In case you don’t remember what went down two weeks ago (thanks a lot NCAA Tournament!), here is a recap of the last episode of Survivor.
This week’s special Wednesday episode begins (surprise!) under a full moon at the Heroes camp after yet another Tribal Council. James asks Colby and Candice if they want a hug, but both demur. Candice is too busy being worried about what the rest of her tribe thinks about her vote. She confides that she voted for Tom because she didn’t want to make the remaining members of the tribe angry (Amanda, JT and Rupert; although the balance of power would be 3-3 in this case). At the Villains camp, neither Russell nor Boston Rob can sleep. Russell approaches Rob to tell him that he doesn’t want the two of them to be at each other’s throats. This is a ruse, however; Russell is just trying to make Rob feel safe. Rob can see right through Russell’s play, though. He tells Russell that the tribe is mad at him for going after the hidden immunity idol. Russell claims he doesn’t have the idol, but Rob suspects differently. Rob tells the camera that he wants to show Russell that he is out of his league, and make him paranoid to throw him off his game. The two Villains alpha dogs leave it by telling each other that each must watch his back.
The Heroes receive Tree Mail, and are told to prepare for a challenge, with no mention of whether it is for reward or immunity. Colby’s mind isn’t on is own performance, however; he wants to know what the challenge will mean for James’ time in the game. The tribes make their way to the challenge. Most of the Villains, especially Parvati, are surprised to see Tom was voted out instead of James. They are even more surprised when Jeff informs them that the teams will each be competing separately for individual immunity. In a replay of a challenge from Survivor: Tocantins, with each tribe competing amongst itself and not the other tribe, each player is clipped to a rope that winds over, under and through a structure. The first player from each tribe to complete their course wins individual immunity for the Tribal Council both teams will be attending that evening. The two winners will also face off to win a reward: hot dogs and sodas for the winner’s tribe, to be served at the opposing team’s Tribal Council. The Villains win the coin toss (the Heroes can’t even win that!), and pick the Heroes to go first. Survivors ready…go!
Amanda takes the early lead, with Candice and, surprisingly, James close behind. Candice takes the lead with a surging JT making his way into second place at the end of the first half of the structure. The small and agile Candice is too much, however, and is the first to touch the finish pole. Candice wins Immunity! With Colby bringing up the rear, even to the hobbled James, JT notes that Colby must be thinking he is going home. The Villains are up next. Rob, Tyson, and Russell take the early lead, with Sandra and Jerri bringing up a distant rear. Parvati speeds to the front of the pack, at one point taking the lead over Russell and Tyson. It’s Boston Rob that is first to the finish though, just ahead of Tyson. Rob wins Immunity! After a brief rest, Rob and Cnadice face off on a three-story structure to win the reward. Will it be strength or agility that will prevail? Rob takes an early, but small lead. As the two climb up the structure and flip over rails (with helpful blurring of Candice’s crotch), Rob maintains his small lead. Candice seems to run out of gas, Rob pulls ahead, and touches the finish first. Villains win Reward! The Villains will attend Tribal Council first, and after voting out one of their members, will stay to watch the Heroes’ Tribal Council and enjoy the hot dogs and sodas. As the tribes head back to their camps, Colby notes that with Candice winning immunity, he knows that it is going to be he who goes home tonight.
The Villains return to their beach, psyched about the upcoming hot dog feast. Immediately, all of the Villains save Russell, Parvati and Danielle, confer over their vote. They all agree that it’s time for Parvati to go home. Russell is a big threat too, but Parvati has too many friends in the game. Rob notes that they need to make Russell think he’s the one going home so he will play his hidden immunity idol. Coach confides to the camera that he is torn. He gave his word to both Rob and Russell, and as everyone knows, a Slayer always stays true to his word. Later, Rob and Russell have another summit. Rob warns Russell that if he hasn’t found the idol yet, he better do so soon because he’s in some danger. Russell insists that he doesn’t have it. “It’s been nice playing with you then,” says Rob before walking off. Russell can only smile because he knows the play Rob is making. Russell goes to Parvati and Danielle and tells them that he figures Rob brazenly telling Russell that he is going home really means that they are targeting Parvati. He tells Parvati that he will give her his immunity idol, and that the three of them should vote for Tyson, so when Parvati’s votes are nullified, Tyson will be the one sent home.
