Last week’s incredible, Russell-confounding episode is recapped here, in case you missed it.
This week’s episode begins in the Yin Yang tribe after JT’s torch snuffing. Rupert tells his alliance that he tried to get them to all vote for Russell, but ot no avail. Candice compliments the Villains on their move to oust JT. Russell asks Sandra if she knew that Parvati had two idols, but Sandra pleads innocence. So, Russell turns to Parvati and asks her about her second idol and why she lied to him. Parvati swears there was nothing underhanded at play, but Russell points out that she sure did take the idol from him quickly. Parvati doesn’t see that any harm was done. She confides to the camera that Russell is just mad that he isn’t in control. He likes to think of himself as the Godfather of Survivor, but he’s not. Russell is scared about losing his power, and that’s exactly why Parvati pulled the move she did.
The next morning, Rupert tells Amanda that he will talk to Sandra and try to peel her away from the Villains. He tells the camera that he tried to tell the Heroes not to trust Russell, but they did anyway. Sandra had opened the door to the Heroes once, he can only hope she will open it a second time. Meanwhile, Candice approaches Russell and compliments him againon the moves at the last Tribal Council. Russell tells her that he wants to pull her into his alliance, and that if someone is going to shake up the game, now is the best time to take the jump. Russell admits to the camera that he is trying to pull Candice into his alliance because he fears Sandra is going to jump to the Heroes. If Sandra does, but he pulls Candice over, the Villains will retain their 5-4 advantage. Russell tells Candice that she will have a strong possibility of getting to the Top 3 if she joins them. Candice does seem to be buying what Russell is selling. After their conversation, Russell returns to Parvati and informs her that he believes Candice is going to flip to their side.
Time for the Reward Challenge. Last seen in Survivor: Tocantins, the tribe is divided in three teams of three. Each player will slide a puck down a shuffleboard board and try to get closest to an “X.” After each player goes, a second round of pucks are thrown. The team with a puck closest to the “X” wins reward. They are playing for an overnight trip to the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum for a viewing of the classic movie Treasure Island. Parvati confides that she needs to win the challenge because she figures there will be a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol at the museum. Lots are chosen to pick the teams. On the Black team are Candice, Jerri and Parvati. The Red team is Rupert, Russell and Sandra. The Blue team is Amanda, Danielle and Colby. Each player slides their first puck, with the Red team having the two closest pucks after the first round, thanks to Russell. The second round commences with Candice trying to knock out the red puck, but she misses. Sandra wastes her throw, but Danielle is able to knock one of the Red pucks away. Parvati’s throw is terrible, and Russell purposefully slides his puck short to try to protect his team’s closest puck (it’s a shame this season was recorded before all the great Curling coverage during the Olympics!). Amanda, Jerri and Rupert slide their pucks short. Colby remains with the Red team’s puck closest. Colby takes aim, slides his puck, knocks it off a stray black puck and lands right on the “X” Blue team wins Reward!
Colby, Amanda and Danielle head to the museum for their reward. A curator shows them the numerous original novels Stevenson wrote, and the other furnishings in his home, but Amanda isn’t paying attention. She knows there’s a clue for the Hidden Immunity Idol around somewhere, so she has to find it. The three players end up sharing a bed while munching on popcorn and watching Treasure Island. Again, Amanda is paying not attention to the movie because she is looking for the clue. Danielle, too, is searching for the clue, and eyes the bowl of popcorn she and Colby are eating from. She slyly digs her fingers down into the bowl and feels something. Smoothly, she extracts the clue from the bowl and tries to hide it under the bed. Amanda sees the move and immediately asks Danielle what she is hiding. When Danielle replies that she is hiding nothing, Amanda springs from the bed, runs around to Danielle’s side and grabs the clue. What ensues is one of the most ridiculous sights ever on Survivor: a whiny, catfight between two six-year olds. Colby just looks on in amazement as Amanda refuses to give the clue back, and Danielle whines about it. To stop the literal wrestling for the clue, Colby tells Amanda to give it back to Danielle, which she does.
