Everything is flying by on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains! Tonight, there were two tribal councils, and two castaways were sent home. And just like that, we're down to our final six. I guess something had to give, since we're approaching the end of the season, but I still don't like it when the votes go by quickly like this -- it makes the process feel less significant. It's just challenge, vote, challenge, vote! Which is unfortunate, because tonight's votes were very significant in shaping the rest of the game.
The first one sent home tonight was Candice, in a bit of a "thanks for playing" after she switched alliances last week. The Villains (especially Russell) wanted to see Rupert go home, but because he sneakily made it seem like he had the idol (Russell was off his game for the second week in a row), they decided to split the vote. Unfortunately for Candice, instead of splitting between Rupert and Colby, they decided to split between Rupert and Candice (she's not to be trusted, you see, since she so easily flipped), and Colby overheard this. Since Rupert and Colby were pissed at her for jumping ship and helping to oust Amanda last week, they were more than happy to hope the Villains would stick to their plan and they could help get Candice sent home a couple days after thinking she was furthering herself in the game!
But there was no way Rupert was going to escape the second vote of the night, right? Wrong! After a completely insane tribal council that saw alliance outing and tears and flat-out lies and laughter and craziness, Villain mainstay (and final 3 favourite) Danielle was sent home over Rupert in a 4-3 vote that came as a complete shock, even in this season of unpredictability. Russell, the evil and lying mastermind that somehow is briefly able to convince people to trust him, got his way once again, though the ramifications this time may end up being too much for him to handle.
The first immunity challenge tonight actually seemed pretty insignificant. Russell and Sandra bowed out almost instantly in order to get whatever Jeff was offering (turned out to be cookies), while Colby (despite his ass being on the line) was right behind them. Jerri, Candice, and Danielle thought they were all safe (oh, if only Candice had known) and knew Parvati had won a similar challenge in her season, so they surrendered to get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, leaving Parvati against Rupert. Rupert accidentally flinched, causing his bucket of coloured water to splash down and giving immunity to Parvati, not that she needed it anyway.
The second immunity, however, felt more important for me, as things seemed to not be going Russell's way of late and I had a feeling he might be sent home this week (especially with 2 votes taking place). Now, don't get me wrong, Russell isn't my favourite Survivor, but his presence makes for the most entertaining Survivor moments since at least Survivor: Amazon, if not ever. So if Russell goes home, the show suffers. And luckily, he eased my worries by winning immunity. Things around camp after his win were anything but easy, though.
As if he just wanted to prove my point that things are more interesting and exciting with him around, Russell decided tonight after winning immunity that he didn't like Parvati and Danielle having a close alliance when it was supposed to be him and Parvati with a close alliance. So despite the Villains all agreeing to vote for Rupert, Russell told Danielle that he didn't trust Parvati, and told Parvati that he was approached by Danielle about voting out Parvati soon. It was chaos for the sake of chaos, which is classic Russell Hantz.
Russell targeting Danielle didn't seem to faze the Villain women, who stuck by Danielle and still planned to vote for Rupert. Heading into tribal council, that still seemed like a certainty -- to the point that I had already started writing about how Russell's plan had blown up in his face. And while it did certainly blow the game and its established alliances up as we head into the final six, it still went according to Chaotic Russell's plans when everything got aired out at tribal council.
Danielle opened up about her tight alliance with Russell and Parvati, and openly questioned why Russell was making things so difficult. And even after Russell poorly tried to cover up his lies by saying he was testing Danielle's loyalty, it still worked out for him, because a now-crying Danielle blurted out that her and Parvati were closer than Russell thought. This whole escapade (but especially those last words) really seemed to irk Jerri, while at the same time making the jury -- and Colby -- have to hold back their surprise and laughter.
And so, despite completely losing complete control of the game, Russell continued to stay in control of the game (how the man defies logic is beyond me). With Danielle gone and the tight Villains alliance in ruins, what's going to happen as we speed towards the finale? I really believe that anything could happen. One would think that Russell would be the next target, but so often he's been the target only to stay in the game, thus I really have no clue. But it's sure damn exciting, isn't it?!
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)