Powered by i.TV
October 7, 2015

'Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains' Finale and Reunion Report

by Kelly Woo, posted May 17th 2010 5:00PM

The big finale of 'Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains' capped off the dramatic 20th season in style last night at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Survivors past and present, plus an audience filled with friends and family, gathered to see who had outwitted, outplayed and outlasted a group of all-star contestants for the title of sole survivor.

I was on hand to watch the finale and reunion shows and talk to the winner ...

As fans know by now, Sandra Diaz-Twine won the jury's vote to become the show's first double winner (she previously won season 7, 'Pearl Islands'), beating out Parvati Shallow and Russell Hantz for the $1 million prize.

The event was a who's who of 'Survivor' -- I saw 'Survivor: Africa' winner Ethan Zohn, looking healthy after his successful fight against cancer; his girlfriend, 'Amazon' winner Jenna Morasca; 'Tocantins' runner-up Stephen Fishbach; 'Vanuatu' and 'Micronesia' contestant Eliza Orlins; and the infamous Johnny "Fairplay" Dalton," wearing a hilarious multi-colored suit. And season 12's Terry Deitz was interviewing contestants on the press line next to me.

Here are some tidbits from the finale and reunion show:

• That last immunity challenge? Hands down, the best challenge in the best season of 'Survivor.' The crowd inside the Ed Sullivan theater couldn't stop gasping as Russell, Parvati and Jerri groped blindly around for the immunity necklace. When Russell finally grabbed it, the place erupted with screams.

Coach, Survivor• Best quote from final Tribal Council was from, of course, Coach: "King Arthur's journey has officially ended." Can this guy please get his own dating show?

• Women still love Colby Donaldson. And host Jeff Probst. A lot.

• Russell apparently had laminated J.T. Thomas' infamous letter (the one that accompanied the immunity idol). J.T. promptly tried to burn the evidence of his bone-headed decision (which won him the dubious honor of dumbest move ever."

• Foreign heads of state in the house! The Samoan prime minister was in attendance.

• Winner Sandra on what she's going to do with her money? "Pay my taxes because I don't want to look like Richard Hatch," she told me. "[Then] vacation with my family in Germany."

• • The 'Survivor' production staff is amazing. The set at the theater looked wonderful and matched the Tribal Council set-up in Samoa.

• Russell on getting zero votes: "I thought I was getting two -- Candice and Amanda. I thought they understood the game, and they voted for somebody that didn't' even play the game."

• Sandra on Russell getting zero votes: "Oh I knew at Tribal Council he didn't have any votes -- they were mean to him. That was like when I played with Lill [Morris, on 'Pearl Islands'], you kind of get a feeling because of what's being said, who they're going to vote for."

Russell and Sandra, Survivor• During the reunion show and on the press line, Russell was adamant that he'd won and said the game should be decided by the audience. "I controlled the game. I was the king. I was in control of everything," he told me. "If you're that in control of something, you should win. And you know what? America says I should win."

• One of the turning points of the game, in my mind, was when Sandra turned Russell against Benjamin "Coach" Wade. " But the two-time winner said she couldn't "pinpoint one" as being the best. "That day, that's what I needed to do," she said. Still, a key tactic was actually not getting Russell out of the game. He did end up taking her to the final three, after all.

• Most of the other players thought Russell had an advantage because they hadn't watched his season before 'Heroes Vs. Villains' started taping. But the self-styled "king" of 'Survivor' thinks his advantage lay in the fact that he was "running full speed ahead, and you can't catch up. I was in the game already. Even Boston Rob -- he is the best player I've ever seen ... besides me. He's so good. The difference between me and him? I was running full speed."

• And according to Russell, the five best players in the game? "Me, Rob, Parvati, Cirie and Amanda. Amanda -- she was driving me crazy. If you drive Russell crazy, obviously you're pretty good."

• As for playing again, Sandra was wishy-washy. "Listening to these people talk about how three times is very tiring... I don't know I could do it." But in a year or two? "Maybe," she said with a smile.

What did you think of the finale and reunion show?

[Follow @kellyaoltv on Twitter]

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Joyce N.

Russell is the one who made the decision to bring Sandra to the final tribal council. Not very bright of him. The man is a very slow learner.

May 18 2010 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment

The thing I find most interesting is that there is NO way Russell could have won no matter who he took. If he had taken Jerri instead of Sandra, I believe Jerri would have won. What would have made it real interesting would have been for him to take Sandra and Jerri and that would have left Pavarti on the Jury.

May 19 2010 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russell got exactly what he earned.

May 18 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I absolutely HATE that Sandra won. She was basically a non-factor in the show except to whine in that high pitched, shrill voice. I totally agreed with everything King Russel said to sum her win up:

Worst Challenge player ever
No social game
Her one objective was to get Russel out and she definitely did not accomplish that!

It annoys me that the jury takes things so personally ---it's a game for a million bucks people. Lying and manipulating are downright expected! While I probably couldn't sit down to dinner with Russell or Parvarti without winding up in a screaming match over their lack of ethics, either of them should most DEFINITELY won over Sandra....come on~! Even Sandra said the morning of the final tribal council that she couldn't win!

You'll get them next time Russell!

May 18 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to pcolevr's comment

Face it, Russel is a loser and his ego got in the way of him loosing the game. He was too arrogant and positive in his thinking he had the game in the bag. He got what he deserved 0 votes. Love it, best Survivor ever...Russell got pout the wife, she might make you her hero or should I say villian..

May 19 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Your quote:

"Face it, Russel is a loser and his ego got in the way of him loosing the game."

I do believe that would be "you believe his ego got in the way of him WINNING the game".

I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and I was voicing mine to the community in general. I don't know why you "attempted" to come back at me or my comment personally, but I won't apologize for having an opinion. I don't get why everyone says Russell is so mean, but it's okay for Sandra to talk crap about everyone the whole season; through a personal item in a fire; come into this season already being a millionaire (although that's a common reason given why Russell shouldn't win), etc. No one on either tribe can say they didn't resort to at least some of the same tactics Russell used. Parvarti for example lied and manipulated everyone, including Russell yet I don't see anyone bashing her name here. I made it clear in my original post that I don't respect the way he played the game, but that's the way Survivor has been played since Richard "Hatch lied to Susan Hawk. I see no sense in your remarks being directed to me in particular.

May 20 2010 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Russell keeps saying now that he's the best player ever because he won the prize and all the votes as the "player of the game". Sandra corrected him on The Early Show this am by reminding Julie that even Jeff Probst said it was a neck and neck race between him and Rupert. Between all the votes for Rupert and the many votes that went to others, I doubt that "all of America" agrees with him that he is "the best ever".

May 17 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

haha. It's so interesting!

May 17 2010 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains - Life at Ponderosa: Going Home
The castaways express their eagerness to get home


May 17 2010 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

tribal council voting - Colby

Colby's complete final words

secret scene: Colby

Colby is voted off and joins the jury members at Ponderosa

May 17 2010 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just want to know when Parvati'll do Playboy. She rocks my world!

May 17 2010 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners