Fun Fact: My backup headline was “Boston Robbed.”
Last Week: We were treated to a special double elimination episode. The Heroes chose the depressed cowboy over the injured grave digger while Russell did his best Buster Douglas impersonation by shocking the world and knocking out Tyson.
39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Here are the tribes as they currently stand…
The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)
Rupert Boneham – 45
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27
The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28
We meet up with the Villains the morning after Russell’s tribal council jaw dropper and Boston Rob admits that he’s shocked for the first time in his “Survivor” career. He senses a tremor in the force.
He isn’t concerned with Danielle because she’s “Dumb as a bag of rocks.” However Parvati and Russell worry him. He’s also worried about Team Russell’s confidence. Surely, somebody in his alliance must be flipping for them to be so giddy.
Courtney gets a chance to finally talk some smack referring to Russell as a “Bandy-legged, little troll.” I missed you, Courtney. Welcome back.
Meanwhile, Russell gives the female members of his alliance their orders: get to Jerri. Russell’s minions achieve their objective getting Jerri alone. Russell lets us know that Jerri now respects him due to his bold move.
Jerri worries that her fear of commitment is keeping her from joining with Team Russell. I’m not touching that one.
Parvati thinks Jerri is jealous that no man has ever saved her at tribal council. I’m trying to figure out where immunity idols rank on the “How to Impress a Lady” scale. I’m assuming it’s higher than flowers and lower than ironing.
Over at Casa de Heroes, Rupert lets us know that Colby needs to step up in the next challenge. Colby vows to prove that the Heroes made the right decision.
Reward Challenge: Three members of each team will race into the water to get a ball. They’ll try to shoot the ball into a basket while members of the other team try to tackle them. First team to score three baskets wins. Winning team gets a romantic picnic by a tropical waterfall. Wow, that’s probably ranked higher than ironing…
The Villains will sit Courtney, Sandra, and Parvati.
First Round: Rupert, JT, and Colby vs. Rob, Russell, and Coach – Colby misses two wide-open shots. Coach follows that up by throwing the ugliest air ball ever. That’s bad news for someone who gives athletic advice for a living. Colby eventually score for the Heroes.
Second Round: Colby, Amanda, and Candice vs. Danielle, Coach, and Jerri – Jerri and Colby have a bit of a back and forth which was nice for old-school fans. Candice eventually wins the point for the Heroes.
Third Round: JT, Rupert, and Colby vs. Russell, Rob, and Coach – Russell and Rupert are really throwing down, but that’s all the excitement there is as Colby scores quickly. Heroes win reward.
We meet up with the Heroes at their picnic. Candice finds a clue to a new immunity idol, but they all decide to read it later.
Rupert is upset because they weren’t thinking about the game until the clue was found. Apparently they were the “Fantastic Five” until the unveiling of the clue.
The “Fantastic Five” can’t concentrate on the meal, so they break down and read it. I take it the Heroes are allowed to open at least one present on Christmas Eve too.
Back at the Villains camp, Russell continues to work on Coach and Jerri. He even offers them a top three spot with him.
Jerri seems sold, but she wants the Dragon Slayer on board. Coach says he’s “Honor bound” to stay with Jerri and he’ll go the way she goes. However, Coach is hurt that Jerri said she trusts him and Russell equally.
Oddly enough, Jerri brings up the issues she had with Boston Rob during “All Stars.” Boston Rob should have taken that into account six years ago. A true strategist would have known that would come back to bite him in 2010.
Immunity Challenge: A member of each team will race across a net and up a rope ladder to retrieve a bag. When they return, another member of the tribe will go until six bags have been returned. In the bag (say it with me) are puzzle pieces. First tribe to finish their puzzle wins immunity.
Jerri, Danielle, and Russell will sit out for the Villains.
Rupert and Parvati start off and are neck and neck. They return with their pieces and Courtney (her first challenge in forever?) and Candice head out. Candice drops her bag, giving the Villains a bit of a lead. Coach and Colby are up next with Coach maintaining the team’s advantage. Parvati and Rupert are back out, with the Villains still winning. Courtney and Candice take their second turn with Courtney having serious problems climbing the ladder and Candice charging ahead for the Heroes. Colby and Coach finish up, with the Heroes enjoying a large lead.
During the puzzle portion, Boston Rob’s celebrated puzzle skills aren’t enough to overcome the Heroes’ head start as Amanda and JT are able to finish the puzzle first. The Heroes win immunity.
Coach lets us know that Courtney was the weak link and she should go home. Well that hardly seems fair, she might not remember what a challenge is.
Back at the Villains camp, Russell tells us that their challenge performance was one of the most pitiful things he’s ever seen. He even tells Boston Rob that they should take out Sandra or Courtney…with Sandra and Courtney sitting right there!
Russell’s right. He is the king.
For some reason, Courtney and Sandra take offense to this.
Coach and Rob sit down to discuss strategy. He wants to blindside Parvati or get rid of Courney. Boston Rob makes a case for getting rid of Russell.
Next up, Team Russell is discussing strategy. Russell wants Rob gone. This isn’t shocking. All of Team Russell is down with this except for Coach. Coach eventually relents and agrees to vote with the alliance.
Rob lets us know that the way to get someone to do something is to find out what they hold dear and to use it against them. For Coach that’s his loyalty. Coach proves Rob right by telling us that he feels terrible because he thinks he was forced into giving his word to Russell.
That night at tribal council, J-Pro tells the Villains that they used to be dominant but the Heroes have found five players that will get things done. Mercifully, he does not refer to them as “Fantastic.”
Coach isn’t concerned because “At the dawn of every morning, hope springs eternal.” He’s like the Villains’ poet laureate.
Boston Rob doesn’t think the tribe is working well together and that voting out Tyson was a mistake. Russell disagrees; he could’ve taken anyone out of Rob’s alliance but chose Tyson because he was bad for tribe chemistry.
Russell and Rob have a bit of a back and forth. Boston Rob thinks his version of loyalty is different than Russell’s. Russell agrees because he doesn’t think Boston Rob would have the guts to put his neck on the line like Russell did for Parvati. Nice to see them agree on something.
Meanwhile, poor Jerri is sitting between them, trying not to make eye contact with either of them.
J-Pro puts Coach on the spot asking where his level of trust is with Russell and Rob. Coach smartly dodges the question, begging the guys to put their egos aside and become a team.
Voting Time: Boston Rob votes Russell, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.
J-Pro tallies…and reads; one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Courtney, and the eighth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Boston Rob.
Coach stands up to get a farewell hug from Rob and is DENIED! Boston Rob says, “You’re a little man,” but it’s unclear if he was talking to Russell or Coach. Maybe it was Coach, because I’m sure Russell knows he’s little.
Verdict: Kind of expected more fireworks from the final Russell vs. Rob blow out, but it was still a good time. This season has been great so far, but I’m a little concerned there might be a post-Rob lull. Here’s hoping the goodness keeps coming.
Who’s Going to Win? Russell’s on a roll, but judging by Courtney and Sandra he might be making the same mistakes he made last season. If Russell’s alliance is going to make it to the end, the most likable member might take the million. Right now that’s Jerri.
Power Rankings Update: Bad news for the All-Star Team. Samoa’s Russell Swan had Boston Rob in the second slot while I had him in spot eleven. The score is now All Stars 56, Team Gordon 82. Hoping to get the All Stars back into the game next week is the man Jeff Probst once called “The smartest player never to win,” Rob Cesternino.
What Do You Think? Did the Villains make the right choice? Can the Heroes stage a comeback before the merge? Was Rob talking to Coach or Russell when he said someone was a “Little Man?”