This week, on Survivor: Sandra finally figures out that Russell is easily controlled, and Courtney gets sassy all over Jeff Probst. In short, it is my dream episode.Back at camp after Rob’s ouster, Russell is being predictably condescending. “He tried, the poor guy,” Russell says, like Rob is an intramural softball player or something. Parvati and Russell congratulate themselves, as they kind of should, unfortunately.
“I love blindsiding people,” Parvati brags as Coach watches them with contempt.
Then shit gets hilarious: Coach (who wussed out and voted for Courtney instead of trying to actually, you know, save Rob) calls everyone else cowardly. “Russell is a bully and Jerri made a huge mistake,” he says. You know what would have fixed that? Forcing a tie, dumbass. Odds are, Jerri would have flipped to your side to avoid drawing rocks, but whatever, let’s just yap forever about nothing and then cast a throwaway vote.
“I am OUTRAGED about this turn of events, for which I am directly responsible.”
After the credits, we’re at the Heroes tribe on the morning of Day 19, and Colby is doing what he does best, which is swathing the entire earth in the largest Texas flag known to man.
“I hereby annex this beach for the state of Texas. Guns and whores for everyone!”
JT, meanwhile, has other plans. He sneaks off into the jungle to find the idol for himself. “The Heroes decided to look for the idol as a group, but it’s in my best interest to have it myself,” he says. I’m not sure what his plan is exactly; what happens when the Heroes go to find the idol and it’s not there? This seems to be a problem with JT in general this season: thinking exactly one step ahead and one step only.
Just as JT locates the idol, Amanda and her very, very nice butt (which you will be seeing a lot of tonight) approach followed closely by Candace. They both catch him in the act before he can stash the idol, so he pretends very unconvincingly that he was out locating it for the sake of the group. Candace and Amanda don’t buy JT’s story, however. “Good thing you walked up,” Candace says to Amanda’s increasingly present empty stare, “How close was that?” Seriously, what happened to Amanda’s personality? I bet dating Ozzy has turned her into some kind of creepy zombie.
Back at the Villains tribe, Danielle and Russell eat some disgusting looking crab while the rest of the tribe lies around looking completely decimated. I guess they haven’t had anything to eat in awhile because they’ve stopped winning rewards. When a clue for the next challenge arrives and is intentionally ambiguous, the Villains think that it indicates a merge. They decide to pack up their entire camp, so that they won’t have to leave anything behind just in case. Doesn’t production normally move their rewards for them? I feel like Probst has mentioned that their possessions and rewards will be waiting at their new camp several times in other seasons. Whatever, who can pass up an opportunity to watch idiocy in action, right?
Reward Challenge. The Heroes are floored when they see the Villains enter without Boston Rob. Fuckin’ Rupert seems to think that this indicates that the women have formed an alliance. On one hand: shut up, Rupert, you sexist; you would automatically draw that conclusion, dick. On the other hand, Parvati is involved, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
Probst is delighted when he sees that the Villains have brought their entire camp to the challenge. The glee on his face is pretty apparent, as he does the cheesiest thing ever, which is to say “Drop. Your. Expectations,” and tells them that there’s no merge and we’ll be playing your standard reward challenge today.
The producers have decided that the shitty bowling challenge was so riveting last season that we’ll be watching it again, and I have to state that this has got to be the laziest shit ever. Bowling again, seriously?
Anyway, the winners get a pizza party, because when you have your tenth birthday party at the bowling alley, there has to be pizza involved. The tribes will be facing off to see who can knock down more pins. Coach really wants to win the pizza, and tells Probst that Courtney and Sandra are sitting out, which is entirely stupid because: bowling. How much athleticism do you need to bowl?
For God’s sake, Rupert and his girly toe can do it.
So I don’t need to tell you that this challenge is boring as shit, and that the Villains end up losing anyway. They gutter ball so much it’s just sad; they need those bumpers that the alley gives to old ladies and little kids. So the Heroes get to enjoy their pizza, and they discuss further how the women have obviously banded together. Even Amanda seems to buy it. In fact, JT goes so far as to say that they could probably get Russell to flip and work with them. Russell, by the way, is delighted that the Heroes have mistakenly made this assumption. “If I’m in trouble, I’m going to go to them like ‘help!’ he laughs in confessional. I will say this: while Russell has gotten some of the luckiest breaks on this show, he certainly knows how to capitalize on them.