Back at the Heroes camp, there is no strategy going on. Colby knows he’s the one going home, so he tells his tribemates to not run around scrambling. Everyone should just enjoy the afternoon, and vote him out, but make sure they don’t reveal anything damaging to the Villains who will be watching at Tribal Council. James asks Colby if he really wants to be there. James would have no problem keeping Colby if the man James regards as one of the most badass players ever actually seemed to care. He just doesn’t seem like the old Colby. The other members of the Heroes tribe, however, know that James isn’t the same man with his bum knee. JT, Amanda, Candice and Rupert contemplate voting out James so they can have the strongest five-man tribe possible. Amanda tries to defend James’ ability, even with his injury, but eventually has to run to the gravedigger to tell him of the tribe’s concerns. She tells him that he needs to prove he can run, and moreover, he needs to stop taking three or four bananas at a time, one of Rupert’s major complaints. There is evidently “Banana Etiquette” in the tribe, and James is in constant violation. James announces that he will be conducting the Hero Olympics, and challenges Rupert to a footrace. Rupert, wisely, notes that if James were to race Rupert, James has already won. James eventually ropes in JT for a race along the beach. They go, and while James makes a great effort, JT beats him handily…backwards. James insists that he has no pain in his knee, but it is clear he is a physical liability. But, Colby just doesn’t express any desire to be there. JT notes that in this game you need to put friendships aside and coldly decide which of these two is more valuable to the tribe?
Just prior to Tribal Council, Rob realizes he needs to guard against Russell’s use of the immunity idol. If he gives it to Parvati, someone in his alliance will be sent packing. He instructs his sheep that they should split their votes: three for Russell and three for Parvati. That way, if the idol is played, the worst result would be a tie, and then the alliance can all vote for whomever is left over amongst Russell and Parvati. Rob has picked up that Russell’s alliance will be going after Tyson, who is close to Rob, so he needs to make sure he can’t be back-doored. At the end of this discussion, Russell asks to speak to Tyson. He informs Tyson that although Russell would protect Parvati if he could, he can’t, so he’s going to vote for her and stay with the majority. Tyson confides that this is good news for him because he wants Parvati gone desperately. Tyson can now switch his vote to her, and just get rid of her with no danger of a tie vote. Back alone, Russell wonders if Rob’s alliance is smart enough to pull off the three-way three-vote gambit. Of course not, but should he give Parvati his idol if they are smart enough?
Off to the Villains’ Tribal Council. Jeff asks Jerri and Rob what has changed since they first played the game. Jerri says that the alliance building starts immediately and that actual survival skills don’t seem to mean anything anymore. Rob responds, “Hidden Immunity Idols!” immediately, Sandra(?) pipes up and declares that Russell has said hidden idol. Russell, of course, denies possession. Jeff asks Parvati who the biggest threat is, to which she answers Tyson because he’s a funny, charming guy with a lot of friends in the game. Jeff also asked Courtney something, but without a challenge for her to sit out, I forgot she was in the game so I didn’t write down what she said (sorry Courtney!). It’s time to vote. While writing their votes, Rob says to Russell, “Welcome to the big leagues!” and Sandra spits out some venom about how much she hates Russell. Jeff brings back the votes and asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol, now is the time. After an oh so dramatic commercial break, Russell rises and walks to Jeff. He pulls out the idol, but before handing it over, he turns to Coach and says that like the Dragon Slayer, he wants to stay true to his word. Russell moves to Parvati and hands her his immunity idol! Is this Erik from Survivor: Micronesia all over again? Even Parvati is shocked, “Are you serious?!?” Rob does all he can to keep from laughing hysterically at his rival, but it is time to read the votes. Two votes are for Russell, then three votes for Parvati. Then there’s a fourth vote for Parvati. Someone broke with Rob’s plan, and he looks a perfect blend of confused and angry about it. Two votes come out for Tyson, so there is one to go. “The sixth person voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains…Tyson!” As Tyson marches off into the Blue Light of Death, the Villains are shocked, with Danielle summing it up perfectly, “What just happened?” Russell’s devilish smile speaks volumes. The confused tribe makes their way to the jury seats so they can enjoy their hot dogs and the Heroes can be brought in. Tyson comments that he himself was his undoing. He was the fourth vote for Parvati, and it lead to his downfall. Don’t worry about Tyson though. He’ll be OK. “I’m still pretty awesome,” says the…confident evictee.
The Heroes enter and are a bit surprised to see Tyson gone, although that surprise is quickly wiped away when they see and smell the hot dog feast the Villains are enjoying. In fact, Rupert is staring at the food, even when Jeff is asking him questions. If Rupert raised his gaze a bit, he’d see Rob absolutely stewing in his seat over what just happened. Jeff asks Rupert about the Villains’ dominance thus far, to which the pirate notes the Villains are showing the Heroes how to play the game. Jeff moves to James and asks about his value in light of his injury, and James tells of his fabled race against JT. Jeff asks Colby what it’s like to be on the outside of the tribe, and he remarks that he figures he’s going home, but that he wants to stay. He also tells of his and James’ conversation on the same topic. Jeff asks James if he really asked Colby whether he wants to be in the game. James replies that he only asked because Colby was James’ Superman, but he found out that this Superman wears a girdle. He thought Colby didn’t have the drive to be there anymore and he wanted to be proven wrong. James wants to be there very badly despite his injury. He recounts his race again and the new “banana etiquette” he learned (this send the Villains into fits of laughter). It’s time to vote, so the Villains have to swallow what they have in their mouths, grab their torches and head out. The Heroes vote, and Jeff brings the ballots back. One vote for James, one vote for Colby. Two more votes for James, and the writing is on the wall. “The seventh person voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains…James!” Once again, the gravedigger is forced out of the game before his time because of an injury. Jeff notes that although an alliance may have been broken, hopefully, the tribe is now unified. “Grab your torches and head back to camp.”
