'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains': Russell tricks Tyson, James limps into the sunset

tyson-apostol-survivor-320.jpg "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" sees the first really excellent Russell move of the season.

After the last tribal, the Heroes are gunning for Candice even though she voted Tom out.

Meanwhile, Russell and Rob are squaring off for a Thunderdome over at the Villains tribe. Rob warns that Russell is no longer playing with the amateurs, he's with the big boys. Has it ever occurred to Rob that Russell is a "big boy?"

Challenge

The challenge is for individual immunity within your own tribe. The winner from each tribe gets immunity but then those two face off for a prize that rewards the winning tribe hotdogs and the fixings, plus they get to sit in on the losing tribe's tribal challenge. The actual challenge is moving your carabiner along a rope through an obstacle course.

When the Heroes race, Jeff Probst's man-love for James shows a bit when James gets a lead even though he has no legs! Or has a bum knee. But one would think he was a paraplegic or something. However, Candice pulls out a win instead and you just know Colby and JT are sweating, though Colby is the first to congratulate her because that's how he rolls.

For the Villains, Russell, Tyson and Boston Rob are all right in the hunt but Boston Rob pulls it out. When it comes to the face-off, there is a three-level structure to wind through and Rob wins. Candice is right in there, though. She's more athletic than I remember.

Hotdog Feast
Everybody's very excited, but Rob is riling up his alliance of Jerri, Coach, Sandra, Courtney and Tyson to vote out Parvati but make Russell, Danielle and Parvati think it's Russell so he plays the Idol. So Rob lays it on pretty thick to Russell that he needs to play the Idol and Russell sniffs out the plan so easily you almost think he's got a cameraman whispering things to him. He tells Parvati and Danielle that he's going to give the Idol to Parvati and they're going to vote out Tyson.

Meanwhile, Rob then goes back to his alliance to tell them to vote for Russell and Parvati 3-3 so that they can't lose. Hmmm. So Russell takes Tyson aside and says it's breaking his heart, but that he's voting for Parvati to leave. Which makes Tyson think that he can flop his vote to Parvati and assure she's going home. This tribal oughta be interesting.

Heroes
Colby comes back from the challenge and says he knows he's going home, so let's not have any scrambling. let's enjoy the afternoon and let's go to Tribal keeping our mouths shut and not revealing anything to the Villains. That is the classiest thing I think I've ever seen because I think it's 100% genuine. Colby is just like this tan-white-teethed statue of light and good or something.

However, maybe Colby's fall-on-the-sword-double-secret-probation-voodoo got into the Heroes' heads because Amanda, JT, Rupert and Candice talk about voting James out instead because they want to be strong. So Amanda tells James he has to prove that he can run and he has to stop stealing bananas. Apparently he's a banana hog.

So James races JT to prove that he can run, but he loses. Rupert is convinced that Colby has given up, which I disagree with. Colby knows the numbers are against him and he's at peace with it. He wants to help the tribe by not getting all fight-y at Tribal and revealing their weaknesses. It's a very helpful and sacrificial way to be.

Villains Tribal

Sandra calls Russell out for having the Hidden Immunity Idol and tells him that if he doesn't have it, he needs it. They all take their turns talking about threats in Tyson, Parvati and Rob, but then they get right to the vote.

We see Danielle vote for Tyson, Jerri vote for Parvati, Rob vote for Russell, Coach vote for Parvati, Parvati vote for Tyson, Coach vote for Parvati, Courtney vote for Parvati and Sandra vote for Russell. Tyson and Russell are the only votes we don't see. So that's 2 for Tyson, 2 for Russell and 3 for Parvati before the votes are read.

Russell plays the Idol for Parvati in very dramatic fashion, while Rob and Coach smirk because they think Russell's gone now. I'm not so sure. The votes go Russell, Russell, Parvati, Parvati, Parvati, Parvati, Tyson, Tyson and Tyson. BAM.

Russell can't stop smiling, Rob is consternated and Danielle and Parvati are gleefully confused because Russell didn't tell them what was going on with his trickery of Tyson. That was awesome. Russell read that PERFECTLY.

Heroes Tribal

The rain starts and Rupert admits that the Villains are showing the Heroes how the game is played. James takes his shots at Colby wanting to be there because he got beat by a "fat guy and a cripple" in the challenge (meaning Rupert and himself).

The vote comes and James and Colby vote for each other. The votes are read and it goes Colby, James, James, James and James. Wow, that surprises me. I thought for sure after Colby's speech and James' posturing and race that he'd be sticking around.  

Thoughts & Tidbits
  • I wish the whole season was watching Russell face off with Rob.
  • It's a shame the Villains had to go first at Tribal because that was some awesome trickeration
  • Yeah, Russell is definitely one of the "big boys," Boston Rob.

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Photo credit: CB
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