Survivor Heroes vs Villains: The Crying Game
This fourth episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was jam-packed with challenges, some intense strategizin’, more than one immunity idol, Jeff Probst controversy, and nary a chicken hunting scene in sight! It’s quite the exciting episode, and I haven’t even told you about Coach’s sob-fest yet. (Remember when Rob collapsed and Coach proclaimed that everyone else will have a breakdown but he won’t? Delicious irony!)
Last week, the villains went to Tribal Council, where Sandra called out Coach for not doing enough around camp. We see the villains returning to camp, and Coach was apparently hurt pretty deeply by Sandra. How deeply, you ask? Well, deep enough to make him SOB. But not deep enough to become modest: “I’m probably more sensitive than most people, I just hide it behind a lot of things I’ve done and accomplished,” Coach tells us.
Think he’s done complimenting himself? Then you don’t know Coach, my friend! Check this shit out: “There’s never been someone like me out here, and there’s never going to be anybody like me again. I did noble things out here and I look ignoble.” But then he quickly dissolves into big, weepy baby as he says to Tyson, “Why doesn’t anybody ever say anything good about me?” Damn, now I feel kind of (I said kind of!) bad for him. Before you laugh, you miserable bastards, think for a second: When was the last time YOU said anything good about Coach? Exactly.
I can’t tell if Tyson is making a joke or not when he hugs Coach and says he’ll help “coach” him through it, but I like to think that he is. But then Tyson goes and does something unforgivable and gives Coach a list of things he shouldn’t do anymore, to make himself less of a joke: don’t wear feathers in your hair at Tribal Council, don’t tell stories because “there’s no reason to tell them.” Uh, how about the fact that they’re fucking incredible? You’re just jealous you weren’t raped by pygmys as well, Tyson. (According to Jonny Fairplay, for those who don’t know, the extended version of Coach’s captured-in-the-Amazon story involves being raped by his captors daily. So… picture that.) Anyway, Tyson is trying to ruin Coach for all of us, and for this I can never forgive him. Also, Coach says he might want to quit, but we all know he won’t.
The next morning, Tyson tells the rest of the tribe what Coach said to him last night, which is kind of selling Coach out. In confessional, Rob says, “That’s not much of a coach if you ask me.” So Rob takes matters into his own hands and has a pep talk with Coach. And then Coach becomes some sort of tag-along little brother to Rob: “I want to bond with you!” he whines to Rob, who clearly doesn’t give a shit about all these “feelings” and “emotions” and things. Coach also talks about “sharpening” Rob. Again, I have no idea what he really means when he says that, but I’m pretty sure Amber won’t like it. Rob kind of hints that there’s some alliance with Coach, but it’s all secret. So secret that Coach doesn’t seem to be in on it. Rob ends things by saying to Coach, “Pick your fucking head up and act like a man,” before walking away.
And Coach is back! All in one sentence, he describes himself as one-of-a-kind, the last of the Mohicans, King Arthur, and a “legend.” And then we get a Confucius quote! Also, all sorts of Matrix-y editing tricks during his tai chi session. Is there anything Rob can’t do?!
“I just thought we could do stuff together, Rob. Like sharpen our iron rods against each other, and slay each others’ dragons. And kiss.”
The heroes get Tree Mail, and it looks like we’re finally getting two separate challenges this week! The reward is sponsored by, I don’t know, Target or some shit. They never really make it clear. Anyway, each tribe can pick two things from a catalogue to play for. Before we go to the challenge, Rupert very cleverly guarantees himself two more seconds of airtime this week by not only reading the name “Sears” aloud, but also the “Life Well Spent” slogan.
Jeff summons the tribes into the challenge, and tells us that members from each tribe will go head-to-head sliding down an oily mat to retrieve balls (so Parvati knows she’s got this one in the bag – hey-oh!). The first person to toss their ball into the basket at the end of the slide wins a point. First tribe to four wins the two items selected. Jeff shows us what each tribe chose, and for some reason instead of just laying out the selected items, Sears decided to dump their whole goddamned store into the middle of the jungle, so Jeff is standing next to a massive pile of garbage. We get it. Sears has lots of things. This is stupid. Anyway, the heroes chose a fishing set and a kitchen set, while the villains chose a tool kit and a tarp. Also, the villains sit out Parvati, thereby rendering my earlier joke useless. They ARE villains!
