Sorry I wasn't able to get anything posted about last week's episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, but you're in luck! I'm going to post about BOTH episodes today, so feel free to leave your thoughts on last week's "Going Down in Flames" and this week's "Jumping Ship". In both episodes, the titles really did say a lot about the way the episodes played out. This week was certainly a lot more about scrambling, where as last week was more about trust -- and crazy hidden immunity idol play! So let's get going...
The first thing to really mention is that Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains continues to deliver. There hasn't been a bad episode yet, and while last week's was probably the most exciting tribal council I can recall, this week's flipping and faux flipping still made for some entertaining TV. And Russell and Parvati continued to be at the centre of all the excitement.
Last week, the Heroes were duped into thinking all the idols were out of play when the tribes merged to form Yin Yang. But while none were actually played the previous week at the Villains camp, that couldn't be said last week, as Russell gave what he thought was the only hidden immunity idol to Parvati to save herself, and the smart Parvati figured out that the Heroes wouldn't actually be voting for her, and gave away BOTH idols to the likely targets of Sandra and Jerri. Turns out the Heroes had picked Jerri, who was saved by playing the idol.
And as quickly as it could have, the decision of the Heroes (and mostly JT) to secretly give Russell the hidden immunity idol came back to haunt them. JT got all of the Villains' votes, and thus went home. If only the Heroes had listened to Rupert, who had talked to Sandra and knew the truth (then again, Rupert was a huge proponent of giving the idol to Russell, so he's made a ton of mistakes himself).
JT's confidence throughout the episode was what made it hilarious to watch. He even told the camera Rupert was stupid for believing Sandra over Russell. "If Sandra's story turns out to be true, and Russell did not play the idol, then that means I'm probably going home the next Tribal Council... Do I believe it? Not a chance!" Tough luck, buddy. (Hey, he's already got $1,000,000... he's not hurting.)
This week was more about flipping. On paper, the Villains had the 5-4 advantage, but just like she did in Pearl Islands at this portion of the game, Sandra always loves to stir things up! Last week, she told Rupert what was going down. This week, she went a head and "jumped ship". The only problem was that Candice had also told Russell that she was willing to jump to the other side herself. With all that jumping, and most of it being known to the entire tribe, it was pure insanity leading up to the Tribal Concil vote. It culminated in a fierce discussion/argument between Candice and Sandra, with Candice saying she was still with the Heroes (despite telling Russell that Sandra had flipped). It was intense! Sandra is sneaky.
One thing we knew was that Jerri would be safe, as she narrowly beat out Russell in the immunity challenge (building a tower of wooden cards 10ft. high), surprisingly winning individual immunity for the first time in her 3 tries at Survivor. But Russell wasn't completely left in the dark. After Colby, Amanda, and Danielle won the reward challenge (shuffleboard), they were treated to a night at the Robert Louis Stevenson museum. Amanda knew that a clue for the hidden immunity idol would be there somewhere, and sure enough, it was. Unfortunately for her, it was in the bowl of popcorn Danielle was eating. Amanda saw her hide it, though, and actually was able to grab it from her -- but somehow, Colby didn't back her up, and she gave it back to Danielle before reading it. (Danielle's argument that she found it first, so it was hers, is rubbish -- this is Survivor, after all. Save yourself!)
How did this impact Russell? Well, Russell was none too happy that Parvati and Danielle kept the second hidden immunity idol secret from him, even though he had given his own idol up TWICE to Parvati in the game. So when the Villains went searching for the idol, Russell found it first, but snuck it in his pocket before Danielle or anyone else could see. So he was, once again, in possession of an idol.
Anyway, Tribal Council was interesting. There was lots of talk about flipping, about who the targets were, and about who would be good to bring to the end. There was also lots of talk about the idol. But there wasn't any indication of which way Candice was going to vote until the votes happened. In fact, while we knew the Villains were going to be voting for Amanda, we didn't even know who the Heroes had decided on.
As far as decisions go, though, Russell did decide to play the idol at Tribal, and for himself this time, thinking votes were coming his way. Unfortunately for the Villains, the Heroes sent their votes in Parvati's direction, not Russell's, so it was a pointless act. FORTUNATELY for him and Parvati, Candice did flip sides, and the beautiful but mopey Amanda was sent packing (for the first time in her 3 Survivor appearances, interestingly enough). Maybe if Colby had stuck up for Amanda and not told her to give the clue back to Danielle, he wouldn't be seeing his alliance crumble. In fact, the whole scenario would've ended up in their favour (Russell wouldn't have had the idol, and Amanda likely would've).
Honour in Survivor will only get you so far. And now we're down to the final 8, with Sandra officially flipping one way and Candice the other way. Considering I can't stand Sandra, I really hope she's gone next (I wanted her gone eons ago, but especially instead of Courtney). Who do you think will be going home next week? Will there be more scrambling and flipping and power struggles, or will Sandra, Rupert, and Colby be picked off one-by-one over the next few weeks? Tune in! As Amanda said in her closing statements, the rest of the game is going to be crazy!
By the way, as an aside, I love Courtney on the jury, even though I didn't want her there so soon. In China, she made it to the end, so we didn't get to see her in that silent observational role. But here, she's able to just chill at Tribal Council, and gets to be a smart-ass in her reactions (and occasional mouthing of sentences, like her sarcastic, "You do that!" and a thumbs up after Jeff said his usual, "I'll go tally the votes" comment). If anyone reading this knows how I can meet this woman, be sure to let me know! Haha.
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)
The thing that shocked me about last night's vote was the fact that Sandra had written Amanda's name down as opposed to writing Parvartti's name down like she promised Rupert and Colby. Therefore I feel that Colby and Rupert are the next to go, then Candace and Sandra, then Jerri and the final 3 will be Russell, Parvartti and Danielle (seeing as the ball is obviously in their court at all times).
I would be pleased to see Sandra, Candace and Jerri turn on the tight villian alliance, regardless of any threats Russell makes towards them in the next episode, because I don't want to see Colby and especially Rupert go anytime soon.