Next time on..Survivor…back on Thursday!!
Having been played at Tribal Council, the Wrath of Rob will be visited upon Russell. Rob compares Russell to a suicide bomber. “If you don’t care about your own fate, you’ll do anything.” As the Heroes aren’t shown in the preview at all, I’ll go out on a limb and say the Villains will actually lose the Immunity Challenge and head to Tribal Council.
Odds to Win
Like that little basketball tournament also airing on CBS, this week’s Survivor featured a Number One seed going down. I have to say, I’m shocked Tyson was voted out. He has had virtually no screen time the entire season, so I figured they’d build him up with some story before his ouster. All we received was one talking head about how he might vote for Parvati. Very unexpected. James’ being voted out though, was not. It was clear he couldn’t move well, so if the Heroes had any hope to not be annihilated at the Merge, they had to keep the guy that could actually run. So, how do these votes effect the odds?
Coach: 5-1. It seems the Dragon Slayer has chosen what side he is on (Rob’s), but despite his professions of honor and loyalty, I think he’s smart enough to stab Rob in the back if need be. Plus I could see him teaming up with JT at the Merge.
Danielle: 6-1. Danielle was pretty much absent from the episode again. She drops to number two not because of anything she did or didn’t do, but because of Coach’s move.
Rob: 15-1. Two more players down, two players closer to victory for Boston Rob. He got outwitted by Russell, but he still has the numbers. Remember, an angry Rob is a very dangerous Rob.
Courtney: 20-1. Courtney moves ahead of Jerri because…uh…why not? They’re practically interchangeable so far this season. How about because she actually competed in a challenge.
Jerri: 21-1. See: Courtney above. Although, I should put her higher than Courtney because she actually had some insight into the changes in the game since she first played. It actually really made me miss those early days when survival skills were important.
Amanda: 40-1. She lost a major ally in James, but still has the potential of pairing up with Parvati at the Merge. Also, no one on her tribe seems to hate her, and she’s good in challenges, so she has the best shot of the undermanned Heroes.
Candice: 55-1. With Colby still in the tribe, Candice gains a little bit of power, and more options. She proved herself very capable physically with her individual immunity win so if the Heroes can maintain their numbers, her prospects aren’t as gloomy as they were.
Colby: 80-1. Ye, Colby dodged a huge bullet because if James had two functioning legs, Colby would definitely be gone. But, he’s received a second life, and I think will be much more motivated because of it. Like Candice, if the Heroes can rattle off a couple wins, he is the archetypal Merge Flipper — move from the bottom of a tribe to swing vote in the merged tribe. And undoubtedly, Coach and Jerri will want to bring him into the fold.
JT: 150-1. Of all the previous winners remaining, JT still has the best shot as he is the strongest player and most genial of all the millionaires there.
Sandra: 200-1. Sandra’s random outburst at Russell is stereotypical of her caustic attitude. I have a big feeling that her mouth is going to get her in trouble post-Merge.
Parvati: 300-1. She clearly has Russell wrapped around her finger, but she’s still obviously a major target. She has to pray she gets to the Merge with Amanda, Russell and Danielle still in the game.
Russell: 350-1. Round 1 to Russell Hantz. His understanding of not only the game, but Rob and Tyson’s psyches, allowed him to expertly out-maneuver his chief rival. Like Parvati, though, he’s still deeply in the minority of his tribe. If he can somehow knock off a couple other Villains, he will stat shooting up the odds board.
Rupert: 100,000-1. Every time someone else goes home, I’m forced by the laws of mathematics to give Rupert a better shot at winning the game.
Alright, that’s it for this week Survivor fans. What did you think about this week’s episode? What was the most shocking moment? Tyson going home, Russell’s plan working, or Courtney actually competing in a challenge? What do you think of my new odds? Hey, even number one seeds get knocked out some times (just ask Kansas!). Please leave your thoughts, comments and theories below. Remember, the show will be returning to it’s regular time slot next week: Thursday at 8:00pm EDT/PDT. Please check out TVOverMind for all of your TV needs, and check back here next Friday for the new recap. Until then, I’m off to hug Jeff Probst.