Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, week seven

I didn’t remember Courtney or Candice from their previous seasons. A few weeks ago I decided Candice was a crappy player, and this week I’ve made that determination about Courtney as well. Anyone who could watch Russell’s brilliant play at the previous tribal council and come away from it thinking he has a boyish crush on Parvati is playing with their eyes closed. She’s right not to underestimate Parvati, but she’s doing so at the cost of underestimating Russell. To date, everyone who has underestimated Russell has been voted off.

The Heroes came back in a big way in both challenges this week. At reward, I was delighted to see Colby repeatedly throw Jerri around in the aquatic basketball challenge. Ahh… just like old times. I’m kind of over Colby, but I’m glad I got to see him do the one thing I’ve been dreaming about all season.

At their reward, the Heroes uncovered the clue to the next hidden immunity idol. They decided to find it as a team and use it against the Villains post-merge. This of course assumes they win every immunity between then and now, but hey: it’s nice to have goals.

Unfortunately, the Villains lost the immunity challenge as well. Boston Rob just couldn’t live up to his legacy as a puzzle superstar. This means that the camera spent a lot of time on the swing votes in the middle of the two power alliances: Coach and Jerri.

There’s something to be said for voting out the weakest players and keeping the tribe strong… but it doesn’t really apply to a tribe this big this late in the tribal game. Coach’s protestations that they needed to get rid of Courtney fell on entirely deaf ears. Why would Rob or Russell make that play? If they decide to go that route they run the risk of their opponent seizing the opportunity — who gets a free vote from Courtney to help them along. I don’t know what game Coach is playing, but it isn’t Survivor.

In the end it was Jerri who made the decision to side with Russell instead of Rob. It makes sense, from her perspective… she knows Rob pretty well and has played with him before. (I believe he was instrumental in her being ejected from All-Stars, in fact.) Was it the right move, objectively? Probably not. Rob is an old-school player: build your alliance and stick with it. Russell is a new breed entirely. He will quite willingly put each and every Villain in the game underneath a bus if it means he gets one step closer to the goal.

Rob didn’t do much to try and save himself. I wish he would have. He just kind of… petered out. In any case, I suppose this means Jerri and Colby may both make merge, so we’ll be treated to more great shots of him beating up on her.

Rob’s stone-cold dis on Coach as he left the game was like delicious candy to me.

Who’s gonna win? If the merge happens at ten, and the Heroes maintain a winning streak until then, the numbers are a wash. If not, though, the Villains have a distinct advantage. J.T. is smart enough to find the hidden idol and use it for himself, and Russell is likely to be a controlling force on his tribe going forward. It’ll be great watching the two of them eventually go at each other.

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