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Survivor 20, Episode 7: I’m not a Good Villain

I know, this blog has mostly bee about Survivor lately… Sorry about that if you don’t care about it (just learn French and go read my French blogs). I’ve been a bit busy with other things (including redesigning layouts and stuff), but I promise I’ll talk about other things soon (including trying to catch up with my Lost analysis).
But in the meantime, this season keeps on delivering. Every week, it’s great episode, after great episode. I hope things stay the same after the merge (I’m afraid things become predictable then, but who knows).


Finally they’re starting winning. Is that the same thing that what happened several times before: the team that is left to 4-5 members sticks together and makes it til this end? Maybe. But I’m not confident about that. This team is just not united enough. Well, in the meantime, let them enjoy their good moments, the merge is most likely coming and it won’t be easy. I’m sure JT still hopes to get Coach and whoever he’s allied with is he is, and same thing for Amanda and Parvati. And I kinda do to, that would shake things a little.
Amanda Kimmel

Not much of Amanda this week. I don’t really have anything to tell about her today.

Candice Woodcock
Candice was really good in challenges, and she seems to have gotten close to Colby (and I’m not saying this  because of the ass groping thing at the end of the reward challenge), not sure if this is a good move, but she’s desperate. She kinda kicked ass in the challenges this week too, which brings us to…
Colby Donaldson
So is this what he needed for a wake up call? Finally he started showing what he had in his guts, it was damn time. That won’t really change anything to anything, he still can’t play strategically, he still has no allies (except maybe Candice now), he won’t be able to go to the end of this game. But he gave a good and much deserved break to the Heroes tribe.
James “J.T.” Thomas, Jr
Not much of him this week either, except this very interesting – and smart – idea about the new hidden immunity idol; to find it as a group and to keep it for the merge. Indeed, unless the Villains tribe is extremely divided – which it is right now, JT will be the obvious target when the merge happens, so if he could play the hidden immunity idol then, that would give the Heroes an edge that they could (but can they?) use to get further in the game and take the advantage over the Villains.
Rupert Boneham
“Fantastic Fice”? What “Fantastic Five”? Just because your team has won two challenges it suddenly is “fantastic”? And can you remind us why the 5 other members are not there anymore then? Also what was that with Russell during the challenge – or rather after the challenge? Not very heroic for somebody that wants to be all “I’m a Hero, blah, blah, blah”, especially after a similar action against Jerri a couple of weeks ago.

Wow, I guess – as it’s been mentioned during tribal council – Tyson really was the one that held the tribe together (that’s because he’s awesome, and to prove it, see he still being mentioned and I’m still using “awesome” and “Tyson” in the same sentence even after he was voted out)… Well, him and the fact that they were winning challenges and didn’t have to go to tribal council.
And finally, the showdown between Russell and Boston Rob came to a conclusion. Some people may think it came too early, but I don’t think so, had it dragged on until after the merge, it would have become too distracting. Also, this opposition between them what the main reason – I think – that the other players don’t get much camera time in this tribe and why we’re rarely getting any confessionals from the confessional queens that Courtney and Sandra are (not mentioning Tyson, the king of confessional comments who got robbed).

The future will be interesting for this tribe. Everything seems to indicate that the tribe is gonna self-destruct like so many tribes in its situation before, but it won’t really matter, because with those players I have the feeling that the terme “individual game” could be redefined this season once the merge occurs.