Back at the Villains camp, Jerri is furious about the loss and the fact that they packed up all their shit. “Rob would never have let that happen,” she says, upset. “I regret my decision, I made a huge mistake.” Good to know, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to blame you if Russell wins.
Jerri bitches to Russell and Danielle about the loss, yapping about how they’re going to lose the next immunity challenge because they have to play Sandra and Courtney and talking about how useless they are, all while Sandra sits five feet away. “You know I’m sitting right here, right?” Sandra says amazingly. When Jerri continues to complain, Sandra asks why it’s her fault they lost when she didn’t even play, which is an excellent point. Jerri’s obviously mad at herself for getting rid of Rob, but she and Sandra continue to shout at each other anyway. Jerri then proceeds to sell out Coach for choosing to sit out Sandra and Courtney. Essentially, Jerri is already mad about a loss they haven’t even given up yet.
“I don’t even know why I’m here; I should be with the Heroes!” Sandra says. “I can’t stand Jerri, I hate Coach, I hate Danielle, I hate Russell even more!” Sandra tells us that they’re most definitely coming for her and Courtney if they lose, and she’s not just going to sit back and take it.
“I can get loud too!”
And then: things get awesome. “Russell is the kind of person that thinks that if someone’s coming for him, he’ll get rid of them,” Sandra says, reading him perfectly. “We could put a bug in his ear that Coach is gunning for him. I bet you Russ will believe me, and we will be saved again,” she laughs.
Sandra puts her plan into action, waiting until she can see Courtney having a conversation with Coach to strike. She pulls Russell aside and points at the two of them, telling Russ that she overheard them saying that they made a mistake getting rid of Rob and that they are going to correct it by getting rid of him. Russ buys it hook, line and sinker, and it is amazing. “He’s digging his own grave, just like Rob did,” Russell says amazingly, “It doesn’t matter what my alliance wants, I’ll tell them how to vote, and that’s how it’s gonna be.”
I keep waiting for the editors to show us a confessional where Russ tells us that he knows exactly what Sandra’s doing, but it just…never comes. Amazing. Sandra is so awesome: Identify a weakness, exploit it, and capitalize on it. That’s how you play this game. I believe it’s called “finesse”, and we have yet to see any of it here in the Russell era. Remember when this show was nothing but smart people doing this kind of stuff to each other? Those were the days.
“I’m digging this hole, and then I’m going to bury you in it. Now go wash your stank ass.”
“Russell, he don’t know how to play this game,” Sandra says, laughing. “He ate that crap up. Yeah, he’s done good so far, but he don’t know what he got himself into,” she cackles. Now this? This is something I can get behind.
Russell continues to play right into Sandra’s trap: he goes directly to Parvati, telling her that Coach is out to get them. He also knows that if they get rid of another guy that it will further the illusion that the women have an alliance, which will allow him to take advantage of the Heroes in some undetermined way. Parvati laughs and makes Mr. Burns motions with her hands at this, excited to deceive the other team. “I’ve seen that before,” Russell says, unaware that it probably bodes poorly for him.
Immunity Challenge. Tribe members will be belted together in pairs and will navigate a muddy obstacle course, retrieve a flag and return to the starting line. The first tribe to score two points wins immunity, and one round will be run with a single person because there are only five Heroes remaining. In the first round, Russell/Sandra face off against Amanda/Candace, and they predictably get smoked due to Sandra’s inability to do, well, anything. In fact, Russell just gives up and watches the other team score, knowing they’re screwed, leaving Sandra stuck under one of the obstacles. Amanda’s ass is also on full display yet again, and that’s alright with me. Hey, I never said I wasn’t shallow, people.
“Russell, this fencepost said that it wanted to vote you out.” (Russell rips fencepost out of ground with bare hands)
The next round is solo and is Coach versus Rupert. Hey, why isn’t Colby or JT doing this? Maybe the Heroes are succeeding this point, but you’d think they would put Rupert in a pair, especially knowing that Courtney still has to play. Coach handily beats Rupert, and the last round is Parvati/Courtney versus JT/Colby, so you can guess how this one’s going to end. The Heroes win immunity, and Colby looks like a big scary mud monster with a scary white mouth.
