'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains': Evil trumps good, strategist trumps bonehead
OK. I think we all need to collectively take a second to pull our jaws up from off of the ground. Did that really just happen? I know Parvati has long been considered one of "Survivor's" best players, but to be honest, I thought a lot of that had to do with her flirting skills. That idea was demolished last night, when she made a huge, bold move by whipping out her two hidden immunity idols at tribal council to save whichever one of her tribemates might be going home -- and it actually worked.
Everyone loves moments like this in the game. Weren't you bugging out when Parvati pulled the first idol out and gave it to Sandra? I wanted to scream at her that she was giving it to the wrong girl, and then when she pulled out the second one and said "just to be safe. ..." I was almost positive she was going to use it for herself. Thankfully, she gave it to Jerri, who was totally flabbergasted and was consequently saved.
I was wondering the whole time how Russell would take the news. "You have some explaining to do," he said, immediately scolding Parvati after the vote. In Samoa, the one thing that continually set him off was being lied to. In Russell's world, he's the only one who is allowed to lie, find hidden immunity idols or dispense them, so I knew he wasn't going to handle Parvati's move well. Plus, I think she only made things worse for herself by accepting Russell's idol and completely lying to his face. The two are in a supposed alliance together, so why does he have reason to trust her any further? Up to this point, he's been shockingly up front with Parvati, so to learn she hasn't been reciprocating will undoubtedly set him off. Let's just hope Parvati is crafty enough to calm him down before he retaliates.
Meanwhile, while one of the smartest moves this season was unfolding, so was one of the dumbest. Let's all say it together now: REALLY, JT? Oh, man, that poor guy. It was bad enough that he gave the hidden immunity idol to Russell -- a VILLAIN -- last week under the assumption that he was under attack by the all-girl alliance. But then at the merge, he automatically assumed that Parvati had her own idol and that he'd stuck to the plan? The producers must have been eating up all of the footage they shot during the confessionals where JT couldn't stop gushing about what a good guy Russell was. It made the whole thing so much worse for him.
"I saw Russell's legs, and I was like, 'Oh, thank God!' " he told the camera at one point.
"He's a good old country boy," he promised Rupert later. Too hilarious. And I want to give Rupert credit for trying to lead JT to the light, but I imagine he would have been right there with JT were it not for Sandra. I did like his observation that anyone who swears on their kids' lives immediately has to have a trick up their sleeve. Can the heroes truly be that naive?
Despite the boneheaded move, I'm sad to see JT go. Beyond his cute smile, he seems like a good guy, and I liked watching him play in Tocantins. Plus, at the "Survivor" 20th-anniversary party in January, he told us about the sweet way he's handled his million dollars:
-- Colby's poor physical performance continued this week. What is up with this guy? I get that he's aged a bit, but he's still in good shape. There's no excuse for him continually losing challenges every week. Even Jeff seemed surprised, asking what the problem was when Colby stepped off the pole.
-- There were also other bad moves during the immunity challenge, namely when Candace and Parvati both stepped off the pole and quit. Parvati showed too much of her hand by letting Danielle take the win, and I don't understand why Candace would give up under any circumstances when it seemed she could have easily taken that competition. Who doesn't want immunity when it's within reach, no matter how comfortable they feel?
-- The pig's head. Ew. It was not enjoyable seeing Rupert rip off a piece and bite right into it. Was that an ear?
-- The Amanda/Parvati dynamic that's emerging is really interesting. Parvati again showed she's a good player when she was able to decipher that Amanda was lying to her about her tribe's vote. I imagine it's going to be pretty uncomfortable for the former allies going forward. Did you see the look on Amanda's face when JT was being voted out? I'm pretty sure she was almost in tears -- all because she knew she was the only reason Parvati had an inkling of the Heroes' strategy.
I'm talking to JT later this morning. Any questions you're dying to know the answers to? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.
-- Amy Kaufman (follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA)
Photos: Parvati Shallow (top) sent home James "JT" Thomas (bottom) on this week's episode of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains." Credit: CBS