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'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Banana Etiquette'

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Mar 25th 2010 12:42AM
Villains Parvati and Courtney looking a bit worn down
(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.

Which current Hero tribemate has a strong strategy? Tell me why in comments!
Rupert27 (6.9%)
Colby32 (8.2%)
JT81 (20.8%)
Candice69 (17.7%)
Amanda181 (46.4%)

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Joyce N.

In several interviews, Tyson has said that he told Russell of the split vote in order to tell him that he needed to use his HI. That's why Russell worked on Tyson to change his vote, Russ knew that Tyson hated Parvati and Russ had told him that he, himself, was going to vote for Parvati. Tyson figured Russell would use his idol to save himself and Tyson would get Parvati out of there. Tyson made it pretty easy for Russell to change the plan.

March 27 2010 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Nikos

I honestly hope the villains win every immunity challenge until all the Heroes are voted out (no merge or anything), because they're more fun to watch...

Or if the villains need to vote someone out, some miracle needs to happen and some of the less interesting people like Sandra can go... But that's not happening...

March 25 2010 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Russell had a great move last night, but Rob has so far outmatched him in every arena this season. This will just ratchet up Rob's level of strategy and show just how much better he is than everyone else, including Russell. Personally I can't wait to see the little "Hobbit on Crack" go home!

March 25 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lylekira's comment

I agree. It was the first time Russell has done anything that I could say was a great move and yet it was the obvious maneuver.

March 27 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I think Russell just knew that dumb Tyson disliked Parvati and used that info to work on him in case the 3-3-3 plan was in gear. Russell had to have an idea of how the vote would go in order to know he only needed one vote to change the plan. Courtney could have easily relayed the info on the plan to Russell as she didn't look the least bit shocked as the votes were read.

March 25 2010 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russell should have won last season. He didn't get the votes because the tribe couldn't admit that he has out played every single one of them. Well, here we are again. He is going to do it again. I think that this time he will be recognized for what a masterful player he is.

March 25 2010 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope they put out an immunity idol every week. I think it will be boring if Russell goes home next week. His conniving makes this show worth watching. I would love to see Rob go next week.

March 25 2010 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's what I don't get.

How did Russ know that Tyson was gonna vote Russ originally?

It's only a 50/50 shot...

There's more to this than was shown methinks

March 25 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Sancty's comment
sid gilmore

I wanted to vote in your poll, but there wasn't a choice for 'no one'.

I figured James was going home because when they sat down at tribal council Amanda looked like she was crying.

I know they edit the show so we don't know who it being voted out. But, it would be nice to have the vote earlier in the show and then spend the last few minutes watching the pre-vote conversations.

March 25 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sid gilmore's comment

Amanda always cries at Tribal.

March 25 2010 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this is the 1st time in both seasons that Russel truly impressed me. that was the tribal since...I dont know! and i didnt vote for best heros stratigist. i couldnt choose between a braggart, and quitter (where ARE you Colby of s2?), and 2 who dont seem to really contribute anything to the outwit portion.

March 25 2010 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to say it.

Evil Russell is one of the best, if not THE BEST player of Survivor history.

Sure, Richard Hatch will always be the Father of Survivor Strategy, and B. Rob is probably the most well rounded player in Survivor history and Parvati is the probably the best late game player in Survivor history.

But Russell wins, hands down the best "player" (mind-game manipulator) of Survivor.

There's no way that this episode should have went down the way it did. Parvati should have gone home. But Russell was able to calculate the moves of the side with the numbers (not that hard to do) AND THEN pick exactly the right person to go to (TYSON) and say exactly the right thing to get him to switch his vote. Then the kicker is... the person he got to switch his vote was the person they kicked off. It's just pure enjoyment to watch...

Next week should be exceptional and I can see the Villians purposefully losing the next challenge in order to vote off Russell.

B. Rob was not happy that he one-upped him, and perfectly paints the picture of Russell. He's dangerous because he'll do anything, ANYTHING to stay in the game.

It will be fun to see if Russell can pull something else out of his hat. BUT even if he doesn't he'll still be ranked on top of my favorite Survivors of all time. I hope he does pull something out of his hat, because I absolutely LOVE the B. Rob (another one of my absolute favorites) vs. Russell dynamic of the show.


March 25 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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