"I'm that good where I can bring people together in this game for MY good."--Survivor 20 Episode 7
Apr 5, 2010
The latest episode of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains will definitely be talked about for years to come. In most Survivor seasons, you have what's called a turning point. This is the moment in the game where everything changes and flips on its head. Even though the entire season hasn't played out fully yet, I will predict that this episode is most likely a crucial turning point that will determine how the rest of the game will fall into place. Add on the fact that this is an All-Star season and the significance of such an event rises greatly. This is the episode that will either make or break this season in the eyes of many Survivor fans. Last time, Tyson and James were both sent home in a double tribal council session for both tribes. What will happen this time around? Get ready to find out because this is one unforgettable episode of Survivor that you won't want to miss.
We begin with the Villains waking up the next morning after their second tribal council. Russell, Parvati and Danielle are off in the forest celebrating their victory over Rob at last night's tribal council when they sent his buddy Tyson home. Meanwhile, the other five Villains are inside the shelter laying down. Rob says that in all of his seasons of Survivor, he has never been so confused after a tribal council. He and his other tribemates assume that someone (Russell) got to Tyson and made him flip out, thus causing him to change his vote. Rob also wonders why Russell and his team are so confident even though they're at a 5-3 disadvantage. It then clicks off in Rob's head that perhaps Russell may have acquired more followers which means that someone in his own alliance may not be trustworthy. That's the only way Russell could be feeling so great despite still being in the minority. But the question is who could have possibly flipped over to Russell's side? You know, I have to give it up to Rob here. He's a very astute guy who has the ability to read everyone in his tribe like a book. We even hear Rob saying in confessional that "Something isn't quite right". He can feel it. He has no evidence to go on at this point, but he can instinctively feel that something has changed within his camp. When I watched this moment live, I knew Rob had it in the bag. He is aware of the momentum Russell is starting to gain in the tribe and now, he's going to do something about it. Russell is a dead duck, plain and simple. I've always assumed (even before this season started) that Rob would ultimately defeat Russell because he's much more intelligent and charming than our resident "hobbit on crack". Rob's realization of the momentum shift in his tribe seems to all but confirm this fact. The confrontation between these two forces is inevitable and given the evidence presented to the viewing audience up to this point, Rob is looking like the victor in this war.
Next, we have our reward challenge which is a rehash of a challenge from the Tocantins season (okay, I have a question here. How come so many of the challenges this season are taken from Survivor Tocantins? Can't they pick some more challenges from other past Survivor seasons instead of that one? Granted, Tocantins is one of the more recent installments of Survivor and it's probably easier to get the supplies and equipment for those games since they were last played only a year ago or so. But still, I'd like to see non-Tocantins challenges for a change. Why don't they bring back a challenge from Seasons 1 or 2 of Survivor. That'd be great. They'll probably do that at some point, but still, I'd like to see something other than "Tocantins Challenge Mania". Okay, end of rant. We now return you to your regularly scheduled review. lol). Here, we have a water basketball game. There are two basketball type hoops set up near the shore in the water. One hoop is for the Heroes and the other hoop is for the Villains. At the start, Jeff will throw a ball into the water. The two tribes must then fight over the ball and try to shoot it into their team's basket. The first team to get three balls into their team's hoop will win the reward for this week which is a healthy lunch by a waterfall. Once the challenge begins, the two tribes battle viciously. Ultimately, the Heroes are successful in a 3-0 win over the Villains and will enjoy a nice lunch. It's nice to see the Heroes finally gain a big win after getting their booties handed to them by the Villains week in and week out. Let's hope they can keep up this momentum and make even more progress. We'll see.
