I can't tell you how pumped I was for the Boston Rob vs. Russell showdown. All week I was counting down the minutes until Thursday night at 8pm. Unfortunately, like many heavyweight fights, the "biggest battle in Survivor history" didn't live up to its billing...
Heading into the show, I really thought that Russell was going to have to pull another miracle move to save himself. He was down in numbers 5-3 and all four members of Rob's alliance seemed to be holding strong. I thought maybe, just maybe Russell's move of "honor" would be enough to sway Coach and force a tie. However, after hearing Coach's thoughts early on, it became pretty clear that he was strongly against any alliance that included Parvati. Sandra clearly hated Russell, so she was out. Courtney was the most likely to flip in my book, but then she went off in an interview about how she couldn't stand Russell as well. That left Jeri as the lone swing vote and I never thought that she would be the one to flip. Her and Rob had old-school ties, and she had made it clear in earlier episodes that she wasn't all that fond of Parvati. But wouldn't you know, the "troll with the missing tooth" managed to charm the Black Widow. Apparently Russell's act of chivalry resonated well with Jeri's deep-seated man issues and she sold Rob up the river.
Overall, I'm happy that Russell came out the victor. As much as I appreciate Rob's contributions to the game, he's clearly not in the same league as Russell. He was the first one out at the merge in Marquesas and while he did make it to the end in All-Stars, he did so by lying bold-faced to people who were his actual friends outside the game. On the flip-side Russell has never had any pre-formed alliances and has played this entire game with a gigantic target on his back, yet he still manages to run circles around everybody.
In retrospect, perhaps Rob never even had a chance. He took his best swing last week and Russell countered with a blow to the jaw. This week, Rob just seemed overwhelmed and defeated, and Russell took the opportunity to absolutely pummel him in the social game. Yes, last episode may have been billed as a heavyweight fight, but in the end, it was utterly lopsided.
In other Survivor news, the Heroes seem to be pulling things together, which is extreeeeeeemely important as we approach the merge. From the previews of the next episode, it appears that the Villains tribe is about to fracture beyond repair. At this rate, even if they end up down in numbers, the Heroes may have the largest alliance heading into the merge. Don't count Amanda out yet!