Russell groupies, don't even start. He's still not the best Survivor player ever. He won't be until he plays a third season, like Rob, where people will have SEEN him play before.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

I’m nowhere near a place where I can talk about what just happened on the “I’m Not a Good Villain” episode of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.”

So I’d like to start with the top three descriptions for Russell Hantz:

3. “The Evil Oompa Loompa” (that one’s mine)
2. “The hobbit on crack.” (Boston Rob Mariano)
1. “A bandy-legged little troll who, you know, sort of like scampers around with his tooth missing and, you know, is in and out of the bushes and never washes.”

Thank you, Courtney Yates, for that last, apt description.

No thank you, Coach Ben Wade, for pointlessly writing Courtney’s name down instead of Russell’s.

And don’t give me that crap about “loyalty.” Your first loyalty was to Rob. Then you shifted to the second person you spoke to. Then the third…

At least Jerri's (dumbass) vote was an attempt at strategy. Coach's vote for Courtney was just passive-aggressive.

Coach is loyal to whoever pays him the most attention. He’s like my cat.

And Jerri scratches him behind his ego.

She’s his special lady friend.

And she’s weak. Very weak. Or as she put it, “I’m not a good villain.”

She waffles more than Sunday brunch at IHOP and her ultimate decision was to distrust Rob — whom she’s seen in action in the past — in favor of Russell.

Can you imagine Jerri’s face when she actually watched Russell on “Samoa”?

Because, really, what is her end game? She has Coach (for now) but how can she think she’s anything other than No. 5 on Russell’s list of People To Take To The End?

I believe he will at least attempt to stay with Danielle till the end, because she’s useless.

Seriously, Why Is Danielle?

Especially when she makes arguments like this:

Danielle: “What’s the positive to keeping Rob besides keeping the tribe strong? He’s a mover and a shaker. He can’t be trusted.”

Yeah, hi. It’s “Survivor.” Keeping the tribe strong is a strong argument for keeping him.

Yes, he’s a mover and a shaker. But he’s been an honest one to this point. A strong, benevolent leader.

If you want to ditch him — and I don’t really blame you, he is a threat — wait for the merge.

It’s not like anyone on the Heroes tribe is waiting to join up with him, knowing his past.

Whereas Russell, unfortunately, is tabula rasa.

No one seems to care that Russell has been dishonest and disloyal from the start. He is the No. 1 true Villain.

Seriously, did no one hear the warning bells after he stole the idol and lied to Tyson?

Coach? Where was your loyalty there? Tyson consoled you when mean ole Sandra hurt your feelings a few weeks ago.

Yes, I still hate Russell. Now more than ever.

Jerri, I used to like you and I still would if you voted for Rob because you really felt strongly about it -- the way Russell does. Instead, you waffled and whined and it was almost an accident that you picked this R over the other. You disappoint me, my not-so young padawan.

Do I respect his game? I respect how he manages to form insta-harems. No idea why. He’s disgusting enough on his own, but not washing and having a missing tooth? I’d cuddle with Rupert first.

He is so dang lucky. He got lucky with idiots last season and he got lucky again.

He also got lucky in that he got to sit out the final immunity challenge, where Rob failed to do everything for the Villains the way he usually does.

Jerri is weak. Coach is weak. Danielle is stupid. Parvati needs to have that big fake smile slapped off her face.

I can’t wait for the merge. I just pray that the remaining five Heroes stick together and don’t fall prey to The Russell Seed.

By the way, congrats, Colby Donaldson, on manning up. Three baskets (or two and an assist) in the basketball style challenge! Don’t get cocky.

And congrats to JT Thomas and Amanda Kimmel for finally figuring out how to solve a puzzle.

And congrats to Russell for … no, I can’t do it. I can’t.

***

A VISIT TO THE VILLAINS CAMP

Rob said he has played Survivor three times and the last night’s tribal was the first time he was “shocked” by an outcome.

Something doesn’t feel right, he said.

What? That the hobbit on crack got dumbass Tyson to make a bad move?

Rob didn’t understand how Russell, Danielle and Parvati could be so cocky.

They got him talking, anyway. They got him scared.

Rob is trying to figure out if one of the people in his tent (*psst*Coach!*andmaybeJerri*) is just pretending to be mad at the Three Stooges and if in reality the joke is on him.

Russell believes Jerri has “all kind of respect for me now” because he put his butt on the line for Parvati.

(Others may think that was chivalrous, but you, sir, are no Gryffindor! You are squarely in Slytherin.)