The Heroes arrive near the waterfall and begin to enjoy their well deserved lunch. However, just as they're about to dig in, Candice finds a small piece of paper on the table. She opens it up and there's a note on it which tells the Heroes that there is yet another hidden immunity idol back at their camp. All five heroes agree that they'll all go look for it together and use it against the Villains in the future. This is quite a different approach from the individual "every man (or woman) for themselves" approach they used last time when looking for the hidden idol, lol. There might just be some hope for these Heroes yet. Meanwhile, back over at the Villains camp, we see Russell having a conversation with Jerri on the beach. Earlier, Russell's clan approached Jerri and asked her if she would like to join their group and help get rid of Rob and his supporters in the process. After Jerri expresses a considerable amount of interest in joining, she decides to try and bring Coach into "Camp Russell" as well. However, Coach is not too keen on this idea. Russell and Jerri talk to Coach on the beach and try to convince Coach that working with them is in his best interest. Russell even goes so far as to promise that he wants to go to the final three with Jerri and Coach (betraying Parvati and Danielle in the process). Jerri seems to be onboard with this deal, but Coach doesn't trust Russell and he's also mad at Jerri for even considering working with him. Later, Jerri says in a confessional that Coach is naive and wants to be nice to everybody, but you can't do that in this game. Jerri has a point here. I know that if I ever played Survivor (which I never will, trust me.), I would have a very difficult time with the lying aspect of it. But it is a part of the game whether people like it or not. Also, because we're dealing with Coach here, I don't really have any sympathy for him in this situation. If it were another person in this dilemma, I might be a little more kind. But it's not another person. It's Coach and we all know that this has nothing to do with him figuring out where his morals lie and it has everything to do with putting himself in the best light possible. It's fine to do that in this game, but I just wish that Coach were more honest about how selfish he is. He's in such denial that he never considers the possibility that HE might be the one without honor. He is just as bad as everyone else out there, but he can't bring himself to admit it under any circumstances. Ay-yi-yi. Oh well. Even with Coach's usual antics here, it doesn't change the fact that Russell has begun to gather some traction within his own tribe. However, Rob seems to still be in control of the situation, so there doesn't appear to be anything to worry about.
We're at the immunity challenge now. I'm not sure which past season this challenge is originally from (although if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on "Tocantins". lol), but it's sure to be a good one nonetheless. In this challenge, three members from each tribe will race up a platform and across a net. Then they'll climb up a large rope web to collect a bag of puzzle pieces. After they grab the puzzle pieces, they must bring them back to the starting point. Once a tribe has all six of their puzzle piece bags, they must take the pieces out of the bag and assemble them together to form a puzzle which says "Heroes vs. Villains". The first tribe to do this successfully will win immunity. The losing tribe must go to tribal council where they must vote someone out of the game. When I first saw this challenge, it looked as if this would be another win for the Villains due to how bad the Heroes are at puzzles in general. However, due to the overall editing of this episode, I knew the Villains were going to lose this one and I ended up being right. The Heroes finally win immunity again after a string of losses and they are safe from tribal council. The Villains have a date with Jeff which means that someone's time on that tribe is up. I really could see this coming from a mile away. This episode has clearly been gearing us up for a major Rob/Russell showdown from the get-go, so I knew almost immediately that the Villains weren't going to win immunity this time. The lines have been drawn now and after weeks of tribal immunities for the Villains, it's time for the battle to be waged between our two alpha Villain males. What will happen here? Good question. Let's find out.
Back at the Villains camp, discussion begins as to who should go home. Rob and Coach talk privately about who they want to see go home tonight. Coach wants to see either Parvati or Courtney go because he feels that either vote off will strengthen the tribe in terms of challenges. Rob wants Russell gone and they both agree to vote Russell off at tribal council. Sandra and Courtney also are on board with getting rid of Russell as well. Next, Coach talks to Russell's clan (with Jerri among them) and he hears Russell mention that he would like to see either Sandra or Courtney get voted off because it'll get rid of the weak and make the tribe strong. Coach respects Russell for his desire to keep the team strong (my god, Coach is being such an idiot here. You can't even put it into words. Based on that one comment, you think Russell cares about the TEAM? Are you flippin insane, Coach? Oh my goodness.). Once Russell realizes that he has tugged at Coach's heart strings, he brings up his real objective which is to get rid of Rob. Russell paints himself as the victim who wanted to work with Rob, but Rob wouldn't allow it (which is clearly not true). The girls in Russell's camp are also concerned about Rob's strategic abilities and how dominant he'll be at challenges once the merge comes. Russell's clan seems dead set on going after Rob, but they need Jerri and Coach to go along with it if they want to be successful in sending Rob home. Coach states that he doesn't want Rob to go and hates what is going on with this vote. Jerri talks to Rob later and he seems suspicious of what she'll do at tribal council. This makes Jerri reconsider her position as well. Jerri and Coach are the swing votes in this massive battle between two dominant individuals on the Villains tribe. When the Tribal Council occurs, it's clear that either Rob or Russell will be going home. But who will it be? Rob, Sandra, and Courtney vote out Russell. Danielle, Parvati, and Russell vote out Rob. We have three votes to take out Rob and three votes to take out Russell. Only two votes remain and they're from Coach and Jerri. Coach casts his vote for......Courtney (that's not a typo, ladies and gentleman. The idiot really did vote for someone he knew darn well wasn't going anywhere. Seriously, I could write a book on how stupid Coach is. It would be a bestseller too, lol). After Coach's incredibly ridiculous vote, we are down to Jerri. She will determine which of the two alpha males will be leaving her tribe here. After an epic battle that has lasted for weeks on our tv screens, Jerri finally ends it by casting her vote to get rid of..........Rob!!!!!! Rob is the eighth person voted out of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains. There are no words to express how shocked I was by this vote. Truly unbelievable. This is one of the most jaw-dropping moments in the show's history, that's for sure.
