Posts Tagged ‘rupert boneham’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Courtney Yates

April 19, 2010

We all have our reasons for watching “Survivor.” Some watch it for the strategic game of human chess. Others watch it for the devious, behind-the-back maneuvers. While others tune in for the opportunity to watch physically fit young people run around in skimpy swimwear.

Me? I watch it for the snarky testimonial comments.

That’s why I was decimated when villainess Courtney Yates and her razor-sharp wit were sent packing by Russell Hantz and his alliance of lovely ladies. I spoke with Courtney the morning after her dismissal to get her thoughts on her unique game play style, JT’s crazy gamble, and why Russell isn’t as bad as he’s made out to be.

Gordon Holmes: As part of the Villains tribe, your super villain power was your enhanced nonchalant attitude. It almost seemed like you weren’t playing the game.
Courtney Yates:
I think the game that I play is to take a really low-key approach. Like I’m not interested, or I’m not a threat. And then I do my best to build a really strong alliance of people who are going to insulate me from ever really being in trouble. Because once your name gets out there you’re painted with the loser brush and everyone is like, “We’ll just get her next.” I just try to keep my name out of there. And I try to come across as fun and part of the atmosphere. The best way to do that is to be like, “Well, whatever.” I try not to make waves or enemies. It’s not the same as Russell finding idols that fall out of trees and into his pocket.

Gordon: Parvati said she wanted to keep you around because you’d be more loyal to her. If Parvati had kept you around would you have stuck with her?
Courtney:
Parvati and I were always fine, we were always friends. So when it came down to me or Sandra I said to Parvati, “It’s much better to keep me. It won’t be good for Danielle or Russell to keep me, but it’ll be good for you.” I am a loyal player, and I gave my word. If I say I’m with you, I’m with you. They’re idiots to take Sandra over me, she’s much more scheming, she’s much more active.
Gordon: That was actually going to be my next question, do you have any idea why they chose Sandra over you?
Courtney: I have no idea. I think they thought people like me. They probably figured Sandra was more abrasive. I thought for sure they were going to keep me.

Gordon: I know you’re close with some of the Tocantins cast, did this cause any of the Villains to think you may have ties with JT?
Courtney:
Yeah, they did say that. It’s funny because that kept coming up. I told them I don’t know JT. I’ve only ever talked to JT twice. JT’s in Alabama. We don’t talk on the phone.
Gordon: Sure you don’t.
Courtney: Yeah, I know right? We talk about the cattle.
Gordon: (Laughs)
Courtney: Danielle, who’s never met any of us, was convinced (and Russell too) that JT and I were together, which we weren’t. The whole thing is so bogus, cause if JT and I were together he would have given me the idol. But no, he gave it to stupid Russell.

Gordon: Now that you’ve seen “Survivor: Samoa” and lived “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” give me your take on the full scope of the game play that we’ve seen from Mr. Russell Hantz. I mean the man burns socks, and hides machetes, and punches kittens, and kicks orphans…did you have any idea how low he was willing to stoop while you were out there?
Courtney:
He’s just playing a character and he’s being rewarded for it. If I got every single thing I wanted for doing bad stuff, I’d do bad stuff too. What it came down to was was I going to team up with awesome Boston Rob or weirdo Cajun dude? I chose awesome Boston Rob. Russell tried to talk to me once, and he said “Do you trust, Boston Rob?” And all I thought was, “Aw man, who is this weird troll who crawled out of the woods to harass me.” But other than that I was watching the show and I was proud to be a villain. Good job, Russell, that was great.

Gordon: We touched on this earlier, about JT handing the idol to Russell. Now, we haven’t seen how this is going to turn out, but I’m worried your phone buddy is going to come off looking like a moron.
Courtney:
Hey, back up the train. I don’t think he’ll come off as a moron. He was playing the game, he thought he was making a big move.
Gordon: OK, so you think it isn’t fair to say JT made a stupid move because the “Heroes Vs. Villains” cast hadn’t seen “Survivor: Samoa?”
Courtney: JT did what he thought was a good move. He was playing the game. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to sit and wait to be picked off. He thought he was earning another vote. He didn’t know that it was evil Russell, and he’s the worst.
Gordon: Do you think JT could have been tipped off that the opposing tribe is wearing red buffs that say “Villains” on them?
Courtney: You know what? Coach is a villain, what did he ever do wrong? I’m a villain and I never burned anyone’s socks!
Gordon: In all fairness, you said you never did anything wrong. But in the last episode you impersonated Coach in a moment of pain. That’s horrible.
Courtney: (Laughs) I impersonated Coach in a moment of dramatic interpretation. And making fun of someone is hardly the same as burning someone’s possessions, so you can back up the train even more.
Gordon: Oh man, we’re back at the station.
Courtney: We’re back at the station, sir. You have a lot of work to do.

Gordon: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Russell.
Courtney:
Short.
Gordon: Randy?
Courtney: Old.
Gordon: Tyson?
Courtney: Hilarious!
Gordon: Boston Rob?
Courtney: Brazen.
Gordon: Danielle?
Courtney: Hometown girl. Like everyone I grew up with.
Gordon: Jerri?
Courtney: Spiritual.
Gordon: Coach?
Courtney: Also hilarious.

Gordon: During your farewell testimonial you mentioned that you were very excited that you’d get to clean yourself up and be the person in the jury that all of the women who were still in the game would be jealous of. Now, I noticed Coach had taken a similar technique, but his involved some super sweet samurai robes. Now my question for you is, did you pack anything that can begin to compete with Coach’s attire? Like a tribal council kimono?
Courtney:
I did not pack for the jury. I didn’t think that far ahead. I’m not as wise as Coach. But we’ve planned something very special for our first entrance together.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 9 Recap: The Dumbest Move Ever?

April 15, 2010

Last Week: JT discovered an idol, Sandra disrupted the dominant Villains alliance, and Russell dismissed Coach.

This Week: J-Pro has promised “History in the making.” We shall see.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
Parvati Shallow – 27
Courtney Yates – 28

We start off with the Villains returning to camp after Coach was sent to the showers. Jerri is understandably freaked out because she had no idea that Coach was going home. She confronts Russell about it, he claims that he had an idea it was going to happen but wasn’t sure. Lies.

Russell lets us know that he has an alliance with three women he trusts. The other two women, however, will be the next two to go.

The following morning, tree mail tells the Survivors to rank their players from strongest to weakest. Apparently they’ll be redoing the Tocantins immunity challenge where the players had to stand between two boards.

That particular challenge was very memorable due to Coach’s anguished warrior yell. For those of us who forgot about that moment, Courtney is kind enough to remind us with a dead-on impersonation of it.

Bashing Coach after you just booted him? That’s just mean. How does she fit so much snark into such a tiny frame?

Jerri comes up with the idea to sit Russell because women have smaller feet and the Hero men have big egos.

Over at the Heroes camp, Rupert proves Jerri right by bragging about how he’s the strongest player left in the game.

As the teams arrive at the challenge, JT immediately notes that Coach has been sent home. JT says he’d “Bet his life” that there was a female alliance.

Reward Challenge: The players will be matched up by their pre-challenge rankings. Each player will stand between two walls, holding themselves up on tiny footholds. As time passes, they’ll have to maneuver down to smaller footholds. The person to last the longest from each pairing earns a point for their team. The first team to score three points will win a feast from Outback Steakhouse.

Outback Steakhouse: Live Adventurous, Go Outback.

The pairings are: Danielle and Candice (hey, the people who shouldn’t have been cast), Courtney and Amanda, Parvati and JT, Jerri and Colby (hey, Australia rematch), and Rupert and Sandra (hey, Pearl Islands rematch).

Russell will sit out.

As the challenge starts, Jeff mentions that this is Amanda’s 100th day on “Survivor.” If she’s been out there that long, she has to be a millionaire, right? No?

Wait, is that the history Jeff was talking about?  Lame.

During the challenge, JT turns to Russell and tells him to “Hang in there.”

That’s amazing, he’s not even in their tribe! Those Russell seeds are like dandelions…floating across the air and wreaking havoc.

The Survivors move down to the final footholds after twenty minutes. Colby seems to be struggling, and sure enough he’s the first to drop. The Villains score the first point.

Rupert is the next to go after an unnecessary close-up of sweat dripping off of his beard. Two points for the Villains.

Amanda is the next one having a rough time. She holds on for as long as she can, but eventually drops. Probably not how she wanted to celebrate her 100-day milestone. The Villains win the reward.

Go, Jerri. Good strategy.

We meet up with the Villains after the challenge and they’re at a faux Outback Steakhouse franchise in the middle of nowhere. You still probably have to wait 20 minutes for a table.

During the meal, Parvati finds an immunity idol clue in her napkin. She quickly stashes it in her underwear before anyone sees it.

Owww….too many jokes rushing into my brain! It’s like an ice cream headache.

Parvati and Danielle leave to use the restroom. While they’re away, Parvati shares the clue with Danielle. Apparently Parvati doesn’t think her underwear is a very good hiding place (oww….). So, Danielle decides to hide the clue in her cleavage. (OWWWWWWWWWW!)

Parvati lets us know that she’s not ready to share her well-concealed secret with Russell at this point. Uh oh.

Back at casa de Heroes, JT unveils a daring plan: JT wants to give Russell his immunity idol so he can use it against the female alliance. JT says he’ll bet his life in the game on it.

Later on, we meet up with Parvati and Danielle as they search for the hidden immunity idol. And in true Hantzian fashion they manage to find it.

