“….today I met a really cute boy. He’s totally short and dreamy, and he smells kind of funny, but I want to ask him to Homecoming and then give him my letter jacket. He makes me sweaty when I see him and I don’t know what to say. I’m nervous to ask him out. Do you think he’ll go out with me?”It’s Night 21, and Jerri is completely freaking out now that Coach is gone. I, for one, find it highly satisfying that her ouster of Rob has led directly to this. “Am I next?” Jerri asks Danielle, clearly losing her shit. “NO WAY,” Danielle says. “It was last minute, and I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want to freak you out.” Don’t worry, Danielle, your boobs do that job anyway.
The next day the Villains receive the Reward Challenge clue, which is super long and tells them that they’ll be competing in the endurance challenge from Tocantins, in which there are smaller and smaller perches for the feet. Courtney correctly points out that this is the challenge that Coach very dramatically lost, screaming and crying on the ground after falling.
“That is an excellent Coach impression.”
The twist is that each person will be facing off against someone else from the other tribe; each tribe will have to rank their members in order from best to worst, and those ranked the same will face off against each other. The Villains quickly recognize that their abundance of women will be an advantage in this challenge. “With the egos on the other tribe, they won’t think of this,” Courtney says, right as we get a jump cut to Rupert talking about how awesome he’s going to be at this challenge. “I think I’m the strongest of all 11 of us still out here!” Rupert says. I’m so glad this show has decided to hate Rupert.
Challenge time. The Heroes see that Coach is gone, and Probst fans the flames by letting them voice their assumptions even further. “The women’s alliance looks verrrry strong,” Rupert says like a stupid asshole. The Villains can barely keep a straight face.
The first team to win three points in the direct faceoff will win a feast from Outback steakhouse. The matchups are as follows: Danielle will be facing off against Candace in the number one spot, followed by Courtney vs. Amanda, Parvati vs. JT, Jerri vs. Colby and then Rupert against Sandra. “I love you,” Rupert says to her all disingenuously when this is announced, earning a monumental eye roll from Sandra.
Once the challenge begins, Probst has a special announcement: as of today, Amanda is the first person to play the game for 100 days. I gotta say, I’m kind of loving all the dorky trivia they’re doing this season, with the challenge throwbacks and nerdy landmarks like this one. The exception, of course, being when the challenges are throwbacks from six months ago.
“I love Outback,” Sandra says emphatically. “My husband and I went twice in one week before he went to Afghanistan.” I can’t decide whether that’s awesome, because: Bloomin’ Onions, or sad because: Bloomin’ Onions. Russell sits out the challenge, but the editors can’t resist hearing from him anyway. “I’ve planted that Russell seed and let them think the women are after me,” he yaps, when in fact he’s done nothing but let them continue making assumptions. There’s no “planting” involved; they’re pretty much doing the planting themselves.
The cameramen keep showing close ups of people’s nasty feet, which I am not down for, not at all. Finally, Colby is the first one out, meaning that Jerri has scored a point for the Villains and can also step down. As Jerri encourages her, Sandra provokes Rupert, all “I’ve had kids, this isn’t even difficult. I had two of ‘em and I didn’t even get an Aspirin. Two natural births.” Now I’m usually the first person to hate someone for saying stupid shit about how tough and special they are because they’re a parent (because you know who else is a parent? Just about everyone.), but: damn. No epidural? That is hardcore.
Rupert falls shortly after Colby, meaning that Sandra can get down, but she wants to show off: “One more minute,” she says with an evil smirk before dismounting from the platform.
“Will there be Aussie Cheese Fries?”
A couple of slots to the left, Amanda is clearly in pain and falls quickly after, giving the Villains the victory. Jerri starts to cry. Over Outback. I don’t even need to comment on that, right?
Before the tribes leave, JT tells Russell to “hang in there” one more time, because Russell is the adorable kitty hanging from a branch of this show.
After the break, we’re at the reward. The Villains all have daiquiris, and Sandra downs hers in about five seconds, because she is a champion. She demands another one, already drunk, shouting “Gimme that, homey!” at the bartender and everyone else in the area. I can’t even describe how badly I want to be best friends with her.
