Despite a reward challenge where James almost had to leave the game because of a mysterious leg injury, things were pretty much the same in Survivor-land. The Heroes proved to be pretty much anything but heroic once again, and the Villains were once again working as a tight unit -- at least during the challenges, that is. Oh, and Russell "knighted" Coach. This was a busy episode!
On the Villains beach, Russell finally found the hidden immunity idol on his 3rd day of searching and digging. Rob and his group seem adimant in flushing out the idol at the first opportunity, and then voting Russell out for his, um, lack of team spirit? I don't know... it's a silly plan. But Russell somehow managed to do exactly as he did in Samoa, first telling his closest ally Parvati about the idol (though I liked her calling out his "ride my coattails" comment!), and then bringing in someone who is trustworthy (last season it was Mick, this season it's the ultra-trusting Coach) into the mix. I'm curious how it will all play out. Russell has (at least in the confessionals) dropped the gauntlet and is ready to take on Rob. I really like both of them, so I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it should be fun to watch!
Of course, seeing it play out will have to wait at least another week, as the Heroes lost both challenges this week: the first for a reward of chocolate where James' knee popped; the second an immunity challenge where the puzzle skills of the Heroes were as inept as ever (despite an immobilized James surprisingly doing a great job guided his blindfolded teammates to an early lead grabbing the puzzle pieces). And with that, for the 4th time out of 5 weeks, the Heroes were headed to Tribal Council.
J.T., who as Colby pointed out so clearly is unbelievably "wishy washy" and "just playing the hand that suits him today", was once again the tie-breaking vote. And he couldn't seem to make up his mind. Would he go back to his old alliance of James, Rupert, and Amanda and vote out Tom? Or would he go along with the "logical" choice and vote out the injured James, as Candice proposed right off the bat, thus saving Tom and Colby's hides once again?
I can understand why it would be a tough decision -- this one more than last week would pretty much determine which "side" he was on as he'd be in the group with the numbers either way. But I think either way, at this point, he'd be at the bottom of the totem pole, not just because he's a previous winner, but also because of his constant flip-flopping. Who would want that kind of indecision on their team heading into the merge?
As it stood, J.T. (and possibly even Candice, the way the votes were read) went along with the "original" alliance and former winner and challenge monster Tom Westmore was voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. I know a couple people who won't be too happy about Tom going home, and it would've been nice to see a new alliance of Tom, Colby, J.T., and Candice emerge, but I understand why J.T. stuck with his original group. Doing it now is the only way to possibly keep his hide in the game in the coming weeks.
With March Madness starting up, there's no new Survivor next week, and the following week we'll have a special Wednesday episode of the show (this happens every year, but it's still frustrating to have to wait). The previews show an all-out war (of words, anyway) between Russell and Rob, and even if the Villains win again and don't go to Tribal, it should still make for some very entertaining television in a couple weeks!
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)