Meanwhile at the Villains camp, JT is penning a love letter to hand to Russell with the immunity idol. The best part is where he tells Russell how to properly use an immunity idol. That’s like telling me how to make an obvious joke.

There was a lot of talk before tonight’s episode about this being the stupidest move in “Survivor” history. I don’t know if that’s true, but I can’t imagine this turning out well for poor JT.

Check Out Fancast’s Ultimate Reality Page

Immunity Challenge: Both tribes will start on a floating platform. One at a time, each player will have to move a bag of puzzle pieces (always puzzle pieces) along a rope and through a series of obstacles. Once all of the bags are at the end, they’ll put together a totem pole with the pieces. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

The Villains decide to sit Sandra out.

Survivors are ready…and they go. Jerri and Rupert start off with Rupert building a bit of a lead. JT and Danielle are out next, with Danielle managing to regain some ground. Amanda and Parvati are next with Amanda staying ahead. Courtney and Candice take the course next.

While they’re racing, Colby clues Russell in to JT’s plan. The smile on Russell face isn’t priceless. But it’s probably worth a million bucks.

Eventually Colby and Russell get into the race, but at this point the Heroes’ lead is way too big. They complete their totem pole before Russell can even get half way through the course.

As the Heroes are congratulating each other, JT hands Russell the idol.

We meet up with Parvati and Russell back at the Villains camp and true to form, they’re giggling over JT’s note. It’s a good thing JT is already a millionaire, because I’m assuming he just kicked his TV.

Politicking around camp revolves around deciding between Courtney and Sandra. Not shocking. Parvati wants to keep Courtney around because she thinks Courtney will be more loyal to her than to Russell.

That night at tribal council, Coach arrives in some kind of samurai robe. Sigh…never change, Coach.

Danielle and Sandra have it out a bit. Danielle thinks that Sandra is good at planting false information. She also thinks that Sandra had something to do with Danielle not being welcome in Boston Rob’s alliance.

J-Pro asks Parvati if she’s the boss. She laughs and says, “Of course.”

Russell tells Jeff that his vote is based on who he trusts the most. He says he took an alliance of three through an alliance of six because they trusted each other.

Jerri claims to have never been a part of Boston Rob’s alliance, but Courtney calls her out on it because she’d voted against Russell’s team.

Voting Time: And…no votes are shown.  How rude.

Apparently, once the votes are read the decision is final. One vote for Jerri, three votes for Courtney, and the tenth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” and the second member of the jury is…Courtney.

Quick Aside: Coach sitting in the jury box, cross-legged, with his hands in a prayer position is five-star funny.

Verdict: OK, I don’t think that was the stupidest move in “Survivor” history. It was more of a crazy gamble. With that idol they could have won a 5-on-5 vote. But that could have been risky because the Villains could have had an idol of their own (which they do). The way JT did it, all of that messiness would have been taken care of and Russell could have just joined up with the remaining Heroes.

I mean, how was JT supposed to know he was handing the idol to the devil?

Oh wait, he’s on a tribe called THE VILLAINS!

OK, maybe that was pretty stupid.

Who’s Going to Win? Wow, Parvati’s looking really good right now. And yes, I was referring to the game. Not that she doesn’t look good in general, too.

Power Rankings Update: Eliza Orlins won one for the All-Star squad as she had Courtney in spot ten while I had her in spot nine. The current score is now All Stars: 75, Team Gordon: 100.

What Do You Think? Was JT’s gamble the stupidest move in “Survivor” history? Will Parvati’s immunity idol secret come back to bite her? Was Coach really wearing samurai robes, or did I just wish that?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – Vanuatu and Micronesia’s Eliza Orlins

April 14, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 11 points. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Neither side was able to claim victory as both Gordon and Rob Cesternino had Coach ranked in the ninth position.

Before we kick off this week’s throw down, let’s touch base with the Queen of the Awesome Tribal Council Facial Expression, Eliza Orlins…

Gordon Holmes: Eliza, thanks for stepping up to the Power Ranking plate. Tell us what you’ve been up to since we last saw you on “Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites?”
Eliza Orlins:
Since I appeared on “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites,” I graduated from law school, passed the New York State Bar Exam, and became a practicing attorney! I’m currently a public defender in Manhattan working at the Legal Aid Society. I have the best job in the world!

Gordon: My arch nemesis Charlie Herschel was upset that you weren’t a part of the “Heroes Vs. Villains” cast. He said, “Eliza would be such a villain. She would do anything to win ‘Survivor,’ all with a vampy eye roll.” Do you agree with his assessment?
Eliza:
I love Charlie’s assessment although I think I could have been cast either as a hero or a villain (which might be the reason I wasn’t cast at all), but no matter which tribe I had been cast on, I would have done anything to win and you know there would have been plenty of eye rolling.
Gordon: Nice. If Charlie was a member of the ‘HVV’ cast, would he be a hero or a villain?
Eliza: I think Charlie could have been cast as a hero or a villain, too. He was certainly sweet and adorable on his season, but was in an alliance with the “evil” Corinne (Kaplan), so it could have gone either way.

Gordon: Were you honored to be a part of last week’s “Survivor’s” Stupidest Moments montage? And if so, would you like to take this moment to let everyone know that you were actually being quite smart during it?”
Eliza:
Of course I was thrilled and honored to be in the preview for this week! By asking that second question, Gordon, you indicate that you might have deserved a spot in the “stupidest” category! I don’t think there was any question that I was the smart one in that clip and Jason (Siska) was the one who was being portrayed as stupid! I mean come on! “It’s just a (expletive deleted) stick!”
Gordon: I’m told I indicate my place in the “stupidest category” often.

Gordon: As someone who has gone toe to toe with Parvati and Amanda in the past, could they be trouble if they both make it to the merge?”
Eliza:
Parvati and Amanda are both extremely strong competitors starting from day one. I think if they make it to the merge, they’ve both already proven twice that they’re huge threats. I wonder if people will let them get to the end again! We shall see!

Eliza Orlins’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 65

parvati #1 Parvati: Not only is she my girl, but she’s a superstar Survivor. Parvati is in a great position right now. We all know Russell stays loyal to people who prove their loyalty to him and Parvati has done that. Also, after having played with her, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, she’s not riding anyone’s coattails. That girl knows how to play and is certainly at least an equal partner in the decision-making of her alliance.
russell(2) #2 Russell: People may not like him as a person, but this guy has got game. It is undisputed that he plays harder than almost anyone else out there. It’s like he has some sort of magnetic force that draws idols to him. Apparently he’s going to get at least one more this season and if I had to bet, I’d guess more than that. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
danielle #3 Danielle: Danielle seems to be third in command in a team of three. So maybe she’s not the brains of the operation, but she’s been totally loyal to Parvati and Russell and unless her mouth gets her in trouble, I see no reason that they would get rid of her.
jerri #4 Jerri: Although she’s a bit wishy washy, now that Coach is gone, Jerri has to stick with Parvati, Russell, and Danielle to the end or else she has no one. I think she is someone who knows how to adapt and do what is necessary to stay in the game. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.
candice #5 Candice: I had a lot of trouble figuring out where to put Candice since she certainly seems like the odd woman out on her Heroes tribe of five. I do believe, however, that as she has shown in the past, she’s someone who has no problem flipping on her alliance and doing what’s best for her. I think that bodes well for her in a merge situation (which I have to imagine is coming soon).
sandra #6 Sandra: I thought about putting Sandra lower, but if Sandra can make it to the merge, we know she has staying power. She proved that on Pearl Islands. She knows when to mouth off and when to let other people dig their own graves. I think we’re going to see some more of Sassy Sandra.
colby #7 Colby: America’s favorite cowboy (yes, Colby, not J.T.) is back! He finally showed his ability to perform in challenges is not completely gone (even after 10 years) and that could help him out once the merge arrives.
rupert #8 Rupert: Rupert has had a rough time this season. Between his toe injury and his tribe’s losing streak, Rupert has been on the short end of the stick a lot this season. I think he’s in trouble.
amanda #9 Amanda: Amanda’s closest ally is about to give away a hidden immunity idol. She would be a great person to bring to final tribal given her track record of jury performances, but I don’t think she’s going to get that opportunity this season.
courtney #10 Courtney: Courtney’s in trouble. Her allies are dwindling and even though she has Sandra on her side, she’s already been the target ahead of Sandra. People may be afraid she’d team up with Amanda (a member of her final three alliance in China) or J.T. (her boyfriend’s best friend) if she made the merge. This could be big trouble for our favorite skinny bitch.
jt #11 J.T.: He’s about to take Erik Reichenbach’s crown away as the dumbest Survivor ever and I can’t wait to see it. People think J.T. is a good game player because he had Stephen making all his decisions. Now that he has to think for himself, he is not as brilliant as he appeared to be. Nor as charming. Candice put it well when she said, “he’s the slimiest one out here.”