Jerri hated Parvati and he believes he brought them together.

Russell: “But I’m that good, where I can bring people together in this game for my good.”

Vomit.

The whole Rob vs. Russell thing has tapped into Jerri’s fear of commitment.

Parvati —with her big smile — told the camera “listen, crazy pants!” over Jerri, because at this point Coach and Jerri were in the middle of the two alliances: Russell, Parvati and Danielle vs. Rob, Sandra and Courtney.

***

A TRIP TO HEROES CAMP

Rupert, of all people, is making speeches about how they need Colby to step up.

Yeah, but have you met you, Rupert? Pot. Kettle. Consider doing the same.

But even Colby believes it is put-up-or-shut-up time for Colby.

And it is. Sure it is. But it’s past that point for Rupert.

***

REWARDS CHALLENGE

Another basketball style challenge. Bad sign for the Heroes. They suck at this.

The reward: Waterfall lunch with beef, fruit and other stuff.

The villains sat out three women: Courtney, Sandra and Parvati.

(Sidenote: I HATE Parvati’s smile. Have I mentioned?)

Colby missed two shots while the other guys fought in the water.

Ha! But at least it wasn’t as sad as Coach’s shot.

Come on, Colby!

YES!

Finally, Colby does something. But I smell a rat. I think there was some production help on that. It seems to … perfectly timed. No?

Jeff Probst: “Colby has had Coach’s number in this challenge.”

1-800-Dragon-Sobber

Candice got the second point for the Heroes!

They were only playing to three.

JT is a good sprinter.

Colby got a third point!

Colby: “Redemption, baby!”

Jealous of the pick-up-hug he gave Candice, but she deserved it.

Colby said the win bought him some time and relieved tension in the tribe, but don’t forget: This was just the rewards challenge.

And the other person who got a goal was the other person on the outs with the main Heroes alliance: JT, Amanda and Rupert.

So if they lose immunity it’s still probably going to be Colby or Candice.

***

WATERFALL BEER

Heroes were enjoying their meal as “the fantastic five” when Candice read some slip of paper that said there was another immunity idol at their beach.

Girl, you should’ve kept that to yourself.

I LOVE Amanda’s green hoodie. Why don’t I have a green hoodie?

JT tried to play Rob, suggesting they all look for the idol together.

They all agreed.

Ha ha!

Colby believes they are all “fighting the good fight” as a team.

Maybe it’s true. But I don’t buy it.

***
BACK AT THE VILLAINS CAMP

Jerri talks to Russell and Coach.

Russell said he didn’t want to swear on his family or anything, but he wants to take Coach and Jerri to the top three.

Or so he told Coach and Jerri.

He also told them he didn’t think he could beat Parvati for the million.

Coach seems to be on to him. He told the camera Russell was “spinning a pure line of gold” and he was worried that Jerri was buying it.

Tip: If Coach is onto you, your game is too obvious. It’s going to backfire.

Jerri told Coach she’s made her decision and she hopes and prays Coach will be there because he’s the only other person she can look in the eyes and trust. They’ve been together since day one.

Love the soft guitar in the background!

Coach said, yes, he and Jerri are honor bound (was there some marriage ceremony in the background?) so he will follow her.

Ohhhhhh. Nooooooooo. Coach and Jerri are talking about how they don’t trust Rob.

But now it’s turning soap opera.

Coach’s feelings are hurt because she made a pact with Russell and just hoped Coach would follow.

He felt like she was saying she trusted him and Russell equally and he hoped that was not the case.

She said it was not the case at all.

And, once again, someone on the Villains tribe has to console the baby dragon slayer.

Jerri: “You and I are in a really good position and, you know, it just finally made sense to me.”

Coach, pouting: “I just can’t believe you just threw all of your eggs into Russell’s basket.”

Jerri: “Well, I wouldn’t say all my eggs.”

Stop talking about eggs. It’s kind of creepy.

Jerri told the camera Coach is too naïve. He is dead set against manipulating people and you can’t be that way on this show.

Well, it’s not true that he’s dead set against backstabbing an manipulating. He is supposedly on Rob’s side, but he bowed to Russell like a serf.

***

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

We’re back to tribal immunity. You know, I really liked the double elimination with individual immunity.

Villains sat out Jerri, Danielle and Russell.

(Has Danielle done a single thing in this game?)

Oh not another puzzle. We know how this tends to go. Maybe the Heroes will rally. (Ha ha!)

Rupert keeps falling ON HIS BUSTED TOE. *Is the obvious light flashing yet?*

Candice did very well on her first time running across that tarp thing.

