We’re chugging through SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS, and I’m still lovin’ it. The tightly focused personalities are really coming through, and the competition between the tribes is taking an awful physical toll (Or, in Rupert’s case, toe!) What a great season…
I am astonished by how mean the challenges have been: Both teams really seem to hate each other like cats and dogs. I love that the Heroes are not taking the so-called “high road” and acting like they’re above the fray; they are just as aggressive as the putative baddies. (BTW, who didn’t laugh when Jerri moaned that she is a bad villain because she could not decide which teammate to stab in the back?) Whether it’s man vs. man or man vs. woman, nobody seems to be pulling any punches. There wasn’t an injury this week, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. That basketball game was fierce. And good-guy Rupert really collided roughly with Jerri. Wasn’t it her he accidentally hurt earlier in the season as well, during an immunity challenge? I’m certain he was sincerely sorry.
One of the other surprises has been the darkening of Colby. I remember how everyone referred to him as “Captain America” during his original season, and gushed about what a nice guy his was in addition to being a dominating physical presence. But this season Colby has been more like Steve Rogers before taking the super-soldier serum: a zero. Until this week. Apparently energized by dodging the bullet last week (due more to James’ bum knee than his own contributions), Colby was a man on a mission. And he finally came through in the reward challenge, scoring over his nemesis, Coach! Meanwhile, the entire Heroes tribe seemed to be more cohesive. Maybe they realized they had to pull it together or get wiped out before the merge. The compromise over the new hidden immunity idol was a very adult way to handle things, but I wonder how the actual process of sharing it is going to work. There won’t be any point to voting for the person they jointly decide to let hang on to it. They must be planning to keep it in their collective back pocket until after the merge. A tightly-knit core of five with an immunity idol will make for a powerful voting bloc.
In the battle of the Hat Squad, I was sorry to see the oily Russell marshal his forces and force out Boston Rob. As much as I despise the Beantown boy’s Red Sux cap, I simply can’t hate Rob himself. I think he got jobbed here, and the Villains team will suffer for it. As adorable as Courtney is, ousting her would have been the more team-oriented choice, while carving out Russell would have been the best strategic move. Russell is a cancer that will devour the team from the inside. If you’re a fan of any of the villains (Hi, Parvati!), the merge cannot come soon enough, so that everyone can turn on Russell before he turns on them. I am surprised that the Villains have been so easy for Russell to manipulate. I guess the all deem themselves too smart to be fooled and thus cannot see the jungle for the trees.