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 91

russell(2) #1 Russell: If the trailers are to be believed, (and usually they shouldn’t be) J.T. is going to give Russell his immunity idol to protect him from the imaginary all-girl alliance.  Seriously? Clearly Russell doesn’t need to be playing “Survivor.” With his luck he should be out buying lotto tickets.
parvati #2 Parvati: Remember when everyone was gunning for Parvati? Those days are long gone. Her and Russell are super solid. It looks like the King of Samoa has found his Queen. He can go do the dirty work while she works on her tan and plots their next move.
jt #3 J.T.: If J.T. does hand over that immunity idol (and that’s a big if, I don’t trust promos) he could still be safe for a while. The guy dominated individual immunity challenges in Tocantins and the Heroes will definitely need him until they get to the merge.
rupert #4 Rupert: I’ve always gotten the impression that most players don’t take Rupert’s strategic game very seriously. Maybe this will give him some leeway once the merge happens? On an unrelated note, it’s nice to see him recuperating from the toe injury that made him such a downer earlier in the season.
amanda #5 Amanda: I thought Amanda would be in big trouble without her buddy James, but she seems to be doing pretty well for herself. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when she reunites with her “Fans Vs. Favorites” partner in crime Parvati.
danielle #6 Danielle: Wow, Russell didn’t want to hear a thing Danielle had to say last episode. That should worry her for two reasons. First, Russell clearly is only interested in her as a vote. And second, Russell isn’t willing to listen to what I thought was very sound logic.
colby #7 Colby: We haven’t seen much strategy talk around the Heroes camp since they started their challenge-victory run, but I’d think keeping Colby around is still a top priority.
sandra #8 Sandra: I’m not a huge fan of Sandra, but I have to admit she really played Russell last week. I’d like to think she could continue to work her way into Russell’s alliance, but I can’t imagine he’d forget her previous tribal council attacks.
courtney #9 Courtney: I hope Courtney has added Sandra to her holiday card list, because I’m thinking Courtney would currently be kicking back at Ponderosa without her. Can Sandra do it again? Who knows. But I’m sure Courtney has her fingers crossed hoping for a merge.
candice #10 Candice: I’m not 100% sure we’re going to see a merge in this next episode. I’m thinking they’ll wait until the final ten. (Note: I’m often wrong) But, if I’m right, I’d imagine Candice is still low woman on the Heroes totem pole.
jerri #11: Jerri: Oh Jerri…there was a plan in place to send the Dragon Slayer out to pasture and you weren’t a part of it. I can’t imagine that bodes very well for your future in this game.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out my Exit Interview with Benjamin “Coach” Wade and find out Who Former Survivors Picked as the Worst Villain of All Time.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade

April 9, 2010

Russell Hantz is a fascinating “Survivor” character. He’ll stab someone in the back and smile as he does it. If you hate him for it, he doesn’t care. If you love him for it, he doesn’t care. As long as it gets him closer to his goal of being known as the “Michael Jordan of ‘Survivor,’” he’ll do it.

On the opposite end of that spectrum is Benjamin “Coach” Wade. Despite what you may think of his game play, he always thinks he is doing the right thing to uphold his integrity and honor.

I spoke with Coach the morning after he was voted out and got the opposite of what I expected. Usually when I talk to Coach we discuss the game and enjoy some lighthearted banter about the amusing way he is portrayed on the show. This time however, after we discussed Boston Rob, Russell, and the actual game, he opened up about how difficult his appearance on “Survivor: Tocantins” has made aspects of his life, and how he hopes appearing on “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” will help change the public’s perception of him.

Gordon Holmes: There seemed to be some back and forth over Russell’s vote last night. In the end, he voted for Courtney. Do you think he was still on your side, or was that vote meant to sway your jury vote?
Benjamin “Coach” Wade:
I think Russell was just playing for my vote on the jury. After watching the episode last night I think that he really wanted me out, and once he started that ball rolling he couldn’t stop it. I think a heart-to-heart talk we had made him realize that he should stay truthful, and maybe he went back, but at that point the damage had been done.

Gordon: Your farewell confessional was cut off somehow by the CBS feed, which is a shame because it seemed like you had something colorful to say about your former teammates.
Coach:
Isn’t that a travesty? I think on every cable it was. After I saw that I laughed out loud. I had said, “I hope they’re all wiped off the face of the planet.” (Laughs) It was pretty funny. I think I was upset because I was blindsided and I thought there was no need for it. That day Courtney and Sandra had come up to me and said, “Let’s vote Russell off.” And even though I was grieving for Rob and I was grieving for Tyson, I really felt like I could not betray the new alliance. I don’t know if you caught it, but during the episode I was calling it the Forced Alliance of Five, the Forced Five. I didn’t want to be in that alliance, but I wanted to be true to my word. That’s why I was ticked. I was true to my word even though I didn’t want to be.

Gordon: People seem to be loving this season, but I’m finding it to be a bit of a disappointment. I think the best seasons of “Survivor” require some quality nicknames and poetry.
Coach:
I went down there prepared. I actually had nicknames based on Arthurian legend for every person in the game from Sugar to James to myself. I really wanted to up my game because I had such a hard act to follow from the first time around with the Dragon Slayer. I had all the stuff I wanted to do. So unfortunately you didn’t get to hear the nicknames of Sir Galahad, Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and the Lady of the Lake. I knew I wouldn’t be the best strategist, I know that I’m not conniving, my mind doesn’t think in those dishonest ways. I just wanted to bring something that I can bring which is creativity and a little bit of fantasy.

Gordon: Last week I spoke with Boston Rob and he felt that your vote for Courtney was taking the easy way out. Do you disagree?
Coach:
It was something I agonized over. Russell was bullying me, so to speak. Rob was sweating me. I had two girls on each side trying to get me to jump to their side. When Jerri jumped it made it impossible for me vote for Russell because it would have been a four-to-four tie and we would have had to draw rocks, and there was a chance that I may have gone home. Not a way to leave the game. So with that going around in my head, I started going on a quest to vote out the weakest player. I saw with Tyson gone that it would be a downward spiral. I made that plea, literally begging the two powers, Rob and Russell, to meet in the middle. It could be construed that I threw my vote away, but I didn’t, I made an impassioned plea for the tribe to be intact. And it wasn’t a subtle, minced words kind of way.

Gordon: After Rob was voted out, he gave you a hard time. He wouldn’t hug you and he called you a “Little man.”  Did that stick with you at all?
Coach:
It makes me think of a quote, and it’s not a slam at Rob, he just wanted to exact some revenge. I remember Jacinto Benavente said, “You meet the warrior when in battle, but it is not until victory that you meet the gentleman.” My exit, both times, very chivalrous. Even to people who slit my throat, I’d turn around, smile, and say, “The best of luck to you and it’s been an honor playing this game.” I think that it was sad that Rob did that because I fought for him all day long and someone like Jerri who votes for him gets a hug. It didn’t seem fair, didn’t seem just. I think it reflected more on his character than it does mine.

Gordon: Now that you’ve had the opportunity to see the full spectrum of Russell’s abilities between “Survivor: Samoa” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” what are your thoughts on his game play?
Coach:
I definitely respect the way he plays the game. I think he’s a ferocious player. Constant energy, constant motion. He was someone who was in it to win it. I think that he is a very good player. He brings an element; I bring a poetic element, he brings a vicious element and it’s what makes the game great. It’s the cast of characters and the variety that really makes the show interesting. As much as I’d love to be sour grapes, I’ve got to respect how he played the game.

Gordon: Earlier in the season you seemed very upset about some comments Sandra had made at tribal council. Afterward, you had a heart-to-heart with Tyson (and it was very nice to see that side of Tyson) where you seemed to have some doubts about playing the game. My question is, were you seriously considering quitting the game at that point?
Coach:
I never was considering leaving. But, just to give you a little more detail as to what was going on, last year the things that I hold dear to me, my honor and integrity, really took a beating. If you search for “Coach Wade” on the Internet, the first things that come up are “Crackpot, crook, and liar.” And I’m none of those. I lost my job and even some of the people in the inner circle of my friends would ask, “Is this really you?” So, I faced a lot of adversity. My parents stopped watching the show; it drove a wedge between my parents and I. And I went through a very tough time in my life. I talked about that in my exit interview last year.
Gordon: Did you make an attempt to change your image during “Heroes Vs. Villains?”
Coach: For my second time back I really wanted to change that, I really wanted to go out for redemption. So, when Sandra made that comment and Jeff smirked at me and rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, Coach is going to be the leader again,” in that split second I grieved for the first season and everything that had happened in my life. You don’t spend 13 years as a college soccer coach and have it taken away, literally over night, and not have some type of emotional damage done by that. But at the same time I thought, no matter how hard I try, I’m such a polarizing character that they’re going to cast me in the same light and it doesn’t matter how much good I do out here, or how well I do in the challenges, they’re just going to paint me as a jerk. Which, they didn’t. But at that point I thought they were going to do that. And so I came back to the tribe and I was really having a pity party.  I was actually doing that to kind of wake up the producers. Because it started out with me cussing out the cameramen and the producer who was on site. They were in Brazil, and they know all the good I did, and they know all the one-on-one counseling I did, and they know that I didn’t eat any food because I wanted to keep the tribe strong, and none of that made the edit. I said “You guys know what you’ve done to me, and screw you guys.” I was pissed at first and then it became emotional. There were just all kinds of emotions that went into it, and it was raw and it was real.
Gordon: Did Tyson’s talk help pull you out of that?
Coach: Tyson talking to me, I’ve always known that side of Tyson, and that’s why I love him like a brother. It was really great for him to say that, because he was like, “Wake up, you are different.” Even though he was telling me to conform, I thought I’m not going to conform for anybody. I am an individual; God has created me as such, and let’s rock and roll the rest of this game. No matter what happens I’m going to be the warrior that I set out to be.
Gordon: Do you feel better about how you were portrayed in “Heroes Vs. Villains?”
Coach: I think I’ve found redemption. So to answer you, yes.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 8 Recap: Who Outsmarted Russell?

