Recap – Survivor 20.12 “Sinking Ship”

Did you miss Candice flip to Russell’s alliance last week, and Amanda’s elimination? Check out a recap here.

This week’s episode of Survivor begins with the Yin Yang tribe returning to camp after eliminating Amanda. Jerri is thankful that Candice flipped to the Villains, but she doesn’t trust anyone who would so readily flip on her alliance like that. The Villains don’t need her now, so they should just get rid of her at the next opportunity. Rupert laments to Colby that they had everything working, except for their own Heroes. “Candice killed us.” The next morning, Rupert confides to the camera that Russell is a deceitful person. In fact, he’s worse than Jonny Fairplay. Rupert decides that he needs to show the Villains what a disgusting person Russell is, so he picks a fight with Russell around the campfire. Rupert can’t believe Russel would swear on his kids’ lives (the emptiest promise in all of reality television). “You’re disgusting,” Rupert continues. Russell at first laughs off the attacks, but eventually goes after Rupert. Does the pirate think Russell actually cares what he thinks of him? Does he think Russell really cares about Rupert? Nope. “I’m a Villain,” Russell relishes. “You’re not the Second Coming of Christ, Rupert.” Russell confides that he now wants Rupert gone immediately. It’s time for him to gather his tie-dye because Rupert’s gone.

The tribe makes their way to the first challenge, but it’s not a Reward Challenge — it’s an Immunity Challenge. In a replay of a challenge from Survivor: Micronesia won by Parvati, players will stand with one arm above their head. Tied to their wrist is a rope that is attached to a bucket of thick, colored liquid (watered-down paint?). Lowering one’s arm will cause the bucket to empty its contents. Last person left wins immunity. To make it a little harder, the players stand on a narrow perch. Further, Jeff will bring out temptations periodically to induce eliminations. Lastly, there is a twist to be discovered after the challenge. The players take their positions and the challenge is on. One minute in, Jeff brings out the first, covered temptation. Immediately, Sandra and Russell say they’ll drop out. Jeff is incredulous; he hasn’t even revealed the temptation yet! No matter, Sandra and Russell want it, so they drop out. Their prize? Cookies and milk. Twenty minutes into the game, Jeff emerges with another temptation. This time it’s donuts and iced coffee. If no one claims it in thirty seconds, it goes to Sandra and Russell. Colby jumps off and claims his the food (What?!? Colby, you are likely the next target for elimination! His head is so not in this game). Fifteen minutes later, Candice whispers to Danielle that someone has to beat Rupert. Does Danielle think Parvati can outlast him? She does. Jeff reveals another temptation: peanut butter and jelly, a bowl of candy and milk. Candice, Danielle and Jerri immediately jump off, leaving Parvati to battle Rupert. An hour and ten minutes into the challenge, Parvati and Rupert remain. Danielle points out that Rupert’s (gross) feet are starting to move around a lot. Rupert seems uncomfortable on the narrow perch. He slips, falls off his perch, and his bucket empties on his head. Parvati wins Immunity! Rupert immediately thinks that he’s going home tonight because Colby seems to have checked out of the game. Before Jeff sends them back to camp, he reveals a scroll. He reads the scroll: a clue to another(!) Hidden Immunity Idol, and then sends them to their beach.

As soon as the players return, they immediately head out into the jungle to find the idol. Under a “burning bush” (really, it just has red leaves), Sandra finds the idol. She tries to pocket it, but it is way too bulky in her shorts, so she hides it back in the same place she found it!! If anyone can tell me why this was a good move, please enlighten me. Rupert decides that if he can’t find the idol, it is probably best to make everyone else think he has found it. So, he finds an idol-sized rock and puts it in his pocket. Surprisingly, this little ruse actually works. Russell sees Rupert’s bulging pants (get your mind out of the gutter!) and thinks Rupert has found the idol. He tells his alliance that it doesn’t matter. They should split their six votes evenly for Rupert and Colby, that way, one of them will go home. No muss, no fuss. Russell then tells Sandra that Rupert has the idol, which, of course, is amusing news to her. Parvati, Danielle and Jerri talk about Russell’s split-the-votes plan, but wonder if they should vote for Candice instead of Colby. Colby is terrible at challenges and Candice can’t be trusted so they should maybe vote for her. Obviously not aware of their surroundings, they don’t notice Colby listening to their conversation. Showing he has a little left in the tank, Colby tells Rupert about the split vote idea and the girls’ desire to remove Candice. If Colby and Rupert vote for Candice, that will be five votes, and she’ll be leaving…