When the meal starts, Parvati unrolls her napkin to ominous noises. At first I’m concerned that the editors think hygiene is terrifying, but it turns out that Parvati’s napkin actually has a clue for the idol hidden inside it. She manages to stash it in her bathing suit without anyone seeing it, and later pretends to have to go to the bathroom. Danielle takes off with her, and when they get a moment alone, Parvati shows Danielle the clue. “I want Danielle to trust me more than Russell,” Parvati says, “So that way if she has to choose, she’ll take me instead of him.” Hate on her if you want, but she’s really, really good at this whole thing. Better than just about anyone, frankly.
“Russell doesn’t need to know, I’ll fill him in on a need to know basis,” Parvati continues, “And right now, he doesn’t need to know.” I’m still holding out hope for the moment when she cuts his ass loose. Parvati tells Danielle she doesn’t have anywhere to hid it, and Danielle offers to hide the clue in her giant, scary boobs. I’m imagining that she’s got a whole mess of stuff stashed in there, like maybe a toothbrush, a litter of puppies, and a dining room set.
“Ooh, is that a Starbucks in there?”
Back at the Heroes tribe, JT wants to talk about what the team’s going to do at the merge. “I’ll bet my life in this game on it, that we’re going to merge,” JT says. Yes, JT is willing to bet his life that something that happens every season is going to happen again this season. He is a maverick, you guys.
But JT is not out of bright ideas. He’s so convinced that the women on the Villains team have an alliance that he wants to slip Russell the immunity idol. The idea, in theory, is that Russell will play the immunity idol and his one vote will allow him to get rid of Parvati, and then they can pick the girls off one by one. Yes, it is the dumbest thing ever, and it assumes that about nine different things are happening, just because men happen to be getting voted off of the Villains tribe. Sexism FTW!
Back at the Villains camp, Russell sits on a stump and stares out at the water like a trollish Forrest Gump while Parvati and Danielle sneak off to find the immunity idol. Parvati and Danielle find it almost instantly. They do not hide it in Danielle’s boobs. Maybe there’s no more room? Don’t laugh, they save Danielle like two hundred bucks a month because she doesn’t have to rent a storage unit.
Back at the Heroes camp, JT and the Heroes decide to put their plan into action. JT begins to write a note to Russell. He reads it aloud to the group when he finishes, and I am tempted to write it all down for you, but that’ll ruin how amazing Parvati will be later, so we’re just going to focus on my very favorite part now: “Russell, just based on the few handshakes we’ve had, I feel like I can trust you.” Oh, JT: your people reading skills, they might be a little off.
“Do you like me? Check yes or no.”
When he finishes reading it, Rupert hilariously wants him to add the following sentence: “This is your chance to feel like you’re not a villain.” I love how this one, single sentence pretty much gives you Rupert’s entire worldview.
Immunity Challenge. Oh, Lord. This is going to happen, isn’t it?
Both tribes will start at a platform out in the water; each tribe member will guide a bag of puzzle pieces along a rope back to the beach. Once all the bags have been brought to the beach, the first team to solve their puzzle will win immunity. When the challenge begins, the Heroes get out to an immediate lead, and each consecutive player only widens it.
Russell and Colby are the last to go for their respective teams and end up as the last ones at the starting line together. Colby takes this opportunity to talk to Russell. “After the challenge, JT is going to give you something. Use it, and join up with us at the merge,” he says. Russell can barely contain his glee. “Who should I get rid of?” he asks. Colby tells him Parvati, and Russell fans the flames beautifully: “Good, she’s running the show,” he says. Colby takes off, leaving Russell smirking on the platform. He clearly can’t believe his luck; even though this whole scenario has nothing to do with any Russell himself did, he plays the whole thing very well. Also, props to the editors for some amazing work during this sequence.
“….and laugh in your face.”
Of course, Russell isn’t about to let his team win now that he can get himself a free idol and get rid of Sandra or Courtney, so he lollygags and gives the Heroes the win. JT slips Russell the idol during the hugging after the challenge. I am floored at how completely idiotic this is, to make a move based on about nineteen different assumptions, not to mention that the Heroes will have pulled even with the Villains after this challenge at five members each, meaning that this whole affair isn’t even really necessary.
Back at camp, Russell can’t believe his luck, again, some more. “You don’t hand the enemy the idol,” Russell says, correct for what I think might be the first time ever. Over at the Heroes camp, JT and the gang feel pretty good about themselves. “Everyone ready to make Survivor history today?” JT says. They seriously, actually think that this whole thing was wise. It’s amazing to behold.