April 8, 2010

Last Week: The Houston Astros upset the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 5 to 3. Russell Hantz picked up the win over starter Rob Mariano with Jerri Manthey getting credit for the save.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe
(wearing noble blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We meet up with the Villains after tribal council and the Dragon Slayer is peeved. He thinks that voting out Boston Rob will destroy the entire tribe. He doesn’t comment on how his lame-duck vote had a hand in sending Rob home.

Coach also worries that the Villains may not win another challenge. I think he’s right.

The following morning we meet up with JT as he’s searching for the hidden immunity idol. JT, doing his best Russell Hantz impression, digs in the mud and eventually manages to uncover the idol. As JT is cleaning off the idol, he is discovered by Amanda.

JT smartly fesses up immediately. He returns to camp and shares the idol with the rest of the camp.

We later find out that it wasn’t a coincidence that Amanda discovered him. Candice and Amanda knew if he found it by himself he’d try to hide it. They don’t trust him a bit.

Back at the Villains camp, Jerri worries that they’re going to die if they don’t eat soon. Fortunately for her, tree mail offers “The Best Meal Yet.” Everyone reads this to mean that it’s merge time.

With twelve players left? Do they watch this show?

In an interesting bit before the challenge, the Heroes assume there’s an all-girl alliance due to the fact that Boston Rob was voted out. JT even says “Hang in there” to one of the males (probably Coach) on the Villains team. Russell loves the fact that they think he’s an innocent party.

Before announcing the challenge, Probst has a bit of fun with the tribes saying, “Everybody drop your…expectations.” Everyone fell for it, reaching for their buffs before he could finish the sentence.

Oh J-Pro, you scamp.

Reward Challenge: Single members from each tribe will square off. They’ll roll a ball down a lane in an attempt to knock over ten pins. Each player will have two attempts. The person to hit the most pins wins a point. It’s kind of like bowling.

No, it’s exactly like bowling. Seriously.

First team to three points wins a delicious dinner of pizza and beer.

The Villains discuss who they should sit out, eventually deciding on Sandra and Courtney. This doesn’t seem like a super smart move; now Sandra and Courtney will have to participate in the immunity challenge.

Round 1: Parvati throws a gutter ball while Rupert hits three pins. On the second throw Parvati tosses a second gutter ball. One point for the good guys.

Round 2: JT takes out six pins with his first throw while Danielle tosses her team’s third straight gutter ball. JT misses with his second shot while Danielle completes her Parvati impersonation with yet another gutter ball. Another point for the good guys.

Round 3: Russell throws the Villains’ fifth straight gutter ball while Colby misses with the ugliest shot of the day. No lie, this thing bounced more than it rolled. Russell’s next throw hits five pins while Colby’s only hits one. One point for the bad guys.

Round 4: Coach and Amanda both knock over five pins with their first throws. Coach’s second throw takes out one pin, while Amanda’s takes out two. Heroes win reward.

Quick Question: Was I the only one rolling (no pun intended) with the dramatic choral music playing over the last round of “Survivor” bowling?

During the reward meal Amanda offers a toast to, “The best team on ‘Survivor.’” She immediately contradicts this statement by saying she doesn’t want to get overconfident.

Meanwhile, Rupert is doing his best to hammer his “Fantastic Five” catchphrase into my head.

If I’m ever on “Survivor” (and believe me, I’ve been angling for that) I’m naming my alliance the “Thunder Fire All-Star Demon Destroyers.” If you’re interesting in joining this alliance, leave a comment below explaining how you’d be an asset to the team.

We meet up with the Villains back at their camp and Jerri is livid. She’s doesn’t think Boston Rob would have let them sit Courtney and Sandra out before an immunity challenge.

For her next trick, Jerri does her best Russell Hantz impersonation by calling Sandra and Courtney weak players to their faces. And just like last week, for some reason Sandra has a problem with being told she sucks.

An annoyed Sandra later tells us her ideal boot order which is: Jerri, Coach, Danielle, and Russell. OK, maybe that wasn’t a boot order, she just hates all of those people.

Later we meet up with Sandra and Courtney as they discuss their next strategy. Sandra decides to do her best Russell Hantz impersonation by planting a Russell Seed in Russell’s ear. The Russell Seed she has in mind? That Coach is gunning for him.

Quick Aside: When one tribe dominates the air time, it’s obvious which side is losing immunity. So, I’m betting five “Survivor” points that the Villains are headed for another loss. Who’s in?

Immunity Challenge: Teams will be belted together in pairs. They’ll have to go over and under a series of obstacles to retrieve a flag. First pair back gets a point for their team. First team to two points win. Because there’s an odd number of players, one race will be one on one.

The Villains will sit Jerri and Danielle.

Round 1: Russell and Sandra vs. Amanda and Candice – Wow…this challenge is muddy. Amanda and Candice win this round easily as Sandra really struggled.

Round 2: Coach vs. Rupert – Coach jumps out to an early lead, but Rupert is able to catch up with him about midway through. Coach is just barely able to get to the finish line first.

Round 3: Courtney and Parvati vs. JT and Colby – Well…this hardly seems fair. Although, teeny Courtney could easily glide under the obstacles. But yeah, my first instinct was correct. The cowboys finish first. Kind of like “The Amazing Race.” CBS synergy at its finest.

And…you owe me five “Survivor” points.

Morale is down at the Villains camp, but Coach feels like the Dragon Slayer is coming into his own. He’d like to get rid of Russell, but thinks he needs to keep the tribe strong for challenges.

He also refers to his alliance as “The Force Five.” Man, those Survivors really love their alliteration.

Russell lets us know that he doesn’t trust Coach and it’s time for him to go home.

Not-so-quick Aside: OK, there’s a lot of talk about Russell being the best ever, and I’ll admit he’s entertaining, but his tribe is being decimated in challenges. Voting out Coach seems like a really shortsighted move. Of course, this decision may be easy to make from the comfort of my couch.

Danielle argues my not-so-quick aside point in the very next scene. She wants Courtney gone. Great, now I have to deal with the fact that Danielle and I agree on something.

Russell doesn’t like getting an opposing view point from a member of his dumb a– girl alliance, so he storms off.

Seriously.

Eventually, Russell comes around and decides that they will need Coach for the next challenge, and they can eventually vote him off whenever they want.

OK, good. We’re all in agreement.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro makes the point that the Villains are in some trouble when it comes to challenges. Jeff also points out that fire is hot and water is wet.

Courtney knows she isn’t good at challenges. J-Pro counters by asking why they’d vote out strong players like Tyson and Rob. Courtney states that she didn’t vote for Tyson or Boston Rob. For some reason Probsty isn’t getting Courtney’s very reasonable argument and continues to press his point.

Courtney also thinks that Coach wanted the stronger players in the reward challenge so they’d lose immunity.

Throw a challenge?! That’s not the warrior spirit.

Coach wants Courtney to be more confident in challenges and to say, “I want to do that cause I can beat that challenge!”

Courtney responds with an adorable, “Thanks, Dad.”

I take it back, keep Courtney on forever.

After all of that, Russell says he wants to keep the tribe strong and keep trust in place.

Voting Time: Coach votes for Courtney, Courtney votes for Coach (and calls him a lunatic), and the rest will have to wait until the next paragraph.

Probst reads the votes: two votes for Coach, three votes for Courtney, one vote for Coach, and the ninth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” and the first member of the jury is…whoa…Coach.

I’m going to assume that Russell voted for Courtney as a way to keep Coach’s jury vote. He didn’t seem surprised at all by the result and Danielle (who had been pulling to vote out Courtney) voted for Coach.

Verdict:
I’ve never been a big fan of Sandra’s game play, but she knew exactly how to play Russell. Well done. That being said, if the Heroes come back people are going to use this episode as a counterpoint in the great “Russell Hantz is the Greatest Player of All Time” debate.

Who’s Going to Win? Yow…I thought the Heroes were dead in the water. Now they’re only one immunity win from erasing the Villains numbers advantage. Blah…and my pick Jerri is getting into it with members of the Villains tribe. I don’t know what to think. So…let’s go with…uh…Parvati?

Power Rankings Update: Both Rob Cesternino and I had Coach in spot nine so it’s a draw. The current score is now “Survivor” All Stars 65, Team Gordon 91.

What Do You Think?
Will the Villains ever win another immunity challenge? Did Russell make a huge mistake? Can the Heroes complete their comeback?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – Amazon and All-Stars Alumnus Rob Cesternino

April 5, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 7 points and Gordon will receive 8 points. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Samoa’s “Good” Russell Swan underestimated Samoa’s “Evil” Russell Hantz and it cost the “Survivor” All-Star team dearly. Russell’s picks only racked up two points, while Gordon’s bet that either Russell or Boston Rob was going home scored him eleven points.

Before the Battle: Nobody saw this coming. After being humiliated two seasons in a row, Gordon has managed to build a huge lead over the “Survivor” All-Star team. That’s why they’ve sent in their big gun – the man Jeff Probst referred to as the “Smartest player never to win,” Mr. Rob Cesternino…

Gordon Holmes: Rob, thanks for taking part in the Power Rankings. What’ve you been up to since we last saw you on “Survivor: All-Stars?”
Rob Cesternino:
In 2006, I co-founded a small new media production company and have been busy writing and producing several different series for the web.  I’m also happy to say that later this summer I’m going to be getting married to my longtime girlfriend, Nicole.  In my spare time, I do a podcast about “Survivor,” “LOST,” and a bunch of other shows at www.robHASaWebsite.com.

