'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Banana Etiquette'
by Jackie Schnoop, posted Mar 25th 2010 12:42AM
(S20E06) I always hear the folks who don't watch 'Survivor' going on about how the castaways have it easy as far as real survival skills. Sure, being able to physically survive the elements and challenges is part of the show. But my own interest has always been more in the strategic angle. From the start with Richard Hatch, it's been shown time and time again that people manipulation skills can rule the game. Tonight was pure joy for me. It put me in my Happy Place. Why? Read on.
Perhaps this season touts some of the best castaways ever, but not all are great strategical players. For example, JT won his season with his brute strength, determination, and being a nice guy liked by all. Although he's hanging in, his flip-flopping strategy this season just isn't working for him. It's ruining his nice guy image, and he's only hanging in because he's physically strong. James was never a strategic player -- with that body, he's all physical. But he's the most accident-prone castaway ever. With his knee hurt this time around, he's a big guy who eats a lot, fusses with people, and doesn't win challenges. Rupert? Strategy? I don't think so! Cirie and Amanda were the strategic players on the Heroes.
The Villains definitely have more sneaky strategical moves going on. Parvati has excellent people manipulation skills. It's just too bad that all the other players know she does. Boston Rob has his strategical moments. He showed he's thinking ahead tonight when he pretty much guessed that Russell might give the hidden idol to Parvati. So he came up with a plan for a tie between Russell and Parvati so one or the other would go home. Smart thinking, huh? It's just too bad that the snake oil salesman Russell was one step ahead of him. Aside from Richard Hatch, with weaker social skills, Evil Russell Hantz is the most strategic player to ever play the game.
Since tonight's challenge had both tribes playing for individual immunity as well as both facing tribal council, the tribes were first pitted against their own tribemates. The challenge was more physical than mental as they each had to work their way through a fence-like obstacle unraveling a rope which tethered them to it. The girls could do as well as the guys, so Colby lamenting that a girl beat him and James saying, "A fat guy and a cripple beat Colby," irked me. I agree that Colby is off his game this season; I had such high hopes for him. Candice won for the Heroes while Boston Rob (surprise, surprise) won for the Villains.
From that point, shy of a half hour into the show, we had a whole lot of scheming going on. In the Heroes camp, Colby told them he knew he was the target and if they send him home, he understands. Yikes! But the Heroes had other considerations ... like James and his knee. He lost a footrace with JT, not that I expected that to mean much. However, it did. In their tribal council, the tribe unanimously voted out James for the strength of the tribe. That, for me, was a shocker. Not only did James go, but we learned all about banana etiquette. I'm glad I don't have to share my bananas.
The Villains were so much more classic, though. Now, I mentioned how strategical Russell was and how Rob's own mad skills figured out his plan with a split vote. Like chess moves of the mind, Russell went a step further. He figured Rob would figure out his plan. He needed a third. Did he go to his loyal buddy Coach? Nope! It's to Dimwit Tyson himself, the target! He convinced Tyson that he (Russell) would be voting out Parvati. Since Tyson really wanted Parvati to go more than Russell, he threw his planned Russell vote to Parvati! As the kids would say, Tyson got PWNED by Russell.
This tribal was so good, so classic, so one for the show's history books. After the voting, Russell made a point of giving the idol to Parvati and pointing out his loyalty for Coach to see. Rob was still confident. After all, they were splitting the vote -- Russell sealed his own doom. But no! Tyson switched his vote! Two votes Russell, four (not counted) votes for Parvati, three votes for Tyson. Bye-bye, Tyson! Rob looked confused, dazed and like a bomb went off in his underpants. I enjoy Rob this season, but a true blindside via convoluted planning makes the show so much more fun! I won't miss Tyson, but I would have missed Russell or Parvati.