Russell turns ugly.
Survivor: Heroes vs. VillainsBlog: Episode 12
13th Elimination: Candice
14th Elimination: Danielle
Nothing like a solid double-elimination episode to get things moving!
When they started the show by letting us know there would be two tribal
councils, I was expecting a snooze fest in which Colby and Rupert
predictably were voted off. Needless to say, I couldn't have been more
One quick observation before we head to discuss Candice's
elimination - I was dumbfounded by how quickly everyone quit the first
reward challenge for food. I mean, did nobody learn from what happened
to Coach a few days earlier? I was especially shocked that Russell, of
all people, fell into the trap. I'll get to this later, but after
locking up the "best player ever" award with Amanda's defeat, he's
seemingly become dead-set on proving me wrong. Once again, let's take
some time to review the Survivor Manifesto...
Manifesto Rule #8 - No matter how hungry you are, or how safe you may
feel, never jeopardize immunity for food. You never want to look back
and realize you ate a million dollar meal.
This time around,
it was Candice chowing down on some million dollar peanut butter and
jelly sandwiches. Yes, you can make the argument that she could have
easily been gone in the next vote even if she'd won immunity, but the
game of Survivor is just far too unpredictable to ever count anyone
out. I mean, did you think that Rupert and Colby would BOTH be left
after a double-elimination episode? Had Candice won immunity, the
Villains would've likely taken out Rupert. Then who knows what would've
happened with Russell going crazy and turning on Danielle? Candice
could easily still be alive if she'd stayed in the challenge and won.
Then there's the question of whether or not it was the right move to
off Candice anyway. Don't get me wrong, she made a stupid, stupid
decision last week that cost me my "pick". It's a rare thing in this
game when stupid people receive their dues in such a timely fashion and I
was happy to see her go. However, the longer you let Rupert and Colby
linger, the better the chance of one of them running the table. Meeting
either of them in the final could spell big trouble for one of the
Villains. Personally, I think it was smart of Parvati and Danielle to
pick her off. Candice is a proven flopper and by getting rid of her
early, they eliminated the possibility of her pulling a move with Sandra
or Jeri to knock them off at the end.
Then it came time for the second elimination. Russell won
immunity, which empowered him to do some crazy maneuvering that I doubt
he would've attempted if his neck could've possibly been on the line.
Parvati and Danielle had pulled some sneaky moves the past two weeks and
Russell wasn't liking the fact that A. he wasn't in total control of
the game, and B. that Danielle and Parvati were growing close. So he
decided to pit the two girls against each other. In a regular season,
this type of manipulation may have worked, but this sesaon is chock-full
of great players and everyone is well aware that Russell's a snake.
The chance of Russell successfully turning Parvati and Danielle against
each other had to be about 0.5%. Predictably, the plan blew up, but
somehow, Russell leveraged Jeri's blind trust in him to influence her
vote. The two of them, along with Colby and Rupert sent Danielle to
As I mentioned earlier, Russell displayed some pretty questionable
strategy this episode. The food thing was dumb, but ultimately not
costly. This vendetta against Danielle, however, probably cost him any
shot at winning the million. Everyone was already under the impression
that Russell was a lying piece of scum. However, I had always believe
that in the end, with a jury made up of fairly smart people with a great
respect for how this game is played, that Russell could defend his
aggressive strategy and reference some of the mind-blowing and
game-changing moves he's pulled off to swing the vote his way.
After this latest bulldozing of Danielle, I don't know if anyone
would vote for him. Russell's been sneaky, dishonest, and nasty.
That's his M.O. But this past week, he came off as just plain mean. I
may be the biggest supporter that he has, but even I had a hard time
stomaching this last move. Parvati, Danielle, and him had a tight,
tight alliance. They were strong to the final three and neither of
those two had really even contemplated stabbing him in the back. Then,
for really no good reason, Russell just decided to turn on Danielle like
a crazed dog biting it's owner. It was a hurtful move, plain and
simple. And the worst part is, I can't really think of a good strategy
to justify it.
Let's look at the remaining contestants. Would Russell beat
Rupert? Not a chance. Parvati? No way. Jeri? Doubt it. Sandra?
You could make a case that she's too passive, but on the other hand
nobody on that jury hates her and the same can't be said for Russell.
Colby? The dude has clearly played the worst game of anyone left and I
could see him crashing and burning hard with the jury. Still, it's
reeeeally hard for me to see the Golden Child losing to Survivor Satan.
The bottom line is that in a final two, Danielle was ABSOLUTELY
Russell's best person to sit across from. They were nearly equally as
responsible for all the dirty moves and double-crosses. Danielle was
clearly somebody Russell could talk circles around at the final tribal
council, and he could easily make the argument that he was the puppet
master and she was his puppet. I can see Russell beating Danielle. I
could also see Russell beating people like Colby and Sandra had he not
completely blemished himself with this latest low-life move. Now, his
rep is damaged nearly beyond repair and he's lost his best partner for
the final. I'm sad to say it, but Russell = Done.
So now that my "pick" has been plucked and Russell has been ruined,
who do I like to win? All signs point to Sandra who has a hidden
immunity idol that's actually hidden and who's also played a very solid
social game. What did I tell you? Don't sleep on Sandra!