Gordon: The previous “Survivor” Power Rankings players have left you with a hefty 26-point deficit to overcome. Do you resent the other players for putting you in such a deep hole?
Rob:
I would like to thank the other Survivors for the opportunity to be a hero.

Gordon: What was your take on the Boston Rob vs. Russell showdown?
Rob:
I really loved watching the Boston Rob vs. Russell battle this season.  The thing that was great about it was that it was almost like this mini “cold war.”  Normally on “Survivor,” two people butt heads and one is gone by the end of the episode.  It was really fun to see it go on for several weeks on the show.  Though Russell may have been fortunate at times (especially with the Tyson vote), I think Rob became so infatuated with Russell he lost sight of the big picture.  If Boston Rob tries to get Parvati out last week, he surely would have kept Coach’s vote and possibly could have been able to convince Jerri to vote with him.  At worst, he’d have a 4-4 tie instead of being voted out.

Gordon: You’re known as the “Smartest player never to win ‘Survivor,'” what strategies would you have employed if you were on the Villains squad?
Rob:
This is a difficult question for me since Parvati has pretty much stole my strategy of using all of my sex appeal.  With all of these major egos at play, I honestly believe the best strategy is just laying low.  These power players are going to target each other (See Rob and Russell) and after they all take each other out, the real game is going to begin.

Rob Cesternino’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 56

parvati #1 Parvati: Parvati is the Survivor your wife or girlfriend loves to hate.  She may not ride coattails, but her game is set up very nicely with Russell taking 100% of the bullets for their alliance.  A few weeks ago on my podcast we talked about who is the greatest Survivor of all time.  If Parvati can keep it going and pull this thing out, she will become the undisputed heavyweight champion of all time.
russell(2) #2 Russell: Russell Hantz’s “Survivor” strategy is about one thing – chaos.  Whether it’s burning socks, hiding machetes, voting out strong-willed players, or creating confusion with the immunity idol – once Russell senses the fear in people he presents himself as someone who can be their savior.  Love him or hate him, the guy is so much fun to watch.
amanda #3 Amanda: We’re at the midway point in the game and Amanda is in a great position and in no danger of going home – what else is new?  I won’t be surprised at all to see Amanda making another speech to a jury who won’t vote for her.  Amanda is one community college debate class away from being one of the top players of all-time.
jt #4 J.T.: J.T. has flipped back and forth a number of times and has somehow managed to not become a target.  Furthermore, nobody seems to be worried about the fact that he’s already won the game.  If the Heroes can pull out a few more immunities before the merge, J.T. could make a serious run at two “Survivor” titles in three seasons.
rupert #5 Rupert: Did you notice last week how desperately Rupert wanted to take a break from the game during the reward challenge?  Do you think that Richard Hatch was ever looking for a break from thinking about the game?  Rupert’s in a good position for now but does anybody believe that Rupert’s got a plan past voting against the Villains at the merge?
danielle #6 Danielle: Three things we know about Danielle:  1.  Danielle is an alliance with Russell and Parvati.  2.  Danielle makes me happy I have an HDTV.  3.  Danielle isn’t getting voted out anytime soon.
jerri #7 Jerri: This is the third time I’ve watched Jerri play “Survivor” and last week’s vote was hands down the biggest strategic move she’s ever made.  As viewers, I know we were all sad to see Boston Rob go, but I’m very excited to see what Jerri 3.0 does next.
colby #8 Colby: I was glad to see Colby come back to life a little bit this week.  Nobody likes to see a depressed cowboy.  He wasn’t exactly LeBron James in the reward challenge this week, but in the land of airballs, he who makes two baskets is King.
coach #9 Coach: Poor Coach.  First Jerri hurts his feelings by deciding to go with Russell and then Boston Rob breaks his heart and calls him a “little man.”  Coach’s best move would be to start telling more crazy stories and stop thinking so much.  Seriously, Coach just pick one player and vote however they say to.   Being wishy-washy is a great way to get yourself in trouble on “Survivor.”
courtney #10 Courtney: I really felt like Courtney was in a great spot only two weeks ago, but now without Tyson and Boston Rob, she certainly will be feeling some heat.  Courtney is always a liability in the team challenges but that liability becomes a strength after the merge when immunity threats will be targeted.  Also, she’s a good person to keep around because she won’t eat too much of the tribe’s food.
sandra #11 Sandra: I went back and forth between Courtney and Sandra for this spot, but in the end, I just thought that Sandra was more likely to tell Russell off to his face.  Through one and a half seasons Sandra has done amazingly well on “Survivor” by seemingly doing everything wrong.  She’s a liability in the challenges and she makes no secrets about who she doesn’t like.  Apparently she knows something because she’s not only won the game but she’s never even received a vote at tribal council.
candice #12  Candice: My reason for putting Candice in this spot is only because she looks like a lock to go home should the Heroes go back to tribal council.  Though I was surprised to see her on this season, I actually have been impressed with how hard she is playing the game.  She’s been on the outs since day 1 but she’s been trying to make something happen the whole game.  I’m one fan who hopes that she can figure it out.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 82

russell(2) #1 Russell: All hail the King of Samoa! That being said, I have to wonder if he’s setting himself up for an encore of last season’s finale. The people outside of his alliance (and even some of them in it) really seem to hate him. Could he be turning Parvati into Natalie White Version 2.0?
jt #2 J.T.: I think J.T.’s social missteps early in the season could come back to haunt him. But, he has to be the safest person in this game right now. The Heroes can’t afford to drop a single challenge at this point.
danielle #3 Danielle: It was nice to see Danielle talk a little strategy last week, but I have a feeling from my interviews with Boston Rob and Tyson that nobody is really taking her seriously. In a game where all of the big players have targets on their backs that might not be such a bad thing.
rupert #4 Rupert: I’ve given Rupert a lot of grief this season for his seemingly grumpy disposition, but I’ll give him credit for realizing that the time for politics within the Heroes tribe is over.
amanda #5 Amanda: Every season Amanda sticks around and makes it to the latter stages of the game, and every season I’m left shaking my head. It’s like that Justin Bieber kid. Sure, he’s popular, but nobody can really explain to me “Why?”
colby #6 Colby: With Colby tearing up challenges it felt like 2001 all over again. Almost made me want to bust out my Destiny’s Child and Lifehouse CDs. The Colbster (still hate that nickname) probably bought himself some time in case the Heroes go back to their challenge-dropping ways.
parvati #7 Parvati: Why do I have Parvati ranked so low? Because I don’t think the Jerri/Parvati feud is behind us. Could Russell vote Parvati out to appease the Dragon Slayer and the lovely Lady Slayer? I doubt it, but he did vote out Outlaw Ben to appease Jaison last season…
jerri #8 Jerri: OK Jerri, you made your move, now you have to stick with it. No more of this wishy-washy, back-and-forth, fear-of-commitment stuff.  Russell has voted people out for lesser slights than the ones you were dishing out last week.
coach #9 Coach: I’m putting Coach in the same boat as Jerri. They need to watch what they say around Russell. He has no problem booting anyone who questions his authority. And if Coach lets Boston Rob’s “Little Man” slight from last week’s tribal get the best of him, he could find himself in trouble.
sandra #10 Sandra: Russell wasn’t exactly subtle when he let it be known that he wasn’t happy with Courtney or Sandra’s challenge performances. If they’re both next on the chopping block, I can see Sandra tossing Courtney right under the bus. And with Courtney’s teensy frame, I’d assume finding room for her under a bus wouldn’t be too difficult.
candice #11 Candice: Unfortunately for Candice, she’s in the do-or-die position in the Heroes tribe. Either they win immunity or she’s on her way out of the game. She needs a merge in the worst way.
courtney #12 Courtney: Why a Villain in the last spot? Because losing Tyson and Boston Rob in back-to-back weeks is challenge death. Why Courtney in the last spot over Sandra? Because I think Sandra is more likely to play nice with Russell.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano

April 2, 2010

The Boston Rob vs. Russell feud had it all. A fierce showdown between two savage competitors, the scorn of a beautiful woman, the betrayal of a conflicted Dragon Slayer, strategies, counter-strategies, and a powerful idol.

I’m not quite sure how Hollywood expects me to shell out $17.50 for a ticket to the remake of “Clash of the Titans” when CBS is giving it away for free.

Find Out How Boston Rob Got Creamed

Unfortunately for Boston Rob, in the end the Troll got the best of the Puzzle Master. I spoke with Rob Mariano the morning after he was voted out to find out why he has respect for Russell, why he lost respect for Coach, and what really happened when he passed out…

Gordon Holmes: Now that you’ve had a chance to see Russell play in both “Survivor: Samoa” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains,” is Russell someone whose game play you can respect or does he go too far?
Rob Mariano:
You know, parts of his game I do respect. He’s entertaining as can be, I’ll give him that. He made some big moves that wouldn’t necessarily be how I’d play the game. Some of the things I do respect, and part of the things I wouldn’t do.
Gordon: Which parts would you have veered away from?
Boston Rob: You know, the unnecessary sabotaging of his own team to try to make them weak. I don’t necessarily agree with that. It’s a strategy that’s never been done before. But me, I like to keep my team strong to try to win challenges and to keep my alliance strong.

