconuts into a blow hole/geyser, then watching it get shot a couple hundred feet into the air. Of course, they have a [insert sponsor here] smart phone to film and photograph the whole thing. Parvati even invokes them by name during a confessional. Gross.
When we return from the commercial break, Rupert loses his damn mind. Every season, we seem to have one player around this time who forgets that Survivor is a game of politics. Erratic and annoying behavior is never smart, but when there's only a half a dozen people who can possibly be voted off, nobody should call unwanted attention to themselves by, oh, say, carving wood, throwing boulders around, and anything else that stops Survivors from sleeping. You know his behavior is especially troublesome because he gets his own goofy theme music. Rupert may have survived last week, but we're all of a sudden not liking his chances tonight. Treat Survivor like a library, dude.
Probst sighting! The Immunity Challenge involves balance and concentration once again. Ever since the merge, Survivor's challenges have been catering to the ballerinas. We think it's a clever way for Probst to eliminate Colby without saying so. Each contestant must balance two poles on top of their hands. To keep the boards aloft, they must use another horizontal board up above them for leverage. Any lapse in focus will likely cause a loss.
Lo and behold, 17 seconds into the challenge, Colby is out. We don't mean to point fingers, but Colby has clearly lost his stamina since his first go round. We know this happens to men as they get older, but come on! Less than 30 seconds later, Sandra is eliminated. This is our weekly reminder not to worry. She's saving it all up for the final Immunity Challenge.
ELR hangs on a respectable amount of time prior to his elimination. Then, to our surprise, Jerri loses her poles, leaving only Rupert and Parvati for the second time in three challenges. As was the case in the previous competition, Rupert demonstrates a lot of valor, but the battle is too skewed toward someone with better natural balance. To Evil Loser Russell's chagrin, Parvati has immunity. He scoffs at Rupert in disgust. How dare Rupert only do quite a bit better than Russell?
Remember what we've been saying the past few weeks about how ELR only has one move? Well, he tries it on Sandra and it doesn't work out very well. Given his success last week with Jerri, it's unsurprising that Evil Loser Russell would attempt to berate another woman into voting with him. Unlike last time, ELR meets with resistance. He walks over to Sandra, puts on his black hat, and in his best spaghetti western villain voice, he asks if she is with him or against him. Immediately, Sandra replies, "I'm against you, Russell." (The 'Evil Loser' portion of his name is implied by her tone of voice.) As is usually the case, ELR uses this as an opportunity to dial up his aggression in a attempt to change the results. All this earns him is Parvati's mockery.
After watching Sandra's dismissal, Parvati begins to openly mock him about his boorish behavior. Speaking loudly enough for the entire tribe to hear her, she wonders when Boston Rob returned to the game. Oddly, Evil Loser Russell bristles at the prospect of being compared to someone who is his superior in every way, but our favorite moment occurs just seconds later. Bored with ELR after only one sentence, Sandra effectively dismisses him by moving on to discuss Survivor ethics with Rupert, who leaked the information to ELR that Sandra might be gunning for him. This effectively identifies to Evil Loser Russell that he is beneath Sandra's contempt.
Tribal Council is relatively dull. ELR again attempts to engage Sandra in debate. She states her case in laconic fashion. Parvati busts everyone up as she describes Sandra telling ELR that "she's against him." Russell's own tactics have turned against him in a big way. The Survivors go to vote, and Sandra's comments as she writes Rupert's name down are particularly amusing:
"I'll write your name again and if I'm up there in the final three, you'll *still* give me the million dollar vote."
After the vote is done, Probst tries to state that this is the last opportunity to use the hidden Immunity Idol. Sandra pops up and says, "I would hate to go home with the idol in my bra." Stating the obvious, Sandra has a strong Tribal Council. The members of the jury, particularly the women, are eating out of her hand, with Parvati not far behind. When Sandra produces the idol, everyone is stunned. ELR is certain that Parvati has pulled the wool over his eyes again, but she scoffs at him that she had no idea.
While Sandra is as popular as the Harlem Globetrotters due to her antics, Rupert and Colby's faces reflect their emotions about this turn of events. Colby smiles in relief when he sees that Rupert's is the first name revealed from any of the ballots. Rupert's reaction is one of utter defeat. He had allowed himself to hope that a 3-3 tie with Sandra was in the offing and that he could beat her to break the tie. Instead, her votes don't count, and he is eliminated in effectively unanimous fashion.
And then there was one. Colby is the last remaining Hero. Of course, given his lousy play this season, Parvati and Sandra each have a stronger claim to win. They are clearly the preemptive favorites heading into the final episode. Of course, there's also a chance that Jerri, ELR and Colby could band together, meaning that we could see a shocking winner this season. We don't think ELR can win a vote against anyone, and we feel the same way about Colby...but if the two of them face off against each other, its immovable object versus irresistible force.