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Survivor recap: Clash of the Titans

Russell vs. Boston Rob battle heats up, resulting in a dramatic Tribal Council showdown

Posted on

Russell Hantz
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

It’s a clash of the titans, people! And I’m not talking the cheesetastic 1981 film starring Harry Hamlin and a robot owl. And I’m not talking about a remake of said cheesetastic film that was shot in 2-D but then transferred to 3-D just so the movie studio could try to swipe some of Avatar‘s hype and charge hardworking men and women (okay, mostly men) $3 more per movie ticket. No, I’m talking about Russell vs. Rob, two of the most aggressive and entertaining Survivor contestants ever to play the game. They share so much in common, these two: Both play all-out. Both have a you’re-with-me-or-you’re-against-me attitude. Both wear funny hats. And both were robbed in their previous seasons by bitter juries that refused to honor the game by voting for the person who did the most outplaying and outwitting. (I know that makes a lot of you Russell haters angry, but I’ve got to call it the way I see it.) And because they are so much alike, they can’t wait to get rid of each other. THIS ISLAND SIMPLY ISN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF THEM!

This entire episode was an engrossing chess match between the two. Rarely do we get to see two hardcore strategists one-upping each other in such rapid succession. It started when Russell approached Rob in the dead of night to make him think he wasn’t after him. Rob used that opportunity to tell Russell he was a marked man and to hold on tight to the hidden immunity idol. It ended with each of them telling the other to ”watch your back,” and reminded me of the pre-showdown diner scene between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Heat. It was a calm before the storm. They knew the next time they met, they’d be firing bullets at one another, but for now were content to play some verbal cat and mouse.

But that was just the beginning. After the challenge, Rob met with his alliance and decided they should flush Russell’s idol but vote out Parvati. Pretty smart. Score one for Boston Rob. Rob then attempted to mess with Russell’s mind a bit, trying to make sure he believed he was the one to go. ”If you really don’t have that idol, you better go get it,” he said. When Russell replied ”I don’t have it,” Boston Rob shrugged his shoulders and said ”Well, it’s been real…. Better to play with me than against me.” It took Russell all of about two seconds to realize something was fishy. ”I ain’t stupid. They’re gonna vote Parvati.” Pretty smart. Score one for Russell. He came up with a plan for him to give Parvati the immunity idol instead. Pretty smart. Score another one for Russell.

But Rob’s no dummy. It didn’t take him long to figure out Russell could possibly hand the idol off. His solution: Split the vote, with three people (Rob, Tyson, and Sandra) voting for Russell, and the other three (Coach, Courtney, and Jerri) voting for Parvati. That way, even if Parvati, Russell, and Danielle all voted for Tyson, that would make a three-way tie, the idol would be gone, and then they could join back together to get rid of Parvati on the re-vote. Pretty smart. Score one for Boston Rob.

NEXT: Tyson impersonates a complete moron