Gordon: It looked like you knew your time was up. What was your first hint that you were in trouble?
Boston Rob:
The morning after Tyson was gone there were problems. We had a five-on-three advantage, and the three people, even thought they got away with one, were really cocky about it. I could pretty much figure out that something wasn’t right.

Gordon: It seemed earlier on in the season that you were annoyed with Coach. You were playing games with him, trying to get him to climb the tree. But then as the season progressed you seemed to accept him more. What was your relationship with Coach before the final vote?
Boston Rob:
I had a good relationship with Coach. I think he’s a good guy, he’s an interesting guy. His stories, you know, some of them I don’t know how true they are, but I give him the benefit of the doubt. Some of them may be embellished a bit.
Gordon: Maybe a bit.
Boston Rob: Yeah, but he was a good friend out there. He said he wanted to play this game with me, but at the same time I watched him in Tocantins and not everything he said was honorable.  But, in the game of “Survivor,” who is 100% honorable? So, we had a good relationship up until when I looked at him right before tribal council and I could tell he wasn’t going to do what he said he was going to do. I lost a little bit of respect for him. But in hindsight, now that it’s over I’m not going to hold it against him.
Gordon: When you were voted out, Coach got up to give you a hug and you didn’t give him one. You called somebody a “Little Man,” but I wasn’t sure if you were talking to Russell or Coach. I assumed you were talking to Coach, because Russell must know he’s a little man.
Boston Rob: (Laughs) I was talking to Coach. He wanted instant forgiveness and I wasn’t going to give it to him. It’s one thing to stand up on national TV and say you’re honorable and loyal, and it’s another thing to proclaim it over and over again and then do the exact opposite. He voted for Courtney, is that more honorable? No, I think he took the easy way out.

Gordon: Earlier in the season you passed out. Could you take us back and tell us what you remember?
Boston Rob:
That’s hard because I don’t remember much of it. I remember I was walking out of camp. I was aggravated because we were having trouble with the shelter. And I was dizzy, I was having headaches all day. I actually sat down, I didn’t actually fall down. And I felt out of breath, and I remember lying down. The next thing I remember is the doctors were around me and Probst was there. I don’t remember Jerri coming up to me, I don’t remember any of that. I don’t remember passing out because I was pretty out of it at that point.

Gordon: At the beginning of the show you jokingly stated, “I’m a Villain?” Everybody had a pretty good laugh at that, but as the show went on it seemed like you were taking care of your tribe and dominating in challenges like a Hero would.
Boston Rob:
I wouldn’t say that I’m a Hero, what you saw was really happening though. I was doing what I could for my team to help them to win. The contrast of that is Russell who is doing what he can to make sure the team doesn’t win.  The bottom line is you have to win immunity challenges to get far in the game. So yeah, that was me. Just because you’re a Villain doesn’t mean you’re not a competitor or a team player.

Gordon: There’s a sandwich place down the street that punches my card every time I buy something. I fill up my card and they’ll give me a free sandwich. Now, you’ve been on five different CBS reality shows. Does CBS punch your card every time you appear? Cause I’m thinking you’ve got to be pretty close to them just giving you a million bucks.
Boston Rob:
I think the true odds are one-in-sixteen or twenty? (Laughs) It depends on the amount of contestants there are. (Laughs) I’m doing the best I can, man.
Gordon: So it’s fair to say in the next ten or fifteen years at the latest.
Boston Rob: I hope so. I’ll play them till I win, and maybe even after that. (Laughs)

Gordon: Is it different playing the game now that you’re a dad? Do your priorities change at all?
Boston Rob:
No. Before I decided (to go on the show), there was a lot of talk within my family, between myself and Amber, but once the decision was made to go you have to put that to the side. Almost use it as a motivation to do well, but don’t let it change your decisions or how you play.

Gordon: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Sandra.
Boston Rob:
Risky.
Gordon: Parvati?
Boston Rob: Flirtatious.
Gordon: Coach?
Boston Rob: Coach is…I want to say honorable, but I think he took the easy way out.
Gordon: Randy?
Boston Rob: Angry.
Gordon: Tyson?
Boston Rob: Regretting what he did.
Gordon: Danielle?
Boston Rob: Who’s Danielle? Oh…Danielle…non factor.
Gordon: The glowing words you receive from Jeff Probst?
Boston Rob: Friend.
Gordon: Jerri?
Boston Rob: Conflicted.
Gordon: Russell?
Boston Rob: Opposite.

Gordon: Jerri brought up “Survivor: All Stars” which I’m assuming involved the situation where you asked Lex van ben Berghe to vote out Jerri over Amber. Did you think something like that could come back to haunt you?
Boston Rob:
Of course. I mean, everybody out there has a past. Everybody at some point, with the exception of maybe Danielle, was thinking they were a threat to go home because of something they’ve done in the past. Indirectly, I guess I’m the reason Jerri was sent home. Whether she harbors ill will from that, I don’t know. I’d like to think that she’s a bigger person than that, but everybody has a past.
Gordon: Did you give Amber grief about that last night?
Boston Rob: No, absolutely not.
Gordon: You’re a better man than I am, Rob.
Boston Rob: (Laughs) Thanks, buddy.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 7 Recap: Boston Creamed?

April 1, 2010

Fun Fact: My backup headline was “Boston Robbed.”

Last Week: We were treated to a special double elimination episode. The Heroes chose the depressed cowboy over the injured grave digger while Russell did his best Buster Douglas impersonation by shocking the world and knocking out Tyson.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We meet up with the Villains the morning after Russell’s tribal council jaw dropper and Boston Rob admits that he’s shocked for the first time in his “Survivor” career. He senses a tremor in the force.

He isn’t concerned with Danielle because she’s “Dumb as a bag of rocks.” However Parvati and Russell worry him. He’s also worried about Team Russell’s confidence. Surely, somebody in his alliance must be flipping for them to be so giddy.

Courtney gets a chance to finally talk some smack referring to Russell as a “Bandy-legged, little troll.” I missed you, Courtney. Welcome back.

Meanwhile, Russell gives the female members of his alliance their orders: get to Jerri. Russell’s minions achieve their objective getting Jerri alone. Russell lets us know that Jerri now respects him due to his bold move.

Jerri worries that her fear of commitment is keeping her from joining with Team Russell. I’m not touching that one.

Parvati thinks Jerri is jealous that no man has ever saved her at tribal council. I’m trying to figure out where immunity idols rank on the “How to Impress a Lady” scale. I’m assuming it’s higher than flowers and lower than ironing.

Over at Casa de Heroes, Rupert lets us know that Colby needs to step up in the next challenge. Colby vows to prove that the Heroes made the right decision.

Reward Challenge:
Three members of each team will race into the water to get a ball. They’ll try to shoot the ball into a basket while members of the other team try to tackle them. First team to score three baskets wins. Winning team gets a romantic picnic by a tropical waterfall. Wow, that’s probably ranked higher than ironing…

The Villains will sit Courtney, Sandra, and Parvati.

First Round: Rupert, JT, and Colby vs. Rob, Russell, and Coach – Colby misses two wide-open shots. Coach follows that up by throwing the ugliest air ball ever. That’s bad news for someone who gives athletic advice for a living. Colby eventually score for the Heroes.

Second Round: Colby, Amanda, and Candice vs. Danielle, Coach, and Jerri – Jerri and Colby have a bit of a back and forth which was nice for old-school fans. Candice eventually wins the point for the Heroes.

Third Round: JT, Rupert, and Colby vs. Russell, Rob, and Coach – Russell and Rupert are really throwing down, but that’s all the excitement there is as Colby scores quickly. Heroes win reward.

We meet up with the Heroes at their picnic. Candice finds a clue to a new immunity idol, but they all decide to read it later.

Rupert is upset because they weren’t thinking about the game until the clue was found. Apparently they were the “Fantastic Five” until the unveiling of the clue.

The “Fantastic Five” can’t concentrate on the meal, so they break down and read it. I take it the Heroes are allowed to open at least one present on Christmas Eve too.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell continues to work on Coach and Jerri. He even offers them a top three spot with him.

Jerri seems sold, but she wants the Dragon Slayer on board. Coach says he’s “Honor bound” to stay with Jerri and he’ll go the way she goes. However, Coach is hurt that Jerri said she trusts him and Russell equally.

Oddly enough, Jerri brings up the issues she had with Boston Rob during “All Stars.” Boston Rob should have taken that into account six years ago. A true strategist would have known that would come back to bite him in 2010.

Immunity Challenge:
A member of each team will race across a net and up a rope ladder to retrieve a bag. When they return, another member of the tribe will go until six bags have been returned. In the bag (say it with me) are puzzle pieces. First tribe to finish their puzzle wins immunity.

Jerri, Danielle, and Russell will sit out for the Villains.

Rupert and Parvati start off and are neck and neck. They return with their pieces and Courtney (her first challenge in forever?) and Candice head out. Candice drops her bag, giving the Villains a bit of a lead. Coach and Colby are up next with Coach maintaining the team’s advantage. Parvati and Rupert are back out, with the Villains still winning. Courtney and Candice take their second turn with Courtney having serious problems climbing the ladder and Candice charging ahead for the Heroes. Colby and Coach finish up, with the Heroes enjoying a large lead.

During the puzzle portion, Boston Rob’s celebrated puzzle skills aren’t enough to overcome the Heroes’ head start as Amanda and JT are able to finish the puzzle first. The Heroes win immunity.