Back at camp, the Villains wash the mud off and complain about Courtney. Danielle in particular really, really wants her gone. Coach, by the way, is his typical self, flexing and talking about how he’s in his element; he has no idea that he’s on the chopping block. “Part of me wants to get rid of Russell, but the way we’re losing, getting rid of him would be a mistake,” he says. “I’m going to stay with the Force Five alliance and vote out Courtney.” Force Five? Whatever, Pulp Dick-tion.
Danielle, on the other hand, is not down to get rid of Coach. When she tells Russell that Courtney is a better option, he takes it as a personal insult, yelling at her about how she’s not willing to put her butt on the line (?), and telling her that she’s not making any sense. The discussion descends into screaming pretty quickly, and it concludes with Russell storming off like a child, telling Danielle that he doesn’t want to “fucking talk” to her and scampering away on his tiny bandy legs. Wow, Sandra really got to him, didn’t she? This is a win, right there.
It’s a toss-up in the competition between Russell and Danielle’s torso as to who is the bigger, faker boob.
“He just has to be so in control of this game. Everything has to go the way HE wants it to go,” Danielle says disgustedly. Sounds to me like the walls might be crumbling, no?
Sandra, always watching, notices that Danielle and Russell are keeping their distance from each other and decides that they must have gotten into a fight. In the meantime, Russell has decided that it might not be the worst idea to get rid of Courtney; we see him randomly walk up to Danielle and tell her that he’s had a change of heart, and there’s no real context at all for it, and based on how the votes go later, I’m not sure it makes any sense. It seems to me like something Russell did to make sure that the editors had enough footage to make us think getting rid of Courtney is an option, but hey: I just watch the show.
Tribal Council. Probst points out that the Villains have gotten rid of Tyson and Rob the last couple of times, and that this has resulted in a string of failures. “Tyson and Boston Rob would clearly be more useful in challenges than Courtney,” Jeff says. “Thank you, Jeffrey,” Courtney responds snottily. Probst deserved that one. Way, way over the line for a host.
Courtney responds to Probst’s accusation: “I don’t have a big ego; I don’t have to run and play in every single thing. Also, I’m not the person who got rid of Rob or Tyson, I didn’t vote for either of them,” she says, defending herself adeptly. Don’t get me wrong, Courtney is useless in challenges, but she shouldn’t have to be defending herself to the likes of Jeff Probst.
“Hey, I’m just making observations,” Jeff says. Actually, you’re presenting opinions, which is an entirely different think than making “observations”. Stay out of it, Probst.
When Probst asks about tribe morale, Coach tells him that he was doing his best to energize people and get them motivated for the challenge; Courtney rolls her eyes at him. She calls him out for sitting her out of the challenge without thinking of strategy. “So the reason why morale is down is because of me?” Coach asks, and Probst interjects, all “That’s what I heard.” Oh. My. God. We get that you don’t like Courtney, Probst. There’s no need to act like a Mean Girl.
“Thanks Dad,” Courtney responds amazingly. I love how bitchy she is, and who hasn’t been waiting for someone to call bullshit on all of Coach’s shenanigans?
Jeff concludes that the team is making decisions about who goes home based on alliances, which: duh. “I realize that I’m like, the poster child for a weak Survivor, but I’m a determined little bitch and I’m going to do everything I can to stay in this game,” Courtney says, earning herself a fist bump from Sandra. I would referee a bumfight to get a first bump from Sandra, I’m not even kidding.
Time to vote. Coach and Courtney vote for each other. “You’re a frickin’ lunatic, and also: nice feather,” she says. Call me!
When the votes are read, there are three for Coach and three for Courtney, and when the last one is for Coach, he’s done, and also the first member of the jury. Sandra FTW! I realize that some of you think that Russell did this to fool the Heroes, but it’s pretty apparent from his reaction to Sandra’s news that this is not the case. It might have bolstered her argument, but this whole thing is pretty much Sandra. Also, I’m a bit confused, because the votes reveal that Russell voted for Courtney, but the rest of his alliance voted for Coach, including Danielle. The videos on CBS.com reveal no useful information, so who knows. Maybe Russell’s out of the loop with his alliance?
Also, I must say that I find it to be poetic justice to see Coach voted out this week after being a total coward last week when it came time to stand up for Rob. Reap what you sow, buddy.
Oh, and the previews for next week look pretty damn awesome.