Survivor: Hoarders vs Packrats
We get a quick zoom-in on the Sears logo, Top Chef-style, and then a lot of gratuitous shots of the Survivors rubbing their bodies with oil. Ohhh yeah, Cirie. Slowly. Reeeaaaallll slooowwwly.
Round one is Coach versus Tom. Tom gets his ball first, but Coach wins the round by being the first one to toss his ball into the basket, Granny-style. Much posing ensues. Round two is Russell versus Cirie. Russell speeds down the course like the chubbiest torpedo ever, while Cirie just flops onto her stomach and goes nowhere, which forces her to awkwardly crawl through the oil. Obviously, Russell wins this round.
“Who are these people kidding? I’m Russell Hantz! I’m the king of sliding through KY Jelly!”
Round three is Courtney versus Candice. Candice has no trouble getting her ball, but Courtney gets all tangled up in the ropes to hilarious effect. See? Courtney should be forced to compete in every challenge – it’s always comical. Before Courtney even gets to the end, Candice scores the first point for the Heroes.
Let’s play “Which One Is a Rope, And Which One Is Courtney?” Bet you can’t tell!
Round four is — HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT JAMES:
Honestly, I’m pretty sure I saw the cameraman reflected in his pecs.
Anyway, round four is Jerri versus Amanda. Jerri makes her first shot. Amanda congratulates her, but Jerri just ignores her and walks off, because Jerri so evil. Round five is Sandra versus James, and all the villains have a good laugh at Sandra’s expense. Including Sandra. Jeff goes apeshit over how amazing James apparently is at this challenge, even though it’s basically a Slip ‘n Slide followed by a five-foot-tall basketball hoop. A child could be amazing at this challenge. But whatever, James wins and celebrates by calling Sandra an old bitch. Or at least I assume he does, but we don’t get to see it.
Round six is Danielle’s oily tits versus Rupert. (By the way, from now on Danielle DiLorenzo shall be referred to by the incredible nickname created by Rob Cesternino – Double D.) Double D gets to the end ridiculously fast, but Jeff doesn’t point it out because she is a woman. But Rupert ends up scoring a point, tying it up. Let me remind you, he did this WITH A BROKEN TOE. Vote for him to win a second million, America!
The sudden death round is Colby versus Tyson. Colby is all serious, like always, starting in some sort of sprinter’s position. Tyson just kind of stands there. “Donaldson” gets the ball first, as called out by Jeff, with Tyson (no last name for you, pal) not far behind. There’s an intense little moment where neither man can sink his ball, while Jerri screams like a banshee for Tyson to beat Colby. And he does! The villains win! Poor Colby appears like he’s getting too old for this shit, I’m afraid.
Back at camp, Coach tells us, “The Dragon Slayer’s feeling top-notch.” He also does the producers’ job for them, by interviewing himself: “Will I change? No. Will I be the Dragon Slayer and slay everybody? Yes. Will I wear my heart on my sleeve every day? Absolutely, unequivocably [sic], yes.” The villains dig through their tool chest, and Russell pulls out a knife, which has something in its case. He lets it fall on the ground, so Rob gets it, and it’s a clue to the hidden immunity idol. So, the guy who is famous for finding three idols without any clues had a clue in his hands and gave it to someone else. Man, Russell is laaaaaame this season.
Rob is completely surprised by this, because he’s never played with a hidden immunity idol before. And I’m willing to bet he doesn’t even watch Survivor anymore. Turns out the idol is hidden below the palm tree Coach climbed! The villains decide as a group that they should just get rid of it, and that anyone who goes looking for it has sealed their own fate. Russell, of course, calls them all idiots and says he’s going to get the idol for himself.
“So Rob thinks he’s in charge, huh? Let’s see how good he is after I finish taking a dump in his baseball cap! I’m the king of strategy!”
The guys get to work on setting up a better shelter with their tarp, and Russell announces he’s going to go take a walk. You know, just down the beach. In the direction where everyone just found out an idol is hidden. Just a coincidence, nothing to see here. Russell is truly an idiot. Rob sends Sandra to go spy on him, because she’s proven before that what she does best is ruining other people’s games by hiding in bushes. And she does exactly that, spying on Russell from behind some plants as he searches. “He’s a stupid ass,” she says as she runs back to report to everyone. Most of the villains agree that Russell sealed his own fate. Rob calls Russell “the Hobbit on crack,” which is such a brilliantly accurate description I’m pissed I didn’t think of it myself.