Meanwhile, Russell shows Parvati the idol and the letter. Parvati reads it out loud to the camera like the Mean Girl that she is, adding things like “XOXO” and “LOL” to it to make it sound even more juvenile than it already is. It is beyond hilarious.
“What is this LYLAS thing at the bottom?”
JT’s letter is so, so long, you guys, and it’s super complimentary to Russell and creepy, talking about how they can trust each other and how after the merge they’ll work together to go to the Final Three, and how their love will conquer all and how they’ll have tiny redneck dwarf babies together. Oh, and there’s another best part! It says “DESTROY THIS RIGHT WHEN YOU FINISH READING!” in big letters at the bottom, because JT and Russell are super secret spy friends with decoder rings.
“JT gave Russell his heart, today,” Parvati says, and for a minute I think she might quote Say Anything, but then I remember how Parvati’s not actually cool or interesting outside the scope of this show.
“What is wrong with him, like, I cannot believe this kid won,” Parvati says. Man, you know things are bad when Parvati is functioning as the Greek Chorus of this show.
With all this excitement and idols and MASH notes, it’s easy to forget that someone still has to be voted out. Courtney and Sandra know that one of them is probably done for. “This is what we get for being bitches,” Sandra says, laughing.
Also a rash, apparently.
Parvati and Danielle agree that Courtney needs to go, but Courtney goes to Parvati, arguing that Amanda is more likely to go with them if they keep her around. Parvati chews on that and decides that Courtney might be better to keep around in the long run, thinking that Courtney is more likely to be loyal to her than Russell is, which is interesting. Parvati takes this to her allies, but they seem noncommittal; Russell incorrectly thinks that Courtney is more dangerous than Sandra. Clearly he didn’t see Sandra’s season, in which she flipped sides about a million times. She is for sale, and also she’s a lot better strategically than Courtney. But whatever, if you want to keep my favorite player around, I’m not going to argue.
Tribal Council. Coach the first member of the jury, enters wearing samurai robes. Always a drama queen, that guy.
His prom dress was probably totally slutty.
When Probst asks Sandra about trust, Sandra tells Probst that’s a bad question and that she knows she’s in trouble because all her allies are gone. “Danielle, is there any correlation between Sandra being in trouble and Sandra sitting out all those challenges?” Probst and his one track mind ask. Quit being a dick, it’s not always about challenges, douche.
Danielle is like “Um, no, Sandra’s just not in our alliance,” because she knows Probst is completely off the mark too. When Probst asks if Sandra’s trustworthy, Danielle says that she’s good at manipulating people. When Sandra asks for an example, Danielle’s like, “There are certain instances and certain things you’ve said when certain stuff’s happened,” because Danielle can’t think of any, mostly because she is Danielle, but also because Sandra’s play last week to get Coach out went unnoticed.
Danielle then criticizes Sandra for being distant when the game started, and they get into an argument about being sidekicks and trusting your allies that doesn’t make much sense. Sandra even refers to herself in the third person at one point; this would normally make her Dead To Me, but she gets a pass for being Sandra. Amidst the fighting, Russell volunteers that there are only three people in the game that really trust each other: himself, Parvati and Danielle and they’re all still in the game. Russell sees this as a deep statement, but it’s particularly humorous in light of the idol Parvati and Danielle are currently hiding from him.
Courtney correctly points out that being loyal has nothing to do with anything, because she and Sandra trusted Rob and he’s gone. When Probst asks Jerri about loyalty, she says that she was never a part of Rob’s group, and this is when Courtney gets amazing. “So, you didn’t vote for Parvati, who’s in your current alliance?” she says. Jerri starts to stammer, and Courtney dismantles her further. “You voted against the alliance you’re a part of now, and you flipped just in time to save your butt, so awesome for you,” Courtney says. Jerri, having been thoroughly owned, just sits there, speechless.
Time to vote. We don’t see any of the votes, and we know why when they’re read and it’s unanimous (even Sandra!) for Courtney, whose vote is for Jerri. Courtney’s very gracious as her torch is snuffed, waving goodbye to everyone and calling them bitches jokingly. Probst congratulates Parvati, who will make it to 100 days tomorrow, before sending everyone back to camp.