Coach lets us know that Courtney was the weak link and she should go home. Well that hardly seems fair, she might not remember what a challenge is.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell tells us that their challenge performance was one of the most pitiful things he’s ever seen. He even tells Boston Rob that they should take out Sandra or Courtney…with Sandra and Courtney sitting right there!

Russell’s right. He is the king.

For some reason, Courtney and Sandra take offense to this.

Coach and Rob sit down to discuss strategy. He wants to blindside Parvati or get rid of Courney. Boston Rob makes a case for getting rid of Russell.

Next up, Team Russell is discussing strategy. Russell wants Rob gone. This isn’t shocking. All of Team Russell is down with this except for Coach. Coach eventually relents and agrees to vote with the alliance.

Rob lets us know that the way to get someone to do something is to find out what they hold dear and to use it against them. For Coach that’s his loyalty. Coach proves Rob right by telling us that he feels terrible because he thinks he was forced into giving his word to Russell.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro tells the Villains that they used to be dominant but the Heroes have found five players that will get things done. Mercifully, he does not refer to them as “Fantastic.”

Coach isn’t concerned because “At the dawn of every morning, hope springs eternal.” He’s like the Villains’ poet laureate.

Boston Rob doesn’t think the tribe is working well together and that voting out Tyson was a mistake. Russell disagrees; he could’ve taken anyone out of Rob’s alliance but chose Tyson because he was bad for tribe chemistry.

Russell and Rob have a bit of a back and forth. Boston Rob thinks his version of loyalty is different than Russell’s. Russell agrees because he doesn’t think Boston Rob would have the guts to put his neck on the line like Russell did for Parvati. Nice to see them agree on something.

Meanwhile, poor Jerri is sitting between them, trying not to make eye contact with either of them.

J-Pro puts Coach on the spot asking where his level of trust is with Russell and Rob. Coach smartly dodges the question, begging the guys to put their egos aside and become a team.

Voting Time:
Boston Rob votes Russell, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

J-Pro tallies…and reads; one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Courtney, and the eighth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Boston Rob.

Coach stands up to get a farewell hug from Rob and is DENIED! Boston Rob says, “You’re a little man,” but it’s unclear if he was talking to Russell or Coach. Maybe it was Coach, because I’m sure Russell knows he’s little.

Verdict: Kind of expected more fireworks from the final Russell vs. Rob blow out, but it was still a good time. This season has been great so far, but I’m a little concerned there might be a post-Rob lull. Here’s hoping the goodness keeps coming.

Who’s Going to Win? Russell’s on a roll, but judging by Courtney and Sandra he might be making the same mistakes he made last season. If Russell’s alliance is going to make it to the end, the most likable member might take the million. Right now that’s Jerri.

Power Rankings Update: Bad news for the All-Star Team. Samoa’s Russell Swan had Boston Rob in the second slot while I had him in spot eleven. The score is now All Stars 56, Team Gordon 82. Hoping to get the All Stars back into the game next week is the man Jeff Probst once called “The smartest player never to win,” Rob Cesternino.

What Do You Think?
Did the Villains make the right choice? Can the Heroes stage a comeback before the merge? Was Rob talking to Coach or Russell when he said someone was a “Little Man?”

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – Samoa’s Russell Swan

March 31, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 4 points. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Both the Villains and the Heroes were forced to visit J-Pro at tribal council. Tyson Apostol was sent home for the Villains after what could be considered one of the dumbest moves in “Survivor” history while James Clement’s leg injury made him too much of a challenge liability for the Heroes to keep around. This earned the “Survivor” All-Star Team twenty nine points while Gordon racked up seventeen points.

Before we lay some smack down, let’s check in with one of “Survivor: Samoa’s” most popular players, the former leader of the Galu tribe, Russell Swan.

Gordon Holmes: Russell, here’s something I’ve always wondered; is it hard to get back into a daily routine after being out there so long?
Russell Swan:
Absolutely! I remember being in the LAX airport after flying back from the South Pacific and being completely freaked out.  The noises, the smells, all the people, it was unnerving.  Going back to work was funny because I had lost so much weight, so people were looking at me like I was a zombie.  It was a trip.

Gordon: You were forced out of “Survivor: Samoa” after passing out during a challenge. Was it rough to see them use that same challenge again in “Heroes vs. Villains?”
Russell:
It was very hard watching that challenge again.  I almost walked away from my tv, but at the same time I was glued.  I kept expecting one of the players to fall down and die. My heart was racing! It was freaky.  And to be honest, to see the challenge completed by other people bothers me.  It makes me feel weak or something.  I guess I feel like I should have completed that challenge not them.

Gordon: You’re commonly known as “Good” Russell, how are you feeling about the “Heroes vs. Villains” performance of your counterpart “Evil” Russell?
Russell:
Mini me aka Russell Hantz is doing what he does best.  His ego is just as big as it was last season, but I must say his game play is tight.

Russell Swan’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 54

parvati #1 Parvati: Bell Biv DeVoe already warned us, “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” In this case, you have to go northward for the correct body part(s), but the smile is just as deadly.  She’s got troll man (Russ H.) wrapped around her finger.  She is in true Parvati form, and when she is, she is tough to beat.  That girl is poison!
bostonrob #2 Boston Rob: He is being a great Hero, which is somewhat confusing.  I think his overly aggressive play can come back to haunt him.  Personally freaked me out when he hit the turf, but glad, unlike me, he got back up to live another day.
sandra #3 Sandra: Man, she has been noticeably absent, which makes her even more dangerous.  That tongue still cuts to the quick, but she’s managed to keep herself in deep check.  Watch out y’all, my homegirl is on the prowl!
russell(2) #4 Russell: Mini me is back to his old tricks.  You know, talking about him is like trying to decide if you are going to kill a bug.  It looks disgusting, but yet, it’s part of nature.  Oh well, gotta give it up to him staying true to his formula.
jerri #5 Jerri: She’s still hot, and she’s still in the running.  I just think that she’ll have a hard time trying to hurdle Parvati.  Did I tell you that that girl is poison? Anyway, if Jerri can keep it together, my girl will vamp her way to the mil.
jt #6 JT: He has gone off his own reservation which is NOT a good look for him.  I think JT is his own enemy, and will end up beating himself.
amanda #7 Amanda: I really, really, really like Amanda, even though I’ve never met her.  There is just something about her spirit that is extremely endearing.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean jack for her game.  I think she already made herself vulnerable with her ties to “The Body” James.  She may have been burned as he went down in flames.
colby #8 Colby: I am really confused by my man Colby.  Granted it’s been some years, but mentally he just seems to be absent.  I hear “Taps” playing faintly in the background.
coach #9 Coach: I guess my man is getting in touch with his feminine side because he is definitely not in game mode.  I think he needs a good swift kick in the butt to get him going.  If he doesn’t get his act together, he’ll be gone.  The slayer is no more.
courtney #10 Courtney: The self-professed lame player is doing what she does best: being lame.  Nuff said.
rupert #11 Rupert: His toe is shot which I think is going to be his undoing.  It’s hard to be that larger-than-life player when you’re walking wounded.
danielle #12 Danielle: Her eyes smolder, and she seems focused, but I just don’t feel her social game is going to be strong enough to carry the day.  I must confess I just can’t feel where she is going and that’s why she is near the bottom of my list.
candice #13 Candice: Who? Who the hell is Candice? I mean, I really don’t want to offend her, but when she is voted out, people will be wondering the same thing I will:  who was Candice?

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 71

jt #1 JT: Kudos to James for admitting that he was hurt and letting his alliance off the hook for voting him off. Now the Heroes need to step it up if they’re going to do anything before the merge. JT needs to tap into some of that Tocantins challenge mojo.
parvati #2 Parvati: Here’s a question for “Survivor” fans: Was Parvati pretending to be shocked when Russell gave her the idol to make Russell look better in Coach’s eyes? If so, “Bravo.”
rupert #3 Rupert: Rupert and the Heroes made a tough call, but the right call in sending James home – even James agreed. Their next course of action has to involve winning some immunity challenges. Which leads me to wonder how Rupert’s toe is doing. He’s obviously getting around, but could it cost his team?
jerri #4 Jerri: As Boston Rob vs. Russell rages into Round 2, the other Villains are in prime positions to choose their spots.  If Russell is to get the best of Rob, he needs to get two people to jump. Coach could be one, and if Tyson is to be believed, Jerri could easily be the other.
coach #5 Coach: Once again, the true power in the Villain tribe sits with the Dragon Slayer. Was Russell’s speech enough to sway him? Boston Rob had better hope not. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach’s next vote determines who dominates the rest of this season.
courtney #6 Courtney: It’s to be assumed during a season of big personalities that some players will get lost in the shuffle…but Courtney? I’m going to make the plea to CBS again that they should release a “Best of Courtney, Tyson, and Randy’s Unseen Sarcastic Comments” DVD once the season is over.
sandra #7 Sandra: Sandra could find herself in some serious trouble if Russell can somehow pull off another miracle. She has not been very subtle at all with her knocks on the King of Samoa.
danielle #8 Danielle: Danielle’s on Team Russell? News to me. Has she done anything this season besides look good in a bikini? If she Ambers her way to victory I’m going to kick my TV.
colby #9 Colby: Colby dodged a bullet last week. He’d better repay his fellow Heroes by going all out in the next immunity challenge. However, if he really has checked out, they may be better off without him.
amanda #10 Amanda: James being sent home probably destroyed Amanda’s game. What’s the point of keeping her around now? Tom Westman thinks she has Rupert on her side, but even Rupert has to know they need to start winning some challenges.
bostonrob #11 Boston Rob: Mark my words, if the Villains lose immunity either Boston Rob or Russell is going home next. The Villains are beyond the point where they’d vote off immunity liabilities and the beach is way too small for the both of them. So who gets the boot? My head says Russell due to Rob’s numbers advantage. But I’ll never count out Russell. So I’m ranking them both low.
candice #12 Candice: I think Candice’s time has finally come. I don’t think anybody really trusts her and the Heroes can’t afford to lose any more challenge strength.
russell(2) #13 Russell: What can you even say about Russell anymore? He pulled off another miracle and made Tyson look beyond foolish. However, he’s still down five votes to three. Can he pull another rabbit out of his Houston Astros hat? I’m thinking no…but I’ll never count him out.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 6 Recap: The Best Tribal Council Ever?

