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Survivor Review: The Craziest Episode Ever

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To paraphrase the words of fellow TV Fanatic writer The Barnacle: Holy Episode, Survivor fans!

Considering how much happened, how many great lines were uttered and how many different ways the producers could have gone with the episode title, it’s a bit shocking that “Banana Etiquette” is what they came up with.  Certainly a funny moment of the episode when Amanda informed James of the camp’s banana etiquette, but I might have gone with something like “The Craziest Episode Ever”

Where do you even begin with breaking down this episode?  The two classic interactions between Russell and Boston Rob are a Clash of the Titans level tense.  I loved that, even though Russell was trying to make Boston Rob feel comfortable, the Massachusetts native saw right through Russell’s antics and turned the tables, warning Russell to watch his back.

Russell Contemplates

Then later in the episode, Russell sees right through Boston Rob’s over the top attempt to get Russell to play the idol and vote for Parvati instead when Rob continues to harp on Russell to watch his back.

What’s great about their interaction is how they each attempt to be clandestine about their relationship.  On the surface, each tries to act as if they have each other’s back.  But, they both know that each other is posturing and neither believes the other.  It’s only a matter of time before Boston Rob or Russell call out the other on their fake exterior and the real fireworks begin. 

My money and my heart are on Boston Rob when that interaction occurs, but I fear that Tyson’s COLOSSAL screw up has tipped the scales in Russell’s favor.  Theoretically, Boston Rob still has the numbers, but you have to wonder how the tribe will react to Rob's first loss.

I’m not sure if it’s just a product of editing (Russell may have tried the line he used on Tyson on everyone and CBS showed us just the buffoon who listened) or amazing foresight from Russell, but you have to give him credit for hedging his bets and working on Boston Rob’s crew to try and get them to vote for Parvati.  It doesn’t seem like he predicted a split vote, but his efforts resulted in dumb Tyson taking the immunity idol for granted and thinking Parvati was a goner.

One great side effect of Tyson’s Boner (that’s what I’m calling it, in honor of Merkle’s Boner for all you die hard baseball fans out there) was the great looks on Boston Rob’s face the rest of the episode.  He truly had no idea what happened.  Certainly Russell didn’t infiltrate his split plan, confide in someone that he was giving the idol to Parvati and encourage them to vote for Parvati instead so that Tyson went home.  And certainly Boston Rob isn’t pointing the finger at Tyson because, well, he’s the guy who went home and knew the vote could end in a tie.  It’ll be interesting to see if Rob can figure this one out.

Rupert, James and JT

Oh yea, the Heroes were involved in this episode too.  Were it not for the forced dual tribal council, I don’t think I’d address that pathetic tribe at all.  After a lackluster effort at the challenge (it’s not Candice’s fault, but the fact that she was the Heroes winner in that challenge speaks volumes) the Heroes go and screw up the vote by eliminating James over Colby.

How can they go back and eliminate James now after keeping him in last week?  What’s the rationale there?  Once you make the decision to keep James and his injured knee, go with it.  Even beyond that, Colby does absolutely nothing to try and stay in the game.  He even goes back and admits defeat after the challenge and says that he just wants to enjoy his last afternoon in the game. 

This has not been James’s finest season between his verbal assaults (though Colby was laughing, I thought he was over the top teasing Colby too) and knee injury, but as JT said “you’d have to see him on a stretcher to know he was injured.”  He certainly wants to be in the game and spirit matters a lot more in Survivor than people give it credit for. 

James managed to beat Colby and Rupert in the immunity challenge, but now they vote him off because he’s a liability?  After he proves that he’s more valuable than not just Colby but Rupert too?  I wanted to pull my hair out. 

With everything that happened this week, there’s plenty to think about going forward:

  1. Did Tyson’s Boner swing the momentum from Boston Rob to Russell?
  2. How will the Villains react to Boston Rob’s first failure on the show?
  3. Will the Heroes decision to vote James out a tribal council too late hurt them?
  4. Will Colby’s spirit rally with his tribe’s vote of confidence?
  5. James said he was going to get drunk after being voted out.  Who’s the scarier drunk: James or Tyson?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (30 Votes)
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There is no way any rational person would have done that (Tyson). CBS forced this episode on us to keep Rob and Russell alive for as long as possible. This isn't reality anymore!

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I highly doubt that Russell went to anyone else but Tyson. After all, he hadn't interacted with anyone else on that tribe BUT Parvati and Coach, and I suppose, Danielle. Therefore, it would have been extremely suspicious and counter-effective if he had gone to more than one person. Plus, if Russell had went to everybody, Rob would have caught on and/or someone would have spilled the beans and Russell's plan would have failed. Therefore, it is a safe bet to say that Russell went ONLY to Tyson which goes to show how ingenious the plan was after all. He had to pick EXACTLY the right person because that person was pivotal. He didn't choose Coach because - as Russell showed Coach in his pep talk in tribal about loyalty - Coach wasn't as loyal as he makes himself out to be. He said he would be loyal to Russell but instead, went back to Rob. Russell foresaw this and hence, skipped out on Coach. Another thing, Russell had to find someone that Rob had assigned to vote for HIM. Because imagine if Tyson was voting for Parvati anyway and Russell tells him he's switching his vote. Tyson wouldn't have had the need to switch his vote since he was already voting for Parvati. So Russell had to find someone who was assigned to vote for him AND who would be easily manipulated. Honestly, so many factors were at risk to make this work. Russell put EVERYTHING at risk - he would've gone home if ONE thing failed. That's what makes it so wonderfully entertaining. I only wish CBS had edited it to show us more of Russell's plan. :) -- As for the Heroes tribe, I think they wanted any excuse to vote out Tom. It was a matter of time that they voted out James so I think they kept James a few more days simply because he was more likable. Plus, James didn't pose ANY social threat whereas Tom had already once found the idol, had a bit of a social game, etc. So, they wanted to get rid of Tom ASAP - as in, before James.

Survivor Season 20 Episode 6 Quotes

I'll take a hug.

Jeff Probst

He's (Russell) is not playing with amateurs anymore. He's playing with the big boys.

Boston Rob