Benjamin “Coach” Wade
I keep on alternating between feeling bad for him and despising him when he’s preaching us about loyalty and chevalry, and that he’s fooling only himself about it, and the fact that everybody is playing him – even Jerri to a certain extent – and that he doesn’t realize it. Of course, the rest of the time I keep on finding him hilarious. As I already mentioned, Russell’s move last week was great in many ways, one of the them – and not the least important – being to put Coach on the spot about his “loyalty”. Of course, after that, Russell knew that Coach was not gonna vote with Rob against him at the next tribal. And as he gave his word to Rob too (and Rob tried to play on that too, but not as well as Russell did) he ended up in that situation where he had to betray somebody. So he voted Courtney, which is Coach’s way to rationalize his betrayal. In this mind, he didn’t vote for Rob nor for Russell, expect that he gave the majority to Russell just like that.
Oh well, nothing new under Coach’s sun, I just hope he doesn’t get voted out before long, so that he can keep on amusing us (can’t wait to see what JT will do with him as well as seeing him butting heads with Rupert and/or Colby).
Courtney Yates
We need more Courtney screen time… Where are her witty, snarky, snippy comments? We need them before she gets voted out, as this could happen soon if there’s no merge and the Villains go to tribal again.
Danielle DiLorenzo
Finally we saw her strategizing a little (and by strategizing I mean riding both Russell’s and Parvati’s coat tails). I still have nothing to say about her though.
Jerri Manthey
Last week I was surprised to see Jerri allied with Rob, I’m sure she did so because she knows Rob personally (and if they’re not friend, they’re at least friendly) and they’re the only “old school survivors” in the team (with Sandra? I guess Sandra qualifies as a “old school survivor”) but now she realizes that she has to get past her dislike of Parvati and align herself with Russell’s alliance. Strangely, I think Russell is sincere when he says he wants her and Coach with him til the end, maybe he’s realizing that he has a better chance to win the game with a bozo that nobody takes seriously and the black widow and her bad reputation (although she hasn’t lived up to it) than with Parvati at his side. We’ll see as this plays out, but I have the feeling that Parvati will see that coming and Jerri could be the first collateral when that happens.
Parvati Shallow
Surprisingly, not much of Parvati either this week. I guess her too had to go in the background a little so that the two alpha males of the tribe can try to kill each other. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll have lots of things to say about her in the near future.
Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano (voted out)
He got played. He totally underestimated Russell and he paid the price. Rob had to realize that things have changed, people play way more aggressively than he’s used to, and have no problem switching allegiances if it can help them go further in the game. Last week, he had a great plan, that failed because of Tyson, but he couldn’t manage to fix things up after it went wrong, and he probably just assumed that the people that he had last week would still vote with him. Except that Jerri realized that she was at the bottom of that alliance and that she had to switch sides before it’s too late – and Russell understood that too, that’s why he lured her into his alliance at the perfect moment.
Rob is a great manipulator when he plays with people that will stick to their words and their alliances, he knows how to manipulate that kind of people, but against people like Russell and Parvati, he’s not that great anymore.
Russell Hantz
He amazes me more and more. At the beginning of the season, I was not sure how he would manage to play with those people, and the fact that he played exactly the same game than in Samoa could backfire real quick. But Russell has proven that he’s one of the best strategical player to ever play that game (alhough his poor social game cost him a million, and could cost him another one). He was simply amazing last week, playing Tyson (beware the Russell seed), then the idol, and everybody else (by showing them what loyalty means, planting another Russell seed in Coach’s mind, as well as Parvati’s and maybe everyone else more or less). His game this time was flawless again. He had the numbers against him, and he managed to rally Jerri, confuse Coach, and even Sandra and Courtney to a certain extent by telling them they should be voted off to their face in such a matter-of-factly way. He’s now in control of the game, although he has two big hurdles to jump: the merge and the final council if he makes it that far again.
The merge because the last time, being in the minority, he had a field trip confusing and manipulating the opposing, larger, less prepared tribe, but this time the situation will be very different. He’ll need a few more hidden immunity idols… But I guess we can trust him for finding and playing them at the right moment.
The final tribal council for obvious reasons already mentioned: lack of social skills, and just like Amanda in Micronesia, not knowing the outcome of his previous final council will most likely make him do the same mistakes.
Sandra Diaz-Twine
OK, last week, I was a bit tough with her. Sandra can be very annoying when she’s in a complaining, bitchy, mean mode, but she also can be very funny and entertaining. But just like Tyson and Courtney, we haven’t seen enough of that side of her. Soon hopefully. Game plan wise, she’s playing too old school, just like Rob, sticking to her alliances and expecting everybody to do so, and things like that. She’ll be expandable very soon.
Next Week:
The preview didn’t even allude to a merge, and we saw a lot of villains interactions, which most likely imply that there won’t be a merge. When is it going to be? I guess when they’re down to 10. It also could be right before the immunity challenge and not before/instead the reward challenge… We’ll see.
Next person voted out:
If there’s a merge, JT is definitely in trouble, unless he has the hidden immunity idol and plays it well.
If there’s no merge and the Heroes go, Colby is gone (didn’t I write this before?).
If the Villains go, Sandra or Courtney are in trouble. Maybe Sandra more, as I assume Courtney made more friends.

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