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'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains': Can Tyson back up the tough talk?

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Honestly, I was surprised when I first learned that Tyson Apostol would be invited to come back for Heroes Vs Villains. Mainly because it was obvious Coach and J.T. would be in the cast, and three people from a mediocre season (Tocantins) seemed like a bit much. I was almost sure Tyson’s spot would go to Panama‘s Shane Powers instead. Shows you what I know. But I get why Tyson was selected for another go round: The guy is a confessional quote machine. Now, don’t get wrong: What he says may drive you crazy and make you want to throw your remote at the TV screen and then stick pins into your homemade Apostol voodoo doll, but, well, isn’t that what a villain is supposed to do? [Why Tyson’s social game is underrated, plus exclusive on location video after the jump.]

Tyson’s whole attitude can pretty much be summed up by his answer before the game as to my question of who’d he’d like to see voted out first. “The annoying people are the ones you really want to see go just on personal levels, so if I was going with that, it would be Sugar,” said Tyson. “But I would probably mostly want the strategic players out first because that would leave me the only mastermind in the game to control every move. [But] there aren’t any strategic players here, so I guess I’ll just vote the annoying out first.” So cocky. So arrogant. And exactly why is back.

The question becomes, is Tyson all talk? Sure, he can rattle off insults and crazy quips — check out the video below for some proof — but does he actually have any game? My take on Tyson is this: I think he’s actually a very smart dude; I just don’t know how much he really cares about winning. Of course, everyone there wants to win on some level, but there are some people (like Russell and Cirie and Boston Rob) who spend all their time working out every single angle in their head. I think if he wanted to, Tyson could be just as strategic and calculating as these others, but I also believe a good part of him just wants to play the goofball in the leopard print Speedo. It should be noted, however, that his humor is part of his strategy. Keeping people entertained gives them another reason to keep you around. Remember, the Tyson you see in confessionals calling everyone else  morons is not the same Tyson they see at camp, so Tyson’s social game is better than you might think. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him get blindsided again by someone with their eyes a little more focused on the main prize.

To see Tyson’s mouth already in mid-season form, click on the video below. This is the 16th in a series of daily profiles on the contestants of Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains. If you missed our first 15 (including Russell, Boston Rob, Cirie, and Courtney), there are links to all those players below the video. And to enjoy interviews with all the Heroes and Villains, head over to our super special Survivor video hub. Up next tomorrow: Parvati Shallow. Oh, and for Survivor scoop delivered right to you, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Okay, take it away, Tyson.…

Cirie says she’ll win because “I’m a gangsta in an Oprah suit.”

Shocker! Boston Rob says, “I don’t see how I can lose.”

Sugar wants a showmance with J.T.

Randy claims it’s “under the radar time”

Amanda insists “I’m gonna be a bulldog this time. No apologies, bitches.”

Why the hell is Tom Westman back?

Is Danielle Russell’s new Natalie?

Can anyone take Coach seriously?

Candice says that “being a hero is kinda cheesy”

Why Russell will not win

Will Stephenie’s shoulder dislocate her from the game?

Has Colby learned from his mistake with Tina?

Sandra says “I’m a good girl, I promise.” Anyone believe that?

J.T. is gunning for Cirie and trying to avoid a showmance

Courtney calls herself overrated

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

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