Going into this season, I always believed that Rob would go really far. He dominated the game last time he played, so I was sure he would survive for a long while due to his strategic acuity and his athletic ability in challenges. I really could not envision any scenario where Rob would be outsmarted. I just could not see him losing the firm control that he had in his tribe at all. And yet, the impossible actually happened. Very interesting. Now it's time for the million dollar question. Did the tribe make the right decision in voting Rob out? The message boards have exploded with opposition to this vote claiming this to be one of the dumbest moves in Survivor history. I, however, can not fully agree with that assessment. Sure, there are some big time negatives to making a move like this, but there are also extremely good positives that can come from it also. By voting out Rob, a lot of things are going to occur. On the negative side, the Villains tribe will most likely disintegrate and start losing challenges at a rapid pace. The infighting amongst the Villains will also destabilize the tribe to such a degree that they most likely won't be able to function properly anymore. Rob was clearly the glue that held this tribe together and without him, they will crumble quickly. In the short term, losing Rob is an incredibly bad choice for this tribe. However, in the long term, taking out Rob is a great move. If Rob had made it to the merge, he would've very easily lasted until the end. We know how dominant Rob was post-merge during the All-Stars season back in '04, so it's no doubt that the same thing would've happened this time around. Rob would've won many of the post merge individual immunities and his charm and likability, along with his performances throughout the game, could've easily won him the game had he made it past that point. The bottom line is this. With Rob in the game, it decreases everyone else's chances of winning significantly. Taking him out opens up the playing field. I will even go so far as to say that this was most likely the best time to get rid of Rob. Getting him out earlier than this would've been a terrible idea because the tribe would've lost many challenges without him. Getting him out later than this is too risky because once the merge hits, he would've been untouchable challenge wise and there never would've been an opportunity to take him out. This was the right time. He has done what he needed to do to keep the Villains tribe members safe and now, with the merge looming, better to take him out now before he really has a chance to seal up that million dollar check. Russell, Parvati, Danielle, and Jerri made a very controversial call that could come back to bite them, but I can't say it was a completely bad choice. If Rob was going to be taken out, it had to be at this point and they acted accordingly. I can't completely blame them for that.
I'd also like to mention that as great of a player as Rob is, I do feel that he made one very big mistake that ended up playing a major role in his departure from the game. That error occurred on Episode 3 of this season when Rob told his tribe to vote out Randy that night and not Parvati. At the time, I knew this was a major mistake that could come back and haunt the Villains. Boy, was I right. Without Parvati, it would've been much harder for Russell to gain a footing in his tribe and he almost certainly would've been voted out sooner, allowing Rob to maintain his control. It's hard to predict what Randy would've done had he lasted longer in the game, but it's safe to say that it's much safer having him around than Parvati and Rob should've known this. Now some of you might say that it's easy for me to see this since it is 20/20 hindsight. I disagree. Rob had more than enough evidence at the time that clearly told him that Parvati needed to go. But for some strange reason, he chooses to go after Randy (I guess it's because he's the oldest). There's even a moment in Episode 3 where Rob clearly says (and I'm paraphrasing here) "I'd rather see Randy go than Parvati." Parvati has friends on the Heroes tribe, which makes her incredibly dangerous. Hell, Parvati has WON this game before. She's clearly proven herself to be a strategic mastermind. Rob knew all of this at the time. And yet, you choose to take out Randy over Parvati? It didn't make sense then, it doesn't make sense now, and I strongly feel that if it weren't for that one error, Rob would've succeeded in getting Russell out eventually. Plain and simple. I feel that moment is a major catalyst for what happened in this episode. So again, as smart as Rob is, he does kind of have to blame himself a little for his demise. He allowed a major threat to remain, thus increasing Russell's powerbase (and yes, Rob did know that Russell and Parvati were working together, so he could've gotten rid of Parvati based on that alone at the time.) and allowing him the means to get the ball moving on getting Rob out. Also, for those of you who'll say "Maybe Rob had no control over sending Randy home", I highly disagree with this. Rob was clearly the leader, he had the say on episode 3, and he made the wrong call. This created the snowball effect that would eventually lead to his ouster. I like Rob a lot and thought he would come out on top, but it wasn't to be and it is partially his own fault. That's just the way it is.