March 24, 2010

Last Week: The Dragon Slayer questioned his allegiance to Robert of Beantown after the King of Samoa presented him with a powerful idol. While in the Heroes camp the Champion of the Brazilian Highlands rejoined Rupert the Bearded Pirate and turned on Palau’s Fighter of Fires.

This Week: Jeff Probst claims we’re in for one of the greatest tribal councils ever. We shall see, Mr. Probst. We shall see…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
James Clement – 32
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We meet up with the Heroes after tribal council where James offers Colby an apology hug. Colby declines.

Candice tells us that she voted for Tom for fear of upsetting James’s alliance. That’s smart, but if she’d voted against them she could have scored a sweet James apology hug.

Meanwhile, the Villains are sleeping soundly. Well, all of the Villains except for Boston Rob and Russell. Russell tries to make peace with Rob, but Rob lets him know that the rest of the tribe is still mad at Russell for searching for the immunity idol. They do however come to an agreement on one thing: they’re gunning for each other.

Boston Rob vs. Russell is on!

Wait a minute, Boston Rob vs. Russell and Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in the same week?! I know it’s not Christmas, but it sure feels like it.

Quick Aside: Join me for a live chat with WWE Superstar Matt Hardy this Friday at 2 p.m. ET.

The following morning the Heroes are greeted with vague tree mail that doesn’t hint as to whether the next challenge is for reward or immunity.  When the Heroes arrive at this mysterious challenge, Parvati seems to be very happy that James is still around. Micronesia alliance, anyone?

Immunity Challenge: The players will be playing against their own tribe for individual immunity because both tribes will be going to tribal council.

Dun dun dun…

Each person will be attached to a long rope that is threaded around obstacles. The first person from each tribe to reach the end will receive immunity. After both tribes have competed, the winners from each tribe will compete again to try to win their tribe a delightful picnic that they’ll enjoy during the other tribe’s tribal council.

Fun Fact: Tyson won this challenge in Tocantins.

The Heroes play first and James is a total gamer, barreling through the course with a bad leg. Candice, JT, and Amanda manage to get through the beginning section first, with Candice finishing the second half first to win immunity.

JT lets us know that Candice was the only thing keeping Colby in the game.

As Candice retrieves her stylish immunity necklace she gives J-Pro a hug. Now Colby has two reasons to be jealous of Candice.

The Villains are up next and Boston Rob and Tyson are tearing through the course. Boston Rob and Tyson are the first two through the initial section with Boston Rob pulling ahead during the second half and winning immunity.

As Rob accepts his necklace he doesn’t get a hug.

In the final round Candice and Rob stay neck and neck for a while, but Boston Rob eventually takes the lead and wins it for the Villains.

Boston Rob is a challenge monster.

Back at the Villain camp, Boston Rob and his alliance (which seems to include Coach, Sandra, Jerri, Courtney, and Tyson) are pointing toward voting for Parvati for fear of Russell playing the immunity idol.

Coach lets us know that he’s being pulled in two directions, but he’s a man of his word and that he’s voting for Parvati. We’ll see if he sticks to that.

Later, Boston Rob tells Russell that if he doesn’t have the idol that he’d better go get it. Russell claims not to have it, to which Rob replies, “It’s been real.”

Seriously, who do I talk to at CBS about getting those two permanent immunity? Watching them butt heads is better than cherry-flavored Starburst jelly beans.

Russell isn’t buying Rob’s ploy. He tells Danielle and Parvati that Team Boston Rob is trying to flush the idol out and are going to vote for Parvati. His plan is to vote for Tyson and give Parvati the idol.

Back at the Heroes camp, Colby is frustrated that James had a better challenge performance than he did. Colby tells everyone that he knows he’s going home and there doesn’t need to be any drama over it. He wants to give the Villains as little actual information as possible at tribal council.

Wait, why would he care what info the Villains get if he’s going home?

Even with Colby’s proclamation, the other Heroes are debating keeping Colby around. One of the worries over James (aside from his obvious leg injury) is the fact that he’s been eating a lot of the tribe’s bananas.

Tip for Future “Survivor” Contestants: It always comes down to food. Always.

Amanda shares these concerns with James. She wants him to stop swiping bananas and to prove that he’s physically able to compete.

So, they decide to have a little immunity challenge of their own. James and JT decide to race down the beach in an obvious ode to the training montage in “Rocky III” (minus the half shirts and awkward hugs).   Unfortunately for James, the result is not pretty. JT even turns around and does the Apollo Creed running backward trick.

Back at the Villains tribe, Boston Rob tells his alliance that they need to split their vote between Russell and Parvati. This will force a three-way tie and then they can pick off the other member of the Parvati-Russell alliance.

Russell tries to stir it up a little more by telling Tyson that he’s going to vote for Parvati. Tyson seems intrigued by this, and is considering voting for Parvati too.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro asks Jerri how “Survivor” has changed since she originally played. She says that now actual survival takes a backseat to the gameplay. And back then you could buy a newspaper and a quart of milk for a nickel.

I may have made up that last part.

Probst asks the same question of Boston Rob who responds by saying there weren’t any hidden immunity idols in his day.

Rob then says that nobody knows who has the idol. Sandra disagrees saying, “We all know who has it.” She also tells Russell that if he doesn’t have it, he’d better go find it.

Voting Time: Parvati votes for Tyson, Jerri votes for Parvati, and Boston Rob votes for Russell saying, “Welcome to the big leagues.” Coach votes for Parvati, Courtney votes for Parvati, and Sandra votes for Russell saying “You need to get in the ocean and wash your a–.”  The rest of the votes aren’t shown.

J-Pro asks if anyone has the idol…the camera flips around…and…we get a…commercial.

A crummy commercial?  Now I know how Ralphie felt.

OK, we’re back and Russell has decided to play his immunity idol…but not for himself. He tells Coach that he’s staying true to his team and gives the idol to Parvati.

Parvati seems genuinely shocked. That makes two of us.

Two votes for Russell, four votes for Parvati that don’t count, two votes for Tyson, and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Tyson!

The Villains are stunned.

Wow…Boston Rob welcomed Russell to the big leagues, and Russell took Rob’s best pitch out of the park.

During Tyson’s farewell, he admits that his booting was all his fault. If he had voted for Russell he would have easily beaten Russell in a tie breaker. But, it’s not all bad as he admits that he’s still awesome.

Another Quick Aside: The worst part about having both Tyson and Randy out of the game so early? Now I have to count on Courtney for all of my snarky comments. I have faith in you, Courtney.

The Heroes make their way in next, and they are not pleased that they have a front row seat for the Villains’ hot dog buffet.

The foot race is brought up, and James admits that he was schooled by JT. Amanda says that could be a big deal if the next challenge involves running.

James says that Colby was one of the best players when he was growing up. Colby takes offense to James inferring that he’s old. James continues his anti-Colby sentiment saying Colby’s Superman costume is really a fat suit. For some reason Colby doesn’t take offense to that.

James continues with his monologue, complaining about the confusing banana etiquette around camp.

Fun Fact: I’m thinking of naming my fantasy baseball team “Banana Etiquette.”

Afterwards, Colby admits that he has been disappointed with his performance in challenges.

Voting Time Part Deux:
James votes for Colby, Colby votes for James, and the rest of the votes are on the down low.

One vote for Colby, three votes for James, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…James.

As James walks away, JT tells James to have a shot for them. James responds by saying, “I’m going to be good and drunk in the next five minutes.”

The Heroes, ladies and gentlemen. Models for America’s youth.

Maybe I shouldn’t talk. I’ve downed an entire bag of Starburst jelly beans while writing this recap.

Verdict: One of the best tribal councils in “Survivor” history? Easily. Russell is an evil genius. And if that show of team unity is enough to get Coach to swing to Russell’s side, then Russell is a double genius.

Who’s Going to Win? Russell vs. Boston Rob can’t last forever, and when it’s all settled, the people who are left are going to want to get rid of the winner. I think Jerri will be left, so I’m sticking with her.

Power Rankings Update:
Bobby Jon Drinkard picked both of the booted players, earning the All Stars 29 points while I had Tyson in spot 6 and James in spot 11 earning myself 17 points. The current score is All Stars 54, Team Gordon 71. See…maybe I can cough up a big lead two seasons in a row.

More “Survivor” Fun: I had a chance to ask a bunch of former and current players who their picks are for the Biggest Hero in “Survivor” History. Also, don’t miss Fancast’s exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

What Do You Think? Was that one of the best tribal councils of all time? Was keeping Colby a smart move? Are you on Team Boston Rob or Team Russell?


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