…Tribal Council. Jeff asks Rupert about the last Tribal Council and what he thought of the vote. Rupert says that it was Candice’s fault because she jumped to the Villains, causing Canidce eyes to almost get stuck in the back of her head from rolling so hard. She explains that it was clear Amanda was going home, so there was no reason to be on a sinking ship. Colby calls B.S., saying he doesn’t respect Candice for giving that excuse. Russell comes to her defense saying it was a good vote because at some point the Villains are going to have to turn on each other and Candice put herself in a position to be a swing vote. Jeff then asks Rupert about how people reacted back at camp after the clue was given at the challenge. Rupert says they all went looking for it, and when Jeff asks whether Rupert thinks anyone found it, Rupert replies, “Well, I stayed out in the jungle until I felt comfortable.” This earned a wry smile from Russell. Russell says something about Rupert and Colby not giving up, and then it’s time to vote. They vote, and Jeff gathers the ballots. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol. Rupert fondles his pants (Again! Gutter!), but doesn’t play anything, obviously. Jeff reads the votes. The first three are for Rupert. Then two for Candice (Rupert and Colby’s votes). Then there is a third for Candice, and a fourth. Russell is confused. “The thirteenth person voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and the fifth member of our jury…Candice!” Candice has her torch snuffed and makes her way into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff tells the tribe that it is a risky move to betray trust to gain someone else’s trust. As the tribe heads back to camp, Candice confides that she was thrown under the bus by the women, but that Karma will get ya.

The next morning, Russell tells the camera that it was a terrible decision to eliminate Candice instead of Rupert or Colby. The girls let their emotions get in the way, and that is not the way to successfully play Survivor. The girls say that they don’t believe Rupert has the idol. Russell, seeing them talk amongst themselves, admits that he thought he was in control of the game, but it is really he and Parvati that are in control, which is a situation that needs to be remedied. Perhaps after the next…

…Immunity Challenge. Each of the players will dig in the sand to find a peg. They will places that peg in a board and maneuver it through a maze. Once the peg is freed, it is to be used to smash a tile. First five players to smash their tile advance to the next leg of the challenge. The five players will receive four pegs to be used to scale a steep ramp. The first three to reach the top will advance to the final leg, a sliding-tile puzzle. Survivors ready…go! They all dig, with Rupert, Sandra and Parvati the first to retrieve their pegs. They are followed by Danielle, Russell, Jerri, and a very far behind Colby. Rupert quickly negotiates the puzzle and smashes his tile. Sandra, Russell, Parvati and Danielle follow him and advance to the second leg. Jeff starts the leg and each player grabs their pegs. Jeff points out that they don’t necessarily need to use all of the pegs, so Rupert tries to run up the ramp to stick the peg into a higher hole. He slides back down, but Russell is successful at this strategy. He quickly scales the ramp to advance to leg three. Rupert’s second attempt to run up the ramp is more fruitful as he gets to the top, quickly followed by Parvati. Jeff starts the final leg and Rupert and Russell quickly jump out to a lead. Parvati is very far behind as the men fight to move the last few pieces, but Russell is a tad faster. Jeff checks his puzzle…Russell wins Immunity!

The tribe returns to their beach in the pouring rain. Parvati confides that she wants Rupert gone, and doesn’t feel abd about it. She wants the Heroes eliminated, and laughs manicallyto emphasize this point. Russell tells the camera that he sees that Danielle and Parvati are clearly a team when it’s supposed to be he and Parvati aligned. So, Russell approaches Danielle and tells her that Parvati is maneuvering to eliminate her, so they should get rid of Parvati tonight. Russell then goes to Parvati and gives her the same story about Danielle. The problem is, Parvati wants to confront Danielle about what she supposedly said. Russell loses it. Why would Parvati want to do that? “If you do,” Russell threatens Parvati, “you’re out of the game!” Parvati gets indignant (rightfully), and tells Russell not to yell at her because she is not voting for Danielle. Parvati and Danielle later talk to each other and figure out that Russell had been playing both of them. They resolve to eliminate Russell as soon as they can. Russell, for his part, is determined to get Danielle out. He goes to Colby and Rupert about eliminating Danielle. Meanwhile, Parvati and Danielle seek out Jerri and warn her not to switch her vote, no matter what Russell tells her. She swears allegiance to the girls, but is then approached by Russell. He warns Jerri that if she doesn’t vote for Danielle, Jerri will be the next one out. Not that Russell is threatening her, he’d never get rid of her. He’s just letting her know. It’s now time to go to…