I would also like to briefly discuss Russell for a moment. On the message boards, there are many individuals who feel that Russell once again should get no credit for what happened in this episode. People were hesitant to credit him with the whole Tyson debacle from last week and now, the same thing is happening with this Rob vote off. Last week, people felt Tyson's error was more due to his stupidity than anything Russell did (which is only partially true, but clearly, Russell played a major role in the Tyson dilemma.) and now, people are giving Jerri more credit for the vote off than Russell. While I agree that Russell should not receive all the credit for getting out Rob (Parvati, Danielle, and Jerri deserve credit also), I think it's utterly preposterous to not credit him for anything that happened. I believe that most of this negativity toward Russell's gameplay is due to the fact that most people simply don't like him and refuse to acknowledge that he did anything because of that. I'm fully aware that Russell is not a very nice person, but that doesn't change the fact that he played a role in a major coup d' etat here. No one believed he could pull this off, including me, but he did it. He did exactly what he said he was going to do. And while it will be annoying to hear him brag about it until kingdom come, he still deserves some accolades for this (not all, but some). That's why I can't hate on Russell too much at the moment. He literally helped pull off the impossible. That's pretty impressive in my book. His comment at the beginning of this episode says it all about Russell's personality. "I'm that good where I can bring people together in this game for MY good." Yes, he's annoying. Yes, he's full of himself. Yes, he's mean. Yes, he takes too much credit for things. But he backed it up in this episode. He deserves some credit for that.
Before I go, I want to mention Coach one last time. His vote for Courtney has got to be one of the silliest things I've seen on this show. In his mind, he probably thought that by voting out Courtney, it would wipe his hands clean in terms of having to choose between Rob and Russell. But in reality, Coach knew that his "throwaway" vote would be sending Rob home, so he's just as much at fault for betraying Rob as Jerri is. He can justify it anyway he wants, but Coach clearly screwed Rob over. Coach promised Rob that he would vote out Russell, but instead, he does a useless vote which ensured that Rob would get the four votes to go home. Right after the vote happened, Coach goes to hug Rob. But Rob turns away from Coach and says "You're a little man." I don't blame Rob at all for being mad at Coach. I would be too if I were in Rob's position. This right here is why Coach is a major hypocrite. He spends this entire episode talking about how much he loves Rob, but when push comes to shove, he gives Rob a one way ticket out the door in a manner that tries to make himself look like he had nothing to do with it. Sorry, but I don't buy it. The blood is on his hands as much as it is on Jerri's. He just won't admit it. I think that Russell's fake "Let's vote off Sandra or Courtney to make the team strong" speech had an effect on him and he was torn with which way to go. So he decides to choose neither, thinking that will make him nobler than his other tribemates, but he doesn't realize that it doesn't quite work that way. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Coach has no concept of how to play Survivor at all. He's in the dark and he'll never see the light. The sooner he gets voted off, the better. lol.
This ends a truly memorable episode of Survivor. A turning point has occurred and now, we will see where the game will go from here. Should be interesting. Till next time.
After the craziest Tribal Council in Survivor history, the Villains and Heroes returned to their camps as the game continued. Over at Villains beach the two sides were obvious. There was Rob/Sandra/Courtney, Russell/Danielle/Parvati and then we have Coach/Jerri. As Russell and his two gloated after voting off Tyson, the others were agitated about their big heads while Rob started to get paranoid. He now believed that Jerri/Coach were with Rob, and just pretending to hate him. It seemed as if he … more
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In the seventh episode of Survivor Heroes vs Villains the Heroes find their teamwork skills actually help while the Villains flounder in their first loss, forcing sides to be created and one shocking Tribal Council vote off.