Courtney, you may not be terribly strong at challenges, but you're funny. And you hate Russell. Therefore, I am on your side. Please connect with JT after the merge and convince him to toast the troll.

Courtney lost “a ton of time for the Villains,” as Jeff put it.

But that shouldn’t matter to the Villains at this point. They have enough numbers on their side that one “weak” player is almost a plus to keep around.

Jeff mentioned again that Rob tends to be good at puzzles. Which makes me think the Heroes will win and someone will try to get rid of Courtney. And by “someone” I mean the bandy-legged troll.

JT and Amanda were doing “a great job on the puzzle,” Jeff said.

According to the ousted Tom, JT is enamored with Amanda.

And they won.

So a Villain is going home.

***

MORE ROB VS. RUSSELL ALPHA MALE PISSING

Coach, of course, took the obvious knee-jerk reaction: Get rid of Courtney because in this one challenge she did not do well. He’s conveniently forgetting how Colby had his number in the rewards challenge.

I think Coach is just trying to justify his decision to stick with Jerri who has decided to stick with Russell.

Why do people follow Russell? Can someone explain?

Oh, and Russell describes it as Rob getting his butt kicked out there.

He was lucky that he wasn’t out there and I’m sure he believes he could’ve won it for them.

Why is Rob talking to Russell at all?

Russell said one of the two who should go home are one of these two “right here,” pointing to Sandra Diaz or Courtney.

Rob said he’d never heard of that approach before — just pointing at someone and saying “I want to vote you off.”

I’m so done with Russell’s self-congratulation in the video interviews.

Coach tried to convince Rob to vote out Courtney. Rob said Courtney is loyal and that matters to him and — nice touch — doesn’t that matter to Coach?

Rob knew Coach’s reputation for being loyal was the most important thing to him.

Coach bumped fists with Rob. Coach called Rob his right-hand man. He’s close to being a big liar here.

Rob wants to get rid of Russell BECAUSE HE’S NOT STUPID. He’s the only one.

The group wants to blindside Rob.

If only they had seen the “Samoa” season they wouldn’t say this.

Danielle: “What’s the positive to keeping Rob besides keeping the tribe strong? He’s a mover and a shaker. He can’t be trusted.”

What? That’s Russell.

Danielle said Rob is the biggest threat. If only they knew.

Coach is too easily led.

Coach said he can’t go back on his word to Russell and company, but he already gave his word to Boston Rob. So no matter what he’s screwed himself.

Rob knows that the other side is going after him.

Rob is the only smart player. OK, Russell is manipulative and savvy, but he’s mostly just lucky.

Rob to Jerri: “You can always trust somebody when their back’s against the wall.”

Once again, if only they had seen “Samoa.” They would treat Russell 10 times worse than Rob.

Jerri isn’t sure what to do.

I would like to read an interview with Jerri, explaining exactly what she expected to get from this decision.

***

TRIBAL COUNCIL

Rob vs. Russell at tribal. Solidly Team Rob all the way.

Coach just wants his two soldiers to get along.

Rob: “At some point you pick someone to trust and you go with that. And that’s all there is to do. And I did that. And I think tonight’s vote is going to be to bring this tribe closer together.”

Jerri is still waffling but she has convinced herself she’s made the right call.

Rob voted for Russell. He believes “Game over. It’s either you or me.”

PLEEEEEEASE don’t give the troll the satisfaction of winning over Rob.

1. Rob
2. Russell
3. Rob
4. Russell
5. Rob
6. Russell
7. Courtney (must’ve been Coach)

8. Rob

GOD NO!

I hate you, Jerri. Hate.

Rob: “You’re a little man.”

He said that to Coach or Russell? You know, I think it was to Coach. Even now, no one blames Russell for being evil. They blame everyone else.

He’s a magic troll, mama.

***

THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL AROUND

HEROES
Rupert Boneham (Pearl Islands, All-Stars)
Colby Donaldson (Australian Outback, All-Stars)
Amanda Kimmel (China, Fans vs. Favorites)
JT Thomas (Tocantins)
Candice Woodcock (Cook Islands)

VILLAINS
Sandra Diaz (Pearl Islands)
Danielle DiLorenzo (Panama)
Russell Hantz (Samoa)
Jerri Manthey (Australian Outback, All-Stars)
Parvati Shallow (Cook Islands, Fans vs. Favorites)
Benjamin “Coach” Wade (Tocantins)
Courtney Yates (China)

***

Catch up on past “Survivor” stories in my handy little archive.

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