At the heroes’ tribe, they’re all making coffee when Tom notices a piece of paper inside the coffee. JT reads it to everyone, and obviously it’s also a clue to their own hidden immunity idol. Unlike the villains, the heroes actually want to use it, because that’s what it’s fucking for. Tom and Colby especially want it, seeing as they’re next to go. Everyone scatters to find it, with Amanda literally running after Tom. Tom finds it in no time, but Amanda and James are right next to him, so he tries to sneak it into his sock. Amanda, however, catches him in the act and spills the beans to everyone. However, Tom thinks he can still use it to flip some people, since odds are at least one person will want to be aligned with the idol rather than against it.
JT: “So… uh… I’m going to go take a walk…”
Tom: “Yeah… me too. No reason.”
Cirie: “Yeah, I guess I’ll go, too. Not because I’m looking for anything. Just… walking.”
James: “I’m gonna kill y’all.”
Immunity challenge! And this one is INFAMOUS. One person is put in an American Gladiator ball while everyone else is blindfolded. The person in the ball guides two tribe members to push the ball through a course, and at the end of the course he has to guide four other blindfolded tribe members to maneuver a ball through a maze. Sound familiar? As Jeff points out (he LOVES Survivor “firsts”) it’s the only challenge to never be completed, since Black Russell from last season collapsed and died so rudely in the middle of it.
For the villains, Rob is the leader, and for the heroes it’s Tom. Rob immediately manages to guide Coach and Tyson past the heroes, but gets slammed into a tree pretty hard. The villains get to the mat first, and Rob starts directing Parvati, Russell, Danielle, and Jerri through the maze. Tom gets to the mat shortly after and guides Colby, Candice, JT, and Amanda through their maze. Things get really intense, but how exciting is it to describe a maze to you? So let’s just cut to the chase: The villains win.
Parvati goes to high-five Rob, whose hands are clearly strapped into the ball still, so she’s just kind of waving at his face. “I can’t do anything,” he hilariously says. “A little help?” Once he’s out, Jeff mancrushes all over Rob: “Rob, you stepped up in a very gutsy position as caller, and it paid off.” Has Jeff ever given someone credit for singlehandedly winning a challenge like that before? This seems like pretty clear favoritism to me. The heroes do the slow march of failure as Cirie says that for her game, Colby or Tom have to go because they’re strong.
And now for the most confusing 10 minutes of strategy ever. Stick with me as I try to explain it all, because almost everyone’s name is thrown around at some point. I think they even discussed voting out Sugar again. First, Candice and Cirie talk privately and say that this is good, because this gives them a chance to break up Tom and Colby. Candice has a solid plan to negate the idol: Vote 3 for Tom and 3 for Colby. If Tom plays the idol, Colby’s 3 votes still count and he’s gone. If Tom doesn’t play the idol, then they would have to re-vote, and 4 would vote for Tom and 2 would vote for Colby. “So either way we’re good,” says Cirie, which is a terrible thing to say on Survivor.
JT, however, is not on board – he wants to target Candice, seeing her as the biggest strategic threat. Apparently he’s forgetting Cirie is in this game. JT talks to Amanda about it, and confesses that he wants to be aligned with Tom again, because he wants the idol on his side. Tom takes Amanda and JT aside and tries to strike a deal, stressing his honesty and his ability in challenges as reasons to keep him. Tom gives his word to the two of them that he won’t play his idol unless their alliance agrees on it, even going so far as to offer them the idol, which they don’t take. Amanda is actually trusting Tom, and they pull in James to vote out Candice as well.
But THEN Amanda pulls Cirie aside and approaches her about voting out Candice. Cirie, obviously, finds this retarded. She talks some sense into Amanda, saying, “These are the same people that wanted you gone desperately!” Amanda starts doing her obnoxious little, “Oh no, what do I do?” face that she does at Tribal Council, and Cirie says in confessional that Amanda’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. I mean, she’s not the best, but it’s not like she’s at Rupert’s level or anything.
“Yeah, I don’t know. I just hope we can all be friends, you know?”
James and Rupert join Cirie and Amanda, so Cirie starts preaching to all of them about the dangers of Tom and Colby. But JT is spying on the group, perched dramatically on some cliff high above their heads! Suddenly he remembers that Cirie is still in the game, so he runs to Tom and tells him Cirie is the mastermind. Tom realizes that all they need are himself, Colby, and JT, since he can just play the idol and then it will only take three votes. But this all happens in the last two minutes we see before Tribal Council, so obviously it’s misdirection, and our screens will be getting much less attractive after Colby’s ousting.
