Just when I think that I’m about ready to retire my Survivor cap and move on to something else, the show throws out an episode like this! For those of you who watch Survivor, last night’s episode is what it’s all about. For those of you who don’t, I hope my recap does it justice and you start watching. Last’s night’s Survivor skills had way more to do with people manipulation than banana etiquette and I, for one, am in pure Survivor bliss.
This season has definitely pitted some of the strongest Survivor players I have ever seen on the show against one another. Of course, the strengths vary. I mean, look at Russell and Boston Rob. These guys have to be two of the most strategic players in the game, while J.T. is not known for his cunning so much as his brute determination and likeableness. I have to say, as I have said in other recaps, that I am truly disappointed with J.T.’s mental game this season. Stick with what you know and what you do well, especially when pitted against some of the best. I really think that the only reason this guy is still around is because he’s tough to beat in challenges. He’s kind of got that Boston Rob grit and determination to win thing going on, which is refreshing, but that’s about it. He’s losing likeability which will kill him if he makes it to the end. I’m not really sure what Rupert or James’ strategies are, other than to simply run people the wrong way. But I will have to give a few props to Amanda for her game, both this season and in her debut. She manages to get people on her side and align herself with strong allies without depending too much on her feminine wiles, which moves her forward in the game.
The Villains, however, have taken strategy and manipulation to a whole other level. Parvati has some game, even though it’s hidden way down beneath her “Oh, look at me. I’m so sweet, I couldn’t hurt a fly” demeanor. I guess it sucks for her that everyone else knows it, too. She’s abrasive in a non –confrontational sort of way. The classic “alpha-male” confrontation between Rob and Russell was great. Russell, trying to make a move against Rob, takes him aside and tries to offer the olive branch of a faux alliance, ultimately setting him up for the blindside. Boston Rob was having no part of it. He takes the proverbial branch, snaps it into a million pieces and throws it back, telling Russell to “watch his back.”
Survivor upset the challenge balance once again, allowing the competitors only one chance to both avoid tribal council and reap rewards; however Jeff burst their bubbles when he explained that tonight they were playing for individual immunity since BOTH tribes would be going to tribal. Bummer! But the good news was that there would be individual immunity for one member of each tribe and then a playoff between the winners for a chance to eat hotdogs as they sit in on the other tribe’s council. Boston Rob won both individual immunity and food for the tribe, once again making him the king of the Villains, while Candice won for the heroes, which sucked for Colby since he was safe as his tribe strived to take her out.
From that moment on we were treated to one of the largest scheme-fests I have ever been a party to. On the Heroes beach, Colby threw in the towel, letting everyone off the hook since he knew he was going home. He apparently needed a break. I’m not really sure what’s going on inside his head, but he sure looks like he’s given up to me. But, it looks like Colby’s possibly not going to get the pass he’s looking for. The Heroes tribe has collectively set their eyes on a different target, James. Apparently the heroes don’t like it when one of their stronger competitive members get hurt…or help themselves to extra bananas. Trying to prove that he at least can still compete, he took on J.T. in a footrace down the beach and lost miserably. James lost to a unanimous vote in tribal, leaving Colby a bit baffled and somewhat unhappy. The Villains got to not only enjoy the show, but eat grilled hotdogs on the sidelines. Isn’t Boston Rob just dreamy?
Now, the Villains had a slightly different take on how tribal council should go down. Boston Rob took the lead and tried to split the vote between Parvati and Russell in an attempt to flush out the idol AND remove one member of the Russell Hantz alliance. It was a foolproof plan…or was it? In a bold move, Russell convinced Tyson that he was going to vote Parvati and that Tyson should, too, appealing to Tyson’s arrogant nature and personal vendetta. During tribal council, in a bid to win the loyalty of Coach and to execute his plan, Russell gives the hidden immunity idol to Parvati. Everything worked like clockwork. In a Survivor vote that will surely go down in the history books as one of the best vote manipulations ever, Tyson voted for Parvati, leaving only two votes for Russell…and three for Tyson. It’s lullaby time, Tyson.
Boston Rob could only shake his head in wonder at how Tyson could have been so stupid. Tyson, I’m sure is wondering the same thing.