The trio head back to camp the next morning in the pouring rain. Danielle tells her alliance that she found the clue and that she had to wrestle Amanda to keep it. Russell and Danielle decide to go try to find it, and like a pig sniffing out a truffle, Russell finds the idol; however, as Danielle’s back is turned to him, Russell hides the idol in his pocket, and quickly returns to camp. The King of Hidden Immunity Idols does it again! When he returns to the beach, he seeks out Candice and tells her about his find, ostensibly to show Candice he trusts her. She, wisely, asks to actually see the idol, so he takes her to where he hid it. Upon seeing Russell is for real, Candice swears to Russell that she trusts him (and twelve million hands slap their foreheads at home).
Sandra takes a walk with Colby, and tells hom how all of the Villains’ votes went down. Further, she tells him that ifshe flips, Danielle, Russel of Parvati will go home. Colby tells Sandra that he assumes Danielle has the idol as she found the clue (really, Colby? Because no one everhands idols to other people!), but they should be able to get rid of Russell or Parvati if they can convince the Villains that Sandra isn’t flipping. When she returns to camp, Russell asks Sandra if she’s been talking to the Heroes. She replies in the negative, but Russell isn’t so sure. He tells her that he has six votes locked up if she stays with him. If she votes against Russell, it will be really bad for her as he’ll still have the numbers advantage. Sandra immediately runs to Rupert that Russell implied he has flipped one of the Hero girls. They relay this information to Amanda and Colby, who tell Sandra that they will vote for whomever Sandra says. But is Sandra bluffing them for the Villains, Colby wonders.
The Immunity Challenge. In a replay of the final Immunity Challenge in Survivor: Gabon, each player has 150 wooden tiles, with which they must build a "house of cards." First to ten feet wins immunity. Ten minutes into the challenge, Jerri and Russell are leading. Jerri is the first to six feet, but Russell catches up to her at eight feet. At this point, the other contestants may as well watch as they aren’t even close. Jerri and Russell are even at nine-and-a-half feet. Russell moves to add his final tiles, but having thrown one to the ground earlier, runs out! He has to jump off his ladder to retrieve the missing tile. Jerri tries to create a “V” out of her final two tiles to reach the height, but can’t get them to stand. Russell bounds back up the ladder, and attempts to stand his last tile on end, while Jerri tries her “V” again. It’s a race within seconds between the two, but….Jerri wins Immunity! In three seasons of Survivor, this is Jerri’s first individual immunity win. As the tribe heads back to camp, Sandra confides that she is voting for Russell out of revenge for Courtney, Boston Rob, Tyson, and even Coach, although she didn’t like him very much.
Back on their beach, Russell tells the camera that he thinks Rupert and Colby have checked out of the game, and that Candice is on his side, so he has to vote out Amanda, a wily player much akin to Rob. Russell finds Candice and asks her if she is OK with voting out Amanda. Candice has no problem as Amanda has crossed Candice too many times (Really? When? Did she really “cross” Candice at the beginning of the game when Candice’s three-person alliance was in the Heroes minority? Seems two of them are still in the game, she and Colby.). Candice confides that with her belief that Russell might pass off the immunity idol, it would be best to go with him, as that is the most solid plan that keeps her safe. Russell asks Candice who the Heroes who they are voting for that night. Candice is a terrible actress so she doesn’t even try to lie (and shows that she is with Russell at this point) — the Heroes are voting for him. Candice then speaks with Parvati and Danielle. Parvati notes that it’s weird that Amanda is just lying down and accepting her fate. Candice responds that Amanda must feel she’s safe and doesn’t need to scramble for votes.
With the information gleaned from Candice, Russell approaches Sandra and asks if she’s voting for him. Of course not! she replies. He reminds Sandra what it would mean to vote against him; Amanda is the only choice. Sandra immediately runs to Rupert, telling him that Candice told Russell about the Heroes’ vote. Rupert says they are now back to Square One (although Mathman is nowhere to be found), and the he needs to try to keep everyone calm. The Heroes decide to vote for Parvati, and get assurances from Candice that she is still with them. Colby goes as far as saying that if their plan doesn’t work, it’s Candice’s fault. Sandra and Candice then start talking privately. Russell tries to come talk to them, but Sandra shoos him away. Sandra wants to know what Candice wants to do. Sandra put her neck out for the Heroes and now Candice is screwing the whole thing up, leaving Sandra exposed. Candice is waffling, unsure of what to do. Growing impatient, Sandra finally implores Candice, “Just tell me who you want out, please!” The question is left unanswered as they go to…
…Tribal Council. Jeff brings in the jury: Coach (clad in a baseball cap), Courtney and JT, who can only smile and put his head in his hands. Jeff begins Tribal Council by asking Ruperthas figured out who is vulnerable to flipping to the other side. Rupert says yes, but says there is no reason to flip; if someone does, that person will still be in fifth in his or her new alliance. Jeff turns the same question to Russell, who identifies Sandra as a potential defector, but he has no intention of voting her out. She’s weak in challenges, and as a former winner, likely won’t win the game, so he’d love to take her to the finals. When Jeff asks Russell about how strong the Villains alliance really is, Russell admits that they all play the game differently, running through the attributes of Jerri, Danielle, Parvati, and of course, himself. Sandra points out that he didn’t mention her. Russell amends his previous statement and says “Sandra is just there with us.” Jeff asks Colby about a potential hidden immunity idol. Colby, learning nothing about making bold assumptions from the “women’s alliance” incident, boldly proclaims that Danielle has the idol. Hearing this, Jeff asks Parvati if she feels vulnerable then, to which she admits she does. Jeff asks Russell the same question, and if whether he is a target because he doesn’t have the idol. Russell says that unless he finds an idol, he is definitely a target, but he is a risk-taker, so he will continue to take risks to get farther in the game. It’s time to vote. The players do (Parvati and Amanda vote for each other), and Jeff gathers the votes. Jeff asks if anyone wants to play an idol, and Russell rises, to, really, everyone’s shock. Russell says he thinks he knows what’s going on tonight, so he will play the idol on his own behalf. Any vote cast for Russell will not count. Two votes for Amanda, but then a vote for Parvati. Parvati’s eyes get really wide, which sends Courtney into a bout of laughter. A second vote for Parvati. A vote for Amanda, then one for Parvati. A fourth vote for Amanda. “The twelfth person voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and the fourth member of the jury…Amanda!” Amanda grabs her torch and bring sit to Jeff, saying that she knows he’s been waiting a long time for this. For the first time in her Survivor career, Amanda’s torch is snuffed, and she heads into the Blue Light of Death. Parvati is upset that Russell played his idol, telling him that he wasted it. Jeff says that one thing is clear, the Villains are not one big happy family, and sends them back to camp.
Next time on…Survivor!
The Villains alliance is fraying, as we see Russell telling Parvati “If you do that again, you’re out of this game.” Then there is scrambling and threats being made between Russell and Danielle, Parvati and Jerri, and Russell and Jerri. With Sandra sticking with, and Candice flipping to the Villains, Rupert and Colby appear to be dead in the water. With what appears to be very visible fissures in the Villains’ alliance, the remaining Heroes may be able to exploit the dissension in the ranks and oust Parvati or Russell. Will the hidden immunity idol now be taken out of the game? I certainly hope so; three of them is enough for one game. While this has been an incredible season, we might actually move to and even greater level of intensity as Russell and Parvati will be forced to face off against each other. Individual immunity wins are going to be incredibly important because if Russell or Parvati can’t secure the immunity necklace, there is going to be a huge target on their backs. We are, however, also getting to the endgame of this season. Russell spoke a bit of his plan by admitting that taking Sandra to the end might be a good thing based on her previous win. Will he try to bring Sandra and Parvati all the way to the end so he can argue he’s the only one who hasn’t won? What about replacing one of them with Rupert? Intriguing choices that will be percolating to the surface soon.
