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'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Anything Could Happen' Recap (Season Finale)

by Jackie Schnoop, posted May 17th 2010 8:08AM
It's season finale time for 'Survivor' - who will win?(S20E14) So, here it is -- the final showdown between four villains and the sole remaining hero in the epic season long battle of good versus evil on 'Survivor.' No, it wasn't quite like Stephen King's good versus evil epic 'The Stand.' (Although I think Russell could be Randall Flagg's lesser known cousin three times removed.)

However, by 'Survivor' standards, this battle might have provided the most entertaining, unpredictable and exciting season yet. For me to say that after watching every episode of all twenty seasons, that's something you can't beat with a stick. So, did Russell fare better than Randall Flagg in the Stephen King novel? Read on.

I've been surprised by many of the castaways this season even though I thought I knew them well. Jerri Manthey came across as likable while James seemed quite mean. JT went from nice guy to King Doofus when he switched up his game and tried to think strategically. Oh, yeah, give Russell a hidden idol, great strategy there! Colby went from being a superior challenge winning Superman eye candy dude to a sad losing forlorn kind of guy. A few remained consistent -- Russell, Parvati, Rupert. That could be either good or bad, though.

The first part of the finale was somewhat predictable. If Colby didn't win immunity, we knew he'd be gonzo. I had been so looking forward to watching him this season, but he ended up being a huge disappointment. At least he actually played the game during the last immunity challenge, but too little too late. Parvati ended up balancing plates longer than him in the end. He knew it was over then and there even though he tried scrambling a bit for a Sandra ouster.

So then there were four villains remaining -- Sandra, Jerri, Parvati and Russell. I believe Russell might even be the shortest. Hey, maybe he's got one of those Napoleon Complex things going on! Once again, they made the Rites of Passage, a time to pay tribute to their fallen comrades in the game. This has never been my favorite part. However, they've improved it some over the years. I know they're not going to get rid of it, so I must endure.

I absolutely loved the maze which made up the second immunity challenge of the night! It was a twist on the regular mazes as the four finalists were blindfolded and going by Braille-esque guideposts to make their way through. The only one not having fun and laughing seemed to be Sandra. That's probably because she knew from Jeff's commentary that the others were ahead of her. Russell, Parvati and Jerri were all in reach of the goal at the end. Russell was the closest and snagged it, but any of the three could have won. I can't help but wonder if either Parvati or Jerri would have brought Russell to the final three. I think they would, figuring he's alienated the jury.

Then came their final tribal council before it's all handed over to the jury. Since Russell had immunity, it had to be one of the women who went. The one I personally liked the most this season, Jerri, actually played the weakest game of the three women. While Russell thought Sandra was the weakest player, she had some strategy going on. Then there's Parvati. Against the odds of being a target from the first day, she made it to the final four. What to do? Why, vote out Jerri, naturally!

Then there were three. The jury questioning might have been the weakest of many seasons. We had no real memorable speeches this time around. As the questioning went on, Russell had to be feeling the animosity towards him. Yet, he might not be really human as he just doesn't care. He's sure he's the best player ever and that's that, case closed. I think it was Rupert who might have swayed the vote towards his ex-ally Sandra. But she might have won it anyway -- they don't like Parvati and most seem to despise Russell.

When the live New York City show announced the jury votes, Russell didn't get a single vote to win. He looked like he was looking for an escape, yet managed to take over a good portion of the reunion show. Sandra won six votes to three against Parvati. Once again, Russell's way with his fellow human beings did him in. He can't quite grasp that he's not the best player since he made it to the end twice, winning neither time.

Russell did win the Sprint $100,000 fan vote. While he really is a despicable dude, I can tell you why he won it. For me, Russell has brought new excitement into what was starting to be a routine series. Sure, he's a bad guy. No, I don't always support the bad guys -- I'm usually on the side of good. Russell, akin to Richard Hatch when the show was fresh and new, resurrected that water cooler talk once again.

We were dumbfounded that no one voted him out even though they all knew what he was. We were shocked that the people he wanted gone got gone. If we didn't have Russell the past two seasons, the thrill of the unknown would have been lacking. He's not anyone I want to know, for sure. But he was the star of the show two seasons running. That's why he won.

A few random observations:
-- Rupert needs to lose that tie-dyed shirt and stop being so righteous. He's not all that.
-- Parvati looks so much better on reunion shows when she doesn't have that Eddie Munster thing going on with her hairline.
-- Sandra has never won a single challenge? Yikes!
-- Lots of dumb moves have been on the show. I don't know if JT giving the idol to Russell was THE dumbest.
-- Boy, Russell is even more overbearing and obnoxious in "real life."
-- As with Jerri, I'm liking Coach a bit more. But Jerri is more normal and Coach still has a few loose screws.
-- James thinks he was more social this season? Oh my.
-- I never get tired of Jeff Probst hosting the show and the reunion.

Next season's show will be set in Nicaragua. Also, the season premiere date for 'Big Brother' was announced during tonight's 'Survivor' -- July 8. Be there or be square. Oh, something like that.

Did the jury get it right? Did the right player win 'Survivor'?
Yes, Sandra deserved it.374 (32.2%)
Parvati played a better game.433 (37.3%)
Russell was robbed.355 (30.6%)

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shanghai kate

Russell doesn't "play a game." He is naturally mean, evil, a liar and a bully. He believes that the game gives him license to be even more ugly than he already is. Playing harder to him means being meaner. That's not strategy, that's insanity. I just hope he isn't the new trend or people will start killing each other out there (oh, wait! They already are.) Can you say: "Lord of the Flies?" Let's hope his delusional belief that he's "King" of Survivor is at an end. Parvati is the real Queen of Survivor!!!