Tribal Council. Jeff brings in the jury, and asks Rupert who is running the show in the tribe. Rupert immediately points our Russell and Parvati. Danielle insists that is not true, but rather decisions are made by the tribe as a whole. Jeff asks Jerri if camp is peaceful. Absolutely not, she answers. Everyone is running around, scrambling for votes. Danielle points out that she and Parvati have been pitted against each other by Russell, who says that he was just testing their loyalty. Despite her protestations, Russell insists that Danielle came up to him about eliminating Parvati. Danielle and Russell continue to argue about who is lying, with Russell pushing her harder. He says that he is supposed to be with Parvati (a known alliance). Danielle begins to break down, and cries. She tells Jeff that she is exhausted, and that this is all too much for her right now. “Boo-Hoo,” JT whispers to the rest of the jury. Jeff asks if Russell’s attacks feel personal, especially his insistence that he and Parvati are together. “Yes,” Danielle replies. Then, in one of the greatest moments in Tribal Council history, Danielle says to Russell, “I’m closer to Parvati than you think.” Everyone’s eyes widen. Danielle has made a HUGE error. “Oh???” Russell says. He then mouths to Jerri with a “told you so” expression, “Danielle.” It is time to vote. They do. Jerri says during her vote (which is not shown) that she is choosing a side, perhaps foolishly. Jeff gathers the ballots. No one plays an idol, so he begins the count. Three votes for Rupert, then three votes for Danielle. Who did Jerri vote for? “The fourteenth person voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and the sixth member of our jury…Danielle!” “That’s messed up,” Parvati says. To which Russell can only respond, “Well….” Danielle’s torch is snuffed and she makes her way into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff states that it is clear the Villains are not one big happy family, and that it is anyone’s game.

Next time on…Survivor!

Essentially, all we see is Russell, Rupert and Colby forming an alliance. It may now be men versus women. But how will Sandra’s idol come into play? Will Russell actually stay true to the men, or just use them as patsies to get back into Parvati’s good graces? I have to also say that I honestly can’t remember a time watching a Tribal Council (and I’ve seen every episode of this series except the Marquesas season), where someone’s vote was actually changed because of what was said during that Tribal Council. Sure, there’s been idols and immunities played and given, but to have the answers to Jeff’s questions actually swing a vote, as a I believe happened this week with Jerri, that is new territory. Russell expertly pushed Danielle into saying something stupid once he saw that she was emotionally fragile. It was one of the best moves I’ve ever seen on Survivor, so bravo to Russell for recognizing the opportunity, and exploiting it. This season has been absolutely fantastic, with many surprising votes, shifting alliances, and smart and dumb moves. There are only a couple episodes left, and I have every reason to expect the game will continue on its awesome path.

Odds to Win

Jerri: 3-1. I’ve been saying it for a while now, but if Jerri makes it to the finals, she wins. She is a veteran that despite her Villain status, I believe is well-liked amongst other players. She has won an individual immunity, and has made big moves with her votes (the latest being her vote to eliminate Danielle). Plus, I don’t think she’ll be in the firing line if Parvati trains her anger on Russell instead of the swing vote, Jerri.

Sandra: 10-1. I never would have predicted a former winner would have any chance of winning the game, but if anyone can do it, it would be Sandra. Not only has she managed to stay out of the cross-fire, she now has an immunity idol that she can definitely play to get into the Top 5, and maybe the Top 4 (it depends on what the rules are this season). It is likely other players would want to take a former winner with them to the finals, but this may prove costly, because Sandra can talk her way out of, and into, anything.

Colby: 18-1. He survived two more Tribal Councils, and although he seems to have checked out of the game (Really? You quit an immunity challenge? Really??), he is in a power position. He can accept Russell’s coming offer to be an alliance, or work with Parvati to eliminate Russell. I think he’ll use Russell to get rid of Parvati, then side with Sandra and Jerri to get rid of Russell.

Parvati: 30-1. Man, is Parvati going to be pissed when she gets back to camp. If there’s one thing you don’t do, is piss off Parvati. She’ll be going after Russell next week, but if she can eliminate him, she has a great chance of going to the finals as a former winner who likely would not win the jury’s vote. Then again, Parvati is a great talker too, and can make the argument that she, as a former winner, had no business getting as far as she did, so she deserves to win. Plus, she’ll have eliminated Russell, which is sure to win her some kudos amongst the jury.

Russell:60-1. Absolutely great work eliminating Danielle by pushing her into saying something foolish when she was vulnerable. A masterpiece. Yes, he was played during the Candice vote, but he used that to oust Danielle. I still think he’s going to run into a bitter jury if he makes it to the finals, so that’s why his odds are so high.

Rupert: 65-1. Alright Rupert, you’re playing hard, and made a great move in pretending to have the immunity idol, which everyone fell for, so good work. I still think there’s no way in Hell the jury is giving the audience’s two-time favorite player another million bucks. Sorry my man.

OK, that’s it for this week. What did you think of the episode? Great moves by Rupert and Russell? Can you believe everyone fell for a rock in Rupert’s pocket? Was Russell’s Tribal Council argument with Danielle one of Survivor‘s greatest moments ever? Any opinion on the new Odds? Please leave your thought and comments below. Be sure to check out TVOvermind for all of your TV needs, and come back next Friday for another recap. Until then, I’m off, Ninja Turtle style.

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