Odds to Win
Jerri: 4-1.Jerri jumps to the top of the odds board because she is clearly no one’s priority at the moment. With Russell and Parvati headed for a showdown, Jerri is just not being targeted at the moment. Plus, with her Immunity win, she can’t be accused of floating through the game. If she can make it to the final Tribal Council, Jerri will be the hands down favorite to win as the sentimental choice, especially against any of these other players, except, maybe, Colby. Will the other players notice this before it’s too late?
Danielle: 8-1. Danielle will be forced to make a choice soon between her mom and dad in the coming Parvati/Russell divorce, but she’s played a strong game, and might have an Individual Immunity win or two in her. It might be hard for her to win the game, based on the other two in the Top 3 as she’ll be accused of riding coattails, but she has a great chance to be in the Top 3, and remember, you gotta be in it to win it.
Candice: 18-1. Candice drops down because she made, what I believe to be a stupid move. She effectively went from position #4 in the Heroes alliance, to #6 in the Villains alliance. There is a slight possibility that Russell is telling her the truth, but if she stopped to really think about it, why would Russell want to bring her to the Top 3? She can point to a well-played physical game, and not just being a floater, and can therefore win jury votes. Russell really has no incentive to take her to the end. That being said, she does have the skills to win Individual Immunity to save herself if necessary. Plus, she might be able to grovel her way back into the Heroes’ good graces and join Colby, Rupert and Sandra to oust Russell.
Sandra:30-1. Sandra moves up the board because I think, at this point in the game, there is a very good chance she’ll be taken to the end as a former winner. If so, Sandra is an expert talker and I think she could really win some votes when she describes the moves she made to actually get to the end. With a favorable Top 3 (probably Russell and Parvati), her prospects for winning are getting better.
Colby: 35-1. Colby needs to keep his mouth shut at Tribal Council. Why anyone playing Survivor makes broad proclamations that they aren’t 100% about, I will never know. Has he checked out of the game? I don’t think so, but I do think the game may move too fast for him now. When he originally played, shifting alliances and hidden immunity idols didn’t exist. I just don’t think he can grasp these new wrinkles to the game. Add in the fact that he is still a physical threat to win immunity, and I think if Russell can maintain his alliance one more week, Colby will be ousted.
Russell:50-1. He really is a master of this game. The way he worked over Candice and Sandra to keep them on his side was rather brilliant. In a head to head with Parvati, I think he’s got the larger back-up (Candice, Sandra, and maybe Jerri. Parvati only solidly has Danielle), so I like him to come out of that battle. The only thing that dooms Russell if he gets to the end though, will be the same thing that led to his undoing in Samoa: a bitter jury. I wouldn’t be surprised if, for the second time in a row, bitter fools who were voted out because of Russell’s moves refuse to give him the win.
Parvati: 70-1. Parvati’s headed to a major battle with Russell for control of the game. As noted above, she has Danielle solidly on her side, but does she have anyone else? I think her only path to victory is to bring Rupert and Sandra, two former million dollar winners, but can she maneuver the moves required to bring those two?
Rupert:72-1. The Heroes are all but obliterated. He is still a somewhat minor threat to win an individual immunity based on strength, but I still think there’s no way he can win a final vote. His best bet is to be against Russell and Parvati, but one of those two will cut the other before the Top 3. Then again, most of the contestants would want to be up against Rupert in the final Tribal Council, so, you never know!
Alright, that’s it for this week. What did you think of the episode? Good move by Candice, or shortsighted? Do Colby and Rupert have any chance of getting to the end? Who do you think will win the impending Russell vs. Parvati war? Any opinion on the new Odds? Please leave your thought and comments below. Be sure to check out TVOvermindfor all of your TV needs, and come back next Friday for another recap. Until then, I’m off to go swimming in “Yay!”