May 17 2010 at 11:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russel was not robbed. He did it to himself. Again. His durability in the game is not because he's so good, it's because he's so horrible. Any smart player would take one look at him and say "I've got to keep this guy in the game, there's no way he's going to get any votes!" Also, showing any arrogance has always been the kiss of death in this game and that's ALL he did.

Best player of all time was the used car salesman from season 5 (Brian?). Understated, affable without seeming threatening, and smooth as silk while screwing people left and right. I think he got all the votes.

ASIDE: I'd like to see a reunion of the early out people.

May 17 2010 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just want to throw in a word I heard today that explains why Russell didn't get any votes by the jury. That word is contempt. He showed his contempt for each person to each person and that is not something people will forget or forgive. Good game play is one thing, but showing everyone you hold them in contempt is quite another!

May 17 2010 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I loved Sandra's looking out for herself throughout the game which is something all survivors are supposed to do. She did her damnest to get the heroes to vote Russell out and the dummies wouldn't listen. She kept the heat off herself and it got her to the final three.

I'm so sick of hearing Russell's proclamations of being the best Survivor ever. He's lost both seasons for the same reason. Like it or not, the social aspect of this game is important. You can't kick your enemies in the butt on the way out and expect them to vote for you later. He'd be the best if he won the game and he hasn't. And he lost it all by his lonesome, pathetic self.

Parvati was chummy with Russell to the point of cuddling (ugh) with him and for most of the game they voted together. I think Parv just hoped no one would notice. If you walk like a duck and you quack like a duck....... She really thought that Russell doing most of the dirty work was a winning strategy for herself. Didn't work.

I like that Sandra won. She has the social part of the game down pat. It's worked for her twice now.

May 17 2010 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looks like the bootleg Spoiler's list was 100% ACCURATE! So how do these list's get leaked?

Unfortunately I read the article back in March. AND it ruined Survivor for me because each week
it was right on the money until the end.

Here is the list that I read:
The list was perfect and I wasn't happy
with the winner.

So here it is for you to read. I didn't want to
post it before because I didn't want to spoil the
show for anybody else.

1st boot: Sugar - Actual 1st Boot

2nd boot: Stephenie - Actual 2nd Boot

3rd boot: Randy - Actual 3rd Boot

4th boot: Cirie - Actual 4th Boot

5th boot: Tom - Actual 5th Boot

6th boot: Tyson - Actual 6th Boot

7th boot: James - Actual 7th Boot

8th boot: Boston Rob - Actual 8th Boot

9th boot- 1st juror: Coach - Actual 9th Boot

10th boot- 2nd juror: Courtney - Actual 10th Boot


11th boot- 3rd juror: J.T. - Actual 11th Boot

12th boot- 4th juror: Amanda - Actual 12th Boot

13th boot- 5th juror: Candice - Actual 13th Boot

14th boot- 6th juror: Danielle - Actual 14th Boot

15th boot- 7th juror: Rupert - Actual 15th Boot

16th boot- 8th juror: Colby - Actual 16th Boot

17th boot- 9th and final juror- Jerri - Actual 17th Boot

Final Three- Russell, Parvati, and Sandra

Third - Russel - Correct

Second - Parvati - Correct

Winner - Sandra - Correct

If you'd like to read the original article here is
the URL:

May 17 2010 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russell didn't learn from the last game. It's more than just strategy and physical games. You have to play a social game. And that's where he messed up twice now. Arrogance doesn't win you the game.

Personally, I thought Sandra deserved to win, for her handling of Russell during the game and her ability to stick with Russell despite knowing that he needed to be voted out. Parvati would have been my second choice, and I thought Russell made a HUGE mistake bringing her to tribal council, because she was guaranteed to secure votes, unlike Jerry who I'm not sure if she would have gained more than 1 vote.

May 17 2010 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, I commented on the Survival finale, I get an email saying that Barb responded to my comment..I cut and paste the site that they sent me and I get all these shows that I did not comment on and nothing on survival from barb. So, barb, if you can read this, who are you and what did you say?

May 17 2010 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One last thing:
Fallen Comrades - They need to scrap that part of the show, where the final three (or two) pay tribute to and collected tne snuffed torches of everybody who was voted out before them. It's really tired and tedious at this point. They recap everything ad-naseum, and you'd have to be brain dead not to know who had played and been voted off earlier.
Jury Sermons: Especially this group - if you don't know by now that scheming, double-crossing, and backstabbing are part of the game, and that you're not playing this game to "make friends" and "be honorable" then you're just stupid. Sit down and shut up. :)

May 17 2010 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russell was robbed, but I knew this would happen. He's not a social player, even though he basically ruled the game.
Rupert is a ridiculous, chain-smoking bag of hot nicotine-smelling air. He really needs to come down off that imaginary high-horse of his. I liked him in his season; now I can't stand him.
I'm semi-happy that Sandra won. She's a scrappy player, and I like her no-BS attitude.
I'm sorry, but the cumbest move EVER was Eric giving up immunity and watching the girls vote him off, on "Fans vs. Favorites".
They should have presented an award for Biggest Douchebag Ever - to Coach.

May 17 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The thing I would change is when people on the jury made comments against someone and not specifically asked a question, those people should have had time to respond.

May 17 2010 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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