At Tribal Council, Jeff asks Colby if it’s inevitable because of alliances that “great people” are going to be sent home early (psst, Colby, he’s talking about you!). Jeff, do try to make it through this Tribal Council without kissing Colby’s ass. He then asks JT where the wisdom is in voting out strong people when your tribe is losing so much, and JT agrees it’s too early, but also says that everyone has a reason to stay here.
“Isn’t Colby fascinating, you guys? Couldn’t you just listen to him all day? Don’t you want to give him your immunity idol, Tom?”
And then Rupert speaks. He says he’s basing his vote on trying to get the tribe to bond. Honestly, just Rupert’s voice annoys the hell out of me these days. And why is he so obsessed with bonding (and/or bondage)? Rupert says that he regrettably has to keep his promises tonight. Jeff pounces all over that and gets Rupert to flat-out admit that he doesn’t think it’s smart to vote out the person who’s going (i.e. Colby), but he’s doing it anyway, which is a pretty retarded thing to do. Jeff even gives a big, sarcastic, “Wow,” asking, “What part of that makes sense?”
Okay, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Jeff NEVER interferes or lets on what he’s thinking this much. I mean, we all know he’s BFFs with Colby, and now his bro is seconds away from getting voted out and suddenly Jeff is giving these passionate displays of how wrong he thinks the vote tonight is going to be? There’s no way this is a coincidence, and it’s kind of bullshit.
Anyway, Jeff asks Cirie how worried she is, and I’m surprised he doesn’t say, “Because you’re a much bigger threat than innocent little Colby.” Cirie says she is worried, but Tom says he doesn’t believe that at all. Colby says it’s going to take a bold move to save him tonight, and I believe that bold move already happened – i.e. the host of the show playing the game for you.
James says he wants everyone to “stop all this crazy stuff,” and now Jeff and I can agree on something: How much we hate James. Jeff asks what he means, and James says, “Just, the whole social thing.” And that right there is why James was voted out with two idols in his pockets. Colby points out that the social thing is a “necessity if your name is at the top of the list of the ones to go home.” God, I love when Tom and Colby shove James’s words down his throat at Tribal Council. Let’s do this every week!
“All I’m saying is, how does it make sense to vote off someone so handsome, rugged, down-to-earth, fun, manly, heroic, and amazing, when you could just as easily vote off a woman?”
Jeff then asks JT if he’s concerned he’s going home, and JT says he knows he’s not, even if a lot of people are going to hate him for saying that. But he says the only reason he’s so confident is because he trusts the people he’s in an alliance with. This is a bold but good answer, because it’s showing his alliance that he’s with them. But also, it could come back to bite him in the ass, because someone who outright admits they’re not going home can only say that if they know they’re in control – and it’s impossible to stay in control this whole game. Also, we’re all just assuming the “alliance” he’s talking about is that with Candice, Cirie, Amanda, Rupert, and James, right?
Well, everyone finally votes. We see Candice vote for Tom and Tom vote for Cirie (saying, “You’re way too good at wrapping some of these really weak minds around your little finger,”) and then we see JT write a “C” before we cut away. Man, you know Mark Burnett gets a little mini-boner every time the two people on the chopping block have the the same first initial so he can do that little tease. Jeff starts to read the votes, but Tom stands up and plays his probably really smelly idol, which is still stowed in his sock. The first three votes are for Tom, none of which count. Then there are two votes for Colby, and then two votes for Cirie. All of this was expected, and nice try with the misdirection, Survivor, but we all know who JT voted for. And then the last vote is read: CIRIE.
Hooooooly shit. That was a pretty damn incredible blindside, especially because the majority of us viewers didn’t even expect it. And that was an amazing move by JT, which has just earned him a ton of respect from me (which I know he was desperately seeking). Poor Cirie is crying on her way out, which sucks. Even though she’s still crying and extremely upset in her final confessional, she remains classy: “My hat’s off to them. They got me.” Farewell, Cirie. You were a victim of your own success, but damn did this just make the game so much more interesting.
What do you think? Sad to see Cirie go, or are you excited about such a great blindside? Is Coach more in love with Rob, or himself? And most importantly: did Jeff cross a line with his verbal lovemaking to Colby at Tribal Council?